Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A relay fun riddle...

What has 24 arms, hundreds of pirate flags, frilly underwear, two vans, and an awesome logo?

If you guessed my super awesome Ragnar team, The Panty Raiders, you would be right.

Valerie from Inkblot Graphic Design Studio recently designed my new business logo, and when I asked her if she'd like to design a logo for our Ragnar team, she was all over it.  Go check out her Etsy shop; she designs amazing logos, business cards, super cute "mommy cards", and lots more.  Can't recommend her highly enough - her prices are a bargain and she's great to work with.

The Panty Raiders are set to plunder the Chicago Ragnar, which starts in Madison, WI on June 8th.  I've met almost all of my team, and can't wait to meet the rest in less than three months!!!

I'm going to be putting some posts up about preparing for a Ragnar, but I want to hear from you:

Have you ever run a multi-day relay?

Do you have any packing tips or other advice for a Ragnar newbie?

Be honest with me, does our awesome logo make you just a teensy bit envious?  

Monday, March 26, 2012

How Fast is Too Fast?

Has it really been two weeks since I last blogged?  Man, time is getting away from me.

Things have been going fairly well on the running front.  I ran 8 on Saturday - officially the longest run since August (hopefully you'll be hearing me say that every weekend!) - and it went really, really well.  The miles ticked by effortlessly, and I was really holding my pace back at about 9:45 miles.  The final two miles were a bit faster to finish the run with an overall pace of 9:37.

I really don't like doing my long runs super slowly.  I don't mind it occaisionally, especially if I'm running with a group or a buddy whose long run pace is different than mine, but my comfortable cruising speed is 9:00-9:30/mile, depending on the distance.

Most of the running books I have read have emphasized keeping your long run s-l-o-o-o-w.

McMillan's running calculator prescribes my long run pace (based off a wild guess at my current half mary fitness) at 10:10-11:10 per mile.

Runningforfitness.org says that your long runs should be done 25-30% slower than your half marathon pace.  If my half marathon pace is approximately 9:00 min/miles, then I should do my long runs at 11:30 min/miles.  But man, that sounds like torture.  I love running, but not enough to be out there 30% longer than I have to be.

So, I did a little digging, and there were the cold hard facts in black and white:

Benefits of doing long runs slowly (adapted from runningforfitness.org)

  1. Running slowly allows your muscles and joints to adapt.
  2. It improves your cardiovascular system
  3. It enhances your body's ability to burn fat as a source of energy.
  4. It teaches your body to store more glycogen in your muscles.
  5. Running slowly teaches your body to move more efficiently.  

But you know what?  I don't think I buy this long slow run thing.

Kim's reasons why slow runs are unnecessary:
  1. I hate running slowly.  Pretty important consideration, I think.
  2. I do lots of cross-training in that 60-80% heart rate zone... so I think that takes care of #s 2, 3, and 4. 
  3. I only run three days a week, so I have plenty of time for recovery.
  4. Slow runs are stupid!!!  This is a scientific fact.
  5. My form gets sloppier and sloppier the slower I move.  When I'm doing 400m repeats on the track, my form is about as good as it gets (which for me is still pretty rough).  But compare that to my form when I'm running 10:30 miles, and I look like a freaking Olympian.

But let's all remember, these opinions are coming from a girl who had two major running injuries last year, and  who has never excelled at distance running.

How much slower than your half marathon pace do you do your long runs?  Right now my long runs are about 30 seconds/mile slower than HMP.

Are your favorite workouts long slow runs, or short faster runs?  Give me a mid-distance progression run any day of the week.  I love finishing fast.

On your long runs, do you consciously adjust the pace (either fast or slower?) or do you just run what comes naturally?  I am constantly trying to slow down.  My body feels best when I'm running about 8 minute miles, but I don't have the endurance to keep that up over the long haul.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday Tidbits

Good morning, and happy Tuesday!

  1. This morning, I did a track workout in the pitch black 5:00am hour, and got to use my new headlamp! There is something especially badass about running on a dark track - I loved it.  Unfortunately, my body was whiny, so I subbed a couple of easy miles for my planned 800m repeats.
      Princeton Tec (Headlamp) - Fuel White LED, Pink
      It's bright, it's girly, and it's not exceedingly comfortable.
  2. During my entrepreneurship class last night, I realized I hate it when people use the word "massaged" for anything but... well, a massage.  "We have done quite a bit of massaging to our business over the years..."  Sick.  I don't know.  I just picture some dude in a business suit at one of these places:   

  3. I was lucky enough to meet up with 8 of the 12 most awesome ladies ever this weekend (AKA, three quarters of my RAGNAR team!)             
      Linda, Jennifer, Amy Z1, moi, Falon, Lisa, Amy Z2, April

  4. I ran seven miles!  In a row!  During our Ragnar group run, I paired off with a sweet girl who is about 30 times faster than me, and I got my ass kicked for seven miles.  It was such a fun, challenging run.     
      Speed demon wannabe and bonafide speed demon.
  5. I'm in the process of working with a graphic designer on my new business logo - and it's so exciting!  Can't wait to share the finished product with you!!!

If given the choice, would you prefer to run with someone faster or slower than you?

Any normal words that creep you out?  In addition to "massage" in that context, "moist" grosses me out too.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Point Bock 5 Miler Recap

Happy Monday!

On Saturday morning, I was lucky enough to be able to run the Point Bock 5 miler in Stevens Point, WI.  This race sells out in a matter of hours every year, partly due to its fame in Runners World, and partly due to the 3(!) free quality Point beers each participant gets after the race.

This race holds special meaning to me as my dad was a huge collector of all things Point Beer.  My brother (who is not a runner) and I ran it last year together in honor of my dad.

This year, I planned on running it with my husband Nick and my friend and training buddy Matt.  I didn't have high hopes for the race - I've only been running for about 5 weeks since the last in my long succession of injuries, but I was so excited to be well enough to run.

My 5 mile PR was pretty outdated and slow compared to my other PRs at 46:XX, so I wanted to try to get a new PR, but not to put my body through too much abuse.

The plan was a conservative progression run:

Mile 1:  9:15
Mile 2:  9:00
Mile 3: 8:45
Mile 4: 8:30
Mile 5: whatever I felt like!

We started off perfectly:  

Mile 1: 9:08
Mile 2: 9:00 (booyah.)

By the time I hit the turnaround at 22:37, I knew I had an easy PR in the bag.  I felt like I was just getting started and I was itching to take off.  Matt and Nick stopped at the turnaround for a breather, and I went on alone.  

Mile 3: 8:43
Mile 4: 8:21
Mile 5: 7:36

I had so much energy left at the end I ran the last quarter mile at a 6:20 pace and finished with a huge smile on  my face.

Final Time:  42:48
Pace: 8:34

After the race, I collected my beers, and walked back to find Alicia and Rachel, who were walking the race as they come back from their own injuries.  They were chattering away and l'm so glad they had each other to walk with (but I'm ready for us all to be HEALTHY again!!)  When they finished, we enjoyed brats and beers like true Wisconsin runners:

OK, guys, don't call AA.  They're not ALL mine!  :)

I am so grateful for this run.  I haven't raced since the worst race of my life in August, and I haven't had a race that was easy and fun since before I got pregnant.  In 2009.  

I'm starting to get my hopes up that this injury might be behind me, and that I may actually be able to train for a great race season this year... I've got some PRs to set!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Taking a Deuce on the Strip

Other than poop jokes, there isn't much in this world that I love more than a good play on words.

So imagine my surprise and delight when on our recent trip to Vegas my husband and I were trying to find our way downtown from the Strip and saw this:

Thank you, Vegas Gods.

That's right, one of the buses in Vegas is called "The Deuce." 

 As in, "Hey, did you want to take the Deuce on the Strip?".  

Also, "I think I feel the Deuce a'coming!"

Or, "Oh my god, the Deuce really smells like greasy food today!"

Endless entertainment.

Quick Vegas Recap

I slutted it up a bit to see a show:

Gotta be careful getting on the Deuce in this dress.

 Had a 36 oz fruity cocktail and saw Cirque du Soleil's "Love".

Why hello Sgt. Pepper, good thing for you my hands are filled with popcorn and booze or I wouldn't be able to keep my hands off of you in that sexy fur hat.

Ate at one of the top rated buffets in the world.  I did not want to leave.  About 100 yards of individually prepared gourmet items... I am going to starve myself for a week before I go next time just to make sure I have enough room for it all...

I polished off about six of this delightful little berry covered espresso mouse cups.  Ohhh baby...

 Saw the world famous Heart Attack Grill:

Yes, everyone is in hospital gowns.  Good thing, because someone actually had a heart attack dining there a few weeks ago.

No comment.

That huge burger on the bottom would be the "Quadruple Bypass Burger" , fried in lard.  Luckily, they also sell filterless cigarettes because god knows your heart needs one after a meal like that.

We came, we gambled, we ate.  We loved it.

Vegas - ever been?  Love it or hate it?   - I have a love/hate relationship with Vegas, but I do love spending time with my hubby and people watching.

Heart Attack Grill - clever marketing or sick attempt at making light of serious health issues?
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