All About That Base

First things first, I’m sorry if this post gets a certain song stuck in your head.

Since quitting marathon training in October, I’ve been running with no training plan and no goal race. This extended break from training has been my longest since running the 2011 Philadelphia Rock and Roll Half Marathon (the morning after one of my best friend’s bachelorette party – not something I recommend FYI). First the break was filled with anxiety as I patiently waited for to see my sports doc and sort out the pain in my leg. Next came the excitement of getting the all clear to run. Birthday miles! Christmas themed compression socks! The possibilities were endless. But I still didn’t have a goal race on the schedule.

Then 2015 arrived and I was all set to start training for a spring goal race – likely the Bucks County 10 Miler. My 15 year high school reunion is scheduled for the night before race day and I thought that would be the perfect way to celebrate. Then a reoccurrence of shin pain and the dreaded Polar Vortex put those plans on hold. So I backed off running and hunkered down for the winter. I traded frigid Saturday long runs for sweaty spin classes and things were good. I registered to run a 5K with my cousin – her first! – and identified a few other 5Ks that I planned to enjoy. Well, as much as anyone “enjoys” a 5K but you know what I mean.

But in the spirit of Make it Happen March, I’m ready to start making race plans for 2015. Because of the impending Papal visit to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families, the 2015 Philadelphia Rock and Roll Half Marathon has been rescheduled for Halloween. And I plan to be there and finally get that sub-1:55 half marathon that eluded me at The Love Run last March aka the last race I ran 100% healthy.

Now that I {finally} have a goal race on my calendar, it’s time to get serious about training again. Obviously, I won’t begin training right now, that would be way too long of a training cycle. From now until training starts (I think that will be in August, have to look at the calendar), I am firmly in a base building phase. What does that mean? For me, the next several months will look like this:

A random gym selfie seems appropriate here, right?

A random gym selfie seems appropriate here, right?

– At least 3 runs per week, with one run focused on speed (intervals and tempo runs) and one weekend endurance run. My goal is to have my weekend long run be up to the 6-8 mile range and my overall weekly mileage to be comfortably in the 15-20 mile range. I plan to give myself a recovery/cutback week every 4 weeks.

– Consistent cross training. On my non-running days, I plan to continue my cross training program. I’ve been following the New Rules for Weight Lifting for Women program (I finish Stage 1 this week) since the beginning of the year and plan to continue that program for the next several months. I’ve also been attending a regular mix of Pilates, spin, and barre classes at my local studio and will continue fitting in as many classes as my schedule allows. I will also take one full rest day a week – generally on Friday.

– Prehab/rehab at least three times a week. Admittedly, I have not been very good about sticking to my prehab/rehab routine since the new year started. If I want to run healthy in the fall, I need to start doing the work now. Foam rolling and stretching is not just for marathon training, my friends.

– Focus on nutrition. Truthfully, this one is going to be the hardest for me. I don’t know if you know this, but I really enjoy wine. And chocolate. And really most sweets. But I know I feel better and run better when I pay more attention to what I’m eating (and yes, drinking). For me, I know a super-restrictive diet is not sustainable. So my focus will be on eating mostly whole foods and allowing myself the occasional treat. And wine. Because there will always be wine.

I spotted this in the Hallmark store over the weekend. I feel like I need it in my life.

I spotted this in the Hallmark store over the weekend. I feel like I need it in my life.

– Be flexible. I’m not talking about yoga here, although I would love to get back into a regular yoga practice. I mean being flexile with what workouts I get in, and when. Not every week will be perfect, and sometimes I may need to skip a run or a strength session for whatever reason (example: I’m heading out-of-town on business/vacation in a few weeks and while I hope/plan to be active when I’m away, I know that I will have to adjust). And that’s okay. Making adjustments now will not derail my plans for fall. But being completely stubborn and forcing workouts that shouldn’t happen will. And I am not going through that again.

So that’s the plan. #MakeithappenMarch is in full swing and I am planning big things for the rest of 2015. This is just the first step!

Now it’s your turn! Are you training right now or in base building? Or just doing your own thing? Tell me about it!

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Make it Happen

I don’t think I’m alone in saying that this winter has been absolutely brutal. And I’m lucky, because even though this winter is seriously kicking my butt, it could be so much worse.

To tell the truth, I’ve spent the last few months feeling stuck. Blame it on a less than stellar year of
running in 2014 (hello injuries), the harsh winter, turning 32. Whatever the reason, I’ve spent more time recently wanting to do something and not actually doing anything (like, hmm, I don’t know, blogging? Remember when I used to blog regularly? That was fun). Well that is all about to change.

Make it Happen March

I’m declaring March Make it Happen Month. Spring is right around the corner and for my money there is no better time to start on new goals and challenges, or maybe just revisit things that have fallen by the wayside. Abandoned your new year’s resolution? Let’s make March the new January! I have a few things that I’m working on and will share more details in the near future, and I hope you’ll join me in making March an awesome month.  Feel free to join in using the hashtags #makeithappenmarch and #makeithappen.

Now it’s your turn! What are you going to make happen this month? Can I help or support you in any way? Tell me about it!

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Running Goal-less

(Disclaimer: ClassPass provided me with a complementary one month membership and a t-shirt to check out their service. I was provided no other compensation and all opinions are my own).

A Happy (belated) New Year everyone! It’s January, and it seems like everyone is writing about their goals for 2015, running and otherwise.  While I have some goals for this year, they don’t involve running a big spring race.

When I first got the all clear to run again in the fall, I almost immediately starting thinking about running goals for this year. I quickly narrowed it down to running a 10 mile PR in the spring (likely the Bucks County 10 Miler), and trying for that illusive 1:55 half marathon in the fall. I focused on slowly building up my mileage and sketched out a plan. I was excited and ready to train hard again. And then life happened.  Between the holiday hustle and bustle, a cold, a promotion at work, a reoccurrence of shin pain last week, and the frigid weather have completely sapped my motivation to train for a race. As of now, I have no interest in pushing through another harsh winter, cramming in miles when I can, and risking injury, which is pretty much what happened last year when training for The Love Run. And then spent the rest of year injured or coming back from an injury. No thank you.

I spent a lot of 2014 taping, rehabbing, prefabbing, and not running. I would like a different 2015, please.

I spent a lot of 2014 taping, rehabbing, prefabbing, and not running. I would like a different 2015, please.

So for this season, I’m running for fun. I’m sure I’ll run some shorter races (I’m already signed up for the Phillies 5K), but my plan for now is continue slowly building up my running mileage and keeping up with regular strength and cross training. Not the most exciting spring, but I’m hoping that this will set me up for a successful fall half marathon. I’m looking forward to a spring of easy miles and cross training. Lucky for me, the kind folks at ClassPass gifted me with a 1 month membership to try it out, which will be a great way to do some cross training and test out some new classes and workouts (if you want to check out ClassPass here’s a referral link to skip the waiting list and join in on the fun). If nothing else, I don’t have to feel bad about skipping a long run on a freezing cold Saturday morning.

(Disclaimer Part Deux: ClassPass provided me with a complementary one month membership and a t-shirt to check out their service. I was provided no other compensation and all opinions are my own).

Now it’s your turn! Spring goal race yay or nay? Tell me about it!

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2014 Year of Running

Well, it’s that time of year again. Although this year wasn’t what I thought it would be in terms of running (what with the injuries and bailing on the marathon), it wasn’t all bad. So courtesy of Miss Zippy, here is my 2014 year of running (2012 and 2013 for your reading pleasure).

2014 Year of Running

  • Best race experience? This is going to sound crazy, but I’m going to say The Love Run. Yes, I missed my goal time, and yes it poured buckets of rain. I still managed a PR and despite the rain even managed to have fun. Even if I did end up on the injured list almost immediately post race.

Love Run

  • Best run? The last two miler I did before quitting marathon training. It wasn’t anything special, but it was the first run in a while that didn’t feel like a chore.
  • Best new piece of gear? Superfeet insoles. I had never tried insoles before this year, but I think they have really helped with my overpronation. Now if I would just learn to stretch consistently.
  • Best piece of running advice you received? Recovery time is just as important. Cramming too many miles into too few days is probably a huge part of why I spent so much time on the injured list this year. I’ve backed off quite a bit as I make my comeback and I think in the long run that will make a big difference.
  • Most inspirational runner? I don’t have a picture, but Spirit who I was lucky to be a running buddy for at the Girls on the Run 5K in the beginning of December.  We didn’t do a lot of running, but we had a lot of fun.
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Injured & frustrated.

So there are the highs and lows of 2015. Here’s to a better 2015!

Now it’s your turn! What were the highlights of 2014 for you?

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What’s Going On

Well, hello. Long time, no blog, right?

When last we talked, I had decided not to run the Philadelphia Marathon. Since then, I took a full month off from running. The longest break I’ve taken since September 2011 (I think). I still worked out, swapping the elliptical and stationary bike for the treadmill, but I didn’t lace up my running shoes once.
After weeks of no running, I finally saw the doctor last Monday. The diagnosis? Stress syndrome aka shin splints. Huzzah! It’s not a fracture. I don’t think I can understate how relieved I was to not have a fracture. I’m allowed to ease back into running, with at least one day off in between runs. I’m not currently registered for any big races, so I’m free to take my time building my running base. I know I’ve lost speed, but honestly right now I really don’t care about that. I’m just happy to be running again. Although I’ve totally forgotten how to dress who the cold weather. I was a tad overdressed for the 2 miles I ran over the weekend.

Time to get these babies out of storage . . .along with all my cold weather gear.

Time to get these babies out of storage . . .along with all my cold weather gear.

When not slowly plotting my running comeback, I’ve been trying out the PiYo workout series I’ve heard so much about. I’m just over a week in and so far I’m a fan. The workouts are short, need no equipment, and so far have kicked my butt. Since I stopped going to yoga regularly, I’ve noticed a lot more tightness, especially in my hip flexors. My hope is that PiYo will help work out some of the kinks that come from sitting at a desk all day and weeks of marathon training. I’m also been participating in the challenge groups that Cyanne over at Run Stretch Go has been hosting the past two months. They’ve been great for helping me with some accountability now that I’m not training for anything. (Check out Cyanne’s blog for more info on the groups – including the Holiday Survival Group that starts right after Thanksgiving).

In between all this not marathon training, I escaped for an adventure. Thanks to a work conference, I spent the first week of November in Amsterdam! The conference was only two days, so I had plenty of time to explore the city on my own! including a side trip to Belgium for an afternoon. Where I tried to sample all the chocolate in the country. It was an incredible trip, and the first real vacation I’ve taken in,I don’t even know how long.

Amsterdam Selfie

Hello from Amsterdam!

So that’s what has been going on for the past month. Oh, that and work being crazy busy (another reason for the no blogging, no desire to look at a computer at the end of the day). But it’s my favorite holiday next week, followed by my birthday, and then of course Christmas. Fun times indeed.

Now it’s your turn! What’s new in your life? Tell me about it!

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Motivation Monday

Great

What’s motivating you this week?

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Weekly Workout Recap – 10/13 – 10/19

Weekly Recap

The last recap of marathon training since this is the week I decided to stop marathon training. Recap:

Weekly Recap 1013 - 1019

Monday

6 miles easy after a 6:00 AM flight back from Atlanta.

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 12.44.49 PM

Tuesday

Quick Strength for Runners Workout 15

30 minutes stationary bike (6 ish miles).

Wednesday

Tempo run. 6 miles with 4 miles at 8:30 pace. Did this one on the treadmill so it was more like 4 miles at 8:27 pace. Which left me a sweaty, gross mess.

I had planned to go to Pilates Wednesday night, but there was a family thing that came up and I ended up canceling.

Thursday

Quick Strength for Runners 16

3 mile easy run.

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 7.09.46 AM

Almost blew of the run, but it was just what I needed. Even if I was running late and went to work with wet hair and no makeup.

Friday & Saturday

Rest days. Took things easy because of the shin situation. It was kinda nice not having to do a long run on a Saturday morning. I spent a could part of the week dreading mile planned 20 miler. Once I finally made the decision Friday not to forgo the marathon, I felt like a weight was lifted off me and had the best night sleep I’ve had in a while. Coincidence? I think not.

Sunday

Reformer Pilates.

So that’s the week in a nutshell. No formal plan for the week, other probably (no definitely) not running. Will likely stick to low impact activities, plus Pilates and strength workouts.

Now it’s your turn! How was your week in workouts? Any big accomplishments or setbacks?

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