Friday, July 25, 2014

Monumental Training...

So, uhm, last week was.. well, terrible.

On Monday, the 14th, I headed out to the garage to do my 1-rep max testing..  I had really high hopes after the gains I saw last Wendler cycle.  Did my warm-up, and started loading on for the squats.  The warm-ups with the bar (45) were pretty easy, the next few progressions OK, and then we put on my previous PR of 95. I went down into the squat, and...  panicked. Me: "I'm stuck!"  Husband: "No you're not, push." Me: "Get it off, get it off!" (I have a weird fear of 'bailing'... gotta fix that.) Then my mood got stuck right with me. Everything was negative, spiraling down, and I couldn't stop it. I rallied to try a deadlift, and a light weight felt hard, and I was done.

But then, I took it out on my husband with a few snide comments. Here I am, feeling beyond negative at myself, and he's swinging my weights around like nothing....  guess where this is going? Yup. A few minutes later, I got yelled at. Laid into. And my mood was down for a week.

So, Week 5 of marathon training was pretty rough. I missed a workout, and cut some others short. I could rally myself to get a workout in and then feel numb by lunchtime. My approaching 30th birthday wasn't helping.  Luckily, my 8 miler last Saturday went very well. Pace came out to an 11:00 average (my normal Half Marathon pace is 10:40).. but I had stopped to help a dog that was lost, and forgot to pause my Garmin, giving me a 13 minute mile in the middle. So, probably pace was right in line.

We're all good now, don't worry. (Hey, real talk, marriages take work... there are two people involved with their own moods, drama, and issues. But there's a whole lot of love in ours too!) Monday was my 30th Birthday! I ended up taking the day off, and my husband and friend put together a nice little surprise dinner at a wood-fired pizza joint I love. It is my fave cheat food!   (I'll have some thoughts on 30 in a different post).

The rest of this week has gone OK as far as training. I've finished the Whole 30 and been testing foods I used to eat regularly, with mixed results. Tuesday was a planned 5, but I woke up with tummy issues from my birthday dinner, rallied, got in 2.5, had to stop by the house to pee, and developed stomach cramping when I stopped. So I did some light lifting.

Wednesday, I ran a mile for a warmup, and then did 5 reps at 45, 50, 55 (15 total reps) of bench press, and then hang cleans, 1 shoulder press into back squats, 1 shoulder press to put bar back, then 4 rounds of 15 second planks on front and each side with no rest between rounds. Yesterday was 4 miles, and they came in right at HM pace.

I'm feeling decent about tomorrow's planned 10 miles. I used Tailwind last week and will try that again.  The stomach issues are frustrating, but I guess I just have to eat really clean this marathon!

What are you training for? How is your training going?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Random Thoughts While Running...

"Take it easy. Yeah, that feels good."

"I like the colors I'm wearing today."

"Oh, that mile was fast, guess I should keep pushing."

"Come on light, turn red, turn red, turn red.... guess I have to keep going."

(Looks at bushes while running in the rain, notices it's dry inside)  "If I was homeless, I would hide out in there. I could sneak in."   ...  "Who thinks that?"

"My shorts are riding up. I wonder if I've reached inappropriate height yet."

"I wonder what I'm eating tonight. Crap, I didn't thaw anything. Meat won't thaw in time. I have to buy something. Steak. Could I eat steak every night? Yes. But not tonight. So, what am I eating tonight? Ok."

"I hope I don't have to fetch lunch at work today."

"Hey dog!    Woof."

.........   "Oh man, did I just finally experience runner's high to One Direction??"

"Yup. Forever my song..        worth it."

"That house is cute."

"It's hot."

"Wow, I really like that porch. So cute. I wish we had money to build a bigger porch. I'm sweating."

"Ugh. Why do people sweat?"

"Do any girls actually glisten? I have salt in my eye now. Ow."

"Holy F, a marathon is really far."

"I like my shoes. I wonder if it's silly to have the wings on them.  Who cares?  ... I love Inov-8."

"I wonder what random people think about my calf sleeves."

"That is a weird looking car.  Loud engine for no reason.  Oh, heyyyyy small penis."

"I need to change my music. Sometimes this shuffle does an awful job picking songs. (click) Ugh. (click) ugh. (clickclickclick) Oh, finally."

"It's just the 4 mile wall. I hate this thing. Maybe it's not it. Maybe I don't have it today. No... just the 4 mile wall."

"I need more shorts."

"Whoa, they tore that road up."

"That lady is dressed weird."

"Glad it's not snowy anymore. Those sidewalks were slick."

"What should I eat when I'm done? Should I fry my egg?  Yup. Fried eggs."


"Almost there. Kick it in. Drive home."

Friday, July 11, 2014

What Running Should Teach Us About Life...

I meant to make this be a funny list. I kinda went with the opposite... but it was still fun.  Runners are great at teaching themselves about running, and never realizing that we're teaching ourselves about life. Here are just a few things I think running should teach us about life...

1.       Eat right, drink water, wear quality shoes, avoid chafing.

Let’s start with the basics.  So obvious, right? Take care of yourself! Even as runners, when this basic tenet should be obvious, I think many of us neglect ourselves. Running becomes one more thing to jam into our day. It’s our “stress relief”, but sometimes it’s also a stressor. An obligation. Even if you enjoy it, you are physically stressing your body by running.  So, eat good, quality food.  Sleep. Good, quality sleep. Wear the right shoes. Really. Support yourself.  Avoid chafing? Well, that’s just common sense.

2.       Go at your own pace.

No really, I mean it. Too often, we’re told to hurry, get this done, get that done, be aggressive, chase down your goals and tackle them, etc. And that’s fine when you want to push. When you can sustain it. Or when you feel like pushing your limits a bit. But pace is such a deeply personal thing. What is pushing the limits for some could be a crawl for others, or impossibly aggressive for some.  There are times that I want to be flat out, driving hard, and gasping with exhaustion when I’m done. Other times, I want to preserve myself, settle in for the long haul, and choose comfort.  The same goes for life. We have to choose our own pace, and embrace it. Work toward goals or through situations at your speed, in your way. Marriage, work, having children, buying a home, etc. Don’t let the way someone else handles a similar situation dictate how you handle your situation OR how you feel about the way you handle your situation.

3.       Find a plan, and stick to it. But don’t panic when things go awry.

When you  choose a new distance for the first time, or want to get better at one, what’s the first thing you do? Look for a training plan of course!  And how many of us have missed a run or two, completely panicked, and found out in the long run, it didn’t matter? Probably 95% of us.

Life is like this. If you want to achieve something, anything, in work or your personal life, you have to have a plan. A logical, reasonable chart of how you will reach that goal. But you also have to be prepared. Life doesn’t always follow our plans and schedules. And it’s important to be flexible, to be able to re-route, to get derailed, and realize that you’re never truly off track, you can still reach your goal.

4.       You need support, and you need to support others.

Think about your favorite moments racing vs. your least favorite. For me, the best moments have come when there is a fun crowd cheering for the runners, or when I’m running alongside my running buddy, or a random fellow runner. The support energizes you. It keeps you moving forward. My favorite moments come when I give that support back, high-fiving other runners, cheering for other runners, or joking with the crowd.  Even waving and smiling to another runner in my neighborhood gives me a physical boost. Seek support and give support. You’ll gain from both.

5.       Tomorrow’s another day. And if it sucks, tomorrow’s tomorrow is another day.

Ever have a terrible run? Ever have two terrible runs in a row?  Ever just get in a funk?  Yup. It happens. When you have an awful run, or a bad day, sometimes an aborted run, what do you do? Tell yourself, “I will try again tomorrow.”  Sometimes, you’ve had a few bad days. Sometimes, it takes all the courage and willpower you can muster to try again. But if you try, try, try, you will find a tomorrow that is wonderful. I’ve had terrible runs followed by unbelievable runs. I’ve had weeks of OK runs to finally get a “good” run.  Life is just like this. Days will beat you down. Getting out of bed to face tomorrow will be hard. It will take courage. And sometimes, “tomorrow” will be just as bad as “today”. But if you continue to try, if you never give up, eventually, you will find a “tomorrow” that is good, and eventually one that is stellar, and eventually one that is a personal best.

6.       It is the journey AND the destination.

Be present in the moment with an eye to the future. Enjoy the moment, but be prepared for how the good and bad of now can prepare you for the good and bad in the future.

I recently ran my first marathon, and I’m currently training for my second. I trained for my first marathon in the middle of what was officially named Michigan’s Most Miserable Winter. Coldest, snowiest, most days without sun, you name it. I did long runs mid-snowstorm, ran in ski gear, including goggles, during a -22 wind chill morning, and bought trail shoes just to survive the snowy sidewalks.  I raced on a day that ended up being 70 degrees and sunny. Some days, I was fully present in that run, that step, that moment. Some days, my eye was toward the destination, coaxing myself out the door with the knowledge that this training run would get me to my goal.  

Training is such a combination of things, it’s hard not to be a metaphor for life.  You are always learning, from the good and the bad. You’re always moving forward, even when moving backward. Sometimes, you get “runner’s high”, and you’re so fully present in that moment you’re not thinking about anything else. Everything builds toward the destination, the race, and when you get there, you’re so grateful for the journey because that has colored how you experience everything else.  

Enjoy it.  Enjoy where you’ve come from. Enjoy where you’re going.  Enjoy where you are. 

What do you think running should teach us about life?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Carbs Make Me Happy...

Let's start today with a dose of honesty. I've been feeling pretty down. Well, really down. Like, I'll spend half a day feeling motivated to charge charge, choose my own, happiness, all that ish that's splattered on Twitter and Pinterest and whatnot. And then something will happen, sometimes as insignificant as feeling bored at work, and I'm spiraling down the drain of hopelessness.

I don't know if it's a weird side result of the diet. I heard somewhere that people on Whole 30 can feel down and cranky without enough carbs.  And, full disclosure, we had one cheat meal that included white potatoes... I was very happy the next day. Until something crazy happened at work of course. 

But, when you're marathon training and you feel blue, what do you do? Run in the morning, before you've got a chance to be blue of course! Some days, this doesn't work. Today for example, I woke to my alarm after having barely slept. It wasn't even an argument that getting another hour of sleep would be helpful, while trying to run my planned 4 miles on no sleep would probably be detrimental. But of course I am now sitting here with my coffee absolutely berating myself for being a lazy loser.

Training is going OK despite everything else. My long run last week (a whole 6 miles) was a bit of a struggle, but..  it's been humid, and I haven't used an electrolyte replacement, I'm Whole 30, so I haven't used any real fuel, and well, sometimes bad runs just happen. 

Crosstraining has been going a bit better than the running. I'm seeing definition in my face, and my legs look noticeably stronger, which I know will help.   I also feel, well, cleaner. I'm ready for more potatoes, but I'm not sure that I'll go back to my old way of eating. Not completely anyway. I haven't missed dairy or sugar at all, so while the occasional gluten-free pizza, or honey in a recipe, will be enjoyed, I think I want to treat it more as a treat than a staple. I am eager to try certain foods though, and can't wait to say "adios!" to sweet potatoes!

Yesterday's workout:

- 1 mile warmup run

- Wendler bench press (deload week): 3x5 at 35, 40, 45

- 3 rounds: 30 second plank, 30 second side plank each side

- 4 rounds:  5 incline pushups, 10 lunges, 10 box jumps

What are you training for?  How does food effect your mood?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Day 17...

This would've been a bit better to post on Day 15, right??   Anyway, I'm halfway through the 30-Day Reset Diet portion of Chris Kresser's Your Personal Paleo Code  (sometimes easier to describe as a Whole 30).  I didn't want to be one of those people who posts everything I do and everything I eat, but I figured an update couldn't hurt..

It has been....   interesting.

I will say that Google and various Whole 30 forums have been my best friend. The initial transition wasn't bad. We don't eat gluten at all in our house (I already know I'm intolerant), and we're about 80% Paleo anyway. My co-worker decided to join me, and he had a miserable first three days because he was breaking the gluten/sugar addiction. I wish more people were properly prepared for this. There is of course a school of thought (I'm not going to tell you how to eat) that believe gluten is poison whether you're intolerant or not. It is proven fact that wheat/gluten spike your blood sugar worse than, well, actual sugar, and gluten and gliadin get into your blood and get into your brain. If you choose to give up wheat, understand your reasons, and be prepared for the process. You will go through actual withdrawals.

Anyway, back to Dear Husband and I... things started out fine. We have several Paleo recipes already, and many weren't hard to turn Whole 30. For example, my stuffed peppers..  just omit the butter and cheese!  I even managed to tweak my beef stroganoff recipe to make it Whole 30, served atop squash 'noodles'.  But, while my co-worker was admitting within a week that he felt better and had more energy, I was feeling, well, nothing. No reduction in bloat (in fact, a few painful bloat/gas issues), no extra energy, and I was crabby and blue.    I had one run where I felt like I had a much better energy reserve than normal, especially considering I've had to abandon pre-run fuel, but otherwise, nothing.

I was ranting to Dear Husband, as I am prone to do, and he mentioned that he too was feeling bummed out. Ok, off to Google I went!   After a few searches, I realized that we probably weren't eating enough carbs. We're obviously both active, and by eliminating white and red potatoes, we weren't getting in as many carbs as normal, partially because I really don't like sweet potatoes, and partially because, well, it's harder to get carbs in on strict Paleo!  Since then, I've made a point of including carbs at every meal, and I think we've both noticed an almost immediate difference.   I don't like sweet potatoes, but if you fry them in coconut oil for morning hash browns and actually get them crisp, they aren't bad. Our Costco has organic bananas, and they're almost always green, so I've made sure to have at least one per day, and we recently grabbed some plantains! I fried them the other night, then topped them with cinnamon and sugar. Tonight, we're going to try mashing them as part of this recipe from PaleOMG.  I do not believe Paleo automatically means low-carb, despite the odd association we've all made. But, on Whole 30, you definitely have to put a bit of thought into getting them. Here's a good carb source chart from Balanced Bites. We're active. We definitely need more than 100g of carbs each day, or our bodies don't have the fuel they need to support us, and we will suffer!

It took a while to figure out why I was still getting painful bloat, and I figured it out almost by chance. I thought maybe it was from eating raw broccoli, but then bloated painfully (and oh, the gas!  Yikes!!) on a day when I had no green veggies.   Well,  it's cherry season. I love cherries, especially Ranier. Costco had those too.  It took me exactly 3 days to down a 2 pound package. On a bit of a whim, I googled if cherries can cause gas. Lo and behold! A blog post with pages of comments about an obsessive love of cherries followed by an equal portion of GI distress. Two days of no cherries, two days of no issues. Bummer. Guess I just have to figure out the safe limit!

On the Whole (30, lol), I am glad I'm doing this. I imagine I never would've figured out the cherry thing if I wasn't, and I'm excited for Step 2, when you reintroduce foods and determine what works for you. I AM looking forward to having white potatoes again, which I don't think will be a problem for me.

In the last few days, I've noticed that I'm sleeping deeper, even if I still need to change some of my habits around sleep. I have energy on my runs despite no pre-run fuel, and the insane humidity. I'm making gains in the gym, and with the combined effort, I have noticed a few things fitting better, even if I can't see a change yet. I'm much less obsessed with food, which seems funny given how limited it is. I know that everything I'm putting in my body is good, and I no longer crave the bad things. I don't give a second thought to the office candy bowl.

Surprisingly, I haven't had a single craving or longing for dairy.  I looooooove cheese, so I honestly thought that would be my worst craving, but it's been pretty easy to walk past the dairy section when I'm out shopping. I am ready to have alcohol again, but also realizing the alcohol-socializing connection might be a bit strong. I don't see a problem in relaxing with a drink, or having wine with dinner, but I am seeing some interesting things in the frequency and reasons for my drinking. And hey, my skin is clearer, so I guess not drinking for a bit isn't a bad thing!   My strongest craving so far is for corn tortilla chips (hey, I said we were only 80% Paleo!) I'm not sure if this is a salt craving, or where it's rooted, but it is almost my only craving at this point. I know some people who think organic, non-GMO blue corn is fine. It'll be interesting to test corn in Step 2 and see if I can have it every now and then, or if I'm craving it because I'm breaking some unhealthy connection in my body...

I'll try to post a few recipes soon, and yes, I took before pictures, so I might share those eventually...