Archive | March 2014

Rough Training Week

Well that 14 miler last Sunday knocked me flat on my ass. This is going to be an abbreviated post because last week was just rough.

Monday: 5 mile walk/run I decided that a shakeout run was needed. I took it as easy as I possibly could and I walked whenever I needed to. It was slow and painful but I think it was good to get my legs out there and doing something. Maybe five miles was a bit much but I did it.

Tuesday: 60 minute bike I had planned on doing two hours but my legs would not cooperate. They just flat out said fuck you.

Wednesday: REST I couldn’t move and I was beginning to worry about my 10k on Saturday. By the end of the day my calves felt about a million times better.

Thursday: 1 mile swim Since I was still worried about my legs I swam and it felt amazing. I just kept pushing and pushing. I warmed up with 200m then did 4x50m at increasing speed followed by 1000m in zone 3. Finally I capped it off with a 200m cooldown.

Friday: REST

Saturday: Ukrop’s Monument 10k in Richmond Race review coming hopefully tomorrow!

Sunday: REST although it did include a piece of fabulously delicious strawberry rhubarb pie from Proper Pie in Richmond.

I told you a very boring week since my legs would not cooperate. This week is already starting off better though

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Race Week

Race week is in full force. I have been taking it easier in my workouts and trying to eat as healthy as possible. I feel really good and the cravings aren’t terrible. However they are still there. Particularly tonight as I give my calves am extra rest day this week to recover from my 14 mile run on Sunday. My calves have been really right and a run just wasn’t going to happen tonight especially since I got home at 7 and I’m sick of the cold weather.

So here I am bundled up on the couch watching Are You The One? on MTV with my roommate. This show is the epitome of crappy TV. I am trying not eat everything. Luckily there is no junk food here for this week, on purpose.

I am thinking about what I am going to wear and what to eat and freaking out. I will probably pack everything I own. And I am still debating on my dinner the night before.

Then there are the butterflies. This may be just a test run and fun race but my winter legs are ready to break out. I am anxious and hopeful.

Last year before races I had no strategy. I didn’t think about what I ate the night before or even the morning of. I didn’t test out nutrition. So this year holds a whole lot of new opportunities.

Do you have a race this weekend?

What is your pre race routine?

Crank It Up

My couch feels amazing after my run today. I am cuddled up under blankets having taken a shower and eaten some spaghetti and I’m watching Scandal. Nothing better to recover from a long run.

But before I get into today’s run let’s go through the rest of the workouts from the week.

Monday: REST I took full advantage of the snow day by sitting on my couch and relaxing. I highly recommend some serious couch time on rest days.

Tuesday: 135 minute bike Another day on the trainer. The snow was melting but I wasn’t sure what the trails would look like. I’ve also found the perfect two hours of shows for my bike ride – The Walking Dead and Once Upon A Time. They make for good biking. However only two more weeks of Walking Dead…so I will have to find something else to occupy me.

Wednesday: 75 minute bike I may have done another day on the trainer. I’ve been taking naps right after work because of killer headaches. Hopefully I figure out the headaches soon so I can workout earlier. I biked to The Office, I was rewatching some episodes. Who doesn’t love a good lighthearted show?

Thursday: two part 5.5 mile run I went to the gym in the morning as was running a little late so I only had 40 minutes to run. I was supposed to do a speed workout but I just couldn’t run. I kept a slow steady pace at 11:19 for 3.5 miles, stretched, and felt like crap. My legs just wouldn’t move. So I resolved to run 2 more miles when I got home that evening. These two miles went a little better but my legs still wouldn’t move.

But that’s okay because then I went to see Divergent at 8pm aka the new midnight showing, which this old lady is all about. I went with a couple of college friends including the lovely lady Alex at The Run Within

The movie was beyond words. I’ve read all the movies and was really happy with the film. Also Four exceeded all my expectations. He was beautiful. The Beast isn’t very happy about my latest obsession.

Friday: 10k hill run After Thursday’s run I was blown away by how awesome this hill run was. The hills were tough and my legs burned on the ways up but I kept going and kept pushing.

Saturday: BRICK workout I did a run to bike workout. I set out for a 4 mile run (which ended up being a little short unfortunately) with a pit stop to pick up a movie from Redbox. Unfortunately the machine was broken. I was not happy. And I was sweating profusely. The poor people around me. Then I came back and did a 70 minute trainer bike ride (okay, yes I have been doing a lot of indoor rides, but I am slightly terrified to go outside again) to Scandal, my new obsession.

Sunday: 14 mile run This was a bitch. It took me three hours which is slow even for me. However this is the longest run I have EVER done so that may have contributed.

The first six miles I ran into 20 mph winds. I wanted to give up during the first mile but I kept chugging plus I knew that the good thing about an out and back run was that the fastest way to get home was to run.

At mile 6 I decided to try a run on the trails nearby for the first time ever. The trail I was running on disappeared and the muddiness and picking through the brambles made this a super duper slow mile averaging 15 minute pace. There were a lot of logs to jump over and I had to duck a lot. Then on my way back after deciding that I had definitely lost the trail and I was ambling about, I hit my head super hard on a low hanging thick tree branch. I stopped and checked my head. I stood there for about five minutes to make sure I was okay. While it hurt, it was just a bump so I decided to keep going. I had my phone on me (as I always do) and texted the Beast so he knew what happened. I was ready to call a friend or cab to pick me up just in case. Luckily in about half a mile the pain dissipated.

The next 3.5 miles went okay. But then it started to get cold and I was getting tired.

The last 3 miles felt like torture and I just kept thinking one foot in front of the other. Just keep going. Think how amazing this is going to feel. Think of the accomplishment. And I did it.

Reassessing Goals

Sometimes it’s hard to be realistic with race times and paces when you’ve been training all winter with no real idea how fast you can go.

Race season for me starts next Saturday and I have been trying to plot out my A, B, and C goals. Of course I would love to go under an hour in the 10k but I think it’s not very realistic and I don’t want to push myself too hard in the first half to maintain an unsustainable pace.

Instead I am opting to set a more realistic pace for myself because this isn’t my goal race and there is no reason to kill myself in my first race of the season that’s supposed to be fun! And well as someone from Richmond a race that I should have done a long time ago. Literally everyone in Richmond runs this race.

So here it is:
A – 10:15 pace
Realistically I should be able to hit this and maybe a little faster but I want to be conservative.
B – 10:30 pace
If I am feeling a little off this is generally the pace I have been settling into.
C – 11:00 pace
If worse comes to worse I think I could do this no matter what.

All my races this season I hope to just do better and improve. I’ve come so far from where I was last year. As a matter of fact my 3.75 mile run today at 37 minutes was faster than my 5k time last year, which started at 38 minutes or so.

It’s a process. It’s a journey. And it’s about how I feel about myself.

P.S. I went to the TriMania triathlon expo in Bethesda, MD today and will be writing up all the cool things I did there in a couple of days.

Where did you go sun?

I thought with daylight savings I would see more sun which would mean more evening runs and make it easier to workout.

False.

It snowed on Sunday/Monday. Now it’s raining. And it wasn’t just a light drizzle, it was a nice downpour. Had it been lighter I was all about running.

I’m not normally a fair weather runner/exerciser but lately I have been. I am unmotivated. I don’t want to go outside in the cold anymore. I don’t want anymore snow. I want warmer weather and sunshine. I want to find my motivation.

However these are all just excuses for me. I can go outside or do my workouts inside. Right now I’m writing from my bike trainer, legs spinning away. I think that as the race season looms closer and I have all these goals for myself, I get more and more terrified.

I am scared of letting myself down. Of not achieving my goals. Of my hard winter training to not pay off. Of disappointing. I am terrified.

And therefore I am sabotaging myself. I’ve let my diet slip and workouts slide. Because all of these things give me an excuse to fail, something to blame beside myself.

And while I probably can’t blame myself on race day. I can blame myself right now. I can make myself accountable right now. I can do better.

The next couple of weeks are just the first of the season. And while maybe they are already out of reach that doesn’t mean the whole season is. I can still do it.

Each day is a new day.

Another Snowstorm

So DC got another snowstorm. You’d think that in mid March the weather might decide to switch to spring but not yet, even though spring officially starts later this week.

But let’s get to last week’s workouts!

Sunday: REST

Monday: weights + 7.34 miles of hills Back to weights finally! And it felt so good. Even though I didn’t lift again for the rest of the week. Slowly but surely adding it back in. However the hill workout was good but hard. It only took two days for my legs to finally recover and for me to be able to walk without wanting to cry.

Tuesday: 2 hour bike ride Yes I was terrible and slept through the nice weather and sunshine. Instead I biked while watching my favorite shows and catching up and I don’t regret it one bit. It was awesome.

Wednesday: REST After Monday’s workout and then the bike my legs were ready for a day off.

Thursday: 6 mile speed workout I rocked this workout. Seriously so proud of myself still for it. And the weirdest part was it felt easy. Maybe this bodes well for my upcoming 10k…and sprint triathlon.

Friday: 65 minute bike I may have been supposed to do a brick workout. However, I didn’t. Whatever. I was too excited to get down to Richmond for my anniversary.

Saturday: REST

Sunday: 12 mile run This was the first time in awhile that I worked out while hanging out with Jeremy. I find it really hard to drag myself away when our time together is limited. But this Sunday I decided in needed to get my long run in. The weather was meh. A little chilly and no sun. Oh and the first 1.5 miles was almost straight uphill. Made for a terrible beginning but an awesome end. Oh and I did it in 2:22 which is pretty good for an easy run keeping my heart rate down.

Two weeks until the Monument 10k.

Three weeks until my first triathlon of the season.

I want to vomit.

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Enjoying some green beer for St. Patrick’s Day.

Pros and Cons of Long Distance Relationships

Today the Beast and I celebrate seven years of dating. We met when I was 16 and he was 18 and after lots of flirting and saying no the first time (you know trying to play hard to get), we started being boyfriend and girlfriend. It sounds so silly and at the time I don’t know what it really meant.

Our first date was at O’Charleys, super classy, and he got good poisoning so after dinner we cuddled on the couch while he recovered. We spent the first few months of our relationship hanging out constantly as you do when you’re young and in love.

Then that summer the Beast went off to a military college. It was the beginning of long distance. When I went to college I chose a school that happened to be close by. Many people wonder if he influenced my decision or not. Honestly, maybe a little at the time, but I interviewed at a lot of places and that’s the one I fell in love with.

When he graduated he went back to Richmond while I had another year of school. Then I graduated and moved to DC. So long distance has persisted.

While sometimes it’s really irritating, at my young age having a long distance relationship that I’m comfortable in because he’s my best friend and I trust him is amazing.

So I thought I would lay out a list of pros and cons.

Pros of Long Distance Relationships
1. No obligations in the evening
2. Hang out with friends all the time
3. Lots of gym time at weird hours (because I like that for some reason)
4. Ability to grow and learn about yourself
5. Independence
6. Weekends are like mini vacations together
7. Missing someone can sometimes be good for your relationship

Cons of Long Distance Relationships
1. You don’t get to see them for a random weeknight dinner
2. When times are rough, they are there on the phone but can’t always be there in person.
3. Coordinating weekends can be hard
4. Jam packed weekends of fun (okay not really a con but it does make it exhausting)
5. Okay, you may get lonely
6. Working out on weekends together feels like it draws time away from each other (unless you workout together which doesn’t always work for the Beast and I)
7. Leaving at the end

Okay these might be the most random lists ever but they are my reasons!

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This is after our one month anniversary.

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At a football game together

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At a castle in Scotland

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On the Eiffel Tower in Paris

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At the Beast’s graduation

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Ring Figure at his school

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Fancy Dress at my school

But I Can’t Run 7.34! It Must be 8 Even!

We have all been there. You have to hit the exact number of miles on schedule for today, not a bit less (of course you can go a little over, duh). You push and push and push to make it there. Yes sometimes it hurts and you’re sore and want to cry but dammit you’re going to make it to the end of your training run.

I was there on Monday. I decide what is an 8 mile hill run. Well, it is pain wrapped in sore thighs encased with burning lungs with a bow of tight aching calves. I was doing pretty well for part of it but then I realized I was over ambitious with how many miles I was doing on hills. I was getting slower and slower.

I was getting on the verge of just doing miles because the schedule said so. Instead of my last one mile loop I headed home. I knew I had gotten in a really good workout and that the number on my watch reading 7.34 miles shouldn’t get me down. But I was supposed to do 8!

During the last mile I thought about it and how to add another mile but about a quarter into it I decided to let it go. My workout kicked ass and I didn’t need numbers to tell me that. I’m glad I chose to finish my workout strong instead of slogging on. Because it was a training run. I can kill myself during a race but Monday night was not the time to do that.

In the end my thighs ended up being so sore for two days straight that I was waddling around. Good workout accomplished, even at 7.34 miles

Chester Kiwanis Club 5K Race Report

Earlier last week as I looked through the internet to see what was going on around my hometown I stumbled across this little 5K. I had been itching to see what my race legs could do, and this race looked perfect. On a Saturday morning, but not too early, literally 10 minutes from my house, cheap, and one of my family friends was in charge of the race. I thought what the hell and signed up. It would make for a great tempo run for my week.

Race morning I woke up about an hour before I needed to because even though it was a local race I was reeling to go. I drank water and ate my bread with peanut butter then sat around waiting for my habitually late mom to get ready to go.

We got an excellent parking spot about 50 feet from the finish and 50 feet from the registration in the other direction, exactly what I wanted. I picked up my packet and my mom did her race day registration then we watched the one miler kick off at 8am. It was super motivating to watch these tiny kids powering through the mile and some of them at incredibly impressive times.

My mom and I went for a quick 10 minute jog about 15 minutes before the race started and then made our way over to hear the instruction and line up at the starting line.

I started my music and before I knew it the buzzer went off and I leapt off my feet. Despite my warm up mile, I went way too fast for the first half mile and kept slightly below a 9 minute pace. The second half of the first mile had a little bit more hills to it so my pace slowed down.

I'm in the foreground, chugging along

I’m in the foreground, chugging along

Then came the hills.

The second and third miles felt like they were filled with constant ups and downs. The second mile was filled with sharp inclines and declines and the third mile was filled with a nice stead ascent. Needless to say my pace slackened off and I was huffing and puffing to keep at the pace that I wanted. I knew though that it would all be over in 30 minutes. That’s all I had to hold on to, so I kept going.

My legs felt like cement bricks and my chest was tight. I wished the warmer weather had gotten into town a little bit earlier but instead the chilly morning left my legs feeling a little icy. Part of me felt like all my winter training was useless. What was the point of training so hard when I wasn’t even going to beat my last 5k time (spoiler: I did, but only by about 10 seconds). I tried to just treat it like a fun run and enjoy the weather, the run, the atmosphere. I almost let myself get caught up in the negativity. Then I thought about the fact that my last 5k race was on the flattest of flats and this race involved quite a few hills. I thought about the fact that no matter what the Beast was waiting at the end for me and we had an awesome day planned. I thought about how much fun it is to finally race and how a positive mindset was more important for this season than a PR.

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Mom and I ore race posing for the camera

I rounded the last corner and picked up my legs to do a last all out sprint to the finish. I even missed the water bottle handoff when I initially came through the chute. I was elated. Race season has officialy begun and I am ready for it. I am ready to bring my positive attitude to the races and just give them my all.

Oh, and I ended up winning third in my age group. It may have been a technicality (considering there were only three people in my age group), but I am proud of my medal nonetheless. I may have worn it around for quite a bit of the day. Even though placing is not something normally within reach I appreciated being able to win something, and that my money went to help out high schoolers with scholarships. Mom ended up winning first in her age group, which was deserved at 26:41 in the 50-54 women’s group!

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Me (left) Mom (middle and first in her age group!!!) Trish (right, overall women’s masters winner)

 

Mile 1 9:09

Mile 2 9:48

Mile 3 9:59

5k        29:35      9:33/mile pace

*These are approximate mile times from my memory

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My support group, the Beast

Sunday Funday

This weekend was everything that I hoped it could be. Nanny’s birthday went off without a hitch and a lot of laughter. I got a pretty good ab workout from it actually. Driving back to DC from Richmond tonight all I could think of was how happy I am. I have the best family, the best friends, and the best boyfriend. Back to the real world now, but another weekend in my happy paradise is just around the corner.

Sunday – 2 hour bike ride. During the first hour I watched The Walking Dead, which made for a fantastic ride, but the second hour I didn’t really have anything to watch so it dragged on and on and on. But I did it!

Monday – 30 minute bike, stretch. My legs were feeling tight and I was exhausted, so I did a light spin and then stretched for about 45 minutes. It felt amazing.

Tuesday – REST

Wednesday – 4 mile run, 1700m tempo swim. I had planned on swimming longer, but time started to really get away from me and I still needed to shower so I cut the swim a little short. The run felt meh. I started with music, but then quickly switched to The Office and even though I generally prefer music, watching The Office made my run much easier to keep chugging through. The swim felt sluggish afterwards and I felt like I couldn’t quite catch my breath. I eventually settled into a rhythm. Swim workout – 200m warmup, 2x50m Z1, 50m Z1, 50m Z2, 50m Z3, 50m Z4, 4x300m Z3 swim.

Thursday – 2 hour bike ride. Mom and I set out for an indoor bike ride on our trainers side by side watching About Time. The movie was incredibly moving and for the first 30 minutes made for a slow ride, but the next hour and a half was captivating, 

Friday – REST

Saturday – 1 mile warmup, 5k race, 1 mile cooldown. More to come tomorrow on my impromptu race that I did for my speedwork/tempo run this week. The race felt like a good stretch of the legs and had some killer hills to make me really push myself. Then the family went to a nice French restaurant for lunch followed by a cider tasting at a local urban cidery in Richmond then crab and ribeye steaks for dinner and Cards Against Humanity to cap off the evening.

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The Beast and I enjoying some Irish folk music at Blue Bee Cidery in Richmond, VA.ImageLittlest sister and I at the cider tasting. Poor thing had to endure watching the whole family hang out and just watch.

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Fancy shot by the Beast at Blue Bee. Go visit! (P.S. All the thoughts on Blue Bee are my own and I was not asked to post about them. I just love this local urban cidery so much)