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.

Weekend Highlights and Training Log (18 miles)

We went to our first holiday party of the year on Friday – our company party, held in the Mayflower Hotel in DC!

1202162302a_hdrTruth be told, we spent little time at the party itself and most of the evening at a pre-party held at a co-worker’s apartment.  Great snacks and drinks :)

Saturday morning, I ran a Jingle Bell 5K in Pentagon City, and was definitely feeling the effects of staying on my feet and not hydrating well the evening before.  All the same, I was happy I ran the race and we spent a happy afternoon at Dave and Buster’s afterwards #kidsforever.  I taught Sunday school again at church (I have a much-needed break this week) and we met up with our small group for dimsum at Golden King after service.  I didn’t feel like we did a whole lot this weekend, but the time flew by!

(Nov 28-Dec 4) Training Log

I had the best of intentions to not cram my runs together this week…and then I caught a bad cold over the weekend and took the first three days of the week off, lol. In hindsight, I think I could have managed a few easy miles on a couple of those rest days because my cold symptoms tend to disappear during and after a run (as they did on Thursday). I’m sure I’ll have more colds this winter, so I’ll be experimenting to learn when to push through a cold and when my body needs the rest.

Mon-Weds: rest days (cold)

Thurs: 6 miles easy on treadmill (10:36 pace) – I didn’t feel up to a run in the morning, so I came home early and got on the treadmill armed with some podcasts. Surprisingly, my cold symptoms didn’t bother me at all, but my calves were really tight after 3 days of rest. They finally warmed up around mile 3 and felt fine the rest of the run.

Fri: 3 miles easy (10:38 pace) – My legs felt a little sore from the prior evening’s run, so I kept a really easy pace and stretched my legs a couple of times to help them recover for Saturday’s race!

Sat: 5K (recap coming later) + 6 miles on the treadmill afterwards (10:47 pace)

Sun: rest – I intended to run another 6 miles, but felt pretty tired after Saturday’s workouts so I took another rest day!

After some thought, I’m upping the intensity of my cross-training workouts (and adding them back in) this week, starting with an Orangetheory class tonight! My goal is to gain strength and speed through cross-training, because I don’t think my speed workouts have been all that effective over the last couple of months.  I’m going to give my new schedule a few weeks before deciding how I want to approach training for my marathon in April next year.  Wish me luck!

Thanksgiving Weekend and Training Log (22 miles)

Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving! We spent ours down in Richmond at my mom’s place with sister J and her boyfriend and some of my mom’s friends.dsc04771Mike’s and my contribution were appetizers (this wonky veggie turkey was the centerpiece, lol), and the apple pie a few pics below!
dsc04753My mom cooked a traditional turkey feast and we ate leftovers for dayys :)
dsc04765Aforementioned apple pie – baked beautifully but crumbled to pieces as soon as we started to slice it *tears*.  I think we’ll stick to a crumble topping next year!dsc04775All in all, it was a great holiday with wonderful food and company :)

(Nov 21-27) Training Log

Mon: rest day

Tue: Xtend Barre Circuit7 – this was a really small class – just 2 students (including me)! Definitely couldn’t slack off ;)

Weds: rest day – I meant to hit up another Xtend class, but ended up packing and relaxing at home to get ready for Thanksgiving.

Thurs: 5 miles easy (10:13 pace) – Done first thing in the morning before we drove down to Richmond for the weekend.  My legs felt slow and tired, as they always do after a few days off running.

Fri: 4 miles easy – We were down in Richmond at my mom’s place, so I started this run on the treadmill in her community gym, but moved outside because the exercise room had no airflow, lol.  Inside run was 2 miles at a 11:16 pace, and outside 2 miles were at 9:44 pace – I’m definitely an outdoor runner right now.

Sat: 8 mile long run (10:15 pace) – this was a super windy run, so I had to stop to stretch my tight calves several times in the beginning, but it got better when I turned around and had the wind at my back.

Sun: 5 miles on T/M (10:48 pace) – this was supposed to be a hill interval workout, but my legs didn’t have it after the long run the day before.  I decided to do mini-inclines throughout the 5 miles of 15 sec-30 sec, which helped break up the time and provide a little hill training.

Overall, this was a pretty solid week of training, but bunching all my runs at the end of the week was not the best plan, lol.  Still, happy I got the miles in!

Weekend Fun + Training Log (22 miles)

We had a nice, low-key weekend in DC – Saturday was spent studying (Mike had a final, I have a class project) after my morning long run, and then we grabbed spicy noodle bowls at A+J’s, a Taiwanese restaurant highly recommended by friends. Love the burn of the Sichuan peppercorns!1119161109a_hdrI was so, so sore after my morning run – I picked a pretty hilly route, so I spent the evening foam rolling while we watched TV and then took an epsom bath that night, which really helped.

I managed to get in my run on Sunday morning before church, which hasn’t happened in a while (usually I end up on the treadmill in the afternoon).  After teaching Sunday School and eating an early Thanksgiving meal at church (mashed sweet potatoes, yay!), we studied some more and then went bowling in the evening – $2 games on Sunday nights!

(Nov 14-20) Training Log

I had a great week of training last week – got in 2 cross training sessions and 22 miles in 4 runs. I’m really enjoying this balance between running and barre and can feel the benefits of training my body all over through barre when I run.

Mon: light yoga – basically a rest day, but my legs felt a little stiff after several days of not running so this helped prep them for the week :)

Tue: FitnessBlender barre video – I missed my barre class at the studio because DC’s metro system is so terrible right now, so I went home and did this short barre video instead.  It’s a good one!

Weds: 6 X 400 meters on the treadmill (5 miles total) – A pretty typical treadmill workout for me – I’ve been working on getting some speed back by increasing the speed a little every 2 intervals or so!

Thurs: Xtend Barre Circuit7 class – I’m obsessed.  I meant to try one of their regular barre classes, but love this cardio/HIIT version too much to try a different class.  I’m going back this week!

Fri: 4 miles easy (10:02 pace) – this one got done after work, and I really enjoyed watching the sunset and the transition to twilight.

Sat: 10 hilly miles (10:46 pace) – oof, this run was no joke.  My legs felt good so I opted for the hillier loop behind my house, and after weeks of flat terrain, I was really struggling.  I had to stop on the hills several times, but felt proud of myself for not quitting and finishing the run.  Also, negative splits for the win! My first mile was 11:20 pace, and my last was 10:32 :)

Sun: 3 miles easy (10:18 pace) – This was my first run with earwarmers and a vest, but the cold actually felt great because it numbed my legs and helped them feel less tired.

And that’s a wrap.  I’m hoping to get in another 2 barre classes this week, and pretty similar mileage – my goal is to add 2 miles every 2 weeks until I start marathon training in late December.