Posts Tagged ‘marathon training’

Our awesome (and fast!) instructors Meghan & Jessica from Hot Bird Running

Last Saturday we had our first in our new RMR Clinics Series. We were sooo excited to host Jessica and Meghan of Hot Bird Running as they schooled us about Race Recovery. And man did they pack in the info! The first half of the presentation they filled us in on how to make a recovery plan. Recovery plan? Yeah, that’s what I said. I’m stoked to make one for my 50K coming up in September. I usually don’t think much about recovery. After the race, my thoughts kinda go…”Well, I made it. Let’s eat. Where did I put my beer? Let’s eat. Dam, that hurts. Where’s my beer? Let’s eat. Nite nite.”

Our clinic was packed with detailed info on what to do AFTER you cross the finish line!

It was sort of refreshing to know I wasn’t alone in my lack of post-race self-care planning. Everyone in the clinic took copious notes on how to set up a plan for the hours after a race, the first few days, the first couple weeks and beyond. The trick is to stick to it so that you recover well for your next race AND for the rest of your running career. A string of bad recoveries may be painful in the short term (not fun), but may shorten your overall years of continued running (absolutely no fun).

Jessica gave us the goods on post run nutrition as well. Among other things, kale chips was on the top 10 list of post race goodies. VERY cool. I love those. Chocolate milk was on the list as well. Everyone seemed pleased about that. After the low-down on making a plan, nutrition, rest,  how soon we should be doing other activities and when to get back to running, Meghan, who is also a yoga instructor,  lead us through a series of stretches – with neckties of all things. Fun! (Mine had boats on it in case you’re wondering).

Neckties and golf balls are handy post-race stretching and muscle massaging toolsWe also learned more about recovery tools to include the stick, foam rollers, tennis balls, squishy balls, etc. Check out Meghan’s race recovery tools video. Massage, hydration and post-race blues were also discussed and we Q & A’d the heck out of these ladies. It was awesome!

We’ll soon have our list of future clinics and topics up online, so we’ll let you know when the next ones are coming up. Here’s some of our thoughts and topics that have been suggested to us.

Getting Faster: Intro to Speedwork
Climbing Higher: Intro to Hills
Going Longer: Intro to Distance
Racing 101: From Start to Finish
So You Wanna Run a Marathon?
Intro to Trail Running
Injury Prevention
Running Form
Cross Training
Running over 40
Moms Running
Barefoot/Minimalist Running

We’d love to know what you’d be interested in for a clinic or your get new ideas! Please comment below and let us know!


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I had way too much fun with you this year at our Winery Run & Brunches!

First, I’d like to say Happy New Year and thanks for all the great fun, feedback and running fellowship you’ve given me. Not to mention the laughs and support of my business. I’m having sooo much fun meeting new people online and on the trail and enjoying some wonderful new relationships. This last year has been great for building the base for my business so we can have an exciting jumping off point for 2012.

My favorite new words – Building a base:

I am loving this new term and it may just be my mantra for 2012. My coach, Cathie, and I talked this week about  building a running base as I recover from a summer of almost no running and being injured.  I used to think my “base” was being able to go out and run 10-15 miles whenever I wanted to. Nope. It’s about being able to comfortably run a solid amount of miles per week and having your body be well prepared to build from there for hills, speed, races. I thought I kind of did that, but quickly learned (the hard way) that I didn’t have the solid base to train from. I ran races anyway–7 of them in 13 months, the shortest being a 13.1–on shaking ground and my legs and foot fell apart.

I made it through the 20 mile race, but I could have been stronger.


I saw guy on my run today wearing a “Fall Creek Run Around” sweatshirt. I smiled because I have one of those from that 20 miler I ran in 20 degree weather last year. It’s a small race and I’m proud to say I did it. But it was hard. Harder than it should have been. My legs were tired and it wasn’t just because it was a bit hillier than I thought or that we ran in snow for about half of the race. I didn’t have a good base.

Here’s the basics of what I did wrong:

I ran too fast on ‘regular’ recovery days. In between long and/or hilly runs, I would go out and run my ‘recovery’ 3-4 miler. Problem was I’d get bored and run it too fast. This means I was adding a tempo run instead of letting my body recover.

I ran too long too often. Someone wanted to run a 20 miler on a Saturday, “Sure, I’m in!” Next Saturday, same thing. No-no.

I held myself to a 40-45 mile running week no matter what. This was probably the dumbest idea and meant that if I only had 4 running days in a week, I’d have to run at least 2, 10 milers.

I didn’t cross-train.

Here’s how I’m building it up the right way:

I started a back-to-running program that was VERY conservative. I literally ran for minutes at a time, with many walk breaks. 5 minutes on, 10 minute walk, 5 minute run, walk to the finish. I wasn’t even sweating, didn’t have to wash my running clothes or my hair.

I’ve built back up slowly this way over several months. I can now run 20 mile weeks with 3, 4-5 milers and a 6-8 mile long run. This will last for at least a month – ah, the BASE. Get the body used to being on my feet before doing anything else. Got it.

From here I will add a few small hills, then speed. I should be at 10-12 mile runs by the end of February. Then I can begin to train for longer distances and races.

I’m also swimming twice a week and doing pilates and more stretching.

For now, all of these base-building miles are at an easy pace.

But everything is subjective in running. What is an easy pace?

What’s an easy, “conversational” pace? Let’s get specific. When you’re running partner asked what you made for dinner last night and all you can eek out is a one syllable “tahos” instead of “grilled chicken fajita tacos” followed by “sguh” instead of “they were good”, you know you should slow down cuz that’s not a conversation.

And now I’m shouting it from the mountain tops!

Armed with my new mantra, I’ve been blabbing about it to everyone who will listen. I have a friend who is new to running. She was talking today about how her feet and knees are bothering her. Oh goodie, another person to blab at…”Let’s talk about your shoes, the surface you run on, your form and of course, BUILDING A BASE!” I said. She said she didn’t know what the base thing meant, but it sounded good.

We are newer friends, her and I, so we are building a base with our friendship too. You know, we’ve done all the family-of-origin-drama-and-who-pushes-your-buttons-and-what-we’re-working-on stuff. She knows when to laugh at what I say and when I need a hug. We are learning to read each other, trust each other and inch our way out on that vulnerable friendship limb of real honesty.

Of course, both friendship and running offer life-long learning about building a solid foundation. And, as Richard Bach so profoundly says, “You best teach what you most need to learn.”

What will you teach and learn this year?

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Looking at the course map is always a bit of a reality check. Yep, 26.2 is a looooong way.

Time flies. Wasn’t it just a few months ago folks were running the Eugene Marathon? And now they are signing up to race and beginning their training again. Wahoo! Signing up for a race is an exciting day. The Eugene Marathon had their annual kick off party this morning at the Eugene Running Company and there was definitely a buzz in the air. It was part, “yeck, yeah, let’s do this thing!” and part, “oh, man, what did I just do?” Either way, it’s a jazzed feeling and the beginning of a kick-butt commitment to run and train. I am so lucky to have been witness to so many smiling, runner faces registering for a great race. The Eugene Marathon puts on an amazing weekend filled with a kid’s run, 5K, half and full marathon. The course is primarily flat, fast, full of loud spectators and that fabulous Tracktown energy…. you could feel it today!

Thanks to those who stopped by the booth to check out and pick up some runner items and everyone I got to chat with. Lots of free hugs happening!

Yep, we had the RMR goodies there today. As well as our fun winery event slideshow. It was fun having people come by and see themselves. Y'all are so cute!

Tate, super momma and ultra runner, works for the Eugene Marathon. She was doin it all today!

A Thursday regular to the RMR group, another Laura! I got to meet her sweet family today too.

Of course, OTC was represented. Become a member - great local and runner bennies!

Danuta and I got a good chat in where she confessed to me her latest running goal. I'm keeping it a secret.

I love Natalie's smile, but she was wearing some really slick boots. I wish I would have gotten a photo of those too! She was our winery run & brunch speaker - great to see her again today!

Terri, in the middle, was a recent customer, but I can't say more than that because recipients of those goodies are in the photos. Ssshhh...it's holiday time.

Thanks for making my weekend you fab runners! Keep me posted on how training goes on our Facebook page. We’d love to hear updates!

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My inner "coach" rocks!

“Yeah, I’m talking to you!” I say, as I look at myself in the mirror. Big smirk. Eye roll. Furrowed brow. “Seriously, pull your head out.” This is the only pep talk that works sometimes. (This and a sweet email from my running partner who knows my running psyche oh so well.)

I can be a whiner. Full disclosure; I am never satisfied. Sure, this works in my favor sometimes, like when frosting cupcakes or vacuuming, but it’s not a great personality trait otherwise. So, sometimes, when I eff up, I whine, complain and mope until I tell myself to knock it off and appreciate what I’m doing right, not what I’m doing (or think I’m doing) wrong.

I’m most hard on myself about my running. The coach that lives in my head can be a real capital B.  She’s always yelling at me to go faster, longer, hillier or all three. She tells me to get my arse out of bed when it’s pouring rain, to suck it up when I’m tired, to force feed myself Gu when the thought of more sugar turns my stomach and to round my miles up and run around the house two more times if that’s what it takes to go 10  instead of 9.86.  Once in a while, we get in a fight.

Like this last week.

“Coach” and I had it out on Thursday at 6:00am  and the brawl lasted through Sunday. Thursday is my fabulous RMR group run that I look forward to every week. However, it was spring break and I knew most of the regulars were going to be gone. With kids out of school and families traveling, I had a strong feeling that no one would show. Plus it was pouring rain. Again. Coach and I went back and forth.

“Get up! What if someone shows up and you’re slackin?” She screams in my ear. “You have to run anyway, c’mon, move it.”

I have an Air Force basic training flashback and yell back, “Just 5 more minutes in bed. You’re not the boss of me!”

“Oh yes I am!”

“Fine. But if no one shows, I’m coming back here and going to bed.”

“We’ll see about that, missy”

I went. I waited until 6:03. No one came.  I shuffled back home. I stripped off my not-really-sweaty clothes. The Garmin read 1.23 miles. Coach whispers in my ear, “Pathetic.”  I crawl back in bed. I sleep blissfully for and hour and a half.

I woke up and tried to not feel guilty. Not feel weird. Not feel like the biggest, fattest slug ever. Tried to figure out how to make up 9 miles in the next two days. I tell coach it’s no big deal.

I don’t run Friday.

I drink a couple beers and eat a big coconut macaroon and give myself a slammer of a sugar headache on Friday night.

Saturday, I wake up late and and drink water with Nuun. Yeah, as a recovery drink from Friday. “Back off”, I tell coach. I run 5 miles. Ok, now I’m over 20 miles short for the week.

“WHAT??????” Coach screams at me several times on Saturday. I try to tell her that everyone needs a break, a breather, a chance to cut loose and recharge. Coach is so pissed, she doesn’t even keep track of my running clothes, my gadgets, my headlamp batteries. She doesn’t bring my Asics in from the back porch to stay warm. Only out of shear habit, she makes sure I’m drinking lots of water. I toss in another Nuun and she rolls her eyes at me.

Sunday at 1:00pm, I take a good look in the mirror. Coach grabs me by the virtual collar and says, “Pull your head out!”

“Haven’t you given me enough grief?” I ask.

“Yes. I have. Now stop beating yourself up for slacking. Enjoy the break. Spend the afternoon with your fabulous kids and hubby. I will cheerfully get your gear ready for a longish run tomorrow while you rest.”

“You mean I have permission to freak out, then move on? Be accepting of myself and not sabotage the rest of the weekend by eating more sugar, feeling guilty and being crabby?”

“Right. See you tomorrow.”

My coach is awesome. She really knows when to kick my a$$, then give me the TLC I need.

Today is Monday. As promised, coach had all my goodies lined up for me on the bathroom floor; fully charged Garmin, iPod, Glide, Gu, water, clothes, shoes and headband instead of hat (she said it wasn’t going to rain and she’s pretty good about predicting the weather.)

Nine miles later, she taps me on the shoulder and screams, “Ok, now kick it up a notch for the last mile would ya?!”

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Today’s run was just for me. I haven’t run in 3 days (slight knee tweak from trail run on Saturday) and I was starting to feel gross. You know that feeling? It’s like the cells in your body are caked with gunk and they’re just not awake like on the days when you run.  Plus I was getting PMSy and a scratchy throat and crabby and no one likes that. So, I had a little date with myself in the hopes of getting that lovely high. 13 miles and many-a-snot-rocket later, I was singing out loud to P!nk on the Nano, clipping along at an 8:20 for my last mile.  It was dreamy.

Except I think I was invisible.

No other runners said hello to me! (Well, the older ladies in their Ewok trench coats mumbled something, but I couldn’t quite tell with the hoods and all.) Everyone was all bidness-like; head down, pointless stare. Remember that article in Runner’s World about how runners greet or not greet each other? Seriously, HELLO people!

But the animals were friendly!

And they were so not afraid of me. Another reason I think I was invisible. At one point, I looked up to see two not-very-small deer running ON the trail straight for me. They must have felt my stealth body heat cuz they veered left at the last minute. I saw mister deer on my second loop and snapped his photo.

And then there were the turkeys. Super nice. What a lovely sound these ugly creatures make. I think I heard one of them say, “You’re such a kick ass runner and your double chin isn’t nearly as unattractive as mine.” How neighborly is that?

Ok, wait, I take it all back…I forgot about Ingrid.

Ingrid is the gal who sets out water jugs with clean cups every day for runners and their dogs and keeps it all in a nice cooler at the north end of the trail. (This is doubly nice right now as the water fountains are already turned off for the season). I had the rare opportunity of seeing her pop out of her house (about 20 feet from the cooler). Yay! A friendly face! I thanked her profusely since I was so thirsty running an impromptu half marathon on Rexius. I can’t tell if she heard me though. She was all bidness checking her paper tube for the newspaper.  Or maybe it was because I was invisible.

If you haven’t seen The Flight of the Conchords Business Time – treat yourself!

So, the obvious question – do ya greet runners on the trail?

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Skweet Bottle Wash Experiment - oh so cleeeeen

When I got back into trail running a little less than a year ago, I mainly used hand-held water bottles for up to 10 mile runs. But when I planned a longer run one day, I decided to dig out my hubby’s Camelbak to give the hydration system a try. It was nice having my hands free, but the pack had been sitting around a while and no matter how much I cleaned out the bladder, the taste was horrible. Plastic-semi-gunk taste – bluck! I have since bought a Nathan Hydration Vest and so I sort of gave up on the Camel until I planned a long trail run with 3 other gals, 2 of whom hadn’t been on trails before. One of them asked to borrow the Camelbak. I had another hand held I was going to lend out as well, but then remembered a friend let her dog drink out of it the week before on a long run. (Not a huge deal, I’m a dog lover, but boy, I had some cleaning to do if I was going to let these ladies borrow my stuff.)

Enter Skweet sport bottle wash – 100% biodegradeable, non-toxic.  A local super star master’s runner and coach Mike Blackmore who reps the product turned me on to it a few months ago, but I hadn’t tried it yet. What did I have to lose? I lined up all my bottles and the gunky Camelbak and followed the easy instructions to wash it all up:

1 tsp. for each water bottle

1-2 Tbsp. for the bladder

Fill with water, swish-shake-squeeze through drinking spout on the bottles and syphon out through the bladder tube.

Then came the test – refill and taste the Camelbak water…… drumroll please…..delicious! Cool! It tasted super clean and there was no plastic or soapy taste. Love it!

Here are some links to get you going:

Learn more or order online at Skweetclean.com

If you live in Eugene, contact Mike Blackmore of Blackmore Massage to get it locally.

Got a gadget to recommend or trick up your sleeve you want to share?

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Who shows up at 6:00am to do a track workout mid-week, some short on sleep with little babies at home?  (One gal got 2 hours of sleep after returning from a concert in Portland at 3:00 am)  RUNNER MOMMAS, that’s who! I feel so validated for my crazy obsession with running when I see others out there in the wee hours like myself. And to do speed work! Wow.

Excellent warm up on hurdles (backwards and forwards) to loosen hips and get focused on coordination.

Our first session went great. We had 10 gals register for the 5-week speed work clinic put on by myself and Dani Tubman from Eugene’s Baby Boot Camp.

Dani keeps things moving with gool ol' jumping jacks while everyone finishes with the hurdles

After intros and talking about race goals, types of speed work and heart monitor training, Dani lead us on an excellent warm up of an 800 with mini-strides, leg lifts, skipping and hurdle work. It really opened up our hips,  got us breaking a sweat and ready to run.

To get a base, we all did a timed mile then did some 400s with loose time goals based on our mile time. Since many of the gals were new to speed work, the goal was not to get fast the first day, but to practice ‘feeling’ what a certain pace was. It was fun to see people of like paces running side-by-side pushing each other and getting the encouragement going. I have done speed work by myself for so long, I forgot what it’s like to have people there to push your envelope a bit. I know mine was pushed and I’ve got the munchies today to prove it!

These gals were so fast, all I got in this shot was the track! Nice track though, eh? Very cushy.

I’m so looking forward to next week when we’ll do a fun warm up, then practice more intervals. And maybe the guys from the Oregon Track Club will show up again, so we have more eye candy to chase after!

Three cheers for these awesome runner women. You inspire me! (And I’ll take better photos next week, I swear)

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