Thursday, April 30, 2009

Back to Business

AM: 50 mins. ellip. (incl. 10x2 mins. on, 1 min. off; 5x1 min. on, 1 min. off)
PM: 4 miles

I'm back in my two-a-day routine today. Jordan is no longer here to distract me, as I dropped him off at the airport this morning, and most of my finals studying is over. I felt decent on the run this afternoon, which is about as good as it gets these days.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

We Wear Short Skorts

45 mins.
6 miles

The only notables I remember from this run are that Tanya and I wore matching running skorts, Jordan ran for the third day in a row after the marathon and my foot hurt. Oh, and we saw lots of baby duckies around the pond at McAlpine. Skort pics to follow.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Attempting a Workout

2+ mile w/u, 3 miles uptempo, 2 mile c/d
(7-7.5 miles)

Jordan, Tanya and I woke up fairly early this morning to get our run out of the way before things heated up. Jeff and Holly were headed to McAlpine so we hitched a ride with them. Tanya planned to do a 400m workout, and Jeff wanted me to attempt a 3-mile tempo run of sorts. He encouraged me to not use a watch and I certainly had no objections, so the plan was just to run on effort and get the legs turning over.

Once again, Jordan was a trooper and volunteered to run the uptempo section with me. He thought it might actually help his legs loosen up, and again I (selfishly) didn't discourage his efforts (although I did make him promise to back off if he felt any twinges). We decided to just run the Footlocker course, with Jeff accompanying us on the Purple People Eater, so after a few miles of warming up we set off. While I stuck to the original plan of no watch, I saw both Jeff and Jordan surreptitiously starting theirs at the outset. After confirming that neither of them would a) tell me what pace I was running; or b) post the time in their respective blogs, I was able to relax and just run.

Overall, this went about how I thought it would. Meaning, I felt slow. I was glad to complete my first "workout" in a month, but not particularly encouraged about my apparent fitness levels. My foot felt okay during the run but began to twinge on the jog back to the parking lot, which means I need to be extra attentive to icing for the rest of the day. I guess this is a step in the right direction, but I sure wish things were falling into place more quickly.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Shaking Out the Legs

15 mins. core
33 mins. (4 miles)
30 mins. ellip

Jordan and I woke up fairly early this morning to get in a bit of exercise before meeting up with his pops for a day o'fun. I halfway jokingly asked Jordan if he was going to run today, and to my surprise he said he was interested in shaking the legs out a bit. We embarked on an easy jog from the prison with the plan to run for ~20 minutes or so before meeting Jeffrey at the fitness center.

We ambled along at a very leisurely pace past campus and through Freedom Park, but Jordan's legs remained pretty stiff the entire time. You would think he just ran a marathon or something. By the time we made it to the fitness center, he was content to watch Jeff pump some iron and halfheartedly stretch for a few minutes while I put in some quality time on the elliptical. We wogged back home to finish things off. It was certainly more than I would do the day immediately following a marathon, but I was selfishly glad for the company so I didn't voice any objections.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Week in Review

42 miles
4 hours ellip.
5 AFDs
3 super fast marathoners (Aja, Cat, Jordan)

My running is still mediocre right now so I'd rather not dwell on that. Instead I'd prefer to focus on how fantastic my friends ran at their respective marathons this week, and how excited I am to see their fitness continue to progress. I may suck right now but I can live vicariously through them and somehow feel not quite as bad.

Next week is crazy busy, what with Jordan et al in town and several final projects and exams on tap. It's hard to believe that after Thursday my first semester of grad school will be over already...crazy! I'm looking forward to the summer with Jordan and all the fun travel and events that are on tap, not to mention (hopefully) being able to run at 100% in the very near future. Things are looking up.

Jordan is a Winner After All

60 mins.
8+ miles

I ran with Devin, Tanya and Holly at McAlpine. But who cares about me, the big story of the day was that Jordan WON the OKC Marathon! I can't even articulate how excited and proud I am, and I'm still smiling as I type this four days later. Simply put, my boyfriend is a badass. For a complete rundown on the race, including a few links to post-race articles and video, I will direct you to Jordan's blog.

To further demonstrate what a trooper he is, Jordan proceeded to jump on a flight just a few hours after his marathon victory so that he could come visit me for a few days. Several delays and gate changes later, he arrived here just past midnight. His dad and Roger are in town to visit as well, fresh off the boat from a South American cruise (and, I am happy to report, swine flu free). I'm looking forward to spending the next few days with them and convincing Jordy to hobble through a few runs with me.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Longest Run in a Month

AM: 57 mins.
8 miles
PM: 30 mins. ellip.

Today I was absolutely determined to have a successful run. Fortunately Tanya was back from Penn and amenable to driving to McAlpine, so we set out around 9:30 for an 8-mile attempt. For both of us, this would be our longest run in over a month.

From the outset, one thing was readily apparent: it was waaay too hot outside. I don't know when our comfortable, balmy spring weather charged full throttle into summer, but the temperatures and humidity were already soaring by mid-morning. Once the sun comes up at McAlpine there are very few areas of shade (maybe ~2 miles worth of an 8-mile run), so needless to say we were sweating buckets almost immediately.

I'm not going to lie, although the run was very difficult for me, I was proud of how I hung in there. The last two miles hovered around 7-minute pace (which, sadly, feels like an all-out sprint for me right now) and I was literally having to coach myself to each quarter-mile marker to keep from giving up. I have to believe that my fitness is going to come back if I just keep plugging along, and efforts like today's are certainly a good start.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cue the Violins

15 mins. core
20 mins. (2.5 miles)
40 mins. ellip.. (incl. 10x2 mins. on, 1 min. off)

So today I threw myself a pity party. It was quite pathetic, actually. Basically my frustration about not being able to train, about not running Penn, about probably being bumped off the list for Nationals all came to a head. I was midway through my core workout this morning when I just stopped and started crying. I mean, core work, really? What's the freaking point?? I'm barely even running.

I'm pretty sure part of it has to do with Tanya running so well at Penn last night (she ran 35:36 to earn an auto time for Nationals). Now don't get me wrong, Tanya and I are close friends and I was absolutely thrilled to see her run so well. But part of me was thinking, "Really? She's only been back to running for three weeks and goes out and busts a better time than I ran at Stanford when I was in the best shape of my entire life? Why am I even doing this?" Of course the other part of it is that I was supposed to be there, in 35:30 shape, running the exact same race that she ran. That was the plan, and I don't like it when things don't go according to plan.

Unfortunately I don't have a nice and neat way to end this little story, no newfound insights or inspirational thoughts that lifted me out of my funk. I guess sometimes you just have to allow yourself to be upset for however long it takes until you feel better, knowing that tomorrow is a new day. That, or you could drink heavily. I'm open to either option.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Jilane!

AM: 54 mins.
7.5 miles
30 mins. ellip.

So today was a banner day for me for several reasons. First of all, I ran 54 minutes. I'll pause for a moment and allow you to fully absorb that. Yup, 54 minutes, and I actually didn't feel terrible.

More importantly, today marks the one-year anniversary of the night that Jilane and I met. Or, as she would describe it, the night that Jordan invited her to come out and have a drink with him and the Brooks rep, only to discover upon arrival that he was sitting alarmingly close to a stunningly attractive blond. I'm pretty sure that's how she would recount the scenario. Nonetheless, though neither of u
s knew it at the time, that night was the beginning of an amazing friendship. Jilane is one of my besties and I'm so thankful for her.


The card Jilane sent me for our anniversary

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Slightly Better Than "Not Bad"

AM: 50 mins. ellip (incl. 10x2 min. on, 1 min. off; 5x1 min. on, 1 min. off)
10 mins. core
PM:4 miles

Full disclosure: I may have teared up a little bit when I dropped Tanya off at school this morning. She, Coach Simmons, Futsum and Alex were headed to the airport to catch a flight for Penn Relays, and I couldn't help but think that I should've been going with them. This is not how I envisioned my track season playing out.

The good news is my run this afternoon was the best I've felt (relatively speaking) in recent weeks. My foot didn't hurt at all (except for a sore spot on the lateral side where I've been landing by overcompensating) and my legs and breathing were fairly steady. I'll take it.

Also, I found this article in the NYTimes this morning. I guess I'm not the only person taking drastic measures these days.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Beauty School 101

AM: 44 mins.
6 miles
PM: 30 mins. ellip.

I started off the morning right with a run at McAlpine with Tanya. I haven't been there since Jordan was here, and the park has really blossomed since then. It's greener than I've ever seen and the wildlife is out and about--we even saw three baby duckies, probably the same ones Jordan and I first saw a few weeks ago, congregating by the pond. In keeping with the trend, I felt slightly better today than yesterday, and my goal is to feel "normal" again by the end of the week.

This evening I took my life into my own hands and asked Chandler to highlight and cut my hair. She has never done either of these things before but, to be fair, she styles a mean French braid. I've never had either of these services performed outside the comfort of a professional (read: expensive) salon, but in case I haven't mentioned it before I'm now a starving student and have no cash to waste on such frivolities. Thus, it was just Chandler and me and Clairol leading the charge tonight. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a bit nervous, but to our pleasant surprise my hair didn't catch on fire and I don't have a buzz cut and no one was injured. All in all I'd call the experiment a rousing success.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Requisite "Marathon Monday" Title

AM: 45 mins. ellip.
15 mins. core
PM: 45 mins.
6 miles

First off, mad props to Aja for running 3:14 at Boston! She crushed her White Rock time by almost 10 minutes. Solid work. I know it was a tough day out there for many people, but I'm fairly certain none of them suffered as much as I did upon discovering that all the TVs were on the fritz in the fitness center this morning. This meant that I did my entire 45-minute elliptical session in complete and total silence. The only positive about that otherwise torturous experience is that it allowed me to think about and prioritize the million things I have to do before finals next week. Nothing like forced silence to help you get your "to do" list in order.

This afternoon I laced 'em up and headed down a familiar route past campus, through Freedom Park and down the bike path. Despite still not feeling entirely myself, I hit the turnaround point almost exactly where I used to PI (pre-injury), so at least this tells me I'm not wogging 9-minute pace. Gotta appreciate the little things, I suppose.

Foot felt decent, some noticeable discomfort when toeing off aggressively. The relative infrequency of the discomfort tells me I'm not toeing off all that often, which means my stride still isn't entirely back to normal. Maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Week in Review

28 miles
4.75 hours on the ellip.
2 nights in the mountains
2 points scored at Conference
1 run with Jordan

I feel like a broken record, but still no definitive progress to report on my foot (much less my fitness). I do feel like I've taken a few steps in the right direction, but I need to resume training almost immediately if I have any hope of competing at Nationals.

In more positive running-related news, the Boston Marathon is tomorrow. In addition to Americans having an actual shot at winning this thing, I'm also excited to see several of my friends compete, including Aja, Meredith and Ashley. Best of luck to everyone in Hopkinton tomorrow!

Bass Lake Run

AM: 46 mins.
6 miles
PM: 30 mins. ellip.

We departed the mountain cabin just after 9pm and began winding our way back toward civilization. Before we got there, we stopped off in Blowing Rock so the team could get in their long run at Moses Cone park. Unfortunately for me, the terrain consists primarily of steep ascents followed by steep descents (or vice-versa), which meant that for the sake of my foot I was relegated to the ~1500m flat loop around Bass Lake near our home base. Fortunately the novelty of the scenery made the time
pass quickly, and I didn't mind too much that everyone had left me behind.

The path around Bass Lake, as seen in autumn

What I did mind was that my legs felt absolutely terrible. It's like no matter how slowly I've run the past few days, things just feel off. I'm sure part of it comes back to my foot--which incidentally didn't hurt today but was a bit uncomfortable--but overall my stride just feels awkward and unnatural and I find that I'm struggling for every step. No part of this run felt comfortable despite the slow pace, which is quite frustrating. We're still at altitude and that has to play into it somewhat, but still...hopefully I can snap out of this soon, because running sure isn't fun right now.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Conference Carolinas Championship: Day 2

17 min. w/u (2+ miles)
5k in ~20:05
17 min. c/d (2+ miles)
Total: 7-7.5 miles

After a restful night's sleep, we enjoyed a laid-back morning lounging around the cabin and drinking coffee before heading to the meet around noon. I was slated to run the 5k with
Jess and Holly, mostly just as a test for my foot. Jeff encouraged me to run as slow as I wanted to and even drop out if my foot began to hurt, but I was fervently hoping that wouldn't be the case. After a two-mile warmup with Holly, I was feeling cautiously optimistic. Jess, on the other hand, has been suffering from a knee injury of sorts (maybe even IT band related?) and could barely walk, so her role in the race would consist of starting, running about half a lap, and summarily dropping out. Hey, we need 14 people. Put it on the board.

At any rate, I was seeded first in the race based on my 5k time at the Armory. This is embarrassing for several reasons, namely because I planned on jogging but also because it gives you an idea of the lack of depth in our conference. I had no intentions of winning the race, but was hoping my teammate Holly would put up a strong fight. She's been hoping to break 19 minutes all season and looked poised to do so today.

Running the 5k. Note my stylish French braid,
courtesy of Chandler.

From the gun, I settled in comfortably at about a 6:30 pace. Or, I should say, it was comfortable for the first mile. After that point it became readily apparent that I hadn't run in over two weeks. Don't get me wrong; it certainly wasn't race effort, probably not even tempo effort, but it was not the jog I've come to expect 6:30 pace to feel like. Blame it on the altitude?? The good news is my foot felt fine throughout, and according to my loyal fan and spectator Tanya I wasn't limping or altering my stride. I'll take it. Meanwhile, Holly ran a super race, finishing just over 19:10 (18:55 with the altitude conversion) and securing third place. She was pumped and I was happy for her.

Spectating the afternoon races. L to R: Tanya, Jess, Sarah, Katie,
Chandler, Holly

In other notables, our men's mile relay (consisting of the same people as last time, only substituting Futsum for Eli) actually won the conference championship in 3:28. The other teams should be ashamed of themselves; considering that Futsum had finished the 5k a mere 10 minutes previously, Devin and Nelson had both already run 2 races on the day, and Mike is definitely not a sprinter. But hey, a W's a W.

Devin takes the lead in the pivotal moment of the 4x4

Back to the cabin for a night of revelry and merriment. Looks like I'm sticking around to join the team at Moses Cone in Blowing Rock for a run tomorrow assuming the foot holds up.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Conference Carolinas Championship: Day 1

AM: 15 mins. core

22 mins. (3 miles)
50 mins. ellip (incl. 20x2 min. on, 1 min. off; 5x1 min. on, 1 min. off)
PM: Conference meet

This morning I got in a quick jaunt with Tanya before heading over to the fitness center for my workout. We had lots to do and little time to do it, as the train (read: van) was pulling out of the station (read: school) at high noon for our conference meet. We were destined for Lees-McRae college in Banner Elk, NC, a small mountain town about 150 miles north of Charlotte.

After driving for about an hour on major highways, we detoured through Hickory and then began a gradual but steady ascent through the Appalachian Mountains. We passed through Blowing Rock (where Zap Fitness trains) and Boone (home of Appalachian State University) before arriving in the bustling metropolis of Banner Elk. By "bustling metropolis," I of course mean "quaint mountain commu
nity." In fact, it felt so far removed from the hustle and bustle of Charlotte that had you dropped me in there blindfolded, I would've been convinced we were in the mountains of Colorado. Add the fact that none of the trees have leaves on them yet--a lasting reminder of a harsher than normal winter--and the whole thing felt quite surreal.

Grandfather Mountain, as seen from the balcony of our cabin.
If you look closely you can make out the grandfather's "face" as he's
lying down

The meet itself was pretty inactive on Friday, at least from our perspective, since most of our contingent wouldn't run until Saturday. Also let's just say our conference isn't a track powerhouse. In fact, this is the first year we've even had a conference meet, if that gives you any sense of perspective. Tanya and Mike both did workouts in their respective 10k races (each of them winning handily), and a few of our randos participated in field events (including a soccer player who threw the shot, an implement he had never seen before today). Needless to say, we were all ready to peace out from the meet as soon as Mike finished his cool down.

Enjoying a few minutes of relaxation in the cabin

The nicest part about the weekend was staying in cabins farther up on the mountain. Apparently the team comes here 3-4 times a year, for pre-season and camp and a few other random weekends, as it's near some great trails and is at a decent altitude (~4000 feet). The cabins were at the same time rustic and modern, and offered plenty of room and amenities as well as stunning views of the valley below. Beats the hell out of the Super 8 we usually stay at. We were all pretty exhausted and retired fairly early upon arriving at the cabins, grateful for a good night's rest and the fresh mountain air. I don't think I could live here, but for a weekend getaway it's quite enjoyable.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Two Weeks Later

AM: 30 mins. ellip.
PM: ~5 miles

As I'm typing this on Sunday, it's hard to remember much about today's exercise except that my foot is still not 100% and as a result I'm still frustrated. It's hard to believe it's only been two weeks since I stopped my track workout literally in mid-stride because of foot pain...honestly it feels like it's been months. This is the best part of the year to be out running and I was supposed to be stronger than ever right now, so it's pretty disheartening to see my fitness slip away as each day passes. The sole silver lining is that while my foot isn't improving, it doesn't seem to be getting any worse as I gradually incorporate more running into my daily regimen, so I will continue to do so until the body mandates otherwise.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


AM: 20 mins. core
20 mins. pool
50 mins. ellip
PM: 30 mins.
4+ miles

Pretty hardcore day of cross-training with a few afternoon miles thrown in. Foot isn't worse, isn't better.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Farewell Run With Jordan

AM: 3 miles
PM: 45 mins. ellip (incl. 10x2 min. on, 1 min. off and 5x1 min. on, 1 min. off)

For the third in the last four days, Jordan and I woke up pretty early this morning. He had a 9:20 flight to catch and we wanted to take a little jog first. Admittedly my foot wasn't 100%, but I was tired of watching him run without me every day, so I suited up and gave it a go. We stuck mostly to the grassy areas beside sidewalk and in the median in Myers Park, so for the most part this was a soft-surface run. The verdict: foot was okay, but not great. Sigh.

I intented to do an hour on elliptical in the afternoon, but school and life got in the way. Instead I maximized my time with yup, you guessed it, another "intense session." Double sigh.

On a related note, Jeff and I have agreed that it would be pretty pointless for me to run Penn Relays next week. I'm entered in the 10k but it's obvious that even if my foot felt better than expected, I still wouldn't run faster than I did at Stanford (which was the whole point of running at Penn). I've been looking forward to this meet all spring and am upset that I'm not running, but I know this is the smart decision. I'm still petitioning to tag along as the team manager/statistician/photographer, so we'll see how that pans out.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Elliptical Double

AM: 20 mins.core
20 mins. pool
30 mins. ellip
PM: 45 mins. ellip (incl. 20x1 min. on, 1 min. off)

Jordan, Tanya and I woke up bright and early today for morning practice. In a flashback to his Brown days, Jordan agreed to get in the pool for a session of aqua jogging, but not until accidentally following me into the girls locker room first. Silly boy. At any rate, after the pool he wanted to put in a few miles through Freedom Park, so Tanya and I decided to be ambitious as well and hit up the fitness center. Coach G-Unit, on his second (or is it third?) day of reclaiming his fitness, also moseyed over to pump some iron.

In the afternoon, while they were both undoubtedly still digesting their abundant dining hall lunches, Jordan and Blake hit the pavement together for a light run. I would've loved to join but played it safe and hit up the gym once again for an intense elliptical session. Wow, "an intense elliptical session." I feel lame even typing that. We capped off Jordan's last evening in town with dinner and half price bottles of wine at Selwyn Pub with Blake and Jeffrey. It was a great time on the patio until it started raining, so we called it a relatively early night and took the party back to the prison.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Week in Review

22 miles
4.5 hours on the elliptical
30? times icing
2 track meets
1 bread bunny

I seem to be on a roller coaster of emotions with my foot situation. At times I notice improvement and at times it feels like I'm right back where I started. For now there's not much I can do besides continuing to rest, ice and wear shoes that won't further maim me.

This issue aside, I had a great weekend with Jordan and a perfect Easter Sunday with friends. I'm happy to see him recovered from his own injury and getting back into shape, and can't wait to see how his marathon debut goes in a week and a half. Basically I've set the bar at beating Owen's Austin time, which shouldn't be too difficult.

Easter Sunday

Day off

Easter Sunday dawned sunny and cool, and I was looking forward to hitting up McAlpine with Jordan for a long run. Unfortunately my foot was having none of it. Note to self: Don't wear high heels on Saturday night. Even if it's only for a few hours, even if you don't think it will do any damage. I could barely put on my shoe this morning, let alone seriously contemplate running. I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty bummed out. I love running with Jordan, and on a beautiful morning like this one there's nothing I'd rather be doing. Instead I drove him out to the park and dropped him off for his 18-miler, then headed home and showered up to get ready for the day ahead.

A few hours later I was back at Old Bell to pick up Jordan, who had a solid run minus his s
hirt getting stolen less than three miles from home. To be fair, Jordan was not a "2008 Brookhaven Run Award Winner" as the shirt claimed, so I suppose the lucky Mexican soccer player who swooped in and snagged it probably deserves it just as much as him. At any rate, once Jordan was home and cleaned up it was time for the Easter festivities to begin.

Masters of the grill

Less than an hour later, Jeff, Tanya, Melanie, Jordy and myself packed up our grilling supplies and our meat products and set out for an Easter cookout at Freedom Park. Apparently half the city had the same idea on this gorgeous Sunday afternoon as the park was packed. Luckily we snagged a grill and a picnic table up on a hill, which meant we had our own space while maintaining a bird's-eye view of the passersby. This made for prime people-watching and kept us entertained for hours. During that span of time we saw countless walkers, runners, dog walkers, rollerbladers, cyclists, skateboarders, scooter-ers and even the occasional Segway rider. We were also treated to drumming from a nearby bongo player (which gradually expanded into a bongo quartet as the afternoon went on) and an evangelist who passed out pamphlets explaining why the teaching of evolution in schools is the root of all societal evils. We even participated in our own Easter egg hunt and doled out candy to a few passing kiddos. In short, it was a great time.

Digging in to our gourmet Easter buffet

Just shy of 6pm, we decided to pack it in and head home. It's funny; most of the afternoon was spent doing a whole lot of nothing but chilling out at the picnic table and taking in the scene, but I never felt bored or restless. Once this whole "school" thing is over and I'm off and running to my next destination, I'm pretty sure I'll look back on today as one of my favorite memories of my time in Charlotte.


A section of Freedom Park as seen from the top of the hill

Saturday, April 11, 2009

JC Smith Invitational and Blue Shoes Mile

2 mile w/u+ strides
3k race (minus two laps) in ? (I forget)
2 mile c/d
Total: 6 mil

View of downtown Charlotte from the JC Smith track

To echo Jordan's blog intro, what a day of racing! It started with a few hours at the Johnson C. Smith Invitational meet across town. You may recognize the name, as JC Smith is the track where we work out every week. So essentially this was our home meet. As if that didn't make it feel relaxed enough, add the fact that there were, oh, about four schools competing and that none of us were really racing our events. Basically we were just there to put in a few morning miles before starting off the weekend.

Jess, Tanya and Holly post-"race"

In Jordan's case, however, the meet was a chance to get in a solid long workout effort while dusting some college kids on the track. He planned to run the 3k at 9am, get in a few minutes uptempo afterward, then double back in the 5k at 9:45. Basically three mini-tempo efforts. See his blog for all the pertinent details, but suffice it to say he schooled all the competition while barely breaking a sweat. I, on the other hand, dropped out of the 3k a few laps short after feeling a bit of warning pain from my foot. But enough about me.

Jordan cruises to victory in the 3k

After a late morning/early afternoon brunch in the dining hall (no doubt Jordan's favorite part of the day), he and Tanya and I took the fastest showers on record and threw on some casual clothes to take a road trip down to Furman University in Greenville, SC, for the Blue Shoes Mile. Mike and Blake were both slated to toe the line, and we wanted to support our friends while hopefully watching a fast, exciting race.

Tanya stakes out her spot before the Blue Shoes Mile

Despite excessively windy conditions, we were not disappointed. Mexican 1500m record holder Pablo Solares took the race out hard and never looked back, clocking a 3:59 for the "W." Although Blake had a less than stellar day and dropped out at 500 meters, Mike ran tough and strong for a third place finish and huge mile PR. Had the conditions been better, I wouldn't have been surprised to see both him and our friend Dave Nightingale dip under the elusive 4-minute barrier.

Dave Nightingale and Mike racing the final turn

Event 25 Men 1600 Meter Run Blue Shoes College
Name Year School Finals
1 Pablo Solares Unattached 3:59.27
2 David Nightingale Unattached 4:04.11
3 Michael Crouch Unattached 4:04.71
4 John Richardson Unattached 4:06.93
5 Nate Peck Unattached 4:09.55
6 Thomas Morgan Unattached 4:10.99
7 Patrick Morgan Unattached 4:12.77
8 Steve Magness Unattached 4:14.28
9 Moise Joeseph Unattached 4:14.69
10 Matt Elliott Unattached 4:16.98
11 Brad Orr Unattached 4:21.03
12 Josh Houser Unattached 4:21.60
-- Nick Polk Unattached DNF
-- Blake Bolden Unattached DNF

Friday, April 10, 2009

And Then There Were Three

AM: 15 mins. core
4 miles
PM: 48 mins.
6.5 miles

My foot was still feeling decent this morning so I decided to take a spin on my usual morning loop before prepping for Jordan's arrival. He and Blake were supposed to catch the same connection in Minnesota before touching down in Charlotte, but after Blake's first flight was delayed he was forced to stand in the terminal in MSP and watch Jordan bid him adieu.

As a result, our party of four (including Tanya) was reduced to three for the pre-planned afternoon jaunt at McAlpine. In a rare cosmic alignment of the stars, the three of us were able to find a single day when we were all relatively uninjured and enjoy a pain-free jaunt together. Tanya and I haven't run together since she banged up her foot during the Armory race in February, and this was basically Jordy's first real run at McAlpine as he was injured the last time he was here. At any rate, we were all grateful for the company and for the warm afternoon, and the run passed almost too quickly. Great way to kick off the weekend.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Back on My Feet. Literally.

45 mins. ellip
31 mins. running (4 miles)

I woke up this morning unusually chipper, no doubt because I was eager to test out my foot again. I already knew I wasn't going to permit myself to run very far, so I decided to hit up the fitness center for a half hour or so on the elliptical. Much to my shocked amazement, Jeffrey rolled in at almost the exact same time with the intention to start his quest toward some semblance of fitness. Chatting with him during our respective workouts made the time fly, so much so that when I saw I had reached 30 minutes I decided to go for 15 more. I know, I know, I'm such an overachiever.

After a few minutes of stretching post-elliptical, I swapped my sweaty shirt for a fresh one and hit the roads for my run. Actually, to be more accurate, I hit the median on Queens Road. It's about 20 feet wide and grassy, so for the sake of my foot I thought it would be best to spend most of my time there. Whether it was the gorgeous weather, the elation of running pain-f
ree or a combination of the two, but I didn't want this jog to come to an end. It took much self-restraint to pull on the reigns at half an hour, but I'm glad I did. My foot felt fine the rest of the day and I'm in a great mood to boot.

This is the best picture I could find that illustrates the size of the
median on Queens Road.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

8 Minutes of Glory

AM: 15 mins. core
35 mins. pool
8 min. run (1 mile)
PM: 55 mins. ellip (incl. 10x1 min. on, 1 min. off; 10x2 min. on, 1

Today after morning practice I decided to take a spin down Selwyn and give the bum foot a test. I was a bit apprehensive at first and was obviously hyper-sensitive to any sort of discomfort I might feel. The great news is my foot didn't hurt at all! I consciously tried to maintain a normal stride, and honestly didn't feel any pain or discomfort. It might be a different story when I try to get up on my toes and run fast, but for now I will definitely take this as an encouraging sign. After the run I was pretty pumped to hit the trails this afternoon, but Jeff wanted me to take one more day off just to be safe. The conversation went something like this:

Jeff: I want you to take one more day off just to be safe.
Me: No thank you.
Jeff: What would you tell Jordan to do?
Me: Yeah, but what would Jordan actually do?
Jeff: And how does that usually work out for him?

Point taken. One more afternoon on the elliptical, coming right up.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"But...It's Only Tuesday."

AM: 50 mins. ellip
PM: 45 mins. ellip (incl. 20x1 min on/1 min off)

The good news about spending so much time in the fitness center is that I get to catch up on television shows I never knew I was missing out on to begin with. For example, yesterday morning I kept occupied with "Saved By the Bell" and "Full House." That Uncle Jesse is soooo dreamy. Today was "The West Wing" (a great episode, the one where President Bartlett reveals he has MS), and this afternoon was the MTV docu-drama "Fat Camp." That one certainly boosted my self-esteem.

It's funny how non-runners' perspectives differ so greatly from runners'. Last night I ate dinner in the dining hall with a few friends, and as we were walking to class together I mentioned to one of them that I'd messed up my foot and hadn't run since Thursday. She paused, looked at me, and replied, "'s only Tuesday." I could've explained to her that runner time passes differently than normal person time, but there's no point in fighting that losing battle.

And, on that note, I think I might go for a jog tomorow.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Ray of Hope

AM: 35 mins. ellip
15 mins. core
PM: 45 mins. ellip

I had a mini-breakthrough tonight. I was walking to my car from the dining hall after dinner and became chilled by a relatively sudden drop in temperature outside. For a moment I forgot I was injured, and my only thought was, "It's cold; I better run to my car." So I took off on a relatively uptempo jog through the parking lot, only to realize a few seconds later that a) I was running, and b) my foot didn't hurt!

So yeah, running 20 yards through the parking lot was pretty much the highlight of my day. Life is grand.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Week in Review

46 miles
3 days off
90 mins. on the elliptical
7 AFDs
100? times icing my foot

Ugh. I don't even know what to say here. I'm keeping my fingers crossed but things aren't looking good. For now I'm just taking things a day at a time as far as this whole foot situation is concerned...not sure what else I can do.

This Is Getting Old

2 mile walk
60 mins. elliptical

The pool wasn't open today, so I walked to school this afternoon and did the elliptical. I would rather throw myself off the balcony than do this for a month, so I better not have a stress fracture. Oh, and have I mentioned that today was the nicest day of the nicest weekend of the year? Yeah. FML.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cross-Training. Sigh.

AM: 2 mile walk
60 mins. pool
PM: 2 mile walk
30 mins. ellip

Today was my second day off from running, and I have to say that I don't care for it one bit. My foot isn't feeling any worse, but it's not exactly feeling better either, so I decided to play it safe and cross-train instead of attempting a wog. Fortunately Tanya is still in cross-training mode herself, so she was happy to accompany me to the pool for an hour this morning. It was a gorgeous day so we walked the mile to school instead of driving, then hopped in the pool for an hour of aqua jogging. I realize this is embarrassing, but the workout was actually fairly difficult. We did intervals of varying lengths to pass the time and increase the intensity, and as a result I felt like I'd actually accomplished something when we finished our effort.

It was back to school in the afternoon, Tanya to see the trainer and me to try my hand (foot?) at the elliptical in the fitness center. Like I said, this certainly isn't my preference, but it got the job done. Jeff wants me to take tomorrow off from running too, so looks like Sunday will hold more of the same.

And now for an anecdote about people who actually are running. The famous Texas Relays were held this weekend in Austin, with several notable distance performances. I was personally impressed to see the Girls 3200M meet record broken in convincing fashion by Dallas sophomore Chelsey Sveinsson. This is of interest to me because my good friend Megan (Flowers) Skeels has held this record since 1992, when she ran 10:32 as a senior before going on to a successful career at Villanova and Arkansas. It's taken almost 20 years, but the record was smashed Friday by Sveinsson in 10:12 (and she went on to win the mile yesterday in 4:46). Definitely a girl to keep your eye on. Here's the video of the race if you're interested.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Day Off

AM: 15 mins. core
PM: ~3 mile walk

Today was a forced day off due to my foot situation. This may not be an entirely bad thing, as my most recent day without running was December 26th when I was traveling to San Fran to meet Jordan and his mom. I intended to get in the pool this afternoon, but after waiting over 30 minutes for the lifeguard it became apparent that she wasn't coming, at least during the time frame when I needed to be there.

Instead of exercising, I opted to cash in one of my pre-paid massages at Massage Envy. I'd never had this therapist before but he did a pretty good job, and his technique included stretching out my legs fairly extensively. He also spent a bit of time massaging my injured foot, which I was hesitant about at first, but after determining that it didn't hurt I allowed him to continue in hopes of it loosening things up.

After a rather large and indulgent dinner of Italian food, Tanya and I decided to enjoy the mild evening and take a spin through Myers Park. We pretended like we were soccer moms/trophy wives enjoying a few minutes out of the house while our millionaire husbands were off making more millions and our nannies entertained our kids. It was a great time. More importantly, my foot felt better after the walk than before, which can't be a bad sign. I'm anxious to see what it feels like in the morning.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


AM: 3 miles
PM: 16 min. w/u + strides (2 miles)
Target: 12x800 @2:45 w/2 min. rest
Actual: 2:49, 2:49, 2:45, 2:44, 2:45, 2:45, 2:45, 2:45, 82
10 min. c/d (1-1.5 miles)
Total: 7.5 miles

Well. I don't really know where to begin on how crappy this workout was. Admittedly I went into it with a less than optimistic attitude, given that I am still as sore (if not more so) than I was yesterday, and I wasn't really sure if I would be capable of turning the legs over at all. Alas, I wish that had been my only problem...

So, things started out fairly decently. Jeff wanted me to run the first two in the 2:48-2:50 range before easing down to the target pace, and I was more than happy to oblige. The first few felt pretty awful, a complete contrast from the last time I did this workout, but I kept telling myself to focus on the intervals one at a time and not let myself get overwhelmed by the sheer volume ahead. Mother Nature wasn't doing me any favors either with the muggy, windy conditions, which made things particularly challenging on the homestretch, but I tried to push the negative thoughts aside and stay focused.

By the third and fourth intervals I was still struggling to stay relaxed despite finding the right pace, and I knew at that point that the sole goal of this effort would be survival. By #5 I began to feel a slight discomfort in my right foot, which grew stronger as the workout progressed. At #7 the discomfort morphed into a full-on pain, and by the end of #8 it was fairly sharp. I told Jeff I needed to take off my flats and put on my trainers for the next one, but even that last-ditch effort to salvage things wasn't enough. I limped through half of the ninth go before calling it quits.

At this point, I'm trying not to panic. I'm basically willing myself to not have a stress fracture. Jeff doesn't seem to think that I do, and I'm inclined to cautiously agree, given that this situation is very similar to a quasi-injury I had last fall that ended up being more benign than I'd feared. I'll definitely have to play the next few days by ear and start RICE-ing like it's my job. If you're reading this, please start sending some positive thoughts in the general direction of my right foot.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sore Legs

15 mins. core
79 mins. (10.5 mles)

Today I enjoyed the luxury of only one run and headed out to McAlpine around 10am. The weather was pretty gross, kind of drizzly-misty-muggy, and I can't say I was loving every minute outside. Oh, and not to mention that I was virtually immobilized from my strength training workout yesterday. My quads are absolutely trashed, and I was audibly whimpering both times I ran down the one steep downhill at McAlpine. Post-run, even walking like a normal person proved to be a challenge.

The only thing to distract me from my debilitating soreness was Brooke's arrival for a business trip. We hung out for most of the afternoon and grabbed some sushi after tonight's class. There's nothing like stuffing your face with your BFF to make everything right with the world.