Tuesday Twofer

Welcome to Tuesday Twofer, where I give two quick updates.

1. This week is going to suck. After a very long Monday and an incredibly long (and trying) Tuesday, I get to sit in three straight days of 9 hours of classwork towards my PMP certification. And each day I have two hours of homework. Sometime in between I’m supposed to get in all of my runs, and strength training sessions, and cycling. And sleep, and social interaction. Something is going to give. And I am going to be very, very tired. I’m already looking forward to sleeping in on Saturday.

2. Want to know how to make treadmill running not monotonous? Do this:

It works!

It works!

Seriously, it works! If you’re doing a steady-pace run, just set it and forget it. Zone out to your podcast or music, and just check every so often. My run was over before I knew it. A quick core routine, and it was time to head to work.

Thanks for reading!

Monday Musings: Weekly Training Update

Ah, Monday. The start of a new week. The longest amount of time before you can sleep in again and not have to go to work. Here is what I did over the past week:

Fairly successful week

Fairly successful week

Monday. I did a solid hour on the trainer, cycling away to my heart’s content. Actually, it was the first structured workout from my Trainer Road plan to build my cycling capabilities. Using the virtual power numbers from my FTP Test, I realized just how much I sandbagged that session. This felt very, very easy, and I barely broke a sweat over the hour. I’ll keep doing it, if nothing else just to get some saddle time, but I may need to redo that test if everything feels this effortless.

Tuesday. Four easy miles on the treadmill, 6.8MPH or around 8:52/mile pace. I’d like to keep things in this range and get used to moving this fast. Of course, treadmill running is fake, so who knows if I am actually that fast (spoiler alert: I am not).

Wednesday. A lovely little hill workout. I started with 10 minutes of warm up, then I would do 2 minutes at 3% incline, back to 1% for a minute rest, then up another %, repeating through to 6% before starting back down at 5%. I finished it off with 10 minutes of cool down and covered 4.5 treadmill miles. My quads were definitely screaming at 5% and 6% incline, but my first half of the year is a bit hilly so I have to get used to it.

Thursday. Ah, my first two-a-day of 2015. I did a strength training session at my apartment gym, working with dumbells on my chest, arms, back and core. After work, I went back and ran for another four miles, though I kicked the pace up for the final mile and finished overall with an 8:30/mile pace. I would LOVE to hold that pace for a marathon! But, four miles is good enough for now.

Friday. Slept through my alarm again and missed my workout. I really need to get better at waking up Monday and Friday mornings. I am fine any other morning but those two.

Saturday. Long run day. I went out and did 60 minutes, covering 6.3 miles in total for a 9:31/mile pace. A bit slower than last week, but I had done more volume and worked out my legs, so I think that had an impact. I was definitely getting very tired at the end!

Tried to be artistic, but the shadow ruined it

Tried to be artistic, but the shadow ruined it

After the run, we got cleaned up and headed to wash my car. This turned out to be an epic fail, as a) the car wash place didn’t have a brush, so I basically put soap on and then rinsed it off, without doing any actually cleaning; b) didn’t bring enough towels, and the terry clothes available did nothing to actually dry the car off; c) the vinyl cleaning wipes I bought were very dry and have left spots all over my interior. Seriously, my car looks ten times worse than before I “washed” it. Time to take it to someone.

We also swung by Pyros for some pizza before heading home and napping. Sunday we made pancakes from scratch, with some turkey sausage patties. Very yum!

I love pancakes

I love pancakes

Here’s to a fresh week, full of great miles and great rides!

And The Week Is Over

Thankfully!

Today was a bear. My quads were hurting after my two workouts yesterday, so I decided to take a rest day and relax a bit. I had meetings from 8AM-noon and another in the afternoon, so after work I was exhausted. We don’t get MLK Day off down here, so it was a full week. After work, Ro and I headed to Tamp & Tap, an awesome coffee shop in the building next door. A mocha and an English toffee biscotti, and I was right as rain.

And all is right with the world

And all is right with the world

It was time for dinner, and I was ready for shrimp and rice with creole seasoning. Small shrimp, brown rice with carrots and peas. Easy to cook, healthy and absolutely delicious.

Yummy

Yummy

One thing I’ve learned as I track what I eat is that it is damn hard to get the amount of protein I should, without going way over in carbs or fat. If nothing else, this exercise is making me more conscious of what I eat, and how eating out at restaurants can be dangerous. For example, I make a sandwich at home and it’s about 350 calories. I have a sandwich at a local chain here, and it’s close to 1000. Gotta watch out!

Anyway, it’s movie time and then rest for my long run tomorrow. Have a good one!

Thursday Musings

IMG_1624

Good evening everybody! Today started off rocky, but improved thanks to food.

Workout-wise, it was a double. In the morning, I headed down to my apartment’s gym and did a strength session. Mostly dumbbell exercises and some stuff I had found on the internet. I really need to head over to the YMCA and get a new entry card. My old one is pretty much falling apart and they were having trouble scanning it the last time I went.

After I was done, I went back upstairs, had a protein shake and started to cook breakfast. I was making my usual: eggs and turkey sausage with toast. Except we didn’t have enough bread to also make a sandwich for lunch. As I was cooking my eggs, I went to put a dash of salt on them, and instead the spout was open and salt dumped everywhere! My eggs were ruined! I didn’t have time to make more, so my entire breakfast consisted of a single patty of turkey sausage. Not ideal.

Anyways, for my second workout I headed back to the gym and ran 4 easy miles. This is the first time in a long time I’ve ran three days in a row. Probably since training for NYC last fall. My legs are a bit tired, but that’s too be expected. I’m still behind my pace from last year, but my runs feel stronger. I’m purposely running faster during these “easy” runs in order to get used to my legs moving that fast. To run a race fast, you gotta train fast sometimes too.

My day improved dramatically with food. Tonight is turkey chili night! I keep it simple. Onion, garlic, ground turkey, diced tomatoes and light red kidney beans. It tastes delicious, and it’s nearly a perfect 40/40/20 split of protein/carbs/fat. And each bowl is under 400 calories. An entire batch gives me 8 servings, so we’ve got leftovers for lunch and then some to freeze. I love simple, healthy, delicious meals.

And when I don’t do anything to my hair after I’m done working out, this is what happens:

Eek

Eek

Pretty awesome, eh?

This week is shaping up pretty nicely with my workouts. Let’s just hope I can keep up the momentum. The beach will be here before I know it…

Tuesday Twofer

Welcome to Tuesday Twofer, where I give two quick updates.

1. Ever notice how pace on a treadmill seems so much more difficult than matching the same pace outside, but the effort level outside is harder than the treadmill? I know that sounds like two competing statements, but I mean it’s harder to get to, say, a sub-9:00/mile pace on the treadmill, you feel like your legs are flying. On the other hand, running outside is just harder in general…feels like more effort to take a step. Such are the things you think about on the treadmill.

A nice 4 miles

A nice 4 miles

This is a good example. I felt it was so hard to keep it under 9:00/mile, while I do it regularly outside. Funny how that all works, eh?

2. I officially started the training cycle for my first half marathon of 2015, and my first attempt at sub-2 hours again. My race (to be announced soon!) is on April 12th, so I have about 12 weeks to go. I am pretty far behind my January 2014 running totals, so I already feel a bit behind the gun. This race is one of my two tentpoles for the year, and it’s one I’ve never done so I’m pretty pumped about it.

My plan for this is to follow a modified Hal Higdon plan, the Intermediate. I’ll run either four or five days per week, while cycling at least twice and doing strength training twice. It’s pretty ambitious; I usually just focus on one sport at a time. But I have cycling goals for this year too, so I need to keep going there. And strength training is too important to ignore, so I’m keeping that.

Thanks for reading!