Sunday, August 31, 2008

Too much of a Good Thing Part 2

Hypocalcaemia is the term used to describe too much calcium.
The more serious problems that can occur from hypcalcaemia include:
Ø depression
Ø dehydration
Ø kidney stones
Ø bone fractures
Ø sudden heart attacks
Ø calcifications [hardening] of the heart, lungs, and joints

In a less severe situation, excess calcium can cause:
Ø abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting
Ø constipation
Ø fatigue
Ø weakness
Ø excessive thirst and passing of water

The upper limit for calcium intake is 2000mg/day, or about 200% daily value.
Those at risk for exceeding this are typically ones who supplement a diet already risk in calcium. It’s a good idea to check any products, especially nutrition bars, you might eat, since these are often fortified with 10-50% daily value of calcium. It’s also a good idea to refrain from taking a calcium supplement if you already eat dairy and fortified products in your diet.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Too much of a Good Thing Part One

Those of us immersed in the world of fitness and nutrition are well acquainted with certain concepts. We think of certain things as “good, good good” and it’s easy to forget that there is in fact a point where too much of a good thing has a negative effect.
I’ve looked a lot into this, starting with realizing I was overdosing on vitamins by eating a healthy diet + fortified cereals and bars + certain supplements. Over the last year, I’ve learned that this concept of an “upper limit,” where instead of reaping positive gains you get a negative effect, applies to much more than vitamins. Here’s a summary pertaining to a few things we fitness freaks can easily get a little over obsessed with: fiber, calcium, protein, and even exercise.

Today we’ll start with Fiber:

We see all the healthy foods promoting their high fiber content. We see health ads promoting a high fiber diet. What we don’t realize is that the average American eats <20g of fiber a day. That’s less than a couple whole grains and you minimum fruits and veggies, maybe some nuts and beans. It’s less than a serving or two of the high fiber cereals, bars, and breads we nutrition freaks tend to consume. Combine a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and veggies, almost all grains being whole, some potatoes, nuts, beans, PLUS high fiber cereals and bars and you end up in an opposite extreme.
And yes, you can have too much fiber.
Consuming a daily average >50g of fiber on a daily basis can have several negative consequences:

Believe it or not, at a certain point eating too much fiber has and opposite effect. Instead of moving things along, it actually backs you up.

Gas, bloating, abdominal discomfort:
The label of this effect speaks for itself. All that fiber working it’s way through [or getting stuck in] your system gasses you up, causing bloating and abdominal discomfort—not to mention the farting!

Decreased nutrient and minieral absorption:
The fiber itself isn’t the only thing that passes through your system without being digested and absorbed. Iron is an especially important mineral for the active person [or anyone who doesn’t want to feel sluggish all day!] that’s absorption is hindered by a diet too high in fiber. This is because it is typically absorbed early in the digestion process, where too much fiber hinders that process. Insoluble fiber also tends to bond to calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, preventing you from reaping the benefits of consuming foods rich in these minerals.

While typically not the sole cause, high fiber + low fat diets are a contributing factor to this condition. And while losing your period may sound convenient, the consequences can put a permanent end to your active life. Even birth control induced periods do not send the same signals to get your body to absorb calcium and keep you from ostepenia and osteoperosis—conditions that result in constant fractures, and bones crushing down until you’re a hobbling hunchback at <30 years old.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


For those of you [yay I have some readers finally!! :-D] who have separate threads on your blogs, how do you do it? Like having a link to posts specifically for workouts, food journaling, etc.?


Soooo after a couple 8 hour shifts after my training, and even a little trip to the gym afterwards the last two days......I was really being the extreme woman that I am, I couldn't settle to cut one thing out of the mix. Instead of a recovery workout and/or a day off work [and some sleep for once in my life!] I decided to go all out.
Not working, running, even doing my mini upper body strength today. Perhaps more for mental recovery than anything else, at least in terms of the extreme swing the other way when some swimming or strength would have been good physically.
Jussssssst lying around, eating, dinking online.

Well, it's working. Halfway into my day and I'm already going nuts! Boy will it feel good to get up and going tomorrow--no more dreading long days on my feet for a while!

Me at home all day + stock pile of Mountain Dew 2 liters = bad news!
That pop has long since been my nutrition weakness. I call it my addictive poison. Once upon a time I couldn't get through a day without 3+ cans. I actually went cold turkey and broke the extreme addiction, but living with my family now I've started drinking it again since it's always around. Still, I'm able to keep it under control for the most part, even going weeks without it as I focus on my nutrition needs as a serious athlete...
...and then there are times like now, with the 2 liters and being here all day...
Whoa bloated and jittery...and I thought I had to pee a lot before!!

Edit #2:
On a positive nutrition note, I had "time" to eat some veggies for the first time all week! O:-P

Saturday, August 23, 2008

CRIM race report!

Well, today was the “big race!” I didn’t really work my training to race this one [supposed to be a tune up/training race], but I actually wish I would have! Not only is the CRIM a big race nationally, but I really love racing and want to do it more frequently. While I realize I can’t peak for every single race, I do look forward to not having months of training for one race…and honestly had I reworked this summer’s training, even with the marathon at the peak, I would have altered it a bit to be at least minimally race ready for a few shorter races—especially a great one like the CRIM!

Overall I’m not quite sure how I feel about the race. I was planning to do it as a practice for my marathon, both the pre-race prep and the pace. I was a little off my marathon pace [slightly over 8mpm] which scares me a bit seeing as it was only 10 miles.
I realize the conditions were much worse than they will [should!] be for my marathon, but it was also less than half as far!

So on the positive side, I was able to race it despite fearing I was reinjured or overtrained. I also ran and recovered from it with less pain than I’ve had all week, continuing my bounce back from the peak training 100 mile week.
It was a hot, humid, and hilly race. We got a late start and I ended up missing my warm up and last minute Cliff Shot. I also am one week off my training peak of 100mpw, so while this week was more or less recovery and my legs feel better, I’m certainly not primed to race. On top of all that, while my pace wasn’t what I’d hoped for, it was a big improvement for me compared to where I’ve come from. Only months ago I was excited to do intervals under 9mpm, let along hold close to 8 average for 10 miles.

In sum, it wasn’t what I wanted, but it wasn’t a crash either. Looking at my training this summer as a whole, I’ve moved forward in net results. I continue to look forward and hope for better, but I’m making progress, recovering just when I think I’ve done too much, and continuing to improve.

I still need to improve how I take care of myself physically here—still realizing how much I could gain in that sense alone. Compared to Bayshore this was better: I did make it to bed before midnight and my intake has been more solid.
I still have major work to do on my sleeping overall, especially going to bed before an early morning race. I feel so great every time I run early—just imagine how that’d feel it I was running early AND had actually slept more than a couple hours!
I still need to time my intake much sooner, increase it overall, and figure out what types and proportions will keep my glycogen stores and blood sugar at their prime.

…and I can’t wait to get into XC season and race more of these kinds of races!
5K’s drove me nuts because I just got going and the race ended. With this sort of distance [even a 10K I think] I can really give it all I’ve got, but it’s not quite so taxing as a marathon where you put everything into only a couple races a year. Plus I get to work with a team again! That just tops it all. J

Let’s see if I can figure out how to do this picture thing…

5am—heading out the door!
Trying to get some extra zzz's...
Ready to rumble!
...and GO!!!
Coming in to the finish

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My first 100 mile week!

I’m not going to say this is high mileage or not, because that’s entirely relative. Elite athletes would say that’s nothing, and your average fitness runner would say it’s crazy.
What I will say is that for me it was a new milestone.
I would like to point out that I did not just randomly decide to run this much one week. I’ve been close for a while now, but I’m not quite so stupid as to exchange my long term goals [or the real results of the mileage!] for a stupid #.
“No one ever won the olive wreath with an impressive training diary,” right?
Still, I’ve been excited to hit the 100mpw mark for a while now. And it was harder than it seemed when I was “so close.” It amazes me how much different it feels than even the 80-90mpw level. Not gonna lie—I’m not in the condition to hold a consistent 100mpw schedule, much less the 100-120 range elite XC runners hold. But I’m getting there. One step at a time. Not doing more than my body can handle, yet pushing myself just hard enough as to what I hope will set me apart as a champion runner.

The next couple weeks are back down around 80. Although I’m still at the peak of my training, I have some races I want to be at least somewhat rested for, and less long runs until September.

Speaking of races—the big CRIM is Saturday! AHH!
While I don’t expect it to be a peak performance type of race, I do hope I can do decent. After all, this is a well-known and important race, with people who matter viewing the results. I’d like it to be a bit better than another training run on a new course!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Not freaking out yet [in theory!]

Overall today I'm surprised at how much better I'm feeling physically. I actually wasn't that sore heading out for my run as I'd been earlier this week, and I didn't have any DOM soreness like I've had lately. Then I had my best recovery run yet--actually felt like i was flying and had to hold myself back so I DON'T flop my next key workout!So I'm hoping I just need to give it a little time and let my body adapt to the new training [pool] and respond to the peak in mileage this week...

Not so tough :'-(

Pool running makes my legs feel “better”—however, the strength building it does is one of those deceptive workouts. It doesn’t feel taxing on my muscles or even very tiring, but I have noticed my quads feeling more sore, and kind of thick on my runs.
That said, it was actually better today when I took off for my tempo run. That surprised me—I was concerned about doing a tempo at all with my slow paces and thick legs lately.
However, this was the first workout that I actually quit. I feel awful. I felt ok, though I was going slightly slow, and I really was determined to make it. I told myself the purpose of this workout, even if I couldn’t hold the pace, was going to be to challenge my mental willpower and pain threshold—after all I’ll be hurting like that and worse at mile 20 of race pace!
But I lost it at 4.5m. I was hanging in there, even feeling more positive, when I realized suddenly I’d miscalculated and had 3.5 more miles, not 2.5 [I’d set out on a 6m path when I was supposed to have 7]. Combined with my legs feeling like concrete and feeling about to puke I decided to pull it in at 5m. Even then I clocked slower than my marathon pace.
Now I feel HORRID. Because of my bad run and even worse that I didn’t finish.
I used the excuse that I’ve added pool running and also didn’t take the real recovery days I was supposed to this week [with the excuse that ALL my runs were slow so I could run more], so it was reasonable that I wouldn’t be able to do all the workouts.
I know I made a mistake of not recovering right if that is the reason for today’s flop, but I still feel like I whimped out. After all, every run isn’t going to be “fun” if I want to run at an advanced level.
I should have pushed it with the attitude of a champion and not whimped out like that.

So far this makes for a crappy week, and I’m in a dilemma about where to go from here.
Are the runs challenging simply because I’m in peak training right now?
Or am I overtraining?
Not recovering properly?
Should I change something…or be tough and realize this is part of advance training.
Grr, I feel so lost. :-(

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pool Time!

...and my legs give a cry of thanks...

I finally got a gym membership!
Now only does this give me an indoor-running option for crappy weather [next winter will be a piece of cake!] but I have better resouces for my strenght training-AND A POOL!

My coach has really been encouraging me to get in the pool again [I haven't since I was forced to when injured] to help me hold up to higher mileage both with recovery and a strong foundation.My goal is to do some pool running and maybe even swimming 3 days a week this summer.

I went for my first dip today after a 2.5m recovery run. It's still not my favorite thing to do--but it feels SO good once I've done it!

After my next marathon I'm going to cut back on running mileage and do some real lifting, but until then I'm just going to stick to my easy upper body work and core because I just don't have the energy for the real stuff just now.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

*Rest* weekend

…or not so much. In terms of running, yes. I actually topped off my recovery week with a day off today instead of my recovery runs. But the sleep still isn’t happening—not even the 7 hour level that I usually do pretty well on [though could still use improvement!]. In this case though, I did have a good reason. I was out for one of my best friend’s [and old roommate—actually I saw the whole relationship come together!] wedding. This also served as a reunion for some of the friends I feel closest too. Nothing like staying up all night with the kind of friend(s) you can feel the most yourself around and share the most with. It was incredible…and I’m sad to be back.

Nonetheless, as of this morning I was feeling more like worn out dead[and rather stressed out] meat rather than “recovered” physically! However, after sitting/driving around all day today, plus taking a semi-nap [I lay down in bed for an hour!] I DO think that running will feel refreshing tomorrow. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that as much as I have to listen to my body physically when it wants a break, the same goes for the mental aspect. When I get to the point where I’m kinda dragging, sometimes all I need is to just pull back for a while, even take a day off, and suddenly I remember just how much running is a part of me! Just a mini reminder of the miraculous gift I have to be not only running again—but training and pursing the advanced levels of the thing I love so much.
The passion I have had to fight so hard for, while so many deemed my running career at a hopeless and early end.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Overall this is the main thing holding my recovery back—in general, and especially this week. I need to sleep. This was my main challenge at 7-7.5 hours/night, and now it’s even less?

This needs some serious work.

But I already knew that—it needs to happen. I have got to apply some objective work to improve my sleeping habits, right up there with my nutrition, so that I can really get what I’m supposed to out of the serious training I have coming up next.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Trying to keep up with my crazy body + sort the goals out

I weighed in this morning out of curiosity—since I knew I didn’t gain 5lbs in a week, plus I’ve been feeling better and more energetic, and hungrier—like I’m adapting to the big eating increase? And yikes—I’m right back to where I was before the gain. Huh??! I didn’t gain at ALL? Come on, at a week of 500-1000+ I should be up at least a pound, right? Grr.
Why does my body fight me so hard on this? Surely it wouldn’t mind having some more meat on it, even if still thin, right?

However, while I intend to continue working on getting my eating habits and intake to the level I need to both gain and support my training at it’s best, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the system I’ve got going on here for my August nutrition goals. In my quest to really take this to the extreme bigtime I got so fixated on the details and lost tough with the actual goal behind the criteria: building peak physical potential and health.
Instead, I’ve been more or less creating myself a new unhealthy lifestyle. I was actually doing quite well staying healthy and improving performance, and while much stands to be improved yet, dedicating my life to eating 4000 calories [not that that still isn’t what I need or will make a way to get in] isn’t giving me the improvements I want. Instead, its leading to decrease in my physical state and lifequality—not to mention starting and unhealthy lifestyle of binging all night. My runs have suffered, my anxiety has increased, and I’ve lost focus on my real goals [the whole point of making nutrition criteria] in this obsession with my 4000 calories.

That said, I do need a system or I won’t get anywhere. I might be okay, but if I really want to improve my lifestyle, habits, and have the kind of diet to back up my elite athlete dreams, I’m going to have to train it. Just eating what I feel like or am currently motivated for won’t consistently give me what I need to really put on the weight and have a consitently increasing intake: even the higher intake days balance with being more full, and my weight just sticks where it’s at. I am a classic example of the “setpoint weight” theory as well as one of “old habits die hard.”

I have a few ideas how I might set up my plan—but it can’t all revolve around some one exact #. Even if I do use counting calories to get it in, I’m going back to the weekly average so I can work it around other things going on in my life. I think I am also gong to have to set daily minimums again, because otherwise I end up about the same 2000ish calories by my 9pm dinner, and I want to build my calories from that primetime point [before 9pm!]—which is where it’s hardest for me to do. I might set up some contingencies/reinforcement to help me with the time management aspect as well as serve as motivation—like I can’t have internet time or more coffee until I’m over a minimum! This way if I have to run to work before I’m done with lunch, so be it—that’s life. But I can’t just get lazy and dink my days away because I’m “full for now.”
In other words, I can flex for my real life, but not just stick to old habits because that’s what I’m used to—I want better!

If I want to go that route [training by calorie counts] I hope to have such a “retraining system” in action by next week. First though, I want to start a different “training” step. I’m going to give a sort of exchange system another try. I’ve tried it before, and ended up getting way to frustrated with the limits of trying to figure out exact protein, carb, fat, etc. values. I felt it was too much thinking and obsessing. The thing is, if I want to retrain balance and diet makeup in addition to totals anyways [see goals in previous entry] this might be a better way to do it.
My system would be more flexible than your typical exchange system. I’d have a total exchanges, with ranges of carbs, proteins [milk counts as a protein], and fat to fill the total exchanges with. Fruit and veggies are unlimited [Even someone not trying to gain shouldn’t have a quota on those or something screwy is going on!], but I would track my totals just to get an overall idea of how much I’m eating and keep my goals of getting the nutrients I need in, in addition to my core-calorie groups.
With this sort of exchange system I don’t have to work my life around getting an exact type of food in every day—just as long as I get all the exchanges in with a breakdown in the target ranges I would keep my total intake at a level where it needs to be [but not necessarily one exact number] plus have a more appropriate makeup. I feel like I can do the latter with basic overall goals {I know how much protein I need and what a good balanced meal looks like], but until I really train and practice that it won’t happen.
This is just the first step—once trained and practiced I can go to more freedom with a look at the big picture, being used to the kind of balance that provides me with the best results.

A note about timing:
My day off work really made me realize that a lot of my struggles with getting calories [at least the EXTRA calories—I can have an above average meal, just struggling to get the 4000-level breakdown early on] truly does come down to the time constraints of my life. Allowed to just wolf down my post-run cereal to my hearts content, continue with protein and whatever else until full, and then grab something else to eat whenever I wanted [vs. the restrictions on the job] I had no problem working with my appetite to eat a lot more sooner.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Evening run surprise!

Tonight was my best evening run yet! I’ve gotten better about those lately—my legs don’t feel so stiff and lead-like, but I still really just love running first thing in the morning.
One major thing I struggle with is that once I start eating my stomach goes downhill for the rest of the day. This makes getting through even a couple miles of recovery jogging an uncomfortable nightmare.
Well, low and behold—a lot of that may have to do with my timing! Today I had an hour + after my second lunch before I went out. Normally I have to eat *right* before an evening workout—a habit I got into back when I used to do cross training and weights after school. My stomach just can’t take it running, but I always fear running out of fuel. Well, ust like my extra late night meal gives me DIGESTED fuel for a strong morning run, so does sufficient eating through the day before an evening run—even if I don’t eat RIGHT before. Seroiusly, my stomach felt as good as first thing in the morning! Combined with my refreshed energy and legs feeling like wings again and it was hard to stick to my mere 4 recovery miles. :)

Primetime Running

Today showed me once again just how much of a morning person I really am at heart. I
had to get up at sunrise to get my run in before an earlier shift at work, and despite being my third night in a row on less than 6 hours of sleep it was my best run yet. This has happened to me repeatedly: I think it’s going to be a tough, tired run due to less sleep, but I always feel better running early! Even better than nights of solid night’s sleep where I don’t get up and going until 8am or so. Obviously the ideal [my goal!] is to get the sleep I need STARTING SOONER so am not so sickly fatigued + not recoverying properly—by going to bed sooner and getting up and running at this time consistently. I can’t even imagine how great I’d feel running in my primetime WITH adequate sleep!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Bigtime Eating for August Week 1

So, after managing to gain about 3-4lbs in June, I’ve pretty much maintained through July instead of making steady progress towards my goal weight [still 10lbs off!]. My intake increased slightly, from an average around 3000 to in the solid 3000’s, but it wasn’t enough to really gain.
For me [especially when my metabolism kicks in after each increase] I have to not only eat bigger than my recommended amount as well as the “norm,” but also push it past fullness—even when I’m getting my calories in the densest ways possible.

In any case, I got frustrated and changed my mind about the whole “progress to 4000 by Labor Day” and that extreme thing in me took over and I was like “August is not going to have one day below 4000!”
And, as is typical when I get stubborn and determined about something, I haven’t given in even when it proved to be a lot more challenging [physically regurgitating and stomach exploding] than I’d imagined.

I weighed in this morning and was up a solid 5lbs! Holy moly! Part of me paniced—as much as I want to weigh that much and more, the whole purpose is to be in my best physical state and I know gaining too fast can be just as unhealthy as crash dieting to lose weight.
However, when I think about it logically, even though I am taking in extreme amounts and did to an extra big increase, it still only amounts to less than 1000 extra a day, enough for a “real” 2lbs at best, and my goal is an average of a pound a week, with 2lbs on the initial kickoff being perfectly reasonable [room to adapt and adjust]. Hence, I plan to continue mission 4000 through the week and see where I end up next week before I make any adjustments. I can give my body a chance to adapt as well as seeing what’s “real.” Next week I’ll have a caloric average for the week based on where I end up. If I’m still progressing at 2+ lbs a week I can be a littler more relaxed about the stuffing myself—maybe still shoot for 4000 but have a 35-3700 daily minimum.
We’ll see where I’m at—for now I’m holding strong and steady.
And hopefully applying the same stubborn willpower to retrain the TIMING of this new level of eating:
This is the more truly concerning issue in terms of healthy habits and results now is that I am doing a massive amount of eating late. Yes, I have made some significant improvements earlier—I’m not adding a full 1000 calories late—but I am still leaving a good 1500 calories after 10pm. That’s my target time to have only a bedtime snack [even an 800 cal one!] left, not just to be getting through dinner with 1000 left to have once my stomach is partially recovered from exploding…only to end up going to bed equally uncomfortable. This type of habit is something I detested and shudder upon when I look back at my college gaining. I don’t want to gain this next 10lbs the way I did then.I know I can do it healthier and with better physical results and life in the process if I pace myself better—a LOT better!
My Nutrition Goals and Objectives this week:
Steady Adaption: Hold strong at 4000 [40-4200 range]
àNext week set target range/average based on next week’s weighin after steady at this level
Timing: Apply stubborn determination to overhaul my eating pattern
Makeup: Balanced for best results, GI function, performance + makeup/rep of bigtime dt

>Protein: 100-130g [150 max] àPlenty to build w/o kidney stress or hinder energy and function
>Fat: ~120-150g [=25-30%]
>FR/V: 5-6/3-5 *Include dried and dense for top setup and best function!
>Carbs: power foods! àFill up extra calories for my kind of diet!
Gameplan: Focus on meeting needs + bigtime filler $$ with happy foods

My Challenges will be:
My stomach problems:
I can’t wait to get into that specialist and start figuring this one out! It would be SO much easier to “just eat” if I didn’t have constant pain and discomfort and bathroom issues making it hard enough to eat a normal diet, much less a gaining one.
Time [+ poor time management!]:
Aside from sucky habits, that’s honestly the main thing that keeps me stuck eating too much too late. I eat a few bowls of cereal, my eggs, and wolf down snacks in the car and STILL end up late for work.
Plus I get anxious to do stuff I need to do and sick of eating all the time…then come nighttime all I do is eat all night anyways so it doesn’t really save me any time. If I could get on a good schedule I’d have my evenings as well as better results.

Here goes…can I take this all the way??!

Saturday, August 2, 2008


For starters, I MADE that infamous 4000 calorie target I’ve been aiming for or “building to” all summer happen last night. Oh I was going to base targets off of my weigh ins, build to it by Labor Day, etc. But sometime last week that tenacious extreme thing in me took over and I just said SCREW it—August first is my eadline. August is going to be not one day under 4000! I don’t care that I gained weight in the low 3000’s last week—I want my top notch lifestyle. I want the most out of my demands. I don’t care about the big jump—heck knows all those extra calories go to good places. Come Sept. I’ll either have the infamous metabolism catching up yet again [I’m already double what I should supposedly need at my size even if extremely active] or I can adjust from there. All I know is I cant go wrong with too much at this point—every calorie has a valuble place in my weight, healing, and my training, repair, etc.!
Still, the logic of it is easier than the action. My stomach rebelled, time rebelled. Doing it on top of my bathroom training [always holding it] and with #2 Problems [constipated, stuck, very uncomfortable] made it so eating isn’t “just eating” for me. And here I am trying to eat double time!
But I did it. Stuffed, bloated, and up way too late it happened. I put my mind to it and did it.
Now I just have to continue training the makeup and timing. I have to admit, while I did get 1500 calories in after church [post-10pm] I had also made some dramatic improvements during the day—aka I didn’t add all 1000 calories late. Nonetheless, I need to retrain so I’m rocking with bigtime input from start to finish! Main issues being TIME and TUMMY. L

Today was my first run at marathon pace. Now this was a test of my mental toughness more than anything else. I have a tendacy to want to quit when I don’t feel like I can make my goal. I find it easier to “clean the slate” and start over then “let myself down.” I know though that the onl way I can ever reach my lofty goals is to be able to persevere no matter what. Hence, coming off a slow week, running on a bad night’s sleep and a messed up tummy in still-hot and humid conditions, I told myself that even if I wasn’t capable of running 12m at marathong pace this run had an important purpose: I would train myself to be mentally tough and finish my run.
I wanted to quit when my legs didn’t feel right warming up.
I wanted to quit when I didn’t think there was any way I’d hold that pace for 4 more sets of 4 miles.
I wanted to quit when my LEGS were quitting on me between miles 8 and 10.
I wanted to quit because I felt like even if I DID get through 12m, there was no way I could do that twice.
Everything in me said “start over!” Reorganize and plan your training and do this right!
But that’s not my problem. I need to overcome the compulsion to quit out of the fear of not making my goal.
And I did.
I finished my run. Ironiclly, right about on pace, plus a second or two. The run still made me more nervous about my race because it WAS so hard to run that fast for 12m that I can’t imagine doing that twice + 2 more miles.
But you know what? Back training for Bayshore I remember my first 16 miler. Oh, it was a thrill, but it terrified me. There was no way I could run another step, much less 10 more miles. That was the first day of real respect for the marathon for me—the day I realized I did have my limits and couldn’t just “run forever as long as I don’t have to run fast.” In any case, point is: I did the run and came out scared because the 16m was all I could do.
Today I am scared because 12m was all I can do at 8mpm.
But I know if I continue to be tough about doing what I need to do—my training and habits [sleep and time management are going to need to be tackled as hardcore as intake!] than I CAN run that pace for 26.2.

Pre-marathon pace run Anxiousness

Friday, 8/1: First MP Coming up =bad timing?

So tomorrow is my first marathon pace semi-long run [on a Pfitz plan] and I'm SCARED!On week ago I was so excited as I had trouble holding my long run pace slow enough.This week has been entirely different though, and I haven't even been able to hold my target paces as opposed to wanting to run faster.I don't know if it's the extra heat and humidity, general fatigue, or what, but I don't feel ready to hold 8mpm for 12m when I couldn't even stay under 9mpm my last two medium long runs.

July Notes

I'm back in training now, hoping for a BQ in my October race, so I'd like to jump back in with some blogging reports. I'm following Pfitz now, determined to STICK TO IT after having injuries and slowing paces starting to snarl when I got carried away with adding a mile or two here and there. Today was a recovery day, 7 this morning and planning on 3 tonight. I also did some push ups and hip strength to work on the fundamental strength I so badly need to really hold up to some advanced training!

7/10/08: Yay…uh oh!
13m medium-long run for me today. Started out the best run yet. My energy and strength just keeps getting better this week. Even better, my legs are back: the calf strain from last week and recent hip issues were pretty much nonexistent, and I was raving for 11m about how much a difference for the better I felt after my 3m recovery jog last night.

Then suddenly at 10.8m something popped right where the old calf strain was and I could barley plantar flex my foot. Being stuck 3.5m away from home, I walked around a little then started a very gimpy jog back. It loosened up some and I made it in with less pain than the get-go, but I’m SO frustrated—I was just feeling strong and sturdy and now I’m back to the land of ice, gimp, and worry. L

7/11/08: Just ROCKIN! J
Why did today have to be a recovery day??! Holy cow, I felt STUPENDOUS! Pain gone + best energy and strength. I wanted to run fast and forever….so painful trying to keep it at recovery pace and cut myself off at 6m. I’m saving it for my long run tomorrow—can’t wait! J

I also tried my new Hammer’s Core work DVD. It seemed way too easy, but every time I try and do lower body strength work I end up quitting because it aggravates old injuries before it can help prevent them. Hopefully using this DVD can help keep me from overdoing it yet still building that fundamental strength I need so bad!
There are more advanced circuits to be tried later. ;-)

Saturday, July 19, 2008: Strong legs already??!
This week has gone surprisingly well considering I expected to be DEAD after art fair with work. Basically working has been more hours and on my legs more…I did cut out my 2-a-day workouts so that helped. The biggest thing has been my sleep schedule, which already sucks, got all that much worse this week with the later hours. I was rarely in bed more than 6 hours. So combine the lack of sleep with long days + the most humid week yet and I anticipated some struggles with my runs…

As it turned out, my workouts this week went alright. Nothing that stood out, but steady and strong. Plus, my legs are feeling worlds better than the last couple weeks! Hammer’s Core is more leg stuff [easy though] than abs, and I keep thinking my old injuries will hurt because of it, but I always feel even better the day after a little Core session!

My long run today really stood out. Legs felt so much better than last week. I was also feeling better in general, and here I was worried I’d have to call it off after this week at work!

Thursday, 7/24: Fatigued?...or not!
I started out the week feeling the exhaustion I’d expected last week—but that soon gave way to some of my best runs yet! Yesterday’s pm recovery run was a breeze—so much different from the thick dead legs and long miles that my original evening runs felt like.
Today’s tempo was spectacular. Here I was concerned if I’d even be able to do a tempo this week, and it was my strongest one yet—and longest.
I’m getting POWERFUL! I was going faster with less effort.

Ironically, Pfitz had me schedule for an extra recovery day earlier this week [Sunday and Monday recovery instead of just Sunday], one less medium long run, and my tempo workout later. Funny how that all worked out and I was recovered and strong to go today!

The only nagging issue now is my legs are hurting more than last week [ligaments, shins, hip]—not bad, but likely a delayed response to my mileage peaking at 91-92 last week.
But I know as long as I stick to my plan and TAKE CARE OF MYSELF now, I will recover, adapt, and be ready to move on to stronger and better! [easier said than done sometimes]

July Week 3:
Strong, fast, and powerful! [notes in training log—didn’t have time to journal]

Physical Goals

My primary physical goals involve nutrition and sleep [duh?]. I have found more than ever how vital my nutrition habits are, especially in marathon training! I went from being the skinny kid who ate anything and everything to now being very stubborn about making sure I meet my needs. I know when I am training at this level it makes a big difference when, what, and how much I need--and I can't always trust my feelings to guide me into the kind of eating that pays off in my training. I have bounced around in various types of meal plans, but keep coming back to basic calorie counting [to make sure I get enough--not restrict!] with some other goals [protein, fat, timing, etc.]. The biggest difference is in my performance and health. My body’s pretty good about adapting to maintain the weight [on 2000 calorie differences in energy balance!] but when I don’t eat right I get hurt, sick, don’t reap the full potential out of my training and [obviously] perform under par.

Sleep is a tougher issue for me. On this one I can’t so much report how much it helps because I have very little experience with actually getting enough sleep to compare! I do know that I went from an all-over-the-place sleep schedule two years ago, going to bed any time from 3-5am and getting up 7-10am, and feeling exhausted and deflated from the afternoon on; to last year at least having a relatively consistent schedule of going to bed between midnight and 1am and getting up at 7-8am. I had a major difference in overall zest for life in addition to my athletic performance.
I probably don’t even know how good I good feel just to get a solid 8 hours a night! Heck, that’s recommended for your average person, much less someone pounding her body to the ground [needs extra recovery time].
I am also a morning person, feeling and doing my best [and most] in the early hours—even when I haven’t had enough sleep. My poor time management skills and the people around me influence me too much and I continue to stay up too late for my liking and best kind of life, but I am determined to get back on the early schedule where I thrive.
Dedicated runners get their rest and recovery, and for the most part go to bed early. Some how, some way [and yes, I need to pin point that or it won’t happen] I need to do that too.

Mini Introduction

I am a 23 year old Exercise Science graduate, certified by the American College of Sport’s Medicine as a personal trainer. I love working in the fields of athletics and fitness and have realized I am especially passionate about the Nutrition aspect, so I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in Nutrition and hope to become a registered dietician as well.

To say I am athletic and love to run would be an understatement of gigantic proportions. I have been involved in competitive athletics for as long as I can remember, but only after overcoming a series of hopeless obstacles in my teenage years have I discovered just how much a part of my nature this “athlete thing” really is. I do not believe that running is all there is [for me] in life, but I HAVE found that running makes EVERYTHING in life that much better.

My return to running has been a resurrection of my soul. The countless battles to make the comeback have taught me to appreciate the running I am now blessed with as I continue to tenaciously pursue my bigtime dreams.

After making my official return to running last year, I was bitten by the marathon bug when a couple of my teammates ran one last fall. Hence I put myself full force into training for Bayshore marathon in May, 2008. It wasn’t an easy journey, but it was an overcoming story of it’s own to top off my comeback.
I ran the race in 2:43, steady pace and negative split showing that even with the limited training I had been able to put in [at least in terms of actual running] I had a good base. But I was 3 minutes off Boston, so I couldn’t stop there.
I am now preparing for the Detroit Free Press marathon, with the hopes of a BQ.
From there however, I think I might go back to some shorter distances, particularly the 10K. As I take classes and prepare for grad school I am taking the opportunity to compete with a team again [YES!!] as well as race more and save my body a bit with the shorter distance focus.

All in all I have some bigtime dreams, and this blog reflects my journey as I create my own “Olympic Training Center” and work to build the physical body and performance results of the elite athlete roaring within me.