Running updates

To have a more successful blog, I really need to post more often than once a month!

Sheesh!

My last post was September 26, and a lot has happened since then.

Here are some recap summaries before a couple of bigger posts on specific events:

September 28

Got up crazy early, and was on my feet for six hours or so, volunteering for the Monument Marathon. (A post on this later.)

September 29

Ran 19 miles, then got in a car and drove for 6 hours to get to a conference. I drank a lot of coffee, so had to make many pit stops, which turned out to help with the stretching. I was not nearly as stiff as I thought I’d be.

With temps between 65-75 degrees on the run, pants were perhaps too warm. Thus, the salty knee. But at least I knew these pants would work for cool weather on marathon day.

With temps between 65-75 degrees on the run, pants were perhaps too warm. Thus, the salty knee. But at least I knew these pants would work for cool weather on marathon day.

October 2 & 4

Got up early to do a couple of dreadmill runs in an overheated hotel workout room while at a conference. Drove home and caught the edge of a devastating early-season blizzard.

October 6

The biggie: the 20-mile run, segmented as 7 miles/break/7 miles/break/6 miles. Impressed myself with an 11:59 average pace. I felt so much better after eating and drinking sugary stuff at the 14-mile break that I confirmed my need to fuel well during the marathon.

All further training runs will be shorter than this!!!

A few pics from the long run:

It was

About 36 hours after the blizzard began, there were blue skies in Gering. And a slowly melting pile of snow that some nimrod piled up into the bike path. Because no one uses the bike path in the winter, right?

There were still insects out and about on the pathway, despite the snow on the ground. When Bugman and I run, we often stop to gawk at the insects.

There were still insects out and about on the pathway, despite the snow on the ground. When Bugman and I run, we often stop to gawk at the little critters.

Good thing our planned route did not include Scotts Bluff National Monument. #governmentshutdown #geethankscongress So glad the parks are open again!!!

Good thing our planned route did not include Scotts Bluff National Monument. #governmentshutdown #geethankscongress So glad the parks are open again!!!

Whoops! Blocked running path! Thanks to the weight of the wet, early-season snow, leafy trees, and high blizzard winds, there was a lot of tree damage in the area. I stretched my hamstrings post-run by picking up, chopping, and stacking the fallen branches in our yard.

Whoops! Blocked running path! Thanks to the weight of the wet snow, the still-leafy trees, and high blizzard winds, there was a lot of tree damage in the area. I stretched my hamstrings post-run by picking up, chopping, and stacking the fallen branches in our yard.

October 9

Woo hoo! Cool enough now (high of 65) to be able to get my training runs done after work. No need to get up at 4 am!

October 13

“Only” had to run 12 miles!

October 16

4-mile birthday run – one mile in celebration of each decade.

October 18

Grateful for a friend agreeing to meet for an early morning moonlit run, before another snow shower hit.

October 19

Got up early to volunteer for the 5K/10K Fall Frolic race, then ran 8 in the afternoon, with a speedy 11:11 average pace.

October 21-24

Skipped my last two scheduled training runs. I was too busy preparing for departure…

October 24

Departed for Dublin, Ireland, for the marathon. Our morning flight from Scottsbluff to Denver was cancelled due to fog. We scrambled to get a later flight out of Denver and drove there instead of flying. Managed to catch our international flight out of Washington-Dulles. Could not sleep on the overnight over-ocean flight.

Why Dublin?

Why not?

For some reason years ago, I got the wild idea that I would run the Dublin Marathon for my 40th birthday. I do actually follow through with some of my wild ideas . . .

October 25

Arrived in Dublin. In an attempt to reset the body clock quicker, walked around the city in (overcast) daylight until it was time for bed.

Early warning of road closures due to the marathon at Merrion Square Park. Glad I packed an umbrella!

Early warning of road closures due to the marathon at Merrion Square Park. Glad I packed an umbrella!

October 26

Did a lot of walking and sightseeing. Popped into the expo to pick up our race packets. It was a little intimidating to see the THOUSANDS of race numbers. More than 14,600 people registered for the race!

2013 Dublin Marathon expo at the Royal Dublin Society.

2013 Dublin Marathon expo at the Royal Dublin Society.

October 27

International Breakfast Run. (A post on this later.) Because of the forecast, headed back to the expo to buy a rain jacket.

October 28

The marathon!!! It did not rain!!!! (A post on this later.)

I have not run a step since, but I am headed out this afternoon to buy a new pair of running shoes (left my worn-out pair in Ireland to make room in the luggage for souvenirs).

I am looking into a half-marathon Thanksgiving weekend. Might as well make use of the fact that I currently consider 13 miles to be a “short” run!

A few more posts coming soon!

Copyright 2013 by Katie Bradshaw

 

I eat 5Ks, 10Ks, for breakfast

I’ve seen a lot of sunrises on my early morning runs lately. (The photos are never as vivid as the sky itself.)

sunrise 1

sunrise 2

A panoramic – too bad I didn’t catch it about 20 minutes later – the sky was on fire then.

sunrise 4

My favorite – sunrise with soccer goals. The sunrise on this day was fantastic. I felt like I was moving through color.

sunrise 3

Running continues to be difficult for me, so I am always seeking ways to motivate myself.

One way of motivating myself is thinking about how badass I am when I do things like run 5 or 8 miles before heading off to work. Especially when I can remember waaay back to the accomplishment of running my first 5K.

I eat 5Ks and 10Ks for breakfast!

Last Sunday, I was supposed to run 19 miles. Last weekend was also Harvest Festival at my museum, which meant I was on my feet from 7am to 5pm Saturday and had to be at work again at 10am on Sunday for six hours. (I worked last Saturday, too. Really looking forward to a whole weekend to myself someday.)

As I headed out for my second loop on the 19-mile route, I just wasn’t feeling it. I also realized I would be pushing it, timewise, and might be late getting to work. I decided to cut the run short and logged “just” 13.1 miles. (This coming weekend was scheduled to be 12 miles, so I figured I could just swap weeks. If I can. Supposed to be on my feet all day Saturday helping staff the Monument Marathon.)

I felt like a bit of a quitter, not striving for my goal miles that day.

But then a friend helped me realized that I RAN A HALF-MARATHON AND THEN WENT TO WORK!!!

That’s badass.

I can recall running a half marathon and being totally shot the rest of the day.

I’m definitely improving.

But there is still tension about whether I can really pull off this full marathon thing.

Everyone says, “you can do it!!”

But I know all too well how illness or injury can crash the party and mess up a race attempt.

All I can do is keep trying.

And listen to Bugman repeat “there is no try – only do.”

Copyright 2013 by Katie Bradshaw

Bloody running

This blog post has no photos. (You’re welcome.) The post title is both literal and derogatory.

Google second definition of “bloody”:

1. Brit.informal, used to express anger, annoyance, or shock, or simply for emphasis. “took your bloody time”

2. Brit.dated, unpleasant or perverse. “don’t be too bloody to poor Jack”

During my 18-mile run this weekend, I noticed a strange bright color soaked into the tip of my shoe. Did I kick some juicy red berries?

When I got done running and took my shoe off, i discovered that my sock was soaked with blood.

I never did feel pain from it, but apparently a toenail was prised up from the repetitive impact of running.

The pain I DID feel hit when I got into the shower.

Sweat salt running off into chafe wounds – aaaughhhh!

Ever since I exceeded about 3 hours out on the course (recall, I am a slower runner), my clothing has started eating through my skin. Last run, I tried using some anti-chafe chamois butter to prevent the problem, but no dice.

Hoping I can find a way around this newest trouble!

Ah, marathon training . . .

Copyright 2013 by Katie Bradshaw

Morning 5-miler

Still feeling the effects of my long run this weekend.

On my 5-mile run this morning, my thigh muscles started screaming again after about a mile.

I distracted myself by taking a picture.

Long shadow and wild sunflowers at sunrise.

Long shadow and wild sunflowers at sunrise.

The good news is, my tetchy ankle, which acted up on my 17-mile run, was just fine this morning.

Here’s hoping my 8-miler (tomorrow or Friday) does not require the use of painkiller . . .

Copyright 2013 by Katie Bradshaw

17 miles, 5am, encouragement from friends

This morning, I got up at 3:45 am so I’d be awake enough to head out the door by 5 am to get 17 miles done before it got too hot.

I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to complete the run.

Because of my bike tour last week (still working on the epic blog post for that epic ride), I had not run for 12 days. When I ran 8 miles four days ago, my muscles were pretty sore. I was still sore this morning.

But my friends on social media encouraged me.

May be in trouble. My 8 miles yesterday left me sore, but I’m supposed to do SEVENTEEN this weekend. Pathetic how quickly I lost my conditioning during those 12 days off running while I traveled and biked.

Friend 1: All about momentum. The first step is always the hardest.

Friend 2: Hang in there, I’m told it comes back faster.

Friend 3: I’d just try and relax and run the 17 as well as you can. I bet even if you are sore this week it will pass soon. You just needed this week to break everything back in.

Friend 4: Just take it nice and easy and you’ll be fine. … You’ve got this Katie!

And I got a surprise package from a friend in Colorado: a fuel belt, so I could “hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.” That was definitely a motivator.

And my dear Bugman, who is NOT a morning person, got up and ran with me and encouraged me when, at mile 15, my thigh muscles turned into meaty chunks of pain. (I heart ibuprofen.)

This morning was the first time I’d needed a headlamp when running.

There are some cool things about starting a run at o’dark-thirty.

Yes, the temperature, of course.

But there was also the rooster crowing, followed by the hooting of a pair of great horned owls whose silhouettes we spotted in a tree near the river, followed by return hooting from another pair of owls some distance away, followed by the booming of the lions and the cry of the peacocks at the zoo, followed by this:

Photo courtesy of Bugman.

Photo courtesy of Bugman.

That’s one thing marathon training over the summer does for you – gives you lots of opportunities to appreciate the beauty of early morning.

Thank you, Denée, Cec, Laura, Michelle, Maggie, Jeff, TR, and all you other folks who have helped me and encouraged me on this crazy marathon journey.

Copyright 2013 by Katie Bradshaw

Relief from a string of bad runs

I was beginning to wonder there.

Last Saturday, I suffered through a 6-mile run at 12:15 pace. (I had run 9 at 11:47 just the week before.)

On Wednesday, I had a horrible-feeling run cut short at 4 miles at 11:30 pace, my heart hammering between 170-180 beats per minute.

Tried a redo the following day, wound up short of 6 miles at 12:36 pace, heart hammering again.

My friends worked to make me feel better.

“Blame the heat,” they said. “Blame the humidity.”

But if I felt this crappy when I was running just 6 miles, I know myself too well to know that I would not continue to suffer like that and would abandon my training. My marathon goal was in jeopardy.

I was dreading my long weekend run. How would I hold up to 11 miles?

Maybe I was dehydrated on those earlier runs? Maybe I was spending too much time in air conditioning and forgetting how to sweat??? Who knows why a string of bad runs descends …

I made sure to drink a lot of water the day before my long run, since I was outside a lot.

I also probably ate more than was wise. “Fueling up,” I told myself.

I packed a stupid fanny pack with some small water bottles for the run. (Geez, I hate being burdened with the sloshy weight!) I was going to be sure to stay hydrated!

On the morning of the run, I caught myself starting out at a sub-11-minute pace.

It’s so hard to pace myself when so many metrics in running revolve around getting faster. Just because I CAN run that fast for a time, doesn’t mean I SHOULD when I have a long run ahead of me.

I slowed it down, and kept a pretty darned steady 12:15 pace.

Got to about mile 3 and realized I wasn’t suffering . . .

I imagined that the sound of corn leaves slapping in the wind was applause.

clapping corn

Go, Katie, go!

I got to the pathway next to the Monument and was cautiously optimistic. How could I be other than optimistic in such beautiful surroundings as these?

Yes, this really is Nebraska.

Yes, this really is Nebraska.

I downed half a bottle of water and carried on.

I encountered several other runners and bikers on the path to the Monument visitors center, including a guy wearing neon orange who’d passed me on the way up the County Club hill.

“Good job,” he said, apparently recognizing me from a few miles back.

“You, too!” I piped.

Gosh, I love how runners are so supportive of each other.

I was feeling so good, I went right past the visitors center, ran “on the Oregon Trail” and took advantage of a fiberglass oxen photo op.

See? Life is great! I'm not pulling a loaded wagon! Or wearing a pioneer dress!

See? Life is great! I’m not pulling a loaded wagon! Or wearing a pioneer dress!

Downed a Gu and another half bottle of water, plus a slug at the drinking fountain, and off I went on the downhill portion.

I was kind of dreading mile 9-10, where I hit the wall the last time I ran this route.

I drank the rest of my water at my previous “hit the wall” point. Only about two miles left. I can do this!

Yes, my legs got a little tired by the end of the run, but my endurance was there!

I even made it 11.82 miles!!

I mowed the lawn, then took a nap, and hardly felt sore.

I think I can do this marathon thing!

Copyright 2013 by Katie Bradshaw