Quicker Recovery

Did you have the Merriest Christmas ever?! I hope so!  I sure did!  I am one spoiled girl by both my family and boyfriend’s family!  Boyfriend and I apparently think a lot alike because we unknowingly bought each other the same gift… North Face Twins!

twinscoats

I have been on my CrossFit kick still and even got signed up for a couple more certifications for Christmas!  I am still trying to figure out ways to help recover quicker too.  I am starting to add BCAA’s to my regimen as well as Fish Oil.  Any other suggestions?     

I also received the book It Starts With Food so I am taking that as a sign to play around with Paleo eating…hopefully I can handle being that strict!

The next few days I have off from work so I am hoping to get some things fixed around the house and of course spend quality time with the pups.

alldogs

Until next time…. Hope you are enjoying the holidays!! 🙂

JandG

gm

Advertisements

Humbled and Paleo

Oh hi there!  You are still here?  Thanks for that 🙂

For this being a running blog, there isn’t too much running going on here!  I have put in a couple of good runs including two 8 milers but nothing more than that!  It’s nice being on a relaxed schedule but I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to run more.  On my most recent 8 mile run I split it into a 5 miler and a 3 miler. Well, on the final 3 miles I think I went a little too fast because my already sore (from CrossFit) quad was super super sore and my hip flexor started to actually hurt.  So….I am trying to be smart and staying away from running for a few more days.

However…the CrossFit scene has been a little different!  I have really been loving getting back into it!  I have been participating in a few WODs a week and even started writing up some for the gym I work at.

writing wods

Writing WODs isn’t super tough but stringing together a few weeks at a time and making sure to do it rightthat’s no joke. The other night I worked for over an hour and didn’t even complete 2 weeks. I am hoping with some more experience it gets easier!

I am also teetering on the Paleo fence.  That is “the” diet for CrossFit and after tonight’s WOD I decided I need to get more serious about it.  What was tonight’s WOD you ask?  Just one of the most humbling workouts I have ever completed.

Filthy Fifty

filthy50

This was humbling because it wasn’t easy, I did not do it with all the right weights and I freaking struggled with a finish of 34:40.  That time isn’t horrible but I know I can do better. My goal is to do it RXed (all the right weights) and finish under 30 minutes.   Some workouts leaving you refreshed and feeling on top of the world…this one was not that type of workout.

Which leads me to considering Paleo.  I do eat pretty well but I don’t eat as clean as I can.  So many articles I read on people who compete in the games swear by the Paleo diet and say that it definitely helped their performance in WODs.  It’s worth a shot, right?  That just means my struggle with going back to being a vegetarian is out the door.  Ha.

Tell me, what have you been up to?  Any new workouts or runs you have been loving?

Paleo people- should I or shouldn’t I?

gm

Everything and Nothing

Let me tell you…this “no scheduled workouts” thing is my cup of tea!  I am really enjoying a laid back schedule. I mean, it’s not super laid back because I am still making sure to get some sweat sessions in but they are only if I want to..not because I have to.  That makes allll the difference in the world!

Yesterday was the first time I got a decent run in outside.

runback

I definitely still love running.  I wanted to go longer and was feeling super great while on this run, but my quads were screaming.  I was actually worried I would injure myself if I kept going so I did the smart thing and called it a day.

I have been throwing in some CrossFit workouts too…hence the screaming quads.  Let me tell you.. there is no workout like a CrossFit workout.  Burning lungs, screaming muscles, sweaty mustache. Oh how I missed that 😉

Since my activity level has come down a bit (Read: a few complete rest days a week) I am trying to eat a little cleaner than normal too.

cleaneating

And, spending some quality time with J since I am not constantly running/biking/rolling.  I am sure he is happy about this one too 😛

bfastj

Christmas Vacation: Best Christmas Movie EVER

Christmas Vacation: Best Christmas Movie EVER

Only one more week to get ready for the Big Guy… I have a lot of celebrating and cookie eating left to do!

What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

gm

ps— thanks for all the advice on eating meat..or rather not eating it.  I am still not sure where I stand or what I will do.  For now, everything in moderation is what I am sticking to 

Back at it and Meat eating

I had to teach last night so I decided before I coached a WOD I would get a workout in myself!  The WOD I was coaching was my favorite…. a workout with no repeated exercises.  It also wasn’t too heavy on weighted movements so I thought it would be a good first one back.  Now, I had been keeping up with my burpees and periodically doing pull ups and push ups. I definitely think that helped!

Before I jumped into the WOD I did a quick 25 minute treadmill run

10 minute warm up :: starting at 7.0, increase by 0.1 every minute for an additional 10 minutes :: at 20 minutes drop the speed by 0.2 every minute for an addition 5 minutes

(does that make sense?)

After I was nice and warm I did a few dead lifts and kettle bell swings to make sure my form was right and choose the right weight.

WOD

It took me 8:15.  Not too bad! and I am happy to say I did all kipping pull ups.  boom.

I must have had a brain fart and didn’t remember that it had been well over 5 months since I dead lifted any significant amount of weight.  I went with 135#.  Considering I used to do around 180# I didn’t think I was over estimating.

Today… my body is telling me that I lifted too much.  I am also concerned that my form wasn’t great because my back is also sore.  No bueno GM.

Oh well.  It felt great to lift!  I am taking today as a rest day…because I can 🙂

————————-

Did you know I used to be a vegetarian?  Yup. For over 3 years I think it was.

Food inc, a documentary basically on where food comes from is what turned me into a veg head.  Well…the animals are still being treated like shit so what made me decide to eat meat again?  I am ashamed to say it…the convenience factor.  And I was really bad at it.  I don’t like a lot of vegetables.  The texture of tofu bothered me.  In general, I am not a great cook so there wasn’t much variety to my diet.  I think I mostly survived on cottage cheese and yogurt. Not great.

Now it is way easier deciding what to eat when I am at a friend’s house or going out to eat…chicken it is.  BUT.. I constantly feel guilty.  I mean, I know I could buy local where the animals are treated more humanely.  But I still feel guilty for the animal even dying in the first place.

little piggies

poor piggies

I try not to eat a ton of meat but it is still in my diet.  It’s just easier for me.  It doesn’t make me feel less guilty about eating it though.  I try to play ignorant and not think about what I am eating.

Anyone ever have a problem like this?  Any suggestions on how to make life as a vegetarian easier for me and everyone around me?  *particularly boyfriend, his family eats meat and his poor momma would always make me a separate dish and I feel/felt awful every time*

gm

I am not trying to upset anyone in this post.  I understand I have different options when it comes to where I purchase my meat from.  I also understand that I am a freak and if I even think about what goes into making yogurt I could gross myself out and not eat that too.  Yes, I am a freak

Back to Back Marathons

Word vomit and picture-less. Lame. BUT.  I potentially have the secrets of how to run races so close together probably not but you should keep reading regardless.

When I was on the bus heading to the start at the California International Marathon,  I started to chat it up with the nice man sitting next to me.  We went from talking about the race weather and how often we run and that sort of thing….to talking about our last race.  When I mentioned that I had just completed a marathon exactly 8 weeks prior his response was “WOAH there, soon to be doing another one, no?  AND you are trying to qualify? ha”

How I interpreted it was basically “good luck sucker”

Now, when I finished Steamtown and missed my goal I immediately started weighing out my options.  I also stumbled across this article from Runners World.  I took it as a “How To” on running races so close together. I immediately freaked when I saw it say I should take a considerable amount of time off if I had a tough first race.  I emailed it to my coach, we talked about it quite a bit.  I threw around the idea of taking time off and waiting till the spring or following fall.  Ultimately I knew I wanted it now, not in 8 months.  So, CIM it was.

Flights weren’t crazy expensive. I had a bit of vacation time to use up.  My family was in the talks of going somewhere for a long weekend away.  Why not kill 2 birds with one stone and race the same weekend we vacationed.  Perfect.

My coach was 100% on board.  He reminded me, several times after several emails saying “are you suuuuure this is ok? are you suuuuure it’s not too soon?” …He reminded me that as long as I was very careful with my recovery I would be ok to race in 8 weeks.

First week post marathon:

+Tons of cross training.  and not just any cross training.  easy cross training. I sat on my bike and at a low resistance but high cadence I just moved my legs.
+I was attached to my foam roller and I was stretching non stop.
+It wasn’t until a full week after the race that I had my first run and it was a short, easy 30 minutes.

Second week:

+A couple of easier, shorter runs no longer than 30 minutes.
+I continued to spin at an easy level but this week I added a tempo run with a few short repeats ( no longer than 3 repeats of 5 minutes at tempo pace).
+2 weeks post marathon I ran my first longer stamina run.  1 hour at just about race pace.  I died.  Hardest run all training.  I wasn’t ready for it yet.  2 weeks later and I still wasn’t recovered completely

Weeks 3-6:

+I took a few light days after that craptastic hour run and continued to cross train.  Eventually my tempo runs got longer…and harder.
+Each week the intensity and duration got harder and longer.  These 4 weeks were the working weeks.  I made sure to run harder than I had when I was training for Steamtown.  Every hill sprint I pushed the pace at least 5 seconds faster. Every long run I made sure to go a little faster.
+I basically trained like I did for Steamtown…I just gave it that much more.   My last long run of the 4 weeks of work was 19 miles with another 3 mile run later that day.

Weeks 7 & 8:

Taper.  I was pretty much panicking because it was only two weeks.  I mean, looking back I should be happy because the idea of a 3 week taper makes me itch.  But I was worried that I wasn’t going to be ready.

Race day:

Mentally relaxed and ready to do this. I trusted my training.  I didn’t once question if I was ready.  I knew I was.

I ran a race I am proud of. I enjoyed the run so much it almost didn’t feel like I was pushing it as hard as I was.  Seriously.  Did you know I love to run?

Post Race:

WALK!!!  After Steamtown I sat and cried.  And sat. And laid down. Andddd.yea thats about it.  This time I made sure to walk immediately after I finished.  I refueled with some chocolate milk, yogurt, granola and water.

*** I think I wrote this post for myself.  As much as I hope someone gets some sort of benefit from reading my blog it is also nice to be  able to look back and see what worked for me and what didn’t.  It’s nice having a place to keep track of this stuff.  And HOPEFULLY you can learn from it too 😛 ***

So… Thanks to those of you who believed in me.  Who supported my crazy decision and helped my calm my shit when I would have a freakout episode   And….Despite all the haters and the people telling me I shouldn’t try and I would never qualify because the races were too close together or the weather was shitty or whatever the excuse was….

Booyaaaaa

gm

Weekend Things

Not a whole lot of sweating going on over here!  It’s so weird not having a schedule to follow. There is no core work I have to do, no runs I need to fit in.  I am having a hard time adjusting to be honest!  I am a super scheduled person and having time the option to do whatever I want almost causes anxiety!

Saturday I went for my first run post marathon.  My knees are acting up and are super swollen still.  The run felt nice to sweat and move but even though I only did an easy 30 minutes my knees still hurt by the last little bit.  I am hoping that continuing to ice and rest will help.

What have I been doing in my free time?  This weekend I had an afternoon brew with J because….well, just because I can!

bcican

I am also loving all the Christmas lights in my neighborhood.  This particular house probably has every lawn ornament known to man.  Seriously

xmaslights

I have also been catching up with family and friends.  Since I was so strict to my schedule while training, it’s nice to be a little more laid back and enjoy the down time.  Last night J and I went to his parents for chicken pot pie, one of my favorite dinners his mom makes!  Yum!

dinner

And finally, I thought it would be fun to share how romantic J is.  This is a card I received from him before I headed out west.  That boy and his charm 😉

photo 3 (62)

Tonight I am teaching a WOD and hopefully will find the motivation to get some weight training in myself.  But…since I am taking this month relaxed and unstructured I will try not to be too hard on myself if I decide to take a rest day for the 1232th day in a row 😛

What did you do this weekend?

gm

What worked and What’s next

I arrived in Sacramento 2 days before the marathon.  The day before the race was spent at the hotel, shopping at the expo, studying the course elevation chart and properly fueling with pizza, coffee, nuun and tons of water.

3

I was really worried about flying and becoming dehydrated during the race.  Luckily making sure I alternated between Nuun and water worked out perfectly and there were no issues!

You already know how I did in the race.  But the more I think about it the more I can’t get over how much of a good run with was.  Sure I was in a race situation with crappy weather but I am talking about the run itself.  The 26.2 miles went by so fast.  Thinking back I definitely would have done EVERYTHING the same except for breaking off when I did.  Next time I would push it harder a little earlier.

The top things I did right this time?

+Proper nutrition and hydration
+Following the pacer and listening to his advice
+Focus on form – especially leaning from my ankles
+Staying in the mile and not thinking about the next 1, 2, 10…whatever it was
+Confidence- TRUST my training and the work I put in to get there

I am still on cloud 9.  I have not run, exerted myself or even sweat an ounce since the run.  I am giving myself the rest that I need but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t starting to get the itch to run.

After the race I was SUPER sore.  Like….ice my ankles, knees, everything hurts kind of sore.  But I didn’t care. I was too busy staring at my medal and watch 🙂

4

The rest of my time in California was spent hanging with my family and doing all the touristy things possible.

2

1

photo 5 (22)

Fair warning that there will be many more pictures and collages to come.  My dad had his camera glued to his face the entire vacation so as soon as I get a hold of his memory card, they are all mine!

What’s next?

Definitely some well deserved time off.  I am looking forward to a more laid back schedule…or no schedule really…for the rest of the year.
I am excited to start throwing some weights around in CrossFit and really seeing what I can do there.

As for the running scene?  I am already drooling over a faster half marathon time and perhaps…. a 50k?!

gm

Brave the Run

8 Weeks ago I ran Steamtown Marathon in hopes of getting a time that was good enough for me to qualify for Boston.

8 weeks ago I missed my goal by 95 seconds

95 seconds lit a fire under my ass and made me more determined than ever

6 weeks ago I convinced the people I love the most and that are my biggest supporters to travel to California with me

6 weeks ago I signed up for the California International Marathon and booked a flight

That means, following Steamtown I had 2 weeks of recovery, 4 weeks of hard HARD work and 2 more weeks of taper

5 of my favorite people, my family, and I flew to Sacramento

I didn’t blog about it because I wanted this race to be mine. I put extra pressure on myself when I blogged about Steamtown, and I didn’t want that this time.  I am super happy with this decision because I didn’t feel the extra pressure come start time.  Actually…. I was extremely relaxed about the entire thing.

The week leading up to the race I had some family stuff and the race didn’t seem as important.  I told people that I felt indifferent about it.  Then I got a look at the forecast for race day and the race that was supposed to be THE BIG ONE turned (in my head) into just adding another notch on my marathon belt.

People were tweeting and blogging and talking about the race day weather.  Everything I read said to readjust my goals, to not try for big numbers if I am borderline to qualifying, that I will never make it.  What was the race day weather?  Oh just 35mph winds and 100% chance of rain….and not the drizzle kind of rain.  The rain kind of rain.  I decided to ignore the negativity and I was still going to give it my best shot.  I was still going to leave it all out there.

Still… I wasn’t too stressed before the race.  I got mentally prepared to get wet and run hard.  That’s all I could do.

IMG_0182

Since the weather was going to be a bit warmer, I decided on a hat, arm warmers and tech tee, shorts and compression socks.  Good decisions all around.

The start was awful.  I felt like Forrest Gump where the rain was coming up instead of down.  I’m pretty sure that’s as close to the truth as I could get.  I still felt strangely calm.  I was just going to run.  It was that simple.

I lined up at the start, found the 3:35 pacer, listened to all his tips about the course and decided I would stick with him the entire time.  That’s what I did.  I went through the highs and lows of running.  I loved it, I hated it, I laughed and I cried.  Basically, a crazy lady running.  The rain was constant the entire time and the wind was on and off.  It actually wasn’t horrible.  Focusing on my form helped SO so much. Focusing on the goal, on what I wanted the clock to say as I crossed the finished….that’s all I thought about.

I ate 5 GU’s throughout the race.  I stuck to the pacer and with the pack of runners.  I tucked in the crowd during the windy parts, I splashed through puddles, I dodged people falling.  It was a run unlike anything I had ever run before.  The most important part though?  Sticking to the pacer.

The last 2 miles of the race counted down city blocks from 57 to 7.  I stuck with the pacer until block 27.  At that point I gave it every last bit of what I had. 

IMG_0278

Wonkey arm and all, I was leaving it all out there

I rounded the corner to the finish and ran.my.ass.off.

IMG_0302

My shirt is blurry but VERY appropriate for this run. “Rain, snow, sleet, wind.  BRAVE THE RUN.”

I crossed the finish and found a seat and my family found me….

IMG_0353

I started my watch a few seconds late but it’s close enough

photo-102

Chip time: 3:34:17

!!!!!!!!!!IM GOING TO BOSTON BITCHES!!!!!!!!!!

The rest of my families reaction when they realized the 22 weeks of super hard and super strict training I had been through was over?

IMG_0371

All I can say is FUCK YEA!  I worked hard for this.  I got so close I could taste it.  I put family, friends and boyfriend through hell the past 22 weeks of training. I was strict.  I was dedicated.  I did exactly what my coach told me.  I prepared mentally and physically.  I learned from mistakes at my last race and fueled right this time.  I am still in shock.  Just goes to show…if you want it bad enough, it might take time but you will get there…

gm