Monday, July 30, 2012

getting ready for vacation

The perfect vacation for me involves time to run outside in a beautiful location. I got to do that on Saturday.

But when you are headed to Disneyland for two days, running isn't on the agenda. The only exercise I'll get for the next two days is a lot of walking.

I'm okay with this though, because right now my body is a world of hurt. I can function, but most everything hurts. Knowing what was coming, I decided to get as much activity in before our trip.

I exercised 5 of the last 6 days, including the last 4 days in a row.  My body hurts. I've started cycling in the "Max" workouts in Insanity. They kill me. In the way that I love. I've been enjoying sleeping in, so doing a DVD in the later morning or afternoon has been my workout as of late. I start training again in a few weeks and I know these are good for cross-training too.

Whether or not we were headed to Disneyland tomorrow, it would be a rest day! My muscles need recovery. I figure walking around an amusement park for 12+ hours will do the trick.

I'm also hoping that being sore will remind me how hard I'm working to be fit and keep my eating in check.  I'll let you know how it goes! Cannot wait to see my girls experience Disneyland and have this time as a family.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

slow run, slow life

Running has become a metaphor for almost everything in my life. It's very common for me to equate running, training, or racing to various aspects of life. A lot of these metaphors stay in my head. I worry that I talk about running too much. Especially for someone who's not a fierce competitor and my times are "fast for me."

But nonetheless, I am a runner. Running has become integral and crucial in my life, so I talk about it.

This is the second year my husband and I have been involved in a marriage discipleship group. There is a mentor couple that lead the group of six couples. We meet quarterly for a day. There is a theme for the day and we spend the morning alone with God, then the afternoon together with God. Our group is called "Alone Together."  Both Roger and I have really benefitted personally and together from these days alone together. It's an investment in ourselves and our marriage.

Yesterday was our summer meeting. Because running is so therapeutic for me, and we meet at a church across the street from the beach, I often spend part of my "alone" time running.  As I run, I strive to be open, to hear what God might want to say to me during my run.

I don't recall if I blogged about it (I couldn't find an entry, so guessing I didn't) but last year during one of these runs God reminded me that he is precise and always on time. I wanted to run 5 miles and had to do some loops and backtracking to get to this number. I was really thirsty and wasn't sure where the nearest drinking fountain was at my stopping point. I decided even if I came up short, I'd stop at my start point, without going further. As I approached my stopping point, I realized there was a bathroom and drinking fountain. Without looking, I stopped my Garmin and then saw I was exactly at 5 miles. At that time, I needed to know God knew my heart, that I wasn't forgotten and that his timing was perfect.

Yesterday, I set out for a 3-4 mile run. I had done an hour-long Insanity workout the day before and my body was feeling it. I knew that a slower, recovery run would benefit my body the most. But I'm not good at running slow. I always want to speed up. My first mile is often way too fast. And usually mid-run I decide to go for it and forget the recovery.

I forced myself to walk the last tenth of my second mile because I was going way too fast. As I turned around and started running again, I realized how true this is of my life too. I thrive under pressure. I tend to procrastinate because I perform well with the adrenaline pumping. I am not good at slowing down. Until I crash and burn.

Just like slow recovery runs and long, slow training runs are important on race day, slow and steady is important in the natural rhythm of my life. Procrastination and pressure may have worked well for me in college, but it doesn't usually work for my family. I end up frantic and forgetful and they experience the brunt of that.

Running with my Garmin makes maintaining the right pace easy. I simply glance at my watch and know if I need to slow down or speed up. I wish there was a similar watch for my daily life. As I continued on my run, I brainstormed on how I can measure the pace of my life. I started a list of checkpoints. Such as clean bathrooms. My bathrooms are small and easy to clean and I appreciate when they are clean. But when my pace of life is too fast, I don't remember to clean them as often as I'd like.

My check list isn't complete and I need to figure out how I will implement and use it.

As I train for a PR in my November half marathon, I am going to pay special attention to my slower runs. And as I enter a season (starting nursing school) that could be chaotic and frenetic, I will be pay attention to the pace of my life and make sure I am not going to burn out.

Runs like yesterdays make me so thankful I discovered running. I always said running was the one exercise I didn't like and for years I had bad ankles from a double sprain that made running painful. I can't imagine my life without it any more.

God speaks to me as I use the body he created to run.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

what's new...

What's new here? Not much right now.

I've decided that having fun, when you have three young-ish kids, is pretty exhausting. Worth it, but exhausting.  I've been running a few times a week and doing a few DVD workouts. Nothing huge to write home about.  Half marathon training starts in a few weeks, so I'm not pushing myself to stick to a plan.

Since I'm not working this summer and the kids aren't in school, I find myself staying up later which translates to sleeping in more and not getting up early to run. Most days I can get a DVD in later in the morning, but it doesn't always work out. Although this summer is amazing, getting back to a routine in the fall will be good for my running.

Yesterday I read a tweet from a busy mom not feeling motivated to get out and run. I replied to her that when I feel that way, I usually don't push myself to run because I live to run not run to live. If I really don't feel like running, then what's an unplanned day off? Truly it's nothing. And when you love running like many of us do, and you don't want to run, then taking a day off is a good thing. When I take a day (or days) off, that next run back is always so amazing and rekindles my love of running.

One new and somewhat interesting (at least to me) thing in my life is that I've recently gone gluten-free. I wrote a long post on my "family" blog and I'd love if you checked it out over there. I'm not a bandwagoner, but not eating gluten has had some unexpected positive effects on my body. Enough so that I want to continue eating this way. Satisfying the "runger" may be a little tricky though, as I experienced a few days ago. I will need to find the foods that truly satisfy me and keep me feeling good.

The next 10 days are going to be pretty full, including 2 days at Disneyland with our family!

You can always follow me on Twitter and see my workouts on Daily Mile and sometimes I post photos on Instagram that I don't share to Facebook or Twitter. Like a special treat for my Instagram friends.  I am in love with the simplicity of Instagram. I hope it never changes.  I can't figure out how to link to my Instagram account, but you can search for me-- I'm beana619.

Happy running!

Monday, July 9, 2012

it's been 5 days...

Did you guess? Since my last run?! Yup.

After PR'ing in the Memorial Day 10k and last week's Independance Day 15k I have been in need of a little respite from running. I was sore and my legs were tired on Thursday and so why not call Friday recovery too! I did Jillian Michaels & a short Insanity workout (Cardio Abs) on Saturday and found myself sore again! 

Today and tomorrow I'm doing a detox/cleanse that Dr. Oz had in a recent People Magazine.  I know, great place to find your health advice. But I've been a fan of Dr. Oz for some time now, so why not. 

Let me tell you, the hardest part is all the work involved in the food! First of all the grocery shopping. Then organizing the veggies for each recipe. And juicing for the first time. And chopping veggies for a soup that was literally to the brim of my crockpot. 

But it's one day down and just one day to go and since I've done it all once, it should be easier. I convinced my mom and sister to do it with me too. I haven't seen many "detoxifying" signs, but then again I'm not sure what they would be.

What I do know is that I haven't had any processed sugar. Or junk food. Or wheat. Or Diet Coke. Although I did have half a cup of coffee with a splash of my Natural Bliss creamer. I'm not dumb enough to skip coffee AND eat practically no calories in a day. I get terrible caffeine withdrawal headaches. A girls gotta do, ya know.

After tomorrow, I plan to stick to natural foods for a few more days to continue on with better eating habits. I'm just such a sucker for sugar and starchy foods. Hence the 10lbs I can't seem to lose.

I really want a PR in November's half marathon. And I feel like one major boost to reaching that goal would be being fitter. I will start a training plan mid-August. 

As much as I love running and I can see my runner's legs, it doesn't help me lose weight. In fact it can do the opposite if I'm not careful. I gained 5-6lbs while training for the full marathon. For the next several weeks I am going to focus on my eating and Insanity and just throw some runs in for my sanity and maybe a double workout day.

I'll keep you posted.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Coronado 15k Report

Last year was the first time I ran the Coronado 15k. This year was the 38th year they've had the race on July 4, although an announcer said that it used to be a half marathon.  I never did a full race report, but I did share some pics from last year's race.

I recall that last year my goal was to run at least at my half marathon PR pace. However, I ended up having a very bad chest cold and laryngitis which made the race difficult and as the pic's show, I ended up with bad blisters on both feet. I ran the race in 1:36:07, a 10:19 pace.  Still not terrible, but not my sub-10 pace for my half PR.

So this year, once again my goal was to run sub-10 paces and since I just had a 10k PR, I used that time to predict a 15k pace of 9:45.  I used the Hal Higdon advanced 15k training plan for 4 weeks, although I wasn't able to complete every run, especially the long runs.

The night before the race I knew I should go to bed early, but I just wasn't feeling it. I am much more used to getting up early to run this year than I was last. No matter how tired I am or how little sleep I get (I'm a girl who likes at least 7hrs of sleep, preferably 8), I can usually drag myself out of bed for a required run.  I probably didn't fall asleep until after 11pm.

My alarm was set for 5:20am and I was up and getting ready. I had set out most of what I needed the night before. I started the coffee pot and put my oatmeal in the microwave. I was ready to go by 5:45 I think and headed out with my coffee, oatmeal, banana and gear. Yay for not forgetting anything and remembering to Glide my entire feet and toes, just in case.

I headed for the neighborhood I found a parking spot in last year and found my parking spot. I hung in my car for a bit, eating my oatmeal and drinking some coffee and water. Finally around 6:15am I started my walk/run to the starting line. I logged almost .75 miles of warm up between getting to the starting line and a few strides.

Once I got the start site I got in line for the bathroom. At this site there is a normal park bathroom as well as porta potties. The lines were about the same, so I opted for the full bathroom---more air circulating to clear the odor of pre-race nerves. After I took care of business, I walked around a bit and stretched. I contemplated one more stop at the bathroom, but decided against it. (bad call!)

I lined up around 10 minutes before the race started. I was wearing my SPI belt, carrying my iPod nano, 2 Gu's and Honey Stingers and my car key. A girl sang the national anthem and then we were off! The race start was extremely congested. I probably should have started further towards the back--I didn't realize how close to the front of the pack I was.

Checking my Garmin through the first mile I was in the low 10's--which was ok for a warm-up mile, but it was a little slower than I had hoped to start out. I didn't have much of a choice though due to the other runners and a few narrow areas in the first mile. By the 2nd mile we had a lot more room and I was able to start running closer to my goal pace.

I struggled a bit to find my groove. I was afraid of going too fast and there were a few times in the first 3 miles I made myself slow down. But I couldn't seem to hit that 9:40-9:45 pace. I was either slower or faster. But at least I was ahead of my 9:52 half marathon pace.

Mile 1- 10:12
Mile 2- 9:47

Almost right away I regretted not making the 2nd bathroom stop. Often I feel like I have to pee at the start of a run or a race just from nerves and it goes away eventually. But this wasn't going away. I knew I could probably wait until the end of the race to go, but mentally it would trip me up the whole time. I saw a line of porta potties that seemed empty at a public beach spot, so I decided I just needed to go. I hit the lap button on my Garmin to see how long my potty stop took me.

Bathroom break- 54 seconds

Mile 3- 9:49

The next miles were on the Navy base. Many cheered and said thanks as we passed various groups of enlisted men and women. There were a few water stops here.

Mile 4- 9:45
Mile 5: 9:47

Around 35-40 min in, I knew a water stop would be coming up and it was probably a good time to take my Gu so that I could wash it down with water. For some reason the Chocolate Gu seemed extra thick and I had to take it slowly and focus on keeping it down. I was happy to see the aid station!

Mile 6- 9:45

Finally back on the street and heading towards the finish.  I was anxious to turn it on, although I was starting to fatigue. I was hoping that picking up the pace would combat the fatigue all the way to the finish, as it often does on my training runs.  My stomach was not as solid as I like it during runs. I have no idea what the deal is. I may experiment with eating even less before a race. I never eat before I run in the mornings, so my body isn't really used to it. However, my morning runs are 5 miles or less. Maybe I need to wake up a few hours before the alarm, eat something and go back to bed.

Mile 7- 9:40
Mile 8- 9:29

Unfortunately, I sped up a little too soon. I struggled the last mile. I couldn't keep the speed I had found the mile prior and almost stopped to walk at one point, but I yelled at myself to not stop now. I had found my playlist a little slow during the race and started the Genius around Mile 4 which helped, but I needed to focus on finishing strong at this point, so I just took the earbuds out.

Mile 9- 9:44

Knowing the finish was so close, I was able to turn it up again and my final pace was strong. Last year I crossed the finish without anyone else near me and the announcer called my name, which I thought was pretty cool! This year there were a few others finishing at the same time though and no personalized congratulations :(

.38- 9:10
(ok, technically a 15k is 9.321 miles, but my Garmin registered 9.38 miles)

I was so so so glad to cross the finish and get to STOP running! I knew I didn't make my goal of 1:30 but I still took 4 minutes off last year's time.

855 CORRINA      356  35  50/78       1:32:04  9:53 

Yes, I came in at 855th place. And 50/78 in my age group. Not spectacular, but I'm happy with my performance and results!  And subtracting the 54 seconds of a bathroom break, I actually averaged a 9:46 pace for the race. 

After the race I walked through the chute and then found my way to a water table and downed some water and an electrolyte drink.  I also decided to eat my Honey Stingers since I love them and hadn't eaten them during the race. On my way to find the oranges I had seen them slicing before the race, I happened to see a bright yellow stroller and realized it was Stuft Mama, a blogger I enjoy following! Kinda out of character for me, I asked if she was Stuft Mama and introduced myself. And she had her mom take a picture of us together. 

Note our matching Carlsbad Marathon hats! Although I know she finished WAY before me, still I RAN A MARATHON!  

After wandering through the few tables they had, I headed to my car. Coming in to the start it's not too hard to cut across a main thoroughfare because traffic is light. But later in the morning traffic picks up and I didn't want to attempt it. So I walked a mile back to my car, including forgetting where it was and walking a few extra blocks. I was happy to get to the water and Nuun I had waiting for me!

This race made me hungry for a new half-PR but also scared! Can I train hard enough to cut that much time off my pace?  I need to run around 9 minute miles for a sub-2 hour half marathon. I really want it. But I know it's going to be a lot of hard work.

My first goal towards that is losing 10lbs. For my height, I'm carrying a little more weight than necessary. And I know. I've been talking about losing freaking 10 lbs for like 3 years now. More on that next week.

Now to figure out my fitness plan between now and the official start of half marathon training...

All in all, this was a great race for me and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to run it!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Coronado 15k report coming!

I ran the Coronado 15k yesterday morning. It went great and I got a PR of about 4 minutes I think. I certainly felt that I gave it my all.

And I recognized a super fast, super strong mama runner who's blog I always find inspirational. And I actually introduced myself!

Today I'm enjoying resting my sore legs.