May 26, 2014

My Running Plans for the Summer

Running races during the summer just does not appeal to me because I just don't do well in the heat. I can do a 5K or a 10K bu that is about it. I usually end up running a fall marathon and dread training through the summer heat but I guess it has to be done.
My next race is the Zooma Napa Valley Half Marathon in June. I won two race entries and I am really hoping that my friend can make it. Since she lost her husband last September, she has started running again but just does not have the desire to race. Her husband was at every race she ran and I think knowing that he will no longer be there just really bothers her. She is a great runner (3:17 marathon PR) and I really hope that she gets back into running in the future. Our plan for this race was to just take it easy and enjoy it. I am sure that running in Napa Valley is just beautiful so we want to take it all in. The host hotel is pretty pricey so we are treating this like a mini vacation not to mention she loves her wine.
I have no races on the schedule for July or August but I might throw in a 5K or a 10K. Then I have the Ventura Marathon on  September 7th which happens to fall on my birthday. September is still a hot month in California so at this point I have not decided if I will run the full or the half. In any case, I want to enjoy this race and not put any major pressure on myself but a "Birthday BQ" would be sweet wouldn't it? This race is a last minute BQ attempt for many runners since Boston registration opens right around this time. I usually sign up for one fun race a year and this just might be the one.

How do you feel about summer races?

What is on your race schedule for the summer?

May 25, 2014

What a Week!

Well if you follow me on Instagram then you already know that I did not run my marathon as planned. I was on the fence about running it and then as things unraveled I knew that all signs were pointing to me having to pull out. It was a tough decision but in the end I am glad that I made the decision not to run because my mind would not have been in the race. 

Roxy, my Pom with cancer, has not been doing well. Her appetite has been very poor and I really thought that I was going to have to put her down this week. My daughter refuses to let me put her down because she says that she is not ready. I agree with her but we also agreed that once she stops eating we would have give her the peace she deserves. Well, this morning Roxy starting eating again. She was back at the side of my bed at 5 am barking and asking to eat. I was more than happy to get up and feed her and now she seems to be back to normal. I guess she has her good days and bad days.

Then to top things off, my son was not feeling well and ended up throwing up last night. At that point, the race was off for sure since I am a mom before I am a runner. I did not sleep the whole night checking on my son, keeping an eye on Roxy and dwelling on the fact that I pulled out of my race. Social media can make it that much worse when you see everyone else out there racing. Don't get me wrong. I am very happy for everyone who raced this weekend but just wished that I could have been out there with them. I just kept telling myself that there will be many opportunities to run races but family (which includes my dogs) comes first. I am over it now but it was a tough day. 

Running has not been so fabulous either. I have so many things on my mind lately that sometimes I just don't have the motivation to run. I have been going on shorter runs and not really pushing myself and that is kind of unheard for me. I haven't been sleeping well either so my energy is lacking when I get home from work. It's kind of sad but I keep telling myself that I need to snap out of this and realize that life isn't always perfect. I just need to accept it and deal with it!

Sorry to sound so negative but I am just keeping it real and being honest. I am hoping for a better week which includes motivation to get back to training. I have a half marathon coming up in a month and I need to be ready for it. My friend who lost her husband is supposed to be running with me but she is still going through some tough times and might back out on me. I totally understand her and may have to rethink those plans as well. 

How do you bounce back when you are feeling unmotivated?

May 21, 2014

A Not So Wonderful Week of Running...

Being sick is not fun! Heck, I never get sick! I had a horrible cough that would not quit and trying to run was not fun. Whatever I had just took me down and I was completely exhausted. I finally got a run in on Thursday and it felt great to be running again. My motivation to run came from me wanting to try out my new yurbuds which actually stayed in my ears while I run!
Sunday I went out for 9 miles and it was great. I didn't worry about pace but just wanted to go the distance without putting any pressure on myself. I think I have been in non-stop training mode for a couple years now and I have just been feeling burned out lately. Bad timing! When I start to feel this way, I have to just let myself run for the enjoyment of it because I love running and I don't want that to change. When running starts to feel like work then it is not fun for me anymore. Don't get me wrong, running requires tons of commitment and hard work but sometimes I just have to take a step back and remind myself why I really run. I run for me.
And just like that it is race week! I am certainly not feeling very positive about this race. I know that the training did not go as planned like it did last year when I ran this same race and I think that is what has me so discouraged. I am still not 100% decided if I will be out there on Sunday. My mind is preoccupied with a million other things these days which are probably more important to me than running.

How was your week? Any upcoming races?

May 13, 2014

When Things Don't Go As Planned

I have never followed any specific training plan but tend to take bits and pieces from several that I come across and then make up my own plan. I don't like to stick to a specific training plan because I get really discouraged when I have to miss a run or cannot do as much as it demands. I try to run 3-4 times a week and that is pretty much all I can fit into my schedule. My family and my job take priority and then comes running. 

I have kind of changed things around because of my work schedule and the fact that I pretty much end up on the treadmill twice a week since it too dark to run outside alone by the time I get home and can actually head out the door for a run. I really hate running on the treadmill and feel like I don't really get a good quality run in because I get bored and just run according to how I feel that day. To lessen the boredom and make my runs really count, I have decided to save the treadmill days for those runs where I want to hit a certain pace.

This week started out great and then kind of took a turn for the worst. I started the week out with two good runs and then my long run went south. It was super windy and I have a cough that got progressively worse during my long run. It felt kind of pointless because I had to stop so many times towards the end because of the coughing. I hardly, if ever, get sick so this kind of came at a bad time.
I am still sticking with the speedwork thing even though I have a love/hate relationship with it. It is hard but I love the way that I feel once it is over. I also find myself pushing a little harder on these days since I have a planned workout versus just running 7 miles for the day. My runs are a bit shorter but are definitely more challenging and meaningful these days. I sweat like crazy and that kind of makes me feel like I am working hard!
I also like to run my tempos on the treadmill because when I run them outdoors I hit too many signals and end up stopping way too many times. I want to be able to hit these paces and distances without those breaks in between. My hope is to be able to run these tempos without feeling so beat up in the end and then I can start increasing the pace a little bit at a time.
My longs runs will always be done on the road because there is just no way that I can last 3-4 hours on a treadmill. I prefer to run outdoors anyway and this is the one run a week that I look forward to each week. Long runs are tiring and they take a lot out of me but having something to look forward to makes it a little bit easier. I planned on 18 miles last week and only did 16. The plan for this week was 20 so I was determined to stick with the plan and ended up running only 8 miles. Yes 8...between the wind and the coughing it was not happening for me. I guess it happens and this was a first for me. I didn't let it get to me. I called it a day and enjoyed my Mother's Day.


I will make a decision this week as to whether or not I will run M2B. I just need to convince myself that I can do it and even though it will not result in a PR it is fine. The only person who really cares is me. I always want to see improvement but at the same time I have to be realistic and remind myself that you only get out what you put in. I have not put in what it takes to realize a PR this time around so why should I even expect it?

 How was your Mother's Day? 
What special things did your family do for you?

May 5, 2014

Weekly Recap and The Month of April

My focus these past couple of weeks is making all of my runs count. I don't like to put too much pressure on myself when it comes to running because then it isn't fun to me anymore and it starts to feel like work. I mean it is work but I enjoy it most when I don't feel super pressured about it.

I am not sure how long my speedwork sessions are going to last because I don't really enjoy it. It's hard but I do love the feeling that I get once it is done. I feel more accomplished after a speedwork session than I do after a long run. This week I attempted to do some 800m repeats at the same pace that I did my 12 X 400m workout last week. It was tough and I thought about quitting so many times. I kept telling myself "Don't Quit" and "Stay Strong." I hope I learn to love it soon because I know it will help me become a stronger and faster runner. I finished my workout in 48:02 ( 6 Miles @ 8:00.)
I do enjoy tempo runs but they are also tough. They really challenge me and I always feel great after a nice tempo. My goal is to continue to increase the pace on these tempo runs! I finished this tempo run  in  48:48 (6 Miles@8:08.) I am also hoping that this speedwork will help me improve my 5K and 10K times.
My long run was supposed to be 18 miles this week but I had to cut it short due to the heat. I felt like a loser cutting it short but it was 82 degrees and I was pretty tired. I am happy to have made it the 16 miles that I did. I ran on a shaded trail with a decent incline for a good part of my run and picked it up the last 4 miles heading home (8:23, 8:10, 8.14, 7:46.) I was glad to be done with this one!

In other news, April was a good month. It didn't run a lot of miles but at least I am running again and my weekly mileage is getting back to my average. I am still on the fence about running my upcoming marathon and have been trying to come up with a backup plan but solid nothing yet.

Did you have a good month?