Sunday, February 2, 2014

A 14 mile the GYM.

(Note: If you're reading this via feedly or another RSS reader, you may want to just click through to my actual webpage.  Feedly seems to have botched up the photo layouts pretty badly. )

This week was mostly pretty sucky, but the weekend has been awesome!  Wednesday I ditched my workout completely and a had a shitty night in general (until a good friend with some mad dancing skills cheered me up to the tune of Icona Pop's "I Love It"...  thank you!).  Thursday was supposed to be a tempo run, but I ended up hitting so much snow and ice on the route that I chose that I could barely keep the pace under 10:00 minutes per mile.  I tried to just focus on effort and keep the effort at "tempo" level, but it was really frustrating.  Plus, I think I've said before that the the snow and ice really mess with my "bad leg" and my running form in general.  On Friday, my right ham-ass, right IT band, AND right achilles and ankle were all wonky from Thursday's run.  No bueno.  Friday is normally a rest day, but I had to do my workout that I ditched on Wednesday instead, which was swimming plus a hip strength routine.  Swimming is my least favorite cardio activity at the moment, and I hate that hip routine with a passion too.  It's fairly quick and "easy" but the entire thing is focused on basically one fairly small muscle group, so by the end of it you're burning pretty bad.  And it's such a weird place to burn, it's not even like you feel strong or badass while doing it like you would if you were bench-pressing or squatting or something.  You just feel "Ow. This sucks."  But, I got it done, and then hit the pool.  I realized when I got to the locker room that I didn't have my watch OR my contact lenses.  One or the other would have been tolerable, but missing both meant that I didn't have a clock on my arm, AND I couldn't see the clock on the wall.  So that was lame.  But, again, I got it done.  And was glad when it was over!

Friday night I looked at the forecast and saw we were supposed to get more snow overnight and Saturday morning.  After how screwed up my right side was from running on the snow Thursday, I was really leery of going out for a 14 miler on that crap, so I basically decided Friday night that I was going to my 14 miler indoors.  (Yes, you read that right.)  Turns out that if I would have started at 6 or 7 am Saturday I probably would have been fine, but it was too late, because I slept in and the snow had already started pouring down by the time I was ready to start running at 9am.

I slowed down when I was on the 'mill.....
I went to the gym and started running on the 1/8th mile indoor track.  I did 3 miles, then hopped directly onto the treadmill for 3 miles.  When on the treadmill (with Ghostbusters on the TV in the background), I alternated 1/2 miles at 4% incline and 1% incline, partially to just break up the monotony a bit, but also because the Ann Arbor Marathon is a little hilly so I should try to do some hill training.  That, and I don't think it's good for you to run on completely flat terrain for 14 miles straight.  So yeah, that brought me to 6 miles, only 8 to go!!  :\  Back on the track for 3 miles, then to the treadmill for 2 miles with alternating 1/2 mile hills again, then the last 3 on the track!  PHEW!  It actually wasn't *that* terrible, except I forgot to bring any Gu or shot bloks or anything and I definitely could have used some, especially being indoors because I sweat so much, and could have used the electrolyte replacement.  At mile 10 I got noticeably hungry and at mile 12 my legs got tingly and I got chills.  Oops.  Lesson learned.  I actually wore my heart rate monitor for the duration of the run, which is unusual for me to do.  Not that I'm really going to do anything with that data.  But I like having as many numbers as possible.  :)  (Note that the 196 max in the first mile is a fluke; the sensors probably weren't wet enough to make good contact and read properly yet.)  By the time I was done, that was DEFINITELY not an issue.

Sometimes, I can't quite muster a smile.  Also, that is not a two-toned shirt I'm wearing.  Those people who say "women don't sweat, we glisten" are so full of shit!  
Running at the gym wasn't actually as bad as I thought it might be.  When I got there, I thought maybe I'd find somebody about my pace and make friends. :) So we could chat and pass the time a bit.  That didn't happen though.   The whole time I was running there was only ever one guy that was about my pace and I never got up the nerve to say hello.  He didn't even have headphones on, so he would have been a prime candidate!  I did do a lot of people watching though.  Gym people are awesome.  On one side of the track you can look down into the pool and watch the swimmers from above.  Swimming is so beautiful to watch.  Some of those peeps have some gorgeous back muscles too (men and women!)  You can also see some of the classes that are happening as you run by the glass windows into the studio rooms.  The lone male in a Zumba class, who happens to be about 70 years old, was rocking it out and made me smile every time I went by.  There was a lady "walking" on the track holding a scarf, and basically doing some kind of cha-cha, dancing and shaking that scarf and listening to her music (or maybe it was a workout audio thing?) the whole time she was on the track.   Freaking awesome.  And the tiny asian lady doing some kind of independent ballet or rhythmic gymnastics thing along the perimeter of the basketball courts.  And of course all the people cranking out the heavy weights on the fitness floor.  And the yogis in the dark yoga room.  It was just fun to see everybody in their own element.  Even the girl with the fake tan (and probably boobs), booty shorts, and sports bra whose main workout was checking herself out in the mirror.  If I looked like that I'd probably stare at my own ass all day too, chica.  Have at it.

Appropriately, Awolnation's "People" was my MVS for this run!  :) 

So apparently I was pretty delirious when I was done (neeed....foooood) because I went to what I thought was my locker (hint: it wasn't) and couldn't open it.  It actually was completely broken/locked out because the numbers weren't even lighting up or beeping when I pushed them, like they're supposed to.  So I went to the front desk to have someone open the locker for me, and she couldn't get it open either, because it wasn't responding to the master electronic key thing either.  She ended up having to open up someones locker underneath "mine" and then break into "mine" with a clothes hanger.  It all took a very a long time.  And then she got it open was empty.  Not my effing locker.  Whoops.  So I walked around to about 10 lockers typing my code in until I finally found my shit.  Fun times.  And I could think about was Subway.  Which is where I headed, in my sweaty tank top, bandana, and snow boots, immediately.
Smile!  Third times the charm.  Mmmm sweat-soaked bandana.  
My car had gotten snow covered in the parking lot in the time that I was at the gym, of course.  The snow had accumulated to the point where I actually missed my road on the way home.  There are only two houses on a dead end street where I live now, and nobody had driven on it since the snow had started, so when I was on my way home I actually missed my turn (it's a Y, and I was supposed to bear left), because I didn't even notice that there was a road there!  This winter can go ahead and end at any time now!!!   You know I'm sick of snow when I run indoors for 14 effing miles!!!  I'm glad I did though, because my legs feel good today.  No right-sided wonkiness.

Changing topics a bit, Happy February!  Happy Groundhog's Day, specifically. I am a little bit sad that I'm not doing the Groundhog half marathon this year.  I'm sure the course was just as "exciting" today as it was last year!  (2013 recap: part 1, part 2, part 3).  Did anybody run it today?

January was my highest mileage month since February 2013, though still somewhat low in comparison to what I used to do, and what I "should" be doing since I'm training for a marathon!  87 miles in January.  Honestly, I probably won't get much higher than the 25-ish miles that I'm doing per week, because I'm sticking with just 3 days/week of running.  All the supplemental strength training, biking, and swimming must be making up for it though, because I feel about as good as ever, and I'm faster than I've ever been too.  Here's to low mileage marathon training!  Only a 16, 18, and 20 miler left in the "long run" bank 'til race day!  (12s and 13s don't count :P )  I still haven't registered for the race because I don't want to jinx my knee/IT band, but after two 14 milers this month that were basically a piece of cake, I'm feeling very optimistic!    

OH!!  I almost forgot, I'm meeting Michelle (who lives in Cleveland) in Toledo today!  I was complaining on Friday about how she lives too far away and we need to have a phone date or something, and we decided to just meet for dinner somewhere in between.  This is why I love her.  Only a real friend will run naked through the woods with you with a bunch of complete strangers.  :P Also, we're planning a vacation in the fall, to backpack/hike/camp the Grand Canyon.  Woooot!  I was just inspired to make a collage.  Here you go.  2005 to 2013.  You may want to right-click the smaller ones and choose open in new tab or window so you can zoom in if you actually want to see the pics!

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