Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's been an expensive week!

In the past 7 days I have:

--Had gutter work done on my house and had a ceiling fan installed in our home workout room

--Officially registered for marathon #2!

--Bought new running shoes!!

--Booked our flights to Argentina!!!!

There isn't any question about what is my favorite thing on this list, is there?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Chickamauga Training: Week 3 Recap

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Week #3...

It was a step down week! Every 3rd week in my plan is a step down week, which is really most evident in the long run category.

Monday, July 25
Plan: Rest or Cross Train
Actual: 2.7 mile walk w/Matt and dogs

We cooked a nice dinner and went out once it got "cooler". It felt good to get out and move after resting on Sunday and then eating a relatively heavy meal tonight. I'm liking that our Mondays are time for us to cook and spend time together and I'm going to try and keep this time for us as much as the schedule will allow.

I feel like sometimes Matt becomes a marathon widower and I do feel kind of guilty about it at times. I try not to let training take over my life and outside of long runs, the time commitment probably isn't that much more than one would normally spend at the gym. However, it's the other lifestyle issues that creep in along the way (i.e. "can't eat here tonight I'm running long tomorrow and it might upset my stomach", "got to go to bed early so I can get up for xyz workout", "sorry I'm not getting home until almost 8pm...I had to work late and then go put in an hour + of training") And the thing is, he RARELY complains...he supports me, asks questions, cooks 90% of our meals, I could go on and on. I am so incredibly LUCKY to be with someone so unconditionally supportive and it's so very important not to take this for granted and to make sure that I am there for him too.

Tuesday, July 26
Plan: 3 miles + boot camp
Actual: 2.4 miles + boot camp

The instructor seriously kicked our asses tonight at bootcamp. Burpees and lunges and pushups, oh my! I was REALLY aware of my quads on the run back to my car tonight.

Wednesday, July 27
Plan: 5 miles
Actual: 4 x 800

When I got in my car after work and saw this, I just DID NOT have it in me. It was steamy and gross and I was hot just walking the .15 miles to my car. (Still working on my attitude!) So...since we know training is all about flexibility I decided to head to the gym to do my speed work that was on tap for Thursday. (5 min warmup, 4 x 800 with 400 recovery jogs and 5 min cool down)

This actually turned out to be a really great plan in the end because I had barely started the second set of 800 when the skies opened. I thought I had noticed a couple flashes of lightning but I was really zero-ed in to Sports Center and wasn't sure if it was just a glare off the window. Nope; rain, thunder, lightning...the whole nine yards. The storm ended up knocking down some huge limbs in our yard and later, our power went out. I would have been stuck in the middle of trail in this storm which would have not only NOT been fun, but would have been mildly dangerous as well.

The workout went really well. I felt like I worked hard but not at all like I was dying by the end. In my attempt at Yassos last year I remember feeling like death so that's got to count for something. I really do think speed sessions (again, speed is all relative) are my favorite workout. I feel accomplished at the end and love breaking up the workout into chunks...helps so much mentally.

Thursday, July 28
Plan: 4 x 800 + yoga
Actual: 3 mile walk w/Matt and dogs

I had everything packed and ready to go to yoga. My hips and legs were screaming at me all day and I could not wait to get out there and practice. Of course, around 4:30 it started raining heavily but quickly cleared up. I was obsessively refreshing the RR park website and there was no mention of yoga cancellation. I stayed late at work and just before I headed out the door to change, I refreshed one final time: "Yoga in RR park is cancelled tonight b/c of the threat of inclement weather" DAMN!! Again!!

I didn't have any running clothes in my bag so I was forced to head home. Once I got home, I was tempted by the yummy salad Matt had made for us and then opted for a walk instead of run since my hips were still angry with me. While we were out I got a text from Amy saying that she was heading to the trail last minute and wanted to know if I wanted to join her. THAT would have been enough to motivate me into running (or at least run/walking) so I texted her that I would love to hit the trail this weekend if she is in town.

Friday, July 29
Plan: Rest
Actual: Rest

Even though my schedule had been "running lite" this week with the absence of my medium-long run, my legs were still happy for a rest. Not to mention that for some reason rush hour traffic was even more of a nightmare than usual and it took me 90 minutes(!!!) to get home. Started developing a major headache during this time too.

Amy texted to see if I wanted to run the next morning and I was thrilled to have company on my run. We agreed to meet at 9 which is later than I would usually get started but I knew I could squeeze in a couple miles beforehand and get in the 6 I had scheduled. My new shoes came in the mail today too but I knew I was not going to break them in on a muddy trail so it will wait til week #4!

Saturday, July 30
Plan: 6 miles
Actual: 6 miles

I had planned to hit the trail early to get in 2 or so miles before meeting up with Amy at 9. (I knew we would probably do 4 together.) My boss started texting me right around the time I wanted to get out the door and I ended up being delayed trying to solve a small problem. I ended up at the trail only 15 minutes early instead of the 25-30 that I had wanted and decided to zoom for a 7 min 30 sec out and back to see how far I could get.

1.5 miles later I was back at my car just as Amy was pulling into the parking lot. We ended up employing a 5 min run/2 min walk strategy which kept my legs pretty fresh. I have not been able to connect with A. over the past couple weeks and had such a great time chatting it up. I will almost always accomodate my running schedule if it means being able to connect with my friends while getting in the miles and I didn't care that we were finishing just before 10am. So much better than running alone! We finished at 5.5 miles and I wanted to head out to finish the .5 but there were 2 guys standing around staring so I started home. The .5 was nagging me, so I stopped at the lake in my neighborhood (which has a .4 loop) and finished the .5 there...felt good to round it off and not have that hanging over my head.

For the record:
Pre-run fuel: honey wheat bagel with butter and cinnamon sugar. Been hearing ShutUpandRun talk about this combo and had to try it out for myself. YUM! Will still be keeping my nutella for longer run "staying power" but this is another yummy option when pure carbs are more important. Also, 12oz of water

During the run: 20oz water/G2 mix (lemon-lime)

Wore: Nike running skirt, Nike dry fit tank, Experia socks (powered with Thorlo pads), pink Mizuno Wave Nirvana 6s, UnderArmour headband

Accessories: Garmin, Nathan handheld

Sunday, July 31
Plan: Cross Train (choice)
Actual: P's core routine

All of the following completed with the "aid" of a stability ball in my "new" workout room:
--25 traditional crunches
--25 oblique twists
--25 push ups
--25 trunk raises (reverse crunch)
--25 one-legged squats (each side)
--30 second bridge
--25 bridge curls
--6 Apollo "Oh No"s (working up to 10-15)
--25 tricep dips

P. does a great job of spelling out how to do each of these exercises, so go check out her post if you are interested in learning more! I really like this workout and have now written it down and tacked it to our "gym" bulletin board so that Matt and I can both reference this and incorporate it into our regular routine. If I could do this twice a week, I would be happy.

Overall thoughts:
I missed the medium-long run mileage this week which (obviously) cannot become a habit. Grateful for the other "time on my feet" in the forms of unscheduled walks which does make me feel a little bit better. My legs were grateful for the stepdown and I took advantage of the extra time to pamper myself (details in an upcoming post).

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chickamauga Training: Week 2 Recap

Monday, July 18
Plan: Rest or cross train
Actual: Rest

After I got back in town Sunday afternoon I headed straight to my office to prepare for an off-campus presentation Monday morning. It would have required me to stay late to get all of this stuff done on Friday afternoon and I did NOT have it in me after a busy and mentally draining week. Ended up being a good call b/c I was at my office for nearly 2 hours...

That being said, I was not in the mood to grocery shop, etc Sunday night so I took Monday after work to go get a much needed manicure, cook a nice dinner with Matt and go grocery shopping (Whole Foods and Publix so it took a bit of time)

Tuesday, July 19
Plan: 3 miles + boot camp
Actual: 2.4 miles + bootcamp

I actually debated on skipping bootcamp tonight and just running. Not b/c I was feeling lazy or unmotivated or sore but because I have a HORRIBLE nasty case of poison ivy that has taken up residence on the inside of my right arm. It seriously grosses me out to look at it and while I try to keep the two larger spots covered with bandages during the day, it's still covering most of my inner arm. I have taken to wearing cardigans and blazers at work despite the 90+ degree weather so as not to gross out all of my coworkers and I was worried about grossing out all of the other people in the class.

I hemmed and hawed trying to make my decision and finally decided to just suck it up and not worry about it (too much). I put on a few bandaids and headed out to class. There was a photographer taking pics of us working out for nearly the entire class so I'm sure there are some unflattering photos of me that I will be able to share at some point. Not sure if the photog was just for the website or for the news or what, so we'll see!

Wednesday, July 20
Plan: 5 miles
Actual: 32 min tempo + 1 mile walk w/Matt and dogs

I ended up having to stay at work until about 6:15, so I was really in no mood to set out for 5 miles in thick, I was already really hungry. I ended up changing at work and driving to the gym to do my tempo run. I have not run on a treadmill in months(?) but I wanted to dial in on my pace and knew this was the best way to do it. Unfortunately I had nothing to snack on except for 2 Gu chomps left over from my Saturday experiment and since I am a glutton for punishment, I ate them on my drive over. My stomach was NOT happy with me later so I think I need to stop trying these and expecting to get a different result. Insanity anyone?

The run was tough but I felt refreshed when I was done. Went home, ate a quick "summery" salad and took the dogs out. A major storm was brewing though so we were chased inside after a 1 mile loop.

Thursday, July 21
Plan: 30 min tempo + yoga
Actual: 4.5 miles + 2 mile walk w/Matt + dogs

Unfortunately another week of missed yoga. This time yoga was cancelled b/c it had rained nearly all day long and the ground was soggy (this is an outdoor class on the Railroad Park green) and there was also a huge threat of rain/storms that was supposed to roll in right around 6:00. I checked the radar and thought that I was going to be forced inside because I ended up having to stay fairly late at work again and thought I had no prayer of getting this done. I had actually planned to do my run in the morning but I woke up to heavy rain and did not feel like revisiting the treadmill twice in 12 hours so I opted for the extra sleep knowing that yoga was likely getting cancelled and I could make up the run in the evening.

I actually headed over to RR park to do this run because there is a .80 mile loop on the edge of the park (part paved, part cushy track-like surface) and it's A. in a corridor where I would be able to see major weather headed our way and B. it's a loop so I would never be too far from my car/shelter in case things got ugly. No worse feeling than being stuck alone at the oppostie end of a trail and the weather turns south.

It was oppressively humid (97+%) with ZERO wind. I ended up allowing myself to walk 1 minute at the end of every mile because I was so uncomfortable. I was running in the low-mid 10s for most of this run so I suppose I could have slowed down but actually going slower was worse b/c it just reminded you of how hot and stagnant the air really was. I swear I'm not trying to bitch about this weather excessively but it's a bit frustrating b/c I feel like I am more capable than my paces and efforts are showing. I KNOW I'm in better shape than this time last year and I know that everything will catch up in the long run but it's a bit disappointing in the interim.

The park was sponsoring "Relax By the Tracks" last night so everytime I would loop near the pavilion area I was treated to a pleasant acoustic guitar/vocal performace by a local artist. He was pretty good and it was a nice treat to see what he was doing each time I looped around. Also saw a girl from marketing and one of the SOM deans out walking while I was there...there is always plenty of traffic in the park but I am glad to see others that I know enjoying it as well.

In case you haven't noticed, this is also the 2nd run that's been cut slightly short this week and I kind of cringe admitting it. This night I just DID NOT have it in me to go any further. Sure, I could have walked the remaining .5 (and I ended up walking 2 more miles once I got home) but that's not the point of a RUN and besides, I was DONE.

And in the TMI department...holy chaffeage, Batman! I knew I was sweating while I was running but when I got home and out of my car I realized that my shorts were so wet it was as if I had peed my pants (I DID NOT). Before we took the dogs out I commented about this and thought about changing my shorts but I thought "Ugh...I don't want to add to the laundry" so I just went with it. Yeah. BIG mistake. Rookie mistake. I should have known better and let's just say, I will NOT be making that mistake again!

Friday, July 22

Plan: Rest

Actual: Rest

Mentally and physically ready for a rest day especially given the aftermath of last night's walk.

Saturday, July 23

Plan: 9 miles

Actual: 9 miles + 1.8 mile walk w/Matt and dogs

I don't know why but I was really dreading this run. To the point where I thought I heard it raining when the alarm went off this morning and almost didn't even bother to get up and check. However, I did not want this hanging over my head so I got up and went outside to find it NOT raining, just foggy/overcast and HUMID (95+% humidity). Not wanting to waste a minute of overcast skies, I started getting dressed/ate breakfast and was out the door just shy of 7am.

I didn't really have a route in mind, was kind of hoping to head down 31 and avoid my neighborhood as much as possible. Ended up running to the mall and noticed that on the way down, traffic was already starting to pick up on 31. On the way back up, with traffic even thicker, I decided to run to the gym, hit the treadmill for a couple of miles and then run the 2 miles home. I didn't have my gym card with me since this was not part of the (non-existant) plan, but I knew they could just check me in. The guy asked if I needed a number for spin class...huh? Maybe it was the capris? When I got upstairs to the cardio room, I glaced in the mirror and OMG...soaked. I ate 3 sports beans at this point, drank some COLD water from the water fountain, turned on the ceiling fans and hopped on the 'mill.

Since the gym had just opened it was pretty quiet in the cardio room, save the 2 guys on bikes in front of me. I did not have headphones so I could hear their conversation loud and clear and willed myself to tune them out. I'm just as nosy as the next person but these guys were being SO negative...being racist about downtown Birmingham, being nasty about our own suburb (which I happen to like, all things considering...and they are residents of too since you have to be to be part of this gym)...nothing they had to say was positive and I didn't want that energy to impact my workout. Thankfully, I was able to focus in on the ESPN closed caption and a few more people came in which created enough machine noise to mostly drown those jerks out. Funny closed caption moment of the morning: instead of saying that XYZ player was helping his team achieve said XYZ player was helping his team achieve "suck sex" I laughed out loud at that one. Yes, I am 12. :) Before I knew it, the 2 miles was up.

I was really dreading the run home but knew that the next 2 miles would be only moderately difficult and that I was on the home stretch. Plus, I really had no other option! I did wet a papertowel with ice cold water and put it on my neck just before leaving the gym though. I got home just as our contractor (and friend) was pulling in our driveway to do some work on our gutters. He was asking me questions about my training, showing genuine interest, which was really nice considering that he is a non-runner. I tried to keep my answers pretty simple and not scare him off. Although he swears he will "never" do something like the marathon, this is the 2nd time in a row he's seen me and asked about running so maybe there is a seed being planted there!

Post-run can see the papertowel still on my neck!

Also, I have to brag on Matt for a second. I was in the shower post-run thinking about how I was hungry and wondering what I was going to do to get some protein...Organic Harvest shake? Chocolate milk? Matt came in and told me he was making me a tomato and feta omlette. I had not verbalized any of the above, but it's like he read my mind. What a sweetie...and it was DELICIOUS!

For the record:

Pre-run fuel: 1/2 of a honey wheat bagel with nutella, approx. 6 oz of water

During the run: 20 oz of water/gatorade mix in my handheld plus maybe 12 oz of water (directly from the water fountain and added to my handheld before leaving the gym). Maybe another 8 oz of straight gatorade gulped when I got home. 3 sports beans (fruit punch flavor)

Wore: UnderArmour heat gear capris, Nike dry fit tank, Wigwam Ironman socks, pink Mizuno wave nirvanas, UnderArmour headband.

Accessories: Nathan handheld, Garmin

In the late afternoon we walked down to the lake, fed the ducks and did a couple more laps, per Matt's request. We know I can't say no to this and actually would have walked longer but it started to rain and we had to make a mad dash back to the house.

Sunday, July 24
Plan: Cross train (choice)
Actual: Rest

Unless you count napping on the couch and going grocery shopping as cross training ;) Seriously though, it was SO HOT and the weather kept vascillating between sunny and "the skies are going to open at any second" cloudy. I was hoping to get in a walk with the dogs before True Blood but it didn't happen and I'm not going to beat myself up about it. I'm feeling stressed about some things at work right now and my body apparently needed/wanted the break.

Overall thoughts:
My attitude wasn't bad but it was less than stellar. I need to stop the negative talk about the heat and humidity and just deal with it, but it's hard. However, I live in the south and will do what the training requires and keep in mind that when fall rolls around this effort WILL pay off and is making me stronger in the meantime :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chickamauga Training: Week 1 Recap

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Week #1:

Monday, July 11:

Plan: 5 miles

Actual: 4.85 mile run + 2 mile walk w/Matt and dogs

Per the usual, when I got home, Matt asked about my run. My response? "I believe this would be considered character building."

HOLY COW I have not felt so wiped out after a run in a LONG time. Of course we were under all sorts of heat advisories and it was 99 degrees when I started this run just before 6:00 p.m. However, the HUMIDITY was unlike anything I have felt in a while. I seriously felt like I was breathing through a straw the air was so dense. I was out on my usual trail and while the trees usually offer a break from the heat, the canopy was trapping the humidity and making it feel like a rain forest. I was covered in sweat even worse than normal and a couple of times had to completely pull off to the side and stop and walk around. The humidity was making it where I could NOT cool down. There were actually quite a few people out on the trail today which was surprising given the weather but it made me feel better that everyone else pretty much looked like s*** too. Regulars that I usually see zooming around were walking (and it was not near parking areas, we were all just gassed). I made it 2 miles before I was forced to walk (~1 min) b/c I knew I could not keep it up for another 5K. For (almost) the last 2 miles, I was running 5-6min and walking 1 b/c I was so hot and drained. I arrived back at my car at 4.85 and while I could have run around the parking lot to round it off, I was DONE. I really didn't want to take the dogs out for a walk but we chose a "less hilly" route and kept the pace moderate and the time on my feet never hurts.

Post run...look how red my face is! And sadly, this was after I had been sitting in front of my AC on full blast for several minutes!

Tuesday, July 12:

Plan: 3 miles + bootcamp

Actual: 3 miles + bootcamp

I am beginning to think bootcamp is cursed! My plan had been to run 2 miles before bootcamp, take the class (30 minutes) and then run 1 mile back to my car. Work ended up being CRAZY and I got out in just enough time to change and run to class. During class, storm clouds began to roll in and we just got through with our intense sweat session ( girl who was similar size to me had on a Body Bug and it said she burned 384 calories in that half hour...I don't doubt it!) it started to lightning and the skies darkened even further. I was busting ass to get back to my car; I had the energy to tack on the mileage but was worried about the weather. (This is the 4th week in a row weather has impacted this class in some way, shape or form!) Luckily, where I live, skies were cloudy but with no impending doom. My neighbors told me Matt had just left with the dogs but I picked the wrong route in my pursuit to find I tacked on a quick mile to visit my ducks and turtles at the lake and scoped out a couple of hills for repeats on Thursday.

Wednesday, July 13
Plan: Rest
Actual: Rest :)

I had an early meeting and Bunco after work which made today ideal for a rest day. Right now, my rest days tend to fall on Mondays (or around stuff I already have in my schedule, which is why I did my 5 on Monday) but it was nice to have the mid-week break and to hang out with my friends. Also turned out to be good that it was a planned rest day b/c there were torrential downpours and thunderstorms all afternoon and well into the evening so I would have been forced to the gym treadmill or needing to reschedule (both of which would have stressed me out)

Thursday, July 14
Plan: 3x hill + yoga
Actual: 3 x hill + 3.4 mile walk w/Matt and dogs

I find it kind of funny that just after I write a post about my work schedule "normalizing" that I have a week with 4 early meetings and 1 late meeting. Today I had a "last minute" meeting added for 7:30a and then a 5-6p to end the day. My original plan (before the meetings were added) was to do my hill workout in my neighborhood in the a.m. and then go to yoga after work (it starts at 6). Well, since my meeting ended at 6 that killed off yoga and I was NOT getting up extra early to run a sweaty workout that would require a re-washing of the hair, blah blah blah. I was starving when I left my meeting and it was overcast but I decided I was just going to get the hill work done downtown. Our downtown is actually fairly flat but there are some good hills that go from midtown to southside as well as some bridges that go from midtown to the northside. The bridge route is actually a little bit safer at this time of day, so off I went.

I ran a half mile warm up to the bottom of the bridge (10:31 pace) and estimated that it was a 2 block (.2 mi) climb to the "peak" (it was .19 so I was pretty close). I thought it was a decent, challenging hill/bridge and am surprised to see only 50 feet of elevation gain over the 2 blocks. So, OK, not the most challenging hill I've ever tackled but still a respectable climb and one you wouldn't necessarily want to see coming in a race situation. I went and re-looked at the V2V killer hill and it climbs 180 feet in .75 miles and that was seriously cruel and brutal (but NOT safe to train on due to traffic) I would still LOVE advice for picking a good hill to train on. Is a .2 mile hill too short to gain benefit? Should I go for something longer with a slower grade? Like I've said, I run hills anyway b/c there is almost no way to avoid them, I just want to do some focused work on them.

Since this was a new workout, I really had no idea how to tackle it or what to expect so I just decided to go for it and adjust as needed. I wanted to focus on powering up to the top and letting myself go a little bit more than usual on the downhills. In races, I usually use the downhill as a way to "catch my breath", bringing down my heartrate and I can feel myself holding back a little.
I totally screwed up the lap function on my last downhill and I'm disappointed not to have the data b/c I finally had the feeling of controlled motion downhill on the last set. BUT totally rocked out negative split paces on the uphills.

Hill 1 10:23/mi (up); 10:05/mi (down)
Hill 2 10:14/mi (up); 9:31/mi (down)
Hill 3 9:36/mi (up); (did not recordthe down)--After monitoring the splits for 1 & 2, my goal was to hit 10:00/pace and I totally killed it! Woo hoo!

A couple of "cool" things during the run: a yellow school bus full of kids (looked like 6-7 y/o baseball team) at a stop sign as I was climbing hill #2. Windows down, I heard some kids saying hey. I looked over and saw some waving so I gave them a huge 2 handed wave. Then a huge "YAY!!!" erupted from the bus. So cute and made me smile (and push harder). On hill #3 a couple people leaving from the corporate buildings that I pass acknowledging me and 1 woman saying "Great work" Wonder if she was a runner.

Ran the .5 cool down back to my car (11:33 pace this time around!) and headed home. Ate an awesome dinner from my "personal chef" and we headed out with the dogs for a nice humid walk afterwards.

Friday, July 15

Plan: Rest

Actual: Rest

I had made plans to spend the weekend in Auburn with my aunt and cousin and drove down after work. It's a 2 hour drive and I got in around 9:30; the drive was rainy and I could feel that my back/shoulders were sore from tensing up.

Saturday, July 16

Plan: 8 miles

Actual: 8.1 miles

I absolutely LOVE running in Auburn. Not just because it provides different routes and is considerably flatter (not flat, but it's considered the plains, not the foothills) but 1. Most of the city is connected through a sidewalk system (not just in subdivisions but on "major" traveled roads as well); 2. It is so easy to get lost in thought/memories as I run past places that were such a huge part of growing up (as a child, then teenager and later as a college student back for summers or weekends with my then-b/f who went to Auburn University).

It was the PERFECT morning for running and if it weren't for the lingering humidity, you wouldn't believe it was July. It was 72 degrees and overcast with 94% humidity (2 out of 3 is not bad!). I watched the weather channel as I was getting ready and saw that there was no expected break in the clouds and that the high wasn't even expected to reach 80. BLISS!

I had toyed with the idea of getting up extra early and running with the local running group but since it was "only" 8 miles I saw no reason to kill myself meeting everyone at 6am. My plan had been to be out of the door by 6:30 instead but once I saw the forecast, I took my time getting ready and was out the door a few minutes after 7. My plan was to run a modified loop of the running club's "Saturday plan", starting and ending at my aunt's house. My aunt was doing body pump and we would meet at 9:30 for Starbucks/breakfast.

Cheesy pre-run mirror shot

Overall, this run was BLISS. Everything fell into place and I could not have asked for a more perfect morning. I was running without music (more on that to come in a future post) so I was alternating between losing myself in thought and "taking it all in". I decided that I would count all of the runners/walkers and cyclists out this morning as something to keep me focused. You will not believe this but...26 on foot (including a girl I knew from high school) and 26 on bike! Not counting myself though, so the runners have the slight edge ;) 23 of the cyclists were part of a group ride and I was able to focus on counting them as I was climbing a hill, so it was a nice distraction.

Shortly before mile 4, I passed some runners inviting me to utilize the "water stop" ahead which was nice as I was pretty sweaty and could use an excuse to stretch my lower back. It was actually at a place I worked for 2 summers in college (nostalgia!) I took this opportunity to take in about 6 oz of water and to eat 2 chomps. I wouldn't normally eat on a run this short but as much as I like the "jelly beans" I have been wanting to test some new fueling options and figured it's best to do so on a low risk run (not a 20 miler). The chomps were from a sample pack I rcv'd at one of my races and while they were tasty, I think they upset my stomach just a bit and in fact, I threw up in my mouth a little toward the end of the run (and it was not from overexertion). Gu chomp FAIL. Will be trying something else this coming weekend.

Also shortly after the water stop, it started to lightly mist and pretty much misted on me the entire way home. It was like having my own personal sprinkler system. WIN! I thought to myself that I could have run a half marathon today, I seriously felt THAT good. Huge confidence builder and my last mile (mostly downhill but STILL) was my fastest of the morning.

Water or sweat? I'll let you decide!

Even my legs were sweaty!

For the record:

Pre-run fuel: 1/2 of a honey wheat bagel with nutella, 6 oz water

During the run: 20 oz of water/gatorade mix in my handheld plus 6oz at water stop and 2 gu chomps (strawberry)
Wore: Nike running skirt, UnderArmour tank, Wigwam Ironman socks, pink Mizuno Wave Nirvanas (which are going to need replacing soon), UnderArmour headband
Accessories: Nathan shadow pack (for phone), Nathan handheld, Garmin

Sunday, July 17
Plan: Cross training (choice)
Actual: 1hr recumbent bike at the gym ("Random Hills" with Level 3 as the "base", 21.6 miles completed)

My aunt and I got up early and headed to the gym. I thought about doing the elliptical after the 30 minute mark but was enjoying the bike workout so stuck with it. For the first half hour I was reading "Run" by Dean Karnazes but then got sucked into a fascinating "Outside the Lines" on ESPN about Charlie Wittmack and his journey to complete a World Triathlon which included swimming the English Channel (250 miles), an approx. 9,000 mile bike ride and then climbing/summiting Mt Everest. His story was extremely interesting and apparently motivating b/c there were times when I would check my speed and see myself pumping 25-30mph on difficult parts of the "hills" in the program. I know that I got a solid workout on the bike and my legs will thank me for the variety, but there is just NOTHING like the sweat I get from a good run.

Overall Thoughts
Not bad for week #1 of training. I was able to find a good balance of a busy work week, fun times with friends and training. Hoping for a good week #2!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon: Let the Training Begin!

Today begins to journey to marathon #2… the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon which will be held on November 12 in Ft. Oglethorpe, GA.

I was pretty bummed about not having my name come up in the NYC Lotto and my other 2 opportunities to gain entry fell apart so I was a little bit lost for what I might do for my fall marathon. It took some searching on marathon guide and then a chance encounter in Starbucks (which I may or may not go further into on this blog) and some more searching and obsessively reading random race reviews before I came to my decision. With my first marathon , I had quite a few “qualifications” that came into play when making my decision: winter marathon, (relatively) flat course, no double loop courses, road race and within an afternoon’s driving distance (I did not want to be across the country if, God forbid, anything should happen to me).

While St. Jude’s was an AMAZING experience I knew it was also time for something new.

This time, my list of qualifications was much shorter: late fall/early winter marathon. That’s pretty much it! (1. It’s going to be hot but I did not want the peak of my training in late August in Alabama; 2. We are planning an amazing trip out of the country for this fall and while I plan to “run through it”, I want to give myself enough bounce back time.) I feel that even though this is only my second time at the dance, I know so much more about what my body can handle and what I need to do to take care of myself (both during training and during a race situation). A marathon in GA is the fiscally responsible choice anyway and the reviews really sold me on the experience (even if it is a double loop course!).

I have put together an aggressive (for me) training plan with (of course) the ability to flex and modify as I go through. The plan includes 4 days of running, with one speed/hill/tempo workout a week, as well as yoga and bootcamp (1x each per week) for as long as I can sustain the schedule. (Just FYI, the running parts of the plan are a hybrid of Higdon’s Novice 2, Intermediate 1 and Advanced 1 plans. )There is also room for additional cross training as time allows (likely in the forms of brisk walks w/Matt) which is low impact and helps give me time on my feet. I am also planning to incorporate massage once every 3 weeks b/c I have been dealing with serious glut/IT band tightness in the “off season” and it has the potential to be debilitating if I’m not on top of it. (Plus, I have a membership to Massage Envy, so it's fairly economical to do this)

All in all, I’m super excited for my new plan, especially b/c I know if I could pull off what I did last fall while working 60+ hour weeks, I know I am capable of better things given that I’m in better shape and working much saner hours. Seriously, last fall I was routinely in the office at 6:30a, would leave between 6-7p, workout, go home and eat, shower and get back on the computer to do more work from home. Work is busy and fulfilling these days but not insane!

Without further adieu, I give you week #1:
Monday: 5 easy
Tuesday: 3 moderate + bootcamp (30 min)
Wednesday: Rest (Bunco night!)
Thursday: 3 x hill + yoga (1 hour)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 8 (possibly a few miles with a running group)
Sunday: Cross

Anyone else doing Chickamauga this fall?