Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Running Ramblings

As I mentioned before, I've been training for the Alpine Classic Half Marathon. I'm currently in week 10... No... Week 9... Wait... Week 10? Of training. Confused? So am I! I found out on Monday that I started my training a week early. On one hand, it's great because I'll be "over-prepared" if there is such a thing. On the other hand, I've really struggled the past week and a half to want to do my runs. I'm feeling the burnout.


So I should be on week 10 right now, but that's too early. Therefore I am re-doing week 9 this week. And I will be back on track next week. Oh, you know, just 22 extra miles of training. 

This whole season has been interesting. Knowing that I've already done a half-marathon has made it easier in some ways--just knowing it's possible. It has given me the chance to push myself harder. 

Anyway, without further ado, here are some other ramblings from my training. 

Improved Pace
Probably my favorite thing about this season is that my pace is improving immensely. I've been happy to average a 10:30 mile because my first season I ran about 10:45. I recently have been down to an average of 10:15 per mile for a couple of weeks. I've honestly gotten done with some of my runs and thought, "Maybe there's something wrong with the app. Maybe it didn't time it right. Maybe that's not the real distance." Or even, "I only got that pace because of the caffeine" (which was only used on five runs). The reality is that the distances are the same, sometimes the routes are hard, and I've gotten stronger. Since I've repeated that pace several times, I know I have it in me. I know it's ME. And I'm amazed with and grateful for my body that is getting stronger and stronger every day. 



Cross-training
I've been using a couple of different cross-training routines from my Fitness magazines. This happens on Tuesday and/or Thursday. I've used weights on three of these although it doesn't call for it. And I also have been adding a three-round arm circuit to it. I throw in a couple minutes of cardio (jumping jacks, butt kicks, high knees, etc.) between rounds to keep up the intensity. I think these routines have definitely been helping and strengthening me. 

 


Casualties
Honestly, the casualties this season have been pretty minimal. Let me explain. No. It's too much. Let me sum up. 
- I haven't lost any toenails (although one looks like it's on the verge)
- I've gotten rashes under both arms from friction on my shirt
- I got a hole in a pair of bottoms and HORRIBLE chafing on my left thigh because of it (like burning to tears painful)
- I had a really bad blister near the arch on my left foot from breaking in my new Altras. It is turning into a callous and still hurts a little. 
- No knee pain! Or at least, it's been minimal or not noticeable.
- I had about a week and a half-long case of Achilles tendinitis on my right leg. That's self-diagnosed, but it hurt really bad, and I met all the symptoms. 

It got WAY WORSE than that!
Courses
The great thing about training the second time around is that I already know the good local routes. The other good thing is that I haven't been afraid to challenge myself. So I've run in several new areas and on many different roads. Some have been really challenging. But I've tried really hard not to shy away from that this time. I change it up a lot and tell myself I need the challenge. It's been fun running with the butterflies (and the poop smell and ridiculous wind) in West Valley. 

Fueling
I've decided that there are no hard and fast rules for fueling. They say you need to fuel with 30 to 60 grams of carbs per hour of continuous running. Really? No way man. I have fueled a couple of times with fruit packets and such (Buddy Fruits or Dole packets or baby food packets). But now I'm just not sure I need it. I didn't use any fuel on my 10 mile run (longest so far this season). I didn't even use up all my water on that run. Here's the thing: I didn't hit a wall. I didn't feel thirsty. You guys, listen to your body. It will tell you what it needs. And for me, I don't need that much fuel during my runs. I have a sprouted piece of wheat toast, 1 tbsp Nuts 'N More, about 1/2 tsp honey, and a half a banana before my long run. And that keeps me going! Anyway, I've learned there really are no "rules" for fueling. Make sure you have energy, and be prepared in case you DO need something. 


One other thing about fueling. I have tried a few different things this season because I got three Bulu boxes delivered to me with lots of samples, including two packets of Volt fruit punch pre-workout powder. This stuff has caffeine. One packet was two servings. I used all four servings. It seriously does boost energy and performance, bruh. Like I was amazed. I also tried one (I have 6) Compete Mocha Flavored Energy Bites. It actually was quite tasty, and I think after my first half mile of being sluggish, it helped boost my energy considerably. I definitely recommend trying some caffeinated supplements if you are low on energy. 
Equipment
This season, I've gotten a few new toys. 
- Water belt
- New Altras (I don't love them like I loved my first pair)
- FlipBelt
- Headbands
- Visor



My water belt took some getting used to. But it's been worth it because I didn't have to drive out on my long runs and "plant" water for myself. My Altras have taken a lot longer to break in than anticipated. I wish I had taken more time and bought my shoes at a running store because I feel like I rushed my decision. The shoe lady at Scheels was super busy. The FlipBelt has been awesome because my ugly armband tan is finally going away. It's a little difficult to get my phone in and out (which I have to do at stoplights), but overall I love it and won't go back to an armband. My headbands are hit and miss. I bought three of them. Sometimes they've stayed on and been helpful; other times they've fallen off and become annoying. I've opted not to use them. I've used my visor once, and it was on my 10 mile run. It was awesome not having the sun in my eyes. I got the visor for free from Wasatch Running when I bought my first pair of Altras last year. I think it's definitely worth using. 

 FlipBelt looks like part of your pants :) 



Training Plan
I already talked about my training plan a little bit, and the fact that I'm training harder this season. The reason is the course I signed up for has a lot of hills. I figure if I train hard then the race may feel easier. Therefore I have not only done "hills" when the schedule says hills, but when it says "six to eight one-minute pickups," I do eight. I am pushing myself hard, hard, hard this season. I hope it'll be worth it. Intervals I could be better about, but I try. Still, I'm focusing more on the types of runs than on the distances like I did in 2013. 

I take a rest day on Sunday, and either use Tuesday or Thursday as an optional rest day. Typically I cross-train on Tuesday. I've gone to Zumba class one Tuesday, and done my Zumba DVDs on Thursdays. To be completely honest, I usually only take one real rest day per week. I just need to move. 

I've only missed two runs. One was because I was in the doctor's office all afternoon. The other day was Disneyland. I really have stuck strictly to my schedule. 

Idiots
I really don't like getting honked at or called at when I run. It has happened several times this season. The worst one happened a couple of weeks ago. My headphones died, so I was much more perceptive to the noises around me. I was in my last mile or so of my run, in the zone. This stupid Jeep driving up from behind me had an idiot in the back seat. His window was rolled down, and he barked "HEY!" and pounded on the outside of the car door. It scared the living crap out of me, and I was pissed. I took a few seconds to react, but hope they checked their rear view mirror because I threw up my middle finger at them. 

The other two winners were on my 10 mile run on April 18. I ran 5 miles uphill in Kearns on 5600 west, and 5 miles back downhill. On my way back, I had a very solid "walk" symbol at 5400 South. So I started running across. It wasn't very busy in any direction. But this lady decided that she would start turning left into my crosswalk. Basically she had to stop AT THE LINE to wait for me to keep going. And it's not that I was going slow. I threw up my hands at her and said, "Seriously?" because I can't believe three seconds was really that important to her that she wanted to drive into the crosswalk where I was. 

Then at the light near the railroad tracks, the crosswalk was counting down at about 11 seconds. I didn't even need 11 seconds to run across, so I went. Another lady who was turning left didn't want to wait FIVE seconds for me to finish crossing. So she turned. Not only that, but she basically met me at the crosswalk with the front of her car, and laid on her horn at me. I wish I had reacted more quickly. I would've pulled a lieutenant Dan and banged on the hood of her car. Instead I threw up my hands, looked right into her face, and said, "For reals?" As she was turning her car, she also was turning her head to look at the crosswalk signal I had. As if to check that I wasn't supposed to be crossing at that time. I had plenty of time left, lady. Just freaking relax. And don't honk at pedestrians. Especially when they're NOT DOING ANYTHING WRONG. Idiot. 

Conclusion
So those have been my adventures this season. I have 3.5 weeks left at this point. I'm grateful for how well my body has jumped back into this. The first two weeks were quite challenging. My toes hurt. My time was bad. My body was confused. Then it understood. It remembered. "We've done this before! We can do this." And it has been great ever since then. I haven't gotten sick. I haven't had any major issues (besides barking men and honking ladies). I've been very blessed with my health in the past two months. I'm feeling ready for my race and think I can get down to 2:15 if I really work for it. My goal is 2:20. Alpine Classic, here I come!

I'll love you forever if you buy this for me <3 td="">