Monthly archives: May, 2014

Friday Five – 5 Things in My Gym Bag

Welcome to the Friday Five Linkup, hosted by my blog buds/local tweeps
Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!,
Courtney at EatPrayRunDC and
Mar at Mar on the Run.
This week’s theme is “5 Things in My Gym Bag”.  Make sure to stop by their blogs for their picks and hop along to the other bloggers in the linkup, featured at the bottom of their pages!

A few months ago I wouldn’t have had an answer at all to this question, but I’ve started doing a lunchtime workout at the office gym some days. I do have a locker, which is quite nice, so this is really about the contents of that (most of which get lugged back and forth weekly).

  • 2 running bras, running shorts and a tank, 3 pairs of clean socks (1 for each in-office day)
  • Deodorant/antiperspirant, Action Wipes (my fave), Nathan Shower Wipes (2nd fave) and Shower Pill wipes (using them up) – anyone got one with a lemon-ish scent? Though we do have showers in the gym, I prefer not to shower there and don’t get too sweaty. The wipes allow me to clean up for the rest of the day, and I can also douse my head and blow it dry if needed – virtues of a pixie cut. 
  • Purell Wipes and Clorox Wipes, tissues, feminine supplies
  • Emergency fuel like gel chomps or shot blox – I don’t fuel for these workouts but if my eating for the day has been off, I like to know I can grab these and eat only one or two to get me through my very short workout without a blood sugar incident
  • Empty athletic water bottle (fill at gym fountain)

My shoes aren’t on the list because I keep them locked up in my office in case I want to take them home between workouts. They’re a backup pair of older shoes and orthotics since I’m walking or on the elliptical or bike, not running.

Things that I’m counting as “in my gym bag” since they accompany me to workouts, but I take them home with me daily:

  • iphone for podcasts
  • headphones with Yurbuds

What’s in your gym bag or locker? I’m new at this “working out at lunch at the office” thing, so I could use some tips.

Happy Friday!



Sun Protection

As Deb has been pointing out in some great blog posts, May is Melanoma Awareness Month (along with Celiac Awareness Month).

While thus far I’ve been fortunate – one mole removed, no issue – I am at pretty high risk for potential skin cancer as I’m extremely fair and had a couple whopping burns as a teen. (ah, the baby oil days) I have been tan once in my life, for about 2 days, in Hawaii. Otherwise, excessive unprotected sun exposure causes me to either burn a lovely tomato red, or (strangely) have no color change at all. It’s definitely past time for me to either go back to the derm I didn’t like or find a new one and get checked again.

Over the years, I’ve used many a sunscreen and have had some favorites. I loved Scape (no longer made) from one of the docs behind some of the better Neutrogena/sport formulations. When I went back to Neutrogena and some other similar sunscreens, I discovered I’d developed what appear to be sensitivity to the ingredients (aside from now needing to avoid gluten-related ingredients). My skin would break out, peel and burn.

So, I started trying the “physical” or mineral sunscreens, which are usually zinc oxide or titanium dioxide based. (If you’re of a certain age, you may remember lifeguards with a white stripe down their nose – old formula zinc oxide.) I also like the idea of less use of chemicals when possible. Sometimes you’ll see mineral-only sunscreens marketed for babies, but you need to check the ingredients to be sure. I realize that the physical ingredients are by strict definition chemical, but work with me…. I also realize that according to some groups, the nano-particles of the minerals may pose some risk, but I can only work with the options I have. Here’s some general info on sunscreen.

My current favorites:

Eye area: Clarins under and around eye, daily in the AM – bonus benefit is is helps conceal dark circles! I fear it may be discontinued as I can’t find it on Clarins site – the image in the link above is to the prior tube as well, the one I have is orange. I used to use their SPF40 Day Screen, but it started irritating my skin after a formula change, caused peeling. Prior to Clarins, I’d used Shiseido. May have to go back to them, but I can’t recall why I stopped, perhaps they changed ingredients to something I couldn’t have. It irritates me that full ingredient lists are so hard to find. I buy these items, since they’re cosmetic, at stores (there’s a Sephora near where I get my hair cut) or online.

Face: MyChelle SunShield SPF28 – has a nice matte finish, makes my red face a little less noticeable. I don’t wear makeup, so can’t speak to how it works as a base. I buy this product at local health food type stores or through places like Abe’s Market or Vitacost or LuckyVitamin online, though you can also buy direct from MyChelle.

Body: Goddess Garden – I haven’t tried their sport yet. I plan to get tubes next time. The spray is convenient, but the nozzle clogged on me. I found a travel size tube at a local store, which I’ll take to Boston in June. I either take or buy sunscreen (other than my eye cream, which I tote) when traveling. I buy this product at local health food type stores or through places like Abe’s Market or Vitacost or LuckyVitamin online, though you can also buy direct from GG (looks like if you sign up for their newsletter they give you a coupon). I am generally anti-scent, but I find the smell of the formulate acceptable though noticeable at first application.

I have worn these all during runs and races, and so far they’ve gotten me through and I haven’t gotten too hot from them or looked weird afterward from streaking/sweat. I don’t spend hours at a time out in the sun that frequently, so my main concern is when I run. I want to pick up a stick formula, handy to re-do tops of ears, nose, the part in hair, the tops of feet, the back of hands. If you wash your hands a lot, like me, you’re washing off sunscreen every time, and I definitely notice the ravages of time and sun on my hands. (think of when you’re driving too!)

I will make exceptions and use chemical sunscreens if it’s all that’s available for some reason, and I’ve bought body lotion with SPF15 to use daily for commute protection.

But, I am not fond of the general feel of sunscreens on my skin, plus having to reapply frequently can be a pain (carry the extra, remember to do it). Some years ago, when we were going to Arizona, I investigated another option – sun protective clothing. What’s great about the clothing – depending on how they’ve implemented the protection – is that the protection may not degrade over time. The idea of sun protective clothing has taken off, and you’ll see a lot of items touting SPF or UPF ratings now, particularly if you shop at a place like REI. I know I’ve seen it on Columbia clothing, and I think some running clothes are starting to have ratings. Just remember, depending on your situation (skin condition/risk, how long you’ll be out) you might still want to put sunscreen on underneath. Mesh style shirts and shorts, the ultra lightweight stuff we wear in the heat, lets sun in as well as it lets out heat, so beware.

Here are some of my picks:

SunPrecautions is expensive, but their stuff works, lasts, and is really lightweight. It’s my absolute favorite. They started out as a medical device company (for some people, sun exposure causes illness/pain and is medically contraindicated) and you may have seen Badwater runners wearing their products. I have been out hiking in full Arizona sun for hours with sunscreen only on face, neck, scalp, ears and hands, the rest covered with their clothing, and not gotten a drop of color. Their shade scarf is a terrific thing to have in your car to protect your legs/arms from the sun on long trips when you’re wearing shorts and short sleeves. It cuts the heat quite a bit too. Their hats are pretty good. They’ve upped their style game, as the market is more competitive than when they started.

Coolibar is the second company we found, and while their fabric is heavier, they were the first we saw that made more “everyday” wear, like blouses  or shirts you could wear to work. They also were the first to have a wide variety of swim products, though SunPrecautions has some now too.

One more option might be to wash your regular clothing with an add-in (chemical) like SunGuard (DH has done this). It’s not permanent, and may not be safe for all clothing, but every little bit helps.

Remember to wear a hat and sunglasses, and that you (and your loved ones) need protection from the sun year-round. Enjoy safely!



Training Recap – Week of May 19, 2014

This past week, for a number of reasons, wasn’t overall as good from a training perspective as the week before. I had some days where what happened was not what I’d wanted/planned…though I did have a couple days that were, sort of redeeming the week for me (yay). I’m trying to keep calm about it, roll with it and move on – but I’ll admit that Tuesday and Saturday were not stellar mood days because of these hiccups. I know the coming week will present challenges as I’m traveling for work, so I’ll be trying to be flexible about that too. My next A race is October, and any race before that is for a training purpose, so there’s time.

Run: 37 miles

  • T – no run. Got up and felt discomfort in both my shins and extensors (had noticed Monday night) and freaked. Reminded me of just prior to my August injury. Fortunately, I had a chiro appt. He pointed out that I’d done hills outside on Sunday (which he told me to think of as a lot of one-legged deep squats) as well as doing hill reps the prior week and adding elliptical time. All this new/extra work on my legs – plus my amped-up core routine – caused me to have tightening in my “superficial frontal line”, the collection of muscles, etc. that runs up and down the front of the body. I’ve had “superficial back line” tightness before, which messes with hams/calves. He stretched me out (just as not fun as it sounds) and calmed me down.
  • W – 4 mi, ez pace, shorter to be careful and because I ran out of time
  • Th – 8mi with long hill repeats. 3mi warmup then 10x 2min at 2%, 2min at 0%, short cooldown. This was the planned run for Tuesday (Th is strides) but I figured I needed hill work more.
  • Sat – 10 mi: 3mi warmup, 7mi ez pace. Flat. Bad night (up a couple hours with stomach trouble, then stomach cramping before run). Tired. Between that, allergies and doing the hill reps 2 days before, all explainable though disappointing. Looking at last week’s recap, my long run was much better, so getting the hill work done on Tuesday is important. No energy, motivation or enthusiasm in remainder of day. Walked for some errands and noted soreness in glutes, hips and hams, heaviness in legs. Stomach still off.
  • Sun – 15mi: 1mi warmup, 6mi 30s faster, 3mi 30s faster,  3mi current marathon PR pace, 1mi goal marathon pace, 1mi cooldown. Took 1 gel (~80 calories) between miles 6-7. This was not an easy run (though some of it was in my “ez pace” zone per McMillan) coming as it did the day after my less-than-great 10 miler and my Thursday hill reps. However, it wasn’t “I must stop” hard, and I’m pleased with it especially after my runs on Th/Sat. I’m happy I got my first “goal pace” mile in, ahead of the start of my official marathon training cycle. A separate accomplishment – given my ongoing fight with the mileage monster – is that I did NOT push myself to get 16 miles (what I think of as the low end of a long run) or 16.2 (to get a marathon distance over the two days this weekend). Of course, my cooldown mile kinda hurt, so parts of me didn’t want to, but I could have pushed it and I didn’t. 

Bike: 3 – 1h (M/W), 1h10 (F) plus 30 min Sat after run, 30 min Sun after run
Core: 3 (M/W/F am – incl Lauren Fleshman moves, still increasing reps, added a couple other exercises – really feeling this, hoping it helps)
Wharton flex: 7 (daily) 
Yoga: M – 55 min Restorative Yoga from Sage via YogaVibes. Quick (7min) Standing Hip Openers routine after bike on Friday.
Chiro exercises: 0 – worried about legs on Tues, Thurs my legs were too sore and I just gave up (not good). Will try to pick this up again next week.
Calf stretches: 7 (daily)
Elliptical – Monday, 23 min. Quads felt horrible after, though it was only 3 min more than last week, which hadn’t bothered me. Don’t get it. Elliptical also working my arms, which I think is probably good. After Tuesday’s issues (and due to a hectic work week), skipped elliptical my other 2 days in the office. I won’t be in the office at all this week, have to figure out how to build in the elliptical safely once I am back I definitely think it helps, perhaps I just loaded up too much at once.
Walk: 15 min walk on Wed, 30 min on Saturday to run errands (plus my pre-run 15 min warmups)

How has your training been? Any injury niggles, scares or problems with your body adapting to new training routines? Had to adjust your plan? Had a less-than-great run or workout followed by a good one?

Have a great week!

Friday Five – 5 Places I’d Like to Run

Welcome to the Friday Five Linkup, hosted by my blog buds/local tweeps
Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!,
Courtney at EatPrayRunDC and
Mar at Mar on the Run.
This week’s theme is “5 Places You’d Like to Run”.  Make sure to stop by their blogs for their picks and hop along to the other bloggers in the linkup, featured at the bottom of their pages!

Note – I posted 5 places I’d like to run in an earlier Friday Five, Run section – below are new places. I picked these locations for their beauty, and the runs are primarily trail runs. Though I have not in the past run trails very much, I hope to eventually do more trail running. These places are so pretty they tempt me!

  • Avenue of the Giants, California – Not sure whether I’d do a race there or just try to find a trail to run on my own. The redwoods are so beautiful and imposing. A friend who hiked there said it was an amazing experience.
  • Bryce Canyon, Utah – There’s a set of ultra races here. I’ve seen photos from those races that make me want to run the easiest, safest, shortest, most beautiful trail I can find there. Fast Cory has some great photos on his blog here and here. (he’s a fun read, super-enthusiastic, with great photos)
  • Lake Tahoe, Nevada – You can do a marathon, double or triple marathons there! (and now a new 200 mile race) But I might want to just run, some pretty easy trail section with a good view.
  • Mercer Island, Washington – A friend of mine just moved there and sent me photos of a gorgeous trail run near her house. I’d love to see her and run that trail with her! I’m not sure which trail it is, but here’s a map of trails there. They have a half marathon, which has some photos on their site.
  • Torrey Pines Reserve/Beach, California – Again, beautiful trees, but also ocean, rocks and sand. Google provided these photos.

And, a bonus “where I’d like to run” :

  • Boulder, Colorado – I was there once for three days for a work conference. While I was there I ran on one of the trails in town. I loved the town, the vibe and the run and would love to go back and explore. Though I don’t like huge races, I wouldn’t mind running the BolderBoulder 10k, held on Memorial Day. (crazy fun, from what I’ve read). I’ve heard nothing but good about the trails and runners in the area as well as Boulder itself. Boulder reminded me a bit of Arizona and southern California (I was there in June) with the mountains, trees and outdoor culture – but better. I think it would be a great place to live.  

Where would YOU like to run? Have anything to share about my list above, or the prior list? (tips, run specifics) Share in the comments or on twitter.

Thanks for reading, and happy Friday!



Virtual Coffee (Tea) Date

I love the idea of the “virtual coffee date” that I believe Jill Conyers started. I know Amanda and Coco have done them as well.

I hope you don’t mind sharing my Irish Breakfast tea. Or bring whatever works for you!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you….

I’m a little nervous about the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half on June 8th. The race, the travel, the food situation. I ran hill reps last week and then hills on Sunday…and Monday/Tuesday told me my body isn’t quite “there” for hills yet. I knew that – that’s why I’m training for them – but the uncomfortable reminder wasn’t exactly welcome. I know that the real goal is that I’m ready next April, but I’d kind of hoped the HHHalf wouldn’t be TOO bad, and now I’m wondering what I’ve gotten myself into. I am trying to reframe my expectations to have the race be just a learning experience and hopefully a little fun (at least the expo/seminars should be). I’d already said no PR, now I think I will remove all time or other goals other than finish healthy and talk to some new folks.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you….

Tuesday’s “superficial frontal line” problem, which reminded me so much of the early warning signs of last August’s extensor tendon sheath inflammation, freaked me out and messed with my head. The injury/re-injury fear is real, and seems to be always lurking, ready to pounce. I was smart and took a XT day, and my chiro stretched the problem areas, unfazed, and seemed to think it was related to my hill training (“like doing a lot of deep squats”). So I am a bit better both physically and mentally than I was, but the combo of not running, feeling off, and worrying about the future did not make for a good mood day.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you….

I cannot wait for the weekend. These last couple workweeks have felt really long for some reason. It’ll be a nice long one, with a brief visit from my sister and Tuesday off for a chiro appointments and other misc.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you….

I’m so grateful my sister found such a good situation for our Dad, an assisted living place only miles from her. (she’s amazing) When I was there a couple of weeks ago, I was pretty impressed. It seems like a good bunch of folks working as a team to care for the residents, and it’s an attractive and clean place. I’m hoping he continues to adjust.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you….

I have to travel next week for work – fly out 6am Wed, back (hopefully) by 6pm Thurs, two days of meetings and sitting in planes/airports/cabs. I am not looking forward to it, and it’s going to mess with my running schedule. Even I have limits – I might bike at 3am Wed, but probably not run. But it’s just a blip, and I will do what I can. There is a hotel gym so hopefully Thursday morning I can get some workout in. Better now than when training really ramps up I guess. And I so appreciate having my iPhone and Kindle for travel. The iPhone is of course great (twitter, email, streaming yogavibes, blog reading!). I like the Kindle more than I’d expected, and I can load it with library books and samples as well as fairly cheap books and have a lot to read for little weight.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you….

Some days doing the additional strength and flexibility work – and trying to get workouts of some type in before, during and after work almost every day – is pretty challenging and tiring, physically and mentally. It’s especially so when I think about keeping it up basically forever. Monday, I thought “5 more months of this?!” (till Baystate)

But I think it’s working. My long run Saturday felt “different” somehow, like my legs were adjusting to new patterns, and I felt reasonably strong muscle-wise. Holding on to any little improvement I can notice helps. Fingers crossed that all this is going to pay off short-term (upcoming races) and long-term (a healthy, durable runner for life). I did a lot of extra stuff for Shamrock, with great results, and as I will continue to say “it was all worth it”. One step at a time, one breath at a time, one workout at a time.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you….

I love seeing the roses in bloom in such abundance right now, though my Midwestern upbringing still shouts “too early!” since it’s only May.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you….

I’m thrilled we get to continue renting this house, for so many reasons. I love sitting on the porch, reading, looking, listening – both in the evenings and on weekends after my runs.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you….

I’m so glad we had a few minutes to chat! Let’s do this again.

If we were having coffee, what would you tell me? 

Training Recap – Week of May 12, 2014

Anyone else wondering how it’s the middle of May already?! Last week, my scheduling was affected by needing to get my car serviced (messed up W & Th after work free time) and by having to be in the office M/W/Th (which will happen again next week).

Run: 51.29 mi Back over 50, woot!

T – 8.25mi in the morning, short and medium hill repeats at ez pace, 2 mi after work at ez pace but a little bonky
W – 6 mi, ez pace, mostly at 0% incline to help my hams out after the hill repeats
Th – 10mi ez pace (increasing ez pace through run) w/ 10 strides after 6 mi
Sat – 18.5mi long run, increased pace every 6mi; noticed my legs felt different, think the elliptical is already helping. Glad to get 18.
Sun – 6.54 mi run OUTSIDE, ran some of the hills in my neighborhood

Here’s Sunday’s “hill” run profile – it’s what’s around me, and it’s better than nothing though it’s nowhere near what I need to get good at. It’s a start.

"hilly" neighborhood run profile

“hilly” neighborhood run profile


Bike: 2x1h (M/F) plus 30 min Sat after long run
Core: 3 (M/W/F am – added in Lauren Fleshman moves and now I’m increasing reps!)
Wharton flex: 6 – may be 7 but I didn’t log it on Tuesday
Yoga: one short 20 min practice (Reclining Twists & Hip Openers)
Chiro exercises: 1 on Tues – Thurs my legs were too sore. Did do eccentric hams after Whartons on Sat afternoon, thanks to DH
Calf stretches: 7
Elliptical – 3x, at work at lunch! Got up to 20 min on Thursday! Plan to continue this on “in office” days though I’m getting busier at work and it messes with my lunch schedule and having eating be relaxing. I think the elliptical is helping strengthen my legs and definitely my brain and energy levels benefit from another workout. Have to keep an eye on fueling though, had a huge blood sugar drop Thursday, felt it as soon as I got off the machine. By the time I cleaned up, got back to my office to grab my lunch, had to take a call before I could eat, I was almost shaking. That hasn’t happened in a long time. It’s unpleasant and definitely not good for me.
Walk: 2×30 min – I’ve been / doing walking warmup for the elliptical as time allows (didn’t on Th).

How has your training been? Tried anything new? Had your schedule derailed by work or other pressing priorities?

Happy Monday!

Friday Five – 5 Reasons to Try Mindfulness

Welcome to the Friday Five Linkup, hosted by my blog buds/local tweeps
Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!,
Courtney at EatPrayRunDC and
Mar at Mar on the Run.
This week’s theme is “5 Reasons to…”.  Make sure to stop by their blogs for their picks and hop along to the other bloggers in the linkup, featured at the bottom of their pages.

5 Reasons to Try Mindfulness

What is mindfulness?

One way to think of it is focusing your attention in or on the present moment, just as it is, without judgment. You can pay attention to thoughts, feelings and sensations without allowing them to control you  All mindfulness techniques have some form of meditation – focused attention or acceptance, but there are a number of techniques you can try.

So here are my five reasons:

1) it’s simple – that doesn’t mean it’s easy, but the processes are pretty straightforward

2) you can give it as much or as little time as you have – more time and more frequency is better (regular practice, just like physical exercise, helps you improve faster) but even a minute or two can make a difference

3) portable and private – wherever you are, you can do it, and  though it can be helpful to practice in the same space, in quiet and solitude, you CAN practice anywhere, anytime, without anyone knowing

4) doesn’t require or prohibit a particular belief, religious or otherwise (while some resources below have links to Buddhism, others don’t)

5) benefits – start with more happiness! Proven benefits include relaxation, reduction of stress/anxiety/depression, better sleep, lower blood pressure; anecdotal benefits practitioners mention include more equanimity and patience.

Many people have written about how mindfulness/meditation has helped them – this book is the latest such personal account I’m reading, written by the coanchor of the ABC news show Nightline.

Here are some of my favorite teachers, authors and some resources to get you started. Note most libraries will likely have paper and audio from the authors I mention, so try them our for free! Some of them also make audio files available for free online.

How to Meditate – by Pema Chodron (other books, audio as well)

Real Happiness – by Sharon Salzberg (other books, audio as well)

Happiness is an Inside Job – by Sylvia Boorstein (other books, audio as well)

audio meditations from Tara Brach

books and meditations from Jon Kabat-Zinn (magazine, channel and resources )

mindfulness-based stress reduction 

Of course, there are web sites and apps as well – try



I hope you give mindfulness a try. Namaste.




Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half!


I’m used to running flattish races like this (Richmond half, my last half PR)

or the Shamrock course, which had an overpass “hill” at around miles 2 and 9 in the full.

In fact, I look for races reputed to be “flat and fast” and I haven’t ever done much hill training. I’d say any, but on my occasional Sunday outside runs, I do run some of the hills in our neighborhood.

But Boston looks like this

So I need to start working on my hill training!

I signed up for the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half on June 8th to get a bit of familiarization with part of the course and a little experience running hills.

And, to add to the fun, I’m doing this solo AND it includes travel! (which, if you recall, isn’t my favorite thing….)

As it happens, the whole weekend is really kind of a challenge to myself in many ways.

The race is Sunday morning. I’m going to fly up very early Saturday (not early enough for the Bart shakeout run, sadly). I’ll take a cab to Boston College, the race HQ. I’ll spend the day at the expo/seminars. Then I’ll need to find myself dinner at Whole Foods a few miles away – unless they can tell me there’s something for me to eat at the pasta dinner, which I’d love to attend given the presence of people like Bart Yasso and Tish and Shalane Flanagan.  (If you know the area and can suggest other nearby casual gluten-free and paleo-friendly options, please let me know!) I’ll listen to Sarah Reinertsen speak (just got her book from the library), cab it to the hotel, prep for the race, and try to get some sleep. The combo of first night in a hotel and night before the race probably isn’t a good one for sleep, so I’ll try to stock up on sleep the few days before the race.

I’m likely to get up wicked early on Sunday to cab to the race in plenty of time to warm up, etc. before it starts at 7:30. I’ll hang out for a bit after, head back to the hotel via cab, shower, cab it to the airport and be home (Jet Blue, weather and traffic willing) a mere 36 hours after I leave, in time for a late dinner.

I’m a little nervous about all the logistics working out. Flight timing, traveling with so little stuff, finding safe food that I can eat at the right time, finding my First Endurance Liquid Shot vanilla gel in Boston (flask is too big for carryon) and that kind of stuff.

So what are my goals for the race? I’d love to PR. But realistically, I’m not trained to PR on a hilly course, and it’ll be warmer than my usual race temps, so I’m taking a PR off the table unless the universe decides to gift me with it. I’m hoping to run as strong as I can, with people who make the miles fly, and maybe have some course experience they can share. I’m looking forward to seeing some of the Boston course so it won’t be a total surprise on race day.

I’m trying to tell myself the time is irrelevant, it’s the experience on the course that matters (even if my time is likely to make me grind my teeth). I’m going to ask you all for help with maintaining that perspective/mindset, I’m sure! I know there’s pretty much no way for me to get noticeably better at running hills in the 4 weeks until the race, so it’ll be what it’ll be. Till then, I am going to keep strength training, do some hills on the treadmill, and add in some elliptical work to help my quads (just minutes at a time so as not to trash them for actual running).

One race doesn’t buy me a lot, I know, but I need all the help I can get. I intend to do more hill work in my training for the remainder of the year, despite the fact I have no hilly races planned until Boston – Baystate is flat and so is Across the Years. (unless you consider the Richmond full – only a possibility at this point – hilly).

I plan to – at some point during this year – set my treadmill up on boards so I can do decline training. If you’ve done that, I’d love to hear from you about what worked and what didn’t. I haven’t decided when the setup will happen as the treadmill is so heavy DH can only set it up that way once – then it will likely stay that way till this time next year. I’m also about to start a 4 week hill module from McMillan. (that will be followed with a 4 week speed module, then the 12 week training plan for Baystate)

All you runners out there with more experience on hills than me, or who eat hills for breakfast and love it – what tips can you give me for hill training? Any and all will be appreciated.

If you’re running the HHHalf too, please get in touch. I always love to meet the people I know from the internet!



Weekly Recap – Week of May 5, 2014

Here’s the recap of last week’s training….recall I was on travel M-F, so training was a bit different than my “usual” weeks. My recap suffers a bit from my logging while on travel, so I’m going to make this a shorter than usual post.

Run: 43.65 miles (over 40 again, yay!) Tuesday was a double run day – while on travel – haven’t done one of those in a while. Saturday I was tired so cut long run short. Felt less fatigue on Sunday, so put the miles back in then.

(hotel treadmill T-F)
T – 6.4 in the AM with a little bit of faster running, 4 at lunch at long run pace
W – 6 in the AM, long run pace
Th – 6 in the AM, long run pace
Sat – 10 (home treadmill!) long run pace
Sun – 11.25 long run pace

Bike: 1 hr ez spin M, 30 min ez spin F after arriving home, 30 min after Saturday’s run
Core: 3 (M/W/F am – added in Lauren Fleshman moves on F)
Wharton flex: 7 aka daily!
Yoga: 18 min Sage hip video from yogavibes site, Standing Hip Openers once (didn’t have as much time for this as expected)
Chiro exercises: 2 (T/Th)
Calf stretches: 3 (falling behind on this)
Elliptical (new!) – 4x: 5min, 6min, 7min, 10min after my runs! (did before one day, definitely NOT the way to go) Thinking I may try to do elliptical workouts on office days before lunch. My quads can use the help.
Walk: 1hr on hotel treadmill F AM. Increased incline by 0.5% every 0.5mi for the first half hour, then reversed that but every time I decreased incline, increased speed 0.1mph. Followed that with elliptical and a quick walk outside around the hotel to cool down.

Did pretty well while on travel, especially given I was teleworking during the day and spending time on family stuff in the afternoon/evening. Worked out every day. Didn’t get as much yoga in as I wanted, but adapted and tried some new things, a point of pride, especially when they worked well! (strides outside after runs, doing some sort of activity before eating lunch, elliptical).

So glad I had my footrubz ball, trigger point ball, theraband and stretching rope. Wished I had a roller of some type (stick, grid, roll recovery). Not perfect on food, but certainly not the worst I’ve been on a trip. Got way down on sleep due to my body’s habit of waking up around 3am, for whatever reason. That hit me hard Th-Sat. Felt a bit less tired on Sunday, and got in a massage to close out the week.

Happy Monday!

Friday Five – Five Fitness Truths

Welcome to the Friday Five Linkup, hosted by my blog buds/local tweeps
Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!,
Courtney at EatPrayRunDC and
Mar at Mar on the Run.
This week’s theme is “5 Fitness Truths”.  Make sure to stop by their blogs for their picks and hop along to the other bloggers in the linkup, featured at the bottom of their pages.

My truths are about running…note these are truths for me – your mileage may vary and your truths may be different.

  1. Over time, running does get easier in some ways, but harder in others. Having to start over or knowing when to stop are hard.
  2. The non-running stuff that enables you to run and run well – strength, stretching/flexibility, rolling/massaging with tools, nutrition, cross training, mind training – MATTERS. A LOT. Sometimes more than the running itself. Ask Meb. Ask any previously injured runner, Masters runner, or someone who’s reached a big goal like BQing or achieving a huge PR (I fall into all of those categories). But all the essential “extras” take a huge amount of time, effort, discipline, consistency and dedication. It’s a thousand decisions a day, every day. Habits make it easier, but it can be tiring and overwhelming. It requires keeping your eyes on the long-term goal.
  3. Running gives more than it takes, but sometimes it will take all you can give, and more than you think you have.
  4. It’s very hard to stay on the “right” side of that red line that separates pushing yourself from going too far.
  5. It’s all worth it.

Five bonus truths:

  • Sport-specific fitness is no joke. Take a runner (ahem) and put her in the pool to swim, or on a bike, or have her lift weights and it could feel to her like she’s never worked out at all. Cross-training helps, but your primary sport is still your primary sport, and you’re likely to be less good at other ones. And that’s okay.
  • For your own sanity/happiness, be willing to say “that’s just not my thing”. Find activities/sports you like instead of those you think you should like.
  • Sometimes you really DO need a day off.
  • Some days, you’ll have to do less than you planned or wanted and be proud of yourself for getting any kind of activity in. Life happens.
  • Consistency and progress in the right direction matter more than perfection.

What’s one of your truths about running or fitness?