August: Get Back in the Game

standard August 28, 2014 Leave a response

August went by way to fast! I am so ready for cooler weather to eventually find its way to TX. Probably won’t happen until November, but I can hope.

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This month’s running goals were all about rediscovering your mojo and getting back in the game. Summer is a hard time of year for running, especially in TX, and it’s easy to get in a rut. I know I did pretty quickly after moving back here. The heat was horrible. The humidity was worse. And the hills were just torture. Here’s what I did this month to try to get ready for the final stretch into fall (and marathon day!)

Head for the trails. Running on concrete and asphalt is hard on my feet. So is the beating sun. Trails usually mean shade. And new terrain keeps me on my toes, as I have to focus on where I am going and what’s underneath my feet.

Schedule fun. Make sure to include fun workouts. I gave up on hills outside because they were so numerous and long. Moving my hill workouts and speed days to the gym helped me get more excited about these workouts again. I used to LOVE them until the humidity killed all my enthusiasm. And treadmill workouts that change often keep them from getting dull so the time goes by fast.

Set new goals/sign up for a short race. Having a half marathon in the middle of marathon training really helped to break it up. I had a more immediate goal to focus on that kept me going. And now that it is over, I have even more drive now to meet my marathon goal and keep up the hard work.

Mental game. Envisioning how I will feel on race day knowing I did all I could to make it easier to get out of bed each morning. No regrets!

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Any tips on how you get back in the game when you’re in a training rut?

(Psst! Exciting posts coming up next week … Get ready!)

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So Close.

standard August 25, 2014 Leave a response

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Highlights from this weekend’s amazing adventure running the SeaWheeze Half Marathon:

1. Road-tripping through Washington state for five hours with your favorite running buddy = a for sure good time.

2. Getting up at 5:00 AM every day is easy when it means you get limited edition Lululemon gear.

3. Every race should do wristbands instead of bibs. So much easier.

4. Beyond thankful for hilly Austin and a training plan full of hill repeats.

5. Running through gorgeous Vancouver is a good way to forget about the pain in your legs.

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6. Running too fast through a hilly course is painful.

7. Having no energy left to sprint at the end means you at least gave it all you got the whole way.

8. Any race that has watermelon at the finish is the best race ever.

9. Having Vega electrolytes on the course and coconut water at the end makes it over the top.

10. Still chasing my sub-2:00 goal (so close) … time to sign up for another!

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July: Pain-Free

standard August 7, 2014 Leave a response

Following my monthly running goals, July was all about overcoming aches and pains.

I thankfully do not get too many of these. I’ve slowly learned how to listen to my body and recover properly with rest and nutrition to keep myself pain-free. I try to avoid medicine, instead choosing dietary pain relievers such as ginger and turmeric. I spend almost every Saturday afternoon on my couch with compression sleeves. I make sure to rest on my scheduled rest days. I go to yoga.

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Since I don’t have too many aches and pains,  I spent last month focusing on prevention by:

Dynamic warm-ups: This is hard to remember to do. It is so easy to just walk outside and GO. Last week I finally remembered to do this, mostly because my Garmin was being slow to sync when I turned it on, and I found myself standing impatiently on the sidewalk. Felt a little silly doing high knees outside as people were driving to work, but sometimes you just gotta get it done! The mornings I remembered to do dynamic drills were the ones where I felt I had the strongest runs and was less sluggish for the first mile. Maybe its a bit of a mental trick, but I’ll take it either way.

Foam rolling: I think it’s time I caved in and started foam rolling. After years of running and more continuous mileage, I am starting to see the effects on my muscles. Thanks to my diet, my body doesn’t feel too sore overall after a run, but I do have bouts of tenderness in specific areas. 

Anyone have any other tried and true tips and tricks for dealing with pain and recovery?