week(s) in review: Veteran's Day 5k weeks 4 & 5

I missed getting last week’s review out, so today is a two for one kind of deal.  The week before last was a rough one for me.  Sometimes it seems like at the very time I want to feel strongest is when I feel most vulnerable.  Originally I wasn’t going to record my workouts here, because I’m embarrassed that I wasn’t strong enough to get it done.  Now I realize how silly that is.  So here we go!

My totals for Week 4:

Swim - zero

Bike - nothing

Run - 1:30:30, 7.12 miles

Monday

  • Run - 15:01, 1.2 miles

Yet another gorgeous day. It was kind of amazing to be outside and run, but not be drenched in sweat. Z1/Z2 and the breathing felt easy, but my lower legs felt sore.

  • Functional Strength - 5 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up

Tuesday

  • Functional Strength - 5 minutes
    • Pedestal 2

I snacked on too much junk food at work, and my stomach rebelled pretty strongly.  I wasn’t able to get my run in after work.

Wednesday

  • Run - 30.19, 2.31 miles

Long sleeves and capris were actually warranted this morning! I also got to try out my RunLites gloves, which were great.  Going uphill I felt some stiffness in the achilles, but no other calf pain or anything!

  • Functional Strength - 5 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up

Thursday

  • Run - 30:05, 2.42 miles

This was a nice and sunny one. Warm, but not hot.  I felt like I was running a bit faster today (and I was) but, I mean I actually FELT it. Maybe I should have eased back a bit, but it was nice to try to run a bad day at work into the ground.

  • Functional Strength - 4 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up
    • Plus a quick plank during the day

Friday

  • Run - 15:05, 1.19 miles

After a rough day, I needed some outside time to try to brush everything off so I could enjoy the weekend.

Saturday

  • Unscheduled Rest Day

This day featured something of a meltdown, including some super ugly crying.  It also prompted to me to come to terms with the fact that I need to head back to the doctor and wade into the scary pool that is depression meds.

Sunday

  • Unscheduled Rest Day

Spent the afternoon with my dad, brother, and J at the last home game of the regular season for DC United.  I’d never been to a pro soccer game before, and it was such fun!

Highlight of the week, right here

Highlight of the week, right here

 

My totals for Week 5:

Swim - zip

Bike - 24:03, 3.18 miles

Run - 2:50:46, 13.58 miles

Monday

  • Run - 17:04, 1.34 miles

Lots of time in Z1, which, I suppose, is how an easy recovery run should go. Since I missed both my runs over the weekend, it felt like forever out there! It was quite warm....maybe 80? In October?! Ah well, at the leaves and acorns made it feel like fall, even if the temperature didn’t.

  • Functional Strength - 5 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up

Tuesday

  • Run - 34:02, 2.44 miles

Drove to Riverbend and ran the Heritage trail, which I wrote a separate post about.

Views of the potomac

Views of the potomac

  • Functional Strength - 5 minutes
    • Lunge Matrix Warm-up

Wednesday

  • Run - 17:02, 1.39 miles

Just some quick loops around the apt complex after work, but I was full on sweating in that time. 85 degrees?! In late October?!  When I finished this up, my lower legs felt heavy, and a bit sore. Likely from my little trail adventure. I decided to put my feet up for the rest of the night!

  • Functional Strength - 5 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up

Thursday

  • Run - 34:02, 2.81 miles

I drove over to the W&OD after work, and wow, this run felt tough. Maybe it was the warmer weather, but I just had to fight with myself every step of the way to actually keep running and not walk. My HR was high, I was electric pink when I got back to the car, and I just wasn't feeling it.

  • Functional Strength - 3 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up

Friday

  • Rest Day

Saturday

  • Bike - 24:03, 3.18 miles

Bike ride with Dad!  Dad borrowed  a hybrid from some friends, and I drove over for the first time on my road bike since the Reston Tri.  We stuck close to the house, doing a quick loop and exploring a few cul de sacs.  It was so much fun to go out and ride with Dad, and I hope he wants to do a bit more of this while the fall weather is still nice.

A year ago I never would have guessed that I would spend a Saturday afternoon on bikes with Dad

A year ago I never would have guessed that I would spend a Saturday afternoon on bikes with Dad

  • Run - 18:34, 1.42 miles

Took it to the paved paths around my parents’ house after my ride with Dad.  The leaves and pine needles made it a little slippery on the wooden bridges, but it wasn’t too bad.  I love getting the opportunity to run on different surfaces like this!

  • Functional Strength - 3 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up

Sunday

  • Run - 50:02, 4.18 miles

Drove out to the W&OD, only had to wait a little bit for parking, and then headed west from Sandburg St. Mostly false flat downhill on the way out, so obviously it was a false flat climb on the way back. It was nice and cool, but sunny, and aside from a few little tip of toe blisters and a bit of the start of a stitch on the way back, everything felt great. Around the 40 minute mark I actually felt great, which was quite cool.

All in Z1/Z2. I had a pack of Honey Stinger chews about half an hour before I started. I do kind of wonder if the stitch could have been from the chews? Probably not after that much time.

  • Functional Strength - 3 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up

 

Two weeks ago when I did my week in review, I had some goals.  I wanted to make sure I did my core exercises, and wanted to add in swimming and such.  Clearly, none of that happened.  For the upcoming week, I’m not going to make any special goals.  Instead, I just want to carry on, and take each day as it comes.

A Walk in the Woods

Recently I renewed my previous obsession with reading Appalachian Trail thru hiker memoirs.  Inspired, I decided it was time to step way outside of my comfort zone and do a bit of trail running.  Yesterday, after work, I logged just shy of 2.5 miles on the trails.  The terrain was a surprise, my shoes were completely wrong, and I had a great time.

The Potomac River.  These are just the mini falls.  Great Falls is further past where I went

The Potomac River.  These are just the mini falls.  Great Falls is further past where I went

There are several short trails at Riverbend Park, and I decided to try out the Heritage Trail for my first go.  According to the map, it followed the Potomac pretty closely, so I figured it would be fairly flat.  While that turned out to be true, I was totally taken by surprise by the surface I was running on.  I’m a suburban girl, through and through.  My usual bike trail is a paved rail conversion.  One time I thought I saw a snake, but once I got closer it turned out to be a bit of black garden hose.  Imagine my shock when the small rocks and packed dirt I was running on suddenly turned into a narrow passage of tree roots and pointed rocks that came up to my knees.  I slowed to a walk, used my hands at times to get over the largest rocks, and kept my eyes peeled for the next green blaze marking the trail.

This gap is just wide enough for my foot, and then the trail heads sharply down

This gap is just wide enough for my foot, and then the trail heads sharply down

Speaking of those pointed rocks...ouch!  I love my Vivobarefoot Stealth shoes.  They’re soft as slippers and have incredible ground feel, but that also means you can feel everything.  And not in a cool, “wow, I can feel every tree root and adjust my stride accordingly on the fly” way.  More of an “yeouch, that was a super sharp rock and I think my ankle is going to collapse at any moment” kind of way.  In the first few minutes of my run, I considered heading right back to the car, thinking I really didn’t want to deal with being jabbed in the foot every few seconds.  Then the surface suddenly changed into packed dirt, and it was smooth sailing for a bit, and I was starting to have fun.

Such Fun!!

Such Fun!!

I never thought I was going to be a trail fan. Bugs are gross, I’m scared of snakes, and I just didn’t see what the big deal was.  2.5 miles on a flat and easy trail, and I’m ready for more.  I liked running somewhere new.  The trees were so nice, and there was no exhaust or traffic noise.  Best of all, I just ran.  No constant watch checking, too busy with watching my footing to get caught up in the noise of my head, and the scenery was gorgeous.  Just me and nature.  I never would have thought it.  Get me some trail shoes, show me the way to the parks, and let’s get out there and breathe some real fresh air!

week in review: Veteran's Day 5k Week 3

Remember last week, when I said that fall finally arrived?  That’s still true, but I seem to have fallen into that trap where I think that fall is something it isn't.  I say fall to myself, and immediately skip ahead to November.  Hoodies, crunchy leaves, and split pea soup!  So, I get a bit let down by the reality that is October: cooler morning, warmer afternoons, never knowing what to wear, and a feeling of it being “too warm” for said soup.  Workouts happen in any season, though, and this is how last week went down.

Most common sight along the W&OD trail on Sunday.  So pretty!

Most common sight along the W&OD trail on Sunday.  So pretty!

My totals:

Swim - zippo

Bike - nada

Run - 2:23:37, 11.25 miles

 

Monday

  • Run - 14:03, 1.07 miles

Easy peasy, I guess. I mean, it was totally easy, and I made myself run super slow and paid more attention to my breathing. Sure enough, this was almost entirely in Z1, which is where a recovery run should be, right? But at the same time, my ankles and calves felt like they were working really hard. The last couple weeks there have been meetings at work, which means heels. Bane of my existence!

  • Functional Strength - 15 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up
    • Pedestal 1 x2
    • Myrtle cool-down

Tuesday

  • Run - 28:03, 2.02 miles

Easy. Squarely in Z1/Z2, in fact!  I made it out and back before the sun came up, so I was glad I went with the headlamp and the hi-viz longsleeve. Not that it was really cool enough for the sleeves yet, it was more for the color/reflective bits.  But wow, my calves and ankles were pretty unhappy. I can't brag about how few injuries I have only to start getting pain over the next few days. That's just a big joke from the universe, right? Or the heels. Or...it could be that I wasn't super warmed up? I mean, I did my usual warm up, but maybe because it was fractionally colder, I was just feeling a bit creaky. It was Bambi legs again, where I just felt like I wasn't in control of them.  Still, all that aside, this was a decent run. Slow, yes, and I need to get over that. Say it with me: I am building a strong foundation for the future.

  • Functional Strength - 20 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up
    • Leg Circuit #1 (more lunges, plus single leg squats)
    • Pedestal 2 (this is 40 seconds for each plank, done once.  I thought I was going to collapse on the back plank, but I made it through!)
    • Myrtle cool-down

Wednesday

  • Run - 14:02, 1.12 miles

Quick zoom zoom around the apartment complex. The weather was beautiful, and I got to run by the apartment playground twice. Adorable!

Everything felt nice and easy. I always thought I was a morning runner, but these afternoon runs are starting to grow on me.

  • Functional Strength - 15 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up
    • Pedestal 1 x2
    • Myrtle cool-down

Those back planks are killer, and I really didn't want to do my core work. Then I reminded myself of how weak my core is on the bike, and sucked it up and did it. Mind over matter.

Thursday

  • Run - 28:04, 2.14 miles

Same hi-viz longsleeved shirt and headlamp combo from Tuesday, and I was pretty comfy. I have to say, I definitely should not have tried to get two wearings out of that shirt. Fortunately I was running outside and not in the gym where that would have assaulted someone's nose. Gross!

My calves felt a bit better than they had on Tuesday. With the meetings all virtual for the rest of the week, I’m back in my usual sneakers and happier for it.  I think running on the hills is tough on the calves as well. All summer I would walk up the hills to get my HR back down, so running on them again takes a bit of getting used to.

  • Functional Strength - 3 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up

Boo.  There was no reason to skip the core and cool down work, but I totally talked myself out of it.

Friday

Rest Day - I turned 36 and celebrated with a day off of work, plenty of so-bad-it's-good television, and ate myself sick on milk chocolate salted caramels.  Sometimes the best birthdays are spent alone and in pajamas all day!

Saturday

  • Run - 14:26, 1.18 miles

It was sort of gross and threatening to rain, so I skipped any thoughts of a bike ride and went straight to the scheduled run of the day.  The October weather really seemed to agree with me, and I felt great while staying in Z1/Z2.  Then it was time to clean myself up for birthday lunch with my family!

36 years old and still struggling with the whole "look at the camera' thing...

36 years old and still struggling with the whole "look at the camera' thing...

  • Functional Strength - 3 minutes
    • Lunge Matrix warm-up

No bueno, Laura...skipped the core and cool down again. Perezosa!

Sunday

  • Run - 44:59, 3.72 miles
Early stages of fall on the W&OD trail

Early stages of fall on the W&OD trail

I drove out to the W&OD for this run.  I headed towards Falls Church proper, and made it almost to the Rt 7 overpass before it was time to turn around.  The cool temps and relatively flat terrain made for some speedier miles, particularly the first two, which have a net elevation loss. On the downside, I timed my water intake really poorly.  I chugged a bunch about an hour before setting off, which meant I spent the entire run having to pee.  Whoops!

The wind was really kicking up, especially on my way back to the car. A couple times I almost lost my hat!  In other gear news, I wore my new Lululemon Speed Track Shorts, and they are amazing, so a huge thanks to Stacey for the recommendation.  They have tons of pockets; I carried my phone and keys and they didn’t budge.  Two thumbs up.

  • Functional Strength - 3 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up


Next week is going to be a repeat of this week, volume-wise.  I don’t necessarily feel like I need to repeat, but since this is an 8 week build to race day, I just feel like it's the right thing to do.  That being said, I would like to make some goals for myself heading into next week.  Firstly, I need to hit all of my core/cool down exercises.  No excuses!  And second, now that my running 6 days a week is a pretty set new habit, I’m going to start adding in swimming and city biking.  For the last three weeks, any non-running workouts were more “when I feel like it.”  Starting next week I want to start scheduling them back in.  Just to make sure things to slip too far back!  At least one of each for next week.  Here we go!

week in review: Veteran's Day 5k Week 2

This week it felt like fall really arrived, with a few mornings where I actually felt some chill in the air as I walked to the car.  There was also a huge amount of rain this week.  Usually I like running in the rain, but I’m ready for a bit of sunshine now.  Here’s a look at this week’s workouts.

My totals:

Swim - 46:43, 2000 yards

Bike - zip

Run - 2:11:15, 10.01 miles

 

Highlight of the week was getting back into the pool.  This mural runs across the whole side wall and the picture does not do it justice.

Highlight of the week was getting back into the pool.  This mural runs across the whole side wall and the picture does not do it justice.

Monday

  • Run - 13:02, 1.05 miles

This was an afternoon run, and it felt so much cooler.  Fall!  My heart rate felt it, too, with me having to push harder to get my HR up.

  • Functional Strength - 10 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up
    • Myrtle cool-down

There was also supposed to be a swim this morning.  I got up, drove out to the REC, all ready for the grand reopening of the pool after a month of construction.  Turned out it wasn’t opening until 1pm, and even the locker rooms were still closed.  I drove back home so I could get a shower in before heading to work.

Tuesday

  • Run - 26:02, 1.92 miles

Oof. My lower legs did want want to play. It rained pretty heavily Monday night, but there weren't any super slick spots since there still aren't many leaves on the ground. Still, it was shorts and t-shirt weather, but not hot = my favorite!

  • Functional Strength - 23 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up
    • Core (Pedestal 1 x2)
    • Myrtle cool-down

Wednesday

  • Run - 13:01, 1.00 miles

Not quite 70 degrees and the teensiest whisper of drizzle.  Why can’t it be like this all the time?  This was an afternoon run.  It was short enough that it was all still in daylight, too.  I can tell the days are getting shorter, though.

  • Functional Strength - 10 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up
    • Myrtle cool-down

Thursday

  • Run - 26:05, 1.94 miles

Drenching rain. It was dark and there was a bit of thunder and lightning happening, so I kept it in the apartment complex just in case it got really bad. I was feeling quite good, except for some fatigue, bordering on pain, in my lower legs. I’m of the mind that the pain is because of all the work meetings I've had this week, which means after months in sneakers I subjected myself to 3+ days in heels. Whoops!

  • Functional Strength - 3 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up

Because I was completely drenched when I got home, I opted to throw my soaking wet clothes in the laundry and jump right into the shower, rather than drip rainwater all over the floor. That means I needed to find another time to do my core/hip routine.

Friday

  • Swim - 46:43, 2000 yards
    • 50 BR/50 back warm up
    • 4x50 :10
    • 3x100 :10
    • 2x150 :10
    • 200 :10
    • 2x150 :10
    • 3x100 :10
    • 4x50 :10
    • 50 BR/50 back cool down

First time back in the pool, and wow, my back and shoulders were feeling it in the second half. It took me until the final set of 100s before I even felt like I was breathing normally. Guess that's what happens when the pool is closed and you take a 5 week break. I can't imagine what it would be like to take an entire winter off of swimming.

  • Run - 13:03, 1.08 miles

Just barely drizzling again; that's the kind of workout I love. It makes it so easy to run a bit faster while keeping the HR low.  Faster being a relative term, of course.  Not to mention this was a great way to start the weekend!

  • Functional Strength - 23 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up
    • Core (Pedestal 1 x2)
    • Myrtle cool-down

Saturday

  • Walk - 48 minutes, 3 miles

I had been thinking I’d do a bike ride, but it was raining when I woke up.  Wet roads?  When there’s no actual scheduled rides?  Yeah, that was not going to happen.  I went for a power walk instead, where I got to wear my Reston Tri race shirt.  Hi-viz yellow, long sleeved, and super comfy!

Sunday

  • Run - 40:02, 3.02 miles

No alarm this morning, and I managed to sleep all the way to 7:30!  I thought it was supposed to be sunnier, but it was another overcast day. I spent maybe a bit too much time in Z3, but the usual hills around my house make it pretty unavoidable for me. I still tried to keep the perceived effort nice and easy.

  • Functional Strength - 10 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up
    • Myrtle cool-down

 

Another good week in the books.  Two weeks in a row of running six days a week, and no pain?  This is so exciting!  Run little and run often.  Run fast to run slow.  I am building a strong foundation that my running can build on for years.  Okay, so maybe the part about running slow isn’t particularly exciting.  But having no pain is something I’ve never experienced before.  I’ve always had little niggles in my feet or pain in my hip.  Now….there’s nothing, and it is awesome.

week in review: Veteran's Day 5k Week 1

It has been an awfully long time since I have done a weekly recap, but since this week marks the start of a new training cycle, it seems a good time to start again.  My next target race is coming up in just 7 weeks - the Veterans Day 5k!  I set a PR of 29:03 at the 5k distance back in 2007, and my best time this year is 29:53.  I plan to beat that this time around.  I’ll be doing a separate post going over the plans I’ll be following as I chase this goal.  For now, back to basics, and looking at the week in review.

My totals:

Swim - nada.  The pool has been closed for a month for renovation, but it opens TODAY!!

Bike - 46:24, 7.61 miles

Run - 2:00:23, 9.23 miles

Highlight of the week had nothing to do with running.  Donuts fresh from the food truck at the farmer's market!

Highlight of the week had nothing to do with running.  Donuts fresh from the food truck at the farmer's market!

 

Monday

  • Run - 12:04, 0.87 miles

This was one of my 3 short recovery runs, but wow, this felt ridiculously short. I have no idea why this was so slow. I didn't even walk! Must be the trees, interfering with the GPS signal. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  Trust the plan, and take it easy, right?

  • Functional Strength - 10 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up
    • Myrtle cool-down

Tuesday

  • Run - 24:03, 1.78 miles

Medium run today, out and back down 7. It's been a long time since I actually ran the entire thing. With summer HR running, I was walking up most of the hills. Now that it is finally a bit cooler, I seem to be able to get up the hills and stay in Z2! On the other hand, I seem to be spending more time in Z1 than usual. I'm going to go with it for now, seeing as I've never run 6 days a week before, and I don't want to mess with intensity and frequency at the same time.

  • Functional Strength - 13 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up
    • Core (Pedestal 1)
    • Myrtle cool-down

Wednesday

  • Run - 12:09, 0.97 miles

Why is it that no matter how short the run, sometimes you still wind up checking the watch a million times? Nice easy recovery run. Lots of little acorns on the ground!

  • Functional Strength - 10 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up
    • Myrtle cool-down

Thursday

  • Run - 24:02, 1.86 miles

I couldn’t be bothered digging through the closets looking for my reflective armband, but it was still dark when I headed out.  I decided to wrap my headlamp around my arm.  It was slightly rough going, but more for my head than my legs.  I absolutely did not want to get out of bed, but I got it done.  Yes!

  • Functional Strength - 17 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up
    • Core (Pedestal 1 x2)
    • Myrtle cool-down

Friday

  • Run - 12:03, 0.93 miles

Nice and easy does it. I wore the sunglasses I got as swag from Reston. They're so lightweight it's like they aren't even there! So far I like them.

  • Functional Strength - 10 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up
    • Myrtle cool-down

Saturday

  • City Bike Ride - 46:24, 7.61 miles

Now that tri season is over, Peggy the Dutchi gets to come out to play!  Man, I forgot how heavy she is, though.  Getting up those hills is hard work.  It was a gorgeous early fall day, and not too hard.  I rode to the farmer’s market and picked up some apple cider and mini doughnuts.  A perfect start to the weekend.

Sunday

  • Run - 36:02, 2.82 miles

When I headed out it wasn't even 60 degrees. The sun was shining, I was sweating buckets in the best way, and it was generally a fun day out. It is so odd to have my "long" run be 36 minutes. On the other hand, I can’t remember the last time I felt excited to get out and be active both on both weekend days.  This plan is clearly agreeing with me. Nothing hurts! No fatigue!

  • Functional Strength - 10 minutes
    • Lunge matrix warm-up
    • Myrtle cool-down

 

This week was great.  It’s odd to have my runs be so short, but it was fun getting out there and running 6 times in a week.  I am trying to ignore the fact that I seem to be slower than ever before.  Patience.  Consistency.  And at long last, the pool is open, so swimming is back on the table.  Next week is going to be fantastic!