Monday, July 21, 2014

Week 7....Anti-Training

Oof. Where to begin in describing this past week. I knew I wanted to take Monday off, and I knew that next week I wanted a cutback week.  I didn't realize how overwhelmed I felt with many aspects of my life and really needed to step back NOW. This certainly changed how the week went, cutback week came a week early.

Most days I'm a pretty positive person, life really is beautiful chaos. BUT, sometimes it's not beautiful, it's just effing chaos. Those are the times I want to chop my hair off, change my name, and go live in some hut in the mountains of a far off land. Luckily, I'm emotionally attached to my long hair right now, I can't change my name because Phoebe already took "Princess Consuela Banana Hammock", and I don't currently have the financial means to have lifetime supply of Guinness shipped to the mountains. Bummer, right?

So I did what any other person dealing with chaos would do....I deleted my training plan for the week, and decided to go with the flow. Life in the mountains drinking Guinness with a new identity will just have to wait, I've got a marathon to train for and a life to live.

This typically happens at least once in a training cycle where I just need to take everything day to day. Something incredibly freeing about crumpling up the schedule and throwing it over the proverbial fence for a neighbor to deal with. I remember doing this in late fall before CIM, and ended up having an incredibly amazing long training run at the end of the week. While I didn't run a kick ass 23 miler this weekend like then...I did get a lot of non-training things done (cleaning, laundry, organizing, moving the rest of my things, time with friends etc.). I got my act together outside of training, which is a necessity.

Some things about this week....
-I forced myself into bed at old-lady-o'clock almost every night (Friday/Sat were later)

-I tried not running, I tried easy running, I tried tempo run, I tried medium long run, and I tried racing...NONE (not even the rest) felt good. Yeah, one of those weeks.

-I tried increasing my caloric intake to focus on refueling

-I added an Iron supplement to my diet (this can/will take time to take effect)

-I tore my place apart cleaning/organizing/purging (this was much more therapeutic than one would imagine)

-I did a long overdue wine/girls night with my old roommate/long time friend.

-I experienced every single emotion to the extreme...many times.

-I tried Rock Tape for the first time (had used KT in previous years), and I do believe it helps my calf. So I'll have to order a few more colors so I can have some fun racing stripes until this thing is 100% healed.

-I moved the remainder of my things from the house to my apartment.

-I basically shut down marathon training this week....just for the week. Rochester, I'm still coming for you...that's a promise (not to be confused with a threat!).

-I went through times of struggling being alone, and being happy that I'm independent. Quite the conundrum.

Crappy Running Week + Personal life being messy + Cranky Girl stuff + Annoying calf strain + Physically Drained/Exhausted = Ka-effing-boom.
Friday's run with my good friend Joe takes the prize for best run of the week. 5 AM came quick, but it was worth it to get the miles in on the ROC course with good company. I'd say the run made me look a little better than the pre-run zombie on the left. 12+ morning miles later and I finally looked awake (and sweaty).

So yeah, that week. I'm glad it's done. Maybe it was the implosion that needed to happen to help me move forward with training and life. I ran the lowest mileage week since pre-Boston (by a LOT), but after three ~60 mile weeks in a row, it probably wasn't the worst thing. I am still growing as a runner (and person) and I am not a superhuman. Being able to sustain certain miles, and continuing to increase safely takes time. It's hard seeing numbers drop like that, but I know I have a really strong base right now and I can move forward.

I have goals for this coming week, many training related but not directly running related (that makes sense in my head, so just work with me here). I need to adjust my nutrition (I need to stop using busy schedule as an excuse to not cook/prepare majority of my own meals), I need to stretch/roll more, I need to be diligent about getting my strength training in, and I need to continue last weeks bedtimes (on a more consistent basis).

Running can and will feel good again, hopefully soon.

I'm working on finding the good in things, and believe that it can only get better from here.

Onward & upward friends (and back to training!)

Monday, July 14, 2014

ROC Week 6 with Mileage to Match

Phew, that week is DONE. This was just one of those weeks that I am glad is done, even though it wasn't all bad. In fact, running wise it was a really solid week, finally a week with my mileage starting with 6.

I slacked pretty bad with my core/strength training this week. Could I give some excuses, sure...but I won't. I could have made time or put the effort in. But the workouts and runs I did this week, I know I certainly wasn't being lazy by any means. Monday was a good non-running day, some easy time at the gym. Tuesday was double # 1 of the week for workouts, some easy miles in the morning followed by a great track workout at night.
Roadkill on the track after a hot speedy 4x800, 4x400, 4x200 workout
 The rest of the week was really spent running when I had the time. Some morning runs, some night runs and a second double that took place Saturday. Kind of a do what you have to do when you can do it kind of thing.

Sunday was  a great day spent at Musselman, I knew it was going to be a mixed-feelings day but it went really well actually. I had fun helping athletes out of the water, and then spending the rest of the day cheering with Michelle for Mike and the many other athletes out there. A little more on all of this tomorrow :)

Monday
30 Minute Spin after work
45 Minutes Core/Stability Training
Tuesday
5 Easy Treadmill miles before work (8:17 pace)
6.75 miles total at the track after work w/ 4x800, 4x400,4x200 
Wednesday
5.1 Easy/Recovery miles before work (8:17 pace)
Thursday
8.19 Night time miles (7:54 pace)
Friday 
6.4 Miles between jobs (7:33 pace)
Saturday
6.4 Miles before work (8:03 pace)
7 Miles after work (7:44 pace)
Sunday
16 Sunset Miles (7:51 pace)

Total Running Miles: 60.9 Miles
Running ROC Training Miles: 324.4


While I may have slacked on my core/strength training this week, I was much better about foam rolling/stretching and PT stuff. I know that I need it and I was better about making time for it, although I still have a long ways to go. I also invested in a few new things to help me in this area. Some new fabulous lingere for bedtime (aka some new compression things), as well as an electric pulse massager. I just got a small hendheld version, but it has 4 leads on it and it works really well so far. I bought it pretty cheap on Amazon, once I really start using it consistently and see if I notice any differences I will write more about it.

As for this coming week, I NEED to get back my core/strength routines and I want to continue with the extra attention to stretching/rolling. I have a massage scheduled for tonight, and I can't wait. I know that my legs have been working hard and could use some good old fashioned TLC :)  As for mileage this week, definitely be an increase but nothing drastic- I feel like the slow consistent increases in miles have really helped me stay healthier and where I want to be with training.

I'm going to mix things up a bit this week to help snap myself out of whatever funk this is. Maybe some new routes, or new workouts...and a possible race this coming weekend. I took a few weeks away from races because the last 2 just didn't go well and some time off was necessary. But I have a little fire burning right now that's leaving me ready to let loose a bit. So we will see what this coming weekend brings :)

How was your week?

Training "Funks", what is your go-to trick to get out of it?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Musselman Weekend 2014...a New First {DNS}


Well, it's here! Musselman weekend, the weekend I would have been completing my second half-Ironman. I decided a few weeks ago not to race it, because I've got other goals that require 100% focus.  If I'm being honest, even in the last few weeks I had thoughts about racing it again though. I know that I would be capable of completing it again this year, but I respect myself enough not to do it. I'm not trained at the level for it right now, I'd be frustrated not beating last years time, I could potentially get hurt...and this list could go on.

Guess what though, I'm going anyways.

I will be in Geneva this weekend, I will be at Musselman and I will be in that water come race morning.
I won't be dressed like this though...
While I respect myself enough not to race this weekend...I respect the race and the athletes enough that I'll be volunteering. I will be pulling athletes out of the water as they finish their swim. {which is fitting since last year one of these volunteers saved me from wiping out getting out of the water}

After that, I'll be cheering on athletes and supporting friends in anyway that I can. I'm excited to get to finally meet up with Michelle, Mike & Rhoda as it is something we have talked about for a while now! Mike is racing MM as his first half-iron and I know he is going to do great, I'll get to hang with the girls while he works his butt off!

This weekend last year I completed my first 70.3 triathlon. It was a great race, there were lots of funny moments, and in general I was incredibly happy with my accomplishment. Are there going to be some emotions this weekend for MANY reasons...you bet your ass there will.


2013:Goofy Grin in the beginning of the run
2013: Post race ice cream with Meg, was beyond grateful my family was there supporting me!
This will be my first ever DNS (because yes I had indeed registered for this already), but I know that it is for the best. My running is stronger than ever, and I'm enjoying being focused and motivated for 2 marathons this fall (Rochester in particular). I know it will still be a great weekend with new memories, friends (new and old), and giving a little back to the community :) I love volunteering and spectating at races- it's great to help and support others, the added motivation boost never hurts either :)

Have you ever DNS'd a race (not because of injury)?

Anyone else get motivated from volunteering/cheering at races?

Plans this weekend?

Monday, July 7, 2014

ROC Week 5: Training & Family Time

Another week come and gone already? I'm sure the holiday had something to do with making it fly by, but I'm ready for routine again. Don't get me wrong, I had a great time this past week and on vacation a few weeks ago.....but I'm ready for a return to some normalcy after the last few weeks of chaos. Give me back my routine of sleep/work/train{repeat} for a few weeks, and then I'll be begging for a change. Cue the "I can't get no, satisfaction" ....

So training this week, well it didn't go quite as originally planned but it worked out for the best. I was really good about getting some strength training in early on, as I knew I wouldn't once I got to my family's cabin later in the week (Unless you count lifting my peanut 15 month old nephew up and down).

Wednesday was the day I realized...I didn't want a rest day, I NEEDED one. I was sore and tired and generally knew it was the only thing that would give me a little help. So Thursday, I worked in the morning and then drove to the 1000 Islands to spend time with family...and didn't run or workout when I got there. *GASP*. It really wasn't that dramatic, it was more like... I got there and my sister and I were laughing and drinking a beer in the water within about 15 minutes. We ate a ton of food, drank red wine and Jameson, and laughed a LOT- Quality family time.

Our slice of heaven.
I had decided ahead of time I wanted to do my 20 on Friday since I wouldn't be racing like the rest of the world. I loved the thought of getting the miles in up near the cabin and with some fresh roads and scenery(and being able to jump in the lake after). That 20 miler ended up being the best one I have had, which is obviously a great feeling with it being the first one of this cycle. It wasn't perfect (Fueled by s'mores and whiskey the night before), but it wasn't forced and the pace came naturally as each mile passed.
Post-20 miler....Not too shabby having mom there when I was done, waiting with water and fresh fruit :) Spent some time in the ice bath (the lake) after the run, my legs are grateful for that!
Sunday, well....Sunday was incredibly productive- and by that I mean I laid around and read most of the day. I was kind of 'in a funk' for the day and really needed to unwind. I had a friend comment that I "hide it well" (referring to any struggles I have regarding the last few months). It's not that I'm hiding, its that I'm simply trying to move forward. I don't want to feel sad, or angry, or bitter...but yes there are days that happens. I'm human, I have a heart and yes I feel things regardless of how strong I try and be. So Sunday night I set out for a run to clear my head....16 miles later I felt 23590723x better. It happens.


Monday
3 Recovery Treadmill miles (8:17 pace)
55 Minutes Strength Training (Stabilizers & Core)

Tuesday
6 Mile run with a friend after work (7:41 pace)
35 Minutes Strength Training (Upper Body & Core)

Wednesday
Morning Track workout (5 miles total) [4x800, 1x400]
4 miles after work on treadmill (8:19 pace)
20 Minutes (Core/Stability)

Thursday
~REST~

Friday
20.25 mile Long run (7:37 pace)

Saturday
3 mile Recovery run (8:09 pace)

Sunday
16 Mile Sunset run (7:37 pace)

Total Running Miles: 57.3
Running ROC Training Miles: 263.6


Overall it was a good week, and also made me realize I need to adjust a few things with my training(more on this in another post).  Sure, things got changed around and some workouts shortened while some extended but ended only a few miles short of last week (not bad considering there was a rest day in there). The time spent with family, and at the cabin was also really good for me. A great way to unwind and step away for a few days while still getting training in. 
A few days with family to remind you what's important :)
As for this week, I'm looking forward to more routine. Goal is to continue with the strength training and consistent mileage. I'm rearranging things a bit for many reasons (mainly because I need to be sure I am getting adequate work AND rest).

How was your 4th?

Anyone else ready to get back into routine?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

ROC Week 4: Turning things up

I should probably set the mood for this post.....Sitting in Starbucks (yay AC!), headphones in for a jam sesh, sipping an iced coffee, and a goofy smirk on my face. Today was a good day, and this week has left me feeling in a really good spot with training.

Last week was my lowest mileage week since before Boston, and afterwards I knew that it was going to be a good thing. (It wasn't a planned cut back week, but it worked out really well that way with travel and all). This week takes 2 highest things... highest mileage week in over a year, and longest run since Boston (I have had a 20 mile day, but not all in one run). 

So the miles went up this week, as did the temperature. I was feeling really tired this week, maybe some residual travel gunk combined with the heat. I knew it was time to start putting in more miles but also knew I couldn't be pushing paces. So this week was definitely on the easier side as far as paces were concerned, no workouts to be done. I'll go back to workouts this coming week, but I honestly needed to hold back a little this week and let my mind and body do some unwinding.

Sunday's long run will take the win for best run of the week. It wasn't about paces or anything other than time on my feet with one of my best friends. We had a fabulous time catching up on each others lives and getting some hot and hilly miles in. The rest of the day was spent unwinding in the sun on the lake- so much winning to be had. 

Monday
7.03 miles after work (7:42 pace)
Tuesday
Morning: 35 Minute Core/Upper Body workout
5.16 miles with a friend after work (7:46 pace)
Wednesday
9.5 miles after work (7:44 pace)
Thursday
5.11 miles after both jobs (7:49 pace)
Friday
6.44 miles between jobs (7:28 pace) 
Saturday
8 miles before night shift at work (7:50 pace)
Sunday
18 mile morning run with Heather (8:58 pace)

Total running miles: 59.2 miles
Running ROC Training miles: 206.2 miles

This week finished so much better than it started, luckily with much more energy. I feel refreshed, happy, and ready to keep turning things up. I had some good pep talks this week, and I have a LOT of things to look forward to in the coming weeks (and some big things this fall!). Focusing on the little things makes me so much happier. I'm human and I have certainly questioned things lately, particularly my training and whether I am good enough to reach the goals I have. While I'm not there right now, I know that come race day I will be. I just need to keep putting in the work, doing everything I can to get to where I want/need to be. At the end of the day I know I have been working my ass off, and the consistency is already paying off. No one else can tell me otherwise. 

As for this coming week, I have my workouts that I will do but when they are happening is still being shuffled around. I am not sure what my work schedule is going to be with the Holiday (nothing like last minute planning...drives me BATTY). Should be another solid week of training though, time to really start working :)

Plans for the 4th of July?

Best run last week?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Stringing the little things together

It's funny, as I look back on this year so far I can't help but laugh. Roller coaster would be an understatement, let's just say I have been climbing mountains and jumping off cliffs. Adventure begins when comfort has left you. I've spent more time 'uncomfortable' this year than I have in a long time, and it's amazing to see the changes it has brought and the adventures it has taken me on.

Something I have been really doing lately is appreciating the little things. Don't get me wrong, I have always been a sucker for the little moments way more than grand gestures. But lately that's what really gets me through each day. I've stopped worrying about 'the big picture' and just taking the time to focus on "stringing together all the little things". The smiles when no one is around, the perfectly timed message, planning things to look forward to, those things that get you from one day to the next.

Planning things to look forward to has been high in my priorities lately. Whether it be time with friends, races, future trips...or even just planning a workout for later that I know I'll love. Looking at the little day to day things to get you to the next big thing.

After some long talks, my best friends reminded me that this is the year of me. The summer of taking chances, and the summer I'll look back on and laugh at the crazy things I have done. This year has been about chances and changes, both little and big. Stepping outside my comfort zone, finding what is best for me, and really deciding where I want to be....and more or less, who I want to be.

Who I am at this moment, is someone I respect a lot more than past versions of myself. So while I am not where I want to be, I'm a heck of a lot closer than I was yesterday and the day before.

I may not be a super-high mileage runner but I'm a lot stronger and more consistent than I have ever been (my experience, and now consistency is going to do wonders..I have to believe that).

I may not be the fastest or most experienced, but I feel like the experience I do have is more valuable than I give it credit for (and others give me credit for).

I may not be settled in with my life, but I've got a much better grip on what "settled" means to me.

I may not have the biggest circle, but I have the best friends a girl could ask for. I wouldn't trade the people in my life for anything (and not just because human trafficking is illegal....)!

I may not be perfect but I am always looking for ways to improve myself in all aspects of my life.

I may not have it all figured out, but you don't need to in order to move forward (this was a good reminder from a friend recently).

I may not be rich but I work hard, and I am able to support myself.

I could go on and on...it's called progress and not perfection.

Some 'little things' stringing my running together right now....
Seeing my natural 'easy' paces be quite a bit faster than they used to be....

Hitting paces in workouts even on 'bad days', and hitting even better paces on 'good days'

Having friends training for similar goals within same time frame, nice when others are going through the same things you are :)

Seeing my rolling totals for mileage lately be numbers I've never seen consistently before(or at all).

Planning more runs with other people- sometimes the company is nice to have!

Having "bad race times" be times that I used to only dream of on GREAT days.

Being able to help others meet there goals as well, running karma.

'Visions' of some big PR's to come...best way to get lost in a run, keeping eyes on the prize!

Finishing a run or workout, covered in sweat and that 'never felt better' mentality.


What are some little things stringing you together right now?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

MedVed ALS 5k 2014

On Father's Day, I ran the MedVed to Cure ALS 5k right here in Rochester. Sorry for the delay in posting, it's been keeping my draft list cozy for a while.

This is definitely a favorite race of mine, one that I have a hard time saying no to. This year was my 4th year running it, last year was a course PR for me and this year brought my second fastest time on the course.

It's easy enough for me to get over to Frontier Field where the race is held, which makes morning logistics a breeze. Parked, packet pickup, warm-up run and soon enough it was time to get to the start.

I got as close to the front as I could (no starting timing mat), but stayed off to the side. I wasn't sure how I was feeling, and it was apparently very visible on my face.

I tried to settle into my normal first mile 5k pace- basically fast enough but not all out. My first mile came in faster than planned (I had 6:09 but it went off a little before the marker) and I kind of went "Ok, I can do this" and actually felt good.

The second mile, I slowly started feeling 'off' and knew I was slowing down but I also held on as long as I could. I started getting passed, which mentally started to eat away at me.

Mile three was a death march, my legs just didn't want to move off of the ground. As we entered the baseball stadium, my friend Mary and her son Ben were standing on the walkway overhead cheering. This definitely helped me pick it up to kick it in until the finish.

I finished in 19:46, which was good enough for 5th female and 2nd in my age group. I definitely didn't feel great and was frustrated after having back to back rough races(the 10k the weekend before). But at the end of it all, I was able to see some great friends and spend time with those who I don't see often. This was just one of those days I had to remind myself that there was a time I would kill to be under 20 on a GREAT day. So this is a bad day? Suck it up and stop complaining Anderson.

Later that night I went out for a great solo medium long run at sunset, physically and mentally I felt a million times better. 17 miles for the day, and finished feeling beyond ready to focus on my long term goals and not just a 5k that in the grand scheme of things- won't change anything.

It will be at the very least, a few weeks before I race again. I want to focus on my marathon training, and also be ready to race next time...and not just because I like the race. I have my eye on a potential half in July, maybe it will happen and maybe it won't. The next race I know FOR SURE I am doing is in August (Bergen!). There's a chance that could be the only race between now and ROC, all I can say is that my eye is on the big prize.

Do you race a lot while training? 
I used to a lot more, but now that my goals are different and I am training differently I feel like I need to play things by ear more.

What does your summer racing schedule look like?


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