Nine miles at the Wildwood boardwalk. I’m beat!
Special thanks to my cousin Casey for keeping me company.
This weekend I clocked my 700th mile on Runkeeper over almost exactly a year and a half. 500 of that was covered by running, the rest by cycling, hiking and walking. It felt like a pretty decent milestone, even though it came after a particularly painful training run: just 6 miles, but my left knee felt like it couldn’t handle any weight by the end.
I saw this rainbow at the end, though, and it was a welcome sight. Double rainbow all the way! What does it meaaaan???
Yesterday I ran my second half marathon, the most challenging race I’ve done to date. It was two hours and twenty minutes of being in my own thoughts, climbing hills, beautiful scenery and searing hip flexor pain.
But now after a somewhat decent night’s sleep, a handful of Oreo cookies and a rose-flavored bubble bath, I’m (mostly) recovered and looking forward to the future. Yesterday was a humbling experience and one that incited many rambling, internal conversations during those long 13 miles. I look forward to recapping the race, but first…I should probably explain how I got here.
- Phillies 5k (In case you missed it)
- The Zombie Run
- Gener8tion Run 8k
- Run for Jake 5k
- 2013 Broad Street Run
Here’s one of the fliers I made for the running clinic that I’m teaching! If you’re in Philly and are interested in getting into running, I’d love to have you in the group.
The plan is to meet twice per week in the evenings, for about 45 minutes. I’ll guide everyone through stretches, explain the program for the evening and then we’ll start with a brisk warm-up, followed by intervals of timed fast walking, running and sprinting (only a little, I promise!). Over the course of the 12 sessions, the walking portions will be shorter and fewer and the running will be longer. Eventually, you’ll be running the whole time at your own pace.
I’m also going to send weekly emails to keep everyone motivated, with suggestion for running/walking activities for the rest of the week.
Eeeeee, so excited for this! Just a reminder, this is open to members and the public. And when you think about it, it’s only about $4-6 per session. Yay!
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.