brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
Only one more long run before the half-marathon! Yesterday was an 11 mile run that went really well considering I skipped last week's long run, the first few miles it was raining, and the last few miles were uphill.

I have stepped up the fitness and eating habits that I learned from the last half-marathon training and definitely seen results - this is the first time in my life I have actually seen the *shape* of my body change (my legs and stomach in particular - both are more defined by muscle than anything else!).

My grocery trips are now focused around lean protein hunting - lots of salmon, quinoa, protein powder, and almond butter. I also have worked hard to eat more fruit, especially on the weekends, which has helped my post-long run recovery (I used to feel slightly disorientated and just a bit off for a few hours after a run longer than 9 miles). And don't worry my diet has always had enough carbs, veggies, and fat in it - this is about adding food, not taking things away.

I've also been experimenting with different mid-run supplements (conclusion: supplements with caffeine, like Clif Shot Bloks, are better just before a workout, while non-caffeinated gels, like Gu, are best mid-run for energy and recovery - for me, caffeine mid-workout contributes to feeling weird post-run).

Of course, the cross-training is also essential - cardio workouts for building muscles and aerobic capacity and yoga for deep stretching (I generally do not stretch at all pre or post run - studies show no real benefit and I feel no real benefit). I can't say enough about tempo runs and intervals - things I used to resist and now would never do without.

Which is all to say, this has been a hard, but rewarding process...

March 2014 workouts

(mapmyrun.com doesn't handle tempo or intervals runs well (my Wednesday runs), which why those days look so inconsistent. Spring Break effected my cross training due to available classes at the gym. That 8 mile run was supposed to be 10, but bonked and learned my lesson about mid-run supplements. Missed long run was supposed to be 11, but I was a wimp due to a snow storm and had built in enough buffer that I could still train fully and skip it.)

Results

Feb. 25th, 2014 04:25 pm
brdgt: (Cardio)
Week 6

I'm almost halfway through my third half marathon training and I am really happy with the results. Since this time my goal isn't just to finish, it is really interesting to see how specific kinds of training can actually produce results (for me, increasing pace).

In addition to being increasingly confident that I'll be able to do the half-marathon in under 2 hours, I have seen my body change in ways that exercise has never done before.

My body is actually stronger - stronger legs produce faster paces, better aerobic capacity helps endurance, and eating the right fuel gives you the energy you need to do the things you want to.

I haven't really lost any weight (that's not a goal), but things that used to jiggle are now firm. Jumping up and down in cardio class this week I thought as I looked in the mirror, "huh, my thighs are staying right where they were." In fact, I'm not just stronger, I have actual defined muscles.

So, thank you Hal Higdon and lean protein!
brdgt: (Cardio)
Started a "cardio pump" class at the gym this week (2Xweek of cardio and weights) and scheduled out a half marathon training program to run the Salt Lake City half marathon in April with a goal of under 2 hours. I was thinking of doing a destination half marathon, but I like the idea of running on terrain I know, saving money on travel, and the timing is right for starting a training program now.

I continue to use Fitocracy and MyFitnessPal. The former has a lot of technical problems, but I have met some very nice people with useful advice and support. The latter has been mostly for myself - to maintain my weight through being aware of calories and portions - but I just joined a challenge group that seems very supportive and flexible.

I don't have money in my budget for yoga classes or a climbing gym membership, but this keeps me busy enough right now!
brdgt: (Cardio)
I have finally gotten somewhat used to the altitude here (read: my lungs don't burn when I exercise) and have actually been really happy with the home workout I've been doing - I'm seeing better results with everything (except upper body strength) than I ever did with gym classes.

My workouts are here, but basically I've been increasing repetitions of these three workouts.

Read more... )

I am now up to 4 repetitions of the leg workout, 3 of the ab workout, and 35 pushups. It takes about an hour, but doesn't require any special equipment (heck, I even usually do it barefoot), but it works up a good sweat and I'm loving how my ass and stomach are looking.

I'm also going to start training for another half marathon and this one looks like an awesome goal - both location and timing wise:



It's a steady uphill, but only a 466 ft total gain (or comparison, in my four mile run yesterday I gained 391 ft at over 1,000 ft higher elevation than Zion). I'm sure by the end of training I will agree that "downhill courses are for wimps," as they state:

brdgt: (Cardio)
Running: Week three of the half-marathon training finished with a 6 mile run on Sunday. The program is going much smoother this time around, even with the extra day of running and attempts at pace setting. I find myself halfway through my long run before I think to look at the clock.

Climbing: Well, my climbing partner and I started the "Climb a Mile" in February challenge just for fun, openly saying "there is no way we will finish this, but let's see how far we can get for fun," and gosh darn it - we're both going to finish! Dianna will be done tonight because she had a stronger start than me, but I'll be done on Wednesday! We went from an average of 7 climbs a night, two nights a week to 28 climbs a night, three times a week! We are looking forward to incorporating more laps into our climbs, but also to adding in new routes - this challenge does not incentivize trying anything new or very hard, it's more about stamina.

Strength-Training: I am really happy with the benefits I am seeing by just doing this class once a week. It's has increased my core strength exponentially more than yoga ever did - greatly helping in climbing, as well as yoga. Most of all - squats and lunges? They make your ass look amazing!

Yoga: I need to get back to Kristin's low key but intense class for the spiritual well being (stupidly stayed out too late partying on Friday night and missed the class I wanted to go to with [livejournal.com profile] purplemb13), but the strength training class has definitely helped in the power yoga class I like to do Monday and Friday morning - those crazy push-ups and sit-ups don't seem so bad anymore. Actually, I should probably try head stands again...

Diet: I've plateaued a little again at 145, but with less variance on a day-to-day basis, so I'm very happy with that. I'm back in my skinny jeans and things just fit better. Mostly though, I'm seeing a real effect on my running by adjusting my diet to my training. That was one element I didn't incorporate last time, but by being more careful about the carbs, protein, and fat that I eat, I definitely have more energy on my runs and I am more efficiently building more muscle (I was surprised last year that I didn't seem to build more muscle, but now I see I wasn't eating what my body needed to do that). It's also helped me save money because you really have to plan out your week, especially breakfast and snack wise, if you want to have good fuel and muscle building options available.

One thing that has definitely returned from training last year - the need for more sleep than I am used to - I have to start adjusting for that because it makes getting up for 6AM yoga hard when I used to be able to go to bed at 11 and still get up for that.

Inspiration

Apr. 3rd, 2012 09:16 am
brdgt: (Kickin Ass by stormwindicons)
Something to store away for motivation during the half-marathon:

Watch Kathrine Switzer on PBS. See more from Makers: Women Who Make America.

brdgt: (Default)
Running: Running has been going well - this is my first repeat week. I realized this week that my appetite hasn't changed at all, which is weird, but my sleeping habits have - I need a lot more sleep than I used to, which makes 6AM yoga very hard. On the other hand, I am so glad I am training with a plan - I haven't skipped a run once and no injuries!

Wearing: It's a rainy day here in Madison, which means I will cheer myself up with my new dress!



Planning: Another side effect of the running program - it takes a lot of time. You have to set aside, between the run and the shower after, at least 90 minutes twice a week and two hours once a week. Combined with working two jobs, writing a dissertation, traveling for research, rock climbing, yoga, and some standing commitments it is very hard to schedule anything with friends. For example, I owe a friend dinner - but finding time to do all of this, plus *make* a home cooked meal before 9PM at night? We've settled for 5:30 on Sunday before my house is descended upon by Game of Thrones fans (apparently we're the only people in our friends group with cable - Kendra has a key to our place and just stops by to set the dvr for random sporting events... but at least she buys me mani-pedis).

Dissertation: Yesterday was spent writing about The Velveteen Rabbit - there is surprisingly little written about children's literature and illness... I see an article in my future.
brdgt: (Do or Do Not by noldo_icons)
I finished week 7 of my half marathon training yesterday - a real milestone because I am officially more than halfway to half marathon mileage and the longest distance I have every run (previously the longest distance was 10K).



I had a moment last week, running one of my shorter mid-week runs, when I realized very viscerally that I could totally run the half marathon. Up until yesterday every run has been very good, if slow - I end each run feeling great, haven't had any injuries, and am generally enjoying myself. Yesterday was the first run thus far that I really felt tired and sore after. In addition to being the longest run so far, it came a week after a ramping down of the program for a 5K race.

I usually don't run with other people or run without music, but yesterday Clark went with me and we kept a pace we could talk at as we ran up to Maple Bluff and back - part of the half marathon race route.



As you can see by the chart, I'm over half-way done - but the Madison Half Marathon isn't until the end of May, so from this week out I will be doing each week twice, so that the plan lines up with race day. Next week Clark and I are thinking of running out to Picnic Point and back.

SCOBY....

Mar. 5th, 2012 09:48 am
brdgt: (Default)
Finished week four of marathon training! 8 more to go...

Nick talked to his grandmother yesterday. She is home from the hospital (at his mom's) and he said she sounded much better, if tired. Also, his chickenpox is pretty much gone and he'll probably just have one scar from it.

Setting new boundaries on my time proved successful last week - I was able to get some good work done even on the days I work other jobs.

I realized that some of my crankypants-ness is probably due to growing pains from various changes I've made since New Years. Change is hard.

The Department nominated me for the College of Letters and Sciences Teaching Fellow Award. That doesn't mean I'll get it, but I think I put together a strong application (including some helpful advice from [livejournal.com profile] purplemb13, who won last year!)

I won the Sallie Bingham Center Research Travel Grant I applied for! I was going to wait until after the semester was over to go, but I think I'm going to go next month. Work can't tell me not to go on a research trip and it might help me a little with my wanderlust and annoyance with work. All of that and, you know, the research is important to the dissertation, even though I've already started writing!

Yesterday I went to a lovely vegan brunch at my (and [livejournal.com profile] astronautical's!) friend Stacey's place (right across the street) and she sent me home with a Kombucha starter! I will, of course, let you know how it goes, but I'm finding it amazingly fascinating just learning about the process - from Wikipedia:

The culture mainly contains a symbiosis of Acetobacter (acetic acid bacteria) and one or more yeasts. The culture itself looks somewhat like a large pancake, and though often called a mushroom, a mother of vinegar or by the acronym SCOBY (for "Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast"), it is scientifically classified as a zoogleal mat. It takes on the shape of its container, but varies in thickness depending on how long it has been allowed to develop and the acidity of the tea medium during the development period. The culture is leathery and inelastic, similar to a thick calamari.


Week four

Feb. 29th, 2012 09:17 am
brdgt: (Default)
And in other news, the half marathon training is coming along:



My times are still lower than I would like, but I haven't had any trouble completing any of the training days.

Crazy?

Feb. 7th, 2012 09:16 am
brdgt: (Ambitious by foggi)
Who would have thought, back in 2008, when I started to do Couch-to-5K with [livejournal.com profile] antarcticlust that I would be considering a half marathon? OK, maybe you guys did, but I didn't.

Much like my climbing and yoga practice, I've realized what it's like to plateau and that if you want more out of it you have to put more in. Going climbing two times a week has done wonders for my skills - last night (and [livejournal.com profile] alexeye, you'll get this) I had one of those moments where I'd done a route almost a dozen times and always thought one part seemed harder than it should be and last night put my foot in a counter-intuitive position and was like "OH! It's so *easy* now!"

So, I'm doing this program, which comes highly recommended and looks very manageable, especially because I can already run 10K. My goal will be the Madison (half) Marathon, which, according to the website is 110 days away! I'm not going to worry too much about the cross and strength training, considering I do climbing and yoga both twice a week. I've even convinced Nick to do CrazyLegs with me the month before (it's only 8K and ends with beer - SO Wisconsin).

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brdgt: (Default)
Brdgt

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