Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday Favorites - Louis' First 5k

This week, my Friday Favorite isn’t about food, it’s about my amazing little boy Louis!  He’s spending some time at his dads and has been away from home entirely way too long, so if I can’t see him or talk to him, I’ll write about him!

Louis ran his first 5k about a month ago – he’s 7.  I was 33 the first time I was able to run a 5k!

I feel the need to brag on him!

The farthest we had gone up to that point was a mile.

We ran pretty slow, but remained steady, implementing a run/walk interval. 

We saw a horribly stinky skunk along the way & took a break at the park.  It was an interesting run!

The 5k we chose was a virtual one, meaning we could do it anywhere at any time.  He admires those in the armed forces (aka when he grows up he wants to be an “army guy”), so the Fit for Life Armed Forces run seemed like a good fit.
Did I mention how awesome I think this spectacular little boy is?  

I am so proud of him and so happy I’m rubbing off on him in a good way.  He is very motivated by medals (who isn’t?!).  He can’t wait to run a “big” race with mom.  

He definitely earned his medal as well as frozen yogurt treats afterwards! Even though he said while we were running he *never* wanted to do that again....he can't wait to race again!  Next up....a 4th of July 1k with his Papa & GiGi here from MN to cheer him on.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Another Marathon Monday . . . on Tuesday!

So I entered the Chevron Houston Marathon lottery on a whim.  I had wanted to do the race this past year, but was late to the lottery and the date just didn't really work out.

But 2014...I'm in!

Since this will be my third marathon within 90 days, I will qualify for "Marathon Maniac" status. This is only one of the minimum qualifiers.  Some of the "maniacs" truly are, running 52 marathons in 52 weeks, or several back to back in multiple states.  I'm not looking to be an overachiever here.

At one point in time I would have been happy to have run one marathon.

(or more marathons)

Houston will be number 9!  Crazy talk!

I liken marthoning to time passes you forget the pain and remember only the joy.

 Week Two training looks something like this:

Monday: 6.5 miles, 2 miles at marathon pace, 1 mile at 8:30.  3.5 miles in between at a "comfortable" pace.

Tuesday: Tabata, Core and hill repeats with the MRTT crew

Wednesday: 6-6.5 of speed work

Thursday:  Recovery Run 4-5 miles

Friday: Rest Day aka The Day All of My Teenage Dreams Come True!!!

After 20+ years of waiting, I'm *finally* getting to see all of my favorite boy bands.

Saturday:  Total Conditioning and 8-10 miles at a comfortable pace

Sunday:  Let there be rest of some sort

Question of the Day: What was your favorite boy band?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Start of a New Season

June brings a new season....summer, but for me it marks another point of the season!

Marathon training started yesterday!  I always feel like this day is a bit of a holiday (at least for me it is), as it starts a momentous journey. 

I have some big goals for the fall.

To break 2 hours in an outdoor half – I’ve done it on the treadmill a couple of times & have come really close outside.  The only outdoor half I have on my schedule so far is the hilly Showdown Half.  My best time there is 2:09. 
To get closer to the 4 hour mark in a marathon.  I’m not sure if this will happen in SanFrancisco, but I think it could at the NYE Marathon in Allen.
To complete an ultra marathon. The Rocky Racoon 50k in Huntsville in on my radar.  I have no time goal on this one, only to finish.

I have also done something REALLY different this year.  I hired a coach.  One of the fabulous ladies in the Mom’s Run This Town group I belong to, recommended her coach. He helped her meet her goals in the half marathon and triathlon events.  While it sounds really fancy and expensive, it really isn’t!  Having a custom made training plan and help in transitioning to mid-foot running has already reaped benefits.  In the past I’ve used training plans from various sources; Jeff Galloway, Hal Higdon, Runkeeper and even writing my own from a combination of plans.

So Week 1 Training looks like this:

Monday – 5 miles – Tempo Run

Tuesday – Tabata & Core

Wednesday – 5 miles of Intervals & Speedwork

Thursday – 4-5 mile Recovery Run, focusing on technique

Friday - Rest

Saturday – Total Body Conditioning & 6-8 mile Long Run with 2-3 miles at race pace

Sunday – Rest

Have you ever used a coach?

What kinds of training plans have you used in the past?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day

Today is the day we celebrate one of the first people we often love the most….our dads.

There are good dads, there are not so good dads and then there are dads like mine….awesome dads.

My dad is the one on who can fix anything.  When I was young he had his own auto mechanic shop.  One Christmas he gave his customers a coffee mug that said “we fix everything but broken hearts”.  This prophecy could not ring any truer.   My dad is that McGyver type dad…the one who can rig up anything from 2 or 3 common house hold items.  A fine example: the first vehicle I was allowed to drive ran on propane* (which was MUCH less expensive than gas at the time).  He rigged that truck up to run on both types of gas.  Who knows how to do that?! (yet I still managed to run out of gas once or twice)  

*Disclaimer: said propane gas tank was NOT composed of 2-3 common household items.  Do not try this at home. 

My dad is the one who after working 9-10 hours a day 6 days a week, took his one day off to spend with his family.  In the summer that meant hauling us to the lake every weekend to swim or fish - sledding or ice fishing in the winter.  We had a family vacation every summer that I can remember because his parents didn’t take him and his brothers and sisters on vacation.  Even if they were just up to the lake or the city for the weekend, there was ALWAYS a vacation and they were ALWAYS fun.  Several times he packed me, my mom and sister up in the car and drove 20+ hours to northwestern Montana.  Now THAT’S a road trip - ones that had so many memories along the way.  

 I can rock the fro.
Apparently it scared my little sister.

In a pinch?  Call dad....he knows what to do.

Car troubles?  Call dad...he'll make sure the auto mechanic doesn't screw you over for hundreds more than what it REALLY cost to fix.

I should also mentioned that he has had Type 1 (juvenile onset) diabetes for decades.  Diabetes might be a big part of his life, but it has not taken over his life, like so many others that I have seen.  Nope.  Life throws you lemons; you make lemonade.  You deal with it and move on. 
My dad is the one who was promoted to being a Papa 7 years ago.  He is worshiped and adored by his grandson.  Whatever Papa says or does is like gospel.  There are countdowns to when Papa (and Gigi too!) are coming or when we are going there.  I’m sure Louis is counting the days to when he can hunt with his Papa.  I am asked when this will happen several times a year.  He is also a Papa to a very special little girl who isn’t his biological granddaughter…one that never got to know her mom’s dad (who was a lot like my own dad).  Louis is so lucky to have such a great father figure in his life.

My dad is patient, kind, hilarious and humble.  I don’t think he gives himself enough credit. I find myself blessed to have such a fantastic dad!

My parents first trip to NYC - to see my finish my second NYC marathon.

Happy Father’s Day Dad!  You’re the best!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Spirit of the Marathon II

Last evening I attended the showing of Spirit of the Marathon II.  It was good.  It was inspiring.  It reminded me why I dislike watching movies in big theaters.

If you haven’t see the original, Spirit of the Marathon profiles 6 runners, both elite and middle of the pack runners, young and old, as they train and race a marathon.  Their stories are real and as a runner, there are things in each of their stories you can relate to.  Spirit of the Marathon II takes a similar view, profiling 5 runners.  

The Good

I had been looking forward to this movie since I heard about it coming out, which seems like months ago!  I happened to watch Spirit of the Marathon I on the plane to Chicago before I ran the Chicago marathon last year.  Spirit of the Marathon I just happens to be about the Chicago marathon! While I ran that day, I recounted some of the experiences and sites that were relived in the movie.  It was awesome.  I watched it again after the marathon and the viewing experience was different.  I had run those streets. I had seen the crowds, the excitement, the joy of the finish.  It was powerful. I was really invested in the runners stories and their outcomes. 

 Trailer from Spirit of the Marathon I

The Spirit of the Marathon II was set in Rome for the running of the 2012 Rome marathon.  The scenery was spectacular.  It started at the Coliseum and appeared to end there as well.  While the stories were still interesting, there was something about the runners who were profiled in the first movie that really touched me.  There were bits of humor, sadness, joy and grief….all every day feelings, all feelings we go through when we put our bodies through the rigor of the marathon itself. 

 Trailer from Spirit of the Marathon II

The Bad

Of course I sat next to the people who talked throughout the E N T I R E movie.  One of the guys who was doing all the talking was also a heavy breather…very distracting!  Heavy breather also seemed to be an expert on everything running related (yeah….one of THOSE).

The movie theater staff must have forgotten about the “special event” as we didn’t even get to watch the movie until 30 minutes after it was supposed to have started.  I will give them credit…we were all issued a voucher for a free movie. 

Overall I would give this movie 3 out of 5 stars.  I really liked the first one the best, but this one still held my attention and was very enjoyable

Did you see this movie last night?  Have you watched the first one?

What is your biggest pet peeve about movie theaters? 
Mine are (in no particular order):  talking (obviously), cell phone lights and crinkly wrappers.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Learning To Run Again

This week I started a new running adventure.  I’m learning how to run again.

It seemed like the perfect time, coming off of my klutz injury and all.

I am was a *serious* heel striker.  I am trying to change that.

The proof is in the shoes! This is a retired pair, but you get the drift. 

It's also pretty obvious I am a big time pronator.  I'm working hard to fix both of these things.

Heel striking can cause a runner to use up a lot of energy.  Striking on the mid-foot is a much more efficient way to run; it prevents injuries and is easier on the knees.  It can also improve time drastically (at least that’s what I’m reading!). 

If you watch the elite runners, you will see that this is how they run.

I saw a video of myself running and I pretty much roll off the entire shoe.  Something needed to give.  My times are in a rut.  I want to get better. 

So I’m starting from scratch.

I am trying to incorporate the techniques used in POSE running.  

This book is really great – it explains the science behind running as if you are falling forward.  It helps you run faster.  There is much more to this technique than I can possible sum up in a blog post, but what I can tell you is that it offers up some really great form pointers. 

SO…I have been incorporating the mid-foot strike into my runs.  I am used to cranking out 20-25 miles a week in my “off-season” – running 6-8 miles at a time.  Now I’m doing 2-3 milers, not because I want to, but because it’s all I can do.  It is killer on the calves…mine are screaming after a half mile or so, but I think I am starting to get the hang of it…kind of. 

I met up with the fabulous ladies last nightt from the Allen chapter of Moms Run This Town (MRTT) for hill repeats.

Yes.  I sought out a hill to run.  I have run hills before, but this was my first real “hill workout”.  Hills are no joke, and I know I need to get better at them to crush it in San Fran this fall.  I would have never done this type of workout on my own.  It is so much better to have others to suffer along with you! Seriously, it was a fun time!  

I'm still not sure of this, but it sure can't hurt! 

So using my new mid-foot striking technique, I clocked myself at a 7:07 min/mile pace.  So it was flying downhill, and it was only for a few moments, but I have never run that fast before. 

I foresee some good things happening with all of these new changes!

Are you a heel striker or a mid-foot striker?

Do you regularly run hills?