Organic Runner Mom

Run Green. Eat Clean. Laugh Strong.

Running and reflecting

Share your inspiration with me. What keeps you motivated to start training and racing again after injury? | Organic Runner Mom

Not being at the Boston Marathon this year felt strange although it was so exciting to watch the elites and  to track the splits of some of my friends and favorite bloggers as they ran the course in the cold, rain and wind today. Marathon Monday will forever be a mixed bag of emotions for me.  I think it will always be a day that I need to take a little time for myself whether I am running the marathon or not I will need to take time for myself  for reflecting and to be peaceful.

Today I was in Florida and while the weather in Boston was cold, windy and rainy the weather where I am was 90 degrees with incredible humidity. I am just getting back on the road with real running after a long five painful months recovering from trouble with my back. It feels so great to be back.  It also seems incredible to me that just two years ago I was able to run the Boston Marathon, 26.2 miles, maintaining an 8:09 pace (3:34 finish). I am not sure what my current marathon pace would be right now. I feel like I have lost a lot of my endurance which is a little frustrating but also has me chomping at the bit to work harder.

I chose to run 6.2 miles today, the distance that is the end of the marathon. It is the last 6.2 miles that will make or break you in a marathon so it felt fitting that I run this distance on marathon Monday. My run today was hot and humid and tough. The longest distance I have put on my legs on the road in 5 months. But, the sweat and tired muscles felt so good and are something that I have been craving.

So far the only race officially on my calendar is the Timberman Ironman 70.3 which will take place in August. I have been holding off on signing up for any other races because I wasn’t even sure if I would be able to run. Now I am ready.

Bring it on!

Now that I can run again I need to build out my race schedule. Which races would you recommend and why (either Triathlon or Running)?

Organic Runner Mom

Click Here to Check Out the Injury Prevention for Runners Program | Organic Runner Mom

****To find out more about the Injury Prevention for Runner Program Click here to visit Strength Running.****

More ways to connect with Organic Runner Mom

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

13 responses

261 Fearless. Find Your Fearless.

Find Your Fearless. Discover the 261 Fearless Movement

Today is the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. A day for me that conjures up all kinds of emotions. It was a day that I felt so strong as I ran the famed Boston Marathon race course and then a day that changed my life. Now every day I am working on finding my “Fearless”.

I had worked so hard to get to race day at the Boston Marathon in 2013. My quest for a Boston Marathon qualifier began before I had kids and then my drive to qualify was re-ignited after the birth of my second child. Training to qualify for the Boston Marathon gave me a goal to help pull me out of several tough years of dealing with severe post partum depression.

My kids. Love.

My kids. Love.

Having children is the best thing we ever did but it was by no means easy or straightforward. Upon learning that we were having our first child within a few weeks we came to know that I would be needing abdominal surgery due to some health issues that I was having that could affect my baby. It was a scary time. Everything was uncertain and my stress levels were through the roof. Thankfully we made it through everything and after some more minor pregnancy complications and a c-section we had a beautiful baby girl.

No one really knows why some people have Post Partum depression while others do not but perhaps it was all of the complications during my pregnancy and the stress that set me up for it. I never got over the baby blues. The baby blues turned into a difficult time of emotional turmoil. Thankfully with support from family and friends and seeing a doctor and someone to talk to I was able to move through this challenging time.

When we got pregnant for a second time with our son I was immediately worried about having PPD again and like our first pregnancy this one too was full of extra doctor visits and stress (I’ve learned that pregnancy is not easy and definitely not what it looks like in the movies!). At the end of my second pregnancy the baby and I needed to be monitored closely. Again we ended up with an early c-section but thankfully a healthy baby boy. This time we caught the PPD earlier because we knew what to look for but still the emotional challenges were overwhelming.

Going after a Boston Qualifier

Going after a Boston Qualifier

Out of everything that I did to recover from Post Partum Depression running again was what truly saved me and gave me back my spirit. In 2012 I set my sights on getting that elusive Boston qualifier again this time with the time standards being dropped by 5 minutes. A Boston Marathon qualifying time seemed like an impossible dream but I knew that I had to go for it. I had to push myself further than I had before both physically and mentally. My body was not the same, I was older and bore a scar from three surgeries. My scar for me is a reminder of my strength and of everything that I had gone through. It reminded me that I could push my way through anything. I trained like a madwoman. I slogged through cold winter miles. I ran hill sprints. I ran fast and hard. I wanted my dream. The first try to qualify at the Vermont City Marathon I ran like a woman on fire and did not keep my goal in sight. I was desperate to qualify and so ran too fast, missing my chance at qualifying by five minutes.

I qualified for the Boston Marathon

I qualified for the Boston Marathon

I couldn’t let my goal slip away that easily, I had worked too hard. I had one last chance at a qualifying time and I knew I could do it and I needed it. I went to my last chance marathon (Marathon Around the Lake) alone. It was to be me against the race course and me against myself. The only person to cheer me on and to tell me that I could do it was me. The race an unusual course lapping around a lake just more than 8 times and at night was not your typical marathon. It was perfect however. The night started out hot but then cooled down just enough. Running by the lake brought me calm and I was able to settle down into a rhythmic 8:09 pace. I can still remember how relaxed I felt as I ran and how strong. I listened to my body and I believed in myself which is something that I had struggled with so much during my Post Partum Depression.

Instead of filling myself with worry and self-doubt I just let myself run.

And I qualified. 3:33. A huge PR and a qualifying time.

At the Boston Marathon in 2013 I was at my peak. I was strong. I was fast and was ready to run. I ran a perfect race. Even splits with negative splits at the end. A 3:34 finish. I was Fearless!

Then it felt like everything had been taken away. My strength, my confidence. my safety. I felt afraid.

Today is a day that we must remember and find a way to be strong and to be fearless. We must not let those things that scare us stop us in our tracks. We must not let ourselves be defeated by things that are out of our control.

Organic Runner Mom and Kathrine Switzer the Original Marathon Woman

Organic Runner Mom and Kathrine Switzer the Original Marathon Woman

The Boston Marathon has as special meaning for women everywhere for it was first solely only a race to be run by men. In 1967, Kathrine Switzer became the first official women’s finisher at the  Boston Marathon. She ran even though women were not allowed. She defied the rules and showed the world that women could run the marathon too. She proudly displayed her race number 261 and she was fearless. When the marathon events occurred on April 15, 2013 many questioned would the marathon run again. Would the race be forever changed. Last year all of Boston and the world rose together to run the marathon again to be fearless, to not allow the terrifying events stand in the way of our freedom.

Kathrine Switzer 261 Fearless

Kathrine Switzer 261 Fearless

Today is an important day to remember the lessons of Kathrine Switzer and to be Fearless. This weekend I will be running the 261 Virtual Race with Skirts Sports to celebrate this being fearless. I find it fitting that I will be running these miles during the Boston Marathon Events. While I will not be at the marathon this year my heart will always be on that race course in spirit and I will always carry my journey to Boston and beyond with me. There is still time to join in  . . .  enter my code SSORM20 at checkout for 20% off if you decided to register.

Skirt Sports 261 Fearless Virtual Race

Skirt Sports 261 Fearless Virtual Race

Thank you for joining me in learning more about my journey of personal discovery and how I am working to be Fearless every day.

How have you become fearless in your life? What has taught you to be more fearless?

Organic Runner Mom

Click Here to Check Out the Injury Prevention for Runners Program | Organic Runner Mom

****To find out more about the Injury Prevention for Runner Program Click here to visit Strength Running.****

More ways to connect with Organic Runner Mom

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

5 responses

Fresh Five. 5 Running Moments that shaped who I am.

5 Running Moments. What running moments have shaped you? Join me in sharing yours. | Organic Runner Mom

Happy Friday friends! I was visiting my friend Angela’s blog Happy Fit Mama and read all about her top five running moments.  Feeling inspired and a bit nostalgic she had me thinking about some of my best running moments. It’s definitely hard to pin down my favorite 5 as I pretty much love all running that I do no matter how hard or easy and no matter whether I am alone or with friends.

1. VT 100 on 100 Relay Run with my best girls!

My true love for running began with these two!

My true love for running began with these two!

This picture encapsulates where it all began. My true love for running began with these two strong women, Joanna and Bridget who showed me the love of trails and how to push far to reach my goals. One summer on a whim (before my days of running in Skirt Sports) we decided to sign up for the Vermont 100 on 100 Relay as an Ultra Team which meant we would be splitting our share of 100 miles 4 ways (we also had amazing runner Jessie, joining us). This was the craziest run we had ever done and we have never laughed more. The race was incredibly challenging but together we conquered it and discovered our true super human strength. I learned that I can go farther and achieve what I want with true perseverance Lately due to life being busy with kids, jobs, house building, and my back injury the three of us have not been able to get together to run. We need to get back to that place to the place where we find laughter and the strength of friendship on the trails!

2. The Boston Marathon 2013

Boston Marathon 2013

Boston Marathon 2013

This race has shaped my life now more than I ever would have known as I stood on this finish line the day before the race. The race was one of my all time highs with the aftermath being one of the lowest moments. While I do not bear any physical scars from that day I carry emotional scars that continue to heal. That day truly showed me how fragile life can be and rocked me to my core. In those moments I learned to love more deeply and never a waste a moment to tell someone how much I truly care. I came to understand true pain, grief and loss. What happened will always be with me. I will never understand it but all I can do is to continue to move forward.

3. I won a marathon.

Even though it was a small race it's pretty cool to be able to say that I won a marathon and I hold the women's course record since it was the first year. I might just have to go back next year to defend my title!

Even though it was a small race it’s pretty cool to be able to say that I won a marathon and I hold the women’s course record since it was the first year. I might just have to go back next year to defend my title!

I never in my life thought that I would be able to say that I won a marathon but now I can. Last fall I was the Women’s winner at the tiny Kingdom Marathon. It was definitely not my strongest run but it was my proudest. I ran my best. It was a hard 26.2 miles of slogging along on some of Vermont’s hilliest dirt roads. I spent the last 7-8 miles of the race running in complete solitude. When the running got hard there was no one there to push me along or cheer me on except for myself. Crossing that finish line was a great moment and the maple syrup and beef jerky prizes weren’t too bad either!

4. Running the Soda Creek Trail in Bend Oregon

Embrace the solitude of trail running.

Embrace the solitude of trail running.

If you know me I am a creature of habit. I like to do things that are familiar and comfortable.  In the past couple of years I have been working on pushing these boundaries within myself.  2 summers ago we traveled to Bend, Oregon (my idea of heaven) for a trail running and mountain biking adventure. Organic Runner Dad suffered an unfortunate fall from his mountain bike leaving him with a broken hand which meant that some of his adventures were limited and I was to be on my own for some trail adventures. At first this scared me. I often don’t go for long runs by myself in unfamiliar territory but on this blue sky day adventure presented itself and I had to go for it. The Soda Creek Trail was recommended to me at the local Bend running shop as one of Bend’s best. So I suited up in my Skirt Sports of course and headed for the trail.  At first I wished I had someone with me but as the trail continued on I felt more at ease and could not get over the beauty of my surroundings. Heavenly single track led over water crossings, past wildflower filled fields and to the base of the Three Sisters. I was in heaven and it was wonderful. Pushing through my own fear and getting out there has given me a push to challenge my comfort zones more often.

Soda Creek Trail, Bend, Oregon

Soda Creek Trail, Bend, Oregon

Three Sisters, Bend Oregon

Three Sisters, Bend Oregon

5. Boston Marathon 2014. I can and I will.

#PROOF Boston Marathon 2014

#PROOF Boston Marathon 2014

It was a long road to get back to the starting line of the Boston Marathon last year but I did it. I faced it. I ran it. And I am strong. I am happy that I was able to be there and to run again last year.  I did not let fear get the best of me.  This was an important moment for me.

When you think about running and the runs that you have taken in your life which ones have defined you or have helped to shape who you are. Life carries lessons for us that you can see if you slow down and take a look.

Organic Runner Mom

Click Here to Check Out the Injury Prevention for Runners Program | Organic Runner Mom

****To find out more about the Injury Prevention for Runner Program Click here to visit Strength Running.****

More ways to connect with Organic Runner Mom

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

24 responses

Boston Marathon Emotional Healing

4 weeks to go until the Boston Marathon.

Click here to read more about my lasting memories from the Boston Marathon. And please pass this along as a way to remember and be #bostonstrong togther. #chooselove

Boston Marathon #ChooseLOVE #BOSTONSTRONG

I am not running this year and although I am sad to have not qualified again at the race last year I am grateful for the two experiences that I had running it in 2013 and 2014. These past two years since April 15th, 2013 have been filled with turmoil and tremendous personal growth. I been forced to contemplate my true-self and my priorities on a much deeper level than before.

In the wake of the Boston Marathon tragedy that happened on that bright blue sky Monday I was confronted with shattered illusions of safety and peace. We walk in a world where we are surrounded by constant dangers that we are somehow able to cope with and work around. When the bomb blasts shook Boylston Street I along with so many others was left feeling terrified and weak. I felt as though my personal sense of safety had been stolen from me and I was left with a huge sense of grief, fear and worry.

2 years ago I was in my final weeks of Boston Marathon training ready to taper and focus my energy on running a strong race.

Organic Runner Mom at the Start of the 2013 Boston Marathon.

Organic Runner Mom at the Start of the 2013 Boston Marathon.

2 years ago I was physically strong but had not been awakened to some of the realities of life. And then race day came.  I have been rebuilding my spirit since the bombs went off that day. I had to confront my emotions head on and to make peace with the unexpected and things that are out of my control. After the marathon I grappled with deep insecurity and struggled with the need to control everything. I lived in a constant state of worry that something bad was about to happen at all times. I wanted to protect my family. I wanted to shelter myself. I felt the need to close off some of my emotions to protect myself and others from hurt and tragedy

1 year ago I stepped on the starting line of the Boston Marathon.

Last year after a year of therapy battling PTSD. I confronted my fear and stepped on the starting line of the Boston Marathon. I ran the race with great trepidation. I was ready to run but couldn’t allow myself to race. I cried during the race. I ran fast because I just wanted to be done. I stopped and wanted to quit because I was afraid and the feelings of grief for Martin Richard and everyone else who was hurt. It was almost too much too handle. I ran and felt heavy. Sick with emotions. I ran and I finished, Reaching the finish line only to collapse from dehydration but more perhaps from pure emotion.

I am not running the Boston Marathon this year.

I did not re-qualify to run again. With a time of 3:45 I missed the qualifying time for my age group. And I was ok. For me, it was most important to run again. I needed to free myself of some of the fears and let the emotions flow. I am still in a process of healing. I am still easily startled and sometimes have to shake the feelings of overwhelming worry that something bad is about to happen. It is important to verbalize it when something feels overwhelming and maybe even a bit scary. Sometimes the emotions from that day are triggered and I am not sure why but I just have to ride it out. Emotional healing will continue for a long time and part of the process is sharing about it.

Boston Marathon 2015

A post remembering the Boston Marathon 2013 and life moving forward #bostonstrong | Organic Runner Mom

Organic Runner Mom at the Start of the 2013 Boston Marathon.

Even though I will not be running this year if you are running the Boston Marathon this year I will be cheering loudly for you. Your spirit and participation will help to bring back strength to all those who need it. We will all continue to be Boston Strong together and to Lift each other up!

Every year that passes since Boston 2013 is a good reminder that it is time to get out and live. To live out loud and to live a life full of love laughter and adventure.

“The highest and most beautiful things in life are not to be heard about, nor read about, nor seen but, if one will, are to be lived.”

–Soren Kierkegaard

Organic Runner Mom

More ways to connect with Organic Runner Mom

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

21 responses

Treadmill Review. I have a Vision Fitness Premier, what about you?

Vision Fitness Premier T9600 Treadmill Review

Vision Fitness Treadmill Review | Organic Runner Mom

Vision Fitness Treadmill Review

Whether you love or hate running on a treadmill this is when they sometimes become a necessity. Michele from NYCRunningMama asked me to join her in sharing a treadmill review. If you are currently in the market for a treadmill you can find more excellent reviews HERE on Pinterest.

Since I live in New Hampshire, my treadmill and I have become best friends. I have trained for many marathons including two Boston Marathons (2013 and 2014). Training for Boston in the middle of the Polar Vortex last year meant that I got to do plenty of running on my treadmill or “dreadmill” as some people like to call it. I’ve run everything from an easy 3 mile run to a 20 mile+ run when the temperatures have dipped too low to step outside. I have to admit that I am not averse to running on a treadmill because it means I can pop on it for a run even if I can’t escape my house (moms of little kids you totally know what I mean!). My treadmill is also situated on our porch which has big windows looking out at our fields so even if you can’t get out for a run their is an illusion of being outside. The only drawback is that the porch is not heated so in the dead of winter I still have to layer up like I am going outside (at least the porch acts like a windbreak, hahaha!)

Vision Fitness Premier T9600 Treadmill–The Specs

Click here to read more about what to look for when purchasing a treadmill. | Organic Runner Mom

Treadmill Review

  • Purchased: 2009
  • Cost: Around $2500 (I think?)–This was a priceless investment for my mental health as I suffered post partum depression after both pregnancies. Exercise was important to overcoming PPD.
  • Min/Max Pace: .5 mph – 12.0 mph
  • Min/Max Incline: 0 to 15% incline
  • Dimensions: 60 inch deck
  • Preset workouts: 6 classic programs, 4 heart-rate programs, 3 goal programs, 5 custom programs, 5K, 10K, 15K
  • Heart Rate Monitor:  Hand Pulse sensors are located on handles under the console and their is a wireless Polar heart rate strap.
  • Miscellaneous: Console has video display which has 4 different run scenes, a track, heart rate display or profile display. You can also access your daily-monthly stats. AV connectors on the back of the console allow you to attach a device so that you can view movies while you run. This treadmill has two cup holders. The side rails are non-slip.
  • Warranty: Limited Home use warranty. Frame and motor have lifetime warranties. Electronics and parts have a five year warranty.

PROS

  • This treadmill has 6 user login profiles so multiple users can use it and store their data.
  • The Vision Fitness Premier T9600 Treadmill has an orthopedic cushioned belt which makes it easier on your joints.
  • This treadmill has not required much maintenance other than deck waxing, belt tightening and deck cleaning.
  • I like the quick start function and also the pause feature in case you need to jump off for a minute to stretch and need to stop the belt.
  • I have logged many many miles on my treadmill and she just keeps going. This treadmill is high quality and very durable.

CONS

  • This treadmill does not like the extreme cold (but then again who does).  When it is too cold the screen goes on the fritz and the motor gets loud (I guess this is a cue to go back inside).
  • I have had some trouble with the treadmill memory holding data from workouts.
  • The cost is high but the treadmill has been very reliable!

If you are on the hunt for a new running partner treadmill I would definitely consider check out Vision Fitness treadmills. I was just perusing their website and they now have treadmills with touch screens and they also have viaFIT which is wireless connectivity for your treadmill. viaFIT interfaces with your computer to better help you to track your fitness goals and progress.

A treadmill should be fun? Right? | Organic Runner Mom

A treadmill should be fun? Right?

What kind of treadmill do you currently train on? Do you have a favorite treadmill workout that you’d like to share?

Organic Runner Mom

Be sure to check out my latest post on the ARMPOCKET Blog–Training Tips for New Runners. #ACTIONACHIEVES.

Organic Runner Mom's Training Tips for New Runners

Organic Runner Mom’s Training Tips for New Runners

More ways to connect with Organic Runner Mom

 

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

19 responses

Why Starting with ‘Why’ Means More Success Before Embarking on a Triathlon Training Plan

Starting with ‘Why.’ Goal setting for your Triathlon Training Plan

WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE QUITTING THINK ABOUT WHY

WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE QUITTING THINK ABOUT WHY

Today I am very excited to be presenting a guest post for you by an inspirational triathlete and female company owner, Melanie Mitchell from Poppy Sports. I hope you enjoy her post about choosing your why!

Melanie Mitchell Founder of Poppy Sports and Triathlete

Melanie Mitchell Founder of Poppy Sports and Triathlete

Bio–Melanie Mitchell is the founder of PoppySports.com and PoppySportsTraining.com as well as mother, Sherpa, triathlete and juggler of time. She actively supports women entrepreneurs and aims to empower more girls into the sport of triathlon while rocking her own ‘why’ in her chosen race distance of Ironman 70.3.

What’s Your Why?

Have you ever listened to the TED talk Simon Sinek’s ‘Start with Why’? (To Sinek’s talk click HERE  ). He explains how great leaders inspire action. It has become synonymous with great talks on motivation, drive and inspiration.

Sinek showcases what it means to motivate people, not by force or obligation, but by making sure you know your ‘why’ or your reason for doing something. That, he says, is the success factor of major thought leaders like Apple and Martin Luther King Junior

The Concept of ‘Why’

This concept can be applied in many aspects of life and business.   Starting with the ‘what is your why’ question has been one of the fundamental starting points of our half Ironman training plan at Poppy Sports (click here to see a Poppy Sports Half Ironman training plan).

We mentor women athletes through a stretch goal. It might be a new distance, a new race goal and we (and I count myself in here!) have all benefitted from going through the process of gaining clarity and understanding why they have set a specific triathlon goal – the real why.

Newbies and seasoned athletes alike, the answers we see never cease to amaze.

How to Find Your Why

Know your 'WHY'

Know your ‘WHY’

Through carefully crafted questions in a self-assessment workbook, we ask each athlete to take the time to commit.   We ask each person to consider what is their true motivation in life, career and sport and the answers are always revealing.

What might start out as a simple, ‘Well, I want to get fit again’, or, ‘I was tired of just running,’ can turn into, ‘I was overwhelmed by the early years of motherhood and I want to find out who I am again.’ And ‘I want to prove to someone that I can do this when they told me I couldn’t.’

We all know that triathlon training and racing is an endurance event and not a sprint (despite a race distance called just that). Keeping focused on a 16 week triathlon-training plan requires time management, internal motivation and commitment.

If you understand the real reason for your journey to the start line, the chances of reaching race day increase exponentially.

Your ‘Why’ Statement

After these carefully crafted questions, we finally ask each athlete to complete their ‘why’ statement

The reason I want ___________________ an Ironman 70.3 is ______________________so I can _________________and _______________________________

Getting Fancy

Then we start to get really fancy.

From there we create vision boards supporting the statement that are framed and mounted somewhere to be seen every day!

The response in our own lives and those we mentor has been remarkable! A simple process and a reminder on the wall, is an amazing motivator, reminder, and inspiration.

Here’s an example of my vision board – conjured up on a great free resource called Canva. It’s personal to me and every time doubts start, I take the time to sit down and contemplate the board.

My Journey To Success. Melanie from Poppy Sports

My Journey To Success. Melanie from Poppy Sports

So we challenge you dear reader, to start with your own ‘why’. It doesn’t matter if you are a newbie into triathlon or a seasoned veteran, anyone can benefit from a little introspection before embarking on a journey, whether sport or otherwise.

We’d love to know them all! Share with us below what is your triathlon/running/cycling/ ‘why’.

Poppy Sports. Endurance Athletes Together.

Poppy Sports. Endurance Athletes Together.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed today’s post from Melanie at Poppy Sports.

Organic Runner Mom

More ways to connect with Organic Runner Mom
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

19 responses

Find Your Happy Pace. A Rundown of Different Running Workouts.

Why is it important to diversify your running workouts?

Want to Discover Different Types of Running Workouts to improve your Speed and Endurance? Click through to find out more! | Organic Runner Mom

Discover Different Types of Running Workouts. Improve Speed and Endurance.

People often ask me what helped me to get fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon? How did I get to my “Happy Pace?” While there are several factors that helped me,  I would definitely say that one of the most important was adding speedwork into my training. Before I started working with my coach Denise Goode  my running consisted of short runs and long runs mostly at a similar pace. I always felt like I could run forever but when I went to races I never got any faster. Once I started diversifying my pace and workout type during training I began to shave significant amounts of time off my race times at different distances. I began to set P.R.’s and eventually I was able to run my fastest marathon to date a 3:33 and to qualify for the Boston Marathon!

So if you are looking to improve your running performance for the coming season, variety in type of running workout is the key.

Different types of training runs to get you to your “Happy Pace”

Base Run

The base run is meant to be run at your natural pace and the distance should be short to medium. Base runs are essential for building your aerobic capacity. A base run will do exactly what it says, “develop a strong base” or endurance.

Tempo Run

A tempo run will help your body learn how to maintain high levels of speed for longer periods of time. When you do a temp run you are training  at your lactate threshold.  At this rate of speed your body is working hard to remove the lactic acid from your body.  Tempo runs simulate running at race pace although for a shorter distance than the actual race. When you do a tempo run this is the time that you will learn how to “leave your comfort zone.” An example of a tempo run would be a 15-20 minute warm-up (including dynamic stretching), 4 miles at your 10K pace and then a 15-20 minute cool down.

*This is my favorite type of training run!

Long Run 

Oh, the long run. The longer the race the longer the long run so it is highly suggested that you find a good running buddy or group to join you on the run, some music to keep you motivated, or use the long run for some extended meditation and quiet thinking time.  Think of the long run as an extra long base run. Training on the long run will ensure that your body has the endurance to sustain on race day all the way to the finish line.

Hill Repeats

A necessary evil. Hill repeats will build muscle. This is a way to strength train while you are running.  Your speed will also improve after doing hill training. You need to have a strong base before you begin hill training.  A warm-up is always necessary before you do hill repeats to get your muscles nice and warm.  Pick your most dreaded favorite hill and set your watch for work time and rest time.  Hill repeats are done at a fast pace on the uphill, think 5K (youe lungs will be burning and your heart will be racing!).  Decide on the number of repetitions. You will repeat running uphill and slowly jogging or walking downhill for recovery.  An example would be 45 seconds uphill with 2 minutes downhill for recovery and then repeat. You will be extremely fatigued following this workout and may want to plan a recovery run or day to rest or cross train for the following day. Being that this is a tough workout physically it is always great to bring a running friend along for the torture fun!

*When I was training for the Boston Marathon I also completed downhill repeats to acclimate my body to hard effort on a downhill course.

Fartleks (Speed Play in Swedish)

Fartleks are fun because this workout can be lacking structure. Essentially the idea is to add in quick burst of running at random intervals through a run to get your body ready for quick speed pick-ups.  Add in things such as a sprint to the next mailbox or to to the next driveway followed by an easy pace. Then build your pace back up again and follow it with another burst.

*In college we used to do a fun Fartlek Alphabet run around campus. We would run around campus looking for each letter of the alphabet and then would add in a sprint to tag the letter and then we would repeat all the way from A-Z

Interval Workouts

Intervals are the Type A cousin of the Fartlek. Think of intervals as an organized fartlek. Intervals involve quick short bursts followed by recovery in regular intervals. During intervals you want to focus on obtaining the same speed for each fast burst of speed. By doing intervals you will become more efficient and your body will learn to recover better.

*I am not a certified running coach but am a marathoner, triathlete, and rower who has worked with many different coaches with different styles throughout the year and also spent two years coaching collegiate freshman rowing.

Which type of running workouts are your favorite and why? Which ones do you just hate but grit your way through anyways? Share your training stories with me!

Organic Runner Mom

More ways to connect with Organic Runner Mom
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

15 responses

An unexpected recap of the 2014 Boston Marathon.

Describe your running year in one word. 

This post was inspired by Amanda from Run to the Finish who asks, “If you could describe your year of running in one word what would that be?”

Her question sparked an unexpected recap of my 2014 Boston Marathon, a recap which I have struggled to write.

In one word, my year of running was EMOTIONAL.

Here is a snapshot from part of my year. The Boston Marathon 2014 #BostonStrong

Organic Runner Mom. Boston Strong. #BostonStrong

Boston Strong. #BostonStrong

2014 was a year of putting myself back together both physically and mentally.  2014 began and Boston Marathon training was in full swing.  Training for Boston in 2014 was important. I had run in 2013 finishing the race a mere 10 minutes before tragedy would occur at the finish line.  My training for the Boston Marathon 2014 was full of highs and lows. I continued with weekly therapy sessions to work through PTSD that had plagued me since the 2013 race.  I wanted to be at the starting line in 2014 in order to heal, to run and to be able to finish. I needed to be there. The emotional journey has been hard and sadness about what occurred on the bluebird sky day in Boston still sneaks up on me sometimes when I least expect it.

Along with emotional healing at the start of 2014 I knew I would have to work hard to get my body physically strong for the Boston Marathon.  The miles during this training cycle never came easy as they had the year before. I still had nagging tendonitis in my foot and the polar vortex had a strong grip on New England ensuring that every long run would put ice on your breath and cold in your bones. Thankfully I got in my miles with strong running friends as my partners who were somehow convinced to join me in my journey of healing to the Boston Marathon starting line.

Make the best of the freezing miles. Bundle up and get it done!

Make the best of the freezing miles. Bundle up and get it done!

I felt nervous leading up to marathon weekend. I wasn’t sure how the emotions would fill me or if I would even want to be there on race day. Organic Runner Dad and I arrived in Boston for marathon weekend and even though I felt overwhelmed I also felt lifted up by the energy of all of the people in the city wearing blue and gold.  We arrived at race number pick-up where I was glad to pick-up my bib to begin my trip to the finish line. I needed to be with all of these other runners many of whom shared the same fears as I did.

Run Together. Boston Marathon 2014. Organic Runner Mom

Run Together. Boston Marathon 2014.

There were many overwhelming emotional moments during the weekend that stuck out in particular.  During packet pick-up I spoke with a man at the ticket desk in a quiet corner.  He asked, “had I run last year?” I told him I had and told him my story and about how I needed to be at the race to find healing. He too shared his story how he and his wife had been late to the finish line where they usually watched runners crossing when they heard the news on the radio.  They would have been there. Instead he lost a friend, Krystle. She had been standing there when everything happened. Tears welled in his eyes. I was silent but knew to offer a hug. The pain and emotion and the tears filled us both as we hugged for a moment. He told me he knew that he had to be at the race in 2014. He needed to. I understood but can’t even come close to understanding his level of grief.

Run Together. Boston Strong.

Run Together. Boston Strong.

On the morning of the marathon I felt on edge. I wanted to be at the starting line and to just get going.  When I arrived at the bus to the starting line I ended up in line with a woman named May. She had run the Boston Marathon every year for an amazing streak including 2013. In 2013 she had finished even closer to tragedy. She had just passed through the finish line when the bombs went off. Initially confused by the commotion and then upon realizing the danger was real she new she needed to get out of there. She told me she was able to get away from the finish area and then out of Boston as quickly as she could back to the safety of her home. She told me about the fear of returning to the city and how she hadn’t been back in the city since April 15, 2013.  She too was on a quest for healing. To run the race, to run strong and to finish.  We spent the entire morning leading up to the race together in the starting area and even in the starting corral. Her strength and resolve along with that of everyone at the start and lining the streets brought me new energy and strength to be there and be running. There was such comfort in being with someone who understood my experience.

I am lucky. Boston Marathon starting line 2014. Organic Runner Mom.

I am lucky. Boston Marathon starting line 2014.

And finally. The race. We stood at the starting line. Nervous. Muscles twitching and ready to go. Words for the tragedy. The National Anthem. A flood of tears as we crossed the starting line.  I felt strong and ready to run. Fooled by the ease of the downhill at the start of the race. Running the first mile past the tower of shoes for Meg (Meg another runner lost to tragedy during the year, another person to run strong for, #MegsMiles). I felt strong emotionally until about 9 miles in, I was running too fast and then I saw runners for Team Martin Richard. A wave of emotions crashed over me. I had to catch my breath. I slowed my pace. Trying to find something that was comfortable and trying to settle my emotions. I could not stop thinking about 2013. Now I ran with a small edge of fear and sadness. I ran on. I ran to finish. Knowing I had gone out far too fast I tried to focus on running and the experience. I worked to embrace every emotion that hit me. I ran and ran and ran.

Boston Strong. Organic Runner Mom #BostonStrong

Boston Strong

Exhausted by the unexpected heat, the tireless steps on the relentless pavement and exhausted emotionally I pressed on passing through the “Scream Tunnel” and tackling “Heartbreak Hill.” With each step I knew I was one step closer to conquering my fear of running down Boylston Street. Before we turned onto Boylston I came upon two men running on prosthetic legs, soldiers, injured in war.  If they could run this 26.2 then I could too. I ran for them. I ran for Martin Richard and his family I ran for Lingzi Lu and Krystle Campbell. I ran for Jeff Bauman. I ran for 264 people injured that horrible day and for everyone who was touched by the tragedy. As I crossed into the final mile. my head was spinning. I could see the finish line but needed to run down the metal chute of fences keeping the crowd safely from the runners. The previous year the fences were ripped away into a metal pile as spectators became heroes racing to save lives.  I pressed on. I pushed my pace. My breath quickening with each step. Until I crossed the line. A medal placed around my neck and immediately a sudden silence as the announcer marked the time of the tragedy that took hold of the heart and soul of Boston in 2013

Finisher of the 2014 Boston Marathon. Organic Runner Mom

Finisher of the 2014 Boston Marathon

I will save you the tale of the aftermath of my race as it was not pretty. But what happened on Marathon Monday 2014 brought me much needed healing.  I will always carry these experiences with me. I often reflect back on what I was a part of. I know I am lucky. I was close. But I was far enough to be able to walk away. Far enough to be able to live every day to be my best and to be with those who love me. I am stronger every day.

So yes, in one word, this year was emotional.  It has taken me a long time to write this. I guess I am finally ready to share my story. I hope that you will share my story with others.  What is your word? Tell me your story.

Organic Runner Mom

More ways to connect with Organic Runner Mom

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

7 responses

Discover the Benefits of Being a Solo Runner.

Being a solo runner.

Discover the Benefits of Being a Solo Runner

Discover the Benefits of Being a Solo Runner

I was born a people person. I get energy from interacting with people. I thrive off the energy of being with a group or a team. My personality type according to the Myers-Briggs personality test is ESFJ which in a nutshell means, “ESFJs are people persons – they love people. They are warmly interested in others. (SOURCE)” So why is then that I have ended up as a runner and often a long-distance runner where running is mostly a solo sport. Now I often find myself out on long solo runs with no one to interact with except for myself and the world that surrounds me as a log the miles on asphalt and dirt.

Over time I have learned to love being a solo runner and I even crave those long quiet solo runs that bring peace and quiet and a time for deep introspection or a time to let it all go.

What are the benefits of being a solo runner?

  • You can focus on your form without the distraction.
  • You can focus on your breathing by listening to the rhythm of your breath in time with the cadence of your foot-strike.
  • Being a solo runner requires you to learn discipline. You have only yourself to be accountable too. If you are training to be at a certain pace you won’t be tempted to run someone else’s pace.
  • You will learn to work through challenges by yourself which you will need on race day. Your training runs are your practice for race day so you need to be able to work through the physical and mental challenges that will happen when the big day comes.
  • You can pick how far, how fast, and where you want to go. The decision is all yours and not dictated by a group.
  • Sometimes you just need peace and quiet and a solo run is the perfect place to do it. Use your solo run as a time to organize your thoughts.
  • When you are a solo runner you can find the rhythm and the pace of the run and just run driven by the sound of your breathing, your feet hitting the ground, and the beating of your heart.

Don’t get me wrong I still love my group runs but running alone has made me a stronger runner and I have found a deep love for being by myself on the run. Sometimes being a solo runner is everything that your soul needs.

What do you love the most about running alone. What benefits have you found of being a solo runner?

Organic Runner Mom

More ways to connect with Organic Runner Mom

  • Twitter–> @organicrunmom
  • Instagram–> @organicrunnermom
  • Facebook–> Organic Runner Mom
  • Pinterest–> Organic Runner Mom
  • Bloglovin’–> Organic Runner Mom
  • Email–> sandra@organicrunnermom.com
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

21 responses

Heart Rate training and the Maffetone Method

The Maffetone Method and NH runner Larisa Dannis

What is the Maffetone Method for Runners

What is the Maffetone Method for Runners

If you are a running junkie like me then I am sure you heard about New Hampshire Native Larisa Dannis‘ incredible finish at the USATF 50 Mile Championship. She was the women’s winner with the fastest women’s finish time in 20 years. Her pace for 50 miles, 7:11 min/mile. What?!? Yikes! That is crazy fast! To give you an idea of how this compares to what I run, when I ran Boston in 2013 I ran 26.2 miles at and average 8:09 min/mile pace. I cannot even begin to imaging running almost 1 min/mile faster for 50 MILES! Larisa was also the fastest non elite Boston Marathon Runner at the 2014 race with a finish time of 2:44. The crazy thing about her amazing finish times is that she was able to complete her races maintaining an aerobic heartrate the entire time!

Since Larisa is from New Hampshire I have been hearing a buzz about her on the running circuit and how she has gone from recreational runner (and hiker, being a “peak bagger” going after the 4,00 footers and “the Grid”) to a USATF champion in 4 short years. I am intrigued to learn more about her approach to training which is called the Maffetone Method, a heart rate training method developed by Phil Maffetone author of “The Big Book of Endurance Racing and Training.” When I was a rower in college our coach, Mark Davis trained us using heart rate training methods. Every day for practice we would strap on our Polar Heart Rate Monitors to ensure that we stayed in the correct training zones. I wish that I had paid more attention to the philosophy and scientific reasoning behind this. Now my curiosity has been piqued and I am ready to learn more about the Maffetone Method.

What is the Maffetone Method–Larisa Dannis, “I became increasingly efficient aerobically” (UltraRunnerPodcast).

How does the Maffetone Method work?  The Maffetone Method, developed by Phil Maffetone works with his mathematical formaula, the 180 Formula. The 180 Formula is, “180 minus a person’s chronological age, which is then adjusted to reflect their physiological age as indicated by fitness and health factors” (SOURCE).  This method of training is not new by any means but according to Runner’s World is a more unconventional method of training these days.

The Maffetone Method 180 Forumla (Source  httpphilmaffetone.com180-formula)

The Maffetone Method 180 Formula (Source httpphilmaffetone.com180-formula)

According to the Maffetone 180 Formula using my age and the fact that I struggle with ongoing allergies (seasonal, environmental) I would calculate 180-38-5=137 beats per minute. 137 beats per minute should be my maximum heart rate for training at an optimum aerobic level to increase my aerobic base within 10 bpm so my range would be from 127 bm-137 bpm.

According to Larisa Dannis’ interview on the Ultra Runner Podcast as she continued to train at her optimum heart rate zone she found that she while her heart rate remained consistent her paces began to quicken the longer she trained following this method.  Because Dannis relies on her heart rate to tell her how she is doing she does not focus as much on split times therefore not becoming a slave to the watch! I like the idea of this. Sometimes when you become too focused on pace per mile it can create a lot of stress during a race.  Dannis also shares that after two years of strictly training using the Maffetone Method she has added in more speedwork-hill repeats, fartleks, to address the body’s need of being able to work in an anaerobic zone as well.I am still learning about the Maffetone Method and am excited to follow Larisa Dannis’ running journey as she continues to race and tries to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials.

I am curious to talk to my coach Denise Goode of The Sustainable Athlete to see how this might fit into my own training plan. In 2012 when I first qualified for the Boston Marathon I was definitely in an upswing with my racing seeing many PR’s including my Boston qualifier. 2013 after Boston I had to work to regain my running shape after my bout of tendonitis and this year I finally feel like I have regained some speed.  Now that the majority of my racing is done for the year I am excited to refocus and set new goals for next year.  I am hoping to pick up some speed again come next spring and summer and know that I have some work ahead during the winter months.

Have you ever heard of the Maffetone Method? Do you use a specific training method? I’d love to hear all about it!

Organic Runner Mom

More ways to connect with Organic Runner Mom

  • Twitter–> @organicrunmom
  • Instagram–> @organicrunnermom
  • Facebook–> Organic Runner Mom
  • Pinterest–> Organic Runner Mom
  • Bloglovin’–> Organic Runner Mom
  • Email–> sandra@organicrunnermom.com
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

16 responses