Archive for the ‘training’ Category

Given my new instructions to not use the elliptical, Husband Saign and I had to take the plunge and get a legit gym membership at a gym with a pool.

It’s very exciting! Here are my new treats I had to get:


Yep. Just when you thought maybe I wasn’t that ridiculous, I take a photo like this, and you have to acknowledge…I am pretty much completely ridiculous.
Also, this is my 2nd pair of goggles. The first pair I wore to the gym one day and promptly lost them.

Sadly, because of my shins, there’s a ton of stuff I can’t do at the gym.

Here’s a list of what I can do:

  1. swim
  2. yoga
  3. bike
  4. upper body/core strength/lifting

Yep. A sad list of 4 things.

Here’s a list of the things I’m looking forward to doing when I get better:

  1. RUN! (Most important!)
  2. zumba
  3. rock climbing
  4. kickboxing
  5. spinning (I should be able to do this now, but so far it’s exacerbated my shin pain)
  6. lower body strength/lifting (My shins hurt so badly from doing legs this weekend that I realized I shouldn’t be lifting with my legs)

I’m so excited! I hate paying for a gym membership, but I really enjoy having a gym membership!

What’s your favorite thing to do at the gym? Any ideas of things I can do that don’t have the potential to hurt my shins?

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Weekly Workout Round Up


Since I’m not running, I’m having trouble keeping track of my workouts. (Usually Runkeeper takes care of that for me). I really am not sure what my workouts were last weekend. I think the rest of the week looked like this:

5/21: Walk Ada the Dog, Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred Level 1 – 5 & 10 lb weights, 35 minutes stationary bike

5/22: Walk Ada the Dog, Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred Level 2 – 5 lb weights, 45 minutes stationary bike

5/23: Walk Ada the Dog

5/24: Walk Ada the Dog, Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred Level 2- 5 lb weights

5/25: Walk Ada the Dog, Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred Level 1 – 5 & 10 lb weights

It’s been really nice having the gym so that I can still do cardio while keeping things low impact. (I also modify the cardio in the Jillian Michael’s workouts so that they are low impact). I’ve been too scared to even to the elliptical, because I’m trying so, so hard to do everything I need to do to get better. My shins still hurt. Not badly at all…just enough to scare me away from running. :(

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Total mileage this week: 11.5. 8 miles on 5/12, 3.5 on 5/16. That’s it.

Cross training:

5/13 6 mile hike

5/14 walking, strength

5/15 Jillian Michael’s 30 day shred level 1 – 5 lb & 10 lb

5/17 Jillian Michael’s 30 day shred level 2 – 5 lb

My shins have been driving me crazy! My run on Saturday seemed fine (a tiny bit of pain after about 7 miles, but that’s it), but then I went on a hike the next day and ouch! They started to hurt. I tried to be soooo good, so I didn’t run till Wednesday. And then they hurt again. So that was my running for the week. I’m just not sure what to do. I’m seriously being so good, but things don’t seem to get better. L

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Smart Training

A little back story: I started running 12 years ago, and slowly built my way up so that between 2006-2010 I ran about 25 miles per week. Then in 2010, Some things in my life changed and I started running less. In March 2012, I was shocked to realize how out of shape I had become, and decided that the way back to fitness was to run a full marathon (a goal I’ve had for awhile). I then proceeded to start training as if I still had my 25 mile per week base (when I really had more like a 6 mile per week base). I started with an intermediate training plan, quickly increased my mileage, and started doing speed training.

The result of this fast increase in intensity and mileage was pain. My shins began to hurt, which has never happened before in my 12 years of running. I even got an x-ray for a stress fracture. I realized that I was training like the runner that I once was, rather than the runner that I now am. I took a week and a half off from running, and just began running again last Friday. I’m determined to train smarter now. So here are the new rules:

  1. No more than 4 days of running per week.
  2. No speed week for the first month of smart training.
  3. No sudden increases in mileage.
  4. No considering pace for the first month of smart training.

Here’s how I will be if I stick with my smart training!

I realize that this is a lot of “no’s,”  but I was a little out of control and need to recognize where I’m at right now, and slowly build up to where I want to be. It’s frustrating at times, but if there’s anything I know from my own story, it’s that gradual improvements pay off over time…and will help me stay injury free!

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Technically one could argue that I failed at my tempo run this week. Why? I didn’t complete it. Hal Higdon said that I was supposed to do a 40 minute tempo run. The plan was to run 10 minutes comfortable, 20 minutes where I was pushing myself (<8 minute miles) and 10 minutes comfortable.

Things started well. I ran my 10 minutes at a comfortable pace just fine. I then transitioned to a faster uncomfortable pace which I maintained for 18 minutes. And then I stopped. I couldn’t run at that pace any farther. No, I’m serious. I really couldn’t do it. And I walked. Yes, walked, for probably 2 minutes.

Usually walking during a run is an absolute no-no for me. There is absolutely no excuse for walking. But not on this day. I truly felt that I had run my little heart out, and felt that I couldn’t run any longer. So, I took a walking break. And then, I didn’t even finish my 10 minute comfortable pace after my walking bout.

This is what my splits looked like on my SUCCESSFUL tempo run!

But this tempo run wasn’t a failure! It was a success! I am proud of how well I ran that tempo run! Yes, the fact that I felt that I truly ran as well as I could and couldn’t finish the tempo means that I should probably work a little on my pacing, but really, I’m proud. Because it was hard, it really was. And I did my best, I truly did.

So next time I have a tempo run, I’ll try for 40 minutes again. And hopefully I’ll do it just fine. But this week, I don’t think I failed at my tempo run. I did my best, and I’m proud of how I did. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what Hal Higdon says. Success is relative.

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Running Sick

Evidence indicates that my review of the ice bath may have been completely invalid.

“What evidence?” You may ask.

Well, I spent much of Sunday shivering in a similar manner to how I had shivered after my ice bath on Saturday…the only thing was, on Sunday, there was no ice bath. Or really anything that should have been making me cold. I was just shivering, and unable to warm myself. So my uncontrollable shivering after taking the ice bath may not be a typical response. It may be because I’m sick.

I’m not the type who stops working out just because I’m sick. Don’t they usually say that exercising improves the immune system? If I just have a cold, I’ll run anyway. But shivering when it doesn’t make sense to be cold makes me think that my body is having difficulty regulating my temperature, so in cases such as this, I think it best to avoid activities that will raise my body heat.

While I had planned to do strength training on Sunday, I decided that this was a bad idea. The only exercise I did was take Ada the Dog for a walk. Which I did in a snowboarding jacket and thick sweatpants. In 60 degree weather. I’m sure my neighbors were impressed with my fashion choices. While walking I had the fun experience of feeling both hot and cold at the same time. Oh joy.

This is what I felt like on Sunday. (I changed out of sweatpants and into a fancy red dress while I laid around the house shivering and feeling miserable).

Right now I’m hoping this doesn’t keep me from running for too long! Here’s hoping that I feel better by tomorrow! But for right now, I think shivering serves as a clue that running might not be such a good idea.

How do you decide when your sick enough to stay in from a workout?

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Cross Training:

4/7/12 walked Ada the Dog 1 mile+

4/11/12 Level 1 Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred 5 lbs/10 lbs, walked Ada the Dog 1 mile+

Thoughts: This was meant to be a taper back week, but I also was supposed to run 4 miles on 4/13, and just wasn’t feeling it, so I ran 2.

I’ve been having lots of problems tracking my miles/speed with my phone! According to my phone, I was a super amazing runner on 4/8, but it was a lie. On 4/13/12, I stopped at the ATM during my run, and failed to stop the timer, so the timing just wasn’t very accurate after that!

My cross-training has been pathetic! I had good intentions, but ended up being lazy. Though, I was happy that I used 10 lb weights for some of my Jillian Michael’s this week!

Conclusion: Next week is all about getting the cross training in gear! I need full body strength here!

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Intervals are Monsters!

Fact: I hate speed work. Hate it.

Of course, always looking for the easy way out, I wondered if speed work was really necessary. I mean, can’t I just try to run a little bit faster gradually? Must I really kill myself with speed work in order to get faster? I decided to do some research to find out.

I found this article, that explains to me in a clear way why speed work is important. Apparently gradual improvement in times doesn’t challenge one’s body in quite the right way to effectively improve speed.

Shoot. Now I know why I should do speed work, but I still hate it! Two weeks ago my training program said that I should run 400×6. I didn’t know what that meant at first, but I found out that it means that I am supposed to do 6 sets of fast 400 meter runs. Hal Higdon says that I should do these runs at 5k pace. The only problem is, I’ve never run a 5k. I don’t like running short distances (hence why I hate speed work), so I just kind of had to guess what speed to run at. I decided to just try to run my 400 meters at a pace that I could maintain for 400 meters. I did 4 sets and couldn’t bring myself to do another set. I just couldn’t do it.

This week Hal Higdon said that I was to run 400×7. I knew I wouldn’t do that, so I decided that my goal was to run 400×6, which I would consider to be a victory because it was better than what I did during my last day of intervals.

I started out, and within the first 10 meters I was cursing Hal Higdon. Ugh. Evil, evil speed runs. I hate them! I decided that I would be able to do the 6 sets I had set out to do. I imagined how nice it would be to be able to write on my blog about how I did my 6 sets.

I did 4 sets, hating each progressive set more than the previous. After the 4th, I thought to myself, “Okay, two more sets, you can do this.” I began to run my 5th set. And after about 10 meters I slowed to a walk. I just didn’t want to do it. I didn’t care! I can’t even explain what is so hard about it. Pushing out 2 more sets really shouldn’t have been too hard. But I just don’t like it! It’s uncomfortable, unpleasant, and just icky.


This is what I look like after doing intervals. I'm hunched over because my poor body is too exhausted to stand up straight.

But now, I feel like a failure

Intervals, I hate you, but you will not defeat me again! I will beat you next time!

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Cross Training: Due to injury, I didn’t do any cross-training, and cut out one of my training runs.

Thoughts: My running felt really good this week, but my shin would hurt after running, so I had to take things a little easy. L As of right now, I feel great, and think I should be able to fully get back into my training schedule.

Conclusion: I can’t believe that my shin was hurting! I truly am out of shape right now, but I have confidence that I’ll be feeling strong in no time!

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Total Running Miles: 17.04

Cross Training:

3/25/12 walked Ada the Dog 1 mile+

3/27/12 Level 1 Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred 5 lbs

3/29/12 Level 2 Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred 5 lbs

Thoughts: I may have jumped a little too enthusiastically into training. My legs have had the tough-workout-ache all week. Yes, even when I took days off they still ached. I also have been re-thinking my speed. I was surprised to realize how much slower I’ve gotten, so have been pushing myself to go faster (that 8:36 pace on the 6.51 miler took a lot of pushing), and have learned that I shouldn’t be doing that. Apparently I’m supposed to relax and just push myself when my training plan tells me to.

Also, I’m super bad at speed work – see my run on 3/27/12? Yeah, that was split into 4 quarter miles with walking in between. I was supposed to do 6 sets, but after 4 I was done. I didn’t realize at the time how ridiculously fast I was going. I think I can have some better success with the speed work if I can learn to pace myself at about 7:30/mile rather than 5:30/mile! I’ll keep trying at that.

Pre-wedding, Jillian Michael’s 30 day shred helped me get in shape. I could do all levels with 5 lbs, and would use 10 lbs for some of the moves on Levels 1 & 2. I can’t so much do that anymore…I even cheated on Level 2 this week, and when it came time for the second set of chair-raise-v-flies, I did a different arm move. I couldn’t push myself to do it.

Conclusion: I may need to slow myself down! I’m still surprised by how out of shape I am so I try to compensate by forcing myself to go faster. But in the past when I was faster than I am now, I didn’t push myself at all, I just did what felt natural.

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