*The latest WJTWT news*

What a week, right?

I’m not even going to go THERE. Rather, I’ll give you a little glimpse as to what I’ve been up to. It’s been busy, as usual!

Over the past couple of months I’ve eluded as to the reason I’ve been so absent in this space. I’ve had to rearrange my priorities a little bit in order to fit in a new endeavor. Completely by accident, I fell into a new career path not long after moving to California, when I started working for a real estate brokerage. Years and years ago, I actually quite seriously considered a real estate career. At the time,I had an infant and studying the course material while juggling my new responsibilities as a mother were more than I could handle at the time.

Fast forward, oh, 19 years or so, and I’m suddenly considering it again. So much so that I took the leap and began the coursework a couple of months ago. It’s a LOT of material and studying is slow going, but I’m very pleased that I completed the first or three courses and passed the test this week. Onto course number two!

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One down, two to go!

I’ve also hinted a few posts back that I was considering another large event… As it turns out, I just can’t quit the marathon and this week I made it official. I will be running the LA Marathon in March!

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Congratulations? You just spent $200 bucks for 16 weeks of self-inflicted suffering (in the best way possible)!

This is a big deal. I’ve got high hopes for this race and am trying to come up with a scheme to help me with my master plan. World domination? No. Maybe just a PR. ; ) More to come on this later!

In other news, I finally pulled the trigger. On trigger point rolling that is. I could no longer deny that I needed to do something different in terms of recovery. I’m sore. Like ALL. THE. TIME. My go-tos, stretching/yoga and Epson salt baths, while wonderful, just aren’t providing me with relief. I caved and invested in a Trigger Point roller. I’m already feeling a difference!

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My “I’m totally stoked” face!

The week culminated with the Griffith Park Trail 10k this morning. I wasn’t sure what to expect to be honest. The course description stated that it would be a tough, hilly route. I’ve trained out there and it is hilly, but today’s race was still not what I expected in terms of difficulty. It was like a roller coaster out there.

I take most races seriously and this was no exception. And, I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a wee bit competitive. I like the challenge, both mentally and physically. The result this morning yielded me a second place finish! I worked for it too!

It was a fun little race and well-organized (aside from a medal mix up and the course being a little short, at least according to my GPS). The prizes for the top finishers were beautiful handmade mugs. I SO love mine!

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2nd place female!!!

I’m looking forward to taking it easy the rest of the day and gearing up for another busy week! Enjoy your Sunday!

*Weekly mileage ~ Oct. 24-30*

Mileage for the week of October 24th – October 30th

Total weekly mileage: 27.25

Total October mileage: 107

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 1,198.25

Week in review:

10/24     No run/rest day

10/25     48:05 min./5.25 mi./9:10 pace

10/26     27:47 min./3 mi./9:16 pace (+2.75 mi. at November Project)

10/27     32:47 min./4 mi./8:12 pace

10/28     59:34 min.7.25 mi./8:13 pace

10/29     51:48 min./5 mi./10:20 pace (*mostly on trail)

10/30     No run/impromptu rest day

Clearly, I’m a little behind posting last weeks mileage report. I feel like I’m behind on a ton of things. Ha! But for a good reason.

I blew off my run Sunday morning. That is not typically like me, especially with a race coming up, but I stayed up late to welcome my daughter to California who is visiting us for a few weeks. An extra rest day never hurt anyone and I feel like the timing was actually really good as I’ve been plagued with prolonged psoas discomfort. (It does seem to be easing up, thankfully!)

The ultimate result of taking Sunday off is that I felt the need to rearranged my schedule a little bit this week and am targeting some solid workouts. So far, so good. For the third straight week, I’ve attended the 5:30 AM November Project workout on Wednesday mornings and I’ve had a couple of good runs that are building up to even better runs! This upcoming weekend will be my last opportunity to get in some time in on the trails so I’ve got to make them count!

Life is good. It’s so nice to have my family under one (albeit cramped) roof. I’m looking forward to the quickly approaching holidays and time with our extended families. I’m really excited about future training, races, and various related activities. I feel healthy, strong, and just about fully recovered from my last marathon, three weeks ago. I’ve got a lot of irons in the fire that have me stoked on future possibilities. Woo!

Happy November!

*Weekly mileage ~ Oct. 10-16*

Mileage for the week of October 10th – October 16th

Total weekly mileage: 8

Total October mileage: 59.5

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 1,142.75

Week in review:

10/10     No run/recovery day

10/11     No run/recovery day

10/12     No run/recovery day

10/13     No run/ active recovery day (2 mile walk)

10/14     No run/ active recovery day (2 mile walk)

10/15     36:27 min./4 mi./9:07 pace

10/16     38:40 min./4 mi./9:31 pace

I think it’s safe to say that last week was a pretty typical recovery week. Taking five full days off is a big deal for me. By Thursday I was getting antsy (and kind of gloomy)!  However, I really knew it would be in my very best interest to give myself those five days off and I’m proud of myself for riding it out.

Waking up Saturday morning I was in such good spirits and so ready to run! It took about a mile for my legs to really get moving and I limited myself to just four miles but it felt so good to move! Minus a little bit of lingering discomfort located in my right glute/SI joint region, I was ecstatic to be back at it. I repeated the same distance Sunday with less discomfort which is a good sign that I’m on the right track.

This week will be a recovery to training transition. A big part of my glum disposition is what I would described as post-event letdown. Not because I was disappointed with the outcome of the race, but rather because I didn’t know what was next. I really thrive on having a focus and it’s hard for me to deal with an empty racing calendar.

A big part of my excitement to return to running Saturday stemmed from discovering an upcoming race that I REALLY want to do in about four weeks. (That in addition to becoming an official Oiselle Volée team member which I shared yesterday.) Thus, the transition this week. I’m not 100% committed yet… ie: registered, so I’ll save the details for after that happens but I’m currently creating my training plan as if I’ve already locked it in. Since it will be quite a change from marathon training, I’m making a few tweaks to mix it up a little and looking forward to some added cross training.

More to come. In the meantime, have a fantastic week!

*You’re doing it wrong*

Adaptation

ad·ap·ta·tion / ˌadapˈtāSH(ə)n/

noun

  1. the action or process of adapting or being adapted.
  2. a change or the process of change by which an organism or species becomes better suited to its environment.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been a little bit of a mental mess when it has come to my marathon training. My intentions have been good but I sort of feel like I’ve been doing the whole thing wrong. For various reasons, each week has found me making adaptations to my training plan… which honestly, I’m starting to think it was never very solid to begin with.

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It’s all “fun and games” BEFORE you run 21 miles.

I’ve skipped long runs (due to an injury of sorts). I’ve run two long runs in a 7 day period. I’ve increased my totally weekly mileage by more than 20 miles in a single week. I’ve bumped my long run mileage from 15 to 18 miles in a single run. And then again from 18 to 20 miles. I’ve beat myself up over the *slow* pace of my long runs when in fact, they are supposed to be run slower. I’ve been comparing myself to other runners and their training plans, mileage, paces, etc. (A BIG no-no!) I’ve allowed myself to think that I’m not fit or fast enough, nor have I worked hard enough, to accomplish the goals I’ve set for myself.

Before I continue, I should note that I realize that I’ve done a few things right too. I’ve been trying really hard to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night and naps on the weekend. My nutrition plan has been on target. I’m consuming close to four liters of water each day. My post-run recovery routine has been going well and I’ve been taking one day off completely each week. Also, because early on this week I noticed that I was feeling extra rundown, I backed off my mileage and effort. I skipped my tempo run and opted for a shorter, easy run instead of pushing myself.

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Fueling/refueling like a boss!

I was planning to keep my mileage high… maybe even increase it… for another week before tapering. However, due to how I’ve been feeling during the latter part of my long runs… essentially my body screaming “uncle”… I’ve decided to make another adaptation and am going to call training good. As in, DONE! (I will also note that I believe one of the reasons I’m struggling during my long runs is because I’m running through the city and have to stop numerous times for traffic lights. I lose momentum and I begin stiffening up the moment I stop which makes it hard to get moving again.)

I’ve never tapered for three weeks before. During past training cycles, I’ve run my longest, or close to longest, training run two weeks before the race. I think it’s time to try something new. I’m planning to follow this guide that I found online from Runner’s World. And more important, I’m trying to reframe the messy mental chatter that I’ve been doing it all wrong. Instead, I need to see those adaptations over the preceding weeks as opportunities to become better suited to my environment. I got the mileage in despite the challenges thrown at me. Now, I need to find trust in the final portion of the training process. (And let my body rest!) (And also, you’d think I’ve never trained for a marathon before!)

So, with the Portland Marathon officially three weeks from today, I say, “BRING ON THE TAPER!”

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Ice bath alternative.

*Weekly mileage ~ Aug. 29-Sept. 4*

Mileage for the week of August 29th – September 4th

Total weekly mileage: 41.25

Total August mileage: 175.5

Total September mileage: 20.5

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 903

Run review:

8/29     44:16 min./5 mi./8:51 pace

8/30     55:03 min./6 mi./9:11 pace

8/31     31:40 min./4 mi./7:55 pace

50:48 min./5.75 mi./8:49 pace

9/1     33:43 min./4 mi./8:26 pace

9/2     32:34 min./4 mi./8:07 pace

9/3     1:20:43 min./8.5 mi./9:30 pace

9/4     33:06 min./4 mi./8:15 pace

Due to some extra time off the previous week when my knee was acting up, on top of moving my long run for the week to today, I didn’t take any rest days last week. On three of the days I ran harder or a bit longer, including a couple of good hills in there too. The other days were shorter and run at an easy pace. Nicely balanced, I think.

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Updated training plan… taking it one week at a time.

I’ve reconfigured my plan for this week to accommodate a second long run next Sunday. What can I say? I’m a glutton for punishment. (If I stick to said plan, I’ll hit 64 miles this week.) Rest and recovery is high priority so I will take a rest day tomorrow and aim to get as much extra sleep as I can each night.

Also, I’ve decided to play with my macros just a little bit and see what happens. I love nutrition and I love experimenting with my diet. Essentially, on days that I run longer than an hour, I’ll eat more carbs. On the other days, little carbs (including wine… sniff, sniff) and more protein and fat. I don’t want to over think it and I still aim to keep my food choices nutrient-dense but I’m curious to see how it will affect my body and my training since my objective is to lean out a little bit while maintaining muscle and endurance, of course. I’ll report back on that later.

Happy Labor Day, btw, and have a fantastic week!

*Know when to hold ’em…*

Know when to fold ’em.

This week was a transition week as we adjusted to the start of school. My mileage and training were not quite where I wanted it to be with the changes to our household schedule and a bit of a heatwave early on. No biggie. I’m exercising my flexibility muscle and trying to adapt to the little life challenges that come my way without letting them throw my completely off course.

At any rate, as is typical, my mileage ramped up the closer the weekend got. About three days ago, I started experiencing some tightness in my left quad so I played the precaution card and tried to make sure I was stretching a bit more and practiced extra mindfulness when I was running as to not aggravate it. That said, I was feeling really well prepared for my long run this morning. Adequately fueled, hydrated, mentally prepared and optimistic that I’d feel better than I did last week.

I ventured out about 6:10 this morning. The air cool, the streets still fairly quiet, the sun tucked behind the hills to the east. The plan was to run a 9.5 mile loop that would bring me back home to meet Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking who would run the last 6.5-ish miles with me. All was going according to plan when at around mile 7, I became plagued with a tightness above my right knee. RIGHT (not left) knee. I stretched and massaged it at every intersection that insisted that I wait to cross and pushed forward.

Somewhere in the 12-mile zone, we came upon a hill that forced me to change my stride. The tightness increased and things fell apart soon after. The discomfort migrated into my knee and I was forced to stop multiple times in an effort to stretch it out. I kept pushing forward, on the verge of tears, knowing that I was ultimately doing more harm than good. My pace dropped and I was limping. I told Mr. WJTWT that I’d run to 13 but then I was done.

I cried out of frustration, more than pain, for a few blocks and then walk/limped toward home, which at that point was about three miles away. We formulated a plan. My mister would run back home as I made my way to the Starbucks a few blocks away and then he’d come back and pick me up. I can’t recall, in all the years that I’ve been running, that I was forced to fetch a ride home because I couldn’t continue. But then and there, it was the most brilliant remedy to the situation.

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Long run cut short and I end up at Starbucks icing my knee.

While I waited for him to return, I iced my knee while drinking my latte and silently cursed at every person that ran by. (I know, not nice.)

He came with ibuprofen in hand. I’m such a lucky girl!

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Pity flowers. A total score at $2.49 for the bunch!

We sloooooowly walked over to the grocery store. It wasn’t pretty. I was feeling a ton of discomfort and pissed in general. In addition to dinner (and school lunch) provisions, I bought myself pity flowers and a bag of ice. (There may have been a very large bottle of champagne in the cart too.)

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Once home, I filled the tub about halfway with cool water, got in and added three pounds of ice. I’m not sure if the ibuprofen kicked in or it was the ice bath itself, but I could barely walk just a couple of hours earlier and while I could still feel the tightness and soreness to the touch, I was able to walk without limping not long after I got out. What a difference a few hours makes.

The moral of my story is this: know when to hole ’em, know when to fold ’em.

I don’t know what the next few hours, or next few days, will bring but I’m certain that my decision to stop when things fell apart was the first smart choice I made this morning, no matter how frustrating and disappointing it was to cut my training run short. The second was icing as soon as possible and following that up with an ice bath once I returned home, not to mention the ibuprofen. (I rarely take ibuprofen or pain relievers but in this case, I could feel the inflammation and knew I needed something to help relieve it.) The third smart choice was the champagne. Just kidding. It is the recovery techniques that I’m diligent about following to aid in recovery… a post-run recovery meal, compression sleeves, a topical muscle pain/soreness ointment (I use Tiger Balm), legs up, rest, etc.

I’m moving cautiously but optimistic that because I chose to “fold ’em”, along with a chill afternoon and complete rest day tomorrow, I’ll be feeling good as new by Tuesday and ready for another week of training.

*Weekly mileage ~ Aug. 8-14*

Mileage for the week of August 8th – August 14th

Total weekly mileage: 51.5

Total August mileage: 85.5

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 792.5

Run review:

8/8       No run/rest day

8/9       33:11 min./4 mi./8:18 pace

24:49 min./3 mi./8:15 pace

8/10     55:57 min./7 mi./8:00 pace

8/11     50:53 min./6.25 mi./8:09 pace

8/12     45:26 min./5.5 mi./8:16 pace

16:51 min./2 mi./8:23 pace

16:49 min./2 mi./8:22 pace

8/13     29:14 min./3.75 mi./7:48 pace

25:26 min./3 mi./8:29 pace

8/14     2:11:42 min./15 mi./8:47 pace

I’m incredibly proud of what I accomplished last week. Like, holy shit! I nailed the workouts on my training plan, ran more than 50 miles, and left my comfort zone to attend a running group which proved to be a really great decision. All this while in the midst of a week filled with frustration thanks to miscellaneous life crap. BOOM!

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This. Magic! (Venice, California)

This coming week brings a new set of challenges (school starts tomorrow…Boo!) but after some rest following my long run yesterday (which was awful, btw), a super awesome evening on the beach with my boys, a recovery day today that included sleeping in and a slow start, and a new week on the horizon, I believe anything is possible!