Thursday, March 29, 2012

Life this Past Week

I have a little less than 10 weeks to Mooseman 70.3 and have been extremely excited about how I have been doing in my training.  Last week after the DC 1/2 marathon I got in 17.2 hours of training in, my second week of the "Build Phase."  It's amazing the amount of things you can get done when you put your mind to it.  I had a crazy week of work, planning bridal showers/bachelorette parties, planning beer meeting, some socializing, but managed to fit it all in and attempt to be in bed by 11 most nights.

I am using an integration of Matt Fitzgerald's Training Plan guide (HIM Level 8), in combination with two good friends that give me plenty of swim consulting, bike coaching, and a half-marathon plan that was getting me in check for DC and Atlantic City this weekend.  I love planning and lists so I have been having fun tweaking the schedule.

This is one area I have been playing with recently.  We all know from my race reports that I am not a good swimmer and end up in the back of the pack all the time.  I used to say "I just learned" but after 5 years it's time to hang that hat up and get down to business.  I decided I needed to spend more quality time in the pool.  I am using the Swim workouts in a binder and supplemented with some swims from there in lieu of the boring Training Plan guide swims...Last year, I swam about 2400-2500m per swim (3xweek) compared to this year 2800-3200 (3-4xweek) and FINALLY noticed the difference this past week when I did a time trial and saw a 10 second difference in my 100s from 6 months ago!  To me that is significant and I am assuming it is from more swimming and TRX and strength training.  Still have lots of work to do, but when I see a change it means something is working.

I have been biking 4 times a week.  I feel like there is a difference but of course, you never know until the race, so all I keep thinking is I can't wait to do Red Bank Olympic in May to see where I am at.  I plan on getting myself to Frenchtown, NJ in a couple weeks for some long hill rides and there is a 75 mile hill ride in Bucks County earlier in May to get me "remotely" prepared for this....

Having friends that want to ride is good too, okay 1 friend, Yasi, that is riding with me...

I feel like it's improving, I have felt better and stronger on my runs, especially after doing DC last week, I got in another 20+ miles last week and am tapering a little on the running so I can do Atlantic City 1/2 marathon this week.

So here is just a snapshot of my life this past week using my new obsession of instagram - most of this is food...
Best Almond butter with some green tea

Perfect Power breakfast - poached eggs, garlic, bok choy and mushrooms with tamari

Tilapia over peppers, mushrooms and chard

Italian Family Dinner - Why I love being Italian

family dinner also equals lemoncello and strawberries

me and the pup cuddling

Yasi and I's trainer party -perfect set up

I stole this from Yasi - such a great capture of Sunday Yoga

Thursday, March 22, 2012

America F$%k Yeah - Washington DC RnR Race Report

Yeah!  That's kind of what I was humming to myself as I ran past the Washington Monument....
For those who are entirely confused, this is a picture of Team America and America F$%kYeah is a song...

Anyway, let's rewind, I went into this race with a couple goals:
  1. Use this run as a training run - considering I have another 1/2 marathon in 2 weeks (that's not a typo) and Mooseman 70.3 in June.  I did not want to hurt myself since you all know my fabulous running history with injuries.
  2. Have fun!
Woo hoo!  I accomplished that goals and a minor PR (according to the Garmin which said I ran 3.48 miles...).  But otherwise it was the same time as other races.  And I should preface that the PR is in the 30-40 year old decade of my life, I still haven't been able to get what I had in my 20's....

Before leaving, Mike had a Project Runway moment and helped me make some snazzy arm warmers from my St. Patty Day socks I had...
Nicole and I got in DC on Friday night to drop off my sister at my aunts house so they can join in the craziness of the finish line together the next day and we went to the expo to pick up the race pack.

I wasn't impressed like I was for NOLA RnR, I think they should have blew it up a little since it was St. Patty Day weekend.  We ate a quick healthy dinner and, drank some wine before bed.
 We took the metro and made some friends...
Ironically, the girl on the right was named Heather - they dug the HGRC shirts
Caroline and Allison were awesome in their tutus!
 In our usual manner, we are running late, missed the corral and stood in line for the port-a-potties and ended up in one of the last corrals. I think this happens every race, part of which is we never give a shit because it isn't like I am winning a half-marathon or anything.
Rocking the HGRC - Metal Chicks Tri Harder Shirts!!

 I felt really good, I kept the heart rate in check trying to stay roughly between Z2-3 and not try to blow up since this had to be a training run no matter how excited I was getting.

My splits looked good up, and I tried to keep within hte 9:30-9:50 range, I sped up at mile 6, I think I had some good song selections (my sister helped with was probably a showtune or it could have been Iron Maiden, "Run to the Hills" very random on the ipod) or maybe it was the surge of  taking a Gu with 2x caffeine, not quite sure the rationale there.  Problem with the race was the lack of water/gatorade stations.  I didn't realize it would be a every other mile thing and absent-mindedly took a gu at mile 5 and didn't get water till mile 7....
Mile 7 I did a mid run walk during the running station did a quick stretch as I was feeling tight after the 3 mile hill extravaganza.  Why didn't I realize DC had hills....they were lingering long hills - like mile 4-7...and then these random under-passes (yes under-passes).  At mile 10, I started having the toe claw toes cramped into a little felt really awesome...that took a little time to flatten them out and run, so that happened at mile 10, 11 and 12.5.  I think it made me slow down substantially, because I didn't know if speed would make it happen again. 
Even with all that complaining, I feel like I had a really good day!  The actual clock gave me my usual 10 min miles for 13.1 while my garmin showed a 9:50 pace but I probably let it go for a little after I crossed the finish line.

To top it off we had our cheerleaders at the finish line!  

I got to meet up with a friend I met in the pain cave (i.e. Vineman run portion) who just moved to DC and celebrate finishing with beers and fro-yo!

Sunday, we tooled around the city in achy legs and saw the typical touristy thing and was able to get over to Brassiere Beck (see my blog post for Brewtal Beer here on the restaurant and beers).  Mike and I went there before and they have a fantastic beer list.  We had brunch and celebrated my sister's bday with beer and blackberry crisp. 

We then hit the Newseum which is awesome, a must see in DC, the exhibit for 9/11 was a great memorial.  
All in all a pretty fantastic weekend.  I healed pretty good so far this week starting off with a great 3000m swim, an outside bike today and some plyo strength training...I have a pretty high volume training week on the books for this week and next including the Atlantic City 1/2 marathon!!

 I am not sure what will happen with AC, not sure if the shoes are the issue or if the toe thing was a fluke, but I kind of think I am on a not so secretive PR mission.  It is on a course that I run every summer while training and in a city that makes me smile and think of my Grandmom Nero and my childhood memories in Atlantic City.  Oh yeah, AND I got a free tutu for entering....

Not quite sure if that was food or a scanner problem on my nose....

Monday, March 12, 2012

Crossing Fingers and Toes

I am sure you are all tired of the Northeastern peeps blogging about the great weather we had this winter, in fact, it didn't feel like winter at all.  Don't get me wrong, I love being snowed in and having many few cocktails, eating comfort food and shoveling snow.  Okay so that is usually Mike shoveling and me on my trainer in the living room.  I normally have to brush off some cobwebs off of at least one of the bikes, but I treated each with equal importance and did about 50% of my riding OUTSIDE.  My premonition was this....

This winter was going to come late, we would have a major snowstorm in March and it would fuck up the weather for the half-marathons scheduled this month.

This weekend I thought that would be true as Yasi and I set out for a 3 hour ride in "feels like" 20 degree weather...about 1 hour 40 minutes in she gets a flat and we are stranded in the middle of farmville.  Our sub-par skills of training flats combined with cold temperatures equated to us getting picked up...
Me as the dumb blonde attempting to help fix a flat....
We still had fun laughing about our skills for 45 minutes....

The weather improved and is now saying 70 and sunny all week - lots of outside activity!  Weather channel says that Washington DC will be 75 on Saturday and a 30% chance of rain.  If that holds true, I will be a happy girl :)  So here's to crossing fingers and toes....

The other hope is that my legs and feet continue on the right path.  The last half-marathon running was last year at Vineman where I had a tendon injury, plantar fascitiis and in major calf pain and hobbling 12.1 miles to a finish (1 mile actually consisted of legitimate running).  That was fun....

I started running consistently in October building slowly-I made a couple of changes to my running...
  • Bought Brooks Pure which I have been running in since October (changing shoes once)
  • Broke up with my orthodics
  • Changed my running style from a heel strike to mid-foot
  • Weight training 4 days a week including functional training until HIM training which is now down to 2 days a week (TRX/Plyometrics/free weights).
  • Alternate 3 days and 4 days per week of running
  • Running SLOW on long runs 
Since then, I have been finishing a long run on a Sat feeling fine with the occasional soreness of running long, and following that with a Sunday field hockey game or a 5 mile track workout, followed by a long bike and have just been the normal exhausted but not unable to walk like in the past.

So here's to crossing the fingers and toes that I have a good, fun race in DC and am able to pull off another 1/2 marathon 2 weeks later in Atlantic City running in a tutu (I signed up when I heard there was a fee tutu...)

Now for outfit planning for DC and celebrating Saint Patty's Day with Nicole and my sister!

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