Saturday, February 25, 2012

Blame it on the sugar

That's what I'm going to start using as my excuse for anything crazy & off the wall I do. I'm just going to blame it on the lack of sugar in my diet making me do insane things. I mean you have to put the blame on someone or something, right?
I thought that I ended my season on Monday and though technically I did, I found myself lining up on a line to "race" on Thursday. For some reason unbeknownst to me I thought hoping into a 1500m race was a superbly brilliant idea. What sprinter in their right mind thinks that a mile is a good idea, seriously I don't know any. Also what runner who's weekly mileage amounts to about 10-15 miles a week decides to run a distance like that. See lack of the white stuff, mmhhmm. Originally I was going to the track to join a leg of a the ridiculous relay I did last year that went into the wee hours of the morning, because I hadn't gotten a chance to get to the track to do my workout earlier in the day. It was promised this year that the same thing would not happen by only hosting 1 open race beforehand. I'd do the relay as a workout 5 200's with about 3-4min rest, just 1 200 shy of what I was supposed to do for my workout. No problem. Then somewhere during my day I said to myself I should do the 1500, just to see. Really not so sure what I wanted to see, but alas I saw. I jogged up to the Armory, paid my fee, with 10 min to spare being late per usual, chatted with a fellow teammate. Beyond the look of what in the world are you thinking, she asked if I'd pace her to 4:48. Sure since I of course ran through what splits I needed to hit to go about 4:50 (yea I was being a bit ambitious but if I was going to do it may as well attempt to go for it). I may have scared her when I told her what I was going to go through for the first 800, but she figured that she would stay a few lengths behind then take over after. I went through the first 400 exactly what I aimed, then fell a little short on the next 400 where she took over, then in true unconditioned mileage I fell off in the the 3rd quarter. Held on for the last 300m. Clocked in an impressive 5:02.5, making a 7 for 7 races all personal bests. Sweet deal, considering my lack of endurance. On top of it was able to help my teammate procure a PB as well, not so shabby for not planning to race.
Race out of the way I had a little break before the relay while the rest of the women's heats and men's heats went off. Once all the races finished up low and behold the 1st heat of the relay went off at 8ish pm, there'd be no Friday morning at the race. Nice. I managed even after a hard race an hour before to churn out some decent but painful 200's in 29-30-30-31-30.  A second faster in every 200 than last year and I didn't run anything before that one (granted it was pretty late).
Some serious strength going on right now, hope I can hold on to it (*knock on wood* injury free) for the next couple months. Good things, good things...ok so maybe the lack of sugar isn't sooo bad.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sugar High

In my newest resolutions section I mentioned that I wanted to monitor my diet a little better and cut down my sugar intake. For those who don't know me I have an insane sweet tooth, and I don't mean some sweets here and there, I'm talking I've eaten an entire cake in one sitting without blinking an eye then going for something else sugar laden, this is on a semi daily basis too. Not good, especially when I'm trying to take my training to the next level. I can honestly say if the rest of my diet wasn't fairly healthy, I drank and I wasn't as active as I am I'm sure that I'd be severely overweight. 

Well in the spirit of Lent beginning Wednesday, what better way/day to sacrifice/give up a vice for an extended period of time. Obviously this is not just a 40 day thing it will hopefully spill over into the rest of my daily life but I sadly needed something to hold me accountable. I've attempted many times before but success rate is not very good for more than a few days. In the past I've given up baked goods for Lent but made sure to keep a loophole so I could still indulge in my sweet tooth. This time I decided I to give up all desserts! Eek! Oh but I couldn't just stop there in my typical over the top way I decided that I would throw in no refined sugars for good measure! Cut the white stuff out. Natural sugars are ok like honey, agave nectar and fruit.

 A serious undertaking to say the least. I went through my cabinets and cleared them out from all my goodies, read EVERY single label and had to rid of more than I thought. Then to the grocery store to restock the cabinets I emptied. I may have pulled out some hair during that excursion. On a normal basis I read labels, I make sure that I can read all to most of the ingredients in the products I consume. Now I was reading labels to see if there was sugar in them, and let me tell you it is amazing how much sugar is in the things you wouldn't think have sugar. I would pick up an item that I thought was "safe" only to have to put it back because of that five letter word. I did eventually cave in make an exception for cane sugar since technically it's not refined but I tried to not pick up too many things that had it, so not to defeat the whole purpose of cutting back on sugar. I thought my training was hard this is going to take so much more dedication. I know it's for the greater good as an athlete and I hope to bring more awareness to the things we put into our bodies. I look forward to  sharing the awesome things that come from this and like I said before carry it on after Lent ends. 
To a sugarless 40 days...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Goals: Take 2

As an earmark to the end of the indoor season and a way to make myself into a better athlete not only in body but in mind and spirit as well, I have started compiling my new season goals/resolutions.

Resolutions for Outdoor 2012 Season:

  1. More consistent weekly mileage. Aim for 20-30miles/wk
  2. Keep lifting consistently throughout the season not just the beginning
  3. 1-2 days hurdle work in addition to regular Tue and Thur team workouts
  4. 1 day additional track/speed workout if not doing 2 hurdle days
  5. Monitor diet a little more closely. Mostly my sugar intake
  6.  Sleep more.
These are all no brainers, but I need to remind myself about them on a regular basis, and the key for me is staying consistent.

Goals for Outdoor 2012 Season:

Outdoor PR-2:24.81
Last Season Best-2:27.??
Goal #1-2:18.5
Goal #2- 2:17.2
Goal #3- 2:16.4

Race-400 IH
Last Season Best-71.05
Goal #1-68.5
Goal #2-66.3
Goal #3-64.1

Outdoor PR-64.14
Last Season Best-64.03
Goal #1-60.5
Goal #2-59.3
Goal #3-58.1

Outdoor PR-28.98
Last Season Best-29.87
Goal #1-28.5
Goal #2-27.9
Goal #3-27.3

Eventually I'll break these into the index cards like I did for indoors. I also decided to use outdoor PRs instead of overall PRs because there is a difference between the 2 tracks (not to dismiss my most awesome season that I just completed). Last season also refers to the outdoor 2011 season. Oddly too I realized that previously almost all of my overall personal bests were made indoors, besides the hurdles only because they're not run inside. Quite bizarre since typically most run faster on an outdoor track. Hopefully that will change this time.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Let's hear for the olutions...

Resolutions, revolutions & evolution... 
At the very beginning of the 2011-2012 season I resoluted (yes I made that word up) that I'd blog once a week no matter what. While I admit I don't always post in immediately, I have held up my end and successfully had at least a post a week since October. Then by the beginning of the indoor season there was a new revolution to openly share my goals, something I've never done. Now at the completion of one season I feel like not only the physical changes in my training, but my attempt to vanquish bad old habits by adding new healthy positive habits have sincerely evolved me into a more round athlete. Of course there is always room for improvement but I know that I'm on a greater road to success now.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

An end to the beginning

And a sad goodbye to another indoor season ending, like in the past I will continue to train inside until I my membership ends April 15th since I paid for it I'll milk every last bit out & it's still a bit cold outside. I say sad because I feel like I just started to get rolling and poof it's done, only racing a total of 5 times, 6 races, the entire 3 month season (a personal worst & I wasn't injured either). I set my goals and was only able to actually cross 1.5 of them off. The .5 goes to the 500 since technically I ran a half second off from the 1:20.0 I set for myself. I was so amped after my 1st race that I just wanted to see cross marks at least across the set #1 for all the goals, and the 2nd goal for the 800. I will admit that all of my goals were a good couple seconds faster than my previous personal bests (most made back in 2009), but I did feel like my strength in my training made them very much plausible and attainable. That being said not racing as much does make it harder to tackle goals. And just clarify any confusion I'm absolutely always stoked when I PR, even though I will account it as a bad race, it's more the way the race unfolds that gets me down and not happy with a race. Minus my little disappointments here and there with not executing the races to quite what I know I'm capable of and hitting my effervescent goals, I will give myself a big pat on the back because out of all 6 races I did set a PR every time. I'm in the best and strongest shape I've been since I hopped back onto the track in 07. I will continue on into the upcoming outdoor season with maybe a little more gusto and more PBs.

Monday, February 13, 2012

All in a week's work

Definitely been an eventful week chock full of experiences. My workout/racing load was on course to being one of the more intense, a few heady back to back practices (one even in a jock strap! yikes) and 2 races. Also been trying to hustle a little more at work to build up my client base. Didn't realize it was tornado season just yet.

Last minute early on the week I found out that my team was going to run a "B" team for the DMR at the Millrose Games and I was a leg. Of course not knowing this ahead of time is a serious disadvantage for me since my 2nd job is weekend nights and I have to put in for time off 2 weeks prior and I had originally taken the Sat off the weekend before to run a relay that was nixed. Anywho I had to really shuffle back and forth and to and fro about what I wanted to do since not working the weekend before put me a bit behind on the finance side. The relay was the very 1st event to go off so I could potentially run, literally step off the track after my leg and race to get to work (late but not too late), but then I'd miss the great meet filled with spectacular athletes to follow and be ridiculously exhausted standing on my feet in uncomfortable shoes for the next 6-8 hours. It took a lot of reasoning then realized that I could find a way to make the money back but I wouldn't be able to get back the experience of taking in a historical meet and enjoying myself.

With that decision made I faced another...I'm thinking I might invest in a Magic 8 Ball to start making up my mind for my indecisiveness...did I want to get one last 800 race in before the end of the season to get my 2nd goal for that distance, 2 days before I race a leg in a relay?? I fought this one for a large number of reasons, one is even though I'm in great shape I've really been pushing in practice so I'm not so sure how my body will recover from back to back races (though this is something I need to be able to do). Second is since I gave up that shift I'd be shelling out $20 to race. Last is because the meet I was considering is such a low key meet the field may not be as fast as I need to race what I want (this was the biggest factor...I didn't want to spend money on a mediocre result). In the end I chose to race, it made sense, and of course when it came to seeding the heats my concern with the field not being "up to speed" was there. At that point I couldn't turn back I had to make do with what I could. When the gun went off I got out, and when I say I got out I mean I got out. As I rounded the turn to the 1st 200 at about the 155ish mark I could see the clock and it read 22!! Yikes I was about to hit my 1st 2 in 30, WAY too fast. Where I should have just went with it and let my body naturally slow down on its own I braked so I came through in a reasonable but still fast 32/33. Kept pace through the halfway mark at 66ish, running completely alone then I tried to stay focused with 1:43 through the 600 but by the last lap which is typically strong I lost my drive and fell a little bit apart. I saw the clock as I passed through and thought that I saw 2:18. Second goal?Yes?Maybe? Results said not so much 2:19.1. A little bummed, only a single stride to break the second mark, but another PR which makes all my races thus far PBs, 4 for 4, can't be too down at that. I know that I shouldn't rely on others but I believe that I can run faster with the right field. I always thought leading out of the line was my strong suit but now I'm learning that that's not the case, I need to be a better strategic runner in the 800 if I want to become better. Outdoors it's on.

Now back to the Millrose Games. My 1st large stage indoor meet and my 1st 400 leg in a DMR (by the way for any non track people that stands for Distance Medley Relay 1200m-400m-800m-1600m legs). I've run many DMRs but I've ALWAYS run the 800 leg, always.  I've mostly been racing 800s this indoor season so I was stocked to see what I had for my speed. It was definitely a fun time but unfortunately no one was able to get splits for the "B" team so I wasn't able to actually see my time. Beyond that snafu it was an exciting experience. I got to watch Bernard Lagat set an American record in the 5000 and see other truly amazing athletes perform. Worth every lost penny of not working.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

And here we go again

Yet again I find myself in a challenge, actually a bet with a boy. My sassy mouth got the best of me this time. I'm not a gambler by nature, if I do getting into any betting wars it's usually with some crazy act, I work too hard for my money to just throw it to caution.
This bet was with a fellow teammate whom I already have a standing bet for a race (another post on that at a later date). This was running related but was sports related...the Super Bowl. Back story we've actually been bantering back and forth with football since Jan 1, he's a Giants fan, I'm a Cowboys fan. That crucial game that sent the Giants to the playoffs and the Cowboys home left me a bit bitter, so naturally I was against them for the entirety of the post season. Then comes the Super Bowl, which just so happens to feature my secondary team the Patriots (I'm from New England so it is only natural to default to them). I had no doubt in my mind that the Pats weren't going to let a repeat of the prior SB game to happen again. Halftime Pats are up and I get a text message 'We need an outrageous bet I just decided'. Sassy Miss here says ok what are the terms. It's halftime I should have known better than to make a bet in the middle of a game and on my secondary team at that. Terms the next practice Pats win he wears a tutu for his workout, Giants win I wear a jock strap over my shorts for my workout. Of course we all know the turnout of that game....Doh! Yep I was burnt. Let me tell you that might have been the most uncomfortable thing I have EVER worn and I'm a woman we wear uncomfortable things all the time. At first I was completely mortified then I just made the best of it, I made my bed so if I'm going to lie in it may as well make it fun. Here's the hilarity at the track:

Laugh away, I certainly am