Millions of Miles March

43 days until the Boston Marathon. 28 days until the taper. March = Miles. Marathon training is all about trashing your legs followed by treating them like royalty before the race. This was a great week of training. I went into my long run with tired legs after lots of easy mileage and some purposeful speed. Being tired going into a 20+ mile run is the way you want to train for a full.

I’ve had two confidence boost runs lately. Last weekend I was getting all inspired from watching the Tokyo Marathon. Went out for a faster 4 miler after a failed tempo a few days prior.

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And on Wednesday this run was quite the confidence boost. Love treadmill running for teaching a pace. Just punch the number in and go. Did this on Wednesday before Ash Wednesday Mass.

I haven’t been religious about following a specific training plan. I’ve used the BAA Plan as a guide, but have focused lots of easy milage with race pace practice. For me it’s important to practice and feel comfortable with a specific pace. Convincing your mind you’re ready for the challenge is half the battle, right?

At EQ3 we had a different kind of marathon… a reading marathon. We dressed up in workout gear and read for 26.2 uninterrupted minutes. Those headbands were well worth the investment. The kids were too darn cute! Hoping to build up their stamina to when we used to read for 2 hours with our fifth graders.

That same day I multi-tasked with a baby at my desk. One of our families got into a crash right outside of school. Thank goodness everyone was OK. Baby Elijah and I hung out in my office while Dad sorted everything out outside. And yes, the best overnight oats are those made in a nearly empty almond butter jar. 

Yesterday Brent and I went to dinner in Hermosa Beach, so we took a little La La Land Tour. 

Dinner was at Baran’s 2239. We had the Romanesco cauliflower, foie gras, sweet and spicy chicken, and king crab gnocchi. Los Angeles Magazine highlighted the restaurant as one of the Top 10 Best New Restaurants of 2016. A bit on the pricey side, but we were not disappointed. 

The Tripel is still my #1 love in LA. And Brooke Williamson, the brains behind the restaurant just won Top Chef this past Thursday. I knew I had good taste 🙂 Cecilia, Alaina, and I stayed up past our bedtime to watch the finale.top-chef-7.jpgNow it’s time for a few miles up in Beverly Hills. Need to take advantage of hills and get ready for Heartbreak. Ahh! So excited for Boston!12wemarath_photo6[1].jpg

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How Bad Do You Want It?

Los Angeles is beautiful, even on a cloudy day. After yesterday’s wet 23 miler I was craving an easy no plan run. I took off from my apartment with my book and went exploring.

Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 6.17.18 PM.pngI’m about an hour from finishing How Bad Do You Want It? Mastering the Psychology of Mind over Muscle by Matt Fitzgerald. Emily recommended it last week on our long run. We all know the best athletic performances come from the mind, not the body, and Matt Fitzgerald helps us understand how we can improve our mental fitness. He defines mental fitness as “a collection of coping skills—behaviors, thoughts and emotions—that help athletes master the discomfort and stress of the athletic experience, mainly by increasing tolerance for perceived effort and by reducing the amount of effort that is perceived at any given intensity of exercise.” He does this by sharing engaging race stories from elite athletes. It’s a great read, and can help you with your mental toughness whether you’re a runner or not.

512BGGaYFVVL._SX331_BO1204203200_.jpgHere are my top 5 takeaways. I could list hundreds, but I’ll stick to 5 🙂 

  1. You’ll aid your performance if you prepare yourself to feel terrible during a race. The flow state, that amazing feeling when you’re working hard but it feels maintainable, is real and often occurs when you accept that the experience is going to be painful.
  2. You’re better off training with a group and competing around a crowd. Thank you audience effect!
  3. Time goals are the way to go. Apparently my chipping away at time vs. going for massive PRs works! You’ll feel more confident in your goal because you feel more certain and that translates to a higher level of effort.
  4. If you obsess over a goal you risk choking. Stay in the moment and focus on the specific task at hand.
  5. Your attitude in life is the attitude you bring to your race. The happiest runners who continued racing beyond their 30s are all joyful and positive people. Think Deena and Meb. No coincidence.

This week was a heavy training week. I’ll definitely think about this week’s 6:15 paced mile repeats and the 10 mile run with 5 at a 6:40 pace when I’m charging up Heartbreak Hill in April. Confidence in training brings confidence on race day.

In my non-running world I’ve been trying to stay dry.

On Friday Cecilia, Alaina, and I braved the storm and went to Chef Tech Cooking School in Long Beach to learn how to make Chinese Takeout. We hit up Beachwood Blendery before class. 

Ellen gifted me a Green Chef box. So far we’ve made the Asian Rainbow Salad and the Patatas Bravas. I was worried they’d taste a little too healthy, but they were both filling and flavorful. Thanks Ellen!

And tomorrow is another day of rest. Back to the grind on Tuesday.

Precision Running Lab

This morning I visited the Precision Running Lab in Santa Monica. I am so grateful for the opportunity! Kathy hooked me up with a guest pass and signed me up for the SoulCycle of running. This is David Siik, Founder of Precision Running at Equinox.

26jpTREADMILL2-master675.jpgIn preperation for Boston I’ve started doing speed on the treadmill. I’ve sucked it up and done track before, but I’m just not a fan of running on a track. Ellen and I have done speed on the road, but it’s tough because you’re so focused on footing (especially in the winter when it’s dark) and you’re looking at your watch trying to gage the pace. It’s hard to get quality interval training. The road is better for a tempo.

On Wednesday Ellen and I ran side-by-side on the treadmill. We did a mile warm-up followed by 3 x (0.5, 0.4, 0.3, 0.2 miles) with half a mile recovery in-between sets. That’s 4.2 miles of faster running, and I ran a range between 9.7 and 10.0. I was kinda sad the treadmill didn’t go faster 😦 The LA Fitness gym we ran in was STEAMY. We were so sweaty at the end of the workout.

Today I did the Precision Running class as part of my long run. We programmed our treadmills with a recovery pace and a PR pace. The class started with a short warm-up followed by 60 seconds on and 60 seconds off gradually increasing the pace. We then took a bit of recovery then did another set focused in increasing recovery speed and maintaining the fast pace (mine was at a 9.5). For the last set we maintained that faster recovery pace (mine was 8.0) and working towards a PR pace (11.0 for me). It was super easy to navigate the intervals with this fancy Woodway treadmill.IMG_1687.JPG

What I loved most about this workout is that it’s perfect for all runners. We were constantly reminded that “If you’re in this room you are a runner.” It’s a great way to do speed with your friends but specific to what you need. It’s also just nice to set a treadmill, feel a pace, and hang on. The energy in the class is great, but this is definitely something you can try on your own. It’s nice having an instructor tell you exactly what to do, but you can easily create your own interval workout and do it on the treadmill. David posted this workout on Women’s Health.

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Thanks again Kathy for the experience. It was so much fun! Now I just need to find a way to afford this membership so I can go again….