juicing – all done!

My last post was a bit depressing – considering it was about depression, I’d say I nailed it?  There is more on this topic I want to discuss but a lot has happened between then and now so I will jump back into it soon.

I finished the 28 day juice cleanse the Saturday before I left for vacation/WA.  My original plan was to finish a week before I left but it took a few days to get it up and running so I was nervous about being done on Saturday and taking off on Monday.

so yes, this thought did cross my mind… it’s VACATION after all…

Let’s get right to it… the 28 day juice cleanse was a very interesting experience.  It’s a roller coaster of a time which I simply didn’t expect.  I will say, I will never do a 28 day cleanse again.  Definitely a shorter one – as I know it did my body good, but 28 days was simply too long for my body.  Office mate really thrived on this and in fact has started another 28 day rotation.  It’s important to recognize what works for your body.

I lost 11lbs.  I think I would have lost more but I didn’t have a whole lot of energy to work out.  I should’ve just gone for walks but in my brain it seemed that either I would run or I would sit on my couch.  I don’t always see the middle ground.  Speaking of running, I do not recommend doing a juice cleanse during marathon training.  This was a poor timing decision on my part.  I really did not have the energy to do any distance and I didn’t see that it was related to lack of foods rather lack of fitness on my part so I felt discouraged.

I know all of the fruits and veggies were a mega boost to my system.  I noticed benefits to fueling my body with said nutrients.  In fact, now that I’m two weeks out and haven’t been juicing at all, I can feel my NEED to merge aspects of the juice lifestyle with a food lifestyle.  Does this make sense?  It’s hard to explain but I just don’t eat enough fruits and veggies as part of my regular diet.  It’s a major hole and I’m never quite sure how to fix this.

So, I’m bringing some juicing back!  I’ve picked my favorite and will have one of these a day for the next few days to see if I can feel a difference.  I know part of my lethargic feeling is the whole vacation eating – I mean seriously, how am I supposed to deny yummy burgers at a family BBQ?  Or your dad’s wedding cake? Your grandma’s lemon cake?!  Nope, not going to happen.  I had a mini freak out the Saturday of the wedding as I could feel the bloat and my niece talked me down with encouraging words.  She is a gem.

I’ll have the juice for lunch.  I recently read an article on Active.com with regards to dieting and running.  It recommended NOT dieting when training for a race and I couldn’t agree more.  However, it also talked about eating less processed foods and keeping it balanced.  This is my focus.

Ron captures my feelings on the juice cleanse!

Overall, I’m glad I finished the cleanse.  I didn’t believe I could stick with it and I proved to myself I could accomplish hard things that were out of my element.  The last two days of the cleanse were a bit dicey since I had to eat one or two meals for work-related events but such is life.  I didn’t expect feeling so emotional during this process!  It was also kind of isolating.  So much of our lives revolves around food!  And the silly part I hated was going to the grocery store so much.  For me personally, I had a lot of headaches – I mean, one practically everyday.  This is the primary reason I won’t do this length of a cleanse again.  BUT I readjusted my portion sizes!  I readjusted my sugar cravings and sugar intake!  Can you see how back and forth I feel about this experience?!

I’ll refer to this again in future posts I’m sure and I would be happy to answer any questions.  I’m really proud of myself!

sunburst 1/2 (kicked my booty, btw)

The Sunburst 1/2 was… difficult.

I could probably end the recap there but I wouldn’t be a very good blogger if I did so I shall spin my tale for y’all.

We had a bright and early wake up call at 4:15 am.  I was thrilled to be slumber party-ing it up with Meagan and her fam.  I adore her sweat pea of a little one and her hubby is entertaining.  Top off the good company with a yumo pizza dinner, some fro-yo and Meagan’s very cute puppy, I was set.  Oh, the puppy?  Her name is Sadie and she has the iconic patch over one eye.  She is cuddly and jumped up and was my spooning buddy in the middle of the night.  I’m not kidding, her head was resting next to mine on my pillow.  My heart melted a bit.

It took about an hour to get to the start and thankfully we found a spot in the (free) parking garage.  The race started RIGHT on time.  Starting out the weather was perfect and Meagan commented, “you know it could be a rough one when at 7:30 am it’s the perfect temperature.”  Foreshadowing at it’s finest.

I really wish I could tell you how despite odds being against us – neither one of us was exactly trained for 13.1, the weather was promising to be quite warm and some hesitant mental games, that we blew through the course.  Nope.  I was confident up until the 5th mile.  I pre-juiced with some Vega Sport pre-energizer at the start, which was why I made it that far!

I started losing it at what I thought was mile 6.  I told Meagan, “I don’t think I am going to make it.”  Meagan: “We are almost at mile 8, you WILL make it.”  I was grateful to hear we were almost to 8 but I was still doubting my mad running skillz.  Meagan said right as I was losing hope, she was feeling confident – this was perfect.  Meagan emotionally carried me for the rest of the race.

just another perk of running!

It was warm.  I’ve never done this race before and it was rerouted from previous years since we couldn’t end in the Notre Dame stadium.  The nice part was there was a lot of shade and the course was really pretty.  There were some rolling hills with a few steeper ones that we walked.  We did start to do some walk/running bouts.  Meagan would call out our stops and starts – essentially I didn’t have to think, just run.

The water stops were about every mile and half or so, with awesome volunteers, water and gatorade.  There was also GU at one of them – strawberry/banana (umm… no) and I grabbed it at mile 5.  Salted caramel came to the rescue at mile 10.  Mile 11 or so, I started feeling heat-strokey.  I started getting chills and wasn’t feeling well.  I let Meagan know.  This kept up for about a mile.  During this time, some of the neighborhoods had sprinklers out and I took full advantage.  This definitely helped but I knew I needed the med-tent when we crossed the finish line.

I'm smiling so hard because we are done
I’m smiling so hard because we are done

Yep, we made it.  Son of a triscuit, it was hard.  I wanted to quit oh so badly and was proud that I didn’t.  Meagan’s recap is here and while she says that she was hurting, she certainly didn’t let on, which is probably why we finished!  Right after the volunteers passed out the medals, there were folks passing out cold, wet towels – I started feeling better almost immediately.  We got our knees wrapped in ice, hit the after-race snacks, FRUIT CUPS!  This is the first time I’ve ever had this and there wasn’t even honey-dew filler!  I grabbed a popsicle (yeah!), guzzled a chocolate milk, and picked up a bagel and banana for the road.

it's blurry because my hands were shaking a bit!
it’s blurry because my hands were shaking a bit! still so pretty

I told you it was going to be a tale… A couple of things I took away from this race: 1) the gut check 2) running with someone is so much fun!  The last time I ran with anyone was a year ago – with Meagan in fact!  Yet another reason I decided run camp was a good idea.  Oh yeah, and 3) the nutty things I will do for a t-shirt and a medal.

***No picture of said medal and t-shirt because I was too tired lazy to get up off of the couch and take one… maybe another day.***

gut check

This weekend offered up a gut check… well a few of them.  It was a good thing.

Gut check #1:  Thanks for the words of encouragement with regards to run camp!  Those were all words I needed to hear.  Other friends also weighed in and there wasn’t one person who said I should simply train on my own.  Fairly certain this is a positive sign.

Result:  I signed up.  I’m still nervous.

suck it up buttercup

Gut check #2:  I talked with Meagan about run camp and FINALLY admitted one of the main reasons I was holding back.  “What if I do all of this training and go all in and I STILL don’t achieve my goal?”  Meagan:  “I don’t think that will happen but if it does then you are a really good 5 hour marathoner”.

Result:  Oh yeah, good point.  So I signed up – yep, I need to keep reminding myself of this!

Gut check #3:  I ran a half on Saturday with Meagan.  It was very difficult for me.  I almost had a DNF on my record simply because I was so exhausted and not ready to run 13.1.  I’ll have the recap up soon.

yep

Result:  I need to STOP doing this to my body.  And my confidence.  I’m pretty certain I left part of my left patella on the course, not to mention the whole wanting to quit after 5 miles.  I am setting myself up for failure and some serious injury by pulling these shenanigans.  Enough is enough.

Gut check #4:  One more reason I didn’t want to do run camp… the whole social anxiety piece of it.  I don’t currently know anyone else doing it and this freaks me out a bit.

Result:  I’ve become a bit of a hermit and I need to put myself out there a bit more.  Yes, I will probably have some minor panic attacks without someone I know right there with me but we WILL all have running in common.  And I can meet people – they will probably like me, right?  So, in case you missed it the first two times, I signed up.

this hits a bit close to home

Gut checking – check.  20 days until my next and last 1/2 of the summer.  It won’t be breeze but I will have more training under my belt and a better attitude.  Not to mention I’ll be running in one of the most beautiful places around – not to shabby!

long run tips from a lazy runner

Here’s the deal… I’m not one of those folks who LOVES exercise.  I don’t thrive off of the idea of it and I don’t come home from work or greet the day with a loud, “Wahooo!  I get to work out today!”.  In fact, if you were to invite me to some kind of boot camp class or a movie, I would choose the latter, every.single.time.  I would rather go-go-gadget the remote, or coffee than my Hokas.

This should indicate just how much I actually like running.  I get up on my own accord and run some miles.  Yep, plural.  Weird.  That being said, the long run isn’t easy for me – the impending miles seem a bit overwhelming to be honest.  So here are my tips to get through, you know, just in case you are a lazy runner like me.

1.  Get off of the couch.  Yes, this is one of the hardest steps.  Then procrastinate a bit more before getting ready.  Yesterday I tried out a new hairstyle.  Look at the Health and Fitness pinterest page for some motivation or read a running blog to get all jazzed.  Then I really have to get off of the couch.

oh man, I would kill this guy but it looks fairly effective

2.  Wear comfortable underwear (or dress for success, whatever this means for you).  I’m not one of the commando runners and proper undies is very important for me.  Uncomfortable ones will make me cut short a run every time.  I could continue but I’ll leave it at that.  The rest of the outfit should be comfortable and make you feel confident.  I have this jacket from Costco that was cheap and fits so well!  It’s super cute and locks and loads my upper half.  Oh and it has lots of pockets!  Yesterday, I wore a shirt from a race I didn’t run.  Shaming can be a helpful motivator as well.

3.  A good playlist.  This is probably obvious but a good one can really amp me up.  There are certain songs which basically keep me running even when I don’t want to.  There are other songs that remind me of people in my life and I end up thinking about them as I run.  Sometimes I leave the tunes behind but this is typically on the shorter runs.  It’s kind of like bribery by music.

4.  Plan your route.  On a long run a few months ago I thought out a route that I swore would be 19 miles round trip.  Planning out a 19 mile route is actually tougher than I anticipated and not even half way through I was very discouraged because the miles weren’t adding up.  It was like running through quicksand without making any progress.  And it broke my spirit.  When I plan it out, at least I don’t have any misconceptions of how many miles I am running.  Reality seems to help… well, sort of.  I can be in denial that I am running X miles but then not have my soul crushed when my garmin registers 3 when it feels like 10.

5.  Visualize.  When I am starting to hurt I think of past races where I surpassed my own expectations.  I make sure to stick with recent races.  Or I think about how I will feel at the finish line of my next race.  This is what I did with Dopey and I was surprised by the effectiveness.  Plus it got me excited to get to the finish line.

you can insert any race there!

6.  Create a mantra.  Some people will do things like, “kill the hill” or something along these lines.  Mine?  I say, “focus on form, not on pace”.  Sometimes “pace” turns to “pain” – it just depends on which mile I am running.  I know, it doesn’t seem like something that shoots my motivation through the roof but it has a good beat and keeps me focused.  I don’t think a mantra has to make a tiger roar – it has to get me through the miles.

this is more like what my mantra makes me feel like

7.  Rest day.  Tell yourself you only have 2 more runs until it’s a rest day!  Or at least a cross training day.  I never count the days, as in 2 more days until a rest day since this makes it seem very far away.  Counting the actual runs makes it seem much closer!

8.  Walk breaks.  I used to think walk breaks were the worst!  I felt as though I failed.  Now, I’ve learned to recognize the benefit of walk breaks.  I read an article that talked about how walk breaks also build endurance so I started to be okay with them.  I still like it better when I can run the whole route but you know, I don’t feel like a failure anymore.

great advice!

9.  Stick to downhills.  At least as much as possible.  Yesterday I started my route backwards so I climbed the toughest hill first and then the rest of the run was a bit better.  It’s fairly hilly around me anyway but I didn’t incorporate some of the more beastly ones.  I was too tired from Saturday when I didn’t follow my own advice.

10.  Work off your circadian rhythm.  On weekends I love to sleep in a bit, drink coffee, hang out on the couch and catch up on whatever is on the telly.  I like running in the afternoon/evenings much better.  Careful about waiting too long – this can lead to, “I’ll do it tomorrow”.  Trust me.

because I’ve gotten dumber since graduating, I thought it was a “cicada rhythm”. I’m slightly ashamed.

11.  Tweet.  Not when you are done – before!  And ask for encouragement.  Our twitter friends come through with “you can do it!” and the cheers help me out.  Then tweet when you are finished.  You/I deserve the accolades.  Also, I always imagine cars driving past me thinking one of the following:  “Go runner girl go!” – this is from a fellow runner.  “Wow, I wish I could do this too” – this is from someone who wants to run.  “What an idiot!” – this is from someone has some respect but doesn’t understand running.  Chances are no one is thinking anything but I like to pretend I have cheerleaders everywhere.

12. Take the phone.  This way, you won’t feel rushed to get back for an important call or possibly miss that text you’re hoping comes through from that certain someone.  Taking your phone alleviates this (not that he texted anyway but this is more of a personal issue!).  Oh and for safety.

oh man, isn’t this the truth?!

13.  Be proud.  Yay!  We did it!  I’m not sure if long runs are harder for lazy runners or not but I know it takes quite the effort to get up and go.  You know how people say, once you are out there you are fine?  Nope.  I can be out there and cut it short.  Or how about, just get dressed and then you don’t have any excuses.  Nope.  I’ve been half way dressed and decided not to go.  Completing the miles is always a big deal for me.  It doesn’t come naturally and I push hard to accomplish each mile.  Then there is that endorphin rush when I am finished (most of the time) and then I’m all jacked to do it again next time.  This running thing is quite strange.

I am excellent with excuses.  So, I have to be very diligent when it comes to long runs because I can think of TONS of thing to do other than hit the pavement.  Like take a nap.  Since I want the end result, a sub-2 half marathon time, be in better shape and some kick ass leg muscles, I need to do the work.  So annoying.  I wish that once you have run a marathon or a 1/2 that your body could always do it.  You know, like riding a bike.  Then all you would have to do is some extra speed training.  Maybe in another universe…

this really is the truth
this really is the truth