A May Runfession or Two

It’s the last Friday of the month, which means it’s time to come clean with some Runfessions! Be sure to check out what our host Marcia and others are confessing!

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I runfess that in sharing my race week ambivalence with a good friend over lunch yesterday, it became crystal clear to me that the only reason I was still considering running this Sunday was due to some twisted negative self-talk that I needed to “man-up” (or is that “woman-up”?) and not wimp out. This is not a good reason to run.

I’m all for a good challenge and pushing myself in a race but I runfess that I’m not interested in hobbling through just for the sake of saying I did it – especially if I just risk doing more harm than good.

While I’m disappointed that this whole training cycle didn’t come together as I’d hoped, I runfess that I will not regret sleeping in on Sunday morning and living to race another day.

I runfess that I’m already mapping out fall races 🙂 (Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this!)

So c’mon share…what do you runfess? 

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Race Week Ambivalence

 

Ambivalence
[am-biv-uh-luh ns]
noun
1. uncertainty or fluctuation, especially when caused by the inability to make a choice or by a simultaneous desire to say or do two opposite or conflicting things.

2. Psychology. the coexistence within an individual of positive and negative feelings toward the same person, object, or action, simultaneously drawing him or her in opposite directions.

Yeah, I think this sums it up pretty well how I’m feeling. Technically, this is race week. I say technically because, if you’ve been around here for a bit then you know consistent training has been hard to come by.

I thought after making the decision to drop from the half marathon to the 5-miler a couple of weeks ago, that I could re-focus and charge ahead to crush the shorter distance. Instead these last few weeks have been very up and down – sometimes the piriformis and hip feel good and running is more enjoyable, but other times, the pain radiates down my leg and I’d just assume do anything other than run.

Throw in a schedule both at home and work that are in overdrive and I’m just feeling meh at the thought of running this race this weekend.

I have to say this is a first for me…and what makes it worst is that I really do love this race – I think it’s one of the best Boston has to offer. I want to be excited, but right now the thought of sleeping late Sunday morning is far more appealing.

So the question is…how do you get your head in the game when you’re not excited about a race?

Linking up with Erika, Marcia, and Patty for this week’s Tuesday on the Run – the topic this week is grading your month. 

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Weekly Wrap: Mother’s Day Edition

The days just continue to fly by….halfway through May and I feel like I can’t catch my breath! Am I the only one feeling this way?

Thankfully, it’s been a lovely, lazy Mother’s Day! Ma Nature decided to send a nor-easter our way (yes…in May!) so I was gifted with the rare Sunday with no lacrosse games…and no ability to do yard work 😉 It’s been a fun family hang-out day and soon we’ll be heading to out to dinner, but first a quick re-cap of the week.

Monday – Rest day & a trip to the Chiro
Tuesday – Strength work
Wednesday – 4-mile run
Thursday – Yoga & sports massage
Friday – Strength work
Saturday – 6-mile run
Sunday – Rest

The piriformis was on the cranky side this week, so there was a little less running, and more attention to strength work and babying the muscle.

The runs I did have were fairly decent. I started using a metronome app – a suggestion from the Chi Running instructor, and while on the one hand, the beeping does take a little getting used to, on the other side there is something very meditative about it. For the next week or two, I’m going to try to use the metronome for most of my runs so I can laser in on my cadence.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!

I’m, of course, linking up with Holly and Tricia for the #WeeklyWrap. Be sure to stop by and visit both of these great ladies and check out some of the other bloggers! 

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RtR Week 9 – Finding My Chi

Happy Monday!

Last week marked week 9 of Run to Remember training, and while I’m no longer closely following a training plan, I still like to use these weekly check-ins to hold myself accountable. And, as always, I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for the #WeeklyWrap.

For the most part, it was a pretty uneventful week – a good mix of some easy runs, yoga, planks (of course), and strength work.

The highlight of the week was attending a Chi Running clinic!

The clinic was just awesome! As evidenced by the fact that I was so engrossed from beginning to end that I took not a single picture. There was so much great information  – seriously my head’s still spinning!

I completely lucked out in that we had a great group of just 7 – all dealing with varying challenges/past injuries, and with big goals ahead. Our coach Marc did an excellent job of breaking down the posture, arm swing, foot strike, cadence, gears, and hills. Yeah – like I said…a lot of info!

We did a mix of drills and my favorite part was the group run at the end, where Marc ran with each of us giving cues on things we needed to focus on. By the end, I can understand why Marc kept emphasizing that Chi Running is a practice (like yoga or meditation), not a quick fix.

I can’t wait to get my video analysis and am already looking forward to Marc’s next session!

So, of course, I had to head out Sunday morning to start to put my new Chi knowledge into practice!

How was your week? Have you ever attended a running clinic?

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May 2017 Coffee Date

It’s the first Saturday of the month, so of course, that means it’s time for catching up over coffee! Thanks to Coco and Deborah for hosting the Ultimate Coffee Date link-up.  Grab a mug and join me!

If we were having coffee together, I’d tell you that I cannot believe how fast our new pup is growing! He weighed in at just over 26 pounds at last week’s vet appointment, gaining 8 pounds in 2 weeks! Everyone who sees him comments on the size of his paws – he’s gonna be a big boy I think.

If we were having coffee together, I’d tell you that I think I’ve finally got all the camps and various activities figured out for my boys for the summer. I even have the pup’s trainer lined up to start in July. Now if I can just figure out a vacation spot for August that will take dogs. Any suggestions?

If we were having coffee together, I’d tell you that my latest snack addiction is Turmeric Pepitas. These things are seriously addictive! I found them in Run Fast, Eat Slow (affiliate link) and it’s become an instant favorite.

If we were having coffee together, I’d tell you that I’m heading to a Chi Running clinic this morning. I did a one-on-one session with a Chi Running coach 6 years ago when I wanted to make the transition from heel strike to forefoot strike. My chiro and I are convinced there’s something that’s gone awry with my gait, so when the opportunity to join this clinic came up I jumped on it.

Now I should get moving – got a busy day ahead!

What would you tell me over coffee?

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Weekly Wrap: Goals, Decisions & StrideBox

I know it’s already been said by many, but I do have to ask – how is it possible that tomorrow is May 1st?!?

I had set 5 goals for April:

  • Hit every workout
  • Run 100 miles
  • Continue my plank challenge
  • Weekly yoga
  • Meal planning

Well, if you’ve been following along here, you know goals 1 and 2 quickly went out the window as I’ve been plagued with a hip/glute thing that just won’t quit! I am happy to say that I did a pretty good job with the other 3 goals so that makes me happy!

While it’s taken me a while to say it out loud, it’s been very clear that my body’s just not up for dealing with a lot of miles right now. 5 – 6 miles is my sweet spot at the moment – any more miles and the hip speaks up loud and clear. As much as I want to be running the Run to Remember half marathon at the end of May, it’s clear I need to stay in my zone, drop down to the 5-miler option and continue to get healthy. So my race dilemma has been resolved.

And speaking of RtR, week 8 played out like this:

Monday:  A trip to the chiro and yoga
Tuesday:  Cross-training on the arc trainer
Wednesday:  Rest
Thursday:  3-mile run and a 90-minute sports massage
Friday:  Strength day – hips & glutes (no surprise!)
Saturday:  5.6-mile run

In other news, the great folks at StrideBox sent me another box of goodness along with a special coupon code to share with all of you!

Use code 5RWA417 to receive $5 off of the first box when you sign-up for a monthly StrideBox subscription! This code is good through May 15th. I have really enjoyed receiving these complimentary boxes – you can check out my review here.

As always, I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for the #WeeklyWrap. Please be sure to head on over and check out all of the great ladies participating in this fun and motivating link-up! 

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Sleep like a Runner

As runners, we spend time on training plans – focusing on building mileage and improving paces. There’s an effort to cross training and do strength work. Some runners embrace their rest days while others begrudgingly recognize their legs need a break. We focus on our nutrition, fueling, and hydration. But there’s one critical aspect that many of us may not be giving enough attention to…sleep!

Lack of proper sleep can really impact your ability to focus, think clearly and your mood — and if you’re an athlete this lack of sleep can have a huge impact on performance and recovery.

During sleep, growth hormones stimulate muscle growth and repair, bone building, metabolism, and help athletes recover. Sleep deprivation slows the release of that hormone, and when growth hormone levels are down, cortisol (stress hormone) levels are on the rise. Too much cortisol in your system can also disrupt your body’s ability to recover properly. Lack of sleep can also impact glycogen storage – clearly a big deal for endurance running.

So I’m teaming up with Casper to provide some tips to help you Sleep like a Runner!

Sleep like a Runner

This last point is a big one for me! Using technology before bed has been linked to an increase in stress. I know personally, it can be hard to turn off my phone or step away from my laptop. If you find yourself tethered to your electronic device, try to power down a little bit earlier each night until you can get to at least 1 hour before bed technology-free.

Sleep is a critical factor to a runner's performance! #SleepLikeARunner Click To Tweet

Disclosure: Thanks to Casper for this graphic. I was not compensated in any way for this post. All opinions expressed here, as always, are my own.

Did you know that this is National Sleep Awareness Week?

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Weekly Wrap – Marathon Fun and RtR Week 7

Happy Sunday!

What a crazy week this was! Things were hectic at work and my youngest son had spring break – throw in week 2 with the new puppy and suffice it to say it was a constant juggle.

There was also volunteering at the Boston Marathon – definitely the week’s high point!

Monday was my 4th year volunteering at Boston and all I can say is it never gets old! There really are no words to do justice to the energy of the finish area of any marathon, much less Boston! My first two years I was working in Hopkinton at the Athlete’s Village and then I scored an assignment in finish area last year. I was happy to be invited back to join the water team again this year.

Our team set up thousands of cases of water, making sure to unscrew the top of every bottle so runners don’t have to struggle after finishing 26.2. With the water ready and covered we got the chance to cheer the wheelchair finishers and some of the elites before taking a spot at the table to start greeting runners. While a gorgeous day to spectate, it was a little too hot to be running. We could see the toll the weather was having — unfortunately there were many who needed medical help and the waves of runners coming in later in the day were notably more than the previous year.

But on the whole most runners were in good spirits. I cheered and congratulated runners until my voice was almost gone. Some stopped to share their stories – whether it was their first or, in one case, her 25th! There were some hugging, consoling those in tears, and more high-fives and primal screams than I can count! It was also awesome how many runners stopped to thank us for volunteering. I tried my best to keep an eye out for friends who I knew were running, and was psyched to see Dani, from Weight Off My Shoulders – one of the best hug of the day 🙂

I was sore and tired by the time I headed to my car and loved every minute of it! While I do miss seeing the runners out on the course, being in the finish area is a special experience!

This week marked week 7 of Run to Remember training so let me quickly recap this week’s workouts:

Monday: 6 hrs on my feet

Tuesday:  3-mile easy run

Wednesday: Yoga

Thursday: 800-meter repeats

Friday:  Lower body strength work

Saturday:  4-mile run

Sunday: Rest

As always, I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for the #WeeklyWrap. Please be sure to head on over and check out all of the great ladies participating in this fun link-up! 

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5 Benefits of Planking

If you’ve been around here for a bit then you know that I’m a fan of planks! In fact, one of my goals for the month of April is 5 minutes of daily planking (and no…not 5 minutes straight – I break the 5 minutes into intervals).

Everyone can benefit from strengthening their core – especially runners! So if you haven’t jumped on the plank bandwagon yet, I thought I’d share with you some of the benefits of planking!

5 benefits of planking

Target many muscles in one exercise: Planks engage every core muscle from transverse abdominus to the rectus abdominus; from the external obliques to the glutes.

Big payoff, small investment: Planks don’t require a lot of time, but can offer a big payoff by strengthening so many key muscles relatively quickly.

Improved posture: By engaging and strengthening all of those muscles, planks will help improve your posture. As your abdominal muscles activate they share the burden with your back muscles of holding you upright. When your abs are stronger, you sit and stand with your vertebrae stacked – so the added benefit is you’re less likely to develop pain in your neck and shoulders from slouching. Who doesn’t want to stand (or run) taller?

Increased flexibility: Planks help to increase or maintain flexibility by expanding and stretching the muscles around the shoulders, collarbone, shoulder blades, and hamstrings.

Better movement: By strengthening your core, planks help your stabilization and train your body to move better as a unit – your muscles work together, which means you move more efficiently overall.

Why runners should add planks to their routine #runchat #fridayfive Click To Tweet

I’m linking up with Rachel from Running on Happy and Lacey & Meranda from Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five link-up!

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RtR Week 6 Wrap-up

Happy Easter to all who celebrate!

I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who weighed in on my training dilemma. It was interesting to hear others’ perspectives.

This past week for me was filled with yoga, PT exercises, daily planking…and yes a little running. Wednesday’s run of 4.25 miles was hard fought and left me almost certain that switching to the half to the 5-miler was the only option. Then came Saturday…

Saturday’s 6.5 miles gave my confidence a nudge in the right direction…while far from pain-free, things got better as the run progressed. I went from almost throwing in the towel at the 2-mile mark after having to walk the end of a short hill to powering up a much bigger hill in mile 4. And though I certainly wasn’t trying to, my Garmin showed each mile was just slightly faster than the last.

It was nice to end the week on a higher note…though I’m still no closer to deciding what to do about the race distance. So was this run the sign of light at the end of the tunnel?

The RC coaches have weighed in and think it might be better to stay in my current comfort zone where I know I can complete the distance and spend the next 6 weeks getting the hip completely where it needs to be. They can tell I’m having a hard time letting go of the idea of the half and are supporting my hemming and hawing for another week 🙂

Linking up with Holly and Tricia for the #WeeklyWrap. Please be sure to head on over and check out all of the great ladies sharing weekly training and life happenings!

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