Month in Review: January 2015

January 2015

The first month of the year. A fresh start and full of possibilities. Looking forward instead of looking back. I started off the month and year with an incredibly cold 5K Race but my past crept up on me too…

But I am getting a bit ahead of myself. I knew going into the start of the year and the month that I had a huge trip coming and a series of races I was undertaking. Though I knew I had come far in the fall with my training, I was still taking on a race distance I had not attempted in over three years. I kept telling myself that since I was not running for time, it would be no big deal.

And the 5K and the 10K weren’t a big deal. I enjoyed the scenery and just had fun. Then it was time for the half and I completely freaked out… and I never saw it coming. I reached out to someone because I needed support and I knew he would support me. Despite the support that I got, I still had some demons to fight and that is a fight I had to do on my own. In the end, I won the battle and hopefully, once and for all, the war.

Post race, I got an incredibly bad cold. It knocked me out for a solid week. The schedule we kept while in Disney was certainly to blame but it had been over a year since I had been that sick.

As soon as I was feeling better, I jumped back into training but added in some strength training as well. For the fourth year in a row, I am attempting to maintain strength training and running for more than a couple of months. We shall see how this goes but thus far it has been a success.

I also started off the first month of the 2,015 in 2015 challenge. Chris and I decided to team up together and split the mileage. With that, I have my first goal for the year. We dubbed ourselves Team Beauty and the Beast. We ended the month with 64.53 miles. More to come on this challenge

Jan 2015 Average

Having to take a solid week off kind of sucked… especially since I wanted to jump into my new training as soon as I got back. Despite the solid week off, I had an awesome month. My averages are a bit skewed because of the races in Disney… Three races that I choose to run easy and/or use a run/walk strategy. I also normally would not be running 6 milers or a half in January since it is usually a maintenance running month for me. However, the added mileage did help me keep my mileage for the month up, which ended up being good.

Jan Comparison 2015

I am thrilled that I hit a PR in January Miles. This goes a long way to helping me reach my overall goal for the year. There is still a LONG way to go with that goal but this helps a lot.

And for one final victory… I managed to get this post up BEFORE the end of February :-p

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Weekly Training Report: February 9th – 15th

Feb 9-15

Monday – 3.00 / 29:35

Started the week of training off with stairs with my crew at work. After not being able to join in the previous week, I was happy to get back to the stairs with them. That night I was very happy with my run. I didn’t want to push the pace at all and continue with my running comfortably thing so was pretty happy with the results of the run. Once I was done with the run, I headed over to the weights area for leg day. I feel like I am starting to get stronger so thats a good thing. Pretty good start to the week.

Tuesday – 3.00 / 29:45

Going into this workout, I knew I had a triple day ahead of me. I was going to Sproing with the bloggers. But I also didn’t want to give up the run for the day or my strength training. I knew I would be able to fit it all in if I timed it right… and if I didn’t get held up at work. Since I left work on time, I went for it. Took it easy on the run since I had about 3 hours of working out ahead of me and didn’t see the point in laying it all out there at the start. But even given that, I was happy with the run. Then it was off to the weights for upper body. I shortened my rest time between sets a little to make sure I was able to fit everything in with the time I had left. Luckily, I had time to roll out and stretch really well before heading to the train (my gym is near the L) and going to Old Town to meet up with the Bloggers at Sproing. More on that workout later in the week.

Wednesday – 3.00 / 29:29

Was pleasantly surprised when I woke up and didn’t feel insanely sore. I was sore, for sure, but not overly so and part of the soreness was likely delayed onset from Monday’s workout. Despite not being too sore, I was tired. So I decided to stick with just a run for the evening. Without planning to, I ran faster and was amused that my time was 29:29

Thursday – 3.00 / 29:15

At work, we were able to fit in a last minute stair session which was awesome. In my mind, I decided to throw in an extra strength training session on Friday. So when I got to the gym, I did my run and was shocked at my pace because I didn’t feel like I had pushed the pace at all. Since I was adding in an extra strength training session the following day, I opted for leg day. I felt pretty good but was also feeling fatigued. I think the third workout on Tuesday did me in…

Friday – Rest

Yea… so despite telling myself that I was going to run three miles and then strength train, I was honestly exhausted. To add to it I was having female issues (cramps) and with an extreme wind chill, I had very little motivation to haul it to the gym for anything. Instead, I was a lazy bum on my couch and it felt great.

Saturday – Rest

I had a scheduled hair cut first thing in the morning and since my salon is most of the way to my preferred Whole Foods, I decided to walk my errands for the day. Of course, I had dressed in lots of layers due to the wind chill and the forecast for falling temps. This backfired because I ended up being way too hot the entire time. The extreme wind made carrying things rather unpleasant… and sweating like crazy wasn’t making the experience any more enjoyable. When I got home, I started to do a little cleaning. I had a couple of hours to kill before my date arrived to take me out for Valentine’s Day 🙂 But then I tried to get into the shower to get ready and had NO water pressure… there was an issue with the pipes in the building and they working on fixing it. Joy… so I did the best I could. Thank goodness my hair is short and I was able to wash it in my kitchen sink (which had normal water pressure). Not ideal but oh well…. Dinner was awesome and I had a really good time 🙂

Sunday – Rest

Yea… ok… so I was a lazy bum again… for the most part. It was snowing and very cold and I really just didn’t want to do much. I managed to get my shower fixed (I had a clogged filter) and found out I needed a new filter for my sink (was told I would have to wait another day for that fix). And that was pretty much my day… Sometimes I just don’t want to be an adult :-p

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Not an ideal week of training since I did bail on one of my runs… but I did get in an extra workout on Tuesday so hopefully it evens out. This week will also be a shortened workout week since mommy gets in town on Thursday!

Weekly Training Report: February 2nd-8th

Feb 2-8

Monday – 3.00 / 29:52

After a very relaxing a low-key day on Sunday, I was ready to get back to work at the gym. Walking to and from the gym was likely to be a bit more of a challenge due to all the snow we got… and neighbors that fail to shovel. I went for an easy 3 to start the week off. Didn’t want to push the pace at all and just run comfortable.

Tuesday – 3.00 / 29:47

I wasn’t looking to push the pace much but still wanted to be a little better than the previous day. It wasn’t much but it was enough to make me feel good about the run for the day. I then hit the floor with the weights and decided to challenge myself a little bit by increasing weight on a few of the exercises I was doing. Increasing the weight was good but I definitely had to cut back on the reps for my last set on some of the exercises and I knew I was going to be very sore the next day.

Wednesday – 3.00 / 29:51

Still didn’t want to push the pace at all which was good because this run was just all over the place. Usually my lap splits are consistent but they were all over the place. Way too fast then way too slow. I wasn’t consistent at all and am not sure why. The run didn’t good or bad, I just knew I was off since I couldn’t stay consistent. Hit the weights hard knowing that I wasn’t going to have much time for strength training after running for the rest of the week. Felt good after the workout and knew that I had gotten in some good strength training for the week.

Thursday – 3.00 / 29:53

Work was crazy and I needed a run but also had zero desire to do the run. But I changed as soon as I got home and forced myself to go to the gym. Since I had gotten off work about 30 minutes late, I was getting to the gym at about the time I had been finishing my run the past few weeks. Well, at least I knew I wasn’t going to have much time for strength training… But my original plan to do laundry was also not going to happen. Mentally I just wasn’t in the run and it was a struggle to push through that. I am glad that I made myself go to the gym and run but it wasn’t my best.

Friday – 3.00 / 29:06

I didn’t really have much of a plan going into the run but after the first few laps I noticed that I was going a little faster. Despite that, I was also feeling fantastic so I decided to go with it. Came up with a run plan for the night on the spot and decided that comfortably hard would be a good way to go. I would push the pace slightly but still a little left in the tank. Since I am maintenance running right now, I don’t need to be too concerned with the pace but it doesn’t hurt to run a little harder occasionally. After the run, I felt amazing! And I even managed to use my runners high to fuel my enough to do laundry :-p

Saturday – Rest

I had a few errands to run and after a lazy morning on the couch, I started them. The grocery store is always my main errand for Saturday but I also decided to make a quick run to Target. Chicago was getting a small taste of spring and I was WAY too warm in my winter coat. After my errands, I decided to re-organize one of my running clothes drawers and then headed out back out for one last errand. In the evening, I met up with Courtney to celebrate her Birthday!

Sunday – Rest

It was my usual mildly productive Sunday with a lazy morning on the couch followed by meal prep for the week. I then met up with my best friend for a little impromptu chit chat and some window shopping. All in all it was a good weekend

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I am starting to look ahead to SF10 training and have put together a plan. The plan is more aggressive than I have done in the past… But now that my demons are (hopefully) gone for good, the plan should put me in a good place to go for a time goal at SF10.

Weekly Training Report: January 26th to February 1st

Jan 26-Feb 1

Monday – 3.00 / 29:35

Headed to the gym after work to get in a run and some strength training. I was pleased with the run overall. The thing I am most pleased with is that doing 3 miles on the indoor track isn’t nearly as mentally difficult as it was last year. Not really sure why that is but I am ok with not analyzing that one. After the run, I did some basic strength training. There is an overall plan in my mind but I am not really tracking what I am doing… Mostly because after multiple attempts to try to track strength training and progress I have yet to come up with a method I like. Even though I am not tracking it, I have a vague idea of where I am and where I am going with the basic stuff I am doing now. Essentially I am old school strength training just to get a little stronger and then I can change it up.

Tuesday – 3.00 / 30:06

This run did not go as well as the previous day. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get my legs to move faster. After the run, I was rather annoyed with my time. Even though I told myself that this is all maintenance running and therefore, I shouldn’t be too concerned with my pace, I am. So I took my frustration out on my legs… which should help me long term with the running.

Wednesday – 2.64 / 26:55

Decided to take the run outside since it wasn’t too cold out and I wanted to get in about 5 miles. But as soon as I started running, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I felt sore from the previous day, which I expected but I was also stiff and the more I ran, the more my hamstrings became unhappy and tightened up. Since I have run on sore legs before, I knew it wasn’t all from the strength training. Cutting the run short seemed like the best idea… and the wind really didn’t help to dissuade me from that decision either. Seeing my run data when I got home really ticked me off. It was just an awful run despite running happy since I was running outdoors. So I analyzed what was going on and decided a little controlled experiment was in order.

Thursday – 3.00 / 29:20

I headed back to the gym to test my theory… running in the cold equals unhappy hammy. The first half mile was a little off… but that is my norm… I need about half a mile to settle into a pace and warm up a bit. After that first half mile though, I felt fantastic! Throughout the entire run, I had happy hamstrings… which was enough evidence to prove my theory. This was the run I had wanted to have on Wednesday. After the run, I decided to do my favorite strength training exercise from the pool I am currently pulling from. This week, I noticed that my second day soreness wasn’t worse than the first day… It might be time to increase reps and/or weight. Since I was doing a hodge podge of strength training, I figured it would be ok to mix upper and lower body stuff.

Friday – 3.00 / 29:44

There were things I wanted to do when I got home from my run. Keeping to my usual gym plan, I am getting home between 7 and 7:45 so after my shower it is 8 or later. Since I had done a both upper and lower body, I decided to head home after the run… which had sort of been my plan the day before and why I was ok with mixing upper and lower body stuff. I felt great during the run and again, had happy hamstrings.

Saturday – Rest

Chicago was slated to get at the very minimum a foot of snow on Sunday so I took advantage of the lack of snow and ran a bunch of errands. My normal Saturday routine is to go to the grocery store and I made sure I did that first. After that I had some time to run a couple other errands and then I decided to head over and look at shoes… which is rather dangerous… especially since I found three pairs that I fell in love with… when all along the goal was to find a pair of basic, black, low heel heels to keep at work. Then I headed home… I was tired… Shoe shopping is tough work :-p

Sunday – Rest

When I woke up in the morning, there was a blanket of white and the snow was falling steady. The forecast had been updated to include a blizzard warning. I wasn’t going anywhere

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One kind of “Meh” run, two icky runs and two fantastic runs… I guess I can live with that. At least I ended the week and month on a great run.