February 27, 2011

Spinning, Wear Testing and Racing - A Few of my Favorite Things

This is the way to do long spinning sessions - with pals and good movies! I packed up my gear and headed 2 miles down the road to Jaime's house where we put in 3 hours of spinning while watching Apollo 13. Jaime's distance sensor put her at 50 miles. I'm sure mine was less since she was on a CX bike and I was on Speedy (Trek hardtail MTB). Tried to keep the HR in the 120s and averaged 129. Not too bad. Took several much-needed rests (only 2-3 minutes) to stretch and give our rear ends a break from the saddle. Longest ride in a LONG time!

I'm very excited about the next few days/weeks! Tomorrow I get to test drive the new New Balance 890 at our Monday night group run. Then next Thursday I get to test the Saucony Kinvara. I will definitely give reviews of each. I just love testing new shoes! In fact, I just recently got accepted in the Brooks Wear Test Program.  Of course, when I start wear testing Brooks, there will be no reviews. The Brooks shoes will be shoes that haven't been released yet. Kind of exciting!

On Tuesday I will do my first 20-miler in AGES! I just love long runs! After this run I'll decide whether I want to do Running Fit's Trail Marathon on May 1st.  The run will kind of be the test. If I can handle that distance, I can do the marathon.... :-)

Finally, in two weeks, my race drought will be over! I've already done 2 races this year, but it still seems like forever! My next race on March 12 is the Land Between the Lakes 23k, a trail race down in Kentucky that I hear nothing but good things about. Matty will be doing the 50 mile race. We're both really looking forward to it. Race season is starting!! Yay!!

February 23, 2011

Da 'Mill of Recovery

Ran on da 'mill at LTF today side-by-side with my Matty. I did a very easy recovery run (6 miles at 9 min/mile) after yesterday's long run (17.6 miles) and Matty did another long run (he's training for an ultra). It was a lovely run that I didn't want to end with no residual soreness from the tough, slushy, hilly long run yesterday! Cool!

Strength training at the gym too! Let's see if I can remember what I did - SB plank, side plank with leg raises (ouch!), bicycle crunches, SB oblique crunches, Bosu single-leg bridges, SB pass, single-leg squats, eccentric calf drops, weighted back extensions, cable chest fly, triceps kick-back, biceps curl, DB shoulder sweeps, low cable row. I think that's it. I also did pull-ups, chin-ups and hanging leg raises at home while waiting for Matty to get ready for the gym. Phew! Always fun to show up the boys, though. lol!!

Later will be yet another attempt at Week 4, Day 2 of 100 Push-Ups Challenge.

February 20, 2011

Hills? Attack!

Matt talked me into doing a short run with him this morning. How could I say no?? For one thing, the snow is coming back. There's no stopping it. In fact, it is snowing as I type. But this morning, when Matt asked me to run with him, the sidewalks were perfectly clear. So I ran.

We took it easy to start, but as we approached a set of roller coaster hills along Miller Rd, we decided at the last minute to attack them for a little hill work. Felt good! I've never really done hill work before because I've never had healthy achilles. They've been feeling wonderful lately, so I thought, "why not??" It was a great workout!

We kept the distance short today. Six miles. Today is long ride day and I didn't want to tire myself out with running. My long ride hasn't gotten very long yet, but in a few weeks it'll grow to many hours on the bike. Today was only 2 hours. I watched Taken with Liam Neeson while riding. It was only so-so, but I've seen all the other movies in our collection a dozen times. I'm running out of movies! Ack! Time for a trip to Blockbuster to check out the used DVD shelves!

I suppose I should update on the 100 Push-Ups Challenge. I tried Week 4, Day 2 again the other day. I did worse than the first try. I'm guessing it'll take 2-3 more tries before I get through it! I have to do a total of 28 push-ups on set 5 to finish that day. Yikes.

February 18, 2011

Did someone mention wind?

Today at Stony Creek Metropark:

Gale force winds!!!! Holy crap!!!! This ride was so hard! I only went just over 12 miles, but felt like I rode triple that! I had to work so hard to pedal against the wind for most of this ride! When the wind wasn't blowing right at me, it was blowing from the right or left trying to knock me off my bike. I had to stop to take drinks because I'd get blown over if I took one hand off the handlebars. WOW! Notice I didn't mention any tail winds. That never happened. Ha!

Still, the temperature was pleasant and the wind, though crazy, was never cold. It was Speedy's first time outside this year. We both enjoyed it. :-)

After trying to ride my mountain bike in a tornado, I locked the bike on to the top of my car, changed into running shoes and went for an easy loop (plus Nature Center Dr) around Stony. I really enjoyed this run. It felt so good. Ahhh... It was still horribly windy, but it is so much easier to deal with wind on my feet rather than on my bike. I found myself leaning into the wind and taking shorter strides, almost like running uphill. I only had a problem with this technique once when I found myself daydreaming and the wind quit suddenly. I nearly fell over! lol!!!

February 17, 2011

Speedy Intervals on Speedy

Lumberjack 100  training has begun in earnest. Today was my first cycling speedwork session on the trainer. 25 minute warm-up followed by 5 x 3 minute mod-hard pushes and one final 5 minute push. HR was in high 150s for each push. Short cool-down for a total of just over 1 hour of riding. Nice. I'll start making these sessions harder and harder. Today really wasn't that hard, but it was a good start. Felt good too! :-)

Matty spun next to me on his way cool Trek Madone. We watched the Bourne Ultimatum during the workout. Another cycling movie date. hehe!

I did a short upper body strength training session while waiting for Matty to join me for the spinning. Got in DB chest press, DB incline shoulder press, pull-ups/chin-ups, triceps bench dip and one set of a few other random exercises. I didn't want to hurry Matt since he was reading The Lost Symbol. I just finished the book myself so now I'm anxiously waiting for him to finish so we can discuss! Keep reading, Matty!

February 16, 2011

I failed! It was great!

Just finished my 100 Push-Ups Challenge workout for the day. I failed! It was great!

I am very happy with what I DID accomplish during the workout. I didn't think I'd even get close. I only failed because I couldn't hit the minimum during the final set. I hit all the other sets though!
  • Set 1: 20
  • Set 2: 25
  • Set 3: 20
  • Set 4: 20
  • Set 5: Max (but at least 28) - I did 23.
I knew there was no way I'd hit 28. What I didn't expect was the ease with which I did sets 1-4. I am improving! Yay!

On a different note... since everyone else is chiming in, time for my 3 cents (inflation). I am quite happy with the new Boston registration process. I would have liked to see times lowered even further, especially for women, but I think the rolling registration will take care of that. Change is good!

I was going to use Detroit to qualify this fall, but it is in October, well after registration will close. However, the Marquette Marathon in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is in the first week of September. Perfect timing! I absolutely LOVE that area. Now I have a wonderful excuse to get up there again!! Yay!

BTW... even with the new standards, New York is harder to qualify for, but you never hear anyone whining about New York.  ;-)

Hello, Sun!

Matty and I had a nice run this morning on the back roads around our house. It started off a little cloudy, but was bright and sunny by the time we were a mile into the run. We started off nice and easy and then hit Lake George's infamous hills, but kept up a nice pace to give our legs a bit of a challenge. Then we turned off Lake George and found a rare stretch of (relative) flat and picked the pace up each mile thereafter. It was a nice loop that will probably become a regular route. It'll be beautiful in the spring, summer and fall. Right now I still need microspikes for parts of the run, though the ice is quickly melting!! Yay!

  1. 9:11
  2. 8:53
  3. 8:51
  4. 8:48
  5. 8:42
  6. 8:26
  7. 8:18
  8. 7:53
Later today I'll attempt my next 100 Push-Ups Challenge workout. I don't have much hope that I'll complete it. It looks hellish! :-)  I'll update later today or tomorrow.

February 13, 2011

The "it would have been a shame not to" Run

I had already done a 1hr 45min indoor bike ride today and had no intention of adding in a run, when I walked by the weather station in our house and noticed the temp was well into the mid 40s!!! How could I NOT get outside?? It really would have been a shame. Then I realized it was after 4pm and I didn't know how much daylight I had left, so I quickly changed into running gear (only 1 layer today! woooo!) and headed for the car. I drove to Stony Creek Metropark with just enough time to do a 6 mile loop. My run VERY quickly morphed into a tempo run, though that wasn't my initial intention. My legs were itching to run fast and my mind decided to let them. :-)

  • 7:45
  • 7:18
  • 7:18
  • 7:20
  • 7:08
  • 6:36
I was rewarded at the end with an amazing sunset during my walking cool-down which just became more amazing during my drive home. The whole western sky was on fire.

February 9, 2011

I made up a word.

Cycling day! I did 1.5 hours easy spinning on Speedy. Feeling the hip flexor a bit, so taking it easy. Time to ice and naproxenize.


100 push-ups workout - Week 3, Day 3:
  • Set 1 - 16
  • Set 2 - 21
  • Set 3 - 15
  • Set 4 - 15
  • Set 5 - Max (I did 22.)
Peeked at next week's workout, day 1. Not looking forward to it. For Set 5, I'm supposed to do a minimum of 25. Ouch.

February 8, 2011

Make it a half marathon, please.

Ran on da 'mill at the gym side-by-side with my Matty today. We both had plans to run 10-12ish miles, but near the end we decided to make it a half marathon. Easy to do on the 'mill. You just keep going! I ran at an easy pace (1:51 total time). No need for more speedwork this week. The 5k took care of that!

Matty was supposed to do core work with me afterwards, but he pooped out and went to his pizzeria to wait for me (that we own and which also happens to be right behind the gym!). I did about 45 min of core work with a little upper body and legs thrown in.  Feeling good about my accomplishments today. Now it is time to watch Ironman 2!

February 6, 2011

Super 5k - Novi, MI

First in Age Group! Yay! (7th or 8th overall, depending on which results page you look at *shrug*) Let's see, I predicted I'd finish sometime around 20:30 and I nailed 20:30 exactly on the dot. Too bad I don't gamble. I'm thinking - take off a few seconds for hills, a few more for slush and several more for the icy, 180 degree turn around and that gives me a good idea of where my fitness is and how hard I have to work to break 19:00 by the end of September. I can do it!


Got to meet lots of cool people! Missed a few people I was hoping to meet! Saw lots of friends - many of whom were awesome enough to volunteer. Had a great time! I love racing!! :-)

February 4, 2011

Spinning to Chicken Run

Got in a great spinning session on Speedy today while watching the movie Chicken Run (hilarious). Disciplined myself to keep my effort easy. My heart rate was between 120-125 the entire time. I sure wish I had a distance/cadence sensor on my bike. I have no idea how far I rode. I only know my time was 1 1/2 hrs. I suppose it is just as useful to train by time and come spring, I can start keeping track of distance again. Or I can break down and buy a sensor for my bike! :-)  Nah, I'd rather use the money to buy race registrations!

No running today. No running tomorrow. Super 5k race Sunday. Two rest days before the big test. That's how I'm thinking of it, anyway. I'm very excited!

I did another workout from the 100 push-up challenge. The workout itself was a challenge! But I did it. I didn't do the pull-up workout. There's a little twinge between my shoulder blades and I figured push-ups was enough! :-)  The workout looked like this:

  • Set 1  -  12 push ups
  • Set 2  -  17 push ups
  • Set 3  -  13 push ups
  • Set 4  -  13 push ups
  • Set 5  -  Max out  (I did 19)

Phew! I was feeling that one! :-)

Sent in my passport renewal paperwork today so I will be ready to run the Detroit Marathon this fall. Running across the bridge into Canada means lots of security measures for this marathon! It is worth it though!
GO PACK!!!!!

February 3, 2011

Ahhh... nice and easy run.

Nice, easy Lifetime Fitness treadmill run next to Matty (He did 24 miles - craziness). I slowly picked up the pace, but never went faster than 8 min/miles (started at 9:05). Hip flexor and adductors a bit tight, but no pain. I did some gentle stretching after the run. Taking the next two days pre-Super 5k off from running. Gotta get spinning anyway! Lumberjack 100 is coming... !!!

February 2, 2011

100 push-ups, 50 pull-ups?

Cross training day!

I did one hour of nice and easy spinning on Speedy (my Trek 6700 hardtail mountain bike) on the indoor trainer today. I popped in the Transformers 2 movie and watched the first half of it - always makes time on the trainer go by faster. (And you think treadmills are boring???) Unlike running, I can actually wear a HR strap while cycling. I had it on today and kept my HR between 125-135. I think that's about right!

After a few hours rest, I did a full body strength training session focusing on core, hips and glutes. I loved the hip/glute strength training ideas from the latest Rrunner's World print edition - March 2011 (pgs 42-43). I do many of them regularly already. I'd never seen the one with the resistance band around the knee (three way leg raise), so I gave it a try today. Great exercise! It gets the glutes, flexors and abductors all at once! Plus the leg I'm standing on gets worked just trying to balance - stabilizer muscles firing away! I definitely recommend that exercise and all the others on that page as well.

Playing around online after logging my workout today, I came across the 100 push-up challenge again. I'd played around with the idea of doing it before, but I just may commit to it this time. There is also a 50 pull-up challenge. I wonder if I could do both at once. Right now I can do 23 push-ups and 9 pull-ups, so I have a long way to go!  I already made a log to track my progress. I might as well take the plunge! Wish me luck! (Maybe a certain pizza maker will do it with me???)  ;-)

February 1, 2011

Pre-Storm Long Run - We did it!

Matt and I wanted to get a nice, long run in before the storm. It was great! We drove just a few miles away from the downtown area and parked at Bald Mountain. Then we ran 10ish miles and looped back to the car. We fueled up and then headed out for another 7.5ish miles. It was nice to not have to carry anything with us and still get a long run in on the awesome Orion back roads. It is so hilly around here that long runs turn into hill runs, so we got a great strength workout for our legs along with the endurance workout from a long run. Perfect! Now we can relax and watch the snow fall...

Lumberjack 100 registration in 6 hours! Ahhh!!! The countdown has begun. I'm already nervous.
"Cats are like greatness: Some people are born into cat-loving families, some achieve cats, and some have cats thrust upon them." -William H. A. Carr

red's 2011 race schedule