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Sunday, October 27, 2013

What Happens Happens Don't Lose the Joy

So I completed my last 10mile training run today.  I will be cutting back to running 5 days a week about 3 miles.  May do 4 or 5 next weekend depending on how I feel.  I want to have fresh legs as I go into the Soldier's Half a week from next Saturday.  I feel prepared.  I have trained for this half more than my first.  I have done more long runs and increased my pace, strength training, and speed work.  I feel like I have done everything I can.  What happens race day happens.  Either way I will be happy and proud of myself.  I know the training has made me a better overall runner.  If that doesn't show up in one race so be it.  I will commit to have fun no matter what.  I am running for a good cause the Fallen Soldiers Charity, and hubby and I are celebrating our 15 year Anniversary that weekend.  We will be combining racing and enjoying Columbus and the suite I booked for us, coincidentally right across the street from the number pick up and starting line. 

There are so many things you can't control for on race day.  Maybe you aren't 100%, maybe the weather sucks.  I am 100% sure that I can control for my attitude and I can enjoy the race I have worked hard for even if I don't make my sub 2 hour goal.  No one can take away the hard work and the benefits of the hard work on my running. 

I am also proud because this half is all me.  It is a reflection of my training. My first half hubby helped so much, because he toughed out 8 mile training runs with me and I only had to do my two longest runs on my own.  This time with his nagging foot injury, I had no one but me to depend on.  It was all on me to stick with the commitment and go out the door and say "today I am running 12, see you in a few hours."  I am proud that I did it. 

I thought about that today as I was running my 10 miles. I focused on an easy effort run today.  Goal was to run what you feel comfortable running and be able to breathe mouth closed.  I thought that should be 10minute mile. It was about a nine minute mile for the first 5miles then about 8:30.  As I passed the .3 mile marker on my way back to the zero mile where I was parked, I remember the first time I saw my husband while he was on a run after work and I was on a run after work. I ran from the 2.6 mile marker back toward zero and he ran from zero toward the 2.6.  That was also the first run I ever ran more than 3 miles.  I also remember hubby passing me saying "you looked so good I did not know it was you."  He has been there for me, cheering me on the whole way.  Even though he could not train with me I am so grateful to him.  I remembered that support today when I was nearly done.  I know he has been frustrated with this foot injury, but I know he will be back to full strength and I will be done with my half and we can go back to our regular runs. Of course I will continue to push him into one long run a weekend, but no 10 milers I promised. 

Who pushes you even when they aren't there physically?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Milestones and Benchmarks

I started running in March of 2011 because my husband asked me to do a 5K with him as a birthday gift.  Originally I had two thoughts. First, score the race entry is only $30.00 bucks this is an affordable gift!  Second thought was if I don't actually die running 3 miles I will never have to do this again.  Ha,ha,ha!  Since most of the folks who read this are runners or want to be runners or used to be runners, you know what happened.  I crossed the finish line at that first race, admittedly an affordable birthday present, but not the last time I would do that.  Spoiler alert: I also did not die.  This blog is not written from beyond the grave.  Instead I felt proud.  Proud that I made it 3 miles, proud I wasn't last (though nothing wrong with being last, you are running circles around the person on the couch watching the countdown clock for the return of Twinkies to the market place), I did not end the race in an ambulance, most surprisingly, I ran almost all of it.  Only walked the hills.  For this bookworm, former 20 minute miler on the Presidential Fitness test the biggest revelation is I loved it.  I loved, dare I say it...running.  When the heck did that happen? 

Yesterday Atlanta Track Club announced that due to a venue scheduling problem they were cancelling the last race of the season the Fall Distance on November 2, 2013, the week before my half.  This meant that the Grand Prix season was over and they would be finalizing standings.  I can say this, probably only here, but I was excited because I finished 3rd in my age group for the season.  I knew I had been running well.  Set PRs for distance and courses pretty consistently this year.  I am 44 and supposed to be above all of this; I mean running is about being your best self that day and I believe that.  It also did not stop me from being excited about the hard work I put in building up my endurance and speed and how happy I was to see it pay off.  Also I move to a new AG next season and a couple of girls would need to quit ATC or running all together for this to happen again, so I will enjoy it. 

Looking back over where I was in 2011 and where I am now I can see the hard work and effort paying off.  Not just in the very self-congratulatory way I just announced, but in the way I feel when I run, the way my body responds, etc.  It really has been a rewarding experience even without any actual rewards.  I also can see the difference in my body.  After work today I am heading to have a bunch of my work clothes altered because they are too big.  I never thought that would be the case, but I am now at the point where I have to decide between small and extra-small.  That is another example of where I have been and how far I have come.  Sometimes when you are in the middle of something it is hard to evaluate how far you have come.  Reflecting back can be a good motivator to continue on the journey.  A great way to look back is to visit Athlinks website.  They have the whole history of your races.  It is kind of cool to look back and remember where you were and see your improvement.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Are Your Friends Runners?

As I walked into my laundry room this weekend I had only one thought.  "Well no doubt we're runners."  One smell of that room with the running shoes and a weeks worth of running clothes nicely fermented and all opportunities to nonchalantly shrug off, "oh run, yeah we run occasionally."  It got me to thinking even if your friends don't discuss their PRs and measure their weekends in miles logged and paces achieved.  Even if they prefer to go to a new city and still think driving is the best way to get to know the place, are there telltale signs that beat like Poe's heart beneath the piles of laundry or the closed office door.  Are there things unique about runner's homes that give away that they run?  Is there an athletic equivalent to going through their medicine cabinet?

I thought what makes a dead give away a runner lives here.  Here are 10. 

1. Carpet is made out of recycled race bids, come on we're an eco-friendly group.
2. There are medals hanging from the chandelier instead of crystals.  Who ever earned a crystal?.
3. What you assumed was a family photo is actually a picture of Steve Prefontaine.
4. There is a tic mark chart tracking how many glasses of water consumed that day.
5. You ask to borrow a cute pair of shoes and they ask stability or motion control?
6. You accidentally use their body glide instead of your deodorant when getting ready in the guest bathroom.
7. Most of the keys in the house are not on a key ring so they can be slipped easily in a belt.
8. For Halloween they have a bowl full of honey stingers and sports beans.
9. Instead of a conversion from grams to ounces they have a chart converting Kilometers to Miles on their fridge.
10.They know that it is exactly .06 K from the master bedroom to the laundry room, at least if their Garmin is working correctly. 

Add your own!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Week in Review

So not a stellar week for workouts to much living not enough running.  Work has been super crazy and I took a good friend, who has been having some challenges, to a concert to celebrate her birthday Thursday night leaving me tired on Friday so I took an unscheduled rest day.  Overall eating and hydration was good.  Mileage pretty low, but maybe that means I will have fresher legs next week for my last 10 miler before the half. 

The weekly Overview

Mon - Rest Day -I was really feeling the 13 miler from Sunday so I took a rest day.
Tues - Felt great Ran 3.1 miles at 4:30 AM finished with planks (sneaking in a little strength training)
Wednesday - 3.1 mile AM run no strength training
Thursday - 3.1 mile AM run - finished with push ups, planks, bridges and leg lifts
Friday - Unscheduled rest day
Saturday - Haunted Hustle 5K - PR for the course, but not the distance. I am not that fast on trails.  I always err on the side of I am naturally clumsy so I should slow down!  Strength training push ups, scissors, bridges, planks, plies, and sit ups.

I plan an easy slow 6 tomorrow.  Just to get in an hour of running this week.  Hoping for a less stressful work week and finishing my last 10 miler next week before the half.  

Also got our Flipbelts in the mail and used it in the race today.  Love it.  It is so comfortable and nothing moves.  My sports beans are going to fit great along with my IPhone.  Also the Yurbuds are working great compared to my Skull Candy so I feel like all my stuff is ready for the half.  I am especially excited about the Flipbelt since I still have the irritating rash on my side that my Nathan's belt caused on my 13 miler.  

Hope everyone had a great week and had fun if you were racing this weekend!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Running Stuff

This morning I was out running and, as unusual as it is, a fellow runner was running up my street.  It is only unusual because it was the start of my run which meant it was a little before 4:30 AM. I saw this runner way down the street he had on a head lamp and reflective vest.  I thought can't miss him.  Then I saw my little flower shaped LED reflector clipped to the bottom of my white tech shirt. 

When I got home hubby asked me how my run was.  I told him I saw another runner and he had a head lamp.  He asked me if it was our friend Mitch, who also runs a part of my route.  I laughed and said not with a head lamp. Mitch is very old school.  Running shorts, singlet, shoes and maybe GPS watch.  He is not into gadgets and extras.  I thought about getting ready to run every morning I have my Road ID, my Iphone with Rock My Run and I Smooth apps running, Yurbuds, a Nathan's belt, my water bottle that gets left at home.  Don't forget Bodyglide, the 6 shoes I have in rotation, countless tech shirts, sports bras, running skirts, shorts, tights, and capris, and a running hat.  I spent a part of Monday ordering flipbelts for hubby and I, so we can better carry our running stuff!  I almost forgot what I used to spend money on before I started running.  I am sure I had something.  Then of course there is the Nuun, sports beans, honey stingers, etc.  It occurred to me that runners might embody that old George Carlin bit about stuff and buying stuff for your stuff and a place especially to store your stuff so you can get more stuff. 

I am pretty sure I can run with less.  I have.  I actually enjoy running naked, but hubby feels better when I have ID and a phone at 4:30 in the morning.  I know before I started running I always rolled my eyes when hubby came home from the running store with another pair of shoes or a new must have gadget.  I mean how many pairs of running shoes do you need?  Right! I know I am sure I still owe him an apology. 

Do you have a lot of running stuff?  What can't you live without?  For me Bodyglide!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Soldiers Half Training Run

Just happy to be done!
Today was my last over 12 mile run in preparation for Soldier's Half Marathon on November 9th.  It was a lot hotter than I expected this time of year, which is crazy optimistic because I have lived in Atlanta long enough to know I should not be surprised.  I left later than I planned too.  Not an ideal start.  I did have my new over the ear Yurbuds and I had downloaded my music from Rock My Run on my phone so it did not cut out like when I was live streaming it.  This was the first race where I wasn't constantly fighting my ear buds and losing music. That was nice.  The first 10 miles felt good but I was a little ahead of my planned easy pace.  Also I did not bring water because Silver Comet has nicely spaced restrooms with water fountains.

I think it was a little hotter than I realized.  I skipped the mid-run water out and back and I was really feeling it around mile 11.  I pushed through and made a note to make sure to hydrate better during the half.  Silver Comet was packed today.  Lots of folks out riding, skating, biking or just walking with their families.  I realized today what a great asset this is in our area.  It is built along an old railroad and runs for 61miles.  It is totally free.  It has restrooms, water fountains,  benches, and picnic tables.  With hubby's injury it means I have done most of my long runs on my own and close to home.  With Silver Comet there is no traffic, it is safe and family friendly.  It is shaded and easy to run any distance you want to run.

For the rest of my training it will be my normal weekly morning runs and on my weekends:

Next weekend I have a 5K on Saturday and Sunday I plan on a 6-7 mile easy recovery run.

The next weekend will be my last double digit run probably a 10 miler, easy pace and a shorter run the other day.

The weekend before Soldiers Saturday I have a 5 mile race and then will be taking it easy with slow short runs until the half. 

I am looking forward to the race.  Hope your training is going well too.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Getting Motivated for Strength Training

So getting up 4AM and running is not hard for me.  I am pretty consistent and I feel goo d afterwards.  Even today with a tight calf, I still could get into it.  I called it quits at 2 miles because I did not want to injure it because I need to do a long run this weekend.  Soldier's Half is fast approaching. I need a few more double digit training runs.  I joined this health and fitness challenge at work, since I am on the wellness committee and we are sponsoring it.  I had to pick a goal.  I could have said "I am going to start running or I am going to run a half marathon, but I thought we should choose a real goal something we really need to improve.  I chose I am a runner who needs to incorporate more strength training. 

This leads me to my blog post.  I such at strength training.  I am inconsistent; I get bored.  I totally lack my laser like focus in this area.  Hubby even redesigned our extra room to give us a perfect area for strength training.  I have not used it yet.  I have been doing my planks and I incorporated some push ups yesterday.  Is there a good program that I can fit in with my running?  How does everyone fit in strength training?  I read about my friends doing it all the time but I don't seem to be able to get it done.  So that is my confession and plea to hold me accountable. I suck at strength training and I told everyone at work I was going to get better?

How do you stay motivated to strength train? 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Feeling Like Myself

I finally feel like I am back in the groove.  The run this am was great.  It was in the 50's and beginning to feel like fall.  I had been dreading this run because I have been so tired and felt so out of sorts.  I am such a creature of habit (especially my healthy ones).  Now that I am back and I am eating fresh whole food and drinking water regularly and getting some sleep it sort of all came back together.  I love those effortless runs where you feel like you could run forever.  Also it never ceases to amaze me the difference I feel when I run.  I have been so tired and yesterday, a rainy morning meant sleeping in and a rest day.  I felt like I was dragging all day.  This morning back up at 4am and I am more focused and have more energy.  I don't know if this is something anyone can explain to someone starting out to live healthier.  It changes your whole perspective on what you thought was healthy.

I am back at trying for 6 running days a week, adding back in my planks and some strength training.  My half is a month away!!  I hope to get in a nice long run this weekend.  On the flip side hubby has still been struggling with his injury and I know he has not been feeling like himself. Just like the feeling good snowballs, I think so do the effects of missing out on your regular exercise routine. I know it has been hard for him, and every time he feels like he is making progress he feels like he takes  two steps back.  I hope he is able to get back to his running soon. I know he loves it and before I started running I would have looked at this like a break, but now I realize it is kind of torture, especially because I can run and he wants to join me so badly. 

What do you do to take your mind off running or to get some physical exercise when sidelined with an injury?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

What a Difference a Week Makes

I have been out of pocket and technology since we were robbed. I have missed blogging, but I have missed following all of my blogger friends more.  Well I am back in technology.  Went with a Microsoft Surface Tablet, because  I think it is more practical for my work and home life.  Now I can blog on my lunch hour!  How about that!

This week was tough and not one I am terribly proud of and I was definitely paying a price for it on my runs this weekend.  First let me say Vegas, without a car trapped at a casino, is not a health conscience mecca!  I had to search high and low for veggies and forget my healthy snacks of fruit.  Diet not great.  Also sleep was an old lost friend.  I have been in the conservation game for a while, so at the biggest conservation and efficiency conference of the year I have one or two colleagues to catch up with, most in the bar or over some meal.  Also we had to see something in Vegas right?  So a 9:30 David Copperfield show at MGM Grand it was.  May not sound late, but when we got back to our hotel it was 1AM or for the east coast girl 4 AM.  That is when I usually get up to run.  So you might imagine I am an early to bed kind of girl.  Body still on east coast time wants to get up at the crack of dawn.  I was punch drunk tired by Thursday. 

The schedule for me with meetings and sessions was jam packed.  Early AM starts and late night events.  I only got in two days on the treadmill.  Also I love all of my friends and colleagues, but by nature I am more introverted, so this constant stream of activity and socializing is really a big effort for me.  The great, passionate people in the field make it easier, but still going against my grain. 

How does all of this come  out in the wash.  Two tough runs this weekend.  I was jet lagged, dehydrated from the desert and lack of time to properly hydrate, poor food choices, and no sleep.  I have been feeling really strong training but yesterday's 10 K was a struggle and a 3 miler today at the pace I have been doing my 12 mile runs felt hard and I had a bad a side stitch. 

I am back on the program.  I will be cooking healthy meals with fresh ingredients, I started back on my regular water regime and I hope to be feeling like myself by my long run this weekend. Rainy morning tomorrow is going to give me a much needed rest day.  It is amazing what one week of less than ideal health choices can do.  I guess I forgot that I used to make these all the time, now that I know how much better I feel I hope I can always remember that and try to focus on it.

Hope you all have been having a better, more successful training week.  I am back at it this week and glad to be back home.