Who knew?

A strength program really does make a difference!

Good things I've noticed lately:
1. Now I'm able to do the same exercises at about 20 reps each, vs. 10-12 when I first started.
2. I can actually see a difference in my stomach and arms. YEAH! :)
3. I don't notice it while running, but have noticed that I'm able to handle the miles without as many aches and pains. Is that because I've just worked myself up to handle the mileage? Probably. But I think a bit of it is due to a consistent and balanced strength program.
4. The other day I helped Nate carry a table inside. It was big, awkward, and we needed to maneuver it around corners and doors. I handled it much better than I would have before! I didn't have to put it down often, and could hold it out at weird angles without begging for a break like I used to. Cool!

Only gripe:
It takes 1 hour/session! Ug. I really like it, and love the way I feel afterwards, but it adds another 2-3 hours to my week. 70 miles a week (which I've been trying to be at/near the last 3 weeks) plus strength now takes 11-12 hours/week, without any skiing. Hmmm.

In sum, it's working! I'm excited to continue with the program!!

(Secretly I'm hoping that if I continue to do it & continue to marathon train that SOMEDAY I'll have a great stomach :)... this will probably NEVER happen, but I am ever hopeful)

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Motivated again

I don't know what has changed, but I'm loving running again.

I think it was just a simple change in mindset. Instead of "having" to do X # of miles, I'm now enjoying every one of them. I don't HAVE to do any of this, no one is making me. So no use in making it feel like a chore.

I think it's also helped that I'm starting to feel faster. I can't 100% tell (can't really do workouts to compare apples to apples to this summer), but I think I am. My lungs feel strong, and the little bit I did measure myself on my runs this week, they were fairly quick (yesterday's workout was 11 miles: 3 WU, then 5 miles of 2 minutes on, 1 min easy, 1 min hard, 30 sec easy, 30 sec hard, 30 sec easy... repeat until you've done a total of 5 miles. Most of the fast stuff was 5:30-5:35, which is at or a little bit faster that what the Daniels plan suggests for me).

Another thing I've changed: I'm not looking at the watch as much. When my plan says to go hard, I try to make it as hard as I can. When it says to go easy, I enjoy what feels "easy". Sort of a nice break. I can be a slave to pace when the weather is better and I need to memorize a few key paces. Right now, I just need to put in miles and become fit. That doesn't require constant monitoring.

Jim, my chiropractor (I might refer to him as "miracle worker" from now on, he's that good), also said it best: "If you didn't see Nate in two weeks, and you saw him again, would you be elated just to see/be with him? It's the same with running. Maybe you need to step away for a while to get back to where you love it, you're excited for every mile, every minute of it". :)

P.S. To look back and compare to last year (I like to do this every once in a while). My mileage for this winter has been much more consistent:

Since 11/07/10: 60, 69, 54, 68, 55, 70 (average of 62). Add in an average of an hour a week of strength (there was over a week where I didn't do any strength...) and some skiing, and my weekly training hours have been at 9.2 hours/week.

Last year for the same 6 weeks my mileage was: 45, 55, 65, 21, 53, 44 (average of 47) (with skiing 2.5 hours/week, total hours per week averaged 8.9 hours).

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Oh, the treadmill...

I'm not sure if my treadmill is calibrated correctly. It's about 4 years old now, and even though it's a good treadmill, do they sort of fall out of line at some point? The incline maybe doesn't go up as high as it says it is? Or it doesn't quite run at a certain speed, even though it thinks it is?

At first, this bothered me. I don't want to get to March to find out that when I thought I was doing X minute miles, I was really doing X+1 minute miles. That would suck.

So, I've decided just to make my hard workouts on the treadmill HARD. Who cares about pace? That doesn't really mean anything, anyway.

So tonight I popped in a movie into the DVD player in the workout room (best thing ever!!), and did 3x10 minutes. I played with the incline and speed, ranging from 3% to 5.5%, speed 9.8 to 10.0 (again, no idea if those are actually correct).

GREAT workout. And best of all, it was fun! It's fun to just try to beat your lungs/legs up. And playing with the speed or incline every minute takes your mind off of the whole "I have 5 mintues left to go?" thought. So, YEAH! I'm no longer absolutely hating my indoor workouts (at least for now :).

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Did it

68 mile week. Take that, lack of motivation. You can't get the best of me, despite your attempts at throwing -15 degree windchills at me for a long 18 miler today.

It did, however, get the best of my strength routine this week. But, I guess you have to take what you can get. Next week will be better, I promise.

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Low on Motivation

Ugh.

I've been trying to find excuses not to run lately. Good thing I have a good support system (aka my husband, who was the reason I started a treadmill run tonight).

I'm not sure why. Probably because I feel a little overloaded, with work, the move, and trying to log a lot of training hours. Could also be the weather... I usually try to run over lunch, but if I can't (which has been often lately, way too busy at work), I find it really hard to motivate myself when it's cold, dark, and snowy :(. Could just be that I'm going through a slump. Deep down, I know my marathon isn't for another 6 months... I thought about that tonight, and said to myself, one day in December won't matter at all, right? What'll really count is the 3 months up before the marathon. [That's when I told my husband I wasn't running tonight, and he said, "Really? Would you be happy with that decision later?". Argh. You're right, I wouldn't be.... so I trudged down to the treadmill]

The good news? I've been able to get myself out... even if takes a lot of coaxing. IF I can get myself out for my long run tomorrow, I'll have 68 miles this week. Guess that's not bad, considering the goal was 70 this week. I got in two of my 3 quality sessions, and am hoping tomorrow to incorporate the 3rd into the long run.

I will admit, though... I skipped all of my strength sessions this week :(. Chrissy (and Wilie!), feel free to yell at me. I deserve it.

So, overall, not bad, I just hope I hit a stretch where I'm super motivated again. I never know how to get over stretches like this (well, in the past, I simply just didn't run... hence why last winter my training log looked like 60-30-40-70-20-etc). Any ideas?

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NORTHFIELD!

So... great news! Nathan and I found an awesome home in Northfield!! We've been searching for over 6 months now (going back and forth between deciding to stay in Red Wing or move somewhere in between both of our jobs), so knew it was "the one" when we stepped into it.

Best yet? The sellers didn't counter (and believe me, we put an offer low enough, expecting at least a little negotiating!) so we were able to lock the evening we made the offer. It allowed us to lock in at a ridiculously low rate -- the rates in the last two days have already jumped 3/8%.

Super excited to make the move! Now... just to find time to do it all (Audit, last minute budget changes & year end at work, Finn Sisu's busy time, and trying to log 70 miles/week... and that was before trying to coordinate all of this paperwork/inspections/move stuff!! I honestly don't know where I'll find the time...). I think it'll all be worth it in the end. I'm excited about the prospects of having more of an endurance community in Northfield, and it seems like a really fun small town. I'm a little scared of the extra commute, but perhaps it'll force me to simplify my life a little bit (which would be a good thing!!).

Moving date: Jan 21st. Anyone available? :)

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