Monday, July 7, 2014

Akron Half Training: Week 2

Monday- 3 miles
13:20, 12:45, 12:30
After my ridiculously bad 3 miles the day before, I decided to get out of the heat and do 3 miles on the treadmill. I still felt pretty crappy about how bad I did, so I wanted to give myself a better chance to have a good run. I watched PLL and stayed cool! This run was so much better.

Tuesday- 30 mins ST
Leg press - chest press - tricep extension - shoulder press - leg extension - seated leg curl - bicep curl
Went to the fitness room again. Had a great session and was less sore afterward than last week!

Wednesday- 30 mins XT
stationary bike- 7.14 mi
I went over to the fitness room to get on the bike, only to be greeted by barefoot children pretending to be experts on all the machines. I walked on the treadmill for 20 mins waiting for the bike to free up, then did my 30 minutes. Then we went to a cookout and friends' baseball game, which promptly got rained out... which led to the bar.

Thursday- 4 miles
14:48, 14:26, 13:31, 12:41
Another sucky-ish long run. I'm obviously not hydrating or warming up enough. It was the same thing as last week: try to run super slow and easy, then get calf cramps after half a mile that don't let up at all the entire run. I just walked when I had to and ran when I could. It's frustrating because I don't have time to have these stupid issues during what I think is the most important part of half training. But I made it through, and I got faster as the run went along, so I call that a success. Rewarded myself with a trip to The Brew Kettle and the mall.

Friday- rest
Holiday today. Just bumped speedwork back.

I drank all the beer this week
Saturday- 8x200
1:04, 59, 1:00, 1:02, 1:02, 59, 1:01, 1:04
I tried 200s instead of 400s this week because they were tiring me out really fast and I've never done 200s before. Turns out, they're way better than 400s. And I could run faster! Speedwork is definitely up there with my favorite workouts. Anyways, the weather was perfect and it went well.

Sunday- rest

This week was definitely better than last week, but I'm still frustrated about my long run. Other than the calf cramping during that, I feel great! This plan is definitely working for me. Thankfully this weekend of eating terrible food is over and I can get back to normal. It would be awesome if I could shed a few pounds and/or replace some fat with muscle in the next few months, so I'm trying to keep an eye on what I eat and try not to go crazy after I work out. I didn't gain any weight this week, so that is a major victory!

Next week's schedule looks about the same, so hopefully I'll improve. If all goes according to plan. Which it almost never does.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Akron Half Training: Week 1

First week of half training is done! My schedule for the week had to be moved around a lot, but for the most part, I finished what I needed to finish. Everything should be back on track next week!

This wasn't the best week ever. However, I was able to figure out what my needs are for this training cycle and how to do them! Which is exactly the reason why I allowed myself two extra weeks. So yay me.

Monday- run/walk (R/W) 2 miles
12:45 - 13:15

Just a note: the mileage on this run is going to be kicked up every week. I haven't run in a while, so I just need to ease in to it. I started a running club for the kids I work with, so I was able to get in a mile with them and finish at home after work. I had to walk a lot during the first mile, which I anticipated, considering there were kids not going at my pace that I needed to interact with. The second mile was done at my apartment complex after work. A mile is 1.5 laps around the complex as opposed to 4 laps or more around a track, so I usually don't get too bored.

Tuesday- 30 minutes strength training (ST)
Leg press - chest press - tricep extension - shoulder press - leg extension - seated leg curl

There's a fitness center across the street from my apartment that's part of the complex, so I did my ST there. I don't plan on going there all the time, mostly because the equipment is outdated, but for today it served its purpose. I ended up doing closer to 35 minutes waiting for that last machine to free up.

Wednesday- 30 minutes cross training (XT)
stationary bicycle - 8.2 mi

I agreed to babysit my nephews today and tomorrow, so I knew that getting my workouts done would be challenging. One nephew is 4 and the other is 3 months, so they pretty much exhaust me completely. After dinner, I got on my mom's stationary bike and did a moderate 30 minutes. But not before spilling a full glass of water all over myself, the bike, and the floor.

Thursday- rest

So my plan has me doing my "long" run today, but I had to switch it around just for this week. The kids tired me out way more than I expected, and I still had the long drive home after I was done. For this training cycle, Thursday is going to be long run day because I have no motivation on the weekends and don't work on Thursdays. This is really the only time that it's not going to work out. Gonna do those 3 miles this weekend instead.

Friday- 6 x 400
2:23, 2:24, 2:23, 2:26, 2:34, 2:44

I did the first couple repeats at running club today and then finished up later. Originally, I had only planned to do 4, but my husband had all 4 of his to do after work and I wanted to run with him. Like the noob I am, I didn't think to just clock my laps using the stopwatch on my phone, so I did my speedwork the super hard way and I know my times aren't accurate. Plus, the second part of my 400s were actually 450-500m, so I just called it even and had a great workout. I really like running faster for shorter distances, even though it hurt my shins a lot.

Saturday- rest

Today was pretty busy, but my Saturdays are either going to be catch-up days or walk/stretch days. My husband and I spent a decent chunk of the weekend deep cleaning and scrubbing our apartment, so... good enough.

Sunday- easy 3 miles
13:39, 15:29, 13:34 (42:42)

This run totally sucked. Like personal worst suck. I woke up feeling stiff and tired, it was stupid hot out, I ran on a path that I NEVER do well on... just wasn't meant to be. I seriously didn't think 3 miles would be a big deal at all. I felt like I was running so nice and easy, but my calves literally clamped up after half a mile and I got really frustrated. Regardless, I sucked it up and finished my run, shitty as it was.

To sum up my first week of training...

This week I learned that I need to devote a lot more time to stretching, both before and after workouts. This is the first training plan I've done where I've had something almost every day, and I'm kinda stiff. Also, I'd like to add another short run, XT, and/or ST somewhere in my schedule- maybe on Saturdays.

I'm not that upset by this first week. I know I haven't been running like I should for the past few months and I need to catch up. I'm slow and just generally not a good runner, but the best way for me to improve is to just keep getting out there and trying. So next week is a new week. Statistically, it has to be better.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Race Recap: Akron Autism 5K

Why do I feel like it's been forever since I've posted something?

So I realized that after Medina, I had absolutely zero races scheduled until my half in September! I don't know how this happened... I mean, it's race season. I should be racing like, every other weekend. Anyways, I've had my eye on this race for a long time and just forgot to register until the week of. As I've said probably too many times, I spent the best years of my life (thus far) in Akron, so I usually jump at the chance to do stuff there. Also, my nephew has mild autism and we are big advocates for autism support. So this race was just an all-around good idea.

The race was at 9:00am over at Lock 3 in downtown Akron. Jeff and I didn't have time to pick up our packets before race day, so we arrived early to grab our stuff. We parked in a university deck that we knew would be open, free, and close! The hill down to get our packets was our warm-up since we had to take stuff back to the car and come back. After a little bit of down-time, we lined up and were on our way!

perfect weather! 
Since my husband and I both took a brief break from running before half training starts, we decided not to care about our times and just enjoy the run. I didn't want to take away from the reason I was there because I knew I'd be too busy fretting about my time. We just picked a comfortable pace and went with it. The course took us down and up Main Street, around the lock, and on the towpath for a mile or so. I'd never gone on that particular section of the towpath or by the lock, so I definitely enjoyed the scenery!

race pic downloads were free, so no proof-stealing this time

Honestly, the miles just kind of blurred together. I was so zoned out that I almost ran right through a goose family that was crossing the towpath. I like races with easy courses where you can just space out for a while. The volunteers and traffic cops at the intersections were also supportive and cheered for us the whole way, which definitely helped. Toward the end of the race, my foot started hurting in the same spot where I injured it at the 10K last month. I think it's time to re-examine my running shoes. Otherwise, we came into the finish and felt great! We grabbed some water and picked a spot to watch the festivities for a while.

Although we didn't care about our times, I was still interested to see how we did. I didn't PR, but it was still my 2nd fastest 5K time! And I paced my husband to a 14-second PR, so that's always nice!

running buddies
Overall, I thought the event was great! I was so happy to see that they raised over $90,000 for autism! The online registration was kind of a total nightmare, but the race itself was awesome! It was also cool how they had a ton of autism-related information exhibits. It was basically a giant autism celebration. I'd love to do this next year and be more involved- maybe start a fundraising team and do the walk with some of my family and friends.

Now I'm ready to kick off half training and hopefully find a few more races to do this summer!