Work It Out 5/28-6/3

What a tough week! Oyyyyy! Lots of great work outs, and new challenges, so without further adieu, here’s how I worked it out last week:

Monday: 100k bike ride. That’s right. 62 miles. 100k. My butt HURT! I have since bought the diaper bike shorts. They feel like cycling on a cloud in comparison. Steve, Dan and I set out for a long ride. I wanted to accomplish a good 50 miler (my previous cycling PDR was around 30), but Steve has been wanting to do a metric century for a long time, and about 20 miles in decided that would be the day. I’m not gonna lie, 4 and a half hours is a long time to be on a bike, there were several bumps along the road, and I was definitely tired by the end, but it was absolutely worth it, and can’t wait to do it again!

Tuesday: Linda’s Spin. I was tired from Monday, so I took it easy, kept my flat road around 9-10, and got in a good 21.5 miles.

Wednesday: Track love + 4 min plank. 4x400s @ 5k pace with 400 recovery jogs + 1 mile @ HMGP. My legs still felt tired when I woke up, but of course I was stoked to get to the track! I spent half the time actually at the pace I was supposed to be at, and the other half being competitive. Shocking I know. My pace for the 400s was 7:58, 8:10, 7:51, 8:14. I was aiming for around 8:15. Whoops. It was hard. Also, my working pace is the same as many of the other runners’ recovery. It’s okay, one day I won’t be painfully slow, I promise. My last mile clocked in at 8:41, which is definitely too fast for me, but Doug started running with me the last half, and brought out my competitive side. Okay, let’s be real, I don’t have a noncompetitive side. Also, that plank was hard. I did one for 2 minutes and gave up, then later got pissed about my giving up, and muscled through for 4 painful minutes. Spoiler alert: that is no longer my longest plank ;)

Thursday: Dance!!! I was planning on spinning, but woke up with sore legs, took the morning off, then went to summer of dance for my friend Molly’s awesome musical theatre class, and a contemporary class. I haven’t actually danced since, ohhhh….summer of dance last year. It was rough. I felt out of shape, and just plain bad, but it was still fun, and I’m glad I went.

Friday: Rest. This was like the week where I just kept getting more and more sore! I woke up, and I was so sore from dancing that walking, and sitting were not fun. I took it as a cue, and gave myself the day off.

Saturday: Long Run. Woke up more sore! You know that delayed soreness? Yikes. It was soooooo rough. I was hobbling just to walk around, and it took me about a year to sit and stand, but I made a plan to run with speedy Ashley, and I don’t cancel running plans. Plus, I knew with some unexpected circumstances that have come up lately, I needed to run while I could. I had planned to do 13, and for the first time I think ever, I cut it short to 10. When I woke up feeling run down, I told myself 10 was the minimum, but I was still gonna shoot for 13. I did okay for the first 6 or so, then I just could not keep it up, and I crashed and burned. Steve picked us up at mile 10. Best husband ever.

Sunday: Easy bike ride. 9 miles: coffee, breakfast, and relaxing muscle loosening. Lovely.

Bringing my total to 106.87 miles for the week, which is my highest weekly mileage ever!! It was a really tough week, and my body could definitely use some recover, but this week will be mostly off (wahhhh), so I’m glad I got it in while I could! I’ll explain more about the time off stuff soon. For now, I’m off to bake cookies to distract myself :)

How did you work it out this week? And what the heck do I do with myself for the next few days while I can’t????

Work It Out 5/21-5/27

So maybe I didn’t hit 100 miles this week (or anything close to it), but my workouts, specifically my runs this week have been some of the best ever! I had my first date with the track, I ran a new PDR, and I took full advantage of most likely the last of the gorgeous weather we’ll be seeing for a while. Here’s how I worked it out this week:

Monday: Rest. After 7 straight days of working out, I was more than ready to take the day off. It was fantastic.

Tuesday: 4ish mile run. I met up with Stacey for a short, easy paced run. We started a little late in the morning, and it was already really warm, so we ended up just walking the last half-ish mile, but it was nice to get to hang out and get a short run in.

Wednesday: Track–8×400’s @ 5k pace & 1 mi @ HMGP. What does that even mean??? I *think* I’m figuring it out. Kind of. Wednesday was my first day at the track. I met Susan and the rest of the group at 5:30am, we did a little over a mile warm up lap, then 8×400’s–400 meters (.25 mi) at 5k pace with 200 meter (.125 mi) rests in between, then a mile at 1/2 marathon goal pace. I kept the 400’s between 8-8:10 min/mi, and my goal pace mile clocked in at 8:48! I love the track. Like really, really love it. I was so intimidated, and I stayed away for so long, but right now I am wishing it was Tuesday night so that tomorrow could be track day. I cannot wait.

Thursday: Off. I planned to go to spin, but had a ton of baking to do (so many candy cups, and cupcakes being sold–yes!!), and it was just one of those days where I knew my time needed to be spent differently, and that’s okay.

Friday: 800 yd swim. I swam!! YAY!! This was only my second swimming work out, and my first one solo. I went twice as far as I did the first time, and it felt great to be in the water! I’d really like to take some lessons, and kind of figure out what I’m doing!

Saturday: Long Run–15.16 miles!! Okay, so my PDR (personal distance record) was 15.01, so it’s not like I went much further, but I don’t even care. It is the farthest I have ever run, and it was a freaking fantastic run! The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and we started off early at 5:30. Before we started, Susan asked how long people were planning to go, and of course not a single other person was even planning on running double digits (they’re almost all running San Diego next weekend), and here I was saying I was planning on 15. Oy. I planned to run with Stacey for as far as she wanted to go, and then go back out to run the rest solo. Near the end of my run with Stacey (almost to mile 8), Doug came up and introduced himself, and asked if I was still going to go back out for more miles. He told me he’d be willing to do a few with me, and I was beyond grateful. Well, he ended up running the entire 2nd half of my run with me, and pushed me the whole way through! He’s run tons of marathons (including Boston….*sigh*), and he had really great advice. He talked to me about my breathing, training, etc. Towards the end, he started adding some pick ups, and then pushed me to finish mile 15 in 9:40! Then, the last .16 happened at an average pace of 8:03. Ummm, who am I??? 15.16 miles at an average pace of 10:19. When I finally looked through my garmin and saw my pace, I started to cry a little. I am finally starting to see some improvement from this training cycle. I’ve been working really hard, and it is amazing to finally see it pay off. At the end of the run Doug told Susan that I had the mind of a marathoner. I think it’s more that I’m stubborn, and prideful, but having the mind of a marathoner sounds a lot better to me ;)

Sunday: 4 mile bike ride. Yeah….that’s it. My legs felt like they had been run over my a truck. And if you’ve been around me at all this weekend, that is probably the 9,984,985th time you’ve heard me say that. Sorry, I whine.

How did you work it out this week?? Have you set any new personal records lately, or surprised yourself with your progress? Tell me your awesome things too!!!

Ari + Track, A Love Story

Gosh Ari, stop cheating, and get your butt down!

Why, oh why was I so intimidated by the track for so long??? It is so wonderful!! This morning, I joined coach Susan and her group (including a couple people from my NYC team) for my first track workout! Wednesday has been my speed work day anyway, and I was grateful for the opportunity to go run with a group, and have a coach telling me what to do, rather than a computer program. I am a little over my smart coach plan for Seattle, but that’s an other story.

My alarm went off at 4:25 am, and I was out the door by 5 to meet at 5:30. We did a 1 mile warm up from our meeting spot over to the track, and I was kind of a nervous wreck. I was totally intimidated, and sure that everyone was going to be running 6 min miles, and I was going to be the lame-o in the back. However, everyone was really nice, and as it turned out, once you get on the track, it’s impossible to tell where anyone else is at anyway. Plus, honestly, who has time while doing their own speed work to worry about anyone else? It’s just silly to think that anyone there is going to be judging you.

We did some running drills that I have never done before, and I looked pretty ridiculous, but only slightly embarrassed about it, haha. Then Susan announced that we were doing 8x400s @ our 5K pace with 200 meter recoveries, then 1 mile @ half marathon goal pace. Okay, so as it turns out, I’m pretty unsure of what my 5K pace should actually be. My pace for South Mountain averaged 8:52, so I was guessing around 8:45. Well, I paused my garmin during the rests because I didn’t have a chance to set the intervals up before we started, and my first 4 averaged an 8:00 min pace. Probably a little too fast, but definitely enough to make me feel like 8:45 was most likely too slow. The next 4 averaged 8:12, with a total average for all 400s of 8:07. Then I ran my HMGP mile @ 8:48.

Who am I??? It didn’t feel easy, but it didn’t feel as tough as I was expecting. I still don’t know about doing a whole half marathon at a sub 9 pace, but it was a little bit of a confidence boost! The time flew by, and I didn’t even end up using my music. I was nervous because no one else brought any music, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to get through the workout without it, but the constant changes kept my mind busy, and I didn’t feel bored at ALL, and even my heavy breathing didn’t freak me out.

So, the thing is, I’m totally head over heels for the track. And I don’t think after NYC I will ever want to train without a group ever again. I feel so totally spoiled by the whole situation already, but I’m just trying to soak it up to it’s fullest while I can!

On my way home, Devon tweeted me about our plank promise that I had totally been lame and forgotten about, so the second I got home, I turned on the TV to distract me, and got my plank on!

Gosh Ari, stop cheating, and get your butt down!

You see, ever since Ali completed her 5 min plank challenge, I’ve been determined to do the same, and Devon is super amazing and working on her planking too, so we’re keeping each other accountable. Clearly, she’s doing a much better job at the accountability part than I am ;) My first try, I held it for 2 minutes, last week (try #2) was 2:20, and today…

Whhooooot! Okay, now I desperately need a shower.

Track: Love or hate?

Work It Out 5/14-5/20

Well, after a pretty mellow week with 3 full rest days, I definitely kicked it into gear last week! By Sunday afternoon my weekly mileage on daily mile reached 100! No, I did not ride extra miles on my bike just because I wanted to see a 3 digit mileage number. Who does things like that? Crazy, number obsessed people. I just happened to ride exactly 17 miles when my daily mile was at 83. Obviously. ;)

Monday: 3 miles with Jason. Remember when this guy ran like 12 minute miles? Umm, our average pace was 10:06. He’s amazing, and I’m starting to really get a lot out of our weekly runs together!

Tuesday: Spin, Strength & Swimming. I kind of felt awesome after completing 3 workouts in one day. I mean, sure, my strength training was all of 15 minutes, but I was still sore the next day from it! I am working on getting up to a 5 minute plank like this girl, and Tuesday I got to 2:20. Obviously, I have a ways to go. Spin class was awesome as usual, then I had my first swimming work out with my fav triathlete! I swam 400 yards, and it was hard and awesome.

Wednesday: Tempo run. This run was not fun. I had 6 miles on the schedule with 4 tempo miles @ 9:03. Well, my last tempo run was the same thing with the tempo miles at 9:07, and it was hard, but I killed it, and even had my last mile below 8:50. This run felt entirely different. I was struggling .5 miles in, it was 80 degrees out, and I left my ipod at home, so I could literally hear myself grasping for air. I stayed on pace,  but had to stop after the second and third tempo mile to catch my breath. As frustrated as I was by this run, I feel like I learned a lot from it. I had a great talk with my coach about it, and realized that I’m really not hydrating well enough, and that as it gets hotter, I need to be okay with slowing down. It won’t be this hot in Seattle or in NYC, so I need to focus on how I feel rather than what my garmin says. This is especially hard for me since my focus on running numbers has been such a huge aid in taking my focus away from scale numbers. I am number focused. It’s how I measure my progress, and when the numbers don’t reflect my effort, I get frustrated, discouraged, and whiney. That’s okay. I don’t think I will feel that way forever. I’m not going to beat myself up about the way I feel or react to things. I am simply going to note it, try to be more aware, and do my best to not let it get me down.

Thursday: Spin. Sweaty, hilly love.

Friday: 20 mile bike ride with Nicole. We had a great time, and chatted the whole 20 miles. Perfect way to start the day!

Saturday: Long run. Our team training runs for Chances for Children don’t officially start until I leave for Portland, but Susan invited us to come run with her, and the group she coaches, so I jumped on the opportunity! My alarm went off at 3:55am (yikes!), and I headed out to meet the group. Unfortunately, the park bathrooms were locked, and so when Stacey arrived, we went in search of a restroom and ended up starting closer to 5:30 than the 5:00 start time. We started off running with Susan’s husband bill who was so nice and went slow with us to show us the path. Around mile 2.5, we separated from Bill because my stomach is still a mess, and I had to stop at this resort to use the bathroom. Even considering that, I was feeling the best I have on a long run in weeks! We were maintaining around a 10:25 pace, which is right on target for my plan, it wasn’t too warm out yet, and I just felt really into the run. By the end, though, I started fading a bit, and Stacey was pushing me through, then at the last mile, we saw Susan who had waiting for us long after everyone who had started on time was already gone, and came up to run the last mile with us! Having a coach is freaking amazing, let me tell you. That was the push I needed, because I finished the last mile in 9:26, and ended 13.06 miles with an average pace of 10:16, which, for me, is pretty awesome! I had serious runners high all day long!

Sunday: 17 mile bike ride with Steve and Jason. I wanted to go on a bike ride, and I wanted to hit 100 miles, so that’s what I did ;)

What a great week! Even with a crappy run, I still feel like it’s one of the best training weeks I’ve had in a long time!

How did you work it out last week? How do you stay motivated and track your progress when the numbers start to kind of suck??

Doubt and Expectations

Those two funny things that come creeping in when they are the least welcome. Last friday I ran 12 of the slowest miles of my life. I took a lot of breaks, and my legs felt like I was asking them to run at an 8 min pace rather than the near 11 min pace I was actually maintaining. I finished, felt proud that I didn’t give up, told everyone I was fine with it, and did my best to pretend I wasn’t lying.

This morning was my first speed work out in 3 weeks. I didn’t do speed work the week before or after Whiskey Row, trying to be smart and give my legs a break. Today I had 6 miles on the schedule with 4 tempo miles at 9:03. That’s actually what was on the schedule for last week, so I didn’t skip, I’m just picking back up where I left off (since the plan didn’t account for an other half marathon in the middle of it).  After the first 2 tempo miles, I kind of thought I was going to die. First of all, I had forgotten my ipod, so I had no music, and I think part of what really got to me was hearing how out of breath I was. It’s bothered me before on easier runs where I haven’t used music. It freaks me out, and makes me feel like I need to stop, or like I’m more tired than I am.

Second of all, I had already stopped in the warm up, but by the end of the second tempo mile, I needed to stop for the bathroom again. The truth is, my body has felt off for the entire last month, ever since I had what I thought was the stomach flu around the time of Pat’s Run. I am going to finally make a doctors appointment to get myself checked out, but that’s an other story. Anyway, I stopped to use the bathroom and get some water after the first 2 tempo miles, then made it through the third before having to stop to catch my breath. Honestly, I felt like I was going to need to do that after the 2nd one, and needing the bathroom was kind of a convenient excuse. I mean, I really needed to go, but I was not cursing the stop. So I stopped and stretched after the third one, which kind of makes me feel like I kind of cheated the whole work out, but whatever. I finished the 4th just barely, walked the first 200 meters of my cool down, and then resumed to jogging the rest.

My paces were mostly on target–9:04, 9:01, 9:03, 8:59, but it felt soooo hard, and I just felt frustrated and discouraged. I’ve been asked no less than 15 times in the past 2 weeks if I’m over training. No M, not just by you ;) The truth is, I have no freaking idea. I read all these amazing, inspiring running blogs, and they don’t take time off unless they’re injured. I’m following my plan, with the exception of adjusting the step back weeks around Whiskey Row, but maybe I haven’t had a legit easy week because of it? Maybe the temperatures have all the sudden become 20 degrees higher while I’m running, and I’m not used to it? Maybe I’m still not recovered from WR? Maybe taking spin, lifting weights and swimming the day before was a bad idea? I don’t know. All I know is that I’m feeling frustrated. I’m feeling like I can’t do it, and a little bit like a failure.

Let me say, I know this is irrational. I know there are people who would be thrilled to go out and get through six miles, or even .6 miles! I was that person, so I get that I’ve come a long way, and I have a lot to be proud of. I also get that there are people out there with way bigger problems than a bad run, and that given my body’s tendency towards injury, I should just be thrilled that I have been running relatively pain free. And I am!!! Beyond thrilled, actually. I am so grateful for what my body has been accomplishing, and the determination that has allowed me to grow so much these past few months.

I am also a person who is rarely satisfied, sets big goals, and doesn’t believe in not meeting them. I love this about myself. Even days like today, where it is hard to be that kind of person, I am grateful for the drive and determination I possess, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I know that I just need to keep pushing, and eventually I will start logging work outs that I feel great about again. I just need to be okay with being frustrated today. And I am. Mostly.

Luckily, I also have the world’s most supportive husband that tells me things like “I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but you’re doing an amazing job. How many other training runs did you meet your goals on? I am not going to sit here and let you beat yourself up over 1 bad run.”  I know he’s right. I need to get the F over myself. Also, reading this post helped put things in perspective.

I had my pitty party. I’m sorry you couldn’t make it. It was really a lovely event, even with a small party of 1. Next time I’ll be sure to put your invitation in the mail, but for today, it’s over. I’m moving on, and I’m going to try to take this run as a learning experience.

 

Work It Out 5/7-5/13

Well…kind of. It was actually less coming off of a big race that made last week hard, and more just the fact that my life was crazy. I had a rough tech week, and then we were in shows all weekend. I don’t necessarily feel great about the fact that I only worked out 4 days last week, but I’m not going to waste time beating myself up about it. Sometimes other things come first, and that just has to be okay. My body probably needed the break as much as my brain did, and I’m definitely one of those “The universe knows better than me, and everything happens for a reason” types, so it happened, and this week it won’t. Tada.

Here’s how I worked it out last week

Monday: 3 miles with Jason. My legs were still pretty sore, but an easy paced run was actually nice and felt really good! We picked up the pace in the last mile, then after our 3, we walked for a while as our cool down.

Tuesday: Off. I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Monday evening. I was stressed out, frustrated, and in general in pretty bad spirits. I’d like to say that was just Tuesday, but it continued throughout most of the week. Oh well, I’m better now! Anyway, I skipped the gym and went shopping.

Wednesday: 22 mi bike ride with Steve. I felt good by Wednesday, and I really enjoyed the long ride. I would have loved to go faster, but poor Steve is stuck with his single speed until he buys his rode bike, so it’s kind of limiting. We still averaged about a 14 mph pace.

Thursday: Linda’s Spin. Awesome as always. I talked myself out of going no less than 11 times before finally getting to the gym, and compromised with myself that instead of doing strength training before like I usually do, I could take some time to stretch and foam roll which felt really good, and by the time class was over, I was like a whole new person!

Friday: 12 mile long run. Oy, This run was tough. Ridiculously tough. The only thing that got my through was having Stacey out there with me! We were both coming off of big races, and by the time we were finishing up, it was already 86 degrees out with no shade in sight! My pace was much slower than usual, but I really felt proud of myself for just getting it done. 6 days after a half marathon. In the heat. I’ll take it.

Saturday: Off.

Sunday: Off.

Sometimes, there are just other things that need to be done. And you know what? It left me motivated and ready to make this week count! Sometimes you just need a little break. Also, long runs now need to start at ridiculous hours if they are going to happen. I’m fine with that. 4am here I come!

How did you work it out last week?

Work It Out 4/23-4/29

I can’t believe how quickly the last few months have gone by. This was my last real training week before I brave the Whiskey Row half marathon, and the 1700 foot climb over the first 6.5 miles. Shit. Sorry for cursing, but honestly, shit. Not to mention this course starts at 5300 ft and Phoenix is what like 2 ft? I’m excited, though. Totally nervous, but excited. I’ve been training hard, and this is not my goal race. Not for time, anyway. It’s my goal to take on a new challenge and finish strong. Only race day will be able to show what that will mean.

I’m most looking forward to running with Lisa again. And margaritas, naturally.  So here’s how I worked it out this week.

  • Monday: 5 miles with Jason. We ran. Jason PDR’d. We breakfast’d. It was awesome.
  • Tuesday: Linda’s Spin. This class wasridiculous. Linda came in, and told us we were going to do something different. We all did warm up like normal, cleared our bikes then started over together. She split the class into 4 groups based off where we were sitting and told us we were competing to see which team could complete the most miles while maintaining our individual “flat roads” and keeping up with all of the hills. She even walked around to make sure people weren’t cheating. Once the term competition was involved, I spun my little heart out faster than I knew possible. I was a hot mess. Unfortunately, my group came in third, but I had the highest mileage in my group, and was in the top 5 in the class with 19.7 miles in 43 minutes, with a flat road of 10.
  • Wednesday: Tempo run. 6 miles with 4 tempo miles @ 9:07. Ran with speed Ashley and ended up with 1 mile warm up, then 9:05, 9:05, 9:07, 8:49, 1 mile cool down. This run was tough, but good.
  • Thursday: Rest. Welllll, I did walk 2 miles around the duck pond with Kara. Does that count?
  • Friday: “Long” run. Ran just over 6 miles with Stacey. This run felt great, but my legs are definitely happy for the break they’re getting right now.
  • Saturday: Bike ride. Not the most ideal circumstances, but my legs felt great, and honestly I felt like if I had brought food along (I got super hungry at the end!), I could have just kept going. Also, if I hadn’t gotten a flat and had to stop, but you know…
  • Sunday: Rest. That’s two in one week friends. And it was lovely.
Let the taper begin continue!!

How did you work it out this week?

Work It Out 4/16-4/22

First of all, perhaps you notice something different about the way the blog looks today?? For all like 4 of you who read this through google reader, you should head on over to the site and see what the amazing Liz of Sweet Simplicity Designs set up for me! There’s still a few things I need to do, but I have lots of new pages and fun things for you guys to look at. It’s not all ready just yet, but soon…! I’m so excited to have a custom design that is so me!

Anyway, in work out land, lots of great things happened last week!

I set a new record for miles I’ve run in one week. Last week I ran 25 miles, which may not sound like a lot to you marathoners, but as a 3x a week trying not to avoid injury at all costs runner, it was a new milestone, with my previous highest mileage at 22.

I ran the fastest mile I have ever run without stopping. I used to stop a lot to “stretch” during hard miles when I wanted to run faster. I didn’t really get speed work, I just knew that I wanted times like I saw on other blogs. It wasn’t helpful, and I felt like a big cheater. This week I ran a mile in 8:23, and it was the 3rd mile of my speed work session. I feel great about that. My 7:59 is on the horizon.

I got all of my workouts in. It wasn’t easy. Sometimes it’s hard to juggle things like races, and spin class that aren’t exactly a part of my training plan, but I made it work.

Some not so great things happened, but I’ll get to that.

  • Monday: 4 miles with Jason. Fun friend running time. Love.
  • Tuesday: Linda’s Spin. Sweaty love.
  • Wednesday: 3x1600s @ 8:35 with 800 recovery jogs. I ran with Speedy Ashley. 1 mile warm up, then I ran the 1600s in 8:32, 8:30, 8:23, then cool down to total 6 miles. I kind of thought I was going to die, but every time I go into speed work, I doubt myself and think I can’t do it, then end up exceeding my expectations. It’s difficult to get used to being that uncomfortable, but it’s helping, and it’s probably my favorite type of training run right now.
  • Thursday: 13 mile bike ride with Steve. Rode to coffee, nice and easy.
  • Friday: Long Run. 11 super not fun miles. If you want the details, you can link back, but really I was just proud of myself for finishing with some pretty crappy circumstances.
  • Saturday: Pat’s Run. Way more unpleasant than Friday. Miserable, stomach flu feeling filled race. But I didn’t give up, and that’s what I need to focus on. This weekend taught me a lot about how persistent I am. Sometimes making it through a bad race is so much harder than setting a PR or having a great race.
  • Sunday: Total rest. Like actual rest. I called in sick. To my own rehearsal. Ummm, I don’t do that. But I was so sick on Saturday, and I knew that if I wanted to actually get better, rest was not only a good idea, but necessary. It’s amazing, if you actually do rest and take care of yourself, that you feel mostly better pretty quickly! Who knew, right? So even though today I still don’t feel 100%, I feel a whole lot better than Friday and Saturday, and I don’t regret taking the time to myself one bit. I came back today feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the week.

How did you work it out last week?? Learn anything life changing? How did you take care of yourself?

No Excuses

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A few years ago I was the *queen* of excuses.

“Everyone else just eats what they want. My body just sucks. Wahhh.”

“I can’t run. I have really short achilles. Waaahhh.”

“I can’t, I can’t, I can’t…”

This morning I had every single excuse to bail on my long run. Some of them were even legit.

I have a race tomorrow
   Pretty legit reason right? Tomorrow, I’m running Pat’s run with some of my favorite ladies, and I really want to kick ass and run fast. Scheduling a long run the day before was not my brightest move, but there wasn’t really an other time.

My body feels…off.
   I don’t know if that makes sense, but yesterday I woke up with every single muscle in my body feeling tired and sore. Chances are, that just means I’ve worked hard this week, but I just kinda felt like I needed a break, even though all I did yesterday was an easy bike ride.

But many of them were BS, and I knew it.

I have no one to go with.
   Suck it up.

I’m tired.
   Again, suck it up. Try not staying up til midnight all week when you know you have your alarm set for 6am.

I have a long day ahead of me.
   Which will only seem longer if I spend the entire time regretting my laziness.

It’s 5:45am and already 70 degrees.
   It will only get hotter later.

I’ve stopped for the bathroom 4 times in the last hour and my stomach is still tied in knots.
   Okay, this was almost legit. I woke up with my stomach feeling off, and then proceeded to have the most unpleasant first hour of a run ever.

The first five miles of this run were ridiculously mentally challenging. I came back home after the first half a mile for a good 20 minutes (sorry, I’m trying to keep this not toooo descriptive) before heading back out, had to stop at Cindy and Jacob’s (because stopping at someone’s house and begging to use their bathroom because it’s an emergency isn’t at all embarrassing), then again not even half a mile later. I came up with every reason I should just go home, or ways I could cut my run short, or the minimum amount of mileage I was okay with for that day. The truth is, the minimum amount I was okay with, was the amount freaking scheduled.

11 miles done. No excuses.

The thing is, it came down to 2 things.

  1. This is my last long training run before Whiskey Row. As much as I want to keep up with Nicole tomorrow and run super fast, training for my half marathon is more important and has to come first. I’m feeling a little under trained. I took like a month off from long runs after the Lost Dutchman, and this is only my 3rd double digit run this training cycle.
  2. I needed to run for my sanity. That’s dramatic. But seriously. If I skipped on a planned workout, especially an important one, I would feel guilty and bad about myself. And maybe that’s not the world’s healthiest mindset. I can accept that. However, it’s where I personally am at right now, and I would rather feel good mentally.

All that being said, please know that if I felt injured or like running was really going to cause more harm than good, I wouldn’t have done it. Maybe I’m overly confident, but I feel like I know my body. I’m proud of myself for getting to the point where no excuse can bring me down, and knowing what I need in order to feel good. A lot has changed.

After my run, I was thrilled to be back at home and have some time to stretch everything out.

To the man who found my blog by searching "hot wife stretching legs", perhaps that lead you to something like this? I am very sweaty and I am stretching, but somehow I don't get the feeling this is quite what you were looking for....

Clementine is the best helper. If you need help stretching, or foam rolling, or licking sweat off your face, she is your girl.

And lastly, because I need some positive quote-age today, I leave you with this.

 

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What excuses have you kicked to the curb lately?? What motivates you when your brain is full of reasons why not??

 

Work It Out 4/9-4/15

For a while there, every run was new and exciting and every day I would write about it. Well, now that pretty much every work out I do (except my new favorite speed ones!!) are things I’ve do often or at least have done before, I’ve decided that, unless something is super exciting, to write about workin’ it out for the week as a whole and share my thoughts at the end of the training week. So without further adieu, this is how I worked it out last week

  • Monday: 3 miles with Jason
    I love Monday mornings these days! Jason is just really getting into running, so I meet him for some easy paced miles and it gives us time to chat just the two of us. Not that I don’t love the men in our lives, but it is so nice to have the one on one time to just talk. Every week Jason gets faster and better, and I’m so proud of him!
  • Tuesday: Quick upper body strength training & Linda’s Spin
    Got to the gym early to do a short, but tough upper body work out. Bis, tris, shoulders, and chest. Then went into spin for happy sweat drippy time. Linda’s been working on building us all up to a higher flat road. Mine has been 10 for a few months and the thought of going up to 11 is a little intimidating, but the more we test it out, the more I realize that I’ll be able to hang.
  • Wednesday: Tempo Run & Core/leg strength at PT
    5 miles including 1 mile warm up and cool down. The goal for the tempo miles was 9:09, and I did them in 9:06, 9:06, 8:46. I was so exhausted by the end of the third one that I had to walk the first few seconds of my cool down, but then brought it back to a jog to finish it out. This run was tough, but luckily I ran with my speedy friend Ashley who kept me going when I wanted to die. After our run, I did my exercised at PT which I always forget to count, but they make me sweat and sometimes even get me out of breath, so I guess they should count ;)
  • Thursday: Easy bike ride
    Rode to coffee and back with Steve. 9.15 miles @ 14.6 (I think?? Around there) pace. It was nice and I love getting some morning time with Steve before we both get too busy.
  • Friday: Long Run
    This was without a doubt my favorite run this week! I had 10 miles scheduled, and I was not feeling like doing it solo. Luckily Stacey agreed to run with me for 8.5 of it, so I got to our meeting spot a little early, ran a 1.5 mile loop and then met up with her. She wrote this really awesome post about it that you should read! I love it because she says really nice things about me ;) But seriously, she was an awesome running partner! It felt like our pace was perfect (I hope I didn’t slow you down, girl!!), we chatted the entire time, and then at the end I pushed her to finish up 9 miles which is now her PDR!! So I ended with 10.5 for the day, felt great almost the entire time and ended up with an average pace of 10:26.
  • Saturday: Firefly Run 5K
    Race recap coming soon! But long story short, this race was super fun, and I ran it with my two best friends. It was Bethany’s first race and she rocked it! I’m super proud of her!
  • Sunday: ZZzzzzzz
    I had actually been planning on spin class, then woke up and asked Steve to go for a bike ride instead, then by the time I did some blogging, I knew I’d be pressed for time before rehearsal, and decided I deserved a day of rest, so I took full advantage of it.

And that my friends, is how I worked it out last week. Fascinating, right?

How did you work it out? Any super awesome training runs? Races? Headstands?

Spin & Speed (the legal running kind)

It’s Wednesday, which means tomorrow is Thursday and then Friday Friday gotta get down on Friday! Oh Rebecka Black. I wish you’d come out with an other song for me to make fun of. I so enjoyed the first one. Now that you’re super impressed by my knowledge of the days of the week, let’s talk about something slightly more exciting. Like how yesterday was the BEST SPIN CLASS EVER!!!! Why?? Well, they accidentally over filled the class and so Linda chose not to ride so someone could have her bike. This meant she had the entire hour to walk around checking our gears and our pace. Some people may not prefer this, but in case you didn’t notice, I have teacher’s pet syndrome. I want nothing more than the approval from my teacher and since usually I am the teacher, I have to get this in my work out classes. And also I make Steve constantly give me praise. Seriously, even in college I hung my papers up on the refrigerator. Remember that Heather? Our fridge was covered in theatre history exams.

Anyway, Linda came over to me a few times and didn’t tell me to pedal faster and didn’t adjust my gear like she did to some people which I took as a sign that I was at the right place. Then we were on the biggest hill of the class and I was dripping sweat and pedaling along at gear 20 when she came over, looked at my display and told me “GOOD JOB!!!!!” Actually I believe her exact words were “Good girl” kind of like I’m a dog, but I’m totally fine with that. In fact my ballet teacher used to say that all the time, and I always found it cute and not patronizing like she found me to be a puppy. This dubbed Tuesday April 3rd 2012 as best spin class ever.

You know what’s weird? Writing about my training these days. I felt like when I was training for PF Chang’s everything was so new and every long run was worthy of a recap and I had so many thoughts and so much to say. Now that I’ve run 2 half marathons, talking about how I ran 10 miles doesn’t seem all that exciting. You know what I am super pumped about though? Speed work!!

This will be me by the time RnR Seattle rolls around!

Without a doubt, my favorite part of this new training plan. Maybe I’m not breaking any PDRs right now, but speed training is super new to me and I am absolutely loving following a real training plan. I mean I know that Smart Coach doesn’t actually care if I do his/her/it’s work outs, but it makes me feel accountable, and I am really appreciating having the speed goals set out for me ahead of time. The question I kept asking all my smart runner friends (or smart runners that I think are really cool and want them to be my friend) is

“But how fast do I goooo????”

I honestly had no idea. Well Smart Coach is…smart. He knows. Actually, I think she’s a woman. Because she’s so smart. She knows ;) Today she told me to run 5 miles including 1 mile warm up, 3 miles @ 9:13, and a 1 mile cool down. I woke up, avoided going outside because I was not excited about going for this run, and sure I was going to suck. Way to stay positive, Ari. Then I started and felt AWESOME. My warm up felt light and I was really enjoying being outside and running. I started my first tempo mile, looked down at my garmin to see an 8:37 pace flash up. COOL! But definitely not sustainable, so I chilled out a little and backed off and my tempo miles ended up looking like this

9:11

9:01

8:47!!

So I’m so serious about this no cheating/pausing business that I even ran around a parking lot during my first tempo mile so I wouldn’t have to stop. But then I got pissed in the last one because I had to stop and use the bathroom, and I know that little breather made my last mile faster, so while I was super excited about it, I don’t feel like that last one is completely legit, and I’m annoyed because I didn’t want to stop. Whatev, I still killed my tempo goal and ended on total runners high!

It’s different to feel that kind of excitement and not have it be after a long run. It’s weird to say “I had the most awesome 5 mile run today!!!” But with the slow and steady approach to long runs (that I probably should have followed more closely all along), I find then nice, but less exciting and fulfilling if that makes sense. I mean, I know they need to get done, but running faster? Now that is something that makes me excited! Meeting and exceeding goals? Sign me up!

I seriously can’t wait to run an other race and see what I can do! Pat’s Run is coming up which is 4.2 miles. I *think* if I really push and run with Speedy Gonzales, I can run with a sub 9 min/mi average. That’s the goal.

Ohhh, and lastly, last night I had dinner with some fabulous AZ Blogger ladies, and somehow ended the night with only a lame picture of my salad. Sad. It was really nice to see Emily and Estela again, and to finally meet Ali! As usual, I carpooled with Nicole, and made her late. I suck. After dinner, Nicole and I grabbed fro yo (Umm, I think if neither of us felt embarrassed about it, we would end up meeting for fro yo about twice a day) and sat and chatted for a while (naturally). Man you get the two of us Chatty Kathys together and we could probably talk for a week straight! By the waaaayyyy, Monday is Nicole’s birthday in case you wanted to head over to her blog and wish her a happy birthday, or by her a BMW.

I’m off to work. Have a fabulous day everyone!!

What motivates you when it comes to work outs/training plans?? What part makes you the most excited?

 

Big News!!

Hi friends! I have big exciting news. Well, perhaps it is only big and exciting in my world, but I’m going to share it with you, and I hope you think it’s exciting too!

But first, I want to talk about my awesome speed sesh with Ashley this morning! I am trying to be a legit runner, and stick to my training plan, which means today was my first official training speed session. I mean, I definitely made up some of my own in the past with no idea what I was doing or why I was choosing certain distances, just in the hopes of getting faster. They were killer and I think they worked pretty well, but there is something about seeing it on the plan and the determination to reach that goal that really excites me!

All 3 of my previous speed work outs (maybe there were only 2? who knows…) were done at 800 meter intervals. This training plan uses exclusively 1600s (1 mile). I have a small confession. In the past, if I didn’t feel like I could make it, I wouldn’t just slow down like an honest non cheating runner, I would stop, pause my garmin, catch my breath for a second (or 10), then be on my merry way. It was easy to let myself give up, and I felt like I was cheating…and honestly, I kinda was. I am determined for no more cheating!

Today the plan called for 4 miles including a 1 mile warm up, 2x1600s @ 8:45 with an 800 recovery jog in between, and a cool down. The first interval was challenging, but I knew the entire time that I could do it. I never felt like I was going to die or anything, which I take as a good sign. I finished the first 1600 in 8:42. Not bad, self. Not bad at all. Towards the end of our recovery jog, Ashley asked if I needed to stop before the next interval and I proudly denied the possibility of stopping and said my 800 of jogging should be plenty of rest, and if I have to slow down, and I don’t meet my goal, that is my problem, but I’m not allowed to stop. See friends, I have turned over a new leaf!

The second interval was challenging, but I never felt like I needed to stop. It just felt hard, but running is supposed to be hard, and that’s why I like it! I finished the second interval in 8:37, and after the cool down, I completed 4 miles in 38:24. Not too shabby. The whole run felt challenging, but great! Tomorrow is a rest day, and then Friday it says 8 miles at a snail’s pace. Or at least, it might as well. ;) After the run, I got lots of twitchy needling done. Today was a little rough. The more your muscles twitch and grab onto the needle, the more painful it is, and today Gabe got all excited talking about how I was “getting so many good twitches” while I was fighting the urge to yell obscenities because the pain was a little ridiculous. But you know what? If it works as well as it did last week, NEEDLE AWAY GABE!!!!! For real.

Okay, so that news….

Drum roll please………..


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Excuse me, but I don’t believe you actually made a drum roll sound, can you please play along?

I’m sorry, I’m 5.

This is me when I was actually a child. Now I just act like one.

 

*** I SIGNED UP FOR A FULL MARATHON!! ***

That’s it? We had to drum roll for that? I’m never reading this blog again!

It’s okay friends, I’m not very observant, so even if you only pretend to be excited, I will never know the difference ;)

But wait…there’s more! It’s not just any marathon. Let me explain. While Kara and I were training for PF Chang’s, I started musing about the day I would complete a full marathon. I remember saying to her that when we did our first full, we should go somewhere special, and make a big celebratory vacation out of it! Well I was training for my first half, while lots of awesome running bloggers were training for and running the New York City Marathon. I remember thinking “How amazing!!! I want to do that!!” I declared to Kara that this would be our marathon. Well, remember that I am a new runner, and I didn’t know about the lottery system or anything like that. Once I discovered that not just anyone could sign up, I cried because my dreams were crushed, I moved on to other options. I had all, but decided on San Diego, when I heard terrible things about the race, and resigned myself to the fact that PF Chang’s in Phoenix next January would be my race. Which, don’t get me wrong, would still be awesome, but I remember so clearly dreaming about New York.

Well, Monday I went to get my hurrrr did (yes, that is how I say it), and Allison mentioned that Chances for Children had spots open for NYC. I couldn’t even believe it.

Chances for Children is committed to improving quality of life by supporting programs that provide access to sports, physical education, and character education for youth. We provide fitness training, nutritional programs and educational services to students at schools throughout Arizona. Chances for Children was founded on the belief that in life everyone deserves the chance for opportunity. Research shows that diet and exercise promote a balanced well-being, resulting in positive life achievements.”
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The opportunity to raise money for a foundation that provides health and fitness opportunities for kids?!?! And the opportunity to run the NYC Marathon?!?!?! It kind of seemed like fate. Within 24 hours, I filled out a form and secured my spot. Lots more to come about the foundation, my plans for how to raise the money (it’s a $5,000 commitment that I hope to not just meet, but exceed), and my training.

Being a part of this program, I get a personalized training plan as well as coaching which is absolutely amazing. I also am thrilled about the idea of working with a team, being a part of something bigger, and running for more than myself. I get to run to help all of those kids struggling with health and self esteem like I did when I was their age. I have the opportunity to open doors for these kids, and possibly help them from struggling with weight, health and self esteem until their mid 20’s like I did. I could help someone like me, and make their life better. And isn’t that what it’s all about? As someone who works with kids every day, and knows all too well the challenges of being an overweight child, I cannot think of a more relevant organization to accomplish this life long dream with. I haven’t been this excited about something in a very long time, and I can’t wait to share this journey with all of you!