Monday, December 15, 2014

Weekly Workout Recap: Surf City Half - Week 5

And another week bites the dust. I spent the weekend cleaning up my apartment, resting up, and binging on Arrow and Flash. Please tell me someone else is watching and loved the crossover episodes?

Oh, and I caught a stunning sunset at Corona Del Mar:

Weekly Workout Recap: Surf City Half - Week 5

Monday: Rest day

I am loving Monday rest days after tough weekends. 

Tuesday: 3x2400m (6.5 miles total) on treadmill

My legs felt great (again, loving those Monday rest days) and the pace felt effortless to maintain. Melanie (Equinox trainer) has me taking my half marathon PR pace and dropping it for these longer repeats. 

Wednesday: Recovery run along San Diego Creek Trail

After the previous night's 2400m repeats, these recovery miles felt labored, but I was happy to get outside and sweat before work. I have a feeling my Wednesday recovery run will almost always be a slogfest.

Also came home to this:

Really unclear what's happening there... Is he role playing as Little Red Riding Hood? (Or as my Mom said in her response to this picture, Little Green Riding Dog?) Incidentally, that horrid pattern mis-matching was the result of not doing laundry quickly enough. I swear I have more taste than to mix that sheet and the duvet cover pattern two together.

Thursday: Hill repeats + strength workout

This workout was... a mess. The actual workout went fine, when it happened. I dropped Sourabh off at the airport at 6:15am then headed to a nearby hill for the repeats. .3 miles in to my warm-up, Sourabh called and said his flight was delayed three hours and asked if I wanted to get breakfast together. I thought my answer was pretty obvious -- breakfast with Sourabh before he's gone for almost a week (and an evening workout) or tell him no and finish the workout? We had a nice breakfast together and I headed to work. 

Before my morning workout was bagged, I caught this glimpse of a gorgeous sunrise.

Thankfully I got out of the office in time to get the workout in but arrived at the gym to realize that I'd forgotten my bottoms. It was already 8pm and I wasn't sure I'd have time to get home and back with enough time. So I bought a pair of bottoms for the workout. Not my proudest moment but I got. it. done.

200m Hill Repeats:
  • 1 mile warm-up 
  • Dynamic warm-up routine
  • 10x200m repeats dropping from 8:34 to 8:06 at 9 incline with 200m recovery jog in between 
  • 1 mile cool-down

Legs actually felt strong. I think I could have pushed more, in retrospect, but hadn't run hill repeats on a treadmill before. That won't be a problem next week -- I'm not letting anything get in the way of those hill repeats on an actual hill.

  • Three sets of 15 reps (or till exhaustion, which was 12 on a few in the third set): bicep curls, single arm tricep cable pulls, plank rows and goblet squats
  • Two sets of 15 reps: knee to elbow sit-ups on BOSU ball, plank with toe taps on BOSU ball.

Friday: Rest day

There was a nasty rain storm in the SoCal area Friday morning, but it cleared up and we got some vivid rainbows by the afternoon. While rain is good news for the state, which is in a years-long drought, unfortunately big storms often cause landslides and I know the winds knocked out power in the San Francisco area. Hope all stayed safe and dry!

Saturday: 5K tempo + strength training with Melanie

Early morning request to find something from a partner meant I didn't get to the gym with enough time for the planned tempo. Substituted by running a faster 5K to simulate the 5K race I'd done three weeks prior.
  • Three sets of 14 reps of four exercises focused on hamstrings and upper body
  • Two sets of 14 reps of two exercises focused on core and glutes

Sunday: Long run on San Diego Creek Trail

This run went from tired legs to emotional mental thoughts to flying high on run endorphins. Remind me not to listen to emotional playlists while running. Clearly I need to stick to Pitbull. (I know, it's shameful, I'm sorry. HIS BEATS ARE JUST SO CATCHY.)

Splits: (1) 10:19, (2) 10:13, (3) 10:27, (4) 10:12, (5) 10:08, (6) 10:08, (7) 10:02, (8) 9:17, (9) 8:34 

Last week I ran miles 4 and 5 at the same exact pace. This week, miles 5 and 6. Apparently I'm getting better at consistency? Definitely consistent: my "let's get this run done" mentality in the last mile of long runs.

Total Mileage: 29 miles
Speed Mileage: 10 miles

Is anyone else training for a winter race? I feel like most people are in rest/base building mode right now. Which is probably smart, given that most of the runners I know live in cold places... 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Year of Running: 2014

I always love doing Miss Zippy's Year of Running annual reflections. It's fun to look back on my year in terms of running. Given that I didn't run much from April to September, I don't know how much forward progress I've made, but I'm entering 2015 really excited to make some major gains if I keep up the hard work I've put in over the past couple months.

Best race experience?

The OC Turkey Trot 5K! Having my mom and Mason there to "crew" (hah, the idea of having a 5K crew is hilarious to me...), having my dad run the race and cheering him on at the finish line, and running a PR in great weather all contributed to my favorite race experience in 2014. The race itself was poorly run, but the other factors more than made up for it. To be fair, there were scant pickings since I barely raced in 2014. I'm looking forward to racing a lot more next year. 

Best run?

This one is close to impossible to pick. I don't have the best memory for individual runs. Scrolling through my photo gallery though, I'd have to go with my farewell Central Park run before we moved to Orange County. It was a beautiful day, my legs felt great, and I enjoyed saying goodbye to my favorite places.

Best new piece of gear?
The custom insoles I bought from Road Runners Sports. They try to convince everyone to get a custom fitting, and at first I was like "nah I'm good," but then I got curious and tried it out. I really liked how it felt I decided to spring for a pair. I love my Saucony Kinvaras (I'm still on the 4's because they're super cheap on Amazon) but they're definitely on the more minimal side of shoes. 

With the custom insoles, I get good arch support which keeps me better balanced and any foot pain I used to have from longer runs in the Kinvaras has disappeared. The insoles allow me to wear my Kinvaras more, which makes me really happy. Sourabh used to have some foot pain after the shorter runs he does (20-30 minutes) and that's disappeared with these. I don't think they're a necessity and from what I've read online, opinions on them are definitely mixed. About two months in, though, I've been really happy with the insoles. 

Best piece of running advice you received?
Rest matters. Getting enough sleep and giving my body time to recover from hard workouts is essential if I want to see real gains from the runs and exercises I do. The key, of course, is not watching that extra episode on Netflix so you can get the sleep to do the workout, rather than scratching the workout in favor of TV. But, when life intervenes in the form of work or psycho dogs who continue barking at nothing until 1 a.m. (Mason is lucky we don't own any weapons...), it's probably for the best to get that extra hour of sleep.

Most inspirational runner?
My mom at the Turkey Trot. And my douche bag dog... (just kidding, I love him. 95% of the time...)
Last year I said my dad. This year I've got to go with my mom! She just started running using the Couch to 5K plan and has been so dedicated. Reading her texts with how her runs are going is great. I think it's fun to be able to see someone's journey from non-runner to runner. Running with her along the beach when my parents visited over Thanksgiving was one of my best runs this year.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Weekly Workout Recap: Surf City Half - Week 4

This week was a bit off because I started Monday with an evening workout. That meant I got home and ate around 9 PM, making a morning workout a lot tougher. So I ended up doing mainly evening workouts on the weekdays (translation: treadmill runs).

I actually think consistent use of a treadmill can be helpful in that it teaches you to run at a consistent pace, and it forces you to focus on the mental game more. But, I'm really looking forward to getting outside more next week.

Surf City Half Marathon Training - Week 4

Monday: Strength workout.

As a result of higher mileage, I've become reacquainted with runger. So basically, I'm acting like my cats in this picture.

  • 1/2 mile warm-up on treadmill
  • Dynamic stretching routine
  • Three sets of 15 reps of walking lunges, chest presses, hamstring curls, low rows
  • 3 minutes of incline fast walking in between sets
  • 3 minutes of incline running in between sets
  • Two sets of 15 reps of core work
  • Cool down stretching and foam rolling

Tuesday: Rest day.

Wednesday: 7 miles (5x1600m) on the treadmill.

Goal was 5 mile repeats at a pace that's being brought down from a pace that started at my previous half marathon pace. Last time I did this workout, it was at a 9:00-9:15 pace. This time, the goal was 8:45-9:00.
  • 1 mile warm-up
  • (1) 8:57, (2) 8:57, (3) 8:49, (4) 8:49, (5) 8:42
  • 1 mile cool-down

Thursday: 3 miles easy on the treadmill.

It rained Sunday to Wednesday, so the beautiful sunset on Thursday was extremely welcome. Again, had done a Wednesday night workout at the gym, so Thursday was another easy treadmill run.

Friday: Rest day.

Saturday: (1) 8.5 tempo run on the treadmill and (2) strength training with Melanie (Equinox trainer).

Legs felt great during the tempo, but breathing felt labored, probably in part because I didn't get enough sleep the night before. Watched two episodes of Arrow while I ran. 
  • 1 mile warm-up
  • Dynamic stretching routine
  • Tempo run: (1) 8:34, (2) 8:34, (3) 8:27, (4) 8:27, (5) 8:19, (6) 8:19, (.5) 8:13
  • 1 mile cool-down
Melanie wanted to focus on lower body exercises since I'd just tired out my legs. As I've written, Melanie was a pro runner, and she said she always lifted after running  -- you get more bang for your buck with strength training when it's on tired muscles. 
  • Warm-up exercises (skips, high knees, etc.) to loosen up
  • Two sets of 14 reps of superset exercises (two focused on quads, two focused on hamstrings, two focused on glutes, core work)
  • Cool down stretching

Sunday: 8 mile long run.

I headed out to Huntington Beach so I could run along the beachside path. My legs were fatigued after Saturday, which was the point, and mentally I just wanted to sit on the couch. So it wasn't a great run. I didn't think it would be, so I broke it down more and did two out-and-backs -- two miles one direction and back then two miles in another and back. For the middle miles (3-6) I was running into the wind, but that made the last two miles feel fantastic in comparison. 

Splits: (1) 10:00, (2) 9:29, (3) 9:45, (4) 9:59, (5) 9:59 -- gotta love a consistent pace, (6) 10:02, (7) 9:27, (8) 8:38 -- continuing the two week trend of "oh my God I just want this shit to end."

Total Mileage: 26.5 miles

Going forward, I'll likely be dropping strength workouts down to two workouts a week instead of three. Melanie wants to up the intensity of the run workouts so she wants to be sure I can get adequate rest. Therefore, more intensity on workout days and more frequent rest days.