Thursday, July 29, 2010

Catching Up

A busy weekend made me fall behind in the blogging world! My cousins were in town for the weekend and we had a lot of fun, although my running suffered and I ate way too much but family time trumps that in my books. Then my brother left to head back to Japan, which was hard but he's only there for a little while longer.

Anyway, check out Jodi's blog: http://runjodirun.blogspot.com/2010/07/thumbs-up-thursdayashley-cavicchi.html. She does Thumbs Up Thursday and this week, she asked to spotlight me! Thanks, Jodi!

As far as training goes this week:

Monday - ran 6 miles in 57:17 and then did 5x8 second hill sprints. Did the flexibility program from Advanced Marathoning afterwards.
Tuesday - set out to do 7 recovery miles but my stomach was not having it and I just felt off. So I did 4 slow, recovery miles in 41:48. Wish I could have managed more but it's all I had in me that day.
Wednesday - 35 minutes of a power yoga podcast.
Today - 7 miles in 66:15 - fartlek run, 8x20 seconds @3-5K pace. I did the first 4 20 second intervals at 5K pace (7:18 - I was on the treadmill so it was easy to be consistent) and the second 4 intervals at 7:08 pace. Felt really good during this run.

Miles for the week so far: 17 miles

Still need to get more cross training in. I'm working on it!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The real workout of the day - cleaning!

Whew! I just cleaned my whole apartment - a nice deep clean. It took about 3 hours total. I clean weekly and daily but not as intense every time as I just did. It didn't help that I had laundry to do while cleaning, and to put away along with a full clean dishwasher to empty that I had been putting off. But I'm done! Now I can relax and enjoy the weekend. My aunt and cousins, plus another cousin are all coming into town this weekend and the two cousins my age are staying with me! Should be a fun but sad weekend. Sad because my brother has been home on leave for most of the month but he has to go back to his base in Japan on Monday :(. It'll be good to spend time with everyone though, I'm excited!

My other workout today was an easy 3 mile run:
Mile 1: 9:25
Mile 2: 9:39
Mile 3: 8:28

I had planned on more but I ate some chips that has wheat and dairy in them beforehand (stupid impulse) and my stomach wasn't feeling it. I hadn't run since Saturday as my ankle had been tweaky. No pain today though! I'm going to try and get out early tomorrow and do a 6-8 mile progression run. Then I'll try for a recovery 5-7 on Saturday and a 9 mile progression run Sunday. I'll need to get up early to get those in so that they don't cut into family time but I think I'll manage.

23 miles for the week at the least I'm hoping ... need to get back into the 30+ miles/week next week. Must start going to bed earlier and consistently doing my early morning runs. I need to figure out some tricks to make this happen ....

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Sub 7 Minute Mile ... Finally

Back in high school, I had to take PE for only one year ... I was a sophomore. So we had to run the mile for the National Fitness Test or whatever it is called. I can't remember. Anyway, I'm a pretty competitive person so despite the fact that I didn't run back then, I decided on the day of the mile that I'd just try and keep up with the fastest girl in the class. Now, most of my class didn't care how long it took them ... well mostly the girls. So it was basically just the two of us for the girls that really ran. I remember that I managed to run the mile in 6:53 that day. Then I didn't run again.

Since I've started running again, I've tried to run a mile all out only a few times ... but I haven't been able to break a 7 minute mile. I know, crazy that I did it in high school when it didn't matter that much to me and now that I care, I can't do it. So my boyfriend wanted to go to the track this weekend and I was like sure ... I could use a change in pace and scenery. So after my speedwork on Thursday, I did a slowwwww recovery run on Friday going by heartrate only. I've grown to realize how important these recovery runs are ... but that's another post for another day. Anyway, by doing that nice recovery run on Friday my body was ready for Saturday. So we get to the track around 9, it's HOT and HUMID and the sun is beating down. I start with a warm up mile (10:xx pace) and feel sluggish. I feel like I don't have it in me today but I'm going to try anyway. The boyfriend has always been able to run the mile faster than me, so he's going to pace me and I'm going to use him to draft so that I can hopefully get my sub 7 minute mile finally.

So we start out, I had put my Garmin on the opposite arm than I usually wear it and facing in so that it's harder for me to glance at constantly ... I don't want the distraction and I just want to push myself. So after one lap of the track, I finally look down and we're going 5:55 pace ... I yell up at the BF, you're going sub 6 pace ... and he gradually slows down a little. The next lap and a half slow a little and then I get fed up about 2/3s of the way through the mile and pass the boyfriend ... I just had more than him that day, which is unusual. It probably helped that he had been pacing me. So I run the next lap and a halfish by myself ... and I finish in 6:48!!! I was thrilled.

After the mile, we did some other sprints and hills, then cooled down. While I was cooling down, my boyfriend made friends with the kindest elderly man who had been doing laps, he is 87 and looks about 70! He walks the track to stay in shape and he was so nice and talkative. I told him I only want to live to 87 if I'm as active as he still was!

I haven't run since Saturday since I'm having some minor ankle pain that I'm babying. I had a massage today and I'll put arnica gel and ice on it tonight. I'm hoping for a good early morning progression run tomorrow.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Nutrition and Running

I’m always interested to know how other runners eat. I know that there are runners, well people in general, that just eat whatever and either choose not to or don’t worry about nutrition. I wish that could be me. I actually am somewhat restricted in what I eat as I try to get healthier and lose weight and I wonder what it’s impact may be on my running.
I never eat: red meat, poultry, pork etc … the only meat I eat is fish
I try to rarely eat: gluten, dairy, things with artificial sweeteners and to rarely drink: alcohol, soda
I try to only occasionally eat: corn, white potatoes, vinegar, yeast and a few other random things based on a nutritional evaluation.
Now if I were to only ever eat things that I made for myself and to never go, this may be easy-ish but it’s not. I haven’t eaten any meat but fish since December 31, 2009 and that was hard for family and friends if I ate at their houses. Now that I rarely eat gluten or dairy it’s even harder for me. But because of how I feel after eating these two things, I’m trying to make the sacrifice. I know for a fact that both have negative impacts on my running. Gluten not only causes stomach distress for me but it also contributes to numbness in my calf and foot. And well, dairy just makes me feel like crap which sucks because it’s so tasty.
My biggest worry in my new diet was getting enough calories and protein for running. Now I’m not talking about huge amounts of protein because I tend to think we obsess about protein a wee bit too much in this country and most people consume too much not too little. Anyway, the calorie thing is kind of crazy to worry about since I am trying to lose weight after all but I find that even with meal planning some days I’m only reaching ~1200 calories, which in my mind isn’t enough during training. Maybe if I weren’t running 5-6 days a week in addition to lifting it would be okay for me but I am active. So I shoot for at least 1500 calories and I try to be on plan 85-90% of the time. I do give in and eat gluten or dairy if I don’t think it will affect training. I do drink when I go out with my friends. It’s all about balance.
It’s funny because I still wouldn’t be able to eat most of these things even if I didn’t run … they just don’t sit well with me and make me feel crappy.
Do you have any dietary restrictions? Are they for your training or for your general well-being?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Refocusing this blog - Running History ... And current goal - Qualify for Boston

Ahhh, yet another attempt to start blogging again! We'll see :) But I hope to be dedicated to not only blogging but commenting on other blogs actively. It's a big goal of mine. But below I'll talk about my current biggest goal:

My current goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon. In order to do this, I need to shave 30 minutes off of my current Marathon time. Now I’ve only run one marathon and finished it in 4:10:47. I need to run a 3:40:59 to qualify for Boston. I’m aiming for 2012. I know I won’t be running Boston in 2011 because I’d need to run a qualifying time by October 2010 and that’s not going to happen since I’m not planning on running another marathon until January 2011. So I have some time but I need to get committed. I’m currently training for a half marathon in October and focusing on increasing my mileage and doing some speedwork.
I suppose I should start by describing my running history before I start blogging about training to qualifying for Boston because I will qualify, it’s just a matter of when. If I have a goal, I’m going to get there and it’s not like the Boston Marathon is going to cease to exist, so I have my whole life to get there. Although if I’m honest, my goal is to qualify for Boston before I have my first child. We’ll see though. Anyway, back to my running history.
I started attempting to run in 2007 as a sophomore in college. My boyfriend and I would run a loop by his house a few times a week at most. And I just used gmap pedometer to see the distance of the run since I never had before, it was a 2.5 mile loop. Now when I say we ran, I mean we attempted to run it and did walk sometimes. Anyway after a few months of that I did my first 5K in May 2007 and finished in 27:30. At this time I was also a figure skater and on a collegiate club team. Skating was my first love and my priority. That summer was to be spent training at my home rink with my long time coach. I was skating 4 days a week and working a lot so I pretty much stopped running at all except for occasional runs on the treadmill. Then I injured my back in late July 2007. Now I had hurt my back before and dealt with pain and physical therapy many times. But this was different, it just didn’t go away like I was used to. So I saw a specialist again and went through a myriad of tests. I was eventually diagnosed with spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis. Basically I have a chronic back problem with stress fractures that never seemed to heal. I was advised to stop skating and all impact activities. I’m stubborn though. When college started up again in the fall, I resumed skating on my team despite the pain. I was in physical therapy with a physical therapist who I had been seeing for awhile. He thought I could keep skating and when I mentioned starting to run again he was encouraging. At the same time, I saw another specialist that was highly recommended. After my appointments with him I was basically devastated. He told me that I shouldn’t skate, should never plan on running etc … He painted a very dim future for me, but I still would not give up. I decided to finish that season of skating and had an okay season despite the pain and inability to practice much. My team made it to Nationals that year and didn’t finish as high as we usually did but it was fun.I didn’t run often during this year as the doctor had advised against it.
The summer of 2008 I stayed at school to work and since I couldn’t skate I needed something to do that felt like a challenge and pushed me. I began doing couch to 5K on the treadmill at the gym. I learned that I shouldn’t try to run too fast just comfortably and to not push myself too much. I was finally able to run for real it seemed! Running wasn’t hurting my back at all either. I did a 4 mile race that September and finished in 34:30ish, I don’t remember for sure. Amazingly, I won my age group (it was a small race haha)! I was really into running now but still didn’t know too much about it. I just ran. So I decided I should work on building mileage up. I ran a lot of 3 mile runs that fall around a reservoir near me. I ran a 5K at Thanksgiving and finished in 25:37! I thought that was great and I wanted to do a 10K that spring. Unfortunately I injured my knee that winter and didn’t run again until May 2009. I consider May 2009 to be the real start of my running career since I had never really run consistently with a focus before then.
In May 2009, my boyfriend and I decided to do a half marathon in September 2009. We started training and we were using a Runners World Smart Coach plan but eventually switched to Hal Higdon’s Novice Half Marathon plan. The summer of training was definitely a new challenge but I learned to love running longer distances. I finished the half marathon in 1:56:23 and I was hooked. I wanted to started training for a marathon immediately but injuries stopped me (shin splints mostly – was tested for compartment syndrome since I was dealing with numbness too). I ran a few other races that fall (2 5Ks, a 10K). I worked on maintaining mileage that winter, going to PT for my shins and just focusing on getting better. Since I couldn’t run the marathon I had wanted to in February 2010 I began looking for others. I ended up training for and running the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon on May 30th. It was a challenge, mentally more than physically but now I’m ready for more. I know that I need to increase my mileage a lot and I don’t want to get injured again so I’m being smart and slow about it. I’m training for a half and then I will start another marathon cycle.
This blog will now chronicle my life, my training, my goal of losing 15-20lbs to help me become faster and hopefully eventually a BQ!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I needed that speed!

So I’ve had kind of a crappy few days. I was under the weather all day yesterday after consuming a bit too much red wine with a friend the night before. Anyway, I spent most of the day on the couch being lazy instead of getting a workout in which is what I should have done. And then I stayed up too late watching crappy TV.
Then when I woke up this morning I was in a bit of a funk and kept putting off my workout and just being lazy in general. I did some work and just putzed around. I finally made myself put on my workout clothes this afternoon but I didn’t go workout right away. I cleaned my bedroom and bathroom, then I did some laundry. I made crockpot bean, lentil and veggie soup. I did some more work. I still wasn’t motivated to go workout. I talked to my boss. I tried calling my boyfriend for motivation. He didn’t answer. Then I was like well whatever, I’m going for a run I have to. And when I went to go suddenly my back was tight and my stomach was bothering me … ugh. This is why I like to workout in the morning. Anyway, then I called my mom to complain. I decided not to workout and to continue to be lazy.
But then I got fed up with myself. Just go run, even if it’s only 2 miles. So I did. Since my stomach was bothering me, I decided to go to my gym rather than outside. So I get there, get on the treadmill and start running. During the first mile I decide I should do some speedwork. Originally I decide on 4×800 @ 10K pace working down to 5K pace. But then I decide I don’t want to do 4 800′s cause I’m like that. So I did:
1 mile warm up
800 @ a little over 10K pace
800 recovery
400 @ a little over 5K pace
400 recovery
200 @ just below 5K pace
200 recovery
100 @ 3K ish pace
a recovery between 200 and 400 length recovery
100 @ 3 K ish pace
100 recovery
200 @ 3 K ish pace
200 recovery
400 @ 5 K pace
400 recovery
800 @ 10 K pace
800 recovery
.62 cool down
5.63 miles, 52:18 minutes. I had to take a picture so I’d remember when I got back to my apartment:

I felt so much better after my run:
Sometimes you just have to get out there and do it even if you don’t feel like it. Believe me, I needed that workout and some speedwork to get me out of whatever funk I was in.
I have an 8 mile progression run scheduled for the morning, so I should start getting ready to hit the hay!