Sunday, January 15, 2012

Anyone can do this!

Not just running, I'm talking about fundraising! Just like running, a lot of people (including myself) believe they cannot fundraise because they aren't good at it. But just like running, it takes time and effort to get good at it! Sure some people are just born excellent fundraisers, just like some runners I know who seem to put in no effort at all but are much better runners than I am. Then there are people like me who give it a shot and work hard at it. I don't have any particular gifts or talents in this area but somehow I have managed to raise over $1,600 in about three months! People will astound you with their generosity if given the chance.

One more thing before I move on, this came through my email at work: As Dr. King said, “Everybody can be great ... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace.”

Okay, on to the week! I woke up early Monday for my session at Woodland Hills Physical Therapy with hopes of getting in some cross training. Unfortunately my cross training consisted of cleaning the house, oops! At least I'm feeling really good and even my lingering shin pain has diminished.

Tuesday I decided to forgo meeting with the training group at Fleet Feet Encino to check out a lecture from Phase IV on nutrition during marathon training with my buddy Lauren. It was really interesting and I learned that the whole notion of carbo-loading is not really a great idea. The standard runner's breakfast of bagel and banana is also not the most efficient. Instead the speaker recommended an omelette with veggies and avocado for breakfast to be eaten an hour to 45 minutes before running. Save the carbs for during and after the run. And while we're at it, we should be consuming those carbs in a 4:1 ratio with protein (a little research on my part has shown there is some discrepancy here, some recommend 3:1). We should be consuming about 200 calories per hour and should be careful not to over do it, no need to replace all the calories and carbs since we want the body to run off of fat too. The speaker recommended Hammer Nutrition for energy and recovery drinks but we should be "hyper-hydrating" the day before the run. There is no need to start refueling until after an hour into a run.

The speaker also said that athletes should consume 10g/kg of bodyweight in low GI carbs and 1.2-1.4g/kg of bodyweight in protein. During exercise we should consume 25-30g carbs (not sure if this is per kg or for the whole run or what... my notes aren't that great I guess). She also recommended plyometric drills, butt kicks, and squats to warm up for a run. Finally she suggested reading Metabolic Efficiency Training by Bob Seebohar and Thrive by Brendan Brazier (lol, am I the only one reading it like brassiere?). I ordered the latter on Amazon since I'd heard of it before and knew it had recipes for making your own vegan energy bars and gels. I still need to do more research because I feel like I'm just scratching the surface but this is what I've learned so far.

Wednesday I did something very unusual. I chose to run hills. Just to give you an idea of how unusual this is, when I was training for my half marathon I would head north for my runs, run through the flat streets of Woodland Hills, Canoga Park, and West Hills, then when I got about a half mile from home I would walk the rest of the way because the incline was too steep for me. If you've been to my house you're probably thinking "What incline?" I swear, it's there! So when I was faced with making up Tuesday's scheduled speedwork on Wednesday I had a choice between the flat city streets with their numerous stop lights (aka pace killers) or my hilly neighborhood streets with no stop lights.

The choice was clear so I mapped out my run, found an exact one mile loop, and set out for a 2 mile warm up, 1 mile tempo, 1 mile recovery, 1 mile tempo, and 2 (1.5) mile recovery/cool down. If you clicked the link you saw that my first tempo mile was 9:06 and my second was 9:28. I was shooting for sub 9 on both but the hills really take it out of you.

Thursday, my normal yoga day, I decided to squeeze in the 6 miles I was scheduled to run Wednesday before class. Again I ran in my neighborhood, though I ran a route that was less hilly since I wasn't going for pace and more willing to include stop lights. I tried to just run at a comfortable pace and it felt pretty good. Then I headed over to Fleet Feet for yoga with Ko. It was a great class and I can tell I'm definitely improving but I think the run immediately before class hurt me because my hips and feet cramped during some of the poses. This was after consuming Hammer Recoverite on the way over so clearly I need to do more for recovery.

Friday was just a visit to WHPT. Mike taped my shins to offer a little extra support. Then I went home and made energy bars for Saturday's run since I received my copy of Thrive. Here's the recipe for vegan homemade energy bars:

Direct Fuel Bites

5 dates
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
Sea salt to taste

In a food processor, combine all ingredients; process until smooth. Form mixture into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Cut into bit-size pieces. Individually wrap in Cellophane and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Will keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months, and for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

It says it makes 8 1/2 ounce bite-size bars but I doubled the recipe and still only got 8 pieces. I didn't measure the ounces but they were fairly small. They were quite tasty though! Here's a pic:

Saturday was the day. The day to run 17 miles. My longest run EVER! I was pretty nervous about it and slept really lightly the night before but felt well rested when I got up. I ate oatmeal with almond butter, one of my homemade energy bars, and drank Hammer HEED. It was in the mid-40s which might as well be mid-teens for a Southern California native like myself. It took a really long time to warm up, like probably close to 5 miles. My goal was to go as slow as possible to ensure that I'd be able to finish which worked out well since my pal Sarah was recovering from some calf issues. We stopped several times for bathroom and water breaks, I really need to figure out how to manage that during the race. It was a really tough run, I am so blessed to have Sarah to run with because I would have resorted to walking without her. When I got home I took a cold bath (I don't know how people do ice, the water is already freezing) followed by a hot shower. The former might have been more painful than the run but the latter felt amazing (especially since I caught a little chafed spot and covered it up before getting in the shower - if you've ever been chaffed you know what I'm talking about).

During my group meeting at work this week my manager encouraged me to update the group on my running. I was thrilled because usually we don't talk about our personal lives very much. I regaled them with tales of long runs then talked about my fundraising and to my surprise one of my coworkers contributed! I've now raised $1,639 which is 82% of my goal but I'm still trying to think of more ways to get donations. If anyone has ideas please let me know and in the meantime you can donate here:

Sorry no pics this week, promise to take some next week!

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