Friday Free-For-All – 02/01/19

Friday Free-For-All

I did it! I completed an entire month of streaking! I will most likely be doing some reflective posts, but for now I will say, I’m super proud of myself and so happy I did this. I’m not sure how long I can or will keep going (the laundry is kind of killing me), but I will continue to take it on a day-to-day basis.

Welcome to February. My least favorite month. I don’t know why, but February always seems like the longest, dreariest month, even though it’s actually the shortest. Here in VT, it’s usually just cold, dark, and gross out. There are no fun holidays. It’s just boring. We’re going to try to combat the doldrums by taking a little day trip over Ben’s winter break.

I’m in love with my crock pot. I know the Instant Pot is like, the trendy thing right now, but I still can’t get enough of my regular old crock pot. Especially in the winter, I use it at least once a week, if not more. It’s so convenient to just dump some stuff in, turn it on, and have dinner ready. Shredded chicken thighs for tacos? Crock pot. Chili? Crock pot. Slow-cooked veggies? Crock pot. Winner.

I’m trying to get rid of stuff. No, I’m not watching “Tidying Up.” I tried to read Marie Kondo’s book several years ago and couldn’t finish it. It was a bit… weird. I liked some of what she said, but most of it was just too new-agey. No, this has been an ongoing project for me since we bought our house. Ben and I have been toting around a lot of unnecessary junk for years, and now that we’re in our forever home, it’s time to weed out the dross so we can have a clean, organized home. I’m not going about it in a super organized fashion. Mostly just picking a small area here and there that I can attack while Vera plays or naps. I started working on my bedside table yesterday, and it’s INSANE the kind of junk that has accumulated in there: CDs, old charging cables, notebooks, pens… Ugh. I’ve got a lot of work to do.

Do you have a Crock Pot or Instant Pot? Do you use it a lot?

6 Tips for a Safe and Happy Run Streak

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, trainer, or fitness professional. This is just what is working for me during my own run streak. Please be smart and listen to your body if you decide to try a run streak.

On January 1 this year, I embarked on a run streak, so I’m currently 29 days in. I had no real goal other than to make running a regular part of my life again post-baby. My first attempt at a run streak in 2015 ended after two weeks, because I was just too busy and stressed out to continue. I decided now would be a good time to try again because I am home full time with Baby V, and I have a treadmill in my basement, so I have much more time and the necessary equipment.

Streaking is definitely not for everyone, and regardless of how fit you are, can lead to over-training and injury. I really wanted to make sure that I did things the right way this time around, so that I could surpass my old record of two weeks. Here are some of my tips for staying healthy during a run streak.

Warm Up
It can be very tempting to skip the warm up when you’re “only” going to do a short run. But taking just a few minutes to do some dynamic stretches always pays dividends for me; I don’t feel as stiff and have an easier time getting going. If nothing else, I usually incorporate a few squats, calf raises, and hip swings before each run to wake up my muscles.

Don’t Skip Recovery
It’s easy to think, “I only ran one mile today, I don’t need to stretch or roll.” But if you’re skipping your recovery efforts every day, it’s all going to build up. Even five minutes of stretching or rolling a day can help keep you from the aches and pains that might stop your streak. Don’t forget about massages, chiropractic, or acupuncture, if they are part of your normal routine.

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Alternate Longer Runs and Shorter Runs/Easy and Hard Runs
For me, this is essential. If on a particular day I run any distance longer than one mile, the next day, I will ONLY run one mile. It’s simply not sustainable for me to run all the miles on all the days, or work speed or hills on all days. You’ve got to give your body a break.

Fuel Your Body
Running every single day is more effort than I’ve put out in a while. I need to make sure that I’m eating enough calories and drinking enough water to sustain the extra work. This is doubly true because I am a breastfeeding mother. I absolutely cannot skimp on quality calories that are a mix of protein, carbs, and fat.

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Don’t Forget Your Crosstraining
During a run streak, it can feel like you’re already getting “enough” exercise, so it’s easy to lay off weight training, yoga, cycling, or your other interests. But running and ONLY running when you usually mix it up can lead to overuse and injury. If all the running is tiring you out, try just adding a few simple body-weight exercises every day at the end of your run. I love to throw in squats and planks, because they are simple exercises that are very good for runners. I often do hip strength exercises like clam shells and leg lifts while I’m lying on the floor playing with Vera.

Listen to Your Body
As I said above, streaking is not for everyone. The most important thing you can do when attempting a run streak is to be in tune with your body and STOP if you start to feel any warning niggles or pains. I’m proud that I stopped my streak in 2015 because I knew it wasn’t working for me. There is no shame in protecting yourself and doing what’s right for your body.

Manic Monday Training Recap – 01/21/19

Manic Monday

Monday 01/14/19: 2.25 mile run + plank
My girlfriend Nikki came over and we switched off running and kid wrangling. I managed an entire mile at 10 min/mile pace, which was officially my fastest post-baby mile, woohoo!

Tuesday 01/15/19: 40 Minute Barre3 Booty Workout + 1 mile run
My friend Penelope came over for a Barre3 workout, and holy glutes and hammies, Batman! It definitely made my easy-paced mile afterward feel like WORK. I made sure to roll a bit afterwards.

Wednesday 01/16/19: 1.5 mile run
I was pretty sore and tired from the Barre3 workout, but I wanted to do just a bit more than one mile. This actually loosened me up quite a bit and made me feel better. That and some stretching.

Thursday 01/17/19: 1 mile run + yoga
During my run, I increased the incline one notch every tenth of a mile until I hit incline 2.5, then decreased it one notch every tenth of a mile until I was done. It made the mile fly by. Then I did Yoga With Adriene’s video “Yoga For Hips and Lower Back,” which was just what I needed.

Friday 01/18/19: 2.25 mile run
I pumped a bit of speed in the middle of this run, with .75 miles at 6, and .25 at 6.3. I was WORKING and it felt great.

Saturday 01/19/19: 2 mile run + stretching
I took it nice and easy for 2 miles, then spent a good 10 minutes stretching out after.

Sunday 01/20/19: 1 mile run + core
I felt a little fragile most of the day as I had my first post-baby hangover. Oops! But I still managed to fit in a short core workout and a mile to keep up with the streak.

Weekly Mileage: 10

Total 2019 Mileage: 29.25

Woohoo! 20 full days of streaking! I’m still feeling really good. No aches or pains, and no excessive fatigue. I’m hoping to start getting in some longer runs up to 5k soon, but my time is limited and my pace is slow, so I’m not sure when I’ll get there. In the meantime, I’m just happy to be running again 🙂

What’s your favorite post-run stretch? Mine is pigeon pose.

Friday Free-For-All – 01/11/19

Friday Free-For-All

The #rbdrunstreak2019 is still going strong! I’m now 11 days in and feeling really good. I’m focusing on doing plenty of stretching and rolling, and trying to alternate “longer” runs with single mile days. I definitely feel like my stamina is improving, and I’m starting to feel like a runner again. I like it!

I did a couple of small car “maintenance” projects that have been on my list FOREVER. First, I changed the bulb in the overhead light. You know, the one that turns on when you open the car door? Ours blew a while ago, and it’s crazy how much you actually need that little light during dark winter nights, especially with a baby and all the attendant crap in the car. I also changed the auto-unlock settings. Since we bought our car, the settings have been that when we turn the car off, ONLY the driver’s door automatically unlocks, which is not a big deal, but can be inconvenient, especially, again, with a baby. Nothing is more annoying than trying to open the door to put the car seat in and having the door still be locked. I’m SO HAPPY to have done these two things. The last thing on my list is to get the battery in my fob replaced so I can use the lock/unlock buttons again. That’s another one of those things that becomes kind of important when you’re juggling a car seat, diaper bag, purse, and shopping bags.

Instagram targeted ads totally got me. I ordered a SheFit Apparel Ultimate Sports Bra last week after seeing them advertised. As has been covered pretty much ad nauseum on this blog, I am a busty runner, and have a hard time finding sports bras that cover the nexus of affordability, comfort, and support. The SheFit has pretty awesome fit and support, and a decent price, but I’m having some chafing issues at the moment. Stay tuned for a full review later.

I was cast in a show this week! It’s a Disney princesses and villains cabaret for kids. I am super rusty, so I just went in with zero expectations, more to get the feel for auditioning again and see my friends than with any thought that I might be cast. But lo, and behold, I got it! And I’m singing Let it Go from Frozen and Mother Knows Best from Tangled. No pressure, right? I can’t wait for rehearsals to start!

Have you ever changed the settings on your car or changed a bulb yourself?

Manic Monday Training Recap – 01/07/19

Manic Monday

Woohoo, bringing back the Manic Monday posts! I’m not actually in training for anything at the moment, but since I’m actually running now thanks to my run streak, I figure I might as well document it officially. After all, that’s what this blog is for, right? Right!

Monday 12/31/19: Rest
I ran around doing errands during the day, and then we were in bed before the New Year officially rolled around. #parentlife

Tuesday 01/01/19: 2 Mile Run
First official run of my New Year Run Streak!

Wednesday 01/02/19: 1 Mile Run + Core
While Vera napped, I zipped down to the treadmill for a quick mile, then did 10 minutes of core work.

Thursday 01/03/19: 2 Mile Run + 30 Squats
Another couple of treadmill miles plus some squats. I had hoped to do a few resistance band exercises, but it looks like the cats got after my last surviving band, and I had to throw it out. Boo!

Friday 01/04/19: 1 Mile Run + Stretch and Roll
I actually ran closer to 1.5 miles because the treadmill flipped a breaker during my first attempt and shut off. I had no idea what my actual distance or time were, so I just started over. I made sure to stretch and roll well to keep injury at bay.

Saturday 01/05/19: 30 Minute Barre3 Workout +1 Mile Run
My friend Penelope came over and we did a Barre3 total body workout video in my living room. That was my first time ever doing a barre workout and holy ow, Batman! It was tough! Then after she left I hit the treadmill for a quick mile to keep the streak alive.

Sunday 01/06/19: 1 Mile Run
I was feeling embarrassingly sore after Saturday’s Barre3 workout, so I just did a slow, easy mile for my streak.

One week of streaking down! I have to say, I feel pretty good. A bit tired and hungrier than usual, but very good. It feels nice to move my body regularly. I’m excited to see where streaking will take me!

How did the first week of the new year go for you?

New Year Run Streak

As an attempt to get back into regular running, I’ve decided to start a run streak today, January 1, 2019, and just go as long as I can. Most runs will not be fast, and they won’t be far, because they will mostly have to be on my basement treadmill during Vera’s notoriously short naps. But I figure a mile a day is better than nothing, and will hopefully get my running legs under me again.

If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ll remember that back in 2015, I decided to attempt the Runner’s World holiday run streak: run at least one mile every day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. You’ll also remember I made it two weeks before calling it quits. At the time, I declared that streaking was not for me, simply because I was too busy. But that was back when I was working full time, and before I had a treadmill at my disposal. We’ll see how it goes!

I’ll be posting my streaking adventures on IG, so check it out. I’m using the hashtag #rbdrunstreak2019, so if you’d like to join me, use the tag so I can follow along! OK, off to feed the baby and hop on the ‘mill!

What’s your longest run streak?

 

Reflections on (Run) Streaking

So I only made it two weeks. I guess I shouldn’t say “only,” because for me, that’s really an accomplishment. But it was time for me to be done.

Why I Stopped Streaking:

  1. My boobs hurt. Yes, TMI I know, but true. Having the impact of a run every single day was hurting me.
  2. My IT bands and calves are crazy tight, even though I stretched almost every single day and rolled fairly often.
  3. I didn’t have enough clean running clothes to run every single day. Putting on stinky, used clothes for a run is no fun.
  4. I was showering twice a day. Sure, if I’d just gotten my lazy ass up and run first thing, I would only have had to shower once, but that just wasn’t happening.
  5. I was starting to resent having to run, which completely defeats the whole purpose

What I Learned While Streaking:

  1. There is truth to the adage “If it’s important, you make the time;” but some days, you really don’t have time to run. As the streak progressed, I was amazed at how easy it was most days to squeeze in a mile or two here and there. On days when I ordinarily would have said, “Oh, I’m too busy,” or, “Hmm, the weather is really gross,” and skipped a planned run, the siren song of the perfect streak would be enough to make me put my shoes on and go. BUT, there were truly days where squeezing in that run actually made my day harder and more stressful, and if it weren’t for the streak, I probably would have skipped the run and been better off for it. And that’s ultimately why I stopped; I just hit a day where trying to make myself run would have pushed me over the edge.
  2. Recovery efforts are critical. I stretched and/or foam rolled after almost every single run during my streak, and even so, my calves and IT bands were super tight after two weeks. I can’t imagine where I’d be now if I hadn’t kept up with the stretching and rolling.
  3. Runger is real and dangerous. I was CONSTANTLY hungry after the first week, and that was only running one or two miles a day most days. I had to seriously re-work most of my meals and snacks. If I didn’t eat every couple of hours, I started to hulk out and be angry.  This was very eye-opening regarding my upcoming marathon training. I need to figure out food/fuel if I don’t want to end up eating all the carbs and gaining 20 pounds.

How I Feel About Ending the Streak:

Honestly? I feel relieved. I was feeling so much pressure to keep up with the streak, and it was stressing me right out. I was running because I felt like I HAD to and not because I wanted to. I’m glad I tried, but equally glad my attempt is over now.

Will I Attempt a Streak Again:

Probably not, unless my life circumstances change significantly. Working full time, doing theatre part time, and trying to keep my apartment clean and still have friends is quite enough to keep me busy; adding a run every single day on top of that is a bit much.