Friday, April 13, 2012

5 5Ks in 5 Hours Wearing Bib #555 (that's a LOT of 5s!)

Jessica's husband, Sean, recently participated in the Carlsbad 5000 All Day 25k! This is incredible for 2 reasons. Number 1, he's a die-hard CrossFit junkie who doesn't really like to run that much. Number 2, because it's 25k in one day!! I took the opportunity to interview Sean about his recent accomplishment. Here are the details:

Q. Why did you decide to tackle the All Day 25k Challenge?

A. Last year, I ran my first Carlsbad 5000. During the event, I learned about their All Day 25k and thought it would be an interesting challenge. Plus they have a special area for the 25kers to hang out in and a finishing medal that is actually useful - it is a bottle opener shaped like a surfboard. 

Q. What was the most difficult part of this challenge?

A. Races 4 and 5 is where it really started getting difficult. I'm not much of a long distance runner because I get bored with it quickly and thus, don't train to prepare myself for much more than a 10k. During race 4, my legs started to hurt and then we had about a 90 minute wait between races 4 and 5 so it was hard to stay warm and not tighten up for the final race.

Q. What did you eat/drink to fuel yourself during these 5 hours?

A. I just stayed as hydrated as possible throughout the morning, occasionally snacking on fruit or almonds between races. (Sean follows a fairly strict Paleo diet and always eats well.) Of course afterwards I celebrated with some beer and pizza.

Q. How were the logistics of this super popular race? Was it professionally run?

A. The Carlsbad 5000 is one of the best races I have participated in. The course is laid out well, the races begin on time, and you get to see some of the world's fastest 5k runners in the invitational divisions.

Q. (Because I must have an odd number of questions...yes I'm strange) Will you do it again next year?

A. As long as I'm not out of town, I will probably do it again next year. Even though I was pretty sore for a few das, it was a great accomplishment for me. It's a pretty great feeling when you're on your 4th 5k of the day and passing folks who are on their first and only 5k that day.

Congratulations Sean! What an awesome accomplishment! You inspire us to push through the pain and achieve our goals! Oh, and it doesn't hurt that you send me CF workouts whenever I ask:)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Healthy Benefits of Social Media

While I was pregnant with the Weasel, my husband was deployed and I didn't have too many friends in the local area. (This is not a pity party, I promise:) I decided to start a blog to just keep our family and friends throughout the country up-to-date on what was happening. After Weasel was born, I continued that blog, to somewhat chronicle her life, and eventually, I'd like to make it into a book for her. Occasionally I'd write about local 5ks on there, but to be honest, no one in that "audience" really cares much about my running. Don't get me wrong, they are supportive, but they don't really want to read about how I nearly pooped myself on a run, or an impromptu half marathon with my girl friends. 

So in October 2011, I started this blog with my sister. We added a Twitter account (@irunthere4iam) and a Facebook page to launch ourselves into the world of social media. At the beginning, adding those things were Jessica's idea. I wasn't all that keen on it because it just seemed like extra work. I didn't really feel a connection to anything but the blog. But my perspective has completely shifted in the last few months. We've made virtual friends like Heidi at Banana Buzzbomb. We regularly tweet with Betsy at The Everyday Warrior and Robin at Westford Mommy. And most recently, we became FitFluential Ambassadors where we've been "introduced" to a host of amazing individuals who place fitness among their highest priorities. 

Now we don't have the largest following on our blog, twitter account, or FB page, but we do have some loyal readers who constantly provide comments, replies, and motivation whenever we post and for them, we are grateful. While I realize that no one is out there in Twitterland waiting to read what my workout of the day was, or what I've been eating, I feel a need desire to share these things with my "friends" to hold myself accountable. I've gotten workout ideas, inspiration for healthy meals, and just an outlet for my (as my husband would say) cultish addiction to running through social media. 

I know that the dedicated few who do follow us expect a certain level of dedication; therefore, when I am not feeling a run or want to indulge in that extra piece of candy, I can log on to one of these outlets and find the motivation I need to stay the course. 

Thank you Suz and Allan at Cows and Lasers and Everything In Between, Jess and Katie at The Mommy Miles, Carla at MizFit Online, Christine at Oatmeal In My Bowl, and anyone else who has commented, tweeted, or just connected with us in this social media craze. You do make a difference in our fitness level and our approach to healthy living! (In fact, the only sweet thing I've had since posting about my addiction was a "healthy" chocolate chip cookie I made from a recipe I got from Ashley at My Food N' Fitness Diaries, and I've completed my speed workout for the week!) 

P.S. The speed workout was on the dreadmill, but it's the best alternative to laps of the track with a stroller since the gym has a daycare. I did 1 mile warm-up at a 9:04 pace. Then 1/4 mile intervals at above pace (7:30), pace (8:00) and sprint (7:03) for 2 miles. Cooled down with a 1/2 mile at 8:34. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My New Trainer

Last month, I got some money in a few birthday cards, and I immediately knew what I was going to spend it on. With the addition of the Weasel into my life, I do not get to ride my bike nearly as often as I would like. If I want to ride, I have to strap the bike to the Subaru and drive 30 minutes (we live in the country!) to drop her off at the hourly care facility, and then drive 10 more minutes to a decent place to ride all the while stressed out that I won't get back to the car in time to pick her up. Or, I can pay our sitter $10/hour to watch the Weasel and try to stay alive on the 55 mph road that we live off of. Neither option is all that enticing, so my bike has been collecting dust over the last year. 

Well now I'm the proud owner of this:


It's the Travel Trac Century V fluid trainer and I'm thrilled with it thus far. First of all, there are hundreds of options out there for trainers, ranging from $100 to $3000. It was not an easy selection. I happened upon this guy on one of our local yardsale sites and the seller was asking for $90. What a steal, right? Well, after much communication, I finally managed to meet up with him and handed him a crisp $100 bill. He only had a $20 for change, so I got the trainer at an even better bargain...$80!!  

I've used it twice (and I'm about to hop on it now before the Weasel is up for the day). It's much more challenging than riding outside in my humble opinion. My garage is like a small sweat chamber, but I kept myself motivated by watching Ironman videos on my iPhone:) I'm about to steal Jason's small laptop that he took to Afghanistan so I can watch DVDs while I train. 

Now I've just got to build up my biking muscles so I can ride for longer than 20 minutes. It's a great way to cross train during nap time and now I can sign up for a triathlon without worrying about how I hardly trained on the bike. 

Do you have a trainer? Do you have any great workouts you do on the trainer? 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Self-Discipline...Where Can I Get Some

We just returned from an Easter weekend spent with my in-laws in Virginia. And while we did make it to church to celebrate the rising of Jesus Christ, let's be honest, in an family of Catholics and Methodists who are not overly religious, it's really a holiday shrouded in sugary deliciousness. In my basket alone, thanks to MIL, I received a chocolate bunny, Green Latte hard candies, more Peeps than I could count, Starburst jelly beans, a small box of Godiva chocolate, and some Hershey's Cookies & Creme drops! Have I mentioned that I'm somewhat of a candy addict?!

As soon as we arrived home and unpacked the car, Jason and I stashed most of the candy in a small bag at the bottom of the pantry and tossed some of the items we never intend to eat. (I mean, I like Peeps, but it's sugar coated in sugar and even I can only eat so many:) Then, twice during the remainder of the day, I visited the bag. 

These next few months (yes, there is enough candy to last us months) is going to be quite the test of self-discipline. Instead of denying myself access to these little gems, I'm going to try to limit myself to 5 small pieces a week. That probably sounds like an absurd indulgence to you fitness gurus, but hey, we all have to start somewhere. 

And in the spirit of self-dicipline, I was reading Runner's World on our drive home and came across a great line: "To run faster, you have to spend time running fast." Sounds simple right? Well, I did many months of training in preparation for my most recent half marathon and could count the number of speed workouts on my right hand. I know the science behind the necessity of such torture, but I always find an excuse to skip it. No more. I'm publicly declaring that from here on, I'll be doing 1 speed workout per week. Years ago, my favorite one was this:

Warm up
1 mile at RP
2 Xs 800m at RP
4 Xs 400m at RP
(do this with a partner to limit your rest between intervals)

There are several more great speed workouts included in this month's issue of Runner's World. I'm going to try all of them. I've long believed that doing distance workouts, regardless of how slow they are, is great for training because it teaches your body just how it feels to be on your feet for such a duration. The same principle holds true for speed. If your body doesn't know what running fast feels like, how on Earth can you expect it to perform when you want to pick up the pace?! 

These goals sound well and good as I sit here typing in the comfort of my desk chair, but let's see how I meet the challenges. Today's Stroller Warrior workout is just a 45 minute steady state to burn off some of that Easter sugar I mentioned at the start of this post. But tomorrow, I'll tackle my first speed workout. Wish me luck:)