Sunday, February 8, 2015

Marathon #2 - Training Week 6

AKA The week Nichole lets herself get a little lazy with no shame.

It is my recovery week, after all, and I was going to take advantage of it and let my body recover!  I ran on the treadmill twice this week, which is rare but my schedule kinda dictated it.  On other weeks I might have made the additional effort of finding a time & place to run but since it's recovery week and the two runs were just recovery runs?  Meh, I'll jump on the mill at the gym.  I also didn't do full yoga workouts all week.  I either did just a few moments of simple poses or vinyasa flow on my own or I followed some of Adriene's Foundations of Yoga videos.  These are great because they focus on one pose and break them down so you can truly understand and grow that specific posture.  They're short and sweet but very informative for me as well as a quickie workout.  I did skip a day of yoga too!  I'm telling you, I was Lazy Nichole this week and it was great!  No regrets!

This week marks the end of Mesocycle #1 of my training plan.  This cycle was focused on Overall Endurance.  In the next 5 weeks my focus will move to building upon my Lactate threshold.  God-willing, I'll be running my first race of the year and doing two 20 mile runs during this time.  Fingers crossed that my training keeps going well and things keep moving in the right direction.

Monday:  Workout B of my strength training plan plus a short yoga session.

Tuesday:  The plan called for an 8 mile easy run with 10x100m strides at the end.  I wanted to try something new and get up bright and early, go to North park to get my run in, and then be home in time to see the husband and kids off for the day.  Well, it worked but it didn't.  North Park had not yet been cleared from the refreeze that morning and it was an icy mess.  I really struggled those first couple of miles just trying to keep from falling.  Thankfully a salt truck/plow came past and got in front of me and started clearing and salting and my run got heaps better after that.  I even got my strides in at the end, though some of them were slower than others due to residual ice.  My fastest stride was 6:01 avg pace, though, so I'm definitely moving in the right direction on these!

I did a short yoga practice later that day as well.

Wednesday:  5 recovery miles on the treadmill followed by strength workout C as well as a little yoga.

Thursday:  8 "easy" miles at North Park.  My legs felt great and the miles really were easy, but it was so freaking cold.  At the time I ran (around 9:20) it was "feels like" -1 degrees.  It wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't windy as well.  The wind was that god awful chill-you-to-the-bone wind.  My eyelashes froze on one side and damn near blinded me for goodness sakes.  At least it was sunny.  My patience for winter weather is wearing very thin, so be prepared for more bitching about this as time moves on...  I did let slip to Nick that my experiences during this first cycle of training lead me to not want to train for another full marathon over the winter.  It's just so different from what I went through for MCM.  Then I could do all my runs as planned where the hell I wanted whenever the hell I wanted.  Heat, rain, who cares.  All paces were hit and every workout was done.  This time of year it's a "do what you can" mentality which to me, just feels and seems to be ineffective (and not to mention straight up dangerous at times) training.  So, if you were to ask me right now here today at this moment I'd say the Pittsburgh Marathon will be a "one and done" thing for me.  I'll do the half again and save my marathons for when I can train over the nicer months of the year.  But - I could change my mind.  There's so much time left.  (Still trying to make a decision on my Fall race - right now it's between MCM and Philly.  I have 32 days to make a final decision on the lottery entry.)

Whew - sorry for the hissy fit there.  I did do a little yoga on Thursday, but nothing serious.  Again, I just followed my own thing on the mat.  Moving on:

Friday:  Rest!  And I do mean rest!  I hung out in my PJs!  I didn't even do yoga!

Saturday:  4 ridiculously easy recovery miles on the treadmill at the gym.  There's really not much to say about a treadmill run... You don't go anywhere or see anything.. you just set that sucker up and do your best hamster impression.  lol    I also did yoga - mainly hip openers and breath practice.

Sunday:  My cutback "long" run this week was 12 miles.  It was glorious.  I had no technical difficulties, the feet just wanted to go and the weather... wow, it was great.  Being that this was a shorter run and I was doing the lazy thing, I treated myself to more beauty sleep (go ahead and giggle there) and headed out a little later than usual so it would be even warmer.  I should know better than to wear a long sleeve and capris when it is in the mid 40s!  Short sleeve and arm sleeves you can take off, Nichole - duh!  I was pretty warm at the end and had the sleeves of my shirt pushed up.  Only other bad thing I can say about the run was I got a huge chunk of rocksalt or something inside my shoe at mile 10 and had to stop to get that thing out.  If you know me, you know I hate stopping during runs.  But, I didn't let it phase me too much and pushed out those last two miles.  It was a great run.  A little bit of yoga (twists and pigeon, oh my!) and I'm good.  :)

Total Miles Ran:  37.08 (I can't believe this is a recovery week!)
Total Running Workouts: 5 - 1 easy with strides, 2 recovery, 1 easy, 1 long
Total Strength Workouts: 2 - Speaking of, I have 1 more day of each workout left, then I'll be moving on to another plan after a short break from lifting.
Total Yoga Days: 6

Nutrition this week: Tough.  I don't think I did too badly, but RUNger is really killing me this training cycle and I'm getting ravenously hungry more often.  I'm trying to be good about choosing the right things between meals (fruit, veg & hummus, yogurt, etc), but damn that red velvet cake really hit the spot.  heh.  I did make fanfreakingtastic cilantro lime cauli-rice the other day, though.  I'm glad I made enough for a couple days because I ate that right up.  Cauli-rice is awesome and I'm glad I got turned onto it over the past year.  It's been great in this house.  I know I've mentioned before, but my husband is an insulin dependent diabetic so the standard "stuff your face with rice and pasta" runners diet doesn't really fit his needs.  So, when I find a great alternative that's just as tasty I'm thrilled.  Example: this week's menu includes shrimp scampi over angel hair... but the angel hair is really spaghetti squash.  Win!  Plus the kids get tricked into eating more veggies.  Extra Point!

The rest has been great this week but I'm ready to see what I can do this coming week.  If all goes well I'll have a weekly distance PR on my hands!

I was also lazy about taking pics this week, so I leave you with this pic I took of Meatball and Calloway.  They're pissy because I just interrupted their sparring match.  Meatball is older and weighs maybe a third of what Calloway does but she beats his ass every time.  She's declawed but can roll her paw into a proper fist and punch.  It's hilarious.  Don't be alarmed - these two have been together with us for 12 years now and they've never hurt one other... this is just true play fight/sibling rivalry. <3


  1. LOL on the cat pic! Is the kitty on the left the girl? She (or he) is beautiful! Mine frequently spar when they both want to be on my lap. I either have to stretch my legs out to make room for the other, or they spar for the lap space.

    I love your definition of "lazy," ha ha! Sounds like a really good week overall.

    I am mainly sick of the winter because it's so much harder to take the dog for his walks. When people don't clear their sidewalks, sometimes the only place we can walk is in the street, which isn't safe!

    Cilantro-lime cauli-rice sounds awesome!

    1. Yes, Meatball (she also responds to Mimi since that's how all the kids learned to say her name when they first learned to talk!) is on the left. That's what they do too - fight for attention and space.
      Oh, I bet that's tough with a dog.. and drivers aren't the best at looking out for the people having to choose to walk on the road either. :(

      The cauli-rice is so simple! You just grate a head of cauliflower or use the food processor to "rice" it, throw it in a skillet with some coconut oil and once it gets going add lime juice and cilantro. I don't measure, I go by taste - but it's usually around the juice of 1 big lime or 2 little ones and a handful of cilantro. Salt & pepper to taste too, of course.

  2. OMG kiddies!!! Great job this week!!

  3. Aaaahhhh! KITTIES!!! They are adorable!
    Your "lazy" week, is almost my peak week! LOL!! That is awesome work - you are going to crush this marathon. I definitely agree that winter makes training for the PGH Marathon REALLY hard. Awesome job!! :-)

    1. Thanks! This week I'll be going past my MCM training peak so this is new territory. I have 4 or 5 (gotta check) more weeks before I hit peak mileage this time around. I already have a countdown going on my phone for when it's taper time. 8 weeks and 3 days from now! lol