Back into Training

After taking the week after my 5k off, I am back into training for the next race. There is one in my town on Thanksgiving, called the “Gobble Wobble” and I’m not sure if it’s 5k or 10k, the information has not been distributed yet. There is a 10k, indoors, in Cleveland in December that I am really aiming for, just need to register.

Training this week has been interesting. Started out the new training program with a benchmark run and felt good. Ran on the treadmill and wasn’t completely dead at the end, but dead enough to where I knew I had put in work.

Second day out, just a quick 1/2 mile jog and it felt fantastic. I felt like I could keep going for another 5k, at the moment. I was happy to be back out running, and if you know me, that’s hilarious because I used to hate running unless it was to get food or beer. Now, however, I take it as ‘me time’ and use it to get myself to the one thing that I’ve wanted in life more than anything, being a pro athlete – hence the drive for Kona.

Day 3, on the other hand, not as awesome legs started to feel tired, it was the 3rd day in a row after a week off and my body was starting to feel it. My legs were not terrible but had started to get heavy half way through. Thankfully it was only another 1/2 jog, so I finished without any issues.

Day 4 felt like a disaster! After only about .15 – .25 miles in, my body wanted to curl up and nap. My legs were dead, my body was tired and I was pissed. As I was running, I was trying to figure out what the hell was going on, why did I need to keep stopping and start walking, it was only a mile, this shouldn’t have been an issue. Then it hit me, I really hadn’t eaten all day and now here I was out for a mile long run without any real fuel in me. That was dumb, I should know better, but there I was in pain and struggling. I finished the mile of walk/run and was still pretty mad at myself, but I finished it instead of packing it up and heading home early. Some days you have to suck it up and deal, that was yesterday for sure.

Today, thankfully, is a well needed rest day and tomorrow I start right back up. I will implementing a swimming and biking program as soon as I figure out the times that will work best for recovery and training with work. The running has been a great starting point for me and I’m so excited about adding in the rest of the sports for the triathlons as I go along.

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RACE DAY

It’s finally race day! September 4, 2017 was my first ever race, a 5k (3 miles). I was nervous but felt pretty good. My 2 goals were to run the entire race and finish the race, here’s how it went.

First, I had to work the midnight shift Sunday night, so I got off of work at 7am, ate a small meal to have some energy for the race and sipped on fluids to make sure I didn’t get dehydrated. By 9am, it was race time and I started out feeling great!

About a mile in, the dead legs started to seriously kick in. The exhaustion from being up all night was taking over and I decided to walk for a bit so that I could have something in the tank to finish the race. Goal #1 not accomplished, but in order to finish the race, I decided that I wasn’t going to kill myself over run/walking my first race. Turns out, that was a smart decision.

I only walked for about 200 meters and was back to running and periodically throughout the last 2 miles walked for about 200 meters when my legs started to feel like they were going to fall off, and it definitely made it possible for me to finish the race.

Goal #2 was accomplished and I ran across the finish the line with a time of 32:49, good enough for an 11th place finish in my age group. This was great because it wasn’t far off of my 10:30 pace I had done in training, so I was pretty excited about the outcome.

The run itself wasn’t bad, the sun started to beat down, but the last 2 miles were inside the park and there was a ton of shade and a slight breeze that made it not so stifling hot. All along the route (which was the parade route) there were people cheering and incredibly encouraging. Of course my family yelled out to me, which was a new experience since playing team sports you don’t really hear them as much individually as in a race.

Overall, my legs weren’t in terrible condition afterwards, of course the epsom salt soak helped immensely with that, and I was able to nap it out the rest of the day before heading to work at 11pm that night.

Lessons learned:

  1. Get the night before and the night of the race off of work (seriously, don’t do that to yourself again)
  2. Stay hydrated during training and especially the week leading up to the race and eat enough carbs and fats and proteins to make sure your energy stores are at their optimal level for race day
  3. Make sure you have food and liquids for immediately after the race and give yourself time to wind your body down
  4. Have fun! It’s only a race and like my cousin said “At least you’re out there as opposed to not.” True statement!

Highlights of the race… other than finishing it and in a decent time…. Having my family there, getting a Smiley Face cookie, chocolate milk, bottle of water, and half a banana after the race. Oh, and my first race sticker!

I have my sights sets on two more races before the end of the year, one in November on Thanksgiving (another 5k) and one in December in Cleveland (10k indoors). I’ll keep you posted as my training for those starts tomorrow!

One Week to Go

Next Monday, September 4, is my first ever 5k. I have never run a race before, of any kind outside of training for another sport, and I am nervous. I am nervous because I’m always a little nervous before an event and because I’ve never done this before.

I have 2 goals for the race:

  1. Run the entire 3 miles
  2. Keep at my current 10’30” pace or better

I have been sick this whole last week and only got 1 run in, of course that 1 run was a 3 mile run and I did it in 31’00”, so I’m pretty pumped about that. I have been mixing my running between treadmill and outside depending on the weather and my time during the day. Sometimes I can be faster on the treadmill because the ground is moving also, some days I have a little more time, so I’ll hit the park.

Since the race is outside and partially in the park, I’ve been training more at the park and getting used to the road surfaces there. It’s definitely different than indoors, but my times are keeping within a minute of each other, so that makes me feel pretty good.

In May I started at 14′-15′ mile and now I’m hovering around 10’30” consistently. Seeing the progress is so helpful and watching my body change and my legs become stronger is exciting. I’m only 32 but I’m getting my 18 year old body back, now if only my six pack would hurry back, that would be great.

The only thing I’m worried about is that I didn’t get the night off of work before or the day of the race, so I will be getting off of work at 7am, racing at 9am, and then back to work at 11pm that night. To say that I am going to be dead tired is an understatement, but nonetheless, I will finish this race.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Do Not Slack on Stretching

Got into my leg and arm days the past 2 weeks, however, I made the mistake of not stretching properly and am stiffer than I should be.

Stretching is of great importance, not just for athletic events or workouts, but also for everyday life. Stretching helps muscles recover, helps keep the body loose and prevent injuries, and can increase range of motion, making it easier to move on a daily basis. 

Especially after having just strained my hamstring, knowing how to properly stretch it is crucial, and I slacked off. Now both of my hamstring are tight, just bedning at the waist sucks during the day and just putting my legs out in front of me while sitting. So, I earned that.

Tomorrow starts my back to yoga 2 to 3 times a week and stretching each of the major muscle groups for 1 minute each after training. Not to mention proper techniques for recovery, foam rollers, Epsom salt baths, and fluids and fuel. 

It’s that moment when you know better and you screw it up, that super annoying moment, drives me nuts. I ushing through is what I do.

First Set Back

I switched jobs and got a shake up with my schedule, which in turn shook up my training schedule. Worst than that was that I has a slight strain in my hamstring, which made it feel like it was going to give out every time I moved.

My hamstring is back to 100% now and after a month of training, I have a stable daily schedule for my new job, so back to training I go. 

Started with a 10 minute run today, swimming tomorrow, and back to my regularly scheduled program after that. Easing my way back in, to ensure not reinjuring my right hammy or another injury altogether, but pushing myself so that I’m not completely back at square one.

Definitely going to be doing more yoga and foam roller usage to help keep my muscle limber & limit the lactic acid buildup. Heading to the store to grab more Epsom salt as well, this does wonders for muscle recovery!

I need to up my water intake and changed my diet around a bit to bring in more carbs & protein. 

Dealing with an injury is never fun, having to wait it out when it’s a strain is even less so, but it is necessary. I took the time off, came back and am easing in to avoid reinjuring the muscle, with proper precautions & adding more to my diet & workout to keep the muscles limber & recovering properly, I shouldn’t have this problem again for a while.

A Week Off was A Poor Decision

I went on a 5 mile run last week and it about killed me. I didn’t do a thing for the next 4-5 days and my body was hurting. Finally, I got up and jumped back out there, man did I pay for taking that week off.

I signed up at my local recreation center and started using their fitness center for my training. Running outside and running on a treadmill are different, your body responds differently to your feet landing on the track as opposed to the blacktop. My lower back let me know that, of course that could have been the cycling I did.

I sat on a bike machine where the seat was low and I was in a bit of a slouch. This is not how you sit on a bike for cycling and is not comfortable. I rode for a mile without stopping and my back was pretty pissed about it. It was stiff for the next few days which made running and stretching tougher than usual.

I kept stretching my back to relieve the tightness and it has been working. I need to remember to sit properly, with my hips rotated so that my spine is properly supported, so my back doesn’t suffer while riding again.

The rec center has a pool so I’m going to check into that on Monday. Just got a new suit to train in so this should be interesting. It’s been a long time since I’ve done any kind of lap swimming. Mostly when I’m in a pool anymore it’s with one of my little cousins attached at my hip or I’m on a floating device with a cold beverage in my hand.

I have been slacking on my yoga, which has been clear and is going to change. You’d be amazed at how much stronger and limber your body feels just from 10-20 minutes of yoga. People think it’s a weird exercise that doesn’t do anything or it’s not a real workout, trust me, I noticed a difference within DAYS of starting it and can tell when I’ve been slacking. Do yourself a favor and find a yoga that works for you and start it. It may be hard at the beginning, just keep going, it’s worth it.

I ran for an entire 1.25 miles without walking! This may not seem like much, but for me that’s a huge accomplishment and something that I can build on. I know that I can go that far without walking, next is 2 miles and so on. Baby steps, little victories, that’s how successes are made overnight. Believe me, champions take years to become overnight successes, this is my beginning.

Brick Wall Week

Well, 3 weeks in and I hit a bit of a wall. Working midnight shift and training is rough, especially when my bike tire popped and I haven’t started swimming yet, so all I’m doing is running. I hate running.

Had to get my mountain bike fixed, the tube in the tire had a hole. Went to my bike shop, they fixed it, but the next day the bike was just sitting in my living room and the I hear “pop hiss” and there goes the brand new tube and my cat’s sanity.

Running is by far the hardest aspect for me, mentally. I’ve always hated running, ALWAYS. The only kind of run I ever wanted to go on involved car keys, my id, money, food, and alcohol. If I was actually running, outside of playing a sport, then you should run as well because God only knows what was chasing me!

My best friend ran cross country in high school, we’ve known each other since kindergarten, she always asked me to run, I always laughed. Now I’m running on purpose and she’s pregnant. I’m not laughing but she is.

I have been exhausted because of work. I’ve gotten more hours and stocking shelves is not easy labor some of those boxes are heavy, climbing a ladder sucks, and most of the time I’m in 37 degrees or below stocking the yogurt. It takes me about an hour or so to dethaw when I get home, so I’m pretty tired by the time I finally pass out.

I’m usually up by noon or 1pm, but the last week all I’ve wanted to do is sleep the entire day until I got up for work at 9pm. I missed one run and felt like a total failure, which made me want to sleep more. Odd how you can be so tired after a workout yet not as tired as when you don’t workout. The body is crazy.

Mentally, my brain keeps saying “go back to bed, it’s just one run.” One run this week, the whole program by next month, not something I’m willing to give up. So, I have to drag myself out of bed and force myself to go for a run. This seems terrible, but we’ve all been there, the brain wants to give up before the body or vice versa. My brain has always been a love/hate thing with me.

I went for the run, and I felt amazing! I did my benchmark run, 7 minute warm up, 3 minutes of as hard and fast as I could go, and 5 minute cool down. I was shocked at how long I could go at a fairly easy pace during the warmup and cool down after only 3 weeks. I was able to go farther before having to start walking again and my body didn’t feel like death after 30 seconds. BOOM, I count that a success and you should too (little victories).

The part in the middle however, now that part sucked! I could only go for 30 second spurts and it was only 3 minutes long. Granted, it was as hard as I could go, for as long as I could, as fast as I could, and build up the speed. Man did I feel like I hadn’t progressed at all, but I have. Getting back into shape is hard, getting into a training regimen that includes swimming, biking, and running – even harder. Hating running and noticing how much better you’re getting at it, definitely a motivator.

It was a rough week, but I keep pushing, greatness doesn’t happen overnight, neither does change. Success is a result of a compound effect of years of hard work and dedication. Champions work when no one is watching, that’s what separates great from good, trophy or not, I want to be great.

Side note, totally went too hard on that run and got sick, not cool. Keep pushing, but stay within your heart rate and doctor’s recommendations, vomiting after a run is not fun. I will also, due to work, never eat yogurt again so don’t be shocked when you do not see any mention of eating yogurt during my training. I now have an irrational hatred for the stuff.