Monday, May 25, 2020

Week in review May 18-24: Weather and work make for a lighter week

Even a pretty good week is still good.
It wasn't as good a week for training as I have been logging recently, but I was due for a step back week anyway. It was pouring rain Monday, and I had a work event Thursday night, and both nights I was just like "nah." I could have done some lunchtime run finagling but I decided I would feel better to take a couple days off rather than stress myself out trying to fit everything in.

I didn't mean for both skipped days to be easy run days, but that's how it ended up working out. I figured I'd rather move a ride to Friday than try to run Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Eh, whatever. It's not like I have any races coming up, so I can pretty much do what I want anyway.

It shook out to be:

Bike: Three times, all on the trainer, for 57 fake trainer miles in about 3:46. Nothing special here, just an easy ride, a harder ride, and a longer ride.

Run: Twice, both on the road, for 20.75 miles in about 3:20. This was a long run on a beautiful day and a speed run that felt pretty good.

Weights: One round of my heavy/body routine for about 1:20.

PT: Twice through my homework routine for about 1:10.

Yoga: Two solo sessions for about a half hour total.

Total: 10 sessions for about 10:06. Not terrible!

I'm totally fine with "only" a 10-hour week after two 14-hour weeks. I still had some good runs, some good rides, and lifted some good weights. Hopefully I am rested and ready to take on another week.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

On the run, but stopping to take pictures

I'm still doing my "long" runs of about 2 hours for sanity's sake. I zone out, catch up on my podcasts, and get some fresh air and sunshine.

But, I decided that since I'm not going to be racing any time soon, I can stop and take as many pictures as I want. Too many times I've run past a pretty sunset in a puddle, or a funny bird, and I think "I'll get a pic of that on my next lap," and whatever it is is long gone by then.

So, some of the pictures I've been taking lately:
From earlier in the season -- that's a snow cloud over the Detroit River.
One of a couple flyovers we've had recently.
There was an eagle in the trees, but I couldn't get my phone out fast enough. 
Pretty sunset.
Apple blossoms! The Ambassador Bridge to Canada is in the background.
Not sure what blossom this is, probably cherry, but it was pretty.
Awesome sign I saw.
No snow on this day, just sunshine.
I hope that if you are still able to run, you are finding some joy in your runs, whether that's in the form of pretty blossoms, or cool birds, or time with your stay-at-home-partner, or fast miles, or whatever.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Week in review May 11-17: More quarantraining and some good running

Almost exactly the same as last week, and I'm OK with that.
It was another really good week last week, pretty much a repeat of the week before. I got lucky with good weather, few work issues, and no body issues other than a bit of residual soreness.

I took it "easy" with "only" an easy run on Friday, but every other day I doubled or tripled up. So for two weeks in a row now, I've hit just over 14 hours of training, which is a LOT for me.

But don't worry too much. It's raining today and I haven't done anything, so expect lower numbers next week. XD

Anyway, last week's totals were:

Run: Four times, all on the road, for 32 miles in about 5:13. This was two easy runs, a long run of 12.75 miles (2 hours, then rounded up to the nearest quarter mile), and a speed run that blew away any expectations.

I realize it's kind of silly and pointless to do long runs and speed runs right now, but it's giving me something to look forward to among the gloom and doom, and I don't feel I'm stressing my immune system, so I'm going to keep going for a bit. Maybe there will be a fall half or a virtual race that I can jump into.

Bike: Three times, all on the trainer, for 55 fake trainer miles in about 3:40. This IS something I'm willing to cut back on since the chance of triathlons or duathlons taking place this year is pretty small. I don't DISLIKE the bike; I hop on the trainer, watch a few episodes of The Office, and call it a day. I'm not sure yet about outdoor riding logistics this season, so that will have to wait for a bit if it does happen.

Weights: Twice, one video and one of my heavy/body weight routines, for about 2:25. I did kind of half-ass my video after my long run Wednesday, but I worked hard during my heavy/body session. I am getting stronger on my chinups and pullups! Also, moderately embarrassing, I dusted off my old ThighMaster and ButtMaster because I figured if I was running extra mileage and working to strengthen my glutes, why not circle back to some old reliables?

PT: Three sessions of homework plus rolling out my quads and calves for about 1:45.

Swim/dryland: Two rounds of dryland moves with exercise bands to warm up for weights or throw in something different.

Yoga: Twice for about 30 minutes total.

Total: 16 sessions in a hair longer than 14 hours.

I'm pretty pleased with last week but I am ready to take it a bit easier this week. I'm still looking at a long run on my furlough day, some speed work, some trainer riding, and some lifting, but maybe not quite as intensely. We'll see how the week goes and how much rage I have to burn off.

Stay healthy!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Successful speed work even with no races on the calendar

I have been kicking dupa and taking names during my speed runs these past few weeks. My best guess is that it's a combination of adding more PT and weights time into my weekly routines; moving my long run to my furlough day Wednesday, and therefore farther away from my speed run; and doing weights immediately before my run, rather than the day before, so I'm not doing it on tired legs.

I've been mixing it up based on what I feel like that day: alternating half-miles, alternating miles, descending miles, etc. (Really, the only thing I haven't been able to do is track workouts, since everything is closed.) All those faster-than-usual miles mean that my Garmin has been tracking faster and faster 10Ks and even the occasional "record" mile. Woo hoo!

I'm not counting these as actual PRs because they're not at races, and I've only had this Garmin for 2.5 years, but it still has been good to see a few new records over the past few weeks. I had a couple "fastest" 10Ks in April and a "fastest" mile, and today I hit the trifecta:
Heck yeah!
I hadn't set a "fastest" 5K with this Garmin in about a year and a half, so I was pleasantly surprised to see this. I was treating this run as a time trial, and I didn't really know what to expect. I wasn't even thinking 10K or mile, but I had run a couple miles beforehand of medium-peppy-medium, which apparently was enough. Woo hoo! (again)

And, a funny thing from my Garmin:
Look at that heart rate! haha
Even if there isn't anything to train for, I am still enjoying challenging myself. And if I can set some new Garmin records, that's great too. I'll take all the positives I can to come out of this stay-at-home order.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Week in review May 4-10: Some serious social isolation training hours

A good variety and a good volume of training last week.
All is well over here. I just got tired last night mid-weekly wrap up and decided to go to bed. Anxiety is really doing a number on my sleep so figured I should take advantage while I could, haha.

Anyway, last week was just about as much training as I could squeeze into a regular week. I had a great variety of activities and I felt pretty good overall. The only way I could have done more training is if I'd had more furlough days, which, no thank you. Except for Friday, on which I "only" did an easy run, I added dryland, PT, and/or weights to my trainer rides or runs, which made it a pretty high-volume (for me) week.

Annoyingly, it was also pretty cold for a good part of the week. I got caught in a random snow squall when I went out for a run Friday, and it was cold on Saturday, too. Pretty ridiculous for mid-May. I am definitely ready for warmer temperatures and sunshine.

Cold weather aside, last week shook out to be:

Run: Four times, all on the road, for 32 miles in about 5:13. This worked out to be two easy runs, a speed run than ended up as 3 x 1 mile at 5K pace, and a slightly-longer-than-anticipated long run because I misjudged a loop in the middle. I had a bit of hamstring tightness here and there but other than that, all was well.

Bike: Three times, all on the trainer, for 57 fake trainer miles in about 3:46. Nothing out of the ordinary here, either: one easy ride, one harder ride, one longer ride. I have been picking 1.5-hour Trainer Road rides on Sunday and then soft pedaling until I hit 25 miles, which has been giving me an extra 10-15 minutes. I'd like to hit 250 trainer miles this month, and it feels like I'm pretty well on my way so far.

Weights: Twice, one video and one of my heavy/body weight routines, for about 2:25. It's a good week when I can do two weights workouts, so hooray!

PT: Three times for about 1:45 total. Again, three times through of my PT exercises is a hooray for me!

Dryland: I did an extra stretch cord routine for two total times and 30 total minutes. I'm using an old exercise band right now so I'm keeping this simple, fitting in 15 minutes to warm up for a weights workout or to extend a run workout. The dryland-specific cords I want are on back order, and I couldn't get to them fast enough before they sold out again. Sad face!

Yoga: Again, twice for 30 total minutes. Sadly, the app I used occasionally went to a paid model, and I'm not sure yet how often I'll use it, so for right now I'm just doing my own hip- and hamstring-opening routines.

Total: 16 sessions in about 14:09. This is a huge volume for me! Hooray! This is easily my biggest week of the year, and only one week in March even comes close.

Of course, the only reason I'm doing all this is because it feels good and is keeping me sane. The second I start to feel badly or sick, I cut back. Unfortunately, Detroit is still a COVID hotspot and we have to be super careful. The only human other than my husband I've had actual, non-computer contact with in the past week is a random woman I gave directions to. But working out inside and going for solo runs is still OK, and still feels OK.

As always, I hope you are all staying safe and healthy out there.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Week in review April 27-May 3: Slow start, decent finish

A pretty good all-around mix.
Last week was moderately good. I got off to a slow-ish start and it rained on my furlough/long run day, but I was still able to get in a decent amount of training.

I hit my goals of my three trainer rides and two weights workouts, and almost hit my goals with three runs and two sessions of PT. Considering I don't have any races to train for and I don't want to overdo my immune system, I think it was a pretty good balance.

A couple of non-training healthy victories were eating dinner in every night (SO. MANY. DISHES.) and lazing around and relaxing both Saturday and Sunday morning. There was also a LOT of dog walking in the mornings and at lunchtime, and on the weekend when it his 80 damn degrees on Saturday. The dogs are the real winners here.

In all, last week shook out to be:

Bike: Three times, all on the trainer, for 56 fake trainer miles in about 3:43. I am keeping up with the two, 1-hour long rides and one 1.5-hour-ish ride for now, although I spun for a few extra minutes during my long ride to hit an even 25 miles just because.

Run: Three times, all on the road, for 22.5 miles in about 3:42. This was an easy run, a moderate moderate (mid-distance, mid-pace) of 9 running miles for something resembling a long run on Thursday, and a speedy-ish run on Saturday where I just ran at "faster than normal" for 7 miles. I wasn't setting any records this week, but that was fine.

Weights: Twice, one online barre class and one heavy/body weight routine, for about 2 hours total. Yay, two weights workouts in one week! Although it rained all day on my furlough day and I cleaned the bathroom instead of trying to go for a run, I DID make time for a barre class, and that was nice.

PT: Twice for about 1:10 total.

Yoga: Once for about 20 minutes. I was using the Down Dog app occasionally, but they moved away from their free model, sad face. I am going to do the math and decide if I want to continue. It seems kind of silly since I'm still paying for a gym membership I'm not using, but maybe spending some money will encourage me to actually use it.

Swim/Dryland: One 15-minute session to warm up for Saturday's weights workout.

Total: 12 sessions in about 11 hours, 10 minutes. Not fantastic, but still pretty darn good, and a pretty darn good variety of disciplines to keep things rounded out.

I am trying to be kind to myself during this pandemic because dealing with all the stress, worry, working from home anxiety, sadness over not seeing my parents, etc. hits me harder some days. If I can fit in a few good runs, rides, and lifting sessions, I am doing pretty OK.

I hope you all are staying safe and healthy. I know I say that every week, but I mean it.

And some pictures of the aforementioned spoiled mutts, for good measure, doing what they do best.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

April in review: Quaran-training means lots of running and supplemental workouts

A good amount of training volume this month.
April was darn good as far as training goes. I had the best running mileage month I've had in years. I did a decent amount of trainer riding and PT, and a respectable amount of weights and yoga. I even kept up with a little bit of dryland swim training.

I'm still working from home, and am still making the most of the time I'm not commuting or getting ready by daily morning dog walks. The mutts are loving it and the weather is getting more and more cooperative. I think I'm doing as well as I can, mentally. I don't like that I can't see my parents or plan a vacation, but I am trying to enjoy the downtime.

I didn't go nuts in April for training, but I did have a slight increase in training time from March although, funnily enough, I hit 48 sessions again. April shook out to be:
I am very pleased with how my run's come back along.
Run: 16 times, all on the road, for 122.5 miles in 20 hours, 11 minutes. A few notes about April's running:
  • It's no coincidence that I have managed to increase my mileage at the same time I am increasing my pre-hab.
  • I added one more easy day per week for most of April, which accounts for some of the increased mileage.
  • I increased my long runs to 2 hours then rounded up to the next quarter mile, which resulted in my longest runs in years.
  • I got word mid-month that I was going to be furloughed on Wednesdays, so I did one long run on Wednesday instead of Sunday. It rained the last Wednesday of the month so I did a medium-distance run on Thursday instead, but I'd like to keep up with the long runs on Wednesdays as long as I am off.
  • The last time I hit 100 miles in a month was October of 2017; the last time I hit 120 was February of 2017.
  • I don't see any need right now to try to increase my volume any more than this 100-125 range. This gives me two easy runs per week to stay in shape, one long run per week for my sanity, and one speed run to challenge myself. It's a good mix and I don't think I'll change it up any time soon.
Slightly off (one ride didn't sync), but bike is going OK too.
Bike: 12 times, all on the trainer, for 217.5 fake trainer miles in about 14 hours, 18 minutes. This was a pretty low-for-me bike month. I am still doing one easier and one harder hour-long ride per week most weeks, but I cut back my long rides to 1.5 hours instead of 2, since there aren't going to be any races any time soon. I just ... don't care that much? I still enjoy riding the trainer a few times per week to keep my legs in shape, but I don't see the point of doing much more than this right now.

Pre-hab: 9 times for about 5 hours, 15 minutes. I'm happy I'm averaging more than twice per week, hooray! I'd like to work on getting that average up to three times per week, but I feel like I have a pretty good foundation here.

Weights: Five times — three online barre classes and two of my heavy/body weight routines — for about 5 hours, 5 minutes. Again, I'm averaging more than once per week, which I feel is a good foundation for getting that closer to an average of twice per week.

Yoga: Four times for about 1:10. I'm pretty consistent with doing a few minutes of either self-guided or Down Dog app practice on Sunday nights, but I'd really like to fit in another night during the week. Maybe I will focus on making time on my long run days.

Dryland: I also did dryland stretch cord twice to warm up for weights workouts, for 30 minutes total. I have no idea if this is keeping me in swimming shape, but it's nice to do something different once in a while and work some different muscles.

Total: 48 sessions in about 46 hours, 28 minutes. Not bad at all!

I don't have any big goals for May except for a bit of fine-tuning from this base I've built in April. Maybe hit 125 running miles, maybe hit 250 bike trainer miles and/or get outside on my road bike once or twice, bump up pre-hab to three times and weights and yoga to twice every week, and do a bit more dryland. Since there aren't going to be any races any time soon, I'm going to focus on consistency more than speed or power.

I hope you had a great April and that your May is already off to a great and healthy start.