Monday, June 29, 2015

I Will


A winter full of sub par training and illness has really caught up to me.  I'm a much higher body fat percentage than I have been in a LONG time.  I can feel it when I run, do jumping jacks, etc.  I'm determined to get back to where I was.  I'm currently at 22% body fat.  My past measurements: 
While I know 22% isn't terrible (it's in the fitness range) I know what percentage feels most comfortable for me and allows me to be my strongest, fastest and fittest.  

So I sat down and did some math.  I took my weight and body fat % to figure out how many pounds were fat.  Then I used where I want to be 15% to figure out how many pounds of fat to loose to get there.
 I figured I need to loose 9 pounds of body fat.  Since each pound of fat is equivalent to 3500 calories, that maintaining a deficient of 350 cals a day would have me loose a pound of body fat every ten days.  This rate would keep me in the healthy range of loosing no more than 0.7% of my body mass per week.  With this rate it will take me about 10 weeks to get to where I want to be.  Just in time for fall races!  

I don't focus on "weight" but I do focus on body fat.  Weight is relative and not bad.  Since muscle is denser than fat, the more muscle you have, the more you can weigh for your size and that is a good thing!  You can get your body fat measured at your gym by a trainer.  

I plan on doing what has worked for me in the past and you can read that: http://www.livefreeandrun.net/2013/06/how-i-got-faster-and-how-you-can-too.html?m=1

I can't just hope for the body fat to melt away....I need a plan and to commit to it. That 350 calorie deficit can't come from food for me.  I eat pretty healthy and don't really over eat.  The deficit will come from training (which the lack of lead to the muscle loss and fat gain in the first place).  Those 350 cals can come from running 4 miles everyday or at least completing some sort of higher intensity activity each day.  And weights are definitely re-entering my life!  

Do you have a goal?  Do you map and plan out how you are going to achieve it?  

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Race Recap: Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back UT


My Ragnar Wasatch adventure with Team Nuun began on Thursday morning heading to the airport bound for Salt Lake City, Utah.  This was my first time travelling solo since I had my daughter and I was actually a little bit nervous! 
 


Off I go!
I landed in SLC and headed to the other terminal to wait for Jeremy (also of Team Nuun) to arrive.  You can read about his adventures here.  When he arrived at the gate, we hugged and were happy to have officially met for the first time!  He joked that it was like an episode of Road Rules, meeting and picking up team members one at a time as they arrived!  We waited at pick up for Brian from Nuun Hydration to pick us up and then we headed to lunch in downtown Salt Lake City. 
We've arrived in Utah!
While at lunch in downtown, I happened to run into a friend from high school who moved to Salt Lake City after high school graduation and I had not seen her since!  We had talked on facebook about my visit to Utah, but we had not made definitive plans because I wasn't sure of mine.  It was pretty crazy that she chose to eat lunch at the same place!  What are the chances!

After lunch we headed back to the hotel and waited for more of the team to arrive, then we all headed out to our team dinner at Squatters.   Was so great to meet everyone in person.  Thanks again Nuun!  
The whole gang- Team Nuuniacs!
 A fellow member of our Ragnar team was also a fellow Women's Health Action Hero with me this year and last!  Yeah Vieve! 




After dinner, we went back to the hotel and began decorating our vans.  So fun!  This was all new to me as I had never done a Ragnar before.  Van decorating is amazing team bonding time!  Ha!
After that, we all went to bed.  It was late and we were tired.  Time to rest up as there wasn't going to be a lot of sleep for a while!  Van 1 headed out earlier in the morning as they had to get to the start line by 11am.  We didn't start until later so we were able to leave late and kill time before heading to Exchange 6. 
Brian, Jeremy, Vieve, George, Mindy and I are off!

We decided to make a detour and check out Willard Bay State Park.  The water was so warm and we all wanted to go in!  But instead, we just took cool pictures ;-)

We arrived at exchange 6 and waited for Van 1 to arrive.   It was getting really, really hot.  On the drive to the exchange, we learned that a Park City man died that morning on one of the legs.  We talked about taking it easy and staying hydrated.  We checked in, proved we had all of our safety gear and watched the mandatory safety video.  We walked around and did a little shopping and free sampling at the booths.  We tried to stay in the shade as much as possible as that bright sun was HOT!  It was very similar to an expo with tents and booths.  We saw Elizabeth running towards us, she made the exchange to Brian and Van 1 was off! 
I was runner 9, so I knew I still had a little bit of time before my run.  We took off in the van to meet Brian at the next exchange so he could hand off to Vieve.  Once Vieve was off and running, I knew it was almost my turn.  I was getting very nervous!  Not only had I never done a Ragnar before and wasn't quite sure what to expect, I also had a very difficult leg as my very first leg.  Check out that elevation profile!  Total elevation gain 2064ft in 7.8 miles!  Basically, I ran up the auto road to get people to Snow Basin ski resort. 

And I am off on my mega hill! 
I could not get my Garmin to start properly and kept trying, trying and trying.  So I had to run the leg mostly blind.  I made guesses as to how far along I was and tried to keep the team updated every once and a while by text.   At about a mile and a half up, I stopped to take this picture.  It was just too pretty not to! 


Taking in the views!

It just kept going up!


 
Along, the auto road, I only encountered 8 other runners.  4 that I passed, "kills" and 4 that passed me.  Some sections were so steep, that it was faster to power walk and I actually made a kill while power walking past a runner!  The views were beautiful and it was very serene.  It was nice because the road had been closed to race traffic, so I also only encountered two vehicles along the way.   I finished my leg and survived! Little did I know, it would turn out to be my favorite leg of the race.

Once I finished, George took off and we drove to a spot to pull off and cheer him on.  At this point, it was getting dark and starting to get very cold.  What an extreme from the heat we had experienced earlier in the day!  We finished up our legs and headed to meet Van 1 for the exchange.  Now that Van 1 was off we would have some time to rest! 

But of course, rest is relative because how are you really supposed to rest in a suburban with 6 other people?  I tried, but I just couldn't sleep.  I ended up getting out and going to the Elevated Legs tent that was using air compression leg pillows to massage runners' legs.  I happily paid the $25 for unlimited squeezes and hoped in the recliner!  Vieve and I stayed there for 40 minutes and it was amazing.  Van 1 let us know they were getting close, so we geared up for being on again.  We were in the early morning hours at this point 3am, and it was still very dark.  Elizabeth handed off to Brian who ran his leg, who handed off to Vieve to go run her leg. 
 
My next leg was my easiest and shortest, so I was not very worried.  It was also approaching sunrise, so the fear I had had about running in the dark and getting lost dissipated.  At this point, I am sure it was a combination of lack of sleep, altitude and not a lot of real food, but I was feeling very hungover and my stomach was wonky!  As I waited the ten minutes at the exchange zone for Vieve to arrive I made a mad dash to the porta-potties twice!  Ugh.    This next leg would take me along the road and then onto a trail.  I was hoping I would get to catch my team drive by me on this leg, and I heard them cheering for me, right as I turned onto the trail.  We just barely caught each other!  Since my first leg was unassisted, meaning no van support, I hadn't gotten to experience my team driving by cheering yet!  It was fun!  Once again, run it blind without GPS, but could see the exchange ahead and picked up speed for the hand off.  Four kills on that leg!  Wahoo! 
 

Handing off to George at sunrise! 

After George ran, then Jeremy, then Mindy.  Mindy was the runner to pass off to Van 1 again, so that gave us some time to take a break and go get breakfast.  We headed to the Starbucks in Park City, Utah to enjoy a leisurely breakfast.  Then we headed to the major van exchange to wait for Van 1 to hand off to us.  We had some time to relax and found a comfy spot in the shaded grass.   We kept looking at the mountains and knowing Brian was going to have to run up it and Vieve and I would be splitting the way down.   I love how they classified my next leg as MODERATE.  There was nothing moderate about it.  It was a very steep downhill and was hard on the legs.  But, it was also very hot with no shade.  The lower in elevation I got, the hotter it got.  By the time I got to the flat at the end of the leg, I was feeling almost dizzy.  I shared my water with another runner who was really feeling it.  The flat was almost harder because at that point, my legs did not want to switch modes and I felt a lack of power in my quads.  Since I had no GPS, I didn't know how much further we had to go.  I asked another runner if she knew and she also wasn't wearing a watch.  We spotted a sign up in the distance and both commented that we hoped that was the "1 Mile To Go" sign.  Ragnar doesn't mark the miles of the legs, but will usually just give a one mile to go.  The girl commented, "If that is not the 1 mile to go sign, I will scream".  I laughed and kept going.  I passed the sign and it didn't say, 1 mile to go, it just gave an arrow....what a let down.  Then about a minute later from behind me I heared, "For the love of God!"..... ha ha....she stayed true to her word and really did scream!  Love it. 
  
I handed off to George, who handed off to Jeremy and then to Mindy.  Once Mindy was off we knew it was time to make it to the finish line.  We got a little lost on the way to the finish line because we entered the GPS coordinates into our GPS that were given to us by Ragnar.  Problem was the finish line was somewhere else last year and I don't think Ragnar updated the GPS coordinates, so we ended up at an entirely different location and missed Mindy finish.  When we finally did arrive at the real finish line, we got the whole time together and staged our finish line crossing! 

We did it!  Team Nuuniacs, Ragnar Wasatch Back 2015. 

The backs of our medals fit together like a puzzle.


One of the best parts of the finish line to me, is the celebratory beer at the end.  We were all tired and wanted to head back to the hotel, but Mindy and I really wanted our beer.  We convinced everyone to stay so that we could enjoy it only to get to the beer garden and realize they were $5.  The worker said, "Yup this is Utah.  We can't give away free beer."  Wow!  So we headed back to the hotel and enjoyed a pizza and beer feast in the hotel dining area then headed to bed as were all completely wiped. 

Now, that I am home and can reflect on the experience, it is definitely one of the hardest but also one of the most fun things I have done.  In the throws of that last miserable leg where I was feeling sore, tired, exhausted and almost heat strokey I told myself I didn't think I would do a Ragnar again.  But, now in reflection....I totally would.  I just could not beat the experience of being on Team Nuun.  What an amazing company, amazing product with amazing employees that made us feel like rockstars.  Hey Nuun, when is the next one? :-)

Did you run this race?  Comment below with your experience or link up your race recap!  Have you done a different Ragnar Relay?  Share below! 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Race Recap: Coastal Delaware Running Festival

We took off from DC on Fri evening for Rehoboth Beach.  We spent Saturday morning playing at the beach and Saturday afternoon at the expo.  I knew what I had to do at the expo- transfer down to the half marathon.  My training just wasn't there this winter with being so sick which I recently found out was due to being vitamin D deficient.    My mileage for the months of March and April were what I should have been doing per week!  I just didn't think it would be so hard emotionally.  I knew it was the right thing to do, so I gave up my personalized full bib for a generic half one.  
I was disappointed because the full course runs the trails of Cape Henlopen State Park, but the half doesn't.  Those trails are always part of my training runs when we hit the beach!  
We purchased tickets at the expo for the runners dinner at The LightHouse restaurant.  It was a buffet of pastas, salads, breads, desserts....we were impressed.  

We went back to the hotel to prepare for the early wake up call.  In the morning, I had some cold brew coffee and instant oatmeal and we headed out. I had my husband drop me off on Route 1 at the point where it was closed and I walked to the start line.  The bathroom line was really long and I chatted with a woman whose son is a chef at ChurchKey in DC...we love that place!  I barely made it to start in time!  

The course was nice and familiar to me since we often do beach weekends in the Rehoboth, Lewes, Dewey Beach area.  The course was beautiful.  The footing on the boardwalk wasn't my favorite as I feel it made me push off differently and use different muscles.  

My watch died mid race so I couldn't tell where I was in the final miles.  By mile 11.5, we were running down the breakdown lane of Route 1 in full sun.  It was feeling hot, no views and the monotony was getting to me.  At that point, I was ready for it to be over.  As I approached 12.5, I passed a runner then as we got closer to the finish line she sped up and was stride to stride with me.  I sped up and so did she...we ended up racing each other to the finish line!  Then we high fives at the end.  I would not have pushed that hard without that!

I met up with BeckStarRuns and congratulated her on her race.  She didn't stay long as she had to get back to a sick husband and daughter.
Then I proceeded to ice my legs in the bay....ahhhh bliss.  


We stayed and enjoyed the finish line festivities.  There was a finish line BBQ for all finishers, but nothing vegetarian.  
We enjoyed the sun and the sand for a while.  Avery was able to play and there were lots of other kids.  
We then headed out for an early dinner in Rehoboth Beach and a quick play session on the beach before heading back to DC.  
Overall, a good race.  I will do it again.  It's a great excuse to get to the beach for the weekend to relax and celebrate in the sand, sun and salt water?  Even better!  

Friday, June 5, 2015

Annapolis Running Classic Discount!

I am happy to announce that I have been selected as a member of the A-Team for the Annapolis Running Classic!  I'm very excited to be back running this one for the 3rd year in a row.  It is the BEST finish line festival I have ever experienced.  I will not kid you about the hills-  it's a very challenging course, but that makes the unlimited brews��, oysters and band that much sweeter!  
I hope to see you there!  If you do register, save money with the code CDREF15.  AND be sure to come find me at the after party!  

Check out my race recap from 2013: http://www.livefreeandrun.net/2013/11/race-review-annapolis-running-classic.html?m=1

Thursday, May 14, 2015

And the hits keep coming...

I mentioned in my last blog post that I learned through a blood test that I was vitamin D deficient.  That leads to weakened immunity and lack of energy...which was me basically from Feb on.  I went to my PCP because after many visits at urgent care for various things- flu, colds, cough, sore throat, weakness, ear pain, etc and not getting better...I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.   I finally had to break down and get a sub to go see my PCP...doctors hours and teacher hours don't line up well!  

While at my PCP I mentioned the symptom of hoarseness of voice that was happening mostly in the evenings for about 3 months (the entire sickness ordeal).  That raised a red flag and she said you should not have that for so long....i want you to see an ENT.  Once again, getting a sub to go to the appointment so I didn't actually go for about two weeks.  I knew I had to because the hoarseness was really affecting my life...evening hoarseness, tiredness and throat pain was causing me to get a sub more often than not for my mid-week evening spin class I teach.  

I finally saw the ENT this week and stuck a crazy tubular camera up through my nose and down the back of my throat.  It was nuts.  While in there he said...yup you've got nodules.  Think of them as callouses on your voice box and prescribed me a steroid.  

I'm instructed to come back after I take the medicine if I don't feel better.  I'm thinking I will...tonight's pain is bad.  I definitely experience the body fatigue as well.  Combined with my vitamin D deficiency lack of energy, I'm really winning right now.  


So in the short term, I may try and rest my voice this weekend.  Unfortunately I talk all day for a living.  But it says not talk or whisper AT ALL for a few days....I guess I have an exciting weekend of carrying around a notepad to communicate.  Ugh.  And I'm thinking I should take a big ole DNS for the Columbia Triathlon and Warrior Dash this weekend.  

Maybe I could still do the Tri silent?  I won't be able to yell, "on your left!".  



Saturday, April 25, 2015

I had a really rough winter...and I finally know why.

It's been no secret this winter was horrible for me health wise.  Cold after cold, the flu, lack of energy, and daily headaches.  My training suffered terribly.  I would participate in the races I had already signed up for but complete only about 1/3 of my training miles and workouts.  I got subs for the spin class I teach.  I am still signed up for a full marathon next weekend, but will be dropping to the half.  

After not feeling good, or like myself since January, I finally went to the Dr.  Doing a search of my symptoms I was assuming that I'd be told I had an iron deficiency.  Lyme disease also ran through my mind as my daughter has suffered from it.  I had blood tests done last week.  My results came back this week and everything came back good except for vitamin D.  I was deficient.  

Deficiency causes muscle weakness and decreased immunity especially to respiratory infections which was spot on for me.  

I am now taking a vitamin D supplement and trying to spend as much time in the sun as possible.  I'm starting to feel a little better, but still weak and will need to build back up to full racing speed and stamina.  I'm so happy winter is finally over!  
Maybe it's time to move back to California?  ��

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Race Recap: BAA 5k

The BAA 5k was an overall great experience and I'm really happy I did it!  The race started and finish at the Boston Common and our hotel, The Park Plaza was steps away.   I love the Boston Common!
I didn't do gear check since I had my husband.  There were plenty of porta potties, but they had run out of toilet paper.  
I found the 7:00 minute corral and hopped in.  It was definitely a crowded race.  There were 10,000 runners and it was self seeding, so the first mile was very crowded and full of many different paces.  This made it very difficulties maintain an even solid pace.  I felt like a Ping pong ball bouncing back and forth looking for openings.  I was getting really stressed out but then decide to just relax, back off the pace and enjoy the sights.  

It was a beautiful course and so neat to run along the same path that the marathon would run on Monday.   So many businesses had signs out supporting the runners...it was amazing!  
As we made the left onto Boylston with the slight downhill and the Boston Marathon finish line ahead, I envisioned how that would feel for Mondays runners (my hubby included).   
I finished without a PR but still happy.  I ran without a phone so I had a hard time finding my people at the end, but luckily we all did.  Was so great to see my friends Laura and Christine who live in the area.  Great race ladies!  

I also ran into fellow blogger, Pavement Runner!  Thanks to him for the pic!  
The course was redesigned this year to be faster and American 5k records were broken that morning.  Molly Huddle pulled ahead to take the record and Ben True took the men's.  Both ran the fastest 5ks on American soil....ever!  My husband was spectating and said the cheers for Molly and Ben were deafening... Avery was covering her ears!  Way to go Ben and Molly!  

I couldn't stay in the finish area too long, as I had a 10am group run with Team Nuun.  So I ran the mile or so down Newbury Street to meet up with them.  
We met at the Tracksmith pop up shop and took a 3 mile loop out to the water and back.  Thanks to Jody from CrossMyHeartFitness for the photo.  
After the run, I headed back to the finish line to eat lunch with the family at SweetGreen and look who I ran into there?  I was in heaven!  

What a fun time!  I will be back next year!