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The Runs That Suck and How to Turn it Around.

Speed work was not happening last week. With each training cycle, I experience a crap week. It’s just a waiting game to see when it will happen. This time it was Week Seven… I had not one, but two (all speed training for the week) sessions that just did NOT go my way. Between coming off of the weekend course for USA Weightlifting and hitting Crossfit as hard as ever and lifting on my own, my legs were just beat up.

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Her legs must have been tired too…

During marathon training I was able to double up early morning Crossfit days with speed work later in the afternoon. I think it worked for marathoning because the pace is much slower than the half marathon training plan, but right now it’s too much. I’m going to start doing speed on Monday/Wednesday with CF on Tuesday/Thursday and hopefully this will give me one hard thing to focus on daily with more rest and recovery time between workouts.

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Friday afternoon I tried my best to get a tempo run in. A tempo I had put off from Thursday after CF with the hopes my legs would be recovered. Spoiler alert, they weren’t. I talk a lot about how smooth training is going and how my mental game is on point–> but that doesn’t mean there aren’t hard days where it’s tested.  There are many moments of self doubt, the urge to quit or having to battle with myself every step of the way, literally and metaphorically.

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Friday was one of those mental and physical test days. I had to pull out the big guns and warm up for 2 miles on a treadmill just to have a flat surface to shake out the legs. Once I got outside and started the speed portion, it took everything in me to keep from giving up completely and not walk back to the car. Every step was hard. With each footfall my quads were SCREAMING. Trying to hold a 6:50 mile, my “race pace” did not happen. I was struggling to maintain anything that felt fast-ish…hell, I was just struggling to run, period. Uphill hurt, downhill was worse. I never wanted a run to be over with so badly…

(the mile pacing below is deceptive, i stopped a lot during this run so if you include breaks i was much closer to a consistent 8-8:15/pace, but you can still see how I slowed and was no where near race pace.)

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So what do I do during these runs, because they happen and they happen more often than i like sharing on my Instagram feed. I do what I always do. I don’t give up and I turn on the self pep talk as much as I have to.

The hard runs make you stronger on race day. It’s the work you put in when no one’s around that’s important. Practicing how to coach yourself through these painful dark moments will be so clutch if you need to draw from it on race day.

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during a much better long run a few weeks back

Here’s the checklist I go through when the going gets tough–the tough get going! Keep that in mind and keep going!

  1. Are you hurt, injured, on the verge or being injured or just sore? Take a moment to actually listen to your body. Friday my quads were super sore from doing 57 back squats in CF the day before. No injuries, just super tight and fatigued. *If you feel like you’re riding the edge of injury STOP, take the day off and evaluate your training plan and take care of your body asap.
  2. Adjust your workout or move the workout to another day and take it easy. My mile repeats and tempo run became more of a fartlek and I went solely on effort! Effort when you’re tired or sore is still effective as long as you’re honest with the effort level for that day. Pace doesn’t always dictate effort!
  3. Be your own coach and talk yourself into a more positive mindset. Tell yourself you’re awesome, say your goals out loud, practice your mantras to see if they pull you out of the slump. I always end up with, “The hard is what makes it great!” “I am the strongest girl I know.” “I am a big brave dog.”
  4. Turn on the music. Play your power songs, your pump up jams, pull from the music you think might give you a little pep.
  5. Bribe yourself. Okay, i’m not proud of this one, but from time to time I pull out the ol’ if you don’t give up today you can get a Starbucks this afternoon trick…
  6. Be grateful for whatever your body gave you during that workout. Don’t beat yourself up, don’t be hard on yourself. No matter how bad or awful you may have felt, be grateful your body gave you something on the given day.

Once the workout is done you will feel better and make gains, even if the gain was mental training prep. <—which is, in my opinion the most important part. If you still feel like you had a terrible run, like I said, don’t let it ruin your day. Just know that a string of bad runs means a good one is around the corner!

Week of 1/23-1/29

Monday: 5m easy 9:30/p

Tuesday: Crossfit

Wednesday: 10m interval (1.5m repeats- sort of became 1000s because I took a break halfway in between each one. oh well)

Thursday: Crossfit

Friday: 8m tempo 8:07/pace (tempo-ing didn’t really happen, so i just tried to maintain a hard effort in the wind and hills and sore legs!), 30 min upper body

Saturday: 11.1m long 9:15/pace

Sunday: 6m easy 9:15/pace, barbell skill work: Power Cleans + volume deadlifts

Total Miles: 40.1

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Last Week 1/15-1/22

Monday: 5m easy 9:06/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 10.5m interval ( 6 x 1m @ 6:35/pace)

Wednesday: 5m easy 8:41/pace

Thursday: Crossfit, 9m tempo (6m @ 6:53/pace)

Friday:  15 min row

Saturday: 6m easy 9:10/pace

Sunday: 10m long 8:33/pace

Total Miles: 45.5

How do you get yourself through a bad run?

Favorite running mantra?

 

 


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5 Friday Favorites #3

Happy Friday! My favorites this week kinda turned into training gear i’ve been digging, hope you enjoy. I’ve been getting back to the grind of half marathon training, juggling a few new projects, pinning nutrition down and trying to get a ton of sleep. It’s been exhausting but so worth every day of it. Of course i’ll share with you along the way, bear with me as I get back into the flow of blogging!

73 Threads I’m now an ambassador for 73Threads shirts! These are super soft and super geared toward runners/triathletes/local beer drinkers, which makes me happy. Use my code “shesgoingthedistance” for 10% off at their website checkout. www.73threads.com

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United We Run- love this one!

Garmin Vivoactive HR I won this from Jess @PaceofMe on Instagram, and i’m in love with it. It’s the first watch i’ve owned that sits on my wrist comfortably and reads an accurate heart rate. It can log indoor runs and indoor rowing which i will use a ton! And of course if I can customize the face to be Star Wars related it wins my heart.

KFT Sports Bras I don’t use these to run in, although i have. They are my Crossfit/cross training/everyday bras. They are so comfortable and pretty i can’t handle it. Every time they release a new color i have to have it! I’m not affiliated with them, but you can check them out at KFT Brands.

-Front/back for the Lighten Up bra – and yes for the record, i hang out in sports bras and sweats a lot.

Front/back of X-factor bra, 2 different colors. The jade, is my favorite color!

 

Brooks Launch 3s These shoes were my marathon shoes, the ones that carried me to a Boston Qualifier, so maybe it’s why I hold them close to my heart. Or maybe it’s because they are light without a ton of cushion and keep my ankles in place? They’re a great shoe. I have them in two colors and they have been the ones I reach for most often when I head outside.

Reebok Nanos I’m obsessed. I have 3 pairs and have only been doing Crossfit since August. haha. A big reason I love the Nanos – I can stand up in them for hours without my feet hurting. (remember i’m on my feet all day at the gym) So i use them while training clients, then I use them to cross train in. They are a 4mm drop shoe that keeps me comfortable and stable for any type of workout.

Left: Nano 6, Middle: Nano 5, Right: Nano 2

Have a fantastic weekend! I’ll be taking a 2-day USA Weightlifting course Saturday and Sunday!

Last Week 1/9-1/15

Monday: 6m easy 9:34/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 8m intervals (12 x 400s @ 6:15/pace)

Wednesday: 5.5m easy 9:08/pace

Thursday: Lower body (back squats)

Friday: 6.2 easy 8:57/pace

Saturday: Crossfit, 7m tempo (5m @ 6:53/pace)

Sunday: 12m long 8:56/pace

Total Miles: 44.7

What brands for running or cross training are you liking right now?

Favorite running shoe?

 

 

 

 


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2016, 2017, 20:09, One of these things is not like the other ;)

2016 was a big fitness year. I saw huge improvements week to week, month to month, race to race. Pr’d the half, full, 10k and a few past goals of mine were finally checked off a list (beer mile, Ragnar, Spartan) and i’m realizing I have no limits as long as I continue to train between the ears.

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from saturday’s 10 miler

I don’t have resolutions or goals for 2017. I peeked back at my old resolutions and a lot of them are time goals for certain distances, trying different types of races (like obstacle course racing & Ragnars) and to be happy. I’m still conquering those times and distances while constantly trying to become a better, more well-rounded athlete while balancing home and work life, and challenging myself in ways I didn’t think possible. As long as I’m growing as a person and reaching for the next thing, I’m happy.

Those are my constant, daily resolutions. Each morning when the alarm goes off I make choices based on the person I want to be and the things I want to accomplish. If i’m running, lifting, coffee-ing and smiling, life is going to be beautiful.

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I kicked off 2017 on New Year’s Day at a local 5k event. No parties for me, just a pan of brownies, a beer (apparently i was carbo-loading for 3.1 miles) and an early bedtime so I could run hard the next morning and figure out reasonable training paces for the next half marathon. (March 11th, DC Rock n’ Roll 1/2)

I caught up with fellow Nuun Ambassadors Colleen & Jim!

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Recapping a 5K is so strange. It goes by too fast to remember, and hurts so good you kinda don’t mind forgetting. I’ll say this, I ran to hurt. I wanted to see where my fitness was and get some realistic paces I could use for my next training cycle. This was the first hard effort since the marathon in November. And for a first hard effort, I’m happy.

New Year's Day 5K 2017 - Photo by Dan Reichmann, MCRRC

Jim’s pushing the stroller

I’ve never quite mastered how to pace a 5K. I positive split my way to a PR somehow and I’ll take it. 20:09, 1st overall female. I gained 171 ft of elevation during these 3.1 miles. It wasn’t the easiest course, but it was a perfect day for a race.

New Year's Day 5K 2017 - Photo by Dan Reichmann, MCRRC

Next up is Leo’s Run 5k on February 5th, which is held on one of my favorite running paths in Silver Spring, MD. It’s for a great cause, so if you’re local, sign up and hang out! If you don’t want to run but still want to donate head over to http://www.leosrun.org/ and read how you can help!

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The following weekend on February 11th is another 5k for a cause! Cupid’s Undie Run.This is a 5k Silver Spring Crossfit does annually and raises money for Neurofibromatosis, a disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerve endings in the body. So our box will brave the cold, raise money and lower our pants. Should be a fun one! If you’d like to donate to my page click the picture below and if you want to run with me, sign up and we’ll have a very awkward first meet n’ greet! hah

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Week of 12/26-1/1 

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Crossfit, 8.5m easy 7:44/pace

Wednesday: 10.1m easy 7:59/pace

Thursday: Crossfit

Friday: 5m easy 9:15/pace, 30min single leg work

Saturday: 12m easy 8:26/pace, 30min total body

Sunday: New Year’s Day 5k 20:09 6:28/pace (total miles 5.3 with warm up/cool down), 30min upper body

Total Miles: 40.9

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Week of 1/2-1/8

Monday: 5m easy 9:55/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 8m interval (8 x 800s @ 6:20/pace)

Wednesday: 5.3 easy 8:30/pace, 1hr Deadlifts

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 7m tempo (5m @ 6:53/pace)

Saturday: Crossfit, 10m long 8:36/p

Sunday: 6.2m easy 9:08/p, 1hr squats/cleans

Total Miles: 41.5

What’s next on your race calendar?

Who ran in snow this weekend!?