Bi-Weekly Rundown 6/16/08-6/29/08

Well not much to say running wise for the week of June 16th. I took Monday and Tuesday off as my achilles was bruised and felt awful. Could barely walk on it and I was worried I had done some serious damage, but I iced and massaged and Wednesday tested it on an easy 47 minute run with Salty. It felt stiff but no pain and it felt all right after the run so I decided I was in the clear to get back on laid plans my friends. However that was also the last week my coworker would be in Cleveland so we were hitting up lunches and happy hours and my free time for running was taken up by social commitments with the coworkers. Fun times but not really helping me to achieve running greatness ;) The multiple beers weren't helping the waistline either, at least we were getting in a lot of walking! Friday we drove to Cinci and I downed 2 last quick beers with the coworkers before heading out to say good bye and to ease my normal hyperventilating that occurs while being a passenger in rush hour traffic. Another tall beer at Applebees half way through the ride got me to Cinci in one sane piece. Then it was time for some serious gaming and a few more beers. Saturday was my 5 year anniversary, my sister in laws shower, and my sister in laws bacherlorette party. Between staying up late drinking Friday, waking up early Saturday to shop for shower goodies, the shower, and the party not much time was left for running. I'm happy to report that I did drag my hung over ass out for a 2 hour run on Sunday though and the achilles only flared up a tiny bit whenever I strayed from the pavement to the dirt path. Surprisingly despite my week long binge of non running and heavy drinking (for me) I managed to negative split the run finishing it out at 7:30 pace (helped that my hubby called to tell me I was going to miss out on some guitar hero action if I didn't hurry up).

With a miserable running week behind me I decided to jump right back in and was aiming for 65 miles this week. I knew it would be rough coming off a 19 mile week but figured if I kept the pace easy I could jump right back into higher mileage. Considering I had drank more the previous week than I have all year I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised that most of my runs this week I felt like shit. My legs were just not cooperating and my stomach was being downright awful, usually not a problem for me. I ran every day with Tuesday being my only "hard day" the rest done at an easy to moderate pace. Well my hard work paid off and I ended up with my biggest week ever just shy of 76 miles (previous best was 70)! Granted I only did one cross training activity but still, a very good week for me to deposit in my endurance bank. It is my intention to continue the streak of high mileage this year hopefully getting to the point where 60 mile weeks are easy for me.

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 47 minutes easy

Thursday: 1 mile open water swim AM, 60 minute yoga PM

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 2 hours, fast finish run

Monday: 6.5 miles easy with Salty

Tuesday: Track 7.58 miles total, mile repeats (6:14,6:12,6:18)

Wednesday: 60 minutes easy (6.64 miles)

Thursday: 1 mile open water swim AM
8.25 mile lunch run with Janet, felt good first half but was suffering late in the run

Friday: 10.8 miles downtown in the morning, got attacked by a red winged blackbird!

Saturday: 3 hour trail run with Jen, Sam, and AF. Intended to run 6 miles easy, settled for 16.6 with friends. First run I really felt good on this week so I decided to take advantage of it.

Sunday: 19.2 miles on the Buckeye trail. Took it easy but tried to run most of the hills. Felt great until about 17 miles. Had a coughing attack as something was lodged in my airway and about 2 minutes later my stomach revolted. Perhaps my body telling me I pushed a bit far this week? Feel great now so I am not going to worry about it.

The past three runs have all been double digits and were all done early in the morning on less sleep than I normally get and I still felt surprisingly well. Not sure what that means, hopefully it means I am finally detoxed from last week and am headed towards a PR at Buckeye 50k ;)

Enjoy the slideshow of June fun with the Hansens.
Explanations: Paivi our rambunctious "child" hiding in my linen cube, Kendall Lake, attempts at gardening (before the seedlings got ate by small creatures and weeds took over the bed), shakes in Coventry, More of Paivi getting into things, my beach run at Sandusky, SERC Guys goofing off, Lake Erie Swim, Coworkers last day, Ticket to Ride game, SIL shower and Bacherlorette Party, Chilling Sunday after a long run and Guitar Hero madness

Quick Update

My achilles is A-OK so far, although I haven't attempted trails since the injury, we'll see how it holds up this weekend. Between that and going away happy hours, bridal showers, and bacherlorette parties last weeks mileage took a huge nose dive, so this week has been like climbing a mountain. Apparently you can lose fitness quick, that or the liquor still isn't out of my system... Will post more with photos when I get a chance to come up for air!

Weekly Rundown 6/9/08-6/15/08

Just another week of trying to boost mileage. Ended up a little shy of my goal as on Sunday I tweaked my Achilles pretty good. Stiff, bruised, and a bit worried about it I called it a day 4 miles short of my goal. I'm on day 3 of no running and it seems to be healed (i.e. I am not hobbling around anymore), I may go test it today, but I will try to be smart and wait one more day to ensure the injury is gone.

Monday-45 minutes ~ 5 miles. 5*25 second strides. Intended for this run to be 8 miles but about 4 miles in the sky's opened up and proceeded to thunder and lightning directly above my head. Scared the living snot out of me so I called the hubby so I could bail. Felt bad as I was a drowned rat by the time he got me, but that lightning was terrifying!


Wednesday- AM 4 miles easy
PM 25 minute warm up
Flag Day 5k-19:34 3rd overall female

Thursday-AM:60 minutes easy at a State park near Sandusky. Took some fun photos I will post. About 6.5 miles, just a relaxed run
PM Yoga aka magic stretching. My left glute has been driving me crazy, not sore but just annoying for a few weeks, and it has not bothered me since Thursday night. I'm going to make this part of the routine again.

Friday-60 minute run from the house, ~6.7 miles. Didn't feel like running at all so I grabbed the i pod. I wasn't the only one out with an I pod in the hood that night, I got to witness a little old lady breaking it down as she moved along the sidewalk. She was even singing out loud. Glad someone was having a good night although she did look at me like I was strange. Also had some old man make some comment to me which I didn't hear through the i pod but I swear he said you should quit doing that, it'll make your feet big. What?

Saturday-2 hours 20 minutes on the trails. Long boring start on the towpath and then we finally hit the buckeye trail. We did Lock 29 to Highland rd via the towpath, then jaite to snowville, snowville to Boston except we took the road from the old building, cutting out the mud slide and about 1 mile, then Boston Store to Pine Lane via the buckeye trail and then we hit a bridle trail back to lock 29. Somewhere between 15 and 16 miles. Either way a hard fast trail run for me.

Sunday- 11 miles trails. About half way through my right Achilles started to complain. I am guessing either the mud or the multiple hills I ran Saturday and Sunday was the cause. Note to self I do not need to run trails both Saturday and Sunday. Especially not the same darn section of trails :) Other than the Achilles I felt really good though, pace felt easy and I felt strong. Damn weak Achilles tendon!

2008 Flag Day 5k

On Tuesday I received an email out of the blue from one of my really good high school friends. MP was an exchange student from Montreal my senior year and we spent a lot of time together on and off the cross country course that year. In college I visited MP twice in Montreal but it has been 7 or so years since we have really chatted. So I was surprised to hear from her and more surprised to find that she was going to be in Sandusky Wednesday and heading back to Montreal Thursday afternoon. Of course I made arrangements to get out to Sandusky to see her… And then remembered that I was signed up for the Flag Day 5k that evening. Yeah I am not the best with the whole calendar thing. So I emailed her back to see if we could work something out so I wouldn’t have to miss the race but still see her and was pleasantly surprised to hear back that she would do the race with me. Most of the girls I ran with in High School no longer run so I was excited to hear that MP has been running casually about 10k 4 or 5 times a week and wasn’t opposed to doing the race with me. While I obviously would have bailed on it to go visit with her it was just nice that I could do both!

So Wednesday afternoon I left work early to go to Sandusky and pick up MP. We chatted a bit and grabbed a quick bite to eat then drove back to Mentor to get ready to race. Obviously we had lots to talk about and the 90 minute drive worked out fine for catching up on each others lives. Got to the race site about an hour early and we got MP registered and chatted with some locals before heading out for a warm up. We did just shy of 25 minutes before hitting the restrooms and lining up at the start. I introduced MP to Salty in hopes that Salty might push MP and that MP would keep Salty from being too competitive in the high heat that we had! I had some time goals going into the race but I had pretty much thrown those out and was just going to try and have a good strong race with hopes of coming in 3rd overall. (Two serious speedsters toeing the line so I figured 3rd was the best I could hope for)

Old Friends Ready to Race

I tried to go out relaxed and just latch on to Evie since I knew that last year she ran under 19 here. I figured she would kick my butt but I wanted to try and stay relatively close to hold onto 3rd and hopefully another sub 20. (First girl is a local stud, consistently running sub 17s, I don’t even know what I would do with myself if I was that fast)

First mile was perfect at 6:06. Toying with sub 19 here but the first mile had a large downhill and I knew there were some hairpin turns and uphills to deal with that would probably shoot that down. Got a little complacent the second mile, falling back into my old ways. Fell back a bit from Evie but still pushing. High fived MP and cheered for her and Salty as they came up the hill I was heading down. I think it was around here last year that I missed Salty coming downhill. It felt good to be in her shoes this time around.

Second mile was slower than I intended around 6:26 and I heard my hubby cheering a few seconds too late as I passed and headed into a turn and up the last long hill. During the warm up we ran the hill and it didn't seem too bad, but my legs have just felt tapped lately on the uphills and I could feel the energy drain towards the top as we wound through the woods. Last year I had toyed with this girl through the woods trying to pass her at every attempt but this time around Evie had a good gap on me and there weren't even any men to pass so I just picked up my pace and hammered as best I could. Once again I forgot that we head back into the woods and not straight down the hill but I stepped up the effort trying to close the gap on Evie. Got to the last downhill stretch and I was pushing hard, but felt strong. Evie had too much of a gap on me to catch her and I knew from a glance over my shoulder after mile 2 that there weren't any girls close to me.

My sights on the clock I watched as a PR and my Mom's Day 5k time passed and I clocked a 19:34 pumping my arms as hard as I could in response to my husbands cheers. I was a bit disappointed not to beat my Mom's Day 5k time as I felt I ran a better race but with the heat, hills, and turns this is probably a slightly slower course. And I was very happy to place 3rd overall and go sub 20 for the 3rd time.

Chatted with my hubby then headed back to pick up MP and Salty but didn't have to wait long as they both came cruising in before I could even get to the hill. MP was crushing it, running about 3 minutes faster than her high school times and Salty was making all baby mommas proud kicking it in and out sprinting 3rd in her age group.

We hung around for the awards and hooted and hollered. Unfortunately Allanjel had a bad night, but I tell you what, chick is fierce and I have no doubt she will be heading for a BQ in Richmond this fall. My friend MP snagged second in age group and I picked up Salty's second in age group plaque for her. A good night for the gals.

Waiting for the Awards

3rd Overall Female (Plaque actually said Male so I had to peel it and trade with the Male 3rd overall!)

2nd in Age group!

Awards are fun!

Then it was off to Baker's Square for dinner and back to Sandusky. A night very well spent!

I am pretty happy with my race. I wasn't exactly 100% focused and I am boosting mileage right now so I can't expect to race extremely well, especially at short distances. I ran over 60 seconds faster than last year (granted last year I was coming off the GMR relay) and I was able to go sub 20 relatively pain free. In the future I want to get the second mile faster, it's something I have always struggled with and it is my new goal to run my second mile much closer to my 1st mile (although at mom's day 5k I did that and died, so we will see). 5ks are rough, go out too fast and you burn out, too slow and there isn't time to make it up. You'd think since I have been doing this for about 12 years I'd have it figured out by now, but I guess that is the thrill of it!

All in all a great night. It was great to catch up with my friend and awesome to share our joint love of running by doing the race. Also cool to share it with all my new Cleveland friends. It was a year ago this race that I first met Salty and I am so excited that we are now close friends. I've got such a great group of girlfriends in Cleveland and I guess seeing MP made me realize that although I have moved far away from most of my high school and college friends I am still blessed with many great relationships, old and new.

Weekly Rundown June 1st-7th

Just trying to bump my mileage back up to get ready for the Buckeye 50k and build some base for my Richmond marathon training. Surprisingly the heat hasn't seemed to phase me too much although Thursday was pretty brutal downtown and my legs felt like tree trunks. An unplanned Friday off remedied that and I felt great on my Saturday and Sunday medium long runs.

Monday- 56 minute run easy ~5.6 miles

Tuesday- Track 7 miles total, Pretty happy with the splits, rests were a bit longer than usual for me so I wanted them to be on the fast side.

Rainy night

2 mile warm up

4*100 strides/100 meter recovery

1600 (6:11)/800 recovery

800 (3:02)/400 recovery

800 (2:58)/400 recovery

400 (1:28)/400 recovery

400 (1:23)/400 recovery

800 cool down


Lunch- 45 minute body sculpting class

PM- 6.5 miles easy trail run

Thursday- 7 mile easy run downtown HOT!

Friday- Rest

Saturday- 13 mile trail run (fast finish, sub 7 on the towpath) under 10 minute mile average

Hot day, but I felt pretty good. A bit muddy in spots but overall a pretty nice run. We lost our way a few times but thankfully ended up where we intended to go. Probably my quietest trail run ever. The guys claimed we were on private property, but I'm guessing they just didn't want to hear me going on and on the whole run. Added bonus my girl Daisy made it out too!

We even got to see some wildlife!

Sunday- Calling this one an Epic Sunday for getting some time on the run, bike, and swim

14 mile road run 8 min pace, felt really good other than my stomach the last two miles. Starting to feel really pumped up for this fall. Got my ego boosted a bit by the guys at the bagel shop commenting on how tough I am getting to be.

15 mile bike ride

Enter my bike ride with Wild Bill. I had planned to do 20 miles easy on my own but Bill had rode his bike to the bagel shop from his place so I decided to ride back with him and hit the pool for a bit before riding back solo. It was about 15 miles and I figure it would be easy since Bill was on a hybrid sans clips and I was on my road bike. Well I had my piece of humble pie served up Wild Bill style. He kicked my ass! I survived but it wasn't an easy ride that is for sure! My legs were pretty much toast on the up hills.

500 meter swim. Feeling pretty lazy when we got to the pool but decided to do a few laps. A littl backstroke, breast, and freestyle, all easy.

15 mile bike ride back to Solon. I tried to just keep it easy and managed to get back in the same time it took me to get there, but I had a tailwind.

Week Totals

56 miles run for the week, right where I want to be.

30 mile bike (need to boost the time in the saddle for that looming century ride)

500 meter swim (need to get in the lake to get ready for the 2 mile open water swim)

45 minute strengthening just need to add a day of yoga to this and I will be happy with it

Bus Musings

I will have taken the bus to work every day this week and all but two days the past three weeks now. So far so good! I wish they were spaced closer in the evening (after 5 they only come every 30 minutes), but there are plenty of options in the morning which is good because I am always forgetting one thing or another :)

I think I am starting to get into a schedule now, although I have been feeling rather lackluster midday lately. I am going to blame that on the heat and not my new schedule which mostly involves running at lunch and gardening in the evening with an earlier bedtime before I get up to do it all again. Bridget was kind enough to give me a ride in the evening to the Solon Track on Tuesday this week so I even got in a track workout with company without having to drive!

So far the bus rides have been pretty uneventful. Just one crazy guy who decided he wanted to stand and rant in front of the bus one evening downtown. (He thankfully moved after the bus driver hollered at him) The bus seems to be getting more and more crowded but since I run at lunch I usually take a later bus home and those don't get quite as much foot traffic. I wouldn't be surprised if I have to start standing on the way to work though. I'll just have to learn how to read and stand and hold on at the same time!

I have started to catch up on a lot of reading with the free time on my hands. Figured I would keep a list here and any fun notes about the books I am tackling. Reading is one of my other favorite hobbies and I am so excited to have a legitimate time to do it now that isn't taking away from other important tasks I should be doing each day. Started my bus trips with some lighter fantasy reading (what can I say I am a bit of an escapist at heart), and have moved into some outdoorsy fiction, some non-fiction, and some gardening books to help with my empty garden beds.

His Dark Materials Trilogy- Excellent trilogy in my humble opinion. I'm very much looking forward to seeing how they adapt the 2nd and 3rd books into movies. Was disappointed I had to finish this one, would have loved for the story to keep going. Good book for thoughts on how religion, politics, and the organizations that run them affect our daily lives with a great fantasy tale to keep you from getting too depressed by it all :)

A Walk in the Woods- Wow. I loved this book. I am so excited about the Appalachian trail now it isn't even funny. Informational and funny take on a novice hiker attempting to thru hike the Appalachian trail. Dreams of thru hiking dancing in my head...

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons- Second time reading this one and still loved it. I think I am going to pick up a few of her other books and see if they are as good. Just a very good novel about the special bonds a special group of women can have when brought together by love of a similar hobby, in this case reading books.

100 Easy-to-Grow Native Plants: For American Gardens in Temperate Zones- I would really love to plant an entirely native garden (a rain garden if I could swing it even). This book was extremely useful, now if I could just find the plants that it helped me to pick in local nurseries. Hmm apparently planting native may not be quite so easy!

Bird Gardens: A Year-round Guide to Creating an Alluring Haven for Birds- Just started into this one. Mostly just some amazing photos of gardens that will successfully attract birds year round. Reminding me that I need to put up our blue bird box!

The pitiful gardener's handbook : successful gardening, inspite of yourself- Just perused this so far. Kind of a boring read but good advice for gardeners like myself who seem kind of hopeless sometimes. Now if only I would practice some of it ;)

Trowel & error : over 700 shortcuts, tips & remedies for the gardener- Cute little book with lots of fun illustrations and tons of little gardening tips. Way too much for this gardening dummy to remember but I will write down the tips that stand out as being most helpful for my situation.

Weekly Rundown May 25th through May 31st

All done with recovery mode now and onto training for the Buckeye 50K, Pacing for the Akron marathon, and racing the Richmond Marathon in the fall. Oh and I should probably do something to prep for the century ride and 2 mile open water swim I plan to do for the Beast series too. Wanted to get over 50 for the week and I squeaked it out thanks to Monday's medium long run.

Monday- 2 hours trail ~12.5 miles

Tuesday- Rest

Wednesday- Recovery run with Salty ~5.75 miles

Thursday- ~7.5 miles with 7 25 second strides with Salty

Friday- Morning solo tempo effort. Opted to just do an out and back and estimate distance. Wanted to get in 6-7 miles (depending on time left before I had to catch the bus) with 2-3 miles at a good hard tempo effort. First mile was 8:20 something so at 26 minutes I estimated that was 3 miles and turned around and started into my tempo effort. I ran the next "2 miles" back in 14:04 then ran easy the last mile back to the house. Mapped the run later on the USATF site and it was actually closer to 6.34 so I was running my tempo a little too hard (~6:25 pace, I was aiming for 6:45-7).

Saturday- 60 hot muggy minutes in Cinci. Holy cow was it hot down there. I'm calling this 6. I had no idea where I was most of the run, just winding around the suburbs. The first 10 minutes or so I thought, eh it isn't so bad out here. By 30 minutes I was ready to jump in many of the neighborhood pools fully clothed. My face was beat red by the time I got back and I was a sweaty mess. I am not ready for summer running! Thank goodness the Galloways had AC! (The beers and long island ice teas I had Friday night as well as the ginormous apple pancake with ice cream I had for breakfast made this hot muggy run even less pleasant. Pigging out and drinking excessively stops now!)

Sunday- Medium long run with my SERC peeps. Not sure where the heck all the ladies were but my intention to go out a bit quicker with some of the guys was go as there were no ladies to change my mind. First mile went out with Hawthorne and PR. Forgot to start my watch but thankfully PR has a garmin so I got the mile split from him then started my watch. Hmm 7:36 and they were just warming up, I knew I wanted to pick up the pace but this might be a bit aggressive. The next 5 miles to the water stop I hung out with Frank who was aiming to have an easy day and didn't dust by me like the rest of the group. He kept making comments about how fast the pace was and I told him I did not want to know until we got to the water stop. Turns out we averaged about 7:10 the first 6 miles. Yeah a lot closer to tempo pace than long run pace for me. We hadn't got back from Cinci until midnight and the Indian food (which was divine) was not sitting pleasantly in my stomach. I informed Frank I was easing the pace way off and was going to hit the trails. I wanted to get in 15 but with the humidity I decided to do the 12 and then tack on 3 at the end if I still felt okay. Thankfully Frank didn't minding slowing way up so we hit the trails and finished out the 12 mile loop. Picked up TC for the last few miles at the top of the hill and Frank showed us his digs and gave us some water to tide us over for the last 1.5 miles or so. Ended up with 2 hours on the dot and what I am going to call 15 miles but I have a feeling it was a little more.

53 miles for the week and 180 for the month. I'm hoping to see that go up quite a bit over the next few months. I'd really like to get so 60s are comfortable and 70s are more common.