Thursday, February 17, 2011

Orlando Trip

We took a nice break from the cold weather and headed down to Orlando for the week. So nice to run in the warm weather (relatively) in shorts and a t-shirt!

My coach had me doing some a more difficult series of runs for the week to take advantage of the lower altitude. Not once did I feel a need to gasp air. Yikes - there is TONS of the stuff down there. One particularly hard run was a set of 6x800's that started at 6:40 pace and stepped down to the last one at 5:50 pace. The last 800m was more mentally tough than physically. I never took for granted that I would finish it, even in the last 100m. But not once did I feel like I was running out of air :-)

Another tough run was a 15 miler on Sunday that ran 9 miles at a moderate pace, then 5 miles at 1/2 marathon pace followed by a mile of cool-down. I did the run in the Wilderness Campsite area - really great place to run - lots of paved and unpaved trails and very little traffic.

Of course all of these runs were capped off by our vacation 'activities'. My sis and her fiance live down there and my folks traveled down as well. We hit Universal Islands of Adventure, Magic Kingdom and Sea World. Luke had a blast - but the high degree of sensory overload sent him into a couple meltdowns on the trip. When we asked him what his favorite part was of the trip, he said the rental car. Sigh.... We had to remind him of all the FUN activities we did (outside of the rental car).

And what a nice surprise to come back on Wed to 60+ degree weather in Colorado! I went out and did an 8 mile recovery run on Wed afternoon. I have to admit that between the hard weeks' worth of workouts, walking the parks and traveling a couple of connecting flights back with a 3 year old, I felt pretty flat on Wed's run. But as always - glad I did it.

Today's 6 miler was better, but still feeling a little beat up. But I have some easy recovery days ahead on Saturday and Sunday as well, and then a rest day on Monday. So I'm sure to feel right as rain again by then.

And no, I haven't gotten on the scale since I got back. What's the point in that? I just need to run a lot and stay away from restaurants and ice cream for a couple weeks now - then I'll see where things are at!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Foiled......

OK - at this point, this is wishful thinking. You'd think that with the relatively short 'winter' season we've had out here (it was in the 60's just a couple weekends ago), I'd be more tolerant of the white stuff and cold temps in the city, but I'm not. Thus my animosity towards my snowy friend.

In fact, on Saturday I took Luke sledding at Ruby Hill Park. At the top of the hill we built a snowman, which he then proceeded to knock over and stomp on. I think for different reasons - but it echo'd my sentiments with regard to it snowing at the wrong times lately!

So I was *supposed* to race a 7 miler this past Sunday. Thursday's workout was kind of a bust due to the unexpected snow and blizzard I was running in. A lady yelled from an overpass that when she grows up she wants to be just like me (I think it was my first 'non-heckling' shout-out - more on heckling in a later post I've been thinking of writing). Both Friday and Saturday's runs were in weather I would classify as 'dank' - or more like running in a meat locker. Not cold enough to be adventurous or keep the slush puddles down, but not warm enough to feel liberating from winter's grasp.

But on Saturday, the sun had melted clear most of the paths, and I thought I'd be able to run fast on Sunday's Platte River run. Then on my 4 miler, it started snowing. OK I thought, maybe a little packed snow. Not ideal, but I'm game.

On Sunday morning I woke up to around 8+ inches on my porch. And I thought, "Yeah, no". I mean, I've noticed that when I run in snow, I tend to run low and 'in the bucket' - which isn't good in itself for speed or healthy hips. But when I try to run fast in the snow, I then worsen things by reaching forward with my stride (over-striding). This was how I think I ganked my hip a couple weeks ago. So based on the fact that I wouldn't be setting any blazing PR's (and the fact that I'm not sure my hockey puck of a car would have made it across town, I bagged the race. Looking back I don't regret it. Instead I shoveled snow for like an hour (upper body workout) and went for a 9 mile XC ski tour of Bear Creek (which turned into a 3 hour odyssey of breaking trail and having to walk over paths that the park service cleared down to bare pavement sometime while I was rounding the bend and returning home.

I also hear that we are in for more snow on Monday night / Tuesday - so it's the dreaded 'mill for a few runs. Such are the challenges with running in the winter-time. And yes, I remember that compared to my friends that live east of here, we have a cake-walk of a winter. But allow me my whining.