Sunday, October 30, 2016

Weekly Meals and Workouts

It has now been 3 weeks since the marathon and I am still in the let’s sleep in mode, maybe workout later mode, indulge a little (okay a lot) mode. Don’t get me wrong my workouts have happened I’m just more likely to sleep a little later and do less now without a race on the horizon. This week I need to get back to normal with a workout schedule and meal plan, especially with some travel ahead and the holidays coming.

Sunday Run 7-8 miles hoping for trails if not closed from rain and upper strength/core
Monday Kickboxing
Tuesday CrossFit and short run
Wednesday Run with some short speed intervals and Pilates or Yoga
Thursday CrossFit and Walk
Friday Short run
Saturday CrossFit and Run

I plan to start adding in a little harder runs this week instead of all easy running. I have 2 more months until training starts again but want to get back to a good base by then. This past week I went back to the doctor about the leg/knee and came away even more frustrated. The “knee specialist” turned out not to be and the ortho/sport medicine specialty clinic doesn’t have anyone who can drain my cyst! What?! Luckily we all agree that this is the cause of all the issues but it won’t fully improve until I either stop running or the cyst is gone. The easy running with less miles is really helping but I need to fix it before I’m back to higher miles. How long do you take off between training cycles?

Image result for fall meme pumpkin

I am loving this fall so far, cool but not cold yet. It is nice being back to comfort foods and crockpot meals. What are your favorite cool weather meals?

Sunday Carving pumpkins with friends and ordering from our favorite Thai place
Monday Chickpea salad wraps pre trick or treating
Tuesday Work late so leftovers
Wednesday Both Matt and I have work gatherings
Thursday Black bean chipotle butternut squash
Friday Mac n cheese (vegan)
Saturday Probably dinner out

Okay, off to run now…looks like the trails are closed and I’m stuck road running…Have a great week!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Conflicted, thoughts of a runner

Since the start of my running adventures I've set my goals on marathons, achieving certain times, paces, qualifying for Boston. The last few years have been rough ending with a mentally tough TCM that has really taken a toll on me. I keep thinking back to how relaxed I felt running the 50K in April and wonder if trails and ultra running is more my style (at least for awhile). Aside from the relaxed nature of trails I'm getting my butt kicked at the CrossFit gym again and loving the not so relaxed feel tough side of that!

Luckily with out a goal race in the near future I'm back out on the trails with a few easy runs the past couple weeks. The weather is perfect and colors are gorgeous.

On my last run we came face to face with this guy! Luckily he stopped and walked off into the woods watching us from a little further as we passed.

So much is running through my mind right now...
  • Do I sign up for Chicago 2017 (I still have a guaranteed entry time)
  • I'm already signed up for Flying Pig marathon
  • I want to run a 50 mile, but can I do this and a marathon?
  • Do I really have it in me to hit my sub 3:20 marathon goal
  • Trail running is peaceful
  • Maybe I should focus a lot on strength and minimal running
  • Winter is coming and I hate cold running (thanks to Raynauds)
  • I'll just move somewhere warm
  • I'm liking sleep right now
  • What is up with the weird leg stuff?!
What thoughts are going through your head right now on running?

Don't forget to enter my GoMacro Bar Giveaway that ends tonight.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

GoMacro Thrive Review and Giveaway!

All runners know that post marathon week(s) are filled with the fight to keep eating healthy yet indulge a little. I try to carry healthy snacks wherever I go to avoid the munchies. Needing gluten free makes finding healthy foods quick even tougher. I have my go to foods but love finding new options with such variety. I think my only complaint is the carb to protein ratio which for each bar is 3 or 4:1. I prefer a snack more along the 2:1 carb to protein ratio. To help this I add a few extra nuts to the bars when I have them for a snack, problem solved!

Like all GoMacro products, Thrive are USDA-Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Kosher, Gluten-Free certified, 100% Vegan, and soy-free. Thrive is currently available to purchase online and will become available to Whole Foods this month! GoMacro is offering 30% off to all my readers with code Thrive30 for online purchases Here

The Thrive Bars come in 6 flavors: Caramel Coconut, Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip, Blueberry Lavender, Chocolate, Nuts and Sea Salt, Almond Apricot, and Ginger Lemon. While I'm not a huge chocolate fan I can still say I liked those! All the flavors were really good, chewy bars with nuts and good flavor. My favorite is the  Caramel Coconut for a nice sweet but healthy treat!

GoMacro is giving 1 lucky reader a box or 12 bars (2 of each flavor) to try!

I was provided the bars free but all opinions and reviews are my own.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Reflecting on Marathon Training

Now 8 days post the marathon that got away the emotions have settled and I have become much more rational. I've gone through everything from I'm done with marathons to when can I sign up for the next one and I need to race as soon as possible. Last Thursday I had a talk with coach Nichole and looked a little into training and running. Here are my thoughts on the past year and training...
The past year in pictures!
The Good
  • I kept lower mileage
  • I took rest days from running and high impact cardio work
  • Increased speedwork, tempo pace of long runs, 
  • Easy runs were just that...easy!
  • I stopped being afraid of running slower on long runs
  • Strength training at least 3x per week and good core work
  • I started the marathon slower than goal pace
  • The hamstring gave me no issues!
The Bad

  • I never really took a break since TCM last October. In the past year I ran TCM in October 2015, New Orleans in February, 50K in April and then right back to TCM last week
  • I started feeling pain in left leg early August but kept running with it for about 1 month
  • I was forced to take off 12 days of running during peak marathon training
  • I missed a lot of quality runs in August and September due to leg pain/injury
  • Nutrition could have been better
  • Sleep was poor all summer
  • Mentally I struggle when I run and I fall apart
Image result for lessons from running
Lessons Learned
  • Take time off of training and just run easy without no goal
  • Add in yoga (this was my goal but never happened)
  • Continue strength training with a heavy leg focus now in the off season
  • Listen to my body!
  • Start the marathon slower than goal pace
  • Take rest days
  • Don't be afraid to push myself both physically and mentally
What lessons have you learned through training? 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Marathon #30...I made it to the start line

After a rough September I was thrilled that I was able to bet to the start line of TCM but part of me was panicking inside with all the what ifs of missed training. My final "long run" of training went great, I headed out for 8 but met a friend with 1 mile left and ran 10, oops. I figured after missing my last 9 mile tempo I could handle this.

Two days before marathon day Nichole and I talked strategy and I was convinced to try a new approach instead of my crash and burn marathons of the past. Our plan was to start with 3:35 pacer and run 8:10s until mile 5-6 then creep down to 8:00 pace and slowly ease into 7:50s. My nutrition plan was in place, Nichole was meeting me around mile 12-13 with UCAN and we had high hopes for the day.

I spent Saturday working at the expo with UCAN, sharing this great product with other runners, chatting with friends and then relaxing. This was the coolest weekend we've had in months so clothing was a huge decision and debated for hours until the last minute. Decided on short, tank, arm sleeves, mittens and throw away jacket.

We headed down to start, drank UCAN and dropped our bags then I lined myself up with 3:35. Mile 1 and 2 were right on 8:10s and I had to hold back. Then the pacer was speeding up 7:40s for the next couple miles, what?! "Just find your own pace" I keep telling myself. I settled on 7:50s for most of the next 15 miles. In my head I was reminding myself that Nichole would be waiting for me near mile 13 and I wanted to run well. I grabbed my UCAN from her and kept running.

The next few miles felt great, even the part 16-18 where I typically struggle. Then I started to feel the fatigue of not fully training when I hit mile 21, I started walking water stops. The nest miles got worse...My leg started giving me sharp pains when running. I felt like my Achilles was pulling, not a great feeling. By mile 24 I accepted that I was done...I text running friends that I "quit" I was walking the finish. I gave short run attempts and stopped with pain each time.
Mentally I fought...Do I run through this and just be tough? If I run through this will I end with a big injury? I chose the smart option and walked a lot...I finished I missed my goal (by a lot).

Mentally I was a mess, a full range of emotions ran through my head Sunday night. My leg ached all night, I couldn't get comfortable so I knew I did the right thing.

Share how you got through a tough race...

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The marathon the wasn't, then was...

Sorry, the month of September brought a lot of frustration and craziness with back to school, work and wrong injury diagnoses. Over the next few days I'll fill in the missing details and end with a fun giveaway before getting back to regular writing...

I ended my posting by talking about my 20 miler, sore leg and icing. I skipped a couple key workouts due to pain but by weekend I typically felt fine again. Well I managed a 22 mile run with a little achiness but not terrible. This was a Saturday, I took Sunday off and walking around the State Fair.
Off the 1st Grade
I headed out for an easy run Monday (Labor Day) with friends and it hurt but I ran because I could (yep, stupid I know!) my gait wasn't too different. Come Tuesday, first day of school, I met friends for our annual school's back breakfast, volunteered at lunch and tried an afternoon tempo run. It all went downhill from there...

I was liming from the start, I was limping. I made it to the end of the block and decided to walk. Maybe loosening things up would help. I walked to 1/2 mile then tried running again. It was over. I can't remember the rest, I think I grabbed Cooper and walked feeling crabby. The pain continued and since I had 2 hours while O danced that night and conveniently down the street was walk in sports/ortho clinic. We chatted for awhile and with the point tenderness, despite the negative XRay. I heard the words no runner ever wants to hear...stress fracture and you are out for the marathon. And by the way, wear a boot. I decided to give it time and skip the expensive, time consuming MRI.  

Wednesday morning I was frustrated, wore the boot to the bus stop and tried for Cooper's walk but immediately knew this was going to be worse in the end with hip issues. Over the next 2 days I had it on and off but soon said enough. The boot found it self a new spot in my car and is still there today. 

I spent the next few days frustrated, upset, angry...planning a new marathon. Trying to figure out what went wrong when we thought everything was right and I was being smart. You know all the runner emotions. 

Then by Thursday I had no pain. Maybe it was due to no running or better yet maybe he was wrong. I spent a lot of time on the bike and elliptical mimicking my long runs and other workout. I went to CrossFit and biked/rowed instead of running.  I exchanged many frustrated emails with coach Nichole and we talked about a plan. I stayed active with no running.

Each day I felt better. 8 days after those dreaded words I saw my chiropractor and she could not find the pain spot on the bone but the entire tibialis muscle and sheath was terrible, she worked through that and I sat with 10 needles in my leg. Talk about torture! 

Nichole and I chatted again and decided to give the last 20 mile run a try, but first and easy run to test it out. After 12 days off I ran and my leg was tight but no pain! So I did it, finished training after missing a few key weeks and speed workouts. I ended my training not quite hitting goals and speeds I wanted but it looked like marathon #30 was going to happen despite the set back.... Race recap tomorrow

How do you deal with running set backs? Did you race this weekend?