New Shoes & 4 Weeks to Boston

28 days exactly to Boston! Woot woot!

Also, have my wave/corral assignment. Wave 3 corral 2 which means I get to start just before 11AM. Not as late as I was expecting & a goal to work towards. Need to get under 3:30 in the future to make it into Wave 2.

A bit late as I picked these up a few weeks ago, but new shoes!!! My most recent before this were the Saucony Ride 6 & Asics Gel Cumulus 15, both of which were good. Loved the Asics, but not sure I loved the Sauconys the way I have other shoes in the past (including other Sauconys). They’ve been getting up in miles, meaning that I was better off replacing them in enough time to transition over pre-Boston.

So the new ones!

First, switched out the Sauconys for the Mizuno Wave Rider 18. Light but cushy & good as a speed shoe.

20150317_074035Next, I stayed strong (mostly because of their comfort) with the Asics Gel Cumulus 16. Been a while since I’ve bought back to back pairs like that.

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Haven’t decided yet which pair I’ll wear for the big race. Traditionally I go for the cushier with marathons (so the Asics) and leave the lighter for halfs & shorter. But the runs I’ve been on so far with Mizunos (10 mile tempo for example) have felt pretty great. Both are going with me on the trip, so no rush to decide.

We’ll see post-Boston if I’m racing enough to justify a super lightweight pair just for racing. Not waffles I think, but maybe something like the Saucony Kinvara.

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4 Years Later…

So I actually wrote this blog up a couple weeks ago, but managed to get distracted. Still, it had some solid thoughts I still want to convey and as such, I decided to go ahead & post it with minimal edits.

Just so we’re all on the same page beforehand though: 5 weeks to BOSTON!!! *ahem* Moving on…


Things have been kind of crazy recently. I never quite imagined these past 6 months would include getting into the Boston Marathon (which it did), getting essentially my dream job to kick-start my career (yet it did), and finally to move across the country to start building this life (it did!).

It’s been interesting, and I’ve only succeeded moderately, at balancing work and training. And mentally agonizing about it to an extent as well – I want to do well at Boston (maybe not PR or re-qualify, but I want to try).  So those days that work or sleep (or both!) compete with getting a run in has left me feeling guilty more than once.

What I really needed, and finally got, was some perspective.

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New Year, New Garmin & Boston Training

So much happening. First off, welcome to 2015! It’s a new year & that means less than 4 months to the Boston Marathon.

As a gift to myself for getting in, I bought a new Garmin! The Forerunner 220 & I love it already. Excited to go on runs just so I can use it.
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Training for Boston is officially under way. That said, this training will be an adventure due to traveling for work. So I also get to figure out how to properly get workouts in when I’m on the road. First test will be next week at CES (Vegas) and then PAX South (San Antonio) 2 weeks later.

A new year also means new goals. Since I’m in the SF area now, I’ve a few I want to tackle. In no particular order:

  • Find a running group
  • Blog more
  • Explore! Lake Tahoe (skiing) and Yosemite (hiking) are just hours away.
  • Survive Boston training (coworker was a sprinter in college and previously a personal trainer, so she’s been giving tips)
  • Sign up for a couple races in the 5K to half marathon range (I did a 10K last month with some coworkers)

As a side note, the crazily cold weather (it was 28 when I woke up this morning! What?!) has made my adjustment to the up in mileage a little harder than I anticipated. The muscles feel solid, but the lungs haven’t liked the icy air quite as much.

I expect 2015 to be quite the adventure!

Getting Into Shape & Races

Recovering from an injury or taking some time off is always interesting because eventually, you have to get back to it. Finally you are recovered or your time frees up again and suddenly, surprise! Back to the grind of working out. Yet it’s not always that easy, so let’s be straight.

Getting back into shape sucks.

For a few reasons really, and not even ones that are necessarily easy to overcome. Or rather, they’re more often than not about mind over matter and being the master of yourself. You know, that sort of stuff.

Time to re-establish the routine.

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Training For A Relay Means Twice A Day…What?!

With less than 2 weeks until Ragnar Relay Florida Keys, figured it would be appropriate to post a little about how exactly I’m training for it.

I’ll admit, I didn’t really think much beyond “YES I WANT TO DO IT!” when I was asked to fill a spot for a Ragnar Relay. What followed was about the same thought process when I went for the Gasparilla Ultra Challenge. Afterwards was the realization that these registrations needed to be followed up with an applicable type of training.

Now my running routine has settled into the usual non-training of about 35 miles a week. This amount includes a speed workout in the form of intervals and usually at least a 10 mile long run. But since I want to do two events that require running/racing multiple times in a 24 hour period, it seems appropriate to do some twice a day runs.

Great in theory; a whole lot different in practice.

To be a bit moderate, I’ve been adding only 2 to 3 days of double runs. Pretty much keeping my regular running schedule and then on the days that are easiest for me, running at the opposite end of the day as well.

Let there be no doubt. It’s difficult. More than anything it seems hard to convince myself I need to go back out—again—for a second run when I already got one done for the day. It’s tiring. The first week of these I got more 8-10 hour nights of sleep than I can remember in too long. It makes me mad hungry; definitely been eating a lot more too.

Yet I’m getting in the extra mileage and prepping pretty solidly for both events.

My Ragnar team is all set. I’m runner #2 which means I’ll be totaling about 18 miles across the three legs. The splits aren’t too bad (in my mind at least) with a 4.4, 4.7, and then 9.0 as the miles for each leg. And on the even more awesome side, my last leg is the 7 mile bridge! Score! By the way, my team thinks this mentality is crazy. While I may not know what exactly I’m getting myself into, I am super stoked to get to run the 7 mile bridge.

Luck has been on my side as one of my team members has a spread sheet that when paces are entered calculates about what time of day we can expect for each of our legs. As such, that’s helped me lots in logging runs around the different times I’ll be expecting to run.

By choice, I’ve not been attempting to make these runs at my estimated pace. I’m treating it like a real race where adrenaline and such will have my “race pace” faster than what I’ve been training. But I’ve still managed to log a few good runs in the 8:10-8:30 range, so I feel pretty comfortable at being able to reach what I estimated (a 7:45 pace). Though that last leg is iffy.

Biggest thing I’ve learned from the past few weeks is pay attention to recovery. Those multiple runs in 24 hours come back to haunt you if you aren’t properly going about the post-run routine. I make sure to have a bottle of water with a Nuun tablet thrown in after every run. If not that, a glass of chocolate milk. Extra stretches and compression sleeves as necessary. All are mad important to keep moving about as normal even with the extra miles.

The next 10 days will be filled with prep as I plan out my gear. The rest of my team has been very helpful passing along tips, so expect to see me write at least a little something about tackling that.

Starting Goals in 2014

2014-Numbers-free-Happy-2014-New-Year-Image-WallpaperFirst post of the new year, yay! Figure it’s only appropriate to broach a few of the topics I hope to tackle this year as an athlete and casual blogger.

I would like to note that I refuse to call these resolutions. Mostly because I feel like people make new year resolutions either drunk or with the knowledge that they’ll never fully commit to making it happen. So instead these are goals.

These are things I plan to accomplish {goals are partially about how you frame them in my mind: not ‘wish’ or ‘want’ which is intangible, but an active word like ‘plan’}. All are long term and some will be creating the standard of ‘habit’ instead of ‘occasional’ action. They are also in no particular order to complete.

Run injury free.

This seems obvious, but is harder to maintain than it seems. Luckily 2013 went fantastically in regards to a lack of injury. Yes I am always dealing with the issues in regards to my knees (more like a medical condition than an on-going injury) so this is more not getting hurt in a way that takes me out of the running game.

Incorporate strength training as part of my routine.

Last year when I was moderately doing strength training my running showed improvements. Having a stronger body in areas I was previously weak, like my arms and core, seems to have a positive effect on my running ability. Besides, I just want to be healthier and stronger all around (and able to do better at a Tough Mudder). So I want this to become as natural to my routine as the running is.

Be spontaneous.

With such tunnel vision in 2013 on racing the Marine Corps Marathon, I really threw away several chances to just go out and race with friends. It’s those events that I may not have committed to until the night before, which is something I strategically avoided last year. But I remember the fun of just randomly choosing to do a race within days of it. So in 2014, I’d like to be a bit more spontaneous about jumping into events. Without anything giant on my calender past February, I think this one will be relatively easy to accomplish.

Cross train.

With no crazy marathons coming up, there is no reason to feel guilty for substituting a run with a ride. Ideally I’d like to have double days where I run and ride (and in the warmer temps, swim). For 2014, I’ll build my ability to cross train which may just lead to my first triathlon.

Go out of my comfort zone.

I took a huge leap out of that zone by tackling marathons. Now that I’ve got 2 under my belt, I’d like to continue to challenge myself in more than just chasing PRs. This may mean tackling sports or events I’ve never done before (hint: triathlon). Eventually I’d like to try an ultra (50K and nothing longer!) though that may be saved for later. Already started in 2014 with my first Ragnar Relay in early February and a potential challenge event at Gasparilla.

Post more that isn’t just training or race recaps.

Yeahhhh, this is my weak point. I go through stages of having ideas for general topics. Then nothing unless it’s about a race or something specific in training. So I’m going to try and be better this year about writing down topic ideas as well as discussing a bit more of the above listed items. To prove I’m at least trying.

That pretty much covers my main areas to tackle. Though I will add as a wishlist sort of thing that I totally want a GoPro camera so I can make videos relating to sports. It would be mad fun. But as much as I want it, I’ll usually spend that money on running shoes or a race entry…

Race Decisions & Time Off

I didn’t broadcast it, but I had been throwing around the idea of running the Jacksonville Marathon on December 29th.

My original thought process was that I could come off the half at the end of November and get a couple weeks of hard, high mileage training. Maybe about 2 weeks of good work in and then slip into taper with the intent to try and beat my MCM time at Jax. I say this because Jacksonville is supposedly a flat and fast course, a small race, and generally has good running weather.

The first week of December I got in a good 45 mile week, but caught a mild cold going into the second week. After pretty much getting no miles in, I made the executive decision to nix Jax for the full, and a few days later, the half as well.

As I was reminded, I’d basically been training with no time off for well over 6 months. There were rest days, but nothing really under 1-2 days off and 35 miles minimum a week . After deciding I couldn’t tackle another marathon the way I would want (which would be chasing a better time, not just for fun) it really settled on me that it was the best decision.

So for the last couple of weeks I’ve just been running casually. Nothing longer than 10 miles and spread out with more days off. Pretty much just letting my body relax and recover from a hard year of running.

I’m super happy with what I’ve been able to accomplish this year, even if half of it was spent rebuilding myself as a runner. But sometimes it’s making the decision to back off and let your body just enjoy being in good health. So while I may pick up anything from a 5K to a 5 miler in the next week just for fun, no major plans at the moment.

Take this as some friendly advice: taking a break from training to just enjoy life and maybe run can do a lot to keep your body and motivation going. Plus, I definitely don’t want any injuries since I plan to have an awesome spring season of running too.

So I’ll relax until after the new year when I can start tackling the build up for Ragnar and a potential ultra challenge for Gasparilla. Are your spring racing plans already set?