Here in Southern California there are mountains everywhere, and that means most trails include running up the hill and then running down, actually quite a few streets include a decent incline. Even though I was used to running the flatlands of Chicago streets, I thought my fitness level should be able to handle running with elevation gains, but wow I was naïve. Seriously, some days it is soooo challenging. When you look at my photos of the beautiful inspiration points, you don’t realize the struggle bus I rode to get to the top of the hill. With that being said, the reality is my base fitness level, starting this training cycle isn’t exactly where it should be. I was last in “training mode” 5 months ago, and since that time I have lost a little muscle, and gained a couple pounds. I have been convincing myself I was working to maintain my fitness and endurance level, but that is not the reality. Now that I am in my 40’s I have to maintain a bit harder because unfortunately, the body doesn’t bounce back as quickly as it used to. This is my starting point, I have work to do both physically and mentally to prepare for race day, but that is what a training cycle is for, right? Ready or not, here I go..
Before I move along I want to give a few specifics on how I plan to share my story. Each week (ideally on Mondays) I will post a new blog. Each blog will contain my training recap for the week, followed by a segment on what I took away from that week of training. This could include sharing technique tips, gear I tried, or even my random thoughts. My hope is this process can be a bit interactive. If you have a question, want more detail or are inspired by a discussion, please let me know. Now, let’s dig in and see what this week’s adventures included.
October, 29th, that’s my race day. On that day I will run Whoos in El Moro 25k, and I couldn’t be more excited about a race. This course runs through Crystal Cove State Park in Lauguna, and ends on the beach. The course came highly recommended, not only for the beautiful views but the amazing race director who works tirelessly to insure the event is well executed. As I mentioned in my last blog post, I have hired a coach, to help me with training for this trail race. When speaking with my coach Lauren to develop a training plan, she took my requests and training availibity into consideration. The few months I have been running the trails here, I have realized in order to conquer the climb I must have strength, endurance and proper fuel which is why I asked her to make all three elements priorities in my training, while taking my everyday schedule into consideration. The constants in my weekly workout will include the following
d This was week one of my 16 week training program and it went pretty well.
Yes, I realize early in the game everything feels awesome and fun, but I was able to hit all my scheduled runs, strength training and some recovery.
This week’s workouts included:
Speed, Tempo and Long Run.
1 yoga class for active recovery
1 cross training workout
1 strength training session
Sunday, in lue of a long run, I had the opportunity to run a trail race. I ran Griffith Park trail marathon relay with a group of teammates from Nuun Hydration. I am an athlete ambassador for Nuun Hydration and on occasion I have the opportunity to participate in cool events with other team mates. This event took place at Griffith Park which is a huge park at the base of a mountain in the middle of Los Angeles. This park is known for numerous hiking and trail running paths, including the famous hike to the Hollywood sign. The marathon relay begins from the Old LA Zoo park area and each runner in the relay must do a 5.25 mile loop. Since I am not yet a strong trail runner, I had to power hike some of the inclines on the first couple of miles course, (which were at a 600ft elevation gain) but I made up some time running back downhill. However, the downhill was quite steep, so this made for a much faster downhill. I really had to take notice and slow down to prevent myself from loosing my footing on the turns. This was very well run event, and I had a blast hanging out with my team mates and cheering other runners on. Pro tip: In trail running you will actually find walking and or powerhiking is a normal part of a long run/race.
Random thoughts from Week 1:
Working out in a group environment like November Project , is much better and more efficient then by myself. Speed run went well this week, but then again it was the smallest workout of my training cycle. I forgot how much tempo runs, suck but I will force myself to learn to like them…ok I will probably never “like” them, but the only way to get faster is to run fast.
Balance is one of the keys to a successful training season. I have a tendency to dive head first into a project and give it my all. That can be a new training cycle, a new project at work, or even this blog. However, that makes it easy to fall into a trap of not creating balance between all of my worlds. When it comes to my professional life I have learned to create boundaries and establish a way to balance work life and personal life. By doing this, I come to work ready to produce. Truth be told, I am not always the best at balancing my personal life. It is so easy to want to “do all of the running things”, especially with this new trail running challenge which I am super excited for. However, after a few deep breaths, I know I must slow it down as this is only the beginning. If I am going to succeed I must set a precedent of balance and stick to my training plan, don’t overdo it so that I come to each run ready to give it my best. Rest is important. Balancing life is important. Creating a separate space for work, running and my personal life is my key to success.
This week I have a very exciting adventure. I am heading to Tahoe for the weekend, to run a Ragnar Relay trail race with Nuun Hydration. Follow me on instagram for all the FOMO pictures and check back next week for my recap.