Showing posts with label crosstraining. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crosstraining. Show all posts

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Life Goes On....My Week on the Run

This was a tough week for everyone. It seemed that every time I turned on the news, there was a tragic story coming out of Florida. First, it was the story about the young singer, Christina Grimmie, who was shot and killed after a performance by a stalker. Then, the unfathomable killing of 50 people in a nightclub in Florida by a self-proclaimed follower of Isis. And while that story was still unfolding, there was the news of a 2-year old who was dragged by an alligator into a lagoon at Disney World while his parents watched, horrified. Meanwhile, the internet was all judgy-judgy towards these poor parents.

It was all just too much.

Some bloggers chose to write about the Orlando nightclub massacre on their blogs. I decided to stay true to my blog and continue to write about running. In fact, I published some humorous posts, which I had prepared in advance of all the bad news. When these stories broke, I seriously reconsidered publishing those posts. Was it inappropriate to write about pooping when everyone was dealing with such horrible news?

Humor has always been a coping mechanism for me. It isn't that I try to make light of horrible circumstances. But sometimes tragedy and bad news are just so overwhelming it can threaten to crush our spirit.

Instead, I choose to laugh about the oddities of everyday life. For me, humor is a distraction.

Thankfully, you all thought so too. No one called me out on my posts--the one about my random thoughts while running or my tongue-in-cheek post about pooping on the run (crude title and all). In fact, one of my regular readers, Paria, who writes beautiful, thoughtful posts on her blog Momontherunsanity and for Women's Running, and who penned a beautiful piece for that publication on the Orlando tragedy commented "LOL! I needed a good laugh! I haven't had one in days." 

I'm glad that I have humor as a coping mechanism. Life is hard. While I wrote about funny things, this week my thoughts have been with those folks affected by all the bad news coming out of Florida.

"Life isn't about waiting for a storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain." -unknown

I am also glad to have running as a coping mechanism! After Sunday's tough run, where I had to call my husband to pick me up, I thought I was going to have to take some time off the road. My foot hurt badly on Monday morning--will this PF ever go away?--and I made plans to head back to the pool the next day for some aqua jogging. But Tuesday morning I woke up with no foot pain! It was a gorgeous morning, and the thought of heading to the indoor pool was not at all appealing. My run felt amazing and I'm so glad I chose to run.

Here's how the rest of my week shook out:

Monday: yoga on the deck. I thought I would try to stretch out my lower legs and give my foot some relief. I had Cocoa on the mat as well. Turns out, she likes yoga too!

Cocoa and me in side stretch. She did this multiple times!
Tuesday: 5.18 miles/44:40 Push-ups.

Wednesday: Yoga with Kathy at the studio. This was an amazing restorative/therapeutic class. We held each pose for 3-5 minutes. It was almost yin-like. I felt fabulous, physically, after this class. I left class feeling more at peace than I had in awhile. During our poses, she provided her usual insight and wisdom. One thing she said stuck with me all week: "find your innate goodness". What a great thought to have as I headed to my wild, crazy job in the clinic!

Thursday: 5.5 miles/ 46:43 It was a cloudy, humid, windy morning and I fought through this run. I was shocked and pleased at the pace I eaked out. After running, I went to see Becky where she tested me on my strength. Grateful that I had been doing my homework, she was pleased. She had me work on a new high bar move, kipping bar swings. Apparently I have tight shoulders and can't fully get into this one. More homework. I finished up with 50 kettlebell swings and 50 atomic situps. The situps took me forever. I'm uncoordinated and my core is wimpy. More homework.

Do you sense a theme here?

Friday: rest

Saturday: 5.18 miles/43:29. I stopped 3 times at the playgrounds on my neighborhood route to do my homework: high bar hangs, scapular pullups, and those kipping bar swings. I also did 80 pushups (sets of 25, 30, and 25). Gittin' 'er done.

Sunday: The pup woke me up at 4:30 am to go outside. After I took her out, she wanted to bite me for a while. Finally, she settled down and we fell back asleep until 7:15. By then, the temperature was already heating up. I also had a few things to do, so I decided to ride my bike today. The only bad thing about going later in the morning is that there are more people on the paths and on the road. I don't know if it was the heat or what but people were driving like maniacs today. Mrs. Kravitz called 911 after 2 drag racing cars almost took her out of commission. Seriously, I hope they got caught. That was frightening. I was getting ready to cross the street when I heard them coming. They were flying. That got my adrenaline pumping! The rest of my ride was uneventful, except for a snake crossing the path! Yikes. It was 90F when I got home.
25.27 miles/103 mins.

Hydrating and fueling with Tailwind
News you can use:

My giveaway ended on Friday! Congrats to Amy from The Tiny Terror for winning her choice of an item from SKINS! Thanks to everyone who participated.

If you didn't win, don't fret! I've got a discount code for you so you can purchase the item you wanted from SKINS! SWEATPINK-SKINS20 will get you 20% off any item except sale items! The code is good until July 31.

The book club linkup opened on Friday and will remain open for 2 weeks! It's not too read this month's book and post your review. Or if you want to read another fitness related book, feel free to link that one up.

Have a great week!

I'm linking this post up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap!

I'm also linking up with Angela and Ilka! Check it out!

Friday, June 3, 2016

5 Reasons to Ride Venus de Miles

Last year I rode the Venus de Miles Illinois bike ride. I had such a great experience that this year I applied to be an ambassador and was accepted! My sister, whose house is on the route, met me at the finish of the ride. She was so impressed as well that she signed up to ride with me this year. She even bought a new bike! She has also recruited several of her friends to ride.

So what's the big deal about this ride? Why should you sign up to ride with me? Besides the fact that it is so much fun? I share with you 5 reasons why you should ride Venus de Miles this summer.

1. The race benefits the Greenhouse Scholars. Greenhouse Scholars was founded to assist high-performing, underprivileged students throughout college and after. Not only are these students given tuition assistance to attend college, they are paired up with mentors who guide them along their path. They are also linked up with peers to help them navigate challenges. There's networking, internships, and other benefits to this select group of students.

At last year's ride, my sister and I were able to meet and talk with a few of the Scholars. The two Scholars I talked to were attending nursing school at UIC. I was so impressed with how poised and articulate they were. It was after I met those students that I realized this was an organization I wanted to work with. I love their mission.

2. There are 2 locations for the rides: Boulder County (Longmont), Colorado, which takes place on August 27, and Lake County (Lake Forest), Illinois, taking place on July 23.  I've never been to Boulder but I'm assured it's lovely. I can vouch for the beauty of the route in Lake County, though. If you don't live locally, it would be worth the trip for a destination ride.

3. There are 2 distances for the ride: a 25-mile ride or a 62-mile ride. Once again, I'll be riding the 25-mile course. Remember, this isn't a race, it is a ride, so you can go at your own pace. There are volunteers along the course to guide riders. There are also rest stops where you can refuel and rest before continuing on.

4. Don't have a bike? You can rent one nearby. Or if you don't want to ride but want to participate, there's a 5k run/walk option as well.

5. There's food at the finish! We're not talking hot dogs and hamburgers. Last year's ride was supported by Whole Foods, who catered a lovely lunch. Under a white tent, I might add. There was also Goose Island beer, wine, and cocktails, as well as non-alcoholic options. This is a first class event.

Last year's ride really was an amazing experience. Sometimes we just need to leave our competitive drive at home and just have fun with our friends! I had no regrets riding this one for fun and a good cause.

Want to join me? You can register here. Be sure to use my code LONGWAY to receive $10 off your registration fee.

Can't participate? You can donate! Here's the link. Click on my name, Wendy Rivard, to donate.

If you want to learn more you can go to the Venus De Miles website. Or you can read my recap from last year! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I hope to see some of you out there on the road! Or under the tent, sipping on an ice cold frosty one.

Have you ever done a bike ride for charity? What distance would you ride? Padded shorts--yay or nay?

I'm linking up with the DC Trifecta aka Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia for the Friday Five!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 10

It's getting real. Only 2 weeks to go until the big show. The foot continues to stay quiet and I'm feeling more excited than nervous! Here's how the week went down.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 10

Monday: I went to yoga at the studio. The entire class was done at the wall, which really helped me get into my hips. I was a little sore after my long run/long bike the day before, and the class really helped loosen me up.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 10
Triangle pose with a bind
Tuesday: I had an 8 mile run on the plan, so I pool ran for 73 minutes. I know, it's not an even number, but the lifeguards kicked me out of the pool at 8 am so the pool noodle class could begin.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 10
Someone asked for a video but I just don't know how I could pull that off. Those lifeguards...
Wednesday: With hill repeats on the plan, I put the bike back in the trainer and decided to do another GCN class. This one was called Extreme Fat Burning Workout. It was a spin class with tough intervals. Even though it was only 50 minutes long, it was 50 minutes of hell. I was a drippy, sweaty, tired mess after this one. A worthy substitute for those hill repeats.

Hero pose. Feeling infinitely grateful for all that I can do, even while injured.
I did yoga at home after that, doing my own Post Run Yoga workout.

Thursday: It was back to the pool for 60 minutes of pool running. The weather has been awful this week--it was snowing this morning--and I'm not minding my indoor workouts at all. No selfie from today's swim. I think the lifeguard is on to me.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 10
Oh my gosh is this fun! But oh my gosh was I sore the next day.
After pool running, I went to see Becky for CrossFit. She changed things up a bit today. I was excited to see her pull out the slider board. So fun! She also had me do some hip work with the resistance bands. Then there were Romanian deadlifts. Followed by an all out row for 3 minutes again. I continue to improve on my pacing with that.

I met Marcia and Sara for lunch and we talked all things running. Sara's running Boston next week and she has been killing her training. I'm pretty sure she will BQ again. Marcia, who has run Boston a few times, gave Sara some last minute advice. And both of them listened to me moan and groan about my PF. We forgot to get a picture, but trust me, it really happened.

Friday: Today was a rest day but I had another runner meet up, dinner with Michelle, Penny, and Debi! We had never met Debi before but knew her from her FB page, Girls Run the 901. She was in town for the Lakefront 50k. Isn't it great meeting FB friends in real life? It's like we all knew her. She has the cutest southern accent and is a nice as you would imagine.

Michelle, Debi, Penny, and me
Saturday: I had a six mile run on the plan. I woke up to snow. I also woke up to my oldest son's wrecked car parked in the driveway. After I woke him up and learned what happened, I put on my shoes and headed out into the bright sunshine. As sometimes happens on a run, I processed this latest bit of mama drama while taking it out on the road. I had to keep redirecting myself to reign it in, and in spite of wanting to push it, I think I did a good job managing my pace. I also found myself singing out loud to Rage Against the Machine's Killing in the Name. Complete with fist pumping. I hope nobody heard me. Or saw me. 5.55m/8:39m/m

Big Sur Marathon Week 10

The day got better, though. I watched my youngest son compete in an area high school invitational gymnastics tournament where he placed 3rd out of 42 boys on the high bar. I may have cried. And he let me hug him. His team placed 3rd out of 14 schools. What a day.

There he is, 3rd place. On the podium! I'm so proud!
Sunday: Even though I had a 12 mile run on the plan, I cautiously decided I would run 10 and call it a day. It was blustery and cold, with some rain. I headed out to the bike path which would keep me from running directly into the wind for most of my run. My legs felt surprisingly loose and my foot was quiet. I paced myself around 9 min/mile and did a great job keeping my splits consistent. By mile 4, I made up my mind to do the whole 12. I was smiling and singing along to my playlist, but not pushing my pace at all. This was a really enjoyable long run--and I haven't had one of those for a long time! I stopped once to take a picture and that was it. My 12 miles took me right to my driveway and when I stopped, I was still surprised to feel minimal pain in my heel. 12 miles/9:08m/m

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 10
The hay's in the proverbial barn!
I thought to myself that this is how you should feel when you've trained for a marathon. You've done all your work--speedwork, hill work, tempo runs, long runs--and 2 weeks before the race, you should feel loose and ready. What amazed me about this run is that in spite of very little time on the road the last couple of weeks, I feel ready. Is it the pool running? The cycling? The weight training and CrossFit that Becky has been doing with me? Whatever it is, I'll take it!

How was your week? What's the weather been like by you? I'm so ready for spring!

I'm linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap! It's a great place to catch up with everyone and see what they've been up to.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 8

I may as well just throw my marathon training plan out the window. Although my foot and hip are feeling better, they're still not 100%. Early in the week, I took the legs for a test run and it went pretty well. Still somewhat sore, I had the revelation that while I can run some, I need to modify my training significantly. In fact, I did throw that training plan out. Welcome to Creative Marathon Training 101 aka gimpy runner doesn't want to give up the dream. Feeling optimistic with the new normal, I embarked on the week with renewed vigor.

And then the plague struck...

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 8

Monday: Sore after my mega 45 mile bike ride the day before, I went to Megan's yoga class. She always starts off the class with a reading or a quote, and today was no different. Of course, I don't remember it. But trust me when I tell you it set a nice tone for the class. We worked on more twisting poses, and our peak pose was Fallen Angel. I've never done this pose, and initially, I was nervous about it until I realized that you get to put your head on the ground! 

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 8
Fallen Angel pose
Tuesday: I had 8 miles on the original training plan. It had been a week since I last ran and I decided to go for a slow 6 miles. I felt pretty good during the run. Certainly, I was aware of my injuries but I wasn't in pain. When I finished, I did my heel and calf stretches. As the morning went on, my foot began to bother me, but it was nothing like I had experienced the weeks before. At this point, I realized that a long run was not going to be a good idea. This is when I made the decision to completely modify my training plan. 

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 8
Ecstatic to have a mostly pain free run!
I am 4 weeks away from Big Sur and right now my goal is to get to the start line and finish. I've heard from quite a few people (thank you!) who've trained for marathons by cycling and pool running, and that's what I'm going to focus on. There will be some running, just to keep my legs in the game. But there will be no long runs. Marcia suggested I split the pool running with running on my long run days, which I thought was a good suggestion. 

I'm not at all anxious about this. Well, maybe a little bit. But Big Sur is a bucket list race for me and I am running it for the experience, not for time. I also don't want to be trashed after and not be able to enjoy my "not second honeymoon" with my husband. While this is not the way you want to train for a marathon, I'm at peace with my decision. 

Wednesday: the original marathon plan had hill repeats to do, so I put my bike back in the trainer and pulled up one of CTXC's interval videos. I rode hard and it felt great. Except for the 3 minutes of that EDM version of What Did The Fox Say? Not again! Afterwards, I did the SeaWheeze yoga video that I love so much.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 8
Cobra Pose
Thursday: I had planned on a 6 mile run, followed by CrossFit. What I didn't plan on is getting the stomach flu. UGH! I had started to feel crummy at work the day before. About 2 am I woke up and the party started. I sipped on Tailwind most of the morning. Because having the stomach flu is kind of like an endurance event, isn't it? All those trips to the bathroom? The pain? The "I just want to die" feeling? And the feeling of victory when you realize it's all over? No medal tho.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 8

Friday: A scheduled rest day, I was still feeling ill and had to call off work. I may have shed a few tears of frustration. I spent yet another day on the couch and ruminated about this marathon training cycle and all the missed running. In my Runfessions post I asked for good vibes and received a ton of them. Thank you to everyone! I used the time off my feet to write my blog posts for the week. I watched a wonderful movie, Brooklyn (more tears). I started eating again, focusing on bland but protein rich foods. I jumped into a short IG yoga challenge. Luckily, today's pose was sun salutation. The sun felt good but the pose was about all I could handle!

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 8
Sun salutation
Saturday: A good night's sleep and a mostly calm tummy had me feeling optimistic. The sun was shining, it was 50F, and I was beyond excited to put on my running shoes to run 6 miles. I promised myself I'd go slow, and as it turned out, I had no other choice since I struggled to reach 9min/mi pace. Only one pit stop needed, and I even got my pose of the day in for the #YogaisintheAir IG challenge. 6.08mi/9:03m/m

Eye of the tiger, baby!
Crow pose

Sunday: I had a 15 mile run scheduled for today. I hemmed and hawed over how to accomplish something that would be equivalent. My first "brick" workout (and I'm not even a triathlete!), I would have gone pool running first but the pool was closed for Easter. Instead, I decided to run 6 and bike 20.

The run again was slow--I'm still somewhat fatigued from my illness--but besides my foot pain, I felt strong. My legs felt fantastic and I lamented that my foot was holding me back. Yes, it hurt. But no worse when I finished. I consider that a win. 6.20m/9 min/mi

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 8

I came home, ate breakfast, and changed out of my sweaty clothes. It's funny, when you run you dress for warmer conditions because you heat up as you move. But for the bike, you need to dress for cooler temps because the wind resistance cools you down. Even though it was 52 when I went out, I covered my ears and slipped on my gloves. I rode to the bike path where I have done so much of my race training. The path was getting crowded with walkers and little kids on bikes. Note to self: it's that time of year. Must go earlier. Overall, it was a good ride, and I'm grateful to be able to train like this. 

There was one funny thing that happened on the way back. Part of the path crosses a busy road, and I pulled up next to another woman on a bike. I had passed her earlier on the path. She didn't acknowledge me and when we had an opportunity to cross the road, she pushed off in a hurry, pedalling furiously. What was that all about? Ohh hell no! My inner competitor woke up to the challenge, and I began to pedal strongly. She was moving pretty well but it wasn't long before I passed her up. Smokin'. I might not be able to run fast, but I've still got skillzzzzzzz....

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 8
Today's #yogaisintheair challenge pose was lotus. Which is a huge challenge for me with my tight hips. When I got into this pose, a cyclist stopped to ask me if I was ok. I laughed and told him I was taking a selfie. LOL! BTW, I love this mural, which is on a school that I pass to get to the bike path..
How was your week? Any funny training stories you want to share? Anyone else changing their marathon training plan? 

I'm linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap! It's the best! And they are too!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 7

This week started in Florida and ended back in chilly Chi-town. Not only that, but there wasn't a whole lot of running this week. Have you ever trained for a marathon without doing much running? Can you say anxious?

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 7
Anna Maria Island Sunset
Monday: Post half marathon rest day. I was incredibly sore--in my quads! I guess those downhills on the bridges took a toll on me. Who says Florida is flat? I did my yoga for runners workout and tried to stretch everything out. I also walked on the beach for about 2 hours. Secretly, I have an obsession with seashells, and I could spend all day, every day looking for the perfect shells. The gulf wasn't giving up anything, but no matter. It's always wonderful to be out on the beach. The waves crashing on the shore, the feel of the sand on my's like therapy, really. My foot was a little sore but no more than usual. I found this really encouraging after running 13.1 miles the day before.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 7
Warrior one on the beach
Tuesday: I wanted to test out the legs before I headed home. Plus I just wanted to run one more time in Florida! It was really foggy! I went out for a 6 mile run around the island. From previous years spent there, I had a nice 6.5 mile loop and hoped to complete it. But around mile 3.5, I felt a strong tug in my right hip flexor. This wasn't the soreness that I experienced during the race, but a more sharp pull. People always give me a hard time about running through pain, but this was one of those pains I knew not to ignore. I stopped immediately to walk and rubbed the spot that was hurting. I started running again, and it hurt, but not so sharply this time. By mile 4 (my OCD likes even numbers), I decided to stop and walk back to my parents' place. There was no sense in risking injury. I was pretty sure that the pain was due to my bike crash from the previous week, but to be safe, I called the sports medicine specialist and set up an appointment for the next day once I got home.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 7
Last run before I head home.
Wednesday: I had hill work on the plan, but since I wasn't running, I did intervals on the bike. I could not get YouTube to stream through my Apple TV, and so I just listened to my running playlist. Which turned out to be the best thing for me. I rode hard and fast. There was no pain with this ride.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 7
Frog pose post bike ride
Later that afternoon, I saw my doctor. Of course, she shook her head when I told her what had happened last week on the bike. She was concerned about a femoral head stress fracture, although both of us discussed that it was pretty unlikely, considering that I ran a half marathon on Sunday. Still, she ordered xrays. No fracture was seen, although I do have some "degenerative" joint changes. You know, arthritis. Smh. My doctor told me to take a week off and try some gentle running after that. If it was still painful at that point, she would have me get an MRI. She did reassure me that provided I didn't have a fracture, she would get me to Big Sur. After the race, she told me I needed a real break and some rehab.

Thursday: I drove to the indoor park district pool to do some pool running. On the way home from work the night before, I had stopped to buy a pool running belt and a waterproof iPhone case. Armed with all my gear, I waded into the diving well. Alarms were sounding off in my head as I lowered into the pool with my iPhone. There was no one there but me and the lifeguard, and I started "jogging" around the perimeter. My tunes were playing and I started to think that maybe this pool running wasn't going to be so bad. After one lap around the pool, I heard zzzzzzttt in my headphone and yep, my music stopped. Dammit. When will I learn to listen to my gut? Why would I listen to the teenager at Best Buy? I took my wet phone out of the "waterproof" case, set it on the bleachers, and got back in the water to finish my workout. The teenage lifeguard didn't laugh at me, surprisingly. He walked around the pool while I jogged and we chatted. That helped the hour go by quickly.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 7

After my pool workout, I went to see Becky for CrossFit. I talked to her about my week, my drowned phone, and my doctor visits. Then I started to cry. I hadn't cried at all since the bike crash, and when I finally do break down, it's in front of my tough as nails coach. She let me cry, and then we talked about what I was going to do. She talked about all the positives. How well I did in that hot half on Sunday. That I got back on my bike after the crash. That she seriously doubted I had a fracture since I ran that half without much pain. That I was going to get to Big Sur, no matter what. And that I wasn't going to cry anymore. For my modified workout, she had me do cleans into front squats, 3 sets of 10 alternating with squats/plate flips. Then I pulled the sled across the parking lot alternating with 3 sets of 10 slam balls. Finally, I rowed all out for 3 minutes. It was hard, it was therapeutic, I was pain free, and I felt strong and badass when I left.

Of course, I have no pictures from this day, since I had no phone. I know the rule, no pictures, the workout didn't happen, right? Trust me. If I could have a do-over for this day, I would. And yes, the workouts happened. Note to self: there is no such thing as a waterproof phone case. I spent the rest of the day getting a new phone and setting up all my apps. Second note to self: do not ignore those alarm bells. Trust the gut. Pity party? Over.

Friday: rest day. By the way, I got my attitude adjustment at work. Remember my patient Jolie? She and her mom stopped by the clinic to see me. Her hair is growing back, but she's decided she likes being bald and wants to shave it! She climbed on my lap and wouldn't stop hugging me. Life is indeed very good.

Saturday: What would have been 5 miles on the road ended up being 50 minutes of spin class on the trainer. I used one of the GCN's spin class videos, and it was a good one. The only thing I don't do is stand up in the pedals when the class does. I'm too afraid of aggravating my PF.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 7
Post spin cycle!

Sunday I had a 12 mile run on the plan. I read somewhere that cycling and running time on the road are not equivalent, and that a cycling workout should be about 1 1/2 times longer than a running workout. I don't know if this is true, but it was incentive for me to plan on a 3 hour bike ride. There are a bunch of forest preserves around here, and I found a way to connect my usual 2 hour route to the preserve where I ran that half marathon last November. I layered up, as it was 40 degrees, and slipped on my neoprene toe covers that Kelli recommended. The sun was shining brightly, and that made it feel a little less cold. I had the path to myself. Getting to the other preserve was interesting. Even though the suburb I had to ride through boasts that it is "bike friendly"--yes, I rode on a well-marked paved path-- the people driving on the busy roads were not at all bike friendly. Part of the route took me over Interstate 90 on a bridge that was under construction. There was still a bike lane but OMG, it was a little hairy. I also had to ride past Woodfield Mall--who knew that would be on the bike route?--so I also had to contend with the shopping crowd. After that, I crossed under another highway and came to the entrance to Busse Woods. I felt myself relax as I was able to increase my speed on the smooth path without worrying about cars. This preserve is yet another pretty oasis in the middle of suburbia. I circled around the 8 mile loop and headed towards home. One more scary crossing--damn you road construction!--where I actually had to ride on one of the busy roads for about 1/8 mile. Then it was home free. 45 miles/3:16.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 7
These pretty birch trees made me stop and strike a pose!
I know what you're thinking. Or maybe you're not, but I had this thought. Why didn't I go the extra 5 miles to make it a half century? I was going for time, not distance. This was the farthest I've ever ridden on my bike. It was also the coldest temperature I've ever ridden in. My quads were screaming at this point, and my hands were numb. I was more than ready to be done. And I was really happy with this ride. I hope it counts for marathon training. It sure was fun!

Have you ever trained for a marathon using cross training? How did it go? Any suggestions for making pool running more interesting? 

I am linking up with Tricia and Holly for their Weekly Wrap!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Moving forward

The mental funk has lifted. What a wacky, stressful couple of weeks it has been. I feel sufficiently recovered from the holidays and am ready to roll! January, you got nothing on me!

My big news is, and I've got a few bits of news to share, that this week I finished working on my Big Sur Marathon training plan! For Big Sur, Becky isn't writing a training plan. She told me this race is all about fun. I agree 100%, but I think most of you would understand that I need the security of a training plan for a marathon. I can wing it with a half marathon, but a full? Not so much. I'm glad I have the experience of 3 marathons--that gives me the confidence to do the planning on my own. It's not as if I have to start from scratch.

I sat down on Thursday and reviewed the 2 plans she made for me in the past. I stuck with most of what she had done because hey, why fix something that isn't broken? Because this is Big Sur and there is a 2000 ft net gain and loss, I have to do hill training. Since I only run 4 days/week, I mixed those hill days with speed work. Living in the flatlands of northern Illinois, I've never trained for hills before. For Big Sur, I need to train not only uphills but also downhills, and the treadmill isn't going to be a great option for that. Keep in mind that Becky's kicking me in the glutes and that will help me a lot with those hills.

Wearing my deadlift socks! My running shoes are too cushy for these weights.
Since I don't have a specific time goal for this race, I feel confident with this plan and excited now that I have something on paper. I've made a 12 week training plan. I officially start training on January 31. The next two weeks will be spent ramping back up again after my two weeks off running to rest my foot. Oh, and by the way, I've included one day of cycling each week. I told Becky and she looked surprised!

"You like the bike?!" she said, a little puzzled.

Hey, it's my marathon training plan, right?

Yep, I've fallen in love with my bike all over again. Who knew indoor riding could be so fun? In fact, I've enjoyed it so much that I invested in a Wahoo Blue SC device that measures speed and cadence. You know I love my gadgets. This device will help me make my indoor training even more effective than the heart rate training I've been doing. I'll be interested to see how I can make it useful when I ride outside as well. Any of my cycling/triathlete friends out there care to offer any advice my way? I'm open! I'll share more information on the Blue SC as I get used to it. I will comment already that the thing is really touchy. The magnets have to be thisclose.

Also, this week, I've had a blast with SweatPink/Fit Approach's #flexandflow yoga challenge. The poses have been fun, but I've really had a blast being creative with the pictures. If you don't follow me on IG, here are a couple that were reposted:

Twisted chair on my way to work
Camel pose in the studio
Frog pose on my way home from dropping my son off at school. 
The biggest news of all is that I'm back on the road! I was going to make Sunday my triumphant return to running, but the predicted high temperature was 8F. With -20-30F wind chills. I don't know about you, but that just didn't make me excited to start running again! Saturday morning was sunny and 30F. I took my run to my favorite bike path. One section was covered with ice, but I was able to take a little detour on the road. No need to break any bones.

It felt great to be out there in the sunshine and fresh air. I took it easy (average pace was 9:09m/m) and ran 6 miles. I'm trialing shoe inserts that I received from Align Footwear, which are supposed to help my PF. I liked that there is a heel cup on these, keeping my heels stable and lifting my arches. During my run my foot was pretty quiet, but when I got home, it was a little sore.

I still haven't made an appointment for ART. I'm a little scared. I hear it's quite painful. Wimpy? Sure. Let's see how things go the next week or so.

Moving forward feels good. I've never trained for a spring marathon before, but it is great to be back on a training plan again. There is no better way to lift yourself up than to have a plan with a goal, right?

Except for a sense of humor. Laughter is the best medicine.

And on that note, I wanted to share with you some wisdom from one of the spammers that I blocked this week:
"No matter if some one searches for his required thing, thus he/she desires to be available that in detail, therefore that thing is maintained over here."-Anonymous
I'm not sure what it means, but it sounds really deep and profound. I'm still thinking about it. This may be the best one I've gotten so far. I feel like it deserves it's own meme.

Have a great week!

How was your week? Are you participating in any yoga challenges? Any clever, profound messages you've received this week?

I'm linking up with Tricia and Holly for their Weekly Wrap. And anxiously awaiting their WDW marathon recaps!

I'm also linking up with a new linkup, Flecks of Lex's The Week Behind! Check it out!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Loving/Not Loving/Winning

I could think of no better way to wrap up what has been a hellacious week than to try to put a humorous spin on things. You know me. Always trying to make light. The only thing I can say about this week is that things can't get much worse, right? Or can they?

You know what? Don't answer that. I do have 2 teenage sons, after all. And none of my grief this week has come from them. For that, I am grateful.

Hopefully, by the time you're reading this, I'm on a beach somewhere exotic, counting my winnings from the $1,000,000,000 Powerball drawing. That's a lot of zeros. Buh-bye.

Oh, wait. I'm still here. Crap! That means it rolled over. I'll win next week.


So hey! I got to ride with this guy, virtually. Let's talk about what I'm loving, not loving, and winning..
Your perky instructor on the GCN.
Loving: riding my trusty Trek bike indoors on the trainer. Thanks to the magic of YouTube, I've been able to enjoy some fun rides in Italy, France, and Australia.
Not loving: The interval/spin class that I did on Saturday was interrupted 3 times by ads. Seriously annoying. Who puts ads in the middle of a workout video? The ads aren't even targeted for this audience. Ads for whiskey? HIV testing? Too bad, because this was a great workout/ride and there are a ton of them on the GCN channel on YouTube. I thought I found my every ride right here. This was GREAT. Except for the damn ads. Even the soundtrack was good. Guess I'll have to suck it up and ride with my phone in hand so I can skip the ads.
Winning: For all of my rides, I wore my heart rate monitor and got myself in my training zone, guaranteeing an effective alternative to running.

Loving: The new look of my blog. I'm sure I'll keep tweaking things. But for now, I'm satisfied.
Not loving: The
Winning: Comment moderation has helped keep most of the spam for my eyes only. Some of the comments are so bad, they're entertaining. But most don't even make sense. Some robot out there's got my number.

Loving: Time off my feet and use of my night splint has reduced my PF pain significantly.
Not loving: That I still have some pain.
Winning: I reached out to Align Footwear to see if they would let me trial their orthotics. They came yesterday and I'll be testing them once I'm back on the road. Stay tuned for a review.

#oofos #feeturesPFcompressionsleeve #snoga #wheelpose #thesearenottheofficialhashtags
Loving: SweatPink has started a new daily yoga pose challenge on Instagram for January and February. You know I love me some yoga. I did this last year and it was fun to get creative with the poses. I was also able to hook a couple of friends into doing yoga, and now they've outdone me, continuing on a daily streak going on a year now. So proud. Like a mom.
Not lovingAll the hashtags required to participate for prizes. Seems like I'm always forgetting one of them. I'll never win! #toomanyhashtags #andthehashtagsarecumbersomelikethisone
Winning: I get to do yoga. #yogaeverydamnday #yesthisisoneofthehashtags

Loving: Remember those men's Vans I was sent by mistake instead of the boots I ordered? I finally returned them to the Amazon marketplace vendor. After many painful phone calls to Amazon customer service, shipping was reimbursed by Amazon.
Not loving: The vendor called me to tell me he sent me a prepaid shipping label. I never got it. He asked me to remove my claim on Amazon. I told him I would do that when he refunded my money. Stay tuned...
Winning: I found the boots half price on another website.

Loving: Betabrand. On recommendation from 2 of my colleagues, I bought a pair of these "dress" yoga pants. OMG. Stretchy, comfy, and stylish. The quality is top notch.
Not loving: The price. But there are coupons and discounts if you refer a friend. I reached out to the company and they don't partner with bloggers.
Winning: Wearing yoga pants to work.

So much win! 

How was your week? Any wins you want to share? Keeping it all positive!

I'm linking up with Tricia and Holly for their Weekly Wrap. By now, they are done running the WDW Marathon! Be sure to head over to their pages to link up and/or check out all the posts. And CONGRATULATE them both on completing their first marathons!