Monday, November 12, 2018

Week in review Nov. 5-11: Cold, dark, and full of children

About a third biking and a third running -- not bad.
I was doing OK weather-wise two weeks ago when the temperatures were in the 30s and there was still a little bit of daylight in the evenings. Last week was even colder and darker after the end of Daylight Savings, and I just am not ready for windchills in the teen and 20s. I pretty much sequestered myself indoors all last week except for the occasional dog walk or errand.

But if you can overlook my hibernation from the cold, I didn’t have a bad week! I only did one weights workout, and I didn’t do as much PT as I would have liked, but I still managed three treadmill runs, three trainer rides, a barre class, and yoga. I voted on Tuesday and stress ate all Tuesday evening waiting for results, but that was my only day fully off from exercise.

In a turn of events totally uncharacteristic for me, I had THREE social events this weekend: a family dinner on Friday (an amazing Brazilian steakhouse); a kid’s birthday party on Saturday; and a gathering at our friends’ house to eat, watch football, and catch up. Our hosts have a 2-year-old and I employed the Auntie Kristin method of child entertainment: Keep them riled them up long past their bedtime until they are falling asleep on their feet from exhaustion. I don’t mind kids when I can be the fun “aunt,” haha. Because Friday dinner was late and I had a few hours between events Saturday, I did manage to squeeze in a workout both days, for which I was pretty proud of myself.

Bike: Three times, all on the trainer, for 46.75 trainer miles in about 3:37. I have seen a definite increase in fake trainer mileage and overall effort since I re-tested my FTP. I mean, that’s what I want, but putting in the work to get there is not easy.

Run/Walk: Three times, all on the treadmill (boo), for 15.75 miles in just less than 3 hours. It was cold and dark and I couldn’t muster the mental fortitude to deal with it, so I started the latest season of Orange is the New Black and zoned out. My left hip has started hurting, though, and I can’t believe that it’s a total coincidence that it’s bothering me after I ran on my old, jerky treadmill that we bought off CraigsList years and years ago. I think Santa Claus is going to bring us a new model to keep us running this winter.

PT/Rehab: Twice, both solo sessions, for about 1.5 hours total. I just need more hours in the day.

Weights: One barre class for about an hour.

Yoga: One solo session for about 15 minutes, keeping with my Sunday evening tradition. I tried to focus on hips, glutes, my IT band… anything that could potentially help with this hip pain.

Total: 10 sessions in about 9:19. Not bad at all!

I am going to have to come up with a plan for staying active even in the cold and dark because as much as I’d like to hibernate until March, that’s not practical for work, fitness, or what little remains of my social life. I am still thinking about a spring half marathon and want to keep building up my running intervals (last week I bumped it up to 9 minutes running, 1 minute walking). But man oh man do I hate being cold.

So, to be continued. Maybe there will be a heat wave this coming week – 40s sounds tropical right about now.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Week in review Oct. 29-Nov. 4: My sinuses are all dried out but I had candy!

2 x each biking, weights, run/walking, and PT.
It was an OK week. I had a good start on Monday, but my sinuses went haywire by Tuesday and all I could do was lie down with some hot tea after work. I took another day off Wednesday to pass out candy to trick-or-treaters, but I was back at it by Thursday and finished the week pretty strong.

Also, the theme of the week was “2.” As in, 2 bikes, runs, weights sessions, and PT sessions. And, 2 days off. With one yoga session on Sunday I was able to finish with 9 total workouts, which I guess is 7 + 2? OK, that’s a bit of a reach.

My sinuses have been weird off and on for a couple of weeks now. I swear I had a sinus infection a few weeks ago, but then it cleared up. On Tuesday, when all I could do was lie on the couch, I was legitimately afraid I would be sick for Halloween the next day. A good night’s sleep meant I felt a LOT better, but my sinuses have felt super dry off and on and I have been getting the occasional bloody nose. I’m not sure if they are freaking out because we turned on the heat, or it got cold, or allergies, or all of the above, or something else. I am drinking a lot of hot tea and using my neti pot once or twice a day, and it is helping.

Anyway, workouts last week were:

Bike: Twice, both on the trainer, for 33.25 trainer miles in about 2:38. This was almost exactly the same time as last week but an extra mile, so I’ll take that as improvement.

Weights: Twice, one barre class and one heavy/body session at home, for about 2:15 total. I can’t lift as heavy as I could a few months ago but I’m going to keep at it.

Run/Walk: Twice, both on the road, for 11 miles in just less than 2 hours. This was a speed run and a longer-than-usual run, and both felt good. I did my speed “intervals” (4 x 8 minutes) at my goal half-marathon pace minus 30 seconds, and it felt fast but sustainable.

PT/Rehab: Twice for about 1:30. I should have done at least one more, but I just ran out of time before I had to run errands Saturday and do food prep Sunday. Blah.

Yoga: I’m going with the one session on Sunday night routine, this time for 15 minutes. It’s better than nothing and I definitely need it by Sunday night.

Total: 9 sessions for about 8:36.

So it was still more than one per week and one hour per day, a good mix of activities, and two rest days – I can’t complain. If I build this routine of boring consistency all winter I’ll be in good shape come next race season.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

October in review: Boringly consistent

I live a pretty boring life and October was no exception. I didn't go on any vacations, and I didn't buy anything extravagant. The most exciting things I did was take a few days off to to a college football game, spend time with family when they were in town, and pass out candy to trick-or-treaters.

But I like boring and boring allows me to get lots of training in, which helps me stay sane. So yay for a nice, boring October.

I did go a couple of Fridays without doing any workouts at all. It rained a couple Fridays in a row and I just couldn't be bothered to get out of bed and face the gloominess. I was sick-ish one day, just so tired I needed to lounge on the couch and do nothing, and that helped me not get actually sick so hooray!

I also got into a routine of doing a short yoga session on Sunday evenings. It's not as much yoga as I should be doing but hey, it's something! And, I made it to the pool ... once. But hey, I made it.
October wasn't bad at all.
It worked out to be:

Bike: 10 times, all on the trainer, for 141.75 trainer miles in about 12 hours. I wish I could have ridden outside at least once but winter hit Michigan hard and fast. Boo.

Run: 10 times, all outside, for 50.2 miles in just longer than 9 hours. Hey, I'm getting there! This was the same mileage as last month in two fewer runs and a bit less time, so I'll consider that a slight improvement.

PT/Rehab: 11 times for 7.5 hours. I always wish I had done more rehab.

Weights: 5 times of 2 barre classes, 2 videos and 1 heavy/body solo session, for about 5:10. That's more than once per week so I can't be sad about that.

Yoga: 4 times for 1:15 total. This worked out to be a quick session every Sunday night

Swim: Once for 1750 yards in a bit less than an hour. Of course I'm going to be slow doing drills a couple of times a year, but at least I made it this month.

Total: 41 sessions in just less than 36 hours. 

I did log another fastest mile according to my Garmin, 8:25.5, and I continue to casually train with the goal of a half marathon in the spring and logging a sub-27:00 5K also per my Garmin. I have the occasional twinge in my knee or hamstring but I keep adding time and speed super slowly and I feel like I continue to get stronger. I've been pretty good at doing some kind of weight workout at least once per week, which I know is helping.

Overall, October was great. I'm hoping to build off that for a great November and holiday season.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Week in review Oct. 22-29: Now two pretty good weeks in a row

Heavy on the running, but solid all around.
It was another “pretty good” week. Not a monster week, but a bit of almost everything and even one rest day.

I was happy that I hit 50 running miles for the month on Sunday, and that Friday after work was clear enough to run for the first time in a while. It’s getting colder every day in Michigan – not sure why we skipped cool fall evenings and landed smack into actual cold – but I have been braving the brisk temperatures with plenty of hats, gloves, and long sleeves. I tend to err on the side of overdressing but I have been making a good effort to dress JUST warm enough for the weather. I don't like being chilled at first but I have been warming up pretty quickly.

I had family in town from Colorado on Tuesday so that was a rest day, although we did walk all over downtown. I should have done more PT or lifted weights on the weekend, but I started reading an actual book on Friday and we had tickets to a dance show Saturday, so I didn’t. I can’t be go-go-go all the time and I enjoyed the rest and relaxation.

I also got my flu shot on Friday after work, intentionally on a Friday as I have had bad reactions before and wanted the option to sleep all day if I needed to. Happily, this year I only got a bit tender in the lymph nodes and was able to carry on as usual, with a long trainer ride on Saturday and a long-ish run on Sunday. Hooray for helping avoid the spread of infectious diseases!

By the numbers, my training last week was:

Run/Walk: Three times, all on the road, for 15.9 miles in about 2:52. I’m pretty sure this is my highest volume week since I started building back, although not by much. My left hamstring and hip was a bit grumpy on Sunday so I have been doing some stretching and foam rolling.

Bike: Twice, both on the trainer, for 32.25 fake trainer miles (one hour-long session and one hour-and-a-half-ish-long session) in about 2:37. I re-tested my FTP on Thursday by doing that stupid ramp test and increased it by 30 points. I’m going to regret that this week, but I was absolutely dead by the end and am confident I went as hard as I could.

PT/Rehab: Twice, both solo rehab sessions, for about 1:15. I should have done more, but I had to budget my time.

Weights: One video for about 1:05.

Yoga: One 25-minute self-guided session, including a lot of stretching of the aforementioned grumpy hip and hamstring.

Total: 9 sessions in about 8:14.

Nothing out of the park, but still a solid week with a few minor successes. I'll take it.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

50 miles running again!

It's a gloomy, chilly, drizzly day here and I had made peace with the fact that I might not run at all today. Until I got home from running errands and saw there was a break in the rain.

I threw on my shoes, grabbed a hat, and as quickly as I could headed out. 6.2 walking and running miles later, I've hit 50 for the month again. Hooray!

I know there are still three running days left in the month, so I might squeeze out another 5 or so, but this way I'm not cramming before passing out candy on Wednesday.

50 miles for the third month in a row! I am thrilled my knee is cooperating and seemingly getting better.
50 miles again, hooray!

Friday, October 26, 2018

It was FINALLY clear on a Friday evening...

... so I got out and ran!

For the last two Fridays in a row it was sunny and clear right up until the time I left work. I'm happy to run in a light rain, but not a heavy, cold rain. So it was easy to snuggle under the blankets and watch a movie instead.

Not tonight! Rain is moving in but it isn't here yet so I was happy to lace up and head out.
It was dry over my running route, which was good enough for me.
I was able to run my 4 x running intervals as hard as I thought I could sustain for the full 8 minutes. It wasn't easy, but I felt OK except for some hip tightness. And when I finished I had this alert from my Garmin:
Fastest mile since my knee injury in November.
So overall, it was a good run and a good evening.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Week in review Oct. 15-21: Not a monster but not bad

A nice variety.
Tuesday night already, eeek! I had family in town today so I spent all evening yesterday tidying up and just got home from a wonderful day with them today. I'm late but it was well worth it.

Anyway. I knew that last week wouldn’t be as good for training as the week before. I had a harder time starting the week on a strong note, and then for the SECOND week in a row, it started raining Friday afternoon when I had plans for an after-work speed run. I can do wet and I can do cold, but not both. Blech. So I did the logical thing and stayed inside, watched a movie (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, finally, which I loved), and ordered in barbecue.

It was also a frustrating week for health issues. I had an abnormal pap smear a few weeks ago so had to go back last week for additional tests (ladies, if you are overdue for your pap, call your doc right now, seriously) and then somehow one of my thyroid medications went missing somewhere between my doctor’s office and my pharmacy. ????? GRRRRR! So that was annoyance and stress I really didn’t need.

Throughout all that, I still had a decent week. I made it to the pool! Hooray! And did a bit of everything else except weights for some reason. I couldn’t squeeze in a video or barre class during the week and I was on a tight schedule Saturday so had to pass up my usual heavy/body routine time.

It worked out to be:

Bike: Three times, all on the trainer, for 41.75 fake trainer miles in about 3:38. I’m doing all these via Trainer Road, EXCEPT that I keep forgetting to charge my phone beforehand on Saturdays and it keeps dying halfway through the ride. Harumph. I know I need to retest my FTP but... I don't want to.

Run/Walk: Twice, both on the road, for 10.45 miles in about 1:53. Nothing out of the ordinary here, just one easy run and one long-ish run, with one extra run interval. Both days were chilly but otherwise fine.

PT/Rehab: Twice, both solo sessions, for about 1.5 hours. Nothing out of the ordinary here, either.

SWIM! Once in the pool for 1750 yards, all drills, in about 59 minutes. I have been struggling to get to the pool. The pools most convenient to my home and work don't have lap hours until later in the evening, and one has very limited parking, so I haven't been good about going. Last Monday, I went to a third pool that was more out of the way, yards, warm, and kind of dingy, BUT I could park and hop in at 6 p.m. with no problems and only one other person. Sooooo... that's what I did. Of course it was very slow but considering I've been to the pool single-digit times this year, I'll take whatever I can get.

Yoga: One solo session for about 15 minutes.

Total: Nine sessions for about 8.25 hours. Overall, not bad at all!

It wasn't another monster week, but it was still more than a workout a day for more than an hour a day, which is about what I consider a "good" week these days. Hopefully I can use this to have a slightly more "good" week this week.