Spring 1/2 Training: Week 9

Week nine and feelin’ fine!

  • Monday:  My friend was in town, and it was St. Patrick’s day. We went out to lunch and then to an Irish Bar! Fun times, but no running.
  • Tuesday:  40 minute tempo run, starting at 10 min/mile speeding up to 8:30/mile. I held each pace longer this time, and I think that was a good choice. Also, I got two 24 packs of energy gel – Chocolate Cherry Clif gel and Salted Caramel Gu.
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The box said you win something if you find the “golden yeti”, so of course I dumped the whole box on the floor immediately. Alas, no golden yeti, just normal yetis.

  • Wednesday: 4.5 “easy” run. I put the word in quotes because it didn’t feel very easy. I think my legs were a tad tired from Tuesday’s speed work. 
  • Thursday:  Easy run outside w/ Jeff, my favorite runny buddy. No Garmin, it was nice. Covered just over 3 miles in the fresh air.
  • Friday: Attempted a 5 mile pace run, outside again. I started out slightly above race pace, and then just fell apart. Honestly though, I don’t even care! I am so psyched about passing my test, that I was grinning ear to ear the entire time. Even though I averaged 11 min miles…nothing can get me down today. I passed my TEST!!! Also, it was very windy. 
Can you see the wind?

Can you see the wind? (ooof, this pic is terrible)

  • Saturday: Rest Day w/ stretching and foam rolling
  • Sunday: 11 mile long run. First long run outside during 1/2 training. My pace was a little disappointing (10:38/mile) because I’ve been faster on the treadmill, but I still had fun. I did run/walk with about a 3.5 to 1 ratio. I thought this would be a good idea today because my legs didn’t do very well on Friday and I need to get reacquainted with running on pavement and over hills. I ran the last 2.5 miles without walk breaks and it went well. There’s nothing more encouraging than finishing strong on a long run.
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I don’t want to go outside, but I will, because it’s 32F and that is WARM.

Last week, I set my goals as:

  1. Long Run: 11 milesCheck!
  2. Speed work – 40 min TempoCheck!
  3. Easy Runs: (2) – 3 mile + 4.5 mileCheck!
  4. Pace Run: 5 mile – Intentions were there, execution was off – 4 miles not at race pace
  5. Strength – Twice – Big fail*
  6. Stretch + Foam Roll – 3 times – Only twice

*I woke up on Tuesday with an unexplained wrist injury. I have a bump, and it hurts to bend it certain ways. I really don’t know what happened. I can’t think of a single thing I would have done on Monday that would cause it. It’s not that bad, but it’s preventing me from doing push-ups, and push-ups are the backbone of my lame at home strength workout. So, I flaked out on the hated strength work. This week, I’ll try to at least do the exercises that don’t hurt my wrist.

This week, I’m hoping to:

  1. Long Run: 12 miles
  2. Speed work – 9x400m
  3. Easy Runs: (2) – 3 mile + 5 mile
  4. Strength – Once
  5. Stretch + Foam Roll – 3 times
  6. Spinning Once

Again, I’ll miss some spinning this week. I’m traveling during spin class time, and I’ll be attempting my 12 mile run in Buffalo this weekend because I’m visiting for my sister’s baby shower on Saturday!  Woo!


Spring 1/2 Training: Week 8

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I don’t have any plans for celebrating yet, but who knows what will come up.

For now, here’s a picture of Ireland:

Ancient dwelling on the Aran Islands

Ancient dwelling on the Aran Islands

Now sweetly lies old Ireland,

Emerald green beyond the foam,

Awakening old memories,

Calling the heart back home.

And, totally unrelated to the holiday, my weekly recap:

  • Monday:  3 miles easy before Spinning. The run went great, I averaged 9:17/mile and it felt pretty easy. Spinning, on the other hand, was tough! It wasn’t just me either, everyone was struggling with the workout today. I think it was a tougher one than last week.
  • Tuesday:  Rest Day, and bought new sneakers!
  • Wednesday: 3 miles easy to break in the new sneakers. 
  • Thursday:  Did my weekly speed work at the gym, 8x400m w/ 2 min rest between interval for a total of 4 miles.  Also, did my at home strength work. It wasn’t as bad as last week, and I got a new push-up high: 28! 50 push-ups here I come!  I also stretched and foam rolled. 
  • Friday: 3.5 miles and Spinning! Also, stretched and foam rolled, again. My legs are sore from the lunges that were part of my strength workout yesterday, but keeping up the stretching and foam rolling should help.
  • Saturday: 11 miles! (Treadmill, but still.) I’m hoping that the simulated hills are going to be enough to get me through a real life half marathon. 
  • Sunday: Thought about how I should be stretching and foam rolling, as well as doing my strength stuff, but didn’t. Bad Amy.

Last week, I set my goals as:

  1. Long Run: 11 miles Check!
  2. Speed work – 8 x 400m intervals Check!
  3. Easy Runs: 2-3 runs at least 3 miles  Check!
  4. Go to spinning twice Check!
  5. At home strength work – 2 times – Just Once
  6. Stretch + Foam Roll – 3 times – Close, only twice

This week, I’m hoping to:

  1. Long Run: 11 miles
  2. Speed work – 40 min Tempo
  3. Easy Runs: (2) – 3 mile + 4.5 mile
  4. Pace Run: 5 mile
  5. Strength – Twice
  6. Stretch + Foam Roll – 3 times

Spinning is only a maybe this week. I’ve got plans during both my “normal” spin class times. I might try and go to a different class, but it’s not going to be a priority.

Have a good week!

Goodbye Top 5 Friday, Hello Friday 5

I think I mentioned last week that Top 5 Friday was probably going to be short lived because I have a difficult time coming up with items to put on these top 5 lists. Luckily, it’s not going away entirely, just getting a little makeover. I noticed that other bloggers do something called “Five for Friday”, or something of that nature, where they list 5 things on Friday. Just any 5 things. I’m not sure if there’s anything more to it than that, but I like that simple idea. So, Top 5 Friday is becoming The Friday 5, and there’s nothing you can do about it!

1. My second spin class was way more fun than the first. I adjusted my bike a lot better this time, and felt more comfortable with everything that was going on.  But even more than that, I liked the instructor a lot better. She picked great music, and I could actually hear her. I’m looking forward to next Monday’s class.

2. I started popping my Larabars in the microwave. I read this tip somewhere (another blog maybe?) a while ago, and I just tried it for the first time. It’s amazing! My favorite is the chocolate chip cherry torte. I’ve also tried it with the banana bread flavor, with some added mini chocolate chips. I’ve been eating these everyday for a year, but 15 seconds in the microwave makes it seem like a whole new snack.

3. I’ve been knitting up a storm. My sister’s having a baby in May! And, I’m making a blanket for little Baby C. I ordered the yarn online so I could get certain colors, but there was a big issue with shipping and I got it a month later than I expected. I’ve been knitting like crazy to catch up and finish in time for her shower. It’s coming along nicely, and I really like the pattern.  

4. I got a haircut! And I took this picture of it:

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I look weird in selfies.

5. My calf muscles are so tight. I should probably stretch. It’s one of my non-running resolutions to stretch. I’ve done it once. So far, not good. Starting today, more stretching!

That was so much more fun than trying to come up with a top 5 topic and scrounging for things to put on the list. I hope this change works for you, too. Happy Friday!

Top 5 Friday: Spinning

I usually start my top 5 Friday post before Friday. It’s surprisingly difficult to come up with Top 5 lists. (On a related note: this top 5 Friday thing might be short lived) I’ve gone out on a limb here in deciding to list the top 5 things I learned while trying out spinning, because I just went to spinning this morning. Before you begin reading, you should know this isn’t really a top five list, it should probably be titled “Amy rambles on about 5 things she thought of before, during, or after her first spinning class”.  I hope it’s still entertaining!


Thanks Friends!

1. Facebook friends are great for motivation and know everything! I was nervous about trying spinning, and posted about it on Facebook. I immediately got a bunch of responses encouraging me and giving me tips. Thanks, friends! Even though I normally wouldn’t have bothered to ask about it at the gym when online sign-up for the class didn’t work, I felt like I had to because I owed it to all the nice people to at least try. 

2. My body weirdly can’t regulate it’s temperature when I exercise. I don’t sweat a lot compared to normal runners people. When I was a kid my sister used to tell me that if I wasn’t dripping with sweat, it meant I wasn’t trying hard enough. I’m not really sure what kind of activity we were doing that she was being so intense about (we mainly played kickball or knockout), but this little snippet of conversation has stuck in my head for years. (Thanks, Beth, you sweaty BEAST). Anyways, I noticed over the years, that although she might not be right that I wasn’t trying, my sister had a point about my lack of sweat. I just don’t sweat a whole lot. But it’s not just that I don’t get sweaty, I don’t feel hot very quickly, and once I get warmed up, if I stop exercising I will become cold astonishingly quickly. Okay, I guess this isn’t something I learned at spinning, but spinning reminded me because the room was warm. (Seriously, who designed a spinning room w/ 25ish bikes to have a single diffuser , and only about 4 feet from the return grille…amateurs!) I still didn’t start sweating until about 10 minutes in, while everyone else was dripping sweat before I even took off my long-sleeved shirt…I felt like a slacker. And then when I left, I was frozen the entire rest of the time I was at the gym even though I was still exercising. I’m such a weirdo. 


This is not at all what real spinning class looked like.

3. Spinning is LOUD One thing I was excited about for the class was the music. I had heard that the music could make it fun and really get you moving. Well, the music was kind of lame. It made sense with the class, and flowed well, but it really was just blah. I don’t know how to explain it, but it just wasn’t fun music. And, it made it really hard to hear the instructor. I basically had no idea what was going on anyways, and then I could only hear every fifth word. For example, at one point this is the sentence I heard “blah blah ATTACK blah blah!” (Um, okay? I’ll go fast then?) And I wasn’t far away from her, and she had a microphone. I blame the music. Oh, also, there’s this fun thing where you spin to the beat of the music. HA!  Yeah, I’m coordinated enough for that, sure..what if we go back to attacking things instead?

Also, didn't look like this. Look at all those smiles...nope

Also, didn’t look like this. Look at all those smiles…nope

4. If you think you’re going to do an easy run after spinning class,  you might be insane. If you actually do it, you probably are. I went to the class with the idea that afterwards I would do an easy 3 mile run. I skipped my run last night in order to stay home and watch Friends and play board games, so I wanted to squeeze it in today if I could. About 10 minutes into the class, I started to doubt this plan, then at 30 minutes I was definitely NOT going to run. But when  class ended 20 minutes later, we cooled down and stretched for a while before leaving, and my legs lost their jelly-like quiver fairly quickly. So, I decided to hop on the treadmill and put on my new favorite virtual run and see if I could get in some easy miles. After about 1/2 a mile, I stopped feeling like I made a huge mistake, and running felt just like normal.  I couldn’t run at any sort of an incline without really feeling it, but I think this easy 3 miles made my legs feel looser and more normal after the shock of something different. I have a new respect for triathletes who can transition from biking to running without just falling over.

Running felt like this.

Running felt like this.

5. My poor poor butt.  That seat is no joke. 

Obviously, these aren’t the only 5 things I learned while spinning, nor are they actually all about spinning. I hope you weren’t looking for a comprehensive guide to spinning for runners! There probably is one somewhere out there (like here, and here, and a million more places). Spinning is hardly new anymore, and I’m pretty late to the game just giving this a shot right now, so a lot of you probably already know all about it.  I might come up with some actual tips a little later on, after I’ve gone a few times. One of my friends (shout out to Fay!) suggested I not judge it until I’ve gone at least 3 or 4 times, and I think she gives pretty good advice, so that’s what I’m going to do. Besides, it’ll probably take me at least that long, if not longer, to figure out how to set up the bike properly.