Do’s and Don’ts of Training While on Vacation

Do’s and Don’ts of Training While on Vacation

Posted by on Jun 21, 2016 in Marsha's Blog, News |

Recently my husband John and I went on a glorious, kid-free vacation to Costa Rica with our friends, Paul and Christy to celebrate all of us turning 40. It was the best couples retreat ever.  Between our catamaran adventure, snorkeling, ceviche tasting, crocodile watching, paddle boarding, reading,  relaxing, and massages, I managed to get a couple of noteworthy training sessions in.  Here are some do’s and don’ts for vacation work-outs that I learned along the way. Do Plan to work-out if that is what your body is used to. You will be in a ‘funk’ if you don’t do at least something. Run on the beach. I did my runs on the beach in front of our condo.  No need to worry about getting lost on local roads. Make a strategy for the heat (see the next 3 do’s) Look for things in the sand (seashells, fish that have been washed up, anything) that will give you an excuse to stop. You’ll need them.  I have a nice collection of seashells from my runs now. Wear your bathing suit under your running clothes. If you don’t, you will be so desperate to cool off that you will run into the ocean fully clothed.  Which is totally fine too. Adjust the length of your run in the middle of your run. This is a big no no at home but on vacay, it’s cool. Look at the massage tables on the beach knowing that it will soon be your turn. And then make sure you take that turn that you promised yourself. Bring plastic bags to put icky workout clothes in for the trip home (TMI?) Sleep in. At the risk of running in the hottest part of the day, for me, it was worth it. Have fun with your runs. Remember that you are on vacation. Put other things that you can’t do at home first. Stand up paddle boarding for an hour in the warm ocean water with Christy is not something I can do at home.  Going on a jungle cruise and seeing crocs everywhere, not something I can do at home either. Remember why you love to run. Use the time to recharge your batteries and focus on what really matters to you. Don’t Choose the hottest part of the day to run. I have a knack for that.  90 degrees and 90% humidity is no bueno. Expect your Garmin watch to work. Especially if it’s four years old. Give the people getting massages on the beach dirty looks. Definitely don’t give your friend who is watching you run back and forth on the beach while in the nice, cool pool dirty looks either. Drink too many Sangrias and then expect an awesome training run the next day. Expect the same results as a paved run at home. Especially if you run in the heat of the...

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5K Color Run with my Kids

Posted by on May 26, 2016 in Marsha's Blog |

I have decided that running with my kids is one of my favorite things.  Their enthusiasm, their excitement, their heart are contagious.  Kids have no idea how to pace themselves no matter how many times you tell them to start slow, how to hold back, how to “run a smart race.”  They just go all out and at some point come gloriously crashing down. So when the time came to register my kids for the annual Go the Distance 5K color run our school district does every year (in addition to a 24 hour running relay), I mostly enthusiastically did.  My slight hesitation was in the $75 registration fees for my three older kids (gulp) and the uncertainty of their commitment to run on the day of the event.  As the days got closer to the run, my middle son, AJ got more and more excited.  He is my runner.  He has been waiting for 3 years to do track.  Next year is finally his year!   My daughter (the almost 11 year old) started backtracking saying that none of her friends were going to do it anymore.  She is my swimmer and an adamant non-runner.  Logan (my 6 year old) was excited about it.  This would be his very first 5K.  Being outnumbered and still having a baby (okay, he’s 4 – technically not a baby), my husband and I gave up on strategy to get through things like running races with our kids long ago. The run/race began and they were off.  Carter (my 4 year old) and I watched as the powder color stuff exploded everywhere.  I had a brief flash forward to my future laundry night ahead of me.  I am confident that a mom did not think of things like color runs.  As I’m finally sitting down to write this three days later (I’m finally posting this a week and a half after that…sigh), I am still finding that horrible powder stuff in my house.   My kids were somewhere in the pack and off on their adventure.  That’s when I started to mom-panic.  Thoughts like, ‘I should be with Logan.  He’s never going to make it.  He never found his friends and now he’s going to be all alone crying while everyone runs over him.’  These were the visions I had in my head as I ran (while dragging Carter) to our first viewing spot.  By the time I made it to our station, I had missed AJ.  Bummer.  I managed to see Lilly and her friends – she ended up having a bunch of friends run the race.  They were exuberant and having a great time, as only pre-teen girls can.  Ok, I don’t have to worry about the older two.  Whew!  But where was Logan?   Panic began creeping in again.  Then I finally saw him.  He was over the moon happy and smiling and...

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Fast and Fun

Posted by on Jan 24, 2016 in Marsha's Blog |

Coming off of my long, drawn out CIM (California International Marathon) experience and not the best race of my life (you can read all about it in my previous blog post), I was ready for something lighthearted and fun that required very little additional training. When my gym, Lifetime Athletic started to advertise an indoor tri, I thought it would be the perfect antidote to my tapped out body and mind. So, on January 4th, my friends and I showed up at a little after 7:00 AM – sleeping in for triathlon standards – to participate in the ‘Hour of Power’.  This triathlon was very much a sprint race, 10 minute swim, 30 minute ride on the spin bike, and 20 minute run on the treadmill.  We started out with a nice little swim warm up, hopped out to the hot tub (huge perk of an indoor tri), and waited for the countdown.  We started right on time, 8:00 AM.  I started out feeling good and quickly got into a rhythm.   Ten minutes was up before I knew it.  Check!  Off to the cycle room we went! I hopped on the bike (which I had already set up) and began my 30 minutes. I rode hard, blasting my ears with my favorite playlist – a ridiculous collection of songs that faithfully get my booty in gear.  I worked hard, suffered (in a good way), and finished strong.  Check, check!  One more to go!   I LOVE the treadmills at my gym. I pretty much have a relationship with them.  One of the things I love about these treadmills is the dot that goes around the virtual track, depicting exactly where I would be if I were running on a track.  It is a constant blinking beacon that whispers or sometimes shouts, ‘don’t stop, don’t quit!  You’re almost there!’  So, I hopped on my treadmill and off I went.  I started out strong and as I ran, felt stronger. I increased my pace.  I maintained that pace, and finished my 20 minutes.  Check, check, check and done! I was tired and happy. My friends and I were able to stay together the entire time – a most definite perk of an indoor tri. The team at Lifetime did a great job.  Everything was organized and fun. I snagged an OA (overall) win, a great experience, and a really cool shirt. This lighthearted and fun morning ended up being just the right thing to kick off my year.  Cheers to a new year and a fresh start!...

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Reflecting on CIM

Posted by on Jan 18, 2016 in Marsha's Blog |

Marathons are hard. No matter the pace. The pain will always come. Physically and mentally. As runners, a road marathon is one of the ultimate tests of these capacities. I have had marathons where I have conquered both the physical and mental, where I have felt absolutely victorious at the end, crushing my goals. I have also had marathons where I have felt beaten and utterly depleted. My latest California International Marathon (CIM) experience on December 6th, 2015 turned out to be a combination of the two. My three goals for this race were #1 – Beat my 3:33 PR, #2 – Qualify for Boston (I needed to beat 3:45 to BQ), and #3 – Still love to run. The gun went off and that was the last I saw of my beautiful sister-in-law and training partner, Meg. I knew she was going for a sub 3:10 goal and I had no intention of trying to stay with her. Cassey and I, on the other hand, had been training together and are usually right around the same pace. We had both been training for a 3:35 finish. Although there were no expectations of staying together, I know we had secretly hoped to run together. At around mile 5, my annoyingly ‘impinged’ hip had other ideas for me. As my strong, in the zone, beautiful friend went soaring on, I fell back. Ugh. My hip has been my achilles heel for a while, kicked off three years ago with a stress fracture. So, for about 11 miles (miles 5 to 16-ish), the seed of doubt dangled in front of me, taunting me. Constant analysis of every stride became my very unhealthy, mentally draining mantra. I could not commit to the race with a very real fear that I was doing damage. What if I stopped and wasn’t really injured? What if I didn’t stop and was really injured? I would feel regret either way. I felt frustrated. I felt defeated. I had been hitting all of my numbers or coming darn close in my training. I had tapered well, slept well, and ate well. Everything was ideal for a solid race. Except it wasn’t turning out to be a solid race. That’s when my friends Jen, Sandee and Jessica, helped turn the race around for me. I came upon Jen at around mile 10. She took one look at me – in what must have been a Walking Dead-like state – and told me she would run with me until mile 20. Gratitude overwhelmed me. I knew I was sinking into each stride in utter defeat. She must have seen that. Running with her at this point was exactly what I needed. She has a beautiful, bouncy, happy stride that began to rub off on me. When she told me that Sandee and Jessica would be ready to run with...

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