Monday, July 19, 2021

The Road to NYC: An Injury Update

 Some people have bad backs; others have weak ankles. Me? I have bad knees. They aren't always bad, but they are always one move away from being injured. It's just always been that way, so again, here I am with a knee injury.

It started out innocently enough, a little tweak on the track while running my cool down mile. I stopped for a moment, shook it out, ran a little slower, and nothing of note happened. Until it did. One step into a lunge and I was done for the week.

It's almost a full week out and my knee is slowly getting better. I've had to lay off all physical activity and even spent a little time on some crutches to let everything calm down. It hurts. It hurts my head and heart too. I haven't even taken the time to put pencil to paper and rewrite how I'm going to do this marathon training thing. I'm honestly not sure when I can even run again.

Just giving the quick update. I'll be sharing the moves I'm doing to safely regain strength over on Instagram. Taping, wrapping, icing, anti-inflammatory meds and foods. I'm doing it all in hopes this will pass quickly and I'm back on the road to NYC soon.

Monday, July 12, 2021

The Road to NYC: Weeks 2 & 3

 The weeks are ticking by and I'm still here logging miles, getting ready to take on NYC and a long list of other races this season.

These past 2 weeks were the end of the first build weeks, so this week I'm taking it a bit easier. I'm finally in double digits again, and runs don't feel too taxing at this point.

I've also added in some track work. Man, these felt awesome! I aim for 400m at a 7:30 pace. Trying to get it faster by marathon day, and also working on getting it more consistent. This type of speedwork is my favorite. It's so easy on the body (due to the track) and I really see results of getting stronger and faster. This next training round will keep me on the track through July. Then I'll be ready to do some serious hill training.

Weekly mileage is hovering around 20 miles per week. Not too bad, yet nothing too serious yet. Maxed out at 10.5 miles on a pretty flat trail. Now is where the work begins!

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

The Road to NYC: Week 1

 Is anyone here? Do people even read blogs anymore? Recently I've been feeling a lot of content ideas and creativity brewing. Podcast? YouTube? A beefed up Instagram? Maybe a Facebook group? I'm not sure where my creative juices will lead me, but it seemed natural (and let's face it, easy) to start here, the blog where it all began many moons ago.

When I started blogging, it was for myself, journaling my first Goofy Challenge. My first blog, entitled "Just Keep Swimming" was a training log. 

It seems like ages ago--there was no "Dopey" (in fact, I ran the 'unofficial Dopey' that year), I was childless (training without the strain of family life), and we can all relate to a life pre-Covid. No matter what your past year looked like, I'm sure it changed you in some way.

It just seems logical and/or poetic that I start blogging again in the same way I started: a chronical of my training toward a once impossible dream. For me, that dream has been the NYC Marathon. I have wanted to run this race for as long as I can remember (in running years), and my attempts at a lottery entry were denied year after year. In 2019, I scored a covetted 'guaranteed entry' bib for the virtual marathon. 26.2 miles on my own, but the reward was worth it! I earned my way into 2020. Then...2020. Living in New York, I knew it wasn't happening. I actually had even come to terms that 2021 wasn't happening, but here we are, mask free, ready to run in November! I didn't even have a hotel booked (don't worry, I have it now). 

This now presents me with an interesting task: actually train to run the race! I'm not in the best shape of my life, nor my worst, but regardless, you can't fake a marathon. I have lots of support and training races along the way, maybe even reinstating the '40 for my 40th' quest. Who knows?!?!

For now, training week 1 is done! I'm currently running 3 days per week and will ramp up to 4 once I unload a HIIT class to a collegue of mine at the gym. I'm trying to delicately balance overtraining and preparation, body composition and miles, carbs and protein. 

I wrote my own plan, and will incorporate speed work and hill training (sort of). I have the virtual Boston Marathon on the calendar, so I will definitley be trained up for 26.2. 

Week One:

5/5/8 (just mileage, no targetted workouts)

I feel good about pace (long run around 11:30), and have embraced running in shorts! Phew! That will make summer easier. 

I didn't do enough strength trianing this week. I did Les Mills Core twice (perfect), but nothing else. I need to be sure to get at least 2 other strength workouts in. Also did my HIIT classes for general fitness. It's hard being a fit pro and needing to do these things for work. 

Actually used my Theragun! Woohoo! I need more stretching, body work, foam rolling, and care. 

Mindset is awesome! More on this later, but I'm thinking of reframing the '40' goal, and my work is providing some great opportunities to spread my coaching wings. Let's be honest, all the runDisney talk has also reenergized me! Yes, the call is already in to our travel agent and Dopey is planned (if it's happening). 

How are YOU doing with your training? Let me know you're here!

Friday, February 5, 2021

Embracing Cold, Dark Runs

 It's winter. Cold, dark winter. Most of my running life has been spent in Las Vegas. Don't get me wrong, Vegas does get cold. It's just not New York cold. With over 2 feet of snow that dropped this past week, it seemed like the perfect time to update everyone on my quest to be less miserable in the cold weather!

I've been working my way through Run the Year 2021, which means some long runs outside. I just can't put down 8 miles on a treadmill, especially now that masks are required at the gym. I'm also working my way down the thermometer. I've currently survived the 20-degree temps. Not sure how much lower I'll actually go. Hopefully Spring comes early and I won't have to keep this up too much longer.

What have I learned? In short, winter running is not cute. Nothing matches, because it's all about function and layers. I've also learned that gear is important. Here's a few notes of what's working for me:

Clothes: I got a vest from Kohl's a while back (not even for running, but just because it was cute), and it's working perfectly! It's a loud yellow color and keeps my core totally cozy. I will occasionally pull up the hood when needed. Beyond that, I layer up a tank, long sleeve, and jacket for most runs. If it's a bit warmer (for cold weather), I ditch the long sleeve. I still need to master the pants, and just getting new, thick socks was enough for my feet for now. 

For my head, wearing an ear muff headband is working well. I have a few, and while the thicker one is clearly warmer, I found my cheep one from Amazon works best with my Aftershokz. My fleece buff also has come in handy. I have old gloves, but that's another upgrade I need to make soon.

Lighting: It's not only cold, it's also dark, so I got a headlamp from Home Depot on a black Friday sale. Works great so I can see where I'm going. For the cars to see me, Katie got me a Noxgear vest. That thing is amazing! So lightweight and bright. I'm much more comfortable running at odd hours now. I highly recommend it!

Shoes: Here is another upgrade, but I don't think I'll be taking the leap right now. Many runners will run in ice and snow, so that usually also means a different shoe to have better traction. I haven't gotten there yet; maybe next year!

Hydration: I have yet to bring hydration with me (I've only gone up to 8 miles), and this is another place where I can improve. Your body just doesn't give you the same signals when it's so cold. I hydrate before and after. This weekend, a 10-miler is on the plan, so hydration is a must. I plan to carry my regular belt, but will also be sure to regularly sip so nothing freezes. One tip I read (can't take credit) is take a sip every 5 minutes. That is enough to be sure ice crystals don't start to freeze in your water. 

What are you favorite cold weather running tips? I'm sure I can use more! Leggings? Gloves? I have a few more things I need to add to the arsenal! Stay warm out there :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

My Not-So-Dopey Challenge

Dopey 2014
When Dopey went down, I was crushed. I think every runner had "that race" that finally broke them in 2020. For me, it was the reality that the turn of a calendar year would not magically restore our lives back to normal. I had reworked my goals so many times already, but this one felt different.

I knew I wouldn't take the virtual option. I also knew my training would be halted. I just don't have any desire to do all those miles without the live race. I'm truly in awe of anyone who is!

I couldn't let this week go by, though, without doing something to pay homage to what should have been, so I've taken on the challenge of 4.86 miles per day to get me back into the consistent habit of running. As the days tick by, in some ways it's helping to ease the pain. I've gotten through the "I should be on a plane" day and heading into the "I should be at the expo" day today. 

As crazy as this all sounds, I can't help but notice my Run the Year tracker also yelling at me, because I'm already behind on the mileage! 2021 miles is a lot! What did I get myself into?

Are you headed down to the world to run some virtual miles? Doing something at home? Sitting and waiting until the next registration day? Tell me about it!

Friday, January 1, 2021

Making SMART Goals for the New Year

I wrote this for the gym's January newsletter (I do a small article each month as the Fitness Director). Since it's all about being SMART, I'm working smarter and sharing it here too! Go set some SMART goals!

I love the gym in the New Year. Really, really LOVE it! As someone who has worked in fitness for 20 years, this is the most exciting time for me. People are motivated. They are willing to try something new. They will make resolutions, promises and goals. Health and fitness are on everyone’s mind! 

I’m sure you’ve heard of SMART goals. This acronym has been around forever in hopes of helping people make solid goals that can be followed. I challenge you, whether you are new to the gym or have been coming for years, to make at least one SMART goal for your health and fitness this year. 

Follow these guidelines:

  1. S-Specific: Be clear about your goal. “Getting healthy” is a pretty broad goal; but saying you want to lose weight, exercise more, drink more water, or keep current on well visits with your doctor are all more specific tasks.

  2. M-Measurable: To add more clarity, make your specific goal measurable. What is “more”? How about adding a numeric value to know when you hit that goal. Lose 10 pounds. Exercise 5 days a week. Drink 50 ounces of water a day. 

  3. A-Attainable: Being realistic is key. Don’t set yourself up for failure or disappointment. Losing 30 pounds in January won’t happen (at least not in any sort of healthy way). 

  4. R-Relevant: A goal is only good if it’s important to you. This time of year, many people focus on improving their health, and if 2020 taught me anything, it’s that our health is really the most important thing.

  5. T-Time-Bound: Add that time stamp. Give yourself a deadline. Write it in your planner or put it on your digital calendar (I’m a paper planner girl; don’t try and change my mind!).

If your goal is BIG, like for the whole year big, make smaller benchmarks along the way. I’m always in this with you, so here’s my big goal for the year: I will run 2021 miles in 2021. It’s specific (just about running) and relevant (I love to run). It’s time bound (I have 365 days to do it) and measurable (I’m tracking miles on my watch). Attainable? Well, that’s still unknown, and to be more realistic, I’ve actually set 2 goals: 1021 miles & 2021, because I wanted an A-goal and a B-goal. 

Share with me! What’s your goal for 2021? Make it BIG! Make it a little scary. But most importantly, make it SMART!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

New Year, New Goals: Let's Do This 2021!

You can look on the bright side all you want, but I don't know of a single person who won't be happy to say, "Goodbye" to 2020! For us, job loss, event cancelations, and the struggle bus were real. Yes, we had some great moments, but this is not one of those posts. This is a "See you later, 2020!" as I push this year aside kind of post.

With that, this was a crappy year for running races. Everything I had scheduled was canceled. I had high hopes of running 40 races leading up to my 40th birthday. Then I changed course and said I'd do 40 races in 2021, the year I turn 40. Now, well, I have no idea when we'll be back to live races, and a year filled with local, socially distanced races doesn't seem like a great way to party. Enter my next goal: Run the Year!

I'm not a super fan of virtuals. I've done a total of TWO in my life, and zero during 2020 when virtuals were the thing to do. I got all of my refunds from runDisney races (even though I ran the distances), and I really had no intention to jump on the virtual train. Well, that is until now. I'm officially joining the crazy group of runners who "run the year" with the virtual race organization, Run the Edge. I've created a team (Disney Runs in the Family, of course!) and we are setting our own goals. Goal one for me is 1021 miles. My reach goal is the entire thing: 2021. I love to have multiple goals; I do it in races too, so why not do it for the virtual? 

Yes, I did the math, and no, I have no idea if I can even run that much with the rest of my fitness schedule. I'm going to kick off the year with a not-Dopey 10 day streak of 4.86 miles per day for 10 days (so poetic that it starts on New Years Day and ends on what should have been marathon day). Grab your calculator, because as fun as this sounds, it already puts me behind my goal for the year! 

If you aren't familar with Run the Edge or the Run the Year challenge, you can register here: Run the Year 2021 Our team isn't full yet, so we'd love to have you hop on and join us! Just search "Disney Runs in the Family" and add your goal. 

Talk to me! What are your goals? Do you make New Years Resolutions? How do you track them? Anyone else running the year? Happy New Year everyone!