Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Important mid-week update!

I mentioned on a previous blog, one of my 2011 goals has been to "kick up into handstand" before the end of the year.  Oh, I've been working on this for years, but I've felt like this year, it was attainable," if "I practiced from time to time.

On Tues.,  I decided to run in Bent Creek and Dandridge for my "planned" 14 mile run.  I started the run around 6:00.    This area is challenging for me, especially on a longish, run.   I started in Bent Creek, which was my first mistake.  I ran most of the roads in the area and headed back to my car at 8 miles for a sip of Gatorade.  Then I headed down the road to Dandridge, my 2nd mistake.  Dandridge has very little protection from the sun, and the hills are more challenging than Bent Creek.  Immediately, I'm thinking...."YOU SHOULD HAVE"......

The hills become more and more challenging.  These are not long hills, but for me, they are steep.  Short, steep, rolling hills - unending rollers that beat me down.  I begin to walk up the steepest offenders.  Around 10 miles I decide I've had enough on the hills.  I make it back to the flat area and then I realize "THIS RUN IS DONE".  I stop at 11 miles, way short of my 14 mile plan.    In the recent past, I would  "gut it out", no matter what, to get the mileage of the day.  Yes, there is a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment in doing that.   Maybe it's age,  maybe it's early in the distance season, maybe it's a new found freedom, maybe it's being smart, maybe it's giving up,  one can look at this many different ways.  

This is how I look at this one.   This run does not define me, this run means VERY little in the long season of distance running.  We have good runs, we have bad runs, it's just part of it.  Thankfully, these runs are rare for me.  So I head home and with the bad run in the rear view mirror.

Later in the day, I'm working.  I'm waiting for my embroidery machines to finish stitching hats.  I decide to work on kicking up into a handstand.  I've been working on this for years at yoga class.  I've never even been close to doing it until this year.  Earlier in the year, I made it a goal to "kick up into handstand" before 2011 ends.   So I try a couple of times, not real close, but I'm feeling strong.  I try a few more times and get closer.  Then.......
I kick up against the wall, and was able to hold the pose for a short while.  I worked on getting my heals off the wall, so that I was totally in a handstand, with no assistance from the wall.  I was able to hold it for a few seconds.  

So after the failed attempt at 14, a sunny part of the day, a 2011 goal achieved, MUCH earlier than expected, with 5 months to spare.  Totally exciting!  As you can see, I'm a VERY simple person, with simple goals in life.  So how will I remember yesterday?  I may remember the bad run.  I still remember awful runs from years ago, they stick out in my mind.  So I may remember the bad run, but more than that, I will remember that I had a BAD run, but later in the day, I achieved a new goal that I had been working toward for years.

I did get those other 3 miles later in the day and the battle at Bent Creek and Dandridge has only just begun.   The up side of a bad run is the fire that burns to conquer it another day.  
I call that success! 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Training Details and Planning

This blog post is totally training details and upcoming plans.  If that's not your thing, I totally get that!   I will save you some time and say, read no more of this post.
(I personally enjoy the details posted by other runners)

The Details :  week of July 11, 2011
Run - 30 miles
Bike - 37 miles
Walk - 7 miles
Supreme 90 Day - 6 days
1 yoga class

2 Quality Runs
*Wed - long run -7:15 am start time - 11 miles on hills - 9:47 avg pace
*Sat. - first attempt at any quality running in 3 weeks.  5 mile run with 2.5 mile tempo run.   I know, some would say 2.5 miles is not a tempo run.  For me,  the tempo run is the toughest part of my training.  I  have to start small, and build up each week.  So 2.5 is where I'm at....a new beginning, a new challenge.  Yes, even a 2.5 mile tempo is a challenge for me, and YES, 2.5 miles IS a tempo run for me, this week.   You do not have to count it, but I'm totally saying my tempo for this week is DONE.  lol
I think it's more of a mental issue (YES, I'm mental) with tempos rather than physical fitness or lack there of, but I'm fine with starting slow and building up.

Building up the mind and the body, I like that! (see pic below)

5 miles @ 8:55 avg. pace - 1 mile w/u, 2.5 mile tempo at 8:16 avg. pace, 1.5 mile c/d  (7:15ish am start)

*This week I upped the total running mileage from 25 miles last week, to 30 this week. 
*I'm happy that I have been able to keep all of the cross training so far.   As the mileage goes up, it will become challenging.  At some point, (hopefully MUCH later), I will reduce some of the cross training to be able to manage the increased running mileage, but I hope to keep, as much as possible.  This will be a "listen to the body" decision.  

Short term goals in training:
*continue to build up the weekly mileage (this week's goal will be 35 miles)
*continue to primarily train on hills, especially the long runs
*gradually build the tempo run, adding 1/2 mile per week
*all hard effort days will be followed by 2 easy days
*finish some training runs ending at 9:30 am  - yes, it's crazy HOT by this time, but my reason for doing this is NOT a suicide mission.  My purpose is to get ready for 26.2 in the heat of Tupelo, MS, on Sept. 4th.     Thankfully, this race starts at 5:00 am, but with running it as a training run,  I will still be running between 9:00 and 9:30 am.   I am a BIG believer in practicing to prepare for race day conditions, as much as possible (even if I'm not "racing" it).

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, right? 

  At this point, my plan is to run my quality running days earlier in the morning (6:00am ish), and some of my easier days planned to finish around 9:30ish to prepare for the later morning running at Tupelo.   As my long run mileage increases, I will be finishing later in the morning also.   The thought here is to enhance the quality runs as much as possible, but still get in some training later in the morning to prepare for the heat of the 9 o'clock hour,  which will be brutal.  I will also continue with some evening running, 6:00-6:30pm.  I think mixing up the running time is a good thing to do.  In addition, it works for me, and I can coordinate with Chad's running schedule some days (he is a 100% evening runner).

(note:   I ran Tupelo 26.2, in  2009 as a training run leading up to St. George in Oct. 2009.  St. George is my PR race @ 26.2,  SO FAR)

(another note:  just a few years ago, I thought ANYONE who would consider running this race in the heat of Sept., on the hills of Tupelo,  was C R A Z Y.  I suppose I've gone on to the other side.  I'm having fun with my craziness)

*I will wait another 1-2 wks before adding any type of speed work back into the mix.  I'm not having any issues, but I don't want to rush things.  I have time, so there's no need to rush things.  My main goal prior to Tupelo is to get in the distance to be able to finish the training run that day.

And, I leave you with this..... it goes PERFECTLY with my planning for the week and the upcoming racing this fall. 
Today, I had a 1.25 mile run to finish the 30 for the week (30 min. on the bike also)  While on the short run, I listened to a short podcast and then turned the Ipod to my music.  This is what shuffled up:

I always apply the words to my situation, and usually to my running  (the words of the full song have a different meaning, but I pull out the part that means something to me personally, in my life, in my running, in my world.  This is why I LOVE music, this is why I love my Ipod)

"I Know You've Got A Little Life In You Yet
I Know You've Got A Lot Of Strength Left
I Know You've Got A Little Life In You Yet
I Know You've Got A Lot Of Strength Left"
Yes I do! 
(song - "This Woman's Work" - Maxwell)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cross Training and Adding On!

*I'm happy to report I'm back up to an amazing 25 miles of running last week with my long run now at 8 miles.  Ha! 
It's a process, and I'm cautious!
*I walked 1 mile, I biked 17 miles, I completed 6 days of Supreme 90 day, and 2 yoga classes
*I'm really liking the Supreme 90 day workouts ($20.00 at Bed Bath & Beyond),  and I feel like it's making me stronger on my runs.  I like that the workouts are fast paced, and 30-40 min.  I like the variety of the workouts each day too.
*I'm making progress with (free calories in, calories out tracking system)  It's working!
*I will continue to increase my mileage, with some step back/recovery weeks in the mix. 
*7 weeks until Tupelo 26.2 training run, 13 weeks until Mt. Desert, ME 26.2 hilly training++ run, and 20 weeks until Baton Rouge 26.2 mile race.   I'm thinking my goal race will be Baton Rouge (or Stennis if the weather is perfect), so I have PLENTY of time.  I'm enjoying the no pressure training with lots of cross added in. 
*This week, I will move my long runs from the flat lands of South LA,  to the hills of South MS.  Tupelo and MDI will both be challenging races, so I need the long runs to be on hills.
As I ran this section, I heard several "critters" too close to the road.  Scary because I have seen dead alligators  near the edge of the road.  Eeeeek~!
Yeah, I outran this!
I will be joining Amanda over at Run To the Finish in celebrating her 30th birthday with a 3 mile run.  Join Us!  A great way to celebrate Amanda's day, and get in a good training run. 
Details on her site, but the run can be anytime Aug. 10th-15th. 

I love this time of year, with the mileage going up, the training intensity on the way up, fitness level slowly rising.  Thankfully, in the past couple of years, I have grown to LOVE the summer training.  This year, I love it more than ever!  
Fun weeks ahead! 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cross Training and Liking It.....Really?

*So I ended up taking 9 days off from running

* I went to the Chiropractor 2 Xs - just to make sure hips are aligned properly
* I had a therapeutic massage which was partially painful but overall
totally awesome! 
(not painful in the glute, but where he found knots in my calves- ouchee!)

*I FINALLY bought a foam roller and like most of you, I'm finding it very valuable.

*Cross training included - Supreme 90 Day 
($15.00 with coupon at Bed Bath & Beyond)
(I'm too cheap to purchase P90X, not knowing if I would like it or use it) 
 (I'm enjoying the Supreme 90 day, I may eventually buy the P90X - I want the yoga dvd - 
(if you have the P90X set,  and want to sell it - message me 
or if you just want to sell the P90X yoga dvd)

*other cross training included walking and biking.  I even enjoyed the bike this week - SHOCK!  I'm hoping I will do more biking as I return to running.

This week looked like this:
Mon. - am - 30 min walk and Supreme 90 day dvd
pm - 6 miles on the bike

Tues - am -30 min walk, Supreme90
pm - walk 45 min on the track

Wed. - am - yoga class @ The Yoga Room, Supreme90
pm - 5 miles on the bike

Thurs. - pm - 10 miles on the bike followed by 2 mile run with Audrey.  Woo Hoo!  1st run in 8 days.  Feeling FINE!  Oh Happy Day!

Fri. - am - bike 10 miles, yoga dvd- Jillian Michaels
pm - 2.4 miles with Michaela in South LA

Sat. - am - run 2 miles, Supreme90
pm - 3 miles pm with Michaela and Mindy  (training to run their 1st half marathon - very exciting)

Sun. - am - 5.6 mile run to even out the 2.4 mile run from Fri - because that bugs me at the end of the week - ha ha) 
yoga with Neesha - - great online classes- one free class offered each wk
mid day - 12 miles bike
pm - 2 mile run pm

Totals - 
walk - 7.5 miles, Run 12 miles, Bike- 43 (may be my highest weekly bike mileage ever?? ha ha) 5 Supreme90, 3 yoga sessions

So as you can see, I had a busy week of training.  I'm excited to have introduced some additional cross training this week. I'm hoping I will keep some of it in the plan as I begin to pick up my running mileage for my fall marathons.  I KNOW the cross training is super valuable, but I LOVE to run.  I love to run high mileage, and as the mileage picks up - other things seem to fade away.  Maybe this fall will be different!  
(yoga WILL stay in the plan no matter what)

4th of July - I will go for a bike ride today,  and do Supreme90 (10th day) arms and shoulders (I like the fast pace workouts and getting in some weights at the same time)

Happy 4th Y'all!
                                     Red      White    Blue - I love you!