Cautiously Optimistic

image3-7

Altra Lone Peaks Neoshells (2.0) combined with Kahtoolas for the win this very icy winter!

Every time I start a blog post, I write the title first.  I wonder if I have repeated a title yet…

Anyway, on to this week!  I FINALLY got a full week of training in and was happy for all of it.  I kept a very close eye on my heart rate, which I have found over the years is one of the biggest barometers for how healthy I am.  My heart rate is largely affected by illness and fatigue, which I am sure is common.  It used to be all over the place when I worked midnights for a living.  It was spikey over the last month of illness.  This past week, it was back to steady and controllable!  That is a great sign.

I completed two gym workouts, four runs and a total of 25.4 miles and 2300 ft. of gain.  This is my biggest week since the last week of December.  I’m coming into a recovery week, then shit gets REAL!  Here is my week in pictures!

image1-10

Hello Tuesday… this was my first big workout back at AI.  I felt this one in my hamstrings all week.

image2-9

And then there was Thursday.  I LOVE ROWING!!!

image4-6

Friday hill repeats and my partner’s pants falling down!

image1-11

A BEAUTIFUL Saturday long run across our local tiny mountains!

image2 (10).JPG

The ladies of VT100 training posing!  Cannot wait to put down many more miles with these two.  Adventures to come!

image3-9

My crazy pacer….

So there you have it!  #altrarunning #embracethespace #zerolimits #eatallofthesnacks #100miles #VT100

Moose Mountain Runaround – Recap

Happy Monday! I am writing to you from my recliner, recovering from yet another bout of illness.  This is my third go around this month and I have had a little of everything.  Head cold, strep throat and now a quick flu bug.  Is this it?  I certainly hope so!

image1-9

Ready to race!

Rather than dwell on the training I didn’t get done last week, I am choosing to move forward and not give it a second thought.  I ran the Moose Mountain Runaround, a snowshoe race, on Saturday!  If you ever have a chance to push your comfort zone, do it!  That is snowshoe racing for me.  The terrain is always hard and the conditions make you work for it!  This course was 4.4 miles long and consisted of two laps.  My favorite part of the day was seeing Coach Chris in person! His advice was to feel out the course in the first lap (to include my competition) and move in the second lap.  Here is how that went!

image2-8

Acidotic Racing Team Picture (SNAPAcidotic photo cred)

We were sent on our way and I got stuck in the rear of the pack on the singletrack.  This tends to happen to me for a few reasons:

  1. I gas out quick if I don’t have time to settle into a groove
  2. I don’t have the confidence yet to pick a spot up front and hang there

I was able to start passing on the hills where I am strongest and essentially found a spot and stayed there for the rest of the race.  I was alone for most of the course and had some time to pay attention to what was going on.  From the beginning, I felt like I had no gas in my tank and my heart rate hung around 185.  That is way too high for even me and I would have expected to see roughly 170.  Clue #1 that I was getting sick.  My legs felt incredible but I was essentially standing still (in my mind).  Stats for the race were as follows:

11:47/11:06/11:59/11:08/last 0.3 mile 10:09.  Average HR 182

image3-6

Finish line! (SNAPAcidotic photo cred)

I am not at all disappointed in this effort!  I was happy to get out on the course and spend time with friends.

By the time Saturday PM hit I knew something was wrong.  I fell asleep with a sore throat and woke up with it raging accompanied by my low back being stuck in a vice.  I have very little post race soreness and this was way worse… like the flu.  I spent Sunday in bed, getting about 7 more hours of sleep and battling a horrible headache.  I feel pretty good this morning and hope I kicked it.

In closing… this happened last night:

image4-5

So as I said before, I can’t dwell on what I didn’t get done in January.  It doesn’t matter.  All I can do is move forward, stay positive and keep my fingers crossed for good health!

 

READY!

IMG_0857.JPG

Antibiotics are done.  The sickness is gone.  My energy level is cranking again.  I’ve run 14 miles in the month of January.  Horrifying, right?

For the first time ever, I am not nervous about it.  Well, maybe a smidgen.  I am having a case of watching everyone else put down huge miles and wondering when my body will be ticking well enough to do it too.  Mostly, I am so excited about doing the work that I am sad that I am NOT doing it.  All that being said, my job for the last few weeks was to get healthy and get through my trip without any detrimental effects.

I can’t believe I have already left and come back.  This trip is my FAVORITE away game of the year.  I am fortunate enough to hang with some amazing people (50 or so of them) and work my butt off for three days.  The mountains in North Las Vegas are breathtaking and make me smile.  I want to run them!!!

I was cleared to workout on Sunday and hit the treadmill for a hill run.  I felt pretty good and the cough is gone too.

img_0879

My Altra Lone Peaks 2.5 and 3.0 headed to Vegas with me.  I worked all three days in my 3.0 (two of those days exceeded 12 hours) and had ZERO foot pain.  They perform well on trails, mountains and concrete.  Altra is my choice for all things work related when boots are not required.  I could not be more proud to be an Ambassador for 2017!!!

img_0892

IMG_0901.JPG

Today, I HIIT the gym (see what I did there?) and got to hang on the new rowers Ben got in! I have loved rowers for years, but sadly PF doesn’t have them.  I love that Ben is working them in to our workouts.  Once again, this solidifies I am at the right gym, with the right trainer!!!

I made a quick decision today to snowshoe race on Saturday!  Wooo! Tony and I are taking on a 4.5 mile course and I will do my best to not dry heave and cry for the duration of the race.  I get to rock my new Acidotic Racing nordic shirt and rep my team.  Guess what will be on my feet??? Yup… Altra Lone Peak  NeoShell 2.0.  Check them out!!! I am scheduled for a 40 minute run tomorrow and three hours Sunday.  I would say I am officially back on track.

What I am eating this week:

I love Onnit products.  I started taking New Mood again and believe it helped me beat jet lag.  I have been sleeping like a champ and waking well rested.  I also started using their MCT Oil.   I have been adding this oil to coffee and protein shakes and I swear it gives me energy.  Probably in my head :).  If you don’t know what bulletproof coffee is, look it up.  This oil is a major component.  I do not add the butter… but this oil.  The Vanilla is amazing!!!

What I am reading:

Cheesy romance novels!  I love Fern Michaels and started re-reading her Texas series on the plane.  And in my hotel room.  And now back at home.  Don’t judge.  We all have our things.

So that’s it.

Well, until Sunday when I register for the VT100 Endurance Race.  HOLY SHIT!  I can’t stop smiling.  I am so excited about this endeavor.

#altrarunning #acidoticracing #aR #onnit #embracethespace #zerolimits #100miles

Benched!

can'trun

You heard me… Coach Chris benched me this week.  He had excellent cause to do so and I will reiterate THIS IS WHY I HIRED A COACH.  The last two weeks have been professionally stressful, as any major change is even when we don’t realize it at the time.  I have been battling a run of the mill head cold, but that turned into strep.  More than a handful of us have it and are on antibiotics.  And on the coach piece… I make so many decisions on a daily basis that it’s wonderful to have someone else guiding ME for once.  If you are like me and control everything, its nice to give up control on just one MAJOR thing.  Try it sometime.  Tell me I’m wrong.

The rules?  No workouts (i.e. no unnecessary stress on the body) until the antibiotics course is over.  There is tons of information on this approach online and I’m good with his call.  In addition… I would not have made this decision for myself.  72 hours on antibiotics and I would have returned to hard work not knowing any better.  So, between the course of drugs, the risk of secondary infection, a new job position and the fact I am about to travel, I have been benched.  I am not going to lie.  I am a bit relieved.  I get to focus on some major stuff, sleep A LOT and prepare to travel with a little less stress.  Don’t be under any impression I don’t miss working out, because I do, but this is fine by me for this week.

What have I been reading?

Lots!  In between sleeping.  Have you visited Ultra168?  Do it.  SO many good articles.  I especially like their Running Philosophy section.

Food!!!!

Carb it up and make this amazing artichoke and spinach pizza!  A few tweaks on my end included an herb and basil dough from the supermarket and a white sauce (pesto and artichoke based) from the pasta sauce aisle.  Oh, and husband added Kalamata olives to the top.  YUM!!!

image1-8

 

Head over to my Instagram and check out the video Tony took during hill repeats.  I am sure many of you feel my pain!

20170106_164639

Finally, I am really looking forward to the next few months.  Flying this week, heading up north next month and so many other adventures I can’t discuss yet!  Can’t wait to get healthy and stay strong!

image2-7

Down with the sickness…

15826010_10211837934563270_2495568261252981913_n

This pants did not do well snowshoeing!

The worst thing that can happen to a runner next to injury is illness.  Good luck telling us to stop… we will usually run dehydrated, with lung issues and even through stomach issues.  I have heard it all and done most of it myself.  I was doing so well until this last Wednesday when the sick bus hit me, face on.  Sore throat, nasal issues, sinus pain and now drainage… so pleasant.   I lost two training days midweek per Coach Chris.  I had to wait out the sore throat and tiredness.  This week was the last hard week of my mesocycle, so I really wanted to make the most of it.  I did the best I could by treating myself well and being careful during my sessions.

All that being said, I had a badass weekend!  Let me start by saying the Egoscue Method stretches for feet and ankles ARE making a difference in my flexibility.  For the first time in two months, I have more mobility and have been pain free for two days.  I don’t believe in miracles, but I do believe in self care so I am keeping this up!  I am also still riding high on becoming an Altra Ambassador!  Have you checked out their product yet?  I am not saying they are for everybody, but my feet, legs, ankles – everything – have never been this happy.  If you want to learn about the Altra story, I highly recommend this podcast on Trail Runner Nation.  Its with Altra founder Golden Harper.  I listened to it on one of my runs last spring around the time I switched.

photo555681816945731866

So, this week’s training felt GOOD.  My legs are so happy, like they suddenly woke back up. This is my longest mileage month since July and I am eager for more.

What I am reading this week:

Through WordPress and Instagram, I met fellow blogger VT Runner Mom.  Check her out! She’s training for VT100 too!

What I am eating this week:

Lots of chicken and veggies.  And some bacon.  I did make these last night for NYE (I can’t taste anything but hubby said they were amazing):  Maryland Style Crabcakes

I am down two pounds this week which was not intentional.  I know my body well enough to know its too soon to be shedding.  I am at a healthy, strong weight and need to increase calories to keep up with my new work load.

In total, I did one gym workout:

image5-1

I did a total of three runs for 14.2 miles and 1800 ft. of gain.  Most of that gain was breaking trail up the BRT on my way to Quarry and Straightback Mountains.  I did almost three hours in my new Dion snowshoes and I fell in love!  Tony and I laughed a lot on this adventure.  This keeps me moving.

image1-7

image3-4

image4-4

This coming week is an active recovery week and then I am traveling for work.  I am relying on the plan to keep me motivated.  Work is also amping up for me this week, so I am going to have to work hard to keep my head screwed on the right way.  Thankfully, my workouts are my happy place and set the stage for my whole day!