Week 14: Marathon Training

Warning: blogging from my phone – I’m in Colorado and updating from the nearby laundromat with free wifi! So, I’m keeping it short, sweet, slightly less detailed, and full of typos for this week’s update!

[ week 14 / 16 weeks until 26.2 ]

Sunday – long run, 8 miles

Legs felt pretty good! A little achy right knee but nothing that lasted very long. My body, especially my abs were sore from Gold’s Fit. Ran early to beat the heat – not too hot (85) but started to feel tired and feel the heat getting to me the last 2 miles. In fact, I was exhausted after this run and had to take a nap. I noted that I was probably tired because I was sore, ran in the heat and went out Friday and ate junk.


Monday – 3.1 miles

3 easy miles. I was supposed to do 10 minute miles but I felt SOO good on my run today! Even though I was exhausted all day & it was 93 degrees, my legs felt great and I was ready to GO! 3 miles flew by. I just wanted to keep going. Such a great feeling and great way to start off the week!


Tuesday – 5 miles

HOT. The heat really got to me today. I’m ready for Colorado weather! (Here now as I write this and it is AMAZING). In fact I think I’ll just quote this join rap entry: “Bugs. Sweat. Static air. Bugs. Hot HOT HOT.”



Wednesday – 3.1 miles

Early run in the morning but it still felt so hot! I also did a Gold’s Fit (crossfit) class after work  – lots of upper body – good workout. The hip is feeling 100% better/back to normal. I was glad none of the Gold’s Fit movements didn’t hurt… Since I just started feeling 100% I didn’t want to mess myself up again! So, great workout today. Also had a lot to do before leaving for Colorado AND my aunt was in town from Illinois. So it was a productive day overall. No excuses!


Thursday – 6 miles

I was supposed to run 5 miles today, but I ended my run about a mile away from home and had only about 20 minutes until I needed to be at work (leaving for CO today so no time after work) SO, I did what anyone would do and SPRINTED a mile home, took a 90 second shower and threw on a dress! Ended up doing 6 miles but felt like a I got a great workout in before getting on the road!


Friday – 4 miles

So, I pulled an all nighter driving to CO, mostly because all the hotels were full or nonexistent for miles. So, I arrived at about 9am Friday morning and used what momentum I had to go ahead and get my run in. My eyes were burning of exhaustion but I didn’t know what was in store for the rest of the day so I went ahead and did it. The adrenaline and pure joy of the mountain views gave me the energy to run. Though the incline was incredibly tough, it was beautiful and amazing and I took a nap afterwards (needed my rest for a hike!)


Saturday – rest day!

No run but I did go on a “little” hike that ended up taking about 4 hours and was practically like climbing up a 90 degree angle. It was about a 5 mile hike… Wore me out but the views were amazing.


Total miles for the week (running only) – 29.1

Thank you so much to my coach, Andrew Simmons with Lifelong Endurance for my workouts and for his constant contact and encouragement!

Stay tuned for next week as I’ll be updating about my runs in beautiful Colorado!

How did your week go?

Do you prefer the mountains or the beach?

Do you keep a journal?

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Week 13: Marathon Training

This is getting so real! I keep thinking, I have soooo much time! and you know what… I do. But I don’t. I have enough time to prepare, but I’m getting far enough into the training that it’s starting to seem real. I’m actually going to run 26.2 miles.

Especially on my long runs, I keep wondering how in the world I will mentally prepare myself for that run. 26.2 miles. What will I think about? What will I listen to? I will need to compile the most bad-ass playlist ever in history! Then I should not listen to those songs for a month before the race. Keep it fresh, keep me on my toes, keep it exciting. I mean there’s SO much to worry about… I guess if I’m mainly worried about my playlist, that’s good – right? Oh, no. I should be worried about more. Should I? Is it bad that I’m not worried? I SHOULD BE WORRIED! RIGHT? Or should I be anxious? Or excited? What if I have stomach issues?! Here we go… the spiraling thoughts of a runner…

[ week 13 / 17 weeks until 26.2 ]

Sunday – Too Hot to Handle 15k! 9.43 miles, 1:23:38, 8:52 min/mile.

Boy am I proud of myself for this one. This is the furthest distance I’ve run since the half marathon that I signed up for on a whim before training started. Plus, I really ended up running closer to 13 or more miles because, long story short, because I parked so far away (and with what I thought was plenty of time) I ran at least 2 miles to the start line. So, as you can imagine, I had to also get back to my car… which took me over an hour to walk/run back to (maybe it was more than 2 miles each way). The race was great, though! Scenic, great volunteers, not TOO hot… feel free to read my review of the race here.

I was already hot, sweaty and ready for water when I crossed the start line which made the run seem a little longer (as my Nike+ app was telling me I was at mile 9, I was only at mile 7 of the race). But this little hiccup didn’t ruin the day. Once I got into the race, I just focused on my music and the scenery and took it one mile at a time. Rather than thinking “I have 5 more miles left…” I just think about making it to each mile marker, then when even that seems difficult, I just think about the next water stop (luckily they had them about every half mile due to the intense heat expected during this mid-summer race). Once I was finished, I felt great. Sub-9 minute mile average pace and I was happy. Very happy.

After that and the hour+ walk/jog back to my car and I was POOPED. Yes. Pooped. I sat in my car a minute until I built up the energy to drive home. I then managed to shower and lay in bed. So I’d say it was overall wonderful yet exhausting (as it should be, right?)!

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Monday – Rest day!

I was a little stiff today but my body and legs actually didn’t feel too bad. I thought I’d be a little more sore considering my mileage yesterday. My lower abs were sore and right hamstring stiff, other than that all OK!

Tuesday – 3.15 miles, 28:21, 9:00 min/mile.

3 easy miles. Still a tad stiff today from the long run Sunday in the hamstrings and a little tired but felt overall OK. Started to feel good after 2nd mile – I didn’t even know I had reached 3 miles until I looked down at my watch at a little over 3! That’s always a good feeling.

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Wednesday – 3 miles, 26:49, 8:55 min/mile.

3 easy miles again today and felt even better than yesterday. Even though it was 99 degrees with a heat index of 108, it really wasn’t too bad! Legs were still a little stiff (robot legs), even though I was stretching a lot, but I think I loosened up a lot after this run.

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Thursday – Tempo run – 6 miles, 54:35, 9:06 min/mile.

I tried to wake up early and get this run in before the heat of the day (because, ya know, 6 miles…) and I DID wake up. At 4:30am – which is when I’d have to get up and go for my run and still be at work on time. I got up and started getting ready for my run but realized it was still dark out and wouldn’t be light until 6:30am. In order to get to work at 7:30 am, there was no fitting it in before work. (I don’t run in the dark).

So, I went later in the day. It was almost 100 degrees. I didn’t look, but I’m sure the heat index was well above 100. My new Orangemud Endurance pack saved my life (full review on this coming soon). Seriously. It was my first time using it, and it came in the mail just in time. I have never had a bladder hydration pack… it’s a game changer! Other than gushing sweat, I felt good on this run. I wasn’t stiff any more from the 15K. I was just hot and tired. The last mile or two were particularly though, but I pushed through.

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Friday – 4.05 miles, 38:13, 9:26 min/mile.

4 easy miles. I actually ran in the morning (yay!) to beat the heat and it was amazing! It was only about 85 degrees… I still got a good sweat going but it felt nice to get up with the sun and run.

I also did a Gold’s Fit class at noon (so I had some rest after my run) and it was pretty challenging on my upper body strength. In fact, as I write this 3 days later, I am still sore in my arms, chest, back, and abs. So, I’d say I got a good workout!

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Saturday – Rest!

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Total miles for the week (running only) – 25.63

THANK YOU to my coach, Andrew Simmons for all of my workouts, advise on what to do when things do or don’t go as planned, and all of his hard work! I have improved SO, so much already and have him to thank for it. I truly would not be running sub-9 minute miles for 9+ miles if it weren’t for him. Thank you for aiding in my growth and allowing me to surprise myself in my capabilities!

Are you training for an upcoming race?

Do you have a favorite hydration system while running? Why?

What’s your favorite distance to run?

Thanks for reading!

Review: Althetic Greens

This is just a brief review and my thoughts on Athletic Greens after using it for one month.

First, what is Athletic Greens? It’s a “Premium Superfood Cocktail” that claims to boost energy and increase metabolism. It is a powder (for better absorption) that has nutrient-packed ingredients that can beneficial to not only those looking to loose weight, but athletes and anyone who wants to be sure they are getting the vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and greens that they need in order to better absorb the nutrients in their food and use those nutrients for energy.

Athletic Greens is not intended as a meal replacement, but more of a nutritional booster. In fact, the packaging suggests to “take everyday as nutritional insurance.” You can also take it twice a day (suggested for a certain weight and highly active people/athletes). It’s suggested that you only mix it with water or non-acidic juices and drink immediately after mixing (rather than storing overnight, for example) for best absorption.

Below are a list of ingredients. It not only has a great list of greens, but it contains probiotics, herbs, antioxidants, and a mushroom complex. It is allergen free – no gluten, soy, dairy, GMO free, etc. It is “clean and green.”

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For the past 30 days, I’ve been mixing one packet of Athletic Greens with water first thing in the morning and drinking before breakfast. Right off the bat, I noticed the great taste. Usually greens supplements taste horrific (not that I’ve tried them all). Athletic Greens is naturally sweet with certain fruits, vegetables, stevia, and vanilla. So, that’s a bonus. It also doesn’t have a weird odor or anything and it easily mixes into water. I just dump some in a water bottle with a bit of water and shake. I actually look forward to drinking it in the morning because of the taste and the feeling of doing something good for my body.

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As for the energy – I am so skeptical about any one thing “giving you energy” – and it’s true, no ONE thing is going to give you energy and happiness, but I do truly believe this gave me a boost. I exercise regularly and eat (fairly) healthy already but I did find that for the past month I haven’t had that “afternoon crash” that I usually get. Around 4-5pm I usually just want nap time. Not lately. I do feel like I have more energy and am more clear-minded and determined to get things done. Again, not saying it’s due solely to Athletic Greens.

Athletic Greens has helped me by not only providing me with nutrients that my body may have been lacking, but simply by starting off each morning with something healthy and something that reminded me to take care of me. Sometimes we wake up in a rush in the morning and have to feed the dog, make breakfast, help everyone get ready for the day – and we forget to take care of ourselves. Having something to do in the morning that nourishes your body in of itself is a ritual that I think has incredible worth.

Another thing that I noticed with Athletic Greens is regularity, feeling clear (not only clear-minded but also digestively-speaking) and less bloated. Giving your body all of these nutrients has somewhat of a detoxifying effect and I 100% attribute my tummy-goodness-feel to the Athletic Greens.

After my 30 days, I knew hands down that I wanted to continue to give my body these nutrients every morning, so I ordered more. Cost is of course something to consider and this is more pricey than some other greens supplements out there. You could definitely find a basic greens supplement (or just eat lots of greens) elsewhere for a lot cheaper, but Athletic Greens stands out in that it’s an all-in-one. Greens, probiotics, herbs, etc.

For me personally, the energy, digestive wellness and just overall greatness I’ve felt for the past month is worth it.

Bottom line, I would recommend this to a friend.

Keep in mind that I have done some research and used the product, but I don’t know everything. I am summing up what I’ve read, what I have interpreted, and what I’ve experienced. As a disclaimer, I have not been compensated for this review. Athletic Greens did provide me a sample to try, then I purchased the product on my own. All thoughts are my own and I am not a doctor. For further information on the product, you can visit https://athleticgreensinc.com/

Week 12: Marathon Training

Well, I’m back at it now – but in this week’s recap I’ll mention my speed bump with the minor hip injury and how there was ultimately a silver lining. I now understand (more than ever) the true importance and necessity in stretching and keeping balance in the body. As my coach made me realize (I had just never really thought about it) – running is a sport in which you are constantly challenging one side of your body at a time (think about it – you’re never on both legs at a time). So, an imbalance in the body (skeletal, muscular, etc.) can really cause things to go out of whack and can essentially create a domino effect of injuries. For example, weak hips can in turn cause knee pain.

With my recent hip pain, advise from my coach and chiropractor- I’ve realized that working on stretching, isolated leg workouts, and balance are going to help keep my body balanced, happy, and (hopefully) injury-free. In order to execute this I’ll be stretching more often at home, doing some single-leg workouts, as well as making an effort to do yoga when I can. (Telling you my plan will help hold me accountable – trust me, like seemingly most other runners out there – I tend to slack off in the stretching department).

So, let me thank my coach, Andrew Simmons for all his efforts in planning my workouts and for always being there for advise or whatever I need – and let’s get into it!

[ week 12 / 18 weeks until 26.2 ]

Sunday – Cycle + Yoga

I had a long run scheduled today, but with the hip just starting to feel better (yay!) – I didn’t want to push it (anything to avoid a full-blown injury), so I did a spin class. It felt great to get a good sweat on since I had just been stretching and going to the Chiropractor for the past two days in lieu of  my scheduled runs.

I also did yoga, which felt great. It was actually very challenging today (Vinyasa Flow yoga). I learned a few new great stretches for the hips, which is a bonus. (So much silver lining happening!)

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Monday – I ran today! 3.01 miles, 25:30, 8:29 min/mile

My hip was feeling fine and I felt comfortable with attempting an easy 3 mile run today. I got out there and felt great. I was just really happy to run. I didn’t even look at my watch for time or pace – I just ran. It was still nice and cool out (“cool,” meaning below 95 degrees) and it just felt great overall. The hip still isn’t 100% (it was still a bit irritating during certain stretches) but with stretching, yoga, and regular Chiro visits I think I’ll be A-OK.

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Tuesday – 3.01 miles, 27:49, 9:15 min/mile pace + Pilates

Easy aerobic miles – it wasn’t too hot today, either – which is always noteworthy. The hip felt OK today – still a bit uncomfortable (noticed it around mile 2) but not really noticeable while running – mostly just with certain stretches at this point.

I also did Pilates… by accident, actually – thought it was a yoga class (whoops)! BUT it is DEFINITELY  going in the routine when I can make it happen (I had never done Pilates before). It was really amazing for stretching my hips. Something actually happened in the middle of class when we were laying on our backs – my hips hurt for a split second then POPPED (big time) and holy macaroni… it felt great. Like it needed to happen. In fact, as I’m writing this now a few days later I’m realizing that the pain has been virtually non-existent after that moment. May be just a coincidence,  or maybe by stretching and Chiro-readjusting, and more stretching… my hip fixed itself and was happy. Who knows, I’m not a doctor. But whatever happened. Thank you.

(I didn’t get a photo of Pilates, so you get a picture of my pup doing Pup-lates)

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Wednesday – 3 miles, 27:27, 9:08 min/mile + Cycle

I mistakenly waited until 9:00am to run today – it was already BLAZING hot. 95 or so and intense sun… BUT. It wasn’t too bad. Actually. I’m not sure how that’s possible, but I have it right here in writing that it was “95 degrees but not too bad.” Probably because the hip was feeling good. A pain free run is an amazing run. I noted that I could still feel “it” there – but it didn’t hurt and was practically unnoticeable unless I thought about it.

I also did a spin class – had a great ride… we did a few races (which I love!) and I had a little time in between my run and cycling (about 2 hours) so my legs didn’t feel too fatigued.

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Thursday – Swim, 1,350 yards, 34:56.

Today I didn’t have a run scheduled, just cross-training. So, I swam laps. I did front stroke one direction then frog stoke the other direction for 1,350 yards. I’ve noticed that my swimming endurance has improved. When I first started adding in swimming to my cross-training, I was completely breathless after just a few laps. I was even sore immediately after… in areas I didn’t know existed. Not any more! It’s always nice to noticed the ways in which you’re getting stronger!

(I also started reading “Hit Reset” by Erin Taylor)

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Friday – 4 miles, 36:09, 9:09 min/mile.

Other than it being ridiculously hot (even early in the morning), I had a nice run today. My legs and hip felt fine and that was really all that mattered. This was my last run before the 15K this weekend (which will be mentioned in next week’s weekly recap) so it was kind of a “test-drive” for how my hip was doing and I’m happy to day that my body felt great and pain-free.

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Saturday – Rest day!

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Total miles for the week (running only) – 13.02

 

Did you race this past weekend?

Do you have an upcoming race?

When/how often do you stretch? Do you have a routine stretch?

Thanks for reading!

3 Ways to Build your Running Endurance

“The fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way.”

This is endurance.

I believe that endurance is one of the most important aspects of training for anyone who plans on completing a marathon, triathlon, or any long race. You are putting your body through a difficult situation (for a long time) hoping not to give way. So, how can we build our endurance in order to withstand these trying conditions?

  1. Energize!

First and foremost, you need to provide your body with something that is going to give you the energy to workout. Your body requires certain nutrients and substances in order to preform – especially when you’re demanding strenuous workouts and simply asking a lot of your body. Getting the nutrients you body needs is crucial when building endurance. It lays the foundation. There are many aspects of nutrition, but something that provides energy is going to help you preform and feel your best during your workout. Making each workout count is important in building endurance, and with the proper fuel, you can accomplish anything. Glukos Energy bars, gels, and chews are an amazing, highly recommended natural energy source for runners and endurance athletes alike. Your body can immediately absorb the glucose (natural energy) allowing for convenience and energy on the go. Use Glukos Energy not only while training and building endurance, but afterwards to help with recovery, and even (especially!) on race day.

  1. Be consistent

As with many things in life, consistency is key. Being consistent in your sport and doing it 4-6 times a week is incredibly important in order to maintain and build your endurance. If you’re training for a marathon, it’s important to run almost daily – even if just a couple miles. For example, if you run 20 miles in one day but take 6 days of rest, you may not see the same results as someone who runs 2 miles Monday through Friday then 10 miles on Saturday, with Sunday being a rest day. The number of rest days you have is up to you and/or your coach, but just getting out there and doing the movements even if just for a short while will keep your body conditioned and ready to endure a long run in the future.

  1. Build up

Build up to your goal. If your goal is to run 26.2 miles but you’ve only ever run 2 miles at a time, I wouldn’t recommend going out and trying to run 26.2 miles straight away. Not only is your endurance not built up, but your muscles and joints aren’t prepared to take that beating. Do what you can (consistently!) and gradually build up. For example, if you’re comfortable with 2 miles, run 2 miles 3-5 times a week. Then, on your long run (once a week), run 3 or 4 miles. Gradually build that long run up to your goal distance. You could add a mile each week or every other week to your long run while keeping the short runs at your comfortable distance. Consistency and gradual build up will get you to your goal.

Bonus! Cross-train

Ok, one more. Cross-training is preforming something other than the sport you’re training for in order to prepare you for that sport. For example, if you’re training to run a marathon, cross-training could include cycling, swimming, or weight training. Cycling (outdoors or in a ‘spin’ class) and swimming in particular are incredibly efficient for building endurance. I recommend and personally cycle and swim as often as I can without overdoing it. If you can do one or the other – or both – once a week, it’s likely that you’ll see huge improvements in your endurance. There are many cross-training options out there. These are just my personal favorites and were also suggested to me by a running coach. It’s important to find something challenging yet enjoyable! You want to look forward to cross-training. Not only is it great for building endurance, but it keeps you from getting bored with your sport and works different muscles. Cross-training is just useful and important all around.

Of course, there are many, many other workouts, training plans, and things to consider when training for an endurance event such as a marathon. Tempo runs, speed work, stretches, strength training, nutrition… the list goes on. I do believe, though, that with these three key factors – anyone can improve their endurance. It will take time, persistence, dedication, and hard work – but having endurance is something that will take you very far (literally) and help immensely with any sport or physical activity.

 

Week 11: Marathon Training

Things don’t always go as planned…

As I’ve said before (and will say again), I am so thankful for my Coach, Andrew Simmons.

We hit a bit of a speed bump this week as you will see – but nothing we couldn’t handle! This is all part of the training process – it’s a mental and physical challenge whether or not things are going your way.

Let’s see how it went this week…

[ week 11 / 19 weeks until 26.2 ]

Sunday – 6.01 miles, 53:26, 8:54 min/mile and one hour of yoga.

It was SO HOT during my run today. Even though it was “only” 91 degrees, it felt like 120. I had to keep stopping to attempt to wipe off my sweat thought every piece of clothing or material that was attached to me was already completely and utterly drenched.I even almost stopped in a gas station to fill up my water, but I just wanted to be done with it. This run seemed like eternity and I was so, so happy with it was over. Really proud of myself for this one!

Yoga was great – did Vinyasa Flow yoga, which is quite a challenge for me. It’s a steady/faster paced practice in which you’re constantly moving (flowing). The kind of yoga you work up a sweat during. It felt good.

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Monday – 3.1 miles, 29:54. 9:39 min/mile.

Easy 3 miles. Easy. Slow.

I didn’t do any other workouts today – I thought about it but decided I would just take advantage of an easy 3 miler today.

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Tuesday – 3 miles, 28:00 min, 9:20 min/miles and Gold’s Fit (Crossfit) class.

My run was hot even though I went early, but it was short so it wasn’t to bad. Still glad I had water. If it weren’t so hot I wouldn’t bother with water for a 3 mile run but I can’t imagine a run of any distance in this Texas heat without water! To think that up until a few months ago, I had never run with water! Also, tried running with a hat… it sounds like a good idea but it’s just extra fabric on my body making me hot… so it came off about 30 seconds into the run.

Gold’s Fit a few hours later was TOUGH. I’m just proud of myself for making it through this one. Great workout, though. I am really starting to tell a difference in my running since adding in strength training (knees less achy!).

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Wednesday – 3.01 miles, 27:53, 9:16 min/mile, 45 min spin class.

Today’s run felt good. My knees didn’t hurt, it wasn’t TOO incredibly hot, just had an overall nice run. But right when I stopped to walk I had this strange pain in my hip. It hurt with ever stride the whole walk back home. I had never had anything like this before. Once I got home (stopped walking), it was ok for the moment.

A little later I did a spin class – cycled for 45 min and and a really great class. It was really energetic and we did lots of races (yay!!) – I was super into it and got a good sweat on. The hip didn’t hurt at all on the bike. I felt great afterwards besides the soreness really kicking in from yesterday’s Gold’s Fit.

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Thursday – 0.05 miles.

So, I woke up extra early (before my alarm, even!), got ready for my run, lathered up the sunscreen, got outside and was excited and eager to run – it felt amazing outside. Not hot at all. I immediately felt that hip pain from yesterday. I knew right away that something wasn’t quite right. I stopped my run and texted Coach to see what he recommended. He recommended calling off the run and getting into the Chiropractor to check my alignment and make sure everything was ok. Long story short, I went to the Chiropractor and they said that my hip was rotated and a bit out of alignment – also, on the side where the pain was I had a very tight hamstring and IT band. I have stretches to do and Chiro wants to see me again tomorrow. Overall, I was really bummed today.

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Friday – Stretching + Chiro.

I’ve been especially diligent about doing my stretches (anything to get back to pounding pavement!) and got into the Chiropractor again today. I’m really glad I did, because I felt extremely better after this adjustment. The hip pain was almost completely gone right after he worked on me. I’m feeling a lot better today about the outlook and think I’ll be back at it in no time. I really plan to stick to doing yoga – at least once or twice a week (more if time allows) and stretching. More stretching!!! For sure.

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Saturday – Swim 1250 yards + yoga.

I didn’t want to push it, but Chiro said stay active (as active as I can) over the weekend – so I swam some easy laps which felt fine. The hip hurt a tad bit if I did Frog stroke but it was fine during Front stroke.

Then I did yoga, which actually ended up being Pilates due to an instructor change – but it was surprisingly great for stretching out (especially the hip!). I’d love to do Pilates again (this was my first time).

So, we hit a little speed bump – but like I said – nothing that will keep me out for too long or put a dent in my training. I’m so thankful for Coach and, let’s just admit that Chiropractors are a Godsend. Also, stretching.

If you get one thing out of this post, let it be this…

stretching is SUPER, mega, oober doober important.

Miles for the week (running) – 15.07

total miles June

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July!

Thanks for reading!