Whole 30 and Running

I began Whole 30 11 days ago! If you aren’t familiar with Whole 30 check out my last post. This week, I thought I would talk about how Whole 30 has affected my running.

The day I started Whole 30 was a Wednesday, so per usual, I headed to the gym after work to run.

I had a softball game later that night but was hoping to get my full run in.

Quick aside- I HAVE to chew gum when I run. It helps keep my mouth moist and it’s a habit that I have never been able to break, even through jaw issues and braces.  The problem is I can’t have xylitol on Whole 30.

I started my run sans gum and didn’t feel too bad.

Fast forward to mile 3 and I was dying. I mean exhausted. So much so that I had to call it a day.

Would you believe that I attributed it to the lack of gum?!! I figured I would  just try again tomorrow.

And so I did. With almost the same result. I made it an agonizing 4.50 miles.

Then it dawned on me- ummm no carbs=no running fuel!

I went on the whole 30 forum and typed in running fatigue.

Here’s just one example-
The term “carb flu” was a new one to me but trust me, it is a real thing!  I am achy all over and have major leg fatigue etc.

Most people suggested that the running fatigue improved around day 14 and that incorporating more sweet potatoes and eating more starchy veggies (squash, zucchini, beets) would help.

Plus, I do  body pump about 2x/week and while I feel fine during the class, my legs are shot for days after!!

All in all, I have been able to get my running distance/week in, but my speed has taken a major hit!

I so wanted to use this as an excuse to quit,  but I just can’t give in after making a commitment  to myself.  I am just hoping that things improve.

Here’s to day 14!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whole 30

As you know (because I keep talking about it), I will be the big 4-0 in a little over 2 months!!!

I will be heading out to Vegas to celebrate, which has me psyched.  Planning a trip is the way to go for birthdays, I swear.  This trip has taken all of the “dread” about turning 40 away!

With this being said, I still want to look my absolute best!

Which brings me to my next point.

I  think I work out pretty often (for me) and because I do, I don’t always make the best food choices! I eat dessert pretty much every night and takeout happens quite often.

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As a result of this, I have gained a few pounds.

In an effort to reset and, hopefully, lose those pounds, I am doing Whole 30.

Rather than go on and on, I will just give you the quick rundown on Whole 30.  You eat mostly proteins, vegetables (except corn) and fruits.  No sugar or artificial sweetener, no milk products and no bread or grains of any kind.

I started Whole 30 on Wednesday and thought I would talk a little about how it has been going.

Day one- I woke up today feeling both apprehensive (mostly about my coffee) and optimistic (Give me a plan, I can stick to it).  I put 2 equal and sugar-free French vanilla in my coffee. It really was a source of anxiety for me!

I put coconut milk (no sugar) in my coffee and it was ok. After that, I thought, “Ok, I can do this.”

Since then I would say the weekdays are quite manageable.  It’s the weekends that are hard.

I went to the Lotus Festival yesterday and much of the fare was burgers and fries.  We went out to eat after and I had a grilled chicken salad w/ oil and vinegar.  Bill had dessert which I was dying to eat but didn’t.

Most difficult- drinking coffee black and no diet coke! No carbs, which has affected my running performance.  More on that later.  Meal prepping is a bear.  Finding foods without sugar can be so challenging.

Easiest-starting Whole 30 in the summer.  I have been eating so much watermelon!!! Thankfully I love fruits and vegetables and they are so fresh this time of year.

That is all for now.  I will be back to talk about how Whole 30 has affected my running.

 

 

 

Age Group Awards

Before I begin lets start with a disclaimer: This post is in no way written to belittle anyone’s accomplishments, including my own.

As you know, at the end of races they give out awards to the top 3 finishers in each age group for both males and females.

Cool, right?!

I have always thought so!  In fact, I am happy to have received a couple over the years. And I fully admit I mention them in my blog posts.

So, what’s my problem?

Well, my very speedy fiancé and I ran the Mt. Harmon 5k together and he was the 3rd overall finisher!!!! The 3rd person! Incredible right?!

Which brings me to my point.

They announced 1st male and 1st female and proceeded to hand out AG awards.  For the first time ever, I was irked by this.  I think they should have at least announced the top 3 finishers. Yes, I realize I may only be saying this because Bill was 3rd but still. Sidebar: He also finished 2nd in his age group (31-39).

Age group awards are fun but let’s be honest the people who receive them (myself included) aren’t always putting up the greatest times.  I know this sounds harsh but it’s the truth.  For instance, at the last 5k I ran I was 2nd in my age group.  The 1st person ran the race in 20:51 (she was 1st female) and I ran the ran in 25:09 (6th female).  That is a huge time and place gap.  I don’t feel like we are even in the same league so why should I go stand up on the podium next to her?

Simply put, the reason I run races is to beat my PR.  Am I upset that I don’t win races?  Of course not, because I don’t expect to.  I also don’t expect to be rewarded ie. awarded for being mediocre.  A shiny new PR is the only medal I need.

The bottom line is whether I receive an age group award or not,  I still don’t feel like I won- because I didn’t!

I will say there are some exceptions.  Tough courses warrant slower times so I will happily get up there and get my award in those cases.

I love to hear your thoughts on this. Let me know what you think-agree or disagree?

 

About Today…..

I ran the Race against Domestic Violence 5k today in Wilmington on the Riverfront.

I have run the course a handful of times and it is considered to be “flat and fast.” Guess this depends on the runner :0).

After coming off an incredibly difficult 5k (Mt. Harmon-see previous post) last weekend, I thought I had a shot at a decent time today.

Ummm, Nope.

I ran it in 25:09 and all I can say is UGGHH!  I am almost a minute and a half off of my PR.  I told myself that this race was just a gauge of my current fitness level, nothing more.  BUT I was secretly hoping that I might be able to run it in 24 minutes flat.  Ha!!

I was 2nd in my AG but didn’t even stay for awards because I was being such a baby so upset about my time.  Plus, I have a few thoughts on age group awards which I will talk about in my next post.

No excuses for this one other than the fact that I am just not at my previous fitness level.  I think a combo of a 15 lb weight gain and not running “uncomfortable “(ie. slacking) are the two culprits here.

It was a big reality check and my plan is to keep trying!

My splits were 8:29, 8:04, and 8:01 which tells me that mile 1 is the issue.  The first mile of every 5k, I always start out feeling so out of breath.  This happens almost immediately and am not sure if it is just nerves and adrenaline or what.

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Here I am all set to go….. get all out of breath within the 1st 30 seconds of the race.

Bill (the fiancé) and I talked about the race and my splits and he was so surprised that I was able to pick it up so much for miles 2 and 3.  I, too, find it odd especially considering how fatigued I always feel the 1st mile.  He thinks this means I can easily improve by working on mile 1.  Man, I hope he is right.

Biggest takeaway from today: I didn’t give up.    This is huge for me.  I lack confidence in my running ability and it can really hurt me. At the 2 mile mark I glanced at the time on my garmin (I only use it to see distance and try my best not to look at the time) and was so discouraged after doing some quick math.  I wanted so badly to give up and slow down (I had such a why bother attitude for a second) BUT I didn’t. I pushed all the way through the finish.

I am glad I have started my 5k “season” early and that I have all summer to improve.  I am so hopeful that I can just keep my knee healthy.

Talk to you next week.

 

 

Mount Harmon 5k

I ran the Mount Harmon Earth Day 5k yesterday and in an attempt to be succinct I thought I would tell you about it in list form.

Oh, and here is a picture. You know, for proof.

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                                  Bill and I after the race.
  1. This is the 1st 5k I have ever run on grass. It was hard.
  2. I was the 17th overall finisher out of 114 peeps.  I was the 4th female (this put me on the leaderboard) and 2nd in my AG.
  3. My time was 27:14.  I know that time seems horrible (for me) but like I said the race was hard. Really hard.
  4. I haven’t run a 5k in that slow of a time (for me) since I had to take a year hiatus from running because of my jaw issues.
  5. There were a lot of hills.  I think there were also a lot of switchbacks.  I think that is what they are called.  In any case, the course went up and down- a lot.
  6. It was raining and I didn’t hate it.  In fact, it really didn’t bother me at all. Can’t blame my time on that.
  7. Bill was 3rd overall!!! His time was in the 23s.  This is what I used for frame of reference to feel better about my time.  His is usually much faster.
  8. I am determined to return next year and have a better time.
  9. This race made me question wearing a garmin.  At 1.60 miles I looked at my watch and knew my time would be not anywhere near where I wanted.  I felt deflated and might have pushed harder not having this information.

In summary, this 5k was a hard one.  The hardest 5k I have ever run happens to also be my 1st 5k. It was at Brandywine State Creek Park and had two very large hills.  Mount Harmon is a very close 2nd.

A big part of starting  this blog is to help me get some perspective on running and life in general, to see where I can improve.  This requires me to be honest with myself.

So, what has been going on with my running?

Well, I haven’t really been doing any speedwork and it shows.  In addition, my regular treadmill pace has fallen way off.  Not sure how I let this happen but it did. Turns out I kinda like to not feel like I am dying when I run.

I have recently started running outside more and  I plan to continue to do so.  I am running outside at a conservative pace to allow my body to become accustomed to using different muscles and a harder surface, or so I am telling myself.

I also plan to start my “season” of 5ks.  I have a goal time I want to at least get close to, if not beat.  I am hoping simply running a lot of 5ks will help me get faster.

Bill-please comment below and speak to how hard this 5k was so I feel better about myself.  Thanks 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soul Cycle

How do I begin? As my trip to San Francisco drew closer, I knew there was something I had to try- Soul Cycle.

I know you may find my desire to attend a Soul Cycle class a little weird being that I was in SF  where the weather is ideal for outdoor exercise.  And, yes, I did do quite a bit of biking and running outdoors.

However, I don’t live in an area that offers Soul Cycle so I knew I had to put it on my must do list.

I booked a class for Wednesday.  Little did I know that we would be biking 16 miles up and down hills to the Golden Gate Bridge later that day.  Should’ve planned better.

So, onto the actual class.  I had a preconceived notion that it would just be a regular spinning class with some really great music. Little did I know that you have to spin while dancing to the beat. Ummm, what?!

I am all about dancing but on an actual dance floor, not on a spin bike. I can barely concentrate on pedaling fast (I always think I am so much slower than the people around me).  So, here I am trying to spin and, somewhat, bob to the music.

How did I do?

I looked and felt like a fool while the instructor looked amazing.  She was actually full on dancing on her bike. It was cool to see!

Now for the Pros and Cons

The Pros:  

The employees are wonderful.  Someone came right over to help me clip in as they give you spinning shoes to wear.  I have never clipped in but  I really liked it! I feel like I am able to pedal harder….or something.

The instructor was so motivating.  She was all, “YES, YOU CAN!!” which made me feel like, “Well, I guess I can!”

The music! It was so great and it got me spinning my heart out-even if it wasn’t to the beat!

 

The Cons:

$$$$- The class was $30 for the 1st class and $32 thereafter.  That is 1/2 of my monthly YMCA membership bill.  A membership that allows for unlimited spinning classes.

Trying to dance, lift weights (they have hand weights on the back of every bike) and do abs all while spinning was difficult.

 

However, I am happy that I did it! Especially walking in and seeing so many intimidating, beautiful people.  I’m not talking just some run of the mill pretty girls, I’m talking  girls rocking just sports bras and leggings and killing it! Come on! Really?!! And that can be a hard look to pull off.

I’m even looking into spinning shoes (loved that whole clipping in thing) but they are pricy for something I do once in a while.

Day In The Life Of A Running Couple

I just returned from a trip to San Francisco and it was amazing.  I may do a post on my trip just so I can look back on all of the things we did.

In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to do a blog post on a typical race day for Bill and I, being that we just ran one together.

Here we go-

6:30  Me-Alarms goes off. I get up, shower, tape knee, and head downstairs to have coffee and cereal.  Discover milk is bad so decide we will have to pick up bagels.

Bill-Asleep.

07:30 am-Bill– Wakes up, showers, and calmly prepares to leave.

Me- Runs around house like a spinning top gathering the 50 items that I require in order to run. #lowmaintenancegirl

0810- We leave the house, pick up bagels, and drive to race.

09:00-Me- Arrive at parking lot.  I change from shorts (I prefer to wear shorts) to capri pants due to wind and cold while continuing  to stress.

Bill- Calmly plays on phone and ignores me and my stressing.

09:15- We have about 15 minutes to start time and are parked right next to the YMCA.  Plan is to use the bathroom in the Y and get to start line a few blocks away.

09:18- Bill- Decides to return to car to get a sweatshirt while I give him the stink eye from the sidewalk as we are now cutting it extremely close to start time.

09:20-Me-Nag Bill the entire walk about how he needs to be more organized in planning his outfit choices.  He is too much of a gentleman to mention the fact that I completed my own outfit change in the car a mere 10 minutes ago.

09:26-Arrive at start line as National Anthem is being played. Quick port a potty stop for me. Briefly contemplate returning to the car and forgoing said race as the wind is ridiculous!

09:30- A quick kiss we are off!!

10:45- Bill finishes race waaaay before me and waits at the finish line for me in the freezing cold.

11:32-I finish the race.  We get some apples, clif bars, and juice, none of which I have the stomach to eat or drink at the moment.  Run into a couple of friends and then walk slowly back to the car and head home.

I love that we run together.  I love the shared camaraderie and that we can discuss every aspect of the race.  We do a mile by mile recap the entire way home. How we felt at each mile , which mile was the most challenging et cetera.  Plus, I sort of love having him at the finish line waiting for me!