Sunday, August 11, 2013

Bye Bye Alpha Phase and Week 1 of Fall Race Training

That title kind of sums it up - it's been quite a week around here, but I'm happy to say it has been a successful one!  Here's what I've been up to since Monday:

Tuesday:  I started things off bright and early with an easy 5 miler.  This was another one of those wonderful runs that felt great from the first stride to the last.  Negative splits and all.  Love these!  I followed the run up with the last installment of T25 Ab Intervals.  I felt strong and did great.

Wednesday:  I was nervous coming into this run because it was my first scheduled tempo run of this training cycle.  I did 10 minutes easy, 15 minutes not so easy, 10 minutes easy (my spin on the Hal Higdon tempo method, which I know varies from some others... but this works for me).  I somehow was able to pull out a mile PR during this run (7:28).  Maybe it was just Life granting me a gift since I was going to run the Liberty Mile with my kids?  hahaha  Anyway, this was not an easy run by any means, but I got through it in one piece and can say that yes, I will be able to do it again.

After the run, I took some extra time to pull myself together (water, stretching) before pressing play on Total Body Circuit for the second time this week.  This was pretty tough after just doing a tempo run, but again, I focused on form rather than speed on this and was able to get it done without modifications.  I was very glad to be done, though.

Thursday:  I was looking forward to an easy 5 mile run day to sort of recover from the previous days activity.  My run started off ok, but then I had some cramping and GI issues pop up after mile 2 that bothered me the rest of the run.  I did pass a couple porta johns, but I'm really not a fan of those things unless it is a dire emergency and when in all reality I'm not that far from my house.  I didn't have negative splits on this run, but I sure as heck had a quick last mile and a half trying to get back home!  Go ahead and laugh at me, it's ok.

Once my bathroom issues were resolved, I did Alpha Cardio.  I just focused on giving this workout my all since again, it was the last time I'd be doing it.  This workout is a lot of fun.  I do enjoy it.  After Cardio, I got a snack and headed to the gym where I was able to do my full weights routine with added weight from last time.  I felt great!  It's so much easier to lift when I didn't have to do Total Body Circuit first!  lol

Friday:  Total Body Circuit for the LAST time!  Woohoo!!  You want to hear something funny, though?  This time I'd say it actually wasn't that bad.  lol  Figures.  I still don't see myself turning to this workout on a whim, though.  But I didn't quit on it, and for that, I'm proud.  This particular "double day" called for Lower Focus after TBC.  It wasn't as hard as I expected it to be after Total Body, and I put it all out there.  Lower Focus is another great workout that I'll miss in the weeks to come.  Speaking of which, I do plan on posting a full review of all of the Alpha phase workouts and schedule.  I'll hopefully put that up this week.

Another thing about Friday's workouts:  I used a HRM to see exactly how many calories I was burning during these since it has come into question several times in various forums as well as my challenge group.  During TBC I burned 225 calories and Lower Focus burned 182.  I agree and approve of these numbers.  lol

Friday evening was also the GNC Live Well Liberty Mile that I ran with 2 of the kids.  You can read that recap in my previous post!

Saturday:  Rest day!  Most of the day was pretty low key around here.  Garrett went to a friends birthday party and had a great time.  After the party, we took the kids up to Wildwood Highlands to play in the ball pits and arcade.  It was Star Wars night, and we all know how big of a Star Wars fan Vincent is.  lol.  He got his picture taken with Darth Vader, a storm trooper, and Chewie.  We stayed a little later than planned but it was a fun night.

Sunday:  I had 8 miles on the schedule.  I was looking forward to this run and really just wanted to have a nice easy time.  I wasn't really worried about a certain pace goal or anything.  The first 3 miles sucked.  I felt like my legs just didn't want to go.  The weather was decent and it was a great morning to be outside so I just tried to soak in my atmosphere and keep moving.  I crossed the bridge and headed to the Point and ran around the fountain.  I love it when I catch a nice breeze when I'm near it because the burst of mist feels amazing.  Then I headed up the river and got up close to the Andy Warhol Bridge to check out this "yarn bomb" thing they've got going on.  It's.... interesting.  I'll just leave it at that.  They weren't letting even any pedestrians on the bridge, so I turned around and went back over the Clemente and hopped onto the trail.  It was quite busy on the trail this morning!  Heaps of other runners, but that's typical of a Sunday morning.  There was a much larger amount of people on bikes today.  I like seeing people out and active - young, old, fit, no so fit, and everywhere in between.  It just makes me happy.  By the time I hit 4 miles I was (finally) feeling warmed up and felt very good!  I felt my pace naturally increase to a nice comfortable place that felt easy, but not too speedy.  I headed a mile or so further up the trail and then turned around to start heading home.  I really felt great.  I was hardly keeping track of my pace and distance via my watch and I "accidentally" went too far.  But hey, I felt good, so I think I'm ok.  I ran 8.51 miles.  When I saw I was at the 8.5 point, I knew I could go another .75 probably before getting home, but I figured I'd better stop while I was ahead, so I just walked.  The whole walk home I kept thinking "I really wanna run!"... lol  I sprinted across streets to make myself feel better.  ;)

When I got home and got another drink, I cooled down and stretched with T25 Stretch.  I'm fairly certain this is a permanent routine for me now.  It feels too good to stop.

I'm feeling pretty confident after this week.  My first week of Fall training went spot on, and my final week of T25 Alpha went great - even to the point I didn't mind Total Body Circuit at the end!  I got in my gym strength training day too and got my groove back there from my weak day last week.  I ran 24.18 miles this week.  I'm on my way back!

As far as food goes, I know I've already mentioned several times that this was not as stellar of a week as previous ones.  We had a birthday party, an ethnic food day at Kennywood, and on top of that, various factors led me to not be as prepared as I was before with snacks and eating on a schedule.  This is one thing I am determined to get back on track with next week.

Oh, and I did have my oatmeal with chia seeds last night before bed to test the chia seed theory out again.  While it did take me a bit to warm up on my long run this morning, I still didn't get to a bonking point or ever felt like I was fading out.  In fact, I continued to feel stronger and stronger the entire run!  Again, I'm not saying "it's all in the chia seeds", but I have to wonder if there isn't something about it.  I'll be doing the same thing next week.

I hope you all had a great week of fitness and fun as well!


  1. Great week Nichole! I need to do better about post run stretching. Sounds like you have a great routine going!