Training: Back to the Cold

Last week was a solid week of training.  My easy runs felt good and I had two quality workouts. Since the Mercedes half marathon was more of a workout, I recovered quickly.  Not that I’m complaining…

Monday:  Easy 60 minutes at McAlpine Park in Charlotte
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: Easy 60 minutes
Thursday: 12X2 minutes with 30 seconds rest
Friday: Easy 70 minutes
Saturday:  Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: 2X4 mile tempo (6:42 pace)

I didn’t race this week and I probably won’t next week.  Due to weather, February is typically a “drier” race month in New Jersey. I’m happy to get a couple of quality weeks of training under my belt as well.  My next major race is the Shamrock half marathon in about a month.  That will be a race to hopefully test my fitness.  Incase you are interested, I wrote about my 2017 Spring Goal Races here.

Speaking of New Jersey, I’m having a hard time adjusting back to the climate.   When I left, we hadn’t had a lot of cold days and now running in the 20s feels difficult.  It’s quite a shock from the drastic humidity of Alabama.  So if you see someone running around in a parka, it might be me.

Workouts:
Thursday: 12×2 minutes with 30 seconds rest (average 6:15 pace)

I appreciate my workouts are rarely the same.  This is one of the better workouts I’ve had lately.  I’m back to doing workouts on roads and I felt good

Sunday: 2X4 miles (6:42 average)
This workout intimidated me.  The goal pace was 6:44.  I did the workout on roads and it flew by.  I never felt amazing but I was able to make the pace.

This week will be similar.  I’ll just crank through workouts and get them under my belt.

Posts from the Week:
Mercedes Half Marathon
Saucony Freedom ISO Shoe Review
Love Yourself

Questions for you:
How was your week of training?
Where is your favorite spot to workout?

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Training last Week: Travel and 5k (18:42)

Training last week clicked off well. I ran what I needed to and got the mileage in.  I don’t have any complaints about the week.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes (9:20 pace) Core
Tuesday: Easy 7 miles (8:40)
Wednesday: Workout Core
Thursday: Easy 60 minutes (9:05 pace)
Friday: Easy 60 minutes Core
Saturday: Workout: Polar Bear 5k (18:42)
Sunday Easy Mercedes Course Preview
Total: 59  miles

Easy Runs:

My easy runs were slower than usual last week but it was also humid. Most of the days last week were either running in 100% humidity or the rain. I didn’t feel bad or injured, but the heat change was noticeable.

Wednesdays Workout:
4X60 seconds (average 6:00)
1X10 minutes (6:33)
1X3 minutes (5:56)
4X60 seconds (average 6:10)

The workout was definetely different and a nice change. Something I do like about my coach is that he doesn’t give the same workouts weekly. I’m not doing 10x400s each week hoping to see improvmeent, or worse comparing myself when I don’t.

As far as execution, it was one of my better workouts in the last few weeks.
Polar Bear 5k (18:42):

My husband and I decided to take a road trip last weekend. We went to Atlanta and then Birmingham. We have been to Altanta a few times, so we stayed away from the touristy things. We stumbled upon a 5k and when we went there, I was shocked! It was a 1000+ person 5k and we weren’t expecting that. I had a workout that day of 2X5k at 6:45 pace.

I ran the first 5k at 5:58 and the second at 6:50. It was a lot faster than planned.

My splits were 6:00, 5:55 and 5:58. I ran a smart race and I’m happy with it. It was a moderately difficult course and I’ll have a recap soon.

This workout is more mentally challening than anything.  The second 5k is always extremely difficult to get out there. It takes a lot of mental pep talk after a race to get back and run hard by yourself again (I’ve done this workout a couple times: Haddonfield Road Race and Run for Jack). I didn’t want to interfere with racers and I ended up running part of the workout in a hilly neighborhood.

We swung by Birmingham on the way back and did the last Mercedes Course Preview Run.  While the Merecedes half won’t be a goal race for me, it was nice to check out the course.  I didn’t realize it was as hilly as it is.

In summary, it was a good week. The next two weeks are bigger race weeks for me with the Double Bridges 15k in Pensacola next weekend and the Mercedes Half Marathon the following.

Running Related Posts from the Week:
How to Run with a Significant Other
Running Books I’m Reading

Questions for you:
What is the biggest race you’ve ever done?
How was your week of workouts?

Training: 2 Mile Repeats and Hilly 5ks

The last week of training didn’t start off the greatest but progressed to be better towards the end.  I didn’t accomplish my goal at my workout on Tuesday, but after rest and recovery, I felt a lot better.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: 3X2 miles (6:54 pace)
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: Easy 60 minutes
Friday: Easy 75 minutes
Saturday: Run with friends
Sunday: 2X5: Resolution 5k: 18:30, 20:15
Total:  60 miles

My easy runs went pretty well.  On Saturday, I ran with some of my closest friends and coworkers which was a lot of fun.

run-with-friends

Tuesdays: Workout: 3X2 mile (6:54, 6:48, 6:52)

Long story short, I didn’t achieve the goal pace during the 2 miles.  I had an incredible tempo run the Sunday before, and my legs still had lactic acid in them.  I couldn’t change my schedule, so it was either then or never. I would equate it to the workout version of the

I would equate it to the workout version of the Philadelphia half marathon.  I wasn’t feeling great, it was windy and cold, but honestly, I put the run behind me.

I got a deep tissue massage later in the day and took the next day off.  The deep tissue massage, as well as rest, was exactly what I needed.

Sundays Race: Goal 2X5k with 3 minutes recovery

Race: 18:30

2nd 5k: 20:15

I’ll have a recap of the 5k later in the week, but it went well.  The course itself was surprisingly hilly.  hilly workout

I didn’t feel amazing, but I didn’t feel awful either.  I felt like the first 5k loosened me up and even though it was slower, I did feel better during the second 5k.  It was a tough workout, but I was happy with it.

Other than that, not too much else going on.

Posts of the week:
A Recap of 2016 Blogging
A Look Back at 2016 Running
Bettering Yourself with a New Years Resolution

Questions for you:
How was your workout week?
Do you like 2-mile workouts?

How to Become a Morning Runner

As no secret to anyone, it’s summer, and it’s hot.

This means it’s time to complain about the heat and weather.  If your weather is anything like New Jersey than several days have pushed triple digits and record highs.  I’ll be the first to admit even though our humidity is relatively high, our weather is not as bad as other parts of the country.  I don’t miss living in Texas or Virginia Beach right now.

Thinking out loud, there are many options to run through the summer such as running on the treadmill or running outside in the early morning.  I can’t say I’ve always been a morning runner but since college and working, I’ve had to get up earlier. I made the transition from afternoon/lunch to early morning runner.  To be honest, I’ve personally never been an evening or late night runner.  I heard a rumor grandmas don’t run late at night.

How to Become a morning runner

So how does one run earlier? How do you make that transition?
Gradually begin waking up earlier:

Don’t go from waking up at 7 to waking up at 4. Try waking up at 6:30 and then 6.  It’s easier that way.

Sleep in Your Workout Clothes:

Most workout clothes are moisture wicking and comfortable to sleep in.  I’ve slept in work out clothes plenty of time.  When I wake up, I just pop in my contacts, brush my teeth and out the door, I go.

Turn off the technology at night:

Over the years I’ve made a habit of turning technology off between 8:30-9:30  Even if I’m not sleeping, I’m logged off the computer. Honestly, I feel better, and I sleep better.

Stick to It:

It takes about three weeks to become truly acclimated to the time difference.  Give yourself three weeks to feel good.

Just Do It:

Sometimes thinking about something is the worst thing we can do.  If we take the plunge and make something a habit, it makes it much easier.  The biggest piece of advice I can give about becoming a morning runner, is (you guessed it):  Just Do it.

Questions for you:

Do you workout in the morning? Any advice?

What is your favorite time to workout? 

Hiking at Bear Mountain Park

Last week, my husband and I went hiking. I’m new to hiking, but as I mentioned in a previous post, we want to see plenty of local places while we still live in New Jersey.  We are both enjoying it, and it’s been a fun weekend hobby instead of traveling to road races.  To be honest, hiking is an incredibly intense workout and it tires me out more than running.

For our next adventure, we drove 2 hours north into New York State to Bear Mountain State Park.  Yes, Rockland County…no not “Upstate, NY”.  As someone who went to school in Potsdam, NY, 30 miles north of New York City is not upstate.

Bear Mountain is about 40 miles north of New York City.  The park itself has  a lot to do including a lake for swimming, trails, places to picnic and even a zoo.  There are plenty of moderate trails to hike too.  When we went, it was a beautiful day which meant there was no parking at all.  Most people were at the lake beach, in fact, even though hundreds of parking spots were filled, we only saw two other parties during our entire hike.

There are plenty of trails including moderate trails as well as more leisurely and historic trails.  We started with the leisurely trails which included a lot of history stops.

Bear Mountain Hiking

Bear Mountain Hiking

Bear Mountain Hiking
The actual barn

After about a mile we went along the yellow trail and left the historic area.  The trails became much more intense and there were some points we were almost rock climbing.  Considering I’m clumsy, perhaps this wasn’t the best idea. Everything was fine, though and even my ankle felt okay.

Bear Mountain Hiking

It was almost shocking how quiet the trails were because of how busy the lake was.  While I was taking in the atmosphere, Tarzan appeared…just kidding.

Bear Mountain Hiking

After about 3 miles and an hour and a half, we made it to the top.  We could see New York State as well as New Jersey.  Talk about a view; it was one of the most incredible views on the East Coast I’ve seen.

Bear Mountain Hiking

After hanging out at the top for a bit, we decided to head back.  Despite having a map, we got lost. There is another red trail we ended up connecting too and it caused us to hike across the entire park.  bear mountain state park

Our hike was only planned to be 4 miles, but it was 6 for us.  It wasn’t a big deal except I was starving.  Luckily I packed a giant red velvet diner cookie from lunch.

The diner cookie was the real MVP of the hike.

Bear Mountain Hiking

We stopped along the way taking photos of random spots too.  Like when I nailed yoga on a tree…(just kidding)

nature yoga meme

It was a great hike and after finally getting back to the car, I was beyond exhausting.  I felt like I had run a marathon, but views were worth it. Addig the extra 2 miles was definitely exhausting.

bear mountain state park tim and i

At the end of the day, we ended up hiking a 1000+ elevation gain (which is a lot for me). It was a great hike and we are looking forward to going back.

elevation bear mountain

Other hiking related posts:
Hiking Hemlock Falls
Hiking the Hollywood Sign

Questions for you:
Have you ever been hiking?  Have you gotten lost?
Would you rather go hiking or into the mountains?

Workout Log: Hiking, Humidity and Swimming

Last week flew by. Since the Fourth of July landed on a Monday, the week felt much shorter.  Which is odd because generally “short” weeks feel like they last longer.  Is that the case with anyone else?

Training wise, I’m just trucking along. Right now my foot is fine, but I’ve started to worry my foot will not respond well to an increase in mileage.  This stage of injury recovery is the hardest for me.  I find myself questioning a lot: will my foot respond well to an increase in distance? Will it not?

I’m better at just resting and “not running”.  Each time I’m cleared to run again (like now), I just constantly worry about every minor detail.

I keep questioning: will this be the run to completely break my foot?

Then I remember, I never broke my foot across the bone.  I fractured it and was still running 70 miles.

So in summary, my ankle is fine now but my fear is that I’ll gradually build my mileage back, but I will still have the same pain as before I stopped running. My biggest concern is: What if we’ve never solved the problem?  What if there is something else?

Moving on to workouts: 

Monday: —– Hike at Hemlock Falls
Tuesday: 3000 meters Swim 20 minute run
Wednesday: Core and Arm Strength 30 minute run
Thursday: Core 20 minute run
Friday: —— Complete Rest
Saturday: Core 35 minute run
Sunday: 3000 Meter Swim 20 minute run

On Monday, my husband and I went hiking at Hemlock Falls. It was more of an outing versus an intense hike. It was not a rest day either, and my legs were fatigued afterwords.  My ankle never felt any pain during the hike, and we weren’t pace pushers.  We just wanted to enjoy some of the scenes of the Garden State.

Hemlock Falls

My short runs consisted of a 20-minute run. Nothing hurt or felt off during those runs.

When I go to the pool, I prefer to swim laps versus pool running.  Both times I swam laps I swam 3X1000 meters.  One without a pull buoy, one with and one without.  It felt good.  It still baffles me I used to race that event. Swimming 3X1000s is what I like to do, and it’s enjoyable to deplug and stare mindlessly at the bottom of the pool with no interruptions.
My midweek “long run” was 30 minutes. This was where my ankle felt off, and it made me a little bit nervous. My ankle didn’t hurt, but it felt off. I know my ankle has made an improvement, but I’m worried it’s not enough. I guess we all have those fears, though.

Friday I needed complete rest. I needed it.  Between hiking, running and swimming I was exhausted.  Last week was the most hot and humid, we’ve had all summer. I haven’t missed running in that!

I decided to run my 35 minute run on Saturday because I was anxious to run, felt good and had rested the day before.  I didn’t have a reason to run on Sunday versus Saturday, so I switched them.  I felt a little bit of pressure on the back of my heel but nothing like before.  My breathing felt awful, and my legs felt tired at the end, but I ran. For the most part, my ankle felt fine.  Now we are two days later, and it still feels okay so I am making progress.

running injury free

In summary, I’m continuing to run and right now my ankle feels fine.  I’m a natural worrier but hopefully gradually increasing mileage keeps all injuries at bay.

Question for you:

Have you ever been hiking? 

What was your favorite workout last week? 

A Past with Swimming

Many people have asked more about my past with swimming so I thought I would share.  Plus swimming is a big sport at the Olympics, and I love watching!  On Tuesday, I wrote a post about why swimmers should get in the pool.  In summary, I was a swimmer long before I ran.  I didn’t start running until 2010-2011, and you can read about that here.

I swam through high school and three years of college.  As competitive as I am with running, I was more so with swimming.

Swimming was my life.  It was my social hour; it was my hobby, my fitness, and my fun.  Outside of school, it was everything.  Now for me running is something I love doing but at the end of the day, it’s a hobby.

swimming 2

In fact, a long time ago this blog used to be named: LOLZthatswim!  If you can remember that, you’ve been reading this ramble for a long time.  Eventually, I began running so the blog was renamed “LOLZthatswim(andrun).  Now it’s just FueledbyLOLZ.  This blog has changed a lot since I started nearly six years ago but that is a post for another day.  So back to swimming: 

Not to say I was obsessed with swimming but I spent a lot more time swimming than I currently do running.  For the high school, college or club level, the average practice is anywhere between 1.5- 2.5 hours.  You are swimming for the majority of that time. 

Could you imagine running or doing speed work for 2 hours daily and sometimes twice a day? 

No, you would get injured.

Most people don’t realize this, but you dive in and swim for 2 hours straight. In a given swim practice, you’ll alternate different sets.  Instead, you might warmup, do 10X100s freestyle with 20 seconds rest, 4X200 IM and so on. It never gets boring, and you don’t usually swim a practice“straight”. It’s more like doing different workouts on the track for 2 hours. swimming 3

How many miles do most competitive swimmers swim at practice?

In a given practice, you could swim anywhere from 3000-4000 yards per hour. It’s hard for me to believe that a “light” college training was around 5000 yards.  I haven’t swum more than 3000 in a very long time, and I have no plans too. Keep in mind, even though I was swimming anywhere from 14-20 hours a week, I was nowhere near professional.  I swam for a respectable D3 school, but I wasn’t anywhere close to the top of Division 3. Professional swimmers or even D1 swimmers are putting 4+ hours a day.

What events did you compete in?

I was a distance freestyler.  I swam the 500-yard freestyle, 1000 and occasionally the mile.  In later college, I would sometimes swim the 200 butterfly too, but I was a distance girl at heart. My favorite distance to swim was the 1000.

Because for me swimming is always a party...
Because for me, swimming is always a party…

What are pool workouts for runners?

This deserves a post in itself.  Pool running is the best workout for “real” running.  Like anything you have to simulate effort and pool running is what you get out of it.  If you relax and don’t get your heart rate up, you aren’t going to get the benefits of working hard.  I found this article by Jason helpful if you want to get into pool running.

So thinking out loud, that is just a brief look at my relationship with swimming as well as answering a few swimming related questions.  I don’t hate it, and I’m not on bad terms with swimming but at this point I do enjoy other things more.

Questions for you:
Do you like swimming?
What is something you did growing up that you don’t as much now?