Sputtering Out

Running longer miles is something my body needs to adjust to with every training cycle. When it’s not used to that stress, it does funny things.

Case in point, my long progression run last Saturday. This was my first longer effort that included some faster tempo miles. I tried to shoot for the moon, and I missed.

I warmed up for about 3 miles, and then settled into a tempo pace I figured I could hold for 10 miles and then cool down for the last 3, making it a 16 mile day.

Well, my body was not ready for it, and after 6 tempo miles, I threw in the towel, slowed down a bit and finished in some minor uncomfort and dehydration.

What happened? Well, running at tempo is something that is uncomfortable, but still safe. I figured I would be able to “grit” it out for 10 miles. Just keep going. My body had other plans. I think the run was also on fatigued legs because I had to move some runs around this week to accommodate for days off. I like to run long on days off, which meant I did this run the day after 10 miles.

I also forgot my water bottle (something I do frequently) and my digestive system started to freak out at the end. I felt a bit crampy and gaseous and at mile 10.5 I stopped to go to the bathroom. I also brought my water bottle back to the mill with me, so the rest of the run was ok.

However, it’s hard to come back from overdoing it, at least that quickly.

This run still had some benefit in getting more used to longer runs with faster miles in them.

I was simply over ambitious and will be smarter next time.

This is my last week of higher mileage, and next week will be a lot lighter and recovery focused.

Went out too fast, died a bit, but finished with a solid effort #ultratraining #running @runningblogs Click To Tweet

Goals for the week: try not to get overwhelmed, take each day, each run, at a time.

The First Workout

I began a new training cycle this past Monday. Some of it is what I’ve done before, other parts are new.

The first workout of each new training cycle is loaded for sure. It has the power to set the tone for the rest of the workouts, providing confidence or dread with each passing week.

I know that single workouts in themselves are a drop in the bucket. Good workouts happen, bad workouts happen, a single run is not definitive of a race season.

However, it is always the most exciting test in the beginning. I’ve been running mostly easy for the past month, so I’m technically unfit right now (unfit towards my racing goals, not unfit in a health sense).

How will my body and mind handle the new stimulus? 

What will my mindset be tomorrow?

Am I getting enough sleep? (no, I couldn’t fall asleep due to rolling thoughts about a completely different thing)

What happens if I cannot complete the workout?

I find that I structure workouts in the same way I structure races. I have A, B and C goals for them.

My “A” goal is to complete said workout exactly as I planned, no modifications and if I’m feeling good, amp it up at the end.

My “B” goal is to complete the workout with enough intensity to get the training stimulus I need, but not necessarily as long or as fast as I would have ideally gone.

My “C” goal is saved for if I feel sick or bad mentally, and I just start each interval, hold on as long as I can, and then recover as long as I need, and try again.

I guess a “D” goal would be to run easy and recover instead, but then I would switch this workout with an easier run later in the week and attempt it again.

I did my first workout Thursday morning and it went statistically perfect. I completed the mileage and intensity of the workout and finished feeling tired, but all there mentally.

I know this workout does not mean I will have a fantastic racing season, but it sure as hell makes me excited for my next run.

26.2 Miles on the Treadmill

On Monday, (or…today if I post this immediately) I needed to get in my last long effort in this training cycle. I was aiming for 20-25 miles, easy paced and to work on getting in nutrition.

I planned a route in my neighborhood that had the right amount of hills and went by my house at mile 16 in case I needed to refill my bottles or something happened.

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Well, mother nature went from 60s on Saturday to 30s and snowy on Sunday. Normally 30 degree weather is fine for me, however when that also involves freezing rain and snow, I take a step back. I have to work early most of the week and so I jumped at the chance to run before a later work shift today. However, I still wanted to begin my run at 6:15ish, which meant the roads were not ideal and it was dark.

Instead of scrapping it, I modified the plan.

I took it to the treadmill.

Running on the treadmill? Podcasts, fuel and attitude make it bearable #runchat @runningblogs #vegrunchat Click To Tweet

3 hours and 45 minutes later, I had completed my first treadmill marathon. My pace was actually quite ideal for the goal of this run. 8:33 average getting faster as the time went on.

To be honest, this could have gone terribly. I’ve had bad treadmill runs where 3 miles felt like a death slog. Today was different. There are a few things that stuck out to me that I did differently:

1.) I chose my podcast of choice wisely

This was the most important thing to keep me going. The first podcast on my list was the Running Inside Out podcast with Chris O’Brian, specifically the episode was called The Things We Love About Running. This show could not have put me in a better mood to be running, even on the treadmill. It reminded me of all the reasons I run, the small victories and joys that running brings and just made me content to be there. Running gives me so much. The community, the endorphins, the hard work, the big breakfasts. All of it is incredible and keeps me coming back for more.

2.) I started drinking early

I wanted to practice nutrition on this run. Specifically, I wanted to get down Tailwind and see how effective RunGum was for providing a second wind. For those of you who don’t know, RunGum is caffinated gum, designed by Nick Symmonds to give athletes the benefits of caffiene without the sloshing stomach. I took the gum 16 miles into my run and can say it did clear my head and helped me ignore my fatiguing muscles. Providing my body with a slow burn of calories from the Tailwind also helped me stay engaged and motivated to kepp going.

3.) I kept the pace slow

Using a treadmill provided a way for me to control my pace. Running long is about going slower so you can sustain the effort. Even if it seems boring in the beginning, your body thanks you later by allowing you to finish the race. I started slow, went a bit faster in the middle and then ended at the same pace I started. It did not really feel boring because I was listening to the podcast mentioned above and knew I was in it for the long haul.

4.) I allowed myself to stop if I wanted to

I gave myself permission to stop at regular intervals (like an aid station) and get a good drink of Tailwind or just rest for a second. In my experience, stopping at aid stations or if you need to on the course can sometimes provide just the right amount of rest and relief to keep going. That permission, that I allowed myself to stop was very comforting. Sometimes it’s really difficult for me to only do “x” amount of miles when I wanted to do “y” amount. However, I know I am fit enough even if I stop or if I break up the run into two smaller ones. Perspective is huge.

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How do I feel?

I feel relatively good. Not to sore, no headaches (which has happened before) and I am ready to get after it!

That is how I ran 26.2 miles on a treadmill. Just please, don’t ask me to do it again tomorrow (or ever hahaha)

Weekly Training Log [10/23-10/29]

The winter came this Thursday and with the freezing rain, I began my winter treadmill running. I do get outside a fair amount during the cold months, but any weather that I can slip on brings me to the treadmill. I actually don’t mind it so much because I watch the news and using the speed options can get me a great workout.

Here is my week of running:

Sunday: 19.3 (8:00 pace)

Monday: 10.3 (7:50 pace) and Durability Training

Tuesday: 90 minutes XT

Wednesday: 12 miles (speed)

Thursday: 10.0 (7:48 pace) and Durability Training

Friday: 8.5 (8:00 pace)

Saturday: 12.8 (8:05 pace)

I’m not sure if I mentioned this here, but at the Easy As Pie 5k a few weeks back, I pulled my hamstring. I had not done anything fast since then, so Wednesday’s speed workout was a test run.

hamstring-pull

I completed the plan (2x400m-4M tempo-2x400m) and did feel sore. However, after each run this week, the soreness subsided relatively faster each day. I take comfort in that the healing process is happening and soon I will be good as new…for the lighter training that the winter will bring.

This week is a bit of a taper for me and I am racing next Saturday. After such time, I have no plans to race but to maintain some level of fitness as move through the winter.

Oh and I made a new video!! Check it out and if you have any questions, comment!

Two Weeks With No Running

After my marathon, I had intended to take two weeks off of running and strenuous activity. The first week I was very successful and had no problem sleeping, resting, seeing friends and doing some yoga.

Week 2 was a different story.

I ran almost everyday that week, not because I thought I was gaining fitness or I “had to in order to eat,” but because I felt no pressure not to and every single day, a friend invited me to run.

Every. Single. Day.

As you might remember, when I am training hard, I don’t run with people as often. I follow my schedule and it works for me. I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing anything by doing so.

However, when I didn’t have a schedule and could do whatever I wanted, accepting those offers to run with people I never see was too tempting to pass up.

So I didn’t. I ran with them and I enjoyed every run.

Getting back into training, I had ups and downs, but I felt like I was getting fitter. I was doing workouts outside, taking care of my feet (or so I thought) and being careful enough with nutrition.

Well, when the summer winds down, my job picks back up. I was overtired from that, dehydrated all the time and not entirely sure what my shoe issues were.

By the time I fixed those shoe issues, I think the damage had been done. Bonking was the icing on the cake.

So, I swallowed my pride and stopped running.

Until it stopped hurting, I was off my feet in that way. To be honest, I probably would have healed faster if it weren’t for CTB but that is a rant for another day.

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I rehydrated fully, slowed down and started back to work on the base.

I started to strength train.

I have mentioned before that my favorite YouTubers are Chelsea Lifts, Obese 2 Beast and Brian Turner. (Check them out, they are a hoot!) Brian and Chelsea are vegan and prove once again how effective this diet can be.

After a few days of just recouping, I went back to the drawing board. Why not use this time off to build up my body and make it more resilient? Now, I was not going for #GAINZ at all, but a deeper level of toughness.

Strength training is important for runners who aren’t injured and even more so for those that are.

Read about Kate Grace’s injury protocol from last year. It obviously works for Olympians.

I also was getting restless. As a future health coach, my specialty besides plant-based diets will be fitness. I think moving the body, in any way you can just makes you happier. When I don’t do that for a while, I get moodier.

I must point out here: my diet does not change whether I’m running 80 miles a week or zero. I try as hard as I can to fight those voices that tell me “I can’t eat because…”

This is so important to me and something I’ve taught myself. Being my own client, I have forced myself to believe that I am more than the miles, the blog posts, the food or the money. It’s a daily practice, but it’s worth it.

So yes, I took a couple weeks off. I figure this is making up for what I didn’t take off after the marathon. God has a way of getting you to do what He thinks is right.

This was right. I reintroduced myself to heavier weights. I reminded myself who I am without running. I still ate damn good food (even though I found out I am gluten intolerant haha lolzzzzzz) and still love myself.

This was the perfect few weeks to take off because it was busy at CTB, I started a new job at Blissful Eats and applied for one more. I worked on my creative projects, I read a damn book (!!!) and life is still pretty good.

Two weeks off from #running? What's a girl to do? Click To Tweet

Today, I am linking up with Meg for Week In Review.

How does your fitness regime change when you’re injured? How about when you’re busy?

The next time you’re unable to do your favorite thing, rather than get down on yourself, what can you do instead?