Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dallas Marathon Training: Week 18 Complete

Alternate title: Taper Week 1 Complete

I know people talk about "taper madness" and that it's hard to cut back the miles at the end of training, but I am loving this break! I think my legs will feel so well-rested in time for the marathon.

Last week's plans:
Sun 11/18: Rest
Mon 11/19: Easy 30 min run Power Yoga 2 podcast, 30 min
Tues 11/20: Yoga 2.69 mi run (my phone died so not sure of the time, but about 30 minutes)
Wed 11/21: Strength training
Thurs 11/22: 8 mile Turkey Trot 1:23:27
Fri 11/23: Rest or yoga
Sat 11/24: 12 miles easy 12.3 mi, 2:23

My face is healing up well, I'm still so glad that my injuries were only superficial.

I started the Thanksgiving holiday by running the Dallas Turkey Trot 8 mile race. This is one of the biggest turkey trots in the country, with over 35,000 participants. Every year I get so annoyed by the crowds at the beginning. There are no corrals, so everyone starts together. Considering that I was forced to walk most of the first mile until the crowd thinned out, I was happy with my time.

This was my first year doing the 8 mile run, previously I have opted for the 5K, which splits off after about 2 miles. I didn't realize how many bridges (i.e. hills) we would go over, my legs were super sore afterwards.

My 12 mile run was harder than I thought it would be. My legs felt like lead after the Turkey Trot and my right knee randomly started really hurting. I thought about stopping to walk the last couple of miles, but I was able to run through the pain and it actually felt fine once we stopped running. Weird. I have been icing it and I think I will rest it until our Tuesday run just to be safe.

Monday night I have an appointment for another sports massage, I hope this will work out all the soreness from the last few long runs and get my legs ready for December 9!

This week's plans:
Sun: Yoga
Mon: Yoga or rest
Tues: 50 min pace run
Wed: Strength training
Thurs: 40 min recovery run
Fri: Yoga or rest
Sat: 9 mi run

Hope everyone had a healthy and happy Thanksgiving weekend! Ours was full of family and food, with a healthy dose of relaxing.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dallas Marathon Training: Week 17 complete

I can't believe I made it through marathon training! Our last long run was my hardest yet, but I'll get to that.

Last week's workouts:
Sun 11/11: 7.5 mi bike ride
Mon 11/12: Power Vinyasa 4, 25 min
Tues 11/13: DRC pace run, 7.3 mi 1:20
Wed 11/14: 3 2.3 mi easy
Thurs 11/15: Strength training
Fri 11/16: Yoga or rest Yoga for Runners podcast, 25 min
Sat 11/17: 22 22.3 miles, 4:22

Saturday's run started out okay, I was nervous about the distance and my hip flexor was acting up again. But I had on brand new shoes (replacements of my beloved Brooks Glycerins) and got caught up in chatting with my group. We ran through some different neighborhoods though a lot of construction and uneven sidewalks. My pace leader tripped and fell as we left our second water stop (around 8 miles in). Then another team member tripped as we ran through Highland Park (in front of my alma mater Armstrong Elementary).

And finally, when we were in East Dallas, I tripped on an uneven sidewalk and did a complete wipeout. It happened so fast, I didn't even have time to put my hands down to stop my fall. I landed face first, scraping my chin and busting my upper lip. I sat up and could see the look of panic on my teammates' faces. I didn't feel any pain (yet) and asked, "Am I bleeding?" Everyone nodded yes and I put my hand to my face and realized I was *really* bleeding. I didn't worry too much because I know any head wounds bleed a lot even if they are not serious.

My teammates are amazing, several grabbed tissues, wet them with their water bottles and cleaned up my face. Big props to Michelle who literally pulled gravel and grass out of my face with no squeamishness. After several minutes, our pace leader Vicki calmly asked if I wanted to keep going or call someone to pick me up. She didn't put any pressure on me either way and said I could do whatever I felt comfortable with. By this time, I had stopped gushing blood and was able to stand up with no problem. I decided to keep going, promising my teammates that if I started to not feel well, I would stop.

Believe it or not, I felt much better once I started going again. I had a new determination to finish that run! My knee had also gotten scraped in the process and I bled on my new shoes. My teeth must have hit the inside of my upper lip because I could feel it swelling up. But my body felt good, I know that I'm actually lucky that I didn't twist an ankle or really hurt my knee. I talked to my nurse friend Victoria and she pointed out that our jaws are pretty tough, but our wrists are not. Even if I had put my hands out to catch myself, I could have easily broken a wrist.

Well, that's one way to finish out marathon training, with a bang you might say. Overall, I know I'm lucky, it could have been much worse. I should have been keeping a better eye on the sidewalk. I try to keep my head up when I run, but with uneven terrain like that, you have to be aware of every footfall and potential hazard. I don't know what I would have done without my teammates there to help, they are amazing.

I actually finished this run feeling way more confident about December 9th. If I can make it through 22 miles after literally falling on my face, I can make it through 26.2 no problem! I'll just have to keep reminding myself of that.

This week is Thanksgiving week and I'm not looking forward to trying to eat turkey and sweet potatoes with a bandage on my chin, but at least it will make a good story.

This week's plans:
Sun 11/18: Rest
Mon 11/19: Easy 30 min run
Tues 11/20: Yoga
Wed 11/21: Strength training
Thurs 11/22: 8 mile Turkey Trot
Fri 11/23: Rest or yoga
Sat 11/24: 12 miles easy

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dallas Marathon Training: Week 16 Complete

Last week's workouts:
Mon 11/5: Walked, 2.28 mi 38:04
Tues 11/6: Ran, 3.13 mi 36:23
Wed 11/7: Stationary bike 15 min, 4 mi; upper body strength training
Thurs 11/8: 45 min easy run 47:00, 4.04 mi
Fri 11/9: Yoga Cardio Burn Yoga, 20 min
Sat 11/10: 18 mi easy 18.5 mi

Not sure about my finish time on Saturday's run. Our group ended up splitting up towards the end, a few fell behind and I ended up skipping our last water stop. My hip flexor was bothering me and actually hurt worse when I stopped, so I pushed on. Overall, it was a good run and I felt like I finished strong. After icing my hip flexor, it feels tons better.

Michael and I took our bikes out for a ride on Sunday morning, it was a great way to shake out my legs and fun for us to spend time on the White Rock Creek Trail again. We decided we will try to go for a bike ride most Sundays!

This week's plans/actual:
Sun 11/11: 7.5 mi bike ride
Mon 11/12: Power Vinyasa 4, 25 min
Tues 11/13: DRC pace run, 7.3 mi 1:20
Wed 11/14: 3 mi easy
Thurs 11/15: Strength training
Fri 11/16: Yoga or rest
Sat 11/17: 22 miles easy

Saturday is our last long run before the race, hard to believe it's already here!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Dallas Marathon Training: Week 15 complete

Last week's workouts:
Sun 10/28: YMCA Fired Up! 5K, 34:33 (a new PR... for slowest 5K time!)
Mon 10/29: Yoga Power Yoga 4, 35min
Tues 10/30: 1:10 mile repeats tempo run, 6.67 mi, 1:11
Wed 10/31: Rest Run On Social Run, 3.03 mi, 31:44
Thurs 11/1: 1:00 easy run strength training
Fri 11/2: 40 min easy run OR bike + upper body strength training 3.69 mi, 45:27
Sat 11/3: Yoga Yoga for Runners, 25 min
Sun 11/4: Dallas Running Club Half Marathon 2:11:08

Sunday's race was tough but a lot of fun! I knew I wasn't in PR shape, so I tried to stick with the 2:10 pace group (led by one of my 4:10 pace leaders, Melinda). I ended up falling a little bit behind them after the halfway point. The course was very hilly and I was really struggling, but I'm proud of myself for pushing forward at the end when I really just wanted to stop and walk.

I loved seeing so many familiar faces during the race! I got to the race pretty early and spent time chatting with fellow DRC members, talking about our race goals. My brother-in-law and nephew Luke came out to cheer for me, plus I saw lots of people from the running community. I knew Michael would be at the finish line, but so was our friend Brandon! It made me so happy to see them both, I know it was hard for Brandon to be there because he wishes he could be running with us. But considering he almost lost his life just a couple of months ago, it is amazing that he was able to be there at all!

Michael got some great pictures of me coming into the finish line, here is where I spotted them and ran over to give Brandon a high-five!

Unfortunately, I have been really sore since the race so this week's workouts have been a little lackluster. I skipped our Tuesday night group tempo run to just do an easy few miles around the neighborhood. I'm hoping for a little longer run tonight, but we'll see. I'm mainly focusing on being ready for Saturday's long run.

This week's plans/actual:
Mon 11/5: Walked, 2.28 mi 38:04
Tues 11/6: Ran, 3.13 mi 36:23
Wed 11/7: Stationary bike 15 min, 4 mi; upper body strength training
Thurs 11/8: 45 min easy run
Fri 11/9: Yoga
Sat 11/10: 18 mi easy

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Turkey, Kale and Brown Rice Soup

My coworker made this soup for a potluck and I loved it so much, she sent me home with the leftovers. When I asked her for the recipe, she told me it was a Giada de Laurentis recipe, so I immediately looked it up and made it at home. It is a delicious, hearty soup, healthy but still very flavorful!

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 to 6 large shallots, chopped
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 1/3 cups)
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
8 ounces ground white turkey meat, broken into small chunks
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence (I actually used dried Italian seasoning, but I think the herbes de Provence would be so much better, so I will definitely use that the next time I make the recipe.)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice, drained
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 small bunch kale, coarsely chopped (about 4 packed cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, optional
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, carrots and bell pepper and saute, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to brown and soften slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the ground turkey and stir until the meat turns white and begins to color very slightly around the edges, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the herbes de Provence and stir, 1 minute. Add 4 cups broth, tomatoes and rice. Bring to a boil. Stir in the kale and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and the freshly ground black pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle each serving with parsley and Parmesan, if using, and serve.