Tag Archives: core

Reading material, a run, and sitting on a wall

30 Apr

Before talking about my latest run, I want to share a couple of articles with you that I recently read.

First, After Boston: A Run the Recovery, a powerful article written by Michael Cassidy, an Olympic marathon trials qualifier who ran Boston this year. The entire thing is incredible and inspiring, but this is my favorite excerpt:

“To run is to live. Running nourishes our muscles and nurtures our minds. It induces clarity of thought, vitality of physiology, and tranquility of emotion. It demands complete unity of body and spirit, it requires your legs, your lungs, your heart, your mind, but rewards all those parts too. It’s in this harmonious holism that we come to understand our true identities, our authentic selves. The universe’s uncertainty is distilled into a singularity: We exist in and of the moment. In the midst of entropy, serene bliss. In the midst of confusion, clarity. Surrounded by constraints, we are freed. Running creates.”

Chills.

Second, Being a Runner Does Not Make Me Crazy, a Hello Giggles blog post by Miriam Lamey. My husband sent me the link to this article a few weeks ago and it immediately struck a chord with me. I’m sure my fellow runners can relate. Here is how Miriam responds to those who call her “crazy” for running:

“I think one of my chosen hobbies instead makes me balanced. I think that I’ve learned discipline, the benefits of endorphins and good, old-fashioned enjoyment of being in and moving one’s body. I think that I’ve learned to be at peace with myself, given that on a 15-mile run, I’m with myself for two-plus hours. I think I have developed some pretty badass mental strength in order to keep going even when it hurts, I’m tired and/or it’s cold. And I also think that I found something healthy, free, fun, occasionally hilarious and definitely unique that brings me (mostly) joy.”

100% agreed.

***

Yesterday was one of those Mondays when you just know it’s not going to be a great one from the start. I went to sleep wayyyy too late and couldn’t force myself to open my eyes at 5:30 AM. I quickly rescheduled my run for after work and stayed in bed until the very last minute possible. Truth be T, the day sucked. The best thing about it was getting notifications that my orders from Running Warehouse, Under Armour, and Pro Compression had shipped. YAY!

Even my run was kind of, “meh.” It was damp and most of the run I was working hard to convince myself not to just stop and go to sleep. I ran for 42 minutes and made it 4.75 miles.

run2I took a break to have some salmon for dinner with Mark, then got on with leg and abs circuits from Running in Heels while watching 2 Broke Girls. Laughing while strength training makes it go by much easier. Or does it make it harder? I can’t decide.

This is me about halfway through the wall sit, trying to distract myself from the urge to just fall over.

wallsitOn to the abs:

I had every intention of doing each circuit twice through like it says to, but that whole eating dinner thing really slowed down my mojo and I just put pajamas on instead. Good choice, I’d say. 🙂

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Recovery runs, Pulled pork, and Bargain brights

12 Apr

Run.

After yesterday’s hill repeats, my plan for this morning was to go for a recovery run. Then I got to thinking, what exactly is a recovery run and what are the benefits? What I’ve heard is that it is meant for muscle repair and to essentially “shake the legs out” the day after a hard workout. Then I read this article, which offers a somewhat different perspective. Author Matt Fitzerald from Competitor.com says the common belief about recovery runs is not quite accurate, but they are very important for training.

“By sprinkling your training regimen with relatively short, easy runs, you can achieve a higher total running volume than you could if you always ran hard.  Yet because recovery runs are gentle enough not to create a need for additional recovery, they allow you to perform at a high level in your key workouts and therefore get the most out of them.”

If you run 5 times a week or more, are training for a race, were unsure of the reasons for recovery runs, or are at all interested in running, I highly recommend reading the entire article.

Even though I haven’t been running 5 times a week, I still considered this a recovery run because it fell between a hard workout and the 9 miles I have planned for tomorrow.

Today’s cold, rainy run was a little over 3 miles at a 9:30 avg pace. It was nice to slow down a little and relax. I also made a mental note that I need a light rain jacket for running.

I followed that with the abs circuit from the Running in Heels Beach Body Challenge.

That last plank was haaaaaaard, but I’m fairly certain I’ve grown at least a two-pack with all the core work I’ve been doing.

Lunch.

I met my very best friend Vicki for lunch at Spanish tapas restaurant, Boca Bistro to talk boys men, life, work, and running. If you are ever in or around the Capital Region of New York, you need to eat there. End of story.

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Pulled pork with smoked tomato aioli, pickled shallot, and idiazabal (cheese) sandwich with a cup of white bean and chorizo soup

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Biggest white beans I’ve ever seen on the biggest spoon I’ve ever used to eat soup

Seriously, this stuff is delicious. The food makes me want to go to Spain to eat myself into oblivion and never leave.

Shop.

On the way home I stopped at my favorite weekly hangout, Target. I was trying on a few things in the dressing room and the urge struck me to take a self-portrait. For the past couple of days I’ve been letting my hair just kind of do its own thing with minimal product or blowdrying (besides bangs). You know this is a big deal when both your husband and your best friend react to you telling them you let your hair go au naturel by getting really scared and asking if you’re OK.

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Like?

I spent a lot of time perusing the aisles in a leisurely manner, not really looking for anything in particular. I ended up with this awesome skirt for about $8 and I’m already planning how I’m going to wear it next week.

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I also found these bobby pins on clearance and thought they’d be a cute way to hold my bangs back during races instead of those plain, boring bobby pins I usually use.

20130412-173528.jpgToday’s shopping theme was clearly “Bright colors and 70% off.”

Some fun questions for you:

What are your thoughts on recovery runs?

What’d you have for lunch today? 

What was your last bargain buy?

This week’s highlights

22 Mar

There have been many running-related things swirling through my mind this week and once I get my thoughts together there will be a couple of great posts coming up. I can feel it.

Life gets pretty busy for us, especially considering I work 40 hours Monday through Thursday and Mark works 55+ (including Saturdays) during tax season and there is always something going on on weekends. Sometimes it seems I end up with a long list of topics I want to blog about but run out of time to really develop these ideas and write about them. I think I’m going to start writing a bunch of things ahead of time. Or maybe voice record them in the car or on long runs. How crazy would I look if I was talking to myself while running?

Here are a couple of highlights from this week.

When you don’t have any croutons or oyster crackers for your soup…why not use Trader Joe’s Multigrain O’s? That was exactly what I was thinking and I tried it with TJ’s carrot ginger soup. Turns out it is an AMAZING idea. I might even dare say it ranks with that idea Mark had about making Speculoos cookie butter sandwiches.

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All this soup and no crackers

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Hey, these are kind of like crackers…

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Soup and crunch perfection.

I’ve been trying more and more of the Naked juices and I’ve decided I’m most definitely a fan. I was having a lot of stomach issues this week and tried the Probiotic Machine. It tasted great and seemed to help ease the tummy troubles, so I will put it on my grocery list in the future.

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System reboot

Brooks recently released new shoe updates for 2013 and you know what that means? Last year’s model goes on SALE! I hear so many great things about Brooks products that I have been contemplating trying out the Pure Project line of shoes. I have a problem with overpronation and the Pure Cadence seemed like just the ticket. I was a little slow to discover they were all on sale, but I was lucky enough to snag a pair in my size from Dick’s. They just arrived today!

I immediately put them on to run errands and I’m pretty sure I’m already in love with them. Brooks describes the support technology as “holding your foot like an endless hug” and I can honestly say that is exactly what it feels like! I’m looking forward to taking them on their first run tomorrow morning.

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Brooks Pure Cadence and I are about to be BFFs

Overall, this week’s runs and workouts have been great even with a big snow storm. I already told you about Monday’s 4 mile run, but here’s the others.

Keeping up with the Mile a Day in March challenge, I ran a quick mile Tuesday night and then Mark joined me Thursday night for another mile. I think my efforts to turn him into a runner might be working because he hasn’t even tried to find reasons not to run with me when I ask him.

Wednesday night’s run was at sunset and I felt pretty strong. I even powered up a hill for the #RunChatHunt.

4.58 miles | 40:07 total time | 8:46 avg pace

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Sunset run by the pond

Today’s run had me feeling less than great, so I ended up cutting it a little shorter than I had originally planned. I’m not sure what it was today but it was just not as into it. Maybe it was because I was bummed that new shoes hadn’t arrived by the time I hit the road!

3.12 miles | 28:52 total time | 9:15 avg pace

I’m still working on my core and doing my lolofit circuit a few times a week. I’m feeling stronger each time! I know it is helping me be a stronger runner overall and I’m noticing some positive changes.

I’ve got the racing bug, so I spent some time today checking out local races for April. Once I make some final decisions I’ll share my plans.

Happy Weekend!