Thursday, March 11, 2010

A few words on being a klutz and other random stuff

Today's post should just be called "Random Crap" because, well, that's what it's going to be. I have a couple different topics to talk about, and little subtopics within those topics... so buckle your seat belts and strap on your protective hard hats. It's going to be a bumpy ride!

Topic #1 - Yesterday's Run

Oh what a lovely day it was yesterday! The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and it was 56 degrees!!! Spring is springing, and that makes us runners very happy people. I've had about all I can take of running around in circles on an indoor track. Or worse, running in place on that glorified hamster wheel known as the treadmill. It's nice to have these things when the weather is bad or when injury necessitates it... but they just don't compare to the feeling of being on the open road, wind in your hair, sun on your face, cars swerving to avoid hitting you, bloodthirsty dogs chasing after you... Such fun! Okay, so maybe those last two things aren't so great. But they are rare situations, thankfully.

So I left work a bit early yesterday because I was feeling utterly craptastic. My sinuses were completely clogged up, my nose was pouring, I was sneezing constantly. I was pretty sure my coworkers wanted me to leave. You know that look people give you when they think you have the plague - that look of "OMG ewww, get away from me!". Yeah, people were giving me that look. So I bid them all a fond adieu (or maybe it was a fond achoo!) and headed to The Heights for a run with my husband. "The Heights", for those of you not in the Peoria area, refers to Peoria Heights, which is a popular running area around here. It has lots of hills, lots of spectacular views, and lots of of friendly runners and walkers.

It's amazing how sunshine and fresh air can instantly make you feel better. As soon as I started my run, I felt my sinuses clear and my nose stop pouring. Fabulous! We started our run from The Tower and ran down Grandview Dr. Running down Grandview Dr is literally running down Grandview Dr. It's a net downhill of probably about 300 feet over 2 miles. Which means when you turn around to run up Grandview Dr, it's, well, really hard. I had decided when I started the run that I wanted to run up Grandview Dr faster than I ran down it. It would be a sort of hill-speed-tempo workout. This is what happens when I don't have a coach telling me what to do - I make up some bizarre mish-mash that probably has no cardiovascular or performance benefit. Spring FAST can't start soon enough!

Anyway, it was a wonderful run. Except for the part where I tripped and fell. I mean like splayed-across-the-ground-facedown-with-scraped-up knees fell. Oh don't worry, I was fine. My pride was wounded more than anything. It's just one of the pitfalls of being a klutz. I don't fall often while running, but when I do, it tends to be dramatic. I picked myself up, dusted myself off and continued on. And as if that wasn't embarrassing enough, as I was powering up Grandview Dr, feeling all strong and zippy, some skinny woman pushing a huge jogging stroller with a kid in it passed me like I was standing still. Hmph. Showoff.

But other than that, it was a very good run, especially considering I was sick. My run graph and map are below:

It's hard to tell from the speed graph, but I did run up Grandview faster than I ran down it, so my goal was met. Go me!

And speaking of meeting goals.... My husband, aka Zippy McSpeedypants, had such a great run last night that he beat his 10-k race goal. And it wasn't even a race! Not only that, it was crazy-hilly! Methinks he needs a new 10-k race goal now.

Topic #2 - The Runner's World Challenge

Yesterday I signed up for the Runner's World Marathon Challenge. What's that? Well, I'm glad you asked. Let me show you. Click here to read about it. The Flying Pig Marathon and Half-Marathon are official Runner's World Challenge events for 2010 - how cool is that? I hadn't signed up for this sooner because (1) I already had a race entry, and until recently there was no way to sign up for the RW Challenge without also getting a race entry, which would have meant I would have had TWO race entries, and I sure as hell ain't running this marathon twice. And (2) I didn't really need any coaching or training plans because I have a coach.

But recently, they've made it possible to sign up for the run-with-us option without having to buy another race entry. Ooooooo, now they've got my attention! Of course, I still didn't really need a training plan, but look at all the other perks:
  • A technical t-shirt with the RW Challenge logo, and a book (I selected The Runner's Rule Book)
  • Private pre-race gathering area with food, drinks, gear check, and PRIVATE BATHROOMS inside Paul Brown Stadium (where the Cincinnati Bengals play)
  • Private post-race party area with lots of tasty food and drinks, free massages, and PRIVATE BATHROOMS in the Great American Ballpark (where the Cincinnati Reds play)
  • The chance to meet Bart Yasso, one of the RW editors
  • Access to RW Personal Trainer online training tool
  • Oh yeah, and did I mention, PRIVATE BATHROOMS????
I think the RW Challenge fee is worth it just for the private bathrooms. Not having to stand in ridiculously long lines before the race is a huge benefit. HUGE. Sign me up.

Now, I've only been signed up for a day, but I gotta say, the RW Personal Trainer thingy is actually really slick. I can track my workouts, my training plan, my running shoes' mileages, my diet, my running routes... and the really cool thing is that I can import data from my Garmin and see it presented in an even nicer format than the Garmin website presents it. (Sorry, Garmin!) Wanna see? I pulled my Garmin data from yesterday's run into the RW Personal Traininer. Here's what it looks like: Clicky

Cool, huh? (Well, except for that ad with Ryan Hall in it - sorry to have to subject you all to that) And the user interface is even more impressive, but I can't show you that without giving you my login and password. I've got a 4-month Premium subscription to the Personal Trainer tool for now (it was part of the RW Challenge perks). I think this might be something worth keeping around, though. There is a free version of the tool, but it has limited features and customizability, and of course it is probably laden with advertisements. But that shouldn't stop all you runners out there from checking it out and letting me know what you think.

Peace. Love. Train.


  1. Interesting look at your training data Emily. I wonder what your training group says about heart rate during these training runs. It looks like you hit around 90% of your max HR around the 36 and 54 minutes of this run. I assume you keep your long runs a bit slower?

  2. Emily --
    You make my day reading your posts -- you are an inspiration to me! Although the falling splat on your face to be just like Brad -- don't follow in his shoes so closely!

    The coach may lead by example -- but I don't think he meant it literally. Question is did Mr. McSpeedypants stop to help you or was he long gone?

    the lady with the stroller -- when I ran the CanDo 5k -- there was a couple women like that . . . .the evil side of you just wants to trip them . .. but the good side of you knows they are accomplishing their goal just like we are too.

    Way to go, Emily -- even though we know each other just as "runners"-- I am proud of your endurance and persistance!

  3. Chris, that was definitely a hard run - there were a lot of steep uphills, so I'm surprised I didn't hit 95% of my max HR (which I am known to do from time to time). With that said, I never run long runs that hard. I constantly check my HR on long runs and aim to keep it low.

    Becky, you are too kind! I don't know whether to be flattered or disturbed that you find my blog inspirational. ;-) To answer your question - Mr. McSpeedypants was already far ahead of me so he never saw the fall incident. Lucky for him. LOL!