September 5, 2013

Obnoxious sneaker contest and how I wear my new headlamp

Last month I ran 183.7 miles! I can't verify if that's a record or not, but based on the shoddy remnants my horrible memory can produce, it is. And whether it is or not, the fact that it is so close to 200 that I could spit on it makes me happy/nervous of injury/confident for my upcoming races.

Here's a quick rundown of last weeks training, so you can see how I got in a few of those miles. 

1. Easy 6 miles on the treadmill. I alternated the elevation throughout the run and practiced the 3:2 breathing. Have you guys tried that breathing technique? It's the one that Runner's World featured a while back, and whenever I have an easy run on the schedule, I like to practice it. 

Blurry proof that my treadmill posse has the best (by which I mean brightest/most obnoxious) shoe collection.

2. 9.62 total miles. Ran 4 in the heat of the morning outside. We also did a handful of strength training bits that morning. 

Even Mr. Mike (far left) went running with us!
Then ran 5.62 with run club at Life Time. The heat is not relenting lately, but it's not holding run clubbers back. 

Best turnout yet for Life Time Run Club.

Maybe it had something to do with this.

Or that cool people in orange shorts were running.

3. Strength training and foam rolling. I've been slacking on the foam rolling this week, but every time I do it, I'm reminded how amazing it is! Do it!

4. Speedwork, 6 miles. This week we ran two miles at comfortably hard pace and then a third mile at a harder pace. No breaks in between. The extra 3 miles were split between warming up and cooling down. So not super tough, but I think Coach Alex was taking it easy on us because last week and this week were killer!

5. Long run, 18 miles. I wrote about it here already. To fit it all in around the kids and schedules, I did 7 at 5:30 with my brother and our friend Michael. Then 6 miles in my neighborhood after school drop off. The original plan was to do all of my miles outside, but after feeling like I was going to die, I went to the gym track for the final 5 miles. This botched-up run basically reminded me that A. It is a huge mistake to start a long run too fast. My brother had me pushing to sub-8 pace for my first 7 miles. That's pretty far away from my long-run pace. B. My neighborhood really stinks to run in, unless your goal is hill repeats and/or dying. C. Air conditioning is my favorite invention at the end of a long, hot, humid run. 

6. Rest. I was going to run 3 miles but instead thought, what the heck -- I'd much rather just sit here

7. 8.25 very hot trail miles. Water has never tasted so amazing as it did that day. If water ever needs to do an ad campaign, they should use trail running to promote their product. The ice water that my friend brought was like little drops of miracle spilling down my throat. 

Another new, cool idea that I came across while running in the dark on Friday morning was that I prefer wearing a headlamp on my waist rather than on my head. If I have a hat on, wearing it on my head isn't as irritating, but on the waist you get no annoying hard-plastic-vs-hard-forehead sensation plus you can actually see the trail better than when the light is up higher on your noggin. 

I bought the Black Diamond Moxie headlamp a while back, and this week was my first time using it because it's getting light later and later in the mornings. If you squint, you can see where I was wearing it on my waist, right below the blinding neon shirt. That's a little bit like asking you to stare into the sun. Look at your own risk of blindness.

Black Diamond Moxie

What time is it getting light where you are? This is a question I only expect farmers and runners to know the answer to. And here in Alabama, it's around 6 a.m.

What's your favorite drink during the lingering hot runs of summer? Give me ice cold water. And then pour a cup down my back.

Do you own a headlamp? How often do you run in the dark? In the past I've also used the flashlight on my phone, which works decent, but then you have to run with a kind of clunky phone in your hand.