Sunday, August 23, 2015

Back in the distance game...

I ran the Hotlanta Half Marathon today.  The first long distance race I have done in 9 months! I did a couple of 5ks and a 10k earlier this year but all that was before March which made this race feel even more like I was starting all over.

Massive medal!

I ran HOTlanta last year. It was hilly as is typical of Atlanta races and was HOT as advertised. I mean, it is August after all...  This year they changed the start location which seemed to be a much better set up for all concerned (last year was a steep uphill finish, this year it was downhill and the vendors had a much better set up).

New start location this year! Much improved.

The plan for the race was to start in zone one, then spend some time in zone two and finish up in zone three. Normally, once a race starts I kind of take off. Not like a sprint but a fast start just to kind of find some free space and get out from the crowd. Since I am going faster than I probably should, I end up passing a lot of people in the beginning. Today was kind of the opposite. I felt like everyone was blasting by me and my zone 1 running right out of the gate. Interestingly enough, if you go slow enough from the start and everyone passes you, you also find some free space from the crowd it is just at the back of the pack. It worked. :)

The run felt really good, once I got into zone 2 I was starting to feel like I was running closer to my normal speed. Dark clouds had been brewing in the area since the start of the race and the bottom finally dropped out somewhere around mile 9 and continued through the finish.  Buckets of rain were coming down and there was lightening in the area. I kept thinking they were going to stop the race. It felt like we were running through a creek in places; the water was deep enough to completely submerge our feet so they were completely soaked.  I don't think I would run in that much of a downpour on purpose but once I got used to it, I kind of enjoyed it. To me, the rain was 1000x better than running in 90+ degree temps that I had been expecting.

My race time was somewhere in the 2:14 range. Not a PR but I am happy with the result. I felt strong at the end so I think focusing on the zones versus pace will work well for me

A little avocado heavy but sometimes you just go with it :)

In nutrition news, I am on day 14 of the 21 day fix. I haven't been doing the Beachbody work outs but have been following the nutrition part of it and I feel like it has really helped me eat healthier.  The funny thing is, I have tried shakeology in the past and really didn't have an opinion on it one way or the other but now it feels like it is something that works for me. I think I mostly like the fact that it gives me a serving of protein and contains all the vitamins I need for the day without having to take a separate multivitamin. (because while I have vitamins at home I might remember to take them once every two weeks which really doesn't do much good...) Anyhow. So I am on board with the shakes. Don't worry, I won't try to sell them to you.  :)

shake, shake, shake...


Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Kdub weekly update... :)

This week was pretty exciting! My tennis team went to city finals and WON which is exciting in and of itself but also means we get to compete at the state championships next May which will be all kinds of fun.

Funny side story, I ordered cupcakes from Publix to take to the match. Nothing special just cupcakes with sprinkles and there was no mention of why I needed them, for all they knew it was a baby shower. When I went to pick them up, they all had these #1 fingers in them. Strange because had it been for a baby shower, that would have been weird. I think it was a good sign. Like Publix knew...

On the running side of things, I feel like it is all coming back together. Going from being at a point where you could run 26.2 miles to where you felt like anything more than 3-4 miles might be a challenge is a weird thing.  In a lot of ways you feel like you are starting over (because you basically are..) but in other ways you know have done it before so you have that little bit of confidence tucked away knowing you can do it. I think crossing the 10 mile marker last week was a big boost.

My coach has me running by time versus running X miles each week which is a change for me. I think I mentioned my training plan was mostly HR based so for today it was a 2 hour run with 30 minutes in Z1, 60 minutes in Z2 and 30 in Z3.  As someone who previously was focused on miles it is unusual not to think about the distance of each run (and haven't really even given it a second thought). I will say, I did have a very brief moment of panic last week when I came to the realization that I was 2 weeks out from a scheduled half marathon (the Hotlanta Half Marathon and it will be... Hot.). I looked up my mileage in training peaks just to be sure because it didn't seem like I had been running all that far and needed to convince myself that I would be fine.  Of course, mister man had it all under control and I have now convinced myself that I will be good to go.  I am not feeling like it will be a PR but finishing the distance after taking my little sabbatical will be PR enough.  :)

21 day fix update...  that is actually going good! In the past I have rolled my eyes at food journals but this time around I am making myself write it all down and it is helping so much in unexpected ways. I did it to keep me on track and try to make sure I was getting in enough protein, veggies and whatnot. I have an unusual working schedule and end up eating at odd times which makes it hard to kind of track because I tend to grab quick small snack type meals throughout the day.

The unexpected bonus of the logs was seeing how my intake (or lack thereof) can impact my workouts.  I felt kind of sluggish at my tennis match this week as in dead legs, not going to finish this match on a positive note kind of feeling which is weird because while I am not always the best player on the court, I do have the advantage of endurance on my side which can work in my favor. This particular day, endurance was not feeling like it was on my side. I initially blamed the heat but looking back yesterday at the logs, I really think my issue was I had not eaten enough going into the match. The match was Thursday morning and both Tuesday and Wednesday I had not eaten my recommended amounts of food.  (and believe me I was SHOCKED...  I am definitely not one who needs to be reminded to eat. I guess when you stop eating all the chips and cookies it makes a difference). Headed into week two, I obviously need to do better about getting all the food in and water. Oh water...  chug a lug.

Ended up the week with a little Friday night dinner out. Haven't seen these ladies in a while. XOXO

And that's what has been happening in a nutshell.  Oh yeah. I did sign up for Chattanooga 70.3 next May but we can talk about that next time.   :)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The fix is in...

When I last left you I was in a recovery week which was quite fabulous. It really felt like a mini vacation doing light runs here and there as opposed to runs with some sort of purpose every day. This past week it was back to business with my regular rotation of hill repeats and interval based runs.  In my previous marathon training, I had always just done mileage based runs, you know - run 6 miles however you can manage to do it (fast, slow, run/walk, whatever) just check that mileage marker off the list. This time around the running has been time based with a lot of focus on heart rate zones. Prior to this week, it was heavy zones 1/2 and now we are creeping into z3 and z4.  I have really been enjoying this change for the most part. It is a good distraction to try and keep your HR in check and I have found a strange love for the speedwork and hill repeats. It is kind of fun to run fast, I suppose :)

I got a new garmin earlier this year and today it informed me I had a new distance record of 10.10 miles! Sort of funny because it was a reminder of how long it had been since I had run much longer than an hour. I am back on the training wagon folks.

Lifetime Fitness kicked off their 90 day challenge program this weekend. Last time around I wasn't really into it and fell off the wagon kind of early on. I signed back on to it this time and promised my trainer I was going to take it seriously this time around so am hoping I set myself up for a little accountability there. My sister is into the Beachbody program so I am doing the 21 day fix with her for the next few weeks. I think the structure of portion sizes will be a good help for me. Here we go! I am two meals in and doing great -  no slip ups yet!  LOL

In other news, my tennis team won their semi final match this week and we are moving on the finals. So exciting! I have been to city finals a time or two in some other smaller leagues but this will be my first time at a large city finals event so am really looking forward to it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

All I do is run, run, run no matter what, what what...

My training peaks account was pulled out of the cobwebs a month ago and I have to say it feels so good to be working towards a goal again. First up is the Chickamauga Marathon on November 14th followed by Rocket City in December. I ran Chickamauga in 2010, it is one of my favorites due to the small size and the lovely course through the Chickamauga Battlefield (so much history!). It was not my best marathon performance and this feels like a bit of a do-over for me. I had some kind of hip issue right after the half marathoners split off the course and basically just hobbled from there to the finish line. Obviously, I am hoping for a better outcome this time.  No hobbling!

I am working with a coach this time around. Not because I think I need a coach to finish a marathon as such but my motivation has been so on again off again this year that I felt like I needed someone to be accountable to this time around. (and who knows, maybe I will get a little faster in the process - fingers crossed!).  The accountability thing has definitely worked.  There have been a couple of times where I thought "this is normally where I take a little walk break" but didn't because I didn't want that to show up on my training peaks log when I uploaded the file from my watch. So I keep running. Accountability for the win. #holla

I have run pretty much every day for the last three weeks. A lot of zone 1 & 2 with some speed work and hills mixed in for good measure. Honestly, besides accountability that is another reason a coach is good for me because every other marathon I have just built up mileage without regard for the "fancy" workouts.  I actually enjoy the speed work. It is kind of fun to run fast even if it is only for a few minutes at a time.

Up until Sunday, I started to wonder if my coach had a thing against rest days. I know I personally enjoy a day off once in a while.  :)  Just when I was wondering if I had someone been signed up for one of those Runner's World Run Streaks, I saw this magical sign on my log for this week. It feels a little like spring break up in here!

4 weeks down, 15 weeks to go!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Still getting it all together...

So it has been 3+ months since we last talked. (it feels obligatory to acknowledge the absence). I suppose I haven't really had much to say. I have said it before and I will say it again, it is quite the life changer to go from working out 15-20+ hours a week down to maybe 5 hours a week (on a good week). Seriously 5 hours a week. The crazy part is 5 hours is what most people would consider "normal" but in my warped endurance mind it feels like I have basically been doing nothing.

I needed a break, I truly did. For the most part over the past seven months (!) since B2B I have been doing a little bootcamp type training, a very small amount of running and a fair amount of tennis.  I had given up tennis when I dove into triathlon and have really enjoyed adding it back into my life again. Of course, I can't do anything on a reasonable level - my first season back and I am on FIVE teams. Insanity. I will scale it back after this season. For real.

Several weeks ago, I started getting the itch to race again. I decided to sign up for the Battlefield Marathon in November and Rocket City in December. (You see that they endurance insanity is hard to shake - that is the only kind of person who signs up for back to back marathons.).  I have done Battlefield once before. I loved the course but didn't have a great race so am looking forward to have a do-over on this course. I promise not to cut the course and claim the first place prize like the "winner" last year.   As for Rocket City, it just looked like a good race. I think I was in "sign up for every race" mode that day as I signed up for both races in the same day.

I started training on Monday and have to say it feels really good to be working on a plan. In the past several months, it has become clear to me that I do best when there is a goal of some sort. I like structure and the idea of going to the gym just because fitness is good for you is not enough of a motivator for me.  So there you go. This girl now has goal(s).

Let's do it!

Monday, March 16, 2015

I am convinced there is a connection...

It has been 16 days since I have had a Diet Dr. Pepper.  You have no idea how huge this is to me. When I say I was raised on Diet Coke, I mean that in every sense of the word.  As early as I can remember, we had a supply of Tab in the house.  I also remember going to the grocery store and picking out our flavors of Diet Shasta for the week.  There was nothing much more exciting than loading up an empty box with various flavors of Shasta. ...or maybe our life was just boring.  LOL.  So my Diet Coke addiction is legit and I come by it honestly. The addiction has been with me for 40ish years at this point.  Just so we are clear, I live in the south where all diet "sodas" are referred to as Diet Coke.  Diet Dr. Pepper, Tab, Diet Shasta, Diet Coke - it is all Diet Coke.  Except Coke Zero.  That is gross and is called Coke Zero.

The funny thing is I never really thought of it as a bad thing until the past few years.  Mostly when I tried to start eating more cleanly. It didn't make much sense to eat clean only to throw 4+ cans of Diet Dr. Pepper into my system every day.  I tried a few times to give it up but never made it past the first week.  I am not naive enough to think I have kicked the habit but am quite proud to have made it this far.  In all honesty, I haven't even wanted one all that much.  

Over the past year or so I have read articles linking a craving for sweets with drinking diet coke. Something about the taste of the diet soda triggering your body to prepare to digest sugar.  When the body doesn't get the sugar, it starts craving it.  You are kind of faking out your system.  This article explains it pretty well.

I always wondered if that were true because I do love me some sweets. Or should I say I did. Ever since I stopped drinking Diet Coke, I haven't really wanted anything sweet. Weird, right? Sweets for me were pretty much a daily occurrence, cookie, cupcake, ice cream, whatever it was I usually had something along those lines every day. I walked down the ice cream aisle the other day at the store and had ZERO desire to check anything out.  Very strange.  Not complaining, trust me I needed the help...  at this point I find it kind of fascinating.  I am pretty sure all those studies are real.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Why hello there progress...

Not even a repeat performance of the turkish get ups on Thursday could keep me down! Seriously, I don't know why we had to do them two sessions in a row.  I think that is some kind of sick trainer joke.  ...or maybe I should actually conquer them and then we wouldn't have to do them as much.  Hmmm.....

Y'all this clean eating thing is sticking with me this time.  Whew...  so much relief.  I can see a difference and the jeans don't have to stretch as far right now.  I really think this is the longest I have gone without Diet Coke since birth so that is the real miracle right there.  Seriously.

So last week I did a 5k to support one of my friend's charities.  The start time was 2:00 pm which is pretty awesome.  I can get behind a race that doesn't require you to set an alarm clock.  The 5k was an out and back and decently hilly so we'll call it a good challenge.  The last 1/2 mile or so I pass this 8 year old on a hill.  He is quick to pass me back.  For the record, I did not chase him down for the purpose of passing him but he ran out of steam in the last 1/8 of a mile or so.  As I go past him I give a little "good job, let's go buddy" and he just looks at me.  He finished right behind me and I see him again walking up the stairs to where they were handing out awards.  I congratulated him and asked him if it was his first 5k.  He says it was his 11th and he wasn't too happy with his time (we were around 25 minutes).  "My fastest time is 17 minutes".  Wow.   I guess he was a little off that day :)    

The good news is we both took home first in our age groups and a sweet hand painted award.

No Diet Dr. Pepper in 14 days.  Now that deserves an award.