Monday, May 30, 2016

A Week of Workouts - May 30, 2016

Hello!  This post is sandwiched between a three-day work trip to Savannah, Georgia and today's Memorial Day family events.  "Succinct" is the vocabulary word of the day!



Monday - 6 @ 9:26 around my neighborhood, nice and early.  With the weather as suddenly hot and humid as it is, I am running more by feel and heart rate.

Tuesday - 6.4 @ 9:15, an hour nice and easy on the treadmill.  I made myself a new treadmill music playlist and it's awesome.



Wednesday - 6.1 @ 8:40 around my neighborhood.  Unfortunately, this run needed to happen just a little before noon, and it was 85 degrees and humid.  I stashed a little bottle of ice water in some bushes, and did a two-mile loop three times.

Thursday - Complete rest, for work travel.



Friday - 4.3 @ 9:14, on the hotel treadmill for 40 minutes.  WAAAAAY too early in the morning.



Saturday - 10 @ 8:57 with the Birmingham Track Club Saturday long run group.  I made it back into town just in time to set my stuff out and climb into bed Friday night.  Of course, the weather on Saturday provided more of the genuine summer running conditions we have been getting.  Because of the holiday weekend, it was a light crowd, which meant we were low on water cache supplies.  I didn't take any water during the first six miles, hoping to conserve some for the slower runners.  HUGE MISTAKE.  I was in a lot of pain by mile seven, and gladly drank from the moldy water fountain at Jemison Trail.  It was a lifesaver.  Next week, I am definitely going to 1) volunteer to put out some extra water, and 2) carry a hand bottle.






Sunday - 3 @ 9:01 around my neighborhood, early in the morning.  I took the dog with me for the first mile.



Totals - 36.1 miles of running, and that's it.  It happens, and I'll take it!

Monday, May 23, 2016

A Week of Workouts - May 23, 2016

Back at it!  Happy Monday, everyone.  Here are my workouts from the past week...

Two of my favorite running buddies - Gary and Chris.


Monday - 5 @ 8:57 in my hilly neighborhood, before my family woke up.  Later on, I went to the gym for:

Deadlifts 45# 2x12
Deadlifts 95# 1x12
Deadlifts 115# 1x5
Squat Press 90# 10x20
Resistance Band Pull Ups
Ab Dolly 8/7/6/5/4/3/2/1

Getting organized for the week. 


Tuesday - 6.7 @ 8:58, an easy hour on the treadmill listening to some CLE podcasts.

All the magnolias bloomed, pretty much overnight. 
  
Wednesday - Weights with my gym partner, Katherine:

Superset - Cable Chest Press and Push Ups
Superset - Cable Biceps Curls and Leg Ups
Superset - Cable Rear Delt Flyes and Leg Ups
Superset - Cable Biceps Curls and Low Row
Superset - Back Extension and Overhead Press (25#)
Side (Oblique) Extension
Weighted oblique work
Shoulders and biceps with a 10# plate, to failure
Abs, abs, abs until I couldn't

I didn't run this day, just spent about 90 minutes on this deloaded upper body workout.  I probably did 300 leg ups on the floor, and remarkably, I can already tell a huge difference in strength during yoga classes.

I did make the decision on Wednesday evening to store all my heavier running clothes (tights and basically everything with any kind of sleeve).  I organized all my lighter clothes and surprised myself with a nice stack of 27 (!) sports bras.  I wear them as shirts, though, and definitely use all of them.  No regrets. 


Veteran's Park sweatfest.


Thursday - 2 @ 7:57, then 4 @ 8:24 on the trails at Veteran's Park.  I was going to spend the morning working from home, but we had some sudden changes of plans.  At the last minute, I jumped in the car with my husband and hitched a ride to the park.  I did a few laps, went to a short (Skype) meeting, then ran another four miles.

Coffee between back-to-back runs?  YES, PLEASE! 

Friday - 4 @ 9:13 on the treadmill, then an hour-long vinyasa yoga class.  My gym keeps tinkering with the yoga schedule in preparation for summer, and it's sort of throwing me off.  I arrived too early and didn't know what to do with myself, so I did an easy treadmill run instead of standing around.  Then, I had to RUSH out of the class as soon as it ended.  I do really love this Friday class, but I may have to find another one that fits my schedule better.  Boo.  

Pool deck is open now, too!

Friday night, we hosted a dinner party and I made all sorts of amazing food, including some garlic knots and some shortbread.  It was such a fun night.

This pre-long run breakfast selfie has become part of my Saturday ritual.  Also pictured: sunscreen that ended up being totally unnecessary in the disgusting and NOT-forecasted rain. 


Saturday - 10.2 @ 8:48 for the Track Club Saturday Long Run.  This was a social run, hosted by Athleta Sportswear and Octane Coffee Shop.  The weather was astonishingly awful...99% humidity with intermittent rain, and the temperature in the low 80s.  Of course, it poured rain for the first half mile, so I had to finish the run in completely soaked clothes and shoes.  The whole thing just HURT, my heart rate was really high, and the weather was affecting everyone and the group morale was down, down, down.  My pace group even decided to walk a few hills, because everyone was suffering so much.  Great conditioning for summer, I guess.

And this happened.  So yeah, this run sucked.


But, at least there were free Steel City popsicles after.  This one is toasted coconut creme.  I also tried the passion fruit and toasted sesame seed.

Sunday - 5 @ 8:52 just before sunrise.  Sundays are always so busy and unpredictable, that I have been trying to get a little run in before the day starts.  It gives me a little illusion of control haha!  This one felt great, and the weather had cooled off quite a bit overnight.

I took the dog for a lap, too.

I was also able to hit up my favorite Ashtanga yoga practice in the afternoon, to finish the week.

Totals - 37.3 miles of running (woo hoo!), including hills, a steady state run on the treadmill, trails, tempo on the treadmill, a long run, and a somewhat hilly recovery.  Two weights workouts.  Two yoga classes.  

Have a great week!  

Monday, May 16, 2016

A Week of Workouts - May 16, 2016

Another week in paradise!  This week has been rather unremarkable, other than the tail end of some work travel and the tail end of my son's illness.  Looks like everyone survived both.

Working on a forward lean and stronger kickback. 

Monday - 5.6 @ 8:36 with my husband at the Corps of Engineers spillway park.  After we were done, we made some videos on a flat stretch to check our running form.

Moves like Jagger.

Tuesday - An hour of running stairs, with about 3,200 stairs (I think that math is right).  I had a really, really tough work day that started very early.  By the time I was home, I only had slightly over an hour before my husband had to leave for work in the evening.  Our neighborhood has a stretch of eight flights of exterior stairs, so I ran them for an hour with a heart rate monitor on.  Unless plans change, I want to run the Peavine Falls race again this summer, and I need to be in shape for hills.

This workout was TOUGH, and it did crazy things to my heart rate.  Allow me to present...heart rate data for going up and down the same eight flights of stairs 32 times:

I think this means I am in good shape?

Wednesday - 4 @ 8:00 on the treadmill.  Then a quick weights workout including:

Barbell Rows 50# 10x20
Incline Press 25# 10x10

We also discovered another bird nest, and this one is an Eastern Phoebe:

Taken blindly with a cell phone held over my head.  Skillz.

Thursday - 5 @ 9:02 around my hilly neighborhood.  I guess insane hills are the new normal.  The GAP for this run was actually 7:40, which is not anything I normally see on just an easy midweek run.

Friday - An hour of hot yoga.  My son was still out sick from school, and resting at home, so I tried a new yoga class.  It was earlier in the day and incredibly tough.  In fact, it's the only yoga class I've been in (maybe ever???) where men outnumbered women by a solid margin.  Most of them were cyclists...talking about cycling, wearing cycling jerseys, etc.  It was one of those classes where the instructor says things like, "now kick up into a handstand and then fold down gracefully to balance your knees on your upper arms" and EVERYONE DOES IT LIKE NBD!  My ass was thoroughly kicked.

Saturday - 15.1 @ 8:37 on the track club long run.  This run felt amazing and strong.  No complaints.  I ran the first nine miles or so with my friends Kevin and Andrea.  They turned back right around the time we got to the dirt trails, so I just popped my headphones in and cruised north to catch the rest of the group up on the mountain.  I swear, miles 9 through 13 felt easy and effortless, like I was out for a light jog.  The sun wasn't up above the trees yet, and the trails were damp and quiet and cool.  When I reached the end of the trails, I figured WHY NOT? and added another loop through beautiful Mountain Brook before heading back.  Afterward, I felt so peaceful and alert.  I got breakfast and a huge, strong cup of coffee with my friends, and we sat around for quite a while chatting.  I wish every Saturday long run could have such a calming effect on me!

One of my favorite parts about our new place is the HUGE and very private master bath where I can do all my long run prep without disturbing anyone.


Sunday - 4 @ 9:40 around my neighborhood.  Oddly enough, I woke up very early and felt the need to run.  The weather had cooled off a lot (like from 90 degrees down to 60 degrees) and I was very excited about it.  Also, my legs had that heavy, swollen, almost itchy feeling that they get when they need a shakeout. Probably because Saturday's long run was my longest run since before Christmas.

Also, real talk: I am enjoying that fact that I am currently maintaining a higher body weight and more muscle mass and still knocking out some speedy runs.  (Okay, not a LOT a lot more weight, but significant for this ectomorph and enough that it should have slowed me down some.)  I think it really helps that I've maintained the same body composition, and continued to get leaner while focusing on the muscles used for running.  Hopefully, I'm making myself 1) tough as hell, and 2) injury proof.  But I digress...

Oh, and Sunday afternoon I was able to make it to Ashtanga yoga, by a freak stroke of luck.  Sundays are my husband's Mondays, because he works very hard from dawn to dusk.  He got a bit of a reprieve, so I made it to my favorite yoga practice to round out the week.

Sunday afternoon hangs. 

As another aside (and to make a record for future reference), I woke up Sunday with a weird lump on the front of my right ankle.  It seems to be in the tendon?  It was a little painful, and even creaky/squeaky to the touch on Sunday, but seems better and less inflamed now.  I'm thinking it's just another tendon issue on my "bad" right foot.  At any rate, it doesn't hurt when I run.  But I'm watching it.  

Totals - 35 miles of running, including two hilly runs, tempo on the treadmill, a long run, and a recovery run.  A stairs workout.  One weight training session.  Two yoga classes.

Everyone have a great week!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A Week of Workouts - May 9, 2016

Howdy, y'all.  Yes it is Tuesday.  I've been out of town a bit, and my son has been seriously ill since Thursday.  He seems to be getting better, and I am forever grateful to everyone who has helped us get through this. 

Running on the road.


I actually managed to run quite a bit this week -- about 34 miles -- and get in some weights and yoga as well.  I made it out to the Track Club long run this Saturday, too, which I love. 

Monday - 5 @ 9:00, with ~770 feet of elevation.  The round numbers in this run make me happy.  I just did some laps around my neighborhood, hitting the larger hills.  I also make a few Strava segments and outed all the Strava users who live near me.  I followed that up with an hour-long bodyweight workout, including walking lunges, push ups, planks, and mountain climbers. 

Tuesday - 6.6 @ 9:02, representing an hour on the gym treadmill. 

We also went out for my husband's birthday, and I had the most beautiful rare piece of salmon.  It was the first meat I've eaten in probably four months.  The restaurant also had some key lime pie, which I love.  My present to Nate was some concert tickets for the first week of June. 


Wednesday - 3.1 @ 7:48 on the gym treadmill.  I followed that up with what I'm calling my new 20-minute whole body weights workout for runners haha:

Barbell Back Squat (what most people just call "squats") - working up from 45# to 85# with 5 sets of 5
Resistance Band Pull Ups in sets of 3 until failure
Ab Dolly Roll Outs in sets of 8/7/6/5/4/3/2/1

Thursday - 5 @ 9:26 on the trails at Spain Park.

Hello from sunny Spain Park!


Friday -  25 minutes on the bicycle mag trainer, followed by an hour-long vinyasa yoga class.  I also made our ordinary Friday evening pizza, but tried out some of the vegan cheese from Trader Joe's.  Never again.  It works just fine melted on top of things like burritos and pasta dishes, but it was damn near inedible on the pizza.  Woof. 

Long run prep on lockdown.


Saturday - 14.5 @ 8:37 at the Birmingham Track Club Saturday Long Run. 

I'm still not sure what I would do without my friends on these runs.  Companionship is the key to the long run. 


Sunday - Complete rest for travel.


Working on a new book and eating salads on the balcony. 

Totals - 34.3 miles of running, including a hill workout, a steady state treadmill run, a fast treadmill run, a trail run, and a long run.  Two weights workouts.  A yoga class.  Some bike cross training.  A day of complete rest. 

The end!  Have a great week!


Monday, May 2, 2016

A Week of Workouts - May 2, 2016

This will be another quickie.  I have some hard work deadlines looming this week, and some major work travel and presentations scheduled for the end of the month.  My house is messy and my blog is a bit neglected, but I'm holding things together.

Annnnd...no pictures this week, either!  

Monday - 4.2 @ 8:54 around my hilly neighborhood.  I'm preparing for summer, in that I am doing more early morning outdoor runs.  We've already had a few 80-degree days.  I didn't go to work until the afternoon, so I went to the gym with my husband in the mid morning.  I didn't wear a heart rate monitor, and I just wrote "weights" in my paper log.  Who knows what that involved...can't remember now. I know I did 115# deadlifts.

Tuesday - 7 @ 8:33 (hour on the treadmill on a busy day)

Wednesday - 45 minutes of weights, by myself since Katherine is still out of town.

Cable Step Ups 40# 4x10 on each side
Cable Compass Pulls 15# 1x15 in each of eight directions
Leg Press 180# 4x10
Deadlift 95# 1x5
Deadlift 115# 3x5
Overhead Press 40# 3x6
Lateral Raise 12.5# 3x10
Resistance Band Pull Ups 3x5
Abs set

Thursday - 2 @ 8:37 (to the gym), 2 @ 9:48 (home from the gym).  At the gym, I did 90 minutes of hip hop dancing.  Yeah, I have no idea why either.  Actually, I was just mixing things up.  One of my main fitness goals is to be comfortable with all sorts of physical activities, from climbing a ladder to dancing.

Friday - 90 minutes of vinyasa yoga.

Saturday - 13.6 @ 8:43 with the Birmingham Track Club long run group.  The planned route was completely flooded, so I just hooked in with a few people interested in running an 8:45 pace and we made our way around the city for a few hours.  It was a great run.  I'm still struggling with some GI problems during longer runs, and I've decided the sudden heat and humidity are to blame.  I'm watching electrolytes a bit more closely now. 

Sunday - 1.1 @ 8:39 as a shakeout, then a 90-minute Ashtanga class.