Monday, March 21, 2016

Training week recaps: Mar 7-20, 2016

Sorry for falling off the planet for a week and a half! I was out of town last weekend to run Rock N Roll DC, the office to-do list has been nonstop, and I had plans after work every single day last week. 

The flurry of activity has been a lot of fun - but now I have so much to catch up on!
Since I again missed recapping my March 7 - 13 training last week, we're once again doing double-duty and recapping two weeks at once.

MARCH 7 - 13 TRAINING
MONDAY - Lift 50 minutes
TUESDAY - Yoga class
WEDNESDAY - Zumba class
THURSDAY - Run 3 miles on treadmill
FRIDAY - Rest
SATURDAY - Rock N Roll DC Half Marathon
SUNDAY - Rest
Vanitha's Batala drumming group performed on the RnR DC Course at Mile 8.
I loved getting to see her tearing it up on the course!
MARCH 7-13 NOTES
  • I had a blast staying with Vanitha and Asheesh in DC last weekend (thank you again for being such wonderful hosts!) Race-day weather was good so my experience at Rock N Roll DC was a gazillion times better than last year. Full recap to come.
  • I'll talk about this in more detail later, but Rock N Roll DC made me realize how I'm still very much in my infancy with hill running. This is despite all my challenging incline work over the last few months. To put it bluntly, I am growing increasingly petrified of what the Pittsburgh Half Marathon has in store for me - and that is saying something.
  • For various reasons, I only lifted once last week as opposed to my usual twice. When I resumed the subsequent week, I was weirdly nervous about losing my progress. It was a relief when there was no noticeable decline. Basically, it was the age-old battle between resting/recovering and losing momentum.

MARCH 14 - 20 TRAINING
MONDAY - Lift 50 minutes, Pi Day Run (3 miles)
TUESDAY - Yoga class
WEDNESDAY - Zumba class
THURSDAY - 3 miles incline work on treadmill (10 minute warm-up, 1-minute ladder intervals between levels 3-8)
FRIDAY - Yoga class, lift 50 minutes
SATURDAY - Rest
SUNDAY - Run 6.5 miles outside
At the Pi Day Run with Margaret and Erin
MARCH 14 - 20 NOTES
  • The Pi Day Run last Monday was a good time! The event started at 6:28 PM (2 pi). We got to fill out a pi-themed trivia quiz for prizes. Then attendees went on a 3.14 mile run (which actually ended up being closer to 3 miles), followed by post-run pizza pie and dessert pie. The pi shirts are cute, too. I didn't realize until later that the pi date is spot-on since pi is 3.1416 and the event date was March 14, 2016 (3.14.16). Very cool! 
  • I've been practicing yoga for a really long time. Back when I first started, I was instructed to focus on maintaining a constant breath the entire time (i.e. not holding my breath while holding the poses). I've practiced this way for years and years. However, these days I've noticed my yoga instructors directing us to take one breath per movement. I tried following those breathing patterns and it is tough. Now I wonder if I've been doing yoga wrong this entire time??? 
  • I had a major bout of insomnia last Thursday night. Friday was a resultingly tough day in the office. It was hard to concentrate. I went longer on lifting that day than usual since it was helping me stay energized. Then I paid for it on Saturday with a lot of soreness. Sigh. 
  • Yesterday my motivation was as low as it had ever been. I thought very, very seriously about skipping my run. I grudgingly forced myself out the door under the premise of shortening the distance to 5 miles instead of 6.5. I usually reserve headphone usage only for tough moments while running. Yesterday I allowed myself the luxury of listening to music the entire time. Once I got going, I felt better.
Speaking of music... 
Here's the latest addition to my workout playlist:
The Blackhawks play this song at the United Center during pregame warm-ups. I've said before that there are few things I enjoy more than watching Hawks games live at the UC. Listening to this song reminds me of being there and feeling the energy of both the team and the crowd.

--
Linking up with HoHo and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap.

32 comments:

  1. I'm glad you liked the Pi Day run! The Wurst Running Club did that a couple years ago and I thought it was a lot of fun! And I really like a math-themed event :)

    Hills are HARD! They're definitely challenging physically, and they used to be pretty mentally challenging for me too. I would always just give up and walk, but something clicked after I moved up to hilly Lake County and I can push myself up them, but it's not easy! Like anything else, I think it just takes time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh man, I wish I had gotten to participate in a Pi Day Run with the WRCE! That would have been a lot of fun with so much good company. Erin had an awesome neon-colored Pi Day Run shirt from a prior year's running - wonder if it was from the WRCE year?

      Congratulations on seeing such amazing progress with your hill running! There is no better feeling than experiencing that click and being able to knock those hills down. Power to you, my friend!!!

      Delete
    2. If it was neon yellow, it was probably the shirt from 2014 when we all did it :)

      You can nail hills too! It just takes time.

      Delete
    3. It was indeed neon yellow! All hail to the WRCE!!!

      I think I need a lot more time than I have to nail hills. The Pittsburgh Half is coming up on May 1!!! ARGH!!!

      Delete
  2. I have routine that have the one breathe, one movement, but I hold it longer. I do yoga for the stretching, and I'll do it at my pace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do the yoga for the stretching, too! I have colleagues who talk about how they feel SO much better after they do yoga. I do, too, but never quite to the level they express. But the stretching just feels good, yes?

      Delete
  3. We should have coordinated our runs on Sunday! I wasn't feeling particularly motivated, either, but once I got out there I was fine, too. Plus, asking Chewie if he wants to go for a run makes me feel guilty if I don't follow through :-)

    My current lifting plan has me taking a "deload" (aka a cutback) week after three weeks. Seems counter-intuitive to go lighter after building up but apparently it works! I guess it's kind of like running that way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree, we should have coordinated! We'll keep it in mind for next time. I can imagine Chewie gets SUPER excited about going out and stretching his legs!!!

      Ooooh, I love the idea of "deloading" once every three weeks. It makes perfect sense both mentally and physically! I'm going to start building deload weeks into my rotation, too. Thanks for the suggestion!

      Delete
  4. That car-in-the-sink-hole picture is the best! I know breathing is important in yoga, but I also know there are lots of philosophies out there, so I wouldn't necessarily say that you were doing your breathing wrong. Lesley is correct that you should do it at your own pace. There is no right or wrong in yoga. "Do what serves you" or so the saying goes. Make peace with the hills! Don't worry if you have to walk up them, just look forward to the downhill parts after you get on top of them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you like the sinkhole picture! Appreciate the support, Pete! It's always nice to be reminded that we can do pretty much everything in life at our own pace. I am going to try to embody the concept of making peace with the hills because they sure as heck are causing me anxiety right now. Good call on looking forward to the downhills (less the strain on my joints, LOL)! It's all about perspective, yes?

      Delete
  5. That yoga breathing is tricky! I do inhale/exhale with each movement. But sometimes the instructor is like take 3 breaths and I've only done one and she's moving on...

    We don't get a ton of chances to hill train around here, and my coach is giving me lots of work in the gym to make sure I'm ready for those California hills.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my gosh, yes, I have had similar situations where the yoga instructor said take X amount of breaths and I haven't even gotten close. I've had it the other way, too, where she says take one breath to one movement but I've already taken three. =D

      Wendy, you are going to NAIL those hills in Big Sur. With all the strength training you do, how could you not?!?!?

      Delete
  6. Great song! I love how it builds :)
    I hope you had fun in DC! Hills are always tricky, my neighborhood is fairly hilly so I (used) to get run and sometimes they just felt tougher than others(heat-booo) ...don't get nervous you still have some TM ladders sessions before the race :)
    A pi run for pizza sounds great!!
    You know my battle with sleep, it is awful to feel that way all day. That is good you lifted even though you didn't want to.
    Great variety in your activities! Isn't it weird that breathing is difficult lol I still hold my breath lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Karen! I like how the song builds, too. EVERYTHING feels tougher in the heat, yes? Add humidity on top of the heat and it's the worst battle, ever. Appreciate the confidence on the final weeks I still have to train before the Pittsburgh Half! I hope you were able to get some improved sleep since your last update, it really is so distressing when insomnia hits. YES, it's weird how breathing can be both such second-nature yet so challenging at times, isn't it??? The body is a strange thing. =)

      Delete
  7. Oooh I like that song! Energizing! Do not give the hills of Pittsburgh another thought. You'll be ready and you'll be great. End of story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't the song catchy??? I've listened to it about 20 times in the past few days. =) Thank you so much for your confidence in me, Marcia! I really appreciate it!

      Delete
  8. That's so cool you have a friend in Batala. I love them! They were really great at the RnR race and they really help pull you through. The yoga breathing is tricky. I generally try to do one exhale or inhale with a movement but sometimes the instructors hold the post too long and I have to sneak in an extra breath. I look forward to reading your RnR recap :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Chaitali! Batala is awesome! Vanitha and I watched some videos of Batala drummers and it's so inspirational. YES on the yoga breaths. I definitely find that I prefer to breathe more often than the yoga instructors usually tell us to do. Yay on RnR DC! Wasn't the experience so much better this year than last year since it didn't rain this year? Hallelujah!!! =)

      Delete
  9. I always worry that if I stop strength training regularly, all of my progress will INSTANTLY disappear. I've cut down from strength training about three times/week to one dedicated day of strength training with one day of finishing (and/or starting) my run with strength training, and I'm weirdly shocked every time I discover that I still have biceps, even with reduced training haha. But I guess running is kind of that way, too - I can take a full month entirely off running (but not exercise), and still go out and do three miles without trouble on my first day back. If I had to guess, I would imagine that stopping ALL exercise entirely leads to quicker losses than stopping one form of exercise while maintaining (or adding in) others. Though I'm certainly not educated in that sort of thing, so I could be wrong!

    Bethany @ Accidental Intentions

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I TOTALLY relate on being weirdly shocked to discover I still have biceps after reduced training! I'm more paranoid about losing strength than I am about losing conditioning, you too? Likewise - even after taking a month off of running, I was still able to go out and do three miles without any trouble. It definitely feels like running conditioning lasts longer when we are staying active, even if it's not via running per se. The body is quite an interesting machine. Flexibility is a whole other thing, though. I feel if I skip yoga for a week or two, I lose flexibility super fast!!! It's definitely something that requires a lot of maintenance to stay limber!

      Delete
  10. I love that song! :) I've heard it at games but I don't think I ever really went to look for it outside of there - thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YAY for Blackhawks gamenight music! Did you hear they have their own Pandora radio station now? It is awesome and listening to the tracks makes me feel like I'm back at the UC. =)

      Delete
  11. Whew, I got tired just reading your post, LOL!!! I can't wait to check out that song tonight! (At work, shhhh!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww, thanks Michelle! You are too kind. Do let me know what you think of the song! And I totally understand about watching videos/listening to music at work. I have dual giant computer monitors so it's hard to do without people noticing! =P

      Delete
  12. Sounds like you had a good time in DC! Can't wait to read your race recap! I am afraid of the hills in my next race. I'll be running rock and roll San Francisco and have not done much of any hill training except overpasses, so I am pretty scared. Your pi day run sounds fun and love the shirts! Love the song too! It is very energetic and makes you want to move, perfect for a workout playlist!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sharon! Oh gosh, San Francisco's hills can be scary indeed, but you've been strength-training like a boss! So I know you are going to do AWESOME, no matter what. Glad you like the song! I think music is really helpful in keeping us motivated during those tough moments, yes?

      Delete
  13. Don't stress about Pittsburgh. It's a new race for fun, not for a goal time. Your goal is to finish feeling strong and proud of your effort. You can do that. But not if you are afraid of it!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right, Kim. We do these things for FUN! I need to use that as my new mantra: "This is FUN." LOL =)

      Delete
  14. I'm glad to hear your had a good experience at RnR DC. I can't wait to hear about it. The Pi Day Run sounds like fun. I didn't realize the date was exact! Where have I been? Hills are supposed to feel tough. I wouldn't worry about them -- and certainly don't psyche yourself out. Just keep doing your training and you'll be fine. Thanks for linking with us Emily.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks HoHo! The Pi Day Run is new to me, too! I've only heard about them starting a year or two ago. It's a very clever idea, though, yes? Thank you for the encouraging words on the hills - I appreciate it!

      Delete
  15. So glad this years Rock n Roll DC was better for you. I know what you mean about coming or going. I do not know if I'm in training, taper or recovery with all the races lol. I hope you Pittsburgh won't be as bad as you think!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Tricia! It does get really challenging when there are so many races on the calendar. Every year I tell myself I'm going to be more selective about the races I sign up for, but then every year I get excited and go a little nuts. Cheers to Pittsburgh's hills not being as bad as I think (which is pretty bad!) We are our own worst enemies, yes???

      Delete