Views on Coaching

I’m not going to apologize but I would say the majority of my blogs this week are going to be about running.  Where my running is going, why I think coaches are a GOOD idea and just random thoughts about the Houston Marathon. 

Now that we cleared that up.  I’ll also try and add photos so they aren’t a snooze fest.  I said try-we can’t put too much hope into me now can we. 

I promised a blog of where my training was going and I wrote one up.  Sadly, my coach and I decided that we were COMPLETELY changing my training focus so the blog was pretty much meaningless.  Well it had meaning but it wasn’t going to be what I was doing. 

So today I’ll chat you up about why I think coaches are a great idea for anyone who is training with purpose or for a certain race.  I’m not saying you have to be hardcore training for a full marathon or half complete with speed workouts but I have found myself already reaching more potential having someone to back me up.

I could sit here on the computer and google every little thing about running, read every piece of print ever created or listen to many youtube videos teaching me proper methods to run and proper training schedules.  It doesn’t mean my body will react to them the same way as they were intended.

For instance, most people don’t need to run 50 miles to train for a half.  For me personally, my body is doing EXTREMELY well at running 70 miles per week.  Something I had not once thought possible during cross country season and coming back from my injury.  Something when my coach suggested my word for word answer was “So do you want me to peel over and die too?”

But I trusted him and can very easily tell you I wouldn’t have done it by myself.

Although my coach does not sit and scream workouts down my throat (another thing I would not respond well too), he does mentor me and show me things he thinks will be beneficial to my body (and that have been).   I don’t see him everyday or talk to him everyday but I know if I needed too I could.  He knows-I’m the definition of independent which is another bonus for the both of us.

I truly think that every single person could benefit for a little while from a coach to help guide them.  You can google yourself a fancy training plan, but training plans aren’t normally tailored to you found from google.  True story: I just googled training plan for Hollie and found nothing… There will always be something you never thought about.  There will always be something you can tweak to improve your times.

For instance the first change that came to me with my half training plan is that I do not have a said “long run” most weeks.  Maybe every two weeks or so-I’ll do a straight up 15 miler.  Normally and 9 times out of ten I would rather run a 10 and a 5 miler in a day.  My coach gets that.  My only real criteria in my plan is to get long easy miles in.

So I guess what I’m saying is that in my opinion, everyone could benefit from a coach for training for something.  Not necessarily someone screaming down your throat to finish a hard run, but to motivate and know as much about your training as you do.  To understand and motivate you when you are feeling like utter crap.  Sure you could google every answer to running imaginable but it doesn’t mean you won’t overlook something in your own training.

*I’m not saying that every person will mesh well with every coach.  I’m also not saying that I don’t google running training like it’s my job.  I’m just saying it’s always good to have a second opinion!  😉 

What are your thoughts about coaching?


Distance Series 20k Recap (1:25.20)

At approximately 6:00am on Saturday, I woke up and wasn’t exactly sure where my 20k race (12.4 m) race would take me.  My initial goal was to break 90 minutes.  It seemed reasonable-my fastest half marathon official race was at 7:20 pace and I had a wee bit more training under my belt.  It’s hard to think the most training I’ve ever had is now and it’s 3 months of solid running.  Though this race was on trails, but there were lots of hills at that half marathon race in May.

Anyways a 7:15 pace seemed like a good goal to me. 

The race itself didn’t start until 8:30 but it took 45 minutes to get there, dad and I wanted to get a good parking space and frankly I hadn’t packed the night before so I needed sometime to do that and eatSo 5:55 am wake up call it was. 

Followed by 6:05 pancake eating.  I need 2 hours for it to fully digest.  2.5 hours for safe measure.

When we got there, dad and I warmed up for about 10 minutes and then went to the starting.  The fact that I warmed up for any amount of minutes for a 12 mile race is an accomplishment for me.  Then e discovered there were literally 4 bathrooms for 300 people.  What.  The line was like 10000 people long (who are these extra people?).  Good thing I took backpacking as a gym class.

Right when I got to the starting line and one of my dailymile friends, immediately spotted me and chatted me up and before we knew it…people had started the race.  I’m sorry, but I’m sorry, that I don’t have a running zone and will talk to people while I run.  Something I never did in swimming, you couldn’t talk to me within 30 minutes of a swim race.

That was just the beginning of my chatting.  At 8:31, when we started I still didn’t know where this race would take me. 

Not too much went through my mind for the first mile or two.  Lots of people shouting go to each other, lots of chatting and some random guy who was whining about his legs not being warmed up when I passed him.  Right then,  I passed mile 1 at 6:52.  Since my original goal was a 7:15 pace I wasn’t quite sure what to do but just kept going with flow.  I figured if I died, I’d have a little bit of bank.  Mainly 50 seconds for a different mile.

I hit the 5k and first turn point at 21:05.  I literally was like dear god, that is 35 seconds slower than the 5k I did last week.  Neato.  The volunteer looked at me like I was a toolbag.

Then it was off to the next 3.1 miles The good thing about this race was that each 5k was marked off.  It was easy to see where you were and mile markers were also present.

At the 10k mark, I looked at my watch and saw 42:20, it was an out and back course and there was also a 10k that some people were doing instead of the 20k.  The people thought at first I was doing the 10k and then I was like no 20k for me.  They chuckled and told me I was 7th overall and first female which is where I stayed the entire race.

The next 5k was pretty rough, I was going into the wind and it was a bit hilly, but I saw so many people that motivated me (including my dad who also ran an age group best!).  Some of the race walkers (roughly 80 years old) told me I was the cutest little thing they had ever seen and so perkyNevermind that I’m 5’7 and have the running facial expression that I just killed someone and am running from the police.   I’m still the cutest little thing.  Apparently.

At 15k (which I didn’t remember to look at my watch), I said okay only 3.1 to go.  I gave myself a mini pep talk consisting ofYou eat 5ks for breakfast and it’s almost lunch time”

I honestly, didn’t really have any sort of “kick” at the end.  I think I ran the entire thing at the exact same pace.   I thought immediately when I took out the race that quickly that I would die and alas that never happened.   I still cannot get over how supportive and cheerful everyone was in the race.   I haven’t felt like I have really lived up to my running potential in the 7 months of actually racing I’ve done but I think this was my best race yet.  I think 2012 will be a breakout running year for me.

Incase you are curious of my DM writeup/splits: Here ya go:

Question for you: What are you “breaking out” in 2012?

Running and furthering my pancake cookbook

Friday Favorites: Eating Out Like It’s My Job

Okay so maybe you can relate to me and maybe you can’t.  I’ll get to the nitty gritty. My parents eat out a lot and so when I’m at home, I eat out a lot.  Since Sunday, I’ve been out to eat every single day and sometimes more than once per day.  Since really I suppose I could make food at home instead of going out with them, but that would imply not going on whatever adventures lead to eat out.   I also tend to eat out with friends a lot to catch up.  That way after dinner I can be like oh uhhh…gotta go.  Instead of making an excuse of why I need to leave when we are other placed.

Kidding of course.

For instance, on Wednesday my parents and I went to the book store then just ate at Boston Market since after an hour in the bookstore we were hungry.  I was nervous-I had never eaten there before but went with possibly the greatest fast food salad I have ever had.

Thursday I also had a date with the famous aDuBs in which we explored Panera (because it’s our fav).  They have a salmon salad now!  Who is responsible for not telling this?  Rude.

Thursday evening, was the day the rents promised we could carb load for my big race tomorrow.  Ie: the 20k.  I carb load two days before yes sir.  I tend to have a lighter meal the night before a race. 

Pasta and gyro meat=heaven.

On the way there though-there was an accident in the tunnel a few cars ahead of me.  So I got stuck in the tunnel.  I’m pretty chlaustrophic so I spent my time reading blogs and taking myspace style photos until it was done…

Sitting in a tunnel. Chilling. They should have an antm shoot in the tunnel...such great yellow light.

I couldn’t even remember where I went on Monday until looking at my trusty iPhone and seeing the sushi/sushami I had for dinner.  It was so good.

and they made it so pretty!

The manager was OBSESSED with my table (boarderline creepy) she kept telling me to tell her when I ate the Octopus.  She also said adding wasabi was the greatest thing ever.  ( already liked wasabi a lot though).


It was.

So too make matters short-I eat out a lot and here are my favorite foods of the week.  Ie: the meals I ate out.  Well I’m off to relax until my big 20k race tomorrow.  It’s not so much big, but just big for me.  It has given me something to train for without waiting until March for a decent half marathon. 

Question for you: Does your family eat out a lot? 

New Years 5k Race Recap (20:31)

Wooo.  We are finally on to race number 2.  Gosh, that was all the way back on Sunday (New Year’s Morning) after running a 5k New Year’s Eve and the having a couple glasses of champagne.  Who am I? Oh wait, don’t be shocked I’m a seasonal freak who loves running. 

Anyways-I woke up at 7:00 (not on purpose but that’s what my body does now I guess) after going to bed at 1:30 or so.  Oh good.  We all know I’m a little bit grumpy when I don’t get sleep. 

I made a waffle because 10am races merit breakfast beforehand.   Tired and hungry while racing.  Oh boy steer clear of me, because it will not be pretty.  

Straight up burnt waffle. Just how I like them.

So anyways-upon arriving to my favorite race location of Mount Trashmore, I immediately noticed that a. I felt like crap from last night, b. Mary Poppins wouldn’t have anything on me if I had an umbrella, it was so windy.  I grabbed my race number, shirt and all that jazz and stuck it all in the car.

I warmed up for probably 20 minutes and knew I overall wasn’t feeling that great.  Well duh-I just ran a 5k and ran the fastest time I had in 2011.  I wasn’t going to let it bother me because I had a great race last night and I was having so much fun because I seriously think I knew at least 50% of the 300 people racing. 

So there dad, I do have real life friends.  I digress.

They fired the gun and the race started.  I immediately saw two girls get out much faster (er-woman…they were like 30ish) but didn’t really let it bother me.  Honestly-I don’t care how fast the boys run next to me.  They are dudes, sure I’d like to the beat them but I don’t care either way.  If one wants to sprint to the finish line so he isn’t “girled” (a new phrase I learned this race…)so be it.

I passed one of the females at mile 1 when which I did in 6:30.  I knew immediately this was going to be a race somewhere between 20-21 minutes and I was okay with it, I’d pick it up as best I could.  The female ahead of me kept getting further and further but there was no way in hell I’d be able to dream of catching her.

Then from mile 2-3 this 6’3 male was drafting off me. serious.  I’m sorry, I’m a 5’7 female, drafting off me will do you no good, especially when you are twice my size.  I don’t know what it was but I got so angry.  I don’t think I’ve been that angry ever during a race.  I point blank told him that while running, while holding a 6:15 pace and also while holding everything in power to look relaxed while he goes into cardiac arrest.  He layed off.

I crossed the finish line in 20:31.  I must have been psychic.  It was a fun race and I quite enjoyed my time.  I ended up getting second female overall and I was completely okay with that.

Matt and I did the photobooth.  I look like a possessed demon.

Hehe-I had a great double sessions of races and seeing that a 20:31 is what I can currently do on a rough windy day makes me quite thrilled.

And as always live the dream and I am still loving running  😉  I apologize for my lack of photography during race recaps.  I don’t quite take photos for 5ks.  I’ll get better. 

Question for you: What do you think of drafting? 

A Tribute to the Strongest Willed Dog I Knew

A lot of you asked about my puppy (15 year old puppy) so I thought I would do a little blog post dedicated to her.

Sushi is the Black Lab and Gus is the Golden.

My dad found Sushi (my dog) on Camp Courtney Military Base on Okinawa, Japan at a local shelter.   He was stationed there for a bit.  There are a lot of strays overseas and our family personally gets all our pets from the shelters.  When my dad saw Sushi and saw she only had ONE day left to be adopted before they had to put her down (overcrowding), he knew she was coming home to my house.

She lived a fantastic life at my house.  The animal shelter knew that she was abused as a puppy.  She had a few scratches on her nose when they found her and her demonear was anything but dosile. Therefore, she was never a dog that the neighbors saw.  She mostly slept in our house and was very affectante towards my family though.   She would sit with me as I attempted homework and such.

In March 2006, the unthinkable happened though.  She was hit by a car.  Since is very people cautious no one could help her and no one wanted too.  She was missing for 3 days.  I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much in my life.  My youngest brother Steven and I literally spent 6 hours wondering around my area looking for her.

We eventually found out she had been transported to a vet hospital and was “on her last life line”.  When we visited she looked terrible.   The vets said she wouldn’t make it.

Slowly but surely she got better though.  She was never able to walk very quickly or go on long walks again but 2 and a half weeks in the hospital and she was allowed to come home.  She lived the rest of her live very mellow and relaxed at my house.  She never bothered anyone-but no one outside the family really ever saw her either. 

As you can see, I was extremely close to her so this news although not shocking, was very hard for me to bare. 

Question for you: Tell me about your pets. 

Beat the Ball 5k Race Recap (19:30)

I owe two race recaps so I suppose I’ll work on those.  I’ve had my arms tied the last couple of days so I haven’t even opened my blog reader yet.  I hope everyone had a good New Year’s though.  🙂

This has been the first New Years that I have been able to watch the ball drop and been in the US since high school.  Weird eh I’ve been on training trips for college swim team the rest of the time).  Anyways-after doing a lot of research, I found a 5k on New Years Night.  By doing research, I mean I was casually browsing my running clubs website and saw there was a 5k on that.  Sounds good to me-it’s not like I have real life friends to celebrate New Year’s with anyways.  Oh wait-I do and they will all be running this road race.

This race was titled “Beat the Ball”.  It was a 5k that started at 11:35pm.  The goal was to race under 25 minutes and finish the race in time to watch the ball drop on the big screen they had outdoors.

So anyways, that same day one of my friends Tim came down and wanted to run.  He doesn’t live too far away so it wasn’t as strenuous as a drive from Upstate.   I seem to have a lot more guy friends as girl, as dad pointed out.  I think it’s because my guy friends will run with me.

Moving on-the race started at 11:35pm so we got there around 10:15 or so.  Beforehand was super stressful because my dog was very sick.  She had slowly been getting worse for the last week or so and they knew she had cancer.  We weren’t exactly how much longer she would make it (she was roughly 15).  Mom stayed with her instead of watching the race.

Upon arriving, we warmed up for about a mile or so and waited inside.  Not that it was cold (60+ degrees) but there were lots of fun festivities inside.   I honestly thought this was going to be a small race but there were 300+ people.

Then at the starting line, my whole world came crashing down.  Some man that I had never met before (I presume one of dads friends) came up to me and word for word says: “Your dad left.  Your dog died.”

Not your dog has passed away and you father left to take care of her.  No just your dad left, your dog died.  I lined up physically crying.  There wasn’t too much I could do but to know she was in a better place.

Then the gun went off and we went.  After the first .5, something terrible happened.  I was feeling awesome, and I felt something around my foot loosen the fall off.  My chip!  Ugh-I debated for a split second to stop but didn’t and kept running.  If nothing else-I knew the time I was going to run weather it recorded or not.

I hit my first mile in 5:55.  My first sub 6 minute mile ever.  That’s all I have to really say about that because I was so pumped.  I debated stopping right there and thanking the heavens but I didn’t.  Slightly inappropriate perhaps.

Mile 2 and 3 were a somewhat of a blur.  I was lost in my own thoughts about my dog, life in general, and my first sub 6 minute mile.  I remember looking at my watch at 16:20 and thinking hopefully less than 4 minutes to go but that is about it.

I finished the race in a time of 19:30.  It didn’t record (of course since I lost my chip).  I spent the next hour sulking but in my regards it was my own fault.  Then the nicest people helped me out and told the race officials!  The race officials were also taking manual times (way after crossing the finish line(More for places)), they caught a manual time for me of 19:44.  All I really wanted at this point was my award.  I actually got first female overall!

Anyways-I “beat the ball” and got to watch it drop on the big screen outdoors which was pretty neat.  They gave us champagne flutes and we celebrated the New Years with a glass of that and then went home only to wake up for another 5k 8 hours later.  🙂

Question for you: How was your New Year Celebration? 

New Years Resolutions

I see it all the time (on facebook, texting, tweeting, whatever)-people making New Year’s Resolutions (at least 5 or 6 different goals no less) hoping to maintain them.  The gym becomes more crowded for a while, some people lose the weight and some people get lost in the mix of things.  Some people’s disorders run rampant and they promise they will stick to them harder than ever.   Some people place resolutions on fitness, others work related, younger-school related.  Whatever you do there is a strong judgment of following your New Year’s Resolutions weather you like it or not.

For me personally, looking a year out is hard to justify where the heck my life will be.  I can’t make a resolution that I’ll run a sub 19 in a 5k this year because who knows how much control I’ll have on that.   Injuries, changing of mind, not racing any 5ks, all play large rolls…I don’t want to make a work related goal because I don’t know where I’ll be working.  Oh and food related-I can’t even stick to a meal plan for a day.  I have honestly read a few blogs that make me a little bit uncomfortable with all the New Year’s Goals but I’m not going to bridge that topic today.

Today I’m have made two New Years Resolutions.  I think it makes it pretty manageable.

1.       To be able to touch my toes by 2013.   (I can touch maybe my knee caps right now).

2.       To continue to live the dream.

Happy New Year’s my friends!

Question for you: What are your New Years Resolutions?  Do you set and follow through? 

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