Friday, November 22, 2013

Sore Legs, Running and St. Jude's Walk

Happy Friday! Finally! It has been a busy week!

After my wonderful idea of dead lifting and squatting the same day Tuesday, my life has been filled with running. My legs are STILL sore! But I not-so-secretly love that feeling.

The weather this week has been so perfect for running.

Its brisk and cold, but clear. The best running weather in my opinion. Despite the fact that I've been sleeping in two fleeces, sweatpants and wool socks, I am still going strong running in shorts! They just feel so much better than crops!

The Seattle Marathon is just a little over a week away. I am a little nervous, but mostly excited. I wish I would have gotten one more long run in, but I don't want to push it now. I'm hoping to do 10-12 miles on Sunday and I'll call it good! Hopefully I'll still survive 26.2! I read through my recap from last year, which got me pumped up. I'm hoping for a race anywhere close to how lovely last year's was!

Should I go with my watermelon look from last year?
Tomorrow morning, I'm working with another instructor at my gym to warm-up the walkers at the St. Jude's Give Thanks Walk!

The walk is downtown and I'm giving a short warm-up before its starts! Should be a fun morning, although I'm a little nervous to be onstage with a microphone! But what a great cause it is for. =)

Happy week-ending!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Holy Leg Burn

Happy hump day!

I've had some great workouts the past few days!

Monday night I set out for a run. I didn't really have any mileage in mind. I wanted to do at least 6, but since it was POURING rain, my best bet was to tell myself I only had to do three.

I absolutely LOVE running in the rain. What I do not love is having to actually get started in the rain. It's so hard to motivated when the wind is howling and the possibility of curling up on the couch is so tantalizing!

Monday, I finally got my butt out there, and it was WONDERFUL!

I ended up doing the 6 miles, and did it as a progression run. I was feeling great when I started out and decided to see how fast I could make it! I ended up averaging right around an 8 mile per hour pace and although I can't remember my exact time, I know it was close to my 10k pr!

I finished with around a 7.20 mile and felt like I was flying! It's these kinds of runs that make all the tough training worth it!

Tuesday, I was planning to run to work to teach my class and back, but I didn't really feel like running. It was cold and I knew it would be dark. The prospect of getting hit by a biker did not sound fun. So I decided to drive to the gym early and lift some heavy shit.

Heavy things that need to be lifted.
I'd already taught a class earlier that morning, but felt inspired to do some deadlifts. After I got to the gym, I decided I wanted to do deadlifts AND back squats. Um, overload much?

I warmed up on the rower for about 5 minutes and then built up to a semi-heavy 8 rep back squat and deadlift. Yes, I had to set up two separate bars. I ended up with:

105 lbs back squat
115 lbs deadlift

I did 8 reps of each for three rounds. And WHEW am I feeling it this morning! Ouchhhhh!

After that I decided to work on pull ups. I hadn't done any pull ups in weeks! I have had some issues with my wrist and hand, so grasping the pull up bar was tough.

I did 10 pull ups, deadhang until failure and then I kipped. I superset that with 5 dumbbell snatches on each arm with 25 lb. dumbbells. The lat burn feeling was awesome!

Not much else to report! Have a good one!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Lazy Weekend and Rain Run Half Marathon

Anyone else feeling sluggish today? I could have slept for 5 more hours I feel like...

I couldn't get my rear in gear yesterday for a 20 miler. It just didn't happen. But that's alright! I had a pretty lazy weekend all together. Lots of cuddle time with Milo, which I'll take any day!

I don't have much to report apart from being a slug, but I did register for another race!

The race is January 25th in Woodinville, WA. It's apparently a fast course, and there is a 500 person limit! Which means it won't be too crowded. What a treat! They also give out cupcakes at the end, and who doesn't love a cupcake?

Here's to a good week!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Where Did the Week Go?

Whew! What a week! And there are less than two weeks until Thanksgiving!

Last I left off was Monday, the day after running 18 miles. Ouch. It took me awhile to recover from that one. I took Monday off, except for a walk with Milo. Our bodies are so crazy! I assume the only way I could run 18 miles with no build up mileage-wise was muscle memory. My body has done it before, so it just did it. My body was definitely not ready for it though, and it let me know! Oh well, it was worth it!

I was still feeling rough on Monday night (My knees! Ouch!), and knew teaching two classes Tuesday was going to be challenging on my poor body. I was right, but as usual, I loved teaching. We did some short, 3 minute intervals. I had smaller classes this week and it's always a little more challenging to keep the energy up when that happens. But I left with a big smile on my face after each class.

Our classroom!
Wednesday I was planning to take it easy, but one of our instructors had a family emergency and couldn't come in. Allison to the rescue! I actually ended up doing a great strength class. We did 45 second intervals, 15 seconds rest, and superset two exercises. The class ate it up! Here's what went down:

Wednesday evening I ran with a friend. I hadn't run with someone else in awhile and it was a refreshing change. It was super dark when we headed out and we had a long talk about safety gear, especially since we were on a trail with a lot of bikers. My friend was sporting an awesome light that I am now incredibly jealous of. I'll have to ask her where it is from!

Thursday I took Milo over to Discovery Park for a short run.

Milo ready to RUN!
I didn't wear my watch, but think we went right about 3 miles. And the little guy didn't get sick in the car! Yippee!

Hoping for a 20 miler on Sunday, but again, I'm going to go with how I feel. I know I can finish the marathon with the training I have now, so no pressure! =)

Happy weekend!

Monday, November 11, 2013

No Pressure Running (and What Does the Fox Say?)

Happy Monday! I hope most people have a day off today for Veterans's Day. I also hope everyone had a good weekend full of sweaty adventures.

I did a seven mile run on Friday, which felt great. I am obsessed with the weather right now. Perfect running weather attire for me: gloves, long sleeve shirt, shorts. Saturday I took Milo for a long walk and did a workout on the Nike Training Club App.

This thing is really neat. I've never been a fan of workout apps. They just never seemed to be set up well and I could never really get into them. I was struggling for motivation on Saturday, and thought it would be a great time to try it.

There are lots of options for individual levels, what you want to work on, etc. The lady on it gets a little annoying, but I was sort of glad she was there to tell me what to do!

The app is free, which is awesome. A great tool for when you are struggling for motivation!

Since becoming a distance runner again, Sundays have returned as long run day. And 18 miles was on my agenda this past weekend. Eeep! I haven't run that far in almost a year.

I knew I needed to run on the road instead of the trails this time. And I ALMOST bailed. I got sucked into watching reruns of The Office and didn't want to leave my couch or Milo! Sometimes the thought of running for 3 hours is just so daunting. I told myself that if I wasn't feeling it after half an hour that I could just turn around and head back home. Luckily, I got my butt out the door!

Burke Gilman Trail in the fall time.
And I felt great once I started! At first, my plan was to break up the run into 3 mile chunks, trying to get a little faster each one. My first three miles were not consistent, but the next three were pretty even around 9.08. The next two miles got a little slower without my noticing and then I totally hit a wall. I was feeling great until around mile 9 when I turned around, and then I guess the thought that I was only half way through flipped a mental switch.

I struggled around 9.30s before giving myself a pep talk. While I'm not trying to PR this marathon in a few weeks, I thought about how fun it would be to do well, despite only a month or so of training. While my knees were aching and my hip flexors were getting tighter with every step, I started turning my legs over a bit quicker. My last 7 miles were each 9 minutes or faster. And although I was dead by the end, I felt like I could have pushed faster. My last mile was an 8.44.

Haven't seen 18 miles in awhile.
Just goes to show how mental the sport of running is. I had to really concentrate, but I pushed my pace below what was comfortable. And it just took a little mental strength. My body already knows what to do!

Thumbs up-ski!
I'm hoping for one more long run next weekend before the race in a few weeks, but we will see how I feel. I know I'll feel more prepared if I run at least 20 before race day, but I have zero expectations for this marathon, so I guess it doesn't really matter! No pressure running is fun! =)

I'm pretty happy with how I felt while running. It hurt a bit, but nothing was too painful. After I stopped, however, was another story! My knees were almost non-functional, my feet were screaming and several hours later my legs were just totally achy. I remember last year being able to run 22 miles, go to Crossfit and feel perfectly fine. Sigh. This is much healthier, though, I just have to keep telling myself and it doesn't mean I am out of shape!

And, with all that jazz, I leave you with this video for your Monday morning:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Exhausting Myself

This is exactly how I feel most days. I feel like exercise, particularly running, is the part of the day when I can be myself the most. I feel free from judgement and expectations. And I'm free to think. 

I taught two classes on Tuesday. I used the same workout for both. After teaching the first class early in the day and then working a shift at the gym, I didn't really feel like coming back at night. I was already starting to get sore from the class earlier and I didn't want to leave the comfort of home. By the time I got to class, however, I was totally ready! I had a record number of people who showed up and I loved every second. Even though I was beyond completely exhausted at the end of the class, I was in such a great mood.

I have come to LOVE teaching. I get such a great high from it. Sometimes it's the last thing I feel like doing because it takes so much energy, but once I'm done, I feel on top of the world!

Below is a version of the workout I gave my classes. After talking to someone about Body Pump classes, I was inspired to work on some tempo with my classes. We typically do things at a high intensity, and I wanted them to feel the difference between the all out and the slow burn feeling. We ended up doing a third round as well where we did a fast concentric movement and slow eccentric movement. It was tough to cue the class for the last round! So next time I do tempo work I will probably keep it easier with slow and vast variations.

Two days later I am still sore from this guy. Of course, I did it twice during the day and used the heaviest weights in the classroom (12 lbs). Let me know if you try it!

If you're in the Seattle area, you must know it's going to be a rainy, windy day. I'm hoping to brave it for an 8 miler this afternoon, but I may opt for an indoor workout and save the miles for tomorrow. Who's running in this weather that I can get some motivation from????

Monday, November 4, 2013

Run All the Races!

Oh boy, oh boy.

Anyone else feel like this after this weekend?

I was getting text messages all weekend with New York friends saying they were thinking about me since the NYC Marathon was happening. And with my twitter feed blowing up about the king of all races (aka NYC Marathon), and the Florida Ironman that was happening, I have a seriously urge to run all of the races. All of them!

Of course, my bank account and probably my body would hate that idea. So I am trying to keep a level mind about these things. That hardly ever works for me, but there's always a first time!

I debated pretty hard on Sunday whether I wanted to do my long run on the road or head back to the trails. Running around Cougar Mountain just sounded so much more interesting than slogging down the Burke Gilman. So I took my booty back to the trails!

This little tyke had to stay home this time. A - I didn't
feel like having another panic attack on the freeway from a
puking pup and, B - I wanted to run longer than
he could handle.
It was another beautiful day on Cougar Mountain. I wanted to run somewhere between 2 and 2.5 hours.

Unfortunately, there were a lot of people out and about. I like trail running better when I hardly run into anyone!

Nonetheless, I was happy to be out on the trails instead of slogging down the road in Seattle! I wasn't too worried about losing my way this time, except for the section that was renamed, so I was kind of confused at one point but made it through just fine!

The trail I took wasn't my favorite. There was one section that was super technical - lots of roots and rocks and things to trip over and it was very steep down.

I was afraid I was going to twist an ankle and had to take it super slowly. I think one of my miles in this section took almost 18 minutes!

There were lots of branches and trees that had fallen from the wind storm the day before. At one point there was suddenly a huge tree blocking my path. I had to stand there and figure out how to navigate it. I ended up crawling on all fours underneath to get to the other side.

I made a deal with myself that if I took my long run to the trails this weekend that I would have to road-run next weekend. And I'm ready!

I ended up running for about 2 hours and 18 minutes, so I'm not too worried about crossing the finish line of the marathon much anymore. I'm mostly just silly excited! And, luckily, I'm not sore at all today and feel really good, so I must have done something right!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Back to Cougar and A Sick Pup

Milo and I had a wonderful Halloween on Cougar Mountain yesterday. Until the ride back home. But lets get to the good stuff first!

We trecked over to Cougar Mountain in the early afternoon yesterday. I was worried about Milo in the car because he tends to get car sick and super anxious, but he did great all the way out!

It was cool and foggy and just perfect running weather! I had an 8 mile loop planned and hoped that I wouldn't get lost and that Milo would be fine during the whole thing.

Ignore my creepy expression. 
I had my map, my pup, my water and was happy as a clam! It couldn't have been more beautiful and the weather was just perfect!

There were several longer stretches where I was a little worried that I'd missed a turn, but I was always on the right track. Milo traded off between sniffing things behind me and being the leader. It was kind of helpful when he pulled right in front of me because he definitely kept my pace slower, which I needed if I was going to make 8 trail miles.

I stopped every few miles to let Milo have a drink and he would lap up the water and then tear off ahead of me.

There was one point when I was on the far side of the mountain where it was darker that I started to get a little worried that I didn't have a light with me. It was only about 4pm, but I wondered if it would get darker a little earlier up in the mountains. Luckily, we made it back to the car and even back home before it was completely dark. Next time for sure I am going to bring a headlamp just in case!

By the end, I was definitely dragging. It was getting somewhat difficult to lift my feet over all the roots sticking up. These 8 miles took me longer than my 10 miler last Sunday. But they were infinitely more fun!

Milo and I got back to the car muddy and happy. Milo was more reluctant than usual to get back in the car. I figured he just didn't want to leave!

I was fairly certain that since Milo made it out to Cougar just fine, that he would make it back home as well. Oh no no no. Poor little guy was sick the entire time back home. And, of course, I was on the freeway and there was no where I could stop and pull over for him. To make matters worse, there was MUCH more traffic than I anticipated and I was just a huge ball of anxiety by the end of our trip. At one point a bus was blocking the intersection I was at and I let out a scream. I just wanted to get my sick puppy home!

You're welcome that I didn't take a picture of the backseat of my car because that ish was NASTY! Poor little Milo bear.

So now I'm at a crossroads. Milo obviously loves trail running with me. And I don't want to deny him the opportunity to go out with me on the trails. But the car rides are just not worth it. And I'm not sure what to do. I've been consistent about bringing him out to the car for meals to help relieve his anxiety, but that hasn't seemed to work very well. Anyone have any tips for us?