Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week 1, for the 4th time

9/8: Rest
9/9: 6 miles, TM. 54+min
9/10: 5 miles, TM. 20 minutes of strength. 45+min.
9/11: 6 miles, TM. Hills for breakfast. Literally. It was 4:30am. 58+ min
9/12: Rest
9/13: 11 lonely solo miles, outside. 1hr47. 10 minutes of strength
9/14: 5.2 miles, TM. Easy recovery pace. 49+min

Total weekly miles: 33.2
Total run days: 5
Total strength sessions: 2
Total rest days: 2

I am counting this as my official first week of training.

I. Am. Tired.

I had forgotten what it was like to be a slave to training. On one hand, I think it will help take the thinking out of the training. On the other hand, T-I-R-E-D. Back to consistent pre-5 am run sessions. This week felt pretty solid, even though I had a rough 11 miler yesterday. My friend was out of town this weekend, so I was on my own for my long run. 11 miles is the longest consecutive miles I've run since the half back in May. I couldn't find the wireless headphones and didn't want to worry about wires, so I just went sans music for my long run. I started about 7am, and the sun was starting to peek over the hills. The air was crisp and glorious. I wore shorts, a s/s t-shirt and my trusty hat. I haven't had a real need to fuel during any of my runs for a couple of months, and yesterday was the first time in a long time having to strategize about when to take in my GU and chews. I had some leftover watermelon GU chomps (like candy!) and a salted watermelon GU that I had received from one of the Stride boxes. Both were delicious - 1 chomp each taken at miles 2 and 5, and then a GU taken at mile 8, mostly because I hadn't planned well in the water department and I calculated that I wouldn't be passing a water fountain until I hit the near 9 mile mark. I was careful to take tiny "sips" of the GU to last me the mile to the water, and I think it helped avoid any cramping and stomachaches.

Yesterday I really struggled with my endurance and the distance. I can't believe I used to be able to run 11 miles at a much faster pace than I did yesterday. Sometimes the thought of going any faster or making anything hurt is just daunting. The thought of getting back to where I was last year feels impossible.

Overall, it was a solid week. My runs really didn't hurt, I got the miles in and I had plenty of movie reels playing in my head during my long runs.

Post long run was spent eating lots of curly fries and scones at the fair.
Gluttonous reward for a relatively successful first week of training.


Avg Pace

Slow as ass but I got er done.

*Waaay T.M.I. but I kind of feel like we're there in our relationship.
So.. after any outside run longer than 6 miles, I definitely suffer from Runner's flu, and end up visiting the toilet about 5,6 times for the remainder of that day. It's very annoying and inefficient. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

End of the weekend, y'all

9/2: Labor Day! 
      Random Tone It Up workouts on YouTube. Including yoga, arms etc. total time: 40 minutes of burnnnn.
9/3: 6 miles outside with JB. Slow. 
      Easy not easy. 
      Cowboy strut from previous days        squats. Ow.

      (Posted earlier)

9/4: Rest
9/5: 6-7 miles, TM. Someone woke up late.
      4 Miles plus strength.
9/6: Rest
9/7: 8 Miles outside with D. 1:23-ish. Nice and easy
      Strength, arms.
9/8: 5 miles, TM. Strength, 20 minutes of arms and (fl)abs

Total weekly mileage: 23
Total run days: 4
Total rest days: 2
Total XT days: 1
Total strength days: 4

I am feeling pretty good these days. I am trying to get some easy miles on my legs before I start seriously training. I don't think I will be able to follow the stringent 14 week plan so.. I'm going to wing it this time around.

Hold me.

In the last few years it has become apparent that I am not as flexible and easy going as I once perceived myself. I am UPTIGHT, you guys.

I am having a hard time adapting when my day does not go as planned. I am one of those people who used to annoy me.


Example: On Thursday, my alarm mysteriously failed to go off and I ended up waking up at 6:30, the time I am normally settled onto the train. I basically ran around the bathroom in tiny circles trying to decide which train to take and trying to calculate how long it would take me to get ready, blah blah. The unexpected failure of my alarm ended up causing the day to go in a downward spiral of unpredictability. I barely made it through the day. Just barely. Still annoyed by that day, honestly.

Go ahead. Roll your eyes. I'll wait...

I am finding that E is exhibiting the same type of rigidity and inflexibility when it comes to school. On Sunday we went panic last minute school supply shopping, and you should have seen her when she realized that Target was out of fine tip dry erase pens. You would have thought I told her Santa Claus is not real. The OUTRAGE.

Yes, she still believes in Santa Claus. Shut up.

I ended up semi yelling/lecturing her right there in the middle of the office supply aisle. It wasn't my best moment but nevertheless, it happened and we have since moved on. We have still not found those damn markers though. And yes, she is still asking me when Target will be getting a new shipment of supplies.

Anyways, I am going to try and embrace the "on the fly" training, and channel everything I've learned from my previous training cycles. While there is always something new even the most seasoned of runners can learn, I think it is important for me to really establish a base from which I can begin/stabilize.

In a nutshell, I've been enjoying my runs/workouts and am feeling pretty damn good. I mean, not great? But good. We'll start from there.

Oh, and still not eating meat (no beef, chicken, pork). I am incorporating some seafood into my diet but it's mostly been eggs, beans, greens and I'm feeling great. I need to find a vegan or dairy free protein powder that will work with my stomach and I should probably get on that liquid iron supplement my doctor told me about. I think it's called Floradix, if anyone (EC?) is interested.

Also, made a new granola recipe from Minimalist Baker.

Um. Remind me not to make granola at home, mmkay?
Herman is much too happy for his own good.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September, again

8/25: rest
8/26: 5 miles, TM
8/27: 4 miles, TM
8/28: rest
8/29: rest
8/30: 6 miles, TM
9/1: 8 miles easy, outside with D. 1:20

Total weekly mileage: 23


9/2: Labor Day! 
Random Tone It Up workouts on YouTube. Including yoga, arms etc. total time: 40 minutes of burnnnn.

9/3: 6 miles outside with JB. Slow. 
Easy not easy. 
Cowboy strut from previous day's squats. Ow. 

The problem with infrequent blogging is that I end up forgetting everything I had intended to recap last week. I can't remember my treadmill times and I'm having issues logging on to the iFit app. The runs have been pretty average and nothing to write home about. Saturday's treadmill run was slow and steady. It was also the first time in a very long time where I could have just kept going forever. 6.0 mph will do that to you. I had to move my long run to Sunday so I just took it easy and enjoyed the hour of Orange is the New Black. This was only after I so lovingly made chocolate pancakes for the kids for Saturday breakfast, only to come to the harsh realization that they clearly consider themselves pancake connoisseurs. Tiny, demanding, complainy critics. Did you know there is a wrong way to make pancakes? Did you also know that daddy makes the best pancakes? Did you?


I guess next Saturday we're having cold cereal.


Wow. Sorry. Where was I?

Running. Yes. So last week felt pretty solid, and I saw a tiny glimpse of my old run self coming back to me. I think the difference this time is incorporating more strength training into my life. I am starting to feel more like myself these days, albeit with way more muscle. I may never be thin, flabby Linda again but I've accepted that this is the new healthier, stronger and non "Asian pancake assed" one. 

Also, I am contemplating a few different half training plans 

1) 14 weeks with heavy emphasis on high mileage
2) 11 week plan basing runs on total time run, not miles
3) random hodgepodge of plans, incorporating more xt..

The first two plans have little mention of strength training. The first one has me running 8 miles of hills on a weekday.

Ain't nobody got time for that. 

I may just play this training cycle on the fly and just mix up the weeks as I go along. It kind of kills me inside to not have a straight, "follow this" plan, but I just haven't found one that I love 100% or is completely doable with my life right now The last plan I attempted had me bursting into flames of disappointment around week 4 and I'd rather not repeat that glorious failure. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Base building and a Pace recap.. get it?

8:17: 4 miles, TM to make 25 miles for the week! That hasn't happened in a long time.

Off on our group camping adventure!

8/18: Camping
8/19: Camping
8/20: Dur. Tired. Rest
8/21: 4 miles, TM
8:22: Rest
8/23: Seattle Marathon 10K with Yon.
         1:00:55 or something
8/24: TIU HIIT, 20 min
         TIU, arms. 10 min


It's been a crazy August, and I can't believe it's almost over. This month has drained all life out of me but I've also felt pretty productive. Slightly crazed but productive.

I've been focusing on base building and heart rate training in August so I can prep for my next half. Training begins in September and I want to be physically and mentally ready to get back in it. 

I hadn't planned on signing up for any races this summer after the half in May, but when my friend asked me to run the a race with her while she was visiting family in Seattle, I couldn't turn her down! She is training for her first half marathon in October, and wanted to use this as a training race, as well as to get to her 1 hour time goal after a disappointing 10k race in July. 

Normally a race I've done before would be motivation to push myself to PR but I offered instead to run with my friend, which turned out to work out well since she couldn't find her Garmin the morning of the race. Turns out I come in handy as a human GPS watch!

We started off steady, despite having to weave past walkers (hi, we just started the race... ?) and clocked our first mile at 10:30 pace. Y was planning on starting slow and steady, with 10ish min miles and a strong finish. I did my best to make sure she didn't burn out in the beginning miles due to adrenaline and excitement. This was her first time running/chatting with someone and she said it really made the miles manageable and enjoyable. We were steady and chatty until mile 5, when we decided to just save the air for running. Our last miles were definitely the fastest, with mile 6 being sub 9 pace. I decided to let her sprint ahead the last .5 miles because I wanted her to finish strong and let her cross the finish line before me. I yelled out encouragements as we rounded the corner to finish, and she came in juuuust over the one hourmark, which was still a 6 minute PR for her! She was slightly disappointed she didn't get under an hour but overall was pleased by her performance.

The best part of any recap. Splits!
Second only to the banana/ice cream variety

Avg Pace

It was my first time pacing someone during a race, and you know what? 

It felt great.

And I had a lot of fun doing it. The entire time we were running, my motivations were, for the first time, Selfless. My role in this race was to encourage and support someone else in helping reach a goal. It wasn't about how many people I could pass, earning personal bragging rights or PR-ing. I was proud of my friend's accomplishments and her race effort! Her husband, kids and brother were at the finish line, and JB even got a badass finish line photo of her.

JB later commented how he almost missed seeing her at the finish because he assumed I would be ahead of her (maybe pacers finish first? Dunno...did I do it all wrong?!) but I told him that early on in the race, I realized that today was not about me and that I wanted to help someone else reach their goals. 

In no way am I taking any credit for her performance; instead it was a good life lesson for me :

It isn't always about me. Community is about building each other up, and the running community does that. Sometimes I feel like I can be a selfish and self involved runner. I forget how much support I've received from others to get where I am today. 


While JB was waiting for us to finish, he decided to sign us up officially for the Seattle Half Marathon in Nov. I guess training really does start in September!

Also, the day after a bunch of squats and lunges = Cowboy Strut Monday.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

So. It's August...


How'd we get here? 

Since the last time I posted (in July!!) :

I have run outside a handful of times

Started watching Orange is The New Black while on the treadmill

Watched the little one stand as a ring boy at my cousin's wedding

The big boy turned 8! 

Aaand now it's the middle of August. 


Where the time is going, I do not know. 

I've started attempting regular workouts, and I am already feeling a shift in my energy levels and mood. I am also trying this "new" meatless thing. I'm finding that I don't miss meat except for the idea of a juicy red robin burger (note: RR boca patty substituted in the bonzai burger is just NOT the same.). I've been more mindful of my protein intake and have so far been incorporating more salmon, shrimp and eggs into my diet. Carbs are back in the forms of whole grain wraps, brown rice, and English muffins but I won't turn down a bowl of delicious homemade regular pasta. Whole wheat pasta not allowed. Ever.

Now, workouts for August:

8/4: rest
8/5: 4 miles,  TM
8/6: 3 miles, TM
8/7: rest
8/8: rest
8/9: 6 miles, outside. 56+ min
8/10: rest
*TM runs: still using the heart rate monitor during the TM runs. So far so good. Will report back more findings soon.

8/9 info
Avg Pace

8/11: rest
8/12: 4 miles, TM
8:13: 5 miles, TM
8:14: 4 miles, TM 
8/15: rest
8/16: (planned) 6,7 miles
8/17: ? 

As you can see, the mileage isn't much but it is enough to start getting my head/body back in the game. Running for me has been a struggle this year. I even contemplating just giving up and calling it a wash but I know that these tough times are just like real life.

You pick yourself back up, and you keep going.

So. That is what I'm doing. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Plodding My Return

Ready for some hilarious splits?


Avg Pace

Waittaminute waitaminute!

Lucy! Lemme 'splain.

Before I begin, I need to preface this by saying that I have not really run much since the Rainier to Ruston Team Relay the first weekend of June. The rest of the month was spent whining attempting to get myself together and not be sick, but apparently June was to be the month of sick. Very few work outs, lots of sleeping, and rivers of snot. Post nasal drip, anyone?  Delightful. 

The other day, I came across this very interesting blog post about Low Heart Rate Training. I have heard and read a little about heart rate training but have never really been interested in following a plan like this. To be honest, it always seemed pretty dull, while the articles stating I'd get "Faster and Leaner" sounded much more promising. 

I know. I KNOW.

JBang has harped on me for years to wear my heart rate monitor while running, but the bonus gift of boob chafe has really not appealed to me. I mean, between the boob and usual underarm chafe, it's a wonder I don't bathe in Glide. 

Watch out, guys. Hot stuff running down the road.

Anyways, I digress. Amanda from RTTF does a really concise job of breaking down a number of different marathon training plans,with the LHR plan being one of them. While I am no nowhere near ready to train for a full marathon, I do think there is a benefit to this type of training to help improve my overall running fitness and efficiency. 

Right now, it's H-O-T HOT in Seattle, and the last thing I want to do (Or am actually capable of doing) is run fast in this heat.I decided to use the summer as my experimental period to get myself back into running shape, and figured I"d start off with trying this LHR training method. Today was Day 1, and it went pretty well. I was out the door by 7, and it was already 61 degrees but the air was still cool with a slight morning breeze. There were actually many times I was going too fast over my max heart rate, and had to force myself to walk to get it back down.

Mile 4, anyone?

Accordingly to the plan, my max heart rate is 143 (180 base minus my age), and honestly, it was really tough to stay at this rate. The only way I could stay even close to 150 was to run over 11 min/mile, which was pretty surprising to me. Even running down in the 10's had my heart rate going above the max target. The miles went quickly because I spent so much time looking at my Garmin and trying to regulate my heart rate. The first four miles felt pretty easy, and at one point I caught a reflection of myself in a store window, and I could have sworn I was just running in place. 

I had planned on 4 slow LHR miles, but when I hit 4 and I still had a mile left for home, I decided to pick it up and run fast. It was interesting/alarming to see my heart rate, which had previously stayed around 150-160, jump to 185-193 bmp in a matter of seconds.  At the end of the run, I felt pretty happy with myself and the last mile really gave me an endorphin kick. Plus the last .25 was an uphill I usually try and avoid having to run up (again. I KNOW, guys. Hills are speed work in disguise blah blah) and I motored up that beyatch like nobody's business. Felt good. Damn good.

Heart Rate
Avg HR:159 bpm
Max HR:193 bpm

I'm excited to experiment more with this plan and see if it improves my running efficiency and overall fitness level so that I'm ready for fall half marathon training. 

One more note, today was my first day outside in my Brooks Pure Flow2. They're designed with a low drop, so it forces the runner to land mid foot. The first mile my calves were definitely feeling worked, but it felt good to get my legs pumping, and my lungs burning today. 

Today felt.. really nice.  It hasn't felt good in a while and running hasn't made me feel happy in so long.

Today gave me a small glimmer of hope. 

Plodding. Plotting. Get it...? ..!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Remember the time I ran that half marathon...


Remember the time I ran a half marathon, and then was supposed to write a recap, and then never did?

So, it's been over a month since the last half, and I have had no desire or time to write about it. But I figure, before I recap what I did last weekend (Read: RELAY), it would make sense to recap races of ye old days.

Halfway through this training cycle, I got pretty sick (read: bedridden for days) and then decided that right now my life was too chaotic to follow such a strict plan. So, I made the decision to run this half, just to run. No real time goals but to finish.

So, here goes. 13.1, under-trained and without expectations.

Tacoma City (half) Marathon, May 4, 2014
Time: 2:05 (9:31 pace)

Shorts, S/L T, Arm sleeves, Compression socks

Mile 1  9:12
Perfect weather. Nice and drizzly. Amazonian lady in green tutu motoring on in front of me. Lookin fierce and swinging her arms like she means bidness

Mile 2  9:21
Amazon lady walking with some 'tude. Also, her tutu is in my way.
Getting warm, roll my arm sleeves down to my forearms

Mile 3  9:17 
Slight decline and onto the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Not as scary as I thought. Can barely tell I am running next to the edge, where a 200 ft plunge into the icy cold water awaits. Theoretically...

Oh! At end of bridge I see John with his giant bazooka camera! Personal photographer, Yay! Rip off arm sleeves and throw into his lap. He doesn't notice (Foreshadowing*)

Mile 4  10:07
Uphill off the bridge onto the over pass. HATE. Quads burn. Burnnnn.

Mile 5  9:34
Run random Tacoma neighborhood. Feeling pretty sluggish. Who said this course is flat. Lies! Rolling small hills throughout. Stupid big hill at mile 4 already did me in. This is going to blow.

Mile 6  9:23
Halfway point. Pass the "Halfway House" giving out shots of PBR. Am tempted to stop. Am so thirsty!

Mile 7  9:13
Bo-ring. My music is stale, my body is tired, and these shot bloks are stuck to my teeth. Cavities, anyone?

Mile 8  8:48
Oh, wait! Downhiilllllll!!!

Mile 9  9:24
Flat. Flat, boring and windy. HEY! There's John again! WHEE.
Figure if I can pick it up to a 9 min pace for the last 3 miles, I can beat my last half time.

Mile 10 9:52
Well. Nope. That won't be happening. I can't get my legs to move any faster.
Wind out of my sails. I'm losing my motivation. My legs feel like lead and I'm so thirsty.
Also, how many overpasses do they want us to run over? C'mon!

Mile 11: 10:05
Being passed by full marathoners. This doesn't feel fantastic.

Mile 12: 10:15
Passed by a stroller. This doesn't feel fantastic.

Mile 13: 10:12
Ending as we run up an overpass.
Are. You. Shitting. Me.

Mile 14 (.01): 7:49
THE END. Round the corner after the steep overpass and see John again! Personal photog! I could get used to this. Paparazzi!

Aaaand, done. DONE DONE DONE.

Also, really this pace actually makes no difference but it makes me feel better seeing these numbers

So, there you have it. Rather uneventful, wasn't it? My biggest learning from all of this - You will run exactly how you train. If you hit those paces on your training runs, do your speed work and honor your rest days,  most likely you will be able to conjure up what you need on race day. But, if you don't push the pace and all of your runs are easy and "slow", your race day will reflect that. That being said, life happens, and sometimes we don't have control over which direction it will take us, and we just have to be prepared to go with the flow.

This race wasn't my best, but my favorite part of this race was seeing my friends at the start/end and being able to celebrate our accomplishments together. Runner friends are the best!

*Apparently he did not notice I threw the arm sleeves in his lap, so after the race we had to park near the bridge, walk down to the pedestrian walk way and look for them. We found them at the bottom of the hill, sitting in a mud puddle. Down the hill, which meant, Yes.. after running 13.1 miles, I had to trek all the way back up the hill to the car.