Tag Archives: goals

WIAW – a new schedule

Another day of eats coming your way. Don’t forget to head over to Peas and Crayons to see the entire link up!

Now that we are back from a little vacation in North Carolina and California, it’s time to settle into my new summer schedule. As you may remember, I made a big announcement that I was leaving my job to pursue a Masters in Social Work. I am really thrilled about this next step 🙂 I have a number of tasks for this summer prior to starting school full time. I am supplementing my time prepping for school with a number of exciting side projects that are a bit more “social work-y” (yeah I’m just gonna own that word) in nature. Here’s what my new schedule is like…

Like every good Tuesday, I started the morning with a cardio warm up and an AM session with my trainer. We were both traveling last week so we haven’t worked out together in two weeks! He definitely brought the pain  with a killer lower body workout. I was positively dripping sweat by the end of our session. I headed home to shower and enjoyed a breakfast of iced coffee with 2% milk and overnight oats in a jar! I finally finished my jar of sunflower butter (must get more ASAP I love it) so I made overnight oats with strawberry yogurt, oats, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, and raisins. So delicious and super filling. I had a really busy morning ahead so I didn’t want to get hungry!

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My project kept me out of the house until 2 pm! By the time I got home I was positively famished. I reheated a homemade black bean burger (recipe post coming for these because OMG they were so good) on a toasted english muffin with a slice of gouda cheese. I wanted some veggies on the side so I cut up some celery sticks. As a little treat, I turned three of them into “ants on a log” with peanut butter and golden raisins. I guess the golden raisins make them less ant like but that’s what we had open. They were DELICIOUS.

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I spent the rest of the afternoon working at home and taking a few phone calls. Suddenly I was totally in the mood to workout again! I am definitely enjoying the increased freedom of my new schedule so I decided to attend a 5:30 boot camp class at my gym I had never been able to get to before! Before heading out, I ate a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats with almond milk. Glad I had it because boot camp was amazing and TOUGH. I don’t normally or always workout twice a day, but I love to exercise so I just do what I feel like doing!

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After gym round two, I came back home to work some more until Mike got home from work. We ran out to CVS to pick up some eggs / bread that I needed for our planned dinner. Totally impulse purchased a 99 cent pack of “Red Fish” because I was getting SUPER hungry. They were not as good as the real thing but for 99 cents I wasn’t too upset about it.

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With all the proper supplies in hand, I set to work making a frittata for dinner. I wrote a post about frittatas a while ago with more information. This one included eggs (duh), red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, yellow onion, shredded cheese, salt, pepper, and basil. Topped with some sliced avocado and served with a slice of sourdough toast. This dinner totally hit the spot! If you haven’t tried sliced avocado on your eggs before I highly recommend it!

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After dinner I wasn’t feel super hungry for a snack but I was having a little bit of a sweet craving. I realized I hadn’t had much fruit so I snacked on a gala apple. It was just ok… not the crispest apple ever. But that’s ok 🙂

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Questions for you guys:

  • What are your favorite ingredients to include in a frittata?
  • Favorite fruit? 
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Broad Street Run 10 Miler – Race Recap / Review

Totally tried to get this up yesterday but it just didn’t happen for me. Too much fun this weekend made for a SLEEPY Monday. Also, it’s raining and cold here which doesn’t facilitate getting pumped up for a Monday. This weekend Mike and I participated in the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia. I jump at the chance to run races in Philly because that is where my best-friend and lady-life partner Sarah lives. Over the past three years of her living in Philly and me in DC, we’ve gotten really good at making the trip and I feel like her friends in Philly are my friends now too! Friday night, we made the trip up I-95N. Saturday included breakfast at Schlesinger’s, a good stretch out at Philly Power Yoga (post coming later this week), a trip down to Lincoln Financial Field to get our race packets, watching the Derby on South Street, and dinner on Rittenhouse Square. Also, Juno was on TV. Whoot whoot! Sunday was, of course, RACE DAY. Here’s how it went.

The race didn’t start until 8:30 pm but you had to take the Broad Street Line subway to get to the start. Races that involve taking public transportation make me nervous (I had an almost calamity at the Baltimore Half Marathon) so we were up and on a train at 6:15 am. We arrived at about 6:40 and then just waited around for almost two hours, which was not my favorite part. Add to that… it was FREEZING and WINDY. Also, they claimed that bag check closed at 8:00 am so I had to part with my warm layers (I should have just done throwaway clothes) for a whole 30 minutes before race start.

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The starting area was CROWDED. Huge lines everywhere, massive crowds trying to move around, and people were getting restless / feisty. It wasn’t my most pleasant pre-race experience. At one point, I was trying to get to my corral and I just stood, stuck in a massive, unmoving crowd for legitimately 15 minutes. I never actually made it to my corral. I saw a break in the fence and just hopped in. The corrals were not being strictly enforced at all anyways, and I was getting cranky so I needed to RUN.

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Mercifully, I finally crossed the starting line and got going. However, at that exact moment the clouds broke and the sun starting beating down hard. By mile one, I was baking in my long sleeved jacket. I knew I was going to be miserable if I kept it on so I pulled over for a quick minute to remove my layer (I was wearing a tank top underneath), quickly re situate, and get back on the road. I ended up losing about a minute and a half of time, which is fine but kind of annoying. The race course and the crowd support was EXCELLENT. You start all the way up Broad street in North Philly and run a straight shot down Broad, around City Hall, through Center City, and down to the Navy Yard in South Philly.

You know how some days are just great running days? This was not one of those days. My legs just felt tired pretty much the whole race. I was holding a great pace but it felt tough. By mile 5, I was getting tired and I thought to myself “Uh oh, I still have 5 miles to go and I’m already tired.” When I start getting tired during a race, I try and use my ego to my own advantage. I stuck to the outside of the course, so I wouldn’t be tempted to walk in front of all the spectators. Hey, whatever you gotta do right? Coming around City Hall was awesome and I knew that my friends would be on Broad between City Hall and South Street. I saw Sarah (and gave her a high five) but missed Kristy (womp womp). Then it was another ~ 4 miles to go. I was on pace to meet my 10 mile PR from December and, even though I was tired and my knee was starting to hurt a little, I was not going to let up. I kicked it into high gear for the last half a mile and flew to the finish line.

Unfortunately, there was a HUGE backup of people at the finish line, so I was forced to stop completely 1 step across the finish line. Not ideal. I clicked off my watch and didn’t even look at it while I tried to navigate this massive clog of people. When I finally got funneled into the finish area and looked at my watch, I realized that I set a new PR by 4 seconds! 1:31:47 by my clock. However, this is an unofficial PR since my chip time was a 90 seconds longer thanks to my stop to change my shirt. Irritating, but that’s ok. I’ll keep my PR from December for now but I am gunning for a sub 1:30 10 miler this Fall.

I picked up my medal and my finisher food (which was BALLER by the way. Major points for this Broad Street Run. Soft pretzels and a bag of delicious goodies) and made my way into the finish area. If the start area was crowded, the finish area was worse. Mike and I had decided to meet up at the Dunkin Donuts tent. I realized immediately this was a huge mistake, because they were giving out free drink and donut samples. It was mobbed. It took us over 30 minutes to find each other because apparently our bag check bus was late and Mike had to wait for a while to get his cell phone back. After we met up, we took a couple pictures and high tailed it to the subway. Thankfully, that was not as bad as I thought it would be. We got on a train easily and were back in Center City by noon. [As a note, many runners at Broad Street wore Red Socks as a tribute to Boston. It was a really nice touch! And for interested parties, Mike ran approx 1:10. He’s really coming back from his injury and doing great!]

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In summation: Broad Street was super fun and energetic! You really get a taste of Philly and that rocks. Logistically, this race is challenging because of the huge crowds and small start / finish areas. I’m so glad we did it and maybe we will in a few years, but not next year.

After bagels and showers back at Sarah’s, we cabbed up to the Northern Liberties for a post race celebration of beer, jenga, and ping pong at Frankford Hall. I wasn’t feeling 100% (I got an exercise induced headache after the race) so I stuck to soda and agreed to be our designated driver. I didn’t mind at all, we had so much fun! By 7 pm, Mike and I were on the road back to DC. We hated to leave Philly (and Sarah) but we’ll be back again VERY soon!

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Questions for you guys:

  • Have you ever run Broad Street? What did you think?
  • Did you race this weekend?
  • Favorite beer?

Workouts I Love/Hate

It’s downright balmy here in DC today, which I could not be happier about. I have been over winter since February, so I’m thrilled to see warm weather finally making an appearance (my toes are also finally making an appearance… three cheers for sandals!). When I showed up at the gym to warm up this morning, I saw my trainer was already outside in the courtyard with a client. I was stoked to have my first outdoor session!

Today’s workout featured something that was new-to-me… BATTLE ROPES.

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These are definitely a lot harder than I thought they were, especially when combined with all the other upper body work we did this morning. I was BEAT by the end of our session.

During / after my workout, I was thinking about different exercises that I love or hate. I don’t know about you, but I make myself do the exercises I hate the most because I figure that must mean I need to work on them! That approach might not work for everyone, but I get really motivated to works towards conquering a move that I find difficult. I came up with the following lists.

LOVE

  • Burpees
  • ALL plyometrics
  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Push Ups
  • Planks
  • Sit ups or Oblique Twists

HATE

  • Plank ups – my trainer LOVES these but I think they’re SUPER hard. By the end my abs AND chest are burning! 

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  • Step Ups – It’s not that I really mind these but I feel like they take FOREVER (probably because I have to do each side individually). Sometimes I get scared stepping down that I’ll roll my ankle or something!

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  • Leg lowers (or ANY ab exercise where I have to move my legs up and down together) – my abs are pretty strong but my hip flexors are one of my biggest weaknesses. I can bust out a bunch of ab exercises but throw in some movement the requires my hip flexors and I’m toasted.

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  • Close Grip Pull Ups – My trainer loves to throw these in at the end of an upper body workout, when I’m totally wiped. These are the only exercise where I reach a point of actual muscle failure. He has to be there to spot me lest I plummet to the ground. Some day I will master you pull ups!

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Questions for You Guys:

  • Ever used battle ropes before? What did you think?
  • What exercises are your favorite / least favorite?

Crystal Run 5K Friday – Race Recap

In honor of the Spring of Speed… I ACTUALLY raced my very first 5K this weekend. I’ve done it a number of times in training (a 5K “time trial” of sorts), but I’ve never raced an actual 5K race. To be honest, last week kinda stunk just for a number of silly little reasons. It wasn’t “my” week and I was VERY grateful when it was after 5 on Friday. I didn’t have high hopes for this 5K even though I really wanted to do well. I was having a crappy week, I accidentally brought long pants thinking they were capris (it was kind of warm) and my hair tie broke as I was putting my hair in a race ponytail. I also neglected to charge or pack my Garmin. I didn’t really feel ready.

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But luckily, Mike agreed to run with me since he isn’t really in racing shape right now (Mike’s 5K PR is like 19 minutes and change, so we’re not really in the same league usually). I showed up, picked up my number, ditched my bag, and I even went for a warm up jog (which I don’t normally do… but now I’m thinking perhaps I should?).  We saw / chatted with a couple people, including my brother’s roommate (who is like super hardcore / in the military so we definitely weren’t running with him).

I decided to shoot for a pace of 8:45 min / mile, but had to rely on Mike b/c he was wearing the Garmin. I took off at what I thought / hoped was a hard but maintainable pace. I had to work hard to think about this race differently than I normally do my longer distance races. Even if I went out “too fast”, I wasn’t going to totally bonk / not finish a 5K. I ended up clocking 8:25 for the first mile and I felt good. My legs felt great and could definitely hold that pace. I figured I’d try and hold it for as long as I could and just see how things went!

Around mile 1.8 I started getting this weird burning sensation in my stomach. Normally, I would back off if I felt something like that, but I tried to remember that this was a 5K. According to Mike… the “hurt” of a 5K is different than the “hurt” of a half marathon. I pushed on despite the feeling in my stomach. We clocked mile 2 at 8:25 as well. The final mile was definitely the most challenging, but I did everything I could to dig deep and pull this out. I almost bulldozed a little kid on the course by accident… sorry kid!

Mile 3 clocked in slightly slower at about 8:30, but overall I was really pleased with my ability to hold a steady pace over the course of the race. Mike was, as always, an amazing racing partner because he pushed me when I needed it but also backed off and let me run my race (I can be kind of mean when I’m really focused but he knows it comes from a place of love haha). My legs felt perfect but I was definitely feeling that burning sensation in my stomach / chest. My breathing was hard but not strained or shallow, which was good! (Apparently, these are all feelings you should have while racing a 5K? I dunno I just repeat what people say to me). I was able to muster up a little surge to the finish line, which is always nice.


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As you can see, I raced with my hair down (thank god I had a headband at least!) and I rolled my ankle length tights up to my knees to create makeshift capris. These things were like a vice on my legs though. I’m shocked I didn’t have to amputate both of my legs below the knees to get them off.

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My official finish time was 26:45! Considering before this race the other 5Ks I’ve run were all over 30 minutes, I feel pretty good about that 🙂 New PR to start the weekend!! As always, thank you Pacers for putting on an AWESOME event.

After the race, I enjoyed some Corner Bakery cookies, Vita Coco water, and caught up with a few friends before heading home. It was a lovely night of homemade pizza, beer, and falling asleep by 10:15 pm 🙂

Questions for you guys:

– Do you prefer shorter or longer races? I think I still prefer longer races, but I’m enjoying the new challenge of short.

– Have you ever done a night / evening race before? Thoughts? 

– What is your favorite cookie?? I have a weakness for black and white cookies, but other than that I think my favorite is the snicker doodle!

Spring 2013 To Do List

Creating a seasonal to do list has become on of my favorite things. [You can see my Summer 2012, Fall 2012, and Winter 2012/2013 lists] This is going to be a SUPER busy Spring (as evidenced by the fact that I am not posting my Spring To Do list until April 1st… whoops!) so I wanted to streamline my list this season.

  1. Try two new fitness workouts – I still haven’t tried barre and I have my eye on a couple places in my travels.
  2. Set a new 10K and 5K PR – This is the spring of speed! I’m running a 5K this Friday night and I’ve got a good feeling 🙂
  3. Hike Sugarloaf Mountain – I loved hiking Bull Run Mountain last summer and Great Falls this winter. Want to keep it up!
  4. Travel to Boston – One of my best friends moved up to Boston at the beginning of last summer and I haven’t made it there to visit her yet (SHAME). I am committed to making it happen this Spring.
  5. Cook seafood at home twice – I wrote a post after the FIRST time I cooked fish as home. Haven’t done it much since then (except here I think). Want to try my hand at some new and more creative recipes with seafood.
  6. Do 35 unbroken full push ups – I have totally caught the strength training bug and I’m loving the results I’m seeing already! Between working with my trainer and on my own, I think 35 full unbroken push ups is well within my grasp.
  7. Try two new yoga studiosYou’ve all been following along on my journey to find the perfect yoga studio (Reviews here and here so far) I want to give two more studios a try this Spring. I’m thinking Tranquil Space and one other.
  8. Buy my wedding dress – I’ve not been great about keeping you guys updated on wedding stuff so far (if I was a smarter blogger I would because my page views go WAY up when I write about wedding stuff). I’m having a really hard time settling on exactly what KIND of dress I want to wear at the wedding, and I hate being so indecisive. 
  9. Plan more fun adventures with MikeMike and I were on a really good streak for a while of planning monthly “date nights” (some examples here, here, and here), but we’ve fallen off the wagon a little bit. I want to be more intentional this spring about planning special outings together (just the two of us!)
  10. Read 5 books – I’ve been on a big reading kick recently (Some examples of book reviews here, here, and here). I’ve always been a big reader / book lover, but my reading definitely ebbs and flows at times. I want to keep up my current enthusiasm by reading 5 new books this spring (I just finished Crossed by Allie Condie and I’m halfway through Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Trebole and Elyse Resch!)

And this post needs a picture… so here’s some glamour shots of Fig and Little Mac at the vet (not happy kitties)

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The Spring of Speed

My identity as a runner is not rooted in speed. I have been perfectly happy as a solid middle of the pack runner and get my kicks from distance not time. However, last spring I noticed that I was getting a little bit speedier from not really trying at all. I think I was just getting better at running and training for the marathon, so I was naturally get a little faster. Mike is a speed lover. He loves to push himself to meet new time goals and do track workouts. He pointed out that if I was getting faster without trying, maybe I was more capable of speed if I actually did put some effort towards it. Since my distance game has been off recently (you can read mournful posts here and here), I have officially decided to deem this… THE SPRING OF SPEED!

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Some commonly accepted ways to improve speed are:

  • Run consistently – this means both during the week (3 – 6 days of running) and throughout the year (don’t “stop running” or get completely out of shape)
  • Include speed and hill workouts – Speed workouts are typically slightly shorter and more intense effort than mid-distance or long runs. Some examples of good speed workouts here, here, and here. Hills can mean just including more hills in your running routes or doing specific hill workouts. Some examples of hill workouts here and here.
  • Strengthen your legs and core – I don’t think this requires a lot of explanation. Read more here and here.
  • Do more plyometrics / sprints – I love plyometrics (I’ve talked about this before) and “jump” training is definitely associated with improved speed. Same with sprints! Read more here and here.

 Here’s what I’m doing to get faster:

  • Four runs per week. Monday is short, hard speed work. Wednesday is slightly longer, moderately hard effort. Friday is easy. Saturday is long run. 
  • Lady Ripped. I’m hoping that in my quest to get lady ripped and heal my knee injury, I’ll also get faster! I’ve been doing 100 x more strength training in the last month than I have like… ever. Hopefully I’m on the right track.
  • Boot Camp style workouts. I’ve been attending a bunch of different classes and incorporating boot camp style circuits with plyo into my solo workouts.
  • Actually racing 10Ks and 5Ks. Right now I’m signed up for one 10K and a couple 5Ks this spring. I normally never sign up for these distances and focus more on distance. I really want to improve at these shorter distances so I’ve gotta race them!
  • Hills. I incorporate hills into pretty much all of my outdoor runs (I don’t live in a particularly flat area) but I’ve never done a proper hill workout. I want to give one a try sometime and see how I do.

Questions for you guys:

  • What kinds of fitness goals are you working towards this spring?
  • Have you ever worked on improving your speed? How did you do it?

Winter To Do List Check In

Let me reiterate again how much I love having a seasonal to do list! Doesn’t feel too pressured (I have three months at a time after all) but it’s also short enough to keep my accountable. You can see my original Winter To Do List as well as my Summer and Fall to do lists.

Here’s a check in on my Winter To Do List!

  • Love Marathon Training – It’s going. My training has encountered some issues (seen here and here)… I definitely am enjoying training so much more this time around. Last time I felt completely suffocated by the training. So far, not feeling that way! What’s still getting in the way is my confidence, but I think I’m making good progress!
  • Strength Train at least 2 times per week – This is going well so far! I’ve been drawing inspiration from bloggers, magazines, and workout videos to keep my strength training routines interesting. I really do feel better when I do it and it makes my knee so much happier 🙂
  • Read More, Watch TV Less – Definitely cutting WAY down on TV (except Downton Abbey and Nashville but I love them and I won’t stop!) I like background noise, which is often TV by default. However, Mike and I have started listening to Songza a lot at home (We’re currently listening to the station “Beach Grooves”.) This allows us to put on music without having to actually pick the album or artist (which sometimes becomes such an arduous task.) I’m also getting in bed earlier to read instead of watching TV to unwind and spending weekend downtime in bed or on the balcony with a book instead of on the couch with the remote. It’s making me enjoy the TV I do watch so much more. Like Sarah Silverman says, “Make it a treat!”
  • Read a classic novel I haven’t read yet – I’m about 1/3 of the way through Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. So far I think I like it but I haven’t gotten completely engrossed in it. I’ve been reading a lot of other books but for some reason I find it really hard to get into some of the classics. I tried A Clockwork Orange but omg the slang makes reading it SO tedious. I still want to try again though. Also considering Atlas Shrugged (my bestie and her bf both just read it and loved it) or Brave New World. I’ve had a copy of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil on my bedside table for probably six months now… might be time to crack it open.
  • Watch 5 “classic” movies I haven’t seen yet – I have watched The Seven Year Itch with Marilyn Monroe but other than that I’m not doing SUPER well. I’m hoping to get another one in soon. The classic movies collection on Netflix Instant is pretty pathetic (as is the selection on Netflix Instant in general unfortunately). I have Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Graduate in our queue. Still want to get an Audrey Hepburn movie in there and a couple Kubrick movies…
  • Read at least three full news articles per day – I’m getting there. I’ve been using the newstand app on my iPhone a lot more. I wouldn’t say I’m doing it every day yet but I’m definitely reading more and actively seeking out more information… which I suppose is the point. 
  • Go to Zoolights – Unfortuntaely, this did not happen due to Mike’s mono. That’s ok though… another year will come for Zoolights 🙂
  • Do at least one additional “Christmas” activity in DC – Ditto on the above. 
  • Make 2 new-to-me holiday desserts – I made a gingerbread cake roll and a carrot cake! I am hoping to try out a couple new recipes before the end of the winter too. I’m participating in a crock pot challenge and want to try using my crock pot to make a dessert.
  • Play with Fig and Little Mac a little bit every day – Again, won’t say I’m doing it every single day but I am definitely much more mindful of it. They play with each other all the time but they really do like to interact with me besides just petting and snuggling. We’ve definitely upped the play time.
  • Participate in another blog related “challenge” – I signed up for and started Courtney’s 2012 Closeout Workout Challenge but mono / sickness kinda side lined me. I did a lot but I kinda stopped checking in and probably didn’t hit 2012 reps. That’s ok! I’m currently participating in the PB Fingers Crock Pot Challenge (try 10 new crock pot recipes by the end of February) and Gretchen Rubin’s 21 Day Relationship Challenge (every day she emails one tip to improve your relationships and so far I am LOVING it)
  • Participate in at least three volunteer opportunities – Hmm let’s see… I volunteered at DC Central Kitchen with my coworkers in December, which I LOVE. I also technically volunteered with Girls on the Run DC for their fall 5K in early December, but it was not a positive experience to put it lightly. I’m not going to say more b/c I won’t “knock” an awesome charity on my blog, but I’d like to get at least two more volunteer opportunities in before the end of the winter. I am fund-racing for Back on my Feet for the marathon in March, so I’m hoping maybe a volunteer opportunity could come out of that as well.
  • Practice yoga three times per week (even if it’s only for a few minutes) – This still isn’t going THAT well. I’m doing yoga more than I was in the fall but I’m still not at 3 x per week. I have started going to a studio occasionally, which definitely helps. I want to focus on grabbing 10 free minutes to practice instead of not doing it at all.
  • Tackle the “little tasks” right away (“One minute rule”) – This little mantra has totally stuck with me… it’s awesome. Taking care of my space feels so much less arduous 🙂 Big success on this one.
  • Go skiing at least three times (weather permitting) – Well unfortunately, Mike’s doctor has recommended he not ski until end of January (just incase his spleen was still swollen and he had a bad spill), which definitely puts a damper on these plans! We’re still hoping to go a couple times in February to get some skiing in this season.
  • Try three new restaurants in our neighborhood – Hmm let’s see. We have tried an Indian place in our neighborhood with another couple so I guess that’s only one? Need to identify two others and make it happen!
  • Tackle a new ethnic cuisine at home – Haven’t tackled this yet. I’ve been more focused on my baking task. Still want to try making dosas. Or perhaps something Asian like dumplings or summer rolls? I was intrigued by this recipe on Cupcakes and Cashmere.
  • Learn more about wine – Bahahaha… nope. Still clueless. I did buy a bottle of red wine at Trader Joe’s today that was 40 cents more expensive than the cheapest bottle… does that count??? But seriously… someone teach me (preferably for free?)
  • Spend Wisely – This is one of my favorite resolutions of the season actually! Normally my relationship with money is so singularly focused on saving / frugality. I always felt guilty after any splurge and scrimped in places it didn’t really make sense. I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve purchased and have been able to do that while still being financially responsible. FTW!
  • Practice gratitude This has been such a good practice for me. I’m not saying I’m zen because I am far from zen and I certainly don’t feel grateful all day every day. But by spending just a minute every day feeling grateful, I am able to frame my day in a much more positive light. Also makes handling the blows a little bit easier too 🙂

Marathon Musings – Week 8

Let’s make today short and sweet… just wanted to check in with you guys about marathon training (wanna know something weird… 9 times out of ten when I type the word “marathon” I initially spell it “Marathong”… what is that all about??)

Here’s what the schedule looked like this week:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
8M Tempo Strength + Yoga Speed (1k Repeats) 6M + Strength 5M 15M 7M

I did a great strength circuit on Tuesday that I shared on the blog but also topped off the day with a 75 minute advanced yoga class at my old studio. I was supposed to meet a friend, but sadly she got stuck in traffic. In hindsight, even though this class ROCKED my socks off, I overdid it for what was supposed to be a “rest day”. This is definitely where I struggle with marathon training. It’s just so much RUNNING and I like to do other stuff too. So I tend to cram my other favorites into my rest days and they end up being well… not that restful.

Good news is my 15 miler on Saturday was a DREAM. My legs felt awesome. I did 15 miles in 2:37 which about a 10:30 min/mile pace. Perfecto (I should’ve probably run it a bit slower but WHATEVER) I finished that run being like “I’m going to kick this marathon’s ASS. Marathon training rocks, why do I hate it so much??”

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Bad news… my knees were KILLING me by Sunday. I did my 7 miles but it was not pretty. By the end I could barely bend my left leg. I took an ice bath on Saturday but Sunday I had ice packs on and off my knees almost all afternoon. This is not good because this is exactly how my knees felt when I got injured fall 2011. Since that injury (which had me out of running for over 2 months and I was NOT happy), I went to a physical therapist who helped my build up more strength in my hips. She and I also worked together to fix my stride a bit. I was originally using a very quad-dominant stride with somewhat of a tendency for heel striking. Now my stride is more balanced with my hamstrings / glutes and I am much better about mid-foot striking.

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I wasn’t anticipating this injury to flare up again. I thought I fixed my stride, I’m strength training again, I focus on all the right stuff… this shouldn’t be happening! Also… UGH. What else is going to go wrong this training cycle? First mono and now this?? This makes me feel frustrated. And a little sad if I can be completely honest.

This all has gotten me to thinking… is The Hanson Method the right approach for me? Honestly, I don’t know. The whole point of this training program is to reduce your risk of injury while also turning you into a marathon running beast. But maybe 6 days per week of running is just not what is right for my specific body?? I have been looking at a couple other training plans to see if maybe I could do a switch. I’m considering one of Hal Higdon’s training programs (either Novice 2 or Intermediate 1… depending).

I woke up this morning knowing there was positively NO way I could do an 8 mile tempo run. I did 75 minutes of cross-training to somewhat simulate the workout (purely time wise, not really in intensity) and even that was challenging. I think for this week I’m going to take a week from Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 plan and see how I do. Here’s what I’m thinking:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Cross Train 4M + Strength / Yoga 8M 4M+ Strength / Yoga Cross / Yoga 17M Easy Cross

Anyone else ever changed training plans mid-cycle?? I’m freaking out a little over here (I know… BIG SHOCK. Whatever I’m just your run of the mill emotional trainwreck people!)

Spring 2013 Racing Schedule

I swear that I was planning this post for today on my own. Then Amy put up the EXACT same post today (and hers is WAY more awesome and hardcore than mine b/c she rocks and is running Boston this year). Sooo great minds think alike? 🙂

So there’s this weird thing that I notice almost every runner loves to do… make their race calendar for an upcoming season! I love to run… but more than I love to run… I love to RACE! Mike and I ran 10 races each last spring. We’re all about it! Though we decided that was a few too many for our schedule / budget / desire to still have friends and family who talk to us, and we scaled it back a lot this Fall. I’ve been thinking ahead to my Spring 2013 racing calendar! PS – you can keep up with my race schedule and see all my race recaps / reviews on my Race Calendar Page!

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Obviously the big one is Rock’n’Roll USA Marathon on March 16th! Things will kind of be revolving around that. I’d like to do a tune up race prior to the marathon. Ideally I’d do that 4 weeks out, but that is President’s Day Weekend and I will be in NC celebrating my Dad’s 60th birthday. So I’m looking at 3 weeks out right now. I’m planning on the Colonial Half Marathon in Williamsburg, VA. Purely out of convenience and February races aren’t the easiest to come by. I also want to do the Love the Run You’re With 5K for Valentine’s Day because it’s cute… sue me.

Last Spring I did my marathon late in the season (I had a knee injury up through Christmas last year so I couldn’t train in time for a March / Early April race). I was pretty dead after it (even though I did a half marathon and a 10K within a month of the marathon… my body was NOT pleased with that).

I’d like to take some time off from distance after the marathon, so right now we’re thinking Monument Ave 10K in Richmond and Pike’s Peek 10K in Maryland for the month of April. That’ll keep me running / in the racing game, but also allow me to back off training / rest up. Plus maybe I’ll just blow my speed game out of the water! Who knows 🙂

I’m planning to up my distance again in May. I will be entering the lottery for the Broad Street Run in Philly (which is a ten miler). If I don’t get in there is also the Marine Corps Historic Half in Fredericksburg, VA. I really like doing a “travel race” once a season, but I don’t know if that’s in the cards this Spring. I’m planning a decent amount of other travel (both of my parents are turning 60, I want to visit a close friend who moved away to Boston, visits to Philly obviously, and other fun events).

I’m also going to try and con Mike into a June race. He HATES summer racing, but I’m afraid if I don’t have a June race I’m going to lose stamina for training. I always struggle in the summer b/c there are NO races (and its hot… duh)! Right now I’m thinking the Lawyers Have Heart 10K here in DC. Alternatively, the Baltimore 10 Miler.

I just realized that is 7 races… which is still a lot of races. But they’re shorter races so it’s different? I dunno we’ll see what we end up actually doing 🙂 Who’s racing this Spring?? What’s on your calendar??

Marathon Musings – Infected Addition

Annnnnddddd just like that… we’re 17 again.

Mike has mono… at almost 29 years old.

Poor guy has been sick now for over two weeks. At first we thought it just was a really bad flu, and I tried to be really careful not to get it too. Then he got tested at the doctor and sure enough… it’s mono. Unfortunately, the incubation period for mono is 4 – 7 weeks (Thank you WebMD). Which means that I was exposed to it long before he started having symptoms. Have I also mentioned that I never had mono when I was younger? BLEH. I thought maybe I wouldn’t get it. I thought my iron immune system would beat the odds. Then yesterday, I started getting a sore throat… and the body aches. Today I’ve got the sore throat, the body aches, the fatigue, and the headache. I’m not full on as bad as Mike is… so a tiny part of me is still holding out hope. Looking at how sick Mike is right now is like a terrifying crystal ball into my future. This is going to suck.

This is all a way of prefacing this post because if I do in fact have mono… I don’t think there is going to be a marathon in March. That part has really been the hardest for me to think about. But mono could mean (at least) a solid month off from training… from running really at all. I think it’ll be too much time off to be marathon ready. So while I’m not giving up all hope just yet… I am trying to prepare myself mentally for that.

That being said let’s talk about this past week. Here’s what it looked like:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
5M Rest 4M 5M 4M 6M 4M

I got all of these in except Sunday (when I was feeling sick). I honestly could’ve still gone and run, but I was kinda feeling a little down about the potential of getting so sick. I kept getting in my head like “What’s the point? I’m not going to be able to do the marathon, I might as well just give up now!”

But this morning, I’ve decided to override that tendency for now. I don’t know that I have mono yet. I don’t have all the symptoms yet either and the ones I have are relatively manageable. I need to keep on keeping on. I’m going into this week hoping to keep my schedule going as planned.

I was actually really proud of this week! I got up every single morning to exercise, which was a big deal for me! On Thursday, I had to be at work at the ungodly hour of 6:30 am so obviously that meant I wasn’t going to get my run in in the AM (I just did 30 minutes of yoga at 5 am… what up!). I was really nervous I was going to bail on my run because my work day was going to be so long. BUT I brought my clothes with me to work and went for a great 5 miles after the day was over around the mall. I was really glad that I did it 🙂

Strength training, yoga, and stretching were also ALL on point this week. So I had a great week… I can’t let this mono business derail me before I know it’s happening for sure!! On to the next week! Here’s the plan… things are starting to get interesting this week!

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
5 mi Tempo Rest Speed (12x 400M Repeats
w/ 400M Recovery)
4 mi Easy 8 mi Easy 8 mi Long Run 4 mi Easy