Snagged Some Sun

It has been raining here lately… a lot!  Normally, I like a bit of rain (hell, I used to live in Ireland – if you don’t like rain there, you’re screwed!).  I’ve also appreciated that there haven’t been too many oppressively hot days yet this summer. And, every day hasn’t been rainy (just most of them!) – we got in a hike on Sunday (during a quick reprieve from the rain), and have been less distracted by outdoor adventures enough that we’ve found time to go to the movies.  We saw Iron Man 3 and Star Trek: Into Darkness, and liked them both.   BUT, I’ve been lame and have not been running in the rain.  

Now, don’t get me wrong – I often really enjoy running in the rain, but I haven’t been feeling it (or any of the hassles that come along with wet clothes and gear!) and am really trying to keep things simple this summer.  So, for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been focusing on my lifting (cross-training) and yoga.  

Today, though, we had sun for about 4 hours (yippie!), so Wendy and I scooted out for an easy 3-mile run around the neighborhood.  It was nice.  Lifting is really helping with my running.  While my calves were screaming (as they always do when I take a break from running – even if only for a week), the rest felt great.  The same pace requires less effort – so, what would have been a really tough gut-busting workout has now become a relaxed run.  Why, oh why, did I put off getting back under the bar?!?!

When we got home, I had a nice glass of chocolate milk and read a magazine on the deck until the clouds came back!  Not a bad way to spend an afternoon! 🙂

I missed National Running Day! (and other random thoughts)

What kind of running blogger misses National Running Day?  Whoops!  When I planned my workout schedule for the week, I had a full rest day scheduled for yesterday, which means NO running.  I did go for a walk and did some stretching, so that counts, right?

I’ve been really enjoying my cross-training lately.  I’m following the program in “Strong Curves” by Bret Contreras and Kellie Hart Davis.  The program itself is great.  It focuses on glutes/hamstrings, and is challenging and fun.  Plus, it includes a lot of the work I have to do to keep my piriformis healthy (i.e. avoid injury).  To be honest, the book itself is just ok – the research is good, and it does give a basic overview of muscle development, etc.  I found the tone of the writing to be a bit off-putting (chauvinistic, maybe? – definitely generalizing what he thinks women want).  However, the book is worth picking up simply for the program and the exercise descriptions/photos.

I’ve been dragging a bit lately.  Lots on my mind (that I can’t write about here).  Suffice to say that I am working through it, and choosing self-care (like insane baking and tough workouts) to pull myself back up.

We made grilled pizza the other day.  It was amazing.  Yes, I know that “amazing” seems to be the most overused word lately, but I feel like the pizza we made was what Bertucci’s hopes to be.  I’ll post some pics later this week.

 

 

Iron

I’ve been hesitant to lift heavy since my injury. As I’ve mentioned, I still have some residual pain. Plus, I am terrified to get hurt again! But, I’ve started having some niggling pains in my joints and muscles and I know that lifting can help offset any muscle imbalances from running. SO, I started a new program. This lifting program focuses on glute and hamstring strength, which can only help my running!

Since I started lifting, the pain from my injury has gotten significantly better. Also, my running pace has increased significantly… and it feels effortless! This is nice – especially since the Nike half is coming up, and school is cutting into my training time.

Seems like a win-win to me. And lifting is so damn fun…

Yoga Friday

Wendy likes to help with Yoga Fridays… sometimes. Today, she napped on the couch.

 

I don’t know why, but it seems like I always do yoga on Fridays.  My workouts have been kind of wacky this week (on account of the weather) so it was good to do something familiar.  One benefit of being stuck inside, though, is that it forced me to get in a couple good cross-training sessions.  I’ve also been very diligent with my foam rolling and mobility work.  Of course, the cross-training made me a little sore, so the yoga helped with that too.

Tomorrow, the weather is supposed to warm up a bit (like 10 degrees warmer than today!).  I can’t wait to go running.

 

So, about that cross-training thing…

Things I did this week:

  1. Complete 100% of my scheduled runs (this winter is turning into a good training cycle so far!)
  2. Made some super-healthy recipes (one will be posted this weekend)
  3. Got way less sleep than I should have – Jeb had a crazy work schedule
  4. Used the foam roller or stick every day!
  5. Made a kick-ass birthday cake for Talia (pictures to come)
  6. Finished my winter class

 

Things I did not do this week:

  1. Cross-train
  2. Hills

 

Ah well.  I was really trying to get going on the cross-training and hills, but it just didn’t happen.  My recovery has been crap, and I’m trying to keep my running a priority.  Next week, I start a new semester, so I bet things will feel crazy next week too.  Instead of doing something formal, and making myself crazy, I think I will have a list of exercises that I need to do on my non-running days, and then sprinkle them in throughout the day (study for an hour, 3 sets of squats, study for an hour, 3 sets of RDLs…something like that).

I can’t let myself get crazy obsessed… but I also can’t let myself get lazy.

 

I think I need to start cross-training (more)

so go get stronger.

Yep, pretty much. I should get on that.

I KNOW cross-training is good for me.  Running is great and all, but strength training and other forms of activity are really good for overall fitness and health.  Plus, it can help prevent muscle imbalances that can lead to injury.  On top of that, some forms of cross-training can help with speed.

I have to be better about this.  Right now, I have it built into my schedule, but often decide to do yoga, stretching, or take a rest day instead.  While those are all good things, I think it is time that I bite the bullet and get back into some strength training.

Now that my cold is getting better, I am going to commit to 2 strength workouts a week!  I also plan to add one dedicated hill workout each week.  Depending on my schedule and how I am recovering, I may count a hill workout as one of my strength workouts, but only if I include some upper body lifting and core work when I get home.

I have a couple days to plan, and will begin with my new training week (starts Monday).  This is a little tricky for me because I used to be heavily into powerlifting (so I tend to overthink strength training), especially because I am so overly cautious about injury-prevention.  I probably  just need a couple days to mull it over, and I should be good to go!