Tag Archives: Sports

Marathon Musings

This week began week 7 of the above 18 week Full Marathon Hal Higdon Training Plan. 564 miles of running are virtuously mapped out in this handy and easy to follow guide.

Said mileage is not counting the final 26.2 mile parade/death march/symposium on masochism, in celebration of the hard work, early mornings, chaffing, blisters, endless loads of laundry, and buckets of sweat and tears.  I have been following Hal’s plan for every single 26.2 mile event in which I have ever towed the line and definitely recommend it.

Hal’s stuff is precise, easy to follow, and doesn’t have all kinds of weird pace and tempo calculations thrown in the mix. My brain is always processing, running is my mediation and time away from precision. Essentially, Hal could’ve written “Running for Dummies.” In fact, he may have. (Someone look into this and let me know)

This week, Valentine’s week, week 7 of the Intermediate Level Training Plan is very significant for me. Now that I’m training for marathon #10, my training doesn’t really kick into gear until week 7. My “off” season running patterns consist of 25-30 miles a week with cross and strength training in the mix, so until I jump above that mileage threshold, my training is more mental prep and anticipation than anything.

I am often asked about my routines, practices, and mileage, so I hope to give the inquiring minds a glimpse into what a very average, middle aged, slow long distance runner does to maintain her mediocre paces as the weeks progress.  (That sentence needs read with all the sarcasm in which I wrote it. I actually kick my tail, own my nutrition, and strive for my best, and yet still come up as a solid mid packer. I guess not every long term love story exists in the land of non stop bliss and progress. Sometimes love is grand. Sometimes it’s mediocre. Sometimes people are oddly inspired by normal. I’m banking on this. I want you to read my angry running rants, sappy running love stories, runs that were inspired into sonnets by nature and birds and joy, and those runs which end with my hip cursing me out.)

I had anticipated telling you about the struggles running and I have been having lately with our relationship, but since it’s Valentine’s Day, I want to honor running for the goodness it has done for me and save the honesty, authenticity and bad mouthing for some upcoming posts. While we are never “on again/off again” (There is no off. Maybe that’s my problem. Maybe I’m worn out.), running and I definitely vacillate between engaging in a great sordid love affair, and me playing bitter, angry, and jealous because running seems to dole out the awards and gains I know it has stashed somewhere to other less dedicated people at high rates than it does to me.

Maybe I’m just tired today. Maybe I’m still upset that my husband kept up with me on our pace run Saturday even though he was suffering from some bird flu deal and I, a perfectly healthy specimen, couldn’t even leave him in my dust no matter how hard I tried. Why does he get to snot, cough, and pant his way to a fast finish while I dug deep and pushed hard, only to find him still at my heels? I did have a minor emotional melt down when we hit stop on our Garmin watches, but then I recovered. I can’t break up with running just yet. Passion is a 2 edged sword and you can’t have endorphin highs to the moon without dealing with some demons that creep in and try to convince you to call it quits on occasion.

The true, unadulterated psychotic hold that running has on me exists, in part, because of how hard I work at it sometimes. Can we ever appreciate fully what we don’t have to pour our heart and soul into?

Perhaps, yes, I should revisit what training plans and approaches I use as I endeavor at some point to run the all elusive sub 4 Hour Full marathon, but for now,  the hectic pace of life, work, family, and marathon seasons past is telling me to run for fun in Pittsburgh in may and remember, I don’t have to do this, I get to do this.

A Glance at my Running Week:

Mondays I do the run scheduled for Tuesdays plus strength training/core work
Tuesdays I do the runs scheduled for Wednesdays (medium length)
Wednesdays I cross train plus
strength training/core work
Thursdays and Saturdays I do the 2nd medium length run (which is when I squeeze th pace run) and the other day I do the long, slow run and sometimes do a fast finish or mimic race pace towards th end to get used to keeping it up while tired. It depends no my work and life schedule on which I do on which day. Flexibility is the only way to get it done. The training plan is not a legal document, just an excellent guide. Get it in when and how you can.
Fridays  I do the run scheduled for Thursdays plus strength training/core work
Saturday, see Thursday
Sundays are my “Rest” from fitness day.  I go for a walk before church by myself to pray and prepare, and then often go for another walk in the evening with the dog.

 

 PSA: Dressing in the dark for a 5:30 AM Run and Strength Training Session could result in a deadly mix of color palettes (Although, navy and white on black and purple could be the new trend. Who knows?) . Thankfully, the “lunks” at Planet Fitness are also in a semi sleep deprived state and most likely don’t notice. Also, I don’t want anyone looking at me when I work out. Also, don’t talk to me because the suns not even stinking out yet. Also, I smell. Please breathe my sweaty air and let it keep you away from engaging me in an overly giddy pre-dawn chat session. I’ve come to get the job done so my productivity can kick off, not to make new BFF’s 🙂

 

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Why Monday Matters

Monday has long been the bane of human existence. If you follow the generally accepted calendar, Monday is day one of the “work week”, and thus the perceived dreaded bearer of bad news. Those who are more optimistic try to convince themselves that Monday has magical fairy powers to motivate the otherwise immobile sacks of human flesh that we all have felt like at some point.

From the Garfield comic strips, which tell a tale of Monday woe, to the the ever present social media memes declaring Monday to be anything from the day for Motivation and fresh starts to the 24 hour time period in which we should all retreat into an apocalyptic style shelter and pray for survival.

Whether you cheer and “rah, rah, rah” on Mondays because this is your week, your time, your chance, your moment to shine, or rather choose to pull your blankets over your head in anxiety ridden sorrow, Monday seems to carry with it a certain mystique.

For better or worse, Monday is not going anywhere anytime soon, and the call to responsibility and action has been sounded from deep within its cavernous expanse. Monday matters because to manage Monday means to manage yourself. To prioritize your time, tasks, and energy on day 1 of the week, means to produce and move forward with the behaviors that become accomplished actions, which in turn result in accomplishment and accolades.

I will be the first to admit that this Monday, February 6, 2017, tried to kick my tail. This Monday truly played its role as the playground bully quite well. You see, this isn’t just any ol’ Monday, it is the Monday after the Super Bowl. When my alarm went off at 5:45 AM, which is actually later than the optimal for me 5:15 AM needed to squeeze things in, I forgot that it was Monday. I actually thought it was Sunday. Once I realized that “Groundhog Day” had already passed (ancient movie reference which makes me seem old, but wise), I was faced with a choice.

  • I could get up, dress up, show up, and never give up, or
  • I could reenter my carb, fat, and sugar induced coma that I justified due to it being Super Bowl Sunday. The good news is that I do not drink alcohol. The bad news is, studies have proven that unhealthy eating, habits, and patterns can knock you for a loop and produce a legitimate state of “hangover”.

I am happy to report that I chose the former. I got my sorry tail out of bed and went about my usual running and strength training routine. I then caffeinated myself, put on business clothes, and went to live out my calling and purpose ( I said I don’t drink alcohol. I never once mentioned my drug habit. If it’s from a bean (coffee) or a leaf (tea) and produces hyper focus and productivity, I’m all about it.)

The moral of this story is that Monday Matters.

  • Monday provides us with 24 hours to make progress on our goals.
  • Monday offers up the balance that need to in order to discover and live out purpose.A drum that plays at random and with no rhythm is a cacophony of noise, not the beat maker and dance director that it was created to be.
  • Monday reminds us that we can’t eat like a 897 pound gorilla and expect to jump out of bed with pep in our step.
  • Monday mentors us into making choices that benefit our future selves, verses always living in the sweet siren call of present self.
  • Monday means we are alive to live another glorious day on this planet.
  • Mondays that require an alarm mean we are either gainfully employed, or have people in our lives that are counting on us to provide diligent care. It reminds us that we are not alone.

So, on this Monday, remember that self-care means living in a way today that will help you thrive tomorrow. If you cast off restraint on the weekends, know that Monday is your personal trainer, chef, guide, assistant, and friend to make sure the entirety of your life doesn’t go off the rails.

 

How to have endurance

Never hold your head down, never say you can’t, never limit yourself, and never stop believing.

myway_m
I was the inspiration for a children’s book illustrated by a great friend of mine Carol Dixon. She used pictures of me from when I was 8 to base the illustrations off of.

Today was one of those days where you spend almost the entire day thinking it is a different day of the week than it actually is. I’m pretty sure this has to do with the fact that Monday was a holiday, but a good solid majority of my day today I kept trying to follow the Tuesday agenda on my calendar and kept forgetting that I had numerous meetings and baseball practices today. Thankfully my Type A kicked in and I made all of my meetings on time and was able to complete my Wednesday projects. (I also spent quite a bit of time thinking of catchy titles to this blog with the word Tuesday in them. It’s a good thing I couldn’t come up with any.)

None of this is really too embarrassing considering my other forays off of earth onto planet Jessica are usually more tragic. For example, on Sunday I held up our worship team practice internally stewing because our sound guy had not yet plugged in my microphone. Finally, after a pretty substantial lull of me standing away from the microphone singing into the air and watching/listening to the band tune up, I came to the stunning realization that we use cordless microphones. It was an epic blonde moment. It would’ve continued unnoticed by anyone other than myself, except for the fact that my self esteem is high enough to be the center of a wonderfully hilarious punchline and moments like that really should be put out there for pleasure and enjoyment. In my defense, I was thrown off by a random cord laying on the floor unused. In our sound guys defense, we have had cordless microphones for a fairly lengthy period of time, so I should’ve put two and two together. I plead the 5th amendment and make my case for a hands free microphone.

20130427-151146.jpgCan you rely on God too much? Is religion really a crutch?

Running injuries are a favorite topic around the Buckland household. Jonathan has some sort of issue with his feet and calves that flares up when he increases pace and mileage and I have been dealing with crazy feet my whole life, even before I became a runner. I have extremely flat feet and I walk and run like a duck essentially. I have decided this is a badge of honor. Not many women can pull off a waddle with such gracious ease.

  • (As a side note, the Sperry Topsider shoes are a gift from heaven. They are like wearing a tennis shoe in terms of comfort and form and are in fashion this season for some reason. Anytime a shoe is comfortable and in the remote ball park of fashion I am all over it. Usually I have to pass on shoe fads and just fill with coveteousness and envy towards ladies with dainty girl feet)

I will not go into too much depth with you on my foot problems because I don’t want you to have nightmares, but I will say that, as I mentioned yesterday, my hamstrings are super tight and this is putting pressure on my Achilles tendons as well as the tendons that run along the side of your leg and is making my calves tight. Add to that my flat feet, extra bones, and bruised toenails and you have the recipe for someone who will never attract a stalker with a foot fetish.

I know that I am not in injury mode yet, but I want to ensure that I get these muscle knots loosened up ASAP. Next week I start my pre-marathon training mode and I need to be in top shape for it. Since the Captial City Half marathon, I have been running about 30 miles a week to give myself an “off” season for a couple of weeks and to allow myself to “date” running again. Starting next month running and I will be engaged again jumping to about 36-38 miles a week, and then in July we get to work our way to marriage as I build towards 50 miles and beyond a week until the Akron Marathon.

Because of all of this, I used the pretty little head God gave me and actually chose to run on the treadmill. I needed a way to force myself to go slow and when I run outside my speed creeps up way to easily. I set the treadmill on the pace I wanted to go and just kept a steady rhythm for a 3.1 mile run and then went to a 1 mile walk. I pretty much always do a 5K on the days that I lift weights. (Until peak marathon training season where I run like 876 miles a day regardless of what is on the workout agenda or life calendar. It really is fun. You shoudl try it.) I also focused on arms and abs today and nixed the kettlebells and squats. You gotta know when to hold em and when to fold em. I will be foam rolling again tonight like a good girl while claiming this scripture:

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, (Colossians 1:11 ESV) (The bible has some of the best scriptures for use while running. Why would I run on my own power and strength when the Holy Spirit can give me a boost? Why would you sit on a couch and not become a runner when clearly we are called to push beyond our limits into his possibilities?)

20130529-125106.jpgThese are the vitamins that I am currently taking. I have low iron counts (and therefore eat about a 78 pound bag of ice everyday. I will probably have no teeth by the age of 40.) and no matter how hard I try or how clean I eat, I do know that there are probably a few vitamin areas I am deficient in. These Costco brand performance vitamins are some of the first vitamans I have taken that haven’t made me sick to my stomach and have legitimately made a difference in my functioning and energy levels. I love them. The other vitamins are from a huge free pack of things I was given to try and I really like them so far. I am going to be purchasing some Glucosamine and Condrotin like a 95 year old lady to help my joints and ease the mild discomforts associated with being a human gazelle and some Vitaman D. Dr. Mercola states that even if you exercise outdoors and spend time outside, if you wear any SPF it blocks the absorption of Vitiman D, add to that the fact I live where we see the sun 3 minutes a year, and I don’t want to risk the negative side effects of low Vitaman D. I haven’t had any issues so far, but know lots of people who have had serious health problems they found out later were a simple vitaman deficiency. I would also rather not look like the “Tanorexic” mom you see on tabloid magazine covers, so some SPF is definitely going on my face.

20130529-202544.jpgJust a few of my favorite people from my LifeGroup tonight. I teach a lifegroup at Dunkin Donuts and still haven’t eaten a single donut at any of my groups yet. I deserve a medal of valor.

20130529-202720.jpgA glimpse into the Foundations 101 afternoon group we had today. I pretty much spend my day hanging with amazing people and talking about Jesus. I also spend it surrounded by carbs and testing my will power. I had no goodies at Panera Bread this afternoon either. I’m upgrading from the medal of valor to the purple heart.

I apologize that I haven’t been posting pictures of the food I’m consuming. I know it has been a struggle for you, but this too shall pass. What is the best thing you have eaten this week? I had a Chipotle Chicken Bowl for dinner tonight with brown rice, black beans, tons of salsa and hot sauce and very light cheese/sour cream. I can’t do away totally with the cheese/sour cream, but I stress very very light to the person making my bowl. Chipotle is always the highlight of any week that it finds itself in.

What is your most annoying ache or pain?

How to run a mile

You can’t grow if you can’t be uncomfortable.-@leadershipfreak

Growth moments occur with one foot on solid ground and one foot firmly in midair. Growth happens “where the sidewalk ends.”

The bottom line is that you can’t do anything if you first don’t start. Two and a half years ago I couldn’t even run one mile from start to finish and was 55 pounds larger than I am today. Saturday I will run my 6th official half marathon race (I’ve also raced a full). Contrast that to this morning when I ran 1.5 miles just to keep my run streak alive (the powers that be usually recommend a complete rest day before a race) and literally felt like I had done absolutely nothing. Two and half years ago I would’ve wept at running a solid 1.5 miles, and now it felt like almost a waste of all the time and effort it took to put my clothes and tennis shoes on, but keeping the run streak alive is no joke! Keeping these 55 pounds off and toning up a body marred by two pregnancies and 14,000 years of yo-yo dieting is no small task. This girl is on fire. I’m not letting anyone slow my go. I’ve come to far to turn back now. (I think I have the makings of a political speech. Please vote for me. I’m Citizen of the Year.)

20130503-101634.jpg Because I have learned that you are all dying to know what I eat, when I go to the restroom, and the temperature that I like the room set at, I didn’t want to forget to leave you with these nuggets of information. In keeping with the part-time vegetarian lifestyle, once my Daniel Fast was over this week (the Daniel Fast is more vegan than vegetarian), I had an amazing egg sandwich for lunch. This is my go to lunch 4/7 days a week usually, unless I’m on one of my nut butter kicks. I get my protein. It tastes delicious. It is very filling. And, it has the health muscle building fats and complete yada yada yada that you need to thrive. I add one serving of cheese on the egg and place it on two slices of whole grain bread with a serving of strawberry jelly. It will change your life. Try it ASAP.

20130503-101640.jpgRaising the kiddos as part-time Vegemite’s too. They don’t know it though. They just like the healthy food to make them big and strong. Food always tastes better on a cartoon plate. Look at all this protein and body building fruit from Gentry’s snack/lunch combo yesterday. Yum.

20130503-101651.jpgOne of two of my favorite athletes.

My delicious breakfast today! A perfectly healthy and delicious carb loading oppourtunity.
My delicious breakfast today! A perfectly healthy and delicious carb loading opportunity.

Full disclosure: I followed that gorgeous plate with a bagel and jelly. I definitely think that extra glycogen will buy me a first place win.

My first full fat, whole milk cappucino since the fall. I'm not going to lie, the foam is amazing with whole milk.
My first full fat, whole milk cappuccino since the fall. I’m not going to lie, the foam is amazing with whole milk. Good thing I ran a whole mile this morning.

20130503-113700.jpg

Before you are jealous of what you perceive to be my at home coffee bar and perfectly crafted breakfast, you must be made aware that I’m out of town for a business trip that coincided beautifully on the calendar, in the same city, with my Half Marathon tomorrow (a Race and Expo Recap will be going down on the blog) at a hotel with unlimited Starbucks coffee. I caution all citizens to be on high alert because by 8 AM this morning I was about a gallon of the goodness into my day. I “hydrate” so well for races. I’m following all of the rules. I mean, certainly coffee is better than water correct? It’s a bean!

I love it when business and pleasure piggyback. Isn’t that what life is-a mesh of mind, body, spirit, work, and play?

Seed, Lead, Run, Eat, Repeat: I love the cycle.

Learn when to work, when to play, and when to rest. It isn’t weird at all that I consider running 13.1 miles rest. Mind. Body. Spirit.

He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame. (Proverbs 10:5 ESV)

Ok, now I want a vacation. Seed, Lead, Run, Eat, Repeat. Fly away to Australia for 3 weeks (I wish)

How do you make sure that your work involves play and your play includes work? We don’t want any workaholics or sloths. We were created for so much more than the extremes.