Thursday, August 25, 2011
Anyone else out there using Merrel Barefoot Pace Gloves? My usual running kicks are Brooks Adrenaline GTS (love 'em, love 'em, love 'em), but I found them to be a little TOO roomy for my cross training days.
I'd picked up kettlebells a few months back, and they suggest that either being actually barefoot (a bit of a no no at the gym!) or wearing barefoot shoes would help with your stance, stability, etc. I had also noticed that, when doing any kind of boot camp-style workout that involved agility-type of stuff, my feet had a tendency to slide around in my Brooks. That extra space in the toe box rocks on a long run, but sucks when you need to make sudden side to side movements!
I have nothing against you Vibram peeps, but I personally cannot do the toe shoes. I was thrilled, then, to discover Merrel's Barefoot line, which is basically like a Vibram only with all of the toes sharing the same space! It even has a Vibram sole. They feel good (albeit a little strange at first), and they have been working like a champ.. until yesterday.
Now I'm sure you barefoot purists will poo poo at the fact that I wear socks my my Pace Gloves. I tried without for a few weeks, but my feet sweat. They'd slide around, my shoes were smelling less than daisy fresh, and I decided I'd wear some thin socks to help with that.
Well, those thin (ok, I'll fess up, they're cheap) socks did work ok.. until yesterday. Yesterday's H.O.T. (high octane training) class had alot of agility stuff, and I could feel the blisters starting. I really should have dumped in some Blister Shield before I put on my socks, but I didn't. And now, even though I run some 30 miles a week.. it's the CROSS TRAINING that has given me blisters! Unreal.
Anyone else with similar experiences? What do you other Barefoot peeps do / wear? Socks or no socks? Do your feet "glisten" if you forgo the socks?
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Almost forgot to include one of the stranger things I've seen while out running.... it's a bear in a well. Can you blame me for stopping to take a pic?
Monday, August 22, 2011
Ever get your hopes up, just to have them take a nose dive when reality sets in? I was sooo excited about our annual family beach week last week. Since the hub switched to a M - F schedule, I've had to fit my runs in during the evenings, and I really miss my morning runs. I was super pumped about:
* running in the mornings, with nowhere to be after the run
* some new trails
* a stepback week that would, hopefully, let me crush some faster runs with shorter distance for my LSD.
I'd checked out the website of a local running store at the OBX, which recommended some trails in a nature preserve called Old Nags Head Woods. It was a little more nature than I'd planned for. In ONE HOUR, I was able to do just over 3 miles. I am STILL scratching the mosquito bites! I completely wandered off the trail at one point, thinking I was still on it (thanks, crappy trail markers!). I'm still amazed that I didn't encounter any snakes. This was not a trail designed for people who enjoy trails with some nature thrown in. This was a trail merely for the sake of people to get TO nature... people who REALLY dig some natural, overgrown, sweaty, bitey nature!
At one point, the trail consisted of bury-your-jeep-up-to-the-axles sand.. UPHILL! Through bushes teeming with mosquitoes. Ugh. The silver lining of this was that I discovered the crushed gravel road leading TO the "trail" was actually beautiful for running... so that's where I went on Thursday.
Thursday morning, however, I was beat down. Little man had some kind of stomach bug, and by Thursday, I'd woken up 2 nights in a row to be with him. I was exhausted by Thursday, but Hubby said, "you should go for your run". I did, and it was a very respectable, sub-12-minute mile run (6 miles today) down some beautiful, yet surprisingly hill roads. Thursday's run was the highlight of this week's runs.
By Saturday, I'd added another sleepless night to the pile (why do kids always get sick in the middle of the night?), but I really need to get out of the house. I love our family, but I'm a bit of an introvert by nature, and I really needed a little alone time. I'd picked out a route through Manteo, the cutest island town in the area! I left the Jeepster at one end of the island, and ran to a state park at the other end. Total distance was about 9.5 rather slow miles. I'm still amazed that Nike+ thinks I ran about a 12:15 min mile.. it felt sooo much slower, although there were a few stretches where I ran strong and felt good.
So I started the week with grand ideas of the long, fabulous runs I would do, set against the beautiful backdrop of the North Carolina coast. I ended up with 1 good run out of 3, a buncha mosquito bites, and ass-dragging exhaustion! I suppose I'll console myself with the fact that most people wouldn't have bothered with any of it, while on vacation, and that 1 good run was a really good run.
Good to be back!
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Is there anything worse than being awake the night before you know you have a long, tough run ahead of you? Little man got up last night, thankfully, Best Hubby Ever was the one who dealt with it and got him back to bed (to be fair, it's normally Best Mommy Ever who does this! BHE sleeps like a log). It took a little while to get back to sleep, however, and all I could think was "maybe I should do a shorter run tomorrow".
There was also the fact that I knew I'd be doing this on my own today, and the thought of that loooong, fairly straight trail from last week, by myself, made me cringe a little. I'd also only run it last weekend with RB, and while I felt pretty safe, it was not the stomping ground that our local state park has come to be for me. I changed my plan.
I still got up early, and thought that if I could just do 16 again, I'd feel good about it. While sucking down coffee, I checked the USATF routes and looked for a local one in my mileage range. I found the Greenway 16 miler, and it looked good! Bonus, it started at a local lake / greenway with ample parking, that I'm familiar with, and went by the mall (water refills!). The icing on the cake was the fact that it called for ending back at the same lake, but I could make it an 18 miler if the force was with me, just by circling the lake.
Off I went, and the first few miles felt good. First fuel (Honey Stinger Fruit Smoothie chews.. yum!) was at about the 4 mile mark. I cruised past the mall, down to the turnaround point at a neighborhood trailhead, then back to the mall. I stopped for fuel #2 (Clif Shots Cherry Chocolate gel with caffeine.. I like to work caffeine into my mid-run fuel), and walked into the mall to fill up my water bottles. Back past the mall, and onto the 3rd leg of the tripod-shaped route.
Lest you think I wasn't hydrating sufficiently, my off-trail pitstop confirmed that I'd been drinking more than enough! Nike + notes this mile as taking a few minutes more than the others! This leg was probably the longest. I was still feeling pretty good, though, and it was around this point that I decided heck yes I was doing all 18 today!
The turnaround point here seemed to take forever to reach, but I did reach it, and wolfed down my Honey Stinger waffle... I always save this one for my last fuel stop because they are my favs, and it's something to look forward to! I had two full water bottles at this point, and I was starting to worry about whether or not I'd have enough to get around that lake!
Instead of taking the greenway trail all the way back to the middle of the tripod, I took the street that ran parallel, hoping that someone would be out working in the yard, and that I could beg for some water! Sure enough, there was a nice couple who let me use their hose to refill, and that made the all the difference in me finishing.
I got back to the lake, looped around it, and finished at 17.88 miles.... so I went just a smidge further, because in for a penny, in for a pound! 18 miles, baby.. BY MYSELF! I still cannot believe it!
I'm sore and I feel like I'm 80 years old! I'm probably going to lose 2 more toenails from last weekend's run (oh yeah, it sprinkled again today, but nothing serious... but STILL!). In spite of that, I finished strong, and I am over the moon about today's run!
Thursday, August 11, 2011
I don't know if we are just in the honeymoon period, or if the message has truly gotten across, but it's been a good week for my parents!
I started by calling them about 3x a day to check in. I'm down to 2x now. I make sure they had a good breakfast, ask about their plans for lunch and dinner, and throw out a few suggestions, based on what I know is in the fridge (from this weekend's food prepapalooza).
They have been pleasantly surprised by the fact that they can eat healthy AND it tastes good! More than once I've heard "where did you buy that so-and-so (bread, cereal, sauce)? it's really good!". The best part of all, was when last night, my mom said, "ya know, I feel pretty good".
There's a light at the end of the tunnel, and I hope I can keep them on the straight and narrow. This weekend, my plan is to have another prepapalooza, but with them helping out, to see how easy it is to just prepare a few things ahead of time. I also picked up this month's Rachel Ray magazine, and there's an awesome section on preparing a week's worth of meals in one day. I won't take every meal in there, but I'm borrowing heavily on the ideas, and the way she lays out the plan to show what you use in each recipe. (good recipes this month, too, check it out!).
More to come, I'm interested to see how much stuff did / didn't get used when I get these this weekend!
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