Sunday, March 3, 2013

Now THAT is How to Start the Month Off!

First off, you know that little goal I had of doing a 5 minute plank?  Well, it just so happens that the goal has been accomplished!!  Friday, I did a pushup plank for 5:03!

March is a lucky month!

Saturday was my off day, but I felt really weird not doing at least something.  So I threw together some of my favorite moves and did a quickie living room workout.

20 pushups
50 crunches
50 squats
60 lunges (30 each leg)
100 jumping jacks
2 x 1:00 wall sits
20 triceps dips
60 clamshells (30 each side)
60 leg lifts (30 each side)
30 hip lifts
Side planks: 1:42 on each side

Then, I had an 11 mile long run today and it was great!  Yeah!  I've been nervous about this run for 2 days.  Again, this is the longest run I've ever done.  I'm always afraid I'm going to hit a point where I just can't go any more.  I truly believe it is much more mental than physical.  Especially now.

Last week's 10 miler was good, but not 100% great.  I had some struggles with pacing and overall control.  I was also battling a lot of things going on in my brain (stress and drama), so I wasn't totally jiving with the run from a psychological perspective either.  This week's 11 miles was totally different.  I'm very happy about that.

This morning I had my CoCo Wheats because I haven't had them in a while, and boy do I love them.  Added a tablespoon each of wheat germ and chia seeds and 1/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk.  Nom nom nom.

The weather was typical Pittsburgh cold, with a touch of wind and snowflakes.  It was 23, but "felt like" 14.  I dressed for the part - Hyperwarm pants and UA knockoff shirt, zip up fleece, headband and good gloves.  Since it was so bright I wore my Oakleys too.  I wore my newest super cute Smartwool socks, which I must get a pic of because I love them.  They are a gorgeous mint green with butterflies on them.  Butterflies!  And I wore my Adrenalines, which actually didn't feel too bad today, except during mile 8 when it felt like the part by the tongue was digging into the top of my right foot.  Don't quite know what was up with that.

I had my Amphipod with me filled with water and just a squirt of the blue Mio Fit stuff.  I took 2 gels, figuring I'd take one at my "normal" time around 5-5.5 miles or so and then one around 9.5-10 if I felt like I truly needed it (I didn't, but better to be overprepared than under.  Former Girl Scout here!).  The one I ended up taking was Gu Strawberry Banana.  I think I'm finally ready to say that Gu works better for me than the Clif shots, as delicious as the Clif ones are.  The Clif ones just seem to be a thicker consistency, which makes them harder to get down, and they seem to take quite a while to take effect for me.  With the Gu, I can pretty much feel it take effect by the time I get the darn thing swallowed, which doesn't take nearly as long as the Clif because it is thinner.  And the effect seems to last longer, as well.  So, we'll see.  The Strawberry banana flavor was good, but I still really love the Espresso Love flavor.  That stuff just rocked my world.

I opted not to do the hill this week, but to do 2 lake loops plus a short out and back.  As usual, I wanted to take the 1st mile really slowly and then ease my way through the run.  My overall plan was to do the first loop (5 miles) at a fairly slow pace in general and then pick it up during the second.  I was pretty successful in executing that.  I didn't have negative splits, but my paces weren't totally all over the place in extremes like they were last week and in some other weeks.

The first loop I felt awesome on.  I was running easy, enjoying seeing all the beautiful blue jays flying about, and just absorbed in feeling great and staying slow.  The second one I felt good on at first - I took my Gu around 5.25 miles or thereabout, got a nice spike of energy that stuck around for a bit.  The first bout of discomfort came, like I mentioned before, around mile 8 when it felt like my shoe was rubbing me the wrong way or I had some kind of tweak in my foot.  It was more annoying than anything, and came and went for about a mile and a half or so and then left for good.  I was then just left with the soreness I talked about having when I wear these shoes for a long time.  It's a very odd thing.  By mile 10 I felt like I was having to do some work - my legs, especially my calves were yearning to be stretched.  I wasn't in any pain, but I felt like I had to dig into that little piece of me that tells me to keep going.  I felt strong on the out and back and when I stopped my watch and started walking back to the van I said to myself "heh, this week's 11 was a lot easier than last week's 10.  What's up with that?".  haha!  I did my normal standing stretches before heading home and then finished off with my floor stretches when I got there.  I put on my compression socks, which I've used this week and last week for recovery rather than running in.  My legs, although tired, feel great.

Mile 1 - 10:14
Mile 2 - 9:47
Mile 3 - 9:48
Mile 4 - 9:57
Mile 5 - 9:39
Mile 6 - 9:46
Mile 7 - 9:29
Mile 8 - 9:20
Mile 9 - 9:32
Mile 10 - 9:23
Mile 11 - 9:33

Overall I ran 11.08 miles in 1:47:14.  Average pace: 9:41.  Surely I have those last 2 miles in me?  Feeling confident about that this week.

This week went pretty well, I think.  From the planking goal to my longest run ever I think I redeemed myself from feeling a bit bad last week.  I ran 24.89 miles in 3:51:36.  Average pace: 9:18.  I kinda liked the extra "rest" day, but at the same time I'm looking forward to getting back to my Saturday pace runs.  Race day is coming fast!

Tomorrow starts the Spring Bootie Buster Challenge with Run To The Finish.  I'm really looking forward to it.  I think I'm going to incorporate Amanda's strength workouts on the days where I've been doing my Pinterest mashups, etc.  I won't be following the half marathon plan because I'm already in the midst of one, but I'll hold onto it as an option for the fall.  Hopefully everyone just has a lot of fun and gets a step closer to reaching their goals!

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