HOWWwww is it already August? Seven months of 2016 have already come and gone? Truth be told, even though 2016 has been going by in the blink of an eye, I’ve had an absolute blast and I’m really proud of myself for always trying to live “in the moment” (really starting to hate that cliche phrase) because looking back on the previous 7 months I don’t feel an ounce of regret or sadness or like I missed out on anything.
Having this blog is both a blessing and a curse. I love posting, re-reading my previous posts and looking at my progress over the long-term as a runner and human being. But sometimes it’s hard for me to write. I have the responsibility hanging over my head knowing I really should just sit down and write something today, but reading other people’s posts or that random article that the Washington post just published or the trashy-yet-saying-everything-I-want-to-say bachelorette recap usually sounds way more fun.
I’ve been mentally wrestling with why it’s so hard for me to keep a blog running when I have no trouble keeping up with other commitments. I never turn in assignments late. I’ve missed maybe one or two workouts in my training plan so far because I didn’t feel well. I like to schedule my time and know when X is going to happen – as much as I like to think I’m spontaneous, I’ve definitely come to terms over the years with how much satisfaction I get from having a plan. I’ve occasionally written “Blog” in fancy lettering in my planner to remind myself to spend part of the day writing a post, but usually something else ends up filling that time. I really don’t know what will kick my butt in gear and make blogging fit in to my life like the rest of it does. Blogging seems to be in the purgatory of priorities in my life now – I know I should do it not only because I like it (I do like it!) but because it helps me practice my writing for when I’m doing this in “the big leagues,” and because having a place to debrief keeps me mentally focused and accepting of whatever is happening in my life. Maybe I hold my posts to too high of a standard – If you don’t want to read what I have to say, I’m sure you won’t! But that fear shouldn’t hold me back from writing in the first place.
alright, blogging rant over. let’s get back to the reason I opened up this NEW POST page anyway.
Holy moly I’m already two months in to this thing! I have just under 100 days to go. I’m starting to get really excited, and more confident that I’ll get to the starting line in one piece. So far (I knock on wood every time I bring this up), I haven’t had any real pain or discomfort in my hips, knees, feet or legs like I have previously experienced. A few runs have been, quite literally, pains in the butt with sore glutes/lower back especially during the beginning warm-up stages. But I have basically attributed this to fatiguing during cross training (some spin classes I’ve been to have been utter glute burners), more squats than I’ve ever done consistently before, and being lax about foam rolling. Definitely making it a habit to foam roll after each run and workout and it almost always feels like a good decision. Hurts so good, as they say. I’ve been going to these awesome yoga classes held by a new friend I met at a running club earlier this summer who specializes in yoga for runners. The studio she teaches out of is a Chiropractic clinic as well, with a cozy yoga studio complete with a centuries-old brick wall and complimentary yoga mats. They had a $25 introductory 3-weeks unlimited which is basically unheard of in Boston, so I’ve been making a point to go at least once a week when it works with my schedule, and I’ve been absolutely loving the sessions. Shout out to Sarah, who also just finished the San Francisco marathon and rocked it. You go girl!!
During week 7, I was also taking a week-long class through my grad school that I signed up for on a whim because it was free and sounded fun. #nerd. Hot Topics in Nutrition, and it did not fail to bring up some interesting discussions and I learned quite a bit about a wide variety of topics. If anything, it reconfirmed that there is soooo much going on in this field and it’s hard even for the experts to keep up. Research is so abundant (which is a good thing!) now, but it’s even harder to discern high quality studies from questionable ones, and we are entering a period of cynicism toward nutrition science. Nutrition science is one of the most difficult sciences to draw any conclusions from – there are just so many limitations at work in any given study investigating diets and humans because of the very nature of diets and humans: they are not static chemicals you can isolate in a lab – they are dynamic and pretty much always changing. Even so, the popular press has no trouble taking modest results and churning them into fiery headlines, often missing the entire point of some studies (making me all the more fired-up about pursuing nutrition communication to confront this systemic failure). At the very least, the class was nice because there was the guarantee of free coffee every morning. Can’t complain about that.
I was proud that I was able to fit in all of my scheduled work outs despite the tight squeeze of having 4 hours of class every morning, usually followed by work in the afternoon. Did two yoga classes this week, body weights, and an elliptical workout for cross-training. Running workouts were two 45 minute “easy” runs + one longer mid-week tempo at 10k pace. My long run was a 2 hour 15 minute killer early on Saturday morning, another day of brutal heat that had me up and running at 5am. It felt good overall, but I felt like I was running a little on the slower-side after my hour-long easy warm up. Problem solved after I turned off the podcast I was listening to and went back to some good, old-fashioned techno jam music. Pace = increased. I definitely needed the hydration I brought with me, and it continues to save my life during the heat. I enjoyed the honey stinger chews that I brought with me and these seem to be a keeper for my long runs that aren’t extremely sweaty (for those I love the margarita clif chews that have extra sodium). On Sunday I had a spin class as my shakeout workout and was surprised how good it felt after cranking out 14 miles the previous day. It helped that the class was on the easier side (read: didn’t feel like I was killing myself but still a pretty intense workout) and I had a delicious breakfast with visiting family to look forward to. Overall, a good week that I was very happy with! Total miles = 29.5
Week 8 I ended up mixing up my workout schedule because a busy day left me feeling beat, so I basically used it as an unplanned rest-day after confirming it with my coach. Started the week with a one hour “easy” run that ended up not feeling super easy because I underestimated my need for water and felt super thirsty for the first half until I came upon a water fountain. Kept it slow and steady though, ended up with 6.3 miles at 9:40 average pace. Went to another yoga for runners class, and did 30 minutes of stationary bike + elliptical for my two cross training days, as well as the core workout I’ve posted about before (becoming a new tradition over here). Skipped my tempo run because of my unplanned rest day, and used the remaining weekday for another MAF run – warmup plus 3 miles at/under a heart rate of 155. SLOW but necessary. It was hot, so my pace was probably a little slower than it would have been otherwise — on average it was 11:19 per mile.
My long run was a little step back and was only 1 hour 45 minutes including cool-down. I remember this run feeling great – it was a cool morning FINALLY and I had steady energy throughout. I didn’t eat anything before heading out because I was still full from snacky foods I had eaten at my fundraiser the night before until like 11pm. So I just made myself a cup of coffee and let that ..move through.. before hitting the pavement. Ran my first hour easy and my legs felt a little slow to wake up, but by the time I was running my 3 x 1 mile at half marathon pace I definitely felt good pushing it. Music really makes a huge difference with my speeding up these days – it’s just so much more satisfying to feel like your flying to a rolling beat of a good song. Overall my pace for what ended up being a 10.6 mile run was about 9:39 min/mi, but my half-marathon pace sections averaged around 8:30 min/mi which seems about right! Followed my long run on Saturday with some foodie adventures and enjoying the sun, and had an easy 30 minute shakeout run the next morning. Total miles = 25.5
Favorite Running Jam Lately: Colors by Halsey, Audien Remix (Turn this one up and fly)
I think moving forward with this blog I’m going to try to post more frequently with shorter posts. I don’t want my only activity on here to be weekly updates because #boring. Expect a post soon chatting about fundraising and some of the lessons I’ve learned so far. I also have a few nutrition topics I want to sprinkle in. Variety is the spice of life and I hope more frequent and shorter posts will keep my commitment to this blog a little less of a drag to maintain.
How do you stay motivated?
How do you get over writing fatigue?