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Days 64-Tempo; 65-Xtrain; 66-Long Run (15); and 67 (Rest) #teamwork, #newattitude, #watchout

Team Work
I would describe myself as a runner who runs with her legs.

I would describe Christy Perros as a runner who runs with her head, heart, and legs.  She wants to do well, she wants to run better, and so she does things to ensure this happesn.  She religiously reads Runner’s World each month, which I haven’t really done for years, and on top of her super incredibly insanely busy schedule (mom and wife; local business owner; volunteer extraordinaire; training for a marathon; blogging about a marathon) she reads running blogs!  A lot of them!  And I have been the benefactor of her running with her head and heart!

I think I just got kind of lazy, ya know?  I’ve been running for 20 years and it just kind of turned into something that I did and not so much something that I wanted to do.  But Christy’s relatively new-found love of the sport and what she does to keep the love alive, has done me wonders!  Below are just a few of the key elements I’ve incorporated into my training this year, which have incredibly helped aid in my long-run recoveries, and they are all because of Christy:

  • Running faster (This, I really had no choice in the matter.  If I was going to keep up with her, I was going to have to run faster)
  • Wearing compression clothing
  • Taking ice baths
  • Drinking chocolate milk as a recovery drink

The chocolate milk component I just started doing yesterday.  I have seen Christy on several occasions drink chocolate milk after a long run, but I’ve never really paid any attention to it.  I thought she was doing it because it tasted good. So yesterday after our long run while we were physically and emotionally decompressing at her house, we started talking about the new milk campaign.  Remember the “Got Milk?” ads?  Well now they are doing a whole new campaign called “Got Chocolate Milk?” and it’s all about how chocolate milk aids in recovery after exercise.

Got Chocolate Milk? Well, if you are an athlete-you better get some!

So I start doing some additional online research about the benefits (I checked out other websites because I figured that the “Got Milk” people would pretty much talk about how good it would be for me), and every website I checked out said the same thing:

  • Aids in recovery
  • Great source of carbs (as many in a traditional recovery drink)
  • Great source of protein (NONE of the other recovery drinks have protein in them)
  • Can actually improve performance because it helps improve your VO2 max. “VO2 max, or maximal oxygen uptake, indicates the amount of oxygen consumed in milliliters per kilogram of body weight per minute. The higher the number, the more oxygen you get to the muscles, and the faster or longer you run.”  (Quoted from a Runner’s World online article entitled “How to improve your VO2 Max.”)

But don’t just take my word for it, here are two other websites with some cool information:

In Christy’s blog today “A Long Run, A Massage, and a Road Rally” she said some nice things about me and my running at the end of our longer runs.  And she said it’s helping her out.  Well, she’s ultimately helping herself out because my performance (both athletically and mentally) is due in large part to her and what she’s done for me!  If you have an opportunity to find a running partner and friend like Christy Perros, you better take it!

In addition to the new running elements that Christy has helped me out with, I’ve tried some other new things lately:

Wheat-free food!!! My doctor suggested I might want to pull back on eating so many wheat products to aid in reducing my heart burn. I’m thinking, hello?!?! Wheat/carbs are a marathon trainers BFF! You know what else can be? Carbs in other forms, i.e., rice pasta, which I had before my long run, and oatmeal, which I had the morning of my long run.

Awesome head buff!!! I have been struggling with a way to “deal” with my hair on runs-it’s too short to pull back and hold it place easily, and it’s too long to not do anything with, so the buff is my new magic answer. It worked really well on the long run AND, it helped mitigate the sweat factor on my forehead.

Being on time!!! Here is my car clock to show that not only was I not late getting to Christy’s on Saturday a.m., I was actually on time for a 6:00 a.m. departure.

And the best new thing I’m trying on right now, is a new attitude.  And it’s sort of due to her:

This amazing young woman is my cousin, Caitlin Leigh Clark.

Caitlin graduated from Central Michigan University yesterday and as I searched around for an appropriate gift to get her, it made me start thinking about graduation and what an amazing time it is for a young adult.  Scary?  Absolutely!  But what a scary thrill!  A new phase of life!  A time to start over or a time to start something completely new.  And that what made me realize……I needed a new attitude.  (By the way, Caitlin is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism (just like her cousin, the marathon blogger) with an emphasis in public relations.  She has been working in CMU’s alumni office over the past year to help raise money and she’s had some good writing and blogging experiences herself.  Any of you out there looking for someone like Caitlin to help fill a void at work?  Let me know!!!  She is a super hard worker, a very kind person, and despite her youth, she has an old soul, which I realize might not matter to a potential employer, but I think it’s pretty damn cool!)

New Attitude
Why a new attitude?  Because on Friday a.m., I INTENTIONALLY skipped my first workout of this marathon training. I have missed a few here and there, but they’ve all been due to scheduling (out of my control). This was one where I was laying in bed and said, “I do not want to go to this.  I am tired.  I am cranky.  I am sore.”  Now, in fairness to myself (sort of) the few times I had gotten up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, my right ankle was sore to the point where I was limping.  So while it wasn’t a case of me having to run on my ankle, I just didn’t even want to fuss with anything.  But if push came to shove, I’d probably have to admit that it had less to do with my ankle and more to do with my attitude.

I’ve talked about feeling blah and “being over” the training at various points.  Right now we are about 2/3’s finished with the training, and if I needed to, I could run 26.2 miles this upcoming weekend-I mean, for God’s sake, I’ve already run 285 miles training for this race! Christy has also felt the same way and has been talking about having tired legs-they never seem to feel fresh anymore.  Well, she asked her massage therapist yesterday about this (who is a marathon runner), and she told Christy that is how she is supposed to be feeling.  It’s normal.  Finally!  Something in my life that’s normal.  We’ve been peaking with our mileage and so how else would our legs feel if not fatigued? It was good for me to hear that.  I probably knew that on some level, but it was realling reassuring to hear it from someone else.

Are you suffering from marathon-training fatigue?  Check out this page on sports nutrition for women training for a marathon. It has some good information and I found it helpful.

And so the running blah fog started to lift for me.  Knowing that it’s time for a new attitude and getting an explanation/supporting nod as to why we’re feeling this way, combined with being 2/3’s of the way finished and the fact that we’re doing well on our runs-well why wouldn’t it be lifting?

Speaking of Runs…
Last Thursday’s tempo run was a mutha from the first few steps!  Last week I blogged about my legs being really tired at the end of the 20 miler and not feeling good “from the waist down” (#fromthewaistup, #fromthewaistdown), well on Thursday, I was tired “from the waist up.” My heart and lungs seemed to pumping excessively and I felt really tired at the start.  It was an 11-mile tempo run and, quite honestly, 11 miles doesn’t seem like a tempo run-it seems like a long run, and I struggled with that a bit.  Things improved in how I was feeling overall, but the last few miles I was really tired again and I was looking at my GPS and seeing pace times in the 10:00/zone.  I really wanted to finish the last mile on pace time, so I started my kick and it worked!  The last mile was my fastest…8:59. Overall pace time goal was 9:44 and we averaged 9:28.

Here I am in all my glory before heading out to run 15 miles. This is the first posting of a photo of me with my fuel belt and tucked in bandanna. I am pretty confident that I will not be asked to serve as a guest blogger on any running fashion blogs.

Yesterday’s 15-mile run also went well for me.  The weather was very agreeable, the route was great (Christy P hit another home run), and my last mile was also my fastest-at 9:08, it was significantly faster than the other 14.  And this fact, my ability to kick it out at the end, is going a long way in helping me prepare emotionally for the Ann Arbor Marathon in June, which, in turn, is helping me with a new attitude, which, in turn, is helping to finally lift the “I’m so sick and tired of training for this marathon” feeling.  Overall pace time goal was 10:04 and I averaged 9:41.

Speaking of Feelings….
Watch out, cuz this is kinda how I’m feelin

Carry on, friends.  Carry on.





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