Sunday, January 29, 2012

Gimpy Workouts - Week 2

Ok, so it has been an interesting first week back at the "regular" gym (as opposed to my beloved Crossfit gym).  It took me all of 30 seconds to remember why it wasn't a good fit for me before... no one socializes, you have to make up your own workouts, there's no coaching, the parking situation is a nightmare, etc.  HOWEVER, the pool is never crowded, and I was able to get sweaty quite a few days this week, so that's all good with me.

I also discovered that the pool only works for me when the plan is a speed/sprint workout.  I tried to do a long(ish) pool run at a steady pace, and it was miserable.  The pool is pretty short, so I kept having to turn around every 30 seconds or so, and I just can't get my heart rate up without sprinting (even accounting for the fact that your heart rate stay lower in the pool).  Worst of all, after 3 days in a row of sprint paces, my hip flexors had had enough, so I took an unplanned rest day on Thursday, and on Friday, I decided to try a 30 min interval workout on the bike.  It was much better - I was dripping sweat, my heart was racing, and best of all, my leg didn't bother me at all during or after the workout.  Yay!

So I've decided to modify my plan - all of my sprint and short interval workouts will be in the pool, but the longer intervals and long, steady workouts will be on the bike.  After another two weeks or so, I might try introducing the elliptical for some of the long workouts too, just to mix it up.  This is week 3 of no running/lower body impact, and my legs feel about 1000 times better.  I can even walk up down the stairs without feeling any pain in my shins, which is awesome, since my office is on the fourth floor and the elevators in my building are super sketchy.

Ok anyway, here is this week's plan:

I'll only be in the pool one day this week, but most weeks have two pool days.  And since I took an unplanned rest day on Thursday, I'm off to get wet as soon as the gym opens at 1.  

Hope y'all are having a good, sweaty weekend! :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Gimpy Workouts - Week 1

I'm working on making a full 7 week schedule for myself, but it's not finished yet, so I'm just posting the first week.  I made the decision to put my Crossfit membership on hold for the next 2 months, and I joined the Y on Friday so that I can have access to a pool.  I've been once, and I didn't mind it as much as I thought I would.  (I can swim, have been able to since I was very little, but I usually choose not to unless I'm at the lake and I need to get my ski or something.  I've certainly never done it for exercise.)  The main problem is the boredom, but I ordered a waterproof pouch and headphones for my iPod, which should be here on Tuesday, so hopefully that will help.

Anyway, I'm easing into the pool running routine this week with 3 days in the water, 2 days of Pilates + Abs, and 1 day of upper body weight training.  I may end up substituting Tuesday's Pilates/Abs workout with another day in the pool depending on how my legs are feeling.

Have you tried pool running?  How do you fight the boredom?

Sunday, January 15, 2012


So last Monday after Crossfit, I finally caved to the pain in my shins.  We only did 3 x 400 and I could barely stand to walk afterwards.  One of my friends at there, who is also a doctor, checked me out and told me that I have one spot on my left leg that is "borderline stress fracture."  I really need an x-ray to confirm, but I just started a new job this week, so I don't have any time off.  (Why do doctors not work past 5:00pm??)  And the truth is, whether it's a fracture or just severe shin splints, the prescription is basically the same: don't run for 6-8 weeks.  I'm still trying to get to the doc, but for now I'm not running at all.  I took 5 days completely off from all exercise, but by yesterday afternoon, I couldn't stand it anymore.  I HAD to get moving somehow, so I took my bike down to the river to get my sweat on.

Let me just say... biking sucksssssss.  Did any of y'all watch the Olympic Marathon Trials yesterday?  Well, the top 3 guys ran approximately 4:55 min/mi (yes, for 26.2 miles).  The top 3 women ran approximately 5:31 min/mi.  My fastest mile on the bike was 5:01.  So yeah... I can't even BIKE a marathon as fast as those peeps can RUN one.  Not that I went 26.2 miles... I went 5 plus a half mile warm up and a mile cool down.

Nevertheless, biking got me sweaty and made my thighs ache, so it's all good.  After the ride, I finished up with 30 push ups, 30 sit ups, 30 triceps dips, and 2 plank holds for 1 minute each.  (I need some serious help with my core strength).  And best of all, none of this made my legs hurt.

At this point, I just want to be able to race.  The half-marathon is 9 weeks from now.  I'm hoping that if I'm smart about letting my leg heal, I can at least run it, even if I have to give up my goal of running under 2 hours.  

So that's that.  Any of y'all ever had a stress fracture?  How did you stay active while you it healed?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Long Run: 8 Miles.

The run today was 8 miles and it was supposed to be race pace + 20s.  My coaches told me to do 9:23, but I did that for the first mile and it felt really slow, so I bumped it down to 9:05ish because MY race pace goal is 8:45ish pace.  I did pretty well with the exception of Mile 6-7.  At that point it felt like everything went wrong at once... my hips tightened up and my shorts chafed my legs to the point of drawing blood.  (Yay, Thunder Thighs!)  But I pushed through it and finished up under 9:00 minutes, so I felt alright about it.

Jimmy mapped my route out for me and it ended up being a pretty good one.  I ran down Main Street to the Statehouse, through USC and back.  I snapped this while I was waiting for the light to change.

{SC Statehouse}

Did you have a long run planned this weekend?  How did it go?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tempo Run: Ice Cold Edition

Remember when I complained about running in 55 degree weather?  Well today, it was 34 degrees when I decided it was time for a run.  Thankfully, my mom and brother hooked me up with some cold weather running gear at Christmas, so I was semi-warm at least.  Thanks guys!

I was worried about this run because I felt like I had to work so hard on Saturday, and I was supposed to hit some of the same paces today.  The plan was 1 mile easy (10:00ish), 2 MT (8:40), 1 easy, 2 MT, 1 easy.  (It was the same run I did when I was home at Christmas.)  I don't know if I was just having a better day or if there's something about this format that works for me, but I felt really good.  My shins behaved (they may have been frozen), and I just felt glad to be running.  I hit all of my splits except one... I will win against this hill someday.  On Saturday, it took 10 seconds off my pace.  Today it took 4.  I'm coming for you, big ugly hill.

Heyyy, Garmin.  Look at you all fancy.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year, New Shoes, New Goals.

No. 1 - New Year.  So, J and I had an unintentionally chill New Year's Eve.  We went to dinner at a new-to-me restaurant downtown, and it was awesome.  Then the plan was to go swing by a house party thrown by some friends, and then get a cab back downtown to the big party on Main Street.  Unfortunately, I called the cab company six times, was repeatedly told that cabs were on the way, and of course, none ever showed up.  So frustrating.  Around 11:15, almost 3 hours of trying, we finally gave up and just went home to ring in 2012 on the couch with the pups.

No. 2 - New Shoes.  Earlier in the day, when I was still anticipating a hangover today, I headed out to do my tempo run for the week.  The plan was 5 miles at an 8:40 pace.  Honestly, I thought that I was going to crush this run.  I've been doing paces much faster than this, and on last week's 7 miler, I felt really good and had to work to hold myself back to this pace.  But yesterday, I felt like doo doo.  I wanted water like half a mile in, and my legs were super heavy from the 100+ squats I had done at Crossfit on Wednesday.  It was probably my least favorite run so far.

The only good part was my new shoes.  I went to Fleet Feet last week to be fitted for some real running shoes.  (I've been running in my Crossfit shoes, which are cross trainers.)  I'm hoping these new kicks are going to help my shins feel better, but even if they don't, I like them anyway.

{New Mizunos}

No. 3 - New Goals.  Ok, so now on to the good stuff.  Not all of these are running/fitness goals, but here goes.

1. Run sub-2 hours at my half in March.  That means I'll have to do at least 9:04.  I'd really like to run more like 8:40, which would give me a 1:53:36, but I'm not sure if that's possible... especially after this last run.

2.  Finish a marathon.  Preferably in about 4 hours, but I will definitely be happy with just crossing the finish line.  If anyone has any thoughts on a good beginner marathon, I'd love to hear it.  I'm thinking about the Marine Corps Marathon in October.  Is it crazy to sign up for your first marathon before you've even run your first half?

3.  Do a pull up.  I need to learn how to kip,  because I'm pretty confident that I can do kipping pull ups.  I'm really close to getting a regular dead hang, so hopefully I can knock this one out in the next few months.

4.  Eat more veggies.  I probably only get 2 servings of fruits/veggies per day right now, and I'd like to double it.  Sub-parts to this goal include going to the farmer's market at least once a month, and talking J into doing a CSA this summer.

5.  Travel to 3 new places.  One of the things J and I talked about wanting to do during these "just the two of us" years is to really put our time/money into traveling.  It's not always easy since we're both at the bottom of the totem pole in our jobs (which is, truly, a place I am deeply thankful to be ), but we're talking about San Francisco/Napa in the fall.  And we have a friend moving to Nashville, so that's on the list too.  Hopefully we can squeeze in a third at some point.