Monday, July 25, 2016

Week 9. Not the best week I've ever had.

Week 9

7/18: Rest
7/19: 3 miles, TM
7/20: 5 miles. TM 
7/21: off
7/22: off 
7/23: 14 miles, outside. w Mac. 10:06 pace
7/24: 6 miles, 8:57 pace. 1 CD mile. Solo outdoors. Weights.

Totals:

Miles- 29
Strength- 1
Rest- 3. Whoopsies

This week.

It suuuuuuuuucked.

I am pretty sure my body spent all week attempting to recover from Ragnar. It wasn't so much the miles I had put my body through as the lack of sleep. I felt like every night/ morning my body was fighting to earn back the sleep lost over the weekend but I was not refilling the bank fast enough. The two pathetic treadmill runs resulted in a whopping weekday mileage total of...8. I had an extra day of rest this week, which meant only 4 days to train. I was tired, bloated, lethargic and grumps. I was feeling pretty low about such a crappy week but then reminded myself that id rather have this week now, then closer to race day or, God forbid during the actual marathon. 

So. Moving on.

Looking back, Saturday's 14 miler wasn't too bad, although around mile 8 I may have felt differently. Running w Mac is always so nice and easy breezy and the miles fly by, so that is the major bonus. But the miles are still hard.

And 14 miles is still 14 miles. 

Federal Way is Hilllly! We came across a monster hill and we both decided to stop our watches and just walk. I think attempting to run it would have been pretty defeating, although getting started back up at the top was not easy either. My body had gone into temporary sleep mode so my legs were stiff for a qtr mile afterwards. Luckily, once we had a couple of miles left I think we both pepped up a bit which made the last 1.5 miles less painful. 

A little.

Eyes on the prize. 

Post run, We treated ourselves to some hard earned Starbucks. I hope the Starbucks employees and customers didn't mind us ordering our drinks with salt 'staches and sweat stains. 


Sunday's run was supposed to be a recovery run but apparently I'm too stubborn and a little stupid to listen to good advice, because I decided to try and run a little faster than I should have. My first mile should have been an indicator of how i was feeling but my stubbornness got the better of me. 



I gutted through 6 miles (full confess: I stopped more than a few times) and then slogged an extra mile to say I threw in a recovery mile. I know I know, doing it wrong. 

New shorts. $6. Not the most flattering but very comfy.   

Hammer time


Hot weather means a tank top. Which means chubby arms exposed. Which means arm chub chafe like a boss



Trying to be cool like a real blogger and then realizing... Uh no it's not.



Friday, July 22, 2016

8. Not your normal training week.

Week 8

Monday: 4 miles, TM 
Tuesday: 6.5 miles, hills
Wednesday: 3 miles, TM
Thursday: strength/circuits

Ragnar!
Friday: 6.6 miles. 
Saturday: 2.2, 2, 4, 7 miles
Sunday: rest

Total miles: 35ish?

This was not a normal week for, because it was finally Ragnar weekend! As you can see, I didn't actually have one long run on Saturday but ran 4 times for a total of 22 miles in less than 24 hours. 

Pretty cool.

Pretty crazy. 

My first run was pretty fast for me, and the first mile being downhill definitely helped but I had a couple of rough middle miles that slowed my pace slightly but I was overall pretty happy with the run.

My second leg was supposed to be just 2.2 miles in the pitch black dark but we were all a little nervous about running alone in an unfamiliar place in the dark of night, so A and I doubled up our short legs (2.2 and 2) and ran together, which was so nice. The second two miles were basically all up hill but it helped that we couldn't quite see the magnitude of the incline in the dark. I also spotted what I thought was a deer statue in someone's yard. It was an actual deer, guys. 

After the night run, my last scheduled run was to happen early morning on Saturday but during C's last run, it was pretty dark and spooky so we ran 4 of her 9 miles together and I felt pretty solid! My legs were still working well at this point

Cue foreshadowing <here>

After our second legs, it was time for team 1 to tackle their last runs. We figured we had a small chunk of time in which to rest and regroup at the next exchange but, did I mention that team 1 was super ridiculously fast? Yup. 

So. Not even two hours went by before we had to pry our eyelids open from our gym floor slumber, and get ready to run once again. At this point, my legs had had enough time to realize what I'd done to them the previous day, and so I woke up feeling quite tired and heavy. We barely had time to scarf down whatever we could find in the car and then we were off once again.

We cheered N and J through their last tough legs and then it was my turn for 7 more miles. The minute I took my first step I knew it would be a rough run. I had planned to listen to a podcast on my phone but I had some technical difficulties which resulted in my running the first couple of miles to the sound of my labored breathing. I finally was able to meet up with the team, and yelled at to John to grab my little shuffle from the car.

I would like to briefly mention that this year J and I barely argued, and had one tense moment when maybe I hadn't listened to him and failed to load a tracking app that ended up being pretty useful. But we worked through it, and I no one spewed venom.  It was almost like we're grown ups or something. #adulting

Anyways.

After the music/shuffle debaucle and a re-set from my teammates..... it was still a struggle. My legs were stumps attached to bricks. My mile splits swung wildly, from 9:20-10:30. I was passed by a few obviously speedy ladies (seriously where did they even come from) but at this point I did not care. I even cheered them on; especially the friendly and badass ultra runner who left me in the dust.

Despite the struggle, I perked up at the One Mile To Go sign; and was able to pick it up enough to sprint downhill to the end. That mile was my best, obvs.

At the finish of my leg, I was greeted by my awesome teammates, with water and hugs. JL, who had finished her leg before mine, gave me a huge hug while polishing off her well deserved hot dog and chips. I will now have Ragnar nostalgia when I smell a hot dog burp. 

It's now Thursday post Ragnar, and I'm still feeling the affects of basically not sleeping for 24 hours. It's been an eternally long week, and my runs have suffered, and I've even skipped my hill workout. My total mileage for this week so far is 8 (WOMP) but I'm trying not to fret. I've got 14 scheduled tomorrow with Mac, so I'll focus on getting as much rest and good fuel that I can. 

I know this mini recap doesn't do Ragnar any justice, but trust me, if you ever have an opportunity to do this, say yes. Do it. 

***

Watching Not Watching the safety video


Night Vest, check!


Van 2 all ready to go


I looked this good most of the weekend. #notgood #scary #runbun


Post race beer and pizza. Yaaaaassss

Beast Runners 2016


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Ok, so I'm pretty sure it's now week 7?


Week 7- cut back week

Monday: active rest
Tuesday: 4 miles, TM
Wednesday: 6 easy outside. 8:54 pace
Thursday: 4 miles, TM 
Friday: off
Saturday: 12 with Mac. 10:11 pace
Sunday: Strength 

Totals:

Miles: 26
Strength: 1.5
Rest: 2

Decided this week would be a cut back week, mostly because I was getting pretty physically drained. I know it's a combination of things, not just running related but I think it's important to let myself rest, and to give myself a break. 

My weekday runs were ok, but the highlight was an outside solo run at 5am in Wednesday morning. I was nervous running so early by myself but it was sufficiently light out when I started and was pleasantly surprised to see so many other people out and about, you know... as potential witnesses? I don't know. 


Anyways. The runs were pretty easy this week, and I had a great 12 miler with my buddy who is also training hard for the PDX marathon. We are both equally and sufficiently scared shitless of this marathon, which means we are totally doing it right. 

Light on the pics this week.

Apparently on Wednesdays  we also dress like clowns 



Good pace for a random Wednesday 

Trying to keep diligent on taking my supplements. 

Salmon oil from Trader Joes. 
To note- not the burp less kind #deathbyfishburp




Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Seriously... What week is this?

Week 6...7? ..6?

It's too early to lose track of the weeks, and yet...

Monday- Active rest (walk, stairs at work)
Tuesday- 7.5 miles, hill intervals w/ easy WU/CD
Wednesday - 6 easy w Dani 
Thursday - 4 TM, 1 mile strides
Friday - rest
Saturday - 10 mi, 9:20 pace. 1 cool down
Sunday - 6 miles, 9:15 pace, w/ 1.5 mi CD

TOTALS

Miles: 36
Run days: 5
Rest: 2
Strength: 0

I don't know what I'm doing.

No clue.

Technically I am marathon training but it kind of doesn't feel like marathon training? Actually no. I'm not sure I even know what it should feel like but I do know it's about to get real real.  

So far the miles run have been... mediocre at best. I'm not sure what to expect  with each run, since I'm not quite sure what a realistic marathon pace should be. I've only ever trained for half marathons and so my current time is not only kind of arbitrary but a little irrelevant. 

No wait, untrue. I can use my time to calculate/predict marathon pace but I'm not even sure what to use, since my last half in November wasn't quite at full race effort, and I never did run the May half that I had been training for. 

I don't know.

See, no idea what I'm doing over here. 

I feel like I've spent the last 6 weeks building up my ham hocks for the increase in miles but also to increase in speed. However, I know that this being my first marathon, I need to focus on getting the miles on my feet and building endurance. It's not necessarily about a specific pace or going fast. Intrinsically I know this. I KNOW. But  I will be completely honest, it's a hard pill to swallow. Of course I want to run my best but the weirdly stubborn competitive side of me wants to run "fast". But we all know the first marathon really isn't about that. I'm not going to be winning any awards or breaking speed barriers anytime soon. As my wise friend Ecac keeps reminding me, training for your first is about building time on your feet as you increase the long run mileage in order to finish.

Frankly, I'm a little scared.

Ok fine, I'm freaking the eff out about the thought of running for 3, 4+ hours not once, not twice, but three times! Two will be training runs and then, you now, the actual race. S'tired just thinking about it. 

I guess that's why I continue to wake up early and push myself to keep going. It's a battle of mind as well as body, both of which are currently not playing very nice. I forced myself to rest yesterday, even though a weekday off is always such a tempting opportunity for me to fit in an outdoor run. I literally had to force myself to not run and just embrace a rest day. I will not lie, it was painful to think of the miles I could have run yesterday but this morning I woke up for my run and felt nice and.. Wait for it... Rested. I mean, of course I was tired and the first two miles took ages... No, centuries, to finish but I did it. Lately post run my knee has been bothering me but today it feels ok, not sore or tender like it had been. Remind me that in order to rebuilt I have to rest. Imma need people to beat that into me.

Ok: so this is a longer post than normal but I must share my neurosis.

Tuesday's run was a garmin programmed hill workout. 2 mi WU. 8x45 sec up, 1 min cd. 1 mi cd. At the end of the workout my watch calculated 4.49 miles. I reset my watch and decided I'd run 1.51 to each 6 total miles. However, when my watch reached 1.51, it bothered me that the mileage was not an even number. You see, I always need to stop at an even mileage. It must be "blank point zero".

I cannot be the only one, right? Right?

Hello..? Bueller....

So. I decided to run .49 to even out my watch number to 2 miles but then that meant my total mileage was 6.49, which... was again not an even number. I decided to run another .51 to get to get to 7. 

But. 

Then that meant my watch would read 2.51.... So. Yes, I ran .49 until it hit 3. At this point, my second run mileage was an even 3 but the run total was 7.49.... So yes, I ran in a circle in front of my house for .01 to reach at least 7.5. I was tempted to go to 8 but I had juuuust even control to squelch the insanity.

Kind of.

Is anyone even still reading this crazy? I mean, I can't even....

As for Sundays 7.5, I mean... I don't even know...

Ok crappy pictures!

On Sundays we dress like clowns.


How I feel every morning when my alarm initially goes off 



My current fave meme (oldie but goody)



Contemplating this groovy jacket. 

Also, please note all 3 children crammed into the dressing room at Zara, while J got to try on his clothes in private. Fun times. Children bribed w individual bags of candy- works every time... Until they spill it all over the floor.




Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Only week 6 and I'm running out of post titles.

6/19: Strength
6/20: 6 early miles with D
6/21: 6 pm miles. Death.
6/22: 4 miles, TM
6/23: off
6/24: 10 miles, easy hard. 15 min strength
6/25: 6 miles easy, with D. 15 min strength 

Totals:

Strength: 3 mini sessions 
Miles: 32
Full rest: 1

Third 30 mile week in this training. Like I said before, I was totally winging the first few weeks. This week will start week 2 of the official training plan that I'm using but I must confess:

I already tweaked the first week. The mileage for week "one" felt too low for my comfort. Knowing my body, I know run exactly how I train, so if I don't get my body/legs/mind used to the mileage, I have a feeling I will suffer come race day. Although, I'm probably going to suffer regardless. Eep.

So far, 30ish miles seems to be feeling ok, although I'm still keeping Sunday as the optional and mileage flexible easy day. 

I need to be real witchu doh- I notice I only post the pace when I feel like it's good/fast (for me) and not when it's a slogfest.

Lame.

I want to be honest in the process. Most miles are slog paced and only faster if I'm intentional or having a weirdly zen day. 

Last weeks runs were all in the 9:30-10:00 range, Previously, I hit 9 and sub 9 paces for a good majority of my runs. My pace swings wildly, and sometimes it's just (for me) slow. I'm working on being okay with that. 

Saturday's long run was not my favorite. It was quite clear after the first mile that the run would not be my best, and I decided about 15 minutes into that I would just run for the miles. I would not even consider trying to push the pace or be hard on myself for not going faster.  For the entire 10 miles, I hovered around a 9:30-40 pace and I never did get that pep that usually comes around mile 4. Since I was at an easier pace, I did force myself to run up a long climbing slope and I threw in some fartleks (and maybe some actual farts?) during the last mile. The entire run I was telling myself that it is important to not run every run as fast as you can, and that slower running is just as beneficial. It's hard to not want to post your best bad ass times to social media but I have to keep telling myself that running a marathon is not about that. It's not about anyone but me. Right? Right.

So, last week was overall a good week. If I adjust my expectations to not be totally ridiculous, I think I'm doing alright so far.


Love step counts on the long run days. This was just post run. 


Legs up on the wall post run. 
My runners tan is getting more amusing by the week. #peachcoloredshorts




Current weird obsession- TJ salt water taffy. 

I don't know...


Totally unrelated to running or, anything frankly. This was in front of the toilet at Jimmy John's. Just. Huh.... 





Monday, June 20, 2016

Week 4. 16 more to go.

6/13: Strength- KB circuit
6/14: 6 miles, am 5 w/ D. 1 TM
6:15: 4 miles, TM
6/16: 3 sad miles. TM
6/17: Rest
6/18; 10 miles easy w J - Orting Trail
          Strength, pm 
6/19: 7 miles, outside

Totals: 
Strength: 2
Rest: 1 (whoops)
Miles: 30

The week started off rough but ended on a great note. Since I've started running, I've always embraced the treadmill for most of my training but man, lately the 'mill has been sucking so hard. I really struggled in the mornings to stay on the treadmill. I admit there were more than a few times I stopped it to just stand there and contemplate if I wanted to continue. I did, of course, since I'm so damn stubborn, but the struggle was legit

Saturday was an easy 10 with J at a 9:43 pace. She's not training for anything just yet so she wasn't worried about the pace, and I decided I'd rather catch up on life with her than share gasps of breath between strides, so we kept it pretty easy. All in all it was a good run. I need to focus on building the endurance I've lost over the last couple of months. 

I'm really trying to run both Saturdays and Sundays, to get my legs used to the miles and to also use one of the days as a slower recovery, but since I ran easy on Saturday, I decided to run at a pace that felt relatively comfortable. I listened to another Running On Om podcast, and found myself easily covering 6 miles as a 9:07 pace. It's quite amazing how much motivation and focus I can find from just listening to two people gab about fitness and life and motherhood. At the end of the run, I was still about a mile from home so I reset my clock and ran one slow recovery mile back to the house. Despite the faster pace, Sundays run felt extra amazing. I think it was also in part to the gloriously perfect weather. Perfectly chilled and sunny.  I passed quite a few clusters of runners so I'm assuming a bunch of us are training for something!

During the podcast, the host asked her guest to choose one phrase or word that would define her journey this coming year (podcast was from January, btw). I can't remember exactly what she ended up choosing but it made me think, what word would I choose. A flurry of words and phrases ran through my head- 

Faith
Perseverance
Commitment 
Determination
Don't give up
Try harder
Be positive

All of the generic mantras emblazoned on shirts and mugs, right? Nothing quite fit into place, so I gave myself a few hours post run to think more about where I'd like to focus on during the summer and my long marathon training. 

Trust. 

That is what I want to focus on. I want to trust- myself, my training, the path God has laid out for me and for my family. 

Seems so simple doesn't it? But we say yes, we trust this and that and we believe, but sometimes they're just words. I need belief with conviction. The gut feeling to trust my instincts, to trust the work I'm putting into this training, to trust the abilities given to me and the responsibility and confidence to manage it all - marriage, family, kids, work, life. 

Bonus: crappy picture time!

Reason#15283 I could never be a real
blogger #selftimerpicturefailure



Imagine how much faster I would be with long skinny legs #shadowgoals

Also, lookit mah new pink Mizunos! 



Current breakfast on rotation:

Gluten free oats
Hemp seed
Toasted coconut
1/4 cut up Larabar (genius decision)
Berries
Blob of sunbutter
Cinnamon 

Boom. So goooood

A food blogger I am most definitely not. 


Ok, off to bed! Meeting D at 5am for 6 miles. I may regret this decision when my alarm blares at 4:30am. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Pardon the Detour

I mainly use this blog as a training log of sorts, but the other day I was reading through my old blog I used to keep when I stayed home with the littles, and man were times so different. Re-reading my days as a stay at home mom to 3 under 4 years old has made me nostalgic for the days when life, while it felt more difficult, was actually waaaaay less complicated than it is now. The challenges of raising kids into teen-dom and later elementary years has been quite interesting. I've also evolved as a parent, and have felt my fair share of ups and downs. J and I are both working full time outside of the house for the first time since Wesley has been born, so this transition in itself has been....a little dizzying.

Over the years, I realize nothing has quite remained constant, not even the running - You know, the initial reason I even started to write this thing in the first place. But reflecting back on my kids' younger years has left me wanting to write more and to record my thoughts in the moments they occur. Running is one facet that intersects all roads in my life - parenting, marriage, friendships, work. But without all of those factors, none of the individual aspects would quite have the same significance. Life is complex that way.

When I re-read old blog posts about my training, it's clear that art definitely does imitate life. It's not been a linear process of "Just run more and you'll get faster/better/smarter" - it's been filled with peaks and valleys, times of despair and moments of pure joy. Just like the rest of my life.

Looking back at some really good times. Sure, times were tough, support was sparse, and the days were long. And yes, there were plenty of tears, and not only from the kids. ;)


Disneyland - 2013
Don't ask Wesley what he thought about that trip.
#shouldhavelefthisassathome















Beach day 2009?





















Wesley - the cutest baby you ever did see.



Oliver - just.... no comment.



Anyhoo!


Sorry for the weird trip down memory lane. I just... I've learned so much in the last few years. We've all grown, and changed, and continue to evolve for the better. Running has made me a better person (it's complicated, ok?) even though it's brought with it its own challenges, physically and mentally. But we all continue to grow and walk together in this life with which we've been given.

I'll continue to run and write as long as I have the passion and the desire. And also, since I paid good money to run a lot of miles in October, I'll be running at least until then....

#weird #haventevenbeendrinking