Weekly Workouts

Hello! Coming at ya this evening with a run-down of my runs for the week:

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: 9 easy + RW group run

Wednesday: 3 mi. WU, 4 mi. LT tempo (6:44, 6:18, 6:18, 6:31), 1.75 mi. CD

I was tempted to take this workout to the TM or even the track, but ultimately decided that since I race on the roads and I need to do the workout on the roads. I need to get used to pacing myself, running on uneven terrain and battling the elements (wind, weather, etc.). I extended the warm up to avoid a humongous hill during the first mile of my workout again this week.

The workout was a 4 mile tempo at 6:15 to 6:25 pace. I have noticed that I have a hard time settling into the pace on the first mile of my tempo runs in the dark. I seem to be a bit slow on the first mile each week (even after an extended warm up) even though I feel like I am right on pace. There is a bit of a hill in the first mile of the route I have been doing (even though I avoid the humongous one), so I’m sure that has something to do with it.

I settled into a good groove during the second and third miles and was feeling good. I had to stop twice for traffic to cross the street during my fourth mile and it’s kind of difficult to get right back on pace after stopping. My overall average for the tempo miles was 6:27, which was only a few seconds off of my goal range, so I don’t really have anything to complain about.

No Ragrats.

Thursday: 8 easy

Friday: 2 mi. WU, 3 X 1 mile (6:36, 6:27, 6:33), 2 mi. CD

Friday morning was an impromptu track workout. I paced a friend for a few mile repeats and felt good!

Saturday: 9 easy

My legs were definitely feeling the quicker miles from Friday and a few miles into the run Saturday I knew that I needed to hold off and do my long run Sunday. I ran a few miles with the Daniels and headed back to the car. They did 20 miles and both of them ran great! I had some time to kill before they got back, so I headed over to RW for a few minutes and then met back up with the guys for breakfast.

Sunday: 16 mile moderate pace LR (7:46 average)

I am so glad that I waited for my long run because the weather Sunday was AMAZING! It was a perfect cool, crisp fall morning and I got in a great long run with friends. I took it a little bit easier the first half of the run (8:09 average) and then picked it up the second half of the run (7:22 average). I wish this weather would stick around for a while!

That’s it for the week. I’ve got TWO races next weekend. I’m pretty excited!

Have a great week y’all!

Weekly Workouts

Hey y’all!

This week was fairly uneventful (read: I took zero pictures on my phone). No pictures = uneventful week. It seems like it takes me a little bit of time to adjust back to reality after a weekend away. I am definitely not complaining. We had a great trip and I am thankful that we can get away for a weekend here and there.

I had a few good workouts this week, so that’s what we’ll talk about today. I’m pleased with the quality runs that I got in this week. Quality over quantity is my new thing and I’m enjoying it. I love pushing myself and getting a good workout in before work. I definitely have more endorphins on workout days!

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Monday: 5 easy

Tuesday: 3 mi. WU, 4 mi. LT wave tempo, 1.6 mi. CD

The wave tempo is a continuous run of ~ 30 minutes alternating intensities every 2-5 minutes. The purpose of the workout is to improve lactate threshold (LT) and efficiency at dissipating lactate and to improve your ability to run a quick pace for extended periods of time.

I was only supposed to do a two mile warm up, but the route we were running had us running up a pretty big hill on mile 3, so I extended the warm up to avoid starting my workout up a hill. I think I just lost at least 2 hard-core points.

The workout called for a 4 mile tempo, alternating the pace every half mile between 6:35-6:40 and 6:05-6:10. My actual paces for each half mile segment were: 6:55, 6:28, 6:37, 6:16, 6:33, 6:16, 6:36, 6:17, so the mile splits were 6:40, 6:25, 6:24, 6:26. I wasn’t quite as quick as I was supposed to be on the faster parts. It can be difficult to hit specific paces while doing a workout in the dark. I checked my pace a few times throughout the workout, but otherwise I was just trying to run by feel.

Wednesday: 5 easy

Thursday: 2 mi. WU, 8 X 800 w/ 400 rec, 2 mi. CD

I typically like to have more than one day in between stress workouts and actually, I was supposed to do the workouts Monday and Thursday instead of Tuesday and Thursday. However, due to the above-referenced reality adjustment that hit me Monday morning, I knew the better option for me this week was going to be Tuesday and Thursday.

Turns out that the 8 X 800 workout was an even bigger reality check than work Monday morning! My goal pace range was 2:52-2:56 (spoiler alert: I didn’t hit that). It has been a hot minute since I last did 800s (just checked … it was all the way back in May). I knew going in that it was going to be a tough workout, but I also knew that all I could do was give it a shot.

I hit 3:02, 2:56, 2:57, 2:58, 3:00, 3:00, 3:04 and 3:12. Not really happy with those last two, but otherwise I’ll take it. I just kind of felt like I ran out of steam. Also, my workout buddy did 6 X 800 and I was trying to encourage her throughout the workout (saying, “you’re over half way there” and “only two to go,” etc.) and I totally psyched myself out. By the time she I was done I was SO READY to be done too. Haha. My mind felt betrayed by my legs when I still tried to do those last two repeats, but I think my mind got the last say.

Friday: 5 easy

Saturday: 14 miles @ 7:26 pace

I don’t know exactly what happened for the long run this week, but I felt SO GOOD! Most of my long runs are supposed to be done at “moderate pace” right now (7:20-7:40). I was a little bit nervous going into it (mainly because I only had one day to recover from the 800 workout) and I even debated skipping the LR altogether and/or running it at an easy pace.

Daniel encouraged me to come run with him and to at least try the moderate pace. We got to the group run about 20 minutes early (Daniel is one of “those” on time is late people). I don’t really like sitting around waiting for the run to start (Hi my name is Sam and I need to be busy … like always). Thankfully Jim got there 20 minutes early (to run two miles before the group started) and so I decided to go ahead and get two of my miles knocked out too.

Apparently we were both ready to G-O, because we averaged 7:20 for those first two miles. At that point I figured I might as well try to hold that pace and see if I could keep the entire run somewhere in the goal pace range. We met back with the group for the 6 am start. Most of the guys were doing 18 to 20, so I ran 8 more miles with them and then I did my own thing for the last 4 miles.

Daniel ended up with 18 miles at a 7:21 average, so that was a really solid run for him too. He’s still planning to run the marathon in December.  

Sunday: 7 easy

That’s it for the week. I’ve got a mile repeat workout next week and a 5K next weekend. The temperatures are supposed to be in the mid-60s! Fingers crossed.

Work + Workouts

Hi! I hope you had a wonderful week and are enjoying your weekend!

Our second tax season (you know, the one they don’t tell you about when you are in school) is in full swing, so this was a busier than normal work week for me. Thankfully, it was also really productive! There is something very satisfying about getting lots of returns finalized. Nerd alert.

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We had our pictures made for our new website a couple of weeks ago. Here is the finished product! I am so thankful for my work family.

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In other news … marathon training is officially underway!

Technically this was the 3rd week of training, but I wasn’t really counting the first two weeks as marathon training in my mind. Mentally I felt like I needed a little bit of a break from “official” training. Since there wasn’t an actual race at the end of my last training cycle, the cycle didn’t really have formal closure. I still ran 31 miles, but it wasn’t a race so it just didn’t *feel* the same.

I decided (in my head) that this week was going to be the first official week of training. My head and the rest of my body were apparently on different wave lengths though, because the week was definitely less than stellar.

I started the week off with some sort of weird stomach bug, which wasn’t really ideal. I was supposed to do a 3 X 2 mile workout Tuesday, but I decided to give myself an extra day to recover and I ended up doing that workout Wednesday instead.

The schedule called for a 2 mile warm up, followed by 3 X 2 mile repeats with a goal range of 6:15 to 6:25 pace and a 2 mile cool down. I typically do these longer repeat workouts on the treadmill, but Daniel agreed to do the workout with me this week so we *attempted* it outside. It didn’t go exactly as planned. You win some, you lose some.

My average paces were 6:25, 6:40 and 7:00.

I kind of let my perfectionist, overly self-critical tendencies get the best of me and I was definitely a bit discouraged after this workout. It is so easy to let a bad workout get in your head and make you feel like you have (oh.my.gosh) lost all of your fitness (every single bit of it). On the other hand, it is also easy to not give yourself credit for the good workouts. It’s just like meh, that’s what was expected of me (which is definitely not the best outlook).

There are positive and negative takeaways from every workout and race that we do. Sometimes you just have to do a bit more digging to find those positives. In hindsight, here are a few positives …

1) I did the workout outside (meaning that it was dark, it was humid and there were hills … how rude). I have to learn to give up the security of the treadmill every now and then. I don’t mean security in a safety sense, but rather the security of having the treadmill control and maintain the pace for me. The treadmill is a wonderful pacer and it is a good tool to utilize sometimes (especially if you need a confidence boost), but doesn’t need to be used all of the time.
2) I didn’t give up. I seriously considered calling it a day after the second set, but I stuck with it. It’s better to keep fighting and run a little bit slower than your goal pace than to give up all together. Not every workout goes exactly as planned (pace wise) and I will still benefit from the work that was put in.
3) Daniel and I got in a good workout together. Couples who do LT (lactate threshold) repeats together stay together LT (long-term)! That’s what I decided anyway.

Daniel was not available for a comment or a picture after the workout, so Brooks filled in for him for a post-workout picture. Thanks Brookser!

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My legs were incredibly sore from this workout. It felt like I had raced a half marathon or something. I’m not usually that sore from a workout. Now I’m wondering if I actually had some sort of virus or something that was lingering a little bit longer than I realized. Either way, it was bizarre!

Thursday morning Rebecca, Jessica and I had a nice, easy run and came back to a beautiful sunrise over the bay. The mornings are definitely getting a little bit darker (bummer!), but the views are worth it.

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Saturday morning I had a 16 mile long run with the last 4 miles up-tempo (with a 6:45 to 7:00 goal range). I ran 12 miles with the group from Running Wild and then headed back out to do the last 4 on my own. It was a bit of a struggle, but I averaged 7:03 for the last 4 miles. I can live with that!

That’s where we are now. I’m pretty much in a run, work, eat, sleep and repeat cycle right now. I’m going to do my best to work posts back into my regular schedule. It just takes me a little while to settle into a good rhythm.

Talk to you soon!

Extraordinarily Ordinary

Hey friends! I’m bringing you a little something different today.

I always enjoy reading “Day in the Life” posts. A couple of the bloggers that I follow did these type of posts this week and I realized that I’ve never done one myself before. It’s time to remedy that! I like seeing little glimpses into other people’s lives. There is something about seeing the ins and outs of another person’s daily life that makes me feel connected to them in a deeper way even though they are a random stranger on the internet.

Hopefully you will enjoy this little glimpse into an ordinary day in my life. Besides, I think that the daily grind of ordinary days helps to prepare us for the extraordinary days!

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4:40: Hello, world!

The alarm goes off, but I promptly hit snooze. Not quite ready yet, world! After the one snooze, I was ready to at least begin the wake up process, which involves reading my devotional and a quick scroll through social media.

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I usually sleep in my running clothes (well, except for the shoes … that would be weird), so once I get myself out of bed, get my teeth brushed and put my eyes (contacts) in, I’m ready to go.

5:00 – 6:30: Let’s Run!

We usually start running between 5:00 and 5:15. Today I had a workout to do and Daniel decided to sleep in, so I hit the treadmill. The workout called for a 3 mile warm up, a 4 mile tempo with a goal range of 6:15 to 6:25 pace and a 3 mile cool down.

I like to ease into my treadmill workouts. For the warm up I start at 10:00 pace and every 2 minutes I increase the speed my 0.2 mph. Basically this turns the warm up into a little mini-progression run. My warm up miles were 9:00, 7:48, 7:18. By that point, my legs were awake and ready to go! I averaged 6:24 for the tempo miles, which was right within the goal range. I definitely had to work hard to hit that.


I cut the cool down a little bit short. I was DONE and just really ready to be off of the treadmill! Side note: I am pretty sure that is possibly one of the sweatiest runs that I’ve done. I had to wring out my socks afterwards. That doesn’t happen to me very often.

6:30 – 7:20: Randomness at Home

Lots of random tasks go down between 6:30 and 7:30. Things like post-run hydrating (I drank 20 oz. of water with 2 Nuun tablets this morning) and caffeinating, making the bed, updating my training log, playing with Brooks, checking emails, etc. Daniel always showers first (oh the joys of one bathroom apartment living) It takes me about 20 minutes to get ready for work, so as long as I am in the shower by 7:00, I’m good to go. Low maintenance #forthewin.

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I don’t know that anyone has ever told me that my curly hair specifically looks good, but I go with a “hope for the best” outlook.

7:30: Breakfast

Breakfast is not a fancy meal at our house. Let’s face it … none of our meals are really very fancy. If it can’t be prepared in the crock pot, in the microwave or on the grill, it doesn’t get prepared. Thankfully, Daniel and I are on the same page with this. We eat to live, not live to eat. We eat what I would consider to be a fairly healthy (i.e., clean) diet, but we aren’t perfect (obviously) … we definitely splurge on not so healthy options every now and then. Moderation is truly the key.

Disclaimer: I think that food is something that I will always have to be mindful and cognizant of. It is easy for me to slip into bad (i.e., disordered) habits when things get stressful or life feels out of control. Daniel does a really good job of reining me back in. I have a decent amount of nutritional knowledge, but I am by no means a professional. I am not giving nutrition advice or telling you how you should eat. I have found what works for me. Everyone has a different definition of “healthy” and different things work for different people … #findyourhealthy #comparisonisthethiefofjoy #differentstrokesfordifferentfolks.

Where were we? Ahh, yes. Breakfast.

Greek yogurt with oats and raspberries (one of my all-time favorite fruits) and a side of G2 (actually it is a Sprite zero & G2 mixture). Simple and nutritious. I also take a calcium supplement with breakfast. Daniel typically does a protein shake, a pop-tart or a stop at Chick-Fil-A.


7:45 – 8:00: Drive to Work

I had the added pleasure of stopping by Coffee Loft on my way to work this morning, because I was working at a client’s office and Coffee Loft just happened to be right on the way. It was basically a mandatory stop.

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Typically I just drive straight to our office, which is about a 15 (on a good day) to 20 minute drive. It’s not a bad commute at all and it gives me a chance to call my mom and chat for a few minutes each day.

8:00 – 10:30: Work

For any new readers or those that don’t know me well, my day job is in public accounting. I am a CPA. I have a master’s degree in tax accounting, so the majority of what I do at work revolves around taxes (preparing and reviewing tax returns, tax planning, responding to tax notices, etc.). Summer is a slow time of year for us tax folks, so I only work part-time during the summer months. Business tax returns that are extended are due September 15th, so that is the next deadline that we are working towards currently.

10:30: Snack

My stomach started to get a little rumbly mid-morning. I always seem to be hungrier on workout mornings. Luckily I brought some snacks for just such an occasion.

The nectarine was not quite as good as I was hoping that it would be, but oh well.

10:30 – 12:00: Work

Noon: Lunch

We had an internal meeting at work today and lunch was provided. We had homemade chicken salad on croissants and it was so good! Daniel and his co-workers go out for lunch pretty much every day, but I usually try to take my lunch with me. We don’t have a lot of great lunching options nearby, so it is easier just to take it with me. I usually eat pretty quickly and keep working anyway.

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12:00 – 4:30: Work

Our meeting lasted for a pretty long time, so the afternoon flew by. I worked on a few returns after that until it was time to go. Thursday is my Friday, so leaving work on a Thursday afternoon is the best feeling!

4:30: Snack

Quest bars are my go-to afternoon snack. I love them! They have 20 grams of protein and they are very satisfying.

5:00: Let’s Run (Round 2)!

I don’t run in the evening every day by any means, but my coach has two to three double run days built-in to my schedule each week. It seems like I usually get two doubles in, but rarely get three. The evening runs are usually very easy, recovery type runs. I met Rebecca right after work and we did 4.75 miles. I ended my run at .25 that morning and I wanted to even that out. I might have some slight traces of OCD. I usually make Rebecca run around the parking lot until my watch beeps for 5 miles, so she was thankful that we didn’t have to do that this time.

She pushes the stroller and we just chat about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

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We had a good run and we hung out and chatted for a while after we got done.

6:00: Head Home

6:30 – 8:00: Randomness at Home (Round 2)

Brooksy greeted me at the door with a wet nose and puppy kisses and Daniel and I caught up on our day. He had an appointment after work with Dr. Justin (his piriformis is still being a literal pain in his butt) and after that he went out for a ride on the motorcycle and played with Brooks. I was really excited to discover that my RRCA certificate and my MPR business cards had come in the mail.

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After a shower (round 2), I worked on the blog for a while with the Tour de France on in the background. The sun went down at 7:50 and it was a really good one. The pictures do not do it justice at all. It was just like the Kenny Chesney song … a “big orange ball, sinkin’ in the water.”

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8:00: Dinner

By 8 I was getting hungry. I made myself a turkey “wrap” (turkey, cheese, pickles and spicy mustard on a flat bread) and had some chips and a sweet potato on the side.

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Daniel had peanut butter, nutella and banana sandwiches with string cheese. Like I said … low maintenance. I take an iron supplement and vitamin C with dinner. I also had a big glass of chocolate almond milk.

8:30 – 9:30: Relax and Get Ready for Bed

We spend a little bit of time watching TV each evening. Our latest Netflix series is One Tree Hill. Neither of us have seen it before and it’s been pretty good so far. I’m snacking on a dark chocolate sea salt bar. I like to have a sweet snack before bed. Daniel is snacking on some Noosa (Australian yogurt) and applesauce. I also spend some time reading blogs in the evenings before bed.

9:30: Light’s Out!

Brooks says, “I can’t take it anymore.” He must’ve had a rough doggie day. Maybe I can get him to do a guest “day in the life” post one day!? Either that or we can just go see The Secret Life of Pets. It looks so cute.

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Whew. That’s a wrap. It was a fun, busy day. I hoped you enjoyed following along.

How was your day? Did you eat anything delicious or nutritious?

2016.116-118: Something New + A Beach Trip

Hello! A lot has happened since we last talked, and it’s only been a few days. I love post-tax season life!

For starters, I have decided to attend an RRCA coaching certification course so that I can “officially” coach runners. I realize that I could do this without a certification, but I truly want to learn more about the sport that I love and make sure that I am giving people solid, sound training advice. I have turned a few people down in the past, solely because I didn’t feel “qualified” to help them. It’s time to change that!

I don’t know exactly what it will look like, but I have several days a week to devote to coaching over the summer and I knew that I wanted to get started ASAP. As it turns out, ASAP is this weekend. Ashley and I are headed to South Carolina to attend the class together. I’m so excited about the class and that Ashley is going with me! It would’ve been quite a long road trip to make by myself.

I’m also thinking about getting certified to teach tennis lessons as well. I feel like coaching will make the perfect fill in for my off days in the summer and winter months, when my accounting job is less busy and it will (hopefully) allow me to do something that I truly love!

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Secondly, it’s Workout Wednesday! I haven’t done a workout in a few weeks and it really felt good to get back to it. I kind of let my workouts fall by the way-side the last few weeks of tax season, but that’s okay. My mind and body needed a break from the mental and physical stress of juggling work and strenuous workouts.

I headed to the treadmill when we got home from our trip (details to follow). I had a 6 mile tempo run to do and I got that done with a 2 mile warm up, followed by 6 tempo miles at 6:40, 6:40, 6:30, 6:30, 6:40, 6:35 and a 1 mile cool down.

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I listened to our Ragnar Tennessee playlist on Spotify and I now I am even more excited for that trip, which is coming up in a few weeks!

Mom and I had a wonderful mini-vacation to Watercolor! We did pretty much this exact same trip last year after tax season and had so much fun that we decided to make it an annual thing. Last year, we went Sunday and came back Tuesday, but this year we went Monday and came back Wednesday. The rates are a little bit better if you go during the week.

Brooks wasn’t thrilled to see us go Monday. I’m pretty sure he is saying, “Not cool, Mom. Not cool.”

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After a quick pic, we were ready to hit the road!

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I’ll go ahead and apologize, but this post will have lots of pics, mainly of mom and me. We are great travel buddies and just buddies in general, so we always have fun no matter what we are doing.

We got in and did a little shopping before we were able to check in to the hotel. Our room (the same one we stayed in last year) and the view were incredible!

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We walked on the beach for a little while once we got settled and headed to Bud & Alley’s for dinner. We ended up getting our dinner to go and walking back down the beach to sit on our balcony and watch the sunset. It was a nice, relaxing evening.

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After a good night’s rest, we were up and at ’em pretty early (vacation early at least) and ready to go! I got a good run in and met mom on the beach on my way back and we walked back together. I absolutely love running and walking on the beach. It’s one of my most favorite things to do. There is just something about being out there, especially early in the morning when not many other people are out and about yet, that is so peaceful and serene.

I saw a sign while I was out running that really made me think. It simply said, “Be Healthy.” The more I thought about that, the more I realized how different that could look for different people. For some people “healthy” may mean getting off the couch and getting active and for some people that may mean taking a rest day. For some it may mean cutting back on sugar and for some it may mean indulging in a delicious dessert.

I started to think about what “healthy” means to me. I think I would have definitely defined this differently over the years, but right now I would start with saying that it refers to your spiritual, mental and physical state, with spiritual being at the top. I was debating (with myself) whether mental or physical would come next, and I decided that they are so inter-related that it doesn’t really matter which one is more important. To me they go together. I think this little graphic describes it well.

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Being healthy means being able to do the things you enjoy and enjoy the things you do! I was thankful to be healthy, happy and running in one of my favorite places! It was a sunny day and the water was so clear and beautiful! We couldn’t have asked for better weather.

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I had been wanting to paddleboard in the Gulf for a long time and I was determined to make that happen this trip. When we got back from our run/walk, I was ready to get out there. The gulf was a little choppy, but not too bad (in my opinion). They suggested I use the “YOLO Yak” instead of the standard paddleboard. Despite the name (I think YOLO might be one of my least favorite acronyms ever), I was fine with that, as it was more stable and better suited to handle the waves. It was actually much easier to paddle in the gulf than it is in the bay sometimes.

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I loved it! I am hoping to paddle more this summer. I’m definitely counting that as a core workout.

After a pretty busy morning, we decided to relax a little bit, read and catch a quick nap before dinner that evening. I got super invested in the book I took to read. I read an entire book (Emily Giffin’s The One & Only) while we were gone. I wanted an easy, fun read and this book fit that criteria perfectly.

We walked over to The Great Southern Cafe for dinner that night. I’m pretty sure we go there every trip. It’s so good though! I got the salmon (per usual) and (also per usual) it was delicious!

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We got dinner and made it back to our room to watch the sunset again. We enjoyed another chill, relaxing evening. I guess that’s just how we roll! Play hard, rest hard, and repeat.

I got another good run in the next morning. I actually carried my phone and got some pics of the scenery. It’s just so pretty, I couldn’t resist. I love how diverse the scenery is. You go from this …

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To this …

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To this … All in one run!

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Mom came out to meet me and we were going to walk for a little bit, but we got caught in a huge downpour! There was only a 20% chance of scattered showers, but they found us. I normally wouldn’t care at all, but since I was carrying my phone, I had to seek shelter from the rain rather quickly. Thankfully my phone survived. We survived as well, we just had that drowned rat look going at the end.

We decided that we like piña coladas better than getting caught in the rain
and we’re not (all that) into yoga, but we possibly have half a brain (between the two of us as least).

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That is a pretty quick overview of our vacation. We got home this afternoon and it’s back to the real world (whatever that really means) tomorrow.

One last pic, because clearly I need one more pic of the two of us in this post … Just look that that water though. So pretty!

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That’s all she wrote! See you soon!

 

 

 

Workout Wednesday (Round 2)

Let’s catch up with what has been going on since we last talked …

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Monday I decided to get a massage, which is definitely NOT a normal thing for me. In fact, I haven’t had one in over 3 years I am fairly certain. It only seemed fitting after my post about anxiety that I do something relaxing though. I actually had a gift certificate that Daniel gave me for Christmas in 2013 that I had never used (relax much?), and even though it had an expiration date, thankfully they still let me use it. I’m not really big on having strangers touch me, but I actually found the whole experience to be very nice and VERY relaxing. I was not ready for it to be over!

After that, I headed to my “yoga for runners” class at RW. I was so zen by the end of this day! The classes seem to be getting a little big more challenging each week and this week we learned the crow pose. We have mainly just been doing more stretching type of things before this, so I was excited to try something challenging (not that I can do the stretching poses at all, but still). Here’s what it theoretically looks like (and no, this isn’t me).

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Maybe next week I will have it mastered and can get a picture. I wouldn’t count too much on that though.

Tuesday was a double run day. I did a humid, hilly run that morning. As I was running, I had a revelation that when you combine humidity and hills you literally end up with humility. The total elevation gain for my run was just under 500 feet, which probably isn’t much to some of you out there, but for lower AL, that is a hilly run! I tend to avoid hills at all cost, but I know that they will make me stronger and I’m going to have to run a few of them in New York so might as well get to it.

Tuesday evening was the usual group run at RW. I met at the store a little early to discuss the marathon training group that I will be leading (eek!). The official kickoff is next Thursday and the group will be training for the Pensacola Marathon on November 8th. I am really looking forward to this. Runners are awesome in general, so I know we will have a fun group and I can’t wait to get to know everyone and hopefully help them reach their marathon goals. After the meeting, we ran an easy 6 miles. Lizzie, Rebecca, Savannah and I after the run (i.e., sweaty and happy) …

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And today we are back to workout Wednesday! Today’s workout was a 3 mile warm up, 5 mile tempo, and a 3 mile cool down. My goal range for the tempo portion was 6:30 to 6:35 pace.

A tempo run is a faster-paced workout also known as a lactate-threshold (LT) run. Tempo pace should be “comfortably hard.” Tempo running improves a crucial physiological variable for running success, our metabolic fitness, by increasing your LT, or the point at which the body fatigues at a certain pace. During tempo runs, lactate and hydrogen ions—by-products of metabolism—are released into the muscles. The ions make the muscles acidic, and eventually lead to fatigue. The better trained you become, the higher you push your “threshold,” meaning your muscles become better at using these by-products. The result is less-acidic muscles (that is, muscles that haven’t reached their new “threshold”), so they keep on contracting, letting you run farther and faster.

My actual paces for the tempo portion were 6:35, 6:35, 6:33, 6:29, 6:25. I was very pleasantly surprised that I was able to hit these paces! I had already checked the temperature and humidity this morning and had my adjusted pace ready to go if I needed a “B” goal for the workout. If you missed my post on that, check it out here.

Next week is 16 weeks out from the NYC Marathon (November 1st)! This is the race that I will be training for (while the group I am leading trains for Pensacola), so my “official” training is going to be getting started next week. I’ll probably do some weekly training summary posts just to keep it organized and be able to look back on my workouts and mileage totals for the next race I train for. I enjoy reading those types of posts from other people, so hopefully y’all will find it interesting as well (or at least the runners out there that are reading will).

That’s all I’ve got for now. I am fixing to spend some time with Meb (unfortunately via his book and not in real life) and learn how to run, think and eat like a champion marathoner. Sounds intriguing, no? I will let you know what I find out 🙂

Gotta run!

Tempo Thursday

Today’s workout was 11 miles, with the first 8 at an easy pace and the last 3 at an up-tempo pace. My goal range for the tempo portion was 6:30 – 6:40 pace. I ran the first 8 with my training buddy and friend, Lizzie, and then immediately hopped on the treadmill for the final 3. My actual paces for the final 3 were 6:40, 6:36, 6:31, so I was very pleased.

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I always find myself trying to figure out what speed I need to be running to hit certain paces on the treadmill, so I made myself a handy little chart to reference. Today I did the first mile at 9.0, the second mile at 9.1 and the third mile at 9.2.

Treadmill pace conversions3

I know that there are positives and negatives to treadmill running, and I try to vary it up and do more workouts outdoors than indoors, since we don’t race on the treadmill. A few of my personal “pros” for running on the treadmill instead of outdoors are as follows:

  1. The treadmill offers a smooth, cushioned surface that is easier on your joints. Since I am coming back from a minor foot “issue” (I wouldn’t classify it as an injury) and haven’t done any workouts in just over two weeks (only easy runs), I thought that easing back into it on the treadmill might be smarter.
  2. You can control your pace. When running outside it can be hard to establish and maintain a consistent pace. I know that if I take my workout inside, I will hit the paces I am supposed to because I don’t really have a choice. Once I figure out what speeds I have to run, I get going and that’s it (one instance where stubbornness can be beneficial).
  3. You build mental fortitude. While some people find the treadmill to be boring or mundane, I actually enjoy it and find that I am more “in the zone” when doing workouts on the treadmill. There are often fewer distractions, which allows me to stay focused.
  4. There are no weather or temperature issues. Heat and humidity are a huge factor here in LA, so the treadmill offers a little bit of reprieve from the elements.
  5. There are no concerns about personal safety. This is often the only deciding factor for me. If it is dark out or if I don’t have someone to do a workout with me, then the treadmill is my only option.

Research has proven that setting the treadmill to a 1% grade accurately reflects the energy costs and simulates outdoor running. By setting the treadmill to a 1% grade, you offset the lack of wind resistance and the belt moving under you to make treadmill running the same effort as running outdoors. Research has also shown that your VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen that you can utilize during intense exercise) is the same when running on a treadmill compared to outside, which also supports that running on a treadmill is as effective as running outside.

Not a whole lot of other news to report from today. My car battery died, but luckily there was a Starbucks right across from where I was stranded. I think it was a sign.

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Thankfully, Daniel is Mr. Fix-It, so he came to rescue me, jumped my car off and replaced my battery. I don’t know what I’d do without that man.