Archive | January 2015

Half Marathon Training: Week 6

Well here in CT we are prepping for a blizzard coming our way.  Forecasters are using words like “historic” and “crippling” so we’re all a little on edge here.  The temperature has dropped from a balmy 35 yesterday to a bone chilling 18 right now.  Needless to say, my planned 9 miler this morning didn’t quite go as planned.  I made it to mile 5.5 before calling it over.

The problem, for me on today’s run and on any run below 20 degrees, is my legs.  I clearly need to get a different plan on for my lower body attire for the below 25 range of temps.  I can make it a good three-four miles in what I have now, which is essentially running tights and a pair of sweatpants over them, but I must need to get something insulated or something for these colder runs.  I’m not going to be able to pull a 10 miler on my treadmill, there’s just no way.

This run this morning was absolute misery.  While I felt warm with my gloves and layers and headband, my legs grew more leaden the entire time I was out.  Plus, the sweat on my face would feel like ice whenever the wind blew, which was about 50-60 % of the time.  Such a strange feeling to feel warm and cold at the same time.  It really slowed me down.  I didn’t even think about pace for the last two miles.  I walked some of it, drank water, and just slogged through.  I could tell people who passed me in their cars thought I was stupid:  we’re in disaster prep mode here, and who is this chick running in temps below twenty?  To be honest, I felt kind of stupid too.  But whatever.  My plan is to make up the four miles I didn’t get in on the treadmill tomorrow morning, if we don’t lose power (please don’t let us lose power).

Other than today’s run, however, I am seeing progress.  I ran 4.5 miles yesterday and it was truly awesome.  I am at the point in my training where these shorter runs feel so much easier than they did just a few weeks ago.  It was truly enjoyable.

Here’s what the rest of the week looked like:

Tues:  Rest Day
Wed:  HIIT class
Thurs:  4.7 miles at 12:47 pace
Fri:  Kickboxing and strength training classes
Sat:  1 hour of shoveling of heavy, wet snow
(was supposed to go to yoga, but the snow prevented that from happening)
Sun:  4.6 miles at 12:37 pace
Mon:  5.6 miles at 13:15 pace

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Half Marathon Training: Week 5

One of the things I mentioned in my last post was that I am currently deep into my half marathon training program.  The race is just under two months  away, so it’s definitely time to dial up the miles.  I want to do a better job of documenting what I am doing to prepare for this race, the NYC Half Marathon on March 15.  So starting this week I will try to post an update every Monday on what I’ve been doing.

Tues:  PIYO at my local bootcamp place
Wed:  Rest Day
Thurs:  2.6 interval run on the treadmill and 45 minute HIIT class
Fri:  2.7 miles @ 12:22 pace and 45 minute kickboxing classSat:  Yoga class
Sun:  4.5 miles @ 12:35 pace
Mon:  8.5 miles @ 13:23 pace

I had intended to do the two runs on Thurs/Fri as one 4.5 mile run, but with the way my schedule turned out, I ended up splitting it up.  But I kind of liked the result….the shorter runs allowed me to really focus on speed and/or intervals, and still left me with enough time to take classes at the gym.  I may keep this idea up going forward, taking one of the shorter runs and splitting it to really focus on hills or speed.

Today’s long run was actually really great.  I felt better than I had expected I would.  We’d had freezing rain and then plain rain yesterday, but by 10 am when I ventured out, there were only a few random patches of it.  The weather had warmed up to 40, which is pretty much my sweet spot for temperature.  After so many days of hitting the treadmill due to sub 20 temperatures, it felt amazing just to be out there and really blow it out.

This was the longest run in my program yet, so I went out armed with my water belt (which I kind of hate the look of but it is a necessary evil) with a Kashi granola bar tucked into it for fuel.  I’d run 6.5 miles with no water or fuel last time, and knew I needed something if I wanted to make it through today.  I also liberally applied the body glide, as I sweat so much it usually washes away after about an hour and fifteen minutes.

The first mile, mostly downhill, felt really good.  I ducked into a neighborhood for the second mile, where I found some hills.  I walked where I needed to and used a slow, comfortable pace otherwise.  At mile 3 I stopped for water, still feeling really good.

I remember thinking at 4.5 that I was still feeling really good, which surprised me.  Finally, at 5.25 I started feeling a little depleted, so I stopped and drank more water and ate half of the granola bar.   That did the trick.  I couldn’t believe that I was still feeling OK at mile 6, mile 7.  By 7.5 I was back in familiar territory where I usually run, and marveling that I still was fine.  I stopped my RunKeeper at 8.5, and smiled.  I didn’t feel wrecked!   If I’d needed to push for another half mile or even another mile, I had it in me.  Which is exciting.

These long runs were so much harder the last time I trained for a half.  It was the first time I’d ever run such distances.  A friend told me that even if it has been months and months, your body remembers running those distances and it will be easier this time. So far, that has been true.  I’ve always remembered how hard that half was, but maybe it will feel easier this time.  I might actually be interested in running these longer distance races if I keep feeling this good.

Now I just need to find a February race to put all of this new speed and stamina to the test.  🙂

Hello, 2015

OK so we’re 18 days into 2015 and I still haven’t posted anything yet this year.  Bad blogger.

I have been weighing myself every Wednesday, same as always.  I just haven’t really wanted to post about it.  I am fluctuating at the high end of where I’ve been at for the last six months, and I am not happy about it.  I do feel like I’m getting there, but I’m still a little frustrated with myself for not exercising more self control.

On the other hand, I am deep in my half marathon training and loving it.  I can feel the stamina returning and I am truly enjoying my runs.  Tomorrow I have my longest run yet in my training program, an 8.5 miler.  I’m not worried about it…I know I will make it through the miles.  My longest run so far has been a 6.5, and I had energy when I was done.  There will certainly be some walking involved near the end, but that’s OK with me.

I found this survey on a blog I follow, and it motivated to finally put something on the blog this year.  Hey, you have to start somewhere.  Here we go:

1. What did you eat for breakfast? steel cut oats with chopped nuts, strawberries and a dollop of greek yogurt.  I’m experimenting with steel cut oats as a pre run breakfast rather than the Clif bars I’ve always relied upon.  So far it seems to be working.

2. How much water do you drink a day? Probably no where near enough.  On days I exercise probably 8-9 cups, on days that I don’t, probably 4-5.

3. What is your current favorite workout? I love a good run, but I have just discovered yoga and it is a great complement for it.  I do also love kickboxing.

4. How many calories do you eat a day? Too many.  I haven’t tracked it in a while, but when I was, it would usually end up around 1500-1600.

5. What are your favorite healthy snacks? Skinnypop popcorn.

6. What do you usually eat for lunch? Leftovers.

7. What is your favorite body part to strength train? Arms.  I feel very strong when I do pushups, use free weights, anything that works my arms.

8. What is your least favorite body part to strength train? Abs.  Love the results, hate hate hate the work.

9. What are your “bad” food cravings? Probably cookies.  Or cheese.  Or dips.  Or pretty much anything.

10. Do you take vitamins or supplements? No.  I try to get my vitamins through diet.

11. How often do you eat out? Dinner?  Hardly ever.  Lunch?  Probably twice a week.

12. Who is your biggest supporter?  One of my good girlfriends gets me the best.  🙂

13. Do you have a gym membership? Not per se.  I take classes at a bootcamp studio, but not a traditional gym membership.

14. How many hours of sleep do you get a night? 8-9.

15. Do you have a “cheat”day? Every day after 5pm, LOL.

16. Do you drink alcohol? In a word, yes.

17. Do you have a workout buddy? Same as #12.  🙂

18. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle? I stopped having migraines, that was huge.  I also find my moods to be much more stabilized.  Having suffered depression off and on since childhood, this is a big deal.

19. What was the last healthy thing you did? My 4.5 mile training run this morning.