Tagged: Grapevine trails

50K Training, Week 10: The Most Gorgeous Week

Some weeks are just made for running.

This past week was an absolutely gorgeous week of spring weather. The week started out in the upper 30’s in the mornings and was in the low 60’s by the end of the week — which is a pretty abrupt change in temperature. The trees are just starting to get their green leaves, the evening sunsets with a thin crescent moon were lovely, and (though I was never able to spot it) there’s a comet somewhere near the Earth. Though spring is inevitably followed by summer, my least favorite running season here in Texas, I can’t help but love running in the early springtime.

Moon

Thursday night’s attempt at finding the comet.

MON: Pace Run 9 mi Since the rain cancelled my trail run yesterday, and the wind kept me nice and warm in my bed, Liz and I met up for a loop around the lake this morning. Though not 35 mph like yesterday, at 36 degrees we definitely felt the wind this morning. We felt good, added in the hilly path, ran negative splits, and wound up with a pretty fast average pace (9:06). Even though it was only 9 miles, I was too worn out for yoga afterwards.

TUE:  Easy Run 6 mi, Yoga – 20:00 – It was an absolutely gorgeous morning for a run on the Katy Trail. We are getting a little bored with running around the lake and it was a nice change. Tried to keep the pace more conservative, but the average was still only three seconds slower than yesterday’s. Enjoyed some power yoga later in the morning.

WED: Easy Run – 4 mi – Liz took a rest day so I did an easy run in the neighborhood. Legs felt tight and my allergies made me feel  fuzzy headed and sluggish. Breezy, but another gorgeous spring morning.

THU: Hill Run – 8 mi – Met Liz and Hari a little later in the morning for a hill run around Lakewood. It was another beautiful day, though the temperatures did climb into the low 60’s by the end of the run. In another month I will be dying for runs in the low 60’s, so I’m not complaining. Liz watched a show Sunday morning that highlighted a study about friendship that says people perceive hills to be less daunting when they are with friends. This certainly seems to be the case when we run hills each week. I can’t imagine trying to run them without my friends (and I would do a lot more walking if I did).

FRI: Yoga – 20:00 – Because of running four straight days, I have been yoga lazy this week. Did some easy forward bends.

St Patrick's Day, Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX

The madness that assaults my neighborhood each St Patrick’s Day weekend.

SAT: Long Run 10 mi – One of the worst runs I’ve had in a long time. It was warm and humid, and I don’t think many of us have acclimated to the warmer temperatures yet. Also, my allergies have been pretty bad all week and, worst of all, my left ITB felt suspiciously tender. It continued during the run and early afternoon, but was never bad enough to call it painful. It was gone after an evening of relaxation on the couch — and it’s not easy to relax on the Saturday before St Patrick’s Day when you live where we do, just off lower Greenville Ave. For those who don’t live here, Greenville Ave. is Mecca to all St. Patrick’s Day revelers in Dallas. The noise of 100,000 drunk people, helicopters, sirens, traffic, loud music, and parties next door and across the alley (including yelling drunk women — why do women yell when they drink too much?) kept us up until 3am. It was a short night.

SUN: Trail Run Grapevine – 8.7 mi, Yoga – 40:00 – Slept on the couch with the TV on until 3am to drown out the music from the party next door, then got up at 6:30am for the trail run with Hari and Susan. It was 64 deg, overcast, and humid, but surprisingly pleasant during the run. The ITB felt okay today, just a slight twinge of tenderness, so I’m not freaking out. It’s merely making its presence known. I will acknowledge and take tomorrow off. This has been the highest mileage week I’ve run since December, so I will back off. We had a fun encounter with a speeding armadillo on our run who ran right across our path, in a straight line uphill, running much faster than we were. I had no idea they could run that fast! And what kooky looking animals!

Looking forward to Grasslands trail marathon this weekend!

Stats for WEEK 10: Run –  46.3 miles, Yoga – 1:20:00

Armadillo photo courtesy of: Rafi B. from Somewhere in Texas 🙂 (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 

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Jemez 50K Training, Week 0: New Year, New Goals, New Training Plan

It was a crazy busy week with lots of celebrations:  New Year’s Eve, a brand new year, MY WEDDING, and a return to running after being sick for nine long days. It felt great to finally be able to run again. I missed an entire week of cold, perfect running weather, which was the worst part of being sick — even worse than blowing my nose every two minutes and feeling like I was breathing through a straw. Even better, I returned to the trails after a two week absence. I came up with a new training plan for my next big race, Jemez Mountain Trail Run 50K just outside of Los Alamos, NM at the end of May, and the training won’t officially begin until next week (hence the Week 0 in the title). I’m also running the Cowtown Half Marathon in Ft Worth in February, so I have two great races to look forward to.

Getting married in our living room, surrounded by close friends and family

MON: REST DAY – New Year’s Eve – I love a brand new year. There’s such a feeling of expectancy and renewal. Now that I’ve decided not to run the 50 mile race, I’m excited to start training for Jemez. There’s plenty of time to build back up to the distance and get in great shape for this challenging race. Even though I’m still congested, I’m looking forward to my first run in nine days tomorrow.

TUE: Easy Run – 4 mi, Yoga 20:00 – A chilly, drizzly 42 degrees for a late morning run with Liz, Todd, and their neighbor, John. I was really looking forward to running again after being sick for so long, and my legs and lungs felt surprisingly good. I have to admit that I enjoyed my brief hiatus from running, but I’m even happier to be up and running again. I even loved the cold, drizzly weather. Did some power yoga for the first time in weeks, and my stuffed up head was not happy at all with downward dog pose. I ignored it and kept going. I also realized how much easier yoga is when my legs aren’t sore and stiff from so much running.

WED: Tempo Run4 mi – Had to drag myself out of bed to run all alone in freezing temps. Boo hoo. Of course, it was nevertheless a great run, and I ran the last two miles at an 8:50 and 8:43 pace, which is pretty good considering I’ve only run 4 miles in the past 10 days. I run so much better in the cold weather — and when my legs are fresh.

THU: WEDDING DAY – What a wonderful day! It was amazing. I am so blessed to marry such a wonderful man, and to be able to spend it with so many great friends. It’s going to be a great 2013.

FRI: Rest Day – Exhausted from the wedding. Slept late, and spent the day on the couch reading, watching TV, nodding off, and eating leftovers. It was a a perfect way to celebrate my first day of being married.

SAT: Run – 8 mi –  Cold morning run with the group. Legs felt great, awesome conversations with my friends, and lots of fun at breakfast. I’m so happy to be running again!

Grapevine1-6-13_2

SUN: Trail Run – Grapevine – 10 mi – A beautiful morning for a run. Met Michael S, Jennifer S, Vicki C, Mary Sarah, and Vijay at Grapevine for a great run. I seriously considered sleeping in and being lazy (hey, it was a very busy  week!), but I hate missing a trail run and I hate not keeping my promises. It was worth it. We kept up a pretty good pace and ran up every single hill, and I was glad to be done at the end of 10 miles. It feels so good to be back out on the trails.

Stats for WEEK 0: Run – 26.2 miles, Yoga – 20:00

 

50 Mile Training, Week 5: A Week of Thanks and Losing a Friend

Thanksgiving week wasn’t a very eventful running week, and the battle of the cough continued, culminating in a visit to the doctor and a new round of medicine. I enjoyed doing other things, like resting, eating, relaxing, more eating, and catching up on some knitting and reading. Sadly, a running friend came to the end of his life on Thanksgiving evening, and it cast a shadow of sadness over this week of giving thanks.

Dallas Turkey Trot Start Line 2012

A sea of runners at the Dallas Turkey Trot 2012 Start Line.

MON: Rest Day – Took a full day of rest. With asthma and coughing, didn’t even feel like doing any yoga. I’m thankful it’s a rest day.

TUE: Run – 6 mi, Yoga – 20:00 – Met Liz at the lake for what felt like a fairly fast run. Kept a 9:11 pace, which is awesome for Liz considering she ran 22 on Sunday. Asthma kept me up most of the night again, and made the run seem pretty tough. Called the doctor to see if he could fit me in today or tomorrow. Did some power yoga (flexibility) to round out the morning. Today I’m thankful that I was able to keep a fairly decent pace despite struggling with asthma.

WED: Rest Day (Sick)  – Managed to get in to see the doctor this morning, who says he suspects the upper respiratory infection I had eight weeks ago didn’t completely go away and is aggravating my asthma. He prescribed another round of an antibiotic, Prednisone tablets to clear up the asthma, a shot of cortisone and a breathing treatment, and prescribed cough syrup with codeine so I can get some sleep. Going to the doctor’s office, then getting prescriptions filled, was an all-day endeavor. He also told me to lay off the running until Monday, then he said I could run “a little,” but that I had to take my inhaler with me if I did run. Today I’m thankful for doctors and medicine.

Dallas Turkey Trot 2012

Giving thanks before the race.

THU: Rest Day (Sick) – Thanksgiving! Feeling antsy and wanting to run. Decided to sleep in and rest instead of hanging out at the Turkey Trot this year. Dallas has the largest Thanksgiving Day run in the country, but I don’t like crowds, so the only thing I missed was drinking beer with old friends in the cemetery afterwards. Today I’m thankful for friends, family, good food, and the beautiful rainbow that graced our sky after dinner.

FRI: Rest Day (Sick) – Really wanted to sneak off for a short run this morning, but decided to be good and take another day off. Woke up to news that a running friend passed away yesterday evening from his battle with lung cancer. We logged a lot of miles together when we paced and coached together for the Dallas Running Club, and especially when I was training for Boston two years ago. He was a great guy and will be missed by all. Running bonds people together in ways that can’t easily be explained, and we will all feel his loss for a long time. Today I’m thankful that I had the privilege of running with Bob Philpot.

SAT: Run – 16 mi – I decided to meet the group for our usual Saturday morning long run, but wasn’t sure how far I would actually run. Taking liberties with the doctor’s saying I could run “a little,” and knowing he has no idea how far “a little” could be interpreted when you log 50+ miles per week, meaning distance is relative (in my mind, at least), I went ahead and ran the full 16 miles. I just hate not making my mileage for the week. My legs felt nice and rested, and we kept a good pace. It was absolutely perfect weather for a run, 38 degrees at the start and not a cloud in the sky. My breathing was okay during the run, though my asthma immediately kicked in on the drive home. Today I’m thankful for asthma inhalers and friends to run with.

SUN: Trail Run, Grapevine – 8.76 mi, Yoga – 20:00 – For the first time in over a week, got a complete night’s sleep. This is good, considering I broke doctor’s orders and did that 16 mile run yesterday! My quads were pretty sore today, however, whether from three days of rest or the Prednisone, so I decided to call it quits after the first loop. Susan and Hari continued on to the other side of the lake towards at least another 10-12 miles of trail running. It was a gorgeous fall day for a trail run, with temps in the 40’s, and we got to see both the sunrise and three deer. It was strange to pull into the driveway before 10:00, but nice all the same. Did some power yoga (flexibility) to try and stretch out the sore quads so I can jump back into the training plan next week with strong legs. Today I’m thankful for trails, beautiful fall weather, and cool temperatures in North Texas.

Dallas Turkey Trot 2012

That uphill finish is always puke-worthy.

Interspersed with all the thankfulness is sadness. I fought tears all week and am reminded how fragile life truly is. Here’s to good friends and all the miles and smiles in between. Rest in peace, Bob.

Philpot, Bob Robert W. Philpot, Jr. (BOB), November 22, Bob passed peacefully in his sleep at home after a long, courageous battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Elaine Philpot, son, Ryan Philpot and wife Morgan, daughter, Chelsea Philpot, and his five beautiful grandchildren, his mother, Beverly Philpot, and siblings Lynn Pueschel and Steve Philpot. Bob cherished the times with his family, watching anything sports related, but his biggest passion was running. He ran many marathons, and loved spending time with his running family. Bob will be thoroughly missed by all; he was one of those good guys that everyone loved to be around.

STATS for WEEK 5: Run – 30.8 miles, Yoga – 40:00

50 Mile Training, Week 3: Settling Back Into a Pattern

I’ve definitely hit the ground running in preparation for February’s 50-mile race. There’s no time to waste! I had some great runs this week, and for the first time we switched our weekend back-to-back long runs and did the longer one on Saturday rather than Sunday (so that Liz, who is training for the Dallas Marathon, would have some company on her 19-miler). This week also saw me giving Susan’s grueling hill run another go. I survived.

MON: Yoga (25:00) – After running 17 miles on Saturday, and 15 yesterday, my body’s not feeling as beat up as I thought it would. Did an easy yoga sequence to gently strengthen some tight leg muscles. Rest days are always nice.

TUE: Run – 4.17 mi, Yoga (20:00) – Met Bill and Marcus at 5:15AM for an easy run on the Katy Trail. Perfect temp in the upper 40’s. I haven’t gotten up at 4:30AM for a run in quite a while, and was grumpy about it last night, but I enjoyed the run. My quads were still a little sore from the weekend runs, so I did some upper body poses to give them some extra rest.

WED: Run – 10 mi, Yoga (25:00)  – Slept in a little because of staying up late to watch the election returns (even though I actually fell asleep on the couch at 10:30pm and missed the speeches), and met Susan at 8:30 for her infamous hill run. It is truly the most grueling route I’ve ever run, full of steep hills, long hills — hills, hills, and more hills. Great training, but it makes me feel like a complete wimp. Easy yoga afterwards.

THU: Run – 7 mi, Yoga (20:00) – Met Liz for a windy, surprisingly tough “easy” recovery run. As opposed to the first time I ran Susan’s hill run, my legs were not sore at all the day after, but they did feel a little dead on today’s run. Liz and I struggled to keep from speeding up, even though neither of us really wanted to run as fast as we did. Did some forward bends afterwards. Looking forward to a rest day.

FRI: Rest Day – Was going to do some yoga, then decided I really didn’t feel like it. My legs felt like they could use an entire day off, so I didn’t do anything athletic. It was nice!

SAT: Run – 19 mi – Good run with the WRRC in windy, warm, humid conditions. 65 degrees at the 6AM start, with a cold front supposedly blowing in sometime tomorrow. The new route took us through East Dallas, University Park, and Highland Park. It was a nice change and we kept the pace easy and comfortable. Wanted to only run 11 or 13 miles, but with the possibility of rain tonight/tomorrow morning, and muddy trails and lightning, decided to go ahead and bank some mileage in case we can’t get in our trail run. We also didn’t want Liz to have to run 19 miles all by herself. That’s how we roll.

Since we didn’t get in our trail run last Sunday, I’m getting antsy to hit the trails again.

SUN: Trail Run – 12 mi – The rain and cold front weren’t expected to show up until later in the day, so Hari, Susan, and I met up with Luke’s and TREX to run trails at Grapevine. It was nice to see old friends who’ve made the transition to trail running. It was not the best weather: 72 degrees and 71% humidity at the start, 76 degrees at the finish. It was also windy, but at least it kept us cooled off. I had to keep telling myself we would have killed for a day like this in August, but now that we’re not used to the high humidity it made for a tough run. Stubbed my toe on something, somehow lost my balance and landed on my hip, and fell up against a small tree, with just a slightly scraped leg. I have no idea what took me down, but the trail is covered with leaves now and it was to be expected. No big deal.

This is the first time we’ve ever done our longest run on a Saturday on road, followed by a shorter long run on trail. In preparing for the 50K it was always the other way around. We all preferred the other way, with 10-12 on road followed by a longer trail run the next day.

My first 4 miles today were crummy. I felt light-headed, groggy, and stiff. After a short break at Rockledge and a GU, the next 4 miles were great. I felt loose and limber and in the zone, even after I fell. The last 4 were just okay, and we were all glad when we reached 12 miles. I’m always amazed at how my run changes from hour to hour on the trails.

Within ten minutes of finishing our run, with dark skies barreling towards us from the north, a gust of cold air stirred up the dirt and the cold front had officially arrived. It was kind of awesome to be right on the edge of the front. We are all looking forward to a week of perfect running weather!

STATS for WEEK 3: Run – 52.2 miles, Yoga – 1:30:00

50K Training, Week 16: The Last 26 Miler

MON: Rest Day – It’s a good thing today is a rest day because I’m feeling under the weather. Looks like I’ve caught the same crud that’s been going around my running circle, and it may be the same thing Michael was battling last week. It was nice to have my son and his girlfriend in town, too, which gave me another excuse to relax and rest up.

TUE: Sick – Even though I hate missing a run, I cancelled my morning run with Bill because I just wasn’t feel well. I thought I might be well enough to run with Michael and the dogs in the evening, but my head was still stuffy and achy, so I decided to rest some more. Feeling blah.

WED: Run – 12 mi, Yoga (power: stamina)  – Despite still feeling less than recovered, had a great, fast run with Hari this morning. My legs always feel good after an extra day of rest, but the 58 degree temp also kept the pace fast, though comfortable. I love how I’m able to run negative splits, keep between an 8:30-8:45 pace the last few miles of a 12 miler, and feel strong and never out of my comfort zone. Followed the run with some yoga.

THU: Run – 6 mi, Yoga (21:00) – Met Liz at 5:45 at the lake for a run in the cool darkness. We kept a good pace and I was glad to get in a run, even though I woke up at 1:00am coughing from asthma. Had to use the inhaler to get back to sleep, and again this morning before the run. I need to stay on top of this so it doesn’t turn into some type of upper respiratory ailment so close to the race. Did some yoga afterwards, and felt great!

FRI: Rest Day – The allergies and asthma are really getting old. Another night of coughing and wheezing and having to use the asthma inhaler to get back to sleep. Thankfully, if this turn into something worse than just asthma, it’s happening now rather than in four weeks just before the race. Going to rest up today for tomorrow’s 10 miler.

SAT: Run 12 mi – Nice, easy run with the group. Kept a 9:37 average pace, and it felt very slow for most of the run. The weather was gorgeous, without a cloud in the sky, and the temperature was in the upper 60’s. I’m ready to get tomorrow’s 26 miler done, but I’m also kind of excited about it. Funny how I can look forward to something like that!

SUN: Trail Run – 26.25 mi – Despite waking up at 1:30am and coughing until falling back asleep at 3:30am, which meant less than five hours of sleep, my last really long run of the training plan, and my second 26 miler, was a great run and definitely a confidence booster.

Lake Grapevine, TX Sunrise

Hari, Susan, and I headed over to Grapevine and started in the dark at 6:30am. It was cool, but warmer than it has been for the past few weeks. We decided to run three 8.75 mile loops from Murrell Park to Rockledge, which included breaks after every 4 miles for water and food. This was the first time we’d ever run three consecutive loops and knew we needed to practice running through the monotony of the same trail three times. It wasn’t an issue at all. I ran more and walked the uphills less than any other run to date, and we kept a great pace, sometimes averaging 11:00 minute miles. I practiced running with the hydration vest, then running with only a handheld bottle (which I prefer), in anticipation of the race.

Texas Trail Runners

The last 4 miles were the toughest, which was to be expected. For the last few weeks I’ve been running only in the predawn hours with the temperature between 58 and 68 degrees. By the time we got to those last 4 miles the temperature was in the upper 80’s, and Susan’s car, parked in the shade, said it was 90 when we finished. It was certainly warmer than we’ve been used to, and I stayed with Hari the last few miles because he was struggling to the point that it worried me. We ran/walked the last few miles, then Hari took the lead and we finished strong back to the car. Susan the Beast, who had turbo charged it back long before us, had the camp chairs waiting in the shade. Sitting down, drinking a beer, and eating half a tuna fish sandwich, never felt so good.

Texas Trail Runner

Next weekend I’ll be running my first trail race, The Rugged and Raw 20K trail race. After that, let the taper begin!

STATS for WEEK 16: Run – 56.4 miles, Yoga – 62:00

50K Training, Week 6

This week I definitely felt the effects of three weeks of a build up in mileage.

MON: Yoga (lower body and upper body) – 40:00 – Running rest day – Am getting a little bored with my regular yoga DVD, so I decided to try another one for lower body, abs, and upper body. I did the lower body section, then half of the upper body. I still can’t believe how good I feel the day after a 16 mile run. I almost don’t feel like I needed a rest day, but I need to be smart. I’ll push myself the next three days, and there is the 18 miler on Sunday.

TUE: Run – 4.21 mi, core/strength workout, yoga (twists) – 20:00 – Tuesdays are exhausting. I started at 5:45 at the SMU track, ran 1.25 miles while the rest of the group arrived, ran 2 tempo-ish miles in the neighborhood with the group, then came back to the track field to start our core workout. Oh boy, this means burpees. Each of four core sets is followed by a fast lap around the track. Today was a sweat fest, with 92% humidity. After the core workout with the group, I came home and did an upper and lower body strength DVD, then twenty minutes of yoga. I’m beat!

WED: Trail Run – Oak Cliff Nature Preserve – 6 mi, yoga (back bends)- 20:00 – Ran on the Oak Cliff trails for the first time. I really enjoyed these trails. The ground is soft and doesn’t have as many roots as Grapevine or Rowlett. Hard to believe I grew up just a few miles from there. As for the run, I felt a little sluggish all day, and could tell I was still somewhat fatigued, maybe from yesterday’s workout.

Oak Cliff Nature Preserve

Susan and I in front of the Oak Cliff Nature Preserve

THU: Run – 4.7 mi/hills, upper/lower body/abs strength workout – 47:00, yoga (forward bends) – 20:00 – This was the first day in six weeks I briefly entertained the thought of bailing on getting up so early for a run. Only the thought of my friends being there got me out of bed. Even though it was tough, I was glad I got up early for the run. As always, it was a great hill run. Felt a little bored with the strength and yoga workouts, but was also glad I stuck with it and got them done.

FRI: Yoga (hip openers) – 35:00 – Running rest day – Today I didn’t feel as restless as I usually do on my rest days. Maybe it’s because I know I’m running 8 miles tomorrow and 18 on Sunday, and both days will be hot and humid. Time to turn the brain off and just plan on getting the job done.

SAT: Run – 8 mi – East Dallas – Cooler temps but still humid for our 8 miler from Liz’s house on the east side of the Lake. Running in the sun was tough. I’m definitely not used to that. Kept a 9:24 average pace, and it felt very comfortable. Anxious about tomorrow’s 18 miler on the trails . . .

SUN: Trail Run -18 mi – Grapevine – A great, though exhausting, 18 mile trail run. We got lucky with the temps (only in the 80’s), but it was humid enough to nevertheless make for one of the sweatiest runs ever. I ran this run on very little sleep, as the next door neighbors decided to play loud music, first in their backyard around the pool, then on the front porch, until 11pm. Running 18 miles on two nights of little sleep means heavy legs, especially towards the end. I’ve never enjoyed finishing a run more.

STATS for WEEK 6: Run – 40.9 miles, Yoga – 2:00:00, 2 Core/Strength workouts

Bishop Arts

Dinner after the run in Bishop Arts

Beer at Eno's

The best way to finish a summer run, with pizza and a cold beer