Saturday, March 8, 2008

A little road...a little trail!

What a week! We have been sooooo busy with basketball every night due to the end of season tournament. Now baseball season starts and our first practice was Friday on top of just other regular life stuff. By Thursday I was wondering how you super moms and dads do it? For all of you that have more than one I am thoroughly impressed because it takes an army to get everything done.

Thank goodness for a new month! The Sundermeier clan has been riddled with every virus and bug out there and for most of February this house was more like an infirmary than a home. I was happy to turn my calendar to March with a new found respect for health and wellness.

My workout schedule is heating up again and I am feeling more energy and excitement. My body feels like it’s coming back from OC100K. This last week I started doubles. Both Tuesday and Thursday I have an evening recovery run. Since Tuesday is either track or steep strides followed by legs the evening run is intended to help me rebound faster so I can hit it hard again on Thursday. For the month of March my Thursday's are almost all hill repeats at threshold with the longest workout being 2+ hours with 2X35 minute repeats. On the last week of March I have a flat tempo instead of hills. The Thursday evening run serves the same purpose as Tuesday’s…..aid in the recovery process in order to go at on the weekends. Along with doubles I have bigger back to back runs with hill repeats again on Saturday. Sunday’s are longer sessions and less intensity but when I compared March this year from the same time last year I noticed even more intensity on Sunday’s. Last year I might have had 15-20 of AT work during a Sunday run but this year I am seeing 25 minute sessions and sometimes more than one. That will be a tall order I think?

I love the steep strides workout on Tuesday and feel my knee drive is returning. This week’s session was much easier than last weeks as my body adapts to the new motion. I have a few aches and stiffness talking to me in my hips and even a bit of twinge in my knee but they are nothing to get excited about, more like adapting twinges vs. injury twinges. I do have my foam roller and massage ball living right smack in the middle of my walkway so there is no way I will flake out on using them.

I have always had a love-hate relationship with hill repeats and nothing has changed. I still find myself in an anxious apprehensive mood as I drive to the trail head. I never feel like I know exactly what’s going to happen that day except I do know there will be pain and agony involved. If you are doing the workout properly there is simply no way to avoid the pain and agony but hopefully the workout will yield a warm pleasant feeling when it’s all said and done. The goal is to work the threshold line, the point at which your body stops using oxygen and goes anaerobic. The purpose is to push that line, not over and not far under. The ultimate benefit is to push that line out a bit farther making all your zones more efficient and you a faster runner with less output. As you can see if you are doing “hill repeats at AT” there is just no way to go home without suffering. The best hill repeats are ones where you reach the top at the same time for each repeat. If you can’t maintain the time, you’re going too fast thus beyond AT…..not good. There is nothing sweeter than reaching the top both times in the same split with the same heart rate but faster than the week before….now that is progress! So far my repeats are not exactly the same for each and my efficiency on the hills is weak but I am close. I am so impatient and have such high expectations that I have to remind myself to be more at peace with process and let my body adapt. I expect myself to be right back where I left off last season if not better when in reality that’s not going to happen. All of this creates frustration, anger and behavior that would make a 3 year old seem mature. The only difference is I am almost 41 and I know to throw my tantrums in private! Any who… Thursdays are becoming more of a mental challenge vs. a physical one.

I have been hitting weight room like a gym rat! I have also started forcing myself to do yoga on Wednesday's, we will see how long this will last. I simply can't stand the talk track used my most yoga instuctors. For me is too airy and lacks substance but I know the movement is good for me. As long as I can focus on the moves and block out the mind control I should be fine. I really need the scheduled stretching so this will be my vise until I feel like I need ear plugs. Hmmmmmmm. now that's an idea, ear plugs. I think I might try it. Yesterday (Fri.) I got my upper body crushed. My abs are toast as well. Going to the bathroom poses a bit of challenge due to the need to bend at the waist so I am using my arms as aid but they are not that reliable right now. After the workout my arms were so spent I couldn't use the pen to sign my name for payment so I hope Sean gets his money. :)

Today I ran the Champoeg 10K which is part of a 30K race out in my OC100K training ground. I wanted to see where I was at now for a VDOT. I honestly thought I could run it in 44 minutes but I got 45:04 or 7:16 pace. I was maxed out with a HR at 176 most of the run. My legs felt pretty good and strong but that was as fast as they would go. It was fun to be back to my OC training ground with my quarter mile markers still in place I felt like I had a secret weapon. I think my hidden markers were the reason I was able to win 1st girl masters, second overall and the neat plaque above...ha, ha, ha. Darin and I drove out to run while Trisha, Leah, Cole, Alex and Hagen (dog) cheered us on. Darin’s training is in full swing for Boston and he had a very speedy time! The Beast was running the 30K and as we were driving out I got to pace him in my car and get a few shots. He was modeling his new Hagg Lake shirt and if I might say Beast, it looks great on you. :) He pretended to be pain but I know this was just a warm up run for him.

Tomorrow is Gorge again…..yeah! Since I raced the 10K at above threshold I only have 40-45 minutes of threshold to do tomorrow. Micheal, Steve and I are all heading to Angels Rest again and I plan to do my threshold up Angels Rest to see how fast I can climb to the top. It will definitely be under 40 minutes but how far under…..maybe 37 minutes????? I am curious! The total run tomorrow will be 3:45. I am excited to continue practicing my downhill running and this route is perfect for that.

Chuckanut 50K next weekend! This race will be part of training so no taper. I will still do hill repeats on Thurs. then go at it. I hope I can do the same time I did last year since I had such a good race and really felt like it was a fast time for me. That will be my goal! We have a huge group traveling down for the run and I am looking forward to a fun filled road trip!


  1. Great job! Next year, first women were only 45 seconds back!
    Too bad there were not any aid stations then you would have had her :-)

  2. I am so with you on comparing where I was last year to this year. Scott keeps telling me to take a chill pill (my words, not his - because as you know, he would say it much nicer:), but it is frustrating. Those little bouts of illness and travel can, and will, throw us off a bit. But you are so strong. You are going to be on fire this year!

    Congrats on the hardware - it's always a treat!