Friday, January 31, 2014

January stats

I'm pretty happy with how January has gone as far as exercise and running is concerned. The weather has sucked big time, but I'm sticking to the positives here. I only missed two scheduled running days. One of those was weather/busy day and the other was an easy day I just had no motivation for. Most of my "long" runs have had to be on the treadmill because of the weather and I just can't do more than 4-5. Oh well. My tempo runs are getting better and my intervals are getting faster. For not having a specific race I'm training for, I'm pretty stoked about it.

I've also done really well sticking to my cross training schedule. I discovered I can log those in my running log too! If I can track it, I usually stick to it a lot better.


Mileage: 62
Runs: 16
Cross Training Days: 17

Last year's January was 24.8 miles! Once the weather stops sabotaging my long run I think I can get even higher. I haven't had a 60 mile month in quite some time, so I'm pretty satisfied.

One area I've fallen short with is stretching. I plan to do it but if things get wonky (early wakeups from naps, homework problems, etc.) I skip it. But I've noticed that I'm having a hard time keeping my legs straight in the air when I'm doing floor work. So I've been more diligent about the stretching the last couple of days. Last night I did a full 30 minute routine and today I did a shorter one after my easy run. I need to make sure I do the longer full routine on the days I run hard. I already noticed a difference in my core workout today. I think my hamstrings are getting too tight and I need to work it out before it leads to injury. So, stretching it is.

I really miss running with friends, but it is too cold for me in the dark early hours. I've also noticed that if I run too early for my long run (like right after breakfast) I have more problems staying hydrated. I need to run later so I can make sure I have enough water in me before I go.

I have been super good about my water consumption as well. I am tracking it on my iPad with an app so I can see exactly how much I drink each day. Because I *thought* I was drinking enough and I totally wasn't. I count my morning cup of tea and the occasional glass of wine, but for the most part I just drink water now. I don't leave the house without my water bottle. Most days I hit my goal. I don't count any of the food I am eating, so on the days I'm short, I'm probably really not.

I obviously need to work on the strength in my left arm since I have been holding a crying baby while typing this (the after nap crying for no reason nonsense) and my arm is going to rip out of the socket.

Tonight I am going out for a much needed Girls Night with some good friends I haven't seen in a while. And since I successfully did my run and core workout I'd better shower so they keep being my friends!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Treadmill days

This winter sucks. It's cold. Snowy. Icy. I don't mind snow so much now that I don't have to go to work during blizzards, but it makes running outside a wee bit difficult. I can't use the jogging stroller because it's just too cold for LightRunner. So I've been stuck on the treadmill. The treadmill doesn't bother me that much because I am always either doing intervals so I am constantly changing the speed, or doing an easy run in which I still change the speeds but slower (so I'll pick a range of speeds and do kind of a slow pyramid run to pass the time). Tuesday I attempted my first tempo run.


My goal was to warm up for 10 minutes, do 20 minutes of tempo, and then cool down. After the first 5 minutes of the tempo I was dying. Not my legs, but my mind. I convinced myself I had to go to the bathroom, so I stopped and went to the bathroom. I finished up the next 5 minutes. It felt like 3 days. I stopped and walked for a minute or two and started up again. I didn't get the rush I usually get when I do intervals. The worst part is that I was watching videos on my iPad and I still couldn't keep my mind from failing. Staying at one pace just kills me. I did a strength routine after and redeemed myself a little.

Wednesday was not a running day. I had a cardio core routine to do to fill both my cardio and core requirements. It also sucked. It was too "dancey" and choreographed. That's the main reason the only cardio I've ever been consistent with is running. Running is just one foot in front of the other.

If Tuesday is my moderately hard day, Thursday is my hard hard day. But I woke up completely unmotivated. We had the phone company coming to switch our provider. Chewie wanted to play memory. I was cold and tired and so not in the mood to do anything. But when I got LightRunner down for a nap, I forced myself to get on the treadmill (after playing a game of memory). I had been doing 45 second intervals at a 7:30 pace (8.0 with a 1% incline) but I wanted to push it to 60 seconds. I had done the 45 seconds (up from 30) for two weeks so I thought it was time. It wasn't until I logged it that I realized the two 45 second workouts were not consecutive weeks, so I probably should have given myself another week of them. I did the first 60 seconds and it was tough. I decided to alternate 60 and 45 seconds so I wound up doing 5 of each (followed by either 60 seconds or 75 seconds of walking). Usually when I'm done I cool down for only 5 minutes but I made myself do the whole 10 minutes. It was tough but I felt so much better than I did after that tempo run. When I logged it I saw that I cut 40 seconds off my average pace from the last interval run I did. I followed it up with a hard 40 minute superset sculpt routine. It's usually challenging, but after the intervals it was really hard. But that's the point--hard days hard.

When I was done I was wicked tired but energized at the same time. There's something so much more fulfilling about a successful workout when you didn't even want to do it in the first place! I also realized that I'm building up my interval runs… so I can build up my tempo runs too. I don't have to start out perfect. I can start out breaking it up every 5 minutes and then every 7 and eventually get to where I need to be. I'm not following a plan, I'm not in training for a particular race. I can take my time and have a better chance of not giving up.

Today is an easy day. Easy recovery run and a simple core routine. I'm not sure how easy it will be to fit it in because I also have my kidney stone checkup ultrasound today. Hopefully I'll be able to do it all. I'm less confident about tomorrow's long run. It's warmer than it's been, but it may rain or snow. If I can't deal with a tempo on the treadmill, I'm sure I don't have a long run in me. It'll take me twice as long and I just don't have time for that. I'm hoping for a break with the crappy weather tomorrow instead.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Out with the old, in with the new

Yeah. It's been a while. I've been pretty busy. Holidays, weekend getaways with good friends, basketball, life.

I haven't done all that much running. Sick kids, holidays, aching foot. Blah blah blah. I did get my table cleared off:

I'm pretty happy about that. I also got LightRunner's first year scrapbook done. 6 months late. But it's done. I am so glad that I decided to only do the first year when SkyWalker was a baby. I'm also glad that this is the last one!

We've been on school break for almost 2 weeks now and it's been great. We've had some scuffles, because I am a mean mom who made her son do school work that's not due right away. Apparently I have to be meaner though because I am starting to feel like I hold SkyWalker's hand way too much with his writing and that I basically write everything for him. I am like a mama bird vomiting the words into my baby bird's mouth. I am still searching for the right balance between helping and doing. (I'm not literally writing assignments for him but it just feels that way. It is very hard for me to accept how much he dislikes writing.)



October: 24.1 miles
November: 32.8 miles
December: 23.7 miles

I'm okay with this. I think I really needed to slow down and be able to concentrate on other things. But now it's time to get back on the horse. Not literally because I don't want to fall and break my leg. I have a Ragnar in May.

I ran my highest mileage this year, even with having to take time off for injuries and kidney problems. I'm trying to not focus on numbers so much as improvement.

2012 was pregnant/newborn year. But I did breastfeed for 8 out of 12 months for 2013. As long as I'm going up… 

I had very specific goals for last year and I think I may have put myself under a wee bit too much pressure to achieve them without taking that whole breastfeeding thing into consideration. I know lots of moms bounce right back and run marathons with 3 month old babies… but I am not lots of moms. I barely ran while I was pregnant. I exclusively breastfed for 6 months. I pumped every day in addition to breastfeeding. And LightRunner is my 4th kid. Four kids are pretty tiring. I probably should have cut myself a little slack. 

Last year's goals:

I'm keeping it relatively simple for 2013:

1. Run (at least) 3 times a week.
2. Cross train 6-7 days a week.
3. Run a 28 minute 5K in April. (pre pregnant PR is 27:35)
4. Run a 26 minute 5K in June.
5. Run the 10 mile Clove Run in August.
6. Run the Mohawk Hudson Half Marathon in October.

Non running-related:

1. Read more books!
2. Fold and put the laundry away when it comes out of the dryer... not 3 days later.
3. To live life fully and spend my time doing the things I want to do.
4. To see more of the people who bring out the best in me and to return the favor by being a positive encouraging friend.

How did I do?

1. Mostly, except during injuries and recovering.
2. Not even close.
3. Pretty much. 28:30
5. Done.
6. Done.

And then.

1. Done! (Lots of reading/blogging going on over at GoddessLibrarian. I joined Goodreads too!)
2. Yeah, no.
3. Yup!
4. I think so and I hope so!

So what's next?

I have a new schedule for January for running and cross training. I don't have anything in particular that I am training for yet which makes it a little difficult. I need a race. I'm not sure that a trail run is the best to pin my hopes on… or a race in June when we can be hit with 90 degree temps. I need a good road 5K in the spring. I haven't really looked for one yet though. So far, just two days into January, I've done well. I did a 40 min Superset Sculpt with Jessica Smith and then 40 minutes of intervals on the treadmill. I've been pushing myself to go longer faster. I started with 30 seconds intervals at a 7:30 pace and now I'm doing 45. I'm going to slowly bump it up. I also want to try adding some tempo runs into the mix but I have to figure out the best way to do that on a treadmill.

So. Goals. I've hemmed and hawed over how much pressure I want to put myself under. Do I want to be disappointed again? Or do I stop making excuses and push myself. I'm not breastfeeding. I'm not "hurting" anyone else by pushing my limits. I think it's better to be disappointed than it is to sell myself short. Which is the exact opposite of my keep the expectations low policy, but whatevs.

1. Run 4 times a week
2. Cross train 4 times a week
3. Beat my 5K PR of 27:35
3a. Set a new PR of 26:30
4. Don't get injured doing it!

I have kind of vague goals of sleeping better and eating better and drinking more water and being more patient and things that are hard to really measure. But those are relatively boring. Perhaps blog more should be on the list?