Friday, September 28, 2012
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Hello all! I have been missing for months! Unless you follow me on twitter, of course. So where have I been? Here’s the cliff notes version:
Lake Placid Half Marathon – sucked. another PW. 2:45. It was hot, I had a poor choice of pre-race dinner, and I made my first post-race trip to the medical tent. I didn’t actually vomit, but I came really close. Lucky for me, BV waited for me at mile 12 to help me across the line.
BV, in fact, has done a good deal to keep my mental game going positive! Thanks, mister!
I’m still marathon training. The Mohawk Hudson is about 6 weeks away (holy shit) and I’m doing all right. I’ve been battling some hip pain for a few weeks. I’m not sure what to make of it. it hurts to stand up and get out of bed… but give me an hour to run, and I’m fine, weird.
Last weekend I ran the Rock n Roll Providence half marathon. Hip pain was abound for the days leading up to the race but I woke up race morning pain free! woo! I set a PR! YAYAY 2:29:01. It was a tough course with a fair amount of hills, but I was running happy and totally rocked it, even thought there were next to no spectators on the course. What gives, rock n roll? Also, apparently Karmin was the “headline” band, but I never saw/heard them – talentless, pirating hacks. Whateves.
Today I set a PDR – 16 miles with a 5:1 run/walk ratio. I killed it. And my hip feels great!
So, the real news – why have I been missing from blogging? The truth is, I got bored of blogging about running. It was limiting. I don’t want to just talk/write about running. I’ve recently been encouraged (again, by BV) to take my writing a bit more seriously. (Obviously not in this post, this is fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants writing). As a result of this suggestion, I’ve rethought blogging, writing, and well, many aspects of my life. I’m professionally frustrated, and am daily unchallenged at work. When friends or colleagues as me what sort of job I’m looking for, I always respond “I don’t know, I just want a job where I have to write.” HELLO! You don’t need a job writing to write. In fact, writing while not at work is probably more productive in terms of improving.
With all that being said, I’ve decided to put to bed floundering in flip flops and move on to another blog. The next blog will be much more broad in the topics covered, though I will still cover running, just not to the extent it has been covered here. It will also be on wordpress, I’m looking for something a bit more professional. I’ve changed my twitter handle to reflect my new foci – @runwritereader.
The title/location of the next blog are still TBD, and I’m currently working on content so that I have some posts ready to go when I launch. I will post the new blog title and link here once it’s launched. Though, there’s an excellent chance it won’t go public until after the marathon – October 7 – just in case any of you want to follow me over there. In the mean time, if you’re interested in keeping in touch, please follow me on twitter! Maybe someday I’ll be a world famous author – you want to be able to say you knew me when!!!
Thank you to all who have commented and offered support and encouragement in my running. It’s been much appreciated. And don’t worry ya’ll, I’ve still been reading/lurking on all your blogs, even if I haven’t given mine much attention lately!
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Tapering - yea, that. For Lake Placid. Which is Sunday.
Real life running folks have made comments that I haven't said much about LP. Am I excited for it? kind of. I'm nervous. 1. Because my last half went badly and I really don't want this one too. 2. I remember that GD hill at the end and it sucks ass - last time I was at least blissfully ignorant of how much it would hurt. not just the hill, all of it. Last year LP was my first half marathon of life! One year later and it is my 4th. Not a bad year if you ask me. 3. I'm nervous because on the other side of LP is the start of marathon training. Yes, I have tweeted that I've started getting excited about it - 'tis true. However, I'm also nervous about it. Wouldn't you be? 26.2 freaking miles. wtf is my problem?!
Goals - goals goals goals. Honestly, I have no idea what a time goal might be for lake placid. I haven't been training for any specific time - though I have had a few bad ass paces on a couple of long runs ( sub 11:20s) and I have done my longest run of life -14.25 miles - during this training cycle. Ideally, I'd just like to do better than I did on this course last year. Which means below 2:36. Closer to 2:30 would be magnificent.
HOWEVER, my real goal is to make it from start to finish with the fewest negative thoughts possible. I really beat myself up at the last half, and that negativity is still lingering a bit. So, walking away from this race feeling positive is my A goal. While that seems lame compared to people's "push the pace" A goals that are usually posted - I think I've pretty much narrowed down my main challenge to my mental game. And that bitch needs to get in line if I'm going to run a full marathon. And, quite honestly, the paces won't see a significant decrease if I don't actually believe I can do it. So, mental game is where I'm at.
I am sad to report that run-buddy Natalie will not be joining me for this race. We are super bummed that she has a recurring not-yet-official injury in the calf/Achilles area. Since she may or may not have the beginnings of the full-marathon run itch again, it's probably best that she sit this hilly beast out and try to figure out what's going on there.
In other news, I need new shoes after this race. Someone please remind me to go to fleet feet next weekend :)
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
I did have two huge running milestones this month, well, this week!
On saturday 5/26 I ran a PDR of 14.25 miles in just shy of 3 hours! It was a huge sweat fest, but I did it! i finished it with sopping wet shoes and a shirt that had gained ten pounds. I did the first 5.2 outside. it was unbelievably humid. I'd been prepping mentally for this long run all week and didn't want to have to cut it short due to heat/dehydration/not yet being adjusted to these ridiculous early summer temps here in upstate NY! So I changed my clothes (a necessity, I was soaked) and headed to the gym where I proceeded to sweat like crazy for the rest of the run. At the end of the second hour I was feeling really solid! The damn treadmills stop every 60 minutes, so getting going again was tough. But I hung in there and resisted the urge to fist pump as my distance crept past the half marathon mark!
My second milestone came this morning. It was just a quick (and speedy) run of 2.75 miles (time was crunched due to my badassness during p90x). However, those miles took me to my first 100 mile month of life! WOO! Today I had no qualms about how excited I was on the TM. I was smiling like a fool. I mean, come ON, 100 miles!!! ONE HUNDRED MILES. IN ONE MONTH.
I feel like I'm a "real" runner now. Part of a special group. I also thought it was kind of funny because toward the end of my miles today a girl hopped on the TM to my right - she often runs next to me. I think she likes it because I'm generally running at a slower pace than her (not today). But, as I stepped off the TM this morning i grinned and thought to myself - you may always be running 9:xx miles, sweetheart, but did you run 100 of them this month? BOOM!
So, it turns out i'm still pretty excited about my running accomplishments. hehe.
2.5 weeks to Lake Placid. Let's get it!
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
This week's long run was 12.33 miles. Not significantly longer than previous training cycles, but still. It counts. I meant to do 13, but I misjudged how long my loops were. I'm still very satisfied with 12.33 miles. They were tough, but solid miles. And I was sore the next day. I haven't been sore after a long run in several weeks, so it felt good to push it.
It would be nice if it would stop heating up so fast in the mornings (20 degree difference between start and finish, not ideal). But, i'll survive. I just keep telling myself this will make me a stronger runner.
Some time this weekend i'll be pushing it to 14-15 miles. I'm a little nervous, but I have confidence. Just. Keep. Running.
Let's get it in folks. Marathon training is approaching in just a few short weeks!
Friday, May 18, 2012
I am still thinking positively about seriously kicking this run's ass. What is good about not trying to hit a PDR this weekend, is that last weekend I aimed for 13 miles and failed miserably. So I get a do over! yay! I've got a better outlook, and slightly cooler morning temps. Plans to get on the road about two hours earlier than last week. And BV has offered to pit-crew me if I need it! :) Doesn't get much better than that!
Yesterday I did my very first double run day! Not necessarily by design, but definitely on purpose. I didn't go into this cycle planning on double days, but the Workforce Challenge was yesterday after work, and I had an itch to get a few miles in yesterday morning (plus my upper body was pretty sore from my first p90x workout, ouch). So I did 2.5 in the morning and 3.5 "race" in the afternoon. The race was great, it's really laid back, get together with coworkers and run as a team. I do believe they have these races all over the place - usually referred to as "corporate challenge" but in Albany, we have a focus on politics and with an absurd number of public employees, "workforce" was deemed more politically correct. blah blah.
Anyway, 3.5 miles with about 9300 people. I wasn't aiming to break any records, just an easy peasy negative split running along with BV who snuck up on me just after the first mile :) It was fun to run a race actually with someone! I must say it was also pretty cool to be in a race environment, and not feel like endurance death is taking over. This was the shortest distance I've "raced" since my very first 5k in September 2010! It was a beautiful day, and the serious downhill at the end is just the way everyone wants to finish their workday :)
Double day yesterday also kept me on track for possibly hitting 100!!!! miles for the month! I really hope it pans out, May seems like a really nice month to hit 100 miles, as opposed to my next most likely month of August - which is sure to be a sweat-fest.
Happy Friday, everyone. This weekend I'll be sure to post a long run recap, and stay on the blogging train! Gotta get my chops back before marathon training begins :)
Monday, May 14, 2012
But then, I started to get a bit down on myself about my running. Admittedly, I'm still more or less in that funk. Initially I wasn't *too* upset after the half marathon on April 1 didn't go as well as planned. I knew I was under-trained for the hills, and I also didn't have a good mental game going in. Unfortunately, for the most part, my mental game hasn't gotten too much better. I did have a super good run on May 5th, where I killed 10.5 miles at what would be a half marathon PR pace. I also spectated BV running the New Jersey marathon and witnessed him taking FIFTY EIGHT minutes off of his marathon time in SEVEN months. Talk about inspiring. However, this past weekend's long run sucked - I was dehydrated, it was much warmer than it has been for previous long runs. And, despite the fact that I have another half (on a familiar course) before I even formally begin full marathon training, I'm already scared out of my wits about it, and I keep pestering myself with self-doubt.
So I've been avoiding blogging, because every time I see blogger pop up in my browser, I recall some sucky run i've had, or think I will have, and avoid it.
Then, literally like 2 minutes before I started this post, I recalled that I've had some rough patches with mental toughness before... and blogging has always helped, not hurt the issue. So, time to stop avoiding and start confronting. This weekend's long run will be a PDR. It WILL be. I will not wimp out and stop before the end. I've got a 5 mile loop that I love, and I will complete it three times. I WILL. I may employ a run-walk method for it. But no matter what I do, I won't stop after the second loop. I won't cut back early on the third loop. I'll embrace those rolling hills two miles into the loop with style.
I've been doing a bit of reading on mental toughness and focus, so I'm going to be employing some positive thinking tactics all week. I'm going to envision myself killing it on this long run from now till sunday. That should help get me in the right frame of mind for this long run. I will start my run early because it is going to be WARM. I will hydrate all weekend. I will do awesome... right?
Ugh, see what I mean?!
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Today was my THIRD half marathon! I can’t believe than in 10 months I’ve run three half marathons! Awesome!
My unofficial time was 2:40. This amounts to my absolute slowest half marathon time thus far. However, I find the I was much more bummed after the Empire State Half in October than I am by this slow time. Reasons include – being a mere 12 seconds off my goal time at Empire, and knowing that I was absolutely not prepared for the hills on today’s race.
I’ve barely run outside this cycle. While that has helped with my ever nagging “high-mileage ITB tightness” (that’s a diagnosis I made up, fyi), I think I did myself a disservice by only TM training, less a few long runs. I really did get in no hills. Even my 5 mile race last weekend was virtually flat.
But, I find myself meeting this bump in the road with resolve. I know now what I need to work on for Lake Placid. hills hills hills. So I’m back on the running outside train. I will not give up lifting though. There were some serious hills in the beginning of this race, and if it had been a shorter distance I’m pretty sure I would’ve killed it. I felt strong on them!
There is a bigger, underlying issue here. My mental game was miserable today. I didn’t go into this race with any time goals, but I also felt really unprepared. I didn’t feel particularly challenged this training training cycle (treadmill?), and I really was kind of unconvinced about my ability to do this today. It just didn’t feel right.
Just a few miles in, the mental degradation started. Tons of self doubt. I just couldn’t shake it. By mile 7 I really, really wanted to be done running. I mean, 7 miles in and I’m ready to throw in the towel? I’m kind of disappointed in myself, not for my time, but for my attitude.
In all honesty, the mental part of running is really the part I don’t have a good handle on yet. I know that’s always the real challenge, but I’m not sure if I’ve made strides in that department anywhere like I have in the physical department. I need to spend a bit more time reflecting on this, and figuring out a better strategy. Any suggestions are appreciated!!
Overall, I’m leaving this race experience feeling resolved (and full, hello post race food catered by olive garden? this race is da bomb). I’m ready for a light week, and then to jump back in to getting ready for Lake Placid!
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
I kicked off my race season with a 5 mile Shamrock Shuffle in Glens Falls, NY. I wasn't looking to "race race" this one, but use it as a nice last weekend-workout while tapering. However, I ran this race last year and it was bitter cold and I wasn't feeling well. So, I did want to better my time.
And better it I did! The official race time ended up being 51:54. That puts me at a 10:23 average mile, with over a minute off my time from last year. And... I was reigning it in. I was constantly reminding myself (as i continuted to buzz by people) to SLOW DOWN. I even resisted the urge to chick a couple of old guys in the final stretch. I did not want to over push it and wear myself out. This was a TAPER run. But, this time puts me at the FASTEST per mile average of any road race I've run yet! This is super confidence building to me because I was running at a comfortable pace the whole time, I really felt like the miles were clicking by. This felt so much better than last year! I LOVE seeing improvements in my running. It's really starting to feel more natural (well, the shorter distances at least).
I did have some ankle pain after the race, which concerns me a bit. But I'm feeling okay now, I'm paying close attention to it, and I am going to keep up my regimen of lower leg and foot stretching and rolling out that arch with a tennis and/or golf ball (really helps!).
This Sunday brings me to my first big race of the season! The Oleksak Half Marathon in Westfield, MA. I am so ready! I don't feel nervous or burnt out like I have in previous training cycles! I'm just excited!!!
I don't really have any time goals for this race. I've stated before that this year is about building endurance as opposed to speed. I'm using this race as a building block for the main event (MARATHON!)
I would like to finish around 2:30. I'm a bit worried about the hills as I haven't done much hill training this cycle. But, and i'll credit weight lifting with this, I have found that I feel much stronger running hills now than I have in the past. Overall, I just hoping for a solid race!
Good luck to all of you racing this weekend as well!
Friday, March 16, 2012
The good news is, I didn't break the bank! haha.
More good news - I will be racing each of the first three weekends of spring! I'm so excited.
I'll start off on the 25th with a 5-mile Shamrock Shuffle about an hour north of here. One of my best friends is running it as well, it will be her last race in her 20s! (can't believe we're at that age) but it will also be a first for us. First race together as bride-to-be and MOH (I'm the MOH, calm your hormones). yayayay!
On April 1- half number one of the year in Westfield, MA. I'm not sure about my goals for this race yet - to be honest, I'm not entirely sure what kind of shape I'm in? This training cycle has gone well, a bit too well. I'll discuss plans for this race more fully in another post. However, it is half 1 of 3 for the year.
On April 7 I'll be doing my first 4 mile race, and my first HMRRC race as a member! wooo! I'm pretty excited!
I also registered for one other race......
The Mohawk Hudson River Marathon!!!!!!!!!!!!
That's right folks. These aren't just champagne dreams any more. I'm really going to do this. I've spent my money, and posted it on facebook. So now I've got to! Too many haters on facebook to not follow through now! hehe just kidding....
Cheers to kicking off spring race season!
Sunday, March 11, 2012
And apparently, our number 1 hymn is the theme song from reading rainbow – as that was on repeat in my head for two hours.
This run was some sort of magical, and boy did I need it. This is the second time I’ve run this particular 11 mile loop, and both times have been amazing runs. Aside from being quite hungry at the moment, I do not feel like I just ran for 2 hours. I’m not tired, but cleansed. I’m not sore, but strong. When I checked my watch an noticed I had only 3.5 miles left to go on this run, I was sad. I am still kind of sad it’s over. All of life is so much simpler when it’s just you and the road (and the occasional jack ass rolling through stop signs.)
My life outside of running (yes, there is one, unfortunately) has been… interesting this weekend. I like running because it’s simple. You either ran or you didn’t. Black and white. There’s no “grey area” in running. You can’t “sorta” run. I am a black and white person. I don’t enjoy the grey. I like things simple, straight forward, drama-free. But alas, life is messy and we can’t always have what we want.
11 miles with no music (except the aforementioned reading rainbow theme song) gives you a lot of time to sort through the mess. And it doesn’t take long. By mile two, things were looking up. By mile 3 I knew everything would be all right. In the words of a wise friend “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” The hardest part of accepting that statement, of course, is that you don’t have control over where the end is all the time. But you know what, that’s okay too.
On my run today I reminded myself of how far I’ve come in the last 18 months. Of how settled in to myself, grew with confidence – mentally and physically. No one can take that away from me. I have stopped trying to dispel people’s misconceptions of me, and instead just stopped caring. The most important thing is to do right by yourself. YOU are the one you have to live with day in and day out. YOU are the one you have to sleep next to every night. YOU are the one you have to trust with your own emotions. YOU are the one inside your head when you’re running. And as long as YOU are okay with who YOU are, then nothing else really matters.
None of these revelations would’ve happened without the run. The perfectly wonderful super strong amazing run that I just had. These were the fastest, and perhaps best 2 hours of the weekend. And they are mine, all mine.
Friday, March 9, 2012
I’d like to start by saying, That overall, this has been a pretty decent training cycle. I’ve hit most of my runs, I’ve yet to feel any significant ITB pain (knock on wood) and overall I’ve been feeling good. (I haven’t blogged as consistently as possible – but that has less to do with my desire to talk about and reflect on my training than it does with this damn masters thesis I’ve been writing.)
As with any training cycle, as you start to hit those higher mileage weeks, you definitely begin to notice. And for me, that happened last week,
It was a cutback week anyway but I added in an extra day of xtraining, instead of taking it easier like I should. I also made my weightlifting day, uh, pretty hard. And put it off a day, making it that much closer to my weekend running. poor choices.
I only had 15k on the schedule for a long run. we have a good 5k route around the state college campus here, that makes for safe running. It also is NOT flat, so it helps with some of that hill training I’ve been very obviously neglecting this cycle. It was kinda cold, but not terrible on Sunday, but man, that wind was a beast. I started out, ok, then… well then it was like I wasn’t even moving forward.
I thought I was running a decent and comfortable 10:40 pace, based on my effort. When I snuck a peek at my Garmin, it turned out I was running closer to a 12:00 mile. WHAT?!? I can’t remember the last time I worked SO hard to run SO slow. It was miserable. I really really felt like I was running much faster than that.
It was a huge disappointment. Between the general struggle to connect my mind and my legs, continue moving forward, and the huffing and puffing, I called it after the second loop and stopped for the day at 10k.
I gave up.
It sucks. I was super bummed and annoyed with myself. Cutting a run short because you’re seeing stars is one thing. But this felt different. I felt like a quitter. and maybe I was.
You read a lot of blogs entries from runners about powering through. And that’s what you do in training – most of the time. But every runner, even those 3:20 marathoners have bad days/weeks. Everyone has runs that just get the best of them once in a while.
I resolved to brush of that run, and make this week the best I could in terms of training. And so far I have – going into the weekend mileage I’m feeling much more confident than last week. I’ve been trying to frame what happened last week as a mid-cycle taper, which should just help to make my next two long runs stronger, right?
Don’t believe the hype folks, even the super happy, super peppy, super dedicated runners have bad days. Not blogging about running that’s not going well, doesn’t help anybody. Least of all, the blogger.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
ugh, I’ve def sucked lately. I forgot last week’s wrap up, then figured I’d just do it with the February wrap up, and now it’s march 3 and I’ve done neither! sorry folks!
The big news right now is – less than a month until the first half of the year! woo! Where DOES the time go?!
February was a pretty good month for training. I had a mini head cold for a few days, and then a blood donation proved a bit harder to bounce back from than anticipated. I don’t know why I was surprised, but I should’ve done more reading on training and donating blood… and eaten breakfast before attempting a 5 mile run two days later. whoops.
wrapping up February:
Monday Feb 20: stretch and strength/ rest
Tuesday Feb 21: 4.5 Miles/ Chest, shoulders abs (35 mins); 4.5 @ 10:27; Plank 1:15
Wednesday Feb 22: 40 min tempo/ 4.08 @ 9:48 – 25 mins at 9:26; plank 1:25
Thursday Feb 23: 3 miles + strength / legs 25 mins; 3 @10:12
Friday Feb 24: rest/ elliptical 35 mins; Plank 1:10
Saturday Feb 25: 5 miles / 5 @ 10:30
Sunday Feb 26: 10 miles / 10 @ 11:06
Weekly Mileage: 26.58
Monday Feb 27: stretch and strength/ walk 2.1 miles (SUPER TIRED)
Tuesday Feb 28: 5 miles / rest (post blood donation)
Wednesday Feb 29: Moved the 5 miler to this day – stopped after 3 – seeing stars. yikes!
Total Monthly Mileage: 85.89 HOLLA!
February was a great training month! I only missed 2 workouts, so not too shabby.
March is off to a good start, though I’m feeling a bit tired these days. sleep helps '
One march goal – more core. I really, really need to up the ante there.
Once again, sorry for being a sucky blogger! I’ll be better, promise!
Train hard, run long!
Friday, February 24, 2012
Long distance running isn't exactly the best or fastest way to lose weight. Last year, while training for my first two halves, I maintained weight, or gained a few pounds here or there. But, let's get real. 1. I could stand to lose a few or twenty pounds. 2. Eating well is NOT my forte.
I have been trying over the past year or so to make healthier choices. Some times it works, some times not so much. Eggs for breakfast have become a regular staple - as opposed to no breakfast, or an over-sized delicious bagel from the spot next to work. Almond milk has also made an increased appearance. I jumped on that apple with PB train for a snack and am loving the shit out of it. However, things that haven't worn out their welcome as much as they need to: Pizza, Beer. I try to make healthy choices about 3 weeks of the month. Yes, that's a PMS reference, sorry boys. But I am, very admittedly, a sucky eater. I often eat like crap, and I don't often feel bad about it. I guess it's because with running, I eat this shit and don't gain weight - but I don't loose it either.
I also try not to obsess about the number on the scale. Every time I do that, my mental game devolves and I end up eating a chocolate cake or a pizza or a bottle of wine. So, realizing that focusing on weight was self-destructive, I changed my game to focus on fitness. Let's analyze the number of plates on the bar, or the miles I've run instead of the number on the scale.
I still weigh myself once, sometimes twice a week. Sometimes I forget all together. Also, I cheat. How does one cheat the scale? I weigh myself after my long run each week. DON'T JUDGE ME. I know, I'm likely dehydrated etc etc, but it's just sort of general measure of how much it changed from one week to the next. And it's not like I come home from a brutal 10miler and immediately jump on the scale. There's usually a liter of water and a large glass of chocolate almond milk in there first! Remember, the scale isn't the top priority.
There are other ways to measure weight loss than just the scale, too. For example, how your clothes fit. A few weeks ago, post menstrual cycle (again, sorry guys) I randomly lost 4 pounds. I wrote it off as no longer being a huge bloated miserable bitch and went about my day. However, the next week, the scale was the same. WHAAAAT? and then it was lower. oh shit. Yesterday, without realizing it I had cinched my belt in one notch further. Today, all my usual jeans were dirty so I dug through my drawers on a quest to do an experiement regarding jean size that I hoped would work or "dress-down Friday" would be totally lost on me this week. IT'S MY FAVORITE DAY! Anyway, I'm down a jean size. BOOM.
This weightloss is totally unexpected. I'm not "trying" to loose weight, I'm training for a half marathon. I know the two can go hand in hand, and I'd love them to, but they didn't last year, so what gives?
Have I been eating better? Maybe marginally, some days. Certainly not this week. I devoured a 10 oz bag of pretzel m&ms in two days. I shared.... 3 with my coworker, and I dropped one in my car, somewhere. I ate a buncha pizza this week. I don't think I've prepared myself a green vegetable since Sunday. (the blog is about honesty, right? At least I was a bit embarrased by that last one.)
I have been increasing the intensity - I am working out more like 6 days a week, as compared to last year's 4 days, maaayyybe 5.
I'm running faster, I'm doing yoga, I'm being more consistent.
But, I think the real clincher is - weight lifting. I know it's one of those things most runners don't care for, and I let it slide a lot last year when I started training for longer distances. But, admittedly, I like doing it. Even if I'm super self-conscious doing it at the gym. I love the burn. I love that sore feeling. I love feeling strong. Most running plans encourage strength training, but in a way that I think is kind of wussy. I'm not going to go to the gym and pick up some five pound dumbbells and swing them around for 20-30 reps. Lame. I'm going heavy. Now, not as heavy as I would've gone when I wasn't running - especially when I'm doing legs. But, I want it to hurt. I want my arms/legs/body to shake as I try to get a 10th or 12th rep in on my third set. I want to be pushing myself.
This might be contrary to what most runners are told. And you should really be patient with it, consistent with it and don't be a frigging idiot and over do it (guilty, on the regular). (You should also probably get advice from more places that this lowely amature's blog, don't be a moron.) The prize here is still a half/full marathon finish. But, this is working folks. It's working well, and it's working fast.
Try it or don't. But, I'm wearing pants right now that I haven't worn in two years, and my beloved weightlifting is going to get some of the credit.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Admittedly, we’ve had a very mild winter here in the northeast. Ideal for runners who aren’t having TM love affairs. However, now that I did a long run outside, I’ve realized I need to do more of them. Yet, mother nature is seriously effing with me. 50s during the week, 30s and stormy on the weekend. This has been the prediction (well maybe not 50s until this week, but still – general trend) for the last few weeks. This weekend I’ve got 10 miles on the schedule and it’s supposed to be 30s and snow/rain both days. I don’t mind running in rain, or snow. but snow/rain. EFF THAT. ew. However, I’m not sure even my TM love can hold up for 10 miles. UGH.
This past weekend I moved things around because Saturday was supposed to be the nicer of the two days, but instead it was nice both days. So no real loss there. Still, I don’t really like being played with.
So last week’s recap – sorry it’s late the long weekend kind of threw me off regarding updating, and then I had today off too to get my back manipulated. and it feels terrific!
Monday Feb 13: Stretch and Strength / 2 miles walk
Tuesday Feb 14: 4.5 miles / 4.5 @ 10:19
Wednesday Feb 15: 8x400 / rest
Thursday Feb 16: 3 miles + strength / Plank 1:15
Friday Feb 17: rest / 4 @ 10:10; Plank 1:00
Sat Feb 18: 4 Miles pace / 9 @ 11:27 outside!; Plank 1:03
Sun Feb 19: 9 Miles / 30 mins yoga; 4 @ 10:29
Total Miles: 21.5
Average Plank: 1:06
So, you may see some suckage mid-week. I got a quick head cold. I did stuff right and took vitamin C, drank lots of fluids etc etc and was able to knock it out pretty quickly. It was accompanied with some not good sleep though, which was the real reason for the rest. In fact, Wednesday I just straight up slept through my alarm. My body needed it, apparently.
Sunday night this week was also accompanied with some MAJOR sleep issues, so I took an unscheduled rest day yesterday. But I figure I’ll just replace Friday’s regular rest with some xtraining.
Not too bad, in the end I only really missed one total run – which was speed. And while speedwork is generally considered a key workout, being pre-manipulation and centered squarely on left hip pinchiness/back pain, I’m not gonna consider it much of a loss and speed work really effs with both of those. In the grand scheme of things, I think I’ll be fine. I still got in over 20 miles this week, which is important!
As far as planking goes – no excuse. I even got called out by the plank police on twitter. wah.
Ah well, new week, new runs! let’s get it in!!
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Honestly. They are the key to life.
If you’re not using compression socks to recover from long runs, I contend that you are missing out on one of life’s great wonders. You slip those babies on and your legs are just all snuggled up in their tight, compression-y-ness. Perfection.
Today I did my first outdoor long run in a long time. You may be thinking to yourself: “why, Jen? it’s been such a mild winter in the northeast!”
Ya, I know. I’ve been having a love affair with the treadmill. Yes, I know races are outside, and the first two halves I’m doing are pretty dang hilly. But, seriously, back off. I heart the TM lately, and I really don’t want to upset her. She’s been so good to me! Oh, you didn’t know treadmills were girls?
Today’s 9 miler was pretty painful. Hills, cold air, having to rely solely on my legs to propel my body forward. Yea, it was rough. But, despite the fact that I was dragging ass and ended up going much slower than I hoped, I loved it. I just freaking loved it.
I considered it a strength building run. First one outside in a while, was bound to be a bit rough. But that sweet sunshine can really boost anyone’s spirits. Even if old dudes are buzzing by you on the sidewalk.
Happy weekend, all! get your runs in
Monday, February 13, 2012
Ok, I was gonna wait till mid-week to write this, but all decisions are made. This is going to happen.
Getting over fears part 1:
Fears: growing up, giving up all the awe and idealism that comes with being a student, being super pretentious, being able to actually apply for that PhD I want (funds allowing).
What’s happening: I’ve been sitting on the completion of a second masters for… uh … like two years. I have one in History (I mean, that’s the one I really wanted). But, I have a second pending in Public Policy. All I have to do is finish the thesis I’m 2/3 done with. Really, there’s 0 reason for me to be slacking like this. So, I met with some people at the school, and I’m gonna finish it – by May. done and done.
Getting over fears part 2:
Fears: physical challenge, not being able to, self doubt, lack of self worth, failure, failure, failure.
What’s happening: I’m going to run a marathon. This year. My year goals started with 4 half marathons. I was putting off the inevitable. I knew it. I’ve poked at the idea on facebook and twitter, and gotten a ton of positive, encouraging, and supportive feedback.
October 7, 2012 – Hudson Mohawk Marathon – here I come!
I’ve been renewed with a sense of confidence and validation. I’m going to be 30 this year folks. I’ve got two choices – to wallow in the fact that I’m not where I thought I’d be (from the perspective of 20 year old me, hah she was naive), or to embrace the fact that I’m young, healthy and free. There’s a whole world of opportunity before me, the only thing standing in my way is me.
Welcome to my third decade. I’m gonna step it up. Stop being so angry, stop being so scared, stop being so defensive, and live this life while I’ve got it.
Maybe I’ll give up a few other fears along the way….. <3
Sunday, February 12, 2012
This was a much needed cutback week. I’m having all sorts of left leg issues this cycle. I’m blaming it all on my back being out of whack. I’m due for a manipulation on the 21st and I can NOT wait. Over the years I’ve become very aware of the alignment of my back and hips, and I can feel that left side of the pelvis rolling forward and its just throwing everything off.
Anyway, I’ve had hip pain, and ITB pain, and shin pain, and knee pain and arch pain. All on the left side. annoying! I’ve been doing my best to foam roll, and stretch etc, but there’s only so much that I can do to mitigate things being out of whack. Next Tuesday can’t come soon enough!
Now, for the weekly recap….
Monday, Feb 6: Stretch and Strength / 35 min lifting (back and shoulders, heavy); Plank 1:30 (longest to date!)
Tuesday, Feb 7: 4 miles / 4 @ 10:17
Wednesday, Feb 8: 40 min tempo / 4 @ 10:04 with 20 mins at 9:30
Thursday, Feb 9: 3 miles and strength / 45 mins legs; plank 1:20; I took off running this day due to arch pain that was getting nasty. it was a good choice
Friday, Feb 10: rest / rest
Saturday, Feb 11: easy / 3.1 @ 10:00 – fastest pace of the week, but after two days off running, it felt super easy.
Sunday, Feb 12: 10K / 6.2 @ 10:33 – rough run, but still faster than race pace! woot! Plank 1:23
Total miles: 17.3
Average Plank: 1:24
In other awesome news, on Saturday I hit my 100th mile for the year! yay! I’m making great progress towards my 1000 miles for the year goal
A couple of weeks ago, a conversation with a friend turned to the topic of letting go of fears, taking advantage of life and live it, not letting negative past experiences influence experiencing the present, or the promise of the future. Well, he didn’t say all these things verbatim, or in one conversation. But needless to say, his positivity has gotten in my head.
This week brought about some opportunities for me to take some chances to leave fears behind, go after something bigger. To stop being scared. It’s either now or never. There’s no reason to wait.
What am I doing? You might know, or have an idea – but for the official confirmation, you’ll have to stay tuned!
Monday, February 6, 2012
That’s how I feel about training so far this cycle. I’ve stayed on point with lifting, I’ve hit all my workouts and I’ve been feeling good. A few aches and pains, but I’ve also been conscious about recovery, yoga, and foam rolling. I think I’m on a great path!
Here’s how the last week looked
what the plan said / what I did
Monday Jan 30: Stretch and Strength / 25 mins weights (chest/tris/shoulders); elliptical 30 mins; plank 1:20
Tuesday Jan 31: 4 miles / 4 @ 10:21; plank 1:20
Wednesday Feb 1: 7x400 / 3.51 @ 10:20 av. 3x400 @ 8:12, 3x400 @ 8:06, 1x400 @ 8:00
Thursday Feb 2: 3 miles + strength / 30 mins legs; 3 @ 10:31; plank 1:15
Friday Feb 3: rest / rest
Saturday Feb 4: 3 miles pace/ 3 @ 10:04
Sunday Feb 5: 8 miles / 8 @ 10:42
Total Miles: 21.51
Average Plank: 1:17
I think I did yoga one of those days too, but I forgot to write it down.
Additionally, here’s how January shaped up:
Total Miles: 72.77
Average Plank: 1:12
Longest Plank: 1:25
And a sneak preview into what-just-happened: I held a plank for 1:30 tonight! Then did 10 full sized push-ups in a row! I noticed some improvements lifting today too! Love seeing results.
2012 is decidedly off to a great start!
Monday, January 30, 2012
Here’s the wrap up of week 3 of half marathon training:
What the Plan says / What I Did
Monday Jan 23: Stretch and Strength / Weights (back/shoulders) 25 mins; Elliptical 30 mins; Plank 2x 1:10, 5x10 modified pushups
Tuesday Jan 24: 3.5 miles / 3.5 miles @ 10:08; 30 mins yoga; plank 1:01
Wednesday Jan 25: 35 min Tempo / 3.51 @ 9:57 with 15 mins at 9:20
Thursday Jan 26: 3 miles + strength/ lite legs 30 mins; 3 miles at 10:17
Friday Jan 27: rest / Plank 1:15, 5x10 Mod Pushups, 4 grown-folk pushups!
Saturday Jan 28: 3 miles / 3 @ 9:56; Plank 1:20
Sunday Jan 29: 7 miles / 7 @ 10:31; Plank 1:22; 2x 5 grown-folk pushups!
Total Miles: 20.01 – finally at 20 miles a week again!!!
Average Plank: 1:13
This week I moved leg day to Thursday to give myself a little more recovery time before running again on sore legs. I also decided to keep my leg workout pretty light because I had a cranky left knee (which is much better, btw). However, I went a bit too light and had absolutely 0 DOMS at all. No soreness? That’s like a wasted weight session as far as I’m concerned.
I’m really trying to find a balance with leg days this year. I really missed them when training last year, but they’re pretty easy to set aside because I don’t want to be too sore to run. However, I know in the long run these strength training sessions will help. Another week, another shot!
Monday, January 23, 2012
what the plan says/ What I did
Monday Jan 16: Stretch and Strength 30 mins legs/30 mins elliptical/ 30 mins incline walk; plank 1:12
Tuesday Jan 17: 3.5 Miles 3.5 miles @10:56; plank 1:08
Wednesday Jan 18: 6x400 3.15 total miles. 3x400@ 8:19, 2x400 @ 8:12, 1x400 @ 8:06; planks 1:25!!!
Thursday Jan 19: 3 miles + Strength rest
Friday Jan 20: rest Chest/Tris 25 mins, 3 @ 10:06; plank 1:15
Saturday Jan 21: rest 3.1@ 9:57
Sunday Jan 22: 5k race rest
Average Plank: 1:15
Total Miles (run): 12.65
Total Time “other”: 1:55
I had to shuffle some things around on the weekend due to non-running commitments. Also, I didn’t have a race to run, so I just did a fast 5k to simulate “racing”. But, the real issue here was on Monday. I didn’t have work so I just took my damn time like not having to work meant some how my muscles would recover faster. I was sore until Thursday – hence the moving up of the rest day. Seriously, like hurt to go down the stairs for FOUR days.
The moral of this story is – stop working out on leg days like you’re a meat-head douchebag.
It really is quite that simple. For whatever reason, I REGULARLY feel like I need to go max on everything on leg day. WHYYYYY??? I’ve decided, additionally, to move leg lifting days to Thursday so I have a rest day after. Also, I will promise myself to stop working out like an asshole so that I can actually train for the half marathon that I’m training for. you know, run.
And for those of you waiting on the edge of your seats – the sleep was better this week. not super awesome, but better. I can’t wait to get into peak training and not be able to physically stay awake past 9pm. Ah, those were the days.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
If I could only tell you how many times my dad said that to me growing up. It is a virtue. Just not one I have very much of. –I’m working on it- That being said, there are many things I will probably never have patience for: ignorance, racism, people that try to shove their beliefs down my throat, animal/child abusers, how horribly my blackberry works, people that can’t distinguish your and you’re or there/their/they’re, anyone on the road or in the grocery store at the same time as me… ok, maybe I’m not really working on it.
But, in running, it’s patience or perish.
This is all stemming from the fact that I ran 3.5 miserable 11min miles today, after a muscle-soreness inducing leg workout yesterday, and four-and-a-half hours of sleep last night. (own harshest critic, much?)
I don’t want to run 11 minute miles anymore. But the truth is – the next half marathon or two (maybe three, please not three) are going to be run at 11 minute (or higher) miles. And that’s an improvement. So what’s my problem?
I’ve already stated that I am focusing on endurance, not speed, this year. But there’s just something lame about being an 11min miler. Well, not really, but it would be nice if I could shake this negative-nancy attitude!
My dad was always the one preaching patience; my dad is also an endurance athlete. Related? ummm, yep! He used to note that the most competitive age group among recreational runners was those in their 40s. Why? they’d had years, often a decade or two of base-building. In fact, in running, I think there’s a slightly older trend, even among elites, than in many other sports. Like gymnastics – wanna make that Olympic team? you’re probably around 18 years old. Swimmer? 25ish. Marathoner? Pushing 28. In fact – the average age of the three women that just qualified for the 2012 Olympic marathon: 30.67
Oh, and you know, that guy that won the Olympic Marathon Trials (2:09:08) with his SECOND marathon PR in 70 days – Meb Keflezighi – he’s 36. In most sports that’s just down right geezer status.
I’m not trying to be an Olympian (haha, oh the thought of it). But as long as I practice patience with running, I see no reason not to get better with age – like wine. Mmmm wine.
Distance before speed is my motto. I desperately don’t want to get injured.
I’d much rather practice patience than be a patient.
Run easy now and again, folks. The finish-line will still be there.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Insomnia. You sneaky little bitch.
I have to admit, despite not sleeping through the night until Thursday night, I did pretty dang good this week. In purple – what the plan says. In black, what I actually did.
Monday, Jan 9 Stretch and Strength; 30 mins yoga (this was the hardest day to wake up); Plank 1:11
Tuesday, Jan 10 3 miles easy 3 miles @ 10:00; Plank 1:15
Wednesday, Jan 11 30 min tempo 3.51 in 35 mins @9:58. 12.5 mins at 9:30; Plank 1:10
Thursday, Jan 12 3 miles + strength Back and Shoulders (half hr); 3 @ 10:38; Plank 1:22!!
Friday, Jan 13 rest Plank 1:10
Saturday, Jan 14 3 miles 3 @ 10:16; Plank 1:05
Sunday, Jan 15 6 miles 6 @ 10:34; 30 mins yoga; plank 1:15
Total Miles: 18.51
Total Yoga: 1 hour
Average Plank: 1:12
Not a bad start! I’m actually pretty stoked Additionally, the shin pain seems to be dissipating. I spent a lot of time foam rolling after every run. I think that really helped. Rest day could not have been better timed either.
In other news: I jumped on the smoothie train this week. The first attempt was a disaster. I did not spend enough time blending. It was chunky, and not particularly great.
But, I tried again this morning. And – gigantic news folks – I put a half a frozen banana in it. I positively HATE bananas. But, I masked it’s taste pretty well with a million strawberries. the worst part was peeling it. yuck. But, the smoothie itself was really good. I even added some spinach
No work tomorrow, which means I can really take my time on the strength workout. yes! love those days. get it in, folks!
Saturday, January 14, 2012
I followed the trials on twitter this morning. I actually brought my phone with me to the gym so that I could keep up with the latest updates, haha. I didn’t fall off the treadmill, so I guess it’s ok
Now I’m watching the coverage I DVR’d (while icing my shin, grr). I’m only an hour into the race and I know who wins, but honestly this is so super inspiring. I am absolutely flabbergasted watching ryan hall TALK while running a sub 5:00 min/mile. That’s nuts. The pace alone is nuts.
I generally have no idea how to “race.” So watching these athletes surge and run in a pack is kind of cool.
I was seriously rooting for Meb and Desi in this race, and I’m so glad they both make it. I’m also super excited that Meb won, with a PR. Take that, haters! He’s gotten so much flack after being dumped by nike, choosing to run NYC just 3 months ago, and then choosing sketchers as his sponsor. I just wanted him to kick ass and prove everyone wrong, And he did!
I’ve been following Desi since she blasted out of nowhere in Boston. I love Kara and Shalane, too. But Desi was just such a surprise, I couldn’t help but root for her!
I love Hall’s attitude as well, he’s always so laid back and positive. And good lord can that boy run! The American marathon team is going to be one to be reckoned with in London!
USA, USA, USA!!!
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Giving my post an EMZ-esque title will help me on my quest to increasing my endurance, obv.
Today is day three into the training plan. I have shin pain. Are you kidding me??
Things I have never had: Shin Splints (knock on wood)
Things I never want: Shin Splints.
I’m so annoyed. I noticed the pain last night, usually after having my legs crossed. Just on the left side. The fact that after weeks of wearing flats I decided to randomly start wearing heels to work again this week may be a contributing factor. I also resolved today to try to stop crossing my legs so much – despite all that prissy nonsense, it’s not very good for your legs/hips/back. The best day to make a resolution of this sort is OBVIOUSLY the day you wear a skirt to work. lady-like fail.
I iced after my tempo today (who runs 12.5 mins at a 9:30 pace? this girl), but there remains a dull ache.
Then it hit me. To avoid treadmill boredom this winter I’ve been doing EVERY.SINGLE.RUN as a tempo or progression run. Every run has been about breaking that 10 min/mile barrier. Uh, maybe I should cut that out.
Slow ride, take it easy. (the rest of this song is really inapplicable to this post, hahaha)
Tomorrow’s goal is to do my three miles at a pace closer to 10:20. It doesn’t feel as good as sub 10s, but neither does this shin.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
I’ve decided to start blogging weekly recaps this year. I think it will help keep me accountable and I’ll be able to easily look over what I’ve done over time – improvements, changes and the like.
As a special “first recap” treat – we’re doing an 8day week –whaaat, somebody call the Beatles.
Sunday, Jan 1: Chest and Tris, 3 mile run @10:26/mile, 2 planks 1:15 and 1:00
Monday, Jan 2: 5 mile run @10:11/mile, 1 plank 1:15
Tuesday, Jan 3: rest day, plank 1:10
Wednesday, Jan 4: rest day (whoops, see that’s why I’m doing this, two week day rest days in a row – embarrassing), Plank 1:15
Thursday, Jan 5: 3 speedy miles @ 9:58/mile, plank 1:07
Friday, Jan 6: 3 more speedy miles @ 9:57/mile, plank 1:10
Saturday, Jan 7 – total rest – ankles killed, too much friday night fun
Sunday, Jan 8 – 3.5 mile run/walk hill repeats @ 11:30ish, Plank 1:15
My average plank this week was 1:09. No where to go but up. woo!
I also have a goal to make one new recipe each week. This week I modified my awesome couscous recipe and made it with quinoa. Not the newest of new, but it wasn’t bad – actually it was way better left over than it was on the first day I made it. Grocery shopping should occur today, so I should find a new recipe before I go for this week.
Tomorrow training starts. So future weekly recaps will display what the plan says I should do and what I did. I used this plan for my last half, but I ended up having to modify it as I wasn’t really able to keep up – I’m going to give 5 days a week of running another shot and we’ll see how my ITBs hold up. If I start having trouble I’ll turn one of those other run days into a cross training day again.
Here we go, folks! Hope your new year is off to a great start!
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
I decided to use the Hal Higdon intermediate half marathon training plan again for my first half of the year. It’s a good plan, with a solid 12 weeks – I add in a 13th because Higdon’s plan doesn’t taper much before the race, and I’ve found that works well for me.
I wrote it out on my desk-calendar-hung-on-the-wall, and realized that SURPRISE! using this plan means training starts on Monday, Jan 9! Woo!
I’m really excited to get back into a structured training plan. When I don’t have one my workouts kind of flounder. I am worried about burning out this year. With 4 half marathons on the schedule (registered for 3!) it’s going to be an intense 10 months of pretty much constant training. I know that burnout happens, as at the end of the season last year I was really ready to just be done. I’m going to make a concerted effort to do some more cross training activities this year to keep up the interest. I want to maintain a positive attitude, because I’m really excited about each of these races.
The name of the game this year is endurance. Yes, I am still aiming for a long term goal of a sub-2:00 half marathon, but I don’t know if it will happen for me this year. Lots of intense speed work really seems to bother my ITBs and hips. I’m hoping that more focus on yoga and recovery this year will help. But, speed work aside, what I really want to focus on this year is endurance. Around mile 10, in both halfs last year, I totally just dropped off. The energy level tanked and I just couldn’t wait to be done. So, as the year goes on I want to build up my long runs. I’m using a familiar plan now, the next time around my long runs won’t start so short (long run this weekend is 5 miles, uh I do 5 before work during the week), and I’d like to focus on double digit long runs. Then after the second half of the year I want to bump my longest runs up to 15-16 miles.
I’m hoping that this increase of endurance will help me at the end of the race. Also, some longer runs will be a test for the possibility of a full in 2013 (yes, early to talk about, sue me.) It must be noted that at this point I do NOT have the full marathon bug. I do not want to force myself into it just because “everyone” else is doing it. I want to want it. Training for and running a marathon will be really difficult, mentally and physically, so I need to make sure it’s something I really want to do first.
Additionally, I still have a super long term plan of running a half in every state. I think that will be really fun, and give me more incentive to travel! I like going new places, I am just bad at instigating a vacation.
So there we have it! The pleasant surprise that this year of half marathon training( s) is about to kick off in just a few days! Let’s get this party started!
Sunday, January 1, 2012
I hope you all had a wonderful start to the New Year!
I, being the party animal that I am, fell asleep just after 1130. haha. I was up by 645 and at the gym within an hour! Started my new year with an upper body weights sesh and 3 miles on the TM. It was nice at the gym that early today, there was only a handful of people there. Morning regulars, felt good to be one of them.
I’ve been a little productive so far, but mostly I’ve been lounging. I need to get moving though! I want to plot out my training plan for my first half, uh and register for it. I have a new RW to read too!
I hope you all have a wonderful day.
Be safe, be healthy and be good to yourselves!!