I suppose I should discuss the fact that I have a half marathon coming up in a few days…Blah. That’s exactly how I feel about it at this moment. Which isn’t a good racing mindset, let me tell ya. Life is just busy right now, and with it being so cold, it’s really hard to stay motivated to get out of a warm and cozy bed at ungodly hours to run. I actually skipped the majority of my runs last week. Oops.
My goal is to break 2 hours… and I’d really love to be around 1:56, honestly. (Am I allowed to say that on the Internets?) But, to be honest, I’m still skeptical about the training and it freaks me out. Probably because my coach says I should be able to, but I just don’t see HOW. Which sends my tendency towards being a control freak completely into a downward spiral. Just top that off with some race week neuroses and life craziness and we have ourselves a fine concoction of someone no one wants to be around (Holy run on sentence, y’all).
Another thing is… I need a running playlist. I’ve spent the majority of this training cycle running naked (No iPod, perverts) and just chatting people’s ears off.. or listening to people chat mine off. Either way, I don’t think strangers will appreciate me rambling on. The point of that was… send me your best running songs, ASAP.
I realized this week that my ankle brace that I run in is tearing up too.. I really don’t want to have to replace that thing, but I feel like I am going to have to. Not. A. Fan. I hoped a little online shopping would help snap me out of my running funk, but nope. Not so far, anyway.
In an effort to not be such a Debbie Downer… I am including a picture from Halloween. Y’all would judge me on the amount of pictures that I take of myself and send to my friends, so lets just not go there. But I am wearing the Mouse Ears I bought at the expo for my first half marathon at Disney.
So. I need your favorite running songs and something to snap me out of this funk.
Recently, I was sent some Athleta gear to try. I’ve always loved to look through their catalogs whenever they come in the mail. When I tore into the package, I was expecting a pair of black running pants… talk about surprised!! It was as if Athleta already knew me and new I wasn’t a black running capri type gal. Since I am on the shorter side (5’4” on a good day), they sent me the capri instead of a full length pant. I immediately put them on and they felt so good!! The Relay Capri was so soft and thick, yet light weight. I love the thicker band up top too. For those that are wondering, this is the coral color. LOVE.
I’m so in love with this pocket looking reflective strip. It just adds a nice little detail, don’t you think?
I have run in these a couple of times and I love them! I use the drawstring and these things do not move. I ran in them when it was 20 degrees last week and the only part of me that was cold was my exposed skin at the bottom. They seriously didn’t let my butt fat freeze like other capris and I was most thankful. I am in need of some black running capris, and I actually ordered the Bare to Run Knicker this week. I’m ready to try it out!!
I have been so happy with Athleta as a company! I love that they interact with their customers on social media and I honestly think they are an amazing brand. They have a partnership with Girls on the Run, which is a non-profit organization to help young girls build confidence through setting and achieving goals. Their blog is a wealth of knowledge from running, to cycling, to triathlons, to training plans.. you name it, it’s probably there. I can’t wait to try out more of their products. Did I mention they come in tall, regular, and petite sizing as well?? Score.
I decided to get up before the chickens and drive to Birmingham Saturday morning to run with the Birmingham Track Club. They have an awesome group that meets on Saturdays and has multiple distances and multiple paces. With it being so flipping cold, The Trak Shak opened and let us hang inside while they went over the routes.. of course, I never listen to turns… Probably a terrible idea. But I did run with my phone, in case I got lost. Because that’s been known to happen before.
The gigantic group starts together but they end up breaking off into smaller groups based on pace. I am becoming more comfortable walking into these settings of not knowing anyone and just start talking to people. Sometimes people are more receptive and others aren’t, but I’ve found that this Saturday group is super friendly and will make you feel comfortable.
I met pacers for my upcoming half marathon and past Ms. Alabama’s, so it was a good run, I’d say. Of course, the route was a little on the tough side, with some killer hills… one of which was an incline for about 2.5 miles… Super fun with the ankle. But the view atop Red Mountain… was sort of worth it. The group said the sunrise was amazing, but we were a little bit early for sunrise and it was still dark… It looks lighter because of all the lights coming from the buildings downtown.
My race season starts on Saturday with my 3rd 10K ever and the first time that I’ve ever run the Vulcan 10K. I’m hoping it’ll be a good run that I finish in under 1:00, but we shall see what the ‘ol running coach says. I’d love to see sub-55, but I am not sure that is even possible or smart with a half marathon at the end of November.
The ankle seems to be holding up in the brace. It’s a little more sore after those 9 miles, but nothing unmanageable. I should probably avoid big hills though.
So. I sort of did something crazy and definitely out of the norm. I hired a running coach. I know me and how I operate (it’s a gift of having known myself for 29 years) and if left to my own devices, I would jump back into running with both feet… which is hard to do since running is typically one foot at a time. My friend Jennifer had sent me a link right around the time I got injured for Resolute Running. They were doing a training group for the Magic City half. After numerous e-mails with Alex about my injury and even discussing running goals when I actually couldn’t run, I decided to take the plunge and do it. I figured, if he would watch me like a hawk with my ankle and tell me exactly what to do, I’d be in good shape. That’s another thing with me.. I tend to follow directions well.
Coach Alex and I discussed using Magic City as my “come back” run. And the goal would be to just finish. We talked about my PR being 2:02 and how I REALLY wanted to break 2 hours and he said, “Oh. That’s pretty much done. Let’s look at 1:50.” Wait a second. I am barely running, and am not running near 2 hour paces and you want me to set my sights on a 1:50 half? Before the conversation was over, he had mentioned a 1:30 half and me still being “moldable”. Afterwards, I was very confused. I thought I was just easing back in and he’s talking about major PR’s.
Then I got my training plan. And it is a bunch of 10:30 paces and then I was SUPER confused. So, I e-mailed him and asked what was up– Was the goal really just to cross the finish line or was it break 2 hours? He explained to me that he was being very lenient with my paces and I should be able to run a 1:56 half with this. Skepticism, party of 1??
I read Tanya’s post on Coach Alex’s style and it eased my thoughts, but I’m still a little skeptical on it… but, I will trust the training and do what I am told.
For now, I am back running, with Betty the brace (she’s becoming a part of me so she needed a name). I’m not doing any speed work and I am glad to know that I haven’t lost too much of my fitness being out a month– I had a long run this weekend of 7 miles and still felt pretty dang good afterwards. Right now, I am running 3 days a week and cross training 2 days with 2 rest days. I have the Vulcan 10K coming up and I would love to break 55 for it, but I am not sure that will happen.
I swear I’m not intentionally holding out on y’all on the foot thing. I just sort of forgot to update the blog on it. Oops. So, I ended up going to physical therapy a couple of weeks ago and she gave me lots of stretches and told me to ice it twice a day and I could run half a mile on a track with the brace and work up from there and eventually back to the road and out of the brace. Do you realize that being told you can only run half a mile after a month off is actually worse than being told NOT to run?
So, I did that for about two weeks with no pain. Then it came time to head to Tuscaloosa for the Ole Miss game and I knew I wasn’t missing a crisp Fall morning campus run. So, I said I’d do 2 miles and stop immediately if it hurt.
We tailgate across from the Walk of Champions and the stadium, so I just headed down University and Fraternity Row. It’s crazy how these new Fraternity houses are. I remember when I was in school (yes. I just said that.) that the KA house was the nicest on campus.
Not bad, right?
This is just one of MANY new Fraternity houses.. Freaking MASSIVE.
When they expanded the stadium, they tore down several Fraternity houses and they got rebuilt. They also tore down some others to make room for more campus housing.
I ended up cutting down to Bryant and I had to go see the Alpha Gam house. It’s just gorgeous. I really love how the new houses still hold the aspects of their original houses.
I cut down Sorority Row and down the side of the stadium and said Good Morning to the Nick Saban statue. He seemed to enjoy some Energy Bits.
I had no pain post run. I ran Monday morning (3 miles) and Tuesday morning (3 miles) and my ankle was a tad sore so I am taking today off and will give it a try again tomorrow. Hubs keeps getting on to me about doing too much, but just like an addict, I can’t stay away.
Monday was my normal Spin class… Different instructor. She was very drill sergeant like and I didn’t approve of her tactics.
Tuesday, I ran with the Gardendale Running Club.. I am loving joining these group runs. Makes it much more enjoyable and sort of race-like.
Wednesday– I swam 1100 yards. Then, my ankle was hurting pretty dang bad so I decided to call it quits for a few days because I was really worried I needed to go see an orthopedic surgeon.
Sunday I ran 3 miles and it was awful. I waited too late in the day and it was pretty hot. Then, my Garmin decided to freeze, so I am really just guessing at the time, although I did map out the exact distance.
My ankle is better, just twinges a little, but nothing that’s not manageable. I’m still not convinced I haven’t done something to it, but I guess we shall see.
I am most likely dropping my Olympic distance Triathlon for next month… I just cannot train for it right now. It doesn’t sound fun at all. I have time goals for the Fall as far as running is concerned and I want to get faster. I am just not sure how to go about that. I also have NO CLUE how to do a track workout either.
Does anyone have an tips for speed work?
Man.. I really stepped up my training this week. I probably covered more miles this week than I did the rest of June.
Saturday morning, I got up with the chickens, and drove to Birmingham to run 7 miles with the Birmingham Track Club again… I am super jealous of the group runs! I went by to see my Grandpa who had a small heart attack on Friday. I cleaned up there before heading to work. (Yeah. I’m a crazy person. I can’t apologize for it anymore.) I don’t do well with heart attacks, my dad had one while I was pregnant with Claire and is one of the main reasons I started running. So, needless to say, I NEEDED to run and Saturday was challenging and awesome and just what I needed.
Sunday, I rode with my crew and we covered 17 miles before the rain started coming in. I fell again… this time it wasn’t completely my fault. My group was waving me on to cross the street and there was a car at the same stop sign, who was getting ready to turn right. About the time I started to cross, they decided to turn left and I couldn’t unclip and stop fast enough, so down I went. I scraped my leg and my hand pretty bad. That’s my first official fall, where my entire body has taken the brunt of it.
I’ve really got to step up my training if I plan to make my 1500 run/bike goal for the year…. Do you have a goal for the year? What is it?
It’s official. I am in a training funk. I’ve been trying to keep on keepin’ on and push through and hope that helps. It hasn’t. I’ve continued to race and sign up for races and hope I get excited about it. I haven’t. I’ve allowed myself to make excuses to skip runs. Sure, my runs mostly stink now because it’s so dang hot and humid outside. But guess what? Today is the first official day of Summer, so I have a lot more heat in my future.
I signed up for two more triathlons this week. One in July and another in August… the one in August being an Olympic distance. And then I wrote out my training plan for them and saw the work for the Olympic distance, and well, I am scared. It’s a LOT of training. A LOT of Two-A-Day’s. It has me wanting to crawl in my bed and curl up the The Game of Thrones.
Are you watching that? Holy cow. We are on season 2 and it is amazing. PLEASE NO SPOILER ALERTS!
Anyway.. I got sidetracked. Basically, I am in a funk and don’t know what to do to get out. I feel like I’ve lost my training and distance and speed. I know that training in the heat will make your endurance better, but geez. It REALLY sucks.
And just maybe coming off of the big trip has me in a state of depression. The lack of buffet like qualities and multiple desserts in my house is enough to make anyone have the sads.
I know I’m not drinking enough water, so that could be a factor. Or maybe it’s my crap eating habits that are catching up with me. Because I eat like a toddler and not near enough.
Basically, I’m having a pity party. If you have any suggestions for how to snap out of this, I am all ears.
Am I the only one that gets in these funks? How do you get out of them?
Confession Time. I’ve been in a running rut. For a few weeks. It was really just a gradual thing. I was going to take a week off after Tuscaloosa, to re-coup and get some things done that get neglected during intense training like I was doing. Then I had BlissDom. Then I couldn’t meet Shannon for a long run… and still haven’t. I ran a long run last Sunday– 8 miles. I did one on Saturday–9 miles. No where NEAR race pace or a PR. But things are starting to heat up around here (literally), it was 80 last week. And heat isn’t a factor that I have dealt with for a while.. and it’s taking a toll on my running. I am afraid that in all of my mopping and laziness that I have lost my sub 2. I haven’t put in the training that I should or the distance and I only have myself to blame. I was well on my way to a 1:55 half and now? I think I’ll be lucky to break 2:05. I’m not shaking a stick at that, but it does stink that I “threw it away” in Tuscaloosa because I wanted to “save it” for Nike.
Anyway, back to my rut. I am very blah about the running. I am having a hard time making myself run, and I am certainly not enjoying it. My friend Mary told me to go grab every race medal that I had and to put them on to remind myself that I am a Bad Ass. So, I did. It helped a little. I read this post by Jen Hatmaker too. I did what she said by making a giant list of everything that I need To Do, and am marking them off one by one. I do love a good list. That has helped some.
I finally was able to force myself to get up early and run on Saturday, and while it wasn’t some amazing “Oh yes!! This is why I run!!” run, it wasn’t terrible either. I watched the sky turn from dark to purple to pink to orange and I semi-enjoyed it. At this point, I’m just glad to be logging the miles, whether they are fast or not.
Molly and I also decided (finally!!) on our outfit for Nike Women’s. I’m pretty excited about it.
It probably doesn’t help that I have gained about 5 lbs and with that, a gut. It also doesn’t help that the girl in Lululemon Friday night asked me if I was about to start my period when I mentioned my pooch. No, but thanks for making me feel bad about myself.
I guess what I am saying is, while I am not in the “I’m gonna Clowney this!” running phase that I was a couple of months ago, I’m also not in the “running is stupid” phase that I was. Baby steps, people. Hopefully, I can rally in the next two weeks before Nike. And maybe I can find enjoy of my Beast Mode to pull out that sub 2 hour half. I am just not sure. I honestly have no clue how running ruts affect your speed, because being semi-speedy is new to me.
If you have any pointers on how to get out of a running rut, I am all ears, please. Or if you have any extra Beast Mode laying around, I’d be glad to give you my address so you can send it to me.
I got the amazing opportunity through FitFluential to review the Saucony Virrata’s. Let me tell you, I was stoked because A) I’ve always wanted to try a minimal shoe and B) I love the color scheme of this shoe. Like a whole lot.
My initial thoughts were, “OhMyGosh, they feel so different from my Ravennas!” Which, I’ve been wearing for about a year and a half, possibly two years. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.. right? But.. they went and re-did my Ravennas and well, they broke it. So, this felt like a good time to try something new.
I’ve been scared to try a minimal shoe, simply because, I run too high of mileage to break these in. So, I have been alternating them with my Ravennas to help break them in. I’ve logged about 20-25 miles in them, with my longest run being about 4.5 miles.
Y’all. these shoes feel super flexible and light weight. It’s ridiculous. I just want to FLY in them. While, I think I could have used about a half of a size smaller, it’s not uncomfortable. They feel like a glove though the mid foot area, with plenty of room to wiggle my toes.
Saucony did an amazing blog post on them, but basically, they have the standard 0mm drop for a minimal shoe, with 18mm of cushiony goodness underneath.
Hey look! My thighs almost don’t touch. That’s exciting.
The great thing about these is, that you don’t have to break them in like a normal minimal shoe. You can jump in to a 3 miler. So, I did. I could definitely tell that it was working some muscles that I normally don’t get to work… *ahem ankles/calves ahem*. The first time I wore them was the day after I ran the Mercedes Half, and even though my legs were sore and tired, the shoes were so light weight I just wanted to fly. It was really hard to reel it in.
After several runs, my opinion is that this is an excellent minimal shoe. It provides great cushion and support for a minimal shoe. I feel good when I run in these. Can I feel it in my ankle? Yes, I can. Is it terrible? Nope. I also think it’s getting easier and not as painful. My calves are always a little sore after them, but it honestly makes me want to run in them more so I can continue to work and build those muscles(Is that weird?).
I will say, that this week, I ran over 4 miles of hills in them and that towards the end, My IT band had introduced itself and wasn’t a happy camper. But, maybe I didn’t think that one through before lacing up.
I really want to keep this shoe in a rotation. It’s excellent for speed since it is so lightweight. It has me rethinking my opinion on minimal running shoes.. which hasn’t been a nice opinion, just let me tell you.
Since I am at such an impasse with my running shoes, I will continue to rotate this one on shorter distances, but will attempt to work up to something longer in it. Have you ever tried a minimal shoe? What’s your take on them?