Thursday, January 30, 2014

Calhoun's 10 Miler - a recap of sorts

Saturday I ran my first race since my marathon in November. I knew going into this race that it was not an A race nor would it be for a PR. Even though I had a race plan setting me up for "racing" I still told myself "training run," race this one. I'm sure my coach didn't have that in mind but it's what I needed to tell myself to keep moving forward.

There is no day before race packet pickup, only race day pickup. No big deal. Just meant for an earlier morning. This race started at 7:30am so it was an early morning. We were still running a little bit behind. My morning was off. I was suppose to be there for a team pic at 6:45. I hopped out of the Jeep as everyone was getting posed for that.

I did a quick little jaunt to the building for my bib, shirt, etc. I talked with friends and decided I better suck it up and get outside for my warm up. I did a mile warm up instead of my regular two, stood in line for the bathroom and talked to a few more friends before making my way outside to the start line.

Weather on Saturday was cold and windy. I wasn't thrilled but made the most of it. I think I've done pretty well with running in the wind and temps this winter so far but still wasn't prepared for what was going to be the last half of this race.

This race is hilly coming and going with the infamous "Cemetery Hill," on both the out and back being equally hard each direction. I told myself to start slow and that it would be easier to make up the pace in the middle to the end if I saved my energy. That's smart and one thing I've tried to work on. It's part of the race plan too.

Disclaimer - I'm too lazy to go back and forth and look up my Garmin info now for this recap. So, no paces will be listed. I'm such  a bum. haha

The first half I watched a lot of people pass me. Some of those folks were people I knew I could run faster than but kept telling myself not to let that get to me because I wasn't wearing myself out early. I could catch up. I did.

I took my first gel at 3.5 miles and after that and the turnaround point I met my hubby who said, "Your race starts now, go." And that I did. My gel kicked in, I had energy and lots of those folks who were ahead of me early on were now sniffing my dust. I never looked back. I only stopped one time because I had to tie my darn shoe. Hate when that happens!

I will say that while parts of this race were a mental challenge and the course was definitely not easy, I enjoyed the second half a lot. However, the wind on that second half was misery. Up to 25-30 mph gust coming up by the lake. I could have done without that.

I did not PR. I think I ended up around 1:41 and some change. A decent training run for long mileage. I haven't decided if I will do this race as a repeat. I think I need to get back into a decent running base and speed again before I decide.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Treadmill Tell- All

This is a fun little ditty I found over on  Jess' blog and thought I'd join the fun. Much like the rest of the country it's cold here in E. Tn and I have had to get some of my runs done on the treadmill just to keep from freezing my face off. That is not a complaint about winter. I like that I live where we have a change in seasons, however running in 7 degree temps (like this morning) is sometimes as much as a mental struggle as it is physical. And that my friends is where the treadmill comes into play!

1. What’s your favorite workout to do on a treadmill? 
I don't really have a favorite TM workout. But I usually prefer to play with speed rather than just run a steady pace. Whatever I can do to get it done and over with faster.
 2. How many miles, on average, do you run on the mill each week?
Usually none. The only time I really have to get myself on a TM is when the weather forces me to. Otherwise I'm outside. Lately I've been getting around 3-6 mi per week on the TM but that is a huge exception (due to sub freezing temps and flooded greenways).
3. What was the most mileage you’ve ever completed on the mill in one workout? When? Why? 
I once did a 12 mile run on the treadmill. It was during training for my first half marathon (if I recall correctly). I knew I only had 2 hours to get it done due to the time frame my kids could be in the gym daycare. 
4. Do you mill at home, the gym or both?  
I don't have the space at home for my own 'mill so it's the gym for me when I have to use one.
5. What distractions or entertainment (if any) do you use to help pass the time?  
Usually just music. The gym has tvs but it's always on the news (and they have like 10 tvs) when I'm there. I don't think I could have much success running and trying to read a book/magazine.
6. If you have a treadmill at home, what kind is it? How old is it? 

7. Do you fuel any differently for a treadmill workout than an outside one?

Not really. I might drink a little more water since I have it sitting there but usually I'm only on the TM for short runs so fueling isn't an issue.
8. Any treadmill mishaps to report? 

Nope thankfully I have never (knocking on wood now) flown off the back of one!
9. Do you mill at incline to compensate for not being outside?  

A lot of times I set it to 1-2% but depends on what I'm doing and how I feel.  
10. Describe your perfect (if there is such an animal) treadmill conditions:

My gym is often too warm and there's usually someone who will get on the TM directly beside me (a lot of times an old man who enjoys passing lots of gas). So that said, a TM room, solo with the temp set at 60 and a good set of tunes!

Do you enjoy the treadmill or do you prefer running outdoors? 
What is winter running like where you live?  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A note to myself.

Back when I started this blog it seemed I had all the words to say and could write a post most any day of the week. It seemed like I knew how to lose weight and was dropping weekly. I was 110% into the gym and doing everything right to make progress. I was excited and energetic about ME and my whole journey.

Lately, I have no words to write or when I do they escape my brain as soon as they enter. I blame that partly on my busy life but really it shouldn't be an excuse. With smart phones these days one would think making notes would come easy. I have a reference guide at my fingertips and rarely use it. Oops.

I won't say I am not still excited and energetic about me and this whole journey I am and have been on. I also won't say that I am not 110% into the gym and my workouts. What I will say is this... I'm not progressing as far as weight loss goes like I want to right now. The reality is that I've gained (Yes, gained!!) 15 lbs in the last 2 yrs but mostly in the last few months between the end of marathon training and now. I will go on to say that I am super bummed about that.

What am I doing?
Is what I am doing wrong? Am I not doing enough?

Here is what I am doing -

Running 5 days a week. Logging at least 30 miles per week.
One BodyPump class a week. One BodyFlow class a week.

I do so very good during the work hours and mostly at night with the occasional treat in there.
I log my food either in a paper journal I keep in my bag or on my iPhone (see I do use it as a reference tool) on the LoseIt! app. Heck, I even take pictures of my food and Instagram them like a crazy person sometimes.

So, what gives??
I will tell you. My mind. I stress too much over this not happening or that happening. What exactly is that? The scale not moving. My clothes not fitting right. Not making this workout or not hitting my pace for that workout. It is driving me crazy!! Crazy.

I keep looking back at pictures from last yr and the yr before. I see SO much more than I see in my current pictures. I see so much more even in those pictures than I see in the mirror image of myself and I do NOT like it. I don't like the feeling I get when I realize (and I realize it a lot) that I am different (and not really in a great way) now than I was even 6 months ago. I keep fighting with the little voice in my head going between, "You'll get there," to "What the crap is going on?" It would be so easy to give up this fight right now and let myself go. But, I can't. I won't. There is no sense in even thinking that way.

Sometimes I think if I could just find a quick fix to snap myself out of things, but honestly is a quick fix worth it. NO, we (or I rather) gain nothing from quick fixes. Why? They're temporary and usually have no lasting effects (at least not of the positive kind). Complaining about the scale being up or feeling like a bundle of bloat doesn't fix my problem. It doesn't make the pounds come off or my image of myself any better. Instead it adds the frustration.

It seems like my last post was full of negativity and complaints much like this one. I don't really intend for that to be the case. I want this to be more of a "I know what I am doing wrong and this is how I will fix it," type of post to myself. I DO know the areas that need a bit of work and tweaking. I DO know what needs to be done in order for them to be "fixed." So, why is it difficult some days to keep my mindset headed in that direction?

It is not that I lack determination or motivation to eat right or workout.
I lack patience. I lack patience these days when it comes to results.

I have to get my mind back to one day at a time, one run at a time, one workout at a time.
Baby steps. I've already taken so many baby steps this week. The key will be to not let the baby steps forward end in a giant leap back.

You can do this. Be patient. Be kind to yourself. Believe.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Be Fierce. Fight. Move Forward.

Yesterday was my first day back on the track in a while. My last few speed workouts were tempo runs and last week mile repeats which I had to do on the TM due to weather and timing. I managed to hit my paces for my mile repeats on the TM but I always think that is pretty easy to do since you can set the TM to a specific pace and just run. Yesterday on the track was a different story for my 2x2 mi workout.

During our warmups my coach goes around to talk briefly with each of us about our specific workout for the day and give us our paces. (Side note: usually most of us have a different workout and pace, that's fine, personal coaching proof there.) When coach came to me to tell remind me I had 2x2 mi and discuss pace I was ok at first. He told me he wanted me to start at an 8:30 and get faster if possible. I grinned, said I knew it would be tough but assured him I would do my best. It has been a long time since I was hitting an 8:30 pace per mile with confidence. I was going to do my best and try to hit the pace he wanted to see me hit. He knew I could do it.

After our core work we headed over to the track. From the location we meet at it is a 2 mile run. It was raining and seemed to only get harder the closer to the track we got. We made the most of our warmup. The best part for me is running this with my friends.

Once at the track we did some drills (high knees, backwards run, A-sip, striders) and were loosened up, ready to go. The track was soaked. Unfortunately UT's track doesn't seem to have the best drainage system and lane one was a sloppy mess. Yay for running in super wet shoes and huge puddles! haha

I lined up at the start, took a deep breath and hit my watch. Off I went. I started at an 8:22 pace and by lap 3 (.78 into my first mile of 2) I was hitting an 8:50 which was 20 seconds slower than goal pace for the first mile. I knew then I was struggling but was determined to keep pushing. However, I would be stopped when my coach asks, "How ya feeling?" My reply, "Eh." Then he says, "Stop." Ugh. This was like a punch in the gut. Only it was the first punch in the gut. When I stopped the punch went deeper and produced tears I had not expected this day on the track. I got a "pep talk" of sorts about how I was defeating myself before even beginning the workout and how I AM capable of hitting the paces given to me. I suppose that is true. The last blow to the gut was when I was told to instead run 2x1 mi repeats and aim for 8:20. Bah.

I wanted the next 2 miles to be killer. I wanted to fight the blubbering and the tears rolling down my face. I wanted to succeed. I didn't want anything to get in my head other than strength and confidence.

That didn't happen.

Despite cheers and encouragement from my friends and teammates and the "good job, Kim" I was getting from my coach I still failed to reach the goal. First mile 8:30, second mile 8:50.  When I finished I didn't even go to tell my coach. I hit the stairs, grabbed my water and waited on my friend to head back with me on our cool down. Unfortunately my hiding was found. I gave my splits and got, "We'll talk when we get back." Ugh. Why?

Why couldn't I hit the paces given to me? Why weren't my legs going fast like they were before my marathon? Why was my mind a cloudy mess of "I can't do this,"?

I didn't have the answers. I didn't know where to get them. I am so thankful that my friend let me cry, curse and be mad on our cool down run back. I was even more glad when she said, "I need to walk a minute." Was I spent? Could I not even hold down the cool down pace? No, but those few seconds gave me time to cool down and get my thoughts together. I hate to cry. I hate to feel weak and defeated. I was determined to not let my meeting post run make me cry again.

I love running. I love a good morning on the track. I love a PR. I love to race.
But what was going on? What is going on?
Is it really my mental state? Is it fatigue? Excuses?

Sure there were circumstances post marathon that kept me from getting in all my runs/mileage. Sure I had bronchitis/sinus infection/ear infection in November and then the Flu in December, but were those reasons for feeling like I did with running or were they just excuses?? I don't know really.

What do I know?
I know that the only place I can move is forward. I know that I cannot and will not let one bad workout define me as a runner. I know that I will get my speed back. I know that I have to believe that I can in order to succeed. I know that I have a great coach. I know that I have great friends. I know that when I hear the words, "I know you can do it. I believe in you,"  that I CAN!

So what will I do?

Be Fierce. Fight. Move Forward.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happy New Year!

Last time I posted it was 5 days until Christmas! And here we are several days past Christmas and no update from me. I'd love to tell you it was because I was on a tropical vacation however I was instead home, sick in bed with a nasty case of the flu.

Today is the first day I have not spent coughing my head off to the point of having a headache by bedtime. That, my friends, is exciting news!

I plan to recap 2013.
I plan to write about my "resolutions," which I really hate to call resolutions because I like the word goals so much better.
And I plan to discuss my race plan for 2014.

I hope you all had a great holiday and that your new year is off to an awesome start. This year is going to be a great one!