Monthly Archives: October 2014

Training Log – Week of Oct. 20 (Week 41)

Woah, long week for anyone else? We’re entering TCS New York City Marathon crunch time (t-minus seven days!), and even with this larger-than-life event, the week still seemed to drag by.

nyc-health-fair-midtown-view

It’s also health fair season. This means I get to go to swanky offices and talk to “real people” about the awesomeness of running and JackRabbit.

But any day you have a view this breathtaking is a good day.

General training notes: Coming off a lackluster few days of training, I hoped to turn things around this week. And for the most part, I succeeded. Each run felt great, and Coach Pat even had me do some pickups this week, which was my first time doing (something resembling) speedwork since … July. Wowza.

Monday – a.m. run

You know those days when you wake up and immediately want to go back to bed? This was one of those days—and everyone seemed to agree. I ran one mile to BoMF, walked two (long story), and then ran four easy on my own. Once I got going, it was fine, but it was a struggle.

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength train

Between mid-run pickups and post-run strides, it’s safe to say Coach Pat is trying to make me faster. He may kill me in the process, though! Just kidding, Pat! Thankfully, I was able to hit and hold the pickup efforts pretty well—aside from the final two when my legs said, “nope, we’re done!” After the six miles, I did some corework and upper-body strength training.

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

This power hour Tailwind class centered on maintaining an even power output—which did not go well. We did a ton of sprints into threshold efforts, and I struggled to dial into an acceptable range; ideally, we were supposed to stay within 10-20 watts, but I had 50-watt swings. Sigh. It comes down to experience and practice, and I keep reminding myself to be patience and keep working hard.

Thursday – a.m. run

You know those runs where everything clicks? You feel invincible and enter a space where absolutely nothing can stop you. That’s what happened during these rainy 10 miles. And it was awesome.

Friday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance and strength training

Oh, erg mode. You get me every time. In erg mode, the CompuTrainer holds the specified wattage, and it’s your job to match the cadence and move the pedals. I’d argue this is harder than a “normal” workout where it’s the rider’s responsibility to hit and hold the desired number. Anyway, we did short, one-minute VO2 max efforts, plus four, five-minute blocks at threshold. More corework and upper-body strength training after.

Saturday – a.m. run

This 45-min. steady run was the toughest and worst one of the week (I didn’t sleep well the night before), but I still felt OK and dialed into the specified pace range.

Sunday – off

And now for a few shameless JackRabbit marathon plugs for the NYC folks.

We’re hosting a pre-marathon party with Saucony, KT Tape, and Zico on Saturday, Nov. 1 at USQ from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

nyc_preparty3

Live DJ, graffiti artist, giveaways—so much marathon excitement! And you don’t have to be running the marathon to come! (Case in point: I will be there all day.)

And the JackRabbit cheer zone will be at Mullane’s Bar and Grill in Brooklyn, which is situated at mile 8.5. Come be loud with us!

Training Log – Week of Oct. 13 (Week 40)

When it doubt, quote Parks and Recreation.

everything-hurts

So spot-on, Andy Dwyer. Nailed it!

General training notes: Sigh, it was only a matter of time before I experienced a tougher training week. I’m guessing my body finally felt the effects of running all the miles, and I was noticeably “off” from last weekend’s Steamtown adventures. As the week progressed, I bounced back, though, and logged some quality workouts Friday and Saturday.

Monday – a.m. run

My friends and I traveled from Scranton back to the city that morning, so my four miler didn’t happen until after work. Even though the run itself wasn’t great—being tired from the weekend, feeling each and every potato chip I ate, etc.—I did enjoy shaking off the day. I can totally see why people exercise after work.

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength train

This run wasn’t that great either. I’m guessing I was probably still tired, and I also didn’t have as much recovery time between these outings. Still got those seven miles done, though, and did some core- and upper-body work.

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

For whatever reason, I was convinced a power test would happen. But it didn’t. I still got in a butt-kicking ride: two different seven-minute blocks with various lengths of tempo, threshold, and VO2 max intervals, and we did each block twice.

Thursday – a.m. run

Ugh, another not-so-great run. Granted, it was humid, and everything felt so heavy. I’m still not totally sure how those 10.5 miles got done, but they did. That afternoon, I went to Isang for a sports massage (NYC people, go see her!), which definitely helped me recover not only from the morning run, but also the past two months of training. I felt like a new person when I left!

Friday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

After a long run and sports massage, I didn’t know how my body would respond to another hilly CompuTrainer ride—but I rocked this ride. It was a tougher course than last Friday’s workout, and my numbers were better too. Take recovery seriously, kids!

Saturday – a.m. run

Steady 45 minutes? Crushed it. Bring on the speedwork, Coach Pat! #fireonthetrack

Sunday – off

Unless you count a Hudson Valley nature walk/hike as cross training.

rhinebeck-ny-fall

I escaped the city for a day and spent some quality time with one of my sisters. Apple picking and apple cider drinking for the win!

How do you bounce back from a series of not-so-great workouts?

Training Log – Week of Oct. 6 (Week 39)

So sorry, so late. So busy spending the weekend cheering on friends who ran the Steamtown Marathon.

girls-club-steamtown

So much love for Girls’ Club. Thanks for the photo, Ali!

General training notes: This week’s training was a mixed bag—two good runs, one OK run, and one not-so-great run, plus two killer CompuTrainer classes. And Coach Pat says speedwork is coming soon too! #fireonthetrack

Monday – a.m. run

Easy four miles (plus 5.5 non-training ones with Back on My Feet) and corework

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength train

Easy seven miles, plus upper-body strength training and corework

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Lots of pain during this power hour class. But lots of threshold and VO2 max efforts and lots of watts, so no complaints.

Thursday – a.m. run

My long run of 10 miles (hey, it’s all relative) started out great: I didn’t go out too fast, paced myself, and felt good. Until I hit the wall at mile 9.5. My energy levels tanked, and even though my legs felt fine, I struggled to turn them over. If I had to run longer, then I would’ve slammed a gel, so I just slugged through the last half mile. On the bright side, I learned mile 9-9.5 is when I need to take nutrition.

Friday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

In hindsight, a hilly CompuTrainer workout probably wasn’t the best idea after a long run. My legs felt trashed for the first 45 minutes, but I was able to hold a low-threshold wattage for the 90-minute class. It didn’t feel great, but threshold isn’t supposed to be easy.

Saturday – a.m. run

Bad run. Just bad. Two friends and I ran in hilly Pennsylvania, and between the terrain and cold weather (and not wearing enough layers), I felt awful. Running steady wasn’t going to happen (sorry, Coach Pat), but I did what I could: five easy miles is better than zero miles.

Sunday – off

Spent the morning spectating Steamtown—and the afternoon relaxing!

What did you do this weekend?

Training Log – Week of Sept. 29 (Week 38)

So on the non-running/training front, this proved to be a bizarre week. Thankfully, I got an adequate dose of people time on Friday and Saturday—and despite rain, our Four Jacks Run was a success!

four-jacks-run-jackrabbit-sports

That morning, I ran in the rain for forty minutes. I can’t imagine (a) running 20 miles and (b) running 20 miles in the rain. These folks are rockstars! (One of four pace groups I should add; we had so many rockstar runners!)

Even though I had a productive week working from home, I’ve decided to camp out at coffee shops (or diners?) this week. I underestimated how much I enjoy being around people, and I really can’t go too long without talking to someone. It’s important to make this arrangement work too because it sounds like I’ll be working remotely for the next week at least.

General training notes: Overall, nothing too groundbreaking to report. I felt good during my runs and strong during my rides. I’ve also stepped up my corework routine, and I’m really trying to make strength training happen consistently. On an interesting note, I’ve definitely been sleepier this week. (Case in point: daily post-lunch powernaps.) Runners, is this normal when you increase mileage?

Monday – a.m. run

Early and easy five miles with Back on My Feet, plus four on my own after and corework. (BoMF miles will not be counted toward my overall weekly mileage because these runs are extremely easy. To account for this extra time on my feet, however, Coach Pat makes my workout after the shortest of the week.)

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength train

Six easy with strides, plus upper-body strength training and corework

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

The line of this power hour was “Carrie’s over there pushing 4,000 watts.” My numbers were through the roof, and I’m still trying to wrap my head around why. Even the coach asked what I’ve been doing. It’s not like I’ve been biking more—just running all the miles. As per usual, we did lots of threshold and VO2 max intervals, and I was able to hit and hold 300-plus watts for the VO2 sets (#letstalkwatts). Until I do another power test, the plan is to go by effort.

Thursday – a.m. run

Blahhh, messed up this long run big time. I ran my usual route to Central Park and hit the Reservoir, but my Garmin died at 5.65 miles. I totally froze, panicked, and stopped running. In hindsight, I should’ve kept going or even turned around and retraced my steps home so I’d have a ballpark mileage. But a device has never died during a true, structured training run, and I didn’t know what to do. After consulting with Coach Pat, I finished the second half that afternoon for a total of 10 miles. GAWD, I’m such a rookie sometimes.

Friday – a.m. bike

Easy, 50-minute recovery spin on the indoor trainer

Saturday – a.m. run

Finally nailed it! Because of our Four Jacks Run, I woke up early to get after it before heading to the store. And thanks to the wind and rain, I had the entire West Side Highway to myself. Things simply clicked; muscle memory kicked in, my legs turned over, and my brain stayed “off.” I ran a little faster than I should have, but I honestly expected to slow down eventually—but I didn’t. Dare I say progress?

Sunday – a.m. Bike MS NYC

bike-ms-nyc-2014

Great cause, great company, great post-ride food. My friends/coworkers and I did the 30-mile route, which circles Manhattan. We thought about doing the 55-mile ride, but that course essentially follows our normal ride over the bridge—and plus, two of them did 70.3 Princeton last week. So we hung out, spun out, and had a leisurely ride.

How did your workouts go this week?

Out of Whack

Helloooo, Friday!

mean-girls-october-3Had to do it #sorryimnotsorry

Even though I’m inclined to say “it’s been one of those weeks,” it really hasn’t. But it kinda has. Let me explain.

Earlier this week, we undertook a renovation project of sorts at work. This meant about 2,000 pairs of running sneakers had to be moved from the shoe room on the ground floor to the basement downstairs. And this relocation displaced our buyers, marketing folks, editorial gurus, etc. Somehow, my workspace became the new garbage location (I don’t ask questions), so I’ve been working remotely.

It’s been a productive, but surreal week. Nearly all of our “downstairs” people have been working from home, so when I stopped in Wednesday afternoon to take care of a few things, it felt like summer camp—a.k.a. hanging out with your friends without adults. (This doesn’t mean people are not responsible adults; the atmosphere was just different because our corporate contingent wasn’t there.)

IMG_4336

Action shot from our Marathon FAQ Panel.  See the sneakers on the left?  Direct result of the renovation project.

Working from home has its positives and negatives: Woohoo for wearing glasses, camping out on the couch, and blasting Maroon 5 all day (and OneRepublic and Sara Bareilles too.) Boo for going stir crazy, experiencing Girls’ Club withdrawal, and having no one to talk to. Gotta take the good with the bad, right?

On a related note, I’ve felt totally out of whack this week.

My routine changed because working remotely means I can start doing my thing earlier. This week has actually reminded me of Honors Week during my senior year of college. Basically, students undertaking Honors projects had five days to write at least 50 pages of a dissertation of sorts; and since I’m a morning person, I’d wake up early, crank out words for five hours, and then take a break. There’s no drafting and revising now, but there have been similarities like days blurring together and taking 30-minute power naps.

nailed-it

Also, thank GAWD season six of Parks and Rec is on Netflix Instant

During Honors Week, I shut myself off from everyone, put my blinders on, and basically only did one of three things: wrote, ate, or slept. Thankfully, I lived with my BFF who was also doing Honors, so we felt some solidarity in our zombie statuses: ‘Are you alive? What page are you on? Nice, ready, break!’

That rigid intensity hasn’t been replicated this week, but that sense of distance feels familiar. Since I spent my Honors Week waking hours dialed in, there was virtually no socializing. Granted, it was only five days, but still. Not ideal. This week has felt like that too: It’s tough when you know exactly what’s going on in someone’s life—including the nitty gritty stuff—and then you don’t see or really talk to them for a week. Again, not ideal, but normally, this wouldn’t be an issue; as a type-A person, I’d cling to and find comfort in my routine, but since my day-to-day has changed too, well, it’s been a long week.

2014-zelda-boat

Miss you, Zelda!

There’s no concrete end date in sight—just the vague, “sometime next week”—and since we’re in full-fledged marathon season, we can’t let up either. It’s the most wonderful (and crazy and stressful) time of the year!

Speaking of, two quick PSAs: First, for you NYC folks, JackRabbit is holding our Four Jacks Run tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. If you need one last long run (20 miles) before the marathon, then this is perfect!  Second, I’m doing Bike MS Sunday with some coworkers. This has become a personal cause—you may remember I did MuckFest Boston last year with my aunt—and every donation helps.

All right. It’s back to Sara B. until further notice.

What are you up to this weekend?