Category Archives: training

Exercise Lately and Next Goals

I love having goals! And not just for exercise, for everyday life too. They help keep me on track and have a plan for each day, week, month, and year. Goals prevent me from being stagnant.

Now that I’m basically fully recovered from the marathon, I have been trying to get back into a regular workout routine. I don’t have a goal race set up yet for the spring, so my goals right now are going to be more about getting in a rhythm and preparing for next year.

1. Work on upper body strength — I missed working on pushups and pullups over the last few months during marathon training, so I want some of that strength back! Last week I did my first upper body workout in a few months. I knew I’d be sore from it so I tried to keep the weights lighter. Even with keeping it easier, I was sore after for days!!

2. Get some variety — I like mixing things up. So for now, I hope to do a lot of different activities every week. So far this is going well — I have done some running, spinning, walks, and strength. I want to also do some yoga and swimming.

3. Start planning spring races — I only have one thing officially scheduled so far for 2014 (Ragnar FL Keys!), so I want to start figuring out what else I’ll be doing!

Do you enjoy goal setting? What are your goals for this week? Mine are to have fun on my 10k turkey trot on Thursday morning, finish writing my dissertation (yikes!), and decorate for Christmas on Friday! OK, and eat lots of pie too. 🙂

Ups and downs of the past two weeks

I started to write this post about how my training has been very up and down the last two weeks. And, while it kind of has, starting to write it out made me realize that right now I think things are going alright, and I’m feeling excited about my marathon in less than two weeks. 

After my confidence boosting 20-miler a couple weeks ago, I ran a strong progression run and short marathon pace run before running the Nike Women’s half

Following Nike, my lower leg (which I have been dealing with since rolling my ankle nearly two months ago) was really bothering me for a couple days. I was feeling defeated since I had felt great during the half and the week before. Looking back, I think it was mostly some delayed soreness from running the hills. I haven’t done any major hill training lately, so I’m sure my legs weren’t used to it. 

After taking a few days off running to cross train, I felt good for an easy 6 last Thursday, and a strong marathon pace 15 miler on Saturday morning. 

What makes me more excited is that the past two days I have been feeling great. My soreness isn’t excessive, and I am solidly into my taper now. 

So while the last couple weeks didn’t quite go as planned (or the last couple months for that matter), I have been hanging on and getting in some solid long runs. After thinking about it, I realized that even though I missed a few run days and some quality speed sessions, I didn’t have to just sit and do nothing. I’ve enjoyed doing cross training with spin and yoga. I’m coming out of this fairly healthy and ready to run the marathon I’ve been training for so long! I guess sometimes when you’re in the midst of it, the frustration can bring you down mentally. Smart training and listening to my body have helped me get through it.

Now that you know how things have been going I’m going to just forget about those frustrating days and focus on the strong long runs I have had. My right leg is still not 100%, but in the next 11 days, I will be stretching, and rolling as much as I can. I am ready.

4 weeks to go!

I am down to less than 4 weeks before the OBX marathon, and I am getting pretty excited! This week I unfortunately didn’t get in as much running as I wanted, but I did fit in some cross training instead. Early in the week my ankle was sore following the Rock n Roll San Jose half marathon. Then later in the week I had a few busy days at work so a run didn’t work out.

Here’s how the week went down:

Monday: rest.
I needed a day off following last Sunday’s race.

Tuesday: 35 minute sweat-soaking spin
We bought a spin bike to allow us some more time in the saddle over the winter time without having to go to the gym — plus it will be good for run cross training. So since my ankle was feeling sore, I did some time on the spin bike instead. It felt great and I watched some Chopped on the Food Network as I went along.

Wednesday: walk + stretch
Instead of our usual leg routine, Ryan and I decided to go for a walk. It is nice to get out and enjoy the beautiful evening weather on a sunny fall day sometimes.

Thursday: AM spin
I had a busy day at work, and I knew I wasn’t going to be home until almost 9pm — nixing my usual afternoon run plans. So instead of a rest day, I opted to utilize the new spin bike again for a quick 30 minute hard spin. I closed myself up in our office and really worked up a sweat while listening to some podcasts.

Friday: rest
On Friday I found out that I had qualified (from my August Olympic distance triathlon) for the 2014 USA Age Group National Championships. I don’t think that I will go this year , but I hope that I can qualify and attend again in the future.

Saturday: 20 mile run!!
I was sooooo nervous before this run. I really wasn’t sure how my ankle would feel since my last 20 mile attempt I cut short at 16 miles. I decided to just take it slow and steady. My most recent long runs had been at a little faster pace (by about 10-15 seconds per mile), but I decided it would feel much more confident about the marathon if I could finish this run at a little slower pace than not complete it.

In the end, it worked out great. My legs were definitely tired after, and I’ve been working on recovery / foam rolling / stretching a little extra.

Later in the day, I went to early packet pickup in Sacramento for the Nike Women’s half marathon next weekend! Even though there was still an hour long line, it seemed to move along pretty quickly, and was a gorgeous day! I’m excited to run next weekend, and see a few girls from HTC (Kara + Leslie!)

Sunday: walk + rest
After a busy Saturday, we took the day easy. We went to the movies and did our usual Sunday grocery trip. We went for a brisk walk in the afternoon and fit in a little bit of stretching.

Do you go to the grocery store once a week? Or more often? We try to get everything on our Sunday trips, but sometimes we have to go buy some veggies on Friday if we are eating at home since they are usually all gone by then.
Anyone else running NWM next weekend in SF?

OBX Marathon Training: Week 14

Sorry this post is a little delayed this week. We’re already almost through another week! Life has been seriously busy, but going well. Just may make posting a bit light sometimes. Anyway — on to the good stuff of training last week…

Wow. I really can’t believe how close the marathon is getting. Yesterday was already down to 1 month until race day! Last week I was feeling more back to normal with my ankle. I also had my first race of the fall at the San Jose Rock n Roll half marathon! Here’s a little about how it went:

Monday: 1 hour yoga
It felt so good to stretch and move my body this day. Some days I just need some yoga!

Tuesday: 4 fast miles.

Wednesday: P90x legs.
We’ve been doing a good job of keeping up with leg strength routine this fall, which I think is really helping keep some injuries away.

Thursday: 4 miles easy

Friday: rest

Saturday: 30 minutes easy yoga
We drove down to San Jose for packet pickup and had a nice evening checking out the city and relaxing.

Sunday: race day! check out my recap on my 13th half marathon here.

This weekend I’m looking forward to watching the Kona Ironman! Anyone else watching??

OBX Marathon Training: Week 12

So, remember last week how I mentioned that I rolled my ankle during my long run, but it was feeling a little better? Well, this week it never really seemed to get back to normal, so I spent the week working on rehab and a little bit of cross training instead of my usual running schedule. I only ran 2 miles this week! 

Today it still isn’t quite 100% (but getting closer). I think some leg muscles are working extra to keep my ankle stable so I’m having some tightness in my peroneal muscles, hip flexor, and IT band. I am trying to stay positive about it, but I am getting a little frustrated. I am hoping to let go of this week of injury and get back into things this week — slowly of course to keep that injury away. I have a 20-miler planned for next weekend, so hopefully I can be ready.

Monday: 30 mins light yoga

Tuesday: 45 minute spin on the bike trainer plus a few core exercises

Wednesday: rest

Spent the evening celebrating my friend Matt finishing his PhD!

Thursday: 2-mile run to pick up my bike at an easy pace and 2 mile bike home. Did a few leg exercises at home to keep up my hip strength.

Friday: a little stretching, but mostly rest

Saturday: walked a few miles doing trail cleanup in the area I do a lot of long runs. Then went to the gym and swam 1250 yards. 



Sunday: 30 mile bike ride instead of a long run. 
Since my ankle was still feeling a bit funny, I subbed out my long run for a bike ride of similar time. It was a bit chilly, but a beautiful morning. I had to stop a couple times to take photos because it was so awesome. My ankle and lower leg felt good on this ride. I think I am getting close to being ready to run again. **fingers crossed**

As a reminder, there is still time to enter my giveaway for an Endorphin warrior bracelet! Go check it out and enter!

I also just realized that last Friday was my 1- year blogiversary! 🙂 Happy blogiversary to me! Thank you so much for reading and supporting me and keep working to defy your limitations!

OBX Marathon Training: Week 11

I’m so happy with how training went this week. I really tried to stay on track, like last week and have good quality training days.

Monday: 1 hour of yoga using the Yoga Studio app.
Just found this app thanks to Starbuck’s pick of the week. It’s awesome. Quite a few preset workouts, and you can even make your own! Really enjoyed this as a good stretch.

Tuesday: Speed day — 5 x 1000m with 400m rest on treadmill for total of 5.5 miles.
The last time I tried this workout, my calf cramped before I could finish. I was due for redemption on this workout! I started conservatively, and ramped up the speed each interval. Ended feeling really good!

Wednesday: The usual — P90x legs workout. Gotta get in the strength training!

Thursday: 4.4 miles steady state run

Friday: rest day

Saturday: 18 mile long run
This run went really well. I felt stronger and kept almost the same pace as my last long run two weeks ago. My shoes felt pretty good too. I was just so happy to be out there, feeling strong and enjoying the day.

At mile 10.5 I stepped on a big rock and rolled my ankle, but it didn’t really hurt badly and did not seem to affect my pace. Later in the day it felt a little stiff, but ok for the 5k on Sunday. I didn’t really think too much of this until Sunday afternoon.

Sunday: Lets ROC 5k.
You can see my full recap here. I hadn’t run a 5k in almost 2 years, so I was due for a good hard run and a new 5k PR. I’m excited by my time since I ran an 18 mile long run the day before!

Sunday afternoon I spent a lot of time lounging. My ankle felt a little stiff again, so I rested for the day after the race, watching football. Starting out this week, I have been keeping things easy, because I think this rolled ankle actually pulled a little muscle on the side of my leg, so I won’t do a track workout this week. (The 5k should count for that, right?!?) It is already starting to feel a little better, so I think in a few more days I’ll be back to normal. Gotta watch out for rocks now!

PS. I know this mileage is nothing to some people, but this was my highest weekly mileage ever!! Exciting!

OBX Training Week 10

Woo hoo! I’m officially over halfway through my training for the Outer Banks Marathon! This week was a step back week in terms of running mileage, but after a few crazy weeks of running and recovering from Hood to Coast, I really wanted to get back on my regular schedule!

Monday: light yoga

Tuesday: Yasso 800s. Completed 8 x 800 for a total of 7.25 miles.
I felt so much stronger than the last time I did this workout a few weeks ago. I will probably try doing it again in a few weeks and get up to 10 repeats.

Wednesday: P90x legs workout
I had an overwhelming and frustrating work day, but still fit in this workout to get some pent up energy out.

Fun side note: My tomatoes are starting to ripen in my garden. Many many more to come! I picked the first ones this week.

Thursday: 3 miles + core
Hot and sweaty 3 miles after work. My legs started out feeling sore from the last two days. After a mile though, they warmed up and I sped up! Paces were: 9:57, 9:07, 8:11. After letting myself cool down for a few minutes, I did a short core workout.

Friday: yoga
Calves were feeling tight, so I made sure to fit in a little more yoga to keep them loose.

Saturday: 5.25 miles with ~3.5 at marathon pace
I squeezed a few miles in in the morning before Ryan and I went out to celebrate our anniversary by going to Santa Rosa, CA for the day. We checked out Russian River Brewery, took a couple mile walk in a pretty local park, did some champagne tasting at Korbel, and went out for a lovely Italian dinner.

{shared a beer sampler because there were so many to taste!}

Sunday: 1650 yd swim
Straight and easy swim for recovery. I hadn’t been to the pool in a few weeks, so it was great to be in the water for a little while.

How did your training go last week? Do you like Yasso 800s? Have you used them to predict your marathon time?

OBX Training Week 9

Week 9 was about getting back into the routine after Hood to Coast (see my recaps Pt I & Pt II), and a little rest/recovery. I ended up taking some extra rest time for some fun events later in the week, so I missed a workout Thursday, but I know I will be back at it this week.

Monday: return from HTC. 45 mins of yoga for recovery

Tuesday: easy 4 miles. Legs were still feeling sore and sluggish. I didn’t want to push it too much. But it felt good to get my legs moving.

Wednesday: P90x legs
I also noticed some knee pain, but didn’t feel it while lifting. I decided maybe more recovery was still needed post HTC. Not used to so many hard runs in a row, maybe?

Thursday: rest
Knee still acting up, so more rest. I wanted to make sure I could do my weekend long run on Saturday!
I also went out to a concert — Casey Abrams who was in American Idol season 10. He was a little quirky as usual, but it was fun and a small venue.

Friday: rest while watching lots of Modern Family.

Saturday: 16 mile long run.
I feel like 16 milers officially mean marathon training. I know that probably some people train to 16 for half marathons or other shorter races, but I never have. So now that I’ve hit 16, I think I feel like I’m finally into marathon zone! YES!

This run went ok. I actually did a good job of keeping my pace consistent throughout the run. The biggest slow downs were a few water breaks. My calves were getting really tight in the last two miles, and I was just ready to be done. No issues with my knee though — thank goodness for rest days! My calves were tight for most of the rest of the day too, so I did some legs up the wall and compression socks for recovery. Time to re-focus on calf stretching!!!

I think what really got me through the end of this run though was thinking of these awesome teammates! #virtualpowerarch to the rescue!

Sunday: rest
We wanted to make the most of the long weekend, so Ryan, a couple friends and I went wine tasting for the day. We have all been working hard lately so it was good to take a break.

What do you like to do on your rest days? 

OBX Marathon Training Week 8

OK, I know you were probably hoping to see a Hood to Coast recap already, but I’m still trying to wrap my head around everything I want to write about! But, in case you were wondering — it was amazing. From getting to know so many wonderful women from all across the country, to running my first relay, I loved every second of it. I expect I should have a more complete recap up in the next couple days. For now though, here is just a taste of the adventure….

Monday: swim 1250 yds. Kept this swim easy for recovery from last week’s long run

Tuesday: total body strength workout. Also kept this fairly light so I didn’t stress my legs too much, but I knew I would have a few day to recover so I wasn’t worried. But, I didn’t want to do a hard intervals day like my typical Tuesdays.

Wednesday: rest.
I traveled to Seattle, and did lots of walking. Checked out the Public Market for lunch. In the evening, we all went to a bar/bowling alley called the Garage for some time to get to know each other, and have some food and drinks.

Thursday: 3 mi run, easy
We visiting Oiselle in the morning and went for a run around Greenlake. It was an absolutely gorgeous day! In the afternoon we went on a duck boat tour. Then there was dinner and van decorating at Nuun!

Friday: Run HTC!!!
We started at 1:15pm, so I had one run on Friday afternoon, one overnight, and one Saturday morning. Like you saw in my previous post, this run was 6.7 miles with some rolling hills and a long downhill.

Saturday: Run HTC!!
My second run was at about 3:15am — 5.25 miles mostly uphill. And the third run was about 12:30pm for another 5.35 miles of rolling hills and some winding downhill. We had really great weather the whole time (a few sprinkles over night, but the temperatures were awesome). Post race festivities were also fun including pizza, a beach concert, and ice cream. And never wanting the weekend to end!

Sunday: Hang in Oregon.
My Mom made it out to Oregon to visit her friend, so they picked me up and we toured around the Oregon shore before heading back to Portland to relax. Somehow with dead legs I climbed up this huge tower (164 steps of a spiral staircase) in Astoria, OR (home of the Goonies) — but at least I was greeted with an incredible view.

I’m now back in Sacramento — looking through as many photos as I can. I had an amazing time and I look forward to sharing more about it with you this week!

What were you up to this weekend?

Also, reminder that there is still time to save 15% on your Nuun Hydration order using code hydrateHTC at checkout through the end of September!

OBX Marathon Training Week 7

This week was all about focusing back in on running! My calf has been feeling pretty good, as long as I continue to be diligent on stretching, and triathlons are over for this year for me. 

Monday: rest. After Sunday’s Olympic distance triathlon, I needed a good rest day. 

Tuesday: Yasso 800’s.6 800s in 3:54. Felt good during this. Thought about doing a few more but didn’t want to push the calf too hard on my first speed day in a couple weeks. Afterward I spent lots of time stretching and did a few core moves until Ryan was finished with his workout. 


Wednesday: P90x legs + core.
I have been doing a mix of my own favorite arm moves plus the Lesko Dozen. Some were done after the speed session Tuesday, and some after my leg strength day.

Thursday: 4 mile progressive run
Legs felt pretty dead this day. Feeling some accumulated fatigue. Couldn’t quite get my last mile faster than the third. But they ended up the same exact pace. 

In the evening, I enjoyed the wine I won from podium placement at the triathlon last weekend, while watching the Hood to Coast movie. Just made me even more excited for my first big relay race!

Friday: rest

Saturday: volunteered at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for a few hours. So, ended up doing lots of walking, and lifting. So much fun!


Sunday: 14 mile long run. 
Temps were supposed to reach 100, so we got up early and made it out on our favorite bike trail by 7am. It felt pretty nice out when we started. The initial plan was to run 62-63 minutes out, and 57-58 back for a nice negative split. I was so close to getting in 7 miles, that I pushed it to 65 minutes out. Made the return in 61 minutes. Generally, I felt pretty good. It felt good to have a long run! Hadn’t had a good one in nearly a month! It is time to start ramping up the long run mileage a little more. My left knee and calves were tired by the time I finished, so I spent some time with my legs up in compression socks in the afternoon. Oh yeah, and lots of time eating. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m always hungry for the rest of the day after a long run! How do you refuel after a long run?