Friday, February 22, 2013

I've forgotten the basics

This is week 3 of my half marathon training/ build a strong base of running and I've seemingly forgotten everything that makes my longish runs successful.

But before I get into my "running routine," here's a photo of the happiest runner dog enjoying himself on the path.

Which promptly turned to this for the rest of the day:

After our 4 mile run.

Week 1's long run felt terrible. I was hungry and over dressed for the weather.

Week 2's long run went better, but still had some issues. I was definitely underdressed for the sub freezing temps. Although, I did manage to take a Gatorade prime pre run which helped. I also ate my weight in spaghetti the night before. Ick!

*and felt really crappy the rest of the day (probably due to not consuming enough electrolytes) Even a huge steaming bowl of ramen couldn't help me.

Now going into week 3's long run, I'm determined to set myself up for success by looking back at what worked so well for me during Fox Valley Marathon training. My gawd, I feel like such a newbie. Hehe

Night before long run
•Don't carb load. Eat a huge burrito instead (no hot sauce). "Carbloading" makes me feel heavy and bloated. And slow. Somehow a huge burrito doesn't.

•Drink a beer or 2.

Morning of long run
•Eat Honey Stinger waffle 1 hour before

•Drink a quarter cup of coffee. Anything more and ill feel like death.

•Drink Gatorade prime 15 minutes before run

•Take a salt pill with the Gatorade prime.

During Long Run
•Carry water and drink when I feel like it.

•Don't use Nuun, or other electrolyte drink (minus Gatorade) because why on earth would you train with something that wouldn't be available on race day!? Unless of course you bring your own bottle of said drink to carry on race day.

•Only take a gu and salt for runs over 16 miles- usually midway through run. *Unless its really hot.

•Be careful to dress appropriately. This is hard because I hate hate hate that initial shock of stepping outside into freezing temps after being in my warm apartment. Must remember I'll be warm after 10 minutes.

Post long run
•Take a salt pill (if it was hot) or if I sweat a lot. Might try this after my long run tomorrow to see if last weeks funk was brought on by lack of potassium/sodium/magnesium.

•Have a small protein shake to feed the tired muscles.

•Bring debit card on long run to stop at Caribou on the way home to get their fabulous Lemon Earl Grey latte.

•Massage calf muscle with the Trigger Point Kit. Getting that knot-tightness out is key to staying healthy right now.

So that's the reminder to myself on what works for me for longer runs.

*I'm sure what works for me might not work for you. I've analyzed these components of my routine a lot and found great success/ consistency when I follow this schedule.

Do you have a running routine? What works for you?

- xaar

Saturday, February 16, 2013

It was so cold my water froze.

Saturday morning I woke up and the sun was shining brightly through my windows. I thought- this is going to be an awesome day for a run! Until I saw this:

Feels like 3!?! I seriously considered not leaving my warm cozy bed and doing my longish run on the running machine... Then I got dressed for the outdoor run and took the Churro Dog out. Sh*t, it was really cold only after 5 minutes (he's efficient at potty).

Have fun mom, I'm staying here in the sunny spot

After last weeks run where I felt really hot, I decided to wear a thinner (paper thin) windbreaker because I really thought I'd warm up. I was wrong. (Plus it was easily 15 degrees cooler this week) The headwinds felt like something straight out of Antarctica and chilled me to the bone.

Thankfully there was no ice around - ok a very small amount on the south portion. This made my run 100% better than last week. I could get into a nice rhythm and cruise the lakefront.(I don't run with music) Last week was so mentally and physically exhausting dodging all the icy patches.

Ice in the harbor. Thank goodness not on the path!

While I was a tad underdressed for this run, I also felt pretty damn good once I warmed up after a few miles and could actually feel my fingers and toes again.

the Geese walking on ice

The miles flew by even faster than I anticipated. According to my schedule, miles 6-7 and 8-9 were to be at 8:00-8:10 pace- something a little quicker than marathon pace, but at a manageable sustainable effort.

The "steady" miles felt really good. Might have also helped that the piercing cold wind was at my back. This workout gave me a lot of confidence regarding my current level of fitness which has been a huge question mark lately.

I was so cold and possibly delirious that I thought I saw a penguin. Haha

I sported my owl head hat which kept my head and ears nice and toasty. I also took a Gatorade prime before which I believe contributed to the success of this run. (And maybe the 10 servings of leftover spaghetti i had last night- i usually dont carb load for training runs.) I only drank water during the run. No Gu or anything.

Midway through the run I took a sip of water and was surprised to feel a chunk of something. I then realized my water was starting to freeze! By the end of the run it was turning into slush. I've never experienced that before!

I don't run outside during the week because it still gets dark early, the path is not well lit with very uneven pavement, and I don't pick up my feet high enough while running so my odds of tripping go way up. I run on the tread for 3/4 of my workouts. Running outside is something I look forward to on the weekends and while I wasn't fancying running in this weather- what benefit can one gain from sub freezing temps? I was so happy to be out on the path enjoying life and seeing the area north of Navy pier which I haven't seen in a long time!


Post run and shivering, I had one thing on my mind.

A huge steaming bowl of ramen with pork belly!!! Which was exactly what I needed after this cold run.

Happy weekend!


Sunday, February 10, 2013

I run because

Since returning from Brasil, I started training for a half marathon and depending on how that goes, maybe a spring marathon. Just depends on how my injury prone self and 94% healed ankle issue hold up.
This week I got to thinking about why I run and do races. I can only imagine that I've written about this before.

I run simply because I like it. This is the one sport that I get along with. I've never been on team sports (save for cross country) and like that I only depend on myself.

I run because the solitude is soul cleansing. Although runs with friends occasionally are sooo fun! And nothing beats a run with my man or my pup :)

I like exploring my city and seeing it from angles I wouldn't have otherwise seen it from.

I run for this above- the email from my Daad after nailing my first "longish" progressive run of this training.

Nothing makes me even more jazzed to run than seeing my Daad proud of me. And after thinking this run went bad, I was pleasantly surprised to see the splits above for miles 6-10.

I run to improve because I'm competitive with myself. But I also run because of health. If I had the time, I'd love to just cruise up and down the lakefront for a couple of hours each day and not think about PRs or races.

I never struggle with motivation to run, just the motivation to go outside when the conditions are crap. I don't need those "motivational" posters to remind me that "I will only regret the workout I don't do, or strong is the new skinny" or other BS. **I refuse to be "guilted" into working out or made to feel bad if I skip a workout- just the same as feeling bad about being a certain body type. If those motivate you, then good for you.

Again, I run because I like it.

I do get incredibly bummed when I have an injury and cherish the times like now when I'm in a relatively healthy state. So to take advantage of this, I hired my favorite Running coach to help guide me to the start of another race or 2. Because having direction in my workouts makes me happier- even when I begin to question my goals and fitness and over-think everything. (Thanks Daad for the over analyzing genes!) :)

There's nothing like a good sweat (or a few tasty beers, or both) to clear ones head after a long day. Or dont forget a delicious Bloody Mary too!

Even with dodging icy patches yesterday, the 11 miles were worth it for the scenery and fresh air.
That's why I run.
- xaar