Monday, April 24, 2017

Week in review April 17-23: A much better showing

Lift, bike, run, not necessarily in that order.
Last week was difficult to review since I didn't have much to log, but this week I made up for it with decent running and trainer riding and even some weight lifting, too.

This was in spite of losing Wednesday to an all-day work event (I mean all day, too: I worked from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.), having a family event Saturday morning and afternoon, and having plans with friends Sunday evening. I didn't run every mile I wanted, but I was pleased with what I accomplished and even surprised myself once or twice.

By the numbers:

Run: Four times, all on the road, for 27.75 miles in about 4:20. I ran way too many fast (I mean, "fast") miles this week with a tempo Tuesday, every other mile speedy Friday, and a fast finish yesterday. My knee that has no cartilage is feeling it today. I am not a spring chicken anymore and need to listen to my body telling me to run fast once per week, max. I would rather be running slowly at age 90 than need a knee replacement before I hit 40.

Bike: Twice, both on the trainer, for what my Edge tells me is 31 miles in about 2 hours, 30 minutes. I doubt very much the mileage is correct, but it's fun to try to push the speed and look at all the data later. I have been making sure to inflate my tire to the same PSI before each ride so even if it's not correct, it's consistent.

Weights: One round of all my heavy/body moves except abs (I just ran out of time) in about 1 hour. Two days later and I am still feeling the pull-ups in whatever those muscles just behind the armpit are. I am definitely regretting the month since my last heavy weights workout!

Overall: 7 workouts in a bit less than 8 hours. Not bad! This averages to once per day for more than an hour per day, and I can't be mad about that.

The last time I trained this much was the week of March 6-12, more than a month ago. The 7-10 hour range takes some finagling but is doable at this stage in my life, with no races on the horizon yet still juggling a full-time job, food prep, family and friend events, etc. Even giving up good-sized chunks of my week I was able to log some decent training.

I'm planning on taking it easy early in the week to recover, but later in the week — barring any day-long work events or family outings — it's on!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Getting in what I can

I definitely have a perfectionist personality at times, meaning that if I can't do things exactly how I want to, I don't want to do them at all. I'm trying to be more lenient with that attitude in my workouts; if I don't have time to ride for two hours, I'll do an hour and a half. If I can't run for 12 miles, I'll do 8.25.

That was exactly what I did this weekend, and it all worked out. I got a late start to my run Friday night, and it was colder than expected, but I still gutted it out and had a better run than planned.

I had a family event that took up most of my day Saturday, but I still squeezed in an hour and a half on the bike. And since my husband got delayed, I did most of my weights workout, too!

I wanted to do a 12-mile/2-hour run today, but I just didn't have time, so I did 8.25. I managed 7 at a moderate pace with the last 1.25 as a fast finish. And I ran it in SHORTS!!!
Why you no take me with you, Mommeh?
This weekend was a big reminder to me that something is better than nothing, even if "something" isn't exactly what I wanted to do. And sometimes that "something" turns out better than expected, anyway.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

A not terrible "speed" workout

I was looking forward to a run all day yesterday (Friday) and although it was cooler than anticipated, I bundled up and headed out for a couple laps around the neighborhood.

My feet felt like they weighed 100 pounds each and I thought about bailing, but I decided to push the pace every other mile just to see what happened. I affectionately call this workout "puking leapfrog" because I always want to barf by the end of the last fast mile.
Not terrible.
Some funny things to note:

- Overall pace was 9:08, a 3:59:59 marathon pace, and my ultimate goal.
- My second fast repeat was 8:23, exactly my BQ marathon pace.
- I had a couple recovery miles at 9:34/9:36, which is my PR marathon pace of 4:10.
- The 8:19 gets an asterisk because I had to stop for traffic.

Anyway, it was great way to kick off the weekend!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

It's early, but mild success so far this week

Where does the time go? I can’t believe it’s Thursday already.

The good news is I am already at double my running mileage this week compared to last week after running Monday and Tuesday after work. Monday I went back to a path I hadn’t visited in a while. At the end of last year, there were a few attacks on female runners and I have been apprehensive about running those routes alone since then. I stuck to a well-populated area and didn’t see anything fishy, and it was nice (well, kind of) to run some of the very few hills in southeast Michigan again. My usual route’s elevation gain is something like 10-20 feet.

Tangent: It infuriates me that I have to alter my routine out of safety because I am a woman. I have been researching self-defense classes and group runs, and otherwise running close to home and/or with my dog or husband. But honestly, it’s a giant load of BS. OK, that’s a rant for another day.

Tuesday I ran what I’m going to start calling “rage runs.” My day got lousier as it went on, I didn’t find what I needed at the grocery store, etc. etc. etc. By the time I finally went out for a run my blood was boiling. I headed out a bit faster than usual and decided to sustain it as long as I could or for an hour, whichever came first.

I ended up holding pace at just faster than 9 minutes per mile, which is pretty good for me lately considering I can’t even remember the last time I did any actual speed work. I just wish that pace didn’t feel so difficult. It seems like an eternity ago I was seeing anything that began with a 7. It makes me a little sad, but this is where I’m at right now. If I keep working at it I’ll get faster. If I don’t, I won’t. It’s running, not rocket science, right?

Yesterday (Wednesday) I worked a very fun but VERY long day, so I had no time to do anything else. Tonight (Thursday) it poured rain and thunderstormed all afternoon, so I got on the trainer and played with my new bike toys again. I was dripping sweat after an hour. Whew!
It's still fun, so I'm going to go with it.
I'm hoping to run tomorrow after work, although I don't have a good track record with Fridays. Saturday I have a family event and Sunday is a friends event, but I'm hopeful I can fit in some running and riding around the gatherings. The weather will be on my side.

Let's see what the rest of the week has in store.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Week in review April 10-16: Not a very “hoppy” Easter week of training

This week is difficult for me to look back on. It was yet another week that started off great and devolved into a disaster training-wise. By the time I headed to bed last night I was frustrated with myself, my training, and how I just can’t seem to get my act together to string together a decent week of workouts.

I had run long the Sunday before so Monday was a nice trainer ride playing with my new toys. Tuesday and Wednesday I went for jogs around the neighborhood with my husband. Our last miles were a 10:04 Tuesday and a 9:52 Wednesday, which may be the fastest miles he has ever run. I am very proud of him and glad that I am rubbing off on him =) to come over to the dark side and become A Runner.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday can be summed up with: Emergency errand making me miss barre, family plans most of the day, regular Saturday errands and another emergency errand but at least I squeezed in a trainer ride, and family over for Easter. I could have gotten up at my usual 5:55 a.m. but, honestly, I didn’t want to on my days off. I could have canceled plans with my mom. I could have declined the emergency errands. I could have not taken a nap and not prepped food Sunday. Could have, could have, could have but didn’t, didn’t, didn’t. I don’t know if this is a litany of excuses, poor timing and circumstance, or a combination of the two.

The end result was:

Run: Twice, both on the road with my husband, for 6 miles in just over an hour. SIX. MILES. That’s it. I haven’t run that little since I was on vacation last August.

Bike: Twice, both on the trainer, for what my Edge tells me was 27.59 miles in 2 hours, 15 minutes. At least I had a bit of success here.

Total: Four sessions for about 3:17.

No yoga, no barre, no swimming, no pre-hab, no nothing else. This is not how to prep for a spring race. This is not how to lose a few extra pounds. This is not how to keep building strength. Hell, this is barely meeting the American Heart Association’s recommendations for physical activity. I am a triathlete and marathoner, for pete’s sake – I laugh in the face of “30 minutes of exercise a day.”

Logically, I know getting mad at myself won’t solve anything. There’s nothing I can do but try to do better this week. I’m already off to a good start with a run. Let’s see how far I can get.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Week in review April 3-9: Not terrible, not great

Decent running, blah other stuff.
Well, this week wasn’t terrible. I only ran three times, but one of those was a long run. I didn’t make it to the pool, do any pre-hab, or do any yoga, but I DID do a weights video and played with my new bike toys, so it wasn’t a total non-running loss.

Since I didn’t feel great the weekend before, I did a weights video on Monday because I hadn’t lifted in a while. Tuesday was a nice, boring run. By Wednesday everything in my life was going to hell, so after getting home late I couldn’t summon the mental energy to do anything more than order in dinner and become one with the couch.

By Thursday all my new bike gear had arrived so I did an hour on the trainer. I ran for what I am 99% sure is my first Friday workout of 2017. But, everything went to hell again on Saturday. I was up early and ready to get on the trainer again for a bit, but my husband and I had a few last-minute errands/situations pop up, and I never did carve out enough time before meeting with friends for a planned dinner.

Not going to lie, I was super bummed and mad at myself for not prioritizing a workout. This is the second Saturday in a row I haven’t done a thing. But it also felt good to relax and hang out with friends, and shouldn’t weekends include some of that, too? I’m still working on finding that balance without beating myself up for doing too much of one or the other.

Yesterday (Sunday) I did a lot of food prep and kitchen stuff but was able to rally for a 12-miler later in the afternoon, which was my first time doing more than 10 since training for and racing the Gasparilla Distance Classic in February. I was good with 11 but at about mile 10.5 I saw a very familiar face – my husband had also rallied and headed out to join me for the last bit of my run. I was happy to spend a few miles doing what I love with someone I love.

By the numbers, it was:

Run: Three times, twice on the road and once on the treadmill, for 24.5 miles in a hair less than 4 hours.

Weights: One video for 1:05.

Bike: One trainer ride for 1 hour.

Total: Five sessions for slightly longer than 6 hours.

It averages to an hour most days of the week, so I can't be too mad. I just learn from it and move on to the next week. And maybe better anticipate Saturday shenanigans that can derail my plans.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Random long run thoughts

12 miles in a tank top!
Today was a gorgeous day. I headed out a bit late, but still managed 12 miles in a tank top! And I wasn't cold at all!

My mind always wanders when I run long and today was no exception:

- I ran past an apartment complex, in front of which a few little girls were playing. They called out "Hi!" to me and I said "hi" back. I started thinking: How many other positive fitness role models do those girls have? How many other women run by and make them think they can run, too? Of course, what do I know... those girls could have a mom that's a weightlifting champion and a mom who's a marathon runner. But maybe it does put a bug in their ear some day

- An ambulance went past and the turned around in front of me. My first thought was, "Damn, I don't look that bad, do I?" Then I started thinking... "What if I died a mile 1 and don't realize it yet, and am doomed to run laps of my neighborhood as purgatory?"

- My husband caught up to me at mile 10.5-ish and we ran another 2.5 together. Yeah, it dropped my pace a lot, but I am still working on making him A Runner. It was a beautiful day to run, especially with someone you love.

Happy running!