Returning to normal………….

The post-marathon PR glow has finally subsided and things are getting back to normal around here.

I finally got to a yoga class. So many lunges and downward facing dogs – my legs were loving it. My calf tightness is gone. Yes! Lesson for me: do not stop doing yoga when training for a marathon – your calves will thank you.

Love my yoga studio. Not quite sure why he's standing on a baby though.

Love my yoga studio. Not quite sure why he’s standing on a baby though.

This class also worked on half-moon pose which is my absolute least favorite yoga pose ever. But the teacher made it seem pretty fun – that or I was just so excited to be back on my yoga mat.

If only I looked this good.

If only I looked this good.

I also did a one night camping trip in American Fork Canyon. The fall colors up there are spectacular. And you’re just going to have to take my word for it as my iPhone is acting all weird at the moment.

This is pretty much what it looks like right now.

This is pretty much what it looks like right now. Not my photo.

I also managed to put up my tent all by myself – which I think means that I am now an adult. Usually, I just hold things while J does all of the hard work. It was a pretty great Saturday night hanging out by the campfire. But my God – during the night there was heavy rain, howling winds, thunder, lightening and hail. I did not sleep much – I was too worried the tent would fly away and carry me to Oz.  It was still raining by 7.30 AM (camping mornings are always early) so we packed up as quickly as possible. This meant more driving through beautiful autumnal scenery followed by the most amazing brunch at Sundance Resort.

On Saturday morning I headed out on my first ‘long’ run since the marathon. This was 8.85 miles of not-fun running. I wanted to some mileage in because I will be running a half marathon on Nov 1st – thank you kind race folk for letting me defer after last years injury combo (sciatica and hip bursitis).

So my carb loading continues………………..

Local brewery. Utah has weird liquor laws so they opened a place in Denver.

Local brewery. Utah has weird liquor laws so they opened a place in Denver.

Kale and mushroom-stuffed lasagne rolls.

Kale and mushroom-stuffed lasagne rolls.

I am beyond obsessed with skinnytaste (that is where this recipe is from) and just got her new cookbook as a gift. I am so excited to try out some recipes this weekend.

Am I am still waiting for my new shoes! UPS messed up the delivery last week so I am hoping to get to try them soon.

Finally, I got some marathon photos (at Twin Cities you also get a link to a video showing you cross the finish line). There are a couple of cute ones of J and I running earlier in the race but the finish line seemed to be a little crowded as we were crossing.

Smiling and looking for the camera (for once). I think this might have been mile 14?

Smiling and looking for the camera (for once). I think this might have been mile 14?

Crossing the finish line - and so relieved to be done.

Crossing the finish line – and so relieved to be done.

Triggers and fine lines

Marathon training is hard! No joke! After my 17 miler and stomach issues on Sunday I desperately needed a rest day by Monday.

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 5.3 miles at 9.20 min/mile pace

Wednesday: 8.3 miles at 7.53 min/mile pace. Stomach issues completely gone!

Thursday: 4.2 trail miles at 9.50 min/mile pace + express yoga class. My legs felt really tired on this run. And my half-moon is still not happening. Getting closer but so awkward.

Friday: 1 hour strength training. Right leg slowly catching up.

Most of my gym hours are done in zombie mode – 6 AM is not conducive to human interaction. But this morning I noticed one of the summer regulars. I see this girl every time I’m at the gym, which is usually once, occasionally twice a week, and she is hitting the elliptical/treadmill like it’s going out of fashion. And every time I see her, I get flashbacks to college and watching one of my close friends being taken over by anorexia. Now, I don’t know personally know this girl and she could be perfectly healthy or have some health issues not obvious to a perfect stranger (and I know some people have a difficult time putting on weight and are shamed for being too thin) but seeing her is a trigger for me.

This trigger is seeing someone who is clearly exercising just to burn calories. Someone with no body fat but also no muscle definition. With that cover of downy hair, sunken eyes, wearing baggy clothes. It brings me back to the time when m friend turned into someone else – with no interest in ANYTHING. Literally fading away in front of my eyes. It was terrifying looking in from the outside so I can only imagine what it is like to live INSIDE. She did eventually “recover” (and I use this term lightly – this is a forever illness), but this period has made me hyper aware of the dangers of crossing that fine line into disordered behaviors. I periodically will check in with myself to make sure that the exercise/eating that I’m doing is healthy and not obsessive. That I shouldn’t feel guilty for missing a workout, or taking a little extra dessert. If you’re doing good 90% of the time then that is plenty good enough.

This brings me to something else that has been on my mind lately: trigger blogs. These are blogs that I read that are supposedly focused on healthy living but are clearly written by someone with disordered thoughts about exercise/food. I’ll often wonder if I’m doing enough by running only 35 miles a week. Crazy, huh? Then I’ll quickly wake up and realize that I’m following a well-tested marathon training plan with specific aims and one that includes designated rest days/workout days/crosstraining. No junk miles here.

And I know that I’m lucky that I can have these thoughts and almost immediately dismiss them, but a lot of people aren’t so lucky. These fitspo blogs can encourage compulsive/obsessive behaviors – and that is completely irresponsible. Sure, professional runners routinely log 100+ miles per week, but they also take naps during the day, sleep 9+ hours a night and replace ALL of those calories to fuel their training. All of those miles serve a purpose – and that just isn’t to burn calories – but to get faster, stronger or go longer.

This can also translate into “healthy” eating. To me, healthy eating mean eating a variety of fruit, veggies, grains, dairy – with nothing being off limits (unless you have an allergy, obviously). Personally, I think egg yolks are great to eat, you don’t need to make a cauliflower crust pizza, nutritional yeast has no place on human food and real pancakes are just fine. Balance is the key. By putting restrictions on food, creating “good” and “bad” foods it is easy to develop an unhealthy obsession with otherwise healthy eating – orthorexia. This is a lot easier to disguise as plain ol’ healthy lifestyle. But symptoms may include:

  • Planning their daily menu more than 24 hours in advance
  • Getting more pleasure from the perceived virtue of food than from actually eating it
  • Decreased quality of life as the focus on “better” quality food increases
  • Being increasingly rigid and self-critical about their eating
  • Defining self-esteem and self worth by the quality of food they eat
  • Having a lower opinion of people who do not eat what they deem healthy
  • Describing healthy food as “pure,” “proper,” or “correct”
  • Eating only at home where they have total control of the food, therefore withdrawing socially
  • Feeling guilt or self-loathing when they eat “incorrect” food

And I can see how that can happen. You cut out junk food and feel a million times better. Then you decide to cut out something else and maybe feel even better but at some point it becomes a fine line between eliminating certain foods from your diet and becoming constricted by a rigid set of rules about how to eat “right”.

As bloggers (and people!) I think that we have an obligation to check in with ourselves and make sure that what we are sharing with the world is positive. I love to exercise and to eat (and I am conscious of the food that I buy/prepare/eat) but I need to step back and make sure that I’m being responsible – for my own health and for anyone who might stumble across this blog.

Apologies in advance if I’ve offended anyone with this post but it’s something that’s been on my mind for a while.

 

Half way there…….

It is exactly two months until my very first marathon……..Agh!

So far, I’ve completed 9 full weeks using a modified version of Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 1 plan. It’s gone pretty well. July was my highest mileage month ever – 133 miles exactly. And this past week was my highest mileage week ever – 39 miles. My knee is feeling better (check-in with the physiotherapist this week) and other than feeling a little more tired/hungry than normal I’m pretty pleased.

Monday: Strength workout

Tuesday: 5.35 miles at 9.13 min/mile pace

Wednesday: 7 miles at 7.53 min/mile pace + yoga

Thursday: 4.55 mile trail run at 10.17 min/mile pace

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 15.05 miles at 8.53 min/mile pace

Sunday: 7 mile trail run at 9.11 min/mile pace

Now let’s talk about long runs. I’ve managed a 14, 15 and a 16 miler. And they have been hard. They really seem to be the workouts that I’m struggling with most. And I don’t think it’s a physical struggle. Sure, my legs are a little tired at the end but more than anything I just want it to be over – and this feeling usually kicks in about 2 miles before I’m scheduled to be done. My legs are still moving and I’m not breathing heavily but my mind is exhausted.

This is a little surprising to me. I’m at heart a pretty solitary person and having hours with just my thoughts for company has never bothered me before. But these runs…………I’m struggling – but I’ve done them. I’ve kept going when I wanted to stop and that has to count for something. Plus I know race day will be completely different. I’m running Twin Cities, which has amazing crowd support for the whole course + the other 20000 other runners.

In other (TMI) news – it looks as if I’ve had my first toenail casualty. Right foot – toe next to big toe. It’s dead. Am I a real runner now?

On Sunday I met up with a bunch of my Hood to Coast team mates for a trail run and brunch. We are flying out to Portland in a little over two weeks! I wasn’t quite sure how my legs would feel after my long run, but at mile 3.5 they felt surprisingly good so I picked up the pace for the second half. This was a great run.

This week is scheduled to be my first ever 40+ mile week. Gulp. This includes a 15K trail race (and my first race volunteering experience) on Saturday and a planned 17 miler on Sunday. I also have to fit in some birthday celebrations – this may take the form of afternoon napping.

In food news – we got a delivery of these Clif bars. I tasted them at the Utah Valley expo and they are definitely the best flavor out there. I had one as my post long run snack on Saturday.

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We also got a bumper CSA package – including a giant bag of apricots. And a bag of heirloom tomatoes.

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Some of these ingredients got salsa-fied on Sunday.

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Everyone should live in Utah!

Well – at least for this week! Thursday is Pioneer Day here in the Beehive state, which is our state holiday to celebrate the first pioneers (duh!) to settle here. It is a big deal – way bigger than July 4th. And also the perfect time to visit one of our neighboring states for a mini vacation. So, on Thursday we are heading with four of our friends for a four day river trip to float/camp/white-water raft down the Colorado river. I am beyond excited to go.

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We’re lucky to have met so many cool friends in Utah that have let us tag along on so many cool adventures – rock climbing, canyoneering. Things I never in a million years thought I’d be doing…….mainly because I’m a big ol’ scaredy cat.

This also means that I will not be able to run at all for four days! OMG – how will I cope? Well – I’ve already scheduled this week as a cut back week and will be getting three good runs in (adding one mile to each scheduled distance) before we head away. As much as I want to do well in this marathon – sometimes life gets its awesomeness in the way.

This decision was made a lot easier by the great training week I had last week (week 7/18 for Twin Cities).

Mon: Yoga

Tues: 4.3 miles at 9.11 min/mile pace

Wed: 7 miles at 8.14 min/mile pace + yoga

Thurs: 4.6 mile at 9.50 min/mile trail run

Fri: Rest

Sat: 6.2 miles at 7.31 min/mile pace

Sun: 16 miles at 8.50 min/mile pace

Total mileage: 38.1 miles and my longest mileage week ever.

A couple of things stood out for me this week. I did a fast run on Saturday (tire out those legs) at a moderate-hard pace. A couple of miles were at 7.20 pace. I remember training for my half marathon back in April and doing some 1.5-2 mile tempo runs and really struggling to hold this pace. So being able to do it for 10K was pretty special. And my time for this run was pretty much my 10K PR!

Sunday was long run day and the first time I’ve ever attempted to run 16 miles in one go. J has a race in Park City in a couple of weeks and wanted to run some of the course. I decided to join him and run on the Rail Trail which is a pretty flat* trail that leaves right nearby where he would be running. The morning was perfect – 60 F and overcast. And this time I remembered to fuel before I started my run. I skipped out on this last week which probably contribute to the yuckiness that was that run.

The trail was half paved/half dirt road with a slight downhill for the first half (about 400 ft loss in elevation that I would have to run back up on the second half). It ran mostly through farmland with a couple of gates you had to open (and close) on the way. I did notice some dried cow pats on the trail but no cows. That is – until I was at about mile 11 and came across a cow feeding two calves right on the middle of the trail. With nobody around and in the middle of a field with a pissed off looking cow I was a little freaked out. So I slowed to a walk and ducked down off the trail to creep past the cow and hoping it wouldn’t charge. I made it through that animal encounter only to come across a bunch of geese a couple of miles later. Same approach – slow down and try not to get attacked. And just to add to the adventure – I saw a snake at about mile 16. I do not like snakes. But I survived.

More importantly – my muscles and knee were pretty OK. And I wasn’t tired later on. I was wearing my trail shoes though, which I think are a half size to small so I had a couple of feet issues. And that is a first for me. By Monday everything seemed back to normal. So I was pretty pleased with myself.

We also spent most of Saturday in the mountains – this time at Snowbird Ski Resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon. This was the venue for the Speedgoat 50K ultra race – basically running up and down (and up and down) some pretty steep and technical trails. We had our camp chairs and hung out to watch some amazing athletes finish.

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The winning man finished in 5.12 hrs and seriously looked like he was out for a casual jog. Amazing! We saw the first 20 guys finish and stayed til we saw the winning women (at about 6.30 – these ladies looked strong).

On Saturday night we watched the Grand Budapest Hotel (quirky and fun) and J made the best burgers ever – beef burgers made with Cremini mushrooms and topped with a fried egg, arugula and an amazing – ketchup/mustard sauce. He needs to cook more often.

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Tonight we are celebrating with a friend who just completed her MBA. Then tomorrow I just have to focus on making it through my workday and packing for a trip. On Thursday with hit the water!

How do you celebrate your state/national holiday? Who’s coming to Utah on their next vacation?

When is a 10K not a 10K?

When it’s a 6.7 mile run! Sorry – no smart runner jokes here.

Saturday was the Park City Trail Series 10K held at the trail system in Round Valley. After my horrible 5K race (going out too fast, feeling like crap at the end), I decided to be more sensible about this race.  Keep a steady pace. Don’t push too hard (long run on Sunday). And enjoy it all the way through.

I started out the day with some sensible pre-race fueling (missed that out for the 5K) – wholewheat toast with Trader Joe’s Cookie butter. J was running this race (he came 6th overall), so we headed up to Park City a little before 7 and arrived in plenty of time to pick up our bibs, use the restroom and do a quick warm-up. The weather was perfect – high 50s and sunny. Right before the race started it was announced we’d get to run some bonus mileage. Whatever. I figured most of my races are a little over the listed distance. In fact, last year this race was 6.1 miles according to my Garmin.

8AM rolled around and we were off. The first part of the course was identical to the 5K but with added hills. I decided to go out at what I would describe as a mildly uncomfortable pace. I knew I could push harder but had to remind myself that I needed to run 14(!) miles the next morning and that was enough to reign me in.

I also knew that there was a pretty burly hill in the second half of the race. It was broken up by some switchbacks but was about 200ft of climbing in one go.

  1. 7.42 min/mil  87 ft up/11 ft down
  2. 8.25 min/mile 163 ft up
  3. 8.00 min/mile 111 ft down
  4. 8.11 min/mil 85 ft up/77 ft down
  5. 8.43 min/mile 125 ft up/25 ft down
  6. 7.26 min/mile 111 ft down
  7. 7.37 min/mile 124 ft down

Total: 6.7 miles – 54.01  – 8.03 min/mile – elevation gain/loss

So I guess I have a new 6.7 mile PR! Woohoo!

I actually really enjoyed this race. My focus was on keeping a consistent effort (pace varied with the hills) but I felt good at the finish. I felt I could have pushed harder but that’s not what this race was about. I’ve been trying hard to keep consistent pacing in my workouts. I feel that this is something you have to learn. Ideally, I would like to be able to accurately judge my pace by my effort, so I don’t have to obsessively look at my Garmin every two minutes.

We waited around for the awards. J placed second in his age group and won a really cool water/and or wine holder for backpacking/traveling. I didn’t place – 4th in my age group and 10th woman overall. But I did snag a matching water bottle in the raffle.

We also got some free race photos.

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Downhills! And a little bit of muscle definition. FYI the guy behind me passed me out a little after this but then had to stop to puke at the top of the final hill. I think I saw him do the exact same thing in the 5K.

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This is me just about to pass out my 18 year old neighbor. Salt Lake City is such a small place that if you go to any event you will invariably bump into someone you know.

I checked the online results when I got home and was surprised to see that I had been bumped up a place in the overall standings and in my age group. I emailed the race organizer as I was planning on volunteering for the 15K next month and found out that a guy had run using his wife’s bib and had been DQed! So another placing – 3rd in my age group!

The rest of the day was spent running errands and catching up with my parents over Skype to wish my Dad a happy 60th birthday. And a fusion yoga class – an hour long class half core work and half restore. Perfect.

Sunday was long run day. And it was epic for me. My longest run ever both in distance (14 miles) and time (a little over two hours). And my first 2 Gu run. I’ve approached my marathon training with the idea that long runs should be done on tired legs so that you train for the latter portion of the race.

I’m not going to lie, this was hard. It started out OK but by mile 9 I was starting to feel the effects of the race and the heat (it had just hit 80F by the end and I was running in the sun). I had to bargain myself into finishing the final mile. And when I was finished I was the sweatiest I had ever been in my entire life. I stood in the kitchen gulping down chocolate milk, two pints of water and some Nuun while a puddle of sweat pooled at my feet. It was pretty gross.

But afterwards I felt OK. No major pain  – just a little muscle tiredness. And my pace was pretty consistent throughout – about 8.50 min/mile average. Although, I think I’ll try and slow it down a little in the future. I know that you should run your long runs slower than your goal race pace but how much slower should that be? 30s-60s-90s per mile?

Sunday turned into baking day. I finally made a pie with the bag of cherries we got in our CSA. I think I’ve finally figured out how to make a good pie – I’ve had a couple of disasters.

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Then cornbread for dinner and chocolate chip scones for breakfast.

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And boy was I glad that Monday was a rest day. 33.15 miles for the week.

 

 

Great Basin National Park

Hope everyone had a great weekend! I’ve finally caught up with everything after our camping trip. Although, it did end with an unexpected trip to Costco to get our tire patched after discovering a flat in the middle-of-nowhere Nevada. Lucky, J was a boy scout and had an air compressor in the car that saved the day. Bonus: Costco pizza for dinner.

This weekend we were at Great Basin National Park in Nevada – one of the least visited National Parks in the US. We left a little after lunchtime on Thursday, and arrived in time to grab a site in the fourth (!) camp are we tried.

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View from camp.

Great Basin is known for its great star-gazing, so after dinner we headed to a Ranger talk and some telescope viewing. It was super cool (but I am a science nerd). We saw craters on the moon, Mars, Saturn and a couple of galaxies. Plus, I finally figure out what the Big Dipper looks like, and we saw the Milky Way.

On Friday we had reservations for a 9AM tour of the Lehman Caves. You can only visit these caves as part of a ranger-guided tours and they are super cool (literally – it was 50 F down there).

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In the afternoon, we drove the scenic road up to the base of Wheeler Peak (second highest peak in Nevada). We hiked a loop to a couple of alpine lakes, and then up to a glacier (yes – in Nevada!) followed by a bristlecone pine area which had trees over 3000 years old. Perfect weather and great hiking (about 1500 ft total over 6 miles).

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Lake number one.

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Lake number two. That peak in the middle of the photo is Wheeler Peak – and our destination for Saturday morning.

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We even had to hike across a couple of feet of snow.

When we car camp we always bring our Dutch ovens. Dinner on the bottom – roast chicken and vegetables – and dessert on top – brownies.

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I also decided that I’ll have to comeback in winter to bring this home as our Christmas tree.

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Saturday was an early (5.15 AM) start. We wanted to hike up Wheeler Peak (13077 ft) and the weather forecast called for late morning thunderstorms. We began hiking a little after 6.40 AM and made it to the top by 8.45 AM. 2900 ft in a little over four miles. The last 1.5 miles were tough – small, steep and rocky switchbacks. The view from the top was pretty cool.

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They even had a little walled area on the summit for protection from the wind. And a mailbox where you could sign in.

We celebrated our hike (a little over 4.5 hours total) with some ice cream and a campfire nap (for me). Later in the afternoon I did a short (3.65 mile) run around our camp to figure out our Sunday morning trail run. Man, it was so hilly – 674 ft elevation change. But afterwards I got to try out our latest purchase ($10 on Amazon) and totally amazing.

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The next morning, J and I decided to go on a trail run. After our hike up Wheeler Peak and my run around camp this was not the smartest idea I’ve ever had. I managed to run the first mile (in 13.45 mins) and then it got seriously hard. I wanted to stop and had to have a serious talk with myself to keep going. My legs felt the heaviest they’ve ever been. The first 3.5 miles gained 1900 ft, and I had to walk for a lot of miles 2 and 3 (average pace 17-18 minutes). But I kept thinking to myself – this is probably how I’ll feel at the end of my marathon so it’s good to get the practice in now. Ha!

We finally reached the top (following along Baker Creek), and emerged into some beautiful (and flat) meadows. We saw three people at the very start but basically had the woods to ourselves. Then the downhill began – and it was steep. But running in this park (after finishing with all the climbing) was exhilarating! 6.35 miles in a little under 90 minutes. My slowest run ever but one of my favorites. And I managed to remain upright for the whole run (with only three close calls).

We got back to camp and rinsed off with our camp shower before packing up and discovering our flat tire. But we made it back to SLC in one piece except for our burnt out quads!

Anyone else encounter snow this weekend? Hardest hike/trail run you’ve ever done?

Check-in and check-up

Can you believe that I’m a quarter way through my marathon training plan? 4.5 weeks done. And so far so good. Although it looks like sh*t is going to get real in the next couple of weeks.

Saturday started with a 6 mile pace run. What I learned from this is that I am a terrible judge of my own pace and that I can’t math. Somehow I figured my first mile was 8.15 (I was aiming for around 8-8.05 min/mile) (Spoiler: my first mile was actually 7.12 min) so I decided I needed to pick up the pace a little for the next two miles (7.35 and 7.27). That’s when I figured I needed to slow the hell down. My last three miles were at a more reasonable pace (7.46, 7.53 and 8.06). D’oh! I definitely need to work on even splits. Overall 6.15 miles at 7.41 min/mile average – and a great way to ensure some tired legs for my long run on Sunday.

Breakfast turned into a berry fest – raspberries and Greek yogurt, strawberry/banana smoothie and blueberry scones.

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We had plans to bike downtown to the Utah Arts festival in the evening so we fueled up on grilled cheese and roasted broccoli pasta salad.

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The festival was by the City and County building. And you got $2 if you rode your bike and left it with the bike valet.

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We checked out some bands, drank some beer, ate some ice cream and browsed the artists’ booth. We also saw a really cool performance by the local ballet company.

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Afterwards we decided to hit up a local bar. That’s two Saturday bar trips in a row. I was telling J that we are now party animals. Party animals that are home by 9.30 PM!

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Then a quick bike trip home (and uphill) to catch up with Game of Thrones.

Sunday was my scheduled long run: 12 miles. I have only ran this distance twice before in training, and it kinda felt like the first real long run of marathon training. My plan was to start slow and finish strong. And it felt pretty good. I took a Gu at mile 6 and by the end felt like I could have kept going for even longer. Plus my miles 8-11 were all in the 8.25-8.35 range. The only downer is that my Garmin doesn’t take into account time spent waiting for traffic lights – and by my calculation this was at least 5 minutes over the course of the whole run.  Oh well – Garmin says 9.07 min/mile, I say 8.47 min/mile.

That run brought my weekly total to 31.85 miles which I think is my biggest week ever. And my June total to 115.6 miles – my second highest month ever.

I had made it a goal at the start of the year to run 1000 miles in 2014. So at the halfway mark I’m at 555.65 miles – on target! Woohoo!

Monday was an after work yoga class. Tuesday an easy 4 miler (8.49 min/mile). And this morning – 7 miles (my longest midweek run ever) at 8.42 min/mile. This run felt sluggish. One of those runs where you feel like you are really pushing the pace until you look down at your watch………….and not so much. For some reason, it took me about 4 miles to properly warm up and  then it felt great.

The other big event this week was my visit to the physiotherapist. I wanted her opinion on my right knee pain and left foot pain (both of which flared up in the last 2 miles of my long run) and to get the go-ahead to continue with marathon training.

So after a detailed description of all my running aches and pains and a hands-on examination of my legs, she came to a couple of conclusions.

1. My right leg is significantly weaker than my left leg in terms of muscle strength, muscle mass and stability.

2. This means that my muscles aren’t strong enough to keep my knee pad in its correct place when I run long distances. This makes my knee hurt……..

3. I then compensate by using my left leg more making my foot hurt because I have crazy tight calves.

The good news is that if I work on strengthening my right leg all my problems should go away. So plenty of single leg work and keep doing yoga.

And I can continue to run if the pain is not getting any worse (this is exactly what I wanted to hear!). Interestingly, she said that if my knee starts to hurt when running, I should focus on engaging all my leg muscles in that leg and concentrate on using that leg more. So that’s what I did on this morning’s 7 miler – and it felt so much better. I have 5 weeks until the next appointment and she seemed pretty optimistic that I should be able to fix everything and run pain-free in the not too distant future.

Bonus: she taped my knee-cap so all my coworkers think I’m a crazy, badass runner. Or just a crazy, constantly injured runner.

Now, I just have another day and a half of work to get through before J and I head off to Nevada for a much needed camping trip. I’ll be throwing in my trail shoes and seeing what I can find!

Friday Faves

This is a race-free weekend for me – just a race-pace 6 miler and then a Sunday (long) runday. No major plans except to relax and visit the Utah Arts Festival.

But this week has been full of good workouts and good eats.

1.

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This has made it’s way back into my life.

2.

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Frittata – yes please. I love eggs! This one had chard (from our CSA), mushrooms, red onion and bacon. I would definitely recommend the addition of bacon. And loving cooking with cast iron.

3.

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3 ingredient cookies – banana + oatmeal + chocolate chips. I haven’t quite figured out baking at altitude (we’re at 4000 ft) but these are foolproof. They are best served with this. Amazing!

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4. Trails!

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Trail race last weekend (and next one on July 12th) plus a midweek trail run (4.36 miles at 9.39 min/mile pace and 500 ft elevation gain). And no rattlesnake sightings.

5. Yogi Yoga!

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This was the first week back on my mat in forever (well 6ish weeks). And my glutes are a little tender – thanks hip openers. It hurts so good.

Automatic PRs!

On Saturday I ran my first ever 5K race. Automatic PR baby – 23.33!

The race is part of a series of trail races aimed at getting people into trail running. The course wasn’t technical – mostly old jeep roads with only the smallest section of single track. But a couple of things make it tougher than your regular 5K. First of all, Park City is at an elevation of 6700ft – which is about 2000ft  higher than Salt Lake City. And let me tell you that the difference will really kick your butt. Secondly, trail races mean one thing – hills, hills and, uh, more hills.

My legs were feeling heavy – not helped by going out way too fast (7.05 first mile). Looking at my Garmin elevation data – it doesn’t seem look that bad but I felt that the second mile was non-stop uphill (7.45). I hung in for the third mile – getting passed by two high school girls in the last quarter mile (7.31). I was so glad to be done – 5Ks are no joke.

The race itself was awesome. Race-day packet pickup which took about two minutes. Instead of a race shirt – you get a pint glass. Plenty of Nuun, water, bagels and bananas at the finish. Plus, an awesome raffle (with an extra ticket if you carpool). The only downer is that there is no chip timing, but there were only about 280 people in the race so that it’s not too big of a deal.

So my 5K PR is now 23.33 (although I measured it as 3.18 miles). 8th woman and 1st in my age group. Age group winners get to pick a prize from the raffle table. I opted for a compression foot sleeve (basically a toeless sock) to help with the minor foot pain I’ve been having recently. And you know – the more compression the better, right? Next up is a 10K around the same trails on July 12th.

The rest of Saturday was spent brunching, shopping and figuring out what to do with all the greens from our CSA.

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On weekends, I like to have a cocktail when I’m prepping dinner. This time – mojito. I used our CSA radishes and turnips to make a salad (tomatoes, red onion, cilantro and lemon juic

e), and dill to make a potato salad.

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J and I then biked 1.5 mile to our local microbrewery to taste some new brews.

Sunday was a 8.2 miles long run (8.40 min/mile) and I was not feeling it at all. The race on Saturday was tough and although I met my goal (sub-24), I felt a little disappointed with how tired I was feeling – which is totally stupid. I mean, I ran a half marathon last weekend and am probably not fully recovered. I need to stop putting such high expectations on myself. By the time Sunday rolled around it was a struggle to get out of the door. I did not want to run. Not – I couldn’t run. Physically, I felt pretty good but my brain just wasn’t cooperating. But I did it – and with pretty even split times. It’s in the books now – time to move on.

I also got my yoga groove back on. I haven’t been to a class for a while. Food tendonitis made it a little painful and then I just wasn’t psyched to go to a class. But I was suddenly itching to go – and was so glad I did. It felt so good. I am definitely back on the yoga train.

Sunday cocktail in my race glass!

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And then a little Asian inspired grilling – BBQ pork chops, mango slaw and stir-fried mustard greens (not my favorite).

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Today was an early morning session on the elliptical (4.3 miles) and finished with an after-work yoga class. A coworker is going on vacation and has offered passes to a yoga class at the University gym. I tried it tonight and it was pretty good (and free!). More like yoga-robics but fun. I can feel a big difference between my two knees but lunges are pain-free and I want to strengthen them back up.

Anyone else race this weekend? Anyone else finding it hard to find their running mojo?

 

 

My first 5K race!

No, this isn’t a flashback Friday where I recount my first ever race experience and how the 5K was a launchpad that set me on my path as a runner. My first race was a half marathon (!) and since then I’ve complete two more halfs, two 10Ks (one road and one trail) and a trail 15K. But I’ve never run a 5K race. Ever.

And it’s not like they are a rare event out here in SLC. Every Saturday I run past a 5K in one of our two local parks. So why haven’t I run one yet? Well, I’m a little cheap and I like more bang for my buck – at my last 10K you could pay $30 to run 6.2 miles or $25 to run 3.1 miles. That’s a no-brainer right there! Plus, 5Ks hurt! When I do tempo runs at 5K pace they are not fun. I seriously question what I am doing. At least in a half marathon you can ease yourself into the HURTZONE, and have a couple (or more) miles at a comfortable pace. But, 3.1 miles – they are all going to hurt.

This summer I signed up for a trail race series – 5, 10 and 15K. Tomorrow is race number 1: the 5K! And that means I’m guaranteed a PR! Woohoo! I’m kinda hoping for a 24 min time but we’ll see – there’s about 250 ft of elevation gain (almost half of which is in the first mile). These races are super fun and have a great raffle so you are almost guaranteed to come away with some kind of running goodie. Race recap on Monday!

The half marathon was only last weekend but seems so long ago. I did just find out that we’ll be getting all of our race photos for free – this is the first race I’ve done that has that option. I haven’t seen them yet but hopefully there’s not too much running-bitchface going on.

I spent an hour on both Sunday and Monday stretching and rolling. My calves are incredibly tight and are causing me foot issues – tight achilles, random pain at the bottom of my foot. I did manage a  2 mile recovery run on Sunday and have been diligently rolling and stretching all week.

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I even packed my stick to bring to work today. Lucky I’m wearing long pants so nobody can see the one-legged calve sleeve that I’m rocking.

Monday: 1 hour stretching/rolling

Tuesday: 3.5 mile run at 8.28 min/mile pace

Wednesday: 5.5 miles at 8.35 min/mile pace

Thursday: 4.2 mile on ellipitcal (equivalent to one whole episode of Scandal)

Friday: 50 min strength workout

By Wednesday my foot was feeling pretty crappy so I swapped out running for cross-training on Thursday and am feeling a gazillion (that’s a number, right?) better.

I’ve also had some pretty good eats. Orange chicken (low in calories but tastes so good).

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And this quinoa tabbouleh recipe which was amazing. Still not happy with the falafel.

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Two race weekends in a row! What was I thinking?