Thursday, January 19, 2017

I am home, sick. Why not blog.

Sometime last year, the Blogger App on my phone stopped working. Then I noticed it wasn't available at all anymore in the App store. So, there went my convenient, "blog on the way to work "strategy. Since blogging now requires me to actually sit on front of a computer, I've been much less consistent or motivated to share much. However, since I am home sick today I figure, what the hell.
I haven't been this sick in a very long time. Yesterday I left work early, and barely made it home to crumple into a heap into my bed. I had some workouts planned for yesterday and today, but clearly they are not going to happen. As tempted as I am to try and fit one in - I'm home, after all! - I know this is a really stupid move on my part. My body needs rest. 

Listen to your body, Linda. Don't be a dummy.

However, up until yesterday I had been feeling pretty good. The last week or so had been a little frustrating on the digestion department though. I'm pretty sure I can track it back to some errant chia seeds in my overnight oats. I also haven't had oats in weeks, so I'm sure the combo of oats, chi, and some grated carrots was the perfect gut storm. 

In any case, I've been pretty uncomfortable all week, and I think my hormones are also at play here with my digestion. I had an acupuncture appointment yesterday, which I think may also have contributed to my feeling ill. She treated some new areas on my tummy and hands yesterday for my issues. I think sometimes treatments can exacerbate your symptoms before making them better? In any case, here I am - sick at home, greasy and hungry after having slept over 12 hours last night in my own sweat. Yeah, my life is full of the glamour.

**

I think I found a full marathon plan for the upcoming Rock n Roll Marathon. I need to tweak it a bit to fit in two solid days of strength, and at least one FULL rest day. My body is not a fan of high mileage, and I think I need to just be ok with that for now. While I felt strong during my last marathon cycle, I look back now and realize I was probably just a ball of inflammation. Everything always felt puffy, and I don't think I recovered well enough after my really tough runs. I have loose goals for this marathon, since it's J's first and I want him to be able to set the tone, so I'm going to just give myself a break this time around and try and take it a little easier. This may mean only 4 runs a week instead of 5, depending on how I'm feeling each week. I'll share the plan once I finalize the details.

In the meantime, I've been still doing my workouts and fitting in the miles when I can. I've been doing strength in the AM and running on the treadmill in the evenings, which right now seems much more doable than rolling out of bed before 4am to will my legs to move.

To stave off treadmill boredom, I've just been doing intervals after a very slow 1 mile warm up. Plus, I've been listening to podcasts instead of just zoning out on the tv and it somehow seems to make the miles go a little after? Just a little. 

1/9: Lower body workout. AM
1/10: Core
1/11: Upper body circuit. AM. 5 miles TM, pm.
1/12: 4 miles, TM. pm
1/13: Rest
1/14: Fit Test. HiiT
1/15: 6.33 miles, outside. Uneven number. WEIRD.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

It's a new year, so why not...

I did something a little different this week.

Well. So, I was off from work on Monday, so I went out for 8 brisk miles at a 9:05 pace. The first few miles were dicey because parts of the roads were still slick with ice, but I ended with a 8:34 final mile, which lately feels like an Olympic performance effort.

Tuesday I woke up strangely sore but managed to fit in 3 easy treadmill miles and some deadlifts/squats.

OW. My legs.

OW.

Those two days weren't very different from my norm actually. That was pretty status quo.

So, my "what I did differently" was that I decided to take the plunge and actually pay real money for a workout plan. I found this peppy gal on Instagram, and her workouts seem to always pique my interest. It probably helps that she always has a smile on her face, which I normally consider to be annoying but on her it's totally adorable and endearing. Hmm, how do people even DO that anyways?

In any case, for $15 she offers a StrongHer workout plan for the month of January that is a mix of strength, body weight, and HIIT workouts. I was worried I wouldn't be able to incorporate this training into my running but so far it seems to be working ok. The first workout was on Wednesday, and initially when I read the description it seemed pretty easy, even for the intermediate level but HOLY SWEAT BALLS. It was pretty tough.

I do think I overdid it a bit with the leg workout on Tuesday, because I've been hobbling around like a 100 yr old grandma around these here parts, and Wednesday just brought more of the pain, but in the best way.

Thursday was a 6 mile run that felt Herculean in effort, even though it was much slower than Monday. I ended with the SH core workout, and a much needed hot shower. It's been really cold here!

Today I ended the week with a "not that easy" 5 mile slow run with my friend D, and then came home and did the prescribed HIIT workout for the week. Tomorrow will most def be a rest day, and then Monday we start again with another one of the StrongHer workouts.

So far so good. I'm hoping to see some (any?) changes and increase in strength over the weeks. If anything, it'll keep me from getting bored right?

Also, I'm working on a little base/strength building before I start training for marathon #2, which is in June.

Yes, I am like Britney.

Whoops, I did it again.

***

1/2: 8 miles, 9:05 pace
1/3: 3 treadmill miles. Deadlifts and Back Squats. CRIPPLED
1/4: StrongHer bodyweight workout.
1/5: 6 miles, 9:28 pace. Core
1/6: Glorious rest
1/7: 5 easy (no) miles, HIIT workout.
1/8: Rest rest rest


Saturday, December 31, 2016

It's never the end but the journey just continues


*tap tap* 

Is this thing on?

After a summer of a lot to say, there's been winter radio silence. Once I stopped training after Portland, my mind went blank and body relaxed. I stopped even thinking about calculating weekly miles and routes, what fuel I was going to eat pre and post workouts, and I let my gear just gather dust. I don't think I've run even a 20 mile week since October. Actually, remember the times I ran 20 miles in one day? How times change. My longest run since the marathon was 8 miles with friends on the Orting trail, which eally was the best. I've been winging the rest. I took a really long "full stop" break, and barely even worked out in November, and then slowly started to ease back in for December. I'm trying to mix up cross training, weights, and running, all without letting myself stress out about numbers. If all I can fit in is 3 miles, then it's 3 miles. 20 minutes to sweat? Great. Lots of rest days? Well ok then. 

I'm really not mad about it.

I wish I could say I'm one of those runners motivated simply by the Miles but...  I need a dangling carrot to really be disciplined. 

A race, a hard goal. Something concrete. 

Otherwise, I just fit in runs whenever I can, sometimes with purpose but mostly just to clear the headspace. Although, if I am being completely honest, sometimes running serves as the source of my stress rather than relief from it. I constantly am obsessing of ways to fit in a run or workout / before work at 4am? After work while everyone is waiting for me to eat dinner? Should I attempt to run at work, during lunch, where I'll end up sweating through my clothes the rest of the day? When? Where? How? 
I know it's not supposed to be this way, but I've always struggled to find some semblance of balance in my life, whether it is my kids and family time, time for myself, time for me and J.  I imagine it won't get better but perhaps even worse, as the kids get older and busier, J gets busier with work and more work and church obligations, and me continuing to commute and survive. 

Do I hope 2017 will be different? Sure thing. I always hope to evolve and get better, no matter what the circumstance or situation. But this should be a goal for me everyday, not just once a year when the clock strikes midnight and my calendar changes once again. 

This morning I'm up way before the sun, sipping coffee, and preparing to meet JL on the trail for a nice, no reason other than for the love of the run, and for some friend time. I feel zero stress about miles or pace. I look forward to time on my feet, chatting with my friend, and perhaps even freezing my booty off, esp lately since there is more to love. #squats 

I do have goals for 2017 but I haven't quite ironed those out yet. I think it's dangerous to set goals for the sake of goal setting. 2016 was the year of the marathon with friends, as 40th birthday presents to ourselves.

Yes, I know. Runners are weird, and I'm sure people are wondering how on earth that could even be considered a gift. 

Anyways, I have goals to hit simply for the motivation and self improvement. And not just in running, but in life - as a mom, wife, friend, sister, Christian. 

So, to everyone with goals and dreams, let's go chase them! Work hard, and be thankful in the journey.

Here's to the last day of 2016. Make it count, just like every other day.

Happy New Year, everyone!

*Drops mic*

Monday, October 24, 2016

Two weeks post marathon - what now?

Week 1
10/10-10/14: Rest. Chill. Stretch
10/15: 3 sets 10. Push ups/burpees
10/16: 2 miles, planks

Week 2
10/17: Rest
10/18: 2 miles, weights circuits. 
10/19: Rest. So sore from squats.
10/20: Rest. Still sore. 
10/21: Rest
10/22: Circuits, 40 min
10/23: 5 easy with Dani. First outdoor run since the race

***

Now what. 

I'm nearly two weeks post marathon, and lovin the break. 

Like, LOVING. 

I'm sleeping almost 8 hours at night, my digestion seems to be more settled, i feel lighter, and I'm overall just less agitated at home. 

I knew it was tough the last few months but like whoa. I was a wreck this summer! 

Immediately following the marathon (like, hours following), I was already plotting my adventure. I was ready to run again! Another marathon! Let's do it! 

And then, I proceeded to not even think about running for the next five days. 

I managed a couple of slow treadmill miles the first weekend, and then incorporated some strength training. My right arm is still not fully healed so I don't quite have full range of motion but in any case, it felt good to get sweating and get my heart rate up in a different way. 

Also. Burpees. Kiiilllll me. 

So now we're at week too. J and I squeezed in a quick workout on Tuesday, which left me slightly debilitated the rest of the week. 
FYI - lots of squats during marathon recovery- just... no. #cowboystrut 
But otherwise,  It's been nice having no set plans or schedules to heed but I also know Me. I need a dangling carrot in order to keep myself myself motivated. I need goals!

In 2017 I already know we have our annual Rainier to Ruston relay, and J and I spontaneously signed up for the rock and roll full in June, which will be his first marathon, and you know, my second.  But for the near future, I have loose plans- shorter, faster runs with an emphasis on strength. I lost a lot of muscle from my arm injury, and just being too damn tired to lift weights during training. 

For now I'll enjoy the slowdown, and relax a little before my life is taken over once again. 

Wait.

Ok, confession. I can't wait to get back to it. 

I'll never understand runners... 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Week 20. My first marathon - Portland Marathon 2016 Race Recap. Not Spoiler - I DID IT.

10/3 - Rest
10/4 - Rest
10/5 - 3 miles, treadmill
10/6 - 2 miles. Nope. Rest
10/7 - 2 miles, treadmill.
10/8 - Rest
10/9 - 26.7!

Totals -
Miles: 31.7
Rest: 3

***

5 months.
20 weeks.
140 days.

It's a long time to dedicate to one specific event, and I spent the last 5 months of my life preparing for just one day. 

On a blustery and rainy Sunday morning, I ran my first ever full marathon in Portland, Oregon. Despite having run 6 half marathons, 5 team relay races, and hundreds and hundreds of miles on the streets of my the greater Seattle area, I still did not know what to expect for all the 26.2 miles. I'll do my best to recap each mile, but even though it's only been less than a week, some of the more specific memories are beginning to fade. 

So, ready? Ok

After a semi restless nights sleep, I woke up to my alarm at 4:05 am. I padded quietly out of the hotel room, and into the living room area, where I washed my face, brushed my teeth, and then popped into the hotel lobby for a couple of small cups of to-go coffee. Once back in the room, I sipped my coffee, surfed the web, and ate my sweet potato with sunbutter and granola. I barely had an appetite but I knew I needed to eat, so I choked down what I could and decided to save the banana muffin for later, about an hour before the start. 

At 5:20, John and I left the hotel to pick up Macalla on the way into the city. Our plan was to meet Heidi at one of the many Starbucks near the starting line. We arrived into the city just as streets were being closed off, so John dropped us off a couple of blocks away from the Starbucks, and we sloshed our way in the rain to meet Heidi. Once united, we hung out inside for about 25 minutes, I ate my muffin, and then we decided to slowly make our way to the corrals. I was assigned in corral E, but both M and H were in corral F, so I decided to just stay with them so we could start together! After what felt like decades, the first wave was off, and then slowly each subsequent wave was sent off. We reluctantly toss our old sweatshirts on the sidewalk, and got ready to rumble. Finally, about 7:15-ish, wave F was sent on our merry way. 

Mile 1 - 10:37
The three of us try to stay together as long as we can, but it is crowded and immediately people are walking. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND. MOVE TO THE RIGHT, for SIRENS AND BITCHES. Wait, no. That's not how the saying goes....

I notice my watch has already buzzed for the mile marker, but we're still about .35 miles away from the 1 mile race marker.

As we are chugging along nicely, Heidi mentions that she thought the course went a different way but that she must have read the map wrong.

I also notice a group of runners coming out of a side street and merging with us as we round a bend.

Hmmm...

*FORESHADOWING, PEOPLE. FORESHADOWING.


Mile 2 - 10:11
The miles are feeling easy, and it's a good warm up. Being in this corral with walkers is actually forcing me to take it easy and not go out too fast, especially since I'm being blocked in by shufflers. 
I mean, trust me - I have nothing against walking but seriously, the race just started.
i do see a girl wearing a shirt that says "Interval Runner. Please be mindful of walking", which I thought was actually a very thoughtful thing for the runners behind her.

Mile 3 - 10:21
Well. so much for that negative split. This mile is uphill. Like, already? FINE.
At this point we've lost Heidi. :(

Pop in a chew and let it dissolve in my mouth.

Mile 4 - 9:47
Downhiilllllllllll

Mile 5 - 9:44
Feeling the groove as we make our way back through the city. I think M and I both step in puddles. At this point it is raining steadily and we are already pretty wet.

Mile 6 - 10:00
Wind in face. Rain in face. Everything in da face. Slowly suck on a Gu at this point. I don't look to see what I grab. It's Tri-Berry. SIGH. Oh fine. I sip water out of my bottle, but try to take water at the stations so I can ration what I have.

We begin a long stretch of out and back in an industrial part of town.

I must be saying something to Mac?



Mile 7 - 10:03
Mac mentions she needs to use the restroom. I suggest she just pee in her pants, who would even know the difference?! We are soaked from the rain. The port-o-potties we pass all have long lines, so we continue on.

Mile 8 - 9:47
My earbuds, which have been precariously dangling around, are annoying me so I tuck them in my ears and turn on some music for background. Even though Mac and I are running together, we're not really talking much. I think we're both saving our energy for breathing.

In this mile is also where we spot some relatively free port-o-potties. Mac says she needs to stop, and tells me to keep going. We split up at this point, and as I continue on my self, I feel a wave of sadness come over me, and I find myself holding back tears. I hadn't expected to split up so early in the race, and I'm devastated that we're not going to be running together. 

Mile 9 - 9:50
At the end of the road we turn around to go back, and I scan the crowd to see if I can spot Mac. I look for her yellow shirt, but she is lost in a sea of wet bodies and flailing limbs. I continue to scan for maybe some familiar faces, and I see Heidi's bright pink shirt and huge smile. I wave and yell as we pass each other, and feel a surge of happiness at seeing her. I'm still sad about missing M, but I keep chugging along.

Pop in another chew. 

Mile 10 - 9:44
Seriously. Still so wet. I have to dodge puddles as I pass groups of runners. Luckily the road widens slightly at this point so I am able to find my groove.

Mile 11 - 9:41
This is where the half marathoners and full marathoners split. The half runners continue straight back into the city but the full marathoners veer right into a neighborhood that will take us to the industrial area. I round the corner, and hear a familiar voice calling my name. I turn around and see Jacob, Heidi's husband, holding a camera and umbrella, waving madly. I wave back happily, and continue on. A couple of people see my name on my bib and yell encouragement as I pass. 

Towards the end of this mile I take another GU. This one is Vanilla Bean. Better.

Mile 12 - 9:45
We weave slightly through industrial streets and a neighborhood. Uneventful.

Mile 13 - 9:47
We turn onto St Helen's Road, which is basically a relatively straight, flat 3 miles to the bridge. At this point I'm still feeling pretty solid, albiet a tiny lonely and a LOT wet. My shorts have become diapers, suctioned to my thighs, and I feel my shirt glued to my body. My hat is dripping and my hands are so slippery I've had to rip my GU open with my teeth.

Take another chew. Pink Lemonade Honey Stinger. I'm not mad about it.

Mile 14 - 9:42
Trying to focus on one mile at a time. I see people around me struggling, but I find myself passing runner after runner. I'm trying to remain steady and not think too much about the next mile, although at this point I am just anticipating the end of this road, because this section is long, and a little boring. I have music to keep me company but at this point it's just background noise.

Throughout the race I find myself randomly overcome with waves of emotion. A few times I tear up because I'm so happy to be out there, running, and finally seeing all the hard work of training come to fruition. I see a sign that says "You GET to do this" and I resist to urge to do "Two snaps in a Z formation". That's right, I DO get to do this, and I'm doing it! 


Mile 15 - 9:42
We make a slight left and there is more straight away. It's hard to see the bridge through the fog and rain, but I know it's coming up.

Mile 16 - 9:39
I spot a check point area, complete with National Guard, and threatening looking signs that state that all runners must have a visible bib number. 

And then we begin the uphill climb to the top, to the beginning of the St John's Bridge

Mile 17 - 10:11
I will myself to run up the entire hill, and again I find myself passing runner after runner who have decided to walk up the hill. I keep pace with another girl who is steadily running up the hill and another guy who has been running near me for the last couple of miles. I suck another GU - Salted Caramel, my favorite - and I focus on the road right in front of my feet, and pump my arms slow and steady. Before I know it, I've crested the hill and find myself taking a left onto the bridge. I am proud of myself for running up the entire thing.

Mile 18 - 9:47
I make it to the middle of the bridge and then cruise the slight down hill to the end. It's here I spot another familiar face. I see Macalla's husband Jimmy! I wave madly and then turn the corner to see his kids hovering under an umbrella waiting for their mom. I wave happily and continue on. We run up and down some rolling streets and then hook a left, and immediately spot a familar red hat under a big tree. It's my husband and kids! They're holding Neon signs that say "GO LINDA" and "GO MOMMY". I had no idea they'd made signs and I'm so elated to see them I nearly sprint to where they are. I stop to give everyone hugs and kisses, and I throw my arms around John for a huge hug before continuing on. Everyone offers words of encouragement as they send me off. Seeing them has given me a second wind, and I'm SO SO happy.




Mile 19 - 9:43
Oof. Honestly, this part was a little boring. The roads were flat and curvy and seemed to never end. We passed some interesting entertainment in the form of some belly dancing and some bad singing, but nevertheless, it helped distract me.

Mile 20 - 9:50
This is where they say runners hit the wall, right? As I near the 20 mile marker sign, I realize that not once have I felt like I was going to die, or that I was not enjoying myself. Not once did I say I would never do this again. I was actually enjoying myself! Wall? What wall?? PFFFT. 

However, this is where I do start to get even more bored. I round every curve, hoping for some terrain change, some reprieve from the flat but no. Flat flat flat.

More chews. 

Mile 21 - 9:42
Surprise visit from the pregnant one, Angela! I had forgotten she would be waiting to cheer me on, and I run to give her a hug but she insists on running with me. She is also 39+ weeks pregnant and looking adorable but manages to jog next to me for a few seconds, and then her and her husband send me off with well wishes and offers of beer. Such a wonderful surprise.

Mile 22 - 9:57
I'm getting bored. like, seriously. The turns are all starting to look the same, like some sort of cruel corn maze. I think I reluctantly take another GU at this point but I am just very very sick of anything sugary. I pass the offers of gummy bears and pretzels because I can't bear the thought of eating anything else. Or anymore GU, like ever. Ever.

Oh and I see my husband and kids here too! I didn't realize they'd try and find me one more time, and I'm even happier than I was the first time I spotted them. Everyone looks cold and tired but so proud of me. They offer more hugs and encouragement and send me on my way. John tells me I'm almost there!


Mile 23 - 9:22
YAY. Finally the downhill I have been waiting for! It's a long sloping downhill section that takes us back towards the city. Many people are walking at this point but I happily glide past everyone, letting my body relax a bit as I cruise down the hill.

Mile 24 - 9:50
And it's flat again. I take one more chew and then decide I just. cannot eat anymore. I have run out of water but am able to get some water from the water stations. 


I think this is where I see Jimmy and his kids again. Lots of mad waving as I pass.

Please note - this entire time it has steadily rained and I am thoroughly soaked to the bone.

Mile 25 - 10:00
Not sure what happened here but I find myself slowing a bit. I'm still feeling in positive spirits but my legs are getting a little tired.

We have to run up one mini hill to get over the last bridge, and I slow every so slightly as I make my way up. I find a small surge of energy as I make my way onto the bridge and again find myself passing more runners. I'm filled with a resurgence of energy as I make my way off the bridge. I even have the energy to wave to the camera guy!


Also to note - see? Smiling?! Who IS THAT PERSON??

Mile 26 - 9:05
This is it! Almost to the end. I'm doing it! I'm SO CLOSE.
I surge past tons of runners as we make our way down the last street before the turn to the finish. The only thought that keeps running in my head is that, I did it. I'm doing it. I am running a MARATHON TODAY.

Mile .7 - 9:04
My watch has been nearly .5 miles ahead of the mile markers, so I hit the 26.2 mark well before the finish line, but at this point I do not care. I see the Portland Marathon signs and I surge forward and veer right towards the finish line. I pass the announcer calling people's names from our bibs, and he shouts encouragement as I sprint past. One more left turn and I see the finish chute. It's RIGHT THERE. and I'm RIGHT HERE. I pump my arms as hard as I can as I sprint to the finish with a smile on my face.

I've done it. I just ran my very first marathon. 

I'm a Marathoner.



                                                                 Official time. 4:17:51





*The course ended up being .5 too long because of a wrong turn taken by a handful of the corrals, due to no volunteer being stationed at this particular corner. The Portland Marathon officials later adjusted the times of the runners in these corrals to account for the extra mileage. 




Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Harry. We're THERE


9/27: Off
9/28: 4 miles
9/29: 4 miles with the kiddos
9/30: Off
10/1: Off
10/2: 8 miles, 9:12 pace
10/3: 4 miles, recovery with D.


Totals:
Miles - 20
Rest - 3

***





Add one more person, and that's the three of us gals. We've trained for at least 20 weeks (more for H) and we've endured black toes, aches and pains, GI distress, and overall feeling tired to the f*cking bone.

But. We're almost there. This morning I received an email from the Portland Marathon, stating that we had FIVE DAYS LEFT.

19.5 weeks. 135 days. It's come down to this. Today is my last 3 mile run of this training cycle. Two more 2 milers, and I'll be ready for race day.

Last week was definitely Taper Week. I ended with 20 miles, and all were easy-ish runs. My Wednesday 4 miler was pretty extra slow thanks to my two running buddies, E and O. There were some slow, frustrating moments during that run, but I was pretty damn proud of my kids for gutting through it with me.

Saturday and Sunday's runs both felt harder than they really should have. I should have been rejoicing in only having to run 8 miles but the miles felt long and my legs felt like lead. My feeble hope is that my legs are feeling the taper slowdown, and will be ready to be bouncy and energized come race day. Please tell me this is truth. Please?

I'm carefully carbing up this week, mostly with rice and some starchy vegetables, and going to go easy on the salads and cruciferous veg the rest of the week. I'm also trying to ingest more turmeric (in my coffee, and in kombucha) in hopes to quell the inflammation and give my body a rest before I beat it to a pulp for 4+ hours. I'm not sure that's why it all works, but whatever I'm not a doctor!

Here's to race week, and the 5 day countdown.

DUN DUNDUN


Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 18. It's gettin real.

Week 18

9/19: 4 miles, TM. Pm
9/20:  5 miles, am w D
9/21: 4 miles, TM. Pm
9/22: Rest
9/23: Rest
9/24: 11 miles, mac
9/25: Rest

Totals:

Miles: 24
Rest: 3
Strength: 0

This week was a little light on the miles but I'm totally okay with that. Two of my weekday runs were in the evening, which weren't as bad or annoying as I remembered it to be, and I think the endorphins helped me get through the rest of the evening without morphing into a complete lunatic. 

I met Macalla dark and early on Saturday morning for what I think was our last run together before the marathon! She's been  the best training partner, and we've definitely rejoiced, and suffered, through some miles through the last 18 weeks. Her lovely friend joined us for about half of our run, which made the first 5 miles fly by. The last 6 were a different story, as Mac's knee was acting up. We decided to slow it down, walk on the steep downhills which aggravated our knees, and cut the run short a mile. 

Now. Normally I would go home and add 1 mile to get to my 12 because I'm weirdly OCD about my mileage, but on Saturday I was totally okay with stopping when we needed to stop. At this point in training I know we can run all the miles, so there was no need to push through the pain. 

I'm excited/nervous for the taper, and I'm a little anxious for the race. I have a million thoughts jumbled in my head but am working on a check list for Marathon weekend, which should help organize things.

But let's be real, while I'm looking forward to rocking this marathon, I'm really planning on sleeping in so hard for all the rest of the weekends post race. 

So. This week. 

Taper time, like whoa.