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Well, it’s not for lack of effort!

Just 2 weeks to Tough Mudder. I’ve been training like mad, so even though I am certainly not an “elite athlete” by any stretch of the imagination, however the day turns out is not for lack of effort.

I’ve been at the gym lifting heavy weights, doing the “Spartan Bootcamp”, and all sorts of other power/strength/endurance stuff (including banded running. look it up. it’s hard.) On the weekends, Jamie and I have been hitting the trails and doing [what I consider to be] long runs. With few walk breaks. The point is to develop endurance. Jamie & I both agree that this season is going significantly better for me than last – much less walking. Aside from rolling my left ankle, rolling my right ankle, breaking a toe, and today hyper-extending my heel (all in the last 4 weeks), I feel ready.

Today we did the lovely 16k loop around Upper Kananaskis Lake. I specifically chose a route with with few hills to help with the extra couple kilometers from last week. It was a gorgeous run – until I tripped on something (later to be discovered as ‘nothing’), and landed on all fours, hyper-extending my right heel. This kinda weakened my ability to keep a good pace on the tougher terrain (see: shaky-rocky-shale-type stuff), but once we got through the gnarly stuff we were back on track.

We got ourselves a Gopro hero3 for all of our adventures – especially to take with us to Tough Mudder. It’s a waterproof, “drop-proof”, take-along-with-you-in-extreme-situations camera. It’s tiny and can be attached to your wrist, chest, helmet, bike, whatever.

Jamie played around with the GoPro during our K-Country run today. Enjoy.

what the f*** have i been up to?

well friends, family, acquaintances, random searchers on the web… to sum it up: a lot.

i have not posted in 4 months. At first, this was due to work & the stress related to work; work has since calmed down. However, in the last couple months it has actually been a hesitation to tell anyone how my training is going. I was worried training “wasn’t going”!

I have struggled off and on with training over the past few years – the gist is that my performance has become progressively worse over time. It felt like no matter what I tried, I could not run faster; in fact, I was running slower. My first 10k in 2009 was 00:60:46; my 10k time in 2012 was ~00:70:00.

My newest training adventure at Stenia Health and High Performance to help me get to Tough Mudder feels a little bit like my last ditch effort to see if I can ever be a stronger, faster runner. I am now ready to come out of my cave – “kinda” – and share my journey. So, here goes – the quickest update of 2013 ever!

During the winter, Jamie and I ventured out snowshoeing a few times.

Jen @ Rawson Lake

In March, we went to Disneyland.

Jen & Goofy

And all throughout last fall, winter, and now this spring – I have been training. I have been following a very strict, personalized program with my Coaches, Katherine and Kelsey. I have been lifting heavy weights, working on my chin-ups, and, of course, I have been running. The running was tough – at the beginning; I didn’t know why it was so tough – so I reported my symptoms (low energy, inability to perform a decent run for the week following my long run) to my coach. I learned that apparently it isn’t normal to be so exhausted after an easy 10k run; I also learned it isn’t normal to not be able to do a decent run for the rest of the week. I’ve been running for almost 4 years – I figured this was how everyone felt. That’s right – after every single one of those long runs during my Honolulu training I could not get off the couch for the rest of the day. Each Tuesday or Thursday run, I felt myself lag behind my fellow runners just a little more each week – there was just nothing left in my muscles for me to push any harder. I kept feeling more and more tired; I just thought it was normal.

Long story short – we took out the long run, and “ta-da!” – I feel like a friggin machine! I’ve been conquering pace runs, intervals, hill sprints, and hills. The suspicion is that I’m lacking some vitamin, mineral, or some other important thing in the body… So blood tests are out and I await their results. In the meantime, I just feel awesome.  I am enjoying every minute of training.

These next few weeks of training leading up to the big day (June 22) are going to be intense. I will be attempting longer runs and much more intense workouts (with my coach AND self-directed). I am exceptionally stoked.

5 peaks # 4 – Nakiska/Delta

Well, I completed my last 5 peaks race on Aug 18… I actually end up missing the 5th race on Sep 29 as we will be in Costa Rica.

The Nakiska/Delta course was a great track – for me as a novice/beginner runner 🙂 A lot of flat, and a giant ~2km downhill in the middle. Which was great because I showed up that morning thinking it was 12km – which was tough enough to accept – when I suddenly learned it was 14km. Deer in the headlights ensued.

I made it. I finished 64th. . . Out of 65!  It was a blast, and I am very happy that I pushed myself to “go big or go home”… What a way to end a season 🙂

And now I am starting a brand  new training regime.  I felt like I haven’t been able to make any improvements in my running for a couple years… so I’m obviously not doing this right.   I have a lot of work ahead of me to get stronger & faster for next season!  I’ve started training with Stenia Health & Performance. One of the first things they did was recorded me running. I have some, uh, room for improvement.

Wish me luck!