Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Oops...been slacking!

Not on the running! Just on the blogging...let's see if I can catch everyone up.

Week 5 was the hardest week so far. I was extra tired from running and the runs felt difficult...which is funny because I ended week 4 strong! The long run was 8 miles. Steph and I completed it in 1:36:54. The first 5-6 miles were ok...the last 2 miles HURT!

Week 6 started out good. I felt strong on the early week runs, but mid week found out my running partner had to pull from the marathon due to severe shin splints! I feel bad for her since I know that injury is a huge pain in the butt, and you really can't do anything but rest. I then began to feel nervous about having to finish this journey alone! Well, I ended up taking an extra day off from running this week, which ended up being a really good idea because I had to run 9 miles! So, since I was in desperate need for a new phone I FINALLY got the iPhone on Friday and downloaded the Nike+ app immediately. Got up Saturday morning, pulled on the running shorts, laced up the running shoes, strapped my new iPhone on my arm and set out for my run. This run was pretty good...nothing hurt, and I felt multiple surges of energy throughout the run. I ended up running my 9 miles FASTER than I ran the 8 miles the week before! 1:36:34!

So far I am in week 7 and it's looking good....I'll update again later in the week.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Talk About Motivating: A 71 Year Old Man Beat Us in the 8K!

Week 4 of the 20 week training program comes to a close with a fun 8k road race in Lavallette, NJ. I met Joe, the race director, about 5 years ago when he was planning the first annual event, and for all different reasons I was never able to participate year after year. Well, this year I was FINALLY able to run the race! Steph and I had 7 miles planned and since the 8k is only about 5 miles we got there early to run a 2 mile warm up. (After our 2 mile warm up)

(Start of the race)

The best part during the race is that the residents of Lavallette sit outside their homes to cheer you on...and some of them even sit there with their garden hoses and spray you as you run by!

As much as we might have wanted to run the whole race non-stop, we kept to our training plan and ran 8 minutes and walked 1 minute through out the course. We were holding a great pace because as we hit mile 1 we were under 10 minutes. In the end we finished the race at 50 mins 23/24 seconds. (Steph crossed at 50:23 and I crossed at 50:24.)
(End of race - Not so pretty! Why am I sticking my tongue out? That's Steph's arm.)

As we were listing to the awards we hear that a 71 year old man won his age group in a time of 48 minutes and change...WOW! He beat us by about 2 minutes! (So, there is NO AGE EXCUSE for anyone out there! What motivation!)

I am starting week 5 with a relaxing day OFF from training and also getting a much needed deep tissue massage. After 4 weeks of doing a run/walk program 3 days per week I am seeing a HUGE difference in my ability to run. I don't hate it after 2 minutes like I used to a month ago. It truly is getting easier and I look forward to getting my runs in...even the long runs!

I purchased my hydration belt last week and will most likely be taking it on my next long run (8 miles.)

4 weeks down...16 more to go...I am honestly enjoying every step of this journey!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

3 weeks down & 17 more to go!

Today's long run started around 8:20am. Before I left the house I checked the weather and it said 67 degrees...YEAH RIGHT! It was super HOT and the sun was blazing. Steph and I already agree the longer these long runs get the earlier we will have to get out there to beat the heat.

So the plan was to run 7 miles...and according to the "Couch to Marathon" program I am using we had 1 hour 45 minutes to complete it. I was sure we were going to be finished well before that....and even with the few 1 minute walk breaks we were allowed we finished the 7 miles in 1 hour 25 mins!

The first part of our run had a few hills...and right away I felt my legs and glutes burning...but, for the most part I felt great the whole run! Last time my hip started bothering me around mile 4.5, but today I didn't feel anything at all. I don't know if it was from the fact that the terrain we were running on was a combination of black top, grass, and dirt and also had up hill, down hill, and flat...where as last time was all on the boardwalk and all flat.

Today was the first time I tried a "GU" on my run. Somewhere around 40 minutes into the run is when I took it. I decided to go with Tri-Berry because I thought the chocolate or vanilla would make me want water. I forget the brand, but it was pretty good. It was 100 calories and I think had like 25g sugar. I did feel pretty good the second half of the run, so I will have to go out and get more!

We ran through 2 towns and I even found 50 cents on the ground with a tenth of a mile to go!

I came home and showered, foam rolled my legs, ran my feet over the tennis ball, and ran the "Stick" over my calves. So much pain, yet such great post-run treatment. Today I picked up a bucket from the store so I can start to soak my feet and ankles as part of my post run rituals!

Looking forward to adding more miles each Saturday...am I nuts?!? Could I possibly be turning into a distance runner?

A little motivation from Nike before I head out for my 7 mile long run...

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Bug in Your Mouth is Not Protein, It's Gross!

Boy, busy week last week...I completed all of my runs and workouts, just haven't had the time to blog about it...I resolve to get better at updating more frequently.

So, today while running a bug flew in my mouth...EWW...a BIG ONE...but THANK GOD I didn't CHOMP DOWN on my gum...I spit it out as fast as it flew in...I highly recommend the "in through your nose, out through your mouth" breathing technique! I think I learned my lesson!

Last week was great! Finished the week with 11.5 miles and the long run was surprisingly not so dreadful. I mean, yes Steph and I are still in the "building the running base" stage so we are still on walk/runs....but we finished 6 miles in 70 minutes 40 seconds...I was proud of that! Around mile 4.5 my hip started really bothering me...but...then it subsided a little and I was able to finish. We ran the Seaside Park/Seaside Heights boardwalk...yep...the same place MTV's Jersey Shore is taped. Lucky for us there was no sight of a camera crew or fist pumpers!

I was kinda nervous about the hip thing...since I already have had hip issues in the past and since today is week 3, I need to do everything I can to prevent injury! So, as much as it KILLS ME I am foam rolling my glutes, hamstrings, quads, IT band, hips, and calves....I'm rolling my feet over a tennis ball and that kills me too...but after the torture I actually feel better. Yesterday I did an hour and 15 minutes of yoga, and I met with the chiropractor today. I'm hoping between all of that PLUS the occasional deep tissue massage I will avoid injury...or at least keep it to a minimum.

The last little (well, not so little) detail I have to get under better control is my nutrition. Without a written plan, like my workouts, it's hard (not to mention horrible) to "wing it" when it comes to my meals. I do have a book called Sports Nutrition for the Endurance Athlete that I just started reading that I know will help me plan out what foods I should and shouldn't be eating pre and post workout...especially when my runs become longer. I feel pretty confident that once I have my "clean" meal plan and vitamins/supplements WRITTEN DOWN my training will be taken to the next level.Tomorrow it's a little weight training and Zumba...but for now I'm going to kick up my feet and relax for the night....

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Long Run - 4 miles - I feel great!

So, the plan for today was to run 60 minutes or 4 miles (which ever came first.) I am still on a walk/run program so I wasn't sure which would come first. I was on my own today, no running partner, so I found a park near me that had a 1 mile path. I figured all I had to do is run my stop watch so I knew when to switch from walking to running and if I finished 4 laps before 60 minutes I would be done. I was pleasantly surprised to finish 4 miles in 46 minutes 50 seconds!

The first mile was tough. I didn't really warm up besides my 2 minute walk so my run was more a jog the first lap. My heels were feeling a pull so I made note that maybe a longer warm up would help loosen that up faster and also make sure to do some foot, ankle, and calf stretches regularly and of course after my run.

By the end of the second mile I felt awesome. My run was getting faster and I feel like the 2 minute walk was plenty of time to recover before I had to
run again.

Even though I didn't get out to run until almost 10am the temperature was comfortable and there was a nice breeze the whole time.

After my run I walked a little more around the park and did some stretches....came home and downed some Rehydrate before I got in the shower. After the shower I rolled each foot over a tennis ball to massage out the band that goes under my foot and up through my heel and Achilles tendon. Then I used "The Stick" on my quads and hamstrings, then did the DREADED foam roller over my quads, hammies, and IT band. (As much as it hurts, it does feel better afterwards.)

Check out my new headband thanks to the awesome website: Sweaty Bands. They have tons of great designs and I highly recommend checking it out! I already bought 3 (I think it might be my new addiction!)

Tomorrow I plan to hit up a pilates class for a little strength and more stretching.

Can't wait until my new running shorts come in the mail...maybe today?

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fasted Treadmill Run - Training Run #2

So today I had another run scheduled in my training plan. Since on Thursdays I usually have to train 2 clients after work I thought it would be a good idea to just get up in the morning and do my run. I planned to get up and run by 6:15am, but I didn't get on the treadmill until 6:50am...I just couldn't get out of bed!
Since I literally just rolled out of be and onto the treadmill I ran my 35 mins in a fasted state, and it didn't start to feel good until about 28 minutes in. I really only have been training for 4 days but I am SO TIRED by the end of the day and been feeling extra hungry. I still have to get my meal planning under control...I have been just winging it this week, and that's not good.

Had my physical today and I am officially cleared by the doctor for my training (good thing since I already started, lol) Tomorrow, Friday, is my first day off from any kind of training and Saturday is my first long run...4 miles.

I'm thinking it might be time for a massage soon...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Run 1 Week 1...Only 19 more weeks to go!

What a great Memorial Day weekend! I have been waiting so long for a 3 day weekend and this was the best! Everyday in the 80's and sunshine! Did a little yoga, a little kayaking, and a little running! Today was day 1 of official marathon training!

These photos are of Island Heights, NJ. The boardwalk is only about half a mile long so Stephanie and I ventured off through out the neighborhood as well so we didn't have to just keep going back and forth. It's pretty hilly over there so even though it's the first run of training we did have to run 2 hills...but since we were doing a run/walk interval the whole time it wasn't so bad.

Since it was so hot out we waited until 7:30pm to run. It was still pretty hot, but not unbearable, probably because the sun was going down. We did 35 minutes (walk 2 mins, run 3 mins.)

The next run day is Thursday so the plan for tomorrow is light weight training and Zumba and Wednesday is going to be pilates.

One run down....about 59 more to go...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Official Training starts on Monday!

Happy Memorial Day weekend all! I am excited for this awesome weather here in NJ! I feel like I have been waiting SO LONG for summer...and here it is!

I look forward to relaxing, kayaking, BBQ-ing, and drinking this weekend because come Monday morning I am officially on my 20 week training program!

Last Saturday I ran a 5k race. Now, I have not run 3.1 miles straight in probably almost 2 years...so I wanted to use this as a "baseline" for my fitness level. How bad was I starting out at??? Well, I was pleasantly surprised by my time...30 minutes 5 seconds...this is roughly 10 minutes per mile...or for those of you who run on a treadmill...equivalent to the speed of 6.0.

I felt good, and for the first time caught myself reciting a mantra over and over to myself the entire race...."Slow and steady finishes the race." Not sure how many times I said it before I actually realized I was saying it, but it definitely helped get me through it! The last quarter mile was awesome because my High School Cross Country and Track Coach saw me...jumped back onto the course and ran with me...that was pretty cool! Thanks, Coach B!

The day after the race I felt like I was hit by a truck! Everything hurt! But, in a weird way I liked it!

Today I bought my first pair of running shorts...I actually don't own any athletic shorts...and with how hot it's been the past 2 days figured there is NO WAY I will survive running in pants, even if they are cropped!

Here's to a fabulous holiday weekend!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Planning, Planning, and More Planning

Immediately after receiving my acceptance email into the marathon I loaded the Marathon Training Program in my "Run Coach Pro" app on my iTouch to see what I was in for. I want to be fully prepared for everything. I have alot to learn and I want to make sure I don't miss anything.

This past weekend I made my way over to Road Runner to get properly fitted for my running shoes. They offer a service where they help you find the right shoe based on your gait. I found out I needed a stability shoe. (See my beautiful kicks below!) I also got fitted inserts, special running socks, and my running log journal to keep track of my miles.

(If it's possible to be in love with shoes...I am IN LOVE with these! I can't wait to run in them!

I begin my training on Monday, so this weekend and next week I am going to start planning out my meals. In addition to getting through this injury free, it's very important for me to get my nutrition right. Lucky for me I have a lot of experience writing up meal plans and playing around with macro-nutrients, so I look forward to doing that.

I also have downloaded the podcast Marathon Training Academy which is exactly what I was looking for...a podcast filled with information for people new to marathon training. They offer great tips on training, running clothes, stretching, nutrition, injuries, and they even sometimes do interviews with some amazing people. This one guy they interviewed did 63 Marathons in 63 Days!!! The event was documented in a film called "FEAT" that I definitely plan on watching!

This Saturday I signed up for a 5k...maybe I'll break in my pretty little sneakers...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

She used to be a weight lifter...

Welcome to my new blog. Some of you may be my old blogger friends and some of you may be new, but either way thanks for following me! I figured it was only right to start a new blog, because I have a new journey...a new goal...and it's much different than My Life as an Amateur Fitness Competitor. This year...this month...(May 30th to be exact) I begin training for the Nike Women's San Francisco Marathon...my FIRST marathon...EVER.

I never in a MILLION years thought I would ever be training for a marathon...in fact, I think I remember telling my self I would never be crazy enough to do it...so how did I end up here? Well, I subscribe to a bazillion fitness related emails...and most of the time get so many I just end up deleting them...unless the subject line catches my attention. I think this one said something about entering your name into the lottery for the NWM. For whatever reason I opened the email clicked on the link and without giving myself time to back out filled out the registration. The race is 12 days before my 30th birthday and I figured if I was going to run a marathon the only way would be if I was "randomly chosen." There are 20,000 runners in this race (half marathon and marathon combined) and Team in Training and college students get an automatic bid into the race...I thought, my chances are slim...well here comes the morning of Wednesday, April 27th...I'm not even out of bed and I grab my itouch...immediately check my email and see that I have a "Congratulations! You're IN, baby!" email. I started to laugh...WHAT JUST HAPPENED!?!

I'm not gonna lie. For a girl who said she would NEVER be crazy enough to run a marathon I was checking my email and bank account 10 times a day to see if my account was debited. I was anxious to throw myself into a NEW challenge...one that would help get me back into shape after 2 years off from competing in NPC fitness. I'm excited about the challenge of having to get back on a strict training schedule, and more importantly eating healthy. The last 2 years I abandoned the "clean eating" lifestyle (ok, not entirely, but instead of 90% clean 10% fun it was more like 30% clean and 70% fun) and now I am paying for it. Up about 20lbs from my April 2009 competition weight I am READY. I'm SICK of the pants being too snug and with summer a month away I am definitely NOT beach body ready (well at least in my eyes...I'm still "better off" than the average American woman my age, but who wants to be average?)

So, sit back and enjoy the ride. Feel free to comment, ask questions, or post advice for me. I look forward to meeting new friends as I transform into an endurance athlete! Like I said, "She used to be a weight lifter..."