Saturday, December 31, 2016

Another successful month of running build!

Late November and early December was The Month of All the Sicknesses: 24-hour flu, then strep throat, then a cold, then an allergic reaction to maybe the amoxicillin or maybe something else, then a cold sore. So, I was lucky to get in any running at all.

But I rallied later in the month and was pretty consistent with my routine of running two days in a row and lifting on the third day. Today I did an easy 4 OUTSIDE with my husband to smash my goal for December of "run 90-95 miles." Yeah, I did consider doing 8 to make it an even 100, but my left knee felt a little tender today so I took it easy.
This was a great way to end the year!
If you're keeping track, that's 666 for the year. Yes, I did that on purpose! Ha ha! I wanted to end the year on a round number but that was even better.

Anyway, for December, those runs are mostly 5-7 milers on the treadmill, doing a variety of easy runs and speedy-ish runs — nothing too difficult. I did a 9-miler on Christmas Eve, my longest run since the Freep Half in October. I don't have anything on the schedule, so I don't see a reason for me to be doing anything longer right now.

I feel like I have been running steadily enough, and being consistent enough with my strength training, that I can make 100 miles per month a goal for 2017. Yeah, I know I got set back by SI joint and IT band issues in late 2015/early 2016 and didn't make my goal then, but it's a whole new year.

Happy new year!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

My first swim in a LONG time

It's my day off from running and my muscles aren't quite back to normal from my last weights workout, so what was I to do for training today? I decided on a recovery swim, which was my first time in the pool since early August.
Shockingly, I didn't forget anything.
It was interesting. I never thought I would miss swimming but it was nice to be back in the water. I did my usual warmup/drills for 1000 meters and did another 7 x 200 for an even 2400 meters. I practiced flip turns for a couple of minutes, too, since I still can't do them.

I was slow as you-know-what, but hey. When the bar is low, you can only go up from there.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A new favorite speed run

I haven't done a whole lot of speed work since I transitioned to running two days in a row and taking a day off after the Freep Half in October. Once or twice a week, I was doing something I call "sixes and sevens," which is 0.75 miles at 6 mph, and 0.25 miles at 7 mph (on the treadmill, of course). Not too challenging, varied enough to be interesting, not so complicated I couldn't concentrate on whatever Netflix series is my current treadmill show.

Today, I decided to kick it up a notch, and increase each interval by 0.1 mph for 7 miles (I wanted to hit at least an hour). So I went from 6.0/7.0 mph for the 0.75/0.25 intervals, to to 6.1/7/1 mph, ending with 6.6/7.6 mph for a total of 7 times.

I'm not going to lie — I wasn't sure I could pull this off. I don't think I've run 7.6 mph (a 7:54 minute per mile pace) on a treadmill in years. But I decided eh, f--- it, I'll hold on for as long as I can, and the speed intervals are only for a quarter mile anyway. Verdict: Success! It was a great run and I cooled down feeling great and proud of myself for trying something new.
This speed workout plotted out.
I'm a cold weather wuss, and I expect to put in many more miles on the treadmill these next few months. I'll need fun and challenging speed workouts like this one to help keep it exciting.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The lamest virtual run ever

The temperature got into the 50s yesterday, so my husband and I had grand plans to go for a run to do our annual virtual A Christmas Story 5K. Sadly, it also poured rain most of the day, and we never made it outside.

So we got up early-ish today, headed to the gym, and ran our own versions of 5Ks on treadmills next to each other. Lame, I know.

At least we get to wear the shirts now?
Cool swag, at least.
Better luck next Christmas.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Week in review Dec. 19-25: Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas if you celebrate! Otherwise, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, or blessed be.

I lived through the week. I worked Monday and Tuesday, then took Wednesday and Thursday off to spend time with my sister, in town from out of state. We did our family Christmas on Wednesday and ate way too much turkey and homemade coconut milk-maple syrup ice cream. (But it was delicious.) Thursday we lounged around, watched Christmas movies, wandered downtown, finished our respective crocheting and knitting Christmas projects, and ordered in barbecue. Exciting day!

Friday my sis and bro-in-law were out the door shortly after 4 a.m. to catch their plane (shudder), so it was pretty much back to normal. I went to a barre class at a special late-morning time since everyone had the day off, and the rest of the day Friday and all day Saturday were Christmas prep with a couple runs sprinkled in. I did surprisingly well running-wise this past week, considering everything else going on. I even managed some evening Christmas yoga last night after I got home from multiple family celebrations.
Not bad for a holiday week.
It worked out to be:

Run: Four times, all on the treadmill, for 28.25 miles in about 4:27. This was two easy-ish building runs, one speed workout, and a 9-miler. I haven't broken the 30-mile mark any week since I started building again a year ago, but this is the second-closest I've come. I'm not too worried about it. My main focus is staying un-injured.

Weights: One barre class for about an hour.

Yoga: One solo session of about a half hour.

Total: 6 sessions in a hair less than 6 hours. Not bad! Considering two full days were dedicated to family, with big chunks of other days lost to holiday preparation, I feel good about getting in almost an hour almost every day.

This week is the best week of the year because my office is CLOSED. I have grand plans to work out every day, plus do some reading (I have a ginormous stack of magazines to get through) and finish some nagging tasks and minor household projects. I'm probably heading out to see my grandmothers tomorrow, but should be able to get in some miles beforehand. I may or may not get back into the pool or on the bike — we'll see what the week brings.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas, Part 1

I survived the first couple days of "Christmas." I skipped out of work Tuesday knowing I wouldn't be back for another two weeks. I had taken the rest of the week off to hang out with my sister, in town from out of state. Yay!

We did a mini-family Christmas Wednesday with turkey and some of our presents. I got in a decent run beforehand, which was nice. After dinner, my parents' dog and my dogs generously tried to help put the turkey away:
We help with turkey.
My sister and brother-in-law stayed at my place Wednesday night. We hung out Thursday and did a little bit of shopping and watched some Christmas movies — nothing too exciting. Sadly, they were out the door shortly after 4 a.m. this morning to catch their plane, but it was good to see them while they were here.

There was a special barre class today assuming everyone would have the day off so I went. It was a great way to get the day going.
Barre socks!
I had to run errands afterward, but did get in a treadmill run later. I'm assuming I won't get to run on Christmas Day, so I ran today and will tomorrow hopefully, to preemptively burn off some treats.

The next few days will be busy with family celebrating, but I am confident I can run most days and get some weights in, too.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Week in review Dec. 12-18: Christmas prep craziness

Not spectacular but decent.
Like pretty much every other week, I started off last week great, workout-wise. I nailed a run, a weights video, and two more runs after work during the week, and was feeling good. I even got Christmas cards out the door one of those nights.

Friday after work I dedicated to running holiday errands and I was just too tired to do much else by the time I got home. Sleeping in and regular errands took over Saturday morning, and I didn’t get on the treadmill until much later in the day than I had hoped. (I’d had good intentions to run outside but the roads and sidewalks were still a mess.) So, I only got to do part of my body weight routine before heading out to a Christmas party.

I had high hopes to do something, ANYTHING, on Sunday, but I just ran out of time. I finished up Christmas shopping and did a decent amount of cleaning in advance of family coming over for the holidays, so yes, that was important stuff. But after adding in a few hours of food prep, I was already getting to bed way too late. No time to run, no time to lift, no time for anything. Ugh.

On the plus side, after tomorrow I’m off for nearly two weeks. Hurrah! So not only do I get to sleep in and work out whenever I please, but I also get a reprieve from food prepping for a couple of weeks. I really want to spend a decent amount of time catching up on my reading and playing with the dogs during my time off.

I told my husband yesterday that my life would be a lot easier if we just ate out fast food every day for lunch instead of me washing lettuce and grilling chicken every other freaking day. But it’s important to me that we eat healthfully. There’s always going to be something that eats up those hours in the day, and overall I feel good about making the decision to make healthy meals ahead of time rather than go for my fifth run of the week. The time has to come from somewhere.

By the numbers, it was:

Run: Four times, all on the treadmill, for 25 miles in almost exactly four hours. Nothing spectacular here – some easy, some medium effort, some bits of speed sprinkled in.

Weights: Twice, one video and one part of one heavy/body routine, for about 1:10 together. Nothing out of the ordinary here, either, except that I was able to move up a few pounds on a few moves in the video, and add another rep here and there for assisted chin-ups and the like.

Total: Six sessions in about 5:11. I mean, it wasn’t terrible? It still averages out to about 45 minutes a day. Of course I’d like to do more, but this is where I’m at until I can afford that live-in chef, live-in maid, and personal shopper.

I am hoping for a break in the weather this coming week so I can move a few runs outside. Most of Christmas prep is behind me except for waiting on a few deliveries and wrapping, so I am looking forward to a relaxing few weeks – fingers crossed!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The year's last weigh-in

I see the scale as a tool, not the be-all, end-all. Even so, it was nice to see, on what was probably my final weigh-in of the year, a number I haven't seen in a while. In a good way.
Going in the right direction.
I'd been having some health issues that I believe contributed to the extra pounds. To try to get to the bottom of that, I've eliminated a lot of foods that showed up as allergies and switched out some medications. As a result, I'm feeling better than I have in a while and am weighing less than I have in a while. Success!

I'm planning on getting back in the pool and back on the bike soon. I was having hyperventilating attacks in the pool and had to DNF a swim this summer for a panic attack, so I decided to take a break. I am hopeful that those were just additional symptoms of the existing problem. One way to find out — hop in the pool and see.

Now, to see if I can end the year at the same weight, considering all the yummy holiday treats coming my way!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Finally, a string of workouts

Finally, some decent workouts.
In the past two and a half weeks I've had:

- The flu (thankfully, a 24-hour version on a Sunday so I didn't have to miss work)

- Strep throat (sadly, I did have to miss work until I was no longer contagious)

- A cold

- A random allergic reaction to something that make my entire face break out into hives

So, yeah. It's been a difficult few weeks to get any training in. You can imagine I was thrilled today when I knocked out my fifth day in a row of either running or doing a weights video. No, it's not amazing, but it's better than laying in bed with a fever.

I'll probably take the day off training tomorrow to finish Christmas shopping after work. It's been single-digit temps this week and I just can't handle that, so I've been on the treadmill. It's supposed to "warm up" to the 20s on Saturday so I may try to get in a decent run outside then. We'll see. At the rate I'm going, I'll end up with some other illness or another before long.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week in review Dec. 5-11 -- work, sick, shop

I'll make it quick since I had a pretty lame week: I only ran twice. I had a work event, and then I came down with strep throat mid-week. I haven't had strep since I was like, 12.
I was feeling better by Saturday so I did some much-needed Christmas shopping with my mom. By yesterday the strep was under control but I felt like I was coming down with a cold. I'm still feeling sniffly and runny today.
Double ugh.
I can't win.

So my grand total for the week was 13 miles in two treadmill runs for about 2:06. Eh.

'Tis the season for getting sick, so Lord only knows what bug I'll come down with over the next few weeks.

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.

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.


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!


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.


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.