Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Treadmill Dependence

Confession time.

I have realized I have developed an unnecessary and probably unhealthy obsession with the treadmill and I need to break the habit.

Days like yesterday and today that were just gorgeous and yet I couldn’t bring myself to run outside, I wanted to smack myself after the fact.

I have not been shy in sharing my stomach woes. For the better part of two or so years I could not get through a single run without practically crapping myself. Yes that does sound sexy I know. My ex even used to call me “poopy pants” oh so endearing, right? I had a couple of instances when it got better for a while but the reality was whether 2 miles or 20 I would be stopping. I got to the point where I would be at a happy place with just 1 stop. 4 mile race 1 bathroom stop? VICTORY. I had a half marathon where I literally LOST TRACK of how many bathroom stops I made (and no they weren’t unnecessary). Hell my 1:53 half marathon PR is WITH a bathroom stop.

Now I get it things could be worse. I should shut up because I am not physically injured and am ABLE to run…but the frustrating part was that there was no rhyme or reason to it. No physical ailment. No food allergies. I cut out food groups trying to help. No dairy. No meat. Blah blah blah. Still bad. Tried a cleanse. Still awful, if not worse.

Now long story short…for the past 4-5 weeks there has been a dramatic improvement. Unexplained. Honestly I have begun tracking what I eat while in marathon training but there is still largely the same stuff – if anything less veggies (which I know can be troublesome but have been cut out in the past with no help). I will take it regardless.

But now I don’t NEED that crutch of the treadmill and being at the gym to have the safety of the bathroom…yet I find myself there for most runs. I am having a hard time breaking from routine. I am scared I will find myself in a sudden desperate situation praying for the best (and really do not want to poop my pants or have to go on the side of the road in the middle of the city).

Plus, I know that my treadmill dependence is hindering my running. I believe that the treadmill is a great tool for training – but I have also seen my running get worse (aka lost speed in races) over the past couple of years and I know it is because I am not outside challenging myself. I am making baby steps. I am trying to get to more November Project workouts – which will be outside which will involve running outside (to and from plus during)! Plus long runs. But if any friends want to make run dates please do – I need all the help I can get to break the habit!

Here is to getting back out there and putting my Garmin to good use!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Chicago Marathon Training - Week 7

The most exciting thing that comes with the conclusion of this week of training? STEP BACK WEEK! Every third week I have planned to drop down the mileage of the long run. 14 last week, 18 this week which brings us to 10-12 this weekend. Woo to the hoo! 10-12 seems like nothing after running for 3+ hours this past weekend.  

But with dropping back the mileage my plan is to also run the long run as a progression run. Soooo no 11 minute miles should be happening during this coming one. Wah. Training is tough. And voluntary ;)

I'm pretty happy with how this week came out. One thing I will note is my legs were DEAD by the end. I took an early rest day Thursday and Friday they still did not seem refreshed. Then the November Project workout somehow killed them. 

Saturday I woke up for the NYRR Long Training Run and my body just told me no. I felt beat up and kind of ill so decided to hold off a day. For the best since I wound up adding 2 to my planned 16 and hit 18 miles! (okay so MAYBE I also didn't calculate where I would wind up ending at 16 and the more logical decision was to run another 2 to get closer to home and finish but whatever...)

I should also note that I keep planning to run long on Saturday and keep doing it on Sunday lol - it is nice to have that extra day to cushion myself if needed.

Monday - 5 miles @ 10:21 - Recovery run 

Tuesday - Exhale Power Yoga + 75 minutes on the Arc trainer (yay for cross training?) so many planks during this session! I woke up sore for sure. 

Wednesday - 2.3 miles @ 8:41 + 5 miles @ 10:22 (double day) plus upper body strength circuit - those morning miles would prove to be my only speedy ones all week.

Thursday - DAY OF REST - I had planned a tempo run but I knew my legs did not have it in them and decided not worth the junk miles since I wanted to hit up NP Friday.

Friday -  November Project + 3 miles @ 10:00 - this workout was everything you want it to be and then some. I am trying to make more of these and plan my weeks around them. SO FUN. 

(stolen from November Projects instagram :) Indian Run Planks. Get involved.
Saturday - 3.5 miles @ 10:17 - delayed long run so just easy since my legs were tight

Sunday - 18 miles @ 10:43 - went slow then went even slower - this was a doozy but I just kept telling myself to keep on moving. 

Total miles: 36.8

Goals for this week = a quality speed session. Hoping for a nice tempo run mid week. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Chicago Marathon Training - Week 6

Overall I must say, pretty happy with how this week panned out. 

I am a LOT more laid back with the training this year. I start each week with a rough idea of the mileage I want to hit and the couple of workouts I want to nail down (1 speed and 1 long being the keys). But other than that as I have said before the goal is to run 5, cross train 1 and rest 1. 

I ran 6 and rested 1 this week so there is that. But, I did rest! So yay! I have also become a fan of doing doubles - when I can't get out of bed in the morning for all the miles. Oops. #laziness

Without further ado...

Monday - Double - 2.5 miles @ 8:35 pace + 4 miles @ 9:59 pace

Tuesday - MORE DOUBLES! So I was to run a 5K at night that I planned to use as a time trial and actually race but - spoiler alert rained out - they called it AT THE START TIME (okay I wasn't really sad all day I was dreading it). So in the morning I did 20 minutes on the Arc Trainer plus 10 mins of core intending to loosen up. Evening ran my 5K indoors @ 8:36 pace (had I raced this would have been MUCH worse, I was dying - and note the day before I was bounding with more energy at a similar pace - running is so weird!).

Wednesday - 2.15 miles @ 9:18 pace + 15 minutes of strength training


Friday - 3.4 miles @ 8:49 pace + core 

Saturday - 6.25 miles @ 9:35 pace

Sunday - 14 MILES! @ 10:42 - oh holy long run victory. I mentioned last week that my stomach has been MUCH better. I waited it out to do this because I was le tired from a super duper fun Saturday. I am also trying to work on fueling. I want to give up gels because I have never gotten anything but an upset stomach and the "oh my god I need a bathroom right now" effect from them. I had heard a lot about fig newtons as a "real food" alternative and decided to give something similar Fig Bars a whirl. And success! Not only did I make only one bathroom stop (and not an upset stomach stop) but I managed to take in 200 calories on the run AND about 24 ounces of water. From the girl who could never get a sip in that is a miracle. 

On top of that taking it oh so slow meant I was not beat at the end. Hmm maybe that whole run a lot slower than goal pace thing is true? I have run pretty much ALL my training runs in the past faster than my marathon average pace...something wrong there, right?

Total miles: 35.4 - creeping up!

This coming week is the first NYCM training run in Central Park (I am also running NYC after Chicago). I am really looking forward to this. Last year my best long run was the 18 miler training run - so hoping this one brings some more running success. But lets just say after a great 14 yesterday - I am a LOT more confident in the long run. 

One more down and seriously - WHERE IS SUMMER GOING? I am not tan enough for it to be almost August.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Treat Yourself Tuesday #4

In an effort to post something OTHER than just training updates...I thought I would link up with Becky yet again for another TYT!!! 

I have been making a VERY serious effort to put a lot more money in savings a lot less money into ME. I have two of my best friends weddings this fall, one of which I am a bridesmaid and practically every weekend have a baby shower, baptism, wedding shower, get the picture. So a lot of money has been being spent (obviously all for good!) but still am managing to treat myself :) 

I think one of the best was heading back home to my parents. They are back from Florida for the summer (hello #snowbirds...) and have a house on the Jersey shore where we spent our summers and then one in Warren, NJ. I went back to Warren for some R&R and it was so needed! And seriously...I hadn't been there in almost 2 years (usually at the beach house when they are home) and isn't this just GORGEOUS!

Obviously there has also been some major World Cup fever going on - and I spent as much time as possible enjoying it! With some adult beverages to go along #obviously. I love the game (former soccer player) and also love getting behind the USA! Soccer was big at my college (University of Maryland) and we have a great representation on the national level so a lot of pride all around. 

I also had the UNFORTUNATE necessity of having to spend another impromptu evening away from home...which resulted in needing to purchase some workout gear. I must say I am really a fan of Old Navy for their active gear. Especially their tanks with built in bras! Love the back of the gray tank - yes that is a bra attached (and yes I get that only flies for us ladies with not huge chests). 

But the prize this week has to be my new pair of Nike shorts (this short is my favorite I think I own 5-6 pairs). Umm that pattern. Swoon. I went to pick up my 5K race bib and couldn't help myself! These are everything. And here's hoping they make me run fast.

And since it is hotter than hot and humid outside, I have heard watermelon juice is fantastic for recover (oh and DELICIOUS) so I have been guzzling this stuff - and its not too much of a burden that Juice Press delivers for free. #willrunforjuice

Overall a great week! Cheers to treating yourself!!!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Chicago Marathon Training - Week 5

Why are the weeks flying by?

Why is my blog so boring in that all I have posted lately is training recaps?

I know this is thrilling stuff to read. 

The best takeaway from this past week of training? My stomach has been SO MUCH BETTER! (I feel like I am jinxing it now). 

I have started tracking again what I eat in an effort to get to a better racing weight (I was about 8 pounds lighter when running faster - I think there is a correlation). And want to know what happens when you write down what you eat? You make better choices! Oh the things that you learn. I don't like writing down french fries and seeing those wasted calories. Now I am not giving up my beers. Or burgers. Or really fries for that matter. But - I am having them on a way less regular basis. And my body is very much happier about it. Just working on a sustainable balance.

When I did the AdvoCare challenge, yes my eating was better but I think all those supplements messed with me and my stomach was still a mess. I will never be a supplement person. I don't totally believe in them. But now things are good, let's hope that continues!

And so here we have the week of training: 

Monday - 4.25 miles in 40 minutes - hmm nothing spectacular about this one. 

Tuesday - rinse and repeat of Monday same time same mileage - another 4.25 down. 

Wednesday - Cross Training day - 30 mins on the elliptical and 60 on the AMT. Yawn. Insert boredom.

Thursday - 8.7 miles - DOUBLE DAY! Legs were feeling sucktastic in the morning so I did an "easy" 2 miles (9:30 pace that had me panting like I had never run before) followed up by a fun evening workout - 60 minutes or 6.7 miles of Fartleks! (and will NEVER not laugh/smile when I say that word). It's amazing. In the morning my legs felt absolutely TRASHED then at night they were fantastic. Funny how that works. Non structured speed work. I would just ramp up for the chorus of each song. It was fun and quick!

Friday - REST DAY. O to the M to the G did my legs need this. This was a rest day 10 days in the making. Better planning on the rest days needed on my end. 

Saturday - 3.25 miles - 29 mins just sub 9 min pace. TRYING TO GET SPEEDY. It will happen. Eventually. I hope. Also threw in 20 mins of upper body and core. Planks allllll day. I totally neglected strength during the week. I had an Uplift class that I had to cancel because of work. Stupid job. 

Sunday - 11 crappier than crappy miles + 60 mins on the Arc because my legs felt tight. And I wanted ice cream and was trying to distract myself (because ice cream + my stomach is a recipe for disaster). Want to know how to make sure you want to vomit and/or pass out throughout your long run? Spend the entire day prior in the sun day drinking. It will ensure that running for 2 hours is THE MOST FUN YOU HAVE ALL WEEKEND. Or something like that.

Total miles: 31.45 miles - Booyah! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Chicago Marathon Training - Week 4

Ah so 4 weeks are done. That sure did fly by fast. One month and my marathoning desire is still a wee bit lacking. Actually what is lacking is just the desire for running long. Other than that I am wanting to run! But that whole "long run" it really essential? I kid...

Monday - 4.5 miles. Nothing of note about these. I did some speed bursts that is about all I've got to report.  
Tuesday - Day. Of. Rest. I like these. 

Wednesday - 2 miles. I was staying overnight in the city at a hotel impromptu. Because it was pouring with rain. And I can be lazy and I've got some connections. Did I mention I am lazy and Hoboken is SO FAR AWAY when it is raining. But about those 2 miles - the hotel gyms treadmill was stuck on an incline, so that sucked. 

Thursday - 2 miles in the morning + 15 min weight circuit in the morning. 5 mile progression run in the evening. Again another dreadful run on that treadmill. But the evening run - Oh so perfectly executed! (9:37, 9:05, 8:57, 8:49, 8:42) - I felt pretty good about myself after this one! 

Friday - Happy July 4th! I took an Uplift Strength Class with Jen again (taught by Chelsea - loved her, holy energy!) in the morning then did a 3 mile run in the afternoon. 

Saturday - I was heading to my parents so I did a super quick morning run. 20 mins 2.32 miles of fun (8:51, 8:31, 8.13 (.32) was pretty pleased. Attempting to do short runs faster since I am lacking on structured speed work these days. 

Sunday - Was at my parents and long run fail. Hills of Warren, NJ = suck fest run. And hot (that is what happens when you wake up at 6am but procrastinate until 10am in the summer...) I made it 4 miles in 40:48. Umm I shall try again next week. 

Total miles: 23

I need to buckle down and get better this next week. And stop wussing out on the long runs...shit needs to click and quickly. I may not have a serious time goal for fall marathon - minus a PR which means under 4:26 - but I don't want to be under trained for it.  

I also need to structure better and more efficiently. I want to get back to 5 days run, 1 cross train, and 1 total rest. With 2-3 strength training in there.