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Super Hero 4 Miler (25:32)

For me this race started the night before.  From a quick glance, I had assumed the race was being held in Moorestown, NJ.  I was excited because it was roughly 30 minutes away from my house and I had committed to go.  The night before I realized it was in “Morristown, NJ”.  Morristown is roughly 100 minutes away from me towards NYC.  After debating whether we would drive up there we eventually decided to go for it.  We didn’t have much else to do on Sunday and wanted to explore a new area of NJ.

This particular race had a special prize called the “Polar Bear Award”.  It is given to the least dressed female and least dressed male (no nudity).  I had decided if it was warm enough I was going to go for the prize.  I actually ended up winning for females and received a coupon for a free hour massage…sadly it’s back up in Morristown!.  Running in a sports bra and runderwear is pretty comfortable and it was warm enough that I was okay with it.  The only awkward part of the race was that we were running by multiple churches as people were leaving.  I was lucky the other people who were running half naked were about my pace so we kind of flocked together for a while.   There is a screenshot and video below that you can basically see I was running in runderwear and a strappy Oiselle sports bra.

The race started at 11:30 which is a little late for me.  It reminded me of a cross country race that starts which generally start between 11-12.  I am normally eating lunch at 11:30 so it was awkward to fuel for.  I ended up eating breakfast at 6:30 and eating again at 10.

The actual race:

Once the race started, I could immediately tell we were going down hill.  I tried not to take the race out fast because I had been warned it was a hilly course.   My times reflect the hills pretty well.  My first mile was uneventful and I clocked at a 6:05.  In the last 5k I ran, I believe my first mile was a 6:12 so I was happy with this.  I knew it was a net down hill mile but who doesn’t enjoy seeing faster miles?

The second mile began a few short and steep uphill climbs.  My body began screaming at me around 1.5 and I wasn’t sure how the rest of the race would go.  Around mile 1.5 I questioned if I would be able to maintain this pace. I could feel my pace getting slower and slower and my breathing becoming heavier.  Throughout the entire race the second place woman was roughly 10 seconds in front of me.  I wanted to catch her so badly but I couldn’t.  I tried to surge the hills and pass her but I couldn’t do it.  I maintained the 10 second gap the entire race.  I ran the second mile in 6:26.  I was not happy and tried to remind myself that it was a very hilly mile.

The third mile brought one of the worst hills I’ve run.  (I would honestly say it was worse than any of the hills at the Mountain Goat 10 miler…yes Jason worse.) I ran up the hill at roughly an 8:10 pace.  It was a very rough mile and after the hill was over (3.7) I was just hoping that mile number 4 was not going to be as hilly (6:36).

Mile four was relatively flat with a slight uphill finish.  The mile itself was also pretty boring.  I was running behind three high school boys.  I heard them discussing their plan and when they would surge to the finish.  Since they decided to surge around 3.25, I determined the rest of the race probably wasn’t going to be that hilly and I let out a breath of relief.  This assumption was purely made on hearing high school males talking (looking back it could have gone badly). I followed their surge but I wasn’t able to keep up.  I started catching them on the final .1 stretch but only because they started skipping into the finish line (while holding hands).  So YAY my ending race photos have three high school boys skipping and frolicking that I couldn’t catch.  Oh well, I was proud to lay down a 6:13 last mile.  If you are really interested in watching me run I make an appearance around 3:30 in this video.

A terrible quality screenshot of the finish (video in link below)

A terrible quality screenshot of the finish (video in link above)

My goal was to keep my overall pace under 20 minute 5k pace (6:27) and I was able to do that averaging 6:20.  I’m pleased, especially on hills.

The real highlight of the race was being able to meet  the Women’s Running Magazine web editor.  How awesome is that?  I told Fueledbyfuel that I didn’t think he understood how starstruck I was.  I can’t ever sing Women’s Running enough songs.

womensrunning

In short: The hills were tough but I’m glad I ended up going up there.  The next race I have is February 15, the Virginia is for Lovers 14k.  This definitely gave me some confidence for that. 

Questions for you:

What is the hilliest race you have done?

How did you celebrate Super Bowl Sunday? 

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Arctic Tundra Running

I get the feeling it’s going to be an unseasonably cold winter this year.  That could be because the last two winters were pretty tame but this year we have already gotten arctic blasts.  (Apparently my area of NJ hasn’t gotten snow in two years and we have had three snow falls in the last 10 days). This is my first winter not living in Upstate, NY and honestly I’m pretty happy about that.  Down here we have gotten snow in NJ but nothing compared to NY (or many other places of the country).  I don’t miss the feet of piled snow or countless hours logged on the treadmill.

These are some things I have done to try and keep my motivation high in the cold.  Honestly though I’m just coming off a month of rest and I am in that “running hurts but feels so good” phase of my training.

Here are some things I do and have bought to keep me sane and safe in the winter time.  I bought and was not given for free.

Mittens:

Mittens are a lot warmer then gloves.  Don’t knock it until you try it.  I don’t care that I look like a goober running down the side of the road, at least I’m not hypothermic.

YakTrax:

They grip the snow and ice.

If you remember in January of 2012 I slipped and fell on ice breaking my arm.  (This was in a parking lot).

Hand Warmers:

These are a dollar or less at Wal-Mart.  I normally stick them in my gloves, mittens or shoes.  Sometimes I use them inside too.  (Ha).  But seriously try them out. I find out about them through the Lake Effect half marathon last year and probably have bought at least 100 packages since.

When running outside I layer up something like this:

Bottoms: Short spandex under long spandex

mecold

baby LOLZ

Top:

layer 1: sports bra and arm warmers

layer 2: long sleeve shirt

Layer 3: sweatshirt or windbreaker and hand warmers

And I always have a hat and gloves.

So yes some people might think I’m a little crazy but honestly running outdoors (unless it’s zero degrees) is a lot easier when you layer up.  You may look like a waddling penguin outside but at least you aren’t miserably cold.  That being said there does come a point when I think running indoors will be more productive then running outdoors (depending on ice and wind chill).

Questions for you:

What is the coldest you have ever worked outside?

I ran in -4 once in Potsdam, NY.  It took me the rest of the day to warm up.  Never again.

How do you stay warm? 

Eating on High Mileage

A lot of people question how I eat enough to withstand 100 mile weeks.  It couldn’t be possible to ever gain weight while running 100 mile weeks and you couldn’t possibly eat enough to withstand that activity…ect. 

First and foremost, I only ran 100 mile week.  I didn’t run 52 but rather just 1.  That was my peak week and most of my other weeks were between 60-80.  Most not all.  As much as I want to credit myself to running multiple 100 mile weeks, I know I would just get injured running several in a row.  (or more then 1).

I’ve rambled about this a few times but blogging nutrition and real life nutrition is not the same thing.  I feel bad for certified dieticians and nutritionists that also blog.  They get mixed in with other bloggers whose research involves personal research and study which is not the same as being certified.  Point blank: it’s not.  I’ve taken plenty of nutrition classes but don’t know nearly enough as someone who has studied and has their undergraduate, masters, or even PhD.  I can tell you what has worked for me but that is no way telling what will work for you or that is right or wrong.

The majority of healthy living blogs focus on getting enough vegetables, fiber and more vegetables into their diet.  If I ate half the amount of vegetables that some people do, I would be able to run 1 mile…maybe 2 with deciding it was time to go home.

When you run high mileage and exercise you must learn that you have to eat a lot of foods that aren’t high in fiber.  You must eat food that is still healthy but you can’t eat 3000 calories worth of broccoli.  You also can’t eat 3000 calories worth of ice cream.  Both will result in you not feeling great for a run.

A typical day for me looks something like this right now:

Breakfast: 400-500 calories

Coffee+cream (100-200 calories…my vice).

Some of my breakfast choices lately have been: Bagel and peanut butter, egg sandwich, eggs and toast, waffle with Greek yogurt or peanut butter.

A standard waffle with peanut butter and yogurt has been my go to before races right now and I think I’ll stay to that before the marathon (as well as a bagel with peanut butter while waiting around beforehand).  My standard race day nutrition used to be a bagel with peanut butter and yogurt but I had stomach cramps a few races back and it was enough to change my mind.

Raspberry pancakes make me happy

Raspberry pancakes make me happy

Bagel+peanut butter+yogurt also make me happy

Bagel+peanut butter+yogurt also make me happy

 

French toast bagels are my favorite (panera or wegmans FYI)

French toast bagels are my favorite (panera or wegmans FYI)

Run

Lunch (within an hour of running) 500-800 calories

I’ve been having a lot egg sandwiches lately.  Eggs, avocado and cheddar cheese on a bagel.  I really just have whatever is in the fridge.  It could be a sandwich, soup or salad.  I don’t have a standard post run meal or lunch. I normally just like to eat what is in the fridge.

Sometimes I’ll go to the gym in between, sometimes I won’t.   (now that I’m tapering, I don’t).

egg and ham sandwich

egg and ham sandwich

lentil soup (this cold has got me craving it)

lentil soup (this cold has got me craving it)

Soup with parm cheese so good

Soup with parm cheese so good

Random salad I attempted to make restaurant worthy...they never are as to why I try and eat salads at restaurants more.

Random salad I attempted to make restaurant worthy…they never are as to why I try and eat salads at restaurants more.

 

Snack: 200-300 calories

I consume a lot of yogurt

I consume a lot of yogurt

No really...

No really…’

Baked apples are good (especially in the cold)

Baked apples are good (especially in the cold)

I also eat bars on the go...snickers marathon bars are really good

I also eat bars on the go…snickers marathon bars are really good

I normally have a snack sometime in the middle of the day.   I’ve been enjoying apples and peanut butter lately but that is only because apples have been so cheap at stores.   I also have left overs if they are in the fridge.

Dinner: 800-1200

As if anything else is planned, my dinner is the least planned and changes daily.  I am such a meat and potatoes kind of person.  I’ll have a serving of meat (steak and fish being my favorite), some sort of vegetables (cooked kale, brussel sprouts and spaghetti squash are my current favorites) and some sort of grain.  I’ve been better about eating a carbohydrate such as bread or race.  I’m actually not a big pasta fan (I don’t like the consistency) so I tend to eat more rice and bread.

steak and potatoes

steak and potatoes

ham and potatoes (and apples)

ham and potatoes (and apples)

Sweet Potato+Salmon+mushrooms (I'm so different)

Sweet Potato+Salmon+mushrooms (I’m so different)

I normally like to make a smoothie at night with a cup of milk and protein powder.  I have a big sweet tooth so often times I’ll just have ice cream.  I don’t really schedule a treat at night but if I’m craving something I’ll have something.   Whatever I’m craving I generally have at night.  I go to bed around 9-10 personally.

ice cream

ice cream

ice cream, cherries and whip cream

ice cream, cherries and whip cream

Protein shake

Protein shake

hot cocoa and whip cream

hot cocoa and whip cream

—–

I know this is very vague but it’s how I eat.  I don’t worry or stress about food or getting my vegetables daily.  As much as I say I want to meal plan, I don’t. If I eat too many vegetables then I don’t feel good running.  I don’t know how people eat so many vegetables (honestly).  I do strive to get vegetables but not overboard.  I try and get enough protein, carbohydrates and fat but I don’t track it and it doesn’t ruin my day.  I found the less I stress about food the easier it is.  I’ve never had a problem getting enough food and have never lost weight during a training cycle.

I will say I’m hoping to do a carbohydrate deplete and then carb load during my final week of taper.

Questions for you:

What does a typical day for you look like?

Do you plan your food weekly or eat when you are hungry? 

DNS

Last weekend I was supposed to race 2 miles in the open water.  My dad and I have done this race the last four years and Matt joined last year.  As you can see from the title, I didn’t swim. 

After waking up in the morning on Saturday, I saw it was pouring rain.  I thought it was summer time and I’m going to be swimming in the water anyways so it really didn’t matter.  As long as it wasn’t thundering or lightening they weren’t going to cancel the swim.  Dad, Matt and I went to the ferry station got marked up (I was lucky number 7) and boarded the ferry.  By the point of being of the ferry I was already pretty drenched. My clothes (including rain jacket) were soaken wet.  My core temperature had dropped a little bit and I wasn’t warming up.  If anything I was continuing to get colder.

The swim itself goes 1 mile out into the Long Island Sound and then 1 back.  You get into some deeper, colder and more choppy water out into the Sound. 

The Course

The Course

I was bundled up but poor packing on my part was also an issue.  I had known it was pouring rain (my two eyes showed me that) and thought a rain coat and sweats would have sufficed.  IThough even both of those were not enough as the rain had soaked through my cotton sweats and I could have used a sweatshirt under my rain coat to protect me from the wind.  Maybe if I had had appropriate and rain pants and had been able to stay warm I could have done this race.  The wind blowing directly onto the island made the temperatures feel colder (though it allowed huge negative splits for the racers…both Matt and dad had great races).

At 8:20 (with a race start of 8:30), I made the executive decision not to swim.  I was shivering before entering the water and being cold before a swim race for me, is like being thirsty before a road race.  Nothing good can come out of it.

Was there a possibility I would warm up during the race and all would be fine?  Yes.  Was there a possibility that I could come out of the 2 mile swim, half delusional and hypothermic as I did 3 years ago?  Yes and that is something I never want to repeat in my life.

Preblogging world I did this race three years ago and came out hypothermic.  The conditions were similar and I had thought nothing of it.  My body and core never warmed back up despite swimming two miles.  I had come out of the water unable to talk, half delusional and was immediately assisted into the medical tent.  I really don’t know how I finished the race or the next series of events.  What I do know is that I layed in the 90 degree sun with the medics for about an hour before warming up enough to be able to talk coherent sentences.

This was three years ago.  You can see how cold I was.

This was three years ago. You can see how cold I was.

I don’t need to write a novel about how serious hypothermia is and I will never regret not doing this swim.  Am I bummed?  Yes of course but I don’t regret it.  I could have easily decided to risk it made it a mile out, gotten so cold that my body shut down. Would I regret being in the water then?  Honestly this isn’t a big deal for me.  Many people DNS races for various reasons and I’m not going to cry and whine about it.

What could I have done differently?

Wind breaker and hoodie underneath a rain jacket to protect myself even more from the rain and wind.  Even then I’m not sure I would have been able to maintain a high even core temperature to start the race.

I’m upset, sure, but I know I made the right decision and I can’t live my life worrying about individual races.

Questions for you:

Have you DNS a race before?

Obviously this race but there was a road race a couple of years ago that I didn’t do as well.  My legs were feeling very injury prone and I had no interest in risking it.

Do you like the rain? 

Treadmill Training and Lazies

This workout week has been all over the place as far as running (perhaps), and my core workouts are enough to get by (like college).  Kidding.  Not really though about core workouts because I was just tired, lazy and busy this week and I own that. 

  Core Workout”
Monday: Ab ripper X AM: 10.83 8:25 pace
PM: 45 minutes Cybex 100i
Tuesday: 50 crunches 11.4 miles (8:15)
Wedensday: 50 crunches 7 miles easier (8:34)
Thursday: 50 crunches 11.55 miles (8:15)
Friday: 50 crunches 10.55 miles (8:34)
2 hours elliptical
Saturday: 50 crunches  
Sunday: Ab ripper X 15 miles running (outdoors)
  Core?  Done.  (barely) 65 miles running

 

I know I complain about the winter and I don’t deny that I hate the winter and I hate the cold.  So I run on the treadmill and don’t complain about it.  I would have ran a 70 mile week completely on the treadmill but then the weekend happened…Saturday I didn’t feel like running outside or inside or really at all. You can see that I’m a little happy clam running on a wheel and watching trashy tv.  I’d rather do that until it’s AT LEAST 30 degrees.  Why 30?  Because we also have a wind tunnel here and I still have a wind rash on my face from running outside last Sunday. 

On Saturday, I just didn’t feel like running.  My body was extremely tired and I was running on nearly empty as far as sleep went…so it was basically an unplanned sleep day.  Pretty sure I slept at least 75% of the day and now typing on this on Sunday, my body feels great.   If I can maintain a 60 mile base until the warmth I think I’ll be relatively happy. Taking Saturday off from running, also ensures I’m not building mileage to quickly.  (at least that is what I tell myself…). 

The other fact of the matter is although I got a shot of cortisone 3 months ago, cortisone generally wears off after three months.  That makes me really anxious because in all honesty, I have no idea if my cyst will come back.  Plus running all of those miles on a treadmill can start a lovely case of plantar fasciitis, which I’m more prone too due to the cyst invading my plantar fascia.  Anyways, enough rambling because I know no one reads this part of the blog, leave a comment with the word righteous if you do.  Needless to say, right now is not the time to be overzealous with miles. It’s the time to start cross training and adding weights though.

As far as core…mentally I’ve been rather drained from work and life (obviously) so I haven’t really been that consistent with it.  I can sit here and do 50 crunches every day (which I might) and although that is keeping the “streak going”, I didn’t intend to that every week.

Cross training has been good…got a few days of that in.  Getting my cross training in, I know will keep my muscles balanced.

Questions  for you:

What was your best workout of the week?

How was your weekend?

Mine was lazy…mostly just slept but I’m all for that.

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