Friday, July 29, 2011

Training update…

I have two big items on my race calendar in the next couple of months—St. George Marathon and Hood to Coast Relay. My key race coming up is the St. George Marathon on October 1.  I was so focused on this race and felt really good about training for it.

Now, with eight weeks to go, I am not feeling quite as confident. I officially launched my business this spring and taught my first Body Back class (an 8-week boot camp program). That took two days a week away from my running, so my mileage totals didn’t increase like I would normally want them to.  Then a few weeks ago, my hip really started to bother me. It was so bad that I could barely walk. I took about two weeks off to rest it and let it heal. After rest and a great deep massage, I feel better.  My hip still feels tight, but I am stretching more and stopping when I need to.  I was pretty conservative coming back—I would rather come back slowly than risk a major injury.

Add a vacation into the mix and I am behind the eight-ball on this one. My running group has already run eighteen miles. The longest I have run during this training cycle is a half marathon in June.

But today, things started looking up. I joined Kelly and Kim on their speed work session. They have been doing sets of Yasso 800’s for several weeks now.  I didn’t go at first, because I like to keep speedwork in the second half of a training cycle, focusing on building endurance during the first half.  I decided to join them today, because I felt like I needed to keep something on schedule for this plan. and I wanted to see how I felt. 
The group is up to 9 X 800m.  I didn’t really think I could do nine.  When I did them before Long Beach, I don’t think I worked my way up to nine—maybe six or seven. I figured I would do what I could and listen to my body.  We warmed up for a couple of miles and then started on the 800’s. I felt surprisingly good!  With my goal of 3:50ish for the marathon, my 800’s should be at 3:45 or less.  The first one was 3:24*.  Not too shabby. I skipped the fifth interval, opting to stretch my hip while the others continued.  I rejoined them, completing four more.  My last interval was my fastest! We started and Kim, who is always faster than I am, seemed a bit slow on this last repeat.  I kept right with her.  With about 200m to go, I passed her, thinking she was slowing down.  When I looked down at my watch and saw 3:19, I knew that she hadn’t slowed as much as I had pushed that last one. While I still have a ways to go to get where I want to be, those eight 800m intervals gave me a lot of confidence.  I definitely felt better than I did last year while training for Long Beach. They were hard, but they didn’t kick my butt!!  Awesome!

I have a long run this weekend. I am hoping to get 16-18 miles.  Normally, I wouldn’t suggest making such a jump, but I feel good.  I ran eleven altitude-affected miles on vacation in Mammoth, which was probably the equivalent of 14 or so in terms of time on my feet. We’ll see how I feel.  I may keep it closer to 14 miles.

I am SO happy that Hood to Coast is going to break up the rest of my St. George training. I think it will help keep me from stressing too much.  I am part of Nuun’s Team 2, which has been named Nuun Platuun. I have been getting to know my teammates on Facebook (and through their blogs) and am really excited.  My van is going to be so much fun!!

I have not been really “training” for HTC. Some of my teammates have done two-a-days and three-a-days, but I can’t really do that with my husband’s work schedule.  I am hoping to get one or two night runs in over the next month, but I am pretty confident that my strong running foundation will get me through my three legs (Leg 6, 18 and 30). My mileage total is just over 17 miles.

What advice do you have for “catching up” to marathon training after an injury lay-off?

What advice do you have for a 12-person relay?  Do you train for it?  Any secret packing advice?**

Coming soon…answers to my Q&A.  It is not too late to post questions.

Happy Running…

*The 800m intervals were: 3:24, 3:27, 3:37, 3:38, 3:32, 3:34, 3:34, 3:19 (!!)
**my packing obsession has begun and my “list” is sitting on my desktop.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tagged…the Q & A game!

I was recently* tagged by one of my Hood to Coast teammates, XLMIC (aka Commando), in a question and answer game.  It is a great way to get to know our “friends” in the blogosphere. I am eager to learn more about my HTC teammates, so I am happy to play.

Here is how it works:  you ask me random questions and I will answer them in a blog post. They can be questions about just about anything. Pretty simple. So don’t leave me hanging…ask away! 
Coming soon…vacation recap.  Running where runners run—Mammoth Lakes, California.

Happy Running….

*Well...not so recently.  I have been a bad blogger.  Between vacation preparation and vacation, I haven't been keeping up with my blogging or blog reading. Sorry bloggie friends!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Introducing NUUN PLATUUN!

The information on this very select group of highly-trained individuals has been held classified ... until now. Running in the Hood to Coast Relay will be two hand-picked Nuun teams of female bloggers. One many people already know about... they are After-NUUN Delight.

Introducing their badass flipside...


free your mind and your feet will follow...

 Major Miles... aka Tricia...firmly believes "Endurance Isn't Only Physical". She applies that doctrine by doing the majority of her training mentally. Sure, she plans on putting in some "major miles" as part of training, but just as importantly she is preparing for Hood to Coast by dreaming about running down that mountain, talking about the upcoming relay to anyone that will listen, and focusing her energy on tracking down the perfect camo print in wicking material.
"Draft beer, not people

Captain Cupcake  ...Average A who keeps the Diary of an Average Runner, has this to say:  My life has become amazing once I started believing in myself and putting my mind and spirit into my dreams. This runs the gamut in every aspect of life: from overcoming addictions; moving across the country on my own; and becoming better, stronger, and faster in my own body every single day.

I am really excited to not only have the chance to run this historic race, but I am excited to team up with so many wonderful, talented, and inspiring female bloggers -- some of whom I've admired for years!

Our third runner is the quiet brains behind 'Operation Hydration', Corporal Kim ...our Nuun Staffer

Captain Obvious of Seattle has a superpower-esque way of making completely useless observations to her running buddies: “Look, there’s a
slug. Don’t want to step on that.” She has been distance running, racing and blogging about it for two years, and recently completed her first full marathon. Captain Obvious, who blogs at
Mom vs. Marathon, would like to point out that she is a mother, as well.

Running the "Bataan" leg... Captain Underpants ... aka the faster bunny whose notable accomplishments include but are not limited to having run three marathons, BQ-ed and NYC qualified.  She is incredibly good at never getting injured!  Hasn't been injured since age 16. Additionally, she's got a couple tech-y sounding degrees that she is proud of (Engineering and MBA). (The lack of any English classes probably explains the awful grammar in her blog). She can make some mean pancakes for breakfast and a great key lime pie. She is learning to bike so that one day she can do a triathlon. 

A lover of all things crazy and that push you to the limit, she is excited to be a member of this squad because Hood to Coast is just that. She feels that to be on a team with a ton of extremely nice and inspiring women is priceless.  

General Confusion.Lisa is a married mother of two wonderful children who blogs at Discovering the Meaning of Stonehenge.  She took up running 3 1/2 years ago, at age forty.  While training for her first marathon, she discovered her love of running and fitness.  Since 2008, she has run five marathons, 16+ half marathons, six mud runs and oodles of other races.  She is a RRCA certified running coach as well as trained in pre- and post-natal fitness, teaching Stroller Strides and Body Back bootcamp classes.  Running is her escape, her fun and her “me” time.  She builds friendships around running, but also finds her “happy place” during solo runs.  

She loves spending time with her family, especially outdoors.  Hiking and biking are key activities that everyone in the family loves. Her son is following in her footsteps and recently ran his first 5K. 

In a previous life, Lisa was a casino executive (for 18 years!).  She worked long hours in a tough, people-focused industry which really gave her a thick skin. There isn’t much Lisa hasn’t seen or heard, and a bunch of women in a van during Hood to Coast will be tame compared to some of the high rollers in the casinos.
Hood to Coast has been a dream of Lisa’s for many years.  Her father ran it a few times in the 80’s and even before Lisa was a runner, she thought that HTC would be very cool. The course goes through her old stomping grounds of Mt. Hood, Sandy, Gresham, downtown Portland and the Oregon Coast.  She is thrilled and honored to have been chosen by NUUN to run on their team.

Private Chafe ... aka Jess Allen aka "THE" Blonde Ponytail ;)  Jess ran her first race ever, the Portland Marathon, last October 2010 and began her blog, Blonde Ponytail shortly thereafter.  Jess is a recognized ninja. When she isn't silently assassinating wrong-doers, she advises students at Washington State University where her husband coaches baseball.  Jess is a NSCA-CSCS and former Stanford University softball player. She is mom to one fur-child, Cooper, a 3.5 yr old golden retriever. 

Cap'n Crunch  introduces herself:  Hi everyone! I’m Caitlin and unlike most of the lovely ladies on my team, I am not (currently J ) a blogger! I am a part of the Nuun Event Marketing team and I volunteered myself for a spot on the team! I graduated from Washington State University in 2010 where I played soccer for the Cougs, in addition to earning my degree in Comm. I grew up in a running family and have run two half marathons in the past year. My Hood to Coast legs will be the most I’ve ever run in 24 hours and I’m quite looking forward to the challenge. 

image source
Code name: Nightingale. This super secret agent is rumored to blog at Nurse on the Run. Her identity is closely guarded and all info is classified. When
sighted, she is usually in the vicinity of someone needing medical
assistance... or running really fast!

Major Pain  ...aka H Love... whose motto and blog are Keep On Keeping On.  She tells us:  I spent my time growing up between Florida and Washington State,
enjoying the beauty of both places!  I am a small town girl who loves to compete (with myself) and try new things.  I have always loved sports, but running was
never one of them.  I played basketball at the community college level and then finished my schooling at Washington State University!  Go Cougs!  In 2009 another mom asked me tobe on a 100K relay team to run the last leg....4.3 miles!  What? It was a huge challenge.  After running those 4.3 miles I was HOOKED!  Those 4.3 miles , led to 13.1 and recently 26.2!  Being part of NUUN Platuun is a huge gift and I still can't believe I am going to be part of HOOD to COAST!  I am a mom of three amazng kids (10, 8 & 5) who inspire me daily! I am blessed with a hard working hubby that makes me laugh and supports me in all I do.
I "stay at home" (ha, ha, that's a joke) with the kiddos and work part time as a Early Childhood Education consultant and trainer.  I love to bust a move (no alcohol necessary) and enjoy hanging with my fam and friends.  Love, love, love, white sand beaches,the
gulf of mexico and warm sunshine!  I try to enjoy the moments I am given and always looks for ways to inspire and connect with others!  Can't wait to "bring it" with this amazing group of women!  Go NUUN Platuun!  Hoo- Rah!!

Sergeant Style  ...aka Tonia.  Here's the short version: Mom. Runner. Wife. Triathlete. Friend. Pescatarian. Coach. Not necessarily in that order. 

And the not so short version: As a former Division I Track and Field
athlete, I have always had an athletic side, but it wasn't until my
second child was born that running became my passion. I began running
in 2007 after I vowed to run a 10K by the end of the year. I finished
that 10K and have never looked back. Since then, I've run 4 marathons,
10 half marathons and a slew of shorter races. Right now, I am training
for the NYC Marathon with Team Grassroot Soccer.

Although, I am primarily a stay-at-home mom, I have been active in
the fitness industry for five years and is am a certified running coach
with the Road Runners Club of America. In 2010, I established, TMB
Endurance Training,a coaching endeavor focused primarily on distance runners. I am also certified as a fitness instructor with the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, where much of my focus has been spent in the areas of Prenatal and Postnatal Fitness.

On a personal level, I am mother to three beautiful daughters, Dizzle, Doodle, and Dilly, wife of 7 years to J and author of the blog,
Racing With Babes.

Notable accomplishments: 3 kids. 4 marathons. An Ivy League degree. An a appearance in the August 2011 Runner's World magazine.

Why I am so excited to be on Team Nuun for Hood to Coast: Well, isn't it obvious? Hood to Coast is "the Mother of All Relays" and running it with Team Nuun is a once in a lifetime experience. Who wouldn't be excited? Seriously, though, I am so honored to be included in this group of amazing blogging women from all over the country. I am looking forward to being challenged and forming new friendships and bonds. I know this is bound to be an experience I will never forget. 

Commando  ...aka XLMIC, blogger at Taking It On ... lurks in the shadows until the perfect moment to jump out and bust someone's cojones. She is relentless in everything she does. If she cannot out-and-out beat you running on the road, she will annoy you into the ground or make you laugh until you are immobilized... or you wet your pants. She appears unphased by almost any situation. She began running as a way of cross-training for her favorite sport, rowing. She rowed for Cornell University, at Vesper Boat Club, and was on the 1991 US PanAm team. After running two sub-4 hour marathons, she had four kids and took an injury-forced, 8-year hiatus from athletics. (She also has 6 grown stepkids). She resumed running less than a year ago and prefers to run at night... stealth-style... after everyone is asleep. Don't look for her because you won't find her that way. Just listen... she has a hard time keeping quiet for very long. 

These formidable and fun athletes will present a force to be reckoned with at the 2011 Hood to Coast!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A 5K that certainly didn’t suck!

As I have said on more than one occasion: I don’t like 5K’s.  I have come to the realization that I don’t like racing a 5k (it hurts).  But I enjoy running a 5K when I am running with someone else and there is no pressure to go fast.  I ran a 5K on Monday that may go down as my favorite race EVER.

I ran a race with my seven-year-old son. I don’t write a ton about my kids here on this blog, but I am so proud, I have to write about him. Above everything else, I started this blog to document my running journey.  Having my kids inspired to run is such a big part of that journey.

Last week, when I picked up my shirt and bib for my 5K and 10k, they offered me a second shirt since I paid for two races.  At first I declined and then my son asked if he could have it.  It was a tech shirt (a nice score for a local 5K) and he told me he wanted to run in it.  “Can I run a race?” It was the first time he had mentioned wanting to run.  I told him that we would pick a 5K and train for it. 

I knew that the following weekend was the annual Firecracker 5K and 10K. I thought, what the heck, I could sign him up for the 5K and he could run as much as he could and then walk the rest.  There would be plenty of walkers during the event. When I told him, he was SO excited!  That is all he could talk about for days.  Since I was injured* and couldn’t run the 10K as I had planned, it made me excited to run the 5K with him.

Before going down to the firecracker 5k
We live super close to the start of the race, so we warmed up by jogging to the start.  We were both SO excited!
He took off after the gun went off.  One thing he needs to learn is pacing.  He either sprinted or walked.  He had a tough time finding a middle ground.

It was a hot, hot morning.  When the race started at 7:30, it was already well into the 70’s.  I carried a bottle of Nuun with me.  I am so glad I did. I read somewhere that kids’ bodies have a harder time regulating temperature than adults.  They also don’t recognize their bodies’ feedback, so it was my job to make sure he was safely finishing the race.

He took a lot more walk breaks in the last mile, but he did not complain once!!  He just walked a bit and then started running again.  When we got closer to the end, I encouraged him to run to the finish.  I knew he would want to look back at the last few hundred yards on the high school track** with pride.

And pride was all that I felt at the end.  He really pushed himself toward that finish line. We held hands crossing the finish line and I was so happy!  We finished in 36:51, which isn’t bad for a first timer who has never run any measured distance!

He was so proud.  He told people it was LONG.  But it wasn’t long before he started telling people that he wanted to run a 10K.  Oh…that boy is definitely his mother’s son!***

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend.  Did you race on the biggest race day of the year?

Question for coaches, health professionals and parents:  how far is too far for a child?  My son really wants to run a 10K on Thanksgiving.  He’ll be 8. We would train gradually, but there isn’t a lot of definitive answers or age guidelines out there.  I want to make sure he stays healthy and becomes a runner for life.  What do you think?

Happy Running…

*Somehow while pushing myself in the Villa Park races, I did something to my hip.  I could barely walk for about three days last week.  After resting for five days, I went for a run on Saturday and had to walk after five miles. I can’t get into the doctor for another week, so I am taking it very easy.  Luckily, the slow pace we did during the 4th of July run didn’t aggravate the injury.
**Daddy took some great video of the end of the race!  Once it is edited, I may post it.
***He might actually take after his father more.  I didn’t start running until I was 40 years old.  My husband ran when he was a kid and all the way through high school and college.  In fact, he still holds the record at his high school for the mile.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t like to run anymore, so I am on my own.  Maybe once the kids both start, he’ll make it a family affair.


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