Monday, February 27, 2012

So where was I?

Ahhh the midst of a disappearing act!

Well, I'm a lame magician. Just sayn'. If I were a good one I'd disappear myself to some beach somewhere, with my toes in the sand, sun on my face, good book in hand and all the time in the world to run and frolic about....and money trees and free entry fees and GU that never expires. Paradise I tell you, that is where I would go....

I am ready for summer....for our annual Beach Weekend where this is our back porch....
Surf boards!!

Who doesn't want to sprint down a deck to the beach?  
Am I the only one ready for summer? Oh trust me, I haven't forgotten the heat, the humidity... the misery. I am welcoming it this year (remind me of this later, ok?). Tonight's cold, pouring rain kept me from my run. Ok, I kept me from my run but I was out in the rain all day and my feet were soaked and I just couldn't stand the thought of going out in the rain again for a run and to further prunize my feet-yes prunize. It's a word. So I opted for nothing.

I guess it seems I am still fighting with the Mojo Monster...he really wants my Mojo and I am holding on. Barely. Which reminds me! I never sent you all over to check out my guess post at Fitfluential, Inc. did I? Go ahead, this post is boring so head over to Fitfluential, Inc. and check out my post there! Click HERE.

Ok, that is all for this Monday evening.....I hope you had a great Monday!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sometimes I Disappear...

Ok, not really....but kind of.

I have been swamped with work and home balance and the first thing to get the back seat is my blog and facebook, which means the second thing to get the nix is my running. HORRIBLE, I know. The more stressed I get the less time I have to run, the less I run the more stressed I get....and the cycle spirals out of control unitl I yell at The Hubs and then he tells me to eat a snack then I tell him yell at him that I'm not hungry, which I usually am....then I grump around complaining that I have zero time to run. AND...when I do run, it's in my boring neighborhood. Except for last Saturday when I headed out and tried to make it 15 miles.
Deserted NC road...
This is the road outside the safety of my neighbohood. It really is pretty...but it is also isolated and see the shoulder? Yeah, neither do I....this stretch has a nice grassy, level ditch but for the most part it is a slanted ditch and now they are tearing it up to put in some kind of huge pipes for drainage....annoying. And since it is so isolated, when there are actually cars they fly 100 mph by me and don't slow down. Jerks.

I made it 8 miles last weekend. My legs and calves were so sore and I was running solo. My brain was going to have nothing to do with 15 miles. I tried to solve my sore calves by eating expired Gu....which I had NEVER even considered or new could be possible until Caution:RedHeadRunning mentioned it in a post.... I didn't care, at least not enough to not eat it. I needed something to help me get didn't help. I ran/walked the 5 miles I had left. With my tail between my legs. Yes. I have a tail.
Expired GU....bad that I ate it???
All last week I missed my runs, except for Friday. I ran 3 miles in the evening. I have to get it together or I will be spectating Big Sur 26.2 and not running.

My Garmin was dead and so I ran old school style with my G Shock. It was cool.


Today I met J-Ninja for 13 miles. It was windy as all get out....and chilly. We made it 11 miles, which was actually fine with me. I am so sore and tired right now it almost feels like maybe I ran 20 miles. I guess that is what I get for running a weekly total of 3 miles then running 11. I over quadrupled my weekly distance with my long run. Can you say No No!? That is like the fast train to injury....I know better. I know I cannot effectively and safely train for a marathon by doing the long runs alone.

When I got home I was starving and freezing so I decided to make myself a protein shake.

Pin It Here is my recipe:
In no particular order, because you can just throw it all in the blender....

-1 Banana
-4 Blackberries
-4 Raspberries
-A glob of crunchy, all natural peanut butter
-2 scoops of vanilla protein powder
-5 Tbls of Chia
-1 cup of milk (whatever kind you use)
-5 ice cubes (would have done more but I was freezing)
-a splash of water to thin it up a bit

DELICIOUS!   Go ahead, give it a try!!!

This will be a better week....It HAS to be...I have to get it together. I have a half marathon in 3 weeks that I keep forgetting about...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Low Run-Esteem....Change your Thinkng.


I got a proverbial punch in the face tonight by my run.

I headed out for a run at 6 PM, it has been a long day at work and I was hungry, didn't really feel like running, but I had that nagging knowledge that I NEED to run. You know, something about a marathon and an ultra hovering above my head like a black cloud, reminding me to get out there and run. So I walked in the door at 6, said hello to the fam, changed my clothes and headed out into the gray, misty evening. I actually like running in the mist. It is much better than pouring rain and more bearable than 99% humidity and 100 degrees.

Anyhow. I started out and felt pretty fresh-for the first 300 yards. Then BAM.  I was tired. Bored. Hungry. Grumpy. Sore. Bored....

I suddenly didn't really care. I started to worry about my pace, my legs, my training. Doubting myself, my abilities, my determination. My commitment! My willingness to persevere! I actually had the thought, "I wonder how ugly it would be if I showed up for the marathon with my current average of 10-15 miles a week?" Then I immediately went to--"I can't do an ULTRA! What was I thinking?!"

That's when it hit me....I am suffering from Low Run-Esteem.

Now, I know better than to let my thoughts beat me down and influence my feelings...and to let my feelings guide and effect my behavior.

Have you ever heard of the Cognitive Triangle? Well here is your chance.... Simply put "I tell myself something" "I feel something" "I do something"... All three are very closely related. It's been proven and research provides significant fact if you think about it you could probably identify many examples.


Pin It
This diagram is pretty common in the field of mental health. I use it all the time with the kids I work with actually. You see, putting this triangle to work I can analyze what happened on tonight's run and why I ended up walking before my Garmin chirped the One Mile mark. I THOUGHT I was tired, I thought I was bored----so I felt bored, I felt hungry, I felt tired, I thought I was starving, I thought I had to get home and make dinner, I thought I had to go home to do nothing and sit down, I started to feel grumpy and lazy-----My BEHAVIOR mirrored my thoughts and feelings. I slowed down. I drug my feet. I WALKED for crying out loud. I turned around and headed home at the 1.7 mile mark. I quit at just under 3 miles. I defeated myself with my negative thoughts....

So what can you do when you realize your thoughts and feelings are negatively impacting your run? STOP. Yes, simply stop the thought in process....change the thought...imagine a stop sign. No really!


When I told myself I was tired and bored I could have STOPPED that thought and replaced it with, Wow! It feels great to be out here, in nature, outside, after being inside working all day long! Or even, YES! I am so lucky to be able to run today! Without a doubt, when you replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts you can see how it effects your behavior. So go ahead, I challenge you to think about this during your runs for a few days...I can recall times while running with my running partners, when the conversations got a little heavy, or emotional, the run got physically harder, my legs got tired, my pace slowed. So it's not just negative thoughts about running, but negative thoughts in general.

So the lesson is: Think positive, feel positive.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Trail Running vs. Road Running....


Guess which one is the trail run?

Yeah, the trail run looks a bit like the map of a mouse on crack! Kind of what I imagined a GPS of a squirrel would look like. I will say the trail run was much more entertaining than the boring old six miles out and six miles back.

My decision to wear the New Balance WT10 Minimus shoes was a good one. I felt great, aside from a bit of soreness, I suspect from falling. Twice. I have been easing into these shoes since July and so far so good. And I will say wearing them on the trail, as intended, is much better than in a 5k road race-would not recommend that. The only soreness I had from the shoes was on the bottom of my feet from running on some lose gravel and rocks along a portion of a road. Other than that I had no problems at all.

Trail running makes me feel pretty hard core. Check out my battle wounds....ok, they are more like tiny scratches but still, you don't get that on a road run-unles you trip over the pavement, which I have done before.....
Battle wounds.

I even had to pull out a pretty huge splinter. All worth it though! I think we will be running on this trail again, but too bad there was not a significant elevation change. We are lacking some serious hills around here....It makes training for a hilly marathon nearly impossible. I guess I could run on a treadmill at an incline of 11%. Now that sounds fun.....NOT.

Well, happy Eve of Valentine's Day. Any big plans? Any haters out there? It's ok, this is actually probably one of my least favorite holidays, although I smile when I think about the year my dad had a dozen roses sent to me at school when I was a Jr. or Sr. At the time I had no idea that would be such a special memory.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

ZipFizz Product Review

Fueling on the run is very, very important. In the winter months it may not seem as important, or necessary as it does in the summer but nonetheless, hydrating and feeding your muscles is important, no matter the temperature. If you want to perform at your best you need to feed your muscles and if you can feed them and hydrate yourself at the same time then all the better!

A while back Nichole sent me some Zipfizz and asked me to give it a try. LB and I were very excited to receive the Zipfizz tubes and a sweet water bottle!

4-up on 2011-12-12 at 19.30.jpg
Always fun to get stuff in the mail!

Lots of delicious flavors! Favorite was Orange Cream Soda

It came just in time for me to start my marathon training cycle. Luckily I don't usually have a problem trying new things on the run. I rarely get GI problems, if ever. I can't really even think of a single time that liquid or gel or Gu didn't sit right on my stomach. So I had no reservations filing up my handheld and giving it a try on my first long run of the cycle, 8 miles. I tend like citrus flavors mostly, so I chose the citrus flavor for my first sample, naturally.

Pin It
At first it made my eyes pop and my jaw was zippy for sure! During my run I drank the Zipfizz and had no problems, felt hydrated and it quenched my thirst.

I came home from my run, tossed my handheld water bottled on my dresser and got caught up the day....there my handheld sat until the following Saturday, when I was buzzing around getting ready for my next long run. Imagine my horror as I realized that my water bottle had sat there, all week, with a small amount of Zipfizz....fermenting in the bottom. I mentally yelled at myself for being so forgetfull. If you have EVER forgotten to rinse out a water bottle with something like Accelerade immediately after a run then you understand my fear of opening this bottle. I expected a foul stench to knock my to my knees, nauseating and permeating to the core of my being...I expected to possibly have to either boil the water bottle for 20 minutes OR throw it away. my surprise the bottle smelled like citrus, not vomit....I didn't fall to my knees. I didn't gag....I simply rinsed the bottle with warm soapy water and filled it with water and a new flavor, this time Pink Lemonade.

You see, Zipfizz is sugar free! I'm no expert and I'm not sure but I imagine this is why my water bottle didn't smell like rotten death after sitting for a week. Here is what else Zipfizz says about their product:


So simply put, Zipfizz is a healthy energy drink mix that has 10 calories, no sugar, and 2 net carbs. It has 25 nutrients that give an energy boost usually in about 15 minutes. I can attest that I felt energized during all my long runs of 8 miles, 9 miles, 10 miles, 11 miles, 12 miles and yesterday's 9.5 mile trail run. I haven't bonked and I haven't used any Gu or Chomps. Now once my mileage goes up, like next weekend's 14 miles, I may have to start adding some Gu or Chomps, for the sugar and carbs to feed my muscles. While Zipfizz provides energy with its 25 ingredients, I'm not sure it has what is needed to sustain long distance fuel for your muscles during say a marathon. And in the defense of Zipfizz I'm not sure that is what it was intended to be used for. For more information about the product check out the FAQ's HERE....

I have been pleasantly surprised by Zipfizz and the boost of energy it has given me during my long runs thus far. My farthest run has been 12 miles and I didn't bonk at all. But, with that being said, I believe that as a long distance runner it is important to feed my muscles with a scientifically proven ration of 4:1 carbs to protein, during a run and after for proper muscle recovery. BUT....I will continue to use Zipfizz during the day for a pick-me-up and to help me wean myself off my current and increasing coffee addiction...


screen-capture-7.png   screen-capture-8.png  

The B12 is important in the function of metabolism, turning sugar to energy. Electrolytes help maintain hydration and allows for rehydration. Caffeine, we all understand the benefits of caffeine...  So, it is a great product to use for hydration on short runs. But once you get into distance runs you will want to look at  either adding a product like Gu or Chomps to supplement, or go with an Accelerade or the like. are training your body to used stored fat, which is another story all together.... 

This is certainly a product that I am going to continue to use, in the place of coffee (sometimes) and my afternoon diet coke, and on shorter runs. So check it out for yourself HERE and on Facebook HERE!   

What is your favorite method of hydration and fueling on the long run? Anyone ever attempted to train their body to run off stored fat alone?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Virtual Run for Sherry....

Today was the day! I printed my bib for the Virtual Run for Sherry Arnold two weeks ago. Actually I printed TWO because I don't do long runs solo...

This AM J-Ninja and I met for a 9 mile trail run.
Beginning of the trail...

Adding in some trail runs is part of our training for the 50k in June, which will be a trail run. So it is in our best interest to get in some miles on trails. Obviously, since I bit it before the half mile mark, I need practice on trails.

We took off on a mountain bike trail marked "Beginner". We laughed a bit about it being a beginner trail and dodged and jumped over stumps and branches. As we headed away from our cars we felt pretty awesome, hard core running on a trail....Then BAM! I must have tripped over a stump, J-Ninja didn't see what it was, but something grabbed my foot and I ate it. I got up and looked at my Garmin to see how far I made it before I fell...only .36 of a mile. It was going to be a loooong 9 miles.

I got up and dusted myself off. No blood. No harm. We kept going, seemingly deeper into the woods. We weaved and turned and made our way further and further. Our plan was to do 4.5 miles out and turn around. At approximately 2.6 miles J-Ninja said, "Wait. Is that my truck?" Dang. We had just run one giant circle. We shed some layers and crossed to road to the more technical bike trail. It truly was more difficult.

I wore my New Balance Minimus WT10 trail shoes. We'll see how well my calves tolerated them. I may not be able to walk for a week.


We ran, this time truly deeper and deeper into the woods. We popped out and ran through a campsite and down a huge hill. When we came to a four lane road we decided to turn around and head back. As we came back into the woods the trail didn't seem familiar but I figured we would be fine. Surely we would end up back near the paved road that led to the cars. We weaved in and out of trees. Then around mile 8.6 I tripped over a stump, again. I let it happen. I didn't fight it. I went down in slow motion and hit the soft, sandy, pine needle-covered ground. Falling on the soft ground is so, so much better than falling on pavement. I'll take a trail-bite over a pavement-crash any day.

I got up with again no harm done. We quickly realized we were deep in the woods and would not be back to the car by the 9 mile mark. We settled in with the fact that this was going to be more than a 9 mile run. When we saw the main road we decided to hop off the trail and follow the run to the drive that led to our cars. Who knows how far the trail would have taken us before we would weave our way back to the road. We made our way back to the cars with 9.56 miles. Not too shabby for our first trail run! Our overall time was pretty slow but it included me falling.  Twice. Laughing at me quite a bit, J-Ninja catching herself from falling a few times (she's too coordinated to hang out with me), stopping to catch our bearings, and balancing across small, strange bridges designed for mountain bikes. This was no road run......Awesome!

Virtual Run for Sherry

So there you have it, our first trail run in training for our 50k! I think it went well, two falls, no blood, no broken bones....And 9 miles for Sherry!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesday....

Is it really even possible for me to do a wordless Wednesday? No, I didn't think so either.

In other news, I got to swim today! It felt SO good to be back in the pool! I know I'm not going to be consistent but there is now Master's Swim on Monday and Wednesday evening, on a trial basis. It is just so hard for me to go straight from work to swim then get home so late. Someday, someday things (i.e. running, swimming, biking, lifting, fitness, life) will be more convenient. I just have to be patient.

Back to the swim! It was fabulous. I haven't been able to join the Master's team since I started my full-time job in July. It was good to get back in the water and hone my stroke. My muscle memory didn't fail me and it was like riding a bike....I felt great. I felt smooth and fast. Not rusty at all! The coach even told me I was in the wrong lane, I needed to be in the fast lane. Ah, felt good to be back in the pool. It would be great if I got to swim even once a week for now, but I'm afraid it will be sporadic and spontaneous at best.

As for running, I got the long run in on Sunday before the Super Bowl, 12 miles with J-Ninja. We were both a bit sore and tired. I think, no I KNOW there was a lot of whining and complaining going on. We ran the hilliest route available to us and it is not a pleasant experience. I mean the company was great and the scenery good, but the hills?  The worst part is knowing that it barely holds a candle to Big Sur and the hills we will experience there. But what else can we do? We take what we can get.....

As we finished the run we were both thanking each other for dragging the other along. Come to find out we both would have been perfectly happy turing around at the ONE mile mark. J-Ninja confessed she may not have even gotten out to run if it were a solo run. Truth be told I probably would not have either, and if I did, given the weather conditions-cold, misty, rainy, windy, cold- I most likely would have finished up 3 or 4 miles and called it a day. It's just better with a partner....

So, we made plans to meet Saturday for our next run. This is a step back week (and boy am I taking this step-back thing serious-I have not run a step this week. Oops.) and we have 9 miles on the plan. There is a lake near my house that has some mountain bike trails that go on and on for miles. Since we will be running a 50k on trails in June we need some trail running training. So we are meeting for 9 miles of trails on Saturday. This could be fun, interesting, muddy, ugly, amazing, awful...who knows? I'm up for the challenge.

There you have it, my Wordless Wednesday.....

What wordless things do you have to say?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Thinking about Tri-ing?

There is no question about the growing popularity of triathlon. Just google it...

just google it....
You'll see page after page about the growing popularity of the sport. So what is it about what we runner's refer to as "The Dark Side"?

I'm here to tell you that it is exciting, challenging, and grueling! The Fun Trifecta! Just like running, you say? Yes. I'll agree. BUT it is exciting, challenging, and grueling THREE different times, in one race!

Not convinced? Not your thing? That's ok, it's cool....We can still associate, mingle, even be friends! I wont hold it against you but I will forever think you are missing out on at least one thing that would serve an excellent purpose on your Life's Bucket List.

So, how does one get the courage to show up to their first triathlon? Honestly, I have no idea. My first tri was in September of 2008.  It was hard for me, literally. On the way out of the parking garage, in the dark, I slipped on a wet spot on the sidewalk and landed on my rear. I thought it was a sign I should turn around and go home. But I didn't.

Parking garage and notice everything bagel there....bad idea.
I stood, amongst old timers and newbies like me, ankle deep in the water, shivering. My stomach had butterflies and I had to pee.

The thing with tris is that you start in waves. Depending on the size of the race there are usually a lot of waves. In my first race my wave was about 30 minutes after the first wave. So I stood. And stood. And stood. And got more and more nervous as the time ticked by....One woman must have smelled my fear and offered advice, "Don't kick during the swim. Save your legs for the bike." Ok. WORST ADVICE I HAVE EVER, EVER HEARD IN MY LIFE ABOUT ANYTHING. Clearly, she was not a strong swimmer. Frankly, I wish I could go back just to watch her swim the 750 yards with her arms only.....Priceless.
Me and LB pre-race...swim caps are so flattering.
Long story short- my first tri was a disaster. I hadn't trained. I swam half a mile in the pool to make sure I could. I purchased my road bike two weeks before the race and rode it a total of 15 miles, ever. I believe the race distance was 15 or 16 miles. I knew I had the run. No sweat....

In the water up to my belly button, my friend AN the RB and I looked at each other, near tears, we could turn and walk away, right now.....who cares? Then BAM! They said go!
In that sea of arms and legs....somewhere.

We didn't have a chance to back out. AN the RB, the collegiate All American swimmer, was long gone....out of the water in barely 10 minutes. I on the other hand took about 21 minutes to complete the 750 yards. I came out of the water as proud as momma bear with three healthy cubs.
Yeah, this is me proud AND exhausted...

Then it was time for the bike. The bike has always been my weakness. I was so scared I took 7 min and 50 seconds in transition 1. My Official Race Crew (OFC) and Paparazzi: Jessica, snapped some utterly embarrassing pics of me dancing out of my shorty wet suit, drying off, sitting down, taking my time and shimmying into my running tights. This was WAY before I had any official Tri apparel.

Putting on Capri tights is HARD when you are wet...
Off I went on the bike. Scared to death. I didn't have clip-in shoes, I had cages. I didn't even put my feet in them. The cages scraped the ground with each peddle. I had NO clue how to switch gears, shifting was a foreign concept. My first tri happened to be one of the hilliest tris in the area. It was so hilly that I had to get off the bike and walk, yes WALK, it up a few hills. As I was walking up a hill, head low, one nice race volunteer ran along side me, "Watch the riders around you. Look at their chains and listen for them to change gears. When they shift you switch yours to match." From that point the name of my game was watching chains and listening for gear changes. His advice got me through the bike part of the race.
Finishing the bike. I'm kind of waving. I couldn't ride with one hand...

I rolled in to T2 (transition 2) and parked my bike. I was thankful to be alive. Off for the run....

It was not as easy as I had imagined. My legs were so dead! I was dying, I knew it. Not to mention my choice of Everything Bagel for breakfast was a bad one. I had been tasting that thing for an hour and a half. The run was an out and back. If memory serves me it was a mile and a half up a hill, turn around and a mile and a half down. People were walking left and right. I felt good about the fact that I was running. Yes, I got passed by a snail but still, I was running.

Nearing the finish, I was so stinking happy! I waved at my OFC with the biggest grin across my face. It was awful and amazing at the same time.

Look at this cheese!!!

So, the moral of the story is this: I did not win this triathlon. Nor did I really do good, at all. I finished in 2 hours 12 seconds. I wasn't afraid to try, or at least too afraid to try, and I wasn't afraid to fail. I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. Here I am today, still not an expert. Still making mistakes and learning from them. But I have stuck my neck out there so many times and that, my friends, is fun to me. The excitement of the race, the pain, the butterflies, the thrill of the open water, the arms flailing, the kicks, the wind in my eyes flying down a hill, the heaviness of my legs....the pain, the way I cant wait to be out of the water on my bike, I can't wait to be off my bike and on my feet, I can't wait to cross the line so it's all over.....the way I CAN'T WAIT until the next's a crazy cycle that I can't get out of my head!

And this is The Dark Side......

My FIRST tri medal!

Are you ready????


Related Posts with Thumbnails