Month: January 2014

Dealing with a Setback

I’m finally back in Santa Barbara, and thankful to be back in warmer weather and in close proximity to the ocean. Not to mention getting back to eating healthy and back on a good routine. As soon as Jeremy and I landed in Los Angeles, my mom took us to Real Food Daily, a vegetarian (although almost everything on the menu is vegan) restaurant in Santa Monica. It was just what I needed.

We started with the Sea Cake: Butternut squash, yam and sea vegetable croquette, with pesto and sweet chili aioli. It had the consistency of a crab cake, one of our favorite dishes, and it was so tasty.

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For the entree, I ordered the Great Cardini: Tuscan kale, romaine lettuce, garbanzo beans, red quinoa, and roasted yam croutons with creamy almond shallot dressing, avocado, spiced pumpkin seeds and macadamia parmesan. A huge bowl of goodness.

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For dessert, Jeremy and I shared a vegan chocolate chip cookie, which kind of had the consistency of cake. It was delicious. From their website: “Our pastries are vegan and made with organically grown ingredients by our in-house pastry chef.” Everything on the menu looked amazing, and I can’t wait to go back and eat there again.

The Setback

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been sick. It’s still lingering, and I am doing my best to not let it discourage me and remind myself that I will feel 100% again soon. As far as my training goes, there’s only four weeks until the Mermaid Series Half Marathon, where I was hoping to break two hours for the first time. I have to be realistic, and having taken almost two weeks off, I need to rethink my goals. I went out for a four-mile run yesterday, telling myself to take it real easy and just see how I felt. I was preparing for the worst, but in the back of my mind I kept thinking, I bet it won’t be that bad. Well, it was. I honestly felt like I’d never run before and I was worn out within a few minutes. I kept going, and finished four miles, but it was so tough. Thinking that it couldn’t possibly get worse, I went out this morning for a slow five miles. And it was definitely worse. I was plugging along, at least two minutes slower per hour than normal, and I had zero energy, and felt like I was just starting out again. I seriously forgot how hard running used to be, which is easy to do when you have been so consistent and you continuously work on increasing your mileage. But I ran nine miles just two weeks ago and it felt so easy, I kept telling myself, how could this be possible?

I came across this article that talks about how much fitness you lose when you take time off:

Research shows you shouldn’t be too worried about losing significant fitness if your break from running is less than two weeks.

You’ll lose some conditioning in your aerobic system and muscles, but pre-inactivity fitness will return quickly. Again, this assumes that you have built a healthy and consistent base of training of 4-6 months prior to taking time off. It’s not the end of your career if you haven’t been training for this long; it simply means that the reduction in fitness will be slightly more pronounced.

After two weeks of not training, significant reductions in fitness begin to occur and you’ll have about 2-8 weeks of training (depending on the length of inactivity) ahead of you to get back to your previous level of fitness.

Since I’m just about at that two-week mark, I feel hopeful that my fitness will return quickly, but also worried because I definitely don’t have 2 weeks to spare to solely get back to where I was before. I guess I just feel like I shouldn’t feel this horrible while running if I’m going to catch up quickly.

This link has a list of tips on how to get back into training after taking some time off, and I found it really helpful. Obviously, every person’s body is different, so it’s not a one-size-fits-all situation, but I’m going to take some of this advice, and hopefully I’ll be back to normal soon.

If missed training time is ten to fifteen days:

At this point, you’ve missed a decent amount of training and it’s going to take you a couple of weeks to feel back to normal and be ready to train at your previous intensity and volumes.

  • Start with three easy days of running at 60-70 percent of your normal mileage, increasing 10-15 percent each day. Include strides and hill sprints. Your first workout after this three days should be similar to the fartlek mentioned previously.
  • After this introductory fartlek, run easy (or rest if you normally have rest days scheduled) for two days at your normal easy run mileage. Then, try this workout: 12 x 400 meters at 5k-8k pace with a quick (steady pace) 45 second or 100 meter jog recovery. This workout has you running quick, which helps turn the legs over, but the short, moving rest will also make it a challenging endurance session. Plus, it’s only 3 miles in volume, so you won’t over extend yourself.

After these two introductory workouts, you should be all set to jump back into your regular training mileage and intensities.

It’s easy to let a setback deter and discourage you (which happened to me back in college, and I ended up quitting running altogether), but I’m just going to try to stay positive and keep on trucking, and hope my fitness returns to normal soon. The good news is that I think Jeremy and I are going to stay in town until March 9th so I can run the San Diego Half Marathon, which I’m already registered for. This course is not nearly as flat as the Mermaid Half, so it will be harder to achieve the sub-two hour time, but I’m remaining hopeful.

I’m curious, how has everyone dealt with setbacks in the past? Any advice would be appreciated!

Southern Vacation

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Where it all began.

As our vacation in the South comes to an end (we fly back to California on Saturday), it’s been a whirlwind. Jeremy and I wanted to spend a good amount of time in Athens, Georgia, where we met and where we both went to college. We wanted to make sure we had lots of time to see our friends that we miss dearly, and since Jeremy hadn’t been to his home state in two years, it was nice to know we’d have enough time to do everything we wanted to do. Well, that’s what the plan was anyway. After my sleeping issues and the change of weather from California to here, I had a sneaking suspicion I would come down with something. It seemed like everyone was sick everywhere we went, and normally I have a really strong immune system, but after the sleep deprivation, my body just couldn’t hold out any longer. I kept telling myself, just don’t get sick before New Year’s Eve, please. Luckily, my body granted me this favor, and I came down with something on January 2. I ended up having to stay in our apartment we rented on Airbnb (with no internet and no TV/cable), while everyone got together and had a blast. I really hate missing out on stuff, and this killed me. I had to stay in the next few days, and then finally felt good enough to have dinner with some friends. I’m still dealing with a cough and head cold stuff (and exhaustion), but luckily my whole body doesn’t hurt like it did that first day.

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That can’t be right… can it?

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Visiting with one my best friends, Nicole, in Atlanta.

The worst part about all of this is that since it’s so cold here, I signed up for a week-long membership at a gym here and have only gotten to use it once. So if I’m not able to go again before we leave on Thursday (which is looking like the case), that one treadmill run will have been the most expensive run of my life. Since I’ve had to take so much time off (it seriously feels like an eternity), I’m trying to be realistic about my sub-two hour half marathon goal time on February 8th. I’m hoping my body can bounce back quickly. I was just on such a good run of good runs. Arghh! But it’s a good lesson, really. Realizing that things are not always going to go as planned, and to not let it deter you from your goals, but be realistic at the same time, knowing that your body needs to get 100% healthy before jumping back into training.

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Cheese dip does not exist in California. We savored this.

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Working remote at a coffee shop in Athens.

Other than the sickness and not running, Athens has been great. As everyone knows, there is a nasty cold spell going through, and it was 5 degrees overnight. I don’t mind too much, just as long as I don’t have to be outside too long, and as long as I don’t look up the weather forecast in Santa Barbara to compare. I did have a dream I was sunbathing by a pool last night and felt so warm… I think I might miss SB weather a little bit.

2013 Highlights (really late)

I have been wanting to do a recap of 2013 (mainly just for myself, to reflect on everything that happened in the past year), and I was hoping to do it before 2014, but with such sporadic internet access, it had to wait until way after New Year’s. I actually started this in a laundromat last week, and haven’t had internet access since.

2013 was the first year that I consistently kept up with running (except a few years back when I was in college… so like 2006), and I am really proud of my running achievements, and can’t wait to keep working on it and see where it takes me. It was also a big year personally; mainly, I got married. Jeremy and I got some traveling in, had some really great weekend trips, and ate some real delicious food. I feel like it might be overwhelming to try to pick things from the whole year, but luckily with iPhones and iPhoto, it’s pretty easy to categorize everything chronologically. Here goes nothing.

2013

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Seeing our wedding ceremony venue for the first time. Our family friend was gracious enough to let us have it at her house. Basically my dream venue.

Many sunset picnics were thoroughly enjoyed with this guy last year.

Many sunset picnics were thoroughly enjoyed with this guy last year.

March was a big month in 2013 – I ran my very first half marathon. It took place in San Diego, where my grandma lives, and I was so happy to have her and Jeremy waiting for me at the finish line.

Me and my grandma before the start of the race.
After the race. So proud!

After the race. So proud!

Jeremy and I celebrated our four-year anniversary in April at the San Ysidro Ranch - the venue we chose for our wedding reception.

Jeremy and I celebrated our four-year anniversary in April at the San Ysidro Ranch – the venue we chose for our wedding reception.

Drinking Blue Bottle coffee during one of our trips to one of our favorite cities in the world, San Francisco, in April.

Drinking Blue Bottle coffee during one of our trips to one of our favorite cities in the world, San Francisco, in April.

Visiting the apartment in San Francisco where we got engaged in October 2012.

Visiting the apartment in San Francisco where we got engaged in October 2012.

One of my dear friends Eva threw me a bridal shower in April.

One of my dear friends Eva threw me a bridal shower in April.

Ran my first 10-miler in April.

Ran my first 10-miler in April.

Jeremy and I hiked a lot in 2013.

Jeremy and I hiked a lot in 2013.

In May, one of my best friends from Georgia flew out to California to go to Palm Springs for my bachelorette weekend with some other friends from Santa Barbara. We rented an awesome house, and had the best time.

In May, one of my best friends from Georgia flew out to California to go to Palm Springs for my bachelorette weekend with some other friends from Santa Barbara. We rented an awesome house, and had the best time.

Bachelorette weekend.

Bachelorette weekend.

I'd say June was a pretty big month in 2013.

I’d say June was a pretty big month in 2013.

The weekend after the wedding, Jeremy and I took a mini moon in Palm Springs at the Parker, aka the best place in the world.

The weekend after the wedding, Jeremy and I took a mini moon in Palm Springs at the Parker, aka the best place in the world.

Holding my second nephew for the first time in July.

Holding my second nephew for the first time in July.

Celebrating my birthday in July back at the San Ysidro Ranch.

Celebrating my birthday in July back at the San Ysidro Ranch.

Jeremy and I got to cover the FYF music festival in LA in August. Our first time working as a husband-wife journalism team!

Jeremy and I got to cover the FYF music festival in LA in August. Our first time working as a husband-wife journalism team!

Jeremy and I took a road trip up to the Pacific Northwest in September, and it was so much fun. Eugene, Portland, Seattle, the Olympic Peninsula, and San Francisco. I’d like to go back right now.

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One of our wedding pictures was featured in a magazine called Flutter in October, which was really exciting.

One of our wedding pictures was featured in a magazine called Flutter in October, which was really exciting.

After running the Santa Barbara International Half Marathon in November.

After running the Santa Barbara International Half Marathon in November.

All in all, 2013 was such a great year, and I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for me. Happy New Year!