All About Angela

Monday, November 24, 2014

Getting There

Last week went awesome in terms of training. My confidence (which has been on the shaky side) has been restored. I've been having to get creative in order to build mileage without spending hours running in the dark OR sacrificing too much precious sleep....the answer has been DOUBLES! Several months ago, I started implementing them into my routine. There's conflicting research about the benefits of doubles. Based on my experience, I would recommend them for ALL runners. I have seen a drastic improvement in recovery time....and who doesn't want to recover faster? Like me, you can also use doubles in order to break up large chunks of mileage on busier days. There have been days where I want to get in 14 miles but that distance is not feasible in one workout (due often to time constraints related to work hours). Therefore, I will run an indirect route to work and then run again on lunch. I want to add that doubles should never replace your "long run".  That long run allows for certain unique physical adaptations. 

Last week, I ran four consecutive doubles - a record for me. Here's the breakdown....

Sunday - Planned: 13 Actual: Rest (I was having ankle pain)
Monday - Planned: 5 Actual: 12.24 (6.01 / 6.23)
Tuesday - Planned: 7 Actual: 9.23 (3.66 / 5.57)
Wednesday - Planned: 7 Actual: 7.50 (5.26 / 2.24)
Thursday - Planned: 10 Actual: 9.81 (6.27 / 3.54)
Friday- Planned: Rest Actual: 6.05
Saturday- Planned: 20 Actual: 19.25

Total: 64.08

I've hit 200 miles for the month - highest that I've ever been! I have 50 more miles to reach my goal.

I'm getting there....

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Coping with Disappointment

This morning, I set out for my long run optimistic but depleted. My body is still rebelling about this mileage increase. During marathon training, my peak was about 62 miles....and that felt like A LOT. If I am being honest, I am still recovering from the racing season. My endurance isn't where it should be. One reason might be because I'm not as active (outside of running) as I was during the summer when we would hike up mountains every chance that we got and I would take regular 20 - 30 mile bike rides. Riding 20 miles on a ghetto stationary bike just isn't the same.

Back to my run...

I burnt out around mile 11. My ankle started hurting and I broke mentally. My husband picked me before I reached mile 16. I felt REALLY upset with myself.  Runs like these make my confidence explode and not in the awesome way. On the ride home, I almost started to cry. I'm not an emotional person, I just felt that disappointed. My husband kept telling me how proud he was of what I have been able to accomplish this week in spite of the horrid weather. He really helped me gain perspective. I've come so far in the past year. I have gone from never having run more than one mile to being a marathoner (and a decent one at that). And now I'm training to run ultra marathons...and that's a big deal. I have to accept that perfection is never going to be attainable. I'm not an elite runner....this is not my job, it's my passion and I should strive to enjoy each experience and be grateful that I am able to keep putting one foot in front of another.

My husband and I took our pup for a long walk this afternoon with a cold beverage intermission. I'm really pooped now and eager to pass out at an embarrassingly early hour. 

Here is my training recap from this week

Sunday - Planned: 10 Actual: 7.94
Monday - Planned: 7 Actual: 6
Tuesday - Planned: 15 Actual 13.35
Wednesday - Planned: 5 Actual: 6.87
Thursday - Planned: 10 Actual: 9.54
Friday - REST
Saturday - Planned: 18 (Bumped to 22 in order to make up mileage) Actual: 15.65

Total: 59.35

How did your week go? 

Did you meet whatever goals you set? 

How do you cope with disappointment? 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday I'm in Love

I'm hesitant to say that I've been slacking on my daily mileage goals....I mean it's hard to say that you're slacking when you're out there every day when most are hunkering down around their fireplaces. I'm about 4 miles short of where I should be. 4 miles....For a long distance runner, this is relatively nothing...I often commute to work via running close to this distance several times a week. But when you're adding 4 miles onto your long run, it becomes a whole different story. I planned on running that 4 miles on my lunch break but ultimately decided that I needed a rest day. I woke up this morning feeling like I had the joints of someone ten times my age. So yeah....22 miles on tap for tomorrow morning , which promises to be frigid (tropical 16 degrees).

Each week, I'm focusing on implementing small changes into my regime - nutritionally and physically. This week, I cut down on my meat consumption. Once our freezer is cleared of our meat reserves, I plan on returning to a (mostly) plant-based diet. I don't intend to be super militant about it but rather start planning meals around whole grains, beans, get the idea. Next week, I'll be more strict about cross training....Lately, beer drinking has been replacing my cross training sessions. Bad Angela. Doesn't beer just taste better in the off season / winter?

After work, we patronized our favorite dive bar and now pizza is sizzlin' away in the oven. I LOVE Fridays! Happy weekend, friends!

My husband should take up running because he has the perfect "ultra beard" 

Carb Loading...the RIGHT way!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Cold Bones

Before the winter darkness arrived, I would try to have at least one day where I'd run 13+ miles during the week (this did not replace my long run). It's become almost impossible to squeeze in a two hour run before OR after work. I just don't enjoy running in the dark for that long. I've had to be creative about building mileage. This means more commuting to work via running + double days + longer lunch runs. These are all great but still...nothing beats a continuous, long effort. So, today was a rare treat. Even though I was kept up half the night by howling winds and woke up to freezing temperatures, I was determined to get out there.

The cold zapped my motivation to spring out of bed so the run started hours after planned.

Headed into the bitter cold
I was surprised at how quickly I warmed up. I had to remove the face mask before I was two miles in. I didn't want to rush through this run. I wanted to enjoy being alone on what are otherwise populated trails. I can't lie...this run was a bit of a struggle. The cold caused every muscle to ache. The winds were gusting up to 30 mph. There were times that I would have to bury my face deep into my coat, breathing heavily just to warm up. My hydration pack's nozzle even froze shut. At about mile nine, I had the option of either running 1 mile home OR taking the extended 4 mile hilly route home...I am proud that I chose the latter. I didn't make my 15 mile goal but the fact that I managed a half marathon distance on a day where many would have holed up near a fireplace....well, that makes me feel good.

Pine Street Hill 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Heavy Legs

This week beat me up good. Because I have been racing almost every weekend for the past month, I haven't really been putting a lot of mileage on my legs (outside of the actual events). It's been a cycle of racing and tapering. I ALMOST hit my goal of 60 miles this week (less than 2 miles short). I'm not disappointed, though...I knew that building back up would be challenging. Here's how it went....

Sunday Planned: 7  Actual: 7.67
Monday Planned: 7 Actual: 6.68
Tuesday Planned: 9 Actual: 9.29
Wednesday Planned 5 Actual 8.04
Thursday Planned: Doubles (At least 10 miles) Actual: REST
Friday Planned: REST Actual: 11.38
Saturday Planned: 15 Actual 15.55

Total: 58.56

I'm becoming much better at toughing out harder runs. I'm determined to build up to 40 miles in this training cycle. I know that won't happen unless I'm disciplined. Also....I'm quite aware that running 50 miles is going to be the most difficult physical and mental challenge that I've ever tackled. I never pick "easy" races. My first 50 miler has over 7000' elevation gain AND the weather has contributed to a high DNF rate (think 40 mph winds in 30 degree weather with no foliage shield). I have to continue the process of learning to dig deep when I want to give up.

Aside from running, I had an uneventful weekend. Saturday looked like this...

This week, I'm hoping to bump up to 65 miles. Tomorrow, I am overjoyed because I have the day off work. I'm fortunate to work in an office that will close anytime the bank and/or post office is closed. The day off work is awesome enough but the fact that the kids have school....well, that is just freaking amazing. Working parents understand what a luxury this is. Of course, I started thinking of running routes immediately. 

Happy Monday! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November Goals

The beginning of a new month presents an opportunity for a fresh start....or maybe just recommitting to something that you've been working on. Because the hours of daylight are rather limited now, I know that my dedication to training may be tested. I tend to be a "snoozer"; I hit that button until I barely have enough time to throw myself together before pedaling furiously to the office. For about three weeks in the height of summer, I managed to squeeze in morning runs and it was glorious. I loved coming into work with a runner's high. I loved being able to eat during the day without fear of how it would interfere with my run. I fell off the wagon though and have not been able to get back on. Every night, I set my alarm and have the best of intentions but....when that alarm goes off, I can somehow rationalize staying under the covers. I convince myself that I NEED the extra sleep. When it's finally time to pull myself out of bed, I'm immediately angry with myself. It's a sick, vicious cycle. So training goals require that I actually well....stop being a lazy ass.

Last night, I had my first run guided by head lamp. The rain really hindered visibility - I could only see a few feet in front of me so I was quite slower than usual. Being my first night run, I jumped at every slight sound or shadow. Admittedly, I'm a wuss. I'm terrified of wildlife more than anything. I've avoided running in awesome locations because of the fear that I *might* encounter a bear. If a bush rustles while I'm out hiking, I will run toward the car - without warning and while pushing one of my loved ones in the direction of the sound. I may even throw the burrito that I've packed into the forest (because it's a known fact that bears love chicken asada) and then curl up in a fetal position until the perceived threat has passed. Google informed me that bears are hibernating now but I'm now concerned about moose. We live in rural North Idaho...moose are quite plentiful; I mean, there are even pictures of them utilizing our crosswalks. My fear has become even more ingrained since I almost touched noses with one during a run last winter (and this is not an exaggeration - our faces were inches apart).

One moose just chilling out our backyard

This brings me to the part where I discuss my goals....

1.) Stay healthy. I've had three different plagues in the last 2 months and it's been miserable. A childless vacation was ruined.  I cannot express how horrible it is to be in your favorite city and not be able to move from the hotel bed. Training can reduce immunity but this can be mitigated through a healthy diet and supplements. Also, through listening to your body which I can be terrible at. On the aforementioned "vacation", I had scheduled a marathon. Even though I had barely eaten in three days and I woke up the morning of the race still feeling sick, I still tried to run....I made it 21 miles (mostly on autopilot) before walking off the course.

You can visibly tell that I feel like death. It's a miracle I did not collapse or vomit on someone. 
2.) Organize a running event for the group that I started. I've had a really difficult time scheduling group runs - it seems that a lot of individuals tend to be fair weather runners or there is never a time that accommodates everyone (or anyone). I figure if I host a small event on the weekend that would be accessible to all ranges of runners and perhaps get a local establishment in town to offer discounts on food and/or beer after that more people might come out.

3.) Run a marathon+ distance the day after Thanksgiving (what better day to carb load?)

4.)Hit 250 miles for the month of November. Preferably, I would like all these miles to be outdoors. I know in the upcoming months that ice may impact the ability to run outside 100% of the time but I want to avoid the dreadmill as much as possible.