Monday, April 23, 2018

Weekly Review

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I had a busy week last week with some work travel thrown in the mix.  The week started and ended well for work outs but I had a hard time fitting them in the middle of the week.  But here are the details.

Monday - 30 minutes on the elliptical plus body pump.  I had time on Monday and I knew I might not have time later in the week so I doubled up.

Tuesday - Rest day

Wednesday - 30 minute walk in the evening with Mike

Thursday - Took advantage of some extra time at the airport to get in a 30 minute walk

Friday - Yoga for strength training in the hotel room before my meetings started.

Beautiful view from my hotel room

Saturday - Rest day plus going to see Cirque Du Soleil's Luzia in the evening.  It was an amazing show!

Sunday - 3 mile run with friends around the town center.  Mike and I also went to see Ready Player One in the afternoon and really enjoyed the movie.


So that was my week.  Here's the plan for this week.

Monday - Rest day
Tuesday - Short run in the morning
Wednesday - Body Pump
Thursday - Treadmill
Friday - Short run
Saturday - Body Pump
Sunday - 4 mile run

I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Frustrations with running

I've been pretty frustrated with running recently and I'm going to take a moment to be negative and write about it here since it's what I'm dealing with at the moment.

I started running in 2014, was always slow but saw improvements in my speed through 2016. My first half marathon was 2:57 and my half marathon PR in December of 2016 was 2:50 (about 13 minutes per mile average). I also had a 5k and 10k PR in 2016 so it was a good running year.

My 10k PR in March of 2016

But since then, I've just been getting progressively slower and slower and I'm not sure why. I didn't train consistently in the beginning of 2016 but starting in June 2016, I upped my running from 3 times per week to 4 times per week. I do speed work and I run hills. I strength train. And I still just keep getting slower. I started training for my first marathon (WDW 2018) and training went fairly well. Got in my 20 miler and everything. But I was swept a bit past mile 20 since I was behind pace due to knee problems. My half marathons last year were 3:10 and 3:19, a pretty drastic difference from the year before.

I had some tendinitis at the beginning of this year after the marathon so I haven't run for 4 weeks. I tried again this past weekend, just 2 miles, and it was an average of 17:30 per mile. Plus my heart rate was high. 40% was in zone 4. I can walk faster than that! I don't understand why I can feel like I'm working so hard but barely moving forward. It makes me wonder if there's something physically going wrong that I'm unaware of. I do have thyroid problems but I've been on medication for that for a long time and those numbers are normal on my blood tests. My most recent blood test did show high cholesterol and low vitamin D. I have started taking a Vitamin D supplement.

At least the Spring flowers provided beautiful scenery on my run

I guess I'm partly venting and partly looking for any tips. Can anyone think of other reasons that people may have a drastic slow down like this? I did turn 40 last year and I had gained some weight (7 pounds since my half marathon PR). So back to being positive, here are some things I am going to do.

1. I am working on losing weight, mainly for the purpose of getting my cholesterol down but hopefully that will help with running as well.

2. I guess I should re-evaluate my running form since clearly, the effort I'm putting in is going somewhere but it doesn't sound like it's going forward.

3.  I'm going to ask the doctor for a full blood analysis.  Someone mentioned iron, and it has been a while since I've had that checked.  I've also considered it may be peri-menopause or something hormonal like that.

4.  Be patient with myself.  I know this is my first run in 4 weeks after being in an ankle brace and no activity so I need to be patient.  Hopefully as I get some more runs under my belt the pace will naturally increase back to where it was last year before the marathon, and then I can work on speed after that.

It's just frustrating to feel like I'm working hard and doing the right things but continuing to get slower, to the point where I can walk faster. And if I can walk faster, what's the point in running?  I've always felt that as I got older, there would come a time when I switched to walking and that's fine because I would still be able to get the main things I love out of running with walking.  But I just didn't think that time would be so soon.  Hopefully it isn't that time yet and I can figure out what's going on with my continued slow down.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Weekly Review

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  We had a pretty quiet one which is pretty much what I needed.  It's nice when things work out that way.  I'm also happy to say I was able to go for a run and my foot did not swell up the next day!  I took things pretty slowly last week since I'm a bit gun shy about the tendinitis coming back and I scheduled in a rest day after every work out day but I think it worked out well.

Monday - rest day - much needed after the wedding weekend in Ohio and the late flight on Sunday

Tuesday - Strength training at home, squats, lunges, crunches, glute bridges, clamshells, planks

Wednesday - rest day

Thursday - 20 minute walk and strength training, same routine as Tuesday

Friday - rest day

Saturday - Short, easy run.  This was sooo ridiculously slow :(  But I did it and hopefully it will get better from here.  My foot that had tendinitis seemed fine but I was having some knee pain on the other side.  It may be that my gait is off from compensating due to the three weeks of wearing the ankle brace so hopefully that will go away.

Sunday - Yoga with Adrienne.  I felt really good after the yoga and I have to remember to keep that as part of my routine.  We also took advantage of the rainy day at home to get frames and put up a bunch of art that was just sitting around. Plus, now we know where we have some holes and can buy more art :)

I also slept really well on Saturday night.  I ended up getting more than 8 hours of sleep. The top photo below is my sleep Saturday night and the lower photo is my sleep from Friday night, which is more typical and results in somewhere between 6 and 7 hours of sleep.  I'm not sure what happened on Saturday that resulted in sleeping so well but I wish I could replicate it on a regular basis.

So that was my week.  Here's the plan for this week, still taking it slow since I don't have to start training for anything again for several months.

Monday - Body Pump after work
Tuesday - Short run in the evening
Wednesday - Elliptical
Thursday - Rest day - Flying out for a work trip
Friday - Elliptical at the hotel gym and flying back home in the evening
Saturday - Body Pump
Sunday - 3 mile run

I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and Taking the Long Way Home (and guest host Teresa) for the Weekly Wrap.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Weekly Review

For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you've seen that I was in Ohio for my brother's wedding last week.  It was a great time but definitely tiring!  I didn't get much done as far as working out but I got in a little bit.  I managed a 20 minute walk at the airport, did yoga 2 days, and some dancing :)

I did take off the ankle brace on Friday and the foot seems ok, so fingers crossed!  I'm going to try to ease into things with strength training and the elliptical and if things continue to seem ok, I'll try an easy run on Friday.  And I'm looking forward to the nice weather we're supposed to have later this week!  But for now, here's the breakdown on last week.

Monday - rest day and recovering from Awesome Con

Tuesday - rest day and packing for Ohio since I left it until the last minute

Wednesday - Waking up bright and early for a 7am flight to Columbus.  I did get in a 20 minute walk around the airport terminals while I was waiting for my flight.  Once I got to Ohio, my mom and I got mani/pedis and then I helped out with decorating their house for a religious ceremony they were having there on Friday.

Selfies while waiting at the airport

Thursday - This is the day all the family started coming in to town!  We had people visiting from Atlanta, Pittsburgh, New Jersey and India. So we coordinated airport pick ups and hanging out with people at the hotel.  Then in the afternoon I met my brother and his fiancee so we could get our henna done for the wedding.

Friday - We had a religious ceremony at the house in the morning, followed by lunch.  There was a little time for a rest and then back to getting ready for the evening festivities.  There was some Indian folk dancing and again, my foot seemed to hold up pretty well!

Saturday - This was the actual wedding day!  Sadly, we started out the day with the hotel fire alarm going off bright and early and we walked down 9 flights of stairs to find out it was a false alarm.  At least we were able to take the elevator back up to the room.  By that time, it was time to get up for the day anyway so we got ready and had a nice brunch with my brother and his fiancee.  After that, we met up with other family members to hang out and also ran some errands for the wedding ceremony.  We had a great time at the ceremony and it was wonderful to celebrate with everyone.

Sunday - And this was the day that everyone was leaving.  Our flight didn't leave until 5:30 in the afternoon so we were able to see most people off.  Sadly, our flight was late and it was later than anticipated by the time we got home.  I was exhausted but overall, it was a really fun weekend!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Weekly review

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  Mine was a lot of fun.  But first, here's the information on the week.  I was still in the ankle brace and last week, had less than 20,000 steps for the whole week!  That was an average of less than 3,000 steps per day.  So I knew that I needed to work on gradually increasing time on my feet this week so that it wouldn't be too abrupt of a change on the weekend.  The convention center that Awesome Con is held at is large and involves lots of walking and I wanted to make sure that it didn't set my ankle back.

Monday - 6,565 steps.  This was mostly walking around the office since it was a day full of meetings, no extra walks.

Tuesday - 6, 432 steps.  Again, this was mostly daily steps walking around the office but it also included a walk after work.

Wednesday - 7,072 steps.  This included a walk at lunch time as well as a walk after work.

Thursday - 12, 514 steps.  I was meeting friends for happy hour downtown after work so I parked a bit away from the place we were meeting.  So this included a walk before happy hour and a walk back to the car after happy hour.

Friday - 12,316 steps.  This was the first day of Awesome Con and we had a great time!  We had several friends that were there and we had dinner with them afterwards as well.

Some fun cosplay I saw other people doing Saturday and Sunday

Saturday - 15,297.  More walking around Awesome Con but we also went to a party in the evening for some dancing.  I was a little worried that I was overdoing it but I think it was ok.

My costumes from the weekend, Mike's not the storm trooper, that's just a random person I ran into :)  The first costume is Dr. Aphra, a character from Star Wars comics and the second is a Disney Bound version of Nick Wilde and Judy Hops from Zootopia.

Sunday - 8, 453 steps.  I had initially thought I might go for a run this morning but I woke up with really tight calves.  Since that was part of the issue leading to my knee and ankle problems, I decided to take it easy and not rush back to running after so much walking and dancing the day before.

People were still going hard with the costumes Sunday!

So that was my week!  I'm still wearing the ankle brace but I don't think the weekend set me back.  I'm going to keep up with the walking this week and will try to add in the bike or elliptical as long as I don't feel any pain in my foot.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Weekly Review

Well, I'm not currently training for anything because of the tendinitis but I thought I'd still talk about what I've been doing the past couple weeks :)

First, I've decided that my April half will be transferred to doing the 8k instead.  I don't want to have to ramp up too quickly and then risk injury again.  So I'm going to take my time running and getting back into a routine and gradually increasing my miles.  It's a bit of a relief to not have the half looming over me when I feel so unprepared.  And hopefully this will allow me to be healthy for my Fall races.

We had snow last Wednesday so I actually ended up working from home most of the week.  I'm really thankful I have the opportunity to telework.  It helped out with my foot too since it's a bit complicated trying to put a shoe over my ankle brace.  I'm back in the office today but just wearing sandals since that was the easiest thing to get over the brace.  I'm also wearing socks since it's cold out.  It's definitely not an attractive look but it works.

We've had a several fun concerts this week.  We went to see a Weird Al concert on Tuesday and we saw an interesting concert on Saturday.  The band is called Red Baarat and there sort of a mix of jazz, funk, and Indian folk music.  It was a lot of fun and it was a venue we hadn't been to before in DC.  I really liked the venue as well as the band.

Saturday we also went to a local rally before the March for our Lives.  I decided not to go to the march itself given my foot but we volunteered to do voter registration in the morning and had a lot of fun with that.  I also wrote some get out the vote post cards while watching the march on tv in the afternoon.

I've somehow managed to lose my wedding ring.  I don't even know how or where so I've been calling a lot of places to check their lost and founds but nothing yet.  I'm going to continue to look but I may need to replace it instead.  But I did spend a lot of time this weekend looking around the house and emptying various bags.

We're going to a local sci fi convention March 30th so we spent some time getting our outfits together and packing yesterday.  I'm pretty happy with how the outfits came together and am really looking forward to the weekend :)

Lastly, there was lots of time spent cuddling with my cats!  Always a fun addition to the day :)

Perry looks unhappy hear but I promise he likes the cuddling!  This look only came out when I stopped petting him to take a photo.

Friday, March 23, 2018

St. Patrick's Day 10k

Ugh, sorry I've been missing from blogland for a couple weeks.  Things have been busy with work and I just haven't been working out at all.  I went to the podiatrist last week and he confirmed that I have tendinitis, and it's my peroneal tendon.  He gave me an ankle brace to wear and he said he didn't want me working out on my feet at all.  No body pump, no elliptical, just upper body weights.  I asked if I could use the bicycle and he kind of wavered on that and said I could try it but I had to stop if it hurt at all.  So I've been playing it safe this week and just doing my PT exercises plus abs and upper body weights.


But I did want to get back and at least talk about my St. Patrick's Day 10k from a couple weeks ago.  It was a super windy weekend.  Mike's work was actually closed on Friday from the wind and we had heard that there was at least one local race that was cancelled on Saturday.  The winds were more manageable on Sunday, which was the day of my race, but it was still in the 15 to 20 mph range.

I also have to admit that I went into the race with a negative attitude.  I'm sure that contributed to my bad race day.  I wasn't looking forward to the cold winds, I was upset that my foot was hurt and worried I was going to make it worse, disappointed that I had to cut down from 15k to 10k, and it just wasn't my usual positive outlook on things.  I don't even have any photos from race day because I just wanted to get things over with.  All of that to say if you want a better review of this race, please look at my 2016 review since it is probably a more accurate representation.

One of the differences this year is that there was no shirt.  You could pay extra for a shirt if you wanted, or get a bandana or store credit for Pacer's Running Store.  I do like that they had these options and that the shirt price wasn't included if you don't want it.

The medal was still included in the base price

Another difference is that there was no race morning packet pick up this year.  I was a little bothered by that but it was ok.  They did have packet pick up at the store for at least 2 weeks before race day so there were plenty of days to pick up the packet.  And it was easy for someone else to pick up the packet for you, because Mike picked the packet up for me on his way home from work one day.

We managed to find a cheap hotel room the night before the race so we stayed downtown, a little more than a mile from the race.  That was pretty convenient and I enjoyed having a nice dinner and catch up time with my friend the evening before the race.  The restaurant also had free breakfast in the morning that was convenient for pre-race fuel.  We did a warm up jog down to the Washington Monument for the race start.

It was perfect timing and we got there about 5 minutes before race start so we didn't have to stand around in the cold wind much at all.  The course is a beautiful course.  It's mostly flat with some very small hills.  It's also in a scenic area past the Washington monument, the Kennedy Center, the Potomac River, the Tidal Basin and the Jefferson memorial. 

It was a sunny day but that played a bit of havoc with my temperature. I dressed for the cold but I was probably over dressed.  So I would get pretty warm at times but just when I began to think about taking off a layer, there would be a windy spot and I would be really cold again.  So I pretty much alternated being too hot and too cold the whole time.  Oh, and there were no water stops during the race.  That was fine for me since I always carry my hand held water bottle but I saw a few other people out there asking where the water was.  I hope that this was just because it was too windy and not a permanent change.

The race felt really hard and I don't know why.  I guess there was the wind.  But in 2016 this race was my 10k PR of 1:14:21.  But this year it took me much longer.  I think this was actually the slowest 10k I ever had, 1:28:27, which is frustrating when I felt like I was working so hard the whole time.  I even took less time at the Avengers Half in Disneyland which I was taking super easy and stopping for lots of photos.  I did look at my fitbit a week later and saw that my resting heart rate had been much higher than usual that whole week, so I don't know if there was something going on with my body that may have contributed to this. 

It was also frustrating because it seemed like there were a lot of little things going wrong.  My running tights, which I had worn for my 20 miler and were fine, wouldn't stay up and I had some thigh chafing starting at mile 2.  And my bra was twisted somehow so I had chafing on my back starting around mile 4.  That is way too much chafing for a 10k!

And then, we compounded everything with making a bad decision.  We decided to walk back to the hotel.  Which would have been fine on a nice day but it was still on the cold side and I was freezing by the time we got back to the hotel.  I was really sore later in the day and I think part of the reason I was so sore after a 10k was due to this cold walk.  I also realized that counting the travel back and forth to the hotel, this ended up being more like 9 miles total. 

We did meet up with other friends for a delicious post-race brunch!

Pros:  Beautiful course, flat, fun theme with lots of people dressing up in St. Patrick's day attire, option to pay less and not get a shirt

Cons:  No race day packet pick up, no water stop, meh medal