5k training – recovery

I am 1 day into my 4th week of training for the Fab 40s 5k. I’d like to say I am feeling faster, but I’m not. However, I am feeling strong and I’ve had no pain since I began training – which includes 2 days of easy runs, 1 hill/tempo day, 1 speed work  day and a “fast” run (fast, but not too fast). Having no pain while upping my mileage and speed is already a win for me, so that makes me happy. One thing I didn’t think would effect me as much as it has is the heat (My God, the heat!) – bonus points if you get that reference ūüėČ I never used to mind running in the Summer but I guess I have to re-acclimate to the Sacramento heat, after living in San Diego for a year.

Thinking of how my training has been going and how great I feel, I wanted to share what I am currently doing for recovery. Sure a 5k may not seem like it would be hard to train for – I mean, the mileage is much less than a marathon, but it is intense in it’s own way. I am basically going to be running as fast as I can for 3.1 miles. In July, in Sacramento, at 8:30am. I am expecting it to be hot. So along with training later in the day to get used to the heat, here is what I have been doing for my recovery: massage about once a month. I have the BEST massage therapist in Sacramento. Chiropractor, only once so far. I was expecting I’d need a few visits, but I’ve only had one and it was right before (or around the time) I started training. Hopefully that will be all I need for a while! Then there are the things I can do on my own. First, foam rolling. I do this after every run and before and/or after each strength training session. If you don’t know, my favorite foam roller is also my favorite water bottle, which is my Mobot. I have had my Mobot for over 2 years and it is still a great water bottle & foam roller. It is a little firmer than my trigger point foam roller so I like it for that reason, also it is very easy to take every where with me – which I do. People often think I am carrying around a jar of jelly beans. But jelly beans are gross, so I would never do that.

Another thing I regularly do, or I should say wear, are compression socks. Since finding out about Legend Compression Wear by testing them out as a BibRave Pro (read my review here) I have become obsessed with their socks! I have a few pairs of their Performance Socks that I will sometimes wear while I am running – which is what they are for. Then there are the Recovery Socks. I just got a pair of recovery socks last week and I LOVE them!! They are tighter than their performance socks, which is what you want for recovery (check out their website to learn about their different levels of compression). I’ve tried 3 other compression sock companies since I started running and these are by far my favorite. Please don’t pay attention to the cat fur on my socks. In addition to my 3 kids, I am fostering 4 kittens.

Finally here are a few supplements I’ve been taking. Some of them for a few years, and one for just a few weeks. I started taking BCAAs to help with recovery within the last year or two. My favorite is Gnarly BCAAs because of the caffeine (and it is a good, clean company).  Gnarly isn’t pictured because I am currently out and waiting on a shipment! I like to take the Gnarly BCAAs before a long run or a race, or before I have a heavy lifting session – which isn’t often right now since I am running more. I will take the GU BCAA capsules after a work out, sometimes with the Gnarly BCAAs pre workout. It really just depends on what I am doing and how intense it is. Then there are Sound Probiotics – which aren’t technically for recovery, but I wanted to include them. I started using probiotics a few years ago and I’ve noticed a difference  in how my guts feel during and post run – meaning I don’t get runner poops anymore. I specifically use Sound Probiotics because they have 8 probiotic strains studied specifically in athletes and it has a prebiotic included.

Finally, something I just started using when I started training for the Fab 40s 5k is tart cherry juice. I can’t remember why I wanted to try this out, but after looking into tart cherry juice benefits I decided to give it a try. After reading THIS blog post from No Meat Athlete I decided pick some up. In his post, and in many articles I read, they discussed a tart cherry juice 7 day challenge. Basically you drink 2 table spoons of concentrate cherry juice, or 8 oz. twice a day for 7 days leading up to race day. What I am doing is drinking the concentrated juice (mixed with water) after a hard work out/run. I started with the juice, but it has so much sugar. Then I checked out the concentrate; I get more for my money with the concentrate and less sugar so that is the route I am going. I only drink it once daily after a hard run, however this week and the week of my goal race (at the end of July) I will be drinking it every day – even if I have an easy run, such as today. My plan was to drink it twice a day for 7 days leading up to my race, but I have noticed such a difference at once a day, about 3-4 times a week that I don’t know if it is necessary to drink it twice a day during race week. Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or anyone who really knows about recovery, anthocyanins or vitamins found in tart cherry juice – I’m just someone who tried it and found it works for me. I am not going to list the benefits of tart cherry juice here – you can Google it if you’d like to learn about it. That is what I did, and after testing it out I think it has really helped my recovery. I am less sore than in the past when I would do speed work, or a tempo run, for example, and my recovery time is shorter. It also tastes really good. I’m pretty excited to have added tart cherry juice to my recovery routine and have been telling all my runner friends about it.


Since this is week 4 of training I have a 5k tune up race this Saturday! I’ll be running No Excuses 5k. I have never run this race before and it is in William Land Park, so it should be a nice race. I recruited a friend to run it with me so hopefully that will help with my nerves. I have no idea why I get so nervous at races lately. It is really annoying feeling like you are going to vomit and shit your pants at the start of the race – like WTF? I think it has a lot to do with knowing how hard it is to race, and it has been so long since I have been able to race that it makes me nervous. Any recommendations to help with calming pre race nerves is welcome!!  I’ll let you know how Saturday goes – I am hoping to at least run my current 5k pr, which is 22:32.

Fab 40s Training РWeek 1 

Week 1 of 5k training is complete!! It has gone well, other than being slower than my past training, but I feel great, no injuries and it feels good to be training for a race again. I currently have 4 races on my calendar this year (Fab 40s 5k, Blood, Sweat & Beers¬†, RnR San Jose Half and Monterey Bay Half ). That is a pretty short list compared to past years. Currently, I am simultaneously training for BSB & Fab 40s. I signed up for the Fab 40s race a few months ago, making it my goal race for the summer and my birthday celebration race – doesn’t everyone have a bday celebration race?? Then one evening after a run with¬†Sloppy Moose RC¬†and a few beers, my friend and I decided to run Blood Sweat & Beers. Which I am totally down for. I am getting into trails and running for fun rather than road races this year – as you can see by my “race” calendar – I usually have 1-2 races a month. I thought BSB could also be a birthday run; both races are at the end of July. I didn’t realize this 10.5 mile trail run is 6 days before my goal 5k. Oops.

So back to my 5k training. It is funny training for a 5k after you have run multiple marathons. I keep hearing, “why are you training for a 5k? You can go out and run that at any time.” Which is true, but I can’t go out and race a 5k any time. I can’t run a 22 minute 5k at anytime. I am trying to beat my current PR of 22:35. I am using the¬†Hal Hidgon¬†5k advanced plan, with a few little changes (every Tuesday I run hills and then cut the tempo in half, and Sunday I’m trying to get out to trails).


This week my mileage was just under 24 miles – which is the highest mileage week I’ve had all year. Fucking crazy. In past years I could run that mileage within 2 days. But I am feeling really good and I’ve had no pain – last year I had plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, some side foot thing, right glute and hamstring pain – damn, no wonder 2016 sucked for running! Physical therapy took care of a lot of my issues, but now that I am back home, I swear that has done wonders for me. As crazy as it sounds, I was stressed AF in San Diego and a little depressed. Stress can really take its toll on your health and I’m convinced moving home (and being back with my favorite massage therapist, trainer and chiropractor) has helped me to get back on track. Running my training runs along the American River has helped, too. I’ve missed this river and it is so good to be back!

I am excited to get into week 2, starting tomorrow, but first I wanted to recognize that this past Wednesday, June 7th was Global Running Day. While I didn’t actually run, because it was a rest day, I joined in on the fun by posting why I run. Now, we all know I am more of a serious person when it comes to my reasons for movement (because you shouldn’t take movement for granted. A lesson learned from my quadriplegic uncle) but my reason for Global Running Day was for that runner’s high!! Which is back with a vengeance now that I am training. Fuck yeah.

It’s in there, somewhere¬†

This week has been one of those weeks where I haven’t been able to run much – and right now running “much” is 15-20 miles. I ran just over 11 miles this week, including the 5k I ran tonight. Which is okay, because I am not training for anything yet, but I will be in about 3 weeks. Tonight I planned on an easy 30 minutes or 3 miles, I couldn’t decide which. About 1 mile into my run I decided to pick it up and hold an 8:00 – 8:30 pace and run a 5k. Right now, running that pace isn’t very easy for me. It is doable, but it is definitely work. The funny thing is, once I decided to run that pace for the next 2 miles I thought, “Shit, can I do this?” The answer was, yes I can, but it didn’t stop me from overthinking this run and my upcoming training.

Fast & fun run this evening! 

On June 5th I start training for the¬†Fab 40s 5k¬†(and¬†Blood, Sweat & Beers…which I signed up for without realizing this race is 6 days before my 5k). I am aiming for a 22 – 21:00 5k, which is a 7:06 – 6:46 pace, and that scares me. ¬†I can hold a 7:10 pace for a 5k, I’ve done it, but the work to get there and the idea of a running that pace again is really scary. Back when I first started running, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know what was a good pace for me, I was just setting goals and going for it. Now that I’ve been there, done that – I know how hard it will be. It was almost better to not know what I was getting myself into because now that it has been so long since I’ve raced, I can definitely see me talking myself out of my goal finish time. Which is almost what I did last weekend.

Last weekend I ran the¬†Fair Oaks Chicken Run. It is a 5 mile race with some pretty intense hills. I have only run this race once and that was 3 years ago when training was going quite well – I finished in 42:45. This year my goal was 45 minutes; knowing I haven’t been training for a race, but running hills regularly and keeping a decent base (maybe even less than decent), but also strength training (which has been going great since being back at¬†BodyTribe) I thought 45 was doable. Then we got to the race and I started doubting myself BIG time. I was really nervous and thought I’d have to walk and it would take me at least 50 minutes to finish. I felt like I wanted to throw up and I even started to consider not running. Of course my bf told me I was being ridiculous and I would do great. So with the race about to start I lined up close to the start line, hoping I could get in before 45 minutes. The race was hot, the hills were tough but I ran up every single one and finished in 44:42, just under what my goal was, and I even placed 2nd in my age group. The moral of this story is, you are capable of so much more than you think. This is something I’ve found to be true over and over. I am always surprising myself at what I can accomplish.

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So I know, somewhere inside of me, is a really strong person and¬†I know I can reach my goals. It’s just a matter of believing in myself and a lot of hard work. Which I am so ready for!

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Training views ‚̧

 

 

Being a Female Runner

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To the males out there that feel they need to yell at me when I run by – I am not your baby. No, you can’t run with me. Don’t worry about where I am running and don’t be surprised if you get a big “FUCK YOU” from me if you say something inappropriate.

If I run 3 days a week, I can almost guarantee I will be yelled at 2 of those three runs. Today was one of those runs. I had a man stare at me the whole time he drove by, so I flipped him off. Then I had someone yelling at me, “Get it baby” – which is definitely not the worst I have heard but I’m not your baby. My own boyfriend doesn’t even call me that, so who the fuck are you to watch me as I run by and tell me to “get it”, or tell me that I look good, ask if you can run with me, or ask why I am running away…leave me alone. I am running for me. Not for you. You don’t need to put in your two cents about me doing an activity that I love.

What people may not understand, is that as a female runner, I have to think about my runs in a different way than perhaps a man would. I need to plan my route in an area that will have other runners, I don’t run the same route too often and I won’t go to certain areas depending on the time of day. I carry pepper spray on me in case something happens. I share my location on my phone with my boyfriend in case something happens. And if something were to happen, I am sure there is something that I should have done to stay safe. Which is bullshit. I shouldn’t have to do anything to stay safe – except maybe look both ways before crossing the street. For example, one of my last runs in San Diego I was running towards a man that was licking his lips and whistling to me as I was running towards him. I almost crossed the street but decided to hold my ground. As I got closer to him I yelled, “What the fuck are you looking at?!” and he got very aggressive took a few steps towards me and yelled, “What the fuck are you looking at you fucking hoe! Stupid fucking bitch!” As I ran off the curb and sped up I threw my hands in the air to say “I don’t know” and he yelled “Keep running you fucking whore!” As I got further away and my heart rate settled, I thought, maybe I should shut up next time. I have never had anyone try and get close to me like that when I ran by and it really shook me up. But I won’t shut up next time. It is not okay for someone to objectify me, or anyone for that matter.

With women’s running being more popular than ever, this shit needs to change. But what to we do about it? I think sharing our stories is step one. Runner’s World did a survey and wrote a special report about women being harassed while running; which is a great way to bring awareness to the problem but like I said, where do we go from here? I’m still only on step one and open to ideas.

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Training Plans

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to my training lately. Working for the¬†SRA, being back in Sacramento & running my old routes has me wanting to find a race ASAP and start training! Training to race is so different from running just to run, and while both have their benefits it has been SO LONG since I’ve raced. I am dying to get back out on the¬†American River Parkway¬†for my training runs. There really is no place like home.

So the plan was to start training next month for the¬†Women’s Fitness Festival¬†in June. I¬†am getting back into racing by taking it easy and training for a 5k. And by easy I mean less miles than training for a half or full marathon – I have big goals for my 5k and I know it won’t be easy. However, the other week I learned that my trainer is putting together a mock power lifting meet in late May. Before I moved to SD in I had goals to train for a powerlifting meet, but because I moved I didn’t get the chance. Now I’m back, and another place that feels like home to me is¬†BodyTribe¬†– and I’ve been SO happy to be back there. Yes, I still have my garage gym but there is nothing like working out with my Tribe. So when I heard that we will be having a mock meet I decided to put my running goals on hold until after the meet.

I’ve never trained for a powerlifting meet before so I am really looking forward to my new routine. Today was deadlifts! I am pretty confident with the basics since I’ve been training with¬†Allyson¬†for about 2 years (minus my time in SD) but I am really looking forward to learning more about actually training for a meet. I learned about contrast training last week while working on squats – I was squatting 100lbs and doing heavy walkouts at 200lbs. Feeling the difference of 100lbs on your back is crazy! And really fun. Everyone should try it, in my opinion ūüėČ

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Obviously I won’t be training to race while I’m training as a powerlifter. So after the mock meet I’ll start training for a 5k (Fab 40’s 5k) and after that I have a half marathon (Rock ‘N’ Roll San Jose). I’m really looking forward to both races because I have chosen training plans that I think I’ll do quite well with. The 5k plan is a Hal Higdon plan that reminds me a lot of my half training plan, which is from Hansons. I’ve used a lot of different training plans, and have had a few personalized ones as well. The year I used Hansons (2014) was when I set all my PRs and was most confident in my running. Things kinda went downhill at the end of 2015 and 2016 sucked all around so I am looking forward to getting back to a plan that I know I do well with. Oh, and I still need to get out to those Bay Area trails – I know it is only the second day of Spring but I feel like it is going to be Summer soon, then Fall, then Winter and before you know it the year is over and I won’t have run as many trails as I wanted cause my plans are for road races. The problems of a runner…I think I’ll probably do some of my weekend runs out on the trails. I feel like it won’t hurt to hit the trails every once in a while and it will probably make me a stronger runner.

For now I am focused on lifting so stay tuned for that. Actually, I just realized I have no goals set for the meet. I suppose I’ll have to start talking to my trainer about that since I’m a newbie to this. Oh, and in case you’re interested in other aspects of my training I finally started yoga again since I have my garage gym back! And since we’re all moved into our home I started meditating again as well. If you haven’t incorporated yoga and meditation into your training I highly recommend it. Running, lifting, yoga & meditation helps to keep me balanced. These days I need that self care¬†more and more.

UV Reflective Half BUFF – A Review

Disclaimer: I received the UV Reflective Half BUFF¬ģ to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a¬†BibRave Pro¬†(ambassador), and check out¬†BibRave.com¬†to review find and write race reviews!

Since becoming a BRP and being introduced to BUFF¬ģ I have become a huge fan. The¬†BUFF¬ģ¬†is versatile, easy to pack (think hiking, camping, running trips) and comes in fun colors/patters. Most recenlty I had the opportunity to test out their reflective BUFF¬ģ. I am a¬†major proponent of runners wearing reflective gear, bright colors and lights while running in the dark. The reflective UV Reflective Half BUFF¬ģ does 2 out of 3 of those things so I feel pretty confident that I’ll be seen during my runs – which is the number one thing I like about this BUFF¬ģ.

Here are the details of the UV Half BUFF¬ģ from their website:

Half the length of original UV BUFF¬ģ headwear, the UV Reflective Half¬†BUFF¬ģ option offers efficient thermal properties, built-in¬†sun protection, moisture management and reflective strips that are ideal for¬†runners. Able to dry quickly and control odor, this sweat-wicking¬†layer fits easily under a helmet. It‚Äôs a versatile, go anywhere¬†piece wearable at least nine different ways.

  • Blocks 95% of UV rays*
  • Reflective strips
  • Multifunctional
  • Exceptional Moisture-wicking with its 4-channel fibers
  • Soft, breathable Coolmax¬ģ Extreme fabric
  • Cool in the summer, extra layer of warmth in the winter
  • Polygiene¬ģ Active Odor Control
  • Quick drying

Pros

  • Breathable
  • Versatile
  • Soft (I tend to get a really runny nose when I run and I like wearing my BUFF¬ģon my wrist to wipe my nose. TMI but it doesn’t irritate my nose when I use it!)
  • Size – I prefer the half BUFF¬ģ to the full
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • None (in my opinion)

My favorite ways to wear my BUFF¬ģ are around my wrist (as mentioned earlier, I like to use it for my runny nose), wearing it as a head band; I also wear it like this but with my hat on when it is cold out. It keeps my ears nice and warm, and finally I like to wear it around my neck. I will wear it like this when it is cold or hot out – like I said it is super versatile.

How do you like to wear your BUFF¬ģ?

You can check out my fellow BRPs reviews here:

If I Just Breathe

tmiles and running

Everything But Weddings

Fun Size Athlete

Frankly Running

2017 Race Goals 

When I was asked recently about my running goals for 2017 I realized I hadn’t really thought about it.¬†2016¬† actually 2015 until now has been a bit stressful. If I want to be more specific¬†I would say September 2015 – January 2017 has been stressful. Moving and leaving a good job, leaving friends and family, working 5 part time jobs and still not making a lot of money has been the source of most of my stress. Although, this move allowed us to live in San Diego for over a year, I started a cat behavior consulting business (mycatfriend.com), I met some great people here, and my BF has a job where he has gained new skills and experience in his field – so not everything has been bad. But with so much going on running and racing wasn’t a top priority for me.

I always log my workouts – running, strength training, ¬†yoga, and PT just to I know where I’ve been and where I can improve. I recenlty got a new¬†Believe Training Journal¬†because I do want to focus on improving this year. I want to get back to racing. The¬†first Believe Training Journal I got was back in 2015; it was the original journal which was 12 months, had goal pages, info on nutrition, different types of runs, etc. I really liked it but since I have not truly trained for a race (not just train to be able to run a race, but to actually race it) in over a year I chose their newer log book. It is only 6 months, still has goal setting pages and is perfect for what I need at the moment – short term goals. Every 4 weeks they have a few blank pages for you to reflect on how the month went and what your next steps are. Here are my next steps:

Had I known I was going to post a picture of my journal my handwriting would have been better ūüėČ So going in to February I am focusing on:

  1. Getting stronger & injury prevention/healing
  2. Once I get back to a regular running routine I want to mainly focus on 5k – 10k, and throw a few half marathons in there
  3. I have no plans on running a marathon this year

Yep, no marathons will be run in 2017. This was a hard thing for me to accept at first. Especially since I was going to run the LA Marathon for the Kitten Rescue. I¬†love LA and was so excited to run that race, but most of all I feel like I let the Kitten Rescue down. But I am injured, I haven’t run more than 13 miles in a week since December and running a marathon like this would just be stupid. However, I am still accepting donations for them – I made a commitment to do so and I want to stick to that since I can’t run for their team (if you’d like to donate please do so here,¬†Team Kitten Rescue).

No marathons in 2017 also means no CIM. What – whaaaat?!

¬†¬†Yep, but the funny thing is I am okay with that. The California International Marathon was my first marathon experience, and I have run it every year since I started running. Yes it will be weird to not run it, and on race day I will probably be a little sad but I will still be a part of the race. BIG announcement: I will be working for the Sacramento Running Association! If you don’t know, they put on the CIM. I met with SRA’s Executive Director last month while I was in town and he asked me how I felt about not being able to run the CIM. It was definitely something I had previously thought about and if this was 2 or 3 years ago I don’t think I would be okay with it. But I look at it like this: I have run this race 5 times, I love the CIM, the Sacramento running community and what the Sacramento Running Association does for their community. For me to be a part of the team that does so much for the running community that I love and call home means more to me than I can put into words. To be a part of the California International Marathon on the back end will be really amazing.

So back to race¬†goals for 2017. I’m starting small and taking it slow. ¬†I’d love to race a 5k, maybe mid Spring or early Summer – it kinda all depends on how quickly we can get my hamstring issues fixed. I’d like to get to a 20 minute 5k and even a sub 20 (my current 5k PR is 22:20ish) so I know it can be done. You know what is funny? This time, even thinking about¬†training¬†for my 5k goal I am a little scared. Because I know what to expect and I know how hard it will be. When I first started running I didn’t know anything so I didn’t know what to be scared of. Instead of being scared I am trying to happy – because I also know how happy it makes to race. I seriously¬†miss that runner’s high! I also know that it will be worth all the hard work – as with most things in life.

See you soon Sacramento!!

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