Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Week in review Aug. 22-28: All I do is run

Not bad.
Last week was about getting back on a normal schedule. Monday was a travel day, Tuesday was grocery shopping and otherwise trying to get my life back in order before passing out from sheer exhaustion, and Wednesday I had a work event. I did manage to do a quick run afterward, which set me up for a Wednesday-Friday-Sunday every other day running schedule. It’s what’s working for my knees and IT bands right now, so I’m going with it.

I don’t even remember why I didn’t work out Thursday after work, and Saturday was a busy day of meeting up with my in-laws, errands, and helping my cousin move into her college dorm. Friends of ours had a babysitter and wanted to go out that night, which meant my Sunday run got moved to the evening, but I made it work. And we ended up having a great time Saturday, so it was well worth it.

Sadly, I didn’t get any other workouts in, so my totals were:

Run: 3 times, 1.5 on the road and 1.5 on the treadmill (I did an extra 3 at the end of a 6-miler after it got too dark for my taste), for 18 miles in a sliver less than 3 hours.

My paces are nothing to write home about – it’s just been too hot and muggy. I’m not wishing away my summer, but we’re supposed to get a cool front in tonight/tomorrow so I might be able to enjoy some after-work runs in the 70s soon. I’m looking forward to sweating only a moderate amount on my runs.

Here’s to another great week!

Monday, August 29, 2016

So, this happened.

I had no intention of signing up for a half marathon today.

My husband has wanted to do this race for a while, and has even signed up and DNSed in the past. He was hemming and hawing about it this year, and I actually tried to convince him against it considering his run fitness right now. But he's as stubborn as I am. And as he was signing up, I told him he better sign me up too.

So he did.

His goal is to make it through Canada and back without stopping to walk, which is about 8 miles. We can walk the rest if we have to. It's a great race, and there's nothing like running in your hometown. And although I've done the marathon four times, I've never actually done the half — or any open half! So this will be a new experience for me, too.

If nothing else, it will keep my training honest for the next six weeks.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Recovering a long run fumble

Some lovely running weather Saturday.
After getting back to real life after vacation, I picked up the running every other day routine again. I got in a few miles Wednesday night on the treadmill after a work event, and I did a decent 6 after work Friday.

That meant I was up for a run again today, Sunday. I had good intentions to get up early and do 12 miles before it got too hot, but some friends wanted to go out Saturday night, and, well, let's just say I was in no condition to go for a run at 7 a.m.

After getting my morning errands run, it was starting to warm up and get super muggy. I just couldn't see myself suffering for 12 long miles. I made an executive decision to do all my food prep for the week and re-assess afterward.

It was still muggy by about 7:30 p.m., when I pulled the last dish out of oven, but at least it was starting to cool down, so I headed out. Yeah, it was sticky and gross, but I had some ice water and it wasn't TOO bad. As the sun set and the wind picked it up, running actually became enjoyable. Imagine that.

It got a bit too dark for me as I hit mile 6 and I was still feeling good, so I did another 3 on the treadmill. Total was 9 miles, which wasn't 12, but more than I thought I'd get done today.

It wasn't ideal, but I made it work. Hooray!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Five things (late on a) Friday: Summer edition

Today was the last unofficial work day of summer. Everything starts up again as normal on Monday, I didn’t get to leave a few hours early today, and I even wore real work pants and shoes instead of the khakis and sandals that became my summer Friday work wardrobe. Sad face.

Even though I’ve taken a step back from triathlon as I figure out what my next challenge is going to be, I still had fun this summer. Sports-related, the top hits were probably:

1. I volunteered for the first time at a triathlon

2. I had my first DNF and DNS

3. I attended a few barre classes to shake things up (barre fans will understand the joke)

4. I ran a fun 5K with my husband

5. I “hiked” in Yosemite National Park, possibly the most beautiful place I’ve ever been

Not really one “thing,” but I also built my running mileage back up to a 29-mile week and a 65-mile month (still shooting for 70 in August!), without re-aggravating my SI joint or IT band. (Knock wood.)

Not related to fitness, five other fun things I did this summer were:

1. Traveled to Toronto, suburban Chicago, and California

2. Finally upgraded my phone, haha (I have the habit of using a phone until my apps can no longer be supported by the software)

3. Attended a few high school graduation parties and hung out with cousins moving away to college soon

4. Went to a Tigers game AND a Giants game while I was in San Fran

5. Ate my weight in barbecue while hanging out with friends

I wish that I had done more actual training and a few triathlons, but overall it was still a great summer.

I’m not doing a fall marathon (although a half is still on the table), but I’m still looking forward to cooler fall running. I’m not a pumpkin spice latte fan, but I’ll drink the hell out of a salted caramel mocha after a chilly run. Of course, in Michigan, it could be 100 degrees with 90% humidity tomorrow, so I won’t be putting away the tank tops and sunscreen quite yet.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Week in review August 15-21: Walk, hike, jog

I did not climb this mountain.
I’m back in Michigan after a full day yesterday flying home, picking up the dogs, unpacking, and dealing with jet lag. I tried to tire myself out yesterday so I’d be able to go to sleep at a reasonable Michigan time; sadly, I didn’t have any luck and am now barely running on fumes.

California was awesome and I spent the majority of the time eating my way around San Francisco:
There was a LOT of this shoveled into my mouth.
My husband and I did go for two very easy runs in the wonderfully cool weather, but I didn’t do any real “training.” We did walk all over the city: One day my walking app recorded 11 miles! I did a LOT of walking up and down hills...
Up and down and up and down.
...and a good amount of easy-to-moderate hiking on the two days we visited Yosemite National Park. 
After the first day of hiking at Yosemite. These shoes were about to be rotated out anyway.
For the record:

Run: Twice, both on the road, for a total of 5 miles in just shorter than an hour. Just enough to justify bringing my running stuff!

I did see a bunch of people swimming in the bay – one person in just Speedo! No wetsuit! That water is freezing! – but I had no desire to join them.

I’m not going to stress about this low-volume week too much. I was moderately active most days, and for me, food and sightseeing will always take priority over workouts on vacation. I spent a few hours in the kitchen tonight for food prep and I have a work event tomorrow evening, so the rest of the week looks iffy, but after that I should be able to put in some decent workouts.

My main goal for August is to run 70 miles, to keep in line with a 5-mile increase each of these last few months, and as of today I have 9 days to run 26 miles. Can I do it? If I buckle down for the rest of the month, of course!
And a couple more pictures from Yosemite just because it was so incredibly beautiful.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Week in review Aug. 8-14, quickly and for posterity

I'm having a blast on vacation in San Francisco, hanging out with my sister- and brother-in-law (and husband I guess, haha), and haven't had time to catch up on the blog. Here's last week's review just for posterity:

Swim: Once, 2400 meters in the outdoor pool, in about 1:06.

Run: Three times, twice outside and once on the treadmill because I didn't want to deal with a three-digit heat index, for 10 miles total. The treadmill run and the morning run with my husband were 2-mile quickies just to get the legs moving, so my total is a bit low.

Weights: Once, with a Jillian Michaels video, for about 50 minutes. I did this right after the treadmill run so I cut out the warmup. I forget how tough this video can be if I'm using challenging enough weight.

Total: Five sessions in about 3.5 hours. Considering I lost a few days to vacation prep and travel, it's not TOO bad.

I'm doing a LOT of walking around the city and did manage to get in one run already, but the totals for this week will likely be more of the same. If I wrote a blog about eating too much junk food and drinking too much wine while traveling, I'd have hundreds of updates. Haha!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Mid-week check-in and pre-vacation stress

I'm on vacation next week and starting to freak out. Logically, I know stressing about vacation is dumb, not to mention privileged.

But I’m an over-planner, which makes me a worrier, and right now my main concerns are: Who is going to eat the tomatoes in our garden while we’re gone? How are we going to eat all the food in our fridge before we leave? When on earth will we have the time to clean the condo before we leave? How are we going to pack everything into carry-ons?

Of course, the easy answers are: Friends in the neighborhood will eat our tomatoes. I can bring any leftover food to my parents. As long as there’s nothing growing in the sink and the trash is taken out, it’s not the end of the world to come back to a messy home. And as far as luggage, well, there are stores and laundromats in California, I guess.

The good thing about over-planning for vacation is that I have been vigilant about keeping my every-other-day running schedule, since I don’t know how much I’ll be able to run next week. Now, I know that running every other day so far this month isn’t THAT big of a deal when it’s only the 10th, BUT, after I logged my run yesterday I realized that I was already halfway to my goal of running 70 miles for the month when it’s only the 10th! So, hooray for me on that one.

Halfway to my goals a third of the way into the month will hopefully make a great rest of the month.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Week in review Aug. 1-7: A few hot runs

Run, and lift, and run some more.
Last week was a good one. My focus on smart, strategic running, complemented with lifting weights, is going well: I ran four times and lifted weights twice. Yay!

This every-other-day running schedule is working for me so far. I’m still getting in decent mileage, although admittedly my pace is way off. But I’m not signed up for anything right now, so speed is a secondary goal. Plus, my IT bands seem to be behaving, knock wood.

I didn’t do much cross-training, though. I only got on the bike once, to warm up for my second weight workout. I didn’t get to the pool. I wanted to get some yoga in Sunday night, but just ran out of time after spending the evening in the kitchen trying to cook ahead for the week.

By the numbers, it was:

Bike: Just one 15-minute warmup on the trainer.

Run: Four times, all on the road, for 29 total miles in about 4 hours, 48 minutes. This is the most running mileage I’ve done in a week since my October marathon; not counting the marathon, it was my best mileage week since September of last year. I feel like I am finally, finally, feeling stronger in my running again.

I don’t think I’ll be doing a fall marathon. Yesterday I did a “long” run of 12 miles and while I felt pretty good, it was still challenging enough without adding additional distance needed for a marathon build. Plus, I’m kind of enjoying not having to dedicate an entire day to a long run and recovery. I might do a fall or winter half for fun. We’ll see.

Weights: One barre class (I’m not sure why I get so excited for these when I know they are painful!) and one heavy/body weights routine at home while watching the Olympics: pullups, pushups, shoulder presses, etc. I added a couple new abs moves and I was definitely feeling it afterward. Total, this was about 2 hours, 15 minutes.

Overall: Seven sessions in about 7 hours, 18 minutes.

Of course, I've had better weeks, but considering where I'm at, I'm very happy with how the week shook out.

Notas bene:

1. Go USA! I'm making sure to keep up on my favorite Olympic sports: Beach volleyball, tennis, triathlon, swimming, gymnastics, etc. I MAY have stayed up past my bedtime last night watching swimming.

2. I'm going on vacation next week and may get a few runs in, but I'm very sure I won't do much else. I'm trying to squeeze everything in this week so I can relax next week.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

July in review: Building up the run but not much else

July training by minutes.
July got off to a bad start. I had my first DNF and DNS after a panic attack in the water, and I decided it was best for my well-being to take a step back and focus on running and strength training for a while.

Running was the only thing I felt I had any success at this month. I’m still nowhere near the mileage I was doing a year ago, when I set my personal monthly best mileage-wise, but I’m still building without injury. (Knock wood.) Plus, running is still fun. So I’ll take it.

Strength training went OK. I only did three sessions, but I did try a new-to-me class, which I enjoyed (and have already been back). I resigned riding and swimming to cross-training, warmups or recovery.

For some reason it seemed like there was a LOT going on this month. There was one week where I had something going on nearly every evening. I had an out-of-town grad party that took up an entire Saturday. The heat was into the 90s many evenings and, let’s be honest, sometimes I just didn’t feel like running in it. Wah wah wah, blah blah blah, excuse excuse excuse.

By the numbers, it was:

Swim: Three times, all in the pool, for about 2.5 hours. No, that is not a weekly total; it is a monthly total. These were slow recovery slogs and honestly, I am not really missing it.

Bike: Three times, all on the trainer, for about 3.25 hours. Again, no, that is not a weekly total; it is a monthly total. Since I’m not doing any triathlons in the near future, I just can’t be bothered to round up all my bike stuff to go for an actual ride. I’ve been getting on the trainer occasionally to cross train, but that’s about it.

Run: OK! Here’s where I’ve had a bit of success. I ran 12 times for 65 miles in about 10.5 hours. This is a small increase from 60 miles in June, and I am thrilled. Most of these were shorter after-work runs and easy runs with my husband as he trained for a 5K mid-month. Since it’s been so hot and humid, I haven’t been doing any real “speed” work, but I did get a few speedy miles in there – a couple runs had average paces in the 9:teens, which I’m fine with considering where I’m at. I also did a double one day, which is rare for me, when I ran the 5K with my husband and did an additional 9 miles later to make a 12-mile “long” run. (11 miles was my longest “long” run in one go.)

Other: I did three weights sessions – two heavy/body routines and one barre class – and self-guided yoga twice. I didn’t do any pre-hab – BAD!

I don’t know yet what the rest of the summer will hold. I haven’t deleted all potential triathlons off my calendar, but I’m just not in a hurry to get back in the water or in the saddle. I haven’t registered for any other races, running or multisport. I’m going to keep on keepin’ on and reassess as necessary, but right now I’m happy doing this. So this is what I’ll keep doing.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Week in review July 25-31: Train hard, rest hard

Not included: Being a bum Friday and Saturday.
I'm going to make this quick because it's already past my bedtime. It's been a busy week so far -- I haven't gotten out of work on time yet, I took the time to made a nice dinner yesterday, and today I remembered at the last minute that I had to vote. I feel like I'm running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

Last week was interesting. I started the week off strong, but by Friday I was tired, and waiting for my parents to come into town I ended up falling asleep. I ended up sleeping for 10 hours that night! I didn't do much except hang out with friends on Saturday -- a good time, sure, but not conducive to training. Sunday was a combination of super muggy and raining so I decided to bail on my long run and do a trainer ride in the a/c instead. Maybe not the best choice, but I was much happier inside and at least I did something. I have to remember -- this is a hobby!

Anyway, by the numbers it was:

Swim: Once, in the pool, for 1600 meters in about 45 minutes. The water was actually too warm to push too hard or I would start to feel sick. I got in my recovery swim and got out. Blah.

Bike: Twice, both on the trainer, for a total of 1:45. This included one 15-minute ride to warm up before a weights workout and a Sunday evening long ride because I needed to do something and didn't want to go out in the ridiculous rain and humidity.

Run: Twice, both on the road, for 11 miles in about 1:49. This included a slow hot run and a painful humid run. The humid-but-less-hot run was actually more painful for me than the hot-but-not-as-humid run. I've been drinking a LOT of Gatorade on my runs, either way.

Weights: One run through of my heavy/body routine (pushups, pull-ups, shoulder presses, lunges, etc.) in about 1:15.

Total: Six sessions (counting the bike warmup and weights as two separate sessions) in about 5 hours, 35 minutes. Not great, but enough to work up a sweat most days, so that works for me.

Not a great week, not the worst week. And hopefully this week will be a better week!