The adventures of an unlikely pair. Follow us if you dare....

Monday, March 25, 2013

The One With Land Of Oz Training {Week 14}



This past week was weird; it was already a step down week in training but I didn’t intend for it to be so much of one. I was still struggling with some motivation and this weekend was crazy busy so things got a little weird but I definitely feel like they are finally turning around so I can finish out marathon training strong!

Week 13 (Mar 18-24)
Off


Done
BodyPump


Done
5 miles


Done
5 miles


Off
Off


Off
10 miles


Off
Bike


8 miles


13 miles



Monday I had a doctor’s appointment and was told I wasn’t allowed to work out.

Tuesday I went back to BodyPump and had a much better workout than the week before. I’m still not crazy about this teacher but at least it was a good workout for me. BP has made me feel so strong lately and I’m super happy with the results I’ve been seeing!


Wednesday I struggled through another mid-week run; I’m really not sure what is up with Wednesday’s lately – they used to be my favorite run of the week but lately they’ve just been so hard!



Thursday ended up being an unscheduled rest day, I’m not sure what happened, I just didn’t make it out the door.

Friday and Saturday was spend with my family since my step-sister was getting married. Alex, Rachel and I had planned to go log some trail miles but the weather brought freezing cold rain and lots of wind so we had to bail on that.

Finally on Sunday night at 7pm I was able to get my long run in for the weekend. I only got 8 miles but they were a great 8 miles so I will gladly take them.


This week is another crazy week for me, as will be pretty much all my weeks and weekends until the wedding but I’m super excited for the marathon that’s getting closer.

Here’s what’s on the schedule this week:

Week 14 (Mar 25-31)
7 miles *in honor of my 27th birthday


Off
6 miles
Body Pump + 4 miles
Off
22 miles
Off
39 miles

I’m very excited about those 22 miles believe it or not; the last 20 went so well that I’m looking forward to logging those miles!

What do you have on the agenda for your week?

P.S. Today is my Birthday!! J

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The One With Land Of Oz Training {Week 13}



Sorry I’m a day behind again, I took yesterday morning as a “Me day” and then had a small procedure done at the doctor’s office yesterday afternoon, everything is fine but it put me behind a bit for the week.

After struggling the past 2 weeks with some lack of motivation I tried really hard to work myself out of that rut. My body didn’t really want to cooperate with me but I think by Saturday I finally found my mojo!

Week 12 (Mar 11-17)
5 miles Off

Done
BodyPump


Done
4 miles


3 miles
5 miles


6 miles
Off


Done
20 miles


Done
Off


45 min biking
29+ miles

Monday I had a project that really needed to get done so I opted to focus on that for the night.

Tuesday I went to BodyPump class but since my favorite teacher is no longer teaching this class was rough. I loved the old teacher so much and while this girl did ok it just wasn’t the same. I didn’t think she was as motivating and it was very hard to hear her most of the time. I’m sure she will work it out and I’ll of course keep going but Tuesday was definitely not one of my better BP workouts for sure.

Wednesday I had plans to eat dinner at my Nanna’s house and she lives around the neighborhood I grew up in so I was looking forward to running around her place before dinner. But this run just hurt! There was nothing pleasant at all about this run. It was hot, my legs were sore and heavy. I finally had had enough by mile 3.

Thursday the weather was a bit nicer and I was hoping that my legs would redeem themselves but they really didn’t at all. I did manage 6 miles which I’m glad but it wasn’t a great run either.


Now Saturday, Saturday really should be a whole post in and of itself; I tried a new route, I got to run with my sister, I really practiced running slower like I talked about and over all this was one of the best runs I have ever had, I cannot believe that it was one of my longest runs ever! I was on cloud nine all day long. I need to download my splits off of my watch and once I do that I’ll post later this week about that run because it was just that good!




After Saturday’s long run I sat in an ice bath for 15 minutes and then spent the day walking around and running errands; I’ve learned that I recover so much better if I KEEP MOVING!

I woke up Sunday morning and had NO SORENESS at all! If I hadn’t have lived through those 20 miles I would have never known because my legs felt (and still do) amazing! Maybe I’m finally getting the hang of this thing.


After church and then an early birthday lunch at Nanna’s (my birthday is next Monday) Rachel, Alex and I did some shopping and then got our bikes out of hibernation and went on a 45 minute bike ride. 



I admit, I’ve been afraid to ride my bike, it’s not something that I’m particularly good at so I tend to shy away from it. But we had the most fun on Sunday night that we would like to make a weekly thing!


All in all it was a good week and it’s finally made me excited to finish off marathon training strong!

Here’s what on the plan for this week:

Week 13 (Mar 18-24)
Off
BodyPump
5 miles
5 miles
Off
10 miles
Bike
20 miles





I’m going to enjoy stepping back a little bit this week and not doing a super long run on Saturday; in fact those 10 miles will more than likely be done on some trails! I think the plan is for Rachel, Alex and I to hit up the trails in McKinney and get some work in for our trail race in 6 weeks! I’m also excited because my sister and brother-in-law come in town on Friday night and will be here this weekend for our step-sister’s wedding.

What are your plans for working out this week?

Friday, March 15, 2013

The One About My Bachelorette Weekend


Two weeks ago my sisters and friends and I went to Little Rock, Arkansas for my bachelorette weekend. I really wanted to run the Little Rock half marathon and my friend Karen really wanted to “go away” for a bachelorette party so this worked out to be a perfect weekend.

On Friday my sisters and I drove up to Little Rock to stay with my cousin Taylor and her husband James. Oh, and their sweet Scottie dogs! Taylor was born right between me and my middle sister and we grew up together so she’s like one of our sisters. We always have so much fun together and I was excited to see their house and spend time with her and James.




We weren’t able to leave Dallas until after work on Friday so we got in kind of late, but after some chatting and a tour of their cute house we all went to bed. Saturday morning Taylor made a yummy breakfast for us and then we went to the race expo to pick up packets.


After that we were on a dress hunt to find my sister a bridesmaid’s dress for the wedding but we didn’t have any luck. After that we met up with a really good friend from high school who happens to live about an hour away. By chance she had text me the weekend before and wanted to chat and catch up and I told her that I would actually be in Little Rock if she was free to get together. She was so sweet and drove to meet us for lunch. I am kicking myself for not getting any pictures with her!! Megan went to church with all of us while we were in high school so we knew a lot of the same people and had so much fun reminiscing about the old days. It was so very good to see her!

After that it was about time to head to the hotel and check in and meet the rest of my friends. Karen, Melissa and Shelly all drove in from Dallas. Shelly had actually flown in from Florida where she's in grad school the night before for her spring break, I was so very glad she was able to come, we miss having her in Dallas for sure! Once we checked in we broke out the drinks and snacks and had fun chatting and playing games. My sisters were texting Alex and asking him questions that they were asking me and comparing answers, we seem to know each other pretty well. Although we are concerned that he thinks we only have 6 cousins and that that’s a lot….we actually have 21!

We also took this time to open up all the lingerie that everyone had brought; everyone was so sweet to bring nice gifts!



After that we all got dressed up and headed out to dinner to this small little bistro called Cheers. It was a very cozy atmosphere and I thought the food was delicious!




And yes, I am reading the paper. There was a very interesting article about the race in there that I wanted to read. My sisters sent that picture to Alex and told him that he had absolutely nothing to worry about, haha.


After dinner we made our way to the Rev Room downtown to see Wade Bowen. My cousin was so sweet and researched all the events in town that weekend and told me to pick. We got there early which was good because we had time to talk and get a few drinks before it got too crowded and Wade Bowen went on.



I knew I had a race the next day and I’m really not much of a drinker but I did want to have fun and enjoy myself. My sister bought a round of shots and I definitely had a few beers. I was doing well until some guy bought me a whisky shot and then well, that went straight to my head!



Apparently I started sending Alex random text messages, one in which I was trying to tell him about the whisky shot and ended up calling it a “Wiley Sh*t”, I don’t remember that but everyone else sure had fun with that the next day!

We didn’t stay out too late, probably midnight. I was definitely a little bit loopy but thanks to Taylor I made it back to the car and safely into the hotel room.


Yes, that is my lingerie hanging from the window, and yes that is me after our night out, clearly I had a good time!

I had made sure before we went out to dinner to set out all my race stuff because I didn’t not want to have to try and think about any of that the next morning and I’m very glad that I had done that. I do remember downing a water bottle with Nuun in it and then quickly passing out until Karen woke me up the next morning. Thankfully I wasn’t hung over, I was just really tired but apparently that made for a good day. You can read about the race here.


I had such a wonderful time with my sisters, my cousin and my friend and I am so blessed to have such a great group of girls that love and support me and want me to have a great weekend. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The One About Running Slow


Running slow is hard. There, I said it. In fact I think running slow is harder for me than running fast is. Obviously we all desire to run faster; I mean week after week I see all my favorite bloggy runners posting speed workouts right and left. And I do it too, although lately my speed work has been more informal than actually speed work but still, my goal is to run faster. And if I can be so bold for a moment I think I’ve actually done a pretty good job at training myself to be faster. I mean even just 6 months ago I pushed myself to a 1:11 10K PR and 3 weeks ago I broke that by running a 59:49 10K PR, I’d call that improvement. However, that’s a post for another day, today we are talking about running slow.

It’s not a topic that gets discussed often because I mean really, who wants to go slower? I know that I personally have a very hard time going slower, now that I’ve tasted faster. But sometimes going slow is very important; like when doing your long runs while training for a marathon.

I knew that with all my gaining speed lately that I was going to have a hard time readjusting myself during my long runs on the weekends. I want to make sure that I am not pushing myself too hard so that I can cover the distance required but I also don’t want to see myself short of what I am capable of. I’m glad that I have a training plan and training runs so that I can better judge my abilities but it’s still hard sometimes.

Let’s take this past weekend for example:

I had 17 miles schedule for the day.

I had just the weekend before run a PR in the half marathon so I know I’ve got speed in me somewhere.

I would also really like a sub-5 hour marathon in April, so I need to improve my times during my long runs.

But I also didn’t want to crash and burn.

In order to see a sub-5 hour marathon I need to average about an 11:25 pace.
Lately on average, I’ve been running sub-10-10:20 pace.

I knew I was doing 11 solo miles and then running 6 miles of trails with Alex; I knew the trail miles would be slower overall.

So what should I do when I head out for my long run? (Oh the musings of a runner…)

My goal was to try and keep an 11:15 average for those first 11 miles (there was no rhyme or reason to that number, I just picked it) and then just do my best on the trails and hope for a good overall average for the day.

So I set out Saturday morning and within 2 miles I was really having a hard time even getting to an 11 minute average pace. I already felt like I was going so very slow and so since I was comfortable at that pace I decided to try and make my miles as consistently as possible.



As you can see I failed miserably at keeping an 11:15 pace, however, those are probably some of the most consistent miles I have ever run. While that was a good run I’m not sure that I could have kept that pace consistently for 6 more miles, actually I know I wouldn’t have been able to. I was getting tired towards the end and I was very grateful for the break between those 11 miles and getting over to Alex’s for the trail miles.



If you look at our average for our 6 trail miles you can see we were not quite as consistent but for someone who isn’t used to trails I would say that was a very successful run for me. And I was glad for the slower pace too.

Overall my average pace for the day was 11:38 which I am happy with.

But all of this got me thinking about why we are actually supposed to do long runs and why going slower is so important. I’ve always just taken the weekend long run for what it’s worth and had a certain idea of distance and time in mind and just went for it. But I decided to do some research and find out exactly how slow (or fast) I should be going on those long runs.

Of course Runner’s World doesn’t disappoint and I found a great article that answered my questions (read full article here).

In regards to why runners should do long runs there were 2 quotes that I found in the article that summed it up nicely for me.

“Many runners push too hard on daily runs,” says Bob Glover, author of the Runner’s Handbook. “The long run forces them to slow down and pace themselves wisely – just as they have to do in any long-distance race.”

 I am totally guilty of pushing myself every.single.day on runs so I can totally see this being beneficial for me.

Exercise physiologist Robert Vaughan offers the scientific rationale:
“The long run serves to increase the number of mitochondria and capillaries in the active muscles, thereby improving those muscles’ ability to remove and utilize available oxygen. In addition, the long run recruits muscle fibers that would otherwise go unused. This recruitment ensures a greater pool of conditioned fibers that may be called upon during the latter stages of a long race. There are certain psychological barriers and adjustments to the central- nervous-system fatigue that are also affected by the long run.”
Translation: the most important reason for long runs is to condition the muscles to delay the onset of fatigue.
As a kinesiology major and previous personal trainer this second reason is super interesting to me; I really like the thought that my 4 hours out there on a long run are much more beneficial to me than simply just getting the miles in.
The part that I was most interested in though, was just how much slower should the long run be?
According to this article is said to aim for 30-90 seconds slower per mile than the pace you expect to run on race day. Say what?!?! I’ll be honest, that kind of shocked me. But they say that, “Speed is of limited importance during long runs. As we have already mentioned, they’re more about time spent on your feet.”
So, if that’s the case then I could easily get away with an 11:50 pace and still potentially reach my goal on marathon day. I’m not sure how comfortable I am with going that slow but it is good to know that just because my long runs are slower doesn’t mean I’m going to totally bomb my time goals on race day.
The last thing I found interesting in this article was the answer to the question just how far should you go on a long run when training for a marathon? I know most people stop at 20 miles and that’s as far as they go before race day; I know that’s what I did and I had no trouble going the marathon distance. But what did stick out to me was this suggestion:
 “To improve your time, you need to do more long runs.
It says that for first time marathoners only doing one long run of 20 miles is sufficient but if you do up to 3 at a longer distance then it will help improve your time. I actually have a 20 miler this weekend and then in 2 weeks I decided to add a 22 miler just for the reason that I want to see improvement, I guess I was thinking like a pro the day I made my training schedule!
Sorry, I know this was a lot of information, but hopefully it was helpful to some of you, I know it was to me. Since I have 20 miles this weekend I’m going to try again to focus on taking my time and going slow. I do want to see improvement but I want to be patient with my body. And since I have another 20+ mile long run in two weeks I know I definitely need to take it easy. It’s so hard to see a slower than normal pace average on long run days but I’m hoping that knowing all of this information will help me relax and SLOW DOWN!
Do any of you have a specific pace you try to hit for your long runs? Is it slower than your other weekly runs?
Does anyone else struggle with going slow?


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The One With Land Of Oz Training {Week 12}



First of all, HELLO! To all my new blog followers! I can see that Lululemon is quite the thing these days (not that I didn’t already know that!). I am so glad that you entered our awesome giveaway (if you haven’t entered yet be sure and do that!) and I am even gladder that you found your way over to follow my blog! I am trying to go through and personally come visit each of your blogs but you will have to forgive me if it takes a while. But I would love for you to leave a comment and say hi and let me know where you blog so I can find you easily!

Usually on Monday’s (this week it’s on Tuesday because I posted about the giveaway yesterday) I post a weekly recap of my workouts in regards to what I happen to be training for at the time; currently I am training for the Oz Marathon in Olathe, Kansas on April 20th. This will be my second full marathon!

Here’s what I had planned for last week:

Week 11 (Mar 4-10)
Off




Done
BodyPump + 5K *5 by the 5th


Off

6 miles




elliptical
3 miles + yoga ?



4 miles
Off




Done
17 miles




Done
Off




Done
21+ miles

The past 2 weeks I’ve actually been really out of sorts and I’ve struggled with some lack of motivation and energy. I know that my training is at its peak but I just can’t seem to get my act together. I was really hoping that this week would be different but I’m not sure I’m out of the funk just yet.

Monday I took a much, much needed day off after my awesome bachelorette weekend and half marathon PR in Little Rock.

On Tuesday I had intended to do an easy 5K after BodyPump class but when I got off work I could just tell my body really needed just another extra day of rest. I don’t like missing runs and I really don’t like missing BodyPump since it’s one of the only days I can get strength training in but I have also learned to listen to my body and not over do it so rest day it was.

Wednesday is usually my very favorite running day of the week but here again is that nagging lack of motivation coming to haunt me smack dab in the middle of marathon training. I couldn’t get myself to lace up my running shoes and go run but I also couldn’t stomach the thought of another rest day so I forced myself to at least do 45 minutes on the elliptical.

Thankfully Thursday I was able to get a good run in; I would have liked to gone further but I ran out of time.
the motivation that I needed on Thursday!


On Saturday I had my longest run yet for marathon training and honestly I was kind of excited about it. I like the number 17 and for some reason it doesn’t seem quite as daunting as 18 miles but more than 15 makes me feel confident. Alex had voiced earlier in the week that he wanted to try and run at least 6 miles on Saturday and he also really wanted to do some trail running (we are both training for a late April trail race) so I did 11 miles solo and then met up with him to finish the 6 miles on trails. This worked out so much better than I expected it to! I am not a trail runner at all, it’s not really my passion and honestly there aren’t a lot of trails that I can run on close to me but Alex lives near some trails and so I decided to branch out of my comfort zone and spend some time with him. 


My first 11 miles were faster than I had intended but not too fast, however my body was tired and I was hurting by the time I finished; I was really questioning how I would get 6 more miles in. Thankfully the short break from my place to Alex’s was good as well as having Alex for company made those 6 miles easier than I thought. They were also done at a much slower pace (as to be expected) which really helped as well, they almost felt like recovery miles after my hard miles. The weather was perfect for a long run and I was glad that it went so well!



Here’s what’s on the agenda this week:

Week 12 (Mar 11-17)
5 miles Off
BodyPump
4 miles
5 miles
Off
20 miles
Off
29+ miles

As you can see Monday was already a bust; I’ve had this project looming over my head lately that needed to be done last night so I nixed running in favor of completing that at a reasonable hour. Hopefully now that that’s taken care I will be able to regain my motivation and energy to get those miles in. The weather has been nice here and I’m feeling like marathon training is going really well all things considered, so it’s just frustrating to have a few bum weeks in there.

This weekend is a big one with 20 miles but I have my sister joining me for the second 10 miles so I’m looking forward to that.

What do you have on the training agenda this week? 
Do you make a plan or just do whatever you want each day? 
Are you training for anything specific? 
Please take a moment and say hi, I’d love to meet all my new (and old!) readers!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Huge Group Giveaway: Lululemon + a Race Entry

A group of 14 bloggers, who love running and lululemon among other things, came together and decided we wanted to have a group giveaway. As we were emailing about what the prize should be, we decided it should be appealing for people who run and people who don't run. So here's what we came up with:

GRAND PRIZE
One winner will win a $200 Lululemon gift card as well as a race entry of your choice (up to $95). If your race costs less than $95, or you don't want the race entry, that value will be added to the Lululemon gift card. So, that could be up to a $295 Lululemon gift card! Or, it could be that race you've been dying to enter as well as a pretty sweet gift card! It's up to you (if you win). I mean, at the end of the day, we're all addicted to racing and workout clothes, so some combination of the two seems like a pretty sweet deal.

SECOND PRIZE
And because we wanted to have more than one winner, another winner will still get a $25 Lululemon gift card. And hey! That could totally buy you half of a tank top.

WHO ARE WE?

We're runners. We're bloggers. Many of us are marathoners. All of us are half-marathoners. We're all addicted to running...and we all appreciate our blog readers. Here is a recent race picture from each of us, and the links to our blogs are below the pictures.

HOW TO ENTER:
Enter below the pictures with the Rafflecopter!
Amy//Tori//Caitlyn
Genna//Rachel//Meghan
Caroline//Lauren//Meghan
Kristin//Allie//Crystal
Courtney//Beka
Enter below through the Rafflecopter widget!
a Rafflecopter giveaway