Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Weekly Goals

weekly chase, goals, setting goals

I just found this great weekly goal setting link up from Melissa at Live, Love, & Run and I love the idea. Set at least 1 goal a week and then check back in on Monday, what a great way to hold yourself accountable and see what others are doing as well.

Goal #1 Register to take NASM CPT exam. I keep pushing this off and had hoped to have this done a few weeks ago. Now is the time, once I schedule it I know I will have a deadline.

Goal #2 Cook at least 1 new meal this week. Our CSA is providing us a lot of great vegetables that are beginning to pile up so time to make use of the squash. Along with this I will track my food to see where I am.

Goal #3 Swim at least once, I was getting into this habit but have slacked off and need to add it back in.

Goal #4 Drink 100+ ounces of water daily. This morning at Boot Camp we decided that for the month of August to set weekly goals for the group so this week it is to drink close to body weight in water.

What are your weekly goals? What helps you stick with them?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Weekend of fun and food

It was so nice to be home and have a weekend with nothing planned. This never happens especially in the Summer with all the races and fun activities happening. Being a stay at home mom this past month has given new meaning to weekends. After a busy week it was great to finally sleep in and have the extra set of hands at home!

My little dancer
30 some years after my first dance show we have a new dancer in the family. She has been asking about dance for the past 6 months and I had to keep telling her she was too young until now. Being that we started gymnastics a year ago the studio said she could take the two week summer camp for 3-6 year olds and if it went well then could continue in fall. After 6 days of dance, I was thrilled to hear she listened well and even picked up on some of the dance for the show on the last night. So here we go, all ready for fall classes, I even signed up for one too.

Medals and the US flag
Friday we had an Olympic themed playdate with some gymnastics friends. This is one of the parts of parenting I'm not so great at. We have mommy/kid friends but most are people I knew long before kids. I will be the first to admit I am not the best at being the typical mom and when others are all about showing (or trying to prove) how perfect they are as moms. Believe I know I am no where near perfect and don't even try to pretend! I'm glad we went, she had a blast and I need more mom friends especially when they live so close.

Another first was a boat ride in our boat that has yet to leave the garage since a certain little girl entered our lives 2 1/2 years ago. Perfect weather for an afternoon picnic on the boat and even some fishing. Thanks to her efforts and our CSA Sunday dinner was fresh grilled fish and roasted cauliflower, beets and turnips. And for dessert...the cookies we made before nap.

Banana Protein Cookies
2 bananas mashed
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups Oats
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 scoop vanilla (or chocolate) protein powder
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Mash wet ingredients together. Add in dry ingredients until mixed. Mix in raisins and seeds. Drop by spoonful onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet and flatten lightly. Bake in 350F preheated oven 12-15 min. Makes 2-3 dozen cookies depending on size (and how much dough gets eaten by the kid!).

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Long Run Take 2

Don't you just hate when a run or workout doesn't go well and you have no idea why. Saturday I tried pushing through what should have been an easy 10 miles and I hated it! My body was not happy in any way. I immediately felt tired, hungry and just with nothing to give, almost like I was already at mile 24 in a marathon. Why, well no idea. I ate my normal breakfast, got decent sleep and was actually leaving to run 30 minutes later then normal.

I started out slower then normal and despite a stop to stretch and see if a little food would help about 3 miles in I was done. I took over BOB duty from Matt and split off from the rest of the group about 4 miles in and headed back doing a run/walk. We made a potty stop for O, I was not complaining about the break! I ended up finishing 8 miles in 1:20:00 (minus time for a toddler potty stop), yikes I am normally 10-11 miles in at this point. We got home and I quickly refueled with a protein and carbs and hoped for a better run next time. I guess this was just one of those days. Maybe I've been pushing too hard, maybe not eating enough, maybe not recovering well enough....who knows!

I woke to storms this morning and soon questioned my chances at long run take 2. I just couldn't face the treadmill today. The rain lightened up so I headed out the door only to have it pick back up which actually felt kind of nice.
Soggy morning!
Luckily the rain soon quit and it was a comfortable run, not to hot for once and actually a little bit of a cool breeze until the sun came out with about 4 miles to go and brought the heat. I was happy that I felt much better then yesterday and even continued to push. At about Mile 9 I met up with a couple guys out running who I got in front of. I could feel them closing in so I kept pushing harder. Yes I even race when it isn't a race, but it was fun to let them unknowingly push me harder for a few miles until they turned.
New favorite running gear- calf sleeves!
 I am happy to say I did not have a repeat of yesterday. I completed my run and felt good. 16.5 miles 2:13:23 and even successfully tried a new fuel product, Hammer Perpetuem Solid.

How do you push through a tough run? What makes you decide to just call it a day?
I am also excited to be the guest post on Back to Square Zero Check out my post on balancing motherhood and running.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Foam Rolling

How is it even possible that I have made it over 10 years a distance runner and have never used a foam roller until today? After a weekend of long running, a tough strength workout, speed work (followed by an attempted second run at night) and then boot camp tormenting my legs I decided today was the day. Foam rolling is a form of self myofascial release that releases tension from muscles and causes relaxation leading to increased flexibility and improved range of motion, more information about Foam Rolling here. I found this article on the benefits of Foam Rolling with a lot of great information and exercises. And in case you really want to read more here is a great literature review showing the self-myofascial release improves flexibility and isometric strength.

I have resorted to using wooden cylinder blocks in the past to roll my calf but now am the owner of a shiny new foam roller and yikes it works! I positioned my hamstring on the roller and immediately knew this would be painful but good. I did a routine of 1 minute rolling with focus on tight areas and releasing tension. The more Areas I tried rolling the more areas or tightness I found. I soon lost my foam roller to a little dancer and gymnast who must also have sore legs...

A little more rolling and I moved on to pilates/yoga combo DVD to help with my lack of flexibility. This and the yoga workout at boot camp this morning have given me the idea to write more on ways to improve strength and flexibility in runners while decreasing injury, so look for more to come. I am happy to say I managed an easy 3 mile run this morning prior to boot camp and my legs actually felt better. Hoping the a regular routine of this helps even more for easier long runs and recovery.

Happy Friday and after a busy couple weeks looking forward to a relaxing weekend of running and boating. What are your weekend plans?

Runners, take a minute and check out A Girl Runner read her touching story, support her and pledge your miles. I am pledging 50 miles but hoping for even more, what can you run?
Linking at Fitness Friday, see what others are up to...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What was I thinking? All about food!

What was I thinking this past weekend? It is amazing how with such great planning that lack of sleep can make all rational thought away. I Was a little nervous travelling and being at others mercy during the relay with all my food needs so I packed nearly a suitcase full of homemade granola, dried fruit, Lara Bars, Kind Bars and roasted edamame. Knowing there would be places to stop and that others were grabbing fruit and yogurt for me I figured I would be fine for a couple days.

Not too bad here, but you should have seen it Monday!
Wrong! I was fine until being awake nearly 20 hours on Thursday resulted in grabbing an old favorite of mine: Trader Joe's PB Pretzels. Lack of sleep on Friday ended up with me eating a wonderful homemade bagel and a lemon bar followed by 2 large slices of pizza after the race. As a result of this glutenful eating I was once again sporting the 6 month pregnant look (and there is a picture to prove it, yuck!). I also spent all of Monday in awful pain to the point I barely ate anything. A few days later I am finally feeling almost good again, but I have to think what was I thinking? And want to bring this back to my doctor who says I don't have a gluten issue. If this isn't prof then what is?! I needed to write this all out as a reminder if I decide to resume gluten again.

My few days of this has now resulted in lack of good eating, yesterday I overdid the afternoon carbs and ended up with a headache. My workouts and recovery have also suffered as a result. It is amazing how one big slip up leads to so many other issues. Now to get back on track...

Breakfast is back to my usual Banana Breakfast Cake but have been subbing in coconut flour and adding a full scoop of protein powder and some oats. I did give in and eat eggs last week and have been toying with the idea of raising chickens to have our own eggs (big thought, huh! and I think not allowed in the city).

Lunches thanks to our CSA have been salads with fresh spinach, kale, cucumber, tomatoes and edamame with a side of yogurt and fruit. I have also been topping with crumbled burgers for a little extra protein...

Black Bean/ Sweet Potato Burgers
1 can black beans rinsed/drained
1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup water or broth
1 medium sweet potato cooked
1 small yellow onion chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 cup sweet corn kernels
1 tbsp hot sauce (or to taste)
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chipotle pepper seasoning
salt/pepper to taste
1/2 cup corn meal
1/4 cup oats
Olive oil

Cook quinoa in water.Saute onion and garlic, add corn, hot sauce and seasonings and heat through. Mash beans and potato, add quinoa, onion, garlic, corn and mix. Add corn meal and oats (may need additional depending on size of potato). Form into patties and heat in pan until crust forms (about 5-6 min per side). Makes 12 burgers.

Snacks and Dinners need some more help, especially with our crazy week of evening activities. I also need to figure out better pre/post workout fuel for early morning and late evening workouts. What is your go to pre/post workout foods? And speaking of snacks why does my 2 year need candy and chips as a snack after a 1 hour evening dance class?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Speedwork with a weasel

After the 5K a week ago I decided I needed to focus more on speed, makes sense right? How else can you get faster if you don't run faster? Like I said part of it for me in mental, I back down when it gets tough even though I can do more. I am even considering having a friend run a 5K with me and push me to my goal, never letting me back down.

Part of the solution was to join a couple running friends for 400m repeats at 5:30 am this morning, sounds good. Not really, my body doesn't run well when half asleep still. Combine that with tired legs from this past weekend and way too many lunges and squats yesterday and you have a tough speed workout.

  • 1 mile warm up
  • 1/3 mile speed- 2:20
  • Easy 2:00
  • 1/3 mile speed- 2:17
  • Easy 2:00
  • 1/3 mile speed- 2:16
  • Easy 2:00
  • 1/3 mile speed- 2:25
  • Easy 2:00
  • 1/3 mile speed- 2:12
  • Easy 2:00
  • 1/3 mile speed- 2:13
  • Easy 2:00
  • 1 mile cool down
The plan was to run 1:35 400m (6:20 pace) but I was running around 6:40 pace, so not too great. I hate to sound like I am making excuses but tired body and legs don't make speed easy! I know despite the slower speed I am still benefiting as I teach my body how to run faster when sore and fatigued. Now I have a base to work from and improve.

Yes, we did run a strange interval at 1/3 mile instead of the planned 400m since in our sleepiness mapped it out wrong! Things got interesting after the first interval when our new friend the weasel decided to start chasing. There was a point where we ended up standing on a picnic table! I think he (or she) hung around for the entire workout. Hey, after the recent otter attack around here you never know what could happen.

Last week I complained about running at night,now I complain about early morning running, can I ever be happy?!

A few weeks ago I was given a speed workout from another trainer that I wasn't so sure of: 1 mile warm up 1 mile as fast as possible 1 mile easy and repeat. I wonder how doable a workout like this is and what the benefits are. What is you favorite speed workout? Do you stick on the track or run them anywhere?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ragnar Northwest Passage - A quick recap

As I mentioned earlier this week I unexpectedly got the opportunity to run my second Ragnar relay this weekend, so with a short time to prepare and pack I was off early Thursday for Washington and what would be a wonderful run with perfect weather. I arrived Thursday afternoon and was met by a friend at the airport while we waited for her husband (who was our van driver) to arrive home after a 20 hour flight home from China. We grabbed to rest of the group, loaded the van and drove up to stay the night near the race start. After a short night of sleep we met van 1 at the start to send them off. I was runner 12 and wouldn't be running for about 10 more hours.

I have added a few pictures but find discussing Ragnar difficult to keep short. So here is my focus on running, but soon to come with be Ragnar in pictures along with some non running aspects of the race…

Leg 1: 10.8 miles (Very Difficult)1:22:56
I got the handoff around 6pm as the rain was finishing and got my first chance to run in cool weather again! 60F and cloudy what a change from the 90F+ and humid. The runner before me took off at a full sprint, and we commented on his speed, wondering aloud if he would continue like that when his teammate informed us he would. My run was rather flat and headed along fields into Bellingham to the high school for our hand off to Van 1. I took off and just wanted to run what felt good but soon I was catching people and making it my goal to run from one to the next until I caught SpeedyMan who wanted to know our pace and commented how he ran too fast. I soon saw my van and handed back my jacket before turning on and spotting the family of goats and horses along the road. I soon crossed over the highway and came to the sign I would love to see “1 Mile to go”, time to push so we can eat dinner. Finally I see our next runner, hand off to her and I am done with Leg 1, yay! Time for dinner and hopefully a little sleep.

Leg 2: 8.9 Miles (Very Difficult) 1:12:55
After many failed attempts at sleep and sporadic naps while others ran I was ready to go again around 5am. Normally running at this time would be simple: wake up and go (especially since I was already dressed in running clothes) but knowing my body only hands about 4-5 miles without food I wasn’t sure. Earlier I ate a little granola and some diet Mt. Dew (the one time when my nasty habit returns). I hit the port-a-potty quick only to be hearing my # and name, I ran out to see my runner waiting. Oops, I was quickly off in full gear, headlamp, blinkies and vest. This time I was running hills and some pretty good ones, yikes! They just kept coming, every time I thought I had seen the last I found another. I soon saw my van and as expected handed off my jacket (I never believed them it really wasn’t cold running in the drizzle and 59F. Running past the military base and along the shoreline and soon turned and saw the “1 mile to go” sign and knew I could give a little more. This time I was the one arriving to a missing runner, she soon appeared and I was done with leg 2. Time for a shower and more failed sleep attempts.

Leg 3: 4.7 Miles (Moderate) 37:00 ?? – no Garmin
The final runner has perks but also I am the last to finish and everyone else is done and relaxing while I still wait. Another few hours of snacking and cheering as the sun came out and brought warmer temps, still wonderful with sunny and 80 with a slight breeze. As I wait I talk with another woman runner who happens to the be 14 weeks pregnant and doing the ultra relay with only a team of 6, wow! I grab the handoff and go to quickly discover my legs are tired as I hit the first of many hills. The hills combined with about 3 miles of slanted road are making for a tough run, I turn into Langley and discover level road but Saturday afternoon crowds and inattentive drivers as a car nearly backs up into me. Another hill but I know the end is near as I pass another van who informs me 1.2 miles to go and soon the “1 mile to go” sign as I reach the top of the hill to a wonderful view of the water. I soon hear the cheering and see my team who all join me to cross together.

My unexpected race turned into a great weekend with running, friends and great scenery. I was never so happy to sleep on a couch Saturday night! Sunday morning before leaving town I had the best brunch at Café Flora (vegetarian restaurant with many gluten free options) as I returned to my normal eating pattern which had so easily gone away with 36 hours in a van, despite planning and good attempts I ate some gluten and dairy as lack of sleep munchies won out over smart food choices, time to get back on track!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Torchlight 5K

Every year that I run this race I say never again, but I keep going back for more! The race begin in downtown at 7:30pm before a parade and follows some of the route ending with a party complete with music and beer. This year it was chip timed for the first year and was part of the USATF Championship curcuit. Due to the fact that thousands of runners take part, we were given special bibs allowing access to the front. Wow did I feel intimidated by this! Lining up next to Olympic hopefuls and elite runners, yikes.

I am not a nighttime racer, with my long list of food issues and GI complaints this is always tough to figure out. After a fast 4.5 miles in the morning and a hard weight session with my trainer in the afternoon I didn't know what to expect. I was hoping under 20 or at least under 21...

Some serious elites, can you tell...The real elites were off warming up with striders

I told myself I would push but as usual soon backed off when it got tough after about 1 1/2 miles. Mile 1 6:44 Mile 2 7:14 for a finish of 21:55. Okay so I can't complain too much I finished in the middle of the team championship pack, but not the race I had wanted.

I know I need more speedwork, I need to let myself work harder and push more. I am thinking of buying a race entry for a friend to run a 5K with me to push me and make me continue when it gets tough.

A short and sweet post for a short and not so sweet race as I pass time on a layover at the airport...

Let's talk secrets to gaining running speed....

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Motivation and Music

I am frequently asked how I still with running and my workouts and stay motivated. This question comes up a lot in the bitter cold of Winter and the scorching heat of Summer. There are general answers that rarely change but then there are ever changing motivating factors.

In general I am always motivated by this cute face and showing her a strong and healthy role model. I love how she is active already as you can see when she found mommy's old ballet shoes.

Music is always good to get me going, I love the loud music at the race start to get the excitement through the crowd. Even though I have gone away from running with music outside there are times when I still sneak it in for a few miles and routinely on indoor workouts. I recently found these two lists 100 Best Workout Songs from the 90s  and  100 Best Workout Songs of All Time and plan to update my playlists. What are you favorite workout songs?

New running clothes looking good always makes me run better or at least I feel that way. A few days ago on a shopping trip to find a sundress which was a failure I instead came home with new running clothes: sports bra, capris, and a cute tank.

Races and goals provide a good incentive to work towards and motivation on those tough days. It also helps that I just got a free entry to Mora Half Marathon in August and have a fun weekend ahead with Ragnar Northwest Passage this weekend. Could you ask for better scenery? And a forecast of 70s, what a great change!

Stress makes me want to workout. These may not be my best workouts but the time to think and process always makes me feel better mentally and often come to a solution. The recent stress has gotten me moving many days!

Feeling good and preventing the sluggish feeling that comes from not running always push me. This is probably the one I often forget. Especially in those tough times when it is easiest to skip a workout. There is such a great feeling both mentally and physically after a good workout. And how great to get lost in thoughts and the surroundings.
What better way to spend an early morning
Friends and running partners who push and motivate. Without some people I wouldn't routinely be up at 5am multiple times a week for Boot Camp or a speed workout.

Food and fueling your body for more running and performing better. I always strive to feed my body with fuel to run and not junk. Here was my latest (very successful) attempt
Lemon Protein Balls
1 cup dates
½ cup oats
¼ cup cashew butter (any nut butter)
¼ cup vanilla protein powder
Zest and juice of 1 lemon (may need additional juice depending on size)
Put oats and protein powder in food processor until smooth, add dates and zest and mix. Add lemon juice and nut butter until consistency. Form into balls and put in fridge or freezer to set (1-2 hours). Store in fridge. Makes 24

What motivates you?

Monday, July 16, 2012

A suprise race

Life just keeps throwing me new things to push me outside my comfort zone. Awhile back I had been asked to join a group to run Ragnar Northwest  Passage but wasn't able to commit. Now fast forward to yesterday, and email arrives asking me to step in for a team member who had a family emergency with everything covered (flight, race, etc). Wow what a deal from some women I don't see very often!

Part of the 2008 Ragnar group
Even with such a great offer and remembering the fun I had 4 years ago with many of this same group I was tempted to back down. I spent a car ride telling Matt (something he already knew) that I hate being in new situation especially those where I lack control. Part of the reason parenting a todddler is so tough for me! He convinced me otherwise, his support along with the many other recent times I have done new and crazy things I decided to say "yes"!

I can't wait to fly to Washington later this week and run 24.4 miles over 24 hours and see a place I have never been. Better start shopping and packing. With another stretch of hot, humid weather I am so happy to head somewhere cool to run. Another perk will be a few hours of dedicated studying time on the flight, this all works great.

I am geting pretty good at this decision thing and stepping outside my comfort zone...what's next?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Color Run

I never do anything like this,but what a fun experience. It was so nice to take a break from the competitive side of races and focus on fun. A longtime friend of mine (Gacgirl), who is new to running set this up and I figured why not. It was fun to run with her and her friend Alecia and just enjoy the atmosphere. All I could think was who ever came up with this? And what kind of race can I start (I need a job, right?)?

We got there early and headed to the start with the 20,000 other runners (over 3 hours of starting) and managed to get into Wave 2. It was another hot, humid day and we were glad to be running early. I was so early that I decided to run 4 miles before the start around the college campus, kind of funny that my first time running campus was 12 years after I graduated!

I couldn't figure out a better way to explain and talk about the day without a lot of pictures, this was one of those things you just need to see first hand...

Pre-race: still white and clean!
With music blasting and excitement throughout the crowd we were off, ready to put an end to the clean white clothes! Each kilometer meant another color station: Yellow, Orange, Red, Blue. By the end of the run we were a pretty mix of colors and sweat! But still no where near the extent of color I had though. I soon found out where the rest came from when the color throws started! Imagine a huge crowd and massive amounts of colored powder being thrown up and flying through the air. It was quite a sight.

The color throw looking in
On the inside, this is crazy!

After the color throw

My shoulder with a special hand...

Got my color too

O also helped with the lack of color and she helped to decorate both myself and Gacgirl. I'm not sure who had more fun her or the runners. The only problem with the day is that 6 hours, 2 showers and 1 hour in pool later I still have blue skin and O still has blue hair. And of course we have pictures tomorrow, smart move mommy!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Looking ahead: food, goals and life

I just realized I haven't even thought about the goals I set last month and decided it was time to see where I was at and make the changes to reach them.
  • Meal/Snack Planning and stick with it: Doing okay, still looking for more snack ideas, what are your go to healthy snacks? 
  • Register for NASM test: Still need to do this, my studying has taken a backseat to what I don't know! I will register today
  • Complete VO2 max testing and find HR monitor: Done this week and plan in place
  • Start swimming: 1 swim done on Sunday ~800m and even contemplating a tri in August 
  • Make 1 new meal each week: So far I have made Quinoa lasagna with eggplant and the kale quesadillas (below)

Kale Black Bean Quesadilla
2 green onions (both white and green) chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 bunch (~1 cup shredded) Kale destemmed
1 15oz can black beans rinsed/drained
1 cup sweet corn
1 tsp cumin
Sea Salt/Pepper to taste
2 tsp (or more/less) hot sauce
4 brown rice tortillas
2 cups shredded cheese (I used non-dairy cheddar)

Saute onions and garlic until soft, add kale until wilted. Add beans and corn and season with cumin, salt/pepper and hot sauce until mixed and heated. Top tortilla with cheese and filling. Makes 4 or more depending on how full you fill. Grill for 3-4 min per side until cheese is melted. Top with salsa, guacamole, etc and serve. I love how the brown rice tortillas flaked.

My new boss and playing photographer
So here I am in my new found days of being a stay at home mom (yes, you read that right) I have decided for many reasons to not take the new job and for now I am only working very part time as a run coordinator while I figure out my next step in life. This is scary but wonderful at the same time as I have been unhappy in my career for many years and this was the wake up I needed to make a change. For now I am focusing on me and be a better mom, wife, runner, friend and taking time to enjoy all aspects of my life. Any advice from others taking a job break?

As long as my boss in in agreement my plans/goals while at home
  • Swim 1-2x week
  • Take NASM (and pass)
  • Boot Camp 2x week and bike there
  • Strength with trainer 1x week
  • Qaulity running: long run, speedwork, hills and an active recovery run
  • Finish 30 Day Ab Challenge
  • Daily fun activity with the boss
  • Experiment with more healthy meals, cook or at least have a plan daily with the focus on plant based eating and whole foods. Jill posted about the benefits of plant based eating on Fitness Friday today, check it out and other fitness blogs.
Looking forward to a fun weekend filled with Matt's triathlon, the Color Run with a long time friend GAC girl and family fun at the community festival.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Heart Rate Training and Speed

Yesterday I completed a metabolic test to set my heart rate zones to improve efficiency and training. I last completed this about 6 or 7 years ago and after only a short time gave up on heart rate training but this time be different. I need (okay want) to get faster and feel this combined with my new strength training is the best way to do it.

The Test

Everything I needed to start (+ a treadmill)

There were a few requirements I needed to work with:
  • no strenuous exercise the day before (easy Tuesday run)
  • no alcohol the day before
  • no coffee that morning (cheated a little on this)
  • eat a small meal
  • not be sick (finally feeling better)
We started with a short walking warm up and progressed to my comfortable run pace (7 mph) at no incline and based on exertion and physiologic factors increased speed and incline to push me with a max at 7.5 mph at 6.0 incline. This was followed by a short walking cool down to return my heart rate to baseline.

The Results
Confirmed what I already knew, I have a pace I can run forever and my medium and fast pace are not much different. So why is this? Well I think some is mental, I hit what is tough and really working and I back down instead of pushing harder and longer. And my VO2 peak is much better while running (46) then cycling (32 in March 2011).
  • Zone 1: 140-149
  • Zone 2: 150-154
  • Zone 3: 155-159
  • Zone 4: 160-169
  • Zone 5: 170-180
The Plan
I found This Article on improving performance in runners. It seems to go along with what we have planned for workouts.
  • Long Runs with intervals in Zone 2 and Zone 3 with about 1/2 running in Zone 1
  • Active Recovery Runs in Zone 1
  • Speed Runs with intervals in Zone 4 and pushing myself more
 I need to get back in the habit of wearing a heart rate monitor and staying in the right zones to reteach my body how to run more efficiently and utilize energy better to allow me to run faster for longer periods.

It will be interesting how this works out as I head into what I hope is a better racing season. My goal is a 1:30 half on September 1st. This was perfect timing as this morning at Boot Camp we were all asked to talk about our accomplishments over the past 6 months and goals. The goals were easy but accomplishments tough, after such a great racing year in 2010-2011 I have struggled with injuries and coming back and feel I haven't accomplished much. I am feeling stronger and ready to make my move so watch out!

Heart Rate Calculator

Sunday, July 8, 2012

When sleep won...

Sleep (and a Friday night of sushi and wine) won out over the early 50K on Saturday. It was the right decision considering my chest still hurts and breathing is awful. I can only imagine how tough running that long would have been! Instead we had a fun weekend on running, fishing and food. I finally took the time to listen and decided rather then pushing I would look forward to other races and have found a 50K for next Spring that I will do and a trail half marathon in August.

My solo run...
Saturday I stuck close to home and ran a 22 mile easy run. I started early with a solo 7 mile then joined my group (including the family) for the next 11 miles and finished solo. What a great morning to think and run. I am so happy to be figuring out long run fueling as I ran with 1 Honey Stinger, Nuun, Water and a few GF pretzels. My GI system was happy, I think I need to limit the gels and focus on "real" food while running instead.

Tropical Popsicle
1/2 cup frozen mango slices
1/2 cup frozen peach slices
2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup orange juice

Blend all in food processor until smooth and pour into Popsicle makers. Freeze and enjoy!

I love lazy days at home, coffee on the deck and time to shop. It is amazing how much fun Target has become after becoming a mom! My quick grocery trips now result in wandering and buying more then I planned.

The day ended with our first family fishing trip to a nearby lake complete with fish!
The fish are in the water

My 1st fish!
Sunday I love starting the day with a family run: Morgan, Matt and I grabbed the kid and BOB for 4 miles to return a Red Box (21 Jumpstreet) Great movie and a kind of stupid funny. After relaxing I had a marathon pizza crust making session (gluten free- recipe to follow)  while kid napped. Then we hit the gym for some fun in the pool and time of Matt and I to swim some laps.1st swim in months was tough with the breathing issues continuing but about 1/2 mile done and it felt good and I am considering a triathlon for next month. Now to overcome the fear of open water swimming and continue...

Friday, July 6, 2012

Outside my comfort zone

Finally starting to feel better, but this virus (or I hope) has been kicking my butt. I keep hearing of more people having strep over the past week and am starting to wonder. This week I stepped outside my comfort zone on multiple workouts.

On Tuesday I skipped Boot Camp to sleep in and hit a morning cardio strength class instead. Low weight, hit reps with bands, dumbbells, steps and body weight. Now I understand why the class is so crowded! Yikes for something so different from my normal I am still sore days later. This week I also started the 30 Day Ab Challenege which is not only a tough Ab workout but takes coordination.

Yesterday I made it Boot Camp #2 and showed up to find everyone barefoot and nearly had an anxiety attack walking from my car. Anyone who knows me knows I am never barefoot, especially outside. I wear socks all the time, even when I wear sandals in the Summer I put them on as soon as I get home. I even plan my clothes around socks when I know my shoes will need to be removed. Yep, strange I know but I can't stand anything touching my feet (besides socks) and it isn't just my feet, I hate seeing or touching other feet as well. I gave in and got barefoot and jumped in the sand despite all my better judgement and thoughts about what was lurking in there. Maybe this is part of my hatred of swimming?!
This week's boot camp

Another tough Boot Camp with work buckets full of sand:
  • Running while carrying buckets
  • Lunge twists with bucket
  • Overhead carry with lunges
  • Jump turns
  • Crab walks
  • Walk out push ups
  • Sprints to make a sand pile (biggest loser style race)
  • All with burpees and/or push ups in between
I survived the workout and the bare feet only to get home to a little girl who convinced me to take her in the pool and actually get in since Matt was at work. It was a great way to get out with the heat still above 90F. Even a 1 mile walk to pick up CSA veggies later meant working up a full sweat!

Backyard water park!
One day to go until 50K and still not feeling 100% over this cold, the weather is cooling but still hot so here I am once again debating whether I take my chances at a DNF (1st ever) or sleep in and don't start and stay home for a long run.

Check out others at Fitness Friday Happy Friday, any fun weekend plans?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

TC (5 mile) Half Marathon

This was the race shortened due to heat and as much frustration as I expressed I guess I am somewhat happy with it after today. Not only was it 82F and 80% humidity at the start but I have been dealing with a nasty cold the past couple days and it is knocking me out. This combo is not great for running. We decided to get there a little early but I wanted sleep. With the long walk from the car and our pre-race run we managed about 3.5 miles and then got to the start. You know it will be tough when the sweat is starting even before the race.

The one thing I love about this race is that although it is timed, they don't have pacers and don't push awards. This is my type of race, I can run it myself and not get caught up in the mental game of the pacers and beating others.
Mile 1: 7:35 Starts on Cobblestone and then uphill as I push I know this will be tough and I rethink my goal of beating my 8K time from this spring (37:27). I grab water to dump at the 1 mile stop and push as I can.
Mile 2: Here comes the sun, yuck! This time water to drink and dump.
Mile 3: Over halfway and we head over the bridge into the slight breeze. Start pushing a little more. Mile 4: 32:03 I forgot how quick these shorter races go. I look down and realize I can still make my revised goal of sub 40:00 if I push a little more. With a 1/2 mile to go we turn on to the bridge and I see the finish.
Mile 5: 39:42! (7:57 pace) Made it with time to spare. I am soaked and it is hot! Can't complain for as exhausted as this virus and heat have made me. And my first 5 mile race so an automatic PR!

I honestly don't know what was worse though having run the full half marathon and just taking it easy or running the 5 mile and running harder. By the time I finished I looked more like I just finished a swim then a run. I overheard a guy talking about how he didn't understand why people would want to dump water over their heads during the run when they were already sweaty and wet? Really, I wanted to ask if he understood how cool water would cool you off.

As I write this the temperature has reached 97F (77% humidity) with a heat index of 107, I love heat but this is getting to be enough. What happened to nice warm summer days of 80?

Happy 4th of July, hope everyone is a having a safe, relaxing and fun day. Me I just took a much needed nap and soon hitting the pool before making Pad Thai for dinner.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The curse continues

First Boston was record heat, then Med City was hot, humid and windy causing us to take advantage of the option to drop to the half marathon. Next Minneapolis become hotter then expected and last weekend Du at the Dam was another hot humid race. Now the Red, White and Boom half is cut to 5 miles for tomorrow.

The heat continues!

I have been following the race change post on Facebook and find it interesting reading the various pro and con comments. Me I am very irritated to say the least. I do understand their thinking that they are covering their butts and being safe but it is July and we often have this weather. The race begins at 6:30am and has a 3 hour limit meaning some won't finish until 9am but right now at 8:30 it is only 75F so not unbearable running weather and should be similar tomorrow.

Key points about the race
  • A bad precedent was set earlier this year when both Green Bay and Madison cancelled. Yes this is needed at times but shouldn't be excessive
  • We have (or should have) trained for this. It is much different racing in this in July when there has been two months of heat already then in April when it comes out of no where
  • Many people on FB are focused on still getting a medal, while important to many and yes I keep all mine and am proud when I earned them. I'm not sure I want a medal say "1/2 marathon" when I didn't truly run that
  • How can anyone know what the weather will be 2 days before? Yes there are forecasts but things change and like I said this morning would have been fine to run.
  • Do I really want to get up this early to drive and then run 5 miles? Why not at least a 10K?
  • We have run this every year so far so we are int o continue this trend but I can complain along the way as I run my extra 8 miles ahead of time
What are your thoughts on hot races and all these cancellations so far this year? Would you be happy or upset? Are racing trending the wrong way?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

June: A new beginning and more to come

June was going to be my comeback month in racing and although I am starting to get back I'm not where I wanted to be. Jule meant a lot of changes and decisions meaing more changes to come in July too.
  • Running:165.5 miles Including a Marathon and 5K (1st place AG finish) and more trail running
  • Biking: 13.5 hours + 49.5 miles outside
  • Elliptical: 1.75 hours luckily this continues to be low but I needed a couple run rest days
  • Stregnth: 2-3x week and more running focused and went to my first boot camp
  • Pilates or yoga 1-2x week
  • Made a huge career decision
  • Spending more family time
During July I will continue my comeback and get stronger and in better shape again.
  • Continue Gluten/Dairy Free through the month and see if the changes are continuing. Get back to menu planning and food tracking. I have made it cereal free for 2+ weeks and have survived but still need to find more options
  • Swim weekly (Complete at least 1 mile total swimming)
  • PR at 5K later this month
  • Complete 50K trail race
  • Pass NASM CPT test
  • Start heartrate training again after I complete VO2 max testing
  • Continue to keep up with pilates and strength
  • Work on being a better mom (better deal with 2 year old tantrums if that is possible!) and continue to spend family time
Enjoying a family day at the beach