Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Revel Marathon Training-Two weeks worth of updates

My apologies for this being a long rambling post.  I just started working with my coach again, and when it comes to describing some of the longer runs, I want to include all of the gory details, and I can go on and on about the little incidentals, and annoyances.

Week of February 27-March 5th
Monday  2/27- Unintentional Rest day- I forgot my shoes at home.

Tuesday 2/28- 9.3 Miles 55 minutes general aerobic, 20 minutes tempo/steady state, with a 1 mile cool down. This run was a bit longer than usual because I was trying to make up for Monday's day off.

Wednesday 3/1- 3.3 miles at recovery pace.

Thursday 3/2- Another Rest day. I had already planned on taking the day off from running. I used flex time at work, to go to my son's class for  Nevada Reading Week.  I read my son's kindergarten class a story.

Friday 3/3-17.6 Miles

As comfortable as my 15 mile run felt the week before, that wasn't the case for my last long run. It was a grit your teeth and dig deep during the last hour kind of run.

On Friday I used a few vacation hours so that I could leave work early, It had been a busy morning but I was looking forward to running during my lunch hour and then just extending the run.  I didn't expect it to be so hot either.  When I ran my 15 miler, the temps were a mellow 55 degrees.  On Friday it was 70 degrees when I got started at 12:30 pm.  The trees were starting to bloom, and I wasn't used to all of the pollen.

I wanted to run a route that would be mostly free from traffic.  So, I headed out to Heritage Park.  I discovered this park a few weeks ago, and it has a nice two-mile paved loop.  Heritage Park is also a short distance from the River Mountain Trail Loop.

My plan was to do a few loops around the park and then head out into the trail loop.  I brought salt tabs, energy chews, water, and Gatorade with me.  I had planned to make a few stops by my car to drink fluid.
I wore a tank top and shorts, but sunblock might have been a good idea too.
I ran three loops around the park, (just over 6.2  miles) I stopped by my car to pound some Gatorade, and I took a small bottle of water with me, I also ate a salt capsule.  I headed up Burkholder road, and the climbing began.
I borrowed this photo from Yelp.
I climbed for a mile and a half and I noticed that my arms were feeling itchy.  I felt like I was holding back during the climb but when I reached trail head, I was feeling pretty tired.  I ate a few chews and I headed through part of the River Mountain Paved trail.   This trail is a wonderful resource for cyclists, runners, and walkers.  But, I always feel spooked because it is isolated, and cell phone reception can be spotty.  It also felt so much hotter near the mountains.
This picture is from a previous
LVTC Holiday Half marathon race.
I made it through the trail portion back out into a different neighborhood I was about 10 miles in and debating on flipping a u-turn back into the trail loop.  But, I decided against it.  I stayed on the residential streets and made my back to Heritage park. I had hoped to pick up the pace during the last few miles, but that was not happening. I ran two more loops around the park and called it a day at 17.6 miles.  Here's the data.

I took a cool shower when I got home but, the pollen had caused me to break out in hives on my arms.

Saturday 3/4- Rest

Sunday 3/5- 7.3 miles general aerobic with hills and strides.  It was cool morning.

 37.6 Miles for the week

The week of March 6-12
I reached out to my coach Brent Bowers again, to help me prepare for next month's race... I wasn't able to reconnect with him until I finished up with school.  I didn't want to have the additional stress of hitting workouts, and I didn't have any extra cash. Last month I was running, and doing some tempo work. But, now I feel that we are going to kick things up a notch.

Monday 3/6- 45 minutes general aerobic and 20 minutes tempo.  The first 20 minutes of the General aerobic pace felt hard.  I was still feeling tired from the last long run.  But, during the tempo portion things went well.  I ran most of the route uphill, and the tempo portion was downhill
I wanted to practice downhill
tempo pace
Tuesday 3/7- 4.4 miles recovery with strides.  I kept forgetting things all day long. I forgot my Garmin, I forgot to bring my hat. etc.

Wednesday 3/8 6.2 miles- 20 minutes warm up, strides, 4 x 800 at half marathon pace. I haven't done intervals in over six months.  And these hurt.  I ran two miles to warm up, and I did a few strides, In between each 800 I jogged for .25 miles.  Here's the data: 3:42, 3:35, 3:35, 3:36  Then I ran a short cool down.  I think these may have been faster on a track, and not around the business park.

Thursday 3/9 3.5 Miles recovery.  Hello, Heat!  Today Las Vegas hit 80 degrees.   I do not want to carry my handheld bottle just yet.

Friday 3/10 13.1 Miles 2 miles warm-up, 10 miles at Steady State, 1 mile cool down.  I had hoped to do this run in the morning.  But, I had a few meetings that morning, that I couldn't reschedule.  I used flex time and took, an extended lunch break.  There was a little bit of cloud coverage, but the sun beat me up during the 2nd half.  I chose a route that was sort of flat, and it was an out and back course.

Part of the route was on busy roads, but I did manage to run a few miles in the Wetlands Park.  I made sure to turn off my headphones while I was in the park.  It's a beautiful area, but I needed to be aware of cyclists, and possibly sketchy folk.  Homeless people sometimes camp out in the wash.

these pictures are from another time I was out at the wetlands.

I stopped twice briefly once at mile 5 to buy a bottle of water, and towards the end of the run, I got stuck at a red light.  I was really hurting during the 12th mile. But, overall I'm happy with how this run went.  Here's the data.

Saturday 3/11- Rest Day

Sunday 3/12 - 6 Miles,  This was a hilly run, at recovery pace.
I never get tired of staring at these mountains.

You can see the Las Vegas Strip in the distance.
40.2 miles for the week

The Revel Marathon is now 44 days away.  This marathon seems like it is sneaking up on me.

Thank you for reading.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Revel Marathon Training and what's been going on so far

I can finally catch my breath again.  I finished up my MBA program last week, and I am currently in the process of my degree audit.  I have a lot more free time at night and on the weekends.  Last Friday I turned in my final term papers and my capstone assignment.  I had stressed myself out so badly that I had a horrendous tension headache, and I had felt so overwhelmed.  I also managed to run 15 miles last Friday, and it went well.  So let me do my best to update you on the last few weeks of my training...

In January I was easing my way back into running 25 miles a week, and in February after I signed up for Revel I knew that I needed to get those numbers up into the mid 30's.  I'm not currently doing any hard interval work,  For now, I'm focusing on general aerobic runs, and doing some tempo pace on the back half of some of my runs.  I won't take you all the way back to the beginning of February, just the middle.

Week of February 13-19
Monday-  5.1 Miles 4 Miles relaxed and then 1 mile with strides.   I was tired and I almost talked myself out of running that day.

Tuesday- 6.7 Miles, I ran for 30 minutes general aerobic, 24 minutes tempo, and a short cool down.  Here's the data.

I ran this at the park, and it was nice not having to worry about traffic.

Wednesday- 4.2 Miles. This was a recovery effort, but I decided to do some trail running.  It was the first time that I had been back out to the trails since I had injured my foot back in December. I was worried that my foot would bother me so I tried to run as easy and relaxed as I could.  I climbed 454 feet and I ran for about 50 minutes.

Thursday- Rest

Friday- 11 Miles,  I had hoped to run 14 on this day, but I was pressed for time, and the weather was horrible.  This was the same day that Southern California received over 5 inches of rain in some areas.  The storm was starting to reach the Las Vegas area, and the winds were terrible.  I had chosen a hilly route, I took off in shorts, and a long sleeve top, but I had to stop by my car at mile 3 to put on a windbreaker.  Then it started to rain.  I ran relaxed and was extra careful with my footing. I did not want to fall and slide down a hill.  Here's a picture of the elevation and the data.

Sat- Rest

Sun-8.5 miles, 2 miles warm up, strides, 4 miles goal pace, 2 miles cool down.  I chose an area that was nice and flat,  The weather was a little warmer than I expected and I ended up tying my half zip top around my shoulders for the tempo portion.  I felt like a goon, with my shirt tied around my neck.
But, I was also happy that I was able to hit my paces.

35.8 Miles for the week

Week of February 20-26
Monday- 6 miles relaxed.  It was nice to have the day off from work.  I did feel a little tired from the previous day's run. But, it wasn't so bad.

Tuesday- 8.1 Miles, This was 4 miles general areobic, 3 miles steady state, 1 mile cool down.  This was my last week of school and, I was feeling very frustrated with how my papers were shaping up.  Runcrastination was a welcome distraction.  I chose a hilly area, becuase I want to build up my quads and hammies in preperation of the downhill marthon course that I will be running.  Here's a picture of the elevation and the run data.

Wednsday- Rest

Thursday- 4 miles recovery,  I drove out to a different area to run, because I like to switch up my routine on a regular basis.  #safetyfirst.  I drove to an area that is near a paved trail. I ran 1 mile on the trail and then I ran through a residential area with a steep climb up.  I did this so I could run back down the steep climb.  I don't want to overdo it with the hills, but every little bit counts.

Friday- 15 miles,  this was my reward for turning in my final assignements early.  I was a mess last week, and I was grateful to be finished.  I did this run in the afternoon, and my goal was to just relax and enjoy the miles.  I stated off in the park, then headed out on a bike trail, and then headed out on the road, and then back through the park. I had planned to swing by my car one hour in to drink some gatorade, but that didn't end up happening until mile 11.  Here's the data.

This run felt great.  I saw a few cottontail rabbits, the pollen didn't bug me too much, the hills were okay.  I felt strong, considering I had been so stressed out all week long. That night  I slept for ten hours straight.

Saturday- Rest ( I did take my kids out for a short run/walk to the park)

Sunday-7.2 miles, 25 minutes warm up, 30 minutes steady, cool down  This route wasn't super hilly but, I ran the first 25 minutes uphill so that I could run the 30 minutes steady on a slight downhill grade.  Here's a picture of the elevation and the data.

Mileage for the week 40.3

I will save this week's training for my next post. I ended up taking an extra rest day. I had forgotten my shoes one day, and then I had to take another day off because I needed the personal time to attend a function at my kid's school.  Today I am heading out for hopefully 18 miles.  Next week I start working with my coach again. See you on the other side.

Thank you for reading!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Running Updates-Oh Boy!

I've been a super lazy blogger.... I've been busy with school but, I did want to update you guys on my running post injury.   I'm sorry if this post ends up being all over the place.  I'm kinda mixed up about how I feel.

Let me get my big announcement out of the way first.....I decided to register for the  Revel Mt. Charelston Marathon.    A part of me is so excited to race at the end of April.  But, another part of me is "WTF are you thinking?"

The Revel Mt. Charelston course is a crazy steep down hill cheater cheater pumpkin eater course.  I will show you the elevation profile.

This makes the St. George Marathon look tame.

I realize that by running this marathon, I may have a really great chance of destroying my legs, and possilby reinjuring my foot.....  So why did I sign up for this?  I'm dumb or smart depending on how I look at this..... My biggest motivation was that I wanted to try to BQ again before registartion opens up in September.   I also do not want to train for a fall marathon this year.   I love Rock N Roll Las Vegas.  (never thought I would say that, but I had a good race last year).  

Training for a fall marathon means lots of long runs during the brutal Summer months.  In Las Vegas, our Summer is on steroids.  And last year she was a beast!   I think I might still race the half but, getting back to Revel.

Another reason that I recklessly registered for this marathon, was because my old running partner/run BFF now lives in Washington, DC and she got me excited and fired up about running, and we were going to run this race together..... Turns out, I registered and then the marathon sold out before she had a chance to. Womp.... Womp......I'm actually still closet training for this race.  I haven't told my husband yet.... Running eats into family time, and I know that marathon training can stress my family out.  My husband knows I'm training for something, but I'll drop this bomb in a few weeks after I finish my MBA program.

Revel is 11 weeks out, and at the beginning of March, I will start working with my coach Brent Bowers again.   He really did a great job of taking the guesswork out of pace, effort, and distance.  I did so much more of my running at an easy/relaxed pace.  But, I also did a crap ton of strides, and he changed my attitude of the long run.  I used to think that I had to do my long runs at marathon goal pace the majority of the training run.  By slowing down I was able to build up my endurance base, but not having to log 50 miles a week either. I was averaging in the high 30's and peaked at 45 mpw.  I really can't fit much more mileage into my schedule.  I also didn't feel exhausted or burnt out.

Running updates
I feel that I sorta eased my way back into training.....Here's what my last six weeks of running have looked like

I did my first long run of 13 miles last Friday, and it felt okay.  I am focusing on base building to build up my gas tank.  I am also being cautious about my pace. About once a week I will head out to different running  trails with big hills.

I will go into further detail about some of these runs in my next post.

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Updates on my Fitness-January was much better than December

In December I wrote a list of things that I wanted to accomplish.  I wanted to spend more time in the gym working on my strength and slowly easing back into running.

Here was my list of goals- With brief updates

Bench Press 95lbs  (Earlier this week I did 85lbs for reps)

I'm still hanging out at 85lbs.  I bench press without a spotter.  I could probably go heavier but that is super dangerous without a spotter. I'm going to the gym to lift only about twice a week, However, I am doing a lot more core strength work at home at night and on the weekends.  It sounds silly but, I've been teaching myself to stand on my head.  It really is a great core workout.

Hanging Chin ups.  (I used to be able to do 3-4, but now even one is a struggle)
I can now do two reverse grip hanging chin ups.  YAY!!  In the gym, I have been focusing on lat pull downs with various grips (wide, close, overhand, underhand, etc.)

Increase groin and hip flexibility
At night when I watch TV (if I'm not studying), I will do planks, and stretch my hips, hamstrings, and groin.  Plus, I will do donkey kicks and glute bridges

Increase calf strength
I have been wearing shoes with a slight heel.  I bought a pair of ankle booties, and they have changed my life. lol.
I wear them a couple of times a week, and I forgot how much I enjoy wearing a shoe with a heel. I feel a little sassy, and I like the clicking sound they make when I walk.  They make me two and a half inches taller, and I swear my posture has improved.  And my feet and calves are getting stronger too.

Lose 7-8 lbs. 10-12  (Too much eating and drinking over the summer months ) My goal weight is 122lbs
This will make the chin up goal easier to attain.

I think I may have been lying to myself about how much holiday weight I gained.  My starting weight on Jan 2 was 134lbs. (Damn, I'm only 5 feet tall, so that's a lot for me)... But, after that hard dose of reality. I buckled down and have lost 5lbs my current weight 129lbs.  I still have another 5-7 to go.  But, slow and steady wins the race.   Earlier this month I was wearing my Garmin as an activity tracker to count my steps.  But, then my watch was acting haywire when I would use it for running.  Since the Garmin is my running watch, and I need it for running. I have since stopped using it to count my steps.

Clean up my diet.  Instead of trying to lose weight fast, I'm going to shoot for 1/2 a pound to a pound a week.

Currently, I am using an app to track all of my calories and exercise activities.  The app is called Loseit.  I have given up most junk food, and I'm eating a lot more vegetables.   The first week I lost two pounds and since then it's more like half of a pound a week.

Things are moving in the right direction, and I feel so much more positive than I did in December.  In the next post, I will update you on the running side of things.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

When you do something stupid to compromise your own safety

I was hoping that my next post would be about updates on my fitness.  But instead, I want to tell you how dumb I was a few weeks ago.... I was so dumb that I can't drive to my favorite park, and I'm now switching up my routes and being extra careful of my surroundings.

A few weeks ago I drove out to one of my favorite areas to run.  I parked my car near a park that I frequent, and I started getting dressed in my car.  To do this  I will put my running shirt on over my top and put my sports bra on and then take off clothes from underneath. I don't full on strip down (okay maybe I do, if the coast is clear) Anyway, I was getting ready in an area where there were no other cars.  But, halfway through a car drives by (Subaru Outback) and out of the parking lot up onto a hill that leads out of the park. But, whatever I didn't think they cared.  Well, a few minutes later I'm about to step out of my car, and I notice that the same Subaru Outback is parked directly above me on the street above.   The dickhead driver actually pulled over so he could sneak a peak at me getting dressed.... Good night. I'm not a PYT (pretty young thing) but, I guess creepers are desperate to see a flash of skin.  I gave him the double middle fingers, and he drove off.  But, after that I sure as shit didn't want to run in that area.  Even better I'm sure the dude will recognize my car. So now, I have to avoid my favorite park (or at least not park in the area) if I want to feel safe.

I'm mad at myself for being careless, but I"m also mad because why should I have to worry about feeling safe, when I run at the park?

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Shoe Talk Volume III

I love me some running shoes.  I think I loved them a little too much last year.

(January 2016) I paid $70 for these when my local running store shut down.
This is the ASCIS GT-2000, and this is an awesome shoe! Plenty of support
but it's not super clunky.  These shoes lasted 300+ miles

(Janary 2016) I got these babies for free!! Actually, I had a friend who
worked at Zappos, and I mentioned how my Brooks Adrenaline's' didn't
fit properly but, I didn't want to return them after running approx. 80 miles, and she comped
me a new pair of Brooks Cascadia Trail Shoes. I don't wear these
very often. But, so far they have been a great shoe for off roading

(January 2016) I got these for almost free at a local track club race
However, I am a wimp, and I'm too scared to try this shoe out.

(April 2016) Nike Lunar Glide 7 I paid $50 for this shoe, and
I loved these for short hard tempo runs, and for 5k racing. I did a few long
runs in them, and they lasted about 250 miles before they started to
feel old.  I still wear these on the weekend and for gym shoes.
(May 2016) Nike Structure Triax-I paid $50 for a shoe that normally costs $120
but the arch support in these shoes is way too stiff for me now and
these shoes hurt after only 180 miles in them...

(August 2016)
When you see $50 running shoes on sale you buy them!  This is the
ASICS GT-1000 and to be honest I couldn't tell the difference
between the GT-2000, and the GT-1000.  This shoe was so
good that I wore it for the marathon.  I wish I would have purchased
two pairs.
(September 2016) Saucony Guide 9 I paid $65 for these shoes
and I really like the support and cushioning in them. I had the previous
model and they held up through 300 miles

(October 2016) Nike Lunar Glide 8
My mom bought these for me. and they cost $120. I had taught her how to play
Keno and she ended up winning $800 very quickly at Cesar's Palace.
we went shopping in the Forum shops to celebrate....
I really liked these shoes at first., but the fit and support 
is so much different than the Lunar Glide 7.  
These shoes have a really high arch support and it aggravates the inside of my foot.  
I won't be wearing these for running....

FWIW I am a discount shopper, and I will buy shoes that are from last season, and I never pay full price (except for my last pair of Nike Lunar Glides). I used to be so dedicated to my Brooks Adrenalines.  but once they stopped woking for me, I became a bit of a shoe slut. I tried a lot of different brands last year. 

I noticed that I was complaining about my right foot for several months last year and because it didn't hurt while I ran, I just ignored it until it became a huge issue....

I pronate my feet when I run, and my arches are sort of flat. I have always worn a stability shoe for most of my runs.  When I was younger I could wear racing flat for 10k's and even half marathons... But,  I have to baby my feet now.

A few years ago I used to wear shoes like this to work.
When I started having kids my work shoe choices look more like this
Carrying a car seat, and chasing after small kids, calls for sensible shoes.  I'd still put on the heels when I had a date night, but for the most part ballet flats and other flat shoes were all that I wore.

These flat shoes lengthed my calves without me realizing it, and combined with marathon training and gaining a few pounds, this contributed to the strain on my right posterior tendon /posterior tibialis muscle.

I took the last month off of running (except for one short run), and my feet were feeling better.   I had also stopped being so obsessed with being on the lookout for discount running shoes, that I started looking at boots and winter shoes online.   I found this super cute shoe at Zappos, 

These shoes are going to help me strengthen my calves again.  I didn't realize that wearing flat shoes would f*ck my feet up so much.  I've worn these a few times, and they actually seem to help take the strain off of the over extended tendon.

I'm still going to be really cautious about upping my mileage.  For the time being,  I'm just going to be doing short runs of 2-3 miles, and I'm still working out at the gym.

I hope to give you an update on my fitness goals in my next post.

Thank you for reading.