Monday, January 27, 2014

Runner’s feet… the ugly truth

If you’ve been doing quite a bit of running lately, and your feet still look awesome and all of your toenails are still on and normal colored, please send me a photo as proof, and your secret.  I’ll keep it confidential…

I think all runners know our feet take a beating, and that means they usually resemble that beating.  As of today, I have two black toenails, one missing, and one massive, disgusting callous on the side of my big toe.  I haven’t had a pedicure in almost two years, and that’s why.  I would cry for the poor person who had to deal with my nasty feet.

I remember getting my first black toenail after my third half marathon, and slightly freaking out.  I was still na├»ve to all the foot related side effects of running.  I can’t give any tips on how to avoid the blackening or potential loss of (RIP) your toenails… but some pretty good rules of thumb to follow are:
-         -Wear properly fitting shoes.  Duh, right?  If your shoes are too tight, you are going to have a problem.  I didn’t know this until I started running more, but it is recommended to buy running shoes a half size bigger than your regular shoes.  I personally don’t do this.  Do what works for you. 
-         -Keep your toenails trimmed.  Nasty job, but someone has to do it.
-         -Give your feet some TLC.  I have slacked on this lately, but I try to use a foot cream or callous softener on my feet after a shower, and put socks on.   My personal fave is this Dr. Sholl’sfoot cream.  I also have one of those cheap foot massagers (mine was from Walmart) that you can fill up with some warm water and soak your feet in for a while.  Mine has a few different settings, and I usually throw some sort of foot soak salt in there.  It’s a cheap and quick way to do a mini at-home pedi.  I usually soak my feet after a race or long run.

Another lovely foot issue that is super common is the dreaded BLISTER.  Blisters are annoying, but can also really be painful if not cared for.  If I have a blister, I make sure to have it covered and taped sufficiently before I run again.  I HIGHLY recommend Band-Aid brand (or generic) blister band aids.  They are a bit spendier than your basic band aid, but totally worth it.  They stay stuck, and have an absorbent cushion for the blister.  Depending on the area of my foot, I’ll slap one of them on and usually throw a layer of pre-wrap around it for extra cushion and security.

Ever since I started wearing my beloved Mizuno Wave Riders, I’ve worn two pairs of socks.  Every single time.  I have a lot of laundry by the end of a week…  I wear a basic low pair of Adias socks underneath my Pro Compression socks.  If I am not wearing compression socks, I have two pair of Adias layered.  I doubt this is what would work for others… but it’s always been what I’ve had to do.

Any tips to add?  If you have other foot tips, please share! 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Workout Recap 1/20 - 1/26

This week knocks out the 4th official week of marathon training.  It's hard to believe how fast the month of January is going.  I guess it's a good thing, means we are getting closer to spring!

I rounded out this training week with 37 miles, two Body Pump classes, two CXWORX classes, and a little cross training on the elliptical.  I am really focusing on making time for strength and core training, and I feel great so far.  Along with the Les Mills classes, I also try to throw in Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred at least a couple times a week.  In my mind, it counts as both strength and cross training due to her incorporation of strength and plyo moves.  I have a few Jillian DVDs, but 30 Day Shred is by far my favorite.  The workouts are quick, it's a 20 minute workout, and it's effective.  I have trouble committing 45-60 minutes to a workout DVD, unfortunately, I lose my concentration, and end up walking away and doing something else.  30 Day Shred is my cup of tea!

Monday - 7 miles (8:09 avg)  Made it outside to start off the week.  We had a late family Christmas on Sunday, and this run had PLENTY of fuel behind it, let's put it that way!  CXWORX at noon (30 minutes) and 30 Day Shred after work.

Tuesday - Body Pump Express (40 minutes) and some quality elliptical time watching Teen Mom 2!! 

Wednesday - 7 treadmill miles, my usual pyramid workout.  I can't find my treadmill picture to prove this happened... well, it did.  CXWORX (30 minutes)

Thursday - Strength training at lunch with some machine weights, focused mainly on legs.  6 miles with some lovely mile repeats.  Tough, but good.

Friday - Body Pump (60 minutes)

Saturday - 12 miles (8:26 avg) It was a bit windy, but still a great morning to get out for my long run.  I had some mental battles on this run.  Maybe because it was my first double digit run outside since November, but I really had to get my head back on track and remember "it's not that hard, suck it up!" 

Sunday - 4 recovery miles on the treadmill, while listening to the wind howl.... and 30 Day Shred Level 1 and 2.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Brookings Marathon - May 3, 2014

It's goin dooooown, I'm yellin timber...


Sorry... nothing says excitement like Ke$ha.

I've talked about about this a little bit on here, I've been pretty cryptic everywhere else.  I am officially registered for my spring marathon in Brookings, SD.  


I'm four weeks into my training cycle and feeling great.  I am not following a specific plan like I did last time.  I've taken many resources, and pieced them together for my own plan.  

My plan is loosely based on this:

Marathon Training Schedule (Schedule II)

Week# Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat. Total
1 10 Rest 6 8 6 Rest 4 34
2 12 Rest 6 8 6 Rest 4 36
3 6 Rest 4 Rest 4 Rest 4 18
4 14 Rest 6 8 6 Rest 4 38
5 16 Rest 6 8 6 Rest 5 41
6 18 Rest 6 8 6 Rest 5 43
7 6 Rest 5 Rest 5 Rest 4 20
8 20 Rest 5 7 6 Rest 4 42
9 14 Rest 6 8 6 Rest 4 38
10 7 Rest 5 Rest 6 Rest 4 22
11 21 Rest 5 7 6 Rest 4 43
12 14 Rest 6 8 6 Rest 4 38
13 8 Rest 6 Rest 6 Rest 4 24
14 22-23 Rest 5 7 6 Rest 5 45-46
15 12 Rest 6 8 6 Rest 4 36
16 14 Rest 7 Rest 5 Rest 4 30
17 10 Rest 6 Rest 4 Rest 1-2 Opt. 20-22
18 26.2
Rest Rest Rest Rest Rest Rest 26.2


Check this site out, it has many great articles and resources.  My plan is more custom and I'm going on more a week to week basis in terms of determining my workouts.  I followed this mainly for the long run guide.

This January has been crazy mild in terms of Nebraska weather.  We've had no snow, just insane wind.  It's great to be able to sneak outside on clean, dry pavement on days it warms up and isn't a hurricane.  So, so far so good on that aspect.  I am aware that I do face the potential of doing some of these long runs on the treadmill due to the winter/spring aspect.  I will get myself a good movie to watch, and suck it up!

I've heard nothing but great things about Brookings and the course.  I'm really excited to run a new race.  I registered a few weeks ago, I was a little worried about it filling up quickly.  They only allow 300 in the marathon, and I believe the same in the half.  

This race means a lot to me for many reasons.  I pray for a successful training cycle that is injury free.  I've been craving the marathon since last August when I had to scrap Sioux Falls.  There were a lot of things that just didn't work in my favor at that point in time.  I have a different approach, and a little more faith this time.  Saturday, May 3, 2014 would have been my Grandma's 81st birthday.  Seems like a perfect day to run my first marathon.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Favorite time to run

I snoozed through my workout this morning, meaning it looms over my head all day knowing I have to knock it out after work.  I used to be an evening runner, I never once dreamed of waking in the 4am hour to run.  Who does that?!  Oh yeah, me.  

I find it easiest to hop from bed to road or mill and just git-er-done.  The first step out of bed is the hardest, the rest is pretty effortless.  But sometimes the first 20 steps from my office chair after 8 hours are impossible.  In the summer time, if I slept through my run, it meant it just plain wasn’t going to happen that day.  With the winter FREEZING temps we have this week, it’s indoors regardless, so I’ve found myself being more flexible.

I don’t mind the 5pm runs if the weather is decent, or in this case on my treadmill with some episodes of the Big Bang Theory.  After sitting all day at work it usually feels great once I get myself going.  Sometimes getting going is the problem though.  I’ve built a ridiculous tolerance to caffeine, so I can have a Spark at 5pm to get me running and I will still be asleep by 9.  The thing I don’t like about evening runs is they tend to be sluggish just from the sitting and the day’s food.  We all know about GI and running… moving on.

What is your FAVORITE time to run?  If you could get out every day at this time and do your workout, when would it be?  My ideal time for my body is around 7am.  I have time to get up and get fully awake.  If I’m running longer, I will have some breakfast, simple toast and PB2 is usually my go-to.  Since I have to be to work by 8:00 and not be a disgusting mess, this time is weekends only.  Such is life. 

Training updates: I made it outside for my run Monday morning, but then we got spanked AGAIN with ridiculous wind and now ridiculous cold, but NO snow.  I’m hoping for an outdoor long run of 12 miles on Saturday!  Tonight’s workout is speed…. I’m still deciding on what all to incorporate.  Mile repeats or 4x800s.  Decisions!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Workout Recap 1/13 - 1/19

Another training week in the books.  I felt great about the workouts this week, and was able to get outside twice, which made it even better!

Monday – 7 miles (8:25 avg)  Easy run day, and outside.  CXWORX (30 minutes)

Tuesday – Body Pump Express (40 minutes) and cross training.  I broke up my hour between the elliptical and the arc trainer (40/20) and had a major sweat going.  I finished up at the Y and headed right to city rec volleyball.  We lost our game, which ended our season.  SAD FACE.

Wednesday – 8 miles on the tread followed by Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, Level 1 (20 minutes)  I was SWEATY after this, and tried Cellucor's Alpha Aminos for the first time.  I was definitely a fan!  I will do a post this week about Cellucor products I use and why I love them.  This product gives you BCAAs and it's geared toward endurance and hydration, without stimulants.  The fruit punch flavor tastes AMAZING!  Oh, and Lolo rocks.

Thursday – Tempo run total of 6 miles, 4 at tempo.  I think treadmill tempos are easy peasy because you just can’t slack.  I felt challenged by this workout, but maybe not challenged enough, so next time I’m upping my tempo pace.

Friday – CXWORX (30 minutes) Body Pump (60 minutes)  *Disclaimer: If you are familiar with these Les Mills classes, the order I complete them in is NOT encouraged.  You shouldn’t do any heavy lifting after CXWORX.  Whenever I take both classes in one day, CXWORX is always at noon and Body Pump is always after work.  The window of recovery time is sufficient and I haven’t had any issues.  If you try this, and find you have back discomfort, make sure to do them on separate days, or take CXWORX after Body Pump , if it’s offered.*  It was the launch night of Body Pump 88, and oh man was I feeling it the next day!

Saturday -  10 miles on the tread.  It was crazy windy outside all day Saturday.  It was reported we had a gust of 67 MPH.  Yikes.  January 18, 2014 the running community dedicated their miles to Meg, who was killed by a drunk driver while out for her morning run.  I was heartbroken to read the story, and it really hit home for me.  My prayers are with her family.

Sunday – 5 mile easy run outside.  I’ve been breaking my “no run on Sunday” rule these last two weeks, mostly because the weather has been great.  I’ll probably do some adjusting once my Saturday runs get higher than 16 miles.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Training Plan

The beginning of January is a popular time to get registered for spring races, whether it’s a full, half, or 5K, you probably immediately mapped out a training plan upon registration.  At least you probably should have…
I followed a loose training plan for my first half marathon and strictly followed one last summer for my “almost” marathon.  I know some people who go into it with the “I’ll wing it” mentality.  If that works for you, great.   I personally like the structure of an actual training plan, and the motivation aspect of it.

Marathon training round two is roughly 19 weeks and I started the beginning of January.  I’m not following a strict plan like last time, instead I’ve taken bits and pieces from different plans, and thrown my own plan together.  The easiest way for me to map it out is to take a blank Word calendar template, print it off, and write my miles and workouts down, pen and paper style.
Each week has some sort of a key workout.  I’m sticking to the basics: TEMPO, PROGRESSION, EASY, LONG.
Every week obviously contains several easy and one long and also one key workout.  I always run my long run on Saturday, that way I can sleep in and recover on Sunday and start a new week strong on Monday.

I use the term tempo loosely early in the game because they are mostly done on the treadmill.  I swap in my pyramid workout on tempo days.

Progression, pretty self-explanatory, finish faster than you started.  That’s easier said than done for me when I’m outside.  I have a HORRIBLE habit of always making my first mile my fastest.  My route starts with a gradual downhill, I tell myself that’s why I always end up faster that mile.  My ability to positive split is outstanding!  My goal throughout training is to get better at pulling off negative splits and fast finishes, as opposed to that dang first mile sprint.  I can rock out a progression run on the treadmill like nobody’s business.

Tonight's workout is tempo!  One warm up, 4 @ 8:03 (7.8 on the mill), one cool-down.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Things I'm loving lately...

The weather….

January has been crazy.  Negative temps one week, 50s the next.  I love squeezing in outside runs whenever I can.  Breaks up the treadmill time, but truthfully I haven’t been hating that much.

Stuft Mama’s No Bake Protein Cookies I mentioned a few posts ago.  She has some awesome recipes, this one is definitely my fave.  It’s quick, simple, and delicious.

I tweaked her recipe a bit:
1/3 cup quick oats
2 -3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
½ to ¾ scoop of Designer Whey (or any) vanilla protein powder
Mix these together and mix up some PB2 (around 2-3 tablespoons) in a separate dish.
Mix in PB2 and a few Rice Krispies (or smashed Cheerios)
Mold into cookie and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or freezer for roughly 15.
Top with Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter or leave it plain!

View photo 1.JPG in slide show 

View photo 3.JPG in slide show

Les Mills Body Pump

I used to go regularly, but got out of it for over a year.  I’m happy to be back in class at least twice a week.  I feel stronger, and I have a ton of fun.  I sometimes get bored with strength training, but the releases are never boring, and I have awesome friends who are instructors!

I love that I’m back on a scheduled training plan.  I really missed the structure and the excitement that training brings.  It was refreshing to not have one in the late fall, but I am loving being back in the swing of things for Brookings in May!