Wednesday, April 30, 2014

1/2 Marathon training tips

Last time I trained for a 1/2 marathon it was UGLY. My long runs were also followed by diarrhea, dizzy spells, extreme fatigue, and muscle pain for days afterwards. If that wasn't enough, by the end of my training I HATED running. Hate seems like a strong word, but I assure you it was hate. I didn't run for weeks after my first half. 

This time my training was so different and so much better for both my physical and emotional state. 

Here's what worked for me:

By the end of my training two years ago I had figured out my nutrition during my run- Nuun and part of a snickers bar every two miles starting at mile 3. This time I solved the post run nutrition- 1/2 cup egg whites+2 eggs+toast with butter. YUM! Eating protein after my run seemed to solve the post-run digestive issues.

I'm much slower this go around (12:30-13 minute miles vs 11:30 mile). The slower piece does bother me, but being slower seems to have decreased the side effects of my long runs. Not sure how/if they are connected.

Partner! Last time I had no partner for my long runs. Now I have the most amazing Julia to trudge along with me. Having a partner eases the emotional side of those long runs. I actually look forward to spending several hours (3?!?!) chatting and running.

Days running- Last time I ran 4 and cross trained one. This time I am running 3 and cross training 2. One less day of running each week makes for a much happier Kari.

Compression gear- I caved and bought compression leg sleeves. I LOVE THEM!!! I don't wear them when I run, but definitely post run and pre-long run days.

Epsom salt- I now take (after eating my eggs and toast) a 20 minute epsom salt bath. I don't know how those salts work, but they do!

I'm actually sad that my training is over. Good thing I have a Sprint Tri to train for! :)

How do you train for long races? What tips do you have for someone who is suffering through a training program?


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Not a jogger....

Whew! Half marathon training is officially in taper mode. Woo hoo! I have to admit, I have really enjoyed this round of training. It helps that my dear friend Julia has been willing to trudge along with me on my long runs and that I have my treadmill for mid-week runs. There are a lot of things different this go-around than my last half. There is a blog post brewing about that, but today I want to talk about a comment that has stuck with me from my last long run.

12 miles. We've got this! 

(Both of us started the run with upset stomachs and not REALLY ready for 12 miles....)

3 miles in....this blows! I'm tired. My legs hurt. Zero motivation.

THEN.... We saw other runners. A huge group.

THEN....We saw a sign for the Tacoma City Marathon letting neighbors know that their street was going to be closed in 2 weeks for a race. For our race! 

THEN...We were super motivated once again. The runners. The sign. The race. We got this!

9 miles in and we are feeling strong. started to rain. It started to hail. The wind started to blow. 
We got cold and wet VERY quickly.

Stopping under a bus stop to make a plan. 

Do we call someone to get us? No, we'll be back to the car by the time they get back.

We refuel and talk ourselves into continuing. 

THEN....the sweet older lady, who was also at the bus stop, started to comment on our lack of rain gear (umbrella, jacket, etc). 

THEN she said it, "Oh, are you guys joggers". We said yes and took off.

I thought about that a lot. 

No, I'm not a jogger. I'm a runner.

I run slow, but I'm still a runner.

I've "only" run a half, but I'm still a runner.

I tend to discount my running with words like "only" and "slow". 

Not to offend any joggers out there, but there is a commitment that comes with what I do that moves me (in my own little opinion) from jogger to runner.

I am a runner.

How about you?


Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Following Authentically Emily, here is my #TransparentTuesday

Last weekend I went on my 10-mile long training run with my dearest running buddy, Julia. 

Halfway through the run we started talking about weight gain. It's no secret that I've put on 10 20 who knows number of pounds over the past 2 years.

Here's the rub- To get down to 193 pounds I had to take some pretty drastic measures.

- 1200 calories a day
- Exercise for an hour a day, 6 days a week
- Dizzy spells
- Hair loss
- Extreme fatigue

But I was almost thin! Almost.... Actually, I was still overweight according to the BMI even after all of those efforts.

Today, I think I'm right around 220 pounds (but am too scared to check), I am eating around 2000+ (I think the + is the problem) calories a day, exercising 5 days a week and no longer experience the negative side effects of strict calorie restriction partnered with intense exercise. 

I ended our run feeling comfortable with my body and accepting that, for me, heavier did mean healthier.

Fast forward to my Tuesday run. 

There was a new rub. The rub between my arm and whatever you want to call the skin that hangs over your sports bra when you have gained 20 pounds.

Since my arm lift (nearly 3 years ago!) I have not struggled with jiggly arms or rubbing skin. Last night I did. 

It made me sad. I spent the night examining my hanging skin. Wondering if the negative side effects of being 193 could outweigh the hang below my arm. The logical side of me thinks that if I went back to lifting consistently that I could tighten up my arms in a short amount of time. 

I KNOW that I could get back to 193.

I don't KNOW that I could ever get back to 193 eating enough calories and not working out to the point of exhaustion.

Here's the reality: I feel defeated, disappointed in myself, embarrassed, angry. This is all so very hard. The logical part of my knows that to do. There is this emotional piece that wants to crawl in to bed and just give up. That middle ground of maintenance seems so far away. I don't know how people do it. 

There you have it. I'm not an amazing success story. Just a regular girl who is trying to figure out how to navigate a moderate approach to eating and exercise in a world that deals only in extremes. 

What about you? How do you find moderation?


Saturday, April 5, 2014

March Monthly Running Check-in

This will be short. I wanted to track my March running before April is over. :)

Year long goal: 244 miles (I didn't plan on doing a 1/2 when I set this goal....)

In March I ran 66.16 miles. Whew! That is 31 miles more than in February.

Year to date:

137.5 miles....pretty sure I'm going to meet my goal of 244 by my 1/2 Marathon on May 4th! Going to have to set a new goal....

There you have it. I'm on track with my running. I'd write more, but it's Saturday, which means it's time for my long run.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Strength Trainig- Why did I ever leave you???

Pick things up.
Put them down.

I love, love, love strength training. 

I love being able to throw my kids over my shoulder and carry in a heavy bag of groceries.

I know that strength training helps to burn fat and make me a faster athlete. 

On Tuesday I had some free time (HURRAY FOR SPRING BREAK!!!!) so I decided to return to the weight room after a good month+ absence.  

My plan was simple....
overhead press, leg extension, leg curl, bicep curl, tricep extension, the funny ab contraption

I used light for me weights. 3 sets each exercise...

That was Tuesday. It's Thursday and I'm still sore. Not a bad sore, but rather the "ohhhh it hurts so good" kind of sore. 

I missed being sore.

A few thoughts....

~ It makes me a little sad that such a simple weight workout made me sore. That means that I've lost a lot of muscle.
~ Good news is that I can regain that lost muscle.
~ In my current training plan there is a day for strength training, but I've been doing body weight exercise. I miss the weight room. 
~ I love being able to workout at home in the early morning hours. Maybe I need to invest in some heavier weights that I can use at home instead of driving to the gym. 

What about you? Do you lift at home or go to a gym? 


About Me

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On June 19, 2009 I started my weight loss journey. It has become quite the journey! As of today (2-1-11) I have lost 162 pounds and have gained a whole new life. This blog is a continuation of my journey. I hope to inspire and encourage others through my process.