Hello!!! I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and enjoyed some time off – I know I sure did…and still am!!
Let’s catch up a bit, shall we? My vacation started with me being off on Christmas Eve day – and that evening me and Abby (with the latter not knowingly or willingly) dog sat, Myla. An adorable Maltese whose owners were out of town and needed a place for Myla to stay for the night. Outside, on the street and in parks, Myla and Abby are besties.
Inside the house however, Abby’s “only child” syndrome reared its ugly head. Ok, it could have been much worse, but what should have been two dogs playing with and amusing each other just turned into competition (really just for Abby) for who could get more of my attention. Myla was happy as can be, but Abby just stood around looking at Myla with an expression on her face as if to say, “Why are you here? This is my house and this is my mom, and it is time for you to go home”.
I have often been tempted to get a second dog…but after this one night with the two of them, I will never be tempted again.
So Christmas morning was my parents coming over to my place for opening of stockings (we each are in charge of filling someone else’s stocking) and I prepared a brunch of scrambled eggs, buns aaaaaaand BAKED BACON. Now listen, you know I love all bacon (remember the donut in Portland?). But baked bacon is like nothing else and if you haven’t had baked bacon, you NEED to. It was so good that the only picture I remembered to take was the bacon prep! After that, it was all about eating it!
To make this melt in your mouth delicacy (and this is for Rebecca at RunningFoodBaby who asked me to share a recipe): Pre-heat the oven to 400F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, lay out the strips of bacon, place another sheet of parchment paper on top and then stack another cookie sheet on top of that (this prevents the bacon from curling). Put in oven for 10 minutes and then do a spot check – if bacon is looking cooked in terms of its colour, bake for another 5 minutes, if it’s still looking like it needs some cooking, put it in for another 10 minutes and check again. I’m telling you, it is THE BEST bacon.
Then in the afternoon/evening it was over to my parents house for opening of the rest of the gifts and a yummy Christmas Dinner!
Over the last few days I’ve been taking it easy, but have done some strength workouts and a couple of runs with the girls.
I got a lot of great Christmas gifts with 2 of them (both from my brother and SIL) being running related and I am so into them right now!
The first was this book:
Which is suggesting an entirely different way of training for me and one that uses solely heart rate. I will talk about it in the days and weeks (and months if it works) to come, but the short of it is that it has you training at your “maximum aerobic heart rate” and never allows you to go over it. The basic equation (there are some slight modifications depending on your health situation) is 180 – age. Yeah, do that math and think about training at that heart rate and NEVER going over it. A little slice of hell – at least for me because that equation gives me 144 and my “easy” runs are in the low 160s so to keep it at 144 is similar to crawling – LOL! But he developed this method of training after years and years of working with athletes – from the recreational runner to the greats like Grete Waitz and IM superstar Mark Allen.
I am still skeptical about this method as all my training (not to mention what I learned in grad school and as a professional in the field) up until this point has included workouts that are designed to try and push my anaerobic threshold or that are anaerobic in nature. But, I am willing to try this because, when I look back on a year of hard and dedicated training my workouts are no better and my race times are practically the same and, as I have said numerous times, my heart rate has been too high. I keep hearing, “Wow, you’re so consistent in your race times”. Yes, that would be wonderful if that had been my goal, but it hadn’t been. I had wanted to break my half pb and I came nowhere close to that. I feel like I have completely plateaued in my training and am willing to give this a try. One of the things I like about Dr. Maffetone is his insistence that rest/recovery is a part of training. In fact he says that his “high performance formula is”:
Training = Workout + Rest
I have always believed in this and so, to follow a plan that truly values this lends some legitimacy to it for me.
I know some people prefer a digital journal, but I have always been a paper journal kinda girl. I need to literally have my hands on it for it to mean something to me. So far, I love it. Throughout it are tips, advice, quotes that just make you want to fill it up with your own training experiences, ideas, dreams, challenges and achievements. I kept saying to myself that January 1st, I was going to start writing in it, but last night I saw the quote on the first page of the training section:
“If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now. Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it“. ~ Priscilla Welch (British Olympic Marathoner)
And I thought, yeah, I don’t believe in making new year’s resolutions because I feel that if you want to make a change, do it now. So why am I waiting to start writing in this journal, start the change NOW. And I did. By writing down my top 4 goals for 2015 – and the journal tells you to share it with someone, so here goes:
- Go sub 1:35 in a half marathon
- Increase my core strength back to where it was when I ran Boston in 2007 and 2008
- Build my overall body strength back to where it was when I ran Boston
- Get at least 7.5 hours of sleep per night.
This morning I did the baseline test from the 1:59 book – I need some time to digest it (read: review my nerdy stats from my new garmin) and I will share it tomorrow…but spoiler alert: I have some tough training ahead of me if I’m going to stick to this new method of training. It’s gonna be ugly. LOL.