Saturday, September 12, 2015

World's Toughest Mudder 2015 Training Update

Stuff is getting real.

9 weeks out. NINE weeks until I'm on the course in Vegas, in a different time zone, on foreign terrain, with a team of strangers, facing obstacles in a desert for 24 hours.

That doesn't seem nearly enough time. I'm feeling a bit like I'm back in college and final exams are near. I think know what I should be doing to prepare, but there's just other stuff I'd rather be doing. AND really-- I won't know exactly what I need to do to prepare until about 3 a.m. out on the course. So this is why I'm not really wanting to do the things I know I should do. The hard things.

Last week I hit my peak running miles. 30. Yikes. That number is low, even to me. But I'd rather build miles slowly that throw in too much and risk injury. We will see if this is a good or bad strategy.

My last "weekly" WTM training post was weeks 4 and 5. Oops. Honestly, I'm not convinced that anyone but me really cares to read my weekly training, so I gave it a rest for awhile. Here's what's new:

Wetsuit. I finally got a one, and it frightens me. First of all, I broke into a sweat trying to put the thing on. I'm quite sure that it will keep me warm. I'm not sure that it won't cause massive chafing. And living in South Florida means only a few test runs in it. In the middle of the night. But at least they'll take place at the beach.

Mileage. I added a long run, so now on the weekend, I'm doing a shorter long run on Saturday and a longer long run on Sunday. I'm having a little knee pain-- tendonitis, I think-- or just a tight quad. It's not affecting performance, not affecting my squats (On my last max 4 weeks ago, I tied my old max, which isn't bad considering the way I've treated my legs lately.)

Longer training sessions. Along with 6 or 8 miles on Saturday, I've added a strength session and a Crossfit wod. I get home from the long run, have a smoothie and a shower, so that I can drive to the weight room to get all sweaty again. Total time training on Saturday is about 3 hours.

Carbs. If you've read many of my blogs, you'll know that I'm a huge fan of the high fat/low carb way of life. I've eaten this way for about 18 months now, and I'm happy, lean and have perfect HDL/LDL levels. Given the higher miles and the overall volume, I've added a berry/protein/unsweetened vanilla almond milk smoothie after my morning runs. And some extra carbs the evening before the long runs. I'm still fueling my runs with higher fat options-- my recent favorite? Coffee almonds. I mean, who wouldn't love a little crunchy, coffee flavored, caffeinated kick during the long run?

My plan moving forward (or "all the things I've been procrastinating so far"):
  • More hill running. I've found hills, but they're 4 miles away. I hate driving to go for a run, so I've just thrown 20 minutes or so of hills in the middle of the 8 milers. 
  • Night runs. I like going to bed early and waking up early. But I really need to practice fueling and bathrooming for a race that starts at night.
  • More mileage. I'd like to do a few 20 milers (or more). 
  • Obstacle training. I have 3 small local OCRs in the month of October, so my plan is to run multiple laps and use them as one of my weekly long runs. 
(I've also been doing loads of work with sleds and carrying heavy things.)

Monday, September 7, 2015

Aging Gratefully

I'm turning 41 this year. Already. And I'm really not bothered by that number. I'm having a harder time with the fact that I now have a senior in high school, followed closely by a sophomore. I'm talking about my children. My babies.

I feel good. Really good. I'm training about twice as much as I was 10 years ago. And am much healthier now than I was then. 10 years ago I was still juggling my second year of teaching, first time home ownership, being a new baseball mom and hitting the YMCA 3 or 4 times a week. I hadn't yet been diagnosed as hypo-thyroid, and I was eating whatever I wanted to, including regular snacks of Teddy Grahams, Cheez-Its, Oreo and Chips Ahoy minis (they don't really count as cookies since they're so little, right?).

It's no wonder I feel better. I'm really not that upset about getting older. I've gained lots of wisdom. I've learned to listen to my body. And I don't care so much about what other people think. (Some moments I feel that I'm just a very short time away from being that lady with the loudly mismatched clothes who farts in public).

But here's what really bothers me. Most people DO NOT GET IT. Getting older doesn't mean you have to slow down. Who made up that stupid rule? I say getting older is the perfect excuse to get out there and do more. Check these ladies out:
Olga Kotelko is 95. She began competing in track and field events at age 77.  
Ernestine Shepherd-- the Guinness Book of World Records holder for the oldest competitive female body builder. At age 74, she competes in body building competitions and runs marathons.  
If you're experiencing aches and pains, let me suggest that maybe your body is responding to not enough activity. Think about it-- what happens when you ride in a car for a long period of time? You get a little stiff and sore. Many of us sit for long periods at work, drive home, then sit for dinner and again on the couch before going to bed.

Work on reversing the effects of aging by cleaning up your diet and moving more. And I don't just mean walking. Strength training has MAJOR health benefits. And it's never too late to start. Guess what, you can't squat because you haven't been squatting. When you're 90, don't you want to be able to take yourself to the bathroom? Well, then you might want to start squatting now, so that later you'll still be able to squat. Start with 1/4 squats if you have to; then progress to 1/2 squats; and then full squats. You can do it! Your body will be so grateful.