Thursday, December 8, 2016

Week in review November 28 - December 4

I'm sick in bed, again, this time with strep throat. I'm tired and grouchy and swallowing hurts so I'll put last week on the record and be done with it.
Not great, not bad.
Run: Four times, all on the treadmill, for 17.6 minutes in about 2 hours, 52 minutes. This included a couple of easy runs, some pickups, and a short and speedy run.

Weights: One barre class and one body/heavy weight session for about 2:20 total.

Overall: Six sessions in a bit longer than 5 hours.

It wasn't a terrible week: I haven't been feeling great, and ended up relaxing Friday instead of working out to try to fight off whatever bug was going around then. Short term, it worked, and I got a nice day of training in Saturday. Sunday was full of errands, Christmas prep, etc. and I never did get in a workout. Grrrr. My biggest limiter is and will probably always be hours in the day.

I can't even go back to work until tomorrow afternoon when I've been on antibiotics for 24 hours, so I don't expect to be doing much training this week. Frustrating, but 'tis the season for picking up every bug that comes along.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Looking back at November: Decent running, decent weights

Ugh — I was a bit cocky thinking the first cold of winter hit me hard and then left just as fast, but I took a turn for the worse last night and took a nap after work. I am feeling fine today but I was a bit worried that I would be under the weather again.

Looking back at November, it was a good month! I got in a bunch of running, a decent amount of weight lifting, and even some yoga. I'm still not back to the pool or the bike, and I didn't do any pre-hab this month, but I feel overall I had some good numbers.

Minutes for the month. Not bad.
Run:

I ran 17 times in November, mostly on the treadmill as the weather got colder. I also ran twice on the trail, including one race, which was a ton of fun. I increased my overall mileage by another 5 to a total of 85, which makes me happy.

Side note: I ran 5 more miles in November in LESS time than my overall October running. After my husband and I finished the Freep Half Marathon together last month, I'm doing most of my running solo and at my own pace, which is bringing the pace up a bit.

Weights:

I lifted a total of 7 times, which breaks down to 3 barre classes, 2 videos, 1 heavy/body weight solo session, and one round of plyo moves. This is actually really good for me, which is sad, but at least I'm making improvements. Once or twice a week is nothing to sneeze at, and I'm improving and lifting heavier. Success!

Yoga:

Just four times, all solo sessions in the living room, for 1.5 hours total. This is the same as my total last month. An average of once a week isn't terrible, but I'd like to double that.

Overall:

Something like 23 hours of training, which is an average of about 45 minutes a day, which is better  than the average lazy person, so I can't be too mad at myself. Plus, November included a few days off for a mini-vacation.

I don't have any big goals for December except to keep doing what I'm doing, increase the running mileage a bit more, and maybe get back to the pool and on the bike. I'll have all the usual holiday parties and visiting family members to negotiate, but I still think I can make it a great month for training, too.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

85 running miles for November!

My running build was a success for another month! I added another 5 miles from last month's total to make an even 85 for the month. And I even had a day to spare.
Hooray!
It's been slow but steady and most of all, I am happy to be running decent mileage again without injury (knock wood). I ain't a spring chicken anymore and my high-mileage months are probably long behind me. All the more reason to enjoy these miles now, right?

I want to increase my mileage another 5 for next month to make 90 for December, while keeping lifting weights into the rotation. Yes, it will be busy with the holidays, but I also have a decent amount of time off, so I have hope I can do it.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Week in review Nov. 21-27: Through Turkey Day and getting sick

Yay, running!
This past week was definitely… interesting. I got in a decent amount of running, including a race, and some yoga and lifting. Somehow, I did all this around cleaning the house for Turkey Day, doing a massive amount of cooking and baking for Black Friday, and even getting sick yesterday. I’m kind of surprised I managed to make it to Monday unscathed.

I did not keep up with my run-run-lift routine – I had to shuffle too many things around this week to accommodate rest, recovery, and spending time with family. But I plan to hop right back into it next week. I am enjoying the routine and the challenge and starting to see results from getting lifting back into the regular rotation.

Anyway, it was:

Run: Four times, three times on the treadmill and one race (race report here!), for a total of 23.6 miles in about 4.25 hours. I had to shuffle one treadmill run to butt-early in the morning because I had a family commitment in the evening, and mixed up the other two with intervals and a slow build so they wouldn’t be too boring. My current treadmill Netflix series is Narcos, which definitely helps keep it exciting.

No, treadmill running is not ideal, and I would much prefer to run outside. But I don’t enjoy being cold, and running solo as a woman I have to be careful about running in the dark. I plan on taking advantage of the odd warm day but it’s probably going to be mostly treadmill running for a while yet.

Weights: One Jillian Michaels video for about 55 minutes. I don’t know why I thought it was a good idea to increase the weight on a few moves but I was feeling it the next day for sure.

Yoga: Twice for a half-hour each time on my own in the living room. I took some time to myself after everyone went home on Thanksgiving Day, and after I started to feel better on my sick day.

Total:
Seven sessions, something each day, for 6 hours, 12 minutes. Not bad for a holiday week!

I am already feeling much better today and ready to take the last few steps (ba dum tiss) toward my goal of running 85 miles this month. If I can manage that plus a few weight-lifting sessions, I will be well on my way to wrapping up November feeling good about it, and getting December off to a good start.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Black Toenail Friday 7.5-miler race report

I hate shopping and I especially hate Black Friday shopping, so when I saw there was a new Black Friday trail race I jumped at the chance. Plus, it didn't start until 11 a.m., so I could sleep in. Plus plus, it had hilarious sweatshirts and medals that any real runner could appreciate:
Don't pretend you wouldn't do a race just for this awesome swag.
We found out a few days ago that the race had actually sold out, even in its first year, so I was glad I had signed up early. This was the first full trail race for both my husband and I, not counting the races we've done in the past that have had a small stretch of running on trail. I had reached out to the directors beforehand to ensure it wouldn't be too technical, and they assured us if we had done some basic trail running recently, we would be fine. We had done one technical 5.5-miler a few weeks ago and lived to tell the tale, so we felt prepared enough.

Although my family went out to dinner for Thanksgiving, we used our place as home base. So, I still had to clean, and later I made some special desserts for me after everyone went home. As a result I got to bed way too late the night before, as usual. The alarm went off at 7:15 a.m. Friday, inconceivably late for a race day, but that was still plenty of time to make a carb-heavy breakfast, take the mutts outside, and head out. We found the park without any problems and had plenty of time to pick up our numbers and use the restroom before the race meeting at 10:50 a.m.

It was a small race, a couple hundred people max doing both the 7.5-miler and the half marathon, so they counted us down and sent us off with a siren. We hung back and started at the rear of the pack and settled into a slow pace to accommodate the mud, rocks, slick leaves, and slippery bridges. It was a chilly day but not too cold, and although it was cloudy the rain was holding off. It was a great day for running!

The park was gorgeous and the trails were never unrunnable. There was only one hill so large we had to hike up, and the mud was never so bad we couldn't just hop around it. I tripped over a few roots but I was able to remain upright throughout. Since we weren't in this for the time (and since it was the first of the distance for us and a guaranteed PR, haha), I stopped to take a few pictures:
I'm a sucker for a pretty water crossing.
Crooked and slick, yet pretty bridge. 
Cool air and still water.
It was awfully brown and gray, but still pretty (I think).
Another bridge through the marsh.
The half-marathoners did two laps of the course, and toward the end of our race we started getting lapped by the fast runners. We called out a couple of "Woo!"s and encouragement to the leaders. We were definitely feeling the trails by mile 6 or so, but we never felt like we couldn't finish. Up one hill and the finish line was right there already! We crossed the finish line with big smiles on our faces and headed over for bananas and hot tea and cocoa. That was a nice touch.

There were some slight adjustments made to the course to avoid super slippery spots, so it ended up being closer to 7.6 miles. I forgot to turn off my Garmin at the end of the race so I had to guesstimate time and pace based on the info I had. It ended up begin about a 13:30 minute per mile pace, which is almost exactly the same pace as our more technical but shorter run a few weeks ago, and landed us both dead last in our age groups. But considering that we were there to have fun, and that we stopped to take pictures, and that we aren't trail runners, we didn't even care.

TL, DR: This is a great race! Pretty course, not too challenging for a trail race, fun swag, and WAY more fun than waiting in line at zero dark thirty for a a few bucks off a crappy TV. If it comes back next year I'm signing up for sure.




Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Week in review Nov. 14-20: Some running, some traveling and some celebrating

Some running and a bit of lifting too.
It wasn’t a great week, but it wasn’t terrible. I lost Monday to traveling home from our mini-vacation, and I took Friday off to celebrate my husband’s birthday. (We had plans to visit a few upscale bars, but there was an event downtown and people everywhere, so we just hung out a friend’s apartment.) Despite all that, I still managed a decent five workouts.

Sadly, the weather also took a turn for the snowy later in the week and I just couldn’t muster up the energy to deal with it, so I moved to the treadmill for most of my runs. Ugh, it’s going to be a long winter.

Run: Four times, once on the road with my husband and three times on the treadmill, for a total of 18 miles in a hair less than 3 hours. I did this treadmill workout twice: 0.75 miles easy, then 0.25 miles at a challenging pace, times 5. It was just exciting enough to keep things interesting, but not so complicated that I couldn’t also watch Narcos on Netflix. It’s not quite a speed run, more “easy with pickups.”

Weights: One barre class for about an hour. There were about 6 of us there that night, which meant the instructor kept coming over to adjust me. Which means that things burned and shook more than usual. By the fourth or fifth time I was like, “GO AWAY!” I kid, I kid.

Total: Five sessions in just less than 4 hours. Not great, but I still got something done most days of the week so, success?

This is going to be another interesting week with Thanksgiving. I’ve already moved one run to butt-early this morning to free up the evening for shuttling my cousin home for the holidays (alarms that begin with a 4 are always painful), and I don’t expect to get any real training on Thursday. If nothing else, we have a race Friday and no plans for Saturday or Sunday, so I am looking forward to logging a few miles and doing some yoga in between leftovers-eating sessions.

May your work week be short and your turkey eating be glorious!


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Some good news, weight-wise

Heading downward. Yay!
I don't live by the scale but still, it is nice to see that number go down occasionally.

At my weigh-in a few days ago, it was a number I haven't seen in a while, in a good way. I still have a ways to go but it is nice to be moving in the right direction. I have been making overall changes to improve my health and this is reassuring to see.

To keep it going down during the holidays will be a challenge, but hopefully I can use this as momentum to be successful.