Sunday, November 30, 2014

Weekly Round-Up: Thanksgiving Edition

And what a week it's been!

Tuesday we left for Tennessee and Thankgiving with my in-laws. I k new I would at least be running on Thursday since my in-laws have really stuck to the Turkey Trot Tradition. One of the things they don't prep you for about being married is the blending of the families and holidays. Luckily for me I married in to an amazing family that has welcomed me with open arms. It's still sad to be away from my parents and grandmother for Thanksgiving, but getting to run the Turkey Trot with my in-laws helps fill the voids.

So here we have it:
Monday: 2 mile walk on the treadmill followed by the Monday Motivational Workout from the Holiday
               sweat challenge! It was brutal.
Tuesday: Rest/travel day
Wednesday: 1.71 mile walk around the neighborhood with the pup. Everybody needed to stretch!
Thursday: Turkey Trot! Finished the 5k in 30:15 which I think is faster than last year
Friday: 1.96 mile walk around the neighborhood, getting the pup ready for the day of travel
Saturday: Home Football game - I'm counting all of the walking and cheering as "activity" - Ha!
Sunday: 4.56 mile run around the park. Averaged 11:39 min/miles despite my walk breaks. It hurt.

I'm really proud of how I stayed active this week despite the travel. Lets face it, leisurely walks aren't exactly the height of my fitness goals, but they're better than nothing! I'm especially impressed considering this is what I was up against in Tennessee:
Thank goodness I had a turkey trot & an awesome hubby to keep my butt in gear.

This week the big focus is BREAKFAST. In particular, the Bonus points for the #HolidaySweatChallenge this week are for getting extra fruits/veggies. Keeping that in mind, I got all of the makings for smoothies today at the grocery. The goal is to wake up & get in the shower before Hubbz. Then I can let Ellie out etc. and make my smoothie while he's in the shower. This is a big change, but I'm hoping it makes an improvement in my overall feeling.

Fingers crossed- Happy Running!

Did you run a turkey trot? How do you avoid the holiday bulge?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Weekly Recap

It's not really a training recap anymore now, is it?

This week was definitely better than last week on the workout front.

I met most of my standing goals. This weekend it was too beautiful not to get out and move. Saturday I went out with the intention of running about 3 miles. We have our annual Turkey Trot on Thursday & I was honestly doubting my ability to finish. Say what? I know, I just finished a half marathon less than a Month ago surely I can do 3.1. I wasn't so sure. However I easily managed to hit 3  - and fast! - and stayed out until I could no longer run. It was a nice hour overall.

Well, except for my quads. My day 2 weights include a type of reverse lunge. I adapted it so that I was comfortably balanced, but I did 3 sets of 8-12 after 30 minutes on the bike Wednesday. Oh. Good.Grief. Thursday my legs were toast. Volleyball was an odyssey. I forgot how much weights just shred your muscles! The best part was that it felt GOOD. I love that CantMoveKillMeNowOhGodItHurts feeling that I only seem to get from lifting. By the end of 5 on Saturday my quads were pretty well trashed. I took my bike out today and came to pretty much the same conclusion.

Despite the quad soreness one thing is for sure: biking is FUN. I love it. I'm still not 100% comfortable, but I'm getting there. Today I just did the 6-ish mile bike loop near our house. Closed to traffic and newly paved so it's perfect for the less-than-comfortable.

Next week?

We leave for the in-laws on Tuesday. I'm super excited to get out of town and spend some time in the 'country'. Also, tomorrow is the start of the #HolidaySweatChallenge! You still have time to sign up so head over to RunToTheFinish to get registered. There are lots of great prizes on the line and it's a really good way to stay on track during the holidays!

How was your week?
Do you cycle? How long did it take you to feel super comfortable on the bike?

Happy Running!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fall Is For Fitness

Weather around here has been just amazing. Now that we've hit "fall back" and it's getting dark so damn early I doubt I'll be able to take advantage of it as much. Also, it's going to start getting really really cold around here. C'est la vie in Kentucky, I guess. Here are some images from my fall training, since I don't have much else on my mind.

I look awesome in a helmet

Ghost among the Leaves

From a run right after the leaves changed

Fall means lots of puppy snuggles
Have you had a good fall where you are? 
Do you like "Fall Back"? I hate that it gets dark so early!

Happy Running!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Training Cycle Recap

The journey that began on August 10th finally ended up October 25th when I crossed the finish line of my 7th Half Marathon. This was the first race since the Chicago Half Marathon back in 2011 that I felt I had properly prepared for.

Our Training Plan Called for:

  • Long Run: 10 miles
  • Total Mileage: 194.4
  • 5k Race, 10k Race Planned

In the past Josh and I had been really good about getting in long runs. Admittedly, our long runs for the LSC Half Marathon last year didn't go very well at all. This cycle I wanted to run more during the week. Partly out of a need to keep a base, but also because I needed the break from work. In taking this on I was determined to make time for running outside of work. 

What we actually did:
According to Garmin, I logged 196.44 miles during training! That's amazing - it's more than my goal! Certainly having my new bike helped, but I had no idea it would be close let alone more. That's not to say I made all of my workouts, but It shows I did some.

Also, I significantly amped up my workouts in general. 

I'm really proud of how hard I worked. I think it showed in my results. Hasn't really shown up on the scale….but that's for another day. 

What's next? Good question! I think I'm going to "wing it" for the winter. We've got some good races planned throughout the winter and my training for the Muncie 70.3 begins March 20th. Between now and late February I want to focus on getting stronger and spending as much time in the saddle as possible. 

  • Two strength days per week
  • 3 Runs per week
  • 1 bike or swim day per week
I think that's going to be a good mix of challenging and restful. Also, I'm Signed up for the Holiday Sweat Challenge - are you? It's a GREAT way to motivate yourself to stay in shape for the winter and win great prizes. This will be my third year and I always look forward to it! With the new partnership between RunToTheFinish & Sweat Pink it's sure to be better than ever!
So get signed up!

How was your training this fall?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Urban Bourbon Race Recap

Better late than never, right?

It's hard to believe it's been two weeks since the race but the calendar says it's true.

Thursday night we had manicotti from our local Italian store (yum yum!) and then Friday we went out for Sushi. The pre-race Sushi dinner has become a tradition for us. I think it started before a half marathon awhile back but I can't remember which one. I think the night before the race I need something light and complex and sushi seems to do that for me. It was de-lish.

Saturday morning the weather was warm. While it had gotten cold earlier in the week, the ridiculous Kentucky temperature swings went into full effect. The high for race day was in the mid-70s. I went a little conservative since it had been so cool earlier in the week and went with a tech short sleeve under layer, lighter long-sleeved top layer and capris.

We went to bed really early Friday night and I actually woke up on my own Saturday morning. I drank about 24 ounces of Poweraid and had a slice of toast with peanut butter. This ended up being the perfect pre-race meal. I felt nice and energized without being too full. Though, I did have to use the restroom a few more times than I would've liked thanks to the extra hydration. Worth it in the end, I guess.

We got to the start in plenty of time and took a second to stretch out and stay warm. When they whistled us up to the start it was pretty seamless for everyone to line up. We fell in with the 2:30 pace group since this was my goal. Really, my primary goal was to finish around 2:30, under 2:30 my stretch goal and my A goal was 2:25. My friends ended up finding us right before the gun went off. Then, we were off! Sidenote: our pace group started running about 50 yards before the start line. Wtf? This was super annoying as they took a pretty aggressive pace at it too. I wasn't too thrilled.

The race itself was kind of a blur. We ran the race last year - then the LSC Half Marathon - and had a lot of complaints about the course (namely the 1.5 mile turnaround right before the finish line). Luckily, they changed the course this year and cut out most of what I didn't like. We were aggressive the first few miles and kept what I thought was a tight pace. (Note: My garmin won't load the data from this race, so I have no splits. Ugh. Two weeks later and I'm still angry about that!). When the 2:30 group stopped to walk through the water stop we kept on. For the first few miles they were right behind us but as we made our way into the park they got farther and farther behind. It was awhile before we realized they just weren't there.

The morning couldn't have been more beautiful. The middle 4 miles of the race were primarily through Cherokee park, one of our favorite running spots. It has a special meaning to me since that's where we got engaged. The hills there are tough and I knew that this would be the most challenging segment. The first major hill around mile 4 was a monster and it left me wondering whether I had the guts for the rest of the race. After that hill, though, I felt really good. I breathed a sigh of relief when we got out of the park because I knew the hardest part was behind us. There was a slight hill after mile 5-ish that was more annoying than anything. My mind kept saying, "I thought we were done with this".

Up until mile 10 it was really a perfect race. Around then my legs started getting tired. I think my brain got tired and the voices that always creep in at the end of the race started to pop up. "I can't do this," "I'm not going to make it," "I don't have anything left." I finally turned off my music and reminded myself: you ARE doing this. Even if you walk the rest of the way, you'll finish. I also knew that we were way ahead of the 2:30 group so even if we slowed to a crawl I'd make my overall goal.

We made the last 2 miles and turned towards the finish. The closer we got to main street and the finish line the more I wanted to just break into a sprint. I was able to finish strongly and feeling really powerful. As we neared the chute I took of my headphones and let everything just soak in. It was the most powerful, emotional finish to a race I've had in a long time. It felt really good.
Urban Bourbon Half Marathon Finisher!

Hubby and I finished together in 2:25:38. Not a PR, but the fastest half I've run in a long time! We beat last year by 7 minutes, which is impressive. My girlfriends finished in 2:22 and made huge improvements from last year too. It was cause for celebration so we all grabbed a huge breakfast at one of our favorite spots. Then we spent pretty much the rest of the day just being lazy.

Half #7 in the books! If you'd' asked me 6 years ago when I started this crazy journey if I would run more than one half, I'd think it crazy that I finish even one. Here I am. It's a good place to be.