Category Archives: Training

Training Journal: Mistakes Were Made

mistakesGood job, Rebecca. Good job.

Last week I went running on Tuesday, like I do. I ran five miles on one of my favorite routes, then checked my preorder status. I’d been refreshing like mad because I was so close to a milestone…literally ten times the number of copies I sold of any of my books before! I needed to get out of the obsessive headspace I was in so I went out on the trail. I finished my five planned miles, then checked in on my preorders.

When I saw that I’d blown past my milestone, I got so excited that I did a celebratory extra five miles. And promptly pulled what Dr. Google has informed me is my hip flexor. I took it easy for the rest of the week and over the weekend with a few breaks to walk dogs, which actually made me feel better. Even the dog who tried to drag me across the concrete and caused a leash injury to my finger didn’t make it hurt so I thought I’d be cool to run on Sunday.

Nope.

I made it 2.5 miles before I had to tap out and I was kind of disappointed in myself. It didn’t hurt nearly as bad as it did on Tuesday but I could feel it getting annoyed with me so I stopped. Then I walked some dogs and it felt better. I don’t know what’s up but I’ve been looking up hip flexor exercises and I’m going to try laser therapy at work this week. I’ve also got two rolls of KT tape that I can pull out but I have got to put a bandaid on this thing because there’s less than 2 months til the Skyline Challenge, then another 2 months before the marathon.

I have a feeling that I’ll be walking the Cowtown Half in 2019.

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Training Journal: Jelly Legs

img_4168Last weekend was exhausting. Instead of my annual Labor Day race, I decided to run a different one on Saturday instead. I wasn’t sure what to expect because I’d never run this course before but I was excited to run in a different area.

Apparently this course was a little more challenging than the usual, because not only was the temperature rising by the second, there were so many hills that I was ready to steal a golf cart. I made it, though, and 6 miles somehow didn’t seem like much of a run with the longer ones I’ve been doing lately. I was glad to be done and pumped for the virtual triathlon on Sunday. That didn’t last long.

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Amanda and I got to the YMCA, the site of our eventual demise, ready for action. We put on our bathing suits and headed for the pool to get the party started. We got in the pool around 2:30 and started the 1/4 mile swim. As I am quite slow, it took me a while to finish and Amanda was done before me. No big deal, right? I can make it up on the bike.

Apparently I forgot how long 12.4 miles is on a stationary bike. I got through it by watching TV on my phone and persevered. About 10 miles in, Amanda was starting to flame out. I was right behind her. My legs were starting to tire and my feet were hurting from the pedals because they were different from the ones at spin class and I was without special shoes. When the readout informed me it was over, I just about leapt off of the thing. And the stiffness in my quads is matched only by the soreness of my butt.

We managed to get to the park to run, and it was like stepping into an oven. We had 3.1 miles to go, though, and I kept telling myself that three miles is nothing for me. It was a struggle from the first hill to the last steps and when I crawled back to the parking lot I felt like I’d never walk again. Things actually started getting a little sparkly so I sat down in my car and rehydrated.

At the end of the day, it definitely felt like we deserved our Diva medals. Amanda forgot hers so we just posed with mine, and went home to pass out. I slept for almost 13 hours after that and I deserved every minute of that too. I don’t know that I’ll do another triathlon anytime soon, but I think I can talk Amanda into doing this one again. Maybe a year is long enough for her to forget.

Training Journal – Miles for Mollie and Taking it Slow

Runners all over the world watched the story of Mollie Tibbetts and her disappearance following a run. Nearly every female runner has experienced harassment on the trail, and nearly every female runner runs alone at some time. When her body was discovered, it was devastating.

A beautiful woman’s life was cut short when she had so many miles left to run, so women everywhere are running them in her honor. Mollie ran 6 miles. This morning I took to one of my usual trails alone and ran 6 miles for her. We can’t live our lives in fear, and even though I’ll be carrying pepper spray in my running belt now, I’m not going to stop running. That’s how Mollie would want it.

Speaking of strong women, I did another virtual 5K with my friend Karey! This one was a Harry Potter themed race; the Dash Against the Dark Arts. The medals were so cool! They opened like little books and have a glow in the dark moon inside.

Karey has had an exercise setback recently, and high impact movements cause her pain so we weren’t able to run this one. Instead, we power walked the 3.1 miles and had a good time. I always love spending time with her and I’m hoping we can look for spiders again soon. I’m also going to find another virtual 5K for us once I’m back from my conference in September.

Training has been spotty at best recently but it’s still coming along. My recent 10 miler was at a great pace and I have hope that I can do both the Skyline Challenge and the marathon within their respective time limits. This weekend I run 13 miles. I’ll probably toss in an extra 0.1 and call it a half marathon. I’m actually ahead of where I am supposed to be in my schedule so it’s all going to be fine in the end. I can feel it!

Training Journal – Panic Mode Engaged

16 WEEKS UNTIL SKYLINE CHALLENGE

Mistakes were made today.

Yesterday I made the mistake of looking at a calendar. I was immediately struck by a bone-deep horror when I realized that I only have 4 months to train for the Skyline Challenge. I’ve got to go from being a lazy slob to running 22.5 miles in 5 hours. That means I have to sustain a pace of 13:20 or less to finish the Challenge. Consider me kicked in the ass.

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I spent some time last night working up a new training schedule that includes three runs a week, two spin classes a week, two swims a week at minimum. On Saturdays that I don’t work, I can take an extra spin class, and some Fridays I can do a short track run like I used to on Friday nights.

The marathon itself is further away – 6 months – but if I can complete the Skyline challenge (and that’s really all I want), the marathon will be a piece of cake. I’ll have an hour to run another 4 miles, and I’ll have 2 more months to get ready. It’s still scary and I can’t believe I’m considering doing either of them, but I’ve done scarier things and come out the other side in one piece.

superherolandingToday I went to spin class, which was rough considering it’s been like a month since I’ve been to it, followed by a nice easy 3 mile run. In 96 degree weather. If you don’t believe in climate change I’m not sure what to tell you except go outside and run in this heat that was definitely not this intense last summer. I know, I was running in it last year too.

I came very close to heat exhaustion today. Scratch that. I fell victim to heat exhaustion today. By the end of the run I was dizzy and my face was dry, in large part because the (only) water fountain that’s at my halfway point was either turned off or broken so I ran 3 miles in the heat with zero hydration besides the two bottles of water I drank at the Y. I was too overheated to even finish walking to my car so I laid on a bench in the shade until I felt better, then went back to my car and chugged another bottle of water.

Lesson learned, I guess. This weekend when I get paid I am definitely getting a hydration belt. I even know which one I want. I cannot get through another distance run without one, especially one longer than 3 miles.

Training Journal – Back on the Horse

The hardest thing about running (and being active in general) is making it a habit, especially if you didn’t grow up learning the importance of exercise. For me, I have a terrible tendency to let a small thing completely derail me and it’s hard to get going again.

I was doing great running, cross-training, and eating healthy but then I got strep throat and my pain medication stopped working, and everything spiraled down. Every time I wanted to get up and run I felt guilty for not going and I promised myself I’d start up again my next day off. Or the next. Or the next.

As much fun as I had at the Hell’s Half Acre 25K, my time was atrocious compared to the HMSA Masters 25K last year. It impressed upon me the importance of hitting my training hard again if I am going to make it to the marathon. Then I talked myself into being a slug and didn’t run for almost 2 weeks.

Today I decided it was enough. I had a headache when I woke up so I didn’t go to the gym for spin or swim, and was disappointed in myself. I reminded myself that the Trinity River Run’s Skyline Challenge is in October and I have to kick myself in the butt. Now. So I ate something, had a little caffeine, and went to run.

Then I got to the park.

It was 97 freaking degrees out and felt like I’d stepped into a furnace. I could have gone home. I wanted to go home. Instead I went to the gym and ran 3 miles on the indoor track. It definitely felt like I’ve been slacking but it also felt good.

Tomorrow morning I am going to get up and go for a run with my friend Amanda. Even if I’m slow I have to start somewhere. Never give up, never surrender.

Training Journal – Bad Mother Runner

For those of you who don’t know, I actually have two stepdaughters. I haven’t seen either of them in years due to circumstances, but I do think of them often. I don’t think this necessarily means I’m a mom, but I do spend a lot of time mothering my cats so there’s that. Anyway, it’s my love of cats that got me into this nonsense in the first place.

You see, our clinic has a cat. I’ve mentioned her before, and everyone refers to me as her bestie. Because of something I did during an emergency with a patient, she broke her leg and I’ve been beating myself up about it for days. I had a really rough couple of days and decided that I needed to do something to feel better about myself. Enter the Mother’s Day half marathon.

Even though it was going to be a full 2 weeks sooner than I planned for my first half marathon since doing the Cowtown half, I had planned to run 9-10 miles on Sunday so

this didn’t seem like too much of a stretch. I was nervous, though, super nervous that I would fail or hurt myself, or just plain finish last. That’s happened to me before and it’s really embarrassing, even though I know I should be glad I finished.

It actually went really well at the beginning. I managed to sustain a 12:07-12:15 mile for 9 miles…then the sun came out. I do not do well in direct sunlight or with steep hills, and this course had a little of both. I didn’t improve my time from last year but I also didn’t do worse, so I’m calling it a win. I also got this great purple medal, which was just an added bonus.

In two weeks I’ll be running the Badass Texas half marathon with my best friend, and I’m hoping I’ll do a little better but if I can just stay at this level I’ll be happy.

And hey, my time on Sunday was about 10-12 minutes faster than February, so there’s that.

Training Journal – Highly Suggestible

As we have already established by my marathon training, I am very easy to talk into potentially bad ideas. My friend Richard talked me into a marathon. My best friend talked me into the Badass Texas half marathon in three (!!) weeks. And now it seems my spin instructor may have talked me into a triathlon.

A little background here: it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve trained for a triathlon. I’ve actually done one as a matter of fact, a little indoor triathlon at the YMCA in Wisconsin. My proudest moment was not being the last person out of the pool. I am an AWFUL swimmer. I’m also terrible on a bike. So why am I doing this?

I’m a very big believer in conquering your fears. So even though the thought of putting my face in the water gives me panic attacks, I go swimming twice a week. One of my other close friends wants me to go bike riding with her so she can teach me not to leap off my bike instead of stopping it. I’m hoping that I’ll not only gain enough confidence to complete Baby’s First Triathlon, my running will improve as well.

This month my goal is to swim 1/4 mile twice a week, go to spin class twice a week, and run 3-4 times a week. If I have a goal – say, a triathlon to train for – I’ll be more likely to stick to this schedule.

Next stop, Badass Texas half!