Breaking Barriers

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I’ve been scared of these numbers. Seems like a funny thing to say but screw it. Time to break some of these PRs. I haven’t thought about these numbers in a long time. I think I was ignoring them because I felt that they were impossible a part of a past that would never be revisited. While watching someone give it their all and try and break a 2-hour marathon all I could think is why the hell not just go out and try to break some of my barriers. It reminded me of why I started running, what it felt like to be out there and feel my feet pound against the pavement.

It was time to get some new shoes, lace them up and say “fuck it, let’s make this happen once and for all”. Even though these PRs are from a couple years ago; where my current fitness stands feels like a world apart from then. Biking has help me get my fitness out of a completely sedentary state. I’ve dropped a few pounds so fingers crossed my back and joints don’t hurt when I run. The next steps are just that, getting out the door and putting one foot in front of the other. I can’t thank Pink Feathers enough for standing in my corner through my inconsistency and help me power through this phase of running life. Time to find out which PR I want to break first.

I miss writing about my running journey like I did on my old blog. I feel like it was a way to keep me motivated and on track. I also miss the community it built. So I want to hear from you now. What are some of your barriers that you are training to break?

 

February of Cycling

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I’ve learned a lot of things in February; one of the main things is that I actually love cycling! Over the past 2 years running just quite hasn’t been working out for me. I know February isn’t quite over yet but I did want to go over a few the past 30 days.

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The month started with a bike tune-up, the purchase of a Wahoo-Kikr (a smart-trainer for indoor training), along with clip in shoes. With the new kicks and a bike feeling brand new I had all the motivation I needed to get out the door every day. The first week was a little light on miles as I started to get used to riding and gauging just how far I could go without killing myself.

During the next two weeks I worked up the courage to venture out of my comfort zone and get a few longer rides in. Along with that my wattage started to increase. The final week I truly found my stride. With 4 double-digit days I was able to reach 82.5 miles and really start pushing the wattage and pace.

What I realized during all these miles is how much I really did miss getting outside. Weight gain and running with all the weight was making the process and being outside less enjoyable due to aches and pains that would hold me back. I found freedom on the bike, I could push myself like I used to, and being outside was AMAZING! So what’s in store for the future? I signed up for a cycling 50 miler in May and I’m sticking with Pinkfeathers to get me to the finish-line and beyond.

 

Already Ran More Days Than 2016

 

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New Shoes New Goals

Well not quite but it sure as hell feels like that. I am on the strongest 3 week streak I have been on in over 2 years. The past 700+ days have been extremely inconsistent at best when it came to training or running of any sort. For some reason these past few weeks have completely different. I feel so happy when I run again. Things are like they used to be… no better than they used to be when it comes to running. The past few runs I’ve felt relaxed, calm and collected. If it wasn’t for the tight calves that are causing me to get some ankle pain I feel like I can run forever.

I can say for certainty that I am back on the training for sure this time. The only thing that is somewhat holding me back right now is my lack of not stretching. My calves are tight and it’s starting to cause a few problems. But I just need to keep reminding myself that if I don’t want to be benched anymore I need to take care of myself.

My 1st race is the Paramount 5K. It is a little over a month away. I haven’t been this excited to train in a VERY long time. Getting on that line on Feb. 20 is going to be one of the best feelings. I honestly don’t remember what it feels like to race but I do remember that I loved it and it always made me happy.

Cliche 2017 Post

Here it goes. One more year down and a life time more to go. This past year has been all over the place. Personally it has gone amazing on the relationship side. The running side could be going much better but at least I’m trying now.

  • Report more regularly to Coach Liz.
  • Run at least 4 days out of the week for the 1st quarter of the year.
  • Run at least 5 days out of the week for the 2nd quarter of the year.
  • Run at least 27 days out of the month for the last half of the year.
  • Run 5 5ks.
  • Run 2 10ks.
  • Run a half marathon.
  • Practice yoga at least 3 times a week.
  • Read 1 new book a month.
  • Don’t be afraid to make changes that I want.
  • Write more on here! That is a promise.

Q&A: Kate Grace

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pc: Jeff Cohen

I was able to catch up with Oiselle’s, Kate Grace, as her season heats up and she heads into the Olympic Trials. We touched on the journey from injury to becoming one of the top 800 / 1500 runners, workouts, advice, drum lessons and soup nights.

You’ve had an incredible comeback from injury in the past few months. What are some of the factors that led to you overcoming your injury and lighting the track on fire?

I was injured January – May 2015. So it was a long road back. I moved to Sacramento in July to train with NorCal Distance (NCD). I finally started feeling myself in workouts in late October/early November. As for factors that lead me to turn my situation around and comeback strong this year?

1. A great support team of coach, teammates, mentors. People who can give me straight advice, improve my strengths, and complement (not compliment) my weaknesses (so, limit the impact of the areas of my personality that always seem to impede on training). I’d also include the support of Oiselle in there. My sponsor that stuck with me through a hard time, when I wasn’t giving great results, or being a great representative.

2. Strong personal conviction and accountability. This was a big area of growth last year. At one point, I can whine all I want about people not believing in me, not giving me a chance, not pushing me hard enough, etc etc. Last year it finally clicked that no one will ever believe in me as much as I do, and it’s up to me to show them exactly what I see. That I have to hold myself accountable to the highest standards, because there is no one to blame but myself if I am falling short.

Currently dealing with low after an injury myself, what are some things that helped get you past the low points of dealing with injuries?

Oof. Anything that makes you feel happy! For me, that means getting a bit of distance from the runner culture. Seek out other friends, or activities that aren’t run-centric. Focus on a different hobby (I took drum lessons), and a different means of exercise (I think you’re in to Yoga. I took up Bikram because those poses didn’t aggravate my foot). Keep social to keep from getting depressed! We started a weekly soup night tradition at the house in Bend. It was a great way to always have something on the calendar. They’ve continued it this year!

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned over the past year?

Hehe, see first question. Also, I guess realizing that it doesn’t get easier. Training, I mean. Normal runs do feel good if you’re in shape. But a hard workout or a fast run, that will always hurt. I used to think that at one point a switch would flip, and I’d feel smooth and great on everything. Feel how Dibaba looks… effortless. I learned that if I was feeling that way in workouts, it probably meant I wasn’t trying hard enough. Improvement comes when it hurts. I’ve learned to chase after that feeling. Even if it can be a bit scary in the moment.

What is your go-to tune-up workout before a big race?

Changes every time depending on the race. And it’s changed a lot over the years with different coaches. The pattern now is a workout 3 days out. Nothing super hard, it’s reps that simulate different places in the race. Then an easy 5-6 miles the next day, and travel and pre-race routine the day before the race. Kim (Conley) has a nice overview of a standard week lead-up on her blog (http://kimfconley.com/pre-race-routines/).

What has been your most memorable race this season so far?

I enjoy all my races! I guess the Hoka Distance Classic 1500. I got to see my high school coach and girls who are current athletes on his team. It was a PR for me, and fun to do it with old friends watching. Also, I was traveling alone for a lot of earlier races, so at that meet we had a lot of the NCD team together, and Drew, our coach.

If you had a day off from your everyday responsibilities, describe how you would spend it.

Wanna know a secret? I hate days off. Not that I hate off days, I actually really enjoy a break from running. We get one about every two weeks now. But, I tend to fill that time with errands and emails and to do list items. But I’m not great at unstructured hang time. It makes me anxious. I know, that being able to rest is necessary. I’m really good at naps. But I’d rather take a nap and then go do something. I guess if I was required to not do any projects or responsibilities, I’d want an adventure of some kind, or learning experience. Discover a new place, maybe learn about it’s history, take a tour, go to a museum, go to a play, eat good things, drink yummy cappuccinos, have some bit of nature in there. Either a city park, or something further afield. And all of this with my closest friends (not a ton of people, I would just want to be around people I love).

Dinner with three people?

Oof. I’ll just do living bc at least that narrows it down. And it’s always changing. Right now… Leana Wen, Podcast people… Stephen Dubner or Rad Abumrad, Questlove.

But lets be real I would have to do so much research before having a conversation with any of them!

Others that popped to mind: Michelle Obama, the Pope, Cara Delevegine, Paul Farmer, Jeff Bezos, Chelsea Clinton

If you could give one piece of advice to any runner, what would it be?

Have at least one run a week where you really enjoy it. Go slow, do not look at pace, stop as many times as you want, listen to music (or not). This could be a short double or something, I just think having that reset is necessary, for mind and body.
If you’re training for something, get a plan that you can stick to, either from a coach or a trusted source, and execute the workouts. And also be flexible as life happens. If you blow up more than a few times, don’t get discouraged, most likely something should be tweaked in the plan.

What is your current favorite mantra?

Fortune favors the bold

Current favorite song?

It’s hard to pick one, I’m always updating. Four favotires from my May playlist… Strive by A$AP Ferg, 24/7 by Kehlani, Living by VERITE, I Need a Forest Fire by James Blake. For albums to cook or clean to… Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide to Earth and Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats