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Saturday, December 29, 2007

How Badly Do You Want It?

You can't get anything for free. You have to work hard for it. Hard is a relative term- how do you define "hard"? Hard is when you are not looking forward to something because it puts you in a position of discomfort. It is uncomfortable because it hurts. And, when it hurts, your body gets stronger- it learns to push through the hurt until it (not you) decides it is enough. This pain is not free. It comes with the price- the effort for you to put forth to exceed and get stronger. To feel better. To look better. It is not going to be easy. In fact, there will be days that you will stop before you start and say, "why am I doing this?". It is at this moment that you remember a workout that you have done in the past that made you feel like a million bucks. You got done with the effort and thought, "damn I am strong." Take yourself back to that moment and find your inner strength to try it again. You won't fail. What is the worst that can happen? You get tired and have to stop? Don't fear pain. Don't fear hurt. Don't fear effort. You can do it. How badly do you want it?

Now, get working. It is a New Year...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Xterra Crystal Cove Race Report

December 16th, 2007- Xterra Crystal Cove 15K Trail Run
Woke up at 5am on Sunday to drive down to Laguna to do my first off-season run. Usually, I do a few half marathons and/or 10Ks to break up the monotony of training in the off-season, while staying focused and competitive. There is nothing I love more than racing. I could race all the time and skip the training. It is so much fun!

So, of course I drive down by myself. No traffic- 1.5 hours, not too bad. Weather was absolutely beautiful. Clear, and brisk. I had tights on- which I feared would be too warm by the start of the race. But, it was only 50 degrees at the start, so no problem. I could keep the tights on- but, I did ditch my long sleeve shirt and just wear my running vest.

There were 250 runners total doing the 15K. I was looking around at most of the women, and there were come competitive ladies out there. I was unsure how I was going to do, as I haven't tested my speed too much lately. My legs were feeling fresh, but I had just ran a 7 mile "pace" run with an unsuspecting marathon runner the day before. I just couldn't let him run the last 7 miles of his 16 mile training run alone, so I did 4 more miles than I had planned. But, at least I felt good about helping him :)

I started at the front of the line before the race. The Xterra official started the race from his electronic megaphone and most people took off like a bat out of hell. I knew that we were going to climb 700+ feet in the first 3/4 of a mile, so I was a bit conservative. I didn't walk any of the climbs- which I was surprised about seeing as though many people at the start of the race were in freak mode about the elevation. I just set those worries aside and ran...

I knew that the first 6 miles were going to be majority climbing, and then after that, I would use as much free speed as I could and run my heart out to the bottom. I had the same 2-3 guys around me the entire time. I didn't see any other women, but I knew Pro Triathlete Heather Fuhr was in the lead- at least for the women- possibly the entire race. I was running at about 85% of my comfort zone, hoping to get to mile 6 and feel super fresh.

I hit mile 6, taking a rinse of Gatorade at every 3-mile stop, and I felt great. Not even tuckered out. So, I picked up the pace a bit, and stayed right on the heels of this young guy ahead of me. I glanced at my watch and saw that we were making really good time. I was figuring that we were sub 8-min/mile pace, but not sure just how "sub." A guy that knew the course was running by me at mile 6.5 or so, and I had asked what was coming up ahead, and he said just a couple more steep climbs, but then all downhill from there. I trusted him.

He was right. And, I still felt good. Still didn't see any women, so I just followed my pacer right through to the last few miles. Ran a bit conservatively on the downhills through miles 8-9.5, which was a good idea. I mean, c'mon: I am a city girl who mostly runs on the city streets of the SCV. I can't be rolling an ankle...(even though that is really why I wanted to run this race- I like the challenge of staying on my feet while running fast downhill..)

So, I was doing well, saw the finish, and ran hard through the end- saw my finish time, and I posted a 1:15:45. That was about a 7:45/mile pace for the run. Not sure how I finished in the standings, but thought I would stick around for the results. I ended up finishing 3rd Woman Overall- 2nd in my AG (the 2nd overall girl was in my AG- 1st was Heather).

At the end of the day, I was pretty excited about the results and definitely had fun. I enjoyed meeting some new friend and fellow Xterra peeps. I would look into doing another one soon!

Happy trails to you...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

5 Quickies in Under 30 Mins

So, it is almost time for you to get in the pool again after you have been hibernating all Fall after the end of tri season. BUT, you don't necessarily have enough time (or motivation :) yet to do an 1-1.5 hour Master's Swim Workout. Don't skip your workout- instead, take advantage of what time you do have and try these workouts for a quick 30 mins swim workout.

*Warm-Up: Your warmup for all 5 of these workouts can be as follows:

200 yd Swim (mix drill w/swim)
200 yd Kick
200 yd Pull
100 yd Swim
100 yd Kick
100 yd Pull
Total Warm-Up Yds: 900

Main Set #1: 1250 yds

10 x 50s
5 x 100s
10 x 25s

Main Set #2: 1200 yds

4 x 300s (each 300- split up into stroke- do the middle 100 as an IM). Each 300 should be descending.

Main Set #3: (1500 yds)

1 x 500 Swim
1 x 400 (pull)
1 x 300 IM Stroke Order
1 x 200 (pull)
1 x 100 Fast

Main Set #4: (1250 yds)

50 x 25s (Odds are sprint/Evens are recovery)

Main Set #5:

10 x 50s (evens= pull/ odds= kick)
5 x 100s (Descending- sprint the 3rd 25 yd)
20 x 25s (Every 5- Kick/Pull)

*Cool Down: 200 yds

Have a Great Workout!

Monday, December 10, 2007

C'mon Baby Light Your Fire...

If you are anything like 95% of every other person out there, you consume more food in the last 1/2 of your day than the 1st half- correct? I mean, who eats a huge breakfast, a good sized lunch, and a tiny dinner- with some smaller snacks throughout the day (if that). Well, if we don't get enough food throughout the day, on a consistent basis, (enough food= clean, healthy food), we lose energy, our metabolism slows down, and we store fat. That is how our bodies work- who wants that?

So, if it is the winter time, and you are not feeling hungry, or craving the wrong foods- snap out of it. I never use weather or the time of year (i.e. Thanksgiving/Xmas) as an excuse to eat poorly, or to eat more carbs, or to drink more alcohol. Not good.

So, if analogies help you out, you can think of your metabolism as a campfire. For a good campfire (your metabolism) to burn, you need to constantly be stoking it with new logs (food). As the logs go on, the fire burns strong and bright. If you didn't stoke the fire, the fire would slowly burn out and then, as you notice the fire about to burn out (your hunger overtakes you), you dump on a bunch of logs (eat a HUGE, non-nutritious meal) and then the fire goes out. This is what most of people do- they put their own fire out. You want to keep stoking your fire!

So, no excuses. You have time to plan your weeks meals/snacks. So, 6 meals a day- roughly 300-400 calories each, keep your protein high (at least 1 g/lb body weight), and watch your sugars and processed foods. You will be golden!

Have a great workout today!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Get Buddy-Buddy


You know why the business I am in is worth doing? Well, for more than one reason- more than just the "I help to change our client's lives for the better" each day they are in the gym. More than just the fact that we, as coaches, are the best part of our client's day, every day. More than just the fact that it couldn't be more rewarding than to help people get "fit" and healthy. It is a great job, and I am blessed that I am healthy enough to do it and be a great role model to them. However, what sometimes gets overlooked is that many clients, whether or not they believe it, are actually each other's best motivators. This is a workout buddy of mine, Julie, to the right.

Each day, I overhear others in the gym say things like:

1. Wow, she is really looking good
2. I will come in and do an extra workout if SHE does
3. I want to lift as much as she does
4. I have been eating healthier becuase I learned a trick from so-and-so
5. I want to workout during this hour because this is when "she/he" will be here

These are all different ways in which people are motivated- whether it be extrinsically (influenced by outside sources) or intrinsically (can motivate oneself), it would be great to figure out what works for you. If it means meeting up with a fellow gym member for a walk in the afternoon, or getting up early to meet at the gym to do some extra cardio, do it. Not only are you going to be holding yourself accountable, but you have another person that is counting on you as well (and vice-versa). It is pretty cool when you find a buddy to work with, helping to meet each other's goals.

Have a great reason for getting fit today and JUST DO IT! You will always feel better after you are done.

Monday, December 3, 2007

You still want to feel cold...

I lived in a very cold climate (Fargo/Bismarck, North Dakota) for about 5 years and ran in the Fall/Winter/Spring (yes, all 3 VERY cold seasons) outdoors during my time there. It is possible to do that if you are smart about what you wear. As these Winter months begin, don't feel like you can't enjoy the outdoors and get stuck on your treadmill until April. Follow some of these tips for fun winter training.

1. Don't Overdress: The worst thing you can do is wear too much. You want to walk outside and still feel a bit "cool." If you step outside, ready to run, and you are warm- you will be too warm on your run. This is always a good rule of thumb.

2. Wear Mittens, Not Gloves: You want your entire hand to be able to collapse and your fingers to touch. That is going to allow for more bloodflow and your hands wont get too cold.

3. Proper head coverage is a must!: Get a nice beanie or even balaclava (depending on the temp- I had to wear one of those once it gets below -10degreesF or so) that wicks moisture away, but that covers your ears as well. You want your head to be protected.

4. Wear Sunglasses: The windchill can be pretty nasty when it is cold. Take the time to protect your eyes as well. That will also help keep your eyelashes from getting frozen together.

HAVE FUN TRAINING! Don't let the cold stand in your way!

Clancy, Mike and I

Clancy, Mike and I
SB Tri Finishers- Nice Tiles!