Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How can working out help fatigue?

As discussed yesterday, I was still pretty sore on Tuesday from Monday's weight lifting adventure.
However that didn't mean that running wasn't in the cards, it just meant that the first few steps included me moaning, "oh, my arse..ouch!" I was wondering how I would feel yesterday, after weight lifting, a 10 mile run on Sunday and then I was also sick all day on Sunday after my run.
I was wondering if I was going to feel my old friend fatigue.

Fatigue is natural, it's part of sport, it's expected...and it's not fun! It's our body's way of telling us we need more rest, food and water--and also sometimes a look inside our mental state.

Rather than focus on my fatigue and muscle soreness on this run--and really emphasize it, I was pretty sure that despite my feeling of being tired and sore I could still make it if I focused on small segments I enjoyed--and used them as motivators.

Beyond these extremely simple tips to push past the fatigue I felt on my run, I chose a route I enjoy, and I ran with my husband who always makes being tired a little more fun!

We ended up going about 8 miles in 60 minutes on a route near our house.

This trail is fun because it goes so many places, you go around a lake, on hard-packed trail, roads, down-hill, up-hill and even single track, you run along a creek, we've seen snapping turtles, I've even seen deer on this trail!

So yeah, about 3 miles in you start hitting the fun single track...
The trail boarders up against private pasture land.

It's cool because you are "at nature," but people live right there...I guess if I really had a bathroom emergency or something, I'd totally stop in and ask one of these neighbors!

We start and finish around this lake.

And then, right at the end we saw a baby robin. I like to think of him as good luck.

There you have it. A scenic run that helped battle fatigue.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Oh! ouch! ouuuch!

This. Is what I am saying today. The reason? I've decided after so much waffling to add some weights to my routine. For those who know me: it's okay, the world isn't ending, and for those who just "sorta" know me, if there is one thing I hate doing--it's lifting weights.

In college when I was running we were supposed to go into the weight room two times a week. I did a lot of things, but making it into the weight room two times a week was--sadly not one of them. I'm not proud of this but I just hated the weights, and I had a hard time building the habit of going in and taking the time.

Now, I'm older and wiser and I've come to the realization that gaining some strength in my noodle arms will help me drive to the finish line faster. So I've realized that but I still don't like weights. In order to combat this dislike, I decided to get some forced discipline by signing up for 8 sessions of weight lifting with a trainer at my local YMCA--Misty.

Misty is a very nice lady, she knows about running--and as the title of my post might suggest, she also appears to know how to make me sore. Yesterday we met, and we got to know each other while she made me do work--including lunges with the medicine ball, shoulder presses, core work, push ups, planks, etc...This was all great. I felt like I learned something (I usually wander around the weight-room with little purpose, and she totally helped me with that), and she pushed me (As I wander around I also don't work very hard--I told you, I hate weights).

Today--I'm so sore. Damn you weights. My ass, my shoulders, my core. I know the workout did what it was supposed to--but damn you weights!

All I can say is...I'm in it now. I can't break up with Misty (I don't want to)..and--okay I actually have lifted weights in the past...I got my fastest 10K time. I'm hoping it helps this time too!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Where Did You Run Yesterday?

Yesterday I ran on one of my favorite trails around Boulder--the Mesa Trail. You can take Mesa from Chataqua Park in Boulder, South all the way to Eldorado Springs. It's great single track, wooded, challenging in some parts, gorgeous all the way and for me--super fun.

It's about 7-7.5 miles one way which is just about the right distance. Yesterday was gorgeous, and I ended up carrying my cell-phone in my pocket so I took a few breaks and took some pictures along the way!

This run starts out on a fire road that is a looong steady uphill. See that little building in the distance? That's the start of the trail! Sometimes while I'm focusing on the little building (which is actually an outhouse!) I *almost* forget to look at the amazing view right in front of me! Funny how a giant hill can do that to you. There are two big hills on this trail. As in they take me about 3-5 min of consistent hill climbing to get to the top, and there are some switchbacks along the way. A couple of posts ago I talked about the little voice in my head: self-talk. Well, when I'm climbing these hills, the voice in my head is definitely talking away! Usually, it's telling me to walk, my legs are tired or asking why I pushed so hard at the beginning! But lately I've been practicing a different kind of self-talk on these hills and it actually works. I have a little mantra that I use on the hills, starting right at the bottom: "You don't have to go fast, you just have to go your pace." I say it over and over again, and somehow I've started being able to get up the hills. But as you can tell, I'm not exactly zooming up them. Right now, running all the way up is my goal. Not speed! But really, saying that little mantra "Not speed, just your pace" totally works for me.
Sweet single track, with just enough rocks to keep it interesting all the way.
There are all kinds of wildflowers on the trail, I seriously could have stopped all along the way and taken pictures--but then no running would have gotten done! I'm in love with the wild Irises and Indian Paint Brushes so I stopped and snapped those.

One of my favorite things about the trail is that they have built in these cool stair steps all along the way. It creates interest and challenge. Some of the stairs are small, and some are big.
This trail has a ton of other trails that you can hike off of, and they are also popular for rock climbers. They are also popular for lots of different animals---including bears, mountain lions and eagles and other hawks! For a large part of the summer, hikers and rock climbers can't go up to some of the trails because there are eagles nesting--like on those rocks...

And, here we are at the end of the trail. Crossing the bridge, (there's spring runoff happening right under there) and looking back at where we all just came from--I ran--you took a photo tour!

See. I told you it was a great run!

So, how bout you? Where did you run yesterday? What was the weather like? Was your trail fun?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cody, M.A.

Well, after two years of school, last night I donned the ole cap 'n' gown, put on my hood and trotted across the stage to get my diploma. That's right folks. The world has one more "Master" out there!
A couple people have asked, I received my M.A. in Sport and Performance Psychology from the University of Denver. It's an awesome program, with great professors. I'm so, so happy that I made the choice to apply, and then come to DU and do this program. It taught me so much not only about the field of sport and performance psychology but I know that I have grown as a person. Beyond that I have met an amazing group of people who I now feel are my colleagues.
So, what is sport and performance psychology you ask? I just like to think of it as helping people perform at their best. Athletes and coaches know the most about how to build and work-out the physical and tactical skills, but I can help performers and athletes develop skills to enhance the mental skills that are used in sport.
So just a small update and a little bit about what I've been working on these past couple years ;D

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Quick shout out!

My friend Jena who also blogs about running in Florida is having her first givaway on her blog today! Sunglasses. She has sunglasses people.
Check it out, write a comment, maybe win some new shades for the summer.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

That little voice in your head....

Yesterday I went for a 5 mile run on a good out and back in East Boulder.

Throughout this whole process of coming back from the stress fracture, I've actually felt a fair amount of...I guess you could call it anxiety or even pressure to get back to running, "just as I was before." I was pushing and pushing all my runs--even the run/walks. Imagine seeing someone running along at a good clip and then pace walking it out. I think I probably looked pretty awesome...not.
As I started dropping off the walking, I kept telling myself, "gotta be running 7:20-7:30's." I had this voice in my head--we'll just call it "self-talk," putting a lot on my shoulders. If I ran any slower, felt pretty disappointed for some reason..and beyond that I never was quite just "feeling" my runs, everything felt forced and a lot harder than it should! Talk about not having fun : /.

Not only that, I was obsessed with checking Dupree, every 1/4-1/2 mile I was checking pace, and if I wasn't "on" according my standards I felt pretty slow and frustrated.

I would tell myself, 'it's taking so long to get back,' 'why don't you feel good?' 'you're so much slower and it will never be the same!' A lot of worry, self-doubt and negative thoughts, all leading to more and more pressure on the runs, and honestly ending in runs that weren't that fun.

Finally, after a mini-breakdown right before the BB with my coach which ended in an easy 8 min mile run full of talking, and relaxing, I feel better.

I'm putting away Dupree for awhile, and focusing on "feeling," runs more. And that little voice inside my head? Well I'm working on her too...yesterday on the run She told me "You're going slow here! Push it harder or else!"

"Or else what?" I asked? "You'll recover from your race? You'll have energy to run hard tomorrow? One day easier won't kill you. Enjoy the moment, and this trail you love."

And I did. I saw two coyotes, a hawk, ducks and more bunnies than any person really should. Like I said, it is a great trail and it was a great run.