Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Road to Dopey: Week 4 - The First Race of 2016

January Miles: 40.8
Average Pace: 14:32 min/mi
Yoga Sessions this week: 2

January has come to an end. And what a productive month it was. My workout calendar was almost completely marked off for the month! A couple things became clear this month:

  1. I don't have to get to school super early every morning. The world will not end if I'm not there until 8 am or later. Case and point? I have not gotten to school before 8 am for the past few weeks and we're all still here. 
  2. I have trouble completing my Friday morning yoga. I have a theory about this. My book group meets on Thursday nights and I'm usually out later than I normally go to bed, so when I wake up Friday morning, I'm still a bit sleepy. This week I woke up with enough energy to do my Yoga on Friday, however, but with my race this weekend (which I'll get to in a minute), I didn't want to do it, because sometimes it makes me a little sore.
This week was pretty good training wise (even if it was less than wonderful life wise). My yoga was good and my training runs were great. I have decided to introduce some hill training, which I started Thursday. Now to just find some hills in this flat part of the world.

I had two races this weekend, a repeat of an event I enjoyed last year, called the Phoenix Challenge (part of Miracle Match Race Weekend). The Phoenix Challenge is a 5K on Saturday and then either a half, a full, or an ultra marathon on Sunday. I ran the 5K on Saturday, and purple power led me to a PR! Last year I ran that 5K in a 39:09 and this year I ran a 38:35. Which also means I ran a 12:22 pace (which I haven't done in I can't even tell you how long). It was very exciting because to me, it meant that my consistent training was already showing an improvement in myself.

Sunday, I ran the half, which went less well. I haven't run anything over 4 miles since my half in December, so I knew it wasn't going to be easy. I had those moments around miles 6-10 where everything started to hurt and I had to allow myself to walk more, eventually quitting my intervals all together. This is the point in the race where I usually have to text my unofficial Dopey coach (and accountability buddy) Catie, and she tells me to keep going. This was also the point in the course where the hills got intense...I think there's a correlation there.

Miles 10-13, I was exclusively walking, and I started getting passed by marathon finishers, whose words on encouragement kept me going. In those miles, it was hard to believe that I will join their ranks in less than 2 years time. And with my race the way it was, Miles 10-13 were spent second guessing my decision to even attempt Dopey 2018. 

But I did finish, and I got my bling. The ladder indicates that I also did the Jacob's Ladder Challenge around mile 11. Basically, I climbed up a cliff face. Wasn't easy, but I took a nice little rest when I reached the top and catching my breath there really helped me make it to the finish, I think.

Tomorrow, we start February. Who knows what trials of life and training February holds, but we'll get through it together.

Until then...

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Road to Dopey: Week 3 - The first true test of "Me" time

January MTD: 18.9
Average Pace: 14:01 min/mi
Yoga Sessions: 1

This week was the first true test of my resolution to work toward being my best me for Dopey 2018. Due to some stress at work and home, I really thought that I would be tempted back into my old way of doing things. But I made it out on every single one of my runs this week.

Monday I tried a new yoga routine, which I really enjoyed. It's Yoga for athletes and moves a little faster with slightly more activity than the sequence I was using last week, so I think I'm going to stick with this one for a while. Unfortunately, I only got to do it on Monday because Wednesday and Friday I woke up not feeling the best. I don't know if it's the sudden change in the weather or just general allergy stuffiness, but I hope it goes away soon.

Monday was also the day that work got a little crazy, so Tuesday morning was a true test of my resolve. Except I remembered a little something: I have a free gym right next to the building I work in. Yay Student Fees! So instead of waiting for the sun to rise so I could go running at 7 am, I went to the gym when it opened at 6 am and ran on the track. Not ideal, but better than nothing and a nice compromise for needing to run and feeling like I have to get to work.

Thursday I ran outside, and oh my was it gorgeous! The weather was in the 50s and I ran in a tee shirt! I've missed that kind of weather. Unfortunately, it didn't last, and the temperature in the morning was the warmest it got all day, getting cold and windy. Saturday's run was the complete opposite - COLD! I had on so many layers. Luckily it was only scheduled to be 3 miles. I don't know if I could have done a true long run in that. I probably would have wound up at the gym again.

This week I'm hoping to do my yoga like I'm scheduled to and keep up with my runs. Next weekend is my first race weekend of 2016, with the Phoenix Challenge (5K Saturday, Half on Sunday). I'm a little concerned about the half because I haven't run that far in almost 8 weeks (my last half at the beginning of December). Hopefully my muscles remember something about it.

Until then, run on...

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Road to Dopey: Week 2

January Miles: 11.3
January Pace: 14:18 
Yoga sessions this week: 2

Morning all! This week was the first week of the spring semester and boy was it a doozy. I completed all but one of my workouts though. It took a lot for me to give myself that time every morning, but I did it. And the workout I skipped was mostly from exhaustion, not going into work super early in the morning.

Monday morning's yoga was great, really stretching out everything that had gotten stiff over the weekend. I'm not sure I like the routine I'm using though, so if anyone reading this has video suggestions, let me know.

Tuesday morning's run was amazing. Great pace, great distance, overall I just felt great. Wednesday, the yoga was great again. But Thursday morning I woke up and I just wasn't feeling it. But I've been running long enough to know that the morning's you wake up and don't want to go out are the mornings you have to go out the most. But it was pretty terrible. I walked most of it and didn't go as far as I did on Tuesday. But you have to take the good training runs with the bad. 

Friday was the morning I skipped my yoga. I once again woke up absolutely exhausted and I decided to just take that morning time for myself and sit and watch some TV. Yesterday, I went on a 4-miler, however, and it was fantastic. I felt great and I ran great. Strength training is also going well. I didn't do it before my Thursday run and I'm wondering if that was part of the difference.

I know that part of my exhaustion this week came from work, where we had to move my entire research lab in like, 2 days. While that was taxing, I think part of my waking up exhausted was that I couldn't breathe, with all the dust in the move aggravating my allergies. 

But by far, the hardest part of this week was giving myself the time every morning. It was easier than I thought it would be, but it was also difficult. I would see the time on the clock and think "I need to get going"...but as I predicted, nothing was gone because I waited to go in, and no one was waiting for me to get there. Here's to this week feeling the same.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The semester is almost here.

Miles run: 3
Average Pace: 13:57
Yoga sessions: 0

Good morning! So here we week into my resolution to be my best me. I was still at home for most of it, so I didn't run until I came back to TX.

So I started marathon training with yesterday's "long run" (only 3 miles because you have to start somewhere and that's what the Galloway training says). I also got up and did strength training. I'm doing body-weight strength training (squats, lunges, planks, etc). It helped to stretch things out get me geared up for my run.

Considering I haven't run in over two weeks, my run went pretty well. Yes, I'm still a little slow, but that will come back with consistent training. I was inspired to keep going by friends and strangers that are running Dopey this weekend. Everybody looks like they're having so much fun and even though I know I'm a little dopey to take this on, I cannot wait for it to be my turn. 2 short years.

This week will be the true test of my resolution. I know, logically, that there is no reason I have to get to school as early as I have for the previous years I've been a graduate student, but at the same time, there's this phenomenon known as "grad school guilt" where it has been ingrained in me that any minute I'm not working on grad school things is a wasted minute and my life should be in that science building. What I have to work on convincing myself of is that the workout I'm doing every morning is a grad school thing, that it will help keep me sane and level headed as I face the inordinate task of finishing, defending, graduating, oh, and finding a job. And that everything will still be there when I get there after 8.

Other than that, we're doing okay. The semester starts tomorrow. Today I'll do some cleaning and whatnot around the house and go see Star Wars for the second time (yay!!).

This week I'm aiming for 8-ish miles. Wish me luck! See you next Sunday.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

New Years Resolution

I want to write to you all more. I want to talk about what I'm going through. And moreover I want to be accountable for my training regimen. So I'm going to try and write once a week on Sunday's. 

I'll summarize the workouts I completed that week (runs +cross training) and I'll talk about whatever else is on my mind. 

I think this will help me and hopefully be interesting for you. 

I'm resolved to spend time on me everyday. Last year I raced too much and trained too little. And I let myself think that getting to the lab was more important than taking care of me. I'd skip a run because I thought what was waiting at the lab wasn't going to be there if I got there after 8. Which just isn't true. And just wasn't healthy for me. 

So I'm resolved to change. Take my me time for a run or to cross train Monday through Saturday. On Sunday I'll tell you about it. I hope you'll help hold me accountable for this. 

Until next Sunday.