Week in Review: Training for Races

I’ve been adding to this post throughout the week, so if it’s choppy, forgive me, I’ve been busy!

Week before last, I was battling creeping anxiety and poor sleep. I hit just over nine miles on my long run on last Sunday, and it took me forever to drag myself out to run, and afterwords, I felt like poo. Similarly, Monday night as I was prepping my things for my morning run, I was dreading going out. This all seemed too familiar. I realized that like earlier this summer, I have reached exhaustion. I’ve been going too far, too fast and I need a break.

I decided to use the Runner’s World Smart Coach to generate a hypothetical training program for my upcoming 10K and 1/2 marathon. The resulting training schedule was a lot lighter than my recent one, leading me to believe that yes, I’ve been overtraining, and perhaps for my best performance, I should back off and try something new.

My Tuesday run was sluggish, but good in retrospect. It was a lovely challenge to go just under 12 minutes a mile, and it was nice and quick before work.

My Thursday run was a five-miler, with 3 miles being at around 10:18 pace. It worked out fairly well, and I came back damp from the early morning mist/fog.

I skipped another 2 miler like my Tuesday run on Friday. I just didn’t have it in me. Meanwhile, I spent those last few days of the week eating crap food. It’s a bad habit, but training makes me really hungry. I’m getting comfortable with my size, and slacking on the restrictions. I should probably get back on track… right?

Saturday, I guess you should say I did some cross-training. I did two dry-suit dives, my last cold water dives before I hit Hawaii this coming weekend. I definitely got an upper-body work out!

Today, I did a 7 mile easy run. It was really nice and light, despite the crazy weather (torrential rains this morning, sun break, gusts of wind and sporadic sprinkles). I chomped my new favorite endurance enhancer, Clif Shot Bloks Cran-razz. They definitely keep me from feeling so crazy ravenous the rest of the day.

I’m using my current water system, Ultimate Direction Women's Strider Waist Pack, is cumbersome, but keeps me hydrated. I’m hesitant to change it up, especially given the cost. I also use Ultimate Direction Fastdraw on my shorter runs.

I know I’ll dial this stuff in a little more as race time approaches. Another thing on my to-do list is find a good vest/jacket for the coming rainy season. I think it’s time to wrap this post up. It’s taken me a week to write it!

Rest Week and Nutrition

Today’s plan is to go out for an easy, short jog in preparation of Sunday’s race. Last night, I roped another friend into joining me for the LIVESTRONG Challenge, and I’m excited to be coming near to this event that I’ve been training for. I have a $125 challenge on the line, so if I break 30 min for 5K, LIVESTRONG gets another $125. Pretty fantastic!

I’ve been playing a lot with Calorie Count the past couple days. They just released their iPhone app, and I’m loving the app. Their UI for the app beats the site, but I’m willing to forgive a lot of my little issues with the site for what the overall functions are. Tracking online and via smartphone isn’t new to me, as that I’ve been doing it for the past 2.5 years through Weight Watchers, but I’m getting to a point where my weightloss is slowing, and I’m feeling a need to get a true lay of the land. I’ve made huge leaps and bounds in changing my lifestyle, now I need to work on my nutrition.

What Calorie Count is allowing me to do is help me track my ratios of carbs, proteins and fats in my day and even week+, as well as key nutrients like iron, potassium, vit c, vit a, etc. What I’ve learned from tracking the past week is that I’m not getting enough protein, and am getting too much carbs and fats. I think that I often replace proteins with fats (due to the fact that I try to keep my meat and soy consumption low for ethical/medical reasons). I can’t help but wonder how this is impacting my training. I’m also not getting much iron in my day to day, which is something I hope to remedy first through leafy greans, and second by a vitamin supplement.

All this being said, the outcome calorically is also pretty stunning. To lose weight, I should be averaging about 1200 calories per day, but what I’m actually doing is 1500 calories per day. It’s a 200 calorie deficit per day from what I need to just maintain my weight, which is good, but means that might weight loss is at a snails pace.

This next week I’m going to strive for balance in my diet – something that Weight Watchers, unfortunately, doesn’t help you really track. Which is OK, considering that their big plus is the ease of their system, and that they DO encourage eating lean meats, whole foods, etc – but they leave you a bit in the dark on how to get all your nutrients in, and if you’re actually doing so.

I guess, with dieting, the one truth is the math. It doesn’t matter what system you use – all grapefruit, all frozen, prepared dinners, 2/3 meals out of milkshakes, etc. The heart of all of it is that if you put in less energy than you use, you will lose weight (barring medical/pharmaceutical interference.) You might not lose weight where you want it (lose muscle, lose all from your breasts and not your hips/thighs, etc,) but you will lose it. And in my case, no matter how much I lose, my naked body will NEVER look like a supermodels.

This is what I’m working on in my rest week. Now to get moving towards that short run I was talking about.

(BTW – still achey from Sunday’s run! Wow!)

Run and Walk with Pride 4K 2010

I’m freshly showered from today’s race, the Seattle Frontrunner‘s Run and Walk with Pride 2010! It was a lot of fun, and a really great turn out (500+ people!) This is my first time doing this event, and my first time around a running club (like the Frontrunners), and I was very much impressed. The diversity of people there was really awesome, LGBT and allies, kids and dogs and friends – and it was a gorgeous day. The money raised from the event goes to the Lifelong AIDS Alliance and Chicken Soup Brigade, both causes I can get behind.

This was my first chip-timed race, and my first 5K in a couple of months. OH WHAT A DIFFERENCE TRAINING MAKES! I ran the 4K, and came in at 22:51.1! I was second place in my age range (30-34), out of about 7 women in my age range. Women are pretty underrepresented at this event, but even still, I’m really proud of myself. Next weekend is the LIVESTRONG CHALLENGE! I can only hope I’ll do as well with the 5K. That means that this week is an easy week while I prepare to run my best.

I love running with a group of people. The run was beautiful, the people pretty non-competitive, and there was a spirit of fun that pervaded the event. I didn’t win any big prizes in the raffle, but I definitely came away feeling like I won something.

Maybe it’s just pride for my accomplishment. I don’t know. It just feels good.