Tuesday, November 19, 2013

So what's the scoop ice cream?

It's almost crazy how fast time is flying by.  It seems like just last weekend was the DRC half marathon that I recapped, but wham, no that was two weeks ago.  I've been slacking on the blogging but not the running!  I should also mention that when you work with online retail around Black Friday/Cyber Monday, you're just a weeeeee bit busy.  So here's whats been going on....

The week that followed the DRC Half Marathon, Brandon and I took a much needed vacation.  We hit the road and went to Memphis for a weekend of fun, blues, Beale Street, Elvis, and Sun Records.  It also consisted of eating nothing with nutritional value for four days, and no running.  Bleh.  After feeling like a busted can of biscuits for a few days, I was so ready to get back on track with my running!  The running schedule and AdvoCare cleanse started as soon as I got back and boy do I feel better!  Day 9 of the cleanse and I'm down 3 lbs, that should take care of Memphis.

Evidence
 To continue my quest to becoming a smarter runner, I attended an all-day class on Keeping Athlete's Healthy/injury prevention this past Saturday.  The class was lead by Janet Hamilton from Running Strong Coaching who was a wealth of knowledge!  I learned so much in just 8 hours that I honestly wished it was a two day course.  Running unfortunately is a sport that is plagued with a variety of injuries.  The information we gained about how to prevent, treat, and recover will definitely come into play every day with training.  I hope to use this information not only for myself, but to help others as well!  One of the biggest things I learned about myself while practicing Functional Movement Tests?  I need to work on strengthening my hip, particularly my left side.  Which surprise surprise, my left side is where I get all my injuries.  I told the doc just the other day that I really just need an all new leg.  Hip strength plays a HUGE factor in running injuries.  Knowledge is power right?  So this week I've added clam shells and bridge progressions to my weekly routine of core work.  Gait assessment, shoe wear patterns, stretching routines, eccentric and concentric movement ....I could go on and on!  Exercise Physiology is completely fascinating to me.  I love to learn though, the brain needs a workout too.  I'll spare you the details of the entire course, but if you have any questions let me know.

Even prior to my injury class I knew I had to step up my game with my core and strength work.  Since I thrive on spreadsheets and plans, I decided to take on the 30-Day Squat and Ab Challenge.  Tomorrow will be day 18 (took a few days off in Memphis #notsorry) and let me tell you something, WOW!  I've seen huge improvements.  Just to compare....

Day 1:
50 squats
15 situps
5 crunches
5 leg raises
10 second plank

Pssshhhh, that was easy breasy!

Day 18:
155 squats
80 situps
110 crunches
48 leg raises
70 second plank

Feel.  The.  Burn. (mind you I'm still keeping up with my running plan)

I could run 10 miles on any given day but when I started this I struggled with that 10 second plank.  Sad, so sad I know. Now I can knock out a 60 minute plank like a boss.  Amazing what a little consistent effort over time can do for the body!  Same goes for running...consistent effort will lead to results! 

So why all of the added strength and core work all of a sudden?  Well, I need to get stronger in general but the bigger motivation is that we have decided to sign up for the New Year's Double!  We will close out 2013 with a half marathon on NYE and then kick off 2014 the right way with a half marathon on NYD!  26.2 miles covered in two days and I could not be more excited!  The race has always peaked my interest but this year we just decided to go for it after seeing the gorgeous medal(s) that will await us at the finish line.  I will be out there amongst my peers of fellow crazy runners who are all willing to make the sacrifices year round to do what we do.  New Years Eve will be spent lounging around and taking an ice bath, I know you're jealous.  Honestly, I can't imagine kicking off a new year any other way.  I'm hoping all of the additional strength work will pay off, especially around mile 10 on day 2.

The crew at New Years Double is nice enough to provide a generic training plan for each distance.  I've adopted their plan and tweaked it to my needs.  The next few weeks will consist of increased mileage, the Metro PCS Dallas Half Marathon, back-to-back weekday runs to work on cumulative fatigue, and making some of these runs tempo runs for good measure.


 So what are everyone's goals for the end of 2013?