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.

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Training update

First month of training down. And I just ran more miles in a month
than I ever have before. Thanks Coach.

training

I’ve never been that consistant. And all of those runs are quality. Coach got me through 18 runs. And I was only on my own…ONCE. The power of training partners. Im super lucky!

So January – I ran 203.35 miles.
Before that – the most I had ever ran in a month was 171.5.

After todays 15 mile trail run – I have a cut back week. I have no shame in taking it easy, and will take full advantage of that! Until Saturday – I’ll be running a 6 hour snowshoe relay. I’ve ran in snowshoes once… in 2005. It was horrible.

4 months until Cayuga. Seems so far away… and so much running to do.

Happy Super Bowl Day.
The end.

Eat and Run

We all lose sometimes. We fail to get what we want. Friends and loved ones leave. We make a decision we regret. We try our hardest and come up short. It’s not the losing that defines us. It’s how we lose. It’s what we do afterward. – Scott Jurek in Eat and Run

I finally finished this book. Sadly – yes. It’s taken me over a year. I love the idea of reading. I like it when I actually sit down and do it. What gets me is that it’s stopping and doing nothing for an unknown amount of time.Β  My goal for this year is to read more often. I average about 1 book a year. In 2012 I might have read 2.

I finished “Eat and Run” last night while I couldn’t sleep. Read till about 1:30am. And woke up at 5am. It’s ok though because sleep is overrated. Read THIS – Article in OutsideOnline – Dean Karnazes averages 4 hours of sleep a night, and he’s awesome. His book “Run” is awesome too.

So reading is on the 2015 resolution list. So is nutrition.

I am officially registered for Cayuga Trails 50. So I figure serious training will take more than me just running hard and sticking to the training plan. I need to eat right. And get these internal issues figured out. So – Im cutting out junk. Starting yesterday. Staying away from too much sugar, and snacks after dinner. Everytime I do this I feel so much better. Currently, we actually don’t eat bad at all. Pretty much live off 12 different kinds of rice, sweet potatoes, beans (Mung Beans – my favorite), yogurt, fruit, veggies, oatmeal. We make wraps with hummus. Burgers out of portobello mushrooms. Rarely eat pasta. Rarely eat meat. Our downfall is sugar – cookies, chocolate, poptarts, cereal, trail mixes.

* Something I learned from finishing Eat and Run last night – There’s a herb that makes beans more digestible – Dried Epazote – Can be found in the Mexican food section of a grocery store. But heck yes – more digestible is always good. *

So after registering for Cayuga, I looked at the course and elevation. Pretty intimidating. Just means I gotta stick to the training.
elevation
course Map

This race makes me nervous in so many ways. 6am start time. Possibly staying overnight before the race = pre-race routine out the window? Whether or not my morning goes like other race mornings – There’s really not much control in an Ultra. If I can get through this winter, I’ll be good to go.

The Ultra distance forgives injury, fatigue, bad form, and illness. A bear with determination will defeat a dreamy gazelle every time.

– Eat and Run.

Worst Races?

I started thinking and writing this post a few weeks ago before WTF. 2013 ended with me feeling pretty defeated – it was the year of Marathons. And instead of getting better – I got worse at them. I started thinking about the worst races I have had. Here it goes:

There’s only 2 that qualify – Only 2 that I wanted to stop and quit.
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First: Senior year of Cross Country in college. It was our first race of the season, in August… in Georgia. It was hot and humid. I had already been having a rough pre-season. No energy, I had a constant side stitch for who knows why… even when I wasn’t running. I could barely run for 10 minutes in practices. So then comes our first race. I told my coach on the bus that this wasn’t going to go well. I really didn’t want to run. But he always said to give it all you had. If you’re at 75% that day – give 100% of that 75%. I was at 15%.

So we warmed up – I could barely handle that 10 minutes. The race starts. This course was 3 loops, pretty flat but did have one big hill. I start to notice that the ground was moving way more than usual. Every step made it seem like the earth was shaking. I realise – I’m dizzy. I wanted to walk. But that would look lame. The guys were yelling at me to run faster – I was shuffling along at a 12 min/mile. I was so tempted to just collapse and be done with this race. But I shuffled along. Finally it was the last loop – I was sure I was last. Hobbled up the big hill one last time, and came down to finish. I saw the finish line – but don’t remember finishing.

Next thing I know I’m sitting in a chair next to the finish, and people are handing me Gatorade. Then I start puking. My world was still spinning. My coach said I was white. The medics said I should get an IV. After some convincing they did. I was pretty embarrassed, and said sorry to my coach for sucking. I found out later that another girl on the team fainted and didn’t finish.
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Second: Niagara Falls International Marathon. This was more recent – just last year (2013). It was great for a while, super cool running from Buffalo to Canada and running over the bridge. But things went down hill fast, when I realised I was getting tired… and it was only mile 8. The rest of the race consisted of a straightaway along the river… I could see where I would be finishing, but I wouldn’t get there for another couple of hours. It was windy, cold… I was wearing shorts and a tank top. Was unprepared for 40 degree weather.

I started walking around mile 15. And that was it. I was cold. I was done. I was crying. I would see medics driving by and I desperately wanted to catch a ride. I cried for probably 8 miles running and walking. It was mentally the hardest race I’ve ever done. I did at one point end up running with this guy who completely saved the race for me. I ran with him the last 3 miles – and I would eventually run with him again at Mind the Ducks πŸ™‚ . I finished my worst marathon ever – 4 hours and 15 minutes. Felt completely traumatized. Was mentally exhausted. Went home and curled up in a hot shower and cried.
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I’ve had a number of other terrible races. Extreme bloody nose = coughing up blood. Stomach issues – curling up on the side of a trail in multiple races. I’ve cried in 5 out of the 6 Marathons I’ve done. Disney World Marathon is a close #3 for worst race. Serious stomach issues – only marathon where a bathroom break was necessary (still not a worst time tho). But the thought of quitting was never there. Pushing yourself through a terrible race is mentally exhausting… especially if it’s a long one.

There’s something I hate about Marathons. Maybe it’s a mental thing because I’ve had terrible experiences – except for my first one (Chicago was awesome). Even the Trail Marathon (Sehgahunda) was rough – but not nearly as traumatizing. So Im considering ditching Ontario Summit Marathon in May for Cayuga Trails 50.

Cayuga was my original idea – until Ontario Summit appeared out of nowhere and got me all excited. But now Im thinking… oh yeah, it’s a Marathon. I hate Marathons. (However I’m sure this one will be awesome). Such a hard decision. My heart wants Cayuga – The probability of me registering for it is 100%. My head hates the idea that I cannot also do Ontario Summit… (same weekend). I wish I could do stupid things and run both anyway – but if I do Cayuga I want to finish it, and not die.

The end.

Dirt cheap stage races

This weekend consisted of 3 trail races for the Dirt Cheap Stage Race: 2 on Saturday and a long one on Sunday. It was a fun series, even better with a great group of people! Would definitely do it again! Plus my foot is still in one piece… !

STAGE 1: Saturday 11/10/12 – 9:00 am
a 3 mile time trial on tough hilly trails. My time: 28:29

I was:Β 45th out of 155 overall
7th female out of 56
4th in age group (20-29) – out of 16
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STAGE 2: Saturday 11/10/12 – 1:00 pm
5 mile trail race – less hilly. My time : 41:35

I was: 27th out of 178 overall
3rd female out of 74
2nd in age group (20-29) out of 22
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STAGE 3: Sunday 11/11/12 – 9:00 am
11 mile trail race through most of the park. Lots of Hills.
My time: 1:38.20

I was: 32nd out of 158 overall
4th female out of 53
2nd in age group (20-29) out of 14
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OVERALL SERIES RESULTS:
25th out of 129 overall
3rd female out of 45
2nd in age group

**Note: not everyone running was doing the entire series.

Next race will be the Webster Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning. Then the freezeroo series, which starts in December. And in the middle of the series is Disney Marathon!!

Guess who’s doing a Tough Mudder in 2013!?

So – Tough Mudder has been on my list of races I have to do since I first heard of it. I was not expecting registration to come up this soon, but I got an e-mail yesterday. And today I decided I had to do it. Might as well before the prices go up almost $100 if I waited too long. I registered for the Sunday event, in Buffalo July 2013- (anyone know the difference between Saturday and Sunday? besides Sunday being $10 less?).

I now have $0 in my Chicago fund. I had to get over $200 of who knows what done to my car so it’d pass inspection…. then while waiting for my car I ended buying stuff… and now I just spent another $100. I don’t even care… I really do hate money. I love giving it away if it gets me into cool races, plus Tough Mudder supports the Wounded Warrior Project… a very worthy cause. I’m excited! You only live once!

Oh yeah – but holy cow. Chicago Marathon is in 3ish weeks… AH. Training has been eh. Β And my last Dirt Cheap race is tomorrow.