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 :)

Friday Faves

Hey friends, hope you all had a great week. It’s been so chilly around here, but it looks like the weather should get a little warmer this weekend (morning temps back in the 20s…) so I’m looking forward to getting off the treadmill and getting to run outside! Here’s some things from this week:

Pizza spaghetti squash – SO good. No real recipe; just split and baked the squash for 40 min or so in the oven (at 375, I think?), then topped each side with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, and capers (for me). We have more mozz, pizza sauce and pepperoni leftover, so I think this meal will make another appearance this week :)img_20161207_183108

Rock’n’Roll race sale (yesterday) – RnR had a big sale on all their races yesterday, and I signed up for the DC half! It fits perfectly into my training plan for my early April marathon.

A new mug from Target – Target is also having a sale off their Threshold line of products (20% off with code THRESHOLD), so I picked up this cute mug to drink tea at work #mugaddiction51145084

Double chocolate and peanut butter mug cake – I had a major craving for something sweet on Monday night, so I looked up mug cake recipes and decided to try this one (swapped out the nutella for PB because that’s what I had). I’ve had some dry/overly sweet mug cakes in the past, but this one was a winner – moist and well balanced in flavor. Will definitely make again!1212161828a_hdr

This photo of Kitty – We’ve finally started turning on the fireplace again, and Kitty is one happy cat. After I saw her doing this, I got out a fleece blanket so she’s not stretched out on the wood, lol. I think winter is her favorite season.1212161215_hdrWhat treat do you turn to when you have a sweet tooth?

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.

Friday Faves

I feel like this week went by much faster than usual; anyone else feel that way? I made it to two OTF classes this week and my butt (literally, my butt) is so sore. And my back. And my abs. And my calves. I want to slather myself with bengay and go to sleep now. But first, Friday faves!

Holiday socks/ pajamas
I’m all about socks and slippers around the house this winter. I got this cute pair from Target and I slip it on as soon as I get home every night! I also have and love this flannel plaid lounge shirt – so cozy and festive.1201162019a_hdr

Candy Cane tea
Let’s continue with the holiday theme, shall we? This was an Aldi impulse buy and it is really good. Mint flavored teas are perfect after dinner – I feel like they aid digestion and stop dessert cravings.1205161806_hdr

Westworld
We’ve been sucked in, and it’s SO good. Mike and I have fun making outrageous predictions about a character’s future actions or past or who’s controlling everything behind the scenes. I was shocked when he correctly predicted a major reveal in one of the last episodes (but we’ve also had a bunch of terrible guesses, lol).465_1024x411

Secret Santa website
Both our families are doing Secret Santa this year, and after several failed attempts to draw names from a hat without someone picking him/herself or spouse, I did some googling and found this secret santa website! It has all the features I could think of: you can tell it to exclude certain matches, people can fill in their wishlists for their secret santa, and the administrator can go in and see who has logged on and entered items into their wishlist.  Oh, and it’s free ;)captureAlso – winter is coming.  YASSS.

capture

Jingle Bell Run 5K Recap

I have a quick recap of my recent 5K to share with you guys – no pics, because I forgot to bring a running belt and there was no bag check at the race so I left my phone in the car. All the same, I like typing up these recaps to think about what went well, and what to work on for next time. So here we go:

Pre-Race

The race started at 9 AM, so I woke up around 7:30, ate some leftover oatmeal, got dressed and rolled my legs. I felt pretty tired from the late night before (company holiday party), and my legs were tired from standing all night so I knew my goal for the race should be conservative. The weather was pretty windy and a little cold, so I decided on a thick long sleeve shirt, shorts, fleece headband, and festive compression socks! After drinking some coffee and using the restroom, I drove over to Pentagon City about half an hour before race start.

The Race

I wasn’t feeling too great by the time the race started – I needed to pee again (no port-o-potties available at the race) and I was really cold from standing around in the wind for 15-20 minutes. The race started on time, and I started weaving around all the walkers for several minutes in the first mile, which was slightly uphill. Right away, my goal of a 9:00 pace went out the window. Mile 1 – 9:39

By mile 2, my calves were SO tight; they felt solid with pain and I had to stop several times to stretch them. I considered quitting, but decided to make my new goal just finishing the race with a sub 10 min time. It helped that mile 2 was mostly flat or downhill. Mile 2 – 12 something (I stopped my garmin while stretching)

Mile 3 was slightly better than the first two; my calves loosened up a little and I didn’t need to stop completely, although my pace definitely slowed during the uphill right before turning back into Pentagon Row. I focused on passing people one at a time and not letting anyone pass me (I think one guy sped by me, but I had zero chance of catching him lol). Mile 3 – 9:01

When the final stretch came up, I started sprinting as best as I could to get across the finish line, thinking about going back home to my warm house and hot shower. 0.10 pace – 7:35

Final time: 31:01 (9:59 pace)

Race Thoughts/Lessons Learned

While this was one of my slowest 5Ks ever, I was really proud of myself for pushing through windy and cold conditions and finishing the race. I’ve had a lot of DNSs (did not start) and one DNF (did not finish) this year, so starting and finishing a race is no small accomplishment right now.

On the short-term prep side, there’s a lot I could have done better: I should have hydrated properly the night before, rested my legs (no more races the morning after a party haha), and not piled up the week’s mileage in the days leading up to the race. Also, given the lack of a bag drop, I should have brought a trash bag to keep myself warm before race start (I’m also never running a race without restrooms again). Most importantly, I’ve learned the hard way that I really need to warm up before short races, especially in cold weather. If I had to repeat Saturday’s race again, I’d jog for 10-15 minutes prior to race start.

For long-term improvement, it’s become clear to me that I need to work on my speed and leg strength more diligently. My old 5K record was a sub-8 min pace, and I’ve backed off on my speedwork paces over the last couple of years and I can’t hold that pace for more than a minute or two now. I’ve decided to try subbing Orangetheory classes for my speedwork sessions in the hopes that I’ll build speed with coaching during the treadmill sessions, and strengthen my body all over with the cross-training portions of the workout (row and weights).  I know that I’ve had a hard time pushing myself on my own lately, so I’m hoping the OTF coaches and group setting will get my butt back in high gear ;)

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!

Friday Faves

We are off to our first holiday party of the month in a few hours – our company holiday party! I’m going bold with my wardrobe choice; blouse and pants instead of a dress since I’m tired of freezing my legs off while waiting for an uber/cab ;) But onto today’s post – it’s that time of the week where I share recent favorites around our household – running, food and other random stuff.

New Vacuum (for pet messes)
I mentioned a while ago that our cat Lucy has been sick, and one of the unfortunate side effects of her illness is that she’s been vomiting and making other messes once or twice a week. I had a small battery-powered hand vac that I used for messes previously, but it wasn’t able to keep up with the higher frequency and I wasn’t satisfied with the suction. So a month or two ago, I ended up upgrading to the Rug Doctor Portable Spot Machine and have been so happy with the purchase ever since. The suction is incredible, the large nozzle makes it easy to clean large messes, it takes only one or two passes to get deep set messes out of the carpet, and the dirty water tank is easy to empty and clean. Highly recommend for fellow pet owners.1118161618a_hdr

Holiday soaps
We don’t do a lot of Christmas decorations around the house since we’re usually at Mike’s or my parents’ place, but I love switching out our hand soaps for holiday scents! We both love this gingerbread one.1111160603_hdr

Scrapbooking
Mike bought me a travel scrapbook (it’s like the one from Up) years ago to document our trips and I fell behind sometime in 2012, lol. I decided to finish up our travel scrapbook this year with all the trips we’ve gone on in the past four years, and it’s been surprisingly relaxing and fun to work on (albeit time-consuming). We’ve enjoyed looking back on and remembering our trips, and I know we’ll enjoy the finished product for years to come.1118161618b_hdr

Yurbud 200 sport earbuds
I upgraded to the 200s after my old 100s died, and I love the slight upgrades on this model! The earbuds attach magnetically, which is great for storage or for keeping them around my neck when I don’t want music. I also think the soft earpieces (the blue part) are more securely attached on this model, which is great because my only complaint about the 100s was that the earpieces kept falling off and getting lost.1121161645a_hdr

This maple soy glazed salmon recipe
I’m always looking for new fish recipes because I know it’s good for us but I don’t love the flavor, so I tried this Skinnytaste recipe earlier this week. It was a big hit! I loved the sweet, salty and spicy glaze and Mike kept saying, “this is really good” while he polished off two pieces, haha.  We’ll be making this one again.1129161812_hdr

Any favorite fish recipes to share? Have you put up any holiday decorations yet?