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Half Way There

New England is fill with fall colors which is the perfect time to hike or walk trails. I am lucky to live with my windows faces Lake Gardner and Powow Hill and across the street from my back door is Woodsom Farm trails. On Sunday, my walk cross the half way of the Run MA Challenge. Many times I wanted to quit because I never would see the end. So I change my focus to each badges distance, a mile stone of the 645 miles. Yesterday, I pass the half way point. That is 326 miles of running and walking since July 1st. This week, I will hit another milestone by completing Run Connecticut Border badge. By reducing mileage to manageable distances, helps you focus on that distance and reduces stress. This also applies to running endurance events from half marathons to ultras and half Ironman to Ironman. Play it safe, you will be surprise what you can accomplish. Be safe and healthy.

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Spot On

Half Marathon finish and on Garrison Trail

As many races have become virtual because of the COVID. A couple weeks ago, I planned today to do the Jamestown Half Marathon. I text my girlfriends my plan to run today the rail trails. Diane and Eve joined in on the fun and with great conversations. Even though I have been doing the Run MA Challenge my running has been minimal until 6-8 weeks ago. A couple 8 milers and a 10.3 miles for long which is not the best training but decide I would give it a go. We ran slow with some walks to get in our nutrition. I made sure every mile I did a GU Block and drank. Also, ate my usual breakfast gluten free toast with almond butter and honey. I had energy to speed up at the last 2 miles and still had energy after the run because my nutrition was spot on. Now I want to do another half with some training and faster. When you walk away from a good experience, you want to do more and use lessons learned. One factor that did help was the fog and being cool. I want to thank Diane and Eve to run the whole thing with me and make it fun, not stressful. Racing should be fun, not stressful! Stay safe and healthy!

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Thank You Girlfriends

The picture is from our 10K run that we ran through Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Eve needed to do her virtual 10K race this week but wanted to do scenic route and hilly.

Today, I was planning to do my virtual Jamestown Half Marathon. Last night, I had a bad celiac attack but slept good. I still wanted to run long but knew my body couldn’t run the half. I am happy to run 10.3 miles with the best friends which I am ok for the distance. I know next weekend, I will be able to do it with more best friends. My girlfriends and I Race Like A Girl team are the ones that burn the fire in me to get out there to swim, bike and run. The pandemic has cancel races or go virtual which we crave to do. But it is how we move forward and keep training that keeps us sane. When we swim, bike or run, we provide support therapy to keep moving forward. So this post is dedicated to Eve, Diane, Becky, Kim, Colleen, Sarah, Brenda, Carolyn, Gene and I Race Like A Girl team. I know all of us will miss Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as she fought for equality for all.

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Keep Moving Forward

Last week, I had to stop running and walking for couple days because left foot was swollen. I realized my flip flops were irritating my instep because it is high. After a couple days resting it with swim and bike, I am back to Run/Walk MA Challenge. Taking care an injury sooner then latter, you will get back to your training faster. Past 3 days, I have done 13 miles with no problem.

Picture to left is one of my favorite electrical boxes painted by local artists. It reflects how this country can live together in harmony. And helping our neighbors without discrimination. We are all human beings that we should treat each other with respect. Be safe and healthy.

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I Ran NH Border

Today, I decided to do my long run because we will be hit by Hurricane Laura’s remnants tomorrow. I just wanted to get this badge before the end of the month. Yes, this challenge can be daunting but it can be motivator. My weekly mileage has increased from 10 miles to 20 miles, but I do want to get it to 25 miles a week. September, I do have a Jamestown virtual Half Marathon which I am not sure I can do. My long runs now are slow 8 miles. We will see what happens next couple of weeks. The next badge is Run Vermont Border which is short 44 miles. You have to like math for this challenge which is my favorite subject. Calculate your weekly mileage, your run/walks mileage and try to vary your workouts to keep it fun. Now back to calculating, running and walking. Stay Safe

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Making Strides

Thursday was a pivotal point in my running. It was the last day to run Saunders Virtual 10K which I was not looking forward to running. My running had become difficult with the heat, running slow with a lot of walking breaks and legs always felt sore. I decided to run the same course as I did for the Run For It 10K and try to beat that time. First mile was slow and only walked 1 min then each subsequent mile was faster with no walking breaks. I beat the time by 47 seconds. But I had to do a long run of 8-9 miles on Saturday. I started nervous and slow but eventually found my running rhythm. I walked a couple times to make sure I got GU blocks and fuel in me. These runs have given me the mental strength to improve my running. One coach always said run within yourself. The only person you are racing against is your self. I am looking forward to the cool fall days to run and maybe get faster.

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Change of Plans

2020 is turning into the year of cancel races! But is it? Actual it isn’t because many races are turning into virtual races. That includes Boston Marathon. New virtual races/challenges are being created which includes Run MA Challenge. That is run and/or walk 645 miles which is the circumference of state of Massachusetts. I signed up for this challenge but to sweeten the pot I am raising money for the Pettengrill House. Many athletes are doing endurance virtual events and raising money for charities. We are living difficult times but giving back to your local communities makes everyone feel better including you. Be Healthy and Be Safe!

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Know Your RPE

To understand your RPE and heart rate is to know what RPE represents. RPE stands for Rate of Perceived Exertion. It is critical for all athletes from Beginner Runners to veteran athletes. Many veteran athletes depend on using their heart rate monitors or Garmin watches for their training. Many times these watches don’t correlate to how you really feel. When I create my athlete’s heart rate chart, I include the RPE chart. I want my athletes to understand how their bodies feel in that zone. For Beginner Runners, I tell them to use the RPE chart. Below is PDF file which you can use in your training. The chart correlates the heart rate zones to the perceived exertion.

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Really?

My Garmin watch says I am now detraining, really? Last week, I decided to take a couple days off to paint my deck/porch because the weather was perfect. I did a couple walks and started swimming the lake. Yup, New England went from winter to summer and skipped spring. Doing physical therapy from a running accident 10 days ago. I am moving, not really sitting much and doing strength training. But the watch doesn’t see me really exercising with swim, bike and run consistently. How can I lose all that fitness in 10 days? But as we age, we can lose fitness quickly. As I get back to my schedule of training of swim, bike and run, the watch will change to being positive. Many of you started getting into good exercise pattern with the pandemic. Can you keep it up after the pandemic? Start now thinking and working on how you will maintain this training/workout regiment for ever. Be safe and healthy.

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The Virtual Route

Many of us are experiencing more canceled races but some local races are doing the wait and see approach. Example of 2 local races: the town’s festivities are canceled but not the races. I know they are in July but they must know the local and state officials would say cancel it. One has 3-4 thousand runners. Now comes the Virtual races that are mostly free and raise money for local causes. Why do virtual race? It is not the same being there with my friends. In a way it is like being with your running/triathlete friends but online with Strava or Zoom. Have your friends do it with you online. Doing a Virtual race is way to get yourself off the couch to train and moving. Plus you can do it what ever time that works for you. Here are a couple Virtual Races: https://app.ironmanvirtualclub.com/en/challenges (sprint. Olympic and Half Ironman, consisting of run/bike/run); https://runsignup.com/Race/MA/Amesbury/SSFSFreedomRun (5K, 10K or walk/run 1 mile); http://www.millenniumrunning.com/united (Run 1 mile, 5K, 10K or Half Marathon). Don’t stop training because of Covid-19 but fine ways or a race to keep you motivated. Stay safe!

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What is Next?

A little late but spring is starting here in New England. With many races cancelled through June, many runners and triathletes ask what is next. Will races still happen in August through the fall or 2020 will be the year canceled races. No one knows but for now it will be virtual racing. This means you don’t need to stop training. When Patriot 70.3 and half marathon canceled, I did 2 weeks of low training. The first week, only worked out 5 days because I was exhausted. Biked and run at heart rate zones 1-2. Added 2 days of strength and core workouts because of no place to swim. Maintaining a good base with strength training is perfect to be ready for races in the late summer through fall. I put an Olympic triathlon on my calendar at end of August for a focus and motivation but won’t sign up until it is safe. My triathletes and runners are following the same plan to keep their training interesting and fun. You can control your own destiny but it is how you do it. Stay healthy and safe!

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Contemplating Our New Normal

A year ago, I was getting ready to retire, well semi-retire. This year, we are quarantined for the Covid-19 pandemic. This is our new normal by being isolated. The first 2 weeks, I was stressed like many thinking on how to pay my bills. My job is considered non-essential; I just train and teach people how to be healthy. Then I got many emails from gym members asking about their memberships, because the gym franchise based in NY is not big on communication.  Welcome to corporate America of today.

The hardest part as a single person is the isolation. I thought I was an introvert from the years sitting at a computer as software engineer. But that all changed when I got in the fitness/health industry, I became an extrovert.  It all hit me and I broke down in tears with my boyfriend hugging me.  He made me feel better. So every weekend, we spend time just hugging. Communicating by texting is not the same as human interaction. Maybe more people will put their cell phones down to see that face to face is the best communication which many are doing zoom and Skype.

What keeps me going was my training for the Half Ironman in June. The half marathon, I was planning to do on Saturday. But it was cancelled as many other races and events in April. Saturday morning, I woke up to snow and I was happy that I was not running the race. Luckily we were able to transfer to another half marathon in September. Friday night, got email the Half Ironman is canceled.  With many races canceled, it leaves runners and triathletes in uncharted waters of no focus.  Not really, because we will find another race, reassess our goals, take a short break then get back on track. As I reassess my goals, I realized the half Ironman training volume is hard on my old body. Last week after 2 heavy weeks, I felt exhausted. No acupuncture means no sleep, not good for any training. Taking a short break but won’t stop me exercising just do it without structure.

Today’s break was run the trails near me. Listening to the wind, the beepers and birds saying remove your ear plugs; enjoy the earth and nature that is free to everyone. Happy Earth Day! @tritobeyoungathlete

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And We Keep On Going..

I think the pandemic has tested our mental strength, creativity and flexibility. As we see more races and events get canceled, we fine ways to stay on course and challenge ourselves to do it virtually. But sometimes you have to listen to our bodies to know when we are putting our health and your well being in jeopardy for the cornavirus. This week is my push back easy week of my half Ironman training but I feel exhausted and not sleeping. Allergies are bad and making asthma act up. Luckily, I had a telehealth with my doctor yesterday to talk about all this and the virus. First, she said events will be cancelled in June and large crowds won’t happen till August, maybe. Second, she was concern me getting covid-19 because of my age, have asthma, have 2 autoimmune diseases and the stress on the body from half Ironman training. She wants me to exercise but not at high volume. I totally agree with her. So I am not doing the race but first feel better. I will continue to bike and run but not at high volume. Be safe and stay healthy!

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A Little More

We are almost done with our 3rd week of isolation. Hope you are doing good and doing the isolation to slow this virus. Hope you are exercising for your mentality, physically and emotionally well being. Today, I added 2 more exercise videos: https://gearupforfitness.com/videos/. Created these videos to keep you active. Also, hope you can go for a walk, run or able open the windows. Being with nature calms your soul. Be safe

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Looking at Bright Side

This picture shows the bright side clearly! Everything is clear and the lake water looks blue. Why because the earth is able to breath again without the pollutants. When I run or bike outside, I just want to enjoy the nature around me. I think the pandemic is making everyone slow down to enjoy it. Yes races are being cancelled or postponed but that shouldn’t make you stop biking or running. Many of us don’t have jobs now. We don’t know what our future will look like in a couple months. But it makes you realize what is really important for you, your family, your friends, and community. We are all in this together and we come better and stronger.

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Survive The Week

I am in Base period but I survive the first week Half Ironman training. Yesterday’s long run, I was tired from the 2 hour bike on Saturday. Running with a friend help push me through the end. This week will be a little challenging because of New England’s winter weather. I don’t like running on the treadmill or run circles on the track which I feel like a hamster in the wheel. Mentally I am ready for this week’s training and weather which I will put on a smile.

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That Nagging Pain in the Butt/Hip Part 2

This post is about how to alleviate the pain.  First, don’t sit for hours, get up every 15-20 minutes. Second is to stretch. You want to stretch the calves, hamstring, quad and hip flexors, it-band, piriformis, gluteus medius, lat muscles in the back. Sounds like the whole body but every muscle is connected and affected. When one is tight then all tighten up or are affected. Third is to foam roll. When foam rolling do one side from calf muscle through the Lat muscle in 2 inch increments. Don’t roll over the joints (knees and hips) which can create injury. If the IT-Band is super tight then foam roll 2 times a day from calf muscle through the Lat muscle. Foam rolling only IT-Band will not resolve the issue because the tightness cam be coming from another muscle group. Fourth, runners and triathletes make sure you are engaging your core and be in neutral pelvic tilt. Fifth, if you sleep on your side, sleep with pillow between knees to feet.This keeps your hips and back inline.

Next few weeks, Coach Pam will be posting pictures/videos of the stretches and foam rolling.

Next month Part 3, we will discuss exercises to strengthen the core and body to work in all planes. To get ahead of the game plan, participate in Run Your Potential program, which Coach Pam is using all this each class.

Good Week

Last week, I ran and walk 22 miles toward my challenge with 8 mile long run. I have made a 16.5% progress of the challenge. It was a good week because it was more running than walking and the weather was nice. Looking forward to the cooler weather to do more running as I increase the mileage. To reduce injury, you need to increase your weekly mileage and each run length slowly. The rule to increase mileage by 10%. This week, I will run total of 24 miles with a long run of 9 miles. Also, I found my legs like to walk .5 to mile at end of the run for recovery.

The signs are from a couple of my runs and walks. Enjoy the scenery around you during your runs and walks. Be healthy and safe.

What A Month

In the beginning of July, I signed up for Run MA Challenge, That is run/walk 645 miles. I got 2 badges: Mt. Greylock and North Shore. I am at 79.6 miles but was hoping 90 miles. The trick is to get the miles in but not not increase weekly mileage fast and get injured. Part of the problem is the heat. We had heat waves each week in New England. I melt in the heat which makes me walk not run. Still biking and swim 2 times a week. As athletes, we beat ourselves up when we don’t reach our goals in the train. So we have a constant internal fight between our body and mind. We need to be guarded and listen to the body because this can lead to injury. I will push forward to reach the next badge before end of August which is 67 miles for New Hampshire. Stay safe and healthy!

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