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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Tuesday Topic: What is on Your Spring Bucket List?

Big Sur International Marathon was going to be my Spring bucket list race. I was going to, then, attempt a four day 100 miler. Those plans are, clearly, not going to happen, but of all the things that I'm fretting about, those races are the least of my worries.

I think that the reason I'm not worried about is that I can really see the hand of God in my running life. Sometimes, very rarely in my opinion, God gives you a small gift just to show you that he cares about the tiny details of your life. He cares about what you care about, just because you care about it. I have a plain and simple testimony that has completely lightened my heart about missing these races.

I have been trying to join the Marathon Maniacs for years, but some injury always gets in my way. I got it in my mind that I could join the Marathon Maniacs if I found marathons near Big Sur. I decided to run Seaside Marathon. Along with Big Sur and 100 miler attempt after Big Sur. Those three races together would allow me to meet the criteria.

I signed up for Seaside at the spur of the moment. I developed this plan and signed up for Seaside with zero second guessing. I'm not a spontaneous person. I didn't even tell my husband that it was a marathon. I told him that I was running in Ventura, and I had to get up super early. I planned to go alone. He said, "Let's get a hotel. I'm coming. It is a marathon, right?" How did he know it was a marathon? Why was he offering to go? I couldn't believe his attitude, and his absolute insistence that not only was he going, but my son was going and we were all going to have a great time. That is exactly what happened. He drove. He catered to my needs the entire time, and we had a great time.

A few days after the Seaside, I saw a post in an fb group. Someone posted about a local 10k. I went to the link, because a local race that I haven't heard of is pretty unusual. It turned out that there was also a 12 hour overnight race. Again, without a second thought, I signed up. Who signs up for a 12-hour race with only three days notice. I'm not sure of anything...lol, but I was completely sure. I didn't sign up because of the Marathon Maniacs. I just wanted to do it. A good friend decided to do it with me. The race was so much fun. With just those two races, I met the Marathon Maniacs criteria. Since I was already a Half Fanatic, it also made me a Double Agent. I had no idea that the other races wouldn't happen.

I feel like God gave me a little gift. I know that that I didn't reach my goal due to my planning. I am disappointed that the other races aren't going to happen, but the disappointment is overshadowed by the fact that I can see God's work in my life. This is no big thing. It is just a small thing, but God doesn't just show up for the big stuff. He can show up for the small stuff too.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Meatless Monday Protein Coconut Curry Pumpkin Soup

Protein Coconut Curry Pumpkin Soup by lindasig_runs on Jumprope.

This recipe is a winner. It is delicious and packed with nutrients. You can add protein powder or collagen for increased protein.


Tuesday, March 10, 2020

First Runs with Stryds Power Foot Pod


I have been eyeing the Stryd foot pod for a long time. I finally pulled the trigger. It came in the mail last Saturday, 3/7/2020.

Stryd Foot Pod
My first impression, before even using it, was that there was a lot to do and read to set up the pod. There are very clear directions for all the steps, but there were a lot of steps. I had actually started going through the process the day before getting the pod. I had to email to get some clarification of one of the steps, but I got a pretty quick response and the pod is working perfectly.

When the pod arrived in the mail on Saturday, I had already run. I wasn't expecting to arrive, but of course I had to give it a try. The directions said that your first three runs should be specific ones.
  • a sustained race pace effort for 10-20 minutes
  • short distance sprints
  • a long run over an hour in duration.
The pod uses these runs to calculate a Critical Power (CP) number. CP is the threshold at which the dominant type of fatigue your body experiences changes. It is the Power level that should correspond to your 10K pace. This number is used to determine your optimal training intensities (Power Zones) which trigger specific fitness gains and guide the effort that you exert during your runs.

I warmed up on the treadmill and went out for a fast 1.5 miles. Then, I turned around and did a tabata to get back home. My first two runs took care of 2 out of the 3. I planned to do my long run the next day and take care of the third. I assumed that I needed that long run to generate a CP, but when the first two runs uploaded, a CP of 198 was generated for me.

First Long Run using CP
Hansons plans are already entered into the Stryd data base (which is what I'm using). It recommended running my long run between 80-85% of my CP. I decided to go for 80% (Power 158).

I ran 16 miles, I was doing great for 14 of them. The last two miles of my 16 miler had two giant hills, and I couldn't maintain the Power number going up those hills. I slowed down an incredible amount. My averaged Power was 157 which was a pace of 9:37.

Impressions:

I really enjoyed using Power to guide my run. Elevation changes were clearly reflected in the power number that I saw on my watch. Power was easier to use than pace. When I use pace, I know that I have to slow down when going uphill and speed up when I go downhill, but I'm never sure as to what degree. I was really surprised at how hard I had to push myself to maintain the Power number going downhill.


Recovery Runs using CP: Monday 3/9/2020

On Monday, I ran a double. I had planned to run two recovery runs between Power 130-140 which is at the low end of zone 1. When I was out there in the dark early morning, my legs couldn't handle it. I ran 4.5 miles at a 12:50 pace. It took forever. I ran at Power average of 116. I was pretty surprised that my body felt as beat up as it did. As many of you know, I ran a marathon and a 50K in close succession. The 50K was actually a 12 hour, overnight race eight days ago. Am I having such a hard time recovering because I still haven't recovered from that or was it the pace of the long run? Honestly, I have been doing my long runs closer to a ten minute mile on road. I don't think that I even really look at my watch on the trail, so I can't tell how slow I'm running. Whatever the reason, my body was taxed. When I looked at the other data available from that run, I came to the conclusion that I could not have run more inefficiently if I had been trying. I don't understand all of the other data, but I do basically have a sense of bad vs good. Every possible stat showed a movement in a negative direction.

My afternoon run was much longer, but I was a little bit more loosened up. I ran ten miles at an average Power of 129 which is the bottom of my zone 1 (pace 11:39). It was difficult, but easier than my morning run.

Impressions:

My body felt terrible. I had no impression. I didn't care. I was just happy it was over, especially the short morning run.

Run Tuesday 3/10/2020

Tuesday's run seemed like it would be a rainy one which would have been a good test to see if the pod is really waterproof. It rained all day, but when I stepped outside, it stopped raining. So, no test was to be had.

The reason that I really wanted to try out this power meter is because I always run on hills. Here are the elevation profiles of the repeats.

1st repeat: Power Avg. 202, pace 7:43

2nd repeat: Power Avg. 196, pace 7:41

3rd repeat: Power Avg, 187, pace 7:52


It is really difficult to figure out how to pace on hills. Not only is it hilly but windy. Wind is just part of living on the Central Coast. What I really do is just go all out most of the time when I want to run fast which is not the best way to train. I want to be able to train with nuance.

I had cruise intervals at marathon pace -10 on the schedule (goal pace between 7:40-7:45). I wanted to see if I would run the pace that I wanted to if I ran by Power. With a CP of 198, I should have been attempting to hold a power of about 190. I thought that 190 would not give me the overall pace that I wanted, so I upped it to 200.

200 turned out to be just about perfect:
  • 1st repeat: Power Avg. 202, pace 7:43
  • 2nd repeat: Power Avg. 196, pace 7:41
  • 3rd repeat: Power Avg, 187, pace 7:52

Impressions:

I really liked using power as a guide, but I'm pretty sure that my Critical Power, as it was automatically calculated, is too low. As I run more, the CP should continue to update. I think that my CP is probably closer to 209. I am going to make that assumption that it is in fact 209 and attempt my 9 mile marathon pace run on Thursday at 192-199.



I'm participating on the Runners Roundout. Join your hosts Coach Debbie Runs, Running on Happy, Confessions of a Mother Runner, Mile by Mile, Runs with Pugs, and Fauxrunner each week for the Runners' Roundup linkup!

Tuesday Topic: Trail Running...Yes or No?

Today's Tuesday topic is Trail Running: Yes or No? This is an easy one. I love trail running. So, for me, the answer is yes, yes YES! I live in a temperate climate, and I'm pretty close to the trails. My heart and my passion for running is on the trail. I'm very protective of my trail running. I try very hard not to let anything get in the way of me hitting the trails at least once a week.

The way that I think about running and the way that I feel when I run differs depending on whether I'm on trail and road. I don't care about my pace on the trail. I barely ever check my watch. I could easily run without a watch at all. I often take my phone and stop to take pictures. Even during trail races, I am less competitive is spirit. My approach to the race is more about the experience rather than placing or performance.

On the road, I'm completely different. I'm very pace oriented. The Garmin rules. I check my watch about a thousand times during a run to make sure I am meeting training goals. During a road race, about the only thing I care about is my performance.

There are lots of benefits that I can give about the physical aspects of trail running and why it's beneficial, but it's either in your blood or it's not. Running has brought many wonderful things into my life, but I could live without road running. I would be an incredibly sad if I had to give up the trails. If I couldn't run for some reason, hopefully, I would be able to hike. I am a nature girl through and through.


Tuesday topic Link up with KookyRunner and Zenaida



Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Use Code "LINDARUNS" for a 20% Discount on Lebert Equalizers


Lebert Equalizers are an incredibly versatile tool, and they are fun to use. I'll be showing you lots of exercises over the next few months, so stay tuned. Please use my discount if you would like to pick up a pair for yourself. #LebertAmbassador


Use Code "LINDARUNS" for 20% off at Lebertfitness.com
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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Tuesday Topic Link Up: Have You Ever Taken a Break from Running?


Have You Ever Taken a Break from Running?

I started running about ten years ago. Up until very recently I had never purposely taken a break. I had been sidelined by injury, but I had never stopped training for any other reason. That changed after the Ventura Marathon in 2019.

I really had to listen to what my body was telling me. I couldn't make my paces in training. My body hurt. Recovery wasn't really happening. My heart rate was higher than usual. My grit and mental toughness seemed non-existent. I was over trained or at least getting dangerously close. Also, I didn't have any muscle. I made a conscious decision to stop training. I didn't stop running completely but almost. I took off two months and concentrated on building muscle. I loved going to the gym. It was so much fun. My body got much stronger. I made tremendous gains.

I've been training (running) again for about 9 weeks. It was really hard the beginning. It is still difficult because, I'm slower than I used to be. I know a lot of what is happening with my body is naturally what happens to an aging body. Part of my problem has been trying to train like I did when I was 40. I am now almost 50, but I was unwilling to adapt my training. I'm trying to be open to giving my body what it needs and to some extent accepting the inevitability of slower paces.

I am also just not being so rigid. Randomly running a marathon and then an ultra in close succession is not the best choice for the marathon training, but it was a great choice for my spirit. Spending as much time as I have been spending on the trail is not the best way to train for a road marathon, but it is what I love about running. Training doesn't have to be all work. Training is work, but if it is all grind, eventually it grinds you down.

If I'm going to run another 10 years, what running means to me has to change. In the past, it has been about accomplishment. Now, it really needs to be about passion. I don't think accomplishments are behind me, but PRs will one day really be behind me. I have probably already ran my fastest 5K. I'm never going to PR in a 5K again, does that mean I'm never going to enjoy a 5K? I may have run my fastest marathon too, and I sure as heck plan to run a lot more marathons.

My job right now is to find a way to train hard, but with my heart and passion and to do the running that I want to do for the joy of it.

Link up with KookyRunner and Zenaida

Sunday, March 1, 2020

ElevateRace 12 Hour

I have been trying to join the Marathon Maniacs for several years. I ran the Seaside marathon on Feb. 16th with the hope of running three marathons within 90 days of Feb 16th. I knew that I'll be racing Big Sur in April, so I was hoping to run a third and finally be able to join. It just happened that last week, I found out about a 12 hour, overnight race (1 mile loop) happening the following Friday night (a few days later). It would meet the criteria for the Marathon Maniacs. I decided immediately to do it, even though I had never done anything like that before. I've run 50ks, but I've never a race at night and certainly not overnight. An adventurous friend of mine immediately agreed to run as well which made me feel so much better.

How does one prep for a 12 hour race? I didn't know, but I came up with a plan. I wanted to complete a 50K in 6 hours. The race started at 8:45PM. The plan was to alternate taking 1/3 of Maurten 360 drink and one Maurten gel on every 1/2 hour until I complete a 50K. That would give me about 200 calories every hour. I also brought fig newtons, dates, oranges, and Nuun and planned to take a caffeine pill every three hours and salt every 2-3 hours. My plan was to run the first 20 miles at a long run pace (between 8:15-9:30) and then run the next 12 between 10:00-12:00. After that, I planned to walk as much of the night as I can. It turned out that this plan was a pipe dream. I didn't even come close to running 50k in 6 hours. It took me 8:30, but more about that later.

I had a few questions before the race. The race director answered the questions promptly. There was easy email communication. The race was held on the property of First Baptist Church in Santa Maria. I arrived at the venue about 7PM, checked in, and set up my table.  We were given a beautiful mug with our number. I appreciated it much more than a participation medal.


My husband had to take me back home, because I forgot to take a medication. I got back to the venue at about 8:15. My husband left before the race started, but I met up with my friend who was also racing, and we consolidated our space.




The vibe was very friendly. People walked up and said hi. There was plenty of chit chat. The race was a fundraiser to support student mission trips. There were lots of young people participating in the 12 hour race. The kids were fun to watch. Most of the youth participants were between 7-14, I would guess. They were very well mannered and encouraging of each other and other participants.

The race started on time. The course was much more cross-country-ish than I anticipated. About half of the 1-mile loop was on grass and dirt for which you had to have a light to run. The other half was well lit on asphalt. I really enjoyed the varied nature of the course. I did a 1-mile loop once before, and, eventually, the course got boring. I honestly did not get bored on the course while I was running. There was a lot to keep your mind occupied in just navigating.

The course was well marked. Everything went fine for about 13 miles. I followed my plan exactly, but after about 13 miles, every time I checked my watch, I was running slower and slower. For some reason, I did not think that the fact that I ran a marathon just two weeks ago was going to impact my performance, but I was wrong. I did not have it in me to keep up such a fast pace on dirt and I probably couldn't have do on road. My body just couldn't do it. I did not feel tired in the slightest. I was wide awake. I did not feel hungry or nauseous. I had energy, but my legs hurt, and they hurt more and more as time passed. Maybe around 2 or 3 in the morning I abandoned my nutrition plan. It was working, I just didn't have the discipline to keep it up. This is when having a crew would have been helpful. If someone would been encouraging to follow the plan, I probably would have. At some point, I really can't remember when, I took a long break and used a percussion massager on my legs. It helped a lot.

At the 26 mile mark, I thought that I would run-walk, but once I started walking, I never did start running again. The only thing that was wrong with me was that my legs hurt...bad. It wasn't like running a road marathon. When I run a marathon, by the end, my whole body hurts. It is hard to even decipher the pain. This pain was localized and acute.

I didn't realize how cold it would be when I stopped running. I got very cold and changed my clothes completely. I put on tights, two shirts and gloves and I was still cold. I was shivering and tensing the muscles of my neck and back. Whereas before, only my legs hurt, now everything was hurting. Every now and then, I had to keep stopping to stretch my neck and back. I never thought that I would stop running before I met my goal, but I was getting more and more miserable.

The wee hours of the morning...when it got cold...when everyone was digging deep... is when I had the best conversations other runners and walkers. This experience was really epic. I decided to do this on a whim. Because I am in the middle of marathon training, I wanted the race to enhance the training. That is why I ran the first part of the race like a long run. I'm so excited about the prospect of running this next year with the specific goal of running it as it was meant to be run. I want to start off slow and just see how long I can really go.

My 6 hour 50k turned into an 8.5 hour 50k. When I hit 50k I was really, really done. I ordered a quesadilla with cheese, potato soup and a coke. Yes, food to order was amazing. I got in my car to attempt a few hours sleep at about 5:30. It was too cold for me to sleep. I had a blanket, and I was in a sleeping bag and I was still cold. When the sun came up, I knew that sleep would not come, so I got up. I saw a few runners that were still at it, so I did my best to encourage them. I reconnected with my friend. She was trying to sleep as well. We both decided to leave..

I was pretty irritated that the award ceremony was so long after the race was over. The race officially ended at 8:45, but the awards weren't until 10:30. There was a 5K & 10K on Saturday morning starting at 9:00. Instead of having two award ceremonies, there was just one for all the races. I had earned a trophy for running a 50k, and I definitely wanted it, so I was going back. I went home and got in my hot tub. Finally, I was warm and my body relaxed. I still wasn't particularly sleepy, but I felt almost drunk.

When I went back for the ceremony, one of the first people I saw gave me a big hug and told me how much my encouragement helped her during the race. It made me want to cry, but like I said, I was drunk. I love to encourage other runners at races (unless they are women in my age group...they can crash and burn..ha ha) Once the ceremony started, I understood. This race was a fundraiser for a Christian ministry. The award ceremony was an opportunity to evangelize and promote the ministry.  It was all good once I understood the logic.

I got a lovely trophy for completing the 50K distance. I loved the race, and if they offer it next year, I'll be among the first to sign up. Also, I got my Marathon Maniac number today: 15560


I'm participating on the Runners Roundout. Join your hosts Coach Debbie Runs, Running on Happy, Confessions of a Mother Runner, Mile by Mile, Runs with Pugs, and Fauxrunner each week for the Runners' Roundup linkup!

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Seaside Marathon Race Review

It was a mad rush to get out of the house in time to make it to packet pick up before 3:00. It is only a couple of hours drive, but my husband (coach) and son had track practice in the morning. We did make it. The packet pickup was easy, and I actually spoke to the race director.


We stayed at the Amanzi Hotel. The hotel doesn’t look too particularly impressive from the outside, but the rooms are actually very nice. The beds were comfortable and the pillows soft. There was a microwave and a coffee maker in the room. I loved the two separate sinks in the bathroom which is great for a family traveling together. Additionally, there were free cocktails in the evening, and my husband said that there was plenty of hot food at the complimentary breakfast.

I wanted pasta for dinner, but I couldn’t find a close Italian restaurant, so we settled on a restaurant in walking distance of the hotel. The food wasn't very good. I'll just leave it at that. Normally, I would have had put more thought into dinner, but I just decided to run this marathon a couple of days before, so I hadn’t scoped out restaurants. I didn't eat as much as I thought I should have eaten.

I, also, didn't pack as much as I would normally pack for breakfast. I didn't even remember to pack an extra goo to take right before the marathon. In the morning, I like to stop eating or drinking everything three hours before my last bathroom stop. Since, I planned to leave the hotel at 6:30, that would normally mean a 3:30AM food/drink deadline. The race director assured me that there were plenty of porta potties. Since I wasn’t racing, I figured that I didn’t need to be completely strict. I got up at 4:00AM. I had a bagel with cream cheese, a banana and orange juice and coffee. I got back in bed and slept a little more. My intent was to wear a vest, and bring my phone so my husband could track me, but when I put on all the gear, in the morning, I just couldn’t do it. Why spend $130 for support and wear a vest? I just loaded up my pockets.

I knew that it would be cold at the beginning. I intended to wear sleeves, but I forgot them at home. I had brought gloves that I really liked (instead of throwaways) because I thought that I would have my pack to put them in. I have Raynauds (circulation problem) which means that I had to wear my gloves. I didn’t want to ditch those particular gloves, but I figured I would if I absolutely had to. My husband was able to drop me off pretty close to the start. When I got out the car, it was COLD! I was freezing. Everyone was obviously cold. Runners were taking refuge in the gear check trailer. I just started walking in big circles. I was really nervous that I would be cold for 26.2 miles. Surely, there would be a headwind for half the course. A lot of people had on a lot of clothes. I began to question my shorts and short sleeve shirt decision. I started talking with a guy from the East Coast. He tried to reassure me that I would be fine, but you know those people from the East Coast are beasts. I’ve lived in California for over thirty years. The last thing that you can believe an East Coaster about is when they tell you that it isn’t that cold. He was wearing a tank top and shorts and he looked completely comfortable. I hoped that he was right, but I didn’t really believe that I was going to warm up all that quickly.



Sure enough though, as soon as I started running, I felt fine.


I had to use the very first porta pottie. I think that it was at the 1.5 mile. No tissue was provided, but I had my own. The one piece of advice I give to anyone running any race distance is to pack your own tissue in a sandwich bag. The course was out and back. We pretty much went 6.55 miles down the coast and turned around. Marathoners did the loop twice. There were a lot of beach views, but for two solid miles (four for the marathoners), all you had for a view was a wall of RVs on one side and the highway on the other. The course really wasn’t flat. It was better than flat. Just slight rolling hills that were just enough. There is one real hill. It is about a mile before the turnaround/end of the half marathon.



I ran between 8:30-8:50 for the first 15 miles. I felt good. I could have run faster, but I wanted to run at a long run pace. From miles 15-22, I ran between 9:00-9:45. It was getting hard. I could have run faster, but I was getting tired. From miles 22-26.2, I ran between 10:00-11:00. I had planned to actually walk after mile 20, but my body was hurting. I wanted off the course and walking would have taken too long. I guess if I had really wanted to, I could have run faster, but I was working hard for that 11 minute mile. I was surprised by my mile 22 melt down. I planned to walk, but I thought that I was going to feel a lot better. Clearly, I have to work on my endurance. I have 8 weeks. I hope that is enough.



My nutrition plan was to stop at every aid station for water and to take a Maurten gel every 4 miles. I must have screwed that up somehow, because at the 20 mile mark, I ran out of gels. I must have gotten confused. I didn't have any nausea or GI issues, so it was fine, overall.

I wasn't cold at all while I was running, but as soon as I stopped running, I was cold. My husband and my son met me at the finish. They brought a bag of dry clothes, but I didn't want to change in the porta potties. There were tacos at the finish and the were positively delicious. After I devoured the two free tacos, my husband went and bought me two more.


The only thing disappointing about this race besides the miles of RVs blocking my view was the medals. The finishers medal was by no means medal. It was cheap plastic and not at all worthy of a marathon medal. I got 4th overall and first AG, but the AG awards weren't available. Evidently Corona virus shut down the Chinese factory. My problem isn't with the delay in the AG medal. Unforeseen stuff happens. It is with the cheap plastic crap being passed off as medal. Luckily for me, this wasn't my first and it won't be my last chance at some cool bling.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Big Sur International Marathon, April 26, 2020

I am honored to be an ambassador for Big Sur International Marathon on April 26, 2020. I hope to see you there.



Tuesday, November 13, 2018

FeetUp Trainer Review

Ever since I managed a headstand a couple of months ago, I have been wanting to do more. The problem is that I am not strong enough to really do a headstand correctly. You have 7 small vertebrae in your neck. Those bones are designed to hold the weight of your head, but the aren't meant to the hold the weight of your entire body. Your arms should be holding up all of your weight when you do a headstand. When I do a headstand, yes, my arms are doing the majority of the work, but my head is holding up some of me weight. I've got too many problems to add neck problems to my problems...lol..so I figured, I would have to give up the headstand dream. Until....

I saw an ad for the FeetUp trainer, and immediately wanted it. I thought that I would have to wait until Christmas, but FeetUp agreed to let me try one out. This thing is incredible. I can try any inversion pose that I want without fear, because my neck is completely safe.

Let's start with the beginning. It only took a few minutes to put it together, and it is very sturdy. I am certain that it will be able to hold my weight for years to come.

The FeetUp support really delivers. It does exactly what it advertises. It allows you to do an inversion similar to a headstand without putting any weight on your neck. There is still an element of balance to the inversion, but the balance is easier. Since you can be in the inverted stance longer, you can spend more time exercising and perfecting the pose. You will be amazed at the incredible, functional ab workout that you can get.

The best thing about the FeetUp is that it is fun. I can do exercises that I never dreamed that I could even attempt. If you any interest in inversion, I highly recommend the FeetUp.