Learning to Celebrate the Small Running Victories

Last week felt meh but this week was a good one so let’s dive right into it!

  • Monday: I went back to Pacers’ 5 miles group and while I was still the slowest runner, the run felt easier. Maybe it was the shoes! I ran on a loaned pair of On Running Cloud X and they felt great! I’m still in the market for a “good” pair of running shoes and love it when reps come and let us test out different pairs for runs. The Cloud X is definitely a contender, though I still want to try out a few more.
  • Tuesday: I went to Cyclebar in the morning.
  • Wednesday: Since I was invited to preview Drink Companys latest spring pop-up bar, honoring the city’s iconic cherry blossoms, I had kind of written off Wednesday as a potentially rest day. But in a move that rather surprised me, I couldn’t wait to get out of there and go for run! So I only had a few sips of some of the cocktails, took tons of pictures, and headed out for a solo run on the mall. I have really struggled with running outside of a group setting but this run felt good. I think that in addition to some me-time to clear my head of negative thoughts, a part of me was motivated to get in one last February run so I could add a few kilometers to my monthly “mileage” as well 😉 I wrapped up the month with 92 kilometers, which may not seem like a lot, and is short of the 100 km I was aiming for, but is still 3x more than what I ran back in January. I’m really trying to focus on that small victory and not the falling short part!
  • Thursday: I went to Cyclebar in the morning. Shane was back, though he was not wearing his fab Golden Girls cropped top this time…
  • Friday: Rest day! 
  • Saturday: I joined Elyse from the Pacers 14th street group for a special Biker Barre class benefiting Girls on the Run — DC, a fantastic running non-profit that helps young girls build confidence through accomplishment and encourages them to develop lifelong health and fitness habits. I thought the class was great and definitely want to incorporate more of that type of workout into my weekly routine (after Satellite though!). Afterwards, we headed to Summit to Soul and I dropped some major $ on this fabulous pair of eco-friendly disco camo leggings. They’re so comfortable and already my new favourite!
  • Sunday: Race day!! I skipped my usual training group long run to participate in my first race of 2018: Pacers’ St. Patrick’s Day 10K.  I was expecting the run to feel a lot easier than it did since I’ve been running at least 8 kilometers per run for a few weeks now and long runs of 10 to 11 kilometers. I finished in one hour and 7 minutes, just 2 minutes short of my time at the Marine Corps Marathon 10K back in October (race recap here). I’ll be honest, I felt a little defeated, like all I had to show for four months of running was two minutes. But as my friend Madalene  (check out her awesome blog Musings of Ms. X!) pointed out, that’s still a PR and I should still feel proud of myself.Easier said than done of course but I still have a few weeks before the Cherry Blossom 10 miler to train so I that can put myself in a position to feel good at the end of *that* race.

The next two weeks, though, are going to be tough. I think I already mentioned that I am running the Rock’n’Roll half marathon here in D.C. next weekend. This will mean missing my Sunday long run with my Cherry Blossom 10 Miler Potomac River Running Training program group. Instead, I will treat that run, for which I am grossly under prepared, as a training run. I should be running 8-9 miles as part of my training and that is what I will strive to do, walking the rest of needed (especially that incline in Rock Creek Park!) After that race, I am very unlikely to have any time as all to run or even go to Cyclebar. Satellite 2018 will pretty much suck up all of my time. But I’ll deal with that next week. For now, I’m mostly sticking with my usual routine with a few edits. I’ll be running with Pacers tonight and doing a fun run with Medstar Sports Medicine on Tuesday (you can still sign up here) followed by sessions on hydration during running, nutrition and other fun topics. Wednesday and Thursday will be cyclebar and then rest day before race day.

Do you have any tips for carving out time to work out when your work schedule is just absolutely nuts (during a big conference in my case…)? Send them my way please 😉 

 

#CUCB2018 Training Update: 40(ish) Days & Counting


So this week was kinda meh. We’re about 40 days away from the Cherry Blossom 10 miler so there’s still plenty of time to prepare but I really wish I felt like I were progressing more at this time. I still struggle through runs, especially on my own. That being said, I mostly stuck to my training plan this week, though I should definitely have tried to squeeze in that fourth run. Here is what my week looked like:

  • Monday: After Sunday’s long run, I simply did not have an 8-9K run in me so I went back to the 3 miles group at Pacers’ and ran 5.1 km. The group went to Churchkey afterwards for beers.
  • Tuesday: Cyclebar
  • Wednesday: the weather was gorgeous! Also I successfully registered for the 17.75K race on March 24th so I celebrated by going for a run outside. In a tank top. In February! I ran 5.2 km then went to Cyclebar NoMa that evening. Valerie’s Wednesday class is called Wine Down Wednesday and we usually have wine afterwards. I biked all the miles then drank all the wine, then went to Wunder Garten and had a beer, then went home and had a can of Supreme Core Ginger Beard Man cider. It was really good… but the point I’m trying to make here is that I had quite a few drinks… more on that later.
  • Thursday: rest day.
  • Friday: working out is definitely more fun with friends so I was stoked that Christina of Just the Bottle, who is also training for the Cherry Blossom 10 mile run, joined me at Cyclebar NoMa for Haley’s Happiest of Hours class. This is my favourite class. I love letting go of all the stress from the week on the bike, then having a glass of wine and relaxing at home. Did I say glass of wine? I meant glasses 😉 Again, more on that later…
  • Saturday: Have you heard of Daybreaker? It’s an early morning dance movement that takes place in 22 cities around the world and features a  yoga class or other fitness experience, followed by a two hour dance party… all before work!  I’d been wanting to try it for a while but struggled to make it work during the week. So when they finally offered a weekend edition of the event I jumped at the opportunity! Also, it had an “under the sea” theme and I really wanted an excuse to wear my mermaid leggings again! I have the coordination of a camel so the Soka Tribe Dance fitness experience wasn’t my favourite but hey, I tried something new and got out of my comfort zone a bit. It was kinda afterwards to just party while drinking kombucha instead of booze but I feel like I was one avocado toast short of peak millennial and I was definitely ready to go after about half an hour of the dance party.
  • Sunday: this week is technically a recovery week so I wasn’t supposed to run more than 6-8 kilometers, however I felt I hadn’t really run enough so I opted to aim for a little more and ran 9 kilometers, just like last week. It rained again which was annoying. It seems to *only* rain on Sunday mornings and I’m over it. On the plus side, if it rains on race day, I will definitely be prepared for it! 

All in all it wasn’t a bad week but I also wouldn’t call it a good week either. I barely ran 20 km and only made it out three times. Overall, I feel like I ate and drank too much and it negatively affected my training and energy level. With that in mind, I’m going to try and be a lot more mindful about what goes into my body this week, sleep more and also increase the number of kilometers I run. Next weekend will be interesting since I have my first race of the year and will be skipping my usual long run training group as a result. Anyone else running the St. Pat’s Day Run on March 4th?

Are you training for the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler? Share your journey and see others on the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler’s Link Up page.

 

I Made a Plan & (Actually) Stuck with It!

You know what feels good? Being back on track with my Cherry Blossom Ten Mile run training and actually feeling like I *am* making some progress. I tried a couple of new things this week, including actually sticking to the training schedule I had set up for myself 😉 I also survived my first Cyclebar/run in one day combo. It wasn’t so bad… until the next day. I ran by myself (the 20 degree spring-like temperatures on Thursday were definitely a motivating factor to get out there!) and I paced myself differently during my long run. All in all, it worked out really well for me so I’m hoping to do more of the same this week. Here’s a little more detail about week 4 of training for the Cherry Blossom race:

  • Monday: I *finally* moved up to the Pacers’ 14th street run club 5 miles group… and it was painful. I know they always say that all paces are welcome in a running group, but if you can’t keep up you’re basically left behind to run by yourself, which is exactly what happened to me. Feels pretty weak. Luckily, my friend Robert stayed behind with me and helped keep me motivated enough to at least complete the run. Let’s hope it goes better this week! 
  • Tuesday: for Mardi Gras, I did both a morning Cyclebar class (merci for the King’s Cake Neesh!) AND a run with Pacers. I downgraded to the 3 miles though, my legs were definitely tired!
  • Wednesday: I love Valerie’s class at Cyclebar NoMa and it was the perfect workout before stuffing myself silly with raclette for Vaslentine’s Day afterwards!
  • Thursday: What a difference a few months make! Given 20 degree temperatures, 3 months ago me would have been all “oooh, perfect weather for rosé on the roof!” but today me couldn’t wait to get out for a run. In a tank top. In February! Even if it was a short one to the mall and back I’m glad I did it. I still struggle to run on my own, outside of the motivating group structure.  But it’ll never get easier if I don’t push myself to do them once in a while.
  • Friday: Rest Day! My legs really needed a break 😉
  • Saturday: I couldn’t resist the Pitbul vs Kanye class at Cyclebar NoMa!
  • Sunday: I know an important component of running is your mental strength and I still have a lot of work to do there… so while I had planned to do my long run with Summit to Soul, I decided, especially after Monday’s run, that I wanted to be surrounded with people at my level. I already don’t feel great physically running 10 to 12 kilometers, I don’t need to feel emotionally defeated on top of it because I’m not as fast or strong as everyone else. I had had a good week so far and I wanted to keep feeling good… So I joined my Potomac River Running Training group. There, I don’t feel like the weakest link. There’s a comfort to training with people at my level. Some are true beginners. Others, like Sarah Beth (read her recap here… she ran the full 10 miles last Sunday!), are more experienced. I’m somewhere in the middle… definitely not a beginner anymore (yeah!) but not quite at the intermediate level yet.  But I don’t feel alone in my struggles with this group. For the second week in a row, I found this smaller group of 5-6 runners that were right around my pace. Some were ahead of me. Some were behind me. And for 11 kilometers, there was something really comforting about that. I tried something a little different as well. Typically, I’m really bad at pacing myself. I’ll try to go too fast for a bit, get tired and have to walk a little then repeat that cycle. This week, I found this girl (I don’t know her name because I’m a terrible person!) who seemed to be really good about pacing herself at 7/km pace (I typically had been running around 6:15-6:50) and decided to follow her. Kinda in a creepy way, like when a car is sticking a little too close to you… but it worked really well for me. I ran the whole 11 kilometers with only maybe one or two stops (including one to take this selfie with the Washington Monument!). I definitely will have to try this again (the pacing, not the creepy following!) 

So it was a really good week for me. I ran close to 30 kilometers… which is almost what I ran in the whole month of January… this is my plan for this week, on pretty new stationary from Target’s dollar bin!

I’ll be focusing on improving/increasing my solo runs and trying Daybreaker for the first time (dancing counts as cross training right?) I’ll let you know how it goes! And since I mentioned Summit to Soul in my post…did you catch its fabulous owner Kim talk sustainable athleisure wear on WUSA 9’s Great Day Washington? Here’s a link if you missed it. And of course, here’s the link to all the other Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run training posts! 

 

 

“If It Rains, We Will Get Wet” Part Deux

So we definitely got wet this week! The weather (cold, rainy, dreary) was kind of a metaphor for my training this week. It all started when I decided to help with a screening of Oscar-nominated “A Fantastic Woman” instead of joining Pacers for my typical Monday night run. The film was great and I highly recommend it, but by not sticking with my usual routine like that on day one I set a messy tone for the rest of the week and never quite recovered. So here is what my training plan was supposed to look like, and what I ended up doing:

  • Monday: this was supposed to be the day I moved up to the 5 miles group at Pacers… but I went to the movies instead. I did go to Cyclebar in the morning at least…
  • Tuesday: I meant to do that five mile run in the morning, but decided my bed was just way too comfortable and warm. Second run fail! I did meet up with my friend Alison for Healthy Hour after work. Alison works in the wine industry (she launched D.C. Champagne Week last year actually!) and always seems to be on a mini-cleanse when I try to plan get-togethers so I was happy to be suggest an activity that didn’t revolve around drinking for once. Instead, we practiced yoga at a special session organized by Flow Yoga and the National Cathedral. The setting was absolutely gorgeous, though we were kinda packed in like sardines… I’ve been finding it hard to keep both an active social AND run four times a week so it was great to be able to combine a workout with catching up with a friend… I definitely need to find more ways to do that.
  • Wednesday: I *had* to do that 5 miles run… but it was *so* gross outside… and my couch looked so comfy and inviting, all I wanted to do was curl up next to my cat with a good book and a glass of wine. I did muster just enough motivation to painfully run 6 kilometers on the treadmill but I was not pleased with myself.
  • Thursday: I was determined to run those five miles, at the very least on the treadmill at work. I didn’t. But I did see I, Tonya which totally put me in the mood for the Olympics!
  • Friday: I normally would have attended Haley’s Happiest of Hours class at 6PM at Cyclebar BUT I had a catering tasting for work in the afternoon (exercising isn’t ideal after tasting all the food and sampling all the wines) AND it was Angie’s last class that I could make it to at 7AM so I went to Cyclebar in the morning, which means, again, no run. 
  • Saturday: I took Valerie’s class at Cyclebar and then treated myself to coffee at newly opened Pluma by Bluebird Bakery. Such a cute spot (those tiles!) I’ll have to go back soon and try some of their pastries and food offerings. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that they are serving beer from Brasserie de la Pigeonelle, from the Touraine region of France. Other than that, it rained the rest of the day. I did not run.
  • Sunday: I ran about 8.4K in the rain with my Cherry Blossom 10 Miler Potomac River Running Training Programs group. It sucked, and had I been better during the week, I may have been tempted to skip it. But I didn’t. And other than being cold, wet and miserable, it was actually a good run.My Strava died at 3.6 kilometers so I’m basing my pace (7:09/kilometer) and distance on the rest of the group. I stuck with a handful of other runners, walked less than in previous long runs and I *finally* did those 5 miles that had eluded me all week. So while it’s hard for me to be pleased with myself all around (total kilometers ran: 14.4 km, instead of the almost 30 I was trying to do)  I did at least end on a good note! 

So looking forward, because there’s no point in looking backwards and dwelling over a bad week, here is what I planned out: Tuesday (AM), Wednesday and Friday I’ll be doing classes at Cyclebar NoMa, I’ll run with Pacers Monday and Tuesday (Tuesday is Mardi Gras AND February’s Shake Shack Run Night — coincidence? Yes, but a pretty good one right!?! Also, not a coincidence that I’m doing both cyclebar and a run… Neesh said she’s bringing Kings’ Cake to class so I’ll definitely need the double dose of exercise lol). I’m planning on running 5 miles Monday and just 3 miles Tuesday. Sunday, I might skip my usual training long run to join Summit to Soul’s Hillrunners for their Rock ‘N Roll DC 1/2 Marathon Training Run. They’re planning on running 6 miles and I need to run around 10 kilometers so it should work out. I still haven’t made it to a track, so Thursday might be track day… or rest day… I might play my Thursday/Saturday by ear, maybe try and do yoga Saturday… I’m not sure yet. But I’m determined to get my runs and have a better week than last week. What’s on your training agenda for the week? Off anywhere fun for the long weekend? I’ll be here. Running. Or Cyclebar-ing. Or both 😉 

Training for the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run on April 9th? Link up with us!!