last long run before the race

Sunday: nuthin’ (pushed my last long run to Monday)

Monday: 8.5 miles

Tuesday: 40 min elliptical

meditation

This is me in a Tibetan rug shop, acting all zen-like. Super talented photographer, Eric Baillies, photoshopped it to look antique-y and trippy. Today, I’m trying to channel this zen mode in prep for Saturday’s race!

Confession: I have an online shopping problem. I’ve grown to hate shopping in stores, except for my beloved Trader Joe’s, and so I buy as much as I can online. Now that I’ve got an Amazon Prime account, shipping is free — and that just means I buy more frequently. Let me break down my recent orders:

Of these six items, I intended to buy three of them: the Love Grown granola (because I’d read about it on another blog and have been looking for a new granola to swap into my breakfast routine), the SPIbelt (I already have a larger Nathan belt, but have wanted something smaller for races) and the hiking book (since I’ve never actually owned a book of hikes since I’ve lived in Portland, even though I go hiking regularly).

The other three items just kind of magically appeared in my cart, damnit.

That’s basically how all of my online purchases work. 50% planned. 50% on a whim. And thus my bank account hates me.

But it’s just so easy to click ORDER! You don’t even have to pull out your card! You don’t even have to look at your money!

Ok, back to running.

I planned to do my last long run (before the Helvetia Half) on Sunday, but I slept in too late and then spent the rest of the day at a barbecue. It was a good decision. We played bean bag toss (aka cornhole) for hours — I let it slide that their set is painted in Steelers colors — and I had my fill of chips and guacamole, garden burgers and beergaritas. (Those take carb, er, sugar loading to a whole new level.)

bbq

The carb loading must have worked because I really enjoyed Monday’s run. Or, I should say, I enjoyed most of it. Except getting hit on the head with a rock. THAT A KID THREW AT ME. Yes. A 12-year old kid threw a rock at MY HEAD while I was running.

I was so startled when it happened that I didn’t really have time to react, and the kid and his friends were already racing off in the other direction around the corner. But, damn, it kind of hurt. We’re not talking a pebble, we’re talking a rock the size of a quarter.

And my eyes sort of filled with tears. (Embarrassing.) Not because it hurt that much, more because I felt, like, oddly violated by some stupid punk. It took me a good half mile to get my breathing back and convince myself that I was totally fine and should probably not be having a meltdown in the midst of my run.

Anyway, the run itself was pretty nice. I stuck with a comfortable pace and never felt like I over-exerted myself, and I had energy to spare at the end. Here are my splits:

mile splits

These aren’t fast, by any means, but they’re faster than the paces I’ve been holding my other long runs at (granted those other long runs were 10-12 miles, not 8.4). Still, for the last long run leading into the race, it was a good confidence builder for me.

And what I really looked forward to was pulling on my compression sleeves, icing on the couch and eating boatloads of crackers and cheese when I got home.

ProCompression socks

Today, I did an easy 40 minutes on the elliptical at the gym and foam rolled the wazoo out of my thighs and calves.

I’m planning to do one more run and two days of rest (or maybe yoga) before Saturday.

I think this is what’s called smart tapering.

And it’s actually not bothering me at all. I like the rest. I welcome it. So … maybe I’m not really a serious runner … yet.

What about you? Anyone running a race this weekend? Are you excited? Anxious? Ready to kick ass (but not throw rocks)?

carb loading + overpacking

Thursday: A practice 5K with my Girls on the Run buddy

Friday: rest day

It’s the first time I’ve volunteered with Girls on the Run, a program that encourages self esteem in young girls through fitness and running. Each girl (3rd, 4th and 5th graders) is paired with an adult Running Buddy. We running buddies encourage them to walk/jog/run a 5K race by, um, walking, jogging or running with them. :)

Here are a couple pics from the practice 5K on Thursday:

GOTR

I’d put my phone away by the time I met my buddy so I don’t have any pictures of her, but she was pretty cute — a 3rd grader. And so funny about running. She’d want to sprint for about 100 meters, then she’d be exhausted and ask if we could walk. I tried to get her to do a slower, extended jog, but she wasn’t having it. So we did sprints & walks for the duration of the 5K.

The race we’re practicing for is next month’s Starlight Run. My buddy is really excited, and said she’s going to “stretch a lot more” before that one. :)

Today, I’m taking it easy and packing for tomorrow’s 10K trail run. I’m driving up to the Tacoma area in the morning, and meeting my friend, Jill, who’s driving down from Seattle. And I’m inexorably excited!! SO. EXCITED. I don’t care if you tell me it’s silly to be so excited because it’s only a 10K and I haven’t really been training enough to make a marked difference in my speed yet. Don’t matter. I’m ready to run.

And, also, ready to carb load. From an appetite perspective, I’m oddly treating tomorrow as if it were a marathon. Today’s meals looked something like this:

  • Breakfast: bagel with cream cheese, 12 ounce latte
  • Snack: Jelly beans
  • Lunch: Polenta with cheesy sauce, mushooms and peas and shrimp
  • Dessert: A slice of chocolate cake
  • Snack: Wheat thins
  • Dinner: Spicy tuna roll
  • And … maybe there will be another dessert

Perhaps I’m going overboard, but, I don’t know, it’s fun to fuel up. I can’t help it.

Another thing I’m going overboard on? Packing. In my real life (‘cos, you know, running isn’t real or something), I am the world’s lightest packer. I can travel out of the country for weeks with only a carry-on. But, when I’m running, I seem to want to prepare for EVERY circumstance (Will I want ankle socks? Knee socks? Will I want this headband? Maybe I’ll want this one.) and EVERY type of weather (I should bring a fleece! I should bring a rain jacket! And I’ll need sunglasses!) possible. I do believe I’ll need to learn to streamline before the Ragnar Relay this summer (12 people, 2 vans, not a lot of room for bags).

Think good thoughts for me while I’m running tomorrow! Or tweet at me — I’ll be super pumped if you do.

What are you doing this weekend?