Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Outrunning Worry & Stress

When the clock on my computer screen reads 5:00, it's time for the costume change. I swap my slacks out for a pair of lululemon running shorts and my high heeled pumps for my pink running shoes.  I pull my hair back into a ponytail, slide my sunglasses on and I am off for a run.  In just minutes I go from being Professional Kate to So Cal Runner Gal. Just like that.

As an active, busy adult, this is the time of day when my stress melts away.  Whether I head off to my dowtown gym to run on the treadmill or to my favorite running path, it is my chance to let all of the day’s worries fade away.  

The other day, I chose the beach for a run. I am fortunate enough to live in San Diego where there is no shortage of coastal beauty.  I was eager to run but tired from lack of sleep lately. I popped in my headphones and turned on Pandora simply out of habit.  When running alone I use music to keep me company. I took the first few strides slowly, cutting myself some slack for being poorly rested, but before I knew it I was naturally speeding up to what felt like a tempo pace.

I quickly realized the mistake in blasting music and turned the tunes off.  The crashing waves and the patter of my shoes in the sand were music enough.  After I ditched the unnecessary noise I fell into a beautiful rhythm.  The movement of my body to the sound of the wind and the waves was almost like a dance. I gracefully glided along in a way that felt ... organic, like I was truly born to run.  Who knows if I actually looked graceful, but I sure as shit felt graceful.  That, right there, is peace by my definition. Peace of mind, body and soul-- all of these pieces simultaneously content.  

On runs like these, I drift away to a special little place that I can't quite explain.  I know I'm losing all of you skeptics here, but hear me out.  I reach this unexplainable place of tranquility in my mind and body.  My thoughts are clear and my breathing is steady.  It is one of the few times I don’t feel like a jumbled mess.  If you know me, you know that my mind moves a million miles a minute and I am often exhausted from racing thoughts.  I may not be the fastest girl out there, but I am certainly fast enough to outrun all of my troubles, and that is fast enough for me.


Ain't no shortage of beauty around these parts
I run for countless reasons but one of the biggest reasons I run is to calm my mind and ease tension.  I know it is not the only way to achieve this and we all find different routes to that place of stillness and peace, but this is the most clear-cut way that I know how to get there.  I only wish it was easier to translate this into my daily life, my job, and my relationships.  Rather than relying on a run to unclutter all the shit in my mental attic, it would be nice to do so throughout the day.  There are some very zen people out there that can find this peace anywhere and everywhere.  They're usually yogis who smell like lavender and meditate regularly.  I am not one of them, but damn, sometimes I wish I was! 

Maybe one day I will be able to achieve this state of mind on the regular (through meditation or mantras or something of the like), but until then at least I know when the clock strikes 5, I can lace up my running shoes and escape to my own special place where peace is almost guaranteed.

How do you unwind, de-stress and unclutter your mind?

Monday, July 28, 2014

6 Weeks Down, 6 To Go!

Happy Monday, everyone!  I hope you all had lovely weekends.  Mine was pretty great over here.  I can't believe I am already halfway through this marathon training cycle.  6 weeks down and 6 to go.  Yikes!

So this weekend...Friday, I went to the bookstore and picked out some new books and a journal.  Books and journals make me giddy. I'm like a kid with a new toy.  But before I let myself dig into my books and write on my fresh new journal pages, I went to hot yoga. It was a great class and exactly what my body and mind needed.

the best way to end the week and start the weekend. #happyhour
dinner! sushi and seaweed salad.
I ate some sushi for dinner to fuel up for Saturday's long run, read my new book and went to bed at a decent time.  Saturday morning came way too fast but I popped out of bed knowing I had somewhere to be after my run and was on a tight schedule.  I had absolutely no appetite, which basically never happens.  Even when I have the flu, I want to eat.  I had to force feed myself an egg and english muffin because without it I knew my run would be impossible.  I need fuel.  Lots of it.  I'm not one of those girls who can run on empty.

My 17 miles went surprisingly well.  My legs felt strong and well rested and I had loads of energy to carry me through.  This was one of those runs that I needed for my soul.  At the end, I felt whole again.  Thank you, running, for taking care of me when I most need it.  :)

post-run eats.  acai bowl w/ protein.
I got to babysit this handsome fella after my run and let me tell you, babies don't care if you just ran 17 miles. They need your energy.  Mamas, I bow down to you.



Saturday was a busy day and I was on the go until late, so I made it a goal to sleep in Sunday and stay in my jammies as late as possible.  I nailed it! ;) I was in my PJs until probably 2pm just sipping on coffee and reading my hilarious new book.  


So here is what my week looked like...

Week in Workouts:

Monday:  5 miles
Tuesday: 7 miles (progression run)
Wednesday: Rest Day
Thursday: 4 miles
Friday: Hot Yoga (60 minutes)
Saturday: 17 miles
Sunday: Cardio (45 minutes)

I am feeling more confident with each week that passes.  My weekday runs are quality miles for the most part and I feel like I am slowly getting some speed back.  I have no idea what will happen on September 7th, but I sincerely hope I can re-qualify for Boston.  If not, I will happy that I was able to stay injury free and run another marathon in another beautiful place.  Life is good to me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

This Week in Workouts | Cutting Back

This post is a day late and a dollar short but I've had a rough couple of days so cut a sista blogger some slack.  This was a cut-back week in marathon training and THANK GOD for that because I couldn't have busted out a long run for the life of me.  After the weekend from hell, I'm happy I was even able to squeak out 4 pathetic miles on Sunday.

This Week in Workouts:

Monday: Spin (60 minutes)
Tuesday: 6.5 miles (5 @ 7:24/mi pace) 
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: Hot Yoga (60 minutes)
Friday: 5 miles
Saturday: Rest (I think I slept 20 out of 24 hours)
Sunday: 4 miles

So it wasn't a completely useless training week but it wasn't great either.  We have to respect these weeks and scaling back is essential from time to time.  It also helps prevent injuries from flaring up.  And the great news is, you're ready to tackle the next week with a vengeance.  I have 17 miles on the schedule for this weekend and hoping for the best.  

I'm staying at my friend Teresa's place downtown while she is traveling.  Her condo is just blocks away from my office, my gym and the harbor where I prefer to do all of my long runs. The timing couldn't be more perfect.

Life at Teresa's :
(what we refer to as the "Pussy Cat Pad" because of her 2 lovable cats)
...talk about much needed R&R.


Now that race day is only 7 weeks away I think it's time to set some goals for the rest of my training.

Training Goals:

  1. Practice yoga for at least 1 hour each week. Mandatory!
  2. Take 1 complete rest day a week.
  3. No slacking on core work.
  4. Complete one extremely kick-ass speed or tempo run each week.  
  5. No booze for 30 days leading up to race day. 
My hope is that all of these things will come together to produce the perfect race day.  I hope to re-qualify for Boston and run it again in 2015 with my running sole sister all over again.  This time less tragedy, more triumph! 

How was your weekend?  

Friday, July 18, 2014

Tips for Dealing with Plantar Fasciitis


**This post is sponsored by ACE™ Brand but all opinions are my own.

If you’ve been reading my blog even for a short time now you know I am no stranger to injuries.  I’ve had so many, I can’t even keep track at this point.  Injuries are depressing and sometimes pretty devastating when they occur toward the end of a training cycle.  I remember being totally pumped up and trained for the Malibu Marathon, the Chicago Marathon and Boston 2012 – all of which I didn’t get the pleasure of running due to one injury or another.  #InjuriesSuck

Currently, I’m dealing with a nagging case of Plantar Fasciitis that just doesn’t ever seem to fully disappear.  Luckily, I’ve figured out some ways to keep it in check that are allowing me to train for the Ventura Marathon and bust out some pretty killer runs.  I hope they help you, too!


Stretch  

This one may be controversial in the running community but there is no denying that tight calves can lead to issues like Plantar Fasciitis.  As much as I hate stretching, it is a necessity and I’ve come to accept the importance of it.  Even while you’re sleeping, you should be stretching.  Wear an ACE™ Brand Plantar Fasciitis Sleep Support or make your own like I do with a regular ACE™ Brand Elastic Bandage.  This has made the biggest difference of all, in my opinion.

Compress  

Get it right, get it tight!  I am a huge believer in the power of compression.  I run in compression socks and I wrap my foot up with an ACE™ Brand Elastic Bandage in a way that compresses to promote blood flow and supports my Plantar Fascia.  The great thing about using the new ACE™ Brand Elastic Bandage with ACE Brand Clip, is you can control how much or how little compression you’d like with the easily adjustable clip!

Ice

Freeze a water bottle and roll your foot on it for about 10 minutes.  This is great for reducing inflammation as well as relieving pain.  Sometimes it’s easier to wrap an ice pack in an ACE™ Brand Elastic Bandage so you can continue doing whatever you need to do.   Ice on the go!

Roll  

Roll your calves on a tennis ball and your feet on a golf ball.  I don’t play sports but the equipment certainly comes in handy for treating injuries.



What I Use:

The ACE™ Brand Elastic Bandage featuring the new ACE™ Brand Clip.  It's quick, comfortable and more secure so I can continue running, pain-free.  Some major perks of the ACE™ Brand Elastic Bandage with ACE™ Brand Clip are that the clip stays fastened, it’s easy to adjust, you don’t have to worry about annoying clothing snags, you can customize your level of compression, and even after you wash it, it doesn’t lose elasticity.

Remember the old school metal clips?  Those are long gone and they’ve fixed the clip!  Here’s a funny video explaining why:
We Fixed the Clip with Motivational Sportsgent, Arthur: "To the Sport"
I hope all of these tips help all of you dealing with PF!  I understand how maddening it is.


Happy trails!






Find ACE™ Brand on the interwebs:

o    Facebook: Handle – @AceBrand at  https://www.facebook.com/AceBrand
o    Twitter: Handle - @ACE_brand at https://twitter.com/ACE_brand

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How Long is a Marathon?

I always laugh (inside) when people ask how long that marathon was that I ran.  Or when people say "my friend runs marathons too!" and then you later find out they're referring to 5ks.  It's cute.  I don't expect everyone to know the difference between a 26.2 mile race and a 13.1 or a 3.1 mile race.  But I love numbers and can spend forever poring over my running stats.  It's fun to me which is why I enjoyed this infographic from Competitor and thought I'd share it with you.

How Long is a Marathon?

Side note: I actually love listening to "All Along the Watchtower" and "Stairway to Heaven" on my runs so it was fitting that they used that in the infographic.

Anywho, I don't normally participate in WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday) but I love seeing what all of you are eating so I thought I'd share a few eats of mine from the past week.



the usuals. kale, quinoa, salmon, tofu, avocado.

and my late night snack -- every night -- watermelon! 

I just recently joined Fit, the swanky gym downtown right around the corner from my office, and I'm loving it!  What makes it even better is that my friend and running sole-mate, Teresa, works out there too so we can meet for workout dates whenever we damn well please!  We did tempo runs side by side on the treadmills last night and it was so nice to have a buddy while I watched Real Housewives on my treadmill TV.  ;)  I did 6.5 miles with 5 @ 7:24/mi pace and I have to say, it wasn't all that challenging.  Maybe I'm finally getting my groove back, like Stella.

my new stomping grounds. 
Sorry for the total and complete randomness of this post.  I'm a bit scatterbrained today.  But hey, Happy Hump Day! 

What's your favorite song to 

run to at the moment?

Mine: Jubel by Klingande. I fly whenever it comes on.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Things Are Looking Up + My Week in Workouts

Remember that super negative, emo post I wrote on Friday?  Yeah, who was that girl?  Thanks for listening and allowing me to bitch and moan, and thank goodness that has passed.  I blame it on the Super Moon.

After writing that pitiful post, I had a pretty stellar 5 mile run which turned my mood around, as expected.  Afterwards, B picked up the most delicious sushi and we had a super chill night watching crappy movies on TV and lounging because I had a long run scheduled for the morning.

Saturday morning rolled around and I hoped for the best.  If you recall, I quit my run last weekend because of the heat. If I wasn't able to knock out at least 14 miles this weekend I planned on scrapping the whole marathon. The race is only 8 weeks away and I have some serious mileage to build still.

Luckily, I nailed it. It was hot and slightly muggy but there was a breeze -- thank goodness.  I powered through knowing I needed this mileage under my belt. I finished 15 miles with an 8:44/mi average pace and felt pretty good. Brittany and Gunner were waiting for me down by the harbor in a spot that just so happened to be mile 15, on the dot.  Weird.  And perfect. Seeing his furry face (and her not so furry face) is the perfect way to finish a long, sweaty run.

Half of my welcoming committee
I was pooped and ready for a nap but my body felt good.  I took a delightful little nap in the air conditioned house afterwards.  I love naps!  Later we went out to dinner with a friend and then across the street to my favorite San Diego cafe for some late night, decaf cappucinos.  The ending to a perfect Saturday.

best coffee in San Diego - I promise! Caffe Calabria

Sunday was a beach day followed by 4 easy recovery miles.  I don't want to jynx myself, but nothing hurt.  I felt fantastic!





My Week in Workouts:

Monday:  Spin Class (60 minutes)
Tuesday: 6 miles (3 @ 7:06/mi)
Wednesday: Spin Class (50 minutes)
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 5 miles
Saturday: 15 miles
Sunday: 4 miles




How was your weekend?



Friday, July 11, 2014

Keeping it Real

Can I be honest with all of you today?  I try very hard to make this blog a place of positive talk and good energy.  Negativity is unattractive and so not my style, but today, it's happening.  I am keeping it real on the blog today.

It's Friday and normally I'd be on cloud 9, getting excited for the weekend.  I'd be playing fun music and dancing around my office. I'd be giggly and goofy and people might even ask if I was drunk. (It's happened.)  Instead, I am super grumpy, stressed, irritable and hating everything about myself and this day.

I ate like shit last night (desserts galore), I have a massive zit that is impossible to conceal in the middle of my face, my belly is sticking out like whoa (and there ain't no baby in there), I have a headache, I'm stressing about getting a long run in this weekend in the heat, and maybe it's the combination of all these things, but I'm close to tears.  I want to go home, get under the blankets, and not face the world.

Do you ever have these days?

My life is not bad.  Not even close.  In fact, it's pretty freaking awesome!  I love my job.  I love my girlfriend. I love my animals (most of the time).  I love my little house.  I live in paradise and life is just rad.  But today, I am giving myself permission to feel shitty.  Screw the positive self talk and mantras. Today sucks and that is okay.  Not every day can be sunshine and butterflies.  Today, I can cry -- and I don't even need a legitimate reason.

The funny thing is, after I run tonight, I will likely feel a thousand times better and will laugh at this moody, uber negative post.  Or maybe not.  Maybe I'll just drink wine.  Only time will tell.  But hey, at least it's not Monday!

*I apologize for the negativity but if you're also having a shitty day, let's commiserate. :)