Sunday, November 24, 2013

How cold is too cold?

I've officially wussed out.  The temps have now dropped to the teens, and I just can't get myself outside.  I have a warm, happy treadmill planted in front of a TV with speakers and a fan beside me.  Makes it so easy to just hop on rather than bundle up.  I really like to sweat too.  Running is the only cardio workout that actually makes me drip almost instantly.  Spin class and the arc trainer will make me sweat after a while, but nothing like running.  That said, I definitely prefer cold or cooler weather running, as I'm sure most runners do.  But, I don't want to have a limb freeze off when I could have stayed inside in my sweatbox instead.

This picture is from a few weeks ago.  I layered with an Under Amour long sleeved shirt, a t-shirt, and then my Under Armour coat and stocking hat.  I have a thin pair of gloves, but I think my next purchase will be thicker gloves.

Bottoms were capris and compression socks.  I like wearing compression or fitted capris when it's cooler to help seal in body heat.  

This post is mainly to psych myself up for tomorrow.  25 degrees.  Is that too cold?  Guess I'll find out!

Workout Recap 11/18 - 11/24

Another long week...again, I don't know what I would do without the "therapy" that is exercise!! It's really the cheapest form out there.  Granted you pay a gym membership, and you need decent gear, but beyond that all you need is YOURSELF and some music.  I opted for more cross training and group fitness this week.  It felt pretty dang good.

Monday - Rest day.

Tuesday - 7 miles.  My only outdoor miles this week.  Insert HUGE SAD FACE!  It was nice on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then got brutally cold.

Wednesday - Spin class (45 minutes)

Thursday - Treadmill run, 6 miles 47:31.  I like to start with a mile warm-up at 7.0 (roughly 8:38 pace) and then I do mile repeats with a quarter mile recovery in between.  
Mile 1 - 7.0
Mile 2 - 8.0
Recovery .25 at 7.0
Mile 3 - 8.1
Recovery .25 at 7.0
Mile 4 - 8.2
Recovery .25
That leaves me a mile or so to finish out at recovery pace or a little faster.  And boom, all done!

Thursday I also hit up Body Pump Express for 45 minutes of weights on my lunch hour.

Friday - Arc Trainer.  45 minutes.  I did 20 minutes on the interval setting and 25 on the strength setting.  Ouch.

Saturday - 8 miles.  I slept in for a change, and didn't start my run until later in the morning.  The nice thing about winter and treadmills at home is there isn't the pressure to get out the door early to beat the heat or the traffic around town!  I read Janae's morning post about her treadmill run, and thought "I can do that!" ha... I ALMOST made it!
It went like this:
One mile warm up at 7.0
Progress every two minutes starting at 7.0 up to 8.6.  This was Janae's run, I made it to 8.4 and then had to take a few minutes to recover.
I almost quit this run entirely around mile 4.  I just felt defeated.  Then I got myself together and kicked out the last 4 miles 800 style.  800 on and then 400 recovery.  Finished with an 8:07 average pace. 

Sunday - Spin class (60 minutes) and some leg weights.  This week was pretty skimpy on the weights, definitely need to hit them a little harder this coming week.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Workout Recap 11/11 - 11/17

This week was the longest week of my life... it's amazing how healing exercise can be during difficult and sad times.  "Sweating it out" is my therapy.  At the beginning of the week, I ran with my usual one angel by my side.  By the end, I was running with two.  I will forever be running with two, one on each side.  My biggest cheerleaders, smiling the whole way.
Monday - Treadmill time.  6 miles.  I did one warmup mile 7.0, then did mile repeats 8.0, 8.1, and then through in some 800s. 
Noon - CXWORX 30 minutes

Tuesday -  Cross training on the arc trainer (60 minutes)

Wednesday - 7 miles on the treadmill.  I did mile repeats again, I was feeling really strong.

Thursday - 7.25 miles back outside (8:33 avg pace) Body Pump Express (40 minutes)

Friday - I got to run a little later, and watch the most beautiful sunrise.  It was an incredible morning.  9 miles (8:33 avg pace)

Saturday - Hit the YMCA in the afternoon for 60 minutes on the arc trainer and some weights.

Sunday - 7.5 miles (8:25 avg pace)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Workout Recap 11/4 - 11/10

Monday - 6 miles... 4:10 AM... Took an AdvoCare SLAM and 3 Catalyst and bolted out the door for some quick miles before hitting the road for a work conference at 6:15 AM.

Tuesday - Tready time.  5 miles. I did some 800s.  I don't remember my logic behind my pace, but I kept it challenging, and the time flew by.  I was also incredibly sweaty.
Noon - Body Pump Express (45 minutes)  I increased my weight on squats, and we did the killer lunge track.  

NEW SHOES! I had to get my treadmill Wave Riders. Must stay CLEAN!
Wednesday - Spin class (45 minutes)  This was a chore for me, I just wasn't feeling it.  My foot cramped up during class, and I just couldn't get back into it.  The charlie horse pain lingered, and actually spread up into my calf.  Not cool.


Thursday - 7 miles.  Lifted shoulders and core at noon.

Wore my favorite Under Armour coat and refueled with some Apple Pie coffee! YUM
Friday - REST DAY.  My legs needed this.

Saturday - 10 miles.  My legs still felt like lead, my whole body felt like lead actually.  I started out way too fast, ended up kind of tanking.  It was a little bit windy, and mentally I was just not feeling it.  I intended to do 11, but barely made the 10 and called it a day.  That's just the way it goes sometimes right...

Sunday - Spin class (60 minutes) plus weights totally about a half hour.  My heart rate strap came loose about 4 minutes into class, so I don't have a pretty pic with my stats.  I love the hour long spin classes as opposed to the 45 minute.  Not sure why, maybe it's the time of day.  That 1:30 time frame seems to have me in the right mood to spin for days.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

30 Day Plank Challenge

I'm on the first week of this 30 day challenge.  I LOVE to plank/hover whatever you prefer to call it.  The longest I've ever held so far is 2 minutes and 30 seconds.  Sounds a little scary to get up to that 5 minute one!  I'm currently doing a minute at a time, and a few minutes worth, as opposed to just stopping at the allotted seconds these first few days. Don't hate me because I overachieve...

I will admit, some days core work is a chore.  But seriously, look at the bennies of just ONE move!  I do reverse planks and side planks as well.  Six pack, injury prevention, faster running... sounds worth it to me!
Ok, I'm personally kidding on the six pack part because I eat too many of these:

 I'll report back on my 5 minute hover once I live through it...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Blessings in Disguise

I am so incredibly proud of the things I’ve accomplished this year.  I wish I didn’t have the lingering feeling of failure.  I hate feeling it, but buried beneath the half marathon PR and medals, there it is.  It makes its way out every once and awhile, when I least expect it.  That stupid marathon that should have been… It used to eat at me continually.  I would search races around the country within reach to still attempt to train and sign up for.  I considered running 26.2 miles around town just do say I freakin’ did it.  I’ve realized now how completely ridiculous that would be, and how to just straight up GET OVER what didn’t happen this year, reflect on what DID, and look forward to the year ahead.

So, this morning at 5am and 30 degrees, mid run, I finally compiled a list of POSITIVE things that came out of my training experience, and reasons why I’m thankful for the “failure”.

  •        MOST IMPORTANTLY by NOT running the marathon, I HEALED and didn’t do serious, long-term injury to my hip.
  •        I conquered my fear of long runs.  I gained so much confidence by doing those long runs.  I was pretty darn nervous the night before my first 20 miler.  Knowing that I’ve see that 2 as the front digit on my watch definitely gives me confidence as I start my 2014 training cycle.  It’s nothing to be feared.
  •       I got what I really wanted.  I really, really wanted a 1:45 half marathon in 2013.  I was hoping to get it in June before I started marathon training.  I didn’t get it, but by not running the marathon, I was able to pick up the Omaha half and get my 1:44.
  •      I gained speed and strength.  I felt pretty weak going into the Sioux Falls half, I had taken time off, and was doing no major strength training in my healing efforts.  I was SO SORE for a solid week after this race, but it was like my muscles rebuilding and gearing up for bigger and better.  I’m really proud of the paces I ran my recent 15K and 10K in.
  •     I have more mental strength and determination than ever before.  Last year, I would never in a billion years dream of running at 4am or running when it was 29 degrees out.  This morning, I got out of my warm bed and ventured out with no real goal other than 7 miles.  No reason to HAVE to.  Nothing to train for.  I’ve learned how to take the pressure off of myself.  That is HUGE. 

    This morning I came to accept what didn’t happen this year, and embrace the positive things that did.  I reflect back on the whole Sioux Falls weekend in general, the circumstances surrounding the weekend, the heat… it wasn’t supposed to happen.  It just wasn’t my time.  But, I was supposed to try.  I was supposed to register, train, and focus on a marathon.  Every situation brings something to our lives, be it a lesson, a success, a failure, a blessing… The standard “everything happens for a reason” quote really does always ring true.

 Something random from me for the day... my new coffee flavor is Dunkin' Donuts Apple Pie.  PLEASE TRY THIS!  It's sooooo good!  I go on coffee hiatuses over the summer months, and when I come back, I come back strong!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The 4 AM Club – Tips for early morning running

I used to have a limit, or rule if you will, about the absolute earliest I would ever run.  The earliest I would ever allow an alarm was 4:47AM.  I broke the rule, and it wasn’t even that hard.  Thank the time change.  3:55 AM, my eye balls popped open BEFORE my 4:00 AM alarm.  Like I said, if not for the time change, this would not have happened.  But my bed times had been skirting around the 8:30 range the last two nights.  So this was just sort of my body going by it’s normal clock.

To make a long story short, I had a time crunch, I needed to be in the car with my co-worker by 6:15 to head out for a work conference.  I wanted to run 6 miles.  SO, I started at 4:10 AM.  And it didn’t suck.

Tips for morning running and getting your tail out of bed:
-          - PLAN!!!! You must plan ahead.  Set a goal, an alarm, and all of your gear out the night before so it’s right there, and takes little time for you to gather.
-          - Go to bed early.  This goes with the planning aspect.  If you know you are running early, or earlier than you normally would, make sure to plan ahead and get to bed in time.  Cut caffeine off early in the day and start winding down so you can fall asleep.  This is really easy for me, I always seem to be tanked and ready for bed.  I’m also a good sleeper (if this exists)  I very rarely have issues falling or staying asleep, and I don’t have kids to wake me up!
-          - Go to bed visualizing your run.  This might sound crazy, but it works for me!  I visualize the workout, the route, or my plan for the morning.  Am I doing a tempo? Steady state? How many miles?  This helps and it also is a good motivator.
-          - Have your fuel ready.  I don’t eat anything, but I do drink something.  I have my Spark in my shaker bottle, and my 3 Catalyst on the counter waiting for me.  I take them immediately, that way by the time I get dressed, they have kicked in and give me the boost I need.
-          - Remind yourself WHY you are doing this.  For me, it’s usually “you get to come home after work and watch General Hospital” or “this beats going to the crowded Y.”  Or in yesterday’s case, it was really the only time I could do it.  I knew I’d be camped on my butt all day long in the car and in training, and wouldn’t have the energy to do a dang thing when we got home (this was the case) so I was extra motivated, and extra glad I did it!

Don’t expect to become a morning runner overnight.  It takes some getting used to.  I started last summer, and only did it when it was horribly hot out.  By September, I was back to running after work in the evenings or not at all.  (I kind of fell off the wagon after race season)  It’s not always easy, and can wear you down if you don’t take the rest when you need it.  I make sure to sleep in on my cross training days and do it after work or on my lunch break.  Having those “sleep in” days help me get through the week, and help me wake up more motivated the next early day.  It’s routine for me now, and second nature, but it took time to get there.  It’s like training for a race, you have to train your body to be able to respond and get going early.

THIS ISN’T FOR EVERYONE!  I so get that.  I can’t imagine the thought of evening running, like after 7pm.  Some people always run in the evenings.  Some people just aren’t morning people.  Some people think I’m bat sh*t crazy.  Everyone is different.  If I didn’t have to work 8-5, I would not run at 5AM.  My personal favorite time is that 7AM range.

Random tidbits from yesterday:
-         - FOUR.  The time I ran, and the number of cups of coffee I had.  One latte from Scooters and three cups of good ol’ black coffee during training.  I love coffee, but I typically don’t drink any during the week.  One day a week tops.  So this was a lot, and the top of my head was tingling.

-         - Mahoney State Park is just gorgeous.  If you can make it there during the fall, DO IT!  Wow.  I wished we could have been outside walking the trails or biking instead of inside.

-         - I hate to drive.
-         - Don’t trust the “fuel range” mile indicator on your car.  I was a block away from the gas station, and was 95% sure I was going to have to get out and push it there… oops.

-         - I really hate being in the car.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Workout Recap 10/28 - 11/3

This week I'm going to include my usual pre and post workout supps and fuel!

Monday - Spark + 3 Catalyst... 7.5 miles (8:18 avg pace)
Post AM run is ALWAYS a small glass of TruMoo Skim Chocolate Milk! 

Noon - Arginine Extreme...weights (30 minutes)

Tuesday - Spark + 3 Catalyst... Arc Trainer 20 minutes, Elliptical (hill climb preset) 40 minutes.  Did some random weights at lunch and played city rec volleyball that evening.

Wednesday - Spark + 3 Catalyst...7 miles (8:28 avg pace) Hit the 1,000 mile mark with this run!! Post - TruMoo Chocolate Milk

Thursday - Ended up with cross training again today... slept through my alarm, and had some weird shin pains.  40 minutes elliptical plus Body Pump Express class at noon! (40 minutes)  I love the shortened version of Body Pump.  We skipped lunges!! WOO!
I took 3 Catalyst and had half a can of Celsius for BP.  After work pre-cardio, I took 3 more Catalyst.

Friday - 6 miles (8:01 pace)  My shin felt fine and it was a perfect morning for some quick miles!  The usual fuel before and after!

Saturday - 2 O2 Gold + Spark + Arginine Extreme...
13.1 miles (8:22 avg pace) Because I really just love this distance!  It was a perfect morning to buzz around town.  The fall sights right now are absolutely gorgeous!  There are hurricane like winds today however, so I'm sure the pretty leaves will soon be history :(

Refueled with a LARGE glass of chocolate milk and some pretzel thins!

Sunday - Spin class (60 minutes) plus weights and core.  Total time 1:29.  I took 3 Catalyst + Arginine Extreme and one Advocare SLAM pre-workout.  I came home and had a scoop of VCore and almond milk!

Rounded out the week with roughly 33.6 miles, 3 cross-training days, and more strength training than I had been getting in.  Overall, I felt great this week.  I know, I know.. no rest day.  BUT I know when it's time to scale back, and right now it's about feeling strong and going with what my body allows.  When I'm training specifically, I observe my rest days.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Running Quiz

My running idol Janae @ The Hungry Runner Girl posted this a while back.  I stumbled across it again, and decided to have some fun!

1.  On average how many races do you run a year?
Well, last year I ran 7 races, this year I've ran 8 so far?  I didn't actually look, and I can't always count... so I guess my average would be 7.5!  Yeah, half a race.  I went there...

1st Race EVERRR

2.  Things you have to run with: 
My iPod nano, Nike Plus Sportwatch, Pro Compression, and depending on the distance and weather, my Nathan Shot Bottle with Powerade Zero.  I rarely run without music, sometimes it's refreshing to, but most of the time I need it.  It took me a LONG time to be able to convince myself I don't always need my shot bottle.  It was my baby blanket.  I always have to have my watch. ALWAYS.  I can't run naked.

3.  Where do your workouts come from?  A training plan, a coach, whatever you feel like doing that day or what your training partner is doing that day?
When I'm training for a race, a rough idea of a workout comes from a training plan.  Right now I'm doing whatever I feel like.  I don't have a training partner... and I don't have a coach, BUT I'm considering the online coach for next year!

4.  How many miles on average do you put on a pair of shoes?
300 has seemed to be max at this point.  My poor shins and feet just crumble after 300.

Wave Rider LOVE! The only shoes I run in

5.  Cell phone- do you bring it with you on your run or leave it at home?
I almost always leave it at home.  I've been in several situations where I've wanted or needed it, but I still haven't learned my lesson to bring it.  I hate arm bands, but I did pick up a nice little hand held phone carrier.  

6. What was your last running related injury or have you been an injury free runner?
What's an injury free runner?  My most recent was my hip flexor.  I've dealt with shin splints, and my swollen foot issue last year.  

7.  Is your current running goal about running a farther distance (adding more mileage) or getting faster or BOTH?!?
My CURRENT goal is speed.  I don't have any more races or anything major going on, and I'm really just watching precious outdoor time tick away (Nebraska winter right around the corner).  I've found the cooler temps right now have made speed effortless.  I feel much stronger and faster than I did at the beginning of the year.  Of course the long term goal will always be about the marathon.

8.  Speedwork—->  at the track, on the treadmill, on the roads or never do it?
Tready.  I can't seem to get myself down to a track, and roads are hard, I would probably end up tripping and falling.

9.  Stretching after a run:  hit the ground after a run and get stretching, stretch in the shower, stretch once you get to work/school, skip the stretching? 
IMMEDIATELY after!  I've learned my lesson!  After every run I grab some Powerade Zero, some chocolate milk, and hit the foam roller and stretch.  Every. single. run.  I used to think I could stretch in the shower and call it good.  And surprise, I got hurt.

10.  What was your reason(S) for starting to run?  
I used to do a mile here or there for cardio.  I don't remember why I signed up for that first 5K, but I can't imagine life had I not!