I ran in the California International Marathon this past Sunday. It was an AMAZING event that took place in Sacramento. The race started 26 miles away from the finish and the runners crossed the line in front of the capital building. The weather was terrible! There were 38 mph winds and pouring rain the entire race! Leading up to the race there were flood warnings all over the news and talk about a terrible storm scheduled to hit during the hours of the race. After months of training, I could have taken this as very disappointing news because my goal of breaking 2:30 was out the window due to the high head winds expected, but instead I put my battle face on. Read More…
Summer is here! I love this time of year! The very beginning of summer is the best. Three months ahead of vacation, sun and fun. My summer running training is always a blast also. I love the feeling of getting up early to avoid the heat and finishing my runs with the sun beating on my back.
This summer my training kicks of with preparation for the Olympic trials 10k, which will be held in Eugene, Oregon. My legs have been feeling great and my workouts have been a breeze so I can’t wait! The race will be on the track, so that means 25 laps! As I have gotten older, this race scares me less and less because of the strength that I have built over the years, especially now that I have done a marathon. When I was in college though, I will never forget toeing the line for my first 10k on the track. I was so scared! When the gun goes off however and the race starts at a steady pace (rather than a sprint), I quickly learned that I need to just find the right my pace rhythm and the laps just fly by.
Fueling for this race and for my training is the most important part of being a runner. I obviously want to keep my bones strong and healthy in order to prevent injuries, but more importantly a lifetime of health. I measure my nutritional success by keeping track of my menstrual cycle. While us girls don’t usually like talking about our menstrual cycle, it is very important as athletes. If we lose our period, we lose estrogen and estrogen is what helps us absorb our calcium keeping our bones strong. It may not seem like a big deal if we lose our period on the outside, but inside we can be compromising our bone health. Read More…
Lately my races haven’t been quite as fast as I would like them to be. Since running my first marathon this past January, it has taken me much longer than I thought it would to recover. While my times have still been good and I have even won a few races since the marathon, I just thought that I would be performing at a slightly higher level. When I get stuck in a rut like this, it reminds me to take a step back and look at the situation in a different perspective. I remind myself that a few races that are sub par don’t really matter in the grand scheme of life. I remember that I have two beautiful, healthy children to come home to (along with a very, loving husband) after every run, workout and race.
There is so much more to life then just our athletics. Sometimes its hard to think that life will go on after a bad race or loss in any other type of sporting event. We must always remind ourselves that in the bigger picture, it really doesn’t matter. We eventually will forget about our less than perfect performances and look forward to the ones in our future with much room for improvement. In addition, we can always learn from our bad races and games too. For me, I can take a step back and remind myself not to take out too fast or too slow when the gun goes off. I can also look at my training and evaluate whether I am doing too much or not enough in my interval workouts. For someone else, they can also step back and take a look at how they can make their game better and fix it!
No matter what it is that makes us not perform exactly how we want to, we can always learn more about ourselves from it. More importantly too, we can also always remind ourselves to keep our sports in perspective in the bigger picture in our lives. Write down all of the things that are important to you OTHER than sports as a way to teach yourself how many special things you have in your life. School, friends, family, pets, good health, STRONG BONES, any type of other hobbies or fun that you have outside of your athletics. When I do this, it helps me relax and take some pressure off my races and training. What always ends up happening then, is I end up performing even better than I did before because my mind is finally at ease and my nerves calm down. As competitive athletes sometimes it works better to be a little less intense, take a step back and just breathe. Not being too hard on ourselves is sometimes the answer to success!
NUTRITION TIP OF THE DAY: Coconut water! Drink lots of it! Now that summer is around the corner, the temps are going up and we need to be extra careful about hydrating. Coconut water is like a natural gatorade. There are tons of electrolytes which will help you replenish and recover from sports. Stores sell it everywhere these days, so don’t hesitate to give it a try when you see it!