Footprints: Weekly Workout Recap

Well I’m a bit behind with my usual Monday morning recap, but still wanted to fill you in on how week 2 of my Shamrock training went. Overall, it was a really good week of workouts although I have to do a better job of figuring out how to integrate my spin workouts into my run schedule. I always have good intentions of still running, but once I’ve finished spin I don’t quite have the same level of motivation. I think this is fine on my 3 mile easy run days, but I don’t want spin to replace any of my quality runs.

Here’s the day-by-day breakdown:

Monday: Spin Class – Real ride at Revolve.

Tuesday: I put in 3 easy miles on the treadmill followed by my P90X routine and a leg workout.

Wednesday: I ran the DC Road Runners Predictions & Resolutions 5k in Rosslyn along the Mt. Vernon Trail as a fun training run. It was definitely not close to being one of my speedier 5ks, but I had a blast and it was a beautiful day for a run!

dcrrResolution5k

Thursday: Spin Class – extended body ride at Revolve.

Friday: I took my speed workout to the treadmill with 7X400 meter repeats followed by an abs and lower body workout.

Saturday: Spin Class – extended body ride at Revolve.

Sunday: I debated between my missed tempo run or my scheduled long run, but was really feeling the need to work on some speed so I went tempo run. It turned out to be a great decision and I rocked a 45-minute tempo run maxing out at roughly a 7:13 pace!

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Footprints: Workout Recap

I’m a bit behind with my Monday morning recap, but better late than never. Last week was a hodgepodge of activities as I get back into working out, but don’t have anything I’m training for.

Here’s the day-by-day breakdown:

Monday: 75-minute hot yoga class at Dancing Mind Yoga.

Tuesday: P90X Abs and push-ups.

Wednesday: I tried out a November Project group workout at the Lincoln Memorial. It was legit. Check out my recap if you’re not familiar with it.

Thursday: Body ride spin class at Revolve.

Friday: Rest Day.

Saturday: Hiking – 8ish miles at Great Falls along the Billy Goat Trail. More to come on this, but it was one heck of a workout day for me!

greatfalls

Sunday: Rest Day – although I was on my feet for a few hours in the morning volunteering at the U.S. National Road Racing Championships followed by an afternoon of vacuuming the car and apartment, laundry and other cleaning. Sometimes I feel like that kind of stuff should count for working out!!

Just What I Needed

For the first week after Marine Corps Marathon I went into recovery mode and exercised very little. I spent a lot of time stretching, foam rolling, icing and heating. Then another week went by and I still hadn’t gotten myself out for a run. I did do plenty of spinning, yoga and strength training though, so I wasn’t too worried about it.

At the start of the third week I felt fully rested and recovered, picked out some winter/spring shorter races and was ready to get back into full-on working out. For some reason, though, I still didn’t feel like running.

Lingering disappointment hangover from MCM? Fear I’d lost my fitness during my two-week run hiatus? Just being lazy? No more daylight after work? I don’t know. Whatever it was though, I was in a funk and I needed to bust out. An early-morning Wednesday workout with the November Project did just that!

Last Wednesday I saw a tweet about the November Project and clicked through to learn more. It sounded awesome. Then I saw that a DC group had started up. Even better! Over the weekend my latest issue of Runner’s World arrived featuring the November Project on the cover. Read the article if you haven’t already, you won’t regret it. Now I had to try this out.

The November Project is a free, grassroots workout group started in Boston by two former college athletes looking to stay in shape through the winter. Now it’s blowing up. It’s roughly an hour filled with a hard workout, hugs and a few curse words.

I showed up at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday morning at 6:30, and it was everything I expected and more. An obvious newbie, I was greeted with a hug and introduced myself to a few others there…more hugs.

lincolnnovproj

Close to 40-50 people showed up to sweat, shared some hugs and dropped a few F-bombs. About 10 people were given tennis balls that instructed them to do push-ups, burpees, squats or sprint to Abe! If you didn’t have a tennis ball, you started running what they call Lincoln Logs – up to the top of the steps and back down to the reflecting pool. When you finished your tennis ball workout, you started running, handed off your tennis ball to someone while introducing yourself and they were off to do the workout.

Doing some push-ups... photo stolen from the Nov. Project DC Facebook page

Doing some push-ups… photo stolen from the November Project DC Facebook page

I had a blast and found myself smiling through parts of it even when I was exhausted. I lost count, but I think I completed 12-13 Lincoln Logs, 30 push-ups, one sprint to Abe and about 30 burpees. We wrapped things up splitting into teams for a relay race and taking a group picture. It was so much fun and just what I needed to start enjoying running again!

Post-workout Group Photo from November Project DC Facebook page

Post-workout group photo from November Project DC Facebook page

If you live in D.C., check it out for yourself next Wednesday, 6:30a.m., on the steps of the Lincoln. I already can’t wait to go back. Hope to see you there!

Footprints Weekly Recap

Well, last week was the big week…the Marine Corps Marathon.

Here’s the day-by-day breakdown of my week leading up to yesterday’s race…

Monday: Physical Therapy. 45-minute pool run with about 35 minutes at tempo effort.

Tuesday: 30-minute pool run with 25 at tempo effort. Core workout.

Aqua Jog Belt

Aqua Jog Belt

Wednesday: Physical Therapy.

Thursday: Rest. I also visited the Expo Thursday night to get my packet.

Friday: Last physical therapy appointment – very light massage and dynamic stretching.

Saturday: One mile shake out run followed by a dynamic stretch routine. I felt awesome and was feeling so positive about Sunday.

Sunday: The wheels fell off a bit and everything (but my calves which I spent the last two weeks working on in PT) felt awful. I missed my time goal by a whole heck of a lot, but was really proud I was able to pull myself together and keep going through the pain to cross the line in 4:12:41. Full recap and pictures coming soon.

runcolleensign

Speed Work off the Track

This week I took my speed work off the track. This is something I used to do a lot when I worked by Hains Point, which was mostly flat, straight and long enough to get my various workouts in.

This week’s speed workout however, took place on the Mt. Vernon Trail, which has a lot more ups and downs and twists and turns. I incorporated half mile repeats into my run after a one-mile warm-up. I’m not sure what it is about doing these off the track, but they seemed SO MUCH harder.

I took advantage of the interval setting on my Garmin so that it would beep down the last few steps of each half mile, and then beep the last 5 seconds of my one-minute rest between repeats letting me know it was time to get moving again. It’s a really great feature and keeps me focused on running hard rather than staring at pace or distance on my watch to see if I’ve gone far enough and fast enough.

I ran hard for all eight repeats and looking at my times after I was a bit all over the place. I think that had a lot more to do with the changing terrain though, not necessarily different levels of effort. Despite the seemingly much longer than normal half miles, I felt really great after finishing this workout and proud that I upped my mental game to push through.

Do you like taking your speed workouts off the track? Does it make it easier or harder for you?

Loving the Track!

I know I just talked about how much I’m loving my new group track workouts with DCRunningCoach yesterday, but after another great one last night, I can’t say it enough. I’ve been doing track workouts on my own for quite some time now, but now I’m learning the right way to do them.

Lets start with the warm-up. I know it’s good to do active stretching, but my 2-minute breeze through of a Runner’s World active warm-up routine (they obviously recommend spending more time on it) clearly wasn’t cutting it. Our group warms up together under Coach Mike’s lead. We do marching, skips, high knees, butt kicks, backwards walking (I’m so bad at this one!), side shuffles and more.

The repeats. I had general pace times in mind before when I went to the track, but once I got there I usually just ran as fast and as hard as I could leaving my split times all over the place. Now I’m learning how to pace myself and hit a split dead on every time. I’ve got a ways to go on this. Coach Mike has already told me more times than I’d like to admit that anyone can beat the coach’s time, but a good runner will hit the goal time every time.

Last night I had 8X800 meter repeats at 3:42 on the docket. As usual I went out too fast doing the first four reps in 3:37, 3:35, 3:37, 3:36 at which point I was told my breathing showed I was going too hard. I’m supposed to aim to hit these repeats at my tempo pace right now, which Coach defines as comfortably hard – not a sprint or a 5k pace!  Sent on a mission to hit the last four all on pace I came pretty close knocking each one of them out in 3:41!

Finally, the rest period. I used to do an active rest, which I don’t think is a bad thing, but I’m quickly realizing I gave myself way too much time to catch my breath and relax before starting again. My recent workouts have all had only one minute rest between repeats, and I can tell that that is making me a stronger runner.

Do you integrate track workouts into your program? What’s the verdict – do you love or hate the track?!

On another note, I saw this contest today for a free tee on MilePosts – a running blog I love to read. I’ll be honest, I selfishly don’t normally share contests that I’d like to win, but since I actually already own one of these tees I figured why not. It’s one of my favorite t-shirts – super soft and comfy. I just wear it as a regular tee, but you could run in it as well. I LOVE the saying Dorothy from MilePosts put on them – I Run this Body – so motivating! It also says Dream Big, Run Long in smaller letters. There looks to be a ton of entries already, but hey, it’s worth a shot!

Rocking my I Run This Body Tee!

Rocking my I Run This Body Tee!

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.

gym

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?