Saturday, September 27, 2014

Long Runs and Recovery

Last year I read You (Only Faster) by Greg McMillan, M.S. and used many tips from it when I was sub 59, 10K training. A few things that really stuck with me from the book were, never sacrifice your rest and recovery trying to "make up" missed workouts, and if your training does get derailed a bit, never skip the long run.

September hasn't been the best month, I will be glad to get it behind me. The humidity was awful in the beginning of the month. I was so excited to start limiting my treadmill runs and getting my pavement mojo back; when I started missing outside runs, I got discouraged and didn't run much for a few weeks. Then, my first attempt at eight miles a few weeks ago had me thinking about my running retirement, but I finally put a halt to that this week. Honestly, I felt a little panicked because I had run so little, but I tried to not get crazy and overdo it. 

I fell back on the never skip the long run principle.

Never skip the long run - You (Only Faster) p. 172
Endurance is the base of all running performance and the long run is the most important workout for developing endurance. I'd prefer to skip any other workout than to skip the long run, even if it means moving the long run to midweek and skipping a speed workout because your weekend will be full of other activities. 

Smiling because I realized 3.1 isn't that much farther than 10 :)  - I got this!
 October is going to be all about reclaiming my endurance.

The training plan I am following does incorporate some fartlek and interval runs, but I am so "behind"(physically) I have been ignoring them. Moving forward in October I do plan to include the interval and 10K pace runs as they pop up on my calendar, but this past week I just needed to keep it simple. 

49 days to race day  

I am not sure why I filmed my feet, it's nauseating to watch 

Two long runs this past week - Monday (9 miles) and Friday (10 miles). Monday's run was very easy paced and I felt okay, but Friday I felt strong and really enjoyed it, probably because my legs were so well rested.

Monday's run I was feeling exhausted at mile four, Friday I felt energized at mile four. I decided to start pushing just a little and was pleased it actually felt pretty darn good...
Fingers crossed this continues :) 

Avg Pace

So far this week: 

Monday - 9 mile morning run 
                 1 mile treadmill warm up
                 Upper body work  - 1:20 minutes 

Tuesday - decided to rest 

Wednesday - pouring rain so I went to the gym
                      5 minute warm up run - I really wanted to get away 
                      from the treadmill so I skipped the intervals this week
                      Upper body work - 1:43 minutes

Thursday - decided to rest - had to take my car for service after                           work and wanted fresh legs for my long run

Friday - 10 mile morning run 
               1 mile walk 
               Hour bike ride w/hubby before dark

Saturday - decided to rest, grocery shop, and clean...boring

Sunday - plan to do at least a 5 mile run :) and a trip to the gym and                some biking too 

It kind of killed me to rest so much. This summer because I was only doing shorter runs, I took very few rest days, however the increase in mileage did increase the fatigue in my legs. 

I tried to remain calm this week. I didn't let myself get nutty and get sucked into running everyday playing "catch-up". My plan was to long run this week, I stuck to it, and I have to say I am starting to feel stronger and happier already :) 

How do you feel about focusing on the long run? Would that be the one run you wouldn't skimp on? 
Any wisdom to share on what you have done if you ever felt "behind"? 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Finally...a longer run and I didn't encounter the invisible force field that wants to keep me from moving forward the whole time. Cool air works miracles for me. 

I was off work Monday and thankfully it was a lovely morning :) 
It wasn't all roses and rainbows, or a speedy run, and a few times I felt challenged to keep moving, but I finally got over the hump and had a few decent miles near the end.

Avg Pace

The first few miles of the route are hilly, so I tried to take it easy and not wear myself out. Mile four I felt exhausted and I worried a little, but I squashed that and told myself...

I took a power nap after I ran and enjoyed my day off.  We had a busy weekend and I needed a day to recover. 

It's amazing how my perspective changed after one run. I admit I was a little (okay, more than a little) discouraged last week, it was still really hot and I never ran outside, only 11 running miles logged last week. It's only 52 days to race day and I was feeling like maybe I shouldn't have signed up for 13.1 again. After Monday, I am feeling much more optimistic. 

Over the weekend I had a delightful time biking with my hubby, its been years since we visited the beach. Seriously...I forgot how wonderful the waves sound. 

The boardwalk-the bike path is on the left 

This is how we roll 

We rode a few hours Saturday, my legs were a little tired Sunday. Glad I waited until Monday to try a long run

We had fun buzzing up and down the path - I love biking because hubby and I can do it together :) 

Night shot of hubby walking the beach :)

Tell me anything  :) 
Do you have any other activity you love as much as running? 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Strong is the New Skinny

Strong is the new was the perfect saying for me, it gave me the freedom to stop worrying about the scale and just work on my strength. 

September half marathon training hasn't really been going as planned. These first weeks of September the afternoons have stayed hot, so after work I still head to the gym.

The temp this afternoon while I was running errands

Lately weight training and biking have been saving me, I've have logged 100 miles on my bike so far this month. 

I hoped for a lot more outside running time this month, but I've only logged three outdoors runs, the rest of my miles were on the treadmill. My lack of running has been getting me down a bit, so I am trying to focus on the good things I have going...even though being strong will not help me run 13.1 again. 

I don't know if you remember, but this is what prompted me to start getting serious about my weight training... this picture really bothered me. 
March 2013 

I saw this thought, "Oh my goodness the arm hang has to GO and got to work."

I had been through almost a year with a frozen shoulder, gone to physical therapy, and had several cortisone shots. Not being able to work upper body left me a mushy mess. At first I was doing very light weight and lots of reps trying to get confident. I was very afraid to hurt my shoulder and feel pain again.  Back in May, I got serious about getting stronger and really started working. 
I am happy to say that my arm hang is gone...

Look  no hang :) 

Now I need to work on making those muscles pop :) 
When I started this journey I had to do push ups on my knees. My shoulders are still a work in progress, I've had to spend some nights icing, but I keep trying to balance going up on the weight and getting hurt again. 

I work out a very small Gold's gym and I love it.
The exercises, reps, and weights have varied throughout this journey, but this is one of my routines I did on Friday. 

A set for me is usually 12 and I try to work at a weight until I can get 15 fairly easy. 

Smith machine bench press
1 set w/40 lbs. 
2 sets w/50 lbs.
1 set w/70 lbs. struggled to get to 10 (next weight level I am trying to tackle)

Smith machine raised seat for shoulders
2 sets w/40 lbs. of weight
1 set w/50 lbs. (hurt - my shoulders are very finicky)
1 set w/40 lbs.

Wide grip lat pull downs (to my chest)  can't do behind the neck it kills my shoulders. 
3 sets w/60 lbs.
1 set w/75 lbs. - struggled with form
2 sets w/60 lbs.(15 reps)

Tricep rope
1 set w/ 30 lbs. (15 reps)
1 set w /40 lbs.
2 sets w/50 lbs.(10 reps) losing my form-(next weight level I am trying to tackle)
1 set w/40 lbs.

Standing lat push down (use two handles)
3 sets  w/20 lbs. (15 reps)
1 set w/30 lbs. - can barely get 8 with decent form.
added the half plate weight and did 20 reps. I am stuck in between weights here- just have to keep at it.

Sitting tricep push down
2 sets w/130 lbs.
2 sets w/140 lbs.

Bicep curl
1 set w/30 lbs. (15 reps)
3 sets w/40 lbs. (10 reps)

The handle lat machine (this machine has a wheel you can add 10 lbs.with)
3 sets w/80 lbs.
1 set w/90 lbs. (10 reps)

3 sets w/20 lb. bar
1 set w/30 lb. bar

Hand weights
10 lb. weight in each hand did shoulder raises 3 sets of 10

I also did 3 sets of 12 push ups and  3 sets of 12 incline sit ups in between sets on the machines. 

After my work out hubby and I headed to the beach over the weekend and had a bunch of fun biking. (more pictures in a future post) 

Sunday afternoon I did a quick upper body session and still felt some soreness (darn shoulders), so I shortened up the workout and will focus on cardio Monday :) 
Trying to learn when to push and when to rest, and still working on that great run. 

How was your weekend? How many times a week do you weight train? Have you ever had to get a cortisone shot? 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wine and Whine

I am dying to post...

Hopefully over the weekend this will come to pass.

Last weekend hubby and I went to a blind tasting wine event in Williamsburg, VA with Master Chef, Rhys Lewis

The tasting room was set up with covered cups that had everything from burnt toast to cut up oak in them to help us test out our sniffers. Hubby and I probably guessed about half of the scents. It's funny how some smells seem familiar but you can't place what it is without a visual clue. 

Chef Lewis hosts wine events regularly at the Williamsburg Lodge. Hubby and I agree his series,  Wine, Wit, and Wisdom is appropriately named. We thoroughly enjoyed hearing him speak about all aspects of wine making, and felt entertained, as well as a little more educated after the presentation. 

We had a lovely aged 2003 red wine that was an amazingly tasty treat for the palate.
We had samples of  Chardonnay, a sparkling white, a Sauvignon Blanc, and two reds, one of which was the 2003. 

When our glasses were empty they started refilling them and gave us cheese trays so we could pair the different flavors together. The refilling of the glasses continued as the pastry chef (love him) shared his homemade dark cherry truffles and cheesecake.  
I did try to manage my hydration (thinking long run the next day) and kept our server busy refilling my water glass.    

Sometimes balancing running and fun is a challenge.  Ideally I should have hydrated, ate healthy, and rested the night before a long run, but sometimes a gal just has to live, right. 

Hubby and I have never attended an an event like this and the experience was truly a wonderful way to spend an afternoon together.
Pastry Chef, server, and Master Chef 

It was a rainy humid day - perfect to be inside enjoying fine wines for a few hours. 

I haven't indulged in any wine since my fun wine tasting event last weekend and I am headed to the beach this weekend so hopefully that great long run is coming. I am tired of whining about how rough my runs have felt. 

Any fun weekend plans? Long run plans? Ever done a wine tasting like this one? 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sunday Run ~ If I feel Like...

Sunday I finally got out of bed and put my running gear on, after many taps to the snooze button. I was so excited it was finally cool, but I had lots of wine from our fun Saturday wine tasting event. (More about that in another post) I was still tying to sleep it off. 
My run started out rough- but I tried to ignore it and tell myself the weather was perfect and I felt great. It felt so crisp outside, but my body just felt heavy. My last few runs I have been struggling to get my feet going in a decent rhythm. I am having a hard time getting my knees up and my mind doesn't seem to relax, but I keep plugging along, it has to get better, right?! I am sure the wine didn't help and I made a mental note that it is time to dry out for a few weeks and get serious about my half training. 

About four miles in I remember thinking my goal of an hour and half wasn't going to happen. 

Then I saw my hubby biking toward me  ❤  He pedaled along with me and it helped to distract me from my heavy feet and poor form. I figured if he made the effort, I was going to keep plugging along slowly and try to make the most of the run.   

Hubby took a few short videos for me - he had to entertain himself since he was biking at my sluggish running pace

I ended up making it 1:25:00 - I only covered 8.2 miles but I'll take it. I could not wait to get home and get on my bike. Hubby and I went around our loop, which it just a little over a mile, and shook out my legs. 
I only ran 16 miles last week, and 13 miles the week before so I am really behind where my training guide says I should be. I keep hoping I will have a breakthrough run where I shed that sluggish feeling...soon!

How was your running this weekend?  Curiosity question-if you drink the day before a run do you think it has an impact on how energetic you feel? 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Oh No, Running Woes

As soon as the two days of rain showers took leave here, the sticky hotter temps returned. (((Sigh))) Repeat loudly and really lift your shoulders...that's how I feel. 
Hubby gave me beautiful flowers on Monday to brighten my desk. I love the colors and they made me forget how dreary it was outside. 

I am over the crap humid weather. Today when I came out of work I wanted to change and get my workout in right away. That's my usual routine unless I am hungry because I skipped lunch. If I run before I shower in the morning I usually only run a mile or two, I think my longest run was three miles because I have to be there by 7 a.m. 
Anyway, after work it was still about 85 degrees and fairly sticky, soooo off the gym I went. 

I managed an hour on the treadmill, which is 6 miles for me. I just ran it easy pace.  I wish I could say I got a great rhythm going, but I didn't, my goal was to stay in motion for an hour...I know that probably sounds fairly lame, but it's true.  

I stretched quite a bit when I was done - I love holding those elongated stretches when I am warm. I did some incline sit-ups and back work in-between stretches. Twenty four minutes later I was suddenly feeling ravenous. 

I stopped at Jimmy Johns and in freaky fast time I was scarfing down a seven grain veggie sandwich with baked chips. Ever notice how tasty stuff is when you are really hungry. 

As soon as I arrived home, I washed my car. There is some construction work still going on in portions of our building and when I came in out of work my car was covered in a layer of dirt. I don't what they were blowing off the roof but it was gross. 

Car clean and I am ready to pedal  :) 

Then I hopped on my bike and pedaled hard around the neighborhood. 
Wouldn't it be cool if these were running splits instead of my bike ride? 

Avg Speed

I went into the house right before dark...vacuumed, washed dishes, threw in a load of towels and finally showered.  It felt really good to get the grime off me. :) 

I could have waited to run till about 7 p.m., the temp had dropped to comfortable by then, but I am sure I wouldn't have got as much done.  
I am anxious to start logging some runs outside soon, sadly the temps, and daylight are still challenging me. 

What's your favorite time to work out? Do you work out as soon as you get home from work?