Manic Monday Training Recap – 02/25/19

Manic Monday

What Was Planned vs What Happened

Monday 02/11/19: 2 mile run | 2 mile run + stretching
I decided to do a few hill repeats on this run, since I’ve been doing nothing but flat treadmill runs for months. It was a new challenge, and felt great.

Tuesday 02/12/19: Yoga | Yoga
Penelope came over and we did Yoga With Adriene’s videos for Hips and Lower Back and Neck, Shoulders, and Upper Back. It was a lovely full-body stretch.

Wednesday 02/13/19: 1.5 mile run | 1.5 mile run + hip strength + stretching
I wasn’t feeling this run AT ALL, but I got it done.

Thursday 02/14/19: Strength | Rest
I was feeling super worn out and like I might be coming down with something, so I rested.

Friday 02/15/19: 2 mile run | Rest
I still wasn’t feeling it, so I rested again.

Saturday 02/16/19: 2.5 mile run | Rest
Yup, more of the same.

Sunday 02/17/19: Rest | Rest
Nailed it, haha!

Weekly Mileage: 3.5 miles

Total 2019 Mileage: 64

As you can see, this wasn’t a great week for working out, but I have been feeling so incredibly worn down, I know I needed the rest. Between being a new mom, rehearsals for my show, and trying to get back to regular exercise, I think I’ve been overdoing it a bit lately. While I don’t regret being in this show, I definitely think it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

Luckily, the show is this coming Sunday, and after that I can just focus on momming and exercise for a while. I don’t think I’ll be auditioning for another show any time soon. The travel and the staying up late are just too much right now. I need to focus on taking care of myself first; there will be plenty of opportunities to do theatre when I’m not so freaking tired.

When is the last time you took a nice long break from working out?

Manic Monday Training Recap – 02/11/19

Manic Monday

What Was Planned vs What Happened

Monday 02/04/19: 1.5 mile run | 1.5 mile run + hip strength + stretching
My body felt refreshed after taking a full rest day on Sunday, but I still kept the pace nice and easy for this run. I also did 30 each of clam shells, reverse clam shells, side leg lifts, glute bridges, and air squats, and finished up with my split stretch routine.

Tuesday 02/05/19: Strength | Arms + Abs
I did a couple of short workouts from the Tone It Up Girls’ bikini series. It’s crazy how weak my core is post-baby, but I’m committed to working on it regularly.

Wednesday 02/06/19: 1.5 mile run | 1.5 mile run + hip strength + stretching
This workout was EXACTLY the same as Monday, just a tiny bit faster on the run portion.

Thursday 02/07/19: Yoga | Yoga
I pulled up Yoga With Adriene’s “Yoga for Runners” video. It was just what I needed.

Friday 02/08/19: 1.5 mile run | 1.5 mile run + hip strength
Another short, easy run, and a bit of hip strength. I didn’t get to do my whole routine because Vera got fussy.

Saturday 02/08/19: 2 mile run | Rest
We traveled down to my parents’ for an overnight, and I opted to take a rest day with the option to run on Sunday instead.

Sunday 02/10/19: Rest | Rest
Oops. Yeah. After a huge Sunday breakfast of pancakes and mimosas, then the drive home, I didn’t feel like running.

Weekly Mileage: 4.5 miles

Total 2019 Mileage: 53.25

Not a bad start to my 5k training plan. I didn’t get to my “long run” on the weekend, but I’m not too upset about it. I know that distances of up to 2.5 miles feel pretty good right now, and seeing my parents was a good excuse to miss a run.

Did you run long this weekend? How did it go?

Goodbye Streaking, Hello Training!

When I started my run streak at the beginning of the year, I mostly wanted to just make running part of my life again post-baby. I was having a hard time finding motivation, and needed a fitness goal. In the back of my mind, I hoped that I would be able to make it the entire month of January, but wasn’t making a big deal out of it. I just wanted to see how far I could get.

When I reached the end of January, streak intact, I started seeing starry-eyed visions of streaking for the entire year of 2019. It was exciting and a bit scary and I so wanted to keep going. But this past Friday and Saturday, I started feeling some worrying niggles in my right knee. I hemmed and hawed and hoped it would go away. But I when I woke up at 2:30 on Sunday morning to feed Vera and felt that twinge, I decided immediately and unequivocally that it was time to practice what I preach and quit before a niggle became a full-blown injury.

I have to say, I absolutely loved my run streak. I loved the consistency of knowing each day that I had to get down to my treadmill and get it done. I loved pushing through hard paces. I loved cruising through easy miles. This run streak helped me feel like a runner again. It helped me reconnect with a body that had started to feel foreign and uncomfortable. It made me feel like me again.

I’m proud that I made it through 33 straight days of running; I am equally proud that I listened to my body and quit before I hurt myself.

To be completely honest, part of me is scared that without the streak to keep me going, I’ll stop running again. It’s cold. It’s dark. I have a 7 month old baby. Motivation is low this time of year. I need something else to keep me inspired now that the streak is done. Therefore, I’ll be loosely following a Hal Higdon 5k training plan. I say “loosely” because I always mix up the days a bit, but generally follow the recommended mileage for the week.

It’s an eight week “beginner” training plan, which has nice, low mileage. I probably won’t actually run a 5k race at the end of this plan, purely because there aren’t many races available during Vermont winters, but I’m looking at it as prep for the races I hope to run this spring and summer.

 

I’m excited to build up my mileage again. The longest I’ve run since Vera was born is 3.5 miles, and that was months ago now. I don’t necessarily want to do a lot of distance running this year, but I’d like to get to the point where a distance of five miles feels comfy and doable, cause right now that feels almost impossible. When I complete the plan, I’ll have to reevaluate and see what’s next, but I’m hopeful that by then, running will be back in my life for good.

What running/fitness goal are you working toward right now?

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.

Friday Free-For-All – 10/12/18

Friday Free-For-All

I am now the proud owner of a treadmill! I put a call out on my local Front Porch Forum, and actually received a ton of offers of used treadmills. Not only did I find one in good shape, the seller delivered it straight to our house, yay! While I fully intend for most of my runs to be out on the rail trail, the days are about to get a lot darker, colder, and snowier, so having a treadmill means that I will be able to keep up with running this winter.

We have a leak in our roof. Joy. We’ve had a few really rainy days lately, and on one particularly rainy day I noticed a dripping sound in our laundry room. I looked up and saw a hole in the sheet rock, dripping water. Blerg. Gonna have to get that fixed before winter.

Postpartum hair loss has kicked in. Double joy. For those who don’t know, it’s pretty normal for a woman to start losing clumps of hair around three months postpartum. Pregnancy hormones cause you not to shed hair as you normally would, and once your hormones return to normal, all of the hair you should have shed during pregnancy all starts to come out at once. It’s alarming, and gross, and just another part of that oh-so-magical pregnancy journey.

Homeowners, have you ever had a leaky roof?

 

Product Review: Amphipod Hydraform Ergo-Lite Ultra Handheld Bottle

Disclaimer: I received an Amphipod Hydraform Ergo-Lite Ultra as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I don’t think I’m the only runner who has a love/hate relationship with handheld bottles. Love, because it can be simpler to carry a small bottle on short-to-middle distance runs than strapping on a big hydration pack. Hate, because they’re often ill-fitting, heavy, or otherwise annoying.

I used to have a handheld bottle, I can’t even remember what brand, but every time I used it, my hands got all crampy from having to clutch it constantly, and I had to re-tighten the strap every few minutes. The nozzle also was one of those ones where you have to pull it open and push it to close, so it wasn’t very fast or easy to get a drink. I threw that bottle away after only a few uses because I was so frustrated with it, and since then, I haven’t had anything to take with me on shorter runs.

When BibRave asked for volunteers to try the Amphipod Hydraform Ergo-Lite Ultra, I was a bit wary, but I figured, why not give it a shot? We were heading into summer, and I absolutely wilt when running in the heat, so if nothing else, it would be practical to have one. I chose the 16 oz version because usually that’s all I need for a run up to 10 miles. Unfortunately, I was unable to test this while running as much as I would have liked due to my recent tailbone injury and subsequent two week running break. I did, however, get to take it on one good 4 mile tempo run, and several walks, and I was impressed.

Ergo-Lite Ultra

Features:

  • Jett-Squeeze Cap
  • Reflective detail on pocket
  • Expandable pocket and key clip
  • Thumb-lock sleeve design
  • Neoprene sleeve acts as insulation
  • 3 quick-access gel storage slots

The Good:

The neoprene strap was tight enough to actually hold the bottle to my hand, so I didn’t feel like I had to hold it in a death grip. My natural stance with running is to have my hands completely open and fingers loose, so having to hold onto something messes me up. In fact, it was almost a bit too tight, because I could feel the seam stitching biting into my hand a bit, but after the fact, I realized that the strap is adjustable, so it was an easy fix.

The bottle is also ergonomically shaped; rather than a typical round or oval bottle, the Ergo-Lite Ultra bottle is shaped to fit naturally in your hand, which I think is another reason I don’t have to hold on so hard.

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The expandable pocket on the unit is AWESOME. It actually fits my iPhone 6s in its bulky, Otterbox-style case, and I feel confident that I could also fit extra gels or chews in there if I needed to. There’s a great slip pocket inside the pocket to keep credit cards or ID secure as well.

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I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Jett-Squeeze cap. There’s no pulling or pushing the lid up, no biting or sucking–you just give the bottle a gentle squeeze, and it shoots water into your mouth, or on your head, or wherever you want it to go. I can’t stress enough how much I love this feature. When I’m hot and sweaty, the last thing I want to do is put my sweaty hand on my water bottle cap, or try to pry it open with my teeth. And best of all, it doesn’t leak. You could leave the bottle on the floor for an hour and you wouldn’t have a puddle to clean up when you came back.

The Bad:

My biggest problem with handhelds is unfortunately universal: they’re heavy and they throw me off balance a bit. Whichever arm is carrying the bottle gets tired, so I constantly have to switch off, which is annoying. If I don’t put my phone in the pocket, it’s MUCH lighter and more user-friendly, and I have plenty of shorts/capris with pockets that I can put my phone in instead. While all handhelds have the potential to be annoying, I think the ergonomic design of the Ergo-Lite Ultra makes it much easier to carry than its competitors.

My only complaint specifically for the Ergo-Lite Ultra is that the very first time I took the neoprene sleeve off the bottle, the bottle was discolored. This is probably my own fault for leaving it in my hot car repeatedly, but it still looks kind of gross.

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Conclusion:

I’m really happy with this product. It offers a surprising amount of storage space in a very compact unit, and is much more comfortable and easy to hold onto than other handhelds I’ve tried. I know it’s going to serve me well this summer.

Do you ever run with handheld bottles? Why or why not?

Friday Free-For-All – 05/27/16

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It’s marathon weekend. AAAAAHHHH! All the emotions. All the feelings. All the OMG. I’ll be hitting up the expo tonight, having a ladies’ night after, and relaxing most of the weekend. I can’t freaking believe this is happening…

Vermont City Marathon offers live runner tracking. If you’re interested in following my progress on Sunday, click here to get all the info you need. My bib # is 2796.

I’m hoping for some blogger meetups this weekend. Colby and Darlene will be here running the two-person relay, I think Stacey‘s husband is running the full, and my fellow BR Pro Christine will be running the full as well. Anyone else running VCM? I live within walking distance of three different breweries, so I’m more than willing to meet for a drink on Saturday–just email me! darlinrae[at]gmail[dot]com.

Who else is racing this weekend?