Week 1: Marathon Training

Happy Monday!

So, I was a bit hesitant to even do a recap on this past week because I was slightly injured (nothing major – hamstring and knee acting up after sloshing through puddles on my long run). Because of this, though, I didn’t stick to the plan. I really like sticking to the plan… so I was bummed. But that that’s part of training and it’s going to happen!

That being said, this week wasn’t all too exciting because of that. BUT, I plan on doing a weekly recap even through the “down,” boring, or challenging times. After all, if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you – so what’s the point of sugar coating it. Let’s be real.

So, this is what my week looked like:

[ week 1 / 29 weeks until 26.2 ]

Sunday – long run (1:00/6.05mi)

Monday and Tuesday – rest/NO run (L hamstring and knee not feeling right)

Wednesday – strength workouts (that didn’t hurt the hammy/knee)

Thursday – 34 min/3mi easy (hamstring was feeling better, took it easy)

Friday – 35min/3.1mi (easy again for the hammy)

Saturday – “off” day

As you can see, nothing too noteworthy since I had to take it easy on the hamstring – but I think after taking it easy last week, I avoided a more severe injury, allowing me to get back to the program. I got in my long run yesterday and should be good to go on my 30min easy run today and even work in some cross training this week (plan on cycling and swimming).

Having a coach to plan these workouts is helping a lot more than I thought – knowing when to do easy runs, tempo runs, etc. really helps. We use Training Peaks, which makes it super easy to plan and know what workout(s) I’m doing for the day. I quickly learned that, like with many other things in life, communication with coach is key (thanks, hamstring!).

I really look forward to this week – (hopefully) not being injured and being able to do all my scheduled workouts!

I will keep you guys posted on Instagram and Twitter until my next weekly recap on the blog! I’ll also be giving you guys some sneak peeks of “the super duper strength workout for runners,” an awesome runner’s workout compiled by my awesome coach!

Shout-out to Coach Andrew Simmons with Lifelong Endurance for guiding me through my marathon training!

Thanks for reading!

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Running is a gift (and Hokas, too)

The ability to run and enjoy running is something that I never want to take for granted. More and more, I try to be more observant during my runs – use my senses; look around, smell the air, occasionally take my headphones out and just listen to the birds (or roaring cars), feel the sun beating on my shoulders… It’s nice. Enjoying the feeling of NON-hurt legs, arms, and body… the feeling of running and feeling GOOD! It’s an amazing feeling! The BEST, in fact!

I’m always reminded of this when I have any kind of nagging injury. Once healed – I really realize how lucky I am to be able to run. For example, my hamstring and knee that were bothering me for the past few days (felt like eternity) – nothing serious, but I had to take a few days off to rest (even now I’m just taking it easy, but I’m confident I’ll be 100% here in a few days!). During that time, it was frustrating – I couldn’t even bear to imagine a day when I could no longer run at all! I won’t think about that now, but my point is just that it’s important to appreciate what you DO have when you have it – health, mobility, the ability to do what you love…

I’m just feeling really thankful today for that gift – of feeling great!

Oh, and on a less “deep” note, I’m completely converted and in LOVE with Hoka One One’s. The Bondi 4’s are a DREAM to run in. The Cliftons should be here today – I’m thinking they may be better for speed work and Bondi’s for longer runs (Clifton’s are listed as lighter and 1 “level” less cusiony). Once I thoroughly try them both I’ll let you guys know what I think!

Happy Friday!

Thanks for reading!

 

Training with Coach, DAY 1:

So, I am feeling REALLY, REALLY lucky to be collaborating with Andrew Simmons with Lifelong Endurance to prepare me for my very first full marathon!

This will be my first week – things are great so far! He’s set me up on Training Peaks, my workouts are looking good – everything is in gear! I’m SO excited to get started!

And then… (dun, dun, dun…)

I wake up early Sunday morning (first day of training) to get my first workout in. And it’s my favorite kind of workout! Easy, long jog (1hr, easy pace). I look outside – POURING rain. Ok, no worries. I look at my phone – 8am, 30% chance of rain, the rest of the day, 100% chance of rain. I better go NOW, it’s just going to get worse!

Rushing out the door in my most water resistant clothing (HA!), I start my easy jog. Something’s not right. My left leg near my rear, behind my leg feels tight. It’ll go away once I warm up… I keep stopping to stretch thinking it’ll go away… Not to mention I’m already soaked head to toe; sloshing through puddles. At least it was cool (temperature “cool”). No sun is good sun in my book (you understand if you live in Texas).

So, I go about my easy run with my left leg continuously nagging me with this pain and of course here I am the next day with my left hamstring and knee just not feeling right. Way to fugde up the training schedule, Jenna!!! On the FIRST day! I’m bad at things sometimes.

I think my hammy is strained but don’t think it’s anything TOO bad – hoping a little rest of the leg/not pushing it will get me back in the game. Feeling so bummed, though! First week (first DAY!) of training and already have this going for me. I guess we can’t be 100% not-hurt all of the time. Fortunately, I have plenty of time til the big sha-bang; the full marathon.

Point being, I’ve learned a lot just in the first few days of training. First of all, having a coach is a totally new ball game for me… I’m just an ordinary gal who wants to run a marathon! Yeah, I’ve always been physically active – a runner, a volleyball player, a dog walker – but I’m not breaking any world records. Even so, I really want to succeed and feel like this is an accomplishment, something I’ve really worked for and earned!

I think part of me being bummed about my leg is also feeling like I’d be letting my new coach down. BUT! I’ve since talked to Andrew about the leg, goals, etc, and feel way better about the whole thing. In fact, THIS is what having a coach is all about! Having someone to work with you through the ups AND the downs. Someone to communicate with throughout your fitness journey.

As for the plan: I’m going to work on some strengthening that doesn’t hurt the leg while I give it a few days to heal AND… wait for it… you guessed it… learn how to foam roll! According to coach I’ll be doing it on the reg now.

One more thing (tangent alert) – HUGE Congratulations to ALL that participated in the Boston Marathon yesterday! I really enjoyed seeing all the runners (from behind a computer screen) and ALSO seeing and hearing all the supporters! You are all amazing.

More updates on the training soon!

Thanks for reading!

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Marathon Coach!

Exciting news WARNING! :

So, I’m all for “winging it” for many things and have been doing it for most things in life thus far. Though, after hearing suggestions and trying to absorb the excessive amounts of information out there on “marathon training,” I’ve decided to eliminate the need to sift through all of this information and get the help of a running coach! I’m extremely excited and have no doubt that with the help of my coach; I will feel confident and prepared on race day.

Though I don’t plan on breaking any records (besides a personal record – since it’s my first marathon!), I think that a coach will be helpful for me, and can be for anyone – all ages, physical levels, personal goals – they aren’t just for Olympic or professional athletes. I think anyone, including myself, can and will benefit from someone guiding them in the personalized direction that they need in order to reach their goals (again, no matter what those goals may be!). Everyone has different goals, therefore can benefit from guidance tailored to their needs. I’m not saying that everyone needs a coach, but if you feel like you’re tackling something big and/or important in your life and could use some guidance, don’t be afraid or intimidated to ask for help (like I was!).

Running, or any sport, is not only about growing physically – but emotionally as well. I have already grown emotionally by reaching out to someone and asking for some guidance. I can’t imagine how I will feel after Vegas (my first marathon in November) as I already have this amazingly positive feeling of excitement and confidence overwhelming me as we begin training.

Which brings me to: my amazing coach! I would love to mention him – his name is Andrew Simmons, with Lifelong Endurance. He is not only a running coach, but a cycling, strength and triathlete coach as well. He is very qualified (check him out here!) and I can’t wait to work with him through the course of the next few months! (promise I’m not getting paid to mention him or Lifelong Endurance – I just like to give credit where it’s due!)

Anyway, I just wanted to share my excitement as I begin working with a coach! It’s an amazing feeling having some by your side, cheering for you, wanting you to succeed, and expecting you to put in work! Keep the suggestions coming! I’ve loved hearing from all of you who are also going through training, have in the past, and/or have upcoming races!

ALSO, GOOD LUCK to everyone who is running the Boston Marathon on Monday!!!

And happy Friday!

Thanks for reading!

Marathon Training!

So, I’m hoping that with the help of some online resources, I can train on my own for my FULL marathon in November (VEGAS baby!). The road is my gym (well, and spin class) – SO, I looked to Google for some answers and found this training schedule that would work PERFECTLY with my schedule.

There are 3 “off” days a week – for me this translates to 3 “cycling/spin” days per week for  (LOVE my spin classes! Also super “ups” my cardio). PLUS, it just so happens that if I start this marathon training schedule on Monday, the date of my Marathon (Nov, 13th) lands EXACTLY on the “marathon day” on the schedule!


I wanted to write about this actually not just to blab, but in case anyone had any suggestions – there are SO, SO, SO many blogs, articles, websites, etc. out there with information “how to train for a marathon” – so it’s a little overwhelming.

I know I need to work on strength training (particularly my hips), focus on increasing my distance, and perhaps throw in some speed work in there somewhere. I WILL continue to do cycling/spin classes about 3 days/week because, no matter what anyone says, I KNOW that helps me IMMENSELY with my running (I feel like I could run forever and never be out of breath!) and is OOBER fun. So, that’s that! Any suggestions on increasing distance, speed training, or other cross training is super appreciated!

Thanks for reading!

Legs of Steel

Brag WARNING:

I did it! I ran 13.1 miles yesterday! I ran the entire time, without stopping! Even better, I held a pace of 9:30 every single mile. I’m proud to say that – especially considering that it was going GREAT – running on air – until about mile 7. Dun dun dun… then… my legs felt as if they were made of steel. NOT in a good way. They felt like they weighed 100 pounds each! I just kept going… I could keep my mind off of it and just focus on the beautiful scenery for a while… but the last 2 miles seemed like FOR-EV-ER. Kept looking at my watch every .1 mile in disbelief. I’m not really sure how my legs were moving, but they were. I just kept the rhythm and focused on one one-tenth of a mile at a time…

I never got winded (yay!) I just had this weird, crazy, annoying thing where my legs turned into cement blocks! I think I need to do more hip strengthening exercises. Today my hips are pretty sore (and my knees, and my thighs, and my bottom…). At least I know now! And I am just super proud that despite my 100-lb “steel” legs – I kept going, NEVER stopped… and stuck to that 9:30 pace! I mean, that’s the pace I go even if I’m doing 3 miles! So, I am happy I could keep it for 13.1 whole miles without struggling to breathe (thanks, spin class!). I just need to strengthen some leg muscles so that I can loose some of that cement-weight. Unfortunately, I hate and avoid strength-training of any kind, so I need to get in a better routine of doing it. I have a few hip strengthening routines I plan to do weekly, if you guys have any other suggestions…

Anyway, enough about my legs of (literal) steel. The Big D Texas Marathon was great! Well organized, great scenery, breakfast tacos at the end (YES PLEASE!), and awesome finisher’s medals! (My full review is on BibRave here). The announcer even said your name as you crossed the finish line. I felt like I won first place! Though I’m sure that in reality I was just taking really awkwardly long, slow strides… In my mind, I SPRINTED across that finish line!

Now that I have officially run a half-marathon, I have a Personal Record! Personal Record by default is the best! Which, by the way was 2:00. I’m excited to have this PR that so I can set a goal for myself, which I have already done. My goal now is under 2 hours (1:50 or below) and also to work up my distance so that I’m ready for 26.2 miles in November!

All in all, I see why people don’t leave out the “.1” in “13.1” now! IT COUNTS!

Thanks for reading!

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Winging it (and Vegas)

Happy Saturday!

So, tomorrow I am doing a half marathon. Have I been training for a half marathon? In my own way!

I always see articles and posts about very specific training schedules and plans, and think “maybe I should try that…” yet, I just continue to train on my own. I’ll run 6 miles one day, cycle the next day, do yoga and a short run the next day – I just kind of listen to my body and do what I think is necessary to get a good workout in yet get the recovery and strength training I need.

I do think that I will try to find and stick to a “training plan” sometime before my full marathon in November (IN LAS VEGAS!!!) (more about that later) but for now, I’ve just been winging it! And I’m quite happy and feel like I am totally ready for tomorrow. I guess that’s all that matters, right? Who knows, maybe when I update you guys about how the half went, I’ll retract everything I’ve said. Anyway, for now I’m winging it and hope to have fun and cross the finish line!

SO, ABOUT VEGAS!!!

I’m so so so excited to tell you that I have officially registered for a full marathon (?!?) in Las Vegas (?!?) I know it’s out there – but I guess with my “wing it” lifestyle, it’s pretty in line with what I’d expect myself to do. I am so, so happy I did it (registered) – I was hesitant at first (26.2 miles? Las Vegas?) but you know, as cliche as it sounds, you really only have one life, and it’s not going to last forever.

If you weren’t afraid of taking risks or failing, what would you do? I’d do a marathon in Las Vegas! EEEK! I seriously can not wait. Counting down the days! (217)

It’s the Rock N’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon (Rock N’ Roll does marathons all over the place, I also want to do Dallas – my hometown – and NOLA). It’s at night (start tine is 4pm) and it’s down the Las Vegas Strip! And I’m going with a couple of my barre buddies! That should be an interesting after-party!

I look forward to updating you guys on tomorrow’s half and on the Las Vegas Marathon (and everything in between)!

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Running with Phones, a Love Story

Like many (or all) runners, I MUST have my music while running. That’s like, the whole point.

So, I always run with my (ginormo) phone in my hand. I don’t like the arm bands because you cant do anything on the screen (change the song, take a pic…) without bending your arm in ways it’s not meant to. I don’t like putting it in a fanny pack because of the same reason – you have to unzip, pull phone out, adjust tangled headphones… etc – just to find a specific Missy Elliott song.

So, I was pretty content with my (extremely complex) plan: hold phone in hand while running!

Then, I stumbled upon this phone case advertisement that I started to make fun of. It claimed that – with this case – you will never drop your phone on your face again! (laying down scrolling through IG before bed). I totally thought it was an infomercial spoof. Really? Who needs their phone to be literally attached to their hand.

I DO! About 4 seconds into the ad, I decided I NEEDED this thingamajig.

Behold: the Loopy Case! Feast your eyes! Come one, come all!

loopy

Why did I NEED it? So that when a giant bug crosses my path while running I don’t jump and FLING my phone into Never land (not that I’ve ever done that before… OK yes, I have). It’s so simple! It’s brilliant! It’s a durable case with a little rubber loop on it so that you can run with your phone in hand for easy access, but also feel the safety of not FLINGING.

Also, its great for giant phones! Now, I can reach the back button on the way upper left corner! Using two hands was such a hassle. Did I mention that it’s affordable, too? About $30. Anyway, I’ve had it for less that 24 hours now and I guess you could say I totally, a hundo, recommend it. Glad I got it in time for my half marathon this weekend – HOLD UP.

Oh yeah, last night I googled “10K Dallas” and ended up signing up for a half marathon. THIS WEEKEND. I’m a freak of nature. BUT I’M SO EXCITED! If you’re a Dallas-ite and wondering which one, it’s the Big D Dallas Marathon in Fair Park.

Can’t wait!

Thanks for reading!

New things!

New things are necessary in life. As complex living beings, we all want to grow, improve, and have the best things in life. Whether this is material goods, full bellies, perfect relationships, extravagant worldly trips –  we all want and expect something from this life. New things (change), is how we get these things that we want in life. Take at least one step a day towards what you want in life. This is my new motto.

What I want in this life is to live in the now. I’m 26 years old – an age where rather than spending time thinking about “what” and “who” ill be some day changes to who and what I want to be now. Life is now! We don’t have forever.

One of my passions is running. I’ve always ran alone – around the neighborhood – and I love doing so. I will continue to do so! But lately, I’ve realized that there is a ginormo (yes, that’s a word) community of people all over the world – near and far – who love doing the same thing I do! Running! I want to connect with runners and do more social runs!

I’ve recently shown a social media presence on Twitter and Instagram (keeping Facebook to just family and close friends) – and I am LOVING connecting with runners from all over the place! I mean ALL over the place! It’s so neat to see their different routes, views, and races.

So, as an official introduction to my “running blog,” welcome! I hope you enjoy following me in my journey – runs, meeting new people, trying new things. I can’t wait.

Thanks for reading!