Monday, May 26, 2014

Jog for Jess 5K

I signed up for this race with some friends a few weeks ago for fun and to contribute to this great cause.  The community of Wayne has held this run as a fundraiser the past 6 years for a young boy to attend intensive pediatric physical therapy.  The registration link was on All Sport Central, which is my go-to race search site, and I definitely wanted to participate.

I planned on a 10 mile training run Saturday morning, and that just didn't quite happen.  I made it 9 and called it quits.  I had been undecided all week whether or not I would even run Saturday night, or just go along and walk.  Luckily my knee felt just fine after the morning run, and my ego was slightly bruised... so I wanted to avenge those crappy miles with 3.1 more for the day.

The race was supposed to start at 5:00 pm according to the website.  So I packed my Spark/Rehydrate combo and road tripped the 35 miles to Wayne.  There were only 7 of us signed up online, and all from Norfolk.  Come to find out, the race didn't actually start until 6:00pm.  Instead of making us wait around, the event organizers were incredibly nice and let us go ahead and run the route so we could be done and get back home.  This wasn't officially timed or even marked, it was just a fun run on a really nice bike path.  It was an easy out and back.  The bike trail went through some of the area that was damaged in a tornado last fall.  I lived in Wayne for two years in college and had no idea that trail was even there!  

I hadn't ran doubles in a LONG time, and of course hadn't even thought about it post-marathon.  I felt pretty energetic, so I decided to just let my legs go however fast or slow they wanted to go.

Good enough for me!

Our awesome shirts designed by Jess!  I'm wearing it today actually.  I LOVE the neon green!

Our group!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Running Lately

I wasn't sure what to expect out of my legs post-marathon.  I knew it probably wouldn't be pretty for a while...  It's been a difficult few weeks trying to stay patient and work through the really bad runs, and enjoy the handful of really good runs.

I set out for my second double digit post-marathon run this morning and didn't make it.  I stopped at 9 miles and I'm pretty sure I couldn't have even walked another mile.  It was definitely more humid out than last week, and warmer temps, but really it shouldn't have been THAT hard.

The knee deal, well it's getting better.  I've developed my first case of runner's knee post-marathon.  Probably because I did a few too many lunges and squats with weight too soon and my poor quads weren't quite up to it.  I took two complete rest days this week, and haven't done any squats or lunges since Monday.  I don't have pain WHEN I'm running, it usually stiffens after the run, or workout.  Nothing a little ice, rest, and KT Tape couldn't fix up though.  I'm really focusing on stretches and rolling it out like crazy.  I hate not being able to strength train my legs, that's probably my favorite thing to do!  I hope to ease back into it next week, as long as my knee feels OK.

Yeah, those two runs at my OLD pace, I don't know where they came from.  I was soooo happy to be rocking out 8 flats and a few sub-8s again.  It seemed like it's been forever since I saw those lovely numbers, and felt that strong.

Maybe some day I'll be fast again!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Advocare 24 Day Challenge – Cleanse Phase Wrap Up

Today officially marks the end of my 10 day cleanse.  I’d be lying a little if I said it went fast and it was just super easy.  I didn’t have a bad experience by any means, but the mental aspect of meals that somewhat follow the guidelines and remembering when to take what started to wear on me.  Oh, and now in the Max phase I have to remember to take like a million pills a day… yippee.

Ok, negativity aside, I feel good.  I don’t feel magically cleansed and super toxin free, but I feel lighter and more energetic.  I’ve lost two pounds total so far.  I’m NOT in this to lose an excessive amount of weight, I’m just toning up and shaping up my eating from 4 months of carb binging while marathon training.  I can tell a difference in the two pound weight loss though, and I do feel like maybe I’ve lost a few inches here and there.  (Like a bad challenger, I didn’t take before measurements)

The cleanse phase by itself is recommended every 90 days.  I think I will give it another whirl later this fall, maybe not the full 24 day challenge.

Things I did right (sort of):

  • Water consumption.  I’ve been drinking a ton of water.
  • Activity.  I’ve still be taking work outs easy post-marathon, but I’ve done some time of activity every day, even if some rest days just consisted of a walk.
  • No coffee or alcohol.  CLAP FOR ME!  I miss coffee.  I love the taste of coffee, I don’t miss it for the energy, I’ve had plenty of that.  I don’t drink alcohol very often anyway, and rarely did throughout marathon training, so that’s really no biggie.
  • I’ve eaten my fruits and veggies. 
  • No munching in between snacks.  I used to have a pre-snack, a snack, lunch, pre-snack, snack, supper.  I’ve eliminated the mindless munching and stick to my mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and bedtime snack.
  • NO CANDY!!!  To be honest, this was my sole purpose behind this whole challenge.  I eat way to much candy, especially at work.
  • No fried food.  That wasn’t hard.

Crimes I committed:

  • Dairy.  I had three cleanse days left when I caved and bought chocolate milk to drink post-run like old times.  I’ve had some Greek yogurt too.
  •  ONE LITTLE BAG OF STUPID CHIPS.  I can’t take it back…
  •  I definitely didn’t eat 100% clean, but I did my best.  I had quite a bit of turkey from the deli counter, I’ve read some places that this is a yay and other places it’s a nay.  Whatever, it’s a yay for me.
  • Salad dressing.  I think this was a no-no, but I used it sparingly.
  • All other confessions in the previous post....

Like I’ve said in several of these posts, I’m no model challenger, but I want to encourage others to get healthy, and I 100% feel Advocare is the best way to do it.  Whether you really want to lose weight, or just a few inches and tone up, the challenge is for you.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Advocare 24 Day Challenge - more on the Cleanse Phase

I have two days left of the Cleanse phase of the 24 Day Challenge!  I would be LYING through my teeth if I said this is easy for me.  It's not.  I'm feeling great, and I'm doing my absolute best to stick to the clean eating as much as possible.

I don't hate the fiber drink!  I'm glad I chose Peaches and Cream.  I don't think it's that bad.

I've had some cheese.  Not a lot, but I've had a little bit of part skim mozzerella cheese and two slices of pepperjack cheese.... on a sub.  From Subway... mmmm BREAD!

So Sunday I had the Subway sandwich, and my lovely fiance came home with a large Oreo blizzard.  Oh yeah, I took the biggest bite you can imagine out of that dang blizzard.  And then I stopped.

Here's the deal, I'm not trying to lose weight.  I'm just trying to clean up my habits, which clearly isn't going THAT well... So I'm no model 24 Day Challenger. 

Going into the Max phase I plan on adding back in the dairy (I think it said you can do that?)  Anyway, I can't go any longer without my chocolate milk post run.  Despite the energy and feel good from the Spark and the better diet, I miss my coffee loaded with creamer.  I still crave it like no other.  So that's one habit that won't be kicked post challenge.

Overall, the cleanse phase was not bad at all in terms of the "cleanse" part.  I didn't have any issues.  Despite my cheating ways, I would really recommend every try the challenge, or at least the cleanse.  I am really digging the energy!

Don’t be so hard on yourself

It’s great to have goals, and constantly be hungry for more.  I met my marathon goal, but yet I can’t shake the desire to immediately burn down another goal, aka a half marathon PR.  I have my first half marathon of 2014 in less than a month.  I wasn’t even sure I would register for it post-marathon, but I did, and I don’t have the “run it for fun” mentality that I was supposed to have…

I don’t know that a half marathon PR is even possible at this point.  I trained at a slower pace for the marathon, and that’s just about where my natural pace is now stuck at.  Post-marathon running has been a little rough.  Pace and distance both seem extremely difficult.  But I’m not sure it’s all physical, I think my brain is causing my problem.  My MIND wants to run fast, or run at the quicker pace I was capable of pre-marathon.  My mind immediately gets discouraged when I look at my watch and see a pace much slower than what I feel my effort should be producing.

First run post-marathon.... struggle

First double digit post-marathon run
I’m writing this as a reminder to myself, don’t be so hard on yourself.  This recovery process has truly tried my patience.  I want to be back where I was before the race, but the reality is, I’m not, and I need to take my time getting there.  I’ve been dealing with some weird nags in my left knee, so I need to listen that right now.

It’s hard to take my sights off the half marathon PR in June, but I’m doing my best to mentally back-burner it for a while. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Reverse Taper

I’m not sure which is worse at this point, pre-race taper or post-race taper.  The pre-race taper was actually kind of fun.  It was a well-deserved rest from the grinds of the last four months of training, but that anxious, anticipation state wasn’t so fun.  The post-race taper has been harder on me than I thought.  Granted I was really sore for the first three days post-race, but after that I immediately wanted to be back where I was before the marathon.  I’m not there yet.  I’ve ran 14 miles total since May 3 and that’s been tough, I want my miles back.  BUT, I am trying to be as intelligent as possible during this time and focus on my long term goals (aka another marathon yet this year, more on that later). 

My first post-race run was the Thursday following the Saturday race.  I ran Thursday, took Friday off, ran Saturday, took Sunday off, ran Monday, took Tuesday off, and I’m hoping to get out tonight.  I don’t plan to do back to back running days until next week.  I have a half marathon one month from today, June 14, and I would sure like to PR, but I just don’t know if that is in the cards.  My pace has been pretty rocky on these first few runs back.  I’m not pushing it either, they are just easy, steady state runs.  But my easy pace used to be slightly faster than it is now with the same perceived effort.  Time to be patient I guess.

My Reverse Taper
Walk + Whirlpool
30 min elliptical EASY
30 min elliptical + walk
4 miles! Easy
6 miles + CXWORX

Body Pump
4 miles + CXWORX
BP Express + 50 min cardio arc trainer
?? miles
?? miles?
6-7 miles

Next week I plan to start to increase my mileage, slowly but surely, and start incorporating a few tempo workouts.  I have been easing back into strength training, which feels AMAZING!  I have taken two Body Pump classes since the race, and a handful of CXWORX classes to keep my core strong.

The rest of this month is dedicated to my 24 Day Challenge and cleaning up my eating habits.  I started the cleanse phase on Sunday, and so far so good.  I find myself feeling full all day, rather than constantly being ravenous like I used to be.  I KNOW a lot of this is due to my major decrease in mileage.  I am truly committed to this challenge, and I am really anxious to see my results.  A well-nourished and properly fueled body in theory should run faster, right?!