ADC 2015: Run Free Texas 80’s 8k

standard September 29, 2015 Leave a response

Another year of the Austin Distance Challenge kicked off this past weekend with the Run Free Texas 80’s 8k. This was the first year I’ve run this race, and I very not-smartly never looked at the elevation map beforehand. And apparently Cedar Park is HILLY. I still somehow managed to squeak out an almost 5 minute PR with a 44:29 finish.

Looking back on year 1 of the ADC, I was still so new to running. I have come so far since that first race. I am really excited to see the continued growth from race to race as this season’s challenge progresses.

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Lessons learned so far:

  1. Running with friends is always better. They push you past everything you thought you could do.
  2. Even after hardly running the week of the race, I have so much more endurance and strength than I thought I did. Years of continual running really does reap benefits.
  3. I don’t always need music. This has been huge for me, since I used to rely on it so much.
  4. Hills really do make you stronger.
  5. Neon really does make you faster.

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Race #2 coming up in a month!

Fall Running: Same Races, New Plan

standard September 11, 2015 Leave a response

A cool front is finally heading our way this weekend. It is going to be a relief to run in something cooler than 85 degree temps with 90% humidity. Please and thank you. Fall running has been a very slow, sluggish start with the weather combined with a crazy schedule. But you make it work how you need to. And running is the best therapy for pretty much everything else.

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It has been an entire year since my last marathon and I am itching to race again, despite being slow after a summer break. I am officially signed up for round 2 of the Austin Distance Challenge and have a few specific goals for this training cycle to manage all the craziness.

Stick to what works. I am a morning runner. My body likes it better. My routine is easier. I eat better throughout the day. It just works. Yes, a few days are night runs, but I have realized in order for training to be effective, I need to just go with what works. That also goes for my training plan and diet. I am switching things up a little bit from past cycles, but the key elements are the same.

Know when to let go. Training won’t be perfect. Miles will be skipped. Miles will be added. It will be crazy hot. And crazy hilly. The key is to know when to just go with the flow and start over tomorrow. This is extremely hard for me to do, so maybe writing it in public will help me stick to it!

Don’t do it alone.  I have trained for all four of my marathons mostly by myself. Not this year. I found a friend crazy enough to race it with me, and since it is her first marathon, it will be an extra fun journey running with her through all the insanity that is marathon training. And the accountability will be a much appreciated benefit this time around.

Who else is looking forward to it finally feeling like fall? Any other crazies doing the Distance Challenge?

 

Summer Running Goals

standard June 12, 2015 Leave a response

Seven weeks of minimal running was so hard. Honestly, I could handle the single mile and cross training. But the planning, the goals, the food was all hard. After non-stop training for most of last year (Disney, then SeaWheeze and MCM) I was just used to the routine of having a workout, meals, nutrition, and goals mapped out for me every single day. So what did I do with the last 7 weeks? Map out all the workouts, meals, and nutrition for fall racing. I haven’t even signed up for any races yet, but of course that didn’t stop me. It did keep me engaged enough to not run more than needed and actually take a break. And while some people may think of the planning part of training as a time-consuming chore, for me it’s a fun challenge to figure out and execute. And with school starting next month, it will be very convenient to not have to worry about any of my workouts or meal planning. It’s all done and ready to go. I just get to figure out how to fit the time into my days.

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Here are this summer’s goals for easing back into running and fall racing season:

1. Listen to your body. Just because the schedule says so, doesn’t mean you have to do it. Considering this is the opposite mentality of race training, this is definitely a hard one for me. Easing back in to running doesn’t mean suddenly running all the miles every day. If I need to cut back, swap out miles for cross training, or just stop, it is OK. No use getting hurt before fall training even starts.

2. Build speed AND endurance. Since mileage is still fairly low, this is the perfect time to get back to super easy slow miles to build endurance and also incorporate a few speedwork sessions to get the legs used to going fast again.

3. Fuel properly. Part of my June goals was to play around with the balance of macronutrients I took in while strength training. I’m still playing with this for strength but this also comes into play for running. Our muscles need carbs, protein, and fat, but the timing and quantity can definitely help performance. Every one’s bodies respond differently, but the key is to make sure to get enough of all three.

Who else is gearing up for a fun and humid summer of running?

Any takers on signing up for the Austin Distance Challenge with me (it’s fun, I promise!)?