Monday, September 29, 2014

Marathon Training Monday - Week 10

WHAAAAT. We're already in the double-digit weeks of training! We are also four weeks from our 20-miler. And seven more weeks until race day. BUT, as always, training is one day at a time. Right now, I'm just thankful to have made it this far since I was barely running three months ago. This past week's schedule was similar to the last with a few changes.

Monday: 1 hour gym cross-training (cardio + core)
Tuesday: 50 min swim + 30 min cardio (elliptical)
Wednesday: 1 hour, 30 min run (8.9 miles)
Thursday: OFF
Friday: 1 hour drills + water run (SEAL Team PT)
Saturday: 2 hour run (13.1 miles!!!)
Sunday: OFF
TOTAL MILEAGE: 22 miles (~.5 miles less than last week)

I decided to once again keep my number of runs down to two, instead of three, and continue cross-training in the water and on cardio machines at the gym. I skipped Tuesday AM's long run because my foot and shin still felt sore/tired from the weekend. Sadly, there's something going on with me and the YMCA gym. I feel physically sick the entire day after swimming in it; it's somewhere in between the feeling of severe dehydration and a head cold (minus a runny nose). I might have to quit doing laps for warm up / warm down and stick with keeping my head above the water this week!

My foot felt 100% normal during and after Tuesday's workout, so I decided to do a group run Wednesday night. Bad: It was pouring rain almost the entire time AND we went on some trails, so my current training shoes are even more disgusting. Good: I ended up running home after the hour was over, so I got close to the mileage and time I was supposed to get Tuesday. Speed work was the only thing missing. Total time: 1:25:47; average pace: 9:339; fastest mile: 8:20; slowest mile: 10:46.

Thursday was a completely OFF day for me, which was awesome...slept in a little, then did a little baking(!) and wine sipping after work.

Garland and I both did the group water workout on Friday morning, which was a lot harder then last week (absolutely counted it as an hour training run!). I'm used to water running with a belt on, but we don't use them in these SEAL Team PT training workouts. It's a lot more difficult to maintain good form while not drowning. It certainly keeps you tuned in the entire time! We did a pyramid water run starting with one minute hard, went up to five minutes, then back down; each had a minute of recovery in between. 

Even though I did no speed work this week, I felt abnormally quicker. I think it must be the cooler temperatures...because something truly crazy happened on my Saturday long run: I beat my half marathon PR by little over one minute! It's been 2 years since my last half marathon, and it's fair to say a lot's changed since then: exercising with SEAL Team PT, training for and running a marathon, getting a stress fracture. Despite my setback and slightly different fitness goals, I guess I actually am stronger! I didn't start off trying to break records, but a little over an hour in I realized beating the time was possible and pushed for it. My self-awared prize was a grande PSL from Starbucks...mmm sweet, caffeinated carbs + protein. Total time: 1:54:07; average pace: 8:42; fastest mile: 8:18; slowest mile: 9:13.

The rest of our weekend was spent largely in Charlottesville. Saturday we met some friends and went to a few breweries and wineries---something I've been dying to do forever! Garland left early Sunday for a regatta, so I kept myself busy with church and brunch with a friend. Then I made the hour drive to Charlottesville again to pick apples (and buy donuts!) at Carter Mountain. Golden Delicious and Jonagolds (my fav) are in season right now; and there were plenty for the picking! 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Marathon Training Monday - Week 9

Here's another edition of "my foot hurts a little but I can't tell if it's a big deal or not so I'm going to take it easy BUT not totally give up running yet". This week was similar to last, in that I ran 2 days instead of the typical 3 and did mostly cross-training at the YMCA. It definitely was not all rest and relaxation---but my weekend post- long run sure was! 

Monday: 1 hour gym cross-training (cardio + core)

Tuesday: 1 hour, 30 min run (9.5 miles)
Wednesday: 1 hour gym cross-training (just cardio)
Thursday: 1 hour YMCA vinyasa class (very low-key) + 30 min swim
Friday: 1 hour drills and water run (SEAL Team PT)
Saturday: 2 hour run (13 miles!)
Sunday: OFF

I tried to start last week off strong by heading to the gym after work on Monday. My date with the YMCA included 45 mins on a cross-training machine and 15 minutes of abs/arms. I've started reading Once a Runner, on Garland's recommendation, so that kept me from getting too bored or creepy on the cardio machine. Is it just me, or is it really hard not to stare at people and evaluate their workouts? I can't help but note people's form (good/bad), wonder why they aren't (or are) pushing themselves harder, how many intervals or sets they're doing and what their motivations are...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fire, Flour & Fork - *Coming Soon* Culinary Event in Richmond, VA!

This Halloween weekend (October 30th - November 2nd), Richmond will be hosting its first Fire, Flour & Fork gathering. What's that?!

Fire, Flour & Fork is a "four-day culinary event celebrating the best the Richmond region has to offer: its complex history, its rich artistic community and its established and rising culinary stars". It's the first of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic region and will include a "highly curated" mix of dining events (including an Urban State Fair), demonstrations & talks, food producers, cookbook authors, visiting chefs with Virginia ties, filmmakers, poets, playwrights, culinary historians, craft spirit makers and tableware designers .

Even if you've only been reading my blog for a month, you should know how in love I am with the city I live in. And now all these amazing people, from near and far, will be in this fair city to showcase their talents and celebrate the greatness of Virginia food craft! AHHHHH!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Marathon Training Monday - Week 8

This coming week marks the halfway point of training...*GASP* Already?! We have 8 weeks under our belt and 2 months (to the day!) until the finish line. I'm proud to say that for the most part, I've been sticking with my training goals. It's SO HARD to play it safe, especially when most of the miles feel so good, but this week I really challenged myself to put my words to action and take it easy. The weather was rather gray this week, which worked in my favor! No sun = no energy.

Monday: 45 min gym cross-training
Tuesday: 1 hour, 20 min run (9 miles)
Wednesday: 15 min elliptical warm-up / 75 min vinyasa class
Thursday: 25 min water run / 20 min laps
Friday: OFF
Saturday: 2 hour run (12.25 miles)
Sunday: OFF


After last week ended with some foot pain, I scared myself into taking the plunge and re-joining the YMCA. I'm sadly not comfortable going to SEAL Team PT workouts on "cross training" days right now, since the amount of running and direct impact on my foot isn't predictable. Although I have access to a gym at work for free, the YMCA gives me more machines to choose from, lots of classes (like yoga!) with no added fees plus a pool for swimming AND water running (oh, my fav! :-P). In the end, the monthly membership fee adds up to about what I'd spend for once-a-week yoga classes for the same amount of time---a perspective that makes me feel a little better.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Marathon Training Monday - Week 7

(Exhibit A: 2 hours running in 90% humidity = an incredibly stunning butt angel.)

Everyone's been talking about how a scorching summer has suddenly arrived since Labor Day. It's been a relatively mild season this year; all the heat and humidity we're used to seeing in June-August was only hinted at throughout a few days. Then the first day of September arrives, and the heat index shoots up close to 100 degrees. This weather, combined with speed work, made for a difficult week of training! 

Monday (Labor Day): 1 hour STPT workout (swim) + 1 hour yoga
Tuesday: 1 hour, 20 min run (8.59 miles)
Wednesday: 1 hour gym cross-training
Thursday: 1 hour run (6 miles)
Friday: 1 hour vinyasa flow class
Saturday: 2 hour run (12.5 miles)
Sunday: OFF

TOTAL MILEAGE: 27.23 (+ ~2 miles from STPT workout)

Garland and I made it back from sailing in time for me to attend the combined holiday workout with SEAL Team PT. We were told it'd be a water workout, so I came prepared in old shoes and a t-shirt. Turns out we were actually given the option to swim the entire time, up/down/across the James River, or a combination of swimming + running. I chose to do nothing but water, which felt so refreshing and kind of like "playing" instead of working out. A $10 outdoor yoga class popped up on my Facebook feed last week, so I also went to that Monday night. The evening heat felt good on my muscles, and the backdrop of the fading sun put me in such a peaceful mood. Fitness is so much better outside!