Monday, March 22, 2010

Things on my mind Monday

• Ice Baths
I have yet to successfully accomplish an ice bath. I did a mini-ice bath (that is, an ice foot bath) after the Shamrock run a week ago. I had a rectangular ice chest that had melting ice and water in it, and it was conveniently just the right size to plunge in my foot and ankle (which were a little tender after the run). On Saturday after my 17.17 mile long run I felt a little tender in lots of places, and I thought it might be time to take the full plunge, at least my legs. I had some reusable ice cubes (frozen thingies that are meant to go in drinks and not water them down by melting), but first I thought I'd just try the cold water alone. (I also had a hot Starbucks mocha standing by.)

I got in the empty tub and started running the cold water. It only took a few trickles around my legs before I jumped to my feet with a shriek. Ice bath: FAIL. I did however sit on the edge of the tub and let the water fill to ankle deep. I was able to soak my feet and ankles for a few minutes before I became bored and gave up.

Seriously, I don't know how people do this. I think I could manage jumping into a cold pool or body of water after a run, though, if there were one handy on a hot summer day.

• One-Steppers
I read about this in Running Times magazine; I didn't know it was an actual phenomenon. "One-steppers" are people you are supposed to be running with who always stay one step ahead of you, pushing the pace. On the one hand it can have benefits in making you work a little harder; on the other hand it is extremely irritating.

I experience this regularly running with my secretary's son a couple of times a week. Let me point out that the whole reason we are running together is because he wants someone to run with. I am perfectly happy running alone. He is fifteen years younger than me and has very long legs. After a few weeks of running he found out that he can run pretty fast and then the one-stepping began. Sometimes I just about keep up (when I am feeling good). It has gotten lately that he doesn't even bother to stay one step ahead, he just takes off and runs on ahead. Which is fine with me. But extremely irritating.

This morning I was supposed to be doing a recovery run (17.17 miles on Saturday, remember?). I did not feel up to pushing the pace. After the first mile he disappeared into the distance. This despite my average pace of 9:10 per mile (way fast for a recovery run). During the run I am muttering to myself that I don't know why he wants to run with someone when he doesn't run with them at all. But after we're done I do feel slightly pleased that my "slow" pace was pretty quick after all. (By the way, this is after I do three miles before we meet, and a mile or two I may be running slower, but I am also running twice as far.)

I don't know what will happen when Ann starts running with us again this week, though. She may kill him.

• My eyes are killing me
I tried using my contacts today (after a week's hiatus) because I thought it would be raining out. (It wasn't.) Once again the vision in my left eye is unreasonably fuzzy, even hours later. What in the world is the problem here? Did I somehow open the wrong packet when I changed my lenses a few weeks ago? Also, my eyes are sort of itchy, but that's not unusual with contacts for me. Also, I never wear enough make-up so I look kind of washed out and tired. Most people wear contacts because they say they see better and look better with them. Well, I can't see well at all and I look like crap. Tired crap.

• I'm thinking about a 30K this next weekend
After 17.17 miles on Saturday my next long run step is 18 miles (which I interpret as 18-20 miles, somewhere in that neighborhood). I've been thinking idly about where my route should be, and frankly, all my usual routes seem boring and too short. When I was doing an internet search looking for a potential short race around Easter (non-existent, by the way) (except for one down by Olympia which is too far away), I came across the Birch Bay Road Race, a 5K, 15K, and 30K run up in Blaine. 30K = 18.65 miles. The only downside is the location—Blaine is at least an hour and a half away. That would make for a very early departure time on Saturday morning! Still, it might be a good (though rather expensive) way to get in about 19 miles. The weather forecast (right now) is mild and cloudy, but not rainy (which is good running weather).

If I do decide to do this, I am going to hold myself to these requirements. 1) This is a training run, not a race. That means I will run at a training pace, 9:30-10 minutes per miles would be okay, slower would be fine. 2) I will stop at bathrooms whenever I want to without worrying about "losing time." 3) I will fuel adequately and take breaks to do so, if I need to.

That said, it could be a good time....

• Actually there is another 15K in the area
So, I was wrong about Fairhaven and Portland being the only 15K's around... the Birch Bay Road Race also has a 15K option. Who knew?


lindsay said...

another thought on contacts ... allergies? i'm allergic to all kinds of pollens/trees/etc myself, and i know they have those allergy commercials saying it can affect your contacts. (dries eyes out or something? i'm not sure).

lifestudent said...

I have a one-stepper I regularly run with. During the runs I hate her because she pushes me, but at the end of the run I feel great because I successfully pushed myself for the distance ;)

And as for the ice bath, I could never do it either. I tried during marathon training after the big ones (18's and 20's) and it was horrible. I shiver at the thought :)