Images of Me!

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10610850_819047204795533_8677440635456581329_nErin

 

Trying a Different Training Method

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All my attempts at becoming a runner before, I feel, haven’t really been successful.  They’ve gotten me through the race I was planning for, but I haven’t yet come to enjoy the act of running.  I know not everyone enjoys every run they go on, but I was hoping to become one of those people that generally enjoys going for run and can tough out those runs where not everything is perfect.

The first training method was following a free training plan on the internet.  No customization, just a general 10% increase weekly plan with the longest run being I think 12 miles for a half.  I got through that race, it wasn’t pretty, but I made it.  The second try was with a customized training plan where I filled out a huge questionnaire and a trainer made a plan based on my fitness level and my schedule.  That plan also did get me through a half marathon, but it didn’t help foster my love or acceptance of running.

After a four month break and a scary dentist appointment, I’ve decided to give it a try again, but using a different method.  I’m going to try heart rate training.  I started this week using Maffatone’s HR range.  The range for me to stay in is 145-155.  I have completed a couple workouts staying within that range and it wasn’t pretty.  I’ve taken walks mid day, where it is still near 90 degrees and to keep my heart rate in the specified range, I’ve been at an 18 minute pace.  So, next week, I’m going to try going for a walk in the morning when its cooler to see if that makes a difference.  I’m hoping it does, but I don’t really know.

My goal is to get my pace to around 12 minutes while staying in that heart rate zone.  I have no idea if that is feasible, but that is my initial goal.  Once I get there, I’d like to start working toward a 10 min goal so that I can run a 30 min 5k.  Based on what I did this week, I know it will take a while and have to have the patience to make it happen!

Happy Ten

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I’ve seen people all over Instagram and Facebook listing the ten things that make them happy. I thought I would add my two cents.

1. My family and friends
2. Our pets
3. My health
4. Travel
5. Ice cream
6. Cooking and baking
7. Photography
8. The great outdoors
9. Freedom
10. A good pedicure

Those are my ten, what makes you happy?

A Slow Start

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A Slow Start

 

Today started slow. After sleeping in accidentally and having to wait a super long time to have a TB test, not much has been accomplished fitness wise today. I did take my measurements though, so at least that is done.

It would be nice if it weren’t 110 degrees outside so I could walk my son to and from school, but the sun is a killer right now. Hopefully it will start to cool off soon.

I did get a walk in to and from soccer practice. Impressive, I know! Tomorrow is a new day!

Another New Beginning

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Another New Beginning

I’ve had a drastic change in my life the past week. I am no longer employed. I don’t have a 1.5 hour commute to and from work, nor an 8 hour workday. I feel such a sense of relief. I thought I would be more anxious about only having one income than I am, which is a relief. I am becoming involved with the PTO and plan to find other means of volunteerism while looking for a job in the local area.

Not having an 11.5 hour work day means I have given myself plenty more time to get healthy and to be a more involved parent with my son. I’m looking forward to creating a new normal with all the changes that have been made. I foresee a few more on the horizon, but I feel like I am in a good place to handle them.

My plan is to improve my overall fitness for a few months with group fitness and/or videos, the elliptical, walking and if I can find a swimsuit, going to the pool and swimming laps (or learning to swim laps). Once it cools off a bit outside, I want to start running again.

Onward and hopefully slim-ward!

Erin

Confession

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I have a confession… My husband is an ultra-runner.

That being said, race season is about to be in full swing and as his wife, I’m proud to be lead crew member for his ultras. Can I put that on my resume? Anyway, with race season quickly approaching, I thought I’d share a few projects, some tips and lessons learned from our ultra-experiences.

First- the bandana.  We went to Angeles Crest 100 last year to work an aid station and kept seeing all these people wearing bandanas full of ice.  My first ultra-project is to make one of those before PCT50 (in two weeks).  I’m certain it will be fairly easy, but I’ll take pictures along the way in case you want to make one too.

Next will be our reconfigured crew bag.  I think we have a bit before that will become a big issue because PCT has minimal crew access, but in the long run, I need to figure out a fast system to have everything quickly accessible and portable.  We have Telluride and Kodiak coming up where I think having a well-organized bag will be essential.

Also, creating kind of a cheat sheet on crewing for my husband, his family is planning to attend his last two big races and I’m sure they will have lots of questions and also I want to make sure they understand how to interact with him at aid stations.

Lastly, the ongoing project of creating our Bib Book, I’m trying to find a way to scrapbook our bibs (all 3 of ours).  I’ve tried several different size scrapbooks but haven’t really found a system I like.  I’m currently trying to use a photo album/ scrapbook hybrid (project life) method, and I think it will work if I can just sit down and take time to find/print pictures from our races.

Ideas that are in my head but may not translate to actual projects: pace bracelet, medal hanger, head bands, and race t-shirt refashions.

Stay tuned!

Introspection

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I’ve been thinking about my training and how it’s been going, in general, lately and while I want to be what I consider a good runner, maybe now just isn’t the time… I know I want to run a half marathon in under two hours, I want to finish a marathon and I want to finish a sprint triathlon. I have two halfs and a full marathon on my calendar this year, the triathlon had been my goal for 2015, but I think I need to take a step back and reassess.

What it all comes down to is stress. I’m fairly certain I have too much in my life. According to the APA, stress could be the cause of a lot of issues I’ve been having lately. Heartburn (which I’ve never had before in my life, even when I was pregnant), increased blood pressure (although I have a family history of hypertension), random bouts of nausea, drastic change in PMS symptoms, fatigue and change in appetite. I thought the heartburn was just from getting older, which may be the case, but it could also apparently be stress. I had no idea why I randomly wanted to vomit or why I’d be starving some days and hardly eat anything others. I thought maybe my BC pill was causing the PMS symptoms… It kind of seems to make sense that they are all stress related because I can’t directly link them to anything else.

The next step is to figure out if or how the stress is affecting my training. I feel like there is something holding me back, but I’m not sure what it is. I thought it may be that I didn’t really believe I could, but people accomplish things like marathons all the time, so there isn’t any reason for me to think that. My husband told me that I have some kind of mental block when it comes to running, I haven’t had my moment where everything clicks yet and I just need to be patient because it will eventually happen. I’m waiting for my “a ha” moment when it comes to running. What if the stress is blocking my moments from happening?

I was reading an article on scienceofrunning.com and he was talking about how stress affects athletes in training. Basically he says that the body can only handle so much stress, if that is from everyday life or athletic training, your body doesn’t distinguish. So, what I gathered from the article- My body is having a hard time adapting to the stress present in my non-athletic life, so when I stress my body physically by running, it doesn’t have as much capability to adapt to that stress so I can progress in my running ability. My body is too busy trying to function with the outside stress to worry about gaining all the benefits of running.

So the next step is to figure out how to reduce the stress. That’s the tough part. I don’t feel there is really much that have influence over in my life that will impact stressors. I have to work and in order to work, I have to commute. Two stressors I can’t influence or change. I like spending time with my family (what little time I do get), but I don’t consider that to be a major stressor. I need to exercise (run) because I want it to become a stress reliever (even though currently I feel a lot of anxiety surrounding my training). Last but not least, life. So, I don’t know of a place to reduce the stress in my life, I just need to find a better way of coping. Running isn’t that coping method (yet) and I’ve tried yoga, not so much. My husband was also kind enough to get me a massage for Valentine’s Day, while that was nice during, afterward I didn’t really feel any relaxation benefit, meditation or Tai Chi maybe? I don’t really know to be honest. I know something’s got to give, I just don’t know what…

I have a feeling it will come in the form of running progress, goals and expectations. Maybe now just isn’t my time to find myself as a runner. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to give up on running, it’s good for my health and eventually I still want to reach my running goals, but I think 2014 may not be the year for it. The good thing is that I know the current situation I’m in is only temporary. I won’t have a 3 hour commute to work for the rest of my life. That’s one of the good things about being married to a Marine, we move fairly often. My husband is doing great things with his running, accomplishing his goals and getting so much better right now. I’m jealous, but I also realize we’re two different people things won’t happen for the both of us at the same time/rate. So, I’m going to keep doing what I can but just lower my expectations a little bit.

One day it will happen, that day just may have to wait until we close the 29Palms chapter in our lives.

Resources:

http://www.scienceofrunning.com/2012/11/the-stress-of-life-how-stress-can.html

http://www.irunfar.com/2013/04/stress-and-running.html

https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress-body.aspx

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/index.shtml

https://www.heartmath.com/infographics/how-stress-effects-the-body.html