What to Work On

Coming back from injury means spending an awful lot of time doing rehab and strengthening and all kinds of things that I clearly wasn’t doing enough of before.  This has become absurdly evident with my new routine, which requires me to do these hip strengthening exercises and assorted recovery techniques DAILY, when I previously did half as much and only three times each week max.  I thought I was doing well, foam rolling after every run and incorporating core and hips two to three times each week, but clearly, it wasn’t enough.  I’ve learned it’s better to do a little every day to keep yourself consistently healthy and aside from those first few weeks, when it really felt like all I was doing was rehab, it really is manageable.  My routine is now so streamlined that it takes roughly 20-25 minutes to do the whole thing.  Twenty minutes out of my day is comparatively nothing.  And I’m still healing.  When I’m back to fitness, it will be more like 15 minutes.  Fifteen minutes to keep my body healthy and happy is a good deal, if you ask me.

 

But this whole comeback has me thinking.  I’m starting from scratch, so to speak, with my mileage currently at around 10 miles/week and (unbearably) slow.  It’s a unique opportunity to approach my running as trying to design the “perfect” version of my runner self.  One thing I have always been notoriously awful at is hitting negative splits.  Even in my best races, I have never hit them.  I’m an even-paced girl all around.  Almost every run is kind of ridiculously even paced, but I have had my share of positive splits in races (ahem, marathons).  One thing I’d really like to work on as I train is hitting negative splits in most of my speed workouts and doing progressive long runs.  I’ve failed those in the past,  somehow I could run at a faster pace for the entire length of a run but unable to start at a more moderate pace and finish fast.  It’s like my body doesn’t like to change speeds, which I’ve noticed in races if I get stuck behind a crowd and end up going slower, I can’t speed back up and hit my paces without blowing up.  It’s definitely something to work on.

 

Another thing that is high on my list of priorities is slowing way down on my easy runs.  I’m going to focus on nailing workout days (once I start those! base building for now), and running a true easy pace on easy days.  I’ve got a heart rate monitor that I don’t use nearly enough and I want to monitor my effort as I’m returning to fitness and make sure I’m not doing too much too soon on days that are supposed to be easy.  That way I can truly put 100% effort into the speed days.  I have been very guilty in the past of taking the easy day for granted.  Not that I tried to race my easy days, but I’d often run easy and start to get “bored,” especially on medium-long runs of 9 or 11 miles and I’d throw in pickups or end the last 2 miles at nearly tempo pace just to feel like I had some pop in my legs.  Ideal training means letting each run serve its purpose.

 

If you could had unlimited time/resources to incorporate an ideal element into your training or racing, what would it be?

Give me your favorite training advice!

A Change of Scenery

 

Yesterday we had a wonderful day around campus.  I had a fantastic coffee and chat with a friend then Joe and I hit up a museum.

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Complete with super old telescopes.

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And had lunch with the place all to ourselves.

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And maybe a beer made an appearance 😉

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After my run today I’ve got big plans…finding fall races!

 

Favorite alcoholic drink (if you drink)?

What’s your favorite race you’ve run?

Does everyone do speedwork on Tuesdays?!

I feel like the whole world does speedwork on Tuesdays because every training plan ever calls for it on Tuesdays and then we get in that habit.  I used to do it on Sundays when I first started running because it was easy to use the high school track on weekends but impossible during the week.  So I did long runs on Wednesdays and speed work on Sundays.  It was crazy, I tell you 😉  Once I followed my first training plan (for a marathon I did about 9-10 months after I started running), all the track sessions were on Tuesday and I’ve never wavered from that since.  It’s kind of neat when I think about it that even though I don’t have any running buddies and do all my training solo, so many of the rest of you are doing intervals today and long runs on Sunday just the same.  Anyway, 400s today which are my “favorite” if you want to call any kind of track session a favorite.  16×400 and it looks like it may have to happen on the treadmill, but I secretly enjoy that for intervals because I can make sure my pacing is even and accurate.  Gotta find the bright side, right?  And it’s day 1 of my new training plan and I LOVE new training plans, I get extra excited to attack my workouts and try new things to get me faster.  I’m really feeling like I have PRs in me for my next few races so I’m crazy eager to train and stay consistent and make sure I get them.

 

Thank you to everyone for all the kind birthday wishes!  I loved reading all of them.  My birthday was pretty much like a 5 year old’s. just with some alcohol involved.  Here’s a little recap:

Played games.

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Lost the last one, so insisted we switch to a new one.

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Got myself a Yahtzee and still barely won.  This necessitated a switch to UNO.  I was better at that one.

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Birthday nails.

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A magical milkshake concoction of vodka, kahlua, and peanut butter ice cream.

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Joe started with a beer+margarita combo.

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They make the best jalapeno poppers.

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I had my favorite pizza (what else would I choose for my birthday!?)

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Joe had a delicious burger and I was a little jealous.  But not enough to trade some pizza for some burger.

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He also had a bacon shake while I just refilled on my peanut butter goodness. 

 

I was absolutely stuffed.  But I had a ton of fun, I started the day with a run and a victory from my favorite soccer team (Go Liverpool!), and played games and ate delicious food the rest of the day.  It was exactly what I needed and the best birthday I could have had considering all my best friends live a 6 hour plane flight away right now! 

 

And a friendly reminder that the giveaway ends soon so make sure you’ve entered 🙂

 

Are you in the middle of a training program or starting one soon?  Do you love starting a new one?

Do you do speedwork on Tuesdays?!

When is your next big goal race?

A little swim

I just woke up to this:

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Does it make anyone else happy to wake up and see the moon?  And the clear sky means an outdoor run!

Yesterday I had to hit the treadmill for 5 easy miles, so I figured I might as well drive a little further and go to the other gym which has…a pool!  That’s right, I swam.  I hate swimming, and I swam.  FAR (for me).  I did 1500, but broken up into 50s and 100s.  Swimming is so weird for me, while I’m doing it it feels so much harder than running but five seconds after I’m done, I don’t feel like I got a workout at all.  Even when I’m doing a recovery run and it feels super easy, I finish and feel awesome.  I’m not sure if it’s psychological or if it has something to do with working in water.

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And being Friday, we decided it was pizza day.  I considered saving it for Sunday when I’m running longer but decided a swim is farther out of my comfort zone than a long run so I should eat it if I wanted to 😉

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Terrible photo.  I took it in the dark and while the pizza was sitting on my lap 6 inches from my phone.  Oops.  I always start eating the pizza before I remember.  I don’t have the same problems with restraint with my healthier meals I guess. 

 

Today is a short and easy 4 miles in what looks like it’s going to be beautiful sunshine!  And Insanity plyo, which my legs are strangely craving.  My arms aren’t as sore as I thought they would be, I did 75 pushups yesterday and thought they would kill today but only a little around the shoulder.  I guess I should add another set when I do them tomorrow 🙂  I’m very much reevaluating my ability to get to 100 in a row but I’m going to leave it out there as my goal.  I may not get it but I’d rather strive for a big number and get as close as I can. 

 

Which exercises make you the most sore? Plyo for me, sore somewhere every time.  I love it.

When is your birthday? I’ve got birthdays on the brain!  My good friend had one yesterday, my sister-in-law in a couple days, and me in one week