Friday, April 29, 2011

Strong winds

Whew. I think I need a spring break from my spring break!

Things have not slowed down here--if anything, the pace got quicker, which will hopefully make up for my mileage slowing down.

So far I am feeling pretty good. It does feel weird to NOT have tons of miles on the docket, but I feel like I'm getting settled into what I need to do here, which is lots of stretching and focusing on nutrition. This is compounded by the fact that Reese's peanut butter eggs are now on clearance.

CLEARANCE, people. 75% OFF. You just can't walk by that and NOT drop a few in your basket.

(Good thing I have Matt around to help me out with that.)

This week had some flooding, a pretty long power outage (always fun with two little ones), and we also lost Matt's grandpa. He had a wonderful life and left a very close-knit, wonderful family as his legacy. He always welcomed me as one of his own and also got a kick out of my maiden name as my relation to a famous horse jockey is not something that everyone picks up on. It's kind of something only a few people really get, and usually from that generation. He used to call me Matt's "jockey girl," despite the fact that I have never once rode on horseback.

Because of these events, I've had to cut a few more minutes off some of my runs. But they've all felt great and I'm reminded what a fabulous stress relief endorphins can be.

This weekend I'll do a nice run with Ana and start to wind things down. Tuesday I ran 5 miles and it was sunny, but very windy. The pace felt comfortable despite the fact that it was faster than usual, and that was a good ego boost after the 20 miler I finished last weekend. The wind was strong, especially at the end, so I tried to pretend it was mile 25 and I was only going to make it by 10 seconds...which made the last mile the fastest of the five.

Two weeks from Sunday it's go time.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Some Hair Love

I've been meaning to give a shout-out for a while here to Deshler Designs. Emily runs the Etsy shop and she makes the BEST hair bands. Ever.

Seriously--I have LONG and very THICK hair with crazy layers and lots of wispies. They fly all over the place. Combine that with the fact that I'm the saltiest, nastiest sweater alive and I just figured I was doomed to have fugly hair anytime I did anything physical. Because I start sweating IMMEDIATELY, people. And I could never find a band that would actually hold my hair back. Well, I take that back--I could find bands at the drugstore, but they never, EVER stayed put. Goody StayPut? Yeah, I'm talkin' to you. FALSE ADVERTISING, yo.

And when I wore those dumb bands, they would just slip around and annoy me and generally drive me insane throughout the whole workout.

But Emily's bands? They stay put. SERIOUSLY. These things do not move, and they do not tug on your hair. I honestly didn't believe it until I tried them. Plus, she has lots of super cute designs.

Now that I have pseudo-bangs, I definitely like the thicker bands for long runs, but the skinny bands are also great, too! You may have heard of "Sweaty Bands," but I promise you Emily's are just as good and CHEAPER, too! Her thick band went with me on my 20-mile run yesterday and made it all the way through without moving one bit. I am sold!

So long-haired girls, rejoice! And go pick out some hair candy. Consider it an Easter gift to yourself, and tell her TriSaraTops sent you! :)

Happy Easter, everyone!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

That was hard.

All of it. This week.

Was hard.

Really, really hard.

I don't know what to say without sounding like I'm whining. I hate whining. So I'm just going to say what I'm thinking in the hopes that it's not coming out like whining, but is coming out factual.

I got my butt handed to me this week.

Last weekend's long run (which was 6 days ago, actually) took a lot out of me. This week was rough at school, so even my rest days were not really rest days. I don't think I really got to recover enough, but such is life. The show must go on. I focused on good nutrition and attempted to get some sleep, despite having two sick little ones early in the week.

The routine was off, and I let it get to me.

I focused on negative energy that was hitting me this week, and I did not have my head in the right place. Not Tuesday, not Wednesday during my Yassos that left me in an exhausted heap on the floor after they were over, and certainly not today.

I had to do my 20 miler alone for a myriad of reasons. Mostly because it needed to be a) early b) near my house and c) Ana was gone.

It was supposed to look like this:

5 miles warmup
5 miles MRP
2 miles @9:00
6 miles @MRP
2 miles cooldown

It looked like this:

5 miles warmup cursing my Garmin for losing satellites and leaving me hanging
5 miles MRP where I needed to stop 2 times and lose my marbles
2 miles: one at 9, one at MUCH slower
1 mile trying to get to MRP and not coming close
7 miles very, very slowly and with many stops--2 to refill bottles (I drank 60 ounces in this run!) and one to sit on some guy's rock in his front yard and put my head in my hands

Total miles: 20
Average pace: 9:00/mile
Pathetic stops and self-doubt: much

I need to do a few things:

1. Eat a bigger breakfast. Clearly my one-packet of instant oatmeal is NOT cutting it at all.
2. Try to recover more. Sleep is a huge issue for me, and it was even more so with my kids being sick Sunday-Tuesday and with school dumping quite a load of stress on me this week. Simply put: I did not sleep much this week, and it killed me.
3. I need to surround myself with positive ideas and not negative.

Looking back at the plan, I did some solid cross-training on top of 37.1 miles ran with my overall average for those miles at 8:49. That is huge for me. I hate to say this was NOT a good week. That is a huge week for me and the fact that I'm able to do that is a huge improvement.

I think this solo run was good for me. It was good to be alone, to bonk alone, to feel how bad that sucked alone, so that I don't have to feel that again. I learned quite a bit about what I need to do here the next 3 weeks. And most of that work needs to be done in this big thing on top of my shoulders.

I am done with this week. I am ready for a week to recover mentally more than anything here--to actually, finally rest. I'm off school until May 2nd and I am hoping this will do wonders for my sleep and stress levels. Of course, when I get back the AP test is that Friday, but I feel like I needed to get those kids to the Election of 2000 before break and I did. It was crazy fast and stressful, but I did. The rest is up to them now. I told them they weren't going to go from a score of 1 to a score of 5 in the four days when we get back. There's no cramming for this test; either you have done the work all year like you were supposed to, or you didn't. End of story.

The same is true for me. I know I have done everything I possibly could. The hard work has been put in the bank. Now I need to really focus on fixing my mistakes from this week, believing in myself, and moving forward.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Another one in the books

...but, not gonna lie, this one hurt a lot. I definitely had to earn this one.

18 miles (actually 18.15 if you count what it took me to get to Ana's house)

Average pace 8:54/mile
9 miles at an 8:22 pace

Very happy with the way this ended up, but man, did I struggle in the middle. I started the race pace stuff and was all, "hey! this is way easier than 2 weeks ago! i'm awesome!" which was quickly replaced by "DAMN this wind sucks and holy crap how am I going to do this until my Garmin says 14?!"

I had a slight meltdown at the 7th mile of the push, when a side stitch that had been driving me CRAZY finally got the best of me. I stopped, got a little hint of what might be considered tears, got ahold of myself, listened to Ana talk some sense into me, and gave myself a nice glass of HTFU. Then I got the last two done and did 4 more at a VERY easy pace to cooldown.

I do kind of wonder how the sam hill I'm going to hold that pace for longer. But I'm trying to remember that this is what taper is for; that I won't be doing Yasso 800s 2 days before the marathon, that the AP test will be over and maybe for the love of all things holy I'll be able then to get more than 5 hours of consecutive sleep. (Since I will have that lifted off my shoulders--I swear I'm more nervous for this test than the kids).

Came home, showered, took a very painful ice bath where I yelped for 15 minutes, threw on some compression, and then did the grocery shopping/bike around the block-ing/swingsetting all afternoon. Man, am I toast. I think I'll be hitting the hay as soon as my kids do.

One more big week here. I need to stay focused and not let the "how the HELL am I going to do this for 26.2 miles" get the best of me. I've thought that before about my race pace and it happened, so I need to really just believe that I can do it again and trust all these miles I've put in.

Home stretch. Less than a month.

I can do this.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Burp Yasso

Last night I had a slight freak-out, which was prompted by an ice-cream sundae.

See, I have had a pretty nutso few weeks at work here with the AP test coming up the WEEK AFTER our Spring Break (awesome timing there. Yeah.) and frantically making a mad dash through the 1960s and 70s to hopefully get to the Election of 2000 and September 11, 2001. Considering we were just on WWII, you can imagine the pace we're flying at. It's seriously insane.

Then, a piece of one of my brown dress shoes broke off yesterday during class and I realized I do not have the time necessary right now to buy new ones. That will have to wait until I get at least an hour where I can go by myself to do a little shopping and also to replace the pilled-up, worn out clothes that have taken such a beating that I am still wearing. What Not To Wear would have a field day with me.

Then, last night after Matt returned a pair of Bug's too-big-soccer shoes to Dick's, he came home with my favorite Mitchell's sundae. It was very sweet. Except it was 9:30pm. And I was just about getting ready for bed. And I had one of the hardest workouts I'd ever attempted at 0500 the next morning.

But I felt bad. He knows I love ice cream. So I took a few bites. Just a few.

And then I started to lose my freakin' mind. I literally started hyperventilating and crying over a FEW BITES OF ICE CREAM. I couldn't believe I had eaten it. What, was I TRYING to make myself hurl the next morning? Really?! How could I have been so stupid?! The crying made me burp hot fudge burps, which in turn made me freak out even more.

Poor Matt just said he was sorry.

I knew this was my own fault and tried to relax. I think it was just the looming Yassos hanging over my head. I had to do them alone since Ana was stuck all week and the only time that would work for me would be to do them right after school or at 5am. I was hoping to convince Ana to meet me at the track at 5am, but she just couldn't. I checked with our track and lacrosse teams and sure enough, the track was all booked up until at least 8pm.


I didn't feel comfortable up at the track by myself at 5am since it's still dark until about 6:10 or so. So treadmill it was going to have to be. This also was messing with me because I felt like it wasn't "counting" if I didn't do these on a track. So I set the incline at 1% and vowed to really focus and make these count.

The plan was for "7 or 8." Well, when there's a higher number there then I feel like to take the smaller number is sorta selling out. So I went for the 8.

And lo and behold, a few bites of ice cream didn't completely do me in. All that wasted energy worrying, as usual, got me no where. In fact, I felt the strongest on these 8 at a 7:19 pace than I ever have. Ever. Even though these had a significant amount of recovery in between them, I still did 4 miles out of 8.75 at a 7:19 pace, which is good for the soul. And, worth mentioning, way faster than my current 5K PR pace.

(Perhaps this summer it's time to get a new 5K PR?)

I'm feeling better about the run this weekend. If I can get through this workout today and feel as good as I did, then I know I can get through this 18 with 9 at race pace. It's going to be tough, of course, but I feel like my body is kind of saying, "See? I told you so."

I just need to listen to it a bit more.

And perhaps to lay off the ice cream.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

No Sleep: the TST Remix

During my morning run today, this song came on the iPod. I decided I needed to do a remix to better fit my lifestyle. Does anyone want to be my agent? I'm hiring.

Wiz Khalifa: No Sleep (The TST Remix, '11)

last night i let the disney get the best of me
waking up in the morning: two toddlers laying next to me
plus i heard an alarm clock beepin' me
teddy grahams and cold milk: that's the pre-bedtime recipe
runner, and we roll deep, so deep
it's going down in this treadmill: concrete
we gonna party all night: no sleep
tell the daddy them is all my gang
so tonight everything is on me

the nuun is on me
the clif shots, the hammer gel, the heed is all free
go long, i mean so long we gon' miss sesame street
tempo to a level where you gonna need your own key

no treadmill, no sleeping
long run like it's the weekend
when the ipod play the right song
gonna run, gonna party all morning long

leave the playroom now they wanna stay with us
came to run them all, don't care what miles i'm paying for
used to be too young, now i'm out here trippin' on the toy cars
everytime i look up, it's another sippy cup
bunch of toddlers in the game but they ain't playing with us
they just laughin' enough enough
man them toddlers ain't meltin' down they just laying it up
saying they does, i'm just drinking some heed
on my way to the run
i can't wait for my run

so now i lace up cause everything is on me

the nuun is on me
the clif shots, the hammer gel, the heed is all free
get fast, i mean so fast we gon' see the whole street
tempo to a level where you gonna need some more speed

no treadmill, no sleeping
long run like it's the weekend
when the ipod play the right song
gonna run, gonna party all morning long

run all day
party all night
you say you wanna party
let's party alright

no treadmill, no sleeping
long run like it's the weekend
when the ipod play the right song
gonna run, gonna party all morning long

run all day
party all night
you say you wanna run
let's run alright

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I am extremely snotty

I am fully aware that I am one snotty girl.

I mean, I have waxed poetic before about how entirely snotty I am.

It's really a problem. If you are around me long enough, you might be hit by my snottiness. Literally.

So today I could tell on my run that spring had officially arrived and I once again turn into a very snotty chick. It's very attractive. I'm getting pretty good at the ol' farmer's blow. Just watch out if you're behind me.

You know what? I just wasn't that into my run today. It was great to be out there in SHORTS! SHORTS! today, and Ana and I had some good conversation as usual, but we decided we were just kind of over it. Good thing it was a nice and easy long run before I throw in some more race pace stuff.

Speaking of which, I just saw next Sunday's run already. Gulp.

5 miles comfortable pace, 9 miles goal marathon pace, 4 miles comfortable pace.

I do believe she is trying to kill me.

So I have a full 7 days to wrap my head around that and get psyched up for it. Not psyched out. Which, I'm not gonna lie, is how I felt about five minutes ago when I looked at it.

If this was easy, everyone would be doing it. I signed up for this. Time to go hard or go home. These next two weeks are pretty damn important.

And another good history-related quote comes to mind:

"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark."
Michelangelo Buonarroti

I need to remember that I had the option to take the safe route, and I have made the conscious decision to ignore that.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

And today, another milestone

My fastest 16 mile run ever.

Including 6 in the middle, and all but one between 8:14-8:16.

Very tough, but very solid. My hammy is barking at me, so I'm stretching like Gumby.

I'd have to say this was a nice little comeback week of training. Three more hard ones before taper.

Bring it.