Friday, February 22, 2013

Traveling Fun and Workouts

Greetings from the lovely and beautiful Indianapolis!

Or, err, cold, rainy, sleety and snowy. But same thing right?

But a couple of thoughts on this city since it is my first time here:
  • The sky walks - are amazing. If you don't want to go outside you do not have to (and considering it is hovering in the teens or something, I'm going with the option of not)
  •  The people are seriously friendly. At lunch yesterday - the restaurant wasn't busy and our server pretty much joined us at the table (okay, kind of borders on awkward but he was nice!)
  • I really want to run outside. It is nice and flat and there are some good paths. However please revert to previous posts on my thoughts on running in the frigid temperatures (and now icy paths)
  • The city is pretty much an entire ad for the NFL. I would like to know the cost of the branding for Combine.
Right off the plane. Boom

Sky Walks.

Under Armour Gear. It's UA heaven out here.
I have now been here for a few days working, and life has been a whirlwind. 

Pretty much consists of meetings beginning at 7/8 working through to 7 at night, dinner and then drinks followed by collapsing into bed at some ungodly point after midnight.

I'm just trying to hold on and keep up here. Work hard play hard? Ugh not for this girl. I'm in survival mode.  These men twice my age put me to shame!

I usually turn into a pumpkin around 9pm. I live life on the edge I tell ya!

But I am pretty much loving every minute of it. I seriously love what I do, and count my blessings constantly.

I am the biggest loud mouth on having no excuses to not work out, but I will say it has been challenging thus far. My schedule is jam packed and I am having to sacrifice sleep in order to get in my running. And lifting...sorry, that has not happened, I am doing what I can.

Luckily I planned things out so that I would be ahead of the game with mileage this week if this exact situation occurred. But so far this is how the week has played out since arriving:

  • Tuesday - 4 miles - intervals
  • Wednesday - rest day
  • Thursday 3.5 miles progresssion
  • Friday - 4 miles easy
So overall not too bad. Sunday I did 11 and Monday I did 8 so there was some good mileage in there to cushion the week. But it will be a lower mileage one for me. 

I am trying to make the best of the shorter runs by doing them speedier than I would. But missing a few miles is not going to derail my training in general (and to be probably a blessing in disguise as I have really been pushing myself lately).

I struggle with finding a balance some times. I am usually going full speed all the time. Plus I have been so busy that eating much has not really happened. I am lucky if I shove down a protein bar and piece of fruit by 3pm. 

Anyone else struggle with traveling for work and fitting in your training? Vacation is a different story - I always get in my scheduled training while away since I am in relaxation mode.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Treadmill Thoughts

If you follow me on instagram, then you are well aware that I have been taking full advantage of the treadmill this winter.

And for the past couple of days:

11 miles yesterday

8 miles today

It isn't my first choice or my most favorite but for the most part I am able to log significant mileage and be okay with it.

Until today. 

I'm not sure if it was because my legs were tired, my quad is hurting, or the fact that the first treadmill I was on was stuck on an incline which I didn't know until I was told (yet was showing a 0% which I always start at) and that made it more difficult for my beat legs from the start, but today I was ready to throw in the towel pretty much every 1/2 mile or so.

But I made it through 8 miles. Barely. 

I would have much preferred this:

Perhaps it was just one of those days. Those days when your running just kind of falls apart and it takes one hell of a lot of will and determination to get through it.  Maybe tomorrow me and the treadmill will fall back in love and our winter affair will go back to normal.

I'm not sure, but the one thing I do know for certain is that spring cannot come here soon enough.

Or at least these ridiculously windy, cold days could come to an end. I can deal with the cold well enough but the cold and wind is just not happening for this girl. 

The treadmill has also just been a lot more convenient. I like to lift in the mornings. I will throw in a sporadic couple of miles some mornings to warm up but I usually save my runs for the night time. 

And work has been pure chaos and I never know what time I will get off on top of Port Authority is a disaster area to get back to Hoboken during rush hour so a more productive use of time is to hit my work gym and then head back home after everyone else has already left work. So running outside hasn't been quite as convenient, and usually only happens on the weekend.

Sigh. Runner problems are a bitch.

I guess I should give myself some credit that I have stuck to my running throughout winter and have run 5-6 days a week consistently throughout. No off season slacking for me. So I never lost my base mileage, which is a first for me and puts me ahead of the game starting off the spring.

I treated myself to a much deserved mani/pedi after slogging through those miles. My poor feet are just a disaster. Some sexy black toenails, and blisters from when I forgot socks on Thursday and decided to run 5 miles anyways. I appreciated the manicurist not being phased in the least by this I am sure they have seen worse. Or so I will tell myself.

Now I have to pack since I leave tomorrow morning for a week for Indianapolis for work. 

I have a feeling that it won't be that much warmer there and me and the hotel treadmill will be getting cozy.

I think I would rather go log another 8 miles than figure out what to pack. This is the current status of my room:

I have to pack obviously my workout gear, then my day work stuff and then outfits to go out in...and am kind of unsure as to what to expect for attire.  Insert entire contents of closet into suitcase. Sounds good to me.

So jetting off to Indianapolis tomorrow morning for a week. I'm kind of sort of excited...or something like that...not really sure what to expect but I mean it is the NFL Combine so at least THAT will be fun!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

That Oh So Good Sore Feeling

Man, I feel between work and my workouts this past week that by the time I got home Friday night it felt like I had been in a knock down drag out fight and just wanted to crawl into bed. 

Which I did.

Without dinner, that is how beat I was.

Work has just been slight insanity as Friday was the last day I will be in the office until the 26th or 27th, I will be in Indy (yay?) working for the next week. So attempting to pull myself together to avoid having to go in on the holiday Monday and actually ENJOY the 3 day weekend as I have no official weekend until March. (that sounds outrageous, haha, but I'm only working through one weekend, I will live, plus it will be fun). 

And workouts...yes let me just say - I was playing with kettle bells on Tuesday as my cardio for my morning lifting session and then Wednesday did a killer leg day - using my weights that I was using prior to marathon training...and perhaps I should have eased in a little more to it. 

Holy. Soreness. 

But want to know what was amusing to me. It felt better to be running than it did to be walking/sitting/standing.

I had to go up and down a flight of stairs about a billion times on Friday and was laughing at the pain (that sounds sadistic - it was because I was walking pathetically slow) especially since I was wearing heels. 

I woke yesterday fully intending to spin/lift/run but was in general feeling on the verge of getting sick and decided to take a rest day; you know since I haven't been building any in to my weekly workout schedule. Oops. My Friday rest has turned into spin and Monday cross train is now a 6ish mile run usually...Rest does a body good. Noted. 

So now sitting here debating my run length for the day. I plan on getting in some good mileage between today and tomorrow...but then I looked at this mornings forecast...

And I laughed a little. Now okay I can man up, kind of, to run in the 20's outside. However the wind is also 15-20 mph. And I run along the Hudson. Officially tapping out of this and taking it to the treadmill. So it will be a test of how long I can last. Might be 12 miles and might be 6.

I should also note that I have not done a run longer than 7 miles since the marathon 3 weeks ago and have a (goal) half in 5 weeks. I think that I am fine but a part of me is anxious as if I will not be able to run 10 miles right now. Ridiculous but I should get out there and log a long one...

Tomorrow I will hit the streets. 


Happy Sunday and long weekend (if you have one..)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Farewell Nut Butters & Hello Twitter

Today is a sad is the start of Lent which usually ties in to "giving something up" that you love.

Well, I enjoy a good challenge and in the spirit of things (since I kind of "forgot" today was Ash Wednesday until my Mom's friendly reminder last night - bad little Catholic) I am bidding good bye to nut butters for the duration. 

It's been real...see you in 40 days my delicious little friend. I am hoping for an Easter basket filled with almond/cashew/macadamia (I don't discriminate) goodness.

I am also giving up something I love equally. The snooze button. 

I'm not sure which is a bigger challenge.

Resetting my alarms accordingly, since I know that my 5:00am gym wake up really means jumping (errr...rolling/falling) out of bed at more like 5:30.

I have also said hello (long overdue) to this whole Twitter thing.

So go ahead and FOLLOW ME!!!! 

Or teach me how to use it...well no I understand how to use it, but for now it's empty, so nothing earth shattering shared on there just yet. But I am sure I will hop on the Twitter bandwagon with gusto soon enough. 

Not sure why I waited so long to join up, but I love social media so here we go! Hopefully not another time suck. 

Are you "giving" anything up for Lent? 

Any words of advice for Twitter?

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Let's Talk 2013 Plans and Goals...

Oh hey February...errrr middle of February...

I waited on posting anything about my official plans for the year as I was waiting to run the Miami Marathon. I didn't want to talk about what I had planned post marathon thinking that I would be jinxing it! 

But first, I would just like to thank Ali and her various references to it, as I am not completely and utterly obsessed with this time suck called Bejeweled. 

I downloaded this on Sunday in a semi hungover bored state and needing something to amuse me while I watched movies in bed all day...and I have subsequently lost hours of my life. 

Moving on.

So right those goals and such for 2013!

Well obviously I can knock a big one off my list: run my first marathon! done and done.

But what else is in store...well this is a work in progress but I have a few main races that I will be looking to conquer/PR at...

  • Allstate Life Insurance 13.1 New York - this is the race that 2 years ago got me hooked on distance and I am returning for the 3rd time and looking to sub 1:50! (current PR 1:53:14) I have my work cut out for me but I'm going for it
  • More Fitness Women's Half Marathon - my sister is making her way up from Florida to run this and it will be my second year - I love this race, I love the atmosphere, the support on the is a great time. I will be using this as a training run in part for...
  • New Jersey Marathon   - yup going back for another 26.2 - my goal for this race is to just beat my current marathon time of 4:33 and then I got a little crazy
  • The Dirty German 50K  - yup I am dipping my toes into Ultra territory shortly after the marathon...I am just looking to have fun and conquer a new distance - I mean it's "just" 5 extra miles, right?
  • ING Hartford Marathon - this will be my attempt to get to 4 hours for the full...I improved a LOT in the fall after training in the summer heat and think that might be a recipe for success for me. I'm gunning for a kick ass race here...and funny enough an ING CT employee read my recap on Miami and emailed me suggesting Hartford just confirming that this was to be my fall goal marathon.
So there you have it. This race calendar is by no means complete I know I will throw some other 10K's, 15K's, 10 milers and half's in as they crop up (I actually got a FREE entry to the Brooklyn 15K ) so that is on the agenda in April...but last year I signed up for a million and one races (something like 25 in total last year...) and I don't want to do that to myself. 

I think by having time goals for two separate races, the half in spring and the full in the fall - I will be able to train properly and succeed at both. I don't want kill myself and learned you can't always go all out. I know that yes I have marathons and an ultra on there - but I feel that I had so much more in Miami and the heat got the better of me that saying I want to PR it shouldn't take the life out of me. Plus you also get a nifty medal if you do that and the Allstate Half!! Extra bling, sign me up!

I think that this is going to be one awesomely crazy, kick ass year for running! Bring it on, I am SO excited!

What are your goal races? Do you plan your year out or just months at a time?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Random Friday Things

Happy Friday! 

For all those living in the North East - enjoy the snow. The pandemonium is slightly absurd I'm ready for a good old snow fight. However for your entertainment please read this.

I would also like to thank Saturday's spin class for this gem that has been added to my playlist (and on repeat) love love love some Pitbull!

So as we enter the weekend, I  must say my training has been awesome this week. I figured I would listen to my body and if I started to feel any post marathon twinges from diving head first back into my usual mileage that I would back off. But low and behold I'm feeling fantastic. Training went a little something like this:

Monday - morning upper body weights / night 6 miles progression ending just under HM pace

Tuesday - 8 x 400 intervals (recovered at 400 still working on that stamina thing with speed) + some core work

Wednesday - 6 mile tempo run + upper body - held on to HM pace for a couple miles...hoping that in a few weeks things are back up to speed (haha get it? I'm a dork)

Thursday - 5 miles + legs - was going to keep it steady but started increasing pace every 1/2 mile or so and finished just over HM pace

Friday -  spinning this morning! + core work 

All in all my feelings are that I definitely lost strength and speed during marathon training BUT I think that they can come back pretty quickly. Also still surprised that I am not feeling post marathon lethargy/soreness. Go body go!

Along those lines a couple of my new years "resolutions" if you will were to STOP tracking my food and stop weighing myself. Happy to report I have not touched MyFitnessPal once and got a lovely surprise this morning. I hopped on the scale to kind of do a check in and see where I was at...and low and behold whatever weight I put on marathon training, has come off and I am within a couple pounds of where I was in the fall. 

That makes me happy. I have kind of been eating a lot especially leading up to the marathon and post on vacation. I got home last week and immediately back to clean eating and eating intuitively and happy to report am on the right track. 

I was driving myself a tad nuts as I had previously addressed regarding both the scale and food tracking. Coming from a former fat person (don't take offense, I was genuinely fat - about 80 pounds over where I am right now at my heaviest) and having slimmed down, I KNOW what to eat. I can still ballpark where I am at with my calories if I want to since I did it for SO long but I really didn't need to be tracking every morsel. And as today showed I clearly know what to do and what to eat to cut down the pounds (without being deprived thank you very much).

So here is to a happy snowy Friday! And that pretty much no one showed up to work today. Slackers.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Recovery, Or My Version of It...

So 8 days ago, I ran this little thing called the Marathon. And as we know it was amazing.

I anticipated feeling SOME sort of "pain" after having run 26.2 miles, but the truth was, that other than a little bit of tightness in my quad I was a-okay. 

I guess that is good right? means I must have been in good shape to undertake the whole thing in the first place.

I attribute this partially to the fact that I took it easy during the race and didn't push my pace at all. 

That being said, I found it hard to sit still and "recover" for too long. I am already focused on my next big goal race and was eager to get back at it. Yes I know after a strict training program most people are all too excited for some type of "off" season. 


I love structure. 

I love training. 

I love goals. 

They make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  

I haven't elaborated on my 2013 goals because I thought I would be jinxing myself to discuss what I had planned post first marathon. I will get into that in a different post later this week; but for now - my next immediate goal is to PR the Allstate 13.1 New York. I am aiming for sub 1:50 (current PR is 1:53:14).

This means time to get more speed back. Time to hit the weights, speed work, intervals and hills oh my! I do not think I could run that time right now so have some work to be done before March 23rd. 

So lets get back to what my post race recovery looked like:

Monday - active rest - a lot of walking and strolling around Miami

Tuesday - total rest - the most walking I did was in the airport

Wednesday - morning - 45 minutes of cardio night - 60 minutes of cardio + core work

Thursday - morning - 30 minutes of cardio + upper body strength night - 20 minutes cardio + easy 3 miles run

Friday - spin class

Saturday - spin class + body pump + football game

Sunday - 65 minutes cardio + 45 minutes spinning + yoga

My "cardio" there is ellipticalling until blue in the face. 

So I was pretty active, but also look at that break from running! Kind of proud of myself. 

And feeling oh so nice and sore from the weight training. Ahhhh burns so good. Buns and thighs are feeling it from all that squating and lunging in body pump + utilizing different muscles with all that spinning.

As of today - back at it as far as the running goes. Probably aim for a 30 mile week or so to still keep it easy and not sure if I will do much speed work this week but I am going to follow what my body feels. 

Transitioning from the marathon mentality back to half. 

One thing I do know is that never letting go of strength workouts again. I did it because I would not want to have an 18 miler on the agenda when I'm feeling sore walking up a flight of stairs. Good burn but not fun for 3 hours of running. But also if I keep it consistent that shouldn't really be an issue. 

I have about 6 weeks or so to try and get to where I was in November. I am hopeful that if I am diligent that I can get some speed back. I also might be selling myself short. I was trying at any point in the past couple months to sustain speed. I was focused on hitting my training paces which did not include sub 9 minute miles for distance. 

I also need to tone up/slim down. I probably put on a couple pounds during training (I've stopped weighing myself but I just FEEL fluffy/less toned) so I've stopped eating everything in sight because I was "training for a marathon" and back to normal person eating. So NOT as fun I might add. 

So yay for training plans! They make me so giddy!