Monday, March 21, 2016

Don't call it a comeback... but I won New Orleans Rock n Roll Marathon

New Orleans Rock N Roll Marathon: 1st female: 2:51:50!! 6:33/mile

Don't think for one second that I am anything but proud of that. Regardless of what pace I trained for, or of what I expected going into this race, I am very pleased with the results. It was a pretty warm day.

I have trained hard in the past, but I've never trained this hard juggling so much, with so little free time. I've also never been so conflicted or so emotionally torn between hard training and not wanted to train at all. I've just got way too much in my life to truly enjoy putting so many eggs in one basket.

It's been a while since I updated this blog, so here is a short summary. After the stress fracture, I struggled with Achilles tendinitis. I was also tired, irritable, and my hair was falling out in clumps. I felt like total crap all the time. I went in for blood work and found that my ferritin was low, and probably had been low for some time. I had been taking liquid iron since my pregnancy, but apparently it wasn't enough. I did some internet searches and came across an iron/B complex combination supplement and within a few weeks started feeling better. I also changed up my shoes and found that my Achilles issues slowly went away. I was then able to put in about 10 weeks of solid running to run a 1:22 half marathon win in Meridian, MS. and a 2:58 marathon in pouring rain at BCS Marathon (2nd).

Disappointed with the conditions at BCS, I made a quick turn around and start prepping for New Orleans Rock in Roll. Heading into the spring semester, my workload increased tremendously. Not only was I working an additional two evenings a week,  my husband would be traveling every week for 6 weeks straight in January and February. I knew training was going to be a challenge, and it was, physically, mentally and all that.

Training for New Orleans I maintained 80-90 miles per week. I ran twice a day most days, and long weekend long runs of 18-20 miles. Mornings I woke up at 4:15-4:30 am, to run anywhere from 8-12 miles. On my lunch break, I would go out again from 4-8 miles. My regular work schedule is 8am-5pm, but two nights a week I work until 6 pm or 6:15 pm. Monday nights I also help coach my daughter's soccer team with my husband until 7:00 pm. Because My husband was traveling pretty much every weekend, I splurged and paid a babysitter nearly every week. And, because I really didn't have the time, I only raced once, and it was marathon effort.

About 2.5 weeks out from the race I started to really get tired of maintaining such a tight schedule. I was also getting very confident in my training and I knew I was fit, I started having trouble just maintaining the bear minimum. Training for this marathon helped me find that tipping point.

I worked so hard for this race that I can't be disappointing in any part of it. Sure, it was warm, and my last 4 miles were a little slow, but I finally won a marathon again after 2 years of struggling to run anything close to fast. I am happy with it and ready to put the marathon aside to train for something else a little less mind numbing. Maybe some mountain running :)

Anyone interested seeing what it is like to train like a sub-elite with two kids and a 50hr work week, you can follow me on Strava. For anyone in the same boat, I would love to connect with you on Strava also.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Just a tired mom rambling

I've been completely stuck (with my running) for about a year now. Even though I was still progressing before I became pregnant with baby #2, I was losing heart.

My life is very full, and putting everything into my running doesn't bring me the joy that it used to. I would much rather put more energy into my kids and my work. It is absolute pure joy watching them grow, play and laugh at the silly things they do. I'd much rather fix peanut butter sandwiches and clean up sticky finger prints then get in an afternoon run. I'm more likely to take a day off then shuffle through a 6 miler just to make a mark in my training log. I'm a parent first, and my mortgage doesn't pay for it's work must come second.

The world needs people to give it their all to reach their goals others may have thought impossible. But, that is just not me.

Quality of quantity. Maximizing hard days. Listening to my coach every step of the way.

I'd rather take baby steps then no steps at all.

Follow my life in color on Instagram or my training (all the details!) on Strava.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Follow me on Strava

I'm not into blogging much lately, but I've recently joined the Strava world and you can follow me:

I'm dealing with a nagging Achilles and running minimal miles for a marathon in December. I also have like 7 friends on Strava so I would love some more company.


Friday, September 11, 2015

Qualifying for Duathlon World AG Champs & other things busy moms do

Bracebridge Duathlon Results: 1st in Age Group, 4th Overall (World AG Qualifier)

RUN 1 00:41:36.2 4:09/km 10 km
BIKE 42 km 01:24:08.1 29.95km/h
RUN 2 5 km   00:22:07.04:25/km
FINISH    2:31:23.0
T1 00:02:03
T2 00:01:30

Before the Bracebridge Duathlon I had been running (on the ground) for 5 weeks. I though I was in shape, but running on the AlterG is not the same as running on the ground and I found this out the hard way. I had also been dealing with a nagging achilles and had to pull out of a few workouts and long runs in the weeks leading up. I thought I was in decent running shape going in.

Two weeks prior to the race I decided to purchase a tri bike; a Specialized Transition. I've been riding a road bike heavily since I was diagnosed with the stress fracture in late May. I didn't realize how different a road bike was from a tri bike...
Finishing Bracebridge in my PowerBar Kit #PBTE

The Thursday before I left for Ontario, I was riding my new bike for the 2nd time and I crashed it. I was at the MSU research park and a shuttle bus did a u-turn in front of me (it didn't see me.) I crashed my bike to avoid hitting the shuttle and hit my knee on the shaft. My knee immediately swelled up to the size of an orange. I called my husband who picked me up and he took me directly to the ER. I didn't break anything but I definitely had a bad hematoma. I eventually ended up with a horrible bruise from my knee to my ankle. I took one day off and jumped back into training.

It is taking a very long time to heal.

It looked sorta like this right after the accident.

The bruising is almost gone now, but the Achilles issues have gotten worse. Going into Bracebridge I had not ran over 9 miles in about two weeks. I was not setting myself up for success.

Because I was heading into a very busy month of work, I flew to Toronto on a Saturday and back on Sunday. I had given myself a few hours up and back that I could drive to a bike shop and get my bike reassembled/disassembled. Due to heavy traffic, I ended up with only minutes to spare. Traveling with a bike was extremely stressful.

I ended up finishing 4th overall, and 1st in my age group, qualifying for World Duathlon Age Group Championships next June in Spain. I was disappointing in my performance (bad run, the worst transitions, slow bike, and horrible 5km) but I finished about what I thought I was capable of. I still don't understand why I am so disappointed.

Originally, I had planned on running Bracebridge and then Canadian Nationals in Montreal, 5 weeks later. I trained hard, running 15 miles hard on Saturday, and upwards to 60 miles of cycling on Sunday. Then, during the week I would have a brick, a hard bike session, and a speed workout. In the end, I messed up my Achilles so bad that I had to cut the race. Instead, I plan to take a few weeks recovery before training for Rocket City Marathon in December.

There is a fine line between training hard and over training and I have repeatedly blown past since Patrick has been born. The running means a lot to me, so to be sitting on the side lines once again is extremely frustrating. This past year has been the perfect definition of one step forward, two steps back. SMH. Words of encouragement are welcomed.

Friday, July 3, 2015

And then you get back running

Crossing my fingers as I type this, but I feel like it was a short turn around with the stress fracture. For about 6-8 weeks I cycled or ran in the pool (without a belt) twice a day (for a total of 1hr40min-2 hours) then road my bike for 3+ hours on the weekend. After about 4 weeks, I was also able to add the arc trainer, where I would kill myself doing hill intervals. Every day I would work as hard as I could until I couldn't go hard anymore. Looking back I really don't think I could have worked any harder.

I've also been able to workout on the AlterG which has really helped my overall running fitness. Last week I had a session of 5x1 mile progressive at 80% body weight and 2-3% incline. I've been able to gradually increase my mileage with no pain and very little far so good.

I had the chance to compete in a 23 mile bike race recently, and actually posted the faster time for the women, and the 3rd fastest time overall. 
State Games of Mississippi. 1st female.
I'm hoping that all the cross training and rehab will help me in the long run. I am VERY happy to be back running. Even though I enjoyed the cycling, I would take running over cycling any day.

#RunHappy #PBTE

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

When you break your back

On May 18th I went in for an MRI and discovered that I had a stress fracture in my sacrum. I had not been able to run more than a minute or two since May 2, so I knew something was up.

Looking back at the two weeks prior it's no wonder I broke myself. Workouts in the two weeks leading up to the break included 20 miles w/ 10 at marathon pace, 10x800m, 3x3mile, and let's not forget the final straw, 16x400m on the road. I wasn't recovering in between the hard stuff, and though I had gotten in pretty good shape right before the break, I wasn't communicating with Houston (Husband/Coach) on just how trashed my body was feeling.
Getting better! Its hard to average over 18mph because of stop lights, etc. Averaging over 18mph for a casual (solo) ride is showing a huge improvement from where I was in the beginning!

For about four weeks now I've been cycling quite a bit, upwards to 220 miles per week. Before I knew it was a fracture I was also using the arc trainer on my lunch break and riding in the morning, for a total of about 110-130 min of cardio most days. Now I'm pretty much on the bike everyday twice a day, all but Saturday, where I'll ride anywhere from 40-50+ miles. This Saturday I'm actually contemplating a 60 mile ride.
PowerBar provided me with some legit cycling gear! I'm still getting used to eating on the bike. The last long ride I had I ate a Performance Energy Wafer mid way through.
I was able to ride this Jackson-Baldwin Rail Trail 2.5 times when I was in Jacksonville for NCAA T&F Nationals (First Round) for about 75 miles total.

This week I'm actually cleared to get on the alterG, not for long but it's something. I've also started physio therapy. As of today, it looks like I may be able to run my first step outdoors on June 26th.
My longest ride so far, 51 miles out past Bevill Hill and back home. The refuge is an excellent place to ride.
So what have I learned from the whole experience? Not much, really. I worked my butt off getting in shape after Patrick and I don't regret it. I guess I'll have to be more careful next time.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

That video of the very pregnant runner.........

My sister posted this on facebook when I was 40.5 weeks pregnant. I didn't know it at the time but Patrick was already over 9lbs....
At first it was embarrassing, but now I think its AWESOME.


Soooo yes we are still waiting for baby to make an appearance.. But meggy is getting a little annoyed at everyone telling her that a good long walk brings on labour... As she is still able to do this at 4 days overdue I think she needs other suggestions
Posted by Andrea Bowman on Sunday, August 24, 2014

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Putting in the work

Friday: AM: 30 min easy, PM: 14min w/u, 12x400m @76-78, 60 sec rest, 37 min c/d
Saturday: AM: 80 minutes
Sunday: AM: 20 min shake out, PM: 20min w/u, 3 miles in 18:00 (6:00), mile jog, 2 miles in 11:30 (5:45), 2 min rest, 1 mile @ 5:42, 1.5 mile c/d
Monday: AM: 20 min shakeout, PM: 56 min w/ Houston
Tuesday: AM: 81 minutes
Wednesday: AM: 30 min easy, PM: 10 min w/u, 4x1.65 miles, 6:23 pace (up), 6:04 pace (d), 6:18 (u), 6:00 (d), 8 min c/d
Thursday: 72 minutes

I took advantage of the team's spring break schedule to get in some good workouts with the ladies. Though I suffered (mostly in the 400s) I was surprised at how good it felt to run fast. I know I still have a ways to go, but it's relieving to know that my fitness is still coming back.

I'm doing my best to balance motherhood, work, and training all the while doing my best to get enough sleep and to eat right. I'm finding it necessary to sometimes sacrifice miles for sleep. I run so much better well rested. I also need more sleep than normal because Patrick is still breastfeeding. I just don't have the motivation to go full tilt right now.