Friday, September 25, 2015

Getting used to running on tired legs- This weeks training updates

I've survived another week of training.  I know that sounds dramatic.  But, I am feeling tired.  My 18 miler went well, but I'm dealing with the aftermath and I'm trying to decide if I will run a tempo run this weekend or swap it out for easier mileage....

This Weeks Training Updates
Saturday 9/19 7.9 mile tempo workout.  I   woke up thinking that I was just going to run, something short.  But, at the last minute I decided to get my Tempo workout out of the way.  I ran 1 mile warm up, and 5 miles 10-15 seconds faster than goal marathon pace, followed by 1.9 mile cool down.  The temperatures were finally cool enough that I didn't have to bring my handheld water bottle with me.

Here's the data:

Sunday 9/20 7 miles easy.  I averaged 9:06  per mile for 7 miles.  My piriformis is a little sore… I'm fine when I run, but sitting down for long periods of time is becoming a pain in the ass.. lol.

Monday 9/21 5 miles easy. I ran this at lunch time, instead of circuit training.  I also celebrated 19 years of marriage!

Our one and only marathon that we ran together back in

Tuesday 9/22 Rest

Wednesday 9/23 18 miles...  Well I wasn't as nervous as the week before.  It was also much warmer than the week before.  This run was hard, but I'm glad that I now have an 18 miler under my belt.

Because of the heat, I told myself to take it easy the first hour. I also carried water and started taking in fuel early on. I bonked twice once around 1:20, then again at 2:25. I thought that I would finish the last couple miles with some tempo pace, instead I found a side street with mature trees and I just tried to hide from the sun.
I stopped twice by my car to fetch bottles of water and Gatorade. I didn't stop my Garmin either time. My Garmin stats for this run 2:38:35 for 18.14 miles 8:45 average pace.
Here's the data

After the run, I was all pscyched up to take an ice bath.  When I got home I realized that I left the house without house keys..... I had to drive across the valley to get keys from my husband.  I ended up stinking up my car from my run funk.. ewww. (sorry for the TMI)

Thursday 9/24  I did some circuit training.  I was really sore in my piriformis. Weight Training has become a necessity for me now.  In order for my body to not get injured I have to diligently do my squats, lunges, and deadlifts.  I don't lift very heavy, but I swear it helps to keep my running form in check.  Heres' the circuits that I did.

I used a 25 EZ curl bar for the for the 1st set and a 35lb EZ curl bar for the 2nd and 3rd set. I dd the following exercises as a circuit. I tried to quickly move from one exercise to the next to keep my heart rate up.
Bicep Curls
Shoulder Upright Rows
Shoulder Press
Good Mornings
Single Leg Lunges
Hamstring Deadlifts
My 2nd Circuit (3 sets)
Flat bench press w/bar to warm up and two sets at 65lbs.
Back rows with bar
Single leg Bulgarian split squats (body weight only)
My last circuit (3 sets)
Shoulder Taps in a plank position
Mountain Climbers
Wall Sits (30sec)
Handstand up against wall for a minute
Then I stretched my very tight hamstrings.
I also ran two recovery miles on the treadmill.   I ran this mostly to try to get some of the stiffness out of my legs.
Friday 9/25  Two a day.  A short 2.4 mile run to shake out my legs.  They felt really tired this morning.  At lunchtime I ran another 5 miles.  I noticed at the very end of my morning run, my legs were finally starting to come around.  And at lunchtime I noticed that after two miles of heavy legs, the feeling started to go away.

In the past I was more likely to take a rest day if I was feeling tired.... I realize that my legs are going to feel tired with the additional mileage.,.. I need to get used to running on tired legs because miles 23-26 are when the wheels start to come off during a marathon.  I am erring on the side of caution because of my piriformis niggle.  It seems that harder pace workouts/long runs will aggravate it.  I don't think this is an actual injury... It's just something that I need to be aware of.

It stinks because when I was younger I had more natural talent,and I could muscle my way through marathons...  Now I actually have the drive to put in the work... But, my body breaks down easier. Que sera sera...
8 weeks out!!!
As always thank you for reading.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Training Updates, Racing Weight and some Random Food Pictures

I'm nearing the halfway point of my training cycle.  I'm feeling a little beat up from my long run on Wednesday...  I'm sorry if this post seems a little jumbled.

Race Weight
So I guess I will get this out of the way first.... Earlier this year, I was a little bummed because I needed to lose a little weight.   I didn't really do anything about it until the Summer time.  I didn't go on on a diet, I just changed the way I ate.....  I'm still mostly vegetarian (I still eat fish occasionally).  I still eat eggs, but I am weaning myself away from dairy.... I'm also trying to cut back on my diet coke consumption.  I started making these changes around May of this year.
February 2015

May of 2015

At the beginning of the year I was closer to 130 than 120 pounds (I'm 5 feet tall).   After I had my daughter in 2013, I chronicled my weight loss efforts on this blog.  I even posted my final weight loss update here.  I think in 2014, I just became complacent and in the summertime and I stopped tracking my food.   I didn't gain a lot of weight, but after a few months of just winging it, I noticed that my clothes were fitting a little tighter.

I tend to race better when I am at the lower end of the 120's and,   I'm happy to report that I'm back in my target weight range. (121-123lbs depending on the day) I don't expect to lose any more weight... If anything I need extra calories to accommodate all of the miles that I am running....

I don't have any current photos of myself.  I feel silly taking selfies in the mirror.   But, I hope my race photos come out okay in November :)

Random Food Pictures

I think if you blog long enough, eventually you will start taking pictures of your food.... Since I discussed my diet above I wanted to show  you some of the meals that I eat....

Pre Run Breakfast
Homemade White Bread
With Peanut Butter
and Strawberries
Dinner the night before my almost 17 miler.
Chickpea, blackbean, corn, & pasta salad.
with sauteed zuccini and mushrooms.
Not pictured was the garlic toast I also ate.

Post Long Run Recovery Shake

Spinach, Hemp Hearts, Black Berries, Coconut Milk, Oats,
Chia Seeds, Coconut Chips

Carrot Juice after long run on Wednesday

I also enjoy junk food on the regular, but not nearly as much as I used to....I try to snack on nutrient dense foods.   Its almost a running joke between my husband and I about empty calories vs. nutrient dense calories...  My splurges include chocolate covered almonds and Kettle Chips.

My Diet Coke consumption.... Is still something that I'm working on.  My husband won't let me keep it in the house anymore, so I only drink the stuff Monday thru Friday.  I can say that I average about 5 Diet Cokes a week.  They are starting to taste more and more chemical everyday.  I'm such a creature of habit that I am just drinking my Diet Cokes out of habit,  I'm pretty good about drinking water and seltzer water at home, but when I'm out and about I can't resist an icy cold fountain drink....  Baby steps... baby steps.

Training Updates (Since my Last Post)
I have had to make a few modifications to my Hal Higdon program.  I've added a few tempo runs (at marathon goal pace) and I have had to move my long run days to mid week... The weather in Las Vegas is finally less brutal. It's still warm, but our mornings are finally in the low 70's and next week they drop down into the 60's!!!

Saturday 9/12- 4 miles at lunchtime....instead of running first thing this morning, I chose to wait until the kids nap time. It was pretty hot and humid so I stayed close to home.  I did the first two miles as laps around the park.

  Then I ran two more miles on the streets I'm glad I went for a short run, I was feeling antsy.  I averaged 8:59 pace for 4 miles.
Sunday 9/13 9.5 mile tempo run.  I ran a two miles warm up, 6 miles at goal marathon pace and a 1.5 mile cool down.  I chose a route that was pretty flat, and I also ran a looped course to avoid being stopped by traffic.  Here's the data.

During mile five I threw down my hand held bottle, and I came back for it a mile and a half later.  I think when I threw my bottle down, I may have caused a small crack in it.....

Monday 9/14- 4 miles at recovery pace.  I had the day off from work, and I wasn't sure if I would be able to run the following day, so I flip flopped my rest day.  I also did some light stretching and some planks.

Tuesday 9/15- Rest-

Wednesday 9/16- 16.9 miles----  I have  a lot to say about this run..... I'm usually pretty nervous before a long run, I'm worried that the distance will be too far to run, or that I will bonk really hard at the end.  Going into these runs feeling nervous is kind of a good thing,  My senses feel more alert and I'm more focused on the task at hand.  I wanted to run 16 miles with as little interruptions as possible.  I try not to stop for any breaks when running long.  IMO the clock doesn't stop during the race, so you have to learn how to eat, drink, and make adjustments on the go....

I chose to run 16 miles in and around Sunset Park.  It was a great set up.  I was able to stash water, and Gatorade in my car..... A little side story.... My trusty Nathan hand held  bit the dust on Wednesday morning (my bff during the summer months.)
RIP Nathan Handheld. 2010-2015
I had filled it up with ice, and I noticed it had a lot of condensation on the bottle. I figured it was the ice melting and it was a little humid.  Well when I got to the park, the center console in my car was filled with water. My bottle now had a huge hole in it, and I couldn't use it.... I was lucky that I brought two frozen water bottles and a bottle of Gatorade with me.  

I decided to run the first hour without carrying any water, I stayed in the park and ran loops on the paved loop, and then I also ran a few miles on the soft dirt paths.  Around 6-7 miles in I stopped by my car briefly to grab a frozen water bottle and my energy chews.  For fuel I ate dates and Powerbar Energy blasts.  After that first hour, I just kind of zoned out.  I left the park and ran around the parameter.  The roads were a little dicey, but I only had to run on the sidewalk for a brief period.   I also tried my best not to glance at my Garmin.  During the first hour of the run, I listned to alternative rock, and then during the second hour I switched it up to electronic music....   During the 13-14 mile I started to feel like I had to pee.   By mile 16 I really had to go, but I didn't want to stop running and or stop the clock.... I slowed my pace down for the last mile, and once I stopped to use  the bathroom I was done running for good.  Here's the data.
I'm posting both Garmin and Strava Data:  I'm happy that I used both devices to time my run. Because it appears that my Strava cut out on me during mile 9.  I was wondering why this mile appeared to be a lot faster than the other miles....

After my run, I walked around for a few minutes, and then being really gross and too far away from home, to shower. I ran a few errands and picked up my lunch on the way home.
Sushi after long run, this ended up being a snack.
I also didn't eat right away... I was too wired to sit down and eat.  I ended up sweeping and vacuuming floors, and doing other chores....  After I ate my lunch I treated myself to an ice bath.

Thursday 9/17-  I felt just overall tired, and my legs felt heavy but other wise I felt fine.   I ran just a little over 5 miles at recovery pace at Cornerstone Park.

Friday 9/18- Today I did a short circuit training workout.

Tomorrow I plan on going for a short run, and on Sunday I have a another tempo paced run on the calendar.  That's all I've got for now.  As always thank you for reading!

Friday, September 11, 2015

It's been an interesting week so far... Training Updates

I'm getting ready for my long holiday weekend.....  I can't really talk about my place of employment (it's not that kind of blog)  but, I will say that we observe the Jewish holidays and I will be observing about  a month of shortened work weeks!! (Yay!!)
In addition to hanging out with my kids and getting caught up on housework; I plan on doing some long runs during my vacation time.  This week has been sort of a step down week mileage wise.  However I'm finding it kind of hard to take a full rest day... More on that later..

Training Updates Since my Last Post  
Saturday 9/5: 14.5 miles
14.5 miles by strava or 14.3 by Garmin
I tried not to think about the distance, during the first few miles, because 14 miles seems far mentally. I ate my first date at around 45 minutes in and my second date at 1 hour. Between mile 10-11 I stopped briefly at at a gas station. I refilled my hand held bottle with ice and I bought a banana. I ran and ate my banana over the next mile and it really hit the spot. Too bad they don't pack as well as an energy gel.  14.5 miles 2:02:47 moving time 2:06:18 elapsed time. Here's the data

I tried not to eat my face off the rest of the day...  But I'm really digging homemade tortillas right now!!

Sunday 9/6 4 miles.  This was a recovery effort run/hike.  I woke up feeling pretty sore.  Normally I wold take a rest day, but I felt that my legs would benefit from a short run to get some of the lactic acid out.  It also didn't hurt that my mother in law was in town and I had an extra set of hands to help with the kids.... I live in Las Vegas, and when you think of Las Vegas, often people will think of the strip... I live near the mountains, and this view is such a nice juxtaposition from the strip.

It was pretty warm outside, but the views were spectacular.

Monday 9/7 6 Miles.  I'm a creature of habit, and I enjoyed my trail run so much, that I went back into the same area to explore some more.....

Tuesday 9/8 Cross Training-  I flip flopped my x-training day...  I ended up doing some circuit training.

did three circuits:
1st set 
Flat bench press with bar
One Arm Rows
Hamstring dead lifts with dumb bells
Step ups on to a bench with a knee lift
2nd set 
Sit ups
Back Extensions
Back Flys
Step ups onto a bench with a back leg raise
Around the Worlds for Chest
3rd Set 
35 pound EZ-Curl Bar was used for the following exercises:
Bicep Curls
Shoulder Rows
Shoulder Presses
Single Leg Lunges

Then I did a little bit of stretching.
Wednesday 9/9  Two a day... I was supposed to run 7 miles at lunchtime.  But, I didn't want to run on the treadmill.  I ran 2.4 miles in the morning at recovery pace, and at lunch time I did a tempo run.  I ran 1 mile warm up 3 miles at half marathon pace and 1 mile cool down.
The first mile was uphill the next three miles were gentle rolling hills, and the last mile was downhill This was supposed to be a goal marathon pace workout, but I didn't want to run this on the treadmill and with the heat I should have tried to slow the tempo down. I was hurting during the last tempo mile. I stopped my watch briefly before I started the workout to stretch my hammies and quads. After the run, I stretched for a few minutes.   Here's the data
Thursday 9/10-4 miles in the blazing heat midday....I ended up taking a tumble during the last mile. I was running over a freeway overpass, I underestimated a piece of road debris (a stray wire loop) my feet got tangled and I fell. It wasn't as bad as my fall from last Feb. (Thank god) but I still scrapped up my hands and when I fell I heard my vertebrae crack... I'm okay. I just hope I'm not too sore. tomorrow.  Sometimes I think I am super human and I do stupid things..... I shouldn't have even gone outside yesterday, it was really hot.  I also shouldn't have ran over a busy overpass...  I'm lucky that I didn't injury myself any worse than I already did.   My neck and back felt a little sore but, it could have been much worse.

After my run, I also did some strength training (upper and lower body)

Friday 9/11 5.5 Miles-  I did a easy run at recovery pace this morning.  I started out in Cornerstone park and then I headed up the hill.  Yesterday my new waist pack arrived in the mail!

This pack is very similar to my Nathan waist pack that bit the dust a few weeks ago.... I like that this is a smaller waist pack designed for a female.  But, I took it for a test run, and it bounced around quite a bit...   I will have to take it on a few more test runs, before I can give it a fair review.

Rest Days
Last year, and earlier this year I was pretty adamant about two rest days a week.  Since I have started base building my rest days are now down to one day a week, and I will usually do weights on that rest day.... 
I don't see this being a permanent thing.  I'm about 11 weeks away from the Deja Vu marathon, so that means I have 8 more weeks until I taper.  I'm trying to sock away as many miles as I can (within reason)  That and I think once your body gets used to running more mileage, you begin to crave more miles....  
I have one longish run this weekend (8-10 miles) but, I've already started to think about my upcoming 16 miler next Wednesday.

Well that's all I have for now.  Thanks for reading. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

14 Miles on the Calendar and I'm feeling a little nervous

I don't know what's going on in my head right now.  But, this past week, I have been feeling a little nervous before some of my workouts.  (Marathon freak outs don't happen this far out right?)

I'm worried that the run will feel hard, or that I won't be able to finish the distance, or hit expected paces. blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.   I guess it's a good thing that I'm feeling this way,  because that means I give a shit about this upcoming marathon.

Training Updates
 I didn't do any two a day workouts this week, however I used some flex time at work, to knock out some longer morning runs

Monday:  Circuit Training
Tuesday: 4 miles outside at lunchtime. The pace felt easy, except for the sun trying to fry me. C'mon fall! I ran 4 miles @ 8:54 average pace.

Wednesday: 7 Miles  1 mile warm up followed by 5 miles at Goal Marathon Pace and a one mile cool down.  Here's the data.
I ran the 5 tempo miles around the loop course
that will be used for the Deja Vu marathon.
Practice makes perfect.

I felt pretty dehydrated when I first got started. I started sucking down water almost immediately and then my stomach cramped up a little during the first mile. But, after the second mile I found my rhythm and I started cranking up the pace. I stopped my watch briefly twice. The first time during the first mile to top off my frozen water bottle, and the 2nd time to shove my phone into my waist pack. I think I'm going to have to find a different waist pack, It's hard to shove things in there using only one hand. I didn't have this problem with my last waist pack .
We are going to have to do something about you.

Thursday:  4 miles. This was an easy run.  I averaged 8:58 per mile, I also did a few strength training exercises (Flat Bench Press with bar, back rows with bar, single leg squats, hamstring dead lifts, back flys, and Roman Chair Leg lifts.)

Friday:  7.6 Miles.  This run ended up being a bit hillier than I had planned on running.  I chose the Pittman Wash Trail to avoid traffic, and I ended up being spooked by three different cyclists.  I'm so used to running against traffic to see the oncoming cars, that it feels strange to go with the flow of traffic.  I felt a bit tired and sluggish during this run.
I don't know if I'm still tired from my tempo run on Wed. or if I'm just trying to conserve some energy for my 14 miler this weekend. My plan is to knock it out in the morning and be done, but if I'm really tired/sore later on today. I might push it back until Sunday.

I know that it will be most beneficial to knock out my long run tomorrow, to build my endurance base.  My goal is to increase my volume, Sure it would be nice to take a rest day tomorrow and be fresh for a long run on Sunday.  But, I want to get used to running on tired/fatigued legs.

Well that's all I've got for now.  Hope you guys have a nice long weekend.  And thanks for reading.