Last Post for a Few Days!

Good morning!

Very happy to write about my 10-mile run this morning – I am hoping to catch a flight to Washington this morning, so I needed to get out on my own and finish up earlier than what my group would be doing. I was on the path by 5:47 (my goal was 6am), and it was a beautiful run from start to finish. It was a little warmer this morning than I’d expected, but certainly not oppressive or anything. I ran north for 3 miles so that I’d have 6 done by the time I got to my starting point, then just did two more out and back and was done! Per my app I maintained a pace of just under 11 minutes, which was fine with me. I am definitely anxious about next week’s 15-miler (and I have been since LAST week’s long run!), but all I can tell myself is that I can do it…it may be a struggle but I can do it.

Hopefully this morning I will catch a flight to Washington and spend the weekend with my best friends. Then on Monday I’m flying to Rhode Island for a work trip. My plan is to get in some bodyweight cross-training exercises on Sunday and do my 7-mile run on Monday morning, on one of the DC trails I used to run along – if that happens, I think it’ll be really nice. Then hopefully I can just take Tuesday as a rest day – I need to start my work day early and won’t be home until later in the evening so I won’t really have time to work out. If I can just stick to my plan on Sun and Mon I’ll be in good shape.

That’s all from me for a few days! Happy weekend, everyone!

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Two Workouts for the Win!

Sooooo happy that my mid-week workouts are all done! This morning I went to my strength training class and it was great as always, and this evening I finished up with a quick 3-mile run. All done until Saturday!

I am very, very tired but I think I’ll get more used to it…everything I’ve read says that August is when it really comes together, and feeling a little sore and a little tired is really common. Thankfully I have work travel for the next few weeks (but just a few days here and there, really manageable), so that’ll help the time go by. Before I know it, September will be here – and that’s where the rubber really hits the road! (or my sneakers hit the path, as it were.)

Not much else to say for today! So happy tomorrow is my rest day. Good evening!

Wiped Out

I am not ashamed to admit I am absolutely zonked today. I had to get in my 7-mile run before work, so I was up at 4:45 to make sure I had plenty of time to get ready and get out there – and it totally worked! Funny how getting to work on time is such a motivation to keep up a running pace, especially when you’re going to ask to leave a bit early for a post-work appointment! I was out on the trail well before sunrise and happy to report that I was joined by a few other runners and bikers – again, felt really safe. I did my traditional 5:1 ratio and kept each mile under 11 minutes – I was really, really happy. I have to believe that’s part of why I’m so tired – not only did I have a long distance to cover, but I really pushed myself!

I am also feeling sore. My neck is actually better; I just feel a general soreness all over. Tomorrow morning is my strength class and after work I’ll have my 3-mile mid-week run to finish up – I know this is probably the time to rest. But today during work I was mulling it over and I decided I’m going to take the same approach to my training that I always have with general exercise – do it unless you can’t. So unless I have a valid reason to skip a workout, I will get that run in. Because at some point I WILL have a valid reason – work travel, for one thing, which I expect will increase in September, or who knows, maybe a cold or similar, or maybe I really will come to the point where I just can’t get it in. Unless I feel dramatically different tomorrow, none of those will apply – I will get the run in.

I had my weekly appointment with my nutritionist tonight…I did lose some weight from last week, so that is good. More than that, though, I know my eating has been on point – I still have treats but they’re vastly smaller than what I’d been allowing myself prior to this. So I should be really excited – but instead I’m just nervous. I’m nervous because I have a weekend of fun in DC this weekend, and then onto Providence, RI for two days of work (and some fun too) – my schedule won’t be my own, nor will my food options. Exercise typically enables me to stick to good choices, so I am planning on getting in my 10-mile long run on Saturday before I fly to DC, and definitely a run in the hotel fitness center once I get to Providence. I’m hoping I can sneak in a workout on Sunday too – just not sure what that will be – maybe some improvised tabata (interval stuff) just using my body weight (burpees, tricep dips, push-ups, etc). We’ll see. What I cannot allow myself to do is let an indulgence go haywire or drink too much wine! I figure this will be good practice for when I’m on vacation with my friends at the end of August.

Time to eat dinner and get to bed – I feel like I could sleep all the way through tomorrow!

Fab Four-Mile Run!

As my marathon training progresses, my schedule calls for longer mid-week runs; when I first started training I just needed to do 3 miles on Tues/Weds/Thurs, then a few weeks later that progressed to 3/4/3, then a little longer, and so on. This week my schedule calls for 3/7/4. Normally I like to tackle the longest distance on Tuesday, to get it out of the way, which was my plan for this morning – nice early wake-up call and I’d be off to the Lakefront trail.

But an unwelcome visitor came to see me overnight – my neck pain! I’m thinking I tweaked something during my interval class on Sunday, probably doing one of the core exercises. I thought I felt something on Monday but put it out of my head, but sure enough I woke up in the middle of the night and it hurt. Nothing like when I first injured myself – more of a dull pain than anything acute – but it gave me pause. I decided to sleep in just a bit and get my 3-miles over with instead, and save the 7 miles for tomorrow.

Except that when I got outside – on yet another supremely gorgeous summer morning – I realized I had just enough time to get in my 4 miles, assuming I kept up a good pace. I couldn’t even feel my neck pain – I just started running and latched onto a very manageable but maintainable pace (my first mile was actually my slowest, which never happens! and my 2nd and 4th mile were exactly the same) and just kept going. No walking breaks, just running. And afterwards I felt so awesome – it was the right call, to give my body a bit of a break but still get out there and aim high.

I did some foam rolling tonight after I got home from work so hopefully that’ll keep me limber, and I will take some regular Tylenol before I go to bed, to off-set any early morning neck pain. As long as my neck doesn’t bother me when I’m running, I’ll stick to my schedule – I will, however, lay off the core stuff that follows my strength class on Thursday (we have a 45-minute class with an extra 15 devoted to abs; at that point I’ll just go home). Hopefully staying away from exercises that strain my neck will help give it a break and get me back to my usual self.

That’s all for this evening!

Lovely Sunday

Ahh…

As I’ve mentioned, my training schedule calls for cross training on Sundays and a rest day of Mondays – depending on how I feel, sometimes I switch those out. After sleeping in this morning, I was debating whether I was really ready for my preferred cross training class, the high-intensity interval class that I love at my gym. I was trying to envision getting excited for jumping around and working hard and just couldn’t. But I was afraid I’d screw up the weekend if I didn’t get in a workout, so off to the gym I went.

And I’m SO glad I did – the class was fab! We did a combo burpee/push-up/jumping jack/squat jump situation to get started, and that was just the first set! I just needed to get in these sorts of exercises, especially the ones that focused on my upper body and core. I felt great and strong and just really pleased that I got my ass out of bed and went!

As soon as I got home I kicked into weekend gear – showered quickly, had my recovery snack and breakfast, then went grocery shopping and started cooking as soon as I got home. For my meals this week I made a quinoa salad situation with feta, spinach, and tomatoes, and I made another batch of an oatmeal bake for my breakfasts (cooking as I type!). For dinner I’ll make chicken with tomatoes and a slice of fresh mozzarella (which I heart in the summertime) and I already made the barley that I’m going to pair that with. As soon as this oatmeal bake is done I’m totally spending the rest of the afternoon at the beach – I figure I can squeeze in a good few hours before it’s time to come home!

I looked at my running schedule and realized we only have 10 weeks of training to go. Everyone says August is the toughest month – not only to do you typically have the hottest temps, you’re also building a ton of mileage. So we’ll see how it goes! I know for me I struggle more mentally than physically – I’m already anxious about not next weekend’s run (since it’s a draw-down), but the following. I need to get my brain to shut up because two weeks is a LONG time to be fixated on something over which I really have no control other than training properly! So hopefully I can calm down my head and convince myself that every mid-week training run will lead to a stronger long run – and that’s the best I can do.

Off to check on my breakfast creation and get into my bathing suit! Enjoy the rest of the weekend! 🙂

13-Miler!

Good morning from a gorgeous Chicago summer day!

So happy to write about another great run – maybe not quite as great as my glorious 12-miler, but I got it done and definitely still had energy to spare. Which is good – because next weekend we’re drawing down to 10 miles but then upping it to 15 the following Saturday! Must get used to running beyond 13!

I thought the weather today was just as lovely as what we ran in last weekend; a few of my running teammates thought it was a bit cooler – either way – warm temps, sunshine, and a very light breeze made for perfect running conditions. We had a smaller group today and one of my running friends and I held back just a bit – always within sight of our pace leader but still a little bit behind. I thought we had a perfect pace – running a little slower but walking faster so it all evened out in the end.

I thought this was funny – at one point we were getting water and I heard my pace leader talking about pockets on workout pants and all of a sudden realized she was talking about me – this was only the second time I’d worn these capris and I had no idea I had pockets on both sides! Now I have a place to store my Kleenex!

After I got home I took a quick shower and had my recovery snack – one cup of plain kefir and a single serving of cottage cheese. I like recovering with a blend of carbs and protein, so this was perfect. For my actual breakfast I’ll have yogurt with museli – continuing the protein/carb trend!

The one thing I need to start re-incorporating into my life is a pre-long run Tylenol PM. I started taking one before my long runs when I was training for Marine Corps and it helped a lot. Because I get so anxious before a long run, even when I’m really tired from a long week it can be hard to fall asleep – so far this running cycle it hasn’t been too bad, but last night I was really tossing and turning for awhile, and finally took the pill (thankfully I still had enough time to take it and let it run its course without it affecting my morning). I used to take two and they’d knock me out; I’ve since realized that just one pill is enough to more gently put me to sleep. Of course the ideal fix would be to STOP GETTING SO WORKED UP but, you know, baby steps. 🙂

Signing off! I am beach-bound today! The one I like is about a 2-mile walk, so I think that’ll be a great way to flush out my legs a bit (and will bring my total mileage today to 17!). Happy Saturday!