Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Boy am I glad...

... that I went running this morning! It is June 28th, and looks like February. Currently, I can hear thunder outside, and the rain is coming down. I'm glad we got a nice four miles in this morning- when it was a bit windy but not cold at all- instead of doing an evening run in the rain.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Weekly Summary

This week I was off to a rought start, but I made up for it in the end. John and I ran at Lake Natoma yesterday morning for five miles, and it was moderately hilly. This morning we ran ten and a half with the Fleet Feet group. My left knee was killing me at about seven and a half, so we walked more than I would have liked, but we still did a lot of good running this weekend.

Miles this week: 22
Miles in 2011: 408

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Night running

In case you've been hiding under a rock, it has been hot here. On Sunday, my seven miles starting at 8AM left me with a bit of heat exhaustion that lasted into Monday. There was no usual Monday run for me this week, which really bummed me out. Tuesday I did weights with John, which was good, but still isn't running. Then yesterday, we couldn't manage to get up to run because it had been so hot at night that we didn't sleep well.

I was pretty sad that I had gone a full three days without running, after I'd been doing so well. So after watching Lost, at 9PM, we went running in our neighborhood. It was dark, there was a nice Delta Breeze, and we did an easy 3.5 miles. I felt like it wasn't enough, but at least we did something.

It was actually pretty nice to run at night. I think I can do it more often if morning doesn't work- at least during summer when after work isn't an option.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sunscreen woes

Several factors convinced me recently that I should consider switching sunscreens. I have used Neutrogena Ultra Sheer for years- since it was introduced- and have loved it. It doesn't sweat off, powders instead of runs when one sweats, and doesn't get in my eyes. Plus, it works well to prevent sunburn.

The Factors
Environmental Working Group has published reports for at least a few years on the effectiveness (in terms of sunburn and cancer prevention) and safety (in terms of personal health) of sunscreens. My chosen product does not fare well. The report discusses how many sunscreens contain ingredients that may be hormone interrupters, may promote cancer development from sun exposure, and other harms I'm not quite certain I understand. Bottom line, the report got me to reconsider my product loyalty.

In tandem with my re-acquaintence with the EWG report, the Food and Drug Administration announced changes last week to how sunscreens will be labeled. This covers the EWG's findings that many sunscreens prevent sunburn (caused by UVB) but not skin cancer (caused by both UVA and UVB). New labeling will require sunscreens to be labeled "Broad Spectrum" if they cover both UVA and UVB, and have an SPF over  15.

The New Purchase
I took the EWG's handy reference card with me to my favorite retailer to help me choose a new product. The card outlines what ingredients are best (titanium and zinc oxide) and which are worst, plus what other factors to consider. I found a new Neutrogena product that met all of the requirements. Boy, was I excited!

The Result
I dutifully applied my sunscreen as usual before my Sunday long run. It was hot out- maybe 75 degrees and sunny at 8AM. After about five to ten minutes, the sunscreen seemed to lift from my skin, sitting in droplets on my arms, legs and face. This made me sweat more than I normally would have early in my run. It was just dripping off. People I was running with made it the running joke of the morning. To make matters worse, I felt hotter than normal for hours after my run, even feeling like I got too much sun expose (headache, etc.). Whether or not that was related to lack of protection from the sunscreen, I don't know.

I'm bummed that I will be going back to my tried and true sunscreen, which may or may not prevent skin cancer and may or may not be poisoning me. I really wanted my new, natural product to work. Man, am I disappointed.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Weekly Summary

I ran five times this week. Three morning runs before work (2.5 to 3 miles), and a morning run on Saturday (3 miles). We tested a few variations on the usual out and back by our house, so that was nice. I wanted to do 10 this morning with the Fleet Feet group, but a combination of factors conspired and I ran seven (I'll explain later).

Total Miles this Week: 18
Miles in 2011: 386

Goal for next week: run on a trail somewhere.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Trail running

As I mentioned on Sunday, John and I signed up for a trail run at the end of next month. It was partly due to someone mentioning it at our Sunday group run, and partly because we both needed a challenge to motivate us before fall race season. Over the past few days, we've both become very excited about it.

I pulled out the special trail issue of Runner's World from a few months ago, and we've started talking about going up to Folsom and trying a few runs before the race. John realized we needed new shoes (in addition to the new shoes we just got), because the hills can require traction apparently. Always the one to buy new gear, I've been shopping online.

I'm excited about this new challenge, but also scared- it won't be on the road. The most off-road I get is the gravel portion of the Parkway on Sundays. We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Weekly summary and some news!

I did a great job this week! Yay me! I did the milage I wanted to, and finished with a strong 9 miles this morning.

Weekly total this week:  20

Miles in 2011: 368

In other news, both John and I got new shoes this weekend. I got Asics 2160, which are much lighter than the redesigned Mizuno Wave Alchemy redesgin that I have been running on for the past 400 miles or so. John got some slick New Balance shoes- very light. 

Also, we signed up for the Blood, Sweat and Beers Trail run! On July 31st, we will attempt a hilly, 5.7 mile trail run in Auburn!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Return of speed work, and some funnies

I finally got with it and did a speed workout last night. I did my scheduled toning/cardio workout (a new one from a magazine) in the living room, and noticed two things:
  1. My legs were tired- so they'll probably be too sore to run tomorrow
  2. The basketball game is STILL ON- and John is watching it, so I'm going to be bored for a while
So, I decided to do my Wednesday run on Tuesday. I took Trudy out for a quick half mile around the complex, dropped her off, then ran down Stonegate. I did maybe a tenth of a mile sprint (between 6:00/mile and 7:00/mile), then ran around 8:00-8:30 per mile for a minute or so. Roughly speaking, it was a 30-45 seconds on, a minute off. I did this for three miles, then cooled down back to home. Not too bad.

In other news, I just low Mark Remy's RW Daily blog. He is very funny. Today, he discussed runners as mugging targets, and how to avoid mugging. In all seriousness, I don't run with anything on me (any electronic devices) except my watch, and I never wear an iPod anymore. This is more to avoid being hit by a car, but it also helps me to pay attention and hear what is going on.

Mark's take on the issue is worth reading. The reader comments are just as good...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Weekly Summary

It is the second week of June and I am back on track. I ran 15 miles this week, up from 9 last week. I am aiming my sights on 23 this week. 

In other news, I set a new 5k PR and got back a bit of motivation at the Women's Fitness Festival yesterday. June will be a good month for running!

Weekly total this week:  15
Miles in 2011: 348

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Race Report: Women's Fitness festival 5k (New 5k PR: 22:40!)

This morning I ran the Kaiser Permanente Women's Fitness Festival 5k, and it went very well. I started out with low expectations, because I haven't been training much, and I especially haven't been doing speed work. I wanted to beat my time from last year- basically get under 24 minutes. Ideally, I wanted under 23, but figured that wouldn't happen.

I started out and felt fine at around a 7:30 pace. I kept it up, and sped up considerably at Capitol park about half a mile from the finish. A nice woman next to me kept telling me not to let me pass her. It helped keeep me from slowing down- my stomach was churning big time, but I really wanted to finish fast.

I saw the clock, and it was around 22:30. I sprinted in, and thought I might throw up at the finish. I knew I got under 23, so I was happy.

A while later, after getting breakfast and looking for friends, I heard them announce that results were posted on the side of the merchandise tent. I went over, and saw that I finished third in my age group!

Here are the results:
22:40.1 chip time
7:19 per mile
47th Overall
3rd in F 25-29

Otherwise known as my new PR.

And I got this:

Friday, June 3, 2011


So far this week, I have run three times. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday I ran a total of 12 miles. Not too bad after such a long time off the bandwagon. Even if I only do the race on Sunday, I'll get to 15 miles for the week.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I have big news!

Made anxious by the impending deadline for early bird (read: cheaper) registration, and in dire need of some direction and a goal, I made a big decision last night. I signed up for the California International Marathon, again.

Do I want to run another marathon this year? Do I want to do CIM again, after what happened last year? Those questions floated in my mind, making a decision difficult. The fact that prices went up by around $20 this morning made the decision much easier.

Another consideration- cost of travel. I've been looking into other races out of town this summer and fall, and have been taken aback by the cost of hotels, flight or gas, and race registration. Plus, dinner out the night before and lunch after the race. I like racing out of town, but I can't plan on every race being a big adventure. Doing the CIM will cost far less than say, the Portland Marathon. Portland may be fun, but I did already do a travel marathon this year.

So, I will have to start planning for the fall. Do I want to join the Fleet Feet Training group again, to keep me on track? How will the training program that I am running this fall interfere? What races will I do to prepare? When should I start training?

I am excited to finally have a real goal race to look forward to, and excited to be able to have a re-do at my hometown marathon.