The 22 Mile Run That Wasn’t

Oh hi, remember me? It feels like it has been way too long since I have been on this side of the blog. Needless to say, this week has been absolutely crazy. Between work, coaching, finals, and trying to get my workouts in…I feel like a hamster on a revolving wheel.

Conveniently, I am also three weeks out from my next marathon, which naturally, is when the longest long run of a marathon training plan takes place. So between the aforementioned chaos, I was needing to fit in a 22 mile run somewhere this week. That day was today. Because I literally had no other day or time available to do so. Also, summer is upon us here in the midwest and afternoon highs have been in the 90’s for the majority of the week.

I continue.

Getting my run in today meant being up at 5am, greeted with a lightning show, thunder, and big, fat raindrops. I had no way of stalling my run, so I booked it to the gym to do this long run. Before I left the house, I started to download Mean Girls on my iPhone to watch while running and made sure that my iPod was charged to keep me occupied for the four hours I was to spend on the ‘mill.

The first six miles went by pretty well, despite getting a weird stomachache/barfy feeling after mile five. I continued, the next six miles were not well. Mentally, things were getting tough. I tried positive reinforcement to no avail, was sweating like a sumo wrestler on a summer day in Louisiana, and the rain was starting to clear which made me mad that I wasn’t running outside. Ultimately I just could not pull my crap together. My heart wasn’t in this.

One promise I made to myself about a year ago was this:

If there was ever a moment that I didn’t absolutely love what I was doing, then I needed to take a step back, look some things over, and remind myself of why I was doing what I was doing. 

I cranked three more miles out and was done. I wasn’t going to put myself through those other seven miles because it would have gotten me nothing and nowhere. To console my feeling of defeat, I climbed for thirty minutes on the stair master and called it a morning. My skirt was dripping sweat, my thighs had chaffed so much they were bleeding, and I needed to refresh my love of running.

Today was a combination of things that I’m well aware of– stress, not getting enough sleep, and my eating has been sub-par (for me) the past week. I also accepted the fact that I need a break. One of the first signs of over-training is not being able to complete a workout, and while I don’t believe I’m over-training, I realized I have spent the past nine months either training for marathons, maintaining mileage, or racing. I accept that I am feeling just a little burnt out. I absolutely love running, but I have to take some of the stress and pressure away, because those don’t equate to enjoying running for me.

I still love running; in fact, I’m looking forward to a trail run I’ve planned early next week…no watch, no route, no goal pace, just me and the trails. After Med City I’ll be taking near a month off of being on a consistent running schedule and I’m going to be honest, I haven’t felt a release that great in a while. My body needs the break mentally, physically and emotionally. This rest will do me good because when I start training for Chicago I want to give it all I’ve got!

Even though today was the ‘run that wasn’t,’ it was a learning experience and reality check. I must say, I’m blessed and it’s pretty amazing that I was so disappointed with ‘only running fifteen miles…’ WHO says that??

That’s when I finally got my crap together.

Hello 2012!

Here we are four days into the new year and I am finally able to sit and write a post! If this week is any indicator to how my year will be…I think I might love it! 2011 was a great year and so much happened, but I (almost) always welcome change with open arms.

Of course with the new year comes resolutions to last an average of 23 days.

Last year I didn’t make a single resolution, goal, ambition, anything. I detested 2010 and was happy to see it gone forever, and knew anything 2011 had in store would be better. Much to my surprise, 2011 rocked my world…it really was a year that changed my life.

I think that I developed a quality last year that I haven’t had since I was younger, the desire to want more. To be better, stronger, faster, and greater than whatever I had done prior. This has become applicable to all areas of my life, I want to volunteer more, run more, and grow more and so on. This leads me to my goals for this year, it’s time to grow and make some great stuff happen!

Goals for 2012

1. Run 4 marathons in 4 different states
I have a long term goal of running a marathon in all 50 states by the time I am thirty which scares me because it’s something I could potentially fail at, but am going for it anyways. In March I will be running the Little Rock Marathon in Arkansas and in April I will be running the Oz Marathon here in my hometown in Kansas. Later this year I possibly like to run the Omaha Marathon (Nebraska) in September and the Dallas White Rock Marathon (Texas) in December. The later races are ones I have tentatively planned, and I would love to find a fifth state to knock out this year as well. 2.

2. Run a 50k or other ultramarathon
Last August, the North Face Endurance Challenge presented Kansas City with a 50k (32 mile) road race and I am hoping and praying it comes back this year. If not, I want to find another ultra to run by the year’s end.
3. Become a certified personal trainer 
It’s obvious that I have a passion for health, fitness and nutrition and want to begin to see what other opportunities can become available through that. This month I am purchasing materials for either the ACE or NASM programs and would like to be certified by the end of the summer. I would eventually love to become a running coach or have my own business.
4. Run a marathon to raise money for a great cause
I am hoping that this will happen at the Oz Marathon in April–the main reason why I am planning on doing that race is in hopes to raise money to benefit someone/a cause. There are so many people that I would love to run in honor of and organizations that I know I can raise money for, it’s just that I need to pick one and get on it. Please keep a lookout for something regarding me raising money for _____? If you don’t see anything, hunt me down and kick my butt. Full permission is granted.
5. Be more financially responsible
This is the least fun, but possibly one of the most important goals. Last year I did okay financially, with budgeting and saving but I know I can do MUCH better, more notably with being organized in my finances. This goal is entirely personal, just something I need to hold myself accountable for and get done.
Of course I have smaller goals that I will incorporate into these major ones, but these are the goals I am looking to achieve in the next 361 days. Some of them scare me and I don’t know how they will all happen, but you know what they say…
“If your dreams don’t scare you then you’re not dreaming big enough.”
What are your goals for 2012? Please share!!!

First the Worst

Ok I just need to be honest here for a minutes while I bake some cookies for a Christmas party tonight! In case you are wondering, they are clean eating peanut butter cookies, with only FIVE ingredients! And they are so good. Not that I would know, because I definitely didn’t sample one. Or two. For breakfast. The website is currently down but I will link you the recipes as soon as it comes back up!

Time to spill. All of my runs that I have done since the marathon have been on the treadmill. Which is only like 4 or 5 runs, I haven’t even been logging my workouts. Granted all of those runs have been an hour-long, don’t ask me why. I had just been wanting to do nothing but run for an hour on the treadmill, yes I am crazy, people told me this before I did  a marathon, I have accepted it.

Now this brings me to my title. first the worst. Between batches of cookies today (to run off the ones I sampled), since I didn’t have time (or the patience) to drive to the gym, I decided to put on my warm big girl pants and go for a run outside. It’s not even really that cold, mid 30’s but with 15mph winds. I didn’t expect it to be great, I just knew I needed to get it done. I ran around a 10:00/mile pace and my legs felt great, but cardiovascular-wise it was AWFUL. Ok maybe not that bad, but it was NOT fun.

Which reminds me, on Saturday I spent about 45 minutes on the elliptical at the gym for the first time in a few weeks and the first five minutes felt like someone had put a brick on my chest, not fun. I was honestly asking myself, “Awhhh crap don’t tell me I lost my cardiovascular endurance after ‘going easy’ for the couple of weeks after the marathon!!!” I know it’s not totally gone, but I definitely am not ready to crank out any (pleasant) 18-milers in the immediate future. It is hard to deal with because I spent four months of hard training for the marathon and I need to maintain my fitness at the very least for Little Rock in March.

How does this relate to anything but me whining? This experience reminded me of what it was like when I weighed 300lbs nearly five years ago and could barely hold onto the elliptical for dear life for five minutes at a time. Whether you are 140, 160, 180, 200, or 300lbs, those first steps might not be the easiest or most fun. Maybe you were at the peak of your fitness and were sidelined with an injury and are so afraid of what it will feel like to go back, that you keep avoiding it. Let me tell you something– stop thinking about it and take those first steps. Those first steps are not fun, pretty or exciting, but without those first steps you won’t get to where you want to be. I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes,

“You have to burn to shine.”

Happy Monday, ya’ll!

Marathon Training: Week 9

This week has been a little different than weeks past, but that’s the way uh-huh I like it!

The half marathon was a nice break from my long runs but this week is the week where I start my completely revamped training! This is what it has looked like and is looking like:

Monday: 4 miles, trotted (to help get rid of some of the soreness from Sunday)
Tuesday: Zumba. My effort was subpar due to my brain reviewing formulas for the test I took directly after the class. Don’t dance and review chemical compounds; you’ll look stupid.
Wednesday: Rest…this has been strange for me, but I love rest days.
Thursday: 16 miles!
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 7 miles, 5 at goal marathon pace…and I won’t be running forever on a Saturday, yippee!
Sunday: I might get a few miles in if I feel like it

I’m finally getting excited with training because races are coming up; I am running another half in just over two weeks and then the marathon is right around the corner from that! Let’s hope my sucky days of training are over…hope reallll hard

Kelsey: 1, Marathon Training: 8

Something is wrong with that equation, isn’t it?

I’m not going to lie, on Monday I started writing a pretty lame, weepy post. These past couple of weeks in training have super sucked. I have been fatigued, sore, unsocial, pretty lame as you can see. After the 18 miles this past Saturday I was cursing marathon training. Then on my 5 mile recovery run on Monday I was cursing marathon training even harder and it took a lot for me to not plop and cry in the middle of the sidewalk. Why was I training for a marathon again?

Essentially I was a hot mess.

After a couple of mopey days, I had sorts of an epiphany. My training plan what not working for me at all, I didn’t like and wasn’t happy. So I changed it. Here is what I did NOT like about it:

  • It originally called for running 6x a week. Who the $%# does that? Even though I scaled running back to 4x a week, I was still super fatigued and always sore.
  • There was no time in my life for friends. Or fun for that matter. Going to bed early on a Friday night does not spell F-U-N to me, not at all. It spells more like S-U-C-K
  • My long runs have been on Saturdays. I can think of a lot of things I would rather do on a Saturday than run for 4 hours. A. lot.
  • I have basically been a slave to this training plan and not loving it at all.
So after moping, crying, whining, and talking with some fabulous people. One lady in particular I met today, 1) could be my grandma 2) has run THIRTEEN marathons 3) qualified for Boston in ALL thirteen marathons!!!! 4) only runs 3 days a week.
After talking with her I was convinced! Time to make my training plan work for me. This is what the new plan will look like:
  • Only running 3 days a week, hallelujer! One long, one fast, one tempo.
  • After next weekend I will be moving as many long runs as I can to Thursdays. I have uneventful Wednesday nights anyways and go to bed at a decent time, and nothing really cool happens on Thursdays so I wouldn’t be thinking of 2398236 things I could be doing instead of running for 4 hours. Nope. I might even enjoy those long run Thursdays.
  • I will still run on Saturdays, but not all day Saturday. More like stuff under 10 miles, which I like. Less time running = more time funning. That’s a new word, FYI.
  • I will still be doing Zumba! And instead of run #4 for the week, I am dedicating 1 day to serious cross training which I have been completely neglecting.
  • My affair with the dreadmill shall be rejuvenated I have only ran on it twice in the past two months and am no longer going to ruin my life/legs by not running on it. I run faster on it and it’s flat. More distance, less sore, less time = win in my book.
Since I still have two months of this stuff left, I am going to enjoy it! Marathon training, you are not ruining my life.
Also, it better not rain on Saturday. I am running those 20 miles.

Marathon Training: Week 7

So if you have been reading my blog for anywhere in the past six weeks, you are probably used to my marathon training schedule by now. My plan had me running 4x a week but last week I had to take a step back and listen to my body, because it was talking.

I had been experiencing serious tightness in my muscles and total fatigue; not ideal for marathon training. I consulted with a favorite blogger/marathoner/personal trainer of mine and she gave me some ideas. So this week I am focusing on listening to my body, and will be have 3 for sure runs this week, and the fourth will be tentative if not replaced with cross training…which honestly might do more good for me than a run at this point. Here’s what the week has in store:

Today: 5 miles
Tuesday: Zumba. I love this day, favorite. workout. ever.
Wednesday: 5-7 miles OR cross training
Thursday: 5-7 miles OR cross training
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 20 miles
Sunday: Lots of rest

I have found that the whole ‘not thinking about my long run until I actually have to run’ works really well for me. No stress, no fuss, whatever. All I know is that by the end of this week I’ll be a stronger runner than I am today!

For tomorrow: Confessions of a Girl Training For a Marathon