Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Turkey Trot, Week 2 in Training, and the Alphabet block that almost killed me!

On Thanksgiving morning, Taber and I decided VERY  last minute to get up early and run the local Turkey Trot 5K. I figured that somehow those 3 little miles would make all the gluttony of the rest of the day feel justified. : )

It was a great little 5K through the trails at Mine Falls. I'm not used to trail running so it was trickier than I thought navigating some of the thinner paths with rocks and trees. I got off to a slow start but once I got in my groove I started passing people and ended up finishing in 25:55 min (8:12 avg. pace) Taber was about 2 minutes ahead of me finishing around 24 minutes.  Not our fastest 5K but good enough for me to say, "bring on the candied sweet potatoes!"

We were home just after 9 am and Taber got to work grilling up the turkey. Taber's parents flew out and our friends from Boston drove up and and we ate and ate and ate and ate, all week long! I wonder if the Tarahumara indians have Thanksgiving? I'm going to pretend they do so I can still claim I'm eating like a Tarahumara, haha!

Seriously though, it was a glorious week of eating and now I'm trying to wean myself off rich buttery carbs and sugary desserts every day. I'm still in the grouchy withdrawal stage ;  )

Despite the decadent eating, Week 2 of Marathon Training went well. Here's what it looked like:

Monday : 3 miles of intervals on the treadmill:  8:18  avg. pace
Wednesday: 4 mile tempo run on treadmill:  8:11 avg. pace
Thursday: 3.1 mile trail run outside: 8:12 avg. pace
Saturday: 9 mile hilly course outside:  8:34 avg pace.

The intervals are definitely making me faster, although I probably pushed it a little too hard on my long run. My legs were feeling it the next day. I think I'm going to shoot for closer to a 9 minute pace on my long runs since I heard you were supposed to run your short runs faster and your long runs slower (or something like that)

My feet are doing well without my inserts but I did have a major setback yesterday when the kids begged me to play tickle monster and chase them around the house. We were all running around, screaming and laughing and having a great time. I was really getting into it, taking big strides and then all of a sudden my foot came down hard on one of their blasted little alphabet blocks. I let out a big yelp and then had a Nancy Kerrigan moment, cradling my foot and crying, "WHY ME?" It seriously hurt SO bad! Luckily after some icing it felt a lot better but it's still tender this morning and there's a nice violet bruise in my arch where the block hit.

I think I might take today off or try a really easy run and see how it affects me. Hopefully it won't be a bid deal but I might have developed a new phobia of alphabet blocks after that one almost killed me!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Training recap: Week 1

Well week one of marathon training is in the books and I gotta confess, I might've been a little idealistic when I said I was going to train and eat like a Tarahumara runner. : ) I mean, I DID work on my form and think I'm making a lot of progress with my gait. I also ditched my inserts so hopefully my arches can get a little stronger. But the eating thing, whoa! That ended up being harder than I thought! After I read Born to Run I was all gung ho about eating whole foods and going meatless but then I got back to reality and was like, "yeah right!"

Like today when the kids wanted happy meals. I thought I could be strong and just order food for them and eat a nice leafy green salad when I got home. Nope. Those happy meals came in the car, filling the air  with the intoxicating aroma of hot greasy fries and I was a goner.

There were many other moments of weakness like that but the point is, I had a rough time sticking with healthy foods last week. Naturally it made me feel gross and lethargic so hopefully I can do better this week and benefit from the extra energy that comes from eating well.

Despite my less than stellar food choices I did get in some good runs. Here's what last week looked like:

Monday: 4 miles of interval splits on the treadmill. Alternated running 2 minutes at a 9:13 pace (6.5 mph) and 2 minutes at a 7:30 pace (8mph) until I hit 4 miles. Tough workout with an overall average pace of 8:17.

Tuesday: Jillian Michaels 30 day shred level 2

Wednesday: 4 mile tempo run on treadmill. 8:31 pace.

Friday: 3 mile run on treadmill without my inserts. Felt some pain for the 1st mile but then it went away. 8:39 pace.

Saturday: 8 mile run outside: 8:43 pace.

Total mileage: 19. Not bad for my first week. I figure I'll just ease into it nice and slow and hopefully I won't burn out.

Goals for this week:
1) Eat better (although I will be doing some major splurging on Thanksgiving. ; )
2) Try to get my runs in before the kids wake up so I can get more things done during the day.
3) Go to bed earlier!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

9 Months on, 9 months off

I know Heidi Klum and many other genetically blessed mamas are back in their skinny jeans just weeks after giving birth, but my body doesn't like to give up weight that easily.

For me the rule seems to be, 9 months to pack it on, 9 months to work it off. 
With Cam I put on a solid 43 pounds. 
Now that it's finally off,  I thought it would be good to post some before pics to remind me to go easy on the Twinkies next time I'm pregnant.

 Big Mama carrying Cam in my belly

9 months later carrying him in my arms.

 Chubby chipmunk cheeks at a restaurant 7 months prego with Cam

 9 months later the "cheek swelling" has gone down : )

Somebody probably should've told me to put down the cake  (8 months prego)

And here I am 2 months after he was born, 
still holding on to 25 extra pounds

8 months of Weightwatchers, a 5K, 10K and half marathon later and I'm finally ready to get back in my bathing suit : )

Of course it was all worth it for this guy.

Who wouldn't pack on 43 lbs to get this? : )

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I'm BACK!!
And I'm ready to take on a marathon baby!

It's been 2 1/2 years since I ran 26.2 and I finally think I'm ready to revisit that monster again.
There are 18 weeks until the DC Marathon and if everything goes my way I'll be there toeing the starting line : )

It's been awhile since I posted but good things have been happening over here that have made me feel up for this challenge.
1) I finally made it back to my pre-baby weight and reached my lifetime weight watchers goal! It's amazing how much easier it is to run without all the extra poundage.
2) I spent a week in Turks and Caicos for our 10 year anniversary and came back pumped and excited again about running!

You wouldn't think a week of sleeping in and relaxing would make me a better runner, but when Taber bought me a book to read on the beach called, "Born to Run," everything changed. He's been trying to get me to read it for 2 years and it took a week without the kids to get me to settle down and do it.

Half way through I thought, "WHY HAVEN'T I READ THIS SOONER?!!!" It was AWESOME!!!  It made me look at running through new eyes.  It talks about the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico who run like super humans and yet they aren't slaves to some training schedule, they don't worry about time or pace, they don't even wear running shoes, just sandals! The biggest thing that impressed me though was that they run for the joy of running. Towards the end of a 100 mile race (that they won) they were still smiling as they burned up the trail.

That whole concept of running for the joy of it really hit me. We were born to run. (If you don't believe me, read the book.) And when we take away all the artificial things that we've added to our diets and training regimens, amazing things can happen. I'm telling you, after reading that book I'm seriously ready to ditch my running shoes, strap on some sandals, chug down some chia seeds and run as far as legs will take me! I know that's extreme and I'll have to ease myself into this new style of running but here are some things that I've already started to change:

1) The way I eat. The less ingredients the better. Simple, pure, whole foods. If it came from the ground or a tree, put it in my fuel tank. I've majorly scaled back on sugar and processed foods and am cutting back significantly on meat. (Not ready to go full on vegetarian like the runners in the book but definitely eating meat sparingly)

2) The way I train. My game plan for this marathon is to "Run Less, Run Faster." That's another book and another blog post but basically I'll only be running 3-4 times a week but with a purpose to every run. (Speed work, hill training, or long run)

3) The way I think about running. Instead of being a chore, I'm trying to look at every run as a way for my body to express itself joyfully. (I know that sounds kind of cheesy but seriously, this is what my body was made to do so why not enjoy it!)

4) My running form. Tarahumara runners land on the balls of their feet, they keep their hips dead under their shoulders and engage their core while they relax their legs and let them spin from pivot points in the hips. They stay smooth and level, not a lot of bouncing, and whip their heels up towards their butt. I haven't even come close to mastering this but I've tried in my last few runs and when I do I go faster a lot easier.

I'd also like to start easing myself into some simpler running shoes like Nike Frees or maybe even Vibrams. Right now my shoes are super structured and I run with arch supporting inserts so I'm definitely going to have to ease into this transition gradually, but I'm onboard with the barefoot running revolution after reading this book!

So that's the update! Marathon training started on Monday and I'm a born again runner! ; )