Wednesday, August 30, 2017

100 running miles for August

It was a lot muggier than I was expecting today and it was kind of a struggle, but I put in an easy 5.75 miles after work to hit 100 for the month again.
I feel like running is the one thing actually going right, so I'm going with it. I'm not training for anything, so there's really no reason to do more miles than this.

It'll be a nice couple of days off and then I'll lace up my running shoes again this weekend.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Week in review Aug. 21-27: Eat junk food, work late, run

Just running this week.
I’m trying to be gentle with myself because last week was tough with two evening work events, but whenever I have a less-than-ideal training week I tend to beat myself up for not doing more with the time I had. Story of my life. So, I focused on one thing, fitting in runs, and bagged everything else.

I did an easy run Monday with my husband, who takes priority training-wise since I’m trying to be supportive and encouraging when he wants to run. (I am still working on him to become An Actual Runner.) Tuesday was a 14-hour work day, and Wednesday was a 10-hour work day, so I didn’t even bother. I spent a couple hours Wednesday doing some grocery shopping and mid-week food prep to get me through the week.

Thursday's and Friday’s runs were enjoyable; it had cooled down quite a bit and I didn’t even bring water with me on Thursday. I went back and forth with how far to go on Friday, but ended up calling it at just less than an hour so I could go home, shower, and relax.

I really did have good intentions to ride and lift on Saturday. We have been going to the farmers market with our bachelor friend, who has been trying to eat healthier, and often asks me for advice. While it’s very flattering (and makes me feel like I have ONE THING going right in my life) if we run errands afterward, like we did Saturday, motivation to work out later in the day is in short supply. I got home and started thinking about everything I needed to do to go for a ride, and I needed to do it RIGHT NOW if I wanted to hit the street closed to traffic before it re-opened, and I just couldn’t summon the energy. I tried, I really did.

We ended up putting in a couple of hours at our garden instead, which turned out to be the perfect afternoon. The dogs got to play and eat grass, I went on a tomato side shoot chopping spree, everything got watered, and I took home a bunch of ripe squash, eggplant, green peppers, and tomatoes. (My kale is almost done and my cucumbers all died… sad face.) Later on, we met up with friends camping at a nearby state park to sit by their campfire and chat. It was awesome!

I did rally yesterday (Sunday) afternoon for an easy-ish 9-miler. I drove to the river for a change of scenery and it was just what I needed. My left hip has been a little tight and sore but not unrunnable as long as I don’t push too hard. I see some stretching and foam rolling in my future.

It worked out to be:

Run: Four runs, all on the road, for 25 miles in a bit longer than 4 hours.

As far as my title goes, I really didn’t eat THAT much junk food. I made some peach crisp with peaches my husband had picked hours earlier from trees he planted a couple of years ago. We may have ordered in barbecue on Saturday, I may have eaten a family-sized bag of potato chips over the course of the weekend, and I may have had some wine while watching the season finale of Game of Thrones last night.

It’s pouring rain now, but I am hopeful it clears out and I can go for another easy run to kick off the week. Here’s hoping I can squeeze in more than I did last week.

Friday, August 25, 2017

It's been downright cool

I went for a run after work yesterday and it was 65 degrees!!!!!! in August!!!!!!! I couldn't believe it. I wore capris instead of shorts and didn't even bring water with me.
Friday night Detroit temps.
It was slightly more seasonable today, with temps around 75 when I went out. It was plenty warm enough although it was nice not to have to deal with the stress of pending heat stroke.

The 10-day forecast has high temps in the high 70s and that's it. I'm not ready for fall yet but I will enjoy these cooler runs.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Week in review Aug. 14-20: Decent run and bike for the time I had

Last week wasn't too shabby. I managed four runs, including one with my husband. I got on the bike twice, once on the trainer and once on the road. And I managed a barre class and a bit of yoga.

I had to skip a weekday because my parents were in town, picking up their dog who stayed a few days with us. But other than that I was pretty consistent, even getting in a nice run on Friday when I really wanted to go home and go to sleep. We had plans with friends on Saturday so that was extra incentive for me to go to an early barre class, which was a nice change-up.
Not too bad.
I'm going to keep this snappy because I need to go to bed, so here's the week by the numbers:

Run: Four times, all on the road, for 25 miles in a bit longer than 4 hours. This worked out to be a couple of medium runs and a couple of easy runs.

Bike: Twice, once on the trainer and once on the road for 35 miles, for a bit longer than 3 hours. My ride outside was a beautiful day and I managed a decent-for-me pace.

Weights: One hour-long barre class.

Yoga: 20 minutes on my own.

Total: 8 sessions in about 8.5 hours.

I was happy to hit 25 running miles again, happy to do a bit of almost everything, and happy to fit in things like leisurely breakfast and family and friend time.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

A non-triathloning triathlete

Guys, I'm sad.

Part of it is because of Facebook memories. All summer long, I've been getting reminders of memory after memory of this or that fun race I did over the years. My first tri, my first age group award, etc.
My award shelf. It's been collecting dust lately.
And today is/was Michigan Titanium. It was the first and so far only 70.3 I completed in 2014. I tried again in 2015 and got pulled from the bike course with three miles to go because of lightning.
Practice swim before Michigan Titanium in 2014. A long, long time ago.
That was the last multi-sport race I did. Some health problems set me back a bit, my work schedule changed a bit, and the rest is a big fat "it's not a priority right now."

Part of the reason I'm sad is FOMO, fear of missing out. My friends and people I follow on social media are out riding, swimming, running and doing fun things. I'm so jealous!

The other part of the reason I'm sad is because I feel I've fallen pretty far off the triathlon wagon. I'm not biking anything longer than 2 hours or so lately, and I can literally count on one hand the number of times I've swum this year. I think back to what I was capable of 3 years ago, and I couldn't hold a candle to it today.

I tell myself that people leave and come back to the sport all the time, for lots of reasons. Women I know take a few years off to have babies and eventually find their way back to racing.

I also remind myself that when I first started out, I wasn't in as good of shape as I am now. If/when I do build back up, hopefully my fitness curve won't be as steep. I've had to build running back up from zero twice now, and both times I came back just as strong.

But still. It doesn't stop the frustration I feel NOW. I want to be out there swimming, riding, and running. I want to be pursuing bigger goals. I want to go faster and longer. I want to get better.

I don't know that there is an answer except keep doing what I can, when I can, and make a point to enjoy it.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Week in review August 6-13: Come hell or high water, I WILL run on Sunday!

It was an … interesting week last week. I started off strong, with a track workout Monday that ended up being my speediest run in the past year, and a nice and easy run on Tuesday. I ended up having to run errands for part of the evening Wednesday, so I made the day a mid-week food prep day instead. (Healthy eating is a LOT of work.)

Thursday I had the most blah run in a while, but somehow managed the exact same pace as Tuesday while feeling dehydrated and like my legs were 100 pounds each. I had good intentions for a run Friday, but a work emergency popped up, and by the time I made it out the door I was in ZERO mood to run. When I walked into the kitchen, my husband had already poured a glass of wine and opened up a bag of chips for me. Ha! Now that’s true love. I didn’t do anything more strenuous than catch up on House of Cards that night.
Although I’m not training for anything, I still made it out to ride my bike on Saturday. My Garmin has been moody lately, and it was super overcast, so I kept logging splits at 50-60 miles per hour and registered a max speed of 104 mph. Amazing! Someone call Kona for me! After I did the math and compared to Strava (#stravaoritdidnthappen) it turned out to be a very average yet enjoyable pace. I was able to follow up with most of my heavy/body weight lifting routine before my parents came into town for a Tigers game, where we got to see an amazing comeback.

BUT, because we were out late-ish Saturday, I didn’t get out of bed as early as I wanted on Sunday, and my whole day felt a few hours behind. We skipped our usual Sunday afternoon coffee date because neither of us has been sleeping well as a result, which saved some time, but what I thought would be a quick hour trip the garden turned into a three-hour tomato pruning extravaganza. (Those side shoots will be the death of me.) I was halfway through my food prep routine and feeling sorry for myself, when I realized if I left for a run RIGHT NOW I could do a quick lap around the neighborhood and be in a much better mental place as a result. I had wanted to do 9.75 to hit 30 for the week, but I decided 4.75 to hit 25 was good enough. And, I had JUST enough time to do lunges, squats and abs that I didn’t have time to do Saturday.

I saw a meme the other day that said “I don’t need a motivational quote, I need to go run.” I can’t find what happened to it so I made my own. That was exactly how I felt yesterday: I don’t care what I have to do to get this run in, but it will get done.
Again, yes.
Last week by the numbers:

Run: Four times, three on the road and one mostly on the track, for 25 miles in a bit less than 4 hours.

Bike: Once outside for 35 miles in a bit longer than 2 hours.

Weights: One heavy/bodyweight session in two parts in a bit longer than an hour.

Total: Seven sessions in a bit longer than 7 hours. With the way this week went, I’m happy with an average of an hour a day.

There are still a lot of areas I feel I’m slacking on, but at least I’m on track to hit 100 running miles for another month. Time to launch that momentum into another week.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The good and bad of my fastest run in a year

Around and around and around I go.
I went to track last night and killed it. The meat of my run was a ladder of 400 / 800 / 1200 / 1600 / 1200 / 800 / 400, with a 400 recovery lap in between each and a couple water stops when necessary, including before and after the 1600.

(Tangent: I don’t think I’ve ever gone farther than an 800 on the track before. That 1600 was very long.)

After logging this into DailyMile, it shows up as my fastest run, by a 1-second-per-mile average pace, than any other run since August of 2016. The good news: Yay, I’m fast! Or, at least, relatively so. The work I’ve been doing is paying off.

The bad news: Wow, I really haven’t run any faster than that any time in the past 13 months? Eeeek.

But, and this is more good news, I descended every lap on every multiple-lap set. Sure, sometimes the following lap was only a few seconds faster, and I MIGHT have sandbagged gone a bit easier the first laps of the 1200s and 1600, but they were all faster. And I ran multiple laps at a pace that began with a 7, which is always great to see.

And even more good news, I didn’t lose my afternoon snack, which was questionable for a lap or two.

It was a great night and I headed home tired and happy.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Week in review July 31-August 6: All I do is run and go out of town

All I did this past week.
It was a very low-volume week last week, partly because I was stressed and feeling blah and partly because I was out of town for most of the weekend. The stress and blah I might have been able to prepare for a bit better, and in retrospect I should have at least done a short yoga workout here or there.

I didn’t want to run Monday since I’d already hit 100 miles for the month and figured I could use the rest. I had good intentions to go to the pool, but I was soooo tired and not feeling great, so I skipped and worked in the garden instead. I know, I know. Tuesday’s run was really hard and I think I let myself get too dehydrated. So that was two feeling crappy days in a row, but at least I ran one of them.

Wednesday was another blah day so I spent most of the evening in the kitchen. But, I made a tomato sauce mid-week, so not all was lost. (In fact, looking back, the only times we ate out all week were when we were on the road. So, although training may have taken a back seat, healthy eating was still on point.)

Thursday I had just about HAD IT with work stress and took off on the running trail like a bat out of hell. I was also trying to outrun a storm, which, um, I didn’t. I ended up racing the last two miles back to the car among thunder!!! I thought it would have been a poetic ending to a crappy day had I been struck by lightning. I guess I can call it was a success, since I wasn’t. Friday’s run included a few times up and down the sledding hill, aka Mt. Everest, which I talked about the other day. This was so hard I couldn’t really do it, and I loved it. That means I have a lot of room for improvement.

But that’s all I was able to squeeze in. To get the dogs where they needed to be, pick up my mom, and make it in time for the family wedding I attended, I needed to leave early enough Saturday that I didn’t have time to train before breakfast and my morning errands. I already got up way too early for a Saturday; I was not excited about getting up at 6 a.m. for a trainer ride. And I already went to bed way too late Sunday; no way I was squeezing in anything else.

What I did get in:

Run: Three times, all on the road, for 19.25 miles in a hair longer than 3 hours.

The good news is the runs felt good and I had some rest and relaxation time, which doesn’t always happen. I got to see my mom’s entire side of the family and spend time with my dad’s mom, which was fun. The wedding ended up being an awesome time. There was one continuous Euchre game going for 6 hours, I took so many funny pics and videos, and my face and throat hurt by the end of the night from laughing. It was a weekend that was good for the soul if not for the training volume.

I can’t dwell on the low-volume weeks. On to the next one.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Holy hills

I was reading an Ironman race report the other day and the athlete mentioned that his secret weapon was running hills once a day. I started thinking, there's a sledding hill on one of my regular routes. What if I tried running up and down it a few times per week?
Approximation of the sledding hill I ran up and down Friday.*
So I tried it Friday. Guys, it's Sunday evening, 48 hours afterward, and I am STILL sore. And sadly, I only made it up that stupid hill about five times. And I don't think I made it up all the way one time without having to stop halfway through and take a breath.

I DID have every intention to run up and down it a few times on the way back, but there was a wedding party taking pictures at the top and I didn't want to be That Girl.

Although it was super hard, it was fun. And now I have something to work toward. Maybe next week I'll try to run up it six times.

*Not really. This is Mt. Everest.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

July in review: Actually not as crappy as I expected

Hours trained in July.
Work has been really busy lately and I've been staying later, which means I have less time in the evenings to work out, cook, run errands, etc. That means I haven't been training as much and I haven't had as much time to write. Sad face.

But, I had a happy face when I added up my totals for the month. I ran a little less than June, and I didn't swim at all, but I biked, lifted weights, AND practiced yoga more this month. I'll count that as a win x 3.

Run: 100.1 miles this month, in 17 total runs. This makes 6 out of 7 months so far this year I've hit 100. Yay all around! This was almost all shorter runs between 3-7 or so miles; I only had one double digit run of 12.5 miles early in the month. Since I'm not training for anything distance-wise it just hasn't been a priority. I did make it to track twice for the first time in maybe years, so that's awesome.

Bike: 9 times, 6 on the trainer and 3 on the road. This was a significant increase from June trainer time, from 3 to 6 sessions. Hilariously, my road miles increased by a whopping 1 mile, from 102 road miles in June to 103 in July. I was also happy to make my second goal of riding outside three times, taking advantage of a popular route being closed to car traffic on Saturdays.

Weights: 7 sessions this month, in a mix of videos, barre classes, and my own heavy/body weight routine. This was also an increase from last month from 5 sessions. 7 is just about twice per week which was a goal, so yay!

Yoga: I actually did some yoga this month! It was about an hour and a half overall in 5 quick, solo sessions. It's a big increase from zero last month so I'll take it.

Overall I worked out 38 times for just over 38 hours. Not a shabby average at all. Last month I did 30 sessions in about 35.5, so those quick yoga sessions did make a difference but accounted for most of the less-than-an-hour sessions.

For this month I want to keep up with my 100 running miles and 3 rides outside routine, while continuing to put in trainer time, lift twice per week when I can (I'm already not going to make twice this week), and yoga. I want to work toward a 5K PR, since I've never raced an open 5K, but I haven't decided yet if I have to do it at a race. (Because, you know, it's hot in Michigan in August.)

I was seriously thinking about quitting swimming all together but had an inspired moment today and ordered myself a bunch of new swim gear to get myself back in the pool. I also sent an email to someone who organized a master's group that isn't TOO far from my office. So, "Get comfortable swimming again" is on my goal list as well.

TL;DR: July wasn't that bad and I hope August doesn't suck, either.