Mayday Mayday

I haven’t had much to write about the past couple of days.  Monday and Tuesday I took a break and rested.  I looked and felt so beat.  Yesterday I went for a light 2 mile run without my watch because I was still sore and didn’t even want to know what pace I was running.

Now it’s already May! And with the Coronado Bridge Run in 2 weeks from Sunday and the SD Rock ‘n Roll in about 4, I decided to set some new goals:

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Nutrition: Read Paleo for Athletes (just started this), eat paleo and try out some new recipes.  My recovery time from this past half marathon has been really poor, either because 1. the course was hard, 2. I fell off my paleo grind, or 3. the course was really hard.  Either way, Paleo for Athletes is shedding light on how paleo works to maximize athletic performance and increase recovery rates.
Workouts: Incorporate more early morning workouts into my schedule.  I’d like to get into the habit of going to sleep early, waking up early, doing yoga or body pump before work then running after work.
Running: Have more structured running workouts.  I feel like lately when I run I have a semi-determined length, but no determined pace.  I mainly just run according to how I’m feeling.  I would like to feel like I’m running more effectively.

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So I pulled out the book Run Less, Run Faster by Bill Pierce, Scott Murr, and Ray Moss.  This book has good running plans if you’re looking to run only 3 times a week.  Workout 1 is a track/speed workout, workout 2 is a tempo run, and workout 3 is a long run.  I attempted to use this program last year, for all of about 3-4 weeks. I kind of burned myself out because I attempted to do the speed workouts faster than prescribed.  This is exactly what you’re not supposed to do.  The plans start 12-18 weeks out (depending on the length your race).  I figured I can start next week at 15 weeks out and prepare for the America’s Finest City half marathon (I should probably sign up for this first).  I think this program could be beneficial, I just need to give it a full chance.  I feel like this time I’ll have a more practical approach, do exactly what it says and just test it out.  There’s no harm in that when my half marathons have consistently been between 1:44 and 1:47.  I’d just like to see a positive (or in terms of time, negative) difference.

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Turf Over Surf

Yesterday I did my last 10+ mile run before the La Jolla Half on April 28th.  Next weekend I’ll be in NOLA for a Main Street conference, so I’ll only be able to get in an 8-miler the morning we leave.  Then the next weekend I’ll probably start my taper.

photo(Checking out our route for Sunday.  We saw a woman rollerblading with a small dog strapped to her front in some type of fanny-pack apparatus. ??? I’ve seen dogs in strollers, but that was a new one.)

For my long runs, I usually run through several coastal cities, and that’s how I mentally gauge it.  “Ok, I made it through Del Mar…next, Solana Beach, etc.”  This was a new run for me, and I knew it was going to be mentally difficult.  I coerced my mom to ride 12 miles on her bike, while I ran.  We went 1 mile through town (Coronado) to make it to the Silver Strand.  Then the next 5 miles out were flat and straight.  There’s nothing really out there, no big change of scenery.  I knew I just had to make it 6 miles and everything would be easy coming back.  It helped I found a good playlist on 8tracks with new songs that I ended up liking.

I set the initial pace around 8:30 and slowly inched my way up as the miles increased.  The whole time I just tried to keep a pace below 9:30.  At 5.75 miles I pushed myself to pass a boy (whose running reminded my mom of my brother) and sprinted the last quarter mile before I hit 6.  My fastest point at that time was around a 6:30.

I finally felt like I had a good long run, and it was kind of nice to have my mom following my pace.  At the end, I told her to go ahead because I wanted to push myself to catch up.   I sprinted mile 11-12 for a final mile pace of 7:30.  My overall run was a 8:46/mile, much better than my 10 mile runs have been going.

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Post-run and after leaving my mom’s, I made the trek to Costco with my boyfriend, again, on a Sunday afternoon.  Not the best idea when you’ve got large families foraging over free samples.  At least this daunting task resulted in a juicy and flavorful surf and turf dinner a la ribeye and scallops that I DIDN’T HAVE TO COOK!  Woot, woot.  Looks like the turf beats the surf.

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Anybody know any good running routes in New Orleans?
Where’s your favorite place to do a long run?

So Hum: Day Twenty-Two

This morning I had training (where I did my first non-assisted pull-up!) and then went to a meditation yoga class at CorePower.  This class was $25 for non-members, and was crammed to the max.  We were informed of the basics of meditation as well as the benefits.  The main reason most people don’t meditate is because they don’t know how.  And the main reason most people do meditate (when they do) is to relieve stress.  Did you know that our body experiences, on average, a flight-or-fight reaction 8-10 times a day.  This disrupts digestion, and causes the blood cells to move towards the extremities.  The blood thickens and then the heart has to work harder to pump this through.  And when this happens, it takes about 16-36 hours for our bodies to resume a neutral state.  It’s an endless vicious cycle.  Meditating 20 minutes once a day, or better yet, twice a day, will help your body to reach homeostasis more quickly.  As you meditate, you will notice less stress, eventually you will start to glow and more people will be attracted to you.  Then you will be able to shape the world how you want it to be.

There are two different types of meditation we learned about; 1. metta meditation, which has to do with the Buddha and cultivating happiness from within.  2. mindfulness meditation, being present and letting your thoughts come, but labeling them and just letting them pass.  For beginners, it is often the easiest to start with a chant.  Say “so” when you inhale, and “hum” when you exhale.  These are the natural sounds of breath.  They also mean “That I am.”  From here you can move on to a mantra, then to the breath, and once you’ve mastered these, you can focus on the space between the breathes.

As we meditated (for what seemed like forever), I had a hard time concentrating.  With the BOOM BOOM of the music and the voice of the instructor from the Body Sculpt class next door, it wasn’t exactly silent.  Plus, my foot fell asleep and I kept trying to readjust my cross-legged position to bring back the feeling.  But when I finally started to ignore it, I started to get pins and needles!

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Later I drove down to meet my mom and go to the Hot Chocolate 5k expo.  It wasn’t anything special.  It was held inside of an older building downtown, and it just seemed kind of dingy and had stained carpets.  There weren’t many vendors –just a couple soliciting time shares, free speculoos, some fondue chocolate dunked marshmallows and hot chocolate.  I did end up buying a 1/4 zip pullover with mesh armpits, because I’m all about letting those babies breathe.

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After a long day (of being locked out of my mom’s house) we finally went to dinner at Candelas On The Bay in Coronado, which offers paleo options.  We started with the Tacos de Pato (duck tacos) paleo-fied by being wrapped in jicama.  Then we indulged in La Pesca (the fish of the day) which was a grouper crusted with pistachios served over a crab-stuffed tomato.  It was really nice to have these options, and they were very good!

Race Mania: Day Seventeen

One of the exciting parts of running a race is entering territory that is normally blocked off to pedestrians –such as busy and congested city streets.  Or in this next instance, large thoroughfares that never allow foot traffic: the Coronado Bay Bridge.  On May 19th, the 27th Navy’s Bay Bridge Run/Walk will start in downtown San Diego and traverse this iconic bridge to the finish in Coronado.  When my mom first asked me if I wanted to do this run, I only had to think of which bridge she was talking about before I agreed.  So now I’ve added a new race to my agenda.  It’s time I’ve stepped out from my routine runs and start exploring new locations and different distances.

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Do you ever get caught in a racing rut?