Monday, November 25, 2013

Cowboy Up Big Girl and Put On a Jacket!

Wind will be the death of me......or at least the death of my training plan.

Didn't have the best of training week's last week. Skipped both my Tues AND Wed runs. This after I ended last week's 9 miles on such a high! Why in the world would I not be super motivated to get out there and tear up the road?

Four words.....


It has been a tad bit cold up here in the PacNW this last week. Mid 40s so nothing too terrible - at least not compared to all you NorthEasterners and your negative wind chill temps!! Though we're still not down to freezing, the winds have picked up tremendously. We live right at the end of the Columbia River Gorge so said winds in the Portland area are at their worst by our house. 

That said, add in the 30-40-50 mph winds we had this week to our 40 degree temps and you can imagine the chilliness and my desire to do anything BUT get out and run. Even on the dreadmill. So instead  I spent both Tues and Wed on my butt in front of the fireplace with a glass on wine in hand. I'll admit it was wonderful at the time, but I know better than to skip out on my interval runs. Big girl pants, you ask? On the floor, just laying around, stinkin' up the joint. Once again I proved to be my own worst enemy. 

Thankfully, in my fit of lazy, I was able to gather up some motivation again on Fri/Sat and got back to it. Come Sunday I was not as prepped for my 10 mile trail run as I would have liked but did get my cold rear out there and finished averaging a 9:58 min/mile. Not as fast as I would have liked either, but given that I was on a trail and not the even pavement, in addition to dealing with the wind, I still consider it a success. 

(Though I had to lap it four times to get in the 10 miles, I still preferred this scenery to the road!)

I do need to focus these next three weeks on nutrition during my longer runs in prep for race day. Had some wheat pancakes with a maple peanut butter sauce and two cups of coffee around 10am on Sunday. Finally got out on my run by 1:30pm, drank about 4 oz of water at mile 5 and definitely felt like I bonked around mile 8. I ate the same thing before last week's long run, drank the same 4oz of water and felt amazing. Chalking it up to the technical difficulties of the trail wearing me out vs. the smooth/fast pavement. (should also start mixing in a Nuun tablet with my water again - did this all through the summer's tri training but stopped these last few months,  not sure why)  I'll get back on the road this weekend and test things out again. I am a firm believer that nutrition needs are different for everyone so I usually just experiment versus trying to adhere to someone else's suggestions. Makes for a bad boiler sometimes but well worth it when you find what works!!

All that said.....only three weeks left till the Holiday Half. Definitely looking forward to those last two weeks of's what's left...

COMMITTED to getting out for Tues, Wed and Thursday's runs - how else am I going to justify the massive quantities of gravy I intend to eat over Thanksgiving?! :)

At what distance do you start adding in a nutrition plan to your race?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Did That Seriously Just Happen?

9 miles at 9:30 per minutes -!!! Just wanted to start off this week's post with that bit of excellence - BOOM!! 
(For those of you sub 7 mm, just bear with me here....)
I've never been able to consider myself a "runner". I know,  I know, regardless of how slow you go, you are a runner. I do believe that.....for everyone other than myself. I guess it's because I've never really been able to enjoy myself while running. A swimmer for most of my life, I started out on this running journey a few years ago while attempting to train for a marathon. 5 weeks in and I was riddled with injuries. Since that time I have accepted the fact that I'd never be able to break a 29 minute 5k and that this portion of my Tri will always be the worst. That was until yesterday....I freakin ran 9 miles (9.17 to be exact) at 9:30! Never in my life have I been able to sustain that pace.....even for a 5k. 

And I think I found the secret. We'll at least for me, that is. Normally I run music, nothing to distract me from my own thoughts, my rhythm.etc. That is until now. Prepping to put in 6 miles on the dreadmill this past Thursday I knew it was going to be a snooze fest. An hour of going nowhere is just torture. "Well, why not try out a podcast to help pass the time? At least it will keep me entertained", I thought. .....that it did. 6 miles felt like 3 - I was done in a flash! Did the same on yesterday's run and success! 9 miles flew by...and I am truly hoping the gps in my phone was on track, because I am stoked. You better believe I'll be doing my long run this Sunday with my headphones on.

"What podcasts where you listening to?", you ask. So far I've only tried out 'The Age Grouper' - two guys, Jeff and Eric, out of Chicago, speaking on all kinds of triathlon related goodies. From suggestions on improving your times, life/training balance, race recaps and so on. Here is a link to their blog - you can download their podcasts directly from the site or look them up on itunes:

  In other news, have you noticed my little timer up there on the right? Countdown to Ironman Boise has officially moved into the 100's. Starting to get real, folks. Was debating on whether or not I should start my training right after December's half.....and that would be a yes. 6 months to get these lazy buns back in race shape is going to be hateful awesome!! Not looking forward to those 4:30am workouts though - how do you morning people do it?!


It takes everything I have just to open my eyes that early......gahhh.  Found this on the web earlier....may have to post it to my alarm clock - perhaps it will give me that extra bit of umph I'll need to rise and shine come 1/2014


What is your secret to early morning training motivation?
Are there any podcasts you enjoy?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Beautiful Life and a Revelation

Well it's been over a week since my last post - been in kinda of a funk lately. My training and nutrition is still on par for December's race, it's more of a mental/emotional standstill that I seem to be at right now. 

My sister-in-law's mother passed away over the weekend after a long hard battle with cancer.  I knew this beautiful woman and had the pleasure of spending time in her company. Although I am more than thankful that this did not hit closer to home (I could not be nearly as strong as my SIL has been if it were my own mom - but then again, my SIL is pretty amazing in general), it has seriously stopped me in my tracks. I can't help but to think of how susceptible our bodies are to pain and disease, and just how very fragile life is.

As a result it has caused me to take a painful look at how I have been treating my own body. How neglectful I've been at some of the very basics. From a strength and cardiovascular perspective, I know I am very fit - I can swim, bike and run long distances without much pain or extraneous effort. I know that for the most part I put only good foods in my body (with the exception of Friday fun nights = pizza, and my weekend beer/wine) and am well aware of how my nutrition plays the largest role in overall health.

What I have been avoiding however, are the basic, routine visits with the doctor. Those check ups that provide you with an overall exam and blood work. Those seemingly little details that really do affect your quality of life. Don't get me wrong, I am great about seeking PT when a training injury arises, or even going in to get a script for a sinus infection - what I am just horrible at are those routine visits that are designed to keep you healthy!! Maybe it's just me, but I think there can be a false sense of security when you are an training and racing somehow equals healthy??  What makes matters worse is that I've been on my boyfriend to get into the doc for the very same thing. "You can't treat something if you don't know what it is" fav motto. What a hypocrite I am!! For crying out loud, get off your lazy behind and do something about, Rebecca!

Anyway, needless to say I am forcing my procrastinating self to make an appt for the GP next week and will be sure to report back.

Something else that has been weighing on my mind is the desire to do more - wanting to race for a cause perhaps? Yes, I can swim/bike/run....but in service of whom? For the first two years it was definitely myself, to prove that I can. And for my son, to be an influence of health, determination and patience - to show him that it doesn't matter your dream, if you put in the hard work, time and energy, anything really is possible!  But I feel like I need something more now - that my racing needs to somehow benefit others. Not sure - I know that there are a few Team in Training groups in my area that I can join, but I don't necessarily know that that's it. Either way I'm going to spend this off season researching on how I can make my racing more beneficial for others.

In the meantime, I've just been chugging away - running 5 days a week (bleecch) and averaging a pretty decent pace. 10:30 for 8 miles last Sunday is a huge win for me! I can run well into the 9's during short distances, but to average below 11 for 8 miles is pretty rock star in my book. :) I've also been able to work through that tight tendon issue on my right foot and it is pretty much gone entirely.....I still have my laces threaded the same way and think I'll probably keep it for now. 

New shoes and 9 miles on Sunday -!

Do you avoid the doctor as much as me?!
Do you race for a cause, something more than your own satisfaction?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Dreaded Dreadmill

7 miles on the dreadmill last night......thanks Oregon.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind running in the rain (almost prefer it to the heat) nor does it bother me to run at night.....but rain + dark? No thanks....that combo is just one wet leaf away from a broken ankle. So instead I spent my long run (which I should have done Sunday - procrastination will always get the best of me) on the treadmill, aka, "dreadmill". Thankfully I had a little Monday Night Football to keep me company, but man is that just a rough 75 minutes of sheer boredom!

Good news is that I think I may have figured out a fix to my foot issue that should keep me running a good pace until I can pick up a pair of new shoes. After spending a year trying different options- Adidas, Aesics and Nike - I finally settled on the newest Brooks Adrenaline this past summer and can I say they are just an amazing pair or sneakers! Not one injury or joint discomfort in the 300 or so miles I've put on them so far.  Very happy, happy, happy with this shoe.

Since I should have at least 50 more miles left on my Brooks, I decided to use a re-lacing technique (LOVE the interwebs) that would hopefully take the pressure off my foot tendons and provide some relief, assuming I wasn't dealing with a stress fracture......And wouldn't you know it, it worked! Though I still have some tightness after each run, making an effort to stretch my foot/toes out afterwards and the next day significantly reduces any discomfort. 
(skipping over the 4th hole worked wonders)

The longer you are in the sport of triathlon, the more odd pains you will experience here and there. Though knowing I must listen to my body for signs of more serious issues, I am learning not to overreact with each new twinge. Almost 80% of the time, a pressumed "injury" is usually just a tight muscle or tendon that needs a good rub. Getting fit with the proper equipment for YOUR body (regardless of the awesome new pair of Mizunos your friend just came home with), sticking to a training plan with gradual increases to workload and ensuring that you stretch and roll out daily will keep most major issues at bay. My own humble experience of course.

 That being said, last night's 7 miles on the dreadmill wasn't too bad. I'm a week behind in my HM training plan, but seeing that I have a pretty decent base to work from, it shouldn't bare any negative effects on my race. Can I just say how happy I will be once 12/15 comes and this darn thing is OVER?!! I will definitely view it as an accomplishment, but 5 days a week of running is far too much for me - I miss by bike/swim time. :(

And just for my fellow Fanasty Football enthusiasts out there...check out last night's end result to my week 9 match up. I'd like to thank Andre Johnson for going crazy ape bananas this weekend and the Chicago defense for taking out Aaron Rodgers! Luckiest WIN ever!!!! 

How do you deal with long training sessions on the "dreadmill"?