Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I absolutely love it - because it ends being a challenge to the entire group - to go out and be tenacious. It is one of my favorite "power" words. Tenacious - holding together; cohesive; not easily pulled asunder; tough. It was my attitude going into my master's comprehensive exams in the summer, and now we challenge each other to be tenacious every week.
I was so overwhelmed by all of the positive comments about the National Half Marathon. It was an absolutely fabulous race, and I am just on cloud 9. It is a sign that the training (and cross training) is working, and the Boston (less than 3 weeks away) will awesome.
On Sunday, I had to do a 13 mile recovery run. Sunday's 13 was a lot harder and slower than Saturday's! But I got through it, and it did loosen me up a little bit.
This week is my peak week of training, and then I will have a 2 week taper. School and work are really picking up right now, so it is going to be a mega busy week in general. Yesterday was one of my double days, and I had to keep reminding myself that a) the training is clearly working and b) the hard stuff will be over soon! I rowed for 30 minutes in the morning (5500 meters). I am really starting to like the rowing (have been doing it for about a month now) - I think because it incorporates both cardio and strength work in the same exercise (and it's no impact). School was a blur, and it was hard to get myself back to the gym for the second workout. But again, I just had to remind myself that I am so close to my goal, and that ultimately it will be great (I don't have to motivate myself so much on running days). Within 15 minutes of being on the elliptical, my energy kicked back in, and I was on there for an hour (7.5 miles). Also did some weights and core work. Feel like I have finally gained some core strength, because doing 9 x 13 Roman chairs (in sets of 3) is no longer as difficult as it was in the fall. And then it was all done!
After school and work today, I have a mega track workout that I am really looking forward to. 6 x 1 mile repeats (getting progressively faster). That will be my tenacious run for the day. But I feel like our tenacious challenge is good at keeping us steadfast and persistent all day long, beyond the running world. It is not a question of "Will you be tenacious today?" but "How will you be tenacious?" It means I can channel my training energy into the rest of my day, be tough, and hopefully come out stronger!
How will you be tenacious today?
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
I am so hungry! And I know all of the Boston people are too - my friend Bettina wrote about she'll eat anything in sight that isn't nailed down. I agree. It's either the long runs or two a day cross training that makes me want to eat ALL the time. So, I had to resign myself when I went grocery shopping on Sunday that it is better to just get a lot, stock up, and have the good food fuel me for all of my workouts.
I had a super strong long run on Sunday. I had just watched the NYC Half Marathon (congrats to Galen Rupp and Kara Goucher on 3rd place!), and was so stoked about how well they did, particularly since Rupp made his half marathon debut. I had also heard about Shalane Flannagan's bronze medal at World Cross, and was so proud of how well all of the Americans ran on Sunday (US Women earned a bronze at World Cross). All of this made me want to go out and succeed too.
Thanks to Jenny, I brought along Sharkies (they're like GU chomps) - gluten free fuel! These really helped - I had a couple after 1 hour, and then a couple at 90 minutes and 2 hours. They were just helped give me mini bursts of energy. I generally don't bonk during a 16 miler, but sometimes during the final miles, my energy starts to flag and I just want the run to end. This was not the case on Sunday. I felt so strong! I finished with some hills, and I just felt like I could climb and push forever. This was a great feeling, considering I had a 12 mile run with 8 miles of tempoing on Saturday. I ended up averaging 8:12 pace for 16.25 miles! On an easy day! This is when I know cross training and strength work pays off - I felt strong. I didn't die, I wanted to dig deep.
Yesterday was double cross training: 30 minutes of rowing (5500 meters), 45 minutes of elliptical (6 miles), and weights. And they all felt good. I am trying to focus on arm work, because I think I can use my arms to pump me through in the final stretch of the race. We'll see - at the very least, they'll be a bit more sculpted than before.
So yes, I am hungry because I am training a lot.
But I am also hungry for Boston. I was so stoked about Sunday's run, and watching the NYC Half made me excited to race on Saturday. I am starting to reread Kathrine Switzer's Marathon Woman and I am absolutely savoring her sections that discuss her training for her 8 Boston Marathons. I love reading about peoples' training - it only gets me excited about my own. On Sunday, Jenny and I had a long conversation about training and her own training when she was competing at Nationals for swimming. I just love to hear about the preparation, the anticipation, and all of the other exciting components of racing. My dad and I talked last night about training too. Both of my parents are increasingly becoming hard core with training. My mom did her first 5 mile race a few weekends ago, and my dad is doing his first triathlon in the spring. It has become so FUN to talk about the gym and workouts with them - they are in the best shape of their lives right now - it is very impressive.
This is going to be a good week - I love race week. I have a track workout later that I am excited about, and it'll give me a chance to work on turnover and imagine gunning it on Saturday.
All of the excitement just makes me want to JUMP. Thank you Pointer Sisters for serving as some of my pump-up music this week!
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Kathleen's wedding was amazing enough, as was the time in Rochester with my parents, but then last Monday I jetted down to Palm Beach for the rest of spring break. Jenny (we ran MCM together in October and will do that again) lives in Jupiter with her family, and I also spent Spring Break 2010 (it's nice that medievalists get the time off too) there. We don't get to see each other that often, so I jumped the opportunity to fly down! It was my hope that it would give a chance to relax, which would be good for training, get in some good runs, and enjoy time with important people.
Tuesday: 9.5 miles with 8 x 3 minute hard efforts
Wednesday: Easy 7
Friday: 21 miles...and then in the afternoon Jenny was around for a run, so we did 4 miles, bringing the grand total of the day to 25 miles!
Saturday: Easy 5 at Sunset
Total mileage: 46.5 - highest weekly mileage of 2011!
I didn't do any cross training while I was there, which I had planned with Sarah. And that was okay, it gave me a chance to rest up.
I even got to see my grandparents, aunt and baby cousins, who were in Vero Beach and came up to Jupiter for the day! So, with the exception of my brother (who turned 21 on Monday - Happy Birthday Ryan), I got to see all of my top people within about a week's span. How amazing is that? Here some pictures of where we did our runs, and hanging out in Jupiter/on the beach.
I think one of the important ways to train is to mentally relax and find a happy place, whether it is physical or mental. I tend to get so wound up in graduate school that I forget how much joy I get from family. During the week, all of the tension in my shoulders simply vanished. No need for a massage, just time with family, both those who I share my name and those who share in the same joys, did the trick. I got to play with my baby cousins, and my little guy Henry. I rocked it out to Cee-Lo's "Forget You" and other fun songs. I saw the sun, I saw the Jupiter Lighthouse, I saw those who matter the most.
It all put the spring in my step that I was looking for.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Monday, March 7, 2011
Now, I have known her fiancé for 3 years, and I think he is terrific. I was so excited when they got engaged over the summer. He cares about her so much, and I have seen how happy she has been since they got together. I had been looking forward to this weekend for so long, but at the same time, I didn’t know exactly how the weekend would play out. I got to meet all of Sandeep’s family and friends, and they were so kind and gracious. They made it so easy for me to blend in and fit in – it felt very natural on Friday. Which meant that by the wedding day on Saturday, the atmosphere in central NY (they got married at Cornell) was warm and inviting.
The wedding was perfect. And I am not just talking about the logistics (everything did go smoothly), but the whole day was wonderful. It was fun getting ready in the morning and taking it all in. Kathleen and Sandeep did see each other before the ceremony; they did some pictures around Cornell. When they did the reveal of the bride, it was so beautiful. They both are beautiful people to begin with (Kathleen looked absolutely stunning), but the joy on their faces made them all the more beautiful.
The pure joy on each of their faces was so moving: you really knew these were two people in love. I am actually getting choked up just thinking about it.
And that was why everyone was so excited – the ceremony was a true testament to the love they have for each other. They just kept smiling at each other, particularly when particular words were said. And the entire church was so happy for them – truly a room full of ecstatic people.
And then the reception was just a blast. There was so much dancing and laughing.
My parents were at the wedding too, which meant I got to see them (and even dance with them) this weekend too.
The band was awesome: they played oldies like “Shout” and “We are family” were played, as well as more current music. Everyone just wanted to stay on the floor the whole time – there was no need for cajoling to go out and dance. We closed down the reception on a very high note. There was also a brunch on Sunday morning, which gave everyone a chance to wish one another goodbye. Not only did Kathleen’s family all treat me like family, but Sandeep’s family too, who I had met less than 48 hours before. They gave me big hugs, and even an invitation to stay at their house the net time I am in town. It was the final moment that made this weekend not one of time with friends, but of family.
I got to stand up on the altar on Saturday and watch my best friend, the big sister who has always looked out for me, marry the man of her dreams. And to watch the pure joy that radiated throughout the church and weekend was a reminder that family is the certainty that I need and cherish the most in my life.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Check out their website at http://udisglutenfree.com/. A lot of their products are also at Safeway, Wegmans, and your local grocery store.
Today's breakfast: Part 1 (pre-Run): Kix cereal and coffee
Part 2: Post run: Glass of milk, small GF brownie and Udi's bagel
Lunch: 2 yoplait light yogurts (Boston Cream Pie and French Vanilla)
1 Udi's sandwich with Hillshire roast beef
Dinner: chicken and rice
Both Udi bagels and their bread have been excellent! I think one of the first things to keep in mind is appearance. You want to believe that the product actually resembles its gluten counterpart. The bagels and sandwich bread could easily be mistaken for the "regular kind." Yesterday was the first time I had the bagel, and I was pleasantly surprsied. Sometimes I find bagels to have a difficult texture that makes it hard to enjoy (and eat neatly). This was easier to enjoy, which I did with some coffee. I didn't feel too full, and after a workout, I felt that the bagel helped give me the energy I needed to continue on with my day!
And the sandwich bread has been exceptional. While the bagel's appearance was a little different from the original version, the sandwich bread looked identical to wheat bread. Even had the same texture -- the only differnce was the lack of gluten, which you could not taste. I have switched over to Hillshire Roast Beef (no gluten in this particular processed meat), and the two together have been excellent!
I have found the sandwich to be a good strong lunch that either helps me get ready for an afternoon workout, or to keep me going after a morning run.
Now, Udi's has also sent me some GF pizza crusts, which I have yet to try. Stay tuned for a review on them.
Overall, Udi's gets my seal of approval. I think they will play an integral role in my diet now, especially since bagels and sandwich bread can be regular staples to my marathon training diet. Udi's also carries other products besides baked goods and bread. Congratulations, and thank you, Udi's. After the professor finished going through the grading rubric...
You get an A!
And how exactly has Udi's helped fuel me up?
Monday: 2000 yard swim, 1 hour elliptical
Tuesday: track workout. 2.5 mile w/u, 4 x 1 mile, starting at 7:25 pace and aiming to knock 5-7 seconds off. Ended up running 7:25, 7:18, 7:11, and 7:06. Then 2 laps, and then 2 x800 (aiming for 3:30, 3:27). Ended up feeling strong enough to run 3:29, 3:26. 2.5 mile cooldown. Total: 11.75 miles - Very successful track workout! I think this is turning to my favorite (running) day of the week.
Wednesday: Rowed 5k in 30:40 in the AM, 3 mile (easy) run in the PM. It was 62 and sunny - I just couldn't resist an easy 3. It was like nature implored me to - I know some of you know the feeling.
Thursday: 10 mile run with 7 at 8:00 pace
Friday: Double XT
Saturday: OFF - Kathleen's wedding! My best friend is getting married this weekend, which means I am leaving for Rochester TONIGHT. So incredibly excited - it is going to be a great day.
Sunday: 19 miles - we'll save that after the wedding brunch.
And then Monday morning I fly to Florida! This has been a good training week, and I look forward to doing all of next week's runs in shorts!