Saturday, February 28, 2015

Rock, Recovery, and Race

Phoenix 1/2 Marathon Race Review

I am writing this fast and quick so I can move on.   Back to the grind tomorrow.

Ah, where do I start with this one?  Not a great past 2 weeks for me.  President's Day (Monday) I was out on a "recovery" run and a rock happened to be misplaced on the trail :) and I tripped trip to urgent care with x-rays badly.

It crushed me.  I know, I know - - are you kidding me your head could have split open? No Broken bones?  You are lucky!  Right, Right - but I knew the next 2 weeks would be mentally draining.  And they were.  Non stop rehab.  Laser therapy, pool running 2x a day, painful massage (tear invoking), and writing the ABC's with my ankle 10x a day - I will never think about the alphabet the same way again (for years it brought images of Big Bird and Grover, now it will forever be sprained ankles).

Miraculously, I was given the clearance to run this week - and I knew I had lost fitness - just crushing because of a stupid mistake.  Of all years when you need all the stars aligned it bummed me - and knowing what a bunch of teammates are going through  - made me feel selfish to even think that.

Wednesday we decided to "green light" it after nailing "WOW"  Workout Wednesday :).  So now 2 days till race day was foreign to me, I am so used to getting focused a week prior, visualizing the course, talking race strategy, and planning splits.  Now I was just.....well happy to be running it....except well yea with a cold :(  I can't tell you the last time I have been sick with a cold, like 4th grade? The kind where your head weighs 50 lbs and my sinuses made me look like a walrus.  Sweet.

So I spent the 2 days getting refocused and doing all  my pre race routine tactics to get in mode. Including windexing the crap out of  everything - terrible nervous anxiety habit  - with a tissue in my other hand, sneezing every spray.  Classic.

This was an early one, started at 6:30 am - which involved a 4am wake up call.  I actually slept like a log because my head was so heavy to hold up anyway.  Had my almond butter and bread, did my hip routine, and headed to the race.

After a 3 mile warm-up, I was feeling really good.  And that was the peak of the day.

Just never got into a groove.  Goal had been 6:15 pace, and I didn't hit 6:15 ONCE, ended up 1:24:11 I think, 3rd place AG.  6:25 pace.  Gross.

The good news, is teammates, Ariana WON it, Amy, got 2nd, Nat got 2nd in AG, I got 3rd in AG.  We all were Top 10 overall, and represented SDP well.

If I am honest,  I am more worried about mentally bouncing back from this one, never good to go backwards.  It bites.

But, no use looking backward, the sidewalk ended - time to start a new path to 2:43.  First things first this week is about getting the ankle back to 100%, Building back my base again, and looking forward to just training for a month.  3 races in 1.5 months has me a little mentally drained.

Thank god for teammates, they make the rollercoaster lows a little more bearable.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Feedback + "Jason"

It is amazing to me that people actually read this blog!  As part of the Sonoran Distance Project we all have blogs, it is a way to engage the running world and also create awareness for the women's running movement.  A tad nervous,  I figured at least my mom would read it, but after I sent it out and saw 700 people opened it  -  I knew my mom loved me, but that would be a lot of re-reads - - other people must be reading this?!

And with that comes feedback, which I am 100% open to....and appreciate.  Here are what I hear most consistently:
  • You need to post more often
  • You need to be detailed in your training, what are your weeks like?
  • What exactly do you do for recovery, for strength?
  • Who is your Fiance?
  • What do you eat?
So, I am going to cover all of these - not at once, but here and there. My only disclaimer is remember this is just what I do, what is working for me, I am by NO means an expert on anything.  So don't get fired up if you disagree, you're probably right ;)  Every athlete is different and has their own "mojo". Deal?!

So with that, I figured it was appropriate to cover the "fiance" question as it is Valentine's Day!  And this is quite humorous because I know he reads this!

My fiance is Justin, aka "Jason".  For some reason, he is always called Jason - by my dad, by mom #2 (Jodi), and even yesterday on the phone with the priest as I was trying to set up the dates, etc., "So where does Jason live?" I was going to correct him, but then I thought, you know I am not going to correct a priest.  We will address that day of. :)
A legit picture of the 2 us actually being serious so you know what he looks like :)
We met when I was an intern at P&G :)  He literally stopped by my desk 4x in one day asking if I would sub for his flag football team.  After three "no's" I thought either a) this guy thinks this is a great pick-up line or b) he is REALLY serious about football and doesn't want to forfeit.  Reflecting back on the situation now, I realize he was really serious about football.  Anyways, I said yes figuring I knew no one in the new city, and maybe I could make friends.  Well, I made one for sure - Justin and I were best friends for about 5 years before we even started dating.  I was dating someone else at the time, and just loved him as a friend.  We did everything together - golfing, movies, basketball, tennis (the one thing he can beat me at), etc.  I then moved to Minneapolis and as fate would have it life threw a rather tough curveball at Justin and though being farther away, we became incredibly close as he battled through that.  I would move back to Cincy, and shortly after we started dating. Then life threw me a curveball, and he became my rock.   And the rest is history!

We are so alike in some ways and so very different in others.  We are both actually huge introverts - most think we are extroverted because we are friendly; but really we love to just hang the two of us and be nerds.  We both are very athletic and sports nuts, and have a deep love for Chicago.  And extremely competitive; he has matured some in that department; I am still a #workinprogress
And the differences are humorous.  I am WICKED Type A - - Justin is my calm, relaxed opposite.  When Justin was here a few weeks ago I remember waking up and seeing him sitting outside on the patio reading.  And I just had to laugh.  I seriously do not think I physically could just get up in the morning and sit down!  But I think that is why we are so perfect for each other - - I like to think I push him in ways to get to places he has never been, and I know for me he is the reason I have not had a heart attack by 30 :)

speaking of heart attack, Justin and I after looking at how much all this wedding stuff costs!
I cannot count the number of times our friends will ask - do you guys EVER fight, you seem like Pollyanna and Peter (I made the names up, but you get my point - like farmer nice).  The answer is not really screaming fighting, we just are not like that.  I cannot say I actually ever screamed at anyone - -we pout.  I got that one from my mom - never once screamed at me, but when I did something stupid - she pouted.  It's worse - trust me.  Anyways, Justin has done many stupid things.  I think my mom and I have mailed numerous shoes, P&G badges, wallets, cellphones, etc to Cincinnati because he lost/left them.  I know for a fact if his head was not attached to his body I would have already mailed it back 3x.   These "situations" have caused me to pout quite a few times because they always seem to happen at the perfect times - you know how that goes.  And I have done EVEN stupider things (ummm...maybe I lost the diamond on my engagement ring!?!).  But I think the beauty of our relationship is we're older now so we realize we're human, humans do dumb things, and they do not do them intentionally.  So we get over it fast and move on.

Justin is extremely smart, very old school gentleman like, and incredibly funny.  We literally can entertain ourselves for hours just walking and talking :)

This is bad behavior for me, but a classic Justin Picture being  ridiculously funny.

And another favorite Justin Story - at a T-Giving Race he got this Fox (don't ask why there is a fox we still don't know) to come behind my mom and ask for a picture  - LOVE THIS.
My family loves him, perhaps more then me even I fear!  But I think the thing I love most about him, is his morals/values.  He truly is the "salt of the earth".  He has been so incredibly supportive of me chasing this dream, it's really unfathomable.  He is my biggest fan - through thick and thin.  I know if I asked him to get the moon for me he would be on the first spaceship out there, probably would leave his wallet there, but whatever.  So I end this post with my all time favorite Justin story.  Perhaps a bit personal, but I think it beautifully demonstrates how lucky I am.

I am Catholic, not a holy roller - I mean probably if the church knew I was saying I was Catholic, they would say - EKKKKKKK can you NOT announce that please :)  But I am, I grew up Catholic, went to Catholic schools, etc.  And through all the moves, the mess, the rough times, you name it the one constant has been my faith.  I never would tell anyone, or push it on anyone, it just is what it is.  Well, after Justin asked me to marry him (another humorous story, see Facebook :) we were talking about the who, what, when, where, etc.  And without me even asking he said let's do it at a Catholic Church - - well if you're Catholic you know that's a whole barrel of worms if you are both not Catholic, totally doable, but it involves, classes, retreats, etc (and right now both of us are a bit strapped for time and in 2 different states).  So I gently said, well let's talk about it because without being Catholic it can be messy.  And to that he said, "I am".  I became Catholic because I saw how much it meant to you.   So without me even knowing he went through the whole process (which is rather...brutal...) for me?

Yes, no more needs to be said.  It's a little thing, but that was probably the moment I knew I was the luckiest girl on earth.  So Justin, Jason, whatever you call me he's my Valentine :)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Pancakes Anyone?

Runner's Den Pancake 10K Race Review

Following through on the promise for quick race recaps, here is a short one on my 2nd race this year as this is one of those times when work (why did I raise my hand to do that?), running (how many miles this week...even after a race?  Ok,  I'll stop asking), life (yes that wedding planning is happening, no Facebook I do not want a t-shirt that says "Stay Calm and Wedding Plan"...p.s. who does buy that crap?) all are colliding at once.

This one was less a focus race and more of a planned workout within a long run, it's tough to take time out to taper "right" for a race because when you do you essentially can take 3 weeks out of your training block.  So unless it's a must for you - you plug right through.  However, I was pretty amped for this one because 5 of us were in this, and would be able to work together to SWEEP top 5 (which we did - #SDPStrongerTogether).    Anyways, as a result I went ahead with a normal week of training and did pretty hard descending ladder mile repeats on Wednesday and another semi-hard effort Friday that left my legs a tad tired.

But, it was good because it gave me another chance to refine my pre-race routine, which I am so pysched about! I have found the perfect fueling and hydration combo that is really working for me.  I am lasting a lot longer in races before I run out of calories.

I think my favorite part of moving to new cities is learning their unique and big races, this Pancake one seemed to be one, lots of history, and sold out - always a good sign.  In fact my only critique is it started at 9:15, I mean when you wake up when I do that's like lunch time :)  As a result, I struggled a bit on the warm-up timing, I did 4 miles beforehand, but I think I did it too early.  I was anxious to just get rolling.

Gun went off, and honestly I can say race strategy went a little south - plan was to race conservative, and 1st mile was 5:50 -epic fail.  After that I evened it out though and finished in 37:55, 4th overall....6:07 pace.  So now I just need to keep that for 20 more miles, with room for a little explosion if needed....right?  No, honestly I felt like I legitimately gained some serious fitness from the 1/2 (6:19 pace) to now, so I am hoping my next half pulls in between these two races in regards to pace, and that will be a very good indicator of progress.
PANCAKE SWEEP #SDPStrongerTogether!

Things that I liked about this race:
1.   Teammates:  it was awesome sweeping and running next to some serious talent.. it's inspiring
2.   New racing Flats:  I love my new Skechers Go Meb's -and speaking of which, today I got my whole shipment and I am in running heaven :)
3.   Pre-race routine is getting tight - and that has been a journey!
#LikeaGirl (with new racing flats!! #GOlikeneverbefore)
Me and amazing Holli who does wonders for Girls on the Run, #youknowyouarejealousofmypancakemugIwon.

Most girls get excited for shoes....but probably not these kind of shoes!?  Got my new Skechers Performance Shipment!
Net, back to work today with a 9 mile recovery run, minimal damage left behind except a small monster grabbing my hamstrings tightly, but that is what Mr. Foam Roller is for!  #GOlikeneverbefore #SDPStrongerTogether #LikeaGirl #BeSwift #TeamNuun