Weekly Training Report: August 11th – August 17th

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Monday – Rest

To say I was useless on Monday would be an understatement. As much fun as I had at my aunt and uncles, there really was not a lot of sleeping. Plus my train left super early. Since my body is on Chicago time but I was staying in MI time, I was a little thrown off. Waking up at 3:45 MI time and being unable to back asleep on Monday morning really did not help matters. I managed to conk out on the train for about an hour but struggled to stay awake most of the train ride… of course the incredibly drunk girls helped with my staying awake. Once I got home, I totally crashed for three hours but still had trouble staying awake most of the evening so around 9 pm, I gave up and went to bed. 

Tuesday – 4.01 Miles

It was an overcast and very cool day… it felt more like fall than August but since I knew I needed to do at least 4 miles, that was perfectly fine with me. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel on this run after a weekend of eating junk food and drinking and very little sleep but I felt surprisingly strong. I considered turning the run into 5 miles but since my mileage from the previous week was a tad low, I didn’t want to overdo it. Once I got home, it was leg day. 

Wednesday – Girls Night Out Boot Camp

A friend of mine sent me a link to this event and since the even was being held across the street for me, I figured it was the perfect excuse to sign up. Plus who is going to turn down a free workout? I technically did run about a mile… half a mile to the Lakefront and then half a mile back but since I decided to run without the watch, it does not count. We had an awesome workout along the lake and my shoulders and butt were burning by the end. But the workout was fun and it was great to spend some time with my awesome friends!

Thursday – 3.00 Miles

Ok, when I got home and glanced at my watch it said 3.09 Miles but for some reason after I stopped the watch, it read 3 even. No idea why… All in all it was a pretty good run. I have been trying to skip water fountains on occasion so I stop doing, essentially, half mile intervals on every run and I feel like that is helping. Of course having my legs and butt incredibly sore did not help all that much. My shoulders were also shredded but I wanted to strength train so I tried to focus on arms and back without using my shoulders… nearly impossible so my shoulders were shaking by the end of the workout. 

Friday – 2.22 Miles

A friend sent me an email at the last minute saying he had a free extra ticket to the White Sox game. Since I have a ton of free time on my hands now, I thought it would be fun. But I also needed to get in a run and since the Air and Water show was this past weekend, there was no way I was going to run as soon as I found out I was going to the game. I did end up heading out around 3:30… it was the latest I could start the run and still get downtown to meet my friend in time. But holy hell was that run a lesson in frustration… there were WAY too many people on the path so I ended up cutting the run short… I really couldn’t handle doing the 3 miles I had planned with those crowds. The game was a lot of fun and there were even fireworks after the game… all in all it was just an excellent Friday night 🙂

Saturday – 3.07 Miles

Live and learn… this time I waited until after 6 pm to head out for the run since the air and water show was done around 4… I figured it would give everyone enough time to vacate. Luckily I was correct since there were a lot less people on the path. I felt slow and lethargic but was surprised when I looked at my pace for the run. Go figure… 

Sunday – 2.06 Miles

In all honesty, I had zero desire to run but wanted to be over 13 miles for the week and to get in my 5th running day for the week. So I headed out and decided to stay on the inner path. I had considered going for my 2.50ish mile course but just wasn’t feeling it so I cut the run a little short. I have also discovered a LOT of mosquitoes hanging out by the water fountains… I could really do without that… 

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It was a pretty good week of training. Overall, I am feeling pretty good while running and I am starting to get back into a groove with the strength training as well. Although, I really should make it the gym to do some more strength training… 

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

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Weekly Training Report: August 4th – August 10th

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Monday – 3.02 Miles

It was one of those days… where I got caught in two downpours… So I knew there was a good chance I would get caught in another one during my run. I threw on my older pair of running shoes to be cautious. Of course, that means that it didn’t rain at all. I have a feeling it is that whole bring an umbrella and it won’t rain thing. The run was just ok… it was very humid out and I wasn’t as hydrated as I would have liked. I did some strength training when I got home but my shoulder was feeling the greatest, so I did a leg day and avoided using the shoulder.

Tuesday – 3.36 Miles

My best friend was by the beach and I wanted to stop by and say hi but there was a flaw in the plan. She was near the water’s edge and I didn’t want to get sand in my shoes so I figured I would finish the run and then see if she is still there. But I don’t run with my phone… so yea… flawed plan. I was just in an odd mood and I felt like my emotions were all over the place. I wanted to be alone but I didn’t want to be alone. This all spilled over in my run because I really wasn’t feeling it at all. I knew if I had gotten sand in my shoe it would be too good of an excuse for me to bail. So small victory that I actually did complete the run.

Wednesday – 4.06 Miles

THIS was the run I desperately needed. It was one of those days where everything feels perfect and falls into place. I felt strong. My breathing was good and the legs felt surprisingly fresh. I decided to go for the extra mile since I was feeling so great. Part of me wanted to try for 5 miles but I didn’t wear the right socks for longer than a 4 mile run. For the first time in a week, I felt like my old self and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Thursday – 2.20 Miles

A couple of months ago, I had made plans to go visit my Aunt and Uncle for their annual party and so I had to be at Union Station to catch my 4:00 pm train which meant I couldn’t run at my normal time. I had originally planned to only 3 days but I figured I had no excuse to NOT run since I am unemployed. But I also late breakfast a little later than planned and so I was extremely full when I headed out for my run about two hours later. I could tell right away that this would not be a day to run 3 miles because I wasn’t sure if the contents of my stomach would stay down. But I am glad that I was able to get the run in before heading to the train.

Friday, Saturday & Sunday – Rest

I brought my running gear with me to MI in case I felt the emotions go haywire since running has really been the only thing keeping me sane. But I ended up not feeling the need to run… the copious amounts of alcohol didn’t help with the running thing either. But the weekend ended up being exactly what I needed… More on that in a later post.

Much Needed Weekend

There is something about being in MI that always makes me feel content. I am not really sure what it is but as soon as I am in MI, I just feel relaxed and content. Perhaps it is because I used to live there when I was younger. As a child, without any worries or obligations and completely carefree. We moved away when I was 6 so those feelings remained untainted my entire life. 

I had made these plans to go visit my aunt and uncle months before I got laid off. Since the trip was already paid for, I saw no reason to cancel. I figured the weekend away wouldn’t benefit me… and the alcohol probably wouldn’t hurt either. 

My aunt and uncle have a party every year. When they lived in the Detroit area it was a pool party but now that they have moved to the country, it is a barn party. My aunt and uncle have a farm now, complete with goats and chickens. 

The party title may have changed but it still a good time with wonderful people and there are still Jell-O Shots. 

I could tell when the train entered MI because I felt stress just melt away and I felt content for the first time in a week. The train ride was uneventful and I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was. I had my kindle to keep me company and the beautiful scenery when I didn’t feel like reading. 

My aunt and uncle, though surprised by what happened, did not dwell on the news I had delivered. They support me in everything I do but I think they just instinctively knew that if I needed or wanted to talk about it, I would. Instead they suggested going to get a drink at their country club. To which I replied, “well, if there was ever a time to drink, this would be it.”

Thus started my weekend of drinking far more than I normally do. My aunt and uncle also have wonderful friends who showed up early to help set-up. As we are convinced there is a smart ass gene and it DEFINITELY runs in my family, there was a lot of laughing. 

The party itself on Saturday was a lot of fun. Great people and great conversation. I got to see some people I had not seen in a long time and it was good to connect again. It was even better to not worry about my situation and instead just be relaxed and content. 

I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend and it was exactly what I needed. I still have to face my situation but after this weekend I feel more prepared to do so. I feel like I can keep my emotions in check right now whereas I couldn’t before the trip. 

Family is always the answer 🙂 

Q&A Wednesday

I just started running, what kind of running shoes should I buy?

This is an excellent question that you can easily have a million different responses to. Everyone will have their own preferences and sometimes finding your dream shoe can be trial and error.

Some people are very casual runners and will never race or run more than a couple miles a couple of times a week. Is it completely necessary for those people to invest in multiple pairs of running shoes? Probably not.

But a great running shoe really can change how you feel when you run.

Believe it or not, I ran for 2/2.5 years before I finally decided to invest a “running shoe”. The shoes that I wore during that time were heavy and all leather. They were truly meant for walking… and probably casual walking at that. But, at the time, I didn’t know there was a difference.

On the advice of a friend, I went to get fitted for a running shoe. I had no idea what that really was, but since I had zero idea of where to even begin with buying a running a shoe, I figured that was the best place to start.

I headed to my local running store. Once there, I was given a neutral shoe and asked to run on a treadmill briefly while my stride and footfall was video recorded. Once I was done, it was played back to me and the person assisting me carefully explained what I was seeing… Unfortunately, that knowledge went right over my head since I was still too much of a novice to understand any of it. I was then brought several different shoe options to try out… even better, I was allowed to run in them briefly on the treadmill to get a feel for them.

Overall, it was a great experience, especially since I had zero idea what the difference between all the shoes was.

I replaced them after I got to around 300 miles on them. The general rule of thumb is to replace your shoes about every 300 miles. Some people prefer to replace them more often or less often. I have also noticed that some brands require replacement sooner than other brands. Eventually, you will get a feel for this.

After about a year and a half, I decided I wanted to try out a different shoe. So I went to get fitted again at my trusty running store. Again, I went through the process and came out pretty happy.

Another year and a half later (and after reading Born To Run), I was intrigued by the barefoot running movement and wanted to give it a try, so I get a pair of Vibram’s. Honestly, I loved them, but eventually they gave me tendonitis. I also noticed that on my longer runs, areas on the bottom of my feet would feel bruised. So I got another pair of minimalist shoes that had more cushion in them. Over the next 8 months or so, I would rotate shoes. Overall, I liked this because it meant the mileage got spread out over more than one pair of shoes. But eventually, I realized, this just didn’t work for me.

At that time, I decided to go back to the same brand/model that I had initially been fitted for. This is the shoe I run in now and really, I love it, so it will likely be the shoe that I stick with… but I do still have all those other pairs of shoes. I was happy with the first pair of shoes I got fitted for but not everyone will have that same experience.

Happy Shoe Shopping!

Strength Training Report: July 28th – August 3rd

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Tuesday – July 29th 

Day one of the new plan. It had been quite a while since I had done strength training. I had taken two HIIT type classes that worked the muscles but the last time I did strength training with any sort of regularity was February… I knew I had lost some of what I had gained while strength training December – February, so I opted to sort of ease back into the process. Since I was working out at home and only have two sets of dumbbells, I decided to use my 5 lb set. I know I CAN lift my 10 lb set but I also didn’t want to be TOO sore the next day. I definitely should have used the 10 lb set for the bicep curls because the 5 lb was just too light. I also opted to do my planks extended instead of on my forearms. I know that works the shoulders more but holy hell were my arms shaking. I thought I was going to face plant. Luckily, I did not but knew I wouldn’t be able to do a 4th set like I had originally wanted to. That’s what I get for taking 5 months off….

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Wednesday – July 30th

I was quite sore the next day, which I had expected. I know that most muscles have a major and minor focus. So I knew it would be almost impossible to NOT work the same muscles as the day before but I was hoping to make them the minor focus. I was pretty successful. Definitely needed to use the 10 lbs on the bent over row but oh well.

Lunges 15 – 15 – 15
Push Ups 15 – 15 – 15
Bicep Curls (10) 12 – 12 – 12
Dead-LIfts (5) 15 – 15 – 15 – 15
Squats (5) 15 – 15 – 15
Shoulder Press (5) 15 – 15 – 15
Calf Raises (5) 15 – 15 – 15
Friday – August 1st

Ooops… forgot to type up the workout on the day of so no pic…. I wasn’t really feeling motivated but knew I needed to do something other than just my run. So I did some basic but decided to use the higher weight for the bicep curls this time. 10 lbs is just a touch too much for me but the 5s were just way too light. The whole day was just a struggle for me in general after what happened on Thursday so mentally I just wasn’t into it.

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It was not the week that I had envisioned for my strength training but I had also not planned on getting laid off… so my life is just a little off right now and I need to find a new schedule until I can find a new job. Everything feels like a work in progress at the moment.

Weekly Training Report: July 28th – August 3rd

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Monday – Rest

I decided to take Monday as a rest day so I could meet Rita Jeptoo instead. Of course, I did have the opportunity to run with Nike that evening but I wanted to spend some time with mom instead since it was her last night in town.

Tuesday – 3.05 Miles

Tuesday was my first day of the new training plan. So I started it off with a run. Part of me wanted to run 4 miles, but it was one of those days where I did and did not want to do the extra mile. I was feeling good enough for the added mile but I also knew that I had to do some serious strength training when I got home and since it had been a while, I thought it might be smarter to stick to my original plan for the run. I then did some strength training for about 30 minutes. More on that tomorrow.

Wednesday – 3.06 Miles

Yea… I forgot how it felt to run on sore legs. It wasn’t too bad because I know that second day soreness is worse but oh yea… thats the feeling I had been missing since essentially February… Overall the run felt pretty good though and I was surprised that I was still able to keep a decent pace. I also got in another round of strength training

Thursday – 3.04 Miles

Thursday the floor fell out from underneath me when I was laid off from a job that I loved. I still headed out for a run though. I needed the run. The shock was quickly wearing off and I wasn’t quite ready for the utter break down that I knew was coming. So I went for a run. But with each water fountain I stopped at, I could feel myself breaking. I know I was essentially sprinting once I started running after stopping at the water fountains and could feel myself slow since I cannot maintain that kind of pace for long. I felt numb when I got home and I definitely broke.

Friday – 3.03 Miles

I had a very rough morning but I also had a game plan. Deciding that doing something that would keep me kind of busy, I opted to do laundry since I needed clean running gear. I then went for a run… I needed something normal and running is normal for me. I felt like it was all I had left and I couldn’t let it go. I also managed to strength train a bit. But mentally… everything felt like a battle.

Saturday – 3.01 Miles

I had brunch with Eric and Vijay and then generosity and compassion overwhelmed me. I truly have wonderful friends. I went to the grocery store after. When I got home, I crashed and took a nap. The past few days had caught up to me and I needed some more sleep. I took a nap a couple hours after waking up even though I was a tad dehydrated. I had always planned to run 3 miles each day but I had to fight for the third mile on this run. I managed to get it done though.

Sunday – Rest

Yep… I was a total bum on my couch. It was raining off and on and I was perfectly content with resting instead. My best friend, however, decided I needed to be aired out. So we attempted a trek to Whole Foods so she could get food. The rain ruined that plan so we ended up at Starbucks to wait out the rain and then went to Trader Joe’s. I then hung out with her for most of the evening. It was good to get out and I definitely needed it. Good friends always help 🙂

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Things are a bit off for me right now. This week is just going to be weird. But I have a mini-vacation that I have had planned for a couple months now. I get to go see my Aunt and Uncle. So I am looking forward to that. Eventually I will figure out some sort of new routine until I find another job.

Hope that everyone has a wonderful week!

Curve Ball

Writing a post on a Sunday… odd for me… but something happened that I felt like was worthy of a Sunday post. I have already posted this to my personal FB page, but for those not FB Friends with me, I was laid off on Thursday.

I never saw it coming either.

Late Thursday afternoon I was pulled into a conference room by the office manager and my boss (who works in the company’s NYC office) was on the phone. So I knew something bad was about to happen. As soon as I heard my boss speak, I knew what was about to happen… his tone of voice told me everything.

I was in utter shock and knew I had a small window of time to leave the office before breaking down into tears. I was given permission to come back and get my stuff and even to get some personal documents off of my work computer at a later date. So I went back to my desk and sent the two emails that I had typed up and threw some of things into my bag and walked out with my normal, “Have a good evening.”

I had posted to FB what happened and while on the bus heading home several friends text me. It is times like this when you truly find out who cares.

I got home and changed for a run right away… I knew the shock was starting to wear off and I desperately needed a run to stay sort of sane. It wasn’t an excellent run. Every time I stopped for a drink of water from the water fountain, I had to fight back tears. When I got home, I had a text from my boss. That is when I broke down. I know he cares and he offered me help with my next step. I am ever so grateful and will take him up on his offer. But I wasn’t ready to face it all quite yet.

I chatted with some friends and watched TV until I felt like I could fall asleep right away. But when I laid down in bed, I couldn’t sleep. I had a list running through my mind of things that I had started at work but didn’t finish and emails from clients that I never got a chance to take action on. After 20 minutes of trying to sleep, I knew I wouldn’t. So I typed up a “pending items” email and sent it to my boss. I know that is not normal and I know it was not expected of me but I also had to do it. I couldn’t just leave those items up in the air like that.

The next morning I woke up insanely early… true to form… but of all days for me to be wide awake before 6:00 am… it really wasn’t the best day to have a lot of extra thinking time. I spent most of the morning in tears.

You see, I loved my job. I always did. I got along well with my boss and my co-workers. I loved my hours and I loved the work. I had always felt like I had accomplished what everyone always seeks out… the perfect job. For me, getting up for work was never a drag because I was happy. I truly loved it. I am mourning the loss of a job that I loved.

I never expected to be in this position. And I suppose that was naive of me. I thought they would choose to let go of people who talked regularly about how much they hate it there over someone who truly loved being there. But the world does not work that way. I knew that all along but I was living in a euphoria of happiness. Joke was on me I guess.

I do have a game-plan and I know what I need to do. I had already planned a mini-vacation to visit my Aunt and Uncle this week. I see no point in canceling the trip. So I am going to take this week to mourn and just be. When I get back I will start to put my plan into action and hopefully, this will be a very short set-back.

In the meantime, I have some truly wonderful people in my life who are helping me get through this. So I want to thank them right now.

Cookie – Thank you so much for checking in on me to make sure I am ok. Thank you for offering to go with me to get my stuff at the office. I know you will keep me entertained and distracted while I have this unexpected free time… which will help me from going utterly insane.

Eric & Vijay – Thank you so much for your kind offer for Disney. I was prepared to ask if you would be willing to do that for me but you had already decided that you would and that touches me more than you will ever know.

To my Parents and My Aunt Barbara – Thank you for always supporting me in everything and for loving me.

There have been several other people who have checked in to see how I am doing and have done a wonderful job of distracting me a bit. And for that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I also want to thank everyone who has offered to help me with my resume and networking. After this week, I intend to jump into the job search enthusiastically so all the help will be greatly appreciated!

Lastly, I need some sort of normalcy in my life right now… so, I will still try to post like I always have. Running is too much a part of my life and I need to hold on to a part of myself that I have not lost right now.

If you have made it this far in this post, thanks for sticking with me…. It is still the same me. But I wear my heart on my sleeve so it just a scared and sad version of me right now… That might come through a little.