Sunday, February 10, 2013

Weekly Goals and Workout Recap: Snowy Runs, Mental Strength and Yoga Fail

Thanks to my laziness, I had nothing but homework (AKA reading), some chores and exercise scheduled for this weekend and it turned into a gloriously lazy time. Sometimes it's just so nice to stay at home, even if you're doing work there.

Friday night, Sourabh and I caught up on a few TV shows that we'd missed during the week since we both had evening commitments almost all week. I brought home some cheese, crusty Italian bread, and hard cider for us to enjoy as the snow came down. I was in bed before midnight and it was fabulous.

Then I ran my 9 mile long run on Saturday afternoon, after reading plenty of tweets from runners who had scouted out Central Park and found that the main loop was dry and safe for running.

The park was so crowded! It seemed like every New Yorker had ventured out of their home to check out the foot of snow that this weekend's blizzard dropped on the city (I refuse to call it Nemo because that's just what the Weather Channel named it, not the actual National Weather Service).

While it got pretty cold and windy near the end, I had a smile on my face for most of the 9 miles. The park was a winter wonderland and children were sledding down hills and building snowmen everywhere.

I've been feeling very mentally strong on my runs the past few weeks and that continued yesterday. It used to be, I had to fight my mind on every mile, desperately trying to keep myself in the game. Yet somehow the distances have seemed quite manageable and the miles seemed to tick by relatively quickly. Hoping this continues over the next five weeks!

I took my first Refine Method class in almost two months on Sunday and it was totally kickass, in the best possible way. I came home and made pancakes with shredded apple, maple syrup, and cinnamon to top it off -- so freaking good.

Then, after four slightly brutal miles at race pace on the treadmill (tired legs = hard runs), I baked spaghetti squash for the first time. Oh my gosh, you guys, it was so good. I'd never made it because I was intimidated for some reason. Huge mistake. Do yourself a favor and check out Michelle's guide to making spaghetti squash!

Weekly Workout Recap
I wrote last week that I was recommitting to strength training by purchasing a 10-pack of Refine Method classes using their student package (10 classes for $150). I plan on using one per week for 10 weeks and making my other strength training session either my session with my trainer (once every two weeks) or a workout on my own.

Biggest fail was yoga. It didn't happen. I wish I could find an inexpensive yoga studio that I loved close to me with convenient class times (the holy grail of yoga studios, if you will). My favorite place to practice in NYC is Strala Yoga and I love their Relax download, but I'm not great at using exercise DVD's and Strala is quite far from me so neither happen very often.

Monday: (1) Personal training session focusing on running muscles with exercises like step-ups, hamstring curls, walking lunges, etc., and (2) 3 miles on the treadmill at 9:30 pace, last 1/2 mile at 8:30.

Tuesday: Rest day.

Wednesday: 2.5 miles on the AlterG Treadmill at Finish Line then 2 miles through Central Park to complete the planned 4.5 miles for the day.

Thursday: (1) 8x400 speed work on treadmill set at 0.5% incline. Warmed up for .25 and recovered in between each interval for .25 at 10:00. Ran each interval at 8:00 and the last one at 7:00 to give myself an endorphin burst to finish the workout. (2) Abs by April core work after speed work.

Friday: Rest day. I'm experimenting with two rest days each week and doubling up more frequently so that I'm rarely running more than two days in a row while still getting 7 workouts in. Expect a post on that after I've had more time to try it out!

Saturday: Long run - 9 miles through Central Park at an average 9:43 pace. Ran over Harlem Hills, down the East side of the loop (with a 1/2 mile around the Great Lawn thrown in), crossed at the 72nd St Transverse and ran down the West bottom loop up Cat Hill and along the East side of the loop then over the 106th St Transverse (and back over the transverse, twice, to get the mileage up to 9 miles). 

Splits showed that I started out too fast, I think, and probably should have fueled around mile 5. Wind picked up in last two miles and I felt extremely fatigued. (1) 9:24 - Harlem Hills (2) 9:31 (3) 9:48 (4) 10:00 - crowded around Great Lawn (5) 9:48 (6) 10:07 - Cat Hill (7) 9:29 (8) 9:33 (9) 9:54.

Sunday: (1) Refine Method class with Fiona. Tough class! Squats using challenge weights both times and plenty of burpees and high knees (my mortal enemy). Concentrated on form over speed and really felt the difficulty of each move. (2) 4 miles at race pace and 0.5% incline on the treadmill. Tough run just because my legs were tired, but I got through by watching New Girl and repeating "sub-2:00" to myself.

Total Mileage = 24.5 miles

This Week's Goals
Like I wrote above, I am not happy with the lack of yoga in my life. Going to recommit myself to yoga by making it my goal not to do a full yoga class but just to do 15 minutes of yoga (something like my yoga flow for runners) as often as I can throughout the week.

I think I don't make yoga a priority because I don't think of it as an essential part of my training, but if I want to stay healthy through the next few months of training, I'm going to have to make yoga a key component of each week.

(As a reminder, easy pace for me is 9:30-10:00 and race pace is 8:50-9:00.)

So here are my training goals for this week:
• 1 long run (10 miles at easy pace)
• 2 strength workouts
• 3 short runs (3 miles and 4.5 miles at easy pace, and 5 miles at race pace)
• 40-minute tempo run
• 1 spin class
• practice yoga consistently and any stretches I get from Finish Line

What are your goals this week? Do you have a hard time fitting any parts of your training plan in?


  1. The pictures I've seen from central park this weekend look so pretty! I wish I lived closer:) Congrats on having a good mindset while running lately. I'm struggling a bit with it right now, but hopefully coming out to feeling better about it all. This training cycle I'm making pilates a priority. Not only is it great for the core, but it strengthens connections throughout the body and strengthens some of the weaker leg muscles. I'm hoping it will help my IT band pain!

    1. I have definitely struggled in the past, so having a few good weeks feels amazing! I really like pilates and try to incorporate some of their core-strengthening exercises into my yoga routines. Hope that IT band pain goes away soon!

  2. I totally wussed out on running outside this weekend...but I played football on Saturday so I did get some snow fun in!

    I have a really hard time with yoga as well...I find it just gets too much between strength (4 days) and running 6-7.

    1. I feel the same, that's why I want to make it just a short practice that I do more consistently. I think that might end up being more beneficial than an hour-long class once or twice a week, but we'll see!

  3. Can you do a Yoga Flow for runners video on you tube? It would be MUCH appreciated.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion! I'm going to work on this ASAP, I just need to find a cameraman :)

  4. Shew! I finally went ona run today, and thank God I ran hurdles in college, because half of the run was leaping over puddles/ice patches. Sucks living in Queens because I would have been in heaven running through CP Saturday

    1. I kind of love those hurdling runs! They're like an obstacle course. But I can't do more than a few miles of them, they're tough! Hopefully you can get into the city before all the snow disappears :)

  5. Great schedule for the upcoming week! Glad you had some down time this past weekend.

    1. I'm an old person, but I really like having some down time :)

  6. Love your Central Park pictures! I wish we went sledding with all the little kiddos. ;)

    I'm with you on yoga--I try to practice once a week, but if something workout-related has to give, then it's yoga unfortunately. This is going to sound so typically yoga-esque, but it's really helped me mentally in terms of connecting with my breath and body. Thanks to yoga, I've learned how to control my breathing (and by some extension, my heart rate) while on the bike; I remind myself to take "yoga breaths," or long inhales and exhales.

    PS - Can't wait to run with you this weekend!

    1. I am very excited for our run! And yes, I feel like the benefits of yoga have extended to all different facets of my life, including running and strength training. I can do difficult exercises a lot easier because I'm more conscious of my breath.

  7. Fitting in miles can be tough but I try to run home a few times a week (saves time on the commute!) or run during lunch. It makes things a lot easier. On the other hand it is sad because you can't really run with other people as easily, but lately I have just been wanting to have my evenings free!

    1. I'm considering getting a gym membership when I start working just so I have the option of run-muting. It's 4 miles from my apartment to my firm, so it's kind of a perfect morning run when you're not training and just want to get some miles in before work.