*Weekly mileage*

Mileage for the week of February 23rd – March 1st

Total weekly mileage: 63.25

Total February mileage (to-date): 240.25

Total March mileage (to-date): 19

Total year-to-date (2015) mileage: 472

Run review:

2/23          No run/rest day

2/24         41:52 min./5.25 mi./8:13 pace

42:42 min./5.18 mi./8:15 pace (*track/speed workout)

5:00 min/.57 mi./8:48 pace

2/25         1:09:52 min./8 mi./8:43 pace

2/26         40:41 min./4.75 mi./8:34 pace

2/27         1:48:22 min./13.25 mi./8:11 pace

2/28         27:52 min./3 mi./9:17 pace

39:38 min./4.25 mi./9:20 pace

3/1           2:37:40 min./19 mi./8:18 pace

*My pace average from my track/speed workout on the 24th doesn’t really reflect that I actually did some *speed work* but I let my Garmin run during the recovery portions of the workout, hence the slower pace.

Most of my runs last week were run at a slower pace than is typical for me but I know I needed to bring the intensity down a little bit. I already mentioned that it was a bit of a rough week but I’m grateful to have successfully completed another solid week of training at the mileage I set out to reach.

Today I rest. And stretch. And make the most of this recovery day (in fact, I just awoke from a decadent nap!) which includes finalizing my March (MARCH!) training schedule. Because the bitch that reality is, punched me in the face this morning: 49 days until the Boston Marathon!!!!!!!

*February review*

February Review:

Total miles: 240.25

Longest run: 18

Total days running: 24

YTD mileage: 453

Some of my favorite February moments included:

  • A well-executed training plan. I met my mileage goals for each week and the month, made it to all four track/speed workouts that I put on my calendar, and ran every prescribed long run. BOOM!
  • Securing one of the pieces of my upcoming trip to Boston. It’s starting to come together and if nothing else, I know I have a bed to sleep in and a shower not far from the start!
  • A free Wednesday afternoon in which I got to kill a few hours at one of my favorite running spots. Eleven blissful miles on a dry, mild February afternoon in Oregon? Yes, please!!!
  • Gatherings with girlfriends. Catching up over wine, birthday celebrations, christening a new pad… I’m so grateful for the gals in my life that have become family. We clearly have a good time together!

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    The candle was removed by staff shortly after this pic was snapped. Oops.

  • A belated Valentine’s date with Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking. I FINALLY got to go see Wild. I’ve been reading the book for… way… too… long. But I really wanted to see it while it was still in theaters.
  • Time with my parents. They live a few hours away but travel home frequently and I always look forward to their visits.
  • A super cool meeting, of which the details are currently top-secret, that I’m hoping I can share soon! ; )

In February, I ran more miles in a month, in 24 days actually, than I ever had before. I’m a little in awe of it truthfully. It was a good month but I have even higher hopes for March. I think March is going to be a pretty rad month!

It started off pretty good:

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After a rough week of training, I can’t complain about my run this morning.

 

Have a great Sunday!

*Calling in the big guns*

The last time I went to the chiropractor was several years ago after falling off a donkey. While playing basketball. True story!

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The *ass* that knocked me on my ass!

 

This week has been really rough. I had a fantastic massage a week ago with high hopes that it would magically cure my ailing glutes and hamstrings. My run today left me in near tears from frustration and discomfort.

So I bit the bullet and called in the big guns. I scheduled an appointment with the same chiropractor that realigned my jacked-up back after said donkey basketball incident. I will see her early next week. In the meantime, I hope I survive my 19-mile run planned for this weekend. And I’m thanking my lucky stars for my HRA account because with my upcoming trip to the Boston Marathon, extras like this are seriously not in the budget!

But I’m desperate to feel good while I’m training and simply taking time off seems more like a band-aid than a solution to whatever is going on. I need it fixed!

When all other self-care practices and home remedies fail, where do you turn? Have you ever played basketball while riding a donkey? ; )

*Turning running lemons into…*

Running lemonade! My run this afternoon was awful. But I don’t like to dwell on the negative so on to other, more lemonade-like stuff!

For the fourth straight week, I made it to the track workout hosted by Portland Running Company last night. Miraculously, it never rained on any of the days its been held on… which means we’ll get dumped on every week in March! Anyway, it’s amazing what one can accomplish when they put stuff on their calendar or to-do list!

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Another great, albeit tough, track workout!

 

The workout was another new one to me and when I read about what we were in for earlier in the afternoon, I felt slightly nauseous.  It consisted of 800 meter repeats at current 10k pace followed by 100 meters recovery, 2 x 10-second hill sprints, another 100 meters of recovery before repeating the sequence again. We did that 6 times. (If you were wondering why my run this afternoon was awful, there is your explanation.)

I’m not gonna lie. It was tough and I knew it would be. But damn it felt good to knock another workout out of the park!!

In other news, if you’re looking for a spring half marathon that takes place at, oh, a WINERY!, you don’t want to miss out on the inaugural Youngberg Hill Half Marathon. You can’t beat the price either! Just a few more days to register before prices increase so take advantage of their lowest rate of $55.00 through Saturday, Feb. 28th.

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This gorgeous view awaits you at the Youngberg Hill Half Marathon!

 

Finally, the story of the Kenyan runner who collapsed, and then crawled 400 meters to the finish, at the Austin Marathon earlier this month has been shared on multiple media outlets but I just got around to reading the story and watching the accompanying video. Holy WOW! The look of determination as she crawled, desperate to reach the finish on her own will, is awe-inspiring! If you haven’t checked it out, you can find it here.

Enjoy your Wednesday evening!

*Weekly mileage*

Mileage for the week of February 16th – 22nd

Total weekly mileage: 63.5

Total February mileage (to-date): 198

Total year-to-date (2015) mileage: 421

Run review:

2/16          No run/rest day

2/17         41:52 min./5 mi./8:22 pace

36:47 min./5 mi./7:21 pace (*track/speed workout)

4:24 min/.5 mi./8:49 pace

2/18         57:54 min./7 mi./8:16 pace

2/19         1:08:57 min./8.25 mi./8:21 pace

2/20         1:41:50 min./12.5 mi./8:09 pace

2/21         17:46 min./2.25 mi./7:54 pace (track/speed workout)

48:52 min./5 mi./9:47 pace

2/22         2:29:30 min./18 mi./8:18 pace

*Last weeks track workout was 12 minutes at half marathon pace followed by two 800 meter repeats with one minute rest between sets, and then another 12 minutes at the half marathon pace. I didn’t care for going from timed effort to distance effort, and back, but I worked hard and was happy with my overall average pace of 7:21. I’ve really enjoyed kicking off my training week with these track workouts!

For the fourth straight week, I’ve been able to maintain my mileage in the low 60-mile range. I’m still marveling at how unattainable I though 60 miles a week was! I’ve found a rhythm to my training schedule that feels just about perfect. However, every so often, I hear a whisper-soft voice in my head that tells me that 70 might be possible.

If only my hamstrings would get on board!

Hmph.

While I’m feeling good about my training and mileage, there are a few things I need to work on. Sleep for starters. Too many late nights and early alarms this past week have kicked my ass a little. I also need to clean up my diet. (Right after I go out and eat Mexican tonight!!) Not that it’s terrible. I’m a very healthy eater but I am snacking more than I think I should be, especially on the weekends. So this week I’m aiming to get more sleep and be more mindful of what I’m stuffing my face with!

But first, bring on the chips and salsa! And a margarita! ; )

Have a fantastic week!!

*The 3 P’s for improved… everything*

Would it surprise you to know that I’m impatient, often distracted, and want instant gratification? Can anyone relate? ; )

These traits are a natural part of who I am. However, I read something today that made me take pause. An article I stumbled upon, on a functional fitness studio’s website, referenced “3 P’s”. Apparently, it was in response to a question Michael Pollan, famous author and activist, was asked about how someone can improve their cooking skills. He replied:

PATIENCE   *   PRESENCE   *   PRACTICE

Immediately my thoughts turned to running and how I could take the essence of his simple message and utilize it for the sake of becoming a better runner. These are the key points I’d like to apply to my own training and thought I’d share them with you.

Patience: long-term versus short-term.

I think we need both short-term and long-term goals, and tangible markers to make sure we are meeting them. I tend to get in a rush to meet a long-term goal, overlooking the short-term goals that are going to make me stronger, more efficient, etc. By definition, patience is a state of endurance and persevering when challenged. How does that not speak to running? Patience, no matter the goal, will lead to greater satisfaction and, I believe, a better outcome in the long run. (No pun intended!)

Presence: mindful and focused.

While running this afternoon I dang near rolled my ankle. The pavement was uneven and there was some traffic, and, well, I wasn’t really paying very close attention to the ground beneath my feet. It is not uncommon, and even welcomed, to “check out” so to speak, on a run. We get lost in thought instead of being mindful of our form. We engage in conversation perhaps losing focus on our surroundings. We distract ourselves with games (or is that just me?) to pass time instead of being aware of how our bodies are reacting to the run. Being present when we run can connect us deeper to our reason for running and potentially bring a greater sense of safety and comfort.

Practice: repetition for improvement.

The first time, and only time, I went snowboarding, I thought I was going to be great at it. I was fit, had good balance, understood the dynamics of it, and was eager to try. While I had a ton of fun, I was not good at it and a little disappointed because I did not experience that instant gratification that I desired. The vision I had of myself zipping down the mountain did not happen. I did realize thought that I could be good at it if I had the opportunity to do it repeatedly. You know? Practice a little more. Doing things over and over is what makes us better. Repetition of any activity will bring improvement.

I think it speaks for itself, but the 3 P’s can be applied to practically every area of our lives!

*The seduction of soaking*

Happy National Drink Wine Day! No, I’m not kidding! According to www.nationaldrinkwineday.org, February 18th has been designated as a day to share the love and health benefits of wine.

It would be a disservice to not celebrate this fine, heart-healthy holiday by enjoying a glass (or two!) of one of my favorite reds so CHEERS!

Actually it fits in nicely into my evening, which has turned into a little self-care spa night. My track speed workout last night left me exhausted. (My legs were so sore and fatigued this morning that I wore my Pro Compression socks to work!) I was feeling extra drained when I set off for a few miles this afternoon. Recognizing this made me back off my pace to keep the run as easy as possible.

Upon my return home, after some strength and core training, the lure of hot, steamy water to soak my weary body in seduced me into hopping in the tub for a few minutes. BLISS.

I’ve loved every form of hydro-therapy for as long as I can remember… baths, Jacuzzi’s, saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs, mineral hot springs, soaking pools…

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My happy place!

I know that there is a ton of information, science, and studies to support how beneficial ice baths are for athletes. But I cannot deny how much better I feel after a traditional hot bath as opposed to an ice bath. Not to mention that I absolutely hate being cold and ice baths are like torture!

While ice baths get a lot of attention, I would point out that a hot bath has many therapeutic benefits too. They promote the deep relaxation of muscles which can relieve cramping, help create elasticity of muscle, and provide relief from tension headaches. Soaking can improve circulation, help you sweat out toxins, and help you find a peaceful state of mind.

I would recommend that if you are at all concerned about the safety of a bath, hot or otherwise, you consult your physician.

Personally, the hotter the better. Often times I add Epsom salts or other magical potion to help reduce inflammation and essential oil for fragrance to deepen my state of relaxation. (I highly recommend lavender. It is one of my favorite scents of all time and fantastic for mental wellbeing!) I’ll soak for 20-30 minutes, allowing the water to naturally cool so that I almost start to chill before I exit, and then dress warm and relax for a while before returning to normal activities. Better yet, head to bed!

Sure, baths aren’t for everyone, but I wouldn’t overlook them as a regular part of your self-care practices.  And if you have a hot tub, can we be friends?

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