Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Here We Go!

It's official! Training has started!  I'm more than a little excited, but at the same time no matter how many times I train for the marathon or a larger triathlon, the task seems daunting!  Now I know that I can complete them, I done that through sheer determination and will power... but it's not enough! Atleast not this year!  My #1 goal is to remain injury free, but my second goal is to hit my 4hr time goal.  Now that seems even more daunting than staying free from injury.  Especially since injuries are often related to the speed at which one is traveling.  But I am no longer satisfied with just finishing! I was robbed of my 4 hr time during my first marathon and I refuse to let that happen again!  Now will I be disappointed if I don't get the four hours.. yeah probably but deep down I know that I will be happy with myself for dominating another marathon!

Yesterday's training: I decided that yesterday would be my speed and core workout.  So I went over to the local park that has a HUGE retention pond, that is always dry, and ran hills.  After doing about 30 hill runs, I went for a mile run with intervals of sprinting and walking.  Once I finished the mile, actually it was a little over a mile, I went and did 5 more hill runs!  When my legs started to feel like jello, I figured it was time to stop! So then I drove home and did my core workout!
   Since I hurt my ITB in my first marathon, I am very diligent about making sure that I use my foam roll.  I also did 40 crunches, 10 leg throws, 20 crunches with a medicine ball, planks 3-1min planks. 

Today's Training: We are supposed to get hit with another storm... they seem to be never-ending!  So if it holds off till later tonight, I plan on going to a 14/15 mile bike ride, otherwise I will head over to the local indoor pool and swim laps! I'll let you know tomorrow!

Rocking out to: Here We Go by N'Sync (it's one of my Power Songs!)

Friday, June 18, 2010

My training Schedule

   Technically, I'm already starting my training behind schedule.  Somehow time is just flying by and I've not paid close enough attention to the fact that I was supposed to start training 2 weeks ago!  OOPS!  Unlike my first two marathons, I'm not so hung up on the concept of following a rigid training schedule.  Since I have started getting into Triathlons, I've been having the hardest time figuring out the best way to train for my marathon as well as my triathlons.  So for me, training will officially start on monday! WOOHOO!  I've made my own training schedule, so hopefully it works! Fingers crossed!  This time, I am not just going to run the miles.  I will be running less (I know, that seems a little odd) but working out more.  My training is going to cover six different work out facets.  Swimming, Biking, Running, Core strengthening, Speed Workouts and Strength training!  All of these things will combine together to give me great Cardio workouts and overall strength rather than just focusing on my legs.  The goal here is to be really strong all over rather than just my legs, overall strength will keep me healthy and ideally injury free!  Each week, I will switch it up and do the activities on different days or pair them together so that my body goes through muscle confusion and doesn't get used to a routine.  I will also try working out at different times of the day.
   The weekends, since I hav more time will be for the long runs and brick workouts with my Triathlon team.  One day will definitely be set aside for rest, probably friday, but will fluctuate each week depending on my schedule.  Take the training journey with me, and let's see where it takes us! Starts monday morning, each day I will post what I will be doing on that day and then later in the day after the workout, I will post how it went! Feel free to do it with me!

Lesson: The best training schedule is the one that works best for you and your lifestyle!

Rocking out to: Adler Girl Pt. II by Super Mash Bros.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day to Day Struggles

   Ever have one of those weeks at work where you are running around like a chicken with your head cut off and the next day there is almost nothing for you to do?  Yeah that's been my week so far! Monday and Tuesday I only put in 1hr of overtime and during the day I had almost nothing to do!  Then Wednesday comes along, and naturally I had plans after work, only to find out that the day wasn't going to go even remotely how I had it planned!  I was constantly on the go, with a hard deadline for 8am this morning, there was no way I could leave work. So after starting work at 6:30am, I was finally able to leave at 7:15pm! That's a long day for anyone, let alone being a contractor!  So naturally, I didn't get my work out in.  By the time I got home at 8pm, I was so mentally exhausted that the physical exhaustion was just as intense. 
    I was really frustrated that I wasn't able to get a training run in or a work out of some sort.  But it served as a good lesson.
    1. It is OK to miss a training run - When I trained for my first marathon, I thought I'd never see the finish line if I didn't do EVERY SINGLE mile in the training program.  To the point that I ran in the rain one day and slipped in the mud and was in pain for a few days and had no choice but to skip the run the next day.  Another time, it was pouring rain and I had to get a long 14 mile run in... so I went to the campus gym and did 14 miles on the treadmill!!! Have you ever done that?  It's brutal!
   2. Things NEVER go as planned - I'm a planner, I like to know exactly when I'm going to workout, what is going on in the day, so that I can plan out everything.  Sure every now and then I fly by the seat of my pants, but mostly I like knowing.  With working overtime as much as I am, planning has sort of gone out the window.  I no longer know when I'll get home, when I'll eat dinner or if I'll even work OT.  So I've started leaving a gym bag in my car, so that I can change and go workout right after work, whatever time that seems to be.  But don't get frustrated if it doesn't work out like you thought.  Sometimes thats what makes a workout interesting!

   Lesson:  Training and working out is a day to day struggle, just because one day doesn't go as planned, doesn't mean every day will be like that! DON'T GIVE UP! The ups and downs of training is what separates the really runners from the supposed runners!

Rocking out to: Absolute by The Fray

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Top Mistakes a Runner Makes!

  I thought that since I was following a training program for my first marathon, that I was somehow indestructible... Yeah, so NOT the case! As I have said before, my first marathon did not go as planned, but really when does life ever go as planned? I think I'd get worried if things started going as I had planned, but thats another topic...  Anyways,  I missed so many crucial points in training that if I could do it over again, I would do it so differently! So in hopes to prevent some of you from my same mistakes I'd like to share some of them with you!
   1. Not Cross Training - I never realized what the benefits of cross training really were and why I should even spend my time on cross training.  While the Hal Higdon training program that I used mentioned Cross training, it was more of a suggestion than a MUST and it HAS to be a MUST!  Most days I took the cross training as another day off or did something super light, nothing that really helped me to build my muscles.  So what is the point of cross training?  As I have said in an earlier blog post cross training is a way to strengthen all of the muscles in your body to give you so much more overall strength, to keep you healthy and injury free!  Cross training can also be a great time to give your body a chance to recover from the constant pounding out of the miles.  How so?  One perfect example is swimming, it is a great overall body workout that strengthens everything from your upper body, core and all the way down to your legs.
   2. Not switching up your workout - This one is a new realization for me.  I never really thought about the fact that your body adapts to your workout schedule and knows what you are going to do on a specific day.  Your body can get used to your routine in as little as 2 weeks!  It is better to throw some curve balls into your workout so that your body just get into a "boring rhythmn".  This will help out in the long run.  Go for "muscle confusion"!
   3.  Working out to Eat - I think we are all guilty of this every now and then, where we tell ourself that we can eat something we shouldn't because we had a "good" workout.  This is really bad to do! You will gain weight, and you aren't supplying your body with the items it truly needs to fulfill it's workout needs.  As a result you will be hungrier and can gain weight.  This can also lead to overtraining.  If you have eaten things you shouldn't have, you are more likely to push yourself harder than you should in a workout in hopes of burning off those calories, which could result in injury or over training and becoming burnt out in your training schedule.
   4. Not racing enough - We all know that I did things a little backwards and did the marathon as my first race...EVER! BAD DECISION! Don't do it!  Having completely trained on my own and occasionally running with a friend or passing someone on the path is completely different than running with the 45,000 runners at the Chicago Marathon.  By racing every now and then you get the feel of what its like to run with other people, the you get the adrenaline of race day and you can figure out your fueling system to make you marathon or big race the best possible race!
  5. Winging it nutrionally or being too rigid with your nutrition - They say that nutrition is 50% of being able to complete a race and be healthy and injury free! 50%, that's HUGE!  I never paid any attention to nutrition for my first marathon, other than being able to tell what items or drinks didn't work well for a run the next day.  Your nutrition should be 55-60% carb intake, 20-30% protein and 20-30% fat, but obviously all the good fats, proteins and carbs.
   6.  Following Data too Closely or not close enough - Running with a heart rate monitor, timing/pacing yourself is all great right up until the point where you can't do that.  For example, I didn't have a heart rate monitor when I trained for my first marathon, or for my second for that matter, so I just listened to my body and did what I could to train properly.  Idid however use my ipod to pace myself, it worked really well all through training, then I got to the marathon and tragedy struck! I couldn't run with my ipod! They highly discouraged it and in fact I saw a race official writing down people's bid numbers who had ipods to disqualify them! So no way was I going to make it that far and then get disqualified.  But I noticed I was so off balance because I didn't have my ipod to pace me!  So it is important to use the equipment, especially if you are a new runner but don't get all caught up in the data that is presenting itself to you.  Some days will be good and some days will be bad, its just how it goes!

Lesson: It's OK to make mistakes, its all part of the process! What are some mistakes you have made in training?

Rocking out to: Some Girls by DOT DOT DOT

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'm Running, Why the heck am I gaining weight and not loosing?!

My friend, who shall remain nameless since we are talking about weight, has started seriously running.  She has been freaking out lately because instead of loosing some weight, which she really couldn't afford to loose anyways, she has gained.  She is devestated and is trying to figure out what she is doing wrong.  While I have not experienced this problem, I have heard this complaint many times.  So why, oh why does this happen?!
   After listening to an interview with Ben Greenfield on the Marathon Training Academy podcast, which everyone should check out, I started to realize some important things about nutrition in the running world.  First we need to dismiss the myth that Aerobic training makes you loose weight.  This is false, it can help you loose weight when paired with a change in your nutrition and diet but alone, no study shows that it helps you loose weight by itself. 
   So with that being said, here are some tips that Ben Greenfield discussed to help you loose that weight, through running: 
       1. Do Higher Intensity intervals - At higher intensity, hormones are realeased that are crucial to fat burning.  When you are huffing and puffing you are also increasing your post workout metabolic calorie burning aka burning calories when you go back and rest on the couch, etc.
       2. Base your body fueling, aka food consumption around a workout.  This way you are fueling your body for the work out and you will burn the calories you consumed, rather than letting them sit in your body and slowly be used.  DO NOT work out to eat, obviously you won't loose weight because you won't be eating the items that your body truly needs to maintain that level of fitness.
      3.  Another way is to have an easy workout in the early morning, when you have slept for the last 8 hrs or so and your body has depleted most of its energy stores through the night.  By going on a brisk walk, etc, you are burning the fat stores in your body and loosing weight.  Paired with a high intensity workout later in the day, will surely lead to weight loss.

Lesson: Just remember, even if you aren't loosing weight in the sense of the numbers on the scale, realize that you are building muscle and working towards a healthier you, which is the main objective anyway! GOOD LUCK!

Rocking out to: Airplanes by B.O.B.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Naperville Women's Triathlon!!!

    So I did it!! I completed my first triathlon!! Needless to say I am super pleased with the whole experience!  I was really nervous before and the weather was supposed to be pretty bad, which could have made the event miserable!  But, the weather moved on more quickly than anticipated and we just had a cloudy day instead!  So here's how the day went:
     We, my Dad, Sister and I, traveled down me to Naperville at 5 in the morning! Talk about sleeping in on my day off!?  So we found a parking spot and then unloaded my bike and equipment and walked on down to the transition area.  We were there SUPER early! 

 By 5:45 we were there and my transition area was pretty much all set-up.  The waves started at 7:00am with the Elites and Triumphs.  The elites were super impressive to watch dominate the course!  The Triumphs, which I learned while at the race, are the women who were either in remission or still fighting ovarian cancer, since the race was a fundraiser for Ovarian Cancer, it was super emotional and impressive to see these women overcome these battles! I was in the youngest age wave, so I didn't start until 8:36, talk about a long wait! But I ran into my Best Friend's Cousin and we hung out and waited till it was our turns! 

When my wave entered the water, the announcer said that we are the youngest age group and that we are the future of Triathlons! That was a very cool thought! Then he asked how many of us were First Timers, almost everyone raised their hands, everyone cheered for us!  It was awesome!  Then it went quiet and all the girls around me were saying how nervous they were, I felt much better after hearing that they were nervous too!  Then we were off!  The swim was a little more draining than I had anticipated but some of the ends were shallow enough to walk through, which was a perfect reprieve!  Finished .46 mile swim, onto the Bike Ride!

   I hopped onto the Bike and was off, my pace was about 19-20 miles per hour, it was a great pace and a 2 loop through neighborhoods with some slight hills. 

Then it was over and onto the run!

I felt like I was pretty slow on my run, probably just because I had just come off of the bike and had been going at a pretty good clip, but my Dad had timed me and my run was about 27 minutes, so about a 9min mile, not super fast but I was pleased with the time after a swim and a ride! 

My official finish time was 1:32:22, placing me 470 out of over 2,000 other women triathletes! Needless to say I am very happy with the results from my first Triathlon!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Try a Tri

  As I have mentioned before I am slowly getting into Triathlons.  Its amazing because the concept of the triathlon intimidates me like none other.  I'm not quite sure why, since I wasn't intimidated at all by signing up for a marathon as being my first race, weird I know!  Since I have been a little injury prone with my last 2 marathons, many people have suggested that I try triathlons, not that I needed any encouragement.
   So I decided that if I'm going to do triathlons I'm gonna do it the right way and slowly build up rather than starting with say an Ironman!  So to start I joined the Village Cycle Sport Triathlon Team, its the first year for the team, so I don't feel so out of place as the "newbie".  The next step was to buy a new bike, so I did!
                                                         White and Sour Apple Green!

   To be honest, the biking part is probably the aspect that has been the most intimidating to me.  Growing up I had a very sturdy mountain, switching to a road bike is so different, it is so fast!  I average about 17 mph, which for a lot of people is rather slow, but I'm still getting used to it!
   The running, obviously isn't much of a problem, but it is pretty amazing how your legs feel after going for a long ride, they feel like jelly!  It definitely takes some time to get adjusted to but it's crazy because you feel like you are going so slow, which in comparison to a ride you are but I've had some of my fastest runs after a long ride!
   Now the swim, for most people the swim is the worst part, and maybe it will be, but somehow I am not worried about it at all... Weird? Maybe. 
  So, as I said before, actually registering for a triathlon is super intimidating to me and I have procrastinated for forever!  So I did it, I registered for the Naperville Women's triathlon, yesterday and it's SUNDAY! Talk about not giving myself a chance to get nervous about it! I have no goal other than to finish the triathlon and enjoy it in the process.
   More updates to come after my experience on sunday!

Lesson:  Even if something intimidates you, it is better to get over your fear than let it rule your life!


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Race Calendar

   So with the INTENSE training season about to get underway (or already underway for some of you), I've been doing a lot of thinking, contemplating and planning the races that I want to tackle this year.  The last few "seasons" I've done a few races, 2 Chicago Marathons, the Frontier Days 10K, and the STL 1/2 marathon.  This season is a little different for me in that I am working on getting into Triathlons, they are obviously a little different from just straight running but they compliment my training for the Chicago Marathon.  Definitely hoping that this is my strongest year yet for Chicago! Fingers crossed!  So it got me thinking.. What is your race calendar looking like?  Mine is still in the works, with possibly the addition of a race this weekend, that I have yet to register for... crazy, I know! But here is what it looks like so far, with definiteand potential races:
       13th - Women's Triathlon in Naperville
        4th - Frontier Days 10K
       24th - Xtreme 10 - Waterfall Glen
         1st - Chicago Rock N Roll 1/2 Marathon
       11th - Lake Geneva Triathlon
       18th - Busse 20 MILER
       10th - Chicago Marathon

That's my race schedule as of now... definitely subject to change!  How about you what races are you doing?  Don't be afraid just sign up!  1/2 marathon or full marathon, too intimidating?  Start with a 5k or a 10k!  You will love it!

Rocking out to: Stacey's Mom by Fountains of Vayne

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Arizona Mansion!

  So when I went to my see my brother in Arizona for the weekend and we went to Sedona for a day trip.  The weather was beautiful, it was a clear sunny day and Sedona was amazing! 
We stopped at the tourist center to find out the best places to hike in the area. 

One of the places that was suggested was that we see the chapel, so far all the other areas that we had been sent to were rock formations, but this was an actual chapel built into the side of the mountain:

  The view from the side of the chapel was amazing!  There was this huge house: 503 Chapel Road.  It is huge!!!  Clearly someone rich and famous had to live there. 
 So once we got back from our day trip we did a google search to see if we could find out anything about the owners.  The land was bought for $285,000 in 2001 and construction started to build the house, shortly there after.  For a while it was rumored that Johnny Depp owned the house, and then Nicholas Cage.  Finally it was determined that the real owner is the Dr that invented the laser for lasik eye surgery.  He has never moved into the house and put it on the market for a cool $29 million!  Now, I'm not sure who lives there today but the house is certainly a sight to see! Be sure to check it out if you ever visit Sedona!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Just do it!

   Hello to all my readers out there, so sorry that I haven't posted in AGES! I have been so busy lately with working overtime, visiting my brother in Arizona, watching the blackhawks dominate in the playoffs, job searching and of course fitting in time to train for my marathon and triathlons. 
   Working overtime has been brutal, I now start work at 6:30am and work until 6:30 or 7:00pm, plus sunday hours, which makes for a long day and even longer weeks, but the money is good, so no major complaints!  It has helped me to be able to buy my sweet new road bike and helmet of course and my new running shoes!  While I am so much more drained by the end of the work day, I am trying to get creative on how to fit in my workouts.  I'm sure many of you are in similar situations, which is why training programs designate saturday or sundays for long runs/workouts.  So don't give up if you are having a hard time finding the time!
  You get out of training exactly what you put in to it, so even if you can only squeeze in a 5mile run at 4am (seems to be my new schedule... well atleast i'm trying to!) you will be in better shape and reap many more rewards by pushing yourself.
   Here are some tips:
      1. Write it down!
             -You are more likely to workout and train if you have it written down on your calendar.  Mentally you see it and know that it is scheduled into your day and that you MUST make time for it!
     2. Fit in what you can!
             -Its great to want to go for a long run, swim or ride but if you don't have the time, it is much better to fit in what you have time for!  A 30 minute workout is better than none at all.
     3. The SNOOZE button!
            -I have never been a supporter of the snooze button and I typically try to get out of bed the moment my alarm goes off, usually it isn't a problem but trying to get up and run at 4am is really testing me!  A friend suggested that I set my alarm for 15 mins earlier than when I actually want to be out of the house. So I did and it works!  Hit the snooze button for 5 minutes and then you are ready to go!
    4. Fruits and Veggies!
           -Eat lots of them, they will help with energy and keep you going throughout the day! Try it!

Lesson: Go with the Nike saying and "Just do it!" Don't let time be an obstacle!

Rocking out to: I can't be tamed by Miley Cyrus