Happy Days, Marriage, and Running

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My husband just celebrated his 33rd birthday this past weekend, and I couldn’t help but reflect on my life with him. I attribute so much of how easy marriage feels to Jon’s personality and constant pursuit of growth. We’ve been married 7+ years, and while we’ve had seasons where we both grew, it’s always been a team effort and I always trusted that things were going to get better through the trials. We’ve had 7 years to get to this place, and it’s pretty great.

We were talking last night, and Jon said that before he responds to adversity, he always tries to determine if it’s worth getting rattled over. He applies this in his career and personal life, and I think it’s such a good approach. We already have so many demands and stresses on our lives; why add more stress than is needed? If we just stop and think before responding, often we might decide to relax and let a few more things go.

This blog is about running, and there is so much application here.  How many times do we get caught up in our training plan, adding up the miles, and tracking all of the paces?  Injuries pretty quickly put things into perspective, as do lousy races (been there, done that).  Jon is absolutely excellent at what he does, but he is one of the most easy going and fun people to be around. He is most definitely my happy place. It’s a good reminder to me that I can still pursue big things without getting too caught up in rules and the plan (toddlers are also a good reminder of that–ha!). Thankfully I have a husband who supports my pursuit of big things and stands in as cheerleader, pacer, crew member, etc when I need him.

Running, just like marriage, has the moments where you are thrilled to be alive, and the days when you put in the work because you know that the outcome is so incredibly worth it. Cadence somehow learned “happy birthday to you” as “happy day to you” and I think it’s perfect. Every day is a happy day. 🙂

P.S. My parents just celebrated their 40th (FORTIETH) wedding anniversary!  Talk about an example!

Have you learned a lot about yourself through marriage? Does your partner support your running?

Easy Peasy: training with easy days

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Whew! 💦 I never thought I’d say this, but I’m ready for winter.☀️Today was a fartlek workout day that ended up being 13 miles round and round my favorite hilly park.🏃‍♀️By the time I was passing the same (walking) people the 5th and 6th time, they started cheering for me. 😂 And I got home just in time for my husband to hand off a dressed and fed baby so I could rush off to daycare drop off and work. ❤️ Have I mentioned that I have the best husband who shows me love by supporting my crazy running passion?! 😍

If you’ve followed along with my journey this past summer, you know that I’ve changed up my approach to training and I’ve decided to go coach-less for right now. The biggest change in my training approach is that instead of doing practically all of my runs at intensity with my former coach, I now have easy runs in my schedule too. I do about 3 harder effort runs a week and all of the rest are easy. Today was a fartlek run, which is a harder effort, but tomorrow, I’ll be back to easy to let my body recover.

It’s been a bit of a transition for me to embrace and understand what truly feels easy, but it’s starting to feel more normal. And get this, I’m a lot happier. My weeks don’t feel like they drag on from workout to workout (every single day), and I have margin to be flexible and run with the stroller or exchange a run for cross training if I feel like it.

Practically every training book will espouse the value of the easy run.  One of my favorites is Matt Fitzgerald’s 80/20 Running. He backs up all of his reasoning with research, and he gives a really great explanation for how to determine zones based on rate of perceived effort or heart rate.

Here’s a really great article by Runner’s Connect discussing the merits of the easy run.  Check out the table at the end of the article where it discusses the paces where capillary development, mitochondria production, and myoglobin content increase.

For a summary, easy runs:

  • help build up the aerobic system to utilize glycogen for energy more efficiently
  • allow the body to adapt and repair from hard runs
  • give the mind a body a break from stress and high impact
  • increase the number of capillaries surrounding muscles to transport oxygen more easily
  • increase myoglobin and mitochondria, which help provide more oxygen and energy

If you need further convincing or a good reminder (like me sometimes) about keeping easy easy, check out this podcast interview of David Roche on TriSpecific. Roche describes an athlete who wasn’t reaching her potential, and they couldn’t figure out why until they strapped on a HR monitor. As soon as she slowed down her paces and let her heart rate drop, she started seeing results.

What’s your philosophy on easy runs?

No more shuffling and my favorite running podcasts

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Sunday worship before Sunday worship. ❤️🏃‍♀️⛪ 8 stroller miles with my little sidekick. 👶 I “officially” started marathon training again today for a late October race, and it feels good to have a goal! 🎉 I’m changing things up and trying to learn what works best for me this cycle. 🤗 Looking forward to easy days, baby days, cross training days, and lots of grace in the process!

I lost my shuffle somehow last week, and I realize how much I miss music and podcasts! Also, I happened to lose my shuffle just as apple decided to discontinue that perfect little running device. Nooooo! I listen to running podcasts while I do strength work, driving, doing menial chores, etc. I really prefer music when I run instead of podcasts, but I know that a lot of people pass the time of long runs with their favorite podcast host.

Here are my favorite podcasts right now:

I’ll Have Another by Lindsey Hein

Running for Real by Tina Muir

Runner’s Connect

Endurance Planet by Tawnee Prazak Gibson

The Science of Ultra by Shawn Beardon

Trail Runner Nation

Ultra Runner Podcast by Eric Schranz

There are several newer podcasts that I haven’t had a chance to check out yet, but as soon as I have a new listening device, I’ll be diving in!

Do you have a favorite to add to the list?

 

 

 

Race week prep

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I’m in denial that we are leaving this little chickadee for our California excursion. 😭 But she’s going to have way more fun with her grandparents than she would sitting around at wine tastings all day. 🍷Today is an off day for me, so we rolled and had an easy walk with Maggie. 🐶 I still have a little cold and a tiny bit of calf/shin/ankle discomfort, but I feel like I’ll be good to go for race day! 🙌 Anyone else running the San Francisco marathon this weekend?!?! 🌉 #marathontraining #taperweek #motherrunner #bestlittletrainingbuddy #21monthsold #sanfranciscomarathon #allthewine #orwhineafterirunthosehills #womenrunning #womensrunningcommunity

It really is true that the more races you run, the easier it gets. Since so much is mental with running, it helps to have experienced different scenarios and to know that in the end, it all works out. What if it rains? I’ve ran an entire marathon in the pouring rain and it was ok (maybe put on extra body glide next time?). What if I forget something? The expo is full of items that you can purchase, and if you can’t find what you need, there are typically stores all around. What if my stomach is upset? Been there and lived through it. Now I carry pepto bismal to races as prevention, and it works like a charm.
There are always unknowns with a race, but the more you can control, the better. During race week, I typically start to visualize myself running the race (although this process can’t start too early). I plan out what I am going to wear, order any fuel that I need (I just placed an order for HoneyStinger last week and it will get delivered just in time), order anything else like RockTape, etc. and review the course map and elevation profile. Check the weather, and prepare to bring throwaway clothes for road racing (not acceptable at trail races, haha).  Get a massage. Most of this stuff is not critical, but it makes race day much easier. If traveling, figure out where to go on race day before race day.
We spend the night with my parents tonight, and leave for California tomorrow morning!  I’m going to miss that little baby!
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Do you have a race prep ritual?

Ab separation and rockin the crop top

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Ok, so I know that you aren’t supposed to try anything new for race day, but I just got my new @runinrabbit crop hop in the mail. 😍🐰 I did a short test run this morning, and I think it’s comfortable enough to risk for my marathon on Sunday. (I mean, I’ve chafed for longer than that. 😂💯)🤞 Now to decide between coral and white. 🤔😁 . . . And more for all of the mommas out there. Cadence sat really high in my belly when I was pregnant, and I still have a lot of ab separation from my pregnancy.👶 I had to have surgery last May because my intestines (still) pop out just a little above my belly button (like a hernia). 🙈And then there’s always the skin that doesn’t have quite the same elasticity that it used to…😊 All that to say, our bodies are incredible and continue to support us as we grow human beings, breastfeed, and then go out and run our hearts out. ❤️🎉 Since you can’t necessarily see my intestines popping out very well in this picture, I just wanted to keep it real. 😂😘 . . . #motherrunner #marathontraining #taperweek #radrabbit #loveourgoldengirl #milestonepod #gobeyondpace #saucony #runyourworld #runningthroughpregnancy #postpartumrunning #extendedbreastfeeding #womenrunning #womensrunningcommunity #hshive

I think I’m set on wearing the crop top for my Sunday race, I just need to pick out a color! 🙂 I wrote in my IG caption about my ab separation and pseudo hernia, so I thought I’d elaborate here in case any mommas are in the same boat.

I have a series of blog posts where I discovered the “hernia” and got a diagnosis, had surgery, and then learned that I just had ab separation and weak fascia, but no actual hole in my fascia for a hernia. I elected to have surgery last May after noticing a nickel sized little bulge about midway up from my belly button. I was afraid that it would just get worse with my activity level, and the surgeon agreed that it was better to fix it while it was small instead of waiting until it got worse and required a larger repair.

After the surgery, I noticed that I still had the little bump, and returned to the surgeon. That’s when they told me that my fascia had just been weak, but there was no hernia to repair (yay! surgery for nothing!). My intestines press against the weaker fascia where I have ab separation (or diastasis recti) and create a little bump. I can push it back in, but inevitably, any effort causes it to poke out again. Doctors have told me that it will only get worse with a second baby, and that a tummy tuck is the only thing that would fix it. It’s a good thing babies are so cute!

Do you have ab separation from your pregnanc(ies)? Any other faux hernias out there? Haha

Race prep: visualization

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But seriously?! 😊 It doesn’t get any better than this! 👶 I bet everyone would run of they had a tiny little personal cheerleader with them too. ❤️❤️❤️ I dread having to pull the shade over her sweet little head when we run in the sun. ☀️ But I think I found a good alternative. 😁 We got in just under 6 miles this morning as part of the taper. I think I’ll take one more complete day off to make sure that my legs are fully recovered. 🙌 #taperweek #strollerrunning #thuleurbanglide #bestlittletrainingbuddy #21monthsold #motherrunner #womensrunningcommunity #womenrunning #marathontraining

Unfortunately, I won’t have my beautiful baby in my vision for the upcoming San Francisco marathon, but I can help prepare for a good run through visualization (and maybe pretend that she is with me?!). Visualization is actually something that I’ve been doing for a couple of races now after seeing one of my friends utilize visualization for a really competitive job interview that she nailed.

I really like the approach that Tina Muir suggests for visualization here (scroll down a little or sign up for the download), and she really takes it to another level with detail and focus on specific aspects.  A few examples are visualize: waking up with a smile on your face, going to the bathroom the morning of (in my case, not too much, haha), arriving at the start, a few key places in the race, and what Tina says is most important, visualizing the finish.  While I’ve pictured myself running a race, I have never visualized quite to this detail. I’m not as familiar with the course, but there are certainly ways that I can visualize better. With so much of running being a mental field, I truly think that this is a powerful tool! I have a couple of days to really get those details nailed down! 🙂

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Do you practice visualization for races (or anything else)? Has it helped?

 

Running with a cold, race week

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My heart grows every day with this little baby. ❤️ How is that even possible?! It blows my mind to think that our Heavenly Father loves us this much, and he brought Heaven to earth when he made me a mom. 👶 I’m staying conservative with my race coming up on Sunday, so I only rode 45 minutes on the bike today. 🚴‍♀️ Maybe some strength work tonight? #bestlittletrainingbuddy #21monthsold #perfection #motherrunner #spinbike #homegym #crosstraining #taperweek #marathontraining #womenrunning #womensrunningcommunity

I think it’s pretty normal that taper week brings out the worst in us in just about every way. I actually really like taper week and the excitement of the race, but inevitably, I feel a niggle or catch something. In this case, I caught the cold that Cadence brought home from daycare. (Breastfeeding and antibodies here.)

Other than easing up on training in order to be fresh for the race, how much should you alter your training if you have a cold? Runner’s Connect has an article here that says to listen to your body, but in general it’s ok to run as long as the symptoms are all congestion related. Focus more on effort than pace, and err on the side of caution.  So I just rode the bike today and let my legs and stuffy head have one more day of a break. 🙂

Do you run when you have a cold?