NYC Marathon Training Week #9

IMG_2177

“The journey isn’t always perfect, but always worth taking.” Kara Goucher

This quote has been oh-so-true this marathon training season. I went into the season with some good goals, a solid base of fitness, a plan for training, and got started with getting it done.

Then, I started the season off with touch of PF, added a dash of tendonitis, stirred in some hip flexor inflammation for good measure, and then seasoned it all with a generous helping of summer heat and humidity. LOL. Sounds delicious? We’ve also had a lot of travel this summer, which threw my running schedule off quite a bit more than I had planned, and then the hubs has had a lot of travel (he’s finishing a 10-day trip tomorrow), which has made for creative scheduling of running. So, this training season hasn’t been perfect, and Kara’s words hit home. It’s not perfect, and that’s ok. I wouldn’t trade a thing…ok, maybe the hip flexor stuff, but other than that…I’m learning a lot.

  • Life will always get in the way. It’s a long training season and something’s interesting and frustrating are bound to happen. Travel, injury, too much margaritas.:)
  • Even the best laid plans can and will sometimes unravel.

Watching the track and field events this past week was so exciting, but it really hit home the fact that you can train and prepare so well and work so hard, all to see it crumble in a split second. The women’s 4×100 relay baton exchange? Wow. The men relay baton exchange that resulted in a DQ. The men’s 5000m that resulted in some DQs. One misstep, push or lane shift can spell doom. But the journey is still worth taking, right?

  • Expect the unexpected. I’m trying to shift my expectations. Like with last week’s disastrous long run that I didn’t think I could finish. I tried to move on quickly instead of focusing on the negative.
  • I will lose a toenail. Blisters + blood blisters = black toenail. Thankful for purple nail polish!

Not to be Debbie Downer!

imgres.jpg

Because I would say this week’s training was solid. I’m thankful that although I didn’t hit some of my paces, consistency and getting out there to finish the mileage is going to help me on race day. We’ve had a LOT of rain, which cooled things off by just a few degrees, but honestly, it felt wonderful. I ended the week with 48 miles total. I finished Saturday with a 16-mile run, and I actually felt good. It was still hot (77 degrees)  and humid (98%) but I prepared better in the morning with a good breakfast, coffee, and a much better hydration plan. I packed my fuel belt with two water bottles and brought my hand-held filled with Skratch for the run. I also brought two water bottles for afterward, so that I wouldn’t crawl into the water cooler. A woman has to have SOME dignity, right?

IMG_2179

I ran 9:09 average pace–finishing in less time than my 15-miler last week!  This time, I ran with my bestie, Lesley, and coerced  persuaded her to start an hour earlier with me. The run went SO much better than last week–I was so relieved. It worked perfectly, and I even had a little bit of water left in my water bottles, but felt perfectly hydrated while running. AND, I didn’t even have any Gatorade at the store (nor did I climb into the cooler).

It was worth celebrating with a bacon, egg, cheese and potato taco.:)

IMG_2180

Tomorrow is the first day of school! I’ve been a little giddy getting them ready.

Needless to say, the kids didn’t appreciate MY enthusiasm about the first day of school.

I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap-up! Check out their cool blogs!

Seedy Granola Bars

IMG_2156

Around 4 pm every day, I get hangry…and I start to raid the pantry. Yes, I could eat some fruit, but if I’m driving kids around, I like to have something less messy. I’ve been tinkering with some recipes for homemade granola bars and came up with this one. I like that this recipe has no artificial ingredients or sweeteners.

Enjoy!

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds, walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 packed cup medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds (roasted or raw)
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds (roasted or raw)
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of vanilla
  • 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
Directions
  1. Process dates in a food processor until it forms almost a paste.
  2. Transfer dates to a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Transfer to an 8×8 dish or other small pan lined with parchment paper.
  4. Using another piece of parchment paper, press down firmly to flatten the mixture into the pan evenly. Chill in the fridge until firm.
  5. Remove bars from dish and chop into even bars. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for a week.

NYC Marathon Training Week #8

IMG_2165

Another week of training! I’m so glad this week is done! It’s been a challenging week of training, so I’m trying to focus on the positives:

  • I didn’t miss a day of training this week (ran 5 days).
  • I finished 45 miles this week.
  • I finished a 15-miler on Saturday, one of the toughest long runs I’ve had in a long time.
  • I didn’t have many aches and pains as usual (YAY!)

See? I have so much to be thankful for during this week of training! I honestly don’t know what to expect for the NYC Marathon on race day. The Olympics in Rio offered sunny, humid, and temps in the 70s for their start despite it being winter! But, even these tough weeks of training will help me prepare for whatever that day holds.

Saturday’s run was a 15 miler. I tried a new route and ran by myself to get the miles in early because of my schedule for the rest of the day. My run started off fine. The heat index was 89 at 5:30 am, and I had filled my water bottles and brought fuel for the run. I wasn’t going for a particular pace, but trying to get the distance. I felt good for most of the run. Halfway through, I stopped to take in this gorgeous sunrise.

IMG_2161

The last half of the run got more challenging, as did my route became hilly. The sun was out. It was even hotter. My feet felt heavy. My thoughts were starting to turn to the I can’t…I’ll just stop… It’s one of the challenges of running alone, and even during good runs, I battle with myself mentally. I knew I had to finish the run, so I just slowed my pace. I plodded along, but my water was running low. At mile 12, I completely ran out of water, and I couldn’t find many buildings open to get more water. I stopped at a park hoping for a water fountain. No luck. I was tempted to call for a rescue. At mile 13, I stopped to walk for a quarter mile. I used that time to collect my thoughts and help me get past the negatives. I figured no matter how slow I was running, I was going to finish 15. So, I started running again. As I ran the last couple of miles, I saw a rainbow behind me, and my face lit up. It’s hard not to smile when there’s a rainbow in the sky. Then I saw another one ahead of me. Then, a double rainbow! I kept staring at them instead of focusing on how hot and tired I was. I remembered this verse:

Genesis 9:14-15 “Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbowappears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind.”

I finished the run! I was so ecstatic when my watch beeped 15.0!! I start and finish my Saturday runs from the local running store, Brazos Running Company, and they usually have a cooler with water or Gatorade at the store for the runners. I stumbled my way to the cooler, probably looking like a zombie and grabbed a cup. I filled one cup full of ice cold Gatorade. Then another. And…another. I polished off the rest of the Gatorade.:) I was about to screw the top off and climb in the cooler….but there were people in the store and that would have been awkward.

How was your week? How do you get through a tough run?

I’m linking with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap-up!

NYC Marathon Training Week #6 & 7

IMG_2138

New York Marathon is 12 weeks away! That’s 3 months until I visit the Big Apple! I can’t believe how time is flying! Hope you’ve had a good week of running!

The last two weeks of marathon training have been busier than usual (and why I didn’t post anything last week). I finished week #6 with less miles than usual (32) before I hopped on a plane to Charleston, SC for a weekend getaway with girlfriends. It was such a fun weekend! I had every intention of running at least once outside, but if you can believe it (I couldn’t) it was actually hotter there than here in TX (just by a few degrees, but still!). I took the opportunity to partake in some much needed laughter and liquid therapy while enjoying the company of some dear sweet friends. We explored the craft and farmer’s markets downtown. We stumbled upon this Jiminy Co. vendor. She tried to offer me some candied crickets as a good “starter” cricket product. I declined. Sorry, I choose to get my protein in other ways.
IMG_2113
FullSizeRender IMG_2121In addition to a beautiful sunset walk on the beach, we walked on the Cooper River Bridge, which is the location for a big race in the spring. But, that’s about all the exercise I did. Still, I finished July with a total of 167 miles. After traveling this summer to Maryland, Colorado, and South Carolina, my traveling is done. This week, I’m back on track. School is two weeks away from opening! What?! I’ve finished all the shopping for that, and can now say we’re ready…(the kids aren’t, but I am!).:)

I finished up 40 miles this week and was glad to be done. Got some speed workouts in, got my long run done, and I’m still smiling in this heat. Every day at 5 am, the weather starts in the low 80s with 90-95% humidity. ugh.

IMG_2124

I’ve been drinking skratch hydration mix ever since I discovered it in Boulder. I had seen it before in some stores, but until  I visited the Skirts Sports store in Boulder, and the woman in the store told me about it being made in Boulder, I hadn’t tried it. It’s delicious! The kids each tried it and loved it. It’s much gentler on my stomach than regular Gatorade, and it’s made with real fruit juice, which I love. I really like that there aren’t any artificial dyes or flavorings. It’s a nice alternative for the kids too. I also like it more than Nuun because it has no carbonation.

In other exciting news, we have almost 20 people in our running group, the Brazos Valley Runegades! It’s encouraging to have a diverse group of people, ages, and paces for FREE! Another reason for lack of blogging has been that I’m spending more time than usual organizing the group and taking care of business, but I’m SOOOO over the moon happy to have such a wonderful tribe to call my running friends.

I’m linking with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap-up!
Any exciting travel plans for you? 

 

Date Coconut Energy Balls

IMG_2085

I’m crazy about coconut and have been trying to perfect an energy ball recipe to quell my coconut urge. Several energy ball and bar recipes I tried were great, but sometimes I’m not in the mood for chocolate or peanut butter. Yes, it’s true. This recipe satisfies my coconutty craving with all the nutrition I need after a run or as a quick pick-me-up.

Date Coconut Energy Balls

makes about 1 dozen

Ingredients:

  • 8 pitted Medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, or other nut of choice
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

In a food processor fitted with an “S” blade, process the dates and walnuts until chopped fine. Add the remaining ingredients until well blended. Rolls into balls. Chill. Enjoy! Keep in the refrigerator for up to five days.

NYC Marathon Training Week #5

IMG_2093

There’s a right way to jump back into life after vacation, and there’s a wrong way. Guess which I chose? Yup. Wrong way. I have one word for this week: psoas.

So-wha?

After our epic road trip from Colorado (15 hours in the car over two days), I immediately hopped right back into life and running. I went for a long run the next day, and another easy 8 miler on Monday. Felt great. Back with my bestie. Ah, life was good. Two sweaty betties, chatting about life. Worked as usual, took the kids to sports, yadda yadda yadda.

Tuesday, I woke up for the track workout ready to tackle the day. All during vacation (and for a little before) I was getting bogged down with the mental aspects of running and training, as well with life, work, kids. After my Monday run, I was going to take this training head on.

Except, I tried to get out of bed and felt a shooting sharp pain in my hip.

track-fail-epic-faceplant

The pain was severe. Walking normally was out of the question. To say it was inflamed was an understatement. I couldn’t run that day, for sure. I had already taken an easy week during vacation, another week would spell certain doom in the middle of marathon training. My mind immediately went to the worst case scenario. I was speechless. Little aches and pains crop up all the time, but nothing major like this. The entire day I hobbled around, getting in and out of the car involved a sideways shimmy. Even stretching it was out of the question. What if I couldn’t run for longer?

As I read more about the psoas, I realized that my poor posture on the drive made my hips even tighter than normal. Even though I had stretched more on this drive, I probably should not have jumped right back into running and done some yoga instead.

Here’s my week:

Monday: Easy 8 miles with my bestie.:)

Tuesday: Nothing.

Wednesday: Nada.

Thursday: Zilch.

Friday: Zippo.

By Friday, I was walking around without pain. Yay! So I set my sights on a long run for Saturday. I knew I couldn’t do the 10 miles at race pace that I had planned weeks ago, so I decided I would do between 6 and 8 to see how I felt. If I needed to cut it shorter, I would. I was nervous. I was anxious.

I fueled up, and ran a great 8 miles. It wasn’t race pace, but it was about 20 seconds slower, and most importantly, it felt great, even though it was already 80 degrees and 90% humidity at 6 am. I had NO pain. Yippee! I was so grateful. I saw this sunrise during my run–a perfect reminder of starting over fresh. Marathon training in itself is a marathon: long,  challenging, and grueling test of endurance, persistence, and passion.

IMG_2095

Hope you had a great week!

I’m linking with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap-up.

Pragmatic

Pragmatic

Overall, I like to think of myself as pragmatic, tending toward using logic, sound reasoning, and being very practical. Almost to a fault (some hubbies might say).

This week’s Wednesday Word blog is pragmatic–meaning dealing with things in a practical, reason way–although an older definition is obstinate–I’m sticking with this one.

Even as a runner, I am pragmatic in planning races, budgeting expenses, planning a schedule, weighing the costs (physical, mental and emotional). It’s not just me. Every race and every workout is weighed with mom guilt (but that should be another Wednesday Word, lol). I have to plan for kid’s activities and for husband’s travel and work schedule.

Last year, with the 2,015 mileage challenge and marathon training, I was so giddy with running with my friends, I really leaned toward whimsy in planning races and training. Hmmm, a race? Sounds great? I just registered. Wait, what’s the distance? Oh, I’ll work that out later.

Are you pragmatic or idealistic? A little bit of whimsy? 
Deb Runs