Monthly Archives: January 2012

Good Day…

I may not have my speed back yet, but I am so, so glad I’ve finally gotten back to the point where I don’t dread running. I just need to find a way to make this last even after the half marathon is over.

It was a gorgeous day for a run/tourist-dodging on the Mall.  Now I’m going to shower, eat some delicious breakfast (lunch? it’s 1pm!), and go meet my friends to see a college basketball game.

Today is a good day.

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RNR Half Marathon Training: Weeks 3 and 4

I had a little hitch in my training this week as I tweaked my calf and took a couple of days off, but overall I finally feel like I’m getting back into the swing of things. I’m not dreading every run these days, and in fact I actually felt bad when I was missing my scheduled runs.

* * * * *

Week 3: 1/9-1/15

Monday

Rest. (Was supposed to be a strength training day, but I have totally been failing at this.)

Tuesday

3 mile run (32:50)

Wednesday

4 mile run (45:27)

Thursday

I was supposed to run 3 miles this day (and do some strength training, but you know how that’s going), but ended up working kind of late so decided to postpone it until Friday.

Friday

Aaaaand, then I didn’t make up my run.

Saturday

6 mile run (71:00)

I originally set out to do this run on the treadmill because it was pretty cold outside.  However, when we got down to the gym, there was only one available so I let Adam take it so he could watch the UConn game while running. The guys on the other two treadmills had just started, so I decided to go upstairs, change into cold weather gear, and head outside for a run. I told myself I just had to run one mile out, then could turn back around if I wanted to and do my 6 mile run the next day. Once I got to the 1 mile mark, I told myself I could get to 1.5, then turn around.  Then that I could get to the 2 mile mark and turn around.  I was still feeling good, so I just went to the 3 mile mark (which is the Washington Monument, BTW), then turned around. I ran the WHOLE thing.  It was a little slower than I would have liked but it’s the farthest I’ve run in the new shoes and my legs felt pretty good.

Sunday

Rest.

Week 4: 1/16-1/22

Monday

Rest. (I’m starting to give up on the idea of doing any strength training this time around.)

Tuesday:

3 mile run (36:04)

Although my legs felt pretty good after Sunday’s run, I think I must have overworked my muscles a bit, because I tweaked my left calf at work.  See, we were moving offices this week, and apparently packing and moving lots of boxes while wearing heels was NOT a good idea. As soon as I started my run, I felt a sharp pain in my left calf. It wasn’t just the soreness and tightness I had been getting a few weeks earlier… it was definitely pain. I ended up walking a lot of this run.

Wednesday

Rest. (Still resting my calf, which continued to hurt all day.)

Thursday

Ditto.

Adam suggested I wear his compression sleeve on his leg and see if that helped speed up the healing process. I was a little skeptical of this, but I figured it couldn’t hurt, so I wore it overnight.

Friday

Rest.

My leg actually felt better in the morning, so I decided to wear the compression sleeve all day and again overnight to see if I might actually be able to get my long run in on Saturday.

Saturday

7 miles (86:57)

I alternated between walking a quarter mile, then running a quarter mile, although I ran my quarter miles at a pretty good clip.  But my leg felt just fine!  I am amazed at how well the compression sleeve helped speed up my recovery. I guess I’ll have to buy a pair of my own.

Sunday

Spinning. I didn’t love the instructor, but it was a decent workout.  I picked up the new schedule and saw that my favorite spinning instructor is back and teaches Tuesdays at 6am and Thursdays at 7pm.  I might see if I can fit some of those classes into my schedule.

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RNR Half Marathon Training: Weeks 1 and 2

Unless otherwise noted, my runs are on the treadmill. I don’t usually run outside unless it is still daylight out, and even then I’ll sometimes just go downstairs to the treadmill if the run is under 6 miles.

I’m also making the switch to “minimalist” running shoes, in the hopes that it will reduce my risk of injury – especially considering how prone I am to running injuries.  This means that I’m adapting my running form so that I am running with more of a front-midfoot strike, rather than a heel strike, which means that I am engaging my calves a whole heck of a lot more than they are used to. Adam made the switch last year and said it took him a few weeks to adapt.  Because my calves get tired/sore/tight more easily, I’m running slower and taking more walking breaks as I’m getting used to this new running form. I’m hoping that in a few weeks I’ll see the benefits of the minimalist shoes and be as fast, if not faster, as I had been at this point in my half marathon training last year.

* * * * *

Week 1:

Monday 12/26, Tuesday 12/27

Last two days before we start training – in Connecticut and traveling home.

Wednesday: 3 miles (33:00)

This run went pretty well, but my calves were SO SORE after. I was hobbling around a bit. Rolling them out helped a little, but they were still pretty sore and tight.

Thursday: 3 miles (32:57)

Ouch!  Although my pace was pretty much the same for this run as the day before, it felt WAY more difficult.  Good news is that my knees and the spot where I had my stress fracture didn’t hurt or feel tender at all… hopefully that means the new shoes/running form are working!

Friday

We had a 3 mile run on the schedule, but my calves were SO sore after Wednesday and Thursday that I figured it’d do more good to take a rest day before Saturday’s race.  Seriously, there were a couple of times I almost fell over while walking in my heels at work.

Saturday: Fairfax Four Miler

This is the second time we’ve run the Fairfax Four Miler on New Year’s Eve. It was still so warm (probably mid-40s/low 50s) at race time, I wore my knee tights, a short sleeve tech tee, and a light running jacket. (By comparison, last year, I was so freezing cold, I had to buy running gloves at the store when we checked into the race.)  My calves were still pretty sore, but I made it to the 3 mile marker before taking a walk break. I was actually on a pretty good pace, maybe 10:20/mile or so, for the first two miles, but my third mile was about two minutes slower.  But even though I walked a little of the fourth mile, it was faster than my third, and overall I ended up at about 11:00/mile pace, which is what I’d been running the training runs earlier in the week.

I ran this race 1:30/mile slower than my four mile race PR.  It feels kind of pathetic for my runs to be going so slow and for me to need to take so many walking breaks, but I need to remember that I’m teaching my legs a new way to run and that this is using my muscles in ways they aren’t used to.

Distance: 4 miles
Time: 43:52
Pace: 10:58/mile

Sunday

Rest

Week 2:

Monday

Rest. This was supposed to be a strength training day, but we did do a lot of cleaning and reorganizing of our apartment, so it isn’t like our muscles weren’t put to any use.

Tuesday: 3 mile run (33:58)

We are following the Whole Living Action Plan for January, which means that we were a little light on the calories and the protein this week. The plan does not recommend strenuous exercise in the first week, so I took the runs a bit slower this week than I would have been able to had we been eating differently.

Wednesday: 3 mile run (34:52)

See above.  Also, this was the first run where my calves were not super sore afterwards. I could definitely feel them and they were tighter than they used to be after a run in my old sneakers, but I was able to walk around just fine.

Thursday: 3 mile run (34:40)

Even less calf soreness and tightness. I felt kind of sluggish though – this was day four of the Action Plan and my body was starting to really feel it.

I skipped the strength training I was supposed to do this day. I’m going to either need to get up early to run and lift or go to Body Pump after work, or just plan on eating pretty late on Thursdays if I’m going to get this in.

Friday

Rest.

Saturday: 4.7 mile run/walk (1:08:00)

The weather was gorgeous on Saturday, so I decided to take my run outside. (I generally do all runs under 6 miles on the treadmill.)  I mapped out a 5 mile route, threw on shorts and a t-shirt (in January!), laced up my sneakers and headed outside.

My planned route was to take me over the bridge into DC and then do a lap around the Lincoln Memorial.  Problem was that I completely forgot about the construction around the reflecting pool and I had no idea how to re-route myself to still hit 5 miles. So I decided once I got to the Lincoln to just have this be my cross-training, and jog/walk (with an emphasis on walking – didn’t want to wear myself out) home.  I measured out the distance of what I think was my actual path and it was closer to 5 miles than I thought. Oh well… it was nice to just get outside in shorts and a tee in January, although it is WINDY on the bridge and it got cloudy towards the end, so I started to get a bit chilly on my way home.

Sunday: 5 miles (59:49)

I’m glad I ended up re-doing this run. Although it wasn’t easy (I was pretty tired), I felt pretty good for most of it and my legs felt SO much better.  I think they are starting to finally adjust to the new running shoes/form… and hopefully next week, my runs will be even stronger.

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January Goals…

Happy New Year!

I am really excited for 2012. As I mentioned last month, this year I’m planning on setting monthly goals rather than year-long resolutions.

First up, a recap of my December goals:

1. Work out 4 times a week. Uh, nope. Not at all.

2. Bake three types of Christmas cookies.I overachieved here – I made four! GF/DF peanut butter cookies, GF/DF peppermint oreos (wanted to make sure my GF/DF friend got some goodies!), gingersnaps, and two types of chocolate chip cookies out of the same batch (white chocolate + cranberry and chocolate + dried cherry).

3. Be in bed by 10pm on “school nights.” I didn’t do this 100%, but I did get into bed at 10pm much more often than usual.

4. Do LAPS – 10 lunges, 10 abs (crunches), 10 push-ups, 10 squats – every day.  I was doing so great with this (last two weeks of November, plus first 10 days of December), and then I somehow tweaked my back and took two days off. Once I fell out of the habit of doing it every day, I ended up doing it 16 times this month.

Not great, but not too bad either.  But that’s why I started a month early, right?

And now onto January’s goals!

1. Don’t eat out in January (except for unavoidable work-related events and special events).  Adam and I did this last January, too.  It actually felt really good to eat at home after all of the sugar, booze, and general binge-fests between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.  This includes restaurants, coffee shops, and just grabbing a snack at a convenience store. It does not include eating at a friend’s house or getting food from a grocery store salad bar.  The only event on my agenda for the month is book club tomorrow, but there’s no way I’m going to finish the book before then, so I think I’m going to pass anyway.

2. Work out 4 times a week.  Gonna give this one another shot. I’m in the middle of half marathon training, so I should be getting in at least four workouts a week anyway.

3. Be in bed by 10pm on “school nights.” Trying this one again, too. I’d really like this to routinely be my new bedtime.  It might be a bit harder this month with working out every day after work, but we’re trying to plan all our meals to be pretty quick to throw together during our training so we’re not eating at 9pm every night.

4. Do LAPS – 10 lunges, 10 abs (crunches), 10 push-ups, 10 squats – every day. Yup, doing this one again, too.  It should be easy… I just need to DO it.

5. Take vitamins every day.  I go in spurts with being good about taking vitamins.  With spending more time at the gym and cold and flu season coming on, now is a really good time to get back into the habit of taking them regularly.

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