Getting Out Of Your Head

I found many pieces of cars on my run this week.

This weekend, I went out for my last long run before the Donna half.  Eleven miles.  Not too terrible, but I wasn’t really looking forward to it either.  I’m a slow runner!  11 miles takes me a long time.

So I decided to go out and run and not worry about pace.  It had been a long weekend and I had been on my feet the night before at the Ulman Cancer Fund event, so who knew what this run would bring.

I queued up a few episodes of Zombies Run and also listened to some of The West Wing Weekly.  (Basically, I let the Zombies Run episode play, and instead of playing music, I play the podcast and when the Zombies Run episode interrupts, I pause the podcast with the control on my headphones.  I don’t like to listen to music when I run.  Podcasts let me still hear the sound around me.)  I have to say, all these years later, I still love Zombies Run.  Definitely a creative story, though I keep the zombie chases turned off because they are creepy.  I may sign up for one of their virtual races to get the added content.

So I basically just ran and paid no attention to pace.  I knew that I was running at a good pace, because I checked my watch every mile so I didn’t miss my turnaround point, but I didn’t focus on the pace itself.

By the time I was done, I was sore.  But pleased to be done.  Still wasn’t paying too much attention to my pace.  When I finally got home and uploaded my data, I realized why I was so sore.  I had run about 30 seconds per mile faster than I had on my previous week’s ten mile run.  I was closer to my anticipated race pace than I was to a training pace.  And yet I didn’t feel like I was pushing all that hard.

Just goes to show what can happen when you get out of your head. Now to see what happens at my race in just under two weeks.  Maybe I’m better trained than I thought.

On Current Events

RachelBostwick / Pixabay

I don’t typically talk politics here, and in many ways, I’m going to continue to not talk politics in this post.  Why?  While I certainly have the right – this is my blog and I can talk about whatever I want – I also don’t necessarily want this to be a political space.  Regardless of what I believe, I have friends on both sides of just about every issue (I even have a friend who is a staunch “Flat Earth” proponent), and we all have the right to our beliefs.

But this blog isn’t about politics, and I assume you’re not coming here to find out what I think about a certain political issue.  No, this is a blog mostly about running and triathlon (and sometimes cats and pop culture and other fun things).  However, I think it’s pretty hard to ignore what’s been going on in the US over the past weeks and months.  And regardless of which side you’re on, you likely have strong feelings and have been pulled into pretty emotional arguments.

Arguments solve nothing.

Fighting on Facebook solves nothing.

Don’t get me wrong – there is incredible value in having a debate between reasonable people.  Even if I don’t agree with you following the debate, I will have a better understanding of what you believe and why. But right now, we’ve just been seeing a lot of heated words flung back and forth with none of those words doing any good.  All we are doing is creating a divide.

So what can we do?  You can contact your elected representatives to voice your thoughts and encourage them to vote for or against certain bills.  You can volunteer or donate to causes you can believe in.  You can volunteer with groups that are totally unrelated to the current political climate, because it’s always a positive thing to bring a little good to the world, wherever you can.

You can be a positive force.  You can spread your words and thoughts with confidence and civility, not anger and frustration.  But you should also make a point to hear those thoughts and listen and try to understand.  I’m not saying you should change your mind.  Just try to get a teensy, tiny glimpse into the other side.  People who voted differently than you did (or would have, if you are a non-American) aren’t stupid.  They have their beliefs and reasons.  Listen to those and find out what is important to someone else.

Whatever you do, don’t let yourself get so sucked in to the negativity that you forget about all of the good that is still happening in the world.  And do your best to be part of that good, in whatever way you can.

Training in the Off-Season

Hans / Pixabay

Depending on where you live (or if you are primarily a runner or a triathlete), the race season tends to fall sometime between spring and fall, leaving winter as the off-season.

The off-season is a glorious time where you can sit on your couch and eat whatever you want and not worry about the fact that hey, you have some races coming up, but they’re far away.

Wait, no.

Sorry, friends, that’s not true at all.  Yes, during the off-season, you can relax and step back from the intense training, but that doesn’t mean you can spend all your time on the couch.  After all, you don’t want to lose all the fitness you’ve built up, right?

To keep myself motivated, I like to sign up for races through the winter.  These aren’t goal races.  I’m not pushing to set any PRs.  I just want to run strong and not feel like I’m dying at the end.  For me, these races are half-marathons, but depending on your goals, 5Ks and 10Ks work too.

The important thing is the off-season training plan.  You aren’t training like you do during race season. Maybe you add in an extra rest day.  Maybe, like me, you pick up more strength work in the hopes of keeping at least some of it once race season picks back up.  I still have some hard workouts on my schedule, but in general, the off-season training plan is a bit easier.  My goal this winter was to work on my bike speed, so I have some killer trainer rides on the schedule, but I’ve also dropped down to one swim a week and am not doing any running speedwork.  This is what works for me.  It’s also what I like – I enjoy killer rides on the trainer.

Maybe your off-season training plan means trying something new, like picking up a class at the gym or taking up cross country skiing if you live where there is snow.  Do something fun, something you enjoy.

During the off-season, it’s okay to skip an occasional workout.  Not all the time, of course, but here and there, it’s not a problem.  (Note – it’s always okay to skip a workout if you are sick or injured.)

Whatever you do, try to keep some level of fitness in the large gap between your big races.  Not only is it easier on your body when you get back to your race season training, it’s also a lot easier on your brain.  For me, an evening workout is routine, so making it a harder or longer workout isn’t going to be that big of a change. But going from spending the evening on the couch to a hard workout would definitely be tough.

But make sure to have fun too.  Because why else do we do this?

Wednesday Workout Recap

This was an interesting week.  Holiday on Monday, in the office on Tuesday, teleworking Wednesday and Thursday due to Inauguration traffic and roadblocks, then off Friday for the Inauguration.  That also made it pretty easy to get my workouts done.

Monday – Rest Day

Tuesday – Team Fight Swim.  This workout didn’t seem hard while we were doing it, but my arms were dead when I tried to boost myself out of the pool.  I also made a point to shower at the pool after, rather than just go home and crawl into bed smelling of chlorine, knowing full well that since I was teleworking the next day, I wouldn’t be showering in the morning.

Wednesday – Trainer ride including yet another FTP test.  The best one I’ve done all month.  These things kick my ass though.

Thursday – 4 mile run.  This was rough, probably because of the FTP test.  Took over three miles before I really felt comfortable.

Friday – Easy 30 minute walk plus strength work.  I was supposed to have a massage, but it got cancelled last minute.

Saturday – Two hour trainer ride based on my FTP tests, plus strength work.  This workout was amazing.  It was hard, but I didn’t feel like I was dying until the very last bit, which seems perfect.

Sunday – Gorgeous 10 mile run.  This felt pretty darn awesome.  And the weather was just about perfect.

Utah Valley Marathon – Discount Code and a Chance to Win!

Looking for a fast early summer race?  Check out the Utah Valley Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10K, held on June 10th in Provo Canyon.  This race has been on my list for a couple of years now, and I’m doing my best to get out there for the 2017 race with some awesome friends.  Why?  Because this race looks amazing!

First off, it’s a downhill course, so it’s super fast.  (It’s also a Boston qualifier course, so you speedy marathoners may want to get on this.)  Second, it’s absolutely gorgeous.  How many races do you know of that run past forests, lakes, and waterfalls.  WATERFALLS, people!  Finally, it’s just a friendly race run by awesome people with awesome volunteers.  And let’s be honest, that’s what really makes a race.  It was even  named a Top 10 race in America by Runner’s World Magazine in 2014.

For those of you really into the swag, they’ve got big medals planned for this year, but even better, since it’s the 10th anniversary of the race, instead of a race shirt (which we all have a lot of, let’s be honest), they’re giving out a really nice running jacket.  I don’t know about where you live, but here, it’s been cold, and I could definitely use another running jacket (so I can do laundry less).

If you’re interested in signing up, the code eg15 will get you 15% off your entry.  And for the next two weeks, you can enter to win a free entry!

Hope to see you there!

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