Tuesday, September 02, 2014

NFIM Training - Week 8

Goal: 41 miles, no workout, 16-mile long run
Reality: 41.75 miles (includes 1 mile of walking), no workout, 16.25-mile long run

Monday: Easy Run
Distance: 3.5 miles
Time & Pace: 34:28 (9:50)
Shoes: Adidas Glide Boost

Just an easy run to start out the week. I ran a mile in the park and the rest of it in the neighborhood. I felt okay, not good or bad.

Tuesday: Easy Run w/ Fast Finish
Distance: 8 miles (w/ half-mile walk afterward)
Time & Pace: 1:18:43 (9:50)
Shoes: Saucony Kinvara

I couldn't seem to figure out what I wanted to do with this run. I was going to do 8 miles from the house, and that just seemed awful. I moved over to the towpath, and I still couldn't decide what distance I wanted to do. As I kept running, I still felt okay and ended up doing the 8 miles. When I was finishing up the run, I decided to run the last mile hard. I finished in 9 minutes, and I felt okay. I feel like finishing fast should be my thing. The way I ran, I ended up hitting 8 miles about a half-mile from the car, which was perfect. Not a bad morning.

Tuesday: 5k Training Group
Distance: 2 miles
Time & Pace: NA
Shoes: New Balance 890

Not much to say about this run. I ran the first mile and ran/walked the second mile. It was extremely humid on Tuesday, so I was glad that I wasn't running hard that night.

Wednesday: Easy Run
Distance: 5 miles
Time & Pace: 45:00 (9:00)
Shoes: Adidas Glide Boost

It was less humid, so that was a relief. I took it easy for the first 2.5 miles, and I really picked it up for the second half. I negative-split the run, and I know my last mile was 8:15, which is probably the fastest mile I've run in August.

Thursday: Easy Run
Distance: 3 miles
Time & Pace: 29:50 (9:56)
Shoes: Asics Gel Lyte

Just a 3-miler before work. I won't go into details right now, but there have been feline issues in the house this week, so I was up early this morning. I still ended up getting to work about 10 minutes later than I wanted to. (I wrote this on Thursday, so I'll do another post about the kitties, and it might even publish before this recap does!)

Friday: Off

Saturday: Long Run
Distance: 16.25 miles
Time & Pace: 2:38:46 (9:46)
Shoes: Adidas Glide Boost

This run was GREAT. Seriously, I have no complaints. I met a friend at 6:30 am to get in 7+ miles before the group's 9 miles. I was really steady around a sub-10 pace, and I dropped the pace a bit for the last 3 miles. Pretty much a negative split.

Sunday: Easy TM Run
Distance: 3 miles (+ .5 walking)
Time & Pace: 30 minutes (10:00)
Shoes: Brooks PureFlow 2

The weather was iffy, and I only had 3 miles so I headed to the basement treadmill for some tv watching while I ran. Nothing too exciting, but all good.

Friday, August 29, 2014


Not much to update on Duncan, but I figured I would update a little.

He was normal last night, maybe a little twitchy? But honestly he's always a weird cat, so it's hard to say if we're seeing more weirdness than normal or if we're projecting after yesterday's episode.

I called the vet this morning, and I talked to one of the techs. She said that since his appetite is normal and he's acting normally right now (no diarrhea or vomiting, regular activity levels), I don't need to bring him in. Just keep an eye on him and watch for any changes. I'm keeping a log, so hopefully yesterday's episode is the only one!

Although honestly, I do expect another episode at some point and a vet visit sooner than later, but maybe he'll just be mild and weird his whole life :)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Feline Drama

This week has been all about the kitties.

Valentino: Last Friday, he started sneezing and had watery eyes and generally didn't seem to feel well, although his appetite was fine. We monitored the situation over the weekend, and if he'd deteriorated or lost his appetite, we would have taken him to the emergency vet. However, we figured it was a cold or allergies and nothing to worry too much about. On Monday, he still wasn't better, so I called the vet's office and they wanted me to bring him in.

And... it's allergies! But the vet counted it as his annual exam so it was fine. The doctor examined him and found no sign of infection. They told me to give 2 mg of the active ingredient in Chlor-Trimeton (that's half of a pill) every 12 hours while symptoms present. I also brought up his clicking paws, and he's now on a joint supplement treat (two times a day for four to six weeks, then one a day).

Valentino was easy. Duncan's new issue probably isn't.

Early this morning, Aaron woke me up because Duncan was running around crazy, furiously biting and licking his arms and flank at times. His eyes were dilated; he seemed like he was on drugs. These are all signs of hyperesthesia.

He wasn't aggressive, didn't respond negatively to touch, wasn't vocal, didn't have rippling skin, wasn't twitchy, which are other, very common signs of hyperesthesia. So although he's not showing all of the signs, I think chances are good that he has it. It tends to affect younger cats, between 1 and 5 years of age, and it's unclear how it happens. Petting, especially along the spine, can cause an episode. It's a hypersensitivity thing, and he wasn't sensitive to my touch. I don't know if future episodes will get worse and include those sorts of symptoms.

After a couple of hours, it was kind of like Duncan crashed. He slept, became calmer, although it took quite a while for his eyes to go back to normal. And then he was normal again: Wanted to eat, wanted to play with Tino, etc.

Update to come later, after a vet appointment.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

NFIM Training - Week 7

After last week's disaster, I want this week to be good! We may be changing up my training, but I don't know. This isn't the best week for me to get guidance on my training so I'll probably just follow the plan as written and adjust later.

Goal: 39 miles, 9-mile workout (5 ins & outs, 9:10 and 9:40), 14-mile long run
Reality: 39.5 miles, no workout, 14-mile long run

In discussions with my coach-like person, we decided to skip the workouts and just run. So I did just that and will likely do that the next week as well.

How am I feeling? Tired. I need to spend a little more time caring for my body. More sleep, better fuel, lots of rolling and "restorative yoga" (legs up the wall/leg draining).

Monday: Easy Run
Distance: 5 miles
Time & Pace: 49:35 (9:55)
Shoes: Brooks PureFlow 2

I had intended to do a trail run, but when I got to the trailhead, I just wasn't feeling it. I swapped shoes and headed south on the towpath. I started feeling hungry, so after a mile, I turned around to go back to the car and grab a gel. Then I went north on the towpath and ended up on the trail for about a mile or so. Ultimately I ended up with 5 miles for the day, including a nice uphill to the trail.

I felt okay, not extraordinarily tired and not all that great either.

Tuesday: NoBo
Distance: 4 miles (2 before, 2 w/ NoBo)
Time & Pace: NA
Shoes: New Balance 890

It was really hot and humid, so I was glad to just do 2 before the group. I was drenched in sweat and wishing I'd brought my handheld bottle for the run.

Wednesday: Easy Run
Distance: 5.25 miles
Time & Pace: 51:00 (9:42)
Shoes: Adidas Glide Boost

This should have been my workout for the week, but in conversations with my coach-like person, we decided to nix the workout for the week and just do the distance. I decided to split the distance so I could run at the pub run after work. It was raining like crazy so 9 miles before work wasn't going to happen anyhow. Luckily I was able to run sans rain. Overall, the 5.25 miles were decent, and I finished faster than I started.

Wednesday: Pub Run
Distance: 3.75
Time & Pace: 35:00 (9:20)
Shoes: Asics Gel Lyte

I feel like that pace is false because there are so many stops during the pub runs, but regardless, K and I ran it quickly. Felt good, although it was definitely a positive split run.

Thursday: off

Friday: Long Run
Distance: 14 miles
Time & Pace: 2:24:30 (10:19)
Shoes: Saucony Kinvara

Ah, this run. I met two friends for this run. One was doing 20 miles, and the other was doing 13. The person doing 20 ended up with 15. I did cover the 14 miles, but the last 4 to 4.5 miles were brutal. My pace fell off dramatically, and I ran/walked the last 2.5 miles. Not my greatest performance, but it was super-humid.

Saturday: 5k Training Group
Distance: 3 miles
Time & Pace: 45 minutes (15:00)
Shoes: New Balance 890

Pace doesn't matter for these runs. Typically, I run half of it and then run/walk the second half. We did the hill, which was a little bit of a shock for the group. It went relatively well though.

Sunday: Easy Run
Distance: 4 miles (w/ half-mile walk after)
Time & Pace: 39:00 (9:45)
Shoes: Brooks PureFlow 3

This was just an easy run from Aaron's dad's house. I ran into the nearby Metropark because I was wanted the shade. It was mid-afternoon after I'd eaten lunch and had a latte. I can't complain about my pace because it was just fine. I actually felt okay even though I was full and didn't bring any water. I ended with a half-mile walk afterward, which felt pretty good.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

2014 Parkersburg Half-Marathon Race Recap

This race was so embarrassing that I don't really want to do a recap, but I think I need to.

Goal: 16 miles with 13.1 miles at 9 to 9:05 pace
Reality: 16 miles with 13.1 miles at 9:48 pace (which was also the overall pace of the run)

GIANT FAIL. But let's backtrack.

6am: Alarm goes off, and I get up. Between 6 and 7, I get ready, eat a Clif bar and have some water.

7am-ish: Aaron and I head to the start, which is about 1.5 miles away. This is perfect because I am supposed to cover 16 miles. I bring a small bottle of Gatorade with me with the intention of drinking it before the run.

8am: The race starts, and I am carrying the Gatorade with a few drinks taken out of it. The first couple of miles are just under 9 minutes, so I'm on track. Right before Mile 3 at a water stop, I took a drink of the Gatorade and tossed the bottle; it was nearly full.

Mile 3 is essentially a long hill. My pace dropped substantially, and I was over 9:40, I think. Mile 4 was back to 8:50, so I was still close to being on track. Sometime after 3, I took Gatorade at a water stop, and that was the only time I took Gatorade instead of water.

At the 10k mark, my overall pace had dropped to 9:23, which is still okay. It was unlikely that I could recover and sub-2 the race, but I could still have a good race. I took a gel around mile 6, I think. I should have taken it earlier.

After the 10k mark, I really fell apart though. There were a few times where I was almost crying, and it felt like I was going to have a panic attack. My pace kept slowing, and I couldn't pick it up, even on downhills. My legs were spasming during this time too.

I was trying to figure out how I could run off the course, still get in my 16 miles and get back to the house. I don't know the area nearly well enough to do that, so I kept trucking.

Mile 12 is a pretty big hill, and I took a second gel right before the hill. It was too late. I stopped and walked for about 30 seconds, maybe 45 seconds. Then I felt really bad about myself and started running again. It was pathetic, and that mile clocked in around 11 minutes.

The last mile is basically downhill, and I couldn't get my legs to turn over at all. It was almost 10:30. I saw a sign that said "Pain is temporary, but internet results are forever." I wanted to cry. I finally got to the finish where Aaron was waiting, and I burst into tears. It was awful.

I drank a bottle of water, ate a banana and then headed back to Ali's. I ran faster uphill back to her place than I did the last mile.

One thing I know I did wrong was forgetting it was a 16-mile run, not just the race. For a half, two gels and Gatorade is enough. That said, I only took Gatorade once and that was, what?, an ounce or two. Aaron thinks I don't eat enough beforehand and that the Clif bar isn't quick enough energy. Maybe he's right.

But the biggest thing is that I gave up, and I don't really know what to do about that one.

Monday, August 18, 2014

NFIM Training - Week 6

I'm a little nervous about this week. I am doing the Parkersburg half-marathon on Saturday, and I have a very ambitious time goal of sub-2ing that bitch. We'll see! (I'm doing this recap as I go. Clearly the half should deserve its own post.)

Goal: 41 miles, 9-mile workout w/ 3 miles 60 on/60 float, 16-mile long run
Reality: 37.25 miles, 9-mile workout w/ 3 miles 60 on/60 float, 16-mile long run

Monday: Easy Run
Distance: 4 TM miles
Time & Pace: 40 minutes, 10 pace
Shoes: Brooks PureFlow 2

It was raining and awful, so I just did this run in the basement on the treadmill. I'm watching The Secret Circle on Netflix, and it was the perfect length. The treadmill is getting a little iffy though.

Tuesday: 60 On/60 Float Workout
Distance: 9 miles
Time & Pace: 1:29:30, 9:56 pace
Shoes: Adidas Glide Boost

The pace isn't important for this run, obviously. I ran on the Towpath near the house, so I warmed up by going out 1.5 miles past downtown and back. Then the workout started! For 3 miles, I basically ran hard for 60 seconds and then "floated" for 60 seconds. I didn't have any time goals for those intervals, so I don't really know if I did okay or not. I think my range was too wide, and I was beat by the end of the 3 miles. Those 3 miles back to my car were not good.

60 seconds on: ranged from 7:43 to 8:57, averaged 8:23
60 seconds float: ranged from 9:58 to 10:54, averaged 10:31

Wednesday: off (well, 1.25-mile walk)

After Tuesday's workout, I was feeling pretty tired. I talked with J (boss and "coach"), and he told me to take Wednesday off. I had planned to run 8 miles or so in order to get my 41 miles for the week. I will be short of 41 miles, and that's okay. (I keep telling myself that!)

But it was weird to not run with the half-marathon training group. I took a walk and socialized while they were running their 5 miles. Everyone did so well, and I was a little jealous not to be part of it.

Thursday: Easy Neighborhood Run
Distance: 3.5 miles
Time & Pace: 10:30 pace
Shoes: Hoka Bondi

This run didn't feel good at all. J told me to do 4 on Thursday and maybe 4 on Friday. I ran before work, and I was back at the house at 3.5 and didn't see a point in slogging along for another half-mile. I'm not sure if I'll run on Friday. If I do, it'll likely be 3.

Friday: Easy Neighborhood Run
Distance: 3.5 miles
Time & Pace: 10:04 pace
Shoes: Adidas Glide Boost

This run felt better and required less effort than Thursday's run, so that's good!

Saturday: Long Run
Distance: 16 miles
Time & Pace: 2:21, 9:48 pace
Shoes: Saucony Kinvara

This looks like an acceptable long run, except that there was the Parkersburg half-marathon in there, and I totally crashed and burned. Clearly, I did not sub-2 that bitch or get anywhere close to that. I sincerely almost quit, but I wasn't sure how to get back to Ali's if I did so. It was awful. I feel like I've already talked about it a lot, but I should probably do a race recap to help identify where things went wrong.

Sunday: Off

I took Sunday off even though I was supposed to do a 3-miler. I needed the day to recharge.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

NFIM Training - Week 5

This is a bit of a down week and also my first week with any sort of workout. Here goes!

(I'm drafting this post and updating it periodically throughout the week instead of recapping everything at once. I'm hoping I'll include more info that will be useful to future me.)

Goal: 39 miles, ins & outs workout (7 miles), 14-mile long run
Reality: 39.83 miles, workout and long run accomplished as prescribed

Distance: 5 miles
Time & Pace: 56 minutes, 11:12 pace
Shoes: Nike Terra Kigers

Monday was the last night of our summer trail mixers. Most of the group planned to go longer, so I turned around with another woman at the 2.5-mile mark. I knew I had a workout to do the next morning, so I didn't want to kill myself. It was an easy trail run. The bridle trail at Bedford Reservation is pretty kind, very runnable, although there is a new mountain bike trail that is more difficult. There were a lot of bikers out so it didn't seem wise to do a group run on the trail.

Tuesday: Workout
Distance: 7 miles
Time & Pace: 1:09:47, 9:58 pace
Shoes: Saucony Kinvara 5

This was my first workout for this training cycle! It's called an "in & out," and the purpose is to train you to recover at your marathon pace. Because I don't really have a time goal, we're using 9:40 as my marathon pace (sub-4:15). This was my first one so it wasn't too long.

Miles 1-3: warmup in 31-something. Funny thing. I started on the Towpath at Mustill Store. I started with 1 mile south and planned to go 3 down to Big Bend and then back. Unfortunately the Towpath is closed between Mustill and Memorial, so after my first mile, I had to hop in the car and go to Memorial Parkway. Glad it was in the middle of the warmup and not during the workout.

Mile 4: 9:07 (goal 9:10)
Mile 5: 9:39 (goal 9:40)
Mile 6: 9:09 (goal 9:10)

Mile 7: 9:55 cooldown

I can only say that the workout was a success, right? I had a lot of trouble finding the paces, and I just let my watch tell me what to do. I hope that gets easier. The Akron portion of the Towpath isn't quite as flat as Brecksville, but it's fine (it's a little hilly going toward downtown).

Tuesday: 5k Group
Distance: 1.5 miles
Time & Pace: doesn't really matter
Shoes: New Balance 890

Wednesday: HM Group
Distance: 6 miles (2 before group, 4 w/ group on the hill)
Time & Pace: 58 minutes, 9:58 pace)
Shoes: Newton Distance III

I felt pretty good during this run, but I didn't push the pace at all.

Thursday: off

Friday: Easy Run
Distance: 3.25 miles
Time & Pace: 32:50, 10:06 pace
Shoes: Adidas Glide Boosts

I was definitely sluggish on this run, but I warmed up and finished feeling okay.

Saturday: 5k Group
Distance: 3 miles
Time & Pace: 33 minutes, 11 pace
Shoes: New Balance 890

I ran the turnaround sign out for the half group beforehand, and then I ran with the 5k group. All was well.

Sunday: Long Run
Distance: 14 miles
Time & Pace: 2:19, 9:55 pace
Shoes: Saucony Kinvara

It was a little humid that morning, but I felt okay. I stayed under 10-minute pace for the last 5 miles, so that's good. I wasn't trying to do much but finish the run feeling okay. Mission accomplished.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

NFIM Training - Week 4

There's not a whole lot to say about last week's training. I did what I was supposed to -- 41 miles with no workouts and a 16-mile long run -- and I ran six days and hit the gym twice. But for consistency's sake, here goes:

5.25-mile trail run with Aaron at Sand Run Metro Park. I led us on my usual loop that starts with a quarter-mile or so on the Towpath and hits both Dogwood and Mingo trails. It's nice, it wasn't speedy (1:05 for a 12:22 pace).

I ran to and from the gym before work, which is 4 miles, and it took me about 38:30. I did some strength-training at the gym (duh). Later on, I did 1.5 miles with the 5k group.

The half-marathon group had 5 miles, but I wanted to do 6. I ran out 2.5 with the group and then continued on so I was solo for 3.5 miles. I caught the tail of the group, so that made me happy. It was quick for me -- 54:25 -- and I was happy that I held the 9ish pace throughout.


My long run day! I had 16 on the schedule, and I managed to find some company.

  • Miles 1-3 with K at a 10:35ish pace
  • Miles 4-7 solo at a 10ish pace
  • Miles 8-10.5 with A at a mid-9 pace
  • Miles 11-16 solo at mostly a mid to high 9s pace (last mile at 9:10)

I ended up just barely coming in with a 10-minute pace. I'm pretty happy with that. I wore my Adidas Glides, which may have been a mistake. Or maybe not. Still testing those babies out. I ate an English muffin with butter and cinnamon sugar for breakfast; I also took a gel at miles 4, 8 and 12. I don't know if it was too often, but I felt okay -- I may stick with every 4 miles for a while.

I started with 2 miles with the 5k training group and finished up with 5.25 miles for the day.

To get to 41, I had to do 3 miles. I ended up doing them at the gym; I followed that with a strength session.

Overall, I hit my training for Week 4, and I am happy with that. I'm feeling okay, although I'm starting to feel tired. I'm trying to stretch and foam-roll and use my Addaday more regularly. I've also had some plantar faschiitis twinges, but I think they might be related to my New Balance 890s breaking down. I wear those with the 5k training group, and I think I need to start bringing shoes to swap for my Saturday post-5k group runs. Or get some new ones. In any case, I have iced a little (the frozen water bottle for the left foot and also a little on my left knee).

I keep track of my shoes' mileage on my spreadsheet, but I wonder if I should do so here as well (with more details) in case I ever come back to this...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

NFIM Training - Week 3

Week 3 was another success!

Goal: 39 miles, no workouts, 14-mile long run
Reality: 39 miles, no workouts, 14-mile long run

  • Monday: off. After rally times and running Sunday evening (even though it was a paltry 3.5 miles), I was tired Monday. I got lazy.
  • Tuesday: 8-mile easy run in the morning (1:20); 1.5-mile NoBo run. I didn't exactly intend to run 8 miles on Tuesday morning, but I ran around. Once I got to the park, I felt better so I decided to do the 2-mile trail loop in the park and then head home. Given 2 miles on trails, a 10-minute pace is good.
  • Wednesday: strength-training in the morning; 4-mile hill run w/ HM group (35:15). That's definitely the fastest I have run the hill. Now I want to do it under 35. 
  • Thursday: off. I planned it. 
  • Friday: 8-mile easy run (1:19). Originally I didn't intend to do another 8-mile run, but one of the girls in the HM group couldn't run on Saturday so I told her I'd join her. It was a perfect morning for running.
  • Saturday: 3.5-mile run (2 miles in 19 + NoBo). With 14 on the schedule for Sunday, I just wanted to do enough mileage to get my 39 miles for the week. So I did.
  • Sunday: 14-mile long run (2:21). A few people from the HM group couldn't run on Saturday, so they planned to do 8 or 9 on Sunday. I planned ahead for that and did 5 beforehand and then 9 with them. It was HUMID. I swear, it was the sweatiest I've ever been, but overall, this was successful. I ran the last 5 miles under a 10-minute pace, so overall, win. 
Ideally, I would have run six days, but with two 8-mile runs, five was the magic number. This week will be similar for the week, but I'm doing my 16-mile long run on Friday. By myself. Entirely by myself. I'm nervous. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


I can't believe that I haven't introduced Duncan!

We don't know his story before we got him, but I'm happy we did. He hasn't warmed up to us completely, although he's friendly and sweet, just not really cuddly yet. But he LOVES Valentino. He's like Tino's little brother. He follows him around, likes to be right next to him ALL THE TIME. 

After Winston died, Valentino was clearly lonely. He and Dubs were besties, and Tino had never been without him. Aaron and I started talking about bringing on a friend. I ended up at Petsmart by myself one day. BIG mistake. Well, not really -- that's how we ended up with Duncan. Valentino was NOT happy with the new cat at first. We learned that he indeed can hiss and growl. Luckily after a week, he was okay with Duncan. Now they play and wrestle, although sometimes I think Tino isn't playing.

Duncan is still jumpy around us (more Aaron than me though), and he doesn't 100% trust us yet. It appears he was a stray/feral and abused in some manner, but he's relaxing. He has Tino so he's happy. He's starting to seek out attention from us more, which is appreciated. (And yes, he clearly eats his feelings.)

There are a couple of odd things about Duncan. One is that his ear was cropped to identify him as neutered. That's common in trap-neuter-release programs, less common for shelters and rescues, but not uncommon. There's also this "bad leg." We're not sure if there's nerve damage or what. When I took him to the vet, the nail was super-long, so that was part of it. He still doesn't seem to have as much control over it. That is getting better, though, so we're just keeping an eye on it for now. It doesn't affect his ability to run, jump and play; he just slides and slips occasionally.

We've had him for just over five weeks now, and we're all settling in. Duncan still doesn't feel like OUR cat yet, but he will! I'm enjoying getting to know him.