Sunday, January 26, 2014

10 Miler Training: Week 7

Vacation is definitely over. No more running along the beach in sunny California, and no more skipping training days. That was pretty difficult this week, since the snow we got (not very much, but it stayed cold so it never melted) forced me to do all of my running inside. Maybe I'm being a baby, but the idea of running outside when some of the sidewalks are still icy just makes me scared. I'd be nervous the entire time, worrying that at any moment I would lose my footing and have an extremely un-graceful crash down.

Monday, January 20th
I got off to a strong start with a strength workout. I did two workouts that I found on FitSugar, and they were HARD!
I warmed up with a half mile jog around the indoor track - I think I did 6 times around the track in just over 5 minutes.
I went three times through on this one: Melt Fat, Build Muscle - Dumbbell Blast
The first time through, I was a bit ambitious with the weights I used. I started out using 10lb weights for Plank & Rotate, Squat Curl & Press, Lying Chest Fly, Lying Overhead Reach, Reverse Lunge & Press, and Plank & Straight-Arm Kickback. For the next two times through, I switched to 5lb weights for both Plank circuits. I used 5lb weights for Single-Leg Scarecrow, and a 15lb weight for Seated Russian Twist and Weighted Squat.
I also had to go on the low end with the number of reps. I ended up doing 10 reps/side for almost all of the exercises, and only was able to do 15 for Lying Chest Fly, Lying Overhead Reach, Seated Russian Twist, and Weighted Squat. Basically, the exercises where you move both sides at once.
Unless it is an exercise you have done before, I wouldn't recommend doing the planks with a weight in each hand. I strained some muscles in my hand while trying to grip the weight and stay stabilized at the same time.
Once I finished that circuit, I went twice through this: Fire Up Your Core - Circuit Workout
Again, I had to go on the low end with the number of reps. I did 10 reps/side for almost all of them, and managed 15 reps for Good Mornings and Side Lunges.

Tuesday, January 21st
I did a treadmill run, that was 1 mile warmup, 3 miles at goal pace, then 4x 2 minutes at 5k pace with 90 second rests, followed by a 1 mile cooldown.
I did my warmup and cooldown at 5.7mph. I averaged 6.1mph for my 3 miles at goal pace. Then I averaged 6.9mph for my 2 minutes at 5k pace. For the 90 second rests, I walked at 2.5mph.
I ended up doing 5.92 miles in 58:34, at an average overall pace of 9:54/mile.

Wednesday, January 22nd
I did my first KB workout since before I left for vacation, and I did it with Joey (which means it was really hard).
Set 1, we did 3.5 times through. In the last set (the 0.5), we did 5 of each exercise instead of 10.
10 Swings
10 Walkout Planks
10 High Pulls
10 Goblet Squats
10 Pushups
10 American Swings
10 Split Squat
10 Scarecrow (KB version)
10 Triceps

Set 2, we did century style, which is AMAP in 20 minutes.
20 Swings
15 Squat Catch
5 Bent Over Row (per arm)
5 American Swings
5 Tactical Lunges (per leg)
5 Clean & Press (per arm)
15 Figure 8 w/ Stop
10 Crunch & Press
5 V-Ups

Then, since we obviously hadn't done enough already, we did 2 Tabata sets and a 2 minute situp challenge. For Tabata, we did 2 exercises in each set. Set 1 was stability ball squats and plank. Set 2 was squat + medicine ball toss and burnout calf jumps with raised arms. For my 2 minute situp challenge, I got 56, which I think is my all-time high!

Thursday, January 23rd
I did my run this time on the indoor track, since all of the treadmills were taken. I did 4 miles, and then 4x ~20 second strides. My legs were incredibly sore from the previous workouts, so I started out really slow. I did mile 1 in 11:17, mile 2 in 10:48, mile 3 in 10:37, and mile 4 in 10:26. Yay negative splits! The 4 miles were completed in 43:09, average pace of 10:47/mile. For the strides, I sprinted at almost full speed for half a lap, then jogged between 1/2 and 1 lap. It's hard to get the exact pace of the strides, but I think they were about 6:28/mile pace, about a quarter mile in total for all 4. They were a little less than 20 seconds long, but I figured it was good enough. In total, I did 4.48 miles in 47:36, average overall pace of 10:38/mile.

Saturday, January 25th
I so enjoyed my day off on Friday! My legs really needed it. The run on Thursday was pretty helpful in loosening up my legs, but the complete rest was what they really needed. I went into lab for most of the day, then went to the gym after I finished up there. I did yet another treadmill run - 5 miles total. I was supposed to do the typical 1 mile warmup and 1 mile cooldown, sandwiched around 3 miles at marathon or marathon + 30 sec pace. If I figure out that pace, it's technically slower than my warmup/cooldown pace. I decided to just do what felt good, which meant 1 mile warmup at 5.7mph, then an average of 5.9mph for the 3 miles, and ending with 5.7mph for my cooldown. Moving the pace around each mile helped stave off treadmill boredom. I did a total of 5 miles in 51:33, average pace of 10:19/mile.
I also listened to music for the first time in a long time, since I've been listening to audio books lately. I realized that listening to books helps me zone out, and kind of forget (as much as I can) that I'm running, while listening to music helps pump me up and move faster. I might start listening to music again for speed workouts, but keep the audio books for long slow runs.

Sunday, January 26th
This run was kind of painful. I had been planning on doing it outside, despite the icy sidewalks, but then it snowed again Saturday night. It didn't snow much, but it definitely didn't help the situation. Joey suggested that I do the run inside, just for my own peace of mind. He said that I could split it up between the treadmill and the track so it wouldn't be as mind numbingly awful. I did 2 miles on a treadmill, alternating between 5.7 and 5.8mph every quarter mile. I didn't like that treadmill, so I went upstairs to see if any of the better ones were open. None were, so I did 2 miles on the indoor track - mile 1 in 10:16, mile 2 in 9:49. Then I saw that a treadmill had opened up, so I scooted over there and did 3 miles on the treadmill, again alternating between 5.7 and 5.8 mph, every quarter or half mile. I did the last mile on the indoor track, in 9:52. This was a grand total of 8 miles in 1:22:08, average pace of 10:16/mile.
One funny thing - when I first started out, the slow pace felt really hard for some reason. Then I looked down at the treadmill display and saw that it was set at a 3% incline - no wonder it felt hard! The nice thing was that lowering the incline made it feel like I was running downhill for a minute...

I also have to mention that Joey has been incredibly supportive and helpful with all of my extra workouts, as well as my insane workload right now in lab. On Saturday, I got back from the gym around 6, after leaving around 10 for work, and found that he had done all of our errands, made a batch of homemade english muffins (I still need to post that recipe...) plus did a huge amount of cleaning. On Sunday, he brought me my breakfast/lunch supplies to lab, so I wouldn't have to take the time to get them prepped before leaving for the gym in the morning. He made me a delicious egg sandwich, and prepped all of my food. He even brought me lotion so I could keep my hands moisturized throughout the day (they've been incredibly dry lately).

Week 7:
Monday: 0.5 miles (indoor track)
Tuesday: 5.92 miles (treadmill)
Thursday: 4.48 miles (indoor track)
Saturday: 5 miles (treadmill)
Sunday: 8 miles (treadmill + indoor track)
Weekly Total: 23.4 miles

Friday, January 24, 2014

10 Miler Training: Weeks 4-6

Week 4: 12/30 - 1/5
I started out the week trying to fully recover from my stomach bug. I was a little scared to go on a run, especially one outside (away from bathrooms), so I did my first run on Thursday Jan 2, inside on a treadmill. I did an easy 4 miles in 40:34, an average pace of 10:09/mile.

On Saturday Jan 4, I got up the nerve to do a real run outside. I had Joey help me plan out a few potential routes, to make it possible to do anywhere between 6 and 8 miles. I figured I would see what I felt capable of. The run went so well, that by the time I got to "decision point," I wanted to do even more. I ended up being gone for so long, that Joey got worried! It was dark out by that point, and really cold, so he had just come back from looking for me, when I came home. Apparently he saw me within his first few minutes of driving around, so he just came back home. Here's what I did:


I think the first split (first half mile) got a bit messed up - you can see it when you zoom in on the map. I was going slow, but not that slow!

Week 4:
Thursday: 4 miles (treadmill)
Saturday: 8.32 miles (outside)
Weekly Total: 12.32 miles

Week 5: 1/6 - 1/12
Since I was leaving for vacation on the 9th, I tried to fit as much as I could into the week. Surprisingly, I still managed to get a bunch done on vacation!

On Monday Jan 6, I tried out a new strength/cardio workout that I saw on FitSugar. It was pretty hard!!
I would definitely recommend giving it a try. A lot of the exercises used the stability ball, which made me happy! Every exercise worked multiple muscle groups.

Tuesday Jan 7th, I did a tempo run on the treadmill. This was my first official training workout, since the first four weeks were to prepare me for the training plan itself! The workout was to do 1 mile warmup, 3 miles at goal pace, and 1 mile cool down. I did mile 1 and 5 at 5.7mph, and averaged 6.1mph for miles 2-4. I ended up doing 5 miles in 50:34, for an average pace of 10:07/mile.

I got home way too late on Wednesday to have time for KBs that night, so I pushed it to Thursday morning, before we left for the airport. I combined the KB workout with running. I started out with 1 mile on the treadmill, did set 1 of KB, then did a second mile on the treadmill, did another set of KBs, and ended with 1/2 mile on the indoor track.

Saturday Jan 11th, we were in California! I ran on the bike path, at the Santa Monica beach. So much nicer than running in the cold! I went nice and slow, and just enjoyed the weather.

I went out with some people Saturday night, and ended up being hungover Sunday morning! I still don't know how I managed, but I went out on a run anyway! I did just 4 miles, and felt okay enough to pick up the pace. The morning was pretty cloudy, which helped on my run. Saturday was really sunny, and I hate to complain, but the sun just wore me out!

Week 5:
Tuesday: 5 miles
Thursday: 2.5 miles
Saturday: 7 miles
Sunday: 4.01 miles
Weekly Total: 18.51 miles

Week 6: 1/13 - 1/19
I was on vacation for all of week 6 of my training. I didn't do as much running this week, but I sure did a lot of hiking!

Monday Jan 13th, we did 3 small hikes in Red Rock Canyon (the one in California). We thought it would be fun to use the watch while hiking. I forgot to turn it on for the first hike (probably around 1-1.5 miles), but we used it for almost every hike after that. I'm including the satellite map so you can appreciate the landscape :)

Hike 2

Hike 3

On Tuesday Jan 14th and Wednesday Jan 15th, we did some major hiking in Death Valley! My absolute favorite was our first hike in Golden Canyon and Gower's Gulch - it was amazing!

Tuesday Hike #1

Tuesday Hike #2
This was not my favorite - I was exhausted, and it wasn't as exciting as the other hikes

Wednesday Hike: This was a really fun hike through a canyon, with lots of rock scrambles

For the rest of our trip, we were in Salt Lake City, Utah. Joey was skiing with his mom, while I was hanging out in the hotel/ski lodge. I decided to do my "thresholds intervals" treadmill workout. It was freakin' hard! I had a really hard time keeping up the pace for that long, and ended up adding longer breaks, and having less intense intervals.
I did 1 warmup mile at 5.7mph.
Then I did 6x of 1/2 mile at 6.6mph (I lowered the pace in the last couple), with a quarter mile walk in between.
I ended with 1 cool down mile at 5.7mph.
I did a total of 5 miles in 49:31, at an average pace of 9:54/mile.

On Sunday, I did one last treadmill workout before we flew back to Charlottesville. I only had time to do 3 miles, and I think I did it in ~31 minutes.

Week 6:
Thursday: 5 miles
Sunday: 3 miles
Weekly Total: 8 miles

10 Miler Training: Week 3 (and the time I ran almost 8 miles while I had a stomach bug)

Week 3 (12/23-12/29) of training was an interesting week. I was off to a good start, starting off on Monday 12/23. I did 3 miles outside, and then went into the gym to lift some weights. I felt great during the run, and kept up a good pace.

0.50 - 4:48 (9:36)
1.00 - 9:33 (9:33, 9:30) last mile in 9:33
1.50 - 14:31 (9:41, 9:56)
2.00 - 19:21 (9:41, 9:40) last mile in 9:48
2.50 - 24:11 (9:40, 9:40)
3.01 - 28:43 (9:32, 8:53) last mile in 9:16

On Thursday 12/24, I tried out my new stability ball! I did a 10-2 ladder with 8 exercises. I lost the sheet of paper where I had them listed...whoops. I foresee using the stability ball a lot in the future, so I'm sure I'll post exercises soon.

On Wednesday 12/25, I did another run with Joey. We did the same thing we did on Thanksgiving, and ran 6 miles together, then he ran 6 miles by himself. It was SO COLD!! Joey was wearing the Garmin, and recorded each set of 6 miles separately, so I could analyze our run together. It was a pretty hilly route, so I'm surprised we did under 10 min pace (just barely).


On Thursday 12/26, I did an easy recovery run on the treadmill. I did 3 miles in 30:47, with an average pace of 10:16 min/mile.

On Saturday, I was planning on doing a group run of 8 miles. Those plans went out the window when I got sick Friday night. It was a very strange night. We had plans to get massages - we got vouchers on Living Social for a place here in town. I came home from work early and ate some yogurt+fruit+granola, and then immediately started feeling sick. I somehow held it together during the massage, but then I was sick for hours once I got home. I spent most of Saturday just trying to recover. Sunday, I ate a late breakfast, and then decided I was feeling up to going on a run. My stomach was still feeling a bit iffy, but I thought that was just normal digestive problems. I planned an 8 mile run, and got going around 3:30. I felt good for the first 2 miles. After that, everything went downhill. I started having some pretty severe stomach pains, and to be honest, had a few times where I seriously almost pooped my pants. I don't even know how I made it home. I had to stop the watch a few times, but in the end, my pace wasn't even that slow for being in such discomfort. I didn't manage a full 8 miles, but decided I was close enough! From Sunday afternoon through Tuesday morning, my stomach was just in agony. I just tried to relax on the couch/my bed and make myself as comfortable as I could. Tuesday night (New Year's Eve) we stayed in and just watched tv, and then toasted with Martinelli's at midnight.


Week 3:
Monday: 3.01 miles (outside)
Wednesday: 6.01 miles (outside)
Thursday: 3 miles (treadmill)
Sunday: 7.64 miles (outside)
Weekly Total: 19.66 miles

Oh and in other news, my little sister got engaged on New Year's Eve!! I knew it was going to happen soon, but didn't even think that it would happen that night! She's only 3 years younger than me, but I've just thought of her as being my baby sister - it's so strange that she's going to be married soon. It's weird enough that she has a real job in Philadelphia and lives in a house, while I'm still in grad school, renting an apartment. Anyway, congratulations Alexandra!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

10 Miler Training: Week 2

Week 2 of my 10 miler training (12/16-12/22) went pretty well! I had a cold at the beginning of the week, and didn't start my running week until Wednesday. I still managed to fit in 19 miles from Wed-Sun.

On Wed 12/18, I managed to start my run early enough to get it all done in daylight. Joey came up with a new run for me to do, and I enjoyed this route.

0.50 - 5:08 (10:16)
1.01 - 10:15 (10:09, 10:01) last mile in 10:09
1.51 - 15:09 (10:02, 9:48)
2.01 - 20:29 (10:11, 10:40) last mile in 10:14
2.50 - 25:37 (10:15, 10:29)
3.00 - 30:50 (10:17, 10:26) last mile in 10:27
3.50 - 36:12 (10:21, 10:44)
4.00 - 41:16 (10:19, 10:08) last mile in 10:26
4.50 - 46:07 (10:15, 9:42)
5.01 - 51:22 (10:15, 10:18) last mile in 10:00

On Wed 12/19, I got stuck at work too late to do an entire run outside. Instead, I ran to the gym, did 4 miles on the treadmill there, and then ran back. The path to the gym was pretty well lit, so I didn't run into any problems there.

My run to the gym:

I did the 4 miles in 42:00, an average of 10:30min/mile.

My run back from the gym, clearly I was feeling pretty good:

I took Friday off from running, and then went to my second group run on Sat 12/21. I wasn't nearly as nervous this time. It was a shorter run, only 5 miles, and the weather was beautiful. I used Joey's Garmin again, and it worked out really well. This time I talked to a couple of people the whole time, so I had a much slower pace. We missed one of the turns in our route, so our run was a bit too short. We decided to do an extra lap on the track to make it up, and I still felt pretty good then, and kept going.


Finally, on Sunday I ran 3 easy miles on the treadmill. I did my usual 2 miles at 5.7, then 0.5 at 5.8, 0.25 at 5.9, 0.25 at 6.0 for a total of 31 minutes.

Week 2:
Wednesday: 5 miles (outside)
Thursday: 5.5 miles (outside + treadmill)
Saturday: 5.5 miles (outside)
Sunday: 3 miles (treadmill)
Weekly Total: 19 miles

Resolutions for 2014

As cheesy as it sounds, I like thinking of the new year as a clean slate. Mind you, I don't want to erase any of the good I've done in the past year (or more). This is the time to build on good habits, and to start fresh with remaking bad habits.

Some of my resolutions are specific, since I have actual goals in mind. Others are more general, and I hope to apply to more than just one thing.

What are you hoping to work on this year?

1. Be kinder to myself
I mean this in every way. I want to treat my body better, which means be mindful of what I'm eating, make sure to keep up with exercise, and try to get more sleep. I also want to try not to be as hard on myself, since I can be my worst critic.

2. Put more effort into my blog
I am so far behind on posts, that right now it feels impossible to catch up. Instead of trying to pump out a couple dozen poorly written posts, I want to try to put out posts with more thought and effort. I'm going to continue posting, and will sneak in overdue posts when I can. I also want to try to take better pictures for my recipe posts.

3. Train for the Charlottesville 10 Miler
I am determined to not only run 10 miles for the first time, but to train for this race and be happy with the results. I actually consider myself a runner now, after close to 1 year of recreational running. I'm very comfortable with running 5-6 miles at a time, but I want to try to push to increase that distance, and to work on my speed. Thankfully, I have a pretty solid training plan to follow, and I am enrolled in the official Charlottesville 10 Miler Training Program as well.

4. Keep in touch with friends and family
I am very guilty of not keeping in touch with those who I don't see on a regular basis. I've come to realize that while some friendships from high school and college were only ones of convenience, others are relationships that I treasure, and I want to make a bigger effort to see and talk to those people. I also want to try to see and talk to my family more often. I talk to my immediate family (mom, dad, sister) on a pretty regular basis, but I want to keep in better touch with the rest of my family. I know too well that anything can happen in life, no matter what your age is, and I don't want to regret not reaching out once it is too late.

5. Be a better girlfriend
I have the best boyfriend anyone could ever ask for, and sometimes I don't think I deserve him. I want to make sure he knows how wonderful and amazing he is.

6. Be more spontaneous
I can get too set in my daily routine, which usually involves going to work, some kind of workout, and then just hanging out on the couch. I'm only 27 - I should be trying new things and having adventures! I would like to try something new once a month - whether this is a new restaurant, new activity, new bar - as long as it gets me out of the house!