Sunday, September 7, 2014

Marathon Training Progress - 8 Weeks Left

Hi friends!

I hope everyone has been adjusting well to September; the busy schedules and routines setting in again. The cooler temperatures have already started here in the north, I woke up to a brisk 9 degrees (48 F) this morning. And - our leaves are already starting to change color here.

Summer of Fun!
It's hard to believe summer is coming to a close, but I'm ok with it. We've had a summer I will not forget! This was our first summer living in cottage country, and boy, it was a busy one. We entertained constantly and enjoyed a lot of time with friends and family. This year we made the most of living on the water, with constant boat rides and numerous swimming trips. I don't think I have ever swam this much in my life. It was simply amazing.

Over the course of the summer, I ran... a lot. During the months of July and August, I put 503 km's on these feet. During that time I was off about 3 weeks due to an injury, so I consider the km's a great success. Fortunately my injury pain has subsided significantly, but the pain is still there. I was officially diagnosed with "piriformis syndrome".

My birthday gift! I'm in LOVE!
"Piriformis syndrome is an uncommon neuromuscular disorder that is caused when the piriformis muscle compresses the sciatic nerve. The piriformis muscle is a flat, band-like muscle located in the buttocks near the top of the hip joint. This muscle is important in lower body movement because it stabilizes the hip joint and lifts and rotates the thigh away from the body. This enables us to walk, shift our weight from one foot to another, and maintain balance. It is also used in sports that involve lifting and rotating the thighs -- in short, in almost every motion of the hips and legs." - Source - WebMD

It now seems to act up after sitting in the car or at work. I'm doing my best to stretch the muscle regularly, but have been slacking on that the past couple of weeks. This injury was definitely a set back for me and it was tough to get back into training.

Breaking out the headlamp
In case I haven't stressed it enough - let me say marathon training is not easy, I've recently encountered another training set-back this past week. I believe I have reached training fatigue. For the past week I've cut runs short, felt generally awful during my runs and have had to introduce some walk breaks. This is very unlike me and I knew something was wrong. I took Friday as a rest day and decided to skip my 15 km run. I'll only be hitting 60 km's this week, instead of the prescribed 85 km's. It's weighing on me a bit, but I know I need to listen to my body if I want to make it to that start line.

Asides from the injury and set-backs, this training season has given me great gains so far. I've hit some recent PBs in the 5 km and 10 km distances during training. Most recently a 50:12 - 10 km last Tuesday. I've been feeling strong (up until last week) and I'm hitting weekly mileage I never thought possible. Due to my set-backs, I know I will not hit the mileage I was anticipating but I'm happy with my progress thus far. I know I need to cut myself some slack; balancing a full-time job, house duties and running on constant hilly terrain is not easy.

4:30 a.m. Pre-25 km "Runfie"
On other running news, Daniel has recently started running with me! This was voluntary on his part and I could not be more excited for him. He has started building his base with 3 km runs about 3-4 days per week. He has been joining me at the start of my runs and then rollerblading the rest of the way. I'm excited to see what this will progress to.. will he eventually want to start marathon training too? My fingers are crossed.

I have two races on the schedule this month. I have to run a half marathon as a time trial to determine my correll placement at Disney. I registered for the Borden Base Run in Barrie on September 28th. In addition to that race, I won entry to the Zoo 10 km in Toronto! It was a sold out race and I won through Facebook. How amazing is that? That race will be held in two weeks on September 20th. Keep posted for my race recaps.

Yay me!
To all my running friends training for fall races, how is your training going?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Marathon Training - Round Two

I'm training for another marathon. Yep, I said it. I plan on redeeming myself after my 2012 fail.

I've said it before in previous blog posts, my first marathon really ruined me emotionally. After some life changing events that took place at the beginning of this year, I couldn't think of a better way to heal myself emotionally and physically than to train for another marathon. That seems counter-intuitive right? To some, maybe.. but for me marathon training gives me something to focus on. Something to strive for. Something to be positive about.  

Post 15 km run - jumped right in
the lake following this photo
For anyone that knows me really well, they would know that I have an addictive personality. I need to be focused on some aspect of my life to feel a sense of normal. Whether that be dieting, planning a house project, running, crafting, blogging... I need to do something to feel purposeful. If I don't, I become one big emotional mess. Clearly, I have some type of personality disorder.  I just haven't quite figured it out yet. Anyway, that is besides the point.

After a rough winter here in the "north", I picked up my base training again in March. I started really slow and average around 15 kms per week for about a month. I tried to run a minimum of 3X per week and peaked at 4X per week. It was tough seeing my slower than before paces, but I got over that quickly. I was almost 15 lbs heavier than my previous marathon weight, so the slower pace was to be expected.

Since March, I've committed myself 99% to this training cycle:
  • I've dropped that 15 lbs and am now at my previous marathon weight. I did this all through healthy eating and good choices (NO weight watchers!)
  • I contacted my old marathon coach and he has been coaching me virtually. I believe god sent him here to me. I don't know how I would be doing this without his constant motivation and training.
  • I'm now running 6X per week and am following a high mileage training plan.

I've been following my new plan for 8 completed weeks now and I'm feeling really good. I'm currently running at 70 km per week (44 miles) and will be getting to 100 km (or 62 miles). This is quite the different approach from the Running Room plan I had followed previously. That plan I had peaked at 62 kms (plan had called for 66). Surprisingly my body is handling the high mileage quite well with no injury thus far. I chalk it up to the slow mileage build up and plan adjustments when needed.

Running 6X per week can present its challenges, but I've come to embrace it. I've pretty much deemed running to be my part-time job this year. Fortunately, I have a very loving and supportive husband that is 100% on board with this passion of mine. He has helped me find my balance of a full time work load, 3 "needy" puggies, volunteer jobs, house work, entertaining and wife duties. It's no longer a battle of figuring out when to get my run in, I just do it. It's now concrete in my schedule - I have to run each day before my day starts. End of story.

Of course there will be exceptions to this perfect schedule. I didn't get my run in one morning and had to run after work instead. To not cause fatigue by going back to my planned morning run schedule, I decided to run in the evenings all week. This presented a lot of challenges for me, because let's face it... lots of stuff can crop up in the evenings. I immediately switched back to morning running because there are less demands at 5:30 a.m.

Training aside, the most important part of all of this hard work is the two marathons I have planned:

Road2Hope in Hamilton, ON - November 3rd 2014
Walt Disney World Marathon in Orlando, FL - January 11th 2015

I can hardly wait for both race days to arrive. Seeing all my hard work shine through those medals will be priceless. Daniel and I have not been on vacation since 2011, so Disney is a big deal for us. I'm excited that we are planning an entire week vacation surrounding the race. The countdown is now on!

In a nutshell - that is what I've been up to these last 6 months. Oh, plus we bought and moved into our new home (which was 4 hours north of our previous house). That's all...

Who else is running a fall marathon this year? How is your training going? 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday #7 - A Simple Day on Plan

Long time no blog! Most bloggers provide an excuse here >< as to why they have been on a blog hiatus. I don't really have an excuse, I've just been neglecting this hobby of mine. With my triumphant blog return I thought I'd give you readers something I know you enjoy, and that is creeping my daily eating habits! I find these posts are always quite popular. So without further ado....
Today I was able to stay on plan and within my daily point limits. My entire eats for the day came to 37 Points+. Here is how I did it:

Breakfast, 8 Points+: 

  • 2 slices of WW multi-grain bread
  • 2 poached eggs
  • 1 tsp low-calorie margarine 
  • Eggs were topped with shredded asiago for flavor

Morning Snack, 7 Points+:

  • 13 Mary's gluten free crackers
  • 2 Babybel Gouda cheese pieces
  • plum

Lunch, 5 Points+: 

  • 1/2 chicken breast on a WW wrap
  • Topped with lettuce, tomatoes and Franks Red Hot Buffalo Wing sauce

Afternoon Snack, 3 Points+: 

  • Oikos Greek yogurt
  • pear

Pre-Dinner Snack:

  • Banana

Dinner, 14 Points+:

  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1/2 cup arugula topped with chicken/pepper saute & asiago shreds 
  • (Saute- Chicken breast, bell peppers, onion, kalamata olives, EVOO, Italian dressing)

Evening Snack, 1 Points+:

  • 1 white cheddar rice cake

Today I dipped into my weekly points and have no guilt. I like to use my 49 points throughout the week to keep me satisfied. This is opposed to eating them all at once.

How do you manage your weekly points?

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