long run

Life is busy, training is good.

It’s been an insanely busy week! Wednesday we went to the Taste of Chicago to see AWOLNATION after work, Thursday I worked all evening, Friday I work a full day, then went to see Red Wanting Blue at Lincoln Hall in Chicago. Yesterday, Saturday, I ran, then spent a good portion of my day driving my husband and his car around in an attempt to get a passing emissions test before his plates expire. (Not successful, btw). In the midst of this, I got my act together and did a lot of things really well, and a few things not so well. Let’s start with the good.

At the Taste!

At the Taste!

Wednesday morning, I got up early and went to the gym for a weight lifting session. I spent about 45 minutes there and felt like I got in a really good workout. The best part was being able to increase the weight on two of the leg machines I use. I can really see the progress of my weight lifting, just once a week, and I suddenly have defined muscle in my shoulders, legs, and my stomach is flat for the first time since I was 15! I should take some pics to share. If you’re trying to lose weight, you really need to be lifting weights. The times that I do are the times I see myself getting fit and toned.

Thursday, I was physically just tired. I decided to listen to my body and get more sleep and take it easy that morning. I skipped my 3 mile “hard” run. I felt a little bad about it, but I was really careful all week to stick to my meal plan all week (I even packed salads to bring to the concert!) so I knew that skipping one workout wasn’t going to mean gaining 2 lbs this week, nor would it throw off my marathon training completely. ┬áIt’s didn’t. What really could have thrown off my marathon training was what I did Friday, and what happened Saturday…

Friday, all day, I was craving my favorite candy, Jr. Mints. So I skipped my afternoon snack and had a box of them instead. Not great, but I didn’t give up my entire “diet” either. I had my normal dinner later that evening and a healthy breakfast the next morning. Back to Friday night. The short story is that I went to a concert, had 3 drinks (and the first one was very strong), didn’t get to bed until 2am.

Saturday, I woke up at 6 so I could run at 6:30. It was supposed to thunderstorm, but hadn’t started raining yet so my running group still met for our 10 mile run as planned. As soon as we started it began to rain. It got harder, then lighter, then harder, but never stopped. I ran 10 miles in the (sometimes pouring) rain, on 4 hours of sleep, hungover. It was miserable. At one point (mile 8) I could’ve walked faster than I was “running”. But I never did stop, my times were terrible, the rain messed up my phone (hence the two pictures below – did you know water can “press” buttons on your phone and stop your Run Keeper? Neither did I.), but I kept going. I’d read in Runner’s World magazine just Friday night that it’s good to train tired, hungry, in the rain, the heat, etc. because it forces your body to adapt to non-ideal conditions. I’m curious to see how my runs this week go now.

First half of my 10 miler

First half of my 10 miler

Second half of my 10 miler

Second half of my 10 miler

You can see how, although slow as molasses, I did alright the first 6 miles. I was at least consistent. Miles 7 and 8 were my worst. I think at mile 9 I saw lightening and got my pace back up out of fear fo my life. Technically, my only goals yesterday were to finish, and not get struck by lightening. Check, and check. I win!

Anyone else get a long run in this weekend? In the rain? (Are you sick of the rain as much as I am!?)

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Been a while…

It’s been a while… I’ve missed writing. Work got crazy, eating got outta control, running was miserable, exhaustion set in, then we built a fence and had a big ol’ 30th (birthday party. I still have “extra” projects I’m working on and I can’t quite seem to get into the groove of a new schedule. So that’s why I haven’t written. Why on earth would anyone want to hear my whining and groaning about life circumstances? Well no one would. So I kept my mouth shut. You’re welcome.

Somewhere between my discovery of a medicinal concoction that solves my can’t-breathe-when-I-run-faster-than-10-and-a-half-minutes-per-mile dilemma, the acceptance that working will always suck no matter where I do it, my husband’s new commitment to try to stress less at work, and a random surge of new “fighter” attitude, I’ve become my normal self again. Maybe I was just subconsciously freaking out about turning 30 too? I wasn’t, but everyone acts like you should, so maybe deep down I did? Who knows.

Anyway, my marathon training has been going so, so well. I’ve really set my mind on just what I need to do each day in training and taking one decision at a time. I know next week I have to run 3, 5, 3, and 10 miles on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, but I’m not thinking about that yet. I’m thinking about what I’m going to eat for dinner tonight and when I need to wake up for yoga in the morning. If I start dreading my 5 mile run Tuesday morning, I’ll get overwhelmed. I’ll think about that Monday and simply do it. Just do it. Nike knows what’s up.

My actual runs having been challenging but good. I’ve found that if I take 5mg generic Zyrtec before I go to bed at night (I cut a 10mg pill in half) and have two puffs from my inhaler about 15 minutes before I run, my lungs are happy and I can enjoy my run. I tried the whole 10mg of Zyrtec at first, but I was too groggy the next day. All day. I could hardly stay awake at work. 5mg is just enough. I also have a sinus irrigator that I’ll sometimes use in the afternoon if I’m starting to get a sinus headache later in the day. Within 30 minutes, head aches is essentially gone and I’m not taking ibuprofin non stop.

Today I ran 8 miles at the butt crack of dawn. Literally. Okay, not exactly literally – dawn doesn’t have a butt crack. But you get what I mean. It was insanely early. I had to work at 8 so I woke up at 4:30am and left the house a little before 5 to run my normal Saturday trail at 5:15. Honestly, I loved it. I love waking up early in the summer. “The sky’s awake. So I’m awake!”

The first few miles were rough. They always are. By the time I got to about 3 1/2 miles, I started to feel pretty good. I got stuck by a train for 4-5 minutes at mile 5, but I got right back into my groove when I started back up again. I finished in 1 hour, 16 minutes to the cheering and applause of my 40-person running group that was just huddling up to begin their run. Embarrassing and fun. My splits were fantastic and I finished a lot stronger than I thought I would. It probably helped that I stopped for a few minutes. And that the weather was perfect. 60 and sunny! Still, I feel way more confident coming off a good longer run.

 

Lovely negative splits.

Lovely negative splits.

 

In addition to running, I’ve also been doing yoga once a week and weights once a week. The strength, balance, and core strengthening has really helped my running too! Someday, I’ll have to post on just my cross training. I actually bought my husband and myself tennis rackets. Hopefully my cross training will include tennis pretty soon too! Currently, I’m trying to figure out when I can fit in one more day of weight training into my week. I have a few clothes that don’t fit right now because I’m not as lean as I was this winter. I know I can get there, I just have to do it!

Eating… I go through phases. I’ll be good for a couple days, then eat a couple handfuls of dark chocolate chips. Better than my ultimate vice, Jr Mints, but still not great. I’m learning that since I run/workout in the morning, I really need to have more protein in my breakfast (cereal is not an option!), a morning snack on days I run more than 5 miles, and a large lunch with lots of veggies. My afternoon snack just needs to hold me over til my early (5 – 5:30) dinner, which is the best meal to have carbs for my workout the next morning, and then if I need to nibble at night, I should have a little chocolate, and a lot of fruit. I know these things, but do I implement them? Course not. But each decision, every day, every week, I get closer.

So that’s where I’m at right now. I’m going to try and stay more on top of writing throughout the rest of my marathon training at least. I know that several people have commented on how motivating my blog is. That is such a massive compliment. I really never thought of myself as an encourager or motivator. I’m very flattered. And I’m trying. Thanks for sticking around.