Monday, August 26, 2013

Running Wild: Weekly Wrap-up

Total Miles Run: 16.25

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4 Miles Run

In my conscious effort to run more on hills, I tackled a long and pretty steep hill in my 'hood during the middle of the run. If you're local, this is the Admiral hill. It is .7 miles long from the bottom of the east end of Admiral up to the top with a total gain of about 250 feet. I've done this hill maybe three or four times times already and it's brutal every time.

Wednesday: Strength

I decided to do "Fran" at the gym, though I didn't time myself. Fran, in the crossfit world, is a workout where you do a 21 thrusters, 21 pull-ups, 15 thrusters, 15 pull-ups, and then 9 thrusters and 9 pull-ups. I did my pull-ups with my band and used a 45# bar for the thrusters. I think the "Rx" for this workout is a 65# bar for women, which I can not do yet. 

It was tough. Not gonna lie. The pull-ups were harder than the thrusters and I had to break them down in to maybe 3 or 4 at a time half way through the first set. 

Basically I did them just like Talayna Fortunato, 
you know, 
if I was faster and stronger and just a wee bit more badass. 

Thursday: 3 Miles Run

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Strength

I did Blonde Ponytail's "Dirty 30" workout which is, um, BRUTAL. Eloise helped me out and did ten of each exercise while I did the full 30. I finished in 18:19. I was suprisingly sore the next day, too! I can't even tell you the last time I was sore from a body weight exercise. Have you done this workout? How did it go for you? Did you die? I think I might have.

Sunday: 9.25 Miles Run

Long run Sunday, my favorite day of the week! Seriously, the longer the run the happier I am about it. I love my water belt, taking gels, mapping out a route, pounding the pavement, all of it. It's so much fun! I started out flat and then tackled the west side of the Admiral hill. It's 1.4 miles from the bottom to the top if you're going west to east. It's not as straight up as the east side of the hill, but it is twice as long! I walked a couple of times, but it was great otherwise. The last couple of miles of my run were down hill the whole way, so I kept reminding myself of that as I wove my way up the hill.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Running Wild: Weekly Wrap-up

Total Miles Run: 17.25

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Run 4 Miles

A beautiful morning to run on Alki!

Wednesday: Strength

I got to the gym nice and early, at about 6:30, it was so quiet. I might make this a more regular occurrence for the rest of the summer. 

Warm-up, then:
/*3 sets of 8 assisted pull-ups
\*3 sets of 10 back squats at 45#/55#/65#
*3 sets of 10 torso twists at 22.5#
/*3 sets of "sit to stand" with 10#/20#/20# (don't know the official name for these!)
\*3 sets of cable squat rows at 140#
/*3 sets of 10 straight leg raises on roman chair
\*3 sets of 5 chest dips

Thursday: Run 3 Miles

Up before the sun to run with a friend. I haven't woken up before 6:00 am in a long time, I was shocked it was already getting so dark again that early! Hopefully once the girls are back in the school that hour of the day and I will never meet again . . .

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Strength and Kayaking

Another 6:30 am workout. Again, the gym was so quiet! Odd to be in the weight room with maybe 2 or 3 other people. I tried to make my workout leg-heavy, as I knew I was going kayaking later in the morning and that is obviously mostly upper body!

Warm-up, then:
*3 sets of 12 10# wall balls
*4 sets of 10 leg presses at 45#/65#/85#/105#
*3 sets of lunges holding a plate overhead 0#/10#/25#
*3 sets of 10 side lunges with plate 10#/25#/25#
/*3 sets of 5 hanging knee raises
\*3 sets of 8 pistol squats

Saturday was our littlest girl's birthday, so we took her kayaking! She had been begging to go kayaking all summer long, so I decided to include the outing in her birthday celebration. It was a great workout in itself!

Sunday: 8.25 Miles Run

We had an epic 7 year old girl sleepover party on Saturday night and I couldn't wait to get out for my run after they were all picked up on Sunday morning. Tee hee. My marathon novice plan called for 5 miles but I really, really wanted to do more. I decided 8 would be nice. Besides the heat of running until just after noon, it was a wonderful run. I felt really great the whole way, didn't push the pace, and enjoyed every step. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Pretty much every summer we take these big, epic trips. Typically we go to where my parents live in Michigan for several weeks, but I finally put my foot down and said "no more". It was getting far too stressful and challenging for me to manage that kind of trip with the two girls, so I was done. This year? We stayed home for the summer, spent our time and money in other ways (see also: trampoline post) and did a much more manageable, closer to home, vacation. 

It was lovely. 

My husband's friend let us rent out his vacation home on Lake Entiat, which for those of you who know Washington State a little, is part of the Columbia River, just south of Lake Chelan. We got to drive there, and bring the dog, and the house was huge and had more than enough room for all of us. Our good friends even drove over and spent one of the nights with us! 

Iris and I, taken by Eloise.

Sassy pose. 

Iris in her model pose. 

Matt and Eloise playing shuffleboard.

Our dog, Heidi, and the view from the house.


We roasted marshmallows with friends. Eloise is eating the treat she made, pictured below.

Our friends brought rice krispies treats and peanut butter cookies with Hershey's kisses. 
They made a perfect place to tuck a roasted marshmallow in to! 

Practicing diving at the pool.

Iris in the pool. 

We went to the public beach at Don Morse Park on Lake Chelan a couple of times and really loved it. There was a diving platform out in the water that the kids loved. 

Eloise taking a rest from swimming. The beach was actually all gravel, so not the most comfy for sunning. 

The view from the beach at Lake Chelan. 

Selfie of Eloise and I. 

Matt dragging the girls around in Lake Entiat. 

Iris being cute in Lake Entiat. 

Our dog, Heidi, rolling in the sand on the beach at Lake Entiat. 

Our time was spent swimming in the pool, Lake Chelan or Lake Entiat, we went to each several times. If we weren't swimming we were resting or eating. It was so hot, we often swam in the morning, came home for lunch and rested until mid-afternoon, then went out again. I got in a couple of runs, too. My friend and I had big plans to go paddleboarding on Lake Chelan, but it was too windy the day we wanted to go out. 

We had some major excitement in the form of thunderstorms our last two nights there. I hadn't seen anything that crazy since I lived in Wisconsin! The first night the lightning started a fire nearby in a field, the second night the storm knocked out the power. We were just glad it didn't knock down the whole house! 

Now we are back home, soaking in the last bits of summer until school starts again. It feels like it's coming fast! 

Have you ever been to Lake Chelan? Any tips for things to do or places to stay in the area? We would love to go back again! 

Trampolines Are Fun

All summer Matt and I have been hemming and hawing over getting the girls a trampoline. We thought at first we really wanted one, but I felt really unsure about what kind to buy, which was the safest, etc etc. Basically it felt like we were working on purchasing a several hundred dollar death trap toy for our kids with little guidance and I was too overwhelmed. We thought about it, then sort of stopped thinking about it. Then Matt took Eloise to a friends' house and they had just gotten a Springfree trampoline. Of course Eloise loved it, but more importantly, Matt loved it. He said we had to get one. Then I told him how much money they cost. Then we stopped talking about it. 

Several days later I decided we should go to the Springfree showroom, which is in Issaquah, very near Seattle. If you live in Seattle, you should go check it out, even if you aren't in the market for a trampoline. They have the trampolines all set up and let you jump your little heart out. They even have water and bathrooms and super nice salespeople! We left with info, and thought about what size we would want . . . . then we kind of dropped it again. Springfree trampolines are a lot of money. Like, we spent more on it than we did on this summer's vacation. Finally we decided to bite the bullet, or rather, pulled out the credit card, and ordered on Monday. It was delivered and set up on Tuesday.

We are in love.

Why a Springfree? Well, we were kinda sold from get-go with the whole "world's safest trampoline" spiel. We also loved that since they don't have traditional metal springs they won't rust, and therefor they won't get squeaky. The trampoline we got is oval, so it has two "sweet spots" and fits nicely in to our yard, as well. The ground space it takes up is only trampoline, no extra space for springs, so it might be nicer for smaller yards, too, though I haven't compared measurements on that. Also, since we are local, we got the thing delivered and set up and they gave us a ladder and a basketball hoop and ball, all for free with a promo they are running. 

While the girls knew we were considering buying a trampoline, we didn't tell them when I ordered it or had it set up. I had to keep telling Eloise to go outside to check on the dog before she looked up and saw it out there. She screamed! It was the most hilarious thing. She ran right out and started jumping in her skirt. 

Iris and I are working on our "booty drops", where you jump, then bounce on your butt, back up to feet, back to butt, etc etc. Today she did it over 100 times in a row. I stopped at 100. I might have found my new form of cross-training! 

Of course, I learned a few things being a brand-new trampoline owner:

1. Wear a sports bra. 
2. Pee before you get on it.
3. It's much harder than your kids make it look. 

Does your family have a trampoline? Do you use it for exercise for yourself or is it just for your kids? 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Running Wild: Weekly Wrap-up

Total Miles Run: 13.25

Monday: Strength at the Gym

Monday's are always a rest day, but with a vacation coming up, I needed to sneak in my workout so that I felt less guilty about taking a rest day then! 

I thought I would write a little bit about what I do to warm-up before my strength workout, in case it would be helpful to you!

My physical therapist has had me doing a few specific pelvic correction exercises, so I always start with that. Then I do about 15 unweighted squats, below parallel, but not super low. If I feel like warming up more with squats I will do wall squats (facing the wall, my feet about 6 inches away) or squats with my arms raised straight above my head or squats holding an empty bar (like a PVC pipe) and do overhead squats. After the squats I hold the bar, one hand at each end, then tap it in front of my body, move it straight overhead and tap it behind my body 10 times. Holding the bar at the same place I move the bar from my front to my back by swinging it more over to the right and then the left, like the video below, only I don't do it anywhere near that fast!

Then I hold the bar like a cane to stabilize myself as I do high leg kicks front to back and side to side. If I'm wanting more lower body warm-up I do "toy soldiers" which are walking high straight leg kicks and then I do walking lunges, back knee hitting the ground. 

If you do all of those you will be well warmed up for a strength routine!

So, today's strength routine:

*10 thrusters w/ 35# bar
*2 sets of 10 thrusters 2/ 45# bar
*8 15# dumbbell snatches
*2 sets of 8 25# dumbbell snatches
*2 sets of 8 12# delt flys
*8 15# delt flys
*3 sets of 8 straight leg raises on the roman chair
*3 sets of 5 unassisted chest dips on the roman chair
*3 sets of 10 rounds of a plank variation. I stood, put my hands to the ground, walked my hands out to plank, dropped one arm to my elbow, dropped the other arm to elbow, first arm back up, next arm back up, then walked hands back in and stood up. I was trying to remember "Pink's Plank" that I had done a few weeks ago and this is what I came up with-- it was close! 

Tuesday: 3 Mile Run

Short and sweet. The early stages of marathon training are easy breezy! Haha.

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 3 Mile Run

I was on vacation at the end of the week, staying at a house along the Columbia River, near Chelan, WA. The house was in a small development and when I looked on the map it seemed like it wouldn't be too hard to get my mileage in without leaving the area. Little did I realize that the development is up the side of a pretty steep bank. This was a very hilly run.

Friday: Rest

Lots of swimming, but no "real" exercise.

Saturday: Rest

Same as Friday

Sunday: 7.25 Mile Run

This was brutal. I had a lot working against me. Already I wasn't excited about the hills, or the heat. I kept trying to figure out ways to get out of this run. I was low on sleep all week, but Saturday night took the cake. A brutal storm blew through Friday and Saturday night, but on Saturday night we lost our power. Then the smoke alarms went off (false alarm). My first alarm went off at 4:30 so I could eat, my "get up now" alarm went off at 6:30. I told myself that if I just couldn't pull myself out of bed at 6:30 that I wouldn't do it, but once that alarm went off I was out of bed and dressed before I realized what I was doing. That was for the best, I think.

I basically ran up and down every road in the development. And I walked. A LOT.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Running Wild: Weekly Wrap-up

Total Miles Run: 14

Monday: Rest

Rest day from training, but I walked at least a couple of miles with my daughter and our dog.

Tuesday: 3 Mile Run

Nothing fancy, just a quick 3 miles in the morning

Wednesday: Yoga

I was literally driving to my gym for a strength workout when I went past my old yoga studio and decided to ditch the weights for some grounding. It has probably been a year and a half since I have attended a yoga class and I was definitely overdue for one! The stretching felt great and while I definitely have not become any more flexible since I last graced a yoga mat, I was absolutely much stronger!

Thursday: 3 Mile Run

For some reason I decided to make this a run where I did the first mile at 10 min/mile pace, the second mile at 9:00 min/mile pace and the last at 8:00 min/mile pace. The first mile was easy, the second a little tougher and the last too hard. I stopped to walk once during the last mile but still finished at exactly 27:01 minutes at 3 miles, so maybe my problem was I was going a little too hard on that last mile? It was pretty clear I wasn't ready for that speed! 

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Rest

Was not supposed to be a rest day, but I was out of town, didn't get back until late afternoon, too tired, blah blah blah. My first step towards becoming a total sloth. 

Sunday: 8 Mile Run

I met Sally for a little jaunt around West Seattle. I threw in a series of some serious hills to our route. You know, just for fun. Here is the elevation map from Map My Run:

I think hills are my new favorite. I am going to try to start adding in a hilly run every week, since I still am not doing speed work. Sally and I had a good time, it was a gorgeous morning for a run! 

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Off-Kilter Week

It's been an unusual week around these parts. I suppose I consider myself a creature of habit, so when things go skeewampus, as they tend to do in the summer time, I am a little off-kilter.

My little girl went to spend the week with her Grandma. It's pretty much the first time she has gotten to do this. She did go once before for a night or two alone when her aunt and little cousin were there, but this time it was just her and Grandpa and Grandma for four nights! She had a great time and was super spoiled by her grandparents. I feel incredibly lucky that they are so excited about spending time with, and work so hard to spend time with, their grandkids. Hopefully later this summer it will be my big girl's turn for a trip! The quiet in the house with only one child home was incredible! 

Eloise and Grandma

Grandma lives a little ways away so we met her half way to transfer Eloise. We met at a diner and all had a very large and decadent dessert before saying goodbye.

Strawberry rhubarb crisp with ice cream and coffee! 
Not sure if this looks as big as it was, but I couldn't even finish it! 

Earlier in the week the girls and I had some fun playing on Alki Beach for a bit. I run along Alki quite often, but very rarely just hang out and play by the water!

Picnic by the water.

Redhead jumping! 

Sisters being nice to each other! 
Had to capture this for all eternity. 

I won't lie, summer has sort of been kicking my ass. Usually I really love summer and getting to do fun stuff with the girls, but this summer has just been a pile of stress. I work very few hours, but I swear I spend more time worrying about fitting in time to work than I spend actually working. The girls can't seem to get along to save their lives (except for the brief moment I captured, above). The quiet of this past week with only Iris at home as been a nice, albeit boring, change of pace. 

This week has also been a rough mix of feeling a little off my workouts and also eating about eighty billion more calories than my body needs (see exhibit A, the photo of the crisp). The crisp was the tip of the iceberg this week. Ever notice how once you start eating like crap it just gets easier to keep eating like crap? Or is that just me? This week I had Bottlecaps, ice cream, chocolate chips, sodas, lattes, shave ice . . . you know, and why stop there, at that point. I might as well keep eating crap forever at this point. 

I decided to try something with my running. I am following a marathon training schedule and am going to see how far I can go on it before A) my body shuts down and says no more, or B) I hate it and stop. If by chance I do make it to the end of the training I will be ready to run the Seattle Marathon, but in all honesty, I am not really counting on it. This week was week one of training, so it was two 3 mile runs and a longer run to come on Sunday. Easy peasy. My IT band is sore again, it's been a few weeks since it has let me know it doesn't like my activity of choice, so that's annoying. I think, or at least hope, that it's because I've been slacking on all of my PT exercises since I started to feel so much better.