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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Can you feel it? Now it's coming back...

Ok so I've been a terrible blogger lately. So much has been going on in my life that finding the time to sit down and write something has become kind of a burden. So I let it go for a while, because I kinda had to, for my own sanity.

But things look to be...if not slowing down then settling more into a routine, now. Which hopefully will allow me more time to do the blogging that I kinda miss doing. There's something about being able to go over my runs in detail that kinda keeps me dialed into how my training is going. Without it, I'm finding myself just kinda doing each run like it exists in a vacuum.

I forget both how hard and how good runs felt, and instead get mired in the physical stress of the now.

I did my first outdoor run last week, and it kicked my butt so hard that I ended up taking the rest of the week off. Ok not really, mostly I ran out of time for runs the rest of the week, but man, my legs were NOT happy with me after that run. I guess it was a good thing I ended up with almost a week off, to let them recover.

Part of the problem was the route I chose. It's, how shall I put it, Hilly. The elevation chart tells just about all you need to know about that:

I haven't been doing hills all winter. All winter I've been inside on the treadmill. These are mussels I haven't used in months. They are still mad at me about this.

I did manage to do the whole three mile route with minimal walking, which was a small victory. I only had to take two walk breaks on my way up the giant Hill'o'Doom, although I did stop long enough at the top of the hill to take some pictures to document both the occasion of my first outdoor run of the spring, and the first time getting the soles of my new shoes dirty. It's a good thing I like them, because I guess I have to keep them now ;)

Overall it was a good, but humbling run. My pace was no where near where I felt it should be, and it kinda put the fear into me about my ability to finish out the half that's coming up in LESS THAN FOUR WEEKS! (Start panic now.)

The other cool thing is me and the Hubs signed up for an "Intro to Rowing" class that's being offered for free at the local indoor rowing place. It's a week and a couple days before the Half, so It'll hit right when the taper crazies are worst. I'm really excited about it!

This week I'm going to do the Hilly outdoor route again (today actually), and then my normal runs, capped by (hopefully) a 12 mile run on Sunday. It's going to be my longest long run in this training cycle. I keep trying to get it in, and then having to push it off a week because of life. Here's hoping this is the week!

Friday, March 6, 2015

On my way, simply moving on my way....

Today marks the final day in the first full week of using a "stand desk." I can say a few things with certainty, but I'm not sure exactly how much of them are direct (or indirect) results of standing for most of my days.

Really, I think it's too early to make any definitive statements about the impact of using a stand desk on my life, but regardless, so far I'm enjoying it.

Running this week has been spotty. I did my tuesday run, in my new Brooks Transcends. The run felt good, just an easy four miles. The Transcends felt good. Even though they were still suffering from the stiff "new shoe" feeling, I could definitely feel a difference compared to the other shoes I run in. As soon as I started running the shoe felt "cushier." I can see this being a really good shoe for long runs, or recovery runs when I need a bit more pampering. 

I'll give a more detailed review of both shoes after I've broken them in a bit. It really is hard for me to get a feel for shoes (other than "yup these work") until I've put a bunch of miles on them. In fact I'm just getting to the point with the Mizuno's where they feel "normal" to me. (I still wear my Brooks Ravenna 4's as my normal sneakers, and man do I miss having them as running shoes!)

I missed my thursday run this week, due to massive amounts of snow and ice needing to be removed from my driveway. Me and the Hubs spent an hour in the morning clearing the driveway enough to get our two stuck cars out so we could get to work (late, but hey you can't have everything.) The driveway was still enough of a mess that when I got home, I spent an hour chopping and clearing ice and shoveling snow to clear out enough room for the Hubs to get one car in. He spent another hour clearing enough space to move that car up so we could get the second car in the driveway.

While I was clearing the driveway, using the garden shovel to chop up the ice and heaving foot long two inch thick chunks of ice over piles of snow higher than my head, I decided that this must be what it feels like to do cross fit. Simultaneously immensely badass, and incredibly silly. Like "Look at me! I can totally throw this heavy thing so far! Why? Why am I throwing this heavy thing? Isn't there an easier way?"

The upshot is, I missed a run, but I got a killer upper body workout. My arms, shoulders and back are super sore.  

I'm going to do my weekend runs as planned for the week before the week I missed (So the long run will be 10 miles), and then move on on my training plan. It looks like the temps will be in the mid 30's this weekend so I'm going to try to get at least one of my runs done outside (most likely the shorter 5 miler.) 

Monday, March 2, 2015

That's the way we get by

I had planned on making my triumphant return to running on Saturday, however I woke up with a migraine on Saturday (and ended up incapacitated until around noon.) I had that talk with myself again, the one where I worry that this is the start of the downward slide that ends with months off running and having to restart my training from scratch...again.

Glycerin 11s
Then, Saturday night, I opened a package to find that the two new pairs of running shoes I had ordered from Zulily had arrived! It was just the spark I needed to get myself back on the treadmill. Seriously those shoes could not have arrived at a better time.

And they're awesome. I ordered two pairs (because they were on serious discount.) A bright pink pair of Transcends and a Light blue pair of Glycerin 11's. (sorry for the photobombing cat, but he was as excited about the new shoes as I was!)

So Sunday I was back on the 'mill. I decided on a short run (3 miles) just to get myself back in the groove and so I could wear one of the new pairs of shoes. I actually had a hard time deciding which pair to try first. I eventually settled on the Glycerin 11's.

The run was good. The first mile, of course, felt like a bit of a slog, but once my legs got into it, the rest of the run felt easy. The shoes felt a little stiff, and I think I need to adjust the laces on my left foot a bit ( they felt a little tight across the bridge of my foot, ) but other than those minor complaints they fit well. I think once I break them in a bit, they'll be fine.

I'm looking forward to trying the Transcends, and to having a few pairs of shoes to rotate through. I've read that it's a good thing to do, for injury prevention. Also, I can be one of those matchy matchy people you see on runs!

On the weight loss side of things, I've been taking "progress pictures" at the beginning of every month. Because I haven't been seeing much movement on the scale (or minimal movement at least,) and it was starting to discourage me. The pictures however tell a different story. Here's the side by side from January and March 1st. (March is on top, January on bottom.)

I can definitely see a difference, for the first time in a long time. It feels good to look at those pictures and actually see progress. Especially when the numbers on the scale keep taunting me.

Today marks the first day of the first full week of "Stand desk" life. I put "stand desk" in quotes because it really is a kludged together work station. I basically have a box on my desk, with my monitors on top of the box, and I've raised my chair enough that I can sit when I need to.  It requires a lot of tilting of monitors, and the height is not ideal, but it works...mostly. We're hoping to get actual stand desks in at work at some point, but this will work until then. Weird side note on this, I've found that I'm hungrier, earlier, now that I'm standing most of the day. Not snacky like I normally am (which I think is mostly boredom,) but actually, stomach empty, hungry.

I'll sign off with some cuteness. As I've said before, the Munchkin was sick all last week. Thursday my parents watched her, and my Dad sent me this picture of her on their elliptical machine. She apparently was on it for a while, and was fascinated with trying to make it go faster. Makin' her momma proud!