December ramp up

December is my month to get in a good rhythm so that official marathon training starts naturally in January.  I am consistently running 4-5 days a week, doing 1 cardio class at the gym each week, and attempting to get in a core or yoga class.  Saturdays I am holding steady at 10.5 miles.  We are not traveling for Christmas, which makes it easier to stay consistent.

Family visited us for Thanksgiving, and a bunch of us ran in our neighborhood Turkey Trot 5K.  It was super low key and informal.  And my 1st 5K since June 2013.  It was downhill for the 1st mile (which I hit in 6:20 – where did that come from?!), mile 2 was all up hill and I still managed 6:49. Mile 3 was uphill except for the very end (6:57). I finished in 20:49, which I was pleasantly surpassed by :)

I’m going to do my best to post about my workouts and [hopefully] my consistency.  It’s been a looooong time since I consistently trained (spring 2013). I’m excited!  I’ve had glimpses of my former self and the hunger is coming back!

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Filed under consistency, race, running

BodyAttack

Another class I am liking at the gym is Body Attack.  After Saturday’s race, I took Sunday off, and Monday ran an easy 4 miles in my neighborhood (which this deserves a post of it’s own, but I live in a hilly neighborhood!! – so easy basically means slow).

From the gym website, this is the description:

BODYATTACK is the sports-inspired cardio workout for building strength and stamina. This high-energy interval training class combines athletic aerobic movements with strength and stabilization exercises. 

It’s an hour class and really is a GREAT workout.  It’s mostly on your feet cardio, but has 2 sections of core (including plans & push ups) and squats.  The cardio is lots of jumping, leg kicks, running, all while having your arms moving in coordinating ways.  I’ve been doing this class once a week fairly consistently for about 4 weeks – and I must say I have come along way.  At times I have to stop and think RIGHT leg, LEFT arm – GO.  But it is coming more and more naturally.  Shew! I have looked like a FOOL enough!!! :)

I am doing these classes for variety, and in hopes that they will help my running from the agility/strength/core improvement AND hoping that changing up my routine will help me shed the extra 5 pounds that seem to have taken up permanent residence on my body over the last year.

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Grand Ridge Trail Run – 5 miler

Finally a race is in the books!  Yesterday I ran the Grand Ridge 5 mile Trail Run.  I figured a trail run would be my perfect intro back into racing – I love the varied terrain and with that, not paying attention to pace – only people.

The race had a 50K, marathon, half and 5 miler. I debated the half, but between my husbands’ work schedule over the weekend and my current fitness, I settled on the 5.  I knew going into the better runners would probably be running the longer distances, and based on past results that top 3 was a realistic goal.

Race morning was COLD – 21 degrees cold.  Brrrr !!!

The race started on a gradual downhill very wide trail.  After about 1/2 mile, we headed up on single track.  There was 1 woman ahead of me.  As we climbed and climbed, I slowly gained on her.  We both actually walked a bit on some of the steeper hills.  I eventually passed her.  We then hit the downhill, and a guy then she passed me. I was running as fast as I possibly could down the hills – she was simply a better down hill raced.  After a bit, we started climbing.  I passed her again and actually pulled away a decent amount.  Once we headed down again, I knew she’d be hot on my tale.  Despite the lead I had, she passed me. I seriously don’t know how she was so quick downhill! I guess I am not confident enough.  Once we hit the wide trail, I closed on her a bit, but she managed to stay ahead and beat me by 12 seconds.

I was 8th overall, 2nd woman. My time was 47:04 – which is terribly slow in 1 sense, but not if you think about the fact that we climbed over 1000 feet in the race! And according to my Garmin, it was 5.2 miles.

It really was a fun race!  And it helped relight my hunger :)

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Intervals and heart rate comparison

Yesterday I ran 6 miles on the treadmill, doing 4 min hard 1 min recovery.

My recoveries were at 9:13 pace and zero incline.

I did 1 interval at 1.5 incline, but realized that was a bit over zealous if I was aiming for speed.  I did the rest at 1.0 incline (I’ve read – and it makes sense – that running on the treadmill you should do an incline of 0.5 or 1.0 to compensate for how easy the ‘mill is compared the roads).  My pace started at 7:30 for my 4 min on, and I progressed to 7:19, 7:03, 6:58 and my last 1 kicked my tail at 6:53.

I am just now getting back into intervals for the first time since LAST spring (as in Spring 2013).  I can definitely tell my speed is really lacking. I also want to start realistic because I am pretty sure part of how I got hurt last Fall was attempting to pick back up doing inverts at the same pace I had left off at 3 months earlier (that and the wrong shoe for my foot type).

I mentioned in my last post about the Body Combat class that my only negative was that my heart rate averaged 120 BPM with 158 being my max.  In comparison, during my run yesterday, in 48 minutes, my average was 166 BPM with 186 my max.  I love running :)

*side note – I started wearing a heart rate monitor at the gym because my husband’s company does a wellness program where if we document exercise, we get points, and the following year you get a discount on your health insurance premium based on points accumulated in the previous year.  The 2 easiest ways to document exercise are a GPS watch (which I use running) and a heart rate monitor when at the gym.  BUT I have come to really like/appreciate the heart rate monitor because it is good accountability to keep working hard.

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Body Combat

We recently joined a gym here, and classes are included in the flat membership fee.  I have really enjoyed going to various classes (classes cost extra at our gym in FL so this is all new to me).  It’s fun to add in variety, and it’s helping kick my butt back into shape.

Today I tried BodyCombat.  Here’s the description from the website:

BODYCOMBAT is a non-contact, martial arts-based fitness program with moves drawn from karate, taekwondo,kung fu, kickboxing, muay thai and tai chi.

I liked it.  The instructor was really good – very high energy, easy to hear, and gave clear instructions for proper form.  And I needed all the instruction I could get!!  Moving my arms and legs together in sync is REALLY hard for me. I have no rhythm. I can’t dance.  It’s comical and frustrating.  Yet it’s 1 of the reasons I am doing classes like this – to force my brain to make my body work together.

What I didn’t like is that my heart rate just didn’t get that high. In the hour class, my average was 120 BPM, with my max 158 and only 18 minutes in my fitness zone (aka cardio).  Yet I can tell my muscles got a good workout – 12 hours out and I am feeling sore!  I am curious if I get better in learning the moves, if my heart rate will stay up more.

All that to say, I will definitely go back.

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welcome back!

Hello my long lost neglected blog! There is no good place to even begin on covering the last 7 months. I do hope and plan to restart this blog. The timing is due to the fact that life is finally settling back into the normal fullness of life with 3 young kids and a husband with an awesome yet very busy new job. Also, I finally feel like my running is returning to normal. Back in April, when I ceased all writing, I was in a major funk. The Boston Marathon came and went without me there even though I qualified, successful got it and paid a hefty entry fee. Coming back from my injury last Fall just took way more TIME than I ever imagined. It was hard to be patient.

Then while the kids and I were on our annual summer trip to Maine, my husband flew from Florida to Seattle for a job interview. It was late June. He then joined us in Maine. Was offered the job (and accepted). We drove home from Maine a day early – a 30 hour 2 day trip. And a week later he leaves for Seattle to starts his new job on July 14. The kids and I begin to wrap up our lives in Florida, go on an already planned 10 day trip to California with my family, go back to Florida, movers pack our house and we say a lot of hard goodbyes, spend a week at my parents while our stuff is in route, say even more hard goodbyes, fly to Seattle, spend 5 days in our house without our stuff, stuff arrives and we unpack, and our older 2 kids start school 4 days later. YEP I am exhausted (and emotional) just thinking about it all!

So here we are, adjusting to life and loving life – in Seattle! My husband typically leaves for work between 6am-6:20 most days – but at times as early as 5:15-5:30. So I have been having some super early runs! It has taken me a while to get into a new rhythm and routine, but I am getting in a good spot. I am starting to feel like *me* again.

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Filed under balance, life, running

pushups

As I mentioned, my husband and I (along with a few friends) have an April challenge going – no sugar and 4000 pushups.  9 days in, I’m right on track.  14 push ups ahead of schedule actually :)  My hubs is doing 3 days on, 1 day off to get his total. I am just going for 134 a day.

I like challenges like this – I like the sense of working towards a goal.  Keeps me motivated.

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Filed under goals, life