Friday, April 15, 2011

Pathetic

I am not a good sick person.

Greg and I had our Friday morning all planned out.  He was going to pace me to a 10K PR.  My best 10K time is 53:45 and my sweet husband had me paced to run a 53:06. He came up with our route through the neighborhood and all the mile splits for the entire run....9:15, 8:45, 8:45, 8:30, 8:15, 8:00, and 1:36 for the final .2 miles.  As soon as we dropped the kidlets off at school we were hitting the streets and attempting to make me puke.

Before we went to bed last night I was having what I thought was a bad allergy attack.  I took some allergy meds, but it didn't help.  My throat started hurting, and my nose was running like you wouldn't believe.  Yeah, not allergies.

I constantly woke up in the middle of the night with the worst sore throat EVER.  (well, not really, because the kind of sore throat you get after an endoscopy and esophogeal dilation is way worse).  But you get my point.  Massive discomfort all night.

Finally I gave in.  I WAS SICK. And pissed off about it.  Finally got up the nerve to kill myself for a fabulous 10K time and got sidelined at the last possible moment.

To make matters worse, I am supposed to be a volunteer at the Zooma Half Marathon tomorrow in Bastrop.  I got assigned to the finish line even!  But noooooo.....now I'll be at home being pathetic.

If this illness keeps me from my new cowboy boots and Zac Brown Band concert on Sunday night all hell will break loose, I'm telling you.

(On a side note.....GOOD LUCK to all my fabulous friends who I won't be seeing after all tomorrow as they have fabulous races in gorgeous weather on an awesome race route in a beautiful part of Central Texas).

BLAH.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

All about Cadence

I spent my entire run this morning - all 5 miles of it - working on my cadence. I counted my steps per minute for probably 30 out of the 46 minutes of the run.  That's A LOT of counting.

Why? 

I'm a terrible heel striker and this has created problems for me with my running over the years.  My stride is just too long, forcing my forefoot to hit the ground heel first.  A little heel striking isn't terrible, but too much creates injuries.  Add that to my overpronating and I'm just an ugly runner sometimes. 

NOT SO PRETTY

Occasionally I have a pretty stride. 

PRETTY....

So basically my goal before marathon training starts again in August is to work on my cadence.  I got the inspiration to really start focusing on this after reading a blog from blogger buddy Steve here. Steve has recently been sidelined from running due to injury so his awesome physical therapist analyzed his running gait and had interesting things to say about it.  Steve's a lot faster than me naturally and his cadence should be about 180 footstrikes per minute.  I figured mine was probably about 140-150 per minute and I should try to keep it above 160.  By forcing a quicker turnover of my footstrikes I wouldn't have time to heel strike as my foot would more naturally fall flatter in front of me. 

On a side note, when watching the video of the 5K point at the Austin Marathon, I totally noticed that my non-existent boobs seemed to be bouncing more than they should have been.  Again, I'm an ugly runner because that just shouldn't be physically possible.

So out I trekked for a 5 miler.  I paid absolutely no attention to my pace, but merely concentrated on a faster cadence, counting my footstrikes per minute.  I was generally falling at about 160 footstrikes per minute exactly.  But I had to concentrate on it...I could feel myself wanting to extend my legs further in front of me and slow down my cadence.  Keeping quick turnover felt sluggish and weird, but I kept it up.  I surprisingly had a first mile at 9:18, about 30 seconds faster than how I felt.  So far so good.

It's amazing how quickly a run can go by when you are concentrating so much on counting steps minute after minute.  Before I knew it I was over 3 miles in the run. Awesome!  But I couldn't slack off...keeping that cadence was definitely something I needed to keep my focus on.  I even managed 165 a couple of times, so that made me very happy.

Once I was done with the run I checked my mile splits. All miles were within 10 seconds of each other, most within 5, with a 9:17 overall pace.  Not sure if this good pace was just because that's the pace I've gotten used to running over the last month, or because the faster footstrikes were actually speeding me up. 

All in all, I thought it was a great "technical" run and I felt like I learned a lot about the mechanics of my running form.  It's something I need to keep working on over the next few months so it will hopefully become much more natural to me before serious training starts. Getting faster will be icing on the cake.

And what's bizarre to me...I feel sore.  I never feel sore after 5 miles.  I take this as a good sign.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I love my "speed"

Just a quick blog post to say....WHERE IS MY SPEED COMING FROM???

Not that I'm complaining or anything.

Last week I ran 20.2 miles (on a side note, considering I'm not training for anything, I'm really happy I hit 20+ miles in a week). My average pace was 9:03.  During marathon training season my average pace for the week probably never went below 9:30 and wouldn't be surprised if it was more like 9:40.  Today was my first run of this week and I really did try to keep it slower, but I felt so good I couldn't help but increase the pace with each mile.  First mile was 10:00 even, last mile?  8:50. 5 miles in less than 47 minutes.  Not crazy fast or anything, but not an "easy" run for me. 

I'm fully expecting to get injured.  I'm not even wearing my patella band (the horror!).

I think I need to do a 5K.

Ok, that is all.