Monthly Recap

August Recap

Hey friends! Long time no talk read or write! Another month has come and gone. Let’s chat a bit!

Month Recap: August 2018

Oh, August … what a crazy month you were! Within a time span of 10 days, I ran a one mile road race, a 5K and a Ragnar Relay. Oh and somewhere along the way, I also registered for a MARATHON! Surprise! California International Marathon … I’m coming for you!

I took a down week with no stress workouts after Ragnar (which felt a bit like running a marathon in and of itself). I took a few days off completely before easing back into the swing of things. I’ve done a few workouts now, so I guess we’ll say that I am back in the saddle at this point. I took an unplanned break from writing training log posts, but when you aren’t doing any workouts there isn’t quite as much to report from each run. It’s like, “I ran. It was humid. The end.” I was almost ready to just scrap the idea of writing training log posts altogether, but I think I’ve changed my mind about that. I make no promises that I won’t change it again though.

My training for CIM will not officially begin until the middle of September (12 weeks out), but for my own purposes, I’m kind of using this past Monday as my starting date. That gives me 14 weeks until race day and with a two week taper, it’s only 12 weeks of training. Mentally, I need those few extra weeks so that I can tell myself that I have “plenty” of time to get into the shape that I want to be in.

I’ve got lots of fall races picked out to do along the way! I’d like to add a couple more as well, but for now a tentative schedule looks like this:

09.08.18 – Hurricane Run 5K
10.06.18 – TBD 5K
10.13.18 – Shrimp Festival 10K
10.21.18 – Gulf Coast Half Marathon
11.03.18 – Senior Bowl 10K
11.11.18 – Pensacola Half Marathon
11.17.18 – Turkey 10 Miler
11.22.18 – Turkey Trot 5K
12.02.18 – CALIFORNIA INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

Workouts: I only did a couple workouts this month, since the first half of the month was full of races and recovery. Once I did get back into it though, I got in some good efforts!

2 mi. WU, 8 X 300 w/ 100 recovery (66, 68, 66, 65, 65, 64, 63, 61 (5:43 avg.)), 3 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 3 mi. (6:55 avg.), 2 mi. (6:44 avg.), 1 mi. (6:28), 3 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 10 X 2:00 hard (6:01 avg.) w/ 1:00 recovery, 2 mi. CD

Favorite workout: My favorite workout was probably the 3 mile, 2 mile, 1 mile cutback workout. Although it must be said, I really enjoyed the 8 X 300 workout as well! The 10 X 2 minute workout went fairly well and I didn’t *not* enjoy it, but man oh man, it was tougher than I was expecting!

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I’d say it’s a good sign that I enjoyed the longer workout because I’m sure that’s exactly what I will have in store more as we progress throughout the training cycle. I’m planning to get VERY comfortable running at marathon pace. I don’t think that I’ve done enough training at my goal marathon pace in the past. Practice makes perfect and you certainly can’t expect your body to run comfortably at marathon pace if you haven’t practiced it a pretty good bit. The 3 mile, 2 mile, 1 mile workout was a good starting point as my goal for the 3 miles was just over marathon pace (6:55 was the goal there) and my goal for the 2 miles was just under marathon pace (6:45 was the goal there). Of course, goal marathon pace could change as the cycle progresses! In fact, I very much hope that it does.

Races: As I mentioned earlier, I ran 3 very unique races this month!

Race Recap: Fairground Road 1 Mile

Race Recap: Crime Prevention 5K

Race Recap: Ragnar CO “Last to Start, First to Finish … ROUND 2!”

Favorite race: I thoroughly enjoyed the one mile road race that I ran. It was a small race, but I love a small, local race. It’s also really fun to test your speed at the one mile distance (in my opinion). With that being said, it would be nearly impossible to top the experience that we had in mountains of Colorado! There is so much more to an overnight relay than just the race itself. While the race itself was amazing, it was the trip as a whole that makes this race such a memorable experience and really seals the deal as its spot as my favorite race for the month.

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Paces: My paces ranged from 5:25 (one mile race) to 10:41 (with Brooks).

Miles: 249.3 miles this month.

Longest run: My longest consecutive run was 13 miles. I did run 20 miles one morning (as an attempt to run my age for my belated birthday miles), but the run was really 13 miles with an hour or so “pause” for breakfast with friends and then 7 more miles, so I don’t think I can technically count that as a 20 mile run. While we are on that topic, I am officially putting my birthday miles tradition to rest at this point. Again, I make no promises that I won’t change my mind, but for now … it’s too much.

I attempted to run 33 miles within 24 hours twice during August. Once was at Ragnar. I was already running close to 20 miles as part of the relay, so I was thinking that an extra 13 wouldn’t really be too bad. Turns out … I was wrong. I was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted from the race itself and there was no way I was running one more step after my last leg of the relay. The second attempt was much better and I even made it to 26 miles before deciding that I was done. There’s no doubt in my mind that I could’ve run 7 more miles that day, but the point was that I simply didn’t *want* to. The tradition used to bring me a lot of happiness, but this year it didn’t and that’s completely fine. I’ll find other ways to celebrate I’m sure!

Shortest run: 3.5 miles.

Rest days: I took two days off completely.

Strength training: I started doing Pilates and I LOVE it. I’m going once a week, but I really wish I could go more. I’ve been going for three weeks now. I’ve also been keeping up with my planks at home and have also added in some crunches. Somewhere along the way I forgot about crunches (not sure how that happened). I went to the gym one day and rediscovered medicine ball crunches. I don’t even think I did that many of them, but my stomach felt like it was on fire (in a good way (if that is possible)) for days afterwards! Apparently planks don’t touch some of those key core muscles.

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I’ve got a post in the works about all the little things that I am doing this training cycle (outside of the actual running) that will *hopefully* help me meet my goal (whatever that turns out to be) at CIM! Stay tuned!

I feel like I am forgetting to tell you something … oh! I know what it is. I changed coaches! The McKirdy Trained group is set up in such a way that it is very easy to request a coaching change if you feel like the coach you are assigned to isn’t a good fit. There is no doubt in my mind that any of the coaches in the group could write a perfectly wonderful training plan. A lot of the reason that I switched comes down to communication (or lack thereof) and the way the feedback was presented. I’m working with John Raneri now. I’ve gotta say, so far I am VERY impressed with his kindness, his feedback and his attention to detail. I’m glad that I stood up for myself and explored the idea that there was a better fit out there.

I think we are pretty much caught up now! Happy Friday friends!

Monthly Recap

July Recap

Well guys, another month has come and gone. July was a good month, but I have a feeling that August is going to be even better! Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s recap July’s running.

Month Recap: July 2018

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Workouts: I got in some decent workouts this month and also had some workouts that were cut short or otherwise modified. I actually completed and hit the paces I was prescribed on four of the workouts (in blue below) and the others were all supposed to be longer or different workouts. For example, 3 X 1 mile was supposed to be 5 X 1 mile,  the “fast finish” run was also originally supposed to be a 5 X 1 mile workout (after the first attempt was a bust) and the 3 mile tempo was supposed to have 8 X 400 afterwards. You win some, you lose some. I won more than I lost this month, so at least that’s … something.

3 mi. WU, 3 X 1 mile (5:55, 5:53, 6:30), 3 mi. CD

3 mi. WU, 3 X 2 miles (6:49 avg., 6:35 avg., 6:39 avg.), 4 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 3 X 1000 (3:46, 3:42, 3:43), 3 X 600 (2:12, 2:12, 2:14), 3 X 400 (1:24, 1:23, 1:22), 2 mi. CD

10 mi. w/ fast finish for last 3 mi. (6:59, 7:11 and 6:36)

3 mi. WU, 4 X 600 (2:09, 2:09, 2:09, 2:08), 4 X 400 (83, 83, 83, 83), 4 X 200 (39, 40, 39, 38), 2 mi. CD

3 mi. WU, 3 mi. tempo (6:39 avg.), 3 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 1.5 mi. threshold (6:20 avg.), 8 X 400 (82, 82, 80, 80, 80, 80, 80, 78), 3 mi. CD

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Favorite workout: My favorite workouts were the two ladder workouts where the reps got shorter as the workout went by. I like “front loading” the workout and getting the hard part of the workout out of the way early on. I felt like both of those workouts absolutely flew by, which is always a good thing!

Races: I ran the Shark Run 4 Miler on the Fourth of July!

Favorite race: Months with only one race make me a bit sad, but it doesn’t always work out to run more than one race each month. I definitely enjoyed the Shark Run, but I would’ve enjoyed it a bit more if the course hadn’t been short.

Paces: My paces ranged from 5:53 (second mile of the mile repeat workout, which was too fast and also why I only made it through 3 of my 5 repeats (insert facepalm)) to 9:50 (on the beach).

Miles: 299.7. Ahh! I can’t believe I got so close to 300 and didn’t even know it. It was a bit tempting to go back out and run a third of a mile, but in the spirit of not being *too* crazy, I’ll just let it be.

UPDATE: I was using the total from Strava, but I just looked at Garmin Connect to double check and my total on Garmin Connect was 300.1! I’m guessing it has something to do with the fact that Strava rounds everything down to the nearest tenth. Either way, I’m calling it good.

Elevation gain: 14,108 feet! I added this category since a lot of my “easy” runs this month were as hilly as I could possibly make them. I’d like to think that all of this climbing has been beneficial. I know it has. I’m just still not entirely convinced that we are going to be properly trained for the mountains that await us in Colorado.

Longest run: 13 miles. I had 12 runs in the double digits, but never did more than 13 (well … 13.1 to be exact).

Shortest run: 5 miles.

Doubles: 6 days of doubles.

Rest days: 2 rest days.

Coming up: August is going to be a race-filled month! I’m doing a one mile race this Thursday, a 5K next Tuesday, RAGNAR COLORADO next Thursday and maybe a trail race in Auburn the weekend after we get back.

I’m also still ironing out the details of how I am going to get my birthday miles in this year. Ragnar Colorado starts on my birthday and my three legs of the relay add up to close to twenty miles. I’ve just got to figure out how to squeeze in another 13 somewhere along the way. I’m thinking that I might just keep running along the course after I finish my last leg. It’ll be an adventure one way or another!

Tell me: What do you have coming up in August?

Monthly Recap

June Recap

Y’all. The year is half way over! Isn’t that insane?

Month Recap: June 2018

The Running

Workouts: I got in some pretty solid efforts workout-wise this month. My new routine basically has me doing workouts on Tuesdays and Saturdays with doubles on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The schedule seems to be working pretty well and I’m trying to stick to it as much as possible.

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2 mi. WU, 10 X 400 w/ 400 recovery (86, 84, 83, 84, 85, 83, 83, 83, 83, 81), 3 mi. CD

3 mi. WU, 1 X 1600 (5:53), 4 X 800 (2:56, 2:56, 2:53, 2:57), 3 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 13 X 1:00 hard (5:51 pace) w/ 1:00 jogging recoveries, 3 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 12 X 1:30 hard (5:50 pace) w/ 1:30 jogging recoveries, 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 6 X 1000 (5:49 pace) w/ 2 minute standing recovery, 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 1 X 1600 (6:17), 6 X 400 (86, 90, 89, 91, 93, 99), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 1600 (6:05), 800 (2:58), 400 (1:29), 1600 (6:07), 800 (2:59), 400 (1:28), 2 mi. CD

Favorite workout: My favorite workouts were the 10 X 400 and 12 X 1:30. Whether you run by time (1:30) or distance (400 meters), the workout is essentially the same if you are running close to 6:00 per mile pace. Both of these workouts went really well for me and I’ve actually been enjoying the timed intervals. I have pretty much trained exclusively by distance in the past, so it’s a nice change of pace (not literally). I also don’t really recall enjoying 400s much in the past, but I’ve definitely been enjoying them here recently.

Races: I ran the Grandman Tri Relay on June 2 and the Hot Trot 5K on June 16.

Favorite race: Hot Trot was definitely my favorite race this month. Oftentimes the best races have nothing to do with the time on the clock and have everything to do with who you shared the experience with.

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Paces: My paces ranged from 5:53 to 11:31 (with Brooks).

Miles: 262. I likely have one more month of “lower” mileage and then things will start heating up (hopefully as the temperatures start to cool down).

Longest run: 12 miles.

Shortest run: 4 miles.

Doubles: 6 days of doubles.

Rest days: Just one and it was not scheduled.

Miscellaneous: I did several Jasyoga videos (like 10!), played tennis, did lots of planks, went fishing, rode a bike and went paddle boarding. It was an active month outside of running!

The Other Stuff

Current activity: Packing for a quick weekend trip to the beach!

Current blog: Eat Run Pavement (aka Gazzellie). She lives in a van and is an amazing runner. I’m super intrigued. Edited to add: I just read her latest post and apparently she doesn’t live in her van anymore, but her blog is still very cool regardless.

Current confession: I just can’t get behind the #sportsbrasquad and #ihavearunnersbody hashtags. While I think that the creators of both hashtags mean well and I likely agree with them on a lot of their thinking, I just don’t understand the need to bring more attention to our bodies as runners. I think the hashtags should be #modestishottest and #iamarunner.

Current drink: All the drinks! I am pretty regularly drinking at least four drinks after I run.

Exhibit A – A random weekday at work. 32 oz. of Nuun, 32 oz. of plain water, 20 oz. protein shake and some coffee!

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Exhibit B – A standard weekend morning at Warehouse. Nuun, a protein smoothie (it has orange juice, peaches, banana and protein powder), diet coke (because sometimes carbonation just sounds simply AMAZING) and a cold brew coffee.

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Current excitement: We will be headed to Colorado in just over one month! Ahh!

Current fail: I had a pretty epic auto-correct fail this week where running was changed to rubbing. So embarrassing.

Current game: Tennis! I played last week and I really hope to be able to add it back a bit more regularly. It should be noted that I was extremely sore in my upper back for days after I played. Apparently there are muscles back there that running and planking don’t touch.

Current habit: Listening to podcasts in the car. There are so many regular podcasts that I enjoy listening to that I can’t keep up with them solely “on the run.” Granted I run with other people 95% of the time, so my podcast listening runs are fairly limited anyway.

Current indulgence: Ice cream and popsicles. Our air conditioning saga continues and cold treats seem to be the only logical solution. It’s like science or something.

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Current joke: I’ve got two jokes to share this month, courtesy of Daniel.

Why did the toilet paper roll down the hill? It wanted to get to the bottom.

I ran into a girl at a vegan restaurant who said she knew me … but I never met herbivore!

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Current knowledge: Did you know that you can add customizable workouts to your Garmin? I just learned how to do this (shout out to Mollie!). I knew how to program the workouts that were the same interval length, but I had no idea that you could create workouts that have various distance (or time for that matter) repeats. You can’t do it directly from your watch (at least I can’t … I have a Forerunner 235), but can create them using your Garmin Connect app. If you click on “more” at the bottom right and then click on workouts, you can create customized workouts that you can send to your watch. I tested it out on my last workout this month and it worked quite well. The workout was varying distances and had the recoveries by time. It took me a little bit to get it all setup (it was about 15 different things between the warm up, cool down and the workout itself), but I did it and I didn’t have to think about what I was doing when I was running. Very nice.

Current list: Does maintaining my training log count as a list? I think it does.

Current mood: Content.

Current need: To be cool (and I don’t mean in a “hip” sort of way).

Current obsession: Moe’s Southwest Grill. There aren’t a lot of vegetarian options here locally, but Moe’s has definitely become a go-to option. I get the “earmuffs bowl” with rice, black beans, tofu, guacamole, mushrooms, tomatoes and cucumbers. It’s delicious and seems to work well as a good night before a workout or long run meal.

Current procrastination: I’ve been driving around with a case of Gatorade and a case of Propel in the back of my car for about a week now. I couldn’t carry all of the groceries at once, so I just left a couple of the non-refrigerated items that wouldn’t go bad in the car. Of course, it is about the same temperature in my car as it is in our house currently, so I don’t guess it really makes much of a difference.

Current quote: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Current rave: Did anyone else follow Western States? A few weeks ago we watched the Coconino Cowboys videos on YouTube and we’ve enjoyed following along with Jim Walmsley’s journey. He is so incredibly talented! I was really excited to see him finally get the win and the course record at Western States!

Current show: New Girl! Apparently there was an entire season on Netflix that we hadn’t seen before! Major score.

Current uncertainty: I’m still trying to decide on a late fall marathon. The frontrunner currently is the Philadelphia Marathon. It’s supposed to be a really good course. I don’t really want to take my chances on a marathon in the South during November or December when it could be realistically be 50 degrees or 80 degrees with no way to know for sure until the week of. I want to go ahead and register for something soon though.

Current vegetable: We’ve gotten into the Green Giant rice veggies recently. My two favorites are the cauliflower and broccoli and the cauliflower and sweet potato ones.

Current want: I really want to go paddle boarding this weekend. I hope that the gulf is calm enough in the morning for me to go one day. Edited to add: I got to go!

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Current yearning: Simplicity.

Current zone: Tropical!

What is currently going on in your life? Fill me in!

Monthly Recap

May Recap

Y’all. Is it really JUNE?

Month Recap: May 2018

The Running

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I started working with a new coach towards the end of April. You can read about that and more here! May brought some challenging workouts as I settled into a groove of working with Sarah. I struggled with the longer workouts that were prescribed. One was a two mile warm up followed by four miles at 6:45, three miles at 6:35, two miles at 6:25 and one mile at 6:15 with a three mile cool down (with a half mile recovery in between each of the sets). I didn’t quite make it all the way through this workout, but I at least came close.

Another one was a three mile warm up followed by three miles at 6:50, three by one mile at 6:26 (with a half mile recovery in between), three miles at 6:50 and a three mile cool down. This workout was scheduled for a Saturday morning, but I procrastinated it until Sunday (in the name of giving myself an extra day to prepare). I was struggling to run during the warm up miles and made the executive decision to just bag the workout all together. I had run a 5K the weekend before and done a really hard 15 X 90 second interval workout the week of this workout, so I think my legs just weren’t recovered enough.

With the idea of a late fall marathon in mind, my workouts this summer will be focused on building both speed and strength. I am in better shape speed wise than strength wise currently (in Sarah’s opinion at least (I don’t know how good my speed really is)). Those longer runs are definitely challenging, but I know that I need to do some work on that front in order to build the strength that I need for a good marathon.

Workouts: I got in six pretty solid workouts this month. I think the goal is basically two quality sessions per week, but I did two races as well, so that pretty much gets me to an average of two quality runs per week.

2 mi. WU, 15 X 2:00 hard (6:11 avg.) w/ 1:00 easy jogging recovery, 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 4 mi. (6:54 avg.), 3 mi. (6:41 avg.), 2 mi. (6:59 avg.), 2 mi. CD 

2 mi. WU, 3 X 800 (2:57 avg.), 6 X 400 (1:24 avg.), 3 X 800 (3:02 avg.), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 15 X 1:30 hard (5:56 pace) w/ 1:00 easy jogging recovery, 2 mi. CD

3 mi. WU, 3 X 800 (3:00 avg.), 3 X 600 (2:15 avg.), 3 X 400 (1:24 avg.), 2 mi. CD 

2 mi. WU, 15 X 1:00 hard (5:41 avg.) w/ 1:00 easy jogging recovery, 2 mi. CD

Favorite workout: My favorite workout was the 3 X 800, 3 X 600, 3 X 400 ladder workout. The workout was easy to manage mentally. I told myself just to get through the 3 X 800 and I’d be almost done. While that wasn’t really the case, by the time I got through the 3 X 600 portion, I was definitely almost done. I felt really strong on the 3 X 400 portion and it’s always great to finish up a workout feeling strong!

Races: I ran the Do it in the Bush 5K on May 12 and the Paradise Island 5K on May 27. DIITB was a trail run and Paradise Island was on the paved trails at the Gulf State Park.

Favorite race: While I really enjoyed running through the woods at DIITB, Paradise Island was my favorite race. DIITB is a no frills race (I do enjoy that from time to time), but Paradise Island definitely took the cake this month. I loved the medals and the awards, which influenced my opinion for sure.

Paces: My paces ranged from 6:05 (first mile of Paradise Island) to 10:55 (on the trails at Chewacla in Auburn). I felt like I was flying on the trails at Chewacla, but my average pace for a seven mile run was 10:28. I was taking smaller, quicker strides than normal, trying [unsuccessfully I might add] not to bust my butt on the trails. Taking more steps than usual gave me a false feeling of running faster. I’m sure that there is a technique to trail running that I don’t have mastered. If I pursue trailing running, I’ll have to look into that some more.

Miles: 287!

Longest run: 15.4 miles.

Shortest run: 5 miles.

Rest days: I took two days off completely.

Strength training: Lots of planking and one Jasyoga video (facepalm). What would be a good goal? One Jasyoga video per week? Surely I can make that happen.

The Other Stuff

Current activity: We moved everything out of our storage unit this month! We likely should’ve done this about a year ago when we moved into the house, but better late than never I suppose.

Current blog: I have really been enjoying following Anna the Apple and SF Road Warrior.

Current confession: Sometimes I don’t wash my hair before work. For whatever reason, I can’t stand dry shampoo, but I sprinkle some baby powder in my hair and I’m good to go!

Current drink: Bolthouse Farms protein shakes. These things are delicious and are a super convenient way to get some good protein in post-workout. I likely should be making my own protein shakes with our new blender, but sometimes (almost every time) convenience wins in my book.

Current excitement: It’s FRIDAY! Need I say more?

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Current fail: My relatively new phone got dropped (not naming any names) and the back is all cracked up. Thankfully the screen is fine though! Oh. And I got a new case for it to hide the cracks. I love it! Talk about making lemonade out of lemons …

Current game: Fetch! Okay, so technically I don’t play fetch, but Brookser surely does. I consider myself more of a facilitator in the game of fetch.

Current habit: Keeping my fingernails ridiculously short. I’m trying to not get my nails done very often and so if my fingernails can’t be pretty, I like them to be pretty much nonexistent. I used to have to keep my fingernails short when I took piano lessons in high school (my teacher would make us trim our fingernails if you could hear them “click” on the keys) and I hated it (both the fingernail trimming thing and the entire piano lesson thing).

Current indulgence: Taking a few minutes to lay down after my workouts. I look forward to this time during the entire workout. Ha!

Current joke: What kind of shoes do frogs wear? Open toad.

Current knowledge: The only thing constant is change.

Current list: I’m trying to narrow down my fall marathon options. I’m looking at the beginning of December and there are several good options, both locally (Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, AL and Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon in Biloxi, MS) and across the country (California International Marathon). If I wait until December, I can get a solid block of speed training this summer and then not start marathon specific training until the fall, after we get back from Ragnar Colorado. There are also some earlier races are on my radar, but aren’t really as viable. Those are Indianapolis, St. George and Philadelphia.

Current mood: Happy (with a side of sleepy).

Current need: Screen wipes. I am a little OCD about keeping my phone and other electronic devices clean (that’s an understatement). I’ve been out of screen wipes for several days now and it’s making me crazy.

Current obsession: Hydration! Gotta stay diligent and on top of the hydration situation now that it is getting toasty outside.

Current procrastination: I renewed my car tag in April, but have yet to put the new sticker on my car because I am waiting until my car is clean. I should likely just wipe the sticker part off and get it over with, but maybe I’ll actually go to the car wash sooner rather than later. That’s what I keep telling myself at least.

Current quote: See below.

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Current rave: I love the Brooks Levitates. I have been a loyal Brooks Launch girl for years now, but the Levitates are definitely in the running for favorite shoe right now.

Current show: Fairly Legal. It just suddenly dawned on me that all of my favorite shows are legal shows. I thought about being a lawyer back in the day. I definitely don’t regret the decision not to do that, but I still think that watching legal shows is super interesting. If I was a lawyer, I’d want to do all of the research and not have to argue in court.

Current uncertainty: I am doing the Grandman Triathlon as part of a relay team (like I did last year). Apparently the bacteria levels in the bay have been much higher than normal and higher than what is advisable for swimming, so we aren’t sure yet if the swim will go on or if it will be a duathlon instead. If it is a duathlon, it will be a run, bike, run and I will be running twice (a one mile and a 5K) instead of just the 5K. Hopefully we will find out today, because I need to think about my strategy for that! I’d have about an hour in between the one mile and the 5K.

Current vegetable: I am loving cauliflower these days.

Current want: To go skiing!

Current yearning: To find passion in mutiple facets of my life simultaneously.

Current zone: Pretty comfortable.

Tell me: What is currently going on in your life?

Monthly Recap

April Recap

It seems that every month flies by but goodness gracious, this one really flew by. I lost the first 17 days to tax season, so that pretty much explains it. The good news is that it is done now!

Month Recap: April 2018

The Running

As April wraps up, I’ve got some clarity as far as what I want to do, training-wise at least (there are still a lot of other areas that are lacking clarity (ha)). I am going to focus on my speed and shorter distance races throughout the summer. In a perfect world, I’d LOVE to get back into 5K PR shape. I don’t know if that will happen, but it’s worth a shot.

We are going to Colorado for another Ragnar Relay in August (which I am SUPER PUMPED about) and I plan to shift my focus to longer distance training in the fall. I am thinking about the possibility of a late fall marathon, but nothing is set in stone at this point.

Workouts: After running all the races in March, the first three weeks of April were quite lame tame on the workout front. In fact, I only did two workouts in the first three weeks and then I started to redeem myself by doing two workouts in the last week as well.

3 mi. WU, 4 mile progression (7:00, 6:48, 6:40, 6:35), 3 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 3 mile tempo (6:34, 6:27, 6:18), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 8 X 400 (1:29 avg.) w/ 200 float (0:55 avg.), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 6 X 1 mile progression (6:41, 6:31, 6:19, 6:11, 6:08, 6:03), 2 mi. CD

Favorite workout: I enjoyed both of workouts that I did during the last week of April. It’s amazing how much a new outlook on training can have on the quality of your running! While I think that the 6 X 1 mile workout was stronger, I really enjoyed the 8 X 400 w/ 200 float workout that we did on the track. Having company for a workout trumps a solo workout every time.

Races: I ran the 8K by the Bay on April 21st.

Favorite race: Even though it was the only race that I did, the 8K by the Bay is a fabulous event! I loved the shirts, the medals and the awards, the course and pretty much everything about this race. It’s a good one!

Paces: My paces ranged from 6:03 (last mile the 6 X 1 mile workout) to 10:37 (first mile of our beach run).

Miles: 270.6!

Longest run: 14 miles.

Shortest run: 4 miles.

Rest days: Four!

Strength training: I have still been consistently getting in 5 to 10 minutes of strength work each day. I figured that I would add pictures of my “planking routine” below. I alternate the poses every so often (as it really isn’t super beneficial to hold one position for as long as you can). I also add some other variation by lifting one leg at a time, tilting my hips up toward the ceiling and by doing plank push ups where you repeatedly go from a forearm to a regular plank and back. Those push ups get really tough really quickly!

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The Other Stuff

Current activity: Spring cleaning! I have been going through the closets, drawers, etc. and getting rid of stuff that I don’t ever use.

Current book: I can’t say that I’ve made a ton of progress in the reading department this month. I’m planning to make up for that at the beach next week!

Current confession: After the above-referenced spring cleaning (and every closet “purge” that has been done in the last ten years), I just can’t bring myself to get rid of my first ever pair of Nike tempo running shorts from college. They aren’t even cute, but I just can’t part with them. I even wore them last week so that they wouldn’t fall into the “if you haven’t worn it in the last year, get rid of it” category.

Current drink: Smoothies! We got a Nutri Ninja Pro Blender and now we can blend up lots of whole fruits and veggies into delicious smoothies. Sweet!

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We are #sohealthy with our green smoothies! 💪🏽😂

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I also discovered a new coffee flavor, called toffeenut, that is quite yummy.

Current excitement: Going to the beach for a few days next week and then going to Auburn for a few days the next weekend (Daniel is doing a race :))!

Current fail: I consider myself a fairly organized person, but I can not, for the life of me, keep up with important things like keys, phones, credit cards and rings. I’m pretty sure I “misplace” one of these things every single day. It’s annoying (as in I am annoyed with myself when it happens).

Current game: Daniel has been playing a ton of disc golf. I’ve played with them several times, but all of the guys are getting really good and I’m … well … not.

Current habit: Listening to music as I get ready for work. I feel like this puts me in a better mood than simply getting ready in silence.

Current indulgence: Napping. All the napping.

Current joke: What did the nut say when it was chasing the other nut? I’m a cashew.

Current knowledge: Did you see this article? Basically one sports scientist suggests that holding any specific planking position for any longer than 10 second intervals is pointless. I don’t know if I 100% agree, but I do throw in a lot of variations as I go, so at least all of my work is not for naught.

Current list: My to do list is very, very short, which is a very, very good feeling! 

Current mood: Contemplative.

Current need: I need a little bit of yoga in my life! I was telling Jessica the other day that I had heard a lot of really good things about Jasyoga and she ended up signing up for it, so I decided to as well. It’s a series of short yoga videos and it’s a monthly subscription service (only $9.99 per month).

Current obsession: Sage Canaday on YouTube.

Current procrastination: Taking the fruits of my spring cleaning labors to the thrift shop.

Current quote: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

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But really, I just wanted to show you one of the cute baby birds that fell out of his nest in our yard. Several of them tried to jump ship, but thankfully we were able to get them back into the nest and the mother has still been feeding them and taking care of them since then. It must also be noted that this little guy (or perhaps one of his siblings) did in fact poop in my hand during one of the rescues. I wonder if at that point, the old adage becomes somewhat untrue?

Current rave: I just signed up for my first Mercury Mile box and I can’t wait to see what is included. It’s like Stitch Fix for runners. Check it out!

Current show: We found a show that we loved … and then it was only one season. Womp, womp. It was good while it lasted at least. It’s called Out of Practice. We have now moved on to a new (to us) show called Accidentally On Purpose. Apparently, it is only one season as well! Why? This means we need recommendations! Help.

Current uncertainty: I basically have no clue what my work life is going to look like going forward. It’s a tad stressful, but I hope to iron out some of the details this week.

Current video: This is just insane, but if a kangaroo had little Brookser in a headlock, I would totally hit him with a right hook. Ha. Also I would just like to point out that no animals or humans were harmed in this video.

Current want: I really want the new Garmin 645. Two of my friends have it and it is just SO pretty! It’s also very expensive though. Does anyone want to purchase a Garmin 235 so that I can trade up?

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Current yearning: Authentic connection.

Current zone: Relaxed!

Tell me: What is currently going on in your life?

Monthly Recap

March Recap

Hey-o! It’s time to recap another month of running and madness!

Month Recap: March 2018

The Running

Workouts: Not a ton of workouts in March this year. I typically don’t do a ton of workouts in March anyway, just because work tends to get a little hectic and there is less time to focus on training. This year the lack of workouts was primarily due to the fact that I ran lots of races on the weekends and was trying to recover during the week or, if I did happen to do a workout, it was likely short and just to try to stay sharp.

1 mi. WU, 6 X 400 (6:00 avg. pace), 1 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 3 mi. @ marathon pace (6:59, 6:57, 6:58), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 3 mi. @ threshold pace (6:36, 6:35, 6:29), 3 mi. CD

 2 mi. WU, 4 X 1 mile @ threshold pace (6:26, 6:23, 6:24, 6:18), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 3 mi. @ marathon pace (6:54, 6:59, 6:47), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 2 X 2 mi. @ threshold pace (6:25 avg., 6:19 avg.), 2 mi. CD

Favorite workout: If I have to choose one, I’ll go with the 4 X 1 mile at threshold pace. I felt the best during that workout and the others were all just sort of … meh. For what it’s worth, I definitely have a least favorite workout and that would be the second to last workout of the month. I labeled it as marathon pace above, but it was originally supposed to be a threshold pace run. I did this workout after work (so basically, I should receive an award simply because I did the workout :)). I don’t know what it is about evening runs, but I tend to feel very sluggish and not particularly motivated. I think morning running is so ingrained in my routine at this point that my body is just like “what the heck” when I ask it to try to run in the evening. Let’s face it, I’d pretty rather do anything in the morning than in the evening.

Races: I ran all. the. races. in March! It was wonderful! Recaps are here, here, here, here and here.

Favorite race: SPRING FEVER! Duh.

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Paces: My paces ranged from 5:59 to 9:55. Variety is the spice of life and training.

Miles: 251!

Longest run: 12 miles. I did three 12 mile runs and a few 10 mile runs, but otherwise, everything stayed in the single digits.

Shortest run: 3 miles. I overslept one morning and 3 miles was better than no miles.

Rest days: Two. Both unplanned, but both much needed and greatly appreciated.

Strength training: I am still pretty consistently getting in 5 to 10 minutes of strength work each day. It is definitely adding up over time.

The Other Stuff

It’s been a little while since we’ve chatted about other random current things.

Current activity: Blogging.

Current book: I’ve been stuck in a dark hole reading The Racketeer by John Grisham for over a month now. It’s not that I don’t like the book, it’s just that I fall asleep within 5 minutes of starting to read every night and you don’t make a ton of progress that way! I actually finished it up last night though.

I also just ordered Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life by Susan David. I recently listened to her interview on The Rich Roll Podcast and it was AMAZING. It was like light-bulb moment after light-bulb moment as I listed to the interview. It’s a really long interview (it took me two and half runs to get through it, which is definitely saying something), but it is definitely worth your time if you are a podcast person. I loved it so much that I’m thinking about going back and listening to it again and taking notes. In the meantime though, I ordered a paperback copy of her book (also so that I can underline and make notes). Nerd status level 100.

Current confession: I am a sucker for targeted advertising on social media. I am now the proud new owner of a Hippie Runner tank …

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Current drink: Ginger lime diet coke. Have you guys tried this? It is so good!

Current excitement: 15 MORE DAYS until the end of tax season! 30 MORE DAYS until the end of the Spring semester!

Current fail: Why?

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Current game: Ping pong!

Current habit: Drinking at least 64 oz. of water each day (with Nuun of course).

Current indulgence: Eggs … of the chocolate variety.

Current joke: What did the DJ say to the farmer? Lettuce turnip the beet!

Current knowledge: Learning is a lifelong activity.

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Current list: Each week I make a list of things that I need to get accomplished for work, for school (which is also work, but I just separate it in my mind by calling it school) and for home. 

Current mood: Overall pretty content (with a side of stressed).

Current need: COFFEE!

Current obsession: Thoughts of dog. If you are a dog person, you need to follow @dog_feelings on IG (or on Twitter if that’s your thing). It’s the best.

Current procrastination: Preparing my own tax return. I always wait until the last minute to do ours.

Current quote: All of the Susan David quotes! I can’t wait to get her book!

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Current rave: I love the Carrie Underwood (ft. Luda) song, The Champion. It is one of the most perfect running songs there ever was.

Current show: We’ve gotten back into Shark Tank recently. I like the fact that you can watch all of even just part of an episode at a time and not waste over an hour of your evening.

Current uncertainty: I have no idea what my work life will look like after tax season and the Spring semester of teaching is over. I do know that I am teaching two classes during the Fall semester, but … I definitely have to figure out something in the meantime!

Current victory: Getting this post completed!

Current want: I want to find a race to train for! It’s weird having nothing on the calendar.

Current yearning: Some beach … somehwere.  

Current zone: Focused.

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Tell me: What is currently going on in your life?

 

Monthly Recap

February Recap

Hey-o!

Welp … February sure flew by! Seeing as how it has less days than all of the other months, I guess that makes sense. Although I’m fairly certain all of the other months fly by as well.

Month Recap: February 2018

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Workouts: I did a lot of workouts this month! I’m doing a new thing with my training these days (post-marathon). I intended to do a separate post about it, but I have been a little short on spare time. I’ll try to give you a brief overview here …

This new program is built on Jack Daniels’ VDOT training. VDOT refers to the rate at which oxygen is consumed (or more specifically the volume of oxygen consumed per minute) and it provides a way of determining your training intensity based on a recent race performance. All of your training runs and workouts are done at either repetition, interval, threshold, marathon or easy pace.

  • Repetition pace is the fastest pace and is used to improve speed and economy. Repetition pace is fast, but not necessarily “hard,” because each repetition is relatively short and is followed by a longer recovery. Repetition pace should be similar to your current one mile race pace.
  • Interval pace is the next fastest (but slower than repetition) and is used to stress and improve your aerobic power (VO2 max). It takes about two minutes for you to build up to functioning at VO2 max so the ideal duration of an interval is 3 to 5 minutes each. If you go past 5 minutes at this pace, there will be anaerobic involvement, which results in blood-lactate build-up.
  • Threshold pace is used to improve endurance. Examples of threshold pace runs are steady, tempo runs or intermittent runs, also called cruise intervals. So this would be comfortably hard running for either a steady 3 to 4 miles or repeated runs of 5 to 15 minutes each, with 1 to 3 minutes of rest between the runs.
  • Marathon pace is used to experience race pace conditions for those training for a marathon or simply as a slower alternative to threshold pace.
  • Easy pace is used to promote the physiological benefits that build a solid base from which higher-intensity training can be performed. Easy pace is a crucial, but often overlooked part of training.

Here are my actual workouts from February (color coded based on the above-referenced paces, because I am cool (i.e., a nerd) like that):

3 mi. WU, 2 X 2 miles (12:40 (6:20 avg.), 12:28 (6:14 avg.)), 1 mile (6:11), 2 mi. CD

3 mi. WU, 3 X 2 miles (12:48 (6:24 avg.), 13:24 (6:42 avg.), 13:24 (6:42 avg.)), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 5 X 1K (3:42, 3:40, 3:42, 3:45, 3:49), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 3 miles (6:39, 6:21, 6:19), 2 miles (6:23, 6:20), 1 mile (6:14), 2 mi. CD

3 mi. WU, 5K time trial (6:04, 6:14, 6:29), 5 mi. CD

 2 mi. WU, 4 X 1200 (4:31, 4:34, 4:39, 4:51), 2 mi. CD

 2 mi. WU, 3 X 2 miles (12:43 (6:21 avg.), 12:38 (6:19 avg.), 12:32 (6:16 avg.)), 2 mi. CD

14 mi. LR w/ 2 miles at 6:42 & 6:38

2 mi. WU, 2 X 1 mile (6:20, 6:17)2 X 1000 (3:46, 3:50), 2 X 400 (1:23, 1:23), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 6 mi. tempo (6:27 avg.), 1 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 3 miles (6:40, 6:28, 6:28), 1 mile easy, 2 miles (6:38, 6:29), 1 mile easy, 2 miles (6:36, 6:29), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 1 mile (6:22), 2 X 1000 (3:44, 3:50), 2 X 200 (39, 39), 2 mi. CD

Favorite workout: I’ve really enjoyed switching things up a bit. A lot of these workouts vary the paces and the length of the intervals and the recoveries during each run, which keeps things interesting. My favorite workout was the 3, 2, 1 threshold workout. The workout was 3 miles at threshold pace, 3 minutes of recovery (easy pace), 2 miles at threshold pace, 2 minutes of recovery (easy pace) and 1 mile at threshold pace. The workout flew by and I loved that after the first set, I was already half way done with the hard part of the workout.

Races: A big goose egg. I can’t believe that I didn’t run any races. This was my first month without a race since December of 2015. How crazy is that? Let me answer for you … very. I didn’t even realize that I had that much of a streak going until I just thought to myself, “I can’t remember the last time I wrote a monthly recap and didn’t have at least one race.” Ha. I am planning to more than make up for my lack of February racing during March though. I’ve got plans for 4 (potentially 5) races in March!

Favorite race: Sad face.

Paces: My paces ranged from 6:04 to 9:07.

Miles: 271!

Longest run: 14.75 miles. Nothing too long in February, as my training was more focused towards 5K and 10K type of races.

Shortest run: 3.5 miles. This was an easy double one afternoon where I was short on time and couldn’t get my standard 5 miles in.

Rest days: I took two unplanned rest days (both on Thursday). The class I am teaching this semester is on Wednesday nights. I typically don’t get home until around 9:30 and I’m not getting to be until close to 11 (which is about 3 (or 4 :)) hours later than I prefer). I usually set my alarm to run Thursday morning before work, but I don’t think that has actually happened yet. A few days I have gone after work on Thursday, but otherwise, it just becomes a good day to take a rest.

Strength training: I am pretty consistently getting in 5 to 10 minutes of strength work each day. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but it’s better than nothing and it definitely adds up over time.

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Other activities: We’ve gotten really into disc golf and ping-pong recently! I played disc golf 3 times this month and Daniel and I have been playing ping-pong pretty much every day for about a week now.

Funny story … we’ve had a ping-pong table for several years now, but it’s been in storage. We were planning to take the table over to a friend’s house last weekend. We borrowed a truck from one of Daniel’s co-workers, loaded the table up (using a life jacket to keep it from scratching the bed of the truck (naturally)) and headed to make the exchange. Well … we only got about half a mile before the truck started smoking pretty badly. We weren’t sure what to do at this point, so we returned the truck to its owner, explained what happened and decided to just “wheel” the ping-pong table down the street to our house. Thankfully, we only live about half a mile from Daniel’s co-worker, so that *seemed* easy enough.  Turns out, the wheels on ping-pong tables aren’t exactly “street-legal,” and we had some major malfunctions along the way. Daniel basically ended up having to carry one end of the table. I had on the life jacket, was carrying 6 ping pong racquets, an entire container of ping-pong balls and also two coffee mugs that we found in storage that we wanted to bring home and we were pushing a ping-pong table down the road. It was quite a sight … but now that we have the table at home, we are thoroughly enjoying it!

Coming up: March is going to be the month of the 10K! I’m headed to Birmingham for the Wine 10K this weekend and then every other weekend in March there is a local 10K (Leprechaun Chase, Spring Fever Chase and Azalea Trail Run). I might try to do them all … because, why not?!

Happy Friday! I hope you guys have a wonderful weekend!