Double Trouble: Tips for training for a Lifting Comp and 15K at the same time.

I’ve learned three things about myself over the past couple months. (1) That I have way too many fitness/sport related things I want to try (2) That I have a tendency to spread myself thin and (3) that I’m stubborn. From running to lifting to swimming to hiking to climbing, the list of things I desperately want to get good at goes on and on. Currently I am training for my Oly Lifting Comp on November 16th and the Denver Hot Chocolate 15k on October 6th. Two events that require very different training methods and conflicting body types, all while trying not to flunk out of law school, keep my friends, and succeed at work.

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I’ve been having a hard time balancing training. Days after I lift, my legs are too sore to run.  If I devote too much time to running, I start leaning out and don’t make gains in the lifting.  While it’s not an ideal situation at all, I’ve finally managed to strike a small balance with these tips to get through double training:

1) Get enough sleep. I get made fun of for never doing anything in the evenings past 9, but I have actually come to love this lifestyle and rarely feel like I’m missing out on anything. (Hi, I’m secretly 60).  It gives me time to go to dinner/movie/happy hour with friends, while still getting home to be in bed by 10:30. Sleep is necessary to build muscle and will also reduce bad food cravings during the day. It also keeps me from drinking a lot, which leads me to point 2.

2) Don’t drink alcohol more than once a week.  Alcohol keeps you from making gains by dehydrating you (bad for muscle growth), lowering testosterone (bad for muscle growth), and slows down protein synthesis. Depending on how much you consume, it can also make you feel like you are going to die the next day, which is not conducive to training. As I have mentioned before, my body type is not one that naturally puts on muscle. So I want to prevent anything from getting in the way of my muscle growth. (My boyfriend jokes that I am always bulking, because I chow down on food in hopes it will help me grow).

3) Drink at least a gallon of water a day. Water aids in protein synthesis and helps your muscles recover.

4) Don’t get frustrated if you aren’t improving as fast as you want to.  This one is particularly hard for me. I want to be good at everything and improve on things right away(who doesn’t??). I have to keep remind myself patience is a virtue and if I keep going the gains will come.

5) Do short, but faster runs more often. I know I have the muscle to get me through a 15K, but it’s really the cardio aspect I need work on. I’ve been trying to squeeze in shorter (3 miles), but faster runs to build up my lung capacity without cutting into study time, work and without making my legs too sore to lift. So far it’s been working to improve my long runs I do once a week.

6) Find people with similar goals. It can get lonely if all your free time is devoted to activities you do on your own. Try to find people to run/lift with who can help push you through the times you want to give up and who understand the discipline you need to have to succeed. They also can understand that aspect of your humor and provide a lot of laughs to get you through training.

7) Stretching.  Foam roll. Foam roll. Foam roll. Don’t just sit and grab your toes. That’s like taking a knot in a shoe lace and pulling it tighter. Foam Rolling/Active Stretching helps untangle those muscle knots for faster recovery.

8) Supplements.  I don’t usually use supplements, I don’t even really use protein powder. However, today I bought BCAA’s (branch chain amino acids) for the first time. They are supposed to help muscle recovery. We will see how those go and I’ll let you know.

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So those are my tips to how I’m getting through this strange period of pushing and pulling at my  body in hopes of not having to cut one of the things I love out of my life. I truly get so much pleasure from both lifting and running that I can’t imagine not doing both. I don’t want to get to my competition knowing I could have given it more and wasn’t disciplined enough to reach my full potential. It’s just a matter of training smart, not doing things that will harm my progress (staying up late or partying) but giving myself enough of a break so I don’t get burnt out. It’s a fine line to walk, but I’m slowly starting to find my balance.

Tap N’ Run 4k – Time to get Tapped

This past Saturday I got tapped. 4 times actually. It was hot out, it lasted about 30 minutes and by the end all I wanted was more.

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Of course, I’m talking about the Tap N’ Run 4k event, a fun run event that involves beer, “running” and may be coming to a city near you soon (definitely not Paleo, but good for the soul nonetheless).  I had told my friends our theme should be jungle animals, but then proceeded to make a cow costume. What, you’ve never heard of the rare jungle cow? Yah, me neither…

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Good thing they were adaptable. They showed up dressed as cowboys, complete with cattle prods, and without even realizing it we had worn the perfect Colorado wild wild west costume.  The costumes at the race were amazing, ranging from a group dressed up as Pacman and blinky/inky/whatever the rest of them are called to sharks from shark week.  When the countdown finished and we were signaled to go we drank our 1/2 a beer, dramatically threw our cups on the ground and were off! To give you an idea of the type of “running race” this was, take a look at these two guys who rented bikes half way through from the lovely bike rental stations in Denver that lined part of the course.

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It was definitely very clear that this was an event that was solely to have fun with your friends, not to really attempt to race. I was perfectly fine with that and enjoyed the two “tap” beer stations along the way. When we reached the finish line there was a DJ and an after party, which we only ended up staying at for about 25 minutes due to the ominous rain clouds in the previous picture finally breaking.  It was definitely a different and fun experience. If you like beer, costumes, and running I would recommend trying it if it comes to your city. PLUS, they give out bottle openers as medals. win!Image

I strike, you strike, all beginners heel strike

Have you ever heard the term “Heel Strike”? It is when your heel touches the ground first when you run. In a recent study, 890 of 903 novice runners were heel strikers. That means if you are reading this and you haven’t worked to correct your form, you are most likely a heel striker.

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However, this is not one of those cases where the majority rules. A New York Times Article wrote about a Harvard Study that compared heel strike runners to fore front runners and tracked their injuries. The study found that the amount of injuries in the heel strike runners was twofold greater than in the fore foot runners. Not to say the fore foot runners didn’t have any injuries, they did, but they had 50% less.

Now, the article does state that if you run a lot and have never had any injuries then it’s not necessary to change your stride. If, however, you have repeated shin splints, hamstring injuries, plantar fasciitis, or other hip related pains you might want to try to change up your gait to see if it reduces injury for you. I am by no means saying one is better than the other, as some studies didn’t show as big of a difference, but it’s a good thing to experiment with and see which one feels better for you. Another useful article on tips for running form can be found here

I also just found out the results of the Fourth of July 5K, which placed me at 4th in my age group and 13th female overall. While I am still disappointed because I knew I could have done better, it’s always good to have a reminder not to be too hard on yourself and give your body a little credit for what it accomplishes, even if it’s not what you wanted.

I think it’s time to sign up for another half….

Earning My Independence (5K Race)

I hope everyone had a fun, safe and indulgent Fourth of July Weekend. I feel like I’ve been go-go-going for the past month so it was nice to be able to have time to sit back, relax and just breathe for a couple days. But not before I earned it…

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I got up at 6:30 on the 4th of July to run a 5K at the Boulder Reservoir to “Earn my Independence”. I had asked my friend, who just happens to be an MMA fighter and is in great shape, to run it with me expecting him to say no and for me to give an “eh, I tried but no one would do it with me” type excuse. To my surprise he was really into it (mainly for the tank top), so I had to haul my butt out of bed bright and early.

This race wasn’t the best. I had never run a 5K race before and definitely didn’t run smart. Since I was running with a friend, I didn’t bring any type of garmin/pace tracker. I made the mistake of trying to keep up with my friend and went out way too fast. Based on his finishing time, I’m guessing the first mile was about 7:10, which is not really my pace right now, even for a 5K. I told him to go ahead and leave me and then proceeded to die the next 2.2 miles. I think I was more happy to see the finish line for this race than for any half marathon I have done, which is pretty pathetic.

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Once again, it made me realize just how out of  running shape I have gotten (well really, poor shape I have stayed in since my ankle injury). Runner Ritsa talked about it as well, but it’s really hard to balance lifting and trying to build muscle with getting the miles in you need to stay in good running shape. I’m still trying to find a good balance. I ran every day this weekend, trying to get back in the habit. I plan on running some, even if it’s just two miles, every day from now on (except rest days).

I also spent a lot of time with friends this weekend, including a BBQ on the Fourth at my boyfriend’s client’s house,. They have horses, so we had to do some late night horse whispering after the fireworks…

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I also spent lots of time by the pool, at the farmer’s market and watching the UFC fights on Saturday with some of my besties.

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Hope everyone had a great weekend and is ready to get back into it!

Anyone else find it hard to balance all the different types of fitness you want to do (running and lifting for example)? How do you  find the time and energy to do it all?

Cold Run, Warm Paleo Chili

Sorry it’s been forever, guys, but I have exciting news! I’ve moved to Siberia for the indefinite future!

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Okay, not really, but considering that in the past week we have had about 20 inches of snow it certainly feels that way. I keep reminding myself that this means we won’t have as many forest fires this summer, but when your eyelashes literally collect snow and then freeze during your run, it’s hard to look on the bright side.

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I know, I know. I could have just run inside. But it’s been 6 long months of snow and treadmills and I’m pretty over it. At least I had a nice warm bowl of chili waiting to warm my belly at home.
This chili is DELICIOUS and if you are living someplace where winter may be overstaying its welcome I highly recommend making it.

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PALEO POBLANO CHILI
1 yellow onion, diced
2 green bell peppers, chopped
1 fist of garlic, choppe
1 Poblano Pepper, roasted and chopped
3-4 lbs of rump roast, cubed
2 tsp coconut oil
1 tbsp paprika
2tsp cumin
2tsp chipotle
2 tbsp chili powder (I like it spicy…)
6 oz can of tomato paste
30 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes, diced

1) in a large pot heat coconut oil over medium heat and add onions and peppers. Cook for about 3 minutes or until onions become translucent
2) Mix spices and rub on meat
3) Add meat and Garlic and poblano pepper to pan with onions and peppers.
4) brown meat, about 2-3 minutes
5) add remaining ingredients. It will be a bit watery at first, but let simmer on medium-low heat for about 2 hours and it will thicken up

Stay warm out there, or for those who are actually experiencing spring – go enjoy it!

On (Not) Conquering Trail Running

A couple friends of mine recently signed up to attempt a 50 mile trail run in Fort Collins in May. I randomly ran into them this past saturday on the trail as they stormed past me and my dog and my roommate, jumping over rocks with ease.

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They inspired me with their wildman ways,  so for todays 6 miler I decided to hit the trails for at least part of it. Luckily, I live 2 miles from trails leading up into the Rocky Mountains, so I ran over there and was off!

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I was cruising for the first 1/4 mile or so, and then we started the steep ascent into the mountain and I died. My pace slowed, my lungs began to burn and I was hurting.

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This does not even begin to convey the steepness. Or maybe it does, and I’m just a pansy. Either way, I texted my trail running friend when I got back and told him he was even more crazy (and inspiring) for signing up for 50 miles of that. He reminded me that you have to approach trail running with a different mentality. You are going to go slower, especially when avoiding rocks and running up steep hills and just to stay calm, enjoy the scenery and the challenge

Hope you all had nice Wednesdays!

Planning for Success (Includes 1/2 Marathon Training Plan)

Guys, I’ll admit it. Past couple weeks I’ve fallen off the wagon. I could blame it on being sick, but in reality I’ve been lazy. I just haven’t been that motivated to cook/eat clean or work out that much. In fact, I haven’t really been motivated to do anything, including the piles of reading I have to do for school.

My dog thinks Corporations reading is boring too.

My dog thinks Corporations reading is boring too.

I definitely go through phases of being super motivated, I can totally do this, I’m a rockstar, YAH!… and then I just burn out. It’s hard once you lose that drive to try to find it again and re-motivate yourself to be the best version of “You” that you can be.

There’s a two phase plan I used to try to get myself back on track when I fall of.  Phase 1 starts with watching this video, which always makes me want to go take on the world This. Very. Second.

Then I look up and see it’s cold and grey outside and I decide the world can wait.  But no one ever got what they wanted out of life by watching Grey’s Anatomy reruns for hours on end, so then Phase 2 kicks in. Success doesn’t just happen. You have to work for it. You have to plan for it. So, I make a plan. I make it detailed. I make sure I stick to it.  It’s hard to fall off track when you know exactly what you are supposed to be doing at any given moment.

I’ve been really slacking in the cardio department. Like, really slacking. Like, I’d probably be wheezing after a mile or two if I went for a run. Since one of my 2013 goals is to  break a 1:45 1/2 marathon time, we can’t have that. So last night I sat down and drafted a training plan. It’s an easy one, one just to get me back into the grove of running. I still want to keep my lifting, so I scheduled Three “PT” (Personal Training) times in there, along with interval runs to work on speed, hills, and tempo runs.

Week Mon Tuesday Weds Thursday Friday Sat Sunday
Week 1 PT 2 Mile Tempo PT 2 Mile Easy REST 4 Miles &PT 1 Miles Easy
Week2 PT 3 Mile Tempo PT 3 Mile Tempo REST 5 Miles &PT 2 Miles Easy
Week 3 PT 3 Mile Tempo PT 3 Mile Interval REST 6 Miles &PT 2 Miles Easy
Week4 PT 4 Mile Tempo PT 3 Mile Hill REST 7 Miles &PT 2 Miles Easy
Week 5 PT 3 Mile Interval PT 4 Mile Easy REST 8 Miles & PT 2 Miles Easy
Week 6 PT 4 Mile Interval PT 3 Mile Tempo REST 9 Miles &PT 2 Miles Easy
Week 7 PT 4 mile Tempo PT 3 Mile Easy REST 10 Miles &PT 2 Miles Easy
Week 8 PT 2 M. Hill, 3M. T PT 4 Mile Tempo REST 11 Miles &PT 3 Miles Easy
Week 9 PT 5 Mile Tempo PT 3 Mile Interval REST 9 Miles &PT 2 Miles Easy
Week 10 PT 5 Mile tempo PT 4 Mile Interval REST 1 Mile EZ RACE (?)

As of now I haven’t registered for a race, but I know in a month or so I’ll start looking some up.  I’ll have another week’s worth of groceries/recipes this Saturday to help get me back into making my own food again.

I know I’m capable of more than I’ve been giving the past couple weeks in school, in working out and in life. I’m ready to get back on track. I’m ready to be successful.

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