Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hills are only sometimes fun....

It's been over 8 months since I have run a 14 miler - boy did I make it tough on myself. If I had just ran the straight route - it would have been challenging, but not so darn painful. I ran over 5 miles of it in the NW hills of Portland... because I felt like "exploring." What the heck was I thinking?! Hills are only sometimes fun. Sure a 2 minute sprint - but 30 or 60 minutes of them are not. The houses were beautiful as this particular area is like the Beverly Hills of Portland. 2 bottles of water, a gatorade, a few sport jelly beans and a half of bagel later I finally hit my wall on mile 13. I literally had to walk...forced to walk. Thank goodness I bumped into the only friend I have here on my last mile and so the walk of pain was in short stride. Just letting her chat while walking her dog - definitely lifted my spirits. I think on future runs when I'm feeling depleted from a run that I'm going to call a friend and just let them talk to me. I really had to just laugh at myself. It's great though to tell people where you ran from and to and have them be really impressed. For me, I was happy to be back home in tact and in good spirits. The next day I was pleasantly surprised that my body is recovering better. Sure my hamstrings and quads were sore, but that was to be expected. My calves were really tight - but a good tight. I am happy I pushed myself seeing that I'll be running a 16 mile trail run on the race course this Saturday and I'm thinking that my last week exploration and hill repeats will start to pay off. I definitely need to incorporate more stretching - and get a massage at least once a month until the race. Today - I scheduled an easy 45 min. run - while tomorrow I'll have 6 mile trail run. Friday will be some core or yoga and Saturday will be a fun 4 hours! I've got 8 weeks and counting and am right on pace to have a great first 50K. My goal for that race is to finish and "walk the next day" to talk about it. That will be the payoff! FINISHING! Have a great day and thanks again for reading!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Keeping It Fresh

Definitely feeling the effects from the last 4 weeks of training. I'm just plain old tired. Not burnt out - just tired. Tomorrow I am running a 14-miler and I can only hope it goes smooth and pain free. My 5 miles of hills and stairs yesterday was fun - I'm glad that I was spontaneous and did those hill repeats seeing that the 50k will have a 3,100' elevation gain - so really hills now are going to be the bain of my existence. What is the classic term, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger?" That's my new mantra. In fact, running up this one incline yesterday - which turned out to be a 2 minute uphill battle - was truly heart pounding. I actually grunted out loud at one point. My calves are definitely more sore today then the usual flat runs I do 10+ miles. Hills definitely works those muscles in your glutes and calves to help give you power. Definitely the last mile home on the flats felt really great and I was moving faster, so that was fun! One thing that I've been adding to my normal fluid repertoire is filling one of my flasks with Gatorade and that has helped to keep my energy higher and I think is helping in my recovery too.

Evidently, one of the purest and most direct tools in developing “running strength” can only be gained by hill training. I read this somewhere and it's stayed with me. So here I am - adding in on my mid-week runs, more and more hills! All in all - I'm looking forward to tomorrows long run (finding a few hills) and possibly scheduling a body massage or in the very least a really nice foot rub in the near future.

I realize that keeping my work outs fresh is just as important as changing up my diet, and creating new mixes on my iPhone. It all plays a part in psyching me out so that I don't get bored and every week feels new and challenging! So, keeping it fresh is definitely a priority for the coming 9 weeks. Keep me in your thoughts and thanks again for reading!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My First official 1/2 Marathon

I just entered the Race For The Roses. I'm really excited to run an official half though I have run 16 miles before... it'll just be great to wear the T-shirt! In 2009, women far outnumbered the men in the half marathon. 1,401 women crossed the finish line compared to only 722 men. This should be a fun one! I'll keep you guys posted!

One foot in front of the other...

Over the weekend while on my 12 miler, I'm listening to music and my heartbeat through my headphones. They are the noise reduction kind and all the sounds outside are quieted while music and my internal beat are directly in my ears. The interesting thing is it doesn't drown out my thoughts. That's where time stand stills for me. Knowing that I am on this run for the next 2-3 hours. Nothing else matters; not chores, my honey-do list, what we are doing for lunch. It is all about going from bridge to bridge. It's funny - the Run Keeper voice speaks every mile to me - but all that I'm thinking about is the next bridge. If I even pause to think about 12 miles - it is just too much for me to wrap my head around. I try to use only visual guides. This has been really helping me as I build my weekly mileage. Now, once I start on longer runs on trails - that might be a new lesson to be learned. I find that true with sales too. The visual goals are items we might want to own some day to keep us excited and incentivized as sales professionals. Just paying the mortgage, car payment and utilities might not keep us as motivated; but, a Hawaiian vacation might kick us into gear if a commission check could pay for the whole trip! Those visual guides are great - short term goals are a beautiful thing. There really is nothing better than accomplishing tasks - whether it's physical or professional. Both are so satisfying!

On my 12-miler my legs were really sore until that afternoon. Surprisingly though the next day I felt pretty good. Those are good signs that are showing me that I'm able to recover better after every long run. Downing chocolate milk after a tough workout can help replenish exhausted muscles and significantly aid exercise recovery, new research shows. So, I've been drinking a tall glass of either chocolate milk or carnation instant breakfast milk after those days. It is easy and quick - tastes great and while I'm in the shower, my body got the nutrients it needs to help it feel better.

As I continue to run and watch my intake - I find that I am craving more sugar lately. I want to eat Jelly Belly's and the occasional doughnut. I get that because I'm burning 2,000 cal in a single run doesn't give me the right to indulge... but it really keeps me excited knowing that at least once a week I can enjoy a meal I otherwise would have felt guilty about. I am drinking tons of water - as hydration is critical in recovery as is my multi-vitamin pack and getting my daily dose of proteins, fruits and veggies. Like for instance, as I type this I am eating a piece of low fat string cheese and apple slices. Trying to increase fruit as a natural sugar is a daily reminder than I make these choices and will pay for them on my runs. This food is fuel. When I don't I pay the price - my intestines do - then of course I do. Really pay attention to your body on your workouts, whatever your goals are. Keep it clean and keep one foot in front of the other! Have a great day and thanks again for reading!

Friday, March 19, 2010

My 12 Miler

A day off

Now we all look forward to working hard all week and on Friday evening getting to enjoy 48 hours of fun! I feel the same with a day off from running... my body is tired, sore from weights, running hills and adding miles each week. Today is not only Friday (the beginning of the weekend) but also a day off from working out. I can't tell you how important it is to have these days and take full advantage of it. We all have goals personally and professionally - but if you can't be creative at work - you need to step outside - take a breath so you can be your best the rest of the day. The same goes for a day off. Our bodies have to take a break to rebuild to be it's best on the next workout day... whatever that workout is. On these days I like to take my dogs for a long walk. It helps to stretch me out while also making my puppies feel great! I make sure I take my vitamins, eat lots of fruit and drink enough water every day (but especially these days) where it's essential to hit my longest run of the week tomorrow at my most hydrated and fully rested best! Don't take these days for granted. Your job today besides work, is to rest those weary bones. In the worst-case scenario, too few rest and recovery days can lead to overtraining syndrome - a difficult condition to recover from. So make sure if you are burnt out that you are just taking some time to chill or find something fun to cross train and keep things from getting stagnant. The burnout stage is when the energy is eventually consumed by fatigue and irritability at work. Enthusiasm with work drops as well as productivity and quality of work. There is criticism from workers regarding the work product and this adds on to the stress already being experienced. Your life must go beyond your work and athletic goals. Enjoy your time alone, your time with your friends and your time with your family. This will help you keep track of your expectations and it will also keep your aspirations realistic. Have a great weekend - rest, play and eat well! Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Shamrock Run

The race this morning was a blast.
A little chilly but with Carey and
the puppies there to support me in
my quest - it was on! There was
21,000 participants this morning
and the energy was fabulous.
Beer, Salmon Chowder from Stan-
ford’s, live music and lots of green
made this event really fun. Also,
the Adidas Tech Shirt and 50%
off coupon at their on campus
store was a nice perk to the regu-
lar cotton T’s from other races. Wearing a beanie is key
during these colder mornings - I was thankful for mine.
Running this 8K had a few challenges - due to the standing
around I had gotten a bit stiff, and realizing I had to pee
started this off a bit rough. Looking forward to finding a
bathroom around mile one and starting off slow to warm
up the muscles made for a slow mile. Though once I found
a restroom and got into my pace, things just got better and
better where I found myself singing to myself with my
playlist sounding in my ear. “Back to Life” really got me up
to form and I was having fun. Seeing other woman and try-
ing to motivate along the way. A gal at the end stretch
whom I had pounded fists with around mile 2.5 thanked me
for being her pace car. Lots of smiles and great bagpipes
along the course, but it is always the RunKeeper App voice
that I appreciate most who at every mile passed announces
the mile, time in and my pace. That is one of my favorite
new tools to helping me just relax and run. It doesn’t inter-
rupt my music or anything... Technology is good. Monday
is a running rest day - though I’ll hit the gym which I really
enjoy! Looking forward to another week of trials and miles.
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Running In The Rain

This morning while working on emails and creating my to-do list, I'm sitting here in my running gear looking out to the Portland rainy sky. There are lots of things I have no problem doing - but running in the rain is really new for me. I know it could be worse and it's only water... blah blah blah. But, that first step will be a new challenge for me.

It reminds me of those moments in a day where picking up and cold calling a new store can be challenging but after the first call - it becomes fun and usually pays off. I have to keep that in mind when running on these wet mornings. As my races will more than likely involve rain from time to time.

Selling and running go hand in hand. The only time you don't succeed is if you don't try. Most retailers won't pick up a phone and call you for the sale - just as no one will run for you. These are actions you must do for yourself. So today - I step out side my comfort zone and run in the rain. When I get back - I'll shower - dry off - then go knocking on some doors. I'll make this day a day of squashing fears! I am a force to be reckoned with! 4 miles in the rain - not a problem! I can do this!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Journey to 50K

Well, this is my first blog of many in which I hope to be a great life experience for me. Choosing to run a 50K wasn't taken lightly. What it was - was a need to place a goal in front of me to keep me motivated and catapult me to a fitter self. If you are a friend of mine, you know how much I love to eat... I'm not obese, but easily could be if I didn't work out through out the week. 2 years ago when I was 39, I gave myself a goal to do a triathlon before I turned 40. So I lost 26 pounds and ran my first triathlon. I chose an all women's event, SheRox and it was a great experience and got me thinking... so I started to run. My friend and boss Paul sent me, "Born to Run," and then after loving that I picked up Dean Karnazes book, "The Ultramarathon Man. " Both were really inspiring. The idea of running turned to more of a passion. A zen space in time for me to turn it all off. The fact that both books focused in on the internal reasons of why to run - really was the turning point for me. To create a journey around it...and not just run. It's funny, because I have hips and boobs and was always told I couldn't run... I wanted it even more. So, I grabbed my shoes and headed out the door. I've done a bunch of 5K's but couldn't fathom running beyond the 3.1 miles... so, I Google mapped around my neighborhood and ran 2 miles out and back. Finally, I went past a 5K and then weekly added 1-2 miles extra depending upon how I felt. I started training last November and about 8 weeks later I finally ran 16 miles... what a great accomplishment for me. The thoughts then turned to not doing a marathon, but an ultramarathon. I mean who would want to run on pavement for a whopping 26.1 miles? I rather run for 31.1 miles on a beautiful trail. So, I signed up for my first 50K on May 30, 2010.

I know it is going to be a lot of hard work... the trail is close to my home here in Portland, so I'll get to train on it 2x a week... which is a plus. It's wooded and has hills. I'm loving the challenge and found a training plan online that gives me the mileage plan for 12 weeks leading up to the race. Diet and cross training will be crucial too and with lots of stretching I will hopefully run healthy. I'm excited for the challenge and to share it with whomever will listen. This is totally for me...