Monthly archives: June, 2014

Friday Five – This Summer, I Will…

Welcome to the Friday Five Linkup, hosted by my blog buds/local tweeps
Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!,
Courtney at EatPrayRunDC and
Mar at Mar on the Run.
This week’s theme is “This summer, I will….”.  Make sure to stop by their blogs for their picks and hop along to the other bloggers in the linkup, featured at the bottom of their pages!

When the post topic came up, I decided didn’t want to set new goals for the summer; I’ve got plenty in process already. So here is a bit of summer focus on goals or intentions I’ve already chosen.

This summer, I will…

  • Train smart and hard for my fall/winter races, keeping my eye on Boston – this includes cutting myself some slack if needed. There’s a lot in this one bullet: the running, the ancillary work, improvements to eating, sleeping. Like everything, this is a process and journey, and I know there will be adjustments.
  • Spend lots of quality time on the porch – you all know I love it on weekend afternoons. I’m finding that I enjoy reading a book out there in the evenings after dinner if the weather is tolerable, or just sitting and listening to the birds. It keeps me from spending 14 hours a day on a computer and helps me wind down differently than other activities. Some nights I’ll need to keep an eye on the time though. I like to listen to the birds as the sky darkens and the last one doesn’t stop singing till after 9pm, which is a bit late for me to be coming inside for the rest of my bedtime ritual. (train smart/hard means I need to get more sleep!)
  • Indulge in the abundance of fresh produce in stores and at local farmers markets – last year I got lucky and found a sale on organic blueberries at Whole Foods, bought multiple flats, froze the berries and enjoyed them for months! I hope to have that opportunity again. I can eat a LOT of fruits and veggies, and in the summer, I let myself go wild. We’ll probably grow another pot of basil (it gets TALL) and maybe container strawberries. 
  • Take relaxing strolls with my DH – after dinner walks to the library or even walking to do errands on the weekend is a pleasant way to connect. Something about the movement and being outside creates a different headspace and different conversations.
  • Look for and create opportunities to have fun even for just a few minutes – I’ve put focus on this once or twice before and it’s worth it. I’ve written sayings on our steps and drawn pictures with sidewalk chalk, blown soap bubbles off the porch, put up whimsical decorations, and made popsicles. Laughing, being goofy, and doing things that bring a smile are underrated. The small moments and little pleasures can be some of the fondest memories.

What are your “I Will”s for this summer? 

Ready or Not, The Heartbreak Hill Half is Coming…

Some tweeps have been asking me if I’m ready for Sunday’s race. The answer is “I really don’t know”….and I’m a bit nervous about that. I suppose it all depends on your definition of “ready”.

I haven’t trained for hills or in warmer weather, but I am used to covering the distance. The intent of this race is to be a learning experience for me (my only chance to run on some of the Boston course before the big day) and a hill training run at a good pace. I am struggling with my expectations knowing it won’t be a PR (there’s just no way that’s gonna happen), trying to keep a “just run strong and have fun” mindset. I don’t really think of myself as competitive but I have been told (by DH) that I am, especially with myself.

I’m trying to decide whether or not to run with a pace group. At the moment, I’m thinking yes, because I don’t yet have a good feel for my pace on flat roads, much less hills. A pace group would let me just follow people familiar with the course, and help me learn a little by watching them – as well as, hopefully, keeping me from imploding from rookie mistakes.

In preparation updates, I shipped my preferred gel to the hotel today, but will bring packets of a second choice and an empty flask as backup. I also have to carry bread, nut butter, bars and some other food since my dietary restrictions mean not much of what’s readily available works for me. If I want lunch or snacks, I’m on my own. I’m not looking forward to lugging the whole kit & caboodle around all day and night, but that’s what’s got to be. I won’t hit the hotel until after Sarah Reinertsen’s speech, cabbing it there and then back to the race start the next morning. (then back to hotel post-race, and airport to fly home!)

Still TBD: what’s on my iPod, music v. podcasts. I’m leaning music, faster-paced to help me keep pushing. I love my podcasts, but I might unintentionally slow down listening to the interesting discussions. I realize the race “discourages” headphones, but I need all the help I can get! I’ll keep the volume pretty low, and if I’m with a pace group, that should mostly allay concerns about missing instructions or announcements. Of course, this means a bit of playlist tweaking and syncing has to happen in the next (gulp) 3 days as well as laundry and packing (list-making!). Hoping to have a semi-regular/relaxed Friday night, even if an early bedtime, means everything needs to be done by COB Friday. Yay for teleworking!

Also TBD: whether i get up even earlier on Saturday (need to leave the house around 5:45am) so I can get in a quick 3mile max shakeout run. Right now I’m leaning yes, but we’ll see. I find the shakeout runs help me – so do drills and a brief run before race start. I won’t have any other chance to do a run on Saturday, and while walking to dinner and back will help, a lot of Saturday will be standing and sitting (including the plane), not ideal for the day pre-race. If I don’t want to do it Saturday, I’ll need to run Friday instead of bike or my body will be even more confused as it will have had two days between runs, something that only happens post-race.

If you’re going to be at the race, the expo or the seminars, I would love to meet up with you. Get in touch ahead of time, or if you want to look for me there, I’ll probably be the only one attached to a bright green Speedo swim backpack (aka my carryon luggage). My “schedule” such as it is, is below.

Current Saturday Plan:

I expect to get to the expo around 10. (7am flight lands around 830, cab to expo) I’ll do packet pickup and see what goodies I might “need” (and what fits in my backpack). While I love that they’re doing book (and autograph card) signings, I already have many of the books, so not sure I’ll do more than wander by.

12pm Women’s Running seminar (if that doesn’t hold my interest, I’ll move to the Masters seminar)

12:45 Bart Yasso’s seminar!  (if possible given the previous seminar, not sure how long sessions last)

1:30 How to Get Faster and Go Longer

(looks like I might have some free time between these two to chat, probably not enough to get to my hotel and back)

3:45 Course Strategy – How to Run the Heartbreak Hill Half (a must, and probably helpful for me for Boston too)

I would have loved to attend the 3:45 blogging session – and hope to meet some of the panelists – but course strategy has to take priority. I’m actually surprised they scheduled anything else at the same time.

Then, I’ll walk a mile or so off campus to a casual restaurant called Boloco (seems Chipotle-like) that assures me they can meet my dietary constraints with a salad and chicken, and then walk back for the 7pm Sarah Reinertsen keynote. Can’t wait, I’m reading her book now, amazing woman. If anyone would like to join me for dinner, I’d welcome the company!

Whether or not you’re going to be at the race, sending strong and speedy thoughts my way on Sunday morning (race start 7:30 ET) would be much appreciated! If you’re racing, in Boston or elsewhere, know i’ll be sending some good vibes your way too.

Training Recap – Week of May 26, 2014

This past week, I was up at 2am on Wed for a 6am flight for a whirlwind work trip. But I managed to do my core workout and a short bike! By noon, I was crashing. By the time we finished day 1 around 6pm ET, I was – as I described it – “stupid tired” where your brain just hurts in your head, you can barely do things like open doors or speak, and if anything goes wrong, you’re going to cry. (fortunately nothing went wrong!) I even (gasp) didn’t do my Whartons. That’s how tired I was. Thankfully, I had a terrific dinner delivered to my hotel room with plenty of leftovers for a yummy breakfast on Thursday after my short run on the hotel treadmill. Quick meeting and flight home, back in time to do my Whartons and sleep in my own bed.

Back home…Friday, I turned out to be more tired than I expected – guess one night of a bit more sleep is just not enough – and was glad it was a XT day. Fit in an extra post-plane chiro appt, which was needed as my hips really did not like the plane travel or sitting in conference rooms, even the chiro could tell. Saturday I was still more tired than expected – when do I get to stop being tired from lack of sleep? – but pushed myself and pulled off a good and tough long run. Sunday I did my recovery run on the treadmill since I wasn’t sure how long it would be – gave myself the option of stopping.

The coming week will have some sort of taper-ish feel to it, though I really haven’t planned it out. I expect to run T/W/Th. The question is do I do a short run on Friday (usu XT) so that I don’t have more than one day in a row off (body wouldn’t be used to that) or do I get up even a little earlier on Saturday for a quick 3 mi or so before heading to the airport. Saturday will have a plane trip and lots of standing, sitting and walking but no chance for a later shakeout run prior to Sunday’s half.

Run: 43 miles (191.04 miles for May, a little lower than I’d like, mostly due to last week having an unplanned day off due to twinges and this week no run on W, shorter-than-usual run Th)

  • T – 10mi: 2mi warm, 6mi at marathon goal pace from last training cycle which is now my “steady state” pace, 2mi cool – gel at mi 2/5
  • W – would normally have been a run day, but due to super early travel (up 2am), I decided not to stress the body too much and biked
  • Th – 4mi on (short, narrow) hotel tmill, all in ez pace range but I increased pace each mile
  • Sat – 16mi: progression/fast finish long run (FFLR): 3mi warm, 7mi 30s faster, 2mi 30s faster, 2mi 30s faster (old mThon GP), 1mi 15s faster, 1mi 15s faster (new GP). Gel at mi 6/12. Water ~1.5mi as that’s where the aid stops are on next week’s Heartbreak Hill Half course. I know in theory I should have done only 10 today to taper for that, but I really wanted a good long run for my brain and confidence. We’ll see how it works out next week. (reminder I’m not going for a PR in the half, not even sure I’m aiming for a time….just do the best I can on hills)
  • Sun – 7 mi recovery pace run. Legs a bit tired and sore, especially hips, glutes, upper hams. Feet sore (probably time for a fresh pair of shoes – will have to see whether I want to start a pair before the race)

Bike: 3 – 1h (M/F), 30m at 330AM W (I want extra credit for that one) plus 30 min Sat after run
Core: 3 (M/W/F am – incl Lauren Fleshman moves, still increasing reps, added a couple other exercises – staying sore, but saw evidence it’s working in mirror while running on hotel treadmill!)
Wharton flex: 6 (missed Wed night while on travel) 
Yoga: none – will have to pick this up again
Chiro exercises: 1 – Tues, went pretty well. Didn’t try to jam in a 2nd workout this week. Will wait till after recovered from half to go back to 2. 
Calf stretches: 1 – wow, I know I did some on the floor too but I’m only counting the ones with my rocker device….can tell, calves tighter
Elliptical – none, wasn’t in the office at all this week
Walk: just my pre-run 15 min warmups
Other: 1 sports/regular massage, 1 trigger point massage

So how was your training last week? Any interruptions or adjustments for factors outside your control like work or travel? Are you getting enough sleep – and how much is that for you?

Have a great week!