Running Log: Week of 2/22/2021

This was a low mileage week due to more knee problems, but I consider it a success because I was able to run at all, and my runs at the end of the week were pain-free! I think that the PT exercises are definitely helping, and running outdoors is so much better than the treadmill for my knee. Maybe my form changes on the tread? Either way, I’m going to avoid the treadmill and speedwork for a few more weeks while my knee continues to get stronger.

Mon: 3 miles on T/M (~10:30 pace) – I really wanted to run outside, but it was so icy that after a few minutes of slipping and sliding, I headed indoors to the treadmill. I took it really slow but my knee still felt some pain by the end

Tues: 1 mile outside/ 2 miles on T/M – Some of the ice melted, but after half a mile the sidewalk was really icy/ snowy again. I finished out the run on the treadmill and didn’t feel great. Finished up with a 20 min Peloton upper body workout.

Weds: rest (knee pain)

Thurs: 30 min Peloton ride and 20 min runner’s strength workout

Fri: 4 miles outside (9:14 pace) and 10 min runner’s core workout – no pain on this run!

Sat: 5 miles outside (9:20 pace) and 20 min runner’s strength – another pain free run, felt soo good.

Sun: rest

I’m so thankful to be running pain-free. In addition to running outside and doing my knee PT exercises, I think that switching from heavier weight sessions to more runner-specific strength classes on Peloton has probably been helping as well. There’s such a great collection of strength and core classes for runners with options for 5-30 minutes – I don’t have an excuse to skip the supplemental stuff now!

Next week, more base-building – hopefully in the mid-20s for mileage if my knee holds up.

Running Log: Week of 2/15/2021

Woop, two weeks of running log posts in a row! I had a good week, but probably ran too many times on the treadmill and my knee hurts now. My plan is to not increase mileage too much this week, do my old knee PT exercises religiously, and avoid heavy weights with lower body exercises (I don’t think my knee can handle it right now).

Mon: 4 miles easy outside (9:20 pace)

Tues: 4 mile Peloton interval workout on T/M and 20 min upper body strength

Weds: 4 miles easy outside (9:29 pace)

Thurs: 4 miles Peloton interval workout on T/M and 20 min lower body strength

Fri: 5 miles on T/M (10:30 pace) – knee really hurt during this run and I stopped every mile to stretch it out. Followed up with 10 min core workout.

Sat: 45 min Peloton spin class and 30 min total body strength

I’ve really been enjoying weight training on the Peloton app! There are so many options for length of class (everything from 5 minutes to 45 minutes), body focus, trainer, etc. I usually do Andy Speer’s classes for upper/ lower/ total body and one of the running specific core workouts each week.

Running Log: Week of 2/8/2021

In my last post (about a month ago), I had finished off the last week of 2020 with a 33 mile week…and then somehow, all my running motivation disappeared. I think the onset of colder weather and the crazy news cycle/ anxiety around the events of Jan 6th and whether Trump would actually leave the WH had something to do with it. I decided to focus on strength training for a few weeks and reduce my running for about a month to see if my motivation would resume. And it did! I loved doing the strength training program on Peloton (Andy Speer’s program with an upper body, lower body, and total body workout each week) for several weeks, and came into last week raring to run. After about five weeks of very low to no mileage, I eased into it with 22 miles:

Mon: 3 miles easy on T/M+ upper body workout

Tues: 3 miles easy outside (9:19 pace)

Weds: 3 miles easy outside (9:20 pace) + lower body workout

Thurs: 4 miles easy outside (9:32 pace)

Fri: 4 miles easy outside (9:33 pace) + core workout

Sat: 5 miles easy outside (9:24 pace) + full body workout

My body was SORE after the first couple of runs – I took lots of spin classes while I was on my running break, but the two exercises obviously tax my body differently. It felt great to get back outside though, and I’m looking forward to building up my mileage over the next couple of weeks before starting a 5K training cycle. I’m hoping to keep up the regular strength workouts until the 5K training starts (and then I’ll pare it down).

My goal this year is to focus on speed during the spring (5K, 10K) and then maybe a half or full marathon training cycle over the summer, with the hopes of running an actual in-person race in the fall…fingers crossed we’re vaccinated by then :) I do feel like I’ve gained a lot of fitness over the last year, so I’m hoping to knock down a PR or two this year!

1/3/2021 Running Log

Happy New Year friends! I can’t believe it’s the new year already, but at the same time, 2020 felt endless. I’m coming into 2021 with a calm energy (a welcome change from the frenetic anxiety and overwhelming lethargy I felt at times last year) and ready to tackle new running goals. Here’s how I rang in the new year:

Mon: 6 miles easy on treadmill (10:10 pace) – Mike gifted me a mini-vacation in a super-clean and pretty empty hotel for two days and I took full advantage of their amazing treadmills in their brand new gym. Honestly forgot how much better the commercial treadmills are – it was a super smooth run and my joints didn’t feel achy afterwards like they sometimes do on my home treadmill.

Tues: 2.5 miles Peloton bootcamp – another run on the hotel treadmill before checking out!

Weds: rest (felt sick)

Thurs: rest (felt sick, tested negative for COVID)

Fri: 7 miles easy (9:24 pace) – felt good to get some fresh air after two days of feeling under the weather. I’m glad I got to ring in the new year with a run!

Sat: 9 miles easy outside (9:35 pace) and 2 miles on the treadmill in the afternoon to make up missed miles. My legs felt pretty dead for both of these runs, but at least I had Conan O’Brien’s podcast to keep me company – hilarious as always.

Sun: 6 miles easy on T/M (10:27 pace) – Legs had no pep at all, but I’m glad I got it done.

33 miles total and I’m ready for a down week! I’ll be building mileage through January and February before training for my next half.

2020 – A Year in Running

It’s an understatement to say that this was a difficult year. Like so many other people, I dealt with anxiety, anger, stress, minor depression, grief, and many other negative emotions. In early April, a few days before my birthday, I laced up my running shoes for the first time in months and went for a three mile jog outside to clear my head. Running became my escape, my way to work out my emotions – as it had when I first started running in 2012 after my dad had an aneurysm and fell into a coma. And although I haven’t run that much since 2016 due to illness, injury, pregnancy, and then general busy-ness post-birth, I found out this year that running was still there for me.

So I want to end this year with gratitude for the 1205 miles (!!) I ran this year. Here’s what each mile gave me:

  • A place to work out my emotions – particularly COVID-related anxiety and stress
  • A sense of accomplishment when I felt there was so little I could do
  • A deeper calm that made me a better mom, wife, daughter-in-law and sister-in-law
  • An escape when the house felt too chaotic/ full
  • A greater appreciation for my strong body – I didn’t know I was capable of running nearly 60 miles a week!
  • A way to work off all the stress-eating, which also accompanied my anxiety
  • Hours of listening to new podcasts/ books, some of which ministered to my soul (looking at you, Brene Brown, Michelle Obama, Alicia Keys and many others!)
  • A way to explore our neighborhood
  • A place to pray
  • Better sleep through physical exhaustion
  • A purpose to work towards during a time when life felt like it was on pause

And so much more. I’m so grateful for this body, this passion, and my husband who practically pushed me out the door at times because he knew how much I needed this outlet this year.

12/27/20 Running Log

It’s been over a month since my last update, but running has still been on my radar! I had a little knee pain after completing my “half marathon” (technically 12 miles), so I took a couple of weeks of low mileage. I’ve slowly been building up again – I ran 23, 26, 28, 17 (DC staycation), and 26 miles over the last month. This week took me into the 30s again; my goal is to build up to 35-40 miles in January and then train for a half (probably virtual?) in the spring.

Mon: 6 miles easy (9:24 pace)

Tues: 2.5 miles during a Peloton treadmill bootcamp – I do these twice a week and they’re probably my favorite runs of the week! I like the mix of interval/ hill running and strength exercises on the floor.

Weds: 5 easy (9:13 pace)

Thurs: 3 miles Peloton bootcamp

Fri: rest – Christmas!

Sat: 8 miles easy (9:15 pace) – easily my coldest run of the year; it felt like 15 degrees with the windchill. Thankfully, I felt warm and toasty with thick baselayers, a jacket, hat, and gloves.

Sun: 6 miles easy on T/M (10:27 pace) – I almost skipped this run because this weekend was a tough one (started potty-training), but I knew I’d feel better if I got it done. I was pretty tired when I got on the treadmill, but felt energized within a few minutes.

Honestly, I’ve been dreading winter running – I thought I hated the combination of cold and dark, but it’s actually been awesome! Since I’m working from home so much these days, I get to start my run once the sun is out most days, and I’ve found that having the right running clothes makes ALL the difference. After Saturday’s run, I feel confident that I can run outside even in the single digits.

{Nov/Dec 2020} Life Lately

It’s been a while since I’ve done an update post! Like pretty much everyone out there, I’ve had some ups and downs with the constant election coverage, COVID-19 news, and nearly a year spent in lock-down mode. Mike and I finally decided to take a short staycation in DC for our sanity’s sake in early Dec and spent a lovely weekend walking outside (masks on always, except for pictures), eating takeout, and binging The Queen’s Gambit. It was so re-charging and I’m hoping we can do it again in the spring!

Eating: Mostly protein/ fat/ healthy carbs these days combined with intermittent fasting. I’ve had an issue with binging carbs since Oct, so I’ve decided to cut treats out of my diet completely until life returns to normal. My energy levels are definitely better when I’m not sluggish from eating a whole box of cookies.

Drinking: hot chocolate with bourbon cream! It’s time for my work’s virtual holiday party :)

Watching: The Great British Baking Show – I’m on season 4 and completely obsessed. I even thought about baking croissants from scratch for Thanksgiving…until I looked up the recipe and saw it was like 100 steps. Picked up Trader Joe’s croissants instead :)

Reading: The Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson – the latest book in his Stormlight Archive series! I love how long the books are because they last me a couple of weeks, at least.

Looking forward to: Mike’s christmas gift coming tomorrow – I’ve managed to keep it a surprise! It’s a delivery from Katz’s deli in NYC and I hope he loves it!!

Buying: With the holiday season and amazing sales this year, I’ve definitely fallen a little bit off my shopping ban. But I’ve been so consistent for the last several months that I didn’t feel bad buying a couple of things for myself! I’ve bought some new winter running clothes (the athleta polartec leggings are THE BEST), and some cozy clothes to survive the winter. Top purchases so far are definitely my AE sherpa pullover – I live in this everyday – and my first pair of uggs! They live up to the hype – really warm and comfortable.

Feeling: happy – we got our first snowfall here yesterday (just an inch or two) and I loved getting to see K experience it for the first time.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you all! I hope you find ways to bring in some joy despite the unusual circumstances this season.

10/26/20: Weekly Workouts

It’s been a while since I re-capped a training week – I took a few weeks off due to knee pain after the end of my (curtailed) MCM training cycle. It was nice to take a break – I went hiking twice with my SIL and did Billy Goat and Old Rag! Old Rag was so fun – love the rock scrambles – but we had to wait a lot for the chokepoints.

Anyway, I was back at it again last week – lots of easy runs to keep my knee happy.

Mon: 4 miles (9:39 pace)

Tues: 4 miles (watch was dead, no pace info)

Weds: 45 min CorePower Yoga online class

Thurs: 5 easy on T/M (10:27)

Fri: rest

Sat: 7 miles easy (8:59 pace) – I had to restart this run three times; first time I was trying to run on a new trail, which was really muddy/ covered with leaves, second time I wore new capris, which started to fall down, and third time was the charm. It’s worth noting that this is my fastest run of the year, so I know I’ve made fitness gains.

Sun: 4 miles easy on T/M (10:33 pace)

24 miles total and feeling good. I’m going to build back up to 30-35 miles and stay there for the rest of the year, and decide whether I want to train for a half early next year.

Virtual MCM Training Log: Week 14 (the end)

So the last time I wrote, I had just run a 46 mile week and was ready to head into my biggest week of training. Spoiler alert: that didn’t happen. I think I was really starting to feel burned out and lacking motivation. The week of Sept 21st, I ran 17 miles total (Mike was also traveling for work, which meant more toddler duty for me). The following week, I was going to re-do week 14 and run the planned 60 miles, but I just didn’t have the drive to get it done. So instead, here’s how it went:

Mon: 8 miles (9:44 pace)

Tues: skipped

Weds: 2 X 3 miles on T/M (8:55 pace) – This workout started okay and I got through the first interval, but then my leg felt weirdly tight on the second interval and I cut it short. I walked a bit and then ran another 1.5 mile interval, so I got it done.

Thurs: skipped

Fri: 4 miles easy (9:23 pace) – this was supposed to be an 8 mile run but I felt totally gassed after 4 miles.

Sat: skipped my long run – felt terrible on my way out the door

Sun: 12 miles (9:08 pace) – honestly, I was ready to quit the training cycle completely, but Mike convinced me to just get out the door and see how it went. To my shock, I ran the fastest long run of this training cycle and felt pretty great afterwards!

33 miles total and I decided to call it quits. My last run is fast enough that I can tell if I had just pushed a little harder, I definitely could have broken my half marathon record from 2013 (run at a 9:03 pace). That tells me I’ve built up a lot of fitness over the last several months and it hasn’t been a wasted training cycle!

But looking at my training log, I’ve had a lot of skipped workouts and runs over the last four weeks and that tells me that I’m either losing motivation, getting burnt out or both. I’m going to a month or two of lower mileage and less intensity, and then maybe train for a half marathon early next year.

Virtual MCM Training Log: Week 13 (twice)

So it’s been a while, and honestly, I thought I was going to be writing a post about how I decided to end my training cycle. I had a bad skin infection flare up about two weeks ago and the pain/ itching was so bad that I couldn’t sleep more than a few hours each night. I ended up only getting in two runs and taking the rest of the week off. I was SO close to quitting (as I’ve done many times before)…and then Mike pointed out that it was ridiculous to throw away all the work I put in (11 weeks of marathon training +10 weeks base building).

I started to feel a lot better at the start of last week, and realized that Mike was right. I hadn’t taken even a whole week off, and I knew I hadn’t lost that much fitness. I decided to re-do week 13 and push the the race back, and if I felt like I had lost some fitness, I could adjust my race time goal. So here’s how my second week 13 went!

Mon: rest (skipped 8 miles) – I was still thinking about quitting lol.

Tues: 9 miles (9:08 pace) – holy smokes, this was an AWESOME run. I finally felt motivated to go out the door for what was supposed to be an easy run. The combo of taking four days off and the cooler weather meant that I was running way faster than my typical easy run pace. I had planned to run 8 miles, but when I saw my paces, I decided to run another mile and treat this as my pace run for the week. Done.

Weds: rest

Thurs: 3 X 2 miles on T/M (8:50 pace) – This was a great run too! These strength workouts are getting longer, but I’m able to hold onto the faster pace a little longer each time. I felt a little winded on the second interval and cut it short at 1.5 miles, but I felt great on the third interval and ran 2.5 miles to make it up. Speeds from 6.6-6.9 and 9 miles total.

Fri: 8 miles easy (9:56 pace) – decent run, nothing special

Sat: 12 miles (9:19 pace!!) – I couldn’t BELIEVE how fast this run was. Outside of a race, this is definitely my fastest long run pace ever. I felt great after the run was done and could have easily run a couple more miles. I’ve been running my long runs on a different trail for a change in pace and there’s a farmer’s market where I start/ end – it’s extra motivation to finish quickly so I can get some delicious food!

Sun: 8 miles (10:14 pace) – this is the hardest day for me to get out of bed – it’s one of my days to get kiddo so I need to be done with my run by 6:30 AM – but I’m starting to get used to running in the dark again. One big benefit is that I’m still a little asleep so I don’t feel the pain as much ;)

46 miles total and a great lower mileage week. Honestly, I feel like I CRUSHED my workouts this week and I’m so glad I didn’t quit. This was a big confidence building week, and I feel that my race goal is within reach. Next week is my highest mileage of 60 miles and I’m ready for it!