Friday, June 26, 2015

Circuit Training Rocks

I know it is not really helpful, when I write out training log entries such as this,
Tuesday -Lifted weights at lunch time.

I will try to be more descriptive when I do strength training.  I always like switching up exercises, and finding new body weight exercises to try.

Latest Workouts (since my post earlier this week)

Tuesday 6/23 -I ended up running another 1.3 miles at lunch time to make it an even 5 miles total for the day.  I also stretched, and did some sit ups, Bulgarian split squats, lat pull downs, bench dips, and single leg squats standing on a flat bench.

Wednesday 6/24-  I had a meeting at lunchtime, and I decided to take a rest day

Thursday 6/25  worked out doing circuit training, I really enjoy circuit training because I feel like you get the most bang for your buck, and I enjoy keeping my heart rate up, I did 4 circuits with 3-4 exercises apiece

For my First Circuit I did the following exercises:
Flat bench press with dumbbells
Shoulder presses with dumbbells
Back flys
Step ups onto a bench with a back leg raise

For my 2nd circuit I did the following exercises:
Incline push ups on a bench
Regular push ups on the ground
Decline push ups with my feet up  on a bench
Box jumps onto a bench

For my 3rd circuit I did the following exercises:
Dead hang pull up x 2
Roman chair leg lifts
Roman chair alternating knee ups
Back extensions

For my 4th circuit I did the following exercises:
Seated row
Rope curls
Shoulder raises with the rope

And then I stretched and did a few handstands up against the wall.

Friday 6/26- I ran a little over three miles around Cornerstone Park.  I chose the park, because there is a small man made body of water, and along the water's edge, it is slightly a few degrees cooler.  It was weird, I would be running and then I would run through a cool patch of air, then about 100 meters later I would be swallowed up by much hotter muggy air.  Ewww.   The scenery and the dirt
crunching beneath my feet made up for it.

I'm hoping to head out this weekend.  But this heat is scary.

As always thank you for reading.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Thoughts on the Hoover Dam Marathon, Dietary Changes, and some Workouts.

It has been nice to take things easier, and just enjoy running for what it is.  That is until I start perusing my training logs, blog posts, and Garmin data  from a year ago.  Then I start to feel bad for not running as much as I used to... or running as fast as I used to.   Patience is not my virtue.  but, I really want to exercise my patience, going into this next training cycle and hopefully build myself up to be stronger than I was last year (distance wise) .  I have also made a few adjustments to my diet but,more on that later.

Thoughts on the Hoover Dam Marathon
I still haven't registered for that fall marathon just yet.  But, I'm 90% sure that The Hoover Dam Marathon is going to be the one I register for.

I have started to study the elevation profile of the course, and I'm beginning to day dream about the race itself.  Once the weather begins to cool down, I'm going to do some of my longer runs through the train tunnels to get my legs used to running the trail. This marathon has about 14 miles of dirt trail.    The elevation profile looks pretty intimidating but, because of the tunnels the elevation on this chart isn't accurate.  It appears that there is 4600 feet of climbing, and that sounds awful.
There are about 24 false hills on this elevation profile.

However, when you go through the tunnels the GPS signal gets blocked by the tunnels itself, and it creates a false hill in the elevation profile.  Those 5 hills going through the tunnels are non-existent. So in reality this course only has  about 2200 feet of elevation gain.  This race won't be a walk in the park, but it's not nearly as brutal as the elevation map appears to be.

For training I'm going to try to follow a 16 week training program, I haven't decided which program I'm going to use yet, but I have narrowed down the start date of my training cycle.  I will start officially training for this marathon starting Monday, August 24th.  That gives me two more months to take it easy and base build.  I have one more 5k on the calendar before then, but I don't think I will be doing any hardcore interval training to prepare for that 5k.  My mindset is, "please stay healthy legs, I promise to strength train instead."

Dietary Changes
I dont' talk about food, my diet, or nutrition much on this blog.  I think there are much more valuable resources online to discuss how to eat properly.  I also take shitty food photos, and do you guys really care about my daily oatmeal?   I do feel however it is necessary to bring up  this topic.

For Mother's day, my husband and I purchased a juicer, and since then we have been juicing daily.
Green Drink with Chia Seeds
(Kale, Spinach, Carrots, Celery, and Apples)

I'm not really drinking juice as a meal replacement, but more like a supplement to my existing diet.  However, this has caused me to think differently about the food that I eat and the chemicals that I sometimes put into my body.  My goal has been to eat less processed foods, and less animal products.
I'm not vegan, but I am pretty close to being locto ovo vegetarian.  I haven't had any meat in the last couple of weeks, and I don't really miss it.

My husband also tried to go gluten free, but we both like bread way too much, and our bodies don't seem to reject gluten, or feel any ill effects from it.  No need to go too crazy with the restriction.

I'm also trying to cut back on my beloved diet soda.  I am a self proclaimed diet coke whore.  I love this awful stuff.   I have about one soda a day now.  But, that's much better than my usual 2-3 cans a day.

I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I'm hoping to drop a pound or two, by switching up my diet.  But, I don't really have a whole lot of weight to lose.   My weight has always stayed in the low to mid 120's and  I don't see myself dropping 10lbs before the end of the year.  I just hope this translates into recovering faster from my runs, and using better foods for fueling the muscles during training.

Okay enough weight talk... Let's talk running.

Last Week's Training Updates
Monday 6/15- Two a days -I was pressed for time in the morning, I didn't have time to run,  but, I did  a few exercises for upper body and core.  I did the following exercises in a circuit:

  • Sit ups on an incline board
  • Chin ups- I can do two chin-ups, but then I hop down and switch to lat pull downs with 80% of my body weight
  • Side Step-down Lunges on a bench
  • Rope Curls

I did a total of four circuits

At lunch time, I ran five miles on the treadmill,  I did this as a progression run, where each mile gets faster than the last.  I started out running 6.4 (9:23 pace), and by then end I was running 7.7 pace (7:49 per mile) I also set the treadmill to a 1% incline.

Tuesday  6/16 Two a days-  I ran two miles in the dirt at Cornerstone Park.  There are quite a few ducks in this park, and other than the duck poop, I have to dodge sometimes, I don't mind the ducks.  I leave them alone, they leave me alone. This morning I was running along a path, and I noticed a lone duck, and she started hissing at me...  I stopped running, and she made a clearance for her babies.  I had to take a picture.
Mama duck and her babies.  

At lunchtime I lifted weights, and I can't remember which exercises. I did.

Wednesday 6/17 -Rest- I took the day off from work. My kids had various dr's appointments for check ups.   We then went to Chuck e Cheese as a treat.  I hate this place with a passion, but my kids enjoy it.
It was too hot to go play outside.

Thursday 6/18 Two a days- I ran three miles before work, I ran these in the business park area. It was flat roads, with little to no traffic.  It was quiet and nice.  Except for the fact that it was 90 degrees at 7:30 in the morning!  
At  lunchtime, I did some core work, lower body, and a few upper body exercises.

Friday 6/19  I ran five boring miles on the treadmill and then I stretched.

Saturday 6/20-Rest

Sunday 6/21 Rest- It was too damn hot to go outside.

Monday 6/22-  Two a days 8.25 miles.  I ran 2.25 miles before work, and at lunchtime I ran six more miles on the treadmill.  I felt bad for being lazy over the weekend.

Tuesday 6/23- I ran a little over 3.5 miles this morning. I stayed away from traffic, and I ran along the Pittman Wash Trail.  At least the weather wasn't as bad.
I will probably head to the weight room, at lunchtime.  

That's all I've got for now.  Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My once a year weather rant, training updates, my son went for his first run.

Wow I can't let the cobwebs grow over this blog.  I didn't plan on taking such a long break... Nothing too exciting to report about.  Did I mention that it's hot?

My Once a Year Weather Rant
I don't complain about the snow, because the winter months in Las Vegas are the bomb, when it comes to running.  It gets a little cold, but we never see snow, and you have the option to run any time of the day outside.
I think this Summer completely took me by surprise this year.  The month of May was well below average, and I have still been  able to run outside during the lunchtime hour.  Just last week temps were in the mid 90's.  Usually we will ease into the hotter temperatures a few degrees at a time, going from 95 degrees, gradually to  100 as the  daytime high, and by July we will finally see temps above 105.  Well not so much this year.  This heat wave is expected to last at least 10 days. I will not be heading outside at lunchtime until it cools off. I am pretty sad about this, but I don't want to risk getting a heat stroke.

Last Weeks Training Updates
Friday 6/5-Rest

Saturday 6/6-Rest- I'm not being lazy. I swear, I'm just trying to fit in more family time on the weekends before the base building of marathon training begins. Well   I did do some swimming for cross training.

Sunday 6/7 9 miles.  This run, felt awesome.  I ended up doing a progression run, I also ran a little bit of trail, and I stayed away from the stray dogs.

Monday 6/8  Two a days- In the morning I ran two miles before work.  
A day later and the daytime low is now 9 degrees warmer.
At lunchtime, I ran two more miles on the treadmill and I did some strength training.

Tuesday 6/9-Two a days. 7.5 miles total.  I ran almost 3.5 miles before work.  I ran  3.43 miles at an 8:24 average pace.  At lunchtime, I headed outside.  It was only 90 degrees and there was some cloud coverage.  I ran just a little over 4 miles.

Wednesday -6/10 At lunchtime I went to the gym to lift. In the past I used to never work out my lower body.  I figured that I didn't need to because I work out my legs plenty when I run.
Well that method of thinking is what caused all of my troubles last year.  By not paying attention to my hips and glutes, I think it caused other muscles to over compensate while running, thus leading to weird aches and pains.   
So each time I'm in the weight room, I will at least do one lower body exercise.  One of my new favorite leg exercises is the single leg squat.  It's pretty hard to squat using one leg.  But, if you use a flat bench, you just have to step down.

I'm also really loving planks and handstands up against the wall for upper body strengthening  exercises.  I"m also trying to remember to stretch more.  I read somewhere (Runner's World?)  That having tight groin muscles can lead to hip issues.     An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Thursday 6/11-  Two miles in the dirt.   I had to drive across town for an Excel training course.  I used to joke around about having ADD.   I talk really fast, I'm kind of disorganized, I'm terrible at sitting still.  I've actually taken tests for Adult ADHD because I exhibit quite a few symptoms.  However, I refuse to seek treatment (drugs) for my  symptoms.   Sitting down for lectures has always been difficult.  If I know that I will have to sit still for awhile, I will try to knock out a short run, so I'm not so distracted.
I went to the Whitney Mesa area, and I practiced scrambling up the side of a hill.

Friday 6/12 Rest

Saturday 6/13-Rest-My apologies to the Las Vegas Track Club.   In my last post, I had mentioned that the LVTC had stopped holding events at the Sunrise Picnic Area.  Well they decided to hold an event last weekend.  I was planning on racing the 5k distance, but my husband was on call this weekend, and unfortunately he got a call really early in the morning.  I didn't have a sitter to watch the kids, and I don't own a double jogger to push my 2 & 4 year olds in.  In  a few years I will start bringing them to the one mile fun runs.  Please don't stop holding events here LVTC!!

Sunday 6/14  Rest-Well sort of.  I didn't want to run on Sunday morning.  There I said it. It was 88 degrees outside, and I didn't want to leave the house.  I thought well maybe I can run on the treadmill when my daughter takes her lunchtime nap.  When I got her down for a nap, my son saw me in my running clothes, and knew that I was going to run.  I tried explaining to him that I was going to run outside on the treadmill, and he offered to run to the park with momma.....   It was the cutest thing ever.
I don't ever want to force my sport on my kids. I want it to be their choice.

I was worried because it was already close to 100 degrees outside.  I put a hat and sunblock on my kid, grabbed a bottle of water and we took off.  The little guy ran probably a good quarter mile, and then we had to stop to walk.  We got to the park. I let him play briefly, and then it was time to head home.  He ran/walked most of the way.  We covered a little over a mile, but I have a feeling that we might be doing this more often.
Not from last Sunday, but I wanted to share this picture anyway.
They are growing up so fast.

As always Thank you for reading.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Hello June! A Low Key 5k, & More Trail Running

Last weekend I scrapped the long run in favor of a low key 5k race.  This race was totally last minute, and it was really neat to see my LVTC friends.

I also ran most of my miles in the dirt this past week.   

My appologies for this picture heavy post.

Last week's and This week's Training Updates

Friday 5/30- Rest- On my lunch break I went to the Nike Outlet and I treated myself to a new pair of shorts and sports bra from the clearance rack. With the discounts  I ended up spending $18.00 for a pair of shorts and a matching bra.  I love a good deal. 

Saturday 5/31- On Saturday the Las Vegas Track Club was hosting a low key race out at Silver Bowl Park.  It has been a while since I have had a chance to run a low key track club race.  I joined the track club back in 2013 to help motivate myself to get back into shape from having my daughter Rachel.  I was lucky back then because it seemed that the track club was hosting a monthly event at the Sunrise Picnic Area, and that was really close to where I lived.  
May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

May 2014

Due to the road closure, and just overall lack of participation, the LVTC has since stopped holding events there.  So, I was really happy that the track club was hosting another event on my side of town.

I will take a $5 low key track club race, over a $50 foam glow obstacle course race hands down.

The 5k was being hosted at Silver Bowl Park behind Sam Boyd Stadium, and it  has a pretty fast out and back course.  
November 2013

February 2014.
I was hoping to finish a little faster than my 5k time from earlier in the month (21:59).  But, it was a hot day, and I'm just not in peak racing shape right now.  Which is okay,  I don't want to ramp things up until we get closer to the marathon training cycle.  Anyhow....

I ran into my track club friend Jamie, and then I also noticed that another speedster was going to be racing.  I was just hoping to place in the top three women.  Jamie and I did a short warm up, and before you know it, it was time to go.

I lined up near the front and my goal was to try to negative split the 5k.  Jamie is a faster runner than I am, and I was hoping just to hang on to her and try to keep up.

Mile 1-6:47  This mile went by fast, and it didn't hurt that bad.
Mile 2- 7:24-  I have no idea what happened here. We were running up an slight incline and the heat was getting to me.
Mile 3- 7:15 I'm glad that I was able to reign it back in some.  During this mile James A. went flying by me, and crushed my spirit..  Final time 22:31

I'm wearing my new $6.00 shorts, you can't see the
matching bra underneath.

I think my 5k time will drop down some more, when I start adding more miles as opposed to adding more speed work.  That's usually how I end up lowering my 5k time.  I'm not going to worry about it for now.

I didn't get to stick around for the awards- But let me tell you, the first place chick. She was 2nd overall and ran 20:06 pushing a double stroller!! Talk about beast mode!!!

My next race on the calendar is the Las Vegas Track Club 1600 meter race at the end of this month.  I'm not going to do any hardcore speed work leading up to this race. I want to have a much more casual approach to this race than I had last year.

Sunday 6/1 -Rest

Monday 6/2 2- Two a days. I ran a total of six miles.  I ran a little less than three miles before work outdoors. Then on my lunch break.  I ran a little more than three miles on the treadmill.  I also did some core work, and some stretching.

Tuesday 6/3  Two a days. In the morning I headed over to the Whitney Mesa Recreation Area.  I was able to get in three miles on the trail. I am loving this area.  It is nice to run, without having to stop for red lights, and not having to worry about traffic.

At lunchtime I did a killer upper body workout, and I didn't do any cardio.  I did some push-ups, chin-ups, lat pull downs, rope curls, upright rows with the rope, dumbbell curls, and one arm rows.  I also did some leg exercises such as: body weight squats, single leg lunges, and some step ups onto a bench.

Wednesday 6/4- 4.5 miles.  I was really sore from the day before.   I did a run around Cornerstone Park at lunchtime.  I stayed on the outer dirt paths, and it was a nice relaxing run.  I would have liked to have run farther, but the it was hot, and by mile 4 my brain was telling me to wrap it up and get out of the sun!

Thursday 6/5-Somewhere between 2-4 miles.  I almost didn't head out today, but I knew that tomorrow was going to be a rest day.  I have a work event that is going to be away from campus, and then it's date night.  So my schedule is pretty busy. 

I didn't want to workout at the gym at lunchtime.  So I decided to drive out to a trail head and do a little exploring  The trail is called Amargosa trail.  I didn't bring my Garmin with me, and this was one of the more technical trails that I have run.  I was so giddy, and a little nervous about rattle snakes, but the views were worth it.

Well that's all I've got for now.  As always thank you for reading.