Monday, August 24, 2015

Different Strokes for Different Folks

There's a point in marathon training when everything seems to come together. The tempo runs start to become more enjoyable, the repeats more obtainable and the long runs was less brutal. Not every training cycle has these moments and usually that's a sign of burn-out or over-training. Luckily, this time around I am in that magical place where my hard work seems to be paying off. (Hallelujah!)


Even so, I compare myself to other runners way too often.  My logical brain knows it's detrimental and completely pointless to do this yet I can't seem to help myself sometimes. The reason being, I run a lot less than many other marathon runners and sometimes it starts to freak me out that I am not doing enough, not working hard enough and not putting in enough time.

I hit 45 miles last week and that was the highest so far of this training cycle. Other runners hit 50+ miles a week, every week. I am a far cry from that kind of runner. At times I feel like I should just make myself run more. But I've been injured enough times to know my body has a threshold and it's way below that of some other amazing runners.



I ran 20 miles with Teresa this weekend and we met up with two of our friends for coffee and food afterwards. One of these friends happens to be an all American marathon runner and she won a half marathon here in San Diego last year. Like first place. Overall. That said, we got to talking about training (of course) and it turns out, she never ran over 10 miles in her training before she rain a 3:07 marathon. Crazy, right!?

Or not at all.

This is a perfect illustration of how different we all are. Our bodies thrive on different ways of training just like they thrive on different types of diets. Clearly high mileage training works for many people and then there are people like my speedy friend who are proof that quality is more important than quantity - for her. Some of the best endurance athletes eat a paleo diet while some eat a completely vegan diet. I see that as proof that all of these things work and everyone is right! Yay, can we stop being so divided now?! ;) 

I think we just need to focus on what works for us individually. Of course there is always knowledge to gain from other people and scientific research but always take it with a grain of salt. We need to be intuitive and trust our bodies because these bods of ours are super smart and if we pay attention, they give us a ton of feedback.

post 8-mile run with mile repeats. #nailedit
My body screams from the rooftops when it's unhappy with me and my running. I start to feel lethargic, my plantar fasciitis flares back up, my paces get slower, and I feel like crap.  Right now, I feel great. My energy levels are fantastic. I have been nailing all my goal paces and most importantly, running is still fun. There is truly no need to compare my miles to anyone else's miles just like there's absolutely no reason to compare my lunch to someone else's. We are all wildly different and that's why the world is so freaking fabulous. Right!?

***

Last Week in Workouts:
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 8 miles (4x1600 @ 6:40, 6:36, 6:31, 6:29)
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: 7 miles with Ashleigh
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 20 miles with Teresa (10 on sandy trails and 10 on road)
Sunday: 5 miles with Brittany

Total: 45 miles

I have been completely winging my training so far and not following any sort of plan except one I am devising in my head on the fly. If it all pans out, then I guess I'd make an excellent run coach! ;)

***

 Do you ever compare yourself to other runners? 
Are they usually people on the internet or real life?


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Beachy Days, When You Meet a Reader, Sister Visits and #Solemates

Wow -- I have been so unbearably busy that I haven't even popped in with any updates on training or life! Here's what you've missed while I was away -- I'll try not to be too long winded.

I had a pretty killer 16 mile run on a nice, cloudy day a couple weeks ago. It made me feel pretty confident about the St. George Marathon -- which is only 7 weeks away now!!


That same day I had the pleasure of meeting up with a longtime blog reader, Eileen from Texas (originally from Illinois, like me). When I say longtime reader, I mean she wins the award for reading more of my posts than anyone else. Ever. She remembers the days when this ol' blog was still titled Run with Kate. We met at Lofty Coffee, one of my favorite little spots in Encinitas, and it was like we'd known eachother forever. She is so authentic and kind and I just instantly loved the shit out of her.


In between my lovely encounter with Eileen and another insanely chaotic work week, I squeezed in loads of beach time.



The following weekend, my baby sister visited San Diego with her boyfriend to check out some colleges. We went on a beautiful hike at Torrey Pines, ate acai bowls, spent hours at the beach, went to a Padres game and walked around the Hotel Del. It was awesome having the little sister here.







Since then, I've had some pretty stellar runs, one failed attempt at an 18 miler and then a sweet redemption 18 miler in 85 degrees this weekend. I also got into a car accident but that's a story for another time...


Let's rewind to the long run fail and the redemption run. The weekend my little sister was here, I woke up at the crack of dawn to knock out 18 miles before she even had her make-up and hair done for the day. The trouble was, the moment I started running I knew it was going to be a bad day. My legs felt heavy and I was completely fatigued. I decided a few miles in that I would make that week a cut-back week and only run 12 miles.

At first, I was mad at myself for being a quitter but then I remembered how important it is to listen to your body. My body was saying it just couldn't do it that day so I listened and I scaled back just enough to not mess with my training and the momentum I had built. 12 miles with a ton of breaks made for a worthy enough run and I knew I would just have to really kick it into gear next weekend. No excuses.

So this weekend came around and all anyone was talking about was how hot it would be. Of course I was wishing I would've scaled back this weekend, not last, but had to suck it up. Luckily, Teresa had the exact same run on her schedule so we planned to run together.



I can honestly say, this run would not have been possible without her. I tend to be very self sufficient and self motivated but I needed her for this one. It was already 78 degrees at the start of our run and quickly hit 85. Luckily, we had plenty to catch up on which made the time fly... for the first 13 miles or so. Then we had to work.



By mile 15 we were struggling but still managing to kick ass. We both got slightly nauseous at some points but powered through (safely) with lots of water, electrolytes and some calories. At the end of that run we felt like serious bad asses for enduring the heat for 18 freaking miles. We celebrated with bagel sandwiches and pineapple berry iced teas. It tasted like victory.


Not only do Teresa and I always run perfectly in sync, but last night we texted eachother and we were both eating fro-yo at the exact same time. Seriously, #solemates for life!

damn it, now I want fro-yo... again!

The point in me sharing all these tedious running details is just to serve as a reminder that one shitty run does not determine the rest of your training or race day. I had a terrible run a couple weeks ago and had to throw in the towel. Then this past Saturday I found strength to endure some pretty tough conditions and finished as strong as one could hope. Every day is different. Every run is different. Every mile is different.

When your body talks - listen. When you know you need to push it - push it. Trust your intuition. It will never steer you wrong.

friday's magical sunset run. home sweet home.

Remember when I said I'd try not to be long winded? 752 pictures later...


Fill me in on your weekend/training/life! 
I've missed you all!

As a reminder, I am running the St. George Marathon to raise money for Girls on the Run. If you have the means to donate even the smallest amount, I would be so grateful. Know that every gift makes a difference. I'm almost to my goal -- help me get there! CLICK HERE


Monday, August 10, 2015

Killer 10k Training Plan + Fueling with Real Food

This post is sponsored by LARABAR.

I seriously cannot believe we only have less than two months left of summer! I have quickly gotten used to my nightly runs on the coast during sunset. It’s pretty glorious. Having a brand new run route up in Encinitas has spiced up my training and has made me want to get out there and smash my workouts a little more than usual. It also doesn’t hurt that along the way I see countless fit (and beautiful) runners clipping along at insanely fast paces. It makes me want to race.



I’ve partnered up with LARABAR this summer (as you may have noticed in a couple previous posts) and they asked me to share a 10k training plan. Since I’m not a run coach (yet) I thought I’d share a plan from Women’s Running that is right in line with how I train.



This plan can be used for any training paces HOWEVER you will notice in the key that there are paces included for someone aiming to run a sub-45 minute 10k. That equates to a 7:14/mile pace. If that’s one of your big goals - stick to the paces noted in the plan. If that is not your goal, use a run pace calculator to find out what your tempo pace, race pace and easy paces are. Simple as that. Now get crackin’!

12 weeks to a sub-45 minute 10k:

Week 1
Monday: XT or Rest
Tuesday: 3 miles TR
Wednesday: 4-6 miles E
Thursday: 4 x (800 meters RP + 400 meters R)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 6 miles LR
Sunday: 4-6 miles E

Week 2
Monday: XT or Rest
Tuesday: 3 miles TR
Wednesday: 4-6 miles E
Thursday: 5 x (800 meters RP + 400 meters R)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 7 miles LR w/ 10 min SF
Sunday: 4-6 miles E

Week 3
Monday: XT or Rest
Tuesday: 3.5 miles TR
Wednesday: 5-7 miles E
Thursday: 5 x (800 meters RP + 400 meters R)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 8 miles LR
Sunday: 4-6 miles E

Week 4
Monday: XT or Rest
Tuesday: 4 miles TR
Wednesday: 5-7 miles E
Thursday: 3 x (1200 meters RP + 400 meters R)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 6 miles LR w/ 10 min SF
Sunday: 4-6 miles E

Week 5
Monday: XT or Rest
Tuesday: 4 miles TR
Wednesday: 5-7 miles EThursday: 4 x (1200 meters RP + 400 meters R)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 9 miles LR
Sunday: 4-6 miles E

Week 6
Monday: XT or Rest
Tuesday: 2 miles E + 5 x 1:30 HR + 2 miles E
Wednesday: 5-7 miles E
Thursday: 3 x (1600 meters RP + 400 meters R)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 10 miles LR w/ 15 min SF
Sunday: 4-6 miles E

Week 7
Monday: XT or Rest
Tuesday: 2 miles E + 6 x 1:30 HR + 2 miles E
Wednesday: 6-8 miles E
Thursday: 4 x (1600 meters RP + 400 meters R)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 7 miles LR
Sunday: 4-6 miles E

Week 8
Monday: XT or Rest
Tuesday: 2 miles E + 6 x 2 min HR + 2 miles E
Wednesday: 5-7 miles E
Thursday: 3 miles RP
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 11 miles LR w/ 10 min SF
Sunday: 4-6 miles E

Week 9
Monday: XT or Rest
Tuesday: 2 miles E + 7 x 2 min HR + 2 miles E
Wednesday: 6-8 miles E
Thursday: 4 miles RP
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 9 miles LR
Sunday: 4-6 miles E

Week 10
Monday: XT or Rest
Tuesday: 4 miles TR
Wednesday: 5-7 miles E
Thursday: 4 x (1600 meters RP + 400 meters R)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 12 miles LR w/ 15 min SF
Sunday: 4-6 miles E

Week 11
Monday: XT or Rest
Tuesday: 3 miles TR
Wednesday: 4-6 miles E
Thursday: 3 miles RP
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 6 miles LR
Sunday: 3-5 miles E

Week 12
Monday: XT or Rest
Tuesday: 2 miles TR
Wednesday: 4-6 miles E
Thursday: 2 miles RP
Friday: Rest or 2-3 miles E
Saturday: RACE!
Sunday: Rest

KEY:

RP = Race Pace, 7:14/mile
E = Easy Run, 8:55/mile
LR = Long Run, 8:55-10:04/mile
SW = Strong Finish, 8:10-8:25/mile
HR = Hill Repeats, 6:57/mile
TR = Tempo Run, 7:24/mile
ST= Strength training (focusing on lower body and core)
XT = Cross Train (bike, swim, elliptical, etc.)



I love the structure of this plan and once I wrap up marathon training, I think I’ll recover for a bit and then try some shorter races - like a 10k!

Training for a 10k with a plan like this will likely leave you pretty ravenous and wanting to gorge yourself after the hard workouts because of how much energy you’ve expended. It’s important not to overdo it and overcompensate for the running. Rather than make a beeline to the nearest self-serve fro yo shop after every run, stay stocked up on snacks. Always. Be prepared for the hunger and handle it like a pro. That is one of my biggest tips for newer runners who are just starting to ramp up their training. It’s so easy to fall victim to “runger.” 



LARABAR really is an ideal choice for runners because of the short list of ingredients (fruits, nuts and spices), the delicious taste and texture, and the perfect combination of carbs and protein for recovery or pre-workout energy. I’ve become a  little weird when it comes to bars ever since I’ve discovered LARABAR. I am hyper aware of the crazy amount of ingredients contained in other bars and I seriously can’t even get myself to eat one now. Warning: this will likely happen to you too once you get hooked. LARABARs are just real food in a foil wrapper. Simple as that.


ANY 10K VIRGINS OUT THERE? 

SEASONED RUNNERS: WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR SOMEONE NEW TO THE 10K?

At LARABAR®, we believe that the foundation of a sound mind, body and spirit is derived from what you eat – and what you eat is most delicious and satisfying when it's in a whole, natural state.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Weekend recap + WHY I'm running the St.George Marathon

Hi guys!! I am now into week 2 at my new job and it’s been crazy busy. I haven’t really had much down time to blog but here I am now. This past weekend was my first full weekend up in Encinitas as an official resident. Brittany came up to visit on Friday and we went out for the most incredible pizza ever at Blue Ribbon Rustic off Highway 101 and then we caught a killer sunset on the beach.





I had the great pleasure of spending 14 miles with Katherine who you may remember from her blogging days as Neon Blonde Runner. She was in town from out east for a Saucony photo shoot here in San Diego. She is such a doll and her adorable, smiley face was the only reason I was able to survive those brutally hot miles up and down the coast. I adore her and I can’t wait for her life to be less busy one day so she can go back to entertaining us on her blog. We jumped in the ocean and enjoyed acai bowls after our run and met up with her friend who was in town from Colorado. She was equally as awesome.







I was sort of spoiled and had an in-home massage on Saturday thanks to an app that has now expanded its reach to San Diego called Zeel. It is basically massage on demand. After my hot, hard, long run I wanted two things: a nap and a massage. So I pushed a button on the app and within a couple hours I had a massage therapist at my door! It was amazing. He brought the table, the massage oils, sheets, and aromatherapy and set up right in my living room. It was truly one of the best massages I’ve ever had and trust me, I’ve had a TON. Remember that time I went to Thailand for a month and had two massages a day? Yeah…that was magical.

See if Zeel is in your area and check it out. It’s totally worth it – and the best part is that right after your massage you can take a quick shower and NAP. No driving involved and nothing to ruin your relaxed mojo. It’s wonderful!

On Sunday I used my nicely massaged muscles to move the rest of my stuff to my new apartment with the help of Brittany then we hit the beach. It was hot and sunny and the water was actually warm – which is so rare in California. All it took was two trips to the beach up in my new hood for Brittany to decide she wants to be a surfer. We hit up 4 surf shops and Brittany drove home that day with a surfboard on the roof of her car. Impulsive much? Maybe that’s why we love each other. ;)


As always, the weekend was glorious and much too short.


The WHY behind St. George


I wanted to quickly mention the reason I am conquering another 26.2 miles out in St. George, Utah. I am trying not to bog you down with it but my real reason for running this marathon is to raise money for Girls on the Run, a charity that is near and dear to my heart because of how much running has changed my life. Truly.





I just learned that my fundraising campaign has a deadline! I had no idea (oops!) and I still have a ways to go to hit my goal. I would SO GREATLY appreciate your help and I will send a personal note along with a special little something to whoever helps. I hope together we can spread the joy and self-confidence that running provides to underprivileged girls so they grow up to be empowered women. Think about how much running has affected you and changed your life for the better. Now imagine you started sooner and were introduced to it in a way that incorporated lessons on self-esteem and healthy living. WOW. I could have really used this after-school program as a little girl and my goal is to make sure other girls are afforded this incredible opportunity.

If you’ve already given – THANK YOU. You’re all my heroes! If not, now is the time because time is running out! I am so lucky to have the best readers and I am so grateful for every single one of you.

Want to help? CLICK HERE! Every single gift makes a difference!

Happy hump day, everyone! xx

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mexican Adventures, Moving and Career Changes: All in a Week's Time

Hello, world! I haven't posted in awhile but trust me, it's completely excusable and hopefully soon I'll be back to annoying you with the details of my life you never needed (or wanted) to know.

In the past week I...
  • Worked the last day at a job I truly loved and said good-bye to all my people
  • Packed up most of my belongings
  • Dealt with annoying car trouble
  • Went to Mexico for a 3 day weekend getaway with Brittany and friends
  • Started a brand new job upon returning from Mexico
  • Moved my life up to Encinitas
So yeah, it's been a busy ass week to say the least.

Mexico was basically the most fabulous budget-friendly getaway with girlfriends I could ever imagine. We stayed in a beautiful house with ocean views for days in Las Gaviotas, a gated community just south of Rosarito. The cost was so insignificant that it's actually kind of ridiculous. Every house in the community has a view of the ocean because of the way they're built upwards, like a stadium, and everyone has access to a large shared pool, hot tub and private beach.

 
 
 

We laid on the beach, floated on a giant raft in the ocean, ate lobster in the nearby town of Puerto Nuevo and went out for a night of drinks, dancing and a fabulous karaoke performance by yours truly (which Brittany has footage of for future blackmail). It was a total blast and I highly recommend making a trip down there if you're in southern California. I felt like we made out like bandits with our sweet little house and awesome rooftop but apparently that's just standard.

 
 
This past Monday was my first day at my new workplace which always tends to be equal amounts anxiety and excitement. This situation is no different but luckily my team is pretty wonderful. The first three months are usually the roughest and I always feel completely clueless. I just have to remind myself that's normal and it's a positive thing because I am being challenged. It also doesn't hurt that I have an office with not one, but TWO windows and the ocean is just down the street. Did I mention I also live a mile and a half from my office?


I moved basically everything on Wednesday after work and I am getting all settled in up in Encinitas. I struck gold with my apartment and roommate situation. She's truly incredible. I came home from work today to her baking cookies and then tweeting along with me while I co-hosted a Twitter party. When I finished my run tonight, I had a bowl of her homemade chicken noodle soup. Yeah, I know. Pinch me.

And this is my new running route...



I think it is totally appropriate to end with the hashtag #blessed.  Goodnight, y'all!


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What's in my gym bag?

This post is sponsored by LARABAR.


Oh summertime, how I love thee! The longer days make it much easier and far more motivating to run after work. Because of the seemingly endless daylight, I have been nailing my workouts and my energy levels have been off the charts. Hallelujah!

LARABAR wanted me to share what I keep in my gym bag -- but first, let's back up.

You know when you slam on your brakes while driving and instinctively reach your arm out to protect whomever or whatever is in your front seat? Well, whenever I reach out, it's to protect my lulu gym bag from flying on the floor. I seriously need to have a child soon so I have something to protect other than my running shoes. It's kind of sad.


So what’s in that big ol’ magic blue bag (that I protect like a human)? Gee, I thought you’d never ask! ;)

Okay voyeurs, the most obvious stuff that can be found in my bag: 

  • Headphones, watch, water bottle, shoes, workout clothes, headband.

But I also ALWAYS have: 

  • Band-aids. For my blisters and chronically bloody toes. Welcome to the glamorous life of marathon training.
  • Tampons. I’m a girl, so yeah.
  • iPad. Reality TV on Hulu doesn't count if you're running on a treadmill, right?
  • Body Glide. Chafing is no joke. I lube up those thighs like nobody’s business.
  • Cleansing towelettes. A clean face is a happy face.
  • Deodorant. Because no one wants to be the smelly girl on the treadmill.
  • Dry shampoo. Total #GameChanger for those instances when I have plans right after a workout. Shower, spray and call it a day. 
  • Snacks. See below.


I carry snacks in my bag like a soccer mom because I get seriously hangry. When that blood sugar drops, it gets ugly. Like whoa. Literally everyone I have ever dated has told me I should never leave the house without snacks which I can only assume was for their own safety and well-being (because I’m kind of scary) but regardless, I started to listen.

The perfect thing to eat post-workout is hands down a LARABAR. After a killer tempo run, butt kicking intervals or even a long, slow, endurance focused run, LARABARs provide the perfect mix of carbohydrate (from fruit) and very necessary muscle repairing protein (from nuts).



The last thing I ever truly crave or wish to eat is something fake and processed which tends to be the most readily available option when hunger strikes. I try to stay stocked up on LARABARs for this reason but occasionally someone eats them even when I tell them not to (ahem, Brittany!!). I kid you not, I told her not to eat my LARABARs and when it came time to write this post and take photos of my stash, they were all eaten. I was so not amused but that speaks to how delicious (and slightly addicting) these suckers are.

My new favorite flavor is Cherry Pie (holy yum) and I’ve heard from the LARABAR thief herself that the Coconut Cream Pie is quite amazing. I wouldn’t know. I never got to taste that one.

Okay, time to spill the beans. 
What’s always stashed in your gym bag?


At LARABAR®, we believe that the foundation of a sound mind, body and spirit is derived from what you eat - and what you eat is most delicious and satisfying when it's in a whole, natural state.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Margaritas, Movies, Babies and Blisters

Hola, everybody! I hope you all had a nice, relaxing weekend.  Mine went down a little something like this:

Brittany and I went to the movies Friday to see Spy with Melissa McCarthy which was pretty dumb but I definitely laughed out loud multiple times. I originally wanted to see Amy, the documentary about Amy Winehouse, but I was super emo (i.e. menstrual) so I thought a funny movie would probably be a better choice. I didn’t want to get all suicidal on poor Brittany. I had fro-yo and popcorn for dinner because I’m a grown up and I can do that. This has kind of become my Friday tradition. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not…but let's just go with it. 80/20 right? 

Saturday morning, I played my run by ear because I have been dealing with the most gnarly blisters on my feet. I have one on the ball of my foot that basically feels like someone is holding a match to my skin when I run so needless to say, it’s unpleasant at the very least. I have finished every run with bloody socks and it sucks. I started wearing my ToeSox compression socks (the zoe) and they're amazing. No more bloody toes...finally.


ok let's be real - runners are some of the nerdiest looking mo fos.
I replaced one of my runs with spin class to let it heal but it’s still going strong. I ended up running 12 miles Saturday and finished at Whitney’s house where Brittany was babysitting her brand new baby boy, Teddy. I wish I would’ve/could’ve run longer but 12 was sufficient and I got to hold a newborn at the finish so I was so not complaining. Endorphins + new baby smell = OH HAPPY DAY.

seriously, i need one growing in my belly like yesterday.

Saturday night I babysit two of the sweetest little girls in the world and I sort of felt like the world was taunting me with cute children. I am already so baby crazy these days and then basically my entire Saturday revolved around kids and babies and my ovaries were like screaming by the end of the day.

making s'mores in la jolla.
I had a lovely lunch date with my good friend Rebecca on Sunday. It was the most beautiful day and reminded me that summer in San Diego is damn near perfect compared to the rest of the U.S.  I ran 6 miles and my foot miraculously felt great so that was a pleasant surprise.  I topped off the weekend with margaritas from Puesto down at the Headquarters amongst all of the Comic-Con madness.  It was quite the fine weekend!

comic-con crazy
 


Week in Workouts:
Monday: Yoga
Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday: Spin
Thursday: 7 miles (4x1 mile at 6:40 pace)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 12 miles
Sunday: 6 miles

Total: 30 miles + yoga + spin

What did you do/see/eat this weekend??