December 09, 2007

C2U: Week 10

Let's add two miles this week; your mid-week runs are 3, 3 & 3, with a long run of 8 for a total of 17 miles this week.

I'm wondering if anyone is finding value in these weekly posts?

December 02, 2007

C2U: Week Nine

This is a repeat of week seven: mid-week runs of 3, 3 & 2, with a long run of 7, for a total of 15 miles.

I don't have a schedule topic of discussion this, tell me - what's your favorite part of running?

November 25, 2007

C2U: Week Eight (s-t-r-e-t-c-h)

Two months in: how are you feeling? Has your body changed? Are you stronger? Can you run farther?

This week is a 'rest week'. Every three weeks, I've cut your mileage back a little bit. You'll get a total of 12 miles this week, with a long run of 5. Break up the remaining 7 as follows (or really, however works best for you): 3, 2, 2.

Stretching. It's one of those things that runners and studies debate. Does it really work? When should you stretch - before or after a run? Why would I want to stretch?

I like to stretch by doing yoga. I get warmed up, I get to strengthen my body, I get to relax. I don't really like stretching any other way. Generally, I usually do some light stretching after my run (once I'm warmed up), if my muscles are aching. I don't like to stretch before my run, because my muscles are cold and I'm afraid of hurting them.

Studies have shown that stretching may or may not cause less soreness (the recent ones are saying it won't prevent soreness). Studies have shown that stretching may or may not help to prevent injury. You can research it to find all the various studies.

I just know that without yoga, my knees and hips kill me when I up my miles. With yoga, it doesn't hurt so much. I don't feel achy and injured. But that's just me. This is another one of those experiment things. See what works for you!

Experienced runners - do you stretch? Why or why not? Let's discuss!

November 18, 2007

C2U: Week Seven (water, water, everywhere)

Great job so far. This week, go for 15 miles total, with a 7-mile long run on hilly terrain.

How much water are you drinking when you run? Do you bring a water bottle out with you, or do you drink just before and after?

From what I understand, the body can absorb about 28 ounces of water per hour, tops. That doesn't mean you should drink that much, but I certainly interpret that to mean I should drink any more than that! If I do, it ends up sloshing around in my stomach and making me sick. I've found that 21 oz per hour is just about perfect for me (unless I'm really dehydrated). That's the equivalent of one hand-held water bottle per hour.

In the past, the advice was to drink, drink, drink until your pee is clear. WRONG!!! Doing so may cause hyponitremia, which is when you dilute your bloodstream and have too little electrolytes in your system. This can have severe consequences (Brian Morrison's 2006 Western States as an example).

You want your urine to be pale yellow. That's your goal. Everyone is different - you'll need to experiment to find out how much water your body needs per hour to maintain that clear yellow.

You can't really talk about water intake without also talking about electrolytes. "Electrolytes are minerals in your blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge. It is important for the balance of electrolytes in your body to be maintained, because they affect the amount of water in your body, blood pH, muscle action and other important processes. You lose electrolytes when you sweat, and these must be replenished by drinking lots of fluids." (Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia)

Various ways to replenish your electrolytes are through sports drinks, certain gels and a fanTAStic product called nuun. A word on sports drinks: not all are created equal. Gatorade? Maybe it's good for football players, but for long-distance runners, the amount of electrolytes are virtually nil. Many energy bar companies make much better versions of sports drink with more elctrolytes (PowerBar, I think Hammer may make one?, Heed, Succeed, etc.). I personally love nuun. It's a calorie-free way of getting what I need - just drop a tablet in my water and I've got refreshing fizzy water for my run. I often run with one water bottle and one nuun bottle.

What works for you? All you experienced runners out there - what's your favorite way to stay hydrated? Let's discuss!

November 11, 2007

C2U: Week Six (fueling...)

How are you doing so far? Look! You've already built up your mileage into double digits!

This week we're upping the miles by 1.5 miles. We're (approximately) going by the 10% rule, which is to up your miles no more than 10% each week. So this week, you'll do 13.5. Do your long run of 6 miles on hilly terrain (gotta build those quads!), and break up the remaining miles however you want (3, 2.5 and 2 works well).

You'll want to start experimenting with your nutritional intake on your long runs, to figure out what works best for you. Do you prefer gels or shot blocks? Gummi bears or jelly beans? Or do you have an iron gut and can stomach solid food?! I like crank e-gels (they come with electrolytes!) and Clif Shot Blocks (great flavors, some with caffeine! Plus I feel like I'm eating real food!).

I try to intake approximately 300 calories per hour during my long run. I came to this number at some point in the distant past in one of the long training conversations my ex and I used to engage in (he's an ultrarunner, too). For some reason, due to my weight and approximate number of calories burned per hour, I determined 300 was right for me. (I really need to do some more research on this and figure out how and why, so you can tailor your caloric intake accordingly!) Until I find the formula we used, I suggest a few hundred calories per hour. Note: this is for my long run only. For 30 minute or shorter runs, I stick to about 60 calories (two shot blocks works perfect for me) and for runs of 30-60 minutes, I will intake up to 150 calories.

Questions? Comments? Any experienced runners out there care to add their two cents on the subject? Let's discuss!

November 04, 2007

C2U: Week 5 (plus entire schedule)

Finally, here it is! I’ve got the entire schedule worked out for you, and I’ll post it here for your reference. I’ll also post my own schedule, which varies from C2U, as I have my son every other weekend and cannot do a long run every week. You can follow either one.

Note: The mid-week runs can be on any day. Feel free to change the distances if you’d rather run two longer mid-week runs instead of three shorter ones. Also, the long run needs to be on hilly terrain and can be run on Saturday or Sunday; on my personal schedule, it will be on Saturday, since my mid-week moderate runs are Tuesday and Friday. This allows me to get good back-to-back runs in every other week, which will help strengthen me.

Oh, but before the schedules - Week 5:
Total of 12 miles. Make your long run 5 miles, on hilly terrain. Break up the remaining 7 miles as follows (or any way you want): 3, 2, 2.

C2U Schedule
Week     Mid-week Runs    Long Run     Total
5                  3, 2, 2                5              12
6                  3, 2.5, 2              6              13.5
7                 3, 3, 2               7              15
8                 3, 2, 2                5              12
9                 3, 3, 2                7              15
10                 3, 3, 3                8              17
11                 4, 3, 3                9              19
12                 3, 3, 2                7             15
13                 4, 3, 3                8             18
14                 4, 4, 3                9              20
15                 4, 4, 4                10              22
16                 4, 3, 3               8             18
17                 4, 4, 4                10              22
18                 5, 4, 4                12             25
19                 5, 5, 4                14              28
20                 4, 4, 4                10             22
21                 5, 5, 4                14              28
22                 5, 5, 5                16              31
23                 6, 6, 5                18              35
24                 5, 5, 4                14              28
25                 6, 6, 5                18              35
26                 6, 6, 6                20              38
27                 5, 5, 5                10              25
28                 5, 5                5              15
29                 2, 2                33 - ZG!             39

My Schedule will come soon....

October 31, 2007

C2U: Week Four

Did you get 10 miles in last week? I did - and more! WIth my pacing duties, I ended up with 22 miles, yikes. Y'all who are brand-newbies don't go doing that! It's a recipe for injury, that's for sure. Because my miles have been up up up before, this wasn't nearly as stupid as it seems (is this one of those "do as I say and not as I do" situations?!) :)

And did you get part of those 10 miles as a four-mile long run? I sure hope so - we're going to start building that up!

Let's do 11 miles this week. Do a 4.5-mile long run on the weekend, and break up the remaining 6.5 over two or three days during the week. Make sure the 4.5-mile long run is on a hilly course. We need to work on hills for ZG, that's for sure!

You'll notice I'm not assigning any speedwork or other types of runs right now; I'm just telling you to get relentless forward motion. That's because you're building up your base. This is what will make you a strong runner and help prevent injuries.

October 21, 2007

So so so much much much!

C2U folks, scroll to the bottom to get this week's info...

My totally cool new earrings
New Earrings
New Earrings

Oy vey.

*deep breath*

I am tired, exhausted, worn out, used up, scared, stressed, worried, fretful. But I made another sale! Sacred Heart Vision...

And I've made good progress on Lisa's running art (go congratulate her, she just finished her first tri!).

And Ash and I had a fanTAStic hike on Mt. Lemmon today. It's true: the boy doesn't know how to "hike". He thinks the trails are for running :) Watching his nimble body leap from rock to stump and over roots was beautiful. At points, I was nervous that he was about to fall off the trail, but each time I was about to open my mouth to caution him, he'd deftly manuever to a safer spot. He fell a couple times, on the trail, but was amazing to watch.
FallHike2007 073
Ash being a zombie
FallHike2007 070
Making the fall colors fly
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Having fun at lunch
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Catching himself on a rare fall
His little four-year-old legs did good on the approximately 1.4 mile roundtrip hike on top of Mt. Lemmon.

We've had an interesting weekend. Ash is tired and exhausted and missing his dad - he spend two nights with his grandmother and now three nights with me, and no time in between with his dad. He's been cranky and pushing all my buttons. It's been rough. But we're doing ok. I'm overwhelmed, though.

And work. Oh boy, work. I know I've been this stressed before, but this time, I feel like there's more pressure, more riding on the upcoming events that I'm coordinating. It's my favorite part of my job: event planning. I get a rush from planning every little detail and having the entire thing come off without a hitch (knock on wood). Well, I've got one on Saturday - which is when I'm in Phoenix for JJ100. This'll be my first that I've managed, planned and organized that I won't be present for. I'm a little nervous about that. Ok, more than a little nervous. I'm a wreck over it. But I just have to trust that it'll all unfold smoothly even without me there. Have enough trust in myself to know that it'll all be ok. And then I have another one in just a few weeks that's turning into an even bigger deal, and the invite is due to the printer on Wednesday and to my client for approval tomorrow -- and my art dept hasn't even begun the layout yet (waiting on images). AAAHHHHHHHHH (Did I mention this is a relatively new client?! Don't want to lose their business!) Not to mention a few award submittals due asap, internal team politics, a couple projects headed into construction, which means weekly meetings and alerts due out, and looming public meetings.

*deep breath*

Then there's the socializing. A friend is back in town for a few days before leaving for Germany, which means Thursday night is happy hour (I'm hosting this time). Friday morning I'm heading up to Phoenix to pick up Jess and spend the weekend playing at JJ100, and hopefully meeting up with a few friends and fellow bloggers (Steve and Hippo among them). The following Monday night is book club night (yay Kiera for reinstating it!). Between my friends and Ash, I have only two open nights in the next two-and-a-half weeks for Chris :( Sigh.

Oh yeah, and running too - I've discovered a new running partner! Someone who doesn't mind dark, cold, early morning winter runs, woo hoo! We're running on Tuesday morning. Yay!!! I didn't get much running in last week, but that meant I got lots of Ash time. I run every morning I don't have him - every other week, I'll get high mileage - which means every other week, extraordinarily low mileage (rest weeks, I suppose).

C2U - I haven't forgotten you. This week, if you haven't already been running this much, I want you to aim for 10 miles for the week. The biggest challenge? Get 4 of those miles on one day - either Saturday or Sunday - as your 'long run'. Preferably on trails to start training for ZG, but this week, it's ok to not do trails. So, your schedule is three 2-mile runs during the week (you can choose two 3-milers if you want), and one 4-miler on the weekend. GO!

October 14, 2007

C2U: Week Two

How're you doing this week? Still running?


This week it's four 30-minute sessions. Leave some comments letting me know how far you run when you run for 20 and 30 minutes, to get a feel for your current pace (if you aren't already). Then I'll start changing things over to weekly mileage. Right now, you're just getting used to moving on a regular basis.

Next week, we'll introduce the concept of the long run/hike. You'll choose either Saturday or Sunday to do a longer run each week. I'll also switch from timed sessions to mileage per day/total for the week. Long runs are meant to be run on (steep) trails, if possible, to simulate conditions at Zane Grey, which is a wicked steep trail. (I'll be posting shortly about my Blackett's Ridge "run" I did yesterday; I chose that trail specifically to simulate ZG.) So keep that in mind, and start thinking about a hilly trail you can head to next week.

Right now, my mileage is about 10 miles per week (which is pretty low). The goal is to slowly (safely) up our miles until we are averaging 30 miles per week (that's going to take a couple months). By February/March, the goal is to have a few weeks over 30 miles (the more, the better trained we'll be for ZG - hopefully we'll have a few 40-mile weeks in there). In a few weeks, I'll post a full schedule showing miles per day/week/month, etc. and types of runs those should be.

October 09, 2007

C2U: Week One

(My race report should be up today or tomorrow)

Couch to Ultra Training Plan, Week One:

What you need to know
- I chart weeks from Monday through Sunday.

- When I say, "Run 20 minutes, four times this week," I use the term 'running' very loosely. What I really mean is RFM (Relentless Forward Motion) . Whether you run, walk, jog or crawl, I don't care. Get your body moving forward for the specified amount of time/distance. I don't care how fast or slow you are, but when you are training for a certain race, you'll need to know the cutoff times and if you can get fast enough to beat the cutoff times. Your goal here is not to win anything; your goal is to finish.

What you need to buy if you haven't already
- The most important piece of equipment are your running shoes. Eventually, I'll get you into some good shorts/shirts/sports bras with technical fabric, but for now, let's focus on shoes. You want running shoes. You want to go to a running shoe store, perferably one that videotapes you running on a treadmill to observe your gait. This way, they'll get you into shoes that will work with your running style. You'll feel better and possibly prevent injuries. Try Performance Footwear, Fleet Feet or (if you are in Tucson), The Running Shop.

- Second most important piece of equipment: a running journal. Either buy one at Barnes & Noble or keep one online (good log websites are and It's good to keep track of when you run (date/time), how you felt, what you ate/drank before/during/after, what shoes you wore (to keep track of mileage to know when to replace), how far you run, how long you run and what your pace is. This will help you keep an eye on if you need to get faster in order to make cutoff times, and by tracking your food/drink intake, you'll start to see trends on what fuels work better for your body.

Overview of the program
- We'll start with just getting you into a program of moving your body. Get used to getting out there (or on a treadmill) on a regular basis, if you aren't already. Figure out your average pace and get you comfortable with RFM.

- We'll up the time/distance gradually over the winter with a combination of short, moderate and long runs (some back-to-back long runs come February/March).

- By March (your "monster month"), you'll be running about 8 hours a week. This takes commitment!

Your assignment for the week of Oct. 8 - 14
- Start a running log.

- Budget for your shoes and figure out when you can buy them (in the next month would be good).

- Give me RFM for 20 minutes, four times this week. Let's get you used to being out and moving.

- Leave a comment to this post after each run you do - let me know that you are out there, moving your body! Let's celebrate!

Now GO.

All the silly stuff I have to include that you already know, aka legal disclaimer
- All information contained in is for educational purposes only.
- It is not a substitute for any advice given to you by your physician.
- Consult your physician before you begin any nutrition, exercise, or dietary supplement program.
- I assume no liability for information contained herein.
- I will not be held responsible in any manner whatsoever for any injury which may occur through reading and/or following information within this site.

October 02, 2007

From Couch to Ultra Training Plan

Okay, so we're not up to 30 people yet, but we've got time to add you to the list. I'm starting an RSVP list on the left sidebar under "Upcoming Races" your name there yet?

I was surprised when a few non- or newbie runners commented/e-mailed me regarding the fact that they'd like to train for the 50k (50k = 30 miles) (just to clarify, I am NOT running 50 miles for my birthday, I'm running 50 kilometers, which is 30 miles) . The most surprising of all? My sister!

She's a 25-year-old mother of four who does not run. She was on the dance squad in high school and played softball as a kid, so she has somewhat of a background in athletics (I always thought she was more athletic than me), but she's not a runner. I'm so excited to think that she is interested in doing this, and my brother-in-law has already committed to helping her by watching the kids so she can train.

With newbies expressing interest, I was already considering creating a plan to train for ZG, and now that my sis is asking for help, I've decided to do "The Couch to Ultra Training Plan" (C2U). It's still sort of rolling around in my head as to how exactly I'm going to do this, but I'm thinking it will include a weekly post with tips, tricks and schedule. I'll include links and resources, and help y'all who are interested in running an ultra.

Please leave a comment to this post if you want to "sign up" for this plan, and I'll create a new spot on my sidebar with links to your blogs and I'll add you to an e-mail list, so we can support each other while training for this race. Please feel free to e-mail me at onepinkfuzzy {at} gmail {dot} com, if you don't want to leave a comment or if you have any questions.

The first official C2U post will be Sunday, to prepare you for the first week of training.

(PS My cough is deep in my lungs now, and I have a race on Sunday! I haven't run in a week! Oh well. If I have to leisurely stroll through Sunday's race, I'll do so. The important thing is I'll be out there :))