Truth.

2014-03-26 12.47.29

Boston 2014 Training: Week 2 of 16

A solid week of training and again, big success because my legs didn’t fall off! Baby steps, people.

This week was all about surviving the #polarvortex and #Chiberia. Because, let’s be serious, I’m sure as heck not running outside in anything that ‘feels like’ less than 0 freakin’ degrees. I have a love-hate relationship with the treadmill, but I’m glad I had access to one this week!

This week, I ran 38 miles.

60 min yoga.

1 hr spin class.

ART x 1.

Massage x 1.

Core x 1.

Hip strength x 1.

Week 2 of 16 Boston 20145 runs and 2 cross-training days. Solid.

Monday: 5 miles, 8:12 pace + Core and Hip Strength routines

5 recovery miles after 15 on the treadmill the day before. I trekked to the gym to get this easy run in. It’s only a 3-4 minute walk but I bundled up and covered everything except my eyeballs. 🙂 Legs aren’t sore from 15 yesterday but they still felt a bit heavy today.

Tuesday: 7 miles, 7:53 pace – 4 x 800 workout

After a long work day and frigid commute, I drank some hot tea and trudged over to the gym to do this on the treadmill. (Who else is excited for the HEAT WAVE of 35 degrees this weekend?!?!?!) Ran 2 mi w/up, 4 x 800 with 400 m RI, and 2 mi c/down. After waiting 10 minutes for a treadmill (which never happens because I never go to the gym at 6:30 pm, the rush), I was happy to get started. The first one was definitely a challenge but I found my groove by the 3rd repeat and the 4th was a good challenge. All of them were 3:09-3:11.

Wednesday: 1 hour yoga 

I’m loving yoga lately. Lots of things to stretch out. Plus, when I go in the evening, I’m relaxed and ready for bed by 9 pm. #hermit

Thursday: 8 miles, 7:26 average – 4 mile tempo workout

After too many treadmill miles in the past 7 days, I was excited to finally get out to the lakefront for a workout. Headed out around 3 pm when the light snow was coming down. Ran 2 up, 4 mi tempo, and 2 down. Originally scheduled a 5 mi “long tempo” workout but decided to run 4 at a quicker pace. Periods of slush and slide on the lakefront but overall not too bad. Last two tempo miles were tough against the wind. Splits: 7:07, 7:04, 7:04, 7:00.

Friday: 1 hr spin class + ART at PT

Made it to another Friday spin class with Corey. It was an endurance ride and most of it was in the saddle, which made for a pretty boring class but it was a good flush of the legs before running long tomorrow at least. Went to PT this morning for another ART session–feelin’ fresh.

And surpriiiiiise! We’re already at the 100-day countdown to Boston!

2014-01-10 08.39.11

Saturday: 14 mile long run, 7:53 average at Morton Arboretum 

Drove out to Morton Arboretum with Chanthana and Corey this morning to get some hill work in. These Boston-bound ladies will be ready for those hills in April! My legs feel like they ran more like 20 miles than 14 because sections of the East and West loops were literally sheets of ice. We had to constantly cut across the path to find the passable sections — they sanded a good portion of it but the temps made it slick, I think. At Mile 7, I thought I’d cut this short and just get a solid 1:30 in but once I got there, I pulled it together and finished the scheduled 14 miles. Something seemed to click around mile 9 and I just went with it. Happy to finish the last two at 7:21 and 7:18 after working the legs pretty hard on those hills. Last year I didn’t do any hill training for Boston — this is a good start.

Followed by IHOP. BACON! EGGS! HASHBROWNS! COFFEE!

2014-01-11 15.36.31

Sunday: 4 easy recovery miles, 8:23 average on the treadmill 

Super easy recovery run after brunch, massage, and errands. Really wish I could have run and then enjoyed the massage, but the legs are flushed either way!

This week was pretty great. If there was any indication that the left quad is ready to work, it was Saturday’s hilly 14-miler. I’m sure many would scoff at the hills we ran, but they’re really challenging when your normal runs look like this…

Flatland

I rested hardcore on Saturday evening and woke up on Sunday feeling fatigued, but not sore. Another good sign! I think the speedwork is helping to build strength and I know that the added cross-training is helping to correct some imbalances that I didn’t know existed (until it was too late) in the fall.  I’ve also been using the R8 Roll Recovery almost every single day—honestly, not sure how I survived without. The legs have felt refreshed every time I go out for a run lately!

Boston 2014 Training: Week 1 of 16

I went back and forth a few times on whether or not to publish my weekly training recaps this time around. I haven’t been posting much pace/split information on Dailymile because I want this cycle to be more ‘internal’. That said, I’m going to jot down a few details each week to keep training in perspective leading up to Boston 2014.

Boston is 15 weeks away! WUT.

2014-01-06 11.17.40

This was the first “real” week of Boston training as it was the first week I put in some solid speed work and a short tempo run. I put in some solid base training, with 167 miles in December. I’m pretty psyched that everything seems to be coming together and each week I’ve felt more and more like myself.

So, this is how Week 1 went down:

I ran 39.5 miles.

90 minutes yoga

ART x 1

Massage x 1

Core x 1

Hip Strength x 1

Monday:

Easy 5 recovery miles, 8:12 average. treadmill miles 

+ ART at physical therapy and 1 hour massage in PM

Tuesday:

Easy 5.5 miles, 8:05 average.

So, today was supposed to be mile repeats. Buuuut they didn’t happen. I was lazy this morning (taking advantage of time off work to get some good sleep) and then I had to run errands. The gym closed early and I knew the snow was going to start around 3 pm but I really wanted to get the final run of 2013 in. I ran the 2 miles to the lakefront and on my way, I teamed up with this dude riding his bike to catch a stray dog that was running through traffic. I followed her without getting too close until she turned around when we tried to ‘corral’ her but she was too quick. The cyclist seemed to be having better luck so I wished him luck and ran on to the lakefront. Conditions weren’t terrible because the snow was somewhat ‘crunchy’ but mile repeats would have been awkward and likely painful with bad footing, so I’ll shift this week’s workouts. When I finished up the easy 5 and left the lakefront trail, I ran into the cyclist and guess what?! He was able to get close enough to the dog after she went down into a snow bank by the river!!! She had a tag on so hopefully the owners are happy to have their dog back this evening. I gave him a high five and told him HAPPPPPY NEWWWW YEARRRR! 😉

Wednesday:

REST/ Cross-training –> 90 minutes of New Year’s Yoga. My definition of a lovely NYE is a yummy dinner and being in bed by 12:15 AM, both of which I accomplished. I impressed myself by making it to a 10 AM class on the first day of the year. I was happy with lots of hip openers and pigeon in class!

2013-12-31 20.08.37-2

Thursday:

7 miles, ~8  min average. Mile repeats: 6:27 pace on the treadmill  + CORE

2 mi up, 3 x 1 mi repeat at 6:27 with 400 m RI, 1.25 down. First repeat was stupid hard, I had to pee in the middle of the second (heh), and I finished strong on the third. I was happy to get it done without feeling like my legs were falling off. We’ll see where these mile repeats are at in weeks ahead!

Friday:

7 miles, ~8 min average. Short tempo! 2 x 1 mi tempo pace + HIP STRENGTH ROUTINE

Ran easy 7 miles with 2 x 1 mi at 6:58 with 2 min RI. I’m slowly easing back into the cycle with this workout. I’ve had some really great steady state runs and easy runs that have been at a quicker pace than I thought they would be in the past few weeks. Everything seems to feel more difficult on the treadmill and, after Thursday’s mile repeats, I was very happy with the tempo pace.

Saturday:

REST

I skipped out on the ‘balmy’ 20-something temperatures this morning to give my legs a rest. I knew I’d take a chance on the weather but I was still hoping I’d be able to run long on the lakefront on Sunday. I was mistaken.

Sunday:

15 miles, treadmill insanity. 8 min/mi average.

Soooooo I went to the gym to run long on the treadmill today. I’m glad I came prepared with a movie on my iPad because I may not have finished all 15 mi without it. I took a water and stretch break at an hour and again at 90 minutes. Shifted the pace between 8:06-7:47 throughout along with the incline to change it up. Ya know, now that it’s over I’m kind of surprised how easy that was. The Way Way Back entertained me for all of 1 hr 40 minutes before I turned the music on. The last 20 minutes was easily the most difficult, probably because I can’t avoid thinking about the time remaining on the treadmill.

I’m happy I was able to put in some good work this week despite some crazy weather. I took a risk running mile repeats and the tempo back-to-back but the legs seemed to respond well after the rest day on Saturday. I’ve been using the Roll Recovery R8 practically everyday along with using the foam roller to release my glutes. I haven’t really been sore because of it. Need to keep up this routine!

So, off to a good start! 15 weeks to go…

-J

An Exercise in Patience & What I’ve Learned During Recovery

Since I made the decision to not race a marathon this fall, a lot has happened. It’s hard to believe that my leg started to give me problems 7 weeks ago and that I made the final decision to scrap the marathon about 3 weeks ago. (It’s difficult to really know when that decision was made because I flip-flopped on it about a bajillion times.) As runners, we’re used to making substantial progress within a 7-8 week period and it’s difficult to stop myself from thinking about the number of miles I *should* have run in that period of time. It’s not about the miles, it’s about the work. I’ve been able to find a balance between physical therapy, easy running, yoga, and acupuncture that’s working for me. Slowly but surely, I think I’m starting to make progress. As frustrating as it’s been, I’m still glad I stopped to rest when I did.

I’ve never really been sidelined by an injury that lasted more than a few weeks. This has been totally new territory and I’m sure I’ll have to revisit it many times in the future. I’m by no means an expert when it comes to dealing with an injury but I think I have learned a few things over the past 50 days or so that might help someone else and I think they’re worth sharing.

What I’ve learned by “sitting out” so far:

1. You have to make a decision. 

I let myself be in “limbo” and figure out if a marathon was going to happen for about two weeks. And that felt like a week too long at times. One day I’d feel really good and confident that the marathon would happen, while other days, I questioned the decision for several hours of the day. I felt like I was trying to force my body to recover on a deadline just so I could get to the start line. For a good 10 days, I just couldn’t get my mind off of the topic. I knew that I’d feel better by just making a decision. And, to some extent, it didn’t matter which one I made. Either way, I’d have a plan moving forward–either MOVE or REST. As badly as I wanted to race, I couldn’t stop thinking about how I could put myself in a really bad position come winter–in order to train properly for Boston I had to rest.  Getting to a start line at some point this fall would have been great, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I would have been able to reach the finish line. I made the decision so that I could move on (physically, mentally, AND emotionally!) Which brings me to my next point…

2. You have to commit to that decision.

For me, sitting this fall out meant that there wasn’t pressure to perform. I know myself and I know that if I worked through the pain and arrived at the start line feeling less than stellar, I’d regret finishing with a poor time on the finish clock (or not finishing at all). It wouldn’t be rewarding and I’d wonder why I decided to run the 26.2 in the first place.

But just because I decided not to race didn’t mean that I could just go out and run whenever I felt like it and for however long I wanted. I forced myself to take an entire week off of running. (This normally only happens immediately following a marathon—it’s very rare that I run ZERO miles in a 7-day period.) No one told me to stop running. I knew in my gut that it would be good for me. Plus, the moment running becomes more of a hassle and less of a hobby I enjoy, it’s time to park my butt on the couch for a bit. I didn’t want to go out and run and have it feel just “okay”. I took 8 days off running and I’ve been able to slowly and safely build my mileage back up. Making the commitment to REST was necessary. Resting now means that I’ll have the drive and ability to develop a strong base this winter and the strength to commit to a strong cycle before Boston. (At least that’s the hope!)

3. As painful as it may be at times, surrounding yourself with other runners is one of the best things you can do.

This seems counterintuitive. Admittedly, I didn’t think I’d want to be in a running environment as an “injured” runner incapable of truly racing. But spectating the Chicago and Grand Rapids Marathons was therapy for me. To be on the other side of the race meant that I could still be involved and invested in others’ experiences. If I had stayed home to watch movies on my couch all day instead of spectating the races of people I love, I would have felt like a huge guilty slob. We may race on our own but it’s not because we don’t have a running family to support us. I’m glad I’ve been able to spectate several races this fall because I would have missed out on moments that I’ll never forget. Just because I wasn’t racing didn’t mean that the experience wasn’t valuable. You can learn a lot about racing by being a spectator. And yes, I wanted to race soooooooo badly and wished I could have been out there racing my heart out. It wasn’t easy but being around other runners and being part of the race environment helped soften the blow a bit.

4. You have to try a lot of different recovery methods and repeat what works for you.

I wouldn’t even consider this silly quad situation a “major injury”, but I still had to try several recovery methods. A chiropractor released my lower back and hips; a physical therapist relieved some of the pain with the Graston technique, massage, and targeted strength training; a massage therapist helped me align the left and right sides of my body; an x-ray and MRI ruled out the possibility of a stress fracture; and finally, an acupuncturist found the knots and released them within 2 sessions. While physical therapy is important and it’s always going to be one of the first methods I try, I was so surprised how quickly acupuncture released the tension in my left quad. After tweeting about how much it’s helped me, I learned that plenty of other runners have found relief through acupuncture.

The last thing I wanted to do was add another “treatment” or spend more money on trying to figure out what is going on with this quad/hip/adductor. But I’m glad I did. I found more relief in two sessions of acupuncture than any amount of foam rolling or massaging accomplished in 4-5 weeks. It’s nice to know that the next time I start to feel little twinges, I’ll be able to get it treated right away with a method that works for me. You have to find the method that works for you and repeat it as necessary.

5. You have to consult people you love and trust (& ignore those you don’t).

Making  a decision can be difficult on your own, let alone with others’ opinions swirling around in your head. You have to be honest with yoursel fand with people that you think will be helpful and pragmatic. Most of the time, this means finding the people that are more likely to say “no, you shouldn’t race” than “yes, you should race!”. It’s hard to hear someone tell you what you don’t want to hear but you don’t need a “yes man/woman”. You need someone that will be realistic, helpful, and patient to make the decision that’s right for you. I really struggled with this. I felt like I had to make a ton of decisions in the first few weeks. I felt like I was on my own. I wanted someone to tell me what to do. I wanted someone to “fix me”. I wanted to avoid making decisions because I felt like I had to make so many. It was overwhelming. Eventually I reached the point where I trusted myself enough to be patient with recovery and know what was going on in my own body. I’m lucky to have a few people in my life that were willing to listen (to my complaints and frustrations, no less), ask questions, and give me some really helpful advice so that I didn’t feel like I had to listen to anyone and everyone’s advice. Because, let’s face it. That would be super frustrating.

I’m not going to lie. Looking at this weekly training chart is still frustrating and it makes me sad.

2013 GR Training Breakdown

June marked the beginning of a new cycle and I had some big goals that were within reach until 6-7 weeks ago. The next cycle will only be fun if I take what I learned from this experience, make some changes, and keep looking forward.

Spectating all of these fall races has me itching to get out there again. 2013 was a strong year for me despite this setback. I PR’d every distance I raced: 5k, 10k, 13.1 and 26.2.

2014 is going to be a good year. I just know it.

-J

I Refuse to ‘Park’ It

I Refuse to 'Park' It

Wisdom found at Urban Outfitters somehow seemed really appropriate yesterday. I haven’t run a single mile in 8 days but I’m determined to avoid parking it (aka MY BUTT) on the couch anymore. I don’t know where I’m headed but I know I’ll be stronger for it.

Grand Rapids 2013 Training: 4 Weeks Out

GR2013TrainingWeek5

This week was the week that….wasn’t.

My_Account__My_Training___dailymile

On Monday, I wrote about how I’m feeling pretty high maintenance lately. After some weird aches and pains started to creep up on me last Friday, I had a feeling that something was ‘off’. The chiro told me that my left hip is almost an inch higher than the right (due to muscle tightness, not anatomical) on Monday morning. She’s confident that a few adjustments and light massage therapy will help loosen it up and align them again. At the time, I still thought I’d be able to run my two big workouts for the week as well as Saturday morning’s 20-21 mile long run. Sure, I was sore and there were certain muscles that were giving me more trouble than they normally do but that’s just a given during marathon training. You control what you can and try to fix little problems as you go.

I ran 5.5 creaky miles on Monday night at Fleet Feet’s Pint Night. I wasn’t comfortable after a chiro adjustment and mini-massage on Monday morning. I was sore, but I figured the shakeout would do me some good, regardless of how it actually felt at the time. Tuesday rolled around and I knew a workout just wasn’t going to happen. I had an 11 mile steady state run on the schedule and after consulting with Coach, we decided to bag it and run easy. If the quad/IT band/adductor loosened up in the first few miles, I was free to run 6-8 very easy miles. If it didn’t, however, the plan was to stop and walk home. I ended up running less than 3 miles before walking 1.5 miles home. A whole new meaning to the walk of shame (much less on a busy street during rush hour).

I’ve never done that before. And while I’ve had little aches and pains that have prompted me to rest when I don’t want to in the past (minor peroneal tendonitis and left glute strengthening with some PT), I’ve never had to stop and walk home. Wednesday is always a rest day for me and on Tuesday evening, I was still optimistic that I would be able to do some kind of workout on Thursday morning (even if it wasn’t the 12 x 400 that was already on the schedule).

Thursday, same thing. I woke up and just knew it wasn’t going to happen. I went out for an easy run and, if it loosened up, I was free to run 6-8 easy miles. (At this point, I’m calculating how many total miles I’d be missing out on for the week. Once you go down that road, you can’t really go back.) I ran a 3.5 mile loop around the neighborhood and, while I could have gone for a 2nd one to make it a total of 7 miles, there was no point. The 3.5 didn’t feel comfortable and I wouldn’t want to be in a situation where something actually snaps or breaks or gives out, miles from home. For now, the discomfort is enough to make me slow down and be cautious before it *really* becomes a big problem.

Then, Friday morning. I decided on 45 minutes on the elliptical just to get the cardio I’d been missing all week. No pain or discomfort in the left leg at all. It felt good just to MOVE. I hopped off the elliptical and decided I’d try 2 easy miles on the treadmill just to see what the leg would do. Not even one mile in, I stopped.

Any kind of movement with impact makes the left quad lock up and the inner adductor starts screaming. I don’t really feel any soreness or tenderness when I walk. But the impact of landing on my left foot makes me feel like I’m running on a flat tire. So while the elliptical workout felt great, I walked home from the gym feeling even more frustrated because my leg won’t let me run one measly mile.

Needless to say, Saturday’s 20-miler didn’t happen and I did absolutely ZERO cross-training or running this weekend. And honestly it feels like I’m going through taper pains because both of my legs just hurt. They just want to GO. I’m restless and I seriously didn’t even know what to do with myself when I knew practically the entire city of Chicago was out on the lakefront running 20-milers before the Chicago Marathon or another fall race.

Between missing out on 3 key workouts and almost 40 miles for the week (only ran a total of 11), I may have to reconsider Grand Rapids.

I’m not giving up on the leg just yet but I’d like to go into the race feeling confident that my body can handle it, rather than push through these next 2 weeks of training before taper and wonder whether or not it’s going to be a good effort. There’s no point in suffering through 26.2 miles.

If it’s in the cards and the leg decides to love running again, then Grand Rapids will happen. (And if Grand Rapids doesn’t happen, I’ll still be there to cheer for Hillary, Manny, Jeff, and Chris. They deserve ALL THE BEER at the finish line and it would be fun to personally hand it to them.)

If all it needs is time before I get another couple of weeks’ work in, then I’ll run an alternate race this fall (not sure of which one yet).

And if neither of those options is going to happen, then I plan to have fun resting, cross-training, and getting strong for the winter cycle before Boston 2014.

I was feeling so frustrated last week about the fact that I can’t even run easy right now. Now I’m (kind of) comfortable with the fact that I just have to be patient and what will be, will be.

– J

Hood to Coast with Nuun Hydration: Recap 2013

It’s already Thursday and I have yet to even process what the hell happened last week. Last Wednesday, I flew out to Seattle to meet the Nuun crew and the 35 other runners they graciously hosted and ushered through the Hood to Coast Relay. We spent 2 days in Seattle. We drank coffee (Starbucks, duh), went bowling at The Garage (I’m a less than stellar bowler), ran around Green Lake (oh the jealousy!) ,met the Oiselle crew and visited their HQ (what the what?!), dance battled on two duck boats (still not sure who won that one), decorated the vans (I’m now certified in free-handing Twitter birds and cherries…), and tried to get as much sleep as we could before it took a literal backseat to running and driving to each exchange.

Before the relay even began on Friday afternoon, I knew that the experience was exactly what I pictured since I was selected for the team back in April. — It was a running LOVEFEST. It’s rare to meet so many runners from all across the country and have more than 10 minutes to talk to each one of them. Nuun threw a ton of “strangers” into 6 vans and magically (and not so surprisingly), we learned a lot about each other. It’s amazing what happens when you’re sleep-deprived, on a running high, and fueled up on ALL OF THE VAN SNACKS.

Hood to Coast Relay Nuun Hydration 2013

The most dedicated & focused, yet silly-ass Van (Van 1, Cherry Limeade):

Julia, Sara, Robyn, Dorothy, ME, and Katie

Hood to Coast was my first relay, which meant that I was nervous and a bit anxious about the ‘logistics’ part of the whole experience. I was happy to be in a van with experienced relay runners.

When Mason called and asked if I’d be willing to switch from Team Lemonade to Team Cherry Limeade (the competitive women’s open team going for the W!), I responded with “OH MY GOD I’d love to! …..BUT you have to promise to give me the easy legs because Chicago is flat as a pancake”. Having lived there for 20-ish years, he heard me loud and clear (thankfully). I was runner 4 in Van 1 for Cherry Limeade, which included 15+ miles: first leg was the longest, middle leg was easy peasey, and last leg was gradual uphill yet short.

The Good:

I averaged just under a 7:00 min/mile for the 15 miles. Considering I’m in the middle of a marathon training cycle, my focus hasn’t been on speed lately (although speed workouts are obviously still part of the marathon training recipe). My goal was to stick as close to my recent tempo paces as I could and see how far I could push it if I was feeling good. I figured my legs would be tired on the last leg no matter how hard I took the first two legs.

Leg 1:

7.18 miles with a steady gradual downhill along paved shoulder on Highway 26. —> 6:36 average pace. I was FLYIN’ dudes! Granted, gradual downhill equated to a much faster time than I thought I was capable of running and I was caught up in the adrenaline of running my first relay leg evarrrr, but I’m happy with it nonetheless. (It bodes well for an upcoming 10k!) The team stopped halfway through my leg to give me a water bottle. I tossed the water bottle like a pro, gave high-fives, and marveled at the fact that my most recent tempo was 4 miles at 6:45 pace. ….and I ran 7 at 6:35 pace. I’ll take it!

Leg 2:

3.78 miles on gently rolling highway, paved shoulder just like the first leg. —-> 7:20 average pace. Ok, let’s just preface this by saying there was a code brown involved. It was pitch black outside, few runners around, and it just had to happen. (Thanks to Holly, I’ll always use #poopthereitis to describe potential future situations.) My average pace was 6:45 until that unfortunate pit stop. DERP! Normally, this would just be a private moment that I’d keep to myself. But when you’re running as part of a  team, “TMI” doesn’t apply and I felt the need to explain myself. I hope I never have to answer this question, “how’d you do?” with a “good!….except for that poop stop” ever again. [Come on. I can’t be alone on this one!]

Leg 3:

4.20 miles, gradual uphill on paved road (narrow highway with limited shoulder). —> 7:17 average pace. “Gradual uphills” don’t really exist in Chicago unless you count overpasses and parking garages. I think I’m a pretty good hill runner but give me 4 miles of gradual incline and my legs (and lungs) tend to be confused. Not going to lie, this last leg was *tough*. I just kept thinking about how short 4 miles normally is and the fact that once I pushed through them that I’d officially be done with my first relay. It’s sure not to be my last.

The Bad:

  • Code Brown. Enough said.
  • 30 minutes of sleep. Par for the course, but I felt like a zombie. (Up for 40 hours straight — haven’t done that in years!)
  • Exchange snafus led to a 3rd place finish. Sure, third is AWESOME, but we were going for the WIN and thought we pretty much had it in the bag before logistics caught up to us. At some point, you just decide to run strong on your own legs and leave everything else behind. I’m excited to see future Nuun teams get the big win because our van wanted it and wanted it bad.

The Ugly:

Come on. Did you seriously think there was an ugly side of this experience?! I rarely think that experiences are all sunshine and rainbows, but I can honestly say that it was the closest I’ve ever come to “Skittles: Taste the Rainbow”.

PICTURES!

Green Lake, Seattle

Run around Green Lake 🙂

On A Duck Seattle

#onaduck!

#NuunHTC at Oiselle HQ

All 36 runners with the Oiselle crew

Nuun Hydration Hood to Coast Prep

Hanging at Nuun HQ before decorating the vans

Nuun Hood to Coast Team Cherry Limeade

Team Cherry Limeade, Van 1

Nuun Hood to Coast

Obligatory jumping pic at Mount Hood.

Hood to Coast Start 2013

HERE WE GO!

Legs up!

We found a hill at a van exchange and put the legs up

Nuun Team Cherry Limeade Hood to Coast

Team Cherry Limeade (Julia is running!)

Hood to Coast Julia Webb

Toilet paper finish tape. Julia’s all kinds of serious

Nuun Hood to Coast Team Cherry Limeade

If you don’t finish your relay with bloody mary’s and sides of bacon, you’re doing it wrong.

Hood to Coast Seaside

Ahhh Seaside.

Seaside Brewing Co

Beers with the lovely Robyn Hefner (AKA badass van leader!) at Seaside Brewing Co.

Final Thoughts:

I’m still having “pinch me moments” about this whole experience. When I started running 2 years ago, I never thought that my “running world” would be as big as it is now. I love being able to chat with so many runners  via social media but you take those conversations to a whole other level when you get to meet IRL and work together as a team. When you’re running for a team of 12, there’s no excuse–you run as fast as you can and leave it out there because you know that van is waiting for you at the next exchange.

I also know that I was (obviously) not the first choice for Team Cherry Limeade and there are plenty of speedy ladies out there that would kick my ass if they had the opportunity. I feel lucky to have been part of a competitive team with women that I learned a lot from. I don’t consider myself a “competitive runner”, but I do thrive on competition. But dang, these girls are on a whole other level and it’s cool to have been given the opportunity to represent Nuun with each one of them.

Meeting and exceeding goals this training cycle all comes down to hard work and, let me tell you, Robyn, Dorothy, Katie, Julia, and Sara consistently work their tails off (and most of them do it while raising a family…except me and Robyn. But it’s all good. She has a 30 lb cat and I like to think I have a pretty cute dog).

I know that I’ll be keeping in touch with the women I met last week well into the future. And we’ll be a support net for each other in future races, from near and far (there’s always someone waiting to hear how you did at a race on Twitter, after all…) . That’s pretty cool when you stop to think about it.

I’m not sure I can ever properly thank Mason, Megan, and the entire Nuun team for their hospitality last week (“hospitality” doesn’t even begin to cover it). You guys seriously thought of everything and we all felt like it was a special treat to be able to just show up and RUN. Your company and its energy is refreshing and it was just a pleasure to be around you all for an entire 5 days. I think it’s rare to find a company that feels so much like a family and it was nice to become part of yours!

Running Hood to Coast with Nuun was just what I needed to fuel me through the next 7 weeks of training for the Grand Rapids Marathon. And once I process this whole experience, I’ll likely be at that start line ready to kill it.

– J

Grand Rapids Training 2013: 8 Weeks Out

Grand Rapids Marathon Training Week 9

I ran 34 miles this week.

This week was a step-back week of sorts because I ran the Hood to Coast Relay with Nuun Hydration over the weekend. I flew out on Wednesday (my normal rest day) but didn’t have a normal long run over the weekend. I’ll have a full recap of the experience up soon but here’s how last week’s training broke down:

Monday:

Easy 6 miles, 8:01 average pace. Remember that time I thought I was becoming a morning runner? That’s funny. Haven’t been able to force myself out of bed in the mornings lately and today was no exception. Would have gone out for the run during lunch but had a lot of work to do before leaving for Hood to Coast. Legs felt sluggish for the first 2 and then they loosened up a bit.

Tuesday:

Easy 8 miles with surges, 7:56 average pace. Legs felt sluggish the entire time. Likely need a good foam roller session tonight. Included 6 x 30 sec surges just to get the legs loose.

Wednesday:

REST Day & Travel Day!

Thursday:

Easy 6 miles, 7:45 average pace. Run around Green Lake with the Nuun Hood to Coast crew before invading the Oiselle HQ. Someone pinch me, quick!

Green Lake, Seattle

Friday/Saturday: Hood to Coast Relay!

15 + miles (Recap to be published soon!)

I tried to get a decent warm-up and cool-down in before and after each one of my legs but never tracked it. Mileage likely wasn’t substantial but I hate not having the data. 🙂

Highlights of the Week:

Pics o’ The Week:

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We drove back from Michigan last Sunday with the essentials: a happy pup and beer.

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Successfully packed everything I needed for 5 days into one medium-sized duffle. Skillz.

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MOUNTAINS.

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View from inside the van on the drive up to Mount Hood

– J

Let Them Live, Let Them Breathe

The_Rumblr - Sagitarrius

I saw this horoscope on the Rumblr (Tumblr created by The Rumpus) this afternoon. Hood to Coast just might the perfect place to do just that! “Let them live, let them breathe, let them out into the sunlight sometimes”.

-J