Monday, November 30, 2009

Week 21 & 22: Training Update

ORN [Obligatory Running Note]: Rest day today.

I have fallen behind with the Weekly Training Updates. Hmm.. Let's see, your last update was Week 18. I no longer remember Week 19, and Week 20 was a race week. So that brings us to Weeks 21 and the just-completed Week 22. That just sounds like a whole lot of weeks, doesn't it? 24 weeks...I mean, really. What you could do with 24 weeks sounds like a blogpost all unto itself.

The real status update is that not counting today and race day, we're just 11 days from race day. ...Or in Clock of Doom speak, "11 days, 23 hours, 5 minutes, and 7 seconds left until Thunder Road Marathon on Dec. 12, 2009". The 10-day countdown begins tomorrow, and you know what that means... I'll officially be a head case.

But first, some catching up. Here's the numbers for the last two weeks. (Of Note- My first 80-mile week!):


  • Total weekly mileage: 80
  • Average Intensity Factor: .801
  • Total Hours: 15:20
  • Long run: 24 miles
  • Miles run on trail/ dirt: <10
  • Average Weight: No way was I getting on the scale
  • Average % body fat: Still praying for 18%
  • Average Hours sleep: 7.5


  • Total weekly mileage: 55.5
  • Average Intensity Factor: .894
  • Total Hours: 12
  • Long run: 17.5 miles (13 mi. marathon pace run)
  • Miles run on trail/ dirt: none
  • Average weight: I have stopped weighing myself (I less mental breakdown)
  • % body fat: whatever
  • Average hrs. of sleep: 7.0

While Week 21 was a physical and emotional train wreck, Week 22 was its polar opposite. (What the polar opposite of a train wreck exactly is, though, I'm not sure).

The good news is that I ROCKED every "key" workouts this week. Check it out:

Mixed Intervals w/ 2-minute recovery? Check.

  • 2 miles @ half marathon pace (16:31)
  • 1.24 miles @ 10K pace (9:40)
  • 1 x 1 mile @ 5K pace (7:51)
  • 1 x 800M @ 3,000M pace (3:14)

Cruise Intervals? No problem. Check out these mile splits for 2 x 4.5 mi. @ Half Marathon pace:

  • 8:18
  • 8:06
  • 8:19
  • 8:25
  • 1/2 mile recovery jog
  • 8:15
  • 8:20
  • 8:18
  • 8:20

13 Mile Marathon Pace Run? Signed, Sealed, and Delivered.

  • 8:48
  • 8:53
  • 10:39 huh?
  • 9:06
  • 8:43
  • 8:49
  • 8:44
  • 9:04
  • 8:41
  • 8:55
  • 8:38
  • 9:04
  • 8:47

So, with my race coming up in less than 2 weeks, all I can really say is that I am ready to set forth my race goals, and I'm very optimistic I can run a good race. And yet again, I've learned some valuable lessons during my training this go 'round that will make me a better and stronger runner in the future. Perhaps someday-- even if it's not for another 20 years-- I'll finally fit together all the pieces of the puzzle and run the perfect race.
Patience, grasshopper.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

FRIDAY FUNNY: Sign, Sign, Everywhere's A Sign...

There's no end to the creativity of marathon fans. Perhaps they just have time on their hands. What else is there to do while hudling in the cold waiting to cheer your favorite runner for a few seconds? Here are some good ones:

But the best marathon posters aren’t merely clever. They reveal a deeper understanding of the runner’s journey… of the runner’s pain. They exist at the intersection of creativity and understanding.

The Last Few Weeks of Marathon Training Are Pure Evil

The last few weeks of marathon training always mess with me. Last week was Week 21 of 24 of marathon training, so I suppose I should've seen it coming. Usually, it's not until the taper (I mean peak ) that it really starts messing with me, but I guess all that talk about how I'm not going to taper this time really pissed them off. What to me was a statement of confidence in my training and the proper use of prior experience was to them the equivalent of "Na na na na naaah!".

So, here I am, I've survived the worst of the training and thankfully, the end is in sight. Which must be the cue for the last few weeks of marathon training to move in and stir it up a bit. Oh, the clever ways of the last few weeks of marathon training. Doubts and niggling fears have taken hold in my brain. Key workouts have become a great source of anxiety (as they hold the power to instill me with confidence. Or not). Every run is over analyzed, every ache and pain is dissected, and it takes very little to throw me into complete panic mode. And could my thighs be any bigger? Geez.

I fell prey to them last time, so why should this training cycle be any different? The other day, on a day I hadn't even run, I felt a cramp in my left calf. "Last few weeks of marathon training!", I hissed. I then taunted them by defiantly lacing up my running shoes and heading out the door for 7 miles of intervals. That must've really pissed them off big time because it started to rain. Hard. The temperature dropped 10 degrees. Then it happened: I was barely through the first two miles at half marathon pace when I suddenly realized, "OMG, I. just. do. not. have. it. today." Panic! "OK, don't panic", I say to myself. "Shorten the workout and still get something out of it." So I switch to 800 meter repeats. But after the first 400, I started walking. Crap! What is wrong with me today? Ever trying to remain calm, sans panic mode, I tell myself it's just one bad day, it means nothing. I'll nail Thursday's workout, and the long run and still end up with a confidence inspiring week.

Should I have been surprised that Thursdays workout was a disaster? Probably not. After driving 40 minutes to Lake Junaluska, and not 5 minutes into the first 4.5 mile interval, Garmin's (pbtn) battery died. What? I didn't charge it??? One mental collapse later, I was back in my car, begging the good workout gods for mercy.

Which brings us to Saturday's long run. The last possible saving grace of the week. The plan was to run the first 18 miles at 1-2 minutes slower than goal pace (9:48 - 10:30), then run the final 10K as if it were a race. In the back of my mind was the thought that whatever pace I could hold over the last 10K was probably going to be the average pace I could sustain for the entire race. But no pressure.

Yeah, sure, in hindsight I see how foolish that was. But I didn't REALLY think I was going to run 12 minute miles for the last 10K. Obviously. How was I supposed to know my legs would be dead at 12 miles, a full 6 miles before the hard part began? Or that I would develop an insane blister underneath a callous on the bottom of my baby toe? Or that two old people would dump my water bottles out and throw them away?

So, back to present time. With 2 days off from running, we're now in Week 22 of 24. The first run of the week was a huge success (and by huge success I mean no walking, crying or other mental or physical breakdowns). Just as I was about to be swallowed up in an abyss of self-pity because of perpetual failed workouts, things go totally back to "normal". Like last week was a bad dream. Like it never happened.

I have no mind to tempt the last few weeks of marathon training again. I will be keeping a low profile as I kick the ass of the 13 mile marathon pace training run I have this weekend. I will unthinkingly keep my nose to the grindstone, churning out the last few key workouts that sharpen and focus me (dare I say peak?) for 12/12/09. That's right, people. Nobody messes with me during the last few weeks of marathon training.

Except, of course, the last few weeks of marathon training.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Feeling Defeated

I am in the funk of all funks. Every key workout this week was a disappointment. I bailed out of both interval workouts, and struggled through my long run so badly I actually started crying (twice!). I felt completely defeated when it was over.

After the disappointing 1:54 Half last week, I let go of my goal to run 3:50 at Charlotte. That Half was hilly, and so is Charlotte. So I was content to adjust my goals and just look to break 4 hours.

But after this week, I am seriously doubting if I can even do that. Instead, I've plummeted into a black hole of despair, and simply just want to stop training. I no longer even want to run Charlotte. I would be happy just to get through a training run and feel good about it at this point.

7 day recap:

Sat., Nov. 14 - "Disappointing" race experience.
Wed., Nov. 18 - Bailed on Mixed Interval workout. Shortened workout to 800M, still didn't have it.
Fri., Nov. 20- Bailed on Cruise intervals. Tried to shorten workout. Still didn't have it.
Sat., Nov. 21- 24 miles @ 11:11 avg. pace. Terrible, terrible run. Badly fatigued at 12 miles. Bad blister on right small toe. Could not even put weight on it at one point. Such a defeating run.

I don't know what to think or what to do at this point. Should I cancel Charlotte? If I don't, how am I supposed to come up with a race plan? My training sucks right now, and I don't know what to do about it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

FRIDAY FUNNY: 'Cause I Had A Bad Day...

Feeling unappreciated? World got you down?

Consider These . .

In a hospital's Intensive Care Unit, patients alwaysdied in the same bed, on Sunday morning, at about 11:00 am , regardless oftheir medical condition. This puzzled the doctors and some even thought ithad something to do with the super natural. No one could solve the mystery as to why the deaths occurred around 11:00 AM Sunday, so a worldwide team ofexperts was assembled to investigate the cause of the incidents. The nextSunday morning, a few minutes before 11:00 AM all of the doctors and nurses nervously waited outside the ward to see for themselves what the terrible phenomenon was all about. Some were holding wooden crosses, prayer books, and other holy objects to ward off the evil spirits. Just when the clock struck 11:00 , Pookie Johnson , the part-time Sunday sweeper, entered the ward and unplugged the life support system so he could use the vacuum cleaner.

Still Having a Bad Day?

The average cost of rehabilitating a seal after the Exxon Valdez Oil spill in Alaska was $80,000..00. At a special ceremony, two of the most expensively saved animals were being released back into the wild amid cheers and applause from onlookers. A minute later, in full view, a killer whale ate them both.

Still think you are having a Bad Day?

A woman came home to find her husband in the kitchen shaking frantically, almost in a dancing frenzy, with some kind of wire running from his waist towards the electric kettle. Intending to jolt him away from the deadly current, she whacked him with a handy plank of wood, breaking his arm in two places. Up to that moment, he had been happily listening to his Walkman.

Are Ya OK Now? - No?

Two animal rights defenders were protesting the cruelty of sending pigs to a slaughter house in Bonn , Germany . Suddenly, all two thousand pigs broke loose and escaped through a broken fence, stampeding madly. The two helpless protesters were trampled to death.

What? STILL having a Bad Day?

Iraqi terrorist Khay Rahnajet didn't pay enough postage on a letter bomb. It came back with 'Return to Sender' stamped on it. Forgetting it was the bomb; he opened it and was blown to bits.

There now, Feeling Better?

A New Perspective On Hills

ORN [Obligatory Running Note]: Scheduled for later today: Cruise Intervals @ Half Marathon pace. 13.5 miles total. (2 miles warm up, 2 x 4.5 miles at 8:17 pace with 1/2 mile recovery in between. 2 miles cool down).

So, I'm here at work, settling in to Friday (and by settling in to Friday I mean catching up with all the running blogs I follow, posting my FRIDAY FUNNY, planning my long run, and oh, yeah! getting down to some serious work, D!). Anyways, I scan FootRX's blog (which by the way is getting better and better), and happily came across a race update for Aaron Saft, local running hero and serious, serious nice guy (in fact, if I weren't already stalking Ritz, Aaron would be in my sights for sure!). Here it is:

USAT&F Trail Marathon Championships

On Nov. 7th, Aaron Saft raced the Lithia Loop Trail Marathon in Ashland, OR, which served as the USAT&F Trail Marathon National Championships. The race climber 3800' in the first 8 miles up to 5000+' of elevation. The race continued for 12 miles above 5000' and was snowing at that elevation. At 20 miles, the race descended 3000' for the last 6 miles. Max King of Bend, OR won the race in 2:40 after placing 19th the previous weekend in the New York City Marathon in a stellar time of 2:19. Sam Robinson of Berkley, CA was 2nd in 2:42 followed in 3rd by Aaron in 2:48. Fourth place was Coach Greg McMillan (first Masters) in 2:54, & fifth was Jim Johnson of NH. A beautiful course & Hal Koerner & Ian Torrence did a great job of putting on a great event!

On a side note, Aaron got to meet Erik Skaggs, who we sent donations to
after his kidney failure from racing the Where's Waldo 100k. Erik is doing great! He sends his thanks for the donations. Erik is happy to be back to running. Thank you to all who contributed.

A couple of things strike me:

First, as always, what a fantastic runner Aaron is. He's such a humble guy that I am sure most people who meet him through the store are unaware of his great accomplishments in the sport. If he lived in L.A., he would no doubt be unable to avoid the rockstar status he deserves.

Second (secondly?), did you read the part that said, "The race continued for 12 miles above 5000' and was snowing at that elevation. At 20 miles, the race descended 3000' for the last 6 miles"? I am in the midst of agonizing over my race plan for Thunder Road, and as you might have guessed after my last race report, I'm really troubled by the hills in Charlotte. So, thanks Aaron for the new perspective on hills. Apparently, I don't even know what a hill is.

Elevation profile for Lithia Loop Trail Marathon:

Elevation profile for Charlotte's Thunder Road Marathon:

In summary, Lithia Loop Trail Marathon eats Thunder Road Marathons for breakfast. It makes Charlotte's course seems like an airport tarmac in comparison. The takeaway: there's always a bigger hill.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Rutledge Half Marathon Race Report

On Saturday I ran the Rutledge Half Marathon in 1:54:06 (average pace 8:42). I was 2nd female, and 7th overall in this very small race. But if it sounds like I'm happy about it, read on.

If my race were a headline, it would say:
"Wrong Race Strategy, Pace, Results in Sub Par Performance"

If it were a book, you could call it:
"How To Do Everything Wrong and Still Get An Award"

On the upside, I learned a LOT from this experience, some of which applies directly to my upcoming marathon.

So, before I get in to all the things I did wrong, let me just tell you about the race. Here's how it all unfolded:

We left Asheville to drive to Morristown, TN on Friday afternoon. We took the "back roads" way to avoid all the hassles with the I-40. Besides the annoying GPS lady's incessant pleas ("Recalculating!") to get us back on to the 40, and besides enduring a bit of car sickness from all the windy turns, it wasn't too bad a drive. About 2 hours.

As we approached our final destination (hotel), we decides to stop at a Japanese restaurant for dinner. We had dinner Beni Hana style, which was a lot of fun. Leopold had never seen this before, so it was a kick to watch him.

Waaay too early the next morning, we had our free breakfast at the hotel, then headed out for the 35 minute drive to Rutledge.

The sky was so pretty on the way to Rutledge.

So, we get to Ritter Farm, sign me up, and I go about warming up.

The race started a few minutes after 8:00. The course started in front of the Farm House and wound down the highway towards Rutledge Middle School for the turn around. My first thoughts at the start of this race were, "oh no, I'm running 8:30 pace and it feels like I'm breathing too hard - UGH!!!" But after the first mile, my breathing settled down and felt right. My plan was to run miles 1-2 @ 8:31 pace, miles 3-9 @ 8:23 pace, miles 10-12 @ 8:16 pace, and run as fast as I could for the last mile. Because in theory, and on a relatively flat course, this is what I believe I'm currently capable of: 8:22 average pace. (Even though my shorter race times and McMillan's calculator say I could run 8:17 pace).

I was soon to find out the course was not even remotely flat (the elevation chart from Garmin -pbtn- shows an elevation differential of more than 700 ft. over the course). The first mile was fairly flat while the second mile was mostly down (I didn't remember this while I was trying to pick up the pace on mile 12...where did this uphill come from?). Mile 3 presented two short, steep uphills that were so steep I chose to walk up and work the downhill.

My main concern was keeping my breathing under control and following the pace guidelinesi had set up so I could run faster on the second half. Even if I ran a 1:49 or 1:50 today, if I did it with a negative split, I could have pride in the fact that I ran a smart race.

My first 2 miles were run at 8:23 average pace. I was on target pace, averaging 8:23's up until the turnaround point. Although I knew I had 6.5 more miles to go, at the turnaround I felt confident that I could pick up the pace to 8:16's. I started to turn it up a notch and started to pass many of the runners who had passed me in the opening miles.

Unfortunately, miles 8-12 were nothing if not a giant, solid wall of uphill. The elevation gain from mile 8 to 12 was nearly 300 feet. No way could I speed up to 8:16's here. Mile 8 was something like 8:49, and this was just the beginning of the hell which was mile 9, 10, 11, and 12. When I hit the 10 mile marker, I saw that I was at 1:25 and change. I knew then that 1:48 was off the table. I'd be lucky at this point to finish in under 2 hours. I had NOTHING left in the gas tank, and my legs and lungs hurt.

Many, many combinations of 'F' words later, I passed the clock at the finish line, and it said 1:55:38 (or something like that...results still aren't posted). Garmin time was 1:54:06. Believe it or not, they said I was second female when I came through.

What I'd do differently:

First, let's look at how I approached this thing. I did NOT approach this as a race, that is for sure. All I wanted was a time (1:48 - 1:49) that would confirm I was still on pace to attempt a 3:50 marathon next month. So, when things changed, and I discovered the hills, course and weather were not going to allow for optimal times, I was destined to be disappointed. Because i ran as if it were a time trial, I wasn't even IN the race when it counted. I had nothing left when the race actually started at mile 10.

Lessons Learned:

1. Every race is a race. Or...race the race and your times will follow.

2. The couse matters.

3. Weather matters.

4. Better have an arsenal full of mental toughness for when the race actually begins.

5. The race actually begins at Mile 10 for a Half Marathon (Mile 20 for a Marathon).

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fast Finish Long Run - 22 Miles

Although a little too late to fully implement this time around, I've recently bought into the "fast finish long run" idea from Greg McMillan. He suggests alternating "regular" long runs with the fast finish long run every other week starting no sooner than 8-10 weeks out. As it is, I'm just 4-5 weeks out from my race, so instead of being able to get in 3-5 of these types of runs, I'll just be doing 2 of them.

Perhaps not surprisingly, my first fast finish 22 miler yesterday yielded mixed results (and by mixed results I mean massive doses of muscle protesting, wheels falling off pain, not to mention the failure to run fast at the end). Yet, I'm still very glad I attempted it.

THEP PLAN: Run the following splits for 22 miles:
2 miles @ 9:36
7 miles @ 9:22
8 miles @ 9:15
3 miles @ 9:05
2 miles @ 10K pace (7:53)

What actually happened:
2 miles @ 9:36
7 miles @ 9:22
8 miles @ 9:15
3 miles @ 9:04 Wall....wall...wall..of..pain.
2 miles @ 8:40 OMG.. OMG...OMG...I.. Can't.. Run.. Any... Faster. Stop ...Telling... Me... To... Speed Up!... Garmin...(

And along the way:

As you can tell, things were looking just groovy through 17 miles. In fact, the very first hint that this was not going to end well came at mile 17 in the form of niggling low back pain. That pain, combined with the knowledge I had to pick up the pace in the next 1/2 mile or so to 9:05, well, that was the beginning of the wheels coming off. It seemed like my low back went from an ache to a full blown pain in the course of a 1/2 mile. The worst part, though, was trying to fix my form to make it feel better. My brain could literally not locate my deep abs. I was like, "Am I using my back muscles to pull down, or my abs to pull in? Who's body IS this, anyways? As the pain grew more intense, I grew more and more tense, and well, you already know this ends badly.

2 more miles at 9:05. Now just 1 more mile at 9:05...OMG. OMG. There is NO way I can kick it in at 7:53 pace. I could maybe sprint 50 feet at that pace, but then the ambulance would have to come. Yet there goes Garmin (pbtn), telling me it's time to: "Run 2 miles at 7:53".

9:05 turns to 9:08. Ew, that's not good. OK, c'mon, I tell myself, get it together. The next time I look at Garmin (pbtn) I see 8:36 pace. Then I get beeped at. Says Garmin, "Speed up!", to which I honestly try, but 8:36 turns to 8:44.

"Speed Up!". Now I'm starting to get pissed at Garmin. Like alright already! Have you no compassion, man?

I walk up the hill (the same hill that 2 loops ago had me gleefully thinking, "I think I'm getting the hang of hill running! Yipee!!") seriously contemplating turning Garmin (pbtn) off. "Just until the downhill", I think. I must have looked pretty pathetic in that moment, because this very nice older gentleman (obviously a wise and seasoned runner) said to me, "Don't worry. It will get better soon." I remember thinking how sad it was that that was the nicest thing anyone had ever said to me.

Somehow, I finished this run from Hell.

22 miles in 3:20:59.
9:08 average pace.
A 3:59:22 marathon equivalent. (4.2 more miles? Riight.)

No blisters
No chafing
Weirder still, no fatigue or muscle soreness (except my low back) afterwards or today.

A day later... a slightly different perspective.

As bad as I hit the wall yesterday, I'm very glad I did that run the way that I did it. I learned an awful lot. It reminds me of something I just read in an article in Inside Triathlon: "You're always rewarded for risking big things for big results. You may not get the rewards you were after, but you always get rewarded."

Who knows what the outcome of my race on December 12 will be. Maybe I'll crash and burn. Maybe I'll break 4 hours, maybe not. Or maybe I'll have a great race and reach my goal of qualifying for Boston. I don't know, but I suspect that in the end, it won't really matter that much, because I know that ultimately it's the journey that rewards you.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Food and Distance Equivalents for October Mileage

Last month I ran 223 miles and burned through about 22,000 calories.

223 miles happens to be the distance from:

Los Angeles to Las Vegas
Rome to Vicenza
Chattanooga, TN to Louisville, KY
Savannah to Atlanta, GA

22,000 calories is equivalent to 6.3 pounds of body fat, or:

500 Apples
147 Slices of cheese pizza
450 Tomatoes
76 Hershey's Bars (Wow- that's only like 2 1/2 Hershey bars a day for the month of October. I could totally do that).


FRIDAY FUNNY: Parenting Do's & Don't

These pics are from a book called Safe Baby Handling Tips by David and Kelly Sopp:

Click on Full Story for more hilariousness!

I'm Peaking, Not Tapering

ORN [Obligatory Runing Note]: Cruise Intervals scheduled for later today. 2 mile warm up and cool down. 2 x 4.5 miles @ 1/2 Marathon Pace (8:17) pace w/ 0.50 mile recovery run in between.

Swimmers taper for an important meet; runners peak. We're different. Or should be. At least that's what I think.

If you read my blog (and why wouldn't you?) you know I ran a PR for 5K and 10K (and fully expect this trend to continue next weekend with my Half Marathon) at the end of some of my biggest training weeks, and I did it without tapering-i.e., a huge reduction in training--for it. I maintained a normal training week (speed, hills, mixed intervals) but instead of going long on Saturday, I ran a race-and ran well. I didn't get too worked up about it being a "race" either, because to me it was just another Saturday.

Ditto with my upcoming marathon. I decided that since I'm so terrible at this tapering garbage, I'm not even going to bother with it. Instead of an absurd, three-week reduction in mileage (and the staleness and indecision that goes with it), I'll just run what I normally would have and one of my best marathons ever. Maybe even BQ.

In fact, I've decided to never even use the word 'tapering' again. When I hear that word, I hear relax. To me, tapering means to reduce training and that everything is done. The proverbial hay is in the barn. Which isn't true at all.

No, I much prefer to peak for my marathon. I want to go into my race on December 12th on the upswing. I want to think, 'I'm on the rise. I'm going to run my best marathon ever'.

Just so we're clear- I'm not suggesting I'll maintain my new ridiculously high training volume of 75-90 miles per week in the final three weeks. But what I am suggesting is that too many marathoners taper way too much-they reduce their training too radically-and rather than bring their body to a peak, they fall into a mental and physical rut which they can't climb out of on marathon day.

I don't want to get into a wonderful training rhythm and all of a sudden switch it off before my most important race for no reason at all other than I've heard it's a good idea to taper. I don't want to get so stale so that when race day comes, I can't switch it back on again.

Instead, here's what I'm gonna do: In the final 10-12 days, I'll reduce my overall mileage somewhat, do some workouts faster than marathon pace, run several short workouts at 5-K or 10-K pace which are designed to bring me to a physical peak, and most importantly, I'll switch my mindset from a training mode to 'now is when I am ready to race'.

That's my plan. And it's an astonishingly simple plan:

Reduce the long run miles and easy day volume. Instead of going 20, two weekends out from Charlotte, I'll run 13-15miles. The next weekend I'll run 9-12 miles with five or six of those miles at marathon goal pace. This last "long run" is a very important final workout because it will keep me in my training routine of a weekend long one and it will also remind my body and mind that I'm a MARATHONER who is just about ready to roll for 26.2 miles.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Week 18: Training Update

ORN [Obligatory Running Note]: Sunday's workout called for 9 miles at Marathon Pace (8:48) with a 2 mile warm up and recovey. I ran an inspired 8:38 pace run (Holy Hell!! I was on F-I-R-E!!). I also nearly ran down my client who lives at Lake Junaluska, but that's another story...!

This week was a virtual grab bag of highs and lows.

But first, the numbers:

Total weekly mileage: 62 miles
Average Intensity Factor: .901
Total Hours: 12:05
Long run: 13 miles
Miles run on trail/ dirt: Approx. 6
Average weight: who knows
% body fat: hopefully still 16%
Average hrs. of sleep: 7.5
Number of Humans Run Down: 1

Here's a recap:

The good: I have found my "perfect" training and racing shoe (for now) all in one. Ladies and gents, let me introduce the Saucony Grid Type A3. BEST. SHOE. EVER. It's awesome. One of the best flats I've ever worn, with some nice features - namely pull loops on the tongue and heel and a smooth (suede-like) insole. The cut is great for me (it's on a VERY curved last. Nice roomy toebox. Overall, a fantastic flat. I'm sure it's not for everyone (it's a very minimal shoe). But for me, this may be the nicest shoe I've ever worn. I couldn't be happier.

And did you notice? It says, "Kiss This!" on the bottom of the heel! Awesome!(Makes me want to run in soft packed dirt just so I can leave little "Kiss This!" messages all over the place).

The Bad: In my over-excitement to wear them, my IQ fell faster than the landslide on I-40. I ran a few too many miles in them and ended up nursing some sore baby cows (and by baby cows I mean calf muscles- get your mind out of the gutter!). I had to take Thursday off to rest the baby cows, so I did Thursday's Intervals on Friday, Saturday became a recovery day, and Sunday was my long day instead of a rest day. So now I don't know what day it is or whether I am coming or going! I'm sitting here at my desk on Monday wondering why I didn't run today...Oh, yeah. Monday's my new day off.

The Good: I really worked on perfecting my posture this week, with great results. Felt more efficient, etc. I especially noticed that I have problems with the glutes not firing if my posture is bad.

The Bad: All the tinkering with my form has left me with niggling aches and pains that has undermined my confidence.