Thursday, December 31, 2009

NYE Workout

AM: 10 mins. core
3 mile w/u + stretching
Target: 3xmile @6:00, 5:50, 5:40
Actual: 5:57, 5:45, 5:32
3 mile c/d
Total: 9 miles

I woke up this morning excited to don some flats and attempt a baby workout. Originally we'd planned to get out the door in the afternoon, then revised our plans to 11, then bumped it down to 10 once we found out the OU-Stanford game would be starting at 11 our time. It was fine by me, as I was anxious to get out the door. With temps in the low 60s and a sky full of sunshine, the conditions were shaping up nicely at go time.

Since we're sans vehicle for the rest of our stay here, this meant that running to a nearby track was our only transportation option. Fortunately we're just about 3 miles away from the San Diego High School track, and since school isn't currently in session we didn't anticipate getting kicked off like last time. As we were approaching the stadium from the concrete overpass that bridges the highway, we noticed that the athletic department had undertaken some pretty impressive renovations with the football field since we were last here: new high-tech turf, new throwing and jumping areas, and a brand new paint job. It was only when we drew closer that we discovered this had come at the expense of the track. To be precise, the area where the track belongs was still there...but it had been completely paved over and all the lines and lane markings were removed. So essentially we would be doing our workout on a road that just happened to be a 400-meter oval. Awesome.

As I changed into flats and began stretching, Jordan outlined the plan. Basically he wanted to run 1000-m intervals at his goal pace, while pacing me on my miles as his recovery in between 1000s. Essentially he would be doing a long tempo at varied paces, while I would be doing my miles with just over a 3-minute rest. This would give me ample time to jog across the perfectly manicured field to the opposite 200-meter marker, where I would join Jordan for the next interval.

Believe it or not, the plan worked out perfectly. Jordan ran his k's right on target and was able to transition smoothly into my pace each time he picked me up. The "goal" times I came up with above were really just arbitrary ballpark figures; what I really wanted was for the first mile to feel easy, then to focus a bit more on the second one, and finally to open up and see what I had left at the end. And, essentially, that's what happened. I felt very comfortable on the first two intervals and used them as an opportunity to focus on keeping my arms low and driving forward. By the second lap of the final mile I was laboring, but I stayed strong and finished very much under control. Given that I haven't done much in the way of speed work lately, this was a huge confidence booster. The best part was that despite wearing flats and running on what could have been the interstate, my leg felt fine throughout.

As is always the case with this kind of effort, the worst part was the jog home. We kept the pace very relaxed, even stopping for a minute to check out what looked like the makings of a 5k taking place in Balboa Park. I'm not sure what the plan is for the rest of the day, but with a solid workout in the rearview mirror we're both guaranteed to be in a good mood.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Balboa Double

AM: 58 mins. (8 miles)
PM: 29 mins. (~4 miles)

After today, I'm actually starting to feel like a real runner again. Not only did I turn out a legit double, but I'm even contemplating a baby workout for tomorrow. Crazy, right?

The good news is that on both runs, once the leg had 5-10 minutes to warm up it felt just as good as yesterday. I will definitely keep this in mind if said workout occurs and make sure to take ample warmup time. The other good news about today is that I actually ran up the Upas hill without stopping for the second day in a row! Big time. I wanted to include a pic of the hill in my blog just to give you an idea of what we're dealing with, but unfortunately the photo I found on Flickr is copyrighted. However if you click on this link you'll be able to see the photo of the hill in all its glory. It's pretty real. Actually, although our total time/pace isn't that impressive, if you take out this stretch on Upas (which undoubtedly added at least a minute to that mile) and a few of the more tedious zig-zaggy portions going down to and up from the highway crossing in Balboa Park, this run would end up maintaining quite a respectable clip. I felt like I was pressing throughout but was always controlled, which in my opinion is the best kind of run.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Balboa Park with Graddy

67 mins.
9 miles

That's right, folks, I ran 9 miles. And, more importantly, my leg felt pretty darn good once it got warmed up. I haven't run this far in quite some time, so I consider this to be a rather significant development. Perhaps most importantly, I had a lot of fun. Jordan's former Brown teammate Ryan Graddy drove down from his parents' place in Torrey Pines to meet us for a jaunt before he flies out tomorrow. We ran with Graddy last year on the now-infamous "Jordan forgot his shoes" run, and I had a surprise encounter with him most recently at the Stanford Invite early last spring. Needless to say, our group had lots to catch up on since
then, most notably the stellar marathons both of these guys and their teammates have run in the interim. (You can find more details and more bragging by Jordan here.)

We started the run in Hillcrest just after 9am, and already the sun was shining brightly. I was excited to embark on my first long-ish run in Balboa Park since our arrival (though at the outset I didn't know how long it would end up being). However, within a few blocks of setting out, we were very rudely accosted by a (possibly deranged) female on a bicycle who nearly ran us over at a street corner. She dinged her bell angrily and yelled "Idiots!" at us as she passed. Since we were on the correct side of the road and doing nothing wrong, Jordan responded back with an artfully worded suggestion for what she might do. She responded by inexplicably yelling, "Make me, Grandma!" What a way to start the run. Fortunately our spiri
ts were buoyed less than five minutes later when we ran past a Richard Simmons look-a-like power-walking in the park who shouted encouragingly, "Great job! Keep it up!"

From that point on we would have no more close encounters, and we were free to enjoy the beautiful day in the park. Midway through the run we accomplished one of my long-time goals of locating the Footlocker XC course, courtesy of Graddy. Since he'd run there several times in high school he was able to point us to the start and the basic loop. Turns out we'd run on or near the area several times before but never really known exactly where we were.

View of downtown San Diego from the Prado overpass in Balboa Park

The change of scenery made the time pass quickly, but before long I realized I would be in over my head if we didn't turn around soon. Fortunately, Graddy was on the same page, so we persuaded Jordan to turn back. Unfortunately, the quickest way back meant we had to climb the hill on Upas, which I'm ashamed to admit I've never crested without walking before. Whether it was shame or a newfound pep in my step I'm not sure, but at any rate I made it to the top without stopping this time (though you wouldn't have been able to tell by the snail-like pace I maintained). From there we had several miles to go before reaching home, but surprisingly my legs still felt light and fresh. I finished out the run feeling better than when I'd started, which is always the goal but rarely the reality. I'll attribute it to the beautiful weather and the great company. All in all this was a fantastic run and I'm hoping to replicate this feeling tomorrow.

Monday, December 28, 2009

On the Road Again

AM: 45 mins. ellip.
PM: 27 mins. (~3.5 miles)
10 mins. stretching

My parents' brief time in Palm Springs is drawing to a close, which meant that Jordan, Gary and I piled into the car with them today to deliver them back to Ontario airport. Then we thought, hey, we're already halfway to San Diego. Let's just go there. Coincidentally we already had all of our stuff packed so the plan worked out splendidly, and within several hours we had bid my parents farewell and were en route to the Hillcrest neighborhood. I was disappointed that my dad wasn't able to run with me while he was here--he was experiencing some old-person back problems--but at the same time I was glad to take the morning off today so that I'd have a chance to run in Balboa Park later this afternoon.

Though it's been a year since our last visit, things looked much the same in the surrounding neighborhoods upon our arrival. I'm excited to spend the next few days visiting some familiar locales, catching up with friends, running in Balboa Park, and perhaps even visiting some tourist attractions we haven't gotten around to yet (zoo, anyone?). Stay classy, San Diego!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


AM: 15 mins. ellip.
43 mins. (6 miles)

The long-awaited visit to the top of the tram has finally arrived. Jordan and I rose early and were out the door by 7am to fit in our run before the day's festivities began. JSK cooked up a delicious breakfast for everyone, thus ensuring that our energy stores would be topped off and at peak operating levels so we could fully enjoy the aerial experience to come. At 10am on the dot our party of four (me, Jordy and my parents) set off with one destination in mind: the top of the mountain.

Mom and I on the tram car

Things were already hopping when we reached the base of the tram, and I was somewhat surprised that we had to wait over 30 minutes after purchasing our tickets before boarding the car. (After our descent several hours later, I would discover that things got much, much crazier as the day progressed). Just before 11:20 we were finally called, and before I knew it we were crammed onto the tram car with 80 of our newest friends.

Making our way to the top!

Jordy, me and Mom at the top--that's snow on the rocks behind us.

The ascent lasted 10 minutes and was breathtaking. Though the tram has been in operation since the '60s, they recently added cars that rotate while the tram rises. This makes for a very unique experience, as you are able to catch glimpses from every angle during the 360-degree rotations. Once we arrived at the top, the mountain was ours for exploration. We spent some time watching people cavort in the snow--that's right, there was both snow and pine trees at the top; not your typical Palm Springs scenery--before wandering off to another lookout point to enjoy an expansive view of Palm Springs and the surrounding valley. We'd definitely picked the right day to come, as the sky was strikingly blue and crystal clear. Before I'd realized it an hour had passed and we were ready to make our descent. I can say without hesitation that the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway was worth the wait (and worth the $87 it cost our party--thanks, Dad!) and that I have finally fulfilled the mission I set out to accomplish many months ago.

Panoramic view from the top

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Post-Christmas Double

AM: 15 mins. ellip.
43 mins. (6 miles)
PM: 26 mins. (~3.5 miles)
2x20 water pump extensions=80
10 mins. stretching

Although I'm writing this only two days after the fact, I can't remember much about this day. I know it included lots of family time (insert shout-out to my dad here) and some post-Christmas shopping at the Cabazon outlets. Oh, and Jordy and I enjoyed a nice evening run at our favorite golf course. Tomorrow promises to be an even grander time, as we've planned a trip to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. I've been bugging Jordan to take me on the tram since the first time we came here and he has yet to acquiese. Well he might not do it, but I know my loving parents will. Stay tuned for full coverage of my dream being realized.

Ohhhh, now I remember why this day was significant (other than the parental bonding): it was the first day I doubled since the day before Nationals, which was the first day I doubled since I got injured in early August. So yeah, it was a pretty big deal.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jesus

AM: 20 mins. ellip.
45 mins. (6 miles)
PM: Christmas dinner

Merry Christmas, everyone! On a day when we celebrate the arrival of Santa Claus and the birth of Jesus (not necessarily in that order), we also celebrate my parents' plane finally arriving after a 3-hour weather delay from DFW. They arrived just after noon Pacific time feeling as though they'd already suffered through an entire day of setbacks. Luckily Jordan and I were on hand to greet them in Ontario with high-fives and a plate of Christmas cookies, turning their frowns upside down, and in short order we were on our way back to Palm Springs.

Our stylish Christmas table

In the evening we had a fantastic Christmas dinner with family and friends, lovingly prepared by G.J. Kinley. The meal featured a sumptuous rack of prime rib and lots of champagne and wine--in short, a perfect way to celebrate the day. Oh, and Santa brought us a new camera (with help from my parents), a GPS for Jordan's new job (also courtesy of John and Sharon), and plenty of cash and gift cards (from Gary, Roger and Sheba). I also rang in the holiday by wearing my new Karhu Fast Rides for the first time on our run this morning. They're bright red, so it was only appropriate. The leg continues to improve every day and I have no doubt that new kicks will greatly facilitate this recovery.

Jordan and the parentals

And so, on that note, there are desserts to be had. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Picture Perfect Christmas Eve

AM: 15 mins. ellip.
15 mins. core
45 mins. (6 miles)
Late AM: ~2.5 mile hike

Jordan and I kicked off this warm and sunny Christmas Eve with a jaunt through the streets of Palm Springs. We took a spin past Ruth Hardy Park before venturing back toward the Biltmore, where Jordan dropped me off at 6 miles. I would like to have continued on but I'm still babying my leg, so I reluctantly headed back home while he set off for a short loop.

Later in the morning Roger took us on a hike in the San Jacintos. He and a friend had traversed a trail that went about a mile up and offered breathtaking views of the valley below, so we eagerly agreed to join. Despite how (relatively) fit I claim to be, I was definitely huffing and puffing on the steeper sections of the ascent. It was worth it once we reached the summit and surveyed the magnificent vista below. Like a postcard? Definitely.

Jordan and I spent the rest of the afternoon sunning (or, in his case, napping) on deck chairs, then lounging in the hot tub and the almost equally warm waters of the condo's swimming pool. I can honestly say this is the first Christmas Eve I've ever experienced that's been warm enough to swim outside and hike in short sleeves, but I'll take it anytime. My parents arrive in the morning and are currently marooned at DFW while the storm of the century rages outside. So yeah, I think Palm Springs will do just fine.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fairway Running

AM: 45 mins. ellip.
PM: 35 mins. (5 miles)

This afternoon I wanted to test out my leg on some soft surfaces, so Jordan and I ventured over to the golf course we discovered last time we were here. The sun was just dipping behind the mountains, leaving us with enough light to navigate our path and simultaneously providing us with an absolutely gorgeous sunset. Unlike the windstorm that raged yesterday, the air tonight was absolutely clear and still. Have I mentioned that every day here feels like living in a postcard? This might not exactly be traditional Christmas weather, but it's certainly just as beautiful.

An aerial view of the golf course where we ran tonight--it's that long
green strip in the middle of the photo

As for the run, it went great, and I could tell within the first few minutes that my leg felt much better than it had a few days previously. Guess my ibuprofen and whirlpool therapy has been working. The lush surface of the fairways offered ample cushioning, and though the terrain was slightly uneven I still benefited from its softness. I was sorry to leave after a few loops on the grass, but the impending darkness and my hesitance to push the leg meant it was time to head home.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wind, Rain and Cookies

AM: 50 mins. ellip.
PM: 20 mins. ellip.

A rare cloudy view from the pool/hot tub area

In an unprecedented turn of events, it rained this morning. I've spent probably a total of 20 days in Palm Springs over the past few years and this is the first time I can recall it raining. Later this afternoon the winds would pick up and turn the rainstorm into a sandstorm, but fortunately we were safely tucked away indoors and did not bear the brunt of it.

Sandstorm! Photo by the Desert Sun

Instead, we spent much of the day enjoying all things Christmas. By "we" I mean Gary and I, as Jordan was too busy "working" to participate in the wholesome family fun activities such as decorating the Christmas tree and baking up tasty and delicious Christmas cookies. I do find it a bit suspect that his "work" seemed to lull each time there was a spoon or mixer to be licked, but I suppose in the spirit of Christmas I'll take his word for it. At any rate, when the flour settled there were dozens upon dozens of warm frosted cookies, and I invite anyone reading this in the immediate vicinity to stop by the Biltmore and enjoy some freshly baked goodies.

Preparing to make some magic happen

Later in the afternoon we made our first of what will undoubtedly be many trips to Koffi. This delightful coffee shop is literally just down the street and is owned by friends of Gary and Roger's. My personal favorite treat there is the white caramel mocha freeze, but it was breezy and chilly enough outside that I opted for a simple drip instead. Cookies, coffee and Christmas trees...can't think of a better way to spend a December afternoon.

All that's missing is the star on top.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Palm Springs Living

AM: 45 mins. (6 miles)
15 mins. ellip.
PM: 20 mins. ellip.

A gorgeous sunrise in the desert

Isn't it strange how you can be gone from a place for so long, and yet it feels so familiar when you return? It's been almost an entire year since Jordan and I have set foot on the streets of Palm Springs, yet all the sights and sounds seemed to be just as we'd left them last December. I was excited to get out the door for our first desert run, but unfortunately my leg was really nagging throughout. I'm beyond frustrated at this point and desperate to get this thing taken care of. Luckily there's a whirlpool/hot tub on the premises that I plan on using several times a day to loosen up and massage the muscles--I did so twice today for about 10 minutes each time--and Jordan has also put me on a strict ibuprofen regimen until Christmas. I'm not really a huge fan, on account of the fact that it's not good for your body in the long term, but right now I just want to try every possible form of treatment.

Perhaps Jordan aka Moses can perform another miracle
and heal my leg...

Unrelated, one other thing I've noticed here is that I'm in more or less a constant state of uncertainty about what time it is. My body feels like it's three hours later than the clock purports, plus the sun goes down so early here that once 5pm hits it could easily be any time between 5 and midnight. As a combination of these factors, so far I've been unable to stay awake past 9pm and equally unable to sleep in past 5:30 or 6. The jury is still out as to whether this is a positive or negative development.

An eager running partner for when I finally get back out there

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Travel Musings

AM: Travel
PM: Travel

First and most importantly, we made it! Hello, 70-degree temperatures! Hello, sunshine! Hello, mountains and palm trees and happiness!

That said, traveling from coast to coast pretty much sucks. Since Gary and Roger had oh so benevolently given us a few free tickets to use for our travels, we were at the mercy of the often convoluted airline schedules. Throw in the usual holiday travel traffic and add a dash of east coast weather delays, and you've got a recipe for complication. As a result, our trip would involve not one but two stops, a 20-passenger prop jet and some delayed luggage before we would finally arrive in beautiful Palm Springs 12 hours after leaving our house this morning. I can say without hesitation, however, that it was so worth it--and I'm glad I have a two-week reprieve before undertaking that task again.

Just a quick question/observation on that front: So, the plane taxis down the runway and coasts into its stopping point at the gate. You hear the long-awaited "ding!" which signifies that you are now permitted to unfasten your safety belt. Why is it that as soon as they are granted permission to move, every single passenger--including those seated all the way back in 192Q--insist on flinging their coats to the side and leaping out of their seats? I mean, don't we all realize by now that it's going to take at least, best case scenario, a good 10 minutes before the people in the back will be allowed to deplane? Yet every single passenger still insists on springing up and flailing about just in case every row in front of them inexplicably decides to remain motionless and allow the passengers seated in row 94 to disembark first. I just don't get it.

And while we're at it, allow me to share something else that slightly disturbed me yesterday. As we arrived at our first stop of the day (Chicago O'Hare, in case you were wondering), the captain came over the loudspeaker and said, "Flight attendants, please disarm the doors for arrival." Now I don't know about you, but I've never heard the phrase "disarm the doors" used in that context before. It's usually something like, "Flight attendants, please prepare the doors for arrival and cross-check," or something like that. So you'll understand that I find it slightly disconcerting to know that the doors of our jumbo jet were laden with bazookas or machetes or whatever arms the captain might have been cryptically referring to.

But I digress. We've made it to California alive and well, and all is right with the world.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Peace Out, Charlotte

Saturday, 12/19
AM: 45 mins. yoga
PM: 5 miles

Friday, 12/18
AM: 50 mins. ellip.
15 mins. core

Thursday, 12/17
AM: 50 mins. ellip.
PM: ?

In an effort to get all caught up, I'm lumping these days together. Don't judge me. It's been pretty crazy around here trying to finish up the semester and get all packed up for California. I would be lying if I said I wasn't absolutely thrilled to be leaving the cold, wet, dreary North Carolina weather behind and spending the next few weeks with friends and family in gorgeous southern California. Tomorrow promises to be a long day of travel and a run is not guaranteed, but after that Jordan and I are looking forward to putting in some solid training (and sunning, and shopping, and Koffi coffee drinking) over our Christmas vacation. Look forward to some more interesting blog posts and photos in the coming days!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Itty Bitty Teeny Weeny Baby Workout

AM: 30 mins. ellip.
PM: 2.5 mile w/u
2xmile w/3 min. rest (6:00, 5:44)
2 mile c/d
Total: 6.5 miles

I figured today was as good a day as any to attempt a super easy, teeny tiny baby workout. Almost everyone is gone for the holidays already except me and Jess, so we agreed to meet up in the early afternoon for this effort. We decided the best course of action was to run to Myers Park High. The overwhelming pro for this is that the track is a very easy two-mile jog away. However, the con is that more often than not Queens runners have been kicked off before finishing their workouts. This would be my first attempt, and I figured that since we would be out there for literally less than 20 minutes that we just might evade detection.

I was wrong. Within a few minutes of our arrival, school let out and members of the MPHS track team began trickling over to the oval. Since no coaches seemed to be present (at least not at first), we had no option but to cross our fingers and keep rolling. As for the workout itself, things started horribly. This was my first hard run since Nationals almost a month ago--and, as you may recall, I wasn't exactly in top shape for that either--and my leg has been iffy the past few weeks. But still, I expected 6-minute pace to feel like a jog. It didn't. Both of us were surprised at how much we were laboring during the first interval, our legs and lungs burning at the effort of bringing the pace down to a respectable clip. The rest period--a time interval I would normally scoff at--seemed over before it had begun, and I didn't exactly have high hopes for the second mile.

And then, surprisingly, things turned around. We went through the half in 2:50--a full 13 seconds faster than we'd opened the previous mile--and I felt like I was barely laboring. On the third lap we were nearly brought to a complete halt by a group of utterly moronic high school boys who apparently had no idea what to make of words like "Track!" and "Lane One!" and "Move!" being shouted at them; even so, we managed to pick up where we'd left off and finish strong, closing to the line in 5:44. Now, I get that 5:44 isn't fast, nor is it a time I would be proud of during a workout when I'm even remotely fit. But to run the second mile a full 16 seconds faster while feeling significantly better--that's the part I'm pretty pleased with. In fact, I felt so good at the finish that I contemplated tacking on another interval, but the coaches had arrived at that point and were giving us the evil eye. It was clear we'd worn out our welcome.

So, congrats to me; I can run one interval at the pace Jordan runs for a marathon. Olympic Trials, watch out.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Riding the Snake

AM: 40 mins. ellip.
PM: 5.5 miles

I can finally see the light at the end of this semester's tunnel. Today I turned in two of the three final papers I have to complete, plus worked on my project for the fourth class. The past few weeks have been busy and stressful, but now that it's nearing the end I'm able to look back and think euphemistically that it wasn't so bad.

One thing I remain frustrated about is my left leg. What Jordan professionally diagnosed as my soleus turns out to be, in the actual professional opinion of the good folks at Greenapple, my posterior tibialis. Basically this is the muscle that runs along the medial edge of the tibia. A little too close to the tibia, as far as I'm concerned. I had a stress fracture in this bone about three years ago and am not looking to deal with something like that again. So far all signs point to soft tissue, but you never know. As of now it's very stiff/sore when I wake up in the morning, but some good stretching usually loosens things up nicely. I can still run with a normal gait and only experience discomfort, not pain, while logging the miles. If the threshold from discomfort to pain is crossed then I will know I need to re-evaluate. In the meantime, I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing.

Monday, December 14, 2009

You Know You Spend Too Much Time at the Gym...

AM: 45 mins. ellip.
PM: 5.5 miles

...when you walk in at 7:45 instead of 7:30 and the guy behind the front desk says, "You're late."

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I Prefer the Term "Band-Aid"

PM: 60 mins. ellip.
20 mins. pool

Well, it's happened once again. Jordan is now the local celebrity and I am his groupie. Honestly, I had to endure enough of this after Oklahoma City...looks like I'm in for another few months of stardom-by-association. Remember the waiter who said it was a "pleasure serving him today?" Or how about the guy who was supposed to be buying ME a drink at the wedding reception we crashed, but got distracted when he spotted Jordan across the room and whispered in awe, "Is that...Jordan Kinley?!" I mean really, a girl can only take so much.

All kidding aside, allow me to say very un-sarcastically that I'm incredibly proud of his run yesterday and excited to see what he trains for next. Want to know what I'm not excited about? Writing final papers. I banged out a 10-pager this morning/early afternoon and a brief 3-pager tonight. I've still got several more to cross off the list before I can consider this semester complete. So, until then, I'll probably be off the radar, writing and folding Jordan's laundry or whatever it is that groupies do.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Saturday, 12/12
AM: 50 mins. ellip.
~1 mile jog

Friday, 12/11
AM: 50 mins. (7 miles)
10 mins. core

Thursday, 12/10
AM: 50 mins.ellip. incl. 3x3 mins. on, 2 mins. off

Wednesday, 12/9
AM: 50 mins. ellip. incl. 3x3 mins. on, 2 mins. off, 3x30 sec. sprint
PM: 55 mins. (7 miles)

Tuesday, 12/8
AM: 45 mins. ellip.
PM: 30 mins. yoga

Monday, 12/7
AM: 45 mins. ellip.
PM: 40 mins. (5.5 miles)

Okay okay, I apologize for being so incredibly lacking on updates for the week. In my defense, it's been crazy. The Charlotte Thunder Road Marathon was this weekend (more on that later), which our store is heavily involved with, so that means I worked more hours at my "part-time" job this week than ever before. Not that I'm complaining, but it's just been a lot. Add to that the final week of school, which means that between Wednesday the 9th and Wednesday the 16th I have approximately 30 pages of writing due for 3 different classes. Anyhow, it's been a crazy week. Instead of doing a respectable job of catching up, however, I'm afraid I'll have to half-ass this recap. I've linked to Jordan's blog for the runs we did together, as he's done a good job of filling in the details that I've left out. Apologies all around, and I promise to be much more interesting and engaging after the madness ends next week.

Speaking of Thunder Road, apparently on Thursday Jordan decided he wanted to run the full marathon. In shoes that were two sizes too small. I never said I liked him because of his smarts. Anyhow, as you can imagine, he's already working on a witty and entertaining recap of the race-day shenanigans, so once again I will link you to his blog for the relevant details. Oh, and he won. Typical.

Edit: After reading his blog post, allow me to note that his first 10k split is my 10k PR. This from the guy who didn't train for the race, was wearing shoes two sizes too small, and just recently recovered from the swine flu. Oh, and he still had 20 more miles to run. Sigh.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday From Old Bell

AM: 58 mins. (8 miles)
PM: 20 mins. pool

For the first time in what seems like forever, I met up with the rest of the team for a Sunday run at McAlpine. I covered most of these miles with Jess, Jenna and Tanya, keeping the pace relaxed but upbeat. The first few miles were painfully cold and windy, but once the sun crested the trees the conditions grew much more bearable and I actually began to enjoy the run.

I have to admit, however, that this whole lower leg/soleus thing is still not completely gone. I wouldn't say that it's painful, but I do experience some nagging discomfort that should've gone away after taking four days off this week. At this point I can't tell if it's something I can run through without making it worse, or if it will require a complete layoff (obviously longer than the one from this week) before things are back to normal. Right now it's annoying but manageable.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Girls' Morning Out

AM: 49 mins. (6.5-7 miles)
PM: Fried pickles

After laying off for several days, I was eager to get out and run this morning...until I woke up and discovered that it was 40 degrees and raining. Yuck. Fortunately/unfortunately, last night when Tanya and Jenna were over we'd made plans to rendezvous at my place at 7:30am for a jaunt. (In hindsight we should've just had a slumber party. Perhaps next time).

Once we finally got out the door, the run was fantastic. My legs felt light and bouncy, and though my left soleus area was a tad bit tight it was much better than earlier in the week. We did a fairly standard loop down the bike path and through Freedom Park, but good company made the miles pass quickly. I was sad to see the run come to an end and face the prospect of an entire day at work, but the bills don't pay themselves.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Gym Rat

Friday, 12/4
AM: 50 mins. ellip. incl. 5x1 min. on, 1 min. off; 5x2 mins. on, 1 min. off; 3x30 sec. sprints
PM: 30 mins. yoga

Thursday, 12/3
AM: same as above

Wednesday, 12/2
AM: 45 mins. ellip.
PM: 30 mins. yoga

Tuesday, 12/1
AM: 50 mins. ellip. incl. 6x3 mins. on, 2 mins. off
PM: 30 mins. ellip.

Monday, 11/30
AM: 42 mins. (5.5 miles)
PM: Chiro
45 mins. ellip.

Well, as you can see, I decided to take a few days off from running. My left lower leg (soleus?) still isn't feeling 100%, and it just seems silly to run through something in the beginning of December when there's just no need to. So, instead, I opted to take a few recovery days in the fitness center and then see how things felt by the weekend. Stay tuned for further updates.

Also, I'm publishing this before actually doing the yoga I claim to have done on Friday afternoon. At this point, having it in writing is the only thing that will motivate me to actually commit to it.