What do you over the course of a week? How do you fit your workouts in? I get this question often so I thought I would write about it this week–the who, what, where, when, and how of my workout week!
As most mom’s can attest, we live by the school year. Siobhan and I are no different. School in session means structure, schedule, and organization. Summer means chaos – and not all bad, but lacking all the consistency we have in the school year. You may have noticed we each only posted once this summer as travel, kids and life took over. But this week school is back and session and we are back online! We’ll call this our 3rd season of Miles with Moms and are happy to have you back following along.
Summertime. I want to maintain my fitness level. I want to get faster. I want to race this summer. I want to look good in a bathing suit. It’s hot. I feel lazy. I want to sit on my ass by the pool. I want to drink cold beverages. Hmm, all these goals don’t really mesh. I have fitness goals, but I don’t necessarily have the motivation to reach all my fitness goals. And for once, I think that I’m okay with that. For me–Summertime and the living is easy. Yes I stole that from Porgy and Bess–great statement for how I’m feeling–plus I FINALLY got to see it during Spoleto this year. I volunteered during the dress rehearsal and got to see opera for free! Win-win. Sorry, I digress.
I have to confess, I had no idea what to write for our blog this week. I was at a total loss. Mini-writers block. But then, I was running a hard workout this morning, silently complaining about how hard it was, how I was hating it..etc. etc….and then it came to me–the real reason I was doing the workout. Part of training is preparing your body for the effort you want to put it through, and a HUGE part is MENTAL–learning to embrace the suck and becoming familiar with the heightened arousal we feel on race day. This morning I was learning to embrace the suck.
Life seems to get busier and busier. I feel as though I’m running around now more than ever before. When my children were little I was so busy trying to get my workouts in between feeding, napping, and playing. Then there was a happy lull when they first entered school and I felt like a new person with so much time on my hands! I would drop the kids off at school, get a workout in, go to work, and still have time in the day to get other stuff done. Now I’m in a new stage of life. My sweet spot of minimal activity is over. Now I find myself racing from activity to activity struggling to fit everything in while my children are in school –not to mention driving all around town after school. For the first time in a long long time, I sometimes have a hard time trying to fit in my workouts for the day. I get it done, but I’m sure I’ve forgotten to do something and if that ‘something’ was supposed to be for you I apologize.
As you know from my previous blog posts, I (Siobhan) got a stress fracture while training for my first 100mile race. This was a pretty devastating injury for me and only partly due to the fact that I would miss my goal race. I was pretty freaked out that I got a stress fracture. Plus treatment included crutches and NO exercise for at least 2 weeks…That part killed me…it was very tough mentally to be on the sidelines with no access to my normal stress relief mechanism. I knew I would survive that period, and I did, but it was still very challenging. And it’s not over yet….
This is not the blog I was hoping to write this time of year. I had hoped to blog about my wonderful 100 mile race…but alas, it was not meant to be this year. I have been side lined for the past month with an injury. For me, a devastating injury. Not because I had to back out of my race, but because I’ve never had an injury like this before…this bad before. It’s pretty freaky to have a stress fracture. As with all of my injuries, I have learned a whole lot about this injury–causes and prevention for the future–but I wish I hadn’t learned these lessons the hard way.
For years I have been primarily concerned with my training and race day nutrition. I would concentrate on what I ate before a workout or race, during and also after. I knew that to perform at my best, I had to make sure to fuel appropriately. That is why I have been using Hammer Nutrition products for years. I use a number of their supplements–Premium Insurance Caps, Race Caps Supreme, Tissue rejuvenator and Hammer Whey daily, plus Endurolytes, gels, Heed and Perpetuem during training. Finally I follow my long training with Recoverite. A good combination for some great race results. HOWEVER, (and it’s a big however), although I eat pretty well on a daily basis, I never really made sure to eat whole healthy foods chock full of vitamins. I ate well, but not WELL ENOUGH for someone training for ultra-distance races. I should have been clued in when I started getting sick a few months ago, but I didn’t really think about the role of nutrition until I spoke with a friend of mine who is both an ultra-runner and a chemist (Thanks Janice!). She talked to me about including more vitamin rich food into my diet in the form of fruits, vegetables, and even wheat grass shots. Unfortunately, I learned this information too late…I stopped getting sick, but I got injured….really injured…I’m trying to keep reminding myself that I learn from every injury. And I’ve learned a lot from this one…
As a parent, I have found that how and when I can exercise has changed over the years depending on the ages of my children. What I am able to do now, is very different than what I was able to do when my children were younger. Time available and what I’ll call ‘child neediness’ have influenced the type of exercise I could do and ability to train for races. In this blog, I’m going to review my exercise through the ages… my children’s ages!
There is so much advice out there about what can help you perform at your best. The perfect training schedule or the perfect eating plan, are all designed to keep you in top form to perform your best each and every day. Here are some of the top tips I’ve learned over the years. Some serious, some amusing, some not so serious, but all helpful.