Friday, June 26, 2015

Five Things Friday

I thought I would do a "Five Things Friday" in an attempt to catch you up on my June and lack of blog posts.

1. Chicago Marathon training started this month! I am nearing the end of week 3 and so far things are going well. I'm trying to stick to my training schedule because for past marathons, I've either...1) followed the programs to a "T"; 2) "mostly" followed the program; 3) not really followed much of a program.  I have to say, the times I've followed the training schedule mostly to a "T" have been the best marathons for me. That's not to say that an occasional weekly run might be missed due to other obligations, injury, or whatever...but I try to follow it as best I can while still being able to live my life.

2. I have the Intent Tinley Park Duathlon this coming Sunday in Tinley Park (about a mile from my house in Tinley).  This will be the 3rd time I've done this duathlon, and even though it's under new management, the course still looks mostly the same as previous years.  I almost didn't sign up for it this year but I know it's always a good stepping-stone for my triathlon, which is in July.  It mentally prepares me for the transitions and for the bike-run "brick" legs.  I still haven't fully decided whether to wear my clip-in shoes or just gym shoes on the bike. Since my "accident" with my clip-ins, I'm very scared and cautious when using them around other cyclists.  I can control what I do but can't control what they do. I have been practicing with them so we will see. (2013 Race Recap and 2014 Race Recap)

3. I started physical therapy on my shoulder.  I made an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon to possibly start the process of having surgery. He adamantly recommended me try physical therapy first. I went this past Monday and got some exercises from the physical therapist, who by the way is super nice! I asked him if he thought the exercises could help someone "like me", meaning someone that has dislocated their shoulder between 12-15 times in the past 3 years. He told me that if I'm diligent in doing the exercises, they definitely could help. So I'm doing my exercises. Every day. Even twice a day most days. Fingers crossed.

4. I have a triathlon in mid-July. And I haven't practiced swimming once yet. For a  couple of reasons. 1) I had that surgery at the end of April and the incision was/is taking a long time to fully heal. I was advised not to swim until it's healed. Since it's still occasionally bothering me, I kept waiting to jump in the pool. 2) Since I'm using the surgery as a great excuse not to swim, I haven't been telling everyone that I'm a bit nervous to start swimming again with my shoulder. I know I can swim so it's just a matter of getting some swim cardio in. I'm planning on starting next week, hopefully.

5.  I've gone to the new FNRC Tuesday morning speedwork before work 3 out of the last 4 weeks!  This is pretty huge for me because I DO NOT like getting up early and working out before work. But I have a lot of fun during these morning runs and it gets me doing something I probably wouldn't be doing on my own. The first week we did a ladder on the track, the second week we did a 25 min tempo run, and this week we changed it up and did some bleachers and core work along with running 400 meters in between on the track. I missed the 3rd week when they did hill repeats because I desperately needed the extra sleep.  But I'm looking forward to more Tuesday morning runs with the group!

P.S. Sorry for the lack of pictures. Technical difficulties!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Speedwork - Starting Over

My goals with running have changed drastically this year and last over the previous years. I'm not necessary looking to get PR's in everything I do (although it would be nice). I'm not just "trying to be fast" which is good because I'm not.  My goals last year was to learn to Run Happy! And I succeeded!

This year, I hadn't made any goals. I was struggling just to run. Had several health issues that arose and made me take time off of running a couple different times. I was burnt out from the previous year's races.

I generally run for fun (or try to). I like the exercise benefit I get from it along with the stress relief and I love running with my friends and my Thursday FNRC group. I've been trying to incorporate other things besides running into my schedule but generally, I'm still all about running (although I try to cycle at least once a week right now since the weather is nicer). I puffy heart cycling!

I guess I have made my goal for 2015 to get stronger physically. Yes I would like to lose weight for my wedding and have been trying to do that with food (which has been up and down). But I would like to do different things then just straight running 3-4 miles all the time. Mix it up. Get my body stronger, my core stronger, my glutes stronger, drop some weight so it's easier to breathe while running.

A guy from the run club decided to create a Tuesday morning (yes, morning) speedwork group. Anyone that knows me knows that I don't like waking up earlier than I have to prior to getting up for work. I have gotten up early for a random spin class or early run session but I feel like I'm sleeping through it then rushing off to work. But I thought, why not try this speedwork group. I've done speedwork in the past and thought it might be fun to try it with others and maybe even have some type of schedule.

I got to the track to meet with the group. He explained that we were going to do a ladder (200, 400, 800, 1600, 800, 400, 200 meters). We warmed up and so it began. In the beginning of speedwork, I never like the "uncomfortable" feeling that you need to reach. You should be uncomfortable while doing speedwork. It's not supposed to be easy. I did the 200 meters and the 400 meters. And I was definitely uncomfortable. I wasn't looking forward to the 800 or 1600! I completed the 800. I've never run a 1600 meter interval (unless I did a tempo run and that's different).  I repeated to myself "Just keep moving". If I slowed up, it's ok. Just do the best you can. I did the best I could.

I was a little disappointed with my mile split. I used to be so much faster. But I told myself it was ok. I gave myself the advice I would give someone else. "You have to start somewhere. You aren't racing the other people in the group. And you hung in there for the 1600 interval! The fact that you got up and came here early (out of normal routine) is a huge accomplishment. Just keep working at it and you will improve."

Hm...I give good advice to others! lol.  So I'm really excited to see the progress by the end of the summer. He gave us the schedule of workouts and there are intervals, tempo runs, fartleks and hill repeats! Sounds fun, doesn't it!

I actually didn't get to go back down the ladder, unfortunately. I ran out of time. I just did a 400 meter cool down and had to leave to get ready for work. I think in the future, I will get there 10 minutes earlier and do my warm up so I can fit the whole workout in.

I really enjoyed the workout though and it was nice to get it in early and have the evening free. Maybe this will help change me into a morning workout person??  ....  or maybe not. Haha!

First FNRC Tuesday Morning Speedwork Group Run

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Feeling Better


I want to thank everyone for the kind words and suggestions on my health update post.  As of the past (almost) week now, I've been feeling much better. My pain had gone down from 50-90% to a 10% and is now about 5%. So not much at all and rare.

For about 3 weeks, I did nothing but walking or resting. My walking might have been anywhere from 1-3 miles depending on how I felt that day and it wasn't fast walking since that aggravated my ailment a bit. And 3 miles was usually just verging on the "a bit too much" side of things so I didn't do that often.


Last Thursday I decided to try my first hand at running again. Between being sick and resting a full week and then this ailment, I've had close to a month off of running. But I know my cardio is low because I couldn't really do any cross training either. Walking was it.  But Thursday at my run group, I decided to do run/ walk intervals (1 minute running/3 minutes walking), just to ease into it and see how the incision would feel after running. Lucky me, I have an awesome run group and everyone decided to run/walk with me! It was a lot of fun with me yelling "RUN!" and "WALK!" lol. My watch was set to the intervals but not everyone can hear my watch.  But the run felt really good so I was happy!
A bit rainy but a good looking group!
I also did a run/walk interval on Sunday with Jill. I was still afraid to push the running too much and I'm still more focused on healing completely, and so with my incision still not fully healed, I kept my run interval at 1 minute. I shortened the walk interval to 2 minutes though.  We did a bit over 3 miles (3.37 miles according to my garmin) and my incision felt great. I have to check it out again (I only look at it every couple days), but I'd like to see how much more healed it is now!

In other (related) news, I did drop down from the full marathon to the half marathon in Iowa in June. I'm ok with that decision. It's the smartest thing. I also had to skip another half marathon this past weekend but I bought it on a groupon so it was cheap and I'm not upset to have missed it.


I'm also kind of excited for cycling season! I bought clips for the shoes to "clip in" but I haven't been able to try them yet since I haven't been able to ride. I'm excited to try them...but not excited to possibly kill myself! lol. Have I told you of my love of cycling?!  I also have 2 months to train now for my international distance triathlon! Yikes!!  :)


Don't forget that I'm an ambassador for Venus De Miles this year. The fee will increase next week so make sure to register before then if you want to save money! And to save more money, don't forget to sign up with my discount code "GetToGoal" to save $10! Good for either bike distance or the 5k run! Hope to see you there!