Insanity

January 6, 2012

I’ve been hearing a lot about these so called “Obstacle Races” lately.  My bootcamp instructor is trying to get everyone he knows to do the Monster Dash which in this case I think is a 5K obstacle race which I can totally see myself doing and being able to do.  However, I got an email this morning about getting 20% off Spartan Races if I register before January 9th. (Promo code is “Specialoffer” if your insane enough to want to do it. Here is the link to the video.

And after watching that I was perusing facebook and a friend of mine is signed up to do a Tough Mudder. And all I can think is, “what the f*** are these people thinking.” It’s a 10-12 mile obstacle course and if you watch the video you will find participants paying to get tortured.  People tell me all the time, well mostly my dad tells me, that I am a masochist because I do marathons. I must love pain.  Well let me tell you that I will never do a race where I could potentially have a run in with a barbed wire fence or electrical shocks. No thank you.  I do not understand what the allure is to do something like that to yourself.  I also think it will be a long time before I could build up the upper body strength to do that majority of that sh**.  Definitely cant climb a rope.

Just needed to vent a little bit.

In other news, I started training for Boston Marathon this week and my foot (planters fasciitis) is killing me.  I don’t understand why it hasn’t healed but I will run this marathon even if I have to hop on one foot to get to that finish line.

I’m off to run 9!

Leah

I’m pretty sure I became a victim…

October 5, 2011

It has been a very long time since my last post. And you could probably guess what I have been up to during 2011.  A whole lot of running, along with quite a bit of working and the usual other things (sleeping, eating, and some play intermixed.)

Here’s a recap of the year:

-mid December I felt like a lump of coal and decided I had enough rest and needed to start training for something.  So I signed up for and ran a 1/2 marathon  in January.  That ended up being quite disappointing as the race organizers screwed up and it only ended up being 11.5 miles, I think.

-I did the Lucky Day 1/2 marathon around St. Patty’s day. That was an absolute BLAST. Mainly because of the drinking that ensued for the rest of the day.  But I highly recommend that race.

-Grandma’s Marathon June 18th.  Well I did it, finally (5th times a charm?)  I qualified for Boston Marathon with an official time of 3:35:36.  Everything went right that day. The weather, the course (easy peasy,) me.  I felt great and never really hit a wall.  I even think I ran a sub-8 minute mile for mile 24.  It was crazy.

-It’s official, I got in! I will be running Boston Marathon on April 16th, 2012. YAY!

-Twin Cities Marathon – October 2nd, 2011.  Wow was that a bummer. And I’m pretty sure I’m a victim of over-training. Let me tell you, I completely forgot about how challenging that course is.  It is hilly! The weather was nice but it did get warm. But no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t run fast (my version of fast.) I think I got up to an 8:30 pace and I felt like death.  My finishing time was 4:05:28 (I think.) Not my best, but not my worst. 

So that’s where I’m at.  Now I’m taking a break.  I’m forcing myself to not run (at all) for the month of October.  Starting November I will add in short and easy runs (3 – 6 miles with an easy pace.) The antsy-ness hasn’t set in yet. I’m sure it will but I need to focus on getting healthy.  I’ve got a bad case of plantar fasciitis in my right foot and it aches.  It ached during runs and it aches all day long.

I’m trying to stay active this week.  After the marathon I went bowling. Monday I golfed 9 holes with my dad and last night I went for an hour-long hike near my house. I want to work in some yoga and I need to get back on that spin bike as well. But I think I’ll save any intense workouts for next week.

Sometime (hopefully) this week, I want to do a follow-up post about over-training. As I think it is more common than people think.

Take Care,

Leah

After we finished. My sisters Elena and Emily did the 10-mile and Melissa and I did the marathon (in the middle)

Am I in a box?

November 18, 2010

So, I get these weekly emails from my favorite running store in the world, Runner’s Gate.  The owner Phil (who I believe is the most knowledgable person I know when it comes to running) sends out short weekly “newsletters” with running tips, upcoming local events, store specials, ect.  And I really liked the one he sent out today:

Phil’s Running Tip of the Week
 
Are You in a Box??
 
Boxes, boxes, boxes.  We live in little blue boxes, we work in tall skyscraper boxes, and we stuff our potential as human beings into invisible boxes.
 
You may think to yourself, “I’m not an athlete.  I’ve never been terribly athletic. So, I’ll never become a very good runner.”  That’s a box.
 
Or you may think to yourself, “I’m OK about running the shorter distances.  But a marathon?  I don’t think so.  That’s too hard.”  That’s another box.
 
Sometimes boxes are imposed on us from without.  You get stuck in a certain thing, say building widgets, and once that happens, you have to fight like h*#l the rest of your life to convince people that you can do something else.
 
“Wait,” you’ll tell them.  “I can do other things.  I can design widgets, too.”
 
Boxes are also imposed from within, that is, by ourselves.  Sometimes this occurs because of what society tells us, and we internalize this message.  But let’s be honest: sometimes we climb into boxes and pull the cover tight because it’s safer in there.  It’s cozy and warm inside the box, and that’s where we want to stay.
 
Are you in a running box?  If so, isn’t it about time you busted out of it? 

 
If you’re interested go to his website at http://www.runnersgate.net/ 

I’m trying to decide if I am in a running box.  And I definitely think I am.  Lately, I’ve been so fixated on running marathons and marathon training that I have completely ignored other races.  So, I need to start thinking about the goals I set for myself this year.  Like the one where I was supposed to run a 5K… yeah that definitely never happened and now I have a little over a month to do one.  I better get on it 🙂

Also, big goals down the road… Leadville 100… and I mean down the road as in at least 5 to 10 years from now. But just putting it out there… it’s on my radar!

Have you put yourself in a running box? Or any box for that matter?

p.s. I have been listening to that Jay Z song “hot tottie” on repeat… I’m OBSESSED! 🙂

It’s been a month… and what am I besides a runner

November 5, 2010

So, I was just thinking about what I was going to write about in this post.  It’s going to be about how I’ve been holding up now that I’m not in training mode and it will be but I another thought just came into my head…

Wow, is my life just about running and how I’m holding up in response to not training and running as much… is that all that people are going to think of me.  I don’t want people to think that they can only talk to me about running and my next race and my future goals with running.  I know a few people like this, not that they only talk about their training and not that it’s the only thing they do in their life… but I personally feel like that is the only thing I can talk to them about and a topic I feel comfortable talking with them about.

I do have other interests… I promise… like:

-Food (I am eating the best breakfast burrito that I just made.  It’s nothing extravagant. Pretty basic but so good. I sautéed some mushrooms in EVOO, crushed red pepper, pepper and then added two egg whites and an egg then wrapped it up in a whole wheat tortilla with some shredded cheddar. I have a bottle of Frank’s Red Hot ready to pour but it has been so good that I haven’t needed it.)

-Fashion (I still have wanted to do a post just about the top things in fashion that I love right now, like mixing hard and soft and my obsession with plaid… Plaid/tartan has been a love of mine for many years but it is a big trend right now too which is always fun.)

-Music (Mumford and Sons just had a show at First Ave that I missed because it sold out in about 45 minutes… I was extremely sad about that… but I’ve been leaning on my friends in bands for the past year to fill up my weekends. Going to their shows is probably one of my favorite things to do.  It beats going out to a club or bar filled with douche bags any day.)

-My family and friends – my sister had a baby boy (Joseph) 5 weeks ago today and getting to know him has been the best and most rewarding part of my life right now. Family is so important to me and when I hear about a family that isn’t very close, not only is it hard for me to relate to but it’s hard for me to understand.  Which is why no matter what I will stand by my family… not that I’m an intimidating person but if you mess with someone in my family you’ll have me to deal with too. haha- so scary I know…) 😉

There are other parts of my life too but I don’t need to get into every little detail right now. I just wanted to make a point here that I’m more than just a runner.  Not that being a runner is a bad thing.  It’s probably the one thing that I’ve done in my life that I am truly proud of. Actually it is for sure.  I remember when I graduated from college a little while back and my mom and dad were telling me how proud they were of me and all I could think of was, “Why? I always knew I would graduate from college, it wasn’t very hard.  College in fact was probably the easiest and most fun thing I’ve ever done.”  Now I know I did have it easy.  I didn’t have to worry about having a full time job while juggling classes or a family to take care of.  I have been extremely lucky and fortunate in that sense.  So I’m not saying it isn’t super challenging for most people.  But in my situation at the time it wasn’t something I was worried about finishing.

Running however, has been something that has been extremely challenging for me.  I have to give up a lot to do it and I have to be extremely disciplined when I’m training. Not to mention the strength of mind that I have to have while trying to finish 22 mile long run.

So anyway… the past month…

I have taken it pretty easy and probably have been partying WAY too much.  But I can honestly say and believe that I deserve this time right now.  I trained for 9 months of 2010.  And no amount of partying these last few months of the year is going to make up for what I probably gave up. So, I don’t feel bad about it.  And these are the years that I can party and do what I want.  I don’t have a family of my own (I just live vicariously through my sisters which is more than enough for now) and until I do I can be a little bit selfish.

So, the reason for this post is that I stepped on the scale this morning.  And I was thinking this is it… this is what a month of partying and very limited running has done and its caught up to you now… and then I saw it …. duh duh duh… (that’s supposed to be scary movie music.. haha…) and to my surprise I didn’t gain ANY weight! WHAT? How is this possible? Well I guess my appetite has dwindled with the fewer miles and I haven’t consciously noticed that until now, but I haven’t been eating as much.  And I have been running at least a few days a week (if not more), usually between 4 and 6 miles at a time.  I have also started trying to do ab workouts after my runs which I think is going to be good.

I have one thing that has been worrying me.  I’ve notice that when I don’t run for a couple of days my heart just goes crazy. I’ll be sitting at my desk in the middle of the work day and all of a sudden my heart will start racing out of control.  I made the connection between  it and my runs because last week I only ran on Monday and Tuesday and my heart started doing that on Thursday and continued and until I ran this week.  And it has been doing it on and off this entire month.  I’ve ran everyday this week except yesterday and it hasn’t happened.  It’s like I need to run now to wear out my heart or something, maybe exercise my heart? Maybe it’s so used to all of the running that it needs to make up for it? I’m not sure but I’m trying to decide if I need to see a doctor about it or not.

The big challenge though will be the next two months.  This is comfort food season and Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner.  Do I need a race to stay motivated for or can my own discipline be enough to keep me in marathon training shape…

I was thinking about signing up for the Las Vegas Rock & Roll Half marathon in December… haha.

Changing of the seasons… yay or nay?

October 28, 2010

Well, the weather in MN has been less than appealing for the last few days. It is cold, windy, and it even snowed a little as I was driving to work yesterday morning. And I am more than disappointed in this new change of scenery.  I love fall and if the fall-like conditions end and winter decides to appear, I will… well I don’t know what I’ll do. But I won’t be happy about it and I won’t be able to wear the fall clothes that I love. 

Fall is the most exciting season for clothes and fashion.  Not only are the colors gorgeous but it’s all about thin layers. Not bulky and winter is bulky.  I’m not ready to hide under a parka, a thick cable knit sweater, and long underwear under an already unflattering pair of pants.  Actually, I’m wearing a cable knit sweater right now (with a turtleneck underneath…gasp… yes, pretty sexy. Which is actually what inspired me to write this post.) I’m going to clench onto my cute fall-weight army green jacket or leather bomber as long as I can… along with my tissue tees, jeggings, and crisp button-ups/flannels sans bulky sweaters on top.

So here is to sending good thoughts to whoever is in charge of the weather… and I don’t mean Bel or Sven 🙂

Leah

Loving Fall

October 19, 2010

Hello hello,

I’ve been thinking about how amazing this fall has been.  It is definitely the best time of year for a runner.  Last night I went for 10K run and it was so nice.  I was on the verge of being cold the whole time but obviously stayed the right temperature because I was running.  I just love never getting hot and sweaty.  And afterwards I stretched out on a foam roller for a while and then spent a good 5 to 10 minutes in the steam room.  That is something I need to start doing more often… it is just so relaxing (although I’m constantly thinking about germs and how I’m going to get some sort of disease in there…) but as long as I can push those thoughts aside, it’s nice. 🙂

I’m thinking about going to a spin class tonight.  One of my favorite instructors is teaching but I still just want to run.  The weather has been perfect and it’s hard to coax myself into a gym.  The problem is that I really do need to take a break from running right now.  Not just because I trained pretty hard for 9 months but also I have had this nagging little pain in my right foot.  I’m sure it’s the start of planters fascitis.  The pain I have is in the right spot and it isn’t bad at all right now but I know if I don’t take a break and do something about it, it will just get worse.  And I don’t think I can handle being injured again right now.  I need to be able to run at least for my mental health 🙂

So, my job right now is to figure out what to do about the onset of this injury.  Mel, my friend and running partner has had it.  She did physical therapy for it too. So I’ll have to chat with her about it. 

I’ll probably end up running tonight, just knowing myself. But maybe I’ll do both.  I have the time today.

Hope you’re all having a wonderful Tuesday. Get outside and enjoy this gorgeous fall weather before winter starts!

Leah

TCM 2010 followed by a much needed break

October 14, 2010

Hello fellow runners, friends and family,

I thought I would take a quick moment out of my day to do a quick update of TCM.

I’m going to be honest. I don’t have very many funny memories of quirky runners like I normally do.  This year, I ran on my own and was completely focused the entire time.  There were only a couple of people who stood out to me and they were more inspiring than funny.  Thankfully, no chubby guys with their butt cracks hanging out were in my line of vision 🙂

Person 1: This woman who had a bib saying she was in the 50 – 55 age group.  She was running with me pretty much the whole time until I crashed at mile 18.  Which means this middle-ager was running around an 8:15 minute to 8:20 minute average mile pace.  She blew me away.  I just hope that is me in 30 years.  We chatted about what a cluster-f*** the marathon is until the people spread out at around mile 15.

Person 2: Random tall guy that was always by me.  He only stood out because we were running the same pace (again, until I crashed at mile 18) and I figured we were both aiming for a 3:40 marathon.

As you all can tell by now (I would think,) I didn’t make my goal of qualifying for Boston.  I was a little heart-broken at mile 19 when I realized it wasn’t going to happen for me this time and again at the end when my sister came to hug me and I started crying… yes I probably wouldn’t have but she started tearing up and then I just lost it.  (She wasn’t sad about my time, I think she was just sad that I wasn’t super happy with my time and she could tell I was disappointed.)

Anyways, I was on track to make it until around mile 18.  I started feeling  nauseous and I really needed to take a little extra time at the water stops.  Those freaking water stops are what really did me in.  I wish I could either be really awesome at running while drinking out of those cups or just have super human abilities and not have to drink water/powerade at all.  Or, and this is what I’m going to work on for next time, I just need to get slightly faster so I can take some time at the water stops and not worry about getting to far off track. 

I ended up with 3:46:05 marathon. Which means I missed qualify by 5 minutes and 6 seconds.  Which sucks, but now I don’t have to shave off as much time for my next marathon.  Which by the way is Grandma’s 2011.  I already signed up and I’m pumped. I’ve heard from a few people who say Grandma’s is easier to PR at. 

I took 6 days off from running and I definitely got antsy.  Then I ran 3 miles and took another 3 days off and I ran a little over 5 miles last night.  I have been so exhausted and sluggish all week and I really think it is from not running (it could have also been from working Monday from 8 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. and Tuesday from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m.) But  I feel awesome today! I need those endorphins. Plus, I don’t want my sweet 4-pack to disappear.  (Yes, you can get sweet abs from just running by the way.)

I want start doing yoga and spin regularly again, since I have the freedom to do so (no training plan for this lady right now.) I also have that reoccurring goal of mine to start doing some resistance training… but ugh… I am just one of those people who hates lifting weight.  I also feel super uncomfortable in that area of my club.  So we shall see.

That is my little recap.  I’ll put some finishing pics up later.

By the way, a quick shout out to my cousin Richard who finished TCM this year. His first (hopefully of many!) He rocked it and I’m super proud of him 🙂

Also, my kick ass uncle finished his 9th! And my cousin Jaclyn (of course, she’s a marathon ho too) and my lady Mel! And my sister Emily who did the 10-mile and was super speedy! They all did a fantastic job!!! I’m so blessed to have such amazing family and friends who share the same lifestyle as me!

Hangin’ in there

September 8, 2010

Again, not to sound redundant but sorry for the lack in posts.  I have had very good intentions to keep up with this thing during the bulk of my training and it just hasn’t worked out. 

My longest training week is this week and totals 48 miles.  I am finished with all of the runs except THE big one (the biggest one I will do before the actual marathon.)  I have 22 miles on Friday morning (I did 5 miles Sunday, 10 miles Monday, 7 miles Tuesday, and 4 miles this morning.)  Lately, with the cooler temps and lower humidity, I have had really great training runs.  But I can tell that I’m on the last leg of the training plan because I’m getting a little “haggard.” After this week I start my very welcomed taper. And I can honestly say that I am going to need a substantial break from training (maybe not running altogether) once I finish this marathon October 3rd.

Exciting but nerve-wracking/stressful/somewhat scary news (for me at least) I have gotten faster.  But I’m not convinced that I have gotten fast enough to reach my goal of qualifying for Boston.  I need an average mile pace of ~8 min 20 sec miles.  I think my pace during long runs has averaged out to 8:30 – 8:40.  And generally I know there is this thing inside me (my competitiveness maybe) that helps me speed up during the actual race.  But I don’t know if it will be enough.  So, if I do qualify for Boston this time around, it will be by seconds… and that REALLY freaks me out.  It sucks to want something so bad and to be so close yet still so insecure (I’m not used to feeling insecure really in any way.) 

That’s how I’ve been feeling lately.  Excited and insecure. It sucks. But, I need to just tell myself that finishing this thing with a PR is good enough even if I don’t qualify. And I’m just going to try my hardest. 

In other news, I think I’ve gotten a handle on time management. Which is nice. 

Alrighty, have a nice day folkies and happy running

Leah

ps. my cousin-in-law just started a blog about her life with a new qt-pie baby! Check it out at http://eventsadventuresanddirtydiapers.blogspot.com/

Ready for a rest day!

August 11, 2010

Happy hump day!

Today was my fourth day in a row running.  I did 4 miles Sunday, 9 miles Monday, 4 miles Tuesday and 7 miles this morning (and ALL four were on the treadmill because of this heat insanity.)  And let me tell you, this morning was a challenge.  The one thing that got me through was the fact that I get a rest day tomorrow! I’ve never (well never say never) been more excited for a rest day.  I really need to invest in an iPod if I’m going to continue running on the treadmill like this.  I actually have a lot of things I want to invest in for this running hobby of mine. 

-iPod

-Garmin

-Another pair of shoes to rotate (I think I need two at all times because I leave them places… and it would be nice to have a pair in my car all the time)

-Thinking about signing up for the City of Lakes 25k.  I’ve done it for the past two years because it is a perfect race to prepare for the marathon. But I’m not sure because my running lady friend Mel won’t be able to do it with me. 😦

So that’s the list,  I really want the second pair of shoes and the Garmin… But that is a lot of dough to shell out at once… we shall see (maybe if I could resist JCrew… haha.. and I work tonight so more temptation is ahead… great)

I have 18 miles Friday a.m. I’m getting into the serious long runs now! Wish me luck.

Have a great week!

Leah

Summertime training

August 1, 2010

I’m sorry for the lack in posts.  This summer has been crazy and when I have free time the last thing I think about is updating this thing.  I’ve been working on trying to find a balance in my life right now.  Working one full-time and two part time jobs can be challenging sometimes although I am fortunate enough to work very minimally at my part time jobs.  It’s funny how  until recently I had been desperately trying to find work and to fill up my days.  Now I’m struggling to fit everything in.  Some of my days are fine and include the regular 8 hour work day.  Those days have been great. I have time to run or time to go golfing or time to do laundry, etc.  But a few days out of the week, I leave the house for work at 6:30 a.m., then go to another job immediately after.  Get done at 9:30 or 10 and then go to the gym to run 8 miles. And eventually get home at 12 to go to bed and start all over.  Those are the days that I really struggle with. Thankfully they only happen once or twice a week.

Balance

Balance…

Trying to balance my work schedule with my marathon training has been another challenge that I am trying to work out.  Running at 10:30 p.m. is NOT my cup of tea.  I’m so wound up after a run that I cant get myself to sleep soundly (and I’m already sleep deprived at that point.) But I cant wake myself up at 4:30 a.m. I know  a lot of people do that but it is still dark out at 4:30.  And, it hasn’t happened for me yet (and I don’t know if it will.) And it’s not like I can go out there at 5 p.m. for a run since it’s about 90 degrees and 90% humidity.  There is no reason to put myself through that much agony.  So, the majority of my shorter runs have been at 8 p.m. or later. My weekends have been jam packed this summer.  All fun things like going to the cabin, bachelorette parties, birthday parties, and camping.  The rest of my weekends this summer look the same… more bachelorette parties, birthday parties, weddings, baby and wedding showers, and maybe one more trip to the cabin (my favorite place, except for long runs because of the horse flies…ick) So, I’ve been doing my long runs with Melissa and other friends on Friday mornings.  Which has been nice because then I have the whole weekend to do what I need to do.  I don’t have to worry about getting to bed early on Friday nights or waking up early on Saturdays.  And I’m also not super tired on Saturday nights.  But the runs themselves have been extremely difficult for me.  I feel like I’m running on empty.  My muscles feel fine, my injury came back but now is fading away again (THANK GOD!) But my energy levels have been really low.  It’s probably a combination of the weather, not getting as much sleep as I need, not eating the most balanced diet, and training for too long (jumping from one marathon (my spring marathon) to training right away again for Twin Cities.) My body I’m sure is a little shocked right now but I’m hoping it adapts soon.  Now along with that I just need to find my motivation again and I’ll be fine… I think.  (I was supposed to run today and I didn’t.) 😦

I’ll try to remember to keep you all updated more regularly.  (Oh, and by the way, my last long run was 16 miles and I think I jump back down this week to 14. YAY!) And my total mileage last week was 35 miles plus one day of cross training.  (Cross- training is something else I really need to work on.)

Have a great week everyone and wish me luck with this whole life balance thing!

Leah