Monday, July 11, 2016

Back to Back Racing Strategy for RnR Chicago

This coming weekend I am traveling to Chicago t run RnR half and 5K while celebrating Matt's 40th! I know after running Dopey and Looney in 2014 I said no more back to back races but as a Rock n Blog Ambassador I was given free entry to the races so why not?! Plus Nichole wants to continue to torture me and have me race a 5K!

We've gone back and forth over the race strategy, I wanted a fast half, she wanted both! Then we thought about the hamstring...

The weekend is about the run but also having fun and relaxing. I want a fast half but in the long run ( I want a fast marathon more! And then we looked ahead to the weather...

It is kind of sad that the Saturday weather with high of 82 is the better of the days for racing. Even though the 5K starts later (7:30) it should be cooler. The half will be hot and humid with no clouds, yuck! So I guess the strategy is still up in the air. The latest plan is the race the 5K and see what my legs have left on Sunday, race it if possible but push myself no matter what. This will teach my legs to run when tired and benefit me in the marathon. 

What is your strategy for racing back to back races? 

Giving control of my racing to a coach has been tough but I'm putting my faith in her to know what is the best strategy for the long term goal! Sometimes we sacrifice the immediate goal for a bigger long term goal!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

TC Red, White Boom Half

6 years ago when O was just over 5 months old we ran this for the first time, it was the first year they held the 4th of July race and we've gone back every year! I think the group is down to about 100 who have run every year. Once again we were up and read for an early start to the 4th! This year it was rough, after a long day of working outside we were exhausted and didn't sleep well.

As we headed down I drank my usual UCAN cinnamon and vanilla mixture about 30 min prior then stood in the long line for the bathrooms! It was s quite start since it is residential and so early, but we were off. A new course from previous years. I started out where I wanted to be but quickly realized I had nothing! I wanted to find a comfy spot and go back to sleep. My body was tired, my breathing tough and despite cooler temps I was warm.

My initial goal was 7:30 pace but after a few miles I decided to just aim for sub 8s. For some reason this race has always been tough for me, even the years I've been racing great I finish slower here. Soon my leg was sore  too so I took a few stops to stretch the glute and hammy. Then the 1 GF beer I drank Sunday night decided to mess with my belly and I had to wait in line for the bathroom around mile 8, ugh! Lesson learned!

Soon we were getting close to the finish and the mentally tough part, I hate bridges! The last 3/4 mile is on a bridge, with my stops I was running a faster pace than those around me and add to that the desire to get off the bridge, I was flying past others! I finished with a 6:40 pace for the end!! Had to get off the bridge!

Thanks to having a 2 month old Garmin, everything is a PR at least in Garmin world! For anyone stalking my "real" finish time is about 10 minutes slower thanks to the stops, but really who's counting that?! I ran a little further to finish 14 miles.

O and I hung out at the end of the bridge waiting for Matt to finish before she hit the Slip n Slide in the park, a little chilly for me but when it is 90 degrees like a typical 4th that would be amazing! Good thing I had extra clothes for myself that she was able to put on a dry (although big) shirt.
A jacket post race on the 4th!

How was your July 4th Holiday? Who else ran a race? If you are ever in Minneapolis on the 4th make sure to #RunTheBoom to start the day. I think I like the new course even better!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

July Goals

June Accomplishments
Completed MET course so interesting, now just to complete the exam!
No races! I stuck with this, a big change from the Jen of 2-3 years ago racing weekly.
Weekly yoga/pilates! Finally! 
190.5 miles! Biggest month this year
O finished kindergarten! I now have a big 1st grader minus 2 more teeth
O and I got to cheer on Maggie after watching her at the gym!

July Goals
Back to sub 1:40 at half
Walk at lunch 1-2 days per week
Focus on Metabolic Efficient eating
Pass ME certification exam!
Get out on my bike! It hasn’t been off trainer since my cash
Finish the house projects! New deck and landscaping in the works.
Celebrate Matt’s 40th in Chicago. 1 dinner reservation made, half marathon and what else do we need to do there?
Start figuring out winter vacation (yes already!). Any suggestion of good warm weather gluten free friendly resorts?
1st July run in gloves! This is crazy!

What did you accomplish in June? What are your July goals?

Linking up with Jill for Fitness Friday

Friday, June 24, 2016

Metabolic Efficiency

Last Friday I spent my day at a Metabolic Efficiency Certification Course and learned so much. It was so much fun to connect and share ideas and experiences with dieticians, PTs and medical providers from all over the U.S. I went into this thinking I’d personally benefit and would use it for my runners but left with ideas on how to implement the idea of metabolic efficient eating with my patients as well. I also came away considering a new career path in sports nutrition and spent Friday night researching only to discover the $ and time it would take without a lot of job opportunities. Ugh, I hope this isn’t my midlife crisis!

With all the buzz lately on fad diets I’m sure people are thinking this is the same but honestly it makes sense for nearly everyone. We are in a society of fast, quick foods, we grab processed junk on the go and expect or bodies to stay healthy. I was a carb addict for many years, living on bread, cereal and pasta along with sugar! Once I was diagnosed with celiac this all had to change, I cut way down on processed carbs just because of gluten and realized how much I relied on carbs and avoided fats. I have gotten much better overall but it needs work.

What is Metabolic efficiency? Simply it is having your body burn a higher percentage of fat than crabs at a higher exertion level.

Why is it important? No matter how thin someone is or how small their body fat %. As endurance athletes this is important for fueling. The average person has ~ 1,400-2,000 calories of carbs and 50,000-80,000 calories of fat stored! For us this means less fuel during events, leading to less GI distress and ease of racing! I remember the days of carrying 4-5+ gels for a marathon and gagging down those last ones because I needed energy but my stomach was not happy.

Is it healthy? Functioning as a fat burner and eating metabolically fit can result in decreased blood glucose, decreased triglycerides and as a result decreased body fat. For us endurance athletes, recovery is improved and energy increased.
For more information check out Enrg Training and Bob’s posts

Marathon training is officially on and I will be adding in well timed meals with carbs/protein rations to fit my training and added fats as well as limiting excess processed foods. This will mean planning and thinking ahead for meals and snacks. Next week I am having baseline bloodwork done. I have a family history of diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease so yet another reason to work on better eating. For athletes we can also test to determine paces where fat burning and carb burning are equal (a point we want to increase) which is called Metabolic Efficiency Point.

Luckily my UCAN fits in well

So here goes nothing….time to really focus on nutrition! Anyone else following this nutrition plan?

Linking up with Jill for Fitness Friday. Have a great weekend, Any fun plans?

Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday Five...Running and Life

Summer break is here, so here's a bit of our life and a little running right now...

1- A new family of bunnies. They have made home under our playset and the kids are so intrigued by them. Such an unplanned lesson in science, animals and talking about how to just let them be! The neighborhood girls spent a morning looking for mom, they think they found her a couple houses away.

2- My new Garmin has the fun features or race predictions! I'd be thrilled to run these times I'm pretty sure Garmin has a a little more faith in my running speed than I do!

3- Another hair donation! With dance done for the year it was time for a cut. She wanted to donate again and was fine with the extra length she'd have to lose. Now just hoping it is long enough for a bun by competition season!

4- Today I am excited to learn! Attending the Metabolic Efficiency Certification for Medical Professionals. I can't wait to learn ways to help myself and others be better athletes and healthier overall.

5-This quote sums up me as a runner! I am such a mental runner. Last week I beat my goal speed paces by about 10sec per mile so this week I was pushed even more by Nichole. The goal was 8 minutes under 7:10 well I went into the run with a friend doubting I'd do much faster yet somehow we managed 6:59, 6:55, 6:49 for our paces (8 minutes of speed x 3)! I'm thrilled but am still wondering if my coach is having fun torturing me!


Happy Friday! Any fun weekend plans? Long run for me and some home projects. 
Linking up with Jill for Fitness Friday

Don't forget to enter the Nathan Giveaway, a few days to enter!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Summer Run Training & Nathan Giveaway

The heat is here and summer running is in full swing with temps of 90+ last week and humidity making the run tough. I am more of a summer runner than cold winter girl but this was rough! The only positive of cooler running is jacket pockets for my phone and UCAN bar! I've tried just about every belt out there and have complaints about them all! So I was excited to try the Nathan Hipster. I'm even more hapy to say that it stayed put, nice and low on my hips just like I have to wear my belts. Even on my hot, sweaty 12 miler this weekend no chafing at all.

Some wildlife sightings on my run... The turtles have been out like crazy lately. What wildlife have you seen lately?

I've also gotten back to "real" speedwork and it is actually fun! Thanks Nichole :) I'm excited to see how this training cycle goes. I'm finally running paces I haven't been able to hit in years. My leg is almost to full strength, still a little residual after racing that hilly 5K on Mother's Day but about 90% better.

This week will mean a change in training. the past few months I've had the luxury of late starts at work and O at school, not anymore. Summer break is on and she is home so no sneaking in a run while O is at school. I guess better planning will be needed on my part. She can bike with me on shorter runs but still limited with that. Moms of older kids, any tricks? I still have dance time for short runs and morning (which I prefer).

Now for the fun...I have the same Nathan pack (Hipster, SpeedShot Plus & LightBender) to give to one of you!

All opinions are my own, I was provided the Nathan gear.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

June Goals

May Accomplishments
Run my first half marathon of the year: I ran it, I finished…it wasn’t pretty! Thanks to…
I won a 5K! A week before the half I decided to race a hilly 5K and won 1st woman 2nd behind 1 other guy.
Running 5K with O to start our running year! We dropped thanks to thunderstorms, so no Color Run.
I start working with a coach this month. In just a few short weeks I am doing more speed work and faster paces than ever!
Yoga once a week! Oops, more like once total!
O learned to ride her 2 wheel bike! One morning she said she was ready and just ike that took off, no help at all.
I planted my garden. Corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers (including ghost peppers), basil, lettuce and broccoli

June Goals
I will be taking the Metabolic Efficiency Certification Course for Medical Providers (course rescheduled from May)I can’t wait to use this to improve my training and help others. I’m loving the info in the books so far.
No races in June! Focus on training runs and strength.
Walk at lunch 1-2 days per week
Yoga or pilates weekly My flexibility is awful!
Start bi-weekly mason jar salad groups
Start figuring out winter vacation (yes already!). Any suggestion of good warm weather gluten free friendly resorts?

What did you accomplish in May? What are your June goals?

Stop back later this week for a Nathan giveaway!