Tuesday, October 29, 2013

20 Miles. OW!

Well, it was a week earlier than planned on my training schedule, but I had time and I was a tad bored and the weather was gorgeous, so I did my 20 mile long run over the weekend.  Technically I think my training schedule called for 22 miles.  But everything is out of whack (thanks, ankle) and stopping at 20 was a very good idea.  Holy ow!  I felt fantastic for the first seven (and found a cool new bike path near my house that I can use for commuting), and then my left hip started to kick in a bit.  But once I passed the halfway mark, I was committed.  Plus I had to get back home!  So sore hips and angry feet be damned, I did 20.  I guess we have a few more milestones here: longest run since the knee fiasco (longest run since my last marathon, actually), and longest run in my Merrell's.  Minus the fact that I think I bruised my left foot a bit and really honestly it was too soon to do that type of distance essentially barefoot, I survived in great form!  And I would rather have sore feet from going too long barefoot than the massive blisters that would have resulted from any other pair of shoes.  And no way was I wearing my marathon shoes for 20 miles of pavement.  So, we compromised and I survived and I'm walking just fine two days later and I guess it's time to taper off!  How is it almost November?!?

Also, we have a Facebook page now!  Technology is my nemesis, so it's rather bare and boring at the moment, but I'm working on it.  Give it a thumbs up to boost my motivation!  :D 

Friday, October 25, 2013

13.1 and 4 Weeks To Go!!

Four weeks out from race day and I am not where I want to be in training because of this pesky sprained ankle that won't go away .... BUT it's a lovely season for races, and I found a great trail half-marathon last weekend!  Trails seem to make the ankle happier.  And I need mileage.  And I run faster when there are other people around.  So I trekked to Maine for a foliage-friendly race that was great because it was also quite small (about 170 people total) and marked quite a few landmarks!

1) Longest distance run since the knee fiasco last December

2) Longest distance wearing the shoes that will be completing the Ice Marathon (which I don't wear regularly because I prefer minimalist ... but in Antarctica, I also prefer to not get frostbite)

3) First time winning my age group!  Huzzah trophy pint glass!

4) New half marathon PR!

It took about three miles for my ankle to loosen up so I could settle into a stride, and then I think I went through a bit of a runner's high adrenaline rush for a few miles.  I just went with it because it felt good.  And I did crash a bit later in the race, but by then I could count the remainder in familiar distances such as 5k, which mentally makes it easy to push the sore, tired muscles to keep going.  Even better, my ankle felt okay the next day!  Although my left hip was not happy at all, most likely because I was running slightly weird and compensating, but that was recovered after two days and I've run twice this week and no further issues.  So at least I know I'll be able to make it through half of the marathon?  Not reassuring, but better than where I was before the race.  :)  And at least I am confident that I'll be able to get in at least one 18 or 20 mile run before I go.  Less than a month, yikes yikes yikes!

Ice Marathon Factoids

This will be the ninth running of the Antarctic Ice Marathon.  Two women competed in the inaugural race.  One U.S. woman competed in the second.  No women in the third.  Three women (one from the U.S.) in the fourth.  Three women in the fifth.  Four women (two U.S. citizens) ran in the sixth.  Nine women in the seventh race, including one U.S. and one Canadian.  The eighth and most recent race had the largest field with 12 female competitors (4 U.S.).  Go girls of the ninth!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Like Photos?

I really have no excuse for why I was so far behind the curve with this one, since I love taking photos and I even sell some of mine on stock photography sites, but the situation has been rectified and you can now follow my adventures on Instagram!  From a dog's eye view, naturally.  The pup owns the account.  :)  So if you would like to see visual evidence of our continuing shenanigans, find @Mwenzie and follow her!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

GORUCK Nasty in Review

It had to happen eventually for a company that is built around bringing the Special Forces experience to the rest of the world!  GORUCK has joined the obstacle course race community with GORUCK Nasty, a race based on the course that Green Berets have to complete during their selection process.  Iteration 001 took place in September 2013 at Massanutten Ski Resort in Virginia.

Here's a breakdown of the obstacles, as best as I can remember since what I encountered was not the same as the map that was provided in the race packets.  (In fact I think several advertised obstacles were entirely removed from the actual race.)  Things also start to blur together by the end of 7 hours on the course.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Quebec City in 24 Hours

Quebec City is beautiful.  You really do feel like you're in an old European city, not only because of the architecture but also because of the language.  I was so happy to realize that I could really truly feel like I was in a foreign country just a few hours from home!  (Europeans probably laugh at this concept ... but it's a bit of a hike to get out of the country when you live in North America!)  I was also happy I had two French-speaking friends to help me out since French is one language with which I have zero background, and it made getting around easier since we hurdled the language barrier with no charades or bad attempts at accents or terrible pronounciation.

The main must-do in Quebec City is to tour Old Quebec. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

One Month!!!

And we are officially one month away from the beginning of the Great Antarctic Adventure!  Just shy of one month to the actual race as well.  I am not where I wanted to be with training because I've been struggling to overcome a sprained ankle for several weeks now.  I know that I can't afford to take the minimum of two weeks off that it needs to really heal, so I've been sucking it up with the one week that I took off and now running every other day at most.  I've found that pavement running aggravates it more than anything else, so I did 12 miles on trails over the weekend.  Of course there's the very major risk that I'll trip on a root or slip on a rock and sprain it again ... but that did not happen, so the benefits triumphed.  I know I'll have to do my longest run on pavement simply because I don't have access to a suitably expansive trail network to do more than about 14 miles, but I think I can postpone that for at least one more weekend!!

I've obtained a few more pieces of gear.  I found a shirt at lululemon that is very warm and stretchy and I think will work out well for a base layer.  And an amazing Patagonia fleece that I mostly just want to snuggle with because it feels heavenly right now.  I hope that lasts through some runs and washes!  I think socks, heavy duty mittens, and goggles are the big ticket items that remain.


Antarctica Fun Fact: Did you know that on average, it's the driest continent?  And is technically a desert?