Monday, November 28, 2016

Moments from Thanksgiving weekend and it begins this week!

Thanksgiving weekend started with Run Turkey Run 5K.  This is the first year Mitch has run it with me.  It was a gorgeous day and a big difference from last year's 10 degrees with snow on the ground.  It's hard to believe its almost December and still this nice out.

Not a PR race for me, but I didn't go out with that as my intention.  In fact, Mitch had us at a 9:05 pace for the first mile and I kind of wanted to trip him and make him slow down. 😏

We have planned a day in December as our family holiday and all of the kids are invited over.  Thanksgiving was just Mitch and me, but I still made a turkey and the fixings we love the most (i.e. potatoes, gravy and stuffing).  The best part of cooking a feast for just two of us is that it doesn't matter what time the food is ready!  I also made a pretty great apple pie.

My weekend went by in somewhat of a blur so I don't remember which day I went on this trail run on the rims.  Maybe Friday?  Again another beautiful day and even though I was feeling sluggish from the holiday food and events, I loved hitting the trail.

Run Selfie because... why not?

I spent Saturday evening with these awesome ladies!  Meet Mary and Natasha.

We went to see The Nutcracker ballet.  This is one of my traditions, or it has been for the last five years.  Natasha went with me my first and second years and then moved away for a few years so I was tickled that she could go again.  It turns out that this was Mary's first ever Nutcracker (or ballet for that matter).  What a treat for me to be a part of that!

Sunday was pretty much the best.  I stayed in my jammies until almost 3:00 and watched movies on the couch.  That is a very rare thing for me and when it happens its usually because I'm sick.  Mitch got up and dressed out for a bicycle ride so I got up and went for my run.  Even on my laziest days, I must get up and get a run in if I'm going to keep up the run streak. 

Today was day 10 of that streak.  I haven't decided how long my streak goal is.  Last year I went 100 days. I have considered a mileage goal for this year instead of days, but still not sure.  Stay tuned.

My Half Marathon training plan starts this week officially.  Oddly, the plan calls for a rest day on Monday, so even though it is the first official day there is no running on the schedule.  I went anyway to keep the streak alive.  I was too lazy to get out of bed and hit the gym this morning which meant that I got my first cold weather, dark run after work.  While the weather has been mostly nice, it was chilly and VERY windy this evening, which meant I was in full gear: long pants, long sleeves, wind breaker, beanie, headlamp and armband light.  I guess you could say that for a one mile run, it took longer to get dressed than to actually run.

The plan I picked is higher mileage than I'm used to.  In fact, some weeks are more miles than I would normally do while marathon training but week one is just 23.  Tomorrow I have 6 miles, 4 at an easy pace and 2 miles a bit harder.  Six miles after work isn't going to happen so I will have to make sure I'm up extra early and I'll have to suck it up and do it on the treadmill.  Not excited about that!

The rest of the week looks like this:

Wednesday:  30-60 min. cycling and 45 min. Core workout (and 1+ miles for the streak).
Thursday:  4 miles plus a set of strides, IT Band rehab routine
Friday:  Scheduled for rest day, but it will be a short, easy run and strength training
Saturday:  Long run - 10 miles and Core work
Sunday:  Easy 3 miles (probably trail) and IT Band rehab routine

I have had a history of my IT Band being problematic especially when I up my miles.  I'm hoping the rehab routine (this includes exercises such as clam shells and theraband stretches, etc.) helps prevent that.

I'm excited to be invested in a routine.  I've never been great at following a plan, but I'm committed to sticking to this one as closely as possible because I want to see if it helps me reach my bigger goals.  First one... half marathon in under 2 hours.

Ever follow a training plan to the letter?  Did it help you meet your goals?

Do you prefer training books or online plans?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

When the mood strikes!

It's been about a month since I've posted and I was seriously considering taking a longer hiatus from blogging.  I have been working out of town for half of the last four weeks and I have done little running other than the short treadmill workouts a few days a week.  I've managed to get somewhat of a long run most weeks, but even those haven't been much to talk about.  I guess you could say that my running life has been dull of late.  In addition to the traveling, I just haven't been inspired by the joy of the run.

Facebook has this fun little reminder where it shows you what happened on this day over the years since you've been on Facebook.  Lately, I have seen posts about how in years past I needed to get out for a run in sub freezing temps because I was crabby without my run.  I feel like that enigma has passed.  I no longer feel lost without my daily run.  I wonder why?

Yesterday my little world of running seemed to right itself.  I took off on my long run, which ended up being 8.5 miles.  Instead of driving somewhere as a starting point, I pushed the button on my Garmin at my front door, ran my favorite route on the backside of my neighborhood (such pretty scenery), and the rest of the way on familiar roads with some challenges and some easy terrain.  It was perfect-enjoying the clear skies (cold... brrrrrrrr), the easy pace and letting my mind get lost in thoughts other than "this sucks."

These types of runs have been rare over the last few months.  I have never enjoyed the time of year when it gets dark so early and I have been using it as an excuse to let my treadmill run at the gym be the extent of my workouts.  I hate the treadmill!

But on Saturday I made two important choices:

1.  It's time for a run-streak.  Last year at Thanksgiving I started a run streak (thanks, Runners World) that lasted 100 days.  This year, my streak started 11/19/16.  It will go at least until the end of the #RWRunStreak on January 1st.  After that... only time will tell. 😊

2.  I have 16 weeks until Run to the Pub.  It's time to start following a training plan that will prepare me to run a sub 2-hour half.  I've picked my plan and will start next week!

Of course, long run day is almost always followed up with lunch in town.  This time we went to Bin 119, downtown.  The food was wonderful and the sangria was THE BOMB!

I had to keep the streak going, so today while Mitch rode the hills to Molt, I went for what ended up being 5.5 miles.  The weather was just a tad bit warmer (but then again... I stayed in my jammies and didn't run until after 1:00 p.m.).

It's been a good weekend for running.  We have some snow on the ground but as you can see, you couldn't ask for more beautiful weather in the middle of November!

I have strengthened my resolve and I am back on track.  That means the blog will be too!  Have a wonderful weekend!