Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Month: October 2011 (Page 1 of 2)

Checking In: Marathon Training Week 2

So, yeah.  Stats first and then rambles after.

Last Week’s plan:

Monday: 12×400 (90 sec rest intervals) + crunchtime DONE!
Tuesday: 30 min swim + yoga DONE! (ish – swim was shorter)
Wednesday: 10 mile long run outside DONE!
Thursday: 30 mins bike hills + weights HALF DONE! (no weights, my poor bod was SO SORE it didn’t seem right)
Friday: off (yoga/stretching) DONE! (easy!)
Saturday: 5k race (let’s call it a tempo.  Goal is in the 26s) DONE! (29 not 26 but hey, 1st in AG, so I can’t be too sad)
Sunday: off DONE! (hangoverz are us!)

This week’s plan:

Monday: Ladder Sprints 400m, 600m, 800m, 1200m, 800m, 600m, 400m (@ 8:15-8:30 min mile pace), 400m recovery
Tuesday: 30 min swim + yoga
Wednesday: 5 mile M tempo (9:30 pace)
Thursday: 30 mins bike hills + weights
Friday: off (yoga/stretching)
Saturday: 14 mile long run
Sunday: off

Weight: 176 (bah)

I’m through all of it besides the long run and can say that a) skipped all but a little weights time today because my back was (minorly) acting up.  Stiff, not hurty, so I cardio’d and yoga’d through it, and seem to be a-ok. b) didn’t have my M pace in me on Wed so it was a 9:55 5 mile run instead and c) little scared for Sat’s 14 miler but I have a feeling I will survive.

Through the process it’s been interesting as Zliten has started his first two weeks of half training with me.  I’m putting him on the FIRST program I used for the second half marathon with some modifications since he has a smaller base (his comfort zone is about 5k to 4 miles where mine was about 10k at that time) with one less cross training day because he is not ready to spend 5 days a week at the gym (so ~60 mins of cross training one day instead of 2 30-45 min segments).

He said that this is the first time he has gotten a string of runs under his belt that he’s enjoyed.  He also likes speedwork and has been maintaining his tempo pace like a champ.  I feel like a good coach, hopefully my guinea pig lovely husband will get through the process relatively unscathed and with a greater appreciation for running training than he had before (if it were up to him, he’d run once a week, swim once a week, and just bikebikebike all the time).

Anyhoo, back to ME (it is my blog, after all).  I checked in with my nutritionist about dietary increases for marathon training and she said on long run days over 13 I could have ONE more grain.  She suggested oatmeal pre-workout.  Problem is 1) I just can’t do oatmeal (blech) and 2) I just can’t do full meal before the run unless it’s later in the day.  What is happy is this means a return to english muffin, cream cheese, and sausage for post-run breakfast!  Yay!  I may or may not continue to run 14 miles each weekend for forever so I can earn my second grain of the day.  Other than that, no change in intake ratios.  Curious to see how that works.  Considering I do a fairly low volume of training compared to the average bear except the epic jaunts out on Saturdays, I’m not surprised.

Still working crazy hours.  Trying to take time to get outside when I can and not just eat lunch in the office.  It may not be dietician approved, but I have definitely been enjoying sit down meals with my Zliten.  Today we went home for lunch and later took a little walk around the grounds outside.  I keep saying hopefully next week things will settle down, but I should probably just dig in and count the days until vacation.  I’m going to party like that mouse.

So, that should mean racing life is getting boring right?  No way.  I’m not giving up fall race madness for no crazy work schedule.  Here is where I will be:

Azle Half, 1ok, 5k. Nov 12, Azle, TX

This is a little half marathon (which Zliten and I both got registered for 40 bucks – total, not each).  I am going to try to race this one, and this will be Zliten’s first 10k!  This may or may not be an excuse to hit up In N Out burger, as it’s hard to justify a 3.5 hour road trip just for that…

Warrior Dash, Mud Run, Nov 19, Austin, TX

Groupon, and coworkers have compelled me.  I will be doing some ridiculous mileage that morning (18?) so I expect to hobble through the course and drown my aching legs with beer at the end and be a blob of worthless drunken runner putty by the end of the evening.

Turkey Trot, 5 miler Nov 24, Austin, TX

Tradition.  There is nothing wrong with a 5 mile run before eating too much turkey.  We’ll see what condition I’m in.  It will either be a M tempo (9:30s) or I will race it and try to beat my PR.

Spicewood Vineyards Dec 3rd 10k and Half

Three reasons for this one: 1) It’s close 2) It’s hilly (yay hill training) 3) Wine tasting after (helllloooo).  I expect to finish this one with probably my worst half marathon time ever.  Definitely a training run. Zliten is doing the 10k (and I imagine will probably kill me after signing him up for 10k worth of hill work but hey, he agreed…)

The coolest thing?  Zliten is running them all with me.  No 2+ hour spectating for him!

After all that, it’s all serious business training for Zliten’s half and my full.  Well, there’s Jamaica.  And 3 weeks off work.  But totally serious business when it’s run times.

I am a Weiner!!!

Didn’t have any expectations for the Dash 4 Dads 5k.   Last three weeks I have been taper, injury, taper, sickness, allergies.  The last week is the first week in almost a month I’ve been able to fully train and I’ve been living it up.  An 8 miler Sat, sprints Mon, 10 miles Wed, and biking and swimming and weights and yoga so today, I was soooooooore.  No taper for this gal.

Didn’t have the greatest race.  Goal was in the 26s (because I know I can do it).  However, see above.  Plus two MAD hills and needing some mental work on short distances… I had no hopes.

I finished around 29 minutes.  My worst 5k ever.  It was long (3.25 miles) and as above, stupid hills, and I still really need to work on my mental game.  I had a stellar first mile (8:20-ish miles), but slipped into 9:20’s for the last 2.  I didn’t even sprint to the finish, which sucks.  I had given up, especially when I saw the time.

Apparently I knew things would be awesome with my blue steel look there.  Glad past Quix has foresight…

I wasn’t as bummed at the Gladiator Games, I realize that I’m not training for it, and I felt ok but was thinking about how to improve.  My goal was to go out fast and try to hold on, and around 1.5 miles, I failed at that.  I need to figure it out.  I felt pukey after the first mile but… who doesn’t racing a 5k really hard… but I still couldn’t do it.   The second mile is usually my worst but I usually rally for the third.  I tried but the third included an epic hill.  I even walked two steps and then told myself NO.

I finished, we hung out and waited for everyone to finish, and then left.  I kept trying to google for results and couldn’t find it.

An hour later I got an email with the title “1st place”.  Apparently, I WON MY AGE GROUP.  Holy crap!  I’ve never place in a running race, let alone first.  Holy shit!  Sadly I didn’t stay for awards, because that would be fun.  I’m not saying I’m fat, all 175 lbs of me, but I am not generally the person that you’d expect to be on the podium, let alone be on the top.  So, freaking-a.  I am jazzed.

Zliten ran also, and he is now has just started training for the 3M half marathon (hope he doesn’t mind me sharing this).  His tempo pace is 11:15  (finish was about 35 and some change).  He ran the 5k at almost exactly 11:15 – a great run for him.  His goal was 32-33, but that was minus the stupid hills.  Someone came to a STOP right in front of him on the last mad hill and killed his mojo but he finished str0ng (his sprint t0 the finish was quicker than mine,  he, unlike me, didn’t give up).

Morale of the story: never, never, never give up.  And run the hills.

Quix out.  More next week.

So It Begins – Marathon Training Program Week #1

So, after my little break, it’s time to get back to it.  I feel about 90% recovered from my cold, my glute seems to have calmed down, and though I have some weird foot things going on after my 8 miler last weekend, my legs feel pretty great in general.  Considering how I thought that would feel, after 3 weeks of little to no running, I’m very happy.

That means I can pretty much jump in with both feet and not worry about training anything under double digits.  Let’s run some milezes, shall we?

I’m following, as I have for the last few half marathon cycles, the FIRST program (at least my own little variation) running 3 days per week, 1 long, 1 speedwork, 1 tempo.  Every few weeks, I replace a speedwork or tempo run with hill work.  The other two days I’ll do 30-60 mins of swimming or biking.  I will attempt to maintain 2 – 30 min strength sessions per week (crunchtime and one do-it-myself session).  I will also attempt to add back some at-home yoga.

I imagine a typical week will look like this:

Monday: speedwork + crunchtime
Tuesday: swim + yoga
Wednesday: tempo run
Thursday: bike + weights
Friday: off (yoga/stretching)
Saturday: long run
Sunday: off

And since my week is generally anything but typical, I imagine those will be switched around but the rules I will try to stick by are 1) no 2 run days in a row – they are ALL hard runs, and I don’t do well back to back days, 2) Sunday is an off day (unless I have to do my long run Sun instead of Sat).  If that means I have to skip a day, so be it.  I don’t do well going into the week without a rest day before, and c) listen to my body and make sure if I feel like I need more rest/stepback week, I do it.

My speedwork is varied.  I’m doing everything from 12×400 to 2k repeats.  I am a sick puppy and I actually love speedwork of just about any flavor.

My tempos are anything from 10 miles at planned marathon pace or 5-8 mile tempos below pace.  I don’t love tempo work, but these actually seem easier than what I was going for with the half training since my PMP is a lot slower than my PHMP.  I’m always aiming for 9:10 for my halfs (to finally get that damn sub-2), but I’m considering a much more sane 10:15s for my marathon, I’d like to finish in 4:30.  Really, I’ll be stoked to finish in whatever.  But considering this training requires a pace goal, I think this is pretty safe as long as the weather is good, my body feels good, and training goes as planned.

My long runs include 3 half marathon races, and include 3-4 20+ milers topping out at 23.   This is a pretty controversial decision, I know, and most people would probably tell me to cool it on the miles and do 1-2 20s max.  However, I just can’t in my head grasp the idea of adding a 10k to the end of the longest run I’ve ever done once like the beginner training program tells you to do (and even the advanced has you doing a few 20s but no more).  I’m doing a 23 specifically due to the race I’m running.  The last 3 miles of the course are downhill, I figure I can handle that – the 23 miler 5 weeks out will be the most cruicial run I believe I’m going to do (and I’m going to do it on the race course).  Again, I’ll listen to my body and make sure that the mileage isn’t killing me.  Worst case, I’ll do a 20, step back, do my 23, and then taper.

Also, I want to keep tracking my weight and nutrition: starting is 176.  Maybe I can buck the odds and lose a bunch by M day.  I’ll also definitely be consulting with my nutritionist to find out if I need to adjust my daily intakes up due to activity or if the fueling during the longer exercises is enough.  Also, I’m working on switching from beans to gels.  So far, the pineapple GU (uncaffinated) I had Saturday seemed to work a-ok, so that’s good news!

This week’s plan:

Monday: 12×400 (90 sec rest intervals) + crunchtime
Tuesday: 30 min swim + yoga
Wednesday: 10 mile long run outside
Thursday: 30 mins bike hills + weights
Friday: off (yoga/stretching)
Saturday: 5k race (let’s call it a tempo.  Goal is in the 26s)
Sunday: off

So, yeah.  Let’s do this.  I’m a little nervous about embarking on this crazy adventure but I have to do something to keep myself amused in triathlon off season, right?

So Unlike Me

Normally on weekday evenings, you’ll find me a) in the gym or b) on my couch, resting and relaxing or occasionally c) at work if something went wrong.  About once or twice a month or so, I go out on a weekday but I usually try to keep it mellow-sauce.

Normally, I go one, MAYBE two days without a workout or I go insane/feel like a slacker/etc.

However, this last week hasn’t been normal at all.

Last week, I had the perfect storm of my glute acting up, then a cold, then my race getting cancelled, so I did NOTHING after Tuesday trying to save up all my strength for a race that didn’t happen.

This week started already behind the curve.  Monday, I had a lot of catch up to do with chores and groceries since I was laid out this weekend sick, so I didn’t even eat dinner until 9:30, let alone work out.  Plus, I was still a little under the weather, so I didn’t push it.

Then, we’ve had our annual game industry convention in town the rest of the week.  This means session and panels and expo floor and networking, oh my.  This means lunches and dinners downtown with old friends, coworkers, and new acquaintances.  This also means lots of open bar parties and many hours out and about until all hours of the night to catch up and socialize with said fine folks.

This also means no time to run and do formal workouts.  I haven’t hit the pavement or the gym since October 4.  That’s 9 days counting today.  That’s a lot for me, if you haven’t noticed by paying attention to my normal schedule.  Four years ago, I would have FLIPPED THE HELL OUT and thought “OMG I haven’t worked out in forever and I’m going to get out of the habit and I’m never going to work out again and get fat and go from runner to couch potato ARGHLARGH!!!”  Today, my thoughts are, “Whew, nice little break before my marathon training officially starts!”  It’s nice to be reasonable sometimes.

While I definitely indulge the healthy living/racing/social adventures part of my life much more in this blog, I do have a pretty sweet video game producer gig.  I don’t talk about it much here because a) most of the people reading this are probably not interested and really are more curious to know much more interesting facts like I am addicted to costco packs of sliced apples now and I currently weight 176 lbs and I got some really cool random tee shirts in the mail and more importantly b) I really like my job, and I’d rather not walk the line of deciding what’s appropriate to post about the industry and my day to day.  However, even though I don’t really believe it, people tell me I’m kind of a big deal, and it’s kind of nice to really revel in that and conferences with your peers are a great time to do it.

Most days, I wear my producer hat for a while, and my athlete hat for a while.  I love the dichotomy of having two vastly different aspects of my personality and tasks each day.  My day job is rife with decision fatigue and sitting on my butt and telling other people what to do.  My superhero self only has to decide to put one foot/pedal/stroke in front of the other and it’s like as far anti-butt-sitting as possible and is all about the doing.

Sometimes, like during a peak training week, it’s all about the training.   Work is work, and I’m in right on time and out the door 8 hours after (although, a lot of times peak training week and crazy crunch weeks collide, and that is ever so fun, running 9 miles after a 12 hour day is not exactly awesome but, whatevs) to either train or get in the maximum amount of rest I can.

Some weeks, like this one, I do n0 formal activity beyond walking some miles and a multi-hour dance party last night, and I’m in producer/network/game industry mode all day.

It’s all about balance.  More balance than this dude has…

I’m looking forward to a little more yang to this week’s yin as the sickness and injury seem to have passed and the convention has come and gone as of today, but for the next few evenings?  My ass + couch = match made in heaven.  I even turned down an invite to a fancy party tonight.  I did however hit the gym today for a nice mellow 35 mins of arc trainer while catching up on twitter and it felt awesome.  Tomorrow, my goal is to run somewhere between 10k and double digits.  As slow as I wanna.  No need to hurt myself but wanna log some mileses.

Cool things that happened this week:

-We won an audience choice award for our game, and were nominated for 2 others.  Fun fact – my name was up in lights (sadly, I didn’t get to see it because I didn’t notice the names until after but I was told).  We got to sit in the VIP section and everything, it was pretty cool.

-My old CEO (of a pretty big company) recognized me, and is a huge closet fan of my game.  Awesome!

-I’ve been recruited for roller derby by a cool chick that works with me.  I’m going to at least go to a practice and check it out.  Probably not going to try to do that + marathon at the same time but it would be fun to see what it’s all about.

-It’s always fun to see people that only knew fat Quix from San Diego and see their jaw drop when they see me.  Nice ego boost.

-I have been recruited to go try out Roller Derby.  I’m going to go to a practice soon.  I don’t think I’ll be joining up during marathon training or anything, but it would be cool to check it out.  I love me some roller skating, and I’m not horrible at it.

-Tore it up on the dance floor with a bunch of coworkers for hours.

-Saw a lot of old friends/peers.  It’s nice to see a lot of the people I worked in the trenches with are now also coming into their own awesome successful careers.

It’s good to start to be back to normal, but different is fun sometimes!  Especially when different = fancy parties and winning awards and good peoples I haven’t seen in a long time! 🙂  Do you ever take some time away just to indulge an  aspect of your personality you normally don’t let consume your life?  Anyone do anything super cool this week and wanna brag?

See Jane (Not) Run

If you follow my ass on twitter or facebook, this will probably be redundant.  But because not everyone signs up for my exhilarating tweets and posts about how fage, chocolate almond butter, rasperries, and stevia is the best breakfast ever and that I ran 3.5 miles in 34 minutes and felt good, I’ll compose this little ditty.

About 2 weeks out, I was dreaming about back to back PRs.  How cool would that be?

The day before my tri last week, Tricia drove the course and said “OMG the HILLZ” (my paraphrase).  So we all know my LOVE of hill running (not), so a PR was probably out the window (but still was dreamable).  Then, I smashed my A goal at the tri.  I could do anything!  I had a nice recovery swim on Monday, and a GREAT QUICK 4 miler at what I hoped would be race pace (around 9:30) and felt awesome.

Wednesday, my glute muscle felt PULLED.  Strained.  Whatever it was, it hurt.  Bagged my run on Thursday because it still hurt, figured I’d go on Friday.

Friday, I woke up with a head cold.  No lung issues thank the dear and fluffy lord, but a sore throat and sniffles.  I went to work, and by the end of the day I was beat.  I’m not sure if I was just less focused on my glute, and it still hurt, but it felt better.

Yesterday, my cold was worse but still just above the neck.  We had lots of errands to run and I was WIPED after a few hours of just being out and about.  We picked up the packets, and drove the course.  It had some crazy hills between miles 7-9 and 11-12, but it wasn’t as bad as Austin Half.  I psyched myself up for the best.  Pop a dayquil, get some caffiene in me, and I’ll be fine, I thought.  The faster I ran, the faster I’d finish would be my motto.  It drizzled a little bit, and I figured it would be a-ok, and made the contingency plans if it was still raining during the race.  Windbreaker, wearing tri shorts to run in instead of normal shorts since they do well when wet, hat instead of headband, electronics in plastic bags, etc.  I made an epic playlist, ate my pre-race filet tater and veggie meal, chugged some Nyquil, and drifted off to sleep peacefully 8 hours before alarm time.  The hills, the rain, my body – it was not going to beat me.

Woke up this morning, and noted that it was FREAKING POURING and LIGHTNINGING.  Watched the news and saw that there was no letting up all day today.  Whatcha gonna do?  We did all the normal stuff – half a coffee honeymilk (caffeiiiiiine), get dressed, eat a little breakfast, get all my gear plus readied everything for running 2+ hours in the rain, plus dayquilled, vitamin C’d, and zinc’d up (more caffeiiiiiiiiiiine).  Checked emails, and nothing yet, so we headed down to the race (luckily it was like a 10 minute drive from the casa).  I commented that I wouldn’t be surprised if the race was delayed, cancelled, or just cut to a 5k.  We got halfway there, and I saw the confirmation tweet – the race was flat out cancelled.  I made Zliten drive to the start just for… I dunno… closure?  To be sure?  To make sure we at least got to the start?  But yeah, everyone was turned right around and not allowed to park.

Sore glute.  Sick.  Very very close to TOM (I wouldn’t have been surprised if it hit during the race as hard running seems to bring it on).  Pouring rain.  One week after racing a tri HARD.  I feel bad for the people who were training up hard for this race as their goal race, but frankly?  I’m relieved.  I was going to toe that line no matter what if they didn’t bag the race, but I’m so very glad they did.  In a way that I have never ever felt on a race day.  I signed up for the shirt and damned if I don’t have that pretty little shirt in my hot little hands and I’ll wear it proudly, since I showed up and was willing to run even though I had a host of fucked up conditions that would have very likely made it a rotten race for me.

That being said, I have a lot of pent up “rarin’ to go” for a race and nothing long scheduled for a while.  So this morning, I’m drinking mimosas (it’s kind of a requirement – it was the race for champagne, plus, what else am I going to do with my uber hyper self at 7am, right?), watching IM 70.3 Las Vegas coverage from last month, and surf for some fall/winter races, and getting some major rest so I can get healthy and back to training.

I will definitely run long next weekend as long as my body is up for it (not sick and no butt hurty).  Skipping this weekend means my 2nd without a long run.  Though, to be fair, 1:39:44 of heavy triathlon type-effort probably excuses last week. 🙂

In 2 weeks, I have a flat 5k race on a military base.  I can’t lie, I would love to prove to myself that I still can run 5ks fast.  My PR is 25:10, but I still question if it was a short course.  My other PR is 26:31 from 2 years ago.  My goal is 26:30.  I know I can do about 26 easy on a treadmill without much of a thing, maybe I can pull it off on a flat course.

Some other options:

DRC half and 5k Nov 6.  An excuse to go to Dallas for some In and Out (yeah, we’ve been looking for an excuse).  Zliten could run the 5k.

Azle Half, 1ok, 5k. Nov 12.  Small town race outside of Dallas.  Super cheap.  Another excuse for In and Out post race.  Cheap ass race entry (15 dollars each for Zliten and I).  Zliten could run the 10k or 5k.

Rock N Roll Half, San Antonio, Nov 13.  If I don’t do the one above, maybe this one.  I raced it last year and PR’d the crap out of it and enjoyed the race.  It’s fast, it’s flat, I know the course, there’s lots of support, and pushing for the next 3-4 weeks beyond the 13 miles might help me not fade out after mile 10 like I did last year.  Downsides: Expensive and Zliten isn’t ready for a half and there’s nothing less here, so he’d just be spectating.

Spicewood Vineyards Dec 3rd 10k and Half.  Not sure which distance I would race, I love me some 10k runs and I’ve only raced one.  However, it’s hilly.   Probably not a PR course (well, maybe for a 10k because, well, my current 10k PR is 2.5 years old), but should be a nice race day.  Zliten would be ready for a 10k here.  We will VERY likely do this one.

After that, there’s Decker Half but I heard it’s miserable (or maybe it was just one bad account of it), and I’ll keep looking for other race options, but soon after that, I’m dedicating weekend to 26.2 training, but I’d really like to race a half sometime this year while I can.

Have you ever had a race cancelled on you or skipped a race due to sickness?  Ever ran a race you regretted?

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