Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Training Recap: 6/20-6/26

Monday: The first day of summer! I both get excited for this day and dread it. I'm excited because summer means longer days and a slightly more carefree life, but I dread the heat. Oh the heat. Treated myself to a nice run after work.
Actual: 4 miles

Alright summer, let's do this.
Tuesday: Breaking out the double workouts in honor of International Yoga Day, or at least that's what I'm telling myself. Actually, I really wanted to attend King of Pops free yoga in the park because I am deeply committed to the practice of yoga (and in all honesty, I love their popsicles), but I also wanted to get in a run, so I did both. This was the first time I've done yoga in public with other people watching, so I was a bit nervous going in. Would I be the only person that couldn't touch their toes? What if they refer to all the poses by name? I only know like 3 poses by their name! and more importantly, How long would the line be for popsicles and what if they run out of the flavor I want? Overall, it went well. As a yoga newbie, I'm at a point where any practice is good for me and the class helped me try a few poses that I hadn't done before and get the feel of the rhythm of sequences. There were several hundred people there and at times it was a bit hard to hear the yogi through the bullhorn (I was posing in the back), but I don't really have too many complaints about something that was free and helped me get outside my comfort zone. If you are an advanced yogi, it might not be the class for you as it's designed for all levels and attention spans. So I survived, didn't pull anything, and didn't even feel like I was lagging behind on skills. More importantly, I had the cucumber lime popsicle and brought home the peaches and cream for the Jayhawk.
Actual: 3.1 miles running, 1 hour yoga

Wednesday: Getting back in the swing of the odd Wednesday rest day.
Actual: Rest! With some light recovery yoga
Yoga and kibble time don't mix.

Thursday: It felt like a long day, but I'm pretty sure it was the same length as all the others. Knocked out a run on the treadmill followed by life discussions with the Monster.
Actual: 4 miles
Friday: I like Fridays in the gym because there are no classes in the big exercise room and I can have it all to myself to stretch post run without flailing about in the main gym while everyone watches. When we got home from work, we witnessed a Hawk pick off a bird in our backyard, kill it, and remove all of it's feathers before flying away with the body. It was awkward timing as we were about to fire up the grill for dinner. Note: we didn't have chicken.
Actual: 3.5 miles

Saturday: I didn't set an alarm thinking I would be up by 7 or 7:30, but then I totally overslept and didn't get out the door until after 10:30. Unfortunately, it was also the first day the heat index was over 100 with solid humidity, so this wasn't my favorite run of all time. I did my best to keep the pace light, stay well hydrated, and kept it a little shorter than I originally planned. Even though I didn't get the mileage I hoped, I was still happy with the effort.
Actual: 4.15 miles

Sunday: Out the door more than two hours earlier and it made a huge difference. It was also noticeably breezy unlike the still humidity of the day before. Felt comfortable and happy to get in a nice hour long effort.
Actual: 6.6 miles
Yep, I do yoga poses in public now.
How was your week? Anything exciting happen?

Sunday, June 26, 2016

SLS3 Ankle Sleeves

After the fun that was the Publix Georgia Half Marathon, both the Jayhawk and I entered another round of recovery. It was pretty unexpected for me because I hadn't seen the race going nearly as well as it did, and the Jayhawk had planned some recovery given it was only his 3rd half marathon. As he began to ramp his miles back up in April, things didn't feel the same, and after a few uncomfortable runs and a doctor's visit, he learned he had posterior tibial tendinitis (a bum ankle).

Being a soft tissue injury, RICE, along with specific stretches, was the recommendation. R,I, and E were easy to accomplish, but he was having trouble getting good C on this specific spot on his ankle. A drug store compression sleeve provided some support and compression, but the thickness made it uncomfortable in some shoes, and the compression just wasn't the level he was looking for leading to some discomfort while cross training.

As chance would have it, during this time I was contacted by SLS3 to try out their Compression Ankle Sleeves. Though intended for plantar's fasciitis, it sounded like it could also be a great option for the Jayhawk's predicament, and given that I was the one who talked him into running the Publix Half, I felt a little guilty and was looking for anyway to help in his recovery. Posterior tibial tendinitis can lead to fallen arches and plantar's fasciitis, so I figure it could also help prevent thing from getting any worse.

To be honest, I wasn't sure what results he would get and if it would really be that different from his drug store option, but I figured at worst, it would give him another option since he was wearing the drug store ankle sleeve every single day (leading to laundry challenges). The good news is that they did really make a difference.

While the sleeves didn't cure the Jayhawk's injury (really nothing but time would do that), they really helped to alleviate the symptoms he was feeling and allowed him to be more comfortable while exercising and just performing everyday activities. The foot sleeves were thinner than the drug store option he had tried, which made them easier to fit in shoes and under socks. This allowed him to wear the shoes that felt most comfortable and continue with a strong regimen of cross training. Upon returning to the Doctor's in June, the Jayhawk was ahead of schedule on recovery and given the green light to begin run walking. If you are in need of ankle support and compression, the SLS3 Ankle sleeves were very helpful in allowing the Jayhawk to comfortably resume some activities and maintain fitness.
I was given free foot sleeves by SLS3 in return for a open and honest review. All thoughts/opinions/musings are my own.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Incredible Virtual Run Recap

When I signed up to do the Incredible Virtual Run, I knew I wouldn't be looking at any PRs or amazing performances because I was coming off two big races, 26.2 with DONNA and the Publix Georgia Half Marathon, but I still really wanted to make the event a fun, race like atmosphere, more than just a regular training run.
At age 12, Mia Monster has earned her first medal.

Since the Incredibles is about a family working together, I thought it might be fun to do the event with a family member. The Jayhawk was still recovering from a little ankle tendonitis after the Publix Georgia Half (more on that soon), so that left one potential running mate: The Monster.
Relaxing in full taper mode.

Now don't let the white hair fool you, the Monster is quite the athlete and still has some impressive spring in her step. Her current training is focused on interval workouts with a considerable emphasis on sprints (i.e. squirrel chasing), she gets in several rounds of yoga a day, and is an absolute master when it comes to being well rested.
Everyone has their own favorite way to use the foam roller.

Though it has been quite some time since the Monster's last official race, she isn't a racing newbie. In 2006 we completed the ASPCA 1 miler in Houston, after which she climbed into a city fountain to cool down (totally passing by the kiddie pools the organizers had out), only to then realize it was deep enough that she couldn't climb back out over the wet, stone sides leading to me climbing halfway into the fountain to hoist out 50lbs of wet fur. She still wears her race bandana to this day.
Pre-race I tried to prep Mia for the event, but she seemed unphased, showing no signs of race day nerves. She woke, took a pre-race walk, ate breakfast, and even snuck in a quick nap before gun time. We (ok, mainly me) decided on a double loop course for easy aid station access or break time as needed. Since Mia hadn't been running more than a mile or so at a time, I wanted a way to break up the 5k in case she needed it. Turns out, my concerns were unnecessary. Spoiler alert: the old hound rocked it.

We lined up at the official chalk starting line and without too much fanfair, the Jayhawk yelled "Go" and we were off. The first quarter mile was spent trying to find a consistent stride as one member of the duo was attempting to sprint and therefore was dragging the other member. Once we realized that individual was also trying to catch the lead bicycle, we had to get them to tail rather than lead. By about a half mile in the Monster and I had found a nice stride, but then needed a quick pause around 3/4 miles in for a bushes visit to do some business.

The rest of the loop went very well. We ran by the ocean and even saw some dolphins and an osprey returning to it's nest. Coming into the aid station, we were still keeping a strong pace, and we pulled off a quick pit-stop for a bowl of water and bottle of Nuun. While I've seen plenty of runners walk through aid stations (I often do myself), the Monster had the unusual tactic of laying down in the middle of the aid station while getting her hydration. To each their own.
Starting loop 2, aid station offerings.

Starting out on lap two, the Monster's energy remained high and we slipped right back into pace. The second lap progressed much like the first, but with no attempts at sprinting and one small pee break. Sometime after 2.5ish miles, I did notice that the Monster was getting a little tired: her tongue was getting long and there wasn't as much tension on the leash. At no point was I worried about her health (always a concern when your running buddy doesn't speak English), but I did keep an eye on the pace because I knew if she was truly done, she would just laydown on the side of the road and I would be stuck lugging her home.
Finish line pic!

The Monster stayed strong through the end and the Jayhawk cheered us in with a finish time of 29:32. Sub-30 for her first official 5k! To my best knowledge, she won the Canine Masters Bitches Division and I couldn't be more proud of her efforts. To celebrate we went to the beach for a victory swim and cool down. Judging from the sprints she was running on the beach, the hound wasn't as worn out from the race as I expected. Perhaps she was just dogging it.

All smiles during the post race swim.

Overall, Mia and I had a great time doing the Incredible Virtual run with Level Up Runs. As Mia isn't always allowed to race traditional races (that whole canine thing) and having the option to break up longer distances complements her training style, virtual runs are her jam. Mia proudly (I assume) displays her medal over her bed and will be adding to her collection. Now if someone will just host the squirrel chase 1 miler, I think she can win the whole thing.
The medals are really cute and well constructed.
I was given free entry into the Incredible Virtual Run by Level Up Runs in return for a open and honest review. All thoughts/opinions/musings are my own.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Training Recap: 6/13-6/19

Monday: Legs felt tired after Sunday's long run, but nothing that had me worried. Kept the pace light to loosen them up.
Actual: 3.25 miles, easy pace
Tuesday: I'm working to get back on schedule with a few midweek 5 milers or longer. It's a process. Celebrated with a date night for hotdogs (yes, you read that right) at Doggy Dogg, a local joint with fabulous locally made dogs, buns, and fixins. We're super fancy like that.
Actual: 5 miles, easy pace

Wednesday: Trying to get back into regular training schedule, odd Wednesday rest day and all.
Actual: Rest day!

Thursday: My legs were feeling a little sluggish and stiff, and after doing the math, I realized I ran 20+ miles between Sunday and Tuesday. Since that isn't something I've done a lot of lately, I took an extra day off and got in some well needed yoga. I'm working hard to incorporate yoga more regularly because I am the least flexible person in Atlanta.
Actual: Yoga: 30 minutes legs, 15 minutes core
Together again. Gee it's good to be together again.
Friday: Long work week. Knocked out a few miles on the treadmill before heading home to relax for the weekend.
Actual: 3.25 miles easy pace
Saturday: Met up with a running group for a hilly 6 miles. It's been a while since I've been able to join because I was out of town so much the past month and it was great to see everyone. Mother Nature was kind enough to drop the temps into the 80s so it felt downright dreamy! I've been working a little extra on my calves lately (strengthen and flexibility) and added in some calf exercises after the run.
Actual: 6 miles easy pace
When at home, you work with what you have.
Sunday: I was tired. Focused on another solid round of yoga and I am already feeling more comfortable getting into poses.
Actual: Yoga! 30 minutes legs, 15 minutes core

How was your week? What are you currently training for?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Training Recap 6/6-6/12

Monday: Finally back home after another weekend of travel. I've been out of town 4 out of the last 5 weekends as well as many days in between and it's nice to be home for a little bit again, but that also means catching up on a lot of things! I owe you all several race racaps! It's also nice to see this sassy face again, who awkwardly enough was described by the doggy boarding place as "a total cougar". I don't want to know.
Actual: Rest

Tuesday: Treadmill. Easy and breezy for my first run post Hospital Hill Run.
Actual: 3.1 miles

Wednesday: Headed outside for my first really hot one of the summer. I had major garmin malfunctions before my run (turns out you should plug it in periodically), so I ended up running without a watch.
Actual: 3.5 miles
It's been a bit sunny.

Thursday: Hitting the streets again for the second day in a row. The heat has really come on quickly this year
Actual: 3.5 miles

Friday: Back inside on the treadmill. It was even hot in the gym today and it's supposed to be even hotter this weekend (10 degrees over the usual average). bought a watermelon to help me survive then promptly remembered just how big a watermelon is, and have instituted Iron Chef watermelon at the house. All watermelon, all the time.
Actual: 5 miles

Saturday: Y'all, it's summer. It's really summer. Today topped out in the mid 90s. the kind of day when you sweat just sitting still. Spent sometime putting together my next training plan and I'm kind of excited!
Actual: Rest

Sunday: I decided to get my long run in by running down to the Hotlanta Half Marathon course and cheering on friends. I joined Jen for a mile or two of the race, hung out at the Atlanta Track Club cheer stop (complete with T-Rex), and then remembered it was mostly uphill home. It was hot and sweaty, but well worth the fun.
Actual: 12 miles

How was your week? Have summer temps reached you too?
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