Posts Tagged ‘running gear’

Maybe shouldn’t have done that.

Date: April 5, 2014

Distance: 10 miles

Time: 1:39:24

Today I ran the Emigration Canyon Ten-Miler, despite my better judgement.

No medals in a ten-miler, but you still get a shirt.

On Thursday, I woke up with a sore throat and extreme exhaustion, which prompted me to call in sick yesterday when I also woke up with a headache. I rested most of the day and was feeling better, but still wasn’t great by evening. In contemplating whether or not to run the race, I told myself, “I’ll only run if I wake up feeling good AND it’s not raining.” (Honestly, I was thinking I would most likely put in a few miles on the treadmill at the gym).

Surprisingly, I woke up at 5:00 without my alarm, and the updated weather forecast predicted no rain until 10:00. I was also feeling decent–no sore throat, just a bit of nasal and chest congestion–so I got up, made coffee, and ate. Still felt pretty okay, so I took some cold medicine and headed out the door by 6:15.

This race finishes at “This is the Place Heritage Park,” so runners were encouraged to park in the lot there and ride buses to the top of Emigration Canyon to the start. Good plan, so after the race, it’s easy to simply jump in your car and drive home.

The problem with that plan (Race Directors, are you listening?), was the way too early bus departure. We all got up to the start by 6:45 and the race didn’t begin until 8:00. Dang it! It was cold up there and we all had to stand around for over an hour jumping in place, pacing around, or anxiously jogging around in order to stay warm. If my cold turns into pneumonia, I’m not blaming it on the race–I’m blaming it on the fact that I had to stand around in the cold for an hour before I could even get started.

I really had no high hopes on my performance for this race. I really was running more out of guilt rather than anything else because I had broken all training rules and hadn’t run at all since my half marathon two weeks ago. With my next race only two weeks out, I felt as though I needed to get some mileage in. In fact, my normal training schedule would have me run 10-11 miles this weekend anyway and I’ve been completing most of my long runs down Emigration Canyon anyway. The timing and location of this race couldn’t have been more perfect.

The Race

The race began at Little Dell Reservoir  so that means there’s a two-mile uphill climb right at the beginning of the race until the top of the canyon where the course winds downhill the whole rest of the way. I started off very slowly–alternating between walking and jogging during those first two miles. I’ve run this course dozens of times and knew how bad that first part is. Get past those first two miles, though, and the downhill makes it all worth it.

I forgot to wear my Garmin today, so I had no idea how I was pacing and had to rely on the race markers along the side of the road to inform me of my mileage. Every-once-in-a-while, it’s nice to run “naked”–as they say in running circles–meaning without technology. (I wasn’t completely naked, however, because I did remember to bring my iPod).

The nice part about running without tracking technology is you aren’t continually glancing at your watch the entire time and, most enjoyably, you are able to set a pace that isn’t dictated by your watch, but is based on how you feel. That was nice today. Even with the all-downhill course, I took a few walking breaks when I felt like it and then, when I was running, simply ran at a pace that felt right. It wasn’t until I crossed the finish line that I realized I had run an average 10-minute mile the whole race–even with the miserably slow first two miles. Wow. Sure wasn’t expecting that.

Looking Ahead

After the race, I headed home and enjoyed a hot shower followed by an hour-long power nap. Not a bad way to start the weekend and get some much-needed miles in before the Albuquerque Half in two weeks. Just hope I manage to get some shorter training runs and a few yoga classes in there before then as well.



Today’s run and dailymiles

Date: August 12, 2012

not my legs or shoes 🙂

Distance: 10 miles

Time: 1:39:32

In preparation for the upcoming Mesa Falls Half Marathon in Ashton, Idaho, I decided to run my tried-and-true Emigration Canyon long run. I love this run. All I have to do is convince my husband or my son to wake up early and drive me to the top of the canyon and kick me out of the car. I then get to enjoy the mountain scenery, the cooler mountain air (at the  beginning of the course), the downhill grade, and the camaraderie of the dozen or so other runners and bicyclists I invariably see.

I used today’s training run to test out my new running playlist and my new compression sleeves.

The running playlist is a hit. Instead of just randomly putting together a collection of running songs, I made the attempt to order them from slowest pace to fastest pace. I think I’ll move a couple around, but for the most part, that worked well. I have a tendency to go out too fast so the slower songs at the beginning will remind me to hold back a bit at the beginning. Then I’ll have the fastest songs at the end when I’ll really need the motivation.

And, there will be portions of the course where I’ll need motivation. All along I was thinking the Mesa Falls course would be all downhill, but it’s not. The full mostly is, but there appears to be a hundred foot climb from about mile 3.5 to 7. Maybe the course map makes it look worse than it really is. I’ll let you know in two weeks.

Not sure if I’ll use my compression sleeves for my race. I’ll see how I feel tomorrow. If I’m not sore at all tomorrow, that will convince me to wear them for the race. I’ll also need to experiment with just using them for recovery following a race, so I might try that option too. If you are curious about how compression sleeves work, check out:

Daily Mile

One of my running friends (thanks, Mel) found a website that does a good job of letting runners and other athletes track their workouts. It works a lot like Facebook in that you can post messages, photos, or training information and have just your selected friends see them. It’s set up to track all sorts of different types of workouts so it’s not limited just to running, which I like. I’m still learning the ins and outs of using it, but I think it will be a fun way to get a group of people together and motivate and encourage each other. If you join, look for me as “Gail A.”

Happy running/walking everyone!











10:18 (course flattens at this point)


Is there a twelve step program for that?

I have a confession.

Despite knowing that my youngest child was alone at the house and hungry, I didn’t go straight home after work. Instead, I found my car inexplicably being maneuvered in the opposite direction–towards my favorite watering hole running store.

“I’ll only stop in for a moment,” I told myself. “I just want to quickly exchange an unworn pair of shoes for ones that I know will help me improve my running form. It won’t take long at all.”

It wasn’t until over an hour later that I left that den of debauchery and returned home to my motherly duties.

You see, my charming shoe salesman, Zac, had captured me in a mesmerizing conversation about running injuries, the physiology of the foot, shoe inserts, running stride, and zero drop, minimalist shoes.

Even though I haven’t run in three months, I am now the new owner of a pair of Saucony Kinvaras.

I am already fantasizing about how they will cradle my feet with only a 4 mm drop and how they will magically keep me from heel-striking. My tendons will immediately heal and I will be able to run the New Orleans half marathon pain-free and in under two hours.

I told you I was fantasizing.

I think I need a sponsor.

Hand me my metronome, please.

I walked in to today’s physical therapy appointment discouraged. After six weeks of treatment and virtually no running, my foot still hurts.

Google images

I walked out of today’s physical therapy appointment encouraged. We may have identified the cause of my injury, and the treatment is easy–take shorter strides.

I’ve read a lot about how shorter strides are better in distance running, how it’s bad to land on the heel, and how the ideal cadence is about 180 strides per minute. That’s all great information to have in the back of your head, but what good does it do if you don’t know how that information applies to YOU?

Today I found out.

After a lengthy session of being filmed and timed on the treadmill while running barefoot and with shoes, I learned that my cadence is WAY OFF–148 strides per minute. And, I land forcefully on my heels with every stride. It was painfully clear, as I watched the videos, how wrong I’ve been running all this time. My poor foot simply couldn’t take it any more.

According to my PT, an increase in stride rate of just 10% has been proven to help virtually every running injury known–whether it involves knees, hips, or feet. She set a metronome to 163 BPM and showed me how running with shorter, quicker strides, naturally caused me to land much further forward on my foot.

You know, that’s the claim of all the new minimalist shoes out there–they mimic barefoot running and that forces runners to land more forward on their feet.

My assignment? Visit the website and download 163 BPM mixes so I can listen to my own personal metronome while running. And, I’m relegated to the treadmill for the next few runs while I learn what that length and speed of stride feels like.

I have to completely re-learn how to run.

If it solves my foot problem–I’m more than happy to oblige! Wish me luck.

Labor Day Weekend Long Run & So Many Firsts!

Date: September 4, 2011

Distance: 10 miles

Time: 1:47:48

Happy Labor Day weekend! Two great running songs on my playlist that fit the theme: Loverboy’s “Working for the Weekend,” and “Workin’ for a Living” by Huey Lewis and the News. (Yes, I do know these are both from the 80s).

Today’s long run was good for so many reasons and it also included several “firsts”:

1. I woke up at 6:15 without an alarm and was easily out the door by 7:00. By the way, the article in the latest issue of Runner’s World magazine is correct. Running early in the day IS a good idea. (I just have a hard time convincing myself sometimes). Check it out if you want early morning running motivation.

2. During the first 2.5 miles I ran with my dog WITHOUT A LEASH! It was an amazing first. He stayed close to me at all times and even obeyed when I told him to sit and stay at each of the four intersections we crossed. Running so early on a Sunday morning meant virtually no traffic so I felt comfortable trying out the no leash thing. While I’m not sure I’m at the point where I would trust him off leash all the time, I’m feeling quite encouraged.

3. I tried using shot bloks rather than Gu for the first time during a run and learned that black cherry flavor is pretty tasty. (I’d sampled the margarita flavor in the past and about gagged). I may switch to the black cherry shot bloks for my Wyoming race but I’ll always prefer real Margaritas over the shot blok versions.

4. I also tried out my new HydraPouch for the first time and that worked well. A HydraPouch is a portable cup-type device with a clip you can use to attach to the waistband of your running shorts. The Jackson Hole race I plan to run in three weeks is suggesting these since they will not be using cups at the water stations. The idea is, instead of running past water stations and grabbing paper cups (and then running through piles of paper cups all along the route), runners will be expected to fill their own containers with water at the water dispensers that will be set up throughout the course. Much more environmentally friendly and easier cleanup for race volunteers. I was skeptical at first, but now am sold. My route today took me past water fountains at several points so I was able to get water every 1.5 to 2 miles and I loved not hauling along my heavy water bottle.

5. I ran ten miles with no walking breaks. A first. WHAT?! I’ve been writing about the merits of walking breaks in my blog posts. I LOVE walking breaks and think runners should routinely incorporate walking breaks into their runs. Today, however, something was different and I didn’t feel like walking–except at the end. After I finished running my ten miles, I walked the last 1.3 miles up the hill. (So I actually put in over 11 miles today–yay).

6. Maybe the reason why I felt no need to take a walking break is due to yet another first. Thanks to my friend,

from Google images

Debi’s, advice, I ate some pre-run Chia seeds. Evidently, they are magic. I tried them in oatmeal for the first time last week–thought they were good. The seeds added a bit of a crunchy texture, which I liked. Today, I mixed them with coconut water. Another first! Evidently, coconut water is getting lots of attention these days as being great for pre- and post-run hydration–as good as or better than electrolyte sports drinks.

If you don’t like your drinks to have texture don’t do this. If, however, you like “country-style” orange juice with lots of pulp and you are a fan of boba drinks, you may like adding chia seeds to your beverages. After about 10 or 15 minutes, they turn into a gel-like consistency. I was surprised the texture didn’t bother me as much as I expected. And, according to the package, “Chia seeds were revered by the ancient Aztec and Mayan empires as vital nourishment.” Who am I to argue with the Aztecs and Mayans?

Whatever the reason, today was an “on” day. I had an amazing run. Could have been due to many factors, or one of my several firsts. Who knows. What I do know is having a great, effortless long run like today really makes up for the other times I’ve struggled through a run and hated it.

Long run

Date: August 28, 2011

Distance: 9.65 miles

Time: 1:56:21 (walked the last .65 mile)

In my haste to get out the door and try to avoid the heat I don’t think I waited long enough for my oatmeal and yogurt to settle. At about mile five, I started getting heartburn. After walking a bit and drinking a ton of water, I felt okay to continue my run. And, it was nice to run in the cooler temperature. I know better than to run so soon after eating. Don’t do it, folks!

Can I just say I love my Garmin? I love being able to simply head out the door and run in any direction, without having to pre-plan and pre-measure a route. So nice. And, I love my city. During my run, just south of my neighborhood and back, I saw dozens of other runners, bicyclists, and dog walkers. I even saw an elderly gentleman out for a morning stroll with his walker. Salt Lake City is a very active community and I find that to be very motivating.

Utah has lots of great full and half marathons too. I know I am missing out on some beautiful races by avoiding the Utah races to “save up” for the out-of-state races.  Oh well. I’ll get to those eventually. Maybe my goal after I knock out all fifty states will be to run all the Utah races I’ve always wanted to run.

Want another song suggestion? “Closer to Free” by the BoDeans. I found this link that also has the words listed. Gotta love a song that includes the accordion. Great, upbeat running tempo and reminds me of my friends, Chip and Jon. Here’s to good friends and good running days!

Providence, Rhode Island Race Report

Date: August 7, 2011

Distance: 13.1 miles

Time: 2:12:17

Cross Rhode Island off the list! In a soggy deluge, Denise and I completed the obligatory 13.1 miles and learned that wet running clothes leave one wishing that Body Glide was used on more places.

If you aren’t familiar with Glide, it looks like a deodorant  stick and prevents nasty friction-caused blisters and chafing. Luckily, we escaped with no blisters on our feet, but we both had nasty rug-burn-like places on our arms, chest, and stomach areas. Too much information? Sorry.

The course was nice—took us right by Brown University and along the river. Unfortunately, we were forced to run head down most of the race so we could safely avoid puddles and potholes that covered the roadway. I quickly gave up even trying to avoid puddles after about mile three. It just didn’t matter at that point. We were also both so “heads down” that we never noticed when we passed each other and ended up running solo among the crowd of people.

The course was also a lot more hilly than expected, which added a bit of challenge. Especially at the end. The last .2 was the steepest uphill of the whole entire race! Argh.

Hotel was amazing and was conveniently located a block from the start and finish. This is the first race where we booked rooms at the closest hotel to the course and I’m sure we’ll be doing that again in the future. It was so nice to be able to simply walk one block away to the start and not worry about having to catch a bus to shuttle to the start. Even better? Knowing that once we crossed the finish line a hot shower was only ten minutes away.

The past couple of days have been spent enjoying Lee, Massachusetts—caught a double-A baseball game at one of the oldest stadiums in the country and plan to enjoy Lobster Rolls at some point. We even managed to get a slow, easy two-mile run in this morning to loosen up our very sore quads.  The humidity is nothing like we are used to and we are wondering what Thursday’s evening race in New York will be like. I’ll let you know…