Monday, January 30, 2012

Trying to Find the Balance


Here’s the wrap up of week 3 of half marathon training:

What the Plan says / What I Did

Monday Jan 23: Stretch and Strength / Weights (back/shoulders) 25 mins; Elliptical 30 mins; Plank 2x 1:10, 5x10 modified pushups

Tuesday Jan 24: 3.5 miles / 3.5 miles @ 10:08; 30 mins yoga; plank 1:01

Wednesday Jan 25: 35 min Tempo / 3.51 @ 9:57 with 15 mins at 9:20

Thursday Jan 26: 3 miles + strength/ lite legs 30 mins; 3 miles at 10:17

Friday Jan 27: rest / Plank 1:15, 5x10 Mod Pushups, 4 grown-folk pushups!

Saturday Jan 28: 3 miles / 3 @ 9:56; Plank 1:20

Sunday Jan 29: 7 miles / 7 @ 10:31; Plank 1:22; 2x 5 grown-folk pushups!


Total Miles: 20.01 – finally at 20 miles a week again!!!

Average Plank: 1:13

This week I moved leg day to Thursday to give myself a little more recovery time before running again on sore legs. I also decided to keep my leg workout pretty light because I had a cranky left knee (which is much better, btw). However, I went a bit too light and had absolutely 0 DOMS at all. No soreness? That’s like a wasted weight session as far as I’m concerned.


I’m really trying to find a balance with leg days this year. I really missed them when training last year, but they’re pretty easy to set aside because I don’t want to be too sore to run. However, I know in the long run these strength training sessions will help. Another week, another shot!


Adios, January!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Training week 2 recap, and what I learned this week


what the plan says/ What I did

Monday Jan 16: Stretch and Strength 30 mins legs/30 mins elliptical/ 30 mins incline walk; plank 1:12

Tuesday Jan 17: 3.5 Miles 3.5 miles @10:56; plank 1:08

Wednesday Jan 18: 6x400 3.15 total miles. 3x400@ 8:19, 2x400 @ 8:12, 1x400 @ 8:06; planks 1:25!!!

Thursday Jan 19: 3 miles + Strength rest

Friday Jan 20: rest Chest/Tris 25 mins, 3 @ 10:06; plank 1:15

Saturday Jan 21: rest 3.1@ 9:57

Sunday Jan 22: 5k race rest

Average Plank: 1:15

Total Miles (run): 12.65

Total Time “other”: 1:55

I had to shuffle some things around on the weekend due to non-running commitments. Also, I didn’t have a race to run, so I just did a fast 5k to simulate “racing”. But, the real issue here was on Monday. I didn’t have work so I just took my damn time like not having to work meant some how my muscles would recover faster. I was sore until Thursday – hence the moving up of the rest day. Seriously, like hurt to go down the stairs for FOUR days.

The moral of this story is – stop working out on leg days like you’re a meat-head douchebag.

It really is quite that simple. For whatever reason, I REGULARLY feel like I need to go max on everything on leg day. WHYYYYY??? I’ve decided, additionally, to move leg lifting days to Thursday so I have a rest day after. Also, I will promise myself to stop working out like an asshole so that I can actually train for the half marathon that I’m training for. you know, run.

And for those of you waiting on the edge of your seats – the sleep was better this week. not super awesome, but better. I can’t wait to get into peak training and not be able to physically stay awake past 9pm. Ah, those were the days.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Photo Friday


I’ve been trying to put my finger on it for a few weeks now.


Have you ever noticed….


mitt and guy

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Patience is a virtue.

If I could only tell you how many times my dad said that to me growing up. It is a virtue. Just not one I have very much of. –I’m working on it- That being said, there are many things I will probably never have patience for: ignorance, racism, people that try to shove their beliefs down my throat, animal/child abusers, how horribly my blackberry works, people that can’t distinguish your and you’re or there/their/they’re, anyone on the road or in the grocery store at the same time as me… ok, maybe I’m not really working on it.

But, in running, it’s patience or perish.

This is all stemming from the fact that I ran 3.5 miserable 11min miles today, after a muscle-soreness inducing leg workout yesterday, and four-and-a-half hours of sleep last night. (own harshest critic, much?)

I don’t want to run 11 minute miles anymore. But the truth is – the next half marathon or two (maybe three, please not three) are going to be run at 11 minute (or higher) miles. And that’s an improvement. So what’s my problem?

I’ve already stated that I am focusing on endurance, not speed, this year. But there’s just something lame about being an 11min miler. Well, not really, but it would be nice if I could shake this negative-nancy attitude!

My dad was always the one preaching patience; my dad is also an endurance athlete. Related? ummm, yep! He used to note that the most competitive age group among recreational runners was those in their 40s. Why? they’d had years, often a decade or two of base-building. In fact, in running, I think there’s a slightly older trend, even among elites, than in many other sports. Like gymnastics – wanna make that Olympic team? you’re probably around 18 years old. Swimmer? 25ish. Marathoner? Pushing 28. In fact – the average age of the three women that just qualified for the 2012 Olympic marathon: 30.67

Oh, and you know, that guy that won the Olympic Marathon Trials (2:09:08) with his SECOND marathon PR in 70 days – Meb Keflezighi – he’s 36. In most sports that’s just down right geezer status.

I’m not trying to be an Olympian (haha, oh the thought of it). But as long as I practice patience with running, I see no reason not to get better with age – like wine. Mmmm wine.

Distance before speed is my motto. I desperately don’t want to get injured.

I’d much rather practice patience than be a patient.

Run easy now and again, folks. The finish-line will still be there. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

This week in training is brought to you by…

Insomnia. You sneaky little bitch.

I have to admit, despite not sleeping through the night until Thursday night, I did pretty dang good this week. In purple – what the plan says.  In black, what I actually did.

Monday, Jan 9 Stretch and Strength; 30 mins yoga (this was the hardest day to wake up); Plank 1:11

Tuesday, Jan 10 3 miles easy 3 miles @ 10:00; Plank 1:15

Wednesday, Jan 11 30 min tempo 3.51 in 35 mins @9:58. 12.5 mins at 9:30; Plank 1:10

Thursday, Jan 12 3 miles + strength Back and Shoulders (half hr); 3 @ 10:38; Plank 1:22!!

Friday, Jan 13 rest Plank 1:10

Saturday, Jan 14 3 miles 3 @ 10:16; Plank 1:05

Sunday, Jan 15 6 miles 6 @ 10:34; 30 mins yoga; plank 1:15

Total Miles: 18.51

Total Yoga: 1 hour

Average Plank: 1:12

Not a bad start! I’m actually pretty stoked Smile Additionally, the shin pain seems to be dissipating. I spent a lot of time foam rolling after every run. I think that really helped. Rest day could not have been better timed either.

In other news: I jumped on the smoothie train this week. The first attempt was a disaster. I did not spend enough time blending. It was chunky, and not particularly great.

But, I tried again this morning. And – gigantic news folks – I put a half a frozen banana in it. I positively HATE bananas. But, I masked it’s taste pretty well with a million strawberries. the worst part was peeling it. yuck. But, the smoothie itself was really good. I even added some spinach Smile


No work tomorrow, which means I can really take my time on the strength workout. yes! love those days. get it in, folks!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Olympic Trials

I followed the trials on twitter this morning. I actually brought my phone with me to the gym so that I could keep up with the latest updates, haha. I didn’t fall off the treadmill, so I guess it’s ok Winking smile

Now I’m watching the coverage I DVR’d (while icing my shin, grr). I’m only an hour into the race and I know who wins, but honestly this is so super inspiring. I am absolutely flabbergasted watching ryan hall TALK while running a sub 5:00 min/mile. That’s nuts. The pace alone is nuts.

I generally have no idea how to “race.” So watching these athletes surge and run in a pack is kind of cool.

I was seriously rooting for Meb and Desi in this race, and I’m so glad they both make it. I’m also super excited that Meb won, with a PR. Take that, haters! He’s gotten so much flack after being dumped by nike, choosing to run NYC just 3 months ago, and then choosing sketchers as his sponsor. I just wanted him to kick ass and prove everyone wrong, And he did!

I’ve been following Desi since she blasted out of nowhere in Boston. I love Kara and Shalane, too. But Desi was just such a surprise, I couldn’t help but root for her!

I love Hall’s attitude as well, he’s always so laid back and positive. And good lord can that boy run! The American marathon team is going to be one to be reckoned with in London!



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Slow Ride–Foghat


Giving my post an EMZ-esque title will help me on my quest to increasing my endurance, obv.

Today is day three into the training plan. I have shin pain. Are you kidding me??

Things I have never had: Shin Splints (knock on wood)

Things I never want: Shin Splints.

I’m so annoyed. I noticed the pain last night, usually after having my legs crossed. Just on the left side. The fact that after weeks of wearing flats I decided to randomly start wearing heels to work again this week may be a contributing factor. I also resolved today to try to stop crossing my legs so much – despite all that prissy nonsense, it’s not very good for your legs/hips/back. The best day to make a resolution of this sort is OBVIOUSLY the day you wear a skirt to work. lady-like fail.

I iced after my tempo today (who runs 12.5 mins at a 9:30 pace? this girl), but there remains a dull ache.

Then it hit me. To avoid treadmill boredom this winter I’ve been doing EVERY.SINGLE.RUN as a tempo or progression run. Every run has been about breaking that 10 min/mile barrier. Uh, maybe I should cut that out.

Slow ride, take it easy. (the rest of this song is really inapplicable to this post, hahaha)

Tomorrow’s goal is to do my three miles at a pace closer to 10:20. It doesn’t feel as good as sub 10s, but neither does this shin.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Weekly recap

I’ve decided to start blogging weekly recaps this year. I think it will help keep me accountable and I’ll be able to easily look over what I’ve done over time – improvements, changes and the like.

As a special “first recap” treat – we’re doing an 8day week –whaaat, somebody call the Beatles.

Sunday, Jan 1: Chest and Tris, 3 mile run @10:26/mile, 2 planks 1:15 and 1:00

Monday, Jan 2: 5 mile run @10:11/mile, 1 plank 1:15

Tuesday, Jan 3: rest day, plank 1:10

Wednesday, Jan 4: rest day (whoops, see that’s why I’m doing this, two week day rest days in a row – embarrassing), Plank 1:15

Thursday, Jan 5: 3 speedy miles @ 9:58/mile, plank 1:07

Friday, Jan 6: 3 more speedy miles @ 9:57/mile, plank 1:10

Saturday, Jan 7 – total rest – ankles killed, too much friday night fun

Sunday, Jan 8 – 3.5 mile run/walk hill repeats @ 11:30ish, Plank 1:15

My average plank this week was 1:09. No where to go but up. woo!

I also have a goal to make one new recipe each week. This week I modified my awesome couscous recipe and made it with quinoa. Not the newest of new, but it wasn’t bad – actually it was way better left over than it was on the first day I made it. Grocery shopping should occur today, so I should find a new recipe before I go for this week.

Tomorrow training starts. So future weekly recaps will display what the plan says I should do and what I did. I used this plan for my last half, but I ended up having to modify it as I wasn’t really able to keep up – I’m going to give 5 days a week of running another shot and we’ll see how my ITBs hold up. If I start having trouble I’ll turn one of those other run days into a cross training day again.

Here we go, folks! Hope your new year is off to a great start! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Oh, surprise!

I decided to use the Hal Higdon intermediate half marathon training plan again for my first half of the year. It’s a good plan, with a solid 12 weeks – I add in a 13th because Higdon’s plan doesn’t taper much before the race, and I’ve found that works well for me.

I wrote it out on my desk-calendar-hung-on-the-wall, and realized that SURPRISE! using this plan means training starts on Monday, Jan 9! Woo!

I’m really excited to get back into a structured training plan. When I don’t have one my workouts kind of flounder. I am worried about burning out this year. With 4 half marathons on the schedule (registered for 3!) it’s going to be an intense 10 months of pretty much constant training. I know that burnout happens, as at the end of the season last year I was really ready to just be done. I’m going to make a concerted effort to do some more cross training activities this year to keep up the interest. I want to maintain a positive attitude, because I’m really excited about each of these races.

The name of the game this year is endurance. Yes, I am still aiming for a long term goal of a sub-2:00 half marathon, but I don’t know if it will happen for me this year. Lots of intense speed work really seems to bother my ITBs and hips. I’m hoping that more focus on yoga and recovery this year will help. But, speed work aside, what I really want to focus on this year is endurance. Around mile 10, in both halfs last year, I totally just dropped off. The energy level tanked and I just couldn’t wait to be done. So, as the year goes on I want to build up my long runs. I’m using a familiar plan now, the next time around my long runs won’t start so short (long run this weekend is 5 miles, uh I do 5 before work during the week), and I’d like to focus on double digit long runs. Then after the second half of the year I want to bump my longest runs up to 15-16 miles.

I’m hoping that this increase of endurance will help me at the end of the race. Also, some longer runs will be a test for the possibility of a full in 2013 (yes, early to talk about, sue me.) It must be noted that at this point I do NOT have the full marathon bug. I  do not want to force myself into it just because “everyone” else is doing it. I want to want it. Training for and running a marathon will be really difficult, mentally and physically, so I need to make sure it’s something I really want to do first.

Additionally, I still have a super long term plan of running a half in every state. I think that will be really fun, and give me more incentive to travel! I like going new places, I am just bad at instigating a vacation.

So there we have it! The pleasant surprise that this year of half marathon training( s) is about to kick off in just a few days! Let’s get this party started!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!

I hope you all had a wonderful start to the New Year!

I, being the party animal that I am, fell asleep just after 1130. haha. I was up by 645 and at the gym within an hour! Started my new year with an upper body weights sesh and 3 miles on the TM. It was nice at the gym that early today, there was only a handful of people there. Morning regulars, felt good to be one of them.

I’ve been a little productive so far, but mostly I’ve been lounging. I need to get moving though! I want to plot out my training plan for my first half, uh and register for it. I have a new RW to read too!


I hope you all have a wonderful day.


Be safe, be healthy and be good to yourselves!!