Review: Sproing

Remember back in February when I mentioned I took a class at Sproing and that I would post about it? Yea… so I am a bad blogger and never got around to writing about it… until now

First I want to say that though I received the class free of charge, I was not asked to write this post. All opinions are my own.

Second thing I need to say… this was not my first Sproing class. I also took one back in June. I had intended to write about that experience (and thought I had) but apparently never got around to it… oops

Back in June the class totally kicked my butt. I had run a quick two miles right after work and then killed a little bit of time before heading to the class. The class totally killed me. I could barely keep up and had to modify almost everything. The week following the class I was so insanely sore.

This time around, I decided to run 3 miles on the indoor track, then do an upper body strength training session before heading to the class. I put in a solid 2+ hours at the gym before heading to the class. I knew what to expect out of the class and knew there would be some muscle work involved but also knew it would be more leg intensive which is why I decided to focus on the upper body.

I also fully expected to be insanely sore for at least a week following the class.

I was excited to see my fellow bloggers and to take this class again. Part of me knew I was possibly getting in over my head but I also didn’t entirely care.

My first surprise when the class started is that I was actually able to keep up. Sure it was challenging but I wasn’t failing to do… well… pretty much all of it. There was a little bit of struggling and I had to push myself but I didn’t feel like the whole thing was kicking my butt.

For the entire class, I just felt like I was getting a really awesome workout… instead of having my butt handed to me on a silver platter. The most important thing that I noticed is that I was actually able to push myself throughout instead of feeling like I was failing the entire time.

Needless to say, I was quite tired after the class but I was also feeling good. But I also went to bed fully expecting to be very sore the next day.

When I woke up the next day, I was sore but not nearly as sore as I had been back in June. Hell… back in June walking was quite painful and this time, I was just sore. The good kind of sore. The king that tells you worked hard but you didn’t kill yourself or do something really stupid.

I wondered if I would get more sore as the day went on or I would just feel it all hit my like a ton of bricks the following day. Second day soreness is usually worse for me. And yes, I did feel a little more sore the second day but it was no where near what I had been expecting after my June experience.

I was THRILLED. This time around I was more fit… a LOT more fit. The workout before the class and during the class proved that me. All the work I had been putting in for months was paying off.

That’s something I love… You can’t always see the effects of training but you can definitely feel them.

The class itself was awesome and I would recommend that people give it a try. It’s a lot of fun and high energy. Best of all, it takes some of the impact out of this whole running thing. Definitely going to try to go back again

 

Weekly Training Report: March 16th – 22nd

Mar 16-22

Monday – 4.12 / 39:04

My week started off rough… very rough. All personal stuff which I am not going to air here but let’s just say it was bad. I did manage to get out and enjoy the warm weather. I even wore shorts and a tank top and wasn’t cold at all. But the wind was pretty brutal… definitely one of those days where it didn’t matter the direction you were running, it was into the wind. Also wished that the water fountains had been turned on because I definitely more water than I was carrying with me. Thank goodness for the one water fountain that stays on year round.

Tuesday – Rest

Had a lot of stuff I had to deal with… partially in relation to some of what happened on Monday. I also really needed to get my taxes done and I figured since I was already bailing on the run, might-as-well at least be productive.

Wednesday – 4.11 / 37:45

Never intended to run this fast, but I did. I am pretty sure the last time I ran this fast was back in October. After some not so fast running in November and December, it is good to know I still have some speed in me.

Thursday – 3.01 / 27:31

I was happy with the pace of the run. I don’t really plan to race for time anytime soon but I still need to put in some work to get there. Didn’t feel like I was running this fast so that was good but I was bummed that it was overcast…. and cooler…

Friday – Rest

It was cold and windy and I was exhausted. My fun (note sarcasm) Monday made for bad sleep conditions for a good portion of the week… and it had nothing to do with what I needed to deal with on Tuesday… had to do with the other thing that happened. But the lack of sleep was catching up to me. I decided to bail on the run and see if I was feeling better on Saturday. At least I managed to get laundry done….

Saturday – Rest

Yea so it was more windy and more chilly and I just wasn’t feeling it. I managed to get a ton of errands and more laundry (yes, I had that much) done. But there was no run. I was still feeling way more tired than I should have been and I just didn’t have the mental energy to fight.

Sunday – Rest

Everything happens in 3s right? I woke up with a head cold. So not what I needed but it explains the exhaustion for the past two days. Needless to say the majority of my day was spent on the couch.

~~~~~~~

Definitely not a good week of training. The truth is, I am feeling overwhelmed with the running. I was starting to feel like I HAD to run instead of WANTING to run. Which is not the best frame of mind for me. Perhaps this little head cold came at a good time. If there is anything to get me over the feeling of HAVING to run versus WANTING to run, it’s not being able to run due to something out of my control. This means I need to re-vamp the training plan a bit though….

Weekly Training Report: March 9th – 15th

March 9-15

Monday – 5.22 / 50:35

WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE OUTDOOR RUNNING!!!! I think that sums it up nicely ๐Ÿ™‚ Ok fine… I will add some more detail. Definitely had some soreness from the stair climb event… Mostly in my calfs (both), my left hamstring and right quad… gotta love the balance. But I also knew I was likely going to feel a little worse the following day. I started my run with 4 miles in my head for a plan but I was feeling awesome and just beyond excited to be running outdoors again so I decided to run more than 4. I really wanted to run 6 miles… but I ran out of water and those sore muscles from the stair climb event were starting to hate me so I decided to call it around 5 miles. My pace also reflects my happiness for running outside.

Tuesday – 4.02 / 39:03

Oh yea… still very sore from the event. But it’s so much easier to push through mentally when you are running outdoors again. At my half way point, I stopped to take in the view. I run in the same area frequently but don’t always stop to appreciate the beauty that is the Lakefront trail. The lake was frozen over still but I could tell it was starting to melt and everyone was outside enjoying the weather… and I was overdressed for the run (common issue during the transition months of outdoor running) but I was also incredibly happy.

Wednesday – 3.04 / 28:39

Headed out for what I thought was going to be an easy three… but was really surprised when I saw my pace because I didn’t feel like I was running all that hard. Was definitely happy with it though! I also noticed that the LFT was starting to dry out a lot more. Most of the snow was completely gone with the exception of some very large piles but definitely a good sign that spring is around the corner.

Thursday – 2.09 / 19:44

Originally I was going to head to the gym and do the two miles on the track and then strength train. But the more I thought about it, the more I WANTED to run outside. So I told myself I would do the run outside, run to the grocery store for a couple of things and then strength train at home. Two out of three isn’t bad right? Totally bailed on the strength training… and here comes my typical problem when I am “officially” training for a race instead of maintenance running.

Friday – Rest

For some reason I was feeling exhausted. The entire day I battled back and forth with running or not. In the end, I decided to bail and use the spare time to run a few errands instead. It was a gorgeous evening but I also knew that I needed the rest.

Saturday – Rest

A busy busy day where I was all over the city. I did a ton of walking but I had zero time to fit in a run… well… unless I ran first thing in the morning. And I still loathe morning running. So that didn’t happen.

Sunday – 2.71 / 26:50

Sometimes, you just a need a run… and this was one of those days. My Garmin was a little off because when I stopped at my first intersection (I always seem to get stuck there no matter what) and I looked down at my watch it said .04 instead of the usual .12 but this was a run for mental clarity so I didn’t care TOO much… ok… I care a little because it threw everything off but oh well. The weather saidย that it was 51 with a feels like 46… The weather LIED… I was insanely hot two blocks in and was grateful that I threw on a tank under the long sleeve because I ditched the long sleeve quickly. It wasn’t the best run but it was definitely what I needed.

~~~~~~~

Managed to finally hit my running goal of 5 days a week for the first time in a while. Pretty happy with my first official week of SF10 training… even if I did skip the strength training… Mostly thrilled that I can get back out on the LFT without freezing my butt off ๐Ÿ˜€

Weekly Training Report: March 2nd – 8th

Mar 2-8

Monday – 4.00 / 39:07

Since I had done a pretty intense workout the Saturday before I was still sore for this run. But despite that, I managed to push my pace for the last mile and finish strong. Knowing that I had the stair climb event on Sunday, I opted to do the strength training early in the week to avoid the residual soreness for the event. Starting to notice some changes in my body with the strength training… even if it is only twice a week.

Tuesday – 4.00 / 39:47

This run was a massive battle. Felt like I had absolutely nothing in me. Kept trying to push the pace a bit but my legs just wouldn’t turn over. I thought it was just soreness but the reality that I was mentally done with indoor running was starting to set in. Had a really awesome strength training session though. So small victories.

Wednesday – 3.00 / 29:53

The plan was 4 miles and I had every intention of sticking to that. But as soon as I started running, I knew I was going to have a massive mental battle. Everything felt off. My last mile was just horrendous and I struggled to just finish the mile out so I knew a 4th mile was out of the question.

ย Thursday & Friday – Rest

I really did have every intention to run but two crazy weeks at work and I was just done. I was exhausted and mentally drained. After the horrible run on Wednesday, I knew another bad one would break me. So I bailed on both days of training. Friday I asked the boy if I could crash boys night… and luckily they were ok with that because I really did need a drink or two that night…

Saturday – Rest

Which leads to a Hungover Saturday… I was also getting furniture delivered and with the stair climb even the next day, I never had any intention of running. And a hangover certainly was NOT helping… but the weather did have my itching to head out there. But I didn’t.

Sunday – Fight for Air Climb

My first ever stair climbing event. They have a number of these in Chicago throughout the year but I have never actually gone ahead and done one. You can read my full report here. It was a lot of fun but I was definitely a bit sore so knew I wasn’t going to run AFTER the event.

~~~~~~~

Not the best week of training but I really needed to bail on those two days. I have a very limited amount of mental energy to devote to indoor running and I was at my max. So when work got really crazy, I threw in the hat and opted for quiet evenings on my couch with a book.

Race Report: Fight for Air Climb

Fight for Air Climb

This past Sunday, I took on a whole new kind of event… My first ever stair climb. 180 Floors and 2,340 stairs.

What?!?!?! You never wondered why I was doing all those stairs at work? Good Training ๐Ÿ™‚

It didn’t take too much for my co-workers to talk me into joining the team. In my mind, I figured “Hey I workout daily and am fit so why not?” Good theory right?

Presidential Towers is a complex in Chicago comprised of 4 buildings. The event gave you options and you didn’t have to do all 4 towers, you could just one, which was 45 floors and 585 stairs. You could also do two of them or three of them. But why would I do that? Go big or go home, right?

I lucked out and one of my team members was nice enough to pick up my race packet for me. So I didn’t have much I needed to do to prep for this thing… well… outside of actually climb stairs. But since I live on only the 5th floor of my condo building, I more often than not, take the stairs. But thats only 5 floors and I had been slacking on joining the stair crew at work (note that this crew is comprised of more people than participated in the event).

FullSizeRender-5

I had a case of race anxiety that I haven’t felt… well… since the Disney Half… But that was a totally different anxiety. More or less, my plan ended up being to wing it. Having nothing to compare a time to and knowing that I was doing this with some co-workers as part of a team, I wasn’t too concerned with being speedy. And really, climbing stairs is drastically different from running.

To be fair, I know I could have trained for this the way I would for a running race… and I think that was my intention but my other goals for my running took the top priority… hence my new plan to wing it.

But hey, this whole winging it thing has worked for me in the past.

I arrived early and waited indoors for my co-workers to get there. This event was done in waves, which I later learned is probably the only way this event can be held due to the tight confines in the stairwells. Once our “wave” was called we lined up and were shortly heading over to the first tower and gear check.

Now, it was awesome that gear check was well staffed but I still cannot figure out WHY (and running races do this too) you would take a backpack and put it INTO another bag…. Anyone want to explain this one to me?

But I digress…

We were then escorted to get our timing chips and had to attach them to our shoes… with zip ties… and this wasn’t the easiest task to accomplish but we all figured it out. After that, we headed to the first tower to start climbing.

We decided we would each go at our own pace which was fine by me…. especially since I really wasn’t feeling all that competitive…

I was highly impressed with the water stations provided at about every 15 floors and the energetic and supportive volunteers at each one.

The space within the stairwells was… well… not spacious. Most people were kind enough to let people pass but some people didn’t seem too keen on that idea… Which was a tad annoying but I suppose you always have those people in any event.

We waited as a team at the top floor for everyone on our team of three to finish before heading down in the elevator and going to the next tower. Several people opted to run between the towers but I had no desire to do so.

Before I knew it, we were all done… and holy moly were my calf’s sore!!! We headed back down to get our medals, our gear and head out in search of Bloody Mary’s and Mimosa’s… You know, the important stuff :-p

When all is said and done, I enjoyed the event a lot. I am not sure it is something I would ever decide to do solo but as a team it was a awesome.

IMG_0625

Weekly Training Report: February 16th – March 1st

Feb 16 - Mar 1

Yep… Ok… I have been a bad blogger…

Monday (16th) – 5.00 / 48:57

This was a tester run. Since it looks like Chicago will still have plenty of winter left, I decided it might be a good idea to see how I mentally handled running more than 3 miles indoors. All along my concern was that it would be horrendous but since running 3 miles on the track wasn’t as bad as it had been last year, I figured I should give it a go. Much to my surprise it wasn’t horrendous. Not exactly ideal but it didn’t suck and that was what mattered. My last lap for the run was 1:01 (8 laps to a mile) so I was ecstatic to have such an awesome last lap… especially since it had been a while since I had run more than 3 miles.

Tuesday (17th) – 4.00 / 39:21

Well, if 5 miles isn’t so bad then surely 4 miles won’t be so bad either… Logic. It also helped that I knew I would have a short workout week and only be able to run 3 days instead of my usual 5 days. Wanting to keep my mileage above 10… and preferably closer to 15 helped me with the determination to run 4 miles instead of my original planned 3. Got in a really awesome strength training workout but could tell it was time to change up what I was doing for arms, shoulders and back a bit…

Wednesday (18th) – 4.00 / 38:38

For this run, I wanted to push myself a bit. It was my last run and workout for the week so I knew I had to go all out… and of course, after the fact, Chris reminded me that it would also be my last workout of my 20s. For some reason, I didn’t make that connection. I pushed myself during the run but still felt incredible when I was done. I then attacked my strength training workout but also knew that I wanted to change that one up as well… a project for the following week.

Thursday (20th) through Monday (23rd) – Rest

Mommy came into town to help me celebrate turning 30 (the 22nd). There was lots of shopping and eating. There was also a trip to the DMV because my TX license was expiring… 45 minutes (including a written driving test) later, I walked out with a shiny new IL Driver’s License. Never thought it would be that efficient…

Tuesday (24th) – 4.00 / 39:12

First workout of my 30s! Back at it after extended rest. Since I learned the previous week that going above 3 miles didn’t completely suck on the track, I decided I liked the idea of keeping most of my runs for the week at 4 miles. I would then do a shorter run on Friday and throw is some speed work and Saturday I would do an easy 2 or 3… whichever I felt like doing. The run felt good but I could tell I had taken some extra time off and hadn’t been eating all that healthy… and it didn’t help that I leftover pizza for lunch instead of my normal healthy lunch for the week… but it was DELICIOUS! After the run, I did my strength training but changed it up a bit. My changes worked well because I was insanely for the following THREE days.

Wednesday (25th) – 4.00 / 38:54

I wanted to try to push the pace a little bit for the run and get below the 39:00 mark… I made it… but barely. The run felt good and in hindsight, I might have been able to push the pace on the first mile a little more than I did. For leg day, I added in my changes… But wasn’t entirely sure they did the trick. On my walk home, I made a short detour into the new Whole Foods that opened up. It is along my normal walk home route so it wasn’t much of a detour. And if shopping while hungry is dangerous then shopping RIGHT after a workout is just as dangerous… if not more… But the Chocolate Chip Cookie was Yummy!

Thursday (26th) – 4.00 / 39:40

During the day at work, I wasn’t feeling sore in my legs at all and was rather bummed that my changes didn’t seem to work the way I wanted them to… But then I started my run and oh boy. NOW my legs decided to get sore. I kept trying to push the pace but I had ZERO kick and couldn’t turn my legs over more than I already was. Was barely able to keep the pace and mentally prepared myself for a run time of over 40:00… I held on and managed to get below my mark but barely…

Friday (27th) – Rest

Yea, so, that brilliant plan I had for the week… I threw it out the window. It had been a crazy week at work (several 5,000 line Excels with too much information… whittled down to about 100 lines when I was done) and a crazy bus commute. After the commute home, I was just done. Plus my legs were really sore and I knew speed work wouldn’t be pretty… and it doesn’t help that I hate speed work… So I completely bailed and spent the evening on my couch with my TiVo’d TV from the week. But hey, at least I managed a stair session with my work crew.

Saturday (28th) – 4.00 / 38:57

Feeling guilty for bailing on my run the night before, I made sure I made it to the gym. I wanted at least 4 miles but if I was feeling good I would add on a mile. I felt decent but knew I would be calling it at 4 miles. I was pleased with my pace but my legs were tiring faster than I would like. I also decided that since I had the time, I would do a full body strength training session… and hoped it would finally kick some of my remaining soreness out of my arms.

Sunday (1st) – Rest

My normal Sunday routine… Lazy morning on the couch, food prep for the week and TV watching.

~~~~~~~

Overall it was a good two weeks of training. Not spectacular but still decent.