Terrible, No Good, Very Bad RUNS

Have you ever had a terrible, no good, very bad run? What made it “bad”?

No one asks you at the start line if you have trained for that event. There is no required coach to report to before the event to explain your readiness.  What’s the point to invest time into preparing for months, for free?  Simple, even though running is with your feet, it has the power to influence the mind… almost in that order!

5. SPIRIT: Find joy in executing a strategy

4. HEAD: Challenge Your Quitting Range

3: HEART: Seek Strength in new Types of Discomfort

2. STOMACH: Learn about your nutrition & digestion

1. LEGS/FEET: Practice the physical effort

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Years of ignorance to realization

I have known that my left leg is longer than the right, but did not think it was so major of an issue. For the past few days I spent focused on running on a narrow line (run drill thanks to coach Jose) and the pain became pronounced. My left knee bends inward and leg loops around to make up for size difference. Meanwhile the right leg is spending more time on ground stressing the Achilles (an injury I have been dealing with for years). Aside from this causing pain, it is adding unnecessary non forward motion distance costing me time. Solution? I am going to remove the left insole of all my shoes to hopefully fix this.

Pics of what I’m talking about:

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Injuryman

While it may be prevented to extents with diet, strength training, etc, Injury in Sport is inevitable.  I started a pure focus on triathlon after I couldn’t power lift anymore.  I was dead-lifting near 3 times my body weight daily… then one day my neighbor decides to talk to me in the middle of the lift. *POP*.  Blown disc. I recovered and tried to work my way back up to my previous abilities, but re-injured myself. It was my passion, the mental part of not being able to continue hurt the most… So I had to divert my energy to other endeavors.  Still on this new path, I did obtain other injuries.  They will happen, its just how you deal with them that matters:

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Toilet: Friend or Foe?

How you view your toilet relationship can either make or break your day.

Through trial and many errors I’ve corrected the most annoying causes of slow and/or just unprepared runs. Although it can be discouraging to see patterns, take responsibility and plan ahead to prevent them, but it’s possible! One of the most important has been the topic that most people, especially females, don’t talk about: Toilet time. Runners have to embrace the relationship with the toilet because it directly sits between you and your exercise goals. Until the bathroom obstacles are ironed out, it will really be frustrating to get any type of run done – regardless of time of day.

The reason people drink coffee before a run, isn’t only for the caffeine.. it’s to speedup the bowel movements. Someone asked me recently, how many times I stop to use the bathroom during the marathon. I chuckled because, ZERO! I do not stop DURING the marathon to use the bathroom because in training I know how many times it takes me to be able to run 20 miles with no bathroom… and I wake-up with enough time to calmly handle that before my activity.

When Roger started running back in 2008, he’d take toilet paper with him & as a semi-supportive non-interested girlfriend at the time, I thought it was the grossest thing to even think about.  Now that I have gotten into cycling as well, I know that toilet paper is essential part of a training toolkit to: Clean your hands if your chain falls, tissue for your nose, bathroom in the bushes, or clean up blood if you crash.

When I roll out of bed and start my run with zero preparation, it takes exactly 2 miles to need to poop.  If I drink water and wake up 15 mins before, then the Mile 2 bathroom pit stop is clear. By adding at least a 15 minute of warm-up activity before your workout begins, you’ll be able to cross off any remaining toilet issues from a 1-hour session.  Another alternative to coffee induced bowels is to just drink a glass of water when you wake up, and wait. I love not using the bathroom during a run MORE than sleep, it’s worth it.

Pre-Run Dinner

Of course the morning bathroom status depends on the meals the previous day. In training, I also learn what to eat and what not to eat during peak training season when running on consecutive mornings. I notice when I skip meals, or eat junk instead of a balanced nutritious meal, it makes me irregular which changes my body’s performance limitations and how my body feels in general.

What’s your number?

In my run today, I went before leaving home then I drank a coffee, which wasn’t early enough before my run to be able to process the consequences. As a result, I ended up having to go multiple times during the run… and each time I continued running I went faster, felt lighter, felt more agile. The body doesn’t care WHEN the bowels happen, it just cares if it happens.  All you do is get up early, much earlier, and go as many times as your body needs to BEFORE the run.

Based on today’s test and the last few years, I think I have a chart lined up:

  • Low fiber meals & Irregular bowels during the week: 10+ minute miles
  • 1 daily bowel: 9 minute miles
  • 1 bowel before the run: 8 minute mile
  • 2 bowels before the run: 7 minute mile
  • 3-4 bowels before the run: 6 or lower minute mile
  • 5+ bowels is diarrhea and you shouldn’t run or go into a pool for 14 days.

The toilet relationship can be peaceful, as long as you respect it’s boundaries. Do not ignore that the toilet is part of the RUN session.  You must live out the consequences of waking up last minute or eating poorly the night before, by being forced to make nature your bathroom wherever it feels like.  You can conquer this, you can control this.  Respect the toilet time & rules, and in turn, you’ll have light, agile and faster run efforts.

Carlsbad Half Marathon 1:40 Pacers (as a couple)

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Roger was worried about this guy to the left, as he was with us the whole was till that last half mile dropped back. But we looked up his results and he got the goal with chip time!

To lead a pacer group is a right of passage for a runner who’s simultaneously likeable and capable of controlling his/her performance to the second.  After the past few years of focusing on our own running capabilities, we wanted to give back.  Roger signed us up to join the Road Runner Sports pacing group for Carlsbad Half Marathon this year.   The idea was to pace the same 1:40 group together. What an honor & sweet date! I would be returning to Carlsbad Half Marathon, which was my first 13.1 mile race in 2012, as a pacer.  Luckily, Roger paced the same group at Silver Strand Half, so he knew what needed to be done.

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Fashion on the Blue Carpet: KONA 2014 Highlights

Early on one of Roger’s selling points to me on triathlon was since I liked changing into multiple outfits, triathletes get to do that a lot in training and racing. It totally worked! I now have almost as much swim/bike/run clothes as I do work clothes. Putting giggles aside, let’s talk best and worst dressed at KONA 2014.

Where’s the light out of this darkness?

Swim  It was the only area of sport that’s still underwhelming as far as design creativity.  Only a couple color burst speedsuits stood out in the sea of black, so hopefully more brands will start to “lighten it up” in the water.  It could be because the water is so tropically amazing that the only color that doesn’t blend into the corals for pictures is black?

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5 Lessons on Effective Fitness Recovery

a.baa-Take-A-Rest-After-Hard-DayGoing from 1st marathon ever last year to 5 marathons this year while also racing all distances of triathlons requires some serious recovery sessions. Feeling every bone in my feet, and aches in leg muscles I didn’t even know could hurt makes me want to lay for days like this puppy.  As an ignorant/stubborn endurance athlete, I used to just know two modes: ON or OFF.

BUT – here are a few things I learned about recovering that have helped me in getting faster and stronger.

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