Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Neighborhood Run

Monday night I did something I hadn't done in almost a year (or maybe two). I ran around my neighborhood. Now it might sound strange, but I never run around my neighborhood. Its quite hilly and only just over a mile going around the largest loop so it involves a lot of snaking around the same roads to get any sort of distance in.

But, I finished my BBB strength workout around 7:45 pm and I had limited light and didn't want to get all my stuff, drive 10 minutes to where I normally run and deal with lots of cross walks (there aren't as many once you get about a mile out... but with 1.5 miles out and back the most of the run). So I decided to suck it up and run around in circles on some hills.

I forgot how nice it is to lace up your shoes and walk out your front door and start running. I used to do this all the time from apartment I used to live in.

It was also perfect weather. The sun was coming out as it was setting and it was about 55 degrees. Definitely a wonderful way to start off my runs for the week.

Splits were pretty awesome as well.

I also decided to check out the elevation chart. It doesn't look like much but definitely a lot more than I am used to. I think it was about a 50 ft change over a third of a mile... whatever that means.

I might start working in some runs around my neighborhood just for the sake of the hills. Maybe.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Bayshore Half Marathon Training: Week 10

Another week down in training. Each week I keep planning on writing about specific runs to shorten these posts but it never seems to happen, so its a long one, again. The rest of the weekly recaps for this training cycle are here.

Scenes from Monday's run.
Monday: 4 miles. 3 out to meet a friend, about a mile or so walk, and then a mile run back to my car. And the BBB strength workout.
First 3 miles of 4.
Last mile back to car after walk.

Tuesday: I just did some core work... I was going to run; it just never happened.

5 mile negative splits.

Wednesday: 5 miles and the BBB strength workout. This run was especially difficult for some reason. I had 1.5 goals; don't start out too fast/negative splits from wherever. I think I did alright on those fronts.

Via Instagram.

Thursday: Core work and finally finally finally a seven mile tempo run. This run was also quite rough for some reason. I stopped quite a few times at the beginning before I got into the groove and kept a mental battle going the whole time on cutting it short, scrapping the whole "tempo" aspect, etc. I am technically writing this before I have even seen the splits, but I'm about to upload them from my Garmin to post them so I guess we shall see how I did.

7 mile tempo.

Friday: Decided on Thursday that I would claim Friday as a rest day. Oh so needed.

Smoothie and a walk after yoga.

Saturday: 90 minute heated flow. Not as amazing as last week's (different instructor) but still pretty dang good. And it was a gorgeous day. So I walked around a bit after the class and enjoyed the sun and warmth.

Sunday: 11 miles. Again, haven't seen my actual splits yet, but much the same as my other long runs. I did have a "3/1 GP" planned so I decided to pick up the pace for the last 3 miles to be around 8:30. Milestones of this run were that I was wearing shorts and a tank top... crazy. It wasn't extremely warm, but I hate getting too hot and I hate wearing short sleeves a lot. So It was perfect for me. An older woman I passed who was biking asked if I was cold and I aggressively/enthusiastically responded "Noo!". 

Bright colorful running clothes.

I also passed a guy on my way out and my way back. Right when I was passing him on the way back (just past mile 7) I was looking exhausted, and he clapped and gave me thumbs up and said something encouraging I wish I could have heard but I was listening to music. I love runners.

11 mile long run.
All in all, a pretty solid week. I said I wanted to be more flexible with my training and just get around 25 miles. I did 27, so that was good. Things that I 'missed': 800 speed repeats and the third BBB strength workout that I think I might make up this week since it focuses on arms and maybe switch it out with one of this weeks that is more leg-centric.

Other exciting things to note: I have started working on my marathon training schedule, yikes. I got some new Brooks apparel and may have found running shorts that I will actually run in for more than 3 miles. And, I stocked up on another pair of my favorite Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12s. They came out with the 13s and my size is sold out everywhere online but I found a pair at my local running store and compared them with the 13s and decided I wasn't ready to switch yet. That makes it 1 pair that is about to get retired, one pair that has started to be broken in and a brand new pair. Nope, not excessive at all.

Anything exciting to note?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Bayshore Half Marathon Training: Weeks 8 & 9

I'm not sure how I'm going to sum up two whole weeks without getting incredibly wordy and rambly but I shall try. You can catch up on previous week recaps here.

I'm going to skip the pictures of what what supposed to happen and what did and all that jazz cause frankly I don't have the pictures and I am going to try to be a little less structured this coming week and see how that goes.

Week 8 was my lowest mileage yet; crappy weather and an extreme treadmill aversion (just the thought of stepping onto it made me want to cry...) were not a very good combination. I also flew down to Richmond to then get in a car and drive back home (I was helping a friend move back, long story). I ended up driving through the night Tuesday night so nothing was happing when I got home Wednesday and it kind of threw me off through the rest of the week.

Monday: 4 easy miles on the treadmill and the strength workout for BBB.

Tuesday: 4 x 800s @ 8.2 mph on the treadmill. I totalled 3.5 miles that was supposed to be 4 but I felt really crunched for time to make my plane that morning and decided it was either finishing my cool down or stretching. I chose stretching.

Wednesday: As mentioned above, rest day.

Thursday: I did the strength workout for BBB and then I was going to get in a run but it would have had to been on the treadmill and I kept putting it off and ended up doing 45 minutes of yoga that was probably a record for length of doing a yoga flow on my own, I can't concentrate the way I can at a studio when I'm being told what to do.

Friday: Don't remember exactly what I was planning on doing, but I remember I kept putting it off and putting it off until it was too late and I just couldn't fine the motivation since the weather was bad and running would have been on the treadmill. Oh well, rest day it was.

Saturday: Strength workout for BBB and a quick 3 miles on the treadmill. Which meant I had only run three times thus far in the week and it had all been on the treadmill. Blah.

Sunday: I was supposed to run 10 miles. It was my mom's birthday and we ended up being out to lunch and with my Grandmother waayyyy longer than I anticipated and it was getting dark by the time we were heading home, so that wasn't happening. I did some more home practice yoga and really tried to work on my hips (so. freaking. tight.), hamstrings and knees.

Going into week 9 I knew I didn't have a long run planned so I decided to do my long run from Sunday that Monday especially because the weather was looking up for Monday. This spring has been SO awful.

Via Instagram

Monday: BBB added some core work this week and I decided that would go better with a long run than a full strength workout. I did that and then headed out in the late afternoon for my long run. Same story from my previous long runs. Too fast starting, gross positive splits, and then some negative splits at the end to show that I'm not entirely crashing.

10 mile splits

Tuesday: This was the day after Boston and I wore my race shirt from Rock 'n' Roll USA last year. It might have been a bit too chilly for just a tshirt, but I didn't have any clean long sleeve running shirts (I only own one and wore it for the 10 miles on Monday.. I am working on fixing this shortage).

Via Instagram

I was planning on 3 x 1600s. I went out to the civic center where we have a mile loop path that I thought would be nice for mentally knowing how much farther I had to go in the mile repeats. Well I warmed up for a mile trying to keep my pace up, then I went in for my first mile repeat and man were my legs tired. And then I realized that this was the workout I had planned before I did a long run on Monday... why in the world was I attempting speed??

Mile "repeat" splits.
I decided to just cool down for another mile and call it a day, plus my Garmin was on low battery so I figured it wasn't going to make it for more mile repeats anyways. I did also do the BBB strength workout that night, probably shouldn't have since it focused on lower body..

Wednesday: I technically had a pace run planned but I knew that my legs needed to not run. I did the BBB strength workout and spent about 20 minutes on the bike trainer. So boring. I need to get outside on my bike one of these days now that it is warming up!

Thursday: Rest day. I was going to at least get the core work in, but it didn't happen.

Friday: I got the strength workout for BBB in and again just couldn't muster the motivation to run.

Saturday: There was SNOW on the ground when I woke up. Yuck. And if you're keeping track, yes it was April 20th. It wouldn't have been that bad if we didn't have a burial service to go to and stand outside in the strong, cold wind. But then after that I went to an Inspire 90 minute heated flow. I used to go to this class on Wednesdays but they changed it and this is a different instructor. Long story short, I loved it. It was extremely relaxing while still being challenging/kick-butt.

Sunday: I did the core work I meant to do on Thursday and then went to run. I only planned on 6 miles. No long run this week. And I am glad I wasn't planning on a long run. Everything about this run was just off. I forgot my water bottle to have in my car before and after the run, chapstick of any kind and my Garmin. I had on capris that I don't like to run in because they are not tight at all and I feel like they don't 'hold me in' (TMI?...). Plus they are really shiny and slippery and my flip belt kept riding up on them, and I was also wearing a tank that I don't like to run in.. Things were just not good. I used run keeper and didn't like tracking my run on my phone. I got in the 6 miles but it was all funky.

6 miles via Runkeeper.

So all in all; not a ton of running has been going on and this is the point in training where I need to step it up and push through these last 5 weeks! I am happy that I have been getting in the BBB workouts and really enjoying it. I don't know what to do when it comes to strength training so I love the direction.

As I said at the beginning I am going to be a bit less 'scheduled' this week. My goals are to get in the BBB workouts, about 25 miles of running and tons of stretching and foam rolling (been good on stretching and very bad on foam rolling).

Yep, that was super lengthy. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

On Goals and Pace

I started training this season with two goals in mind. I wanted to sub-25 a 5k and sub-2 hour the Bayshore Half Marathon.

I am going to preface this by saying that I am very self-competitive and very Type-A.

I had run the Turkey Trot in November and hadn't run a ton so when the first of the year rolled around I decided to start January with a "mile a day" challenge. I wanted to walk or run one mile every day. I missed maybe 3-4 days tops. Since it was the middle of winter all of those miles took place on the treadmill. I would try to get the mile done as quickly as possible a lot of days and rarely did I push for even 2 or 3 miles instead of the 1 I was 'supposed' to do. I ended up doing a lot of interval things as well as seeing how fast I could run a mile.

I think that is what gave me so much more speed than I was used to when I started training in February. (What does that even mean?! But I can't think of a better way to put it).

I did a lot of speed work in the first 4 weeks of training in prep for my "sub-25 5k" goal. But if we are being honest here... I didn't want to sub-25, I wanted to sub-24. Which I did.

I had been only running on the treadmill and had sub-25'ed on it but not quite near sub-24.

Some people will say that you run faster on the treadmill than you do outside and some people say the exact opposite. I think it has a lot to do with the mental aspects; but for me, I run faster outside. Especially when I have been running on the treadmill for a few runs in a row and then I run outside... I can't slow down my legs, I just want to GO.

And now that the focus is on my "sub-2 hour half marathon" goal. I keep thinking "should I push for something more"? Partly because for my long runs I keep running wayyy too fast. I know this is going to be one of those amateur mistakes where I think its no big deal and then something will happen and I will realize how much I should have just been slowing down. I keep trying and then I get a couple miles in at such a fast pace and I don't want to completely crash my pace.

At this point I don't think that I should make a 'hard and fast' new goal. No "sub-1:45" (yeah right!). Maybe in the future, but at my current training and fitness that just isn't reasonable for this race. One day..

So for now, sub-2 hour here I come! Anything more (or would it be less, as in less time?) is just a bonus!

What goals are you working towards?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Running Reflections.

I was going to post as usual (or at least as I usually plan) on Monday about last weeks training but in light of Boston I was not just going to go ahead and post about my training; instead I am going to take a moment of reflection and come back next week with a recap of last week and this week.

I feel like it has all been said; how strong the running community is and will continue to be, how everyones' thoughts and prayers are with those who were most directly effected, and all the things you can do to help.

It is times like these that most people take a moment to reflect and appreciate all that they have to be thankful for. And beyond family and friends being safe the ability to run is on the top of my list. I have cried reading many posts in the last two days, even the happy/inspiring ones and I just wanted to take a moment to reflect here about all that I love about running and all that I look forward to in relation to running.

Every time I step out the door (or more begrudgingly on the treadmill) I try to remember, especially when things get hard, that I do it for me. I do it because I love it and because I can. I do it for everyone who can't. For everyone who would love to have that ability to move their body the way you do when you run.

I love to know where I came from; not being able to run a mile, thinking the act of running just for the sake of running was ludicrous. And to know how much has changed because I wanted it and I worked for it. I love that others may think I am crazy for aspiring to a marathon because I know just what they are thinking because I used to be them.

I love the feeling of accomplishment that running gives me. I love seeing what I can do and then turn around and push to do more. The accomplishments I have had in my running and will hopefully continue to have were never handed to me. I worked for every single one.

I love the community. I believe that you don't even have to be able to run a mile to consider yourself a runner. You just have to be out there trying. Working hard and doing what you can and you are a runner. I love when out on the trail and you see other runners the smiles and waves you exchange because you are both out there doing the same thing and you have that connection.

I am looking forward to my half marathon at the end of May, but not for that one run, but for every run I have been doing and will be doing to get to that point. I am looking forward to starting Marathon training; to going new distances and learning new things about myself as a runner and as a person. I am excited for every run during marathon training that will lead to the starting line of Chicago 2013, through all 26.2 miles and finally across that finish line. I know that because of Boston, marathon training will hold a deeper meaning and that the events of Boston 2013 will not be forgotten by anyone in Chicago, but we will not run in fear.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bayshore Half Marathon Training: Week 7

Previous training posts:
Eight weeks down, seven to go. Doesn't it get confusing with a zero week? Oh well. Let's see how things went.

The plan:

Week 7 | Before.
The reality:

Week 7 | After.
Not too shabby. Skipped that dang tempo run again though. That's my goal this week. If I don't do anything else do the freaking tempo run. Ok not really... but sort of.

Treadmill Timed Mile.
Monday: Monday I started Best Body Bootcamp and did the first workout and the fit test along with a 4 mile run that included a timed mile. My mile time on the treadmill was about 6:47. That is my fastest "timed mile" by far but I am curious to see how I can perform outside with more accurate timing.

Tuesday: I did my first mile repeats for this training session. I don't really like mile repeats and decided to start out with just two. I did throw in a little extra warm up and cool down to get an extra mile in though.

Via Instagram.
Wednesday: Second strength workout for Best Body Bootcamp. Which I think marks the most strength training I have done in one week this training cycle. And then I waited a while and went to do an easy 5 miles outside that turned into a 10k.

Mm. Gotta love the positive splits.. Not. Quit starting out sooo fast. I can obviously not maintain it. Geez. I need to learn.

Via Instagram.

Thursday: The day of the elusive tempo run. Part of my rationale was that I did over 6 miles the day before with an overall average pace that is about my goal tempo pace for only 4 of the planned 6 miles. Which isn't really an excuse. And then I was out and about and didn't get back until late in the day and spent my time in the kitchen making a pasta dish and Coconut Cream Doughnuts (from Mama Pea's More Peas, Thank You) and just didn't run..

Friday: Third strength workout for BBB that started with these ones squats that I specifically said to myself "these don't seem that bad" but was about the main move that I was really feeling the next day... karma. And 35 minutes on the trainer following the suggested intervals for cardio for BBB. It was cool to have a semi direction on the trainer... I still need to learn more about the resistance and what gears I should be using.

Saturday: I went to a Yin Yoga class. I have been to Yin yoga a couple times in the past but this was the first time it was entirely Yin on the floor working hips and spine. It was a lot of work to quite my mind and hold poses for such a long time but definitely a needed stretch.

Via Instagram.
Sunday: I had planned on doing my long run on Saturday (and making that a permanent change) but the weather was not cooperating so I decided Friday night to switch my long run and yoga around. I didn't get out to run until almost 5 in the evening, but the wait was worth it. It wasn't quite as windy and the sun even came out for a bit.

Same as last week. Way. too. fast. I had my sleeve over my Garmin at the beginning and I checked my pace about two or three times during the first mile and saw between 8:45-8:50 each time so I thought that that was decent compared to last week... until I heard the beep for the first mile and checked the lap pace: 8:36. I literally said "Are you f-ing kidding me?!" Out loud. On the trail. I then proceeded to have some lovely positive splits and near the end I decided that if I was going to shoot myself in the foot by starting out too fast I was going to have to keep the pace going to the end. I wouldn't have done it if it was "too much" but the pace increase actually didn't seem too bad.

All in all a solid week. I really enjoyed first week with Best Body Bootcamp. I love the direction with strength training and I love that its not way too much to fit in with my half marathon training.

Here's a look at what's coming up this week. I think I might also post about some thoughts on pace and goals. Since my pace is all over the place right now.

Week 8 | Before.
How'd your training go this past week?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Bayshore Half Marathon Training: Week 6

Previous training posts:
I tried to get this up Tuesday and Wednesday but something is strange with my screenshots I'm trying to upload. They look fine on my computer but when I upload them they are quite strange so we shall see how this goes after I publish it.

Here was the plan:

Week 6 | Before.
Here is what happened:

Week 6 | After.

Monday: Nothing special. 4 easy miles on the 'mill and about a 20 minute Pilates workout with good ole Denise Austin.

Tuesday: 4 x 800s on the treadmill. I think 800s might be my favorite speed intervals to do.

Wednesday: I went to a 90 minute heated yoga class. It was a teacher I had gone to several times but the class was new. We did a ton of "reclined crow" poses (can't remember if this is the right name) at the beginning and my hip muscles (?) were so sore for days.

Thursday: A quick 30 minutes on the bike trainer with some extra attention paid to foam rolling and stretching due to sore muscles.

Friday: Well, I had planned 5 miles but I was toying with the idea of getting my 10 miles in before the weekend because we had family in town for Easter. After running around and being in town and forgetting my head phones and going back and then trying my favorite part of the trail and realizing it was still covered in a lot of snow (!) I finally get to where I was going to run from, have everything ready to run and realize I haven't turned on my Garmin to load the satellites. It wouldn't turn on. I took it off the charger that morning so it couldn't have been dead. I decided to go to the battery store anyways which took them a while to tell me they could get the battery but would have no idea how to change it, went to a running store where the guy said it might not be the battery so give Garmin support a call, go home, call, closed for the holiday (it was Good Friday) and then I decided to check the forums online (aka 'googled' it) which was odd cause in almost every other situation in life that would be my first instinct. I found the ways to soft and hard reset combined with putting it on the charger and it has been working fine ever since. By the time I had my Garmin working my family had arrived and I visited with them for a long while and then the motivation to run was completely gone. So, long story long, I didn't run.

Where I started my 10 miles.

Saturday: With a working Garmin I knew I had to get in my 10 miles because that just wouldn't happen on Easter. I waited until about noon for it to warm up a bit (so sick of this unseasonably cold weather) and took off. Let's just say I am so sick of running on the treadmill and I couldn't slow my legs down.

 I say my first mile split pop up and knew that I was going to be dragging by the end, but I also didn't want to slow down my pace dramatically. So the run ended up being far too fast overall with some gross positive splits. At the end I still felt good and strong though, and managed to match my pace pretty close to where I started.

10 miles. Done.
Sunday: Easter. I had planned on doing the fit test for Best Body Bootcamp. But as I posted on Monday, I did that Monday. I just didn't have time on Easter. I thought I would be home maybe around 5pm giving me plenty of time for it but I ended up getting home a little after 8pm and was just too tired.

Overall, a solid week with a solid long run. I may have missed a tempo and an easy run. But my long run was so solid that I don't even care right now. That is definitely not to say that I can start slacking on my training right now, but I tend to be too hard on myself when I miss runs or they don't go as planned so I am trying to be more positive. Things went well enough to dive into this week and Best Body Bootcamp with a positive attitude! Here is what I have in store:

Week 7 | Before.

Monday, April 1, 2013

I'm Going to Bootcamp!

I have seen several bloggers I read do Tina Reale's Best Body Bootcamp. At first, I will admit, that I was not interested in it at all. I didn't really get the concept and I didn't really care to find out more about it.

Then I kept seeing things about it and it finally peaked my interest. After reading several reviews where everyone raved about it; especially the flexibility, I knew it was something I had to try.

If you can tell I keep mentioning elusive strength training... but never actually doing it. I have never done any consistant form of strength training and definitely am lost when it comes to strength training on my own. So, when I saw that Round 5 of Best Body Bootcamp, which is an 8 week program, coincided with the last 8 weeks of my half marathon training I felt like it was a sign. Something to actually get me to start strength training along with my half marathon training and keep me motivated to the end of training.

Best Body Online Personal Training

So today was the first day! And I am already excited to keep going... which might change in the morning when I can't move my arms.

Due to poor scheduling on my part I did the fit test today as well as the strength workout. In general I will be doing my half marathon training runs (with possibly cutting out an easy run or two a week) instead of the recommended cardio.

I'm excited to see how improving my overall strength helps with my running because half marathon PR, I'm coming for you!

Speaking of my half marathon, I'll be back tomorrow with a Week 6 recap!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Bayshore Half Marathon Training: Week 5

Previous training posts:
 Let's get right to it... this week was not so hot. Here is what is was supposed to look like:

Week 5 | Before.
Ha; totally didn't quite happen like that. This is what did:

Week 5 | After.
 Monday: As planned. I tried out my new bike trainer. I still need to figure out the whole resistance and gear thing, but it was a good 30 minutes. I did some random 30 second intervals to keep it interesting. After, I did this random Denise Austin pilates DVD... pilates is not my favorite.

Tuesday: Also as planned, I even decided to kick up the 400s to 8.4mph, I had been doing them at 8.3. It went well.

Wednesday: I went to a "Detox Yoga Flow" that I really enjoyed. It was 75 minutes and really hit some spots that I needed to stretch out. Then I went home and kept procrastinating the easy 4 miles I had planned. I generally like to run prior to yoga but it didn't happen so I was going to try for after. It got pretty late and then I ate dinner and then waited some and decided to finally go for it around 8:30pm. Not a good idea. I started getting a side cramp and was just not feeling the treadmill and decided to call it quites at 2 miles when I was at about 1.5 and by the time I got to 2 I didn't think I was even going to make it to 2 with the side cramp it was getting so bad.

Thursday: As planned. Don't remember much. On the treadmill. Did the first tempo mile at 7.3 and the second and third at 7.4.

Friday: I got home pretty late and did the whole dinner thing before I ran and decided it wasn't going to happen and I would make it up Saturday.

Saturday: I waited, as usual, and it was a lot later in the day than it should have been. I started getting a cramp again and got nervous about that, I was not feeling the treadmill at all, and overall my head was just not in the game. Physically it would have been fine. But I called it quits at halfway again. Partially to "save my legs" for the supposed 9 miles on Sunday.

Sunday: I decided to run errands and do some of those sorts of things in the morning and afternoon and by the time I got to the run I was just dreading it so much 9 miles was not happening. I stopped at 4.5 and knew I wasn't going to make it that much more on the treadmill. I compromised for 1.5 more miles at pace (meaning it was 3/1 GP) and called it a day. And said that this next week would be better.

All in all I got in two quality speed workouts and if I would have hit 9 miles on Sunday I would have deemed the week enough of a success. I also tried some different cardio which was nice to add to the week and plan to continue to do so. But not on Mondays, I like running on Monday to set the tone for the week, and leave the option of cross for later in the week if/when I want to.

So all in all here are the things I learned this week:
  • I like starting my Monday out with a run. It sets me up for better running the rest of the week.
  • I need to get my runs done earlier in the day.
  • I am soo tired of the treadmill.
And here is what this coming week *should* look like:

Week 6 | Before.
I am moving the trainer to Wednesday and moved my long run to Saturday because of Easter, but I have been considering this change in general. The weather forecast is pretty good for Saturday so I hope it stays that way so I can go it outside which will be tremendously helpful. We shall see how it goes!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The First Go at 13.1: Long Runs

This past Sunday marked a year since my first half marathon! Maybe I should have celebrated with a recap from what I remember from that race... oh well, that will come next in my little "The First Go at 13.1" posts that I am writing for memory's sake. I've already talked about my training plan in general and how hot yoga played a key role in carrying my through the halfs.

As I already mentioned I started skipping a lot of my runs once I started hot yoga. But I tried to keep up with long runs. I am not about to break down each long run I did and when it was since I honestly don't remember, but I remember snippets from different ones so I'm just going to share those thoughts.

 I think I considered my first "long" run 7 miles. It was new distance territory for me and just seemed, well, long. I tried to do this run on the TART trail at home in Traverse City when it was still my winter break. It was not a good idea, the trail was covered in ice and snow. I made it to the next road and decided to run back along the road to my car. That was probably only about 4-5 miles. So I proceeded to drive into town and finish the run on the side walks there. Not the most successful attempt at the new PDR... but I got the distance in somehow.

I also remember when I hit 8 miles down state in East Lansing at school. There wasn't the snow and ice issue and I ran the entire thing listening to Les Mis. Not most people's running music choice, but I love musicals.

Then I hit 9 miles and did it on the treadmill. I decided to stop and get off the treadmill every three miles just for sanity. The idea of running 9 miles in general seemed insane to me at the time and on a treadmill no less. But then I went on to do it at least one more time and did 10 miles on there once as well.

Then the running thing sort of disappeared. My planned long runs went up to 12 miles (I know some plans stop at 10, but I wanted that extra distance for mental 'I can do this' purposes). I never did an 11 mile run, then I went to Arizona and did 12 miles and there was this whole thing with my peroneal tendon which I just decided to do a whole post on. And then I ran DC (March 17, 2013) and did pretty dang well (spoiler for the peroneal tendon post).

Then I had more long runs planned after a week or so of light running after the race in preparation for the Bayshore at the end of May. I probably had at least 4 double digit runs in those 9 weeks in between races. I did 12 miles, once. Two weeks before the Bayshore.

I was semi proud that that even happened. I was only going to make it 10 miles but part way through I decided why not just go for 12 like last time... never mind that it was almost twice the distance as my longest run since DC.

And those were pretty much all the notable long runs... no where near as many as there should have been.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bayshore Half Marathon Training: Week 4

Previous training posts:

Already behind on blogging. Typical. But I am not that behind so we are going to keep plugging along.

Week 4 of training was the first week that I didn't go anything like I had planned. But I got an amazing PR so that is all that mattered this week!

A look back at what was supposed to happen:

Week 4 | Before.
 And here is what actually happened:

Week 4 | After.
 I started the week downstate where my favorite yoga studio is and decided that I wasn't going to cram my runs in and just enjoy the yoga while I could.

Monday was a new instructor. The one I knew and had planned on going to was sick. It ended up being a pretty traditional class; a good mix of the Bikram series, flow, and floor series.

Tuesday was a "slow flow" class with one of my favorite instructors ever. It was slow, hot, and exactly what I needed. We worked on hips from about every angle. Really worked on half moon and triangle. And still managed to get a bit of cardio while also holding poses more. I left class being the most relaxed I have been in ages. Love love love.

Wednesday I was going to wake up early and run on the treadmill at the hotel I was staying at before I met a friend for brunch... I realized my shoes were still in the car right before I went to bed and when I woke up at 7 I was so tired I just knew it wouldn't happen. Instead I spent the day walking around and shopping all day. That's a workout, right?

Thursday was my first run of the week, yikes! Usually it's my fourth. Oh well. I did speed. Eight 400s on the treadmill. They seemed to take a while but went fine. Don't really remember much else from it.

Friday I was going to rest my legs before the race on Saturday but I wanted to get some more miles in so I did 4 easy miles on the treadmill.

Saturday: 5k PR! 23:51 in the snow and cold. It was rough, but oh so worth it.

Sunday; rest yet again. Midway through the week I had decided that I wanted to do 6 easy miles on Sunday... but that just didn't happen. I didn't want to. Not at all. And I used the previous day's PR as an excuse. And after 4 weeks of being completely "on" with my training I decided it was fine.

From a training perspective it wasn't that amazing, but overall it was a great week! I looked at my training schedule and realized that I have 4 more weeks of "hard" training and then a step back week and then 4 more hard and then taper and half marathon week, so this week was just my "rest" week after the 4 hard weeks I put in.

And this is what this week has in store:

Week 5 | Before.
What's that you see? Cross training? Yep, I'm branching out this week!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Leapin' Leprechaun 2013

After well over 2 years I finally ran my second 5k. I have been wanting a more representative 5k PR for years, literally. It used to be wanting something around 26-27 minutes. And then I kept not ever running a 5k and that goal as slowly gotten faster and faster.

I planned on doing this race way back when I first started making my training plan, it would give me time to work on speed before I really started focusing on distance and lost some of the speed. And why not run a race almost exactly a year after a ran my first half marathon?

Well, last year Michigan had unseasonably warm weather... this year... unseasonably cold. It was not awesome. It was about 20* and snowing. There was a bit of snow on the ground to slip and slide in which is always fun. Plus, remember when I said I don't run under 35*? Yeah, I don't like running in the cold. I feel like I spend the entire time trying to warm up... and then I am too hot... and then its over. But thanks to my friend, Sarah, just telling me to do it I signed up about 5 minutes before online signup closed and I was roped into just going for it. I was mildly freaking out.

Morning of the Race
On one hand I didn't want to over do it because I am not used to running in the cold... and on the other my track record shows that I don't really do 5ks so I wanted to make a worth while PR. Plus I was trained and already sub 25'ed on the treadmill. I had it in me.

Well, I did it. 23:51. Heck yes. Not only sub-25, but sub-24. I also got second in 20-24 year old females. Say what?!

I don't have my splits or anything... I turned on my Garmin, "low battery." Such a rookie mistake. I even got it out last night and thought 'oh I just charged that, its ready to go.' False. It apparently doesn't hold a charge. Noted.

I spent a lot of time weaving and trying to run on clear pavement which wasn't always possible. I did have my Garmin for about the first half a mile. I checked in on my pace and it was bouncing around 7:15-8:15 so that wasn't too helpful. Then it went dead and it was just me and pushing it as much as reasonable. I found the snow slippery but not too bad. It made my calves work a bit harder but I surprisingly wasn't afraid of falling.

I can't decide if I am glad I didn't have my Garmin for the race or not. Sometimes I use it as a motivator and sometimes it's a crutch. I think in the end it was good because I only went as fast as I was comfortable (extremely relative term). And didn't try to sustain a fast pace I saw on the watch even when my body is saying to slow down (so guilty of this in races).

Definitely glad I decided to go for it. So worth it. Now on to training hard for a half marathon PR in May!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The First Go at 13.1: Hot Yoga

As I mentioned in my first The First Go at 13.1 post where I talked about my training plan in general, I did a lot of hot yoga during that training cycle. Well, here's an even more indepth story about it.

Near the end of January 2012 I fell in LOVE with hot yoga. Yes, I realize that seems a bit dramatic. But it is true.

I was at school in East Lansing at the time and I knew about a studio (East Lansing Hot Yoga) that had opened up a few months earlier and I had been meaning to try it. I had one day of yoga a week as a goal during training so one day I decided to just go do it.

Where the obsession began...
Well, they have a special where you can pay $20 on your first visit for 2 weeks of unlimited yoga which is a great deal because you just have to go once more in the two weeks to make it worth it. Then I decided to go "as much as possible" to really get my money's worth in those two weeks and then go once a week after that. That didn't happen. The first class I went to after my two weeks expired I signed up for unlimited yoga with a minimum of a 3 month commitment. Whoops, that's a lot more than once a week.

I think I feel in love with yoga for many of the same reasons I fell in love with running. I saw small improvements each time I went and I just wanted to keep seeing more and more. My overall love and appreciation for yoga (and running) goes far beyond that now.

And this is where I would insert awesome pictures of my doing more "party trick" yoga.. but I have none. I should get some though.

I could continue to ramble on about my love affair with hot yoga (mostly this studio in particular as well as comparing some other classes to it and how it will always be my favorite) but I will not bore you with that. The main point is, I started going to hot yoga a lot and running very little because I was spending so much time going to yoga. The only downside was the decreased running. The upsides however were that I got stronger and fitter and 'semi-flexible' and I increased my endurance. The classes I went to were 90 minutes and usually included a large amount of cardio. I honestly think that it is hot yoga that pulled me through both of my half marathons last year.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Bayshore Half Marathon Training: Week 3

One more week down, 11 more to go. You can read about the first 3 weeks here.

This is how things went down last week, pretty dang good if I do say so myself:

Week 3 | Completed
Monday started out with some "speed play" as I like to call it. Meaning I just do any type of speed work that strikes my fancy. This week I decided to put my running playlist (that needs some serious revamping..) on shuffle and warm up to the first song and then alternate fast and recovery every song until I reached 3 miles. The "fast" songs I did at 7.5, 8, and 8.5 mph respectively. Overall the workout took me 24:46 which is an 8:15 average pace.

Tuesday was 400s. I did 7 at 8.3 mph with half a mile warm up, quarter mile jog in between each 400 and three quarters of a mile cool down totally 4.5 miles. I did the jogs and warm up/cool down anywhere between 6.5 and 6.7 mph. The entire workout took 37:04 which is an 8:14 average pace.

Wednesday was 3 quick an easy miles before a yoga class. I just got on the t-mill and set it at 6.7 mph for the entire duration. The yoga class I went to is a 90 minute heated (~95*) flow. It's a pretty decent and fairly sweaty class.

Thursday was more speed (I think I do way too much speed atm... but everything else is just sooo boring on the treadmill). 3 tempo miles at 7.3 mph. The entire 5 miles took 42:34; avg pace: 8:31.

First Outside Run of the Season!

Friday.... I made it back outside! This was my first outside run since the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. We have had so much snow I haven't wanted to brave icy, snowy side walks. Friday was sunny and it was about 40* and sunny when I ran around 2pm. I decided to go to the civic center because they have a path around it that is just shy of a mile that they keep pretty clear.

I was aiming to run at about my half marathon goal pace which is currently 8:30... That didn't quite happen. As expected I went out quite fast and after the first mile I tried to slow down but I didn't want to drastically slow my pace. I ended up just doing what felt good. My time was 41:09; avg pace: 8:13. Which is actually faster than my official 5 mile PR from almost 2 and a half months ago. Interesting.

Saturday: rest, glorious rest.

Sunday was the first "not so hot" run. 9 miles on the treadmill. If I had planned ahead I could have run outside on Saturday when it wasn't raining but I partly just did not want to run on Saturday. I tried watching Mamma Mia on my iPad which was not a big enough distraction. At about 4.6 miles I decided I had to stop for a minute and just not be on the treadmill. I ate a Gu at this point even though I probably didn't need it, but better safe than sorry and crashing near the end.

I stopped again just shy of an hour and walked around off the treadmill for a minute before I got back on to finish it out. Once you hit an hour on my treadmill it doesn't tell you seconds anymore so I have to start the stopwatch on my phone so I can know the 'exact' time cause I'm crazy like that.

It seemed to take but I did it. As seen about, total time: 1:20:44; avg pace: 8:58. I really don't need to be doing long runs this fast but a lot of it has to do with not wanting to be on the treadmill that long and it's easier to just set a pace and go for it. I hope to be able to do all my long runs from here on out outside where I will be able to go with what pace feels best at the time.

Here is a look ahead to what this week has in store:

Week 4 | Planned
Spoiler alert: It already isn't quite going as planned. But that is partially because I have decided to not double up on yoga and running this week. I am down at my favorite yoga studio for Monday and Tuesday and I think I am just going to enjoy that and not try to cram in runs on top of it.

Not sure how what I will do for runs, all I know is Saturday will most likely be a small 5k that I am hoping to crush my PR from well over 2 years ago... shouldn't be too hard and I am kind of super excited for a more accurate 5k PR. So this was supposed to be an easy week for because of that anyways.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Only Workout Your Arms?!

We all know that the media is filled with horrible messages in regards to body image, weight loss, dieting, fitness, etc. So I know when I get my monthly subscription to Glamour the the "Health" section is going to be cringe-worthy.

I could mention the apparently tested "dessert at breakfast" diet. (Say what??) But I am just going to focus on the workout they suggest in the April 2013 issue.


The title? "Work Your Arms. Forget the Rest!"

Ok, so I should just be working out my arms because they are the only thing that matter?

Well yes, if your arms are "sexy" it will trick people into thinking that your whole body is "sexy."

Oh ok then, so that means my primary concern is what other people think about my body and not how strong and capable and healthy my body really is?

Yep, you got it!

Awesome. That is the exact message we should be sending!

I will concede that the suggested strength moves target far more than just the arms (abs, thighs, butt, etc.) so the strength moves on their own I have no problem with, they are actually really great suggestions. The problem I have is the message we attach to working out and how its about the way we look and the way other people see us and not about what it does for you and your body on the inside making you stronger and fitter and more capable.