Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Yesterday and today have been a little bit hectic. Spencer got his braces on yesterday, and Grant got his on today. Thus, we had two 2.5 hour appointments, and some very sore mouths. I have really had to wing it food-wise to make sure that Spencer got enough to eat yesterday (soft foods only) and Grant got enough today. We have been eating a lot of cream of asparagus soup (see last post), milkshakes (thin mint), and tuna. Hopefully, by this weekend, the boys will have adjusted enough so that they can partake in the annual ritual of eating the heads off their chocolate Easter Bunnies. If not, I will have to take up the cause :)

I am definitely ready for bed after another day of 20 miles, with a little bit of speed and weights thrown in for fun (not really, but I'm trying to sound positive :). I ran a little faster this morning with the group, nothing great, but just trying to get the feel for moving my legs faster than my normal "get 'er done," pace. The weather is phenomenal now (thank goodness), so I am trying to get all 20 miles done outside. Soon enough, I know I will have to head indoors for the midday run to avoid the El Paso sun, and unless daytime television has improved immensely since last summer, I know I will suffer :)

I will post my 2010 race schedule soon (yes, I have a loose schedule), but it will remain VERY flexible since I have no idea where I stand. I have never taken this long off, so I am just going day by day. I would like to run Nationals in October because I really miss my former team members, especially Debbie, Jamie, Annette, Phil, and Roy. I'm afraid if I don't show up again this year, I will never see them! I'm sad that I won't be heading to France with them this year, but such is life. Things always work out for the best. I just couldn't focus last year (or the beginning of this year). I am happy to be back training, but it is a long road back - yikes!

Happy Running!

Monday, March 29, 2010

So, today was a typical training day for me, which is both good and bad. Good, because I feel happy to be back. Bad, because I feel like most traditional coaches (except maybe RayK) would scoff at my training practices. For whatever reason, I feel the need to run 20 miles a day. I always have, and probably always will. I know that my 20 miles are filled with "junk miles," but I like them. They make me feel strong, and when the going gets tough in a 24 hour race, I know that I have lots of miles logged. But, that doesn't help me be fast, now does it? Basically, my motto is, if you only have time for one, pick mileage. You will naturally get faster, but speedwork will not give you endurance. Make sense?

So, now I am adding speedwork. I have had a big base for 4 years, so I feel safe adding some speed. My problem: I really don't like speed. But such is life. I have to suck it up and add it to my training. I have been comfortable cruising 3:30 training marathons where I can run before and after to get a nice 50 miler, but it is time to suck it up and RUN. Yikes! Slow and long is my specialty. Fast and short is, well...uncomfortable. And I hate being uncomfortable. I hate that feeling in my stomach that says "This sucks!". But I am bored with LSD (long slow distance). And I don't want to quit running. I just want to try something new. But I also don't want any of any of my new runners to take this as an endorsement of speed over distance. You really can't add speed until you have the requisite distance in place. Distance always trumps speedwork in ultrarunning.

Food: Cream of Asparagus soup (recipe adapted from the Silver Palate Cookbook), chicken salad, and green salad with sunflower seeds and dressing.

Happy Running!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I am so happy to be back training! I still haven't picked specific races, but it is fun to run with a purpose. I am a little sore though, so I know I need to be patient and build back up slowly. I always push others to take it easy, but find it hard to do it myself. I just want to get busy!

Anyway, I'm looking for some fun races this spring/summer, if anyone has any ideas. I'd like to do a couple of marathons and a couple of 50 milers. I don't think I will try to do more than 50s until the fall.

On the food front, I was absolutely craving Chinese Chicken Salad after my second run, so I had to head straight to the store and buy the ingredients - cabbage, green onions, chicken, almonds, and sesame ginger dressing. Totally easy and totally delicious! Then I ate a Blue Bell Chocolate Covered Cherry Ice Cream Bar - Oh my gosh! Unbelievable. I think I will probably dream about it tonight, it was that good!

Happy Running!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I had a wonderful run this morning with the group. Usually, I hang at the back, knowing I have a couple more workouts in my day. But this morning, I really wanted to catch up with my 3:00 hour-ish marathoning - friend, Angie, so I had no choice but to pick up the pace. And what fun it was! We did a quick 6 miler, and then finished it off with an easy 2 mile cool down. I haven't done any focused running in months, so it was a real treat to feel like a runner again. Later in the day, I made it to the gym for 7 more miles on the treadmill and some weights. Fun day!

I have picked up a few more coaching clients, and instead of feeling overwhelmed, I really feel inspired by them. It is so fun to talk to someone really jazzed by the prospect of breaking 3:00 hours, or running their first 50, or qualifying for Boston. The enthusiasm is infectious! I am already making plans for my racing season. I guess sometimes we need to just get out of our heads and see that there is a whole lot going on besides what it happening in front of us.

On a semi-related note, tonight they are voting on the nominees to the Sports Hall of Fame. I was nominated in the Athlete category, and I was so stunned and honored, that I could hardly believe it. I have to say, though I don't think I will get in, I am totally grateful that anyone would consider me. Anyway, I will keep you posted. **Update, I didn't get into the Hall of Fame, but that is okay. It really was nice to be nominated.

Tonight was chicken fettucine with vodka sauce, a tossed salad, and chocolate covered strawberries (which Grant made). My kids just got spacers today (for braces), and they are in a little bit of pain, thus, dinner had to be soft and easily chewed. I had to sort of make up the recipe, so I can't post any guidelines. Basically, cook the chicken with olive oil and spices (garlic, oregano, onion, etc.) and then toss it with vodka sauce, cream, and butter (yes, I know, I know.).

Reading several good books - I will update later.

Happy Running!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Okay, since I'm still undecided on my racing plans for 2010, I have decided I will just keep blogging on other subjects :)

First, and most importantly, Food. I went and bought fresh green chile con queso tamales yesterday, and they were absolutely delicious! I'm not a big fan of regular red tamales, because the inside meat creeps me out. But chile con queso tamales, with fresh roasted green chiles? Oh my gosh! You can't beat them. We had them for dinner last night, with a salad, and then I had one again this morning for breakfast.

Second, Running. Or something like it. I ran an easy 3 miles around the neighborhood after sleeping in this morning. At 3:00 am, two ambulances careened into our neighborhood. I'm not sure what was going on, but it definitely got my adrenaline going. During my run, I did a quick sleuthing session to see if I could see what prompted their nocturnal visit, but nothing seemed amiss. I hope whomever they visited is okay.

Later in the morning, I did a 12 mile mountain bike ride on the river. It was such a nice ride - no wind, not too hot, not too cold. I don't ride to often, so it was a wonderful change of pace. My quads are even a little tight now :) This evening, I did another easy run just to loosen up my legs. Really, no significant miles were accumulated today, and that's okay. Well, sort of. I still feel guilty, but not guilty enough to go run some more.

Third. Okay, there really isn't a third, but I feel like no list is complete without a third. We had a great Spring Break in San Diego - weather was perfect. The boys were able to surf and boogie board, and I was able to run on the beach. Everyone was happy.

I read today that women tend to swing like a pendulum between depenndence and competition, and that they won't find true happiness until they find wholeness rather than the two extremes. Do you think that is true? And if it is true, how do you find wholeness?