Last Week’s Workouts: 14.5 Miles

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a workout post, and suffice it say that I’m not running that much these days – and I’m okay with that.  I’ve always been a morning runner, but my schedule has changed lately (I leave for work around 6 AM to avoid traffic), so the majority of my workouts are done after work, at which time I don’t have a lot of motivation to get on the treadmill.  These days, rock climbing, Orangetheory, and other workout classes have sounded a lot more fun. Here’s how last week went:

Mon: rock climbing with Vivian after work.  We were both a little tired, so I stuck to 5.8s and 1-2 5.9s.

Tue: 3 mile run on the T/M – I mixed in a little speed after a 5 min warm-up – did 6 min at 6.6, 2 min recovery, 5 min at 6.8, 2 min recovery, then 2 min at 7.0, 2 min recovery, and jogged the rest of the way.  Gym was closed due to a gas leak, so no Insanity :(

Weds: rest (bad insomnia night)

Thurs: OTF! – It was a power day, so we did lots of hills on the treadmill, shorter powerful rows, and heavy weights.  For those counting, I add 1.5 miles to my weekly mileage for OTF days.

Fri: 4 miles on T/M

Sat: 6 miles outside (10:08 pace) – great run with Charles, Mike’s friend in town for the weekend.  My legs were pretty tired after a week of workouts, but he helped me power through.

Sun: rest

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Last Week’s Workouts

Our weekend started off strong with an escape room adventure with our small group on Friday night! We split up into 2 groups (too many for one room) and tackled two rooms at Escape Room Live in Alexandria. Mike and I were in the Poe-raenormal Room (Edgar Allen Poe-themed, if you hadn’t guessed) and we juust got out with two minutes to spare! I loved the theming and decorations at this location – they did a great job setting the mood for each puzzle.
We grabbed ice cream afterwards at the new Old Town location of Nice Cream – it had opened that day! Still our favorite ice cream; the pistachio flavor was amazing.

Saturday was spin, spin, spin at Cyclebar – we liked the studio so much that we added two more classes to our intro class pack. I really appreciate the great and friendly customer service we’ve experienced at this studio.
After cleaning up and taking care of the usual chores, we hung out at home for a while before I started getting ready to go out for a baby shower for one of our small group women. I was in charge of the cake – the one I picked out from Buzz Bakery was a big hit :)

Unfortunately I came down with a small case of food poisoning that night – I think it was some old yogurt I ate earlier in the day – so I was out of commission on Sunday. I managed to clean up our file cabinet, but didn’t do much else all day. Thankfully, I’m feeling much better today and got in a good workout this morning.

Last Week’s Workouts

I realized pretty early on this week that I needed a bit of a cut-back in effort, so I substituted one tough workout (probably would have been bootcamp) for a yoga class on Sunday. As a result, I don’t feel so sore going into this week and I’m ready to push a little harder again. I really believe in taking cutback weeks and even entire rest weeks when my body starts to feel a little run down – a little recovery can prevent future injury and illness. Listen to your body :)

Mon – short run (2.5 miles) and 15 min elliptical – I tried to test out my Achilles again, but it just wasn’t having it.

Tues – rest day

Weds – boxing class at UFC – I paced myself much better than last week and didn’t feel like dying the next day ;)

Thurs – 45 min elliptical and 10 min row – for the row, I did 3 – 500 meter rows with rest in between, and then repeated 10 forceful strokes with 30 seconds recovery row till I hit 10 minutes.  Short but effective.

Fri – 40 min elliptical

Sat – spin class at Cyclebar! Loved the sprint repeats at the end of class – we did 20 sec on, 10 sec rest repeated 8 times.  My quads were on fire.

Sun – short yoga video

Last Week’s Workouts: Boxing!

We had a fun weekend with gorgeous weather here in DC!  We took full advantage, starting with a cherry blossom viewing party at night with our Friday small group.  The cherry blossoms surprisingly survived the sudden cold snap, some snow, and very windy days over the last two weeks, so we made a trip to the Tidal Basin around the Jefferson and FDR memorials to see them at night.

On Saturday, I was up nice and early for a short treadmill run followed by volunteering at a food distribution event, hosted by ALIVE!, a local organization focusing on assisting those in need in the Alexandria community. I have a lot of time on my hands right now, so I’ve been looking for more ways to get involved in serving – being Jesus’s hands and feet in the world, especially in the current political climate. The food distribution event takes place the last Saturday of every month, and although it was scheduled to go from 8:30-12, we ended an hour early because apparently fewer and fewer immigrant families have been coming due to fear of deportation. We actually had to pack up leftover goods and store them because there weren’t enough people to take them all. Trump, that’s what’s sad.

We got some chores done the rest of the day and then headed out in the evening for a fun date at Komi! I really wanted to treat Mike to a nice dinner for being so supportive of new work schedule – earlier alarms, longer hours, more trips – and he had heard great things about the creative Greek-inspired cuisine at this upscale restaurant, so we decided to give it a shot. One of Komi’s interesting policies was no pictures of the food so they can keep it a surprise for others, so you’ll have to take my word for it that the food was amazing.

We did get a course list afterwards of everything we ate, and one of my favorite dishes was actually super simple – oven roasted dates stuffed with mascarpone topped with some sea salt.  Very few ingredients, but they all went so well together, and we loved the crispy skin on the dates.  We’ll be re-creating these for a fancy appetizer at home.  (we didn’t actually celebrate my birthday there, but it isn’t too far off so when they asked if we were celebrating a special event, that’s what I went with)

Sunday was church and teaching Sunday School, and we tried out a new Vietnamese place afterwards.  This vermicelli from Super Pho didn’t disappoint – nice clean flavors with tender shrimp and pork.

Last Week’s Workouts

I mentioned last week that I’ve started taking classes at my UFC gym. You might be wondering why I joined UFC and the answer is no, I’m not planning to enter the ring ;) I actually joined when I started my new job because I was looking for gyms near my workplace (which is 40 min from home), and UFC had the best deal at the time. They have two treadmills and some other basic fitness equipment, so I figured I could do some running and maybe take a class or two in the future. Since I haven’t been running all that much, I’ve started checking out the classes – first Daily Ultimate Training (DUT) last week, which was basically boot camp, and boxing this week. It’s been fun to do such functional workouts and challenge my body in a new way. Here’s how last week went:

Mon – OTF – I broke 200 watts for the first time on the rower! The rower is definitely where I’ve noticed most progress for me – when I first started OTF a few months ago, I was maxing out at 130 watts or so, but that number has been increasing a little each week. I felt so strong when I saw 215 pop up on the meter, even if just for a few seconds. Can’t wait to see where I am in a few more months.
Tues – boxing class at UFC – holy smokes, I was so sore when I woke up the next morning. Apparently 60 minutes with the heavy bag will do that to ya ;) I actually loved this class, but definitely need to learn to wrap my hands better and pace myself with the punches instead of going all out in the first 5 minutes lol.
Weds – rest day.  Definitely rest day.
Thurs – Daily Ultimate Training (DUT) class at gym – just as good as last week! The killer station in the circuit for me was definitely the eight minutes of battle rope. My arms were dead after first three minutes.
Fri – 4 miles on T/M (10:13 pace)
Sat – 4 miles on T/M (10:30 pace)
Sun – rest day (achilles was bothering me)

I think I do need to take a few weeks off from running entirely to let my achilles heal (heel? haha), because it’s starting to feel aggravated even on my short easy runs.  I’ll probably move to the elliptical and rower for my 3-4 cardio days each week.  I’m hoping it heals up in time for me to get in some spring weather running…

Last Week’s Workouts: CycleBar

Hey friends! Hope you all had a great weekend. Ours was pretty low key – we went to a new cycle class on Saturday morning (more on that below) and then spent the rest of the day at Spaworld :) So relaxing.  We did some food shopping afterwards at Hmart, and I grabbed a few pastries from the bakery nearby for breakfast the next morning.
Sunday was church – I’ve been teaching Sunday School each week and watching the sermons during the week when I have time. My three year olds are so cute but MAN are they energetic! We grabbed dim sum afterwards with a friend, then came home to take care of chores and get ready for another week. Dinner was a Blue Apron winner – smoky cod with a roasted potato salad. I loved the butter, date, and garlic sauce on the cod and the pickled shallot on the salad. Here’s the recipe link if you want to try it!

Last Week’s Workouts

I mentioned in my last post that I haven’t been running much, thanks to an Achilles tendon injury that’s taking its time to go away. I’m confident that if I can just rest it for a couple of weeks with no long runs/ speedwork, it’ll be fine. It’s been fine with a few easy runs each week, so I’ve been alternating easy running with more intense cross training sessions in the form of Orangetheory, cycling, and classes offered at my UFC gym. And I think I might be in the best shape I’ve been in a while – I’m lifting heavy at OTF and interval classes at the gym, I’ve nearly doubled my max power output on the rower, and just a few weeks ago (when I was still able to run) I was hitting 6-7 mile pace runs at my marathon pace with little effort, despite running only 20-25 miles a week. When I start training again, cross-training is going to stick around as part of my regimen for sure.

Mon – OTF! It’s become my favorite way to start the week, because it forces me to work out first thing Monday morning, and that gets me into the habit of doing it the rest of the week.
Tues – 4 easy miles on the T/M (10:40 pace)
Weds – 2.5 easy miles (10:20 pace), and then my Achilles hurt so I incline walked for another 15-20 minutes.
Thurs – Daily Ultimate Training (DUT) class at gym – described as a high intensity boot camp. I tried it for the first time this week, and holy cow – we started off with 20 minutes of lunge variations using the TRX. My legs were DYING. Then we moved onto 9 minute blocks at three stations with two activities each, alternating 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off. One station focused on legs using squat jumps on the bosu alternating with a sled push; station 2 focused on abs alternating pikes with the TRX and abdominal holds, and station 3 was a arms/chest workout alternating a burpee/overhead press with chest flys on an exercise ball. Yea, I was sore everywhere for days.
Fri – 4 easy miles on the T/M (10:20 pace)
Sat – CycleBar endurance class (60 min)
Sun – rest

CycleBar Review

With long runs out of the picture for now, I was looking around for another activity I could do on weekends, maybe with Mike (who cycles a lot at his gym). We came across CycleBar, which is a spin studio that opened up a location in Arlington in November last year. They had an awesome intro package – 3 classes for $29, so we both signed up! I was pleasantly surprised at how it easy it was to book a class; other premium cycle studios often book up within hours of releasing their week’s schedule, but we were able to book a class the day before – maybe because the studio is still pretty new?

We walked into the gorgeous studio on Saturday morning, and it was as luxe as other premium spin studios I’ve been to, with more perks – they have the standard lockers and nice bikes, but they also give out free water bottles, towel service, free shoe rentals and the bikes come with data screens showing your gear level, RPMs, watt, and other info. The studio itself was really big, with stadium style seating and a good amount of space between bikes.

Source: Cyclebar

And the class? It was SO hard – the instructor told us which gear we should be in, so I couldn’t just “go by feel” (aka coast half the class lol) since I could see the gear on the screen. The class was a good mix of hills, speedwork, steady tempo songs, and a little bit of core work and arms using a weighted bar (hence the name). Mike and I liked all the aspects of the class, from the motivating music, use of lighting (they turn off the lights during steady tempos and turn down the lights for speedwork songs), and participant stats on the screen (you can opt out, if you want). It’s fair to say I was a sweaty mess after class :)
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Speaking of stats, they send you your stats afterwards, like OTF.  We had some rock stars in the class – I pushed myself hard just to stay in the middle of the pack!
Have you tried any indoor cycling studios? Any favorites? I know the price is insane and it’s definitely a cult, but SoulCycle is my favorite.  It feels like a party on a bike.

Reston Marathon Training Weeks 1+2

My training cycle for the Reston marathon (in early April) kicked off two weeks ago! I’m opting for a slightly shorter training cycle this time around – 16 weeks instead of the usual 18. For most of the cycle, my goal is to get in a pace run, long run, 2 cross training sessions (like OTF or barre), and 2 easy runs. Here’s how the first two weeks went!

Marathon Training Week 1 (11.5 miles)

This was not a great start to the cycle; I did get in some activity throughout the week but I skipped 2 runs and cut others short because I wasn’t sleeping well due to some job stuff going on. Still, if I was going to have an off week, I’d glad it was early on in my training schedule.

Mon: OTF
Tues: rest
Weds: 2 mile MP (marathon pace) run on T/M (9:10 pace) – This was supposed to be closer to 4-5 miles, but I was having some problems with new shoes (fixed later on using a different lacing technique)
Thurs: Lavabarre
Fri: 6 miles on the T/M (10:31 pace)
Sat: 3.5 miles on T/M (10:35 pace) – My plan was to get in my long run (12 miles) on the treadmill before heading down to Richmond, but I did not feel well and cut the run short.
Sun: rest day

Marathon Training Week 2 (26 miles)

This week went much better; I started sleeping well again and I always love running in Cali so I got all my miles in, even though we were on vacation :)

Mon: rest day
Tues: 5 mile MP on T/M (9:13 pace) – this went surprisingly well; I thought I’d have trouble holding my MP pace for that long on the treadmill, but I took super short breaks every mile or so and it didn’t feel that fast at all.
Weds: OTF
Thurs: rest day
Fri: 5 miles in Temecula (10:08 pace) – Mike ran the first 3 miles with me, and then I did another two solo. The weather was slightly chilly and felt great!
Sat: 12 miles in Temecula (10:37 pace) – This was a great long run, considering how hilly the route was (probably 8-9 hills total). All the incline training we’ve been doing at OTF has been paying off though; I was able to run all but the largest two hills without stopping.
Sun: 4 miles in Temecula (10:33 pace) – I got in a few miles in the morning before we packed up and went back up to LA!

This week, I’ll be jumping to 30 miles with a 14 mile long run on Saturday. I know I’ll be tired after getting back to DC, but if I power through this week, I’ll have a cutback week to look forward to in week 4 :)

An Icy Weekend + Training Log (5 Miles)

Last week was the first week the temps really dropped around here and icy conditions + my gym being closed for renovations = no weekend miles. So we had a cozy and lazy weekend at home with Kitty and watched a million episodes of Walking Dead :) The highlight of our weekend was our small group holiday potluck on Friday, complete with an AMAZING homemade cake (one of our members is training as a pastry chef). So, if I ever get tired of this whole running thing, I know what my next hobby will be ;)

(Dec 12-18) Training Log

Tues: OTF

Weds: 5 miles on T/M (10:44 pace)

Thurs: OTF – tough rowing segment; 400 meter row alternating with 10 medicine ball thrusts; my legs were dying by the end!

Fri-Sun: rest days. I forgot my little gym was closed for renovations this weekend, and it was cold, windy and icy outside, so I decided to take a rest week.

In hindsight, I wish I had just signed up for a guest pass to the big gym near our place and got my runs in, but one week off isn’t the end of the world (and I still got 2 OTF classes in). I start marathon training this week, so that was the last week that I could skip so many runs without impacting a real training schedule. From now on, I’ll make sure I have backup plans each week to get in my mileage no matter what the weather :)

Weekend Highlight and Training Log (24 miles)

We had an eventful and fun weekend, starting with a long run, a visit to Union Market, bowling, and hot pot with friends.

Milk, pasta, knives at Union Market
Milk, pasta, knives at Union Market

But we also lost Lucy on Sunday.

I mentioned a while ago that my dear cat Lucy was diagnosed with either lung cancer or asthma several months ago. Her coughing and vomiting was well controlled with steroids, until this past weekend. After seeing her suffer for two days with no improvement, we decided it was time to bring her in. The vet gently confirmed that her symptoms were consistent with cancer (not asthma) and walked us through the process for putting her to sleep. I got to hold her body one last time as the sedative took effect and she fell asleep in my arms.
1219151419a I cried my eyes out for most of the weekend, but I know we made the right choice and that we gave her a good home and lots of love for all the time we had her.  I hope she’s in cat heaven now, eating all the salmon and canned pumpkin her heart desires.

(Dec 5-11) Training Log

Mon: rest day

Tues: Orangetheory @ Rosslyn – the rowing section was tough!

Weds: rest

Thurs: OTF @ Pentagon City – loooved this class and studio.  We did a fun mini partner workout at the end of class, where one person rowed 200 meters while the other two ran at all out speed or did jump squats. It’s much closer to work and the layout doesn’t feel as crowded, so I’ll probably take most of my classes at this studio.

Fri: 6 miles on T/M (10:31 pace) – I added a little speed to this workout – 1 mile w/u, then 1 min fast/4 min recovery; 1 fast/3 slow; 1 fast/2 slow, 1 fast/ 1 slow, then repeated the fast/slow intervals two more times.  I finished with a cooldown jog till I hit 6 miles – I liked how fast this workout went!

Sat: 10 miles outside (10:00 pace) – this was a cold and windy run, so I bundled up in my warmest layers.  I think this was my fastest longish run all year, thanks to the numb legs ;)1210161042_hdr

Sun: 8 miles on T/M (10:55 pace) – I couldn’t sleep because I knew we had to take Lucy to the vet later that day, so I got out of bed and went downstairs to run around 6 AM.  My legs were a little sore from the long run, but I just kept an easy pace and felt great.