Life as we know it

Our family adventures

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Oh, I forgot to mention: It’s official!

I’m signed up for the half marathon! I signed up today and made our hotel reservations. Now I have no excuse to slack off on my training. Of course, right now I won’t, but who knows what adventures will pop up on my second training journey. I’m sure I’ll get busy. We’ve already got lots of plans for July and August.

One of the reasons I’m most excited about this race is a friend who I’ve only met recently is running the half as well and traveling there with me and Doug. That should be fun. I’m really looking forward to getting to know another Madison friend.

I’m in week 2 of training, looking at 22 or 23 miles total. Its going pretty well so far. I thought before I started that I would try to run more and longer, since thats what I was doing before the RNR half, the overachiever side of me. But I’m following the plan and taking it slow. So far, so good.

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Sore tonight

I did what I was trying not to do. I did my PT exercises the night before a run. And I’m paying for it now. I guess I just pay for it whenever I do it because I’m still such a wimp!

My schedule got off by a day but I should have waited. I also did too many reps in my enthusiasm for getting rid of this darn tendonitis.

Now I’m just uncomfortable. Tomorrow was going to be a cross training day, but I might be forced to rest. I would really like to get on a schedule with my rest day the same each week. But really, I know I need to listen to my body. I learned that the first time around.

So I have three blog entries all in the same day. I guess I’ve got lots to say.

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Lots of time

I’m settling in to life without a project. Running is part of the routine now, but apparently the fundraising took a lot of my time. Because it seems like now I have a lot more of it. I started TNT partly out of the boredom after our wedding and then the holidays last year. I’m wondering what crazy project I might take on next.

Maybe it will be starting our family.

I’m hoping I won’t take on anything for awhile though! I started reading a new book today. The Testament by John Grisham. I’ve had it for about a year and a half. Its the only one of his books I havn’t read yet. I’m looking forward to reading more.

Maybe now I’ll work on my cross stitching more and play the xbox that Doug and I spent so much money on last fall. Things like that. We’ll see. I like to watch TV… though there’s not much of that (at least nothing new) during the summer.

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New cross training workout

I am very sad there is no spin class this summer. Not enough people signed up for this session, so it was canceled. So I needed to find another cross training workout.

Well, I found it! I tried the YMCA’s cardio bootcamp class a few times during the winter, but lost interest after awhile. I started going again last week after spin class ended and I definitely am more interested now.

I was so sore after last Tuesday’s class, I skipped Thursday. Today I’m not as sore, perhaps because I was more prepared for what the class held, so I didn’t push myself as hard.

Its a bootcamp-style workeout that changes every time. The two classes I went to had intervals of jogging-type cardio in between intervals of different weight and toning exercises. Wow! After last Tuesday’s class, my abs were sore until Friday!

Tonight, its my legs that are sore. I don’t know if I will run tomorrow or not.

In addition to being a great way of cross training, this class will also get me weight training a bit, something I haven’t done much at all since I started running outside. I don’t know if it was my imagination or not, but I felt a bit stronger in my run last Wednesday! We’ll see what tomorrow holds.

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Busy weekend

I had Saturday and Sunday off, a much-needed break before heading into a really busy week.

On Saturday Doug and I went to the Brewers game, our first time there this year! And they won too, which was awesome.

Saturday was perfect, except that we started too late and ended up missing the farmers’ market. We also waited about an hour to travel roughly 9 miles on I-94, through the area where the bridges were flooded. Luckily we had left early enough that we just hurried through our dinner and barely missed the beginning of the game.

I was hoping to get up early for my long run. While I got up somewhat early, it took awhile to get started. I didn’t start my run until 9:30 so I didn’t finish until almost noon! Thus, we missed the farmers market. We made the trip downtown, and even though there was still a half hour, all the vendors were packing up. So we walked down State Street and got ice cream instead.

Anyway, I am very happy to be back into full training mode. My mileage last week was 20, and I’m going for 22 this week. I’m doing this the right way this time and only increasing my miles by 10 percent each week. This mileage does seem kind of low, and I’ve thought about going right back to my 25-mile range I had before the race. But I really think its ultimately better to take it slow. No more injuries!

Saturday I ran a great 8.2 miles. I did have a little hamstring soreness later in the night, but it didn’t last. I ate pretty well that day too.

And today I ran another, mostly great, 5.1 miles. I’m finding though that the hotter weather zaps my energy more and I need to use gels more often during my run. I’ll have to make sure to do that Wednesday.

With my good runs in the last week, I am officially declaring myself recovered from the half marathon!

Since I’m taking it easy on the mileage, I’m working on my intervals. Increasing my running intervals from five minutes to six has worked well. I ran those intervals both Saturday and today and felt fine. I still haven’t been able to determine if I’m any faster, but it seems like I should be since I’m walking less overall.

My next goal for my 5K in three weeks is to see if I can increase my running time to minimize walk breaks for the 5K. We’ll see. I think its best to stick with one thing at a time.

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Achilles tendonitis update

I’ve been in physical therapy for my achilles tendonitis since mid-May. My tendonitis never got really bad, which I am grateful for. But at that time my tendon would get really sore just from poking it at the doctors office and it stayed at a dull ache most of the time.

I kept running with plenty of stretching before, during and after as well as icing several times a day.

Physical therapy before the race was just stretches for my achilles, hamstrings and quads. Now since the race I have strengthening exercises for those same areas.

I hadn’t thought much about it until the other day when I realized my achilles wasn’t bothering me at all! I had barely felt it, and I couldn’t really remember the last time I had felt it. Probably right after vacation. I realize its only been a week, but it was a really great feeling.

Thinking back to before the race, I know it was already feeling better. I usually felt the tightness in the tendon when I actually started running, even though I had warmed up. I think my starting form may have had something to do with it. That tightness would always go away, which is good. If it would continue during the run then the tendonitis is more advanced, i.e., worse.

I went out running both yesterday and today and did not feel it at all. Perhaps I’ve tweaked my form, but I doubt it. So its getting better!

Today I felt the tendon a bit, but it was more muscle soreness, likely from doing my strength exercises the night before. I can’t really do them if I’m going to run, or at least run well, the next day.

I’m supposed to work up to 30 reps of each exercise. Right now I’m only doing 10. But once I get those muscle groups stronger I should be able to stop and let my running maintain that strength. And having those muscles stronger will ease the stress on my achilles.

So I’m seeing the progress and hoping that will motivate me to keep up with my exercises and stretching! I still am not icing as much as I should – only once a day right now. I’d like to get three times in but at this point I’ll be happy with two.

Tomorrow I really am going to take that rest day I’ve put off the past two days. I’m still somewhat fatigued from the cardio bootcamp class Tuesday as well as running on that soreness and the PT exercises. I need to take a rest so I can have a stellar long run on Saturday.

I’m completing the first week of my training plan with an 8-miler. I think I’ll go ahead and try the longer intervals and see how I do on a longer run. I’m betting it will be fine.

This is actually kind of exciting, starting training again. I guess I’m not really starting again. I recovered for two weeks and now I’m pretty much back to what I would be at, regardless of training. I’ll actually run fewer miles and shorter distances this time around since I’m starting on the half training plan. I started Team in Training on the full plan. I wonder if I’ll be able to stick to it pretty well or end up running too much!

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A great run!

Finally! I had my first great run since the race today. Since I’m back in training (well I guess I was never out of training), I’m very happy to have a good start.

I ran 4.6 miles on part of the arboretum loop today and forgot how pretty it is! I haven’t been there in at least two months or more. Certainly not since the trees finally sprouted leaves. The part of the loop I ran on was nice and shady!

So I’ve been thinking about lengthening my running interval from 5 minutes to 6. I tried that today and the results were good. I think the only difference, besides the extra minute running, is that I looked at my watch a lot. But I’ll get used to the time and quit looking.

Obviously on longer intervals I run farther. I was aiming for two miles out before turning around and running back, four intervals. But four of the longer intervals were 2.3 miles. Thats just fine with me. Not sure what longer intervals will do for my time. I would think it should improve.

Another training goal I want to reach is starting to run shorter distances without walking breaks. I’m signed up for a 5K July 13, and I’d like to be able to run it without stopping. Then maybe in the future I can run longer without stopping.

I think adding these variations in my workout will help change it up a bit, something I had been lacking before the race. Perhaps it will kickstart my weight loss again. Though I have found I’m more content with my body than ever. If I stay where I am now at 168, that would be OK. I would love to reach my ultimate goal in the 145 to 155 range, but I’m not going to stress about it anymore.

At least thats what I’m saying today. I tend to change my mind a lot on certain things.

So tomorrow is another cardio bootcamp class. But I think i will skip it. Maybe the next few weeks I’ll only do that class once a week.

Anyway, tomorrow I’ll skip it in favor of rest (and seeing Doug for lunch!). I’ll swim Friday, do my long run of 8 miles Saturday and another short run Sunday. Sounds like a plan.