Jemez Mtn 50K Training: Week 1

Welcome to my chronicles of 50K training, the craziest and longest race I will run so far. I wrote weekly updates when I ran the Illinois Marathon in 2011 (three years already?!) and it gave me something to look back at and see how I was progressing more than just looking at my Nike+ app.

This week was hard. I took about two weeks off of scheduled, ordered running. I gave blood at the beginning of January, and I knew that it would take me weeks to feel good running again. I won’t give again until this race is over. I’ve kept up my fitness for the most part, and so I can still run 10+ miles without any major issues.

The training schedule, which is mostly time-based, calls for 5 runs during the week:

-45-60 min easy run

-hill run (either just time on a hilly route or hill repeats)

-1:15-1:30 easy run

-long run

-60:00 easy run the day after the long run.

Whew. That’s a lot. I’m still trying to figure out when to do all my runs. I really enjoy doing a long run on Sunday before church. I got in the habit while training for Transmountain.The streets are quieter, and I have to get up on Sunday anyway so I might as well do that and then sleep in on Saturday. I’m also trying to think about what it’ll be like when I get to train with my husband (yay!!!). Some of the super long runs we’ll have to do on Saturday, unless we start a 26-miler super super early on Sunday.

Okay, so this week I ran a total of 25 miles out of a total 40 miles for February.

Monday 4 miles with Elizabeth. We kept a pretty good pace. It felt great. I went to gym and had “leg day,” which for me right now is some squats and lunges. I’m still getting used to the weight room, and I didn’t go heavy at all. I’m still using dumbbells. Not sure how heavy I’ll be able to go so that I can still run all these miles.

TuesdayRest. I take my rest days seriously.

Wednesday 4 miles in the canyon. I got my weeks mixed up, so I ended up doing hill repeats. It called for 3x600m hill repeats, which means you find a hill approximately .37 miles long, run up it at a fast pace (yeah right!) and then jog or walk down. Um, if I work my butt off to run up a hill, I sure ain’t walkin’ down it. My hill ended up being .25 mi and it was HARD. By the second and third time, I was just focused on getting up the hill without stopping and with good form, bringing back memories from running over Transmountain. These hills were sandwiched in between a 1.25 mi warm up and cool down.

Thursday – Rest. I probably could have done some yoga or something, but meh. I was still kind of sore from weights on Monday and my glutes hurt from those hills. When I say a workout kicked my butt, I mean that literally.

Friday7 miles. Technically anywhere between 1:15-1:30 is okay, but I just did an even 7. I took Missy with me for the first 4 miles because she doesn’t get out nearly enough, and then I did 3 more. They were slow. And arduous. And kinda sucky. But I got them done. How’s that for fasted cardio, eh?

Saturday Rest. Ehh. I fell while cleaning up the yard and knocked my head into none other than a huge trash can. That gave me a nice mark on my forehead and also messed up my neck and shoulders. All around I feel better today but dang. I sure am klutzy.

Sunday 10 miles. I. Got. It. Done!!! I tried to make up excuses to not go, as I usually do. It’s too late (I woke up at 6:15, not too late). My neck hurts from yesterday. I can do it tomorrow. I should just sleep more. It’s only Week 1! Lies, lies, lies. I got up, ate a cheesestick and a couple dried apricots and headed out the door. I immediately regretted not getting up earlier; I love meeting the sunrise. The weather was perfect: sunny (of course), not too warm (49*) and hardly any wind. I started out slow and had a lot of negative splits as I went. I hardly checked my pace.. I was just concerned with covering the miles.

If I can just take it week by week and trust the training, I’m going to be fine. Where I get all messed up in my head is when I think, “Man, my pace is slow and I’m hurting at mile 8… how am I going to run 31 miles? This isn’t even a third of what I need to do on race day…” I’ve been through this process before. That’s what training is for; I wouldn’t need a 16-week training plan if I could do it already!

The running will come; I’m not concerned about that. My current issue is nutrition. I can’t eat much before a long run, nor can I eat a full meal afterward. I just feel sick. I try to drink water on my run in little sips, and take a couple of GUs. I haven’t figured out if these cause me issues or if it’s something else. But I still have a whole box so I’m using them up. After my runs I try to get protein right away, usually in a protein coffee drink (almond milk, protein powder, coffee, creamer, ice) or in a smoothie. But then later in the morning I’m starving sitting in church. So I need to figure something out, especially when I couple that with being stressed. My appetite is the first thing to go when I’m stressed. Right now the runs aren’t so long so I don’t have much to worry about, but when they start getting past about 14-15 miles, I need to have a better plan for nutrition before and after the run.

Hydration is also another issue, especially as it starts to warm up over the next couple of months. I’ve had some heart palpitations recently, which could be related to so many factors.. but I’m willing to bet hydration is one of them.

Here’s to a new week of training beginning tomorrow (no day of rest after the long run!) and only a couple weeks until my man is back on US soil.

I love watching the Olympics. Honestly, I felt pretty indifferent at first but it’s definitely the most exciting thing on television as we don’t have cable.

For the past couple nights I’ve been watching gymnastics and swimming. When I was little, I loved watching gymnastics. The girls look so graceful, even when they’re under such physical and emotional pressure.

I’m older now, and I’m simply in awe of all the events. Of course, since I’m more athletic now, I’m much more aware of what physically has to happen with these athletes in training and in their diets. I love watching all these ordinary people, who started off stumbling and bumbling as much as the next person, being rewarded for all of their hard work, dedication, and perseverance. You don’t get to the Olympics by giving 99%, or 100%. You get there by giving 150%.

These athletes are so fit, so dedicated to their sport. It’s inspiring to me as I’m getting back to a fitness routine that incorporates more core workouts and strength training.

I’m into my second week, and it’s been going pretty well. I’ve decided to not worry about weight.. as I build muscle my weight may not go down a whole lot. It’s not like I still have 30+ of fat to lose; I’m only ten pounds above my ideal weight. I really want to focus on how I feel, what I can do, and how my clothes fit…. and some muscle definition wouldn’t be bad either!

I’ve been doing 3 days per week each of Blogilates videos and cardio. It’s working out well, because even just 20 minutes of videos and I’m feeling it now and two days later! It involves no weights or equipment, just a lot of Pilates moves and modifications and using one’s own body weight. Cardio is going well, too, and I’ll do 30 minutes on the elliptical and 30 on the treadmill. I’ve found lately that having a time goal works well for me.

I have a goal in mind for each workout, whether it’s to not skip out on any reps, to maintain a certain heart rate, or to run a mile in 8:20 or less. I’ve been getting so much more out of my workouts, and feeling the burn! That’s the best part, because it’s proof that I’m getting it done.

As far as fuel is concerned, I’ve felt a degree of success these last couple days. I’m actually feeling satisfied by healthy foods, instead of feeling like I just have to have something else. I have a major sweet tooth, so the trick for me is to make a healthier version of what I love (I made this chocolate chip cookie dough dip tonight). For dinner I had a tortilla pizza and a huge bowl of fruit. I got to eat all of it and not feel guilty!

The only person I’m comparing myself to is myself. I can see in the mirror the fit and toned person I can be; it’s just a matter of doing the work. Last week I got my sweat on five days in a row without even thinking about it! Before I knew it it was time for a rest day.

This routine is compatible with the hot weather. I can do the YouTube videos at home, and the cardio ones in the gym. Maybe when it gets cooler I’ll start training outside again….

Getting rid of my potty mouth

If you’re thinking that I don’t have the best language sometimes, well, you’re probably right. I think I let a few words slide out of my mouth last night coming home on I-10. Seriously. I almost had at least three panic attacks.

Anyway, what I want to get rid of even more than my dirty language, is my dirty eating. I had a revelation at the gym yesterday when I was kicking the crap out of the treadmill. (4-mile AWESOME progression run!) Last week, I ate very “clean”, meaning cutting out processed foods, refined carbs (white flour, boxed cereal, etc) and refined sugars (popsicles, soda, etc). I ate like this about 80% of the time.

I worked out 4 days this week…

Monday: 2 mile walk in the canyon in the AM, 2 mile run around the neighborhood in the PM

Tuesday: 4 mile interval run at the gym… 400’s and 800’s, 2.6 mile walk to and from Jess’s house

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: 30 min elliptical workout, 30 minute supine (seated) bike workout

Friday: 4 mile progression run in 41:20, starting at a walk and speeding up to 8:00 pace at the very end. FOR SURE I felt the running high! LOVE IT.

TOTAL MILES (running/walking): 15!!!

…and I felt GREAT!

And I realized, beyond just having a good attitude towards running and working out, I’ve been conscious of what I’ve been eating. I love fruits and veggies, so it’s easy for me to include them in my diet. I’ve also been drinking more water. So many times I just forget about it, which means I will feel lousy by the end of the day. It’s dry here, like 7-10% relative humidity on a regular basis. I could drink water literally all day long and probably not get enough.

Like I said, I tried to eat clean 80% of the time. The other 20%? Well, on my list I had some pineapple/coconut popsicles, white chocolate mocha creamer (flavored creamer is a non-negotiable…), a blended strawberry lemonade at Starbucks (BUT it’s a better choice than a latte/frappuccino with all the fat/calories!), Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce (duh!), and pizza last night at the bowling alley.

Ugghhh. Pizza. It did NOT agree with me. I should have eaten dinner before I went, but I met Jess for some gym and Starbucks time (there’s a Starbucks across the street from the gym on post) and didn’t have time to eat. I did eat a pear on my way. I realized I need to have more mobile healthy options like fruits, carrot and celery sticks, and healthy trail mix.

Really, the clean eating is not a foreign concept to me. It’s basically how I lost the first 35 lbs a couple years ago. However, I want to slim down and tone up, and I think even with running and doing POP Pilates I need to change my diet.

I hate saying I’m going on a “diet”. I like to call it an “eating plan”, and I love that there’s still 10-20% of time when I can eat not clean. That’s for the nights when I just don’t feel like cooking, so I eat the can of Spaghettio’s that’s been hanging out in my cabinet, or for when I’m craving Dairy Queen.

I’ve been doing some reading on different blogs and websites, and I’ve consistently found that our physiques are determined 80% by our diet, 10% by genetics, and 10% by exercise. So, the excuse that “some women in my family are just curvy, so I’ll always be comfortable in a double-digit size” is completely invalid. Who says I can’t still be curvy even if I’m 10-15 lbs lighter?

I mean, what woman doesn’t want to look smokin’ hot in a bikini?? I like the confidence that comes with being able to wear whatever I like and not feeling self-conscious, or going to a get-together and feeling like I actually have control over my eating rather than feeling guilted into eating whatever is there.

I’m thinking cleaning up my mouth (language and food) is a win/win.

>Marathon Training: Week 12

>What a great week!! With caffeine and sweets not clouding my vision or fitness, I felt really good this week.

Monday: 3 mile recovery-ish run, strength training
Tuesday: 5 mile tempo run, strength training… this one felt great!! I love tempo runs.
Wednesday: 4 mile run
Thursday and Friday: rest, did a little stretching.
Saturday: 20-miler with Gabriela!!! Our pace was around 11:30. We started out at 5:30 in the morning and ran mostly on rural roads. Let me tell you, you cannot beat running into the sunrise while smelling signs of spring!
Sunday: Planning on a hike with Becca

I felt so good today on the run. I was hurting some after mile 10, but that’s normal when you’ve been running for close to two hours. I took my new Camelbak (50oz) and had one gel. I think the increase in hydration, plus doing 18 last Saturday, really made it a great run. I drank almost all the water. It wasn’t heavy and it didn’t cause any chafing.

We started out at 5:30 AM, and honestly it wasn’t too difficult to pull myself out of bed at 4:45. We were running for a good hour until we started to see sunlight. I wish I had a camera because it was a beautiful sunrise.

Post-run meal:

Whole grain pancakes w/ butter and lite syrup, mixed fruit and hardboiled egg.

I use the McMillan running calculator to see what my approximate marathon time will be. It says to put in your best time (4 miles in 36:36) and it says I will run 26.2 in 4:32. Seems a little fast to me, but I guess we’ll see. We have another month yet of training. And of course you have to factor in that I’m probably a little less anemic, and I drink more fluids. Plus, on race day, adrenaline is high… race days are so much fun.

>My budding culinary prowess…ish.

>

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to eat. Going to the grocery store is therapeutic, as long as I have the cash on hand. I treat it like a date with myself, really. I have my list and pen, and I wander up and down the aisles perusing everything. I’m not stressed because I shop for a couple to three weeks at a time, so I know I’m going to be spending a little time there. People who don’t say excuse me or seem exasperated by my strolling drive me batty. If you don’t like it, go around! Or say excuse me! Anyway. 
When I get home from the store, I unpack all the groceries from my reusable bags. When I worked grocery, I used to get annoyed at people who brought their own bags because honestly, it takes longer to bag their food. But since I live in the third floor of my apartment building, cloth bags carry much much more and I’m almost always able to get everything in one trip.
I usually spend a couple hours preparing food once I get home. I know if I just put everything away, I’ll forget what I have. I usually make my list based on what sounds good, and on food I can use in more than one dish. I try to clean out the fridge and do dishes before shopping so I can get right to slicing and dicing.
I thought I’d share with you some of the things I prepare “in bulk”. As I mentioned in a previous entry, I can’t seem to cook for just one person. It gets expensive and time-consuming. I grew up watching my mom, an amazing cook, prepare food for 5-6 people, and still have leftovers. I follow suit, and it works out for me. The other great thing about doing this is that when Aaron and I are living together again very soon (yay!!!), my grocery budget likely won’t go up much.
All the following items are healthy, but I haven’t taken the time to calculate the nutrition facts.

I always have fresh fruit on the table to munch on. Apples and bananas are a good snack to-go, and they stay good for a long time. As the bananas ripen, I use them in smoothies and when they’re almost too ripe, I use them in baking.

Fruit salad! One of my favorites. Apple, pineapple (canned), blackberries, strawberries, grapes.


HyVee has an amazing health food section complete with bulk foods like tea, spices, flour, candy, etc. I decided to get some muesli (oatmeal mix with dried berries and such) and steel-cut oats. I mixed them together with what I had left of the quick oats, some dried cranberries, raisins and ground flax seed. Flax seed is a great source of Omega-3’s, and with water you can use it as a substitute for oil in baking.

I’ve been obsessed lately with reusing containers. You can use this mix as oatmeal in the morning, in cookies, muffins, or pancakes.

 Mmm. Stir fry mix. Snow peas, bean sprouts, yellow onion, red pepper, leftover yellow squash and zucchini from the other night. You can use this over rice, noodles (I’m excited to try rice noodles!), in a salad, in a tortilla with grilled chicken.. the possibilities are endless.

I also put together a salad mix of spinach, bean sprouts, snow peas, radishes, and English cucumber. YUM.

Trail mix: Lightly salted peanuts, unsalted whole almonds, dried cranberries, raisins and a couple handfuls of honey roasted almonds.

So there ya go! It may be a little more expensive to buy all the produce, etc, but in the end I think it balances out when you don’t eat out so often or buy all the junk.

>My body is happy

>I’ve been abstaining from caffeine for three weeks. It’s been great! I love still being able to have coffee in the morning.. I think the simple ritual wakes me up more than the caffeine did. And when it comes to fountain drinks, the decision is a lot less stressful because there’s less to choose from! Haha. I feel more-clearheaded and awake for a bigger portion of the day, as opposed to a daily crash in the afternoon.

Like I mentioned before, I’m abstaining from sweets for Lent. I’ve been tempted quite a few times, with treats at small group and a “food day” at work welcoming our new janitor (yes, we love him that much!!). I have cravings, no doubt about it, but again, there is no stress in the decision about what to eat. I don’t use so many calories on foods I shouldn’t be eating, so I can use more towards good fats like almonds, peanut butter and olive oil. I can just eat more good food overall.

I’m interested to see how it will affect my fitness without being weighed down with all that junk. After Lent is over, I wonder how my body will react to sugar.

I feel like I have so much control over my body and food intake. I don’t feel a slave to my cravings and horrible habit of overindulging. I feel less bloated. I feel good. And the best part of any fast is the increase of intimacy with one’s relationship with God. When I have my other cravings in check, I am much better about not only fitting in my study/prayer time, but wanting to fit it in.

>A girl’s gotta eat

>What does the fridge of a “single” girl look like? Like mine. I’ll spare you the pathetic picture. I’m still trying to figure out what’s so wrong with buying snack sizes of Greek yogurt, pomegranate applesauce, cottage cheese, and frozen meals in a box. I think it’s all in my head.

Honestly, if I bought the Lean Cuisine or Michelina’s Lean Gourmet or whatever when it’s on sale for 10 for $10, I would save quite a bit of money, all while getting a balanced mix of nutrients (except for the 30% daily value of sodium in some.. yuck!).

I still haven’t figured out a streamlined system for eating healthy, quickly and on a budget. The foods I like (Kashi, Greek yogurt, the better-looking and lasting veggies, etc.) cost so much more. But I guess buying those is better than going out most days for dinner, or eating just a bowl of cereal washed down with hot chocolate or popcorn.

When I was hardcore about tracking my food using SparkPeople, I was really good at packing my lunch with my steamer and veggies and fish. But now that I’ve lost the weight, I’m less motivated to eat as well as I can on my time and money budget. I’m sure my husband would appreciate it if I stick to my biweekly food budget (supposed to be only around $100, going out included). He never complains, but if I were married to me, I’d want me to stick to my budget. Shrug.

I got so used to cooking for four or five people growing up, and then even did so when we got married because we’d eat the leftovers for lunch the next day.

Now, eating chili for five days in a row just isn’t my cup of…. chili. When I see that Rubbermaid container with chili (or whatever I made) for the fourth or fifth day in a row, that’s when I break the plan and the budget to eat at Jimmy John’s down the road. And I don’t even favor Jimmy John’s all that well, freaky fast or not.

And then there are the nights where I eat at a friend’s house or something. Last Thursday I ate at Megan’s, Friday was with Scott and the kiddos, Saturday was with Dave and Becca and Sunday was with my grandparents.

I think I will try getting the tilapia or salmon fillets, individually vacuum-sealed, and some frozen veggies. When I buy fresh ones, I forget about them and then have to throw them out. I also think I’ll get more of the frozen meals. They’re actually pretty good.

Here’s to my mid-December resolution (???) to eat healthier and ditch my two trips to McD’s per week. Yuck. My body is screaming at me, and it’s probably affecting my running, too. Le sigh.