Thursday, October 29, 2015

Putting all of my eggs in one basket- One month out! Let's try not to have too many meltdowns this month okay?

This year I didn't really race much.  This year was about rehabbing my weak left hip and adding enough mileage to run a quality marathon this fall.

That being said I do miss the feeling of toeing the line....I don't plan on racing before my marathon.  I just hope that everything will come together for me on November 28th.  My taper begins in about 10 days...  I'm torn on whether I want to do another 20 miler or scale it back to 16-18 miles.  So far I have done two 20 mile runs.  I have never completed three separate 20 milers in one training cycle.  Is a third 20 miler too much?

Another thing that is in the back of my mind, is that I am so afraid that I will catch the stomach flu or some other icky the week of the race.  I didn't think that was possible until that happened to me earlier this year, when I was excited to race a 5k.

Another thing that's making me twitchy and anxious to race is that the  Rock n Roll Las Vegas Marathon is in three weeks.  I'm just going to stick my head in the sand and not pay attention to the race coverage on TV.  I would be excited for my friends racing, but I really don't think a lot of local runners will be participating.

I think the Competitor group may be loosing it's edge because I saw the race being offered on Groupon.

I guess not too many people are excited to pay
full price for an overprice marathon.
Man I would be pissed if I paid $150+ for the marathon and then saw that it was being offered on Groupon several weeks later.

Other Running News

The Las Vegas Track club has been going through some changes.  The membership has declined in recent years, and they have chosen  to restructure some of their races.  Their next big race will be their annual Turkey Trot 5k and 10k.  This year for the first time ever, they will be offering prize money!!
I set my 10k PR on this course.  It's a fast one!
Cash Prizes to Top 3 Men & Women in 10K & 5K
     $200, $100, $50
Normally I would love to take my chances at some prize money  but, this race falls one week before the marathon.  So I won't be attending this event either....

Shoe Issues?
Today I went for an 8 mile run at lunchtime, and my shoes felt a lot bigger than usual..  I know my feet swell up a little bit in the summer time, but it really seems like they have now shrunk a whole half size. WTF? 
You fit just fine last month.. In fact I couldn't even wear my
thicker socks with you because you fit too snugly.

 This was one of the reasons why I moved away from the Brooks Adrenaline last year,  My feet didn't feel secure in the heel portion of the shoe.  I'm hoping with thicker socks this issue will go away....  Just another thing to fixate on before the race.... 

That's all I've got for now.  Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Strava what you do to me... 5 weeks to go, 15 in my Nikes and 5 more in my Brooks

We are one week closer to the marathon and I survived another heavy load week... Earlier this Summer I joined a Strava running club, and it has been nice to have virtual training partners. I'm a competitive person so I try not to take Strava too seriously....Then this happened...

I'm not hating on you 1st place runner..  
I'm glad that we are virtual training pals and
I appreciate the miles you log. 
I had been in  1st place and then I was knocked off the top spot by a runner, who by coincidence ran .1 miles longer for the week....

I was actually tempted to hop on the treadmill to run an extra mile... But, that wouldn't have made any sense running wise.....  I guess this can be why Strava is so addictive.  When I try to explain Strava to non running people it sounds like I'm talking about fantasy football or Dungeons and Dragons....However, this nifty tool has added an extra level of entertainment/enjoyment to marathon training this year....I realize that  it can become a slippery slope for sure. Especially when it's the off (recovery) season.

Training Updates
Tuesday 10/20:  7 miles  Tempo Tuesday!! I decided to do some exploring today.  I went running for the first time ever at the Wetlands Park.  I have always talked myself out of exploring because this location is pretty remote, and during the summertime I can not risk getting lost...

Look at all the different paths you can take!

Many years ago, I tried to run through the Wetlands via Hollywood, because I was told that it goes all the way through to Broadbent Rd.  I ended up getting lost that day, and I was fortunate that I ran into a worker from the water treatment plant.... It may have been a much different story, if that would have happened in July.

But, getting back to the Tempo workout. I ran about a half mile, and then I was at the main entrance to the Nature Preserve. I asked the park rangers, which way to go.  They were very helpful, and they even gave me a map.
 I took a few pictures

and then I got my workout started.  I decided to do 5 x 5 minute pick ups with 2 minutes of active recovery in between the intervals.  5 minute pickups are like 1000 meter repeats without the track.  I tried to run the intervals close to half marathon pace. (7:15-7:30 per mile), after the workout I jogged another mile for recovery.

Wednesday 10/21:  Two a day, before work I did a short strength training workout. I have been neglecting the weight room lately... I forget how much I enjoy strength training.  Here's the short workout that I did:
Incline Push-ups
Regular Push-ups
Around the world lunges (body weight only)
Hanging Plank chin ups
Side Step ups onto a bench with a knee lift
Lat pull downs.

At lunch time I ran 6.5 easy miles.  Last week I was worried about my waist pack, and carrying it for the marathon.  My blogger buddy Grace suggested that I try an armband to carry my phone.  I was hesitant because I have had negative experiences with armbands before.  But, I decided to head to the local running shop to look at my options.  I ended up choosing this armband...

My phone is a tight fit, but overall I am very pleased with my new piece of equipment.

Also on this day, I wore a pair of dress flats for work that I hardly ever wear.  They are a half size too big, but I wear them with insoles so I didn't think it would be a big deal.  Well a day of casually walking around in shoes that were just a little too big caused my heel/plantar fascia to feel tender....Great.. Just in time for my long run.

Thursday 10/22: Rest

Friday 10/23: 20 miles 15 in my Nikes and 5 more in my Brooks.... So I will try not to ramble about this run too much....
Greek Yogurt Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Pre run breakfast Pancakes two eggs, and a few orange slices.

I decided to do my long run at Sunset Park, to avoid traffic, and to run a little bit of the marathon course.  I had planned on wearing two differnt pairs of running shoes.  My feet were feeling a little tender so I decided to start off my run in my Nike Structure Triax shoes.  This shoe will correct any heel striking/arch collapsing that my feet will sometimes do.  But, the downside to these shoes is that they are really firm, and I have never ran longer than 14 miles in these shoes...I worry that my knees or hips will feel the pounding in the later miles....I also worried that my new armband would piss me off over 20 miles....  The weather was actually chilly(?) My plans were to just survive the 20, maybe finish off with tempo pace....

The first hour seem to take forever, and the last hour actually went by the fastest ( I know strange).  I felt stronger this time around compared to the last 20 miler that I ran....
Here's the data:

I stopped by my car between miles 7-8 to grab a bottle of water & more fuel, and then again around mile 15.  This time I ran into a bathroom to go, and then I ran to my car to swap shoes and pound some Gatorade.

For fuel, I ate the following: 2 or 3 dates, 4 Powerbar Energy blast chews, 1 20 oz bottle of water that I carried during miles 7-13 , 1/2 of a 16oz bottle of Gatorade, and one Powebar energy gel...

At mile 18 I decided to pick up the pace, and at mile 19.5 I was rewarded for my efforts with a horrible bonk again.  The last half mile of this run sucked so bad.  I'm proud of myself for running past my car to even out the 20 miles...  After I finished I felt really shitty.  I ended up throwing up a little bit. (I should have know better than to eat oranges before I run)  they didn't bother me during my run.

I stretched, and let my heart rate come back down, and then I drove home. I stopped to pick up my ice....I took an ice bath as soon as I got home...

Saturday 10/24-Rest
Sunday 10/25- 7.2 miles....  That first mile is always the hardest... Once I got moving and the legs warmed up, I didn't feel so trashed. I'm tired  but I actually felt like I could pick up the pace a little bit, and I did a few strides during the last mile. Here's the data:

Monday 10/26.... Rest..... I had hoped to workout either today, or on my lunch break... But, I'm tired and farting around on my lunch break seemed like a better idea...  

Well that's all I've got for now.  Thank you for reading!

**** Disclaimer**** I have been running in the Desert Southwest for going on 12 years.  I respect the desert and the heat.  Please use caution when running trails or in remote areas during the hot/dry months.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Six weeks out, training updates, and other odds and ends.

Six weeks out..... I'm looking forward to the taper.  But, first I must get through two more heavy load weeks (50 miles).
Last week was a lower mileage week.  I thought I would have spent more time in the gym lifting weights- but, I used that time instead to get caught up on work during lunch breaks, or just resting...

So I have about 10 days worth of training updates.  This is what happens when I forget to blog for a week.

ETA:  Once I wrote all of my workouts out, I realized that I have done 3 x 9 miles tempo workouts in ten days... I think I know what my favorite workout it now, or this is the only type of distance workout that I like to do....At least the workouts were sort of different.

Training updates

Saturday 10/10-Rest

Sunday 10/11- 9.1 mile tempo run.  I had been feeling tired from Wednesday's 20 miler. I ran two miles to warm up, 5 miles at GP, and a little over a mile to cool down.  Here's the data:

 I also practiced eating a gel while running tempo pace.  Fueling can be difficult when running tempo pace.  But, during a marathon, I will have to be diligent about getting enough calories in. 

Monday 10/12-  Strength Training and a 3 mile run at recovery pace.  

Tuesday 10/13 - 6 miles... I ran without my Garmin, and I had no idea what pace I should have been running, Tempo? Easy?  It was a hot day, and this run felt like a chore.

Wednesday 10/14 - Rest

Thursday 10/15  9.1  Miles total Hilly Tempo workout.. 2 x 2 miles at half marathon pace.  I ran two miles that were uphill to warm up.  I then got the work out started.  The first tempo mile was down hill, but then I got to climb back up.  I then ran a mile at recovery pace, followed by two more tempo miles.  Then I had a two mile cool down.  This workout went by fast.  I felt well rested and there was nice cloud coverage... Here's the data.

During the recovery mile I ate a Heed Hammer Gel.  Last year I really liked Heed.  This year not so much.  I have been using Powerbar Energy Gels.  I'm not super crazy about these either, but the texture is much lighter than the Heed Hammer Gel....

Friday 10/16  5 miles recovery at Cornerstone park.  Fall is finally here!!!  There was cloud coverage and it was nice and cool.

Saturday 10/17 Rest

Sunday 10/18 - 9.1 mile run with a fast finish.  I ran without my waist pack (more on that later)....  It is so nice to not have to bring my hand held bottle with me.  I don't really notice the extra weight in the summertime, because I need hydration.  But, now that the temps are cooler, I can run without it, and my stride is feeling more efficient.  I didn't plan on picking the pace up towards the end.  But, I was feeling lazy for "just" running 9 miles, and I wanted to try to run a little tempo pace towards the end.

Here's the data:

For dinner last night I made Vegetable Tempura and it was so freaking delicious!

Blotting the grease with paper towels.  I also served this with
white rice.  Vegan doesn't always mean healthy :)

Monday 10/19- 10.7 miles...... I ran these all of these miles at an easy pace.  I didn't have time to fit 10 miles in before work, or at lunch so I had to split the miles up. I ran 3.36 miles before work, and 7.36 miles at lunchtime.....

Other odds and ends.

I bought another pair of hot pink Brooks Adrenalines.  I found this pair of shoes on clearance (again)
Someone has to buy all of the left over hot pink shoes.
Sierra Trading post had these babies for like $60.00

I actually wore them fresh out of the box for my 20 miler in my last post.  I had been saving them, for closer to the marathon.  But, my other Adrenaline's were done....

I'm also wondering if I'm going to wear my waist pack for the race.... I have a mental block when it comes to racing with a waist pack.  Deep down I'm worried that my waist belt will either start sliding around, bouncing, or I will cinch that sucker too tight and end up with horrible chaffing and will lose sensation in my hips.  I have this pretty neat shirt that has a kangaroo pocket in the front, and my phone fits in there nicely...

I wore it yesterday for my 9 miler, my phone bounced around some, but it was manageable.
My biggest concern is that it will be too hot to wear this top to race in.... I wish I had enough disposable income to bite the bullet and buy an ipod nano.  But, I don't want to go through the hassle of purchasing songs through Itunes, when I already pay for a music subscription on my phone (Slacker Music App).

I'm sure that I will drive myself nuts trying to figure out what to wear for the race, and I will probably find other things to fixate on soon.....
Don't mind me...  It's all par for the course with marathon training.

I think that's all I've got for now.  As always thank you for reading!!

Friday, October 9, 2015

20 Miles done! It's a heavy volume week for sure, and a muffin receipe

I'm in the middle of my heavy volume week.  I knocked out a 20 mile run on Wednesday, I ran 5 horrible recovery miles yesterday, and today I'm hoping to finish the day with 10ish miles....  Next week will be a step down week.  There is no way I could run 70 miles per week.  50 miles is enough to make me want to cry uncle... Okay enough feeling sorry for myself.

This is also my last week of shortened work weeks and vacation running.  (sad face)

Training Updates

Saturday 10/3 Rest,  I was looking forward to this rest day, but my legs felt restless, and I felt achy which is weird considering there isn't anything wrong (knock on wood)

Sunday 10/4 -8 miles This was a hilly tempo progression run.  I ran the first mile easy, and then tried to ease into a faster tempo  pace.  The first half was an uphill grade with a huge climb during the 4th mile, which meant a downhill finish.  Here's the data:

Monday: 10/5 5 miles recovery..It poured rain that day,  and I forgot to bring a hat. I was worried about soaking and ruining my Garmin so I wore in under my clothes linked to my waist pack... After my run.. I had a date with my kids and we went to the Shark Reef with grandma and a two other little ones.

Tuesday 10/6 Rest-  I also had another day off from work, like any other blogger- we went to Target.

Pretzels always taste better inside of the store.

Wednesday 10/7  20 Miles..... I"m not going to pretend that this run, wasn't a big deal.  This run took a lot out of me...
Mini Race Report Time:
I woke up early and I made muffins for my husband and I .  I made pumpkin oat hemp muffins.
They tasted a lot better than they looked.
That's carrot juice not orange

The kids ate french toast, then I dropped the kids off at daycare, and I bought my after run supplies (two 10lb bags of ice, Gatorade, and lunch fixings) before I went back home to run.  I knew that eating, driving, or anything else productive was going to be shot for the rest of the day.....
I left my house at 8:30 am and I'm so glad that the temps were still in the low 70's when I got started.

I ran both of my favorite 10 mile loops (they go in opposite directions)  halfway through my plan was to stop by the house and pick up more fuel and swap water bottles....

Miles 1-2  I tried to just run easy, and relaxed  the route went uphill slightly
Mile 3-4  I pulled out a date from my wrist pocket and ate it.  Mile 4 climbed 171 feet

Mile 5  This was a downhill mile and then I ran inside a gas station to buy a bottle of water.  I didn't stop my watch

Mile 6-9  Downhill running.  I tried to just take it easy and relax.  I ate two Powergel Energy Blasts.
This  is my new favorite energy fuel when running.

 I noticed that I didn't have any gels in my waist pack...  However I did have a 32oz bottle of Orange Gatorade waiting for me at home..

Mile 10- I swung by my house, and I decided against fumbling around with my house keys to grab energy gels from the pantry....  My Gatorade and other fuel was waiting for me in the bushes... I knew that I needed to drink as much Gatorade as possible.  I drank almost half of the bottle.  I was worried that my stomach would cramp up from the Gatorade, but I was fine.  I let my watch run for about 30 seconds while I stopped briefly.  I also grabbed another water bottle and my baggie with another date, and two Powerbar Energy Blasts.


I knew that the second half of the run was going to be much flatter, but there wouldn't be any shade coverage.

Miles 11-12  I headed out to the Sunrise Picinc Area.
LVTC used to hold timed runs out at the Sunrise Picnic Area
I hope someday they will start hosting events out there again.

 I love running out here, but this area does give me the heebee jeebees because it is so isolated....If shit goes wrong you are in the boonies.  I had one Powerbar Energyblast at about mile 12?

Miles 13-14  At around mile 13 I started to pick up the pace gradually.  It was a slight downhill grade so I tried to reign it in and not go overboard with the tempo pace.

Mile 15-16
I hit the turn around point to start heading back home.  There was a slight uphill grade during mile 16 but, it was like  a switch had been flipped, and I was down to run the last 4 miles as hard (within reason) as I could.

Mile 17-18 I had my last energy chew, and started counting the distance down to my next water stop at mile 19.  

Miles 19-20  As good as I felt at mile 16, the wheels came off somewhere around mile 18.75... It was sudden and quick, I felt like a balloon that had been popped.  My energy just went to crap, but I knew that I was close enough to home.  At mile 19 I stopped to buy another bottle of water. I only had a single dollar in my waist pack, so water was all I could afford.... I also cheated and stopped my watch when I went into the liquor store to buy the water... The last mile that I ran was a cool down shuffle.  It hurt.

Here's the Garmin Stats for transparency.

Map and Elevation

This run, almost felt like taking a hallucinogenic drug.  I was delirious when I finished.  I was happy that "Yes I finished 20 miles" but, my body was going haywire.  I wasn't in any serious physical pain. My legs hurt, but it was just more of a sheer exhaustion kind of hurt.  I started drinking fluids immediately.  I took a quick shower, and then I took an ice bath.  I never used to take them before.  But, they seem to help with my recovery so I'm going to keep on doing them.

I wasn't really hungry either. But, I knew that I needed calories.   I'm mostly vegan (I still eat eggs and fish occasionally) and I was craving salmon.  I purchased two kinds before my run, and I made a huge sandwich.

The rest of the day went by in a blur... Hours felt like minutes, and minutes felt like hours.  I made myself stretch for 20 minutes before bed, and I crashed super early that night.

Thursday 10/8- 5.3 miles recovery (lolololol)  This was one of the hardest runs  ever!  I did not want to run, but I had 5 miles on the schedule.  I wore a regular watch and just tried to shoot for 45 minutes of running.  I went to Cornerstone Park, and I ran through the park, and around the neighborhood.  I ended up running around 52 minutes.  My body still felt haywire.  My legs don't feel injured my whole body just feels exhausted.

That night I crashed early again.

Friday 10/9  This morning I made another batch of vegan muffins.  My go to starter mix is:
3/4 cups white flour
1 1/2 cup steel cut oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 coconut oil
3/4 cup of Fruit Puree (I use either applesauce or pumpkin puree).

Add ins (optional)
hemp seeds
sunflower seeds (shelled)
fruit (blueberries, raspberries, and pineapple work well)
peanut butter

Mix the dry ingredients with the wet, bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
Vegan Muffins
Back to running......10 miles for the day!  This morning I  almost left the house without finishing my coffee.  I slammed that cup on the way out the door, and it gave me a huge boost.
I ran 3.8 miles this morning, and then at lunchtime I ran 6.2 miles.. 10 miles all at once was too intimidating for me to attempt. so I split the run up.... I was still feeling tired from Wednesday's 20 miler.... But, I'm glad I got the miles in, and I don't feel nearly as trashed as I felt yesterday.

Rest day tomorrow, and tempo run on Sunday....That's all I've got for now.   As always thank you for reading.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Hitting the Halfway Mark! Strava vs. Garmin data.....

So I'm about halfway through with marathon training..... I'm honestly scared to write out how I'm feeling because I don't want to jinx anything, and I sure as heck don't want to take anything for granted.... So far I have done long runs of 14.5, 16.8, 18, and 15 miles.  This week has been a step down week (long run still was 15 miles)  and next week I have my first 20 miler on the schedule...

Going into the 2nd half of this training cycle, I will be alternating between heavy volume/lower volume weeks. Next week I will be shooting for 50 miles!!!  A few months ago that sounded insane.  But, last week I finished the week with 47.8 miles, and in one 7 day span I ran 49.8 miles....Suddenly 50 miles seems possible.....

Again I don't want to take anything for granted.  I just want to trust the process, put my head down, and do the work.....

Training updates since my last post
Saturday 9/26: 5.1 miles at lunchtime.  The weather was hot. I ran this at an easy pace 9:20 average pace

Here's my carb loading from Saturday night.
This was the first burritto. Spanish rice, pinto beans, and  home made tortillas.
The ultimate comfort food!!  I didn't use any animal fats so this
meal is vegan.
When I first went vegitarian, I was making a lot of pizza and hummus on the weekends, we've kind of become burnt out on pizza so we are switching it up, with tortialls and tacos until we get sick of those.

Sunday 9/27 : 10 mile tempo workout--I had been worried about some hamstring tightness in my left leg earlier in the week...  I was also feeling tired from my 18 mile long run from Wed.  I decided to split my tempo workout into 2 sets of 3 miles at 10-15 seconds below goal pace.  For my goal pace I'm trying to hit 8:00 per mile for the marathon distance....  I was just hoping that my splits would be below 8:30.  I ran two miles to warm up and then I got the workout started. After the workout I ran another mile to cool down. Here's the data:

Monday 9/28-   For the last ten days in a row, the Las Vegas weather reporters have been telling us the same white lie over and over again...
" It looks like, this will be the last day of the year that we will see 100 degree temperatures"....

 7 mile run, I ran this at recovery pace. It was a warm morning, and I had the day off from work.  I left the kiddos with grandma and I went for a nice relaxed run.  I stopped about halfway through to buy a bottle of Gatorade...I almost didn't stop because I had some water left in my handheld.  But, man I was so glad that  I did stop,  Heat stress can sneak up on you so quickly, you will be feeling fine one minute and then the next things can go south.    I ended up using the rest of the water in my hand held to dump over my head and face while running, while I sipped on Gatorade.
Here's the data

That night I had some beet, carrot, celery juice for recovery

Tueseday 9/29 Rest

I'm trying to be more creative with the vegan cooking.  I made this really great vegetable stew and I served it over brown rice and quinoa.

The sauce was really thick and rich (I used a lot of olive oil)

Wednesday 9/30- 15 miles with a fast finish.  I chose this route  on purpose.
I started near Cornerstone Park, and
I ran a route with two out and back sections.

 I felt like running some hills, and since I had done my last two long runs at Sunset Park I wanted a change of scenery as well.   I ran a few miles uphill, then a few miles downhill, then uphill, and the last four miles were a nice downhill ride.  I wanted to push the pace at the end a little bit.  I'm going to post both Garmin and Strava data... Because I love data!!!  Well I also want to be transparent in my training.... Stava over estimated my run or Garmin underestimated the run.  I have a feeling that Stava may have been off because mile 12 was fast but not that fast.

View of the elevation for funsies

It was also a pretty warm morning, I ran the first six miles, and then I stopped briefly by my car to pick up my water.  I only ran with one bottle of water, and I was trying to be conservative and nurse that bottle the rest of the run.  I brought my energy chews in my wrist pocket, but I was having a heck of a time trying to pull them out of the stupid pocket.   This run, felt great.....But again, I don't want to get too confident..

After my run  I treated myself to a Diet Coke, Gatorade with Chia Seeds, and a Recovery Smoothie.

Thursday: 4 miles recovery at Cornerstone Park.  Today the daytime high was finally 96 degrees!!!

Friday:  I ran 2.2 miles easy this morning, and at lunch time I headed out for 4 more miles... I ended up doing some strides at the end of the run.  I also did a very short circuit training routine for upper and lower body.  These were the exercises that I did:

Bench Press
One armed rows,
Single leg Bulgarian split squats

The second set of exercises:
Step ups onto a bench with a knee lift
Incline Push ups
Regular Push ups
Step ups onto a bench with a back leg raise.

The one thing I have noticed since ramping up my mileage is that I am losing some of my upper body strength.  I'm not too worried about it for now.  I know that my high mileage is a temporary thing and I hope to get back into the weight room more after marathon training ends.

Well that's all I've got for now.  Thanks for reading!