Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Interval Running

I'm straying from today's topic since I don't really get spring break, though I wish I did.  I'm even taking some days off next week, during CU's spring break.  They give us the Friday of spring break as a holiday, and I'm taking Wednesday and Thursday as vacation days.  It's very much needed, since I haven't had a break since December.  I need to get better at taking vacation.

As many readers know, I use run/walk to keep me going, and to help my ITBS.  I've used run/walk ever since I trained for my first half marathon, and I like it.  A lot!  I found my sweet spot, to keep my cadence up, and keep me going.  The only issue is, I tend to test that sweet spot, and push the intervals.  The results aren't pretty.

I realized one of the reasons I may have been struggling so far is I extended the running portion.  I want to challenge myself, but when I did 4 miles a couple weekends ago, I really positive split them, and then ended up in a funk.  Did that happen because I moved out of my normal intervals?  I'll find out this week.  Last week was a pull-back week, with 2 miles for each run.  I've put my intervals back to what my body likes, and I'll find out.

In other news, I got one more piece for my home gym.  I bought a Pilates ball, and I used it for the first time yesterday.

Someone obviously wanted to check it out too.

Tuesdays on the Run with PattyErika, and Marcia.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Monday Musings 3/19

This weekend was all about small things I could enjoy.  My anxiety returned head on last weekend, and I was determined to have fun this weekend.  I already had a book club scheduled from a few weeks ago, and I decided to check out a movie Saturday, as well as getting out of my neighborhood and checking out a running path just up the road.

First thing, I took an Epsom salt soak for the magnesium, and I went to bed at 8:30 Friday night.  I didn't get out of bed until 7 Saturday morning.

I live by Standley Lake Park, but in the now almost year I've lived in Arvada, I never ran the routes by the lake.  I've realized I need a change of scenery some days, and need to get out of my comfort zone, and neighborhood.  Shake things up so to speak.  Since I was going to the movies Saturday afternoon, I headed over in the morning.

What I didn't know is the trails there aren't paved, and in Colorado, any open space without paved trails means prairie dogs.  I made it half a mile before turning around and moving back to the pavement outside the park.  I had to constantly be looking down, otherwise I would've stepped in a prairie dog hole and wrench something.  Even on pavement, I heard their chirps since their colony is all over Standley Lake.  I'm a big scary human, and I'd see them scrambling into their holes for safety.

After running and getting lunch, I went to the movies to watch Tomb Raider.  Another movie with a strong female lead, and I like that this Lara Croft doesn't have flotation devices on her chest.  When I read what Alicia Vikander went through, training wise, it is inspirational.  I don't have the discipline to cut out bad food, which is why I'm not happy with my midsection, but I can lift weights and strength train all the same.  Which is what I did Sunday.  I got the bigger for me weights out and did an all-around strength routine.  I'll see how I feel in the morning.

Sunday was a book club with some Oiselle volee.  I tried to read the book, a Gentleman in Moscow, but I'll confess, I only got about halfway through.  It wasn't my cup of tea, and normally New York Times bestsellers aren't.  I'm all about historical novels and mysteries, and while this was historical, it could get downright depressing, or boring.  I read to feel happy and get lost in the story.  I signed up for the book club for the social aspect, so I didn't feel bad about not finishing the book.  I wasn't the only one who didn't finish, and it was fun to just chat and socialize.

I came home and started a Friends season 3 marathon.  There was so much food at the book club, all I wanted to do was veg.

Linking up with Holly and Wendy for Weekend Wrap-up.


Sunday: Pre-hab exercises

Monday: Pure Barre upper body and seat

Tuesday: 2 miles, PB thighs

Wednesday: PB seat

Thursday: 2 miles

Friday: rest

Saturday: 2 miles

Friday, March 16, 2018

5 Signs of Spring

It's Friday, and almost the weekend.  I can take my time this weekend and finally finish adjusting to the time change.  It now takes me a good week, because it takes until the next weekend for me to catch up on my sleep.  I've been doing yoga in the evenings and going to bed at 9, but the early wake up call is still challenging with the dark mornings.

Since Tuesday is the first day of spring, I thought I would write about the first signs of spring.

1) Getting through February.  February can really be a downer, and after December and January, February is just dreary.  It's a short month, but seems to take a while to cycle through.  I know the saying is March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, but this February had a lot of snow and cold.

2) DST.  As much as I gripe about losing an hour of sleep, the longer days are great.  I don't feel as crunched for time when I get home from work, and I have more sunlight to work with.  I got home a little late Tuesday since I had to pick up my new order of contacts, and mail off a package, but I didn't have to worry.  There was still plenty of sun for my run.

3) Shorts!  I've done all my outdoor runs in shorts, despite the wind.  Maybe I'm trying to prove a point?  I do layer up on top since my arms and torso get cold, but my soccer legs can withstand a bit more weather.  The wind is no joke in the spring, but I can still wear shorts when I'm running :)

4) Furry animals.  The prairie dogs are out in force, and when I ran by the colony on Saturday, I could see a lot of them chasing each other around.  I've also seen geese in the neighborhood, and hawks flying overhead.  I didn't see any of these groups when it got cold in December.

5) Flowers and buds.  If my allergies are any indication this week, the trees are starting to bud, and flowers are starting to bloom.  We haven't gotten our big, wet spring blizzard yet, and it's nice to see the plants coming back to life.

Friday Five 2.0 with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Luck of a Runner

Hard work or luck?  Unlucky?

In my experience, I've been unlucky - with my ITBS - and lucky, OK, maybe stubborn.  I still consider myself lucky to have found running, and a great, supportive community.

I say I'm lucky I found running because I hated simply running when I was growing up.  Where's the fun?  Having to run high mileage, and all the work going into getting better at a sport.  Can't I just play the sport?  Now I love running.

I think runners also have to be lucky come race day.  We can put all our efforts into training, and have a great training cycle, but an awful race day.  This is one of the reasons my main priority is to always have fun.  I've put pressure on myself, and didn't end up enjoying race day.  Now with a goal to finish and have fun, I enjoy myself so much more.

I'll need some luck on June 12 when I try to sign up for Princess weekend races.  We all know how popular that weekend is, and the 10k is super popular.  I'll have to have all my good luck charms with me that morning.  I'm taking that morning off from work just so I can be on my computer at 10am sharp!

I'm also lucky because on warm days, after being cooped up inside at work, I can get home, and run in that warmth.  I can enjoy the great weather, getting health benefits, and enjoying my view.  Can't beat that!

Tuesdays on the Run with PattyErika, and Marcia.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Monday Musings 3/12

I'll admit the weekend didn't start off great.  I was exhausted on Friday.  I could not shut my brain off Thursday night, and I didn't fall asleep until after 2:30 Friday morning.  I may have had help from Benadryl, but I needed to sleep.  I was constantly brewing tea at work because that was the only was I could get through the day.

Thankfully I got a full night's sleep on Friday.  When I woke up, I saw how windy it was outside, and when I was out doing errands, that wind had bite to it.  I thought I had enough layers on, but I was freezing when I was gassing my car.  I decided to see what the weather would be like after lunch, and we had a break in the wind long enough I was able to get my 4 miles in.  I wasn't happy with it though.  The last couple of runs have been really tough, and I only got them done by sheer force of will.  I was in a funk the rest of the afternoon as my anxiety kicked in, and I started worrying about whether I'll be ready for Bay to Breakers.

To try to cheer myself up, I started watching the BBT season 10, since my Amazon order arrived on Thursday.  It was a good way to stay entertained while I foam rolled and stretched.  I'll admit, I didn't do any strength training Saturday.  I guess if I did the run in the morning, I'd have time?

I want to sleep like she does
Sunday's routine was doing the PT exercises I usually do after my run.  I get groggy after we jump to DST time, since we lose an hour.  I was up at 5:30 my time, 6:30 after the clocks are moved forward. It was a slow day, though I got in to Boulder for the CU-Cal lacrosse game.  We won!  It was a nice sunny day, with hints of spring.

It feels great seeing the sun out past 6.  I know it'll definitely help with my afternoon runs.  This week is a lighter week, but I'll enjoy the warm temps and sunshine.


Sunday: 2.5 miles

Monday: Pure Barre

Tuesday: 2 miles

Wednesday: total body weight workout

Thursday: 3 miles

Friday: rest

Saturday: 4 miles

Linking up with Holly and Wendy for Weekend Wrap-up.

Friday, March 9, 2018

5 Book Series for Girls

It's women's history month, and on Wednesday, I found a list online of the books that inspired female authors.  A couple authors on this list are ones I follow and read their works.  It inspired me to think about the book series I read growing up.

1) American Girls.  The first group I read was Samantha's books, followed by Felicity, Kirsten, and Molly.  Addy was added before I outgrew the series, and I still have all of those books.

2) Ann Rinaldi books.  More historical fiction for this history nut, and I will forever be grateful to my sixth grade history teacher.  They wanted the students in with the parent-teacher conferences, and she suggested Ann Rinaldi books to both me and my parents.  I gobbled up so many of these books, the first being A Break with Charity, about the Salem witch trials.

3) Hearts and Dreams.  Again, historical fiction (see a pattern?).  These are 4 books by Cameron Dokey, telling the stories of 4 women in the same family, stretching 4 generations.  Katherine is during the Revolutionary War, Charlotte is the War of 1812, Stephanie is during the California gold rush, and Carrie is in Chicago, when the fire breaks out.

4) Christie and Company.  I never read Nancy Drew, so I don't know how this compares.  The series is about 3 friends in 8th grade, solving mysteries.

5) Pride and Prejudice.  This is on the online list a couple times, and why not?  I fell in love with the BBC production, and it inspired me to read the book.  Elizabeth may be bound by society, but she is incredibly strong willed, and knows her mind.

And bonus...

6) The Girls of Summer.  I grew up playing sports, and the 1999 women's soccer world cup was massive.  When the Girls of Summer was published, my mom had me read it, and it didn't take me a lot time to finish it.  It's filled with stories of the women not listening if they were told they couldn't play the game, and being determined to follow their dreams.

And this is only 6 things.  I'm still constantly looking for new books with strong heroines.  Some of my favorite series have been India Black by Carol K Carr, Lady Derby by Anna Lee Huber, Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen, Maggie Russell by Laurie R King, and not to mention all the novels about women in history.  CW Gortner has written about women history has forgotten, or has painted quite a cruel picture of.  There's always more to read.

Friday Five 2.0 with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Love/Hate with the Treadmill

Today's TOTR topic is the treadmill. 

We've probably all used them.  I started using the treadmill when I was 14, and I was not a fan.  But I hated cold weather, so I was kind of stuck.  Things didn't get any better over the years, and I didn't start appreciating the treadmill until I was 24.  I moved to Texas, and I was ever so thankful to be able to run indoors, with a fan.

I established a cordial relationship with the treadmill since that was the only way I was going to get back in shape, and survive the Texas summer.  Once I came across run/walk intervals, it got even better.  I trained for my first half marathon on the treadmill because let's face it: I'm Goldilocks when it comes to running outside.  The weather has to be juuuuuust right. 

I've flip flopped on the treadmill so many times, and after spending most of my training last fall outside, I don't exactly love the treadmill at the moment.  It's been mentally tough this winter to make it past 2 miles, but running outside?  I did 3 miles last Tuesday without any kind of mental block. 

But of course, the weather has ideas of its own.  We had a front move through yesterday, with winds clocking at 70 mph early yesterday on the Rocky Flats, and even though the winds have calmed down, it was still windy driving to work.  It's so much easier to run outside and run my normal stride, but my treadmill is there.  You do what you have to do.

Tuesdays on the Run with PattyErika, and Marcia.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Monday Musings 3/5

The word for this weekend was "discipline."  I started feeling better 24 hours after picking up whatever got me.  After forcing myself to eat so I wouldn't get weak, sleeping extra, and sitting on the couch, I was feeling better around noon on Friday.  I finally changed out of my PJs and into regular scrubs.  The rest of the day was spent watching movies (the Battle of the Sexes) and BBT reruns.  I also did some online shopping.  I bought the second season of Victoria, now that it's over on PBS until season 3, and season 10 of the BBT.  I did do some work, slowly, but I'll take the full sick day.  I still didn't feel great, but at least it was better than Thursday.

Anybody else's pets snuggle when you're sick?  Allie hung around a lot while I was sick.  I just couldn't have her snuggling on my stomach.

Saturday was when my discipline was really tested.  I'd been looking forward to Saturday's forecast all week.  Mid-60s, and lots of sunshine.  I would've run in the morning before it got too warm, but instead I did some easy exercises for my adductor, and then did an easy 4 miles on the bike in the afternoon.  I got cranky too.  I knew I was doing the smart thing and opting for the low impact test on Saturday, to see how I felt physically, but it didn't make my ego feel any better.  I had the windows open in the house, and I was wearing shorts during my workout.  I knew I could test myself on Sunday with my run because I did feel good on the bike.

Does anybody here watch Say Yes to the Dress?  They had a bride on Saturday's episode who was running the RnR Las Vegas half, and she and her fiancee were getting married during the RnR ceremony.  She was looking for a dress she could run in.  The episode ended with footage of them running the race, and it really made me want to do Vegas again.  I had so much fun in November.

Sunday I woke up to a couple of texts from my mom.  I didn't get them the night before since I'd gone up to read in bed.  I'm doing a book club March 18 and the book is a Gentleman in Moscow.  Since I was reading early last night, I didn't get my mom's text until this morning.  David Ogden Stiers passed away Saturday.  The article I read said he's best known for Major Charles Emerson Winchester III, on MASH, but no, to me he will always be Cogsworth.  The news made me tear up a little bit, and then I saw Sir Roger Bannister also died Saturday.  Poop on Saturday!

Sunday I did run.  The schedule had 3, and I made to 2.5.  I'll put that down as a win after Thursday and Friday.  I also used the treadmill so I could step off whenever I needed to.  I have 3 miles again on Tuesday, and I hope I can get outside again.  I've got the itch, and if I need more layers, so be it.  It's sunny for longer at the end of day, and I can't wait for DST next Sunday.  I will be incredibly groggy next Monday, and that always happens.  The long day of sunlight will make up for it.


Sunday: Pure Barre

Monday: leg day

Tuesday: 3 miles

Wednesday: PT exercises

Thursday: sick

Friday: sick

Saturday: easy adductor exercises, 4 miles bike

Sunday: 2.5 miles, Pure Barre core work and seat work

Linking up with Holly and Wendy for Weekend Wrap-up.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Up and Down Week

It's Friday, and a new month!  Anybody else have a tough February?  March means new things, and fun things!

1) Good news for Bay to Breakers: they released the medal design.  I saw it Tuesday over my lunch break, after I got really ticked off at work.  A meeting had been planned for a week, and the organizer decided at the last minute I needed to be there.  I almost missed her email since I was working with a direct report in their office.  So I'm sitting in this meeting without planning or knowing what the material was.

Looks like Disney isn't the only race where runners run in full costume.

2) Then, I ran outside!  It was 54 degrees when I got home Tuesday, and I immediately threw on running gear and headed out.  I paced my first two miles equally, then lagged a little bit during the third mile.  Not surprising.  This was the first run I'd done outside since Vegas.  I know my pacing will come back, and it felt easier getting to 3 miles compared to my treadmill runs.

I finally got to test this out
3) I talked with my chiropractor about the niggle in my hamstring, and she said it's more in the groin than the hamstring.  Good to know.  I'll continue doing the side lunges since those kill the next day, and I have a couple more exercises I can do, like PliĆ© and a couple Pilates moves.  She also wants me doing side planks, which I'll admit, I don't really plank.  Bad runner, right?

4) Thursday I left work early since I felt quite ill, and when a coworker said I looked pale, that sealed the deal.  I guess the crud got me this week.  My stomach was feeling wonky Wednesday night, but I felt so much better Thursday morning.  Then it hit me around 11, and after eating an early lunch to see if I was sick or hungry, I gave in and admitted I was sick.  My stomach felt worse than it did Wednesday night.  I went home and slept for 2 hours, which is very rare.  If I do nap, those last 20 minutes, not 120 minutes.

5) Needless to say, I skipped my 2-mile run Thursday, and vegged after I woke up.   I was afraid if I slept any more, I wouldn't fall asleep Thursday night.  Instead, I heated up some of the flu fighting chicken and rice stew I'd frozen, and that was dinner.  I'm staying home today to have another day to rest up.  I felt better than I did yesterday, but my stomach still isn't 100%.  I need to take things slow this morning.

I'll just blame February for this too since I was feeling sick on the last day of February.  I won't hold this against March.  The runner in me desperately wants me to get better for tomorrow so I can get my run in tomorrow.  I've missed one already, and my stubborn self is asking itself if I can be up for the run.  Ha!  I'm not going to push things.

Friday Five 2.0 with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy.