Saturday, December 31, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
This is the time of year that I like to call “Crimbo Limbo”. For those of you not hailing from the British Isles, “Crimbo” is slang for Christmas. This is that awkward time of year between Christmas hols and New Years, compounded even more this year by the fact that Christmas fell on a Sunday and Boxing Day fell on a Monday, so I didn’t actually get back to work until today (Wednesday). I’m leaving early-ish on Friday (hopefully) to visit the boyfriend in DC for our very first New Years Eve spent together in 3 years.
Running was a bit dodgy this week. I drove down to New Jersey on Friday night and got to the hotel I’d booked WAY earlier than planned (5 pm). With the weather good and me in fine spirits, I planned to just continue on, but decided to stop at the hotel anyway since I had paid for a room and figured I’d take a quick nap and go for a run. The a/c was making strange clicking noises for the whole 2 hour nap so it didn’t go as planned, but I did get on the treadmill. I was honestly not feeling the run, and cranked out 2 miles before heading back on the road.
Knowing that Christmas was imminent, I went for a run on Christmas Eve. 5 whole miles. It honestly felt great… knees were good, everything was good. I was just not really in that running frame of mind and the treadmill had a mounted TV with dodgy audio, so it made the run feel longer having to watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians in one ear. I did a very quick upper body session on Christmas Day that was supposed to go longer but I was tuckered out from the travelling and the long run the day before, so I packed it in after 30 minutes.
I left late on Monday and arrived at 6 am yesterday morning, so yesterday was a write-off. Today I do plan to go for at least 4ish miles with my cousin. I’ve been eating junk food all week including MIL’s cookies and Buffalo Wild Wings (death), so it’ll be nice to get back on track. My cousin in Scotland will be getting married in February and I have a skintight red dress to fit into by then, so I NEED to get my shiz together.
I’ve noticed that I normally just post about my workouts and I feel that I should offer more to my loyal blog followers, so I’m going to offer up examples of my favourite workouts for other people to try.
Today is the Song Interval Session
I was talking to my boyfriend today about running music and how he makes fun of me that I have about 20 different running-related iPod playlists. One playlist is called “Song Intervals”. I basically create interval sessions based off of songs that I’m running too (fast songs, slow songs, etc). It goes a little like this:
I usually determine how long I want to run for first. Let’s say I want to do a 40 minute run. Each song on my playlist probably averages about 4 min/song, so running for 40 minutes, I’d go through about 10 songs, give or take.
Next, I determine my running speeds and how I plan to divvy up my song intervals. Do I want to increase speed during a fast chorus, or do I want to maintain one speed throughout an entire song? Depending on how ADD I feel that day, I usually go with one speed per song. I pick my speed intervals based on songs.
In a sample workout, I’ll maybe pick 6.0 mph for slower songs, 6.5 mph for mid-tempo songs, and 7.0 mph for fast songs. I have to bear in mind that two or three fast songs could come up in a row (when I set the iPod to shuffle), so I could conceivably have to maintain 7 mph for 10-15 minutes. This is why it’s best to be conservative when picking speeds.
Here’s a sample workout:
For example (just off my playlist now):
1. Drowning by Avicii ft Laura V (slowish – maintain 6.0 mph)
2. Long Way Down by Goo Goo Dolls (fast 7.0 mph)
3. Untouched by The Veronicas (fast 7.0 mph)
4. Drive My Soul by Lights (6.0 mph)
5. Chelsea Dagger by the Fratellis (I call it mid-tempo, 6.5 mph)
6. C’Mon by Tiesto ft Busta Rhymes (fast 7.0 mph)
7. About You Now by Sugababes (mid 6.5 mph)
8. Without You by David Guetta ft Usher (6.0 mph)
9. Bury Your Head by Saosin (fast 7.0 mph)
10. Up by James Morrison ft Jessie J (slow 6.0 mph)
Let’s say each song was exactly 4 min, the workout would be 40 min with an average pace of 6.5 mph, therefore resulting in a 4.3 mile run with 518 calories burned (for me, a 160 lb woman).
Numbers will of course vary depending on the songs and the actual amount of time you spend running, but it generally ends up averaging out.
And all I had to do was just listen to 10 songs :)
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Running-wise, well… I was SUPPOSED to go to the Buffet des Continents with my cousin and family on Monday as I will be ditching them at Christmas to be in New Jersey. My dad is very reluctant to accept change, so we ended up at Swiss Chalet (all you can eat buffet vs. 500 calorie rotisserie chicken meal). In preparation for this massive meal, I decided to just “go for it” and run 5 miles. At the end of the day, I’d run 5.3 miles and had done an arm workout. It felt amazing and I was just cranking out the miles nae problem. The only issue was my left knee into my fifth mile. Something to watch out for, but I think some leg strengthening will help with that.
I didn’t run yesterday as I’d only gotten 5.5 hours of sleep the night before and was just in a bad emotional state. Usually I run in those situations, but I was SO exhausted. I was sitting on the couch at 8 pm and was violently shaking from being so cold/tired. My muscles couldn’t even function properly. It was quite distressing, actually. I went straight to bed and woke up today at the usual time (6:15 am). I feel much better today. Unfortunately, I have a work lunch so can’t run then and a spray tan after work. Yes, yes, a dumb reason to not run, but I really can’t sweat/shower for a few hours after a tan! Perhaps I will let it sink in and go for my run around 9 pm tonight. We’ll see!
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Due to only getting 6 hours of sleep on Sunday night and 5.5 hours of sleep last night, I've decided to skip today's workout and reserve that energy for my brain. Law exam tomorrow and geography exam on Friday. Feeling confident about the former, but the latter is a bit daunting. Luckily for me, I have a very good idea of what to expect on the final in terms of lecture content, so I'm hoping to narrow the scope of my lectures down to what's required. My goal for that course is just to pass it. So far, I have about a B in the class, so it's not like I'm teetering on the brink of pass/fail, but exams still stress me out nonetheless.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
The run felt absolutely amazing and I was just stunned at how far along my cardio has come since surgery. I'm better than I was BEFORE surgery. That being said, I did feel a bit of pain in my internal surgery spot that I'm keeping an eye on... but I felt good. Legs felt good, tendons felt good... this challenge has just been amazing for me. Two more 3 mile runs and I've hit 20 miles per week without even trying (which is big for me!). I thought 20 mpw was a far-away goal, but I've definitely realized it's closer than I thought!
Monday, December 5, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
My boyfriend has always said to me that I amaze him because I am ridiculously influenced by myself. That sounds a bit strange but I'm one of those people who will absolutely do something if I say I will do it. I can also turn into a major failure with a few doubtful thoughts as well. Music and running have gone hand-in-hand with me and I have had some amazing runs almost entirely because of the music I was listening to. I mentioned in one post about running in Dallas and having "Everything" by Lifehouse playing as I was running side-by-side with my shadow through the parched grass. "Everything" is pretty much the opposite of what you'd want in a running song, but it got me into this crazy mindset that made me feel amazing and for those 5 minutes or so, I felt invincible. For my 5K, I want to be able to perform my best, and music plays a huge role.
In my last 5K, I made a hasty playlist about 20 minutes before the race of a bunch of high-energy songs. They worked well enough, but I find sometimes with my high energy songs that it just becomes too much. I almost tend to zone out and the effect becomes negated. It's like going into a casino and being intrigued by all the noise and flashing lights... it's great and gets you pumped at first, but then after a while you get fatigued, bored, and lose motivation.
I began testing the waters today to see what song combinations would work well for the race. My goal is to run negative splits, so I opted for "Rapture" by Lio as my opening song. The song itself almost runs for 9 minutes, so it gets my first mile out of the way at a steady pace that isn't too fast and won't make me start off like a bat out of hell. The hardest mile for me during any run is mile 2. You don't have the excitement from the beginning of the workout and you haven't traveled enough distance to feel like you've accomplished anything, so I'm trying to beat the mile 2 blues with a few high-energy songs. "All Fired Up" by The Saturdays has been working well for me, as has "Jumpstart" by These Kids Wear Crowns. I also like "Bury Your Head" by Saosin (it's always my first song in a sprint session). "Long Way Down" by the Goo Goo Dolls has a perfect cadence, and "Ruby" by the Kaiser Chiefs makes my run happy. I won't get to run to all of those, but probably at least three of the five will bring me to my final half mile.
For my final half mile or so, I picked the most RANDOM song today. I was running to the usual cardio playlist when I was getting to that bored/almost-there stage and wanted to really push myself. I was running at 6.7 mph which is a fast pace for me considering I've only been able to REALLY run for the past 3-4 weeks. I had joked to my boyfriend that him and his mom need to play the theme from Chariots of Fire as I cross the finish line before, which led me to think about the one song that I've always found strangely epic: the theme from Requiem for a Dream (Lux Aeterna). I put it on my iPod years ago and I always smile when it comes on at work... it makes making maps really intense. So, in my final half mile, I ran to some very epic violins. The climax of the song hit with about 0.1 miles left, so I just kept running past the finish line (of my treadmill). I upped the speed to 7.5 and held the cadence for another quarter mile.
I've found my finish line song.
(Oh and people were complaining I don't have enough pics on my blog so here's me lifting weights yesterday... I thought I looked tank-y but I think it's just cause I have big boobs).
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Waaaaaaaaaaaait a minute...
There's SNOW in the forecast!?
That's all I have to say about that.
Running and Workout Stuff:
Today is hopefully going to be a decent training day. I'm scheduled for an arms workout at lunch and then a long-ish run. My legs were pretty much shot for two days after a fairly difficult legs workout on Monday. I'm not sure if it was the difficulty, the fact that I hadn't done a specific legs workout in ages, or both, but either way -- that shiz hurt!
My 5K pseudo-plan calls for a long run today. I've been half following the plan and half just doing what I can given timings and schedule, but I think I'm going to aim for 5 miles today. It's long, but not TOO long (especially running on a treadmill). The goal is a 5.5 to 6.5 mph pyramid, with a speed increase/decrease every 0.25 miles (10 levels each way = 5 miles). I'll see how the ankle holds up. If things become sketchy, it may just be 4 miles. Either way, I'm hovering at around 9 miles for the week so far, so as long as I complete 1 mile and finish this arms workout, I'll have reached my weekly goal.
The goal system seems pretty decent so far. I checked out the calendar to see how the plan plays out over time and it looks like by mid-February, I'll be hitting around 20 mpw. It seems so close, yet also pretty far away. This isn't accounting for weeks where I don't hit my mileage. If I don't hit my goal, I tack on an extra week to the 4-week intervals. I'm guessing by the beginning of March, I'll be running a consistent 20-25 mpw base. This also happens to be a perfect time to start a 5 or 10K training program for spring races. I know the boyfriend wants to do a few in the spring, and we're still planning on our 50 Races in 50 States goal.
I need to start baking muffins at home and THEN taking them into work. I keep buying cafeteria muffins and, while I deem it "okay" twice a week-ish because I only eat the top, I know they're still far more terrible than my 150 calorie, 3g of fat muffins.
I'm getting hardcore anxiety about the next Month. Between Thanksgiving next week, my cousin from South Africa visiting, packing everything up, moving on December 1, two uni exams, working full time, balancing a healthy lifestyle, and settling into a new place, I feel ridiculously overwhelmed. Not to mention that the boyfriend has been busy getting his stuff packed and shipped on his own, so we haven't been able to do any shopping or planning together. I'm so ready to just be settled into my own place. I love my family but after having lived on my own and then moving back in with them, I'm ready to get out ASAP. I just hate the moving process!
Happy trails! x
Monday, November 14, 2011
It's been a little over a week and the area around my toes/ball of my right foot is still in pain. For a while I thought it was a stress fracture but it really just seems to be the result of wearing unsupportive shoes through airports all weekend. Blah.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
The showers at my work suck. Not only does the water come out smelling like egg yolk, but the temperatures are extremely wonky. If you set the temperature to around 75 (the water is NOT 75, by the way), it’ll cool off and then scald you, and then be normal, and then go to near-freezing, then re-scald you. I guess it’s their way of helping everyone save water. No one is going to be lingering in that pain stall for long!
I hit the treadmill at lunchtime today to get in a sprint session I’ve been meaning to do. The Hal Higdon adaptation I’ve been doing called for 6X400 m (so, 6 X 0.25) with jogging breaks of equal distance between sprints. Sprints are your goal pace which, for me, is 28:00, so that worked out to be 6.5 mph. Boy, did 6.5 mph feel a LOT easier a month ago! I know that I need to bear in mind that I just had surgery and I’m still even getting some pain from it so I can’t be too tough on myself, but a teensy weensy part of me still hopes that I can PR at the run this month. It’d be nice to go out with a big win.
Either way, I know that by next spring things will be looking up (or down, time-wise). The boyfriend is hardcore motivated to get fit and, the way he does things, he’ll be trailing behind for about a month and then lapping back to get me by the first race.
In other news, I got a new George Foreman grill and a crock-pot for the new home! I’m excited to make healthy foods for us! Especially in the winter. Healthy comfort food is what I’m all about, so I’m really looking forward to getting a kitchen to myself.
Time to actually work (boo).
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
Today’s run really just threw my whole being into question. I know that sounds a bit heavy for a lunchtime jaunt down Limebank Rd, but lately I’ve felt like I haven’t been able to keep up with things in life, or rather, taken on too many challenges. I love to challenge myself and in running, I’m no different. Today I realized that running is the one thing that I don’t want to ruin by making it another challenge. I want running to be my escape and, while it serves that purpose now, I don’t want my thoughts all day to involve running. I don’t want to feel like I have to finish 5 miles by the end of the night for things to be good. I want running to be the one place in my life where nothing truly matters.
I’m sort of second guessing my thoughts about this new change in my way of thinking. I have to have goals – even on just one run. But I don’t want there to always be a date, a time, a record to strive for. I keep thinking back to my days of aiming for military times. I said “one day, I want to run this time” and I worked towards that in any way I could. I made up fun little interval training exercises and I craved running. It wasn’t something I felt I had to do. I was thinking, “I can’t wait to get back on that treadmill and run tonight!”… I think it’s about time that I chill out a bit and mix it up. I’m definitely making sure that x-training happens this week and I am for sure sticking with my run-xtrain-run-xtrain-rest goal for the week. I still plan to run a 5K or 10K here and there, and if one day I feel like running the half, I will. I just feel that for now, training is leading to injuries, which is leading me to not run, which is leading me to misery!
I haven’t really come up with a goal for training yet. How do you have a goal for goal-less training? It’s so foreign to me to go into something without a plan. I guess my goal right now is to make every treadmill or outdoor session its own. I just want to run a few times a week for not more than an hour and just run how I feel like running that day. If I’m bounding with energy, it’ll be a sprint session. If I’m craving something chill, maybe a long slow one. Exhausted? Recovery run. All I plan to do is record my times for every run and my distance. Hopefully over time I see a trend of getting faster/having more endurance.
And maybe I’ll check out those Marines times.