Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Training with Butch Reynolds

Starting a business and working my own hours has allowed me a little flexibility to do things I traditionally wouldn't be able to do working for someone else, like sneak out for a training session with former Olympian Butch Reynolds. 

Butch holds an Olympic gold in the 4x4oom relay and a silver in the 400m. His world record of  43.29 seconds in the 400m was held for 11 years before it was broken. 

Two weeks ago I headed to a fancy gym in the FiDi for a private session with him courtesy of Philip Stein. They were launching their new Horizon Sport bracelet, which Butch is a fan of. 

I had a speed workout later that night so I was hoping he wasn't going to work me too hard. 

We started with a slow walk on the treadmill then went over what we were going to do. He was going to show me some warm ups, stretch my legs out and test my flexibility then go over my running form. 

We did traditional coordination warm ups, balance exercises, high knees, butt kicks, etc. We also went over where to look when running- not straight ahead but also not all the way down. Chin slightly tilted and eyes basically aimed at the feet of the person a few feet in front of you. '

After the first portion, he mentioned I was one of the most in shape person he worked with all day. Thennnn we got to the stretching portion and I became the least flexible person he saw all day. 

While lying on my back, we worked each leg individually to get them to a 90 degree angle vertical and horizontal. Whoa did that stretch out my super tight hips! In order to move my legs back further, Butch used resistance on every exhale. I highly recommend working on flexibility if you're a runner. I have been trying to get to yoga at least once a week. 

Last, we got to the running portion. We did this twice. The first time, without any tips, I ran up and down the small corridor in the gym and Butch took video. Then we went over it. I learned that I run too flat footed and up and down. Also, my elbows are a little too wide. 

The second time I did it, of course I nailed it. Launch off the balls of my feet? Done. Lean a bit forward? Check. Aim eyes lower? Yes. Elbows in? For the most part. 

I have definitely been trying to incorporate all of those changes into my training. I can feel the difference when I'm suddenly aware of something and tweak it. 

Training the past 2 weeks has gone fantastic. My speed is coming back and my long run wasn't half bad. Fingers crossed as the weather gets nicer, my breath and hydration becomes normal again. 

I hope everyone has a fantastic holiday weekend!


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Marathon Training!


When life throws you some curve balls, you take a little blogging break. Between branching out to be a solo PR badass, weekends out east, seeing friends and oh yeah, running, things got a little cray.

Fortunately, I have been training and as of this moment, in 73 days, I will be toeing the starting line on the Verrazano Bridge to run the NYC Marathon!

In the spring I finally started attending practice (after joining in January) with my team, the Hellgate Road Runners. On Mondays I aim to go to the hill repeat workout and on Wednesdays it's speed on the track. Both of those workouts are going to contribute to me getting up and over those marathon hills and bridges. I can already feel myself getting stronger and faster.

If you hadn't noticed, I signed up for 0 races this year besides the NYC half and full marathons. Coming off of injuries with all of my speed basically gone was going to set me up for disappointment so I decided that 2017 will be the year of PR's.

With that said, hopefully brighter running days are ahead. Like many other runners, the heat and humidity was not my friend. There was some walking, extended traffic light breaks and finishing of the water bottle wayyy before the run was done.

My longest run in this training cycle so far has been 13 miles and it was awful. My hydration was completely off and although I never had to pee, it was a miracle my body was retaining it because all I wanted to to was drink everything I saw. Be it the heat or the fact I was eating pretzels, it did not leaving me feeling great about this race.

But on Monday, a miracle happened and it started getting cooler. I did my scheduled 5 miles, with hills incorporated, and felt fab.

I'm going to start putting a bigger focus on yoga and Pilates to make sure my core and arms are strong so they can carry me across that finish line.

I'm so happy to be back to blogging and can't wait to share some fun topic changes I'm going to be making!