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Xena wraps up 2018


Xena

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I have a big race at the end of week 2. Despite not being in the best condition, I'm excited about the race. It's a trail 50K out in Washington State. I'm going to visit some really cool friends who used to live here. On my last thread @Mistr very kindly wished me a relaxing T'giving weekend. T'giving weekend won't be particularly relaxing, but I think this trip will be. I’m not going to include a running goal besides the race. It’s mostly taper, race, recover. Also, I’ve started working with a coach, so I need to feel that out.

Then at the very end of this challenge I take off for a prolonged trip to the frozen far Southland. I'm not sure what kind of cardio training I'll be able to do. I'll have access to some kind of cardio machine, but I'm not sure exactly what or how available it will be. I'm using that time to maintain cardio fitness as best I can, but also to use it as a time of recovery and re-balancing. This challenge is about getting myself as healthy as I can in advance of the race and about starting that rebalancing.

  • Eat like an athlete! I'll do whatever running training I can before the race, but focusing on diet is probably the biggest impact I can have. Nothing major, just geared toward general health and a bit of weight watching. I've recently switched to mostly vegetarian diet and want to track a little better how much I am actually putting on my plate. I may re-evaluate these criteria after my race, but this is what I'm doing for at least the first two weeks

    • Track all meals that I prepare myself. Don't worry so much about meals out, they are frustrating to account for.
    • Drink at least one liter of water every day.
    • Drink alcohol (moderately) only on social occasions.
  • Some kind of mobility work every day. I've got some good routines, focused mainly on my back and hips. Just want to make sure I do it and feel like I'm getting "credit" for it.
  • Pushups! There will be a pushup goal. Honestly this is a vanity goal. I'll be working out in a small shared space, and I want to look strong :-)  I'm going to ramp up a little during zero week and then figure out a target for this.
  • Daily activity. My watch has a daily activity tracker. I have it set at the lowest level. I only have to think about it on days that I don't run. I need to make sure I get my heart rate up a little by walking, cross-training or whatever. I think this is a healthy thing to do and just takes a little bit of attention.

I haven't quite figured out targets for these goals, but I'm going to reward myself with electronic music or kindle downloads. They will be much appreciated during the long trip!

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Today was good. I did the threshold workout...tailbone was sore but I managed. So far so good on the other goals (testing them out in zero week). Decided I could have a reward if I had a perfect score for the week. I'm allowing 3 potential bonus points to make up for misses. One each for completing the threshold workout (done), running over 12 miles on Sunday, and updating the first post to fill in the vague goals.

 

So far interaction with coach is good. I wrote him today to tell him I had done the workout...oh, and by the way, I'm running a 50K in a couple of weeks. I hadn't mentioned that originally because I didn't think I would really start working with him until February.

 

10 hours ago, jonfirestar said:

Ohhhhhh that sounds really fun! Following at least until you disappear to Antarctica! 

I'll look forward to giving a race report!

 

19 hours ago, DJtrippyT said:

I love that you're working with a coach. I can't wait to hear how it affects your stuff. It may convince me to do it too ;-)

Yeah, it's a great luxury/opportunity to be able to try it out. I have a guess that it will help me enjoy running more. When I did that winter warrior thing and decided to run outside every day in January, it had the surprising side benefit of shutting up a ton of mental chatter. I had already committed to running, so there was no negotiating with myself. I think this might be the same way. I've decided to work with this guy to come up with a plan, so I'll follow it.

 

5 hours ago, Raxie said:

I'm super interested in how working with a coach goes for you too!

Me too! I'm excited about it so far. I'll know more in a couple months, but it's fun to try it out a bit now.

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Following

 

16 hours ago, Xena said:

Yeah, it's a great luxury/opportunity to be able to try it out. I have a guess that it will help me enjoy running more. When I did that winter warrior thing and decided to run outside every day in January, it had the surprising side benefit of shutting up a ton of mental chatter. I had already committed to running, so there was no negotiating with myself. I think this might be the same way. I've decided to work with this guy to come up with a plan, so I'll follow it.

 

Yes, I can see where it would be a mental relief to let someone else make your training decisions. No agonizing over whether or not you are doing the right things. You can figure out alternate workouts in advance, in case the weather is too nasty for running outside. Then all you have to do is implement the experiment and take observations on the results. You and your coach go over the data together. Free up some mental space for other things. :D 

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17 hours ago, Xena said:

I'll look forward to giving a race report!

I look forward to reading it. Can I ask what the race is? I'm not likely to be going to the Pacific Northwest any time soon but I'm curious nonetheless. (although I may be picking your brain about things in the New England area in a year or so) 

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On 11/20/2018 at 3:43 AM, Xena said:

Then at the very end of this challenge I take off for a prolonged trip to the frozen far Southland.

Had to ask, is Southland an actual place, or like a catch-all term for southern US/south america/australia/antarctica?

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On 11/19/2018 at 7:43 PM, Xena said:

Then at the very end of this challenge I take off for a prolonged trip to the frozen far Southland. I'm not sure what kind of cardio training I'll be able to do.

Isn't trying not to freeze a cardio activity? :P 

 

On 11/20/2018 at 5:14 PM, Xena said:

oh, and by the way, I'm running a 50K in a couple of weeks. I hadn't mentioned that originally because I didn't think I would really start working with him until February.

Did he have much of a response? It sounds like it will be a spectacular place to run a race.

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On 11/21/2018 at 12:11 PM, jonfirestar said:

I look forward to reading it. Can I ask what the race is? I'm not likely to be going to the Pacific Northwest any time soon but I'm curious nonetheless. (although I may be picking your brain about things in the New England area in a year or so) 

 

Deception Pass 50K

http://www.rainshadowrunning.com/deception-pass-50k.html

...but I'm starting to have some concerns about the tailbone injury (read on for more whining)

Would love to find a good New England race for you...and hopefully join!

 

On 11/22/2018 at 7:35 AM, DarK_RaideR said:

Had to ask, is Southland an actual place, or like a catch-all term for southern US/south america/australia/antarctica?

 

Nope. I completely made that up. I just didn't want to drone on about the whole Antarctica thing, so I made up some inscrutable jargon.

 

On 11/23/2018 at 9:38 AM, jstanlick said:

Isn't trying not to freeze a cardio activity? :P 

 

Did he have much of a response? It sounds like it will be a spectacular place to run a race.

 

Indeed!

Nope, he didn't say much, just added it to the calendar. To be fair he's not officially coaching me yet. Anything now is just kind of a bonus.

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On 11/19/2018 at 8:43 PM, Xena said:
  • Eat like an athlete! I'll do whatever running training I can before the race, but focusing on diet is probably the biggest impact I can have. Nothing major, just geared toward general health and a bit of weight watching. I've recently switched to mostly vegetarian diet and want to track a little better how much I am actually putting on my plate. I may re-evaluate these criteria after my race, but this is what I'm doing for at least the first two weeks

    • Track all meals that I prepare myself. Don't worry so much about meals out, they are frustrating to account for.
    • Drink at least one liter of water every day.
    • Drink alcohol (moderately) only on social occasions.
  • Some kind of mobility work every day. I've got some good routines, focused mainly on my back and hips. Just want to make sure I do it and feel like I'm getting "credit" for it.
  • Pushups! There will be a pushup goal. Honestly this is a vanity goal. I'll be working out in a small shared space, and I want to look strong :-)  I'm going to ramp up a little during zero week and then figure out a target for this.
  • Daily activity. My watch has a daily activity tracker. I have it set at the lowest level. I only have to think about it on days that I don't run. I need to make sure I get my heart rate up a little by walking, cross-training or whatever. I think this is a healthy thing to do and just takes a little bit of attention.

 

I tried these out in zero week. Counting each diet goal separately, there were 42 possible points. I got 36...with 2 of 3 possible bonus points, I'm up to 38. No prize this week, but I think these goals will be good for the rest of the challenge. I mostly struggled while visiting family...no real excuse, I could have done the stuff, but it was harder and I didn't do it all.

 

I've been running 4 or 5 times since my fall. Today was unfortunately more painful, or maybe I was more aware of it. I was running on trail, so I thought the softer surface would be ok, but it wasn't. Not really sure what to do. My race is in two weeks. I completely understand that I might not be able to do it. I'm going to look at other options, like running part of it (my friends are working one of the aid stations, so presumably I could drop out there). But I don't know if it's better to do small amounts of running, to walk, to do some other kind of cross training, or to do nothing. The one thing I have decided is that I need to be really careful with the mobility work for now. Some of the exercises I would normally do for core strength or for my back definitely irritate it. I did some strength work last night, and that is a strong possibility as to why running was more painful today. At least that's what I'm hoping.

 

I think I'll try run-walk tomorrow. Probably mostly walking. GRRR!

 

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39 minutes ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

I would have went with Penguinville.

 

henceforth it shall be Penguinville :-)

 

13 minutes ago, Elastigirl said:

I hope you are able to do your race. Sigh, the whole tailbone injury (like any injury) can be frustrating. I feel like mine's getting better, and then try and do something, and it makes it hurt again.

 

Yeah, it's frustrating, but the good thing is that I know exactly what caused the injury have every expectation that it will eventually heal. I just looked at the course map, and my friends will be working an aid station we pass around mile 5 and again around mile 7. I have a safe and easy bailout if I'm in pain. Just have to separate out uncertainty and normal discomfort from actual pain.

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On 11/20/2018 at 4:14 PM, Xena said:

When I did that winter warrior thing and decided to run outside every day in January, it had the surprising side benefit of shutting up a ton of mental chatter. I had already committed to running, so there was no negotiating with myself. I think this might be the same way. I've decided to work with this guy to come up with a plan, so I'll follow it.

 

 

There's something incredibly freeing about truly committing to something - no more will power used up doing it. I love it. 

 

 

It's not easy to find that line between discomfort that you can and should fight through, and pain that is only going to get worse if you ignore it. It's good that you've got some bail out points. though. 

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19 hours ago, Xena said:

I just looked at the course map, and my friends will be working an aid station we pass around mile 5 and again around mile 7. I have a safe and easy bailout if I'm in pain.

Seems like a sound plan. Hopefully it will heal up enough to not be too much of a problem, but injuries seem to have a mind of their own. Good on ya for having a Plan B!

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4 hours ago, Mistr said:

How frustrating to have your efforts to cross-train cause an injury that interferes with your normal training. I hope it heals so you can enjoy your race.

 

Yup! But since it's not a super serious injury (in the big picture), it's pretty funny. Thanks for the thought!

 

I did a jog-walk today. Will try a bit more of the same tomorrow on trail. Upon advice of coach, I tried some very gentle foam rolling. I don't think foam rolling the sore area is at all helpful, so I stopped. Foam rolling the many tight areas that aren't currently sore seemed like a much better idea, so I did that. Also sat on an ice pack for a while. Probably should have been doing that all along, but honestly thought this would heal more quickly.

 

Ok, so as not to make this entire thread about my sore butt, here is a delicious vegetarian (not vegan) recipe I made over the weekend. From the "Fresh and Green Table" cookbook:

Sweet Potato, Spinach & Carmelized Leek Gratin

2 T unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish (I used cooking spray for dish)

3/4 c heavy cream**

1 c bread crumbs (calls for fresh, I used panko)

1/3 c finely chopped pecans (theoretically toasted, but I was too lazy)

2 T Extra virgin olive oil

2 t chopped fresh parsley plus 1 T (didn't have this, substituted dried thyme)

2 c thinly sliced leeks,(white and green parts from about 2 large leeks, about 6 oz)

1 t minced garlic

4 oz baby spinach leaves

12 oz sweet potatoes

8 oz russet potatoes (didn't have, used yukon gold)

1/2 c grated cheddar

1 t dijon mustard

salt and paper

 

1. Preheat oven to 375. Rub shallow 2L gratin dish with butter (I used 9x13" pyrex dish). Combine cream with 3/4 c water and set aside.

2. In small bowl, combine bread crumbs, pecans, 1 T olive oil, 2 t parsley and a big pinch of salt. Stir well and set aside.

3. In medium heavy non-stick skillet heat the 2 T butter and remaining 1 T olive oil (I forgot the olive oil, and it was fine) over medium heat. When butter has melted, add the leeks, 1/4 t kosher salt, cover and cook stirring occasionally until softened and transluscent, about 5 min. Uncover, raise the heat to medium, and continue to cook until the leeks have shrunk and browned in some places (about 8 min more). Add garlic, stir and cook about 30 s. Add spinach and cook to wilt, about 1 min. Spread this mixture on the bottom of the baking dish.

4. Peel the sweet potatoes and potatoes. Cut lengthwise in half, then into thin slices. Book recommended a very sharp knife, particularly at santoku. Put the cut slices into the mile mixture. add cheese, the remaining parsley, mustard, 3/4 t salt, and some pepper. Mix.

5. Using hands, lift the potato slices out of the bowl and arrange them on top of the leek/spinach mixture. Poor and scrape the liquids and anything else into the bowl into the dish.

6. With your palms, press down on the veggies to bring up the liquid as much as possible (won't fully cover).Top with the bread crumb mixture.

7. Bake 60-65 min. Theoretically, let it cool 15 min before serving.

 

** Since it was my first time making this, I followed the directions, and it was delicious. Next time I would try to use something lighter than heavy cream. Maybe half and half, or maybe even almond milk with a little extra cheese to make up for the disappointing loss of fat.

 

Supposedly 4 servings, but I would definitely need something else with it to fill me up. I divided into three servings (747 calories each by my calculations, in case you are curious) and was still kind of hungry. If I subbed out the heavy cream I would definitely need something else to go with it.

 

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Ouch on the tailbone! I hope it heals quickly. Last time I tried skating I (likely) tore a muscle in my thigh

 

13 minutes ago, Xena said:

here is a delicious vegetarian (not vegan) recipe I made over the weekend. From the "Fresh and Green Table" cookbook:

Sweet Potato, Spinach & Carmelized Leek Gratin

Yum, that looks good. I'll have to file that away to try sometime

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