Friday, January 31, 2014

Consistently: January

Many of you did  posts on "word of the year" or goals for the year. I loved reading them all, and in commenting I kept stating that my word for 2014 is consistency. I realized that I never really addressed this goal on my own blog. I want to create consistency or habits in all areas of my life. Consistency is never something I have been good at, so I am working really hard on it as I know it will help me maintain a healthier happier life going forward.
I didn't write down what I wanted to work on at the beginning of this month (shame on me!) so I am just going to write down a few things. From here on out though I will write what I plan on working on so I (and you!) can actually see how its coming along. *Note: There are other things I want to work on being consistent in, but some personal things I find should be left off of the blog. Self-Improvement and certain personal (family and relationships) things shouldn't be 100% public.*

January was all about base building for me. Getting time in on my feet, and consistently working out. I think I definitely accomplished this, looking at the calendar I only had 3 complete days off for the month. I made it to the gym 25 times (they have a fabulous website that tracks your visits!), which makes me happy to be making good use of that membership.

Morning Workouts
I consistently TRIED this month to become a morning gym-goer. I have a busy schedule and I found that at least doing part of my workout in the morning left me more time later in the day to tackle other things on my to-do list. I haven't been sleeping well the last 2 weeks at all, so morning workouts have been fewer and far between. 10 of my 25 gym visits this month were in the morning, believe me when I say that is much higher than it has ever been.

Things at Home
I have been working on being more consistent with housework and things at home. I'm the person who will let things go for a while and then spend a whole day scrubbing everything top to bottom. I want to work on doing a little each day and minimize the time I spend taking away from other things to clean. I didn't do great with this during January, but it was better than the past.

Things I want to focus on in February
A little amount of time a few days a week so I don't spend hours on the weekend(so I can run for hours on the weekend instead...)
Morning workouts
At least 2-3 during the week and 1 on the weekend
Utilizing the classes at my gym
There are some seriously great classes that are offered and I should be taking advantage of them. Not only is it great to immerse myself in fitness with others, it makes my membership more worthwhile!
Study time
I spent most of my study time on my Personal Trainer test in the fall, then the holiday's it's time to buckle down and get back to studying for my Series 7 (work exam). I'd like to see a few hours a week start happening again.

I made a blank calendar to keep tucked in my planner. I will mark down each day what I did to help keep track of these things. The written calendar combined with my RunningAHEAD account, and my gym online account (tracks dates/times you sign in) will all help hold me accountable.

Are you good at being consistent?

What is something you wish was more of a habit for you?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Freezeroo Hearnish 10k (6.385 miles)

Well, this was one of those races that gets filed under the "rather forget about" tab but I'll still give you a run-down. We will call this 'part one' of the crappy Saturday I had, 'part 2' was falling down the stairs later that night. 

I got to the race, did my warm-up and tried to think warm thoughts. It wasn't quite as cold as I thought it was going to be, but it certainly wasn't toasty by any means. I had plenty of layers on regardless of my distaste for full leggings (I always feel constricted). Laura and I warmed up together, this was probably the best part of the day. Her and I really need to start running together more often!
Right After the start, I'm right in middle with bright blue hat on.

6:40 -Heyyyyy things are good. Just hold steady.
7:29- Right about mile 1.5 my calves seized up and I felt like I was running in place.
7:43- I considered a DNF at this point, my legs were screaming at me with every step. That freezing headwind wasn't exactly wind beneath my wings.
7:15- SUCK IT UP LAURA, move it.
7:50- Oh hey you huge hills, my legs don't like you. Walked part of last big hill.
7:16- Just get me to the finish.
Last .385 miles in 2:41 

Race went through hilly park, we had some company. 

I could sit here and analyze this on what I did wrong, what I did right or I can call a spade a spade-- BAD RACES HAPPEN, IT WASN'T MY DAY. Yes, its frustrating that I barely maintained my MARATHON pace in a 6 mile race. But, this was not a goal race and this race doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme of things. I still got a hard workout in, and miles for the day. I am happy that I pushed through, as much as the weather sucked, my body hurt and I wanted to stop- but I pushed through and did it. 

A few hours after the race, a friend on Facebook posted this..."Springtime race results come from Wintertime training runs.". Honestly it was the reminder I needed. Training through the winter can be hard but it will certainly be worth it when Boston rolls around. 

Do I wish I had a better race? Absolutely.
Am I glad that I pushed through and finished despite feeling horrible? Absolutely.
Am I going to go back there and do training runs on those hills? YOU BET.

 This race also served as a reminder of how far I have come. There was a long period of time where a bad race would eat away at me. It would bring me down, and really get the best of me. While yes this race was frustrating, I am able to look at it as a learning experience. I am able to look at this objectively and not 100% emotionally. I got the miles in, still much faster than I would have been a few years ago, and I pushed through when things got hard. I'm learning to move forward, from the good and the bad. There are plenty more races to come, and this race certainly doesn't define me as a runner. 

Bad races- do you let them eat away at you?

Tell me something awesome, anything at all. I refuse to be a debbie downer right now with a bad race and a tumble down the stairs... gimme something good to smile and laugh about?!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Training Week That Knocked Me on My Butt...Literally.

This will go down as Boston Training Week 3, the week that made me really sore.
I don't love struggling to get out of bed, or wanting to stop mid-workout because I'm just spent...But I do love pushing myself to that point. The first half of the week this was from workouts,  the weekend was a different story. 

Monday PM
Run TM 5k (8:15 pace), 25 Minute Spin (6.8 miles), 60 Minute MXT Class
Tuesday AM
10 Minute Elliptical (1.1 Miles), 20 Minutes Strength Training (Upper & Core)
Tuesday PM
8.35 Mile Tempo Run (7:11 pace)--->Workout was Race Pace Pyramid
Wednesday PM
Run TM 5k (8:26 pace), 72 Minute Spin (22.1 miles)
Thursday AM
Run TM 5k (8:28 pace)
Thursday PM
Run 3.85 outside [brrrr](7:52 Pace)
Friday PM
Run TM 5k (8:22 pace)
Saturday AM
Warm-up/Cool-down Miles with Laura 2.93 miles total (~8:40 pace)
Freezeroo Hearnish-10k Race 6.385 Miles (7:20 pace)

Total Running Miles: 33.9 Miles
Total Biking Miles: 28.9 Miles
Total Swimming Distance: -0-
Total Fitness/Cross Training Time: 90 Minutes

Monday I made my way back to the MXT class I tried a few weeks ago. All I can say is, I should go more often and maybe it wouldn't kick my ass as much. We did a bajillion burpees, and god knows what else--I'll be feeling this burn for a while.

 I'm happy that I have been strength training and doing core work more lately, I'm actually SEEING and FEELING results. 

I hit the beginning of this week a little harder so I'd have some 'easy' days leading up to the race Saturday. Although the Freezeroo races are not goal races for me, I'm using them as good opportunities to work on race day strategies and pacing.

Sweaty post-workout inside and bundled up before going for an outdoor run.... Oh winter. 
You'll also notice I am being better about having some easy paced runs in there. This is something I have never been really good about, but I know that while ramping up my mileage I need to be careful. I certainly don't have time for burnout or injury this year, so I am learning to enjoy easy paced and recovery runs when needed.
Well, Saturday is where things get a little... off.

Saturday mornings race was just bad, it happens and I know its part of life. My legs just didn't want to go, and physically  I felt blah. So after the race, I spent the rest of the day relaxing in bed. I hadn't been sleeping well all week, and starting to feel like I was coming down with something. Bruised ego round one for the day.

Finally when I got up and around so John and I could go grab some food. I made a typical 'Laura' mistake. I've been a self proclaimed klutz forever and proved that by falling down the stairs Saturday night. I'm okay, left with a bruised tailbone and a seriously bruised ego (between the race in the morning and falling down the stairs at night). John, his brother and their friend were all there when it happened so luckily there was no shortage of help.

Scene of the crime, and then what I was forced to do all day Sunday.
I was forced to take it easy today, time resting in bed and living on ice packs and ibuprofen. Luckily John  has been taking great care of me. Bringing me coffee and food, switching out my ice packs, and even relaxing watching netflix with me keeping me company.

Am I bummed that I couldn't do a long run today? Yes. Am I bummed that I am really going to have to take things easy for a few days, absolutely. But I also know I am lucky it wasn't worse. My bruised tailbone will heal, and hopefully my wrist (which I jammed trying to catch myself) won't bother me too much [sheesh, what I won't do to get out of doing pushups lol].

I'm not really sure what goals to make for the week. as I am not sure what I will be able to do. Right now, avoiding anything that involves pain is a good start. Hopefully I'll only be limited for a few more days, but I certainly won't be pushing things too soon, not worth it.

It wasn't a horrible week, I still got some great workouts in. Maybe a few days of downtime won't be the worst thing in the world for me. I'm considering the rest and forced cross training to be a silver lining. Some decreased stress on the body might do me some good.

When was the last time you had a bruised ego... what helped?

Any other klutzes out there?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Quinoa Salad

After posting a picture of this on my Instagram a few weeks ago, I received questions regarding what was in it- so here you go! It's quick and easy (exactly how I like my recipes). 

Disclaimer: I am NOT a chef, nor am I a nutritionist or Registered Dietitian. I am also not affiliated with any brands/products that are used in this recipe. I am NOT a food photographer, in fact please use this is a how-to NOT take food pictures. 

Quinoa Salad

1 Cup Quinoa 
2 Cups water or Vegetable stock ( I use the stock to add flavor)
1/2 Cup Diced Cucumbers
1/2 Cup Diced Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Diced Red Onions
2 Green Onions (Scallions) thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons chopped Cilantro (I have also used the paste kind)
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice

Note: There are so many things you can add to this, get creative and add things as you like. I sometimes add celery, bell peppers and other veggies to it. I have also added Mrs.Dash and some other seasonings for a little added flavor. If you like it spicy, add some diced jalepenos. I also read about one salad that added sliced almonds to it, yummy!

There are two ways to cook the quinoa; stove-top or in the rice cooker. Personally I have always used the rice cooker because it's a "set it and forget it" kind of thing.

Stove-top: Combine the quinoa and water (or stock) and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 15 minutes or until all fluid has been absorbed. Once cooked, let cool.

Rice Cooker: Add quinoa and water (or stock), hit start.....and it will stop on it's own when done (typically 15-25 minutes depending on size of batch). I like using this method because I can throw it in and cut up all the veggies while it's cooking (and not worry about paying attention to the stove). [Non-stick rice cooker is also really easy to clean!]
This is the rice cooker we have, love it!
I can't give you the proper way to chop everything up (again, I'm no chef), but I do know that having a "Food chopper" (we have this one) really helps speed things up. I'll also be honest in saying I rarely measure out the ingredients for this recipe. I tend to just cut up whatever and throw it in, it's not like baking something where it really counts EXACTLY what you put in there. 
This is what my veggies looked like last time I made this, like I said though I tend to add different amounts of everything each time. Make it your own by adding as much or little of the veggies that you like!

Once everything is chopped up, add to the quinoa and mix well. Best served chilled. 

This is a great side dish or snack to have on hand. I usually prep up a batch at the beginning of each week and put in small containers for on the go. 

It's also really good if you add Feta cheese on top right before serving, because come on...what is't better with cheese?

I really like quinoa for a ton of reasons. It is easy to make, and very versatile to use. There are so many things you can do with it, I make it in place of rice or pasta a lot of times. Here is a link to a great article I found on the benefits of quinoa--->The 7 Benefits of Quinoa: The Supergrain of The Future

Do you like quinoa?

If so, care to share some of your favorite recipes?
(I'd love to try them! Leave them(or link) in comments, or email me!)

Do you have any "Go-to" recipes that you make frequently?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Race Pace Pyramid Workout

Happy Wednesday! 
After posting this picture on Instagram last night, I had a few people ask for the workout breakdown of what I did. The thing I love about this workout is that it is 100% modifiable for each person. 

DISCLAIMER: Alright y'all, I'm no doctor nor am I certified running coach(yet). While I am a Certified Personal Trainer, this workout was formed from running experience and my own love of creating workouts. I do give you permission to curse my name while kicking butt during this workout. It's the least I can do. 

I knew that I wanted to get a good tempo workout in, but I wasn't sure how. I started playing around with numbers, I'm not training for just one distance right now so sometimes it's hard getting specific workouts in. Although I am focusing on certain distances, I am trying to be well rounded. I am not of the belief that someone can have endurance for long distance but not the speed. If you want it, work for it, even if that means speed AND endurance.

A few things about this workout...
1. ABSOLUTELY incorporate rests if you need to (seriously!)
2. You can also cut all times in half to make it a 30 minute workout in a pinch. 
3. HYDRATE, make sure you have water with're going to need it!
4. Don't eat too soon prior to the workout, you WILL feel it. 
5.This workout can constantly change. As your race times change, the paces will for this workout. That means that no matter what level you are, you can do this workout at what works for YOU and not everyone else. 
6. STRETCH afterwards, I'm not even kidding. This would also be a good time to actually use the foam roller and not just as a foot rest (I'm totally guilty of this, that's why I can say that). 

This is a great workout for the treadmill, and since I know I am not the only one stuck inside due to weather right now... hopefully you can get some use out of this! 

10 Minute Warm-up
5 Minutes CURRENT Marathon Pace 
5 Minutes GOAL Marathon Pace 
5 Minutes CURRENT Half-Marathon Pace
5 Minutes GOAL Half-Marathon Pace
2 Minutes 10k Pace
2 Minutes 5k Pace
2 MInutes 10k Pace
5 Minutes GOAL Half-Marathon Pace
5 Minutes CURRENT Half-Marathon Pace
5 Minutes GOAL Marathon Pace
5 Minutes CURRENT Marathon Pace
4 Minutes Cool-Down
---60 Minutes Total---

Warm-up & Cool-Down--Whatever easy pace you prefer to get the blood flowing
CURRENT paces--Recent pace for this distance
GOAL paces--What pace do you WANT to run this distance at?

Some benefits
-Training for races of many distances in one workout
-Speed and Endurance in one workout
-The back half of the pyramid, the paces feel 'easier' because you are 'slowing down'. (you are getting comfortable hitting goal paces on tired legs)
- You'll feel like a rockstar after, at least I did! 

I loved this workout for a few reasons. It got the speed working without recoveries which helps work on endurance as well. I wrote mine out ahead of time with the treadmill conversions (to MPH) which helped having it right in front of me. I can't wait to do this workout again in a few weeks, hopefully it feels even stronger. I plan on altering some of my paces, as I can see some places where changes should be made. 

Do you like making up workouts for yourself?

Speed play: Do you prefer intervals or tempo runs?

If you do try this, let me know how it goes!
(and how many times you cursed my name)

Monday, January 20, 2014

That Week that Didn't Go as Planned (but kind of did)

I actually feel like I was training this week. I have blisters (because I'm a goof ball), I did my first tempo run of this cycle, did a legit long run, and generally slept like I was in a coma. All good signs of me being in training again(even if it's only week two).

As for the blisters- stupid on my part but I'll live. Tuesday after work I went to the gym, got ready for my easy 5 mile run...and wait..."where the heck are my socks?". Silly me decided to run anyways, thinking it wouldn't bother me. 2 miles into the run I decided I wanted to do my tempo run for the week (that was planned for Thursday). It felt great, 7 miles total with 3 at 6:45. The last half mile I was kindly reminded that I wasn't wearing socks and I have hot spots all over my feet. Never again. (Or at least until the next time I forget socks and try and be a BA and push through). I don't know how some people run without them all the time.

Anyways. My 'routine' was a little thrown off this week due to some scheduling things but I still got my workouts in. I'm a little bummed about my 'morning efforts' this week but I'm still working on this, progress not perfection right?

Monday PM: 50 Minute Bike
Tuesday AM: 23 Minutes Pilates at home 
Tuesday PM: 7 Mile treadmill tempo (with 3 @ 6:45 pace)
Wednesday AM: 25 minutes elliptical, 10 minutes Ab-work
Thursday PM: 8.11 mile progression run OUTSIDE,
63 minute Spin class (21.8 miles), 30 minutes weights
Friday PM: 3.5 mile easy run
Saturday AM: 16 mile long run with Joe
Sunday PM: 3.1 mile easy recovery run, 25 minutes core & weights
Total Running Miles: 37.7 Miles
Total Biking Miles: 36.5 Miles
Total Swimming Distance: -0-
Total Fitness/Cross Training Time: 113 Minutes

It's hard to be frustrated when at the same time I feel really good. My workouts were all mixed around, didn't get to the gym in AM as much as I would have liked, and I missed some classes. BUT at the same time, I'm feeling pretty strong, I'm getting closer to my "comfortable training weight", and I finally feel like my endurance is coming back to me. So although missing some goals this week puts a bad taste in my mouth, feeling like myself again is more than worth it for a trade off, don't you think?

The week didn't go as planned, but I got some GREAT runs and workouts in. 2 Tempo paced runs (that was an accident, Thursday I was so happy to be outside I just couldn't slow my tush down), and some quality weights and core sessions. I was truly blessed to have an awesome friend (Joe) to come run my long run with me. It was cold and snowy and there were some hills to climb but we did it (and promptly inhaled coffee and food after).

So this week, it's time to accomplish some things. I'm feeling good so it's time to start making things happen and by that I mean... sticking to the damn plan for the week. Haha, I'm good about going with the flow but  I also know that sometimes following my plan would be wise.

Goals for next week:
1. General: 4 Morning workouts (don't hate the broken record!)
2. Running: 1 workout (either hill or speed), 1 race, and 1 Long run
3. Triathlon: Long(er) ride & at least one swim

Do you run with or without socks?

Do you tend to workout pretty steadily all week or cram it all into a few days?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Freezeroo Series: Pineway Ponds Park 5 Mile

On Saturday I decided to run my first race of 2014. The Freezeroo Series is a low cost & low-frills, series of 6 races during the winter months. I missed the first 2, but decided I would sign up for the series and hit the last 4 ( you need at least 4 to be eligible for series awards). It's a good way to make sure I am getting some speed workouts in every other weekend, and make sure I get my butt outside a few times even when the weather is less than stellar.

So this weekend was the Pineway Ponds 5 mile race. At first I was excited because it was supposed to be a 40+ degree day. Not quite how it happened, the cold rain and the ice everywhere (from everything melting) made conditions less than stellar. But what doesn't kill you makes you stronger right?

I really had no idea what to expect from this. I am still base building after a few weeks of down time, and I haven't done speed workouts since before CIM. Not to mention getting sick the day before this race, chugging gingerale and inhaling saltines in the car on the way to the race isn't exactly ideal. Either way, I was just happy to be feeling some adrenaline pumping through me again.

I'm in the neon pink standing while everyone else started running. Woops.

First mile was 6:31. The rain was coming down pretty good, and I was thanking myself for wearing my Saucony hat. I really don't like running in the rain without a hat or visor. 

Mile 2 was slower but I knew I was still in 2nd female at this point, so I just tried to pick off as many guys as I could to keep me pushing. 

There is a video from around mile 2 (maybe?) but I couldn't get it to insert into this post for some reason. Here is the link to the video, I come into view around 1:17 into it me or do we look like we are running really slow? ---> GRTC Freezeroo #3 (2014) - Pineway Ponds 5 mile race

Mile 3 was 6:44 This is where I really started to zone out, I need to start doing some harder training workouts to work on keeping me focused again. 

Mile 4 was my slowest (7:02 I think?) I really think I just zoned out too much during this mile. I didn't feel horrible or anything but there wasn't many people around me and I just kept thinking about how I was going to need to pretend to be an Olympic speed skater for the really icy parking lot finish line. 
Luckily while we were running, the awesome volunteers cleared some ice for us so the finish line wouldn't be a death trap. I'm very grateful for this.

Last mile ended up being my fastest with 6:24. I was happy to be able to finish with my fastest mile without killing myself in the process. 

Right before turning into the parking lot for the finish. 
Final time was 33:26 (6:42 average), good enough for second overall female. 

I was really happy to be done, and even happier that I remembered to bring a towel in my car. Soaked doesn't begin to describe me afterwards. Only thing that was somewhat dry was my long sleeve under my Palladium Jacket, that thing did it's job for sure. 

Thoughts: I was only 16 seconds behind my last 5 mile time which was in the fall right before CIM. And it was also less than 30 seconds away from my PR. I really can't wait to start working on speed more, I plan on blowing my 5 mile PR out of the water in March.

Next Freezeroo race is the Hearnish 10kish (Yes that's what they call it, the distance is 6.385 miles) in 2 weeks. From what I gather its got some hills in it, so I plan on getting some hill runs in and some speed between now and then. I plan on using all of the Freezeroo races as hard training runs- hopefully it pays off come spring time. 

Do you race year round?

Would you rather race in rain or snow?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Boston Training: One week down, 97 days to go

As I mentioned earlier last week, I am finally starting my Boston training plan. One week down, feels like it is already flying by.

The other day the Boston Athletic Association posted this picture...

How is it less than 100 days already? Hopkinton, I am coming for you.

Anyways, back to this week. I actually feel really good about this week and think that I am starting to feel like myself again after some time off. I was able to get some good workouts in and even did a  brick workout on Tuesday (bike then run).

Monday AM: 45 minutes elliptical
Tuesday AM: 3 Easy miles + 15 minutes core
Tuesday PM: 40 minutes bike (15.1 miles), 3.1 mile run [brick]
Wednesday PM: Easy 5.1 miles, 67 minutes Bike (22.1 miles)
Thursday AM: 10 minutes elliptical + 25 minutes strength training
Thursday PM: Easy 7.18 mile run 
Friday: REST/sick
Saturday AM: 1.94 easy miles (WU & CD) + 5 mile race
Sunday AM: 11.03 mile run

Total running miles: 36.4 miles
Total biking miles: 37.2 miles
Total cross-training/fitness/strength training time: 95 minutes

Mentally I am just getting really focused and ready for this year. I have a lot of goals and things I want to accomplish. I am not about to let anything get in the way of that, I'm excited to start pushing a little more each week. I'm trying to play it smart but I also know that I am ready to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Something I was reminded of this week, is that training does so much more to you than physical changes. I've never felt better to be working, sweating, and mentally diving into this. I also want to say I am incredibly grateful for the support I have, some amazing friends who always have my back and encourage me to do whats best for me.

Friday I was home sick, stomach issues and stress... no fun. At least it was a rest day. To top it off, when I finally had an appetite back, I got sick again. There was blue cheese in my dish at dinner (and the waitress didn't tell me when I asked her), and I am allergic. I didn't consume a huge amount but enough to make my stomach turn all night and make me really uncomfortable (after the initial sickness). I spent the rest of the night with gingerale and curled up in bed. I know, we're such part animals!

I did my long run Sunday on the treadmill, after Saturday's race being soaked to the bone I didn't think it wise to be outside again in the cold. I certainly don't have time to battle a cold/flu right now. That 11 miles may not look like a lot, but that was my first double digit run in 5 weeks. It felt really good and I could have gone longer but I am really trying to be good about not adding mileage too quickly. I may not be following 10% to the T, but I certainly will avoid anything too drastic.

I did meet all three goals I set for this week...
1. 30+ miles---> Hit 36.3 miles
2. 3 non-running cardio workouts---> 3.5 (the one was only 10 min. warm-up)
3. 4 morning workouts---> 4.5ish (I was a little later to the gym than planned Sunday)
I actually got my reward Pedi on Saturday, I knew I had my goals in the bag...that, and I REALLY needed some TLC on my feet. I'll be rocking the purple toenails for a while.

This weeks goals...
1. 37-41 miles (including 1 tempo run and 1 long run) 
[Although I am base building right now, I want to make sure I am doing a tempo or interval workout on the weeks I don't have a Freezeroo race. This will help me make sure I am working on that speed and turnover once a week]
2. At least 3 classes (any kind)
[I'm really loving the new gym and enjoying taking classes. I want to take more, it allows me to get to know the trainers/instructors as well as other members--not to mention get some kick ass workouts in.]
3. 4 morning workouts (yes, third week in a row)
[I've been doing well with this but I want to keep going, I know that if I start letting myself back off at all on this right now I will fall off the morning wagon and I don't want to do that]
Reward: Massage (gotta use the gift voucher up before it expires!)

How was your weekend?

Anyone have any weird allergies?

P.S. Tomorrow you get my first race recap of 2014 (and it's not a million words long!)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Rise & Shine, Boston Training Time

Yesterday was my first day of my Boston Marathon training plan. Monday's are almost always non-run days, if not complete rest days so I didn't exactly kick off training with a bang. The first 4 weeks aren't actually going to be a *bang* but first one out of the gate doesn't always win the race right?

Fact of the matter is, I lost endurance over the last few weeks. I know that the time off after my marathon PR was incredibly smart and important. But at the same time, yes it is humbling to feel like I lost the endurance and strength I worked very hard for last year. But I feel recharged and ready to tackle 2014 head on. (If you want to read a great post about embracing the off season- Lindsay and her Pro-triathlete hubs wrote this great read (and Vlog)--->here)

With that said, the next few weeks aren't exactly going to be insane training. I have no intentions of going from 0-60. After 4 weeks of down time, I need to build my base back up and that is something that takes time. Patience...I'm working on it. It's not even about the miles, it's about that feeling. I miss those long run feelings, I miss those killer workouts which left me incredibly sore but confident and eventually led to 2 marathon PR's this past fall. I miss it all, but I know that it will come back because I am going to work my ass off to get there.

I know this is nothing mind blowing; BUT guess what, training isn't always going to be off-the-wall, crazy paces or crazy miles. A strong base is incredibly important and I know once February rolls around I will be more than ready to really start pushing things more.

Some love base building, where it is not my strength. That is why I am ready to put in the time and effort to do whatever I can. I have 100% faith in my abilities and know that 4 weeks from now I am going to feel a heck of a lot more like myself. Those morning workouts I have been dragging my butt out of bed for, yeah I will be thanking myself for those.

I have totally watched/listened to 'Rise and Shine' daily for the last few weeks. It's a good reminder why I have been getting out of bed in the morning instead of sleeping another hour or 2.
Rise and Shine. 
The good news is... I am very motivated right now. Normally my motivation would be lacking right now because of the weather and winter and whatever else. But I'm actually the total opposite this time around. I want to run, I want to workout, I want to get stronger. I have pretty much nailed down all my main goal races this year and I am incredibly excited. Some of these races are experience goals (Boston Marathon), some are time goals (Musselman 70.3), one is ending a 3 year vendetta (Rochester Marathon) and one is the life changing completion (Ironman Cozumel).

So 2014 I am ready for you, I am ready to take whatever you have to throw at me....and give it right back.


What are you currently training for?

Do you find the cold weather hinders your motivation?

How many days a week do you run?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Years Week: Running & Rhyming

As I began typing this post, I originally started with "T'was the week of New years" for some reason. I was in a silly mood...obviously.

Twas the week of New Years and all through the gym,
every creature was squatting and sucking it in.
The bodies were planking on the gym mats with care
In hopes that ab muscles soon would be there.
The people were sweating, their faces all red
While visions of salads tossed in their heads.
Men in their bandanas and I in my cap,
Had just warmed and stretched for a long cardio class
When out on the floor there arose such a clatter
I peeked my head over the treadmill to see what was the matter
Away from the machine I made a mad dash

That's as far as I got before getting annoyed trying to rhyme and turn Christmas into fitness related. Apparently my mind needs a holiday purge. If you want a better Christmas rendition- hit up Hollie's post from a few weeks ago "We wish you a Merry Christmas"(Health-Blogging style).

Okay, I'm done pretending to be creative.

Here's what the week looked like for me...

[In order to keep things simple I log a lot under general fitness category in my RunningAHEAD account. Weights, stretching, yoga, cardio classes etc fall into this category. Swimming, biking, and elliptical will all be logged under their own categories but I didn't do any of those this week so the obviously won't show. The totals are in the box in bottom right]

* I do go into more detail about my workouts on Dailymile, so if you are interested in reading more than "Fitness" you can hop on over there and see how I am occupying my time. I just don't want to make this post a million miles long*

As you can see, not a crazy week but still some good workouts. It felt good to be working out more, and slowly get back into things. It's been a relaxing few weeks (at least with workouts) since CIM, but I am happy that it's time to start training again. The last 4 weeks have flown by, but I feel like I am in a good place right now. 

I caught myself thinking very seriously about races and goals this week while running. This is going to be a good year, and I am ready to put the time and effort in. Last year was great, I won't deny that...but I feel like last year was merely a step for all of the things to work on this year. Consistency is going to be key for me, and is my number one priority for the year.

As for last weeks goals---> Nailed it. 
Goal of 4 runs---> hit 7 runs (6 days)
Goal of 3 Strength Training workouts---> hit 5!
Goal of 4 Morning workouts---> 4 (3 during the week, and 1 on weekend)

My reward was that fitbit I have had my eye on for a few months now. It will be here Monday!

This weeks goals...
1. Over 30 miles (I'm est. about 30-36 based on my plan [& 10% rule])
2. 3 non-running cardio workouts (basically bike or elliptical)
3. 4 morning workouts (yes, again as I am trying to make this a habit.)
Reward: Schedule a Mani-Pedi ( I have a gift certificate for one I received at Christmas and decided I would save it and use it as a reward)

Am I the only one who needs a mental detox from the holidays?

Out of curiosity, do you follow the 10% rule while increasing mileage?

Any additions to my rendition of 'The Night Before Christmas'?

Friday, January 3, 2014

Catching up on the 'News'

Happy Friday, even though this was a weird week schedule wise (Holidays), I am still really glad it's time for the weekend. I'm sure that I am not alone on this one.

I'm going to assume you all have been stuck in an igloo like those of us here in Upstate NY- so bundle up please! If you aren't stuck in said igloo, keep your sunny-green-grass pictures to yourself (or have the decency to invite me to wherever you are!)

Just wanted to catch up on a few "New" things around here. YEARS!...
I hope you all had wonderful holiday and aren't too hungover (If you are...bravo on drinking enough for a 2 day hangover). John and I laid low at his parents house on Seneca lake and played games with everyone all night. I know, we're party animals! We did however jump in 32 degree lake water on New years day, because we're crazy we wanted to.
I know you are all probably sick of this photo as it was on Instagram and Dailymile
Here is proof that there was smiling after!
...what about a NEW GYM...
I totally feel like a "resolutioner" because I joined a new(new to me) gym right around New years. Truth is I was already a member of 2 gyms (and one got bought out) so I decided to get rid of BOTH of them and upgrade to something more. While I am paying more than I ever thought I would for a gym(read: I am the only female member who does not own an article of LuLu clothing), I am 100% certain this was the right move for me. The facilities are great, there are some AMAZING classes and instructors, hours are great, close to home (2 miles), and the other amenities (hot tub, sauna, steam room, pool, etc.) make it all worth it.

...or a NEW MORNINGish PERSON...
I'd like to pat myself on the back for the fact that I have been good about getting up in the morning and doing workouts early a few times a week. I'm still struggling making it a habit, but I am a lot closer than I was a few weeks ago. 

...NEW CAR (ok, new car feeling)...
I was really frustrated putting $1100 into my car last weekend. BUT I have to say it drives better than it did when I bought it 18 months ago (bought used), and I no longer have the headache I did for the last few months. (The exhaust was sooo loud it made the car shake, and my shake and my brain shake). I'm still broke mad about the money, but having a quiet, reliable car that gets me around and doesn't make me rely on others is totally worth it.

Boston training starts Monday for me! I know most people have started already, but I needed a few weeks off after CIM to let my body rest. I'm excited about my plan, I spent a LOT of time researching, planning and working on this cycle. Mentally and physically it's time to push myself a little more- and by push I consistent!

...NEW BLOG *soon*...
Some changes are going to be made around my little corner of the web soon. Nothing crazy, just a little makeover and some TLC. Any suggestions for look, content or anything?

I decided I wasn't going to do a yearly goals post for 2014. I did allude to some of them in this post--->here. But in all honesty, my goals are pretty basic (mileage)(PR's)(morning workouts) and I will be referring to them often enough in other posts that I don't feel the need to right now. BUT I do have to say I am loving reading everyone's goal posts, it is truly inspiring to see how much we are all GOING (not an IF!) to accomplish this year!

Okay so there's a few new things from me....
What's NEW with you?

Have you ever done a polar bear plunge?

Ideas/Comments/Suggestions regarding blog look/structure?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...