Archive for the ‘run’ Category

Barefoot Running

There is a craze that is sweeping the nation right now. And that craze is barefoot running.

It is exactly what it sounds like. Running with no shoes on. Or, if you prefer to keep your feet intact, shoe companies are coming out with “minimalist” shoes to run in. Like these:

nike free



I’ve been doing some research on this for awhile because the idea fascinates me. For years all I heard was that if you have problems in your knees, hips, ankles, shins, back, etc etc etc, it is because you’re not wearing the correct shoes. Now they’re saying do away with shoes and/or padding altogether?? Can this be real?

Apparently, it has a lot to do with your running economy, and how you strike your foot to the ground. Traditional running shoes encourage a “heel strike” because they are kind of heavy and provide cushioning to counteract the force of that heel strike, making it bearable. Minimalist shoes encourage a “midfoot strike” where you do not land on your heel when you run, but around the center. Heel striking in barefeet is too painful and will jack up your feet because it isn’t naturally how we were built to run, some say. The midfoot strike allows for a quicker turn over (more steps per minute) and a softer landing, which should happen naturally over time just out of self-preservation. Your body relearns how to run.

Lots of people say they love it and won’t ever go back. I’m down to try this.

I think I’m going to try a pair of these…


I’ll get back to you on this. Wish me luck.


Eat. Knit. RUN. Blog.


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Love for Deena

Having no television or internet in my home, I’ve been out of the loop as far as the Olympics go. I plan to catch up at my parents’ house this weekend – they have Tivo. :) But I just read Deena Kastor’s blog and my heart broke for her a little.

Deena Kastor is a marathoner, and she’s one of my heroes. She got me going in running, and whenever I thought training was getting too hard, I thought of her and how hard she worked to get so good. I recommend her blog – she doesn’t write often, but she’s pretty funny and seems like just a really nice person.

I just read that after months and months of preparation for the Olympics, and how she was expected to place, Deena broke her foot after 16 minutes of the race. She wrote about it pretty calmly in the blog, but that’s tough.

Anyway, I feel for her. Send good thoughts her way, okay?

Not really linked with this news, but I decided to start running again. My knee injury from the marathon in June is better. I’m not sure it will ever completely heal… it always feels tight nowadays, but it’s not swelling anymore. I keep ice on it most nights as a precaution. I’m going to start with one day a week, 30 minutes… and see if that works ok. Sometimes at work, or if I’m running late for the bus, I start an all out run without even thinking about it and it feels SO GOOD to stretch my legs. I miss it.

I’ll let y’all know how it works out :) Have a great week.

P.S. To everybody completing the Ravelympics and Knitting Olympics – GREAT job! I’m browsing through my regular bogs and seeing all of these gorgeous FO’s! I’m jealous. I have to start knitting again too :)

Eat. Knit. RUN. BLOG.

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Marathon #2 Complete!

I rocked. I rolled. I came in 10 minutes faster than last year. YEAH.

Oh yeah and about the lovely weather predicted – LIES, ALL LIES. Sun came out early and it got hot. Luckily, many of the homes we passed in residential neighborhoods had hoses spraying water into the street for runners to pass through. Verrrry nice.

My fabulous plan to run a fast race just didn’t work out, but I did run quite steadily. I promised myself before the race that if I had the energy left at the end that I was gonna go as hard as I could. So toward the end, in the last four miles I had a little mantra going in my head that kept me going: “If I got it, I’m gonna give it” and I said it to the beat of my running “If I got it, 2, 3, I’m gonna give it, 2, 3…” and so on. Sometimes I’d throw in a little “I got it!” Hehe, it’s a little silly but it totally kept me going. Another thing that helped were people holding up signs that said “Pain is temporary” :) I thought, yeah it is! Screw it I’m going to run hard!!…. And now I’m in pain :) But it was worth it.

Ready to go at 6am
(For my Alaska peeps, notice the very fine Ron Seater shirt – I was showing UAS math club pride)

Woo! 4 miles done

There’s my final run to the finish – squint and you can see me – squint harder and you can see my awesome bulging calves

The victorious finisher!

Jenny Dolan: Marathon Conquerer
About 5 minutes later I was passed out on the couch

Here’s my Garmin readout. I’m a total geek, I love this stuff. Just try not to pay attention to the large spikes which are my walking breaks…. hehe

Here’s my route over the course via the Garmin Forerunner 205.

We’ll see if this happens again next year :)

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Awake at 4am…

But it’s for a good cause. Rock’n’Roll, Baby! I’m not actually that energetic right now; the exclamation mark is exaggerating for me to make you think I’m peppy. I’m actually just sitting at the dining room table (no coffee… caffeine + me + running = bad news) in my woof woof pajamas (as seen in some previous posts) and Obama t-shirt (heck yes). I ate a little bowl of oatmeal, had a little glass of juice, and am just waiting.
Nobody else is crazy enough to get up this early hehe. But I like the quiet in the morning. Last year everyone got up with me and it was craziness and anxiety that morning. I feel very calm this time. Anxious to get going, but not frenzied. I haven’t even pinned my bib to my shirt or put my chip on my shoe. I’m living on the edge! (Another exclamation point!)
You would be feeling pretty good if you had my weather ahead of you on a race day. Just look at the beautiful weather I have ahead of me:

The perfect morning for running. Cool and a little humid, only getting up to 65 degrees by the end with partly cloudy skies. Ahhh.
So I’ve got everything laid out: My shoes are ready, favorite socks (even though they have holes) are clean, shorts, t-shirt, sports bra — all good to go! I’ve got friends and family at different places along the course to give me juice and bananas. I’m lucky to have such a supportive family.
The Rock’n’Roll Marathon is really a source of pride for us San Diegans. Everyone knows it because they are plagued by the road closures, but tons of people come down to cheer us on. Like thousands of people. It’s amazing. The entire course (except for the part on the freeway — yes the freeway!) is lined with people.
So last but not least, the race website has a cool tracking system hooked up to the shoe chips. If you feel like following me along with live results or want to see how I did at the end, go to:

San Diego Rock’n’Roll Marathon

And type in my bib number: 11202

Wish me luck! Here I go! (!!!)

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The Day Before the Marathon!

It’s here. The Marathon is finally here. I’ve been training since January and the race is tomorrow!

I just went to the Expo with my mom and got my number bib and t-shirt. The t-shirt is awesome this year. I’ll share pics of me in it later once it’s washed, otherwise I gets itchy – itch itch. We got tons of free samples – even though I know you’re not supposed to eat new things before the race, but hey, these were organic and vegan, stuff like juice and vitamin water, I think I’ll be fine — But I was amazed at the amount of vegan faire on the sample tables this year! Very nice! Athletes are really switching to soy as a cleaner fuel than dairy :) Woo! We got a granola sample then spied the Silk soymilk table and went over to pour some over the granola. Yum.

Also at the Expo we saw Dean Karnazes speak!! For those of you unfamiliar, he’s the UltraMarathon Man. He ran 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. Phew. And get this: He lives in San Francisco and ran down the coast to San Diego to speak at the Expo! He joked that he was too cheap to pay for gas and he didn’t have a car anyway. Ha. He was very down to earth and really motivating. Makes me want to run somewhere instead of drive. It’s all very romantic… in the older sense of the word. The “how ideal but slightly nonsense” sense… I’m reading Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, and just finished Emma by Jane Austen… Forgive the archaic speech.

Anyway, I’m excited and a little nervous for the run! I went on a little 2 mile jaunt this morning to shake up the legs a bit and stretch and i felt really strong. Here’s my plan: I’m going to run 14 miles at a 12 – 12:15 minute per mile pace. Then I’m going to start ramping it up slowly so that by the end I will hopefully get my average time down to 10:30 minutes per mile. This may be wishful thinking. Hehe. We’ll see. My big goal is to finish in less than 5 hours, ideally 4 1/2 hours (fingers crossed). But hell, I’ll be happy to finish at all :) If I got any at the end, I’m giving it all. So there!

Wish me luck and I promise lots of pictures and more about my adventures in San Diego :)

Eat. Knit. RUN. BLOG.

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The 20 Miler

Ok, actually it was 18 – but I’m calling it 20 (and maybe then some) in spirit. I’ll explain.

Because this run wiped. me. out.
::Passes out on the floor, then gets up and continues blogging::

I’ve been having AMAZING runs lately. I’ve been feeling totally strong, running faster than normal with the same effort. So, today I planned my 20 miler with plenty of juice and banana, snacks for afterward, enough water, hell I even brought salt. Everything should have been perfect, except for one little thing:

I was wearing an 8 pound backpack —— Does this seem smart to you?—— I had never worn a pack on a run before, so naturally I thought it would be best to try it out on a 20 mile run. ::Slaps forehead::

Runners, if you’ve never run with a backpack before, I’m going to say this with my fresh firsthand experience – 8 pounds on your back, swinging side to side a little, and up and down a lot, makes a BIG difference. My knees and ankles were killing me. I couldn’t seem to move forward easily, and it only dawned on me 3 miles into the run that the pack was swinging side to side (liquid in sports bottles helping perpetuate this motion), totally throwing off my running economy. I was out of breath at a 12 minute per mile pace, whereas I’m usually at that level of fatigue at a 10-10:15 pace.

So, to make myself feel better about whimping out and not going to 20, with those numbers stated above I’m going to make a pretend estimate according to my perceived exertion level. In reality I finished 18 miles at an average of 13.3 minutes per mile = 4 hours (including some walking). If I had been running without the backpack at the same exertion rate (meaning the 10-10:15 pace), I should have run the same 18 miles in around 3 hours. So add an additional hour of running and I would have come in at 23 miles!

Ha. Don’t you love my logic? So basically, I’m calling it 20 miles. :P So there. I’ve never actually hit the wall before, but I think I came pretty darn close today. My legs are aching and my joints are quite angry with me. Let’s hope nothing is hurt too bad.

I see an ice bath in my near future. Brrr. And some chili. And maybe a nap. Maybe not in that order…

Eat. Knit. RUN. Blog.

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Ok guys, I’m sitting in my pjs waiting for breakfast to digest a little more and getting antsy. Why you may ask?

Because I’m going to go run 20 miles today.

All week I’ve been totally cool with it. I was calm and collected, even looking forward to it. I caught myself thinking, “I’ll just run out the road 10 miles, turn around and come back, no big.”

But all week the weather was totally gorgeous. Kind of an anomaly for Juneau in the Spring, apparently. Yesterday we were at an end of the year bar-be-que (pics from that later) and it was cold and rained pretty hard on us. When I went to bed last night I could hear the wind howling outside our apartment. I went to bed thinking “I might have to run in that tomorrow…”

It’s still pretty windy outside right now. No rain, yet… The temperature says it’s a balmy 50 degrees though! Warm! (no really, that’s warm) And the clouds look thin, meaning not thick with rain and could possible break up and give me some sun, maybe?

Ok, all this waiting is crap. I’m going to start getting ready and go, damn it. Breakfast be damned.

Wish me luck – I’ll let you know how badly I’m hurting at the end – hehe.

Eat. Knit. RUN (whimper). BLOG.

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