Running and Racing Memories

For just over six years now, I have been running and racing. Through running, I’ve met some of my best friends, lost other friendships and gained a better understanding of who I am and who I want to be. I really don’t think anything else I could have ever started doing years ago would have allowed me to do and see all I have other than running.

I got to thinking about all my favorite running and racing memories and some made me laugh, others made me a bit embarrassed, and others frustrated me! Regardless of how it makes me feel, there was no way I would change a thing about it.  Here is a short list of some of my memorable running and racing stories. memorieslogo

What you find on a run?

For a while, it seemed like we were always finding things that didn’t quite belong on the routes we run on. We have seen a cucumber, condoms, a package of meat, a guy passed out, etc.  The one that made us all go ew….a half eaten deer leg?! No deer. Just the leg. That one freaked us out a bit but it did give us something to ponder for a mile or two making up our version of how it got there.ew

When nature calls

I was trying to juggle a family dinner and getting in a run so unfortunately, my dinner was happening right before I was meeting my friend, Christie to run. I thought I would be fine running so soon after eating. Boy was I wrong!! About halfway into our run, my tummy was not feeling good at all. I had to go, go. There was a gas station about 1/2 mile from where we were but with each step, I knew I was not going to make it there. I took off for the near by area. Not ideal but the alternative was far worse. Christie was dying laughing at me as I scurried from one tree to the next trying to find a discreet place. I had broke out into a dang cold sweat. I finally found a secluded place to go, tucked behind a huge tree.  Not my finest moment at all!! To this day, we crack up every time we run near that area.tree-800-234x300

That race! 

By now, you all are probably sick of hearing about Kiawah aka my worst marathon ever. I learned a lot from that race but I never share anything else other than how bad it went during the race. If it wasn’t for Kiawah,  I would have never met Cara. She was friends with Katie and Nathan and they invited her to come on the trip. It was her first time being around all of us on a trip and I’m sure she was trying to figure us out, just like we were trying to figure her out. It didn’t take long and by the time we all got home, it was like she was part of our group all along!! Christine was there too on her own trip with friends and it was also one of the first times we got to all hang out. Kiawah was a huge turning point for our two running groups. We all started hanging out a lot more after that trip!11949437_10206107332536989_8990555650156000488_n

And finally…

The Year of the 12athon

One of our running friends created this amazing virtual race series just for 2012.  It was called the 12athon and runners earned points by running 12 miles on the 12th of each month.  We could earn additional points for adding fun elements to our runs.  There were also fun challenge runs too!  I spent the better part of 2012 running in costumes, consuming hard boiled eggs after each mile, running 12 miles on a .25 or less track, etc.  It was a load of fun!!  546031_3568054154689_220894912_n

This Week’s One Word Prompt: Memorymemoryquote

What is your favorite running or racing memory?  Have you ever seen anything weird on a run?

One Word Prompt is hosted by Lisa of The Golden Spoons and  Janine of Confessions of a Mommyholic. Head over to these ladies and see what other bloggers‚Äô are posting!

Go be awesome! ūüôā

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Tips for Starting A Run Streak

Back when I started my run streak, I joined in with a run every day in May Challenge which I then combined with a Runners’ World Run Streak challenge where we had to run at least a mile from Memorial Day to Labor Day.¬† I was already running 4 days a week, so jumping up to 7 days a week didn’t seem unreasonable.¬† And at the time, I thought it was only until Labor Day or so I thought…

runstreaktips

I’ve had several people as me how I maintain my run streak so well.¬† Reflecting now on it, I realize that for me there are a few things that go into maintaining it smartly.¬† It really more than just running every day. If you are thinking about starting a run streak (or in the middle of one and need some suggestions on how to keep going), here are some tips!¬† In actuality, these could apply to any of us at any point of our running…

**I am just giving information based on my experience.¬† I’m not for or against starting a run streak.¬† It’s a personal decision for each person, just like every goal.¬† Run streaking is not for everyone.

Use one mile days as “rest” days Most people think that you have to run a bunch of miles daily to feel like a true run streaker.¬† That’s not the case at all.¬† In order to maintain an “official” run streak, you must run at least one mile daily.¬† You can break it up into smaller pieces, but by the end of a day, you have to have one mile logged.¬† I use my mile days as “rest” days and run them a lot slower than I run anything the rest of the week.¬† There are variations of streaks:¬† Move a mile every day (running or walking)

Listen to your bodyAlways pay attention to how you are feeling.¬† There are different ways you can adjust your schedule for run streaking.¬† When I first started, I would run my mile days at a really quick speed thinking it’s just a mile.¬† I learned quickly that my body was not having it.¬† As soon as I slowed down, I felt a lot better.¬† Since the goal is just to run at least a mile every day, add in more mile rest days if you are feeling tired.¬† Just make sure that you are running them slowly so they become a recovery run.¬† I’m also careful to notice any pain or weird feelings.¬† I’ve been fortunate to not have any thing in the 2+ years I’ve been streaking, but I’ve always said my run streak will not take me out of running.¬† I’d forgo the streak to stay running and injury free.¬† Be prepared to make that decision.

Be creativeSneaking in a one mile run can be tricky when work, vacation and life get in the way!¬† Look for ways to fit in a mile either in it’s entirety or by breaking it up.¬† Fridays for me are the toughest.¬† When I first started, I was leaving my mile until post work and I was having the hardest time getting them in.¬† If we went out to dinner or I met other teachers for happy hour, I ran a bunch of miles way too late.¬† I learned to run them in the mornings, around my house in my pjs.¬† It works and I’ve been doing it for a while.¬† If you need other suggestions on ways to be creative, check out a post I wrote a while back.

Set small goalsWhen I first started, my goal was to run until the end of May, 31 days.¬† Then I added in the Runner’s World Challenge, so my goal became to run until Labor Day, it was¬† around 125 days total.¬† I didn’t want to set a huge day goal because I thought I’d be setting myself up for failure or injury.¬† I also thought that by setting too high of a goal, I’d be more likely to run through aches and pains to meet that goal.¬† I did not want to do that!¬† I’m currently at day 836 and my goal is just to keep it going day by day.¬† A goal to get to 1,000 days would be awesome, but I have to…

Be realistic1,000 days is closing in on 3 years.¬† That’s a long time!¬†¬† Just like anything in life, I don’t where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing by next May?!¬† I have an idea, but to say that I’ll still be run streaking, so much can happen.¬† I just don’t know.¬† I have to keep it real and be okay with something that might end my streak.¬† You can’t get hung up on hanging on to something when all the signs are telling you otherwise.¬† I always think I’ll know when it’s time to end my streak.¬† It will speak loudly to me!

Are you a run streaker?  Have you ever been a run streaker or thinking of starting one? 

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The Voices are Silent

About this time last year is when I was feeling beaten up, tired, and running was becoming a chore rather than something I loved to do.  I was constantly battling with feelings of defeat.  I was beating myself up on most of my runs and I started to doubt myself.  maf maf baby

I made a huge decision in regards to my running and I haven’t looked back since.  I realized that I needed to change my approach to running and find a way that running and training works for me or I was going to burn myself out.  That’s when I switched and started heart rate training (MAF Method), I gave up on doing traditional speed work (unless I felt like it) and just ran.  It was huge change, especially when I did it right in the middle of marathon training.  I went on to finish my training that way for City of Oaks Marathon and continued with it straight through to Gasparilla and Tobacco Road Marathon.

Where I started mentally and physically with at the beginning of training for City of Oaks and where I ended with Tobacco Road were like night and day.  I was back and feeling amazing!

So where am I now with it?

I’m still with it about 95% of my miles.  I wear my heart rate monitor for 5 out of my 7 days of running.  I give myself 2 days off, one on my mile “rest” day and maybe one other day when I just want to run by feel vs by heart rate.  Those days usually are my speedier days of running, but I’m not going all out either.  Conservatively fast, I call it.

What has it done for me as a runner physically?

The benefits of it have far out weighed any of the negatives.  Sure running every single run at the same HR pace can become monotonous, but luckily, I’m running with friends for most of my runs so I hardly notice it.  On days were I let it fly, I feel amazing.  I can run at higher speeds with a lower heart rate and it feels awesome!!  No yucky pucky feeling.  I’m efficiently burning fat for fuel.  I haven’t had to eat any kind of nutrition on any long runs in ages and my tummy is happy for that!  Proof that I’m burning fat?  I had a body analysis done in January and again in July.  Over the course of those 6 months, my weight stayed basically the same (gained a pound, but my July weigh-in was after a week vacation at the beach, I’ll take it!) but I gained 5lbs. of muscle, which means I had to have lost fat at some point and replaced it with muscle in order to stay the same weight.   (To be fair too, our diet also changed significantly from January to July too with the addition of Hello Fresh.  So that’s just an added bonus!)

What has it done for me mentally as a runner?

Health benefits aside, mentally it has given me so much confidence.  The voices that created negativity, doubt and fear are silent.  They don’t talk to me any more.  Once I realized that I wasn’t going to try and make every race my fastest or a PR,  those voices stopped. They were replaced with voices of joy, peace, and contentment.  And my goals?  They have reached higher than they did when I limited myself to just wanting to be faster.  Now, I love doing challenge races with crazy amounts of miles, picking ultra distances and not being scared of them and finding other ways to enjoy running without having the wear and tear of racing everything.  Thank goodness for pacing!  I run races with a real smile on my face not just the one I would muster for the camera.  I’m having a blast out there!  silencequoteThe negatives?

It takes tough skin to be a heart rate training runner.  You have to be really sure of what kind of runner you are.  Other runners sometimes don’t get it and that’s okay.  It doesn’t have to make sense to them to be right for me.  Those are the only voices that I have to silence now.  It’s easier to ignore those than an internal dialogue any day.

Where am I going now with my running?

Good question!  I’m sticking with this path for quite a bit longer through 7 Bridges Marathon and Crooked Road.  I don’t really see me deciding by next year to start changing anything too dramatically.  We already have some big back to back distance races in the works so I’ll need to maintain my endurance vs speed for those.  I’m just enjoying running too much to want to change anything!  It’s nice being content with my running.   It makes me happy.

This Week’s One Word Prompt is Silent.

How do you keep those voices of negativity and doubt silent?  Have you made any big changes in your running?

One Word Prompt is hosted by Lisa of The Golden Spoons and  Janine of Confessions of a Mommyholic. Head over to these ladies and see what other bloggers‚Äô are posting!

Go be awesome! ūüôā

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Rockin’ Running Survey

Hi y’all!¬† I’ve been a little MIA lately.¬† Lots going on and I’ve not had the time to sit down and write like I usually do.¬† I had some quiet time this morning and jumped at the chance to work on a post.

Allison at Inverted Sneakers tagged me in her super fun post to answer some running related questions.¬† I loved reading through her responses.¬† It’s an easy way to share some info about my favorite thing, running!

1. Would you rather run along a beach path or mountain trail?

I’m a mountain momma at heart.¬† I graduated from THE best school, Appalachian State!¬† But, I’m an awful trail runner…¬† So I’d have to pick a beach path with one major stipulation, not in the summer.¬† I always have this great idea of what running along the beach looks like…hair flowing, running along the surf, effortless and in reality, running at the beach in the summer is awful.¬† Hot, no breeze or you have a headwind?!¬† Maybe I need to run more trails. ha!

2. If you could choose the flavor of Gatorade at your next race’s aid stations, what would it be?

I’d pick between my two favorites, Arctic Cherry or Glacier Freeze.¬† They are my favorites not just because of how they taste, but that they are almost clear.¬† Nothing worse than seeing bright red Gatorade at an aid station.¬† 9 times out of 10, I’m gonna be wearing it.

3. If I gave you a $100 gift card to a running store, what would you purchase with it?

I’d have to put it towards running shoes.¬† My go to shoe is the Adidas Boost and they are not cheap.¬† A new pair costs about $160.¬† Now, if I found them on clearance like I try to find, I could almost get two pairs for $100. newshoes

4. Do you prefer to follow a training plan or wake up and then decide how far and how fast you want to run?

If I’m training, I follow a plan for sure.¬† If I’m not, then I usually stick with a weekly mileage goal and fit runs in to meet that goal.

5. Would you rather start your run with the uphill and end on the downhill or start your run with the downhill and end with the uphill?

I’d rather start both on a downhill and have the hills in the middle.¬† ha!¬† I guess that’s not a choice.¬† I guess I’ll pick uphill at the start and downhill at the end.¬† I rather finish strong and a downhill would give me the extra boost of confidence to kick it.

6. When you can’t run, what type of cross-training do you choose to do?

I run every day to keep my streak going so I don’t have a “can’t run” day.¬† I have to fit it in somewhere!¬† I do love Body Pump and stretching.¬† mixingitup

7. What is your preference‚ÄĒ>out and back, point to point, or loop runs?

My friend, Andrea, would be rolling her eyes at that out and back suggestion.¬† I don’t mind any of them.¬† For a lot of our second long runs, we do short out and backs to break up the miles.¬† I like loop runs also.¬† I don’t do many point to point runs during training, but I actually like those the best for races.

8. If you could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner it would be?

After shoes and clothes, I’d have to suggest an anti-chafing stick of some sort.¬† The worst pain in the world is finding a chafing spot in a hot shower.¬† OWIE!¬† 9. Do you see any wild animals while out on your runs?

We see a lot of squirrels, occasionally deer or a groundhog and once in a blue moon, Copperhead snakes.  The snakes are the scariest things to see!

10. Ever gotten lost while out on a run?

Thankfully, no.¬† I am the one who maps a lot of our group’s routes, so I know where we are going and make cue sheets for everyone.¬† I have a good sense of direction too, so even if we get turned around, I can find my way.¬† Now, lefts and rights are another issue.¬† I get them confused all the time!

11. If you could have one meal waiting and ready for you each time you got home from a run for the next 30 days…what would it be?

This is a tough one!¬† I love all kinds of food.¬† I also wouldn’t want to pick my favorite food because after 30 days of eating it, I’d probably be sick of it.¬† Hmmm….¬† I think I’d pick a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich with a pickle spear.¬† I think it would be the one thing that I would be happy eating every day.

12. Capris or shorts? What do you run in most?

Neither.¬† Skirts!¬† I am a skirt wearing girl! I will wear a skirt up until it’s about 45 degrees.¬† I like having cold legs when I run.¬† I’ll switch to capris until it’s in the 20’s, then I grab my full leggings. IMG_569413. At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start to feel like it is warming up and ready to go?

The more I run, the longer I have to run to feel better.¬† Why is that!?¬† I’d say 4 miles.¬† Most of my runs, I feel my best when I finish.¬† It’s right when everything starts clicking.

14. What do you do with your key when you run?

Because I wear skirts, I have pockets to stash my key.¬† I won’t buy any running bottoms unless there is a place to put a key.

15. If you could relive any race that you have done in the past, which one?

I have two to choose from:¬† Blue Ridge Relay or Gasparilla.¬† Both races were an experience and were actually more about the people and the experience vs the actual races themselves, though the courses were beautiful too.¬† I love the camaraderie of a relay, but I loved that we tackled all those miles at Gasparilla.¬† I can’t pick. ha!brr201216. What type of run is your least favorite?

Hill repeats, without hesitation.¬† I just don’t like them.¬† We run so many hills on all of our runs that I feel like I get enough practice.

17. When you go for a run, do you leave from your front door or drive somewhere to start?

For some of my solo runs, I’ll run in my neighborhood.¬† If it’s my long runs or I have plans to run with friends, then I’ll drive to run.¬† There are more options on routes if I drive to run.

18. When running in daylight, are sunglasses a must or an annoyance?

I know I should wear sunglasses when I run, but I loathe them.¬† I have a really good pair of Oakley’s and I can’t stand them.¬† They fog up every time I run.¬† I spend more time wiping them off then I do running.

19. When you get tired, what keeps you from quitting?

That four letter word isn’t in my vocabulary…QUIT.¬† Not an option.¬† Unless it is something that will prevent me from running another day, I don’t quit.¬† I will walk miles before I throw in the towel.¬† I did in Kiawah, at least 7 miles.¬† Was I mad about what my time was?¬† Sure.¬† It wasn’t what I trained to run, but I’d have been more disappointed in myself with a DNF than a bad time.¬† Always.¬† So I guess pride keeps me from quitting.

Now it’s your turn! What are your answers?

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My Running Mom Interview

Happy Friday, friends!¬† Hope everyone has an awesome weekend planned!¬† It’s almost here! ūüôā

Yesterday I was reading through some great Thinking Out Loud blog posts.¬† One of the posts I read was from Mary Beth at Tutus and Tennies.¬† She referenced reading a cute interview another blogger did with her children in regards to running.¬† I read her post and then followed along a link train, reading other interviews.¬† Some of the answers made me laugh out loud!!¬† After reading all of these fun interviews, I was intrigued about what Hayden’s answers might be.¬† I was a little worried what her answers might be.¬† She’s 12 and there is no idea what she might say.¬† Wish me luck! Haydenrunningmominterview

1. What does mom eat before a run?

Hayden:  You have a Diet Coke, Triscuits and hummus

She knows my post work weekday run snack.  Smart girl!  Yes, a Diet Coke/Pepsi.  I need the mid day caffeine boost.

2. How far does mom run every day?

Hayden:¬† You have to run at least a mile every day, but sometimes you’ll run 3 or maybe 6.

She’s on it!¬† Go girl!¬† I run at least a mile to keep my streak going and my daily average is about 4 miles, longer on the weekends.

3. What was my favorite race?

Hayden: I think it might be Flying Pirate.

She’s guessed one of my favorites, for sure.¬† We run Flying Pirate every year and it’s become as much of a family weekend as a running weekend.¬† My absolute favorite race yet?¬† Nike Women Half in DC.

4. Why do you think mom runs?

Hayden: (singing) Because it’s a stress reliever.

Yes, ma’am!¬† It is one of the many reasons I run, but running does make me feel better.

5. Does having a mom who runs make you want to run?

Hayden:  Is the sky green?

Me: Would you say no?

Hayden: Yeah, I’d say no.

Her response for everything, “Is the sky green?” It’s the new “When Pigs Fly?”

Hayden ran for a few years with the Go Far program and as a family, we’ve run a few 5K’s together.¬† Even though she’s wicked fast when she runs, it’s not her thing.¬† She went into retirement a few years ago.

6. Have you learned anything from a mom who runs?

Hayden: I’ve learned never to give up because not giving up shows you can do anything.

12 and so smart!  You are so right, Hayden.  I hope that you remember to keep at something if it is important to you.

7. What else does mom do?

Hayden: You do Body Pump.

Yes, I do.  We also do at home workouts occasionally.

8. What is the least favorite thing about having a mom who runs?

Hayden: You come home and smell bad.

Awesome.  Thanks, girl. And there is a typical 12 year old answer.

9. Do you think you will run at my age (41)?

Hayden: Is the sky red?

I’m taking that as a no, hell no.

10. What is mom’s favorite post race food and/or drink?

Hayden: After a normal run, you’d have Diet Pepsi and Triscuits.¬† If it was a big race, you’d go out with everyone and eat Mexican food.¬†

She’s pretty close on the post race meal.¬† She’s right, we do all go out and celebrate!¬† I do love some Mexican food before and after a race.¬† I also like to have an ice cold brew too!

For the record, I eat and drink more than Diet Pepsi and Triscuits. lol

Now it’s your turn!¬† What do you think your kiddos would say to these questions?

For even more Friday fitness love hop over to:

  • Friday Fitness hosted by Jill.

Go be awesome! ūüôā

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The Ultimate Health and Fitness Getaway

Quick! Think of a place you’d go for a health and fitness getaway!¬† Is it a yoga retreat?¬† Is it a running race-cation?¬† Is it a girls’ trip?¬† Somewhere for you and your special someone?

Although, I’d love to say it’d be somewhere Nick and I could go away, I just don’t see us choosing a place that would be a health and fitness getaway.¬† I see our dream trip more of an all inclusive tropical location vacation.¬† I’d take the week away from exercising and running (less the daily mile) and just live in the moment, be lazy, eat and drink until we are merry and just be.¬† It’d be a good for the soul kind of trip!¬† Just him and me!

I’m not sure I see myself taking a spa trip or a yoga retreat trip either.¬† I’m probably one of the only people who dislikes massages and pedicures.¬† I just don’t enjoy it and it frankly creeps me out.¬† I’ve tried both, but I just can’t do it.¬† I’m fine going to get adjustments for my hip and back but that’s not touchy…¬† Yoga really isn’t my “thing”.¬† I enjoy it when I take classes but I’d need something a little bit more less introspective and calm.¬† It could be part of a trip but not the main focus.

So that leaves, running!¬† I mean, you probably figured that’s where this was going.

I’d choose a running focused trip and it would most likely be an all girls trip.¬† After Gasparilla, I realized that a vacation (other than within a two-state radius day trip) and girls running getaway is the best of both worlds!¬† Is it healthy and involve fitness?!¬† Yes, if we pick one of those challenge races, then we’re spending a lot of the time running. We also through in some planks, easy running, walking, etc.

It’s also full of laughing, talking, and learning more about each other.¬† I learned so much about Christine and Cara in our 10+ hour car trip to Florida!¬† We never turned on the radio.¬† Not once.¬† We talked, we answered questions from If…(Questions For The Game Of Life), we looked for state license plates, we drank Starbucks Iced Coffee drinks like it was our job, etc.¬† All good, fun things!¬† I feel like the car ride was just as much a part of the whole trip as was the actual vacation.

So for my ultimate health and fitness getaway:

I’d choose a Challenge type race somewhere, maybe Disney or Runner’s World Half Marathon and Festival or Flying Pig 3-way Challenge.¬† Enlist a few friends to come along for the adventure and plan an awesome trip!¬† Choose a place to stay, restaurants to try, and places to visit!¬† It would be an awesome trip!

What would you choose?¬† What’s your ultimate health and fitness getaway?¬† Share it with me!

Check other posts at the Fit Dish Linkup and become part of the #fitfam by heading over to Jill Conyers at JillConyers.com, & Jessica Joy at TheFitSwitch.org.

Happy Week!

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I Ran This Year!

Today I am celebrating!!¬† It’s my 41st birthday and what better time then to look back at the past year!¬† I’m kind of excited when I think back about all of the great¬†races and events¬†that happened this past year and where I’m¬†headed this year! ūüôā

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The Year of Races, PRs, and Pacing: 40th Edition

The first race in my new age group was the Hamilton Lakes 10K last April.¬† I ended having a super race and ended up with a 2nd place AG and a shiny new PR!¬† I’m running this one again this weekend, but I’m still working on recovering from my full, so no racing just yet!

I added 9 more half marathons to my growing list!  Of those 9 races, I paced 4 of them!  I am so happy to have found the love of pacing.  It has really added something special to my running!

I surprised myself with a PR at the Salem Lake 30K last September.  We signed up to use this race as a training run and I was thrilled when I saw that I had finished almost 23 minutes faster than the last time I ran it.

I ran 2 marathons (City of Oaks and Tobacco Road) and another ultra distance (43 miles) at Crooked Road.  I finally learned not to be afraid of the marathon distance and how to run and train for them that fits me.

We ran a new race to us in December, the Reindeer Fun Run.  I hope to go back and run that one again this year!  It was so much fun, even if the course was crazy hilly!

And finally,

Gasparilla!!  4 races over 2 days for 30.4 miles!  It was an amazing trip!  So much fun!

 

By numbers

21 Races

Ran my 35th Half at Gasparilla

Ran my 6th marathon at Tobacco Road

Ran my 3rd ultra distance at Crooked Road

2 new PR’s: 10K and 30K

First time race distance: 12K and 15K

 

What’s next?!

  • Pace some of the same races again this Spring and Fall
  • Pick a fall marathon or maybe a challenge?
  • Go for that 100K distance at Crooked Road
  • Run fun races through the summer (5k’s and 10K’s)
  • Run a spring marathon before I turn 42. ūüôā
  • Sprinkle in some races (one per month)

Cheers to another year!¬† Cheers to 41!¬† It’s going to be a great year!

This week’s optional topic is healthy recipes.¬† Check them out at the Fit Dish Linkup and become part of the #fitfam by heading over to Jill Conyers at¬†JillConyers.com, &¬†Jessica¬†Joy at¬†TheFitSwitch.org.

Happy Week!

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My Dirty Little Running Secret

I have to come clean.¬† I have to share something with you all that I’ve been hiding.¬† It’s my dirty little running secret.

I ran three runs in the last two weeks breaking from MAF.  I mean really breaking from it.  GASP!

I didn’t put my heart rate monitor on before a few solo runs because I just didn’t feel like it.¬†¬†After several months of following a pretty strict nothing-over-a-HR-of-145 runs, I wanted to run fast.¬† I wanted to run faster than a comfortable pace.¬† I wanted to feel my legs work hard to run fast.¬† I wanted to quicken my stride.¬† I wanted all of it.

Did I feel bad about it?  Not really.  For a brief moment in the second mile in each run, there was a mental conversation.  I was mentally fighting to either slow up or continue running fast and hard.  I debated with myself over whether or not this was going to derail months of work.

I’ve come to realize something about MAF training.

Here are the five pluses of using it:

1. ¬†I’m happy to run at my HR when I have friends with me.¬† The conversation and the run become social and I enjoy that part of MAF.¬† I live for our long runs!!¬† The miles¬†fly by and we¬†genuinely have awesome runs!

2, The daily miles to keep up my running streak are all at MAF also.  The slower pace ensures I can run back to back days.

3. Not worrying about pace but HR takes the need to have to feel like I’m having to hit certain paces all the time.

4. I needed a break from traditional training and concentrate on just my running fitness vs racing races.

5. Running this year smartly.¬† Using MAF means that I’m taking the time to really gain endurance and fitness.¬† My body is becoming more proficient with HR training and I’m being kind to my body this year.

BUT

The place where I struggle is when it is a solo run, usually 3-4 miles.¬† I don’t want to follow it.¬† It’s like those days are my “me” runs and I just want to run how I feel that day.¬† And for the last 3 solo runs that meant fast for me.

I’m back on MAF the rest of the week.¬† I have two mile only days today and tomorrow and then Sunday is the big day!¬† I’ll follow MAF for my marathon.¬† It helps me keep control of my pace early in the race and it keeps me in check for making it well into the mid 20’s feeling great.¬† This marathon, like my last one, isn’t about racing. It’s about running another marathon to celebrate my friends, to run one because I can, and to keep on moving towards by biggest (and scariest)¬†2015 goal, 100K at Crooked Road.

But every little once in a while…I’m gonna leave that heart rate monitor at home and just run to have my “me” time.¬†I want to run hard and feel that I kicked that run’s booty.¬†¬†I want that¬†I just freaking nailed that feeling!!¬† Sometimes you got to break the mold, stray from the training plan just a little to have great things happen and to find confidence and a new found enthusiasm for something.

So, what’s your dirty little running secret?¬†

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Thinking Out Loud

Hi Thursday…can’t wait to see your friends, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.¬† So let’s celebrate today with a little thinking out loud…

Thinking-Out-Loud

Happy Spring!!¬† We have had three…yes, three whole days of Spring like temperatures here in NC.¬† Tomorrow, it returns to a being a bit colder and rainy, but it’s been so great to get out the last few days and actually run not all bundled up.

Speaking of the weather, so far, so good on the weather for Saturday’s marathon.¬† It looks like¬†50 for the low and the high near 70.¬† I love when the weather is cut and dry as far what to wear.¬† I’ll be taking a skirt and tank.¬† I need to remember to bring trash bags to stay warm until it’s race time.¬† The overall temp is a bit warmer than I’d like but hopefully it won’t be humid too.

What’s my plan for this marathon?¬† What’s my time goal?¬† Um…I don’t necessarily have one.¬† Since we didn’t follow a “true” marathon plan, I’m sticking to my heart rate for this one.¬† I would like to see how much more improvement I’ve had since my last marathon following the same race day plan.¬† I’ve run using MAF for another 3 months and will continue it until late June.

So Cara’s Timehop the other day was about our marathon last year in Wrightsville.¬† It was actually the same weekend as this weekend…kind of funny.¬† Apparently I like running a marathon on the same weekend.¬† Then it got me thinking and this will be my 3rd marathon in a year (March to March), my 6th marathon.¬† That’s kind of crazy!

So what’s on your mind?  What are you thinking about?

See what other people are thinking about too for Thinking Out Loud Thursday hosted by Running With Spoons.

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Dream Training Team

Every runner has thoughts of what it would be like to train with an all star list of athletes.¬† You can’t help but become nostalgic when you watch the New York Marathon on TV and see World Class runners running the same roads as every day runners.¬† It gives me chills just thinking about that.¬† I got super excited to see who was running in the Gasparilla Half: Dathan Ritzenheim, Abdi Abdirrahman, and Jen Rhines, a three time Olympian.¬† This is the first race I’ve run in where there were some big time runners.

So if given the opportunity to train with or be trained by anyone, who would I pick?

I can’t help but first decide where I’d want to train.¬† After a visit a few years ago to Boulder, CO, I instantly fell in love.¬† I had a few runs there on the Boulder Creek Greenway and appreciated not only the beauty of the route, but I was jealous that this was the route that runners could run all the time.bouldercreekgreenway

¬†Now that I’ve picked the location for my training, who would I want to train with?

I have a special place in my heart for Kara Goucher.¬† She’s a runner momma!¬† She trains hard, has true dedication to a sport that she loves, has known and overcome bad races, but there’s also some very “real” about her.¬† She doesn’t make excuses.¬† She understands that we’re all human and sometimes what we ask and expect from our bodies, just doesn’t happen all the time.¬† But more importantly, she is a perfect example for what it looks like not to give up and to chase dreams even if they are scary.¬† She’s just amazing!¬† To train with her would be a dream!¬†

¬†Now I need a coach…

I’m a little naive in all of this.¬† I honestly don’t know much about professional/elite coaches and their different approaches.¬† So I can’t necessarily choose someone.¬† What I can say is I’d like someone who would understand me as a runner.¬† The person would have to create a plan tailored just for me and my abilities and then have it match the goals I have.¬† I don’t mind being pushed to achieve great things, but I also want to do it safely and within reason.¬† I’d like a plan that focuses on certain pace ranges and incorporates cross training, easy days, and speed work (but a good mix of different speed workouts).¬† Also, I’m not sure that I’d be going so much for a fast time vs a more endurance ultra event.

Find out other bloggers’ dream team at the Fit Dish Linkup and become part of the #fitfam by heading over to Jill Conyers at¬†JillConyers.com, &¬†Jessica¬†Joy at¬†TheFitSwitch.org.

Happy Week!

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