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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 197.

This morning I did a 3 mile run.  I warmed up with 15 minutes of Pilates, then after dropping the kids off at the school, I walked to the park, ran 3.3 miles, actually, then walked home.  Then I did level 1 of Yoga Meltdown.

I remember back to when I first decided to train for a marathon.  That week I had been sick with a pretty nasty head cold, and I remember pushing through those first few days of running while barely being able to breathe.  I have read that runners, particularly distance runners, are more susceptible to getting sick because of the strain our bodies are put through, immunity is lowered.  I've been taking a multi-vitamin everyday, and so far, in 7 months of training, I haven't gotten sick at all.  Wouldn't you know it, the week I have my first race, I start to get sick!  Last Thursday, after the first week of school, my daughter came down with a fever, stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, etc.  As I took care of her all weekend, I tried to be careful about germ spread, washing, disinfecting, all that stuff, but obviously, as a mom, if your kids get sick, it's pretty likely your going to get it too.  I started getting a sore throat yesterday, and this morning when I woke up, I could feel that icky, start of a cold feeling in my head.  I took an Emergen-C Health Boost drink (vitamin C, zinc), and went ahead with my run.  I always feel better after a run, and the same was true this morning.  I'm just hoping that I don't get too sick, or that at least it's short lived and I can feel good for Saturday's race.  One way or another I'm running 13.1 miles on Saturday morning, it would just be nice not to have to do it carrying a box of Kleenex! ;)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Day 196.

This morning I did a 4 mile run.  It was pouring rain and cold when I woke up to get the kids ready for school, but I got myself ready also and did 15 minutes of Pilates, hoping that the rain would let up enough for me to do my run outside.  I haven't used the treadmill since March, I think, and I prefer to do my runs outside whenever possible.  You never know, I may end up having to run the marathon in rain, or even snow, so it's best to be prepared!  Anyway, by the time I returned from dropping the kids off at school, it was just sprinkling so I went ahead and did my run.  By around the halfway point, the rain had let up completely, though it was still cloudy, humid and cold.  I actually had to wear a sweatshirt on my run today!  When I got home I did workout 3 from 30 Day Shred.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 195.

Well, another rest day.  This week is going to be all about preparing for my race on Saturday.  I will still do runs the first couple of days this week, but by Thursday and Friday, I will be resting my legs as much as possible.  As far as timing, this race has come at just the right point in my training.  With still a couple of weeks for "wiggle room", not only am I able to fit this 1/2 marathon in, replacing a long run for this week, but I will also be able to fit in an extra long run in a few weeks of 22 miles, so that will be my longest run before doing the actual marathon (instead of the 20 miler being my longest run).  I'm hoping that will make me more prepared, at least, as prepared as I can get.  I'm sure there will be things unaccounted for, but that's what makes a "first marathon" special, right?  As long as I finish, I will feel successful on this first attempt.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 194.

Cross training day.  I can always tell when it's the day after my long run, because it's the one day I have the hardest time moving my body to get out of bed!  Anyway, I gradually made my way to the exercise room, after reading the paper and eating a bowl of Life Cereal.  I did 30 minutes of Pilates, then did 40 minutes on the elliptical.  I feel better now.  :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Day 193.

10 mile run this morning.  It seems to me quite a turning point, when last night my husband asked me how long my long run would be this morning, and I responded by saying, "Only 10 miles."  Well, it may have been "only" 10 miles, but I'm still pretty tired!  I woke up at 5:30, did 15 minutes of Pilates and stretching, got all my gear ready, then headed out while it was still a little dark.  It was overcast, warm and humid.  I could definitely feel the humidity in the air.  Half way through the run I ate 3 Shot Bloks and drank a few sips of water.  I can tell the difference when I fuel, as I start to feel sluggish, it gives me a boost to keep going.  In reality, my body probably doesn't need the fuel on runs of 10-13 miles, but I want to get used to eating/drinking while running, and I need to test out different types of fuel to see how my body reacts.  When I finished my run, my legs were feeling it.  Right now I'm wearing my CEP Recovery/Compression socks.  After my run I also did level 2 of Yoga Meltdown (30 minutes).  And so that's it...the next long run I do will be next Saturday when I race in the Pocatello 1/2 Marathon!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day 192.

Three cheers for my little guy, my bike pacer, my 4 year old - he rode his bike FIVE miles with me today!!  Normally today would be my long run day, but since my husband is out of town this morning and I didn't want to attempt a 10 mile run with the jogging stroller, I opted to switch up my schedule bit and do my long run tomorrow when my husband will be home with the kids.  So instead, I took my little boy and his bike, and headed down to the park this morning, where I walked for 5 miles, and he rode his bike.  I was so proud of him; that is a long way for such little legs!  I haven't done it yet, but later I plan to do some Yoga as well.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 191.

Today's run was 4 miles.  I warmed up with 15 minutes of Pilates, then took the kids to school before starting out on my run.  It was cold again this morning, but very sunny and beautiful.  I felt pretty good, except that my hamstring is still bothering me a little.   I've been continuing to wear the knee support on every run, and I do think that helps a lot.  When I finished my run, I did workout 1 from 30 Day Shred.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 190.

7 mile run this morning.  I woke up with the kids and did 15 minutes of Pilates while they got ready for school.  After dropping them off, I did a big loop that took me 7 miles, plus 1/4 mile at the beginning and end for walking warm up and cool down.  It was only 40 degrees when I started out.  I can't believe the colder weather is already here. :(  It is a sunny day, though, and I enjoyed my run.  My quads were a little sore for some reason, so I had to go slowly.  After my run I did 30 minutes of Yoga Meltdown.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Day 189.

Back to reality today, after a great weekend where I was spoiled beyond belief.  We went to visit some good friends (my running mentor, besides being great friends), and while we were there with them, we went to the Wasatch Running Center.  That place is amazing!  They have everything running related you can imagine, and they do a personal fitting and gait/running evaluation so you can get the perfect pair of running shoes.  My mentor had me fitted for some new shoes, and he also got me a few things that he thought I would find helpful in my running, including some Zensah calf sleeves.

I ended up with a new pair of Asics Gel Nimbus 12's, and they are awesome!  It's like running on a cloud.

Apparently I wasn't even wearing the correct size of running shoes.  In normal shoes I wear a 7 1/2, and I had read that your running shoes should be 1/2 to a full size bigger than your regular shoe size, so my New Balance shoes were an 8.  At the Wasatch Running Center, I was fitted for a 9, and I can't believe the difference it makes.  This morning I had a 4 mile run planned, but even as I approached and reached the 4 mile mark, I felt so good, I just kept going until I got back to my house, instead of allowing some time for a walking cool down, so I actually ended up going 4.5 miles.  The Zensah leg sleeves are also wonderful.  They keep my legs from getting as tired, and apparently they're supposed to help keep you from getting varicose veins, which is good since I already had a couple of those starting to form on my calves.

Anyway, the kids had their first day of school this morning, so now my training schedule will have to change a little bit.  I woke up at 6am with them, got their lunches made and everyone ready, then I had time to do a 25 minute Pilates/Yoga warm-up.  Then at 7:30 I walked the kids to school, and from there left on my run.  And as I said, I went 4.5 miles, and it was a great run.  For the first time, I forgot I was running for a portion of the run, because my mind was wandering and daydreaming, which made the run go by even faster.  When I got home I also did workout 1 from 30 Day Shred.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Day 187.

Today is a cross-training day.  We're staying with some friends and this morning I had the opportunity to run with my running mentor, so I did it.  He had a 16 miler on his schedule, but since it's not a running day for me and I didn't want to over do it, I just did 4 miles with him.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 186.

Well, even though yesterday was a difficult long run, at least I can say that my recovery was faster than last week.  I felt tired and stiff most of yesterday, but this morning I feel pretty good, and my legs don't even hurt that much.  I went for a 45 walk this morning, followed by 25 minutes of Pilates.  We're heading down to Salt Lake this afternoon to stay with some friends for a couple of days, so I'm not sure what my recovery/rest days will hold.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day 185.

Well, I did it...another 13.1 miles under my belt.  It was tough.  I didn't run the 1/2 marathon route this time, I just ran a loop from home that took me the distance, allowing for a little walking at the beginning and the end for warm up and cool down.  I woke up again at 5am, did 20 minutes of Pilates, then headed out while it was still a little dark.  On today's run I tried GU for the first time.  A friend of mine and marathoner said she likes the Vanilla Bean flavor of GU, and she had tried others that she thought were gross, so that's what I bought.  She did warn me that it's kind of like squeezing frosting into your mouth, and she was right.  It's a little weird, the flavor was okay.  I think I preferred the flavor and texture of the Clif Shot Bloks I used last week, but I actually think the GU worked better as far as giving me an instant energy boost.  I took the GU around mile 6, and today I felt like I could've used another one around mile 11.  Unlike the 1/2 marathon route I will be doing (in two weeks - eeeek!!),  which is mostly flat, with a few rolling hills, the loop I ran today has at least 4 pretty good sized hills on the second half, and boy could I feel it!  My legs were soooo tired.  My time felt it, too.  It took me about 7 minutes longer to do today's 13.1 miles than last week's.  Oh, well.  It's good practice for the Rim Rock Marathon, which is all uphill on the first half.  When I got home I felt like I was dying, and I was super thirsty.  I had finished my water bottle while on my run, so as soon as I walked in the door, I headed straight for some ice water.  I did 30 minutes of Yoga Meltdown as a cool down and stretching, but it was hard.  I really just wanted to lay on the floor and moan.  ;)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Now I feel legitimate!

I was taking off my nail polish this morning to do a self-pedi, when I noticed this:

Yep, that's right folks...it's a black toenail from running!  Don't worry, it only looks disgusting.  It doesn't hurt, at least not now.  A week or so ago it was hurting, but it didn't occur to me to check the nail under the polish.  Well, I guess this can happen when you're logging a lot of miles, but...ewe!

Day 184.

Today I had another 3 miler on the schedule.  I warmed up with 10 minutes of Pilates before heading out.  I had decided to give it a little gusto, hoping to get a good time, since it was a short run.  I pushed myself, or so I thought, going at about 80-90% for pretty much the whole run.  When I finished, I was dripping with sweat and was breathing a little harder than I usually am when I finish a run.  I even ran until I reached 3.1 miles, just to make it an official 5K distance.  Well, apparently I'm just a slow runner.  33 minutes.  When I downloaded my run stats from my Garmin, I averaged a 10:30 min/mile pace.  That's faster than my long distance running pace, but still pretty slow for a 5K.  My confidence has taken a hit.  I feel less than average right now.  I think that I'm afraid to push too hard for fear of getting an injury, since my left leg is already on the precipice of breakdown.  I just have to keep reminding myself that my ultimate goal here and now is to finish a marathon, and not be too concerned with speed.  Once I've established myself as a runner (basically, consistent running for more than year), then maybe I can start doing some speed work.

After my run I did workout 3 from 30 Day Shred, and I also did an additional 15 minutes of Yoga after that.  Long run tomorrow...another 13 miler.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 183.

Sometimes, when you wake up with a headache for the 3rd day in a row after not getting quite enough sleep, and you force yourself outside to do a 7 mile run, it's a good time to take stock of some of the positive reasons why you're doing this running thing anyway.  For example, today on my run: the pain in my left leg was (comparatively) minimal, I saw some deer, a couple of (curious) llamas, a mouse and a (very dead) rattlesnake, I was able to maintain an 11 min/mile pace for the whole 7 miles, I knew I had 4 cute kids at home, eagerly waiting for me to return and make them the french toast for breakfast as I promised, and finally, as my husband would say...I was rockin' a great ponytail!  See, the old adage is true: you always feel better after a run.

P.S.  I also did 30 minutes of Yoga Meltdown afterwards, which is always a pro in my book.  Sorry, kids, you had to wait just a little longer for that french toast!  :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day 182.

This morning I had an easy 3 miler on the schedule.  I actually think it was more an exercise in mental fortitude.  I went to bed last night with a splitting headache, and woke up this morning not feeling a whole lot better.  I actually considered skipping my run altogether, but I decided I had to push through it.  I did 10 minutes of Pilates to warm up, then took some Motrin before heading out for my run.  Once I got outside in the fresh, cool air and got moving, I felt a little better.  I definitely took the "easy 3 miles" thing literally, and did an easy, slow run.  When I got home, my head didn't hurt so much, so I went ahead and did workout 3 from 30 Day Shred, and since I felt even better after finishing that, I also did a 40 minute Pilates/Yoga combination DVD.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 181.

Today is my rest day, although I did do 30 minutes of Pilates when I woke up this morning.  Some days, I just need that (small) amount of stretching and relaxation to make it through the rest of the day.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day 180.

Cross training day.  I slept in until about 8:30 this morning, and I'm sure my body needed the extra zzz's.  I did a 30 minute Pilates DVD, followed by workout 1 of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred.  I had planned on also doing 30 minutes on the elliptical, but we have a busy family outing planned today of back to school shopping with the kids, and everyone is waiting on me, so I guess I'd better go get ready and maybe I can do the elliptical this evening.

A good friend of mine ordered me a subscription to Runner's World Magazine, and I got my first issue yesterday.  Timely enough, as the main article is how to run a successful half marathon, and there are some good tips in there that should help me with my first half in September.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 179.

Holy cow, those long runs sure take a toll on the body!  I was tired all day yesterday, and my legs were sore.  I feel pretty good this morning, with the exception of what feels like might be a pulled hamstring.  I went for a 35 minute walk, then did 30 minutes of Yoga.  The Yoga felt especially good, since we'd been gone camping most of the week, this was my first full Yoga workout in about 6 days.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 178.

Officially half way to my marathon goal!  This morning I ran the route that I will be doing for the Pocatello 1/2 Marathon on September 4th.  I woke up at 5am, drank about a half of a glass of almond milk and took two Excedrin (CAFFEINE!!), then did 20 minutes of Pilates and Yoga to gear up for my run.  Then I woke up my husband, who drove me to within about 1/4 mile of the starting point, where I walked until reaching the start.  Then off I went, heading to Pocatello, with some very ominous storm clouds looming ahead of me.  After about 2 or 3 miles, the sun started to come up over the mountains behind me, creating a double, full rainbow!  It was so beautiful, and I ran towards the rainbows for probably another 4 miles, before "reaching" them, and then they disappeared and the rain started.  I was rained on for about an hour of my run, but there wasn't any lightening, so I didn't mind it too much.  Around mile 7 I ate 3 Clif Shot Bloks ~ my first time trying them, and they are awesome!  They actually taste good, are easy to chew and swallow, and I could feel the energy sustaining me for the remainder of my run.  Next week I plan to try GU, and compare the effects to determine which I prefer.  Anyway, I made it all the way to (what will be on race day) the finish line, where my husband and kids were waiting to pick me up.  I didn't feel winded, but my legs were definitely tired!  As the above picture shows, I did the 13.1 miles in 2 hours and 36 minutes, which worked out to an average pace of 11:58 min/mile, with my fastest pace being 6.5 mph.  So, not record breaking, but I did it without walking or stopping....or dying! ;)  And, I LOVE my new handheld water carrier!  Those of you who have never tried the handheld may look at that and think it would be annoying to carry that in your hand for all those miles, but it really isn't.  It feels fine, and is much better than having a pack around your waist.  It fit my Shot Bloks and gum, and was easy to slip on and off so I could switch hands every few miles.  After my run, the family and I went to eat breakfast at a local restaurant, where the kids wolfed down pancakes and bacon, but I have been unfortunately having stomach issues since my run.  I think it's my body's way of saying, "What the crap are you doing to me??" ;)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 176.

6 mile run today.  We're still camping, though we've moved on to a new camping spot, this one being near the beach of Bear Lake.  I'll post a pic when we get home.  The main thing that I don't like about doing my runs when we're away from home is that I don't have my Pilates DVD to do my warmup, so I have to wing it.  At least it's only 6 miles.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 175.

3 mile run this morning.  We're camping, but there's a nice, long paved road I did my run along: 1.5 miles up, and 1.5 miles back to the campground.  All I can say is, thank goodness for my Garmin Forerunner.  Without it, my training would be a lot less...well, exact. :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Day 174.

Sunday, rest day.  We'll be leaving after church this afternoon to go camping for a few days.  I'll have to creatively fit in my Monday (3mi.), Tuesday (6mi.) and Wednesday (3mi.) runs while we're away, but we'll be back home for my Thursday morning long run.  I'm looking forward to it a lot because my training schedule calls for a 13 mile long run, so I will be running the same route I will do for the Pocatello 1/2 marathon on Sept. 4.  I'll have my husband drop me off at the starting point, which just happens to be pretty close to our home, then he'll come pick me up 13.1 miles and a couple of hours later!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day 173.

Cross training today.  I started out with 40 minutes of walking at the park.  Then I did workout 3 from 30 Day Shred, and finally 30 minutes on the elliptical.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Day 172.

Today is a non-running day.  This morning I did 1 hour and 10 minutes of a Pilates/Yoga mix workout. It felt great. I actually feel pretty good, considering yesterday's long run.  Running really is an "all-body workout", even my biceps and the muscles in my back are a little bit sore.  My hydration belt rubbed a raw spot on the small of my back.  I've never really been a fan of my hydration belt, and now even less so.  Last night I got online and ordered a handheld water carrier made by the same company (Nathan), so it will fit my bottle from my belt and I can rotate them.  I'm excited to give that a try on my long run next week.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day 171.

Well, I did it!  12 miles ~ DONE!  I'm wiped out.  It was great.  I love the feeling I have when I finish.  I woke up at 5am, ate 1/2 a banana and some watermelon, took some Motrin with some sips of water, then did about 15 minutes of Pilates and dynamic stretches.  My run started out great; no pain in my leg, I felt pretty good for at least the first 5 miles.  After that, my legs started to get really tired.  It wasn't pain in the joints, as I had expected, it was just plain muscle exhaustion, I think.  I took some sips of water and ate 2 Lifesavers around mile 7, and just kept going.  In my mind, I was telling myself that if it was easy and pain-free, everyone would be doing it.  I also had to repeat my mantra (I am fit, I am strong, I will not stop, I am a runner), over and over to myself for the last couple of miles.  But after 2 hours and 20 minutes of running, I finally hit 12 miles.  When I got home, I cooled down and stretched by doing Yoga Meltdown, level 2.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 170.

I woke up feeling decent this morning, so I went ahead and did an easy 3 mile run after warming up with 10 minutes of Pilates.  I wore the knee brace, and once I got going, my leg felt a little sore, but the brace helps a lot, compared with the pain I had been having.  When I got home I also did workout 3 from 30 Day Shred.  Now I will spend today continuing with the Motrin and ice, in preparation for tomorrow's long run ~ 12 miles!  I get excited about doing the long runs; each one is kind of an adventure.  :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 169.

6 miles today.  Well, after doing a little research, I think I've figured out what the problem is with my leg.  Based on the symptoms I've been having, I think the issue is with my IT band.  I spent the day yesterday icing both my hip and knee areas, and taking Motrin every few hours.  I also read about a special knee brace that is supposed to not only help alleviate the pain, but aid in healing because it's made of compression material, which increases blood flow to the affected area and speeds healing.  I went to a pharmacy, and found this:

I wore it all day, only taking it off when I was icing.  It's amazing!! There is a strip of some kind of piping stuff that runs through the upper and lower straps, and as you have it strapped around the upper and lower part of your knee, it puts pressure on the IT band where it connects to the knee.  It completely takes the pain away from my hip.  It's the weirdest thing, but I'm not complaining.  I went for my run this morning (wearing the brace) and was able to do the whole 6 miles, keeping a pace of just under 11 minute miles, and I felt like a new woman!  I'm going to continue with the Motrin and ice today, and I still may skip my 3 miler tomorrow  and do some cross-training instead, to get rested and prepped for my 12 miler on Thursday.  After my run this morning I also did level 1 of Yoga Meltdown.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 168.

3 miles today.  I warmed up with 10 minutes of Pilates, then did 10 minutes on the elliptical, in an attempt to lessen the pain in my left leg.  Yeah, it didn't work.  :(  My hip/thigh/knee are so unhappy with me right now, and that makes me unhappy, too.  I did my three miles, though painful, and I am seriously contemplating taking this week off from running so my leg can heal.  I really don't want to, and I don't know if I can, actually, but I figure it'd be better to do that now, than be sidelined at either of the two races I have coming up.  I do have "extra" weeks in my training schedule, so I guess it wouldn't be too much of a detriment to my training.  I'm thinking about calling the local rec center to see if they have one of those underwater treadmills, because that would be perfect.  In the meantime, I'm icing my leg, and I plan to ice every couple of hours all day today.  Hopefully that will help reduce the inflammation that I'm assuming is causing my pain.  After my run, I did workout 3 from 30 Day Shred, and I only had to modify one of the exercises due to my leg.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Day 167.

Today is a rest day, but in all honesty I have to admit I did 30 minutes of Yoga this morning.  I didn't have a chance to do it yesterday, as I had wanted, and I really felt like my body needed it.

On another note, earlier this week I received a book I had ordered, it's called "The Runner's Diet", by Madelyn Fernstrom, (it's a publication of Runner's World).  I've been concerned about getting a handle on my diet issues, as far as making sure I'm fueling my body adequately without overeating and gaining weight.  It seems like it'd be impossible to gain weight with all this running, but I find that on certain days my appetite is insatiable, and other days totally lacking, so the healthiness of my eating habits is probably not what it should be.  Anyway, I finished the book in a few hours, and am trying to follow it's guidelines and sample menus.  There are some great tips in it about when is the best time (for runners) to eat certain foods, and reading this book also reminded me that just because I run doesn't mean I can eat whatever and whenever I want.  It's a good book to have as a reference: