Saturday, June 30, 2012

Du @ the Dam: What not to do before a race

Today I learned the consequenses of racing on a hot, humd day after staying up 2 hours and 2 glasses of wine past my bedtime. This is typically my only duathlon each year and after the increased biking I was hoping for better results this year, but thanks to a couple good friends, conversation and wine I wasn't in the best racing form this morning. Not only was the sleep lacking but the heat was tough and really, why a 9am start in the end of June?!
Monkey girl while mommy and daddy race

Run 1: 3.3 miles
The men start in heat 1 and women in heat 2 3 minutes later so I always make it my goal to pass as many men as I can. This year it 25 men with Matt being the 18th one I passed. This course is set as a 3 mile run, but anyone who has done a race with this organization knows that things are never as planned. Finally about 1 mile in I am feeling awake and no longer considering finding a tree to curl up under for a nap. I was feeling so tired that I decided against the warm up run and instead took my run as it came. Good news the leg felt great, the time not so great 24:13

Trying Run 1 without a hat
T1: 0:49
Not bad but need to work on my ability to drink on the bike to avoid the need to stand in transition and drink.

Bike: 14.25 miles
I have been complaining about my shifting forever, I have a basic road bike and need to upgrade. Well today I spent the first few miles dealing with clunking shifting until I finally made it through all the gears and things popped back into place. But for awhile I was limited to a couple gears. The course is pretty flat but tough: a lot of sharp turns, bumpy road, riding over a dam and up/down curbs. Matt passed me a couple miles in on his new P3 and I kept riding near iPod guy, seriously an iPod while biking is bad enough but during a race! I once again survived riding over the river which I hate. Depsite all the extra biking this year I managed a 49:50, not what I was hoping, but I did pass a few people! I need to become a stronger cyclist, any suggestions? I do spin weekly and try to get on the bike another couple days a week.

T2: 0:48

Matt coming into the finish with a high 5!
Run 2: 3.4 miles
I forgot how tough this was, tired legs are heavy. I was happy to look down at mile 1 and see I was running a 8:05 pace. I am a much stronger runner and managed to pass another 5 or 6 people including Matt at mile 2. Finally down the hill and around the corner to the finish as the sun is beating down and I am roasting, why did I wear such thick socks my feet are burning! 25:49 yep I was tired. Overall 1:41:18 and 3rd place AG finish and 14th OA.


My medal!


Now I need to work on my bike, I feel that I could be a strong mult-sport athlete if I was better on the bike, maybe I need to get those aerobars on that have been sitting on the shelf of the past 5 years. Time to overcome my fear caused by a couple crashes one which resulted in a broken wrist. That and more speedwork!

Friday, June 29, 2012

New workouts and other changes


Another fun week full of change behind me. Yesterday an email from a friend made me realize how much has changed in the past month and how much happier and less stressed I am now. I made the huge career decision last week and have managed to wrap up nearly everything meaning my final day will be Monday followed by a slow transition to my new job over a few weeks, got to have time to enjoy a little summer. Over that time I will take (and pass) my NASM exam. Other fun news is that I am registered to take a RRCA certification course this fall.

Like I said the other day I decided against the detox diet and have just fully gone dairy and gluten free, Day 8 now and better each day. The bad part is I am running out of food at home making it more difficult so time to hit the store. The CSA is really helping as the house is overflowing with fresh fruit and veggies, I love this time of year. I could live on salads and fresh fruit, too bad I hate radishes and now have 2 bag fulls to get rid of or somehow use.
Another change this week has been my trainer leaving the gym, boo! Instead of a gym workout this week we all hit the local playground for a 5:30am boot camp style workout.
  • Reclining pull ups on rings
  • Rock wall climb
  • Sand jumps
  • Pull ups (I will do 5 full pull ups by the end of the summer! Now I can barely do 1)
  • Push ups
  • Hanging knee ups
  • Bench step ups
  • And of course some running!
All I could say afterwards was fun, I loved my first boot camp but didn't feel like I was getting a huge workout until this morning when I woke up and could barely move my arms. Guess it was more of a workout then I thought.
My gym this week


I haven't run since Tuesday instead have focused on the bike and elliptical to give my leg a rest in hopes of a strong race tomorrow. This will be my 3rd time racing Du at the Dam and I hope for an improvement from last year. A fun weekend ahead with racing, girl's dinner with a couple great friends and some family time. Happy Fitness Friday

In hopes to keep myself accountable I am back to setting weekly & longer goals
  • Meal/snack planning and sticking with it
  • Make one new meal this week
  • Register for NASM test
  • Complete VO2 Max testing (and find my heartrate monitor)
  • Start swimming (Matt and I have a little challenege starting- more to come on this)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Angry leg, happy belly

Today is Day 6 of completely being Gluten and Dairy Free and I am already feeling a difference. I decided against the big detox/elimination diet thing since I have a tough enough time finding foods that I didn't want to limit myself even more if I could avoid it. I know being vegetarian is my own doing, but add to that My List of food intolerances: peanuts, yeast, refined sugar, eggs, gluten, milk and a few others and eating can get tough. After just this short time of being strict I no longer look 6+ months pregnant, the pain is much less and my energy and mood are improving. Still not back to "normal" but getting there.

BlueberryOn a quick shopping trip the other day I discovered Amande almond milk yogurt. Yum! and even better, soy, dairy and gluten free and fruit juice sweetend. Unfortunately I only bought one, blueberry, guess I need to head back for more. It made a great snack after my quinoa breakfast.

Quinoa Breakfast
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tsp cinamon
1/4 tsp pure vanilla
1/4 tsp stevia (or less)

Cook quinoa, add milk, cinamon, vanilla and stevia and put in refrigerator. In morning take out half and microwave, top with a little more milk, berries and nuts. Super easy and filling

After a month of good running my leg has decided it is time to be angry again. Here I am once again needing to take a break, hopefully only a short one this time. I finished an 8 mile run last night by walking the final 1.5 miles listening to "mommy run" all the kid encouragement was not going to make this run happen unfortumately.

Good news from the workout front: I think the added protein and change of strength workout it working. After only 2 weeks I am seeing changes and feeling stronger. The bad news here is another change, my trainer is leaving the gym, boo! Just when things were getting started I have to find another to kick my butt and hold me accountable. After a couple days of biking this week, I plan to change it up with boot camp tomorrow morning.

The job change is happening quickly, I am in the process of transitioning out of my current position within the next few days, wow! I will then slowly start my new job as soon as next week. It is amazing how much stress is lifted once a decision has been made.




Sunday, June 24, 2012

Weekend fun, food and decisions

Decisions have been made and there is no turning back now, I decided to take the job that seems nearly perfect. I will work with a small group, doing something I never thought was actually out there and with nearly perfect hours. Part of me keeps looking for the negative, but I know I need to push that aside and see where it leads. I am excited for the shorter work days, new opportunity and more family and training time. I also hope this lets me do some more trainer/coaching work once I finally take (and pass) my NASM exam.

Saturday was a perfect morning to run; 10 easy miles done with my group including Matt and O. We then hit a local parade and brought home another large bag of candy, toys and stickers. I was back at the gym in the afternoon for a repeat of last week's medicine ball killer workout.

Pouty girl wasn't ready to leave the parade!
Someone wanted to join the parade
I love starting my Sunday mornings with a run, another family run including the dog at 7am before we headed off to the second weekend parade and festival.
After months of asking she finally got to see the spoon!


My latest experiment with snack recipes and I think this one is a success! A little sweetness and perfect Summer flavors.

Apricot Bars
1 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup dried dates
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp coconut oil softened
2 cup oats
2 cups rice cereal (I used GF brown rice puffs)
1/4 cup protein powder
1/8 cup flax seed meal
1/2 cup shredded coconut - unsweetened

Soak dried fruit, puree fruit and soaking water, applesauce, oil until smooth. Mix dry ingredients then add in wet mix. Press into 9x13 pan and bake 25-30 min at 350F. I greased and coated the pan with coconut flour.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Random thoughts



The past week has been interesting to say the least, lots of thinking, frustration and decisions to come. I am trying to take a minute each Friday to look back on the past week at what went well, what could be improved and make a goal(s) for the week ahead. Everything from food and not feeling well to job stress, possible new career options and new running aches.

Sunday I finally did some real training on for my 50K trail race next month. I wanted to start months ago but the leg injury had other ideas and decided to listen. So Sunday I headed out on a 4 hour run without a mileage goal and hit the trails near home. In the end I finished my 4 hours with about 3 hours on the trails for a total of about 25 miles. Ironically the trail running felt better then the asphalt running. Monday I was quickly reminded that I overdid things when my knee was not happy. Luckily it has improved after some rest. I do blame Matt for the knee issue since his knee has been hurting again, it must be contagious!


Somehow after the run I feel both ready and not ready for the 50K at the same time. I know I am under trained on the trails, but have no time goals and need to remind myself this is only for fun.

The rest of the week began with (and continues to a lesser degree) GI issues. I have not been this bad in over a year, to the point that I spent much of Monday and Tuesday feeling like someone had punched me in the stomach. Monday was so bad I could barely drink my coffee! The worst part is that I can't seem to figure out why. I am so frustrated with things right now that I am thinking of giving my body a rest and doing a detox diet for a couple weeks, suggestions?

This will be a good start to my month of gluten and daiy free eating. Now that our CSA has started the timing is right with access to plenty of fresh veggies and fruits. I found a detox by Family Foods that looks realistc and involves actual eating rather then some of the crazy ideas out there, maybe?
detox foods 19 Ways to Detox Your Diet
Family Kitchen: 19 food to detox your diet


I have made mention over the past couple months of possible career changes and related to this I have a decision to make today. Here I sit in a promising looking job where I am not happy and have been offered a new position that is almost perfect but with a very small group and that lack of possible stability scares me. To top this off I was contacted yesterday about another great opportunity that would mean another leap to something new and upcoming. Decisions, decisions! Part of me is terrified of making the "wrong" choice.

Luckily I had an early day yesterday and was able to sneak out for a 4 mile run and thinking time. I love that my mind just wanders and I do my best thinking while running. I followed this run with another killer training session full of strength, core, balance and running drills.

Happy Friday, time to let my mind wander again and see what others are up to on Fitness Friday. Looking forward to another fun weekend of running, parades and nice weather.





Sunday, June 17, 2012

Spud Run 5K

I love small local races, especially ones close to home. This race is in the next city and much of the course is on the trails where I do much of my running. Once again, this was less then ideal race conditions: Temps of 70, but 90% humidity and rain coming and for some reason the mosquitoes were awful! Since this was a gun time only race I decided to start right behind the line of guys with the local high school cross country singlets. After a little warm up run, Matt and I got in line as we eyed up the other runners at the front, making guesses on who was out of place and who truly belonged up there.

After Thursday's tough workout my legs were still screaming at me (although a little quieter now), luckily the warm up helped but I knew this combined with my lack of speedwork was not the ideal picture for a 5K, my goal was a better time then I ran at this race 5 years ago (22:40) but Ideally a sub 20.

We were off and as expected many of the front row runners faded quickly except some of the guys one other woman who took off. I figured she was either truly fast or really stupid, I soon found out she could hold her own and fast! Okay, but just keep the others behind you and maintain 2nd place. After Mile 1 she was pulling further ahead and I knew she was out of my reach. And the legs are telling me they are still tired, keep pushing ahead this is only 3 miles. Mile 2 and I was starting to fade, I could hear others behind me and had no idea how many or how close they were, then we turned a corner and I saw only one guy, nice! I finally see the area we started and know the finish is just around the next corner, my sub 20 goal is long gone but I can still beat my last run on this course. I give a last push to the finish and hear "and here comes the 2nd woman" and done 22:00. Good for 2nd woman, 20th overall and 1st age group. I later found out fast girl was young and wins this race every year, her time 19:30.

Soon after I see Matt coming down the road and he crosses for a time of 24:30 48th overall finish. We give O the high fives she's been waiting for and watch the rest of the race as we wait for her race to start.

The kids ran a 1/4 mile race, which I think she doubled in warm up! She ran so much waiting for things to start that she was tired before her race began. But she was thrilled out there running and is now asking for the next race. My little runner.

My 1st place AG finish was good for a medal and a gift certificate to a local running store, yay! Guess it turned out to be a free race for me. I love small local races and need to look for more. I learned I need to be doing more speedwork and my leg is ready.
A giant potato, what could be better?


    












Friday, June 15, 2012

A new beginning



Over the past few weeks I have made myself take a step back and rest a little more then I am used to from running and now I am taking the time to refocus in hopes of becoming a stronger runner. This past weekend of family time taught me a lot about what I need to be doing to be a better mom while still maintaining my workouts. One key thing I learned was that tantrums and O's attitude are much better when we start the day with something fun. Obvious I know, but it took me stepping back to realize she just wants our attention and sometimes the easiest way to get it is to act out.

Imagine this with a deadlift added and constant wobbling feet!
I went back to work on Wednesday after a 5 day weekend and still manged to maintain my somewhat positive attitude and even managed an early run again on Thursday. I started working with a new trainer. He is a great fit for me since we run together, have many of the same thoughts and goals on training and nutrition and I know he will hold me accountable. Yesterday he kicked my butt with a great stability/strength workout with medicine balls, bosu, many squats and dynamic moves. For someone who spent the first 18 years of their life as a dancer I lack balance!

I am loving the medicne ball workout, even today as my legs and core ache. Slamming that heavy ball into the ground doesn't even feel like a workout, more of a great way to get out the stress of a long day.



I wonder if I could ever do this, better work on that balance and arm strength!

The other thing I am focusing on this week (and beyond) is my diet. I have managed to cut of cereal for 6 days now, I will admit it is tough but I am managing to survive the morning without starving from the carb crash within a couple hours of breakfast. I am also working on cutting back on dairy and cutting out gluten again. A few nutrition goals...
  • Gluten free for 1 month at least (I need to determine if this makes me feel better)
  • Track food to determine if my protein is adequate
  • Healthy snacking: fruits, veggies, nuts, homemade granola bars. Any other fun ideas?
  • Continue to experiement with breakfast; so far I have done PB toast, oatmeal, scrambled tofu and banana cake (recipe to follow). Again, any new ideas?
  • Limit wine to 1-2 nights per week
My latest breakfast and something I can actually enjoy in place of cereal.
Banana Almond Breakfast Cake (Updated 8/20)
1 ripe banana mashed
2 tbsp almond milk (any milk will work)
2 tbsp almond or coconut flour
1 tsp flax meal
1 scoop protein powder
1/4- 1/2 cup oats
sprinkle cinnamon

Mix banana and milk in bowl, add in dry ingredients and mix. Microwave 2 1/2 - 3 minutes. Top with fruit, yogurt, nuts, etc and eat.
*All the measurements are estimates since I don't measure except the protein powder.

Happy Friday, check out Fitness Friday for motivation and fitness. Looking forward to a fun 5K and kid's run tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Zoo Day

These are the days I love, watching my little girl's face glow with excitement as she experiences new things. This is actually our second trip to the zoo, but this time she had much more fun and loved naming all the animals and of course wanting to go pet them all!

Thanks to her giraffe toy she was so excited to see all the giraffes and was disappointed when we told her that she couldn't ride them! Good thing we found these ones willing to let a little girl sit on their back.

 Our next problem arose when we made her leave the turtle exhibit without being able to climb under the fence to touch them. Someone at the zoo must have a toddler and planned accordingly with all the fake animals to ease thee desire to touch the real ones!

We ended the day with a carousel ride, I wasn't sure how this would go over since she is always covering her ears and saying things are too loud. This carousel has been around (and restored) since 1914, both Matt and I remember riding it many times as kids ourselves so it was fun to now take her on the ride. Standing up I forgot how fast these things got!

This was truly the highlight of her day. Even after running around, dragging up from animal to animal she has not napped and continues to talk about riding the horsey when she should be sleeping. Come on kiddo, sleep so mommy and daddy can enjoy a peaceful run in a few hours and not one with a crabby kid.








Monday, June 11, 2012

Vactioning at home

We had originally planned a short family vacation, but after being so busy lately and being gone so much I thought it would be better to stay home and have fun doing things that we never have time for. I hate when trying to enjoy a vacation only leads to more stress, so why not avoid this stress and vacation at home?

Thursday
Summer here is packed with community festivals and parades, as a past princess for my hometown I know many of these very well. Thursday was the end of school and my hometown parade. O is finally catching on the the concept of candy throwing, but I think the pom-pom from the football team and political stickers were the highlight. (I did my best in monitoring her choice of political advertising!). The school was handing out books, so much better then candy.

Beads and a pom-pom, what more do you need?
Friday
Parade #2 in our neighborhood. and another late night! I learned that she hates clowns just like I do when they tried to stop and she responded with "go away NOW clowns!" Lots more candy and some food handed out (Freeze pops, cotton candy and sandwiches). Why does everyone think the youngest kids need all the junk? I don't know how many people I told no to for the cotton candy and Popsicle. The local kid's hair shop was spraying hair, so O ended up with pink hair and grandpa with green!
More beads and a slinky!

Yes, she is wearing the same shirt at both parades, I did manage to change her out of the too big shorts that were falling down. She will go through phases and wear the same outfit for a week (or until it disappears) some days the fight is just not worth it!

Saturday
Not so exciting, but an easy 10 mile run in the heat to start the day followed by a few toddler tantrums and some NASM studying. I think we are hitting the worst part of the terrible twos lately, I hope it is short lived! Anyone found good solutions? We've tried taking things away, time outs, ignoring and distracting to prevent them, but some days nothing seems to work and only makes it worse.

Sunday
As always I was awake much earlier then everyone else and started the day with an early run with Morgan. It is tough getting a black dog out running when it is already 80F at 7am.

We finally took advantage of the "swim pond" or sandy pool, this great chlorinated beach at the park reserve. The best part; it is shallow and always clean! We are so lucky to have this pond and a huge park close to us and with the configuration of the park trails and entrance it is actually easier to bike or run there. Today we decided to bike and packed the Burley with swim suits and beach toys.
Moving the sand from the lake!



Time to enjoy two more days off work filled with music class, a trip to the zoo and plenty more studying and a much needed haircut for me!

Friday, June 8, 2012

The mental side of running




Anyone who tries to say that running is purely a physical exercise is wrong! There are days when the physical part of running is the easy part, just one foot in front of the other, right? The past few races I have gotten caught up in the mental side of everything and let it get the best of me.

Pacers, don't get me wrong I think they are great if you want someone else to run with so you can forget pacing, but they mess with my mind. I feel like I can't run my own race and get so caught up in pace groups and staying in front of numbers to the point that it frustrates me when it doesn't happen. This is wrong, but I feel like because of pacers everyone else knows how you are doing, whether good or bad. Without a pacer holding a big sign, you are on your own and running your own race.

Hills, although a big physical part here too, they are a huge mental game. Have you ever tried running up a big hill and looking at the top? It sucks, almost like convincing your body how big it truly is and that there is more to go. What about looking right in front of you and only focusing on the next step, it almost makes you feel that with each step you have reached the top.

Other runners, who doesn't silently compete with those around you. Whether it be in a race or just out running. At least for me I feel like when people (other runners, cars, bikes, etc) pass me I need to give that extra push no matter how I feel. During a race I can't be the only one who picks out others that I need to pass. I still remember my first 10 Mile race when I was a newer runner, there was a woman dressed as a pumpkin and I just kept telling myself "don't let the pumpkin beat you"

Spectators have great intentions and it is great to be cheered along the race, but please don't tell me I am almost done or have X miles left (especially when I haven't even hit the halfway point yet!). Personally I hate hearing looking good especially when I am struggling. Please just say go runners, way to go or my favorite is music and the great signs!

Always motivation
But then you have those runs that no matter what is happening physically your mind is refreshed and happy. These are the runs I am trying to focus on right now. I have no reason to be pushing and need to renew my love of running and remind myself the importance of listening to my body.

Yesterday I rediscovered the joy of early morning runs. I had forgotten how peaceful it is outside at 5am and running with the sunrise. The best part is not even realizing you are out running until you are already in the midst of the run and feeling great.
Sunrise from vacation last winter, so peaceful.
Or those days when you accomplish your best thinking on runs and solve some of your biggest issues while soaking in the outside world and blocking out the stress of reality. Or the runs with friends that are filled with talking and are over before you even realize you started. These are the days when you have won the mental game and the keys to hold on to during the tough mental runs. Running not only builds physical strength but mental toughness as well, as a runner I feel ready to deal with most of life's situations and can push through it all.

CHeck out other fitness blogs at Fitness Friday


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What to do during marathon recovery

I am trying very hard to take it easy and think I am recovering well, I feel great and just managed a comfortable 4.5 miles with my group. What else am I doing...
  • Pilates and core work, must add in some yoga too
  • Taking time for family activities
  • Drinking a little wine
  • Making a new training plan for myself
  • Working on setting new goals
  • Enjoying the heat and not needing to be out running for hours in this
  • Attending way too many work related conferences: 4 days of sitting and listening in 2 weeks is too much 
  • Studying for NASM Personal Trainer Certification, yes this was the next step towards a career change. Any advice on the exam or studying? I've been wanting to say more (even wrote an entire post) but am a little nervous about making a potential change like this.
  • And of course cooking...

Mexican Quinoa Bake
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water (or broth)
1 small yellow onion diced
2 cloves minced garlic
1 15oz can black beans rinsed and drained
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup corn kernels
1 pkg soy chorizo
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin

 
Cook quinoa in water/broth. Saute onion and garlic until soft. Mix all ingredients together and bake 20 min at 350F. Top with guacamole to serve.
My helper in the kitchen
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
1 banana mashed
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 heaping Tbsp Sun Butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup Oats
Cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins

 
Mix wet ingredients together, then add dry. Drop by spoonfuls on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 350 for 10-12 minutes.

I love that I have my 2 year convinced that this is dessert, I wonder how long this will last.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Minneapolis Marathon- When the body doesn't cooperate

After changing to the half last weekend due to hot, humid weather we decided to run this marathon instead, I was hoping to redeem myself and start my comeback. Last year I ran this race with a 2nd place AG finish and 7th woman, completely unexpected but something I was hoping to repeat. This wasn't close to being the race I had today. This was one of those days when things just didn't work and much was out of my control. This isn't a list of my excuses just a way to reassess where I am and what I could have done different.

Over the past few days I just haven't felt "right" headaches, fatigue and weakness and then yesterday I started getting a nasty sinus headache and despite ibuprofen it stuck around. Pretty sure this explains everything else too. I woke up with a headache still and made mistake #1 and after great debate gave in a took a nondrowsy antihistamine which worked for the head but hurt the rest of me. By the time we arrived at the race start my GI system was now rebelling as well, multiple trips to the port-a-potty later I was in line to start with the 3:30 pacer.
Eating pancakes on Grandpa's shoulders waiting for the race to start

Mile 1-3: 7:45 miles feeling good except the weird bilateral ankle/shin pain. Surprised to look at my pace as I felt like I was running much easier, love that feeling!

Mile 4-5: Shin pain is gone, no idea what that was about. This could be a good day. There is a guy running in full hockey gear and carrying a stick! (I later learned that there was a group of people doing this who had raised $20,000+ for an inner city hockey program)


Mile 6: Belly is not happy, please behave! 10K 48:00 (7:44 pace) still can do this PR thing!

Mile 9-10: Talked to another runner who did Boston this year comparing heat stories.

Mile 12, not too bad!
Mile 12: Their is the family, just what I needed as I am slowing with on and off belly pain. I slowly take gel, but it is only making the belly worse.

Mile 13.1: 1:44, still on pace although losing time quick. I take advantage of any energy burst to push when I can. Now running in the National Park, nice a shaded, but the trail could use some work as I mildly roll the ankle for the 1st time.

Mile 15-16: Loose gravel and rocks and uneven uphill paths, yuck! This is all due to a course change due to flooding, but it is tough and here is ankle roll #2&3 and pain in the left hip! Mile 16: 2:09:48 (now 8:22 pace) yep continuing to slow. And there goes the 3:30 pacer. Run your own race and forget about everyone else.

Mile 18-19: Leaving the park and this involves the worst hills I have ever seen in a race, to the point that it is nearly impossible to run. Hip hurts, groin hurts and now the Achilles after the hills.

Mile 20-23: A little energy coming back, do what you can and get to the end! And now we meet back up with the half marathon runners requiring a lot of dodging as I attempt to get around the groups of walkers or single runners with iPods blasting who can't hear my "passing on the left". Wonder how much energy I am losing here?

Mile 24-26: Lots of encouragement as I continue to pass half marathoners is helping the push. Quads are screaming and so is the belly! And who turned up the heat? All of a sudden it is hot and sunny (70s) Finally the finish line 3:39:12

Marathon #20 complete!
I am not someone who can eat immediately after a race and managed a half bag of chips, but by the time we got home 2 hours later I was not doing well and needed to eat. I knew I was feeling bad, but you truly know this is the case when hubby says "you look awfully pale". Lunch and finally being out of the heat has helped. I need to get better about having a recovery drink with, this really helped me the last few longer runs/races.

Finally the weather cooperates (50s and minimal humidity with a high of 70s) but my body didn't. I know my lack of hill and speed training and less then ideal running for the past 3 months due to my leg injury did not help anything. I am happy to say the injured leg felt great! I am not complaining about my time or the race I had, I know I did what I could even though my competitive side always wants better. I am sure I have am lacking the needed rest after 2 marathons and 2 halfs in 6 weeks and need to give my body a break. There I said it, as hard as it is for me to follow I will try to do this. Now to step back for a few weeks, reassess my running and training and make a new plan to continue this injury free comeback even stronger.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

May is in the past

What a month, not very highlight filled, but it definitely ended better then it started. May was filled with the stress of a new job (and strong consideration of a complete career change), a lingering running injury and poor racing and plenty of time to reassess where I was and where I need to head with training and life in general.
  • Running: 158 miles (22 hours) nice to see this coming back up. Racing, like I said didn't go too well.
  • Biking: 16 hours including spin class and a few nice outdoor rides
  • Eliptical: 2hour 15 min, it is nice to see this decreasing
  • Weights: Continued with 2x week
  • Pilates: Weekly, usually the day after a long run, manged 2x one week
  • I made changes to my diet, very unsuccessful on the breakfast change which only last a few days and the cereal was back! Help, I need more options. Otherwise things are pretty good and I feel better again. 
June will be a new start in many ways; Summer weather is here, I am refocusing my training and will fully get over my leg injury, we are taking a short family vacation and I am taking the first step to making a career change.
  • Marathon #20 tomorrow! Goals will be the same as I had for last weekend before deciding not to run. Last year I ran this and managed a 2nd place AG finish and would love a repeat. Hoping to finish the race with all 10 toenails intact, very unlikely to happen.
  • First duathlon of the year late in June and goal is for a better bike time then last year after all the winter biking.
  • Possibly a 5K later this month
  • Refocus my training, change my strength program and fully recover from this injury.
  • Add in trail running if I think I have any chance of finishing Afton 50K in July standing.
  • Continue to focus on my new career goal. This is meaning stepping way outside my comfort zone and reaching out to near strangers for advice. So far I have made two of these phone calls, so proud of myself!
And now a little food, another variation on the protein bars I have been snacking on the past month.
Pumpkin Granola Bars
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup date puree
2 Tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups oats
1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup chipped walnuts
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup raisins

Combine pumpkin, date puree, molasses and vanilla. In separate bowl mix remaining ingredients then add wet to dry. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan and press down. Bake 30 min at 350F.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Running advice

I think I am asked at least daily for running advice whether it be from those wanting to start running or those wanting to improve. Recently I've had many questions from friends and family training for their first races. I love sharing my passion for running and hope I can pass this on to others too. I sat thinking about the most frequent questions I am asked and decided to put together a list, feel free to add your advice or questions...
Pinned Image
I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was perfect It's Fitness Baby
When do I start to like running? I think this is the most frequent question and I always hate to say "there are some days I still hate running!" For me the key is to take it easy some days and push myself other days, enjoy the surroundings while out and savor the victories whether this is running that 1st mile or a PR. Like anything new it takes work and does get easier, I still remember when 3 miles was a chore and now I can't remember the last time I wanted to stop after 3 miles.

Along the same lines: When does it get easier? Everyone is different, but you need to listen to your body and not feel that you need to push right away or on every run. Like I said above it is something new and will get better. Remember it took us more then 1 step to learn to walk.

How do I motivate myself? Sign up for a race to have a goal and soak in the excitement of the race atmosphere. Find friends or a group to run with, making that commitment to others is motivation to get started and it is always nice to have company in tough times to push us further, then go out for coffee afterwards. Listen to music, buy new running clothes and enjoy the fact that you will feel better and have more energy.

How do you find time to run with a toddler? Before I was a mom I was told so many times "just wait you will stop running." That didn't happen and I knew it wouldn't. It takes time management and some compromise. I often workout early in the morning (4am on workdays), take advantage of nap time and hit the treadmill at home or the gym childcare is a great benefit. Take the kid with, for us it was the only way I was guaranteed a nap the 1st year! But now we look at animals, stop at the park and I get a complete workout. Matt and I schedule long runs, sometimes splitting days and other times splitting BOB duty. I might sacrifice an extra hour of sleep or time to read or clean the house for a run, but it makes me a better mother and everyone is much happier.

What are the best shoes? Don't buy what is cute or the brand your friend has. Go to a running store for a proper shoe fitting and don't be afraid to take them back if they don't work after a run (most stores around here are fine if they are slightly worn). Please don't wear that pair of shoes you bought 5 years ago for step class. Most complaints I hear from new runners is that their legs, knees, feet hurt and then I find out they are wearing bad shoes, such a simple solution to prevent frustration.

Is it really okay to be a vegetarian and run? Yes, I have not eaten red meat in nearly 20 years and gave up the rest 3 years ago when I was pregnant. Find good alternative protein sources, I rely a lot on quinoa, beans, lentils, nuts, tofu and yogurt. No Meat Athlete has a great list. I managed to run 50-60 mph and breastfeed on a vegetarian diet for 2 years.

Is it really okay to run while pregnant? Okay so this doesn't usually come from new runners and is not medical advice, just my experience. Yes, as long as it is something you were doing prior and have a good fitness level. I ran a marathon and multiple halfs while pregnant and it was one of the best things I did. I had to listen to my body and take the pressure off myself knowing I was responsible for more then just a time that day. I think running made my pregnancy and labor much easier.

I love helping others find a healthy lifestyle and improve, whether this be through running or another form. I am currently in the process of working on a way to further work this into my career, stay tuned :)