Friday, July 31, 2009

Missed it byyyyyyyyyyy......THAT MUCH!

My first 100 mile month will have to wait until next month. I opted to rest on Wednesday instead of run. Yesterday, I did 6.5 which puts me at 96.5 miles for the month. I know I said I wouldn't leave it that close, but I think I must. Tomorrow I am going to attempt 15 miles. Which to me, sounds like I might as well be saying I'm attempting a triple twirl half flip spiral pike on a tight rope with no net. It will take focus, concentration and nerves of steel!

Last week I chose to get the extra miles in the day before my long run, but that was a long run of 10 miles. And 3 super easy, slow miles wouldn't hurt I didn't think. And they didn't. But given the general condition of my legs today, I know the wise choice is to rest up and hopefully be a little more prepared for the run tomorrow. I'll still get in over 30 miles for the week and that is another first. What is the general condition of my legs? They are tired. They are a little sore. Mr. Right Quad feels like it is strained, on the verge of a pulled muscle, but doesn't hurt quite as much. Mrs. Left Hammy send shooting pains down through the back of my leg every once in a while. Like it needs to be stretched out real good or something. I've been stretching, foam rollering, resting. I hope that is all enough. I feel like I need one really good rest to regain strength. But I guess that is the point of marathon training, you have to train your body to work without a lot of rest because there isn't going to be a lot of opportunity for rest come race day. Fatigue will set in and I'll have to know how to keep going despite that feeling.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow though. It's a route I know. I'm getting my Megan Muffins tonight (aka - Great Harvest Oatbran Fruit Muffins). I'm going to be early after watching a movie. I'll probably have Punch Pizza. All arrows point towards success at the moment!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Poptarts are dead to me

When I was pondering what my pre-triathlon meal was going to be a few weeks back, I decided that PopTarts were the perfect choice! And I was oh, so sick of bagels.

1. I NEVER eat poptarts. When I was a kid, mom and dad never bought them, so my only experience with these awesome frosted toasted pasties was when I would go to grandma's for breakfast. She never disappointed.
2. The are full of sugar. In fact, I think they are only made up of sugar and carbs. Just what you need
3. They would burn hot and fast for the fuel I would need on race day.
4. I would be able to enjoy them guilt free because who cares if they are 200 calories per tart and only keep you full for 30 minutes. I was running a triathlon. I'll burn that off in the swim.

The PERFECT choice.


1. I burned that off in the swim. Actually, I digested that fully 1.5 hours before the swim. I got up so early to make it to transition that I was hungry again an hour before the race started.
2. They burned hot and fast. Much to fast.
3. There was no sustenance to keep me going. Nothing in them but sugar which depleted to rapidly.
4. They are gross. Yes. Gross. I guess I've grown out of that love affair. They were sooooo not as good as I remember.

Since there are 4 poptart packages in a box, I tried the poptart breakfast before a few long runs. With the same result. I guess I'm a slow learner. Just too many calories of sugar that burn way to fast and leave me empty. Maybe they would be a better mid-race snack. Except for the fact that I find them disgusting now.

So PopTarts are dead to me.

My new pre-long run/race day breakfast is going to be Megan Muffins, named after my cousin who bakes and delivers them. Actually, they are Great Harvest Berry Oatbran muffins but I like to call them Megan Muffins since she works there and probably makes the best ones ever! Great fuel, lots of carbs, enough sugar and they are great with a little peanut butter. I gotta go pick some up at the local Great Harvest for my 14 miler on Saturday. It will be my longest distance EV-AR. I'm so excited, I'm going to go for 15!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Absolutly content...but maybe a little thirsty

On Saturday we had a cutback long run. Which, seriously, life just keeps getting crazier. I woke up thinking - Phew! Just 10 miles today. I can do that. WHA - -?? Since when did 10 miles become "JUST". But the coach brought it back to reality when he said "Even though this is a recovery long run week, it is still 10 miles, so take it seriously." Good point I thought. We ran in a place called Hidden Falls. I figured we were running TO something. Something good and spectacular. Nope. I saw no Hidden Falls. We ran to a road and turned around. Highly disappointing. On the way back someone told me the falls were hidden - that's why we didn't see them. Huh. Go figure.

But falls or no, this was a good run. It only ended up being 9.5 which isn't helping me reach my 100 mile month. Due to a lovely evening out with family on Thursday I didn't get my 6 miles in that night - good choice though, dinner was better than running on that particular evening. I did 3 very easy, very slow miles on Friday instead, but that leaves me 3 short for the week. I didn't want to push it too much before the long run on Saturday. I've been having trouble with my right quad. It just aches like I pulled a muscle. But it comes and goes during the run. I'll have to talk to some professionals just to make sure things seem kosher and if there isn't anything I can do to get it better.

Today, I made up a little ground by doing 4.5. Altogether nice run. It was followed by an even nicer dinner of corn on the cob, grilled green beans, a baked potato with chives that we grew, a salad with lettuce that we grew and we split a turkey burger. Yum, yum. Watermelon for dessert.

What a great weekend. To top it all off, I just checked on my friend Allison who was doing her 1st Half Iron Man. Don't worry - she finished hours ago, but I like to make sure. And of course she was A-OK. But WOW! Very proud of you. Congratulations to her!!!!!

Here are some thoughts I had during my long run on Saturday. Every time I go out now, I feel like I have a noble cause. Like there is a divine purpose that will be so worth the effort. Every run I do is not just for general fitness, to burn calories or for only fun; it's so I can toe up to the start line, for every mile I cross I can be confident that I'll make it and then 26.2 miles later I can RUN across the finish line. It's all so very personal and individual, yet it's being part of a team of thousands. EVERYBODY works hard and when race day comes you can look around and know that you put your time in too, just like the thousands of runners with you. It amazes me that I can be part of that group. Because quite honestly, while I believe everyone could run if they want to, not everyone does. Not everyone puts in that effort because it's hard; but I do. Not saying that running is IT, but for anything in life that we do - look around at your peers. Be proud of where you are because not everybody does what you do. I certainly never thought of myself as one who pushes themselves physically to the max by choice. Or one that really works hard for anything. I'm more of a good-enough, close-enough, mostly-finished type of girl. But I'm not always it turns out. And when I'm not, I guess I surprise myself. It makes me happy when I prove to myself I can.

And this is my first marathon. I'm never going to have another first marathon. That thought struck me and while I am enjoying running now it's easy to feel motivated and happy, but I want to make sure I keep that as my focus in case I lose those feelings. Every run I do gets me closer to the race and closer to the end of my first marathon and then this awesome experience is over. I'm soaking it up.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Starting to Feel It

I'm training for my first marathon and I'm starting to feel it in more ways than one. The good way is that I really feel like I am having fun and enjoying my running. I don't mind getting out there knowing that the time I spend now will really pay off later. It's been a great summer weather wise - not too hot/windy/rainy. As long as I am healthy, everyday is a good day for a run.

But I can also feel it in my body. Last week I was so excited that I ran 28 miles - by far my most ever. I'm going for week two of upper 20's running and I can feel it. One week was good, but maintaining it week after week? Well, it will get better, but in the first few weeks my legs are putting up some resistance. I've noticed that my individual runs have included more walk breaks and have been on the short end of the spectrum. I'm looking forward to just 10 miles for a long run this week.

In other marathon news I am signed up for the Twin Cities Marathon and way more excited about it than I thought I would be! This means I am signed up for TCM on 10/4 and Des Moines Marathon 10/18. Ha! Technically, I am entered in both, but will not be doing the full marathon in Des Moines. I'm changing my entry to the 1/2. So October will consist of two 1/2 marathons and a full, followed by November which will consist of sofa lounging and neighborhood strolls with the dog. And Thanksgiving which I LOVE.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy Milestones

I ran 28.61 miles last week. To be exact. That is the most miles in one week in the 3.8 years I have been running. Also, in the month of July I will hit my first 100 mile month! It will be close to get 100 in, but you can bet that I'm not going to get to 98 and say "oooh! So close! Maybe next month".

I want to start doing yoga on my days off. It could be good for both strength training and stretching. Probably just what I need. I think it all started years ago when I was going to yoga regularly with my friend Heather. I gained some flexibility back then and I think it has stuck with me for the most part but I need to maintain it. I started with an unofficial workout on Sunday. We had a small class but they were great learners.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Confessions of a Good Intentions Runner

Maybe if I put it in writing I'll feel better. I didn't do a long run this weekend. Ok? There. I also did not do a short run. I competed in a triathlon and that was it. Which was challenging. But it wasn't a long run. I only ran 14 miles this week and it should have been over 20.

I did enjoy the break. I rested. Got tons of house work done. Read magazines and my book. Walked the dog. Napped. All enjoyable!

But the guilt.......oh the guilt. Because mostly - I JUST DIDN'T FEEL LIKE IT. And that can't be a valid excuse when training for a marathon. Or any race that you want to do well in really.

So what's a girl to do? Get back on the plan and make sure weeks like this happen very infrequently. And when they do happen, like if I miss a run, I better consciously make the decision and then enjoy the choice. For the rest of the summer I've got nothing to do but run.

Guilt free. I shall think of it no more and look forward to an awesome running week!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

All smiles!

The Lifetime Triathlon - once again a great day! Last year, I swam a little, biked a lot and did the usual running. This year I swam a lot, biked almost none, and ran the usual. The results then, are a little confusing.

I was 8 seconds slower in my swim time. Kind of irked about that. I swam 10 times the distance in preparation this year than I did last year. I thought I was getting better. I can't explain it. I thought in the swim this year I wasn't as worn out, I swam more of it, but yet, the results were the same!?!? Baffling. Let's move on.

The bike was 6 seconds slower. Which begs the question, why did I train at all last year?? After about 5 minutes of biking, my legs were shaking. After 5 miles, I would stand to go up the hills and there were times that my legs almost collapsed from under me while standing because the just didn't have the muscle to support me. I didn't know how the run was going to go because I was pushing so hard on the bike just to keep it going. And after 15 miles of biking. I WAS DONE. Really, the sprint triathlon is really where it's at. I love this distance. Just enough variation in activity to keep it interesting, but not long that you have to put in the many, many hours of training.

The run. I'm a runner. I like running the best. I kept thinking, ok just get to the run. You'll fly in the run. You're good at the run. Relatively speaking of course. I took off running and it was super weird. I tried going slow, but I don't know how fast I was going. I don't even know how my legs were moving, but I told myself just 5 minutes then you can break. At 5 minutes, I though I could do 10 and at 10 I knew I could do the first water stop. I walked the 2 water stops, probably 30 seconds in total, and just ran. And it felt GREAT! I shaved about 2 minutes off my run from last year. In fact if it would have been a full 5k instead of just 3 miles, I would have PRd. 9:54 minute miles!! Holy cow! How the heck does that work? I run my fasted 5k EVER, AFTER swimming and biking??. I also cut 1.5 minutes from my total transition time so overall, I was 3.5 minutes faster this year. All because of running a changing clothes. I know where my priorities are.

And I feel completely redeemed after Grandma's. Hey, some days just aren't your days. But many, many of them ARE my days.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Tomorrow Grandma's is officially history!

I found some photos from marathonphoto of Grandmas. The first one is me around 6 miles. Notice how I still have good form and my pinkies are extended out with proper etiquette and everything?

I like to call this next one "Tenacity". I love that word. I think this was on the way up the bridge hill around mile 9. I was thinking - NO CHANCE I am walking this thing. You can walk at the top. Absolutely no other option. Or I was thinking "Ew gross, don't step on that dead bird".

And finally, the finish. That confused look on my face is me wondering what the hell just happened. The words 'hit by a truck' come to mind. I was already trying to forget the race and seek out my Great Harvest race rolls - which they didn't have.

Tomorrow for the Triathlon there will be nothing but smiles. All I'm demanding tomorrow is everything I've got. Nothing more. I don't want to give more than I've got; the results of doing that...well we all know how that ends. I'm going to write my times from last year on my hand so I know what I have to do. Who know how I will be able to perform, but I've already visualized the results and in my mind, I'm happy. And Grandma's will be but a distant memory of a day that opened the door for my glorious comeback.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Good run, still in a funk

I just can't seem to get the Ricky Bobby quote out of my head "I wanna go fast". Slower is better, get in the time, just try to finish your first marathon. I think this last 1/2 proved for me that you can go out to fast and suffer in the end for it. It's hard to admit that 11:30 is my pace and my first marathon will probably be at least 5.5 hours since I had faster 10k and 5k times. Yet my 1/2 marathon time isn't really up to par. They say it will all pay off in the end, but I can't see that now. I wanted to be a faster runner this year, but fast and marathon don't belong in the same sentence for me. I feel like I was ready to see what I could do and they are saying hold back, now is not the time to let 'er rip. I believe all that is true; they are the experts, but it a hard mental thing to overcome.

I do enjoy running more lately now that I know I will be able to complete the distance with no problem because I'm slowing down. That's a nice feeling. Maybe I'm just in a funk and it has nothing to do with running.


I haven't been doing anything really blog worthy lately. Well, nothing that I have wanted to express or talk about. Last week I ran 21 miles, which was the first 20 mile week of 2009! Felt good about that. This week should be 20 also even though I skipped out on my run last night. I shouldn't be doing that. I need to get every run in that I have scheduled and be consistent.

A few things my coaches in the running group said that stuck with me. The goal of the marathon (for most of us) is running the whole thing without slowing down. Also, at this point in the game they said it's how much time you dedicate to running not necessarily the miles. Just get out there and pound the pavement so your body builds all of the good scientific things it needs to run for 5 hours. I like to think that I should be enjoying this time. It's laid back, and I'm just trying to go and go and go. I don't have to push yet, I'm still building. For some reason that seems easier to me. It's not really. 10 miles is still 10 miles, but mentally it seems more relaxed.

This Saturday is the triathlon. It should be fun again! I don't think I'm going to do much better than last year like I aspired to, but again I stress, it should be fun! Only thing is, I will miss another long run, which kind of bothers me. I'm a rules girl. If my coach or plan says 12 miles, I do 12 miles for fear that in 3 months from now, at mile 18 I'll have a complete break down because I ran a triathlon plus 17 miles (over the week) instead of a 12 miler. I'm afraid of 'losing it'. And one thing about running I've found is that if you follow the plan, you'll finish the race(barring injury). Since this is what I know, I follow the plan and stress when I don't.

Yesterday, I was kind of having a crummy day, which is probably why I didn't run. Even though I am 100% sure that running would have helped my mood I didn't go. It takes effort to get out of a bad mood. Sadly, sometimes it easier to just wallow, and then that wallowing is just fed by the fact that you aren't doing anything to make it better. Today is a little better but I have a run with the group tonight so no chance of wallowing. It should be good actually.