Friday, August 31, 2012

Training: Week 8

Sunday begins week 8 of my half marathon training schedule but since I am not sure how much writing I will be able to do between now and then I thought I would take this opportunity to share next week’s training schedule with you today.
Since I have decided to continue my training after the half marathon in order to run the Austin marathon in February my current training schedule is a hybrid of a half marathon training plan and full marathon training plan. It took someone monkeying around but I finally was able to come up with a training schedule that I think will work out nicely.
My normal training week now consists of four days running, 1-2 days cross training, and 1-2 days rest. My shorter runs are scheduled during the week and my longer run is typically scheduled on Saturdays. However, for this week, September 2nd through the 8th (freaking crazy that tomorrow is September 1st!!!) there is technically no long run on the books because I will be running in the Alamo City Beer Challenge- Mission Possible 10K which is actually on Sunday the 9th. So as it stands I only have three runs on the schedule this week.
Sunday: Cross-training - our normal Sunday bike ride which is about 25-35 miles depending
Monday: SARR Whine Run 5 Miler - since this race is at 8am opposed to my last 5 miler which was at 630p I am hoping to finish in a much better time
Tuesday: Intervals. Yay for speed work at the track
Wednesday: Cross-training day so I am going to hot Vinyasa yoga with my favorite person, Tricia J
Thursday: 3 mile tempo run. I really am going to try and do this run in 30 minutes, that’s my goal
Friday: my normal rest day before my long runs but as I mentioned above my long run isn’t until Sunday so I will be hitting the pool Friday morning
Saturday: rest day. Well that’s the plan. I may end up trying to get in a bike ride since I will be missing my normal ride on Sunday. We’ll see.
I am hoping that going forward I will also be able to include my meal plan in these posts as well but I haven’t finalized it as of yet. So if you have any yummy (vegan friendly) snack or dinner ideas I would love hear them!  I am a self-proclaimed creature of habit but I am ready to switch it up for September so I welcome your feedback!
Tomorrow I am hitting the trails for a nine mile run. I’ll be on the same trail I have been running on the past few weeks but tomorrow I won’t be running on that slippery boardwalk J To help prepare for my long run I opted for a sandwich today instead of my normal salad for lunch.  A hummus, avocado, and veggie sandwich on a plain carb-filled bagel. It was quite yummy. Paul and I are planning on a low-key night in tonight, probably watching Prison Break, so hopefully I will be well rested in the AM.
Wish me luck; going for a new long distance tomorrow and yep, I am quite nervous and excited.
What are you doing this week/weekend? Are you training for something or just being active for the fun of it?
Happy Labor Day- have a fun and safe weekend!
"That's the thing about running: your greatest runs are rarely measured by racing success. They are moments in time when running allows you to see how wonderful your life is."  -Kara Goucher

Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Favorite Tuesday Hangout

When I made the decision to train for the half marathon this upcoming November I told Paul that I would need to see Tricia, my Thai Yoga therapy practitioner, at least twice a month.   I knew that one of the best ways for me to stay healthy and injury-free throughout my training was to attend regular Thai yoga sessions. My logic is if I am about to push my body harder than I ever had before then I better take every opportunity available to help it recover as best it can.
Thai yoga is great. I think of it as a trip to the yoga studio, the spa (for a massage) and chiropractor all rolled into one.  I found this great website about Thai massage that has a couple slideshows. If you have a minute go check out the site and you will get a better understanding of what my sessions with Tricia are like.
Other than the fact that it makes me feel great afterwards there are many benefits to Thai yoga therapy.
Jongkrak's Thai Massage Academy website lists them as such:
Physical Benefits of Thai Massage
• Help detoxification of the body and boost immune system
• Increase blood circulation, lower blood pressure
• Good for muscle relaxation, increase flexibility in your muscles, increase mobility
• Improve breathing
• Improves posture, balance, corrects body alignments and dissolves energy blockages
• Improves athletic performance
• Help arthritis and back pain,
• Help tone the body, strengthen joints and fight diseases, including chronic joint problems
• Prevents illnesses and alleviates degenerative diseases
• Slows the aging process

Mental Benefits of Thai Massage
• Improve your outlook towards life; builds an emotional balance
• Help with concentration and creativity/ Mind and body concentration
• Clear and calm your mind
• Help you gain mental clarity

Psychological effects of Thai Massage
• Reduce and relieve stress and anxiety
• Help people boost their inner energy levels
• Develop discipline and self-control
• Achieve better health, increases health and vitality.
• Raise the energy level and stamina
• Build internal power (and creates a natural confidence)

Jongkrak’s Thai Massage Academy. (n.d.) The Benefits of Thai Massage. Retrieved from
Even if you aren’t a runner wouldn’t you love to experience those same benefits?
Really, I can’t say enough about how much I love Thai. I started going to Tricia about a year ago and I attribute these sessions to helping with my weight loss, my physical strengthening and growth athletically, and my ability to continually push myself and remain injury free.
Thai isn’t just for athletes either. Tricia works with clients who have health issues that limit their mobility as well as clients rehabbing from injuries. If my parents lived here I would sign them both up for weekly appointments J
I hope that you take the time to look into Thai Yoga therapy and see if you can find someone near you to meet with. If you are in the San Antonio area I highly recommend Tricia and will gladly provide you with her contact info. But if you don’t have access to someone like her make sure you find ways to  pamper your body. It deserves it!

“Yoga is the fountain of youth.  You're only as young as your spine is flexible.”  ~Bob Harper

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

That Guy

That Guy
Ugh….he pisses me off.
You have probably encountered That Guy before and you may even feel the same way. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be a guy. I am sure there are lots of ‘That Girl’s out there but in my world I have only yet to encounter That Guy.
To really understand That Guy I should explain who the person is that is NOT That Guy- we’ll call him NTG.
I think most athletic/active people fall into the NTG category. NTG is a person who plans and prepares for their workouts/trainings. They regularly think about proper fueling and hydration. They understand that sleep plays an important role in performance. They have a recovery plan. They examine their mechanics and their gear and their progress and look for ways to improve. Sounds like you, right?
A perfect example of an NTG is Mr. A; one of the members of the marathon training group. Mr. A is an Iron Man and he trains like one. Mr. A comes to the runs wearing a fuel belt. He has the little bottles on his belt filled with electrolyte drink and in the pouches he carries gels.
*Side note:  because Mr. A is a pretty hardcore athlete he has individually formulated drinks designed just for him that he drinks during and after his runs. He also has customized drinks for when he rides, too. Pretty crazy.
Mr. A finishes his run and he stretches. He drinks a recovery drink. He eats a regimented diet to help rebuild his muscles and improve his performance. Mr. A knows there are many factors they play into how we train and progress.
Every week on the trails I get to witness Mr. A’s superior athleticism and see the results of his training and routine play out in front of me.
Every week I also get to see Mr. A running alongside That Guy.
That Guy pulls up in the morning for the run and gets out of his car smoking a cigarette.
That Guy drank a fifth of Jack the night before and then snuck in a few hours of sleep before the run.
That Guy heads out for a 13 mile run with nothing on him but shoes and shorts. No bars, gels, beans, chews, no water or Gatorade. Nothing
That Guy is an anomaly
That Guy makes any activity look effortless
 Probably because for That Guy it is
I don’t hate That Guy. Actually it’s the opposite.
I am in awe of That Guy. Having that innate superior athletic ability that allows you excel at everything you do. It is rare. It is amazing. It is inspiring.
And it pisses me off J
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars."
-Les Brown

Monday, August 27, 2012

My 8 Mile

Training for the half marathon is just like life; some days are good, some days are bad. This past Saturday, on mile 8 mile run (my furthest run to date), would probably fall in the latter category. Oddly enough, the running part was the least of my worries. Even though I struggled with other extenuating circumstances I was still able to run the entire 8 miles with the exception of the 2 minutes I walked while drinking my electrolyte drink. I could have run then too if I didn’t think I would have gotten more of the drink on me versus in me. The problem that morning was not my legs. Which is a good thing. It makes me happy that my legs seem to want to cooperate with my mind on these longer runs. Nope, the problem that day was my anxiety and my anal retentive personality that thrives only in regimented situations. 
To explain this story better I should probably start from the beginning.
On Saturday mornings Paul and I meet up with the marathon training group from his work. This group is made up of military and civilians that work, for the most part, in the unit Paul does. They train together during the week too but since I go in to work earlier than they do I can’t join them. I follow their training schedule on weekdays but I do it solo- which is probably a good thing. I am by far the slowest runner of the group. Of course I am also the newest runner in the group so I take solace in that fact when I am getting passed by the people training for the marathon who every week run about 50% further than I do. So even though I run with a training group I am never running with anyone. I am always at the back of the pack shuffling along to the beat of my own drum. But still. It’s fun to have people to talk with before and after and it makes me feel better knowing that on the long runs if anything were to happen to me someone would find me.
On Saturday’s we have a run start time of 630a which means Paul and I try to leave the house by 6a. This Saturday started off like they usually do. Alarm goes off at 5a and Paul and I start getting ready; brush teeth, get dressed, have breakfast, pack up our post run goodies (recovery drink, coconut water, protein bar, and fruit) and my osprey bag which is just like a camelback. Out the door by 6a.
This Saturday we were driving away from our house and Paul tells me that we were actually supposed to be there at 6a, not 630a. I freak out- “What? What? Why are you telling me this now? Why didn’t you say something about this yesterday? Or even this morning? Why didn’t you tell me to hurry up?” and on I go having a slight meltdown in the car. It was awesome. Sparing you most of the details this is what was resolved- Paul thought he told me but then realized he probably told someone else. And we did not in fact have to be there at 6a. One completely unnecessary freakout into the morning- I was starting to get a bad feeling.
On the way to the meet-up I drink my Vega Pre-Workout Energizer drink. I swear by Vega products. They are by far my favorite brand and the fact that they are completely plant-based and made from real ingredients instead of weird chemicals makes me love them even more. The pre-workout energizer is great- you can read about it here if you are interested. But that is beside the point. I drank it per the directions- 20 minutes prior to workout- as we were heading into the park in search of the pavilion we were supposed to meet our group at.
Here is what happened next:
Searched in the pitch dark for Pavilion 1 but without lights/signs we weren’t sure if we were in the right place.
Finally realized we weren’t and found someone who told us where to go
Made it to pavilion 1 only to see like a hundred or so runners milling around. What the what? This can’t be right
Find people from our group (which only has like 12 members) and continue searching for our leader.
I decide to head to the ladies room where there is a nice long line
Come out of ladies room and find Paul waiting for me. We are moving to a different pavilion. The other running group that was there was in the wrong location but wouldn’t move so we did
Find new pavilion and start setting up there
Safety brief, discussion about route and water points (which were now at incorrect mileage since we were now starting from a different point), and then a discussion about gels/beans/chews/bars and hydration.
Finally ready to start the run almost an hour later than anticipated
The group takes off and I am trailing behind walking
I’m already hungry and I just started. Blerg! Luckily I had some chews with me as well as the Vega gel I intended on consuming an hour in so I ate some of those. I had with me my osprey which I love for the longer runs because I have water and plenty of room to load up with food and incidentals. I even had a bottle of electrolyte drink inside my bag for later in the run because I wasn’t sure if I would make it to the water/Gatorade point. Thank goodness I am always prepared for the worst case scenario or this run could have gone a lot worse.
Although the rest of the group starts out running I always walk for 5 minutes before I run to help get me warmed up. I even skip sometimes too. I am a big believer in dynamic stretching before, static stretching after so I like to walk and skip to help loosen up the joints before I start. Paul walks with me too. This is the only time we are together because as soon as it’s been five minutes he leaves me in his dust. One day I hope I can run as fast as he does if for no other reason than to have some company.
So, I am finally running. I had some calorie intake. I’m warmed up. And I am trying to relax into a nice pace for the 8 miles I’ve set out to run. I know this trail, I’ve ran it before. I know, for the most part, what to expect.
I know that about a mile into the run there is construction and the trail is closed. The temporary trail set up is nasty. A mix of dirt and really big rocks. Why rocks? I don’t know what is up with that. It’s very uncomfortable to run on. I learned this the hard way the week before running in my Luna sandals and it wasn’t much better this week in my Merrell dash gloves.
Immediately after the crappy trail comes the big hill. I know that once I get up and then down this hill it will be smooth and flat for the most part. So I chug along at a pretty steady pace up the hill. No worries. So far so good and I am finally starting to relax and enjoy myself.
Unfortunately I knew what was coming up about a mile later and was very nervous about its condition. There is a .75 mile long board walk constructed out of fake, laminate/plastic wood type material. Last week when we ran it was very slippery due to the dew and humidity. Running on that boardwalk is nerve-wracking to say the least.  But this week it was even worse.  It was wetter and more slippery and I was trying with every fiber in my being to not fall down. It didn’t take too long before I was having a slight panic attack. It’s always fun trying to run when you can’t breathe. I was able to calm down but it wasn’t too much longer before I started to get cramps in my feet because I was gripping so tightly with my toes. Fun, fun.  I was beyond happy when I was off that boardwalk and was able to pick up my pace and run normally again but I did not look forward to having to cross it on the way back. What a mess.
I spent the next few miles trying to figure out if I kept running forward would I end up somewhere that Paul could pick me up or if I needed to turn around and head back. When I reached that 4 mile point I decided it would be best if I turned around and headed back instead of trekking off into the unknown. I am glad that I made that decision to tough it out (even though I was still freaking out on the way back on that damn boardwalk) I knew it was just another obstacle I needed to work through. I am sure there will be other runs, other days where I am faced with a similar situation so the more experience I get now the easier it will be the next time. I just made sure I took my time, stayed focused on the path, and tried to keep a good form while running.
I should probably add that although I was ‘running’ I was moving so slowly on the damn boardwalk that at one point when I ran into to Paul (heading back to the pavilion) he ended up walking beside me while I was running. I told him he had to leave me alone because I was working so hard to run without falling that to see I was moving as slowly as a he could walk was frustrating.
So what’s the point of all this- this crazy long story about my run? Well there are a few reasons I wanted to share all these details.
One; it’s best to understand that every run isn’t going to be a good one and if you accept that fact and don’t let a tough day defeat you, you will be fine.
Two; try for one positive take away from each run.  I feel that as a novice each run I go on so many great things seem to happen. Even though there were a lot of rough patches in this run I walked away from it super happy that I ran for 8 miles, regardless of how slow I ran.
Three; if you are like me and suffer from anxiety disorder or even if you are easily upset by changes in routine/schedule it is important to find a way to quickly calm yourself down. When I am running and I start to get anxious it makes it very difficult to breath. Oxygen is kind of important in this whole living equation so when this happens I focus on my attention on my feet and how they hit the ground and from there work my way up my body reviewing my form. This approach helps my mind focus on something else and helps me to calm down very quickly. Fortunately, I don’t have too many issues with my anxiety anymore but when it happens it is best to have a strategy to counteract it.
Four; be adaptable but also be safe. I ran that trail with the crappy temporary path and the crazy slippery boardwalk two weeks in a row. I am very glad that I did because it gave me some experience with new situations. I tried both weeks to make the best of it and learn from it and that is a good thing. That being said, if this is the meet-up spot for next week’s run I will not do it again. Experience is great but I’ve had enough, for now, so if the group decides to run there again I will go elsewhere. I just don’t want to risk an injury.
Five; be proud no matter what. It is easy to compare my performances against other runners but that is an ugly habit that is better not to pick up. I am new to this but even if I had been running for decades it shouldn’t matter. What matters is that I tried. Finishing is great, yes, but to me just getting up and making that choice to test my boundaries and try something unknown is the real battle. So whether you run a 6 minute mile or a 16 minute mile it doesn’t matter. We are all equal. We are all courageous warriors.
"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."
-John Bingham

Friday, August 24, 2012


Hello and welcome to my new blog. I appreciate you stopping by. Maybe you know me already from my other, out of commission, blog – thirtythreeandcounting (which if you ever wish to read please let me know and I can grant you access to it), maybe you know me in real life, or maybe we are strangers. Either way, I am happy you are here.
Let me first start off by explaining why I have a new blog. A few months ago I contracted a severe case of writer’s block. I could not for the life of me compose a post for my blog. I don’t know what was happening. My life was busy, I had many things I could have been writing about but alas, no words came.  Recently, I have started to feel inspired to get back into blogging. I really do enjoy sharing my story, my life with others but when it came to my old blog I just didn’t want to pick up where I left off.  I just felt like I was no longer that person anymore. I had a new voice, a new perspective so why not a new blog. 
This is how ‘Run.Ride.Repeat.’ was born.
My old blog was about my journey to transform my life mainly through my dire need to lose weight. Even though my weight loss was a big focus of the blog I also made other personal changes that contributed to my transformation; I changed jobs, moved, and became more involved in my community in the process. I loved what transpired over the 16 months I was actively writing and don’t ever want to lose those memories which is why I saved the blog. But I am ready to move on, start the next chapter in my book and this is where I will document it.
So again, welcome. I am so glad you are here. I hope you come back and follow me along as I try to tackle all these crazy adventures I have planned!
“When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.”  ~H.G. Wells