Wednesday, April 1, 2015

March Stats/Recap

Run 108 miles 

Bike 0  (Ok, I felt a little bad for my bike this week. It looks sad.)

Swim 3 miles
Strength 4 sessions with Coach Jon & my Tribal Multisport buddies

Yoga 1 yin yoga class (and it was fabulous)

Current Reads I finished The Girl on the Train and oh my goodness it was amazing. I enjoyed it more than Gone Girl and it's got that creepy, "what the hell is going on" vibe. I've got a few options for April and I need to get started on one. I just haven't decided yet.

Current Obsession Is this always a food, or what? Ha! This month it's Kind bars. Specifically the dark chocolate nuts & sea salt. It's my favorite.
Current Song Flo Rida's GDFR. It's just so catchy and it's going down for real....

Current Need More hours in the day. I'm not sure why my Spring has been so busy. I'm hoping for a slow down because I don't love the glorification of busy. I like the glorification of my couch.
Current Triumph Hitting 100+ running miles in March. And it's only going up from there.

Current Bane of My Existence Spring Break traffic. Go away Spring Breakers! (I am happy they bring my city revenue, but dang they drive like maniacs.)

Current Goal Burn fat. build muscle. I know, I know, I'm thin BUT, I would like to lean out a bit since I put on a few pounds during/after the ironman. Last night I got in the Bod Pod to see my body composition (body fat,  lean mass, etc.). I was pretty close in what I guessed I'd have in these numbers so at least I wasn't shocked. I fall in the "moderately lean" category, but a little bit on the higher end of it. I'd like to work on that, so the numbers I learned will help me get a more accurate count of what I should be eating calorically to keep muscle and lose fat.

Space. The final frontier...

Current Indulgence I'm having some new photos taken for the blog and doing an re-design. I don't really want to monetize but I do want it to look purty. (And my pictures are so old!)

Current Blessings The S.O., Redhead, my seester, my mom, my stepmom, and Lloyd.
Current Excitement Planning for Grandma's Marathon trip and a possible mini vacation for Memorial Day.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Well hello half marathon...

This weekend marked the start of long runs for Grandma's Marathon. This marathon sort of snuck up on me because my last marathon go-round I made my training plan. This time I've just been logging into Training Peaks and doing what Coach Jon says. He's been building up my runs at a manageable pace. I was pretty stoked to see a 2 hour run scheduled for Saturday.
I was thrilled to see that temps for Saturday and Sunday would be in the 50's so you know what that means...

Just kidding. I'm actually not a true Floridian in the sense of cold(er) weather running. I wore a tank top and shorts because I knew I'd be hot in less than a mile. What I didn't realize was that it was going to be WINDY. And of course I'd decided to run with friends tackling the bridge loop.
Bridges + wind = Tough.
I've talked about this loop before because Meghan and I lived on it during our ironman training last summer. The loop fits in three large bridges (Sand Key Bridge, Bellair Bridge, and Clearwater Bridge). Anywho, when I arrived a few friends training for Boston had already run six miles and told me they couldn't bear to run Sand Key again because the wind was too brutal. Instead, we ran the Clearwater bridge as repeats a few times. (The thinking was that the wind at the Clearwater bridge was not as bad as Sand Key due to the direction it's positioned.)
I had a progressive run scheduled where I increased pace based on zones every two miles. I did this two times through and then finished my run in one specific zone. Clear as mud, right? I was happy on the first go round when I made it almost through my fastest two miles before heading up the bridge. Whew! I got through the second round this way too. Hooray!
Even though the bridges were tough and the wind was, well windy, I had a great run. I wound up running a bit over 13.5 miles and was really happy with my 9:13 average per mile. I haven't run this far since November and that pace makes me very happy.
Sunday was also a fantastic run while visiting the Redhead in Orlando. I'd love if these cool temps could stick around, even though I know that's not going to happen. A girl can dream.
Happy Monday!

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Top Ten Lessons I've Learned About Running

I started seriously running in 2009. I always enjoyed running but it wasn't until my first marathon (Disney 2009) that I became an addict. I made a ton of mistakes along the way and most of them were harmless (and hilarious) but some cost me. So here they are, the Top Ten Lessons I've Learned About Running.
1. Let's just get this one out of the way first, mmkay? I have a pretty sensitive stomach so introducing new things on or before a run sometimes often go awry. I learned the hard (and gross) way that I cannot eat peanut butter or anything with fat before a run and for the love of God, NO Honey Stinger gels (so sad, so delicious) during a run.  
2. Everyone always extols the benefits of have a running partner. And while I have had several great race specific running partners, I learned that this is a tricky and sometimes slippery slope. If you end up being slower than your friend it can suck, if you end up being faster than your friend it can suck, if your friend ends up being a bad friend it definitely sucks. Basically finding the best running buddy is tough. I currently like to mix it up with various friends and have learned the key to having a running buddy is communication. You say the pace you plan to run AND THAT IS WHAT YOU RUN.
3. When I first started racing I just ran along and followed the folks in front of me without really paying attention to the road ahead. This seems fine, right? Wrong. You have to run the tangents. It's like cutting the course but it's race legal. Hell, most race directors advise you do it. It's especially important in longer races.
4. I ran my first marathon VERY undertrained and it hurt VERY badly. After that I told myself I'd never complete a race that undertrained again. I stuck to that for the most part, with the exception of a triathlon with hills that I had no idea how to gear for. It was a kick in the pants and another reminder to train for your race. Please trust me on this lesson. Of this list, it may be the most important. Why would you want to race at less than what you are capable of anyway?
5. Never say never when it comes to running. I said I'd never do an ironman and I did one. And I used to say I'd never run an ultra. However, I'm fairly certain that I will want to run an ultra one of these days, even if it's "only" a 50K. But, I will NEVER do an ultra distance ironman. That is just insane.
6. This is actually one that I know good and well but sometimes I just forget and it stings like hell every time. No really, it actually stings. Use body glide for every run over an hour. I forget this some mornings and when I get home and hop in the shower I feel like I'm going to die. I will eventually fully learn this lesson. This could be the year!
7. This is a newer lesson for me and I can thank Coach Jon for it. He tells his athletes to smile during races. I have done this in the past two races now and it really helps. It has pulled me out of the pain and reminded me that this is FUN! I love running so I should smile because I get to do it and not everyone has that luxury.
8. Speaking of good coach advice, Coach Steve drilled it in my brain to "Run hard on the hard days, and easy on the easy days." I'm good at this now. I actually keep those recovery runs in the recovery run zones. There was a time when I'd get caught up in chasing someone down or try to keep up with speedier folks and for a recovery run, it's just not worth it.
9. I've learned that I'm a totally neurotic over thinking runner and the lesson there is my new favorite motto from my friend Linda: Don't think, just run!
10. Last but not least, I've learned that I am capable of so much more than I realize. I used to think I'd never be able to break four hours in a marathon and I used to think I'd never be able to ride my bike 100 miles or swim 2.4. Every race or run is an opportunity to learn more about yourself as an athlete.
I hope this list can help others. So take my lessons and run with them - literally. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Reminder

If you have read my blog for any length of time you'll know that my dad died in 2007. And you know I think about him everyday. I think about him the most on the date that he died, March 25.

Every year in March I think about the last time we saw each other, it was St Patrick's Day weekend and I was nursing a mild hangover when we went to eat Mexican for an early dinner before I drove back to Orlando. It was one of those days that for some reason, I can remember almost everything. I know what I was wearing, I know what we talked about (my job, a Stevie Wonder compilation CD, Lloyd, my slight hangover...) and I remember him slipping me a $20 as I got into my car. Typical dad. These memories are what I hold dear, even if they do make me sad.
But, that's not really the point of this post. I don't want to make any of you sad. I just want to remind you that there is so much good in the world and that you can see that good whenever you want - in your family - especially in your parents. Think about the two people (or one, if you come from a single parent household) who you know would do anything for you and celebrate them. Sure they made you do chores and come home by twelve and go to school, but damn if they weren't right all along. (You need a clean house, school actually was important, and nothing good comes from being out past midnight.) These people decided to bring you into the world and gave you all the tools you needed.
Call them and tell them you love them. Reminisce with them. Buy your mom some flowers, get your dad a new CD or DVD. Make them a meal. Buy them a meal. Hell, buy them a Happy Meal if you want. Just show you care and ask them things you never have before. There's a lot of things I want desperately to talk with my dad about from the trivial to the big issues, and I can't. Ask them now.
It's important for me to keep reminding others about how hard it is to lose a parent and wish you had more time with them. Which is why, if you do still have the time, you must make it a priority to hang out with them, appreciate them, and tell them you love them. Even if you are far apart, a phone call or a snail mail letter means the world.

And because I like laughter through tears, I leave you with this: