Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It had been twelve years

....since I did a hill workout. Until this morning.

Until this morning, my most recent hill workout was from an era in which I didn't know about technical fabric, runner food, or running shoes that didn't come off the clearance rack at Shoe Carnival. With both L&C and the US National Half looming, it was time to bring my hill workouts into the 21st century.

The total workout was 3.8 miles, broken down like this:

warm-up: 0.95 M
interval: 0.23
recovery: 0.23
(repeat interval and recovery 3 more times)
cool-down: 0.95

I need to call in some help. RunningFirst, TNT Coach Ken, I'm looking at you guys. (or others if you know hills!) I'm a little out of practice on hill workouts. How many intervals should I be running? What total distance? What pace, if I'm hoping for a 4:30 marathon? My interval paces were 9:00/mi, 8:52/mi, 8:26/mi, and 8:11/mi. Not exactly speedy, even though it felt fast at the time. What do I need to be doing? Help!! I'm planning to do hills again next Wednesday and need a game plan.

349.3 + 4.5 + 3.8 = 357.7 miles
And it's official--I've covered more miles in July than I did in May and June combined. Which is both sad and fabulous. Go me? Go me!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I thought those were warnings!

"I thought those were warnings!"
"They were warnings"
"No one warned me."

Anyone? Anyone know that movie? Clue: Vaughn and Stiller. And I love it.

But seriously, this heat. I was warned. I was told when I interviewed here that the summers are hotter even than in ATL and other cities you'd expect to be insanely hot. I was warned. But I didn't, truthfully, believe it. I thought, oh sure, I've lived in hot places before. I lived in Phoenix one summer. I can handle this. This is not a big deal.

Wrong. This is a big deal. We were under an "Excessive Heat Warning" for most of last week. The city has set up shelters for people who live without air conditioning. People died. This is serious heat.

What does that mean for yours truly? Yesterday at 6:30am I headed out for a 10-miler. The first 4.5 or so weren't too bad. I actually kind of enjoyed them. It got miserable after that. I was running through sprinklers and poured water over my head to cool off a few times. What didn't occur to me until I got in the shower (wincing) was that wet fabric (even technical fabric) rubs more...and eventually that becomes problematic. I'm glad I got through the run. It was pretty critical for my training cycle. High five for that.

335.2 + 3.9 + 10.2 = 349.3 miles

AND...I promised pictures of the crazy beautiful neighborhood I've been running through. Today I took the babe for a walk through that neighborhood, so I can finally share!

I don't want to over-sell. Not every house in the neighborhood is like these. But enough of them are that when you walk, run, or drive through, you can't help but stare just a little. Welcome to New Running Path #2.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Moving edition part 3: Settling in

I cannot BELIEVE I haven't blogged in over two weeks. I don't really know what to say about the last few weeks. Let me see if I can sum it up quickly: I was so completely over moving, I actually got sick. I even missed a long run. It was super helpful to have my dad here, but by the time he headed out last weekend, I think even he was sick of talking about window treatments. We still have the daily freak-out because we can't find something, but we are gradually starting to feel like we actually live here.

While the boxes got unpacked, daycares interviewed, job-things set up, and window treatments found, I explored running paths near the house. One of my favorites is the HUGE park right down the street from my house. This is a picture of the entrance taken by The Beastie during their 4th of July visit. The park is 289 acres, with many paths through it, the longest being the ~3.5 mile path near the perimeter.

* As a sidenote (I tried to post this last time but for some reason it didn't appear in the post): Some of you have asked why I keep some information out of my blog. Basically, it's just an effort to keep my professional and personal lives separate. I don't actually care if you know what city I live in, as long as you can't Google me and find this blog. So, a big clue: I see a great big arch multiple times every day. Oh, and the Clydesdales are here, which is just friggin' cool.

This morning I dragged myself out of bed for a pre-work run. It was one of the best runs I've had since moving here. It felt easy, the weather wasn't blistering, and I got to explore a GORGEOUS neighborhood. Seriously. I will run it again tomorrow or Friday and take a few pictures. Another plus is that my new neighborhood is all hills, so I am NOT hard-pressed to get hills in. Hills and long runs I should be good for. Speed work I am still working on figuring out. I think I'm close to a solution on that.

In general, I'm feeling a little behind in my training plan. I shouldn't be surprised. It's been a chaotic at best summer. But things are starting to settle down, so my mileage should get more consistent for a while. Keep me in check, guys. 73 days until L&C!! On deck this weekend--10 miler!

mileage: 306.1 + a bunch of stuff = 335.2 miles

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Moving edition part 2: the importance of moving truck insurance

Ok, ok. It's been a while. I know. But, I have good news! I've found at least one AWESOME running route here in my new city! But before I get to that, I'm going to give you the blink-and-you'll-miss-it version of our move.

On the 22nd, I drove down with my Dad for the closing. All went smoothly and by evening we were unloading the cars into the new place. Over the next 4ish days we painted 5 rooms. I had to laugh at us when, well after dark, we were both crammed in this little half bath with a ladder trying to paint. The room is so small, it was comically stupid to move either of us or the ladder. And without sunlight, we couldn't reasonably tell if we'd painted well or not. All said, I think the painting projects turned out well. Even if the guy at the paint counter at Home Depot was on a first name basis with us by the end.

Living for 5 days on just the stuff we could fit in our cars (which were mostly full of the things we didn't want to put in the moving truck, like crystal) meant vaguely camping in a house. For instance, this is the extent of our available dishware.

While it was just Dad and me here, I took him to the Botanical Garden and to lunch at my new favorite lunch place, as a belated birthday present (he knew I had something planned, he just didn't know what). We had a nice time, and it was nice to learn a bit of the history of this town when we toured the "country house" at the botanical garden.

Jump to Sunday (6/27). We headed back to the old place to help round up the last of the packing, then pick up the truck on Monday. We had moving helpers come to load the truck. When they were finished I moved the truck out of our driveway and to the curb for the night. In the process of doing this I....

(Photo courtesy of one of The Minnesotans, who outed my driving skillz on Facebook)

Yep. Drove over our mailbox with a 26' moving truck. Tire tracks and everything. *$!@!!
(And a HUGE thank you to our wonderful, wonderful friends for helping us finish up the loading that night!)

The actual drive to the new town was pretty easy. A little slow, but not bad. The guys we hired to unload did a great job. And thus we commenced living in a box village.

With Pepper, my Dad, Mr. Joanna, me, and the babe (who is adorable but the opposite of helpful), we commenced unpacking. And unpacking. And unpacking. And figuring out that the guy who lives behind us can open our garage door with his garage door opener, which is sort of another comical story. All told, we're getting there. One day hopefully soonish, we'll live in something that looks like a home. I'm smiling thinking of how close we really are!

On the training front, I went WAAAAAAY too many days without a run (11 to be exact) during this epic transition. BUT, I got back to training on Friday and found an awesome path. I will post pics soon!! There is a park near my house that is almost 4 miles around, tons of trees, water fountains, non-car paths. Basically the perfect running route. I am one happy Joanna Running. So, re-commence training for Lewis & Clark! The Friday run was a little rough. I mean, 11 days off. It was a little rough. My lungs wanted to know who I thought I was kidding. But the longer run on Saturday was awesome. It felt so good to be back at it. Time to rack up some miles.

mileage: 293.3 + 3.9 + 3.6 + 5.1 = 306.1 miles (I know that doesn't add up...I've given up on reconciling and am just relying on runningahead to keep it right)

And to be clear, even though I haven't elaborated on all my goodbyes, that is not an indication that they were easy. We only moved about 3 hours away, so I'm very hopeful that we will be able to see our friends who are still there from time to time. Today was great but really hard. The Beastie and her husband came to visit for the 4th, and when they left, they left to go home and pack for their huge move back east. I wasn't ready for that.