Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lots of Track Running, Feeling Funky, and Other Stuff

I've been in a total funk.  I'd like to just call it the dreadful PMS or hormonal swing but it has been more than that.  Perhaps it is just part of living "summerfully" but the biggest part of this funk has been my lack of interest in writing. This is weird for me because usually writing is my "vent" or way of connecting with my world.  It is how I make sense of things and process the ideas shooting off in my head. But ever since my last post about my Zensah tights, I have not had any desire to write a blog, look at blogs, or even spend time in my journals.  Maybe it had something to do with wearing those TIGHT tights backwards and inside out all day!  

Although I've been feeling "funked" with writing, other areas of my life have been flowing pretty smoothly.  Summer finally came to Portland, my husband and I have escaped on a few kid-free dates, and even though I'm not in serious training for anything, I've been having fun with running. And tonight I came home from a very enjoyable happy hour with a new acquaintance/friend feeling recharged and more like myself again!   

Here are few pictures to capture my week:

First lap of the mile.  My form is okay here but wasn't so hot in the 2 mile.

 Thursday we all headed over to the local track by my house to participate in the last "FREE" track night for kids and adults. I had no idea that this was going on all summer!  There were SO many kids there and a fair number of adults.  Nicole joined me and we ran the 2mile, mile, 1600m relay and the 200m just for fun (well, Nicole SMOKED the 200 meters but I ran it the same pace as my 2 mile).  Here's how it went down:
  • I learned that my form is AWFUL!  Total heel striker and don't have much knee lift unless I'm conscious of it.  A few people pointed this out.  
  • I ran the 2 mile first and decided to run it more as a workout than a race so that I'd have something left for the mile.  I wish I would have pushed myself harder on them both.  Ended up with a 13:09.
  • Ran the 400 m relay for fun with Nicole, her coach Joel, and a random runner that jumped in.  It was purely for kicks and giggles as far as I was concerned.  My sprinting speed is the same as my 5k speed and as far as using a baton...HA!  But Nicole and Joel had the most beautiful form I'd ever seen!  
  • Ran the mile in 6:09.  Wish there was another race next week so that I could go for that sub 6 this summer.  It helps having other adults.  
  • Finished off with a 200 meter jog.  At least that is how it looked and felt.  
  • Determined to work on form!  And speed!

First mile of the 10k ORRC Dual Duel 10 mile relay and 10k solo.  I was already heel striking.  A good sign that this would be a long race.  
Yesterday evening, I headed down to a local track event put on by the Oregon Road Runners Club.  My thinking was that it would be a small and low pressure event and that I would get a decent workout without feeling the pressure of a larger race.  I knew that most of the runners would be part of the 10 mile relay but I had no idea that it would be such a turn out!  The track was full of ripped, fast, hot, Lululemon covered, runner chicks!  There were quite a few running dudes too but I wasn't as interested in them.  These women were there for a serious workout and they were not interested in making small talk.  They were there to kick some ass and get a killer workout!  I would have loved to be a part of the relay but Nicole couldn't run with me since she is recovering from her stress fracture.  Instead, I registered for the 10k solo in hopes that it would be a decent tempo run.  It did end up being a good workout but definitely not a good race experience or time.  I will never do a 10k like this again.  Not a good idea for several reasons:

  • A 10k on a track with MANY other runners ZOOMING past you the entire time as they do repeat 400's for their 10 mile relay does a number on the mental state of the 10k runner.
  • Being one of the only 10k runners in the midst of this relay event makes one feel lost and unable to "get in the groove".
I wanted to quit SOOO bad!  In fact, I did stop at the side of the track to whine to my husband at mile 2.92 for almost 2 minutes while I contemplated running away.  But I'm proud of myself that I didn't quit. A little embarrassed that I started psyching out in the first place though. Glad my husband gave me the "get your ass out there because I don't want to have to listen to you bitch about quitting for the rest of the night" look.  I finished it off with about a 7 min mile pace.  A guy at the end came up to me to tell me that I won for women in the 10k but that is easy to do when you are the only woman!  

Listening to music and drinking good beer in celebration of 8 years of marriage!

Overnighter without the kids = quiet breakfast together

LOVE my new Shut Up and Run Shirt from Beth.  Thankful for my stretchy skin that won it for me.
Was sent these Branca Barefoot Running Sandals to try out.  I'm not going to take on barefoot running on a full scale but I am open to trying these out SLOWLY (like a min a day the first week, then 2 min and so on) in hopes of improving my form, strengthening my feet and muscles and just being open to something new.  If you are interested in barefoot running, you should check out RunBranca.com.  More to come on this!  

Feeling black and white with the whole "Sticklete" art thing.  
What's new with you?  Seriously catch me up!  Races?  Travel?  New Babies?  I want to know!


  1. Good to see you again :)

    Lots is new... got to run finally, husband is going to France for 10 days starting Friday, baby girl started preschool, and I had a major bad mom moment yesterday. Woo hooo.

  2. Track nights sound like fun!

    My first trail race on Saturday. Still jealous of all my friends who ran the SF Marathon Sunday. New running shoes today. (Woo-hoo!)

  3. I used to run with the L.A. Track Club in Santa Monica once a week and I miss it SO MUCH! I love a good track work-out with adults.

    Congrats on 8 years of marriage!

    As far as other stuff?! All is wonderful in my world. I'll blog AAAAAALL about it... eventually. :-)

  4. You're stil kicking butt on that running! And sometimes the runs that don't feel so good help you appreciate the ones that are so great!.

    Happy anniversary.

  5. Definitely not a fan of the track, but to love to see others folks can get into it. Nice pace for the mile, I know you were looking for more but to me I can't even think that fast. Love your black and white drawing, do more!

  6. I was wondering where you were, but glad that you are having a good summer:)

    I, like you, have not been blogging much, but have been training for Chicago. We are in the middle of football, horse back riding and gymnastics plus other summer fun. It is officially crazy town. I am slowly having that maybe it is time to go back to school feeling to have a sense of order.

    Happy 8th anniversary!

  7. Glad you are back! I am slogging away...and in need of a really good 'fast' run. My forms blows and I know it. I have been trying to make some changes but am just stuck.

  8. I think we all sort of experience those ebbs and flows even with the things we are most passionate about - writing, running, teaching, etc. I kind of think the ebbs are our spirits' way of resting, recharging, and allowing for rejuvenation to take place.

    I can bet that race circumstances like those would have been seriously mentally and emotionally challenging. Good on you for sticking it out!

  9. You already know what I'm going to tell you to teach yourself not to heel strike and have more knee bend...

    Congrats on 8 yrs!!! I loved the photos and I was wondering where you've been. Take that funk and embrace it because honestly when we come through on the other side that is where creativity sparks!!!!!! ((hugs))

  10. The free track night sounded like a lot of fun - don't you hate discovering things like that on the last day?:)

    Congrats on eight years!

  11. ah! Welcome back! You were missed. Congrats on your WIN! ha :) Im soooo glad you have had a good summer, it really has been perfect weather. Have a beautiful day!!!

  12. Ooh!! Excited to see a blogpost from you this morning! Checked your bookmark and up popped a new post! I've missed your writing! I've been in a blog funk too. In the dark cold bitter winter I will be back to my old blogging fool self but then I won't have any followers left-ha!

    Great job getting out to the track! Come to MN and work on your form with me. I was just told the same thing about my knee lift among other things-many other things-ha! Determined to work on this! You've got some serious speed in there girl! 6:09 for a fun little track run is fantastic when you're not even training! Fix up these form issues and you'll be flying!!

    I'm on my phone so weak comment here. Love all the pics. Glad you and Waylon got some time for your anniversary! Again, great to see a post from you!!!

  13. nice job on the track! and yeah - racing a 10k on a track sounds hard enough without having interval runners going past you!

  14. Happy Anniversary! Plenty of time to blog when the weather is lousy. Get back outside and enjoy summer :-).

    Oh, if I was ever that close to a six minute mile, I would probably drive over to the track some morning or evening when the weather was perfect and try to hit it.

  15. Your track nights at the track looked like lots of fun. So glad you finished that 10k, I think a 10k stinks on the road, I can't even imagine tackling one on the track!

  16. Like everyone else has said here... I have missed your posts as well! Reading your blog always inspires me to GET OFF MY ASS and go:) hehe.

  17. a 10k at the track? Seriously I would have gone nuts. Running around in circles makes me crazy! Nice job though, a 7 minute pace is pretty great! I am loving your track workouts. As much as I hate track workouts they really do push our limits and make us stronger.

    Happy 8 years!!

  18. Oh how I've missed you so! Was looking for inspiration myself this week and your timing couldn't be better. Happy belated anniversary! XOXO

  19. Oh dear friend, that WOULD be hard running the 10K with a bunch of 400 repeats going on. Do you know HOW BADLY I wish I wasn't injured 3 mos' ago and that I was still in kick ass shape so we could ahve gone and shown those lulu girls what we're made of??:(:( NEXT YEAR! Okay? for sure! we will be there!!! I think you're amazing..and I have some exciting news for you..so calling you shortly! love you! xx

  20. The track stuff does look like fun. I went out to a few athletic meets at the beginning of the year just to watch friends race - but watching the shirtless men was worthwhile too. I may be old but I aint dead yet!

  21. Happy 8th! I am jealous that you have so many free track events in your area, but then again fierce looking unfriendly women would psyche me out too. What was their deal, would a smile have hurt? I hate when women are super competitive and don't even want to look like they are having fun while they are racing.

    Hey I'm in a running funk too, have been all summer. I don't know what it is. The sun is shining, the weather is warm, I'm alive and healthy...maybe I'm just an ungrateful brat. Idk.

    Have fun in those barefoot sandals!

  22. Heel striking in and of itself is not bad - but stretching out forward to land can be. Rather than working on getting rid of heel striking, work on landing under your torso more. Bend your knees and pick up your feet rather than push off.

  23. Awesome that you were able to take advantage of the track like that! I am a little jealous that you were able to see and even RACE with Nicole.

    Glad that you got some good anniversary time and a little carb-reloading done at once.

    I have read about the dual duel and figured that was for a hardcore type of crew. 5 miles each in 400 repeats? Race pace? Yowza. If it doesn't kill you , it makes you feel it the next day!

    Love the sandals!! Not too much new going on here...that's why I haven't been posting :)