Monday, July 31, 2017

Week in review July 24-30: A solid summer week of training

Last week wasn’t bad at all. I logged some great running miles, had a decent outdoor bike ride, and lifted weights twice. I even squeezed in some yoga.

The weather was good all week and I managed to do at least something small every day, mostly outside. Other than not making it to the pool yet again (it’s now been over a month), I’m happy with my training. Heck, I’m happy any time I can get in 10 hours of training; these days, 10 hours is a great week.

One reason I got ahead of the game was I didn't do any training last Sunday, so I hit Monday hard with a track workout. I ended up running five times last week, which was an oddity. But, that track workout was my only non-easy run, so I don't think it was too hard on my body.
A lot of running but some decent other stuff, too.
Anyway, it was:

Run: Five times, all on the road, for 30 miles even in a sliver less than 4:45. I had a dilemma over whether to run an extra 0.1 miles for the month to hit 30, and my Type A-ness won out for the even 30. I saw a few 400s at a pace beginning with 7 on the track, so that was reassuring!

Bike: One easy spin on the trainer and one 35-mile road ride for almost 3 hours total. It was getting late and I almost called my ride at 30 for fear of traffic, but I was feeling good and managed to STILL be done before the road opened back up, so I made the right call.

Weights: One Jillian Michaels video mid-week and one heavy/body routine Saturday for 2 hours or so total. I really tried to challenge myself both times, do full pushups, not fake my squats, use challenging weight, etc. I definitely felt both of these.

Yoga: 20 minutes on my own Sunday evening while watching Game of Thrones.

Total: 10 sessions in about 10.25 hours. Something every day and three days doing two things. Wow!

I can't do everything, but I did a decent amount. I'm happy with the week. Now, let's get that momentum swinging into another strong week.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Second July goal met: 100 running miles (kind of)

At least 100 miles for the last 6 out of 7 months.
I try to add up my weekly and especially monthly running mile totals a few days ahead of time so if I'm close to a goal, usually 100 miles for the month or 30 for the week, I can do an extra half mile here and there to bring me closer to that total. I had a bit of a dilemma yesterday when I was at 95.6 miles for July but 25.5 for the week.

So, do I run 4.4 miles for an even 100 for the month but 29.9 for the week, or 4.5 miles for 100.1 for the month but an even 30 for the week?

In the end I decided I would rather be a little over one number than a little under another, so 4.5 it was. I got up early today and knocked it out before my morning errands. It was slow and boring and a little sore, but I got it done.

That makes 6 out of 7 months for the year where I hit at least 100. Yay me! I have no real reason for 100 miles as a goal other than it's a nice, attainable round number. It's challenging but not so hard that it leaves me overtrained and/or injured.

I'll enjoy the rest day tomorrow but I'm back to it August 1.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

First July goal met: Biking

I was running late, and almost cut it short, but I was happy to bike 35 miles outside in the beautiful fresh air and sunshine.

This makes three rides outside for the month, which was my goal for July.
It was a beautiful day!
I have a wedding next Saturday, so I have no idea how many Saturdays I'll be riding outside for August. But if the weather is as beautiful and if I'm as feeling as good as I was today, hopefully a lot.

Hopefully you had as good a time training as I did today. Happy riding!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Why did the turtle cross the road?

I helped a turtle cross the road today on my run! It was super cool.
Not the actual turtle, but you get the idea.
I was minding my own business on the running trail and I happened to see a big ol' turtle trying to cross the road. I yelled at him to stop (lol), stashed my water, hopped over the guardrail, and tried to make myself obvious so I wouldn't get hit by traffic. When there was a break in the cars, I grabbed him (he was heavy!) and moved him across the road in the direction he was going, just like you're supposed to.

Of course, he peed on me, and of course, I got a look of "What is that crazy girl doing?" from a guy cycling by, but I am happy to report both the turtle and I made it safely across the street. After I turned around and headed back there was no trace of him so I consider it a success.

It wasn't until after he was safely across the road that I thought, "Uh, I hope that wasn't a snapping turtle!"

Monday, July 24, 2017

Week in review July 17-23: A mildly disappointing week

Not going to lie: I’m not super happy with how this week shook out. I had some small victories, but I had low volume across the board, felt like I only did the bare minimum, and had two days of doing absolutely nothing training-wise.

The weather wasn’t great, so one run got bumped down to a short treadmill run, and I didn’t ride outside Saturday. I rearranged my day yesterday to attend a friend’s party – which was a great time! – but that meant I didn’t get to do a long run or lift weights.

I don’t even remember what I did Wednesday after work. I probably laid on the couch feeling sorry for myself.

BUT there was some good in the week, too. I rallied through not feeling great Monday and went to track for the first time in probably years. It was a short workout, but it was better than the whole lot of nothing I really wanted to do.

I decided my TrainerRoad workouts were too easy and retested my FTP, coming in at 15 watts higher and probably where I needed to be in the first place.

On the day I ran on the treadmill because I just couldn’t deal with the heat and humidity I made it a double by following up with a weights video.

I ran outside when it was in the 90s and yeah, it was hot, but I did fine.

I actually did do some reading, relaxing, breakfast with a friend, and gardening so while there were two days I did no training, I was still taking care of myself. And I did a LOT of food prep yesterday (my main Sunday time suck) to get ready for this coming week.

I am bummed about the low running and weight lifting volume and the lack of swimming, yoga, and pre-hab. But working, eating and sleeping has to take priority.

I guess that’s enough complaining. By the numbers, last week was:
Bike, run, lift, have existential crisis.
Bike: Twice, both on the trainer, for about 27 “miles” in 2.5 hours. This was one, 1-hour weekday ride and one, 1.5-hour Saturday ride while it was 723 degrees, 200% humidity,* and threatening rain.

Run: Three times: once mostly on the track, once on the treadmill, and once on the road for 13.5 miles in about 2.25 hours. This was my lowest-volume week since the last time I was out of town.

Weights: Just one video for a bit longer than an hour.

Total: 6 sessions in a bit shorter than 6 hours.

They can’t all be high-volume weeks, I guess. I’m going to call this a retroactive recovery week and be optimistic about this week to come. At least I'll be well-rested!

*I may be exaggerating a tiny bit.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

This week's training good news and bad news

I made it to track Monday night. By "made it" I mean I didn't want to go, procrastinated, got there late (to be fair they have a "come when you can" policy), barely did the prescribed workout, and had to leave early. I was about 5 seconds away from bailing completely so I'm counting those 4 miles as a victory.
But at least I made it.
I’m still very new to Trainer Road and am figuring out all the features and quirks. After I did my first 20-minute FTP test to see how hard my effort should be, I noticed that my target power felt a little easy on the subsequent rides. I slacked off was a bit too conservative during that test, it appears.

So I sucked it up and did the 8-minute test earlier this week. I really tried to pace as well as I could for those two 8-minute stretches, and it felt hard but doable. The result is my new FTP is 15 points? Degrees? higher. (You can see in the graphic what my goal was and what I actually rode at.) Of course, that means my workouts are going to be harder from now on. But, I’m not going to improve by slacking off.
My actual FTP is cropped out because it's too embarrassing.
I have been putting out work fires all week and after work yesterday I had to hit the grocery store and then take the mutts for their walks. It was coming up to 7 o'clock and I still had to make dinner AND prep lunches for the next two days, and I just decided then and there, F it. Yoga pants got put on instead of workout pants. And the sad thing was I STILL got to bed too late even though I didn't work out at all!

I got home late-ish again today but I had the benefit of already having tomorrow's lunch ready to go and a simple meal planned (countertop grill and microwave veggie steamer for the win!). It was in the 90s and I didn't want to deal with the heat so I rallied for 3 miles on the treadmill and a weights video. (Why does my 65-minute video feel SOOOOO much longer than my 55-minute video?) I didn't wrap up until almost 9 but seriously, doing anything this week has been an accomplishment.

Now I'm heading to bed way too late once again, but at least tomorrow is Friday.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Week in review June 10-16: Light running, decent biking, and a fun 5K

Running was light this week since I swapped out a couple runs for easy runs with my husband, but it still ended up being a good week with two sessions each of biking, weights, and yoga.

I lost Monday to a hair appointment but managed doubles (if you count short solo yoga sessions) Wednesday through Saturday. The only training I did Sunday was a 5K, which was super fun and close to home. I spend the rest of the day relaxing, prepping food for the week, and psyching myself up for season 7 of Game of Thrones. Totally worth it.

I’m way ahead of the halfway point for my 100 running miles in July goal, so it was nice to have a chill weekend with nothing more than an easy 5K. It worked out that I biked more than I ran this week as a result. Also, I still haven’t made it to the pool this month. When I’m short on time, I go for what’s easy: to zip out for a quick run or hop on my trainer. I’m not signed up for any races, so I'm really lacking motivation to get to the pool. I'll get there... eventually... maybe.
About a third bike, a third run, and a third other.
By the numbers:

Bike: Twice, once on the trainer and one 35-mile road ride, for about 46 miles in about 3:11.

Run: Four times, all on the road, for just under 19 miles in a bit longer than 3 hours. This included two hot runs on my own and two slower runs with my husband. It was nice to have a cutback week.

Weights: Twice, one video and one barre class. I went to barre before my usual Saturday ride and it was nice to change it up.

Yoga: Twice on my own for 35 minutes total.

Total: 10 sessions (!) in about 8 hours, 43 minutes. Not bad.

It wasn't a perfect week, but I can't complain. Here's hoping we have good weather so I can have another good week.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Pure Detroit 5K 2017 Race Report

We ran a 5K this morning! It was super fun, close to home, and a beautiful day to get out and move our legs.

This is the second year for the race, and we've done it both years (last year's report here). It had a "brunch start" of 9 a.m. (I think it was 10 a.m. last year), which was the perfect time for us to get up at a not unreasonable hour, take the mutts out, have something to eat, and head over. We had a parking spot already lined up, so we picked up our bibs and took our shirts back to the car with plenty of time to walk around and people watch.

It was 70 degrees and a bit humid but not bad. The organizers counted us down right at 9 a.m. and we headed off. The course was about a mile north from the New Center neighborhood to Boston-Edison, down Chicago Boulevard for a bit to gape at the mansions, and back. We kept a pretty good pace for my husband, with a sub-10 for mile 3 and a kick for the finish. Yay!

Last year the course was short so I was happy to see we crossed the finish line in exactly 3.1. And we took home some pretty cool swag:
Cool shirt and glass.
We weren't setting any records today, but it was a nice day and the race was for a good cause. We were back home before 10:15 and cooking a breakfast feast before too long:
First I run, then I eat.
If you raced today, I hope it was great!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Something different on a Saturday

On Saturdays I usually sleep in a little, go out to or make a leisurely breakfast, and hit the farmer's market. When the weather is nice I try to go for a bike ride, and if it's not I try to ride on the trainer. If I have time, I'll do my routine of heavy weights.

Today, though, was the three-year anniversary of the barre studio I attend occasionally. To celebrate, they were hosting a giveaway and serving mimosas after class. Heck yes!
One for me, please.
After a stop at the market I had a snack and headed out for a bike ride. It was warm and breezy, but not hot, and the humidity was tolerable. I had enough time to do 35 nice miles on the road closed to traffic, and didn't have to dodge too many swerving people or kids. It ended up being pretty fast for me and I didn't have to carry my bike around any flooding like I did last week.
I accidentally took this trying to take a selfie! Hahahahahaha!
Bonus: I was done with everything by about 3 p.m. so I got to hang out in the garden with my husband and the mutts for a while, picking basil and trimming tomatoes.

It felt good to try something different and it ended up being a nice Saturday.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Week in review June 3-9: A holiday, running, and some yoga too

A decent week.
I’m a day late and always at least a dollar short. But, here’s last week’s review anyway.

I wasn’t expecting great things so I was pleasantly surprised when I added up all my totals. I had a good start to the week with Monday and Tuesday off for the holiday, and I got in two sessions each day (even though a lot of that was easy stuff).

I used all my available brainpower Thursday at work and was incapable of doing anything afterward, so I just relaxed and ordered in dinner. Saturday was another day of getting in one solid thing (in this case, a ride outside) and my brain was just NOPE for the rest of the day. Plus, it was gorgeous outside, and I was much better off going out somewhere with a patio rather than be mad I was lifting weights inside. In retrospect, I should have done a quick video as a compromise – oh well.

I am bummed that I already fell short on two of my monthly goals: Swim once a week and lift weights twice a week. I didn’t make it to the pool last week and I only went to one barre class. I’m going to have to amend that goal to “most weeks” so I don’t dwell on it and give up completely.

It was wonderful having a three-day work week. I thought about going out to ride my bike at the state park during one of the holiday days off, but it was hot and would have been insane with traffic, which I didn’t want to deal with. Regardless, it was a nice mix of relaxation, training, and doing boring adult stuff.

By the numbers:

Run: Four times, all on the road, for 28.75 miles in about 4.75 hours. This included a fun 4-miler with my husband on July 4. He’s an on-and-off runner so I was proud of him for doing 4 without any problems. This also included an aborted 5K time trial because it was just too dang hot – I made it about 0.66 miles before I was about to lose my lunch – and a decent 12.5-miler Sunday. I need to do another long run route besides laps of my neighborhood, but driving somewhere is a layer of logistics I just don’t want to deal with when I already have errands and everything else to do on Sundays.

Bike: Twice, once on the trainer and once on the road, for 40-ish miles in a bit less than three hours. My road ride was very interesting dealing with flooded roads and my trainer ride was a nice, easy-ish recovery spin.

Weights: Just one barre class on the Fourth for about an hour. I don’t know what we did differently that day but my glutes hurt for at least all of the next day.

Yoga: Yay, I did some yoga! Just two quick solo sessions for about 35 minutes total, but at least I did something.

Total: Nine sessions for about 9:11. Not bad.

I gave up training yesterday for a hair appointment (ugh more adulting stuff) and it’s threatening rain today, but I think I’m going to risk it. It’s a bummer having to work five days this week, so I have to make the most of the time I do have, right?

Sunday, July 9, 2017

People (and my Garmin) are jerks

In the last two weeks or so, I've run into a bunch of athlete jerks:

- The guy who declined to share a lane with me. I would have just climbed in, but in the second I stood there stunned someone got out of their lane so I just moved over. I'm rarely without a bitchy comeback so this was notable, haha.

- The cyclist who refused to shut her car door so I could park next to her and go for a run. WTF??? I ended up saying something snotty like, "It's fine, I'll just park all the way over there," mostly because I didn't want to give her an excuse to key my paint job.

- The family who parked their catering van blocking the entire parking lot of a popular trailhead for cyclists and runners. I get you reserved the pavilion, and I get you are expecting guests for your party, but you don't get the whole fricking park. Joke's on them, because I parked out of the way under a tree and my car stayed nice and cool.

- The idiot who pulled his bike PERPENDICULAR DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF ME while I was riding on a popular trail yesterday. To be fair, I yelled an obnoxious "Excuuuuuuuse meeeeeeee!" to which he responded, "It's not my fault!" OK, that's right, the bike became possessed by a spirit that forced you to pull directly in front of me and stop. Sure.

- And then my Garmin 305, which I've had for almost 7 years, decided to stop picking up satellites and started lapping miles at random times. I did a factory reset and it seems to be behaving a bit better, but now I have to remember to set all my auto laps and all that jazz. I lost a couple mile splits today because I had somehow set it to multisport mode. I mean, it's 7 years old. Since I JUST got a 25 for my bike and my Swim works fine, I would actually consider downgrading to a simpler 10. Although having the Bluetooth on my 25 is super nice.

Ugh! Here's hoping this coming week has fewer jerks.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

This made for an interesting bike ride

I've been feeling blah and unmotivated but today was absolutely gorgeous weather after storms yesterday evening, and I knew I'd regret it if I didn't get out for at least a short ride. So off I went.

Less than a tenth of a mile into the day, I saw this:
Oh, crap.

I had to hike up a hill, carry my bike over the guardrail, cross an intersection, and do the same thing in reverse. Another couple of miles up the way, another flood.

There was only one more but that was shallow enough to ride through, so I did. I ended up doing laps of the section with the most distance between flood waters, and it worked out fine. A few hours later the last flood had mostly receded and the second one had receded enough to ride through, so I only had to haul my bike up and down an overpass once on the way back.
water water water
It definitely made things interesting. I hope no one was planning serious training today.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Week in review June 26-July 2: Run, ride, rest

Last week got off to a slow start with me taking Monday and Tuesday off work to celebrate Detroit and Windsor's joint International Freedom Festival and boat up and down the Detroit River with my in-laws. Monday was a full day off training, and I only did an easy run Tuesday before spending the rest of the day picking up my dogs, going grocery shopping, prepping food, and otherwise getting ready for the short work week.
I love this city...
I had good intentions to do a double one day during the work week by tacking on a weights video after a run or trainer ride, but I just couldn't summon the energy. I did get to leave work early Friday for another long weekend, which meant I got to do a decent speed run before the storms came through. Hooray!

Saturday morning was a little too leisurely with breakfast out and a trip to the market with my husband and one of our friends, so I didn't end up riding outside. I did do a two-hour trainer ride and my routine of heavy/body weights, although it was a struggle. That was something I had to mentally force myself to do and I'm glad I did, but man, I had no motivation. I did binge-watch the new season of Kimmy Schmidt while I was lifting and crunching.

Yesterday I had a smallish window in which to run before we headed out of town for a wedding. I squeezed in 9 miles before noon, when I absolutely had to be back home in the shower to be ready in time. I was so mad with myself when I ended up JUST under an hour and a half for that run and JUST under 30 miles for the week. But my husband reminded me, "Not every number has to be perfectly even." Ha!
Not pictured: Butt-sitting time.
By the numbers, it worked out to be:

Run: Four times, all on the road, for 29.75 miles (grrr) in about 4:45. This is actually a pretty speedy average for me, helped along by my 1-mile pickups speed run Friday during which I actually had to stop on the last fast mile so I didn't barf, haha. According to DailyMile it was the fifth fastest run during the past year, which is equal parts depressing that I've been so slow for the past year and uplifting that maybe I'm getting a bit speedier again.

Bike: Twice, both on the trainer, for 3 hours total. Both TrainerRoad rides and nothing out of the ordinary.

Weights: One round of my body/heavy routine in a bit longer than an hour, not counting all the Kimmy Schmidt watching between sets.

Total: 7 sessions in a bit less than 9 hours. Nothing to complain about.

I have another short work week this week but it's not looking like I'll do anything strenuous today -- there may be some barbecues and gardening in my future. I'm already booked for a barre class tomorrow and would like to run a few easy miles, but I'd also like to sit on my butt, watch TV, and read.

Happy Independence Day to my American friends!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

June in review: Not bad running and biking

Approximate hours of training for June.
I have been forcing myself to go to bed at a decent hour these past few nights even though I'm on an amazing, fantastic, well-deserved four-day weekend right now. Last week wasn't anything out of the ordinary, but it never hurts to catch up on sleep. I was able to finish the month strong for run and bike and not bad for lifting and swimming.

The goals I solidly accomplished were:

Run 100 miles — I actually did 105. Yay!

Bike outside at least three times — I rode outside three times Yay!

The goals I semi-accomplished were:

Lift twice per week — Almost. I ended up doing five full rounds in seven sessions (breaking up my heavy/body routine into two parts, twice). I did well with doing a weights video or barre class during the week for the first half of month, but that fell off.

Swim once per week — Almost. I made it to the pool three times. 

The goals I didn't accomplish at all were:

Actually do yoga — nothing. Boo.

Actually do glutes/core/prehab — nothing. Boo.

Find time to relax, catch up on my shows, learn a new crochet stitch — I think I read two magazines all month, so I'm counting that as a nothing. Boo.

This is a slight increase in volume from May, which wasn't really a goal. But, it's always nice to log a solid month with a bit of volume increase. Plus, I was out of town here and there during June, so the fact that I missed most of a weekend and a few random days to travel and family, and still got in decent training, makes me happy.

I'd like to continue the routine of 100 miles running, 3 rides outside, lifting twice a week, and swimming once per week in July. We get five weekends this month but I've already been slacking and did NOT ride outside yesterday, and don't plan on a true long run today before we head out of town for a wedding. But, I hope to make up some of it tomorrow and Tuesday over the holiday to get the month off to a good start.