Monday, February 25, 2008

enjoying or avoiding the pain

kaylynn and i had a conversation awhile back about a friend she had who trained and completed an ironman and during her training she went to a sports psychologist. the psychologist mentioned that there are two ways people "deal" with their pain during an endurance event. 1) people try to escape the pain and 2) people enjoy the pain. i've tried to determine which type of person i am and i think i am in the first category, most of the time. distractions (iPods, fresh air, people, long chats, thought processes) are my way of trying to "get through" a workout, long run, a race, whatever. the downfall with that is when your distractions run out and you are left with yourself. kaylynn thought she was more of a type 2 runner: she enjoys the pain. i can definitely say that there are moments where i enjoy it as well, but i'm an avoider, not an enjoyer.
jona, i think, enjoys the pain. but he also has a really great mechanism that i thought i'd share. we are huge fans of the coverage of the ironman in kona, hawaii that nbc airs every year.

in 2006, there was a particular elite athlete who was struggling - seriously struggling. the image of this ironman athlete left an impression with jona. and everytime he thinks he's got it rough during a run, he thinks of the ironman and it gives him some serious perspective.
pain and discomfort is certainly unavoidable during some of our runs ... what would you say you are? an enjoyer or an avoider? what do you do to enjoy or avoid the pain and get past it?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

sugar cravings, a funny story and a good run

today was a i-love-to-run day. well, let me back up. last night jona was out at a hockey game with some coworkers, and i was at home playing with my new dog, maggie. (we love her!) i had finished dinner around 6 and by 6:30 i was CRAVING junk food ... i needed some sugar, sugar, sugar. so i ate a fruit bar and a yogurt hoping it would subside the craving, which it did. but oh, how i wanted to sink my teeth into a yummy cookie, gummy anything (yes, molly - i have the love too) or anything yucky bad for you - but OH, so yummy.

so today i headed out for my tempo run.

Basic definition: sustained run at faster than usual training pace.

it consisted of a ten minute warm up, twenty minutes of hard running, and ten minute cool down. right at my turn around there was a group of girls running back and forth together racing. i said hello as i turned around and eyed a little girl ahead of me. she looked at me and i yelled "race ya!" and she took off like a bat out of hell ... stranger danger!! she was sooooo freaked out. she ran to the group she was playing with and just stared at me like i was going to kidnap her or something. shoot ... ! didn't mean to scare her. but thanks for the push. :)

tempo runs are an important part of training. they increase your lactate threshold and increase leg turnover. translation: you are able to run longer, harder. (for a good article on the lactate threshold, click here).

so, today was a i-love-to-run day. i was outside, enjoying the sunset, breathing in the cool air, and my tempo run went soooo well. i think it may just have something to do with not eating that cookie (or many cookies) last night. ;)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

salt lake half training: week one

training for the salt lake half marathon has begun, and week one was pretty good. the week consisted of an interval run on monday, cross training on tuesday, easy run on wednesday, tempo run on thursday, and a 10 miler on saturday.

i really appreciated the structure this training schedule gave me this week. every day had a purpose with "something" to check off the list.

reflecting on the runs this week i was reminded of two things: 1) take easy runs easy and 2) treadmills suck, trails rule. wednesday was supposed to be an "easy" run, but maren had posted an awesome 5K time on nikeplus, so i had to at least try and answer her time. (i'm still behind her by at least 2 minutes!) consequently, my tempo run on thursday suffered. also, all of my runs were on the treadmill this week, with the exception of saturday. saturday jona and i headed to umstead park in cary (for those of you in the bay area, imagine a bigger rancho san antonio). it was such a refreshing run. i love being outside and breathing (hard) in the fresh air. this was a hilly course, and we both finished really strong. the reason? hard work doing intervals and tempo runs during the week, and not eating junk food. it's an amazing formula.

monday will begin a new week. harder interval and tempo schedule. bring it on. have an awesome week running.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

alright maren, it's on

i'd be willing to bet that if you asked any of my girlfriends that i run with, they'd say that i was one of the more competitive people they know. (maybe an understatement?) but i submit that a little healthy competition is great for your running.

competition within my running has manifested itself in many ways. i compete for better times during races, i compete with my girlfriends during a tough track workout, i struggle with my mind trying to beat the negativity i sometimes feel during a hard push (or an easy mile!), and i even compete to better my time during a routine 4 miler around the neighborhood.

maren and i have shared a little healthy competition the past month or so in nike plus land with different challenges like fastest 5K by the end of february, or most miles my mid march. man, she cranked out a pretty crazy fast 5K! it is on maren, it is on! :)

the etymology for competition is the latin root "competere" which means to seek together or to strive together. i think adding a little competition to routine runs can help anyone work towards your goals.

my nikeid is jularun7 if you want to join the fun.

Monday, February 11, 2008

power of the mind

there are many muscles and organs that work together to allow you to run: your heart beats faster to pump oxygen carrying blood to your muscles that are working. while your quads, hamstrings, and calves are the principle muscles used while running, your back, abdominals, arms, as well as many other muscles work to keep you stabilized when pounding the pavement. your muscles store glycogen, the fuel to keep you going. and it all works in perfect harmony (hopefully!) to crank out whatever distance you might be gunning for that day.
i am convinced, however, that while all these muscles are crucial, the most crucial component of all is your brain. shoot, it's the organ that gets you off your butt to run in the first place.
let me explain: i just spent the last two weeks hanging out in utah. and how much running did i do there? 0.00. i did hit the gym once for a thirty minute elliptical session followed by thirty minutes of weight lifting, but shoot, the effect was negated by all the celebratory desserts in the first three days there! (maren, kaylynn: slap me later ... it was soooo hard).
fast forward to last thursday. jona and i crank out 3 miles. ugh. it was awful. 8 miles on saturday. again, not so fun. i couldn't get into a groove or relax my breathing the entire hour and eighteen minutes i ran. the 8 mile internal monologue was as follows: "this sucks, why am i such an idiot for NOT running for two weeks? my legs hurt, my feet hurt, it's too hot".
one more fast forward to today. i completed my first interval workout for my 10 week half marathon training plan. 6 intervals of 800M at goal pace with 2 minute recovery in between. i thought i was going to DIE by the third interval. but then i lied to myself, tricking my brain of sorts and said, "shoot! i can do this!" and immediately i perked up a bit. my steps quickened, my breathing quieted, and the last three intervals went just fine. they were still hard, but after i said the simple two words "i can" it was easier. hah, amazing.
so along with my new mantra "this is when your body changes", i will add "i can". try it, you just might like it. :)

join me?

today marks the beginning of my 10 week training plan for the salt lake half marathon. it will include intense interval workouts, weekly tempo runs and guided mileage for the weekends. chloe posted some awesome thoughts on her blog on why a half marathon is the perfect distance for runners. google "april half marathon" or visit to find 13.1 miles in your area. it just might change your life.
if you want the training schedule in excel format, just email me. my email addresses is under my complete profile.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


you must all go see this movie! spirit of the marathon is showing one more encore presentation on february 21. you know i will be there, again!

Spirit of the Marathon