Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Things I'm loving lately

My time off of work to do productive things... aka SHOP!

Under Armour shorts.  They are super light weight and breathable, and awesome for super sweaty treadmill runs.

WINE.  I've been off work for a week and a half, and I've found myself reeeeeally enjoying wine in the evenings.  I didn't drink much at all during 2013, I felt like I was constantly in training.  I rekindled my love of wine.  New Age is my favorite, and so is Papa Murphy's pizza!


I love the time I was able to spend with family over break.  And family that are friends aka my cousin Michele.

Workout Recap 12/23 - 12/29

Better late than never on last week.  We had gorgeous weather and I was able to rock out 35 miles, which was the most I'd ran in a week in quite a while.  Christmas was my rest day, and I ate PLENTY to uh refuel my muscles :)

Monday -6 treadmill miles then headed out to start and end Christmas shopping... last minute style.  That should also count as a workout.  Yuck.

Tuesday - Christmas Eve! 8 treadmill miles, plus weighted lunges (ouch) and shoulder workout.  And Ab intervals with Shaun T.  Don't worry, I ate back every single calorie burned within 5 minutes at my parent's house.

Wednesday - MERRY CHRISTMAS!  Rest day.  I planned on running some easy miles in my new Wave Rider 17s, but I felt extremely sore, tired, and well, lazy.  It was a nice afternoon and I did make it outside for a walk around the lake which is close to 2 miles.

Thursday -8.5 miles at 8:12 average pace.  HELLO perfect weather!! This morning was so gorgeous.  I just wanted to run forever!
I hit the gym in the afternoon for some weights, and walked the lake with my parents.

Friday - 6 miles at 8:17 avg.  Again, perfection.  Spent the gorgeous afternoon visiting some family in Iowa, and finished off the day with Body Pump (60 minutes) and it felt amazing.

Saturday - 7 miles at 8:34 avg again outside.  And oh so hard.  Maybe it was from pump the night before, or just the extra miles I wasn't used to running outside, but I really thought I was just going to fall over.  Some runs are like that I guess...

Sunday - 45 minutes elliptical, Body Pump (60 minutes) and CXWORX (30 minutes).  I was tired after this :)

This was an awesome last full week of 2013.  I am off work, so I have lots of extra time to devote to fitness, which makes me extremely happy.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 Year in Review

This year went fast.  I know they all do, but seriously.  This one flew.  I accomplished more this year running wise than I ever dreamed when the year began.  I had goals, but I really had no idea how many small milestones I would accomplish throughout training and racing.

I didn't get the marathon this year.  And for the longest time I just couldn't get over that.  The sense of FAILURE I had loomed over me constantly.  I sit here now very thankful it didn't happen.  I wasn't ready.  I didn't know enough, I didn't train enough, it just wasn't meant to me.  I can only look forward to being able to knock it down in 2014.

Here's a little run down of the good, the bad, and the ugly of 2013...

January - 37.8 miles.  That's total.  In the month.  I had taken the end of 2012 off and these miles were just tough.  I would do slow intervals on the treadmill just to regain some running fitness.

February - We had some really mild weather days, and I made it outside with my new Nike GPS Sport Watch!  

March - Training began for my first half of the year at the end of April.  I ran my first race of the year around St. Patty's day and it was crazy cold.  I placed second in my age group in the 5 miler.  First medal of the year, check!

April - RiverRat Half Marathon training was in full force.  The race was the last Saturday of the month, and the most beautiful day of the year.  Seriously, the weather was absolute perfection!!  I think every person running or spectating said the same thing.  I shattered my previous PR of 1:57 with a shiny, new 1:47!  I think this was the best day of the year honestly.  I felt incredible, and it was such a fun day with my mom and friends at the race as well.  They ran the 5K and the finish was at the same place, so we were all able to finish together and cheer each other on.

First time ever placing in my age group in a half!

May - First month hitting the 100 mile mark, as I finished with 103 miles in the month.  I ran my second half of the year in Papillion with my cousin Michele and had a great time.  This race was tough, the weather wasn't the greatest, and it was a really hilly course.  But, this was probably the best race weekend of any.  Just getting to hang out with Michele and stuff our faces with pasta the night before was the best!  Oh yeah, and I became famous on the local news... ;)

June - The humid summer really made training slow and tough, even in June.  I ran my third half in three months right in my town.  It's always my favorite race just because I can get out of bed and walk to the start.  Plus, lots of friends and family can be around for it.  I had big goals for this race, and felt a lot of disappointment when I didn't get my PR.  A couple of days after this race was when I took the plunge and registered for the Sioux Falls Marathon.

July - Marathon training in the summer = HARD.  It was a horribly hot and humid summer, and even early in the morning, I was dripping with sweat within 5 minutes of running.  I battled a nasty sinus infection at the beginning of the month, and had a family tragedy on my boyfriend's side.  It was a tough month, and yet I pushed ahead on my condensed training plan.  This was my first month without a race since March.

August - Part of me wants to just forget this month.  Or call for a redo.  It's one of those things where "if you could go back and tell yourself what you know now..."  I am extremely proud of my 20 mile run, and my other long runs at that.  I know now that I can do them, I'm not afraid of them, and I will get better at them.  The rest is kind of crappy, the whole hip thing and the no more marathon thing.  

September - Even though this was supposed to be marathon month, it ended up being new half PR month, and healed running month.  I am very thankful for the lessons I learned while injured, and I came back stronger and better than I'd been all year.

I ran the half in Sioux Falls, and had a great time with my friends that also ran the half.  I immediately signed up for the Omaha Half Marathon at the end of the month.  And boom, new PR of 1:44.

October - Racing season was over, and I was kind of in a funk.  I ran a local 10K and took first place female.  I kept training, even though there was nothing to train for.  I finished October with 141 miles.  My strongest and highest mileage month of the year.  The weather was incredible, which helped a ton.  I also hit 1,000 miles for the year in October!

November - I was still able to make it out for early morning runs, the temps really held out.  Running was really therapy for me at this time.  This was a difficult month, but I found comfort out on the road, by myself, just reflecting on life.

December - Treadmill time, which hasn't been bad.  The greatest Christmas gift ever has been the weather over Christmas break (I get time off work between Christmas and New Year's)  I was able to get in some beautiful morning runs.  I hit 100 miles in December, meaning that I've hit 100 every month since May.  I'm proud of that, and plan to continue to make 100 a priority. 

Longest run - 20 miles
Half PR - 1:44
10K PR - 47:14
Completed 5 Half Marathons, total is at 8.
Favorite run - RiverRat Half

Is this real life?!

It's the end of December in Nebraska and there is NO snow, and it was 65 degrees yesterday.  WHAT?!  Today is supposed to be in the 50s as well, and then tonight the wind chill will get to -20.  Go figure.  But I've been soaking up every minute of this perfect weather and getting outside!

The last full week in December and I finished with 35 miles.  Sure wouldn't have believed that if you would have told me that would happen.  I had been staying in the mid to sometimes low 20s lately just for a break and because I was confined to the treadmill.  So while 35 is by no means HIGH mileage, it is higher than I had been doing, and higher than I expected to do at the end of December.

I got a shiny new pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 17s for Christmas, and sadly, I've yet to try them out.  I'm a crazy germ freak and want to keep them clean for the treadmill until spring...

I'll do a full review on them once I have a few runs in.  I've been a loyal Wave Rider girl the last two years, and I'm a little nervous about these.  New models of a good thing always worry me a bit.  Like do I need to head to Amazon and buy them out of 16s and hoard them forever?  I hope not.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Workout Recap 12/16 - 12/22

Hello, I'm a slacker.  On just about everything.  Posts, Christmas shopping, T25....
Only good news on the homefront is my calf is almost 100%.  It still has it's moments.  Good thing for KT Tape and Pro Compression.

Monday - 6 miles.  CXWORX (30 minutes)

Tuesday - OUTSIDE!!! It was about 25-26 degrees when I went out, felt pretty good!  I wore a base layer of a Nike Pro long-sleeved shirt, a tech fit t-shirt, and then my Under Armour coat.  Bottoms were regular socks, Pro Compression socks, and Under Armour tights.  I wore a hat and gloves of course.

Wednesday - CXWORX (30 minutes) Body Pump (60 minutes) Arc Trainer (10 minutes)  This was my first full length Body Pump class in a while and I was feeling the burn! 

Thursday - 5 miles.  Easy, nothing too exciting.

Friday - CXWORX (30 minutes)  This was my rest day.  Not much else went on...

Saturday - 10 miles on the mill.  I don't mind hitting the 10 mark, but it's going to take some mental preparation to get over that without croaking of boredom.  I did watch Newlyweds with Nick and Jessica, that kept me pretty entertained.  I was obsessed with these two, and yes, I know they broke up...

Sunday - Elliptical (35 minutes) Body Pump (60 minutes) Arc Trainer (10 minutes)  YAY for strength training twice this week!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Workout Recap 12/9 - 12/15

Monday – 6.2 miles. CXWORX (30 minutes) 

Tuesday – Body Pump Express (40 minutes) 

Wednesday – 6 miles. CXWORX (30 minutes) FIRST night of Focus T25! Beta Cardio (25 minutes) I think I went to bed right after this. I was wiped out. 

Thursday – T25 Speed 1.0 (25 minutes) followed by 1.3 miles on the treadmill. This was the beginning of the end for my left calf. My calves were definitely feeling the burn on Wednesday night during Cardio, but felt decent during Speed 1.0, and I was sporting some Pro Compression sleeves. The goal was the T25 workout followed by 5 easy treadmill miles. FAIL. My calf gave one distinct pull and that was it. I hobbled off in defeat. 

Friday – Weights hit arms and legs (30 minutes) T25 Total Body Circuit (25 minutes) OK, I did not give my all on the TBC, I really went half speed, took most of the modifiers, and still almost didn’t make it. Sore calf or not, this was TOUGH. 

Saturday – 10 miles T25 Ab Intervals. Nothing like laying your towel on your mat to do ab intervals when you are as drenched as you would be post-shower… CONFESSION, I only made it 20 of the 25 minutes of the ab intervals. I had trouble getting set up for each new move, I learned I need to watch each one first so I know exactly what I supposed to be doing, and maybe what the modifier is doing… 

I'm in a full blown hibernation mode, contrary to the belief of the cute bear in the pic...

Sunday – Arc Trainer (60 minutes) and not much else... Laaaaaazy day. 

Since T25 came in the mail mid-week, I don’t know that this counts as my first week of the program. I plan to officially start it on a Monday, but I may need to wait until my calf is full strength.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

T25 Total Body Circuit and it's baaaack

Welcome back to my life KT Tape. You really are miraculous.  Calf strains have nothing on me.

Friday night was my third day of T25.  Total Body Circuit on slate.  I did a little bit of strength training earlier in the day, but mostly just hobbled around and tried to ease the horrible cramped pain in my left calf.  I was nervous to do the T25 workout, but threw on some Pro Compression sleeves and went for it.


I did some research on the best shoes for T25/Insanity, and I know this is a big discussion.  Shaun T himself recommended the barefoot approach, or minimalist shoes.  I had done my first two days in clean Wave Rider 15s I had in my treadmill room, and I think that play a part in my calf tightness.  I really loved being barefoot as opposed to the clunky shoes.  I am considering getting a pair of minimalist toe shoes, just to prevent slipping around, but the yoga mat and my rug on the floor seemed to work well.

The Total Body Circuit was an absolute killer.  I had to stick with the modifier in several points.  Part of me was being over cautious on the calf front, but mainly it was just a butt kicker.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Injured… T25 Day 2

I have to have the most injury prone body on the planet.  I was definitely feeling the effects of my first T25 workout.  All of the jumping, squatting, and lateral movements did a number on my calves and hip.  For someone who can run long, run fairly fast for races, and lifts weights and core trains on a regular basis WHY does this happen?  UGH.

Well, last night I did Speed 1.0.  I wore my Pro Compression sleeves thinking that would be a benefit to my legs.  I made it through my T25 workout no problem.  Then I hit my tready for some easy miles.  My warm up mile was complete and it hit the speed button to increase for a while, and with the first step my calf muscle pulled.  I tried to just run it out for maybe a minute.  No such luck.  I hobbled off and immediately used The Stick and foam rolled.  I spent the rest of the night on the couch with some ice and compression sleeves on.

I’ve struggled with calf issues in the past.  I don’t think it’s a major strain, but it’s a nice, unhappy pull.  I’m really frustrated at the moment.  T25 day 3 calls for the Total Body Circuit.  I’m guessing the calf isn’t going to be ready to handle that tonight, so I might swap out and do Total Abs instead.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sucked in by infomercials

My T25 DVDs arrived…


I got sucked in by the infomercial.  I have this weird form of self-motivation where I have to watch workout infomercials while I’m on the treadmill.  I have even put in a Jillian Michaels DVD just to watch while I’m running.  I think maybe that’s weird?  I don’t know, it works, whatever gets my butt moving.  So T25 is always on during the lovely 5AM hour, and I decided after two weeks of seeing the lovely before and after testimonials that maybe this would work for me.

I’m using this blog as a way to hold myself accountable to actually do the dang workouts.  I’ll do a full review, and updates on my progress.  I even took some scary BEFORE pics this morning… (I'll spare you those)
My GOAL and purpose for doing this is to get stronger and hopefully increase my muscle definition.  I’m excited about the 25 minute idea.  

DAY 1 – first workout in the Alpha phase is Cardio.  I’ve never done Insanity or P90X, but I’m assuming most of these moves are incorporated in those workouts as well.  It was tough no doubt about it.  I was able to hang in the full time, the only modifier I did was on the jump lunges. (I stuck with touching my knee as opposed to the floor.)  The 25 minutes went really fast, and you couldn’t lose your focus otherwise you’d miss out on the next move.
I’m definitely feeling it today!  

Tonight after work I have day 2 which is Speed 1.0. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Extreme Laziness

I’ve scaled my mileage way back these past few weeks.  For one thing, it’s freakin’ freezing outside (think below 0) and I was kicked down pretty hard by the flu for a solid four days.  I’m still working on physically getting back to full strength workout wise.

Excuses aside, I really don’t care that I’ve ran very little.  I’ve finally hit the dreaded BURN OUT.  I think I’m ok with it too.  There is nothing to train for right now, it’s winter, and I’ve been training for SOMETHING almost all of 2013.  I’ve been snoozing right through my early alarms lately, and I don’t feel one bit guilty.  I think that burn out is still part of the training cycle, I think it’s the healthy part actually.

So, what I am going to do now?  Well, as much as I would like to just curl in my bed and eat yummy treats all day…

I’m embracing these lower mileage weeks and enjoying the lack of pressure associated with running and mixing up my workouts.  I am focusing on strength and core training as much as possible.  I’ve posted on CXWORX before and why I love it.  I’ve been getting back to class more often and really enjoying it again.  Strength training is fun, and I’ve learned my lesson to not think I can go hard core on it while in the heaviest part of marathon training… So I’m going to Body Pump and lifting weights on my own for a total of 3 times a week right now.  I’m a lot stronger now than I was over a year ago when I was going to Body Pump regularly!  I try to challenge myself as much as possible in class, and I think it’s working, I always walk out shaking like a leaf!

Big news on the workout front… I ordered Focus T25 and it should be here later this week.  My winter goal is to complete this program and see what it can do for me.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Workout Recap 12/2 - 12/8

Not much excitement to see here.  Pretty basic week.  Still recovering from the horrible four day flu.  

Monday - REST.  Still sick :(

Tuesday - HUMAN again!! Wahooo!  Took advantage of probably the last outdoor run for quite awhile.  I don't do the snow runs, or the below 25 degree temps.  No thank you.  This was a nice morning, about 29-30 degrees.  I had lead legs from being confined to the couch, but it was a decent run.
CXWORX 30 minutes

Wednesday - 5 miles on the tread.  This was HARD.  Oh man, just brutal.  My legs just wouldn't go.  I wanted to quit several times, but gutted it out to the 5 and hit STOP.
CXWORX for 30 minutes at noon.

Thursday - Body Pump Express 40 minutes and Arc Trainer 50 minutes.  I went the extra second, don't let the picture fool you!

Friday - Ridiculously sore from Body Pump... I went for 30 easy minutes on the elliptical and 10 minutes of torture on the Stairmaster.  Holy sweat fest.

Saturday - 7 miles.  Finally feeling strong again!  I took a pic, but I can't find it :(  My time was 55 minutes I believe.

Sunday - Spin class 60 minutes and 10 minutes on the Stairmaster.  Again, ouchie.

Here's to a HEALTHY week ahead :)