Friday, June 30, 2017

100+ running miles for June!

Not going to lie, it wasn't looking great that I would hit 100 running miles for June. At the halfway point of the month I was only at about 35 miles.

But I rallied and added a half mile to my weekday runs here and there and got two 12-milers in these past two Sundays. I missed two long runs early in the month, recovering from traveling home from out of town the first weekend and spending time with family at an event the second.

As it turns out, those half miles here and there weren't necessary. I was keeping a close eye on my run totals and finished Wednesday's 6.5-miler at 97.75 total. But who goes for a 2.25-mile run? Not crazy runners like me, haha. So I went out for 7.25 so I could end on a nice, round 105 for the month.
Five for six this year!
(My backup plan was to do 2.25 on the treadmill if it was raining today, but I was able to sneak out of work early and beat the rainstorm. Hooray!)

I really have no desire to do more than 100 per month these days (January and February were high because of the Gasparilla Ultra Challenge) and my bad knee is a bit tender, but knowing that I can have a solid second half of the month is a good feeling.

Plus: July has five weekends, which means five opportunities for Sunday long runs. Bonus! I have a wedding this Sunday so it will be nice to have an extra few days to make up mileage here and there.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Week in review June 19-25: Another great double-digit volume week

I'm on a boat! It's the day of the Freedom Festival Fireworks, when Detroit and Windsor celebrate together our victories from the tyranny of the British (mwa ha ha!). I squeezed in my long run yesterday between mini-vacation errands and dropping the mutts off at my parents (one of my dogs is terrified of fireworks), and have been hanging out on my parents-in-law's boat for the day. It's been great and great recovery, too.

I did consider a swim in the pool at the club where they are docked, but it is seriously brisk today. It only broke in to the 70s for a short while. I could have used some of this cooler weather earlier in the week while I was trying to run ... sigh. I actually had to bust out socks and a sweatshirt while we were on the water today.

I tacked on an extra half mile here and there to my runs last week to get me closer to my goal of 100 miles for the fifth month this year, so I had a slightly higher run volume than the week before.
Run, run, run!
By the numbers, last week was:

Run: Four times, all on the road, for 32.75 miles in about 5:19. This is about an additional mile in about 5 additional minutes compared to last week, which I assume is because it was a bit cooler this past week.

Bike: Twice, one trainer ride and one road ride, for 45.5 "miles" (35 miles on the road and an hour on the trainer) in about 3:16. It has been windy, windy, windy on my road ride days which makes for some interesting 5-mile splits.

Weights: Only once this week, my heavy/body routine in two parts, for about 2:20 total. I have been saving my squats and lunges for after my long run instead of the day before and potentially tiring out my legs. I just ran out of time this week and couldn't squeeze in a weights video or barre class one day after work, bummer.

Swim: Once in the indoor pool for 2050 meters in an hour. I was trying to do 2100 to make up for a 1900 earlier this season, when I cut it early due to a killer calf cramp, but this time I got kicked out of the pool for lightning. Ugh! One lap to go!

Total: Nine sessions in just less than 11 hours. Wow! Not bad at all.

I took a personal day from work tomorrow, too, so I'm hoping to get in an easy run before picking up the mutts and doing all my usual Sunday errands on a Tuesday. I have next Monday and Tuesday off work as well (Hooray!) so I am hoping to get in a few two-a-days with the extra time off. We'll see if the weather and wind cooperate.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

First monthly goal accomplished!

I wanted to ride outside three times this month, once each weekend I wasn't out of town. The cycling gods played nicely and today I did my third ride outside.
Three decent rides outside this month.
That works out to 30 slow, hot and windy miles; 37 windy, hot and humid miles; and 35 slow and windy miles. Sense a pattern here?

It was a beautiful day and I made sure to be thankful I was outside doing something fun with my healthy body, but DANG. That wind.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Week in review June 12-18: My highest volume in a long time

The good news is I hit all my major workout goals last week: Four runs for 30+ miles, two weights sessions, two bikes, and one swim.

The bad news is I still couldn't squeeze in any yoga or pre-hab. I just plum ran out of time with workouts every day after work, a two-a-day on Saturday, and getting to my long run a bit later than I would have liked on Sunday before several hours of food prep. My swim Friday was also a bummer as I started freaking out in the pool and had to resort to kick sets.

But, I blew past that elusive 10-hour barrier with 11:45 of training this week. Flipping through my logs, the last time I did this much volume may have been last June. Wow! I am definitely feeling it today, but it didn't seem too much during the week. I felt like I was more limited by time than by physical limitations. I don't expect to do this every week, but once in a while feels pretty good.
A great week for volume!
By the numbers, it was:

Run: Four times, all on the road, for 31.5 miles in about 5:14. This included three easy runs on hot days and a slower-than-I-would-have-liked long run on a hot-ish, windy day. I'm not sure how much of the slow long run was cumulative fatigue and how much was the heat, but it probably was at least a little of both. I stopped and had water as needed all through the week and tried not to worry about pace.

Bike: Twice, one trainer ride and one road ride, for 48.8 miles (11.8 trainer "miles" plus 37 road miles) in about 3:25. I finally gave TrainerRoad a try and was pretty humbled. My road ride was good, not great — it was another hot and windy day and my speed wasn't that high as a result.  But I tried to be thankful that I was out there.

Weights: Twice, one barre class and one heavy/body routine in two parts (I wanted to save my squats and lunges for after my long run, so I did them Sunday), for about 2:20. Nothing out of the ordinary here.

Swim: Once in the pool for an estimated 2000 meters of kick sets in about 45 minutes. I guess the good that came out of this is that I didn't get out and give up. Plus, I practiced flip turns for a bit; I succeeded at somersaulting upside down and occasionally reaching the wall with my feet, so I guess that's something?

Total: 10 sessions in just a hair less than 11:45. A great week!

I don't think I'll get quite as much in this week, but my main focus will be another high-mileage running week so I can hit 100 miles again this month. I'm a bit behind, but I think I can still pull it off. We'll see if the weather and humidity cooperate this week.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Training lows, highs and funny

I've done quite a bit of training this week, so I have plenty of stories.

Bummer No. 1: I finally connected to Trainer Road and did my first official workout this week, an hour session that included a 20-minute threshold test. It was... enlightening. All of my power levels are ridiculously low. So, while that means I have lots of room for improvement, it was still depressing to see. I was expecting low, but dang.

Bummer No. 2: I headed out after work yesterday to my beloved outdoor 25-meter pool, now open for the season. I waited for the storms to pass, suited up, got in, started swimming... and immediately felt the beginnings of a panic attack in my throat. I couldn't get a good breath and was starting to freak out. WHY is this still happening in the pool, of all places? Is it an outdoor thing? I am so frustrated. But, not wanting to give up and waste my time (because I'm nothing if not practical), I did kick sets for the next 45 minutes and practiced flip turns.
Pool I didn't really get to enjoy. =(
High No. 1: I worked out every day after work this week, twice on Wednesday, and have already ridden my bike and lifted weights today (Saturday). I am feeling good about all my training.
Trainer Road followed by barre on Wednesday.
High No. 2: I successfully swapped out my bike pedals before my ride today! I was warned that pedals were tricky but I was lucky (or maybe I just know my way around a wrench?) and didn't have any problems installing them.

Funny: After I installed my new pedals I wanted to make sure I had them set to the correct tension. For some reason, I was thinking tight meant that they could release quickly and easily. Spoiler alert: It doesn't. Testing my pedals in the dining room, this resulted in me locking my left foot into my pedal, losing my balance, being unable to unclip on the way down, and falling hard on the floor. I was fine and the bike was fine and now I have a funny story. I loosened them and didn't have any problems on my ride.

I wonder what adventures await me this week!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

My last couple runs have been a bit warm

Monday and yesterday I knew it was going to be beastly hot after work, but I headed out to run both days anyway. It’s (almost) summer in Michigan, it’s going to be hot.

Plus, the alternative is running early in the morning when the humidity is ridiculous, which I hate even more. Or running inside on the treadmill, which seems like sacrilege when I spend all winter whining about how cold it is.

I had a frozen bottle of water, I had sunscreen, and I had no speed goals. I was off!

Monday’s run actually wasn’t too bad. I stopped every 1.5-1.75 miles or so to drink, took an extended break at the halfway point at a water fountain in the shade, and kept it super easy. I felt fine and even managed a sub-10 minute per mile pace, which I was happy with.

Tuesday’s run felt more difficult. I stopped several times to drink, walk, and cool down, but I couldn’t make my legs go as fast as the day before. I didn’t push it, though, and ended up with a 10-second slower average. Eh, whatever.

Maybe I was still tired from the day before? Had there been more sun on the second day? Was I just feeling more blah? I also went to to check out the weather data (I fully admit I am a nerd when it comes to weather data) and saw that although the heat index was a few degrees cooler on Tuesday (87 degrees vs. 90 on Monday), the dewpoint was a smidge higher and the relative humidity was decently higher (48% Tuesday vs. 34% Monday). I am notoriously bad at running in the humidity, so although 48% doesn’t seem that high to me, 34% felt like the desert, by comparison.

Although, it really doesn't matter what the heat index or relative humidity was. It was hot, it will be hot for a while, and I need to acclimate so I can keep running in it all summer long.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Week in review June 5-11: Great start, disappointed in in the ending

A nice variety, and lots of lifting.
I kicked off last week with a bang: Not one, but TWO workouts on Monday: a run followed by a weights video. I had solid workouts Tuesday and Wednesday but, sadly, some situations popped up and I had to take a few days off training, resulting in a pretty pitiful week for running.

I knew I was going to lose most if not all of Sunday to a family event, but I got to hang out with both of my grandmothers for a while (and both are in their 80s!) and catch up with some cousins, so I’m not going to complain about that. More frustratingly, a side business situation popped up Thursday that lasted into Friday, and I didn’t get to train either day. I did get in a decent Saturday of training, but opted to take advantage of the street closed to traffic to bike on the road, and never did get in a third run. Grrrr.

As a result, I actually spent more time lifting weights than running. I don’t know if that’s ever happened before! By the numbers, it was:

Weights: Twice, one video and one round of my heavy/body routine, for about 2:15. Admittedly, sometimes I slack off a bit during weights videos, but this time I really focused on correct form and lunging/squatting/lifting enough to fatigue, and I definitely felt a difference. I also managed to do a few extra band-assisted chin-ups and pull-ups from last week, and my lat or whatever muscle (that one right behind the armpit) wasn’t sore for quite as long afterward this time.

Run: Twice (ugh), both on the road, for 13.75 miles in about 2:07. This was one easy run and one speedy run of half-mile repeats.

Bike: Once on the road for 30 miles in just longer than 2 hours, which, yes, means I was slower than 15 mph. WTH. There was crazy wind both out and back, and it was hot, but I didn’t feel bad. I have no idea what was going on. I tried to be thankful that I was outside in the fresh air and sunshine and able to move my body, but dang, that was slow even for me.

Swim: Once in the pool for 2000 meters in an hour. Again, slow. BUT, I really didn’t want to go and I forced myself, so that was a victory in itself. I also was on the verge of a foot cramp the whole time, but luckily it never evolved into a full cramp. I had made sure to drink pickle juice ahead of time, too. I’m not sure if I just need to get back in the pool more often to prevent these cramps, or what – I can’t eat bananas anymore but I do eat spinach, tomatoes and potatoes almost every day and those supposedly have even more potassium, so who knows??? So frustrating.

Total: 6 sessions in a bit less than 7.5 hours. Not terrible, but missing three training days really stings. This also means that almost half of my training for the week was done on Saturday. Well, I guess that’s what happens when you have to work for a living, right?

Even though it was in the 90s today and probably tomorrow too, I started off this week with a run and I am hoping to carry that momentum into the rest of the week. I will hit double-digit hours training one of these weeks, high temps be darned!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A belated but quick May in review

May training by minutes.
May wasn’t a bad month. The good: I hit 100 miles running, biked outside a few times, and even got in the pool twice.

The mediocre: Weight lifting was OK. The room-for-improvement: I only yoga’d once, and I didn’t do any pre-hab. At all. All month. Ugh.

I did log a few more sessions and a bit more time overall from April, so that is a bit of additional good news. I didn’t do any races, but I ended the month uninjured, so I'll accept that success.

Overall, it was:

Run: 14 times, 2 on the treadmill and 12 on the road, for 100 miles in just quicker than 16 hours. Not bad! That's exactly the same number of sessions and miles as in April, in about 3 fewer minutes. So, an increase in my overall pace by about a second, haha. And I'm happy to hit my goal mileage of 100 for the month once again.

Bike: 6 times, 3 on the trainer and 3 on the road for about 78 actual miles, in just quicker than 9 hours. (I'm still not sure how I'm going to track trainer "miles.") This is the same number of overall sessions as April, but I didn't get outside last month, so that is a win. I didn't make my goal of biking twice per week average but I did get outside one more time than my goal, so yay me!

Weights: 4 sessions (one was a heavy/body routine broken into two) in about 3.25 hours. This is EXACTLY what I did in April: one barre class, one weights video, and one heavy/body routine done over two days. My goal was to lift twice per week, so I have room to improve here.

Swim: Yay! I swam! Twice! I didn't swim at all last month (or, um, yet this year) so the bar was pretty low for May. I managed 3500 meters in two sessions in about 1.75 hours, yes it's slow but whatever. I wanted to do once per week, so I'll make that my goal for June.

Yoga: Only once for 15 minutes. Really?!? Ugh. I can't let this slack for June.

Pre-hab: Nothing. Again, Really?!? Ugh. I can't let this slack for June.

Overall: 27 sessions in just longer than 30 hours. An average of an hour almost every day is not bad! That's three more sessions and 3.5 more hours, so I'll take the overall improvement.

Not bad, not great, room to improve. Pretty much the definition of being mediocre.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Weeks in review May 22-28 and May 29-June 4: Two for the price of one

I haven’t forgotten about my little corner of the blogworld. I headed out of town for a road trip last Monday afternoon, and just got back into town Saturday night. My husband was out of town the weekend before, so I wanted to spend a BIT of time with him Monday morning since I’m married to him, and all.

His being out of town did have a few benefits. I could train without worrying about him, make whatever I wanted for dinner and eat the same thing two days in a row, and get up early Sunday and run my final 7.75 miles to make 100 for the month again! Yay me! (We usually do a leisurely breakfast on Sundays.) I couldn’t go too far away from home, as I still had the mutts to worry about, but I got a decent amount of training in.

But since I was literally sitting in a car or on a plane for the vast majority of last week, I got very little training in. I did bring my yoga strap, and the hotels I stayed at had fitness centers, but, sadly, we always arrived late and tired and hit the road too early. Oh well — I’m not going to lie, it was kind of nice to have a week to not worry about training at all!

So, here’s two for the price of one:
Not a shabby week at all.
Week of May 22-28

Run: Four times, all on the road, for 27.6 miles in about 4 hours, 24 minutes. This included a couple of easy mid-week runs, my first track run in a long time Friday, and a “long” run of 7.75 miles Sunday morning to make 100 for the month.

Bike: One trainer ride of 12 “miles” and one road ride of 35 miles in about 3:15 total. I was frustrated with my trainer ride because I really want to use virtual power through TrainerRoad and I was at the end of my free trial month. I emailed customer support, who got back to me very quickly, and we determined that I need an ANT+ adapter in addition to my phone and Gamin devices already having Bluetooth. So, I sucked it up and ordered everything necessary and let my free month to continue into a paid month. Worst case scenario I’m out $12 for the month, and I’ve definitely spent more on stupider things.

My road ride was amazing. It was a beautiful day and since it was my third ride on my new (to me) road bike, I finally felt comfortable riding a bit faster. I feel like two hours is a good amount of time for me to spend on “long” rides and runs when I’m not really training for anything specific, and I was able to log 35 miles in about 2:10 (I have to end on a round number, or else). Hardly Cat 1 speed, but good for me this early in the year, anyway.

With the batch of TrainerRoad accessories I also ordered another of the same set of bike pedals I have on my tri bike. I was literally walking out the door to ride when I realized I had my bike cleats, but still hadn’t swapped out my cage pedals. That would have been an interesting ride! I figured if I have the same pedal, I can use the same shoe and never have to worry about it again.

Weights: I went through my heavy/body routine in two parts in about 1:20 total, which ended up being not only my exciting Friday night, but my exciting Saturday night, too. I think I watched Chef’s Table and took my time, gave belly rubs to the mutts between sets, etc. The usual. I knew I would get through my heavy/body routine on the weekend so I didn’t make barre or a video a mid-week priority.

Swim: I also got in the pool once this week, logging 1900 meters in about 56 minutes. Yes, I realize this is slow but it’s the third? second? time this year I’ve been in the pool. I am so mad about the 1900 meters — I got a foot cramp with two cool down laps to go and I figured I didn’t want to risk it. It hurt so bad I couldn’t even do those laps with a kickboard. Ouch, ouch, ouch.

Total: 9 sessions in 9 hours, 55 minutes. I didn’t realize I was so close to 10 hours! I REALLY need to start adding up my totals Sunday afternoons. I totally would have (and absolutely should have) done 10 minutes of yoga to get me to the 10-hour mark.

Week of May 29-June 4

Absolutely nothing from Monday through Saturday. Monday (Memorial Day here in the U.S.) my husband and I went out to a nice breakfast and walked around downtown and the Riverwalk for a bit, but that was casual strolling. I had already hit my 100 running miles for the month, so I did all the last-minute packing and prepping for my trip instead.

I flew out Monday and Tuesday through Thursday I was on my butt in the car. I did a tiny bit of walking around Friday, but didn’t even bring my running clothes on this trip, and really didn’t have time to run, anyway. Saturday was a long travel day and I got home late and too tired to do anything.

I did run for 6.25 miles in just longer than an hour on Sunday, so that's my total for the week. I didn't want to do a "long" run after a week off and I had a lot of stuff to do anyway to prep for my return back to real life, but I'm glad I got in something.

I am already off to a good start today so hopefully a week from tonight I'll have another great week in review to share. Until then, let's see what the next few days bring.