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Zoning in on Pace and Motivation (Week 8 Updates)

We meet again, minions! Can’t believe it’s been two months since I embarked on this exciting journey!! The week has been fantastic all around from work to running to even traveling! That’s right, I’m thinking about flying across the Atlantic to Dubai to relax and connect with relatives I have not seen in about 7 years now. I’m stocked!! Work has been nothing but perfect; happy boss + not-so-needy patients = happy me! And running, oh boy, has not been as much of a struggle as it had been in prior weeks. I’m not going to say that I have been running 6 min-miles but still. My goal is to finish the race!

Who would not want to trade cold and snow to sun and warmth? I’m visiting Burj Khalifa!

Let’s start by following-up on last week’s goals:

  • I was not able to log the 23 miles set in the protocol *sad face*. Saturday run was supposed to be 13 miles except the trail was not marked where I needed to turn. So I just stopped at mile 6ish and returned to “base.” I contemplated the possibility of going to 6.5 miles if I had a GPS watch or something with similar capability (my phone’s battery would die when I turn on GPS for some odd reason). Somewhat a good excuse, no?
  • I have been stretching pretty good lately! Except Saturday because I returned to Columbus Running Company’s store so I did not stretch as long as I wanted.
  • I incorporated more conditioning exercises like sideway and backward running when possible. I did it maybe once this week. Also, I did two cardio sessions on Monday: 4-mile easy run + spin class. It was absolutely great! I felt rejuvenated and hungry. So hungry.
  • I broke my Monday and Wednesday runs into pieces to shake things up a bit. I did some warm-up running, some sprinting, and back to slow running. It helped. I felt like I was more in control of my breath. Also, I did not walk!! Those times when I’m tired or leg hurts a bit I just reserved to light jogging in lieu of walking.
  • I’m still trying to phase out music from my runs, just because.

One thing I have been struggling with the past week was staying motivated. I just feel like my mind gives up faster and quicker than my body. That’s a problem because physiologically speaking I could be running, but my mind tells me that no I need to slow down or even stop. So to circumvent this I stayed conscious of it. Whenever I “feel” tired, I think: “no I’m not tired. That’s just my mind giving up. Body is not going to cave. Keep going.” And I go. I push. I make those strides, and my body happily goes with it. I still need to find some ways to keep my mind off running to log in those long miles…to be continued!

This rings home. Sometimes on my long runs I find myself asking why I’m doing this. And then I remember how satisfied and fulfilled I feel after the run. It’s necessary to log those long miles and not to skip hell workouts!

Oh, oh, oh. I got myself some new running toys J! I cannot wait to put Garmin Forerunner 15 and Asics Nimbus 16 to run!!! I will let you how they feel next week but for now I can say this much…I will run out of excuses as far as logging those miles.

Garmin Forerunner 15 (www.garmin.com)

Asics Nimbus 16 (www.runningshoesguru.com)

Week 8 Running Stats:

Monday 3/2 4 miles (+ strides)= 43:13m, pace= 10:48 min/mile

  • Good run on a treadmill! I was not trying to go fast. I actually forgot about pacing and focused mainly on form and preventing leg pain. I succeeded at that for I went ahead after the run and did a spin class with my favorite gym instructor.

Wednesday 3/4 6 miles= 1:04:07h, pace= 10:41 min/mile

  • As good as the Monday’s run! Like Monday, I rarely walked if ever. I set the speed to 4.0-4.5 to lower my heart rate and rest. Instead of briskly walking at this speed, I jog lightly for ~0.25 miles before running again.

Saturday 3/7 12 miles= 1:55:27h, pace= 9:37 min/mile

  • I started out slow to prevent crashing or cramping in the first miles. I did not walk until probably mile 4? There were two water stations set up at mile 2 and 4 and I stopped at both. I did stop my timer the first round but let it run the second round on my way back. Overall, it was a very good run. I tried running with another CRC member. Still cannot decide if I like running with someone or not. We’ll see maybe next week.

Next week is going to be rough- 26 miles to log. Between the new shoes and the watch (oh and day light saving) I’m excited to give it a try. Now I can actually run outside that the brisk, dark winter is passed to let the warm, bright Spring break in. Until next week, runners.

That's right!!! The one and only, Arnold, as he left the Arnold Classic events today. He looked a tad old :D

That’s right!!! The one and only, Arnold, as he left the Arnold Classic events today. He looked a tad old 😀

Week 4 Summary (And Potentially Shin Splints??)

Marathon training is still on! Despite week 4 being less than terrific, due to pain and discomfort in my legs, I soldiered on and did 2/3 of my scheduled runs. On the bright side, I no longer have car issues (yay!). My mechanic hooked up a new engine (new to the car, lightly used though) and a radiator.

That's how Mike gets everybody's attention to start his pre-run speech!

That’s how Mike gets everybody’s attention to start his pre-run speech!

Monday’s run was a little challenging probably due to eating so much pasta and whole-wheat bread!! It did seem to help the night before my long run on Saturday but definitely not the day of my runs. I seemed to lose focus, feel heavy, and get cramps faster than if I go pasta-free. I’m so bumped for not being able to run on Wednesday- I did ~2 miles and stopped due to shooting pain in my left leg along the lateral side of my anterior tibialis. Saturday’s 9-mile run was filled with tingling and numbness in my right foot and some serious cramping after mile 5 in both of my legs. I’m still feeling some discomfort as I write this.

Enough negative Nancy, and onto the bright side, I did see my doctor for leg pain and scheduled an appointment on Friday for physical therapy. Given that I have a history of shin splints, I figured I’d skip sports medicine and go straight to physical therapy. So fingers crossed this will pass and I will be able to run like the weeks before.

Some things I would probably need to implement to have a better running week would be staying

Fire department trying to be funny!

Fire department trying to be funny!

hydrated- especially for long runs! I was not adequately hydrated for my Thursday run L. I often felt thirsty on Saturday as well- but there were few water stops on the route. The stomach empties out the water roughly every 15 minutes, so maybe shoot for rehydration every 15-20 minutes? If I feel water sloshing around then probably bump it up to water every 30-45 minutes or so.

With the exception of Saturday’s long runs, I run on the treadmill. While research shows that running outside is pretty much the same as running on a treadmill with 1% incline, I’m starting to feel that treadmills are harder to run at. Do they offer less shock absorbance and maneuverability when compared to running outside? Probably not. Could it be that my brain just thinks it would be easier to run outside? Probably yes. I wish I could incorporate more outside running but because of work schedule (7am-5pm) it is rather challenging. I thoroughly enjoyed running on Saturday as everybody I passed was happy and had big smiles on their faces.

Week 4 Running Stats:
Monday 2/2 3 miles= 27:38 minutes, pace= 09:12 min/mile (woohoo! Fastest pace since I started training!)
Thursday 2/5 1.95ish miles= did not record time but it was slower than Monday’s.
Saturday 2/7 9 miles= 1:30:02 hours, pace= 10:00 min/mile (despite awesome scenery, it was a slightly difficult run with serious walking between miles!)

This was a ~5 mile course. It was boring at times, immensely fun at other times when I forget I was running.

This was a ~5 mile course. It was boring at times, immensely fun at other times when I forget I was running.

Hopefully next week’s runs will be better both mentally and physically! I have been slightly concerned about losing muscle while running so I have focused rather a lot on building muscle and neglected endurance training. I will need to incorporate that more often in the next weeks.

Marathon in Training: Week 2 Summary (+ Rant)

This past week has not been very kind to me. My car overheated and broke down in the middle of the highway, I had two teeth extracted in preparation for dental implants, and my phone’s battery is fried. It would have been a better timing if the phone battery decided to go out after I got stranded. It went from somewhere in the 60-something% to 20% as the car overheated. I had to not only figure out where I was and let someone know, but I also had to call/search for a towing truck. Oh and I took out my car charger the day before because I wanted to use at Starbucks. Go figure. Also, who knew Giant Eagle did not sell car chargers? Completely irrelevant, but to add insult to injury, I finished reading my favorite book and watching my favorite show this week too. So yeah, life couldn’t you wait until next week?

Rant is over. Off to the positive side….

I need to learn how to meditate.

I’m so very grateful that I got home that night; I’m grateful for my co-worker Sarah for driving me to work the next day (oh and driving me to the gym and back home :).) I’m grateful for both parents and brother for being very supportive and helpful as I know next to nothing in cars. Sometimes I take people for granted. It’s those kinds of incidents that serve as reminders of family loving and friends support. I don’t like negative Zen, I will work harder to harness positive energy and harvest my Zen better.

Moreover, I’m taking on more responsibilities at work en route for a promotion. I have my one-year review on Monday; fingers crossed it will be a good one!!

Due to oral surgery I was advised not to workout for at least couple days. I was bumped that I had to miss Saturday’s group run L! Although the day of surgery sucked, it overall went great. I was off pain meds the next day. I bled for one day. Day 2 was basically swelling and soreness which I could live with – so I went to the gym :D! It might not have been the smartest idea but I was bored. At any rate, knowing that lifting was alright – my clot did not disintegrate – I decided to go running Sunday morning to compensate for Saturday. It was refreshing, energizing, and fun to run in the morning. I actually had more energy when I was done running than before. After some stretching and quality Turkish coffee, I hit the gym for some lifting!

So training-wise, I probably will not get stars for this past week. I missed two runs – Wednesday and Saturday – for a total of 11 miles. But I did finish Monday’s run one second shy from 10-minute pace, 9:59 to be exact!!!! Wooo for me. Baby steps.

I'm actually very proud of this collage work.

I’m actually very proud of this collage work.

Last Week’s To-Do List Results:

  • Running with calf compression proved to be counterproductive for me. It works better for me wearing it after
  • I did allow two hours before running for food to be digested. I put in a blender three raw eggs, one banana, and a cup of spinach. It was great! I could barely taste the eggs. Thinking about how slimy they were made my stomach crinch, so if you opt for this recipe make sure not to picture raw eggs.
  • Judging the two runs I had one last Monday and this morning (Sunday), I have an average pace of 10-minute/mile. So yay!
  • As far as walking pauses while running, I’m still walking to rest. I need to do a better job at minimizing time walked.

This Week’s To-Do List:

  • Have an average pace somewhere between 10:00 and 10:20;
  • Minimize walking to rest;
  • Be mindful of nutrition.

Week 2 Running Stats:

Monday 1/19 3 miles= 29:57 minutes, pace= 09.59min/mile (woohoo!)
Wednesday 1/21 4 miles= missed run due to car problems *sad face*
Saturday 1/24 7 miles= missed run due to oral surgery *sad face^2*
Sunday (add run) 1/25 5.6 miles= 58:03 minutes, pace= 10:42min/mile (slow pace due to lots of walking, traffic light stops, and a Starbucks stop to hydrate. So many excuses. I need to set-up the run better next time.)

Week 2 average pace= 10.00min/mile

Tomorrow is a new day, new week, new pace 🙂 … Happy running troopers!