Fitness, Running, Vegan

Starting all over again is going to be rough…..

Short and sweet and right to the point!  I started running again about a month ago.  This morning I did my first group strength workout in about 3 months.  Little by little I want to get back to where I was this time last year.  I want to see my pace be closer to the 9 minute mark then the 10 it currently is.  I know in order to do that I have to commit to the long runs, the speed work and the strength training I used to do.  My body feels great; no aches and pains and no injuries (knock on wood).  I literally have no excuses to not give it my all and become a better me then the summer me.  I have a half marathon in January and I want to PR and run it in 2 hours.  I know that is going to require work and determination on my end and I am ready.  Let’s do this!

One hour group workout @ 6am

Warm up 1000m row in 5 mins

First set x4

  • 12 kg kettle bell front squat holds for 30 sec (x4, x4, x3, x2)
  • Partner plank holds tapping opposite hands for a minute
  • Alternating dead bug for a minute

Second set x5

  • Front squat with barbell (35 lbs x1, 55 lbs x4)
  • Squat jumps x10

Third set x3

  • Single leg dead lift to a row, using cable machine set at 25 lbs both legs x12
  • Single leg tap down both legs x12

Forth set x3

  • Deadlifts with dumbbells ( 17.5 lbs x2, 20 lbs x1) x12
  • Push ups x12

Cool down foam rolling

3.8 mile run 88 degrees @ 6pm (from yesterday)

  • Overall time 38:35
  • Average pace 10:09
  • Splits 9:46, 10:00, 10:25, 10:28
  • Average cadence 176

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Running, Vegan

Priceless practice

This morning my Lifetime Run group had a change of pace (pun intended) and we went out for a long run instead of doing our Saturday speed work.  I was thrilled with this.  The temperatures here in Central Texas are finally starting to cool off and feel like fall; like perfect running weather.  We met up at Brushy Creek Regional trail before the sun had even come up and the temperature on my Garmin said it was a chilly 59 degrees!  There were about 10 of us that made it out this morning and after introductions, distance goals, and when the sun started to make its grand appearance, we were off.

It felt really good to be out there this morning.  I ran with one of my running/work out buddies the whole time and we pushed each other through an awesome 5 miles that neither of us thought we would survive in the beginning.  I love being able to run with someone else that has a similar pace to my own.  I feel like I push myself harder to keep moving when I am running with someone, instead of behind someone.  Lately I have been a “back of the pack-er” and honestly I still was this morning, but today it just felt different.  I didn’t hit my 2.5 mile wall, my body felt good, I still love my new shoes and the temperature…. oh man did I already mention how great it felt outside?  Well either way it was wonderful!

When I got a little past the 4 mile point I picked up my pace a little and started to feel like I could have gone an extra mile.  Afterwards I wasn’t overly tired or sore and really felt like myself again.  Even though my pace isn’t where it was this time last year, I can defiantly see where over time it will get better.  And right now I’m pretty happy with just running and not looking to “beat” something.  Improvement is great but just feeling like yourself again is priceless.

5 miles 59 degrees @ 7am

  • Overall time 50:23
  • Average pace 9:52
  • Splits 9:56, 9:50, 10:13, 9:53, 9:29
  • Average cadence 176

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Running, Vegan

It has begun….

This morning marked the official start to my 2016-2017 running season.  The weather was amazing at just under 60 degrees.  I threw on my new running skirt and headed out the door to meet with the Lifetime Run group for the first speed work I have done in over 4 months.

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The “before” picture.  Gotta make it look good!

Oh what a difference temperature makes for a runner.  I had been in such a slump these last few months.  My pace was in the toilet at over the 10 minute mile mark.  It was really starting to get to me.  Everyday I would run I would have to give myself a pep talk to convince myself that pace didn’t matter when it was over 90 degrees outside with thick, sticky air.  But as a runner it is hard to look down at your watch after your run and see a pace that you haven’t seen since you were in your rookie stages.  I hadn’t run over a 10 minute mile in at least 4 years.  But with the hot summer and the rest needed to recover from spring injuries, it was what it was and it SUCKED!

But this mornings run offered a glimmer of hope that I hadn’t lost it.  I still had the ability to be better, it was just in a sort of reversed hibernation for the summer.  Starting with a two mile warm up, I felt pretty good.  My body felt great but I could tell I needed to work on getting my breathing back under control (nothing a little added spin class wouldn’t help).  Then it was on to 400m repeats.  Our coach wanted us to do 4-6 of them, but I settled for half and did three that were really strong.

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Some of my peps from Lifetime Run North Austin

I don’t want to do too much too soon.  This was only the beginning of a long season ahead.  I have several races that I have already signed up for from now until April, including, dare I say it, my second half marathon!  So a little at a time will be just fine for now.

2 mile warm up, 3×400, 1 mile cool down, 61 degrees @ 7am

  • 2 mile warm up average pace 9:35
  • 1 mile cool down pace 9:24
  • 3×400 @ 7:08, 6:59, 7:02
  • Average cadence between 178-194

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Running, Vegan

And the four become one….

This morning was a very special morning for my Lifetime Run group.  Besides doing our group run at the beautiful Town Lake trail, we were joined by 3 other Lifetime Run Clubs;  Lifetime South Austin, San Antonio, and The Rim (also from San Antonio).  This “destination run” had been in the works for about a month and it was a great way to bring so many awesome runners together and enjoy what we do best!

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The big group before

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One of many little groups after!

Everyone who came had a choice of doing 3, 4, 5, 7, or 10 miles.  And even though fall has not quiet made its grand appearance yet, we didn’t let the muggy, warm weather get to us.  As each mileage group fell into place, all of a sudden we weren’t “Northies” or “Southies” anymore, we were just runners.  The little group of 5 mile people who I stayed with consisted of a mix of people from each location.  We all fell into step together and talked amongst ourselves like we had known each other for years.  Asking about who was training for what or expressing the joy of fall promising cooler weather.  Everyone had different goals and stories to share.  And even though we probably all had different abilities, no one was focused on pace.  It was just nice to have people to talk to while taking in what downtown Austin had to offer for us this morning.  It was so exciting making new connections with the leads from other clubs that I have talked to on and off all month.  It was great to finally put faces with Facebook profiles and sweaty hugs (or “air hugs” as one person put it) and pictures were shared by all who came.

This is why I love running with a group.  Inadvertently we all pick each other up and hold each other accountable.  I have not had a run yet, that I haven’t had to walk since coming back from my time off in the summer.  But this morning (pace set aside) I ran the whole 5 miles that I set out to do without stopping once.  I talked with old friends and made new ones along the way.  And at the end of the run, once again we were all united through our crazy love of a sport that only another runner could understand.  I highly recommend joining a running group in your hometown.  Lifetime Fitness offers a great running program (and you don’t have to be a member of the gym to run with us).  All paces and abilities are welcome and no one ever gets left behind!

5 mile run 77 degrees @ 7am

  • Overall time 53:31
  • Average pace 10:42
  • Splits 10:19, 10:19, 11:24, 10:53, 10:35
  • Average cadence 176

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Fitness, Running, Vegan

Not today my friend….

I’ve been up since 4:45am because on Thursday mornings I go to hot vinyasa yoga at the ass crack of dawn.  I don’t have to be at work until after 1pm so this is quite a stretch for me (no pun intended)!  But this class is the best that my gym offers.  They have yoga pretty much around the clock, all day, everyday, but the 5:30am class with yogi Jana, is the best and I deserve the best when it comes to my health and my body.  With that said, I normally go for a run within an hour or so after this class (FYI running after yoga is amazing).  I had every intention to do that today; even talked with my running buddy about it yesterday but sometimes the universe has other plans for us.

Instead of running this morning, I was (before I came to sit down and write this) sitting on my sofa, with a hoodie on and a blanket over my legs enjoying a hot cup of tea and pretending that it wasn’t the balmy 80 degrees it actually was outside.  Our AC goes down to 75 over night and it takes the house awhile to warm up again so I was taking advantage of being able to mentally take myself to a place of chilly bliss.  Now back to the reason that I decided not to run.

I ran on Tuesday night with my group; got in 4.75 miles.  Then on Wednesday I went and did barbell class (so many squats! my poor butt cheeks!).  Throughout the day I had started to notice that my right ankle had a little bit of a tweaky feeling to it but thought I would be ok in the morning.  When I got going this morning I still noticed a small amount of discomfort.  Normally that wouldn’t be to concerning, but I have my first race of the fall/winter season this Sunday and it is a relay with 5 other runners and 5 other groups!  So I made the choice to do something that I normal struggle with, I decided to put on my hoodie, call my friend and cancel our run.  I chose to listen to the universe and it told me to listen to my body.  It would be pointless to push myself through 3 miles today, only to be officially hurt by Sunday.  So instead I am going to take it easy, see how I feel tomorrow, and maybe then get in an easy 3 miles but if not, then I will hold off till Sunday and use what I have for the race.  After all the slogan at The Tri Doc is:  “Race Hard, we’ll fix you on Monday”!  I do plan on starting off the season giving it my all, but I will probably need some fixing shortly after!

I can’t really express how proud of myself I am for listening to my body this morning.  I can be very hard on myself at times (something I’m working on) and feel like a failure or that I am slipping behind if I am “weak” or need to rest.  I am learning that, that kind of negative self talk and fear based thinking will never help me to achieve anything in my life.  As long as I keep moving forward and always remember to put myself and my feelings  first, I will be able to reach any goal I set.

4.75 mile run 91 degrees @ 6pm

  • Overall time 50:51
  • Average pace 10:43
  • Splits 9:37, 10:02, 11:26, 11:31, 11:06
  • Average cadence 174

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Running, Vegan

A whole lot of running going on

I’ve been busy and I’ve been running.  Even though the weather isn’t quite yet where I would like it to be, I have given in and started getting in more and more miles each week.  I will be going on another run tonight with the Lifetime Fitness group (third run in 4 days).  And my best running buddy has been pushing me even though I gripe about it to her, I’m glad she is!  I mean honestly if she calls and wants to go for a run, well then I’m going to go for a run!

I’ve been feeling good hitting the pavement again.  Knock on wood, my body has been feeling pretty good too!  I have been doing a 28 day plank challenge with a group of other people and I think the extra core work has been a big game changer.  Core work is so important for running.  If you are weak there, your whole body can get thrown off track.  I’ve also been doing yoga at least twice a week (more core work).  Physically and mentally I’ve felt better from it.  Some of my best runs are after I do yoga!  On Thursday mornings I do hot vinyasa yoga at 5:30am and then head out for a run afterwards.  Those runs always feel the best.  I’m all warmed up and stretched out with my core active!

I also recently volunteered at a race with the Lifetime Run group.  It was about time that we gave back to the sport we enjoy so much.  There will be more about that soon in a different post!  And with the same group I am running a relay race this weekend.  We have 6 teams total and it should be a lot of fun!  I’m glad to be busy again.  It helps to keep me feeling normal!  And running has always been the best kind of medicine for anything!

Tri Doc fun run with Rouge Running 3.1 miles 75 degree @ 7am

  • Overall time 31:06
  • Average pace 10:01
  • Splits 10:30, 9:58, 9:41
  • Average cadence 178

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Brushy Creek 5 miles 81 degrees @ 9:40am

  • Overall time 51:25
  • Average pace 10:17
  • Splits 9:48, 9:46, 10:40, 10:29, 10:35
  • Average cadence 172

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Fitness, Running, Vegan

Vinyasa, Run, Yin

Thursday I went and did hot vinyasa yoga at 5:30am and then went for a 3 mile run afterwards.  Even at 7am it was still warm and muggy but running after doing yoga feels great and I really need to get my miles up (and my pace down) over the next couple of months.  Friday I went and did a Yin yoga class at 11:15am. Yin yoga is very restorative and meditative practice.  In Yin you start with a 5 minute mediation and then hold a range of poses for about 5 mins each and finish with final relaxation in savasana (or corpse pose).  Many of the poses are deep stretches that you “melt” into during the 5 mins you spend in them.  Being connected with your breath and how your body feels is very important.  You don’t want to get to the most extreme version of any pose too quickly because you will have to hold it for some time.  Slowly and mindfully is the best way to go.

It is a great class to get in after doing a lot of more strenuous activities throughout the week.  Like almost every yoga class I have been too, you end in savasana.  Savasana is said to be one of the hardest poses to connect with.  You literally are supposed to lay on your back with your hands at your side with palms up and your legs out with feet flopping open.  And then you just lay there.  You slow your breathing back to normal and you focus on not being focused on anything at all.  The key is to not think about anything or acknowledge anything.  If you have an itch?  Leave it.  You remember that you have an appointment later on?  Forget it.  Just be still and just be.

Normally I look forward to final relaxation.  I can almost fall asleep in savasana; but not this time.  This time I am twitchy and my leg is bothering me.  I have a very hard time not focusing on it.  Trying not to move but it feels like little jolts of electricity are streaming down my right leg.  It’s driving me nuts!  One, it is very physically uncomfortable when you want to move but shouldn’t and two, it’s very mentally uncomfortable when you want to move but shouldn’t!  It makes my whole practice feel like a waste and at the same time it makes me realize that something must be off in myself.  Your body speaks to you, if you listen.

I don’t feel like I have been stressed necessarily but I also haven’t felt like myself in a while.  Sometimes I think I know what the issue is, and sometimes I have no idea.  I can get very little sleep and of course be tired the next day.  Or I can get too much sleep and yet again feel tired the next day.  I don’t like to sound like a sad sap or Debbie Downer on my blog, but I wish I could figure out what the hell my issue is?!  I’m sure there are other’s of you that feel the same way.  Those who are looking for some type of answer so that you can then take the next step and try to fix whatever is wrong.  Sometimes I feel like I just need to step back, do what is good for me at the time (even if it doesn’t seem to make sense), and wait for the universe to tell me what I really need.  Not to over think every little thing to death and just breath.  Not to have fear; but wonder instead what is next for me?

I can’t wait until the day that I am writing to all of you about how my last half marathon went or how in a year I have discovered so many new things about myself.  But for right now, I just have to be human with you and share my very human experiences, even if they aren’t the most exciting and at times a little sad or anxious.  There has to be balance to everything in the world.  I know I haven’t lost my balance, I’m just on the other side of the scale right now.  Namaste´.

Almost forgot that I ran! 

3.1 miles 79 degrees @ 7am

  • Overall time 32:08
  • Average pace 10:22
  • Splits 10:24, 10:43, 10:06
  • Average cadence 172

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