Posted by: specialkkluthe | June 9, 2011

I’m done.

After some more thinking about this blog, I have decided that I am going to abandon it in favor of my other blog.

I have been struggling just to maintain one blog amid the craziness of life and just don’t think that I can maintain two blogs – and maintain them well. Plus, training is a big part of my life so it seems silly to have blogs that separate the two.

I am still doing triathlons and am still going to post about my training a couple of times a week on my other blog, so please join me!

Best of luck in all your training plans and goals!

Posted by: specialkkluthe | May 23, 2011

Rethinking the Tri Blog

First, let me apologize for saying I would come back to this blog when I started training this season. I obviously have not done that.

I am rethinking the existence of this blog. While I do like having a place to muse at length upon the challenges and successes of being an endurance athlete, I don’t know if it’s possible for me to keep two blogs updated. Do any of you have more than blog? If so, how do you balance the two?

It might be that life in general has been busier than usual the past month and a half. So that’s why I haven’t completely abandoned this blog. I’d welcome any feedback or suggestions. Thanks!

Posted by: specialkkluthe | December 31, 2010

Taking a break

I have been meaning to post this for a while but if  you haven’t already ascertained from my complete absence from this blog, I am taking a break from updating it. Once I start tri training again, I’ll probably start posting. But since I have another blog and I’m not training for anything right now (except my vacation to Mexico next week!), I just don’t have the muse or reason to update this blog.

So happy training and Happy New Year! I’ll be posting again in a few months.

Posted by: specialkkluthe | November 12, 2010

Racing this weekend!

Wow, I have been a slacker with this blog. The reason? I have also been a slacker with  my running.

Needless to say, I don’t feel the most prepared for the Malibu half marathon as I could be (or have been for others). But the race will be what it is. I did run 8 miles 2 weeks ago and before that, I could run 5 miles easily after taking 2 weeks off so I’m just hoping that all of this rest will turn out to be a good thing and not just completely hose me over.

But good news – I didn’t have ANY knee pain during that 8 mile run so the lack of running IS helping my IT band to recover. (No thanks to me though because I have also been a slacker on stretching!)

I am still looking forward to the weekend and the race though. I’m sure it will still be enjoyable, even if I don’t set any PRs or distance records.

I’ll post next week about how it went and how the race was.

Until then, have a great weekend!

Posted by: specialkkluthe | September 30, 2010

Recovering but falling behind

I ran 6.6 miles last night with Travis along the Ocean Front Walk in San Diego – I’m pretty sure I would run there all the time if I lived here. So beautiful!

As for the run itself, not as beautiful. I don’t know if I’m just getting out of shape (in 2 weeks!) or if it’s the humidity but last night’s run felt HARD. My calves felt very heavy and sore for the first couple of miles but that went away so my legs actually felt good for the majority of the run. Even my knee threatened to act up but didn’t so I was able to run the whole distance with no pain – not even the inkling of it beginning. That makes me optimistic.

But what doesn’t make me optimistic is that pace-wise, I felt like I was running like the wind. I felt like I was running at least a sub-10 pace. I mean, I was cruising. Sure, most other runners were passing us but they must’ve just been phenoms, right?


Depressingly, I just figuring out the pace we were running and it was 10:58/mile. I really felt like I was running so much faster! What I don’t understand is that just last week, I was running 11:30s at a very easy, relaxed pace. Now I’m struggling to even run a 11:00 mile. Stupid.

I do know, though, that my slacker-ness of not working out at all has not helped me. I need to get some heart-pumping cardio in and not just do nothing even if I’m not running.

But the more days that go by, the more resigned I am to the reality that the marathon, at this point, is most likely out of the question. Even if I get to the point where my knee doesn’t hurt on longer runs, I would no longer have time to train sufficiently. Moreover, I have to make the final decision about switching to the half marathon by October 15th – according to the race organizers. That leaves me 2 weeks.

Most of me thinks that I should just admit defeat now and let go of the pressure. I mean, I haven’t run over 10 miles in a month. I haven’t run over 7 miles in 3 weeks. That doesn’t bode well for a marathon in a month and a half.

But then I think, I have a month and a half. I can totally increase my mileage to at least 18 miles by then – right? Well, over the next 2 weeks, I’ll try 2 more long runs. If I still get stopped at mile 7 or 8 by my knee, the decision has been made for me. I can muscle through 5 or 6 miles with a gimp knee – but I can’t muscle through 18 or 19.

And there’s always next year, right?

Posted by: specialkkluthe | September 29, 2010

Optimism down!

I have ran once in the past week, twice in the past 2 weeks. Not because I’m lacking the desire but because I thought maybe my leg/knee needs a break. But because we put on another race last weekend, I haven’t worked out since Thursday. Not good!

I’m in San Diego right now with Travis – he’s taking a class out here for work. Being in California reminds me frequently of my impending race… and makes me wonder if I can even still run the half marathon! But Travis and I are going to go on a 6.5-mile run tonight so I’ll get to see how the sea level affects me, as well as see how my legs feel.

We’ll see!

Posted by: specialkkluthe | September 12, 2010

Thwarted by the knee, again.

So I got everything ready Friday  night for my long run of 15 miles yesterday morning. I had food, shot bloks, my camelbak, running clothes, everything ready. I got up at 6:15 on a Saturday to go run for 3 hours.

But I was thwarted by my knee again. I made it 5 miles with a few stints of stretching and walking before I had to just admit defeat. I could have probably traveled the distance of all 15 miles but it would have taken me the better part of the day. So I quit. I walked the last 1 1/2 miles home, stretched well, and carried on with my Saturday.

I do think that my 7 mile run on Friday was a big contributor to my immense failure yesterday. My knee doesn’t pay attention to the different days of the week or what kind of run I’m doing at the time. Instead, it keeps track of every mile and if I work it hard one day, it demands the next couple days off.

I’m going to be gone all this next week in St. George, UT, for a triathlon we’re hosting but the week after that, I’m going to attempt this long run again. Only this time, I’m going to take the 3 days prior completely off from running. And we’ll see if that helps.

If it does, GREAT! I know that I just need to cut down on my non-distance-building runs and really concentrate on upping my mileage.

If it doesn’t, then I have to really start thinking about the possibility that the marathon just isn’t going to pan out for me this year. I’m hoping that I can switch to the half-marathon so I can still race but for a more manageable distance.

I have to admit that this setback has made my m0tivation wane a bit for this goal. When I woke up on Saturday morning for my long run, I was questioning “Why do I want to go out and run for 3 hours? Why am I doing this? I’d really much rather just do a nice 5 miler.” Well, I guess I got my wish.

Posted by: specialkkluthe | September 10, 2010

Running! Not blogging…

Wow, I’ve been slacking on the blog updates lately!!

The day after my half-marathon, I had my first appointment with the physical therapist, Ryan. After analyzing the way I walk, looking at my knees, and feeling my leg muscles, he diagnosed me with a tight IT band, which is in turn pulling on my knee tendon and kneecap, causing tendonitis. He doesn’t know exactly what is causing my IT band to be so tight because my  knee pain tends to be so random – sometimes it hurts after 4 miles, sometimes I can go 10 just fine.

So that is a work in progress. I go see him twice a week and he stretches out my right leg and then massages my IT band. HOLY COW that hurts. It is worse than getting a tattoo! It is SO painful, it’s ridiculous. But it seems to be helping… I really need to get better at stretching on my own though. I haven’t been very diligent about that.

Needless to say, I am still having knee pain. My knee was sore for about 2 days about running that half-marathon. In the weeks since the race, the longest run I’ve done was 10 miles and I had to stop and stretch a couple times in the last 3 miles. I did 7 miles today and my knee was hurting for the last 2 miles. I actually ran/walked the last mile, not because my knee hurt that bad but because I’m scheduled to do 15 miles tomorrow and I didn’t want to really screw myself over. But I’m not really holding my breath for my long run tomorrow. I’m going to do 3-4 out and backs around my house to equal 15 miles so that I don’t run out 7.5 miles and then discover my knee hurts.

But other than the knee pain, training is going well. Last week, I did 4 miles of 1/2 mile repeats at a 8:55 pace. My other 2 runs that week were a 10 and a 7 miler and even though I was running at a very easy, relaxed pace, I averaged a 11:05 pace on both runs. I was averaging an 11:45 pace before that speed workout! So I’m pumped. I actually enjoyable longer repeats where I don’t have to do an all-out sprint so I am going to try to fit one speed workout in every week until the marathon.

I am also to the point where a 7-10 mile run is just enjoyable – not hard or difficult. So I’m pretty pumped about that.

I am also trying once again to clean up my diet. It is so hard to be diligent about what I eat when I’m running this much because I see I burned 800 calories and it’s like “I can eat this giant bag of Swedish Fish” or “I can have a bowl of ice cream and 2 glasses of wine.” I’m not going to limit my calories or count them (I don’t have the energy or muse for that) but I am going to cut down on the amount of sweets and junk food I eat. This is also a work in progress.

Well, that’s the update for now! Happy training to everyone!

Posted by: specialkkluthe | August 22, 2010

The Heart and Sole Half Marathon

Well, I did it. I ran my 2nd half marathon today and even though I missed my previous half marathon time by about 3 minutes, it was a good experience.

Travis and I left our house to drive up to Boulder (about 45 minutes away) around 5 am. The half started at 7 am and the 10K started at 7:30. I did not sleep well at all last night – partly because of jitters and partly because I had a lot of weird dreams and it was too warm. So it wasn’t as hard as I had expected to get up at 4:15 – it was actually sort of a relief because I didn’t have to force myself to sleep anymore.

We got up to the Boulder Reservoir around 6 and went to pick up our packets. I was really excited when I saw the race shirts – they are REALLY cute. It is definitely a great race shirt. We also got a water bottle, socks, and a running hat – score! After picking up our packets and timing chips, we went back to the car to put on our timing chips and bibs and discard our sweats. Around 6:30, we headed back over to the finish line area to meet our friends D and Doug and to use the portapotties. We ran around a bit to warmup (though it was more for me than Travis, since his race started later) and I stretched.

About 10 minutes before 7, I realized I needed to pee again – so I hurried over to portapotties and got back with plenty of time to walk over to the start line, which was about 500 yards away. After saying goodbye to D, Doug and Travis, I went and stood toward the back of the pack, waiting for the start.

And then I realized that I had to pee again. When the announcer said it would be another 5 minutes before the start, I hustled over to the portapotty about 300 feet away. But 4 other guys had the same idea before I did and I was nervous about missing the start so after about a minute, I gave up and went back to the start line. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized I should really go and when the line had disappeared and we still weren’t starting, I decided it was worth the risk so I ran back over to the portapotty. I was in and out quickly and I made it back to the starting line with a few minutes to spare. Whew!

Finally, we were off. The part of the pack where I was running actually thinned out a decent amount in the first 1/4 mile so I was running my goal pace of 11:30 almost from the start. My legs felt decent – not amazing but not heavy either. I was running at a comfortable pace and when I got to mile 1, I looked at my watch: 11:37. Not bad but I had to pick up the pace a little if I was going to make my goal. So I did and got to mile 2 at 22:45, a little fast so I tried to slow down just a bit. I was right on target at mile 3, but then miles 4, 5 and 6, I fell behind my goal pace by about a minute.

All of the aid stations seemed to very well-supplied and there were a TON of volunteers (having the job I do coordinating volunteers for triathlons, I was in awe of the abundance) but since I brought my Camelbak filled with water and my shotbloks, I didn’t take advantage of anything at the aid stations – I’m glad that I brought my Camelbak because I didn’t have to walk at all to drink water.

With 7 miles down and 6 to go, I calculated that if I ran an 11:20 pace for the remaining miles, I could still finish in 2:30. And for miles 8, 9 and 10, that worked. By the time I reached mile marker 10, I was right at my goal pace of 11:30.

But the last 3 miles were killer. I felt ok during mile 11 – the heat was starting to get to me (it was probably in the lows 80s) and I was starting to really get hungry. But I was pushing through it, even calling out to those who were walking to say they could do it – less than 3 miles!

My enthusiasm ended when I reached mile marker 11. I just wanted to be done. My knee was hurting (had been since mile 4), I was utterly exhausted and I so wanted to walk. But I kept reminding myself that “Pain is temporary. Quitting is forever.” So I am proud to say that I didn’t walk at all.

But I did finish the race a bit slower than I had wanted because there was absolutely no way I could pick up the pace during those 2 last miles – I barely had enough energy to sprint the last 100 feet to the finish line and when I tried, my knee screamed NO so I just sped up a little toward the finish line. My final time according to my watch was 2:33:25. My chip time was 2:33:10. And my official time was 2:33:50. I don’t understand the discrepancy but I think I’ll go with my chip time – I forgot to turn my watch off right when I crossed the finish line, so I think that’s more accurate anyway. 🙂 Regardless, my pace was about an 11:45/min mile. That is pretty much the pace I trained at so I feel like this was a pretty good run for me.

After I crossed the finish line, Travis came over to give me a big hug and say he was proud of me. I grabbed a popsicle (which was great) and a warm bottle of water (not so great) and stretched as I talked to Travis, D and Doug about how my race had gone and found out about theirs. Travis ran the 10K in 48:50 (10th in his age group and 50th out of 500!) and Doug ran it in 1:08 something. Very proud of them.

I was absolutely starving so after I finished my popsicle, I went in search of the sausage breakfast sandwiches the race organizers had advertised online. Unfortunately, I discovered that they had brats instead, which I’m not a huge fan of. So I settled for 1/2 a bagel and 2 oreos – which doesn’t seem like much when I had just burned 1,650 calories but with running, I’m usually more hungry the day after than right after. I had grabbed a small granola bar too but I made the mistake of eating something really sweet (the oreos) after a physically taxing activity. For some reason, my stomach revolts when I do that. So I ended feeling slightly sick for next couple of hours but we still went to Einstein Bros Bagels so I could get my breakfast sandwich – spinach, mushroom, egg and swiss on a plain bagel – and some fruit (they had apples, oranges and bananas at the finish line, but I just didn’t feel like any of those). I ate my breakfast sandwich, even though I still didn’t feel the greatest. My stomach actually didn’t feel right until about 2 pm.

Surprisingly, I’m not as bothered about missing my goal time as I thought I would be. I think that’s mostly because I raced smartly today. I went out at my goal pace (not being overly optimistic about how fast I could finish), I pushed myself in the middle when I could, and I didn’t let myself walk, even though I wanted to so badly.

Nonetheless, in light of my larger marathon goal, this race has made me realize 2 things: 1) I really need to do something about my knee – running a marathon will not be possible if my knee doesn’t get better. 2) I don’t think it’s entirely realistic to finish the marathon in under 5 hours. That can be my stretch goal but based on this finish time and according to the McMillan calculator, a more realistic goal would be to finish in 5:23. So I think I will have to amend my goal – I will still run as fast as I can but let’s be honest – it’s still just not that fast.

I have thought about changing my blog title to “The Ambitious Turtle: I’m Not Fast But I’m Determined!” Kidding aside, I’m really trying to not let my slowness bother me. Not everyone can be fast and instead of letting my lack of fastness deter me from challenging myself physically like I do through running and triathlons, I’m going to go out there, hold my head high, and be proud that I have the perseverance, discipline, and courage to be a long-distance runner and a triathlete.

Travis and me before the race

Travis finishing strong

Deliriously happy after crossing the finish line

Stretching while talking to D and Doug

Enjoying my popsicle

Posted by: specialkkluthe | August 18, 2010

Safe… or stupid?

Well, I made it over 1/2 the distance of the half marathon today with practically no pain. Woohoo! I didn’t know if my 6.66 (is that creepy or what?) mile run today was safe or stupid. It could have been safe because it is only half of the distance, I did it at what felt like a very leisurely pace (though is what my target pace is for the marathon – 11:30 min/mile), and I felt great! But it could have been stupid because I took ibuprofen before I ran (which could have masked the pain in my knee) and it could make my knee that much more prone to irritation on Sunday.

Eh. I decided to risk it.

Now I know that I can run feeling good for at least half the race this Sunday, if not more. My plan is to run at a leisurely pace like I did today (around an 11:30 pace) for the first 7 miles, then increase the pace a bit (to about a 11:15/11:20) for the next 3 miles, and then for the last 3 miles, I’ll run like there’s no tomorrow (which will be about an 11:05/11:10 pace most likely). That’s my hope. Because that will mean I finish the half marathon in 2:27ish, which would mean I beat my previous half marathon time of 2:30:46. And that’s really all that I’m aiming for in this race.

I’m going to run 2 miles tomorrow and then take Friday and Saturday off completely, except for taking my dog on a walk and doing some stretching. I haven’t been as diligent about drinking water and eating right this week as I should be… I’m just way too tired for it! Putting on triathlons on back-to-back weekends is absolutely exhausting. It’s 14-hour days of intense manual labor with minimal sleep – hard to recover from that quickly.

Well, here’s to a great race! I’ll post details after the race (with some pictures too!)

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