Monday, October 28, 2013

A late but needed marathon report

2013 has not been my year (heck 2012 wasn’t much to brag about either) and I have neglected many race reports since I feel like they started to sound like a list of excuses and whining. But I think this race deserves a post…

A couple months ago I was in the midst of marathon training, looking towards a new job and realizing I was not where I wanted to be and made the decision to find a different goal race. This one much closer to home and cheaper (even with the loss from the other entry). The race was close enough to head down after lunch on Saturday and arrive in time for O to run the kidsK, she was thrilled, even better the race started at the same start line as our marathon! For days she’d been telling me no one was running with her, she was big enough to run alone, so she did. She walked up to the start shoot and immediately made a friend; a 5 yo girl who she asked to run with her. This girl already had her mom running along side her, she promptly turned to me on side and informed me they could start together but she was sure my kid would be able to keep up. While this was an untimed fun race, this mom now turned it into a competition!

They were off and there was O giving high 5s and smiling as she ran. The course was perfect as it circled a large parking lot making it easy to catch her a multiple spots. Soon we were nearing the finish and guess what that 5yo (and mom) were walking way back on the course! Way to go O! With her huge smile she can running across the finish line and collected her medal before heading to the food table “just like mommy and daddy’s race” I was impressed with the production for kids, O had a blast and medal in hand.

Matt and I stayed at a cute bed and breakfast Saturday night while O was with my parents. I was slightly disappointed to find wine glasses in our room that would go unused! Heck I even considered drinking my UCAN from one on Sunday morning! After much debate on clothing I finally settled on my new CW-X tights, 2 shirts, arm compression sleeves, jackets, mittens…yep I freeze and tend to over dress! After deciding to drive to the start we waited until the final minute to line up…

I had in my head to start slow but soon I was off and had quickly caught with the 1:45 pacer (half) who I realized I knew. This was fine, I felt it was a nice pace, we talked and caught up since it had been 5 years since we’d run together. Soon the half marathoners were turning at Mile 3 and we continued. I thought why not, just run what feels good because I assumed as some point my leg would quit. The miles were ticking away 7:43, 7:58, 7:50, 7:46

Not the big hill! Up and turn, up and turn….8:13 but now downhill! 7:33 And the sun is out, for now! The course continued much this way, uphill then downhill, sun out then rain and clouds…but I kept running 7:40s-7:50! Where did this come from? Mile 10 and I knew my family would be around soon, time to decide if I needed to get rid of a shirt, keep running but jacket off, shirt off, jacket back on and ready to go. There they are just past Mile 11, I throw my shirt, grab my UCAN and I am off. Still running 7:40-7:50 pace. I sip as I go and keep running wanting to not lose anything but get this UCAN in.

Half Marathon split: 1:43:20 Wow! I’m on PR pace, this has got to end, right?!

The next couple miles continue great: 7:47, 7:45 Then  Mile 16 Uphill and into the wind, yuck! 8:11. And the turn, wind is gone, yes! Miles 17, 18, 19 downhill and continue on pace 7:30s. and the course in now on paved tree lined trails, beautiful! High 5s with the cheerleaders and I keep going thinking every little twinge will be the end of the leg. Miles 20-22 I’m doing this, really can I PR after such lack of great training due to injury? Mile 23 the answer comes and it is NO! Yep the leg is done with 3 miles to go, each getting progressively slower but I’m still running. Finally I see the finish line in sight, what can I still give? Ugh not much…3:30:52! Nearly a PR! I felt great, no GI issues, energy stayed, no wall for me, just a leg that had enough!

What had I just accomplished! I am thrilled, now on the healing and a great 2014!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fall Meal Planning: Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Yes, I am still here! I have sat down to write many times over the past couple weeks, including my marathon report, but have yet to find time to finish a post…life! We are still adjusting to my working full-time plus all the additional activities and races this time of year. Add Matt’s grad school and 3 year old meltdowns to this and you have our crazy lives right now. I think things are on the way down for craziness (or I hope!). To help out the weeknights I am back to Sunday meal prep and plan to spend the afternoon in the kitchen prepping for the week. So what’s on the menu for us?

  • Chipotle Mac ‘n Cheese
  • Samosa Pie
  • Veggie Egg Bake with Roasted Potatoes
  • Spaghetti Squash with Stir Fry Veggies
  • Pre-run Protein Shake
  • ??Salad and Soup pre-Halloween night out

Yesterday in attempts to use some cranberries from our CSA I decided it was time to bake and the result is wonderful. The texture is a little soft and dense but still tastes great.

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
1 banana mashed
1 egg
1 ½ cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp coconut oil melted
¼ cup applesauce
2 tbsp maple syrup
½ cup almond meal
½ cup coconut flour
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup cranberries

Mix banana, egg, pumpkin, oil, vanilla and applesauce. Sift in Almond meal, coconut flour, spices and baking powder. Stir in cranberries. Grease loaf pan with coconut oil. Bake 35-40min at 350

Friday, October 18, 2013

My Next Attempt at Healing: Acupuncture and Running

Earlier this week my sports chiro suggested I consider acupuncture on my hamstring, at first I was skeptical but decided to give it a try after I was referred to a sports certified acupuncturist. So in the past 24 hours both Morgan and I had our first acupuncture sessions. I figured I needed to know what Morgan was experiencing, right? His acupuncture is to help alleviate pain and side effects of his chemotherapy so different yet similar. My medical based mind is becoming more open as I experience benefits for non-mainstream treatments; first was the Naturopath and now maybe this too.

But in typical me fashion I did my research and have to admit I was a little surprised at the amount of supporting evidence. I saw number from 90-100% cure rate of hamstring tendonopathy with acupuncture, wow! I will say I didn’t read the full study so I can’t say if n=1 or 1,000! I honestly have no idea how or why it works but did find that it promotes healing and can help with injury prevention. I also found lists of many elite runners who routinely have acupuncture. Here is a great article in Runners World

Despite my multiple tattoos and plans for more in the near future I am not a fan of needles and was a bit apprehensive even though I knew these were small. I can sum up the experience in 2 words: Odd and wow! The needles did not hurt at all, really nothing more than a dull quick poke. Then came the warm sensation and at times a dull ache of the muscle. At one point I could feel the entire left side of my body getting heavy, I felt as if the table of tipping that way. She then worked on my tight hip and glute and it was almost immediate muscle release as the needle hit, strange! After all the needles were in: low back, left foot, calf, hamstring, glute, hip and right hand and calf; I had time to just relax under a heat lamp. After working 14 hours Wednesday and 10 hours Thursday I needed time to just relax, eyes closed in calm. It was perfect. She returned 5 minutes, 15 minutes (I honestly have no idea) later to remove the needles and I was done.

I have no idea right now what to think other than my leg feels much looser. I did a quick run through the parking lot as I left in attempts to stay a little dry and the leg felt fine, okay not a great indication. Hoping that the true answer and benefit is shown to me on Sunday. Who else has tried acupuncture? What did you think?

Alright back to obsessing over the weather forecast that says rain/snow for Sunday…Yuck! 2 days until marathon #24 and somehow I am feeling anxious. Maybe a good sign that I feeling ready? I can hope.

Monday, October 14, 2013

6 days to go...Marathon Weekly

Week 17 and feeling pretty good, mentally I am ready! Loving this Fall weather and cool running mornings with sunny afternoons. Not to mention apples, pumpkin and everything else that goes along with Fall!

Monday: Morning 45 minutes bike and afternoon strength
Tuesday: Evening run coaching 6.5 miles hills
Wednesday: Morning 45 minutes bike, Strength with trainer
Thursday: Sleep! And 7.5 mile run afternoon, perfect weather 1:02:03
Friday: Morning 10 mile run and afternoon core/strength
Saturday: Work then BBQ with my run group. Day off to relax
Sunday: 11 mile run 1:28:33 and afternoon core/strength

Week 18 and long anticipated marathon week has arrived! Yikes, here I sit stalking and obsessing over the weather highs 50/lows upper 30s sounds pretty good to me!

Monday: Not sure, pilates, yoga, bike. All I know is no running. Seeing sports chiro today
Tuesday: Evening run coaching
Wednesday: 13+ hours at work (yep I already know), hoping for a core workout at some point
Thursday: Morning easy 3-4 mile run
Friday: Morning bike
Saturday: Easy morning run/walk
Sunday: Marathon! I have goals but trying something new this time and not sharing…

How was your week in training? What is your favorite thing about Fall?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Menu Planning: Baked Coconut Tofu

Now that I am back to work I am realizing the urgent need to get back to menu planning and meal prep, no more flexibility of running to the store daily for last minute ideas and waiting to see what sounds good at 5pm. If we did that we'd be eating cereal for dinner nightly! The other important thing now is planning dinners with leftovers to make lunch simple. I love Fall for hot meals and simple things that are easy to throw in the crockpot. What are your favorite fall meals?

Sunday: Red curry squash (in crockpot now) with coconut tofu (recipe below)
Monday: Grilled veggies: beets, carrots and roasted potatoes
Tuesday: Run night so quick protein shake
Wednesday: Work dinner (means I bring a salad)
Friday: Lettuce wraps with Peanut Sauce or grill veggie burgers and sweet potato fries
Saturday: Pre-Marathon meal out, this may be tough! In the process of searching gluten free options.

Coconut Tofu
1 block extra firm tofu- drained and cubed
3 tbsp coconut flour
3 tbsp breadcrumbs (reg or gluten free)
2 tbsp corn starch
¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
Salt/Pepper to taste
¼ cup water

Mix dry ingredients then add water gradually until paste like mixture forms. Coat each cube of tofu and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees turning halfway through. Serve alone, with curry dishes or cool and top salads. I'm sure the batter would be great on other proteins too.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Taper during craziness

A whole lot of soles...: Let explain this taper madness and marathoning thing
I’m not sure if the high level of craziness in my life right now is making this taper easier or harder. My time to run is limited but after a tough day the first thing I need is a run! I am trying to be smart and take it easy, but after a good feeling 10 miler on Sunday I am feeling great and ready to go. The weather isn’t helping either, 70s and sunny…perfect! I got out of work early, so what do I do? Go run of course! Hit up an old favorite and ran the lakes, perfect views, perfect weather…October in a sports bra what else could you want?
Thursday afternoon at the lakes!
Of course day repeated this and after bringing O to school I had to take advantage of my day off and run. Thanks to Dawn for dealing with my crazy schedule this morning and running her first post-marathon run with me. 10 miles felt great. I love these fall mornings, a little cool but sunny and comfortable.

Earlier this week I saw my sports chiro again and had more work on the leg, yikes I could tell over a month has passed. Despite having my rehab ball and work and working the hamstring daily that is no comparison to the pain inflicted during this treatment! She is also suggesting that after the marathon I consider either a PRP (protein rich plasma) injection or stem cell injection to my hamstring. If anything it would have to be the first since neither are covered by my insurance and I’m sure not cheap…sucks! Does anyone have experience with these injections? I think we are hitting a wall, the ART is helping but for an issue that has been ongoing for almost 2 years it isn’t enough. I plan to take time off running soon and in the future will schedule no running weeks in every few months.

So what else am I doing wrong this taper? Well, I’ve broke my no alcohol rule, but it is well deserved. I love a glass of wine or two when I relax at night and after a long day, sick kiddo and recovering puppy I need it. Heck we even went to a wine tasting last night! A little date night out. I’m trying to eat good, but have crept back to easy to grab snacks again. I’ve gone through more granola bars and processed foods in the past month than I have all year. Need to focus on better packing for work. Do you have any taper rituals?

Still working on the hydration/salt issue and thought I had been doing good (tracking shows I’m doing better). This week I’ve had 3 episodes similar to what got me to finally go in last month. Luckily they haven’t been as bad but I’m thinking this means the cardiologist wasn’t completely right on his answer. Might be time to schedule the further testing.

Happy Friday! Good Luck to everyone running this weekend, What are your plans? Back to weather stalking for me before heading for our afternoon long appointment with the alternative medicine vet for Morgan. 
He loves his ice time, chemo Round 1 is over, 4-5 more to go...

Monday, October 7, 2013

A race and maybe I'm back...Marathon Monday

The story of my life!
Week 16, finally settling into this new schedule and accepting that I have to cut out some workouts, the timing is fine since I am tapering, yikes! Keep me busy at work and I can forget the craziness that is going through my head thanks to tapering. Sick kid, healing dog and lack of sleep have added to the craziness but we are surviving. Through this all I am happy to say I am focusing on what I eat more than ever and doing much better than I was with mindless snacking. Got to look at the positive, right?!

Monday: Morning spin and afternoon strength
Tuesday: Evening 7.5 mile hill run coaching
Wednesday: 4.5 mile Run, Strength with trainer
Thursday: Much needed speedy 4 mile run after work: 29:01 (mentally I needed this)
Friday: Strength
Saturday: Decided I’d rather sleep in and skip the drive to the 10K so I ran an easy 8.5 miles at home.
Sunday: 10 Mile race at TC Marathon: 1:13:11 (finally a better race, at no point did I want to quit!). Fueled on nothing but a serving of UCAN before the race and needed nothing but a little water during, love this stuff!
Coffee after TC 10Mile

Week 17 and less than 2 weeks until race day! Not sure how I am feeling, come days the leg is angry and other days quite happy. I guess we see what the day brings and rest up til then.

Monday: Morning spin and afternoon strength
Tuesday: Evening run coaching
Wednesday: Speed interval run, Strength with trainer
Thursday: Morning spin and afternoon yoga or pilates
Friday: Morning run
Saturday: Work then BBQ with my run group. Hoping to fit in a bike ride.
Sunday: 10-12 mile easy run

How was your week? I want to thank everyone for continuing to link up. I am still reading all the blogs but usually on my phone and not able to comment. Keep up the great work and I will be back to commenting soon! I have a couple great giveaways coming very soon too so check back...