Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The past week and thinking of next year

Greetings from the Arctic Circle! Well, not really, but the temps this past week have been frigid. A string of below zero temps or just barely above zero temps have led to a lot of treadmill running. I did manage a glorious 6 miler outside on a day that was 17 degrees. It was slippery, but the fresh air felt amazing. I sure hope Santa brings me a pair of Yaktrax for Christmas. I have done a few speed workouts and felt really strong in them. I have not had a really long run in the last week and I am feeling like these legs need some more miles on them. I am hoping to get some miles in over Christmas break because my amazingly fabulous sister will be in town. She sent me a text message saying she needs to get a 10 miler and 16 miler done while she is in town. She is training for the LA marathon and I know she is going to do great in it!. Some pictures of my training this week:

One of the things I have been thinking about this week is my goals for the up coming year. I have some ideas and I am excited to share them with you in a future post. I definitely realize that I need to have goals and a plan for those goals otherwise I feel a bit lost. That is actually how I have felt the last month with my training. I haven't nailed down any concrete goals to train for yet, so I have been a little unsure of what I should be doing. I have decided that for the rest of the year I am going to have fun with my running, and just enjoy it. Hope you are all staying warm!

What do you want for Christmas?

What are your goals for 2014?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Weekend running recap!

Hello everyone reading this! I thought I would give you the low down on my weekend and running. Hopefully, it will brighten your Monday. Since it was -13 degrees out on Saturday morning, this is what happened:
Yep, 10 miles on the treadmill. That may be the farthest I have ever done on a treadmill. Because my legs felt so good on Friday before Spin Class, which was great cross training (more on that in another post), I decided I wanted to get a 10 mile run in. My plan was to start out slow and see what my legs would do. I told my self if I have to run the whole thing slow that is okay, but if I feel like I can push the pace I will. I just want to feel good and strong through the run. I started slow at about an 8:30min/mile pace and worked my way down to 7;30min/mile pace. Essentially, I did a progression run. A progression run is where you get progressively faster during the run. It's a great way to train your body to finish strong in races. It was a great way to start out our Saturday.

We took the kiddos to visit Santa at the fire station in the town over for us. It is such a cute event that the fire department does every year. They have Santa come in and then the kids can plan in the fire trucks. Not sure which our kids liked better. Families can also bring a toy to be donated to families in need. Plus, there is cookies and milk after, what could be better. We finished the day up by putting up the Christmas tree and decorations.
Sunday started out by going to church, to the grocery store, lunch, laundry, a visit from a old babysitter, and dinner. Lastly, a easy 7 miles on the treadmill. I hope you all had a great weekend!

How was your weekend? 

What are you looking forward to this week?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Taking a "rest"

After Monday's mentally tough workout I decided to give my legs some much needed "rest." Of course, in my world right now rest means a least a mile of running. The week looked like this:
Tues: 3 miles on the treadmill
Wed.: 1.16 miles on the treadmill
 Thursday: 5 miles on the treadmill at the gym before work
Friday: 1 mile on the track at the gym, and SPIN CLASS!
I bet you are seeing a pattern, lots of treadmill miles. The temps have been quit cold this week or snowy, so I kept it inside. I also have let my self have 2 light days followed by the 5 mile run. I could tell that those 2 rest days this week were needed. My legs finally felt "springy" on Friday before Spin Class.

This got me thinking about the importance of a rest day. Runner's World has a great article on the importance of rest days here. Basically, what a rest day does is it allows your muscles to adapt to the work that you have done previously and improve. I could definitely feel a difference after my rest days. It also allows you to replenish glycogen stores, it prevents injuries, and also prevents mental burn out. Wow, talk about a gut check. It's no wonder why I felt burnt out on Monday and why it was mentally tough for me. The previous week had been a lot of workouts where I pushed myself and now after those rest days I feel refreshed. Then I started to worry that my running streak was leaving me over trained but the article did mention this:

"So is a little running on a rest day okay for mere mortals? It can be. As long as you keep the volume and intensity very light, you can still get the recovery benefits. (The same goes for cross-training on a rest day: Keep it relaxed.)"

Based on this it reassured me that my rest days, even though I have been running just a mile are still being effective rest and recovery days. I am definitely glad I took a couple days "off."

On another note, I do want to wish my hubby a Happy Birthday! We celebrated on Wednesday with a lunch date and some homemade cheese cake. Since no blog is complete with out some food pics, here you are:
Snickerdoodle cheesecake, yum! Click here for the recipe

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

When it get's mentally tough

We have had a bit of a heat wave this week, the highs in the 30s! I wanted to take advantage of this heat wave and get a long run in outside.
Monday: 11.31 (hilly) miles at a 7:50 min/mile pace

First run in the snow!

Bet you don't have these spectators on you run:)

I have to say I started the run excited to get some miles in, but I will admit that about a mile into the run I was ready to call it a day. I am not sure what my deal was. I think maybe I started focusing on the negative stuff. Focusing on my knee that felt sore, and my hamstring that felt sore, and I think i dressed to warm. Then came the self doubt I thought, "Hilary, you should have brought some endurance chews to help you through this run and some water. "Hilary, you should have drank more before the run." Negative, negative, negative...
Well, obviously I did make myself get going. I started to tell myself to stop focusing on this negative stuff and start thinking about the fact that you are out there running. Remember that even though this feels tough it will help strengthen my running. Look at the big picture. Not every run is going to feel great, some may feel darn right tough. Get over is and learn from it.

So what did I learn? I learned that I should have taken in more fluids before my run. I probably could have brought some fuel (food) for during my run, but I also want to go without taking in food during some of my runs so that my body learns to run without it. I also could have gone at a slower pace and truly made is a long, easy run instead of pushing the pace the whole time. I also gave me an appreciation of the runs when I feel awesome. I also learned I need to focus more on the positives.

The Positives:
  1.  I got to do 11 miles. I truly feel strong when I run 10miles or more
  2.  The temperature was great
  3. The route was a new route and was surprisingly hilly. Hills build strength
  4.  The fresh snow, made for a gorgeous run!
  5.  I managed to keep a 7:50 pace
  6.  When I got home and opened the garage door the first thing I hear is my 3 year old daughter saying "Momma, I missed you so much!" This put a smile on my face immediately.
 I had to fight for this run to keep going. I felt I had to fight physically and mentally. The marathon itself is a mental and physical battle. You have to run it smart and push yourself when you don't want to run. It takes heart, strength, and guts to push your way through it.
Running in the snow, love it or hate it?

Tell me one positive thing about your Monday.

The weekend workout recap!

  • Friday: "Rest day" 1 mile on the treadmill at 4:30AM before work.
  • Saturday: 3 easy miles on the treadmill after the kiddos were asleep
  • Sunday: 5 miles on the treadmill before work.

I definitely needed the rest day after my overly ambitious speed workout on Thanksgiving. I think jumping into so Yasso's 800s at this point in my running was a bit premature. I think I will focus on Fartleks and mile repeats for speed work until I get into my next marathon training cycle. Saturday, my plan was to see how I felt after the first mile and if I felt good to do 3 miles, and I felt great. Sunday felt great as well, started off slow and worked my way into a faster pace. very pleased with my workouts for the weekend.

Saturday morning we attended to funeral for my husbands great grandfather, Lloyd. It was sad to say good bye, but we find peace in the fact that he is dancing in heaven, watching over us. He lived to be 97 years old! He lived quite the life. He started a trucking company, which led to a butcher shop, which led to a grocery store, which led to a gas station. He had such a determination to live and he surpassed all the doctor's expectations of his life. There were many times he was in the hospital and doctor's told him that he needed to go to a nursing home. Usually, by the next day he was miraculously better and heading home. His drive for life is such an inspiration. I going to remember his drive for life during mile 20 in my next marathon to help push me through the wall.

Who inspires you to push hard during tough times?

What did you do this weekend?