Tuesday, March 28, 2017

tuesday rewind

I think I found it, guys.

I found the spark I was missing when I run.

Somewhere between the bright, sunny days last week and my wet, rainy run today, I found it. And it's making all. the. difference. Whether the run is shorter, longer, slower, faster. I'm just out there having fun. 

And dammit, it feels good.

This week I haven't planned for any cross training. Considering we have our first triathlon in June, I should probably get on that. Especially if Ryan is going to sign us up for the duathlon he found this past weekend.

I'm just not sure how much I want to run-bike-run. 

What's on your plate for this week? How do you deal with losing/finding your spark? What helps with getting your head back in the game?

Until the next rewind, peace out, lifers.

-Allison Rae

Sunday, March 26, 2017

race recap : doc lopez run for health

The alarm on Saturday, March 18th came way. too. early.

For a weekday, 6:15am isn't too bad. On the weekend? It's just brutal. But that's where I found myself last Saturday. With a husband who's chronically late, a race an hour and a half away, and a caravan with my parents set for 7:30am, that wake up time was unfortunately, very necessary. 

The Doc Lopez Run for Health is held every year in Elizabethtown, New York (not Kentucky) right as winter is coming to an end. Four days before the race, Winter Storm Stella plowed through and dropped lots of snow up and down New York State. Albany got nearly two feet of it and Elizabethtown looked like it got more. Thankfully, the roads were clear and dry the morning of. I just wish the starting temp wasn't 13°F. 

That's freaking cold.

But there wasn't wind so I considered myself lucky. #smallvictories

The 5K course is a fairly easy out and back along Route 9 with only about 50 feet of elevation gain. My only wish is that the roads were closed so we could run on flat pavement and not the uneven shoulder. I mean, it's not like it would impede traffic that much. I think I remember all of four cars, MAYBE, during the time I was out there.

I didn't do or wear anything special for this race. I kept running everyday and stupidly did some fartlek running the day before. I wore the same thing I always do when it's cold outside: two sets of leggings, a long sleeve compression shirt, and my running jacket. Most of it being UA cold gear stuff. And I even ate the snack-sized trail mix from the swag bag as my breakfast that morning. Which, in hind sight, was not the best idea.

Going into the race I was very excited. Ryan had offered to pace it for me so I could shoot for a sub-thirty minute race. Although, with the temperatures as low as they were he cautioned that the day might not be the day for a PR.

photo by: Shawn Michener (2017)
At the race line, I gave my mom my phone, waved to both my parents, and the nerves settled in real hard. I had to pee (it was cold). I had to poop (I was nervous). I was freezing (it was 13° afterall).

At the whistle (yep, someone blew a whistle), we were off. My thoughts went something like this...

     ▪ Ryan's actually running with me!
     ▪ Are we going to PR today?
     ▪ I don't know if I can do it.
     ▪ But I'm keeping up with him...maybe I can?
     ▪ Holy crap, I thought going out there weren't any hills.
     ▪ What the eff was that little hill?
     ▪ Jesus Christ, I'm dying.
     ▪ "Ryan, please take these gloves."
     ▪ Yes, I can definitely keep this up without the gloves.
     ▪ "Ryan, can you please take the hat?"
     ▪ I'm sweating so bad.
     ▪ How fast am I running?
     ▪ Ryan tells me not to look at my watch.
     ▪ Damn, I'm running really fast.
     ▪ I'm still keeping up with him.
     ▪ Yes, one mile.
     ▪ There is no way I'm running this fast on the way back.
     ▪ Seriously? A truck driving down the middle of the road?
     ▪ Picture time! Smile!
     ▪ Almost halfway.
     ▪ "No water, thank you."
     ▪ Why am I so tired?
     ▪ My legs feel like lead.
     ▪ Thank you Mr. State Police.
     ▪ JFC there's no way I'm breaking thirty.
     ▪ Nope, just lost him.
     ▪ He's such a trooper.
     ▪ I suck at running.
     ▪ No, don't cry, just keep running.
     ▪ I want to walk.
     ▪ No walking, just keep running.
     ▪ Picture time, again? Try to smile!
     ▪ Definitely not catching Ryan.
     ▪ Oh look, a senior citizen is passing me.
     ▪ "No, no water, thank you."
     ▪ He's stopping?
     ▪ He's stopping.
     ▪ He's waiting for me?
     ▪ No crying. No crying. Just running.
     ▪ "Yep, let's just finish this."
     ▪ He waited to finish the race with me.
     ▪ He's so good.
     ▪ Okay, downhill then last hill, run it.
     ▪ Last hill, last hill.
     ▪ Short, quick steps.
     ▪ Big steps, muscle through.
     ▪ Okay, just a little slow run to catch your breath.
     ▪ Be strong, stay strong.
     ▪ I should've eaten some chocolate.
     ▪ Smile for dad!
     ▪ Sweet relief, I see the finish line.
     ▪ Oh God, don't die.
     ▪ Smile for mom!
     ▪ YES. I DID IT.

And then after a time of 32:20.71, I collapsed into a snow bank with my medal, bottle of water, and a box of chocolate milk.

I was disappointed in my performance considering I PRed the course last year with a 30:47 and really wanted another good performance. But not every race is a PR race. Especially when you have your head up your ass.

I can't say enough about the event coordinators, Susie and Christine. They really pull together a great event and put together awesome swag bags. They never do the t-shirt thing, instead doing branded items like gloves (last year) or multi-use head scarf (this year). I also get pretty pumped for that Ben & Jerry's coupon. Seeing Gatherer's in there this year was also pretty cool, with it made in Schenectady and all.

But overall, a great race with beautiful scenery. I mean, what's not to like about the North Country? I'll be signing up again next year. Hopefully running it without the jitters though.

Until the next race recap, peace out, lifers.

- Allison Rae

Monday, March 20, 2017

monday rewind

First race of 2017 is officially in the bag.

Saturday wasn't the greatest to start off the season but I think I got all the jitters out.

Last week was just focused on running to prep for the race. I decided to throw one interval session in there (which I've never done before) and thought the day before the race was the perfect day for it. In case you're wondering, the day before a race is not the day to start intervals.

Because of how sore I've been for the past couple days I'm not going to put pressure on my body to do anything more than run my run plan for the week. And if they're slower than slow runs, I'll take those too. Maybe later in the week I'll feel up for a bike ride or a short swim. 

Later this week I'm going to put together a race report and recap my run. Hopefully by then my legs won't be as sore.

What's the first race you have planned for this year? Do you have a goal for it? Did you already run it? And thinking back, what's the race you're most proud of? Mine is my second triathlon at Delta Lake. I can't wait to do it again this July.

Until the next rewind, peace out, lifers.

- Allison Rae

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

wednesday rewind

It just came to my attention that my first race of 2017 is three days away.


No big deal. I'll just sit here quietly and freak out. Maybe first I should figure out how many layers of clothing to wear considering yesterday we got nearly two feet of snow.

Training's been fun this week.

Remember how last week I wanted to do three bike rides, possibly two swims, and all my running miles? Well, I forgot we had our mini vacay planned. So one bike ride and the swims were off the table. 

Then we got to Burlington (in case you didn't guess) and it was -19° F outside with 20 mph winds. So the dreadmill it was. And with my streak still strong at 198 days, no run was not an option. To save my sanity I shortened up the runs and just got my mile in each day. 

As far as I'm concerned there's no shame in a short run.

This week, I'm back on track and sort of excited for race day Saturday. I'm just hoping it doesn't look like this up North...

Maybe it will be the perfect amount of snow for a pretty morning run backdrop. Let's just hope it's not as cold as balls.

This week, I'm focusing on nice slow runs in preparation for race day. I'm skipping the bike and swimming since I've added about thirty minutes of physical therapy exercises into my daily routine. While they're definitely helping my tailbone pain, we're still trying to see what it's doing for my "running" muscles.

What's on your plan for this week? Any new exercises you're incorporating? Any ones you're skipping this week?

Until the next rewind, peace out, lifers.

- Allison Rae

Friday, March 10, 2017

gotta get away

Who's ready for an adventure?!

Today marks the start of Ryan's spring break and while we can't do a week long vacay we can manage a nice long weekend. We're on the hunt for good food, good beer, and hipster vibes. Any guesses as to where we're headed? Look out for hints on instagram!

Until the reveal, peace out, lifers.

- Allison Rae

Monday, March 6, 2017

monday rewind

Do you see that teeny, tiny sliver down there?! It might just look like an extra thick line...but I assure you. it. is. there.


And I'm happy to say that it's as wonderful and therapeutic as I remember. It's just so exciting to be back in the pool after not swimming for over a year. Yep. A year. 

Thank God for muscle memory!

Ryan has a completely different feeling about swimming and probably hates every time I tell him we should get in the pool. 

Last week, I completed my entire run plan. You know who felt awesome?! Me! I only did one run inside and that was because it was freaking cold and the temperatures dipped below zero (fahrenheit) with the wind chill. 

So remember how last week I placed third in the Garmin 75,000 Step Challenge with 89,467 steps? Well this week I whooped ass and came in first. Total steps? 81,987. It's so subjective. And I just saw they bumped me up to the 80,000 Step Challenge this week. 

This week, on top of cycling three times, swimming twice, and running err day, I want to incorporate the exercises my physical therapist gave me. I started going again back in February to get rid of my tailbone pain for good. Here's hoping I see some improvement.

Maybe some speed gains too?

What's your goal for this week? Are you trying anything new? 

Until the next rewind, peace out, lifers.

- Allison Rae

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

later gator - february report out

Can we talk about this for a second?

Last week I placed third in the 75,000 step challenge. I did 89,467 steps and placed third. THIRD. The winner? 114,752. I mean, really?!

I didn't get 10,000 steps each day in February but between walking and running I got in 299,432 for the whole month. Not too too shabby.

I still haven't been in the pool but I managed to do a total of 27.34 miles cycling in the pain cave where I'm binging Girls Meets World. Which, by the way, who else is upset that it was cancelled after season three?!

For running, I originally wanted to do a hundred miles. But February is a short month and it was personally challenging for me. All in all I did sixty-three and a half miles. Here's hoping a run plan will help with some consistency.

For March, my plan has me right around ninety miles running. I want to try hard to bike three times a week. And I'm going to make it in the pool come hell or high water this month, starting Sunday.

What are your goals for March? Running? Biking? Swimming? How does your exercise plan look?

Until the end of March, peace out, lifers.

- Allison Rae