Sunday, July 12, 2015

Mile High of Fun

Summer is going so fast.  Its already past the 4th of July even though it seems like summer is just getting started. I spent the 4th of July weekend in Colorado a mile high and having so much fun. Before I know it,  I'll be having to wake up a 7th grader to catch the bus, turning lights on earlier and watching football games. I have been trying to soak up as much of summer as I can. Its been challenging thanks to the never-ending rain. I worked hard on making my patio but haven't sat out there as much as I want to because it keeps getting soaked.   The flowers grass and weeds seem happy though.
proof I've been out having fun; weeds are happy

I've been having fun using 5ks to get faster running and have been challenging myself to make each one faster. No, I didn't travel to Colorado just to do a 5k, but did happen to race a Firecracker 5k on the 4th.  With jet lag, altitude and a night of fun from the Greeley Stampede the night before I managed to win my AG and score some very cool prizes. Local pottery and $$, and I was even faster than my last 5k, by a smidge.  
Fort Collins, can throw a good 5k

This weekend I managed to drop my time some more and get 3rd OA in a local race.  It's becoming a fun mission to see where it will go. As the long marathon miles start to really go up I am not sure how many more I will be getting in.  I'm starting back up being coached by Jen Harrison and know she will point me in the right direction and keeping me on track. Too many random acts of training for me to stay focused for a marathon without some guidance.

Colorado for the 4th was another amazing adventure. 
Just a little excited to go for a hike

We took a post 5k hike in the evening to the top of Horsetooth Rock and caught a beautiful sunset before watching the fireworks down below in towns all along the front range. 

Top of the Rock
Beautiful Sunset, no filter

We hiked down in the dark with headlamps and I couldn't quit laughing at how fun it was. To recover from the 4th we spent the day on SUP boards on Horsetooth Resevoir paddling and floating on the water. I didn't manage a headstand on the board, but did maintain balance with a few yoga poses.  Um, yea I pretty much didn't stop smiling all weekend.

I've started writing articles for the Fox Valley Marathon Newsletter as Advocate where I work is a primary sponsor of the race.   The newsletter comes in a PDF form, but here is a small portion of some of the first one I wrote.  Since I preach this every day at work, I am going to try my best to follow my own advice during my marathon journey. 

I still love my bike and am going to keep riding to break the running, cross train, and keep some biking miles going into CX season. 

Countdown to the 2015 Fox Valley Marathon

As the countdown begins to this year’s Fox Valley Marathon and 1/2 Marathon it is time to begin thinking about taking all the necessary steps to make it to race day healthy and ready to race. Whether it’s your first marathon or your 20th, make this marathon experience positive by incorporating all the right components into your training.  There are all types of runners at the starting line. New runners, experienced runners, runners who run mega miles,  runners who have all the right gear and look really good but forget to do the work, social runners, lonely runners, super fast runners and runners who have done all it takes to have a successful race.  Be a complete runner and fit all pieces of the marathon puzzle into your training to make it to the starting line healthy, injury free and ready for a great race experience.    

There is a lot that goes into a complete marathon training program, more than just logging in huge miles or buying the right gear.  Marathon training can be exhausting and draining especially to newcomers. It is challenging to push your body to make the necessary physical adaptation to run 26.2 miles, while continuing to live life, go to work care for kids , maintain a home and job.  Make your marathon experience the best it can be by incorporating all the correct pieces into your training plan.

A complete marathon program should include:

-A plan with structure:  rather than haphazardly training or doing what your friends do, have a plan with structure to follow. A plan that  builds the volume necessary appropriately yet allows time for rest and adaptation so the body can absorb the work you've taxed it with.  Repeated stress without subsequent rest can lead to injury illness, fatigue or burnout.

-Proper strength and flexibility: the body is a puzzle in which all pieces must fit together to move efficiently.  Its easy for some muscle groups to become too tight from being overused, while others become weak leading to muscle imbalances, overuse syndromes,  and even stress fractures and beyond. Keep all the moving parts flexible and strong to prevent injury.

- Proper form and mechanics: If you’re interested in running with less pain,  improving your time, or even seeking a Boston qualification, or just getting to the finish as efficiently as you can,  have your run form, strength and flexibility analyzed. An assessment and gait analysis can address the changes necessary to make the correct improvements. Check out the SEP ( sports enhancement program) at Advocate/Dreyer for a complete assessment to help you get to the finish line as efficiently as you can.

-Plans for recovery and injury prevention:  take appropriate measures in injury prevention, by listening to your body, taking rest when needed,  seeking professional advice when pain might appear. If you have pain that doesn't diminish with 48 hours of taking some rest, and interferes with normal daily activities, seek help from medical professionals who can help get you back on the training plan sooner rather than later.

-Nutrition and hydration plan: marathon training can be taxing and drain the body. Having appropriate fuel pre workout, during and post workout make make a huge impact in the outcome of the training the workout or the race. Recovering properly so the next workouts can be obtained can make a huge difference in the overall training experience

-Knowledge of the course; being educated on the course, where the hills and turns are located, where the aid stations are, can be extremely beneficial and increase your confidence on race day. Take time to familiarize  yourself with the layout of the course, the sponsored nutrition/hydration that will be supported on race day, as well as take advantage of the pre course preview runs offered to help prepare yourself to be race ready.

and much more!