Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Some Speed Workouts I Like

Latest Workouts:
Whoa I haven't done this in a while. 
Monday 4/14: Track workout with body weight strength training mixed in
Tuesday 4/15: Run before work
Wednesday 4/16: OFF
Thursday 4/17: Run before work
Friday 4/18: 9 miles.  My favorite route!!  It's a point-to-point run from Valley Green in Fairmount Park all the way to the Art Museum in Philly.  My dad was home to help me!!  He ran the first 3 miles with me, then back to his car while I continued, then picked me up at the end.  'Twas a great run!
Saturday 4/19: OFF
Sunday 4/20: 30 min swim and strength before church
Monday 4/21: 3 miles before work
Tuesday 4/22: OFF
Wednesday 4/23: 4 miles before work

Been a lot of running and not as much anything else, but oh well.   I should probably incorporate more...

SPEED WORK!  Speed work is a necessary part of training and getting faster.  It lets you avoid this:

I know I don't do it enough, but when it comes down to it, I don't mind it.  I'm all:

Below are a few workouts that I like - some I made up, some I got from other sources. They are mostly designed for the track or treadmill. I hardly ever do speed workouts outside on my normal running routes, but some of these can be adapted if you want to do that. For example, instead of running hard for .25 miles, run hard for 2 minutes, or, say three blocks. Whatever works!

If you're new to the track:
Most high school/college outdoor tracks are 400m around.
1 mile = 1200m, 4 laps
If you're using an indoor track, you'll have to find out how many laps in a mile.  They vary greatly!

Old Faithful (aka 400 repeats)
I call this Old Faithful because it's so effective and so simple. Try to get faster every repeat!!
1 mile warm up
4x400m (.25 miles) hard
200 recovery after each
1 mile cool down

Reverse Ladder
1/2 mile warm up
1200 5k-10k pace
400 recovery
800 5k pace
400 recovery
400 sprint
400 recovery
200 sprint
1/2 mile cool down 

5 Mile Tempo
2 mile warm up
400 medium effort
400 hard (5k pace)
400 hardest
Repeat 4x (not including warm up)
Cool down

Playlist Workout
10-15 minute warm up - normal pace
15-25 minutes:
Every new song, sprint for one minute (or through first verse and chorus if you don't want to watch the time)
Recover till end of song 
5-10 minute cool down 

30 on, 30 off
I do this as a small segment of a treadmill run, usually combined with the Playlist Workout. Whatever you do, make sure your warm up first!
Set treadmill at your absolute max, mine is 10 mph, and keep treadmill going the whole time.
Sprint for 30 seconds
Stand for 30 seconds (on treadmill rails)
Repeat 5-10x
Cool down
It's important to keep the treadmill going the whole time so you don't waste time playing with the speed every 30 seconds - you'd miss your interval by the time you hit the right speed!

And that's that.  Always feel free to add more intervals the these workouts as you build endurance, or start with fewer as you're getting used to speed work.  Same goes with rest time.  Take longer to rest if needed - walk, jog, or stand.  

Check out this post from Carrots 'n' Cake for a whole bunch of other high intensity workouts that include strength training, too!

Whew, I'm tired just writing about all that.  Later I will do my Easter post and recap of the past few days - it's been an emotional week - both happy and sad...

1. How was your Easter?

2. Favorite speed workout?

3. How's your day today?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Tabitha Kim 2/5/90-4/14/14

Please excuse my absence over the last week - I've been meaning to sit down and write this for a few days now...

On Tuesday I was confronted with horrible news, that I hope no one reading this has ever had to experience.  A treasured member of my class growing up passed away suddenly on Monday night, and I am in disbelief.  Tabitha was too young.

Tabitha was the most beautiful, vibrant, mysterious, and spirited girl.  In her own words in our high school yearbook she wrote:

"Our minds race and our hearts beat and everything goes dark for a while.  But when the light comes back on, it's the people standing there, waiting with their arms outstretched that matter."

Our arms are all outstretched for her.  Tabby was able to connect with each and every person she met.  Over the past week, I realize that even those who barely knew her, had maybe only met her once or twice, or were never very "close" with her, have a vivid memory to share of how she touched their lives.  We are all heartbroken and confused.  In the depths of this tragedy, our arms also reach out to those around us. This week, I have felt so much love for and from my friends, family, and countless others.  I just wish that we could all feel whole, and not have had this loss in order to come together.

Sweet, sweet Tabby.

Years ago, a group of girlfriends and I spelled "Beautiful" with our bodies.  Tabby is the "T".  These girls are the most beautiful. <3

7th or 8th grade :)
This was the last time I saw her, and we had the greatest time at our friend's wedding.

"Everyone's singing, they just want to be heard. 
Disappearing every day without so much as a word,
Want to grab a hold of that little songbird, 
take her for a ride to the top of the world,
right now."

We love you, dear girl. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A quick weekend update

No, not that Weekend Update (I wish).

Latest Workouts:
Friday: Off
Saturday: 8 miles on the Schulykill River trail.  It was eh.  I decided that for my next long runs I'm going to actually wake up at the crack of dawn and take it seriously.  Yesterday I mozied on down to the river at like 10am and it was hot and I felt like I wasted the morning.  Meh.
Sunday: 30 minute swim and core work.  Out of the gym by 9:45am!  That's more like it.

SO IT WAS WARM THIS WEEKEND!!!!!!!  Like, HOT!!!  When the sun comes out in the Spring I immediately get sunburnt.  So that happened.  Sunscreen didn't even cross my mind on my run.  I'm just so used to the cold, dark abyss I guess.  Don't worry, it's already faded.  Now I gotta remember to keep my shorts tan in check all summer.  Those are THE worst.

V-neck burn.  Womp.
On Saturday night Sierra and I went to a restaurant called MOMS.  We thought that was funny.  It stands for Maxwells' on Main and it was delicious.  We got sweet potato fries and complimentary (!!!) hummus and pita chips.  We were really okay with it.  Sierra got crab bisque and risotto and I got a tuna burger with wasabi avocado spread.  YES.  The restaurant is in a really cute town about 20-30 minutes from where we live.  We need to go up there more often.  Espeically when we know we're going to act like adults and not get craaaazy (there's not public transportation so someone has to drive...).

The bar menu had one of my favorite puns:

Get it????  Drew and my dad have a shirt with that on it from a this brewery in Dillon, CO.  It's called the DAM Brewery!!  Hence why my dad and I were obsessed and had to buy t-shirts.  I was so happy to see someone else use it!  So clever.  Anyway, I digress.

Today the doggies went swimming for the first time this year.  Seriously, seeing these dogs running around, frolicking, loving life, makes me so so happy.  They are my favorite :)

I spent the rest of my Sunday shopping for new white jeans.  The go-to pair has a hole on the butt and I've been wearing them like that since was time.  Now that it's warm out I will be in white jeans or white shorts until Labor Day.  I can't live without them!!

1. What'd you do this weekend?

2. What's your favorite piece of Spring/Summer clothing??

3. Best thing you've eaten lately?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Half marathon and racing thoughts

Latest Workouts:
Monday: 30 minute swim, stretching and abs, oh and a zillion squats
Tuesday: pitiful run after work (3-4 miles).  I don't like running after work ahhh!!
Wednesday: See Monday.  I've been swimming for cross training this week (and probably will continue for a while) because I think spinning really hurt my back and right side of my body last week.  I feel a lot better this week.
Thursday: GLORIOUS run before work.  4 miles, and I felt fast and good for the first time in what feels like forever!  It's finally the right time of year to start seeing the sunrise on my morning runs.  Running in the morning is tops.  

So one of my goals this year is to PR in the half marathon.  I've been thinking about when to do one, and which one to do.  I decided that after the Broad Street Run in a few weeks, I'm going to take a break from racing for a little bit.  One reason being that in order to cancel my Crossfit membership completely, I have to pay for two more months.  Right now my account is "frozen," meaning I still pay $5/month even though I'm not going.  So, I think I want to bite the bullet and pay for May and June.  I would love to keep doing it but it's just not financially feasible for me, when I also like to run, swim, and bike.  I'm looking forward to going back for a little bit, but I think the gym I go to is more designed for people who want to go Crossfit and solely Crossfit.  Anyway, I digress.

I have a 10k in LONDON woooooo, and two other 5ks planned for the summer.  I think that's enough for now.  Last year was all about racing.  I loved it, but I also had my good old dad to go with me to every race.  I could count on him for logistics and spectating.  This year when I see a race that I might sign up for, I'm not as inspired because I'd more than likely be alone.  So that's another reason I'm not too hyped on racing - I want the ones I do to be big and fun and worth the entry fee - I'm not going to waste a lot of time and money going to little races by myself.

Back to the half marathon, I decided that I want to do one in the fall.  I want to do two, in order to give myself a better chance at a PR.  I want to do the Runners' World Half for sure.  I loved the 10k last year, and I want to give the half a try.  I really kind of want to do the hat trick (a 5k and 10k in the same morning, then the half marathon the next day), but maybe next year.  I don't want to get carried away.  Because I got my destination runs out of the way, I'm fine with doing a race in Philadelphia again.  I've narrowed it down to two choices, both with their pros and cons.  (The below is basically copied from an email I sent my parents - I look to them to help me make the simplest of decisions).

Pro: I've never done it before.
Pro: It's a Rock N Roll event which I've wanted to do. 
Pro: Is "easier" than Runners' World, so I'll get the easy one over with first as a "warm up."
Con: It's a "boring" course, and I'll be doing a race in December which is pretty much the same. (**note** most of this course is my favorite loop along the Schuylkill River, but I've run it a million times)
Con: I have a two other (short) races that month.

Pro: I've done it before, so I know the course.
Pro: The course is more interesting
Pro: It's near Thanksgiving - my parents might be home?!
Con: I've done it before...and I've also done the marathon version.
Con: Will be colder than September.

After mulling it over and seeing my parents' input, I'm leaning toward the one in September...I actually signed up for it in 2012, but broke my foot in July so I couldn't do it!  My friend ran with my bib and she did great :)  Maybe I'll do it as redemption for that!  Stay tuned, I'm going to think about it for a while.  The price for both events goes up on April 30, so I'll make a decision before that.

Check out my race page for my current schedule (including these pending half marathons).  Thanks for reading my inner monologue!

1. What do you think?  Which race should I do?

2. What races do you have planned this year?

3. How are you goals for year going? 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Cooper River Bridge Run Recap

Remember that time I didn't post for a week and a half?  Oops..

WE RAN COOPER RIVER!!  Cutting to the chase, my time was 53:03.  My last (and only other) 10k time was 50:19...clearly a big difference there.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little disappointed...I tried to just focus on how much fun I was having in Charleston though!

Leading up to race, as mentioned in a previous post, my legs weren't feeling great - my IT band, knee, hamstring, and lower back, all on my right side, are not doing well these days.  I really need to figure out what's going on there.  I think it's because my hips are out of alignment.  Earlier in the week I looked up some self exercises to help correct this, and it seemed to work a little bit.  I took two full days off before the race, which is not ideal (I like to keep moving at least a little bit), but I felt it was necessary.  However, I also think I was stiffer than usual at the race.  And....we didn't warm up, like, at all.  That's a factor.  During the race I didn't feel injured, I just felt tight - like I didn't have a good range of motion.  Blah.  I was somewhere in between wanting to go slow and just enjoy myself, and wanting to kill it and go fast.  I never quite got into either of those modes, so the whole time I was back and forth, never quite finding the groove.

All these thoughts are what I've been letting marinate over the last 2 days, but I REALLY did enjoy myself, the whole weekend.  I knew it wasn't my best race...but I tried not to dwell on it in the moment. So, let's move on to the weekend recap, because it was so much fun.

Friday -
Drew and landed 20 minutes apart from each other, at about 10:00 p.m.  We went to bed as soon as possible, only to wake up 5 hours later.  Joy!

Saturday morning -
We got to the race start suuuuuper early, which I like.  Drew's dad had horror stories of missing the start because of traffic.  No thank you.  Drew and I had more than enough time to find our corral, use the bathroom, use the bathroom again...haha.  Like I said, we didn't really warm up though.  Oops, we were too distracted taking in the event.

Drew wore his Feel the Love 5k shirt!

By the way, I'm wearing my new shoes, and they're lovely.

Ready (as I'll ever be) to run
Mile 1 - 7:53
This mile, as it usually is in a race, was all about getting my bearings.  I was assessing how my body felt because I hadn't ran in a few days.  I'm actually surprised this was my fastest mile because it for sure did not feel like it.  But it was also downhill so...

Mile 2 - 8:53, Mile 3 - 9:06
Miles 2 and 3 are up and over the bridge.  It's a looooong steady incline, but the views are amazing!!!  Lots and lots of people were walking up the bridge - I was surprised.  Like, you signed up to run the BRIDGE RUN!  And these weren't the people in the back, these were people in the first and second corral.  Anyway, the fact that I was running steadily in the midst of these people gave me a good moral boost.  There was also a lot of zig-zagging to dodge walkers, so that was a little frustrating.  My 5k split was 25:00 something, which is frankly embarrassing for me.  It was the hill I swear!!!

Mile 4 - 8:09
Downhill on the other side of the bridge.   Mile 4 was definitely the hardest mentally.  By this point I knew I just wasn't running my best race.  I also had to PEE!!! Oh my goodness - I thought seriously about running into a port-a-potty but I also was telling myself that I'd be done in less than 20 minutes...

Mile 5 - 8:24, Mile 6 - 8:31
These were the best miles crowd-wise.  For about a mile we ran down King Street, a very popular street in downtown, historic Charleston.  It was fun!  I definitely could have enjoyed it more though, I just wanted to me done at that point.  Final time was 53:03, like I said.

Drew ran in 44:28.  BEAST!!!

While Drew and I were waiting for his parents to catch up to the finish (they were spectating at mile 5.5 ish) we walked about the Finish Festival.  There was endless amounts of watermelon, which was SO GOOD!  I must have eaten an entire watermelon.

Drew, on the other hand, ate a bratwurst from the world's largest grill, haha.  This was before we went to brunch.  Boys...

When we finally met up with Drew's parents and his aunt, we went to a fabbbbbbbulous brunch at place called Toast.  I got eggs Benedict, obviously, and a pancake.  We went home and napped for 2 hours, and it was the best nap I've ever had. No joke.

After lazing around for the afternoon we headed to the beach for a quick stroll before dinner.

Dinner was at Sullivan's, one of the places we went to in July.  I fully enjoyed my She Crab Soup, fried food, with a side of more fried food, and beer.

After dinner Drew and I went back to the beach for a little for some ice cream (for me), and some drinks (for him).  It was a pretty glorious day.  The next day we left at about noon.  It was a whirlwind weekend!!!  Oh, and another 2014 goal accomplished!!

I'm not sure where I stand with my running right now...I'm going to go on a run tomorrow morning and again assess how I feel.  Broad Street is coming up in a little less than 4 weeks, and I'm having doubts about the kind of shape I'm in!  More to come on that...

1. Do you like fried food?  What's your favorite thing to eat fried??

2. Last race you did?  Next one?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A goat on a table.

This week has been quite nice.  It's Spring Break at the school I work at, but I took my break early, so I am working this week.  The school is empty save for the maintenance, dining, and cleaning staff.  It's quite relaxing!  I'm glad I'll have human interaction at work again next week though...

Let me recap, through pictures, some things that have been going on outside of running:

Saturday afternoon
Drew randomly initiated a game, via text, where we send each other pictures of dogs that look like us.  I mean why not?  I sent him this adorable puppy, because he is blonde and often very, very tired:

He sent me this, and that was the end of the game:

Saturday night
Sierra and I took a jaunt to the city for some marrrrrrrgaritas!  We live on the train line so it's really easy to go into Philly for the evening without having to drive.  The only downside is the train stops running at midnight.  Most nights this is fine though because I like my sleep!!

I told Sierra to pose with the sunset.
Yes and yes!

We ran into our lovely friend Brooke!!!!  Ah I just love this girl.  Good times had by all!

On my walk with the dogs on Sunday we saw a goat on a table.  Goats be like, "May we help you?"

I found this, sent it to Drew, story of our lives.  Not my fault he's a slow eater!!! :)

It snowed again, how bout that?  I had a relaxing evening.  I went to Chipotle to hang out with Travis and Braden before I was hungry.  So when I came home to make dinner I had Mexican food on the brain.  I topped sweet potato with black beans, roasted Brussels sprouts (not Mexican I know), jalapeno, cheese, and sour cream.  HOLY YUM!

Not cool, Spring, not cool.
 I have become the master of building roaring fires!!  I spent the rest of the evening cozied up watching the snow and Jeopardy :)

1. What's something random that happened to you lately?

2. Is it still cold where you live?

Goodbye shoes :(

This post is actually going to be mostly about running!  Imagine that.

Latest Workouts:
Saturday: 7 miles around town.  Glorious, shorts weather, overcast, mid morning, the bomb.
Sunday: Hour walk with those doggies, plus a long foam roll session.
Monday: Favorite spin class, lots of foam rolling/stretching, and core work.
Tuesday: 6 miles before work.  IT band = ouch.
Wednesday: Instead of the 50 minute run I had on the schedule, I took an extra cross-train day because of my IT band.  30 minutes of spinning (on my own), plus stretching, core, and - you guessed it - foam rolling.

So if you can see the theme from my latest workouts, I have been very tight in the IT band/glute/hamstring area.  I think this is coming from my recent increase in mileage, coupled with my relaxed approach to dynamic warm-up/post run stretching lately (i.e. it doesn't happen).   Beginning Sunday, after my long walk, I noticed I was hurting, so I embraced my old friend: the foam roller!!  I swear by this thing.  However, foam rolling is a blessing and curse: do it too much, and you could injure a muscle/tendon that otherwise may have healed.  I may have been foam rolling too frequently these past few days, but it's helped me so far.  I already feel worlds better! It just hurts so good...

Check out this "Owner's Manual" of the foam roller.  It's very comprehensive, and can speak much better than I can.  I generally use the roller for my quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, and lower back. 

As I was considering why I was all of a sudden so tight, I realized, "HELLO - I need new shoes!"  Duh.  It's about that time.  I replace my shoes every 6 months, and this works well for me.  Around the 6 month mark is usually when I start to feel injured suddenly - tight IT band, sore calves, etc., and new shoes fix all my problems!  I have not yet gotten to the place of rotating multiple pairs of shoes at once, although I would like to look into that.  

I am an extreme over-pronator (my ankles collapse inward when I run), and I have sky-high arches.  The man who fit my ski boots called them the Lincoln Tunnel...So I need lots of support in my shoes - I always add heal lifts and an extra arch support.  Yeah it's a mess.  For this reason, I am terrified of switching shoe models.  I am a firm believer in sticking with what works for you, and just getting the upgraded model of the same shoe.  Mizunos have been my go-tos for a few years now.  This time last year I was in the Wave Nirvana and I switched to the Wave Inspire 9.  It was a BIG "step" for me :)  I absolutely love love love these shoes though.  

 So I went to order some new ones online, no big deal.  Welllllll they completely CHANGED the shoe!  I can't find the 9s anywhere!!  This ordinarily wouldn't bother me, because shoes upgrade every year, but I've read very mixed reviews of the new 10s.  They've been overhauled.  Anyway, I'm sure I'm overreacting just a tad, ha.  I'm sure they'll be fine.  I tried a pair on yesterday.  They felt fine but it's so hard to tell in the store.  Then I just bit the bullet and ordered a pair.

They'll be here next week sometime, but I may not try them out until after the Cooper River run NEXT SATURDAY!  My current shoes will certainly hold out till then.  Then they will be laid to rest :(  (which means sitting in my closet with 3 other old pairs).

1. What's your favorite running shoe?

2. Do you have any nagging injuries/sore spots?