Running Through Winter

So it’s been a while… Two months to be exact, and I’m not quite sure where to start, so I will start back where we left off with December 2013 and do a little catching up on how I have been running through winter (often times feeling my head has been chopped off).

December 2013

December was on of the craziest and busiest months of my life. It was three weeks of finals for my first semester of law school. It was also the month where my co authors and I presented a white paper at a round table in the middle of finals (that I finished my portion of at 2am the morning of a final – that one hurt). It was also winter vacation back I the frozen tundra and the time I PRed without really being prepared in the half marathon.

So law school exams. They were intense, stressful, and three weeks long. Yes I had about five to seven days between my exams, but when they are law school exams, you need like two weeks between each exam and even that may not be enough. I was mostly happy with my performances on my exams and grades but know there is room for improvement this semester so I am definitely putting the plow in the ground and hitting the books hard.

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Then there was that paper we presented. I had given presentations on research proposals before but had never had a written paper, that professors, scholars and experts in the field had read, thought was interesting and gave feedback on. It was intense but so exciting! And although my co authors and I have a lot of work ahead of us, I know we will have a great paper when we are finished.

I was lucky enough to go home for about ten days after finals. I hadn’t really been in the frozen tundra (MN) since last Xmas, and it was great to have the whole family together. I got to spend time with my parents, siblings and niece all while freezing my buns off. What more could I have asked for?! Oh right, to have had Xmas at my sister’s in Florida where it was 70 not -10. But all in all we had a great time… In our #xmasjammies (oh yes that happened).

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Then there was the winter running. Lots of it happened. And while most of it (admittedly) happened on a TM I did manage a few good runs outside.

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First I ran Run With Santa 5k, and while there were no PRs (it was cold, snowy and slippery) I had a ton of fun with a bunch of my coworkers at the running store. And then I ran a half marathon very last minute. So last minute the name is escaping me, but it was an out and back on a muddy and icy trail…but I still got a PR! 1:44:06! It was by no means my best race (I fell completely apart in the last two miles, but I know that my goals for 2014 are in reach!

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So lots of running happened and life was looking pretty good. And then came January 2014…

January 2014

And life got even better. Didn’t think it was possible, but it did.

I gained a super cute study buddy (no, he is not mine, but sometimes I pretend) and my grades came back mostly positive. So here’s to a good outlooks for semester 2!

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And while I have had a minor foot injury that has set me back in terms of marathoning this spring, I am taking it in stride, and instead focusing on Cherry Blossom 10 Miler and hopefully a spring half marathon back in sunny Santa Cruz after finals are over in May! You know what I’m talking about… The fabulous Capitola Half Marathon!

Also, today I discovered I was one of four featured bloggers on Active Life DC for a panel on how to get out of a fitness rut. Check it out for some great Dc blogs and tips on how myself and the other bloggers keep exercising interesting and fun…and how awkward I can be. It’s so incredibly awkward it’s awesome.

So that’s a little update on my life. I have been very busy but am planning a few posts to come in the next few weeks, and I promise it won’t be another two months.

How has 2014 been treating you so far? Set any fitness or running goals?
Mine is to be as uninsured as possible, hopefully be healthy enough to complete a marathon and to get back into triathlons! Already looking at a few in late August/early September!

#MCM2013: Training Week 3

[AKA: The Week I finished traveling cross country and moved into a new apartment and failed at running]

Lessons I learned this week:

(1) Do not underestimate the effect driving cross country will have on your body.  O.M.G. it destroyed my legs, body, everything.  I was tired and my muscles were tight everywhere.
(2) Do not underestimate the effect moving into a new apartment will have on your body.  O.M.G. it destroyed my legs, body, everything.  I was tired and my muscles were tight everywhere.
(3) Do not underestimate the effect moving to a city where you walk everywhere will have on your body.  O.M.G. it destroyed my legs, body, everything.  I was tired and my muscles were tight everywhere.

[Sensing a trend yet?!]

Basically Week #3 [and spoiler alert for next week: so is Week #4] is the week of adapting due to the stresses introduced on my body.  It was hard for me to adapt, but I did the best I could given the circumstances, you know driving cross country, moving into an apartment, and having to attend law school orientation, and learn a new city.

Week #3

The Plan:

Monday: 4 easy
Tuesday:
Active Rest! (My day in Chicago with friends)
Wednesday: 5-6 easy
Thursday:
6 Track + arms/abs + 1200m swim
Friday:
60 spin + 60 aquajog
Saturday:
7 easy
Sunday: 12 LSD + arms/abs — making up for the missed LSD and readjusting my schedule

What Happened: (In pink is what was planned that actually happened)

Monday: 6.5 Run (47:20)
I broke up my longest leg of my road trip (1050 miles which took me 18+ hours to cover) by running every few miles.  I did speedy miles (all under 8 min pace), and ran 4 times throughout the day.  Woke me up and kept me going for sure.

Tuesday: Active Rest
I spent the day in Chicago with my girlfriend, and we did active rest day by walking around and shopping ($10 shoe find!!!) and enjoying one of my favorite cities in the world.

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Fun day in Chicago!

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My amazing $10 [leather!] shoes!

Wednesday: 4 Run (4.21 in 31:29)After sitting in a car and driving from Chicago to Virginia for twelve hours, and after moving in all the boxes in my car, I needed to run.  It was hot, humid and speedy run.  I had frustration and energy to burn.  Not on schedule, but needed to happen.

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Move + run aftermath

Thursday: [Failed] Track with DC Luna Chix (6.15 in 48:21)
I headed to the track after just a few hours of sleep to meet up with the DC Luna Chix team for their am track workout.  My plan was 4-5×800 at 3:10-3:15 pace with 400 recovery.  I did 3, and after the the 3rd 800 was a 3:36, I knew my body was too tired, overworked, overstressed, etc from the moving, run, transition cross country that I just slowed down and took it easy with a couple ladies for a few more laps.

Friday: Active Rest!  (moving day)
Needed this day after Thursday.

Saturday: Active Rest!  (moving day)
My body was still hurting from the move and drive, so I took an extra day of rest — there was also a full day of orientation today to overwhelm me.

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New apartment!!

Sunday: 11.84 miles (1:41:03) (+ 10+ miles of walking + 25 cycle)Actually did a timed run, that ended up being about 12 miles.  (50ish minutes out and 50ish minutes back.)  Felt pretty good and had steady pacing (8:14-8:47), with the higher values coming with the ridiculous hills in Arlington.  Seriously, ridiculous.  And then, then the mishap happened where I was stuck 4 miles from home and the metro was delayed for more than an hour going to my place and I was supposed to pick up my mother from the airport.  Fast forward to the end of the day, and this happened…

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Holy walking.

Yeah…I accidentally covered another 10ish miles and rode a heavy bike share bike (and carried up to an overpass) for 25 minutes.

Running Total: ~28.5 run + a million miles walked in the city
Workout Time Total:
~3:50 (run only)

This week for me was hard (as you can tell by the really late posting) as the moving and starting of law school orientation really messed with my body.  I had to adjust a lot, and had zero cross training, which I (and my body) have been missing dearly. Regardless, here is the plan for Week #4 (note…some of this has already been changed/botched, but nonetheless, this was the plan).

Week #4

The Plan:

Monday: Active Rest (Spin, Aquajog, Swim)
Tuesday:
Tempo Run (6)
Wednesday: 5-6 easy + Aquajog
Thursday: 6 Track + 1200m swim
Friday:
60 spin + 60 aquajog + arms/abs
Saturday:
1 w/u, 7 MGP
Sunday: 14 LSD

How do you deal with messed up weeks in training and getting back on track?  How do you alter training plans to adjust for the unplanned (or not thought about) millions of extra miles walked due to a new commute on foot?

SJ Giant Race

Last week, after some convincing by my good friend Leslie, Meg, Hillary and I found ourselves signed up for the SJ Giant Race on Saturday, June 1.  Yes, my first race in over two months (the last one was when I PRed at the 5k before giving in to my injury.)  With all of two days to mentally and physically prepare myself, my goal was to run hard, to see where my fitness was at.

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Race morning came and we met at 6am, and headed over the hill to San Jose.  We arrived and parked with only about 25 minutes to spare, and by the time we hit the bathroom, Leslie and I only had about 5 minutes to warmup for our 5k before we had to make our way to the front of the pack.  Hillary and Meg were running the five mile race as a progression run, so I did not get to run with them.

I started off really strong in the race.

Mile 1: 6:40

I felt good, and heading into the second mile I was still running strong.  But then, then it hit me.  The stomach of death.  And I started feeling crappy, and slowing down.

Mile 2: 7:01

By the time I was running the third mile, my body was dragging, my stomach was winning, and then we hit some grassy portions and cobblestones that made me watch my step as I was running.

Mile 3: 7:24

Then I saw the mile 3 sign and I started picking up pace — just .1 to go!  Oh wait, it was really like .2 to go.  Though I did love how we finished by running into the outfield of the SJ Giants stadium.

Time: 21:30

Hillary, Meg, Me, Leslie post-race

Hillary, Meg, Me, Leslie post-race

Though it wasn’t my best race, it was a fun one for sure.  I loved spending the morning at a race with my favorite SFM ambassador Meg, and two of my favorite SCE ladies, Hillary and Leslie (who won the 5k with a time of 19:40!!).  And officially meeting another fabulous Santa Cruz runner, Trinity, who took second in the 5k!

Meg, Leslie, Trinity, Me, Hillary post-race

Meg, Leslie, Trinity, Me, Hillary post-race

Once the results were posted, I was surprised to find out that my 21:30 got me 5th woman OA and 1st in my AG!  Nice surprise for a not-feeling-so-well race.  Yay!

Fellow SFM Ambassador Meg & I post-race

Fellow SFM Ambassador Meg & I post-race

I don’t want to downplay this, I know that I have become much faster and a better runner over the past year. I mean a year ago I was excited to run a 22:50 5k.  And now a 21:30 is ‘not-so-good’ race.  I know that I have come a long way, and am so proud and happy of my accomplishments.  But, I’m working hard for — and am really trying — to become stronger and faster.  I’m not disappointed in my performance, I’d just like to (for once) not have a stomach problems and perform to the best of my ability.  One thing is for certain: I need to figure out what the heck is up with my stomach these days.  I even took 2 immodium at 5:30am, and the only thing that did was make me constipated for the next two days.  TMI, you’re welcome.

What’s up next?  The Fabulous 5k at the SF Marathon on June 16, 2013.  And then, I’m headed south to Peru for a month, where I’m trying to find a road race, but will otherwise be focused on crosstraining sightseeing and getting in short runs when I can.

Will you be there SFM weekend?  If so, come look for me and all the other ambassadors at the Expo Friday & Saturday — and on the course, race day!