Monday, January 16, 2017

Princess Half Marathon Training: Week Six

Have you ever had a week where every day feels like a Monday? Yeah, that was this week for me. I couldn't get in a routine. Work nearly crushed my spirits. Let's also add some flooding! It was a hard earned week for sure.

Monday was rest day and I took full advantage. I got my hair cut and I felt like a new person! Sure, I didn't get a lot cut off, but just a little bit made me feel so much better! I also took an hour nap, which was amazing.

Tuesday was strange. The day started with snow, then by lunch time there was a wintry mix and when I left to go home it was raining. I decided the smart thing to do was run on the treadmill. This workout was something.

2 mile warm up
14 x 400m (1:45, 1:48, 1:45, 1:45, 1:45, 1:45, 1:43, 1:43. 1:43, 1:44, 1:41, 1:41, 1:38, 1:40)
200m recovery
1 mile cool down
8.1 miles total

Wednesday was a beautiful day! Like in the 50s beautiful! I had to get out there and run. I did five miles with strides in each mile. I felt like I could run forever. That is truly my perfect temperature. I was shocked at the 8:34 average pace. I did not feel like I was moving that quickly!

Thursday was my next rest day and it was nice to turn off my brain for a little bit. I caught up on some tv, did some laundry and just had some me time. We had a lot of rain too so my head was not feeling the best. A cold front was rolling through.

Friday was just a total fail. I had nine miles on tap with some marathon pace miles thrown in. I got three miles in to my run and noticed that there was water on the trail. I was running down towards the North Shore and didn't realize how much rain we actually had the day before. At the three mile mark I had to turn around. The trail was completely under water. I was really mad I had to cut my miles short. I did still get six miles in with a 8:53 average pace.

Note the water.
Saturday I was still angry about my missed three miles, so I decided to finish them. Plus, my new Sparkle Athletics skirts came in. What an awesome treadmill motivation! I kept everything slower since I had a long run the next day.

Sunday was long run day. I have to be honest, I really wasn't looking forward to this. My bed was quite warm and Dangle was doing her best to keep me laying there. I headed to the park and just started. I tried not to look at my watch for the first five miles, but the thought of running another five mile loop literally made me want to scream. Instead, I did a little out and back action and made it work. I finished the ten miles with a 8:45 average pace.

I am thrilled with how I am progressing, pace wise, but this run did not feel good. At all. My stomach felt pretty terrible and by the end my energy was just wiped out. I shouldn't be shocked since this is my highest weekly mileage in over a year, but it was.

Weekly Total: 32.1 miles
January Total: 68.3 miles

Halfway through the month and I have almost 70 miles! This is just crazy to me. Despite Sunday's run, I have felt really good. I can't believe I have finished six weeks of training!! I'm starting to feel so much better about everything and getting really excited!

Did you have any weird weather last week? How did you adapt?

Friday, January 13, 2017

Five Things Friday - 1.13

Happy Friday! We made it through another week! The weather is a little better here this week, thank goodness, and I am really excited for the weekend! I am linking up again with Running On Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for this edition of Five Things Friday.

The topic this week was dream vacations, but I decided to do dream races. I am lucky enough to have crossed two bucket list races off my list (Goofy Challenge in 2014 and Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas in 2016) but I do have a few more that I really want to do!

1. Marine Corps Marathon - I come from a family of service men. My grandfathers were in WWII, my dad was in the Marines and one of my very best friends from high school is currently serving in the Marines. I need to do this race. Maybe in 2018, but it will be some day. I can't not do it.

2. SeaWheeze - Everyone says such amazing things about SeaWheeze that it has now become a bucket list race. I really want to visit Vancouver in general, and I love seeing the different medals that come out every year.

3. Disneyland Half - After Princess, there are only a few more Disney races I haven't done. The Disneyland half is one of them. I mean, I'm not a big Star Wars fan (sorry) so I don't think I need to do those races, and I cannot even name you any of the Avengers. Looks like I need the Disneyland half!

4. A Ragnar - Just one. I want to experience it. We were suppose to do one this year, but things came up and it just isn't going to work. One day I will do one, and I hope it is a great experience.

5. San Francisco Marathon - I want to run across the Golden Gate Bridge. Is that too much to ask for? Hubs and I have talked about returning to California at some point and going to San Fran. I think he secretly knows I will run this race if we go.

I have had the opportunity to run so many amazing races already, I can't wait to cross some of these off my list one day!

What race is on your bucket list? Any you are crossing off in 2017?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Stronger Than Yesterday

As runners, we know we need to strength train. Yet, we don't. I'll admit it. For the longest time I avoided strength training because I was not paying money for a gym membership and I thought that was the only way I could do it. Well, live and learn and I was wrong.

When I was training for my half marathon PR in the summer of 2015 I started really focusing on strength training. From home, with no gym membership.I did buy a kettle bell and a book to help me focus on how I can get better. Turns out, there are tons of different workouts you can do the build strength without heavy weights!

This book is always on my coffee table. I love it!

The first thing you need to know about starting strength training, DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF WITH OTHERS! Yes, some people have been doing this for a little bit and will be able to do more than you. This is your journey. You are the one being the beginner. Find yourself in the process.

Okay, as runners we need two major focus areas in strength training, core and hips. Each of these are super easy to do at home without any equipment.

Core is easily the best and most basic way to build up your running strength. If you have a happy core, you are a happy runner. The best way to start is a basic plank. If you are sitting on the couch, get off and plank for a few seconds at a time. Build up to hold it longer. I usually do a minute long plank before and after my strength workout. Just to make sure things are still in tact.


Runners World published the five best core workouts for runners. I would bookmark this for sure. Oiselle also has a list of core workouts called the dirty dozen. I would highly recommend taking a look at it too.

The next thing you can do is hip strengthening. You need zero workout equipment to build up your hips. I do a hip workout twice a week. It has been life changing! Even just some basic moves, like the ones highlighted here, will make a ton of difference. Usually after a long run my hips are screaming, now they really don't. It's crazy! Theses are some of them I have been doing with my Runners Connect training.

I was talking to my good friend Kristen, who is a certified run coach and PE teacher, and she had a few other ideas on how you can build strength at home!

Kristen says you can always add some intensity to your workouts by adding in jumping or plyos. Here are a few that I will be adding in with my strength training.

Everyone adapts to strength training differently. Make sure you change up your workouts weekly so your body gets the full effects of the training. Also, if you have questions on how things should be done please ask! I can try to help or you can ask Kristen! She is always willing to help and really knows what she is talking about! 

I am linking up with Annmarie, Nicole, Michelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday.

What are some of your favorite at-home workouts? Do you focus on these two areas?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tunes Tuesday - 1.10

Welcome to a new edition of Tunes Tuesday! I am hosting this link up with Kim from KookyRunner and Janelle from Run With No Regrets. If you need some more information on this link up please click here. This weeks topic is Random Music!

I am a really random person in general, but I have two songs that are on my running playlist that are so random, but really get me moving!

"Next To Me" - I have no idea why I like this song so much. I love the beat and Emeli's voice is incredible. It is one of those songs that I cannot skip when it comes on.

"See You Again" - Okay, I am almost 30, and I LOVE Miley. True statement. When I was in grad school I was introduced to Miley (circa 2009-2010) because some of the teams I worked with used her music as warm up songs! This one makes me smile. It helps me remember the few random good times in the dumpster fire I called grad school.

I am interested in seeing some of your random music! Add you post to the link up below!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Princess Half Marathon Training - Week Five

January was being January this week, and I can honestly say I was not ready for cold. I have lived in Pennsylvania my entire life and I always forget how cold it actually gets. Fun fact, this isn't even as cold as it has been!

Monday was thankfully a rest day from running. I did roll a good amount since I was feeling a little tight. I also did a hip strengthening workout that I can tell you was everything I needed.

Tuesday we had the cold front roll through with weather and pressure. I felt really terrible and decided to do a kettle bell workout instead of running. My joints and head do not like pressure changes so I usually feel pretty terrible. I was happy I could get a little over a half hour kettle bell workout in.

Wednesday's workout was something. Here is how it went, awful. It was awful. I didn't hit a single split. The wind was insane and nothing felt right. I was expecting a bad workout sooner or later, and boy did it show up.

2 mile warm up
2 x 3 miles @ HMP (8:08, 8:12, 8:04)(8:18, 8:39, 8:24)
3:00 recovery between
1 mile cool down
9.2 miles total

Thursday was my final rest day of the week. Hubs and I had a ton of running around to do and we actually had time to do it together! The next few weeks leading up to Disney are jam packed. I need to maximize these rest days.

Friday was going to be the warmest day of the weekend so I decided to do my long run. A balmy 16 degrees with a wind chill under 10. I made myself a promise that as long as the sun was out I would attempt to run outside. We also got snow Thursday night so I decided my long run would be six two mile repeats. Not the same route six times, but I would never be more than a mile away from my car. Just in case I slipped or something happened. 

It was great! Despite how terrible my run was on Wednesday, this run was perfect on pace and I felt great. I have been trying to put a focus on my long run pace and run by feel. Not too easy but not race pace. I ran 12 miles at an 8:53 pace.

Saturday I had planned on going to the Pittsburgh Marathon kick off run, but it was 11 degrees when I woke up with a wind chill of 2. Nope. Not again. I did go to the treadmill for four easy miles to shake off the long run. 

Sunday hubs and I spent the morning twitter stalking my friends running in Disney, and watched Disney movies. It was pretty awesome. I eventually hit the treadmill for five miles with my last mile building in speed, since I was suppose to do strides.

Weekly Total: 30.2 Miles
January Total: 36.2 Miles

I ran my first 30 mile week in almost a year! I can't believe it! I'm more shocked how great I felt after that 12. Even though my paced mile run was awful, that long run has really showed me how far I have come in these past five weeks. My first long run this cycle was almost 30 seconds slower per mile and that was four miles less than I ran this week. I'm really excited with how I have been progressing!

What was your best run of the week? How cold was it?