Sunday, February 7, 2016

Big Sur Marathon Training-- Week 1

Week one of Big Sur Marathon Training is in the books! How did it go?

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 1

Monday: running rest day. On my way to work, I did manage to catch the sunrise at the retention pond where I train. It was spectacular. The pose of the day for the #flexandflow yoga challenge was Wild Thing. Perfect timing, I think! I won Monday's challenge and got to pick out something from prAna's spring collection!
Wild thing
Wild Thing. you make my heart sing. So does this sunrise. Right place, right time.
Tuesday: I ran 4 miles around the 'hood. My legs felt surprisingly great! It was a cold, gloomy morning, and I scoped out my route for a place to take my daily yoga picture. The prompt was to do a pose that challenges you. I always struggle with balance poses and straight leg poses, so I did standing big toe pose, using my SpiBelt as a prop. Hey, whatever works, right?

Standing big toe pose
This pose is so ugly, I had to find an ugly background. 
Wednesday: Speedwork aka mile repeats x4 on the treadmill. I took my Apple Watch out on my long run Sunday to recalibrate it in anticipation of using it on the treadmill. What I didn't realize is that the Apple fitness tracker does not give you mile splits. Since I wasn't paying attention to the numbers on the treadmill, I have no idea how fast my splits were. Crap! I know they were consistent, but that's about it. I'm done with the treadmill and I'm done with my Apple Watch as a running watch. Done. Garmin, you are stuck with me. And I'm doing my speedwork outside. The hell with it.

After my speedwork, I went to yoga. We did a lot of poses against the wall, which really allows you to properly position yourself in the poses. It was another amazing class, and I took my final studio photo for the yoga challenge. The theme was balance, and I chose warrior 3, which is a pose I really struggle with. It took me about 10 takes to get this picture and I still couldn't get the bottom leg straight. Ugh. Though the outtakes were hilarious...
Warrior 3 oops!
Whoa, whoa, whoa!
The camera doesn't lie. I'm balance challenged.
Warrior 3
Warrior 3.
A work in progress.
Thursday: EPIC workout day. I woke up to a beautiful blue sky, and after dropping my youngest off at school, I stopped at Payton's hill where I plan to do my hill repeats. I ran to the top and did the pose of the day, crescent lunge. It is one of my favorites. The wind was brutal at the top and I scurried back to my car. Then I rode my bike for an hour. This time I rode in Germany, which strangely looked like Wisconsin. 14 miles/1:00:43

Crescent lunge
The top of the hill.
After my bike ride, I headed over to work with Becky. She had me do cleans into front squats with 55# on the bar. This was the most I have done so far. She didn't expect me to get to this weight, and was thrilled with this. I was too! After the front squats were deadlifts 155#. She says this isn't my max yet. Ooof. It was heavy. But no complaining, right? Otherwise burpees... To finish, she had me push the prowler 3 laps across the floor. But on the trip back, I pushed the lower bar and OMG was that hard!

After my workout, we talked about hill training. This seasoned runner has never formally trained for hills before. Becky reassured me that I would have no trouble tackling the hills of Big Sur, both the uphills and downhills, with the work she has me doing. But she understood the psychological advantage of actually doing hill work, and we reviewed what I should be doing on my hill repeats. Short sprints up, and easy downhills. Stay tuned.

Clean into a front squat
Clean into a front squat. A new skill this strength cycle!
Friday: rest day. The last day of the yoga challenge, we did child's pose. And all was right with the world.

Child's pose

Saturday: I had 6 miles on the plan. Except that I didn't look at the plan, and thought I only had to do 4. Oh well. It was a gorgeous morning, and I stopped to take in the sunrise. 4.55 miles/8:39m/m

4 miles sunrise


Sunday: Since there is no snow on the ground--so odd for this time of year--I decided to take my 10 mile run to the very pretty preserve with the limestone path. I rarely get to run there in the winter, and I thought this would be a treat! The path was kind of mushy in places and there were frozen footsteps in other spots. There were also some patches of snow and ice. But the sun was peeking through the clouds and it was so pretty to be in this peaceful oasis.

Buffalo Creek 10 miles
Look at that sky!
The one thing I didn't count on was the wind. The temps were in the 40s when I headed out but the wind started to pick up. I had the wind at my back on the way out and didn't realize how strong it was until I turned around to head home. The best word I can use to describe it was brutal. While 40 degrees in February sounds almost balmy for Chicago, the wind is a deal breaker. This route is fairly hilly (for here) and at mile 7, I hit Payton's Hill into the wind. I stopped at the top to catch my breath. The downhill didn't feel much better since I was running into that cold wind. Not quitting on this run was a win. I kept thinking to myself: "what if it is windy like this at Big Sur?" And "what doesn't kill me will make me stronger". Running outside in February is always an exercise in mental toughness. Anyways, I got it done, 10.38 miles/9:03m/m

Coming up this week--more miles! And no more yoga challenge. I'll still be doing yoga but I won't be posting daily poses. Thanks to all of you for indulging me. I've really enjoyed having fun with the poses and the pictures.

How was your week of training? Any fun adventures to share?

I'm linking this post up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap! Head on over to their blogs to see what they and everyone else did this week!

114 comments :

  1. I loved all your yoga pictures and congrats on winning! I need to learn how to take pictures like that! Sounds like you had a great week!

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  2. Looks like a great week and its awesome that you don't have snow on the ground right now! I think we are expecting more before the snow from the last storm finally melts. That sunrise pic is amazing- congrats on winning!

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    1. I'm pretty sure we aren't done with winter yet. I think it's going to be cold later this week.

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  3. Every time you write about Big Sur, I smile - that was one of the most fun events I've ever done and I can't wait for you to experience it!

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    1. I can't wait either! I'm so looking forward to it.

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  4. I am anxious to see how your hill training goes. I need to work on it, as I have a hilly race after the marathon. I love going up, but need to work coming down.... have a great week.

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    1. I've never done hill training before! So any tips are welcome.

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  5. Congrats on winning! The wind if anything is going to help you so much for Big Sur - think of how you'll fly up and down those hills with less wind!

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    1. I think the wind always helps with training, but man, it sucks to run in it!

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  6. Love that Tuesday picture so creative! It is challenging to run outside in February sometimes. It was a lot colder than I expected for my race yesterday. have a great week

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    1. So funny how different 40 feels in February than in October! I mean, it is COLD but it just feels colder now.

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  7. The pictures are great... I'm excited for you! I'm trying to keep calm in this last week of taper:)

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    1. It was so much fun to do this challenge! And now my energy turns to cheering you on!!!!! You've got this...

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  8. Omg, that is a no filter sky!? Beautiful :)
    That squat looks painful! I have not seen anyone hold the bar that way, I am excited to try it. Of course, i will only be holing the bar lol I am a lightweight. I can not hold the bar on my back, it makes a strange twinge in my shoulder.
    I love your top of the hill pic.

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    1. My elbows should be up higher. This is a tough hold.

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  9. You look like such a badass in that squat picture! And that sky this morning - amazing!

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    1. Oh, that squat! Those front squats are tough!! I'm loving this, tho!

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  10. You really put a lot of effort into your yoga photos - I'm glad you won a prize! LOL on the Apple Watch. I'm a Garmin girl all the way for training.

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    1. I do love my Apple Watch, but I'm sad that I can't use it for running.

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  11. Love all your pics, especially the yoga poses. I had to laugh at the ugly background for an ugly pose. That's one of the poses in ashtanga that always kills me. And because I don't practice it enough, I always end up holding my knee instead of straightening my leg. The workout with your trainer sounds awesome! I'd love to work with a trainer like that. Here's to another good week!

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    1. I did Ashtanga about 10 years ago, and my instructor told me I'll never get better if I keep running. That bothered me a lot. He's probably right, but I told him I do yoga to make me a better runner. Not the other way around! And I'm still struggling with certain poses.

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  12. No more yoga poses?? I'm truly disappointed I have go to where I look for them. You gave really upped your game with the pictures. I know you may not want to give your secrets away but I have to try what do you use to add the filters on your pictures. Course first off you have to take amazing shots. I'm so jealous of yours an Becky relationship. Hope you have a wonderful week Wendy!

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    1. Oh no, there will still be yoga poses! Just not every day. I need to get my head back in the running game.

      I use Snapseed for most of my pictures.

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  13. Yay for training week #1. Big Sur is going to be wonderful, hills be damned. I need a target. I hope I can finally push this ITB aside this week and choose one. I swear I have those same pants (last pic) but they are in capri length. I like the dumpster graffiti pose! All of your yoga poses have been wonderful. Maybe you should do a whole Yoga Poses Gone Bad post for a laugh! Thanks for linking up with us Wendy.

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    1. I'm thinking about it! I have so many yoga pose bloopers it isn't funny!

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  14. All of your pics are awesome! I didn't realize you had won (Monday) until I got the email today with all the winners listed. Congrats!!! Yes, that wind! My run on Thursday was brutal...I ran to meet up with Barb (with the wind at my back), and when we got to our first corner (a mile from my house)...holy crap! We wound up just running "back & forth" to avoid the worst of the wind. But then, I had the wind in my face for the trek back home. WE survived. Barely LOL

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    1. Yeah, that run yesterday was tough. The winter winds always humble me!

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  15. Loving your yoga and you crack me up with the dumpster photo!! Nice work this week. I'm impressed with your strength training as well. I have to get some done while traveling but I've got to do a body weight circuit in my hotel room. Traveling is such a pain. At least I'm getting out to run outdoors instead of in the treadmill in the hotel basement.

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    1. The only good thing about traveling while training would be getting to run in new places. But then I'd be exploring instead of focusing on the training!

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  16. You definitely deserved to win on the Yoga photo challenge. Your photos are amazing Wendy. Great job with the running too, I am so envious of all the runners enjoy winter time runs while I deal with an injury. Pity party for one happening here at the moment.

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    1. So so hard to be sidelined! Been there more than a few times. Hang in there!

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  17. Sounds like official training is off to a great start. I'm so glad you won some Prana swag!

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    1. If only my foot didn't hurt, it would be perfect...

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  18. Great job with the yoga photos! Ending with child's pose always makes me happy too :) Blue skies (but not wind) make my runs so much more enjoyable :)

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    1. Oh, that wind kind of trashed the whole sunny day vibe!

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  19. I love all of your pictures. I run in such a populated area that I always feel weird stopping and taking pictures of running, much less of a yoga pose LOL.

    I found a great hill for training recently. Now I just need to actually use it...

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    1. It's really populated here too...luckily I go early so no one usually sees me...

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  20. I have heard the Apple watch is horrible for running. If you really want a great watch that does almost everything Apple does AND is amazing with running and cycling (indoors and out) get the Garmin vivoactive. I've had mine for six months now and absolutely love it!!!
    I also love your gorgeous pictures - WOW!!!! But windy running is no bueno!

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    1. I'm bummed about the Apple Watch. I hate to buy yet another gadget...

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  21. Great job on your training!! Man you are so strong, I can't imagine lifting any of that stuff! I love how yoga always finds ways to challenge you, I'm happy that I've been taking a weekly class, even though it is short. And congrats on winning the challenge!

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    1. I'm always surprised about what I can do when I work out with Becky. Who knew?

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  22. Great job on week 1. I love the Big Sur part of the country, and it is almost always windy when I'm visiting. As much as I hate wind, it is good resistance while I'm out running.

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    1. I knew the wind was going to enhance my training but out of all the conditions I train in, I think the wind is the worst!

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  23. You are rocking your training AND yoga. Have a great week, Wendy!

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  24. I love your training schedule! Its a mixture of so many things that it provides an excellent balance.

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    1. I love it too! This will hopefully keep me injury free.

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  25. i'm still so jealous you are running big sur. it's gonna be awesome! great first week!!

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  26. Your pictures are STUNNING, as always. You look so bad-ass in all of them, especially the lifting photo! Was that one self-timed? Congrats on winning that yoga challenge on Monday - you must have had so much fun picking out your prize!!! WOO HOO for a spectacular week!

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    1. Actually, Becky took the one of me lifting. She watches me like a hawk so I don't get hurt.

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  27. Although compared to some areas of the country, our hills are small, but my run Sunday was such a win because it was mostly flat. It's hard to find flat around here! People say that hilly races ar easier on the legs, but I'm always faster when I do a flat run so I dunno.

    Balance poses are hard. Some days I can do them, some days I really struggle with them and have to start over and over again.

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    1. I don't know about hilly races being easier on the legs. This flatlander loves flat races!

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  28. Congrats on winning the Yoga challenge! So exciting and what a great way to end the week!
    I love your pics! Do you do them yourself?
    Sounds like you has a great week with strength training! Go you for all that weight!


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    1. I do the yoga pix myself, but the weight pix are courtesy of my coach!

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  29. YAY! Congrats on winning the prAna challenge and welcome to your prAna addiction! I totally became addicted after participating in a similar campaign! :-)

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    1. I"ve had a prAna addiction for a while, this just enabled me even more!

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  30. Woohoo! Congrats on winning the yoga challenge! Your poses on IG are the best! Sounds like another great week of training! Have a great week!

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    1. Thank you! I've loved the yoga challenge. After Big Sur, I may do another one.

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  31. What a great week of training. We had some brutal wind here this weekend too. Temperatures were good and looked sunny but brutal when you got outside.

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    1. Mother Nature likes to tease us like that, doesn't she?

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  32. You always have the BEST photos on your blog! My workouts got a little foiled by snow this week - we had a big storm Friday and another one today. Too much to run outside and they've hit right in the middle of the day making it tough to drive safely to the gym. I've been staying active at the house but can't wait to get a good run in tomorrow.

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    1. We're going to get some snow today. Nothing big tho. Just enough to make a mess...

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  33. You had a great week of training and posing! I have to hand it to you big time...I can not handle cold or wind. It's great that you can train like that. When you come out to do the Big Sur Marathon, you will be totally prepared for whatever is in store for race day. Although I only first visited Big Sur last year, it is now one of my favorite places and I can't wait to go back again. Happy Training!!

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    1. For some odd reason this winter I cannot handle cold or wind at all. Probably because it's been so mild, relatively speaking. But I need to force myself to get out there and go.

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  34. Definitely might as well just embrace the winds, and let them make you become stronger just in case Big Sur is windy. It's always a bit foggy in the morning, but I could imagine if windy those hills would be even more brutal. Your training last week, will help you prepare for anything for sure!!!
    Germany/Wisconsin I wouldn't of thought the two would be a like at all, LOL
    Love the yoga picture with the sunrise, beautiful! Now, that's one of those being at the right place at the right time pictures!

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    1. There's plenty of wind to embrace this time of year. I want to be prepared for anything!

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  35. I adore all of your yoga shots. So pretty! My CrossFit box is focusing on squats this month, so I'm hoping it will help me out with running hills, too! I definitely feel them in my quads, hammies, and the booty!

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    1. Last strength cycle we did back squats, this time around we are doing front squats. Way tougher. Altho Becky reassures me that back squats are coming.

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  36. Good job keeping your mental focus on that cold and windy run!

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  37. You are all of that. Marathon, smarathon - you are gonna burn up the race.

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  38. Awesome photos! You look strong. Just looking at them motivated me.

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  39. My week was hard but improved my self-confidence. Our fun adventure was pond skating. Loved seeing all of your beautiful pose pictures :)

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    1. So fun. I grew up with a pond, and we would skate when it wasn't covered with snow.

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  40. I love your yoga poses! I really need to get back into the studio. It's so hard to find a class time that works with my schedule, and still leaves me a little bit of time to sleep.

    The wind this week has been incredible, in all the worst ways. I am so tired of it.

    Another great week! Hill training is hard here, too, so I feel your pain. Sounds like Becky has a great plan for you!

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    1. I do get tired of the wind. I think with all the weather we get here, the wind is the toughest for me. Mentally and physically!

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  41. Your workouts always inspire me and I definitely want to start doing yoga

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    1. I started doing yoga when my oldest was a newborn. It really helped me with the stress of being a new mom. I still love it--maybe even more!

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  42. Sounds like a great training week! Super job running in that wind! You rocked the yoga challenge! Love your pics! Congrats on winning!

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  43. I loved your yoga photos during the challenge! The challenge was a blast! I really struggle with Warrior 3 as well, but practicing has helped me big time. I don't know why this one is extra hard for me!

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    1. Warrior 3 is really hard for me too! I think because it's a balancing pose but also involves glutes and hip strength.

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  44. Let me just say, I think you are a rockstar. Period. You are always inspiring, always get it done.
    Love your yoga poses!! That sunrise was incredible.
    You are going to kill Big Sur! Congrats on a great week!!

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    1. Back at you, my friend! I can't wait to see what you do in Boston!

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  45. It's so exciting to start a new training cycle! Of course you'll keep us updated. Right :)

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  46. Awesome training week! All your pics are amazing pits no wonder you won the prank giveaway, congrats!!!

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  47. You're workout are inspiring! Your pictures look amazing too. Congrats on a great week.

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  48. Front squats are one of my least favorite lifts. Ugh. Last week we did A LOT of squats at crossfit. Thankfully it didn't mess with my run on the weekend. I always scale down the Rx weight for class. I went to yoga three times last week too. I visited a friend in another city. Fun weekend.

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    1. I'd never do squats on my own. I just love working with Becky.

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  49. As usual AMAZING pics! The lighting, the background (even the graffiti looked cool) and the poses. Wow a 155# deadlift. I would someday like to go towards that route of heavy lifting - the most I've done is 60# and not very consistent with it. As far as my weekend, I ran my first race of the year - 10K on Super Bowl Sunday. Did really well and happy about my results. Thanks for being always so inspiring.

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    1. I would never push this hard on my own! I have to credit my coach with making lift ALL the weight.

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  50. You always have such a good balance of workouts! 4 mile repeats? Dayumm...mile repeats kill me.

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    1. I used to hate them but they've taught me how to pace myself to run faster, to push harder, and to push through discomfort.

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  51. Your pictures are gorgeous! What kind of camera do you use? What do you use for editing?

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    1. Thanks! I mostly use Snapseed, which is a free app from Google.

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  52. Wendy, as usual great workout week. I stopped doing speed work on the treadmill as well. It drives me crazy. I can only use it for mileage and some hill training. Congrats on your longer run on Sunday in the 40s with all that wind and an amazing pace! That's not easy! I'm sure you felt that run afterwards. Have a great training week! ( Can't believe I'm comment #105:):) )

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    1. Sadly, I'm going to have to hit the treadmill this morning. For all my bravado, hill repeats in 9 degrees just isn't going to happen!

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  53. Love your yoga pictures!! Congrats on wining the prAna Challenge!

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  54. I always try to do my windy day runs by starting into the wind so that it is at my back on the way home, of course this doesn't always work. Love all your yoga poses and I love that you were a winner in the challenge! Congrats!! You really rocked it.

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    1. I do that too, and I don't know what I was thinking on Sunday, heading out with the wind at my back. I just really wanted to run that path, I guess!

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  55. Your yoga poses totally inspire me! Keep doing them! I've been working on my handstand! My husband even commented that I was doing a good job and that is huge...he usually just walks the other way and doesn't say anything about my workouts, lol.

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    1. My goal is to do a handstand, unassisted! Some day, right?

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  56. What a great week for you!!! You are going to crush Big Sur!! Did you change your blog's look? It looks different. I like it.

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    1. I just changed the header--I wanted it to look more polished. We'll see. I'll probably change it again.

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