running week of 5/8

I had a fun week that ended with a colossally bad run on Sunday, hooraaaaay!

Monday: Weights. Emphasis on legs, which made speed drills on Tuesday…interesting.
Tuesday: 8×400 with .25 recovery jogs and here are my splits: 1:48, 1:45, 1:51, 1:51, 1:48, 1:47 and the last two, predictably, 1:55, 1:55. I KNOWWWWW I ran these way too fast (5k pace for me is around 8:15 if I’m lucky) but whatever. Total of 6 miles.
Wednesday: Weights. Emphasis on arms. I still can’t do a chin-up.
Thursday: 6 @ 8:50. This one went better than expected. I ran a 6 mile progression back in March at near an 8:30 average but I’ve been struggling just to stay under 9:00 lately. Last mile: 7:50!
Friday: Weights (wailed on my arms and back and my lats are still sore) + 2 @ 8:48. I didn’t want to run too hard because I was planning a longer run Saturday (which ended up not happening) and it took me damn near two miles to feel warmed up anyway, but I felt good toward the end.
Saturday: The plan included running but I had a rough night and slept in until after 9:00! NINE. I can’t even remember the last time I did that. Even when I do have the option of sleeping in, I wake up at the crack of dawn. But Codie has been doing this thing where she wakes up at night and then takes an hour OR MORE to go back to sleep. This time she woke up around 2 a.m. and then again around 5:30. I’ve never been hit by a train, but it can’t feel that much worse than not sleeping for a month. (Also, help? She’s going to be 3 in a month and we’re still nursing.)
Sunday: 6.6 @ 9:37. I was planning another progression or in the very least a faster last mile but neither of those things happened. I had another rough night (but thankfully husband got up with the kids again and let me sleep in!). I didn’t get out until around 10 and it was already hot af. As soon as I started running I knew it wasn’t gonna be my day. After the first mile I was still struggling to stay under 10:00 and every time I tried to pick up the pace, I’d fall back into the 9:30s. So fun. :/

total: 20ish

5k on Saturday! Taperish week and it’d also be fun to sleep more.

8 months of lifting

I have been meaning to finish this post for a while! When I started writing it, it was actually called “6 months of lifting.”

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in running (besides just generally sucking at it) was not balancing the miles with any kind of a strength/conditioning routine. I was just kind of getting by on infrequent and/or once-weekly cross-training (cycling or swimming) and/or half-ass lifting but whenever I’d start doing longer runs or any kind of speed work whatsoever, I’d start feeling beat-up all the time. I was icing my knees every night, and a shin or a butt cheek or ham string always felt tweaked.

I’m pretty lazy when it comes to any kind of non-running activity so I’m not sure what finally convinced me to commit to an actual 3x weekly routine but now that I’ve been doing it a while, I’m finally starting to see results and enjoying the work instead of viewing it as a chore.

I haven’t taken measurements or anything like that (sorry no before/after pics!) but I am definitely stronger. I don’t feel wrecked after long runs. I have not needed to ice my knees in a while, and I don’t feel like I’m always on the verge of an injury. That said, I am still a total baby lifter and I’m still adjusting my routine so pleeeeease don’t laugh at me or take this as me offering guidance. If anything, I’m putting it out there so you people can tell me what’s missing, or what’s redundant, or just, oh my god Marie what are you doing.

Floor exercises (3 sets):
Burpee with a pushup) Actually, fuck burpees. I did them for a few weeks and then I decided I hate burpees WITH A PASSION so I went back to just doing pushups.

Ankle touch
Single leg bridge with a butt-raise (I don’t even know what you really call this, I swiped the move from Jillian Michaels.)
Scissors (vertical)
Scissors (horizontal)

With dumbbells (3 sets): 
Tricep pushbacks in a lunge
Tricep extensions
Seated overhead arm raise
Lateral arm raise
Bicep curls

Floor with dumbbells (3 sets):
Chest press
Chest fly with double-leg raise (one of my favorite steals from Jillian Michaels!)

More fun for leg day (3 sets):
Box jumps or sumo squat jumps
Single-legged calf raises with a kettle bell OR both legs with dumbbells
Deadlifts (standard with barbell). I honestly had to watch some videos on YouTube to refresh my memory on deadlifts because it had been forfuckingever since I did a deadlift. I found this one the most helpful. (I don’t like the over/under grip though. I probably don’t lift enough weight for it to be necessary.)

And I recently discovered (THE HARD WAY) that box jumps and sumo squat jumps are NO SUBSTITUTE for a good ol’ fashioned conventional barbell squat. So I started doing those again too and I swear to god, my quads looked mightier after just two days.

So, discussion questions? What is your favorite lifting/conditioning/strength move that makes you feel #SWOLEAF? I don’t think it gets much better than squats and deadlifts.

Also how the hell do you find the TIME? How do you balance strength/conditioning with running? I don’t do any swimming or cycling anymore. I’d have to give up a running or lifting day and I refuse to do that.

Keep it simple.

running week of 5/1 + April recap

Monday and Saturday were the only days I ran outside last week. It was pretty miserable here and I’d about had it with running in rain and 20 mph winds so I took the opportunity to do some speedier(ish? lol) runs indoors.

Monday: weights + 2 @ 9:08. I know I said I didn’t want to do any more perfunctory runs but I just really wanted to run, so I did.
Tuesday: treadmill tempo 4 @ 8:56, 8:45, 8:42, 8:34
Wednesday: weights + 4 @ 8:50. I remember nothing about this run so it must not have been that great.
Thursday: Weights + treadmill hills 5 @ 9:50. I, unwisely, added a new move to my leg routine before attempting a hill workout and my quads were pissed at me.
Friday: NADA. I was so sore all day I could barely lower myself onto the toilet seat without groaning. But I did some pretty violent rolling with The Stick Friday evening and it helped a lot.
Saturday: 7 @ 8:50. A perfect progression: 9:23, 9:12, 9:06, 8:55, 8:39, 8:33, 8:07. This run was bliss, you guys. One of those “this is why I became a runner” runs.
Sunday: NADA

Total miles: 22

~*April miles*~

Total miles: 107– 26 more than last month.

Days running: 19

Longest run: 11 miles on 4/15, shortly after which I decided that double-digit runs aren’t doing jack for my 5k training, so I stopped doing them.

Runs on the treadmill: Four, and three of them were last week!

Races: None.

Group runs: One – an overzealous “tax day” run organized by my local running store, which made 12 for the day and led to some wacky groin pain.

Best run: I was exuberant after my 7 mile run Saturday. I felt strong and finished fast.

Worst run: Last Sunday’s 6. I was tired and couldn’t catch my breath and none of it was fun.

Oh…and I signed up for another marathon, I KNOW RIGHT? LOL LOL LOL. It’s March 31, 2018 and it was only $31, so why not!

subversive shit I did last week (4/10-5/1)

I made a new friend last week. If you can believe this, I was at a meeting for my volunteer gig FIDO and the gal sitting next to me asked if I by any chance wrote a blog about subversive shit. I was so excited and embarrassed! I’ve never actually met anyone who recognized me from the blog, and it was a double-reward that she’s a fellow subversive. We didn’t have a lot of time to shoot the shit, but we talked briefly about local activism and how it felt good to know we weren’t alone. So anyway I just wanted to say hey to Tricia! Hope I wasn’t too weird!

I missed a few issues of the weekly action checklist, but I started following it again and I’ve found it helps me stay focused and it also gives me ideas for issues I want to look into locally. Like, how many people have been wrongfully convicted in Indiana? What are we doing to fight against mass incarceration? Which companies use prison labor to make their products? (Hint: more than you might think.)

I did want to mention one thing I read on the checklist this week. It says:

What to do if your MoCs are blue.

Call them. Praise them. Give them stories they can use to support great legislation. Calling MoCs who agree with you tells them you’re paying attention. It also keeps their lines from being full of opposing views. Don’t assume. Do call.

I would add to that: don’t assume just because your MoCs are Democrats that they’re supporting great legislation. Don’t praise them simply for being “blue.”

Example: Several weeks ago I wrote my Democratic senator to oppose the Choices in Education Act. The response I got (which took almost two months) included a vague summary of the bill and empty, noncommittal statements of solidarity without actually taking a firm stance against (or even for) it. I’ve gotten several other soft responses from alleged “ally” reps and it doesn’t make me confident that they agree with me. A democrat-in-name-only who assumes my support and panders to the middle/right does not earn my praise.

Anyway, here’s what I did last week:

Who I supported

  • For her birthday, my friend hosted a Facebook fundraiser for the Autism Women’s Network and I made a (very) small donation. I didn’t know you could fund-raise for a nonprofit on Facebook so now I want to do one for my birthday too.

Who I contacted

  • I contacted Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, urging him not to sign a really shitty piece of legislation requiring under-age women to have parental consent before having an abortion and a bunch of other shitty TRAP law shit. Stuff that would be really great for kids whose parents abuse or rape them or are just otherwise shitty! Of course I received no reply and he signed the shitty legislation.

What I did

  • Does this count? I bought a shirt. I’ve been looking for this precise wording on a shirt for ages and finally found it on Redbubble. The profits don’t go to any specific cause, but according to Redbubble, their products are ethically sourced and made in the USA (and not by prison labor). And I like to have a good subversive top to wear to the gym and play dates. 😛
  • We planned on attending Science March/Earth Day festivities downtown but Codie was coughing and the weather was kinda dismal so we ended up staying home. (However we spent the whole day this past Sunday out in the rain getting our boots muddy, buying plants and getting them in the ground so I think we made up for it.) Also, the plants came from Indy Urban Acres, a nonprofit farm run by the Indy Parks Foundation that helps feed hungry people who might not otherwise have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

What I read

Some good things

Read all my “subversive shit” posts

another week of unnoteworthy running (4/24)

I had a week!

IDK gif

Aside: I googled “unnoteworthy gif” and found this gif I used in an old post about unnoteworthy runs. MY INTERNETS HAVE COME FULL CIRCLE. Or maybe I just need to broaden my vocabulary.

trump-executive-order-memes-5-58919d4088ef2__605

Monday: Off
Tuesday: 6 @ 9:16. I ran a tempo with 4 miles in the 8:50s, which felt a lot harder than it should have.
Wednesday: Weights
Thursday: 6.1 @ 9:15
Friday: treadmill 3.1 @ 8:44. Usually a lifting day for me, but I didn’t feel like lifting AT ALL so I ran instead.
Saturday: off. I had a FIDO meeting all morning and it was pouring rain and storming anyway, so I pushed my run back to Sunday.
Sunday: 6.2 @ 9:11. Faster than last week’s 10k, but felt a lot harder. It was pretty windy, but I was also just feeling beat-up and tired. My breath felt short the whole time, which is rare for me, and I had a side stitch that wouldn’t go away (it’s actually still a little sore today). I still tried to pull off a fast finish (into a 20mph headwind, uuuugh), but not nearly as fast as I wanted. Last mile in 8:49, last .12 in 7:57.

Total: 21ish miles

I followed the plan/non-plan the way I wanted to but the whole week felt rough, admittedly mostly because of bad decisions on my part–staying up too late, screwing around, drinking too much. But I’m hoping at least part of that rough feeling is due to running a bit harder. Each run last week was more purposeful; I ran harder rather than just putting in a few perfunctory miles to bump up the mileage count. HOWEVER I’m going to try to take better care of myself this week and see if it makes any difference. 😉

I’m also still struggling to strike a balance between all the running I want to do and all the strength work/conditioning I NEED to do. I really like lifting three days a week, especially now that I’m actually getting stronger, but I wish I could run (and run well) on those days, and I really don’t have time to do two quality workouts out a day. (I could run a couple crappy miles on my lifting days but I’m not sure it would have much of an impact.)

And I’m looooathe to complain because I know I’m lucky to be doing as much as I am. But…there it is. I want all the benefits of weightlifting without actually having to do it. And I want to run every day.

cute-well-groomed-spoiled-rotten-kitty-cat

I WANT IT ALL

running week of 4/17 + not doing things

Apparently I’m training for a 5k now so I’m trying to put a little more thought into each run and not focus so much on “saving” myself for a Saturday double-digit run. I’d considered doing a May or June half marathon but since I have two halfs in the fall I decided it was not worth the effort and I’d rather put all my energy into PRing in my May 5k. So each week I’d like to do either speedwork or a tempo; a fast run; and a slightly longer run (like 6-8 miles) with a fast finish. It’s roughly what Hal Higdon prescribes but without the hassle of actually following a training plan.

Monday: weights + 3 @ 9:46. Hell of a day.
Tuesday: AM, a more successful repeat of last week’s speed drills: 1×2 (8:47, 8:44), 1×1 (8:27), 1×800 (3:59), 1×400 (1:52), 1×200 (:51)!!! (Converted to miles because of course I’m too lazy to change my Garmin to km.) The only one that wasn’t faster was the 400 which I ran a whopping 9 seconds faster last week. Also I’m super proud of the 200 (I ran roughly .13 of a mile) which worked out to a 6:11/mile. Yes, I only ran that fast for 51 seconds and yes that’s how fast some people can run marathons but STILL!! Total of 7 miles.

Aaaaand a PM 4.8 @ 8:58. I did a “tax day” group run with the local running store group. I ran from my house, did a fairly speedy (for me, for a second run) 3 miles with the group, then had a sandwich and chips and some cider back at the store and then ambled home.
Wednesday: weights. The back of my left butt cheek and my groin, down into my inner thigh, was hurting all night. I could not fall asleep because it hurt so much. I considered getting up to stretch/ice it but I was too tired/lazy. I iced first thing Thursday morning (before my run lol) though and it felt better. The pain came back briefly Sunday but it feels okay now.
Thursday: 6 @ 9:57, groin pain be damned! But I didn’t really enjoy it.
Friday: weights
Saturday: 6.2 @ 9:18. I’d planned on running longer, but I ran out of time before other commitments so I just did a fast finish. Mile 6 in 8:14 and last .20 in 7:11.
Sunday: 3.1 @ 8:45 Usually my rest day, but it was so pretty out – and I was just 3 miles away from reaching 30 for the week – so I did a quickie run with another fast finish. Mile 3 in 8:06 and last .1 in 7:26.

Total: 30ish!

And today, I’m resting.

another gripping training report (week of 4/10)

It was a pretty uninspiring running week for me but I guess any week without injury or illness is something to be thankful for.

Monday: weights + 3.1 @ 9:36.
Tuesday: Off because Kenzie was up half the night with a scary high fever. I could have gone in the evening but by then I really wasn’t in the mood.
Wednesday: Usually a lifting day but after taking Tuesday off I needed to run and I did OMG SPEED* DRILLS. I ran 1×2 (8:53, 8:49), 1×1 (8:34), 1×800 (4:05) 1×400 (1:43) and 1×200 (1:01). Alas, Garmin screwed me on my pace in the last interval because I went through some trees and lost my signal– before the trees, my pace was reading 6:30s. Total of 7 miles (half or quarter mile recovery jogs).

Tangent: We got some nice goody bags from Clif after the 10 miler, and one of the goodies was banana cinnamon oatmeal “energy food” pouch (far right).

This far exceeds probably any other race swag I’ve ever received.

It looks like the baby food pouches I used to feed my kids, but they’re made for grownups. Once you get over the idea of sucking oatmeal-banana puree out of a pouch, it’s not that bad. However, I failed to read the disclaimer, “FOR BEST RESULTS: consume pouch 2-3 hours before activity” and I ate mine in the car on the way there. So I had banana-flavored burps for like the first half of my run.

Thursday: AM: Zoo with my kids + PM weights + 3 @ 9:21. Oof. This was a tough one. I am so not a fan of afternoon workouts. I did manage to finally hit a 9:00 mile for the last one, but the effort felt like 8:00.

Friday: Nada. I was gonna lift or something but I ended up doing nothing.
Saturday: 11 @ 9:39. I got out about two hours later than planned, mainly because laziness, so the last hour of my run was kind of miserable. I actually really like doing long runs but I don’t feel like they’re doing much for my overall fitness lately. I just sort of slog through them and then congratulate myself on merely finishing. I used to throw some pace miles into the middle of my long runs to add value, so I may start doing that again. (Although I guess technically I’m now training for a 5k? So…?)
Sunday: REST

Total: 24ish

I always have this period of sulky reflection time after a bad race where I try figure out what went wrong and how to improve my routine**. My speed work is infrequent. I always aim to hit 30 miles a week and I never do it. And now I’m starting to wonder if I’m just getting old.

I actually really admire people who can just love running and not get weirdly competitive with random people who come up behind them during their long runs (why mile 5 was 30 seconds faster than any other mile on Saturday) or get all down on themselves when they have a bad race or like…a year-long plateau.

I feel like I’ve been working harder and not seeing any results. All of last year’s half marathon times were within a few seconds of each other, and none of them a PR. My 5ks were also dismal. The only thing I am really proud of is that I’ve been consistently lifting three days a week*** (more on that in another post) and I am stronger, but it hasn’t made a difference in my running AT ALL and that’s the ONLY REASON I’M DOING IT. I don’t want a bikini body damn it, I want a PR. And maybe the Monday (Marathon Monday, no less) after a lackluster training week is the wrong time to be complaining about a lack of progress, but…there it is.

*I use the word loosely
**I don’t have much of a routine
***Well, except last week

photo swiped from A Mighty Girl