Monday, August 26, 2019

Richmond Half Marathon - training week 6

Wow, last week felt like it flew by!  I can't believe it's already the last week of August and the week we leave for our vacation to Rome and Greece. We've started packing but I feel like I still have a ton left to do.  But before thinking about this week, here's the recap of last week.

Monday - planned rest day

Tuesday - 3.5 easy miles plus saw the sunrise

Wednesday - Strength training at home

Thursday - speed work (1 mile easy, 8x 2 minutes, 4x 100 meters, .5 mile cool down).  This one was tough but I hit my paces.  I did it in the morning so I was able to meet up with friends for happy hour after work.

Friday - Yoga With Adrienne (I forgot to take a photo and don't remember which one I did but it was one of the ones for strength training or toning).

Saturday - 4 easy miles in the morning.  I forgot to charge my Garmin so I used runkeeper for this one.  Plus lots of errands and packing.

Sunday - 8 easy miles.  Ugh, I thought the cooler weather would help out with my pace.  But this may have been my slowest pace ever.  I'm not sure what was going on.  My heart rate was in the right place but it felt like I was barely moving.

Oh well, I got the miles in.  And we went to the Renaissance Fair later in the day and had a good time with friends!

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

Monday - 3 easy miles
Tuesday - Speed work (1 mile easy, 5x 3 minutes, 4x 100 meters, .5 mile cool down)
Wednesday - Strength training and an evening red eye flight
Thursday - Rest day and arriving in Rome!
Friday - 4 miles
Saturday - Strength training at hotel gym
Sunday - 6 miles

I'm linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Rundown!

 weekly Run Down

Friday, August 23, 2019

Goals check in

Yikes, it's almost the end of August and I haven't taken a look back at my goals for the year.  Given that I hadn't come up with goals until March, I guess that makes sense.  But I think things are progressing pretty well.  Here's where I am currently.

1.  720 miles for the year.  I'm currently at 438 miles and should be at around 460 by the end of August.  That's about 20 miles short of where I need to be but that makes sense given that I couldn't run for part of June due to my back and for part of July due to being sick.  But I'm back in half marathon training so hopefully I can make up the extra miles by the end of the year.
2.  Train hard for speed - I think this has been going well.  I was close to hitting my pace goal in my June 10k (and did hit the goal if you consider the heat during the race) and I'm continuing to incorporate speed work into my training.
The Annapolis race is always beautiful

3. Read 6 non fiction books - This one is going pretty well too and I've already finished 5 of the 6.  I read Becoming by Michelle Obama, The Incomplete Book of Running by Peter Sagal, Factfulness:Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World - And Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling, Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr, and In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri. 
                                       Image result for jhumpa lahiri in other words
4.  Continue cooking at home.  This has been going well too.  It helps that I've been working on meal prep for the work day meals.  And with learning to cook vegan, the Washington Post had a great 12 weeks series of recipe ideas we've been using.  And occasional help from Sun Basket meal delivery kits as well.
Veggie Bibimbap from Sun Basket

So that's how my goals are going.  Overall, I'm pretty happy with progress at this point.  We'll see how the rest of the year goes.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019


We keep hearing how important sleep is for training.  And not just for training, but really for life in general.  Sometimes, we can't control the amount and quantity of sleep we get.  But there are some steps we can take.  I try to be good about this but there are definitely things I'm still working on.

1.  Go to bed at a consistent time.  I'm pretty good about this.  I take my sleep seriously and try to make sure I don't have too many late nights any more.  This also helps with being able to get up early and get out for a run in the morning.

Shelby is an expert sleeper, and kind enough to not bother us in the middle of the night :)

2.  No caffeine after 3pm.  I've been doing this for a couple years now and it really helps.  I used to feel like caffeine had no impact on me but I was fooling myself.  Or maybe it didn't impact me much when I was younger but things changed when I hit 40.

3.  No screens before bed.  I'm definitely still working on this one.  I try it for a while but then keep falling back into old habits and scroll through social media at bed time.  I've got to work on quitting this one for good.

Perry loves his bedtime cuddles

4.  No pets!  We used to keep our bedroom door closed so the cats couldn't get in.  Then while we were having renovations done on the house, we were sleeping in the guest room and had to keep the door open.  Oh my goodness, sleeping with cats was difficult.  Somehow, Mike was able to sleep through it but I felt it every time Perry turned over.  And he always needs petting at 1am for some reason.  He's insistent about it and keeps nudging my shoulder until I give in.  The renovations had finished a while ago and we had moved back into our bedroom but we kept the door open to give them some transition time.  Well, that ended last weekend.  We started closing the door again and I slept SO WELL!  It was an amazing feeling waking up and not being exhausted due to being up petting a cat all night.

So that's where I am on my sleep journey.  It's also helped that we had a ceiling fan put in during the renovations so the air circulates better and I no longer wake up a sweaty mess.

Anyone else have other tips for sleep?  I'd love to hear them!

Monday, August 19, 2019

Richmond Half Marathon - training week 5

I got in all my planned work outs this week!  That makes last week a pretty good week in my mind :)  There were some other fun things too.  Here are the details for the week.

Monday - Planned rest day

Tuesday - Speed work (1 mile warm up, 6x 2 minutes, 4x 100 meters, .5 mile cool down).  I hit the paces that I was going for.

Wednesday - strength training at home

Thursday - 4 easy miles (ended up being 3.83 miles since I ran out of time)

Friday - strength training, same routine as Wednesday

Saturday - 5 easy miles (again, a little short because I ran out of time)

We also had plans to go out to dinner and see a Cirque Du Soleil show to celebrate Mike's birthday.  Dinner was great but sadly the show was stopped and cancelled after 10 minutes because there was lightning in the area.  We were disappointed but definitely understand since it's not safe for the performers.  They refunded our money and hopefully we'll be able to see the show some other time.

Sunday - 7.5 miles (3 miles easy, 2 miles marathon pace, 2 miles half marathon pace, .5 mile cool down).  I decided not to shoot for specific paces since it was so hot.  The temperature plus dew point was more than 150 so I was just trying to do it by feel.  Plus, I knew the 2nd mile of each interval would be uphill.  I pushed as much as I could and I was happy with that.  It helped that I did this run with a friend and we spent some time afterward catching up at Starbucks :)

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

Monday - Rest day
Tuesday - 3.5 easy miles
Wednesday - Strength training
Thursday - Speed work (1 mile easy, 8x 2 minutes, 4x 100 meters, .5 mile cool down)
Friday - Strength Training
Saturday - 4 miles
Sunday - 8 miles

I'm linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Rundown!

weekly Run Down

Friday, August 16, 2019


We're leaving on vacation in less than 2 weeks!  I figured I'd join Fairytales and Fitness for their Friday link up and talk a bit about our vacation plans.

We're definitely looking forward to some relaxing time away.  We've been traveling a lot here and there over the Summer but it's mostly been for weddings, family gatherings, and things like that.  They've been fun but not necessarily relaxing.  And this is our 10 year anniversary so we decided to splurge a bit :)
We're spending 3 days in Rome and then we're going on a 7 day Royal Caribbean cruise in Greece.  Hopefully it will be a good mix of relaxation and sight seeing.  There is so much we want to see but we also know we can't fit everything in and we're not planning to run ourselves ragged trying.  We're going to just pick a couple key things (The Forum, The Pantheon, The Vatican) and then just see what happens.  I hear that part of the charm of Rome is wandering the city and seeing what you find. 
Last time we were on a cruise, in 2015

As far as Greece, we've made a couple plans that are a mix of sight seeing and pool/beach time.  So hopefully that will be relaxing too. 

If any of you have been there, I'd love to hear tips!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Richmond Half Marathon - training week 4

Yay, I finally got all my runs in this week!  It was a pretty good week overall so here are the details.

Monday - Planned rest day

Tuesday - 3.5 easy miles before work.

Wednesday - Unplanned rest day (but I made up the strength training later in the week)

Thursday - Strength training (Squats, Lunges, crunches, oblique crunches, glute bridges, clamshells, push ups, planks, supermans, calf raises - 3 rounds) and a 30 minute evening walk

Sunset during my walk

Friday - Speed work - 1 mile warm up, 4x 2 minutes with 2 minute recovery, 4x 100meters with 100 meter recovery, 1/2 mile cool down.  It's been a while since I've done speed work since I hadn't really been training for anything.  I enjoyed this one and hit my paces!

We went to the Kennedy Center in the evening to see Dear Evan Hansen.  It was a good musical, but it's a small cast and it seems to really ride on the charisma of the main actor.  We had an alternate the day we saw it and he was good, but we didn't think he was good enough to quite carry the show.

Saturday - 3.5 easy miles.  I met up with a friend for this one and we tried a new route that was close to a local shopping center.  There was plentiful parking and Starbucks once we were done.  The route itself was a nice paved trail that went around a couple small lakes.  It was really pretty, had some small hills, and had lots of shade.  It was a little rough in places and I did trip on a crack and fall at one point.  But I didn't hurt myself too bad, just a bruised knee, and we were able to finish the run.  We both felt like we would run at this location again.

Mike and I also tried out a new restaurant in our town for lunch and it was delicious!  I had a butternut squash gnocchi and Mike has a seafood risotto and we were both delighted with our food.  Plus we got a seat out on the patio and were able to enjoy the nice weather since it wasn't too hot that day.

Sunday - 4 easy miles in the neighborhood plus yoga and ab work in the evening.  I didn't do more strength training because my knee had started hurting from the fall on Saturday.

And I did get my meal prep done for the week again!  I'm pretty happy that I've been able to keep this going for the third week in a row :)  It's beginning to feel just like a normal part of my routine and not such a pain on Sundays.

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

Monday - Rest day
Tuesday - Speed work (1 mile easy, 6x 2 minutes, 4x 100 meters, .5 mile cool down)
Wednesday - Strength training
Thursday - 4 miles
Friday - Strength Training
Saturday - 5 miles
Sunday - 8 miles (3 miles easy, 2 miles marathon pace, 2 miles half marathon pace, 1 mile easy)

I'm linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Rundown!

weekly Run Down

Monday, August 5, 2019

Richmond Half Marathon Training Week 3

I hope everyone's doing well!  I had a pretty good week.  And I seem mostly recovered from the sinus infection I had a couple weeks ago except for some lingering tiredness.  I got in my 2 planned strength training sessions and I got in 3 runs.  I had hoped to get in 4 runs but I'm ok with the way the week turned out given how tired I was.  Here are the details.

Monday - rest day.  I had planned to go out with a friend after work but ended up postponing since I felt like I really needed to just rest in the evening.

Tuesday - Strength Training video with Fitness Blender.  I definitely felt this one in my chest and abs the next day since it had lots of push ups and core work.

Wednesday - 3 easy miles.  Woke up early and went for a run before work.

Thursday - Yoga for toning.

Friday - 3 easy miles with another pre-work run.

Saturday - Unplanned rest day.  This was supposed to be another easy run but I was just exhausted and my body seemed to need some extra rest.  We did have a voter registration volunteer shift at the mall so spent the morning doing that.  And got in some work organizing around the house in the afternoon.  So it was still a productive rest day :)

Sunday - 7 miles - 2 mile warm up, 2 miles marathon pace, 2 miles half marathon pace, cool down.  This run started out well but I kind of fell apart at the end.  I hit my paces (adjusted for the heat) on the first three intervals but then the last interval was way too slow.  A full two minutes too slow.  Oh well, that's something to work on for next time. And my planned cool down on the way home was going to be in the full sun so I called Mike and asked him to pick me up instead.  I did my cool down on the shaded trail and called it a day when he got there so I only got in 6.6 miles instead of the full 7.

On the fun side, I did see a lot of animals on this run.  I saw the usual bunnies and some deer, but then I saw a beaver for the first time.  He was swimming in the creek that runs next to the trail.  And I saw a weird insect like creature that I almost stepped on.  Someone mentioned seeing it on their run last week so I knew it was a crayfish.  I would have had no idea what it was otherwise.

I also got in my meal prep for the second week in a row.  All my breakfasts and lunches for the work week are ready.  Steel cut oats for breakfast and a quinoa salad plus raw veggies for dipping in guacamole for lunch.

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

Monday - Rest day
Tuesday - 3.5 easy miles
Wednesday - Strength training
Thursday - Speed work (1 mile easy, 4x 2 minutes, 4x 100 meters, .5 mile cool down)
Friday - Strength Training
Saturday - 4 miles
Sunday - 4 miles

I'm linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Rundown!

weekly Run Down