Friday, November 29, 2013

Recovery Run

After last Saturday's JFK50 ultramarathon, I was quite predictably sore.  My muscles and joints ached and I hobbled for awhile.  Sunday was the worst.  By Monday, my joints were great, but my muscles were still very sore.  Tuesday felt the same as Monday.  ...until I went to coach.

On my way to coaching, I reserved myself to possibly standing by while my runner did her workout.  I didn't want to overextend myself.  However, I opted to give running a try.  Turns out, while I did stop a couple times, getting two miles of a recovery jog in was exactly what I needed.


Because as of Wednesday, I felt a TON better!!  My muscles were still a little sore; I wasn't suiting up to get in my own typical run yet!  But I was walking normal again and I could go through my full range of motion with very little pain.

It's tough to just sit around, but having stuff to do for Thanksgiving certainly helped keep my mind going.  I just threw in a bunch of pushup, dip, and crunch sets throughout the day and I've been able to get my endorphin fix without turning into a serial killer. 

Lesson to be Learned:
Sometimes an easy run is all you need!!


1.  Do you make use of recovery runs?

2.  What type of event leaves you the sorest?
Is it your lifting workouts, your long runs, or the speed work?

3.  How long of a recovery period do you take after your preferred distance race?


Monday, November 25, 2013

I am an Ultrarunner!!

As of 2:59pm Saturday, I finished my very first ultramarathon race.  That's right.  I am crazy and I love it.

Now I'm going to have to change my header image to include the 50 sticker!  Add that to the to-do list!

While I work on the race report, let me say a few things I came to discover over the span of 50 miles...

  1. You are guaranteed multiple mental and physical boosts and lows throughout the day.  I had two lows and three highs and the biggest help was knowing that eventually, each one would pass.  Yes, even the highs.  Expect them to expire!
  2. 50 miles is a lot easier than back-to-back marathons!  Disagree with me all you want.
  3. An Ironman is mentally easier than a 50 mile ultra  
    • (Ironman < 50 mile ultra < back-to-back marys)
  4. An ultra is just a big kids game of leap frog. 
  5. Everyone in an ultra is interesting!!  
  6. I need to work on my mental toughness.  My body is capable of a lot more than my mind says.
  7. I can see why most ultras are on trails.  Roads are so boring!!

As one runner asked me somewhere around mile 32, I am not about to give up triathlon to focus on ultra running, but I can see why people fall in love with it.  There's something about not just the thrill of running that far or in certain locations, but the mental and physical challenges of the day and being surprised at what your mind and body are capable of. 

Ok, time for another ice bath and stretching session!  Haha.  I'm gonna' be sore for another day or two.


1.  Which is harder: 50 mile ultra or Ironman?
The fact that you get to switch sports in an Ironman makes it much easier in my mind.

2.  What's your preference?, Trails or roads?
While I do 90+% of my training on the roads, I enjoy trails much more.


Monday, November 18, 2013

The Good & The Bad Leading up to JFK50

My apologies on being MIA as of late.  With training taking up more hours than usual, I've been side tracked.  I've also been preoccupied with another matter, which I'll get into in a second.

First off, I am super excited about this weekend's JFK50 race. 

This past weekend I ran 24.3 miles on Saturday on mixed trail/pavement and felt very consistent and strong.  Then Sunday I woke up early and met some friends for another 13.6 miles.  I was surprised to find that I did not feel sluggish or tired.  In fact, I felt great; 7:37/mile for just over a half marathon.  I was VERY tempted to do more, but called it a day and went home to rest. 

After my great weekend of running, I am psyched to have 50 on the schedule for Saturday.  My mind is already part way there I'm so excited!! 

However, all this excitement has been slightly tainted recently by something that I've been getting checked out. 

I peed blood.
Also known as Hematuria.

TMI?  Oh-well.  Back in October, the week following my first ultra training run, I came home after a 15 mile run and peed blood.  It went away after an hour, but served it's purpose in scaring me.  Without going through all the details, I had zero other symptoms, but I went to see my doctor anyways.  They thought it was Rhabdomyolysis which is a form of muscle breakdown.  If so, that would have indicated that my body may not be ready for an ultra.  Thankfully, tests ruled that out.  Yay!!  The bad side was that it meant the cause of the blood was unknown.  My general doctor was not concerned given my low risk for pretty much everything, but is keeping tabs on me for a month to see if it occurs again.  In the mean time I went ahead and saw a Urologist.  I have a full work up to do over the next month, but he told me point blank that he doesn't expect to find anything. 

For roughly the last 3 weeks, I have been concerned with the effect my running may have on whatever the underlying issue is that caused the blood.  I obviously have not ceased running, but I've kept it in the back of my head that I may very well need to pull out of the ultra for health reasons; a very hard fact to swallow as an endurance addict.  I asked both doctors what their suggestion would be if I peed blood again during the JFK50.  My regular doctor said to stop running and pull out of the race.  My Urologist laughed at that and told me to go ahead and keep running as long as I don't feel any pain.  While he told me I will likely have a knee replacement in my 40's (yeah, I was confused about that too), he said that running isn't going to do any significant damage.  

In the end, I am of the opinion that I'll never know where the blood came from, but as always, Better Safe Than Sorry

So despite blood coming out of my body in ways that it shouldn't, I have a green light for the JFK50 which compliments my excitement very well!


1.  Have you ever had to pull out of a race for health reasons?
Thankfully, I have not.  I've pulled out of races because I had not recovered in time for them, but nothing beyond muscle soreness. 

2.  Have you ever peed blood (other than monthly women!)?
This was a first for me and hopefully a last.

3.  What race is next on your schedule?!
The JFK50 is up this coming weekend and then possibly the WMAC 50k in December and the Goofy Challenge in Disney World in January.


Monday, November 4, 2013

A LOOK BACK: October 2013

Total Swum:  0 yards/miles
Total Biked:  0 miles
Total Run:  161.51 miles (Can you tell it's running season??)
Total Strength:  1 session
Total Yoga:  0 Sessions

Greatest weekly swim mileage:  0 yards/miles
Greatest weekly bike mileage:  0 miles
Greatest weekly run mileage:   61.2 miles
Greatest weekly no. of strength training sessions:  1 session

Average bed time: 10:22pm
Average time to get up:  6:17am
Average amount of sleep: 7:55 (17 min. more than September)
Average RHR: 45.6 bpm (0.9 bpm higher than September)

Monthly Goal - Nothing this month
No goal was set this month and in turn, I did not fail at it.  Haha. 

2013 Racing Resolutions
  1. Race 12 races throughout the year - 19 races completed!  ...and still 2 to go!
  2. Break my 5k PR (currently 19:30 from 2010) - Completed! 17:37 at the Sandy Hook 5k!
  3. Run my 3rd Half Marathon - Completed Colchester Half Marathon
  4. Run my 2nd Marathon (for time) - Completed Hyannis Marathon in 3:18:17
  5. Run back-to-back marathonsHartford & Newport are complete!
  6. Race an ultramarathon
    1. Run a 50k - WMAC Fatass 50k in December
    2. Run a 50 miler - JFK 50 in November (Training is underway!)
  7. Break my Lake T Sprint PR (58:06) - 57:56 on June 20th
  8. Race an Olympic Tri - Litchfield Hills Oly in July
  9. Race Two Half Irons - Raced Rev3 Quassy & HITS North County in June and HITS Hunter Mountain in September.
  10. Race an Ironman - IM Lake Placid in July
  11. Race a new event (i.e. Spartan Race)
2013 Training Resolutions
  1. Ride a double century (200 miles) - This will have to wait for next year.
  2. Once started, maintain at least one swim, one bike, and one run each week - I slacked off towards the end of the tri season, but now with that over, I am only focused on running.
  3. Maintain strength training sessions throughout the year - Success!
  4. Make use of group training sessions - I joined a marathon group that meets up for weekend long runs.  I'm hoping to catch them throughout the winter for mileage.
  5. Do not ignore recovery - I am currently focusing on taking rest days COMPLETELY off.  It's tough.
  6. Maintain data log - Success!
2013 Personal Resolutions
  1. Do 12 things that scare me throughout the year - Still only one down!
    1. #1 - went on my first date in three years (don't expect a blog entry about this one)
    • I am taking any suggestions!!
  2. Obtain a 2nd coaching position - I am currently coaching/training 6 clients, have a fall/winter training program started, and recently launched what will be a training program for a late May marathon.  I love my job!!
  3. Make time to visit my sister in PA.  This one's looking harder every month.
  4. Compile and keep a list of recipes / meal ideas - The Recipe Book tab is underway!  I'm trying to post a new recipe on Fridays.  I've slacked recently.
  5. Continue eating healthy - Two months of vegetarian done and I really don't miss a thing!
  6. Continue cooking from home - Success!
  7. Continue personal reading - Currently reading Wheat Belly by William Davis 
  8. Put 10% 25% of my income into savings! - An extra check for this month got bumped to next (November), so I was duped this month.  I actually spent 16% more than I made with Rev3 Cedar Point registration, and the hotel & new hydration pack for the JFK50 this month.  Next month is predicted to be close to a 30% savings with the extra check.  Hopefully I can make that up.

1.  How was your October?

Dream.  Believe.  Achieve.