Sunday, April 29, 2012

Week In Review

Week in Review After 3 weeks of climbing into the 70s, I had a cutback week. No doubles, one workout, one race and no long run. It felt like I was on vacation but I am sure my body needed it. One more big week and than it is time to go on the real vacation. We leave on Friday for 7 day cruise :-) Monday 8 easy & strides Tuesday 3 W/U, 8 X 3:00 minutes @ 6:36-6:55 pace, 2 C/D Wednesday 8 easy Thursday 8 easy Friday 4 easy & strides Saturday 1.5 W/U, 5 Mile race, .5 C/D Sunday 10 easy Total Miles = 54 miles

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Heat, Humidity & Hills

Oh no the dreaded 3 H's is what was on plate for me at this AMs race.

All week I cautiously and optimticsally checked the weather for this race. Mid-week I starting noticing that Columbia was about 10 degrees warmer than Charlotte and it looked like it was going to be a warm weekend in the Carolinas. I decided I would not focus on this element. It was going to be what it was going to be and no amount of fretting is going to change the weather.

When I jumped into the car for my 1 hour & 20 minute drive south, my car temp read a nice 61 degrees. Okay not bad..than as I drove south that temp steady increased 61, 62, 68 and when I pulled into the lot it was 70. Not too mention the fact the as I approached Columbia fog-like humidity cloud blanketed the highway. I resisted the urge to check weather on my phone for the humidity % and dew point reading as knowing the exact number was only going hurt my mental attitude. Can not control the weather..just have to do my best in the conditions. Tried like hell to shut out all those negative thoughts when I sweating profusely and wheezing during my warm-up.

Go to the start-line and watched a group of 5-6 elite runners doing there final strides. Lots of fast ladies there competing for $500 cash prize for top runner. Among these women was my Charlotte favorite gal, Caitlan looking to take first place for the second year in a role. We exchange quick well wishes where she gave me heads on mile 3 which she said was all up hill and a tip on getting me some chocolate covered strawberries at the finish.

And we are off..tons of gals jet out a head of me hitting 6:30s..I quickly pulled back not to carried away. Hitting the first mile at 7:10 and relaxing. Phewy..not bad I am still breathing and feel comfortable. Than somewhere after mile 2 I start to feel a slight decline/downhill so I let my legs go a bit hitting mile 2 @ 6:53 than BAMB starts that fricking climb that Caitlin had said something to me about. Mile 3 all up hill...Love - NOT!! I climb that up hill catching all those gals who went out too fast in the first mile. I guess mile 3 was a surprise to them too. I hit mile 3 @ 7:30 only to have to keep climbing for another .20 and finally crest this mofo and try to recover but there are a few rollers in mile 4 so I manage a 7:20 and feel like I am recovering a bit and just opening it up a bit in the last mile finishing last mile @6:58 and the final .15 in a smashing 5:14 pace. Yeah! My kick was in tack. Too bad I didn't have anyone to pass in that final stretch.

Final time was 36:37 which was good for #17 overall. Too bad it was not fast enough for an age group place and there were some smokin fast 35-39ers.

5.15 miles @ 36:37 - average 7:06 pace

What I took from this race! DO NOT focus on things you can not control..Let go and let GOD take care of the details. Just run your race and keep your chin up!!!

I did check weather after I finished - 70 degrees, 88 % humidity and dew point of 67. Now that is finishing full of awesome.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Weekend Race

After a brief chat yesterday with Jeff about maybe not racing weekend, he insisted that I race. How did I already know that would be his response? I knew it but I needed to express my concern. Jeff was adamant that I need to race for the reason of checking my fitness as we have no guide at this point of where I am at and contiune to develop my racing skills. All my workouts in the last couple weeks have been spot on or better than expected but there is there question of where I am at? Above both of these objectives, my goal is to be present on race day and during the race. Be in the moment! This is a practice that I should have as a goal for every moment of every day. Be in the moment! Enjoy the moment! Not in the past or the future but the NOW.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Oh SH**!

WOW - I just had to post this cause I am amazed. In the last 4 weeks, I have run 281 miles which is 70.25 average. I am suppose to race a 5 mile race this weekend. I haven't truly raced a shorter distance race in 8 months maybe 9 months. So I am apprensive and nervous to race. Part of me wants to cancel the race and just keep training. I am sure if I told my Coach Jeff this - he will find a way to still have me doing the race. He really never lets me off the hook on anything. I tell him Gosh, Jeff - 85 miles a week freaks me out and his response is something like "don't worry about it, your body will have adapted so well, it won't know the tormet we'll be putting it through". HA!! Goal for week get positive about the race this weekend! Btw - they changed the blogging/posting function and I can't figure out the new formatting and editing function so bare with me.

NYC Weekend & Week in Review

As posted a week back I was so blessed with the opportunity to go to NYC for an AIF Workshop with the Whartons. AIF is Active Isolated Flexibiltiy which is used to keep muscles healthy and in balance with one and another. In many caes, it should replace all static stretching and can replace other forms of therapy such as ART, GRASTON and toehr forms of myofascial release. I learned so much this weekend that I am excited to use for my own body as well help others. I will be practicing on my husband. I had already let him know that I would be working on him tonight. I enjoyed both the workshop and my time in NYC. It was more than I could ever dreamed it would be like and relaly enjoyed every minute of it. Running wise I was so proud of myself to getting all my miles in and not letting the city distract me. I think I found a perfect compromise of doing my warm-up and cool-downs on the streets so I could take pictures and than hitting the park for the faster stuff. OMG! Central Park is amazing with trails going in every direction, or you could run the road, or take one of the soft trails or run the soft path around the resorvir, so many options and endless miles in fact I logged 38 miles this weekend. There is that saying that don't be sad it's over but happy it happened. That is how I feel but I am not only happy it happened - I beyond grateful for this once in a lifetime trip!! Week in Review Monday - 3 w/u, 5 X 1 mile @6:53 with 4 minutes Rest 2 c/d Tuesday - (AM)6 Recovery (PM) 4 Recovery Wednesday - 10 Easy Thursday - 3 w/u, 16 X 400 w/60 Second rest @ 6:00-6:20 pace 2 c/d Friday - (AM) 8 Easy (PM) 4 Easy Saturday - 10 Easy Sunday - 16 miles with 6 - 90 second surges @ 7:00-7:10 pace every mile starting at mile 5 Total - 77 Miles

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Doubling Up

This week is my second week doing doubles and have 2 scheduled for the week.

I really enjoy running that second time of the day but I am learning a few things about doubles.

First thing, depending on when your second run of the days, you have to becareful what you eat during the day and make sure you have a good 4-5 hours of full digestion time or lunch may become dinner. I learn this for second time yesterday. I had lunch @ 2PM which was left over steak & noodles from the night before. Didn't think anything of it until a few minutes into my second run @ 6PM. Than I was like wow lunch didn't digest as well as I thought it had :-) Note to self - Eat lighter and more easily digestable meals on the day of doubles.

Second thing to note, the day after my double, I am have felt more fatigued and lack a bit of get up and go. I know from last week that this will pass this evening.

So glad today is another easy day and I should be 100% for tomorrows workout.

Monday, April 16, 2012

4 days to my NYC Trip

WOW!! I can't believe I leave for NYC on Friday. This will be my first trip to the city. Honestly I have never had the desire to go to NYC up until this event was announced and all of sudden I am so intrigued by the city.

As many of you know, I will be going for an AIS/AIF Workshop Certification course presented by the Whartons. This is very exciting and an amazing opportunity for me. I know this therapy modality has been key in keeping athletes like Ryan Hall, Josh Cox and many more elite & collegiate athletes healthy. I have two objectives for the weekend - 1. learning the therapy to keep my own body healthy and firing on all cylinders 2. one day being able to help other runners keep their bodies in alignment and without restrictions.

I also get to spend lots of time running in Central Park. I have lots of miles on my training schedule for this weekend so I get to have many adventures through Central Park this weekend.

Oh did I say I was going alone?? Yep, All alone in NYC. It is terrfiying and exciting at the same time.

Yippee! I am going to be running in Central Park. Woo Hoo!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Week in Review - Its coming along

Woo hoo!! I feel like a million bucks this week. Worlds different than last week. True to Coach Jeffs words - I adapted quickly to the mileage increase.

Monday - 8 easy
Tuesday - (AM) 8 easy & strides (PM) 4 easy
Wednesday - 10 easy
Thursday - 3 w/u, 10X1000 average 6:58-7:08 pace, 2 c/d
Friday - 7 Recovery & Strides
Saturday - 14 easy
Sunday - 8 easy
Miles = 70 miles

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Speed Bumps

During my 10 mile easy run yesterday, I had big mental breakthrough as I was considering my path over the past 2-3 months. In a way I feel like I let myself sort be a whiner. As much as I had gratitude for being back to running health and to be training again. I was still internalizing the lack of progress which was only in my head. I realized what was causing this stopping point in my head. I felt some sadness that I was not able to use my post-marathon fitness to get a nice shiny half marathon PR from all those marathon miles. Some marathoners are able to capitalize on their marathon training and run a pretty decent PR within a few weeks post marathon. I think I allowed myself to become frustrated by not being able to use my fitness in the half.

Once I realized what was causing this issue, I got to work in my head resolving this internal conflict. I am a firm bleiever that everything good or bad happens for a reason which will promote you to further to your dream but you have to see it first, understand and allow it to work for you.

I know can see that this was a speed bump put in my path not to deter me, stop me or get in my way but to utlimately set me up for a bigger success down the road. I know on a logical level the fitness has not gone away but is being banked along with every deposit I make everyday.

Another thing that occurred to while running yesterday that is I will often remind myself when something frustrates me is I will say to myself - "your dream is on it ways" which will make me relax. Well I realized that my dream is not on its ways, it is happening here and now in every moment of everyday. The climb is part of the dream. I have been given the dream in my heart, the tools, the opportunity and support to see it though so the dream is here and now.

Today I celebrate my speed bumps because they are just as important as the straight path to success.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Its Not Easy But its Worth it

So I love running but it is not always easy to push myself out there to pound the pavement. I go through cycles as I think all runners do where it is more work than fun. Last week was one of those weeks were I was really just working my a** off and not always having fun. I hit a low point over the weekend when fatigue hit hard and left me wondering "is it worth it"?

After some much needed sleep this weekend and getting the kids out the door for school this week, I feel a renewed sense of purpose and commitment to my dream. I got a great pep talk from my coach that helped eased my mind that I am suppose to be this tired, that my body will adjust in the next week or so and all these miles will be worth it.

It is cliche and I know it on many levels but is hard to remember when you are tired and are deeply longing for a sign of your progress. I have to remember HARD WORK always PAYS OFF..maybe not today, tomorrow, for weeks but I know eventually I will reap what I sow. FAITH!!!

Time to get back to work and get after those miles...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Week in Review

So I survived this week but it wasn't all me. The big reason I was able to get the miles in and handle the full-time care of my kids over spring break was Nick. He saved my ass this week big time. He left a bit late for work on Tuesday so I could get the monster workout done and he came home from work ready and willing take over when I was tired. He took Thursday and Friday off so we could go out of town and have some good family time which took the burden of caring for the kids alone off my shoulder. Ah..I am very thankful for my husband this week and that he believes in me enough to sacrifice and move mountains so that I can pursue my dream.


Monday 6 easy
Tuesday 14 miles (Hill Repeats & Tempo)
Wednesday 6 Recovery
Thursday 10 easy
Friday 8 easy
Saturday 17 Miles (half)
Sunday 8 Recovery
Total Miles = 69 Miles (just shy of 70 due to cutting one mile off Mondays run running late and had to get home)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Oh So Tired....

The combination of Spring Break and my biggest training since before the marathon has me a bit tired and depleted. Blah! Waking up extra early to get all miles in and than managing the kids and activities has been tough stuff. I am proud of myself though because I only lost my shit one time :-) Luckily Nick had arrived home so he could quickly swoop in to do damage control. hehe So on Tuesday afternoon after my killer Hill workout (14 miles in volume), I had taken kids to lunch and to see the Lorax. Such a cute movie that inspired us to paint "Truffula Trees". So I set up our easels and paints on the back deck (newly repainted). The kids have their paints and I mine. Joey talks me into using a few my acrylic paints. I am way too tired at this point to put up a good argument against the idea. We dreamily paint while listening to Train on a warm afternoon. It was all very nice - UNTIL - I realize my sweetie is being very messy with the paints. I look at her side of the easel and see my acrylic paints all over the deck, Joey's entire body and feet where she drags the paint into the house. This is where I lost my shit :-) All was well within a few minutes as Nick quickly scooped Joey into the house and into the tub so I could clean up her mess. Ah! Acrylics don't come out of the deck - c'est la vie :-)

15 days in a row of running with no break in sight for at least 4 weeks. AH! I am climbing to 70 miles this week and will stay in the 70s for 3 weeks before I have a cutback week. And I am not even training for a marathon :-) hehe I know it is what I need doing to be very strong next Fall when I go into my next marathon cycle.

I am praying for divine intervention to keep me strong during this time period. I think once school resumes next week and we all set back into a routine, I will get back into a steady rhythm of run, recover, take care of kids/house, sleep & repeat. I need to keep that steady hum for 8 weeks and I should have a nice shiny half PR to show for in June.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hitting those Hills Hard

I was not at all looking forward this workout! It was sitting on my schedule and I had sort of been dreading it for the past 4 days. Sometimes Jeff gives me these montser workouts that have me knotted up for days before. There have been only a few workouts like this over the past year but when you conquer them"ah, its an amazing feeling".

Today was the Monster of all workouts! IMO - I willingly take anything over Hill Repeats and umh - 3 Miles of them @ 5K pace. WTF!!! Oh and than have nice relaxing 4 mile tempo immediately after the completion of the hill repeats. Yeah Baby!!

Here is the workout -
3 Mile W/U, 12 X 90 second Hill Repeats jog down to recover, 4 Mile Tempo, 2 C/D

First couple repeats were a bit slow due legs just not ready for that effort bright & early this AM.

Hill Repeats

6:54, 6:49, 6:32, 6:36, 6:50, 6:32, 6:41, 6:45, 6:39, 6:35, 6:43, 6:40

4 Mile Tempo

7:46, 7:43, 7:42, 7:40 @ 7:43 average

This is a workout you just have to gut out. By no means is this fun stuff especially having to run the tempo portion on a hilly course after running 3 miles of Hill Repeats. I think my lungs and legs would have been much happier hitting a flat stretch for the tempo. Oh well what doesn't kill you makes you stronger right!!

I am happy to be done and know it is a good sign that my legs never fatigued in the entire workout. Now when I can get the lungs back 100% from asthma/allergies season - holy moly only amazing things can happen from here on out.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Gift of Being Coached

I have been meaning to write about this subject for awhile now. It has been on my heart for so long. I think that anyone that has been coached or is being coached can understand the value of this gift.

It has been a year since I contacted my coach, Jeff. I was at the point in my running when things were not clicking for me and I was under performing in my races. I was beyond frustrated and disappointed. I had actually considered the idea of getting a coach for the previous 3 months before I spoke with Jeff. I had spoke with 2 other local coaches and I just didn't feel like either would fit with me. I remember my first conservation with Jeff, he was very confident in getting me back on track. It wasn't only Jeff's confidence that compelled me to hand over my running ambitions to his care. It was his kindness and this feeling that I got from speaking with him that everything was going to be okay. It was a huge step for me emotionally to hand over the reigns of control to some else as I had been self-coached for 3 years. To trust some else to guide me to my dreams was a BIG leap of faith.

Immediately after starting with Jeff, I sensed something different about myself and my training. I started to really enjoy training like never before. It was so new and exciting. His paces that he was having me hit were so much more aggressive than I ever believed were possible and he had me doing more "workouts" in a week than I had ever done before on my own. Within weeks, I was feeling very strong. The training at first was not translating to faster race times just yet. In retrospect, I can tell that it was me limiting myself at this time. I was not fully trusting Jeff just yet. Additionally I still had lots of doubts and fears that I needed to conquer before my training would translate into improvements in races. It is really amazing how patient Jeff was with me in the early months of working together. I really was scattered. It really took me about 6 months of working with Jeff to 100% trust him and let him fully take over. Yes even though I knew logically how educated & experienced he was, I did doubted him at times. I had too much of my own experience and education I needed to let go before I could 100% let Jeff guide the entire training process. I remember about a month after working with Jeff, I had this grand idea that I was going to race a marathon. I had just run one 4 weeks before which did not go well due to tummy problems and I wanted to use this fitness for another effort. I was sure I had the fitness to do so and was gung-ho to go after it. I spoke with Jeff about it and he was adamantly against the idea. Straight up - NO WAY and no discussions!!! I remember having this feeling that "he didn't really know me and I could make it work". OMG - how embarrassing 1 year later to think I about how I was going to show him. Yikes! So glad in the ended I trusted him and let go of my own ego in the process.

My first marathon effort while being coached by Jeff did not go so well. Another mediocre race and tummy troubles were still plaguing me. I had worked so hard to train for this marathon and felt like I had disappointed my family, my coach and most of all myself. I remembering crying most of the day after the marathon. It was mostly that I just felt lost. After the emotions faded, I begin to see where I went wrong. I hadn't trusted Jeff to the degree I needed to and went into the marathon doubting everything. I remember just a week before the race I was pounding out my last 10 mile run before the marathon, when I came across an experienced runner on the trail. She was like "why are you running this much the week before your marathon?". I told her it was what my coached had scheduled and she was floored and said something like ugh - I hope you don't go into that marathon exhausted. Due to me not 100% trusting Jeff, I let this doubt and fear in and her opinion influence how I felt about my training.

I can now laugh at that cause after working with Jeff for a year I can not believe I have ever doubted him.

After this marathon, I knew I needed something to change. It was not the physical stuff I needed to change at all as with the exception of a couple workouts I have always been able to perform the physical work. I needed to change my beliefs about myself and trust Jeff. I can honestly say this relationship of athlete/coach when I finally let go of the control has been amazing. I no longer analyze schedules and wonder why this, why that, why this pace and not this pace or this workout. I am sure this frustrated Jeff to no end but he never let on. He patiently answered every question and objection that came his way.

Now I do the work, trust Jeff and have complete confidence that I will get to where I need to be when I need to be there!!! WOW!! I have grown so much as a runner & person in the past year and do not think it would have been possible without Jeff's patience, guidance and kindness.

And to think all I dreamed of was a 3:45 BQ time when I first started this journey. I have gotton that and so much more than I first imagined was possible.

Being Coached is such a gift!!!

And 2 for 1 Blog Post - Week in Review

Monday - 8 Easy & Strides
Tuesday - 3 W/U, 3 Miles @ 7:40 average, 8X 2:00 Minutes (6:55,6:26, 6:45, 6:38, 6:38, 6:45, 6:50, 6:36) 2 C/D Total 10 miles
Wednesday - 4 Recovery
Thursday - 8 Easy & Strides
Friday - 3 W/U, 6 Mile Tempo @ 7:35 average, 2 C/D
Saturday - 8 Easy
Sunday - 16 Easy
Total - 65 Miles