Sunday, March 31, 2013

Weekly Workouts: March 24-30

What an adorable sloth fest
After last week's sloth fest, I'm officially ready to get back to it.  It's funny how, even for someone who loves running, the longer you don't do it, the harder it is to convince yourself to get back out there.  Thankfully, Sunday was sunny and warm(ish), which made it much easier.

Longish run.  Since I barely ran last week and I had to work today, I didn't want to do a crazy long run.  I did six miles at an easy pace, and it felt good.  My left knee got a bit achy toward the end, which makes me a bit nervous, but I iced it right away afterward.

Usual Bikram yoga class.  I was going to run four miles beforehand, but my tummy felt funny from my Sunday run. Listen to me already making excuses! No, no, this week, I'm getting back on track--perhaps a bit more slowly than usual.

Due to car-sharing issues, I wasn't able to got to barre class after work, so I did my zWOD #58 again in the morning, and then walked to work and back--four miles.

Four mile run before work.  It was one of those runs where I didn't wear a watch because I didn't want to feel tempted to push myself, but then I felt like I was running so fast I wanted to know if I actually was running fast, or if it just felt that way.  Now I'll never know, sigh.

Another lazy morning.  My tummy felt off, and I had too much wine Wednesday night, so I didn't want to go for a run.  This is the time when I need to admit that work is officially getting to me.  I've had a whole host of new responsibilities heaped on me and there has been a lot of professional/personal drama going on at work that is just taking a toll.  It's affecting my sleep and my running, and that it highly annoying.  I need to learn how to leave work at work.

Four mile run before work.  It was a decent run, but my left knee has been hurting off and on.  I'm going to be better about icing it, and try to not overdo it mileagewise.  After that, I pedaled to work on my sweet new ride!
I love my new bike, and I love that it's finally warm enough to ride it without fear of frozen face.

Group run!  I have the Jamestown Bridge 10k coming up in one week, so I did a group run with some one my buddies who are also doing the race.  I ran 2.5 miles to meet them at the park, then we did a four mile run followed by a couple hill repeats.  It was actually nice to slow down and have a bit of conversation while running, plus, it was just nice to see friends I haven't bumped into in a while.  Race next week!! Woot!!

Weekly Totals:
16.5 miles
1 Bikram yoga
1 Cross train

This week's Power Song is Sexy Boy by Hard Kaur & DJ Rekha

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Weekly Workouts: March 17-23

This week included the first day of spring, but also the laziest week I've had in a long time.  I think I needed it and it seemed like the universe was arranging itself to drive that point home.  Since my next race is only a 10k and not until April 7, I should take it east when I have the chance, right? Yes.

Supposed to be my long run day and I had 11 miles on the schedule, but I've just been feeling run-down and sluggish.  I managed 4.5 at a 9:13 pace, but my tummy was feeling off, so I packed it in early.  Doing a shorter run though gave me time to go to yoga, so that's something.

The usual Monday morning yoga class.  I also wanted to do my usual 4 miles before yoga, but it was 20 degrees out, and I talked myself out of it.  I just can't take it with this cold anymore.  Also, my back was sore and my tummy upset, wah, wah, wah.

Walked to work, two miles in slush and sogginess, then planned on going to evening Barre class, but the studio lost power.  I could have worked out at home, but I read a book instead and have no regrets.

Nothing.  Not a thing.  We got another dumping of snow, it's cold and wet and everyone is cranky--myself included. I planned to run before work, but just can't take the treadmill first thing in the morning.  Dinner plans with a friend after work means that today is an unofficial rest day.  This week is just going to be a light week, and that's fine with me.

What an excellent morning for a run!  We had lousy weather at the beginning of the week, but thankfully most of the snow melted and Thursday dawned with a delightful 32 degrees and sunny.  I bundled up and headed outside for the first time in more than a week. Five miles 9:03/mile pace--just a good run.  I pushed myself, but not crazy-like and just came home feeling fantastic.  I love you, endorphins!!  Defrosted with a Bikram class afterward.

Mandatory staff meeting means I have to come to work on my day off.  Sure, I get comp time and bagels for breakfast, but it's still annoying.  I did a zWOD before the meeting:

And, as usual, it was brutal.  I need to work up to regular pushups because doing modified pushups and modified burpees is killing my knees!

Nothing, a whole lot of nothing.

Weekly Totals:
9.5 Miles
3 Bikram Classes
1 Cross-Training

This week's power songs: Evacuate the Dancefloor by Cascada.  
The video is pretty ridiculous, as are the lyrics, but it really works!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Running Shoes Are Expensive

Everyone always says, and I've said it myself too-- Running is so low-maintenance, all you need is shoes and a sidewalk!

This is true-ish.  Yes, you don't need equipment, but I still manage to spend a ton of money on running stuff every year.  Every time I buy something, I think Ok, I've got all the running shirts I need, I'm set!  That never seems to be the case, plus, sometimes you just want new things.

In the case of running shoes, it's not as much of a want as it is a need.  I replace my shoes about every six months or so.  I mark when I start a new pair of shoes in my training log, and then eventually when they break down, I can just feel it.  My calves get really tight, running overall is just harder, and then I check my log and sure enough, the shoes are done for. 

So, two pairs of $100 shoes every year obviously adds up, moneywise and having tons of shoes in your house-wise.  Digression: My dad saved all of his old running shoes.  He would tie the laces together and throw them over the beams in the unfinished garage ceiling.  It looked like some kind of bizarre shoe forest, and I never knew that it wasn't normal until I asked a friend where all her dads old running shoes were and she looked at me like I was bonkers.
I couldn't find a picture online--perhaps my dad is the only one who did/does this?
I don't keep my old shoes--except my most-recent old pair (just in case), but I do hoard new shoes.  The way that I've found to get around going broke buying running shoes is by strategically hoarding and knowing when to buy.

For instance, I wear Nike + Moto shoes, I have for about seven years now.  I don't particularly like Nike as a company, but I tested a few shoes before settling on these, and they have worked well for me over the years.  One of the things that's annoying about Nike, is that they discontinue shoes every year.  Even if shoes are wildly popular, they change then annually, kind of like a car.  I started wearing the Moto + 4 and now I'm on the Moto + 8.  However, at least with Nike, you can use their fickleness (and the fact that they're trying to dupe you into buying new shoes all the time) to your advantage.
My current kicks

Every couple years, I wait for the new Nike + Moto shoes to come out.  When that happens, I buy as many pairs of the older model as I can find.  These are usually discounted by at least 30%, and sometimes I've found them for up to 50% off.  I buy as many as I can find, and then I have a shoe stash for the next few years.

Doing it this way also eliminates the Oh my god, my shoes are breaking down and I need to find a new pair because the ones that I love are discontinued but I have a race coming up! Panic.  That is truly the worst feeling in the world, and before I started shoe-hoarding, I went through it a lot.

The downside to this is that you never really try anything new.  There are tons of shoes out there that I'd like to try, but I just can't justify spending the money when my shoe needs are already met.  Other running bloggers rave about Brooks and Mizuno, but I just don't want to take the chance.

Admittedly, I have never gone to a running store and been properly fitted, but trial and error count for something, and I've got a pretty good system.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Weekly Workouts: March 10-16

I look exactly like this now-naturally
This week I had my first 1/2 marathon of the season and also my first Barre class!

Ocean's Run 1/2 marathon. Full race report here, but despite the cold and the wind, it was a good race!

Rest day.  I had to skip my morning yoga because I had a doctor's appointment, but since my knees were a bit sore after the race, I tried to take it easy.

I had hoped to wake up early and do some kettlebells with Bob Harper, but naturally, I overslept, and for once I'm going to say that that was a good thing.  That night, I went to my first ever Barre class with a friend and my muscles were screaming.  I'm always reminded that I don't do enough strength training, but I kept up pretty well.  It's odd though, even though I barely broke a sweat, I feel like it was a good workout.  This might become a regular thing.

Woke up strangely not sore after that Barre class though I suspect I'll be feeling it Thursday.  Four mile run before work and Bikram class afterward.  The forecast is calling for 50 degrees today!! Spring has officially arrived (though I'm trying to not get my hopes up too high).

Treadmill time.Seven miles while watching Biggest Loser, which is almost done for the season!  What am I going to watch on my Thursday treadmill run after it's over!!?  I guess I could just run outside instead, but I really am not minding these longer TM runs.  What has happened to me?  Maybe I'm just sick of my running mix on my ipod... music suggestions welcome.

I was a lazy girl this morning and slept in and did not do my cross-training.  I'll squeeze it in tomorrow instead. I also planned to go to yoga, but skipped that.  For some reason, going to yoga on Friday night is so much harder than every other night.  I guess it's the end of the week and I'm tired, but I had myself talked out of it at 10am--a new record.

Mid-day Bikam class that I planned to follow up with five easy miles, but I just wasn't feeling it.  I waaaay overslept this morning, so I'm thinking my body just wants a little rest.  Plus, I want to save my legs for my long run tomorrow.

Weekly Stats:
24.1 Miles
2 Yoga Classes
1 Cross training

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Race Report: Ocean's Run

I was looking at the forecast for this race feeling all kinds of cocky because it's a flat fast course, and it was supposed to by 43 degrees and sunny.   I love 43 degrees!  I love sunny!  What I do not love is crazy wind.  Oh man, this race was surprisingly tough, but still, no regrets and I will likely do it again next year.  Let's break down the good and bad of this race.

The Bad: 
  • WIND!  So. Much. Wind.  Also it was colder than I expected.  Once I got moving, I was ok, but my back muscles were sore from shivering.
  • No clam chowder at the finish.  On a cold March day, I would have loved some chowder.  And as an adopted Rhode Islander, I expect to have chowder after all of my athletic endeavors.
  • Not enough tents.  Of course, if it hadn't been so windy, this might have been moot, but I really wanted a place to warm up more before the start of the race.
The Good:
  • Flat, fast course that was somewhat scenic.  Considering it was called The Ocean's Run, I was hoping for a wee bit more ocean, but I can't be too picky.  I couldn't help thinking that it really is a shame Rhode Island is so ugly in March.  Right now the snow is all melted and everything is just dead and tragic looking.  
  • Nice and small.  This was an intimate race, and I like that.
  • I got to meet a local celebrity!  I used to follow The Rhode Hazard's blog, but she has sadly stopped updating.  We've been facebook friends for about a year, but have never actually met face-to-face.  Thankfully, she was handing out medals at the finish line, so I got a medal and a hug!
  • Start Time.  This race started at 10am, which means I actually got a good night's sleep because I wasn't worried about oversleeping.  The downside to that is that after the race, I felt like the whole day was gone, which is pretty much the same feeling I have when I don't get my run in right away.
  • Cheering Section.  I'm a solo runner and my BF does not rise early enough in the day for me to expect him to cheer me on.  However, it really does give me a little boost to know someone is waiting for me near the finish line like my friend BK did for this race!  At the 13 mile mark, I saw her and we both did a little happy dance.
Happy Dancing

Overall, I was initially very disappointed with myself after this race because I had hoped to not walk at all and I ended up taking a few walk breaks.  This race also reminded me the difference between treadmill training and outdoor training.  I needed to slow myself down so many times, and just couldn't!  Hence the burnout and the walking.  I'm looking forward to some more outdoor training runs at a steady pace--and I need them.

After I thought about the race for a couple days, I realized that though I felt like I didn't quite push hard enough, I still did pretty respectably for this distance.  My 1/2 marathon PR is 2:10 and I did this race in 2:12.  If I keep up with my training and lose a few pounds, I'm looking at a new PR for my May race!

This race's Power Song goes to I Love It by Icona Pop. I wasn't terribly impressed with this song until I watched this clip from Girls:
...and it works very, very well for running

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Weekly Workouts: March 3-9

It's taper week!  I have my first race of the season--a 1/2 marathon-- on March 10th, so this week I need to scale back the running a wee bit.  I never really do a taper for 1/2 marathons, but I am going to take it a little easy and save my legs for the big day.  The plan is to do extra yoga and some easy runs.

I had to work, so I walked four miles there and back.  While at work, I had to assemble cafe tables for an event, as well and walk back and forth 100+ times in the hallway.  Plus, standing for six hours is really hard!  I haven't had a job that required that much standing since High School. but I remember how much my feet used to hurt back then.

Had to get up early and drive BF to Boston to the airport, so no morning run for me, but I made it back in time for Bikram at 10am.

Rest Day.  My feet are still a bit sore from all that standing on Sunday.  I'm so delicate.

Easy 4 miles before work--no watch.  Unfortunately, it was also a quiet 4 miles since my headphones have shorted out and only make sound in one ear.  I've ordered a replacement pair from Amazon that may be here by the end of the week, otherwise I'm likely to spend Friday running around trying to find a pair in the stores (I'm kind of picky about headphones--I suspect I have weirdly-shaped ears).  I really, really don't want to run 13 miles with no music.

Six treadmill miles while watching The Biggest Loser.  I had comp time from work since I went in on Sunday, so I managed a late afternoon Bikram class as well! Now, no more running until the race on Sunday.

Tapering!  12pm Bikram class followed by errand running and cooking of this recipe: Savory Breakfast Muffins with Quinoa.

A whole lot of nothing.  I planned to go to yoga in the early morning before work, but I didn't.

Weekly Stats:
10 miles
2 Bikram classes
0 Cross Training

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Day Before

I have 1/2 marathon number #14 tomorrow morning and the old familiar nerves are back again.  Even though I know that you're not supposed to do anything new or out-of-the-ordinary on race day, I bought a new pair of socks and had to get new earbuds, a different brand than usual.

  • I still don't know what I'm going to wear.
  • I'm eating Ethiopian food tonight, which I already know is a huge mistake--gastrointestinally.
  • I just got a haircut and it's now too short for a ponytail.
  • I have a meeting after the race.  It's with a friend, but we actually need to accomplish things.
  • I've barely run outside since I got my new treadmill.
  • I ran ten miles last week and it was just fine.
  • It's a flat, fast course.
  • It's just a training run.
  • It's supposed to by 48 degrees and sunny.
  • I've done this 13 other times, why do I still get nervous?
Here's to Clam Chowdah at the finish line!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Weekly Workouts: Feb 24-March 2

Woke up to a gloomy rain snow mix, which made me double glad I got in an outside run yesterday.  I went to a morning Bikram class, came home, changed and ate, then got on the treadmill for 7.5 miles at an easy pace while watching:
I am sad to report, however, though this movie is pretty good, Jason Statham never takes his shirt off.  What the hell is that all about?!?!?!  There was lots of fighting, some running, but no shirt off fighting like I've come to expect.
I need this kind of inspiration!
Still, he looks pretty good in clothes too, so I'll let it go.

Stayed up too late watching the Oscars and I was too tired to do my pre-yoga 4 miles.   I did go to class, even though I was sleepy and fat-feeling.  Is it just me, or is February like the worst month ever?  I'm so over it.

Rest Day. Walked to work and back 4 miles.

Slept in later than I would have liked, but managed a 3 mile naked run (no garmin, no headphones, no watch) before work.   It was raining out, so I got to test out my new windbreaker, which isn't quite waterproof, but still better than what I had before
Thanks Old Navy!
I was still pretty soggy when I got home, but my torso was dry-ish.

Six mile run while watching The Biggest Loser followed by 20 squats.

Four mile run before work and evening Bikram class after.

Had to do my long run today since I work all day Sunday.  I am pleased to report I did 10 miles on the treadmill!!!  Afterward, I foam rolled, stretched and iced my knees.  Who the hell am I, some kind of grownup??  I struggled a bit at the beginning of this run, I think mostly because I got caught up on the number TEN.  I always do that.  I have no mental game at all.  After a while though, I got into a good rhythm and finished strong.  Then I ate some mac and cheese.

Weekly Stats:
30.5 miles
3 Bikram classes
1 cross training

This week's power song is Blow, by Ke$ha.  Normally, I can't stand the sound of her voice, but this got me up a big hill once, I have to give her credit.