Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

OK, I know it’s no longer morning, but I’m finally getting around to last week’s recap. It was an up and down week with some great workouts, a tough 5k and an awesome trail relay run!

Monday: My legs were feeling real heavy after Saturday’s speed session and Sunday’s race, but I pushed through three easy miles along the W&OD after work.

Tuesday: P90X in the morning followed by teaching early morning boot camp.

Wednesday: Thanks to a work-from-home day I got my run in during my favorite time of day to run turning lunch into runch! I put in 6X400s along the trail with a 400 recovery between each. I was so pumped when I got home and saw I’d done each one progressively faster working my way down from a 6:57 pace to a 6:16 one. Here are the splits: 1:44, 1:40, 1:39, 1:37, 1:36, 1:33

Thursday: P90X in the morning followed by teaching early morning boot camp and a quick strength workout of my own.

Friday: Another day of getting in my P90X routine before teaching boot camp in the morning followed by the Crystal City 5k Friday race at night. Recap coming soon!

Saturday: I ran the North Face Endurance Challenge marathon relay with fellow Oiselle teammates and had so much fun out on the trails! Recap on this one coming soon too.

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Sunday: I had good intentions of getting a run in, but turned into a lazy, recovery day that I really needed and felt great!

Pure Barre DC – Oiselle Style

On Sunday, I tried out my first Pure Barre class in D.C. Thanks to several teammates who go their regularly, the Eastern Market studio hosted a group of DC birds for a free trial class. Photos are courtesy of Courtney over at Eat Pray Run DC.

I have to say I was a bit skeptical, but that’s only because I would rather just run all day everyday than have to cross train. It’s also a bit on the pricey side for me when I know I can do a lot of strength workouts out of my own home or at the gym I already pay a monthly fee for. Whether or not I actually do those strength workouts on my own is another story. 🙂

Our instructor Sydney was fantastic. You could tell she’s very experienced and did a really great job of keeping the class flowing while simultaneously stopping to help us newbies – something that is not easy to do. She also made the class fly by. I looked down at my watch at one point thinking maybe we were halfway through and we only had 10 minutes left to go.

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Another pro – I loved that it was set to a playlist. I don’t run with music much anymore unless I hit the treadmill, and forgot how fun it is to work out to tunes.

I honestly thought the strength component would be tougher. I’m not saying it was easy (it was not) – just that I thought it would be torturous. Reading things like this guy’s hilarious recap of attending Pure Barre with his fiancee made me expect the worst! Maybe I am just getting better at those strength workouts on my own …and those near daily P90X core sessions and push ups are having more of an impact than I realized!

I wish I had grabbed at least the 3 pound weights. You have a choice between 2, 3 or 5 for arm workouts and being overly cautious I grabbed the 2-pounders and did not get as much as I could have out of the arm sections.

The leg stuff was great and a few of those squats on your tiptoes while squeezing a ball between your thighs (there is probably an actual name for these) had my legs shaking pretty good. Still, I thought it was all very doable and having run a half marathon that morning had expected this to hurt a lot more. I was pretty proud I didn’t collapse mid-class! Adding pistol squats and single leg lunges back into my routine about a month ago definitely helped me out on these ones. We also did some hip opening and strengthening exercises I struggled a bit on that has to be helpful for runners doing this on a regular basis knowing how common hip tightness can be for us.

The stretching – now this was a whole other story and every bit as tough as I expected and then some for this not-at-all flexible runner. I nearly burst out laughing at a couple of the things we were expected to do – then realized as others in the group started to do them with no problem that this was no joke! Nose-to-knees? Ha, I can’t even touch my toes, so that is just not happening. From one position we were told to reach back and grab our foot if we could. I’m pretty sure my foot was in another zip code. My favorite was when the instructor raised her arms over her head and pulled back as far as she could then asked us to do the same – the only way my arms could find that position would be to start them behind my back and pull them up!!

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While Pure Barre may not be entirely my style of workout it was definitely a cool experience. The stretching clearly made an immediate impact as I was way less sore on Monday than I was just two weeks ago after the RNR DC half. So much of it is also great for runners, so I can see why so many like it. I don’t think I’d make it a regular thing, but could certainly see myself dropping in for a class here and there. If you’ve never tried it, I’d certainly recommend giving it a go!

Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

Sorry I was MIA last week. It’s been a busy few weeks at work and at home, but I’ve had a pretty successful last two weeks of training. I decided to switch to the half marathon for the B&A Trail race at the end of the month since I just wasn’t where I needed to be to attempt a BQ. That has allowed me to switch my focus to speed and strength and I already feel like it’s been making a difference. I’ve also had more fun running the last two weeks than I have in quite some time – which could also have something to do with the improving weather!

Anyway here’s the day-by-day breakdown from last week:

Monday: I put in 3 speedy miles along the Mt. Vernon Trail after work followed by my p90x core routine.

Tuesday: I taught a boot camp class in the morning and also got in my own full body strength work along with my p90x core routing.

Wednesday: Today was my birthday and also a late night at work so I took the day off from running, but did get my p90x core workout in for the third straight day this week.

New Oiselle hoodie - bday present from my husband!

New Oiselle hoodie – bday present from my husband!

Thursday: I taught another early morning boot camp, did my p90x routine first thing along with a full body strength workout and then got in 3 speedy miles after work along the W&OD Trail – such a beautiful night out for a run!

Friday: Rest day.

Saturday: I ran the DC Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon in the pouring rain, but came away pretty happy with my performance! I finished in 1:51:58 and will have a full recap up soon. All told, I put in closer to 15 miles Saturday and still managed to fit in my p90x routine.

Sunday: I started my morning off with p90x and 5 easy recovery miles along the W&OD. I felt a bit stiff at first, but loosened right up and was feeling great by mile three!

Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

Aside from a skipped workout over the weekend, I felt really good about this week. I forced myself on the treadmill to push the pace a couple times this week and for the first time started feeling notable progress on my paces. I tallied 35 miles over the course of five runs for the week.

Here’s the day-by-day breakdown:

Monday: I enjoyed my last Florida run Monday morning putting in 6 easy miles.

Tuesday: Rest day.

Wednesday: I hit the treadmill for my speed workout this week to force myself to keep a faster, more consistent pace and it worked. After a 1.5 mile warm up, I put in 4X1200 meter repeats with a 400 recovery in between each. I wrapped up with a 1 mile cool down, a quick strength workout and a P90X core routine.

Thursday: For the second straight year I ran the DC Road Runner’s Resolutions and Predictions 5k. My watch never started so I ran by feel and was initially disappointed when I tried to figure out my finish time after the race. Turns out I was more than a minute off and my chip time put me at 23:03! More to come on this one. I chased the race with my P90X core routine before Ian and I hopped in the car to visit with friends in Ocean City.

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Friday: Despite maybe having too much to drink the night before, I put in 10 great miles and felt really good doing it. I have to be leery of these kinds of runs though as I went a bit harder than what my easy pace should be, but wasn’t pushing enough to count it as speed work. I want to make sure I don’t put in too many runs in this no man’s land zone that don’t really benefit me. I wrapped up with my P90X core routine again.

Saturday: After driving back from Ocean City I caught a case of the lazies and didn’t make it out for my run, but at the very least got my P90X core routine in to keep my New Year’s streak going. My record is just more than 100 days – we’ll see if I can get near that again.

Sunday: I hit the gym again for my tempo run putting in 9.2 miles with the middle chunk of those as marathon goal pace! I felt really good about finally hitting these paces and feeling comfortable doing so. I hung in at the gym just long enough to do my P90X core workout and another quick strength workout.

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all got your year off to a great start as well!

2015 Here We Go!

Wow, 2015 is here! I’m kicking things off with a 5k and then heading to Ocean City for a weekend with friends – a great way to start off the year!

One of my Oiselle Secret Santa gifts was the Believe Training Journal (signed by Lauren Fleshman!), so I spent some serious time thinking out and writing down my goals for the year. A great way to keep yourself accountable is sharing your goals, so here goes…

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My 2015 Running Goals:

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  • Qualify for Boston
  • Race the B&A Trail Marathon- it’s a smaller race, so I have a legit shot of coming near the top of the pack for women finishers
  • Break 20 minutes in a 5k (this is my big and scary stretch goal!)
  • Run 2,015 miles in 2015

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What will it take?

  • Consistency – I need to stick to my training plans and get out there and do the work. I also need to stay focused and not let up during my off seasons.
  • Staying healthy – keeping up with stretching, foam rolling and icing will be key. I also need to listen to my body and be smart about when to push the gas and when to take a break.
  • Getting stronger – I need to get in my daily core workouts and hit the weight room, and not just focus on running.
  • Get speedy – lots of speed work and pushing the pace will be required!
  • Schedule and plan – building my runs into my daily schedule and planning ahead will help keep me on track.
  • Pay more attention to nutrition – I can’t expect to produce great results with crappy fuel.
  • Mental toughness – enough said!

Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

It was a fun week getting back into daily workouts after a few weeks off for my honeymoon. While my runs were slow, I didn’t lose nearly as much fitness as I would have expected over my little hiatus. That was probably helped by the fact that we were walking between 5 and 10 miles most days as we trekked all over Europe!

Anyways, here’s the day-by-day breakdown:

Monday: Thanks to continued jetlag I had no problem getting up at 5:30 and heading to the gym before work. 45-minute treadmill run. Upper body workout and core workout.

Tuesday: Another early morning at the gym for a 45-minute treadmill run, legs workout and core workout.

Wednesday: Rest day.

Thursday: I worked through my lunch today so I could take off running at about 4:15 and catch the last bit of daylight. I put in about 50 chilly minutes along the Mt. Vernon Trail.

Friday:  I got in a great 50-minute run today, again along the Mt. Vernon Trail, as I raced against the setting sun! Such a great way to start the weekend.

Saturday: Rest day.

Sunday: One mile road race in Old Town Alexandria – more to come on this, but my unofficial finish time was 7:18.

OldTown1miler

Workout of the Week

Last week was my first one back on a plan and boy did it feel good! I still haven’t decided on which half marathon I’m going to do – and even added another possibility into the mix – but all three are the same weekend in the D.C. area, so I have some time to narrow down which one I want to do.

Instead of breaking down the whole week day-by-day like I used to, I thought it’d be fun to switch it up a bit this time and share the highlights as well as my favorite workout – or workout of the week – as I go along. I’m trying to recap them each day on Instagram and twitter, so if you have any desire to hear all the deets, follow me on there!

Running in my brand new Saucony Kinvara 5s (they fit like a glove!) that I won in a Pacers contest, I put in nearly 40 miles over the course of six runs along with a spin class, some strength work (not enough), core workouts, stretching and a lot of rolling.

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It was one crazy weather week here in the D.C. area. I ran in near 90-degree, high humidity weather and also had a few perfect mid-50s, low humidity morning runs!

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My workout of the week was definitely my long run. Granted an 8-miler would probably be considered mid-week mileage during some of my old marathon training plans, it was a good distance to start out at for half training. I was up early on Sunday and greeted by sunshine and absolutely perfect running weather!

Gearing up for Saturday's run...the bum wrap Oiselle skirt made it's first appearance of the season!

Gearing up for Saturday’s run…the bum wrap Oiselle skirt made it’s first appearance of the season!

I put on a tee, my rogas and compression sleeves and was out the door to a nice, quiet Sunday morning. Other than other runners, the streets were pretty empty. I love how Sunday mornings in Arlington/DC are so sleepy and quiet – such a difference from the normal hustle and bustle of the area.

I set out on one of my favorite routes that I used to take from my old place all the time, but haven’t done once since moving last July! I scooted up to Wilson/Clarendon Boulevards, the main streets running through the Rosslyn to Ballston corridor, and headed down the hill and over the Key Bridge into Georgetown.

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After a jaunt down M street I briefly ran along the Rock Creek Park trail and headed off by the Kennedy Center before starting my return loop over the Memorial Bridge, past the Iwo Jima Memorial and back up the hill to home.

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Like all of my runs this week, it was at an easy pace, but without even realizing it, I ran 30 seconds a mile faster than my run that was 2 miles shorter the morning before. My last mile that included ups and downs, but mostly ups, was also my second fastest – only falling behind the all downhill mile – and I felt like I could have kept going. I love that feeling of finishing strong!

I’m counting week 1 of training as a success! How did your week go? Any stand out workouts you want to share? Do you have a goal race on the horizon? Let me know in the comments!