Sunday, February 27, 2011

Reality, here I come...

This past week has been sort of an alternative-reality for me: I've been sick, my workouts all over the place, and I had the week off from teaching.  Because of this, I'm actually feeling so ready to get back to my 'normal' this week of training and working both jobs.  I'm finally feeling almost 100% from this ridiculous cold I had and I think my lighter training volume this past week has made me more ready than ever to tackle a good week coming up.

The last few days were filled with short, easy runs, so I won't bore y'all with the details!  Today brought about a lovely 20 miler with my friend.  What is it about runs with friends that make the time fly by?  I really enjoyed everything about the run, except for the fact that stupid snow-banks kept cropping up- I'm so beyond ready for winter to be over!  Atleast I felt like I'm back on my training-game and can tackle a good week head on!

Alright, I guess this was a pretty lame-o post!  I'm just in the habit of Sunday night posting.  Hopefully I'll have some better workouts to report in the coming week- Newport Marathon in less than 14 weeks!  Eeeek!

Have a good week everyone!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Love for the Parents' House

So I decided to do a post on a lighter note after my post yesterday.  And, since I came home this afternoon after work to my parents' house to a) go to the doctor to make sure I'm not dying of pneumonia (I'm not) and b) hang out with my mom tomorrow since it has been an entire month since I saw her (much too long!) I decided to do a post about my love for my parents' house.  Plus, this provided a much-needed diversion from planning my next unit of 7th grade science!

Things that my 24-year-old-soon-to-be-25-year-old-self still loves about coming "home" to my parents' house:

-  Oliver, the world's cutest cat
- not one, but two big TV's with 600 channels!
- the fact that there is never any food, the milk is dated 2/16, but there is always a bag of chocolate chips.  toll house.  yes, you are correct in assuming that was lunch. ;)
- wireless internet.  scratch that.  internet in general that is reliable and consistant is pretty sweet.
- the fact that my mom always washes my towels and puts them in a little clean stack in the bathroom!  so cute and mother-ly!
- doing my prep work at the big kitchen table....
- ....spreading my stuff out and thinking about doing my prep work while blogging/reading blogs at the big kitchen table
- and when all else fails...there is always more chocolate chips!

Pumped for a day tomorrow with my mom!  Only a few more days until I'm back to the real world of working both jobs.....better get back to this prep work.....the glamorous life of a teacher, lol. :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dedication vs. Obsession

What!?!  A mid-week post from me?!?!  You can tell I'm not at my normal Wednesday night workout.  Which brings me to the topic of this post.....

So here is something that has been on my mind for awhile, and has recently come to the forefront of my mind during the last few days as I have struggled through working out while sick.  Here goes.....

The thing is, I think of myself as a dedicated person.  Dedicated to doing my jobs well, making money, creating a life for myself a few years out of college, and of course, dedicated to my running.  I also would describe myself as a bit OCD on lots of levels- nothing crazy, but I'm a neat-freak, list maker, and most of all, very OCD about my running/training.  When I see it all mapped out on paper for the week, I have it in my mind to get it done.  I always allow for flexibility in case something comes up at work, or I switch runs to run with a friend, but in the end the training will get done.

With that said, I mentioned how I had been feeling a bit under-the-weather since Saturday morning.  I got through my short run then, survived my LR on Sunday, but things just weren't getting better.  I got up at 3am to run before work on Monday, only to come home after work and crash hard, not getting to my Monday night Core Class.  I tried to 'get-ahead' on miles yesterday, by running 13 miles on the treadmill and taking a cycle class.  To me, this is part of push-through-it, suck-it-up, sometimes-training-is-hard, dedication.  However, in between all of this, I felt terrible.  I've been sleeping pretty much every second I'm not at work or working out, and my throat feels completely closed up.  I was looking forward to today most of all because since I didn't have to work, I planned to do my long workout on the treadmill, a swim, and then my night Core/Cycle class.  In my head, it was going to be the perfect day.  However, my body had other plans.  I woke up feeling worse than ever, and finally made a doctors appointment for tomorrow after work.  I decided the dry air of the gym wasn't doing my throat any favors, so I took my run outside.  Thankfully, my Garmin had no batteries because my splits on my 6 mile run were so terrible.  And the swim post-run wasn't any better. 

But, it occurred to me during today's run that I was crossing the line right then.  The line from being "dedicated" in my training, to being "obsessive" about my training.  Probably the reason I'm not getting better is because I'm not taking the time to rest.  I get so hung up on getting it all in nomatter what because I don't want any regrets when I hit that starting line.  If I run a bad marathon, I don't ever want it to be because I didn't work hard enough in preparation.  But I'm so afraid of those feelings of self-doubt and regret, that they are driving me to an unhealthy place right now.  As my mom so "mom-ish-ly" put it on the phone to me earlier- "Nothing you are going to do today is going to effect how you run a marathon 3 months from now."  And I know she is right.  Training is consistancy over the long-haul.  But I get so caught up in the day-to-day sometimes that it is hard to see that.  And I'm so excited about where I'm at training wise at this point, I hate to lose it all. 

I don't want this post to come off as all self-centered-ish and poor-me or anything.  I just know there are lots of runners out there who are like this and I think we have to get real with ourselves sometimes.  I'm not a bad person or a bad runner because I 'only' got in a short run and swim today.  Today alone will not make me more or less prepared in Newport, Oregon on June 4th.  But today I did realize that I need to be honest with myself and where my actions are rooted.  There are only two emotions:  Love and Fear.

Hopefully this didn't come off totally crazy/random!  I hope you are all having great weeks- take THE BEST care of yourself!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Shorts -> Snow

I totally need to make an attempt to blog during the week because I think of all these interesting, witty (well, witty in my head!) things to say during my runs throughout the week, and then forget everything by Sunday night, when I sit down to blog!

Oh well, here's the recap:

Monday- Ouch.  Legs were TIRED from legit run on Sunday.  Same old recovery day- 10 miles split into 6/4.  The 6 in the morning were hard- hilly route + wind = bad decision.  The 4 at night were nice/faster up to core class.  Core class was good.  I got into a jump rope competition with another guy.  Don't worry, I dominated him.  86 jumps in 35 seconds.  We'll see if I can beat that tomorrow!

Tuesday- 10 miles.  On treadmill.  Wish I could have had some faster ones in there, but my leggies were still pretty wiped.  My recovery this week has been terrible in general, so I'm glad that I got this done.  I think it was 8:20ish pace?  Swim afterward felt amazing.

Wednesday- a character-building 15 miles on the treadmill.  This was a complete mental battle, as opposed to a physical one.  The thought of getting on at 6:30am, and watching the clock make two complete circles was messing with my mind.  But I'm really happy I am pushing through these runs.  12 miles in, I felt great.  Hit the last few miles around 8.0mph.  Overall, good run.  Post-work, I had a session with a personal trainer.  She showed me some stretches and some hamstring-strength exercises.  It was actually really good/interesting.  Then, core class.  Then, cycle.  Both were lovely, actually.  New instructors than when class started, but I can roll with that.  Wednesday's are good days.

Thursday- Didn't have to work at the bakery (yay!) so I flopped my Friday milage to this day so that I could swim on Friday.  Did 6 miles, nice and easy before work.  Then, met up with Mike for 8 more miles, after work.  This was a really good run.  It was warm and Mike and I always run fast without trying.  I have to admit that my legs were tired by the end though.  8 minute pace overall.  14 mile day, which was good.

Friday- Outside run in shorts and a t-shirt at 3:45am- awesome.  It was breezy out which added a eery feeling to being out that early.  Was right at 8:00min pace again, which was amazing because these super-early, super-dark runs I'm happy to hit 8:30pace.  90 minute cycle class was fun too- I am trying to push myself more in these classes lately.  Post-cycle, I completed the morning's reverse triathalon with a swim (mile-ish?).  Awesome way to start out the day.  Equally awesome is coming home from work and taking a nap.

Saturday-  Ugh.  Woke up feeling terrible.  Cold/flu symptoms and totally run down.  It was 4am, and I debated going back to bed, but hated the idea of 5 easy miles hanging over my head all day at work.  So, I took them to the treadmill and squeaked them in in just under 40 minutes.  After work, I proceded to nap from 3pm-6pm, then sleep again from 8pm-9am this morning.  Either I suck at recovering, or I am sick.

Sunday (today)- 17 mile long run on the schedule, luckily with no MP miles.  I decided to go the complete opposite of last week and *not* be a slave to my Garmin and just run as I felt (because I still was feeling so blah.)  Headed out on my favorite 15 mile loop that I could now do because it was actually light and most of the snow had melted.  8 miles in, I started feeling pretty bad.  Slogged through the end, actually.  I'm really happy I pushed through and got it done, but I'm really hoping my body feels better soon.  8:13 pace, which is good, but the effort it felt like I was putting out the whole run was terrible.

And since I finished my LR on perfectly dry pavement about 6 hours ago, about 6" of snow has fallen.  Ugh. I hate winter so much, and was so excited about it not being here anymore!  Good news is, I'm on winter-break from teaching.  Bad news is, I decided several weeks ago when talking with my boss at the bakery, that it would be a good idea to volunteer to pick up extra hours there this week, rather than just chill out and reap the benefits of being a salaried teacher.  So I'm working more at the bakery.  Starting tomorrow at 6am.

So that is it from here.  Recap:

2 core classes
2 cycle classes
2 swims
77 miles :)

This week is a 'cut-back' week, and as much as I usually hate that sort of thing, I'll take it right now.  I may even have a full rest day in my future as it has been 6 or 7 weeks at this point.  We shall see how it goes!

Hope everyone is ready for the new week!  Hope it is filled with Peace, Love, and Running! :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

running in shorts....priceless.

Ok, this post may get a bit lengthy because I'm on a total post-run high right now and all week I've been running and thinking of the most random things that I wanted to blog about, but never having the time until now!  So here goes with the play-by-play recap....

Monday:  "easy" day = 10 miles split- 6 in the morning (on treadmill) + a nice swim, then 4 at night up to core class + 60+ minute core class with running group.  All of this went well.  Swimming felt great.  I honestly love swimming in a way so different from running.  It is so natural to me to be in the water and I really think it helps my recovery, although I didn't have a whole lot to recover from without a LR the day before.  My paces were fast too, which I tried to hold back a bit because I really need to focus on keeping hard days hard and easy days easy.

Tuesday:  8 miles.  Post double-work day, on my favorite random-off-the-freeway route.  This run was unexpectedly great.  I spent the first two miles going into the sub-zero freezing wind uphill.  The whole time I wasn't looking at my Garmin, but instead thinking how great it would be when I got to "Joy" (yes, that is literally the road's name) road and got to run with the wind at my back.  But when I got to Joy, I realized that since it is a not-very-travelled dirt road, it hadn't been plowed.  Fail.  So I slipped and slided and had a really hard time keeping pace.  Once I hit pavement again, I pushed it in to get done before sunset.  7:38 pace.  Very pleased, especially considering the conditions.

Wednesday: Quickly becoming one of my favorite training days.  13 miles on the treadmill before work - I feel like this is building me mentally more so than physically, which is good.  I did it progressive style, starting at 7.0 and working up into the high 7 mph for the last part.  Again, this is something that is not natural for me, so I'm glad I pushed myself to do it.  Ended at 9.0.  Ouch.  That was a hard 1/2 mile.  No time for a swim though.  Spent much of the run wondering why anyone would work out inside in pants.  Isn't the whole point of working out indoors in the winter that you don't have to wear alot of clothes?  Digress.....
Post work, I got a 'fitness assessment' at the new gym I joined.  Moral of that story = my flexibility is in the toilet.  Hmm, maybe I should try that stretching thing?  Then, it was core class and cycle class.  Favorite instructor wasn't there. :(  Replacement instructors were pretty good. :)  Lots of working out on Wednesdays makes me happy!

Thursday:  Another bakery morning = easy run at night.  6 miles that were by far the worst of the week.  I left G-man at home so I have no idea my pacing.  All I know is that it felt uphill and against the wind the whole way.  It was a loop so that probably wasn't the case.  Blah.  Glad I did it though!

Friday:  GREAT day.  Did 9 miles on the treadmill at 4am before cycle.  8.0mph for the last few miles felt effortless.  That hardly ever happens, lol.  90 minute cycle class was good too.  Very different instructor at different gym.  Lots of folk music.  Somehow it works though.  Did 2 more shakeout miles afterward on the indoor track to make it 11 for the day.

Saturday:  Early.  4:30am run.  8 miles.  Very windy, even early and I made the mistake of running 4 miles with the wind first.  Fail again.  Not a great run, but glad to get it done before 8 hours at the bakery.

Sunday (today):  Good, no GREAT run.  Had to work again at a market, (blah, 7 day workweek!) but only from 9am-2:30pm.  I am a terrible run-late-in-the-day person, especially for my LR.  But there was no other option this week.  I knew my leggies would be a bit tired after standing all morning, but I decided to run where we were at the market for a change of scenery, and because if I just changed and went right after, there would be no time to procrastinate or change my mind.  The city was totally geared T-mart style - open, flat, roads (but very windy.)  I actually ended up running all 19 miles on one road that was about 5 miles long.  My schedule called for some marathon-pace miles, but I'm deathly afraid of doing that, so I thought about scrapping it.  So I just started running.  Mile 1 = easy = 7:25.  From there, I decided to just go for it, and hit the first 5 HARD.  7:07, 7:07, 7:04, 6:52. Average = 7:09 Woah nelly.  I stopped and reset my Garmin, planning to run back "easy."  First "easy" mile was actually at MP - 7:32 but it felt slow.  So I decided again to go for it.  7:25, 7:17, 7:14, 7:06.  Average = 7:18.  First 10 miles @ 7:14 pace.  At this point, I knew my legs were pretty tired.  I decided to stop being a slave to my Garmin and just *run* the last 9 miles.  They felt soooo good up to the last couple.  Pushed it at the end and hit 8 miles @ 7:58 pace.  (then did a very slow mile to end.) 18 miles at 7:33 pace.  1 second under my PR marathon pace.  I realize that they weren't at all even, but I was really pleased to hit sub-8 pace after the initial 10 hard miles.  By the end, I'm pretty sure my fatigue was due to the fact that I hadn't eaten or drank anything during the run and it was warm (40s!).  But I loved that.  Running in shorts.  Melting snow.  Freedom.

Now, I'm sitting here with my calves twitching like crazy (anyone else have a horrible time with this?)  I'm sure I will probably feel it a bit tomorrow.  I so wish it was Saturday because I feel like it should be and I'm headed back into another work week without any time off.  Yucky.  Oh well, thus is life.

2 cycles
2 core
1 swim (boo, I wish it were more!)
75 miles :)

Bring on the next week!  Love me some training!

Peace, love, and Running,

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Another week closer to spring!

And yikes, I am totally ready!  Got snow dumped on us this week (snow day, yay!) but I would have totally traded a day off from work for NOT having snow. 

But anyway...

This week, training-wise was *ok.*  I actually felt kind of bad about it on a daily basis, but looking back over the week, I'm satisfied.  I'll just hit up the highlights, rather than hitting it up day by day, because that is what I'm feeling tonite.

Wednesday was the snow day ie: 12 miles on the treadmill.  I'm actually getting kind of 'into' these mid-week treadmill runs as a way to build some mental toughness.  This one was rough because I was home at my parents' house so I went to the tiny gym (where I've literally never paid for in years).  We got there at 10:30ish (my mom and I) and they were closing at noon for some reason, so I had incentive to hurry!  Busted out the 12 miles at 8:08 pace or so.  Shout out of thanks to my mama for finishing her workout and walking to Kroger to get me a Crack-berry Zero.  (aka the best powerade zero ever).  Yessir, I was sweaty!  Shout out also to the snowday for allowing me to sleep for 3 additional hours, post-run/lunch.  Yes, that was nice.

Thursday was my pseudo 'long-run' day because I was planning to race a 5K this morning with my friend (more on that later.)  Unfortunately, I had to split it, because of work so I know it is not *quite* as good.  Hit up 10 easy miles on a good treadmill pre-work.  Post-work hit up the country roads in the falling darkness for another 8 miles.  I challenged myself to hit the first 4 below MP.  It was an out and back 2 miler each way, and since I didn't have my headlamp, I had to get it done before dark.  The first 2 miles felt easy, but as I turned around I realized it was because the wind had been at my back!  Running back into the wind was character building and I was falling apart by the last mile.  Splits = 7:34, 7:15, 7:17, 7:07.  Nice.  The last 4 miles felt easy.  All was well with the world.

Triathlon Friday = run, bike, swim.  All went well.  Love me 3 hours of work-out bliss before work!

Saturday- saw an awesome shooting star at 4:30am, during a 10 miler.  My eyelashes froze to my face.  It was awesome.

Sunday- was supposed to be my 5K day, but my friend was too sick so I too opted out and instead slept for a glorious 14 hours.  Then did 10 miles.  Negative splitted them to get exactly 8:00minute pace average.  Which I'm happy with considering the weather/terrain, but unhappy with how difficult it felt.  All week, running hasn't felt as 'effortless' as I would like.  Hopefully that is because I am increasing my milage and also cross training much more (which I haven't included in this recap so much).  Dunno.  My whole right leg was sort of numb and not really moving well by the last mile.  Totally strange.

So yeah, there you have it.  I skipped some stuff I did, and obviously the runs/workouts on M/Tues but overall, those were the highlights.  Hoping this week feels alittle better.  Happy to hit 72 miles though!  Now I'm off to eat and pack up for the week!  Stay warm and snow free everyone and have fantastic weeks!