sneaker∙therapy

I talk to God on the road. And He talks back.


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{Run Tip} Training Around the Weather

TGIF friends! I am beyond excited that this week is over. A quick-turn work proposal, several long meetings, and a couple nights of poor/ no sleep have got me feeling a little run down. I’m hoping to catch up on sleep this weekend, and I’m also looking forward to a little celebration – today is mine and Mike’s 8th dating anniversary! Yep, 8 years ago today, Mike asked me out on the banks of the Charles River as I was wearing his socks (there’s a story there).

We don’t normally celebrate our dating anniversary, but given our low-key V-day weekend, we’ve made plans to go into the city to check out the Smithsonian orchid exhibit and chow down at Central! We’ve never been before and I can’t wait to try their famous fried chicken. #sofancy

On the running front, my knee pain seems to be well-managed with the PT exercises and KT tape, so I’ve been completing workouts as planned this week. My rule is that I can run as long as my knee doesn’t hurt while running and I don’t experience increased pain afterwards. I had a great interval run on Wednesday (12 X 400), and my knee didn’t slow me down at all.

But today, I wanted to talk about what to do when you feel completely de-motivated to run because of the weather (too hot, too cold, too rainy, etc).

Training around the Weather

I have had a hard time getting myself to run outside this winter. In past years, I’ve been ALL ABOUT cold weather running (I’d find my prior gleeful self really annoying right now), but for some reason, I’m totally over it this year. We’ve had a mild winter snowfall-wise, but there are plenty of days where the temps don’t get above freezing and are in the single digits with the wind – I know the northeast and much of the country can relate!

So what to do when you’ve got a long run looming and you’re not looking forward to freezing your face off?

-Take your run indoors. I know, I know – lots of people would rather skip a run than hit the treadmill, but it’s a great option to get your mileage in while avoiding the ice/ snow (you can run in a t-shirt and shorts!). I play around with the speed and incline to keep it interesting (check this post out for some fast+fun treadmill workouts) and cue up Netflix on my tablet.

Swap your run for some cross-training. I’ve done this a lot in the past (for both weather and injury reasons), and spin, pool running, and stairclimber are some of my favorite options. You can substitute cross-training for any kind of run! I’ve simulated interval runs in the pool and on the spin bike (I just match effort and time, e.g. 90% effort for 2 minutes to simulate a 400 meter repeat), and I’ve even swapped back-to-back spin classes for a long run. Try subbing 1 or 2 runs a week on the days that the forecast looks particularly bad.

Be flexible about when you run! Check out the weather forecast for the weekend and find the best time to run. I’ll often move my long run to the timeframe in the weekend that seems most bearable.

weather

Motivate yourself to run outside. If running outside is your only option, find something to get yourself to it and through it, whether that’s a piece of new gear (lots of cold weather apparel on sale right now!), a new music playlist, the promise of hot chocolate afterwards – whatever it takes.

Bottom line: do what you have to do. As runners, we do what it takes to get through the training season or maintain our fitness for the next training cycle.  As for me, I have a relatively “short long run” on my schedule this weekend (10 miles) but the weather looks either freezing or rainy, so I’ll be taking it to the treadmill with a few Mad Men episodes. I’m not too sad about that ;)

How have you been adjusting your workouts for the weather?


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{Training Update} Steady Progress

Hey guys,
After a weekend off from running and a couple days of PT exercises under my belt, my knee is starting to feel stronger already. I’m hoping to get in a week of strong training!

Here’s how the previous two weeks have gone:

Training Log (Feb 9-15)

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 8.44.22 PM
Mon: Body Pump class – I was just glad my back felt okay after the weekend.

Tue: 5 easy-paced miles on T/M (10:26 pace)

Wed: 4 X 800 meter repeats outside – I was surprised at how fast the first interval went, and worked to keep each repeat under 4:00.  Repeats: 3:45, 3:49, 3:57, 3:57.  Next time, I’ll try not to go out so fast and try to stick to the same time each repeat.  I also went through a weight/core routine at home.

Thr: rest day!

Fri: 4 miles @ pace on T/M (8:55 pace) – I always struggle with pace or tempo runs on the treadmill (I have trouble running at the same fast speed for such a long time), but this time I varied switched my speed every couple of minutes – just between 6.6 and 6.7 – and that helped me hang on.  I’m getting better at staying engaged during treadmill workouts :)

Sat: 12 hilly miles outside (10:07 pace) – This was a tough run, given the cold and hills.  I’m pretty sure downhills are trigger my knee problems, so I need to be better about doing my PT exercises prior to running hills.

Sun: spin class – I love getting my legs moving after a long run day

Training Log (Feb 16-22)

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 8.44.27 PM
Mon: hot yoga at CorePower Yoga on our day off!

Tue: rest day

Wed: 2 X 1.25 miles @ tempo pace (8:40) – This was a tough treadmill run – my knee felt pretty tired so I ended up cutting the planned 2 tempo miles short each repeat to about 5 laps.  I’d love to re-do this workout in a few weeks outside.  Did weights and core at home afterwards.

Thr: rest day

Fri: 4 miles @ pace on the T/M (8:48 pace) – I varied the speeds from 6.7 to 6.9, and took the incline from 1.0 to 0 when I needed the help.  Did another weights/ core session.

Sat: spin class

Sun: rest – I wish I had gotten in some form of a long run (maybe a combo of treadmill + pool running), but my knee probably needed the rest.

I haven’t always gotten to run 3-4 times each week, but I know I’m getting some quality workouts in and I can see steady improvement in my paces, so I’m happy with my current progress!


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Snowy Weekend in DC!

Hey friends! I’m feeling energized after a really relaxing weekend.  I’ve been having some trouble sleeping lately, but I bought a bottle of ZzzQuil this weekend and it’s changed my life – 8-9 hours of blissful, uninterrupted sleep. Of course it’s better to sleep without using chemical sleep aids, but I go through periods of insomnia and I’ll take sleep with drugs over no sleep at all.

But backing up, Friday started with another wine and cheese night at home with Mike:
0220151817The Cambozola (aka “blue brie”) in the middle was incredible – sooo creamy with just the slightest tang of blue cheese.

I joined Mike for a spin class at the gym on Saturday morning, sporting KT tape all over my left knee.  It was a great workout as always, and didn’t bother my knee at all (I was still very careful during the standing portions of class).
0221150807aThe rest of the weekend was devoted to homework and a proposal for work, but I took a break in the evening to play in the snow!

Mike demonstrating his excellent snow-balling skills…
0221151752b 0221151757 I had hoped to go for a run on Sunday, but the sidewalks weren’t clear and I didn’t think it was a great idea to run on snow/ice or the treadmill, given how uncomfortable my knee was. I did my knee PT exercises instead and took it easy, and my knee felt better today so I think it was the right call.

Don’t be shocked, but this is what the cats did all weekend.  They lead a hard life.
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Speaking of which, I need this shirt:cat shirt

Fellow cheese lovers, what’s your favorite cheese?


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Fixing My Knee (Again)

I thought I’d be running my first race (Colonial Half Marathon) of the year and visiting my brother this weekend down in Williamsburg this weekend, but my big plans got cancelled thanks to snow on the forecast.
snow I’m glad the race organizers were proactive about cancelling the race early, but I’m hoping they reconsider their no-refund policy (the only adjustment they’re offering is a 25% discount to next year’s race).

It’s probably a good thing I’m not racing this weekend because my left knee has started to bother me again this week, and my kneecap was moving all over the place this morning. It doesn’t hurt while running, so my current plan is to start doing the PT exercises prescribed for this issue last year and to tape it up. I’ve done just a single strip across the knee in the past, but given how “loose” my knee feels right now, I’m going to try this full-knee support method from KT Tape.
IMG_3006Image source

I’m still planning on doing a long run this weekend (it’ll be in the 40s on Sunday, so I’ll definitely be outside!), but I’ll try to find a flat path to run on, vs the smallish hills I’ve been tackling on my long run routes lately. Given the snow we’re expecting on Saturday, this weekend might also be my chance to break out the Yaxtrax my sister bought me for Christmas, and I’m oddly excited about that ;)

Aside from my long run, I’ll be keeping my workouts and all other activities indoors! I have some work and homework to catch up on, so it’s not the worst weekend to spend cooped up in the house.

Do you have big plans for the weekend? Do share!

If you’ve registered for a race that was then cancelled, how were you compensated?


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Vday Weekend

We had a total gift of a snow day yesterday here, turning our three day weekend into a four day.  Not a lot of snow to speak of – certainly nothing compared to Boston – but enough to shut the city down for a day.0217150948aI stayed in my pajamas and worked from home and didn’t leave the house once (I took a rest day from working out).  It was glorious.

Backing up a few days – Mike and I celebrated Valentine’s Day on Friday with a cheese and wine night at home!
0213151821 We opened up this bottle of Moscato d’Asti I picked up at the market a few weeks ago.  I like my wine sweet, so this was right up my alley :)
0213151810a I waited for the weather to warm up on Saturday morning before heading out for my run, so I didn’t leave the house till about 11 – it was a balmy 20 degrees by then ;) Honestly, it was a tough run; I picked a hillier route than usual, and my legs were stiff from the cold. But I got 12 miles in, which puts me in good shape for my first half marathon this weekend! You can see my slowest miles (5, 9 and 12) were the ones uphill, lol.
Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 8.11.38 PM We had intended to go out Saturday night, but we found out that a couple of Mike’s college friends were in town, so we decided to grab brunch with them on Sunday and stay in on Saturday instead. Game night!0215151917a That’s the typical spot that Lucy (in the background) occupies all day, by the way.  She’s singed her tail against the very hot glass on more than one occasion, but that doesn’t stop her from gluing herself to the fireplace whenever it’s on.

We started Sunday morning with a spin class together at the gym. My whole body was sore from the 12-miler the day before, but I really wanted to try out my new spin shoes (they were a steal at $50 on Campmor).  Clipping in made all the difference during the standing intervals – the energy transfer from leg to pedal to bike was noticeably smoother, and I was able to pedal faster and harder.
0211151535aThe instructor had us doing Tabatas and intense intervals the whole class so my legs were burning and shaking by the time we got off the bike.  Not the easy recovery day I had planned! We came home and showered, watched a sermon at home (didn’t have time to make it to church before brunch), and met up with our friends at a new-to-us place – The Pig, in Logan Circle.0215151254 I forgot to take pictures of our mains, but Mike’s order of face bacon was AMAZING – and I don’t even like bacon.0215151325 10408492_3700860564625_4318122163247261349_n So nice to see you guys, Spencer and Sammy!

We spent the rest of Sunday doing chores, and treated ourselves to hot yoga on Monday at CorePower Yoga in Falls Church.  The warm room and stretching was just what I needed after the harder workouts of the weekend.  I definitely need to start bringing yoga back into my schedule, especially as my mileage and workout intensity increase.

Do you think you could work from home every day? I definitely couldn’t; I used to work on a project where I could telework as much as I wanted, and I found that I started to get stir-crazy after 4 consecutive days at home (i.e. Sat thru Tues).  I need a reason to leave the house!


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Friday Faves

I meant to publish this yesterday, but better late than never, right? 

Hey friends! I’m sharing some Friday Faves today and wishing you happy Valentine’s Day weekend! I’m looking forward to a 12 mile run tomorrow morning (I ordered a new super-warm running jacket for the occasion – will share how it performs later), dinner/ drinks at a bourbon bar with Mike – way to re-hydrate, right? – and lots of downtime this weekend!

Some latest favorites I wanted to share:

Naked Green Machine Juice0210151732

Given that it’s prime cold/ flu season, we’ve been trying to get our daily dose of vitamin C. Mike bought a big bottle of Green Machine juice when I wasn’t feeling great and we’ve been hooked! I’ve been drinking a couple glasses each week and I swear it makes me feel a little more energized (it’s also downright tasty).

Vacation planning

My college buddies and I have decided to take a short vacation together this summer, and I’ve been enjoying researching destinations and activities. We’re looking into southern coastal destinations, and it’s heaven to imagine sitting on a beach with some of my best friends six months from now.

Clinique CC Cream0210151733

I got a sample of this from a Clinique order a few months ago, and I started using it when my BB cream ran out. Well, I liked it so much that I bought it when I finished the sample; it has the medium level of coverage I want (more than my Skin79 BB cream, less than a foundation), it’s moisturizing, has SPF, doesn’t break me out, and makes my skin look fantastic – kind of dewy and clean. I mix it with some lotion before applying to customize the coverage level and add some more moisture, which I really need in the winter. I highly recommend it if you want something with a little more coverage than a tinted moisturizer but hate wearing foundation.

Empire6436077_G

I love the show Nashville for its amazing country songs (I’m not normally a country music lover!), so I knew as soon as I saw the previews for Empire that I’d have to watch it. It’s about the head of a hip-hop music production company deciding the future of his company (he’s terminally ill). The plot is interesting enough, but the music and characters are what make the show completely addicting.

Three day weekends

‘Nuff said, right? I’ve got big plans for Monday – reorganize the file cabinet, donate stuff at Goodwill, and maybe take a nap. It’s gonna be crazy.

What’s one exciting thing you’re doing this weekend?


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{Training Update} Seeing Results

I had been looking forward to doing my speedwork after work all day today, because it was warm enough to do it outside! I had 4 X 800 meters on the training schedule, so I jogged a mile to a running path with a straight flat section about half a mile long.  Lately, I’ve found intervals longer than 400 meters to be a struggle on the treadmill, so I knew it would be better to do them outside while I could.

My goal was an 8 min pace for the interval and I thought that might be a stretch, so I was pretty surprised when I finished my first interval in 3:45 (a 7:30 pace)! I definitely slowed down after the first two intervals, but I still ran each interval at faster than my goal pace.  It’s just about where I was in April of last year.  I can tell that my solid training this year is starting to pay off :)

Quick recap of the last two weeks of training:

Training Log (Jan 26 – Feb 1)

Mon: Body Pump class – went a little easier this time with the weights so I could recover for speedwork Wednesday

Tue: 5 easy-paced miles on T/M (9:59 pace) – legs actually felt great

Wed: 3 X 800 meters on T/M – this workout was a total fail; I was supposed to do 4 X 800 but found myself really struggling to hold onto the pace (~8:00, 7.5 on the treadmill with a 1.0 incline) during the intervals.  I took long recovery breaks and still couldn’t get my legs moving, so I called it quits after the 3rd one.  It happens – when I know I’m not going to get much out of a workout, I don’t push myself too hard and risk injury.

Thr: spin class and some weights/ core at home

Fri: rest day!

Sat: 3 easy miles followed by a spin class – I don’t like to go more than 2 days between runs (feel like my legs lose some “running memory” and take longer to hit my stride), which is the only reason I ran before spin.

Sun: 10 miles outside (9:45 pace) – this was a magically easy run with great weather in the 40s! Total confidence-builder after my tough 9 mile run the week before.  Don’t let one bad run define you as a runner!

Training Log (Feb 2 – 8)

Mon: rest day – felt tired, so I skipped Body Pump.

Tue: 5 easy-paced miles on T/M (10:13 pace)

Wed: rest day

Thr: rest day – I don’t remember what happened these two days – I think we had to do budget/ taxes for the year, and I probably had no energy to run, lol

Fri: 3 X 1200 meters on the T/M – my goal for this workout was not to fade at the end of each 1200 (they feel LONG on the treadmill), so I started off at 7.1 and increased the speed every 400 meters (

Sat: rest (back injury)

Sun: rest (back injury)

I really hate to yo-yo my mileage and training in this fashion, but in this case, it couldn’t be helped – my injury definitely required rest.  I’m going to start working in a little yoga each week and be more diligent about my core work to strengthen my back.

Do you feel that you run faster on the treadmill or outside? Is either one easier?

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