Friday, October 30, 2009

Warming Up

Headed out on the powerlines on a perceptively cool afternoon. It looked nice and the temp was in the low 50's, but the wind was up. There are two points in the run where I crest two hilltops, and along the powerlines there isn't exactly much of a wind break. Chilly.

Aside from the surprise coolness, I had a great run. I was a little sluggish at the start, but I warmed up. Hmmm...I remember this feeling. On all my recent runs, my energy has waned throughout, but not today. I actually felt better at the end than I did at the start. I had a good feeling even before I went out because I felt like I hadn't run in a week. I'd only taken one day off, but I was itching to get at it. And, on top of all that, I ran the route faster than I had planned—about 30 seconds faster per mile. Totally by accident. Hmmm...another good sign. Hopefully, this means I getting used to the new sleep schedule. Just in time for the Little Lady to change her mind...

Speaking of the Little Lady, I'm currently wearing my Pineland Farms Trail Challenge (cotton) t-shirt. It has barf on it. I didn't even barf during the race. That's funny.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Leg Lift?

First of all, let me state for the record, that I'm not complaining about my new sleep schedule. It must just sound like it. It's not meant to. I'm really just trying to document the latest phase of this experiment: sleep deprivation training.

With that in mind, onto the runs. Yup, plural. Two runs the last two days. Results are mixed. Yesterday, I ran the loop I've deemed the "Suck Loop."

"Danielle, I'm headed out."
"OK, where you going?"
"Just the Suck Loop."
"OK, have fun."

It's the Suck Loop. It's 3 miles of mostly road. It's fairly flat. It's easy. It's boring. It sucks. But, it's really convenient and a good quick way to get the blood flowing. And, since it's mostly road, it's easy to pick up the tempo. I ran this loop last week, and somewhat accidentally ran it faster than I ever had. So, when I headed out yesterday, I thought that it wouldn't be such a bad idea to raise the tempo a bit again. I ended up running it even faster yesterday, in an effort that I would describe as "comfortably quick." I'd like to incorporate more of the not quite easy efforts in the future. It's definitely not speed work, but it should help. I felt pretty good and hoping I was getting used to the sleep change.

Not so much. Today, I felt like crap. Well, not total crap, but definitely sluggish. It barely felt like I was getting my legs off the ground. No lift at all. The route I chose was the extension of the 3-mile out and back on the powerlines, which brings the route to 5.25. The weather was perfect, and it was great to be out, but I just wasn't feeling it. It was also apparently a good evening to ride your ATV or MotoX bike as I was nearly killed by a trio of teens along the trail. The trail under the powerlines is a popular spot for riding, and I've encountered a number of ATVs and bikes in the past with pleasant results. I guess it was just a matter of time.

Upon returning home, D was trying to settle the Little Lady down by using the mobile that came with the Pack N' Play. It plays music. Music that makes you want to stick a lit blowtorch in your eye. It's brutal. But, apparently, the Little Lady "needs the stimulation." I'm already dreading the Sponge Dora the Gabba Wubbzy era.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Twelve miles. That's what I managed this week. Pretty meager, but considering the circumstances, I'll take it.

The fresh legs vs. sleep deprivation battle continues. It's a very interesting feeling during my runs. I feel great at the start, but slowly the freshness fades and the fatigue sets in. Eventually, the two meet, and I trudge along. Well, I feel like I'm trudging along anyway. Surprisingly, my pace has been somewhat quick (for me) on my runs this week. So, overall, I'd say I feel pretty good. Hopefully, I'll get used to the lack of sleep and Samantha will fall into a somewhat regular pattern. If so, I should be able to continue to build.

The biggest struggle has been my hamstrings. They're so tight. Now, I've always been a big fan of sleep, but I've never really paid much attention to how it actually rejuvenates your body. Anyone have a rejuvenation machine that I could hook up to during the day? Again, hopefully, I'll adjust. Of course, I know I have nothing to complain about. D did spend 9 months cooking the baby.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sleep Deprivation vs. Fresh Legs

So, we had a baby. That's certainly changed things. And, I'd say that it's certainly been a good change. Probably because she's the most beautiful baby in the world. Well, half the time anyway. The other half of the time she looks more like Kuato. Hopefully, she'll grow out of that. We love her anyway.

You can check out a whole host of photos here. C'mon, you know you can't resist!

As far as running goes, there hasn't been much going. Of course, I had grand plans of not skipping a beat, but 7 hours of sleep in the first three nights put the kibosh on that plan. I ended up taking a full week off after her birth, and it really showed on my first run back. I didn't feel as horrible as I thought I would, but I was really tight during and after. Another 2 days off followed, but I've actually run the last two days. These runs have coincided with two solid nights of sleep. Well, an average of 7 hours each of the last two nights. It takes us 12 hours to get those 7 hours, but we'll take it. Both runs have gone OK. I'm in more of a keep-the-blood-flowing mode, but that's the best I can hope for right now. And, based on a lot of horror stories we've heard about barely sleeping at all when a baby arrives, I am not complaining. Weather looks nice tomorrow, so I'll probably try to make it three in a row. Just short runs, but they've been nice. Serious training can wait. Although, I've hatched a bit of a scheme for the rest of the year. We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

La Sportiva is NOT OK

After the untimely demise of my first pair of La Sportivas, I did, in fact, receive a new pair directly from them. And, they arrived rather quickly. As I mentioned, I wasn't sure if I was going to do much running in them, and I haven't run a step in them. I have worn them around, to work, and such. Here's what they look like:

As you can see, one of the soles has lost a number of its lugs. The yellow pieces are actually just glued onto the black sole. And, in this case, I use the term glued loosely. The most rugged terrain these shoes have seen is my kitchen floor, and they're falling apart. That's two pairs of shoes that are lemons. So, I have to draw the conclusion that La Sportiva makes a crappy product. Very disappointing. I'm on the fence whether or not to do anything about it. I could email them again, and go through the process again. But, do I really need another pair of La Sportivas? Maybe it's just this model. Or, maybe they all suck.

On the running front, I had a crappy run today. Just felt off. Oh well. I probably had a bunch on my mind.

Speaking of that, we're having a baby tomorrow. That's different.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Starting Up Again

This week marked the beginning of getting back into "real" running. I have a very rough plan for a mileage ramp up laid out, but I'm not going to be a slave to it. And, that's a good thing because I'm already off of it. But, that's not necessary a bad thing.

I had a couple decent short runs early in the week with the highlight a 5+ miler out and back on the powerlines from our house. I did that run on Wednesday morning and it was a cool, beautiful morning to be out. I fell off the wagon a bit yesterday, but it fell into the category of "running should be fun." I could have gone out and run three miles in the ark-building rain, but I thought that would be terrible. So, I bailed. With no strict/real training plan, I think that's OK.

Stuck around home today, and Mindy and Jamie came over for a run on the Cathance trails. We a had nice, leisurely 8-mile jaunt through the slippery mush, and it was a good time had by all. I did roll my left ankle at one point, and it's a bit sore this evening, but it should be fine. I have to admit, I was a bit tired by the end. Eight miles certainly isn't long, but it isn't insignificant either. Based on my "take it easy" plan, I probably shouldn't have run 8 miles today, but it was fun. And, really, that's the whole point.

Another mellow running week this week, but some other events should no doubt make it memorable.