Weekly Recap 11/16-11/22

I felt pretty good this week. It was still a light week so I took the opportunity to run a few times without any regard to time and just get the distance in. I think that, and just taking my easy runs well, easy, helped. It’s also less of a hurdle to me to not have to care about the time or pace on a run after I’m done lifting. I feel pretty thrashed after lifting and trying to keep my pace up is more of a chore than a challenge. I think just having one main focus helps keep me from feeling overwhelmed and then apathetic in the gym.

I’ve also noticed that how I’m feeling emotionally plays a big role in how much effort I feel like I can give that day. Since living here is like living in a hamster cage, there’s lots of time to marinate in emotions and little things can become big things because you don’t have much else to distract you from thinking about it over and over.

Sometimes I try to run with all of this weighing me down and it doesn’t usually work so well. If there’s a good movie on, or I have a really good podcast I can shed the cares and focus on the run, but it doesn’t always happen.

I’m still really happy with my lifting program. I got up to 175 on my squats, 125 on my deadlifts, I can do my back extensions with 22 pounds now, and I can bench press 97 pounds. That was all one set max, except for the back extensions. I only do three sets of those so I do one warm-up set and the other two are working weight. My goals for this week are to keep working at making these weights my working weight and another 10 or 20 pounds my maximum weight.

It’s hard to believe I’m only about six weeks from Dopey. I decided to splurge and booked the race retreat for the race mornings of the half and full marathon. I’ve never tried it before so I thought it would be fun to try it out and see if it’s worth the cost in the future.

 

 

 

 

Weekly Recap 10/19-10/25

I felt pretty good this week. I had some issues getting into the run on Tuesday so I stuck it out for a solid three songs and then skipped over to the bike. When I use the bike to cross-train, I try to keep it from being too easy by making sure I have lots of resistance and try to keep up a cadence of at leas 90. My pace was a little slower this one because I was doing some hills.

I’ve also been slacking a bit on my lifting. I resolved to rededicate time to it since it makes me stronger all around. I did a heavy legs workout on Thursday and followed it with a run, which definitely makes my pace slower but for lifts that use a combination of muscles, like deadlifts and squats, I want to do those first when I am still fresh and so I can make sure my form is solid.

I avoid bench presses and pull-ups and I know I need to work on them. I avoid them because I’m bad at them, and I’m bad at them because I avoid them.

I did my first “Magic Mile” as specified by the Galloway plan today. It was a little weird because I did it on a treadmill. I averaged a 7 minute mile for it, but I know I could do better since I had to manipulate the speeds by hand. Still, it was good to have some sort of baseline so I know where I stand and can tentatively predict my race times. I’m looking forward to improving on it in the next few weeks, too.

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This is pretty much how I’m feeling most days about training. I try to keep in mind that it’s only two more months (and four races, not including Castaway Cay). On the one hand, it does help motivate me to go to the gym and it makes my run streak easier since I feel like there’s a point, but there are some days where it is just such a hassle.

Like yesterday, I didn’t have time to get a five-mile workout in because we had some serious network issues that required everyone’s attention. I had to be satisfied with one mile and move my five-mile workout to today.

I just have to keep finding those smaller goals along the way. Virtual races help a lot, and so do other things, but that’s probably for another entry.

In a Funk Friday

I’ve been in a bit of a funk this past week. Instead of feeling peppy in the afternoons when I usually work out, I’ve felt tired and sleepy. I’ve also felt sleepy in the mornings and evenings, too. I have been staying up a little late reading at night, but not enough to make me tired all day. No matter how much coffee or water I drink I can’t seem to shake my tiredness.  Last night I even slept for 11 hours

Part of this I think is because I’m deep into my Dopey training. This week is a step-back week, thankfully, so I have minimal mileage to get in, but it makes me nervous for next week’s mileage.

I’ve been using a few “tricks” to keep myself going.

  1. Something is better than nothing – any workout is better than no workout.
  2. Mix it up – okay, this may come back to haunt me on race day when I hit the wall because of too much cross-training, but in line with Reason #1, anything is better than nothing. So if I have miles to get in and I can’t handle the treadmill anymore, I’ll switch to the elliptical for a bit and then go back. The different movements keep me engaged.
  3. Split it up – I can’t spend several hours running in one stretch because of my work schedule. I have no choice but to break it up, unless I want to get up super early to try to get it in and believe me, I’ve tried waking up early and it just doesn’t work for me out here. I will go back to sleep every time. But by breaking my workouts into smaller, bite-sized chunks, I am much more likely to succeed.

I’ve got three months until Dopey. It seems so far away right now but I know it’ll be here before I know it. I’m going to keep chugging along with my training plan and try to stay motivated. And maybe try to find some sort of energy drink or pre workout to jump-start my body.

Weekly Recap 9/27-10/4 + A Few Miles for my Coach

I had a pretty good week of training this week. I’ve been having some gut issues on my longer runs but I think that’s mostly because I’ve been experimenting with when and what I eat before I run and how far in advance I eat. Some things are out of my control since I can’t cook out here, but I think I’ve realized that my supplements need to either be well before I work out or after, not right before or during.

I’m also using cycling to help supplement my running. It’s a nice change of pace. I may pay for it later during the races, but I think my goal is really just to finish and to do that I need to get to the starting line healthy and unhurt.

Part of staying healthy means taking the time to stretch, which I can be bad at.

This next week is a lower mileage week so I’m going to work on speedwork (which my computer is convinced should be “spadework”) and inclines/declines as well as focus more on lifting in my step-back weeks. On days where I know I have a lot to fit in, I just skip the lifting so I can get the miles in.

Lastly, a few days ago my college cross-country coach revealed that she is fighting another relapse of breast cancer. This woman is SO incredibly hardcore and super strong and I know that she will kick this recurrence of cancer out of the park. She is also unbelievably humble and caring. I was so fortunate to have her as my coach in college and she has helped me and so many others find joy through running.

Today is also the birthday of the woman whom my undergraduate college was named for, Mary Julia Baldwin. In honor of two strong, savvy women, I wanted to dedicate my run this morning to them.

I wore my new pink Raw Threads shirt, my Road Runner Sports shorts, my trusty Brooks Ghosts, and my new Stride Box socks I just got in yesterday. I ran the typical cross-country distance we raced in college and thought about all the early morning practices and the two-a-days and the thrill of racing the course. I love running and I am so thankful for those who have shared with me their time and experience.

Just. Keep. Running

Weekly Recap 9/20-9/26

This week went pretty well. I’m struggling with the long run portion of my training plan because it’s difficult to find enough time in my schedule for a run that increases in length every other week. Right now I think I’m going to try to break it into two smaller runs, but it’s probably unlikely that I’m going to be able to get all the miles in. Based on the hours I work, it’s just not feasible. I’m going to do the best I can with that understanding.

I’m also hoping that since I’ve modified the Galloway plan to exclude walking, that it’ll keep my legs strong even though they’ll be tired.

My mood was all over the place this week and I felt like it was reflected in my workouts. I had some cramping issues on Thursday that shorted my run by a little bit, but since I got a decent distance in I don’t think it was a big thing.

I also learned that there’s a decline on some of our treadmills so now I can do hills and valleys.  I think my goal for the upcoming week is to add more incline/decline variety as a result. I’ve been doing random hills for my workouts, but adding declines will stress my legs in a different but good way. Also, I want to do some more core work. I’ve been neglecting that with my lifting.

Lastly, I think it might be time to start thinking about getting some new shoes. My Brooks Ghosts are starting to wear through around the toes. I thought I’d snagged it on a bush a while back, but I noticed the other day that they’re both showing the same signs of wear. At least I’m consistent, right?

Weekly Rundown 9/13/15-9/19/15

This week I didn’t feel too badly. I ran every day and even hit some good paces in there, too. I had a really killer leg workout on Friday with squats, deadlifts, lunges, and leg extensions and curls that left my legs leaden.

I’m trying to find a happy medium somewhere in there. I know weight training and lifting is so important to overall strength, but I also have to get the miles in running and some days it’s hard with the other physical requirements I have for regular work. I’m especially worried about the long runs. Even if I break them into two-a-days it’s going to be difficult to find the time for them. I guess I will just have to do the best I can and work with what I have.

Foam rolling, looks goofy but hurts so good.

Foam rolling, looks goofy but hurts so good. Also, terrible potato quality picture.

I thought about switching to the Hal Higdon plan, but I think I’m going to stick with Jeff Galloway and just add in some extra mileage so that I’m running every day. I know I can do a full, and I know I can do two in two weekends, so theoretically this should not be impossible. I can do it, I’d just like to also be able to walk around and enjoy my time with my husband, too.

I found this in a box by the Chaplain's office.

I found this in a box by the Chaplain’s office.

Treadmill Training

I am especially bad at following training plans. I’ve lost count how many have fallen by the wayside. Life just gets in the way sometimes, and when my work hours and unpredictable, or there’s an FTX involved, or I had a paper due for my master’s degree, getting in all the miles unfortunately just wouldn’t happen sometimes.

With that in mind, although I’ve run several full marathons, an ultra-marathon, and completed both the Glass Slipper Challenge and Pixie Dust Challenge, two multi-day races, running four races on four days is going to be very different. I respect the distance and I respect Florida’s heat, but I also respect my previous failures so I am going to use Jeff Galloway’s plan to “Finish in an Upright Position.”

Since I registered a little late, I’m jumping into the plan at Week 10/11. It’s three days a week with a long run on the weekends. I think I can do it.

The other part is what I have to run on. This is my “track.”

It also doubles as the HLZ. It's about 200 meters around, half the size of a normal track.

It also doubles as the HLZ. It’s about 200 meters around, half the size of a normal track.

As a result, I’m using the dreadmill most of the time. There are a few keys I’ve figured out to keeping me happy on it:

  1. Random/hill setting – makes sure that I am still getting the benefit of running on uneven ground and hills.
  2. Intervals during the run – I’ll pick up the pace for a minute or two, either based on a song I’m listening to or the clock on the treadmill. It really helps to break a workout down into smaller, more manageable chunks.
  3. Headphones – seriously necessary.
  4. TV – I am fortunate that this gym has TVs in front of its wall of cardio machines. I pick something that looks interesting (usually sports because it’s active, unlike whatever movie is probably playing) and pick a machine near it.
  5. I cover up the menu with a towel. Otherwise I obsess over the distance and it goes by so much slower because of that.