Sunday, October 30, 2016

Trail Running is Best this Time of Year

Saturday was a gorgeous day.  Shelby and I managed to message each other with the same thought in mind: How about a run?  We both did our errands and met at 1:00 at Sand Run Metropark for some hills.  The original plan was to do Sand Run twice for twelve miles, but after the first six miles, we said HELL no to that and made up our own route for a total of 9.5 miles.

Because we ran semi-long yesterday, Shelby punked out on our planned trail run today, so I decided to run Wetmore Trail by myself for about four miles and then possibly fit in Hampton Hills on the way home.

Wetmore was really. . .well, wet.  I managed to get my shoes and socks soaked AND fall in the first mile.  I said to myself, "You got that out of the way.  Now you can't fall anymore."

Midway through the run, the wind started blowing and the skies darkened considerably.  At that point, I realized that I hadn't told anyone where I would be, and there could be a good chance I'd get struck by lightning and die there on the trail.  It looked like this:

This is EXACTLY how it looked, except there was no weird moon orb hanging in front of me waiting to eat me.  Also, no rain and no lightning.  Other than that, EXACTLY the same.
Luckily for me, the storm didn't hit while I was out there.  The trail was absolutely gorgeous; I run trails in the fall to remind myself how lucky I am to live in Northeast Ohio where I can find a bazillion trails to hike or run within ten miles.

This is ACTUALLY how it looked.  Wetmore Trail.

I finished before the storm.  Whew!

Next week is the Second Sole Made in American Half Marathon.  I haven't decided on a strategy.  Will I race it or run it?  Stay tuned to find out.  Until then, run happy, Peeps!

Like what you read?  Follow me on Twitter @itibrout!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Some Runs Will Suck

And today was the day of the sucky run.

The conditions were right today for the perfect long, slow distance.  I met with Shelby at Hunt Farm, and we found Renee, Carrie, Kirstie, and Kevin getting ready for a run.  Plus, my friend Caroline showed up to run with us! The temps were a tiny bit chilly, but the sun was out, so I had worn a short-sleeved shirt under my long sleeved shirt.  We started the Covered Bridge Loop.

After a few miles Caroline turned back because she wanted fewer miles and she wanted to stick to the Towpath.  We continued, and I felt fabulous.  I peeled off my outer layer after running up a set of hills, and then I felt even better.  At the Covered Bridge we took the required selfie:

Carrie, Kevin, Kirstie, Shelby, Renee, Me
During mile five, Kevin and I ran a bit ahead until we decided it was dumb to run faster when we had at least five more miles to go.  I decided to fuel at mile six, and all of a sudden I didn't feel well.  My heart started racing, and I had trouble breathing.  I kept running, but I was in distress.  I could feel my chest tightening up.  I tried to relax and breathe through it, and at least I didn't get dizzy, but it was not a pleasant feeling.  I had to walk through it a few times during that mile until I could get my breath back.  I still felt pretty awful right up until we finished (earlier than we thought) a bit after eight miles.

I have been going over everything that I did during that run, and I can't think of why I felt so awful.  It's true that I ran a little faster just before that, but I was still doing slower than a ten minute mile.  Was it the GU?  Was it just a fluke?  Do I have a problem?  I don't know.

I'm going to chalk it up to a sucky run and stop thinking about it.

In the meantime, I have succumbed to pressure and signed up for the Second Sole Made in America Half Marathon in Massillon, which is in two weeks.  Wanna join me, Peeps?  You can laugh at me when I cry on the hills.

Until then, run happy, Peeps!

Like what you read?  Follow me on Twitter @itibrout!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Race Recap: Bath Steeplechase 8k

What kind of a moron signs up for a race three weeks after her first marathon?  What kind of a moron decides that a STEEPLECHASE is a good idea three weeks after her first marathon?  Well, you are looking at just the moron who would do that.

This Saturday I ran the Bath Steeplechase 8k.

How did I train for it?  Ummmm. . .well, I did run, so technically that is training, right?  Ok, to be honest, I have managed to do a mini tempo run ( 5 miles) at half marathon pace and a set of 400s at faster-than-5k-pace since the Akron marathon.  I thought this would be a nice, relaxing race.

As if such a thing exists.

One of the reasons I like the Bath Steeplechase is that it is about three miles from my house, so I was able to sleep in.  Plus, it started at 10:00 am, a time that screwed with my head, I must say.  It was a very inexpensive race, and I liked the long-sleeved tech shirt that came with it.

I showed up at Bath Community Park about half an hour before the race, timing that is unthinkable to me for any other race.  Usually I am worried about parking and bathrooms, but this time I kept telling myself, "Relax.  It's five miles.  You can do five miles in your sleep. Just run in the sun."

To my delight, I saw my friend Vicky, who was there to cheer on her grandson Gabe:

I can't describe how happy I was to see Vicky there.
I had plenty of time to screw around and even visit the bathroom, and then it was time to start.  This is an extremely small race, only 109 participants in the 8k.  When I looked around the field, I realized that I would not be placing on that day.  My age group (45-49) is full of badass women who have been training for years, and many of them were there, so I knew my chances were slim.  That's ok; I wasn't planning on placing anyway.  I'm still recovering from the marathon, right?

The gun went off when we started at the bottom of a tiny but steep hill, and I managed to slip in the grass for that first hill.  Nice.

The course had a little bit of everything: trails, pavement, stream crossings, crushed limestone, and large rocks.  In addition, we had to jump over hay bales and horse jumps.  Around mile 2 I felt like trail running and marathon training had ruined my racing drive because honestly I had no desire to run up the hills.  I ran what I could and walked at least three hills.

Here I pretend that everything is just fine.  See my sweet Bondi Compression Socks?
Anyway, my time was nowhere near what I could have done.  I stalked the times of the top three women in my age group, and I should have been able to run that. . . but I guess I'm not ready yet.  More yoga and strength training; less running.  That should be my routine right now until I feel recovered.

Fun should also be my focus.  For now, I will only do workouts that I consider to be fun.  I have tons of dance DVDs and Tae Bo DVDs, and I intend to use them between runs.  I want to be excited about feeling strong and capable; I don't want to dread exercise.

How do you feel after your recent races, Peeps?  Still trying to recover?

Until then, run happy, Peeps!

Like what you read?  Follow me on Twitter @itibrout!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Wash the Workout Clothes

Today's post comes from SLS3.  After the fall races are done, we will have some stinky clothing, Peeps.  Here are some tips for washing our running gear.  Need some more running gear?  Check out their page and use the code BLOG40 to get a 40% discount! 

Handle with Care

You’ve spent your hard earned money on your exercise gear like Running Shorts or Compression Socks and now it’s time to put it to the test. After a grueling workout, you and your Lycra® containing gear are ready for a bath. By the way, Spandex is the generic Lycra® version. Lycra® is a brand name trademarked by DuPont.

After Your Workout

As much as we hate it, we’re all drenched in sweat after a good workout, which means our clothes are, too. If you don’t have time to wash your clothes right after your workout, or you’re too tired like me, then hang dry your workout clothes, making sure there are no wrinkle or overlaps. This prevents your gear from turning into a mildew breeding ground. Gross! It also helps prevent weird stenches from staying trapped inside your clothes.

Getting the Stink Out

The best method for remedying smelly gym clothes is to give them a prewash. Soak your Lycra® outfits in one part vinegar, and four parts water for at least 30 minutes before hand washing, or throwing them into the washing machine. Rinse your clothes thoroughly before washing them to get rid of any vinegar.

Some Dont’s to Remember

Do not mix vinegar and bleach ever! If your detergent contains bleach rinse out your vinegar soaked clothes before throwing them in the washer. Do not use vinegar in the rinse cycle of your washer if your detergent contains bleach.

Do not use heat for any of your Lycra® garments. Heat will destroy the elastic properties aka the Lycra® fibers of your outfits. Avoid the dryer, ironing and the sun. Remember: Heat is bad.

Do not use chlorine or bleach. This will destroy the fibers of the fabric and you will get “bag and sag” syndrome.

Do not use Fabric Softener. These are used to soften clothes and will make sure your expensive garment will never retain its shape. Avoid the fabric softener.

Do not let your laundry dominate your room.

In the Wash They Go 

Although it is said that hand washing is always the way to go, most of us don’t have time for that. Don’t fret though! It is safe for your Lycra® garments to go into the washing machine following these steps. First, make sure that all of your zippered garments are zipped all the way up to prevent the zipper track from snagging onto other fabric during the washing cycle. Turn your clothes inside out. Put delicate items into a mesh laundry bag, lingerie bag, or pillowcase to protect them (Definitely do this for Bib Shorts). 


The Set-Up

If you are worried that a pre-soak just won’t cut it for getting all the smells out, you can put some vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser of your washer. This will make sure your washer will dispense vinegar in the rinse cycle. Always use cold water when washing your Lycra® garments. Heat will destroy them. Set your washer on the “Delicates” setting to prevent damage of your clothes. 

Less is More?

Use less detergent than you normally would for your Lycra® clothes. While detergent cleans your clothes, you definitely don’t want a build up of it on your workout clothes. A build up of detergent will trap in dead skin cells and trap bacteria into the fabric. If you want to make sure your clothes last, try a detergent designed for washing workout clothes.  

Finishing Touches

After the washing cycle has been finished, hang your clothes up, or lay them down flat to dry. Never put them in the dryer. Remember heat is not friendly to Lycra® clothes. Lycra® is a fast drying fiber so your clothes should not take too long to air dry. 

Like what you read?  Follow me on Twitter @itibrout!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Mud Helps You Recover

I dropped the ball on two awesome photo-ops today.  I'll regret both of them forever.

First, today was the day I went back to running.  I was a bit nervous about it.  Would it hurt?  Would my legs give out?  Would I hate it?  Shelby and I decided to do a trail run together so we could rehash the marathon (so we don't drive everyone else crazy). I distinctly remember Shelby messaging me, saying, "Do you think we'll be ok on the trails with all this rain?"

My reply, "Pssshh.  We'll be fine."  Remember that.

On the way to Pine Hollow, I saw a gigantic, beautiful bald eagle light on a tree branch right next to the road.  I pulled over and got out of the car to take the picture, and a car came speeding by in the opposite direction and scared him away.  He was gorgeous.

This is EXACTLY how it looked, except there were no mountains, and no snow.
Shelby and I ran the Wetmore Trail; we had only run it once when it was very hot.  Today felt just right, in the high 50s, but it was definitely muddy and wet.  We found out just how wet it was when it came time to ford the first stream.  There was a flat rock in the middle with water swirling over it, and we figured we'd just get the bottoms of our shoes wet, so we sucked it up and stepped in.  No biggie.

At another crossing, we used some rocks and logs; my right foot slipped and I went in up to my knee.  Funny; no biggie.

At the next crossing, there was really not much help.  We saw two potential places to wade; one looked relatively shallow and had a log crossing.  I told Shelby, "Just cross on that log or walk through.  It's not deep; you can see the bottom. You go first."  She carefully put her foot on the log, slipped, and fell right in the stream.  I managed to ask her if she was ok before I started laughing, and the two of us were laughing so much I forgot to take a picture, dammit.

This is EXACTLY how Shelby looked falling into the stream.  We always run trails while wearing string bikinis.
After that crossing, we ran through a large puddle, and I lost a shoe.  I had to walk back through the puddle and pull the shoe out of the sucking mud, and it wasn't easy.

All in all, we both had our share of mud today. Mud heals, right?

We did four miles on the Wetmore Loop and called it a day, but I wasn't ready to call it a day just yet. I think part of the reason why the run felt good to me was that I was running in my Bondi Band compression socks.  I've worn compression calf sleeves on the trail before, but today I decided to go for the whole shebang, and I really liked it.  I should have taken a picture (so I guess that's THREE shots I missed) because they were the pink argyle socks, and I looked super-cute, if I do say so myself.  Remember, Peeps, that I am a Bondi Band Ambassador, so if you want to order some compression wear (or headbands) of your own, you can use my code (TroubleRun) for a 10% discount.  Click here to check out the possibilities. Anyway, I felt really good, so on the way home I stopped at Hampton Hills and added another mile and a half. THIS time I remembered to take a picture:

You know what else heals (besides mud, compression socks, and trail running)?  Massages.  Today I'm going for a massage so I can recover from the marathon.  I've been foam rolling and doing yoga and strength training all week, and now I'm ready for a little muscle love.  Based on previous experience, as I am a very tightly-wound person, I suspect that the massage itself will NOT be relaxing, but I will be very glad in a few days that I got it done.

How did you recover from your fall race, Peeps?  Are you back at the running thing?  Have you taken any mud baths?

Speaking of mud baths, next week I'll be posting from a guest blogger on how to treat your running clothes.  Until then, run happy, Peeps!

Like what you read?  Follow me on Twitter @itibrout!