Friday, April 27, 2012

Post-Marathon Blues

11 days since Boston and I am just feeling blah! I think it is a combination of post-marathon blues, you know that feeling that you have after working so hard for something and then it is done, starting a new job and the mental exhaustion of that, getting over being sick, a recent injury and lack of good eating for the past couple weeks. I have been running but so far only once this week, I think part of me is still afraid of re-aggravating my injury despite being pain free. I am taking a minute, stepping back and reevaluating what is happening and setting goals to get back to being me.

1) Post-marathon blues: I am not disappointment with my race, it is just a big change to step back from the level of training and focus on something new for a time. I need to focus on what is ahead- a marathon in exactly 1 month, yay!. I will be back to running long runs on Sunday morning with friends and focusing on smart running and some last minute speed work to get my time goal!

2) New job: It is amazing how draining thinking all day is! I have stepped out of my comfort zone and moved on to much bigger things career wise, this is good but stressful at the same time. It means I am working 4 days a week now instead of 3 and my commute has gone from 5 miles to 15 miles. I have a lot of flexibility and support in this position and see it growing into something really good, but the time to get comfortable and not feel lost all day is tough.

3) Illness/Injury: Working out has been tough, I am making all attempts to get up early and hit the bike but some of these workouts have been less then wonderful, including the 30 minutes this morning that I slogged through. After a month of little running I think I am getting tired of all the cross training and need to refocus my energy on something different. Like I said I have long run plans and run with my group twice a week. I want to find a new cross training activity to keep me motivated, suggestions?

4) Eating habits: It happens every so often that all attempts at eating healthy go out the window and this was at a peak while we were in Boston. Combine this with recent antibiotics and my body is not happy: GI problems/pain, headaches, exhaustion and a little extra belly budge. My new goal with working more is to prepare meals to ahead of time and have them ready to throw in the oven at night to avoid the last minute grabbing of whatever. I have stocked my office with healthy snacks, bring fruit and veggies to snack on daily and am trying to cut out the afternoon coffee. I am trying to get out of the meal rut too and make new foods. I think I miss the protein shakes and need to add these back in as a morning snack. I will cut down on processed foods, drink more water and cut back on the foods I have intolerances to. I have not been too good at this lately: so goodbye dairy, gluten, yeast, refined sugar and peanuts.

Check out Fitness Friday and see what others are doing. I have to say that just the small piece of writing this down and thinking about it has made me feel a little better. Might have something to do with the fact it is Friday too!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A few random thoughts...

1) I don't know if I dare say it, but we are done with diapers during the day, yay! I may not be the best example of potty training but my slow and laid back approach seemed to work. It has been a few months but I didn't push, let her go when she wanted to and then started bribing with animal crackers and for the past month there have been no potty accidents! I am still a little nervous about long car/store trips and tend to resort to pull ups during these. The toughest part, she loves public bathrooms, so much that we have to check them all out and 75% of the time it is a wasted trip.

2) I am obsessed with my new running shoes, Brooks Pure Connect. I bought them to walk around in last weekend in Boston but decided to give running a try in them since I decided to take back the Vibrams. I just couldn't get used to the toe thing! This is my attempt at minimalist running and so far it is good. I have only done a few short runs to not over do things while I get used to them, but hope to be able to race shorter distances soon wearing them since they make me feel fast :)
Pinned Image
3) I started my new job on Monday and life is crazy right now between this and organizing a 5K for next Tuesday. It is amazing what working only 1 extra day every two weeks makes. Add that to the longer commute and my time is gone. Guess there is a lot more 4am waking up in my future to workout.

4) My child is as obsessed with pumpkin as I am, I am so happy! For the past 2 weeks she has requested pumpkin pie so last week I made one, which only lasted three days, oops. I did a little changing of my last recipe and came up with this one that I think is even better...

Pumpkin Pie
1 cup almond meal
1 cup flour (I used sweet rice)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup applesauce
pinch salt
Mix dry ingredients, add in wet and mix well. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie pan and press the mixture evenly to the bottom and sides. Bake at 375* for 10 minutes or until browned.

Pumpkin Filling:
2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup dates
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp cloves, 1/4 tsp nutmeg (or 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp stevia (or leave out)

Soak dates and cashews at least 4 hours, process in food processor, then add pumpkin, milk, sweetener (if using), cornstarch and spices and beat until combined and smooth. Pour mix into crust and bake, uncovered, at 400* for 10 minutes. Then cover with foil and bake at 350* for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

I love pumpkin all year round and was so happy to have pumpkin frozen still from last fall, nothing better then fresh (or I guess non-canned in this case) pumpkin.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Boston Marathon 2012- My unlikely marathon

I pretty much summed up my feelings and plans for marathon day in my last post and based on everything against me I decided to enjoy my weekend and do everything "wrong" before running. This meant wine, food I don't tolerate well (tiramisu from North End, yum!) and a lot of walking around. By the time Monday morning rolled around I was more then accepting of the fact that this race was just for fun, I had nothing to prove to myself (or anyone) and I didn't care about my finish time (okay maybe a little still). My goals were to run pain free, enjoy the course atmosphere and finish feeling good and upright!

Anyone who's run Boston knows the race morning logistics are at best interesting. A long bus ride to the start area hours before race start followed by hours of sitting outside in any weather unless you have access to a team bus :) Instead of a school bus I enjoyed my race morning ride on a coach bus complete with bathrooms and best yet it stayed around until everyone decided to head to the start.

The biggest issue for me with race day is eating right when you wake up at 5am and the race doesn't start until 10:20, how do you manage to eat enough, but not too much in those 5+ hours?! This year I decided to do the opposite of last year and grabbed a quick Lara Bar and coffee when I woke up then a few hours later it was a bagel and banana. I mixed in plenty of water and Nuun drink (which I have only used once before). Then headed off to meet a friend before running.

Much more crowded then last year and even with extra time we snuck into our start corral with only seconds to spare. My strategy was one that goes against everything I know about racing, but I decided since it was already 73F at the start and only getting hotter I would bank some time early on and go out faster then I knew I would be finishing. This also works since the first 10 miles are the easiest of the course. Having only run about 10 miles in the past month I knew this could be interesting. I started out with hopes of running with a friend but with every intention of taking it easy and soon lost her after the 5K point - 25:22 Not bad! The biggest question here was why am I passing walkers already? The start is set by qualifying time and everyone ahead f me should have run a 3:30 or faster marathon and not to stereotype but some looked like they had never run before! 10K - 52:11 just telling myself to keep running since the leg feels good. I can walk later if I need to.

We are now passing through Framingham and all I keep thinking about is a lecture I heard a couple years ago at a sports conference on a heart study that had something to do with Framingham, I must have been really paying attention! Almost half and Wellesley is coming, this year I planned to read the signs and take in the energy of all the spectators cheering to give me the next push! 13.1 mile - 1:57:07 Thank you Wellesey women for keeping me going! I was still on pace for a sub 4, in a race without a time goal this was my hope. It was getting hot, and was now about 12:30 and temps reaching 90+ with little shade. I was being smart and taking in electrolytes (Honey Stinger) and water at every stop and still doing good. The effects of my lack of running are appearing as my legs are feeling tired, but still no pain!

The leaders at Mile 26

Next up Newton hills and yes, despite knowing the exact location of the John Kelley statue I still missed it! Those hills are much tougher in 90F heat, but I still say Heartbreak isn't too bad. I was so happy to see Boston College! Thank you drunk college boys for cheering me on and your enthusiasm! Only 5 more miles to go and it is filled with plenty of walking to recover, then a burst of energy and some running. I was so impressed with the amount of support from the spectators, extra water, fruit, pretzels, hoses, etc. I started the day covered in sunscreen but with all the sweat and water I managed a lovely sunburn that I could feel by this point but no where to go and hide so I kept moving. Mile 23 and time to hit the port-a-potties, this is the sign I truly don't care about time. I never stop during a race! By this point I am happy to say I am still doing more running then walking but it isn't fast at all and I am actually running more then many around me.

The best sight...Boylston! I am running with a guy who just asked "where is that turn" Here we are the finish line in sight and now at Mile 26, I am doing it, finishing the toughest marathon ever! 87F at the finish, yikes! And done...4:26:49 (I say 4:24 if you don't the potty stop!)

Despite all the factors against me I finished pain free although tired and hot! I finished about 1 hour slower then last year and am much less disappointed with my time this year. It is amazing how much of a difference 30 degrees makes! Had a fun weekend and ate some wonderful food: pumpkin pie pancakes, pumpkin ravioli, seafood and probably too much tiramisu! I doubt I will be back for next year, but know there will be another Boston Marathon in my future! Next up Med City and I feel ready, sub 3:30 here I come...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

3 strikes, but not out

Less then 1 day until Boston Marathon and the race should be interesting. I am beginning to wonder if anything else will go against me before tomorrow morning. So far it is 3 strikes, but I am not out…

1st  I dealt with a leg injury resulting in an abrupt taper filled with a lot more cross training then I would have liked, a missed 20+ mile long run and only 10 miles of actual running in the last 3 ½ weeks.
2nd my allergies (or a nasty cold) kicked in big time this past week and settled in my chest. Ironically I first bought Super Lysine the week before Boston last year in attempts to combat the same issue which worked. So I have been hitting the Super Lysine along with cold meds and actually starting to feel better and hoping to be back to normal by tomorrow.

3rd the weather! Over the past week the forecast has gone up and down ranging from highs of 50F to 80F, cloudy to sunny, and even possible storms. As of today it has settled on a high of 87F sunny and south winds. Seriously?! Isn’t this April? I am typically cold so I planned well and packed mittens, ear warmers, arm warmers, pants, jackets and only 1 sleeveless running top that I never truly planned to wear.

This should be an interesting year, but I am determined and will only treat this as a training run and have fun out there. See you at the finish line!

John Kelley statue before a hot 70 degree run at Newton and Heartbreak hill with my group

Friday, April 13, 2012

10 Years

10 years ago today Matt and I were married, it is amazing all the changes and growth we have experienced in that time. About this time is when I started thinking about running my first marathon so it is only fitting that we will be spending the weekend of our anniversary in Boston for the marathon. Up until last Fall the plans were to spend a week or two in Europe to celebrate, but with us both in school we decided that a shorter trip was best. Last September as marathon registration was coming to a close I sent a text "how about a trip to Boston for our anniversary?" to which he replied "sure, sounds great". I was partly joking but the plans stuck and here we are!

So here we go, after a strange marathon training taper filled with much more cross training and only 10 miles of actual running in the last 3 1/2 weeks. I can say that my cycling will be stronger this year because of this! I am also proud to say that I tried a new class on Monday, yoga sculpt, and wow it is tough. Imagine holding yoga poses while lifting weights.

Look at us, so young...

10 years ago - April 13th 2002
Look at us now! 2012

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Happy Easter, what a great weekend (well besides the crazy over tired 2 year old who missed her nap today)! For weeks she has been looking forward to the Easter Bunny bringing bubbles, luckily for mommy the second store was not sold out yesterday. Who knew bubbles were so popular. The Easter Bunny even hit some eggs around the house filled with money, stickers and a stamper and left a basket with Elmo and Abby socks, Annie's Bunny Crackers and the much anticipated bubbles.

We later had an egg hunt with the in laws, which she looked forward to the entire hour car ride and kept repeating "Easter Hunt" which sounded a lot like Pizza Hut. Thank you little girl I am now craving bread sticks from Pizza Hut which I haven't eaten in probably 20 years. This egg hunt resulted in more coins and a basket full of candy. Sister in law also gave her a basket with "only a little candy"! Wow, if a little candy means 2 Kit Kats, a bunch of Reese's Cups and a bag of M&Ms. Really what 2 year old (or any age child) needs that much candy?!

My weekend highlight...I RAN! And it was pain free and nearly 36 hours later leg still feels good :-) Mentally I needed this run, now I just need to keep convincing myself to continue to rest the leg and only run a few easy miles.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Fear of running

I love to run and even on most of my worst runs I look forward to it, but not today. My last run was 15 days ago followed by the possible stress fracture diagnosis 2 days later. It has now been 1 full week that my leg has been pain free even through biking, walking and elliptical workouts. I thought about a short run today but talked myself out of it despite reaching the 2 weeks off. Fear has taken over, not the fear of the run, but the fear of the what if. What if it hurts again with running? What if I re-injure my leg with a run? What if it just doesn't go good like I am hoping? So instead I walked, again. Am I the only one who feels like I am cheating when I walk with the BOB?

No matter when it happens there will be hesitation and possible bad outcomes of the first post-injury run. A few more days won't hurt me, well except the mental strain of too many other workouts. I already have plans for a few miles on Saturday, so fingers crossed. This next week also means lots more cross training, what are other fun workouts without running?

Without running my days continue to be filled with biking on the trainer and spin class, elliptical, weight training and pilates. Pilates today kicked my butt! Yikes, keep this up and might get back my pre-baby 6 pack abs soon. 10 days until Boston Marathon...For now check out Fitness Friday

Monday, April 2, 2012

March is behind me

Now I can look forward to April and anticipate the exciting changes and fun times to come this month. My final day at my old job is the Friday followed by 2 weeks off and Boston Marathon, which I will be running pain free. I also have plans to get my 3rd tattoo during this time and get together with some friends to enjoy my time off.

Looking back at March I think I managed pretty well despite the leg injury. The upside was the amount of cross training, but the downside was the lack of running miles, but I feel mentally trained for anything!
  • 138 miles run including an 8K race
  • Bike 13 hours 45 min including a 2 hour spin class with 1000 other people
  • Strength training 2-3x week
  • Elliptical 12 hours 45 min which I have decided is way too much...BORING!
  • 1 swim and 1 pool running
  • Pilates 1x week
Looking back I can't complain and think I am doing pretty well adapting to no running. Good news is I remain pain free. So far 12 days off running and hope to be back by this weekend for a few easy miles.