Friday, September 2, 2011

Last Long One, Tommie Copper Calf Sleeves and August Recap

Tomorrow is my last truly long run ahead of the Top of Utah Marathon. I can't believe the race is in two weeks. It seems too soon. I'm starting to fret already. Hopefully tomorrow's run will help me burn some of that off.

It's a 16-miler (or 18 if I feel good--we'll see about that!) with a fast finish. I plan to drive to the top of the trailhead in Boulder Canyon, run down into the city for eight or nine miles and then run back up the canyon for the second part. I figure this will simulate finishing under duress, even if I don't go fast, because I'll be climbing pretty much the whole way back. Some of it will be quite steep.

Bring it on! After Thursday's lousy run, I feel like attacking this one. (And I got eight hours of sleep last night--thank you, Will, for conking and staying that way all night!)

Meanwhile, I've been trying out another product this week, one that I'm excited about. The product is my Tommie Copper calf sleeves. I had been meaning to buy some compression socks or something similar for my calves, which (along with my quads) get the Most Likely to Be Sore award after any given run. I foam roll them a lot, but that's not always enough to get the hurt out before the next hard effort.

Lucky me, I won a pair of Tommie Coppers from Marcia at The Studly Runner. They arrived just in time for me to don them after my Unexpected Relay last weekend. On Tuesday morning, I put them on immediately after a hard fartlek workout. They were supportive without making me feel like a sausage in a casing (as my friend Rosann would describe it), and nice and soft. I was also surprised, given the climbing mercury, that I didn't feel hot in them.

Ruthie wants a pair too! Do they make them in size 4T?

They were so comfy I put them back on after showering to go to work---and forgot to take them off until I arrived AT work and realized they were still there, still comfy, but didn't go so well with the skirt I had put on. I've worn them after every run since. I think they are helping with the calves. Today I had a short recovery run, and I noticed a big difference between the way my calves felt when I had them on post-run and the way they felt after a day on my feet with the kids (and no calf sleeves). I'm wearing them again as I type this. Winning them was definitely a coup, and I recommend them to anyone who feels their calves need a little TLC. Big thanks to Marcia and Tommie Copper! Now maybe I need to get the ankle sleeves....

Finally, I wanted to do a quick recap of August:

--I ran 168.3 miles. My biggest week was that of the 22-miler (the relay), which came in at 44.1 miles. I was a bit bummed that I didn't have a 50-mile week. The relay one would have been had I done the two 3-mile recovery runs that were supposed to bookend the big one. But I have my Houston ramp-up in the cooling weather to pile on the miles. All I can do now is cross my fingers and hope I did enough miles for a PR at Top of Utah. It was certainly the highest-mileage month I've done in six years. Surely that counts for something.

--I ran the Colorado Relay, unexpectedly, as Runner 2. It was a great time. I got to spend time in nature, running under the stars, hanging out with others who love and get running, reconnecting with old friends.

--I had some very satisfying workouts where I could see progress in my running: the ones that stick out are my second fast-finish long run (I used the Heart & Sole Half Marathon to push me along) and the fabulous tempo run I had ahead of the relay. I also had two very stinky workouts: yesterday's 9-mile goal-pace fail and the first fast-finish long run, which ended up being a slow 18 miles instead. Hey, you win some, you lose some.

--I got to meet (virtually) Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano. These two answered some of my questions and some of yours. They are classy guys, and I'm so looking forward to reading their new book, Run the Edge. My signed copy arrived in the mail today (to buy a copy, go here). I've already dipped into it and can't wait to give it a real read.

--I got lots of free stuff! In addition to the Tommie Coppers, I won some Yurbuds from Erin at See Mom Run Far, another inspiring-looking book, Stillpower: The Inner Source of Athletic Excellence, from Katherine at Forward Foot Strides and got some inspiring bumper stickers from Jim at 50 After 40. Thanks to all of you for the ongoing support and for doing giveaways. Maybe it's time for me to buy that lottery ticket.

--The AWESOME Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea at Another Mother Runner let me do a guest post on their blog that ran on Wednesday. In it, I wrote about one of the more personal reasons running is so important to me. The teenager I used to be is still inside me raising doubts, so their support and yours mean a lot to me. Thanks to SBS, Dimity and everyone who read and empathized with the sentiments in that post.

September, the month of my first marathon since 2005, has arrived. A post of my goals for Top of Utah is forthcoming. Meanwhile, good luck to all who have races this holiday weekend. I hope you meet or exceed your goals and that you and your families have a long, relaxing time together after that.


  1. Ok, now for the real comment :)....I had to post that first comment, cuz I'm usually about 3 days behind and I couldn't believe I was just shutting down blogland and saw your post and no one else wrote yet! YAY!

    There's a bike trail I like to do my long runs on because it's a gradual downhill for the first half and then a gradual up for the last (duh!!); I never can negative split that sucker but it feels great to at least try to maintain pace going up when your legs are dead and your tired. I know you'll rock the run...just start out slow but strong and keep focused!! YOU CAN DO IT!!!! (try for 18!!).

    Nice August...and wow, you lucky winner girl, you! I've never done the compression thingie - other than a running bra - haha. I know people swear by them but I'm just so old school I guess. May be time to step out of the box! Thanks for the review and Ruthie definitely needs some - in pink, no less!! :)

    Have a blast on your run tomorrow...let me know how it goes, ok?!?!

  2. You had an awesome August! I can't believe all the stuff you won - you are one lucky lady!
    I love compression socks. I actually bought my first pair when I was pregnant because I had circulation issues and they really helped me. I bought them at a running shop because I figured they would come in handy while marathon training post pregnancy and wow I was right! Now I have two pairs and I really think they help after my harder efforts.
    Two weeks until your marathon? Wow! I totally understand the feelings you are having about it feeling too soon, etc. I think all of that is completely normal. Just remember you have done the work! Even the less-than-stellar runs along the way were essential parts of your training. Enjoy your long run today. You are going to rock your marathon!!

  3. Fantastic August! Youre putting in some hard work and good things are coming to you performance wise and materially too!
    All the best with the 18 this weekend. You sound more than ready for top of Utah and are primed to start Houston training.
    I'm so glad you love the sleeves! Yes, Ruthie needs a pair!

  4. Great month! I can't believe your race is almost here. I just know you are going to rock it!

    Lucky winner you are! I've never tried the compression sleeves, but I do seem to notice a bit of difference just wearing compression pants either during or after runs...not sure how they even compare to the sleeves/or socks but even if it only helps in my mind it feels better. One of these days I'm going to try the "real" thing!

    Enjoy your last long run!

  5. Nice month for you! Your run today sounds just awesome. I like the idea of running the big climb at the end. You'll have a great marathon!

  6. You are so ready for Top of utah! And I am SO STINKING EXCITED to get to meet you and hang out with you! It is going to be such a fun fun weekend. Yay!!!

  7. now we have matching compression socks! haha. :)

  8. Yay for a great August! I love my Tommie Coppers I wear them all the time and am sad when I have to take them off because they don't match my shorts or capris. Sigh.