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