Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sometimes You Just Have A BAD Run!

Hi There! Happy Wednesday!

I totally thought I posted this on Monday... but didnt :/

I've been THAT out of it this week.

Are you adjusting to daylight savings time? (NO!) Do you miss that extra hour? (YES!) Do you wish that we stayed with longer daylight all year round (YES!)

This time of year is always bittersweet for me. I hate losing an hour, but I love gaining the fact that there is still light out on my drive home at 5:30pm. It's not too hard of an adjustment for me past the first day because I'm up before the sun regardless, but I know it messes with a lot of people. If you're one of them, I'm sorry. Be gentle and remember "This too shall pass!"

I was fairly quiet last week, and was way too exhausted this weekend to post. I did my long run on Saturday this week instead of Sunday (in order to beat the time change and the heat)... but it seems I failed miserably at both attempts.

I had 11 miles on the calendar and set out to crush them with excellence... I feel a little short.

My first two miles, I was battling some GI issues. I went TWICE before leaving my grandparents house and still felt like I needed to stop and use the restroom near the golf course at mile 2. I stopped, no poo, and got back out there. Thankfully that subsided and my middle 7 miles were excellent. Then the bonk came for the last 2 miles. By that time the sun was out in full force and I was not. I really struggled to get those last 2 miles done and my time dwindled and dwindled. I actually almost stopped right at mile 11, but I was SO close to the finish (my grandmas block) that I out loud pushed myself to keep running.

HARDEST RUN EVER!!! Total of 11.15 miles at an 8:37 pace. 

I had a really hard time getting out of my own head and not beating myself up for the rest of the weekend.

How am I suppose to run 12 miles next week and then run a race the weekend after? If I feel this bad at 11 miles, how will I EVER be able to make it to 26.2 again? So much fear, doubt and just plain rudeness I placed on myself instead of just reminding myself that sometimes bad runs just happen. In fact, they happen more often than not.

I was reading the most recent post by Tina Muir on her website about struggling through runs and it said this:

"...We know that running brings up and downs, and we know that the more downs there are, the better the ups feel. It is moments like that really determine how much you want it, how well you are going to do in the future. It is not the moments where everything is going well that make you run fast and achieve those big goals, it is the moment where you are truly tested, where every fiber in your being wants to quit, but you do not."

In short, they cant all be winners, and they cant all be perfect. THESE are the runs where we learn the most about ourselves and about our runs.These are the runs that make us stronger and better at what we do.

SO what did this run teach me?

1. I don't do well in heat. Starting earlier will always be best for me. Those extra 30 minutes of lying in bed just are not worth it.

2. I may need to change my pre-run fuel. My tried and true banana and peanut butter may be whats giving me these more frequent GI issues. I'm going to try switching to oatmeal this weekend and see how its goes.

3. I can run for 11 miles in "normal" running shorts and not die! This was a big one for me. I knew it was hot out and compression shorts didn't sound good at all. So, I took a chance and ran with my regular running shorts. A few years ago I would have never even walked out of my house with shorts like those on because I hated my thighs and assumed that everyone else around me would hate them too! Then, even when I had more confidence in myself and my body I still feared that running that long with shorts would cause major irritation in my thighs. I am happy to report that I had NO chafing, NO irritation, and that I don't think I even worried ONCE about whether or not people saw my thighs jiggle. In fact... I purchased 2 more pair of shorts to parade around in this spring/summer because it felt so good to run in them!

4. Just Don't Give Up. Its not an option (in this case). Either way you have to make it back home and walking will only make it worse.

5. Mantras are Important. When I wanted to give up so bad I just kept repeating, "You're still moving, keep running, You're almost there." This really helped me push through those tough times. I will be saving that one for the books.

Here were my workouts for the week:

Monday: Cross Training (45 minutes)- Pinterest Workout
Tuesday: 5.2 mile run @ 8:16 pace
Wednesday: 5.26 mile run @ 8:34 pace (Hills)
Thursday: 6.2 mile run @ 8:47 pace (easy)
Friday: REST DAY
Saturday: 11 mile run @ 8:37pace
Sunday 5.25 miles run @ 8:44 pace

Talk soon!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

10 Most Influential People In My Running Life

Hello and Happy Wednesday!!!

We're halfway through the week, and I hope yours has been going well. Mine has been a little wonky, but I think I'm over the bulk of it (read that I'm finally accepting that my period is here and not dying from exhaustion, headaches and irritability) and I think it's going to be a great end to the week.

It's really tough to get motivated during that time of the month (and all the days leading up to it), but I know that my PMS symptoms would feel even worse if I didn't have a regular exercise routine and generally good eating habits. It's funny to think that at one point like 10 years ago I was actually so unhealthy that I had Amenorrhea (an abnormal absence of menstruation). It is really common in female athletes who train really hard and push themselves to the extreme in order to be under their ideal weight. I think it is most commonly seen in ballet dancers, gymnasts and I'm sure it runs rampant in the running community as well. You can read more about it and what is called "The Female Athlete Triad" here.

Anywhoo, my case of amenorrhea appeared within the first two years of me "getting healthy" through extreme behaviors and I had lost way too much weight and was not eating enough to sustain the exercise I was doing, or was vomiting it up routinely.  It only lasted a couple months, but it was pretty intense. I didn't know much about it then, but it definitely scares the living daylights out of me now. Just another reason to take care of my body to the best of my ability.

I guess with all that being said, I should be grateful that I have a period, because it reminds me that I'm healthy and "normal"!

Even with my low energy, some nasty GI issues (I'll spare you details) and intense moods the last couple of days I have managed to get in some pretty Kick-Ass workouts.

On Monday I did this fun little workout from my favorite website Popsugar.

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I knew I wanted something a little less intense than the workouts I have been doing, and this was PERFECT for that. I felt like these moves hit a lot of those little spots that we commonly ignore when doing core work or with exercise in general.

Yesterday I had 5 miles on the schedule. I tend to run a faster pace on my Tuesday runs and had planned on doing some sprints today, but for a moment there this morning I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make out of my house! I had to go back inside and use the restroom TWICE before I was finally able to get my run underway. I'm not sure if it's something I ate, or if I'm just having a tough time in the restroom today... but I think it's finally all done with (and I'm hoping so)

Even with that... it ended up being a pretty amazing run. I completed 5.2 miles in 43 minutes (8:16pace). I was SUPER shocked when I saw this on my Garmin at the end of the run. I was not expecting it at all.

I've been trying this new thing on my runs where I cover my Garmin during my runs so that I can start to just "run by feel". I don't do this on "speed work" days and have only been half applying it on my long runs and the jury is still out. I was trying to use it to help slow me down a little bit, but honestly, I feel like it's making me faster!

One of the other new things I've been doing is listening to Podcasts during my commute to and from work. I just couldn't handle listening to the radio anymore and needed to change it up, and I'm sooooo glad that I did! I've found 3 running podcasts that I listen to religiously and one intuitive eating podcast that I just started (Reviews to Come).

One of the Podcasts is from a blogger that I've been following for a couple years, Ali on the Run. Ali has Chron's disease, but is a total kick ass runner and dog lover who lives in New York and she's just wonderful. She recently started her podcast The Ali on the Run Show and it is giving me LIFE! She only has a few episodes but each one has been more amazing and inspirational than the last. Her podcast is interview style and its just very laid back, fun and informative. Give it a listen if you get a chance.

Today she posted an episode about her 10 most influential people in her running life. Her list was amazing and it got me thinking about Who would be on my list?

So now I'm going to give you that list!

10. Meb Keflezighi. While I'm not really into to Main stream runners ( I only know a handful) this man is a common name in my household. I love watching him run and feel that he is amazing. I would love to get to run with him someday and just talk to him about what he eats, his favorite pajamas and how he likes to spend his down time. Cheers to you Meb for being an American Runner of Color!

9. Katherine Switzer. The First woman to run the Boston Marathon. because... how could you not? Her story is harrowing, brave and inspirational. To overcome the odds and prove the elite running community wrong... and its the 50th anniversary year of her completing that race. What an amazing triumph to women everywhere!

8. My Boyfriend. Adam is the absolute greatest thing since sliced bread. He believes in me 100% and is so accommodating and encouraging when it comes to my running. I cannot wait for us to do our first race together this month at the Paso Robles Half Marathon and see how he catches the racing bug for himself.

7. Alison Desir. This is a new running Idol for me who I got to know much better from the Ali on the Run show Podcast. Alison started the Harlem Run movement to get people of color moving in the streets of Harlem, but is probably more famously known for her Run for All Women to help raise money to fund Planned Parenthood following the 2016 election. Alison is a runner and an activist which makes her an amazing human being. Her appearance on the Ali on the Run Show got me all teary eyed and motivated and once you start scoping her out I bet she'll do the same to you.

6. Monica from Run, Eat, Repeat. This is gonna sound silly, but Monica was the first blogger I found and fell in love with (not romantically, but in the "I wanna be just like her when I grow up" kinda way). I love her blog because its all things food, running and randomness... just like ME! I imagine that if we lived closer, Monica and I would be friends. I've enjoying watching her over the past 4 years and love continuing to learn from her. Check out her site if you get the chance.

5. ARC Run Club. While this is more than one person, it has definitely helped me with running. This was my 2nd race group and I was so nervous about joining them. The run store staff got me out of my Nike's and into my current favorite running shoes (Asics Gel Nimbus... I wear the 18's). The Thursday night fun runs are what keep me coming back. This is one of my favorite places to be on a Thursday night. This club got me out of my comfort zone, made me a better, faster runner and got me my current Half Marathon PR of under 1:45 at the LA Rock and Roll Marathon in 2015. I don't go to group runs during this time of year because its too dark and I'm a horrible klutz and afraid of falling and breaking my life, but I'm excited to go back starting NEXT WEEK! If you're in the area come join the fun on Thursday Nights @ 6pm. They have regular raffles and sponsors that bring goodies (including shoes to test run). A Runner's Circle- Los Feliz

4. My first running coach, Kim. Kim was my coach from Race Pace and who encouraged me and got me ready to run the LA Marathon. Kim always had to put me in my place when I tried to get too big for my racing britches and was so wonderful with answering all my (what seemed to me) dumb questions. She has since moved to Arizona but we stay in contact through Facebook.

3. My first running buddy, Jenny. I met Jenny while I was training for my first marathon with Race Pace. We were put together because we were in the same training group. Jenny had run LA many times and was not a noobie to this whole experience. At first, I thought she hated me... but then learned that we both just hated being up and running so early on a Sunday morning. I cherished those miles together and miss having her as a running confidant. She has since moved to San Diego and I swear I will never see her again, but I love her for helping me get through the Best and Worst Day of my life!

2. My Mama. This woman (while not a runner) has always been my #1 cheerleader and supporter. She has gone to a handful of my races (including the LA Marathon) and has never once ever told me that I was anything short of amazing. Although my mama cant physically be at my races anymore I wear a Ruby guardian angel pin (mine and her birthstone) for good luck and extra support on my longer runs. 

1. My Aunt Kri. This woman got me into running and racing. She signed me up for my first Half Marathon (the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland- I think 2012), introduced me to my first running group and coach (Race Pace in Moorpark, California) and kept pushing me to run outside my comfort zone and take on new challenges. She is a former figure skater who is now a Bad Ass Ironman (Ironwoman?!?!) competitor who finds fun in doing mulit hour/multi sport brick workouts (no thank you). She has paid for numerous races for me, bought me many a pair of running shoes and is currently trying to talk me into doing a tough mudder with her. I politely declined but look forward to the day when we can run together again.

Wow.. This list was actually harder than I thought. Hope you enjoyed it.

Who are your inspirations?
Are you a motivation to anyone else?

Monday, March 6, 2017

A week in Review

Hello, Happy Sunday!!! (It's technically Monday now because I forgot to post this last night).

It's been really busy around here and I am just now finally getting a chance to check in... and its probably going to be a very short post because I'M EXHAUSTED.

This week has been really emotional for some reason (probably girly hormones and that time of the month coming) and by the time I've gotten to Sunday all I want to do is go to sleep. Also contributing to my lethargic nature and emotional roller coaster is the fact that my diet has been less than ideal this week.

I haven't been talking about food too much on here, and I was hoping to keep it that way, but when an opportunity for growth presents itself, I feel like I should take advantage of it.

Thursday nights after work I go to my 2nd job  as a supervisor at the Suicide Prevention Center. For whatever reason this job and this night has always been associated with "over indulging" and eating too much. I've been trying to take steps to avoid this (not buying sweets, having options other than sweets available, etc.), but it's been really difficult to manage. So I eventually just decided to make this my "cheat day" and to not allow myself to feel guilty if I do overindulge a little bit this one night of the week.

One of the most effective things I started doing was that I stopped buying and providing sweets for the shift; utilizing the whole "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" trick when it comes to foods. It seems to be helping out a lot, but I'm not always the only person who brings stuff to shift and sometimes I end up indulging in snacks that I wouldn't normally consider sweet or "off limits".

However, I broke my rule this week and bought a cake to celebrate two new volunteers that were joining the shift. I was very quickly reminded that this is just NOT something that I can do.

Sugar is just one of those things that I have absolutely limited self control with and it always leads to me  over eating and feel miserable. (Note to future self... just don't fucking do it). Long story short... I ate two pieces of cake and wanted to die. Not only did I feel like crap almost instantly (intense sugar high and then the crash), but I felt off even the next day.

I tend to think that just because I'm a predominantly healthy eater that it means that I can eat whatever I want whenever i want. I need to treat my body like the temple it is... because it is exactly that. If I want to feel great I need to eat great. Its not just about "losing weight" or "being thin" It's about not physically feeling awful (as opposed to emotionally feeling awful).

Anywhoo, I did a long run this morning and am starving... so I'm going to go eat dinner and relax for the rest of the evening. Here are my workouts for the week:

Monday: CT Pinterest workout
Tuesday 5.15 mile run @8:21 pace
Wednesday: 3.75 mile run @ 8;40 pace
Thursday: 6.2 mile run @ 7:51 pace
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: 5 mile run @ 5.45 mile run @ 8:48 pace
Sunday: 9 mile run @ 8:41 pace

Have a beautiful week!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

February Recap

Happy March 1st!

I don't know about you guys, but I always love the feeling of the first of the month. There's something motivating about it that always makes me feel good.

When I was in my addiction to food, the 1st of the month always felt like torture (especially if it fell on a Monday). I had a habit of telling myself that I would "Start Fresh" on the First... and it usually set up a lot of pressure that I just couldn't keep up with or amount to and I end up craving sugar, with a face full of food and eventually eliminating what I ate which only lead to hateful speech with myself, self loathing and punishing myself for another 30 days until the next "First of the Month" came along.

Thankfully, today, I am looking forward to another month to set some goals. But first I want to look back on what I accomplished in February.

1. I stayed consistent and didn't miss a single workout this month
2. I ran a 10 miler, and didn't die!
3. I ran over 106 miles this month
4. I ran a 30+ mileage week
5. I started blogging again

Goals for the month of March!

1. Continue to stay consistent with my workouts and my training. (IE- not skipping out on workouts)
2. Volunteer/ Spectate for the LA Marathon
3. Finish my Half Marathon on March 26th. I dont really NEED  a PR, but it would be nice
4. Be able to register for my next half marathon
5. Get my CEU's done and submit my hours for licensure. (this is a non running goal, but super important to me right now.
6. Run 115 miles this month
7. Actually practice recovery after my race

Today was another really tough day for me emotionally. I woke up in the middle of the night from a really bad dream about my mom and just could not get back to sleep. Grief is an absolutely horrible things sometimes and today was one of those days. I knew that I was not going to be benefiting myself if I went out and tried to run 6 miles at race pace. I initially wanted to completely give up on myself and just not get up and workout. Enter Goal #1 for March.

In the past, I would have totally stayed in bed, not worked out, been really mad at myself and used it as motivation to be really horrible to myself (emotionally and with food) later on in the day. Instead, I reminded myself that I AM ADAPTABLE. Just because I had a number on the schedule doesn't mean I had to complete it. I allowed myself to sleep in a little bit and decided to do a short easy run today instead and will complete today's workout tomorrow.

I ended up running 3.75 miles at an 8:40 pace and felt much better through the rest of the day.

I had planned on writing more tonight, but after hearing I had a tough day, Adam surprised me and is staying home tonight to give me some emotional support. I'm going to go spend some quality time with him and will check back in with you guys soon.

Be Well