The Boston Marathon has come and gone and I was fortunate enough to run it this year for my 5th time. It is truly a magical race. Well, I can say that now. Last week I was slogging through a very difficult 26.2 miles. I was wondering if I could even make it the whole distance! But more of that in a bit, for now let me say that although my race last week was definitely a physical struggle, it was almost more mental race for me.
1. As a Hammer Nutrition sponsored athlete I get to try out a lot of their new products all the time. One new one that came out this year that I really really really like is called Fully Charged. It’s a great product to give you an energy boost before a long or tough workout or even just any workout or race. I use it on mornings before speed work and I also used it before two races that I did rather well in. I am so impressed with this product. Check it out!
If you have been reading this blog for a while, you will know that I really really love focused training. Give me a training plan and make me happy. I usually have a clear goal with a major race in the distance. I may wander along the way and do a race or two that have nothing to do with my primary goal, but one thing I usually have is focus. A carrot off in the distance that I can move toward. It makes me happy. HOWEVER, right now I’m lost. I have several races/events I’ve signed up for but they are all different. In the next few months I’m doing a super sprint triathlon called She Tris, a 1/2 marathon in Colorado, Skirt Sports 13er, with altitude and hills…yikes, and then a stadium stair climbing ‘race’ called Fight for Air Climb, to support the American Lung Association. Those are the races I’ve signed up for so far, but I plan to do a number of sprint triathlons this summer as well
I’m so excited. Race week is here, finally. It has been a long long time since I have competed in a race, but the Cooper River Bridge Run is this weekend, April 2nd. My last race was the end of September 2015. That’s a long break for me! During this hiatus I realized how much I miss racing. I got a taste of racing a few weeks ago when I ran 2 legs of Peyton’s Wild and Wacky 10x5k ultra marathon, for a total of 6.2 miles. It was absolutely wonderful to be back in the running community. I was able to support my friend by attending a race in honor of his son who passed away and I was able to reconnect with a lot of my running friends I hadn’t seen in a long time. However, for me it was more of a training run and not a race. Last year I raced the whole race….boohoo– I really really wanted to be able to do the whole thing this year but alas I’ll wait until next year (hopefully!).
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to win something! And not just any ‘something’ a 12 week Cooper River Bridge Run training program through Without Limits coaching. I was thrilled! In a previous blog I wrote about the benefits of working with a coach, and I usually train for my races with the help of my friend who coaches me via email. However, this was going to be a different approach– hands on, weekly workout meet ups, and the use of training peaks to manage my workouts and track my progress. I was also very excited because the coach is a friend of mine and an incredible runner, Chris Bailey. He is the only person I have ever met who has won a marathon….yes, first place overall! Crazy.
What does 2016 have in store for you? Jennifer and I are big planners so we have already started to map out some of our races and goals for 2016. And as some of our previous posts have mentioned, it’s important to have a basic plan for the year so you can set goals and train appropriately. Here are some of the things we have planned for the upcoming year!
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…