Sunday, September 30, 2012

Catching Up

I haven't updated this in awhile, mainly because nothing noteworthy has happened. I finished August with 89 miles, which is not spectacular but is my biggest month so far this year. Then I was sick for much of September, and ended up with only 54 miles for the month. That includes one big hike. I also did some mountain biking, though not as much as I had hoped.

Hoping to do better in October! If I can break 100 miles this month I will be satisfied with that. I've also re-started my group night trail runs for the winter. We're doing every other Tuesday night, and it is a challenge for me to keep up with the group, given my lack of fitness. So it's a good challenge and motivator for me!

Here are some pics from my hike a few weeks ago:

Monday, August 20, 2012

Weekly Summary: August 13-19

Tuesday - 4 miles, paved
Thursday - 8 miles, trails
Friday - 4 miles, trails
Sunday - 18 miles, gravel/trails/pavement

Total - 34 miles

My biggest week in quite some time, and it felt pretty good. My long run yesterday was largely gravel, with some soft trails and some pavement and some hills. It was good, but I am hurting today. It does give me hope that I could be ready for a longer trail race this fall or winter.

After my post last week about shoes, I went to MEC to get some new trail shoes. I planned to buy another pair of Raptors, but tried on the Electron and Vertical K while I was there. Fell in love with the Electron, and ended up buying a pair.

Mini-review of the Electrons: I really like them. The soles are so cushy that they actually feel springy. Good on hard surfaces and gravel. They're really comfortable. There are only two things that might be a concern on more rocky/technical trails: the toe guard is not as good as the one on the Raptor (I don't know why they would do that), and because the soles are so soft they roll a little more to the sides, so it felt a little less stable at points. But I haven't tried them out on anything really hardcore yet. I think they will end up being my "gentle" trail shoes, and I'll keep wearing the Raptors for the hardcore trails.

Some pics from yesterday's long run:

Monday, August 13, 2012

If Shoes Could Talk

After suffering a little more than normal in the feet department during Saturday's race, I realized that it's time to retire my current trail shoes and get some new ones. They are the Women's Raptors, and they have 700km on them, along with several holes in the uppers. They've served me well.

So before I buy new ones, I went to my shoe rack and pulled out some more pairs that are due to be recycled. I confess that I felt a stab of pain in my heart when I put my beloved old original Raptors into the bag. Those are the shoes I wore for White River in 2010, and I did most of my training in them too.

There is one pair that I have never had the heart to get rid of, my old Sonics. They remain my favourite trail shoe ever, and I am still sad that Sportiva stopped making them. I keep them now for mountain biking and the occasional hike... even though I've had them since 2009. I ran Chuckanut and Forest Park 50k in those shoes.

How do I part with something that has been through so many miles with me? I think back to all those long training runs and all the stories the shoes could tell, if they could talk. All the heartache, all the bliss, all the pain and blisters and black toes and creek crossings and mud pits and rocks and roots and snow, vistas and valleys. The shoes are dirt-covered reminders of all that I love about trail running, and all that I've experienced along the way.

So here is my little tribute to my shoes... since I guess it would be a little weird to keep them all. Also thank you to Sportiva for making the best trail shoes ever!

My original Raptors after my last long training run for White River 2010.

My beloved Sonics after Chuckanut 50k, 2009

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Summary and Race Report

This week was light because of the race on Saturday:
Monday - 6 miles hiking (straight up and straight down so it was a good workout!)
Thursday - 4 miles trail
Saturday - 15 miles race

Total - 25 miles (still higher than the last couple of weeks!)

I was happy with the race, but I am sore today! Thinking about how to get myself in gear for proper training for the next one... I haven't been running enough miles lately to do anything really fun, so that's what I need to work on. I need more consistency, more miles, and a great goal. I do miss being an ultra runner... Yesterday I was a little jealous of the people doing the full 50 miles! So I want to start working towards something. I'm thinking about the new Bellingham Trail Marathon in November, and then maybe a spring 50k.

Full race report here.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Summary (2 weeks!)

July 23-29
Tuesday - 3.1 miles
Thursday - 5 miles, trail
Saturday - 6.2 miles
Sunday - 4 miles

Total - 18.3 miles

July 30-August 5
Monday - Mountain biking
Tuesday - 6.5 miles
Friday - 5.5 miles
Saturday - 3.1 miles
Sunday - 8 miles

Total -  23.1 miles

Wow, my mileage is still stupid low, and yet I haven't felt as though I can increase it. While my fitness does seem to be coming back, I'm really struggling with getting more miles in, or getting long runs in. On the other hand, my runs in general are feeling better than they were a couple of months ago, so I can't complain... it's just taking longer to get it back!

This week upcoming will be light, since I have a 22km trail race on Saturday! :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Weekly Summary & Via Ferrata

Monday - Mountain biking
Wednesday - 2 miles to stretch out my muscles (sore from Monday!)
Saturday - 10 miles, paved
Sunday - 3.1 miles with the puppy, then Via Ferrata

Total: 15.1 miles - still nothing great but better than last week!

For those who haven't heard of it, Via Ferrata is basically scaling the face of a mountain but with the assistance of strategically placed iron rungs and ropes. This way you don't have to be a climber; but that's not to say that it's easy! It was hard work and I ended up with some sore muscles and bruised knees. We were hoping for sunny skies so that we'd have views of the mountains around us, but unfortunately it was cloudy. I want to go again sometime when it is sunny and we have a view! Nevertheless, it was a great experience!

Before starting the Via Ferrata, we did the Peak2Peak gondola:

Then off on our adventure:

Lots of snow on top of the mountain!

Overall, a great adventure. I want to do it again on a sunny day!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weekly Summary: July 9-15

Not much to tell this week, since I only ran twice (oops):
Monday - mountain biking (2 hours plus commuting)
Thursday - 5 miles, trail
Saturday - 3.1 miles, road, plus about 10km of walking

Total: 8.1 miles

Yeah, a pretty low week and I don't have an excuse so I will have to do better this week! I am planning to go mountain biking twice this week, as well.

Then next Sunday is Via Ferrata!! 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Weekly Summary: July 2-8

Tuesday - 5 miles road
Thursday - 5 miles trail - hit a tree and got a nice, puffy bruise on my left knee
Friday - 3.1 miles, trail - pretty much a hike out and run back... big climb!
Sunday - 11.5 miles - all but the last mile was trails

This week felt so incredible compared to the struggle that I've had over the past couple of months. I'm still slower than normal, but my runs are starting to feel good again! It helps that most of my runs were on trails this week instead of pavement (so much better for the body AND the mind!).

It also helps that summer has finally arrived! I just love being on the trails when it's sunny and warm outside. I always feel like I'm on holidays when I'm out there. :)

Today's long run was with some trail buddies. We went out to Norvan Falls, which is always enjoyable. We stopped at the falls and also at Third Debris Chute to get some cold water on our hot, salty skin; it felt so nice. I was actually concerned beforehand that I wouldn't be able to keep up to the group, since I've been struggling with that lately, but I felt fine and the pace worked for me. I actually felt as though my fitness is coming back. Exciting!

Might just be ready by race day on August 11! :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

"You run too much"

Well, it's been over a year since I posted here! I am going to try to get back on track, just as I am trying to get my running back on track.

This is how the past year looked:
  • June 2011 - 77 miles. Started dating someone who told me that I run too much and need to try other things. 
  • July 2011 - 72.5 miles. Trying new things while attempting to keep my running at a maintenance level.
  • August 2011 - 72 miles. Still managing to maintain, still being told I run too much. 
  • September 2011 - 69.9 miles. Having a hard time balancing everything.
  • October 2011 - 47.3 miles. First time bungee jumping. 
  • November 2011 - 62 miles. In spite of the decreases, I managed a 10km pb of 54:12. 
  • December 2011 - 48 miles. Still being told I run too much. 
  • January 2012 - 48.2 miles. Thinking about 2012 races, missing being an ultra runner, and missing trail running. 
  • February 2012 - 19.3 miles. Low enough? No, I still "run too much". Start learning how to swim.
  • March 2012 - 25 miles. Still working on swimming. Missing long runs on the trails. 
  • April 2012 - 52 miles. Stop dating the person holding me back. Start trying to get my fitness back. Still swimming. Discover that I've gained 5lb over the past year.
  • May 2012 - 65.2 miles. My fitness is slow coming back. Still swimming. First whitewater rafting trip.
  • June 2012 - 65.4 miles, including some hiking. Every run is a struggle. Swam 3 times and then decided that it's going on the backburner until winter, so that I can go mountain biking once a week instead. :) 
And that brings us to July. As you can guess, I learned a few things over the past year! ;) But now I am really struggling to get my fitness back. It's strange to me that two years ago I went from injured to 50 miles in just 6 months, but right now I am struggling to do even 20k runs. I really hope the balance starts to tip soon and I start feeling better on my runs! I keep telling myself that it will come as I keep working at it.

For motivation, I am doing the 22.5km option at the Squamish50 on August 11. Having a goal keeps me moving forward, and I am excited about the race.

I am also considering a 50km in October. It will be a challenge to be ready for that, but again the goal is key for keeping me motivated. I'll decide that based on how things go the next few weeks.

Lesson learned: Running makes me happy. Being pressured not to run makes me unhappy. I won't make that mistake again!