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!

The day of bacon

Yesterday I just really really did not feel like running so I didn’t run.  I know, novel concept, but it just felt right.  I wasn’t tired, sore, injured, or anything of the sort, I just thought about running and decided that even sitting around and researching sounded more fun.  I can’t remember the last time that happened (though I will totally chicken out of runs in terrible weather or move rest days around…I just never REALLY don’t want to run).  Then I tried to ask myself if I wanted to do anything at all, and unlike those days where your body just wants/needs to lay around, I really did want to get moving.  For some reason, running didn’t sound appealing, but pretty much everything else did…including lifting (insert shocked face here).  I ended up doing insanity plyo, plus 20 minutes-ish of kettlebells and 15 minutes of core.  I’m going to hurt like you wouldn’t believe after that.  I’ve been very guilty of neglecting strength training lately.

 

When I went to go make breakfast, Joe told me that we had some bacon that we should probably try to use up.  There was quite a good amount of it so it wasn’t going to happen at breakfast but I figured it was the perfect excuse for pancakes and bacon.

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This is Joe’s plate, I promise mine only had about half as many pancakes.  I’m really glad I exercised first though because I was stuffed to the gills after this.

 

At lunch time, I figured I’d try to use more bacon because it just had to be eaten, right?

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Jalapeno wrap, pesto, gouda, turkey, fried egg, and BACON.

 

I had some cupcakes for an afternoon snack but since that doesn’t go with the theme we’re just going to ignore it and move on.  For dinner, Joe brought home a fresh baguette so I thought soup would pair perfectly.  I made some lobster bisque and then realized I was on a roll with the bacon today so we used up the rest in our soup.

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If you’re wondering, bacon, parmigiano cheese, and lobster bisque are best friends.

 

 

You should be glad I didn’t have Joe take pictures of me working out in our non-air conditioned house (sweaty is an understatement) but instead provided you with pictures of a full day of bacon yumminess.  I’m declaring yumminess a real word, my English major be damned.

 

 

Ever have a “themed” day of eating? 

Do you ever just REALLY not want to run but still want to work out?  What is your go-to workout if you’re not feeling running?

I’m addicted

Yesterday’s 400s were ROUGH.  I don’t often do speed work that early in the day and something just wasn’t clicking, I felt like I had no energy from the warmup on.  But, I made it through and it really does feel fantastic to be done with a really hard workout before you do anything else that day.

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I also ate really healthily all day, which you probably don’t even believe is possible but I promise I do it a few times each week.  I always eat healthy breakfasts and lunches, it’s dinner where I add a little craziness sometimes, but for dinner last night I had salmon cakes with a light homemade lemon dill sauce, mixed vegetables (eggplant, cucumber, tomato, peppers, and onions), and couscous.  And avocado on top because it’s the best.

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I’ve had fish and veggies for dinner twice in the last 3 days so now I’m really ready to have something a little more fun tonight.  We are going to see X-Men later and will probably try a new restaurant while we’re out.  I’m a little excited.  I’m NOT excited that the movie is in 3D.  Am I the only one who hates that?  We got these early screening tickets so we didn’t have a choice but I never see 3D if I have the option, it’s been probably 4 years since I’ve seen one. 

 

I had another picture for you but my computer just won’t cooperate in loading it so I’ll give you a confession instead: Joe and I have fallen into the pit that is Breaking Bad addiction.  Neither of us had ever seen an episode and we thought the premise sounded weird when we first heard about it but we didn’t have any friends who watched it to change our opinions.  After all the fuss about the finale, we decided we were curious enough to watch one episode and see if it sucked.  Well, we finally got around to that on Monday night.  We certainly didn’t think it sucked, we stayed up until 1am the last 2 nights after I finished my work watching all 7 episodes from the first season.  Oops.  I usually make myself stop reading if I’m still researching when dinner rolls around so I can have a few hours to myself at night and give my brain a break.  For the next few weeks, those 2 or 3 hours at night will inevitably be dedicated to us being addicted to this show.  

 

Any shows you loved but were super late to the party in watching?

Favorite healthy dinner? fish and veggies is for me

What was the last movie you saw?

Getting so good at running indoors

Well, it snowed again.  It’s nearly April and it snowed.  I’m used to it being around 70 this time of year, this is ridiculous.  At least someone likes it:

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There isn’t too much thankfully, around 2 or 3 inches but I don’t think it’ll stick around for long.  But yeah, it meant running inside again.  Woo! False enthusiasm.  I did a 7 mile tempo and core and legs after.  Note to self: Leg workouts should come before, not after.  I felt like jello.

 

I tried another Quest bar after my workout.

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This is my second attempt, a different flavor each time.  Both times I was sick afterwards.  Apparently, these are a no-go for me.  It makes me a little sad, I was a fan of the 20g of protein in each one since I’m always trying to up my protein intake.  However, not only was I having problems with the taste (too sweet for me, but I’m the girl who hates chocolate so if you’re normal, they’re probably fine) but also the hours of feeling nauseated afterwards just aren’t going to cut it for me.  They seem really popular though so I guess I’m the only one with this issue.  Joe’s going to eat them instead so I’ll let you know if he loves them.

 

Thanks to the snowy day, I finished my run and just hung out inside for the most part.  Got a bunch of reading done and of course, procrastinated with random useless quizzes.  Sometimes it scares me how much they know me:

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Well, at least we know we did it right 😉  Not that anyone could regret getting married in France, but you know.

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And:

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I’ve only had this hair for a decade, no biggie.  Except a good 6-8 inches longer than hers.  Trauma if they cut off more than an inch.  The description is hilarious, I am indeed simultaneously extremely carefree and yet when I have a plan, don’t you dare change it or I don’t handle that well AT ALL.  Which is probably why I keep my hair exactly the same despite always seeing photos of people with adorable shorter hair and feeling incredible urges to chop mine off.

 

 

 

Did you have snow?  Expecting any more this winter (SPRING!)?

Ever not been able to stomach something everyone else seems to love?

What is your workout on this beautiful Wednesday?  I’m doing an easy 5 and p90x Chest&Back 🙂

Fact Friday #3

Yesterday’s run was super fun, for anyone that is interested.  I decided to do a 75 minute run where I ran hard for 2 songs and steady for 1 song, which equates to a fartlek run of roughly 7-9 minutes hard effort with roughly 3:30-4:30 steady effort in between each hard effort.  It was super fun and I ended up with ~40 minutes hard running so it was a great way to do some faster running but not be a slave to my watch.

 

Inspired by being home, I decided to do another Fact Friday and share some bits and pieces of me with you all again.

 

1.  Joe and I met 3 weeks beforehand, but we got our start in Honduras on spring break.  It’s a long story, but we had met through his best friend (also a good friend of mine) and had been hanging out nonstop so when he found out that the 4th person on a trip I was taking to Honduras in a couple weeks dropped out, he joined my friends and I.  He told me he had feelings for me on our first night there and we’ve been together ever since.  This is a photo from day 3.  I’m the blonde one 😉

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2.  I was in a sorority!  I’m not what people typically think of with a sorority girl but the best thing about my sorority is that I didn’t feel they were typical either.  Sure, there were the standard barbie types but only a handful and in a house of 100 girls, I just didn’t interact with them as much as the girls I had more in common with.  Two of my favorite people in the world years later are my big and grandbig, who immediately claimed me when I joined the house as a freshman in their junior year.  One lives in NYC, the other in Chicago, and they are both some of the coolest people I have ever met.  These are from our trip to Chicago nearly 5 years ago:

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In that first picture, I’m wearing 4 inch heels.  They’re both just super tall.

 

3. I’ve always had a bucket list and most of it is travel related but there are a few other things on there too.  I accomplished getting married outside, bungee jumping, and skydiving and I still need to touch a lion/tiger.  The craziest thing I ever had on there is riding a real live rodeo bull.  I’ve always wanted to do it and still do but Joe says I’m forbidden.  It’s probably wise and the older I get, the less likely that I’ll do it, but I really did look into it years ago and was within a few weeks of getting on one.

 

4. I lived in Philly for a few months and had the best roommate.  I met her accidentally, she replied to a post I had about a spare room in the 2 bedroom apartment I had found in Philly and turns out, she was living in Virginia at the time for an internship.  We met, loved each other, and did most things together for the few months I lived there.  She’s also the one who gave me pre-separated sour patch kids for my birthday.  I hated Philly and moved out of there years earlier than I thought but had the best time exploring and hanging out with Mallory.  I was disappointed in the teams that made it the year I lived there so we invented a game for the Super Bowl where you drink a shot every time the kicker has to kick a FG/kickoff.  We didn’t last 3 quarters 😉

 

5. There’s a really fun day my friend hosted in the past called Ultimate Hustler.  We have a big group of people and there are 12 events throughout the day including putt-putt, frisbee golf, knockout (basketball), bowling, foosball, darts, 8-ball, and more.  There are odds established in advance for each person’s chance at victory and before each event, you are required to bet some of your allotted monopoly money on the victor and another bet on two names that are randomly drawn out of a hat and who you think will be the victor of those two players.  The money you collect throughout the day based on your bets is the buy-in for the big finale…the poker tournament that caps the night.  So betting well throughout the day is essential if you want a decent stack.  Here’s the group from a few years ago:

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I’m the only girl, I should be easy to spot.

 

 

Tell me something about you!!

Something I’m good at

I’m so good at procrastinating interval workouts.  Pretty much any other run I’ll be eager to do as soon as I’ve digested breakfast but intervals often wait until the afternoon when I do them only because I know I’ll be too tired to do them if I wait any longer.  But as usual, I feel really good when I finish.  There’s something so satisfying about finishing a hard workout and knowing you’ll see results from it in the future.  2 miles warm up, 4×1 mile with 3 min jog recovery, 2 miles cool down.  Then 40 minutes of plyo and my legs are SORE today.  Schedule calls for easy 4 and I will happily oblige. 

 

{Still doing the random photo thing until this weekend!}

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Small update on the school stuff: I met with my supervisors yesterday who are just wonderful people.  I’ll be leaving here with another masters degree (having two seems excessive but at least I’ll leave with something!) so I will still be researching and writing for the remainder of my time here.  We actually chose to go a different route than I was with the doctoral dissertation so that I can use the majority of what I had researched in my future doctoral program and I will build on one of my completed chapters for this.  It’s crazy, because it means I have to write roughly 30,000 words of new and original work in the next couple months when I already had SO MUCH done of my doctoral dissertation, but I want to preserve being able to write about what I’m passionate about at another program.  And they are going to write me glowing recommendations and do whatever they can to help me get in elsewhere (they strongly disagree with what is going down) so hopefully it all works out and I end up someplace equally prestigious but where I can write what I want. 

 

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Oh, and I think I’m going to do that race I mentioned yesterday, because apparently I’m a glutton for punishment.  Let’s just hope I don’t ruin my team’s chances of placing.  Unlike a lot of obstacle runs, this one is timed and competitive and all four of us and our times will count for the team.  Mark and I are working on trying to convince Joe to join, it would be super fun to do a race with him and lifting things and hiking mountains is so much more his thing than actually running on a flat course (because he’s crazy).  In case you didn’t know this already, 9 years together and I’ve never even been on one run with my husband.  Very jealous of all of you who have someone to run with!

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(at the Cherry Blossoms 2005)

 

Plan for today is just the easy miles, no lifting or extra cross training.  Then library for some research materials and errands and research the rest of the day.  My life is a party, obviously 😉 

 

Tell me something going on in your life right now!

What was your workout yesterday/today?

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?

You know you spend too much time in your pjs when…

I’ve got some fun stuff for you guys this week!  Was working on it yesterday and I think we’re all set now.  Meanwhile…

No speedwork yesterday, keeping it easy this week before my next cycle of my training program starts Monday.  Push-ups and pull-ups and 6 easy miles followed by my favorite post-run meal:

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It’s just so good.  Expect me to have this for lunch every day this week.  This was dinner:

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Crabcakes are delicious.  They also remind me of home, we used to have them at brunch on Sundays after church when I was a kid.  Crabcakes and waffles…the new go-to combination. 

 

Oh, and I forgot to show you the deliciousness from the night before last!

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I was really in the mood for a burger.  That second picture is me showing you that there is pulled pork on my burger too, not just my fries 😉  Pulled pork, blue cheese, and fried onions on the burger in case you were curious.

 

So I have this habit of wearing pjs to bed (obviously), waking up, eating, running, showering, and changing right back into sweats or pjs.  I know a lot of grad students do work in libraries and I just can’t.  I go and pick up what I need to last me a couple weeks, then sit at home to do all my reading and planning and eventually, write it all up into a (hopefully) coherent chapter.  So I’m home ALL THE TIME.  At home, I like to be comfy, so it’s running clothes or pjs.  You know you spend far too much time in pajamas when you wear a hole into the knee of your pajama pants instead of your jeans.

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A bit ridiculous. 

Today’s plan is a 5 mile run followed my a 20 mile stationary bike.  Let’s just pretend I’m excited about the biking part, maybe it’ll start to grow on me. 

 

Do you wear “real” clothes when you’re just hanging out at home?

What is your favorite go-to lunch?

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

An Idea

Yesterday’s speedwork was brutal.  As you all know, 800s are my least favorite thing ever.  I survived though, 8×800 and I feel stronger today but I can’t say I felt that way during.  And I definitely noticed in the last two that my form was slipping just a bit because my shoulders were tense and my upper back wasn’t supporting me quite as much as I needed it to and it got me thinking.

So I had an idea stemming from that little thing I mentioned a week or two ago about how I really wish I could do a real pull-up.  I can do a decent amount of push-ups but it’s only a decent amount in comparison to my friends, who can do like 10.  I definitely can’t crank out a truly impressive number or anything.  But both push-ups and pull-ups are so great at general strengthening and it wouldn’t hurt to be better at both of them, in fact it would probably help my running to have a stronger back to support me in my distance races and stronger arms and core to keep my form in tact.  So what if we have ourselves a little contest?  And we try to train ourselves to do as many

push-ups

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and pull-ups

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as possible by the end of the contest?  Everyone can submit little phone videos of themselves doing the exercises and I will arrange prizes to be awarded at random to anyone who entered the contest and potentially a bigger prize to the one who is declared the winner!  We will all get a bit stronger and who doesn’t love prizes? 

 

Don’t worry if you can’t do any now, I can’t even do one pull-up!  I’d be thrilled if I could even get one or two so this isn’t about being the one who can crank out 20 pull-ups and 200 push-ups by the end (though that would be freaking AWESOME), it’s about getting stronger for YOU and that’s why the prizes will be random. 

 

Sign up by commenting below and saying you’d like to try it!  List a goal if you want, mine is two pull-ups and 100 push-ups.  If you don’t have a blog that you comment with, send an email to EmmelineRuns@gmail.com and I’ll sign you up.  I have a few ideas for prizes but once I see how many people are interested, I will get that officially figured out. 

 

If you don’t want to play, comment telling me about your workout yesterday!