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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day 166.

Today is a cross-training day.  I had intended to go walking for 1 hour, then come home and do some other things, but as I started out on  my walk, my left hip was screaming at me.  Every step I took felt like the bones were grinding together.  I went to the park and did a few laps, but after about 40 minutes, I decided to call it good and head home before it got any worse.  When I came home, I did 30 minutes on the elliptical again, because I did that yesterday and it felt good and didn't bother my hip at all.  The really annoying thing is, now my hip feels totally fine.  I think on my next running day (Monday), I'm going to try doing the elliptical for about 10 minutes before I head out for my run, and see if that helps "loosen" things up.  I refuse to let pain slow down my training.  Next week I'm getting into some higher mileage (24 miles for the week), and I've only got 5 training weeks left until I'll be doing the Pocatello Half Marathon.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 165.

Today is a non-running day.  I did a 30 minute program on the elliptical, then I did workout 1 from 30 Day Shred.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 164.

7 mile run today.  I woke up at 5am and did 20 minutes of Pilates before heading out.  I feel really good about today's run because it was the first run over 5 miles that I have maintained an 11 min/mile or faster pace for the entire 7 miles.  I also had another "first" on this run: I had to use my pepper spray to ward off two raging pit bulls that jumped a fence to chase me.  My heart was pounding out of my chest!  It took 3+ sprays at one of the dogs to get them to back off, but I'm so thankful I had the spray with me.  Otherwise I'd probably be getting stitches in the ER right about now.
When I got home I did level 1 of Yoga Meltdown.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 163.

3 mile run today.  I warmed up with 10 minutes of Pilates, then walked a bit before starting my run.  My hip was feeling a lot better today, not as painful when I ran, although it almost feels like there is a bruise in that area.  Anyway, it is a very humid day today, and not being used to the warmth and humidity, my body seemed to be working a lot harder than usual.  I was able to maintain a pace of just over 10 minutes miles for the whole run, though, and I was pleased with that.  When I got home I also did workout 1 from 30 Day Shred.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 162.

5 mile run this morning.  I warmed up with 10 minutes of Pilates, and a few minutes of walking before starting my run.  My hip was hurting when I first started, but again, it felt better as it loosened up.  Since my long run is only 7 miles this week, I though it would be a good idea to try to focus on having a better time on my runs.  I have been averaging an 11-12 minute mile pace on my long runs.  Earlier in my training, a 10 minute mile pace was pretty standard for my shorter runs (2-4 miles), but as my long runs have been increasing in length, my times on my shorter runs have gone up!  I'm slowing, and I'm not exactly sure why.  I feel like it's because I'm more physically taxed, so it's taking more effort to produce the same results that I was having before I started adding the strenuous physical demands of the 10+ mile runs.  I'm also concerned about pacing myself for the the long haul; I know I probably won't do any faster than 11-12 (maybe slower?) minute mile pace during the actual marathon, so that's what my body is getting used to doing.  I actually am not too concerned about my speed.  My goal is to finish the marathon, but I also don't want to be so slow that I feel like I'm just trudging along.  Anyone have any ideas for improving my times, without risking injury?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 161.

Easy 3 miles today.  I did 20 minutes of Pilates to warm up, then did my 3 mile run.  I also did workout 1 from 30 Day Shred.  My hip is bothering me again today, so I am icing it right now.  This week is sort of a recovery week, with my longest run being 7 miles on Thursday.   Hopefully that will help give my joints a chance to "rest", so I can have a great long run next week.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 160.

Today is a rest day, and I definitely am in need of it.  The weeks just seem to be flying by, and I can't believe the summer is already half way over.

For today's literary treat, here's a link to an article I read recently that rings (sort of) true with me.  The author of this article also has a blog, which some of you may also enjoy checking out. 

Something I think we all deal with at some point in our lives, is figuring out who we are in terms of categories and labels.  Can I say "I am a runner"?  Can I call myself an athlete?  I know I am a mother, a wife, a child of God.  I love stories based on real life, I cry easily, I am shy and very uncomfortable at social gatherings.  I love to write, I love to learn new things, but I am fiercely intimidated by the unknown.  I am a total stranger to forcing my body to it's physical and mental limits.  Training for a marathon was the furthest thing from my mind 6 months ago.  Now here I am, smack dab in the middle of all of those things. One of the biggest hurdles so far has been convincing myself that I am capable of achieving this goal, that I am not the "blah girl", with not much notable about her, blending in with the background, just getting by day to day until....what?  My issues are not with motivation, I have plenty of that, nor with consistency, also one of my strong points.  My biggest struggle, by far, is with allowing myself to see what I am able to do, and what I have already done.  Not just acknowledging these things, but actually feeling deep down that I am worthy to be the person I wish I was, the person I am incessantly striving to become.

There is a song I have on my mp3 that I listen to while I am running, ('Lift Me Up', by Kate Voegle).  In this song, the lyrics say: "So loud the voices are from my doubts, telling me to give up, to pack up and leave town.  But even so, I have to believe impossible means nothing to me.  So can you lift me up and turn the ashes into flames, 'cause I have overcome more than words will ever say.  And I've been given hope, that there's a light on down the hall, and that the day will come when the fight is won, and I think that day has just begun.  Somewhere, everybody starts there.  You're counting on a small prayer, lost in a nightmare.   But I'm here, and suddenly it's so clear...the struggle through the long years, it taught me to outrun my fears.  Everything that's worth having, comes with trials worth withstanding...looking up is not enough, I would rather rise above..."

Every time I hear this song I am reminded of all the things I have already gone through in my life that have made me stronger, and that this is just one more hurdle along the way.  I often wonder when I will reach the point in my life when I can say I am content with who I am, that I am comfortable (and happy) in my own skin.  As I continue on this quest, I dedicate my perseverance and efforts to all of my demons: the mother who called me 'pleasingly plump' as a little girl and made sure to tell me often what I was or was not capable of accomplishing, the neighbor man who stole my innocence, those whom I loved but could (or would) not return it, and mostly to my own inner demons - the ones constantly trying to talk me out of attempting to better myself.  Four months from now I will have shed the persona of the pleasingly plump, dorky girl with the cute smile and sweet spirit, and I will instead be the unlikely woman who finished a marathon.  :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day 159.

Cross-training day.  I walked this morning for a little over an hour, then I did workout 1 from 30 Day Shred.  My hip was bothering me last night and still hurt this morning as I started out on my walk, but by the time I got home, it had loosened up and felt better.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 158.

Later this morning I will be taking the Cub Scouts on a day hike in the mountains, so I just did 30 minutes of Pilates to feel ready for the day ahead of me.  I woke up this morning feeling pretty good, better than I had anticipated, considering how sore and shaky I was all day yesterday.  Hopefully my body is starting to adjust to being pushed a little farther with each long run.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 157.

Long run day!  I woke up at 5am, ate a small, homemade energy bar (oatmeal, flaxseed, sesame seeds, reduced fat peanut butter and honey), then I set to doing about 20 minutes of Pilates to warm up.  As I went out for my run, the sun was barely coming up.  I walked for about 1/4 mile then started my run.  This week is what I have been referring to as a "filler" week.  Because I started training for the marathon about 9+ months in advance, and the schedule I'm using is only 30 weeks, I had to improvise and add 9 more weeks to the schedule.  Most of those additional weeks I did early on in the training, by repeating the base building, low mileage weeks.  Anyway, I've reserved a few of the extra weeks for these later months of training, so that I can repeat a few of the longer runs, maybe even adding an additional really long run later on, which will hopefully make me feel more prepared for the marathon.

So I set out today to do an 11 mile run, which is a 1 mile increase from last week's long run.  Last week the route I chose to do my 10 miler took me in a big loop, but when I got back to my starting point, and I hadn't quite hit the 10 mile mark, I had to improvise and run around town until I hit 10 miles.  So this time, I did the same basic route, but instead of turning on the road I did last time (at approximately the half-way point), I kept going to the next road up that would take me over to loop back around heading back toward home.  I wasn't sure going into it how many miles it would add to the distance, but I just set my Garmin to alert me when I'd run 11 miles.  Well, it ended up being further than I estimated.  When my Garmin beeped at 11 miles, it seemed I was still a good distance from home.  I was wiped out at that point, so at the 11 mile mark, I slowed to a walk and got my dried blueberries out of my pack and ate those, and drank some water while I walked.  After walking for about 1/2 mile, I picked up my pace again and ran almost the rest of the way home.  After downloading the info from my Garmin, I figured out that I ran a little over 12 miles, and walked almost 1 mile, and I am feeling it...big time!  I did level 1 of Yoga Meltdown afterwards, which felt good for stretching and cool down purposes, but my legs were shaking.

It feels so good to know I've accomplished something so difficult.  I really had to focus on my internal dialogue today, and even though I can feel the strain and pain on my body on the long runs, the mental struggle is even harder.  It's during those moments when I want to stop running and walk, that I remind myself of all the others who have gone before me on the quest to conquer the marathon.  It can be done!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 156.

Easy 3 miles today.  I'm not sure why it's called "easy", though.  I never would have thought that the shortest, "easiest" run of my training week would be my hardest, but that's what it has become.  It was the same thing last week.  I felt fine on my two longer runs (Tue. & Thurs.), but my Wednesday 3 miler I felt like crap and was even slower than usual.  Today wasn't quite as bad, I wasn't as slow, but legs were feeling very heavy.  When I came home I did level 2 of Yoga Meltdown.  I'm looking forward to tomorrow's long run.  My long run days have become the highlight of my week.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 155.

I woke up this morning feeling pretty crummy: my eyes hurt, my head, neck and shoulders hurt, I even felt a little bit nauseous.  Have no fear, nothing a new pair of shoes, some good tunes and a great early morning run on a beautiful country road can't fix!  I just did a little bit of dynamic stretching before going out for my run.  It seemed to take forever for my Garmin to pick up a satellite signal, so I got in a little extra walking.  (I don't start my Garmin until I've started running, so it only averages my running pace.)  Anyway, once I got going, I felt a lot better.  My shoes are nice, just need some breaking in to get to that comfy stage.  I'll probably wear them for all my shorter runs and wear my other favorite shoes for just my long runs, until they get to the point that I can alternate them on long runs.

So, in the end, I felt good enough that I ran 5.25 miles, instead of the 5 miles recommended on my training schedule.  When I came home, I did a little bit more stretching.  I didn't do my usual Yoga because we have my (college aged) nephew staying with us and I wanted to get to making a big breakfast for him and all the kids, so I didn't have time to do the 30 minute DVD that I usually do.  Maybe I'll try to fit it in tonight.  We're also going on a hike with the kids this afternoon.

Monday, July 19, 2010

New shoes!

I'm super excited to give these babies a trial "run" tomorrow...

They are New Balance 858 stability+ running shoes, and the best part is that I got them for 60% off retail price, so they were only $39!

Day 154.

The start of another week of training!  3 mile run today.  I got up at 6am and did 10 minutes of Pilates and a few minutes of walking before starting my run.  I felt good, no pain, so I tried to focus on good form, lifting my knees higher, etc.  When I came home I did workout 1 from 30 Day Shred.

The past few months have really flown by, and I can't believe I'm already this far in my training.  I was just looking at the calendar and noticed that I only have 6 weeks until I'll be running the Pocatello 1/2 Marathon, and 16 weeks until the RimRock Marathon!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Day 153.

Rest day.

Today I thought I would post a link to an article about something that has been on my mind a lot lately: the importance of staying hydrated.  I've never been a huge fan of drinking lots of water, though I am aware of the benefits and importance of it.  I've been conscientiously trying to drink more water now that my weekly mileage has increased and the weather has (finally) turned warmer.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Day 152.

Today is a cross-training day.  I feel so much better today, with most of the soreness gone, no headache and not as tired.  I started out with 30 minutes of walking, then I did a 30 minute program on the elliptical.  After that I did workout 1 from 30 Day Shred.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 151.

Rest day.  I slept in this morning; my body is sore, sore, sore!  I've been popping ibuprofen like it's going out of style.  I have to take my boys to Cub Scouts this morning, so all I had time for was 30 minutes of Pilates, and it felt good to stretch and do something (sort of) easy.  On a side note, I've ordered some new running shoes, and they should be arriving this week.  Something to look forward to!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 150!

150 days of training, and another milestone ~ reaching the double digits on my long run!  10 mile run today.  I woke up super early, around 4:30, and couldn't get back to sleep.  I ate a mini-Clif bar, got my stuff ready for my run, then did 25 minutes of Pilates.  I was actually biding my time until it got closer to daylight, because I don't particularly like to run when it's too dark and early...too many critters out there.  I left the house around 5:30.  I felt really good on my run, especially considering I had been having some hip pain earlier this week on my shorter runs.  I was a little worried about how it would feel today, but it was fine.  I would have felt even better if I didn't feel like I needed to pee, starting at around mile 3.  Despite the fact that I went to the bathroom 3 times before leaving the house, my hydration belt was sitting right on my bladder, no matter how I adjusted it, it made me feel like I needed to go!  I need to do something about that for next week...

I also saw another moose on my run this morning, only this time it was a little too close for comfort.  I was just coming to the road I would be turning on to start my loop back towards home, so I was around mile 5.  The road I run on has lots of farms and I always see animals, like cows, horses, goats, sheep, there are even some llamas.  In fact, I had just passed the property where the llamas are when I saw the moose, a female, not 50 feet away, looking like she had intended to cross the road right in front of me.  I think I spooked her, because she started to run, and for a split second, I thought she was running towards me, but she took off down the road, alongside the railroad tracks.  Those animals are HUGE when you're that close to them.  Anyway, I turned onto the road, went up a hill and my heart had just started to get back to normal rhythm when a fox ran out across the road in front of me.  At least I can say that every run is an adventure around here!

Before I left on my run, I set my Garmin to beep an alarm when I hit 10 miles, so I avoided looking at it because I didn't want to "watch the clock" as I ran.  The first time I finally did  check it, I was at 8.7 miles, and still feeling really good.  From that point on, though, I started to feel very tired in my legs.  Aerobically, once again, I was doing great, even after going up and down several decent sized hills.  But I can always tell each time I'm going farther than my previous long run, because I can feel my leg muscles being pushed to their limits.  When I got home, I did Yoga Meltdown level 2, then I had a protein smoothie with banana, carrots, skim milk, reduced fat peanut butter, and chocolate protein powder.

I hope you're all not sick of the pictures I post of my Garmin after my long runs.  I do it for myself as much as anyone, because it's proof that I actually accomplished my goal, and I'm not sure I'd even believe it if I didn't see the numbers right in front of me! :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 149.

We're camping this morning, so I got to do my 3 mile run on a trail near a river. It's so beautiful; I love going running in new places. Gearing up for tomorrow's big 10 miler!! Hope I can sleep well tonight.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day 148.

5 mile run this morning.  My husband's work schedule has switched from days to nights this past week, and it's thrown me a little off kilter.  I had been waking up with his alarm and getting my run in while he was getting ready for work.  Now that he's on nights, I've been relying on my internal alarm, and it's not working very well!  Oh, well.  I was still up by about 6:15 this morning, so by the time I did my 15 minutes of Yoga/Pilates warm up, I was out the door by 6:30.  I walked for just a couple of minutes before starting my 5 mile run.  I felt good for the whole run today.  When I got home I did level 1 of Yoga Meltdown.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 147.

3 mile run today.  I woke up a little later than usual and wanted to get right out on my run before it got too hot, so I just did a quick warm up of hip/leg extensions, arm crosses and windmills, then walked for about 1/4 mile before starting to run.  It was pretty warm, but it felt good for a change.  My run went well and I'm looking forward to this week - my highest mileage week yet, with a weekly total of 21 miles.  When I got home I also did workout 2 of 30 Day Shred.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day 146.

Today is a rest day, and I will be taking full advantage.  I recently read an article on Runnersworld.com about the importance of rest days during a training regimen. Here's an excerpt, go to the link to read the article in it's entirety:

Runners who sweat every detail of a workout—pace, distance, effort—may not think twice about a "recovery day" on their training program. After all, rest is easy, right? But while some people are more than happy to take a day on the couch, others can't resist going for a bike ride or even a light three-mile jog. Which is best?

"Recovery days make your training count because your body makes fitness gains while you're at rest," says Brian Glotzbach, head coach of Personal Best Marathon Coaching in Denver. "If you don't give your body the chance to rebuild, you can't maximize those gains—and certain activities at certain times allow for better recovery."
Choosing what to do on your easy day to balance out your hard efforts is key to realizing your full potential. But as with any training principle, your own best formula depends on a range of factors including your fitness level, age, and work/life demands. For most runners, however, the following recovery guidelines will help you get the kind of rest you need to get the most out of tough workouts.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Day 145.

Today is a cross-training day.  I walked for 1 hour this morning, then I did level 1 of Yoga Meltdown.  My legs are actually still feeling a tad sore from Thursday's run.  I took a nap yesterday and was still tired when I went to bed last night.  My body is rebelling, I think.  Good thing my will is stronger!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 144.

No running today.  I still feel like my legs are recovering from yesterday's run.  I did go for a 30 minute walk early this morning, followed by workout 1 of 30 Day Shred.  Mentally, I feel excited and extremely motivated; I still can't believe I actually ran 9 miles yesterday!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 143.

This was the view when I woke up this morning...

...and 9 miles later, I saw this...
I was anxious and excited about today's 9 mile run.  When I woke up, I ate a small handful of peanuts and dried blueberries and drank a few sips of water.  Then I did 15 minutes of Pilates before heading out.  I felt pretty good the whole run.  Aerobically, I definitely felt fine, but the last couple of miles my legs started to hurt.  Not to the point that I wanted or needed to stop, but I could tell I was pushing the limits.  I guess that's why it's called training!  At around mile 6, I pulled a few dried blueberries out of my pack and ate those, followed by a few sips of water.

Okay, so there's a picture of my Garmin after finishing my run.  I'm reminded of this quote by Amby Burfoot, Co-founder and Editor of Runner's World Magazine: "Slow-but-sure has always worked for me, in running and in most other arenas. I wouldn't mind being a Carl Lewis or Usain Bolt, but I've found little payoff in attempting to be what I'm not."  I can relate. ;)

After my run, I stretched and cooled down by doing level 2 of Yoga Meltdown.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 142.

Today's run was an easy 3 miles in preparation for tomorrow's long run.  I started out with 15 minutes of Pilates to warm up, then went to the park to do my run.  I actually felt really good today.  I'm kind of excited about tomorrow's run, and I'm sure I'll have a hard time sleeping tonight.  I might have to take some Tylenol PM or something to make sure I get enough rest.  After my run this morning, I also did workout 1 from 30 Day Shred.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 141.

Four mile run today.  The same as yesterday, I started out with 25 minutes of Pilates/Yoga before going out for my run.  It was cold again this morning, and I didn't really warm up until the last mile.  I felt good, though, and noticed that when I hit the 4 mile mark and slowed to a walk for my cool down, it only took me a few seconds to feel fully recovered.  Maybe that means I'm not pushing myself hard enough?  When I got home, I did level one of Jillian Michael's Yoga Meltdown.  I love that DVD.  It's the perfect combo of stretching and strength building, all while giving me the opportunity to completely cool down after a run.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 140.

Hey, southeastern Idaho, apparently you have not yet been informed: it's supposed to be summer now!  I'm sorry, but 35 degrees at 7am on July 5th is simply not acceptable.  Ugh.

3 mile run today.  I always feel a little out of sorts with my runs after a couple of rest days.  I warmed up with 25 minutes of Pilates/Yoga today because I felt like I needed the extra stretching.  Plus, I really was trying to warm-up my body, because I'm freezing!  Once I got outside, I walked for just a few minutes before starting my run.  Once I got going, I felt fine.  When I got home, I did workout 1 of 30 Day Shred.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 138.

Today is supposed to be a cross-training day. We're still camping, but I was able to use the laptop to play a workout DVD, and I did level 1 of Yoga Meltdown. We also have lots of family reunion activities going on today, so I'm sure I'll be active and busy.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 137.

Today is a running rest day, but I did do workout 3 from 30 Day Shred. I also went for a hike with the kids, since we're up in the mountains and it's a beautiful day!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day 136.

This morning I started my day with 20 minutes of Pilates, then headed out for my 5 mile run. I felt good this morning, and for the first time this week, my legs didn't hurt while I ran. After my run I did level 2 of the Yoga Meltdown. We're leaving this afternoon to go to a family reunion camping trip for the whole weekend. I'm going to take the laptop and a couple of my Jillian Michaels DVD's so I can do those in the mornings. I always feel so much better on my non-run days if I can do some kind of a structured workout. Plus, we'll be camping, so hopefully we'll be doing lots of walking and other activities that burn lots of calories! ;)