Thankful For …

Some friends wonder how I can say, I’m thankful, after this year has not been a good year for me. Every time, I tried to get to the race start line something happen. From being sick with kidney issues ending in the hospital, to autoimmune system shot, to anxiety attacks because of thyroid issues, to rolling my ankle during a long rung. I still keep pushing through with my training because of my friends and my boyfriend. I am lucky that my friends swim, bike and run which were always ready to train with me. Mark would bike with me outside on the weekends because he believes in me as a cyclist. By Fall, I did get over my anxiety issues, my kidney and my autoimmune system back to normal so I can do races. Still working on my vegan nutrition but slowly getting there. Now that it is off season, the ankle will get better after 2 weeks rest from running. Now the gym is open with no limits, I can lap swim, run on indoor track, and strength train through the winter compare to last winter. I am creating my plan now for 2022, picking my A, B and C races. I have renewed energy to swim, bike and run with big goals. I keep saying to everyone, 2022 will be my year and I will have fun. Thank you to my friends, clients, my athletes, my boyfriend and my blog readers. Don’t stop believing in yourself or give up because you are an awesome athlete! Stay safe and healthy! @pamhouck

Being In The Zone

One of the pretty views during the half marathon

Have you gone for a run or a swim or bike which felt effortless and fast. Like your performance seems to happens automatically. In the book, Why We Swim by Bonnie Tsui, she talks about this. That the researchers describe this as a psychological alteration of time of the here and now. Like time no longer matters, which many athletes want during their training but especially on race day. To get that feeling is part how you train and part is your stress level. When I’m in the zone, it is as if I’m meditating or in a Zen. Next time you train outside, just listen to nature not your cell phone and focus on your environment. I hope your next workout is in the Zone. @pamhouck

Just Be Happy

Beautiful morning to run with a friend!

Today, we are very dependent on our smart watches for everything. When something goes wrong with them, we get stress out. But do you have an alternative plan? Today, for the 3rd week, the Garmin screen of death happened during my swim. Garmin screen of death is the green triangle. I only get it during my swims but no other time. Only thing, I don’t wear is the heart monitor strap when I swim. I never had this issue. So I used my iPhone stop watch for the time and counted my laps. Contacted Garmin support which helped by deleting certain folders that could have corrupted files. Lesson learn: you cannot stress out with stuff out of your control, especially objects like smart watches and phones. I’m just happy this was not race but a training workout. So many things are out of our control but getting angry with people or objects does not solve the issue. Just go with the flow and be happy for what you have. Today, life is too short! Be safe and healthy! @pamhouck

Your Recovery Cycle

I think Bootsie knows how to chill!

Many of you finished your big race then wonder what is next. The best thing to do is take some down time for the body to recover. Depending on the length of your event, this can be from 2-4 weeks off. Some would think that is crazy but your body will be happy. And you will be surprise how fast you will come back. Sarah took 3 weeks off from training, maybe walk or bike on trainer a couple times. Then last night, she was rewarded with her fastest run pace in 6 months. Some athletes during this time, do yoga, Pilates, walk, hike, take a vacation or do some home projects. I find this is the best time for recovery because of the holidays. Be safe and be healthy! @pamhouck

Nutrition the Key to Success

10 mile run on local rail trails after a nor’easter

Number 38 Half Marathon didn’t happen! Getting sick the night before the race was not in my plans but a lesson learned. The lesson I learned that my nutrition before and after races needs to be fine tuned. Nutrition is a big key to endurance racing! I’m still learning the vegan/vegetarian (limited fish on weekend and eggs for baking). Currently I am reading. The Plant Based Athlete to give me a better sense of the nutrition as a vegan. Meaning that plants do contain protein more than I knew and which ones are higher. And how not to get sick again by creating balance in my daily nutrition. I don’t like to use word diet because diets are short term and don’t work lifetime. Me going vegan is lifetime change which is the key to be successful in my health and training. Stay healthy and safe! @pamhouck

Number 38

This Sunday will be my 38th Half Marathon, Newburyport Half Marathon. I wasn’t sure I would be able to do any half marathon this year after being so sick in July. So this one will be special! Including the fact I turned 70 in August, so a new age group. By the beginning of September all my numbers were good including my thyroid. I had to change my diet to vegan with fish on weekends, since my kidney didn’t like any meat including chicken and goat cheese. The strength training and TRX 2 days a week plus stretching everyday has really helped. I sleep better. I feel better! My swimming, biking and running is better/faster and it feels easier. I do have goal finish time I would like to do but the main goal is to have fun and enjoy the fall foliage. Do what you love because you will feel better about yourself! Be safe and healthy! @pamhouck

We Did It!

In 2 weeks, 3 of my runners completed a marathon. Above pictures are Sarah and Kim when they finished the Virtual Boston Marathon. I know one is still shock that she did it because it was her longest race. What made their marathon successful: training, mindset, and nutrition. It is normal on race day to have pre-race jitters. But once you start the race your body gets into a rhythm that your nutrition is second nature and your mindset is focus. Those long training runs should have your nutrition and mental games nailed. Endurance races are half physical and half mental. Some runners feel a little down when race is over. You can start thinking of your next big race but you need to let your body totally recover and have some down town for couple weeks. Even go away on a vacation. Reconnect with family and friends. Let your body heal! Then you will be ready to start training for your next big event. Stay safe and healthy! @pamhouck

The Taper Magic

Many of you are doing the Boston Marathon in person or virtually or another marathon. The 2-3 weeks leading up to your marathon the mileage decreases, which is the taper magic. The last 20-22 mile run completes your marathon training. Then the week prior is so low some runners try to add training because they miss some key running workouts. Sarah, a triathlete I coach, doing her first marathon added extra time on the bike. Then she got a text from me not to do that! When you try to add in the week before the marathon can destroy your race. Let the body rest. Marathon takes a lot of energy, fuel and mental energy to run it. If you have a lot of restless energy then catch up with family and friends or work project or school. I know it is hard to relax with the nervousness especially the first timers but your body will appreciate it. Be safe and healthy! @pamhouck

The Running Shoes

The running shoes are the most important piece of equipment for runners and triathletes. Finding the perfect pair can be daunting especially for newbie runners. But when you do find them, the major manufactures keep changes the model that can create injury. For years I wore Brooks Ghost as well as many of my running friends. Then 6 years, Brooks did major changes to the model that started to create injuries for us. Then I switch to Brooks Glycerin then year latter Brooks change that one with a new model. After that, I decided like many others it is time to switch to a different brand. That brand is Topo Athletic which I wear Phantom. And I don’t wear any insert with these running shoes compare to the Brooks. Topo is not one of the big running shoe companies but they keep the one big part of all their shoes, the wide toe box. I love it since many of the major brands have gone for narrow toe box. Topo doesn’t do changes fast but use their customer input. If you are getting injured from your running shoes, try a different brand! Stay healthy and safe! @pamhouck @topoathletic

Good as You Last Game!

“Good as your last game!”, Matt Jones, New England Patriot’s Quarter Back after the team lost the first game of the season. It is so true for any sport including triathlons and running races. Last Saturday’s long run gave me encouragement in thinking I can do a local half marathon in October. We all have good and bad workouts and races. It is how we move on and know our magic formula to be better. Today, I looked back at my training and races times the past couple years to see how I can create a plan that will make me faster than last 2 years. The one thing I saw, that hinder me, I really didn’t take a rest day every week consistently which my body needs. 2019 and 2020, I keeping having the same issues with my left side that slowed me done because I didn’t do strength training and stretch consistently. Last year with Covid, I was not consistent with any training. The last 5 weeks, I have been consistent with strength training, swim, bike, run and 1 rest day. This consistency has made me feeling stronger in bike and run, swim will take time. That picture was taken after doing 6 x 45 second hill repeats which will make me run faster. So I will be looking forward to the next race being my best! Maybe it will be that half marathon in October! Be safe and healthy! @pamhouck

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