Today’s Lesson: You gotta run fast, to get fast.

If this were a year ago and I called and told you I was done with a lactate threshold track workout totaling 9 miles on a HUMID AF summer day by 8AM you would have thought I was clearly pullin’ your leg. Like, hard. Up and out the door by Ass Crack O’Clock with coffee no less? To THE TRACK?  No way. No how. No never.

Oh, but wait….

omg

I JUST FREAKING DID!

I swear to you. I don’t even know who I am anymore. All of this shape shifting started about a month ago when I hired a Coach and got back to blogging. Since then, I have been diligently logging my prescribed miles, interacting with my Coach and sweating my face off. Humid summer runner I am not. But I need to be. STAT. Today was Track Tuesday. It’s been mega humid here in New England. Saturday’s long run was the worst 15 miles I have run in a decade. I’m not even exaggerating. Slowest run in 10 years. I can’t even believe how bad it was. “Long and Hilly, Colby!” did not bode well for me with 90% humidity and 83 degrees. That was at 6:30am. So much for early. I died a thousand deaths. And promptly sweated out every ounce of confidence I had in me. I hate when that happens. As I was reminded today, confidence and positivity training is just as important as physical training.

Track Tuesday

My Local Track, aka The Surface of the Sun.

After Saturday’s cluster fuck unfortunate run, I began self-sabotaging. You know, looking ahead to my workouts and straight up panicking at the paces and distances whilst weather stalking? THAT’S NOT PRODUCTIVE, COLBY. Not even a bit. So today rolled around and I told myself that I was not going to let a little humidity thwart me. So what I’m suffocating? I CAN run fast. And I WILL run fast. Dammit.

Today was a lactate threshold run which simplistically speaking means you hold a faster pace for a longer time, multiple times with a short recovery, then repeat it. I mean, that’s why we train for a marathon in the first place – run faster, longer. Once you’ve built your running base, lactate threshold training is the key to getting faster – at least according to Running Yoda’s Everywhere. Pushing yourself and maintaining a semi-uncomfortable pace with a short recovery then doing it all again. In my case, I ran 8 x 1k’s with a 90 second recovery. When your body produces more lactate then it can utilize and you’ve created more waste products than you are able to clear –  BINGO! – you’ve hit your lactate threshold. It’s a tipping point. Going beyond your lactate threshold makes your legs super tired, super fast. The goal here is to train them not to, to put it off as long as possible. Toe that line. Improve your lactate threshold and improve your tipping point.  So off I went, totally effen intimidated.

Stay in the Fight!

Here’s what I learned this hot, humid Track Tuesday. And, Dear Reader, I feel compelled to share these pearls of wisdom with YOU! #LuckyDuck

  • You can convince yourself that you are NOT imploding from the heat by visualizing yourself making snow angels in the buff instead of running circles on the surface of the sun. Just stop obsessing about it. It’s hot. Get over it. You can do this without melting. I promise.
  • Running fast is hard. It’s supposed to hurt. You’re supposed to want to give up. BUT DON’T. Stay in the fight! I yelled that out loud multiple times. Like a maniac.
  • Don’t be intimidated. It’s circles on a track. Figure out how to program a workout on your Garmin, and GO. Make it mindless. Stop thinking so much. Don’t be scared. Just run. For f*ck’s sake Colby, JUST RUN.

And the most important thing I learned today?

  • I am faster than I think. I need to tell myself that every day. And I’d better start goddamn believing it.

Xoxo,

Colby

Do you self-sabotage? Are you a hazy hot running rock star? Do you yell at yourself out loud while running?  Do you get intimidated by track workouts? 

 

 

Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful….

but I ain’t complaining. Since I whined about the heat & humidity all summer, I will embrace (or suffer silently through) running in winter weather.

Ran through my first snowflakes today! Headed out early enough that I thought I would beat Athena, but a combo of early storm arrival and longer than planned run meant that my last four miles were under cover of snowflakes. It was awesome. Nothing stuck to the ground yet, and there is something so peaceful about snowfall. I’ll take it.

I’ve been wondering for a few weeks whether this winter will be tough. I’m no Farmer’s Almanac, but the squirrels have been ridiculously aggressive in eating the pumpkins sitting right outside my front door, even when I bang on the glass. I wouldn’t be surprised if we have a rough one. That said, my goal is to try and run through it in all but the worst conditions. I just ordered the running yaktrax (will let you know what I think) and have plenty of warm weather clothes. I’d like to stay off the treadmill as much as possible – it pretty much sucks the love out of running for me. Going back to Colby’s Declutter post – I refuse to think “I can’t” run just because it isn’t a perfect day. My motto for the season – neither snow, nor rain, nor hail (well, maybe hail) will keep me inside….

Marine Corps Marathon + Hurricane Sandy = Maracane 2012

20130216-220858.jpg

So here we are 9 days post Marine Corps Marathon and Hurricane Sandy and I’m FINALLY getting around to a race recap. Truthfully, I’m on my trainer, sweating all over my ipad, heart rate 70% of it’s max, spinning away blogging, while a Nor’easter dumps snow, wind and tree limbs just outside my door. How’s that for multitasking?

In short: I loved this marathon. Loved it. They don’t call it The People’s Marathon for nothin’. Excellent updates via email and social media. Ridiculously well organized (It’s the freakin’ Marines, not the Girl Scouts for crying out loud.) Gobs of spectators. The most port-a-potties I have EVER seen at ANY race (BRAVO!) Super “spectator friendly” as I was told (cut to my boyfriend jumping out of the crowd waving his arms like a crazy person and running with me around mile 10. ) Excellent course. Wide start (no runner bottleneck!) slightly rolling in the beginning, climb around mile 8 then relatively flat, littered with Monuments, Marines and Munchkins (Yes. Real munchkins. As in donut holes. Not Little People. Jeeze….). The finish culminates with an insanely steep short hill (it may as well have been Everest) lined with Marines cheering you on. OORAH! WINNER! FINISHED! WHERE’S THE BEER? Ahhhhhhhh. {Clink!}

Now for the details (and Sandy): As I clearly stated in my previous posts (See “Sandy. You whore.” and “T-5“), you can’t stress about things you can’t control i.e. a hurricane hitting the morning of your marathon at the very moment you peel off your warm, dry, pre-race gear and place it in the hands of a cheery UPS worker in a down parka. And guess what? I didn’t stress. Sandy wasn’t scheduled to really be a bitch until Sunday afternoon. So come hell or high-water (or gusty head wind) I was running this marathon in 4 hours or so (Mission accomplished!). And Sandy? Oh Sandy didn’t run with me, she ran against me. She was all up in my grill at Haine’s Point. Right in the kisser. It always amazes me how you can essentially run an out and back and have a headwind the ENTIRE time. How is that possible? Seriously? It was exhausting. And I had 11 miles to go. And legs a little more tuckered than I would have liked. Enter dropping temperatures and slight drizzle. Go screw Sandy. I keep running….

Mile 16. “Wheelchair Back!” I scoot. I look. And this is what I see….A tall man running his heart out. Jaw set. Eyes forward. Flying. He is determined. He is focused. He is running pushing a wheelchair. Seated in the wheelchair is a handsome, young Marine in full dress blues. Late 20s. White hat. Navy fitted jacket. Medals I can not make out. White gloves. Saluting. As if he were made of marble. Saluting a salute only a Man of Honor can do. Sitting tall. A handsome, brave, honorable Marine. He sits because he has no legs. And he salutes the whole way. I can’t begin to tell you how hard I cried. I sobbed. A hero running beside me. A wounded warrior. He was an image I will never forget. That Marine was the strongest man out there. Stronger than me. Stronger than the Ethiopian who crossed the line first. And certainly stronger than Sandy. I keep running…

Mile 23. All that separates me from the finish and a cold beer is a 5k. I have this. The mind controls the body I scream at myself as if deaf. Runners around me are coming undone. Their wheels completely off their buses. (Some wheels may have blown out entirely.) An older man is next to me. He is struggling. Ashen. Falling behind. “HEY!!! WE HAVE 5k LEFT. WE EAT 5ks. YOU got this. LET’S DO IT. PUT THIS BITCH TO BED!”

I yell.
In his face.

He is startled. Perplexed at this suddenly peppy maniac in hot pink sneaks, skull and crossbones headband (T-picked up a new band at the expo. Totally. Cute.) He shakes out of his Funk. He looks me dead in the eye and says Yes! Oh ok!

Yes. I reply and nod.

Dead.
Serious.
I keep running…

Mile 25.5. So where the hell is….Oh. There she is. The Hill. Everest. Game. Face. Jaw set. Eyes forward. I think of that Marine. I envision myself pushing him. I will not stop. I see Tim smiling, waving his arms, cheering. He is proud. He said my teeth were gritted. I may have been swearing out loud. I see the finish. I kept running until….

Mile 26.2. The Finish. I stop running. Finally. I smile a huge toothy smile that comes from my core. I did it. All me. Every step my own. I feel elated. A finish line is never the end. The moment you believe you are finished? That’s your new beginning. I can’t wait to see what adventure lies ahead (especially with Tina, my zippy running partner in crime) Running is so much more than miles to me. It’s propulsion- forward movement. I’ve evolved through running both as a woman and as a human being. Each marathon I have run has revealed more of who I am. And I must say that at 40, finally, I like it.

20130216-221954.jpg

Sandy. You Whore…

Seriously. A hurricane. T-2 until the Marine Corps Marathon and I’m running it in a hurricane. No joke. Well then why am I laughing? BECAUSE THIS IS RIDICULOUS. And completely hysterical.

The Perfect Storm hits on the day I’ve been training for 4+ months for?!?! Insane. And funny. (Maybe I should start playing the lottery) I’ve learned early on that you can’t stress about things you can’t change. And really, what can I possibly do about this? Tweet Mother Nature and call her a bitch for raining on my parade? Cry? Stomp? Bag it? Never.

Our sport is you sports punishment. (Saw that one on a T-shirt at the MCM Expo. Also saw a disgruntled dude with a “Running Sucks” T-shirt on, but I digress…) We runners run. Period. Lil’ rain? No big. Hurricane? Bring it. In fact, it’s almost
better that there are (WAY) sub-optimal conditions predicted for Sunday. This way there is no pressure. I’m just going to throw on my running gear, glide on up, head out the door and give it all I have. I’m ready.

Perfect conditions require “Perfect Results” —At least in my mind they do. And if its not your day? And you tear your calf in the 2nd half of the New York Marathon on a crisp, clear, photo-perfect day—youre going to be feeling seriously disappointed. You just ran 26.2 miles. You shouldn’t be disappointed. You should be elated! So no matter what Sandy brings (You awful pig.) I will be ready to run wild. And if the wind is at my back—even better.

This Playlist Brought to You by our Friends at the Weather Channel

Colby, So grateful that you are a Cat-5, or else I would be worried about the duel between you and Sandy. Since she is only a Cat-2, she can eat your dust.
Here are some songs I will be playing in your honor on Sunday:
1. Sandy – from Grease
2. Riders on the Storm – Doors
3. Electrical Storm – U2
4. Rock You Like a Hurricane – Scorpions
5. Only Happy When it Rains-Garbage
6. Rain – Madonna
7. Blowin’ in the Wind – Bob Dylan
8. 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) – Bruce Springsteen
9. Purple Rain – Prince
10. Hell or High Water – KISS

Sandy should at least keep the miles interesting for you….xxooT

No Rest For the Weary

No running or cycling today, but I have spent the last ??? hours delousing two children (off to check the 3rd in a minute and you KNOW I’m gonna find something), doing 7 loads of laundry (have to wash every ^&%*^# piece of linen and stuffed animal in their bedrooms) and vacuuming and mopping every square inch of this house. Does this count as a workout? I feel like I need the foam roller.

Is Something the Matter, Officer?

Went for a Long Run today. Beautiful weather, beautiful day. Started out for a 7 mile run and decided, a la Forrest Gump, just to keep on going. Ended up doing around 12 miles and it felt great. Crossing a road in my 10th mile, a police car beeped twice and waved me over. I completely had that momentary high-school-kid-drinking-in-a-parking-lot-panic, but could not figure out what infraction I could have committed. Jaywalking? Illegal use of a porta-potty? I wasn’t even running in the road – I was on a sidewalk, so knew it couldn’t even be running on the wrong side of the road, with the traffic (is that even technically illegal, or just ill-advised?) I approached the car on wobbly legs and met with a very smiley officer who asked me how far I was running, Turns out he had passed me 3 times at various points of my run and was curious if I ever planned to stop. I told him yes, at around 12, and he gave me an encouraging “Wow,” a big thumbs up and a wave goodbye. Funny thing is that although 12 miles isn’t exactly a warm-up, it certainly isn’t the longest training run one can do, but he happened to pass me at the 3 furthest points of my run, so it must have looked longer. Probably should have told him 18.

T-5.

Five.  Five days to go.  I am surviving The Taper.  I don’t know how, but I am.  Somehow it’s easier this time.  I’m not sure why exactly that is.  Maybe because I trust the process?  Maybe because I can now say (without flinching, and making the I’m not 100% sure face)  “I am a runner.”  Hell.  I’m a marathoner. (When did that happen?)  I can’t believe I’m going to say this but I feel confident.  I can run.  I will run.  I am ready.

Mind controls the body.  What the mind wants the body does.  I want this.  Period.

Ya Gotta Have Heart

Colby – this is for you – for next Sunday. I am so excited for you.  Just pulled a quote from Kara Goucher’s book – a club coach, Mike Fanelli, says:

“I tell our runners to divide the race into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle with your personality, and the last part with your heart.”

Now, I don’t know anyone who has a bigger heart than you, so those last 8.75 miles better WATCH OUT!

Please Don’t Stop the Music

Colby, with your little jaunt coming up next weekend (OOO-RAH!), thought you might be updating your playlist in all of the spare time you have in your taper mode. Perhaps it is time to take a stroll through our running playlists and share some gems?
Here are some of my favorite little nuggets (I’m leaving out the obvious recent songs – I think we both have Flo Rida’s “Good Feeling,” right?):
1. Under Pressure by David Bowie, Stuck in the Middle with You by Stealer’s Wheel, Crazy by Gnarls Barkley, Mas Que Nada by Sergio Mendes/Black Eyed Peas – these are good for the middle of long runs – not too fast, but have a solid beat.
2. Seven Nation Army by White Stripes, Are You Gonna Be My Girl by Jet, Peace Frog by the Doors, Welcome to the Jungle by Guns n’ Roses, Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana, Unbelievable – EMF, – these will kick your a*s up pretty much any hill.
3. I Want You to Want Me by Cheap Trick – you can picture yourself playing air guitar AND watching Fast Times at Ridgemont High – a little laughter to relieve possible boredom. American Girl by Tom Petty – you can think of Clarice & Hannibal – put a little spring in your step.
4. Let’s Go Crazy – Prince, Bust a Move -Young MC, Push It – Salt n Pepa, Walk This Way – Run DMC, Good Vibrations – Marky Mark -’cause the 80’s were fun.
5. Rock & Roll Band – Boston – ’cause it has been on my playlist since 1987.
6. And last, but by no means least – “Beautiful Day” by U2 – possibly the best running song. Ever.
Whatcha got for me, Colby-san?