Training recap–week 15

This was kind of a rougher training week, but still very solid. Let’s review:

Monday–rest day yoga. I’m really getting into this being a thing. Need to branch out some with the routine I’m doing, but I’m still not good at it, so it’s still working.

Tuesday–kettlebell class and warmup mile. Really awesome warmup mile. Sub-10 which I have not done in a long time. It felt good to push and it’s nice to know that I still can. Pushed heavy in class and questioned my life choices. I was completely gassed but felt strong AF.

Wednesday–lactate threshold run. I get in my head about these sometimes. Did this on the treadmill because, once again, I wasn’t sure that I could hit/hold my paces outside. It was fine, I got it done.

Thursday–6 miles easy. Ran at North Park with Lara. Great weather, if a little humid. We did our best to keep it easy and not push each other too much. Ran in shorts for the first time this year. No one died. It was a good run.

Friday–kettlebell class and warmup mile. My FB memories popped up an old Nike+ running post from 9 years ago, with an average pace of 14:15, so I wanted to see what I could do. I know I ran that on a treadmill, so I stayed indoors. I did the same distance (1.41). Average pace of 10:03. BOOM! Followed by an awesome class with Mindy–she always kicks my ass in the best way. Love the Friday burners that make me question my life choices (because is it even a workout if you’re not questioning your life choices?).

Saturday–20 miles easy. I did extra because I’m me. Ran 24 with my friends. Awesome weather, I’m loving the warm up and starting to roast in the sun. Struggled some on this run, but had a fantastic time with my people. Impromptu Jell-O shots helped with pain management near the end.

Sunday–12 miles easy. I did 5 easy on the treadmill. Today was a life day–I worked a weird shift, had a ton of stuff to do at home, and was exhausted from the week. But something is better than nothing, so I got something in. Working on being okay with that.

This week will be interesting. Busy as always, hoping the weather forecast holds so I can get some solid runs in outdoors. Starting to cut back some to taper for Pittsburgh since I still want to shoot for a PR there. Hope it’s good for you. Until next time…

Training Recap–weeks 13 & 14

Since I did a race recap and not a training recap last week, I’m going to back track a little…

Monday (3/25)–rest day, Yoga for Distance Runners. This is becoming a thing and I love it. Maybe some day I’ll get brave and branch out, but for now, I’m still working on this routine.

Tuesday (3/26)–KB Class and warmup mile. Solid warmup mile, and really great class. I pushed hard, and I’m proud of how I’m challenging myself with different weights.

Wednesday (3/27)–6 miles easy on the schedule. I did 5 miles at the Pro Bike + Run Brooks RunHappy hour with Abbie. It was pretty good, we skipped our additional mile(s) because we felt like being done, but it was nice to take the 5-mile loop for a change.

Thursday (3/28)–Marathon pace run. 1 mile easy, 4 miles at 10:50-11, 1 mile easy. I did this on the treadmill because, quite frankly, I chickend out. I wasn’t sure that I could hold the pace for 4 miles without help. I had a busy day, yes, but I *could have* found time to do this outside. But I did it, and it was a solid treadmill workout.

Friday (3/29)–rest, travel for the weekends races.

Saturday (3/30)–Marathon. You know how that went–almost a 5 minute PR. Boom.

Sunday (3/31)–Half Marathon. Took it easier. Love the first half of the course.

Monday (4/1)–Rest Day. And I completely rested. No recovery work. Sore AF. Seriously. Walking was a challenge.

Tuesday (4/2)–KB class and warmup mile. Cancelled class in lieu of yoga at home. Still sore and I had lots to catch up on from the weekend. Glad that I was smart and took the break for my body and my mind.

Wednesday (4/3)–4 miles easy. This run SUCKED. The first mile wasn’t bad, but I was pushing. After that I walked a lot. Legs were not interested in running today. But I got the miles done and my body needed to get out and move.

Thursday (4/4)–5 miles easy. STAIRS AT THE CATHEDRAL! I love doing the stairs. It’s one of my favorite awful things in life. 5 times up with a friend, which was awesome. So much nicer to have company for that endeavor, definitely makes it go faster.

Friday (4/5)–KB class and warmup mile. I was not interested in my warmup mile, but I did it, and I’m glad. Awesome workout with Mindy, it felt good to be back and having my ass handed to me. Worked up to the last minute.

Saturday (4/6)–10 miles easy. Ran with friends at North Park. Took it easy the first 4 miles. Then I pushed. Then I pushed some more, because I felt bad for wussing out on my marathon pace workout, and I needed to prove to myself that I could hold that pace for 4 miles, outside, on hills. And I did. Not only did I do it, but I negative split it! With more than one mile “warmup” in the tank. So I don’t get to question that now, I know I can do it.

Sunday (4/7)–8 miles easy. I did 10 with Adrian, though had I not been with her I probably would’ve cut it back to 8. I felt okay, and probably could have pushed it more, but I was a little sore after Friday & Saturday.

And that brings me to another rest day. Yoga on tap after work. More soon, friends. Have a good week!

Training Recap–week 12

Last week was a mixed bag–the transition to spring hits me hard every year. I don’t know why–things don’t come back to life that quickly, and temperature changes don’t actually cause sickness–but somehow I end up fighting something off every year at this time. This week was no exception, but I still had a really solid week of training.

Monday–Rest Day–Did a Yoga for Distance Runners show that I have saved on the DVR. Definitely going to incorporate this more often.

Tuesday–Kettlebell Day–cancelled. I was really really run down by the time I got through work. Figured I’d rather rest and be okay to run (hopefully) on Wednesday than power through and force myself out of a run.

Wednesday–5 mile progression run. Had a friendly challenge going within our training team to see who could come closest to our paces for our speed workout. This was a really good thing for me. I felt great and would’ve pushed too hard out the gate if I hadn’t had this challenge to reign me in. Nailed the first two paces within 2 seconds. Went all out on the last one because I was feeling good and it felt good to push that hard near the end of a workout, still came in within 10 seconds of goal pace.

Thursday–6 miles easy. Had a great run through the city with my friend Lara. We push each other appropriately, and generally speaking always have good runs together. Thursday night runs have been much better lately, and I’m pretty sure the fact I usually have company is part of the reason.

Friday–Kettlebell Day–cancelled again. Allergies were going haywire all day at work and I just felt lousy. Again…I’d rather be able to run tomorrow than force through a workout tonight.

Saturday–24 miles easy. Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? I was having a bad morning. A really bad morning. Comedy of errors trying to get to the run, coupled with a complete emotional breakdown. Everything just kind of compounded. Normally I don’t mind a few miles by myself, though I try to get them in before the group run so I can finish with my friends. Today I was thankful I didn’t run a single mile alone, I could not have handled having that much time to think without distraction. I pushed pace on poor Lara and Abbie during our first 4 miles because I was so upset it was hard to hold back. But I got some much needed therapy and I finished my longest run in over a year. Watch was dying (just one of the many things that went wrong that morning…) so I stopped pausing it at stop lights, no idea what my real paces were, but I got through it and felt pretty okay. Ran up Forbes again, near the same mileage that I will hit it during Pittsburgh, so that makes me feel good about my odds on race day. And we’re running the Birmingham Bridge–my nemesis–on a regular basis so I’m becoming somewhat desensitized to it. Also did this whole run on macadamia nut butters from F-Bomb, first time I’ve used all fat on a run and I felt really good. Took a packet every 10 miles (roughly every 2ish hours) and that seemed to work well.

Sunday–10 miles easy. Easy 10 miles on the schedule, so I ran the Mill Creek Distance Classic half marathon. This is one of my FAVORITE races. It’s tough–19 hills over 13 miles. The park it is in is absolutely gorgeous though, and I really do love awful things. Wasn’t sure how it would go after 24 yesterday. Definitely felt my quads on the first downhill. But I was solid and strong out there. Really steady, and honestly didn’t walk that much, all things considered. And I can tell because even though I ran 24 miles the day before, I set a 4-minute course PR! I can’t get over how strong I’m getting this training cycle. Followed this up with a trigger point class with my training team. That was awesome and I’m rolling my feet on the lacrosse ball as I type. Definitely going to work some of that into my routine.

Big races coming up next weekend. Not goal races–training runs with medals, but I have a really good feeling about the marathon on Saturday. More soon, friends.

Training Recap–Week 11

Must have kicked whatever was ailing me the previous weekend, I felt great all week.

Monday–rest day. I want to start doing the Yoga for Distance Runners that I have saved on the DVR on Mondays, but today was not the day. I went to a fueling for runners seminar after work, which was interesting, but didn’t tell me much that I didn’t know (bear in mind I’ve been at all of this for awhile and am studying for my nutrition certification for this round of CEUs). The dietitian who spoke is also against keto, which is working really well for me (more about that later this week). I wouldn’t push it for everyone (especially not all athletes) but it’s working for ME, so I’m staying the course.

Tuesday–kettlebell and warmup mile. Got to run my mile outside–yay! Felt good (and different!) to push my pace some outside for the warmup. Chased it with some foam rolling and then a really great class. Moderately heavy weights, and I got to work on single bell squat form with a heavy non-racked position. Need to do more of that to get my confidence up for double bell squats.

Wednesday–easy miles. Had 4 on the schedule, but a few friends needed 5 so we did the Team RWB run and then tacked on some extra. It was a beautiful night to run around the city and I felt really good.

Thursday–easy miles. Again, 4 on the schedule, but my friend needed 5 so what’s one more? Went up to North Park in the evening wearing a tank top and capris! So excited for that weather. I miss running in some heat. Loving having company for these Thursday night runs, makes them go much better.

Friday–kettlebell and warmup miles. Hit the treadmill because of the wind, but it was still a solid warmup mile. Foam rolled a little. Awesome class. 10 round ascending ladder (adding an exercise each round). I don’t always finish these, but today I did! I got through all 10 rounds! I’m really proud of my effort and how strong I’m getting.

Saturday–10 miles easy. Instead, I ran the Shamrock Shuffle half marathon in Harmony, PA. I like awful things, I really do. Ask my friends, I have a special place in my heart for the hilliest most awful races. Ogden is one of my favorites. Mill Creek is another favorite–I’ve had friends swear off both and ask what I see in them. But this race makes even me question my judgement. I remembered part way through why it’s been 5 years since I last did it–you need awhile to forget about it before you can go back. At any rate, I ran it with a couple of friends which made it much more bearable, enjoyed my jello shots, survived the freak snowstorm (hitting just as we were about to come down the most massive hill), and ended up with a 23 minute course PR! It wasn’t easy, to be sure, but I was definitely not racing. I wasn’t forcing pace (well…maybe a little at the end). I am so freaking proud of that race–I’m so much stronger than I used to be. I can’t get over it. I’m really proud of how far I’ve come and all the work I’ve put in to get here.

Sunday–8 recovery miles. Mentally I was not interested in running today. But we all know that wouldn’t stop me from doing it. Met up with my friends and got it done. Quads were trashed from the hills on Saturday but I still felt remarkably good while I was out there. Pace was solid, which made me really happy after the previous day’s workout. Just another sign of how much stronger I’m getting.

Word for this week–STRONG. I felt really good and really strong, and I can see my progress. Great feeling coming out of a cutback week, bring on the next 2 weeks of training!

Training Recap–week 10

Damn. 10 weeks into this training cycle. Last week didn’t go as smoothly but was still a solid training week, miles in the bank, and inching closer to my goals.

Monday–rest day. 10/10, would do again. So thankful for my rest days this cycle.

Tuesday–Kettlebell and warmup mile. Pushed pace a little on my mile, foam rolled–something I’m trying to tie to my warmup mile habit to ensure I do it with some kind of regularity. Class was then some crazy bullshit (in a good way, of course) and I pushed heavy since my partner was back. Realized that I want to really work on squatting deeper with heavier weights–might need to go a little lighter until I get my form perfected to do it, but I think it will be worth the concentrated effort.

Wednesday–Speedwork, easy miles + pickups. Kept it on the treadmill, it was cold and I find it easy to do speedwork on the treadmill in the winter. 3 Easy miles at 12 (also my recovery pace for intervals), followed by 6 rounds of 1 min hard, 2 min easy. Hard pace was 8:34. That first minute is always a little bit of a shock to me, but after that I relax into it and trust my body to keep up. Thankful for the short bursts–not sure how long I could hold that pace, but I can do anything for a minute.

Thursday–5 miles easy Stairs at the Cathedral of Learning. Knowing that I got a little bored and frustrated with my last training cycle, coach told me at the outset that if I wanted to throw in stairs this go round–Thursdays were my best workout to swap out, and this week I finally took advantage of it. I LOVE doing the stairs at the Cathedral of Learning. 5x up the 34 flights in just about an hour (ever so slightly over). I really wanted 6, but I slowed down so much in my last round that I knew it would probably be a bad idea to go again. Next time…

Friday–Kettlebell and warmup mile. Got to run my warmup outside, followed by foam rolling. Another awesome class. Really digging the variety in the workouts and the warmups and cool downs. I know I’m getting a really good quality stretch session in at least once a week.

Saturday–22 miles easy 17 miles. Had some major GI distress during the run that just continued to get worse, so I cut it short instead of suffering even more. Really struggled with the decision, because I’m stubborn about hitting my numbers, but friends talked me down and ultimately I knew it was best to give my body time to sort itself out. (Definitely the right move, as I crashed HARD when I got home, didn’t sleep, but didn’t move much, which is abnormal for me even after a long run.)

Sunday–12 miles easy 5 miles. Felt a lot better so I headed out to run 12-14 with my friends. Body still wasn’t 100% though and had GI discomfort early so I called it at 5. Felt significantly better than Saturday though and was productive with the rest of my day. Hoping that I kicked whatever it was/is that is wreaking havoc.

Cutback week this week, so hopefully that will give my body adequate time and rest to recover from whatever the hell happened over the weekend. More soon, friends.

Training Recap–week 9

Solid training week. Crushed February with my highest mileage to date–150 mile month! March is about to get nuts if my very basic math is right…just hang tight for the ride.

Monday–Rest day.

Tuesday–KB class and warmup mile. Solid warm-up. KILLER class. Heavy deadlifts (oxymoron, I know, is there any other kind of deadlift?), squats to upright rows and dead swings (the dead swings killed me tonight, no idea why), then pushups, ropes, and a goblet squat-press-swing complex followed by some BS on the ropes. Love getting my ass kicked. <3

Wednesday–Marathon pace tempo run. Yes it was beautiful out and I ran on the treadmill. I sometimes get so laser focused on the Plan that I forget I am allowed to move things around if I want to. So I ran inside on the treadmill to make sure I could hit my pace. Not sorry though, it went well.

Thursday–7 easy miles. Needed 7.3 to hit 150 for the month, so that’s what I set out for. Went to North Park solo after work and it was a really solid run. I was in a zone. I ran parts of the course that I seldom run when I’m alone. Some GI distress that forced a couple breaks and some walking I wasn’t planning, but got it done and overall I’m really proud of how it went down.

Friday–KB class and warmup miles. Kept the warmup mile easy, just didn’t feel like pushing. Another great class. LOVE getting my ass kicked. About a thousand lunges (that I knew I would feel on Sunday’s run…). Need to invest in some of those cloth bands because they are the shiz.

Saturday–20 miles easy. Ran the first 10 with the big group, and I was totally feeling it. I pushed pace some on the group because I was just in the zone. Pushed pace on my friend for most of the next 5 miles though I was starting to fade. The final 5 by myself were rough, but I got through them. Longest run since 2017. I felt very strong and accomplished. I LOVE getting my distance back. This is truly my happy place.

Sunday–10 miles easy. Went to play in the woods with some friends for the first 6 miles. So much fun. BRF suggested it (even though he HATES trail) and even HE had fun. The weather was great, the trails were pretty perfect (aside from some majorly down trees from the recent wind storms–but you’ll have that). Legs felt good out there while we were running, but I could tell my quads were trashed when I tried to get out of the car. Still…I needed 4 more miles. So I gave my legs a break (as much of one as I could anyway) and finished the 4 on the treadmill several hours later.

My body is tired, bring on that rest day, but damn is my soul happy. More soon, friends.

Training Recap–Week 8

Last week was a cutback week. I used to hate them, but with the training volume lately I’ve grown to appreciate them. Much like my Monday rest days, I see their value, and my body very much needs the rest. You build strength when you’re recovering/sleeping/resting.

Monday–rest day

Tuesday–kettlebell with a very solid warm up mile. One big long form circuit that we repeated for the entire class. Good times.

Wednesday–speed workout on the treadmill. Went well. Love the feeling when I relax into the speed and it doesn’t feel terrible.

Thursday–easy miles. Went with two of my friends to the Pro Bike +Run run at North Park and had one of the best Thursday runs I’ve had in a long time. Not sure if I was better rested from being off work and having the cutback week (though the workouts leading up to this were basically the same as always) or if it was having company, but it was a really great run.

Friday–kettlebell with warmup mile. Got to warm up outside! yay! Great class with Mindy. I wish I could learn to trust myself with box jumps the way I do with speed on the treadmill. I can’t get out of my head enough to go for the higher boxes, even though I *know* I can jump high enough to clear it. *sigh* I’ll get there.

Saturday–used the Spring Thaw race as a training run with a medal. Only needed 10 miles. Ran them with my friend Lara and we had a blast–pushed pace for an easy run, though not racing either. Got to crew for BRF who was doing the full 20 miles, and make sure he was fed and hydrated appropriately at mile 15. Next to running, CREWing is one of my favorite things–even when I’m waiting outside in the cold…

Sunday–weather was supposed to be iffy, but I had 10 miles and did NOT want to run it on the treadmill. Most of my crew needed 4 recovery miles, Adrian needed 6. So I got (almost) 4 in early by myself, then met up with the rest of them to trek through the city before the wind came to sweep it away. It just started to pick up after Adrian and I got back to the garage. Excellent timing, but we also got to enjoy terrific temperatures (especially for February) and some blue sky over our city.

Picking up the mileage again this week. Love it so much. More soon, friends.

Training Recap-week 7

Last week was less emotional, still a little stressful, but it seems like work might be calming down some, and that will be really nice. Still battling my own demons, but had some really great workouts and that always helps.

Monday–Rest Day

Tuesday–Kettlebell and warmup mile. Solid warmup mile, then some crazy Sean circuits including at 600+ pound prowler push. I did it! Only once, because honestly there was always a wait for it and I didn’t want to have the down time in my workout. So I worked with the slightly lighter one, but knowing that I can (and did!) push the heavier one was the highlight of my day.

Wednesday–Tempo Run. The intervals felt tough tonight. I was thankful for Netflix to distract me.

Thursday–Easy run. Took advantage of primo weather and ran outside around Oakmont. Thursday runs are usually on the slower side for me, I’m usually by myself and I’m tired so I don’t push much, I just go by feel.

Friday–Kettlebell and warmup mile. Pushed pace on my warmup mile. Excellent class with Mindy. Her classes are sleepers–they never look that bad on paper but leave you questioning your life choices. Fun circuits with things I like and things that I haven’t done much or at all. Highlight–learning to double snatch!

Saturday–Easy run. Switched my ‘recovery’ mileage to Saturday as I was working an OT shift and had to miss the group run. Didn’t get it done until the late evening on the treadmill, but I did it. Treated it as an easy paced progression run starting at a 5.0 on the treadmill and bumping the pace up each mile.

Sunday–Long run. Ran with Adrian and D for the first 15 of my 18. Love love love running through the city. Ran all the way up Liberty hill without stopping, and all the way up the hill to the 31st street bridge! Kinda fell apart once I split from my friends, but got the miles done. Longest run in over a year. Feels really good to be getting these numbers back. This run put me over 100 miles for February so far, so gotta love that.

Cutback this week, and my body is ready for a little bit of a break. More soon, friends.

Training Recap–week 6

Training is my happy place these days. Not every workout is perfect, but it’s the part of my life that is going smoothly. I’m so glad to be back doing what I really love.

Monday–REST DAY. Have I mentioned how much I appreciate my rest days this time around? I really appreciate them. I love the grind, but my body is so ready for the rest. I don’t hurt or ache really, but I’m definitely fatigued.

Tuesday–got to run my warmup mile outside for a change thanks to a break in the weather. Class was a killer–got tricked into using the black bell (26kg) for 4 rounds of an intense circuit, and lived to tell the tale. It was ugly, but I did it.

Wednesday–speedwork. It was nice out, but I turned to the treadmill. Had a really lousy day and wanted to make sure I would hit my paces (which I’m really sure I would not have outside). I’m glad I did, this was a really solid run.

Thursday–easy miles. It was NOT nice out, it was pouring rain. I had a rough week and so I ran outside anyway. It was really good for me. Cut it a mile short because my stomach was bothering me, but while I was out there it felt good. Didn’t feel as cleansing as I’d hoped, but I felt very strong for being the crazy out there running in the rain.

Friday–solid warmup mile and my last KB class with Kristi. Killer deck of cards workout, gonna miss those. Very thankful that I can work with the trainer that is taking over on Fridays–all of the trainers are excellent but not all of them are good for my personal efforts.

Saturday–long run. Half Marathon Kickoff training run. THIS is one of my favorite runs. Can’t really explain it, but I seriously love this day as much as I hate the Marathon Kickoff. Got there early and did my extra miles so I could finish it off with my friends. BRF paced the 11:30s which I did a decent job keeping up with (avg. pace was a little slower for me but no biggie). And I ran all the way up Forbes without stopping! I’ve never done that, and I had no idea that Saturday was going to be the day. Hopefully I can pull that off during the marathon. 16 very solid miles. Loving that my average pace is improving without me trying that hard on my long runs.

Sunday–met up with my friends again for my recovery run. I’m so thankful for my RunCrew. I know that I would’ve struggled with this run if I’d been alone (I was in a rough place mentally/emotionally going in), but instead I enjoyed it.

That about sums up last week. Resting today then back to the grind. More soon.

Training Week 5 Recap

Last week was another solid training week. First off, I am loving my rest days this cycle. I love the hard work of training, but my body is happy to have a day off to recover after 5-6 days of grinding. I did skip my Tuesday class last week (*sad*) because my hamstrings were tight and it was affecting my knees, and I wanted to be able to get my runs in. Class, from past experience, could have helped or made it worse, so I erred on the side of caution.

Wednesday and Thursday Pittsburgh was thrown into the Polar Vortex, so I got up and did my Wednesday run on the treadmill before work. Knee was doing better after some quality time with Orange Spiky (my favorite and most terrifying roller) the previous day. I ran fasted and it went remarkably well. I’ve not had much success running fasted in the past, and I wouldn’t do it running outside, at least not without a little more experimenting. But an occasional treadmill run is worth experimenting with.

Thursday I did my 5 on the treadmill again after work, then realized I only needed 1/2 a mile to hit 130 miles for the month, so you know I went back to the treadmill and ran another half mile. 130 miles in the month of January. Unreal. Loving this ultra journey. Solid run, nothing remarkable except my cumulative mileage.

Kettlebell and warmup mile on Friday. Very nice warmup mile, and really solid class. Even bumped up weight in the last round of the circuit. I felt really strong.

Saturday was my longest run in over a year. I’m really struggling with the Saturday group runs with all the stopping and starting and breaking up the mileage, so I wanted to do this as close to unbroken as I could. I ran with BRF and another friend out at North Park–not my favorite place to run, but I wasn’t alone and I didn’t have to keep stopping. The run went really well. I was strong and pretty consistent. Did start getting fatigued near the end, but held it together well. Spent some QT with the BRF after the run, grabbing lunch and checking out the new Pro Bike + Run location (heavy emphasis on the Bike…). Pittsburgh was thawing out, but not when I was running-temp was between 9 and 12 when we got started.

Sunday, I got up at the crack of dawn to run with some friends. 10 solid miles in the city. 33 degree starting temps felt like a heatwave after the rest of the week. Felt really good during most of the run, though fatigue started to catch me near the end. Definitely felt more sore after the run (and some quality couch time with my cat) so I’m glad I have a rest day. Need to work on more solid recovery practices–this has always been my weakness.

I am LOVING this ultra journey. Loving. The high mileage makes me so ridiculously happy. I feel good going into each run, and for the most part I’m recovering well and quickly.