Race Report : Fools Run 25K

Well friends, I am happy to say (write) I completed my first 25K of the season yesterday. I sit here today in large amounts of awkwardness though. Despite my doctor and physical therapist and their insistence nothing is wrong, I can’t use my left leg very well. Luckily there was a guy at the end of the race yesterday doing massages and he is an Active Release Therapy (ART) guy and was able to find the issue right away. Sure enough my piriformis is still messed up and it’s causing ITB and hamstring issues. Nothing I can’t work through now that I have someone able and willing to help. Oy. Also it probably doesn’t help this is what my weekly miles have looked like this year:

weekly miles

Yep, sure that isn’t irritating anything AT ALL. Backing up though….

Sunday morning I woke up to a BEAUTIFUL day! All the days before the forecast was calling for rain and I was worried. Then Sunday arrived and it was perfect racing weather. I for once in my life woke up with enough time to pack, eat and get to the site on time.

Sitting in my car I finished with all my little “extras” of packing my travelling aid station. Tried to convince myself I wasn’t a fat idiot for showing up. Then I met up with some friends and did the usual before the race chit-chat.

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The actual race report isn’t going to be long or detailed so let’s cover some other fun topics instead, like what did I wear/bring to the race?

On my feet I wore my Brooks PureGrit’s. I was worried there would be mud and I thought a lightweight shoe + mud is better than a normal shoe + mud. I also of course wore my Zensah compression socks. LOTS of people complimented me on the cool color/design. Then my Endomondo capri pants. Up top I was wearing my Lululemon Ta ta tamer II, my favorite, most softest, most comfortable ever Under Armour shirt and a wind jacket from a previous race…I think it’s Ascis? Generic arm sleeves,  my Garmin Forerunner, my Ipod Shuffle and my new Sony Walkman. Last, but not least, there was also the UltraSpire Spry race vest (I LOVE LOVE LOVE this thing) and my headsweats hat (you can’t see it, but I’m also wearing a BondiBand). Enough good product placements kids?

At 900 we were off into the wild blue yonder. The 50K folk took off on the same route either at 700 or 800 depending on if they took the early start.

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From this point on I don’t have many pictures….not because I was running too quickly, but because I didn’t really feel like it. Not to say that in a mean way. What I mean is, I was so put off by my “having” to walk, if I stopped to take photos it only made me feel like I was less of a runner and more of a no one.

I DID run the first section. I felt good running it, but then a funny thing happened. My minimal type shoes forced my calves to work differently than I have been in the past few weeks. This caused a strange pressure and discomfort and I started to walk. Around mile 2-3 I realized running wasn’t going to happen, but this race could still be completed and fun could still be had. I turned on my new walkman and listened to my favorite podcast Phedippidations. I haven’t heard it in a while, and started from episode #1. Something about Steve’s voice comforts and motivates me when I’m out there for hours upon hours. My favorite line…

“…and a strange tin taste in my mouth, symptomatic of nothing I could think of in that moment”

The cool thing about this event is, it’s easy to break it down into sections of different trails instead of thinking about how much is left before the end. I finished my first section putting me near mile 5 and chatted with Heidi at the aid station. I refilled my water and was on my way.

This section was easy and I remembered it from the year before. I walked quickly and kept around a 20:00 pace. Popping back out I used the bathroom, grabbed more water and kept on trucking knowing I was now approaching mile 9 and was more than 1/2 way completed with my journey. I also had been snacking on my own chips and some chocolate as the miles passed.

One thing I like about the 3rd section is going through the pine trees. For me this feels like a secret forest, a forgotten path, and I will emerge on the other side a different person. Going across the rocks of the ledges isn’t always fun (a little dangerous at times), but the massive rocks produce a soothing cooling effect and seeing families hiking and dogs being walked reminded me life is greater than myself and the moments I was currently experiencing.

Last year the final section is what took the most out of me. It’s the section everyone complains about and dreads. Very hilly and it can feel like you’ll never finish. I saved enough energy though I kept on walking. I knew I was looking at a 5:30:xx finish, but to finish and be happy and having fun was priceless.

I crossed the finish line and accepted my medal with a smile.

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Overall impressions of this race is that it’s a great event and it’s easy to see how it sells out so quickly every year. This year instead of shirts we were given hoodies as our swag, and I was wearing mine all day Saturday after packet pickup. The trails are challenging without being too difficult. I mean, I did walk the whole thing, ya know? If you’re thinking of doing it next year I suggest getting on the email list and trying it out. Lots of great support from friends and volunteers along the way I promise…even if I didn’t mention them in my down and dirty recap. I do wish there was a fall version when the trees and greenery is more vibrant, but that’s my only “complaint”.

Official results list about 5 other people who finished no more than 4-5 minutes ahead of me. On some level this saddens me because I could have been with them most of the race then, right? Things happen for their own reasons though and I think it did me a lot of good to be alone with my thoughts and my podcast.

Being out there made me realize and accept the things I’ve done and have not done these past 2 years. If I want to be who I was before…no, if I want to be a better version of who I was before, I need to start making some serious changes. I can’t keep laying here waiting for life to be “fair” or waiting to get “what I deserve”. Sorry, maybe bad things have been coming to me, but I can’t stop chasing the good.

With that being said…I spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying my post-run bliss and working on my application for Hood to Coast with Nuun. Check out my video below. Yes, there is SINGING!

Week Four & Five Reflections

With the excitement of the holiday and all the other scheduled posts, my reflections did not go up as planned. To keep things simple (K.I.S.S) I am combining two weeks.

Week Four

Can you believe it was a month ago I started this challenge? It seems I should be so much closer to all my dreams and goals than I feel or see myself at in this stage of the game. I keep repeating how I am making small steps and they should be life long changes, but I want quicker results. I want to drop 20 pounds and inches upon inches. I want to not be ashamed to be seen or photographed. It’s so frustrating not to be where I planned to be 4 weeks ago.

What have I noticed to keep me going? Well, not much, but here are a few things. 1) I hurt myself with a muscle while sleeping. No seriously I did. My head was on my upper arm and Emme came over and did something to my lower arm. I tensed and tried to move, but in my half awake state I was not coordinated. My bicep muscle poked me right in the eye. THAT was never there before! How rude! 2) I am starting to want to eat healthy snacks. I look for the apple and string cheese. I look for the peanut butter or whatever else protein/carb/fiber mix. Don’t get me wrong, I still love me some sugar…but it’s not my go to snack. I’ve noticed when I feel cranky or hungry I want to eat “comfort food” but if I eat “real” food I get the same result…happy and not hungry. I will have to make better choices more often.

Nutrition

I’ll know better how I did when I get my food logs returned. My teacher was absent this past week, so we had a guest speaker. We learned more about fitness than eating.  I’m still struggling with eating more often and with spending less at the grocery store.

Fitness

We learned a lot this week. Such as…did you know if you’re not challenging your muscles with weights, you’re basically doing cardio and not weight training? It’s true. If you can easily carry around 3-5lb weights so you’re doing Zumba or walking the treadmill those weights are not there to tone and they won’t make you look leaner…it all dumps into cardio because it’s too easy for you. I am infinitely guilty of that and have wondered where my results have been. Now I know!

Also, think about what you want to achieve. Just as various cardio will produce different results, so will different weight training. Do you want to be stronger? Leaner? Do you want to build more muscle? All require a different pattern of weight/reps/sets. Also heavier isn’t always better. Let’s do the math:

50lb weight x 7 reps x 3 sets = 1050 total

25lb weight x 15 reps x 3 sets = 1125 total

Yes, there are more reps, but look it’s using HALF the weight. Decrease your weight initially and up your reps…your muscles will get a better work out overall and your total weight shouldn’t suffer.

Interesting, right?

Well, here is the video for the week. Enjoy!


Do the moves yourself.

45 seconds touching toes to a basketball/medicine ball or running in place (get your knees up). Grab a set of weights and get to a step about 2 standard steps high or an aerobic step, hold weights at your side and step up and back quickly doing 15 for each leg. Lay on a balance ball and walk yourself out, using your core to balance, as far as you can go. Walk yourself back and do 10 reps. Do 3 sets of these moves.

Next, bicep curl for 15 reps. Rows with weights for 15 or pulling the lat bar if you have a machine, and 15 weighted side bends. Complete 3 sets.

Moving on, perform 10 pullups, 10 banded squat walks and 10 side reaches. Complete 3 sets.

Wrap things up with abs. Do 20 balance ball curls and 12 out and up lower body leg thrusts. Complete 2 sets.

Progress?

No inches lost, perhaps 1 inch gained around my middle.

Week Five

This week started off as one of the worst weeks, and ended as one of my best. We did not work out Monday (as it was the holiday) which kinda threw my week off. I did run the Tallmadge Memorial 5K, but I also felt sick. Actually, I’ve been having a lot of stomach issues lately and I think it is my body still adjusting to new food supplies. Increased fiber and natural sources of fuel have to be the reasons (right?). Anyway…so I started the week in a sour mood. By workout on Wednesday I couldn’t smile I couldn’t say anything nice. I felt fat and bloat, I felt worthless and I couldn’t get into pants I liked. After 5 weeks I was NO WHERE and I was mad. Then things started to shift

Nutrition

We didn’t get our food log the week before (guest speaker) so I have not had any feedback. When I finally saw my sheets and had the feedback I was floored. I am barely eating what I need. I KNOW the pattern I should be eating, but I am not following it at all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not cheating, I’m just not eating. I get distracted easily and hunger isn’t something I tune into a lot. For example, Friday I had rice and veggies and egg whites for breakfast. However I knocked it onto the floor by accident. #Fail, ya know? My coworker gave me a granola bar. See the difference? Then I skipped my snack and have veggie nuggets and a box of frozen veggies for lunch. On the way to work out I stopped to by a string cheese and an apple. The apple was starting to rot, so I only ate the cheese. After my work out I had 1/2 a sub with chicken and spinach. See? Nothing horrible, but so little fuel! Ugg. No wonder I can’t lose weight.

What did I learn from class? More reminders about not drinking juice (better to eat the fruit, more good stuff and less sugar) and visuals on just how much sugar is added to our food. ick. We talked about the grocery store and reading label and not going inside the aisles if we want the freshest and best selection. I actually went shopping today and followed my list from class and did not go into any aisles except to buy the stewed tomatoes. It was actually Really exciting to me. Great now I’m a food dork. And you know what do you don’t see enough of? Frozen fruit. What’s up with that?

Fitness:

Wed and Fri were great days to work out this week. I think I need to really start doing something on Friday even if it isn’t hard core. I’ve decided to start viewing fitness as a privileged not as a duty. More to come on that concept, but basically if I don’t eat right during the day I am only harming myself when I push out a rough workout. You wouldn’t swim without a suit, right? Or ride a bike without tires? Not having the proper fuel is setting yourself up for pain and disappointment.

Wed we did the circuit training and I knocked out half a mile in the pool. Friday I only did the circuit training. Here is the how-to vlog of the week.

 

Circuit training. Start with a 45 second wall sit, run partially around a track (or 30 seconds in place) then do 10 burpees, run to the next station do 10 push ups, run to the next station do 10 leg raises. Repeat. Do 3 sets of 2 reps with a 2 minute active rest (walking) between each set.

Next, do 15 back extensions. Either using a machine or a balance ball. Do bird-dogs either on a mat or BOSU, 12 on each side. 3 sets

Wrap things up with ab work. 30-45 seconds bicycle, 10 “toe touches”, 10 2-part crunches, 10 low ab lifts, finish wish Russian twists, going lower every 10 second for 30 second. Complete 2 sets.

Progress?

One inch off my middle and 1/2 an inch off my hips. Making the total 1 inch off my chest, 2 from my middle and 1 from my hips since initial check in.

May Foodie Penpals Reveal

Today is the last day of May and for those who have been following along in the new year, you know this means it is time for another Foodie Penpals Reveal Day.

This month I was sent a package from Brittnye over at The Healthy Living Chick. No offense to any other treat senders, as everything has been fabulous, but this package may be my favorite thus far!

What treats are included? Well, as you can see the top row has sugar cookie mix, chocolate chip muffin mix and pretzel crisps. Pretzel Crisps are my new found love and obsession. Next we have blueberry granola with flax cereal x2 and chocolate chunk hazelnut biscotti granola. Third row and the lil guy below are the oatmeal family. Maple & brown sugar, banana bread and cinnamon (all weight control) with blueberry almond being all fancy and organic. Having these easy meals/snacks will be great for cooking and making it through this 10 week program I’m in the middle of as we speak! Off to the side is the kiwi strawberry sparkling ice beverage. The concept is cool, but it has sucralose (fake sugar) so I won’t be able to enjoy it. Oh well. Not pictured is the peanut butter chocolate chip Lara bar…because it went away as soon as I saw it and was on my way to the gym. Side bar: yes, I am a Marathon Bars ambassador and yes, they are my preferred bar, but I am not so silly I’m going to refuse to eat something I am sent as a gift.

For those who are looking for an even more in-depth look at my treats and thoughts, here is a vlog I created.

 

Want to join in on the fun next month? Here are the details:

The Lean Green Bean

 

  • On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
  • You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
  • The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
  • You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
  • Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
  • Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.

If you’re interested in participating for June, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by June 4th as pairings will be emailed on June 5th!

*If you’re from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send Lindsay an email and she’ll see if we get enough interest this month!