An Actual Feel Good Training Week (75 miles)

I’m not sure why writing this weeks training log was so difficult.  I was just not motivated to sit down and reflect on my week of training.  I’m not sure why because it is one of the more productive weeks I’ve had in the last month.  I didn’t have to take another hit of low mileage because of an injury nor did I run a ton of garbage miles.  In fact, none of mile felt bad.  With the exception of the 10k I did a couple of days ago I felt really good. 

Training for the week:

Monday: Elliptical (easy)
Tuesday: 13.5 run (8:24 pace) felt easy and smooth
Wednesday: 10.61 (8:31 pace)
Thursday: 11.26 untimed
Friday: 11.55 untimed
Saturday: Zero Prostate 10k Race (40:25) total miles: 13
Sunday: 15 Mile Long Run
Total: 75

 

Thoughts about this week:

Since I am still not at the status that I can run the day after a 20 miler on Monday I decided to cross train.  It was easy and felt good.  My gym plays Spanish techno at full volume so there isn’t a need for me to even bring headphones.  I just watch the Ellen show on TV and listen to beats drop.  I was shocked at how good I felt the entire week except for Wednesday.  It was hot that day and I left a little bit later than usual.  Other than that my runs were pretty simple and there isn’t much to say about them.

Here is a quick summary of my 10k race on Saturday.  It was 85 degrees and in the sun.  I haven’t been doing speedwork so I didn’t expect a 10k to feel that pleasant.  I finished in 40:25 which is about a minute slower than my PR (which was done on an absolutely flat course and in perfect conditions).  I’m not disappointed with it and I’m glad to get some speed in after my arm and then my knee.

I had planned to do another 20 mile long run yesterday but since I was out of town and did a 20 last weekend I decided to shorten it.  I’m at a training point right now that 15 mile runs don’t take as much out of me as they used too.  It’s nice because I know I’ll have energy to bounce back today.

Training plans for next week:

If I can get another week similar to this one I’ll be pleased.  Tim’s family is actually coming down for his flight school graduation this week (!!!), so it’s going to be a very exciting and busy week.  We are hoping to do a 10k this weekend (the once every other month race in Del Rio).  We shall see though because his graduation is far more important than that.

Questions for you:

How was your training last week?

How is the weather where you are?  

Staying Flexible

The moment I got into the NYCM my life became pure chaos.  About a week after signing up for the marathon I decided I would work for the summer in VA then move to Texas with Tim in the fall.  He was graduating around that time and it made sense it would be a good time frame.  When I made that decision in May I thought I would have the summer to train for the marathon and keep that training in the fall while living down in Texas.  Since moving down here only two weeks ago, life has thrown me a lot of curve balls. 

Somewhere in college I lost the ability to be flexible.  I think it was the day I signed up for the cross country team while already being on our collegiate swim team.  (Looking back I think why was this a good idea?) Between college work, classes, running and swimming I needed to be in a routine to get everything done in the day.  I knew what I needed to do and when .  I also knew I needed to have life planned out a few days prior to accomplish these tasks.  That worked out well for me throughout school and I was able to thrive in everything I set out to do.  It worked out well solely because I had no one elses schedule to work around.  It was just me.  After making a lot of life decisions senior year I stayed pretty routine to finish my new major on time while still running.  Even on days that I didn’t have class until noon I liked to wake up around 7 and do homework in the morning.

When I got a job in Oswego I kept a planned routine.  I essentially had been living by myself and on my own schedule for three years and just needed to worry about myself.  Now living with Tim I’ve already learned very quickly you can’t plan or make plans based upon yourself and you have to be flexible.

For instance Tim doesn’t always get done with work until around 6, 7 or even 8.  He also doesn’t know when he will get done and can’t text and say I’ll be done at such and such time.  So I have to be flexible of when I’m eating or making dinner.  Maybe he will show up at 5…maybe 8.  Both have happened on numerous occasions.

We also thought we would be moving again at the earliest in January.  That isn’t in the cards for us and we will have to be in New Jersey by early November.  That is only a month and a half away. I just unpacked and moved to Texas and now I have to repack and move to New Jersey.   There was little or no warning and he just came home and said “hey check this out”.  Oh these are our move dates.

Incase you forgot I’m also running the New York City Marathon the first weekend in November.  So I have that bit of stress to go along with moving and training.  Moving, training, looking for a job was not all part of my plan and routine when graduating college but it’s what happened.

So over the course of the week I learned that I will have to move again BEFORE the marathon on November 3rd.  I have to repack everything and due to some training Tim is doing be in New Jersey before he gets there.  We were not expecting this at all.  Would I have moved to Texas if this was the case?  I don’t know but no sense in playing the what if game.  I don’t regret it.  I am enjoying my refound spontaneous and flexible attitude.

Being flexible is something I have come to embrace again in the last few weeks.  I thought I could live my life on a set routine but moving down here has taught me that is not the case at all.  I am glad to have found a spontaneous happy medium.  I don’t fear the future like I once did I am embracing it.  Things will happen when they happen.  I will find a job when I move to NJ and worrying about it now isn’t going to do me any good.  As much as I would love to preach this to others I know it is something they must find on their own, just as I did.

Question for you: Are you spontaneous or a routine oriented person? 

Marathon Thoughts and Knee Pain Reduction

For someone who is training for their marathon, having an injury 6 weeks out is not an optimal situation.  Having an injury period is not optimal but since essentially since breaking my arm a month ago my training has left a lot to be desired.  I was talking with a friend the other day and made this bold statement.

If you had asked me to run the New York City Marathon August 1st, I think I would have been in better shape and capable of running faster than if I ran right now.

My training in the last month has been anything but consistent-40 miles, 40 miles, 90 miles, 40 miles.  Since I haven’t been racing as frequently  my speed work has been reduced as well.  To point out the obvious I still have another 5 weeks before the marathon to get back on track. If my knee is continues to be pain free I can start to really prepare and get myself back to the shape I was.

I didn’t go into much detail about my actual knee pain but it was in the top inner corner of my knee.  It almost felt like a giant bruise on the top of my knee cap and hurt more when doing a quad stretch then running.  When I bent it at a 90 degree angle is when I felt the most pain.

I actually had a few questions of what I did last week to try and reduce my knee pain as much as possible.

  1. First I rested my knee.  Most importantly if I had run through that pain in the beginning of the week it would have gotten worse and I would be limping this week too.
  2. Baths: I took an ice bath and an epsom salt bath.  I find it a lot easier to take Epsom baths so I will continue that this week.
  3. Deep tissue massage.  I found this helped the most and reduced a lot of soreness after my 20 miler last week.  (This was probably the most helpful to me beside resting).  It took me a while to locate a place in town and I was half ready to drive the 180 miles to San Antonio if it wasn’t an option here.
  4. Foam rolled, stretch, iced and self massaged.  This is something I should do more frequently but don’t.  I am making more of an effort to do all of these.
  5. Changed my shoes. After the advice of multiple people I decided to retire a pair of Newtons that I only got about 200 miles in (as opposed to 600 miles).  Considering I’m on a budget and was not foreseeing buying a new pair before the marathon this was the hardest part for me.
  6. Running on flat, soft terrain.  My second 20 miler I tried to find as much flat and stable terrain as possible.  I think this helped me knee a lot and combined with different shoes is why I felt almost no pain.
  7. I also had a few solid cries but that is just me being real with you.

So that is my “injury reduction” methods for my knee.

Edit to add: My knee pain is 100% gone since last week. 

Questions for you:

Have you ever felt less prepared as a training cycle progresses?

What is your best advice for niggles? 

Time to Move…Again…

I keep getting a lot of questions regarding where exactly I am or will be in the future.  I wish I could tell you but I really don’t know anymore these days.  As an outside or objective reader you become invested in a bloggers personal life.  I feel like I “know” every blogger outside of their blog and enjoy watching their life happen in real time (hoping for the best).  I often think because they blog they have their life figured out.  Or I figured they wouldn’t post if they didn’t.  (I don’t know why I think that because I’m pretty notorious at jumping the gun and can’t keep secrets very well).

I’ve made the mistake countless times and learned plenty of life lessons along throughout the three years I’ve been blogging.  When I publically announced I was moving to Texas a few months ago, I never thought it a million years that I would be moving to New Jersey this year too.  There was a possibility we would stay in Texas for a few years or go somewhere else in the next year.  So realistically it made sense that I would come down here for about a year or even five. When Tim found he was getting his top choice airplane to New Jersey a couple of weeks ago we were both quite ecstatic. We both thought we would still have time to move and get settled.

timandi1

Most people wouldn’t’ leave until January so spending 4 months in Texas would be about the same as a semester at college.  People transfer after a semester not a big deal.

Unfortunately that is not the case at all.  We will be leaving for New Jersey at the very beginning of November.  In case I haven’t spammed my blog enough the beginning of November happens to be the only thing in my life that has been set in stone since May, the New York City Marathon.

When I first signed up for that race I didn’t quite think that I would be going through multiple moves (New York-> VA->Tx->NJ) all across that span.  Apparently when I train for marathons I like to get in as much training in each state as possible.

To make everything work with running the marathon and also moving, I’ll be driving back to the east coast in mid to late October.  (I don’t want to drive 2000 miles the week before my first marathon).  I’ll probably spend a few days in Virginia then drive up to NY to run.  Finally by the time I’m done running and semi recovered to leave New York (I do anticipate spending a few days there) I’ll drive down to New Jersey where I’ll reside.  At least I know that I’ll be there for four years.

The more I think about 2013 and the fact that I’ll have moved four times the more I realize I am a completely different person then 2012.  I have grown so much and realized that life will hand you plenty of curve balls and you must be willing to adapt and not them stress you out.

So that is where I’m at with life outside of training for a marathon.  Incase you know me in real life you know it’s just my typical hot mess and how did I get myself into these situations self.  

Questions for you:

How often do you move?

Have you ever moved by yourself? 

Weight

A topic I’ve been up front and open about on my blog and in my personal life is weight.  The problem in my opinion is that less people are upfront and open making the topic more taboo.  Distance runners and athletes in general walk a fine line between healthy and unhealthy weight.  It’s not new evidence that those weighing less have an easier time running. To an extent as the line becomes cloudy and unhealthy when you are underweight.   It’s also not new evidence that those who run a lot burn a lot and therefore need to eat a lot.  That isn’t the topic of this post though.

In the past few years weight has always been something that I don’t have a problem discussing.  Not in a way of I think I look fat today or does this make my butt look big but in a way that is objective.  Weight is after all just a number.  So with that I weigh 130 pounds and am 5’7.  When people ask they are normally shocked and would guess I would 100 pounds.  I’m tall and have a decent amount of muscle.  Plus people always underestimate other’s weights anyways.  Most people would rather others think they weigh less.

Weight and the Blogging World

Weight is a taboo touchy subject in the blogging world.  It can trigger people or it can create a hellsend of backlash.  With more than average people suffering or recovering from eating disorders, I’ve found it’s a very hush hush subject.  We must also realize that in the United States that is not the norm.  As someone who has worked in the public health field, I saw more people that needed to lose weight then gain weight.

The problem with weight is that we are strained to talk about it publically.  For some, it feels like an embarrassment.  They do not want others to know their true weight or lie about it.  Some lie to hide they are truly overweight and some lie for a disorder.   In both cases you are only lying to yourself.

Weight and Me

I can recall the very moment I stopped caring about my weight.  While I do care in the sense that I want to be at a healthy weight past that do I care if my weight is 131 or 127…it changes all the time.  I stopped caring about my weight when I realized it didn’t define me.  My personality, my humor, my running talents all shine through despite weight.  Being open and honest with your weight can help others realize that weight is truly just a number.

So are there days that I feel  more bloated than a puffer fish?  Sure, today happens to be one of them.  Are there days that I feel like muscles decided to grow overnight and I am more toned then usual?  Sure.

Weight and Athletics

When thinking about running and race weight I think it’s important to realize that while most runners are thinner weight is not the sole base of your running.  When you get too wrapped up in weight and how it controls training, you will get injured or start to slow down.  Worrying about weight and what you eat isn’t going to do any justice to your training.

You should be worrying about miles, pace and enjoying your running.  Adding the worry of weight, whether losing or gaining won’t do you any favors.  As someone who ran collegiately I saw many amazing distance runners fall into this trap.  They would start off a season strong.  They would begin to lose weight and become faster in the middle of the season.  By the end of the season they had lost too much weight and were either burnt out, slowed down significantly because of fatigue or became injured.  All three cases led to no longer competing and also no longer enjoying running.

Don’t let weight define you as a person.  Being open and honest about it, whether you need to lose, gain or maintain will get you much further and you’ll be much happier.  I can only wish that others come to this conclusion and weight stays that…just a number.  Not something that defines you.

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