#MyRoadToTobaccoRoad

Week 3: Part 1

Hill work.

After 2 days (Sunday and Monday) off, it’s hill work day. After my 9 mile run Saturday, I felt it. Not sore, but I knew I had worked. And then, lying on the couch Sunday I felt my right hamstring – it was definitely tight.

I did my regular warm up (squats, high knees, arm circles and some good ol’ stretching). I felt my right hamstring as I stretched. I did fuel pre-run with toast, jelly and coffee.

Out the door at 5:40 am I went for a mile run warm-up and then I went into my planned 2 miles of hill intervals. About half way through I really felt my right hamstring being tight. Not painful, but tight. I could feel it in a way I didn’t normally FEEL it.

I decided to play it safe instead of push it. I did push through the hill work (not at my maximum intensity/effort) with a constant surveying for any pain. I did a slow, easy mile after the hill work and called it so I could get in and do some good stretching and foam rolling. Injury is not needed here.

Got in the door just before 6:30 am and the 3 year old is on the couch – and she would like breakfast now so that when she gets to school she can have breakfast there too. And she would like to know what she is having at school so that she can specifically select what she would like at home. So, banana, cottage cheese and milk retrieved I got on with really stretching out that hamstring. I got out the foam roller (which completely distracted the 3 year old from completing her specifically selected breakfast) and rolled out my hamstring, hip, calf and rear-end. Depending on how this continues to feel, I may need to consider physical therapy again. When I got back into distance running after my first baby and had signed up for a half-marathon and was working on training, I had sciatic pain in one side (I am drawing a blank on which side but seriously wondering if it wasn’t my right side…). I didn’t have it while running, but in bending, picking up the ever growing toddler, walking. Anyways, I did got to a physical therapist who determined that, probably due to pregnancy, my hips were outta-whack and we worked on re-aligning them so that I wasn’t compensating and strengthening them so that they were equal. And that meant lots of different exercises and using a resistance band and lots of stretching and pushing and pulling, but in the end, the pain went away and I completed the half marathon. Well, now, I’m post baby number two with an ever growing 2 babies that want to be picked up and I’m running again and pushing distance, so, maybe, something is outta-whack again – stay tuned!

 

#MyRoadToTobaccoRoad

Week 2: Part 3

The long run.

This week I was scheduled for 9 miles and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous after the stomach flu and a fairly weak, short run the day before. I wasn’t sure I had rehydrated adequately yet (my weight still seemed low/all over the place). But, as I said before, I hated to use one of my buffer weeks if I didn’t really have to.  Even if I wound up walking quite a bit, 8 miles last Saturday felt good, so I felt like I could complete the distance, even if it wasn’t all running. Sometimes it’s just about doing the dang thing.

Keeping on with my quest for the best fueling methods, my plan was to fuel pre-run and then at 3 miles and 6 miles and then post-run.

Pre-run I went with water, coffee with almond mild and toast and jelly again.

For water this time I put a 16 oz bottle in my flip belt and decided to run with it and try to keep moving to reduce the impact on my split. I planned on having one-third of the bottle at mile 3, one-third of the bottle at mile 6 and then I could have the last third at the end of the run as I made it to my door. I was worried that the bottle would flop around in my flipbelt but it didn’t. I put it in the belt and then slid the belt so that the water bottle rested at the small of my back.  I did have to slow to a walk to get the bottle out, opened and drunk  and back into the flipbelt- but the impact was less on my split than last week when I stopped for more water (closer to 16 oz) and a banana at the midway point (4 miles) in a 8 mile run.

At mile 3, I had 1/2 of a carrot Laurabar (95 calories, 13 carbs). I was able to get it out of my flipbelt and open it and break it in half and eat it while only slowing my pace a little instead of having to walk. I probably had all of this accomplished within a quarter mile.

At mile 6 I opened a pack of jelly bellys made for endurance activities (100 calories, 25 carbs). It took me probably close to half a mile to eat the whole pack as I had to keep going into the pack to get one bean out at a time. Since it took longer, I noticed the impact of trying to run, get out the bean and chew the gummy bean on my run more. The Laurabar I could eat faster and with the texture not being so sticky/gummy, it seemed easier to chew and get down. And in fact, when I looked at my split time, the jelly bellies impacted my split time more than the Laurabar.

Importantly, I felt good for the whole run. I didn’t feel I was losing energy or fading in the last mile(s). I did begin to feel my right hamstring, so there may be some overuse/stretching issue there to watch.  It’s probably also time for new shoes (which were ordered Friday – should arrive Monday for Tuesday’s run).

Post-run I had a scrambled egg with cheese and 2 pieces of bacon and another cup of coffee and water with the fam (lucky me I have a husband who cooks!).

I have noticed that fueling pre and post long run, I am not feeling so HANGRY the rest of the day. This means I am better at not blowing out my calorie budget that day- because even though I’m burning a number of calories with a long run it is incredibly easy for me to out eat any exercise I do.

In the end, I had 9 miles of success and I think I can officially say we have defeated the stomach flu.

#MyRoadToTobaccoRoad

Week 2: Part 2

The recovery

By Tuesday, the virus had made it way through all four of us. We were dehydrated, exhausted and just plain tired. Tuesday and Wednesday were dedicated to sleep, hydration, fueling and disinfecting. Every hard surface in my house was lysoled and chloroxed and every piece of fabric that could possibly be infected was washed. The washing machine ran non-stop for two days. My daughter’s fever persisted through lunch Wednesday. It was Thursday before we were back to work and school.

No physical activity happened until Friday, and even then I wasn’t sure I was ready. Looking at the schedule I did have 2 weeks buffer, but I hated to plan to put off my Saturday long run prematurely – what if something else happened? I was due for 9 miles Saturday.

I figured I would just start out with walking Friday and see where it went. The basic ritual of suiting and lacing up and getting out the door for some fresh air would be a welcome change to the days spent inside.

I walked the first mile and felt pretty good so I gave jogging a try. In the end, it wasn’t my best run ever, but it felt good to move my muscles. I felt a little sluggish but moved 4 miles. I figured the days off might not have been exactly restful overall, but I had at least given my feet/legs/knees a break from the pavement and there was not reason that presented itself in those four miles to not give the nine a try the next morning.

#MyRoadToTobaccoRoad

Week 2: Part 1

The stomach flu.

It entered our house, took hold and didn’t let go. My son started with it Saturday night (our anniversary and all…I have to admit, watching my husband clean up throw up off the baby’s crib and change sheets all while coughing and gaging and making sounds that had me wondering if he would be joining the baby was most romantic). And then we were all in good spirits Sunday until about 4 pm when I told my husband I was either really, really hungry or I was going to throw up. Which I did at 5 pm Sunday until 1:30 am Monday. At 7 am Monday, I rolled over in bed to come face to face with my 3 year old who was just ready to get up. My husband had slept on the couch telling me he wanted me to have more room in the bed…right. However, upon my entrance into the kitchen with the 3 year old and the 1 year old screaming the crib, my husband quickly retreated to the bathroom and the bedroom for the rest of the day. The kids suffered through my recovery on the couch with every Disney movie I could make play. And, promptly, at 8 pm Monday night my 3 year old threw up on the couch not once, but twice and then in bed and so I got the bucket and got in bed with her and every hour on the hour I held it in front of her until 4 am Tuesday.

I went from 138 lbs on Sunday morning to 133 lbs Tuesday. I slept intermittently for 48 hours. It was Wednesday before any of us ate real food or got real sleep. It was Thursday before we were able to return to work and school.

There just was no Tuesday/Thursday run. I ran the stomach flu marathon.

#MyRoadToTobaccoRoad

Week 1: Part 3

Schedule: 8 mile long run

I try to schedule my long runs for Saturday morning so I have a little more time since these runs take longer. I still get up early to do them with the goal of getting home before or right after the kids get up, but with it being Saturday I have some fudge room.

Up until my hill work out on Thursday, I have been doing a 6 mile run fasting – so I haven’t had anything to eat except coffee with almond milk and water. But I noticed on my 7 mile run that I was feeling hungry mid run and by the time I was into the 6th mile, I was feeling sluggish. So, knowing that the hills would tax me, I figured I would have some toast with a tablespoon of jelly pre-run and I think it definitely made a difference in my run. So, for the 8 miler, I decided it was time to start working on my race fueling plan.

So, as I was getting ready for my 8 mile long run Saturday morning, I had a piece of toast with jelly and a cup of coffee with almond milk and water. I decided to fuel mid run, so at 4 miles. I took a banana and a bottle of water and put them at the end of my drive way (I live on a rural farm, so planning where I am going to stash my running eats is going to take some planning and practice).

I did the first 4 miles with negative splits and felt pretty good. I hit 4 miles as I approached my driveway. In order to peel the banana and open the water bottle I had to slow to a walk. I tried to keep a fast paced walk going while I ate the banana and had about 16 oz of water. Obviously slowing to a walk caused my split pace to increase. I left the water bottle and banana peel on the side of the road for me to pick up as I passed back by on my way home. The banana made me feel pretty full and as I started running again, I wondered if I overdid on volume of water, banana or both.

The last 4 miles felt good though and I again had negative splits through the end of the run. I also did not feel myself fading towards the end of the run like I did the week before.

Conclusion – I think fueling before some runs and before and during some runs is important and can help with how you feel and perform during the run. Figuring out the best way to fuel during a run and the best things to use for fuel will be the challenges. Also, minimizing impact on run time is a consideration.

Since I am planning to run 3 times per week, I think I am going to follow this plan:

-Have one hill interval run per week that has pre-run fuel. Warm up for about a mile, have 2 miles of hill interval and end with a 3 mile run.

-Have one fasting 6 mile run per week.

-Have one long run per week where I am adding a mile each week. I will fuel pre-run and during the run.

I will be experimenting with how I fuel during the long runs leading up to race day so stay tuned!

#MyRoadToTobaccoRoad

Week 1: Part 2

My pause turned into shoving the rest of my breakfast into my mouth, Sofia the First, bananas, milk, diapers, and of course, work for my Monday.

This morning – alarm 4:00 am, snooze time 3, BIIIGGG cup of coffee, daily bible reading, change, stretch, gear, out the door 5:40 am, tunes and 6 miles of flight, stretch, shower – enter 3 year old who is cold and wants my bathrobe to lay down on the floor and cover up with and you know she also needs a pillow…bananas, milk, toast, peanut butter, second cup of coffee, diapers, 1 year old snuggles, make lunch, change, car ride, work, car ride, phone call, pick up 3 year old get her changed and get her to dance, write.

I am a pharmacist, so I do spout this healthy living thing to my patients…you are what you eat, your blood sugar is controlled but your cholesterol makes you practically a solid, meds – you take your meds, right?…yes you should exercise – I understand that your are busy but your body will not care and about your schedule and will crap out on you at some point – I know you are only 35, but guess what happens in another decade or two? This is one aspect of one of my many jobs (I have several…).

So, it was this job that did get me thinking…you know, I should make sure I am practicing what I preach. I kinda believe in that whole doing what you say thing…call me old school. Anyways, I started this job back at the end of summer, but I didn’t really get going at it until October and having this thing called a conscience, by November, I was back at trying to live the way I was telling people to live – healthy.

I was post-baby #2 at the end of August 2018. I had about 5-10 lbs more I would like to have off of me, but I was finding myself settling into that whole, “well I’m a Mom now, right?” And I had managed from about March 2018 to June 2018 to start running again, but the our whole household and extended family fell victim to the summer virus curtesy of daycare for about a month followed by some GI bug and then we were back around to August and new job/daycare/nanny/child friendly activities/family events had the fall sweeping away.

Enter, November. And I’m not sure it was the thought of having to take a Christmas card picture that I wasn’t going to be satisfied with or knowing that with the holidays tends to come weight gain, the preaching to my patients about a healthy lifestyle or the fact that my body at 35 hurt, but I strapped back on my old running shoes and said “all I have to do is walk”. And I did.

And then I got the itch to jog. I spent several weeks walking to one song and the jogging to the next song and then walking the next song and so on and so on. I stayed around 3 miles. Then I went to 4 miles. Then I was running almost the whole time, then I was running the whole time. Then I was at 5 miles. And I stayed at 5 miles, 3 times a week for a while.

January 4th – my college roommate, a maid of honor at my wedding and one of my best friends asks me if I would want to run some easy 5Ks. She is trying to get back into the groove after her baby #2. It’s February 9th. I’m game. I’m already surpassing that distance.

So then I get curious. January 6th, I did 6 miles. And I thought, I wonder when the Tobacco Road Half Marathon is…I’ve always wanted to run it. My parents have a picture of my Mom’s Dad running the Tobacco Road Race. I ran the City of Oaks Half Marathon in November 2016 when my first baby was almost a year and half. I had wanted to run Tobacco Road that Spring, 2017, but I got pregnant (planned) and I still remember the morning I had suited up, got to the door and thought, oh, I gotta get back in bed.  And running ended during that pregnancy.

January 12th, I looked it up. Tobacco Road Race (marathon and half marathon), Sunday, March 17, 2019. I thought, if I can do 7 miles today, I can be ready for the half. 9 weeks. That’s increasing my mileage by a mile a week, a rest week before the race and then 2 weeks for cushion. That’s doable. Not in it for time, not in it for qualifying, just for doing it, running it, accomplishing it.

I did the 7 miles. I signed up. Now, it’s about doing the dang thing and living it while I do it. God gave me legs, He gave me lungs, He gave me air to breath and food to fuel me. I will use this body he gave me. I will move it and be amazed by it and humbled by it and thankful for it.

The plan – run 3 times a week. I prefer Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, but I can work around as needed. I’m going to shoot for a 6 mile run on Tuesday, hill and speed work on Thursday and my long run on Saturday. Two time a week I’ll get in resistance and abs – days will depend on scheduling/kids/work. I’m going to chronicle my journey over the next 9 weeks – #MyRoadToTobaccoRoad.

#MyRoadToTobaccoRoad

Week 1: Part 1

The Tobacco Road half-marathon is in 9 weeks counting this week. I have 9 weeks to add 6.1 miles to my longest run since having my second baby. Accounting for an off week the week of the race, that’s 8 weeks. That gives me 2 weeks with some wiggle room for adjustment.

Today, at 5:30 am, I got in my resistance work. Arm circles, squats, leg lifts – stretch – weighted squats, arms, lunges, arms, curtsy lunges, push-ups, inner thigh drops, push-ups, crab leg lifts, push-ups, bridges, push-ups, hip circles, abs, abs, abs, abs, abs, hip foam rolling – stretch – cue 6 AM.

Shower, more coffee, breakfast, work, blog, 3 year old opens door – pause…..

Getting Back in the Game

Obviously, I’ve never been able to be consistent here. I always want to be, but all those extra ordinary and extraordinary life things seem to take up all my time and energy and writing falls by the wayside. So, I’m going to try starting small. One topic, one goal with an end date.

There is a whole back story here, and totally worth detailing at some point, but the short of it is that I have decided to run the Tobacco Road Half Marathon on Sunday March 17th, 2019 at 7 am. To hold my-self accountable, I’m going to commit to sharing my journey here. From today, that is 9 weeks. For 9 weeks, at least once a week, I am going to share my story, my history, my failures, my accomplishments, my why, my how. I’m going to make time.

And since we are more likely to achieve our goals if we write them down, here are 2 SMART goals:

SMART Goal – training for the Tobacco Road Half Marathon

  • Specific – I am going to run the Tobacco Road Half Marathon on Sunday March 17, 2019 at 7 am
  • Measurable – I will run 13.1 miles in 9 weeks
  • Attainable – I will increase my long run mileage (to be done on Friday, Saturday or Sunday depending on the weather) by one mile a week. As of Saturday January 12, 2019 I was at 7 miles
  • Reasonable – It is within my ability to increase my mileage by one mile a week
  • Time Based – increase by one mile per week with race date of 3/17/19

SMART Goal – #MyRoadToTobaccoRoad

  • Specific – I am going to write about training for the Tobacco Road Half Marathon
  • Measurable – for 9 weeks, at least weekly, I will share my journey
  • Attainable – I will plan to write on Sundays at a minimum
  • Reasonable – writing weekly is doable
  • Time Based – I will get up and write in the morning before the kids get up, training for the race will be 9 weeks

This is for me. Not for anyone else. I will not concern myself with what others think. What matters is what I think. I will not let my own thoughts derail me. This is my extra ordinary and at times extraordinary life, an I’m going to live it doing what I love.