Sunday, January 30, 2011

First "official" week of training = done and done

Ahh yes, the joys of being at my parents' house on a Sunday.  Heat, internet, and cable TV.  Why haven't I been here in 3+ weeks again?

So yes, reliable internet means two things to me: paying bills and blogging.  I'll sum up the week again like last time because it seems that weekly updates are happening more often than daily right now for me....

Monday- pretty much a reserved easy day this time around because of doing LRs on Sundays most weeks.  6 miles in the AM + an easy swim.  PM was my 60+ minute core class at the running shop.  Pushed myself in that area this week, which was a good thing.

Tuesday- bakery morning = one run later.  This week, it was an 8 miler outside in the area around where I teach.  Got to run in shorts, which was nice although the snow hitting my legs was not.  Think it was about 8 minute pace, which was also pretty pleasing as I stink at running well later in the day.  That night was a late (for me!) soccer game.  Since I stink at sprinting, yet am super competitive and crazy, it is actually a pretty good workout.  I always leave dripping in sweat so it can't hurt my training I guess!

Wednesday- LOVE IT.  Did 12 miles on the treadmill early- progressively faster.  Nothing too fast or too amazing, but just the idea of speeding up throughout a run is a novel and difficult thing for me.  This I averaged around 8:10s but I'm not sure because the treadmill shut off and restarted.  Then, swam for about a mile at the gym.  This pool was colder than I was used to as I was at the new gym I joined, rather than the Y.  Cold pool = faster swimming!  The workout fun continued post-teaching with a 30 minute core class, then 60 minute cycling.  Love the intructor.  Love the vibe.  Love the company. ;)  You better believe the 5 hours of sleep I got that night were hard.

Thursday- Much-needed easy day.  Bakery blahs in the morning, so running group at night was my workout.  It was dumping snow and only myself and my friend Mike showed up.  We slogged through 6 miles of feet dragging.  Both of us had dead legs and basically cursed winter the whole time! 

Friday-  Hard day as well.  I was up early-early and on my apartment gym's treadmill before 4am to knock out 7 miles.  7:45 pace or so.  This run felt really good and I was finishing at 8.5 mph wishing I had time to extend the run.  But, I had to get back, change, and head to the Y for my 90 minute cycle class.  This class is totally different than Wednesday nights, but enjoyable.  Post-cycle I finished my milage for the day with 4 easier miles on the treadmill.  Nice way to start the day!

Saturday- UGH.  A total slog through deep snow at 5am.  I knew in my head I should hit up the treadmill to run before bakery at 7am, but I just really didn't want to.  It snowed a decent amount over night and it was sort of freezing-snow-raining at the time.  7 miles of slowness later, I was done.  My garmin was covered in a sheet of ice and my legs were totally shot.  It was rough to go to work on my feet all day, especially with the idea of a LR on the horizon.

Sunday- which brings me to today- an unconventional LR of 20 miles split into 10/10.  The first 10 were done with a friend around her neighborhood.  Miles with a friend = exponentially better than alone miles.  These flew by and were very enjoyable.  After a 30 minute drive home, I literally jumped out of my car at my parents' house and headed out on the second 10.  These were much harder.  My legs felt good, but they are cutting costs in my parents' town by literally not plowing any streets.  So I spent the whole run trying to find pavement only to be drugding through unplowed snow or slipping and sliding over streets the whole time.  Any time I picked up the pace for a few strides, I would be stopped dead by deep snow.  So it was frustrating in the sense that I felt like I had more to give, but conditions were favorable.  I was still really pleased overall with my pace considering the conditions.  I got back to the condo complex where my parents' live (that is plowed) and knocked out the last mile in 7:42 which showed me that despite how tired my legs were, they still had alittle something in them.  Now I just have to be patient with my runs and training and peak correctly.

2 swims
2 cycle classes
2 core classes
1 soccer game
70 miles :)

Going forward, I would like to get in another strength/core type class during the week so hopefully I can find a small gap in my schedule somewhere this week that works.  But, my milage will also still be increasing. We are also suppose to get a foot of snow Wednesday (WTF!?!) so we will see how that influences things...

Which brings me to my big announcement:  I've signed up and committed to my MAIN marathon- The Newport Marathon in Newport, Oregon on June 4th!  I'm really pumped- after lots of research, this seems to fit my criteria between timing, course, a new place I have never been, and weather.  I'm running a 'tune up' marathon 4/17 close by, but Newport will be my main focus for the next 18 weeks or so.  Yay!

Off to grocery shop at my favorite market, and rustle up some fro yo for dinner.  Yes, I sometimes use long runs as an excuse to eat fro yo for dinner the night before, and the night of the LR.  Addiction?  You bet.

Have a good week everyone! :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wait...another week went by!?!?

That title is seriously how I feel!  Time is flying- between workx2 and workouts and driving and suddenly the week is over! 

I'm going to make this snappy because I'm at a coffee shop (stupid internet is STILL completely MIA) and I'm hungry and ready for some fro yo dinner- post 'LR' treat! :)

This week went really well, training wise.  Well actually, it went really well in general- but I feel like my small number of readers cares mostly about the running'/training.  I'll sum it up, as quickly as I can since I'm not posting daily anymore!

Monday- Did an easy 6 mile recovery after LR on Sunday.  It was early and freezing but my legs legit felt great so I through in a couple of 0.75 mile hill repeats.  Reminded me of Boston training last year!  Ugh.  I hate hills.  Then, I swam which felt amazing.  PM brought about 75 minutes of core training with a group.  Lots of squats and lunges = hurts so good.

Tuesday- VERY good workout.  I had to make it count in a limited amount of time because I was working 4am-4pm between the two jobs and then had a soccer game at 8pm.  I was sleepy, but it ended up being an unexpectedly good run with 7 miles @ 7:10 pace (2 @ 7:35ish, then 5 @7:00ish)  Finished off the 10 miles with a slow 3 mile cooldown.  My legs were pretty tired after this, but I still dominated at  My team lost miserably.  I think we're in a 'building' year.....

Wednesday- hit up another early 6 miler.  Slow. Dark. Icy.  Post-work a ran a few more treadmill miles before core class then cycle at the new gym I joined.  Love the instructor.  Love her music.  It was spritual.  Only downfall is being out until 9pm before working Thursday morning.  Ha, I'm such a Grandma!

Thursday- again working at the bakery means only 1 workout.  This time it was a snowy 7 miler at run club with my friend Mike.  He is training again after 6 months off due to injury.  This makes me happy.

Friday- LOVED Friday.  Got up early early and was on my apartment treadmill before 4am.  Knocked out 6 miles at 7:50 pace which I consider "speedy" for the early my body is pretty confused for the first 3 miles or so.  Got caught up on random TV news shows.  Then headed off to my cycle class from 6am-7:30.  Besides hurting my butt, it was good.  Finished off with a swim.  A reverse triathalon.  Picked up my favorite coffee and lots of food from a local place I love.  Then, got to hear my coworkers talk about my food...ugh, so annoying.  Always commenting on what/how much/how little/how often I eat.  Laaame.

Saturday (today)- had to work at the bakery at 7am.  Set the alarm for 4am to hit out my run beforehand.  Alarm went off- I hit snooze.  Went off again- and I reset it for 6:30am.  My body was not moving.  Went to work and debated a rest day before my cut-back LR tomorrow.  Then got the brilliant idea to just do my run when I got off work.  It was 7 degrees out, so I didn't have to worry about a heat wave running at 3pm.  Got off work.  Headed home.  Changed without thinking.  Started running.  Decided to do the full 15 miles right then and there.  Hit the first few sub 8s, even though my legs were so stiff because I couldn't feel them.  Decided to 'make it hurt' a bit and keep the pace throughout.  The whole run I kept even pace (between 7:35-8:08 = even for me!).  I felt like I was running away from the 2 hour mark the whole time!  Finished hard- the last mile hurt- in 1:58 and change.  Really happy.  Faster than I was training this fall, but I still have a ways to go.  Proud of a good run in tough conditions after work.  Now it is off my plate for tomorrow!

So yeah, there you have it!  Easy run for tomorrow to cap off 60 miles, plus I am planning on legit sleeping for 13+ hours.  Looking forward to not going anywhere tomorrow besides the grocery store (which I never got to last week meaning I ate PB and old freezer-burned GF bread all week for dinner).  Prep work, cleaning, is it sad that I'm looking SO forward to this low key day?

Ok, that isn't such a short post after all!  I do have to go though because I'm getting weird looks for refilling my water glass so often here...hmmmm..

Fro yo time!  Have a good night everyone!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weekly blogging = laaaame

So I totally am not meaning to blog this infrequently, but my internet situation has gotten dire.  As in, my internet rarely works anymore at home (read: never.)  So, it is impossible for me to blog.  Never fear though, I braved the Sunday night coffee shop crowd in order to inform y'all what I have been up to- I know that many were sitting on pins and needles wondering....

This past week was very legit, workout-wise.  My cross training has been going well and I can't wait to progress further with it.  I hit up 2 spin classes last week, including a 90 minute one at the Y that left me sweating more than humanly possible.  I also got in 3 core/strength classes, and a couple of swim sessions.  My milage is still on the low end, just under 60 miles for the week I believe?  But, although I know that I still have lots more work to do and need to continue to build more into my schedule, I'm feeling decent about where I'm starting from.

Today was a very nice day for a long run!  Although it snowed waaay more than preferable yesterday, and the temps were lingering in the teens all day, the sun was out and that in itself was a mood booster!  I biggest mood booster was getting to run with a friend in a new town!  There is something about running with good company that make the miles so much more enjoyable.  We did a 3 loop route which broke up the run nicely (4.5, 8, 4.5) for a total of 17 miles.  Since I haven't been running more than 8 or 10 miles at one time (and my longest run since Chicago last fall was 11 miles!) I was pleased that I was able to hit 17 without it being too bad.  Maybe all hope is not lost on me yet?  Only time will tell...

I also braved the ice bath post-run.  It was tough though because by the time I drove home and got ice, I was freezing!  I think that it helped my legs, but tomorrow will be the judge of that.  They are feeling great right now, so I'm hoping some foam rolling and an early bedtime and all will be well!

Well, I'll *try* to update more if my internet magically starts happening.  Until then, I wish everyone good runs and good times! :)  Bring on the new week!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ididarun and running through a newbe's eyes

So when I last left you, I was feeling a bit down and was headed to the "Ididarun" which was held last night.  This is a crazy race held in a small town through a snowy trail.  4 x2 mile loops which makes for a slow 8 mile race, given the conditions.  It actually went pretty well and gave me hope that all was not lost yet in my training!  I ended up completing the course in around 65 minutes (I think 8:06 pace or so?) which was waaaay faster than last year, and I was actually really pleased with, considering this course.  Unfortunately, some crazy girl ran much faster than me, so my time was only good for second place.  I actually felt really good, and if it wasn't for my stomach giving me some...umm...trouble...the last 2 loops, I think I could have negative splitted and hit a sub-8 pace.  Again, this is not that impressive outright, but running through darkness and snowy trails makes it *slighty* more comforting to me.  So all is not lost....hopefully....

This morning/afternoon I drove back to the area where I teach (ugh 40 minutes) to meet one of my students for her "long" run.  She is training for a 1/2 marathon (her first) in Miami in a few weeks and has raised over $3000 for charity in the meantime.  As an 11th grader, I am totally impressed at her dedication and volunteered to run with her as needed.  Well, today we tackled 10 miles, her longest run ever (previously I did an 8 miler with her as her long run before break).  It was steady run-walk process that took us all over town.  Although it was cold and snowy, we made it and she finished feeling so proud/excited/pumped.  And kept commenting how "it felt like it went by so fast!"  Which made me happy because I am always worried people are totally bored with me when they are running with me because I am random and tend to ramble about stupid things (I know, shocker, if you are a blog reader you would have never guessed.....)  Anyway, the moral of the story was that it really makes me appreciate running when I see it through the eyes of someone who is experiencing it for the first time.  I get so hung up on the fact that I'm "out of shape" right now, or can only hit x:xx pace, or only run XX miles a day or week or whatever, but the truth is, running is amazing.  Hands down.  I wish I could have harnessed the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that she was feeling.  It was so pure and refreshing.  I'm so happy that I got to be a part of it, even if the drive time + run time ate away a pretty huge portion of my Sunday!

Now, I'm leaving the coffee shop (and to get ready for the week.  I'm determined to make it better, all around than last week and hoping that I finally feel better in a day or two.  Hope everyone out there has a great start to the week!  Send thoughts of working-internet my way! :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Hoping they get better from here...

Well, unfortunately my blogging didn't happen as often as planned this week.  This was mostly due to the fact that my bootleg internet at my apartment decided to be 100% absent once I got back on Monday and throughout the rest of the week.  :(  Not cool.

Furthermore, despite my best laid plans, my training didn't go as great as planned.  Monday- Wednesday were good but Thursday and Friday it was not possible as I was sick.  I hardly ever take unplanned rest days, but it simply was not possible.  So I feel like I gained some momentum, but am now 'starting over'.  Which is frustrating.

I'm also looking into joining a second gym (thanks to a new friend I met through the blog!)  I'm really excited about the prospects of this gym (more classes, crosstraining opportunities, multiple locations, better hours) but stressed about the cost.  I'm also trying to save for a destination marathon as well is well....survive the decision is a big one.  If I can make it work though, I really want to do it!

Today, I did a quick 5 miler this morning.  It was 9 degrees.  I'm so over winter!  Tonite I defend my title at the "Ididarun" - a crazy trail race that I did last year and ended up winning (probably because it is through a foot of snow for 8+ miles, in the dark, and it was 5 degrees so there weren't many people!)  Anyway, I'm excited to reconnect with my running group and do the race for fun- no pressure- as I am still not feeling 100%.  Should be a good time.

So this is just me saying that I did not fall off the face of the earth (and blogging) yet, and will hopefully do a better job with blogging, training, and life in the week ahead!  I'm hoping I still have a few blog readers out there and I promise that I will attempt to make these posts a bit more interesting!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year, Fun Training, let the good times roll!

So how 'bout that blog?

Truth time:  I took some time off from blogging.  Honestly, my training has been pretty chill and my schedule has been pretty anti-chill (ie the usual crazy).  As much as I've enjoyed the 'run and exercise as you feel' philosophy I'm really excited to start up training (and blogging!) regularly again.  I'm still working to finalize my races for this spring, but despite my crazy indecisiveness and inability to make a decision, I have decided to embark on a training plan this Monday.  I just really feel like I need some guidance and structure to my training in order to feel like I am making some serious gains in fitness.  Plus, I have alot of new ideas and a new outlook on my training and I honestly can't wait to get started.

Ok, now is the time when I get all philosophical.  The thing is, I've done alot of thinking and reflecting on my Chicago experience and my racing in the last year or two in general.  And for a time, I considered 'giving up.'  Not in the sense of stopping running or exercising or anything, but in the sense of being in my mind a 'legit' runner.  Chasing PRs.  Structuring training to work toward something that means so much to me.  I felt like it has been so long since my running has been good that maybe I'm too late or too old or too whatever to hit my goals.  But the thing is, I'm not.  Plain and simple.  I'm not ready to stop working toward my 1/2 and marathon PRs.  I'm not ready to stop training like crazy as my 'third job'.  If anything, I am more positive and more hungry for the good things to come.  I have to work harder and smarter and with more focus.  I have to retrain my mind to overcome the mental barriers that have previously sabatoged my training and racing.  Although my recent racing history reads like a bunch of 'failures' it really is just a bunch of learning experiences that will take me into being a stronger and smarter runner.  I am so physched to see where I can go from here!

It is New Years and all.  And I do have goals for 2011 in running and life.  But for now, I will just leave it at what I said.  I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season and are ready to tackle the new year head on!  Check back as blogging will now resume and I hope to have more specific training and racing plans laid out tomorrow!