Monday, January 28, 2013

Favorite Runs

My favorite time to run is right after a fresh snow fall. I love the serenity and gorgeous reflection of light off the snow. Less people are out and you get the chance to enjoy nature and soak up some much needed Vitamin D. The surface is ever changing so it makes the run seem to go by quicker too!

The hardest part about Winter Running is getting out the door since it takes me about 5 minutes longer to get to that point. The extra layering and making sure you don't dress too warm or cold is key so I usually end up changing it up once I get outside to see how I feel.
Lights of the neighbors house on the final stretch

I was so happy last week to finally get outside for my final 2 runs, below zero temps early in the week meant certain treadmill time. The final quarter mile of my runs is the best when I finally round the corner and get to run home!
Why do I always look surprised I'm taking a photo of myself??

On a second note, the Good Form running clinic put on by New Balance I went to last week was very interesting. If you want to read up on it here is the main website. We were videotaped running a short distance with our shoes on and then barefoot or with socks. Nobody needs to see nasty runner feet!! We did a couple drills to talk about how to find your form and realized almost immediately what I could do to help me out. At the end of the clinic we sat down one on one to review our video to find out where we could improve. I basically need to loosen up my shoulders and let my arms drop a little and initiate my lean from my ankles instead of my waist.

I was excited to put that in place for my outside runs and my first mile out I was feeling great and pulled out a 9:06 mile! I haven't hit that speed for a couple months so it was exciting to see I could do it. It also felt much easier to achieve that pace, although my breathing would probably tell you different. Just need to hone that in and I'm reading for some solid sub 9 paces for a longer distance.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Repeat Mode

The last days I feel like I'm stuck on repeat.....Sleep, Work, Workout.....and repeat!! Have I mentioned I dread this time of year?? My schedule has basically allowed for me to work until I have to stop so I don't miss my workout and then have a little me time before going to sleep. I can't just can't plop in bed and expect to sleep right away.

This is what I've been staring at recently  (ignore all the red on my training schedule there

I have been slowly easing my way back into things after working my second job and as much as I would have loved to jump right back in, it would have probably meant injury. I have dealt with those enough lately to learn my lesson and start off slow. I am doing pretty good this week and so far have only missed a strength workout today. My body is still not quite all back yet.

With this lovely weather we have had, I have been relegated to the gym this week. It has been below zero  for the last few days, and running in this weather is just not pleasant. I got the excitement though of freezing hair tonight after about 20 seconds of being outside!! I love the crunchy sound every time you turn your head while trying to drive on your way home.

Tomorrow night I am excited to go to a running clinic on good form at the local Fleet Feet store. I'm hoping I learn something new. It's always fun to apply it and see the changes it can make. I mean who doesn't want to run faster & easier??

I'm also looking forward to Thursday to run outside. Should be a high of 13 degrees and we are hopefully going to get some snow!! 

Have you been stuck on the treadmill lately or just skipping them altogether?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Firing on All Cylinders

That is how this week has felt for me. I took Monday as a rest day and my Tuesday & Wednesday workouts I have been in such a great mood!! I think the starts have aligned for me this's about time :)

Tuesday Workout: 6pm Winter Warriors Group Run along with Fleet Feet Fun Run Group. We ran downtown College Avenue and handed out a lottery ticket to a random stranger from the store to pay it forward. I ended up having 3 runners in my pace area (2 from my Winter Warriors Group) and help lead them through. My one main runner I've been helping with her training managed to hit a 10:00 min mile pace at one point and averaged out her best time yet for the 4.45 miles we ended up with. I was so proud of her!! I think me being peppy and pushing my pace a little made her push harder.

Wednesday Workout: I had on tap for 30 min. bike and 1200m swim. I ended up doing 15 miles on the bike in about 41:30 (the last 1:30 were a slight cool down) and then I decided to hop off the bike and run 1 mile on the treadmill for the fun of it. Yeah, you read that right!! I don't know what has gotten into me. The run was a bit hard and my legs were a little tired but I kinda expected that since July was my last BRICK workout.  I followed that up with a 1/4 mile walk cooldown and then off to the Swim.

I recently started looking into Total Immersion swimming as it's basically meant for triathletes and long distance swimmers. It's all about efficiency and you barely use your legs at all! I watched the 6 part series on You Tube an I will admit that I didn't start over and just work on the basics but I did work on modifying my stroke and for some reason it kinda clicked right away. It probably helps I've really only been swimming for a year with no major distances so I don't feel like I am breaking any kind of muscle memory. It was amazing, I never felt so relaxed during swimming I was able to swim longer before breathing and I felt like I could keep going. I only ended up doing 1150m thanks to my watch being off a bit but I still call it a win. I can't wait to get back into the pool Friday.

I am really hoping this sticks around as I could use a few more of these days to really cement in the training and keep me motivated to push myself.

I really need to remember to take some pictures!! FAIL!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Unfinished Business

So....I admit I have a problem in finishing projects. I am very good at starting things off and I decide I don't really....

care for this
feel like dealing with this
have the energy to finish this
know why I started this in the first place

Then that project just sits, I'm good at just letting it sit around and take up space in my house. I guess I feel like someday maybe I will finish this. I have decided that I need to quit to doing this to myself as it just stresses me out!

The first step in my recovery process is to deep clean my entire household room by room. I have made myself a handy little checklist for each room on what I need to complete so I can feel a sense of accomplishment checking them off. I am also in this process reclaiming my house and getting myself organized once and for all. And to my benefit getting my house super clean, I don't think it's been like that since I moved into it 3 years ago. My next few weekends will be spent cleaning as my weeks look pretty busy for work. Ugh, I hate being an accountant this time of year!

Once I am able to do this, I can finally tackle the small house projects I wanted to take care of. I need to patch up places in our walls, finish scraping off the border in my kitchen (a project I started about 3 yrs ago!!) and finally paint our house. In this process we can also replace all the outlet covers and light switches that we bought 3 years ago as well when we first moved in. I can also finish decorating and hang things where I want them to go.

At least I finished the kitchen this weekend and I am so excited!! It's completely disinfected and I have space to cook. And who likes to cook in a cramped, half clean kitchen anyways?? I bought a ton of goodies at the grocery store and I'm ready to get cookin!

I am doing all of this because I want to be able to relax in my own house and in push towards our goal of fixing up the house so we can sell it and move. I realize we probably won't end up moving for a few years but at least it's progress and I can actually knock off some To Do Projects that have just been sitting out there in limbo!

I think I need to create a board with my unfinished business.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Speed vs. Endurance

Today marks the day that I can finally get back into my routine. Over the last 2 months the holidays and working 2 jobs has basically taken over my life and I have fit in running when possible but not much else. I actually miss hitting up the gym and quality workouts!!

I got in my Jillian workout Sunday and my body is still feeling. I can tell the areas that definitely relapsed from missing cross training and strength workouts. They happen to be my problem areas of course and the places I plan to trim off the last 10 lbs so I can reach my goal weight. I am essentially sore from my knees to the bottom of my ribs but that means progress!!

I've done A TON of thinking this past week about running 2 marathons this year. I will be running Chicago and was trying to decide if I also wanted to add in a Spring Marathon. The goal race would be the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon in mid-May but after the fiasco last year it is a little nerve wracking to commit to that race. The main question was do I go for speed or endurance? Here is a good article about the fine balance between the 2.

I want to PR in the 5k, 5 mile, 10K and Half Marathon this year and most of those distance races are also in the spring to early summer. Since this would only be marathon #2 I am leary to throw in speedwork along with the distance so I ultimately decided to stick to speedwork. I have 2 planned half marathons this spring and would love to hit that PR.

In addition to that I will be base building for triathlon training and then ramping up once I get done with the GB half marathon. I found it hard to get in all my cross training workouts during my marathon training so for now I've decided to stick with what has been working for me and look to slowly get better at integrating those items.

By the time I get done with triathlon training it will be ramping up into my mileage for marathon training and I am planning to stick with the cross training to help my endurance to achieve the marathon PR I'm looking for. I can still get in some 15 mile or so runs during half marathon training and I think that will be enough to achieve some of the distance I'm looking forward to doing. I am also trying to keep myself from burning out and getting injured. I think by varying up what my training will be throughout the year that I will achieve all of my goals.

Have you learned to balance the two?