Friday, March 25, 2016

The Beet Juice and Orange Shirt 10k, plus When you see shoes this cheap you buy them!!

Yesterday I had a great run, I think it was because of the beet juice and my lucky orange shirt.  I was really  surprised at how well this tempo run went.  For the last two weeks, I have been climbing a lot more hills.  This week has been much lighter in mileage and elevation.  I ended up meeting my husband for lunch a few times this week (he usually works on the other side of the valley).   Yesterday I was ready to "fly" (I know that speed is all relative, and I hope this doesn't sound too humble-braggy).

 Before I left for work that morning. I made myself a beet soda. I know it sounds gross but hear me out...
 I added a scoop of beet powder to a Lemon LaCroix sparkling water, and for extra nutrients I added a scoop of Reishi mushroom powder, and I topped it off with a splash of lemonade.  I have been drinking way too much Diet Coke this week, so I made my beet soda prevent me from picking up a Diet Coke on the way to work.

I also took my lunch break an hour early so the weather wasn't super warm yet.  I chose a route that I haven't run in awhile, and that is fairly flat. I wore my bright orange shirt.

The out and back section of my route was on a busy street where the cars drive fast.  I always try to wear a bright top when I have to run on the shoulder of a busy road.  I had been hoping to run the second half at half marathon pace,  but I took off at pretty good clip.  I hit the first mile at 7:30 pace, and I just went with it...I ended up running a 10k at about half marathon pace...  The first half felt not so bad, I had the wind at my back, and on the way back in I had to run into a slight headwind. I kind of crashed and burned during the last mile.  I was lucky that I only had to stop for one red light, and that was pretty brief.  Here's the data.

After the 10k, I ran another mile to cool down.

I've been pretty lazy (or just don't care enough right now) about hitting the weights this week.  At night,  I've been doing some situps on an incline board, and a few times this week I have remembered to do few sets of push ups and planks.... I sit in an office chair for a good part of the day, and my office does not have a window.  Running outside in the fresh air has been way more inviting than the indoor gym... I know once it gets too hot to head outdoors, I will be stuck inside the gym at lunchtime....

When you see running shoes this cheap You buy them!!

I used to care about purses and fancy makeup, But, now all of my disposable income is going towards running shoes.  My birthday is coming up next week (that was the excuse I used anyway) and I found these beauties online for $50.

That price included shipping too!
This is the Nike LunarGlide 7 and it is a very lightweight stability shoe.  I had really liked the Nike Zoom Structure, but I think that shoe was a bit too rigid.  I had been wanting to try the Nike Lunar Glide but this shoe retails normally at around $125.00.  I found this pair of shoes on clearance at  I also had a 15% off coupon and that's how I only ended up paying $50.90 for them.

I have been more open to trying different brands of  stability running shoes, due to the fact that running shoe models can change drastically from one season to the next, even if you are buying your favorite shoe from the same brand.  I will say that I have found that shoes with an 8-9mm toe drop seem to be working the best for me right now.

I had really loved the Brooks Adrenaline but, the 15 fit so much differently than the 14. Plus   The heel to toe drop is too high at nearly 13mm.

In other news, my classes are going okay.... Most of my limited free time  now is gone, but I know this won't last forever.  Next week I will have two midterm papers due, and  I hope to start writing the outlines for them this weekend.

That's all I have for now.  Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Climbing Binge, Running off the Anxiety, ASICS GT-2000's How I love you so, and some food pictures.

I can already tell that this post is going to be all over the place.  I haven't been posting my regular workout schedule because I'm not really training for anything right now and I don't want to bore you with three weeks worth of updates.  If you would like to read all of the last three weeks of past workouts. You can click on my Strava page.  Or you can also join Strava, and we can follow each other....

Climbing Binge and Running off the Anxiety
Last week I went on a 10-mile trail run, and I climbed over 1100 feet during this run.

Strava keeps track of my weekly mileage and elevation, and I do have an addictive personality... After that run, on Tuesday, I wanted to see how many feet I could climb for the whole week.  My original goal was to climb 2500 feet, and then I decided to bump that goal up to 3000 feet.  I ended up climbing 2,991 feet.
Close but, no cigar

 I ran all 7 days last week, and I hit 42 miles.. That's  something I normally wouldn't do because I enjoy my rest days.  However, I think because I had started classes last Monday,  I'm feeling a bit more high strung than usual.  Running is one of the ways that I blow off steam. It also makes me feel more relaxed.  I used to drink alcohol on a regular basis, and I used alcohol as a way to cope for a very long time.  I'm glad that I don't drink anymore.  But, sometimes during times of stress, those nasty cravings will rear their ugly head....  I will always have to try to  remember how far I have come.

Picture from the foothills on Saturday

Sunday's Run, Doesn't this look creepy?

Here's the view from the other direction. I still felt uneasy
running in an isolated area.

ASICS GT-2000's How I love you so!
** Feel free to skim through this part of the post, if you don't need a stability shoe, my feet pronate and I have worn a stability trainer for most of my running years.**

At the beginning of the year, I was rotating two pairs of shoes.  the Brooks Adrenaline 15 and the Saucony Guide 8.  Both shoes are good, but they aren't perfect.
I've run about 100 miles in these shoes, and I've just about
given up on making them work.

The Brooks Adrenaline 15 is a nice firm ride with lots of cushioning, this pair has been especially troublesome because the fit of the shoe was cut too small.  I also don't like the fact that the heel to toe drop on this shoe is 12mm. I think this may have been making my heel striking even worse.
I like you much better than the Brooks.

The Saucony Guide  8 is lightweight for a stability shoe, and it fits like a glove.  The heel to toe drop is also a less severe 8mm.  My only issue with this shoe is that it is not as firm as I would like it.  My arches (flat feet) need a little more support sometimes. I like this shoe for mid-long runs, but I would be worried about wearing it for a 20 miler.

 The ASICS GT-2000 3 feels like the best of both worlds.  The heel to toe drop is 8mm, but the ride is nice and firm, and the cushioning is great.  I seem to be more drawn to these shoes.
Loving you is easy cause you're beautiful...

 I started wearing this shoe right before I got sick (early February) I wore them for two short runs of 3 miles each, But, I didn't really start training in these until after the half marathon.  These shoes are my favorite pair to wear right now.

My hip also hasn't been bothering me so much either. I wonder if it's because of the lower heel to drop ratio, and maybe because I'm not heel striking as much?  I also haven't been doing any intense interval speed work either...

Food Pictures
During the week, my husband gets home from work before I do most nights.  He's in charge of dinner most of the week.  But, on the weekends, I really enjoy cooking and baking treats for my family.  I wanted to show you some of the things that I have made over the last couple of weeks.

I finally figured out how to make crispy tofu.

Multi grain dinner rolls.  These have hemp seeds, hemp oil and oatmeal
in them in addition to regular wheat flour.  I have to sneak in
protein and Omega 3's wherever I can with my picky kids.

Almost vegan cookies.  These are pumpkin, hemp, chia,
cranberry, coconut, dark chocolate chip cookies.
The only thing that isn't vegan are the dark chocolate chips.
I used Vegan margarine, and pumpkin puree as the liquid base.

Avocado Egg Rolls. Not the healthiest meal, but it
tasted so good!

Vanilla Cake, with berries on top.

I guess that's about it for now. Thanks for reading :)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Trail Trashed Tuesday- There are snakes, They're poisonous, You will die!

My friend took me out for a trail run the other day.  On Tuesday, I played hooky from work (I used a vacation day) to go trail running.  I had foolishly told my friend that I really like to climb.  I went out to an area that I have never been to before, and I got smoked.

My friend Ana, is on of those triathlete folk. She likes to ride, swim, and she runs too.  She is a really strong runner, and she kicked my ass all over the trails.  It's nice to have a buddy that will drag you along for a run.  Early into the run, she told me. "There are snakes.  They're poisonous. You will die!"  That was the first of many gut checks that day.
I like to wear knee socks when I run trails, these won't protect
me from snakes, but they do help from getting scratched up on bushes
and shrubs. BTW these are cheap Target C9 socks.  6 pairs for 10 bucks!

We headed out into the Cottonwood trail system. I thought that we would run 12-13 miles, but in the end, I was content with 10 miles.  Running on trails is so much harder than running on a flat road.

The first three miles were a straight uphill climb.  I'm proud of myself for not walking up this stretch.
I'm running my ass off, and my friend
is taking pictures while she is running uphill

We got to the top and then we went back down some switchbacks. I was extra careful because I have a fear of heights and breaking my face.
That skinny line in the dirt
is the same trail, we were running on
in the previous photo.

We then climbed another two miles uphill.  The second half of the run, was mostly downhill, we were trying to push the pace, but again, you had to be really careful with your footing.  At the end of the run we spotted some wild burros.

Here's the stats and a few more pictures.

This is why I don't selfie.  I don't know if I'm trying to smile
or be serious face  in this photo.
I had such a fun time on Tuesday.  I hope to get another trail run in before the brutal Las Vegas Summer heat returns.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

I'm not training for anything, and I'm cool with it.

I'm glad I survived my last half marathon.  I'm bummed because I can tell that I already feel so much better since recovering from my sinus infection.  I do wish that I could have a do-over, to race that half again under better conditions.  But, life doesn't work like that.   Before the half marathon, I was beginning to feel a little bit burnt out on racing and training as a whole.  I'm not burnt out on running.  But, I am burnt out on having to hit a certain number of miles each week, and following a training program (No offense Hal Higdon).

I had been afraid of losing my distance base that I built over the last year with marathon training. In order to maintain that base, I would have to run at least 30 miles a week.  But, because I was running 30+ miles a week I felt like I was losing some of my speed.  My workouts were just getting slower, I didn't feel like I had as much energy, and my left hamstring and hip were just feeling beat up.

 I'm finally ready to let go of my distance base.  There are a few reasons why.  The first is that the temperatures are kicking up much earlier than in years past.  Lunch time runs are now in the mid 70's and it's only going to get hotter.  The second reason is that I want to focus on doing more strength training.  I have lost some of my upper body strength because running has taken a priority over lifting weights.  I would like to regain some of that fitness, and third I will be taking some classes online to work towards my Master's degree.  My free time during my lunch breaks will have to be split between working out and studying...

I  know that I will probably have even less time to blog, but I hope that I can still juggle, and keep you guys updated.  I am writing this out so that I'm held accountable.  There will be no fall marathon this year....I would like to run a half marathon later on this year.  But, that's many months away, so I don't want to think about training for it right now.

This is my last week of freedom before classes start, so I'm still trying to cram in as much outdoor time as possible.  Here's what my recovery week looked like and the rest of my runs.

Sunday 2/21  Rest, my quads hurt the most after the half marathon.

Monday 2/22 I was so sore, but I went to the gym to lift some weights for upper body, but I mostly just stretched my sore legs.

Tuesday 2/23-Strenght training.
3 sets of everything
Bench press with bar to warm up, 65lbs 2-3 set
Back rows with bar
Hamstring dead lifts with bar
Bulgarian splits squats (body weight only)
Tricep Dips balancing on a swiss ball
Seated Knee ups
Back Flys
Swiss ball reverse crunches
Shoulder taps from plank position on Swiss ball
Alternating ab crunches on Swiss ball
Cable chest press
Double bicep cable curls

Wednesday 2/24 I went for a short but difficult run/hike up the Amargosa trail.  It was a three-mile hike that took me nearly an hour to do. I did stop to take a bunch of pictures.

This hike climbed almost 700feet, and going downhill was much harder than climbing uphill.

Thursday 2/25- Retail therapy.  I purchased a small laptop.  The times have changed so much, that I decided to go with a Google Chromebook.  It was one of the easiest computer purchases I have ever had to make, and I'm shocked at how cheap it was.

Friday 2/26- 5.4 Miles at lunchtime.  It was a nice pleasant 74 degrees, and I didn't take a bottle of water with me... I ran one of my usual loop routes uphill.  First half climbs the second half is a nice downhill ride.  Here's the data:
I also did some exercises for my chest, but I forgot to write it down.

Saturday 2/27 Rest

Sunday 2/28- 6.2 10k run with some surges.  I had planned on taking this run easy... I swear I don't make up any of this stuff either.... I ran one mile to warm up, and during the 2nd mile, I'm running with the flow of traffic because I only had a short stretch to run on this road before hitting a bike path.  I'm a paranoid person to being with. But, a car pulls up right in front of me (about 20 feet) and waits.  This isn't an area to park.  It is a busy road.  They could be having some sort of emergency or they could be waiting for me.  I decided to cross the street immediately and, Just like magic, the car speeds off.  I head off onto the bike path, but I"m spooked so tempo paced running it is.  During the last mile, I was doing strides from mailbox to mailbox, with short recoveries in between.
Here's the data:

Monday 2/29- 3 Miles at 8:10 average pace, This was a progression run.

I also did some weight training. I'm lucky that I have a gym at my workplace but, it is slim pickings at lunchtime.  I did circuit training on whatever was free to use.
Lat Pull downs 
EZ curl bar bicep curls 
EZ curl bar upright shoulder rows. 
EZ curl bar squats 
EZ curl bar single leg lunges 
Close grip chin up (1 or 2) 
Roman chair straight leg raises 
Seated shoulder press with dumbells 
Seated bicep curls 
Back raises  back flys

Tuesday 3/1  3 miles tempo. I did a short run before work.  I decided to run in the neighborhood near my kids daycare.  I also decided to go after some Strava course records.  Course records are segments that are created and then saved by other Strava members. I haven't really figured out how to create segments (yet), but they are fun motivators to sneak speed work into your running.  There were two segments that I have run through many times during longer runs.  But, on this morning, I was only running 2-3 miles, and I thought "why not?"  This is your reward for having the best time on a given segment.

Aren't the little crowns cute?

If you lose a course record Strava Mobile will actually send you a notice, that you lost your CR.  
I have had that happen to me a few times.   Whatever motivates you, am I right?

The two spikes in pace, are the two Strava segments
that I tried to attack.
Even though I won't be racing for the next few months (maybe a low key 5k once in a blue moon). I hope that Strava will be keeping my workouts fun and exciting.

As always, Thank you for reading.