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Friday, March 15

Happy Girls Half Marathon Training, Week 3

This May I'm running the Happy Girls Half Marathon in Bend, OR. While this isn't my first half marathon event, this time I'm trying something different and I'm working with a Physical Therapist (Jay) and Coach (Stephanie) at Rebound Physical Therapy to keep injury free and improve my performance. 

This morning I met with Coach Stephanie to "check in" on how things are going with the training plan she created for me. First off, I am really happy with the plan. It's a great mix of the workouts and schedule I'm comfortable but it has some extra components (like Tempo runs and Fartleks) that are new to me. The mileages look reasonable - just a little on the scary side but not too bad. Since I have a lot of travel coming up over the next few weeks which might make regular training challenging, that's also taken into consideration. It's not wildly different from typical training plans but having someone who understands your personal situation is helpful when you're as busy as I am.

Most of our time was spent talking about nutrition, which I can tell Stephanie is really passionate about. I love food, so I guess in a way I am passionate about it too. I learned that I am probably eating the "right" foods (she stressed eating "real" food). One mistake I'm making is post-workout nutrition. Typically my routine is run, shower, eat. I thought that was good enough Stephanie said that your body needs something within 30 minutes of finishing a workout to recover properly. It doesn't have to be a full meal but a snack with protein and carbs is really important - a handful of nuts, 1/2 banana with peanut butter, or 8oz of chocolate milk were some of her suggestions. So, this will be a hopefully easy habit to change. I just need to "tweak" my routine to run, snack, shower, eat.

We talked a little about nutrition during long runs too. There's an overwhelming number of products on the market, from GU to stingers, Heed to Gatorade, Chomps to Shot Bloks, and of course (my favorite) bacon*. I used to really like Sport Beans, but those are only good before starting a run because it's tough to chew and run at the same time. The only thing I have found that is remotely palatable so far is Mountain Huckleberry Hammer Gel - similar to GU. Stephanie recommended trying a wider variety of options, including cutting bars into smaller pieces so it's easy to get a bite here and there.

Otherwise, training is going well except for the part where life has been super busy. Still, I've been managing to work in my training sessions most of the time and without too much hassle. I did my "normal" Sunday long run on Monday. This was tough because I had to squeeze it in during my work day, and it was 8 miles. Luckily the weather was beautiful and it was a nice opportunity to "change up" and run the length of one of my favorite stretches, the Deschutes River Trail from First Street Rapids park through Gopher Gulch. Typically my long runs start and end at home since it's the weekend, so the scenery is pretty much the same every time. I also did a "Fartlek" workout for the first time this week, and that went pretty well too. I had a bit of a snafu trying to achieve and maintain the pace that was recommended - I was too fast! I guess there are worse problems to have.

Another fun event this week was the treadmill races at FootZone. I was just there to watch, not compete. Two people race head to head on treadmills that are set to a 15% grade for 10 minutes. In comparison, the road up Pilot Butte averages an 8% grade. That's tough work! Coach Stephanie competed, and it was fun to see her there and cheer her on.

This weekend I'm traveling to Portland with a friend, and we're running the Shamrock 15k. Should be a good time, and it's a "bucket list" event for me so it will be good to put a check in that box.

*I'm not kidding about the bacon. At last year's Dirty Half Marathon a friend brought me some bacon and gave it to me at the "half way" aid station. I could only eat half a strip, and I had to stand off to the side of the trail to eat it, but it was SO good. More races should have bacon aid stations!

I am receiving free services from Rebound's Biomechanics Lab in exchange for writing my experiences and feedback. There are no strings attached and I am not required to write positive posts. The opinions expressed on this blog are my own and are not screened. For those who know me, that's all you get!

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