Thursday, May 31, 2012

Advice from Hal

What a day! I'm actually surprised it's only 8:15 right now; it feels much later. The last days of school tend to feel even more hectic than usual because we teachers are dealing with finals, grades, cleaning up the classroom, checking out students, and wrapping things up for the school year. Perhaps that explains my desire to kick my feet up at the end of the day, rather than my usual bolt to the bedroom to change into my workout clothes.

After work I had a few errands to run at Target and Whole Foods, and I finally made it home around 5:15. Terry didn't get in until almost 6, so our run started later than we would have liked. We set out for a three-mile loop around our neighborhood as part of our half marathon plan.

Today I read a little more about Hal Higdon's training philosophy [note: Terry and I are actually following the Novice 1 training program, but the Novice 2 has some excellent points!], and I learned several fun facts that I want to incorporate into our training:

  • You should run at a conversational pace. If you struggle to keep up a conversation, you're working too hard and need to slow down.
  • In some cases, it's a good idea to run the first three-quarters of your run at an easy pace and then pick it up for the last quarter. On the other hand, if you notice your last quarter is slower than the rest of your run, you should slow down the beginning. 
  • Cross training can be extremely beneficial to runners, because it helps build muscles that support your running muscles. You can hike, walk, swim, bike, do yoga, or snowshoe. 
  • It's okay to take a walking break. 
  • You don't necessarily need to run every training run at your "race pace" in order to achieve your goal time. In fact, running this fast all the time could lead to injuries.
  • Rest days are crucial! (Not news, but a great reminder.)
I'm trying to focus a lot more of my attention and energy on the "other stuff" that comes with training for a race: stretching, strength training, resting sufficiently, and cross training. Oh, and foam rolling. Yes, let the pain begin continue. (My foam roller and I have a love-hate relationship. But you should see the way it treats me!)

After a shower, I threw together a quick dinner of chicken tacos, including tomatoes, avocado, red onion, shredded chicken with Terry's signature spice mix, cheddar cheese, corn tortillas, and sour cream. Since I had already cooked up the chicken earlier in the week (crock pot: chicken breasts + broth just covering the chicken --> cook on low for 6-8 hours), I just heated it up in a saucepan with a splash of broth and about a teaspoon of the spice mix. 

Easy and super fast! We also ate some leftover edamame and snap pea salad from my Lemonade excursion yesterday. Oh, and then I got a special treat from the nice people over at Chobani...

After meeting some of Chobani's awesome representatives at BLEND retreat earlier this month, they kindly offered to send me some of their delicious yogurt. I'm already excited to have it for breakfast tomorrow!

Since the night is young, I think we'll be making our annual donation to UCLA (fellow Bruins, have you donated recently?)  and then snuggling up to watch So You Think You Can Dance, my very favorite reality show. I used to dance in high school and college, and it's fun to relive the memories. Though I must say I'm not a huge fan of the bad auditions in the beginning weeks. Terry laughs because I fast forward through about half of the show, generally ignoring people's back stories and anyone at whom the judges are just going to laugh. I don't wait to be swayed by their biography! Just show me the money dance! But this season looks pretty good so far. Can't wait for Vegas week to get started!

Who else is thrilled that tomorrow is Friday? Any plans for the weekend?


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