Weekly Recap: SLO Marathon Training & Yoga

This whole work thing is taking its toll on my marathon training.

SLO Marathon Training, Week 7

While I’m happy overall with how my training is going, I still keep having to cut some of my weekday morning runs short because, well, money. If I have a client that wants to see me at 7:00 in the morning (or even 6:00, but that hasn’t happened yet), I really need to take them. Because in about three months they’ll be gone for the summer. It’s called making hay while the sun shines.

So, while I’m getting in the runs, they are shorter than I have on my schedule. In the coming week I’m going to work on getting out a little earlier, but I don’t like to go too early because I’m running by myself and, well, I’m scared of the dark. Here’s why…

This was a cutback week though, with my long run scheduled for 10 miles with five at marathon pace. That went well, though I did four at MP pace instead of five. I was running with my neighbor Christina, who is a new runner, but tough as nails. She did the whole run with me and kept me going during the faster parts. She even challenged me as we approached the end to pick it up to the corner. Bitch! I keep reminding myself she’s young enough to be my daughter. That helps.

run 3The picture above is from a couple weeks ago. Same crew though. Alan was with us but he had a steady pace 10 mile run on his schedule.

Here’s my post-run selfie. Mostly because I like taking pictures of our wind-kitties.

Run2

So I ran four times, 19 miles total. I’m still not happy with my total weekly mileage, but I’ll be working on that this week. I started off this week with a three mile run, and I managed eight 1/4 mile intervals, so I’m pretty happy with that.

The countdown to the SLO Marathon is on! Two months from today! Yikes, better get going. I have a 16 miles run on the schedule for the weekend, which is good, but I think the key is to get in my mid-week mileage.

By the way, the price will be going up on February 28, so if you’re planning to join me in San Luis Obispo on April 23 now is the time to register! You can save an extra $10 with my code WOODAMB. Do it!

slo

Take the Leap Challenge

At least my yoga is going well. I have managed to practice a little yoga every day since February 2. I haven’t made it to as many classes as I’d like, but I’ll do a few sun salutations to warm up, some hip opening and hamstring stretching poses to cool down, and take the time daily for a pose-of-the-day.

We working on a warrior series this week. Here are my first three days:

Week 3Warrior I

Humble WarriorHumble Warrior

Warrior 2

Warrior II

I’m so happy with this Take the Leap Challenge with prAna and Sweat Pink. The support of the other participants is amazing, and I love working with prAna. Not only do they make amazing clothing, but they care about creating a lifestyle of sustainability, kindness, and focus. My goal, once the challenge is over, is to continue on with my practice, maybe not daily, but several times a week. Yoga is good for my soul.

Random Stuff: Movies & #Vegan Food

Alan and I went to see McFarland, USA on Saturday. In a nutshell, we loved it! As a cross country coach I appreciated everything about the story of how running (and a good coach) helped to change the lives of the children of migrant workers in Central California in 1987. It was based on a true story, so even though it seemed a little formulaic, I didn’t care. I believe in the power of running and high school sports to help develop successful and confident adults.

We headed to lunch at Whole Foods on Sunday. We had their vegan Artisanal Cheese platter again. It was so good! And we shared the Taro Burger. Sadly, they no longer have the Jackfruit Crab Cakes on the menu {sad face}, but we did enjoy our meal.

lunchI also cooked up a great Tofu Scramble this week. In fact I’m still enjoying the leftovers!

Tofu ScrambleHave you seen McFarland, USA? What did you think? How was your training week? Any events, races, or great meals? Share!

Saturday Shares

Just a few things to share for Saturday!

The SLO Marathon: The price goes up on February 28!

SLO Marathon

Now is the time to register for the SLO Marathon before the price goes up on February 28! Also, if you want your name on your bib, the deadline is March 2. Come run with me on April 23! Remember you can still use the code WOODAMB to save $10 on registration!

 

Take the Leap/Bringing Yoga Back Challenges

The 12 days of #BringingYogaBack with prAna is over (though the 30 day #TaketheLeap challenge continues through March 8). It was a lot of fun to try some challenging (to me) poses over the 12 days. Here are a few of my favorites:

TadasanaThis may be my favorite selfie of all time. Photo bombed by a cat!

Down Dog

Low Lunge

lizard

One Legged Dog

Wild Thing

CrowOkay, crow pose was not one of the #BringingYogaBack poses. I just get pretty proud of myself when I can hold it long enough to get a picture.

Save Money on YogaDownload.com

Do you want to practice yoga at home but need some guidance? I know from experience that YogaDownload.com has excellent instruction, choices of videos or audios, and a huge variety of yoga classes. I’ve been a member for several years and now I’m also an affiliate.

I talk about YogaDownload.com​ a lot because it is my favorite online yoga service.  Here is a Groupon​ to save $60 on an annual membership. It’s usually $90 and you can get it for $29! There is also a shorter term option. I bought one myself because my membership is up for renewal next week (perfect timing). Disclosure: This is not my regular affiliate link but I can earn an extra $12 back from Groupon if you use this link to purchase.

Saturday Shares. Favorites from the week:

Why I Run. No, this isn’t my post from a few days ago. Angela and I actually wrote a post and published on the same day. Similar, but different. Check it out.

11 Ways to Manage Stress and Feeling Overwhelmed. While my stress level is much lower than it was a few months ago, I was interested to see Christine’s suggestions for reducing stress.

Cross Training for Runners. If you’re a runner, you know you should cross train. Here are some great tips from Amanda.

15 Common Running Mistakes to Avoid. We’ve all made some (or all) of these, but it is still interesting (and informative) to know what we shouldn’t be doing.

Crawling to the Finish Line: Heroic or Stupid? I actually had a client tell me this story (so uninformed!). Amanda asks an interesting question.

Positioning Your Blog to Charge Higher Prices. Blog school just started last Monday, but even if you didn’t sign up Rita’s blog has so much great information.

Do the Things that make your Heart Race. Just the title of Lisa’s post makes me smile (and curious).

Vegetarian Pad Thai. Tina (along with Deborah) has been doing a Meatless Monday linkup for a few months. I haven’t posted many recipes lately, but I love checking in (especially when the recipe is vegan, as is this one).

Any fun plans for the weekend? Have you read (or written) any great posts this week to share?

Marathon Training, Yoga Challenges, and Grandsons: Just a little recap

Busy weekend = mostly pictures. That and the Westminster Dog Show is distracting me. So, a little recap with a lot of pictures.

Marathon Training

What should be the biggest part of my recap is, well, not so much. I’m having schedule clashes, with clients who want to work out at 7:00 in the morning, and while I’m willing to get out there early, I’m hesitant to get out there too much in advance of the sunrise. That’s a long excuse for only two runs this week.

Running 2I did get out early on Wednesday, finishing my four miles by 6:00.

RunningAnd I did a 14 mile long run on Sunday (Saturday we had family stuff). I ran the first 5 miles with Alan and our neighbor, then took off on my own for the rest. The fire station is my perfect water stop. They have an ice machine, plus, well, firemen (though there weren’t any about on Sunday).

Total mileage only 18 miles! That should improve in the coming week. My work schedule is a little better and I have a cut back on the long run next weekend.

Yoga Challenge

Ironically, I’ve done much better with the Take the Leap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge with prAna and Sweat Pink that I did with running. I’ve managed at least a short practice every day since the beginning, and since I’m doing the Bringing Yoga Back challenge too (which fortunately work really well together), I’m really happy with my yoga efforts. I didn’t make it to a “real” class this week, but I practiced at home, both in and outdoors. Take a peek:

Week 2A little doggy-assisted yoga, my favorite kind.

Week 2_2While Alan worked the PS Half Marathon, I took a little run, the did a little posing.

Week 2_3Not only do I get help from my dogs, I get a lot of interest from the cats in the neighborhood.

Week 2_4I spread out my mat on the driveway to stretch after my Wednesday run.

Week 2_5I think I did a pretty good lizard pose variation, don’t you?

Week 2_6Back in the house, a 20 minute balance flow, and amazingly the dogs stayed clear (they were probably afraid I’d fall on them, my balance was that bad).

Week 2_8We traveled to Huntington Beach on Saturday for our twin grandsons’ 10th birthday party. While they played basketball, I posed.

Week 2_7I dragged Alan out for this one. Up in the trails behind our house, he took so many great pictures of my downward facing dog that I couldn’t choose just one.

Phew, week two in the books. I’m am so ready for week three!

Grandsons

As I mentioned, our grandsons turned 10 on Saturday (yes, they’re Valentine’s Day boys). It was a basketball themed party, so Alan and I had a chance to throw the ball around a little bit too. It had been 20 years a long time since I played basketball, and I was playing in flip flops, but I still managed a couple free throws (it seems much farther away than it did when I was younger!), and more than a few lay ups. From my Instagram:

Yes, we did. #basketball

A video posted by Debbe Woodruff (@coachdebbieruns) on

And this:

BirthdayThey asked to do this. #10yearoldboys

Valentine’s Day

We’re not big Valentine’s celebrators. We try to show our love daily, so it’s just not a big deal. We did, however, take the opportunity to stop for dinner at Native Foods on our way home from Huntington Beach on Saturday. It’s not exactly romantic, but it is our favorite restaurant. As I told one of our smartypants Facebook friends, it feels more romantic to us than candlelight and steaks!

Native Foods 3Native Foods 2Alan ordered three(!) cupcakes, so we had ALL the chocolate! I was really well fueled for my long run on Sunday. And fortunately not too sore from the basketball.

So, that was my week in training and life. What’s happening in yours? Any races, events, family fun?

Training Recap, Blog School, Retweets, and an Announcement

Is it weird to get excited when a celebrity retweets one of your tweets? Then I guess I’m weird.

GabbySo Gabrielle Reece didn’t actually retweet my tweet, it was posted by @FitMamaLaura, but it was about my Blogfest post (where Gabby will be the keynote speaker), so that was pretty cool.

Blog School Registration is Open!

Registration for Blog School with Blog Genie opened yesterday and the new session starts on February 16. As I’ve mentioned, I was a graduate of the first session several years ago and it changed my blogging life. As a past participant I have lifetime access to all of the modules so if I feel I need to brush up on any of the topics, it is right there for me. I also became an affiliate because I believe that Rita offers such a great value.

Blog School

Blog School is a 6 month long, online training program that combines monthly lessons, detailed worksheets and an active community to help you plan, grow and profit from your blog. To offer you the exact steps you need to get the results you want. Because life is complicated enough. Blogging doesn’t have to be.

You will receive one module per month, so you can work at your own pace, have access to an online community where you can connect with other like minded bloggers, and get advice, encouragement, and the reality checks that you need. And as I mentioned, you will have lifetime access to all of the Blog School modules, so that you can come back and review them at any time.

Check here for more information and to sign up for Blog School. Don’t delay, registration ends on Sunday, February 15, and class starts on Monday!

Training Recap

I’ve done a lot of yoga, and I’ve pretty much kept up with my SLO Marathon training plan. My biggest accomplishment was a 12 mile run on Saturday, my longest run in months. On Sunday I went with Alan while he announced the Palm Springs Half Marathon. I originally planned to run it, but I felt I needed to catch up on my long run mileage. Instead I caught up with old running buddies, took a short recovery run, and, what else, did a little yoga in the park.

Long RunI’m so lucky that I have beautiful weather and miles of horse trails to run on!

The Big Announcement

If you follow me on Instagram you may already know this, but…

SarahThat’s my beautiful daughter-in-law and yes, she is 10 weeks pregnant with my second grandchild! He/She is due on September 2.

Have you been retweeted by a celebrity?

A Little Recap, A Little Marathon Planning, A Little Yoga

A Little Recap

This past week I was scheduled to run 35 miles, with my long run at 15.

That didn’t happen. After being sick for almost two weeks, worried that a day of sneezing and runny nose meant I was getting sick again, I managed a nine mile long run within a 20 mile week.

And I was pretty happy about it.

Run

While I started feeling better by Monday, I still had a cough, so I started the week slowly, with just an easy three mile run. That went well, so on Wednesday I upped the effort level a little, running five miles with seven fartlek bursts. I didn’t time or measure the bursts, but I’d guess they were somewhere around a quarter mile each. That felt good too, but then on Friday morning, which was a rainy day here in the desert, I woke up sneezing (and that awful feeling that you need to sneeze but just can’t get it out). I also had a runny nose, but other than that I felt fine. I don’t have allergies, but I was actually hopeful that I had developed some just so I wouldn’t worry about getting sick again.

Run 2

By Saturday, though, I felt fine, so I ran nine miles. The first five were with Alan and our neighbor, then I took off on my own to add an extra four. I did have a little bit of asthma about mile six, but I had my inhaler and used it. I had cut off options if I needed them, but after that one incident everything seemed to settle down. I finished the final miles with no problem.

A Little Marathon Planning

So here is my revised, revised training plan (Training plan 3.0) for the SLO Marathon. I’m hoping that I’ll stay healthy, and that the weird little twinge I have in my left foot is nothing. Now that is a strange one. I was getting into the shower, rotated my ankle as I turned, and I felt a little pulling, pinching sensation in my ankle/foot. It doesn’t really hurt, but there is something there that I want to pay attention to.

SLO Marathon

Date
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Total Mileage
1/27-2/1/15
3 miles Marathon Pace (MP)
Rest
5 miles Fartlek bursts
Rest
Rest
9 miles
3.5 miles
20.5
2/2-2/8/15
3 miles
Rest
5 miles                 ½ mile intervals
Rest
Rest
12 miles
5 miles
25
2/9-2/15/15
5 miles ½ mile intervals
Rest
5 miles Hills
5 Rest
Rest
15 miles
5 miles
30
2/16-2/22/15
5 miles                    1 mile intervals
Rest
6 miles                  4 @ HM Pace
3 miles or Rest
Rest
10 miles w/5 miles @ MP
6 miles
30
2/23-3/1/15
6 miles MP
Rest
5 miles Hills
3 miles or Rest
Rest
16 miles
6 miles
36
3/2-3/8/15
6 miles                   1 mile intervals
Rest
7 miles                   5 @ HM Pace
3 miles or Rest
Rest
6 miles
Redlands Half
35.1
3/9-3/15/15
4 miles Recovery
Rest
6 miles                  4 @ LT Pace
3 miles or Rest
Rest
18 miles
5 miles
36
3/16-3/22/15
6 miles MP
Rest
6 miles Hills
3 miles or Rest
Rest
20 miles
5 miles
40
3/23-3/29/15
5 miles                    1 mile intervals
Rest
7 miles                   5 @ HM Pace
3 miles or Rest
Rest
16 miles       Neg Split Run
6 miles
37
3/30-4/5/15
6 miles 1 mile LT intervals w/2 minute rest
Rest
6 miles                  4 @ LT pace
3 miles or Rest
Rest
22 miles
6 miles
43
4/6-4/12/15
6 miles MP
Rest
6 miles Hills
3 miles or Rest
Rest
15 miles        Neg Split Run
5 miles
35
4/13-4/19/25
5 miles                 ½ mile intervals
Rest
5 miles                   4 @ HM Pace
Rest
Rest
10 miles
4 miles
24
4/20-4/26/15
5 miles
Rest
4 miles MP
3 miles
Rest
2 miles
SLO Marathon
14 + 26.2

There is still time to save $10 on registration and join me in San Luis Obispo for the SLO Marathon on April 26!  Just use the code WOODAMB at checkout and I’ll see you there!

A Little Yoga

Well, I’ve made it through two days of the Take the Leap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge with Prana and Sweat Pink! On Monday I followed my own advice and did about 10 minutes of Sun Salutations to warm up before my run. As always, I had a little help.

Day 1

On Tuesday I decided to hit up the 6:00 am Yin Yoga class at Yoga Central. It was my first time to this class and I had no idea what to expect. The description said that the entire 45 minute class consists of passive poses held for two to five minutes. I knew when we started off with a two minute forearm plank that I was in for an experience. My biggest challenge was the wide leg squat which was held for three minutes (I think. It felt like five). My legs were shaking, but I’m pretty stubborn, so I held out. I really loved this class, which kind of surprised me because I love the flowing Vinyasa classes that I usually attend. A good lesson to try out something new!

Yoga CentralYes, it was early.

Finally, to leave you with a smile, here is my attempt at Crow pose, one of my favorites because I can (sometimes) achieve it. With a little help from a friend.

Doggy Assisted BakasanaHow was your training week? Are you doing the Take the Leap challenge? Why not?

The Top 5 Marathon Mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Marathon MistakesAh, the marathon. Twenty six point two miles of wonder, joy, and things waiting to go wrong. It’s hard to have a perfect race, but there are some things (aside from following your training plan) that you can do to make your experience as successful as possible. Start by avoiding these common marathon mistakes (that even the pros sometimes make).

1. Skipping Aid Stations

It was October 1999, in St. George, Utah. I was running the St. George Marathon. I was in great shape. I had trained all summer for this race. The race starts at an elevation about of about 5,000, it has a net elevation loss of 2,500 feet, which is misleading because much of the first 20 miles of the race are full of rolling hills, and what seems like plenty of elevation gain. It didn’t matter though. I felt fantastic. I was rolling along, at about a 7:15 pace. I felt so good that I didn’t want to mess with my stomach by taking in any gels or other sustenance (I had a history of extreme nausea during the second half of marathons).

This strategy worked fine until mile 20, and what should have been a final downhill cruise back into town. I hit the wall. Hard. I slowed down, struggled not to walk, and couldn’t even find a final kick as I approached the finish line.  What should have been a 3:10 marathon PR, ended up 3:16, still a PR, but not as easy to celebrate after losing over a minute a mile in that last 6.2.

I learned a hard lesson though. Start fueling yourself early and continue throughout the race. Practice during training so that your body adapts, and, either find out what they will be handing out in your marathon, or bring your own. Another tip when running through aid stations: Skip the first table or two, grab a cup from a volunteer, thank them, then pull out of the slow lane by the table (without blocking those that are bypassing the station). Try pinching the top of your cup. It will make it easier to swallow without spilling most of it down your front. If you’re using a gel, take it before your fluid.

2. Not Tapering Correctly

Tapering is hard. Who want to stop, at the peak of their training, and gradually do less for the last two or three weeks before their important marathon? It seems counter-intuitive. Won’t I lose too much fitness? Many a runner, from beginner to pro, has given into that temptation to run “just one more long run.”

Don’t do it. This is science people. After months of hard training, your body needs some recovery time so that it is rested and raring to go. Follow your training plan, which will probably allow some type of speed training up until the last week of your taper. Eat properly, drink plenty of fluids, and rest. Your well trained body will reward you with a good race. Find more information about tapering here:

Taper 14

Click on the photo for the full article.

3. Trying Something New

Whether it’s that adorable outfit you picked up at the expo, or the fuel that they are handing out at the race (if you didn’t plan ahead and use it during training), trying something new during your marathon is generally not a good idea, and could be a recipe for disaster. Many a runner has regretted choosing to run in those cool shoes that they picked up for such a great price, only to be plagued with blisters, knee pain, or other problems, midway through the race.

Everything that you will be using during your race should have been tried out during training. Even if you have a new pair of the same model shoe, test drive it for a few runs before your event. Plan your fuel, your race day outfit, your morning breakfast, ahead of time, based on what you have been doing during your training.

Marathon Quote

4. Starting Too Fast

This is probably the most common mistake among marathon runners of all levels, even the elites. When my husband Alan ran his first Boston Marathon in 1992, he had qualified, at the age of 43, with a sub-3:00 hour marathon. So, there he was, on the start line alongside the likes of Bill Rodgers and Frank Shorter. Even as his jaw dropped to see those marathon legends next to him, a wise runner near him said, “Watch out. Don’t get caught up with these guys, or you’ll pay the price.” Then the gun went off. Alan tells me he hit the 10 mile mark in an hour. He managed to recover from those 6:00 minute miles (which would be a 2:37 marathon), by finally catching himself, slowing way down, and managing his race.

What is it about running that tells us, after training for months for, say, a 4:00 hour marathon, that once we get started and find ourselves running 8:00 minute miles, that some little imp inside our head says, “Yes! This is your day! You can run an half hour faster that you planned!”

Don’t listen to that imp. He lies. Stick to your running plan, and run at your goal pace, or even a little slower, as your start. Work through those nerves, don’t worry about what the other runners are doing, and run your own race. You’ll thank yourself. Remember, there is no such thing as “money in the bank” in marathon racing. It just doesn’t work that way.

5. Judging Yourself Too Harshly

So you’ve been training hard. You have hit all your targets, stuck to your plan. You followed all of the advice above, raced smart, fueled correctly, all of it. You know you’re on pace for that elusive PR. And then…it doesn’t happen. You fail.

Marathon Quote 3

Whoa. Back up! Erase that last word. You did all of the things above. You finished 26.2 miles with pride and strength. There is no failure in that. So many things go into the perfect race. Things over which you have no control. The weather. The race route. Road conditions, hills, turns. Sometimes things don’t fall into place. The stars don’t align.

Instead of beating yourself up, analyze what happened. What went wrong. Was it just a bad day? Were you ill? Take a look at the big picture. Then, pick yourself up, and try again. (After an appropriate recovery of course.)

On April 23, I will be running my 37th marathon, the SLO Marathon. Believe me, I have made all of the above mistakes over the last 18 years of running marathons. Hopefully I’ve learned from them. Although I will not be trying for a PR in San Luis Obispo (those are long behind me), I plan to run strong and smart. If you’d like to join me, you can save $10 when you register by using the code WOODAMB.

While this post is about marathon mistakes, many of them apply to races of any distance, especially the half marathon. What would you add to the list? What is the biggest mistake you made at a race of any distance?