Listen to your running Coach.

It’s not very often i’ll re-post something, or share something on Facebook. But when Picky Bars shared this article from Runner World, I actually read it. I like Lauren Fleshman. I like that she made mistakes. I like the advice that’s in this. So you should probably read the whole thing – but im gonna pick out the cool stuff.

Why you should listen to your running coach? – By Lauren Fleshman

  • Consistency wins. The key to becoming great, he [University of Colorado coach Mark Wetmore] said, isn’t found on the edges of training, diet, science, or technology. The key is consistent, uninterrupted training.
  • I went on to lose eight pounds… I lived like a Kenyan (that is, my fantasy of a Kenyan’s life). I severed relationships. I stopped listening to my body. I tried to will myself to the next level.
    The very week after running into Wetmore at Stanford, I broke my foot, and his words haunted me for three years until things finally clicked.
  • Back when I was a little softer, stayed up late with friends occasionally, slowed my paces down or skipped a run when I was extremely tired, I was a force.
  • Being consistently “pretty awesome” beats “amazingly awesome” because amazingly awesome rarely makes it to the starting line.
  • There’s no magic training program. “Stop looking at what everyone else is doing all the time: It’s annoying, not to mention it makes you incapable of optimizing what you’ve got.”
  • Eat more bacon. It took me years to realize that you don’t have to have a “bad list” of foods so long as you eat appropriate portion sizes.

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I’m still trying to figure out the food thing. I say im going to cut out sugar, or junk food all the time. When in reality “junk food” is usually trail mix. Trail mix isn’t the worst thing in the world. (I have an addiction). When your running for a few hours day – or 12 hours a week… food isn’t something you should put a limit on. Variety and portions tho – that’s important.

I would normally skip a run if I felt extremely tired. I listened to my training plan instead of my body this winter, and slugged out a 15 miler after a week of feeling exhausted, tired, and probably dehydrated from tons of Bikram yoga. The week after I was sick. When you start running and immediately want to stop… it’s probably more beneficial to go take a nap.

The winter helped me slow down a bit. You don’t always have to run fast. Slow easy runs doesn’t mean you’re a slow runner – probably just means your smart.
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If you haven’t tried Picky Bars – you should. I joined the Picky Club… last year? I dunno – a while ago. They’ve been a part of every long run, or every race so far this year. I have yet to feel anything but normal after eating one before or during a run. I had one during our 50k training run this past weekend (5k+ elevation), yes there was also a lot of hiking…. but I never once felt like I was hitting a wall. Which was a first. I’m excited to truly put them to the test in a week or so – during Mind the Ducks 12 hour. Then Cayuga 50.

Matched my hair to my Picky Bar.

Matched my hair to my Picky Bar.

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So yeah. Listen to your running coach. If you don’t have one – get one. (J/K). If you don’t have one, usually there’s smart people around to listen to. Just because one week feels terrible, doesn’t mean you’ve lost fitness, or taken steps back in training. It’s all part of the process apparently. Like Lauren said “I am finding myself increasingly reflective of my early runner years, able to see which seemingly insignificant moments turned out to be critically important turning points.”

It’ll be interesting to see how this year goes. Thanks to having a coach – I’ve already ran over half of last years total mileage. I ran my first 65+ mileage week – pretty much all on trails. I’m about to run 2 ultras in 1 month. Here’s some cool stuff from Strava to look at:

Last weeks Mileage

Last weeks Mileage

Last 4 weeks

Last 4 weeks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m currently enjoying cutback week (the beginning of every month). I’ll be racing Medved Madness this weekend. I felt like I needed one more trail race to feel better about going into Cayuga. Rather than going into it after a bunch of road stuff. We’ll see.

That’s all. I’m late for work.
Not really.

The end.

Ultra Recovery

I wasΒ almost more scared of how I would feel after the Ultra than I was during it. I was nervous that 2 weeks wasn’t enough time to recover for my first trail marathon – Sehgahunda. I understimated myself.

Incase you missed my recap of the Ultra – I ran a 12 hour race called Mind the Ducks. I ran for a total of 11:49:23 and 55.66 miles (12:45 min/miles)

2 days after the Ultra, my only nagging issue was the blister on my big toe. 3 days after the blister was alittle better, and I tested my legs out at the gym. I did a mile on the elliptical and 1 mile on the treadmill. I was really excited because a dirt cheap race was on Wednesday, and I didn’t think I would be able to run it. But 4 days after the Ultra I ran a SUPER muddy and rainy, 5ish mile trail race… and felt awesome.

I started out super easy and picked it up about half way. It was so muddy and slippery there were times no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t go faster. But I ended up with:

76th overall out of 323
7th female overall
2nd in age group
5.3ish miles in 52:57 (about 4 to 5 min slower than usual)

The day after this race my legs still felt awesome, but my blister… it was killing me. I was convinced it was getting infected, but discovered it hurt so much because there was also a blister under my toe nail. I haven’t lost the nail yet, but it’s gonna happen.

I took a few days off after the race… not on purpose, I just didn’t make time ro run. Saturday I did an easy 2 hours which got me 13.3 ish miles. My legs started to feel a little tired and tight by the end, and my feet were a little achey. So then Sunday I did an easy 2 miles then about an hour of yoga.

I don’t really have a plan for this week. The race is on Saturday. I might go for a few short runs, or else go to the gym at least once. I need to go into this race pretty lose.Β I’ve ran the relay the last 2 years, and always have something cramp up… but not this time. I’ve ordered new trail shoes… hopefully they fit. And ordered those electrolyte tablets.

Ultra recovery was actually a lot easier than any marathon I’ve done. Could be due to the fact that I ran A LOT slower than I would during a marathon, and also had walking breaks. Im excited to try another ultra that doesn’t involve running in circles. There may be a trail Ultra in the near future πŸ™‚

Mind the Ducks 12 hour

What a race.
Before Saturday, I had never ran longer than 4 hours and 15 minutes…. and that was during a marathon. My longest training run was under 3 hours. I never trained over 50 miles in a week….

I just ran 55.66 miles in 11:49.23!

I didn’t wear a watch, I didn’t keep track of my place during the event. I didn’t want any added stress. I just wanted to keep moving. So here’s a little report…

The first 4 miles were slow and crowded, and I didn’t mind. I talked and ran with an awesome runner – Liz, who ended up with 62 miles. She gave me some good advice for the run, as well as recovery. After the first hour or so I had no idea what lap I was on… until I was around a marathon. I created a tally sheet for my friend Natalie and I, and my parents were there to mark each lap.
tally
I got a ton of unexpected support. The #trailsroc crew were there to cheer and took some awesome photos. They really helped the first half of the race fly by.

My plan was to run the whole time until I ran around to my friend Natalie, each time I saw her I would take a walking break and see how she was doing. I started dying a bit when I hit the 30’s, and took more walking breaks on my own. My friend Pat from work came – we had a little fundraiser going for him to help him get through his cancer treatments.

I was feeling like I couldn’t run anymore, so he walked a lap with me and I drank some gatorade. After that lap I stretched for a minute, rolled out my calfs, and tried to pick up a run again. I passed the clock and Gil, the race director told me I wasn’t that far behind… that I could catch up if I stayed steady. My first thought was “oh great… that’s not gonna happen” but then I got a second wind. I was able to run 4 more miles with no breaks. Here’s my splits – thanks to yellow jacket racing!
splits
After that little spurt of energy I hit my second wall. I ran/walked some laps. Then trail runner friend Matt stopped by… this was probably when I was at my worst, but it was awesome timing. He walked a couple laps with me. Tried to run a lap with me, but I couldn’t do it… I was getting cramps, sidestitches, and not feeling great. We start talking about salt and salt tablets… and he convinced me I should probably try taking one. I was covered in salt, my shirt had salt patterns on it… I never knew salt was THAT important.

I get around to the main aid station and take 1 electrolyte tablet, and walk another lap while drinking water. I didn’t realize I was feeling better until Matt asked if I was…. and I was like… “actually…yes.” I didn’t think there was any recovering from what I had done, I was actually convinced I was dying… or I was probably gonna die once the 12 hours were over. Matt asked if I thought I could run again, and I tried. It was tiny baby step running, but I was moving again. I actually started to feel hungry… that was something I hadn’t felt at all, all day! I took another electrolyte tablet, and ate a donut bite at the aid station.

I couldn’t understand how even my feet were feeling better, nothing seemed to hurt anymore. Or at least nothing compared to how it was before. Darn electrolye tablets! I wish I had tried them earlier… but they are an amazing thing. I was able to run the last 5 miles till the clock ran out. and Those were probably the funnest miles! Kyle was there, and each time I saw him I would say… 1 more. Everyone was so excited for the runners still going, cheering loader each of the final laps. My last lap was #55, and I did it in 10:31… I finished and still had about 10 minutes to get another lap in and I probably could have… but I felt like that might be the 1 lap that would push me over the edge. Plus it was fun to see everyone else finishing.

About 15 minutes after having stopped, I started walking with Kyle and my mom… and something didn’t feel right. I felt dizzy, things were getting fuzzy… saw some stars. I ducked under the finish line rope and sat on a giant piece of bark… I think next to some dog poop, cause Kyle stepped in it. I thought I was gonna lose it, and didn’t know what do to. I was cold, I couldn’t stop shaking, and couldn’t stop crying… it got messy.

Long story short – eventually I got up with the help of Kyle and my mom. Got my goodie bag. and Kyle took me home… I was still pretty hysterical. Kyle had to carry me inside, I was still freezing, or in shock or something… couldn’t stop shaking. He made me a hot bath, and gave me chocolate chips. Then we turned the hot bath into an ice bath… We had a small bowl of pasta, I took 2 ibprofen and wen’t to bed.

I was scared of how I would feel the next day, still convinced I wasn’t gonna wake up. I thought I had destroyed my body. But I woke up, layed in bed… evetually got up. I was shocked… not bad! I was fine. A little sore, but Im pretty sure I’ve been worse. I feel like I’ll be able to run sooner than I thought, I expect a full recovery before Sehgahunda. Do I dare try to run Dirt Cheap in 2 days? I am thinking about it.

Here’s my full results:
12th overall – out of 125
6th female out of 67
4th in age group (39 and under)
I did 55.66 miles in 11 hours 49 minutes, and 23 seconds.

This race ended up meaning alot more to me than I expected. So much support. A guy came up to me after I finished and told me I was an amazing runner… really!? I didn’t know what to say. That’s something I don’t expect to here, and not something I ever considered myself. I try to run, sometimes I do well… I don’t really know what im doing. But thank you to that guy, I appreciate it! I wish I got your name πŸ™‚

I could keep going but Im gonna hurry up and finish this. Anyone that cheered for me, I noticed – you got me through a long day, and pushed me farther than I thought I could go. My goal was 50 miles. At one point I didn’t care if I didn’t get there. But I ended up doing 55! I learned ALOT! ELECTROYLTES – those are important. Here’s some photos.

Photo Credit - Ron Heerkens http://ronheerkensjr.com/

Photo Credit – Ron Heerkens http://ronheerkensjr.com/

Photo Credit- Ron Heerkens http://ronheerkensjr.com/

Photo Credit- Ron Heerkens http://ronheerkensjr.com/

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Pat's visit

Pat’s visit

2013 in Review

2013 seemed long, I’ll try and remember if I accomplished anything…

RUNNING RELATED:

I Ran 8 5k(ish) races, 2 10k’s, 2 12k’s, 2 half marathons, 4 marathons, and a bunch of other random distances. Totaled 24 races and 228.285 racing miles.

FAVORITE RACE: The Dirt Cheap Stage Races – 3 trail races over 2 days, I got 3rd overall female, and 2nd in AG.

WORST RACE:Β Niagara Falls International Marathon – Worst time yet – killed me mentally, took everything I had to keep moving and not quit.

2013 MILES:Β I ran a total of 1227.66 miles. 828.71 of those miles were marathon training. I raced more miles this year than last year, but trained less.

I finished 2013 off strong with my best week since Niagara Falls Marathon- 30 miles (22 of those miles were elliptical), plus I did Yoga, and some sort of workout everyday.
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LIFE RELATED:

WORK: I stumbled upon the greatest company and now have a full time job that I love. I no longer work in retail.

TRAVELED TO:

  • Disney World for Disney Marathon – Kyle’s first Marathon.
  • NYC for NY 13.1 Half
  • New Jersey for NJ Marathon
  • Adirondacks for High Peaks hiking
  • NYC for a day trip so Kyle could get tattooed- 22 hour day and 12 hours of driving!

LOOKING FORWARD – Β IN 2014:

1. We have an EPIC Disney trip booked. For once were not camping but staying in a Disney resort!
Also it will be our 6 year anniversary πŸ™‚

2. My trail race schedule is coming together, still waiting for some race dates to be updated, but I’ll post my plans soon.

3. MAY is going to either make or break me (literally). There are 6 races I want to do that month:

  • Trail half marathon – Medved Madness
  • 12 hour race (run as much as you can) – Mind the Ducks
  • Pink Ribbon 5k
  • Dirt Cheap Trail Race
  • Chase Corp Challenge – 3.5 miles
  • Trail Marathon – Sehgahunda

4. Im really excited about the 12 hour race – Mind the Ducks. Should be my first Ultra Marathon, I’m hoping I can last for at least 50 miles. I would definitely like to do more, but I’m trying to be realistic.

5. Looking forward to training for trails, and really focusing on hills!

6. Kyle and I are changing up our diet. Going pretty plain and simple for a week, then working our way up to vegan for a bit. New Year so were starting it out without any junk.

Starting 2014 off with a 7.5 mile race today. I’d be more excited if it wasn’t freezing…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!