Week 12 Workouts {Green Bay Marathon}

YAY! Week 12 is done, and with it, a huge long run.

Sunday, March 16th: Yoga
Did a nice little 20-minute series at home to get stretched out.

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4 miles (10:11/mile) + abs pilates
I finally started to add pilates back into my weekly workouts. I love pilates!

The 4-mile run was fun. I met up with a group of runners after work and busted them out at a pretty good clip, considering it felt pretty “easy.”

Wednesday: 4 miles 2 miles + buns/thighs pilates
My legs were tired and semi-sore from my morning pilates. By the time I got home, I was so not motivated to run on the treadmill, but I made myself hop on to at least do something. I actually thought once I got going I’d be fine, but I just wasn’t into it. Oh well, better than nothing.

Thursday: 7 miles (10:50/mile)
Another post-work run outside. Ran with a couple friends; nice to have company and nice to be outside again.

Running along Lake Michigan

Let’s pretend it’s summer…

We got to run down near the lake, now that the mounds of snow & ice have finally melted. Lake Michigan went from 90% frozen to completely clear in what seemed like a matter of days!

Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 16 miles!!! (11:37/mile)
Okay, this is technically part of next week since it’s Sunday, but it was “this week’s” long run. My training partners were busy yesterday so we opted to do our long run this lovely Sunday morning instead. We started at 7am (nicer than our 6am start times as of late) and although it was still chilly and a bit windy, the sun was shining. That always makes us smile, after this long, dreary winter.

We split the run into two parts: an out-and-back 10 mile run, which put us back at the starting point to meet up with a couple more people for the last 6 miles. Splitting the long run up into “two” runs makes it SO much easier mentally! I just focused on taking an easy 10-mile run, then by the time we got to the second part, the 6 mile run, it wasn’t weighing so heavily over our heads. Granted, we were still tired and ready to be done by the end, but mentally I felt on top of my game, and my body feels pretty good, too. I’m going to try to do this with the rest of our long runs going forward, I think.

I had stomach issues the entire run, which were pretty annoying. This has happened to me a couple times over the recent month, so I wonder if I need to start being more careful with what & when I eat leading up to my long run. Perhaps my spicy Mexican brunch yesterday was a bad idea. Of course, having a wild Friday night out with lots of drinks probably didn’t help, either. 😉

– – –

This week’s workouts:
Sunday: 16 miles (am) + yoga (pm)
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 4.5 miles
Wednesday: 4.5 miles
Thursday: 8 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 13 miles (yay for step-back week!)

– – –

How were your workouts this week?
Are you able to start getting out in the “spring” weather?
What’s your favorite carb-loading meal before a long run or race? 

Return to Normalcy (and a gigantic cookie)

It’s been nice to get back to normal this week. No longer feeling under the weather, I’ve been able to get my butt up when my earlyyy (5:45) alarm goes off and do Pilates in the mornings. I hate the early wake-up call, but it’s nice to have some “me” time before trotting off to work to cater to the rest of the world all day. Just sort of helps center myself before jumping into the day-to-day doldrums.

I’ve also enjoyed a few runs outside this week, which makes me happy! It’s finally gotten up to 40 degrees a few afternoons. Hotttt. Ha. Tuesday night, a group of about 8 ladies got together and I ran a solid 4 miles at a decent pace. It felt good, and easy! Crazy how these days a four-miler is my “easy” run.

I had a rather boring 2 mile run (was supposed to be 4 miles) on the treadmill yesterday. Slacker, but I got my 7 mile run done tonight so I’ll give myself a big pat on the back for that.

And this huge ass cookie.

20140320-210602.jpg

Because clearly my diet is back on track, errrr…

Happy almost Friday, friends!

Week 6 Workouts {Phoenix Half & Green Bay Marathon}

This week’s workouts were a bit less structured than normal. I’ve been without my car all week, and I’ve realized that being forced out of your normal routine makes it a bit harder to stick to workout plans. But all in all, I feel okay about this week’s training.

Sunday
Yoga
Only did about 15 minutes of yoga moves & stretches, but still a nice way to loosen up.

Monday
3.5 miles 2.25 miles hard

Matt picked me up from work and then dropped me at the gym while he ran into the grocery store. He had to be somewhere, so I only had about 25 minutes to work out. I ran 5 minutes easy to warm up, then ran the rest of my 20 minutes as hard as I could. Better than nothing!

Tuesday
Rest

Wednesday
3 miles Circuit workout

Again, I had to be chauffeured from work with no time for the gym, so I made myself a circuit workout to do at home. I used the jump rope for cardio & did a lot of strength exercises in 30 minutes. I was sore for the next couple of days, so I think it was def a good workout!

You can try my Whole Body Circuit Workout for yourself & let me know what you think!

Thursday
5.5 miles DNR

I don’t know if I was just thrown off from the whole week being wacky, but I was NOT feeling this run Thursday. I was tired, cranky, super sore, and my stomach hurt. I’m usually pretty good at holding myself accountable, but not this time.

Friday
Rest

I thought about getting up in the morning to squeak in a few miles to make up for Thursday’s skipped run, but I was SO tired and sore still, so I decided that maybe this week I just need some extra rest.

Saturday
10 miles (11:32/mile)
After the last two weeks’ long runs being terrible, I have to admit I wasn’t excited to run this 10-miler. I was quite dismayed when I woke up and it was SNOWING again. But hey, the wind chill was 1 degree above zero, at least.

Thankfully, things turned out positive. When we started our run, my calves and legs were still sore, tight and heavy; it took a few miles for them to loosen up and feel okay, but they eventually did. The snow that was falling really only dusted the roads (nowhere near the trudging-through-3-inches-of-snow craptastic run of last week). Our traction was solid, so we weren’t slipping around at all.

Plus, the snow gave me sweet frozen eyelashes and eyebrows.

020914-frozen-eyelashes

Since this run hit double-digits, I made sure to wear my water belt and brought two small bottles with me. They were starting to freeze by the end of the run, though. Ha! I also had some energy chews, but I left them in my car on accident. I didn’t seem to need them this time, but I don’t want to take that chance next week.

I saw this article on Runner’s World yesterday: “How to Keep Fuel From Freezing in Winter.” Hopefully, some of those tricks will help me on my long run next week.

Today, I’m pretty sore (my calves are KILLing me), so yoga will be quite welcomed later. I’m foam rolling, stretching and drinking lots of water. Here’s hoping this fatigue & soreness that’s lingered all week in my legs will go away soon.

– – –

This week’s workouts:
Sunday: Yoga
Monday: 3.5 miles easy
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: 5-6 miles easy
Thursday: 3.5 miles (hard, if legs feel better)
Friday: rest
Saturday: 11 miles

– – –

How do you deal when your workout schedule gets interrupted?
Any tips on stretching calves, or helping sore muscles recover faster? 

Week 5 Workouts {Phoenix Half & Green Bay Marathon}

How to describe this week’s workouts?

Surprising. Circular. Snowy. Tiring. Torture. But… Positive.

Sunday
Yoga
I’ve had hip & ITBS trouble in the past, so I’m adding yoga into my weekly routine to help keep me flexible and injury-free. I did this quick 25-minute video I found on runnersworld.com. I typically don’t like doing yoga at home (I get bored, easily distracted) but this “Class 1: Essential Yoga” video was quicker-paced than a traditional yoga video (and none of that zen music in the background to make you feel sleepy). I was a little sore the next day, but in a good way—my shoulders could feel it, so I’m glad they’re getting some strength work from the downward dogs!

Monday
3 miles
On the treadmill. Pretty boring, but checked it off the list.

Tuesday
Rest day

Wednesday
3 miles (tempo)
I did an interval workout on the treadmill that I—gasp—actually enjoyed! I wrote more about it here, but it was a good workout and I felt strong.

Thursday
5 miles easy
I switched things up on Thursday and ran on an indoor track with my friend Liz. One mile = 8 laps on the track. Sooo, 40 laps. While I enjoyed having a friend for company, I have to say I really didn’t like running on the indoor track, which surprised me. I thought the notion of moving would be better than the treadmill, but I found I couldn’t really “zone out” at all, and it just wasn’t relaxing.

We ran between a 10:30-11:15 pace, I think, but it still felt like it wasn’t that easy to me. Maybe because of the speedwork on Wednesday?

Also, probably because the track is just a thin layer of rubber (or whatever it’s made of) on concrete, my knees were kind of bugging me. After 2 miles, I had to stop to stretch, and it’d help for a bit, but then my knees would start getting achy and I’d have to stop again. I tried not to let this worry me, but with the ITBS issues in the past, it was lurking in the back of my mind. I actually stopped ¼ mile early, just ‘cause I didn’t think it was worth pushing it.

Friday
Rest day

Saturday
9 miles (12:15/mile)
Let me preface this with: I try to stay optimistic, and find things to be positive about, even in bad times.

But, if I thought last Saturday was rough, yesterday’s run was ten times worse. I don’t even know what descriptors to use for it that don’t include swear words. All kinds of names ran through my head while I ran it: I could say it was the polar vortex edition of water boarding, perhaps. Whatever, I’ll just say—it was mental torture and physically exhausting.

Sounds like a blast, huh?

When we started at 7am, there was probably 2-3 inches of fresh snow on the roads, sidewalks, everywhere…and no shoveling or plowing to make a way for us. We just ran through the snow and blazed our own trail—for pretty much the entire 9 miles.

running in the snow

Ever run in the sand? Imagine doing that for over 1.5 hours. By the end, I was exhausted, my back and core muscles were sore, and I just wanted to walk. We actually took several walk breaks during the run, as you can see by the awfully increasing mile splits:

020214-long-run-winter-snow-splits

{My Garmin died near the end of the run, which is why it shows only 8.5 miles.}

It was a little warmer this weekend than the past, but running north there was still a good bit of wind to battle. In that wind were tiny, abrasive snowflakes that pelted your face. I’m glad I was able to get a microderm facial while I ran, at least.

running in the snow

The snow would melt on my face, which caused the hood I had on to start chafing my cheeks (!!!) and then, the melted water would re-freeze in my eyebrows so there were ice chunks in them. Beautiful. Actually, now that I reread that and how ridiculous it was, I am laughing to myself.

Does that make me kind of…nuts?

At just 3.5 miles into the run, I was ready to quit. I was, embarrassingly, also ready to cry. On top of everything above, I was having trouble breathing (guess I should have taken my inhaler beforehand, with the cold air). I just wanted to QUIT. Thank goodness my friends June and Patty were running with me. I didn’t even say aloud that I wanted to quit, because I knew they wouldn’t let me. They just kept checking on me, and literally cheered for me the whole way we ran, telling me to keep going and that we would make it just fine. I don’t know what I would have done without them!

That’s what running clubs (and friends) are for: When you think you can’t, when you know you can’t… They show you the way to “can,” cheer you on, and help you get there.

So that’s what we did. We kept going, and we ended up running a little over 9 miles, when all was said and done. They showed me I could do it, after all.

I guess… There’s a positive in all of that. 🙂

– – –

This week’s workouts:

Sunday: Yoga
Monday: 3.5 miles easy
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 3 miles speed
Thursday: 5.5 miles
Friday: rest
Saturday: 10 miles

– – –

What’s the toughest run (or workout) you’ve ever done?
What got you through it?

I have to say, I have had a few tough runs and races in my life, but Saturday’s the worst I have had in a LONG time. I’m proud of myself for getting through it.

Weekly Workout Recap: Treadmills + 6 miler

I did okay with my workouts this week—didn’t hit all of ‘em, but that was partially thanks to the lovely polar vortex and Wisconsin weather. Why didn’t I move south, again?

Sunday, Jan. 5th:
Off

Monday:
3 miles DNR
Hey, polar vortex. Windchill was -40 (!!!) and my little ol’ car wouldn’t even start. I hibernated, but at least got in some strength exercises for my hips, core, butt & attempted some push-ups. New goal: Be able to do big kid push-ups.

Tuesday:
Rest day
Good thing this was a rest day, because the weather was pretty much the same as Monday. My car was hopeless again, so I was stuck at home.

Wednesday:
4 miles
Hit up the gym after work and slogged out 4 miles on the treadmill. Doesn’t the treadmill seem so much harder to run on? It went faster than I thought it would, but still felt pain-stakingly long. I daydreamed of spring, sunshiney days while I stared out the window in front of me and watched the red taillights zoom down the road.

Thursday:
3 miles
I so wanted to go to the grocery store, pick up some yummy craft beer & head home after a very long day at work. Luckily, my gym is right next to the store, so realizing that I would have to drive right next to my gym and blatantly blow it off…I decided I was being dumb and just went into the gym instead.

I did 2 miles on the treadmill, but again, it felt so difficult to run. I’ve had a hard time breathing, and my body (especially hips) never seems to loosen up…but I can tell I’m still working hard because I’m sweating more than most of the dudes in the gym. Gross. After the 2 mile run, I gave myself a break and just hopped on the stationary bike for 10 minutes to finish up the workout.

Friday:
Rest

Saturday:
Cross-train
Just did some strength exercises at home. Switched my long run to Sunday due to weather.

Sunday:
6 mile long run
long run splits
I met a couple people from my running club for an easy Sunday morning long run. It was almost “warm” out (28 degrees), but the roads were still quite icy and slippery. We had to run gingerly most of the way, but it was nice to get out in the fresh air and daylight for once. The run felt pretty good overall.

After making it all six miles without fuss, I fell on my butt walking from my car to the coffee shop. Ha! Figures. Just a bit of bruising (and feeling stupid), it’ll heal.

– – –

Do you think treadmill running is harder than running outside?

What was your favorite workout of the week?

Last Week’s Workouts

Now that the holidays have passed, it’s nice to get back to working out and feeling healthy again. Here’s how my workouts went this past week:

Monday–Wednesday:
Family in town, didn’t work out.

Thursday, Jan. 2:
20 minutes treadmill (5.5mph-6mph, an “easy” pace)
10 minutes elliptical
15 minutes body strength

I planned to do 30 minutes on the treadmill, but my right knee started acting up at almost 20 minutes. Rather than chance anything, I hopped off onto the elliptical for the last 10 minutes. I don’t know why my knee was bugging me {very slightly}, other than perhaps from sitting all day at my desk and the fact I hadn’t run in 10 days, it was tight?

For my body strengthening, I just did a bunch of core exercises, some push-ups, squats and my hip exercises.

Friday:
Off, rest day before long run.

Saturday:
5 mile long run
Hip exercises

I’m starting my long runs for my half marathon training schedule. {I’ll post my full schedule for you to see soon.} I was only going to run 4 miles, but I joined up with my running club to run yesterday morning, and my friend Tom talked me up to 5 miles instead.

The run was challenging, but good. It was “feels like” 8 degrees out with the wind chill, but with the right clothes it wasn’t bad at all. {See my “what to wear for winter running” post!}

You know it’s windy out when the flags are blowing straight out…

flags in windy winter weather

The toughest part of the run was the varying road conditions. Forget the sidewalks—a lot weren’t even shoveled—so we were relegated to the roads. Some parts were clear, some had slush, but the worst parts still had about an inch of snow on them.

snowy roads for winter running

The snow wasn’t slippery, but it felt like running in sand! Phew, what a workout. Those parts definitely slowed me down, and towards the end of the run, I just wanted to walk through them, but I kept chugging along.

Despite all that, it sure was pretty out…

010514-winter-running-lake

I was definitely spent after the run, but it felt good to be out in the fresh air, chatting with some friends, and getting in a good run…all before 9am!

010514-stay-warm

{I need to get better at my selfie skills. ha!}

After my run, I came home and did some foam rolling (owww) and some hip exercises to help keep my knees happy.

– – –

What were your workouts this week?
Would you bundle up and run in those conditions? 

What To Wear for Winter Running

The weekend is here!

I’m grateful for two days off, with nothing to do besides take down our dried up Christmas tree and decorations. {Which I’m a tad sad about—didn’t we just put them up?} We haven’t had a weekend without plans or a mile-long to-do list to tackle in so long—maybe since before Thanksgiving—so I will enjoy the R&R.

I started off my Saturday morning by making a comeback at my running club. I haven’t been able to run with them in weeks, so it was fun to be reunited!

With the wind chill, it “felt like” 8 degrees out, so I was all bundled up. What do you wear when it’s that cold out? It’s actually not too bad, if you dress properly. Even I was surprised! Here’s what I wore to stay warm in the super cold winter weather.

what to wear for winter running

• Underwear + baselayer shorts

• Thicker, weather-resistant running pants

Nike Element Shield Running Pants for cold weather running

You need thicker pants, or lined pants, in general to stay warmer. If you can find some with waterproof or weather-resistant fabric panels, they really help to shield your muscles from the cold wind, rain and snow. You could try something like this {pictured above} from Nike.

• Moisture-wicking t-shirt and long sleeve shirt
You want both shirts to be breathable and moisture-wicking, so that your sweat won’t make your clothes too damp—that will make you colder. Also, layering is key. You can wear both shirts to stay warmer, but maybe after a few miles you’re really warmed up and too warm? Then you can remove the long sleeve shirt and tie it around your waist. Done.

• Waterproof, lightweight jacket
Nike Sequence Jacket
My sister got me a waterproof jacket several years ago for Christmas, and it’s key to the cold workouts! Because it’s waterproof, it keeps out the snow, and also helps shield from the cold. It doesn’t have to be a heavy coat, it’s just the waterproof layer that makes the difference. Mine also has a drawstring hood, so if it’s super windy, I can pull the hood up and tighten it around my face. Sure, I probably look like a freak, but most people probably think I am a freak already for running out in the wind/snow/sleet/rain, so it works. You could try something like this jacket {pictured above), or even keep an eye out at Marshalls/TJ Maxx, as I’ve seen some there before.

• Gloves

• Ear warmers + hat
Since my hat doesn’t cover my ears fully, the ear warmers make sure they’re toasty, and the hat keeps more heat in covering my whole head.

• Scarf
Wrap this around your neck to keep it warm, and pull it up around the bottom of your face if you need to. I used it to help shield my face, with that wind yesterday.

• Tall compression socks
I don’t normally wear compression socks, but since they come up all the way to the knee, I thought they’d help keep my legs warmer. All my other socks are no-show, so my ankles always get cold. Any tall sock would work well.

• Shoes
If you have vented shoes, make sure your socks are nice and thick. Better yet, I saw someone yesterday who had taped around the toe box of their shoes with masking tape, to help keep out the cold air and flying slush. Smart!

It looks like a long list, and I guess it is—but it definitely made running in the “feels like” 8 degree weather not suck.

Happy {warm} running, friends!

– – –

What do you wear for cold-weather running?
Any favorite items, like pants or jackets that you recommend?