I like to believe that I’ll post more each week than my training recaps. But then I remember that I teach English and essays don’t just grade themselves. The good news is that Matt from No Meat Athlete and his sister are doing another #writeandrun31 challenge this month. I got some decent writing out of the January challenge, so I’m looking forward to this one. I’m committing to 10 minutes per day of writing, which is what I did in January. It’s not much, but it gets the juices flowing and I usually end up writing longer. Plus, it’s easy to convince myself to do even if it’s bedtime.
I hope I’ll have some interesting, non-training log stuff for you to read soon, but until then, let’s take a look at this week, the first on my new plan.
AM: 45 minutes of strength training, done in the basement because driving on icy roads before 5 a.m. sounded just plain awful.
PM: 10 miles easy
8 miles easy — layered up for 4 outside, then finished with 4 inside once the sun went down, followed by enough core work and stretching to get to a good stopping point in The Bachelor.
Cruise intervals: 10 x 1000m. With the warm-up and a too-short cool-down, I hit an even 10.
AM: Strength training in the basement again, this time for only 30 minutes. I love sleep.
PM: 8-mile easy run. I didn’t get home in time to make layering up for a couple of outside miles worth it, so I stuck to the tready.
7 easy miles, core, and stretching
I spent Saturday decorating for and chaperoning a dance, and while I thought I’d probably have time to run between decorating and heading back to let in the DJ, I didn’t want to risk running out of time. Decorating always takes longer than I think it will. Who knew that hanging gossamer was such a time-consuming task? Anyway, I decided to run before decorating, which meant starting at dark o’clock, which meant treadmill. Luckily, this plan has kind of an awkward cutback week — it started with Saturday’s shorter progression run, and this coming week’s runs are shorter, but this Saturday’s long run will be back to 20. I won’t complain, because that 11-mile progression run fit perfectly into the time I had on Saturday, AND I had a little time in the afternoon to squeeze in a catnap before this grandma had to stay up until midnight.
30 minutes of yoga.
Totals: 54.1 miles, a little over 2 hours strength, stretch, etc.
In other news, I’ve had “The Wobble” playing in my head all. day. long. Darn you, dance.
Which would you choose for a strength workout: bodyweight and dumbbells at home, or an early-morning drive to the gym? I prefer home, but sometimes I go to the gym since I don’t have all the weights.
What was your favorite song to dance to in high school?
This training cycle seems to be going really quickly. Week 5 already?! But that’s a very good thing, because the days are getting longer and warmer (though I’m sure we still have several cold and snowy spells ahead). Week 5 was a decent one; I feel like my body’s finally adjusting to the heavier training load again. And I even made it back into the gym, which resulted in some major DOMS… meaning I need to not take several-week breaks from lifting. Profound insight, that one.
I love memes.
Anyway, here’s how the week went:
Monday was a great day. I started by going to the gym… at 7:30 because I had the day off. 7:30 is an amazing gym time because no one is there. I wish I could do that all the time. Later, once it warmed up to shorts-temperatures, I headed out for a nine-miler, finished with 10 strides. (Side note: I’ve been doing strides for years and I still feel like I’m doing them wrong).
Then, the day got EVEN BETTER because when I got home from my run, these babies were waiting for me on the porch:
End-of-year shoe sales are the best. I already have an identical pair that’s still in rotation, but no worries: my Sweat Pink shoelaces will help me tell the difference.
Tuesday: 14 miles. On. The. Treadmill. After work. It might not be exaggerating to say that this felt like the longest run of my life. Also, no grading got done that night. It was mostly just run-eat-sleep. I did manage to catch most of the State of the Union address, so I felt like an okay American.
5 recovery miles. They felt remarkably short after the previous day’s run. Afterward, I did some core work and stretched a little.
AM: 11 miles easy, again on the treadmill because winter. I miss daylight and non-icy roads.
PM: 45 minutes of strength training at the gym.
I fully intended to be a good person and work out in the morning so I could stay and watch the basketball game after school. But being a good person seemed a lot less important at 4:30 a.m., so I turned off my alarm and went back to sleep. So… 5 evening recovery miles, core work, stretching, and foam rolling. And no basketball-watching. Hashtag I’majerk.
18-mile long run. I started at around 7:30, and it was pretty chilly. I kept expecting it to warm up, but it never did. It wasn’t miserable, but this friend of mine had a hard time getting undressed for a post-run shower because her hands were so cold. She flailed around for nearly ten minutes and it was kind of hilarious.
Okay, it was me. I don’t have friends.
Yes, I’m wearing giant, non-running sunglasses. My awesome running sunglasses got stolen a few months ago, and the cheap-o ones I bought to replaces them broke. These were better than nothing.
Rest day! 30 minutes of yoga.
Totals: 62 miles running, about 2.5 hours strength/stretch
This coming week looks almost identical mileage-wise. My main goals are to work on my post-run nutrition (always a struggle) and keep working on stretching and strength training.
Have a great week, friends!
What is your favorite time to go to the gym?
Runners: What sunglasses do you wear? I really need to get some decent ones again, but I can’t afford Maui Jim’s like my beloved stolen glasses. Whomp whomp.
On Friday, I was seriously considering not registering, since my first week of training was not going as planned. It was cold and miserable outside, and my digestive system was staging a major rebellion against all the holiday eating. I thought “Really? 18 weeks of this?” But Lincoln fills up fast, and Jordan convinced me to register. He said I’d regret it if I didn’t, because I love training and racing. The man knows me well. So I signed up.
Let’s talk a little more about that crummy first week of training. Christmas break had me all excited to get in lots of outdoor running. I didn’t have to be at work, so there was really no reason to not run outside, right?
Well, I guess those are reasons. I felt like a weenie staying inside every day, but before it snowed, it rained. Rain in December means ice, and temperatures that never get above 20 mean ice that doesn’t melt. So I went to the treadmill. Call me a wimp if you want, but I’m a wimp without injuries, so there’s that.
Here’s how my treadmill-full week went.
9 miles with 4 at tempo — my first tempo run in months. It was hard, as tempo runs always are for me. I also did two rounds of the Runner 360 post-run.
11 miles easy. That was my longest treadmill run in quite some time, but I discovered a new show to help get me through. Anybody watch How to Get Away With Murder? Plus, I had this sweet new medal hangar (a Christmas gift from my in-laws) to motivate me.
5.3 recovery miles. I had to add the .3 because I was NOT ending the year with a decimal. I have issues. So I ended 2014 with a nice, even 2305 miles. After my run, I did some core work and, believe it or not, stretched!
I was going to run outside Thursday. The temperature was up to a whopping seven degrees by mid-morning, which is cold, yes, but doable, especially since the sun was shining. And then J pointed out that seven and sunny does not melt ice. And he pointed out all the unshovelled sidewalks. So back to the basement I went for 9 easy miles and some strength training.
We had to go to Loveland (about an hour and 20 minutes away) to do some shopping and meet up with friends, so I had to run before daylight. So this would’ve been a treadmill run regardless of the temperature outside (which was cold, anyway). 5 recovery miles followed by core work and stretching again. Who am I?
On a side note, one thing I was shopping for was YakTrax or something similar so that I would be more able to run outside when conditions are like they were this week. (I tried the screws-in-shoes thing at our Christmas lights run, and while they were okay for 4 miles, they were bugging my feet by the end). One of the friends we were shopping with (who is moving and trying to get rid of lots things), said she had a pair that she’d never used and that I could have them. Score!
Side note #2: We went to see Unbroken. It was amazing. Go watch it.
I should have titled this post “My Husband Is Always Right.” Saturday morning, I was sick of the treadmill. I did not want to be on it for 15 miles. It was my first week of training, dang it, and I needed an outside run. I didn’t care if it was cold and icy and slow. I said all of this to J, who argued that I needed to stay inside. It was still very icy and not very safe out there, he said. And, looking at the radar on his weather app, a nasty storm was on its way.
Grumpily, I went downstairs. To make the run bearable, I watched Sleepless in Seattle (thank goodness for Amazon Prime) and every 10 minutes, I hopped off for a minute of strength or plyo moves. About 45 minutes in, it started snowing outside. Sideways. Once again, J was right — visibility would have been terrible if I had been outside, and most of the sidewalks were still not run-able, so it really would have been dangerous out there.
So I finished my 15 miles. Ta da.
An hour of yoga. I’m determined to do yoga at least once a week during this training cycle.
Total: 54.3 miles.
I was inclined to gripe about the treadmill, but then I realized how stupid that was. “Oh, poor me, I have to run on my own, personal treadmill, in the basement of my nice, warm, safe house, with a fan blowing on me and a movie on my laptop.” Wow. You really have it hard. *rolls eyes at self*
But I do plan to get outside soon. This cold snap is uncharacteristic of Colorado, and once the ice mostly melts off or I get my friend’s YakTrax, I’ll feel a lot safer out there.
But in the meantime, it’s back to work and back to treadmill runs at 0’dark thirty, so it’ll be Saturday before I venture back outside.
Raise your hand if you’re a little sad that the weekend is over already. Yes, me too. At least it was a fun one, as you’ll read later. But before I get to the fun stuff, let’s quickly chat about my training the rest of the week — which was, sadly, on the treadmill because I refuse to run in the dark. I don’t have any fun pictures until Saturday’s workout, because pictures of my sweaty face and my treadmill console just aren’t that interesting, so I’ll spare you.
6 x 3 minutes at 5k pace with equal recoveries. With warm-up and cool down, 6 miles. Followed by the Runner 360 workout that I talked about here.
5 miles easy and a strength workout in the gym.
6 miles easy and some core work
12 x 45-second “hill” repeats (in quotes because they were treadmill hills) with 1.5-minute recoveries, 5 miles total with warm-up and cool down, followed by 40ish minutes of weights. My legs were toast by the end of this.
5 easy miles and a fast core workout. This was an early morning workout, because I was heading to Denver that night. Jordan had a meeting, which meant a free-to-us hotel room, so hey… mini-vacation for Cassie!
Amy of Run Write Hike and her husband, who live in Denver, organized an unofficial half-marathon for Saturday. When I got Amy’s email a few weeks ago and realized it was the same date as Jordan’s meeting, I got really excited. I was right to be excited; I had a blast. You can read all about the course in Amy’s post (and you probably should because I have no sense of direction and am probably about to get things out of order).
We met at Amy’s house at 1:00, on a day that was unbelievably warm for early November. See? We’re all wearing shorts and T-shirts/tank tops, and we all got pretty hot by the end of it!
Once we were all sunscreened and mapped up (Amy and David made a MapMyRun course AND printed directions. They’re pretty legit race organizers), we headed down to the start at Sloans Lake, which is right by Amy’s house. David and his friend Mark played bike crew, with David chalking arrows where we needed to turn and Mark riding along with us or going ahead to wait at crucial turns so we wouldn’t get lost. The two fast dudes (the bright blue shirts) took off, and I buddied up with Elizabeth (in the orange tank), with whom I hit it off right away. We ran the first couple of miles too fast (we both wanted to treat this as a long run, not a race) because we were jabbering too much and not paying attention. Since I’m kind of socially awkward, it’s nice to meet someone and click instead of being a weirdo. Running helps — clearly you’ve got something in common if you’re running together!
Anyway, back to the course. We left Sloans and headed up a long hill and into the Highlands, which is a trendy Denver neighborhood with lots of cute shops and restaurants. Elizabeth pointed out lots of places that I need to eat when I’m in Denver. Sometime in the Highlands, Josh and Kelsey caught up with us, and the four of us stuck together for a while. We made our way on to the Cherry Creek Trail, where we saw a man taking off his pants. Never a dull moment.
We stayed on the bike path for a while, then popped out and ran by the Art Museum (I took some pictures of that, but since I was running while photographing, they’re blurry. Always winning at the blog thing), then up the stairs at the Capitol building.
We found out that David had a flat bike tire, so he wasn’t able to continue chalking, so we stopped at the top of the stairs to consult the map. Just kidding; Elizabeth consulted the map and I took pictures.
Once Elizabeth had our course straightened out, we continued on our way. We ran past the Convention Center and through the legs of Denver’s famous Big Blue Bear statue:
Here’s the zoomed-out version (that I stole from here because mine was super blurry. Again, don’t photo and run).
Then, we passed by Coors Field, back to the bike path (where we lost Kelsey and Josh again), and then up by Sports Authority at Mile High (where I was dismayed to learn that the porta-johns are locked when there is no football game). Then, we dropped back onto the Platte River Trail, then cruised back up to Sloans and the finish!
This run was a blast. Amy and David did an awesome job organizing this; since they had the maps done, no one got lost even when David’s tire went flat and he couldn’t finish chalking. I loved this whole run. And I really liked running with Elizabeth. I almost always run alone, so I couldn’t believe how quickly and easily 13 miles went by with a buddy!
If you’re ever visiting Denver and want to see the highlights of the city on a run, this route is a great way to do it! The parts in the Highlands and downtown were a little slow because of stoplights and lots of pedestrians, so if you’re wanting a fast and hard workout, this is not the place to do it. But if you want things to see and fun to have, do this route!
Awkward transition into finishing my workout recaps…
I did a 30-minute strength circuit in the hotel gym to keep the streak alive. Because it’d be pretty sad to kill the streak a week into it.
And while we’re on the topic of streaking/staying fit over the holidays: I joined the Holiday Sweat Challenge that SweatGuru and Run to the Finish are hosting (read about it here). It’s only $10, and there are lots of prizes and workouts and fun. Go check it out!
Totals: 40.1 miles, 2ish hours strength training
If you organized a run in your city, what must-sees would we run by?
If you’re streaking with me… what did you do this week?