Wednesday, April 16, 2014

3 More Days!

3 more days til Derby Marathon Day!

I'm working my last work shift of the week tonight. Of course it would have to be a late evening shift so I won't get home til 3-4 am... then I have to get my sleep fixed before Saturday.

So today I'm resting up for my shift and getting my marathon stuff together while I'm well rested.


I have to get Stella off my bed. She's the most well rested cat I know!

Yes you! Get off my bed!

So here's what I've decided to wear...

Temps are suppose to be in the 40's in the morning with a high of 70. I hope to be done before it gets close to 70! I went ahead a bought a throw away jacket just in case I needed it. I hate standing around in the cold at the start. I'd have to say this is about the ugliest throw away jacket I've ever bought - but it fits, it's water repellent, it's warm, and it zips. 'Nuff said.

All the other stuff to get me through my race. Gas-X and loperamide are for the night before and morning of. Body Glide and Ben Gay in the morning. I'll go a gel every hour during the race and pick up some water and Powerade along the course. Motrin for after the race.

My Sole Sister Trena was kind enough to bring me this for after the race too!

If you want to follow my progress during the race, you can sign up for runner tracking at  I am registered as HaeWon Miller and my bib number is 4695.

I'm planning an easy 2 miler tomorrow followed by one last visit to my massage therapist, then it's off to Louisville on Friday!

Am I forgetting anything? Shoes and Garmin will be packed too.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Thrive Alliance 5K... Breaking Through

Yesterday I had to prove to myself that my 5K time of 23:06 last month was not a fluke... that the course wasn't really short... etc., etc...

The Thrive Alliance 5K was the last 5K before my marathon this coming Saturday. Was I really a 7:30 pace 5K runner? Plainfield did show me some things. It was not an Indiana Crossroads Series race, therefore, no one I knew ran there. Typically, when I run a Series race, I know about how fast the regulars are - who's faster than me and who's not - and tend to pace off the faster runners. In Plainfield, my time was faster than some of the women that always finish ahead of me in the Series. It showed me that I probably could run just as fast or faster than those that have been finishing ahead of me. I just needed to run my own race and quit falling in behind people.

So... Saturday morning. Perfect weather. Flat course. I looked around at the start and saw Sara Martin who runs for the Quaff On racing team. She's a 6 minute miler. None of her male Quaff On teammates were here. "She's going to win this race." Looking around some more, there was one other woman there that I usually finished behind, although, I beat her in the muck run last week - mainly because I think she lost her will to live in the middle of the run...

I decided second place was mine to lose. The horn sounded and I took off. Sara led, then there was a pack of men, then me. I told myself to try and maintain a 7:15 -7:20 pace. I can do this!

Mile 1 - 7:20

The woman I beat last week started coming up on me about half a mile later. I knew she was right behind me because I could hear the footsteps and the breathing and people were cheering her name. She sounded like she was working... I pushed harder. "You're on pace for a PR. Make her push you." I quit looking at my watch and just ran. Somewhere around 2.5 miles, the footsteps went away...

I could see the final turn now. I knew that the 3 mile mark was just after the turn. I knew she was still behind me somewhere close. "Don't let up. Don't let her catch you." I made it to the 3 mile marker. Still no noise behind me. "No one's going to catch me now as far as I can help it!" I can see the finish clock. The first two numbers are 22. Run, run, run!

I can across in 22:50. The woman behind me, Jane, came across in 22:57. Sara won the whole freakin' race in 18:54 - beat all the guys. She's a bad a$$!!

I DID IT!! Plainfield was not a fluke. I ran a PR. My former PR was 22:57. I ran that in 1987 at a road race when I was 18 years old and won the 14-18 age group. Today, I finished second overall woman and won the 45-49 age group.

Race organizers must think that runners are a thirsty bunch. Last week the age group winners got pint glasses. This week we got tumblers...

The overall female and male runners actually got huge trophies. Then, they also handed out huge trophies to the first, second and third place female and male walkers. Jane and I stood around and pouted because we didn't get a trophy. Actually, the funniest thing was when I got home and G said in disbelief, "They gave you a paper ribbon?!!"

Yeah... but your race time and internet results are forever. I'm good with that!

I also decided that I love competition in some type of sick and sadistic way. I actually like getting chased and hearing the person behind you, pushing you as you try to pull away. Like I said before, the feeling of getting chased but never getting caught. I want to earn my award. I do not want to win by default. As a 45 year old woman, I know that I can usually place or win my age group but that's not good enough. I want people to say - hey, she actually ran a decent time - and beat the 20 year olds (except Sara!) The other thing I love about races is your time is the time. Fastest person wins. Period. No judges opinions or style points. Pure and simple.

Now to get my head together for Derby!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Lessons Learned

Mother Nature intervened on Monday and I did not go down to Louisville to run the hills again. Perhaps Mother nature was looking out for me...

It was raining here on Monday. I checked the weather for Louisville and discovered they were having thunderstorms... with lightening. I can suck it up and run in rain. Lightening scares the hell out of me. I have been stuck running outside in lightening storms twice and both times they made huge impressions. The first time was at a high school cross-country meet. Lightening struck a tree a block down the street. It sounded and felt like a bomb went off and I can still remember the orange glow. (The meet was stopped.) The next time, I was half a mile from home, between two farm fields. Basically I was the tallest thing on the horizon. I had no choice but to keep running but I could see the lightening coming down and jumped every time it flashed.

Anyhoos... I don't do lightening. I didn't want to drive 3 hours and not be able to run so I bagged Louisville.

So last week started out pretty good then became horrid. 4 mile pace run on Monday was hard but good. 12 mile hills were hard but I felt good about getting it done. After that, I just couldn't move.

LESSON #1: Don't do 4 hard workouts in 5 days.

LESSON #2: Don't do speed work and hills on back to back days.

Speed work and hills both stresses your hamstrings and glutes. Mine were killing me and I just couldn't get them to loosen up. Running a hilly race on Saturday didn't help matters.

I decided to retreat to the hamster track on Monday. Turns out it was just what I needed. A nice flat surface. About two miles into my 8 mile run, my hamstrings finally relaxed... after a week of tightness.

The other thing I have not been so good on lately is stretching. When I run indoors, I always lay on the floor next to the track after my runs and get all my stretches and core exercises in before heading home. Since I've been running outside, I've skimped on the stretching. I'll run in the door, touch my toes a couple times, then head to the shower.

LESSON #3: Don't skimp on the stretching.

Got home, showered, and hit the foam roller. Later, I decided to really treat my legs and took a hot bath in our whirlpool tub to get the hot tub effect on my legs.

LESSON #4: Don't fill the tub up with just hot water. You really can scald yourself.

After about 2 minutes, I cried "Uncle" and put some cold water in the tub! Once I got situated, I got my legs stretched out even more and sat there until I was too hot to take it anymore then rinsed off with a cool shower. Then I dried off and slathered Ultra-Strength Ben Gay on my legs.

I do not suffer from sensitive skin... I can basically put anything on my skin and it won't bother me. I really like muscle rubs. Muscle rubs work by having an active ingredient that dilates the superficial blood vessels in your skin. This increases blood flow so you get that "warm" feeling. I actually use muscle rub on my legs before runs, especially races, on cold days because I think it helps with my warm up.

So... my legs are all warm from my hot whirlpool bath stretching session. I slater them with muscle rub. About 60 seconds later...wooo haa...they are burning! Like my skin is all red and I was expecting blisters to appear. I got a wet washcloth to try and wipe some of it off. No effect. I finally had to jump back in the shower and use soap to rinse the muscle rub off.

LESSON #5: Don't slather muscle rub all over "hot legs"!

Finally got myself all fixed then put on compression tights. I can't run in compression but I like to wear it afterwards. It might be psychological, but I think it helps with recovery. I hadn't been wearing my compression much lately because, like a lot of things have been for me lately, it was just too much trouble.

Slept in compression tights. Took them off yesterday morning and my legs felt like new. I did 4 miles on my rolly hills and they felt fine. Phew!! I was getting pretty worried last week that I had really screwed things up by pushing just a little too hard at the end.

I also got my May issue of Runners World yesterday. There's an article in it about sleep and how it can make you a better runner. I think Ryan Hall's statement at the end of the article sums it up best when he says,"If I cannot recover from my training, then there is no point training."

LESSON #6: Make sure you allow recovery time in your training.

Have a great day!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Arc's iCan 5K and Week 16 Summary

There are days I question my sanity... or my motives. Yesterday was one of them.

First off, I didn't want to get out of bed. It was cold and dark. It had been raining for the last 2 days. My race yesterday was a cross-country race. I've been really tired all week, ever since I ran the hills in Louisville, and I simply didn't feel like racing. However, since I was signed up, I got up and drove to Columbus.

So why the heck was I doing this? It's suppose to be my speedwork for the week. But really, on a wet cross-country course, I'm not sure how much "speed" there will be. It will be a workout, that's for sure. Plus, I wanted the points. It's a Crossroads of Indiana points race. I know I'm not going to be able to make it to every race so I might as well get to the ones I can to get my points.

This year the Crossroads race series has a new points system. The Overall winner points are still the same: 10-8-6 for first-second-third. The age group points are different. It used to be 5-3-1 for first-second-third; now its 4-3-2, then everyone that participates but doesn't place gets 1 point. That makes the age group placing a lot tighter. Grrrr.... not happy about it but, like everything, it's a business. It's to the race series advantage to get people to participate in more races. And, overall, I do like the way the series is run. All the races are reasonably priced - $10 to $15 usually, with the no T-shirt option. It's my kind of race as I don't want to pay extra for T-shirts, medals, and swag. There are usually 100-200 runners so it's not crazy crowded either. I've run enough of them now that I know all the "regulars" and the race director cheers me on by name since I've become one of those "regulars."

So... cold wet morning. I did have the sense to wear old shoes and pack dry shoes and socks. I checked out the course. It was your classic high school cross-county course. Three loops with several hills, gullies, and you ran though, then around some trees. The whole course was flooded. Standing water everywhere. The gully was a small stream. There was mud around all the trees. This was going to be a muckfest. My feet were soaking wet within the first 10 steps. I got back to the starting area and re-tied my shoes - much tighter and double-knotted the laces. I felt like my shoes were going to get sucked off my feet with every step I took...

The race itself was pretty much awful. SO much work!!

Mile 1 - 8:41

After that, I quit looking at my watch. I think at one other point I glanced down and it said I was running at 10:10 pace. In any case, I decided the splits were irrelevant. No one was running a fast race. I was actually passing people all throughout the race but since it was three loops I really had no idea where I was in the overall placing.

It got to be such a miserable slog that I considered just jogging it out but I didn't. Here are the rest of my splits from my Garmin...

Mile 2 - 9:08
Mile 3 - 8:59
last 0.1 - 1:16

Official time - 28:01
Pace - 9:01

My shoes stayed on... barely. I had mud spatter to my thighs!
I was actually really surprised to find out I had placed third overall in the women's race. The winner ran 27:08.

Winners were awarded pint glasses
So here's my training summary for the week...
Sunday - rest
Monday - 4 mile pace run
Tuesday - 12 miles hills
Wednesday - rest
Thursday - 4 miles (felt horrible and cut an 8 miler short)
Friday - rest (extra rest day cause I still felt horrible)
Saturday - 5 miles (I think I ran my warm down on the streets as fast as my race!)
Week 16 Total Miles: 25
I'm resting again today. My legs feel a bit over trained. I'm in my taper now so I'm hoping they will start feeling better soon. I'm planning to go to Louisville tomorrow to tackle those hills one more time before my marathon.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Turning the Corner and Facing the Beast

Yesterday I told my Sole Sisters that I felt I had turned a corner in my training. I had a 4 mile pace run on the schedule. My legs were still dead from my 10 mile pace run on Friday and my 20 mile long run on Saturday but I made myself do it and pulled it out!

Mile 1 - 8:30
Mile 2 - 8:35
Mile 3 - 8:39
Mile 4 - 8:32

Overall, it was SO much harder than Friday but I kept my head and made my splits. SO HAPPY!!

I had to do my pace run yesterday because I went to Louisville today to face my "beast" - the hill in the middle of my marathon. This is the elevation chart from the Derby Festival Marathon website...

That hill in the middle of the race is in Iroquois Park - the highest point in Louisville. You enter the park around mile 11.5 and exit it around mile 15. I feel like if I can make it through the park then I might make my time.
Anyhoos... I had a long day as things didn't exactly go as planned.
Since G's room is currently non-existent, she is sleeping on the couch. She got cold in the middle of the night and crawled in bed with me and Clark. Belle sleeps with us. Belle and Stella are now co-existing in harmony so Stella likes to sleep with us too. So now we have me, Clark, G, the dog and the cat all in bed together. Clark got up at 6 am to use the bathroom and then declared there were too many people in "his bed." I was going to get up at 6:30 am anyway to leave at 7 am for Louisville so I got up and went to the couch. G followed me and went to the other couch. Stella followed me and curled up on my chest. I couldn't wake a sleeping cat that was snoozing so comfortably on my chest so we all slept til, um, 9 am.
I finally got on the road a little after 10 am. Then I hit construction on the highway. Grrrr... It took me over 3 hours to get to Louisville.
I got to Iroquois Park and started driving the course. That put me in full on freak out mode. The beast of a hill was much more than just a "hill." It looked like a small mountain. It was steep enough that there were switchbacks.

I parked the car and started breathing again. One foot in front of the other...

The first big hill was 0.5 miles long then there was a downhill. Phew... then another hill, about 0.2 miles long, then a little downhill, then another 0.5 mile long hill, another downhill, small hill, downhill, then big 0.5 mile hill followed by a long downhill and then rolling hills til the park exit. So... three big 0.5 mile long hills and two smaller 0.2 mile hills, then some rolling hills to the exit.

Some of the switchbacks were so severe that you could almost run a straight line if you ran the angles, however the camber of the road was also so steep that it was easier to run in the middle of the road where the camber wasn't so steep.

I did this course 3 times. This is what the elevation looked like on my Garmin...

I was ready to die.

So I froze on my long run Saturday. This is what it looked like after my run today...

I was so hot I felt like my head was going to blow up.

It was a beautiful day. However, note to self... do not wait until almost 2 pm to start running 12 miles on a warm day!

So, I've faced the beast. I'm a little scared. OK, I'm more than a little scared. I don't know if I can handle these hills halfway through a marathon. Maybe I should have picked a different race. Well, too late now. I just need to stick to that 3:50 pace runner like the original plan. I may try to get down to Louisville one more time next week... earlier in the day!

Monday, March 31, 2014

This Week's Project

Once again, my house is looking like something out of an episode of Hoarders.

Everything that used to be in G's bedroom is now in the living room. My Spring Break project is redecorating her bedroom. I last redecorated that room 7 years ago when both G and J lived in that room. Since then, her big sis has moved to a room of her own and G wants different paint, carpet
 and d├ęcor. Sigh...

So far, I've pulled almost everything out of the room. It's simply amazing how much crap you can find under a dresser and a bed! We are now down to this...

Actually, that second bedframe is now broken down and the closet is empty. I need to wash down the walls and rip out the carpet. After that, I'll paint the room. I did have enough sense to actually pay someone to install the new carpet. The carpet is ordered and I am hoping it will come in this week so I can schedule installation for the end of this week or early next week.

G also wanted this bedspread for her bed.

It costs $1630!!! Like for JUST the bedspread - not all the other pillows, sheets, etc in the photo. Luckily (for me) it only comes in King and Queen sizes, not twin. Sorry G, can't order it. I did, however, figure out how to make a "replica" bedspread from lace and fabric from JoAnn so that's on the burner for this week too.

What are you doing over Spring Break?

What's your next project?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Derby Training Week 15 ... Did It!!

This was a good week. I had the right balance of work days and workouts and I was able to manage both for once. The weather is getting better too. I committed to running the rest of my runs outside to get used to running the roads and hills. It got cold and rainy towards the end of the week and I really wanted to retreat back to the comfort of my hamster track but I stuck to it and ran outside.

Monday - 10 miles
Tuesday - 5 miles
Wednesday - kettlebell class
Thursday - 5 miles
Friday - 10 mile pace run
Saturday - 20 miles

Week 15 Total Miles: 50

Not much else to say today!