Saturday, February 27, 2016

Weekly Report 3- Recovery

I'm still quite content with my 6 mile run last week and wanted to focus more on strength and recovery than I did distance.

Recovery... funny word when you're an athlete.  

When I was swimming in college we would get so excited about recovery days and then remember that recovery was more so active recovery. We still had a few sets, some of which were definitely not easy by any sense of the word, but it made sure we stayed in shape while not completely exhausting ourselves.

While I may not be swimming anymore, I'm still following some of the habits I picked up as a swimmer.  So that's why I focused on strength and even though I had a recovery week, I didn't just sit around.  I can actually say I'm sore, but it's more so my shoulder and chest region due to some time in the gym, including time on the rowing machine.

When I look back at the last two weeks I like the routine I'm setting up.  Pushing myself farther and farther one week and then working on strength the next week.  I need to work on both endurance and strength if I'm going to achieve the lofty goals I've given myself and I honestly think these alternating weeks may be the best.  Especially once summer and the humidity return in full force...

Monday, February 22, 2016

I Came In 3rd

No I didn't have a race this weekend and got some amazing super power to run a lot faster than I already do.  Instead my friends and I engaged in some friendly virtual competition through the Nike+ app.

Apparently when I wasn't running, a few of my friends started running and started to use the Nike+ app to make it a bit more social.  I connected with mostly everyone and quickly realized this was going to be bad for me because I'm decently competitive.

Now Nike+ allows you to see how far you've run by month and week compared to others in your social group.  So that made it competitive enough for me, but we recently decided to have a challenge.  The challenge was simple, and friendly enough... Run 29.9 miles in February.

Of course I wanted to get there first, but I was at a disadvantage as a few of my friends had 10k races this month and others were training for a half marathon next month.  I was ahead of those training for the 10k, but behind those training for the marathon.  Every time I thought I was catching up to one of the half marathon trainees, they took off again.

So those running the half marathon ended up reaching the 29.9 mile goal about a week before me.  It drove me insane, but also helped push me to get out there and run on some days I didn't want to.  It helped push me to my 6.2 mile marker yesterday.  I could have easily stopped at the even 6.0, but needed that extra bit to ensure my 3rd place finish.

Currently, I'm 3rd overall for the month and will probably finish third.  I'll keep trying to catch up to #2, but she is ahead of me in training and I have to remember to train smart rather than train to beat someone.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Weekly Report 2- Back On Track

Last week my knees, legs, ankles, pretty much everything hurt and just felt off.  This week, I was sore, but not to the point I needed to stop my runs.  I was a bit smarter this week about how I trained and what I trained on certain days.  I didn't use the treadmill at all, but spent some time on the elliptical.  I had a few smaller runs and then my one long run today.

I usually work on Sundays, but had the rare day off so I took advantage of the free time and perfect weather to try and get 6 miles in.  Even though my knee wasn't the happiest about the distance, I was able to get it done, and in doing so I have found some exciting new routes.  Ok, the only reason they're exciting is that they're new and mean I don't have to do loops strictly around my neighborhood.  Still, the run felt good for the most part and I'm just happy I was able to get it done.

I have also been focusing on walking during my rest periods in my runs.  I didn't want to lose the momentum from running and just start walking slow.  In the last few weeks my body has already gotten used to "power walking" through the rest times and now I don't really have to think about it.  My main goal through the walking segments is to keep it under a 16 min pace, the minimum pace for runDisney events and I'm happy to say that I have kept to that goal.

After my run I made sure to stretch (something I'm trying to get better and better about), and spent the rest of the day walking around Brevard Zoo.  The rest of the day felt good for the most part, I was a little sore, a little tight, but nothing was throbbing, which I still saw as continuing good news.  Plus I found a spiffy new shirt with a fun running saying at the zoo!

I'm really proud of myself for my run today, and this week.  I got out there, some days when it was tough, and never looked back.  I just need to keep looking forward.  I'm planning to keep 6 miles as my long run through next month (which is incredibly busy) and then start pushing it again in April.

Plus, I have 1 year until I compete in the Glass Slipper Challenge during the Princess Half Marathon Weekend.  Events are coming... the reasons I'm training are coming...

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Weekly Report 1- What A Mess

Life has been catching up to me again, and catching up to my muscles and joints.  Where I was tired last week, now things are just starting to hurt or I'm just feeling off.  Then there were other complications like weather... lots and lots of wind this week.

The day I was planning on doing one of my shorter maintenance runs the wind decided that it wanted to wreak havoc with everything.  I work outside and I was barely able to stay on meet feet at times it seemed.  That just turned me off from running because I really didn't need a 5k resistance run.  I realized very quickly that while I love running in rain and thunderstorms, enjoy cold runs, and will tolerate hot runs... windy runs I just don't do.

So once postponing my run, my social life decided to actually have plans for once which means it took me a few days to get back into a workout.  Finally got on a treadmill yesterday which was interesting.  I forgot the challenges that go along with running on treadmills, finding my pace, keeping my pace, etc... I got the hang of it, but it didn't make my knee all that happy.  Or my ankles for that matter, but that was my fault as I wore my old running shoes which don't have the best ankle support.

Today I got up and started on my run.  I couldn't decide if I wanted a maintenance run or a long run so I just starting.  Very quickly I realized a few things... My muscles were sore from the treadmill run, but my pace was faster than ever before.  Of course just over a mile in I also rolled my good ankle.  The athlete in me kept running, but my brain reminded me not to push it because the last thing I need is old ankle injuries mixing with new ones and causing issues.

So I guess the theme this week was trying to cause issues when last week I was overcoming them.  I'll take these hard weeks though, because they make the good weeks that much better.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

5 Mile Done... A Lot More To Do

My long run this week was only 5 miles but it felt really good!  I'm really happy with how the run went.  I felt strong, there weren't a lot of pains during the run, and the weather was great.  Now I'm going to say it was cold, but pretty much everyone is going to say I'm nuts since it was about 50 degrees today when I ran.  However, I love running in colder weather (as long as there's no snow... I don't do snow...)

I set out to run the full first mile, walk .1, run till 2, walk another .1, run to mile 3.1, walk .2, ran to mile 4, walked another .2, ran until mile 4.5, and then finished strong!  Then had a nice .2 cool down.  All my walking was under 16 minute mile pace and that has been getting easier and easier to do without focusing on it.  My running pace was anywhere between 9:15 and 9:45, which I'm also super pleased with!

Probably the thing I'm happiest about is that my knee did really really well.  When I ran 4 miles for the first time a few weeks ago, my knee was throbbing at the end, even forcing me to walk eventually.  Then yesterday at the gym my knee hurt in the middle of my workout, but I pushed through it and it felt fine eventually.  So today I was expecting for my knee to kill my run at some point and it never did!  So excited about that because that just means the strength training, run training, and stretching is all working!

All my new gear is doing awesome!  I'm loving the pants and different shirts and I'm obsessed with my new Nike jacket (one of the thin, long sleeve ones).  I wear it whenever I can and I ran in it this morning and it was great.  I think I might have to suck it up and go get another one... My shoes have also broken in really well.  The combo with the new compression socks can get a little hot at times, but eventually I forget about it and I'm feeling great.

So other than being really tired last week, I've been feeling great!  I made sure to stretch and roll out today after my run and I'm still feeling great.  We'll see how tomorrow goes, but I feel right on track for 6 miles next week and then a rest week after that.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Forcing On The Shoes

I know that what I feel right now isn't true exhaustion.  It's just a mix of getting back into real training and the fact it reached 80 degrees this week!  Between the two my body has just decided it wanted to wallow away the nights in bed, streaming different shows on Netflix.

The good news is that I've been drinking a lot more water since the new year so I'm not nearly has dehydrated as I have been in the past.  I guess you could call it a resolution...  The main resolution was to drink less soda and so I replaced that with fruit infused water and normal water.  So far I've only had 2 Dr Peppers this year and a lot more water.   It hasn't been nearly has hard to switch, but has been totally worth it.

I let my body rest on Monday, and then yesterday I did about 30 minutes of Yoga.  Today I finally forced myself to get up, put on my shoes and get out there for a run.  I thought I would only do 2 miles because that was a struggle to do on Sunday.  Yet while I feel worse in real life than I did on Sunday, my run felt a lot better.

I ended up doing a 5k and accidentally discovered that when I add on a new community they're building next to mine makes a perfect 5k loop.  I'm sure that info will come in handy when I have to start figuring out my long run plans.

I probably could have run more, I almost thought about doing 4 miles, but decided to stop instead.  I might go for another run tomorrow, I haven't quite decided.  I still have my normal weights workout on Friday, elliptical run on Saturday, and then a real run on Sunday.  I'm hoping to get in 5 miles on Sunday before I enjoy all the wonderful and unhealthy foods that come with the Superbowl!  Plus the temperatures are dropping starting tomorrow and it should be some great running weather next week!

Part of the struggle this week was mental, it was me fighting with my body and letting my body win.  Luckily, I finally decided to push through it and I'm really happy I did.  I guess that saying about regretting missed run, but never regretting a real run is true...