Thursday, September 8, 2011

Running, At the track, and (warning) dead animal pictures

Would you rather run when it's 90F at 3 pm, or would you rather see this ?

I have been running some crazy hours lately. For the most part, I really don't mind. The only thing that really bothers me, didn't use to bother me. 

For two years I ran without a headlamp. In a reflective vest and with just the moon and stars. No glowing eyeballs. Looking back I can't believe I avoided major injury! Risky...I know. Those potholes can sneak up on you, never mind the eyeballs.

I would rather run in the day time- when it's not 90F. 

In the last month I have probably ran 2 or 3 times in total daylight, an prefer to see things like this:
And have the option to wear my ipod.

This is a good transition into why I have been running odd hours.
One reason has to do with my husband's hunting season. The best hours for Elk hunting are dusk/dawn. So I have been saving my running for later.
Before you think I am some kind of wife hero for "letting" him hunt, I should tell you that i have been a little grumpy about it at times. So...if you are reading, honey,  I AM SORRY. Now go get the dang elk, already!!

I think Jon might have been bummed when he and his hunting buddy, Brandon, decided to take a break for a few days, then Brandon went out "just to look" for some elk and ran across one of these:
The bear part of the combo tag got filled, and I feel a bit safer running at night again.

Running strange hours also led to an interesting speed workout.

I happened to be visiting at my parents house and left after the kids were asleep (Yes, I did come back for them, eventually!). I also forgot to pack my Garmin, which I have started to get a little attached to. This seemed like a good test for me to withdraw from the pace babysitter. I brought my regular wristwatch, a written assignment for intervals and repetitions, and headed to the track under the lights.

Sidenote: I had never done a track workout in my life. (ok once a year in PE and once for a mile last summer). All this speed work I have been doing has been on the road with the beeps and measurements programmed into my watch. "RUN 200M" and other things flash instructions to me at the right time and place, and I follow the prompts, hoping the satellites are tracking-- and that what I typed/wrote on my hand was correct.

Just as the softball teams were wrapping up, I stepped out to the narrow oval of gravel track, and - blink- the lights went out. On went my headlamp.

I placed a waterbottle near the first turn so I could have a marker, and proceeded to warm up and visualize the workout I had coming up. It was one I had done recently:

4 x 200M @ repetition pace (42 secs using my VDot)
3 x 1000M @ interval pace (3:50)
2 x 400M @ repetition pace (1:25)

What followed was not pretty.

These are the notes I copied from my log:

At my parents house and left my Garmin at home.
I really have no idea what my total miles were tonight. I think i ran about 26 laps +/- on the track, but lost count, plus back to their house.
warmed up 2 1/2 miles I think....

Speed workout = Baah. Not one of those confidence boosters.
Gravel track at middle school: weeds, in the dark. no markings- just guessing. And. oh do I hope it's a 440
(440 yard track)- but I doubt it.

200 Reps, GP= 42 secs- 45,44,41,43 plenty of recovery
3x1000 - 2 minute rests (What the hecK?? That's 2 1/2 laps around right?) G =3:50 Not a chance after the 200s. 4:12, 4:01, 4:02
2x400 Reps G= 1:25---- 1:32, 1:36 with adequate recovery.

I will chalk this up as:
a) gravel
b) just a **appy workout
c) hormones
d) I am in the wrong training VDOT despite my races
e) long track
f) uphill track
g) dark night without good markings
h) anything else I can blame

So much for my first track workout! I rocked!
I did get a little neurotic about missing all my goal times, and posted a comment to a friend (who- I am sure- has ran many a lap on that middle school track). I was told that it was, indeed, a 440 track, and therefore just a bit longer than the metric kind. That made me feel a bit better. Until I looked up the difference in distance.

400 Meters = 437.4453193350831 Yards           440 Yards = 402.336 Meters 

Now I am not great at math, (or measuring where to start or stop on the track), but that doesn't look like much of a difference to me. But who's counting, right?
With my goal race now less than 2 weeks away, and this little "dandy" under my belt, I think it's safe to say:
Time to taper a bit.

Just for kicks
I saw another blogger post (not too long ago) some of the internet searches that brought people to his blog. So I thought I'd share some of mine from the last month. Enjoy!

prime rib

red running skirts

running room 10k training schedule

bananas running in fear

confused head

decaf coffee

galloway training plan 10k

geetah straw

should i wear racing flats for a marathon?

10k training running room
-v8 veg juice
plain hot dog

redneck ducttape holder
cute patriotic running socks


  1. well, now you have a new google search that will bring readers to your blog... dead bear! Holy smokes! That guy is huge!

    I know what it's like to run at night... but not where there's wildlife!

  2. I dont like running at night - but I "run" when I can. Have not ran speed work since surgery; looking forward to it.

    NICE bear.

  3. Holy Crap. Where were they hunting? Bears used to scare me more than cougar, but after my Bear Facts information show at camp, I'm back to being more scared of cougar...then I see this picture and my tummy dropped.

  4. HOw scary!! Seeing that would have scared the pool out of me! Take this track workout as fuel for your fire girl! Use it! Those goal times are amazing! And I'm confident that you can hit those times. 3:50 1,000's...I can do that for like 1 and then the rest seem to be around 4:05/4:10 right now. and then 4:15 and they keep getting slower instead of the progressive style. I think that it must have been a long uphill track for sure Raina! :) You're so funny. I love your voice. And I should post my google searches too...they are funny.

  5. I mean scared the "poo" out of me. I guess pool would work too...pool of piss!

  6. Btw, I know you didn't really see the glowing eyeballs but it would still have scared the poo out of me...I not what this post is all about. ha ha. And you said you had done this workout recently?? Did you hit the times last time? I'm sorry, I'm all over the place right now...trying to read you post with care but not doing such a good job so I keep coming off to be with these precious little people I have with me. Sorry for so many comments...I should save my blog reading and commenting for night when I have no distractions. Hugs! You're amazing Raina! In so many ways!

  7. Wow, that is a huge bear! My husband would be so jealous.
    I know what it's like to try to up the speed in the dark (not on a track...and my "speed" is probably your "slow"...) I just keep hoping I continue to miss all of the potholes and cracks...and that the coyotes and bobcats continue to stay to themselves as I run by. Yes, as I type these things, I start to wonder about my sanity running at those hours.

  8. I'm laughing because I kept looking at the top picture waiting for it to load and then realized it WAS loaded-ha!

    Ha ha! You crack me up with the 440 vs 400 m. I would TOTALLY google that too!

    I'm remembering my Boston training in which I ran about 90% of my miles in darkness. Cold darkness, what the heck am I signing up for here?????

    You will chalk this up to just one little run in a REALLY AWESOME training cycle that will culminate in a REALLY AWESOME race!!! That, and h. because I like h:) Also, c. because c. makes a BIG difference, and of course, a,e,f, and g but I think d is wrong:) Following?? And you know, that's not even remotely a crappy workout especially on an uphill track and who's to say how accurate 2.5 times around is!!! I'll trade you speed paces anyday-ha!!

    Redneck ducttape holder-I bet I have that one in my google search too-ha! Bananas running in fear??

    OK-great job Raina! You deserve to relax a bit and let this work work for you now. Enjoy your taper, you're gonna SMOKE it!!

  9. 1.5 seconds is the conversion factor for a mile on a 400 meter track.

    Doesn't help much, does it?

    Something I tell myself: "Danny, Training is about changing my abilities over time. Changing my physical, mental, and emotional abilities." Sometimes I think, oh, I can knock out this time, but I forget to account for the fact that I haven't trained myself to handle the mental barriers or emotional barriers.

    Food for thought - though I'd prefer to munch on elk meat (bear isn't too bad - kinda greasy though).

  10. @XL- hah! I will check for that search tonight :)

    @ Julie- He found it in the Tioga unit of the Umpqua national forest. And, since they are still looking for elk, I can only say that it was at a place called "secret creek". Cougars? Definitely more scary.

    @ C2- you have earned some serious speed work. I am looking forward to reading about it!

    @ Amanda- I love your 3 comment comments!!. Scares the POOL outta me too, HAHA :) And, YES. There are eyeballs ALL the time. But usually just deer and racoons or house cats. I don't like noises behind me though.

    @Jen- tell your husband he is welcome to come and get one here!!

    @ Jenn- waiting......waiting.....waiting..... And thanks about the analysis of my analysis. ;) always appreciate your thoughts!

    @ Danny- I had a funny feeling about that 1 second part. Bear is greasy, but i hear it is good for sausage and/or jerky. :)

  11. oh my word - you are determined. Good for you!!

  12. Hey girl..
    I read this earlier but didn't have time to comment so came back tonight. You made me laugh about the track, I totally get that. I have the same situation when I go to the pool. It's all going to go great, it will, just pre-rae jitters I think where you question most everything.

    Wow, that bear is huge. Bear run, by chance? Do you eat the bear meat? I don't think I've ever had bear.

    Enjoy your taper, you've earned it... :)

  13. Here I run at night but the only risk could be a drunk driver.
    You did a very good job, now enjoy the taper.
    Poor bear ....

  14. Oh my word?!!! How is it that my husband goes on a crazy expensive guided BEAR hunt in alaska and comes home w no bear and your husband is just out elk hunting and just comes upon one?!!! So crazy awesome. cracks me up. You are hardcore, Raina, in every way. Enjoy your taper! Oh, and happy belated anniversary! Lucky guy, he is! Bring home that elk now, ya hear?

  15. Ps. I have to give my guy some credit-- it was during the worst flooding Alaska has seen in years and the bears had high tailed it out of there--- he didn't come home w a bear but he did come home w giardia. ;)

  16. I would be pretty afraid if I saw a deer! Sometimes running in hot weather is good because when you run a cool weather race it feels so easy ;)

  17. oh my gosh!! did they catch that bear? Thats crazy. WOW!

    And my friend, you really need to come to TX for some hot runs, its brutal though!

  18. I managed to pretty much skip the pictures. Phew!

    I laughed ... redneck ducttape holder ... that's awesome!

  19. For as much rack work as I have done during my high school, college years, a gravel track could be the difference of 15+ seconds a mile. Completely changes the workout. Don't worry to much about it, just get back out there on a real track or measure out your intervals on a flat road loop.
    I have similar pictures, but it is my Mother that is the hunter :)

  20. Hey I love your new picture on your blog! (I usually read from google reader and don't see the layout).

    Whats going on with the bear? Is it trapped? Is that trap meant for bears? wow, I can't imagine living within 30 miles of where bears are....I'm a bit afraid of them.

    Always love search terms....those are great.


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