Monthly Archives: February 2015

“ICE-ing on the race” week.

So, I am in week 12 of a 19, training for a 62 mile race. When you are training for a 50+ mile race, most of the time part of the plan is to run at least a marathon and a 50K before your designated race.

I choose to taper before each training race distance. I guess you could call it a mini taper. It is not necessary to taper before these training races, but I like the mental break. For my target race, Zion 100K I will do a traditional 3 week taper.

This week in Middle Tennessee. . . lots of ice and a bit of snow and temps ranging from 0-22 degrees. This weather system shut down school for a week and made running impossible, if not treacherous on the roads. Here’s how I adapted and enjoyed my running/taper week. Add this to your bag of tricks, when weather challenges your training.

Tuesday I met at my neighbor’s house for an impromptu interval class. I planned an hour’s worth of activity.  Repeat each group of four bullet points 3 times. My goal was to design a workout that included an easy cardio interval that was guaranteed to raise the heart rate,  one compound exercise per set (compound exercise= exercise targeting two muscle groups at once, like a squat combined with a shoulder press), stay on your feet for the exercises until the last set and to do 20 reps per exercise.

  • up and down on one stair step as quickly as you can for 1 minute
  • squat/shoulder press 20x
  • 1 minute 20 second wall sit
  • lat pull down with a resistance band 20x
  • up and down on one stair step as quickly as you can
  • plies with hammer curl 20x
  • tricep press with the band 20x each arm
  • bent over rows with free weights 20x
  •  up and down on one stair step as quickly as you can for 1 minute
  • inner thigh exercise with the band 20x each leg
  • planks 60 seconds with variations, depending on strength
  • push ups with arm raise to the side 10x

Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday . . . THE TREADMILL for many a runner this conjures up negative feelings,  boredom, unchanging scenery, inside, hot, time limits, etc. Friends-I shared this same opinion until this week. I’ve run 5-7-7 miles this week all on the treadmill.

My favorite plan? I like to spend the first 3 miles warming up. (It is great to have a friend with you, during this part. It helps to keep your pace easy and the talking is distracting.) At mile 4, I am ready to run some hills. Here’s how I do my hill intervals. You could do something similar with speed and no hills by using each quarter mile to gradually increase speed without changing incline.

  • miles 1-3 warm up. I set mine to 5.8/0%incline
  • miles 4.0-4.25 speed 5.8/1% incline
  • miles 4.25-4.5 speed 5.8/1.5% incline
  • miles 4.5-4.75 speed 5.8/2% incline
  • miles 4.75-5 speed 5.8/0.5% incline
  • miles 5-5.25 speed 5.9/1% incline
  • miles 5.25-5.5 speed 5.9/1.5% incline
  • miles 5.5-5.75 speed 5.9/2% incline
  • miles 5.75-6 speed 5.9/1% incline
  • miles 6-6.25 speed 6.1/1.5% incline
  • miles 6.25-6.5 speed 6.1/2% incline
  • miles 6.5-6.75 speed 6.1/3% incline
  • miles 6.75-7.25 cool down speed 5.8/0% incline

I’m racing the Dry Creek Marathon this Sunday! Race report to follow.

I would love your feedback!

What is your favorite workout on the treadmill?

What is your go to gym workout?


Putting Patience Into Practice

I thought I “got” the definition of patience, until I looked it up.

The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. 2. An ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay. 3. Quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence.

I have heard ultra runners talk about patience and I do not think that I fully understood this concept, until I ran 50 miles and until, now, I am training for 62.

In a sport where the ultimate goal is typically to get from the starting line to the finish line as quickly as possible, it might seem counter-intuitive to suggest that one of the key skills in mastering such an activity is patience. However, after two decades in the sport, I have come to the distinct conclusion that patience is critically important for success in ultrarunning and particularly important for runners seeking longevity. -Andy Jones-Wilkins, 7 Time Western States 100 Top-Ten Finisher

And that’s where the biggest word in ultrarunning, in my opinion, is patience. You’ve got to have a lot of patience. Even when you’re running a marathon all of a sudden you feel like you want to get there. You get panicky kind of. You’re not doing what you want to do, and you panic. It gets crazy. You get so hyper about it. And you’ve got to just let it go and let it come and you’ll get there. Be patient. -Pam Reed, Badwater 135 Legend

Practicing Patience. . .

This week was a tough training week for me. I ran 13.5 on the trail on Monday. I ran 5.5 on the track and 3.5 on the road Tuesday. Then, I ran 12.5 on Wednesday with the intention of doing 24. Wednesday was HORRIBLE. I think it was the first time in the history of race training that I was contemplating a “way out”. It felt SO hard. It was not until I looked at my pace at mile 7 that I noticed I was running too fast for a 5+ hour training run. I wanted to be around 14:30-15:00 pace. My average at mile 7 was 12:35. I was lucky to finish 12.5 miles. My body was wiped out. My legs were dead.

Now, my left calf  (the one I pulled last summer) was bothering me. I went home and compressed and iced it. It was the kind of feeling, like, if I moved it the wrong way or if I did any explosive-type movement, I would re-injure it. I was supposed to rest Thursday and run 6 on Friday. I took both days off, I was worried about my calf and I needed to rest. I sat down to evaluate the last couple of days of running to figure out why Wednesday was so hard. I was hard because I did TOO much on Monday and Tuesday. Both combined left me with tired legs and probably a worn out calf going into Wednesday.

Saturday arrived with miles to run, the sunlight and two fun running partners. I am happy to say that I completed 23 miles on the trail, in 5 hours and 36 minutes. I added 3.2 miles on the road in 33 minutes. Hurt so good! It was the patience for the first 13 miles that helped me finish 26.2. Our pace was easy, 15:30 and our eating was dialed. My calf did not bother me at all.




True North

“Keep your compass oriented to true north – true north is a strong guiding force, no hype, no false prophets, no guruism, and no quick fixes – Just straight facts. What is true north? It is quite simple, nothing fancy or especially trendy, it is the basics. It is fundamental movements progressing to more complex movements as the fundamental movement skills are mastered. It is sound training principles guiding the training. It is training connections, rhythm, coordination and movement problem solving ability. Just the basics repeated in as many different iterations as is appropriate for your athletes. Keep it simple and if in doubt make simpler because I have said many times simplicity yields complexity.” –Vern Gambetta

If you have not heard of Vern Gambetta, please follow the link I set up. I love the words that he shares about coaching on his blog. He keeps it simple and apt. Here’s the haps, broken down into easy to bite paragraphs. 🙂

LIFE: I’m at an interesting place in my life right now. Of course STILL loving the 40s, specifically 43 and STILL loving everything related to running. 🙂 Just finding that the busy-ness is also bringing a touch of loneliness. I read a blog entry titled, “Dear Lonely Mom of Older Kids. It put the words to my feelings. I’ve got two kids in plays, two kids in ice skating and two kids in piano. My third comes along for the ride with a content attitude.

RACING: Readers! I just signed up for Zion 100K in Virgin, Utah. This will be my main endeavor this spring. I also signed up for the Dry Creek Trail Marathon, as part of a training check-up for Zion. I have a 50K on the schedule, but I have not decided on a race, yet. 

TRAINING: I’m in week 10/19. Last week was my 3rd week over 61 miles in the past 4 weeks. It really is a lot of running. I think that it seems like a lot of running because I am on the trail for most of my miles over 10. With 60+ miles on the schedule, there are a considerable amount of runs on the trail. This means 3 hours to run 13 trail miles versus 2 hours for 13 road miles, for example. I am sure to be on the trail for at least 4 hours or more twice a week. A few tidbits from the past few days.

Sometimes motivation doesn’t show up until mile 2.-Kay O’Connell

Training is part of the adventure. There’s a lot you can do with 68 miles. Don’t let it become boring.

Today, I practiced ‘bounding’ and running faster. You need to run fast, to run fast. It felt good. I opened my stride. The power to move came from my hips.

Run epically. . .

20 miles on the trail is becoming normal.

TRACK: So we are back at it! We are running the track before the sun barely rises, so that requires a headlamp. Thought I would hate it, but it is okay. As the sun rises, you can ditch the lamp. My absolute fav part? EACH person who joins me on the track. I design the workout and bring the pace and plan. They show up. I am blessed to know these runners. I would not miss Tuesday. They inspire me.

LOVING: Juice Beauty Raspberry facial cleansing milk. They sell this online and at Whole Foods. I am loving the Moringa muscle soak from Thistle Farms. They sell this at Whole Foods too. I treat myself (quite a lot) to Talenti Gelato. Carmel Cookie Crunch is my fav. They sell this at Publix, Kroger and Whole Foods. I’m wearing my Speed Tight II, full-on luxtreme tights from Lululemon, at least 3-4 times a week.  I LOVE the deep side pockets on each leg. I can put my cell or at least 2 gels per side. I’m still wearing my Nike Kiger’s. They fit like a glove.

MY SPIRIT:  One question, “Am I becoming a little less like Liz and a little more like Jesus?” Really going to push into this question, right now. Not sure what “push in” will mean, but I have an idea.

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. -C. S. Lewis Mere Christianity

TRUE NORTH: That quote is applicable to every facet of life, every season, every bold, italicized heading I chose. I have to reorient to True North at least once a day. . . nothing fancy, or especially trendy, just the basics.