Thursday, August 29, 2013

Monday, August 5, 2013

Things Learned

Last Week - So I should have been fairly sore from my Sunday run which was the longest and hardest that I've run in a while. But I wasn't. And I felt pretty energetic the next day (but I was wise and took a rest day). I took Zyflamend and I have to say that it REALLY made a difference. I'm now taking it as a supplement twice a day to reduce inflammation. 

I also have a new pair of Vibrams that I'm going to rotate into the mix. My old pair are still pretty good, but I can see that the bottoms are starting to separate from the uppers, so it's only a matter of time until they implode. I don't want to be left in the lurch without footwear. I've been wearing Vibrams on the trail for years now. I used to wear them on the road too, but I'm now wearing some Altras because I was a little worried about running on the concrete all the time with just the Vibrams. I'm actually worried about running on the trail in shoes. I'll have to see how things go training/running wise as I get fitter and run farther. I'm not opposed to shoes, I'm not all religious about the minimal thing, it's just the past few times I've run in shoes on the trail (once in a race) I've turned my ankle badly. I don't do that in Vibrams. My feet grip the ground and mold to the trail. I catch the corner of my shoes, and over my foot goes. So I figure, if I'm strong enough I'll just stick with the Vibrams.

This Sunday, Yesterday - I increased my mileage slightly by adding a bit of an out and back at the top of the mountain. I'll continue to add more to the out and back as time goes on. This trail heads over to Huddart Park open space, and leads to many more miles of wonderful runnable trails. And all of these trails that I'm running are part of the ultra that I'm signed up to do in December. So good specific training all around!

Also, the trail felt less steep this time. I ran more than I hiked, and the long upper switchbacks felt much shorter than before. A sure (and welcome) sign of gaining fitness.

I've been getting to the trail very early on Sunday mornings. I get started running at a tad before 6:30 am. It's fabulously peaceful at this time of the morning. This time I saw a lovely mother deer with her two babies, a male with tiny nubs of antlers and a girl fawn munching on flowers a tad further up the hill. Mamma deer was so comfortable with me that she decided to lay down in a patch of green as I trotted up the switchback past them.

I didn't see much else in the way of wildlife this time other than a few Stellar's jays, squirrels and a couple of banana slugs. But it was beautiful nonetheless, with fog wafting up the hillsides and eventually burning off as the sun rose higher in the sky. It was cool, but comfortable, especially for running.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sunday Run

The Meadows with Fog
The Meadow...with Bunny!
At the top

Woods at the top during sunrise.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Not Looking So Ultra Yet...

But I have signed up for one in December. There's no turning back now.

Oy. So after my first longer trail run in a long time I was sore for about four days. I've never been sore for that long before. What the hell? I had to walk down the porch steps sideways like my grandma. Actually, my grandma doesn't have to do that.

I persevered and ran recovery runs through this whole time. But man my first few steps off the porch every morning were agony. I must have looked like the walking dead stumbling down the sidewalk. I couldn't hardly bend my knees to begin with on the second day after my run. So what to do? Anyone have any good recovery tricks? I pounded some ibuprofen. It helped a little. I also used some Zyflamend, but a little later in the game so I'm not sure if it truly helped or not. I'll try it out again. What about diet?

What about diet? Are you doin' the paleo thing or are you vegan? Somewhere in between? I tried the Paleo thing for a while during my running hiatus. I was hoping that it would help me look like all those hot Paleo chicks I was seeing on the blogs everywhere. I think it made me fatter. It didn't help me lose any, that's for sure. And I just felt bloated all of the time. Fail. Some swear by a vegan diet, that it helps recovery especially. I don't know if I can forgo the cheese and occasional savory meats for the rest of my life...

And, obviously I just can't jive with the "no long distance running thing" that so many Paleos espouse. Obviously, or I wouldn't be going down the ultra road again, so to speak. The best I've ever felt was when I was in great running shape. I don't deny that the Paleos have found something that must be working for them. It doesn't work for me. Now I find that truly fascinating. Are we humans all so very different that these very different ways of living work for us all differently? Interesting.

Back to diet. So I think I'll try a more low fat way of eating with lots of fruit and veggies. I have to cut down on the dairy, and the meats. I figure that also all of the training will carve off lots what needs carving off. Not that I'm huge or anything, but I'm not rail thin either. I can't wait to feel light and fast again like I used to.

Any suggestions? What have you found that works? Discuss!

Oh and Happy Friday everyone!

PS - Obligatory Run Report: I'll be doing an easy 5er tomorrow and then a more challenging 11 or so on my favorite trails Sunday.

Monday, July 15, 2013

No Sleep 'Til Ultra

I didn't sleep in once this weekend. I treasured the "no alarm clock" Saturday and Sunday mornings, but now I'm not sure why. Saturday and Sunday I was up before dawn to get in some mileage. And I bounded out of bed, happy and energetic. I can sleep when I'm dead.

I've given up the cocktails. Now I have so much energy (especially in the mornings). I don't miss them one bit. They were getting in the way of what I really wanted for myself.

Saturday's run was an easy 5 miler with the pooch. I had to make up for what was coming; leaving her home on Sunday. The streets were peaceful and I only saw a few early morning runners and a couple of cyclists getting out for their rides.

Sunday's run was a coming home. I hadn't been to Wunderlich in a long time, but I knew that it's become quite popular. The last time I ran there the lot was crowded with cars and horse trailers. What had once been a sleepy open space park had suddenly become quite popular. So I got there early and was greeted by an almost empty lot. Gorgeous! And next time I'm going to go there even earlier to get in more miles, more solitude and more critters.

The empty lot also meant less people on the trail and more critter encounters. Eight beautiful deer--bucks, does and a spotted fawn. Countless birds. One cottontail rabbit. And a gorgeous, healthy and fluffy coyote, who stopped to eye me when I paused to say hello.

 I did about 8 miles in Wunderlich. Not nearly as much as I used to do, but I need to rebuild. I feel yesterday's run today in achy quads and a slight stiffness in the shoulders. But I feel great. Really great. I feel like it's finally my time and I'm following the path that I should be taking. I'm thinking of signing up for a 50K in late December -- hold me to it!
Deer at Wunderlich

The Meadows - Wunderlich