Sunday, January 31, 2010

Taking the Day off

So I definitely didn't stick to the training schedule this week... but I kind of knew that would happen. It was my boyfriend and I's four year anniversary and we had planned to go winter camping up at Garibaldi Lake on Friday and Saturday. My training schedule dictated five days of running this week which meant I had to run all the days I was actually home, including the day before we left, which I knew we would be crazy, and today, Sunday which I had my doubts about cause I didn't know how sore and tired I would be.

In short, I didn't get the run in on Thursday, we ended up being just way too busy, and I am listening to my body and taking today off. I have a headache, my feet hurt, and my legs feel a bit stiff. I am sure a tylenol would fix the headache and my legs would be fine but it is actually the pain in my feet that convinced me to not run. We used snowshoes and by the end of yesterday the straps were digging into my feet and my arches were starting to really hurt along with oddly enough my baby-toes... I really don't want any foot injuries, I am three weeks out (to the DAY!) from my half and I want to be able to focus these next three weeks and really rock my first ever half marathon. So I'm taking today off. It mean my cumulative mileage for this week is only about 12 miles... but that's ok. I still ran, and the hike up and back down from Garibaldi lake was hardly a walk in the park. It was six kilometers of steep, and I do mean steep uphill in the snow... So my legs weren't getting the pounding they normally get from running, but my cardio-vascular exertion level was certainly up there. Next week I actually have the time (and hopefully will have the energy to complete the 28 miles my schedule demands of me. It's time to kick it in and train hard.

I also want to go to Bikram for the first time ever at some point this week.

Today I woke up at the disgusting hour of 5:15 am, had a shower, made myself some pumpkin yogurt for breakfast (plain non-fat yogurt, a quarter cup of pumpkin, a half tablespoon of agave and granola) and packed a LUNA bar and my favorite egg salad sandwich (I use one hard-boiled egg, non-fat yogurt with tumeric, cayenne, and salt instead of mayonaise, and then I chop up about a quarter of an apple into the mix, before spreading it on sandwich thins with a layer of peach red pepper chutney) before heading to work. Luckily it was a Sunday so we were pretty slow. I got off work at 2:30 and walked home, where I made myself some almond butter toast and some more pumpkin yogurt (seriously addicted to the stuff). Probably more food than I needed but I am always so hungry after opening at and least it was healthy food right?

So this coming week looks something like this:

Monday - hopefully going to Bikram Yoga (for the first time ever, I am a little nervous, but mostly excited)

Tuesday - run four miles

Wednesday - run three miles

Thursday - seven mile tempo

Friday - run three miles

Saturday - off (maybe go climbing, but maybe 100% full stop rest day)

Sunday - run 11 miles

For a total mileage of 28 miles. The most I've ever run in a week and 11 miles will be my longest run to date, and the longest run I do before my half.

We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Importance of Failing

I had a failed eight mile run today. I was supposed to do four mile repeats with half mile jogs in between with a warm up and warm down to total eight miles. I was apprehensive about it. I kind of hate mile repeats. I know they make me faster, I know they help my endurance and mental toughness, but I hate them. Why? Because I am a competitive person. I am a perfectionist and if I run the first mile in 8:30 I will kill myself to run the next one in 8:25 and the one after that in 8:20 and the one after that in 8:10. This is a good thing, except that I have trouble pacing the mile distance, and therefore always end up exhausted and barely breathing at the end. Usually, however, it is ok... Today it wasn't.

I think I just got myself too wound up about this run... I did my warm-up and felt kind of crappy, I felt slightly nauseous, which makes me think that bananas+runs=bad because I had one before my run today and I usually just stick with a bit of toast with almond butter and honey which always works. As I went into my first mile I realized I had accidentally planned my route so that that first mile included A LOT of hilly sections. Bad, bad idea for mile repeats. I was relieved when that first mile was over. I did my jog and then went into the second mile... Immediately I felt sick, I was pushing up yet another hill (bad, bad, bad route planning on my part, I was trying to do mile repeats not hill repeats), and I was pretty sure I was going to throw up. So I stopped leaned against a tree and breathed, I figured I could just pick it back up and maybe aim for 9 minute miles... Not what I really wanted to ultimately respectable. Kind of. After a minute or two I tried to start running again... My legs felt like absolute lead, and my stomach just felt worse... After about five minutes I figured I'd just make it to the three mile run, count today as one of my easy run days (I have three easy three mile days this week) and do the mile repeats on Thursday.

At first I was really mad at myself, but then I started thinking about the last run I didn't complete, a seven mile tempo I tried to run in the absolute pouring rain where I get so soaked that I ended up to cold to continue, and I thought about what I learned from that run. I learned that it is ok to fail sometimes, that it is ok to not complete something as long as I readjust my schedule so that I do it later. So instead of being mad at myself about today I've decided to use it as a learning experience. Could I have completed the eight mile distance? Yes. I would have slowed down and finished it as a leisurely long run. And if I feel sick during my half, I'll just forget about time and focus on finishing, but that wasn't the point of today. The point of today was the repeats, and if I was incapable of doing them then the best thing to do was to stop, and do them another day, take the failure, accept it and move forwards.

That's what I'm telling myself anyway.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Running in the Rain

So it's raining out, again. Yesterday I waited until mid-afternoon to go run, because I had a seven mile tempo and I tend to do best in the mid afternoon. That was a mistake. It started raining around three... So I went inside and ran a seven mile tempo on the treadmill. The good news is it went better than expected, the bad news is I spent the entire hour and seven minutes it took me to complete my seven miles (1 mile warm up, five miles at tempo pace, 1 mile cool) staring at the distance screen on the treadmill begging the numbers to move faster.

This morning I got up early, made breakfast from some non-fat yogurt, canned pumpkin, honey, raisins, granola, some cinnamon, and a banana (mix everything into a bowl and enjoy), and packed my lunch, which was the sweet potato spoon bread I made last night and the coconut wild rice soup I also made last night. I love this soup. Its the second time I've made it and it is out of Heidi Swanson's, of, Super Natural Cooking and its amazing. Vegan, creamy, complex carbohydrate packed and awesome. Ok, so some people are anti-coconut milk because they think it has too much saturated fat, and it DOES have a good amount but recent studies have shown that because it is not a hydrogenated fat, nor is animal fat it doesn't do the same damage to your body as the saturated fat in say butter does (don't get me wrong, I still use butter though I try and do so minimally). All the research is pretty new but nevertheless... I'll go with it because I LOVE all things coconut. I also grabbed an apple and a latte and ran out the door.

I spent most of today in Food Safe, which to sum up was eight hours of learning about all the different ways food can make you sick and how to prevent it which pretty much equates to: wash your hands, don't defrost food at room temperature, don't leave food at room temperature, and really really don't go to work if you have Hepatitis A.

Anyway, I'm off for a run, just a quick easy three miles today, so the rain should be manageable. I admit, the wimpy side of me is wondering if I can get through running on a treadmill two days in a row. Then I have to pick up the boy. Dinner tonight is going to be flank steak which I marinated over night in a mix of shallots, soy sauce, lemon juice, and orange juice along with a roasted root vegetable medley (parsnips, carrots, potato, and rutabaga), and more spoon bread and potentially a salad if I can sum up the energy to throw one together. I have dressing... all I need to do is put veggies in a bowl. Might be manageable....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Starting Up Again

I feel like I should start posting on here again. For many reasons. First off, my manager managed to meander over here and told me I inspired her, and ultimately that was the reason I started this blog in the first place, to inspire others to set goals and push themselves to reach them. Secondly I really do love to write and not being in school I don't get the chance to do so very often. Finally I like to keep a log of how my runs are feeling, what my goals are, etc. Sure I write it all down on paper but it is not really the same, mostly because I hate writing on pen and paper, my hand gets tired and I'm a wimp (this is what four years of compulsive note taking and writing absolutely exhaustive exams gets you - hand pain).

So lets get to it shall we?

When I left off I had just registered for my first half marathon. Now I'm less than a month out. I have run all but four of the miles dictated by my training schedule, and I'm looking at the final four weeks with a mix of trepidation (there's a lot of running taking place) and excitement. Mostly I just can't wait to run my half. I still remember how much fun I had at the Fall Classic and I can't wait to feel that same adrenaline, exhaustion, and sense of accomplishment. I'm confident about completing the distance (I ran 10 miles last week and it went really, really well), I'm a bit more apprehensive about finishing in under two hours. It would mean maintaining about a 9:05 pace for 13.1 miles... Something I may or may not actually be able to do. I just completed a five mile tempo, done at a 9:10 pace, and it was hard. I mean tempos are supposed to be hard, but this was, hard. Hard in a I feel slightly nauseous now I may have pushed myself a bit too far kind of way. Then again aren't I supposed to give 100% during my half?

Regardless, a sub-two hour half is still my goal, but my secondary goal is sub 2:05, which I really think is possible, and my tertiary goal is simply to finish, but again I'm not actually too overly concerned about running the distance because I know I can do it.

Food-wise things are going really well. The boy and I's New Year's resolution was to start only eating meat and animal products if we could be absolutely sure it was raised in a human way and treated humanely as well. The result has been that we eat a lot less meat (organic meat is insanely expensive), and that I've been experimenting a lot more with food. Its come to a point where I look forward to grocery shopping more than shopping for clothes, but I think that's a good thing. The bad thing is I don't think I should be allowed into whole foods alone. Ever. I rarely stick to my shopping list and end up blowing two weeks worth of food money in one go... Too much good food, too little time/money.

Last night we roasted eggplant with zucchini and tomatoes, along with a bulgur wheat tabbouleh, and roasted halibut done in a green sauce. Tonight I am making coconut wild rice soup with sweet potato spoon bread (sweet potatoes mashed with a bit of flour, shallots, and some goat cheese), as well as roasted tomato paprika soup because the boy doesn't like coconut. My hope is that the soups last us through the week and serve as lunch.

Also tonight I am marinating a flank steak for tomorrows dinner which will be served with a roasted root vegetable medley (roasting vegetables makes all the difference in the world - super high heat, we're talking 400-500 degree ovens here + veggies = mmmmmm). Then at some point this week I really want to make chili (made with a mix of extra lean ground beef and buffalo, the leanest red meat out there) with this buttermilk cornbread recipe that uses polenta instead of cornmeal and olive oil instead of butter and buttermilk instead of cream which supposedly keeps everything super moist and pretty healthy.

This week is also the boy and I's four year anniversary, the 28th. Its been an incredible four years. There's been huge highs - graduation, my 10k, my coming half, Paris, three fantastically beautiful Vancouver summers, our trip to Shasta and Ashland, and massive lows, my mom's death nine months into our relationship, and other things I wont post here. But we've stuck through it, made it through it and come out on the other side four years older, four years stronger, and pretty convinced we can face more or less anything. To celebrate we're going snow camping up at Garibaldi. I am semi-terrified as our last attempt at snow camping ended with us bailing at two in the morning (we were car-camping) because I was just too damn cold. Fortunately this time I own a lot more fleece and a down-fill jacket, and the forecast is saying -2C as opposed the the -16 it was the last time we tried this. I think we'll be ok.

Ok, back to making dinner before I let the sweet potatoes burn.