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!

Terra Plana Odette

A new friend, a few weeks ago, updated his Facebook status that he had been shopping for minimalist shoes, and landed on Terra Plana shoes with their Vivo Barefoot technology. He’s been looking for minimalist shoes that masquerade as good work shoes – so I had to look myself. Not because I’m a crazy, minimalist shoe enthusiast, but because I’ve been looking for a simple, casual women’s flat shoe that doesn’t have crazy bumpers that make it look like I’m going off-roading. I totally love being in the Northwest, and the Northwest aesthetic – to a point – however, I don’t want to wear shoes that make me look like a poster-child for REI. Sometimes I want to look as fashionable as New York, but as comfortable as Seattle. And I don’t want to break the bank.

I was lucky that I found Terra Plana Odette Ballet Skimmer Endless/Amazon had a sale on one of the more casual styles, and I went for it. I ordered a size smaller than I found I should, however, the size I picked is still comfortable enough to wear EVEY DAY. I am still ridiculously in touch with the ground, but feel like I’m wearing slippers. They’re super-cute, too. It’s a shame they don’t sell them in stores in the US (that I can tell) – because they have some great styles, even outside of their minimalist designs.

Many blogs say they fit a bit smaller than listed – and I would definitely recommend going by whatever your size is in European sizing, not what the website converts as the US sizing. I should have gotten a 39 (which is what I wear in most of my shoes these days), and not a 38 (which is what I wear in Vibram Five Fingers Sprint. The thing is, with the Sprints, they’re supposed to be fitting like a glove. I really think the Terra Plana’s are meant to have a bit more space at the toe. I’m not receiving any ill effects from having them snug, but I will be ordering future pairs at a EU 39.

I’m pretty excited. I like comfy shoes. I love walking. I love the idea of having a cute shoe, that’s work appropriate, that won’t break the bank and won’t make you look like you’re going on a hike. Why is this so hard to find? I’ve heard great things about Jimmy Choo flats, but I can’t say my budget quite affords that $500 gamble. The Terra Planas, even without a sale, don’t cost much more than your average pair of Earth, Keen, Privo, Ahnu, or Dansko shoes. They have less clunk, a little more style, and in the Odette, a lot of comfort.

Consider these shoes highly recommended.