GOG 10 Week 3 Training Update

So this past week was a little better in terms of training although I didn’t keep a good record of what went on each day. Basically, the total mileage of the week wasn’t very high but that was somewhat planned. I was able to get three decent (but shorter) runs in with a combo of some strength and yoga. My friend B and I were able to go out to GoG park again and we did approximately 5k while we were there. Boy, the hills are really killers…there was a steady uphill climb that lasted approximately a mile. I had to transition to walking on part of the hill. Grrr.

Honestly, I feel that I’m behind in my projected training progress (did I mention that I’m a chronic undertrainer???) but I guess that’s one of the many lessons running teach me – I can’t be perfect but I can keep trying. I also feel that there’s a lesson about patience somewhere in there; progress is cumulative. In spite of the days I feel lazy and discouraged, I do love running. There’s nothing like the high of finishing a 5+ mile training session…and know that you can easily handle another 5 miles. SIMPLY AMAZING.

On other running news, the weather has been gorgeous these past couple of days. It felt so good to run with shorts and a simple running top (and not all bundled up like I usually am). It reminded me of those warm Southern California days when I was able to run with a long sleeve shirt and shorts (and never lose my tan) all winter.

GoGtraining

B on a training run in the GoG Park

Aside from the graces of good weather, I also added new kicks to my training gear. I know all the warnings against changing footwear mid-training but I’ve been working on my running form for a while now. After some research and soliciting the opinions of runner friends, I decided to see if a more minimalist shoe will help with my tendency to heel strike. Earlier this year, I suffered from horrid plantar fasciitis on my left foot. After going back and forth between getting better and then getting worse again because I ran, I finally just had to stop running for 6 weeks to let it heal. My doctor told me my injury is possibly related to heel striking (aka poor form).

I went down to a local running store and tried out at about 5 pairs of different “minimalist style” running shoes. Of the bunch, I really liked the Inov 8 F-Lite Series – I ended up going home with this shoe. I’m still trying to figure out how to run effectively and efficiently with my new kicks. I took them out for a spin this afternoon (have I already mentioned that the weather is glorious??), and I can really see myself getting used to this. Heeding the suggestions of fellow runners, I’ll be taking my transition slowly and will be going back and forth between the Inov 8 and my Nike Structure.

Since I’m a newbie at all this running shoes stuff, I would love to hear your opinion about running shoes! Do you run with minimalist shoes? What kind of shoes do you wear? Do you love your shoes? 

new kicks

New running shoes 🙂

Happy Running!!

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Photos from New Mexico

 

Last weekend, the Spouse and I thought we could both use a breather from our day-to-day routine and the crazy weather here in Colorado. After a brief search on the internet, we decided to head down to Taos, NM and stay at a B&B in the area for a couple of days. This trip was everything we had hoped for – nice weather, cozy and unique lodgings, delicious food, and the beauty of nature. We explored Taos, ate at several amazing restaurants, and enjoyed a drive with the sun roof open. Can’t wait to go back!

Somewhere on the “Circle of Enchantment”

 

Vietnam Veteran Memorial State Park

 

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Love the architecture! This is the entrance to the chapel.

 

NM4

San Francisco de Asis Church

 

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Full view of the San Francisco de Asis Church

 

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Wild Rivers Recreation Area

 

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Looking for the Rio Grande

 

 

 

GOG 10 Miler Playlist…So Far!

One of my favorite things to do is compling a running playlist! I always look forward to some “me” time in the form of beautiful running weather and an awesome tracklist 🙂 This is what I have so far for my GOG 10 playlist. I still need to add on another hour worth of music so I’m open to suggestions!!

Playist In Progress

Happy Running!

GOG 10 Training Week 2 Update

How about we call it the “not training” update? Between the craziness of Boston, weather in Colorado, and going on an out-of-town trip, my training runs have been few and far between. I’m not even going to really go into detail but basically I did a couple of short runs and I only have lukewarm feelings about them. Honestly, I couldn’t really tell because the weather has been so sucky and I’m kind of a wimp when it’s cold.

With the snow (and crazy wind) still coming in Colorado despite the fact that it’s late April (even as I type!!), I am seriously considering a gym membership at a location near my house (read: less than 5 miles). Currently, my gym access consists of the fitness centers available on military bases. The closet one to me is an airforce base approximately 10 miles away. I guess it’s not that far but considering the time and effort it takes to go there, get on the treadmill (if there’s one open immediately), and get changed afterwards, I’m already feeling defeated and tired!

It looks like the weather this week may be a repeat of what was last week – cold, rain, SNOW, wind during midweek with a slow warming trend towards the end of the week. I really got to get over my inability to go on training runs during poor weather. I can do all the weights I want in my house but at the end of the day, I’m gonna have to RUN for 10 miles up and down a bunch of hills at elevation and that you have to train for. Fortunately, I saw my friend B at a baby shower yesterday and we decided that we need to get together again for a training run in the GOG this weekend. We’re both busy (her even more so because she has kids) but I hope we can find a good time to go together.

In other news, I had an amazing weekend in Taos, New Mexico! It was the trip that both the spouse and I desperately needed – to get away from town, away from the busy-business of our work + everyday life, and to focus on ourselves. So I guess instead of “me time,” we had some “we time.” For those of you who haven’t been to New Mexico, it’s so worth a visit. I am just so facinated and inspired by the Southwest in general. Last Novemeber, the spouse and I visited Santa Fe. It was not hard for me to understand why so many artists (including Georgia O’Keefe) were drawn to New Mexico and were willing to spend years lost in the beauty of this region. I promise I’ll write a little more about my trip later this week but here’s one of my favorite photos from this weekend. I love old churches and the San Francisco de Asis Church is one of the most photographed churches in all of New Mexico. As you can see, it’s definitely unique!

San Francisco

Do You Ever Feel “Blah”?

Today was definitely a “blah” day. It’s only Tuesday and I’m already asking is this week over?? It’s been busy at my house the last couple of days with getting ready for company, hanging out with out-of-town friends, and also prepping for work. It’s only 8:30pm here and I’m already pooped (granted I had been up since 5am)!

Today was a “blah” day because it’s one of those days when I just couldn’t please myself…I didn’t like my outfit, felt tired and sick, didn’t like how my classes turn out, incessantly worried about things that may/may not happen…etc. I guess it’s just one of those days? In the midst of all this, I made an effort to take out an index card of “self-affirmations” that I had written for myself at the beginning of the month:

1.  I am smart and hardworking!

2. I will “make it” one day in academia!

3. Never give up on what feels right!

These self-affirmations might seem silly, but I feel like they are all I have today. My head and my heart often says different things…and the logical me knows that with a good night of sleep (and maybe a warm, hot bath), my troubles would disappear into the night. Tomorrow would be a brand new day with more time for myself. I will cling on that thought as I fall asleep tonight.

 

GOG 10 Training Week 1 Update and a Moment of Silence

Oh where do I begin? I said I would keep this blog updated with my training for the upcoming GOG 10 Miler so let’s start with that. I started my first week of training and let’s just say I need to improve (and it’s painful to report to a not-so-great training week)!

Monday: 3.5 Miles (ahead of this terrible storm that blew into Colorado…my ears ached for days after that run)

Tuesday: Yoga

Wednesday: Weights

Thursday: Nada

Friday: Nada

Saturday: 2.5 Miles run on hills and 1 Mile Walk

Sunday: Nada

There are 3 things that I didn’t like about my training last week:

1. I allowed my life to take over my training instead of the other way around. Granted a couple unexpected things happened during the week that made it hard for me to stick to my plans…but I’m also a firm believer in the power of personal will and prioritizing. Obviously, running and training wasn’t at the top of my list, otherwise I would have been able to make the time and energy for it. This week, I will make a better effort of it.

2. I also haven’t been taking care of myself as much as I should! One thing I’ve discovered about training in altitude is that the general environment is less forgiving to a runner. For example, I’ve been drinking soda and not enough water…this has a terrible effect on my body when I try to run. Especially with how dry Colorado has been this past winter (we’re looking at water restrictions here), I need to nurish my body with plenty of water.

3. Mentally, I was stuck at a strange place in my training. This probably goes back to my age-old problem of fear of failure and all those fun thoughts. Basically, I allowed other people to psyche me out on my own training for my own race. After tiptoeing and feeling anxious over my race training, I read fellow runner Coco’s blogpost  about training for the 2013 GW Parkway Classic. The GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler is actually the first race I ever ran and I really loved the race and loved how I felt afterwards, despite the rainy and drippy weather during the 2012 race. I started to follow Coco’s blog regularly last year after I signed up for the GWPC…and reading her most recent post reminded me that even during a good training week (with the prospect of running on a great course), there is always room for improvement. This really goes back to my original intention when I took up running – my main competition is myself. And everyday that I run, I get stronger  and better at it. Yes, it sounds narccistic but my running is for me and no one else. 

(From I ❤ to Run FB Page)

Now for the moment of silence for what happened today in Boston

What I felt when I heard the news was a mixture of disbelief, pain, and anger…partially because of what running meant to me. When I was a teenager, no amount of cajoling from my parents could get me off my bum and go exercise. In college, I kept up my old (poor) habits and even thought I was getting healtheir since I had lost my “baby fat” by going on a diet (so I don’t repeat myself, you can read about my original motivation for running here). Therefore, running, for me, has been a form of therapy and redemption – it’s about taking active control of my life and my body. In my mind, running is wholesome and there’s room for everyone as long as it is physically and medically safe for you to do so. It makes me angry and sad that someone has decided to take that sense of wholesomeness and security away from the runners.

Not long ago, in the immediate wake of a shooting tragedy in the U.S., a friend of mine asked “why does God allow bad things to happen?” I’m no theologian and therefore cannot provide an answer to his question but I have also come to accept that this is the world we live in and there are parts of our cherished lives that others may attempt to destroy or take away from us. It’s up to us to hang on to what truly matters..and keep on living.

So what will I do for the rest of the week? I want to say that I will work on my dissertation, cook delicious food for my husband, keep up with my volunteer work…and I will keep on running. There are constant strengths in our lives that no amount of destruction will take away.

GoG 10 Miler Training

After I signed up for the Garden of the Gods 10 Miler (hereafter referred to as GoG10), I managed to also convince two other fellow Army wives to sign up! My friend  M will be running the 5k event while another friend B decided to challenge the 10 miler with me. What have we done??? 

In my last post about the GoG10, I mentioned that the course is challenging so after some half-hearted attempt at working out/running this week while I recover from being under the weather, I decided that I seriously need a plan and I will need to stick to it. Since running and road races have became so popular these days, there are A TON of resources out on there for runners of all levels. And also thanks to the plethora of running/fitness related blogs, one can simply go to a search engine and type in the relevant keywords to a race to find out more info from other people’s experiences. It’s pretty cool and I’ve found my favorite running blogs this way. I digress…

Anyhow, I decided to follow a modified version of the famous Hal Higdon training program (I’m using the 15k novice version). Here’s my updated version to account for several factors such as time to race, my own experiences, and the course I’ll be running on.

GoG10 Training

The original Hal Higdon is a 10 week program, but I only have 9 weeks until race time. Since I’ve done several races before and is in OK shape right now, I just decided to take out the first week. One of my main objectives between now and June 10th is to raise my overall level of fitness…this means that I’ll be incorporating more strength training and will be cross training with the bike. This is something I’ve never really focused on when I trained for all my other races (I just ran) but will probably be necessary and helpful as I get prepared for GoG10. Also, I need to work on HILLS. I hate hills and the ones around my house (and this town!) are absolutely evil. But the terrain of this race looks something like this:

GoG10 Elevation

Um yeah, I would be crazy if I didn’t train on hills. I hope by the end of this journey, I’ll have the level of fitness and the confidence to zoom up those challenging hills around my house (and on the race course too)! I think the training plan is slightly lower on the number of miles I usually run to prep for a race…but I guess the focus of my training is slightly different from what it has been in the past. Anyways, tomorrow starts day 1 of official training. I had hoped that the weather would be good, spring running weather here on out but of course that’s not the case. It’s suppose to snow this week! Fortuntely, the designated snow day is Tuesday, which is my rest/yoga day 🙂

Alright, let the training begin and be sure to check for my progress in one week’s time!