She’s Going for Speed

Morning! I hope you are all doing well. My husband got up to go swimming this morning, so I had to get up to take care of the pup (if one person gets up, she is up) at about 5:30 a.m. Gross. It’s no fun doing this when you don’t have something to show for it (like going to the gym or traveling somewhere). But this little love makes it worth it 🙂

So can I rant really quickly? I have quite a few pet peeves, but one of the biggest is when I am at work and people call me for something and act like it should be the MOST important thing ever. My voicemail CLEARLY states “if this is an urgent matter that need immediate attention…” and I leave instructions about how to transfer to my boss or to the operator. Fact: scheduling a tour is NOT one of those times. Especially when you’ve had more than a week to do so, and didn’t bother to contact me. So basically something that really should have been super simple is now complicated and people are leaving messages for my out-of-town boss, making it seem like I am not around to do my job. NOT THE CASE. Sorry, it really grinds my gears!

Deep breath.

Moving on. So as many of you know, I’ve been somewhat lost when it comes to running motivation since completing my half marathon. The thought of running long distances sounds awful. I’ve done some 5Ks, even set a new PR. When I was getting towards the end of that race, I realized I had a lot left in my tank! I had been training at such a slow and steady rate in order to complete long distances that I wasn’t pushing my pace at all.

And I really want to be faster! I feel like I am more of a short distance person, and while I am so proud of myself for completing my half marathon, I am not sure I am going to want to do another one (anytime soon at least). But I do want to be fast! At the 5K when I really started to book it, my Garmin said I was doing about an 8:30 minute mile. That’s pretty much lightning speed for me! And guess what. I didn’t die.

Here are some running faster tips I’ve found:

  • The single component that most improves pace in races, is a weekly speed session. At the track, start with 4 to 6 x 400. Increase the number of 400s every week by two more until, 10 days before the race, the final workout is: 14 x 400. Each 400 (one lap around a track) should be run eight seconds faster than you want to average per quarter mile. For example, if you wanted to run eight minutes per mile, your quarter-mile race pace would need to be two minutes. The workout pace per lap should in this case be 1 minute, 52 seconds. Walk for half a lap between the 400s. (source)
  • Breaking through to a personal best requires discomfort. Once a week, redefine your comfort zone by getting uncomfortable. Hill work, fartlek runs, speed work, running with a group or taking your run a little farther are all ways to create challenge and change in your running. With proper challenge, you’ll find improved fitness and strength that help you achieve your running goal. (source)  

So here is my plan, I want to get back into running more (I haven’t actually run by myself since before the race haha sad) preferably three times a week. One speed workout, one easy run (I have a course that involves me walking up a KILLER hill), and either a tempo or long run. I really want to use my Garmin for speed workouts, I know it’s capable of doing so, but I haven’t gotten that far into the user’s manual.

What do you prefer to focus on, speed or distance?

Just Randomness

I feel like 90% of my posts on Mondays are well… Monday posts. I mean, it is Monday after all, I’m alive and writing, what more do you want from me? An organized post with meaning you say? Then I suggest you return tomorrow 😉

Today started off well interesting. Let me back up a little. Our landlords are having the bedroom walls redone this week and next (if it goes longer than that, I will finish it myself, thankyouverymuch) so yesterday we had to remove everything from the bedrooms, closets included. We decided to put our bed up against the wall in attempts to save space, and are sleeping on the air mattress and couch (couch because my husband is sick and I can’t get sick 2 weeks before my half marathon, sorry buddy). Turns out air mattresses are COLD. I had a really hard time falling asleep and kept waking up super cold. I eventually cocooned myself in the 3 blankets I had and managed a few hours. Ugh.

So this morning it was snowing, and I drove my husband out to work (he works about 30 minutes away) but because of the glorious snow, it took twice as long. Then I had to drive back by myself. Here’s the thing. The snow plows hadn’t gone through our neighborhood yet. I live on a hill. It was bad. I thought I was going to start sliding backwards down the hill. By the time I got home I was shaking and almost crying. I realize I am a California girl, but most people I’ve talked to have also complained about the lack of plowing this morning (TWSS).

I decided to work from home until the plows came by, which didn’t happen until 11:30. How the heck does that happen?! I’m lucky I have access to my work email at home and could do some research for some new projects from the comfort of my couch.

I am super excited because I am hoping I will have time to make it to the FREE yoga class at Salt Lake Running Co. tonight. I need it my friends, I am still feeling a little tight after my 9.5 miles (and awesome fall) on Saturday, and I am more than happy to swap my cross training and run day to accommodate this class. Oh and did I mention, FREE? Nice. I’d post a pic of my bruise for you, but it’s really not even that impressive.

Another highlight of my day was my awesome lunch. In this month’s issue of Shape Magazine, I saw their egg salad sandwich recipe and instantly had to try it. Instead of the pita pocket, I used gluten free bread, and it was deeeeelish! I think next time (aka tomorrow) I am going to add more mustard. I love mustard!

What’s on your mind today? What’s your favorite type of sandwich? There is this place near my parent’s house that has amazing focaccia bread and to-die-for honey mustard. I get this veggie sandwich from there, GUH, I am hungry just thinking about it! I will have to go there while I am visiting after my half marathon.

Half Marathon Training Starts TODAY!

Happy Monday friends! This weekend felt so short, mainly because I had to work on Friday, when I usually have three day weekend (have I mentioned I love my job?).

After months of gearing up, and a week of rest, today is the day that I officially start my half marathon training plan. I broke my training goals up into three phases, and while I didn’t accomplish all that I wanted to (read: I only lost about 10 lbs, not the 30 I was hoping for) I am still so excited to get going!

Phase 3 was always going to be a “reassess and see what would be best” phase so that I am setting myself up for success, not burn out, injury, or constant sickness.

So my plan this weekend was to 1.) Create and print my training calendar (I have yet to print, the hubs was on the comp last night) and 2.) Take a serious look at my diet and do what I can to fuel my body in the best way possible.

The workout:
I am still following Fitness Magazine’s 8 week half marathon training plan, which includes 2 days of walk/run/walk, 1 easy run, 1 long run, and one cross/strength training day a week. I really just tweaked the days so that I have Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday as my run days, Tuesday for strength training, and rest Thursdays and Sundays.

For strength training, I am going to do two ChaLEAN Extreme weight circuits at home for a total of one hour of weights a week. Oh and on my easy run days I am going to do an ab DVD that I have. And stretching. Always lots of stretching.  

It sounds like a lot, but I think it will be great! I think it is a good amount of activity for my goal. Originally I was thinking of maintaining my three days a week of strength training with my running, and I realized that that was NOT going to happen. I would either have been working out 7 days a week or doing two-a-day workouts. Not something I see as sustainable.

The diet:
I’ve talked before about how I am not the biggest fan of “diets” and counting calories, but I need to be smart about training. I know I can’t go on some crazy diet and still think I can sustain the activity listed above. It’s just not realistic. I also want to continue to lose weight, I have a goal weight for my race, and if I meet it, I’ve promised myself a new outfit from Lululemon Athletica (is it wrong that I already have it picked out?).

Deep down I KNEW that there was no way that I could just “wing it” nutritionally and hope for the best. In recent weeks I’ve also noticed that I am not doing a good job of spacing out my calories well. I sometimes don’t eat until I get to work, then I will have a light lunch, then I get home and realize that I am about to kill someone because I’ve only had 500 calories to eat. Not smart. I definitely am not one of those people who can “just wait until I am hungry” because most times I don’t get hungry. I am fine, then I am walking home from the bus stop fantasizing about slashing the tires of the guy who didn’t give me the right of way in the crosswalk.

So, I counted calories. Let me say, I am NOT going to count calories every day, but I do need to make sure that I am going to be smart and that I am getting sufficient nutrients. So here is my general daily meal plan that I am going to stick to. It’s pretty much what I was eating before, but I’ve added more fruit and a fresh juice every morning. One thing that is interesting to me is how much more I feel like I am eating. It’s funny that I was most likely not reaching my weight loss goals because I wasn’t eating enough and my calories weren’t very well spread out throughout my day.  

Breakfast: 350

  • fresh vegetable/fruit juice (my two favorites are carrot, beet, ginger, and apple or apple, ginger, kale, and lemon. Side note: I always use organic produce for juicing and we actually found a lot at Costco this weekend) or fruit
  • coffee with stevia and unsweetened almond milk
  • organic quick oats (I get these from Sunflower Market for an amazing price in the bulk bins) with one scoop of Sun Warrior protein powder.

Lunch: 300

  • lean protein. Chicken breast, salmon burgers (I got a bunch from Costco, preportioned and super yummy without a lot of additives), tuna, beans, eggs, etc.
  • complex carb. Brown rice, sweet potato, quinoa, oats.
  • veggies.

 

Snack: 250

  • lean protein, veggies, etc.
  • apple

 

Dinner: 300

  • lean protein
  • veggies

Post dinner treat: 100

  • dark chocolate 🙂

Extras: Hot tea (both decaf and caffeinated when I really need it), sparkling water, and Zevia soda when I feel like I REALLY need a pick me up (it’s all natural with no calories and it’s sweetened with stevia).

It comes to just about 1,300 calories a day. I think for logging 13 miles this week and going up from there, that’s a pretty good goal. Once I increase my miles more, I am most likely going to start adding in some sports drinks (I still have some of that Crystal Light Pure) and an extra post–long run recovery meal, like fruit and protein.

I am not even sure what to ask. How do you get geared up for your training plans?