Monday, November 11, 2013

Hansons Marathon Method

In preparation for the Myrtle Beach Marathon in February, I've decided to follow Hansons Marathon Method. The philosophy behind this "different" way of thinking is based on the teachings of Arthur Lydiard. Cumulative fatigue results from repetitive training and doesn't allow for full recovery between training days. I am already up to 50 miles per week and I just began week 5 of 18. I will peak at 60-70 miles per week toward the end of the plan. Some other differences include: the longest mileage in one day is 16 and the tempo run is done at goal marathon pace. The more I read the "why" behind their plan, the more I like it. It's worked well for me so far. I'm not overly fatigued and am able to complete my SOS (something of substance) workouts. Each week I have a tempo run, long run, and speedwork. There is one rest day or easy mileage and the other days are easy pace. I'm excited to see what the marathon holds this time around! Oh and I forgot to add that my buddy found me 2 pairs of Brooks Green Silence!! They don't make these anymore but he found me some! These are my favorite trainers!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

All Things Running

Closed a chapter of my life today at noon. It was hard to say goodbye to my buddies and I am thankful we will be able to stay in touch via social media. I had mixed emotions but have always felt confident and at peace with my decision to leave Wake Christian after 21 years. All things running means just that. My life is full of running! Not only my personal training regime but also working at a running store, coaching 2 training groups, personal coaching of 2 clients, and directing 2 races. I couldn't be more happy. Looking forward to the Disneyland Half-Marathon on Sunday! Then comes the Magnificent Mile a couple weeks later in Raleigh. And of course marathon training takes center stage in October! Hansons Marathon Method is my choice this go round. You can take the first step in changing your life! Little by little you can see the difference! Take care! Hello Better! Find Your Strong! Check out my get it done shoes below. Saucony Grid Virrattas!

Friday, July 26, 2013

My Daddy, Larry Robert Johnson, aka Fred!

Never will I forget where I was on July 27,1994 at 4:00pm. We knew his time was short when he was diagnosed with a brain stem tumor some 16 months earlier and as I sat beside his bed that afternoon, I watched for him to take his last breath. Many things kept going around in my mind...I wished I could ride in that green truck one more time, I wished I could hear him call me "Buzzard Bait" one more time, I wished I could watch him swim the entire length of the pool holding his breath one more time, I wished we could play with the bouncy balls in the house one more time, I wished I could have one of his awesome meals one more time, I wished I could see him eat a can of sardines one more time, and I wished he wouldn't die that day. 56 years old is too soon to be gone! As I held his hand, he took his last breath and I knew he was at peace in Heaven and not in pain. I was the one feeling pain and sorrow. Many say I look most like my dad and am built like him with a short, stocky frame. He taught me so many things, he was the strongest man I knew and could do just about anything. I learned how to work hard and persevere in the face of defeat and I learned how hard he was willing to fight as I watched him over those 16 months during his illness. To those reading this who still have their parents I encourage you to call them or go see them as much as you can! We don't know what tomorrow brings... To my Daddy-aka Fred-you are greatly missed and I love you and think of you every single day! I know MamaWassie was so happy to see you and Uncle Charlie again!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Disneyland on the horizon

Base building has been my focus over the last few weeks and it is going very well! My foot has been doing great and my fitness classes are helping me get stronger. The Disneyland half is Labor Day weekend and I am ready to go! Not only do I get to run in California but we are also planning to go to Del Mar for a horse race and take the Dearly Departed Helter Skelter tour! So excited! Sometimes I get sad though, because as I write this, I only have 5 more full days left at the only job I've ever known. Though I will be moving to my second career and doing something I love, aka running...I will miss Wake Christian Academy. It has been my rock these past 21 years and I am thankful for my time there. Okay, back to running...I'm currently coaching a former student with my 4 week jump start program. He is very motivated to improve his running and I can't wait to see his progress! If you are wanting to begin a running routine, let me know and I can help you get started safely. That's all for now!
Run Happy and follow your dreams! You never know what tomorrow holds.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

New Beginnings...

Six years ago this month was when I realized I needed to make a change in my life as far as my weight was concerned and I took the next step and joined Weight Watchers. I weighed almost 200 pounds, was content with my job at Wake Christian Academy and thought it was my forever job. Little did I know how much could change in just a few years. You all know I lost a lot of weight and running became a big part of my life. I was no longer coaching at Wake at this time and began to have a desire to help others reach their fitness goals. I decided to become a certified running coach. I took advantage of an opportunity to coach at Capital RunWalk where my personal coach worked and began to realize more and more how important this was becoming to me...this desire to coach others about their fitness. Finally, a running store opened up at Myrtle Beach called Black Dog Running Company and I would go hang out and talk to the owner as much as I could. We soon became friends and last fall I mentioned to Daniel that I would love to volunteer at the store sometime and could he show me how to fit people for the proper running shoes (did you know that about 80% of people wear the wrong kind of shoe for their foot type...make sure you have good shoes!) and he said that was a possibility. I was very excited!! Meanwhile, I found an opportunity to help coach a group of beginner runners down at the beach training for their first 5K. It was great! After the first of the year, I mentioned again to Daniel about helping at the store and long story short, instead of just volunteering, I began working there a couple weekends a month this past April. He even pays me! I say that with a chuckle because it doesn't feel like's my passion to help runners and I love working at the store. And yes, I did learn to fit people for the right kind of shoes! There will be some other opportunities at Black Dog in the near future as well that I'm excited about! We aren't moving to Myrtle Beach just yet and as long as I am in Raleigh, I will still coach at Capital RunWalk each year (we have 2 sessions a year) and I am also working towards my certification in personal/group training. I would love to teach some fitness classes/bootcamp style classes and maybe even get into crossfit (who woulda thought) at some point. I will be directing the Mission Outreach 5K this year too. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to follow my dream and passion and do not want to take it for granted. I put all that I have into my coaching and at the store to help others reach their goals. My family and friends have been so supportive of my dream and never once questioned me or said it was silly to quit a stable job like WCA after so many years. I don't want to look back in 20 years and think of what might have been. My husband, my best friend, my biggest supporter (who btw owns a shirt that says "running sucks" haha) has been there every step of the way. He may not always understand my "runner talk" but he knows that it makes me happy and so that makes him happy! Thank you rach aka Will for having my back!! So...I love Wake Christian Academy, I am sad to be leaving, 21 years is a long time and this was my first and only job out of college, but sometimes the right thing is a hard thing. It will always hold a special place in my heart! Thank you Mike Woods for understanding why I need to leave-we've worked together many years and I won't forget your friendship ever! Good thing we have access to social media so we can keep in touch! Thanks for taking time to read my ramblings...but remember, I am an LDR--Long Distance Runner--so endurance and long are 2 things I know about firsthand! Oh yeah, and there is that marathon training cycle begins in October! After the 3:45 yet again!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Foot Problems Gone...for good hopefully!

Happy to report that my foot problems seem to have gone by the wayside. I'm beginning to ramp up my training again. I haven't run 30 miles in a week since Myrtle Beach full. Grrr... Time to begin building my base mileage for marathon training, which begins again in a few months. I'm planning to follow the Hanson Brothers plan for my fastest marathon yet! Woohoo! Lots of new and exciting things have been happening since February... 1. I've been taking Bootcamp classes 2 times a week and this has really helped my foot get stronger! I've not always suggested cross training but I am a believer now. I think most runners could benefit from some lateral training, cross fit, and or Bootcamp classes. I have personally seen a difference in myself. 2. I am working on getting certified to be a personal trainer so I can teach fitness classes along with coaching runners. 3. My Fit-tastic group at CapRun has averaged about 25-30 people during this session. Our target race is June 8. I'm soo proud of them all! 4. I've been working in Myrtle Beach at Black Dog Running Co. a few times a month. Most importantly, I still love running! A few things I've learned through this foot injury: 1. Sometimes it takes a while to heal, don't rush it or you will be sorry. 2. If you decrease your mileage, you need to decrease your calorie intake. I didn't learn this one until I had gained those extra pounds...still working to get them off. Umm...yeah... 3. Doing other forms of exercise besides running is okay. is okay. That's all for now. I've got an 8K in the morning here at Williamsburg. Time for nighty night...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2013 Myrtle Beach Marathon-Marathon #6!

I knew it wasn't going to be a BQ kinda day for the MB marathon. As I've mentioned in previous posts, my training cycle was far below what it should have been for marathon racing because of sickness and that darn foot thingy. But...there is always a glimmer of hope. Each time I toe that start line, I believe there is always a possibility I may have the best race of my life and finally reach that goal. If ever I lose that glimmer, I'll probably hang up all my racing flats...
I helped out with packet pickup on Thursday night and was able to see my buddies from last year. I always get excited about PPUD and this was no exception! On Friday, I volunteered at the Grand Strand Running Club booth and saw many of my friends from NC coming to race. Again, a fun and exciting time.
The race itself was my best for that day. Still figuring out my nutrition but it was a lot better than before. I ran several miles with my CRW race team member Trey Michael and some with his wife, Amy. Mostly, I was on my own and found myself thinking ahead to my short distance training and the next marathon, which will most likely be MB again. On an extremely happy note, the man from last year who collapsed on the course and I saw them doing CPR was actually running in the half this year. Wow! You can't keep a runner down I guess! My time was 4:28...Not my best, but not my worst either. It is what it is and now it is time for a new training season.

Happy Running to you all!!
Follow Your Dream!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Krispy Kreme Challenge Complete!

The Krispy Kreme Challenge is as the name suggests...a challenge. You need to have a plan. I had a plan and executed it very well! Even though the course was longer this time, I was still able to finish 2 minutes faster! So, my plan was as follows: Have 2 bottles of water Pair of plastic gloves Gallon ziploc bag Run the first half as quick as I can Grab my box and begin eating the first doughnut while looking for a place to sit Smash 3 "cold nows" at a time in the ziploc bag Chew as quickly as I can and drink water to wash them down With a little over half a doughnut left make my way to the chute to show my empty box Put the rest in my mouth, continue chewing, show my empty box and take off running Refrain from smacking the smart aleck 2 blocks up asking if any of us wanted another doughnut haha! And most important, keep your eyes straight ahead to avoid any interesting sights on the ground. Pretty good plan. My splits were 19 min to run 2.5 miles, a little under 12 minutes to eat the cold nows, and 21 minutes to run back 2.5 miles. My finishing time was 52:02! yay! I did feel like I was going to get sick a couple of times and then especially near the finish when those 2 people lost their stomach contents. All in all it was a fun race. I don't want to see a doughnut anytime soon-probably about 4 months-that's what it took last time anyway. Thanks for reading!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Dopey Kind of Weekend

Little did I realize what I was signing up for when I decided to run Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge plus the Family 5K. I knew that running 3 races in a row was not something I should do on a regular basis but once should be okay and it is Disney so...I did my research on how to train for such a Dopey kind of race and waited for October 1 to arrive. I wasn't prepared for the foot injury that was to befall me in July. I blame too much/too soon trail running. My achilles and other areas of my foot would hurt after my training runs and the next morning but not during the run generally. This caused my mileage to be lower than what I was used to. Couple that with a 5 day sickness around Thanksgiving and you have someone who was supposed to be training at around 45-55 miles per week that was barely running 4-5 days some weeks. I did manage to squeeze in 3-20 milers (only one of which was 21 miles and the other 2 were 20) and one double back weekend (I ran 18 miles one day and 13 the next). I was supposed to do 2 double back weeks but ran out of time. As I averaged my weekly mileage during this training cycle I was quite distraught when I realized I had only averaged 28 miles per week for the 3 months. Good grief, how in the world am I going to last 42.4 miles at Disney? I was pretty nervous-I tried to hide it from everyone. Maybe I can still BQ I said all the while thinking, yeah right, in your dreams!! Fast forward to race weekend. Day 1-5K, I ran about a 10 minute pace for the 5K. No big deal, I felt good. I knew this was the easy part! I was back at the hotel before it was light. Day 2-Half marathon, I felt pretty good the first few miles and was having trouble keeping my pace easy so I stopped several times to walk and go to the bathroom. Half marathon complete in under 2:10-not too bad. I was amazed my foot wasn't hurting either! Day 3-Marathon, I wake up at 2am feeling pretty good. Not sore really at all and my foot isn't hurting either. Maybe this won't be as bad as I think. I get to the start line and find the 3:45 pace group. I tell Bill that I'm going to stay with him as long as I can. I followed Bill and his balloons for about 2 miles. It was then I knew it was going to be a very long day...What happens through the next 24 miles is a back and forth with running at a comfortable pace, walking at a fast pace, shuffling along, passing other run/walkers, being passed by the same run/walkers, and thinking that this is the craziest thing I've ever done and I won't be signing up for it again. My iShuffle got overheated at mile 8 and I am very glad Disney has some of the best entertainment around, I didn't even miss my music. At mile 15 I seriously thought that I was going to walk the last 11 miles. As it turns out, I was able to eek out a 5:08. I was surprised I made it in such a fast time considering how much I had to walk. As I passed the 24 mile marker I thought, the best thing about this race other than actually crossing the finish line, is that I never have to sign up for anything like this again. That was the first thing I told Will too! And here we are 3 days later...guess what, I still feel the same way! As I try to analyze what went wrong I don't have too many answers other than my terrible training cycle and that I am still working on my nutrition during the race. No excuses though. I did what I could and am thankful to have finished all 3 races! Mickey Mouse was proud of me too! And, even Goofy bowed down to me in the park! And it is Disney!! Next up is the Myrtle Beach Marathon in mid-February. That is only 5 weeks away, hardly enough time to make up for a terrible training cycle since October but, I will do what I can and then regroup for the next marathon. Yes, I still think I enjoy the marathon distance. I can't say farewell without listing some of the interesting things I saw during the race... 1. Of course, public urination is perfectly acceptable during races. I found my spot in the woods before the race start along with the other needy ones. Yes, I always have my toilet paper! 2. Several men were wearing tutus 3. Will saw one guy running the race backwards 4. Volunteers are the best at Disney races 5. One guy was actually running in sandals Happy Running and Hello Better!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Ode to Mr. Taper and Nervous Energy

It is hard to believe the Disney race is almost here, I mean, I've only been thinking and planning for this for the last half year. If you had told me 5 years ago that in a few days I would not only be racing for 3 days in a row but completing my 5th marathon, I would have laughed out loud. Long gone are those sluggish days where I could hardly wait to get into bed...wait, I still can't wait to go to bed but at least now it's not because I'm sluggish! Running has transformed my life in so many ways, I can't believe I am where I am today. I am thankful to be here though and that I have the opportunity to coach others to reach their goals. But this is supposed to be an ode to Mr. can tell I have nervous energy already! I don't like the taper period simply because you don't run your regular mileage. Granted, you need to rest up and store that glycogen in your muscles for the big race but still...anyway, it is a necessary evil and one that is almost over. Come Sunday morning at 3am I may be wishing I was tapering again. Not sure if I will have time to blog again before the race so I wanted to let you know my "plan". I plan to run the 5K and half marathon at an easy pace. My goal for the 5K is anywhere between 26-28 minutes and the half is anywhere around 2 hours. Come marathon day, I will begin with the 3:45 pace group and see how that goes. I'm not really expecting to BQ but I would seriously kick myself in the butt if I woke up and felt the best I ever felt and had not prepared to race for a BQ. I told Will to not worry as I may be way past 4 hours, even 5. Who knows how my body will respond to what I'm getting ready to put it through. You can be sure of 1 thing-whatever time I finish is pretty much all I had to give that day. There will be other races--Myrtle Beach in fact--Really the important thing for this weekend is to complete the Dopey Challenge, get those 4 medals, wear them proudly in the park (for about 5 minutes) and get my picture taken with the Big Mouse himself. I will ask him once again if he is proud of me and I know he will shake his head furiously!! I think I need to get my picture taken with Goofy and Dopey too now that I think about it! Thanks to you all for your support! I know many of you have told me that you enjoy the runner tracking and hearing about my racing ventures so that you don't have to run yourself haha or you just like living through me and my crazy running and I appreciate that more than you know! It's been a fun journey getting to this really crazy race--and no, no, no- Charles, Joey, Jack, John, Blanca, and all you other ultra runners--I have no plans to switch to the dark side. My race is over a 3 day period-you crazies do yours all in one day! Check my facebook page on race day and you will see the split times!