25 February 2013

Dear Diary.....

Last night I was having an email discussion with my coach about my (stupid) right quad and when things started going South.  I sat and thought and thought and thought, then I remembered my training journal!  I've always kept track of workouts in some way, sometimes haphazardly or inconsistently but this year is a bit different.  For Christmas I asked for this amazing training journal! I've been using it since the year began and I write a bit more about the workouts and rest days. How I felt before, during and after and if I went to the chiro or had a massage and if I'm cross-training and keeping my promise to stretch every day. It has helped my training a ton and I'm able to have a bigger picture of what I'm doing, how I'm doing, what works and what doesn't.

If you don't have a physical journal to track all this stuff I'd suggest you get one! It doesn't have to be anything fancy if you don't want it to be but a training journal does a few wonderful things, in addition to tracking workouts and mileage.  First, you can see patterns in your training and overall wellness.  You can track things like weight or measurements, heart rate and your cycle, for the female athletes out there.  A little note each day about your overall wellness such as "tired legs!" or "feeling stuffy" or "quick legs!" helps when you go back to look at what you've been spending your time doing.  Maybe you don't realize that those hill repeats are really taxing your system and leaving your legs spent, but when you take a look back at your comment about the days following a tough workout you'll pick up on the subtleties that you might otherwise miss. This leads to the next important reason, recovery! This is something that I struggle with on many levels. Just like nutrition, especially race day nutrition, is something that takes some figuring out and practice so does recovery.  By looking at the wellness updates and subsequent run performance you can see how well your current recovery plan is working.

My favorite reason to have a training journal is to see how you are evolving!!! It can be extremely rewarding to look back over past runs and see the mileage increase or the pace decrease.  It is especially helpful when you've hit a plateau or just barely missed that PR.  Taking a look back at all you've achieved over the past weeks, months and years can be just thing to make that frustration not feel so important and encourage you to keep moving forward! This record can also help encourage goals.  By looking at where you've been you can more easily set realistic goals about training and racing and where you hope to go.  The journal I have encourages you to set a monthly goal and record how you think you are going to accomplish it.  It also has a section for long term goals.  It is one thing to sit and dream and set a goal but the journal holds you accountable and asks you to think abut how you plan to get there which is a wonderful way to begin your work!

Here's what I did last week:

2/18 - rest; not feeling well
2/19 - 45:02 3.38 mi 13:20/mi ECP mixed trail and pavement; stretched am and pm
2/20 - 1:20:58 5.21 mi 15:32/mi NCR mixed; stretched 
2/21 - rest
2/22 - 46:08 2.87 mi 16:06/mi ECP - 8 downhill repeats sore quad
2/23 - 2hrs core and yoga workshop
2/24 - 48:04 3.34 mi 14:24/mi chagrin river park gravel; sore quad; massage; stretched; motrin and ice

Total miles: 14.8 

19 February 2013

Weekly Training and Moving Day!

Phew what a week! On Saturday we moved!!!! The house is still in a bit of chaos but hopefully things will slowly come to order. :) It was a busy and hectic week and weekend so my training got a little messed up. :( The highlight of this week, besides moving, was that I ran my longest ever run on Wednesday!!! :) Woohoo! :) It was super icy in spots so I literally walked for almost a mile because every time I ran I would slip and slide! But overall it was a great run! I added some new sections to my run and it was nice to see a new part of the park (and not get lost) and get my miles in. I've also been sticking to my goal of stretching almost every day which is a HUGE accomplishment.  It is the first thing to go once I start getting busy. I'm still having some issues with my right quad so I'm going to keep at the stretching and hopefully things will work themselves out. :) I was originally scheduled to do a 50 min tempo run this week that I had saved for Saturday.  Moving day really kicked my ass and I just didn't get it in.  I had an 1:45 endurance spin class and 60 min hot yoga class Sunday morning so by the time I was able to get in a run I was pretty spent. The bright side is that I was still able to get in 4 days of running.

2/11 - 56:09 4.30miles 13:04/mi ecp mixed trail and paved. Yoga 45 mins. Stretched

2/12 - rest day! chiro; 2 hr yoga class

2/13 - 1:45:25 7.43miles 14:22/mi it was super icy in spots so I had to walk almost a mile due to ice :-/ ncr paved and trail; stretched

2/14 - recovery run. 23:29 1.92 miles 12:13/mi sidewalks

2/15 - rest day. Packed all day

2/16 - moving!!! Rest day

2/17 - 1:45 spinning endurance ride; 60 mins hot yoga; 25 min run 1.60 miles 13:45/mi; treadmill

Total miles: 15.25

This morning, I got up early made a dessert for my work lunch and then headed out for a run.  I haven't been running in the morning for a long time! It was always so dark in the morning and I didn't have a headlamp at that point.  It also seems to put me way behind and then late for work.  I'm teaching a private yoga client tonight so I didn't really have time to go tonight. I've been feeling a bit rundown lately and tired.  This afternoon I started thinking about what I had to do today after work, which is often a run, and realized that since I had done my run this morning I didn't have much to look forward to this evening. :( Obviously, that isn't true but my first thought was hmm, I'm going to go run, wait no I'm not. :( Tuesdays aren't my normal run day anyhow but I just felt super crappy yesterday and my asthma was acting up and I couldn't even think about running so I decided to run this morning.  It was a nice run and the park is so busy. :) Everyone is friendly and says hello. Needless to say it started my day off on the right foot! :) 

Week 5, my current training week, is a cutback week per my Coach Salty.  I was kind of excited to run beyond the 7.30 mark this week but that will have to wait until next week. My legs will enjoy the break until then. :) 

11 February 2013

Weekly Training Log 2/4-2/10/13

This past week the weather was up and down and weird. But I still got my miles in! :) I ran twice with Karen and let me just say that having her there for my long was SUPER helpful! As much as I love winter, the sneak preview of spring that we got recently is making me hope the groundhog's prediction comes true!

We are moving this Saturday so things have been busy and a bit stressful.  There is still a decent amount of work left to do but I know it will work out fine.  I'm just feeling so ready to move! :)

I've been feeling pretty decent overall but sore and tired off and on too. I feel like it takes me a while to recovery from the long runs.  My schedule makes things a bit difficult too because I do most of my runs between Wednesday and Saturday. So this week I have a couple of goals:

1. Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night! Listen folks this is TOUGH for me. I've never been good at sleeping more than 6-7 hours and i usually can't do it for days in a row.

2. STRETCH!!!!!! I used to be SOOOO good at this and then I got busy and felt ok and stopped.  I'm trying to get back to stretching at least after every run and spin if not every day!

My coach switched out my XT for a 20 minute recovery run the day after my long run.  This means that I will run 4 days in a row this week. Hopefully this helps out! :)

Here's what I got in this week:

2/4 - 2.74 mi 38:53 14:12/mi - ECP paved trails - legs were tired; yoga 45 mins (i got out of work late so i had to cut my run short)
2/5 - XT DAY! 30 min jillian micheals six week ab dvd; 60 mins endurance cycle; 60 mins yoga
2/6 - 6.17 mi 1:30:02 14:36/mi - Chagrin River Park - gravel; stretched!
2/7 - REST DAY
2/8 - 4.04 mi 48:25 11:50/mi - ECP paved; stretched!
2/9 - 3.75 mi 51:04 13:31/mi - wilson mills trail head, pavement; stretched! 75 min yoga, 60min massage
2/10 - 60 min yoga

total miles: 16.73

04 February 2013

Running Buddies!

What a week! This weekend was my YTT teaching practicum so all week I kept tweaking my class and teaching it to whoever I could! :) I got all my runs in and then basically spent the weekend doing yoga! Yesterday I was at the studio for about 10 hours! And while it has been such an amazing experience, I'm so glad that it is (almost) done!

White Pine Loop after fresh snow! 
This week, I did something that I've never done before and totally pushed myself outside of my comfort zone. I ran with someone. EEK! You are probably rolling your eyes at this one, but seriously I was super nervous. I'm a social person but the idea of running with someone was super intimidating and honestly, when we were planning our run I kept giving her opportunities to decide she actually didn't want to run with me. haha BUT she did and so we went, first on Wednesday and then again on Saturday. Karen has some tendinitis in her foot so she needs to slow down a bit to help her foot heal. Running with someone has been great and once I got over my fear of being too slow, it has been a lot of fun! Here is my advice, run with someone or a group sooner rather than later! Put yourself out there and recognize that no one cares how fast or slow you are they just like your company. :) Running with someone who is generally faster than you is ok as long as you are clear about what pace you are planing and they are fine with going a bit slower. It helps tremendously to maintain a more consistent pace when you have someone there to keep moving forward. :)

Now that things are calming down a bit with YTT and I'm getting a handle on packing, I feel like I will be able to be more consistent with my XT and strengthening exercises I'm supposed to be doing! I have an hour endurance spin class tomorrow for my XT for this week. Stretching is another area that I need to dedicate more time to!!! So that is also on my list for this week. The weather has been super snowy and great! It has made for some incredible snowy runs and I love it!!! We should be getting a bit more snow over the next two days or so which thrills me! OH! I also finally got a new heart strap so I can start paying attention to that too. :)

Here's the rundown for last week:

1/28 - 3.55mi; total time: 47:19 pace: 13:20/mi - ECP pavement Avg HR: 148
1/29 - strengthening exercises
1/30 - 6.36mi; total time: 1:27:20 pace: 13:44/mi - NCR mix of trail and pavement Avg HR: 161
2/1 - 3.34mi; total time: 46:20 pace: 13:52/mi - NCR pavement
2/2 - 2.91mi; total time 45:31 pace: 15:38/mi - NCR trail Avg HR: 155

total time: 3:46:33
total miles: 16.16

29 January 2013

Training 1/21-1/27/13 and an amazing winter run!

This week was a bit hit or miss with the running.  I got my runs in but none of them were for the coach prescribed time.  But I got them in! This week presented some challenges with the cold weather but by my second run of the week I had mastered my gear and was toasty warm for the rest of my runs. :) One thing that made an incredible difference was using a turtle to cover my nose and mouth.  The bitter cold temps here was aggravating my asthma but once I covered my nose and mouth and warmed the air that I was breathing it became almost a non-issue. 

I was in Toronto this weekend for some YTT funness so I took Friday off and did my long run that day.  Oh my goodness! What an amazing run!!! Honestly, I'm so frequently in awe of just how beautiful the park is.  Sometimes I'm just breathless and so appreciative of the beauty that surrounds me.  It was still snowing when I started my run and I've been trying to get in pavement and trail running so I started off on the multipurpose trail and ran until I encountered a trail in the woods.  I picked that up and ran until it ended following the foot prints and ski tracks until I reached a road.  Then I ran down that to the paved trail and was able to pick up the trail inthe woods that I had hoped to explore.  I was able to see all sorts of the park that I have never seen.  I do most of my running at night and have a very HIGH propensity to get lost so I stick with trails I know at night so I don't end up lost, alone and in the dark. It was so awesome to run during the day and without a plan.  I did get a bit lost and ended up out there a bit longer than I was scheduled but I didn't care it really was just such an amazingly beautiful run.  I feel so lucky to be able to run and even more blessed that I get to do it in such a beautiful place! I feel so calm and peaceful and pull so much energy from the ground below me.  It is a feeling of such amazing oneness with nature. here are some pics from my awesome run!

I have a coach for my first half marathon and she's added some other activities to my schedule.  Things are pretty busy at work and I'm wrapping up YTT this coming month so hopefully it will become easier.

M 1/21 - chiro; 36:24 - trail - 14:51/mi - 2.45 mi; 45 mins spinning and 30 mins yoga
T 1/22 - 30 mins jillian micheal's six week abs; strengthening exercises
W 1/23 - 46:59 - pavement - 14:14/mi - 3.30mi
R 1/24 - rest
F 1/25 - 1:22:28 - pavement/trail mix - 15:27/mi - 5.34mi; massage
S 1/26 - 28:00 - pavement (downtown toronto) - 14:11/mi - 1:98mi; yoga 75 mins
S 1/27 - yoga 75 mins; strengthening exercise

total mileage: 13.07 miles

22 January 2013

Winter Running

Yesterday afternoon I headed out for my scheduled afternoon run.  The weather was a bit chilly; it was about 19 degrees but with the wind chill it felt like it was about 5 degrees.  I think the temps dropped slightly as I ran.  I only lasted 40 minutes or so and had to call it a day.  Winter running is pretty amazing! I love all of the seasons but Spring and Winter are my favorites.  Whenever I'm out running in the snow, I remember something from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass:

I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again."

It seems that the snow is letting the plants and grass and trees and ground kind of wait and rest and be calm until Spring comes forcefully in, making things grow.  I took a bunch of pictures last night but my phone died mid-run so I wanted to share them here. The snow really just makes everything so still and peaceful!  It is like a moving meditation to run with no one around and no other sounds besides your breathing, feet hitting the ground and the wind. :) I hope that all of you enjoy Winter running as much as I do!!! :) 

21 January 2013

Tracking My Progress & Training Log 1/14-1/20/13

For Christmas I asked for a training journal.  My brother got it for me and I've been using since the beginning of the year.  I love it and it feeds my need to track all my workouts.  I also use a garmin and runkeeper. :) It may seem redundant but it is nice to have both of them while running.  I like having the audio cues in my ear when I'm just running and not paying attention to time or distance and I enjoy being able to look at my wrist to see how fast I'm actually moving as compared to my perceived pace.  I LOVE to track things.  I can't help it! It might be a sickness. ;) Anyhow, tracking has provided insight into patterns, changes in training and a way to see my accomplishments.  I think it is beneficial for anyone! Now that I'm working with a coach and will be including strengthening and cross-training into my weekly schedule, tracking will help demonstrate the impact that these activities will have on my running.

This week I had pretty decent runs.  My favorite run was Wednesday.  I felt the most amazing on Monday but in terms of scenery, Wednesday was by far the best run of the week.  Wednesday I usually do my long runs and I do them at the same place most weeks.  This week the sunset was AMAZING!  I had to stop and take a picture it just was that beautiful. 

1/14 - 3.35 mi GREAT feeling run 11:52/mi 39:48 pavement/trail mix; 30 mins yoga
1/15 - yoga 60 mins
1/16 - 5.11 mi 13:19/mi 1:08 trails
1/17 - strengthening exercises; 45 mins cardio
1/18 - 2.68 mi windy; tired legs pavement 13:31/mi 36:17
1/19 - 3.24 mi 13:26/mi 43:34 trails tired legs
1/20 - yoga 60 mins

total miles: 14.38 miles

13 January 2013

Training Log 1/7-1/13/13

This weekend was my official last weekend of yoga teacher training.  It feels like it went by so fast! We've been working since September and now all we have left is our teaching practicum the first weekend of February! I'm sooo excited! I also taught my first official class at the studio this weekend! We've added two kids classes and I get to teach them both. :) Hopefully, the class will grow! It is so much fun to teach kids and interact with them! They are incredibly flexible and open to what yoga offers.  And I can't tell you how rewarding it is to see someone "get" a pose and accomplish something they've never done before! I even got my class to om! :)

My house got hit with the stomach flu and try as I might I eventually succumbed.  I thought the worst was over by Saturday evening but after I ran the 4M Prediction Run, I wasn't feeling myself.  My fever was back by the afternoon and I ended up calling in sick on Monday morning and resting all day.  I still was able to get some decent miles in and while I had to scrap my training plan for the week, I felt good about squeezing in 3 runs.

1/7 - sick1/8 - chiro/rest1/9 - 5 miles - icy/slushy/soupy trails 1:14:17 - 14:52/mi; 30 min yoga, 20 mins on the foam roller1/10 - 3.13 miles - pavement 38:52 - 12:25/mi; 20 min yoga1/11 - rest1/12 - 2.38 miles - pavement/trail mix 31:02 - 13:02/mi; 2 hours yoga - legs were tired!!!1/13 - rest 1.5 hours yoga

total: 10.51 miles

The weather this past week was incredible! It was nice to be out and feel the sun but I'm ready for winter to come back.  Tomorrow the temps should dip back into the 20s. Then all we will need is snow! :) Have a great week!!!

06 January 2013

Training Log 12/31/12-1/6/13 and a Race Report!

Gorgeous mid-day run!!!
The first week of January is done! Woohoo! I hope all of you have had wonderful holidays and the happiest of New Year's! The first week of 2013 started off with (technically) 2 races, some beautiful running days and  the stomach flu. Monday, the last day of 2012, I ran the GNYER and then went to a fun NYE party and celebrated with some great friends. Tuesday was a family day and Wednesday I was back at work - boo!  Wednesday was a trying day and I just felt off.  Thursday I spent the day at work feeling dizzy and weird.  Friday I was able to get in a beautiful run around lunch time that was MUCH better with the aid of my new yaktrax.  As soon as I finished, my stomach hurt.  By the afternoon I was certain that I was getting sick and by 7pm I had a decently high fever and the stomach flu. Saturday I was pretty drained and still not feeling well but determined to do my first official race of 2013.

Post race reward :) 
I woke up this morning feeling pretty good and got everything together and out of the door with time to spare.  Today was the Dirty Snowflake 4M Prediction Race.  That's right, prediction, no watches and you predict your time!  Luckily, the race started on time! :) I started off in the last third of the pack as there weren't a ton of racers and they all looked super fast!  Once we made our way onto the Ledges trail and it became mostly single-track I wished I had toughed it out and tried for middle of the pack.  There were a lot of traffic jams and I had to walk quite a bit in the beginning.  Eventually the route got a bit wider and I was able to move around some.  I underestimated my race by 9 minutes! :( But I had a great time and the course was AWESOME and super beautiful.  I left right after I came in because my stomach started getting all weird and nauseous. Can I just say that the thing I dislike about doing races South of here is that there are hardly any Starbucks?!  I know that sounds ridiculous but there is nothing better after a good run than a hot cup of tea!  So after I found a Starbucks, I headed home to get some yoga, stretching, lunch and a shower. It was a great race and good practice at running without a watch which honestly made me a bit crazy mostly because I didn't know the distance.  I feel like if I hadn't got held up at the beginning I might have gotten closer to my goal.  I also think due to the conditions on the course I probably should have added 5 minutes or so to my time. ;)

Weekly Training 12/31/12-1/6/13

12/31/12 - W9 D3 - 3.15 miles at 12:21 - Great New Year's Eve 5k - road

1/2/13 - 1.73 miles at 20:08 ouch!- NCR snowy trails

1/4/13 - 3.57 miles at 15:32 - not bad for the flu! - NCR snowy trails but with yaktrax! :) 

1/6/13 - 4.13 miles at 14:26 - CVNP Ledges and Pine Grove Trails

Weekly Total: 12.58 miles

02 January 2013

Ups and Downs of Training

Let me first say friends that I really don't like complaining. I especially don't like complaining here but today was one of those days! Work wasn't great and I wasn't ready to go back after what felt like a very short 7 days off of work. After a day full of annoyances and just plain blah I realized as I was changing that I had forgotten my running shoes.  I was scheduled to get in 60 mins and then head home, shower, eat something and then head over to my yoga student's house at 7pm.  Which meant that to do this comfortably and not be rushing I had to be done with my run no later than 5:45pm.  Needless to say I was NOT happy when I discovered my missing shoes.  :( I rushed home and then got held up due some family stuff and didn't get to the park until 5:30pm.

I soooo needed this run.  I needed my run to fix everything that had gone wrong today.  I needed to go out and run hard and fast and feel strong and forget everything not great.  I needed to get dirty and sweaty and breathe the cold winter night air.  Some of that happened but most of it didn't.

This past Monday, I PRed. This past Monday the weather was shit and I ran great and hard and felt so amazing after the run.  Sure I pushed myself and there were parts that were a bit difficult and things I could have done differently but overall it.was.great.

Two days later and I couldn't find my footing.  I couldn't hit my stride.  My form sucked and I hated every minute I was out there. And honestly, I wanted to cry. If it hadn't been 20 degrees outside I would have.

I'm not a quitter. And I'm terrible at not meeting my goals or expectations.  I'm just really bad at disappointment.  Today I just couldn't take it anymore. I love the snow! It is one of my favorite things!!! But this year running in it sucks.  Every time my foot comes down it lands on something uneven and slides to one side. I can't stand up as straight as I normally do because my gait changes so much from the snow and ice.  I go from a midfoot strike to a toe strike and a mile in my left knee starts to hurt.  But most of all I get frustrated and disappointed in my running (or lack of). Then I quit. Mentally and emotionally, I quit.

All I kept thinking was, "Why did you decide to run a half in May, in Cleveland, when you have to train through the winter?!" "Why did you decide to do this for your FIRST half?" "Why do you always have to pick difficult things?" "Why can't you just be good at this?" "How are you going to run that 4 mile race on Sunday, when you can't go more than 4 or 5 steps without losing your footing?!"

I tried really hard not to get frustrated and give up.  I really did. But I just felt like I wasn't accomplishing what I wanted to or what I needed.  I had placed crazy amounts of expectations on this run.  It was going to make me better.  But it really only added to my day of frustrations.

After 1.7 miles or so I walked back to the car.

I was so discouraged.  The weather hasn't stopped me yet from running.  When I have a run scheduled, I run , no matter what.  But lately the snow has been really challenging for me.  Being outside, on a trail is what I need but lately what I need isn't helping me, it is making me crazy.  I'm going to get a pair of yak trax but I'm not sure that will solve it.

Running is pushing me in lots of ways.  It's just like when I used to train for tris or throughout the evolution of my yoga practice.  Running is forcing me to look inward so I can excel, change and grow.  Tonight might not have been the run I wanted but it was the run I needed.  It was the run that reminds me that not every run is great and that that is ok.  It reminds me that things can be tough but that is the exact reason I do them.  I reminds me to keep moving forward no matter how much I want to stop.  Through adversity we learn the most about ourselves.  Running helps keep me honest. ;) It makes me see myself and the ways I want to improve. I haven't had a lot of cheerleaders in my life to encourage me to pursue the things I wanted to.  I've had to do that myself and today was a reminder that it is important to be your own cheerleader sometimes.

Remember, for every uphill climb there is a fast downhill waiting! :)

01 January 2013

December Training Round Up, a Race Report and a New Year!

I meant to post all this last night but the weather was crappy and I got home late from the race and needed to get to a fab NYE party. Sooo first, let's get the training report out of the way!

12/17/12 - W7 D2 - 3.28 miles at 13:25 - trail - NCR

12/19/12 - W7 D3 - 4.77 miles at 13:55 - trail - NCR

12/21/12 - W8 D1 - 2.26 miles at 15:24 - trail - ECP

12/23/12 - W8 D2 - 2.37 miles at 14:53 - trail - Frohring Meadows

12/24/12 - W8 D3 - 5.13 miles at 13:38 - Frosty 5 Miler - road

12/26/12 - W9 D1 - 1.89 miles at 13:14 - trail - ECP

12/28/12 - W9 D2 - 1.65 miles at 16:57 - trail - ECP

12/31/12 - W9 D3 - 3.24 miles at 12:21 - Great New Year's Eve 5k - road

Total Miles: 24.59 miles

Great New Year's Eve Run

I LOVE this race! SARC puts on such great races! They are well supported and always have great giveaways. I was looking for a PR so I knew where I needed to be and was able to stick with my pace for most of the race.  I still started off a bit too fast and was trying hard to slow down.  I managed to stay between 11:30-12:00 for the first mile which felt good at the time but I knew I couldn't maintain.  I just kept pushing so I'd PR.  I got slowed down in the beginning because I couldn't get my garmin to find the satellite but once I got it working everything was fine. Here are my splits: 12:29, 12:38 and 12:46.  I was hoping for 12:30 consistently so I need to make sure for my next race that I don't go out and run 10-11 for the first half mile. Overall, I'm happy with my race! :) 

So it is a new year and I'm so so so excited about all that 2013 has in store for me! I'm going to begin working with my coach for the half this month and I'm still working out my race calendar for next year. I hope all of you had amazing holidays!!! :)