Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Do do rule, what I've accepted, and just because

Today's workout:
Easy on treadmill for 45 min.  It's really hard for me to just go easy, but the old IT band kept me from pushing it.  Drills before & stretching after.  Foam rolling tonight.

From the McMillan Running book I'm reading, one of the best rules I've read :)  The Do do rule:
"It's not how much training you DO, rather, it's how well you recover from the training you DO DO. Because, if you get injured or sick from DOing too much, you are in deep DOO DOO."

Some random things I've accepted lately...

  1. I'd rather just eat the cookie dough instead of the cookies
  2. Same with frosting, no need for cake
  3. I need lots of sleep.  Lots.  Like lots.
  4. I love different scents...like when you walk into Bath & Body Works and get overwhelmed by 5 billion scents, I want to recreate that in my home.
  5. I would've rather lived in a more simpler time...50's maybe?  20's?  Don't know.  Just simpler.
  6. I NEED to live by the ocean someday
  7. My kids are my total heart.  When I look in their eyes, I literally feel my heart squeezed.
  8. I love wine, cheese, and macadamia nuts 
    And, just because it was there...yep, this 1990 bottle of French wine I'm drinking tonight.  Why wait?  For what?  Might as well enjoy it now :) I've paid my dues with many Charles Shaws.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

F the MAF, IT band tag team, books & rest days are back

First off, the MAF training...
Didn't go well.  I got REALLY tired of doing the same pace 
Boring.  I like easy runs. Fast runs. Long runs.  Short runs.  This is starting to sound like a Dr. Seuss book.  Anyway, I like the feeling of a hard run.  I enjoy sometimes just running for fun.  I hated the monotony of it.  And, if it means not hitting race times or not making me a better runner...so be it.  I have to enjoy what I'm doing, or I won't do it.  Isn't that why we all run? 
I enjoy creating my own workouts & pushing myself.  I figure I've consistently knocked down my race times, so I must be doing something right.  So, I'm sticking with my own methods :)

Not to mention, my IT band has been horrible the last 2 weeks.  This week, it resulted in 20 measly miles for the week.  I also did alot of elliptical & spin, but pretty much took it easy.  
The longest run in the past few weeks was yesterday for 8.  I'll take it!!!  
Pain free, which is a million times better than my try on Monday when I was in tears it hurt so bad.
Lots of foam rolling, stretching, and clam moves to strengthen the hips.
Last spring it was my right IT band, now it's my left.  
I wasn't paying attention to the important key factors in keeping me injury free.  I was skipping my foam rolling, stretching and strength moves.  I was overdue for some new shoes.  And, I probably jumped back into some speed too fast from all the MAF work.

Happy to say I think I'm back :)

I also realized I ran a pretty good marathon time for my first one...and I did it on my own training plan.

So, I'm not using the Advanced Marathoning plan anymore.  I discovered this book this weekend, and I'm in love with it.  So, I'll use this plan as a guide.  

Another book I'm re-reading now that I LOVE is Chris Charmichael's book Food for Fitness.

It's so no-nonsense & perfect for athletes.  I love one of his comments...
There is no super food, there is no evil food.  So true, and in the world of blogging & nutrition being flooded with this diet & that elimination, or this food will make you have super powers or eat more fat and you'll run for days with no need for fuel....I LOVE his basic, good result-proven guidance.   Highly suggest this book to anyone putting in some endurance training.  
I read it last fall when training for one of the half's I ran, and I felt awesome.  So much energy to complete workouts & was at a comfortable racing weight for me.

Rest days are back, too.  
I need them.  Sundays will be full on rest days.  I need them in my life right now to keep up with kids...
 housework, groceries, visiting family, church, baking cookies, everything!!!  
It's so nice to start the week feeling fully recharged & actually WANTING to get some good workouts in.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Observation-MAF treadmill runs

Just updating with an observation.  So, treadmill running has always seemed easier to me than outside.  I know, no wind, hills, belt propelling you.  

But I mean, like waaaayyy easier to me.  I have my incline set at 1.5%, so we have the difference covered.  

I've always noticed that my runs outside tend to be about 20 seconds slower, with the same perceived effort, as my treadmill runs.

Well, now I have some proof.

I've been monitoring my heart rate this week, and with my shorter 5 mile run, after a mile warmup, I had to stay at at 7:30 pace to stay in my MAF zone of 138-148.  And, this was on the low end.  

For my longer run on the treadmill today, of 12 miles, I had to stay in about a 7:30-8:00 pace to stay in my range.  

Very interesting to me, but makes sense and correlates with my perceived efforts.  

So, there may be something to this.  

I'm anxious to see if I change any in the next month :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Pretest-MAF running

Reading a new endurance book, The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing.  
I love numbers and new training plans, so this got me excited.  I also am curious to why I train at such a fast pace, but my race times don't correlate.  Something's going on.  Either I just don't race well, or I'm lacking aerobic fitness, as this book leads you to believe.

The book tells you to train in your aerobic MAF zone (which for me is 138-148 beats per minute).  No anaerobic training allowed during your aerobic building period.  This is hard for me because I enjoy fast track workouts & HIIT intervals, tempo runs...basically anything that leaves you exhausted & worked.  

Anyway, I decided to give myself a little pretest today, since I had an easy 8 on the schedule.  I wore my heart rate monitor and decided to warm up a mile, try to run in my target heart rate for 6, and then cool down a mile.  Here are my pretest numbers:

Mile 1 (warmup) 8:51 pace, 129 HR
Mile 2 8:24 pace, 143 HR
Mile 3 8:15 pace, 142 HR
Mile 4 8:22 pace, 143 HR
Mile 5 8:29 pace, 144 HR
Mile 6 8:32 pace, 143 HR
Mile 7 8:24 pace, 144 HR
Mile 8 (cooldown) 9:08 pace, 138 HR

Observations:  This didn't seem as easy-feeling as everyone says in the book.  In the book, you hear COUNTLESS stories about how running in this heart rate feels turtle slow.  It didn't feel slow to me, just felt like my normal running pace.  Hmmmm.  

I'll continue shooting for this heart rate in my running.  Currently, I'm scheduled for around 65 miles per week, building to around 80 towards end of summer for my fall marathon.  

I think I'll do another test in 4 weeks to see what results I get.  My prediction is, I'm not going to see much increase in my speed with the same heart rates.  I have a feeling I have a solid aerobic base and I just suck at racing.  We'll see!!!

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Recovery...something everyone needs to learn for endurance.  

And to keep running, injury free & happy.  

Stress, recover & rebuild...the cycle we should all follow to see progress.

This winter, I sustained a high mileage base (for me) and ran a marathon & experienced the fastest recovery I had imagined.  It got me thinking...why...what did I do right?  

I don't know.

There are a handful of things that may have contributed, so I thought I'd share my wondrous knowledge :)

No post race alcohol :(  This is really hard for me.  Races are usually on a Sat/Sun, and I would love to relax at dinner with a couple glasses of wine.  Nope. No longer after a race.  The day of my marathon, we had family obligations and I didn't have my celebratory wine.  Result?  Next day, no dehydration, that fluid in my body wasn't working towards ridding my body of alcohol, it was focused on rehydrating my whole, worn down body to help repair.  Sad to say, my celebratory wine will wait until days after my long runs & races.

Water...this is a no brainer.  Hello.  Drink lots of water for days.

Compression socks.  LIVED in them for 3 days.  Even slept in them.  Yes, it helps.

Vega Recovery.  I drink this stuff after really taxing runs & races.  Could be in my mind, but this stuff makes me feel like a million bucks afterwards.  I've started to crave it after hard workouts.

Foam roll that $hit.  Really.  I know this has been labeled as trendy lately.  Alot of sports med doctors have said it's pointless.  Well, it helps me.  And, I'm sticking with it.  I foam roll 2x a day when I have high mileage.  It takes minutes.  Just do it while you're watching tv or checking IG of FB on your phone.  Or your daughter does headstands in the background :)

Active recovery.  Walk the day after your marathon.  Take an hour stroll and enjoy your surroundings.  Also, the day OF your marathon, be sure to move around alot.  Don't just lay on the couch or in bed and become a stiff corpse :)

Stretch!  After you foam roll, stretch.  Just do it.

Heating pad.  I'm a fan of heat more than ice.  I heat the crap out of my legs.  My theory is it promotes new blood flow to promote healing.  That and it feels good, so I'm sticking with it.  Ice just makes me stiff up and I've seen NO benefits in icing. ever.  So, heat it is.

New shoes.  I'm a freak about making sure I don't wear my shoes out.  I usually only run 300 miles in them, so I go through pairs & pairs quickly.  Find the kind you like then go to runningwarehouse.com and search for discontinued models and stock up.  A $120 pair of shoes, you can usually find for $60-$70 if you buy the previous model.  Buy them when they're on sale and you have them when you need them.

Remember, run, rebuild, and rest :)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Random week off, and this was supposed to be about recovery

Why is it so hard for me to blog?  I have no problem reading other people’s blogs…never miss a beat there.  Maybe I should give it up?  One more try to be consistent!

Let’s get workouts out of the way.  This week was weird.  I had a killer, awesome OUTSIDE speed workout on Monday.  Then, it went downhill.  I didn’t really “run” until today, Saturday.  I don’t know what happened.  I have no problem working out, I mentally could NOT run Tuesday.  

I dreaded it.  

So, I didn’t.  

Which led to more days off.  I did this girl's workouts (Blonde Ponytail).  

I am so sore.  

I don’t think I’ve ever felt my LOWER abs…you know the ones you always try to make sore…the ones that give us the most trouble…well, YEAH, they’re freaking SORE!  I’ll be keeping an eye on her workouts and use them frequently! 

So, Monday was beautiful.  It was 2 mile warmup, 6 x 1 mile repeats with 2:30 minute recovery jog, 3 mile cooldown.  I was very proud of myself for hitting my target time in the first two, and the FINAL repeats.  This is HARD for me to do outside.  Given the workout on a treadmill, I would’ve hit the paces, even 20 seconds per mile faster, no problem.  Clearly, I need to run my speed workouts outside.  

One VERY important thing running intervals on the treadmill has taught me is...

the cadence I need to hit certain times.  THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.  Now, if I can only get my LEGS to not give out when I'm outside, we’ll be all good.

So, adjusting my training schedule, the trail run in June was rained out.  Rescheduled to July.  Fine with me.  I haven’t been consistent with my marathon training, so I’m pushing it back to following the 18 week schedule.  Doesn’t really matter, because the first part is base training anyway, and I already USUALLY hold a base of at least 60.  So, no pressure here!

I ran a 5k in May…sucked terribly.  I think the humidity was 100%.  I don’t want to make excuses, but seriously, heat & humidity DO ME IN!!  I’m a much better cold weather racer.  I still managed to pull off 2nd in my age group.  Although, I was really upset with my time because it was about the same I ran in November.  Yeah.  All this training, and I’m still at the same level as the fall.  


I understand you can’t train for marathons and expect to run well in 5k’s.  But, I feel you should consistently BETTER yourself.  So, not clocking a better time is very hard on me.

Today’s workout was Blonde Ponytail’s "Out of the Box Workout".  Then, later I jumped on the treadmill for 8.  I ran the interval run I usually do to complete the 8 in less than an hour.  OH MY HOLY MARY MOTHER OF JESUS.  If you would’ve heard me from another room, you would have thought I was having the most unbelievable, mind blowing sex ever.  Sorry for the visual and if I offended anyone…just want to give you an idea of how I was huffing, puffing, moaning, DROOLING, I think at one point I almost collapsed and vomited.  My daughter turned around and gave me the eye…like are you gonna make it?  I don’t know why it’s so easy for me to push myself in my own workouts.  When it comes to a race, I simply have no desire to compete with others.  

I compete with MYSELF only.  

I think that’s what kills my race times.  I push myself so hard in workouts and when it comes to a race, I really don’t care too much.  Hmmmmm, something is going on there. 

I listened to a podcast recently about competing, and the main thing running coaches LOVE to see in runners is….

You need a runner who HATES to lose more than LOVES to win. 

Coaches want this quality in athletes.  It’s a killer instinct that wins.  

I don’t have it.  

I compete with myself.  I’m learning to adjust things.  Maybe I’ll get there.

So, I had a recover post all ready to go.  I really want to talk about some key things that work for me.  I consistently hold high mileage, am getting up there in age!  Keep up with 3 kids, have a full time job, part time job (which consists of running lol), and have KNOCK ON WOOD managed to maintain major injury free and able to carry on with high mileage, quality workouts, and HIIT training.  I’ll try to have that by Monday.

And no, this doesn't have anything to do with running, but this is my son...awesome pic so proud :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Hiatus, hair & more

So, it's been how long?  I have no idea.  I do know there's probably not a sole around reading this, but I wanted to get back into blogging to track workouts & share nutrition, workout, and motivation.
First thing's first.
Today's workout, on treadmill because Mon & Wed are treadmill days for me.  No other way around it.  8 on the schedule, so I chose this awesome girl's treadmill workout "the ladder".  8 miles done in an hour, boom, done.

This is one reason for my hiatus...
I have to transform this
Into this...
Oh my, it's a JOB!!
Another job I've had since January is working part time at the YMCA training members for their first half marathon.  This was such a challenging, yet rewarding journey.  I think I struggled more mentally getting members to try to push themselves to their abilities...and get through the AWFUL weather we had this winter.  It was definitely a test of endurance.  The end result was bittersweet.  I loved seeing everyone surpass their goals and thank me...even though THEY were the ones that put in the work.  It was a process that helped me see this will be part of my future, helping people reach their running goals.  It was a blessing.

My mileage has been hovering around 60-80 miles a week.  Now, some of those (around 20-30) were at a much slower pace than even my relaxed pace.  So, it was a great way to get some high mileage without all the wear and tear on my body.

I got a PR in a half in March...1:40:45.  Was shooting to break 1:40, but hey, it's a PR, I'll take it.  I know I have great things in my future :)

Also ran my FIRST full marathon Apr. 20th in 3:46, just 6 minutes away from by BQ time!!  Being my first full, I wanted to run extremely conservatively to make sure I enjoyed it and finished...and I DID!!!  It was the best race experience of my life.  Totally addicted to Fulls now.  I'll be shooting for my BQ time in October, so that's what I'll be focusing on training for all summer.  I ran the full so easy that I had one day of tightness and then was back to my normal workouts about 3 days later.  It was the weirdest feeling...I almost braced for some pain...but nothing.  I felt totally fine.  This lets me know I have MUCH more in me :)
Training plan I'll be using for October is the more than 70/week in this book...
A few upcoming races I'm excited about...
Another area I'm concentrating on during training is core & arms.  During my marathon, one thing that did get sore were my arms.  Funny, but true.  So, 2 days per week will focus on upper body strength and 3 days dedicated to core.
Did this one today, and THIS SITE has some amazing and fast core workouts.
I've had to deal with some personal budget cuts lol, so sometimes my favorite protein powders are scarce in the household (like Vega, MRM egg white protein, Sun Warrior blend).  But, you don't always have to get your protein for your smoothies or meals from powder.  Look around your cupboards or fridge for things like this that can be added to a smoothie or meal, and it will create about the same ratio of protein as a powder would.  Any of these could be used in a smoothie with some almond milk, spinach or kale, stevia and some ice cubes for a good smoothie.  Add a little avocado or chia for some healthy fat, and that's all you really need.  Or, for more of a "food" meal, a slice of toast, some egg white or an egg, and some avocado with some hot sauce on top is one of my favorite post workout meals.  So, don't always think you need pricey protein powders to get some good nutrition.
And, since the little person has been coughing in my face for approx. 36 hours, I'm off to put some good bugs in my body to fight the bad bug battle...wow that's a mouthful lol.