Ask a Master: #chasethebird Style
The shorter, dark days of November can be a tough time to keep up motivation. Sometimes, getting in someone else’s head is just the thing to push you out the door. These 3 masters explain what motivates them to get outside. Alicia Amaro Streblow, Andrea Bauchowitz, and Diane Peterson, thanks for push! Lace up.
Andrea Bauchowitz | Age 41
What gets you out the door to run?
The promise of a quiet early morning run, when the air is still cool and the anticipation of the sunrise lingers.
What is your essential workout (or a good fitness or mental strength predictor workout)?
Track workouts are essential and dreaded. A basic ladder workout of 400 600 800 1200 800 600 400 provides lots of data. I start at 8:10min/mile and add about 4 seconds per mile for each 200m increase and rest 400m in between intervals. When the ladder gets to that final 400m I am spent, physically and mentally. I find that my performance and recovery at the upper limits of my heart rate are a key indicator of my overall physical fitness. For each interval my heart rate quickly goes up to above 90% training heart rate and I generally hit my max of about 98% training heart rate during the final 400m. On a good day the rest interval at an easy jog allows my heart rate to return to about 70% or below. When that doesn’t happen it’s a sign that something is wrong with my body or mental attitude –usually lack of rest, not enough stretching or just being down on myself.
Biggest challenge you are working on right now?
Training for a sub-2 hour half-marathon while remaining injury free. When I set this goal, I was searching for a course with beautiful scenery and impulsively registered for the Sedona Half-Marathon in February 2016. It probably would have been a good idea to research the course in more detail, because now my training includes more hills than I could have imagined possible. Given that hills help with strength and speed I look at them as a blessing in disguise – but they are still quite taxing on my body. Once I hit my late thirties, meeting any training goals has become a lot more of a commitment. My body has more demands to properly recover, and I’m still learning about how to best meet them. So far I’m incorporating a good core-strength and stretching routine such as pilates and yoga, daily foam-rolling, attention to proper nutrition and no compromises on my required 9 hours of sleep per night.
Alicia Amaro Streblow | Age: 58
What gets you out the door?
In 2007 I got involved with LLS/Team in Training and my running became not just about me, but about making a difference. I added triathlons in 2011 and over the years I’ve met so many incredible people battling cancer, some have survived and I’ve also had to say goodbye to dear friends - too many. All of them continue to inspire me to get out the door because I know they would trade places with me if they could. And it doesn’t matter whether I’m having a good swim, bike, run or a bad one, I’m grateful. Every time I’m doing something, whether it’s in a race or training, I think how lucky am I? I never take it for granted.
Your essential workout or good fitness/mental strength predictor?
My double workout days. The days when I resist hitting snooze and pull myself out of my warm bed at 4:30 and I'm at the gym by 5:30 to strength train, swim or spin and either run right after or later in the day - those are the days I dig deep because that’s what race day is about. On the off season (triathlons) I fit in 3 double days but come January those days will increase to 5. How do I recover? Recovery Mondays, which means some stretching, foam rolling and massage but pretty much taking the day off.
Biggest challenge you're working on right now?
Get out of my comfort zone and push harder - run a sub 2:00 half marathon again. I’ve only ran sub 2:00 once and that was my first half in 2009. I remember running hard, pushing myself to the limit and finishing around 1:49. Over the years I kept running but for some reason or another time wasn’t so important and I slowed down. In 2010 I got into triathlons and while they are great for cross training and have helped to keep me injury free from just running, I also feel my running times have slowed down by trying to focus on all disciplines. This year I ran my second fastest half at 2:06:18 and I believe a sub 2:00 is achievable again. But when I’m running a race I convince myself I can’t push harder, it hurts and I give up mentally. And then I kick myself after. So I’m focusing more on my running because that is my strength and have three goals for the next year: Sub 2:00 hr half marathon, PR a full marathon (4:25 or better, 4:10 is a BQ) and a 7:00 hr 70.3 triathlon.
Diane Peterson | Age: 62
What gets me out the door to run?
Insanity? Or maybe I'm a bit OCD about working out? If the weather is not horrible, I'm going to run. In addition to running, I swim 3 days a week and am lifting weights 3 days a week. If I could not run, I would either swim every day and/or use my Spinning bike or my ElliptiGO.
Your essential workout?
a 7+ mile route I take from my house that is mostly uphill for the first 3 miles (200' elevation gain), then mostly downhill (-400') for about 1.5 mi, then a steep uphill (almost 300' in 0.25 mi), then down to rolling to the finish. I live on a mountain, so it is difficult to avoid the hills. When I do that "easy," it usually takes me about 70 minutes. But when I do cruise intervals or tempo intervals, I can finish much closer to an hour. When I finish close to an hour, then I know I'm running well and in top fitness. This is the same for some other runs I do as I prepare for races - a 10-mile route and a 12-13 mile route. I ask my husband to drive to a pick-up spot and tell him when I expect to arrive. If I beat him, I know I'm doing great.
Biggest challenge you are working on right now?
How am I going to avoid going bat-shit crazy when I will not be able to run for up to 6 weeks after I have surgery Dec. 8 to remove a ganglion cyst from my right knee? The cyst is originating from the posterior tib/fib joint and I have had it for 7 years now. But it doubled in size over the last year, so is pretty noticeable and not too pretty. People say it looks like the head of my tibia is poking out.
When I asked the doctor about how long until I could run again, he said "6 weeks." When I asked how long until I could swim, he said, "6 weeks." My friends and family laugh - they know that will drive me NUTS! I would like to run the Berlin Half Marathon, April 3 (I have a niece in the Army who is 2 hours away, in Poland). If I cannot start running until Jan. 18, that gives me only 10 weeks to prepare. I am smart enough to know not to try to PR at this event, but I would like to finish respectably (1:50? top 5 of my age group?).