It was a very happy weekend, full of adventures and exciting developments.
Friday night I had a productive hour at the gym after work, then walked to the movies with my boyfriend (about two miles round trip) to see Sleepwalk With Me. Saturday I got to ride my bike about 5.5 miles, to and from brunch and clothing swapping with my friends. It was nice to also get some walking in that day too and enjoy the late summer weather for a little while longer.
Sunday was such a great day. I had planned to run eight but after seeing a bunch of friends participating in the Rock and Roll Half Marathon, I decided to push it and go for nine…maybe 10.
Started along Columbus Boulevard, then up Race Street and over the Ben Franklin Bridge before cutting through the mercifully shady campus of Rutgers-Camden. Paused to walk for a bit through a neighborhood there because it was just so damn hot — my fault for running close to noon. The waterfront was breezy and shady, which was a nice respite from the rest of my route. I have done this route before and always turn around once I hit the Battleship NJ, which accounts for about 8.5 miles.
There’s a bunch of construction going on so at one point I accidentally found myself walled in with fences on three sides…so I ended up just scooting on my back under a fence so I could get out and continue back toward the bridge.
During the last three miles, my legs were just done. Clif Bar sent me some free samples (more on that later) so I tried out some Shot Bloks and that helped when I needed energy. But still, it was hot and my feet felt leaden so I stopped again at a park to get some water and catch my breath before continuing on, doing two laps up and down Race Street Pier and then heading straight home. Despite how tired I was, it felt SO GOOD to get 10 miles done again.
And guess what! I cut 10 minutes off my Broad Street Run finish time. That makes me feel a bit better that even though my training seems like it’s been slacking a bit this summer, I’ve still made progress and can only continue to get strong and faster over the next nine weeks.
AHHH. NINE WEEKS UNTIL THE HALF MARATHON. Whew. Breathe. Everything will be fine.
After the run, Jen (who got a fantastic PR during her half marathon and, um, finished it a minute or two faster than I ran 10 miles) took me to meet that adorable ball of fur pictured above. Meet my new kitten, Jaina! She’ll be ready to come home with me in about two weeks. Can’t wait!
Here are my splits from 10 miles:
After three weeks away from my trainer, I finally managed to get back to the gym yesterday morning.
It’s been a very hectic month with work deadlines and late nights, followed by my vacation last week. Typically, prior to the BSR, I would meet at Smart Bodies twice a week for an intense weight/cross training session after work. But with my work schedule, the last few appointments I made had to be cancelled at the last minute.
I’ve admired my friends who seem to wake up every morning without fail for a run or a crossfit session or a super hardcore Fusion class, but morning exercise seemed so unattainable to me. I can barely wake up and get it together enough to take a shower and put makeup on, let alone get sweaty.
But yesterday I made an appointment for a 7:30 a.m. one-on-one session with a new trainer at Smart Bodies, made it right on time wearing purple shorts, my Phillies 5k top and no makeup. Hotness. Walked in the door and the new trainer, Sean, came up to me, extended a hand and said:
“You must be Allie. I’m going to kick your ass.”
And he did. Apparently my two other trainers, Jeff and Mike, told him that I like to work hard and be pushed hard.
Just a note: my gym uses TRX suspension bands, as well as something similar to the resistance bands listed above. The black is the hardest band, orange is the next hardest, and pink comes after that…I think. Will have to check on the actual resistance next time.
A recap of the workout:
- 20 squats with 12 pound weights raised to my side
- 20 squat rows using TRX suspension bands
- one full minute of box skips (jumping from side to side up and over on a 2” high box)
- Repeat all exercises above!
- Using orange resistance bands, stand on one leg and extend arms straight out and then pull back to my sides, X20. Works triceps and core.
- One full minute undulating large ropes, like this.
- Lying on ground, arms extended over my head and legs extended out, use pink resistance bands to do crunches and bring knees into chest at the same time, X 20
- 5 minutes of boxing with trainer (ouch!) doing alternating jabs and hooks, in some very stylish pink gloves
- 20 seated hamstring extensions at 40 pounds
- Using orange resistance bands, repeat tricep exercise from before but standing on the opposite leg, X 20
- Pink band crunches again, X 20
- 5 minutes of boxing with trainer, adding in alternating high side kicks
- 20 curls with 12 pound weights, 10 curls with 8 pound weights before I got dizzy.
I didn’t have time to eat anything before the session, which was a problem right at the very end because I got the shakes. Sean was very kind and told me he loved the way I pushed it and that the other trainers had warned him about my knee sensitivities, but they also said I was “very athletic and very motivated.”
Me? Athletic? What? You’re talking about girl who got hit straight in the boob the last time she tried to play softball. The girl who trips over her own feet going up the stairs almost every day. The girl who can’t play an organized sport to save her life. Athletic?
That one comment made my whole week. :)
And now I’m a convert! I made a 7:30 a.m. appointment for the following week. Hoping to keep this trend going.
Fun post on Lululemon blog. Reminding me that I’m training for a half marathon. That’s actually happening, like really really soon. Less than five months to go. GAH.
This was in my gym’s May newsletter. Cut down from this article by Matt Fitzgerald. Thought you might enjoy!
Every runner is a hurdler. The hurdles we face are barriers to the improvement we seek. Each time we clear a hurdle and achieve a goal, we soon discover that the next hurdle is close at hand. Here are five experiments to consider trying this spring. Choose the one that seems like the best way over the hurdle you’re currently facing.
1. Run more.
For the vast majority of runners, the simplest and surest way to improve is simply to run more. Average weekly running volume is the single most powerful determinant of fitness outcomes. The more you run, the more efficiently you run, and the more efficiently you run, the faster you race.
Set a short-term goal to become a higher-mileage runner. If you currently run 20 miles per week, build up to 30. If you currently run 30 miles per week, aim for 45. Take your time, increasing your mileage by no more than 10 percent per week and cutting back by 25 or 30 percent every fourth week for recovery or whenever your body needs it.
2. Get serious about cross-training.
By incorporating cross-training into your routine, you can get the same stimulus for cardiovascular development that you would get from logging more miles, but without the additional beating that would come with it.
Thanks for asking! I started trying to get fit in October of last year, taking two or three yoga classes a week to start. Then in December I started trying to jog. Then in January I mixed in strength training and began running more seriously. It took a while (like…last week?) to get to a point where I felt “fit” and comfortable.
While training for the Broad Street Run, my schedule included five days of exercise and two days of rest.
A typical week looked like this:
Monday - rest and yoga stretching in the evening
Tuesday - short run, 3-5 miles
Wednesday - 30 to 40 minutes cross/strength with my trainer
Thursday - short run, 3-5 miles
Friday - 40 minutes cross/strength with my trainer
Saturday - rest
Sunday - long run, 5-9 miles followed by a very intense nap and whatever food I could shove in my face immediately
During the week I work in an office and spend many hours sitting at my desk. This is frustrating but I try to get up and move throughout the day, like frequently going up and down the stairs to refill my water bottle and always taking 5-10 minutes to walk to lunch or around the office complex just to keep moving.
Now that I’m not actively training for an upcoming race (until August when half marathon training starts), I’m looking forward to cutting back, doing a few short runs a week and getting back into yoga. I think mixing it up and making sure your body does different things is important, 1. so you don’t get bored and 2. because it works different muscles while giving you time to recover. Hope this helps!
I can’t believe it’s finally over.
What an amazing journey, though it was far more difficult than I could have ever imagined. All that training and effort leading up to this couldn’t prepare me for what it was really like to race down my favorite city’s arterial road, surrounded by 39,999 other runners and hundreds of spectators.
My boyfriend and I only had a few goals going in: run the entire way, finish hand in hand, and (hopefully) make it to the finish in under two hours. Based on recent training runs, which were sadly getting slower and slower due to his injured knees and my pulled glute, that last one was going to be difficult. But we did all three!
I posted some photos on Reddit’s running forum and was not expecting such a huge response. Figured I would use this post to go into greater detail about what brought us here. This is…going to be really long.
Gah! So much to do and so little time to blog and write. Between work, running, training and family obligations, there’s just not enough time to sit down and recap.
So I’ll do it quickly:
- My boyfriend and I have been continuing along our training schedule (the Hal Higdon one) and slowly upping the mileage.
- On March 18 we ran our first 10k, aka a bit more than six miles in 1:08:22.
- My average mile pace is still about 11:20-11:11 but getting faster and faster.
- Due to some knee pain, I needed to cut down on the mid-week running and am trying out a compression strap. So far it’s feeling good, but I still haven’t done a long run with it.
- The last week (March 19-25) wasn’t bad. Monday: some light yoga and walking around. but overall a rest day; Tuesday: 2 mile run, didn’t feel great because it was very hot and humid; Wednesday: 40 minutes with my trainer; Thursday: 3 miles with speed work, broken up into two miles with fartleks and then one mile as fast as I possibly can, which ended up being 9:57! Friday was another 40 minutes with my trainer, incorporating heavier weights, some dead lifts, lots of arm work and minimal leg work to save my knee.
- Saturday and Sunday ended up being off days, since we opted to skip the long run and just spend more time with my grandparents. My boyfriend’s knee was still hurting him, so I hope the extra days off helped that.
- Today I’m feeling pretty gross and tired, since it’s been a few days without a run. I’m torn between being happy that I can easily run three miles, worried that 5-6 is still a big struggle, pleased that we took two days off to rest our knees and then worried again about getting back up to speed.
- The Phillies 5k, my first race, is this Saturday. My plan for this week is to incorporate some extra mileage and speed work to make up for the weekend and get stronger before that race.
- Changing my 5k goal time to 33 minutes rather than my initial goal of 37.
- The plan for this week: today I’d like to head to 7:30 yoga class since it’s the last week I can go to my old gym; tomorrow is a 4 mile run and then Ladies’ Night at Philadelphia Runner; Wednesday is dinner for my mom’s birthday but I can probably fit in a 30-40 minute session with my trainer before; Thursday is a must for speed work/fartleks and a tentative four miles; Friday is an easy run or a rest night and packet pickup before Saturday morning race! If it’s nice on Sunday we’re going bike riding through the city.
Phew! Excuse my quick and dirty writing; it’s more so a diary for myself so I don’t forget what I’ve done and what I still need to do.
A great long run today! And it was my boyfriend’s first time running 5 miles and I’m so proud of him. He even brought up the idea of running the Philly marathon together in November!
It was a bright, sunny and warm afternoon along Kelly Drive. Started later than we wanted (I was being cranky and stubborn all morning) and didn’t hydrate enough, so around mile 4 ended up being not fun at all. At one point we tried to get water from a fountain but it was broken — quelle tragedie! Ended up going 2.75 miles out and then turning around. We saw our friend Jen K running on the trail (twice, actually, since she passed us as we were coming back and then looped back around) and got a nice fun speed boost after seeing her go so fast and strong.
Managed to run negative splits again, but realize now that the data recorded wasn’t accurate. Several times the Run Keeper app glitched and said I was either standing still or running at a 15 or 17 minutes/mile pace…when I was actually going pretty fast. The recorded time (averaged 11:18!!) was still pretty good, but I know I ran faster than it said. What GPS watches/gadgets/apps do you like? Any alternatives you’d recommend? I love the ability to record on my phone and then review on the website.