Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Non-Guest Post, Not Running and Sleep

Because we're not cool/lame (depending on your perspective) enough to have guest blog posts, I (Penny) am doing our own guest post.

Hi! Im Penny and I blog over at Two Little Runners! Its so awesome to have blog friends, right???? Omg how much do YOU love froyo??? Anyway, neither of us have much running stuff to discuss right now. Kristen is a little off her game right now (WE'RE NOT SAYING THE I-WORD) and I am taking a much-needed holiday in the Florida Keys with my delightful hubbo. Who is, incidentally, sitting next to me, completely passed out after a minorly taxing day of water sports and sun bathing on a boat in Key West. Tough life. But! It does lead into the actual content of this post which I wrote last week.... Sleep!

Post-marathon, I have had the best sleep of my life. Seriously, I'd probably run another one, just to accumulate some more of this delicious shut-eye.

I am not, traditionally, a good sleeper. I take ages to fall asleep. I sleep lightly. I have a bladder the size of a pin-head, which means I sometimes have to get up to use the loo in the middle of the night. I also wake up easily, and very rarely "sleep in". Eight hours of sleep is a really, really good night of sleep for me. More frequently, I am at the 6-7 hour mark.

However, sleep is so crucial for running and recovery. Its not that I naturally need less of it! On days I don't get much sleep, I am definitely dragging ass through my runs and finding it difficult to concentrate at work. I read about all these elites (some running not much more than me, and also not holding down a full-time job) taking naps during the day and getting in a good 9 hours in the Land of Nod. Bastards!

Going forward, I'm trying to be a leeeeedle more pro-active in getting the sleep I need and that makes me feel so alive and energetic. Here's what I'm doing:
  1. Reducing caffeine intake. I cut down my 2-3 cups of coffee to one, especially on days I don't run or the weekends (when concentration levels don't have to be quite as high). I have embraced (shock! horror! who is this girl?!) the decaffeinated coffee at work. I also noticed that when I eat something at night containing cacao, (dark chocolate, cocoa in pudding or hot chocolate etc) the effects of the caffeine work just like coffee. Cutting them out and eating non-choc desserts helps a lot.
  2. Reducing (slightly) the amount I eat at night. Frequently I would eat a ton of calories in the evening while watching TV. Only then to wake up through the night with a really full churning tummy. I have no intention of stopping eating after 8pm or whatever, but slightly reducing the amount (and front loading those calories earlier in the day) has really helped.
  3. Developing a night-time routine. Kristen is awesome at doing all her yoga and rolling in the evening as part of her wind-down. Most nights I do stretch and roll, but I'd like to make this a more regular part of my winding down, to prepare my mind and body for rest. 
  4. TV, computer etc. I have no intention (and if I did, it would never happen) of reducing computer/tv usage in the evening to wind down. I'm sure it would help, I just enjoy that part of my evening too much. Plus, its the only time I really get to do that stuff.
  5. Chemicals. I was a big user of melatonin and other natural sleep aids. However these are now a last-resort, as I find them much less effective than, say, just reducing my daily caffeine intake.
  6. Stress. This is a big one. How do I reduce stress? I have noticed I stay awake from stress relating to two major things: (a) work and (b) running. 
Wait, running? Yes, big runs - like tempos - have kept me awake at night. Ironically, its not the actual run that has me stressed out, but the fact that I can't sleep and so won't be able to be awake and sufficiently rested to do the run, that keeps me awake and insufficiently rested!

Work, is also a big stressor. It is rarely the amount that I have to do, but singular tasks that have a high level of importance, and when my boss/es are relying on my best performance.  I don't want to let them or myself down. But like running, the more I stress about work the following day, the less I sleep, and the more I stress that I'm not getting enough sleep to perform to the best of my abilities.

I have not yet thought of any miraculous ways to reduce stress, when it inevitably intervenes in my otherwise blissful, peace-ridden and harmoniously-balanced life. HA. Other than, of course, to engage in the strategies outlined above.

So anyone out there got ideas about reducing stress for better sleep? Or any other routines or practices that you do to maximize your sleep time?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Little Runner Who Almost Could

two little runners ~Kristen 

For the last two weeks, this has been a regular scene in my office. 

Professional, no?
Even though our firm’s San Diego office is very California casual, the foot up on desk with frozen pea ice pack on the ankle was probably taking it a step too far. So I invested in a little Velcro ice pack doohickey. Now I’m icing like the consummate professional that I am.

Why yes, that is a foam roller under my desk. 
After two weeks of NO RUNNING – I was itching to get back on with marathon training. I checked Hanson’s, and after taking two weeks off, one is advised to ease back into training slowly, as a lot of fitness gains and neuromuscular adaptations are lost with this much time off. This advice was especially applicable, as my ankle, while having improved immensely, was not back at 100%.       

Sat. 5/4
Easy run in Balboa – 3 @ 8:30. Ankle felt mangled.

Sun. 5/5
Easy run in Balboa – 4 @ 8:30. Ankle improved from mangled to sore.

From my weekend easy runs, it was apparent that I would not be able to transition back to the Hanson training plan’s tough runs – longs, tempos, intervals – before the marathon. My best chance at running it would be to continue aerobic training primarily with cardio machines, supplementing with running when I felt up to it.

Mon. 5/6
Stair climber 60” (365 floors/7.8 miles)
Easy run on treadmill – 3 @ 8:30. Ankle okay.

Tue. 5/7

After a rest day, I ventured out for another easy run, and felt surprisingly good, so I upgraded to a tempo run.

Wed. 5/8
Tempo run in Balboa – 7.5 w/ 6 @ 7:15

And there were no consequences! I continued to feel great. Maybe I could pull off this marathon after all . . . So staying conservative, I trained on the stair climber again, followed by a few miles with tired legs on the treadmill.

Thu. 5/9
Stair climber 60” (350 floors/7.5 miles)
Easy on treadmill – 4 w/ last 10” @ 7:30

Fri. 5/10

Success! Still feeling good. Soooo, time for a real test. An attempted long-ish run. I set out on Sat. morning, tentatively planning 10 miles. I headed for the trails near my house, thinking the ankle would appreciate a soft surface. But the trail, normally smooth, flat, and lovely, had been torn up in places by construction trucks. It looked like it had been plowed, and by mile 5, my ankle was back to feeling mangled. Then it was 3 more miles back to my house.

Sat. 5/11
Easy run in San Dieguito Lagoon (trail) – 8 @ 8:00

Nail in the coffin – no marathon.  In fact, the ankle continues to feel unstable and sore. Sat.’s trail run set me back in my recovery by at least a week. Without a looming marathon, hopefully, I’ll exercise self-restraint and stay off the damn thing until it's all better!

two little runners ~Kristen 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Marathon Nutrition: Load De La Carb

While my legs have almost fully recovered from the marathon, my ass has remained firmly planted on my couch. Clearly my mind is not hastening me to break a sweat any time soon (oh the joys of nearly overtraining). Truth be told, I've been glad for the rest. I may head to the gym tomorrow.... but ONLY if I really feel like it, and only to get some blood flowing through my pegs. 

In the meantime, while I have not much to say on the subject of running, I have plenty to say on what went on with my nutrition last week, before, during and after the marathon. Aren't you a lucky bunch of people.

I was not really sure about how to approach carb-loading for the marathon. Some books say to increase carbs a week before, some three days before. Some say that you don't need to increase at all, and merely eating the same amount with less running will have a carb-loading effect.

For me, I am not naturally a big carb-eater (except for tortilla chips... don't even get me started). Resultingly, I don't have a terribly high carb diet, so I felt like I needed to be more proactive about getting increased carbs closer to the race.

So here's how it went down.  

5 Days from Race
I ate the same amount of calories (around 2000 calories per day, but this may have been more if I'd been running) but swapped out some fats and protein for carbs. For instance, I began eating a bit more oatmeal in the morning; instead of my tortilla wraps for lunch, I ate a sweet potato every day, with cheese, salsa and some ham. Delicious combo by the way. 

I added a lot more fruit (grapes and strawberries) as snacks to my diet and tried to eat a banana every day.

For dinner, I didn't really swap anything out, but added more rice, couscous and sweet potatoes (my dinners are typically pretty veggie/protein oriented).

3 Days from Race
I began increasing overall calories (not a huge amount, because I still wasn't running and my hunger had reduced dramatically), and making sure all my snacks were carby. I ate pretzels and rice crackers instead of yoghurt or veggies with hummus. I continued to eat fruit and sweet potatoes during the day. For "dessert" in the evening, I snacked on popcorn (instead of, for example, chocolate chip cookie dough ice-cream; i.e. the American creation that single-handedly prompted me to apply for citizenship. Whatever country is responsible for this deliciousness, I want to be a part of.)

The biggest change, however, was increasing my water intake. It was probably too low to begin with, so I had to concentrate on always pounding the water.  To mix it up, I also drank a ton of seltzer water and Vitamin Water Zero.

Saturday Before Race
I stopped eating dairy completely. I cut down on fruit and vegetables. I had oatmeal for breakfast, and snacked on a blueberry bagel throughout the day. I cooked up my traditional french toast for lunch with some fruit:

I also snacked on a bunch of rice cakes (4?), and even had a pop tart. OMG, how do they market those things to children?? And as a breakfast food???

I tried to drink a ton of water, and in the evening, had a bottle of gatorade with my meal of steamed rice, steamed shrimp and a small amount of broccoli (king of veggies, by the way).

Race Day
Before race:
  • 3 hours: 2/3 cup of oatmeal, a tiny bit of peanut butter, a banana, and a 20oz bottle of gatorade (around 450-500 calories or so) + 2 cups of coffee (strong)
  • 2 hours: more water
  • 10 minutes: 3 cliff shot blocks. I probably didn't need these, but I am kind of used to taking them now.
Kristen had mentioned a while back that she was considering carrying a handheld with some gatorade for the first part of the race, and then ditching it when it was done. I thought that sounded like a great idea to steal, and pass off as my own.

So during the race:
  • 10oz gatorade in the first 8 miles. I would really encourage any first time marathoner to do this. It really took the pressure off passing through the first few aid stations while I was still getting into my groove; but in a time when it was most important that I start getting fluids and electrolytes.
  • 3 Gus at miles 8, 15 and 20-21, two of which were caffeinated (never again!)
  • Fluids at every water station (every 2nd mile) after mile 9, even when I was not thirsty. I got this excellent advise from Rachelle; it was not something I would have done off my own bat.  I got a good amount of liquid each time (at least a gulp or two) and never felt dehydrated (and I sweat a looooot). [Side note: I'm becoming a massive pro at the close-the-cup-drink-while-running thing! Self high-five!]

How did I feel?
Throughout the race, I felt really well fueled. Frankly, I felt like I had been underfueling for my training, and I should probably have been drinking and eating like this (more fluids, higher # of calories and greater percentage of carbs) all along the way. In particular, I can point back to several workouts and tempo runs that likely suffered from under-fueling. This makes me feel a little silly, given how discerning I am with other aspects of my training. 

In any case, I felt better that week and the morning of the race by paying closer attention to my intake and making sure I got enough carbs and food in general. So important.

During the race, I didn't feel heavy, and never hit the wall. That said, I felt like I over-fueled slightly in the second half of the race, because my stomach was not happy with all the sugar by the end. Oh and the caffeinated Gus were a bad idea. I didn't suffer too badly , but it wasn't optimal, lets just say that.

There was nothing containing protein in the post-race food, so I felt like my muscles took a big blow in recovery from that. I shoved down a sugary granola bar to at least get some glycogen re-storage occurring. Next time I'll bring a protein bar or gatorade with protein just in case.

Throughout the afternoon I pretty bad, GI-wise... though I guess thats part of pushing your body to the edge like that. 

Add to that my dinner consumption of oily fries, buttery garlic bread, tons of sugar and several glass of champagne, I was not exactly giving myself the best send-off into recovery land. 

But, by that stage, I couldn't have cared in the slightest :)

So lessons learned? Eat and drink more (shock)! More carbs and water throughout training and perhaps I won't need quite as much on race-day.  

Does anyone else have any thoughts/advice on fueling for races? Do you eat/drink normally or dedicate your taper to working your way through the bread-basket/gatorade reserves? Do you count carbs or just roll with what feels good?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

New Jersey Marathon Recap - The 3.45 Mile Race

I don't really know how to start this post, so perhaps I'll begin with the ending. Then you can stop reading as soon as you get bored.

Result: a lifetime PR in quad/glute/hip/calf/foot pain, one giant blister running in between my big and second toes, and an inability to get down or up stairways without looking like a frighteningly decrepid geriatric. Seriously, HOW DO YOU PEOPLE RUN MULTIPLE MARATHONS IN A ROW.

Ok, no, actual results now, for reals.

Time Goals: 3:17:13, 7:32 avg pace for 26.2 miles (chip); 7:26 avg pace for 26.45 miles (garmin). 3rd place age-group (153), 14th woman (of 927), 160th overall (of 2267).

Non-Time Goals: Did not puke at finish line or die on course. Did not walk. Chafing was minimal and did not draw blood. Possible OD on gatorade. Finished with smile on face. Did not hate running, all runners and/or any and all running-related things.

Ok, now back to the start. Leading up to this race, I had a few taper-crazies... including a phantom injury that popped up after my last tempo. So the last week before the marathon, looked like this:

April 28th - May 4th:
Sunday: rest, Monday: 7easy miles, Tuesday: rest, Wednesday: 40 mins easy elliptical, Thursday: easy 4 miles (still feeling pain), Fri-Sat: rest.

Coming off 50+ mile weeks, by Saturday I was about to jump outta my skin. Or kill someone.

The weekend was, however, somewhat brightened by carb-loading fun. On Saturday I had my usual oatmeal brekkie, then pounded some homemade french toast for lunch:

Nom nom nom.
Saturday night I stuck to plain white rice and some steamed shrimp and broccoli from the angry lady at our local dodgy Chinese joint.

Sunday morning we woke up at 4:00am...My dad had flown ALL the way from Australia to watch me run the race, and despite his horrible jet lag, he and the hubs got up and out the door like champs. We took the 5 a.m. train from Penn Station, NY out to Long Branch, NJ.

Sleepy does my dad look more awake than me? Go Dad!
I ate my breakfast on the train: 1 banana, 2/3 cup of cooked oats, with 1tsp of peanut butter and 1 gatorade. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

We got off the train, and I picked up my bib (race-day pickup, yeah!) then headed straight to the portaloos to do my thing. The half marathoners were starting at 6:45am (ouch) so the queues greatly diminished after that time. Around 7:45 I headed up to the start line, then ditched all my clothes. It was a little windy and 49 degrees, so I was pretty cold but I knew I'd warm up once we got going. I located the 3:15 pacers, and introduced myself, and said I was going to try to stay with them for the first half, then see if I could push up the pace a bit in the later miles. HAHA. Silly girl.

They sung the national anthem... then we were off!
Im in the yellow and blue!
Oh wait. Thats pretty much everyone.
Mile 1-3: 7:38, 7:31, 7:33
I IMMEDIATELY lost the 3:15 group as we started to run. Not only was everyone else going out fast-ish, I was going out even slower than I meant to. During mile 2, I actually panicked a bit because my body felt so cold and stiff from not having run in so many days. My foot was slapping the ground, my leg was locking up and I was like... shiiiiiiit, how am I going to go through 26 miles of this?? I told myself to chill out until mile 4, because I always take about 4 miles to warm up.

I wish I'd been able to enjoy these first miles a little more; we were running through pretty tree-lined streets with tons of people having parties and playing music outside of their houses, watching the race. It was a great atmosphere, and those people were so lovely for all the inconvenience the race must have caused them!

Miles 4-8: 7:31, 7:25, 7:26, 7:30, 7:21

Lo and behold, I warmed up. I chided myself for being paranoid. I fell in with a crazy dude who was yammering away about this and that. He was really nice, actually and he would ask me questions requiring a yes or no response, so I didn't tire out. He had run a marathon only two weeks prior, and was just running for fun. We started running with another guy, Jeff from Boston, and the three of us stayed together until around mile 15.

Took my first gu, and ditched the hand-held water-bottle I was carrying (more on that later).

Mile 9: 7:18
I got to see the father and the hubs! Yay! At this point I was getting into a real groove and starting to enjoy the crowds. They were yelling somewhat embarrassingly loudly, but hey. I was pretty happy to have the best fans out there.

Yo fans! This marathon shiz is nothin. I'm straight chillin.
Jeff and I were matching! Boston strong!
Miles: 10-13: 7:20, 7:20, 7:18, 7:15
Chatter-box, Jeff and I stuck together through the halfway point, when I told Jeff that I was going to try to catch up to the 3:15 pacers a little. He was going to come along. Took my second gu, and was drinking gatorade at every water station. I fell into a great groove and running just felt good. The weather was perfect (this was before we hit the slightly windy shoreline). We were running through suburban streets and then the town area. The spectators were fantastic.

Miles: 14-18: 7:15, 7:16, 7:15, 7:05, 7:10

At mile 15, I discovered my dad and hubs again! I later learned they had hired a taxi to take them to about four separate points along the course to cheer me on. How great is that?!

The course took us along the shoreline, with little loops back through suburban streets, to make up the distance.

This is probably where I should have focused on keeping my pace a little conservative. Instead, I caught up to the 3:15 pacers, passed them, and dropped 2 miles well below my marathon goal pace. REALLY SMART THING TO DO PENNY. But at the time I actually had no idea I had done that, as I hadn't looked at my garmin for a while. AND THE SMARTS CONTINUE.

I'm like, whaaaaat, Im at mile 18 of a marathon. I got this.

Miles 19-23: 7:24, 7:24, 7:21, 7:28, 7:22
Mile 19 was the turnaround to head back up the coast to the finish line. At this point I had lost chatter-box, and I think Jeff was perhaps a little bit behind me. My quads were feeling really sore at this point, but I was still feeling energetic and determined to not let them slow me down. However, the slight (only slight) up-hill gradient of the road back up the coast, coupled with a south-easterly wind coming from the sea started to take a small toll. I had plugged in my ear-phones a bit earlier, so I turned on some music.

Ah Eminem. Your angry and abusive lyrics provide such great company through the lonely miles of a marathon.

Miles 24-26: 7:51, 8:04, 8:12 and then some...
My dad, who has run several marathons, told me once that the marathon is actually a 6-mile race. You just have to run 20 miles to get the start-line. 

That was kind of true, except for me, the race began at Mile 24. For me, the New Jersey Marathon was a 3.45 mile race.

And I'm not gunna lie. Those last three miles were a slog. I pulled out a motivating mantra or two.... Relax...Calm...Strong. They worked a bit.

Slightly more effective was the mental bitch-slap I gave myself about what a pussy I would feel like if I saw a 9 min/mile in my splits because I had decided that walking was an option. Ah, self-bullying and degradation. Thats the spirit!

At Mile 21, I saw dad and the hubs again. I was happy to see them, but getting a little too tired to respond.
If you start walking, I'll take away your crayons and you'll go into time-out.
While I wasn't walking, I was getting a little slower, and the 3:15 group eventually caught me. By that stage, Jeff had caught them and me, as well. I focused on staying with them as long as I could, and just maintaining an even cadence.

The last "0.2" miles was somewhat extended. The course had a lot of turns, and even more so since they had to re-route it due to Hurricane Sandy damage. I knew that my garmin was about a quarter-mile off at this point, so I tried not to let it crush my spirit when my watch hit 26.2. By this stage, I was looking at my garmin every 15 seconds wondering when this race would be over.

I finally hit the shoreline and the finishing chute. The spectators were cheering so loudly. Apparently my dad, the hubs, a coworker from my office and his girlfriend were all there cheering me on, but I couldn't see or here anyone. I could only see that. bloody. finish line.

The last 0.05 mile or so, I could see the time ticking away at 3:16:xx, and I tried to kick it in to get under the 3:17 mark, but couldn't quite make it. I was so happy to be done though, that I didn't give a flying hell what the time was. I crossed the finish line and stumbled and wavered a little...

... then thought the best option was to stand still with my hands on my hips, grinning.  An older race official came up and asked me if I was ok. I didn't understand that he was asking if I was physically ok, because I wasn't moving. I told him that was my first marathon, and I had so much fun! He laughed, and asked if I was ok again. I told him I was fine, but I just didn't know if I'd ever be able to walk again. Thats all. He saw that I wasn't in any immediate danger of passing out or dying, so left me to check on some others.

I finally hobbled up to the ladies handing out medals, and proudly posed for Dad and the hubs who had caught up to me.

Medal up close:

I dragged my very very sore feet to pick up my post-race food, and then quickly realized that I was not going to be able to walk back to the train station in Long Branch to go back to New York. My heroic husband piggy-backed me until we got a cab to the train and headed back to the City.

We got home around 2 p.m., and I managed to pull my completely trashed legs into the shower.  We then rested and napped a little. I ate some oatmeal, which was the only thing I could stomach for some time.  Later we went out for dinner where I celebrated/rehydrated with some quality carbs:

 And refueled on barbeque chicken salad and a bowl of fries...

 Roserunner is totally gunna spank me for eating salad after a marathon.
Unpictured: three large pieces of buttery garlic bread, a large brownie and apple crisp with ice-cream and several more glasses of delicious bubbly.

And then I went home and stared at my race goodies for a while, in complete and utter disbelief that I had finally run a marathon.

Did I make the time goal I had set? Not quite. I was aiming for closer to 3:15, and better yet, well below it (missing the tangents cost me about 2 minutes).

But frankly, to have a happy, smiling and OMGICANTWAITTODOTHATAGAIN-crossing of the finish line, was so much more important for my first marathon, than going for an aggressive time goal with the very distinct possibility of wall-hitting and utter misery.

And now I know what its like? Now I have the inside scoop on what happens to my body after running 20+ straight miles? Now that I know what I need to do and where I need to go mentally, when my body is fading?

I'm gunna get after this distance. You just wait, marathon. You're mine.

~ Penny

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Runner’s Five Stages of Injury Grief

two little runners ~Kristen

Step 1. Denial.
          I’ll just finish up the last 5 miles of this interval workout, even though my ankle feels weird. Ahh, it’s nothing. It’ll go away in a couple of minutes . . . maybe in the next mile it’ll loosen up . . . maybe it’ll feel fine when I start the cool down. Yeah, that’s right, the cool down. It’ll feel just right when I cool down.

Step 2. Anger.
          WTF?! Ojai* is in 6 weeks. And I have a f-ing sprained ankle. I am to be in peak training now. RIGHT NOW!

* Ojai "Mountains2Beach" Marathon I am scheduled to run on May 26!

Step 3. Depression.
          There is just no way I’ll be able to run this marathon, sigh. Sad face. And even if I can run it, it won’t be fast. I’ve put 400 miles into this marathon training cycle, all for nothing. I might as well stay out of the gym too. What’s the point of trying to maintain aerobic fitness? I hate cardio machines. I’m never going to be able to run this race. Never!

Step 4. Bargaining.
            Well, then again . . . maybe if I am extra good. And I do all the things I am supposed to do, maybe I can run this race. I’ll do all those stupid balancing and stability ankle exercises. I’ll ice and elevate. And even trampoline running, I’ll do it, okay? I’ll run on an f-ing trampoline. That’s fine. If I do all these things, I can run the race! Yah, and I’ll even do the stationary bike. And the stair climber – for like an hour – I’ll maintain my aerobic capacity. And then I can run the race!

Step 5. Acceptance.
          Ummmm . . . I am still in the bargaining stage, haha! I’ll let you know when I get here.

This week – week 2 off of running from the ankle sprain – I stopped feeling sorry for myself and got to the gym for some weights, rehab, and cardio. And trampoline. 

During a training cycle, there isn’t a lot of time (or energy) to devote to weight training. Normally, I am in for just one leg workout per week and some core here and there. And upper body every full moon. This week, I was able to hit the core nearly every day and the upper body got worked three times in one week.

The ankle rehab continues. For a sprain, or at least a minor on like mine, you are not supposed to baby the ankle all the time. I’m trying to heal the sprained ligaments through balancing and stability exercises. Lots of one leg balancing on various unstable surfaces. I’ve never had a sprained ankle before, so I didn’t really understand how these exercises could possibly be good for me. But I am seeing some improvements.

And I’m back to some cardio. Stationary bike and stair climber. Just kill me please!

And then there is the trampoline running. This is more ankle rehab than cardio. I take the trampoline to the most remote, dark, and dankest corner of the gym and then hope that no one sees me. It’s just embarrassing.

Hey Trampy, meet me in the dark corner at 6.
4 weeks out (0 miles)
I usually don’t post my weight workouts and yoga, but that’s all I got again this week!

Sat. 4/27
Core and upper body weights. 

Sun. 4/28
Ankle PT workout. Core. 10” trampoline.

Mon. 4/29
a.m. Core and leg weights. Ankle PT workout.
p.m. 40” stationary bike (11 miles); 15” trampoline.

Tue. 4/30
40” stationary bike (11.3 miles); 20” trampoline.

Wed. 5/1
a.m. Ankle PT workout. Full body weights.
p.m. 60” stair climber (375 flights, 7.8 miles).

Thu. 5/2
60" stair climber (331 flights, 6.9 miles).
Ankle PT workout.

Fri. 5/3
Full body weights. Ankle PT workout

two little runners ~Kristen

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

And.... Cue obsessive weather checking, new phantom injuries...and a mystery solved!

So.... last week before I run New Jersey Marathon (Sunday, May 5). Taper week.

Most people describe the taper crazies as their legs popping out of their skin, wanting to run. This phenomenon sounds kind of nice. I have not experienced it. Instead, taper feels like my legs are still heavy, I gained 10 pounds from all the lovely carbs (not really, but they do make me feel a bit bloaty). It includes obsessively checking the weather, and always, always developing a new injury that WILL NEVER HEAL BY RACE DAY AND WILL RUIN EVERYTHING AND ALL THAT TRAINING WAS FOR NOTHING. Except it will probably be fine. And I am just a drama queen.

At least the last week of training that began poorly, ended with a confidence-boosting tempo run.

April 21-27, 2013
Sunday: 16 miles at 8:37 avg pace, felt like balls.
Monday: 40 mins easy elliptical
Tuesday: Attempted threshold workout (3x2miles at HM pace - roughly 6:55). Actual workout was 1x2 miles (7:12), 1x2 miles (7:25)... and I quit. Felt so slow and hard.
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: 10-mile tempo run! Success! Started around 7:25s, finished last mile at 7:08. Avg pace was 7:20. 12 miles total.
Friday: very easy 4 miles
Saturday: 50 mins elliptical + core

Saturday I flew back to San Diego AGAIN for work and yay, met with Kristen for a delicious dinner of fish and sauvignon blanc. New Zealand SB, always.

I then flew up to Oakland, CA (for work again)... to the land of Roserunner!

I met her for dinner! At first I didn't realize this was a blog meetup... cos we had been emailing a little from time to time, and it didn't occur to me that it was a "thing". Then I realized how potentially awkward this stuff is, when my boss asked me how I "met" this friend.  I embarrassingly stammered that errrrmmmmmm, we hadn't actually "met" and we were friends via our blogs. So now he thinks I'm trawling for friend-dates on the interwebs. Awesome.

Anyway! Dinner was great, though we committed a massive blog fail for not getting any photos. Of each other, the food, or weird selfies in running outfits. But rest assured it was a great eve... though I felt like I talked her ears off about running, running blogs and basically a recounting of my entire life story. But she was SO nice, interesting, smart (like you'd expect) and encouraging!! My marathon-induced anxiety rapidly dissipated after our dinner...for 2-3 hours, at least.

One thing Margot mentioned that was totally true...Roserunner is not a 6"2' Amazonian warrior lady! Normal size! Apparently RR thought that I would be bigger too. But after pondering for a while, we have possibly solved the mystery. All race photos have our runners legs fully-extended in stride, poking out of tiny runner shorts. Arms generally in a flailing (me) or professional-looking arm-swing (Roserunner) but extended, nonetheless. SO bodies look bigger in those photos, than say, aforementioned selfies would. Mystery solved? Maybe... I'm going with it.

~ Penny