BROKEN RESOLUTIONS & EUGENE TRAINING WEEKLY RECAP #4

My apologies to those faithful readers out there who checked the blog on Friday to find nothin’ new. It’s not even February yet, and I’ve already broken my New Year resolution to keep a regular blogging schedule. Oh well. I’m here now to give you my training recap for week 4.

Monday: 7.14 miles at an 8:35 pace. Started the week off with a longer run than usual, since I had Monday off work. Given how horribly my long run went the day before, this didn’t feel too bad.

Tuesday: 4×1 mile repeats on the treadmill. Going into this workout, I thought FOR SURE I’d be running sub 7s. LOL. I have no idea where that delusion came from. Turns out mile repeats are way harder than I remembered. Paces were: 7:20, 7:15, 7:10, 7:05. All with a minute break in between. With warm up and cool down it was a total of 6 miles at 7:46 pace. I hope by the end of the training cycle I can get those sub 7 repeats.

Wednesday: This run went way better than I expected when I rolled out of bed. My legs were seriously struggling, but I warmed up pretty quickly and managed 7 miles at 8:35 pace again.

Thursday: Annnd another 7 at a slightly less comfortable pace. I was feeling pretty jazzed up because I had gotten a new pair of shoes in the mail on Wednesday. 7 miles at 8:24 pace. Even managed a sub 8 minute mile there at the end, which I was excited about. That doesn’t happen nearly as often at elevation as it did last year at sea-level.

Friday: Easy peasy run with Riley. Little over 4 miles at 9:57 pace. This was a big deal because his usual distance is around 3 miles. While he was not psyched at all to go for another mile, I’m pretty proud of him! He’ll be climbing 14ers with us in no time!

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 13 miles with S. 8:40 average pace, and an absolutely awful long run. We did two loops, one big (7 miles) and one smaller (6 miles) and we hit home base for a bit between to the two for a pit stop, water, and to shed some layers. The run, which was going fairly well up until then, took a turn for the worst and those last 6 miles were riddled with stomach pain and some serious muscle tightening. Plus, the temperature went from 24 degrees to about 50, so my tights and long sleeves were really NOT appreciated by the end of the run. I’m crossing my fingers that I can get a good long run in next week, because in 2 weeks I RACE and I honestly can’t imagine that going well at this point.

Goals Check-in:

I’d just like to start this portion off by making excuses. Super healthy and admirable, I know. But I just want to remind you all that Sarad’s parents were here all week so healthy habits were not a *thing.*

I did NOT make it to the track for my 800s, but my mile repeats went fairly well, so I’m easing up on myself for that one.

I did NOT stretch/foam roll/torture myself three times. I didn’t even do this twice. That’s no ok.

Only managed 2 runs at a sub 8:30 pace. This was a little disappointing, since my long run was on track for the first 7 miles.

Hit a 44 mile week, which is a pretty big deal because I’ve never climbed this high, this early in training. Normally I’m hitting 45ish miles when I’m running 16+ miles. So, this might also explain why my paces are a little off.

Goals for Next Week:

  • Seriously. STRETCH/FOAM ROLL. While my muscles are noticeably less sore  than they have been (they’re finally adapting to training again), I race in less than 2 weeks and need to be in tip top shape.
  • Cut back my miles. Will likely drop down to below 40 to “taper” for Run to Remember LA
  • Practice healthy habits before and during my long run this week. I really need one to go well, since my confidence is a little shaken and that’s not a good place to be right before a race.
  • Get my speed workout in. This is going to be a very busy work week for me, and I’m worried that my speed session will be the first thing to go.
  • Less wine, more water at night. Even if I only have a glass of wine with dinner, I’ve been noticing lately it’s been impacting my sleep. I haven’t been sleeping through the night, and it’s showing on my face (so pretty), and in my running/attitude. I need to get some more sleep this week, or everyone around me will PAY.

That’s all for today. Stay tuned for Wednesday where there will be more pictures and hopefully some exciting news!

 

 

 

 

BAD NEWS, GOOD NEWS

So I stumbled across some life-threatening bad news last week. A study was just released that running while stressed or anxious can lead to a HEART ATTACK. So, naturally, they suggest maybe not doing that. It basically goes against everything we runners have ever known! Also, if it is actually true, I’ve escaped death roughly a billion times in the last 10-15 years. I guess that makes me more or less immortal. I’m guessing a few of you probably are, too.

That’s my bad news for the day.

My GOOD news is actually not my good news at all. But Hungry Runner Girl  is doing a Brooks giveaway and you should all participate. But you should all also hope that I win, because I NEVER win stuff like this.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with a few things from our Tuesday. Sarad’s parents are in town so we’ve been showing them all around Colorado and Denver. One of the things we did was go to the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave and I gotta say, it was pretty neat.

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Turns out Bill was quite the feminist. I dig it, Bill.

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And I just want to go on the record and say that I lasso’ed the cow’s ear on my FIRST TRY. Guess who didn’t lasso the cow at all?

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Happy Wednesday, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

EUGENE TRAINING WEEKLY RECAP #3

Hi guys, it’s me again. One more week done, some goals met…some wayyy off. Here’s where we’re at for week three:

Monday: 7 miles on the treadmill, 8:22 average pace. The first four miles went flying by but man, finishing it up was rough. I got crazy dizzy and had to take a brief break before hopping back on for the last three. Does this kind of dizziness happen to anyone else?

Tuesday: 7 miles on the treadmill, 5 miles at tempo pace (7:36 average). I was so happy with this run, and completely shocked. I had one mile w/u and then a quick 5 miles that felt great, and one mile c/d. 7:48 average for all 7 miles!

Wednesday: 6.12 miles OUTSIDE, IN 55 DEGREE WEATHER with an average of 8:39s. Running in a tank top and shorts in January felt pret-ty awesome.

Thursday: 5.15 miles OUTSIDE, IN 55 DEGREE WEATHER with an average of 8:27s. Running in a tank top and shorts in January TWO DAYS IN A ROW felt even better!

Friday: 5.15 miles again, 8:40 average and back in tights and long sleeves…BOOO.

Saturday: REST

Sunday: 11 miles, 8:45 average and felt AWFUL. Lesson learned: I need at least 2 hours between a heavy meal and a long run. My stomach was simply not having it.

Weekly total: 41.4 miles!

Not a bad week in terms of running, but let’s talk about the goals that I set and failed to meet.

MET: Weekly mileage should hit 40 this week. Boom. 41.4 miles. Good job, me.

DIDN’T MEET: 5 x 400s on the track—hoping to do these outside. Not taking the blame for this one. We got hit with some nasty weather and the track wasn’t clear on Tuesday. Did a tempo instead because math is hard and I didn’t have faith in my ability to keep track (PUN INTENDED) of everything on the treadmill.

MET: Hoping to get at least 2 runs below an 8:30 average pace. Not to brag, but I went above and beyond here with THREE runs below 8:30 average pace. That’s right, we’re counting the 8:27s from Thursday.

DIDN’T MEET: SERIOUSLY, MAKE SUNDAY MY REST DAY. Yep, failed again!

DIDN’T MEET: Water, all the water, all the days. I’m just going to assume I can always do better at hydrating.

DIDN’T MEET: Introduce a fueling mechanism to this week’s long run. With my stomach wreaking havoc on my body, there was NO way this was going to happen.

DIDN’T MEET: Stretch/foam roll/torture myself every. single. day. this week. Ok, I said this was going to be ambitious. I just didn’t realize how ambitious. I foam rolled for a grand total of ONE time this week…Monday. Yikes.

Ok, so this week’s goals:

  • Let’s make it to the track for some 800s (weather permitting)
  • Stretch/foam roll/ torture myself AT LEAST THREE TIMES (slightly more realistic?)
  • Shooting for another 3 runs at sub 8:30 pace
  • Going for another 40+ mile week
  • Set more realistic goals

In other news, I finished this book by Amby Burfoot and seriously cannot recommend it enough. I dogeared nearly every page and desperately want to befriend Amby as a running pal/life bestie now. Seriously, pick up a copy today.

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That’s it for me, friends. See you on Wednesday!

HOW TO DEAL WITH PAIN

Fair warnings guys:

1. I’m not writing this from my Italian chateau, so there’s that disappointment we all have to cope with (I’m sorry).

And 2. This post is going to be extremely sentimental and definitely cheesy, so if that’s not your flavor today, time to bail. See you on Monday.

So for those of you people looking for some brilliant insight, here we go.

Thursday was a bit of a tough day for me. Emotionally, I was just not in a good place. I was taking things very personally, creating problems in my head, and overall was behaving like a little dysfunctional shell of anxiety and pain. So, naturally, I went for a run to cope with all my feelings.

Going into the run I knew I didn’t want to make it about pace or distance. I threw my training plan out the window and just let my emotions take over (read: I sprung off my doorstep like a bat out of Hell and died about 3 miles later). And in that time, I DID sort some things out and reached a brilliant-new-to-me-insight that strangely enough, brought me a lot of comfort. Stick with me, and maybe it’ll do the same for you.

Now, we’ve all heard that life is a marathon, not a sprint. Most of the time the annoying person who says that is simply trying to say, “slow down and pace yourself.” But life really IS like a marathon, and in more ways than one. The one aspect I want to focus on today is very up lifting. It’s the element of pain.

 

 

As most experienced marathoners know, you can rarely—if ever—get through 26.2 miles without dealing with some “discomfort.” (Lol, it’s gonna huuuuurt).  The good news (?) is, this happens to everyone, so you’re not alone. The maybe-bad-news is, you’re going to have to deal with it, more or less alone. SOUNDS LIKE ANOTHER EXPERIENCE WE’VE ALL SHARED, EH? 

In marathons and in life, everyone experiences pain and everyone deals with it differently. How we choose to do so is based on a  variety of factors: our past experiences, our training, our mental toughness, how we’re built, etc. So, taking all of these things into account I’ve thought of four ways you can deal with discomfort when it comes your way.

  1. You can distract yourself. Music! Crowds! Counting!….Netflix! Hobbies! RUNNING! Distracting yourself is a great and effective way of dealing with pain. Your real life therapist may suggest you have repression issues, but he/she isn’t here and I say keep on keepin’ on. Here’s the catch though: this isn’t an option for everyone. Some people (me) are just not wired to do this—in running or in life. I believe you have to have the astounding ability to compartmentalize and unfortunately my brain just doesn’t DO that.
  2. You can help someone else cope with their pain. “The best way to help yourself is to help someone else.” Very true and helpful for running and life. There’s usually someone who is hurting just as much, if not more, than you. Find them and help them power through. If all goes according to plan, you’ll both feel better.
  3. Dwell. NOTE: THIS IS NOT HEALTHY AND I DO NOT RECOMMEND IT. I can say that because this is my technique (AND MY BLOG). When my feelings are hurt or I’m certain my legs are about to fall off, I can’t stop thinking about it. I overthink it to death and as a result, come up with a whole slew of new problems. Not only is this a major downer, but it also makes everything much harder—including recovery. I just assume it takes me roughly 60-100 days longer than average to recover from a tough race or life challenge, because I beat myself up so much. Don’t do it. Or if you do, STOP IT. Let’s quit together.
  4. Take. It. On. This is the best method I can think of, and the one I now know I want to use moving forward. I believe that this is what you see elite athletes/brave people do every day. When pain hits, they say, “Hello, pain. Care to go for a run?”, and power through. They learn from it. They embrace it. They take in only that which makes them stronger (+10 points to your House if you get that reference). They don’t shy away from it, they don’t dwell on it. They simply accept it as fact and go with it.

Guys, we’re all going to face pain in life. There’s just no way to avoid it. Trust me, I’ve tried. But when you can get to the point where you accept it as a simple side effect of life (and marathons) you can stop fearing it so much. And well, I’ve HEARD, that’s when “the good stuff”happens. So pop some Advil, put on your running shoes, and embrace the pain. We’ll all be right there beside you.

 

 

 

TRAINING ANNIE VS. NON-TRAINING ANNIE

I know I’ve only been training for two-ish weeks, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how different I feel (mentally and physically) when I’m training for a race. I have a feeling we’re all like this, but I just wanted to lay out some of side effects I experience in the midst of marathon training.

PHYSICAL

  • The most obvious physical side effect for me is: I. am. ravenous. My appetite increases 100-fold and my hanger becomes a serious issue that needs to be treated as such. Just ask S.
  • I am exhausted around the clock. While this doesn’t sound great to most people, I actually love it since I typically have a lot of issues with sleep. But when I’m running 40-50 miles a week I’m borderline narcoleptic. Just like Rusty, who is actually narcoleptic and also VERY adorable.
  • My body starts changing. My legs definitely become noticeably more muscular/my jeans get a little tighter in the general thigh vicinity and I overall probably trim down 5-10lbs each training cycle (only to put it back on later).

MENTALLY

  • Even though I’m physically tired, I’m in a much better place mentally when I’m training. If I start my day out with a run, I feel much more inspired, productive, and motivated throughout the rest of it.
  • I am undoubtedly more confident. It’s hard to not let the success in training carry over to your “real” life. So, when I nail a tough workout, I let that “I am a badass” feeling continue through the rest of my day.
  • I get a little FOMO. This doesn’t happen so much now that I’m in Denver and HAVE NO FRIENDS. But back in Boston, training took up a lot of my time, which meant less time sitting on a couch and drinking wine with my favorite people. It wasn’t always the best feeling.
  • I have a slightly more positive demeanor. Ok guys, I said slightly. It might not be noticeable to you, but it’s noticeable to me!

Overall, I think I’m a much better person while I’m training for a marathon. I think those close to me would have to agree. Even though I tend to fall asleep sitting up, threaten lives while hangry, and go to bed offensively early…I am a more pleasant human.

Now, for a few pictures totally and completely unrelated to running.

S made the the BEST beef stew ever on Monday night. Again, I’m so thankful I’m with a guy who not only likes cooking, but is also so good at it.

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Even Riley graveled to have some. Or he just wanted to dance. Either way, this was a hilariously awkward moment on his part. (Picture blurry due to photographer giggling maniacally).

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Then he proceeded to act out and dump every single toy he owns on the floor. Next up on the training schedule: teaching him how to put it all back.

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Oh my goodness, let’s just hope this is true.

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Hopefully by Friday, I’ll be posting from my Italian chateau while I’m rolling around in my gold like Scrooge McDuck. Dream big, guys.

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EUGENE TRAINING WEEKLY RECAP #2

Second week of marathon training is done! While I completed most of my goals, I have to say my legs felt like garbage this week. I guess I had forgotten the aches and pains that accompany marathon training, because man-oh-man, was I sore and it definitely shows in my paces.

Monday: Easy run, in pace only. While it was a glorious 50 degrees out Monday morning, the sidewalks were absolutely treacherous. I was in shorts and a t-shirt, which made it feel super great when I fell not once, but twice. 5 miles, 9:40 pace, and one bruised bum.

Tuesday: 4 mile tempo run. I was smart this time and brought it inside to the treadmill. As you may remember I set a goal for a 7:45 pace and I ended up pretty close. 1 mile w/u, 4 miles at 7:47 pace, and 1 mile c/d. Total of 6 miles and an 8:13 average pace.

Wednesday: Good grief did I wake up SORE. I postponed my run until the evening and even then it was a struggle. 6.07 miles at 8:37 average pace.

Thursday: Nope, not feeling any better. So I made sure to keep it super slow and take Riley with me for the first 3 miles. He was thrilled. 6 miles at 9:30 average pace.

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Friday: I moved my long run up a day because I decided to attend a career workshop over the weekend and I knew there was no way I was getting my long run in (or any run as it turns out) on Saturday. It was a rough start but ended up feeling ok by the end. 10 miles at a 8:39 average pace.

Saturday: Rest. I had an alarm set for 6am but there was no chance that was happening.

Sunday: Not the rest day I was shooting for, but an easy 5 miles at a 8:46 average pace.

Total miles: 38.09

Notice a trend? My comfortable pace is laying between 8:35s and 8:45s right now. I’m hoping to take a good 20 seconds off that in the coming months.

Some other weirdly exciting news, I retired a pair of shoes today! It always makes me feel crazy accomplished when I hit my mileage on a pair of shoes. Granted, I set the mileage far lower on my Nike LunarGlides (around 350) just because they seem to break down much faster than other brands. So, soon I will be in the market for a new pair (God forbid I only have TWO pairs of running shoes). But the reviews on the new LunarGlides aren’t stellar, so I’m thinking about moving over to the New Balance Vazee Prisms.

So in short for last weeks goals, this is where I stand:

  • Yes, I got my tempo run done. Only 2 seconds per mile slower than I was hoping for.
  • No, I did not run with my phone every day. But I didn’t see the bald eagle anyway, just a lot of geese and their poo.
  • No, I did not get Sunday as my rest day.
  • No, not all my runs happened in the morning. But I only failed to get out of bed once (twice if you count Saturday, but let’s not) so I’m going to say I’m proud of myself.
  • YES, I DID drink less wine and coffee and more water. This is so surprising, but I actually felt much better as a result.
  • YES, I ate pretty healthy (by my standards). I realize fried rice might not fall in that category for anyone else, but it had a TON of vegetables in it so it’s fine. I also got broccoli on my pizza Thursday, so I should be looking like Shalane Flanagan any day now.

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Anyway, moving on to this week’s goals:

  • Weekly mileage should hit 40 this week
  • 5 x 400s on the track—hoping to do these outside. I’m not telling you my goal pace because I’m chicken and I honestly have NO idea how this workout will go
  • Hoping to get at least 2 runs below an 8:30 average pace
  • SERIOUSLY, MAKE SUNDAY MY REST DAY
  • Water, all the water, all the days (she types as she sips on her second cup of coffee)
  • Introduce a fueling mechanism to this week’s long run. It’s only 12 miles, but I really need to get into the habit early. I’m notoriously bad about training with GU or any fuel really and it undoubtedly affects my performance. I NEED to be better this training cycle.
  • Stretch/foam roll/torture myself every. single. day. this week. (This is definitely going to be the hardest for me).

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Happy Monday, friends!

 

 

 

 

WHATCHA THINKIN’ ABOUT?

Runners get a lot of weird questions from the non-runners in their life. But there’s one that I’ve always found especially strange (not to mention a little creepy and intrusive).

But what do you think about?” 

What on earth are you expecting me to say here? Surely not the TRUTH.

I mean, ok. Fine. I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours. You go first. What do you think about right before you’re about to fall asleep (aside from every embarrassing thing you’ve done since the day you were born)? Or in the shower? Or in the car? Or any spare moment when your brain isn’t occupied by TV/Podcasts/YouTube/Donald Trump’s Twitter account?

DO YOU FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE YET?

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Well discomfort aside, I’m going to give you creeps a tiny glimpse into my mind (whether you want it or not!) We’re close enough now, right? I’ll even be mostly honest. You’ll be able to tell, because some of this is actually quite embarrassing.

My upcoming race:

I know. This is so unbelievably dull it seems fake. But it’s true. It’s the thing I think about the most while I’m out on the road alone. I visualize myself running in the race I’ve been training for (and doing exceptionally well, I might add). It’s usually the moment before I cross the finish line, where I hear ALL my loved ones yelling and I see the clock. Right now it’s always reading 3:17, because my farfetched 2017 marathon goal is 3:15 and even in my daydreams I miss it. But not by THAT much. Daydream Annie is still very happy with her time. Sometimes she even cries tears of joy and disbelief into her post-race burrito.

Running pals:

This is where I start getting a little creepier (just wait, it gets worse). During my tempo runs or times when I’m really struggling, I imagine I’m running with my speedier friends. Hi! YOU PROBABLY KNOW WHO YOU ARE. DOES THIS MAKE YOU FEEL WEIRD?

And maybe, sometimes, when I’m really grasping for inspiration, I imagine I’m running alongside professional runners I’ve never even met. Obviously, I can always keep up with them because in my daydream I have unbelievable talent that has yet to be discovered.

Unsurprisingly I’ve also had some imaginary runs against my rivals (only I know we’re rivals), but they tend to dampen the mood and make me grumpy/psychotically competitive.

Dancing:

Now this is where I’m literally, actually, seriously blushing RIGHT THIS MOMENT, because this is a very awkward thing to admit. But, SOMETIMES, when I’m on the treadmill and a certain song comes on (anything by Pitbull, really) I’ll imagine I’m dancing. Usually at a wedding—because I’m a 29 year old woman who dances like she’s 82 and that’s the only place where I’m found busting a move these days.

Now, hear me out, because I actually think this is a really helpful distraction. See, when you’re on the dance floor (and extremely invested in the song), you don’t care how badly your legs hurt, if your heart is about to burst through your chest, or how much you’re sweating. You KEEP DANCING/KEEP RUNNING.

LIFE: 

These thoughts usually leak in on the days when I run in the afternoon or evening. That way I have a whole slew of happenings and things to overanalyze and obsess over. These thoughts include, but are not limited to: I wonder if my coworkers like me? S better empty the dishwasher by the time I get home. Is it acceptable to eat peanut butter toast for dinner again? No, I need to eat vegetables. But…No. Vegetables. What do I want to DO with my life? What are my SKILLS? Surely I have a “purpose…”  If I go this way instead will I still hit six miles? Seriously, that dishwasher better be empty by the time I get back. Oh my God he’s not going to empty the dishwasher. Should I turn back now to be super passive aggressive and just do it?

So that’s me. Hopefully I haven’t scared you off just yet, I was saving that for my 100th blog post. Til next time, friends.