Not The Healthiest Week

I am a pretty healthy person in general. I eat salads more than pizza, drink my recommended 64oz of water each day, take the stairs whenever possible and even sneak in a long run once in a while. Sometimes I even get 8 hours of sleep. This week, none of those things happened. In fact, if I were to have a physical today I’m pretty sure there would be multiple causes for concern.

As has been pretty typical over the past month, this week was just busy. I have 3 launches over the next 4 weeks and that goes hand in hand with long hours at work. Jim and I also have a wedding to go to this weekend, so Monday night we decided the time had come and he needed to buy a real suit. Taking him suit shopping was one of the greatest things I’ve ever been able to do. He didn’t hate it as much as I thought he would have, but by looking at his face you can tell his was less than thrilled with the whole concept.

He was OK with this, I promise

After 5 options and me acting like this was a GQ photo shoot, Monday was gone and my run was missed. Tuesday was a going away dinner for a co-worker who I’ve worked really closely with for the past few years, so Tuesday was a bust as well. That led to Wednesday, which was the annual Marshfield Fair Supercross race. The boys race, and I… well I eat fair food. This years dinner was a baked potato filled with cheese, bacon and broccoli. It was delicious. Then my little cousin dragged me to this glorious stand…

This is my inner fat kid Mecca

That’s right. Deep fried sweets. By the end of the night I had a deep fried oreo, a bite of deep fried cheesecake and half a deep fried pickle. That was Wednesday. I’m pretty sure my arteries are still mad at me.

The delicious outweighed the guilt

When I finally made my way to the gym last night I expected to be a little lagging. I knew it had been an off week and I probably wouldn’t repeat my glorious 7:40mile. Have I mentioned I ran a 7:40 mile? I’m still pretty excited and it was amazing. To say I didn’t repeat that glorious feat is an understatement. My 2.03 miles were not only slow, but kind of painful.

Not good.

I put the fancy treadmill on “Random Hill” mode which adds a few solid inclines, but still no excuse for that performance. It’s certainly not a confidence booster for the 12 miles I’m hoping to knock out tomorrow morning before Jim and I head to the cape for the wedding. I’m going to try to get those done by 8am so I can shower, nap and get my legs rested for the dance floor madness that will be my night.
I’m trying to get down to Newport the second weekend in September and do my final really long run on the actual course. #RhodeScholars- want to make a day of it? Let me know!

So that’s my week. I will be healthier next week I promise.

Have a great weekend everyone! What’s your mileage looking like for you fall marathon training?

Last Minute Racer

I’ve been debating for a while of running a half marathon this month to help in my Newport Marathon training. I had to miss the Jamestown stop of the UHC Triple Crown (of course, the one I was looking forward to the most!) and I’m trying to get my competitive running juices flowing.  I know, I don’t really have competitive juices. A girl can dream.

While I was looking through half marathons I was thinking about the last distance race I did- The Providence Half. I went into that fresh off an injury, a bow out from Boston and an overall question of why I bother running. I “ran” it just to finish it, and I affectionately refer to it as my “walking tour of Providence”. Before that was Boston training, and before that was the NYC Half Marathon. In 2011. It’s been 18months since I really raced a race. There has been tons of training, lots of long runs, even a few races; but nothing I actually went into wanting to race. This is an issue.

I’ve been running and training for Newport, and I’m going into this to race because of that little side bet I have going on. While I am confident I can race Newport, I don’t think I should go into it without having raced anything else first. I need to figure out how to really push myself and not take the safe route I’ve been comfortable in. After over training for Boston I’ve been hesitant to up my mileage very much. My longest run this training cycle has been 14 and I have zero intention of going above 18. The one part of training I’ve really improved on this cycle is listening to my body. If it hurts I rest it. If it doesn’t feel right I lay off. It seems to be working for keeping me healthy, but doing very little to help me get speedy. On a brighter note, my knee is feeling good thanks to a new trick I’ve taught myself. KT Tape plus an IT Band strap means no knee pain for this girl. And it’s pretty. That helps too.

My KT Tape matches my sneakers. We’ll pretend that’s an accident.

If I’m going to start racing that also means I need to start fueling and cross training better. Summer is always hard for me because there are lots of cookouts, lots of cocktails and lots of time on the boat.

Boat Life = The Good Life

None of this makes me sad. It does make me the slow kid on the track, though.  It’s hard to fit everything in, and Yoga has most certainly taken the biggest hit. Remember that New Years goal of 100 hot yoga classes? Not even close. Dinner last night? Salad. And fried brocilli cheese bites.

Heaven in a deep fried coating.

 

There is a lot I need to work on over the next 10 weeks leading up to Newport. I need to focus on pushing myself. I need to get outside of my comfort zone. I need to go back to Yoga so I can touch my toes without feeling the stretch anymore. I need to not eat everything in sight that is covered in cheese. I need to foam roll more. I’m also approaching the 8 week mark where I try to cut out drinking. Oh boy.

So- what do you think- is a half this month and next month a good idea? If so, what are you racing in the New England area this month? Any awesome races I need to check out?

Running Makes Me Happy

Some days it’s that easy.

Today it’s really that simple. Sometimes I forget how much I love running. When you have a training schedule or are coming off of an injury, it can seem a little daunting to get out there. There are days when you feel like crap, wonder why you do it and just want to hop on a spin bike or lay out your yoga mat for your workout. Then there’s the past couple days.

Saturday’s disastrous “Long Run” made me nervous for the remaining 15 weeks of my Newport Marathon training. Huffing and puffing on a two miler doesn’t bode well for the half marathon in Jamestown in July, never mind the 26.2 in October. When I set out Monday evening for my 1.5 miler around the cemetery I was cautiously optimistic. I was also immediately put into a good mood by an adorable little boy who was standing at his grandfather’s grave with his dad. He was telling Papa about his day, school and what his plans for the summer were. Keep in mind I was not being a creep and staring at them, I just happened to overhear all of this while I was stretching nearby. The little boy then said “Oh, and I got in trouble today because I pushed Tyler. Don’t worry, you wouldn’t like him either so it’s OK”. It took every ounce of restraint in me not to run over and hug this kid for being so cute.

It could have been the good mood that the little guy put me in, but when I started running it just felt… good. Not the “I’m going to do a Forest Gump run across country!” good, but the “This is comfortable and helping me clear my mind” type of good. I even left the cemetery and headed back around to the entrance I came through on the main road with the large hill. I felt great, and even got the illusive negative split I’ve been working on. I know, for 1.7 miles, huge accomplishment. I will continue to congratulate myself on it. Deal with it.

1.7 on a scheduled 1.5- Yeah, I’m an overachiever…

Yesterday was insanely busy as I was offsite for work at a photo shoot all day. I was on my feet all day running around and could not have been happier about that. I really hate sitting down all day long. I try to stand as much as possible but most days I spend at least 6 hours locked to my desk trying to get stuff done. The lunchtime walks are helping. It’s pouring out today so I’m not going to get one in, and that makes me kind of sad.

I was a little worried that after all that running around my legs would have been slightly exhausted for my scheduled run last night. Once again, I surprised myself. Negative split, big hills and finished strong.

Feels good.

I don’t know if it’s the two months of “rest” paying off. Maybe it’s the new types of cross training improving my strength. Most likely it’s the refreshed mindset that’s powering me through. I rested, I recovered and I’m taking it day by day. I know I’ll have rough runs in the future, but I’ll remind myself of runs like these that make me excited for my next workout.

What great workouts have you had lately? How long does the high usually last? 

Life’s a Balancing Act

With training for a race, like everything else in life, there is a certain level of give and take you have to expect. Yesterdays post involved me saying I need to be more accountable for my training and taking each and every run seriously. I knew at some point I would have to live up to these words, but I didn’t expect it to be night one of the training schedule.

For Boston training, I gave up on a social life in general. I did not go out. I did not drink. If I was dragged out of the house I was home and in bed by 10pm at the latest and cursing myself for putting my recommended 8 hours in jeopardy. I am making it a point to maintain a work/life/training balance this time around. The people in my life who love me and deal with me deserve time and attention without me worrying about what I’m not getting done the next morning.

Jim called around 4:30 yesterday to say he had made plans for us to go bowling with some friends after work. Yes, bowling. We’re wild. But, it was an awesome time. A couple beers, good friends and lots of laughs.

Like when we realized Jim forgot to take the tag off of his new pants. Oops.

The friends we were with don’t work the typical 9-5 and where Jim is self employed he gets to decide what his schedule is. I’m forever jealous of this flexibility and it makes me miss bartending in my weaker moments.

We left the bowling alley around 9, stopped at the liquor store to pick up a 12-pack and then drove over to our friends apartment. On the way from the store to the house, the guilt kicked-in. I knew I had to be at work early today. I can’t stay late because I have to run tonight. I can’t skip my run. I could take a sick day? I can’t take a sick day to go out and drink. The guilt would forever consume me and I would spend the next month convinced someone found out and I’d be fired immediately. As I pulled into the driveway, I called Jim over to tell him I was taking off and heading home. He stared at me like I had just spoken to him in some third world language. You’re not staying for Wii Dance? Huh? I still don’t’ think he really gets it.

On the way home I was a combination of ashamed of myself and proud. I’m 26. My life should not be as structured as it is most of the time. I should go get drunk on a Monday, stay up till 5am and use a sick day once in a while. On the other hand, I know myself and my personality and I find a huge amount of comfort in structure and consistency. I’m working on balancing the two. Let’s face it- I’ve never been a wild child and I probably never will become one. I think I’ve passed the age where I can have a “wild streak” and it would be socially acceptable. So instead of beers and dancing, I had soup, a book and an attempt to watch the Game of Thrones finale without falling asleep (fail).

It was good soup and a good book though.

I really want to know that I’m giving this training season all I have. Every once in a while that’s going to mean giving up a night out or sleeping in. However, when I’m waking up in a tropical location after winning this bet it will all have been worth it.

How do you strike the work/life/train balance? Early or late workouts? Also- where do I want to go on vacation? I need to start looking into this.

Back to Basics

I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but here in Boston is it cold, rainy and overall not in any way offering motivation to get out of bed in the morning. It has been like this for the past 3 days and it did not help me do anything of any note this weekend. Other than napping. I took 3 naps on Saturday. I wish that was an exaggeration. I put in a load of laundry, took a nap. Paid some bills. Took a nap. Then I got my traditional day before a training schedule starts pedicure. And then took a nap.

Obnoxiously bright.

 

What is motivating? Today is the official start of my training program for the Amica Marathon in Newport on October 14. In case you haven’t noticed, the past few weeks around here haven’t been filled with a lot of actual running. There’s been a lot of spin, a little yoga, some Zumba and even a try at CrossFit. All of these made me respect different types of workouts and excited to build some new cross training into my schedule, but more than anything they made me miss running. I think after the way my Boston training season ended I needed a mental break as badly as I needed a physical one.

Two months without a training schedule and I feel more refreshed than I ever have and ready to start training. I’m taking what I learned from my last training cycle and applying it to this one…

I Need To Take Nutrition More Seriously: I am terrible about saying “I’m training for a marathon, of course I can eat a massive amount of mac and cheese”. Yes Caitlin, I partially blame you for this. But I always feel the difference in my workouts when I eat cleaner, healthier meals.

Hot dog mac and cheese, crabcakes, fries and wine is not a well balanced meal. I should realize this.

 

I Have to Lean to Negative Split: For more than a 3 mile run. I’m terrible at this. I need to learn to pace myself, and to power through feeling tired. I can just say “Of course the second half will be slower” any more.

I Will Be More Accountable: Every run matters.  I will get tired. I will be sore. Not hurt, but sore. I will not always want to wake up at 5:30 to get in my run before work. But I want to win this bet, and I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.

 

Tonight I will run 1 mile. That’s right. One. Mile.

I’m taking the beginner schedule that my wonderful Miles for Miracles coaches gave us at the beginning of last season. Coming off of an injury and two months of not a lot of running, I don’t want to kill myself in the beginning.

I asked Jim what his training plan was for this, and he said “I’ll start training a month of so before if I have time.” Well, that’s one way to go about it. Part of me thinks he’s sneaking in 15 mile runs and not telling me. The other part of me really hopes he decides to skip the whole training thing and makes this easy for me. I guess we’ll find out. He’s certainly not taking the nutrition thing very seriously.

No fork? He doesn’t let that get in his way.

 

What Fall races are you training for? Any races coming up between now and then you’ll be using as a baseline? Jamestown anyone?