Still Living Off the High…..

Some people like coffee, some people like energy drinks, some people jump out of bed and are ready to tackle the world without so much as a blink of an eye.  What type of person are you?

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Michael and I sleep in toasters and well …….Mick and Aby look more like Garfield above, which means they do what, sleep in a roasting oven?    I think they could sleep/stay in bed until Michael or I quite literally pulled them out of their warm oven.  Pre-Michael, their slow wake up habits were a huge benefit to my fitness.  I could get up, dress, leave, run 20 miles and come home in time to make them breakfast.  Upon my return, they would still be 1)  sleeping or 2) “possibly” out of bed but in front of the tv/computer looking like two disheveled zombies.  They never once looked at me like “where have you been” when I walked thru the door after a 20 miler cuz it wouldn’t occur to them to care as long as breakfast was soon forthcoming.  Those were the easy days.  Early morning runs.  Early morning workouts, both during the week and on weekends.  Yes, I would absolutely hop out of bed at 3:30 am to run 8 miles before Mick would leave for work at 5:15 am.  It was easy that way and the bottom line is if you wanna run a marathon, it helps to long some miles.  I just wanted to run (and still do!).

Now we have another person in the house who sleeps ready to pop out of that toaster at any given moment.  This mom’s workout routine has been all jacked up for the last 2 years. This would be the point in time when the lil booger learned to climb out of his damn crib.  My morning workouts are now sporadic because my lil man pops out of bed as soon as he hears me move.  I honestly think he can subconsciously feel my heart beat and as soon as the BPMs go up, he knows its time to rise & shine.   We go in spurts where I’ll get in some decent morning sessions, then we will go for a long time where he wakes up each and every morning before I’m even out of bed or dressed.  Then I’ll have a period where I totally give up the early sessions because I get tired.  Yes, tired.  As in tired of fighting my lil man!  I’ve been on that “tired” phase for a while.  It’s not very convenient either cuz my workouts then have to be squished into my real life.  This week was a bit hectic with 3 volleyball games, doc appts, major school projects and well, I never did squish in my tempo session yesterday.  So the tempo fell to this morning.  It was the only option.  It was this morning or it would be skipped like last week.  So how to deal with Mr. Micheal?  Threats.  Bribes.  Begging.  I told him if he got up this morn and heard the treadmill running to NOT come downstairs.  No matter what.  I threatened encouraged  him to instead go get in bed with “sissy” and I’d come get him as soon as I was finished.  Apparently he got up while I was plugged into the Walking Dead.  Went to the top of the stairs.  Screamed for me.  Then screamed that he was going to get in sissy’s bed.  Total win cuz God will never give me more than I can handle and apparently He also doesn’t want me to die running a marathon due to ill preparation.  Thank you, Michael.  Thank you, God.

What I realized after my tempo session this morn?  Wow, do I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my morning workouts.  I’ve been happy all day.  Excited about life.  Not dreading work.  At peace.  Traffic was GOOD this morning!  It’s mid afternoon and I’m still living off the high.   Thank you, Michael.  Thank you, God.  Thank you, Walking Dead for helping me nail that tempo session.  Thank you, Run Less Run Faster for the training plan that pushes my limits while still letting me manage my life.

Last thing, I’m starting to realize that I can nail this marathon plan. I’m starting to believe that it just might be possible.  I’m starting to believe that I’m copping out on my speed sessions and I can probably really do them if I just suck it up have the right thing on Netflix.  If I can run the tempo session, I can run the speed session.  I have the ability.  I have the speed.  I can do it.  It will come together.

“If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it, even if I may not have it at the beginning.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Barely Hanging On…..

I don’t know if I ever formally mentioned that I’m using the Run Less Run Faster book as a guideline for my training for the Lansing Marathon.

This book has a chart which gives you a target finish time of what THEY believe you should be able to run, with proper training, of course.   It takes the “I wanna run X:XX:XX” out the equation when its right there in black and white that you can or cannot probably do it based on your current run times.   After you figure out your goal pace/marathon finish time, then there are multiple training tables which plan your training.  They also include a training plan for each of the Boston Marathon Qualifying standards.  Although, I’m not necessarily looking for a BQ because it seems impossible, I did select one of those plans because unlike the more generalized plans, it spells out each and every workout down to the pace you are “supposed to” run without any additional calculations necessary.

I won’t lie, this book is intimidating as all get out.  The premise is to run 3 key runs each week:  Speed, Tempo & Long Run, then add in two cross training days.  I chose biking for my cross training since I’m on deck for a 70.3 triathlon in July.  This 5 day plan works out well for my schedule because I can juggle the days, live my life, work, be a parent, be the “soccer mom”, and still not miss anything too important training wise.  In fact, I have never ran all the miles on a normal plan so I was willing to change my focus a bit this time around from “just run the miles” to “let’s sharpen the focus”.  I’m also not a person who wants a coach to whom I need to answer to but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like the idea of having a structured plan. 

As intimidating as the plan is in regards to hitting the numbers, I was a bit surprised as to how easy the workouts were to understand.  It is all spelled out for me and I just look at it on a day to day basis.  If I can’t do my speed work on Monday, I just move it to Tuesday and look at the day on my chart for the workout details.  I program my treadmill to the desired intervals and honestly, just try to hang on for as long as possible.  The paces are NOT easy for me.  Marathon training is not easy for me which is why I do it.  The paces, the plan, the training is a constant challenge.  I have not yet nailed a speed or tempo session and I don’t know why but that doesn’t seem to bother me.  I just keep on moving to the next workout as if I DID nail it and things are progressing.  In fact, they are progressing in a positive manner.  I “almost” nailed last night’s speed session.  In fact, I nailed a good 75% of it.  Progress in week 11 with a late start and a couple “rough” weeks.  I can’t wait to see where I am on April 21st when I fight it out mentally & physically at the Lansing Marathon.  I honestly do not believe that I will hit my predicted finish time for this marathon but I will be interested to see how close I come to their prediction.  I have considered sliding back to the next slower BQ training plan but what fun is that?  I don’t want to nail every workout but rather reach for it and keep trying to improve.  So  yes, I’m “in training” but I’m barely hanging on…… good thing I don’t go to the gym cuz I might scare someone.

fall off treadmill

Do you like to train within your comfort zone or do you try to push the limits?  I’m sure if I had a coach instead of a book, they would back me down so that I could nail it and grow my level of confidence but I kinda like it this way because this is what I do for fun.

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Snow, Snow & More Snow….

We knew going into the weekend that there was a possibility of snow and I think we were all ramping up mentally to get our miles in regardless of the weather.  For me, I ended up with another split run with 9 miles inside on the treadmill and 9 miles outside in the snow.  Due to the family’s current schedule, this will probably be how the majority of my long runs will occur as I train for the Lansing Marathon.  It’s different but not necessarily bad.  My main complaint not that I have any REAL reason to complain is that it takes so much more time.  Normally while marathon training, I would be on the trail by 4:30 or 5 am and even a 20 miler would be over before Mick and Aby most people even have breakfast.  Now it seems like it sucks up the majority of the day b/c I’m not just knocking the miles out but also doing other things during and between the indoor/outdoor sessions.  Its okay, just different.

Treadmill “Run”Way Fashion – Tough Chik Toughie Half Zip which is super light and my new favorite shirt for bumming around the house.  It didn’t even make it on the treadmill cuz I didn’t want to get it “dirty”.  I actually ran in the Blood, Sweat, Sparkle shirt I picked up on sale from Team Sparkle.  I didn’t love this tank.  It was a “little” short on me and it didn’t fully cover my bra, plus was just too narrow up top for me.  I think it’s going to Aby’s closet.  Then the BIG thing, I tried the Redemption Shorts from Skirt Sports.  I have been wanting at least one pair of shorts, particularly now that I’m running on the treadmill more.  I don’t always feel like wearing compression shorts and I don’t necessarily want to overdress wear a skirt in my dining room “gym” so when I saw that Skirt Sports dropped a line of shorts, I jumped on board to try them out.

Redemption Shorts & Toughie Half Zip  Toughie Half Zip  Redemption Shorts & Blood Sweat Sparkle

First, that’s obviously not my bum (below).  I wasn’t that cute and shapely before children and well, things haven’t “improved” since.  But I did like how the shorts fit on me (size medium – I wear an 8-10 in pants) and I was even satisfied with how they looked.  When I initially got them, I ran around the dining room & kitchen  (yes, we make laps thru the house on a frequent basis) and I was like “NO way”.  I didn’t think they would work out.  They rode up between my thighs.  They were shorts, they “felt” like shorts and well, I don’t like shorts.  However, I gave them a run on the treadmill.  A decent run, 9 miles.  And I didn’t hate them. 

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Once I warmed up, they stayed in place pretty well.  I did still have to use the Mission Athletecare Anti-Chafe but overall, they were okay.  I really liked how the spankies didn’t move.  I didn’t have to adjust them.  I just felt good with the way they “sat”.   I did have to adjust the legs of the shorts a few times due the chub rub issue but overall, it was minimal and I didn’t have any real chafing.  A little redness on the chub but not the normal “burn” that I remember from shorts.  So I now own 2 pair of shorts, the multicolored ones I wore above, and the blue pair that the Skirts Sports model is so fabulously showing off.  Not sure you’ll see me wearing them on the trail but maybe once I get used to them a bit.  If you are a skirt wearer and hesitant to give them a try, my advice would be to try them.  One pair.  They aren’t cheap at $50 but I do think they are a good quality and the material is light and airy and won’t result in your having a wad of material squished up above the chub.  I’m not sure you will love them but I also don’t think you will hate them.  I personally won’t convert FROM the skirt but I like my options and these are super cute, which adds bonus points in my world. 

The 9 miles on the treadmill in my Redemption Shorts were accompanied by the documentary, “My Run”.  I ran for an hour and twenty five minutes at 6.4 mph (9:22) pace.  It was a long time on the treadmill but the movie was a difference maker.  If you have to run on the dreadmill and have the option of plugging into a Netflix ready device, it will change the game for you.  I promise.  The dreadmill and I are not friends.  We are however, slowly learning to tolerate one another.

I was very anxious to take the last 9 miles outside, even though by the time I got out there it was blowing and snowing pretty good.  The actual temp was 18 and the “feels like” temp was 5.  It was cold.  I struggled thru the snow.  I struggled with the cold.  My feet hurt. I was slower than slow.  I contemplated going back home to the dreadmill.  But I really loved the views.

Snow OPT_2-2-13

Snow OPT2_2-2-13 

Then Sunday was for fun.  I got to go run with friends, as a light snow was falling. It totally made my day.  4.5 miles of running bliss.

Snow OPT_2-3-13

Me, Susan & Nicole on the trail!Me Susan Nicole_2-3-13

How were your weekend miles?  Did you get out to play in the snow or stay in on the treadmill? 

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

How Bad Do We Want It?

I know all of you have been stalking the weather report trying to figure out when you will squeeze in your weekend long run.  I admit, I too have taken a peak at the weekend forecast.

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What’s even worse is that technology now tells us what the temp is really going to feel like on an hour by hour basis.  So log onto AccuWeather and  take a look for yourself.

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According to this ever so accurate chart, tomorrow mid-morning to early afternoon is the best window.  SOLD!  I’ll take it.

Honestly, that was my only option so I’m not even sure why I looked.  So I’ll be slugging out my miles tomorrow around 11am.  What are you going to do?  As I see it, if you are training for a spring race, there aren’t many options:

  1. Run outside in the elements;
  2. Run inside on the dreadmill;
  3. Run on an indoor track if you have access to one; or,
  4. Skip your long run.

So it comes down to how bad to you want it?  How bad to I want it?  How bad do WE want to get to our spring races and do the best we can possibly do on that given day?  

If Its Important

You have choices.  There is always a choice.  You may not like the options but there are always choices.  I hope that you choose to get outside this weekend and run your miles. 

Snow

I’ll see you on the trail!

** Make It Happen ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **