Monthly Archives: November 2011

5K Speed Training: Week 6

Monday: 3 mi run + strength training w/ resistance bands + Ab Ripper X
We were going to be busy all day so I planned on getting up early to get my run in. I slept like crap and the kids were up a few times, one ending up in bed with us for a bit. I got them both back in their own beds around 545am and I wanted to crawl back into bed but I put on my running clothes instead. I knew if I didn’t run, I would regret it and I really didn’t want a repeated fail week. I got my butt in gear and out the door. The weather was perfect with temps in the low 60s and I got to watch the sun come up. I ran 3.09 miles and the baby woke up as I walked in the door. Almost perfect timing. Would have been better if he would have stayed asleep until after I had showered. ūüėČ

I did my strength training & Ab Ripper X after the kids went to bed.
jumping lunges 2×20¬†
deadlift 2×20¬†
lateral raise 3×15¬†
overhead tricep extension 4×15¬†

Tuesday: 40 min tempo run interval training; 7 x 400m
Night #2 of crappy sleep and restless kids = not enough juice to get the amount of intervals I aimed to do done. I ended up doing a 3/4 mile warm up, followed by 3 complete intervals and one cool down lap (1/4 mile). I covered 2.5 miles in all but was definitely disappointed I couldn’t do more. Exhaustion doesn’t mesh well with working out.

Wednesday: 3 mi run rest
¬†I planned on doing my strength training & Ab Ripper X today but life got in the way and I was exhausted come the kids’ bedtime. I’ll fit it in tomorrow (hopefully).

Thursday: Feed The Turkey virtual 5K
This run turned out to be AWESOME! I mapped out a route in my neighbourhood and went for it. I felt great & strong the entire run and ended up with a distance PR & a pace PR. I definitely earned that piece of pumpkin pie!! 3.13 miles in 32:42; pace 10:26

Friday: 4 mi fast & Saturday: 7 mi run
The weekend is a blur of online Black Friday shopping and some physical store shopping. I spent far too much time on the computer waiting for “lightning deals” and the next best thing to pop up and take advantage of that my workouts took a backseat.¬†

Sunday: rest attempt at a run
Two failed days in a row and I had to do something. This run was nowhere near the awesomeness that happened during Thanksgiving’s run. Several days of poor food choices, a week of lack of sleep and missing workouts made for a very bad run. My iPod was dead so this was my first run without music. There’s nothing wrong with running without music, I’m just not used to it and could have really used the distraction. It was raining, which added to the overall crappy feel of the run and it felt like a chore the entire time. Definitely not one I enjoyed but I got out there. I managed 2.07 miles before I just couldn’t do it anymore. I didn’t have the energy or the motivation to keep going.¬†

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5K Speed Training: Week 5

I modified this week’s training to incorporate some stuff that I missed last week due to the ankle injury. I didn’t want to skip an entire week and end up hurting myself by jumping ahead.

Monday: 3 mi run
I did a test run to see how my ankle(s) would hold up. It was late afternoon so I did a quick spin (1.22 miles) before it got dark. My legs were very sore from Saturday’s race and I had a little ankle discomfort but nothing serious.

Tuesday: interval training; 7 X 400m 35 minute Tempo run
Week 5 calls for interval training but I decided to do the tempo run I missed the week before.

As usual for Tuesday’s workout, we headed to the track for this one. My warm up laps were 3:09, 3:13, and 3:11; my fast(er) laps were 2:44, 2:40, 2:44, 2:49, and 2:44; and my cool down laps were 4:05 and 3:32. I had to walk most of my cool down because my ankle hurt but no other issues. Total time running was 31 minutes and I ran 2.5 miles. It was nice to feel like I was back in the game.

Wednesday: 3 mi run strength training w/ resistance bands & Ab Ripper X
First fail of the week. Life got in the way and I didn’t get my run in. This was the beginning of my downfall this week. It’s so easy to fall into a trap of letting life get in the way of your run and this was what sparked that for me this week. Also, for some reason, I had issues this week with ‘mommy guilt’. I couldn’t bring myself to ask my husband to watch the boys while I went for my run(s).

I did do my strength training and Ab Ripper X.
jump lunges 3×15
deadlift 4×10
lateral raise 2×12
overhead tricep extension 2×15

Thursday: rest
No need to explain that one

Friday: 4 mi fast strength training w/ resistance bands & Ab Ripper X
Fail #2. Life got in the way again. I can really start to tell that I haven’t run in a few days. My mood is suffering greatly.

I did force myself to do a strength training workout & Ab Ripper X after the kids went to bed.
squats 3×15
seated band row 3×12
curl to press 3×12
calf raise 3×12
push ups 15

Saturday: 6 mi run
Fail #3. Seriously?! What is my problem this week?? Ugh. Today was a horrible day and my mood had everything to do with it. It may seem silly to non-runners, but not getting my runs in this week has led to me being extremely short with everyone and very bitchy. Oy! If I don’t get a run in tomorrow, I’m going to wake up Monday morning with green fur and a garbage can will be my new home. I will¬†do everything in my power to get a run in tomorrow.

Sunday: rest run for my sanity
I planned on running the 6 miles I was supposed to run yesterday but I quickly realized that I’m going to have to slowly build my mileage back up. There’s no way I can do 6 miles right now without hurting myself. At least, it didn’t feel like I could do it safely today. This really aggravates me but I’ll get back up there.

I ran 2.72 miles today in 31 minutes which is a pretty decent pace for me but definitely not my best. I was much more level headed for the rest of the day. ūüėČ

Hopefully next week’s training will be a little more productive.

Hog Trot 5K

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I’ve been struggling with an ankle injury for the last 1.5 weeks and have not been able to run in that time frame. I had my second (ever) 5K schedule for yesterday and, as the weekend neared, I feared I would not be able to participate. Thursday and Friday, my ankle started to be nice to me and I was finally pain free. I decided some kind of¬†ankle brace would probably be a good idea to keep things stable to avoid injuring it again or further and I decided to get an ASO ankle brace. I was not expecting much of anything for this race. I breaking one of the “rules” of racing which is never race in gear you’ve never run in before, which was the ankle brace, so I wasn’t sure how that would pan out. Plus, like I mentioned before, I hadn’t run (well, not pain free) in almost 2 weeks. I had one goal for this race and that was to simply run; that is, if I could do so without any discomfort.

This race had a 3pm start and I didn’t want to eat too much or the wrong thing and end up with cramps or worse so I stuck to my normal breakfast (cereal & coffee) and a small lunch (more cereal and a couple of bites of a banana that my 3 year old stole from me). This seemed to work fine but I was an idiot and didn’t hydrate myself properly like I should have (more about that in a bit).

We arrived at Hog’s Breath Saloon around 1:45pm and managed to find a parking spot fairly easily. As I started my trek toward registration, I ran into Steve and it turned out he was parked a couple of cars down from my car so it was easy to stalk him. lol I asked him where to register and we parted ways for a few minutes while I got my packet. I made my way back to my car to get ready. Pinning my bib was much easier this time and I got it the first try. Hey, it’s the little things. ūüėČ I put my ankle brace on, strapped my iPod to my arm, got the kids out of the car and everything organized for my husband and we were on our way.

I had no idea where the race would take place so we ventured to see what we could fine. I saw a runner doing a warm-up pass under a small parking garage so we headed that way. I forget it we met back up with Steve as we were walking toward what looked like the right direction or if he met up with us but we soon figured out we were going the right way. We found where the finish line would be and I left the kids with my husband as I did a warm-up. Steve left a couple of minutes before I did and I ran the same route he did. I wanted to do a good 10 minute jog but there was a stop sign just a little further so I got to the stop sign and then turned around to run back to the finish line area. My warm up was about 1.2 miles and I did some dynamic stretching when I got back to my husband and kidlets. When I was done, there was still a good 20 minutes before race time so we just stood around waiting. It’s easy to tell who the “pro” runners are as opposed to the “here for fun” runners because they were doing all kind of warm up stretches, runs and techniques and kept moving until we were gathered at the starting line. ¬†This is probably where I failed. As I continue to race, I need to develop a good warm up strategy that takes place as close to race time as possible, or at least keep moving, so that my muscles are still warmed up when the race starts.

We gathered at the race start, we sang the national anthem and then we were off. I felt fine as we started but I will admit I started to feel a little uneasy as runner after runner passed me. I stick to the back of the pack so I was sure I was now one of, if not the last, runner. I don’t know why this bothered me seeing as all I wanted to do was run and nothing else mattered. Or, nothing else should have mattered. Guess it was my competitive side getting the best of me. I refrained from giving into the part of me that wanted to bolt and pass those that had passed me but I kept up with my pace and forgot about the rest. I reminded myself of the crappy two weeks I’d had and embraced the moment I was in because I was finally running pain free.

The route was a loop through a neighbourhood and apparently it was a steady incline until the 2.8 or 2.9 mile mark. I didn’t even notice it or know that until Steve told me. Guess it pays to live in a hilly neighbourhood that also has steady inclines. It was just like another run for me. There was one small (to me) hill just before the finish line which I don’t think slowed me down much, if at all. The only issue I had this run was cramping that started practically right off the bat. I assume it was because I wasn’t hydrated very well but I managed to push through it and continue to run. The cramping ceased as I went on but there was a dull ache there the entire race.

As I near the finish line, I saw Steve running toward me in the opposite direction. I was expecting him to go by me to do a cool down¬†but, to my surprise, he turned around and ran with me. He asked how my ankle was and I gave him a thumbs up and said it was good and I wasn’t in any pain. I don’t remember exactly what he said but he basically told me to give it all I had and sprint to the finish because I was close. I did and I didn’t feel very close as I kept sprinting. haha It felt like the finish line was getting farther and farther away as I lost more juice and slowed down. I watched the counter rise as I neared it but the numbers weren’t registering in my brain. It looked as though they were changing in slow motion and I would never get there.¬†I could hear Steve yelling my way to keep going and I was almost there (etc) and that’s what pushed me to continue to push myself. I finally crossed the finish line and I was gasping for air (clearly I haven’t mastered breathing while sprinting). I must have sounded and/or looked bad because the guy at the finish line asked if I was OK. I was fine, just needed to catch my breath. I high fived Steve on the way to the guy at the end of the finish line to give him part of my bib for my time, got a bottle of water and found the family. Turns out my husband took a random shot with the camera over his shoulder hoping to get something and he got an awesome shot of our high five. The angle isn’t the greatest but I love it anyhow.

We stuck around for a bit as we watched some runners & walkers cross the finish line. I drank water and eventually made my way over to the wall that had the preliminary results posted on it. My official time was 34:13 which is about an 11:00 minute/mile pace. For reference, my finishing time was 35:28 at my first 5K only 4 weeks ago. I went into this race not expecting much of anything and left with a new PR. I was pleasantly surprised!!! Especially seeing as my training came to an unexpected halt due to the ankle injury. I took 12/20 in my age group and 173/269 overall. I’m very proud of myself and looking forward to keeping up the trend of continuing to better myself as a runner.

I am writing this a day later and my ankle is still fine. My other ankle on the other hand is a different story. I don’t know if it’s normal soreness from the race or if I did something to it. Looks like my prediction in my weekly training post may be true and a brace may be in its future as well. I’m doing my best to keep it up today and we’ll see what happens. Just when I thought I was in the clear, something else is thrown my way.

5K Speed Training: Week 4

Not much of a¬†Week 4¬†but here’s how it panned out for me.

Monday: 3 mi run
My ankle was good all day so I decided to test it out with a run. After we went for our walk, I changed into my running clothes, did my dynamic stretching and hit the road. Big mistake. I felt pain as soon as I started running. I kept going to see if it was just stiff from not having run in several days, but the pain persisted and worsened as I went. I went right back home. Five minutes of running ended up giving me 2+ hours of limping and extreme pain. After that, the pain was still there, but a lot more manageable. I decided to rest for the rest of the week and see what happens on Saturday.  

Tuesday: 35 min tempo
forced rest day 

Wednesday: 3 mi run
forced rest day 

I ordered ¬†an ASO ankle brace because I have a feeling I’ll be needing it once I’m able to run again just to keep my ankle stable and avoid injuring it further/again. I used to wear a cheapo compression type ankle brace on my other ankle when I was much younger after hurting it while playing soccer. So, I will probably end up getting one for the other ankle too at some point.

Thursday: rest
Ankle seems to be heading in the right direction. Only time I had any kind of discomfort was after running errands all morning. I was on my feet a lot for a 2-3 hours and needed to rest the ankle when I got home but nothing serious. Was back to being pain-free that afternoon.

Friday: rest
Pain free throughout the day & night. ASO brace arrived and, while it feels odd wearing it (something I’m going to have to get used to), I’m hopeful it’ll help keep my ankle stable and healthy.¬†

Saturday: 5K test race; Hog Trot 5K
I was pleasantly surprised! Read my complete race recap here.

Sunday: rest
A needed rest day. Funny to say that after being forced to rest for so long. My right ankle is still fine today. My left ankle, on the other hand, is now being a pain in the butt. I’m not sure if it’s normal after race soreness or if I did something to it. Ugh. Here we go again!

5K Speed Training: Week 3

Breakdown of¬†Week 3‘s training:

Monday: 3 mi run + strength training w/ resistance bands + Ab Ripper X
It was supposed to be an “easy” run, but it felt very laboured.¬†My legs were still very tired from Saturday’s run which made this run quite a struggle. My quads were not happy with me in the beginning. I don’t remember when they finally stopped yelling at me, ¬†but my calves started screaming near the end of my route. I did my usual dynamic stretching once I was warmed up and I think this was the first time I didn’t forget any of the stretches. Hooray for progress! ha! This was the first Monday run since I started the program that I was actually able to do 3 miles without stopping because of a side stitch. I ran 2.98 miles in 33:07 (pace 11:07).

I did a strength training workout with resistance bands after my run.
squats 3×15¬†
band row 3×12¬†
curl to press 3×12¬†
calf raise 3×15¬†
push ups 2×12
Monday would also mean an Ab Ripper X session but I skipped it seeing as I did it the day before. 

Tuesday: interval training; 6 x 400m
Headed to the track for this workout. Since the intervals increase by one each session, I decided to do one more than I did two weeks ago instead of the 6 in the program. I did a 3/4 mile warm up jog followed by 4 intervals of 400m fast and 400m recovery. I had to walk for 1/3 of a lap during the cool down for the 3rd interval and 1/2 of a lap during the cool down for the 4th interval so that I could catch my breath. Other than that, it went pretty smoothly and I finished it off with a 3/4 mile cool down jog. My ankle was really bothering me when I was done. I’m not sure if I did something to it during this session or during Monday’s run but it was not good. I iced it when I got home and put icy hot on it before bed. It felt better Wednesday but was still painful to move it in a certain direction. Looking at diagrams online, I *think* I may have hurt a ligament around the talus bone (it’s tender around the bone that stick out of the side of the foot/ankle; mine hurts on the medial side of my ankle, especially when I push my foot outwards toward the right).

Wednesday: 3 mi run + strength training w/ resistance bands + Ab Ripper X
My ankle was still bothering me so I made this a rest day to hopefully help the ankle heal.

Thursday: rest
Ankle felt better today but not 100% yet so more rest. 

Friday: 4 mi run
Ankle was fine until late afternoon. It started bothering me while we were walking around Walmart and the pain continued throughout our nightly walk. Perhaps I did too much at home but it’s near impossible to really rest with two small kids to take care of.

Saturday: 6 mi run
Another forced rest day. Having an injury is aggravating! I’ve felt like such a slug this week and having Halloween candy in the house is not helping matters. I know resting my ankle is the right choice to avoid injuring it further and being out of commission for an extended period of time but it’s so hard to bench yourself and sit on the sideline. The only thing I’m hoping for right now is that my ankle is 100% better for the 5K next weekend. Please, please, PLEASE heal in time!!

Sunday: rest
I was hoping I’d be able to run today but alas it’s not going to happen. Enough said. I think I’ve whined enough for one week. :/¬†

Three Months Ago

On August 3rd, 2011, I laced up my shoes, loaded up my iPod with Week 1 of Podrunner: Intervals 1st Day to 5K series and ran my first day of the Couch to 5K (C25K) program. I remember it was very hot & humid outside and I felt like puking near the end of the run. But, I stuck with it and managed to finish all of the intervals without dying or tossing my cookies. Little did I know it would be the start of a love for running and bettering my health & fitness level.

I’m very proud of how far I’ve come since that first day. It feels as though running has been a part of my life a lot longer than three short months. My weight has been up and down throughout the last three months but clearly my body is slowly transforming as I’ve lost 9 inches overall. Dang it, I should have taken some before pictures.

I now feel far more energetic, I look for ways to be active with my kids, my clothes are starting to fit better, and, for the first time in years, I have a tan! haha If you knew me, you’d know that’s a huge accomplishment. I’m very fair-skinned and people joke that they need to wear sunglasses when they’re around me because I’m so “white”. Think the shade of a vampire. :p I’m no ashamed of my fair skin; in fact, I quite like it. However, it’s nice to have some colour for a change and I have running to thank for that.

Lets all raise our glasses and toast to leading active lifestyles. I’m very thankful I found the motivation to get off the couch and make a change for the better. Here’s to a lifetime of more running milestones! *cheers!*