Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Heat Wave.

So here is the forecast for the next 5 days...


{WTF, Mother Nature?!?}

This upcoming weekend was supposed to be my first "long run" (7-8 miles) of my yet-to-be-determined-half-marathon training cycle.  But, yeah, that's not happening.

I mean, I grew up in Florida playing soccer year round.  I can exercise my little tush off in the heat and humidity (and I actually kind of like it), but I don't think I've EVER seen a forecast of 108... and that's the LOW end.  The weather app on my iPad is predicting 113.  I'm really stymied by the situation, actually.  I don't think I've ever felt it was too hot/dangerous for me to run before.

I did get in two runs this week.  On Tuesday, I did 5 easy-ish (and snake free) miles back at the river.  I wanted them to be near HMGP, which is like the 9:00-9:10 range.  After a slightly slower first mile, I ended up with an average pace right in the middle.


Yesterday, I went for 3 slow miles around my neighborhood.  I really wanted to go longer since I won't be doing that this weekend, but I just couldn't get it together.  I could tell I was dehydrated all day long even though I was drinking, and my toes started cramping up right before I left the house.  As always though, I was glad I got out there and ran, even if it was a slog.


So what do y'all do when it gets too hot to run?  I guess I'm gonna get really bendy and go to a lot of yoga for the next five days.  If I wake up early enough on Saturday or Sunday, I might try a few miles, but we'll see.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Snakes on a Path.

On Wednesday, the zombies and I went running down at the river/canal front.  It was a glorious night, not too hot (relatively speaking - this is SC after all) and with a slight breeze.  There were tons of people around, including lots of kids and dogs.  This is concerning, given what happened about 4 miles in.  





Since it is so close to the river, and there are signs warning that there could be alligators in the canal (I am skeptical), I guess I shouldn't have been SO surprised... but regardless, I was definitely NOT expecting a 4-foot-long RATTLESNAKE to be chillin' up on the path.  Yeah.  Thank God for the runner good Samaritan who stopped and waved me away from the side or else I would've probably stepped right on its head.  By the time I calmed the eff down enough to get my phone out, the other runner had scared it off, and it crawled back into the bushes, so I don't have a picture.  (When I texted J that I had almost stepped on a rattlesnake, his immediate reply was "Get a picture!")  I don't know if anyone from Cola even reads this blog, but if you do, BE CAREFUL down there.  Just last Sunday I had the pups down there and even on a leash, the path is narrow enough that they can wander into the grass to sniff around.  It makes me sick to think of what could've happened if a dog or child had found that snake before the runner in front of me did.


Ugh.  So anyway, I ended up finishing the last mile, and I'm a little surprised it wasn't faster, because I ready to skeedaddle after that.



On Sunday, J and I hit the trails again.  You can be sure I was on hyper-alert rattlesnake watch.  Paying that much attention to the ground turned out to be a good thing... I didn't see any snakes (or any animal of any kind, surprisingly) but I didn't have nearly as many close calls as last week.  I only almost busted once.  J, however, took 3 spills and was covered in dirt by the time we were finished. (He then suggested that we go out to lunch.  Ummm, no.)  We officially bought our annual parking pass for the forest, so I guess we're really doing this trail thing now!



Sunday, June 17, 2012

Trailblazin'.

This Saturday I finally convinced J to try out the trails at Harbison State Forest with me.  I think we were both surprised at how much we loved it.  We ran the Midlands Mountain Trail -  approximately 4 miles, kinda hilly, and mostly shaded.  



We ran in the heat of the day (we got out there at like 12:45) but the shade made it bearable.  I'm gonna need some trail shoes if we're gonna keep doing it because I tripped several times and very nearly twisted my ankle.  Woops.  But it was so pretty, it was totally worth it.


Definitely slower than my road paces, a better workout too.  My legs are sore in different places than usual, which feels really good, actually.  

We will definitely be doing trail runs more often!  If you can offer any advices about shoes/gear, let me know. 


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Zombieeeeeeessss!

Even though I'm not technically training right now, I still want to be doing some speed/interval workouts, so when Jess wrote about the Zombies, Run! app, I knew I wanted to try it.  It sounded like a fun way to work in some speed and just generally entertain myself since my current running playlist is getting a little old. 



It works on the iPhone or iPod touch, and the website says that an Android version is coming out next week.  It's $8 for the app, wayyyyy more than I've ever paid for one before, but in the world of running gear, that's a drop in the bucket, so I figured why not.  For your $8, you get 22 "story missions" and 7 "supply missions" as part of Season 1.  I believe the 7 supply missions are designed for you to replay.  (It appears that more missions will be released at a later date as Season 2.  Also, they are working on paid extras like Beginner 5K and Interval Training add-ons, which sounds cool.)  

As expected, it's awesome and totally worth the price.

The premise is that there's been a zombie apocalypse, and you're on some kind of supply/recon mission to a base called Abel Township when your helicopter is shot down.  You become Runner 5, part of a team of runners that help supply and defend the base.  You have to evade zombie mobs, perform missions, and make it safely back to the town.  As you run, you pick up supplies which you can then distribute once you get back to base.  

The app tracks distance and pace, and before you start your run, you can choose a playlist from your iTunes to play in between the bits of the story.  The default setting is for missions to be about 30-40 mins long, but you can change that so they take about an hour if you're doing a longer run.  (It will play two songs in between the story instead of just one.)  Also, if you just want to go for an easy/recovery run, you can turn the zombie chases off.


And if you aren't up for some serious sprinting, you definitely want the zombie chases turned off.  I sprinted my little tush off last night, and I still got caught once.  (Like, I was seriously sprinting... my watch was giving me numbers in the 6:xx range, which is ABSURD for me.)  The sprints last about 60 seconds, so plan your route well... the zoms caught me during an uphill section, and I won't make that mistake again.  

My one complain is that, as far as I can figure out, the app does some kind of calculation to figure out how fast it wants you to run to evade the zombie mobs, but it doesn't display that figure anywhere for you.  I assume it's based on how fast you've been doing the rest of your run, but I don't know.  Other than that, I'm hooked!

So basically, if you want to run around grinning like an idiot, laughing at yourself, and checking over your shoulder for zombies, you should buy this app.


*No one from Zombies, Run! asked me to write this post or is giving me anything in return for doing so.  I'm telling you about it because it's awesome, and I like sharing awesome things with my friends.  That is all.