“Start where you are” and Half Marathon training!

Hi! Been a while! I went home up North last week and a good friend said, “it’s like you moved to Mars! How is it??” ahahahaha (Love you, Shelby!)

She was describing it like that in a good way, and I totally agreed with her. I moved to another planet to put my head down and work hard to get myself a new career! It’s been very busy, but not too busy to forget about my number one passion, which you all know is running. That being said, after that DNF at the Okanagan Marathon and finally addressing my IT band syndrome, I definitely haven’t been running as much as usual. AND THAT’S OKAY! I can see that now. Lol. #olderandwiser

I used to have this serious fear of losing any of the fitness I worked so hard to accumulate over the two years I worked with Lifelong Endurance. Due to student life, I don’t have a coach right now, but turns out that’s totally fine during this piece of life. As runners, we gain more and more knowledge about the sport and training as we move along, gathering experience through training cycles, races, rest periods and injury, etc. That’s really cool, but I find it equally as interesting when I think about all that I DIDN’T know in the past, and how much I still have to learn. This rest period has given me the chance to really think about this.

One thing I thought I understood (but totally didn’t) and believed I was respecting (but wasn’t at all) is the need for adequate recovery. I’ve brought this up before and here we are again. I’m talking about both recovery within a training cycle, as well as recovery between cycles. That little set-back after the Ok Marathon was something I really needed. Thanks, Universe! It’s also given me time to think about how fatigued I felt pretty much all the time when I was running six or seven days a week and how it really compromised the quality of my runs.

My fear of losing fitness left the building a while ago. Now that I’ve rehabbed my ITBS, taken it easy more than I have in years and done some planning with respect to my new life schedule, it’s go time. The concept of Start Where You Are is exciting, because I don’t really know.

After hearing my friend rave about the FIRST Run Less, Run Faster book and training program, I’ve decided to give it a try. If you aren’t familiar, this is a program based on three key workouts per week – a track workout, a tempo run and a faster-than-usual (for me) long run, and no other running. At least two cross-training sessions fill in the holes where easy running would usually be, and for me, it will be swimming and pool running. I think this will work perfectly with my schedule, and also being not-so-good at recovery runs. The three runs are pace-specific, based on one’s current fitness level. Which takes me back to the cliché quote “START WHERE YOU ARE.

What is my current fitness level? I actually don’t know! The first thing that happened when I needed a “recent” 5k or 10k time to select target paces for the half marathon training plan was… my ego chirped in and started making suggestions as to avoid running a fitness test.

“that 10k PR was only eight weeks ago…bump it down a bit”

“You can definitely run faster than that 5k PR during that long run fast finish last year”

“use that 10k time from six weeks back, it wasn’t the best race so it’s not overly optimistic”

“just guess, your goals are based on much more than current fitness”

No, no, NO! I’ve raced one 5k in my life, and I haven’t raced whatsoever since Thanksgiving, which was long distance. I don’t have any idea of what a 5k race effort would be today and I haven’t done any fast running since September. I took a few weeks off completely for injury and since have been running two to three times per week (usually very slowly), eating shitty, and I’ve only done a couple of vertical training sessions with P.A.C.E. when it comes to workouts. Because I don’t want to set myself up for frustration, disappointment or emotional abuse from the inner critic (that dick), I am going to do this honestly.

There is a really good chapter in the book called Realistic Goals. It is fantastic. Some of the things touched on are why/how exactly we establish the unrealistic goals we often do, how to set a realistic goal based on current fitness, how we often undermine our results (even when they’re impressive) and why selecting arbitrary, round-number finish time goals can easily fuck us over. So good!

So, my first track workout tomorrow for Week 1 will actually be the suggested 3 x 1600 (plus rests, plus math formula) to get an estimate of a 5k race pace. I might surprise myself, or I could be like, oh fuck…way too many Halloween chocolate bars. Who knows. But I want to follow the training program properly, and there’s always the option to reassess along the way!

I’m stoked to hit the track tomorrow, find out where exactly I’m at, and start from there. Yahoo! Who’s planning for 2019? I plan to run First Half in Vancouver on February 10th, which is 13 weeks away, and the 10k at the Tenacious Ten in April in Seattle. That’s it for now! Hope you’re having an awesome Fall!

Jamie xo

 

 

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PUMP up the JAMmie Day 25: BMO Half Marathon Plans!

I am stoked for this weekend! As I’ve mentioned in the past, I LOVE BMO Vancouver Marathon weekend and Lifelong Endurance and Kristen have me feeling prepared! No sugary snacks pre-race this time! This morning I was digging around on MarathonFoto for old race pics for comparison’s sake and found these gems

This was 2014 – my second ever half marathon, well before Lifelong Endurance was in the picture. The photo on the left is a bit misleading, as I actually had a great day. I improved by twenty-two minutes compared to the first half that I ran in San Francisco six months earlier with Team in Training!

These photos aren’t of the greatest quality, but I can tell that my face is puffy, I have big bags under my eyes and my body looks very different from today (and I’m not talking about running form). I was still boozing regularly at this time in life. The big improvements that tend to come at the beginning of a running journey, party animal or not, didn’t last long. I didn’t run a new personal best in the haf marathon distance for two and a half years after this. Not by coincidence, the new PR finally happened just about a year into sobriety. Obviously quitting drinking alone didn’t transform me into a better runner, but it has definitely been a game changer, along with a new level of commitment, experience and a fantastic coach!

I can’t wait to run this Sunday as the new and improved me! Jamie Komadina! That’s Wesselmania up there in the pics LOL.

Here’s the course we are lookin at, thanks to Strava:

I want to approach this race the same way as The Tenacious Ten; gradual progression, but plan for a more aggressive finish if things are going well. I felt like I had more in me in Seattle and I believe I can hold pace for five more kilometers. On Sunday, I plan to treat the first 3k as a warm-up and run by feel, not conservatively but keeping a close eye on my heart rate. Then, once across the Cambie Bridge and it flattens out, dial back a bit and “start” the plan, which is at this point:

  • Kms 4-10: smooth & controlled
  • Kms 11-16: applying some pressure but still controlled
  • Kms 17-21.1: progress to slay-mode

The weather is looking fine, body feels good and I can’t wait to see my friends in Vancouver, plus everyone who shows up for the #WeRunSocial meetup!

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Tomorrow the Week 4/16 recap will go up early, and then I’ll talk to you next week! If you aren’t running, think about it for next year. Here’s a little preview!

 

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Pump up the JAMmie: day 8 – I want MORE, Coach!

Hi!

During the most recent Skype sesh with my coach, Andrew from Lifelong Endurance, I asked him a question that I’ve been thinking about in different ways since the beginning of the year.

What ELSE can I do throughout the day, at any given time, to support my goal?

I am constantly asking myself, “what can I do RIGHT NOW to increase my chances of succeeding?”  Sometimes I’ll eat a green vegetable, take a vitamin or foam roll, again…but this isn’t working. hahahaha

What I mean, is that after the running, cross-training, strength training, stretching and rolling, baths, naps, blogging, and conscious nutrition choices, WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?? (yes, I want more). I do not mean GIVE ME MORE MILES TO RUN. I’m not going to be an idiot and believe the idea that MORE = BETTER. But, when I ask myself that question above, sometimes I’ve already done so much that day that doing more is not smart.

Andrew’s answer? Continue to educate yourself.

Why didn’t I think of that? I guess I was already doing it, actually, but I hadn’t consciously decided that “educating myself” specifically, would be how I satisfy the urge to train harder. I already love reading, listening to and watching anything to do with running. Books, magazines, podcasts, guided meditations and good old YouTube are all a big part of how I continue to live and breathe the pursuit of my goal.

So, I decided to invest in a few new books that I’ve heard about from other runners, or that I’ve seen recommended in some of my running magazines. Bonus: New books will also help because reading before bed instead of scrolling INSTAGRAM is one of the changes I’ve implemented in the last few months to help with sleep.

The first book of Operation: Pump up the JAMmie is Meb For Mortalswhich I mentioned in the Week 1/16 recap of Pump up the JAMmie. I just finished it on the weekend and will write a short review in the next day or two.

All week, whenever my mind went extra buck-wild getting fired up about this mission, I grabbed the book. I will not push my body to a place where it’s more susceptible to injury. I will not exhaust myself physically, or mentally. Overzealous: something I could so easily be, and if you know me you will definitely agree with that. But I won’t. When everything on the day’s training schedule is completed and I’m still hungry for more, I’ll read a book instead.

Have you ever wanted something so badly that you had to actively be careful not to over-do it?

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PUMP up the JAMmie – Week 1/16

OMG you guys. Tomorrow is the 122nd running of the Boston fkn Marathon!!!! I get goosebumps following along with all the action. And yesterday I almost cried (okay I cried a little ahahah) because my special friend Karmen, who is running Boston tomorrow, got me a SIGNED WATER BOTTLE from my ultimate favourite pro runner, Jordan Hasay!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

Karmen and her husband, Adam, both BQ’d for 2018 at the Eugene Marathon last year, on their first wedding anniversary. Isn’t that the best thing you’ve ever heard? I know. I am so excited for them!

I am pumped writing this, but I was not stoked during the first few days of the week. After that GI-related-near-death experience last Sunday, I was tired, bummed and still feeling less than 100% well into Wednesday. Add on the Garmin death, job-hatred, a bird flying into my grill on the highway 😥 and a windstorm blowing part of our deck off, and I was not in the best place mentally. But that’s the thing with both training and LIFE. It’s up and down. Am I going to let my fitness, drive and excitement slip away because a few days were kind of lame? F no. Looking ahead on Training Peaks at some of the workouts coming up from Lifelong Endurance was one of the things that helped me get my head back in the game. We are doing this. This was week one!

Monday, April 9theasy day

8k easy + drills

I’ve committed to doing drills three times per week during this BQ operation. A-skip, B-skip, high-knees, two variations of butt kicks, carioca and high-knee carioca. Standing and seated arm-swings I will do at work where I need less room and am getting paid.

In the afternoon I squeezed in a round of Dirty Dozen.

Tuesday, April 10theasy day?

This was the morning of the Garmin death. I was so pissed off I can’t even explain. But, still went for 11 of the 12k scheduled fartlek. I cut it short because I headed out much later than planned after dicking around with the watch for so long, unsuccessfully.

That was it for today. Extremely tired, cranky and mopey. (Sorry, husband). It was the best decision to just go to bed.

Wednesday, April 11threcovery day

Non-running day. Still felt mopey and unmotivated when I got up today, but I decided that enough is enough! Started at the pool, and since I don’t have a watch I decided to keep it simple:

  • warm up
  • 2 x 750m
  • cool down

I didn’t want to just swim aimlessly, but I also didn’t want a whole bunch of clock-checking and math-doing. Two longer sets was perfect, and it felt good knowing I swam the triathlon distance in just two pieces. Feeling like myself again! 1750m total.

Next I headed upstairs to meet Kristen. She gym’d me so hard today. After some glider layouts to compare progress from two weeks ago, she put me through a full-body sequence. Biceps, pecs, triceps, squats, an awesome split-squat/deadlift combo, pull-ups (I can’t even do ONE yet without assistance…) and core. I officially like going to the gym.

Later, I was itching to go for a run but convinced myself not to. Instead I settled for 45 minutes of yoga at home. I will run tomorrow! Sticking to Coach Andrews plans like a good athlete 😉

Thursday, April 12theasy day

Started with swimming again. I wanted to be able to say that, at this point, I can swim a whole kilometer without stopping, so after a warm-up I got to it. One thousand meters in exactly 24 minutes. Woooo! Then I did a 500m set and called it a day. 1700m total.

Next was 10k easy + drills

No watch to check on, so I monitored my form to the best of my ability with all the research and YouTube’ing I’ve been doing on that. Such a great run.

Friday, April 13thhard day

Have I told you how much I fking love intervals? Well I do. When I see workouts like this on the plan, I get really excited and intimidated at the same time.

  • 3k warm-up
  • 6 x 1k with 2:00 jog recoveries (4:35-4:15/km range)
  • 3k cool-down

You guys. I nailed this workout. It felt so good that I messaged Coach Andrew to humble brag. Cranked out those reps at 4:33, 4:31, 4:27, 4:25, 4:21 and 4:15. And covered my basement in sweat.

non-Garmin evidence. LOL.

After work: 5k easy for 19k daily total

Saturday, April 14threcovery day

50:00 on the recumbent bike at home with my black coffee and Meb for Mortals (review coming)

Next, one round of Dirty Dozen plus all the stuff from the Strengthen Like Meb chapter, excluding the swiss ball stuff, since I don’t have one. A solid forty minutes of functional strength at work.

After work I went to the pool. Earlier, I had a random urge to swim the full triathlon distance, 1500m, and see where I’m at. I warmed up for 200m (this is NOT a long enough warm up! Why would I think 5 or 6 minutes was long enough?) and then got started. It was tiring, but I did it! 36:44. Considering last summer it took me 19:15 to swim half that distance in the sprint tri, I am very happy about this! Still three months to get stronger!

Sunday, April 15theasy day

13k easy + 7x100m strides + drills

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Gorgeous but foggy morning. Run felt good and I admit it was refreshing again to not have a watch on. The strides felt really great today and I got in my third of three drill sessions for the week. Winning!

SUMMARY

WEEKLY MILEAGE:  62km

INJURIES/PRE-HAB? 

nothing specific besides religious rolling of the gargantuan calves

SLEEP? good, but more naps are always good.

NUTRITION BRAGS?

went for sushi on Wednesday, got BROWN half-rice on my rolls and didn’t get any of the usual deep fried or tempura flakey choices.

CURRENTLY READING: Meb for Mortals

CONFIDENCE BOOSTER(S) OF THE WEEK:

  • I can swim a kilometer in 24 minutes.
  • shit kicked my km reps & ran them progressively, down to the last one at 4:15/km
  • I can swim 1500m and will surive the triathlon!

NEXT RACE?

Tenacious Ten presented by Oiselle! 10 miler (16.1 km) – next Saturday in Seattle!

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And that’s it, week one is already done! Next week, a sick lady crew takes on Seattle. Tourist Olympics coming at you.

I have a Dream. Operation: Pump Up the JAMmie

Pump up the jam
Pump it up
While your feet are stompin’
And the jam is pumpin’
Look ahead: the crowd is jumpin’

Pump it up a little more
Get the party goin’ on the dance floor
See? ‘Cuz that’s where the party’s at
And you’ll find out if you do that

Six weeks of pre-mission prep have gone down, and now, it’s time FOR THE MAIN EVENT.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Alves vs Barberena

YEAH!

The main event, formerly known as Mission Impossible, has been officially named. If you follow me on Instagram, you may or may not recall a post from New Year’s Day where I made this explicit statement:

i’m gonna get so effing strong & take down my 2018 goals like the Undertaker.

This is an absolutely perfect statement regarding how I feel about my mission with Lifelong Endurance to beat my personal best in the marathon by TWENTY minutes.

THE UNDERTAKER! ahaha WWF is fuckin hilarious. Shortly after I posted that plank pic, my freaking IDOL, Laura (@nebraskarunner) posted this:

The Undertaker really speaks to people. I’ve gotten so many awesome suggestions for what to call this endeavor and I could not pick..so I was gonna go with Operation: Undertaker. But the Undertaker is a little grim..and scary….

THEN a suggestion rolled in on Instagram. The name of one of my favourite songs as a little kid in the 90’s, and still one of my favourite pump-up songs to this day. PUMP UP THE JAM! I remember my dad actually had the Technotronic CD LOLOLOL

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It’s so perfect and I’m totally sold! I want to run fast just thinking about Pump up the Jam!!!!! And so, we have it! More fun than the Undertaker, and more up-beat.

Operation: Pump up the JAMmie – a sixteen-week training block commanded by Lifelong Endurance and executed by me. A quest for 03:31:18 at Jack & Jill’s Marathon in North Bend, Washington. Fuckin watch me.

undertaker

you’re still gonna see and hear a lot about this guy. LOL

The basics:

Who?  Me, under the wing of Lifelong Endurance

What?  take 42.2k tha fuck down (like the Undertaker) and run a 20:00 PR (and BQ)

Where?  Jack & Jill’s Marathon, North Bend, WA

When?  July 29, 2018

Why?  because I want it more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my whole life and I will do WHATEVER it takes to make this happen.

How?  stay tuned. Sixteen weeks of what may be too much information, is coming at you

Thank you so much to everyone who gave me SO MANY awesome, fun, creative and badass suggestions. That was fun! The PRO Compression socks go to Jane, thanks for the perfect idea! (she picked the neon candy socks, good choice)

And now, I will leave you with the dance I’ll be doing for a warm-up from now until..ever.

Help me re-name my marathon mission! (Contest! Weoo!)

Hi!

In January I confessed my big, scary marathon goal for 2018! If you want the details, HERE they are, but the quick and dirty is that I want to work my f#ckin ass off and see what happens if I train with a goal to hack twenty minutes off my marathon time. 03:51:18….to 03:31:18. Yeah, that also happens to be a Boston Marathon qualifying time (BQ) for my age/gender. I keep calling it Mission Impossible..

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AHHHHHH!!! But it IS scientifically possible! Is it realistic? Maybe…Is it likely? Don’t know, yet!

I am going to do everything under the sun to succeed, and Lifelong Endurance is my guide, as always. We will work together through a sixteen-week preparation, starting Monday, April 9th and concluding at Jack & Jill’s Marathon on Sunday, July 29th! There will be races in between, some tune-ups, some pacing practice. There will be full disclosure on how it’s going throughout. It’s going to be fun. Follow along!

Since returning from the Mesa-Phx Marathon in February, I’ve been training my brain, and working on other general disciplinary stuff like getting up earlier and going to bed earlier. I’ve been working on my time management, fitting in lots of cross-training, strength workouts, REST, and improving my diet, on top of running five days a week.

This is happening. What’s the worst that could happen? A personal best? Strong AF? Yeah, I’m not scared of that! So I need your help, because continuing to refer to my goal as Mission Impossible is not going to work for me anymore. It’s like the opposite of believing in myself. It doesn’t have a good enough ring to it, either!

Create a name for my undertaking!

A few tips..

  • should be pretty short
  • funny is good
  • swear words are okay
  • doesn’t have to include “BQ”

I will pick the winner during the first week of April! Winner will be rewarded with one pair of their choice of over-the-calf PROCompression socks from the Marathon collection! Any pair, as long as it’s available in your size! Let me know your new name for Mission Impossible by contacting me here 🙂

Talk soon!

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