Friday, June 30, 2017

Friday Five - 4th of July

This week has seemed to take forever.  But now,  it's Friday and that means it's time for the Friday Five 2.0 link up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness.  I'm especially excited for this weekend because we're taking a long weekend for the 4th of July.  We had initially planned to take a trip to Philadelphia but we spent a lot of money on Perry when he was sick so we changed it up to have a "staycation."  I think this might end up being even better then a trip since it should be nice and relaxing staying in the area but still taking Monday and Wednesday off from work next week.  So here are 5 things that I'm really looking forward to this weekend.

1.  Silent disco - we did this last year and had a great time.  So we're getting a group together and doing it again tonight.  Like I said last year, it was the perfect dance party for those of us that might be too old for nightclubs.  It's early, and the music is over headphones so you can control the volume or change the channel to another DJ if you don't like the music.  Added bonus, it's on a beautiful rooftop with a great visa of the sunset over the city.

2.  Pool party with friends - A friend of ours is having a big house party on Sunday complete with a pool, pot luck food and fun drinks.  A lot of my friends are great cooks so I'm really looking forward to that, as well as the time hanging out in the pool on a hot day.

3.  Spruced up patio - We haven't been taking care of our patio the way we should have been but that's being taken care of today!  It's getting fixed up and pressure washed and it will be so much nicer to hang out there once that's finished.

Though Perry still likes to roll around on the patio no matter how dirty

4.  Exploring the city - we have a couple unplanned days to just decide what we feel like doing based on the day and the weather.  We're thinking of maybe the zoo or the Smithsonian folk life festival.  Or both depending on how ambitious we feel!
Baby panda photo from the last time we were at the zoo

5.  Chill 4th of July - We're planning on a relaxing 4th of July and having some close friends over to relax on our spruced up porch and grill.  We're keeping it simple with burgers (veggie and meat), salad, and ice cream.

I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July holiday!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Heart Rate training week 5

I hope everyone had a great week!  Mine went pretty well with lots of buckling back down at work and trying to get things done before the 4th of July holiday.  But I managed to get my workouts in too!  Here's a summary of the week.

Monday - Rest day

Tuesday - Easy run before work


Wednesday - Strength training in the evening


Thursday - Intervals on the treadmill after work...5 minutes in zone 4 and 1 minute recovery x5


Friday - rest day with 20 minute walk and recovery yoga

Saturday - Easy run followed by strength training at home.



We also had a fun evening out and went into the city for dinner and a show at the Kennedy Center.  I had seen the movie of Hedwig and the Angry Inch before but never the live show.  It was amazing!


Sunday - Met with a friend for an hour run around our local town center followed by catching up over breakfast.


The rest of Sunday was spent cleaning, doing errands, and just relaxing at home.  So that was my week!  It should mostly look like more of the same this week.

Monday - rest day
Tuesday - Body Pump
Wednesday - easy run in the morning before going to the office
Thursday - interval run at the gym after work
Friday - easy run
Saturday - long run
Sunday - strength training

I hope everyone else had a great week too!  I'm linking up with HoHoRuns and MissSippiPiddlin (and guest host Zenaida Arroyo) for the Weekly Wrap.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Zooma Annapolis 10k

The Zooma Annapolis race was the first weekend of June and I did the 10k with a friend.  What is Zooma?  Well, here's the description on their website.

"Imagine a powerful sea of women on the move – encouraging fellow runners, creating unforgettable moments, getting strong, and celebrating personal running triumphs.  Picture an inspiring weekend filled with strong women, yoga sessions, intelligent speakers, an exciting expo, and celebrations in an unforgettable resort location.  This is Zooma." 

We figured this sounded like the perfect opportunity for a girl's weekend!  Since it was Annapolis in June and neither of us does well with racing in the heat, we decided to sign up for the 10k.  I love that the race had multiple options for the distance, 5k, 10k and half marathon.

There was no packet pick up on race morning.  You could choose to come to the expo the day before or they would mail you your packet for an extra fee.  Since we were making it a girl's weekend, we decided we'd go to Annapolis on Friday and check out the expo.  The host hotel was really nice but a bit more than we wanted to pay so we got a cheaper room about 10 miles away.  For those that did stay at the host hotel, the expo was right there and the start/finish was in walking distance.

So we got to the expo the evening before the race and parked at the hotel.  I think we got there a bit before 5 and it wasn't too crowded at all.  And it was pretty small, with just a couple tables of vendors selling stuff.  And some of the vendors were an interesting choice for a running event, for example, the people selling lipstick.  But we got our packet with no wait at all, found some fun things to buy, and sampled some wine :)

Tank top and visor I bought at the expo

After browsing, we realized we were at just the right time to catch some of the talks.  So we went into the adjoining room to listen to the course preview.  I've never done this for a race before but it was really helpful.  They pointed out the turns, the hills, the particularly scenic areas, and the fact that there isn't that much shade on the course.  We also listened to the founder of Another Mother Runner talk about race day tips.  She was really funny as well as being informative and I'm glad we stayed for the talks.  I'll have to look for that more at other expos.

But we left before the next talk because we were hungry!  We went to the restaurant that was right there in the hotel and had some delicious drinks and dinner.


And then back to the room and an early bed time.  The race started at 7am and the preview had mentioned that the traffic can back up getting into the parking so we wanted to get there early.  We left our hotel at 6, hit no traffic, and were parking by 6:15. 


The race started at the Navy stadium so there was plenty of parking available and the volunteers were doing a great job directing traffic.  We walked towards the start line and given the size of the race, it never felt too crowded, even when we lined up to start.


I'm glad we chose the 10k course as it seemed to include the most scenic parts of the course!  It was beautiful and we split of from the half marathoners somewhere between miles 4 and 5.  My understanding is that the rest of the course was mostly highway.  In addition the being pretty, the course was definitely sunny and this did hit me a bit hard towards the end of the race.  It was also a bit hilly at parts because we were crossing bridges.  But overall, I loved the course.  Here are some photos of things i saw along the way.






I wasn't actually racing this race for time given that I knew it would be hot.  So I just had a good time along the way, enjoyed the scenery, and took photos.  My heart rate was high anyway, I guess because of the heat and humidity.


The finish was back at the stadium and I loved the way they set it up.  There were snacks, free wine (I think everyone had two drink tickets, though we only used one of ours).  There was also more shopping and free yoga sessions.


We hung out a bit and then headed back to the room to clean up, check out and get some lunch. Overall, I would definitely recommend this race.  It was well organized, things went smoothly, and it was a lot of fun!


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Heart Rate Training Week 4

I hope everyone had a wonderful week!  It was a busy week here with a work conference to start the week and a fun sci-fi convention to end the week.  I managed to still get in 4 runs but the strength training suffered a bit again this week.  But here's the full summary.

Monday - rest day since my conference started early and went late-ish into the evening with a reception

Tuesday - rest day with another full day at the conference.

Wednesday - rest day since I was so exhausted from the conference.

Thursday - interval run at the gym after work, 5 minute warm up, 3 x (7 minutes at tempo speed, 3 minutes at 10k speed, 3 minutes recover.  Both the tempo speed and 10k speed were in zone 4.


Friday - 30 minute easy run in zone 2 before work.  And after work, I went in to the city to check into our hotel for the local sci-fi convention.


Saturday - Since I was downtown, I took the opportunity to get up early and go down for a run on the mall.  It was really humid and my heart rate started out high.  I wasn't able to keep my heart rate in zone 2 easily so I went back to my 2 minute running/30 second walking intervals and just keep the feel easy.


It ended up being a really fun run and I took the time to enjoy my surroundings and take photos.

Sunday - This was another 30 minute easy run that I did at the gym at the hotel and I got in some strength training for core and upper body using the weights at the gym.


I also walked around a lot at the convention the rest of the weekend so got in tons of steps.  Here are some photos of fun things from the convention.


So that was the week!  This week should hopefully be a little less hectic.  Garmin's plan for this week was strange and it has three interval runs, one long run and no easy runs.  That seems a little weird so I'm changing it up a bit from their plan.  Here's my plan for this week.

Monday - rest day
Tuesday - easy run in the morning before going to the office
Wednesday - strength training
Thursday - interval run at the gym after work
Friday - easy run
Saturday - strength training
Sunday - long run

I hope everyone else had a great week too!  I'm linking up with HoHoRuns and MissSippiPiddlin (and guest host Run and Live Happy) for the Weekly Wrap.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Heart Rate Training Week 3

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I had a wonderful time celebrating my 40th birthday and I also got in some great runs last week.  Here's the summary of my week.

Monday - Rest day with 20 minute walk after dinner and recovery yoga from Runner's World

Tuesday - Easy run with 30 minutes in zone 2


Wednesday - Interval run with 10 minute warm up, 2x (15 minutes in zone 4 and 5 minutes recovery) -


Thursday - Unplanned rest day, had some shoulder and back pain so skipped body pump

Friday - Interval run with 5 minute warm up, 6x (3 minutes in zone 4 and 1 minute recovery)


Friday was also my actual birthday and we had an amazing dinner at Pineapple and Pearls to celebrate.  It was super extravagant but worth it for a milestone birthday.  And we both felt like it was the best dinner we've ever had.  Here's my vegetarian menu as well as a photo of some of the courses.



Saturday - Did Yoga for Back Pain from Yoga With Adrienne since I was still having some back pain.

Sunday - 80 minute run in zone 2


I'm pretty happy with getting in 4 runs, even though I had to skip my strength training.  But the yoga seemed to help and the back is much better today.  Monday and Tuesday of this week I'm going to be at a conference but hopefully I can still get all my run in.  Here's the plan.

Monday - rest day
Tuesday - easy run in the morning before going to the conference
Wednesday - strength training
Thursday - interval run at the gym after work
Friday - strength training
Saturday - easy run
Sunday - long run

I hope everyone else had a great week too!  I'm linking up with HoHoRuns and MissSippiPiddlin (and guest host Kooky Runner) for the Weekly Wrap.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Starting with Heart Rate Training

I have gotten some questions about how I started with Heart Rate training so I thought I'd share my process.  I'm definitely learning things as I go along and still have a lot of questions but here are the steps I've gone through so far.

1.  First step was getting a heart rate monitor that would work while running.  There are various options out there from chest straps to armbands to ones that are integrated into the GPS watch.  I decided to go with upgrading my Garmin from the 220 to the 335 so it would have an integrated heart rate monitor.  The main reason I went with this option is that I didn't want to add to the amount of gear I had to have for a run.  The downside is that this was expensive but I'm turning 40 tomorrow so this was an early birthday gift from my parents.  Thanks mom and dad!

2.  The next step was to program the watch with my information so that it could calculate the correct heart rate zones for me.  I found this easier to do on the computer then in the app.  I don't even know if it can be done in the watch itself.  The first thing is to calculate your max heart rate.  There are more precise ways to do this but I just went with the general calculation, which is 220 minus your age.  So for me, 220-40 would be 180.

3.  After that, I had to decide what method I wanted to use to calculate my heart rate zones. 


The default with my Garmin was based on a percentage of you max heart rate and that's how I tried it for my first run.  But the heart rates seemed way too low for me with that method.  So I tried it with Heart Rate Reserve and that seems to work well for me.  It takes your resting heart rate into account as well, so you have to know that.  I know it from my fitbit but you can also calculate it the old school way by taking your pulse first thing when you wake up before getting out of bed.  The American Heart Association has a pretty good explanation of how to do this.

4.  And then I needed a training plan.  Since I'm not training for any actual races right now and my goal is just to get comfortable with heart rate training, I picked a 10k heart rate training plan from Garmin so it would be easy to sync the information with my watch.  I can make changes on the calendar or app but I have to remember to sync that over to my watch before starting.


The training plans with hearts next to them include the heart rate training.  They also have general "getting fit" plans and even triathlon training plans! I had not idea any of this was available until Heather of 3 Black Cat Co. pointed it out.

5.  But I still have things I'm trying to figure out.  For example, the Garmin plan calls for hill runs and recovery runs both in zone 2.  Is it ok for my heart rate training to be in a higher zone when running uphill? Otherwise, what's the difference between a hill run and recovery run for those of us in a hill area?  And where should threshold runs be?  Intervals, 10k pace and threshold pace are all listed as zone one just a higher heart rate within zone 4? June 13th below is a good example of that.


And I've never seen it use Zone 3 yet.  Is zone 3 just not beneficial?

So that's where I am with heart rate training for now!  I'll update as things continue and hopefully as I figure more things out :)