This Week’s Workouts: 19.5 Miles

This week was pretty busy at work (I’m getting ready to hire a team), but I managed to get my miles and workouts in.  My workouts have been a mix of all sorts of stuff lately, but I’ve finally used up the last of my ClassPass credits, so I’ll be focusing on running/ strength/ climbing from now on.  I’m really enjoying climbing right now, and I’ll probably be signing up for a monthly membership since we’re going at least once a week.

Mon: rest day – slept in and missed Pump 

Tues: 7 X 400 meters on T/M – my speed is starting to come back; intervals at 7.3-7.6 felt more comfortable.  I’d like to see that number go up to 8.0 in the next couple of weeks!

Weds: rest day

Thurs: 6 easy outside (9:50 pace)  – this was a great run with some cooler weather (low 70s).  I made sure to carry water this time and zoned out to podcasts.

Fri: Elevate Interval Fitness class via ClassPass – this was similar to OTF but with a more involved strength training portion, which I liked.  I also tried a Woodway treadmill for the first time and I understand the hype – they’re so smooth and comfortable.

Sat: 4 miles on T/M (10:22 pace) and climbing! We tried some harder routes and my forearms were so sore after, so I think that counts as a good upper body strength workout.

Sun: 4 miles on T/M (10:20 pace)

I’m focusing on taking rest days when needed so I don’t get burned out or injured while my mileage increases over the next couple of months.  I’m happy I got in one run outside, and if we don’t get crazy thunderstorms this week again, I think I’ll be running outside more!

Last Week’s Workouts: 18 Miles

My mileage ramp-up is still going well! Whenever I’m coming back from injury, I generally stick to the “less than 10%” rule – any mileage increases from week to week are less than 10%.  This helps avoid ramping up too fast and getting re-injured.  Since I ran 16.5 miles last week, I ran 18 miles this week.

Mon: Body Pump

Tues: 4 X 800 meters on T/M – After a mile warm-up, I alternated 800 meter intervals with 400 meter recoveries.  This definitely pushed my fitness, even at a conservative 7.2 speed.  Hopefully I’ll see my speed and endurance improve!

Weds: rest day

Thurs: E60 class in Arlington through ClassPass – this was an intense circuit program that went by quickly! We did rowing, treadmills, medicine ball exercises, boxing, and lots of core work.  My core was sore for 4 days afterwards, lol.

Fri: 3.5 miles on T/M (10:33 pace) – Since I ran half a mile during class the day before, I cut my run short on Friday.

Sat: 6 miles on T/M (10:16 pace) – I wanted to do this run outside, but I woke up late and didn’t have much time before a rock-climbing date with a friend.  I’ve gone rock-climbing every weekend this month – it might be time to invest in some gear!

Sun: 3 miles on T/M (10:21 pace)

I’m glad I got in my miles and a decent amount of strength work this week, but I need to start taking my runs outside this week.  I know from experience that too much treadmill training translates into poor race times for me.  My goal this week is to do all my runs outside, with the exception of speedwork.  Hopefully the weather cooperates :)

Friday Faves

Happy Friday friends! Any good plans for the weekend? I have a 6 miler on Saturday, then maybe indoor rock climbing.  Mike and I also have to start prepping to tutor a girl at our church for the fall PSATs – remember those days? Here’s a few things I’ve been loving this week:

Zen Koi – I don’t usually play a lot of phone games besides Sudoku (weird, I know), but I’ve been spending a lot of time at the acupuncturist and this game really helps pass the time (and ignore the pain, lol).  The design of the game is beautiful and very low-stress. I’ll talk more about why I’m getting acupuncture next week after I (hopefully) start seeing some results!

Halo Top ice cream – I was so hesitant to try a low-cal ice cream after trying Arctic Zero years ago (pretty gross), but after seeing so many positive reviews for Halo Top, I grabbed a pint of mint chocolate chip at Target.  It’s actually pretty good – very creamy and filling and minimal taste of artificial sweetener (after the first bite, I don’t really notice it).  I’ll report back after we try the other flavors!

Eyebrow razor – this is a weird one, but after I complained about how my eyebrows were growing bushy too quickly between waxes, a friend introduced me to eyebrow razors! They’re so easy to use and hard to mess up (unlike waxing at home, which I couldn’t get the hang of).  I bought this cheap set of three on Amazon.

Buzz bakery specialty cakes – this is for any DC local readers out there – Buzz has the best specialty cakes for baby showers! We’ve had a few showers for ladies in our small group recently, so I’ve picked up cakes both times and gotten rave reviews.  The cake is so moist and delicious (we’ve tried red velvet and cookies & cream) and the decorations are gorgeous.

 This super-easy recipe for “spaghetti cabbage” – I was scrambling for a fast dinner idea a few nights ago, and I realized I had a bag of shredded cabbage to use up and I vaguely remembered this recipe off of Detoxinista’s website.  I used jarred spaghetti sauce and added some chicken sausage and it came together in no time. We’ve been trying to eat more vegetables at dinnertime, so this was perfect.

Last Week’s Workouts: Running Again!

I am slowly ramping my mileage back up after recovering from an Achilles tendinitis injury back in early January – probably the longest recovery I’ve needed from a running injury yet.  I got a chance to talk to author Matt Fitzgerald in April (I’m going to be in his new book!), and he mentioned that his AT injury sidelined him for two years, so this injury is no joke.  Given the length of time I took off from running and desire to avoid re-injury, I ramped up much more slowly than I have in the past – weekly mileage started at 12 miles 5 weeks ago, then 12, 14, 13, and 16.5 this past week.  I did no speedwork the first 4 weeks, and introduced a short speed workout last week.  Here’s how last week’s miles went:

Mon: 6 X 400 meters on the treadmill – I did a one mile warmup, then 400 meters around an 8:10 pace, followed by 400 meters of walk/ jog recovery.  Finished with a half mile cooldown. The last two intervals felt tough, but doable.

Tues: rest day – had to travel for work

Weds: XT day – Body Pump in the morning, followed by a cardio dance class at Kazaxe with a friend at night.

Thurs: 3 easy outside (9:14 pace) 

Fri: Zengo cycle class

Sat: 6 miles outside (9:34 pace) – this was a tough run; it was about 75 degrees when I started, and I didn’t bring water because there’s a water fountain around 2 miles in on the path.  The water fountain wasn’t working, but I decided to keep going since I wasn’t thirsty yet.  As the temps rose into the low 80s and the sun came out, I didn’t feel good so I took frequent breaks during the last 2 miles to cool my body temp down.  Definitely carrying water for any runs over a few miles from now on! I went rock-climbing with a friend later that day for a little upper body exercise too :)

Sun: 3.5 miles on T/M (10:13 pace) followed by some yoga

Friday Faves

Happy Friday! I always look forward to publishing these Friday faves posts to share some things that have made me happy this week.  I haven’t written one of these in months, so we have some catching up to do ;)

Iced green tea lattes.  I strangely lost my taste for coffee as the weather got warmer this summer, and landed on green tea lattes as my caffeine substitute! Mine is super simple – I just add water, soy milk, half a teaspoon of this matcha powder, and some granulated honey into my Contigo shake and go tumbler (the BEST) and shake it up.  If you try this, I recommend adding the matcha powder/ sweetener after you add all your liquid so that the powder doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Red Rising series by Pierce Brown – probably the best sci-fi/ fantasy series I’ve read in a long time.  Mike’s co-worker lent me the first book and I blew through the trilogy in less than a week.  Everyone I’ve recommended the series to has been similarly hooked!

My new favorite take-out lately is Cava Grill, which is one of many Mediterranean-style build-your-own bowl/pita/salad restaurants in the area.  I’ve tried a few, but Cava’s toppings and falafel are the best, and their drinks are really good too.  I tried the watermelon soda last time and it was incredible.I was looking for some affordable workout clothes earlier this year (I have a huge running wardrobe, but not a lot of capris/ tanks for cross-training), and was really impressed by Gap’s workout line! I bought a couple of their tanks and capris for barre/yoga type workouts and found them to be really stylish and great quality.  They always offer free shipping on $50+ and nearly always have a 40%-50% coupon code.

theSkimm.  With my new job, I don’t have a lot of time to read the news anymore, so I love this daily digest sent to my inbox every day.  It’s very readable, gives you the background and highlights, and takes less than 5 min to read.  Best of all, the subscription is free :)

 

{Workout Log} More XT

I’m just 2 weeks into my new posting schedule and I’m already behind, lol.  I have no excuses – last week was a 2 day work week, thanks to the snow – I just didn’t feel much motivation this weekend to do anything.  Our one fun outing this weekend was bubble tea in Annandale at the ever popular Kung Fu Tea. I like that KFT allows customization of sweetness and ice and has multiple topping options! I got the red bean slush (70% sweet) in the middle below. IMG_20160131_120715

Onto last week’s training. Honestly, my motivation to continue cross-training really fizzled as the week went on – I don’t enjoy the elliptical or stairclimber very much and I really miss running. That said, I got in a few good workouts in the beginning of the week.

Mon: planned rest day

Tue: spin class

Weds: 45 min stairclimber – I did one of the programmed interval workouts on the machine and did a few weight/ TRX exercises afterwards

Thurs: spin class + core workout

Fri: 40 min elliptical and weights/ TRX

And then I took the weekend off, lol. I had planned to get in another spin class and stairclimber session, but I slept in and got some chores done instead. It isn’t easy to motivate myself to workout when I’m not training for something specific, but I’m going to go back to pool running for the moment and hopefully I can start running a little next week! If all goes well, I’ll start training for RnR DC (I’m signed up for the 5K).

What’s your favorite form of cross-training? Mine is spin class – each class is different and I get a great workout.

Time Management (How to Do It All)

Hey guys! Hope you had a great weekend. Mine was really relaxing – Mike had to work on Saturday so I took the opportunity to clean and organize around the house a little (throw out and donate stuff). We tried a new-to-us sushi restaurant in Burke on a co-worker’s recommendation Saturday evening and were both really impressed by the quality of the fish and sushi!
DSC02837 DSC02838
We might have found Mike’s new favorite sushi restaurant on the east coast :)

I didn’t feel like going to church on Sunday, but was so glad we did – I loved Mercy’s sermon on the Power of the Cross; one of her main points was that we can’t gain spiritual traction and grow closer to God and His heart if we’re still satisfying the desires of the flesh (our sinful nature), which she compared to jogging while eating a donut – what an amazing illustration! I know there are plenty of times that I allow pride, greed, anger, laziness, etc to rule my thoughts and actions, and Mercy’s point really made me think about how counter-productive all of that is to the goal of living a God-first life. She also talked about how although we can’t control the actions of people who hurt or offend us, it is our choice to hold onto or let go of that hurt/ offense/ anger. I’ve heard this plenty of times before, but on Sunday I needed the reminder because I realized I had been holding onto my irritation against a co-worker, and it was definitely time to forgive and let it go. It gave me a lot more peace going into this week!

Warning: If the word “schedule” makes your bile rise or if your blood pressure goes up at the thought of a to-do list, you might want to skip this next section!

Tips for Effective Time Management

I wanted to share some ways that I’ve been staying organized lately. This has been one of the busiest years I’ve ever had because I’m balancing more “activities” than I have before: work, school, training, travel, blogging, along with the usual chores/ tasks that go along with running a household. I’ve always been the sort of person that likes to focus on one or two things exclusively, but as I was planning out this year I realized that even though I knew a full-time job and two classes a semester would keep me plenty busy on their own, I didn’t want to drop my training schedule or abandon my blog without at least trying to make it all work.

So I began to schedule my time more efficiently, tried different tools and tactics to stay organized and ahead of the game, and over the last couple of months, I’ve learned what works and doesn’t work for me. To my surprise, I’ve been able to balance everything with less stress than ever, as long as I’m realistic about my expectations (i.e. don’t try to schedule double workouts multiple times a week, and don’t plan to wake up at 5 AM to finish a homework assignment before work). Here are a few tools/ thoughts that have helped me stay sane and stick with it all!

calendar

1. Schedule your time: I’ve started scheduling blog/ workout/ study times/events on Google Calendar, and it has made a huge difference because it shows me how much time I have each day to get other stuff done. I set up the schedule for the week ahead on Sunday to get an idea of how busy I’ll be and cancel / move things around as necessary. I’m a big fan of color-coding events as well (gray for studying, yellow for workouts, blue for church stuff, red for important events, etc)!

2. Be realistic about what you can get done: I write down all the little things I have to do like going to the post office, buying plane tickets, clipping Kitty’s nails, etc using Google Tasks and then I assign just a few of them to each day. I really like this method because instead of an endless to-do list, I just have a few to tackle each day (no more than 3!). I like using Google Tasks because you can add it to your Google calendar and see everything at once.

3. Plan ahead of time: I’ve been using Evernote to plan out blog posts and then work on them when I find some time. I also use it to clip recipes while browsing blogs, save meals to make for the next week, and build a food shopping list well ahead of my trip to the market on the weekend. All stuff I can work on when I have a few minutes here and there (while commuting, waiting for a meeting, etc).

4. Prioritize what’s important: While I do want to get EVERYTHING done, I’ve realized that it’s not helpful to think of everything as equally important. If I have to work late at work, is it more important to study or get my run in when I get home? This goes to point #5…

5. Contrary to the title of this post – be okay with not getting everything done: I’ve learned to let go of my anxiety when something takes longer than expected so I can’t cross off everything on my to-do list or an activity drops off my plate that day (or week). A few weeks ago, I had a final and mid-term due so I deleted blogging sessions that week to focus on studying and sleep. There are plenty of weeks where I have 6 workouts scheduled and I only make it to 4 or 5. That’s okay and normal! I’d rather be relaxed and be 70% successful than super-stressed and 100% successful.

6. This is probably the most important thing I’ve learned – have downtime! I intentionally leave some evenings each week open and try not to schedule more than a couple things each weekend so that I have time to relax and recharge. I’ve learned that scheduling every waking minute of each day puts me on the fast track to burn-out.

I’ll be back tomorrow with my first week of half marathon training using FIRST! So glad to be running again.

Do you use productivity or organization tools/ apps?