C. Beth.
C. Beth run.
C. Beth smile.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Run #163

This is one of those runs that I love--I woke up with just a slight headache from sleeping wrong, and it was hard to get out of bed. But running made me feel great! I wore a jacket today--a JACKET! Yippee! 57 degrees.... Hello, fall! I know we'll still have warm days but I'm enjoying this cold front. Still warm enough to go barefoot though I did the first mile or so with ZEMs until it got light enough to take them off. (Another thing I love about running with a lightweight waistpack--I can shove my ZEMs or huaraches in the band and forget about them.)

Going to start doing more ankle exercises--that seems to be the one part of me that's having trouble with these longer distances. Nothing bad; they just get achy during the run.

Here's a quick update on my half marathon training: This is my last week of increasing distances during my weekday runs. This week's run distances are 3.6 miles, 3 miles, 5.75 miles, and 1.5-2 miles. Next week and thereafter, my weekday runs will be 4 miles and 3 miles, and I'll just focus on increasing that Saturday run distance every week (except one "down week" with only a 5 mile run, and one "taper week" before the race with much less mileage than usual.) The last run is my "recovery run" the day after my long run, and that will just be 1.5 miles or so each week. My longest "long run" will be 12 miles, which should leave me in great shape to run 13.1 on December 5...if all goes well!

3.62 miles, 42:34 (11:45/mile)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Run #162

Chickie and I ran to and from the donut shop to get a Sunday morning treat. She did GREAT on this run! I'm proud of her! I went barefoot (except in & around the donut shop, wearing my ZEMs.) Chickie wore her water shoes on the way there and wanted to go barefoot on the way back. I'll probably start often taking her on Sundays. Having a 4-year-old to run with is a great way to make my "recovery run" (the day after my long run) nice and slow; plus, she enjoys it, and it's so good for her.

1.51 miles, 28 minutes (18:32/mile)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Run #161

Yaaaay! I've been looking forward to the 5 mile barefoot milestone, and I did it! It was an easy, good run, at a nice pace--slow enough to keep me relaxed, fast enough to show me that my barefoot pace is continuing to improve. In fact, when I was shod and building up my distance, my 5-mile run to Starbucks was at a pace of 11:33 a mile. So it looks like my barefoot long run pace has caught up with my shod long run pace. That feels great!

The weather has improved SO much in the last couple of weeks. It doesn't feel quite like fall, but it certainly doesn't feel like the middle of summer. I love the change! I made it through my first summer of running, and now I know that I can run year-round, outside.

5.02 miles, 57:32 (11:27/mile)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Run #160

Didn't feel very energetic this morning, and it was super-humid (over 90%) but my legs, feet, knees, and ankles felt good! And my time was great, so this really was a good run. I must have been a little sloppy on form; my soles are just a smidge sore, slightly scuffed up in a couple of spots.

3.03 miles, 32:36 (10:45/mile)

By the way, I've been drinking zipfizz, an electrolyte/energy drink, and I love the stuff. I wrote a review on it today and am doing a giveaway! This is not sponsored by anyone; I just wanted to write about how much I like it, and to share it with a few lucky winners. Click here to read my review and enter the giveaway.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Run #159

I broke through the 11 minute/mile barrier! on 3+ miles! Yay. :) Barefoot/minimalist running tends to make a runner's pace suffer at first. I think I'm catching up to my old self though (and my knees feel better than my old self's knees did!)

Today's run was mostly in my huaraches but it got light and I took off the shoes for the last mile or so.

3.32 miles, 36:18 (10:55/mile)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Run #158

Great run! I felt really good after yesterday's long run, but then I spent most of the day on my feet in the kitchen, and that made my legs and feet sore! Hopefully today's brisk (for me) 2-mile run was just what I needed to loosen up.

2 miles, 22:02 (11:01/mile)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Run #157

Woooo hoooo! GREAT run. I left late enough that it was light out, and I was able to be barefoot the whole way. The weather was nice today--70 degrees!! It was very humid, but just that nice temperature made the humidity so much more bearable. The sun didn't even feel too hot.

It's interesting--I really enjoy being barefoot. It's just plain fun. My feet feel cool, and I like really feeling the street instead of my shoes. And I really enjoy minimalist shoes. It's freeing not to have to keep such a close eye on the road. I'm so glad I like both so I can be happy running either way.

My legs and feet felt great!! Arches/knees felt fantastic. Ankles/calves/Achilles slightly achy but not much--really I just felt so good, the best I've felt in awhile. For awhile there, I was frustrated, feeling like everything was falling apart. Now it feels like it's coming back together again. Maybe that's just part of progressing.... It's not always a smooth path.

I took it easy but was faster than I felt like I was. Overall, the type of run that reminds me why I loooove running! (And ending at my favorite Starbucks doesn't hurt!)

4.34 miles, 51:30 (11:51/mile)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Run #156

Really good run! It was slow, energy was kind of low, but my body felt really good.

I decided to try a hilly route for the first time since I started having IT band issues again...not even a TWINGE in my knee/quads/IT band. Hooray, past that hurdle! My calves & Achilles are feeling so much better. My arch gave me a little problem at the end, but got past it quickly. Working on really massaging it with a golf ball, and I think I'll be past that soon. Not sure what happened with my legs and feet rebelling against me recently, but I think things are getting back to normal.

4.3 miles Saturday...hopefully it'll be a great run!

I do have to say, while I'm glad it'll be getting cooler soon (still pretty warm and humid now), I was bummed that I got home at 6:45 and it was still fairly dark outside. I'll be doing a LOT of dark running over the next several months. Which means a lot of minimalist shoes (today, my huaraches). Thankfully, I'm really enjoying running in minimalist shoes, not having to worry too much about stepping on rocks, etc.

I may end up being more of a minimalist than a barefoot runner. And that would be fine!

3.01 miles, 38:43 (12:51/mile)
Homemade huaraches

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Run #155

First 2/3 was a GREAT run. I was relaxed; it just went well! I started to feel some aches in my right arch at the end, but running on grass helped with that. Overall a good run, plenty of energy the whole way through!

I really liked this pace...comfortable. If it hadn't been for the arch annoyance, I would have felt able to go quite a bit further. (But I got in the mileage I wanted, so that's good!)

I've been still having calf and Achilles aches. I asked about it at the Barefoot Runners Society forums. Got advice to pull back my running frequency to 3 days a week instead of 4. I'm considering that, but not sure yet. I got some good feedback from one of the members, who said it's like going to the gym 4 days a week and working the same muscle groups each time. Because you don't have much recovery time, you'll stay sore. People can get to the point where they can run every day, but that takes a lot of training. He said some aches and soreness are okay as long as it's not actual pain. I thought that was a good way to look at it.

So the question is, if I can be more comfortable by cutting out one running day, is that worth it? (I really do like running 4 days a week.) Here's the plan: I'm going to do more dynamic stretching (heel raises on the stairs) of my Achilles/calves--that seems to help. And I'm going to consistently ice them after runs. This weekend I'll reevaluate to figure out if I should cut out the Sunday run or not.

3.04 miles, 37:20 (12:16/mile)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Run #154

Whew, that 2.8 mile run felt a lot longer than it was. I was tired, and the weather was 84 degrees, humidity 63%. Felt icky!! But I got through it, and got in all my miles this week, and my IT band was fine, so I'll buck up and call it a good run.

2.8 miles, 33:35 (11:59/mile)
Huarache sandals

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Run #153

HOORAY! I spent a LOT of time using my foam roller before the run, and my IT band/quads were FINE! My arches were fine too. When I started to barely feel one of them twinge, I just had to make that little form change--landing more on the outside of my sole--and I was okay. My Achilles tendons have been tender lately, but I think my form has improved, and they seem to loosen up through my runs, so I hope they'll be fine soon, just a matter of time. At this point they aren't a huge issue at all during my runs.

I'm THRILLED that I could go 3 3/4 miles barefoot! And at a pace that's better than usual! Yay. :) I need to find a 5K soon (to do either barefoot or minimalist, whatever I feel like doing.)

3.77 miles, 42:39 (11:18/mile)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Run #152

Kind of a rough run (as my pace shows!) I forgot to use the foam roller before I left, and I needed it. My IT band/quads (right leg) tightened up, and my arches were bothering me. I found that stopping and massaging the areas (instead of stretching) really helped. My IT band actually loosened up at the end of the run (yay!), and as for my arches, I made a form change (landing more on the outside of my foot instead of the ball) that helped them.

So overall, I learned more about proper form, and that makes it a good run, even though it was rough.

3.04 miles, 3:42:25 (13:57/mile)
ZEM booties

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Run #151

Hooray, my IT band felt good today!! Yay! I meant to run 2.75 miles but the light sprinkle of rain I started with turned into a downpour, and I was concerned about my phone and iPod, so I cut it short. Still, a great run...and such a relief to see that this IT band issue is resolving so quickly!

I wore my ZEMs, and they were good for running in the rain; they drain better than sneakers do.

2.23 miles, 26:00 (estimated), 11:39/mile

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Run #150

Wow!! Run #150!

I took it easy today and cut the run short. My IT band is still tight. I think I just pushed too hard yesterday, so I figured I need a day or two for my IT band to get nice and loose. I'm back to my frequent foam rolling and leg strengthening exercises, so I expect this to improve really quickly.I don't like cutting a run short!! But it's better than injuring myself because I didn't know when to stop. I'll be sticking with flat runs (no hills!) while this gets back to normal. Last time I had big IT band issues they were nearly fully resolved in just two or three weeks, and I think I only had to cut two runs short.

On a positive note, the soles of my feet are feeling GREAT. I had that one difficult day last week after returning home from vacation but I'm feeling great now. I'm really trying to decide whether I prefer running barefoot or in minimalist shoes like my ZEMs or huaraches. Barefoot is fun; I like the sensations and freedom. But I like the different kind of freedom offered by very minimalist shoes...not having to pay so much attention to what I might step on. I guess I'll just figure it out as I go!

On my other blog today, I wrote an update on my current thoughts about barefoot running.

0.84 miles, 10:43 (12:45/mile)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Run #149

Ugh!!!!! Look at that awful pace on my first barefoot/minimalist 5K+ run! Geez. My IT band was tightening up again. I think it may be because on vacation I kept up my running, but slacked on foam rolling, strengthening, and stretching. Oops. I'm realizing how important all that is...shoes or no shoes. Stretching several times during my run helped me get through it without too much pain, but I need to be using the foam roller daily, and I need to really get disciplined on hip and leg strengthening exercises again.

3.26 miles, 43:45, 13:25/mile

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Run #148

Ugh!!!! I'd gotten spoiled by weather in northern CA! I waited until 8 to run. Bad idea. Thankfully there were some clouds. But it was 79 degrees, 89% humidity. EW. It was just one of those days when running is HARD. But it did give me energy and I'm glad I kept going.

Happy birthday to me!

2.5 miles, 28:39 (11:27/mile)