Eat, Work, Sleep, Rinse And Repeat

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As the photo suggest, there are now 50 days till Tupelo Marathon. If you’ve spent any time with me on here you’ll know that I have no concept of time so for the last week or so I’ve been all like, “I’ve got plenty of time.” Now I’m just like, “Holy Crap Batman, I’ve only got 50 days!” It’s still a good ways out but it’s not 15 weeks out. Nervousness I guess is a good thing to some degree, it keeps me moving and pushing forward.  The only thing is, it’s a constant barrage of thinking about running. Am I eating enough, am I eating too much, did I sleep enough, are the shoes still good? What will I wear, is my watch still working? Am I running enough? Am I running too much? It consumes me.

sleep eat work

 

Also, sleep has not been my friend. In fact this morning I feel hung over. I feel drunk!! The problem with that, I haven’t had a drink in 24 hours! I’m just sleepy. I have to have 7 hours of sleep and the the total of sleep for the last two nights is 8 hours.  The real culprit is I think I’m 21 and can stay out all night with friends and  still wake up at stupid thirty and not feel the effects. I was wrong.

You see, last night I went out with my best friend in the whole wide world who is in town just for the night. We haven’t seen each other in years so we stayed out just chatting and I completely lied to myself saying “You can do this. You can stay up talking all night and then run in the morning.”

I was wrong. Very Wrong. See this couch with this comfy blanket?

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I snuggled up to it at 5:15 this morning fully dressed to go run but the Sandman took me out and this is where I landed. I also knew I was in trouble when I realized I was sitting on the couch with my running shoes in hand and sleeping upright. Not good. 

Oh did I mention I have a triathlon tomorrow morning?!? I’m nervous excited.  I know that the results won’t be great but I feel strong and ………………I’m not sure what else. I’m just ready to do this!!

And let the Rocky music start…………..now!

Don’t Let Your Mind Rule Your Matter

running

I’m a mentally challenged  runner.  I spend 90% of my training runs training my brain rather than my legs or at least most days it feels that way.  I hear the negative, loud chatter  “This is hard.”  ” Why is she running so much faster than you?” “Are we really going to do this again?” ” I can quit and nobody would know.” “Can I just go back to bed.”  “You know, most people don’t take this long to do this.” “This is hard.” My gray matter is my weakest muscle in my whole body.

Here’s an example of why listening to your gray matter is not always a good idea  and how perception can be skewed and unreliable:

This morning I had to do only 4 miles at 11:54 pace.  So I thought I’ll just stay in my neighborhood and knock this out. I started about 6 A.M., the sun wasn’t completely up yet.  Keep in mind  that last week was “recovery” week so the longest run I had to do was 6 miles, so I’m using fresh legs. I also slept great the night before, had a pre-run snack and hydrated. I took care of all personal business so there was no reason not to have a good run. My Garmin was charged and ready to go. Everything was just like it should be.

I walk out the front door  do my .10 mile walk (yes I’m just that OCD that I know the mileage in my neighborhood) and I take off running. No sprints just an easy jog if you want to call it that. IMMEDIATELY I feel the heat just hanging in the air. Already my elbows and knees are sweating (it’s always the first thing to start sweating on me). I’m now getting close to the end of my first mile but I’m struggling because all I can feel is the heat hanging in the air. It honestly feels like someone has  the dryer vent blowing on me. Then at that moment I SMELL someones dryer going . I typically love the early morning smells and rituals coming from homes. I smell peoples breakfast being cooked, occasionally I smell the dryers being turned on with the Downy dryer smell.  It’s something I typically love but being that I’m hot as hell right that second and I don’t me like sexy hot but hot nasty sweat smell hot, smelling the dryer smells just makes me even more miserable. There’s no breeze, the sun is inching up and I’m miserable.

At this point I want to quit, stop, and go home. It’s not fun. I’m miserable. My body feels heavy.

Turning point…………….

I took a short walk break. I had to do something because I was falling apart and then I looked at my watch  and saw that I was clocking in a 11:15 average pace (reminder: I’m suppose to be doing 11:54 pace). So a light bulb goes off (and I’m still walking) I’m not hurting. I’m not “falling apart”. I’m fine. My mind is miserable and wants to go home but my body is fine. My legs don’t hurt, my breathing isn’t really that bad I’m just digging myself into a mental grave of doom and gloom.

My body is fine. My legs, shoulders, back, hips all feel okay. Nothing hurts.

Perception………..

My perception before looking at my watch was that I was running really slow compared to my other runs. My perception was I doing a horrible job. My perception was  I was going to have a horrible outcome to this run.

Finish……………..

So I continued to run.  I’m still not a happy camper but I’m better than I was.  At this point in the run I still had 1.5 miles to go. So I kept my mind focused on my legs and I turned off the negative chatter. Yes I still felt the heat just hanging over me but I tuned it out. The good news is my legs were functioning just fine, my breathing and heart rate felt fine.  Time to finish this roller coaster of emotions run.

Outcome…………

Here’s what the final outcome looked like number wise

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And here’s what today’s run look like with past runs……………..

 4 miles

So if you look at my past 4 mile run, today’s run was not bad at all.

My point is, don’t let your mind tell you that something is bad and you don’t feel good and your doing horrible. Evaluate and question the situation. Are you REALLY hurting? Are you REALLY going that slow?

I bet your doing just fine. NOW SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP AND DO IT AGAIN!

 

Long Running

Life is good!!

 life-is-good

Running is good, work is good, diet is good………….it’s all good!!  I’ve never been more in love with my running. I’ve been getting in all my runs, hitting all my prescribed times and recovering well.  One good run after another makes the whole thing contagious!

Road Treadmill

So I did a update DURING my run. The camera is shaky so please forgive me!! I was running!! Be sure to share this with friends and subscribe so you can get more fun videos like the one below!

The Marathon Bug Is Biting

An article came out yesterday in Marathon and Beyond about the top 25 marathon finisher medals in 2012 and BAM I was bit.  Hard.  (Article HERE)  Two of them are in my backyard practically. One in Mississippi the other in Mobile, Alabama.  How have I possibly let these two pieces of bling pass me by?!!?

I’ve been asked, “Why do you run?” Sometimes I’ll say, “It’s cheaper than therapy” or “So I can eat more.” The real reason……….for the BLING!!  I love my bling!!

This is the marathon that I’ve yet to do and I want to BAD!!  I’ve done the half but never the whole.

Maybe this will be the year…………maybe.

Anything you’re aching to do that for some reason you just haven’t done it yet?  Tell me!!

Countdown To Austin

Marathon Song

Very Catchy!

OH SNAP!

ummmm this puts things in perspective just a tad bit better.

Philadelphia Marathon-post race (just a tad bit late)

The Philidelphia Marathon is this weekend and I can’t help but look back and think about the great time I had there. I ran in it in 2009 which seems like forever ago but when it really wasn’t that long ago.

The night before the race I ate at the race pasta dinner. It was fine. It kept me from having to find a restaurant that wouldn’t kill my stomach (my stomach use to be a little more sensitive than it is now). The food wasn’t fabulous but it was easy and I got to meet Bart Yasso and Bill Rodgers.

 

Looking refreshed pre marathon

Race day was a great day. I was about 3 blocks from the starting line so the walk wasn’t too terrible. It was cold that day. Windy cold.  Tons of port-a-potties and very easy to navigate to the starting line.  It’s been long enough since the race that I don’t remember too many negatives. I remember having plenty of water stops and bathrooms.

Finished and still standing

Finishing I was just as cold as I was when I got started. At the finish line there was warm chicken broth that was amazing. It sounds disgusting now but I just remember being like this is the best stuff ever!  It’s amazing how far that 3 blocks was compared to when I was just getting started. That race I felt hammered afterwards.  I was already doing the marathon shuffle back to the hotel.  We even stopped in a little bar just to get warm because I couldn’t move very fast afterwards.

Philadelphia was a great town to be in. I did get to take in all the touristy things a day before the race and the Monday after the race.  It’s not some place I’m just hoping and praying to go back to one day but I can say I’ve been there done that, and brought home a finishers medal.

Good luck to all who run this weekend. Enjoy your experience!

Running, Birthday and Football

Warning: This is one of those post where I ……A. update on what’s going on and B. clear my mind. We could be a while!

For one thing when I posted last time I had been on this crazy cleaning spree. Well, I’ve still been cleaning. I’ve cleaned baseboards, I’ve cleaned fan blades. I’ve gotten under all major furniture pieces and I’ve even steamed clean the floors (just my laminate floors).  I’ve thrown out, repurposed and donated the most stuff.  Honestly, my house is not junky or filthy to start with but I just felt the need to purge. I keep thinking, “okay I’m done.  Nothing more to do. I quit.” However, I end up finding more to do.  For instance I had desk chairs. One is black generic and the other one is a chair my dad used at his office for 16 years. Both are in the same room and my husband prefers the black one and I prefer the green one.  The green chair is one of my favorite things I own.  It’s Kelly green and the paint is chipped in all the right places.

Pottery Barn version........mines better

I was going to paint a chair for a  desk I put in our room and then I almost bought a really cool chair I saw this weekend (instead of painting one). Then, I was cleaning Sunday and I realized that my dad’s old chair was more appropriate than the chair I was going to paint or buy.  So apparently I needed to clean just to appreciate what I have/had.

I guess with all the time I’ve spent purging the Windham house I haven’t been blogging.

On the running side of life everything has been just kosher. Nothing too exciting just one foot in front of the other.  I did sign up for two half marathons (Bank Trust First Light  and Ole Man River )and then I have the Austin Marathon in February.  I’m looking forward to all three.  I was a little reluctant to sign up for anything  at first because my football team (Southern Miss) has been doing so well  (top 25 in the BCS polls) I didn’t/don’t know where I would be in the direction of bowl games.  That’s the only bad thing about this time of year with running is football has a way of getting in the way with preplanned events.  However looking at the chatter online and consulting with my hubby we’ll be in a bowl game somewhere between December 30th and January 2nd.  It can always change and nothing is written in stone, that’s the beauty of football.

So my running is steadily increasing again and it really has been fun.  Instead of running a mile and walking a minute, I’m now running 1.5 miles and walking a minute.  I can’t wait till my running breaks are no longer needed.  And as far as my long runs are concerned I’m already running double digits again.  And this folks, is why I have a running coach. Nevermind that accountability thing I need but the drastic difference in what the running coach prescribes versus me planning for myself.  For example had I been handling my post marathon running schedule first off I wouldn’t have known what a reverse taper was to save my life. And I’ve ran 5 marathons prior to this one!  Secondly I would have not been running the kind of mileage I did post marathon. I would have been running 3 miles here and a few miles there. Thirdly I would be running maybe a total of 15 miles this week not 27.  It’s not that I didn’t/don’t want to run the miles I just didn’t know how hard to push or not push myself.  I’m assuming after I get over this next marathon I’ll not be so much of in awe of my mileage or schedule.  So needless to say , the newness hasn’t worn off yet.

Lastly, this past weekend I turned 33. To celebrate I ran 10 miles and it felt great.  The weather was nippy but nice. I would rather have to bundle up some and basically I like cold weather clothes!  The sun is rising sooner so I get to get moving a little earlier as well.  The other nice thing is with the cooler weather there’s less traffic on the Trace to avoid.  Of course I ran into the regulars and of course they’re all faster than me so I see more of their backside than anything.  On this particular run it really hit me that I’m tired of being a slow poke (my average moving pace was 12:14).I don’t realize how slow I’m moving until someone just blows past me.  It doesn’t dishearten me as much as it motivates me.  I’ll take the motivation anyway I can get it.

This week has me scheduled for 27 miles and a little rain in the forecast.  Nothing I can’t handle.  Should be a great week, the football team is playing Thursday night (I’ll be watching from the comfort of my couch..too far to travel on a weeknight for me) and  Sunday I’ll be in Birmingham to cheer my precious 7 year old niece on in her second cheer competition.  Should be good times ahead for the running chic.

Till next time……..cheers!

Following The Heart

 
Over the course of my training for the Nike Women’s Marathon a couple people have asked me how and why   to train  by heart rate. My training for the NWM was the first time I had ever trained this way so it was definitely new territory for me. So thanks to my awesome running coach he was kind enough to answer a few questions.  
 
Why did you set me up on a heart rate training plan?
 
   A heart rate monitor is a general gauge of how hard you are working.  Many runners start out running much harder than they should.  I recommended heart rate training to Brandy so that she could run at less intensity.  This allowed her to build running endurance and to stop trying to sprint her way to a marathon.  This is very clique, but most people do not run the slow runs slow enough or the fast runs fast enough.  This was the case with Brandy.  A heart rate monitor can help to define what is easy and what is hard.
 
For those who do not have a James, how would recommend a person find the best training plan for them?
 
    Any plan that has a gradual build and consistency will help most runners to improve.  I often say, “Pick a plan, any plan and you will do better than no plan at all.  If you don’t have a plan then you plan to fail.”  Regarding plans, they will work as long as they fit within your abilities and your lifestyle.  Do not constantly second-guess them.  Give them a chance to show improvement.  Pick a plan within your (honest) abilities of today, not where you want to be.
 
For the simple minded folks like myself do you recommend any reads to help point folks in the right direction?
 
   My favorite running book is Daniels’ Running Formula (2nd) by Jack Daniels (no relation).
 
Marathon Guide also posted a great article regarding why you should and how to use a heart rate monitor.  
 
1) Accuracy And Ease: Heart monitors are the only effective way to track and record your heart rate over the course of an entire workout. Not only do heart monitors provide you with a complete record of your heart rate for the duration of your workout, but they are also more accurate than manual methods. Stopping during a run to count your pulse disrupts both your workout and your heart rate, and even the application of pressure to the carotid artery – perhaps the most common point for manual pulse detection – slows down the pulse.2) Monitor Your Fitness: Cardiovascular fitness is the single most significant factor in your speed as a runner. Consequently, being able to track your cardiovascular fitness – not to mention tailoring your workouts to meet cardiovascular goals – is an extremely useful training tool. Measuring the work-rate of the heart is the most accurate method of determining how much benefit you are deriving from your workout (a discussion on how to gauge results can be seen in section III). Other methods, such as how hard one is breathing, or how tired one feels, can reflect other factors and give imprecise impressions of the effectiveness of your workout.

3) Prevent Over-Training: For many competitive runners, every week’s workout regimen is essentially a seven-day dance along the fine line between optimal training and over-training. Using a heart monitor to avoid stressing your body too much means that you will maximize the efficiency of your training, while minimizing the opportunity for injury. Injuries are much less likely to occur when you are not over-taxing your body, and avoiding injuries is tantamount to avoiding setbacks in your training. While opinions differ on how much running is too much (we will discuss this more later), once you determine the desired intensity of your weekly workouts, you can use the monitor as a gauge. Are your recovery days really allowing your body to recover? The surprising answer, in many cases, is that runners’ easy days are simply not easy enough. Use your monitor to stay below a certain ceiling, and you will avoid depleting your body’s glycogen stores, ensuring that you will have the energy to perform your intense workouts with vigor and that you will not have to take unexpected days off from fatigue.

4) Prevent Under-Training: Though perhaps less common than over-training, some runners simply do not run hard enough, often enough. In this case, the monitor can function as a sort of coach, telling you when your body can handle more, and consequently, when you should pick up the pace. Set a minimum heart-rate goal for your run, and the monitor will sound an alarm when you have dropped below your target, telling you to work harder.

5) Pacing During Training: Perhaps the most obvious use for a heart monitor is to pace your training runs. Sometimes your time is not the best measure of how hard you are working. Different terrain, different energy levels, inconsistent distance measurements, and any number of factors can mislead you into thinking that you have performed well or poorly when the opposite may be true. Your cardiovascular performance is best measured by the work-rate of your heart, so pacing your training runs according to your heart rate is the best method of targeting your cardiovascular fitness as you do your workout.

6) Pacing During A Race: Some runners not only train with a heart monitor, but race with one as well. The monitor is a better tool for gauging effort during a race than mile markers, as the appropriate speed of each mile during a race can vary. Also, the monitor is indifferent to the wind, the paces of the other runners, the cheering of the crowds, the silence of lonely stretches that occur towards the end of some races, and any hills and curves; it is an objective observer than can help you maintain a consistent work rate, both over varied terrain and in areas where external factors affect your motivation and speed. Within a racing context, a monitor is perhaps most useful in preventing you from going out too fast or working too hard early in the race.

7) Enjoyment: While many runners enjoy their long runs, using a heart monitor adds a twist to running, whether it is being worn for a race or for training, for one mile or for twenty. Monitors can give you an accurate and fun way to quantify your progress, and if for no other reason, contribute some variety to the activity.

There you have it!  There’s so much information  and of course this is just a bit of it but it will definitely get you started in the right direction

26,000 Women and A Few Good Men

I traveled, I ran and I came home with the signature Tiffany blue box. Yep, this past weekend I made a whirlwind trip from Mississippi to San Francisco to run in the 2011 Nike Women’s Marathon. For 5 years I’ve entered lottery only to be turned down till this year.  In the meantime I’ve ran in 6 marathons with 1 DNF (did not finish) and since August 2010 I’ve been chasing #6 finishers medal. In August of 2010 I planned on running a marathon only to be plagued with injuries. Then in January 2011 I went to Georgia to get #6 finishers medal only to have to throw in the towel with three miles to go.  Then in August of this year I had planned on running the race I wanted to do in August of 2010  but I backed out at the beginning of August so that I could concentrate on the Nike Marathon. So needless to say #6 was worth the wait.

Friday at  9 A.M. I flew out to San Francisco arriving at 1 p.m. busting with pure excitement. I couldn’t wait to see the pink Nike tent and all that awaited. I knew that if Nike was involved it was going to be an awesome event. And it was.  The Nike Expo was located centrally in downtown San Francisco at Union Square. Fortunately it wasn’t far from my hotel, two blocks.

From the beginning Nike made it so easy and so much fun to be there.  They had people from the start directing folks to the correct area that we needed to go and if there were any problems they handled them with great ease.  Gatorade was a sponsor so there was nice little area set up so that you could sample what would be on the race course.

Next Neutrogena had an awesome booth that let you sample their products plus sent home some nice samples as well. It was like a mini facial.

Paul Mitchell staff was on sight to help style hair.

While all of this is going on there was a phenomenal DJ rocking the place.

 It was so much fun just hanging out. In addition  there was a relaxation area where you could prop your feet up in massaging chairs.

In the back of the expo was Nike’s main area.  In one area there was gait analysis, sport bra fittings and photo ops as well.   They also had several laptops set up so that we could set up our Facebook to request automatic updates to out statuses while we were running.  Outside the expo several other booths were set up as well.  It was definitely a fun and upbeat place to be. They also had a small little booth set up outside (think porta potty small) with last minute race essentials.

Across the street was Niketown and of course, Tiffany’s!!  Fun little thing is that Nike had a huge wall with all the participants names listed.  It was exciting to see my name. It made it all a little more real that I was about to run 26.2 miles.

 After cruising through Niketown and purchasing a few souvenoirs  I headed back to the hotel to change clothes stretch my legs out and then we were headed to Alcatrez for a night tour.

I highly recommend it if you ever go.  However before we could leave I realized that on our way there we had to go back to the Expo.  Somehow I realized that I was given a half-marathon bib instead of a full marathon.  Fortunately, the folks made it super easy to switch it out and we were on our merry way..

Saturday I wanted to see as much of San Francisco as possible with little walking as possible. The tour company Mr. Toad’s was just the way to go. I had to book our tour before going out there so in advance we knew to meet them at Fisherman’s Wharf.  So after doing the tourist thing and taking the trolley down to Fisherman’s Wharf we spent the next 3 hours touring San Francisco from a 1922 Rambler.

We got out twice to see a few things and to stretch our legs.  First stop was at China Town where we checked out the little shop where they make fortune cookies.It was actually interesting to watch since there was only three ladies doing these by hand. They make approximately 20,000 of these every year!  Next door was fellow who played his violin outside his barbershop. Apparently his quit famous around there. He’s even starred in a movie or two. Pursuit of Happiness was his proudest appearance from what I gathered.

If your ever in the San Fran area and want to see a lot in a short amount of time I highly recommend Mr. Toads Tours.  They really make it fun, enjoyable and you won’t kill your legs climbing hills trying to see everything.

Saturday night was pretty low key.I was pretty tired from the day before and actually fell asleep pretty early.  I was relieved when I woke up Sunday morning knowing I had slept well. Sunday morning getting ready was easy. Had a decent little breakfast and then it was off to get my Tiffany necklace.  From the moment I stepped out the hotel the streets were packed almost an hour before the race was scheduled to start. The city was booming with music, lights and videos being projected on to screens.  Nike even had someone to help warm up the crowd. I personally just watched the warmup. That’s what the first 3 miles are for right?

So after a relaxed start I was off to complete my marathon. The first two miles were easy but mile number three introduced me to my first hill. Immediately I thought, “Oh crap!” I immediately knew that I had to walk the hills in order to make it.  Miles three and four were rough but it was mile seven that really got me.  It was the never ending  uphill.  It’s a hill I never want to see ever again!  Then the downhill was just as hard.  I felt certain that if someone bumped into me I was going to roll downhill!! It was pretty steep.  Miles nine and ten were steady inclines as well.  The whole first half was just brutal with hills.

The second half wasn’t as nearly as bad.  My hips were feeling the effects of the hills but I feel like I went into the second half feeling pretty good.  The only time I ever started feeling tired was when they took us around Lake Merced.  A lot of people didn’t like the route I learned as I was chatting with folks while we were running.  The didn’t like the traffic part but it gave me something to look at. It kept me entertained.  The thing that was hardest for me was the fact that up until that point it had been cloudy most of the day but the sun started coming out  and it was zapping some of my energy.  However at some point it went away and after a much needed potty break I felt ready to go again. Also on the way to Lake Merced and to the finish line was a beautiful view of the beach.  Yes it was a long stretch of it but it’s not something I personally get to see everyday. It was fun to watch the surfers and it gave me a mental break from what I was doing.

The whole race I had been running off of heart rate instead of pace.  My goal was to keep it above 145 but I didn’t want it going pass 155. I think once it did but other than that I probably had a harder time pushing it up to 155.  My hips were just fatigued and didn’t have the strength to push like I wish they would.  Mentally I feel like I held up really well.   I never questioned myself or doubted myself. I knew what I had to do and that was that.

The finish line was a sweet sweet sight. And the prize was just as phenomenal as I had hoped.  My little blue box I’ve been wanting was just beautiful.

It’s definitely the best finisher’s medal I’ve gotten to date! It’ll be hard to top that one!

The post race set up was a little weak.  They were out of fruit and the finishers tee didn’t have my size.  Neutrogena did have a set up with face wipes that was much needed especially since I had my finishers photo taken with some hunky firefighters!

There was chocolate milk available and a really neat stretching area as well.

I also highly recommend purchasing the post race shuttle tickets because I was in no shape to try to figure out how to get back to my hotel. The shuttle took us back to Union Square which was plenty close enough since I was only two blocks away.

Monday I’m back in Mississippi with a little fatigue and some mild soreness.  It was a very fast, fun and busy weekend.  A lot of flying, and a lot running.  Would I run NWM 26.2 again? Probably not. I can say I’ve been there, done that and got the blue box.  A lot people have done that race repeatedly and just love it.  I would give it an A- just because of the finisher’s t-shirt issue but overall I would recommend to a girl friend to run. It’s a fun race, it’s entertaining, it’s challenging and the course is well supported.

I’m so glad this race was my #6 finishing race.  It was well worth the hard work and wait.

26.2 with Tiffanys

The Nike Womens Marathon was started in 2004, I started pursuing it in 2005. Since 2005 I have shamelessly chased after this race begging them to let me in. Every time I was rejected  I sort of felt like that kid from The Christmas Story who got shoved down the gigantic slide by Santa .

With 4 weeks to go I’m like a kid getting closer to Christmas. I dream about it and sometimes pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. I know it sounds dramatic but for goodness sake, I have waited long enough! So far no dreams of missing the race or dreaming that I overslept and I’m late.  There’s still plenty time for that I’m sure.

In 2006 I ran the Chicago Marathon and it was cold and wet that weekend.  I was traveling alone on that trip since my husband had to work a football game that weekend so I didn’t stay long in Chicago. I think I flew up on Saturday morning, raced on Sunday and flew back late Sunday night. I don’t recommend that being that I had to drive from New Orleans, LA to Hattiesburg, MS late at night after flying directly after a marathon. Dumb idea!  I’ve never really cramped after anything  but on that night, as I was driving my feet kept cramping as I was going down the interestate. Thank goodness for cruise control and minimal traffic. I was in a bad situation at the time.

Anyways, after my marathon I had an hour or two to kill before I had to be at the airport so as I’m slumming around Chicago in my comfy yoga pants and Southern Miss sweatshirt I realized I had not been to Tiffanys.  You know, the fancy shamncy place. In case I’ve never mentioned it, Breakfast At Tiffanys is one of my favorite movies. So of course i had to go there. I just love Audrey Hepburn as well.  Piece of advice, DO NOT GO THERE IN YOUR YOGA PANTS AND SWEATSHIRT!  SECURITY WILL FOLLOW YOU EVERYWHERE IN THE STORE!   I’ll be honest, I had no idea how bad I looked. I just wanted to see all the pretty shiney stuff.  As I’m cruising through the store in my sneakers and sweats I just didn’t understand why the security guard was following me around like well I might steal something. Then I saw it. My reflection. I realized then as I looked up that I looked like poo warmed over. I was mortified! Here I was, in one of America’s most beloved jewelry store and I looked like I should have been in Wal-Mart!  Leave it to me.

That really was a fun trip.  I hope San Francisco hold as many memories for me as Chicago did.  I know some of the pre-marathon jitters have set in. Mainly most of my concerns right now are whats the weather going to be like, what am I going to wear and will I be able to survive the pre jitter excitement.  I’m not trying to wish my life away but I’m really ready to be there already!

Whatever the bleep it takes!

6 weeks until Nike Women’s Marathon. I’m starting to get just a little giddy when I really think about it. Somewhere along the lines of “Oh my gosh. I’m really going to be running in San Francisco.” Then I can’t help but think, “They better not run out of finisher’s medals before I get done or I’m going to be livid!”  For the most part though, it’s just pure excitement.

Last month was a big month for me.  I had decided to bow out of the Tupelo Marathon and I started working with a running coach, which means  my running plan was ditched and I dove head first into “I have no clue what to expect” running plan. I just knew that in order for me to go to San Francisco and be mentally healthy and happy with my training I needed help.  So far no regrets.  I have gotten everything I wanted and some more. In fact, when I ran 5 miles at the beginning of the month my total time was like 1 hr and 4 minutes. On August 31st I ran another 5 miles and my time was 58 minutes and 35 seconds.  Hello?!  Didn’t expect that!

So Friday I had mentioned that I maybe needed to make some mini goals for September. First off, who really listens to me on here enough to call my bluff?!  Well apparently Running Coach does because he brought it up and wanted to know did we need to set some. Yeah I had that deer in the head lights look like, huh? More like I was thinking, “What you talking about Willis!?”  Then it dawned on me, the blog.  So do I need mini goals this month? Yes and no.  Yes to my diet which I’ll cover in a moment and no to my running.  The quality of the running is improving, my times are improving and I don’t stress about my workouts. I methodically get up, put my running clothes on and out the door I go to do whatever the man tells me to do.

I’ve discovered the older I get sometimes I hate making choices. I know there are some days and some situations I just want someone to tell me what to do.  Making decisions all the time is exhausting. So this aspect of my life is nice.  It’s easy.  That’s where I’ve failed nutritionally. I hate making decisions. What’s for breakfast? How about lunch? What do you want for lunch? What’s for dinner?  Any idea what you want to eat? I honestly can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “If I ever win the lottery I’m going to have someone plan all my meals.”  I hate thinking about food.  Don’t get me wrong I like the experience of food. I like smelling it, cooking it, tasting it. But I know that I need to lose weight and the constant choice making  does not help me. It’s like running. Even though I know I have a running plan (this is prior to the running coach) I am analyzing the plan I’ve made for myself ten different ways ten different times. I doubt what I’ve created for myself. Am I working hard enough, long enough, fast enough? Am I working too hard? Should I be running flat road or hilly roads? I get bogged down in choices. I get myself in a hole and it’ like I’m looking up at the sky with this great big hole around me and I have no clue how to get out of it. Will someone just tell me what to do?!

 

The hole i dig myself in mentally

Well you know what? They have. Twice actually and I just wasn’t paying attention.

And what’s so funny about it all makes sense. Plus I really need to pay better attention to what I’m being told.  I’m not crazy about having to make decisions regarding my diet. So the easiest thing to do is be consistent and have structure.  Have a go to breakfast, lunch and snack. It’s like running shoes.  Most people don’t have 20 different running shoes to choose from every morning. They have one pair that they know to get up put on and head out. Easy peasy!  Same principle with nutrition and diet. For breakfast pick something that is doable and tasty every morning and make that your go to meal. Then you know exactly how many calories, protein and fat is in that meal. No room for screws ups!  Same thing with snacks and lunches.  Keep it simple and easy.  So that is my nutritional goal. Well there’s two actually.

 

1. Pick go to meals and stick with them. One whole month!

2. Write it down. I hate keeping a food journal for whatever reason but this month it’s one whole month of journaling.

That’s the goal.  It’s not rocket science I just had to have someone tell me. Twice apparently.  I can be so hard headed.

So I started my month out with a long run …………on the treadmill. It wasn’t horrible. I watched a movie and half. All of Source Code and half of Rango. 14 miles.  We have had a tropical storm to sit on top of us for the last couple of days and there was no way I running 14 miles which is 3 hours for me in the pouring rain. I would have been miserable. Wet heavy shoes, uncontrollable chaffing.  It just wasn’t happening. So I got it in my head that this had to be done, it was on the schedule. No skipping. It was just one time and the bigger picture is San Francisco.

The other day I watched the movie “Win, Win.” Probably not family appropriate but it still had a good message.  So this kid was phenomenal wrestler who life’s struggles caused him to stop wrestling. Well after ending up on the door step at his grandfathers who was being cared for by his lawyer, the lawyer takes him in for a couple of days. During those couple of days the lawyer/part time volunteer wrestling coach (how convenient) realizes that the kid likes to wrestle.  He has no clue how good the kid really is and somehow the kid ends up in one of his matches.  Here’s the best part. So the kid is in the match and pulls out this off the chart no name move that wins him the match. Later on the coach asks him to share the move with the group. The kid was hesitant and said “well it’s just my thing. It’s not a real move.” After the coach pressed him for a bit about the move the kid explained what he’s feeling just prior to using the move and then him names it. He calls it, “Whatever the F*** it takes.” It’s expletive I know but I like it.

That’s how I felt about running on the treadmill Saturday. Just whatever the flip it takes.  Just get it done!


Trailer #1

Win Win

— MOVIECLIPS.com

 

 

 

I’ve also got to start doing more abdominal work. Nothing major but I need a better core system than what I have right now.  Right now it’s like asking a jello mold to hold me up.  Kind of wobbly and jiggling and not too stable.

I’m ready for September!  Nothing but good stuff on the horizon.

 

 

Working the Long Runs

I should have posted this Saturday but I was so busy. After 14 extremely hot miles I had to rush off to spend the remainder of the day with my husband’s family without my sweet hubby. My husband is a sports equipment manager at a local college so when football season rolls around I become what I like to call “a football widow.” Unfortunately, he doesn’t get to spend much time doing the fun stuff with us during this time of year.  It’s okay. Considering I met and spent most my dating life with my hubby at a baseball field or a football field he understands that I married him for free tickets to the  games!   It just kind of it what it is. Meanwhile the day was not long enough.  I have 2 nieces and 3 nephews that totally rock!  I can’t get enough of them. I love hearing, “Aunt B!” I call them my Angels. So when I say the day was not long enough, I really mean it.

 

Prior to all the fun I started my day with a 14 mile run as I mentioned before.  I was amazed when I got to the Trace to find so many people out to run. Apparently Marathon Makeover was training that morning and man there was a lot of them!  It was fabulous to see so many people out and about. Meanwhile, I’m happy to report that my run went smoothly and semi painless.  The heat and humidity was a killer.  Beyond that I can’t complain.  The nice thing about my runs lately is that I get to just zone out. So that’s what I did.  It was nice!  Below is a snap shot of what my run look like.

One thing I noticed on this run was how mentally easy it was.   I try to stay positive and upbeat in day to day dealings but for some time now running would bring out the worst in me. Okay not the worst but I wouldn’t walk away with a warm and fuzzy feeling either.  I would finish feeling defeated and beat up.  I had come to accept that feeling this way was normal and acceptable.  Somewhere I had adopted the attitude that whatever the workout dealt me that that was the outcome and it is what it is. I have recently learned that it’s okay to set myself up for success. Who knew!?  It’s not always necessarily okay to think, “Well, it is what is and it’ll be what it’ll be.”  It’s nice to feel that mental turning point.

  In day to day dealings I try to stay positive and to expect good outcomes but I’ve failed in my running to apply the principles.  Why oh why does running have to be so mental?! All I want to do is run.  However I do have an actively working brain that requires just as much attention as the rest of me does.  Someone once told me runners are normally running to something or away from something.  For me at this current point in my life, I’m just running to a finisher’s medal in San Francisco!

8 weeks and counting!  Yes, it’s only 8 weeks away and I’ll be 26.2 miles closer to a little blue box being held by hopefully some hunky fireman!  Now that I’m not in control of my training schedule (which by the way I’m absolutely loving) I’m not sure what to expect in San Fran.  I keep hearing about these hills so I’m a little nervous/anxious in regards to that. The rest of me is just ready to be there.  Do I have any expectations for this marathon? Not really. I just want to finish.

As I was saying I’m not in control of my schedule so I have no clue what the upcoming week has in store for me.  All I know is that it’ll change based on how each workout goes.  Once again, there goes running mimicking life. Dynamic and always changing.  How can anyone not love this sport?!

14 miles and counting

Today’s run was nothing special just another run putting one foot in front of another. I’m still doing a run walk ratio. It’s been increased to a 4:2 ratio (verses a 2:1 ratio) while running by heart rate.  Today started off a little cooler than it has been which was nice considering it was at least mile 4 or 5 before I was soaked rather than mile 2.  The first 8 miles went completely as planned no surprises which is totally fine by me.  At mile 8 there was a nice water and bathroom break.  The next 6 miles was an enigma.  It started nicely enough.  I switched my Ipod over to my audio book about Tina Fey, set off for 3 miles out and 3 miles back. That was fine.  Then right after the turn around (mile 11) it took an odd turn.  I felt fine but I couldn’t keep my heart rate down.  Mr. Running Coach says it’s just my body breaking itself down to build itself up. I say it’s just aggravating me.  In the middle of the aggravation I couldn’t help but start laughing at myself.

A couple of years ago I was in the middle of a swim in a triathlon when I decided that  I was over that swim. The water was rough, it was foggy and I was getting knocked around. I bobbed around in the water letting the group thin out when I started thinking out loud.  Who pays attention to anyone thinking out loud in the middle of triathlon swim?  Apparently the woman bobbing next to me.  I made the comment out loud “I’m so over this.”  I realize what she said next was meant as encouragement but my sarcastic funny side kicked in. She tells me, “Just keep swimming. You’ll be there soon.” As I’m bobbing around in the middle of the lake my big mouth blurts out, “Do I have another option?!” Yeah, I should have filtered that thought but I didn’t.  I still laugh at that scene.

So here I am today,  2 miles away from my vehicle, my heart rate was all wacky and I’m sort of over this run. What’s a girl to do?!  Absolutely nothing except exactly what I was doing. Run walk it  for two miles all the way back home (or least to my vehicle).  This situation could have been a lot worse. I could have been 2 miles away from my vehicle spent, exhausted and beat up. However since I’m a good runner student and did exactly what Mr. Running Coach told me to, I was only a little defeated mentally but my legs still felt okay.  In the past, every single run was finished with me feeling spent and exhausted. Even though my heart rate was all screwy the rest of me was fine.  This is a major improvement!

I don’t expect every run to go flawless, painless or challengless. What fun would that be?  I don’t know of one runner that wants all of those things at one time all the time.  Sure at some point all the training, sweat and maybe some tears will gel together when a person is least expecting it. That’s when they are having a stellar run.  However, if all these things came together all the time how would they know if they were having a memorable run or not? Get my point?

I have no clue what next week holds for me. I like that. I can’t stress it if I don’t know.  So in the mean time I’ll just continue to do what I do best, putting one foot in front of the other.

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