Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Playing catch-up, August numbers, New Runners & Nutrition

Seems like I'm doing a LOT of playing catch-up lately, on this blog and in real life.  I'd really, really wanted to document every week of my training for NYCM on here, and I started off great, but as the demands of running 35+ miles a week grew (at a 10:30+/mile pace), the time for deep thought and introspection shrunk in direct relation.  Throw in the demands of getting two boys back to school and a husband with a full-time job and a 30-mile commute, plus that pesky work thing, and the time just escaped me.

Which is a bummer, because there are so many great and wonderful things going on with my training and my preparations for NYCM and beyond.  So, since we're now at the end of August, let's just do a quick highlight of all the stuff that's gone one since my last entry, and get all caught up and stuff.
  • August was my highest-mileage month ever:  176 miles in 31 days. As someone pointed out, it's nice to have five Sundays in a month so we get five long runs, but still. This is a full 44 miles more than my next-closest mileage month, which was July... before that, June... In the last three months, I've run a total of 439 miles. 
  • My weekly mileage will not go below 40 miles from now until taper for NYCM. This week will be a bit of an anomaly with 36 miles, as I shuffle my 20-miler to Monday on Labor Day, but the following week will make up for it with 57 miles scheduled  - and that DOES include a rest day! Holy cow! Feets don't fail me now!
  • I have run more than 900 miles so far in 2010, and am 100 miles ahead of pace to meet my goal of 1200 miles this year.  Considering that the September schedule calls for another 170 miles, I'm in good shape toward reaching that goal. 
  • I have not missed a single NYCM workout thus far in nine weeks of training and have hit 100% of my scheduled mileage every week, with one notable exception. I cut one run short, but it was an 18-mile day and I instead did 13 miles on trails, which from a time and effort standpoint, was equivalent in my mind. Plus, I've never had an 18-miler so early in my training cycle, and I did an extra run on another day to bring my mileage to 97% for the week so  I was totally fine with it. 
  • I paced my friend Jason as he ran his first half-marathon at the Hottest Half this month.  He first ran a 5k in January of this year, and chose the hardest half in Texas, condition-wise, to become a half-marathoner. He's made phenomenal progress in the past 8 months and is training for his first full at White Rock this year. It's been so much fun to see him become an awesome, hard-core, bad-a$$ runner guy.

  • Oh yeah, Hottest Half. They weren't kidding. Ran out of water on the course, people dropping from the heat, cyclists running us over on the paths. Wow. Read more here - I don't have the energy to go into it again. Suffice it to say I will NOT be doing this race next year. 
  • I continue to love to run with as many different people as possible, as much as possible. We're trying to get the Red Light Runners up and going again after the summer break - a few of us have met sporadically for Wednesday night runs throughout the heat even! Among the highlights of August was running with my girls Mel and Kris as they extended their limits and ran their first 18-miler in preparation for Chicago on 10/10/10.  There's something about running with friends that make the miles fly, and I love running with as many different people as I can! I'll get to run with them again, and Marci, too, as we go for 20 miles this weekend! WOOT!
  • I've discovered trail running. Yeah. Thanks to Sarah, who is amongst the most awesome, amazing, genuine people I have ever met, I ventured out on the trails out at the Oak Cliff Nature Preserve. We did 13 miles of up and down, over and across rocks, tree roots, ravines, inclines, grass, all kinds of stuff. It was beyond awesome. And I got hooked. Big-time. It's such a different type of experience than a road workout. Expect much more to come on this front!
  • I've just set up two more friends on walking/running plans for their first races. One friend is working on her first 5k next month and another is gearing up for his first full in November. It is so much fun to share the knowledge I've gleaned over the past seven years with friends old and new, and to do what I can to bring more people to an active lifestyle.  
  • I definitely have a plan in place for Marathon Maniacs, and will be doing the Tyler Marathon on 10/10 as a supported training run, then NYC, then White Rock in December. 
  • I've kinda gone nuts with the race entries lately! Besides the marathons above (neither of which I've signed up for yet - gotta wait for the right time in the pay cycle!), I'm also doing these races (see the full list on my sidebar in the Daily Mile widget, too!)

    • Spur On Run for the Kids - another friend of mine will be running his first 10K, so I'll be pacing him to a strong finish at this one
    • Heels & Hills & Him  - I'm pacing! If you want to come in at 2:40 for this half, stick with me & I'll get you there!
    • Chupacabra Night Trail race - Need I say more? This was one that I signed up for automatically, just because it sounded so cool!! and the shirt? I NEED that shirt!
    • Rockledge Rumble - 15k - the 30k and 50k are more hard-core, but I didn't feel confident enough to sign up for that distance on trails so soon after NYC, so this is just a get-your-feet-wet race on trails for me, but I'm pumped for it!
    • New Year's Day Half-Marathon - this is a new race my friend Libby is directing - couldn't pass up the chance for a medal that read 1/1/11, now could I? 

The biggest thing is that I spent a month working very closely with a nutritionist, on both timing and content of all of my meals.  She spent a lot of time talking to me about my goals and doing all the standard measurements and stuff before we got started.  The most enlightening thing about working with her is that she told me that my "goal" weight, that I had so agonized over for months and years, is actually quite unrealistic for my body composition. So we recalibrated expectations and I have to say that I've been pleased so far with the results. I got four weeks of meal plans, complete with grocery lists, meals and snacks timed and coordinated to my specific workouts for each week, and she took my weekly feedback and weight loss into account when setting up the next week's plan.

Over the course of four weeks, I lost a total of about four pounds, which isn't a whole lot, but it is right in line with what we had expected, and more than I've been able to lose on my own. What's made most of an impact is not drastic weight loss, however, but the change in how I view food and my cravings for sugar and sweets. Plus, by following her plans for myself, the entire family has learned to eat better, and we've cut our eating out from about three-four times a week to once, on Sunday lunch (that's my "Enjoy this Meal" reward meal for the mongo calorie burn off my slow long runs). So those two results alone have made it worthwhile.  When you factor in that you can actually see some muscles in my legs (FINALLY - AFTER SIX YEARS) and that my clothes is fitting so much better, I'm thrilled.  I will be using her plans to work my own daily intake for the next month, and then follow up with her again as I get ready for taper into NYC, just to make sure that I am as fine-tuned as I can be going into that race.

Whew.  That was a lot for one month, huh?  I guess it might be better if I just keep up with this week to week, huh?  At least you wouldn't need a giant cup of coffee to get through it!!  I'll try to do better for September, but we shall see! Peace out!

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