Tag Archives: running

#StockadeathonTraining: Week 1 // conquering training with a fresh perspective

In the late summer of 2017, I set out with a goal to train for a 15K with a different perspective than my norm. I decided to document the process of my training, hoping that it will help to keep me accountable to my goals if I revisit them on the regular.  This is week one.

Monday September 4 – Sunday September 10

Total Miles Planned: 0.  

Total Miles Ran: 3, plus 14 walked.

#StokadeathonTraining Reflections:  When it came to starting my 15K training, I decided not to aim for a specific mileage this week. Instead, I set an intention to make time to sincerely reflect on my goals, make time to write out my training plan from now until race day, and to start this week by running a couple of times for however long I was “feeling it.”

When I took time to stop and ask myself, “what do you honestly want from this training cycle?” I was somewhat surprised by what I came to answer.  I don’t want to chase a PR or try to run all 9.3 miles without stopping.  I don’t want to push myself to complete a certain amount of speed drills, and tempo runs, and track negative splits over the next ten weeks.

It’s not that working hard and pushing myself to see how fast and far I can go isn’t good for me; these challenges are what have made me realize my own strength and ability to be dedicated throughout past training seasons.

Instead I want to do something different: pull it back to the simple times, when I focused on running because I enjoyed to run.

I want to face each workout with only a distance in mind; that’s what my plan is as of now – increase my mileage as I normally would, but instead of prescribing intervals and pacing and repeats and shake out runs, this time I’m just going to run.

Sometimes I might set out with an interval set in mind, but mostly I will just run until I want to walk, and then I will walk until I feel like I’m ready to start running again.  Although, I expect that naturally some days I will feel heavily slowed down and others I’ll want to push it as fast as I possibly can just because I feel extra speedy.  All of the times, I will leave my Garmin Forerunner at home.

Goals for my Stockade-athon 15K Training & Race Day

  • COMPLETE 95% of my planned workouts, aiming for consistency and reflecting on the power and beauty of follow through.
  • ENJOY my training runs at whatever pace feels best, aiming for a no PR-pressure season.
  • CELEBRATE a strong training cycle by running through my favorite neighborhoods of Schenectady [one of the benefits of this race!] without my Garmin on race day, aiming to cross the finish line. Period.

Favorite Run: The first run of the training plan was delightful.  It was a glorious day of sunshine after a week straight of rain, with a cool breeze and fluffy cloud cover making the weather pleasant.  I knew I wanted to keep my run short- it was Friday night and I was ready to kick back and relax my way into the weekend!, but I also wanted to prove to myself I was ready to make running a priority.  After walking for 30 minutes, I did a quick 1 1/4 mile of easy intervals and felt good.

Least Favorite Run: The second run was the harder of the two, and I think I need to give up the shoes I wore for that run.  I definitely noticed a difference in what I could feel as my foot hit the pavement in comparison to the shoes I wore during the first run.  Maybe new running shoes are in my future?

Other Workouts: Living room yoga has been my jam off and on for the past year. I’ve been tracking how often I make time to flow it out on my mat and definitely notice a difference if I abruptly stop practicing after a streak of making it a priority for weeks straight.  I want to continue to make time for yoga several times each week while I’m training; I know it will be good for my body and there are many post-run yoga videos I can test out for ease of getting it done without having to think about a checklist of stretches.

Listening Notes: During both of my wogging workouts this week I tried out some new podcasts: This UnMillennial Life and Best of Both Worlds have episodes full of discussion, advice, and tips that make me feel like I’m self-development multitasking if I listen while working out. BONUS POINTS!!

 

Looking Forward to Spring Running and Favorite Running Gear

I’ve been thinking about running A LOT.

I ran twice during the month of February, both adventures while I was in Las Vegas, taking in the warmth and sunshine and mostly the lack of snow.

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Winter has been BRUTAL here and early on I made a promise to Nick that I wouldn’t run outside unless the temperature was over 30 degrees and that running space wasn’t icy or extremely dangerous.  I’m pretty sure the only days that this has happened in Scotia since I first made the statement in January were while I was westward.

On top of normal winterness of CDNY, it has seemed extra windy and doubly snowy this time around, making the idea of winter running completely laughable.  I see a group of running bad-asses in their neon orange and yellow tops, making their way through the roads of the park I work in and I am baffled at their ability to log miles during the past several weeks. 

Then again, every time I have thought “I could go for a short run now” weather-wise has been in the middle of the work day and therefore not conducive to actual “lace up and go” time.  And every time I’ve seen said bad-asses has been in the middle of the work day, so maybe I should cut myself some slack.

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The other night I laid in bed unable to sleep and reread my half marathon recap. Again.  A few nights later when I couldn’t sleep I went through my entire #THS13point1 Weekly Training Recaps from start to finish.

I’m just starting to think about 2015 race plans, though most of my internet running friends are already in the depth of training for their big races. 

The idea of a 50 mile trail relay has been floating around the office, which would be a completely knew experience considering I’ve done “trail running” one half of a time if you count my getting lost on a short cut through wooded parts and still keeping myself at jog when trying to find my way back to a neighborhood. 

At the end of last year I was toying with the idea of a marathon and was sold on the idea of running another half. Right now all I care about is starting to log outdoor miles consistently again.  I know I will be chasing down a new 5K PR after last year’s record yet disappointing finish

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I also know that instead of rereading thousands of words I wrote before and after training last year, I could be holding plank for thousands of seconds to become a better runner.  There’s a list of intentions I’ve set for myself for the month of March to set myself up to be a stronger runner, and core work is, as always, on the list. 

Another activity to get myself set for spring running is organize and prep my gear.  As I cleaned out my running drawer and storage areas, I put items I never wear for any number of excuses in a donate pile and only kept the pieces I really love.  There’s no use holding on to something that makes me feel uncomfortable when on a run.  Plus, now I’ve made a bit of room for me to restock on my favorite running gear. 

Favorite Running Gear w numbers

1. BAMR Bands. I have a handful of headbands I like to wear, but BAMR Bands are my favorite headbands for running, without a doubt.  I’ve never had a problem with them staying on my head no matter how long I’m running, or how sweaty I get.  These bands have great patterns – including sparkle! – and do a great job of keeping my hair and sweat out of my eyes as I’m logging miles.  Made by a member of the HLB Community, Katie Heddleston of Healthy Heddleston, BAMR bands supports Every Mother Counts with every purchase made!

2. Prescription sunglasses for cheap, from Zenni. Are you familiar with Zenni Optical? It’s one of the handful of websites I now know about that sell prescription eye glasses for REASONABLE PRICES.  So reasonable, that I didn’t think twice about ordering a pair of sunglasses when my prescription got updated.  Because I bought them during a BOG2 deal, Including shipping they cost me less than $10 total, which means I’m not afraid to lose them, break them, or decide I need better ones when the time comes.  I have ordered glasses from this site NUMEROUS times now, and hbave been really happy with the experience.  I recommend the service in real life on the regular, especially for prescription sunglasses!

3. GymBoss Interval Timer.  I love this little gadget for keeping track of run:walk intervals, timing circuit workouts, and adding timed sprints to my runs.  I’ve had my Gymboss for years and the products available have really upgraded since I first bought mine. There are SO many colors and a MAX option, now!  I also use my timer for non-fitness stuff, too – like setting focused task sessions at the office or rewarding myself with a break after 90 minutes of writing.  

4. C9 by Champion Performance Tee. This is the classic short sleeved performance top sold at Target, which means I can often find them on clearance as the seasons and fitness trend colors and necklines change.  I have a lot of race and event performance t-shirts, but I like to purchase these when I can find them at a good price in a BRIGHT color.  Since I do a lot of road running, I can never have enough neon running gear. 

5. Cambelbak Water Packs.  I bought my Cambelbak used through a friend and then purchased a new mouth piece set from EMS online.  This water pack system was a great tool to have when half marathon training last summer.  I know there are lots of different sizes available and I’m really happy with mine, which I believe is an older version of the HydroBak. It holds just enough water for long runs and the pocket comes in handy for holding fuel. 

6. Spark Energy Drink Mix. Yup, I’m on that bandwagon.  I’ve been ordering these pouches to use before workouts [and after late bar trips] for the past several months from several of my friends who are reps. There are a BUNCH of HLB members out there who are selling this stuff along with other Advocare products if you are interested in learning more.  I’m digging the Pink Lemonade, Pomegrante, and Fruit Punch flavors best so far, but I still have several more to try!

7. Mizuno Wave Riders.  I’m toying with the idea of buying myself new ones right now, because I mean – LOOK AT THEM: Mizuno Wave Rider 18’s.  The 17’s have been so good to me, and they are nearing the end of their safe and healthy mileage, for sure. And I love the minty color scheme for certain!  Though… then I start thinking about braining out and trying other Mizuno’s… if I’m going for looks 100%, I dig the style of the white Wave Sayonara 2s, but I know better than to choose a running shoe based on looks alone. No matter what I decide, when it comes to new running shoes, I think I’ll set some fitness goals to reach in the next several weeks to EARN those new running shoes.

8. EMS Women’s Fast Mountain Lightweight Coolmax and Wool QuarterSocks.  These are my favorite socks for running and honestly, for just wearing around the house, too.  They are comfortable and thick without being over poweringly warm.  I like that they cover my ankles and they fit my foot nicely.  I end up buying a few pairs just about every time I shop at EMS. [Though I do want to notes that Feetures are another favorite running sock that I plan to buy more of ASAP!  I wore them for my half marathon and didn’t have any blisters post race!]

9. Lands’ End Women’s Polartec Aircore 100 EZ Touch Gloves.  I bought a few pairs when certain patterns were marked down on clearance and they are terrific for when I am running.  The touch screen finger tips make iPod and phone usage easy and when my hands get too warm and I want to remove them, I clip them together and attach them to my SpiBelt.  No need to hold them as I jog or keep room for them in a pocket or in the belt itself.  I’ve noticed that these gloves often go on sale for $5 a pair, so be sure to check out L:andsEnd.com if you are interested!

What are your running gear favorites?  What items do you take on EVERY long run?  What do you swear by?

I Run, Therefore I Am

Let’s talk running.

 

 

This summer, I was doing a fairly job making running a priority in my life.  Not summer of 2011 good, but maybe 2010 good.

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Then, as happens in life, THINGS started happening.  And, as happens, at first I was doing a grand job keeping up with the running.  I was traveling to the Midwest on a just about a weekly basis, but I was managing to stay committed. Sometimes I managed running while on the road, but even if I didn’t, most of my trips were so short that I was able to keep up with my running plan [which at the time was just a sticker chart I made myself to aim for 3 runs a week] when I was at home in New York.

 

But then, as happens in life, THINGS kept happening, and some of them were hard, and things changed.  I brought my running gear to Chicago with me to run out the emotions after spending time with and saying goodbye to my grandmother, and the run did me in.  I ran. I cried. I walked. I ran. I cried some more. I continued this rotation until politely vomiting* in a ditch and heading back to the hotel to shower off the disgust and face the day of travel ahead of me.

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When I returned home from that trip to Chicago, I stopped running.  It was crunch time before HLS and I didn’t even pretend to make working out a priority.  Sleep was a priority.  Time for myself was a priority.  Nutritious meal choosing was a priority. Running was not a priority.

 

Two and a half weeks later, I found myself completing two mega-short, yet mega-important-to-me, runs in Minneapolis.

 

The first was Friday morning before registration.  I planned to run out to the sculpture garden and back to make sure I knew the route before the HLS Fun Run Sunday morning. I invited Kelly, Alicia, and Mindy to join me.

It felt good.  It felt good to run with three of my closest friends, and the girls who help motivate and encourage me in running each year.  It felt good to run together, to not have pressure, to take breaks, to sweat out some eagerness, and to start the day off with some activity.  I liked that at any given moment, any one of the four of us was “leading” the pack. I liked that it happened naturally and that even though that out of the three of them, I’ve only ever run with Alicia by my side before (we’ve run many a races together,) it felt like running a couple of miles together on a Friday morning was completely natural and something we “do all the time.”  It felt like I was a runner running with my runner friends.  And I liked that.

friends

 

The second was that Sunday morning HLS Fun Run, which was another out and back.  I thought, and even mentioned to the group, that I wasn’t going to run fast and that the group could plan on 10:30/11:00 minute mile pacing if they were going to follow my lead.  I encouraged others to run faster and pass me if they wanted, and then we took off towards the garden.

 

After a minute or two of running, I looked around and noticed a bunch of my favorite friends, new and old, were near me at the front of the line and smiled, taking in the energy around me.  The group talked about our love for city running and my several-year-long goal to run a sub-30 minute 5K came up in conversation.  I shared that I was in no way prepared to run sub-30 now, and that one of these days I was going to actually train and do it.  The girls near me were all super uplifting, and then someone asked what we were currently pacing.  I looked down at my Garmin and was a bit shocked to see that my planned 11:00minute mile was no longer; we were keeping a steady 9:15 pace.  This was encouraging in itself, but a few words from Ari and Nicole stayed with me from that morning.  They may not even remember saying anything at all, but their belief in my ability to run and reach my goals really helped to light a fire in me.  I think back to the conversation often and every time I do I find myself re-inspired to go after what I want in terms of my running life.

Musselmans 5K (84)

 

After taking some awesome group photos at the Walker Sculpture Garden, I ran back to the hotel with Danielle.  Elizabeth from My Neon Running Shoes joined us for part of the run, too, and we had a nice time chatting as we made our way back to the hotel.  When Elizabeth split off from us to run an errand, Danielle and I continued chatting; mostly about how awesome it would be if we lived near one another and could run together ALL THE TIME.  This was our first time running together since my “healthy living journey” and I really wish it was something we could do more often.  [Seriously. Let’s work on that teleportation machine, scientist!]  Danielle has had SUCH an impact on the person I am today, and it really cherish that short run we got to take together.

 

When I came home from the Summit, as has happened every year since 2010, the passion I have for running and my running goals was reignited, but this year in a new way.

 

Instead of training for a race or PR, I simply want to train to truly FEEL and BELIEVE I’m a runner.

I want to run 3-4 times a week, no matter the distance, no matter the route, simply because I ENJOY running and because running makes me a happier, healthier human.

I want to know that each week, I’m going to log some miles.  I’m going to spend some time on the road.  I’m going to put my running gear to good use.

I want to improve, of course.  I want to build my endurance. I want to improve my speed.  I want to do better and be better.

 

I want to run a sub-30 minute 5K, of course.  And I know it’s possible.

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Since returning home from the Summit I’ve run 3-4 times a week, every week.  Running is starting to really feel like a part of me, again, and for that I’m grateful.  I think changing how I think about running [less in the “train for a race” and more in the “be a runner” mindset, that is] has really helped keep me consistent.  Without a training plan written out for me to follow, there have been a few changes to my running routine that I’ve really taken a liking to in the past few weeks.

 

I run 2-3 evenings after work, and once on the weekend.  [want to hear some tips on running in the evenings, after a day at the office? Read this: I’m a PM Runner]  I don’t think about it too much. I look at the weather at the start of the week and decided when I’m running [I do enjoy taking a day off in between runs, still] and then I run on those days. If I don’t want to run, I run anyway.  This started after I had a mini-revelation that the only thing I needed to do to FEEL and BELIEVE I’m a runner is simply run. So now I run. A few times a week. Every week.

 

I’ve stopped running with ear buds in, for the most part.  I lost my iPod in Minneapolis and I’ve embraced the listening to the sounds of the neighborhood over the sounds of podcasts and have really enjoyed the change.  I thought it would drive me BONKERS not having distraction when I run, so this was a welcomed surprise.  I have used my phone once to listen to an episode of EHG once, and I think I’m really going to rely on this method only on days I really am dreading the running, as a sort of “reward” for getting it done. [or maybe what I mean is a bribe?]

 

I’ve been focused on one mile at a time.  A method I picked up on from a friend several months ago, I’ve kind of fallen in love with the evening runs of “run a mile, rest, repeat.”

 

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I run without my Garmin at least twice a week.  I’ve been using map my run to plan out and back routes to accomplish in the evenings, especially.  I especially love a good one mile out, rest, one mile back.  It’s my go-to on days the office-work leaves me exhausted and cranky and has become my favorite way to exhaust emotions of any kind. [angry run, celebratory run, complacent run, eager run, etc.]

 

I ran 2 miles without stopping for the first time in a VERY long time the other day.  And I had negative splits.  And I paced almost the exact pacing as I did two days prior running 1 mile out, rest, 1 mile back.  And it felt like the biggest accomplishment of my life.  Which may explain why I love running so much.

What’s going on in your running life?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* the use of the word “politely” here may be an exaggeration.  Have you ever seen a polite vomit?