Monday, January 30, 2012

No More Long Runs?

As I mentioned in my weekly recap, I started going (back to) Bootcamp last week. I say back to because I went off and on for about 2 months last winter and then for some reason I stopped going...probably because I wanted to run more. I did notice last winter my 5k pace dropped by about a minute and my long run "comfortable" pace dropped by more than a min/mile. I knew the "muscley" stuff played into my pace going down...I mean, I didn't get that much faster just from running an extra month! And I've already seen a difference in the past week! My long run today was a breeze, I didn't feel like I was really pushing myself and I averaged a 9:40 mile!

Over the past year my pace has gone back down because of injuries and such...and I think the treadmill has a field day playing mind games with me. For some reason it's near impossible for me to run a 10 min/mile on the treadmill but I can do it just fine on the track or outside.

When I went back to Crossfit Tuff this week I was talking to the trainers about how I'm training for a marathon and they mentioned that I could replace a lot of my running with Crossfit workouts and still be able to run a marathon. He even said he trained someone who ran a personal best marathon and his longest run training for the marathon was 10 miles! It was his third marathon so he had some idea of what to expect, but still! I didn't really buy it so I still snuck off to the Y on Wednesday after bootcamp to get my prescribed 3 mile run in.

But as I was reading the February Issue of Runners World today, I found this. Basically it reaffirms everything the trainer told me at the gym this week! Crazy. For those who don't want to read the whole thing, it basically says you if you combine short, high intensity aerobic exercise with Crossfit Endurance, you don't need the long, low intensity runs to prepare for a big race. The longest run you train in a single session is 90 minutes. Overall you can reduce your mileage to 1/4 of what you'd run in a "typical" marathon training program.

Granted, it says that it probably works better for experienced runners because there are mental benefits to long runs for a first time marathon runner. And it might not work as well for longer, Ironman type events. I'll stick to the long runs for now. But if all goes well with Bootcamp and stepping up to real Crossfit classes and if I finish my May marathon I might try to Crossfit/intense short run hybrid plan for my next marathon (is it weird that I'm only in week 4 of marathon training and I'm already thinking about marathon 2?).

It would be interesting to train for both and do a comparison of how well I, personally, survive both races. Granted, if I try to do them relatively close to each other than 2nd race might be slightly tainted since I'm pretty much starting from nothing now and I'll be relatively fit if I start training for a 2nd one. Maybe I could take a month or two off and eat ice cream every day before I start training for a 2nd race so I'd start on an even playing field :)

What do you think about incorporating Crossfit Endurance training to reduce the mileage of a training program?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Food Choices

I really shouldn't be surprised that I haven't been losing weight despite going to the gym for 2 hours a day...

Today I made lunches for the week...

That would be a giant pot of: 1 bag of frozen spinach, 1 bag of frozen random veggies, 3 servings of pearl couscous, 4 tomatoes, 1 can of tomato soup, and 1 can of tomato sauce for a grand total of 1600 calories. It was enough to fill 7 Tupperware containers and I threw a 70 calorie chicken sausage in each container....300 calories a container. It's a lot of food so it will be super filling. They will be great for lunch.

And then I made:

Yup, that would be a big container (not a jar, the bigger container) of marshmallow fluff on top of a pan of Ghirardelli brownies. I didn't eat a lot of them...but know...

At least I did my long run today?

Marathon Training Week 4

Here's the summary kiddos...

Sunday: Paddle and Peddle at the Y. About 1000yd swim in 30 min and 45 min spin bike class. And then Clogging class!
Monday ("rest day"): Bootcamp at Crossfit Tuff (I would provide a link but Google is being a jerk right now)
Tuesday: 1hr track workout, about 5 miles and lots of push ups, sit ups, blah blah, to get LOTS of points in Fitocracy!
Wednesday: Bootcamp at Crossfit Tuff and 3 mile run at the Y
Thursday: 3 mile run at the Y, 8 miles of intervals on a stationary bike for about 1 hr of workout
Friday ("rest day"): Bootcamp at Crossfit Tuff (and pigging out at the movies)
Saturday: I was supposed to do my long run but the previous night's pig out session was not settling in my tummy so I did 1 hr Fitness Yoga class and 1 hr on the Expresso bike (14.5 miles)
Sunday (today): 9 mile run as soon as I talk myself into it...

Next week's plan dictates...
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 3 mile
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: 3 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 10 miles
Sunday: 60 min cross train

My plan is to keep up with the Bootcamp 3 days a week to help burn off extra calories and work on strength training. I also like to fit in Yoga at least 1 day a week to help stretch out my muscles. I wish it was warmer outside so I could run much as the track is better than the treadmill, it gets kind of old running any distance over 4 miles...I am super excited to try out my new shoes on a shorter run next week, they're soo pretty!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

They're Here!!!

They are even more amazing than I expected!! Somehow I missed the polka dots in the online picture...I should have ordered more!!!

The prettiest pair of support running shoes I've ever seen :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fitness Competitions

How do you feel about fitness competitions? I always thought they'd motivate me to workout more because I love competition. My work had a weightloss competition during the holidays (overall I lost 5 pounds in the in first 5 weeks and maintained for the next 5 weeks, better than gaining I guess). Then there was the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge sponsored by Run to the Finish (she has decided to run monthly challenges this year). I lost interest in that one too after it became blatantly obvious that I wasn't going to win.

Awhile back my friend invited me to Fitocracy. I signed up in like October and didn't do anything on it for a few months because I was tracking my exercises on dailymile since all of my goals for the year were focused around miles and dm has all kinds of pretty graphics for miles run...and donuts burned

who wouldn't love this??

Maybe I like dm so much because I'm so in love with math. At the beginning of the year my friend started to bug me about being active on fitocracy so I logged in and started logging my 2012 miles. It was the perfect time to really join the site. Once I started playing around I realized how fun it really is! You get points for what you do and how much effort you put in (an 8 minute mile earns you more points than a 10 minute mile). Your points accumulate to help you level up. The higher the level you are the more you've exercised. So instead of comparing miles (not always fair on dm if you're comparing a biker to a runner), you compare level of effort (it might factor in your weight and perceived effort, not sure what their algorithms are). You can follow your friends and compete against them or you can just do it for your own benefit and challenge yourself to get a certain number of points every day/week/whatever.

In addition there are also Quests. Quests are kind of arbitrary in my opinion but still fun. I think once you log some stuff they start adding Quests to help you round out your training and push your farther and harder (I'm just going to go with that thought...). You get bonus points when you complete Quests (in addition to the points you get for doing the exercises!). As you progress your Quests get more difficult. For example, after I completed the "Run a 5k" Quest, I unlocked the "Run a 10k" Quest and now that I've completed that my next running related Quest is "Run a Half Marathon."

Example Quest

I also have a ton of cross training related Quests. The Quests are fun because the weight lifting ones (at least for me at this point) aren't too difficult/time consuming so it makes you want to add on a few extra things to your workout every day to complete the Quests...or even do some little things maybe while you're watching TV at night instead of sitting on the couch.

It has definitely gotten me to stay at the gym for longer every day and do a little more each time. I haven't really focused on going after specific Quests yet. Until now I've just been happy when I randomly complete a Quest. I think starting this week I'm going to start targeting Quests and try to do more at the gym.

What gets you motivated to work out? Do Fitness Competitions work for you?

Marathon Training Week 3

Week 3 is done, woot! Here's the recap:

Sunday: Sunday ended up being all discombobulated. I didn't realize that the Y closes at 6 so I only got in about 20 minutes on the video game bike before I got kicked out so I got dinner before dance, went to dance class, and conned a friend into signing me into PF to finish my workout. I did another 25 min on the bike and the 30 minute strength training circuit.

Monday: I tried an at home Pilates kit that my cube mate won at work but was never going to use. It worked some abs but overall was kind of bogus. Not a huge loss since it was technically a rest day.

Tuesday: Track practice. I was pretty consistent across all of the 800's. Total mileage including warm up and cool down was 5.4 miles

Wednesday: 3 mile run on the track and 7 mile/30 min video game bike path

Thursday: I had a rather annoying day at work and no work on Friday so I spent 3 hours at the gym. 3 mile run, 60 min kickboxing class (not super impressed), and 60 min yoga class (soooo good to stretch out and relax!)

Friday: I had an intro at the Y. They made me a strength training workout so I'll actually do muscley stuff now that I don't have the PF circuit!!! I did 2 sets of the strength workout (they recommend 1 set but 12 reps just didn't seem like enough so I went for double sets and I'll work up to 3 sets and then start adding weight once I master 3 sets), then I rowed for 10 minutes on the rowing machine and did 30 minutes on the crazy half elliptical/half stair master machine

Saturday: 5 mile run. I didn't try to anything more

Sunday: Day 1 of triathlon training! 30 minutes in the pool and 45 min spin class. I didn't eat enough for breakfast so I got hungry and there was less swimming that I would have liked in the swim session but overall it was a good class.

Next week's plan:

Monday: rest day, I think I might try to do yoga and/or some strength stuff to knock off some Quests on Fitocracy

Tuesday: track day! Hal says I need to run 3 miles (easy peasy)

Wednesday: 4 miles (I'll likely run 3 since I run more than 3 on Tuesdays)

Thursday: 3 miles

Friday: Rest day (probably do some kind of something...but maybe not since I have to work Friday, blah)

Saturday: 9 miles (eek!)...I might have to alternate between track and treadmill on this one. I don't know if I can handle 81 laps!

Sunday: Cross training. Hopefully I'll get back in the pool. Maybe it will snow enough so I can go cross country skiing!

Question for the world out there. I've been running a lot on the track at the Y but I seem to lose track of laps easily (despite repeating the lap number over and over again in my head). How do you keep track of laps? I thought about getting the Nike iPod attachment because I don't want to run with my iPhone but that's not insanely accurate and I could see it getting off by 0.1 miles (1 lap) after 81 times around the track...thoughts?

Friday, January 20, 2012

I'm so excited!!!

I learned a long time ago the importance of getting the proper running shoe. I learned awhile ago that I overpronate when I run. For those of you who aren't in the know, shoes made for those of us who overpronate are UGLY!!! Big chunky white heel support, ugly boring colors...that is until today. I've lived the past year and a half in ugly boring shoes while all the cool kids with perfect feet have been running around in beautiful brightly colored shoes. But that all changed about 10 minutes ago when I discovered these!

I ordered them right away and even considered ordering 2 pairs but I stopped myself. I'm hoping that this is the beginning of a wonderful future of brightly colored shoes. Nike, please don't fail me now! The other super exciting part about these shoes is that they were on sale AND they are the model that have not failed me yet. I'm on my 2nd pair right now and running out of time with them so this is perfect timing. Let's hope this is the end of ugly shoes for overpronators!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Remy's Ratatouille

Look at the pretty meal I made tonight...yes, I baked something HEALTHY!! woot.

I've wanted to make this ever since I saw the movie 2 years ago. I was severely disappointed last year when a friend said she was making Ratatouille and served me some kind of stew looking thing (I had no idea that the dish from the movie wasn't REALLY Ratatouille!!) so I've been on a mission to find the perfect recipe since that time.

I stole the recipe from here:

I didn't use the goat cheese but I made another pan with Parmesan cheese on top, super tasty! I served it over garlic couscous. I think the garlic in the couscous was a little powerful...not sure how I'm going to get away with eating leftovers for lunches at work and continue to be able to talk to people for the rest of the day...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Marathon Training Week 2

Week 2 is done! Here's the summary:

Monday: Rest day - 3 mile warm up on the bike and then Yoga/Fitness Pilates at the Y. As far as I can tell it was just Yoga but I guess that's a good thing since it was a rest day. I just wish I had gotten more sweaty.

Tuesday: I did a track workout with the local running group! It was scary, people were nice but didn't go out of their way to talk to me, but I didn't really try to talk to many people either. All in all I ran about 5.4 miles (it was supposed to be a 3 mile day...I think I'm ok with a little longer)

Wednesday: 3 mile run at the Y. I was cranky and tired and not feeling it so I just did my run and went home (it may have been really late too?)

Thursday: 2 mile run on the treadmill at the Y, Strength and Tone Class (hard work!) at the Y, and 1 mile run after

Friday: rest day - Yogalates at the Y. Much more intense than the Monday class! Too bad it's in the middle of the day so I can't go every week :(

Saturday: 7 mile run on the track at the Y. LOVED it! Maybe it's the novelty of running a track but it was soooo much better than running on the dreadmill. The only issue I had was counting laps since it's 9 laps per mile!

Sunday: TBD...I'll make it to the gym for my 60 min cross training and dance class but since it's so cold outside I figured I'd only venture out once today

Overall this week was good. It wasn't a chore to go to the gym most days. I think Wednesday was hard because I was trying to work longer days to take Friday off. I won't have that issue this week! I like the runs are pretty short during the week and I have time to fit in a fitness class in addition to the shorter runs! My eating was pretty good this week too. I did have a little dessert every day but I didn't really binge at all. Most days I had a Banana Baby or cookie or two. I ended up losing weight this week but I probably gained a little back with eating out over the weekend. It's soo hard to eat small meals when you go out!!

Next week:

Sunday (today): 60 min cross training

Monday: rest
Tuesday: 3 mile run
Wednesday: 4 mile run
Thursday: 3 mile run
Friday: rest
Saturday: 5 mile run
Sunday: 60 min cross training

Yay for mini-taper weeks!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Week 1

Well today is January 8th, which means that week 1 of the 2012 is complete. This also means that week 1 of marathon training is complete. I kind of fudged this week since the training plan I want to follow is 18 weeks long and the marathon I want to run is 19 weeks into the year...I also didn't fully commit to the marathon until yesterday. I was on the fence between really committing to training the right way for a half marathon (since I've never really trained properly for any of the 4 half marathons I've run) and going for a new PR (since my current PR was my very first half!) and training for a full in the spring knowing I might get into NY in the fall.

I talked a friend into running the Publix Georgia Half Marathon with me on March 18th...a date that falls in line with the half marathon required as a part of the marathon training I guess that means I'm running a spring marathon!

So the summary of this week was...
Sunday: rest day - Sea World
Monday: 3 mile run, 0.5 mile walk
Tuesday: Legoland! (no time to run!)
Wednesday: 4.5 mile run
Thursday: 3.25 mile run
Friday: rest day - 30 min circuit workout at Planet Fitness and 3.2 miles on the Elliptical
Saturday: 5 mile long run (and it took every ounce of my willpower to finish...shame on me for not eating before running)
Sunday: 60 minute boot camp at the Y

Next week plan says I need to run:
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 3 miles
Wednesday: 3 miles
Thursday: 3 miles
Friday: rest
Saturday: 6 miles
Sunday: 60  min cross train

Since I want to lose weight I'm also going to try to work in weights on the days I have shorter runs and maybe try out some new classes at the Y since that's half of the reason I switched gyms (btw kudos to Planet Fitness for being SUPER AWESOME about letting me quit, I've never had such a good experience quitting a gym, no 60 days written notice, no calling an 800 that hangs up on you, just walked in, signed a piece of paper, and I was done!). The other half of the reason why I moved to the Y was because they just built a super nice new gym including a brand new indoor pool! And after I finish marathon in May I want to start training for an Olympic Triathlon for later in the summer. I figured having a pool would be nice and a super awesome way to cross train and recover from the running (maybe water run if I need it).

In other news, I signed up for track practice with the local running group. I've never been to a track practice so maybe that wasn't my smartest thing to sign up for having never actually met anyone from the running group. I'm a little nervous...I have no idea what to expect and there are all kinds of rules about track etiquette! Any advice from the blog world? I know the people will probably be nice but will they be accepting of the fact that I've never done a track practice and I'm showing up to one?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Years Habits

I am not making sweeping resolutions this year. Last year I did well. I didn't reach my initial goal of running 500 miles but I met my adjusted goal of running/walking/hiking/swimming/biking/rowing/etc 1000 miles!

While I was thinking about this year's goals I found an article about setting 12 small goals throughout the year, one each month. Goals that will become habits, small changes. The point is that if you choose achievable habits you won't be so overwhelmed with sweeping changes so you won't be setting yourself up for failure. I like that idea but thinking of 12 goals now is overwhelming. Plus I think part of the beauty of 12 small goals is that it can be fluid, as your life changes you can adjust your goals accordingly. An unpredicted injury prevented me from achieving my 500 miles of running last year. 12 little goals will give me the freedom to adjust my goals as my body and life changes.

So I'm starting the year with a goal to run a marathon. Training started on Jan 1. So January's goal is to get to the gym/exercise 4-5 times a week with a minimum of 30 minutes for each visit. 5 days into the year and I'm happy to report that I've run 3 days so far with plans to go tomorrow and Saturday to reach my 5 days! My 2 "off" days this week were sent running around theme parks so it's not like I was a total slug but my new habit is to focus on a concerted effort to burn calories, anything beyond that (like spending a day outside being active) is just a bonus!

What are your plans for 2012?

I think it would be pretty sweet if I beat my numbers from 2011. I think it should be easy if I maintain the exercising 4-5 days a week!