#THSGetsFaster Week 8

 Posted by at 6:00 am  fitness
Jul 272015
 

This “Easy as Breeze” post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk as as part of my participation in the Blue Diamond Tastemakers Program. For more “Easy As Breeze” recipes made with five ingredients or less, visit Almond Breeze on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

smoothie

In the spring of 2015 I set out with a goal to get speedy, aiming to PR each of the common race distances I’ve crossed the finish of thus far [5K, 5-mile, 10K, 15K, half marathon]. I decided to document the process of my training, hoping that it will help to keep me accountable to train strong.  Up first, I’m chasing the train to 5K PR city – currently at 29:35.  This is week eight.

Monday July 20 – Sunday July 26
Total Miles Planned: “put on my shoes and run some miles, at least once before the weekend and at least once during the weekend.” – #THSGetsFaster Week 7
Total Miles Ran: 3.3 ran // 3 walked // and I made my goal of running once before the weekend and once during the weekend, too.

week8

Favorite Run: Sunday I did a half mile walk for both my warm up and cool down, with 2.3 miles of wogging intervals. I kept with 5 minutes jogging to 2 minutes walking and ran each interval as prescribed.  It was hot and sticky, and I got sweaty in about 37 seconds of running, but there was a slight breeze as I ran that definitely helped the experience.

Least Favorite Run: Thursday night I walked two miles and then REALLY had to talk myself into running one, too.  I just ran steady to get it over with and when it was done, I was DONE.  Some times when I set out just for one mile, I end up finding my groove and running a few before calling it quits.  But other days you just aren’t having it, ya know? Thursday I wasn’t haven’t it.

Other Workouts: Post run stretching on Sunday and a few walks around the neighborhood, but only one on Thursday was fitness-focused.

Listening Notes: I have a long backlog of all my favorite podcasts after having house guests this month.  I was catching up on Extra Hot Great and Pop Culture Happy Hour while I ran last week.

easy as breeze

Fueling Notes:  It’s no secret I love fall running, but running in the summer heat has become a much more manageable habit now that I’ve found some things that work well for me. One thing that helps me on my quest to cool down is my post-run smoothie.  It’s key for me to keep these SIMPLE and the recipe below totally fits in the “Easy as Breeze” celebration Almond Breeze is hosting this month.

After talking with Melissa about whey protein powder during our Protein Partners podcast episodes [you can find them here if you’re looking: #1, #2, & #3] I finally purchased a few small packets I found at CVS when looking for something to get for Nick’s Mom, Kathleen, to use in her daily breakfast smoothies while she was visiting.  I was pleased to see that my local CVS had four flavors in individual serving packets – chocolate, vanilla, cookies & cream, and strawberry.

I only use half a packet of the powder in this smoothie, because paired with the protein in the Chobani, I hit my goal of 26-30 grams without needing to use the entire packet.  I also like to add a Stok Espresso shot if it’s a weekend smoothie and morning run, as I prepare to kick-butt on my To-Do List.

Post-Run Pre-Productivity Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 medium frozen banana
  • 6 ounces Greek yogurt of choice [I used Chobani 0% vanilla with these]
  • 1 shot of espresso
  • 1/2 serving of chocolate whey protein powder
  • Chocolate Almond Breeze

Instructions

  • Break frozen banana in 4-5 pieces and place in single serve blender cup.
  • Add yogurt, espresso, and protein powder.
  • Add Almond Breeze to fill line.
  • Blend until combined. 
  • Optional re-blend: I find that once everything is blended I can add a bit more liquid and re-blend for a thinner, smoother consistency. 

EASY BREEZY!

#THSGetsFaster Reflections: I did get around to writing out a #THSGetsFaster Phase 2 training plan for the next eight weeks. The truth is, I know I do better when I have a plan laid out with the intention of “crossing off” each run as I conquer it. 

I’m keeping things pretty low-key with week one, looking at 9 miles total spread through four runs.  I’m sticking to the 1 long run, 1 race-specific speed training run, and 2 “easy” runs each week.  I definitely want to add strength and yoga, too, but know that piling on too many goals can totally sabotage my motivation. 

#THSGetsFaster Week 7

 Posted by at 6:00 pm  fitness
Jul 222015
 

In the spring of 2015 I set out with a goal to get speedy, aiming to PR each of the common race distances I’ve crossed the finish of thus far [5K, 5-mile, 10K, 15K, half marathon]. I decided to document the process of my training, hoping that it will help to keep me accountable to train strong.  Up first, I’m chasing the train to 5K PR city – currently at 29:35.  This is week seven.

Monday July 13 – Sunday July 19
Total Miles Planned:  6 miles + a 5K Race
Total Miles Ran: a 5K Race

racecollage

Favorite Run: Errrrrr… So, my cat got sick, like really sick, and coupled with back-to-back house guests, suddenly running dropped to priority ZERO for exactly 18 days.  That’s the number of days between the last time I ran [Monday, June 29] and my….

Least Favorite Run: This 5K, MY FAVORITE LOCAL 5K, sucked so hard this year. Okay, so not exactly.  The volunteers were great, the shirts were great, the new “Hawaiian” theme addition was great, the course was the same, and so – you know, GREAT…. and I went in saying I had “no expectations.”

Turns out I had expectations, I just didn’t really realize it until after looking at my Garmin after hearing the 2 mile beep and feeling so many emotions in what seemed like an instant. My finishing time wasn’t at all horrible, but it was far from a course PR, let alone a PR, and I wasn’t expecting to finish with such a large gap between where I was last October and where I am now.

The humidity on race day was KILLER and I really had to convince myself to start running again after every walking break. I started out running the first mile without stopping, then took planned walking breaks based on water stops.  I got thrown off when I misjudged where one stop would be and then never quite got back into the grove.  I was running 90 seconds, walking 30 for a majority of the race, which meant sprinting over the finish line was possible, which always feels great even when you want to punch the clock for saying a time that makes you angry.

finish

Other Workouts: Lots of walking, but not much else.

Listening Notes: I listened to a really fun playlist filled with music from Megan, but I think all the speedy pop took a toll on my pacing. I was ALL OVER THE PLACE PACE.

Fueling Notes: Half a bagel with cream cheese a couple of hours before the race. A delicious brunch at one of my favorite Scotia spot, Sally’s Streetside Café, after the race.  My sandwich – Sally’s Rueben, a Rueben made with delicious roast beef – and home fries totally hit the spot.  As a special post-run treat, I basically dove head first into a bottle of Adam & Eve Orange-Carrot Juice. This stuff is SO delicious and though I don’t drink fruit juice very often, I have officially made a note on my grocery list in hopes I can find it at the local market to keep stocked at THS HQ.

CYMERA_20150720_182720

#THSGetsFaster Reflections: Now that I ran again, I guess I’ll keep it up.  My previous written-out-calendar plan ended on Saturday, so I’m taking some time this week to write out a new plan for the rest of summer.  For this week the goal is simple: put on my shoes and run some miles, at least once before the weekend and at least once during the weekend.  Walk as much as possible on any day I don’t run.  Then I’ll start whatever self-written plan I hope to scribble out while watching TV Tonight when Monday arrives.

I know I’m still wanting to hunt down that 5K PR, but I think a few weeks of steady training BEFORE picking a race to solidly speed train for may be a good idea in terms of getting me back into the running groove. I’m missed my time on the streets and trails and sidewalks and hills and I can’t wait to plug my ears with podcast noise and log as many miles as my heart desires.  Ready, set, run.

#THSGetsFaster Week 4

 Posted by at 2:00 pm  fitness
Jun 292015
 

In the spring of 2015 I set out with a goal to get speedy, aiming to PR each of the common race distances I’ve crossed the finish of thus far [5K, 5-mile, 10K, 15K, half marathon]. I decided to document the process of my training, hoping that it will help to keep me accountable to train strong.  Up first, I’m chasing the train to 5K PR city – currently at 29:35.  This is week four.

Monday 22 – Sunday 28 Monday 29
Total Miles Planned: 19
Total Miles Ran: 19, though I spread them out much differently than prescribed on the prewritten plan

CYMERA_20150626_145724

Favorite Run: This is a toss up between a really strong speed workout and what I’m calling my “make-up run.”

Speed workout was 400 repeats with a walking recover, which were prescribed at 8:45 or better pacing and I clocked 8 of them in sub 8 minute pacing.  YEAH BUDDY did that feel good. 

My “make-up” run was the last run of the week that I planned to do this weekend, but after a sick Benson T. Cat took much of my attention [and honestly, not so much #fightworry power – I was/am a mess] I never managed to get myself out the door until Monday mid-day.  I’m totally still counting it as last week and plan to hit all four of my runs on the schedule for THIS week Tuesday through Sunday.

The run itself wasn’t anything special. I had 4 miles of run a mile, walk to recover, repeat on the plan and I also had an errand to run that was a little over 3 miles away.  I walked about a mile to warm up and then started my repeats.  I hit my errand destination half way through my 3rd mile, so I paused my watched and when I finished taking care of business, talked myself into 2 complete mile repeats on the way home. 

THIS is why it was a good run. Because I did MORE than I expected to and although it wasn’t a cake-walk, I didn’t need to stop mid-mile for a break because of tired legs or struggling with my breathing and that felt GREAT. 

Least Favorite Run: I hated running so hard last Monday, when I took my booty on a nice long run to the bank to make a deposit after work.  I was tired and cranky, but I ran intervals to get it done. Sometimes I run intervals by distance [run a mile recover, for example] and sometimes, and usually this is what I switch to when I’m struggling like I was this day, I run intervals by time.

The first portion of this particular lousy run I ran 4 minutes, walked 1 minute and repeated, but the last mile was a struggle and I switched to run 3 minutes, walk 2 minutes.  I was happy to keep up with my game plans once I set them and that I got it DONE [6+ miles in totally including a mile walking warm up] but boy oh boy did I think about quitting about 100 times.

CYMERA_20150622_200702

Other Workouts: Two interval workouts with Steff, one strong, one “meh” besides a strong sprinting/racing to the end finish which felt awesome.

Also, I’ve pushed all the back porch furniture to the sides and made a big space for back porch yoga and have been LOVING it. I did my favorite Ekhart Yoga for Runners YouTube video after my speed workout and then legit fell asleep during the meditative/corpse posing at the end. [I use my iPad and a speaker when on the porch.]  I’m excited to get back in the habit with this video in particular, but also trying some other sequences in my new space, too.

Listening Notes: I am in the midst of building an awesome new running playlist, mostly thanks to a mix CD full of winning songs from my pal Megan.  I have been continuing to catch up on podcasts as I ran this past week, though.  Some Nerdist eps, Extra Hot Great Minis, and a couple of episodes of Doug Loves Movies. 

Fueling Notes: Before a long run last week I tried a Honey Stinger Waffle for the first time. It was chocolate flavored and the first bite was…okay…but a bit dry. I added a smear of peanut butter which totally helped the cause; just make sure to have some H20 nearby.

I liked how easy on my stomach the waffle was and I can totally see these being useful on long hikes or trail runs. I think I’ll stick to the chews and gels for long run road-training, though. A lot smaller and easier to carry in my pocket or SPIbelt.

#THSGetsFaster Reflections: I’m really digging my running + errand collaboration I’ve got going on lately.  Getting my fitness and my business done in one swoop feels ultra-productive.  If you add in the fact that I’m also usually listening to podcasts – it’s a productivity trifecta!

My first 5K is less than 3 weeks away, and although my speed work is SPEEDY, I’m not sure my endurance level is there to keep me running speedy for 3 consecutive miles without a walking break.  I know that I can be MUCH faster when I sprint and walk to recover for a race, as I’ve proven that before and even recently in my training. We shall see how I feel after the next couple of weeks of training.