Monday, April 28, 2014

Get out of yo head

#1's track season started out really promising. She ran a 5:25 1600 at a pre-season all comer's meet, and her coach was psyched ("That's just seconds off of {insert fast girl}!!"). We were psyched. It was all very exciting.

Fast forward 3 months and (what feels like) a billion races, and her 5:25 PR holds strong. She hit 5:27 once, and 5:28-5:30 are pretty much par for the course for her. She knocked a chunk of time off her 3200 last month - from a 12:01 to 11:46, but that one has also stood since then.

Obviously 5:30/11:46 is a great time. It's so fast, and I know it's hard work. But months of training and conditioning haven't budged that time.

Last week, I sat in the bleachers during her speedwork day, and watched her knock out 2x800, 2x600, 2x400, and 2x200...
Once I was over how consistent she was (seriously, robot??), I played around with McMillan trying to figure out what race pace she's actually training for - she mentioned that her coach told her it was sub-5, so I wanted to check for myself, because I'm a helicopter. If McMillan is not lying to me, it looks like she should be racing closer to a 5:00 1600.

That's a little faster than 5:30, eh? She says she sees her time on the clock while she's racing, and freaks out, because in her brain, she's a 5:30 runner, THE END. Despite what her training shows, and despite how easy it looks. Seriously, not one race has she finished and looked like she needs to sit down right now. It's a comfortably hard pace for her, and so far, she's not willing to push through that.

She's been so frustrated with her racing lately, and it's - frankly - frustrating for us, too, to see her performing consistently under what she's capable of. Obviously we're not disappointed in her - not at all - but if you're gonna complain about your time, suck it up and run harder, yo.

It's a hard thing to tell someone else - it's going to hurt, and you just have to do it. I don't know how to make someone else run uncomfortable, you know?

Shockingly, this didn't work.
On Saturday, she was PISSED that the head coach yelled at her during her 3200 that she wasn't working hard enough.

Well, guess what kid? After a full season of you not PR'ing, and consistently running slower than you do in training... it's a valid thing to say while you're running an 11:58. I bet he's pretty frustrated, too.

Anyway. I guess I'm really just venting about this track season. I'm trying to impart on her the importance of at least taking a lesson away from each race - maybe today you don't PR, but you kick it the last 200 and pass someone, or you keep someone else from passing you, or you stick to the person in front of you, or you work your way up slowly and patiently. And someday, these pieces will all come together, and you'll run a great race. I feel like she's putting the cart (a big PR) before the horse (the basics of running a track race), and sabotaging herself. She's chasing a PR while not taking the coaching advice. The faster times will come, when you learn to trust your training and run smart.

It's a tough thing for runners to learn - trusting your training and shutting up your brain while you run.

Anyway. Here's a cute shot of her teammates cheering for her.

Go Lora.

Recap of last week....

Monday: Nothing

Tuesday: XT, 4 miles
It was cool and cloudy, so I ran 4 miles easy in the AM, followed by an arms/core video (my favorite one!, and total body with HIIT intervals - 55 min total.

Wednesday: XT, 5 miles
5 easy treadmill miles catching up on RHOC. After this, I got stupid and did a killer lower body video, which almost killed me dead - Brutal Butt and Thigh Lower Body Sculpting. I actually really enjoy this video, but it's hard, and perhaps was not a wise choice immediately following a run? Eh.

Thursday: XT
Combined 3 FB videos for a 50 minute strength day - warm up, Strength Training for Strong Toned Arms and Shoulders, 10 Minute Abs.

Thursday afternoon, #1's team was hosting a dual meet, so I spent some time on the field volunteering. The view was OKAY, I GUESS.

Hey, Varsity Girls.

Friday: lame
Intended to do a long trail run this day, but that was thwarted by a mystery sick day that made me vaguely pukey and lethargic.

Saturday: "rest"
Track meet for A MILLION HOURS. I think we left the house at 8, and got home around 6. I have a pretty gnarly sunburn to show for it. (Always use sunscreen!) It was really long and do you know it's exhausting to sit in the sun and cheer for that long?? #1's events are the 1600 and the 3200, which were events 9 and 32 on this day (they're generally one of the first and then one of the last events, respectively), so we generally take off shortly after her last race, because by then it's already been a long day. Saturday, we stuck around until the end, and man, so glad we did because the very last event - boyx 4x400 relay - was SO GREAT, and we won by just a teeeeeeeny tiny bit, and it was very exciting.

Sunday: More rest
Yeah, it's true. We also took #2 to the track to practice for her event next month.

"I'm a starfish. Starfish don't run." 

I was slightly thwarted by the mystery illness last week, and then just didn't have any pep in me to make up the miles, because default=lazy. At least it was a scheduled "cut back" week? Ha.

Monday: XT (arms/core), 3-4 easy maybe.
Tuesday: 5 tempo, yoga
Wednesday: XT (arms/core)
Thursday: Long run (10-12, with middle miles at goal pace OR hills?)
Friday: rest
Saturday: 5 easy, XT (legs/lower body)
Sunday: Gab is racing!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Three Things Thursday

1. I cannot believe it's been A WHOLE YEAR since I ran a marathon. Eugene was so lovely, and I'm still working diligently to convince the family we need to move there.

We are so funny.
See? It looks like it was the funnest EVER.

2. I've picked a fall marathon, and the goal is to start training (for real) in mid-July/August, but I'm waffling between using the Hanson's method (run all the miles, but not the super long ones), or the Run Less, Run Faster program (run a fraction of the miles, but also cross train). I don't even know why I'm debating this, because TO ME, RLRF sounds better - I like the cross training, so why not? But mostly, I'm just very curious about Hanson's.

I am so indecisive! Thankfully I've got some time to work out my brain thoughts.

3. #2 was on the Orange County Academic Pentathlon team for her school last month - she was really bummed about her essay - they had to read a book, and at competition, they gave them a writing prompt. However, she forgot a main character's name, and basically felt like she faaaaailed. So when the awards ceremony was announced (the day BEFORE, with no advance notice....), and it was going to be a haul of a drive, to get there at 6 in rush hour traffic.... we declined to go. They don't announce award winners in advance, and #2 said she only wanted to go to hang out with her friends, so I certainly wasn't interested in spending an hour sitting in traffic.

My bad, she won 3rd place for 7th grade.

Mom fail.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Fitness Blender 5 Day Fat Loss Challenge - Recap/PFTW

Like I may have mentioned once or a billion times, I fell in love with Fitness Blender after Kim suggested their Tank Top Arms video (in all honesty, I cursed her for several weeks before I decided it was true love).

When they announced recently that they were launching a 5 Day Challenge, I was IN. I love a challenge, I love structure, and I love following a plan. I didn't really pay attention to it being for fat loss, so that's my mistake.

#1 is my favorite child {#1 thinks she's clever and that she snuck this in while I was cooking.}

The challenge was officially titled the 5 Day Fat Loss Program Jumpstart - every day, they would provide a video to be completed. It is geared towards someone with at least some fitness, but I feel like it could be pretty easily modified to suit a range of fitness levels. Don't quote me, I'm not an expert.

Day 1 (Monday)
40 minute butt/thigh workout. According to Daily Mile, I liked this video, and it was new-to-me, so I'm glad they introduced it. A lot of their videos are done in an AB AB format, which I enjoy - it makes my brain think we're getting things done faster.

Later in the evening, Gab and I did the FB kid video. She LOVES this video, because she's a crazy person.

Day 2 (Tuesday)
37 minute upper body with cardio intervals. Liked the upper body superset. Always hate jumping jacks. There were 2 strength exercises and one cardio interval per set; 10 reps for the strength, 1 min cardio, twice through. Three total sets.

Plus 4 easy miles with run club.

Day 3 (Wednesday)
This was the day I was dreading. 35 minute Insane HIIT Challenge. For A Person who Frequently Runs, I am so awful at HIIT/Cardio exercises. Suffice it to say, this video KILLED ME DEAD. 7 groups of 2 exercises, 3 sets per exercise, 20 sec on/10 sec active rest, in an AB AB format. 20 seconds is so sneaky - sounds so short, IS ACTUALLY SO SO SO LONG.

I completed the video, but it was UGLY. I took an extra 30 second water break after the jump squat/mountain climber set, and did mountain climbers instead of the weird lizard things, because there was NO WAY my arms were able to move.

This video was HARD.

Day 4 (Thursday)
37 minute Fat Burning Cardio - this was not toooooo bad, except for all of the jumping. Turns out, I really suck at jumping. This video consisted of 16 different exercises, 40 sec on, 15 sec active rest. It was fairly low impact, but I was sweating like a beast.

They also offered a yoga video option for the day instead of the cardio, but I opted to do the cardio. Go big or go home?

I originally had a tempo run on tap for the day, but scratched it for a trail run with hill repeats. I don't know why I thought that would be easier.

At least it was pretty. 4 miles.

Day 5 (FRIDAY)
35 minute Total Body Toning Strength and HIIT. Apparently this is how I felt about that video.


The FB description for this one is, "We have three different groups of two exercises; we'll be doing 10-14 reps for each set. Repeat each group twice, in an AB, AB format (with a short active rest in between) before moving on to a round of HIIT; 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, 4 times through. All you're going to need is a set of dumbbells."

I for real hate jump squats. 

I vaguely think that I maybe liked this video, and might do it again, but I was kind of just relieved to end the challenge.

Saturday: NOTHING
We went to the beach, and I mocked #1's runner problems.
Sunday: long run
10 miles, .9 easy, .1 strides, from half marathon pace down to 5k pace. Legs were kind of lame the first few miles, but once I warmed up, all was well.

Overall, I enjoyed the challenge - I don't really weigh myself, so I don't really know how effective it was for jumpstarting fat loss, and I certainly didn't modify my diet too much, but.... Fat loss is not my goal. If that's what you're looking for, the emphasis on cardio and HIIT will help. 

For me, if I had paid attention when it started that it was a fat loss program, I don't know if I would have done it. (HA, who am I kidding, I'm a sucker for a challenge). I'm more focused on strength, and on half training. While this series was EXHAUSTING, it just didn't have as much strength work as I have come to enjoy. Not FB's fault, because that wasn't the point of the challenge.

I am disappointed/annoyed at how weak I am at cardio - I imagine adding some of that into my weekly routine will only help; honestly, I avoid the HIIT videos like the plague because I hate it so hard. I GUESS I'll try to work a little bit more in. sigh.

But like I said, I enjoyed the format. Five days is such a short commitment, that it was easy to dive in. It introduced a few new videos to me, which I appreciate. 


Monday: upper body/core (I really missed this video!!), yoga
Tuesday: 4 easy, probably during #1's track practice; hiit????
Wednesday: 5 easy, lower body
Thursday: yoga/upper body
Friday: long run - 8 miles with 4 at race pace (cut back week!)
Saturday: rest
Sunday: speed - 5 with 4x1600

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Four Things Thursday

1. One of the most frustrating things about job hunting is finding a job that sounds great, going through multiple rounds of interviews, and then getting turned down with a "You're tooooooo qualified". On one hand, yes, in fact, I AM too qualified for the job - which I knew, and pursued anyway, because I (this will shock you) wanted that job. On the other hand... I mean. Presumably you read my resume before I spent time talking to you. Why are my qualifications surprising? 

2. This summarizes exactly why I can't take Runner's World seriously.  
‘Just because you’re married and have young children and a job doesn’t mean you don’t have time to run…You need this time. Taking it for yourself (by letting your husband baby-sit while you run, for instance) will benefit the whole family.’Question: can you babysit your own child?

3. I'm incapable of refraining from a challenge, so when Fitness Blender announced their five-day challenge for this week, of course I accepted. Day 1 was a 40 minute butt/thigh video, Day 2 upper body with cardio, and day 3... Insane HIIT
It's befuddling to me that I can run, but 30 minutes of some cardio kills me dead. 

4. SPRING BREAK. We went to the beach for the first time in... gosh. Four years?! That sounds ridiculous since we live so close, but cancer and ports and chemo and whatever. 

Seriously, 15 minutes down the road from this, and yet... 
The girls had absolutely no fun. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Week in Review/PFTW


This week is spring break for my kids, which really means it's the week of zero quiet and still waking up early. #1 has track practice every morning, so no sleeping in for meeeeee.

Spring break is way less fun as a grown up.

Last week....

Monday - 88 min XT
I was "excited" to see Fitness Blender releasing a new 1000 calorie workout - but then I turned it on, and quit, because I cannot kickbox. I gave it a shot, through the first two rounds of HIIT, but I spent the entire time being confused about punching and kicking and figured that was not a valuable use of my time (haha).

Instead, I did this 88 minute video. I've done this one before, and I do like it - but it is exhausting. 10 minutes of abs, 36 minutes HIIT, 26 minutes full-body strength, plus warm up/cool down. Dead dead dead. Hamstring curls? Such little movement, such big pain.

Tuesday - yoga/run
Did the new Fitness Blender stretching/pilates/yoga video (30 minutes) in the morning, followed by run club Tuesday evening.
Instagram, yo

The Tuesday night run club is sponsored by Lifetime Run, and led by my old PCRF Coach, Doris. I'll follow her anywhere, because she's one of my most favorite people. The group run is free, and meets Tuesday evenings in Laguna Hills. Easy 3 mile out and back catching up with some friends. It was HOT, but worth it.

Wednesday - 4 miles "speed" work
I planned on 1 mile warm up, 2 miles "race pace", 1 mile cool down. I based race pace on my Holiday Half PR from December, which is not really in play right now since I just barely started running again regularly. But I figured it would give me an idea of what kind of fitness I had.

Except that I'm dumb and don't follow plans - instead of sticking to the pace I wanted (9:35ish), I ran FAST to see how fast I could manage. Which defeated the entire purpose of this exercise. My two miles clocked in at 9:23 and 8:56, which is fast for me, and was certainly not sustainable. I don't know what I was trying to do. That was silly.

That afternoon, I took Gab to the pool because it was NINETY BILLION DEGREES. Apparently SoCal skipped winter and spring and went straight into summer. 

the toothless wonder
Thursday - XT
One of my favorite things about Fitness Blender videos, is that I can combine them to make a longer workout - on Thursday, I did this warm up video (10 minutes), my favorite upper body/core combo video (30 min), and the yoga video from Tuesday. Solid hour of cross training/stretching.

Thursday evening, I'm sure you can guess where we were. I'll give you a hint. 
You never would have guessed, would you. They raced on a crappy dirt track, and it was not a good night for #1. They don't have any races this week, so a nice 2 week break for her will probably do her some good. I didn't participate in high school sports, because I was busy being a lazy, anti-social jerk, but it often seems hard to be a high school athlete, where they're expected to perform at a high level so often - twice a week for 6-8 weeks in track seems crazy, to me. Good thing they're young and feisty!

Friday - "long" run
I was telling the H that it seems crazy that 8 miles is a long run for me, when a year ago, it was an easy mid-week run. Anyway. Kept the pace easy, and caught an episode of Real Housewives of OC that I hadn't seen, so success! 8 miles in.

Saturday/Sunday - nothing
Really. Nothing at all, except eating. 

Total - 15 miles (eh)

Monday - XT. There's a Fitness Blender video I want to try out (this one - 40 minute lower body - if you want to follow along at home). Gab has also requested to do their kids video again, so I'll likely do some of that, too, even though it kills me dead (seriously, how are the cardio/hiit videos SO HARD??). 

Tuesday - easy/run club, hopefully 4 miles?, upper body

Wednesday - 5 miles, tempo (lol)

Thursday - yoga, easy XT

Friday - 10 miles

Saturday - arms/upper body; 3-4 miles

Sunday - rest

Total: hopefully around 19-23 miles

Track update....

#1 ran a 5:40 mile and it was a bad day, which makes me laugh, because 5:40 miles are so fast, it's crazy that it can happen on a crappy dirt track and be a bad day. 

I spent most of Friday night/Saturday ALL DAY watching the Arcadia Invite live webcast. Yeah, I was watching #1's team run - but mostly, I was killing time waiting for the girls 3200 Invite, which had a loaded-as-heck field, including my favorite, Sarah Baxter. 

We got to see Baxter run during XC season, and she is incredible - she was undefeated in XC in her high school career, until NXN, where she came in third, with Alexa Efraimson taking the win there.

She's never been an outstanding track runner, but she was undefeated at the 3200, until a few weeks ago when a local girl, Bethan Knights, tied her at 10:07 (fun fact, we raced Knights' team on Thursday, and she took it super easy, and still blew our distance girls away). 

So seeing Efraimson, Knights, Baxter, and a slew of other fasties lined up was really fun. 

Until Baxter didn't run. 


Rumor has it she's fighting some stress reaction or something, so I certainly hope that it was the right call for her and she heals up quickly, but damn. That would have been a fun race.

I told #1 she has to qualify for CIF so we can have an excuse to see Baxter run before she graduates. That's not weird, is it?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

You get a race discount! YOU get a race... you get it.

I have some race discounts to share!

May17 - XTERRA Renegade Off-Road Tri, Du, and 3 Mile Trail Run Challenge - code "HEATHERDISCOUNT" for 10% off. (Check out the special Dirty Series medal, too!)

May 26 - Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half, 10k, 5k, and Kids Run - code "HEATHERDISCOUNT" for 10% off. Just announced, there is a new medal series launching this year - check out the details on Renegade's site!

June 22 - Breath of Life Ventura Tri - code "HEATHERDISCOUNT" for 10% off - this race is also part of the SoCal Tri Series.

July 4 - Run in the Parks, Laguna Niguel - code "renegade14" for 10% off!

Aug 23 - iTRY Women's and Youth Tri and Run/Walk - code "HEATHERDISCOUNT" for 10% off. I did this event last year, and had SO much fun, I'm coming back this year. 


Weekly recap

Monday - rest! 
It does a body good?

Tuesday - arms/core
According to Daily Mile, this was 50 minutes of "alright" feelings. I don't remember what I did, so I'm assuming I didn't love it, or hate it.

Wednesday - run/XT
4 easy treadmill miles, plus 10 minute abs (this video) and 35 min legs (this video). I like both of these!

Thursday - run
My legs were D E A D after the video, so I just did an easy shakeout run through the slums of Irvine.
#graffiti #seenonmyrun

Thursday night was also Dual Meet night for #1 - her team won, making them 2-0 in the league. 

Friday - arms
40 minutes of another mystery video! Honestly, I spent the majority of the day insanely jealous of everyone running Ragnar SoCal - there was a new course this year THAT RAN RIGHT BY MY NEIGHBORHOOD, and it skipped all the stupid inland stuff to run right along the ocean, AND the weather was fantastic. So jealous. 

Friday night, #1 raced at Trabuco Hills Distance Carnival (which, BTW, was also right on the Ragnar course - I didn't run Ragnar this year because I knew she was racing, so way to really rub some salt on that wound, RAGNAR). 

what even, that calf. 
17th place finish out of 137, and another sub-5:30 finish - she was pretty sad she didn't PR, but not every race is gonna be a PR, kid. 

Saturday - rest! 
First Saturday "off" in a billion years, so we slept in, got donuts, and did nothing.

Sunday - "long" run
6 miles, never felt good, but it was FINE. It's been a long time since I've bothered to really struggle through a run - since I haven't been training, I got into the habit of just stopping when it didn't feel fun any more. If I want to run a half marathon in 7 weeks, I guess I need to stop doing that. I GUESS. 


Monday - XT (I'll recap this next week, but I almost died dead finishing a Fitness Blender 90 minute video).
Tuesday - run! 4 miles easy
Wednesday - run!! 4 miles WITH SPEED WORK dun dun dun. And arms/core.
Thursday - rest/easy xt (#1 is racing)
Friday - Long, 8 miles
Saturday - rest
Sunday - XT, easy 3-4 miles if I feel like it?

Basically, I'm hoping for around 16-20ish miles this week, and while I say I'm introducing speed work, I'm really just going to shoot for a couple of miles at "goal" pace (which is vague, so this isn't really speed work at all, it's more like, run a little faster and see what happens pace). 


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