Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon Training | Week 10 Recap

I can’t believe I’m done 10 weeks of training already! I’m a little late getting to this post. Life has thrown some curveballs and I haven’t had time to blog. Plus, training is a lot of the same thing over again every week with incremental changes in mileage. Hard to make it interesting (and I probably don’t). I on the other hand get to enjoy the runs and feel the air, heart pumping, legs pounding and am further inspired by the completion of the runs.

The plan for the week was:

Sunday: Rest {post Spartan}

Monday: Rest {post Spartan}

Tuesday: 3 miles easy

Wednesday: Xtrain {upper body}

Thursday: 5 miles easy

Friday: 2 miles fast

Saturday: Rest {Triple booked with plans and squeezing in a run is not going to work}

Sunday and Monday were especially uneventful. I’d love to say that I feel great, but that would be a lie. The Spartan race on 8/9 was killer. My body is still bruised a week later and random aches and pains emerge as I run. Would I still do it all over again…hell yeah! The Spartan left me sore from top to bottom. The only thing I desired was rest and thought it would be best to do so and avoid injury down the road since my muscles were THAT tight.

Finally, I couldn’t stand the ‘rest’ anymore and Tuesday headed out with my run bud for what was going to be a 3 miler, but ended up being a 4 miler because I felt good and didn’t want to stop. The temps have been unusually cool in the morning (63*) here in NH and perfect running weather. Although I think the winter is going to come early and be a bitch this year.

 

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Wednesday I did some curls of various sorts and tricep kickbacks. I also spent extra time stretching.

Thursday, I had some explosive stress to run off. Literally, I was like a shaken bottle of soda just ready to burst. Stupid shit that happened over several days that finally brought me to want to I pound sand. So, I met with my run bud again and banged out just under 5 miles mid-afternoon. The sun was out. 70 degrees, not very August like around here and just awesome running.

The run was great for most of the distance, but about 1/4 mile from the end I hit the wall?! It truly was ridiculous that in under 5 miles my body tanked. It was awful. This particular day I rack it up to stress. I did feel mentally better after the run, but phew, it was a tough end. My run buddy was just as glad to stop. Reviewing my splits I can’t believe that the last split pace is faster than the first mile I ran…mind blown. BLOWN.

Breakdown of the run

Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary 51:06.2 4.88 10:29
1 10:57.5 1.00 10:57
2 10:24.3 1.00 10:24
3 10:13.6 1.00 10:14
4 10:18.7 1.00 10:19
5 9:12.0 0.88 10:29

At this time, my son was still training for soccer tryouts and was trying to increase his speed to meet the “suggested” 7 min mile. I might run all the damn time, but I don’t run that fast. We had originally planned on running together at the track on Friday for 2 miles fast. Curveball. The cheerleaders were practicing on the track. Think about it. My teenage son FOCUSING on running in circles with a bunch of cheerleaders to gawk at…haha, yeah right. I decided that staying at the track was a no-go and we came back home to run around the neighborhood (choosing a mostly flat route). My boy had me running an avg 8:29 pace! A PB for me! Our M1 was 8:38 and M2 was 8:22 (holy shit!). I was so proud of him, for running his fastest pace. Hell, proud of myself for the same reason. And on the road to boot, not the flattest of flat track.

Saturday was a scheduled rest day since I knew I was not going to squeeze a run in with all the traveling and events we had planned. It was a fun day.

Heading into week 11, my concern is how difficult it has been for me to get all my miles in with all our summer obligations and random issues getting in the way. I really am running out of training weeks to get peak mileage in and need to get myself focused and locked into my training.

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Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon Training | Week 9 Recap

“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” ~Pablo Picasso

Who can’t relate to that quote? Especially in training. No matter what you’re training for. Every day I run, I learn something new about myself. The more I learn, the more I can apply. There are bound to be mistakes, injuries, hiccups in training…in life. Through error, we learn.

The plan for week 9 was:

Sunday: Run 7 miles easy

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 3 miles easy

Wednesday: Strength training, upper body

Thursday: 5 miles easy

Friday: Rest {Spartan tomorrow}

Saturday: 4 miles {Boston Spartan Sprint} Separate post on Spartan to follow.

On Sunday I ran 7.04 miles in 1:13:06. I managed to go slow (10:23 pace) and the run was quite uneventful. Other than it being 75 degrees out. I did an out-and-back run. It had a lot on my mind and wanted to run without “thought” in navigation. I put on the tunes and just ran. Good therapy.

Monday was a rest day. I did do a walk around the track while my son ran. I purposefully wore flip-flops there, so I wouldn’t run.

On Tuesday I did run with my son at the track. I haven’t run on the track since last summer. I don’t much care for running around in circles for long distances, but 3 miles was just fine. And I got to have bonding time with my boy. It was a little humid 70%, not bad, and the evening was divine. Soon after our run, a pop up thunder-storm kicked up some wind which was refreshing.

Wednesday, another rest day. Sorry nothing to report. Worked, shopped, ran errands, cooked dinner, ate, took my youngest to soccer practice, came home and delved into hours of much appreciated TV. Ah, couch potato night:)

You’re human, so I know you’ve had a morning that after getting out of bed, everything seems to go wrong and you feel you should go back to bed and start over…Yeah, that was my Thursday. Woke up at 5:30am, then again at 6am and yet again at 6:15, where I finally dragged my groggy butt out of bed for my morning run with my run bud. What could possibly go wrong? Ha! Wanting to squash the hunger pains I dropped a couple of pieces of bread into the toaster and went into the bathroom. Upon leaving the bathroom, I opened the door and was invaded by quite a bit of smoke. Thick smoke from my waist to ceiling filled the entire first floor of my house. Woah! Turns out, my toaster decided not to “pop”, leaving my toast slices of black embers. And boy, does burnt toast smell just awful! I opened all the doors and windows, turned the fan on to blow smoke out. I can’t believe how much smoke was in my house BEFORE my smoke detectors went off. There I was, in my running clothes waiving a towel flowing the smoke out. My clothes, hair, curtains all smelled horrid. Then I ran 5.6 miles with my buddy–stinky. It was a great run!

Friday was a rest day.

On Saturday, I had the Boston Spartan Sprint (obstacle race) that I’ve been waiting months and months for. Training and hoping for the best. See my post on the recap of my very first Spartan (and not my last). I have to say it was one of the most mentally challenging and physical things I’ve ever done. Sore for a couple of days after, bruised up beyond belief, but AMAZING.

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Boston Spartan Sprint | Race Recap

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” ~ John Wooden

This is the mantra that got me through my first Spartan Sprint. Knowing there would be some obstacles that I would simply fail at and keeping my mind in focus to continue without discontent. I wanted to have fun at this event…burpees and all. I’ve never climbed rope, gone across monkey bars, spear thrown or climbed walls. Basically this whole OCR is completely beyond my life experience.

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Bring it!

The logistics of the my team arriving went extremely smooth, sunblock applied, bags checked, arms got marked (our bib number), headbands on, water drank, lunch eaten. Unfortunately due to the terrain and obstacles, bringing my camera along was a no go. All the pics provided are from a friend that came along to cheer us.

Race course preview

Back of course, the day before the race during setup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We walked around, checked out some of the obstacles (that we could see) and easily broke a sweat in the 85 degree temps. Not having access to a rope climb in training, I took advantage of the practice rope they had in the Festival area. I almost made it to the top. The practice rope had knots and they stopped pretty low on the rope and I couldn’t get good enough leverage to continue up without wasting too much energy I would need for the race itself.

Before we knew it, it was time to hit the corral to warm up for our heat. We did burpees, squats, lunges, on and on. Not much for upper body stretching though.

Front course

Front course

Our heat started promptly at 12:45. Climbed a wall before we officially hit the start. Lots of uphill, downhill, trails and mud. One woman lost her shoe in the mud at the very start of the race and with several people trying to help her find it (including us), was unsuccessful. The mud smelled like farm pooh. The shoe was lost in the belly of the thick, cement like mud. She had to continue the race without. Awful. Another lady broke her ankle on the trail. Probably a simple mis-step. Several other injuries occurred, but the medics were quick to respond. There was another that I believe to have been severe…maybe a broken leg or foot…not sure but the guy was in utter pain and could not get up. Yeah, that athlete waiver they require…yup that’s why.

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My teammate on the L. Me on the R.

Having my team mates definitely made the race bearable. We had each other to get us through obstacles. I found, that I am totally capable of scaling a 12 ft. wall with a back to stand on, I can submerge myself in stinky muddy water to maneuver under a submerged wall, I can roll under barbed wire like nobody’s business (bruises to prove it).  The rope climb did not have knots in it. The water was also up to my neck below the rope. I attempted, but ultimately ended up in the burpee box. 30 burpees both times. I suck at spear throwing. Missed. Burpee box. I didn’t feel bad because I didn’t see a single successful throw. Ugh.

This one was easy

This one was easy

A select FEW made it through the rope climb without burpees. I swung over moats, I carried sandbags, I dragged a cement block, carried a rock filled bucket uphill and down without stopping (by choice), and oh so much more. It truly was a grueling experience at times, but I learned more about myself in the hours we did this than I thought possible. I am a tough cookie and can do so much more than I give myself credit for.

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The Spartan race is no joke–even at the Sprint level. There are definitely obstacles you will find easier depending on your strengths, but there are bound to be some that will test you. Aroo!

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Zooma Cape Cod Training | Week 8 Recap

20140731-152612-55572673.jpgHoly crap! Someone needs to slow down Summer. The end of this week brings us into August. AUGUST! Can I please push the rewind button?

Every week seems much the same. Run, rest, cross-train and repeat. For the sake of not boring everyone that might read this and have been following the past weeks…maybe one of you, I took pictures during some of my runs this week to liven up the blog and let you see what I see while I’m pounding pavement. Everyone like pictures, right?

 

The plan for the week was:

Sunday: 5 miles + strides
Monday: -X-train
Tuesday: 6 miles
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 4 miles {hills}
Friday: Stretch and upper body strength training
Saturday: 4 miles

As I had mentioned in my previous post for training week 7, I was in NY and on running hiatus due to pain. Which is exactly why I did not run the 6 miles I had planned for Sunday.

Monday I made the mistake of doing my workout that I’ve also blogged about. Today’s was:

70 squats {I think these are the cause to my pain}
50 push-ups
23 curls {I did wrist curls}
40 leg lifts
35 crunches {I did V-ups}
26 Russian twists {with 15 lb. dumbbell}
20 jumping jacks
20 burpees
20 mountain climbers
 

Apparently one of these or multiples are the cause to my “pain”.

I woke up Tuesday with the pain, which I decided had sidelined me on Sunday and was not going to throw my Tuesday run off too. So I laced up and went out. The first 3 miles, I had on-and-off muscle spasms (?) and tightness. However, the pain turned to an ache and I completed the 6 miles with a decent pace of 10:07, with a negative split!

M1 10:19
M2 10:12
M3 10:39 {water break}
M4 10:12
M5 9:49
M6 9:30

Wednesday I focused on lots stretching and relaxing my muscle pain. I want it gone as to no lead to a bigger issue. I found a stretch that really seems to help, the butterfly of all things. It made a huge difference.

Thursday I laced up and decided I wanted to run to a bridge that I’ve never run over before. I’ve been there driving over it before, but wanted to see the view from a different perspective. It made for a nice run. Oh, did I mention I had a monster hill to run up? The hill killed my avg. pace 10:28. I also did additional stretching and icing.

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Normally the river water doesn’t look so icky brown.

Friday was a rest day. Since I’ve had some calf and hamstring muscle discomfort and tightness (which usually leads to tendonitis for me) I decided it’d be best for me to focus on stretching, icing and rolling out my legs. I feel it helps for short spurts and needs to be done several times a day.

Saturday I ran 3 miles (instead of 4). It was mid-afternoon and 80 degrees and I was flipping tire, using an 8 lb. sledge-hammer (hitting tire) and tricep dips for cross-training. I felt strong and did this quite easily considering. I managed a 9:36 pace which was me just trotting along at a comfortable pace. Amazing how much faster my natural pace is without hills! I did the cross-training today since I didn’t yesterday. Today is also the first time I’ve run with my sports bra and no shirt. I am reasonably fit and yet am self-conscious about my body…running. It was actually a good experience and reminded me something I had seen when I first started running (2 years ago this month).

20140802-201513-72913573.jpgThe Spartan Sprint is on Saturday and I’m excited!

Keep on running!

 

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Pondering a Marathon…

Me…pondering a marathon? Who…me? This all started with my 13 year old son asking me when I’m going to run a (full) marathon…long pause…Ummm…..

I am a goal setter. With that being said, I’m scared shitless intimidated by the idea of running a full marathon. Twenty-six-point-FREAKING-two miles! I have many 5K’s, a 10K and one half marathon under my belt. That’s it. I have a 2nd half planned for the end of September. I like these distances and the half marathon is definitely more challenging for me mentally and physically. I am getting more comfortable with it. The half marathon was also one of the most painful AMAZING experiences of my life. I’m not a fast runner, but the more I run and train at the longer distances, the faster my 5K and 10K pace seems to naturally becoming.

Granted I have no intention of doing a full marathon in 2014. Without question. I want to hang out with the half marathon distance a little more and just enjoy it. That’s ok, isn’t it?!

My son got my gears a turnin’ though. I can’t say I’m committing to anything this early in the game, but I have decided I will scope out some races for 2015 and see if I get inspired, excited and find a marathon training plan that might work well for me. It’s a huge commitment for time. Running the miles eats up my free time and being a wife, mother of two, and working full-time isn’t a breeze. I also want to make sure I’m doing it for “ME” and not because I see it as a challenge brought on by someone else. Do me, myself, and I WANT to do this?

Have you run a marathon? What are some of the most important tips you have from training or racing a marathon?

Thanks!

 

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Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon | Training Week 7 Recap

The Summer humidity is sneaking its way back into the weather forecasts. It’s to be expected in the peak Summer months and is just something that requires plan adjustments.

It’s a hard pill to swallow really. I’m not a morning person and the best time to run is first thing in the morning. It’s cooler out. But sometimes I can’t drag my butt out of bed. Not even for an easy 3 miles! I pay the price for it by doing my run in the late afternoon or evening and it’s tough.

Pair this with the fact it’s SUMMER and geez…we have travelling plans and a bazillion things to do!

This particular week started out well and ended with me having a strange troublesome pain in my hamstrings which left me with my husband giving me a deep tissue massage which I felt would leave me in more pain than I started with. Then, after a day or so it has improved…too little too late. I think this was brought on by the introduction to my new running shoes that I’m breaking in (rotating with the current shoes).

The plan was:

Sunday: 6 miles easy

Monday: Bootcamp {tire flipping, run, box jumps, sledge hammers}

Tuesday: 3 miles easy

Wednesday: Rest {pain began in upper hamstring}

Thursday: 4 miles easy {completed 3.5 miles}

Friday: Rest {walked}

Saturday: 5 miles easy {no run, walked though}

Trouble was, I was out-of-town on Thursday through Saturday of this weeks plan. Which really wasn’t a problem except that is when I had the pain my husband had to massage out, which left me with Friday and Saturday being rest days. Otherwise all went according to plan with little effort or excitement to report. I did however get in lots of walking around Oswego, NY. I did hope to run the riverwalk, but with Harborfest in full swing, running the riverwalk was a no-go since that’s where all the vendors were and people were.

My challenge for Training Week 8 is losing all the travel weight I put on…largely to do with the quantity of margarita’s, and ‘Liquid Cocaine’ shots (obviously not real cocaine!) on Friday and Saturday night with friends and family at the bar since my diet was spot on of course! Haha. I refuse to weigh myself to know how bad it really is, my guess it’ll take a couple of days and I’ll be back to my pre-travel poundage.

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Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon | Training Week 6 Recap

Six weeks down already! I have to say, I am now reminded as to why I stuck to running 3 milers primarily last Summer! I thought by now I would be better acclimated, but that’s definitely not the case. Training for last years 10K was much easier given the heat and humidity. Remind me why I chose a Fall half marathon that would require me to train during the Summer??? I’m not going to beat myself up over my training plan…this is all for fun after all.

Anyway, the plan for the week was as follows:

Sunday: 8 miler, but I wanted to do 12 to make up for the missed long run last week.

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 12 x 400 {2 mi slow, .25 fast, 30 sec slow, .25 fast, 30 sec slow, .25 fast and so on}

Wednesday: 6 miles

Thursday: 5 x 1 {2 mi slow, 1 mi fast, 1 min slow, 1 mi fast, 1 min slow and so on}

Friday: Rest {cross-train}

Saturday: 6 miles slow

On the Saturday night before my scheduled long run, I awoke with nausea. Yipee! My mom is so kind to share her germs. It didn’t result in anything other than that. Obviously not feeling well made me decide the 12 miles I was hoping to do first thing in the morning was a no-go. I’m jinxed when it comes to the 12 milers.

So…

Sunday, I stayed home as I didn’t think it would be good for my body to do a long run after being up all night with an upset tummy. I didn’t want to be THAT person puking on the side of the road. Yuck!

I felt fine on Monday and decided I would try to make up some miles and do my long run. I had a later than usual start to the run, just trying to gain motivation. The heat was rising and finally I got out the door late morning. I managed 9 miles thanks to my Nuun (water hydration enhancer tablets) and Honey Stinger Energy Chews (pomegranate). The last20140716-150516-54316541.jpg mile was more of a run/walk interval as the heat was zapping all I had at 11:30am. I was disappointed to not complete the full distance (10:45 pace), but at the same time I was glad I had managed what I did.

I didn’t run on Tuesday. I was in couch potato mode due to the thunder-storm.

Wednesday I had a planned run with another run bud of mine. The weather was iffy since we’ve been having frequent thunder and lightning storms, sometimes severe, do to the heat and humidity. I don’t mind running in the rain, but storms…forget it. I like have a perfect record for not getting struck by lightning:) Just incase the weather wasn’t going to hold out for our run, I snuck in a kick ass workout in the morning which I plan on continuing with increasing intensity over the next few weeks.

50 squats
45 push-ups
20 bicep curls
25 kick backs
30 ins-and-outs (abs)
20 russian twists
20 jumping jacks
20 burpees straight out of hell (chest to the ground)
20 mountain climbers
 

It’s the damn burpees that kill me. Felt great til then.

I purchased these for the first time. Have you tried them? I love coconut so this is the first flavor of the three I purchased. I intend to try them out on my longer runs to see if I 20140716-150518-54318290.jpgcan cut back on some of the sugary fuel. I know sugar is important for fueling, but I think if I balance it well with other fuel that is higher in sugar I can get good results…we’ll see. I just don’t care to rely on GU and chews for my only fueling options and these seem to be a good size to tuck into shorts pockets. My only concern is the amount of fiber (4g) “Runners Trots” in that little packet.

Thursday’s run was scheduled around dinner time with a different friend of mine who I share a run with from time to time. I thought it was going to go a lot easier than it did. I was huffing and puffing to keep the 10:00 pace. Granted we were chatting up a storm compromising my breathing a little. The heat is just not my friend. I love being able to go outside without layers and I’m getting an incredible tan (even with SPF)…but it’s more taxing on my body. Granted, when it’s 90 degrees out now, it’s 100 degrees warmer than some of my Winter runs were. Crazy, right! The run ended up being a steady 9:50-10:10 pace. Only totaled 3.75 miles. My friend doesn’t do higher mileage. Overall, it was a good run and it was fun having a different run bud for the evening.

I don’t know if this is something anyone else has in common, but the night before a run I’m excited and motivated to run. Then the morning comes and I can barely get out the door. That’s exactly how my morning was today. I was supposed to have a 5 miler planned with a frequent run bud, but she had to cancel at the last-minute. Since I had already gotten ready, I had no excuse to go back to bed. My body was tight, but the temps were right. 60 degrees. The sun was out and the cooler air felt A-MAZ-ING! Mile 1 was a 10:06, Mile 2 a 10:23, Mile 3 10:23, Mile 4 10:11 and Mile 5 10:08. I also completed another workout:

55 squats
45 push-ups {tough this time since I was sore from Wednesday’s round}
21 curls
30 kick backs
30 crunches
22 russian twists
30 jumping jacks
20 burpees
20 mountain climbers
 

The weather was gorgeous on Friday morning. I would have loved to run. Instead, I had an appointment, followed by needed errands to prepare for my bestie’s baby shower on Saturday and decided to fall in with my planned rest day. I did do another workout similar to the one above, but bumped squats, curls, etc up a little (see my previous post for the actual workout list). Overall, a good day.

I planned my Saturday, run with my usual run bud, soaking in all these wonderful morning temps. Both days were exceptional runs. Saturday we pulled in a 6 miler doing one of our old loop routes in the opposite direction to switch it up. Amazing how it’s the same scenery, but backwards really refreshed it.

I will now refer back to my Big Lake Half Marathon training schedule blending the two training plans in order to accommodate my body, weather and goals. I think it’s for the best with hot humid weather continuing through July and August and how poorly my training runs are going in the heat. It will end up being a good balance of mileage between the two plans.

 

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Restless on Rest Day

I’m sitting here with my laptop typing and I don’t even have my eyes open. I’m  so tired! Very shortly I will be off to bed. Ok my eyes are open now. Yawn. I had a good day and was in a weird mood all day. I worked from home (yay!) and my kids had friends over all day for a Nerf gun war. In the house. Seriously…eventually I kicked sent them outside to continue their game.

Today is a rest day for me, but I just can’t seem to settle down. I considered and reconsidered a run today at least 50 times…trying to stay good and rest. My body is sore as hell. In the end, I did good and didn’t run. I did however do a workout…which is the reason I’m sore to begin with and will likely be sore still tomorrow.

Below is the workout I’ve been doing (found on Pinterest) and you will see mentions of it in my half marathon week 6 training recap (which wraps up tomorrow and will likely post by the end of the weekend). I’ll try not to bore you too much.

Daily fitness routine that is kicking my butt!

I hurt a little bit of everywhere. The push-ups have been the hardest for me thus far. Followed closely by burpees (chest to the ground). I actually like this regiment and although I’m not likely to be as consistent as this challenge suggests I’m enjoying the increasing reps. I also like cycling and other activities, which is why I’ll deviate from time to time to have other summer fun. I like options. I don’t want to ball and chain myself to a specific plan right now.

Sumo squats are what I’ve been doing this week. I am going to vary in order to work different muscle groups and reduce boredom.

For the curls, I’m doing multiple types of dumbbell workouts. I’ve done bicep curls, lateral lifts, overhead whatevers…half the time I don’t know what the name of an exercise is. Mostly with 15 lb. dumbbells. On the lateral lifts I reduced to 6 lbs. They are really tough for me and I’m planning to build up.

For the crunches, I’ve done ins and outs and regular crunches.

If I keep at it, I might be bad ass enough to own the Spartan race in August. Give the challenge a try.

That’s all for now, I’m off to bed.

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The Spartan Race is Sneaking Up on Me

Over the last several weeks my primary blog focus has been on training for my 2nd half marathon, the Zooma Cape Cod. Here and there, you may have read that I am also in the midst of training for my 1st Spartan race, my 1st ORC ever! It scares me.

Only three weeks away from the Spartan and I feel unprepared. I have been focusing my cross-training for the half marathon on upper body strength training about twice a week. Lately, it seems more like once a week. I have no better excuse other than…I’m busy! I do realize that if I truly want to go into this race and complete as many obstacles as possible without going to the burpee penalty box…I best get my arms in shape! Overall, I think I’m pretty fit and should be able to complete a Spartan Sprint without too much difficulty. I do realize it’s very likely I will be doing burpees and maybe lots of them. Some obstacles allow for 2 tries, others are a one shot deal. Uh-oh.

Palmerton, PA Mud Run 2014 - Spartan sprint

Image from the Spartan race website

With that, I’ve decided I’m going to do burpees (great exercise on their own) more regularly and do more lifting and arm exercises with my Powerblocks. Along with that, I’ll continue my running and various other activities that I enjoy like cycling, walking and crossfit. After all, I signed up for this race to kick my own butt have fun.

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Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon | Training Week 5 Recap

What an exciting week it has been.  Week 5 of training for my 2nd half marathon has been packed full of training, adventure and accomplishments! Does it get any better than that? Choices, Chances, Changes.

Summer is in full swing here in New England. The flowers are blooming and everyone is out-and-about doing things. Unlike the bunkered down winters…unless you’re into Winter sports (I’m not). Open the windows and you’ll likely hear the rumble of someone mowing their lawn and catch the scent of fresh-cut grass. LOVE. The weather itself makes you feel like you can go out and do anything.

Anyway, the plan for this training week was exciting. Now, keep in mind, I’m also planning a Spartan race in 4 weeks…and need to focus on some strength training as well as my running. Whew.

Sunday: 12 miles slow

Monday: Rest/cross train

Tuesday: 5 miles slow

Wednesday: 5 miles slow

Thursday: 5 miles easy

Friday: Rest/cross train

Saturday: 5 miles slow

I’m sad to report that my Sunday long run only tapped out at 2.2 miles…I found out that I had missed putting one of my son’s soccer games on my calendar and among the other plans we had already scheduled…a 12 miler was not going to fit. Alas, it was my own fault and poor planning. I decided to make the best of it and get my son out for a more his distance kind of run and at least do something. Managed a 9:50 pace, which is pretty good for him.

Monday, this is where the adventure sneaks in. We had taken the day off of work and planned to go zip lining up at Gunstock. This has been on my bucket list for quite some time as well as wall climbing. It was an expensive day, but totally worth scratching these off the list and being out of my element. I am much braver than I thought. The zip line tour guides do well preparing you for how the equipment works and start you out on the lower “practice” lines before setting you out on the ski lift to the peak to ride down the master line, which they say can max out at 65 mph (one of the guides said their record was 85 mph). Which is likely why my nerves were so intense…I was excited and ready.

Yes, we were exaggerating for the photo op

Yes, we were exaggerating for the photo op

The view from the top was breathtaking. Really, to see the top not covered in snow at this ski resort and then to know you’re going to ride a line to the base…EPIC!

Panoramic view from the top

Panoramic view from the top

What an exhilarating and empowering experience. Time flies when you’re having fun. Truly it was over so quick! I wanted to go again. Once zip lining was done and our group finished we headed to the other activities we had planned at the base of the resort. Wall climbing was definitely on my to-do list, but first we needed to entertain my kids. My youngest wasn’t old enough to participate in the zip lining, so he hadn’t had much fun til now.

Spider Climb

Spider Climb (looking up through from the first level)

This gem was deceiving. Outside it looked like an easy climb to the top (followed by a slide down). My youngest could not maneuver through this on his own, but had a blast trying. His brother and friend helped him complete it. Even us grown ups got in on the fun. It was hard. All those straps are bungee and balance, strategy and strength are the only things helping you (unless you’re my son) to the top about 8 levels up… I felt like I was in an un-muddy version of the Spartan race we are training for. This is actually great practice. A FuN fUn challenge.

We did a whole bunch of activities, which I would include if I was writing a novel. For now, I’ll edit down to the best of the best.

Here I am wall climbing. Wow. This was way harder than I thought it was. Essentially if 20140710-094333-35013754.jpgyou can find the right grips, you’ll be good focusing on using lower body strength. Grip

strength is definitely something I need to improve on. It took me 4 tries (granted 3 were on the harder sides). I finally made it up and rang that bell. Unfortunately no pic of that. I actually rang two bells…why waste an opportunity right?

Tuesday, I woke up feeling the soreness from Monday’s activities. Mostly my shoulders, forearm and triceps. Probably from the wall climbing. Worth it! I ran 5 miles and felt great.

The tire! It's a biggin.

It’s a biggin.

I woke up on Wednesday feeling tight and stiff. Apparently, the activities were still setting into my muscles. I decided a morning run was not best for me and slept in a little longer. My hubby decided he wanted to do some cross training and suggested we flip tires that evening and that’s exactly what we did. We started the circuit with some dynamic stretches to warm up. A 1/2 mile run. Then flipped the tire 3 times (each of us), did 10 chest to the ground burpees then ran 1/4 mile. We did this for 4 sets. It’s a 540 lb. tire or so I’m told. And yes, I can pretty much do it myself. My husband helps balance it at the midway point as to help me adjust my hands to better position myself to send the tire over. It’s quite a workout, which leaves bruises and much dirt. It’s not something we do often, but it’s nice to switch up workouts.

Thursday morning was a little off. I had 5 miles planned and was going to do them early morning with my run bud. She was then unable to do an early run, so we postponed it a few hours and I worked from home in order to do so. Then we headed out. She managed 4 miles, which were a struggle for her near the end due to the heat I suppose. I did the complete 5 and averaged a 10:27 pace. The conversational pace helps me reel it in for my training, otherwise I tend to run faster than I’m supposed to and risk injury. I really enjoy my run bud runs. Do you prefer to run alone or with a buddy?

I went out to eat Friday night and had drinks with my hubby and friends. It was nice to have “adult” time after spending the day at a nearby zoo/ride park. My “rest” for the day was walking. A very good day and my body thanked me.

Saturday followed with an 8am meet-up with my run bud for a scheduled slow 5 miler. It wasn’t too eventful other than we did a slight switch up to a frequented route of ours. The twist was a fair hill which threw in a challenge within the first mile. We’ve avoided hills for some time now running together as she recovered from her knee injury. The morning sky was cloudless and the temps favorable. The run went by so quickly chit-chatting. I’m hoping tomorrow’s long run goes well. I only have 8 miles scheduled, but am planning on 12 to make up for the long run I missed last Sunday.

My stomach is doing all kinds of crazy stuff though and it’s concerning me as a few people I know have come down with “a bug” which is the last thing I need and hope it passes without me being up all night or having a mid-run incident in the morning! I really want to do this long run.

Love the run!

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