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Workout Windup: Full Steam Ahead

I realize I’m late with last week’s Workout Windup, but I’m going to fill y’all in anyway. My week was great, especially in workout land, I just got sucked into everything else going on that it slipped my mind! So let’s make up for time lost by cutting right to the chase, alright?

What I had on the schedule, and what ended up going down:

  • Rest on Monday
  • Run 6 miles on Tuesday at 7 or 8 p.m.
  • Yoga DVD on Wednesday Rest
  • Run 4 miles on Thursday at 6:30 p.m., added lunchtime yoga session to make up for Wednesday
  • Rest on Friday
  • Run 12 miles Saturday morning, dance the night away at Cayla’s wedding
  • Yoga DVD on Sunday or Rest

I realize that looks like a lot of rest, but I still felt every workout! And I met every goal, so I can’t be upset. I was very excited about my 12-mile run: despite cold temperatures, falling snow, tons of hills and some bowel issues, I pushed through and finished in just under two hours. I call that a success.

Here’s what I have lined up for this week (or at least what’s left of it…so far I’m right on track!)

  • Meet with Coach Abby for light work/evaluation (details to come!) on Monday
  • SoulCycle on Tuesday at 7 a.m., strength train at 6:30 p.m.
  • 4-mile tempo run on Wednesday at 6:30 a.m., hot power yoga at 6 p.m.
  • Rest Thursday
  • Run 1 mile, maintenance & upper body exercises on Friday at 6 p.m.
  • Run 14 miles on Saturday
  • Run 3 miles on Sunday

I’m feeling nice and sore this evening from this week’s workouts and am fully embracing tomorrow’s rest day. I need to gear up for Saturday’s long run…and catch up on shameless TV 😉

What sweat sessions do you have lined up the rest of the week? 

Workout Windup: Half-Marathon Training Week 5

Hey guys! So sorry I’ve been off the radar the past few days. Things have been crazy busy at work and I’ve been working on some behind-the-scenes stuff for the blog, but I haven’t forgotten about you, I swear! So let’s hop right to it and see how my workouts went for week five of half-marathon training!

Goals:

  • 1 strength workout
  • 1 yoga class
  • 1 spin session
  • Run 27 miles

How I fared:

Monday: Ran 2 miles

I was supposed to do more, but it was one of those days when I couldn’t shake a headache, no matter what I did. Tried to pound out more, but this is as much as my body could take.

Tuesday: Ran 3 miles + SoulCycle Madonna Ride

Laced up my sneaks in the morning to make up the missed miles from Monday, then headed to SoulCycle for my cross-training at night! Amazing class!! Check out the recap I wrote about it for FITNESS here.

© SoulCycle

Wednesday: Speed Work –> Yasso 800s 4.71 miles

This was my first time doing speed work. I think I did well, and I’m excited to incorporate it into more workouts!

Thursday: Ran 6.5 miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: Ran 11 miles

Sunday: Yoga DVD

Totals:


Miles run (this week): 27

Miles run (total): 96

Strength workouts: 0

Spin classes: 1

Yoga sessions: 1

Thoughts:

I met nearly all of my goals this week, but I’m still very happy with my training for the week because I put in all the time on my feet that I needed! It’s race week now, so it’s the final countdown!!

Back to work I go — I have run club again tonight with Lululemon, but pop over later…I’ll be back with a fun giveaway!

Making Goals: September

It’s finally here! After a whirlwind weekend of unexpected news and big events, I’m settling back into my regular schedule and am ready to outline my goals. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Fitness:

  • Follow half-marathon training plan.

Official training for my birthday race started today! I had a blustery four-mile run, but my legs felt great and it was nice to run in the cooler weather. I’m so excited to train in the fall — my favorite season! I’ll post my official plan once I have it drafted in a pretty PDF file, rather than mostly hand-written on a piece of paper that is hanging on my fridge.

  • Strength train at least once a week.

I’ve built it into my plan so that I’m lifting weights and cross training on Mondays. It’s the most feasible option for me, and I don’t think I would stick to it if I didn’t write it right into my plan. After all, we know how last month’s goal worked out

Gotta love the stains on the plan...

  • Do one plank every day.

I used to dominate at planks. They were by far my favorite ab exercise and I love executing multiple variations of them to keep things exciting. Lately, the number of planks I’ve done is equivalent to the number of mushrooms I’ve eaten (zero, mushrooms are DI-SGUS-TING). Time to jump back on that wagon and plank it up.

  • Go to yoga once a week.

It’s National Yoga Month! This should make my goal much more attainable because there are a ton of deals floating around online. Did you know yogamonth.org gives you an entire week of classes for free? SCORE.

(Recycled photo)

Health & Nutrition:

  • Sleep more.

Again, I really need to buckle down on this one. I did well last month by turning the computer off by 11 p.m. each week, but with my increasingly demanding schedule, I need to get to bed sooner. My new goal is to turn off the computer by 10:30 p.m. so waking up early in the morning isn’t such a struggle (which also means you’ll get to read my blog posts sooner!)

  • Eat more veggies.

I LOVE veggies, but have been slacking on my intake lately. Time for me to start incorporating them into my meals more.

(Recycled photo)

Life:

  • Get a full-time job.

Or at least another part-time one. I had a second interview for a part-time position that I would absolutely love, so keep your fingers crossed for me! But I really need to hunker down and try to get that coveted health insurance.

  • Start training for my PT certification.

I’m juggling a lot of balls (no dirty jokes!) right now, so I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself in this area, but I also want to keep moving forward. My goal is to at least open the big textbook and get through five chapters before the end of the month.

  • Go on date night every other week.

Between work, job-hunting, training, blogging and studying, I don’t have a ton of spare time. Now that Dustin and I live together, it’s going to be a lot easier for us to maintain solid communication. But I don’t want to fall into the trap of us becoming roommates over being a couple.  So I want us to have date night at least once every other week. Doesn’t have to be expensive, or cost any money at all, but want to have time for just us.

Nine goals again this month! There’s just something about that number…

What are some of your goals for September? Is anyone else excited for fall? 

Race Fever

People warned me that this would happen.

“Be careful, it’s addicting!”

I shrugged my shoulders and laughed it off every time. I didn’t believe them.

I was wrong.

Sign me up.

After running my first half-marathon, I am officially addicted to racing. I’m not sure how long this obsession will last for, so I’m just going to roll with it for now. I find myself constantly checking out races to sign up for, but at the same time I’m trying to hold back because of my very slim wallet.

Which is where Oswego State comes in. Yeah, yeah, they’ve been sucking money from me for the last four years, but at least I get some pretty cool perks out of it. Example numero uno: the eight-week training program for the sprint triathlon. Now, I knew about this program when it first started being advertised, but I didn’t take full advantage of it because I was still training for my half-marathon, so my days revolved around running. But I kept the race in the back of my mind, thinking that I could train for it afterward.

Well, the time has come, my friends. I am officially training for this sprint triathlon.

What is that, you may ask?

  • 7,500 yard swim (or 15 laps)
  • 12.4 mile bike
  • 3.1 mile run

I’ve never done any type of triathlon before. In fact, I’ve never done any type of swimming in a competitive manner (Unless cannonball contests count, of course). So I decided to start with something small and this race fits perfectly because it’s on campus (no travel costs) and it’s free! Well, I paid for it with all of the hidden fees the school tacks on in your tuition, but I like to tell myself that it’s free.

The race also offers a beginner sprint triathlon, which consists of:

  • 7 lap swim
  • 6.2 mile bike
  • 1.5 mile run

Clearly, it’s half of the sprint triathlon. I decided to suck it up and go for the full-distance of the sprint. I’m not looking to do anything amazing in this race; I’d just like to finish. After all, the last time I made that my goal I did pretty well. Plus, it’s something I’ve never done before, so I automatically get a new PR (personal record)!

But this sprint triathlon isn’t the only race that’s caught my eye.

Warrior Dash

A few of my college friends and I are signing up for the Warrior Dash on August 13 and 14 in Windham, N.Y. By the time the race rolls around, the majority of us will have graduated and moved on to the next phase of our lives, so this will be a great reunion weekend that will allow us to catch up, reminisce and get our sweat on.

Finally, I really think I’m going to sign up for the Philadelphia Half-Marathon on November 20. My birthday is November 18, so I’d love to head over there with some friends to celebrate my birthday and explore the city. I think I’ve convinced my two future roommates, Libby and Victoria, to run it with me. Now I just have to win over my older brother, Justin, who’s studying at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM).

Dr. Shelton hiking in California!

He’s extremely athletic, so I’m hoping it won’t require too much pleading. My main obstacle is his school schedule. Being in med school takes up a lot of your time, from what I hear 😉

You may have noticed that I kept saying “I think I’m going to sign up for this.” I’d love to say that I’ve already registered for each race, but I only have for the sprint triathlon. Why? Because the sprint triathlon is the only one that’s free. I’m graduating in one month (woah!), which means I have a lot of financial responsibility coming my way pretty soon. I’ve paid my own bills throughout college and manage my money quite well, but I need to keep in mind that I’m moving to New York City, which is way more expensive than Oswego, and preparing to pay back student loans.

Basically, this all means that I would absolutely love to compete in each of these races, but I’m not going to count my eggs before they hatch. If someone wants to pay my entry fees, I’m all in!

Now, I want to know: Are there any races you’re looking forward to this year? What money-saving tips do you have for a soon-to-be-college-graduate who has this new love for racing?

Conquering the Long Run

I have completed all of my long runs!

According to my training plan, I complete a long run every Saturday, starting at five miles and tacking on a mile about every week. This Saturday I ran my final long run of 11 miles before my half-marathon — it’s less than two weeks away!

The major downside of training during winter while living in Oswego is the inability to run much outside. The harsh winter winds and freezing temperatures don’t allow for a safe (or successful) long run. I tried it a few times, but didn’t run as far or as well as I would’ve liked to because I was constantly avoiding snow piles and ice patches.

It's a bit difficult to run with this going on.

As a result, most of my training was spent indoors on the treadmill. While it’s definitely much better than nothing, running on the treadmill is nothing like hitting the pavement outdoors. I knew it would be an adjustment, but I didn’t realize how much until I started running outside while on vacation in Key West. It took me a few miles to hit my usual pace and the wind was definitely a factor I didn’t have to focus on before.

I knew I would have to complete at least one long run outside so that I wasn’t completely unprepared on race day. Well, I’m glad that I had to do 11 miles while I was at home because I don’t think I could have gone somewhere else for better preparation. Oppenheim, do you realize how many hills you have?!

For your entertainment, below are some of the thoughts that ran through my head after each mile marker.

Miles 1 & 2: Easy peasy. Keep this up and you’ll be golden.

Mile 3: Wow, after only a few hills, this mile is almost completely downhill. Lovin’ it.

At this point I turned around and headed back toward my house to hit another route after six miles.

Mile 4: Oh yeah, if it’s all downhill one way, it’s all uphill the other way. Holy crap, my legs are burning.

Mile 5: Whyyy is it still uphill? And where did this wind come from? Worst. Mile. Ever.

Mile 6: Phew, this is mostly straightaways and downhill. Wow, my legs feel good.

This is where I turned down another route to get some more scenery in. It’s also where I hit my stride and my breathing completely became second nature. I’ve heard about “hitting your stride” before, but it’s never happened to me before. Post about that to come soon!

Mile 7 & 8: I can’t wait to blog about this. My legs feel awesome. Man, I can’t wait for dinner tonight.

Here I look up and see nothing but a long, winding incline.

Mile 9: Crap. Oh, crap. Why do I keep finding mile-long hills. Why does Oppenheim have so many hills? And why are there so many dogs out without leashes?!

I turned around and headed back for home.

Mile 10: Only two more miles left. Just keep running, just keep running (said in Dory’s voice from “Finding Nemo”).

Mile 11: Final mile. Push, Samantha. I can’t wait for some food after this. Mmmm, foooooood.

I finished in 1:49:46, which is basically exactly on target for the pace I want to maintain on race day. My goal is simply to finish the race, but ideally I would like to finish within 2:30:00. If I keep up this pace of about 10 minutes per mile, I’ll definitely be able to accomplish it.

There was still one mile left until I got home, so I used it as a cool-down and walked the whole way back. I thought about running part of it, but my right hip really started bothering me so I nixed that idea. No point in overexerting myself and putting myself at risk for injury so close to the race!

So what have I learned about completing long runs?

  1. Take it one mile at a time. If things get really hard, focus on one step at a time. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Tackling 11 miles is a lot more feasible to me mentally when I only try to do a mile at a time.
  2. Relax. When the going gets tough, a lot of people tense up naturally. Do your best to keep your shoulders relaxed and your hands loose.
  3. Make sure you swing your arms back and forth. This sounds simple, but females naturally tend to swing their arms across their bodies without even realizing it. This forces your body to work harder, tuckering you out sooner.
  4. Regulate your breathing. For me, my breath feels most natural when I take two breaths in, then two breaths out. Try to maintain a regular pattern to help your body relax into a groove.
  5. Distract yourself. Whether it’s with music, a running partner, or other things that you have to get done, sometimes it’s best to focus on anything but what you’re actually doing. I like to zone out to music or random thoughts so I’m not focusing on the pain in my legs.

What lessons have you learned from long runs, or exercising in general? Do you prefer the treadmills or the great outdoors?

Surviving Week Two of Training

13 days down, 57 left to go.

Week two of training is going well, but it has definitely been more difficult than last week. School is in full swing and I’m launching an online magazine while growing a networking organization, so my time is very limited. However, I make sure to schedule gym time so I’m pumping out good sweat sessions six days a week.

I can't live without my planner.

My mileage went up a bit too, but not by much. We’re in week two, so I only have to log 14 miles throughout the whole week. For my cross-training, I attended H.I.T.S. again and I think I’m going to like this class more and more each week! It gets the blood pumping and is filled with multiple variations of squats and planks, two of my favorite exercises. Plus a lot of my co-workers from the gym go, so it’s fun to sweat the good stuff with ’em.

Tons of H.I.T.S. lovers, right here!

One of my clients wanted to learn more about spinning and I decided the best way to teach was to do it with her, so I threw that into my training as well. Instead of my usual trainer shirts, I hit the spin bikes donning one of my favorite shirts from high school, back from my frequent softball days.

I know you're thinking of the song now.

The nickname is pretty self-explanatory. Let’s just say there were many times when I found myself tripping over things or falling randomly. But hey, I say it helped me become one of the best base-stealers around!

Friday was my first long run because I had to complete five miles consistently. I did my best not to walk at all, but ended up caving a little after four miles. I only walked two tenths of a mile though, then made sure to pick the pace back up. My goal was to finish within 50 minutes because it was an endurance run. I ended up completing it in 53:56, but I’m still proud of myself for pushing until the very end.

I’ve completed nearly two weeks of training and am still pumped about this race! What I’m not so pumped about? This pile of homework sitting next to me that needs to be finished.

The magazine in there is the only good part.

Until next time!

What are your fun fitness plans this weekend?

Pushing through Mental Blockades

I survived the first week of training and rightfully earned my rest day! It’s been hard to schedule my workouts while settling back into school, but I managed to squeeze in enough time to finish the required amount according to my plan.

However, I have felt the mental blockades start to creep in. Remember, I haven’t run more than a 10K before and that was a few years ago, so the thought of running 13.1 miles at a time is a bit daunting. In fact, it’s so intimidating that I try not to look ahead on my schedule and instead only focus on whatever I need to complete that day.

Yesterday I was required to run/walk four miles, so I plugged in my summer playlist and set out determined to run as much of the distance as I could. I completed two miles before I had to stop and tie my shoe, which sparked the mental anxiety. Thoughts of doubt started to seep in, such as:

  • Just finish this song, then you can stop.
  • There’s no way you can finish that distance right now.
  • My leg is too swollen (I’ve cleared it with my doctor, so deep down I know this isn’t true).
  • There’s not enough blood flow in my left leg.
  • You’re not ready for this.
  • I feel like I’m carrying an extra 10 pounds on my left leg.
  • I’m so tired.
  • My body hurts.
  • You’ve done great so far, you can just pick up the slack later.

This is going to be my biggest struggle throughout my training and race day. I caved every once in awhile and walked, but didn’t allow myself to walk for more than the duration of one song. Luckily, one song popped on at just the right time to really get the mojo flowing again.

Music makes you lose control.

“Push Push,” by Kat DeLuna and Akon got me back on track and motivated me to keep running. I know it’s not about working out or goals, but I took some of the lyrics to heart. Which ones? The chorus, of course!

Push, push, push baby don’t stop for a minute.

Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh!

I said push, push baby take it to the limit!

In the end, I ended up pushing through and running 5.6 miles! It took me longer than I would’ve liked, but I’m really proud of myself for finishing! I’m not unbelievably sore today either, so I’m amped up for tomorrow’s workout!

Completed in 1:01:05

What do you do to get through mental blockades? How do you keep the motivation flowing?