Tag Archives: fitness

Wrapping Up 2014

I rang in 2014 on crutches and heavily sedated on painkillers. Looking back at where it started, I’m grateful that the year still held a marathon PR despite it’s immobile beginnings. I was lucky enough to coach another season of cross country and somehow finished my second year of medical school (courtesy of the funky UVM schedule). I fully intended to have at least part of 2015 planned out by today but studying for the Boards has taken up most of my time and I’m still waiting on some sponsorship information that will change my plans significantly. So into 2015 I go sans any kind of training plan, an anxiety inducing situation for me!

I wrapped up December with 156 miles. My 2014 total was 2259 miles which comes out to a weekly average of 43 miles (which includes the 6 weeks of 0 post surgery). Thus, one of my running related goals for 2015 is to up that weekly average to 50 miles, giving me a total goal of 2600 miles for 2015. Assuming two training cycles up in the 70 mpw range, this should be attainable without scrambling next December.

Another thing I did well at the beginning and end of the year but not so hot in the middle was weight training. I know strength work is key to injury prevention and maximum efficiency but I always cut that out first when my schedule gets crammed. Thus, for 2015, I want to make sure I am getting at least 1 arm and 1 leg workout in per week. Yes, more would be better but I’m trying to be realistic.

I generally have pretty good nutrition but there are definitely areas in which I can improve. First, we eat a little too much candy in this house which is not a calorie issue, but a “bang for buck” issue. We had a “Sundays only” rule for a while, so I may lobby that we go back to that. I’ve been working on taking my vitamins (multivitamin with iron, Vitamin D and biotin) every day and finally found that if I leave my pill container by my bed (I know this makes me 80+), I actually take them daily. We recently switched to a cast iron pan and continue to make sure we eat red meat twice a week to keep my iron stores nice and full.

Finally, I need to work on flexibility. I sit a lot for school and have tight fascia, both of which set me up for range of motion issues. I’ve been working on foam rolling consistently and will continue that in 2015 but am on the lookout for a simple yoga routine to do at home two days a week. In my optimal world, it would be about 20 minute long and focus on hips and lower back.

What are your goals for 2015? Anyone have a video or website that they love for yoga?

Week in Review (A Little Late): 6.23.14 to 6.29.14

First, today is the last day to enter the Sweaty Bands giveaway. Thanks for all the great entries and pictures thus far!

This training block has been the definition of “almost.” Like many people, I train in four week blocks, where I do three weeks that build and then an adaptation week to absorb that training. I’d intended this block to be at about 70 miles per week and every week, I’d be on track to meet or surpass that and every week something came up. Ended up at about 65 miles this block and I just have to let it go.

This particular post is a bit late because we moved yesterday! Four years in the same place + wedding + med school = SO MUCH STUFF. I’m so grateful we’ve moved into a bigger space because man did we need it. Still, my legs and feet are exhausted today so I’m glad it’s an adaptation week.

Monday AM: 8.5 easy in the heat

Monday PM: 4 miles with the team plus drills, hip core and lifting arms! Woot!

Tuesday: 9 miles including a minor run in with a car.

Wednesday AM: Rainiest.workout.ever. Did 7 by 800 at flooded-track I pace with 2:45 recovery in between. Lane 1 was totally under water so I just attempted to keep turnover up. 2:58 for the first before the deluge, rest were 3:04. Total of 10.5 miles

Wednesday PM: 3 miles with the team plus drills, circuits and legs.

Thursday: 7 mile trail run with Will at Catamount. Total blast.

Friday: 15 miles in 90 degree weather. Didn’t plan to get my long run in but since I was at 10 when I got home, I went for it. Glad I did, wouldn’t have had time with our weekend.

Saturday: 6.7 miles before the day trip to Boston. Legs tired from the long run in 90 degree heat.

Sunday: Moving plus 20 minute spin on the new spin bike. Ankle toast after being on it all week.

I’m admittedly a little frustrated/anxious that this cycle just hasn’t gone well thus far but trying to remain positive that this adaptation week will give me time to get the new house unpacked and refocus for the next block ahead.

How do you keep your optimism after a tough training block? Anyone else run in the deluge or scorching heat this week?

Week in Review 6.2.14 to 6.8.14

It was a nice adaptation week with a capstone of the Causeway 15K at the end. I had my most successful blogging week ever (so thanks!) and wrote about runners and body image, shared a picture from my very first marathon and did my first giveaway (which is still going through Monday night!)

Monday: PT plus a 7.1 mile run in Colchester with Will. Everyday Abs before bed.

Tuesday: 7 miles plus 4 striders at the end. Feeling a little clunky in the humidity. 300 Abs routine.

Wednesday: Workout! Very deceptive workout that didn’t sound that hard but kicked my butt. Try it if you don’t believe me! 2 sets of 3 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minutes at R pace with whatever you need in between to recovery. My first set was very clunky but my second set really started to feel smooth. Pace was sitting around 5:45 pace so I can’t complain about that! Let myself “run choppy” on the cooldown and felt about 100 times better. 9 miles total with drills before.

Just some goats mowing the lawn at Leddy Park for my workout.

Just some goats mowing the lawn at Leddy Park for my workout.

Thursday: Scheduled off day. Prorated 6.7 miles.

Friday: 3.4 mile shakeout plus 4 striders. Let myself be choppy again and it was just so much better. 7:33 pace for the run and felt a lot more natural than plodding along trying to be relaxed. Did arms at home and the Core Challenge workout.

Tough, especially the last upright plank.

Tough, especially the last upright plank.

Saturday: Causeway 15K in 1:02:39! Great fitness check. 2 mile warmup, 3 mile cool down for 14 miles. Hipcore and glute activation after.

Post race selfie.

Post race selfie.

Sunday: Recovery 8.

Total Miles: 55

1 Lift

3 Core

1 hipcore

This was a solid recovery week. I focused on getting better sleep and making sure I was well fueled and hydrated. Wish I’d gotten to the gym but with the race Saturday and my history of being sore from leg days, I didn’t want to risk it.

The Stunt Puppy Giveaway has brought in some adorable pictures so far; here are two submissions that cracked me up.

Lexa Stunt Puppy

Lexa with all her mama’s hardware on

Fenway on a run with her parents

Fenway on a run with her parents

Happy National Running Day, a Run Bell and a Weird Sports Bra

First, Happy National Running Day! That’s a holiday I can really get behind. Ask me again when I finish a workout in the hot-humid-welcome-to-summer-weather we’re currently experiencing. National Running Day is a day to declare your passion for running and offers discounts on races and gear but also opportunities to raise money for charity.

I came across two truly bizarre gear items this week. The first was posted by This Running Life and is a “running bell” to let other pedestrians know that you’re coming up behind them. Granted I’m not a gear person anyway, but this seems insane. A simple “excuse me” or “on your left” should work for most people. For the people who have headphones in and music blaring, a bell isn’t going to get their attention any better.

I can barely find the battery for my heart rate battery daily, so this has no chance.

I can barely find the battery for my heart rate battery daily, so this has no chance.

If the bell seems absurd, hang on because I found the one item that might be more bizarre. The following is slightly NSFW on account of it comes from Victoria’s Secret. For those that can open the link, can someone please explain to me why I would WANT a sports bra that zips over my regular bra. Although I’m not always successful at this and have a run or two a month where I realize my regular bra is still on under my sports bra (#runnergirlproblems), I cannot come up with reason why I would need or want this item.

Moving on to more substantive issues, here’s an incredible article on what happens to our brains when we exercise. I’m currently in Neural Science, so we talk a lot about clinical syndromes associated with the brain but perhaps unsurprisingly, not a lot about what to do to prevent those clinical syndromes. The key takeaway from this beyond the already-accepted exercise makes you happy is that the happiness benefits of exercise extend beyond the day when you get that exercise, making another case for lifelong activity.

Tina Muir is a Saucony athlete who writes a blog that masterfully blends the art and science of running and coaching. She recently wrote an excellent article on the reasons you need to take breaks in training, my favorite part of which was this abstract, which talks about muscle damage and recovery after the marathon. I’ve learned a lot of things in medical school, one of the biggest being what words = bad in terms of clinical outcomes. Pro tip = necrosis is bad. I try not to criticize other runners (outloud), but in the week after VCM, I’ve had to use extraordinary self-control as I’ve watched numerous runners insist on starting to run again with almost no time off after the full marathon. My biggest pet peeve with the marathon is when people don’t respect the distance, whether that’s in training for the event or recovering from the event. Stepping off my soapbox now…

Two more doping stories are presented without much comment beyond looking for a noise to express how fucking frustrating it is to keep hearing these as a clean athlete who panics every time she files a TUA for her inhaler (that I’ve had since age 4). Adrienne Herzog has more excuses as she gets caught for the third time and an insider gives some perspective on the line between innovation and cheating.

Maggie Vessey made an interesting fashion statement at Pre this year. She’s currently unsponsored and went with the outfit below. I’m impressed that she got through the 800 with no mishaps, but not sure this would work for a marathon.

Image from Getty Images

Image from Getty Images

In the video of the week (well, from last week), Katie Mackey LIT UP the runner from Australia at the World Relays when she wandered out of her lane after the handoff.

Finally, USATF may never issue a statement on the SNAFU that was Indoor Nationals this year, but don’t worry, they are policing Instagram!

Week in Review 5.26.14 to 6.1.2014

We got really blessed with weather this week. Beautiful view from the run this morning.

We got really blessed with weather this week. Beautiful view from the run this morning.

The first half of the week was dedicated to recovering from VCM while the second half was all about looking up and looking forward. I did some public self-reflection on my strengths and weaknesses and I shared (gulp) my goals for the rest of my open racing career. We’ll deal with Masters when I get there. I ran 256 miles in May, up from 214 in April. I started doubles this week and am feeling generally good.

Monday: Easy 5.25. Quads pretty ripped up from VCM.

Tuesday: Easy 6. Tougher day than Monday. Aiming to be recovered by Thursday.

Wednesday: PT in the morning, then 8.25 mile run on the Causeway. Lifted arms in the afternoon. And by lifted mean driving home was actually difficult.

Thursday AM: 4 easy

Thursday PM: 9.5 in the afternoon previewing the Labor Day 15K course with Joe. Finally feel poppy again.

Friday AM: 7.7 mile cruise interval workout with drills. 4 by 5 minutes at high tempo pace with 1 minute recovery. Felt tough but good. Pace 6:33 for first 3, 6:24 for the last.


My feelings on humidity on Friday.

Friday PM: 3.1 mile easy jog around the UVM XC course and lifted legs afterward.

Saturday: 7.6 easy run around the Intervale.

Pre long run fuel? Joey and I went to a movie on Saturday night and made sure we brought plenty of provisions.

Pre long run fuel? Joey and I went to a movie on Saturday night and made sure we brought plenty of provisions.

Sunday: 13 mile long run with the chickies. 8:08 pace but actually felt pretty crappy. Allergies bugging me a bit and legs a little tired.

Total Miles: 64.4

Lift: 2 times

All in all, a good week. Psyched I got back in the gym twice and I do feel like I’m building some fitness. Recovery still needs work but I did better on sleep this week and I think it will pay dividends. Cutback week starts tomorrow with the Causeway 15K at the end, so it will be nice to see where my fitness is at after that. Hoping my ankle quiets down a little. Sayanara’s are starting to bug it.

How was your training week? Did you get your extras in?