async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: flex and flow
Showing posts with label flex and flow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label flex and flow. Show all posts

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!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Big Sur Marathon Training--Week 0

This week, I wrapped up my base building workouts and today I officially kicked off my marathon training for the Big Sur International Marathon. I didn't know what else to call the week before marathon training starts, so week 0 it is.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 0

Like I did for Chicago, for Big Sur, I'm following a 12 week training plan. While Becky didn't develop this exact plan for me, I followed the plan she made for Chicago and tweaked it a bit. I reviewed my training plan with her, and made some adjustments based on her feedback. Right now, I'm feeling fairly confident that I've got a solid plan that will get me to the finish line intact.

That is if my plantar fasciitis behaves itself. I've gotten a ton of advice from everyone including my dad, who eventually became so frustrated when he had PF, he finally took a mallet to his heel. While that somewhat extreme solution worked well for him, I'm not so sure I want to try it on myself. Not that he hasn't offered to do it for me. What has seemed to work for me is the night splint aka my faux Strassberg sock, my Feetures compression sleeve (affiliate link), heel lifting, calf stretching, heat in the morning, and wearing shoes to work with a low (not flat) heel. I tried orthotics, but all they did was make me feel like I was 80 years old. Experiment=fail. I didn't like feeling old. I took the orthotics out of my running shoes and that's that. I'll use them in my work shoes for now.

So how did week 0 aka base building go down? Besides lots of yoga? The SweatPink #FlexandFlow yoga challenge continues, and I haven't missed a day! The challenge wraps up on February 5, and while I'll miss posting daily yoga poses, it's time to focus on the task at hand: the Big Sur Marathon. But you know there will still be yoga happening for me. I just won't bombard you with all my poses.

Monday: yoga class at the studio. This was an amazing class with one of my favorite instructors. She devoted the class to the full moon and we did moon salutations. She also introduced me to my new mantra, "Chill out or Burn out". Repeat as needed. Which I did all week.

one legged chaturanga
Pose of the day was one legged chaturanga
Tuesday: 4.55 miles easy in the hood. I was glad to be done. It was blustery and cold. 8:45m/m.

upward facing dog
Pose of the day: Upward facing dog
Wednesday: Mile repeats x4 on the treadmill. Last week I struggled with pacing, but this week was much better. I'm pretty sure my treadmill needs to be calibrated, because my splits were slower than I expected. I chose to focus on consistency and not pacing. Splits were 8:24, 8:16, 8:16, 8:34 (oops!). After I finished, I went to yoga for another studio class. The theme was hips and hamstrings. Perfect.

a cyborg doing headstand at the wall
Yogi's choice inversion--I chose handstand at the wall. I used superphoto to edit this. My face kind of freaks me out. I look like a cyborg.
Thursday: Cycling x 1 hour. Thanks to the magic of YouTube, I rode in Thailand. I promised Becky these rides would be all about endurance and this one pretty much was. There were a few "harder" efforts but nothing too taxing. The video itself was kind of a turd. The cyclist would randomly stop to wait for his friend to catch up. Meanwhile, I'm pedaling away, just staring at his tire. This happened several times. Dude, ever heard of hitting the pause button? Guess I got what I paid for. This really was the first video that disappointed me. Looks like it's back to Italy this week. Anyways, I rode 13.75 miles/1h.

post cycling lizard lunge
Pose of the day was lizard lunge. Felt great after riding. My ITB thanked me.
After that, I went to see Becky. She had me do some work on the GHD machine, reverse back extensions and traditional back extensions. Holy hamstrings! I did barbell cleans into a front squat followed by deadlifts, both with increasing weights. We finished up with some more hamstring exercises. And my foam roller got some attention that night.

Friday: rest. Pose of the day was tripod headstand. I have never done this version of headstand, and I had a nice surprise! You just never know what you are capable of, do you? What a great way to head into a long day at work. Pun completely unintended!

Tripod sequence
I was going to stay in half tripod, but my legs went up!
Saturday: 4 miles easy in the 'hood. The January thaw felt great! 8:45 m/m.

humble warrior
Pose of the day was humble warrior. I just love this pose.
Sunday: 8 mile "long run". This was my first long run since I ran that half marathon in November. It was 50 degrees, which felt great for January. Unfortunately, it was pretty gloomy out there. My foot felt pretty good most of the time but started to hurt towards the end. When I looked at my Garmin, it read 6.66 miles. Coincidence? I think not. Anyways, I finished up and stretched it out. 8:45m/mile
hero pose
Pose of the day was reclined hero pose. This is a great hip opener and quad stretch. Take it slow. And yes, my eyes are closed. A moment of quiet for me in the middle of a run. Reflecting on how great this pose feels and gratitude for my body that lets me do hard things.
It's been a pretty good week off the road too. Uneventful for the most part. How about you? Any of you yogis ever done moon salutation? Anyone else doing the SweatPink #flexandflow yoga challenge? It's the final week!

I'm linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap! Check out what everyone else has been up to!