Weekly Workout Review – 6/2-6/8

Another week goes by and I had another week of workouts.  I already told you about my weekend race, I’ve got lots to think about while gearing up for half training next month.  My plans for this month are to just keep up with cross training, keep up my base miles, run for fun, and maybe do a few runs without the Garmin, or put it in my pocket or something where I can’t look at it every 5 seconds.

Tuesday – Day 7 of the Plank Challenge!  Today I had to hold a standard plank for as long as I could and I made it 1:49.  Baseline was 1:33.  Next Tuesday will be the next Plank Test.  I also did 4 circuits from Jillian Michael’s DVD “No More Trouble Zones”  It’s a strength training DVD that is about 55 minutes total.  I didn’t have time to do the whole workout, but this DVD allows you to select each of the circuits individually.  Which I like so I can customize a shorter workout when I need to.  I chose Shoulders & Legs, Chest & Core, Biceps & Butt, Triceps & Thighs.  Additional circuits were: Core, Upper Body & Core, & Lower Body & Core.

Wednesday – Happy National Running Day!  I got up in the AM and did PT exercises and Plank Challenge D8

Thursday – 3 Miles – I wanted to take an easy run, but also wanted to run a little faster than usual, so the plan was to try for negative splits.  My legs did not want to run they were very heavy.  I went after work, because I was too tired in the morning, and I think I was still tired.  I ended up running 12:15, 12:15, and 12:05.  Not exactly what I wanted, but I felt good after not having run since Sunday.

Friday – a little yoga, a little stretching, plank challenge D9

Saturday – Baltimore 10 Miler!  Recap is posted here.

Sunday – Still sore from Saturday’s race, so I met up with my MRTT mamas to just walk.  I brought Charlotte along who wanted to run.  She was a little sad as everyone pulled ahead of us.  She turned around and told me ” They’re going to reach the finish line before us!”   She ended up tiring herself out, so I had to carry her back to the car to get our non-jogging stroller and then we headed back out.  I showed her how to eat honeysuckles and we listened music on the iPod as we walked along the trail.  I enjoyed her version of Shake It Off.  We ended up going a little over 2 miles.   It was a good morning…she enjoyed eating munchkins and spilling my coffee afterwards.

Sara Myer Lichter's photo.

Monday – Plank Challenge D12 – this was the first combo day of both regular planks & side planks.  I also did some stretching and foam rolling, my calves were still tight.

Total Miles – 13

Plank Time – 1:49

Overall it was a meh week.  I was taking it easy in preparation for the race on Saturday and with Brian out of town I was limited on what I could do on Tuesday & Wednesday.  I also missed a couple of the plank challenge days.  I missed a day, so I planked on a plan rest day, then completely skipped the plank on race day.  Monday should have been a rest day (Day 13 not Day 12), but I wanted to get the work in before my plank test this morning.  This week I’m committing to sticking to the plank schedule, getting in a few easy runs, and doing some PT & strength training.

What are your goals for the week?  What do you focus on in between training cycles?

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Baltimore 10 Miler Recap

This was a great race.  Corrigan Sports, in my opinion, always does an excellent job with their events.  The course is great.  It’s a lake to lake tour of nothern Baltimore, starting by Druid Park Lake and going over to Lake Montebello and back.  Not the most scenic course, but definitely a good tour of the city.  All that being said, this was not a great race for me for a couple of different reasons, which I’ll get into later.

Race day weather was good.  Temperatures were in the sixties, but there was some humidity in the air.  It was also overcast for first half of the race, which always helps.  They started the race at 7:30 and had 4 waves.  I hung out in the 3rd wave behind the 2 hour pace group knowing that I wanted to be within 10 minutes of them.

Getting ready to cross the starting line.

I had previewed the course and had run part of it during the Baltimore Half in the fall, so I knew where the hills were going to be.  Right away, we started on a flat that led to a long downhill run, nearly a mile.  The first few miles wound through Druid Hill Park, over to Johns Hopkins University, and then eastbound on 28th street.  Back in 2003, I actually worked at an Enterprise Rent A Car down the street, so I was very familiar with these streets.  The 2nd & 3rd miles went from 28th Street, to north on Greenmount, then east on 33rd.  There were rolling hills and by the 3 mile mark, it was pretty much a downhill until Lake Montebello where it flattens out for the 4th & 5th miles.  What comes down must go back up though.

I pushed through the sixth mile, which was primarily back uphill and I think it took a lot out of me because the 7th mile was my worst mile in a long time.  Mentally I was torn between “I can’t run anymore” and “Damnit Sara you can do this!”  The sun had made its way out from behind the clouds at this point, so it was a little warmer and my legs were tired.  By the 8th mile I had redeemed myself a bit but then we reached the dreaded hill at mile 9.  What was a delightful downhill in the beginning was a monster at the end.  I thought that final hill at the Frederick Half was a dream crusher…that was until I met this one.  Mile 9 of the Baltimore 10 Miler is officially my worst mile EVER!

I miraculously made it to the top – I didn’t bother running any of it.  I wanted to save my energy for the 10th and final mile.  The last mile actually approaches the finish, but you have to loop around another part of the park to finish the mile.  It’s such a tease to see the finish line and have to see it from afar.  I did make it though – high fived Blue the Crab as I crossed, and enjoyed the fact that I did finish.

On the other side of the finish line, there was a cold wet towel waiting for me (whoever thought of providing this deserves sainthood.)  There was also water, chips, orange wedges, bananas, and watermelon.

I couldn’t wait.

After cooling off and eating my snacks I got in line for my medal and premium.  Not everyone got a medal though.  As a King Crab Challenger, there was a medal offered only to King Crab Challenge participants (to go on the awesome medal display that I will pick up at the Baltimore Half in October.)  The Baltimore 10 was the second leg of the King Crab Challenge, just one more race to go!  The premium is really nice too – a red heathered pullover, with thumbholes AND zippered pockets!  Oh the things that get us runners excited.

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I also ran into this lovely lady.  Amber from PB & PRs!  If any of you other bloggers out there are signed up for Charles Street 12 – we need to have a blogger after party!

Overall this is a great race.  I want to do it again.  I love running in Baltimore.  Even though it is not my hometown, I’ve basically lived here since I started college in 1998 and it’s my hometown now.  Corrigan Sports Enterprises also organizes the Frederick Half and the Baltimore Running Festival and I’ve had nothing but great experiences at all their races.  This race is no exception, from the communication before the race, the packet pick up, to the Race Village & post race festival.  I’ll be back for you Baltimore 10 Miler!!!

After the race, I raced back home because is was show week at Charlotte’s Little Gym class.  She got to show off her favorite skills and they showed us what skills they were working on.  She just switched from the Mommy & Me class a few months ago and it has made a world of difference.  She’s doing so much more on the balance beam and her donkey kicks are insane.  I’m so proud of her.  She even got a medal too.

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Now to cover something a little less exciting, my flaws in running this race.  Hills.  You cannot run in Baltimore if you do not train on hills.  My neighborhood loop is hilly, but I never run more than 5-6 miles in my neighborhood.  My long runs are typically done on the the flat NCR Trail which is minutes from my house.  It’s just more convenient.  The hilly area to run is not nearly as convenient, so unless I’m meeting a group there, I never go there.  This summer I signed up for the half marathon training group at Charm City Run again so I will be running more hills in preparation for the Baltimore Half.

 

I also know that I am not as mentally strong as I would like to be.  This race really highlighted that for me.  Maybe it was the hills, maybe it was the heat during the second half of the race, maybe it was the “just barely enough” training I had done in my own mind.  Either way, I definitely got in my own head and allowed myself to walk too much during this race.  This is something I want to work on this summer.  I have my little mantras that I chant to myself, but I need a little more mental training.  So I’m going to work on that.  Conveniently enough, the new issue of Runners World has an article on this topic to get me started.

 

What are your pitfalls and how do you work through them?  Did you run or race this weekend?  What is your favorite finish line goody?

 

  

  

  

  

  

  

Friday Five – How to Celebrate National Running Day Without Actually Running

Happy Friday and Happy Race Day eve for me!  I’ve got the Baltimore 10 Miler tomorrow and I’m excited!  It won’t be an easy race, but because it’s not a half marathon it doesn’t seem so daunting.

This week I’m linking up with Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia, again for the Friday Five Link Up.  This week’s theme is National Running Day!

Friday Five

Due to logistical issues, I didn’t get a chance to actually run on National Running Day.  So I’m going to give you 5 ways to celebrate National Running Day without actually going for a run.  Ready?  Here we go!

1.  Write a blog post about National Running Day.  I did that here.

2. Watch your kid run all over the place.  If I can’t run, at least I can watch her run up and down the sidewalk.  She’s a crazy kid.

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3. Pick up your race bib.  I conveniently enough was able to pick up my race bib on Wednesday.  If that isn’t second best to actually running, I don’t know what is.

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4. Win a National Running Day Facebook Contest.  CareFirst and I are soul mates.  I won a Rock n Roll DC race entry in February (that I ended up not using) and on National Running Day I won an iPod shuffle.  I’ve been thinking about getting one (since they clip on) for a little while now so to win one is pretty cool.

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5.  Buy more running gear.  Since bib pick up was in a Sports Authority and they gave me a 20% off coupon, I couldn’t resist buying a couple more running tanks for the summer.

 

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So you CAN celebrate a day of running by not actually running – let others do the running for you while you do other running related things.  I really did want to run though, I got mine in yesterday when Brian was home to watch Charlotte.

Did you do anything to celebrate Nat’l Running Day other than running?  Have any runs or races planned for the weekend? 

 

Happy National Running Day!!!

So as you may or may not know (my title kinda gives it away) but today is National Running Day!  “What is National Running Day?” you might ask.  According to RunningDay.org, National Running Day has been held on the first Wenesday of every month since 2009. It is a day when runners everywhere declare their passion for running.  You can spread your passion by organizing a group run, signing up for a race, or just sharing your love of running with family and friends. (source)

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I’m loving it here!

Today I’m linking up with Jonesin’ For a Run and some other Sweat Pink Ambassadors for a National Running Day Interview.

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1. Why do you run?

I started to run to lose weight.  Surprisingly enough, I grew to like it!  For the first time in my life I was feeling like an athlete and doing something I never thought was possible.  I like running races, I like the challenge of a new distance or trying to go faster, and I like all the people that I’ve met along the way.  Now it’s just a habit.  I feel “off” if I don’t run for a few days.  I also run to set a good example for Charlotte.  I started running when she was 2, so she doesn’t remember me not running.  I hope that by watching me train and run and make time for myself, she’ll know she can do it too (or do whatever she wants to do.)

2. How do you plan to celebrate National Running Day?

This year is going to be tricky.  Brian went out of town yesterday and is not coming home until late tonight.  I have two options.  If I can swing it, I’m going to leave work early to get a run in before picking Charlotte up.  My other option is to just take Charlotte to a park in the afternoon and run around with her.  It won’t be a “run” per say, but it will be a run with my most favorite person in the world.  If all that falls through, I’m picking up my race packet today, that counts!

3. How many miles have you run so far this year?

258.12

4. What big events do you have on the race calendar so far this year?

The races I have left for 2015 include the Baltimore 10 Miler this Saturday, the Charles Street 12 in September and the Baltimore Half in October.

5. Before I leave for a run I must have:

My Garmin, phone, a handheld water bottle lately, and my headphones.

6. Do you have one favorite app to track your runs?

I log my runs on Map My Run.  I’ve been meaning to try Strava though.  I’ve heard good things.

7. Who is your favorite running partner?

Me, myself, and I.  I run solo.  I’m not against a running partner, I just don’t have one to meet up with during the week.  I do like meeting up with a group though.  I like getting together with my MRTT group and in the summer I’m doing a half marathon training group again.  It’s nice to meet new people, learn from each other, and cheer each other on.

8. What races have you ran so far this year?

So far this year, I’ve run the Cupids Crush 10K, the White Hall 15K, the Kelly’s Shamrock 5K, Sole of the City 10K, the Frederick Half Marathon, and the Color Run.

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Finish line photo at Cupids Crush

9. If you had to give someone one piece of advice about running what would it be?

If you are just starting, start slow and give it time.  It will be hard at first and you will want to quit.  I promise, though, you will reach the day when your plan has you run 30 minutes straight with no walk breaks and you will do it!  And you will freak out and feel awesome.  Then you will want to go longer and do more.  Just be patient.

10.  Describe your relationship with running in one word?

Surprising.

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Why do you run?  How are you planning to celebrate National Running Day?

Be sure to visit the other blogs in the link up and share your love for running!

Weekly Workout Review 5/26- 6/1

Whew!  It was a hot and steamy weekend out here.  I did get to enjoy my first pool day though – so not all was lost.  Sunday I got to take a trip to Target ALONE!  I hadn’t intended to go alone, but the kiddo didn’t want to come along.  It was so nice and luxurious.

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Yes – the Frappacino rides front and center.

I got in a great week of workouts – both running and at home.  So lets see what I was up to last week.

Tuesday – Bob Harper Pure Burn Pure Strength – I went for the full hour workout and it did not disappoint.  I definitely felt it in my arms and I’ve decided that after Saturday’s race, I’m going to move up to heavier weights on the leg exercises.

Wednesday – Rest, Plank Challenge D1.  I mentioned my plank challenge in Friday’s post, Wednesday was the Day 1 Baseline Plank – 1:33.

Thursday – Hill Repeats. 2 mile warm up, .1 hill sprints x3 (with walk back down), .5 mile jog back home. Total 3.1 miles (this is a total guesstimation as I stopped my Garmin multiple times – I created the route on Map My Run and this is what it worked out to)  The next time I do this, I’m going to use the lap feature on my Garmin to track it better.  This workout was in the early AM and it was 97% humidity.  Summer is alive and well here in Maryland.  I should have also completed Day 2 of my plank challenge, but with my late evening I moved it over to Friday and used this as my Plank rest day.

Friday – Plank Challenge D2, PT Exercises

Saturday – Plank Challenge D4, Yoga for the Warrior

Sunday – 8 miles @ NCR Trail.  Friday night I was debating on whether or not do to this Saturday or Sunday.  Both days were supposed to be hot and sticky but at about 9PM on Friday, I made the call to put it off until Sunday.  Great decision as the temperature was a little lower and so was the humidity (though not by much.)  I ended up starting the run at 6:30 in order to avoid the sun.  I actually felt cool breezes along the trail.  Plank Challenge D5.

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This picture was taken halfway through and doesn’t fully show the sweatfest that the run became.

Monday – Rest!  Charlotte got up while I was putting my makeup on this morning (she usually wakes up MUCH earlier).  The first thing she asked me was, “Are you doing yoga, Mommy?”  I told her not today.  Then she asked “Wanna do yoga with me?”.  I love that girl.

Total Miles – 11.1

So what’s in store this week?  Brian went out of town early this morning, so I’ll be doing some early AM workouts in my living room today and Wednesday.  He doesn’t get home until really late on Wednesday – so I’m not certain that I will be able to get another run in until Thursday.  Although I have a little plan for National Running Day on Wednesday.  Lack of running is okay this week, I’ve got the 10 Miler on Saturday and I want to be rested.  My main focus this week is just to stay hydrated and eat well and pray for nice weather.  I’m not so sure about the shade situation on this route, so I am a little worried about the sun and humidity.  Although right now the weather says it’s going to rain.  Timewise, I want to finish under 2:10 (close to 2:05 actually).  I’d love to say 2 hours, but I think that is a bit too aggressive given the hills on the course.

Have you ever raced in the rain?  How did you manage?  What are your plans for National Running Day?

 

 

Tales from Another Mother Runner Book Party

So I mentioned last week that I was able to attend the Mother Runner book party at Fleet Feet Gaithersburg.  The Another Mother Runner book series and community is really close to my heart because I found it early on my running journey.  Before I had running friends and when I was still in the throes of couch to 5K I found this book and website that pulled me into the running community without making me feel that I wasn’t really a runner.  It wasn’t pretentious and it was really meant for someone like me.  A mother who was starting to run.

I subsequently bought Train Like a Mother and started listening to Dimity McDowell’s & Sarah Bowen Shea’s  podcasts.  Each podcast was like listening in on a couple of girlfriends talking, not elite runners getting all technical about running.  I felt like I knew them or that I could know them.  I could totally be their friend!  I listened to what they had to say – how to come back from injury, tips for running in the heat, the cold, what to wear, etc.  They were my first BRFs, and I’ll even call them the running sisters I never had.

So needless to say, when their third book was coming out and they were going to tour, I had to go.

Dimity McDowell was coming to Maryland, but she was going to be down in Gaithersburg.  I arrived to the event early.  A byproduct of making sure I avoided traffic from Baltimore to Montgomery County.  Dimity came out to greet the few of us that were there and she came right up to me and a few other ladies and immediately gave us hugs.  She said to me “You look like a hugger!”   She asked us about our running, where we were at and chatted with us about how hot and humid it was out and asked us how we ran in it.  She moved on to some other ladies and I mingled.

Eventually the “party” got started.  Everyone took a seat on the floor and  Dimity read a few excerpts from her book.

Then she did some raffles.  The items raffled off included 3 Saucony gift cards, a box of Gu, a Nuun gift pack, a Soleus watch, a Balega sock gift pack, and a pair of Smith Optics sunglasses, some Ultimate Direction products, a Hyland’s gift pack, and I’m certain there were a few other things.  I was the lucky winner of the Balega sock gift pack.  I wore them on my 8 mile run this weekend and I am sold!

A pair of socks, a running hat, and a reflective arm band.

After the reading she signed books and took pictures.  It totally looks like we were having a moment in the first pic, but I think we were discussing how hot and sweaty we were.  (That store was hot!)

I collected my goody bag and headed home.  It was a really fun event and I hope they come back again soon.  When I got home, I put a pic up on Instagram and tagged @themotherrunner to let them know what a great event they had and how great it was for me to meet them.  They reposted a thank you to me and started following me…I can die now!  Ha Ha.  Their goody bag was no joke either – take a look at all it included:

 

During the event, when I looked around, I noticed that there were women there of all ages, shapes, and sizes.  We were all brought together in that room not only by our love of the Mother Runner books but also by our love of running.  Dimity and Sarah have created a community where beginners feel at ease with “real runners” and we all share the common bond of making time for ourselves and motherhood.   Wherever I am, I am part of a larger running community that will welcome me with open arms.  We are mother runners. I am a mother runner.

          

 

Have you read the Mother Runner books?  Was there a person, group, or book  (or anything really) who helped you along the way when you first started running?  What is your preferred brand of sock?

Friday Five Link Up – Free As a Bird

Happy Friday y’all!  This week has flown by thanks to the three day weekend.  (I’m not complaining).  Since it was such a short week I had so much jam packed in that I’m excited to recover from the madness this weekend.  Poolside.

I’m excited to link up with the DC Trifecta, Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia, again this morning for the Friday Five Link Up.

Friday Five

Today’s theme was a free one!  Can’t wait to see what everyone else is talking about in this week’s link up!  I’m being kinda random and just sharing some things that happened this week.

1.  You know you’re a mother runner when:  your daughter takes a picture of her feet to be like mommy.

 

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2.  I started a 30 Day Plank Challenge.  It’s from My Fitness Pal.  I like this plank challenge because it’s not just straight planks.  It incorporates side planks, walking planks, alternating hand planks, and spiderman planks over the course of 30 days.  At the end of every week in the challenge you do a standard plank test to see your progress.  I started with a baseline of 1:33.  I might have been able to hold it longer, but I didn’t.  So we’ll see how the rest of the month goes.  If you want to play along – follow me on Facebook!

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Click picture to be taken to Challenge site.

3.  Playlist updates.  I listen to Entertainment Weekly radio on Sirius XM and yesterday they were talking about Prince.  Specifically they were talking about all the songs he has written for other people.  He’s such an amazing artist and has written so many songs.  I probably should have taken the opportunity to go see his free concert in Baltimore a few weeks ago, but that was too close to all the craziness so I didn’t even entertain the idea.  But yesterday’s radio conversation made me add a few Prince goodies to my playlist.

  • Lets Go Crazy
  • When You Were Mine
  • Controversy
  • 1999
  • I Would Die For You

There are so many more!!!

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4.  Yesterday I did my first hill workout (all by myself).  I need to fine tune it a bit, but I found a decent hill – not too hard, not too easy – along my route.  So I ran to the hill (about 2 miles) and did 3 sprints up the hill.  I cooled down by walking back down.  The hill was only about a tenth of a mile, but I ran it as fast as I could.  When I checked my watch the sprints were in the 7:30s.  I’d like to try for doing 5 at a time.  I waited too long to go out plus it was 97% humidity – 3 was enough all I had time for.  I ran back home and my total mileage was about 3 miles.  I need to use the lap feature on my watch to track this.  Which I didn’t yesterday, so my garmin didn’t really give me any data on how I did.  I’ll try again next week.

5.  Also, yesterday evening, and I’ll do a full recap early next week, I went down to Fleet Feet in Gaithersburg, MD and saw Dimity McDowell from Another Mother Runner speak.  It was a book party for Tales from Another Mother Runner.  She was so nice and friendly – she came out and walked right up to me and gave me a hug.  Lovely lovely lady.  Since I started running last year, the Mother Runner books were my bibles on getting started.  So I got a few pics, got my book signed, and even won one of the raffles!  It was a great evening!

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Look who else I ran into there – none other than Cynthia herself!  She was there with her MRTT group.

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Last night I was meeting all kinds of running celebrities!

 

So there you have it.  Five things from my week.

 

Do you do hill workouts?  Please share your routine with me?  What is your favorite Prince song?  Have you read any of the Mother Runner books?