Friday, March 30, 2012

71 miles and going strong

My Wednesday run was so lame. I wasn't feeling it and I just wanted to turn around and go home.  Two miles and I called it quits...and then Tabitha suggested we run to 7-11 for beer.  Okay...let's tack on some miles and then drink what we just wore off.

I have to go tonight, but I slept all funky on my neck and I don't wanna.  She's going to have no part of it though.  Why do I even try!?

71 miles total and I am STILL breaking in my calves.  See, you don't have to wear in the shoes, you have to build up your feet and calves.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Vibram FiveFinger FAIL.

I am so irritated.
For my daughter's 19th birthday this month I used my REI dividends and coupon to buy her a pair of Vibram TrekSport shoes.  She's wanted them long before I caved in and bought them for myself.  She's thrilled to finally have them and is following the instructions to go slow.

For Christmas this year my dad bought me my first pair. I opted for the men's TrekSport because they felt better on my feet, but I went back a couple months later and bought the women's version of the shoe and I have gotten use to the feeling of a more snug fit.  For my birthday I got a gift certificate for REI and I decided to use the second coupon and my gift card to go out and get another pair for myself while they were "on sale".
The guy at REI told me, "Oh they are discontinuing the women's TrekSport shoes." My heart broke right into two.   "No! WHY?"  he informed me that they have out the Spydridons now for women that they are pushing.  "NO! WHY!?" as soon as I could breathe again I would ask more questions.
"Because they aren't as stiff as the TrekSports and they found that women don't do the kind of trail running that calls for such a stiff or thick sole."
I wish I could have said something a little more intelligent, but I just muttered, "that's stupid. I'm a woman, I do REAL trail running, not the bike trail kind of running you're describing. I run the Western States trail where there is sharp shale, mud, rocks for miles...I NEED the TrekSports!"

I had tried on the Spydridons the last time I was in REI and I didn't like the heel.  Talking to my ex today he said he picked the Komodosport over the Treks because he liked the double strap.  I thought it was just kind of a gimmick, but he picked that shoe over a shoe he would use more because of it so it must hold SOME value.  My boyfriend bought the Spydridons because he said the Treksport hurt his toe.

So, end of story, out of fear of not having that specific shoe for the kind of trail running I do, I had to buy yet ANOTHER pair of Vibrams before I have no choice of good shoes.

How do I not do testing for this company because I believe I could do a bang up job tearing these shoes up on the trails and telling them what they can do to fix and improve ...and in my case NOT FIX WHAT ISN'T BROKEN. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Training Run...69 total miles

Reluctantly I began week two of training for the 10k in May. Tabitha is back out with me and she is just sadistic.
After months of having to baby her calf, she is loving that her calf muscles are burning and tight. "YES! I love this feeling!!" She finally feels the 'good pain' and she's taunting the running Gods, "GIVE ME ALL YOU GOT!"
I was whimpering, "i'm not with her."

I've decided that this trail race will be done barefoot so I have been training in the Vibrams and as much as I want to just have one day of cushioned goodness I am not going to give in.
Last night just hitting the trail I knew my feet were not ready for the pounding I was going to give them. We started out slow and then I started my pace. My left hip decided to lock up before we made it to the first corner. I stretched it out and kept running. By the time I hit the highway split my calves and hip were pissed. Pushing through I practiced my speed walk and then got into a slow trot again.

I passed my estimated times for the run/walk scenario I papered out and I was proud of that.
The key for me is to zone out and not try to keep up with Tabitha because she is a Kenyan and there is no use trying, but to use her as my beacon to where I need to be and if I need to speed up to keep the distance only 45 seconds behind her. Last night I kept it at almost 1 minute behind and if I pushed a little bit, I could keep the right pace.

Coming back home I found a hummingbird in the apartment complex. It was hopping around and trying to get flight. Shea and I took it in and nursed it, and it was still alive this morning, but didn't make it until it was time to take him to the aviary rescue.

This morning my calves, hip and feet feel fine. I do recognize that I need to rest them, but keep them going.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Trail Run!

On Saturday I turned 40.
On Friday night I was out with two great friends drinking an absurd amount of Captain Morgan and kamikazes. This made for an interesting run on Saturday to usher in my 40th year.

I woke up early enough to realize I had just gone to sleep and I didn't care if the coffee maker had just kicked on, I was getting a couple more hours of sleep. My friend Matt was sleeping on the couch and he had mentioned a few times through the night, "I don't want to go hiking with you."
I had planned on just hiking so Matt could come out with us, but his resistance the night before was heard. When I staggered into the living room a couple hours later and got some coffee in my system he greeted me with, "I am not going out with you this morning." OKAY, I get it.

Tabitha called me and said she was sorry she was running late, she couldn't find her Camelbak. I told her I was going to pass on the hike and she let me know about myself and told me that I was going to go. I called my friend Bonnie and told her to come over if she wanted to get in on the action.

Hitting the trail late in the morning I was a little freaked out because I had to be back before noon so I could start getting ready for my birthday party. Looking at my watch, it was 11. I was screwed.
We chatted it up as we walked the first leg. Tabitha is still making sure her calf muscle doesn't pop again and Bonnie is fresh out of physical therapy for an IT band issue (I should google that because she had a lot to say about it and I had no idea what she was talking about)
Bonnie had done the first part of this on a hike with her friend so I was intent on showing her the secret side of it that most people don't know about or just think it goes down to a small waterfall.
We talked about how addictive this is and Bonnie calls it 'Jonesin'. We all hate it when we can't get out and do this.
When we entered this part of the canyon you are surrounded by the walls and fallen rock. So many times on runs I have seen the wall and swore that one of these days I would climb up there and see what was on the other side. On my 40th birthday I dug my Treks into the wall and began climbing up, holding on to roots and rocks. At the top I was rewarded with nothing. Oh well, it was fun being a little kid for a minute.

When we came out of the canyon you are blessed with the cut open and you can see where they began making the dam. At this spot I looked down to see a butterfly at my feet and I stopped and it was so beautiful I wanted to make sure that Tabitha saw it, I started chanting her name and she freaked out thinking that my complete immobile body was frozen because there was a snake about to strike me. "Look at this butterfly!" I slowly bent down to see if I could get a better look.
"You bitch! don't do that! I thought you were going to be eaten by a snake!"
We all sat there as I got the butterfly on the tip of my finger and held it out so they could get pictures. I surrendered a good 15 minutes of my day looking at his wings and beautiful furry body.

I glanced at my Garmin watch as we headed further into the canyon. My phone rang, which NEVER happens out in those canyons and I fumbled with my Camelbak and saw that my boyfriend was calling. "Happy Birthday Baby! Where are you? When am I going to see you?"
"I'm out on a hike/run and we are the second leg back to the car! I will see you soon!" I crammed my phone back in after the I love yous and be safes. "Let's go girls, it's 1pm and I have to be at Lester's at 2pm for my birthday party." I didn't want to calculate the drive home (20 minutes) shower (10 minutes) and drive to his house (10 minutes) because I would rob myself of the joy of the run back to the car. I went with, "it's my 40th birthday and I wanted to do this."

Bonnie and Tabitha took up the hill we would need to crest to get to the main trail. It was about halfway up the hill that my run turned into a walk and my walk turned into a struggled stagger. Sweet Jesus, the hangover decided to kick in about then. "Oh god, i'm hungry and dizzy!" They were almost to the top and I felt my watch tightening around my wrist telling me to keep moving, "This is like the Hungover Games!" they didn't hear me, they were cheering me on to make sure I got up that hill in one piece. I think they could see how green I was turning.
As soon as I got over the hill I knew we had one very small one and then it was all downhill. Now I was checking my Garmin about every 4 seconds calculating how fast I would have to get to the car, how fast I would have to drive, what steps I would need to take to cut off a few minutes so I could make it on time. We ran...and ran...and ran. We ran 2 miles in 20 minutes and I actually made it to my party only 20 minutes late.

The report on the feet/calves/body. I crested a hill and hit my foot all funky on a rock and I had to pamper it for the rest of the day, but on a scale of 1 to 10 on the pain it was only a 5 and the recovery was minimal. I was fine the next day.
This run was the first time that I actually noticed the length of my stride. Going downhill I could feel how I was doing most of my running from the knees down and I had to make an effort to involve my hips. Because I did this my stride lengthened and my feet had to compensate for that. It's a give and take with that method because even though my pace improved, I had to think about what I was doing and I haven't learned how to lengthen my stride and not beat my feet up because of it.

All in all, a beautiful run on a beautiful day.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

62 miles total ...

Trying to figure out where this one fits in, under this blog or Hiking With The Exes. I figured since this was a week day run, I was in my Vibrams and it was a trail ... it fit more in here.

Tabitha has been sneaking runs during the week without me and I asked her if she wanted to get one in on Wednesday. She was excited and said okay...but I kind of forgot so when she showed up in her running clothes I had to hurry up and change into something.

...and I forgot the sports bra.

It was a good run behind the apartments. We wanted to see how far the trail would go and we found out. 1.1 miles in. I've been checking Google Earth to see if with a minimal street running if there is a connector trail that will take us to Sierra College. So far, no luck.

Total Miles on Vibram Treks: 62

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My Plan..

In an attempt to not compare every single day to what I was doing in 2011 (also known as the best year EVER) I am walking this fine line of holding back being okay with change and doubtful restlessness on if I should change something.

I've counted the miles I have put in on foot by this time last year and the miles I have put in this year and they are within 5 miles of each other. It would have been exact, but I had promised to do Alyx's pictures and then on Sunday the weather was bad and I ended up helping Tabitha with her car. The reality is that I am actually doing more (miles) than last year because this year I have also added in bike riding.

Something just feels off. Reading "Born to Run" probably exasperated this because I am suddenly feeling like I should be at least up to 30 miles a weekend. I want to be though. There are weekends when all I want to do is get out there at 7 am and not come back until the sun is creeping down, just to see how far I could go and where I would end up.

I have an actual race coming up in 9 weeks and even though I put in the time on the trails, I don't even feel like I am ready for it. It's my first 10k. Yes, I know...small time, but for me it's the farthest time race i've been in. I'm not doing it for the time though, that means nothing to me. I am doing it because I know myself well enough to say that if I didn't have something to train for, I would probably not train as much as my body needs. Knowing what I want and getting it or putting in the work is a whole different thing.

I want to be an ultra runner. Not because it sounds good, but because that means that I get to be on those trails for a long time and I could go for hours and not give up. Saying that out loud makes me feel selfish inside. Giving up time and focus for something that is for no one but ME.
What a conflict and only one I am going to be able to wrestle with if it's something I am going to do.

The plan I put together for the 10k in 9 weeks is a hybrid of Couch to 5k and a random 10k schedule someone yah-hoo put together (me). It was actually kind of fun. Sticking to the basics of rest and run and slowly adding miles, putting together the goals and then the weekend miles was a good way to refocus. It's also going to make the weekend runs a little more structured. This way I can get other people to join me out on the trails and I won't feel bad that I am not putting in the big miles that I feel I should already be doing. After May's race I will switch my focus to the long run weekends and adding in bike riding ever other weekend.

My goal by the end of the year is a 25 mile Saturday. *crossing fingers for no injury or fears*

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Midweek fun...

On Thursday Tabitha, her friend Gene and I wanted to get out and get some time out in the woods.

We decided on doing Robie and rail bed. I was bummed when I came running into the railbed. They have created a new path that isn't as steep, but it doesn't have that magic feeling like it had before they 'improved it'. I'm so grateful of my time that I had before though. It's still nice, it's just not the same.

I got in 5.5 miles.

Feet feel pretty good.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Welcome to my wonderful life you beautiful shoes!
It's been two and half months since I got my first pair of Vibram FiveFinger shoes and I am the very happy owner of my second pair.

The black pair are actually the men's V5Fs and I really like them when I am out on the trail. They feel so much better than the girl's version of the shoe. These are the girl version of the Treks and they are the tan and the red. We shall see how they do out there. The main difference I have found between the two is the width and the strap.

The Komodosport shoes are the ones I would like to try out after I am fully transitioned into barefoot. Right now I am just in love with the Treksports and they have the perfect 0 drop and 4m sole. The Komodosports are 3.5 and I think I will be ready for that last .5 by next Christmas. I have tried on the new Spydridon and there wasn't much I liked about them. The heel wasn't as snug as every other V5Fs that I have tried on or worn. The design on the top is kind of distracting and i'm not to thrilled with the lack of strap. The tread looks like a bike tire and it is said that they are the first trail runner specific design, but I disagree. The Treksport are wonderful for trail running.

Welcome to the family sweet, wonderful shoe!