Tag Archives: training

The Goals Which Remain

4 Jun

Happy National Running Day, everyone!!!!

Training-Overview-SFTSRuns


If life was one of those missing persons shows and this blog was the example they used of my behavioral patterns, they wouldn’t even file a missing persons report.  That’s why you should follow me on Twitter, duh.  @MichelleSFTS

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I’ve been watching a lot of true crime TV lately.  There’s also been a lot of boring, but clean food and a lot of sleeping going on.  Pretty darn exciting around these parts.  Between work being busy, personal crap, my monthly friend, and the humidity spiking: I’m pushing through.  Barely, but I am.  That’s all that matters really!

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What is the most effective trick for getting motivated?  Sign up for a race of course!  So I signed up for 2.  If you’re getting confused about what races I will actually be running for the rest of the season, don’t be alarmed.  I’ve been all over the place since the relay  😦  After Pittsburgh Marathon weekend, I would’ve signed up to run across the country.  I get race fever something serious!!!   But, I’m so strapped for time and energy and I need to set realistic goals.  I’m also really torn about running a half in the fall:  getting it in while I’m still 30 or holding out for the Pittsburgh Half next May.  I’ve got to follow my heart.  If I never run another half marathon in my life, I want to know that the one I finished was Pittsburgh.  Besides, I think it’s appropriate for all old goals to met before new ones…know what I’m sayin.’

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I have 3 remaining goals for the summer:

1.  Get pageant ready.  – Psssh.  Done.  Makenzie Myers is basically my spirit animal.

2.  Brentwood Firecracker 5K – July 4th

3.  Great Race 10K – September 28th

4.  Be halfway to my weight loss goal by August – 17 lbs. to go!

 

I clearly can get nothing done without being held publicly accountable for my actions so in that spirit, you will all have to suffer along with me while I give weekly recaps about my progress.  Sorry kids, but it’s the only thing that really kept me consistent last race season and I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED.  30 don’t play, yo.  Hopefully everyone agrees that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery because I will be “borrowing” (aka committing copyright infringement) a weekly template from Ethan at Spiritual Creaminess – go check out his blog, he just finished his 1st full marathon!!  I made a fancy new banner (at the beginning of this post), I’ve got my spreadsheet locked and loaded, and I’m ready to W.O.R.K.

 

GlindaWorkBitch

 

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That Time I Peed Outside

14 Apr

I almost hate to type these words because I don’t want to jinx anything but…my Sunday long run was awesome!

I don’t know why I get myself all worked up and pscyh myself out, but I was a nervous wreck on Saturday.  I mean, 4.5 miles.  For me, that’s quite big jump from the steady 2-3 milers I’ve been logging lately.  I was nervous about everything – would the weather hold up, what should I wear so I am max comfortable, where should I go, blah blah blah.  When I left the house to open Changin’ Time, I put on my trusty old drawstring running capris that I trained in most of last spring.  By the time I left the laundromat, I was all ready uncomfortable (like I never want to wear them again) so I decided to run home and change into my long running tights.  I wasn’t interested in having any excuses to give up!

Then, I drove over to South Side to run on the riverfront trail.  I don’t usually run this trail, but it’s mostly flat and heavily populated on weekends so I thought it would be ideal. (Heavily populated is ideal because I’m less likely to take walking breaks if people can see me <- I’m pathetic.)  I was absolutely nauseous the whole way to the parking lot because I wanted so badly to have a good run and to actually prove to myself that I could do it.

You have to love South Side on Sunday mornings…

I censored her lady parts...you're welcome.

I censored her lady parts…you’re welcome.

For the first mile, I was feeling a bit deflated, too!  Sometimes it’s a struggle to get my body to move in sync right away, but I thought back to a convo I had with my future mother-in-law last spring when she was training for the Pittsburgh half.  She said something like, “I need the first few miles of my long run to warm up.  I always feel like I’m a mess for the first mile.”  At the time I remember thinking to myself:  Um…I basically only run a few miles at a time!  My entire run is her warm up!  I suck!   I’m so nice to myself, aren’t I?  I’m glad I remember that conversation, though, because it reminded me that it’s okay to struggle.  Just because the first mile or so isn’t working out, that doesn’t mean the whole run will.

I happened to be almost to the 10th Street Bridge when the skies just opened up and it started to POUR.  I mean really pour…

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I huddled under the bridge for less than 5 minutes and just as quickly as it started, the rain just completely stopped.  Conveniently, the top half of me was soaked just enough to cool me down but not make me uncomfortable.  I don’t know if my iPhone and Garmin would’ve survived if it wasn’t for that bridge!  I took the brief break to stretch out a bit and thank the lucky stars that I wasn’t feeling like this disturbingly amusing graffiti nearby:

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A few miles down the trail, I knew I could absolutely not go another step if I didn’t take a bathroom break but….there was no civilized toilet in sight.  So, I finally made the runner’s right of passage and squatted in a bush.  You’ll be happy to know that I fought the urge to document the moment via Instagram.  It was my first time peeing in a bush on South Side sober.  Writing this down makes me realize the run was more successful than I initially realized!  It’s the little things…blow up dolls and urination benchmarks.

Anyway, I was really proud of how few walking breaks I needed and how consistent my pace was.  The rain did leave a humidity in the air and I was overheating BADLY on the way back – clearly the decision to wear long running tights backfired.  I need to invest in some warm weather running bottoms this week.  You know, after it’s done snowing on Wednesday.  I’m getting so excited for marathon weekend!  I’ve been logging more consistent miles, I’m feeling great, and I peed outside!  Woop Woop!  Happy Monday!

5 Thing Friday (Fitness Themed)

20 Mar

1.  Turning Up The Heat!

Clearly not talking about the weather. (Looking at you, fake spring!) This week was the week where I turned the corner on training.  With just 44 more days to go until the Pittsburgh Marathon (of which I am running leg 4 of the marathon relay), I started working with a virtual trainer.  Allyn, over at Triumfit Training, is also a personal trainer in real time, but all the way over in Washington D.C.   I’ve known Allyn since college, so when I read on her website that she offers virtual training options, I jumped at the chance to work with a certified professional.  I told her about my fitness goals aka being a better runner, and she developed a HIIT (High-Intensity-Interval-Training) circuit for me to do on non-running days.  She also gave me some exercises to do daily and some foam rolling work.

2.  Foam Rolling

Me and my foam roller! BFFs!!

Me and my foam roller! BFFs!!

So far the foam roller is basically my new BFF.  It deserves its own separate topic.  How did I not know about this?  I could foam roll all day.  And thanks to several sets of HIIT squats, I basically have been!  It’s incredible how sore I am, then after some foam rolling, water, and rest – I’m feeling good as new!  We actually bought 2 different ones, a regular foam roller and a deep tissue one that is supposed to be better but isn’t really.  After finding out how deeply enjoyable foam rolling is, I started You Tube trolling for more ways to use it.  It’s like healthy people porn.  I will stop there.

3.  Embarrassing Race Photos

Wow.  Like so much so that I’m not even going to share them here.  Or tag myself on Facebook.  Or remember that I ever saw them.  Or even remotely tell y’all where to find them.  Let’s just say – I looked about as great as I felt that day and my mom and I got a good laugh at them.  Moving on with haste…

4.  Reason #928350 Why I Love Running

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If you follow me on Instagram (DO IT! @MichelleSFTS), you may occasionally see photos I post of things I see when running.  I realized the other day that those moments are just another reason why I continue to believe running is good for my soul.  This new pedestrian hobby of mine has given me such a different perspective of the beautiful city I love.  There’s something about the way the light dances on the river or the way the clouds look over a tree line that I just never noticed from my car at 60 m.p.h. while trying to figure out what lane I should be in during a 15 second time window.  Running has invited me to slow down, open my eyes, observe, and appreciate so much that I took for granted before.

5.  The Problem is Always Food.  Always.

Once a fat kid, always a fat kid?  Mentally, yes.  Since buckling down this week, I realized that my sugar addiction is out of control.  Yes, I’m eating clean meals.  But, I just want sweets and chocolate and diet soda all day long.  The more I tell myself not to eat them, the stronger my urge to binge.  That coupled with a boost in my appetite from upping my exercise are all ready proving to be counter-productive.  It has to stop.  Sheesh, you make one batch of scones and before you know it you are hiding in a corner pouring a bag of dark chocolate chips you found in the back of the pantry directly into your mouth.  It’s a slippery slope is all I’m saying people.

Nene.Diet

Race Recap: Brave American 5K

11 Mar

I am happy to announce that my first 5K of the 2014 season is completed!

In a strange twist of fate, my mom went to high school with the race director so when I first heard about the Brave American 5K via Facebook, I knew it was a sign.  I was drawn in immediately by their cause:  raising money for wounded veterans returning from duty.  After a bit more research, I was hooked!!  I got to run and my race fee went to the Boulder Crest Retreat for Wounded Warriors – a wonderful place which offers traditional and non-traditional wellness to vets in a rural setting.

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Anyway, let’s talk about my favorite subject: me!  If you’re a regular around here, then you know I’ve been struggling lately with running in general.  The last week or so, I’ve also been bogged down with a sinus infection so I had serious reservations and anxiety about whether or not I should even run the race.  Christina wouldn’t be able to make it for support either, which made my anxiety spike even more!  My mom even offered to drive 40 minutes to cheer me on, but I told her I would be fine.  I waffled back and forth all day Thursday and all day Friday in the most dramatic fashion (aka my norm), but at the last minute I thought:  Geez girl, just go and walk if you have to.  It’s not the end of the world.

Saturday morning, I set my alarm SUPER early so that I could get a  serious dose of Sudafed in me well before the start time of 9:00AM.  It worked like a charm and I was only mildly plugged up by the time I pulled my car into the parking lot at 8:45.  I was still scared to death.  I’m not an overly independent person, so being all by myself while sick and under-trained…well, let’s just say it felt like a wave of doom coming for me.

After the national anthem and a prayer, we all shuffled over to the starting line.  These were the only 2 pictures I managed to snap, the view in front and behind me at the starting line:

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From the start, I knew I was pushing myself a little bit too hard.  Too hard to maintain, anyway, and I knew that the possibility of me hitting a wall and having to walk to the finish was very real.  Once the crowd thinned out a bit, I found a comfortable pace and tried to stick around the same 4-5 runners.  I took a few walking breaks every mile and tried to clear out my sinuses as best I could.

I was surprised at how flat the course was!  I mean, the Ole 5K was also advertised as a mostly flat course and it was not at all.  This course was pretty flat, except for one medium size hill right after mile 2.  At least I think it was mile 2, I was pretty much in the zone the whole time!

Brave-American-5K-Course

Damn right I pushed myself up that hill!! I don’t want to say that this race was easy, because that would be a lie.  But, I was pleasantly surprised at how much easier it was for me than the races I did last year.  Emphasis on the –er.  By the time we starting coming down the home stretch and I could see the steeple of the church at the finish line, I was shocked!  3 miles had just flown by!!

By the time I rounded the corner, a little crowd of people cheering had formed and it took everything I had just to keep my little momentum going.  No one wants to lose gas when the finish lie is in sight and all eyes are on you!  As I entered the church parking lot, where the finish line/clock were, I was taken aback.  It was counting down the last few seconds and about to turn to 34 minutes!!  How is this possible?  Is this real?  I was in shock!  My current PR was 36:47.  I FLOORED IT.  People were probably wondering why I was trying to full on sprint to that finishing mat!!  Somehow, by the grace of God and my own stubborn will, I managed to snag a new PR!

I swear to you it felt like I was floating back to my car with my 2 banana halves and a smile as big as my face!!  I am so happy that I signed up for this race to begin with, but I’m also so thankful that my support system pushed me when I tried to flake out.  This was exactly what I needed to get pumped up for marathon relay training!

And then I ate a muffin as big as my face.  The End.

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COST: $25, which went to great charity.

PARKING:  The epicenter of the race was St. Stephen’s church right in the middle of Sewickley.  There was plenty of free parking in the lots and in the nearby neighborhoods.  I arrived only 15 minutes prior to the start time and found a spot directly across the street!

BATHROOMS: The epicenter of the race was St. Stephen’s church.  It’s where the check-ins, food, prayers, and announcements were made.  It’s also where we started and finished.  They had 2 public restrooms which were available, but there were no other bathrooms on the course.

PRE-RACE GRUB:  I saw coffee, water, and some donuts but honestly I was too uncomfortable being alone in a room full of strangers to even notice!  There were options, though, because I saw people eating.

TIMING:  Chip-timed!

WEATHER:  Training for this race was TOUGH.  I have never been a cold weather runner, but boy did this race change that!  Thankfully, the weather on race day was a gorgeous 32*F with very little wind.

POST-RACE GRUB:  I grabbed bananas, but there were cookies and other fruit.  The race organizers really made this a great event with lots of friendly people and accessibility.

Wordless Wednesday

26 Feb

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