Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Running v Law school

About a year ago I made a decision that took my life in a completely different direction. After two years of professional running in Flagstaff, AZ, I opted to return to school when I enrolled at the University of Arizona College of Law. The lifestyle is like night and day. My daily routine of running, resting and eating has been replaced with reading and … reading. Throw in a couple classes and a running schedule and that’s basically what I’ve been doing for the past several months. Aside from starting many of my workouts in the dimly lit hours of 5:45am, I’ve actually enjoyed the change thus far. The material covered in school have been mostly interesting, my classmates have become good friends, and despite my complaining, I’ve been able to get more miles under my belt than ever before. I think the trick to training in school is to time manage and not worrying about getting up early. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a decent race yet to give me any credibility on how to train while going to school, but hopefully that is coming soon. I’ve found that as long as you keep working at it, you eventually break through.

I thought my break through was going to happen at the Houston Half Marathon. As I mentioned, I had run consistently more miles than I had ever run in the past. My highest was 111, and I was above 100 for most of the late fall/early winter. Workouts were encouraging too. We were preparing to run 4:45 pace and all the ducks seemed to be in a row. I’m really not sure what went wrong. I felt very comfortable the first 5 miles which were on pace. Then, from about 5.5 to 6 miles, the wheels came off. I eventually dropped out at mile 9 when I realized I wouldn’t be finishing in the top ten nor with a time remotely close to what I was shooting for. I’m still obviously disappointed in the race, but I’ve learned after years of running that it is best to just let these things go and focus on getting better for the next race. Really, what else can you do? The next race is the Gate River Run on March 12th where I hope to have a race that reflects the shape I’m in.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rain in Seattle?

Running gives opportunities that I wouldn't likely have otherwise. I am truly thankful for the experiences do to running, the places it has taken me, and the people I've met. Here is an experience that I recently came upon apart from the training and competition. Disclaimer: in the big picture, this is really nothing to complain about, but a funny situation.

About a week and a half ago I travelled to Seattle, Washington to participate in the 3k at the Washington Invite. I flew into Portland on Thursday and competed on Saturday evening. I stayed with a friend on Thursday night and then borrowed a car to drive up to Seattle on Friday morning to avoid the dense traffic between the two places later in the day. After a nice drive, the goal was to run at the trails next to the indoor facility and then hop on the track for a few strides. Upon reaching the track, I pulled into the parking lot only to learn that the parking fee was $15. I wasn't about to pay $15 to run a 50 minute pre-meet run and do some strides so I continued down the road to the next parking lot. There the price diminished to $7 but it was nearly half a mile away. So I decided that I might as well park even further away for free. Not really knowing the area very well I came upon an open space on a side street, perfect. I conquered a good parallel parking job but noticed that there was a fire hydrant near the spot. It was raining fairly hard at the time so I quickly jumped out of the car to look for any indication that it was a "no parking zone". I didn't see anything and it seemed more than a reasonable distance away, so I grabbed my spikes and headed towards the track.

The distance from the car to the track was about a mile but I didn't mind because I was just doing an easy run anyway, not to mention saving fifteen bucks. After a nice run and some solid strides I ran back to the car. The rain had picked up significantly. Upon reaching the car I noticed something out of place, on the windshield was a small white piece of paper. Hoping it some sort of flyer to an event I would never attend, I looked at the other cars nearby, no papers under their wipers. I picked up the soggy note, a parking ticket - fire hydrant violation - $42. I immediately looked around for some sort of indication that I may have missed. I looked on the curb again, nothing. Then I pulled back the grass... the faintest remnants of red paint under the blades, nothing visible otherwise. So in the end I parked a mile a way for $27 more than parking 100 feet away.

Here's the kicker, I recently paid the ticket online. The website charged me an additional $3 for a convenience fee. Everything about the situation screamed convenience to me.

Track Meets

Well, finally recovering from the long track meet weekend in Albuquerque. Our charter bus broke down near Raton and we didn't make it back to Golden until Sunday about 1:30PM after leaving the meet about 5:00PM on Saturday. This week another long trip to Allendale, Michigan for the Grand Valley State Big Meet. Mack McClain could be my first sub-4 minute miler. Those are hard to come by in Division II with the lack of scholarship dollars. Mack ran 4:02.70 there last year and is coming off a National 1500m championship in outdoors and an All-American cross season for us. He has come a long way is the last few years from his 4:23 1600m in Oklahoma HS.

I jumped in the 5k at New Mexico, treated it more like a tempo run going out controlled and finish my last 200m in 30 sec for 4th in 15:15 ~5000 ft altitude. It worked out, since I had no athletes competing in the men or women's 5k.
Today's workout short and sweet as I am racing a 3k on Friday. Mines indoor track with Greindl
2 mile warmup 2 sets of 4 x 300m 100m jog recovery (28-30 sec) 3 min set break 48, 48, 48, 47, 46, 47, 46, 45

Another first for me

At least once a month I have a new first in running. Anything from gear to workouts. For those of you that don't know me I am new to this whole running thing. I played volleyball in high school and college and dreaded the stupid one mile time trial at the beginning of every season. I started running on the treadmill and in a few races after having my kids but (being a crazy competitive person) I decided to get serious after the 2009 Bolder Boulder. Yes there are some days I wonder what the he** was I thinking this hurts! But for the most part running has given me so much more than I could ever say. I've made life long friends, done things I didn't even know my body was capable of, joined an awesome supportive team and gone fun places for races. 2010 was a year I will probably never be able to duplicate. I pr'd in every distance from the 5k to 10 miles, granted some of the races were my first at the distance but a pr is a pr :) 2011 started off well with my 2nd attempt at the half. Which was a pr, but that's not saying too much as I totally bonked last year!

Well this week is one of those what the he** was I thinking. In the constant pursuit of a pr I was convinced that I should jump on the track this spring to better my 5 and 10k times. Which sounded great, of course I am always up for a new challenge. UNTIL my coach told me I would be doing a 5k indoors! Are you kidding me 19 laps........... I know for a lot of you track people this is no big deal but I am having flash backs of the one season I ran track in high school. I only had to do the 400, one stinken lap, and I HATED it. Talk about torture, 19 of these little laps staring at the same girls butt for hopefully 17 minutes. Which is another thing I am not enjoying getting my head around. You want me to go to a higher elevation in a time of the year that I am not exactly at top speed, run a crap load of laps all to end up with a time I am going to be so disappointed in I probably won't want to tell anyone. Not to mention my whole family is in Colorado Springs so they will all come to the AFA to watch me race. Which normally I would love but did I mention I am not fast right now and I am not thrilled about this whole lap business. Oh and did I mention I JUST turned 32 so there is nothing like running against a bunch of 18-20 somethings to make you feel like an old lady. Ok enough complaining!!! I know there is a method to this whole madness I'm just not seeing it with this race coming up this weekend.

Good news is I got in a great speed workout yesterday which gave me a little confidence going into the race this weekend. Bad news is I have 12x400 tomorrow which will probably end up being on the dreadmill. Unfortunatly the tracks won't be cleared, the roads will be icy, we don't have a good indoor track and I need to go fast. So once again I will be the crazy lady everyone looks at as they walk by. You know the one that has the treadmill up to top speed for 75 seconds than walks for a minute and does it all over again 12 times. Unfortunatly I have to agree with them this whole running thing has made me a bit crazy!

Here is to hoping I survive this whole indoor track business this weekend!

Living the High Life

Below is last week's training. I run ~75% of my runs with Art and Jason since we all work in Golden. It's nice to have some training partners. Our blogs will likely overlap so I will try to not repeat the same post Art made. I was planning to race a 3k at Grand Valley, but it didn't work out so my next race will be the Gate River 15k. I will likely race something before that, maybe an indoor mile or road race.

Quality days from last week: Track Workout on Tuesday w/ Art and Jason, Tempo on Friday with Jason and Long run on Saturday all alone

January / February 2011
Monday 31
Training Run 6:00:00 AM - 8.00 mi @ 1:00:00 (7:30 pace)
Tuesday 1
Running Workout 11:00:00 AM - Aerobic Capacity Intervals - - 3.00 mi @ 15:00.00 (5:00 pace)
Wednesday 2
Training Run 12:00:00 PM - 10.00 mi @ 1:10:00 (7:00 pace)
Thursday 3
Training Run 11:30:00 AM - 10.00 mi @ 1:10:00 (7:00 pace)
Friday 4
Running Workout 4:00:00 PM - Tempo Run - - 4.00 mi @ 21:00.00 (5:15 pace)
Saturday 5
Running Workout 11:00:00 AM - Long Run - - 16.00 mi @ 1:48:00.00 (6:45 pace)
Sunday 6
Training Run 11:00:00 AM - 6.00 mi @ 45:00 (7:30 pace)
Training Run 3:00:00 PM - 5.50 mi @ 41:00 (7:27 pace)
Running: 78.5 mi

This week will be more of the same with an indoor workout today since it's cold and snowy out again, likely hills on Thursday or Friday and a long run Saturday or Sunday. Going to try and keep my mileage around 80-90 since that's what I can maintain while doing workouts.

Highlight of the week: Watching the Packers dominate the Steelers with Art on Sunday without their best offensive and defensive players.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cedar Fever

Well, I found out last week that I am really, really allergic to cedar. Who knew? I have had asthma since I was 20 or 21 and have been dealing with it a little this winter. In January, I did a 10 mile race and while it wasn't the greatest race (or the smartest) I have ever run it seemed like my lungs weren't awful and I was hoping that going down to Texas for a race would help since it is warmer, there is more oxygen and the course is fast. Unfortunately the weather and the cedar had other ideas. I woke up the morning of my race with congestion in my lungs and a really swollen face...not good! I went ahead and ignored it and hoped for the best but things didn't work out quite that way! I was really, really conservative the first couple of miles just in case my body wasn't quite ready for the race but when things went ok I picked it up and dropped in a few quicker miles but by the time I hit the 6.5 mile mark I was really struggling to breath. I got dizzy, started having an asthma attack and had to sit on the curb for about 7 minutes while I was trying breath. It worked but my body was wrecked after that. So, I made it into a workout by doing some fartleks and then jogging the last few miles. At the time I wasn't sure what to attribute the breathing trouble to until after the race and heard about all of the "cedar fever"... My asthma has always been allergy-induced so this was definitely the reason, but it was still an upsetting finish to say the least. I am hoping my next race will be better! We'll see.

Hello BRC/Adidas Team

Hi, I like Ryan am a newbie to the BRC/adidas team, and also have never blogged before. So I too will start with a little about myself. I am originally from southern California and "transplanted" to FoCo in the beginning of November. I recently graduated from getting my doctorate in physical therapy and decided I was sick and tired of California traffic/congestion. So my wife and I packed up and moved out here to breath some "fresh air", and become outdoorsie people. However, we moved just in time for it to get too freakin' cold to go outside, so I would say trail running has been what most of our outdoor adventures have consisted of so far. But it has been a lot of fun, and the altitude is definitely an added bonus for running.

Now as for running, I ran 4 years at UCSB in California, and then kinda just did local 5k's and mile races during the 3 years of grad school. Since then, I have been train anywhere from 100 to 115 miles a week, but definitely have my ups and downs. I was training for the half in Houston last weekend which I got 12th in 104:49. My next race will hopefully be the Gate River 15k. And after that track, which is my favorite of all seasons.

I am an Angel's and Laker's fan so don't hate, but have become a Bronco's fan since moving out here. At least people can't say I'm bandwagon since they went like 4 and 12 or something this season. I pretty much love all sports, but hate the thuggets, sorry. I like to fish, hike, camp, snowboard, eat mexican food, and play ping pong.

Well that's all I got for my first blog. I am really looking forward to meeting all of you in the coming months, and am siked to be part of the team. Good luck to everybody in their coming races, and if you see a red head guy wearing our uniform, I may not look like a "Chavez", but that is me :)

Inaugural post!

This is Ryan with my first ever blog post! A little about me for the few I haven't met since I'm a newbie to the team. I grew up in Colorado Springs, went to Coronado high school, then on to Harvard for college, and moved back in fall 2008. By the way, Tommy's a HUGE fan of Harvard, just ask him. I'm pretty sure Paul is too. I dabbled in the marathon my first year back, and I may come back to it, but I currently enjoy road, trail, and mountain races of (almost) all distances. Not big into track races though.

This winter has been new territory for me, but in a good way. The last two years I was hurt around this time so I'm grateful to be healthy and wiser going into this year. No races coming up for me, just enjoying the everyday runs (besides the -10F days).

Stay healthy, have fun, and run fast, in that order!