Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

Last week started and finished strong with a great long run and a new 8k PR. I had a few extra recovery days then planned during the week, but all in all felt really good about all of the workouts I got in. Less than two weeks till marathon day!

Here’s the day-by-day breakdown:

Monday: After missing out on my long run over the weekend I put in a great, confidence-boosting 20-miler on the treadmill.

Tuesday: Strength workout – main focus on upper body and core.

Wednesday: Rest Day

Thursday: Unplanned rest day – turned my early alarm off even though I had plans after work.

Friday: I went back to the treadmill for hill repeats. After a mile warm-up I did 6 hill repeats between 3.0 and 4.0 inclines starting at an 8-minute pace and working my way down to a 7:30 pace before cooling down for a mile and wrapping up with a core workout.

Saturday:  After 10 easy minutes on the treadmill I put in 30 minutes on the elliptical and a quick core workout followed by lots of stretching so I’d be good to go on Sunday morning.

Sunday: Race day! I crushed my 8k PR with a 38:03 finish at the Acumen Race for a Cause 8k. Full recap coming tomorrow!

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Resolution Check-In

And another month down. Wow. This year is just flying.

Time to check in on my New Year’s Resolutions and make sure I’m still on track. Five months in and I’m still running pain free! While I’ve had a few slip-ups here and there, I’ve been pretty good about sticking with my stretching, rolling and icing routines. I’ve also stuck with a couple days of cross training each week instead of running 6 days a week, which has played a role in keeping me healthy this year.

My streak of P90X core workouts came to an end at 127 days. At first I did a good job of still doing it 4-5 times a week, but that has dropped off the last couple weeks, so I’m making core workouts my focus again for the month of June. May’s focus was on strength workouts, which I did a really good job with. My new program from my running coach has me doing these twice a week, but I used to do about 10 minutes of strength stuff and call that a workout. Now I’m doing 30-45 minutes each day and am already noticing a difference. I’m sure this will help make me a stronger runner too.

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The drinking less soda thing disappeared last month and I was back to my soda-a-day routine. I need to do better at this!

Three weeks into my new running program I feel like I’m building a great base to kick off my Marine Corps Marathon training so I can go after my BQ.

I’ve got some work to do, but overall I feel pretty good about my resolutions for this year. How are you doing on your resolutions?

 

5-Minute Plank? Challenge Accepted!

When I turned 29 last month I put together a 30 Before 30 list of things I wanted to accomplish over the next year. One category was a list of fitness challenges that included a 5-minute plank. I do a 15-minute core workout everyday so last night I thought I might give this one a try and see if I couldn’t knock it out on my first try. Mission accomplished. I held steady – well, slightly shaky by the end – for all five minutes! Here’s to checking the first thing off my list!

Starting off strong

Starting off strong

Sneaking in a smile for the camera - this was still early!

Sneaking in a smile for the camera – this was still early!

Almost there!

Almost there!

Made it!

Made it!

Holding steady till the end!

Holding steady till the end!

Resolution Check-In

Wow, another month has flown by so I wanted to take a step back and see how I’m doing with my New Year’s Resolutions. It’s always good to check back in and remember what I’m working for.

Building up my core strength and staying injury free are key goals for me this year. I made core strength my January focus and managed to keep going strong through February doing my P90X Ab Ripper workout everyday. Going back to last year I’m at 63 straight days! I’m sticking with my stretching and foam rolling too to do what I can to stave off any injuries.

February’s focus was speed and I feel like I made great strides on this. (Yes, pun intended!) I reached my goal of two speed workouts per week though track workouts, hill repeats and tempo runs. My times have come way down since my first speed workouts back from physical therapy in January and my pace is steadily improving.

I got to register early for the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon through my deferment from last year, so now that race is officially on the calendar. So far I feel like things are right on track to get my Boston Qualifying time this October!

My focus for March is going to be nutrition. To run and workout as much as I do, I need good food to fuel me. I’m going to really try to up my fruit and veggie intake this month. I’m usually pretty good with fruits, but I’ve spent most of my life avoiding veggies so I’m trying to get better at that. I’m also going to focus on my nutrition on the run, and plan to try out some new things to fuel along the way on my long runs.

Are you still on track with your New Year’s resolutions? Tell me about your successes and challenges!

Strength Training

Like stretching and cross training, I’ve always known how important strength training is to a successful run training program, but I haven’t always been great about fitting it in. Running was always my top priority and in the past I haven’t been great about keeping up with strength training when I’m getting ready for a race.

Things are different this time around though as I’m determined to stay healthy and train right. Also all the benefits of strength training and ways it can make me a better runner are just too hard to ignore anymore. Core strength and how it could help my running form was a big thing I focused on during physical therapy, and I made it a resolution for this year to focus on building up my core strength. This has really stuck so far and I’ve completed my version of the P90X Ab Ripper workout everyday in 2013.

In addition to working on core strength I’ve dedicated two days a week in my Nike DC Half Marathon training plan to strength training. Here are some of the exercises I’ve been working on…

Upper Body: push-ups, bicep curls, tricep extensions, lat raises and front raises

Lower Body: single leg squats, pistol squats (sitting all the way down into a chair on leg and raising back up), side plank with leg lifts and runner wall squats

What are your favorite strength workouts to do?