This week felt really good. After having been so busy the past few weeks, it was nice to only have to worry about normal life and work stuff … and my morning runs. It was the kind of week where every morning I wished I didn’t have to go into work so early because the weather was just so darn perfect for outdoor runs. But I realize I’m pretty fortunate to have my own treadmill and a first floor apartment so my 4am (or 3am) runs don’t bother anyone but myself. I’m going to have to move my Wednesday alarm back a little bit just so I don’t feel so rushed – it’s not a long run day, but it’s about to increase over 4 miles that morning (according to the plan I’m using) and I’m already feeling a little rushed to get myself presentable, eat breakfast, and out the door by 5:30.
Now this weekend? A completely different story. I had myself prepped for a good long run. I even bought a little handheld 10oz water bottle just to be safe. I was going to run a good outdoor jogging path I knew near work. I was ready, dammit. And then I looked out the window Saturday morning to a grey, windy, rainy, and occasionally thundery morning. A quick glance to the weather forecast and radar told me an outdoor run wasn’t in the cards. Looking back at the past few weekends – two weeks ago, I cut my run from 6 miles to 3 because I was so run down and having real pain in my quads, then last week I skipped my 7 mile long run entirely because my travel plans really didn’t afford me the opportunity for it – well, I knew I needed to run. So I geared up for the treadmill. I had 8 miles on the plan, but knowing I didn’t hit my distances the last two weeks, I decided anything between 6-8 miles would work for me. I’m not truing to overextend myself and I definitely don’t want to get hurt. It wasn’t totally boring, as I had The Lost World on the TV while running, but … yeah. Could have been better. Anyways, towards the 6 mile mark, my hip flexors were tightening up pretty significantly (something I’ve experienced in a few half marathons that I hadn’t really prepped for), so I decided 6 miles was just as good a distance as any.
It’s another rainy morning after a night full of thunderstorms, so I’ve settled in for a lazy day. Rest, stretch, and Netflix. Happy weekend, y’all.
So, last week was busy. I was working what amounted to 12-hour days Monday-Thursday due to some in-house training I was attending. Fortunately, my weekday short runs went well and I finally finally worked out whatever’s been plaguing my left quad and knee on Wednesday. Not sure what it was, but all of a sudden, I was good to go, so I’m not going to complain.
Early Friday morning, I traveled out to North Carolina for a quick trip revolving around some family stuff. Despite my best intentions, I didn’t have a lot of time to work with for Saturday’s long run, the locations nearby were less than optimal (country road with 55mph speed limit and no shoulder to speak of), and the weather dreary and rainy. So I waved off and just enjoyed the time with family. I flew back yesterday evening, making it home around 8pm, and decided that long run was just going to have to be a scratch. Life happens, and I’m not going to stress over it.
I’m at home the next two and a half weeks, thankfully, so I’ll be making sure to work in some lost miles in the meantime before I head back out east for my family’s beach week vacation.
How do you cope when travel/life interferes with your workout plans?
Oh, to think I was worried about my workouts while I was on a work trip … hilarious.
So I spent the week in Florida, at a location where the people who actually live there are super fit because their job basically requires them to be superman (or -men, as it were). While my trip basically involved having my rear end parked in an auditorium for 8 hours a day, I at least had ample access to gym facilities – heck, the closest one was a short walk from where I was staying. So my midweek runs (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) went well. I mean, seriously well. Despite the fact that I kept out late (well, if 10pm is late) every evening since my brother-in-law was also in Florida for work (totally separate from my reason for being there), I managed to get my tail to the gym when it opened at 5am and knock out some pretty stellar miles for me.
Now, my weekend long run? That’s a different story.
I was flying back Friday evening – first a short jaunt to Atlanta, 2 hour layover, then another brief flight to St Louis, followed by a half hour commute home from the airport.I don’t know if it was the beers or the flying or all the weird food I’d been eating all week, but I was bloated and (sorry – tmi) gassy as all gets. I was NOT feeling good when I finally got home around midnight. At all. Then when I turned on my a/c, my smoke alarm started chirping because it’s an asshole. (Not really, it just needed to get dusted, but it’s still an asshole.) I woke up the next day when a decent array of what I call “travel bruises” on my legs – you know, I but my bag on my leg, my leg hits the armrest on the plane … basically I’m just clumsy, and this happens every trip. I didn’t feel great, and my loud ass upstairs neighbor was in the process of moving, so it literally sounded like he was about to stomp through my ceiling. I was in a crap mood, I had nothing to eat in the apartment, but I hopped on the treadmill anyways … and promptly stepped off two minutes later. Nope, I thought. Not happening. So I rested yesterday and foam rolled, trying to work some kinks out of my quads.
This morning I got up feeling marginally better than yesterday, but still not awesome. My plan was to take it slow, do gradual speed increases listen to how I was feeling, but don’t give in to the first sign of discomfort. I kept things easy, though I’ll admit that Bob isn’t the easiest treadmill and the ones I’d been using all week in Florida were giving me much better times and easier miles. About halfway through my goal miles for the day, I started to feel my form slip, my legs tweaking, and decided to call it quits there before anything started really hurting. I’m a little disappointed in myself, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.
This week? My midweek runs should be okay, but I’ve got a short weekend trip to North Carolina that’s causing my some angst where my long run is concerned. I’ll just have to take that as it comes, I guess.
I honestly never thought I’d be one of those people who could casually talk about how they ran 3 miles on the treadmill before work (especially when I have to get in as early as I do) … but here I am. It’s crazy how normal this has become for me. I mean, yeah, it’s only week 2, but I think the routine and discipline of sticking to the RunStreak earlier this summer has translated into motivation and determination to stick to the plan. I did a lot of “running by feel” this week, which seems counterintuitive to treadmill running, given that you’re literally programming in your mph as you go. But instead of sticking to my half marathon goal pace or doing some interval work to help increase my speed, I went into each run with a loose plan of how I was going to handle it and flexed as appropriate. For me, I wanted this week to be about the miles, to concentrate on improving my form and function. I finished last week with a nagging twinge in my left quad, so I wanted to focus on reducing the risk of injury and hitting my strides correctly (which is somewhat difficult for me, given that my right leg is about an inch longer than my left). All this effort has helped too; I consistently found myself sticking to a metronomic pace that wasn’t too easy or too hard, I could feel my shoulders and core kicking in, and the slight pain I’d been feeling in my quad eased up.
Next week is going to be a little tough, as I’ll be traveling for work Sunday through late Friday night, but this will only affect where I do my shorter midweek runs. Fortunately, I’ll have ample access to gym facilities where I’ll be headed as well as a few running trails – now, whether or not the weather will facilitate some outdoor running, that’s a different story. But I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll start off here again – my goal race for the fall is the Mo’ Cowbell Half Marathon (hence the post title). It’s across the river from where I live, not too far of a drive, and I’ve heard great things about it. Since my training started this week, I decided to a weekly post on how all this is going for me, mostly to keep me honest about this whole “training plan” thing. I’m following Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 plan for a few reasons. I’ve done a few half marathons before, but never followed a plan, and after having severely undertrained the last two, I wanted to make a solid effort at this for once. Plus, I was looking for a plan than was pretty straightforward – i.e., nothing where I really needed to calculate speed work or do loops on a track, just a direct plan that told me what miles to run and when. I like this plan because the weekend long runs are a gradual build and the weekday runs are short enough that I can fit them in on my treadmill before work – I’m more of a morning runner, but having to leave for work at 5:30am doesn’t really allow me a lot of time.
So far, the training is going good, but it’s only been 7 days – if it wasn’t going well, I’d be in real trouble! I’d originally planned on making sure I ran my weekend miles outside, but hadn’t scouted out a good place to run before Saturday morning (I live near a few busy roads and don’t relish the idea of shoulder-side running as cars zip past me). So I ended up hopping on the treadmill in my apartment while watching Raiders of the Lost Ark – which, as it happens, is a really good distraction for an indoor run! I varied up the speed a bit so I wouldn’t get too bored or comfortable, and had a pretty decent run. It’s super convenient to have my own treadmill. I’m considering looking into some local races to help motivate my weekend runs – but it’s the summer, so I think my options will be few. Still, worth a look.
I think the only thing that made me a little uncomfortable this week was the idea of “rest days” – I caught myself trying to eke out a run on Friday morning because I thought I’d feel super lazy if I didn’t. But only a few minutes into the run, things just weren’t clicking and I knew it was a rest day anyways, so I just hopped off and did what the plan told me to do. Lesson learned. Rest is just as important as the miles!
Are you gearing up for any fall races? Any advice for me?
I just reread my last post and HOW SILLY OF ME to think my summer would be “gloriously free of plans”. HA.
So I had two sets of out-of-town guests last month and of course I had to take them all to baseball games, so there’s a couple weekends shot down. In between the houseguests’ visits, I managed to get into a minor fender bender. Of course, I had to wait two weeks before my insurance-approved shop could fit me in, so I got to pick up my parents from the airport in a dinged-up car. OH. And of course my parents’ flight was delayed by 3 hours and OF COURSE I got a speeding ticket driving them from the airport to my apartment. OF FREAKING COURSE. Thankfully, the car repairs were swift and uneventful. I had a week of in-house training at work before volunteering/voluntold to go to a week’s worth of additional duty training in Florida. The week after the fourth. Um, SURE I WILL DO THAT. You know, after my fun Fourth of July trip to Nebraska for some seriously amazing fireworks. All the while keeping up with the Runner’s World Summer RunStreak challenge (spoiler alert: I totally made all the runs on all of the days and I feel awesome).
So yeah. Blogging? Not so much a priority the last several weeks.
I have a two week respite, then I’m off to (a different part of) Florida for work the last week of July, some in-house training the first week of August, followed by a long weekend in North Carolina for a family thing. Another two weeks respite, then I finally FINALLY get my family’s beach week vacation around Labor Day week. Good God. Too much.
In the meantime, I start my half marathon training… this week! Despite having completed a handful of halfs (halves?), I’ve never really followed a formal training plan. After doing some research and thinking about the distances/days I felt comfortable with, I decided on a Hal Higdon plan that has me doing shorter runs Tuesday through Thursday, long runs on Saturdays, and cross training on Sundays. Basically, the workday runs are short enough that I can fit them in on my treadmill before I leave for work at 5:30am, which is really a “must” for me. I’ll try to check in here more often with how that’s all going.
So I keep on coming back to the ole blog. I want to write. I want to have things to write about. I have all these little things going on, but then I sit at the iMac and get distracted by Facebook. Or twitter. Or buzzfeed. You all know how it is.
Anyways. So what’s new?
Well, this may not come as a surprise to those of you who follow me on twitter, but I’m making another attempt at the Runner’s World Summer Runstreak. I can’t remember how far I got last summer, but I know I didn’t finish. So here I go again (on my own). (Please tell me I’m not the only one who just sang that to myself. Props to those of you who did.) So I’ll be doing this whole running-every-day-until-July-4th thing, then I have a week’s “break”, then I gear up my half marathon training program for the Mo Cowbell Half Marathon this October. I’ve heard great things about it (super flat course, great support … and it’s local!), so I’m pretty stoked.
I’ve got a good booklist lined up this summer. I’ve already started with three solid reads and am eagerly waiting for Stephen King’s new book out tomorrow. Oh! And I’m back up on Goodreads. I’m not sure how long this’ll last, because it’s basically just one more social network for me to waste my days away at, but … well, there you go. My list of pre-ordered reads for my Kindle is pretty substantial, so I think it’s going to be a good summer for books.
Other than that, I had some out-of-town guests visit last weekend and have some more coming in a little less than two weeks, so … you know. Stressing out trying to figure out how to entertain/host people and all that. But that’s it for people visiting me; I have out of town plans for the weekend of the 4th and Labor Day, but other than all that, my summer is gloriously free of organized plans, which I love. I’m ready to get my sunshine on.
What’s new with you? Are you as happy to finally greet summer as I am?