Showing posts with label long run. Show all posts
Showing posts with label long run. Show all posts

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Runfessions: January

Here we are again, standing in front of the runfessional. Yes, it's the last Friday of the month and it's time to clear our running conscience of all that is staining our runners' soles. Nothing to runfess? That's a runfession right there. Come on in. I promise you'll feel so much better and lighter on your feet!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Reflections on the Long Run

I've been working on building up my mileage again. Having suffered from plantar fasciitis for the past year, I took some time off and seriously reduced my mileage after I ran the Big Sur Marathon in April. While I can't say I'm 100% recovered, I'm pleased to report that my foot has remained mostly quiet since I've started running more again. I've become cautiously optimistic.

This morning I had a 12 mile run to do. I never formally train for a half marathon but I do work on upping my miles from my base and adding in some speed work to make sure I have enough endurance to go the distance. I woke up to thunderstorms and pouring rain. I was also feeling a little sluggish after indulging in an amazing pasta dish last night for dinner. The restaurant was very generous with its wine pours and I may have had more than I should.

So my motivation to complete this 12 mile run this morning was around zero. I laid in bed for a while and pondered the mysteries of life. Not really. I just did some mental gymnastics to convince myself that I needed to run. After a cup of coffee, I reluctantly filled my Tailwind bottle. I shared my itinerary with my husband, told him I'd be back in about 2 hours, and headed to the bike path.

Reflections on the Long Run

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Best Kind of Run

Have you ever had one of those runs where you finished and you just felt completely fulfilled?

Maybe it wasn't particularly special. Or maybe it was. Was the sun shining? Or was it cloudy? Did you run fast or slow?

Or did it just feel good?

That was my run on Sunday.

The Best Kind of Run

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Music to Get Lost by

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I love to run to music. Actually, music makes everything better.  I have a heinous commute to my job and music makes the drive tolerable. Recently, my oldest son updated my car stereo to a Bluetooth (no more tickets for talking on the phone while driving!). I've always listened to music in the car, but now with my new system listening to my favorite tunes is a special kind of pleasure. Road tripping takes on a whole new meaning when you have the right songs to pass the time.

The same thing goes for the run. With the right song playing through my earbuds, I feel as if I can fly. I have playlists for normal runs and for speedwork. For a big race, I make special playlists full of my current favorites. There are certain songs that just make me want to set the pace on cruise control. Those are my LSD* songs. Running slow is a challenge for me. The right music helps me pace myself on those long runs.

My only prerequisite for my long run songs is that they have to be familiar to me. I like to sing along sometimes. I also like to mix it up with new music--so if it has a good beat and I can run to it? Sure, why not?  Eclectic much?

Yep, I'm that runner.

Caveat: It's important to stay alert, especially if you are running alone. But there is nothing better than the right song to move you down the road or trail. If you're hurting, there's nothing better than singing to help the pain go away.

Plus you can ponder the lyrics.

Scaramouche, scaramouche, can you do the fandango?

I didn't name this blog Taking the Long Way Home for the fun of it. I like to get lost on the run.

What are your favorite songs to get lost to? Do you like to sing along to songs on the run? What do you think scaramouche means? What was Queen thinking?

By the way, I had the 45 RPM of this song when I was in 4th grade. Let that soak in...

If you want to check out this playlist, follow me on Spotify!

*LSD=long slow distance. What did you think I was talking about?

I'm linking this post up with Deb Runs, who hosts Wednesday Word! Today's word is lost. See what everyone else says..

I'm also linking up with the ladies at Wild Workout Wednesday! Annmarie, Nicole, Jen, and Michelle host this fun gathering of bloggers!

And Coaches' Corner! Do you think the coaches let their trainees run with tunes? Ask Debbie, Susie, Lora, and Rachel!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 4

We were on a weather roller coaster this week with warm temps bookending a windy snowstorm midweek. Actually, the one thing that was consistent this week was the wind. In spite of the crazy weather, I was able to do all my runs outside. Welcome to spring in Chicago!

Monday: I started work later this day, so I was able to go to a yoga class at the studio. Megan had us do lots of shoulder openers--who doesn't need some of that? On the way home, I stopped to grab some sunshine and a humble warrior.

humble warrior
Humble warrior with hands in reverse namaste
Tuesday: I had an 8 mile run on the plan. It's always tough to get these longer distances done during the week, but the speed I found last week stayed with me. I ran on the bike path and caught some sunshine again! 8.09m/8:33m/m
Sunrise run
I am the fire
Wednesday: Since the winds were whipping, I was going to do my hill repeats on the treadmill. But I just couldn't. I dropped my son off at school and headed over to the hill where Walter Payton did his training. As it turns out, the wind was at my back for the uphills! I did 10 repeats on the hill path, and for the last repeat, I did a "plus" set--I ran to the top of the hill. Becky has me do plus sets with weight training, and I channelled my inner Becky to push myself on that last rep like I do at CrossFit with her.

hill repeats at Payton's Hill
Channeling my inner #34
After that, I went to yoga. We had a sub, but it was a lovely class and hit all the high points. But how sad is it that I don't remember much specific about the class? Note to self: remember to be more mindful. Or take notes.

Thursday: In spite of the post-run yoga I did the day before, I woke up sore from those hill repeats. I felt fine when I was doing them, so this was a bit of a surprise to me. Because I was so sore and knowing that today was my max lifting day, for my ride I chose to take it easy. I picked a cycling video from YouTube that was basically an endurance ride through Mallorca, Spain. There were no intervals, and most of the ride seemed to be downhill. Odd, I know, but for today, it worked. My guide was a little crazy--the roads were narrow and he rode into oncoming traffic just blowing past all the cars and a bus! This video had rock music, and I liked that so much better than the EDM that most of them use. But there were 2 ads in the video--one at 20 minutes and one at 40 minutes. Seriously. What is up with that? 1:02:02/13.24mi

Riding the bike trainer
Riding through Mallorca in my family room

After I rode, I went to meet with Becky. I was a little nervous about my max lifting day. I was thrilled to PR both my cleans to front squats and my deadlifts (177#)! Becky was thrilled too. She told me that I surpassed her goals for me this cycle.

After weight lifting, I asked Becky if she'd be up for a partner yoga picture. Sweatpink was hosting another Instagram challenge--this one was a partner workout. While they didn't specify yoga, and since Becky can get up in a handstand, I thought we could have some fun with it. And we did. Becky recruited the owner of the CrossFit box to take these pictures.

Partner Yoga handstand and side plank
She assures me she'll never be a yogi. I say never say never.
handstand and tree pose
My strong coach holding up my tree
Friday was a rest day. I woke up even more sore than the previous day. My wrists hurt from those cleans and front squats. My butt hurt from those deadlifts. As I headed into work, I remembered I had CPR renewal in the afternoon. That meant doing chest compressions on a mannequin to exhaustion. And also on those creepy plastic babies. Thankfully this class was a breeze. Although I did break a sweat pounding on the mannequin's chest, at least it wasn't prolonged.

Saturday: 5 miles, no goal pace. Still a little sore, I headed out into the sunshine and wind with no expectations. I actually felt pretty good and buzzed around the neighborhood at a brisk pace. 5.25m/8:34 m/m
Windy but sunny. #nofilter
Sunday morning I set out to run the 12 miles on the plan. My tummy was acting up and after multiple bathroom visits, I finally headed out. Sorry about the TMI. But this was a huge issue for me this morning. The wind was whipping, and I decided to head out into it, so that the wind would blow me home. I started out on the bike path, but took a detour to a different park after I passed a super creepy guy riding very slowly on a bike. My tummy was still unsettled. About mile 4, I knew that disaster was imminent. Then I saw this sign:

Do you believe in signs? You know I do, and I decided not to ignore this one. The church was locked but there was an elderly gentleman and his wife at the door. I knocked and they let me in. His wife gestured towards the sanctuary. "Come in!" she smiled at me. I asked to use the restroom, apologizing profusely. She looked confused, but her husband pointed me in the right direction. When I came out, I thanked them and again apologized. He asked me how far I was running, and when I told them 12 miles, they looked shocked. I explained why, and they nodded, still looking at me like I was crazy. Hopefully, they prayed for me. I continued on my way towards the park, and began to make my way around the lake. I stopped to take a gel at mile 7, and struggled to catch my breath after that point. It was getting fairly warm (60F). At mile 10, yep, another side stitch, just like my last 12 miler. I slowed down and breathed it off. By mile 11 it was gone, but I was toast. I finished up just before my driveway. When I saw my time, I knew why it was so hard. I need to do a better job pacing myself on these long runs. I've got to slow down. 12.02m/8:55m/m

Crow pose
Crow on the run
So I've got 2 weeks to go until my Sarasota half marathon. Today's run showed me that I'll probably run into problems with the warm temps if I don't slow down. Note to self: that race is a training run.


How was your week? Any crazy weather conditions to contend with? We're supposed to get snow tomorrow. Any signs on the run?

I'm linking this post up with Holly and Tricia, who are most likely basking in the glow of their RnR NOLA race this morning! Be sure to check out their posts and congratulate them!

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, April 5, 2015

Running happy

Today was the day that showed me spring has officially arrived. Not just because it's opening day at Wrigley Field! One week ago, we left sunny Florida, where it was in the 80s, and landed at O'Hare airport in 33 degrees and sleet. Hello Chicago! The weather improved over the course of the week, thankfully. Springtime in the midwest is really fickle. But today on my run, I saw a lot of the changes that come with spring. Better days are ahead. They have to be.

I put on my most Eastery shirt (Swirlgear) and I headed out the door to run my 10 miler. The sun was shining and the temperature was 50 degrees. As my first "official" spring long run, I decided to take it to the bike path, where I do so much of my training. During the winter, the park district plows part of the path, but most of it is left snow covered. I have to be creative and find alternative routes to get my miles in. Lots of those miles are on the road, and we all know that isn't optimal.

Today I knew my path would be clear. I was excited to run it. The round trip distance from my house to the end of the path and back is about 10.5 miles. The parts that are the prettiest are also the most wooded and isolated. I went early, figuring that I'd be alone on the path. Surprisingly, I saw a lot of other runners and some bikers too. There's safety in numbers, and so I was able to relax the entire route.

As I ran along the first of several retention ponds I pass along this path, I was struck by the way the sun was hitting the water. The water was calm, and there were several loons swimming, making a wake in the water. It was very peaceful, and very beautiful. But this pond does serve a purpose, as you can see by the big drain pipe in the forefront of the picture. Behind me is a creek, which meanders along the length of the path. The creek floods easily when there are big storms. This pipe runs under the path and helps keep the creek from overflowing its banks. Sometimes it works.

And altho you really can't see it in this picture, at the far end of this pond is a major highway. Ah. Suburbia.

While I'm really grateful to have this peaceful place to run, the majority of the path is under these high tension wires. I think it's a great idea to use this green space for a fitness path (hello, Arlington Heights? Can we do that too?). But I wonder if there are any ill effects from being in such close proximity to this high voltage. Maybe that's where I get all my energy from?

I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles....oh yeah...
I stopped to say hi to the smiling tree! Actually, when I stopped for this picture, I had a message on my phone from my one of my #tribe wishing all of us a Happy Easter! I sent them this shot, and continued on my run, catching up with them after I finished. That message sure put a smile on my face and a spring in my step!

Doesn't this shirt look like it was dyed with Easter egg colors? I just love it. 

I saw a lot of fat robins pulling worms out of the ground. Squirrels and chipmunks playing. And I noticed that the grass is turning green...

Me and my shadow! I look so tall...

Even though the path is mostly flat, there are some really steep hills. One of them almost took my breath away as I chugged up to the top. The reward is that on the way back, I'm able to fly down. When I'm on my bike, it's almost scary! At the bottom of the hill is a bridge across the creek. I stopped to take a picture and was interrupted by a man walking with his toddler and dog. I asked him to take this picture. He seemed to think it was weird, even though I explained to him that I needed it for my running blog. Must not be a runner...

Another pond, just around the bend...3 weeks ago I was here was on my bike and the pond was completely frozen over.

I saw a lot of these guys! I expect to see ducklings in a few weeks.

Outta my way!

And finally, the true sign that spring is officially here--the portapotties are back! And bigger than ever...

And I didn't even have to use it!

Today's stats:
10.43 miles
8:39 mins/mile
Definitely started off slow, but love those negative splits on the back half!

Has spring sprung where you are? What signs of spring put a smile on your face? How do you celebrate your first official spring run of the season?


I'm linking up with Tara at RunningNReading for her Weekend Update! Be sure to check out her blog and all the other blogs too!