Thursday, February 17, 2011

From Balch to Madison Square Garden, and a Cross Country Championship!

My last post was about getting the USATF Indoor Championships standard in the mile at CU’s Balch Fieldhouse. Well, I didn’t. I missed it by about 1 second. It was still a good first race back, but I was disappointed that I would have to travel somewhere to get the standard. Until I found out that I got to run in the Millrose Games in NYC. Then suddenly, traveling away for the weekend didn’t seem so bad after all.
My trip to New York City was great. I stayed in a hotel right accross from Madison Square Garden. I got great sleep and lots of much-needed alone time. I would say quiet time, but it way NYC… On Thursday after I arrived, I did my pre-race shake-out at the Armory. I got back to the room, ordered room service, and slept for 10 hours. Striaght! My race wasn’t until late Friday night, so Friday was quite relaxed, as well. Running in the Garden was a great experience. The warm-up area was a mad house. The track was tiny and the crown and music were loud. Overall, it was a lot of fun and I’d love to do it again next year. Video of my race here.
It was a good thing I got good sleep on Thursday night, because Friday I got practically no sleep. With the evening race and Brent’s race early Saturday morning, I was way too jazzed. Brent’s race (the Houston 1/2 Marathon USA Championships) was scheduled to go off at 8 a.m. I wanted to get up and run before so that I could catch my flight home. I ended up heading to the treadmill in the hotel at 6 a.m. I was wide awake and bored. I ran until it got light outside, then headed to central park. Mid-run I had great phone conversations with both Brent and our coach, Jay Johnson. Both were excited and poised. We all thought it was going to be a great day for Brent.
The race went off and, unlike last year, Brent went straight to the lead. He was feeling well. But then things turned sour on mile 8. He began having some breathing problems and dropped out. Maybe it was allergies from something in the air in Houston, we don’t really know. We just hope it never happens again. Shortly (but not immediately) after the race, Brent decided he would give it another go at the USA Cross Country Championships. Going into that weekend, we all thought he might be a national champion for the first time. We’d just have to wait another week.
The next weekend Brent headed out to San Diego and came home with a win! Finally. He needed a good race. I’ve always known he’s a champion. I know how hard he works. I know how badly he wants it. It’s been hard to watch him struggle the last few years. We just hope that his win was the first of many, and a great stepping-stone to a great track season.
Having had races that we’re both happy with, we’re really looking forward to the USATF Indoor Championships. I’ll be racing the mile and Brent will be in the 3k. I’ll post again after!
Also, last week I was honored to do a really fun podcast interview with Listen to it here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Still just "training"

I need to give you all an update on my “training,” I know. But the subject of this post is inevitably going to be about nursing, which is dictating my training. Sorry to go there, for those of you who may be uncomfortable with this subject, but I promise it’s necessary. At least just to explain why my training is still “training,” and not training!

This kid is sucking the life out of me… The plan I had for my great comeback to competetive running and the plan I had for breastfeeding my baby are directly at odds with each other. Basically, the former is a complete wash. I didn’t realize how difficult this was going to be when making these simultaneous plans. I thought I would be at full throtle by now, but I am exhausted! What’s been happening is that I start out the week great – like last week. I did an easy run from home on Monday, a great fartlek on Tuesday, a good progression run on Wednesday, recovery day on Thursday. Then I’m completely wiped for the rest of the week. I can barely find the energy to shower! I take 2 or 3 days of resting and binge eating and then try again. Though I’m feeling far more fit than I did 12 weeks ago, I’m still far from consistent. The most miles I’ve gotten in one week is about 25. What a joke! Ahhh…

I really thought that the main issue holding me back in my trianing was lack of sleep. But recently the baby has been sleeping great – up to 10 hours at a time. So I can’t blame it on that anymore. I’ve tried everything to keep up both the training and the nursing, but no matter how much I eat or how much I sleep, I’m still exhausted. My body is hating me.
With my first baby, I got to three months nursing exclusively. I thought that was pretty good with running and going to school full-time. I had a goal of six months this time. Instead of changing that goal, I’m trying to adjust my running goals. Maybe I won’t run a race before the first of the year? Maybe I won’t run the indoor season? I don’t really know.

Once again I find myself trying to balance family and running. Obviously, baby wins this one. I do long to race again. I definitely miss training hard and racing fast. But, for now, I’ll be perched on the couch every two hours. My plan for next week is to nix any sort of workout and just try to get out the door every day. I think once I establish some consistency I can ramp up the intensity. We’ll see how it goes.

Training recap: very sporatic last couple of weeks.

Last week:Monday – Lunge Matrix (LM), easy 30 minutes from home, 3 min. pedestal routine, Myrtle

Tuesday – LM, fartlek on “hill course” (treadmill) for 6 miles total, Big 10 (10 push-ups/10 v-ups, 9 push-ups/9, 8/8,…1/1)

Wednesday – LM, 5.5 mile progression down to 6:40 pace, 7 miles total, 3 min. pedestal routine, Myrtle

Thursday – planned day off

Friday – planned workout – but 20 min. jog instead

Saturday – my 4-yr-old’s birthday party, wanted to run in the a.m. but was tired/busy

Sunday – wanted to get out the door, but watched football on the couch all day instead :-/

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Now blogging at!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Have I lost my competitive edge?!

I never thought I'd be a runner who would be happy just to squeeze in a 30 minute jog on their lunch break, but without a detailed training plan, that's exactly who I've become (temporarily). Without actually scheduling time in my day for my training, it sometimes doesn't happen. As a family, we're really focused on Brent's training and my pregnancy right now. So between dropping off Ciara at pre-school, Brent off at practice, shuffling to the other side of town for my check-up, grocery shopping,and running errands, I had exactly 32 minutes yesterday to fit in some sort of workout.

At any other point in my life, even during my last pregnancy, this sort of slacking in my running would drive me crazy. I mean, really. I barely had time to change shoes and start my watch to get in (probably less than) four miles. No strides?! No general strength? Not even any dynamic stretching!? Who have I become? ;0)

Well, lucky for me, just as I was finishing up my run and contemplating the end of my life as I knew it, one lucky, middle-aged, over-weight jogger pulled onto the path about 10 meters in front of me. Now if I'm honest, I was completely content not to pass first. We were going about the same pace and it wasn't bothering me. But then - oooh but then - I remembered who I was.

I just couldn't help myself. My pace was quickening and I was pulling up behind him. The thought crossed my mind that I might preserve his ego and maybe just slowly pass. Forget that! I zoomed by him, turned the corner, and did a mini-stride up the hill. Victory! I still pass people on the creek path! I will always be a runner who passes people on the creek path! Now back in the car, off to pick up the family and head home to make dinner...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Baby on Board!

Sorry it's been a while since my last update...

A lot has been going on, so first let me update you on Brent. His training is going fabulously. He's putting in more miles than ever before (he's up to around 105 some weeks). He's never been above 95, so this is new territory for him. He's recovering well and is getting in some good workouts with some other local professional runners. Working with a new coach yet again, it's hard to tell exactly where he is in his fitness, but we all think he's on the right track. Coach Jay Johnson and he are working on an upcoming schedule, though it's not set quite yet. He'll be competing sometime in January for sure. Then, looking ahead to the outdoor season, he'll start focusing on the 10k on the track.

As for me, I'm simply focusing on keeping up my endurance and keeping my body strong... Exciting news: we're expecting Vaughn Baby #2 in June! We couldn't be happier and the timing seems perfect. I'll continue to run throughout my pregnancy, as I did with Ciara. Part of me is sad I won't be competing this upcoming spring and summer, but I'll have plenty of other things on which to focus. We're looking forward to welcoming our new addition this summer, and you can expect to see me back on the track in Januray 2011!

I was lucky enough to do a cover shoot for Running Times in August for this month's edition. Say "bye-bye" to this body for a while. :) The photos are from the shoot and here is a link to the article.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Breakfast with Kip

I sat down this morning at Einstein Brother's Bagels to enjoy my pumpkin bagel and OJ. A man walks in, with several trash bags and a tattered adidas duffel bag, and sits at the table next to me. As I was catching up on my email correspondence, he pretended to read the newspaper, but after our eyes met for the third time, it was obvious he was looking for someone to talk to.
A minute later my computer shut off - my crappy battery had run out. So I shut my computer. The man asked me what I was eating. Then he asked if I might buy him one, too. I obliged. I have to admit that I might have said, "sorry" and left, but I learned something from reading Brianna Glenn's blog last week. I thought I would take advantage of helping him out - it was just a few bucks.
I brought him his bagel and began to have a fairly mundane conversation with him. I told him how I graduated last year, how we live up in the mountains. He wouldn't tell me much about himself. But then the conversation turned to sports. First the Olympic bid came up. Then the conversation turned to tennis. But then, after telling him I was a runner, what he said next totally surprised me.
He told me he was a huge Kara Goucher fan! He actually followed her in the sport. Here I was, with this homeless guy from Indiana, having a full-on conversation about a professional runner. I was surprised and impressed for two reasons: 1) Kip knew who she was and knew legitimate stats about her career, and 2) Kara Goucher is really famous. I knew Kara got a LOT of fans, but - I'll be honest - I just assumed it was a cult following of runners. Now I realize her popularity has reached beyond track geeks. Which is awesome, right?! What an amazing opportunity Kara has - she's inspiring to a Kip, an unemployed, out-of-luck 46-year-old.
In turn, this whole morning has inspired me. Why do I want to be as good as Kara Goucher? Why do I want to keep running and keep improving? First off, because I simply have the desire to do well. But secondly, because when people look up to you, you are provided with an amazing opportunity to influence others in a positive way. That's what I want to do. I'm going to keep striving to do better so that I can do good. :)