A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekly Workout Wround Up

February 21st - February 27th

Don't forget tomorrow (Tuesday) is the last day to enter the giveaway for custom made energy bars!

Feb 21

Monday night's CrossFit consisted of another "as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes" workouts.

We started out by finding the right combination of gear with which to do band assisted pull ups. Then it was on to the workout:

3 assisted pull ups
6 push ups
9 overhead squats (with a PVC pipe)

I think I finished 8 full rounds in the allotted 10 minutes. But my real excitement comes from the fact that I did at least 1 real push up per round! Sometimes I managed 2!

Feb 22

I was actually looking forward to doing a tempo run on the treadmill at the gym on Tuesday, but the doctor told me no.

So instead I rode my bike on the trainer for an hour when I got home from work. Sadly, the bike just doesn't do it for me yet. It's difficult while I'm on it but when I get off I don't feel the same endorphin rush or have the same "I just did something awesome" feeling. Does that change?

Feb 23

Wednesday night's CrossFit workout was a little less intense than usual, possibly because due to making up for the day it was canceled because of the blizzard this was the start of 3 days in a row. So instead of our usual warm-up we just did as many assisted pull ups as we wanted (I did 12 with less assistance than on Monday) and our shoulder mobility exercises.

Then we learned our moves: kettlebell swings, kettlebell goblet squats, and ring rows (which we'd done before).

The workout consisted of three rounds. The first round was 20 of each move, the next round was 15, and the final round was 10. I finished all three rounds in just under 5 minutes.

Feb 24

Bonus CrossFit night! This was our night to make up our blizzard workout. We were told it was going to be a fun night. Turns out it was mostly fun for our trainer. This was an intense workout!

We divided up into two teams of four and each person started on a different exercise: 200 meter row, kettlebell swings, wall balls, or cleans. When the first person on the team was done doing the 200 meter row, we rotated exercises until all of us had rowed 3 times. No set number of reps, just as many as you could do while the rowing person was rowing. We were supposed to count our total reps. I think I did 169 (lack of oxygen leads to some creative counting) and our team finished all three rounds in 14:47.

Feb 25

Last CrossFit night. As promised, we went back to the workout we did on the very first night. 500 meter row, 40 squats, 30 sit-ups, 20 push-ups, and 10 jumping pull-ups. The first night I finished in 7:22. This night I finished in 6:02 and even did 3 real push-ups. One of the woman in our group knocked almost 5 minutes off her time from the first night. If that's not a testament to CrossFit I don't know what is.

I'm going to miss our crew. Even if I decide to continue with CrossFit (which I haven't decided yet) there's no guarantee I'll see anyone from this group again. And they were a great group.

Feb 26

Saturday's workout consisted of an hour of yoga and a 5K treadmill run just to shake off the rust from a week off.

Feb 27

Frosty Footrace 5K! Just like last year, a PR and a medal followed by a lovely afternoon with friends. No wonder I like this race.

Total mileage: 6.2
Total strength workouts: 4

For a week that started out with me not knowing if I'd be able to run I think it turned out pretty well. Yes, I still have some leg pain but it's manageable and now I have a game plan which makes me feel much better.

And what about those "after" photos I promised when I started CrossFit? Well, I don't know if you can actually tell a difference in the photos (other than those are possibly the most unflattering shorts ever) but I know I can tell a difference when I flex as well as just in my strength in general.


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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Frosty Footrace 5K Race Report

I think the pictures tell the story of this year's Frosty Footrace 5K quite well. Big thanks to both Kim's and my husbands for playing the role of the paparazzi.

Finishing our warm up

Just before the start

Struggling hard just past the mile 2 marker

This hill SUCKS!!!!

Oh my god, the clock says 24 something!

I did it!
Click the photo to see larger

We finished!!

And look what I get!

First (Kim) and Third (me) in our age groups

My bronze medal

My splits were awful and I really struggled during the third mile (when the hills start) but Kim told me over and over again that I had this race. That I was strong. That I was capable. I'm so thankful for her encouragement. I'm also not ashamed to say that I grunted with every step during the sprint to the finish line. Those things got me my new 5K PR of 24:54 and third place in my age group.

I have several other 5Ks lined up for the year and I'm while I'm pretty sure my times will just keep getting better, I'm also pretty sure that this will be the only medal I get. Which is why I love the Frosty Footrace. Running a race with my best friend and I have a chance to win a medal? What more could I ask for?

Untitled by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The 5(K)'s Have It

Even though the doctor told me I can run, I knew it probably wasn't a good idea to go for my usual Saturday morning long run. So instead I slept in a bit and then went to the gym for the Saturday morning yoga class. Second time around and I still enjoyed it!

After an hour of stretching and posing I decided to jump on a treadmill for a short Saturday run. Just a 5K. Easy 10 minute/mile warm-up, increasing the speed every .10 miles for the next mile, and then slowing back down for the last 1.1. Nothing major. I didn't want to wear myself out. And why not?

Because now that I have the green light to run I'm running the Frosty Footrace 5K with Kim on Sunday! Okay, I'll be honest, I probably would have run it no matter what the doctor said, but now I can do it and not feel guilty.

Kim and I ran this race last year and both placed in our age groups. I'd love to have that happen again but I don't know if I'm in the right shape to repeat my performance. I'm still going to try but I won't be too upset if I don't.

So check back tomorrow afternoon for my race report!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Stress Free

MRI news?

Well, if you haven't figured it out yet, I do not have a stress fracture or a stress reaction. I do technically have a "stress response" but that boils down to an inflamation of the soft tissue next to the bone. My muscle and my periosteum alongside my left tibia are slightly inflamed. Which means I have "Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome". Also known as shin splints.

Yes, all of that for shin splints.

Can someone please explain to me how someone who has been running for almost 4 years gets shin splints? Well, maybe it's partly due to trying to change my gait while doing intervals. But, really, shin splints?

Although I'd much rather have shin splints than a stress reaction or a stress fracture. Because shin splints mean I can RUN!

The doctor told me I need to essentially manage my pain. No runs longer than 5 miles for now. Stop if I feel pain. See a physical therapist twice a week for 4-6 weeks (appointments have already been made) to strengthen my hips, glutes, adductors and abductors. Okay, I can handle that.

My sub-2 hour half marathon might have to wait until fall, but I'm okay with that too. Because I can still run. And that makes me happy.

P.S. You know what also makes me happy? People entering my Element Bar Giveaway! Actually, that should make you happy too.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

MRI Don't Know

Not being a doctor or a radiologist, I can't read these MRI pictures to save my life.

So I'll keep you updated after I see the doctor tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Stressed Out

I finally decided to go see someone about my shin since although it's been fine (mostly) while running it still occasionally aches. To be honest, it hurt so bad when I woke up Sunday morning I worried I'd done some major damage.

So I got a recommendation for a good sports medicine doctor who is covered by my insurance and went to see her on Tuesday morning.

After some poking and prodding she found one spot that concerned her.

"You might have a stress reaction," she said.

Apparently this is the precursor to a stress fracture. Turns out my adductors (inner thigh) muscles are really weak and causing me too put too much stress on my calves when I run. Which therefore put too much stress on where my calves connect to my shins.

The bad signs are the tenderness in one specific area. The good signs are that it doesn't hurt to hop up and down, to stand on my tip toes, or while walking or running. I guess I'm kind of an enigma.

For now, though, I'm to take another week off running (boo!) and get an MRI (this afternoon), and see her again on Friday morning to discuss the results.

If I have to take the entire month of March off, so be it. I have a bike trainer, access to a pool, and a gym membership. I'd miss a half marathon and I will certainly shed tears, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. I'll still be able to run in April and although I may not make all the goals I want this year I'll live to run another day.


P.S. Don't forget my giveaway for custom made energy bars. Comments make me happy!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In My Element - Giveaway!!

You may remember when I posted about EarndIt, the site that gives you rewards points based on your workouts using Garmin Connect, Nike+, and a variety of other sources.

Well, I quickly earned enough points to trade them in for some Element Bars. My points got me a BOGO offer on a box of bars.

The neat thing about Element Bars is that while you can easily purchase a variety pack of bars they've created, you can also create your own!

Not only do you get to choose your base bar and all your additional ingredients, you also get to name your bar. As you add ingredients, Element shows you the calories and nutritional breakdown and will warn you if you've added ingredients they don't recommend as compatible.

What went into my creation? I chose the "Endurance" line and started with the Nutty Chew base. Then I added some additional whey protein, brown rice syrup, pumpkin spice, pumpkin seeds, and some glucosamine chondroitin. I call it "Pumpkin Power". Jason didn't care for it but I think it's quite yummy.

For my free box I chose a variety pack that consists of Cranberry Crunch, Cherry Charge, Blueberry Repair, and Bananas A Whey. Jason LOVES the Cherry Charge. In fact, when I told him I was going to do a giveaway he was a little sad that he wouldn't get to eat all 5 Cherry Charges himself.

So, just what is this giveaway? If you win, you will get:

  • 1 each of the Pumpkin Power, Cranberry Crunch, Cherry Charge, Blueberry Repair and Bananas A Whey

  • A certificate from Element Bars for one FREE box of 12 custom bars

    How do you enter?

    1. Go to Element Bars
    2. Leave me a comment telling me what you would put in your custom bar

    It's that simple!

    The winner will be chosen at random on March 1st.

    And, even if you don't win the bars, anyone who comments with their ingredient choices will get a discount coupon that they can use to order their creation!

    You can also use this link to order a variety pack for 20% off and FREE shipping.

    So, tell me, what energy bar would put you in your element?

    Note: I'm doing this giveaway because I really liked the Element Bars I purchased with my own money. Element Bars did not pay me or bribe me or cajole me in any way.
  • Monday, February 21, 2011

    Weekly Workout Wround Up

    February 14th - February 20th

    Feb 14

    Happy Valentine's Day! What better way to celebrate than with a workout that leaves you grunting, panting, and sweating?

    Get your minds out of the gutter.

    Monday night's CrossFit workout consisted of

    7 wall balls (with a 14 pound ball)
    7 push ups
    7 sit ups

    Times 7.

    Yes, we did all of that 7 times. For time, too, by the way. And my final time even started with a 7! 7:44 to be exact.

    Plus, of course, our warm up consisting of 100 jumping jacks, deadlifts, cleans, presses, and push presses (with the 45 pound barbell).

    I love that we all cheer for one another. It's so encouraging (and fun!) to clap and shout for your classmates.

    Feb 15

    3.5 miles on the treadmill cut short by intestinal distress as opposed to shin distress. That's.....good?

    Feb 16

    Wednesday night's CrossFit workout was possibly my most favorite one yet. Not only did I rock the socks off of it but, well, it played to all my strengths!

    As usual, we started out with our warm up. 300 meters of rowing, arm circles, leg swinging, and practicing our cleans and presses. And, yes, I can press a 45 pound bar over my head. Not very many times, but I can.

    The full on work out consisted of the following:

    400 meter row
    15 lunges
    15 ring rows
    15 thrusters (I did mine with a 35 pound barbell)
    15 sit ups
    400 meter RUN

    Oh yeah, baby. On the first night of class our trainer asked us why were there. When it was my turn I said, "I'm a distance runner but it's winter and it's horrible outside. I wanted to try something different."

    So on Wednesday when the trainer said we'd be running everyone's eyes turned to me. And because I'm pretty strong at all of the things that comprised this workout, I did it in 6:56. I probably could have done it faster, too. Can I do this one again and see how much time I can shave off??

    Feb 17

    5.8 miles with some super speedy intervals.

    Feb 18

    Friday night's CrossFit workout was short but not so sweet. In fact, my left wrist is still trying to recover from my inability to correctly execute a kettlebell (kb) clean.

    After doing our warm up (400 meter run, shoulder mobility exercises, and barbell deadlift, clean, press, push press, and push jerk practice) we practiced the kettlebell clean which almost brought me to tears. It's a lot hard than it looks and my body just didn't want to be that coordinated. Still, I persevered and did the following workout:

    10 kb cleans
    10 Squats
    9 kb cleans
    9 squats
    8 kb cleans
    8 squats
    And on down the line until you do 1 kb clean and 1 squat. A total of 55 squats and 55 kb cleans (split between each arm).

    I finished first (in just under 5 minutes) but maybe if I'd taken more time with the kb cleans my arm would thank me.

    Feb 19

    Longest run since the marathon! I did just over 13 miles. Hard to believe that this time last year I was struggling to do 13 miles at a 10 minute pace and now I easily did it faster than that.

    But you know how some runs leave you feeling refreshed and others wipe you out for the rest of the day? This was one of the latter. The run was great but I spent the rest of the day hobbling around my house with various lower limb aches and pains. Boo.

    Feb 20

    I got my grocery store errands done earlier than usual and with no other plans for the day I hopped on my bike trainer for an episode of Bones. I probably pedal for between 30 and 40 minutes. My legs felt pretty shredded after Saturday's long run so I took it easy. I guess I don't need a bike thong quite yet.

    Total mileage: 23
    Total strength workouts: 3

    Saturday, February 19, 2011


    For this week's long run I had two options:

    1. Go to an area arboretum with some people from my running group but run on my own


    2. See if I could convince anyone from the usual Saturday morning crew to join me for an 2 miles in addition to our usual route.

    Or if all else failed, run the first few miles of the Saturday run with the group but run the last half on my own.

    In the end, I went with Option 2. As much as I want to run at "the Arb" (I hear it's beautiful...and hilly) I decided to stay close to home in case my shin started acting up during the run and I needed to call for a ride.

    And, thankfully, I convinced several other people (shout-outs to Laura, Jen, Bruce, and Phil!) to go the extra two miles with me. Yay! And my shin didn't hurt at all while running. Double yay!

    My training plan had me doing 13 miles at a 9:30 pace. I definitely did at least 13 miles but since my Garmin died at mile 12 because I stupidly forgot to charge it I only have my times for that portion. At least it lasted as long as it did! Anyway, for those 12 miles I did a 9:46 pace. We definitely slowed down around mile 10. Regardless, I think that's pretty good for taking a week off!

    In general, the run felt great. When I first started my legs felt like lead (thank you, 55 squats I did on Friday night) but after the first few miles it was a breeze. I had some difficulty deciding what to wear (27oF, breezy and sunny) and thought I would be too hot in my tights, short sleeved top, long sleeved top and jacket but ended up being just fine. 13 miles is definitely fuel-belt territory so I took some water and some Honey Stinger Energy Chews (eaten between miles 6 and 8) and I think that made a huge difference.

    There were lots of runners out today. Not only from our club but just in general. I suppose it is getting to be that time of year. Spring is tantalizing us and almost all the snow from our blizzard has melted. As long as my shin continues to behave on runs I'm looking forward to more running in this spring-like weather for as long as it lasts.

    P.S. In case you didn't notice, I installed a new commenting system that should make it easier for you to leave comments. Try it out!

    Really 13 by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details

    Thursday, February 17, 2011

    In a Blur


    Last night I returned to our group interval workouts. The shin felt pretty good, all things considered. In fact, the only thing that made it really hurt were the high knee drills we did. So I skipped those.

    Our workout was a change up from our usual stuff and something I've never tried before. Nx1:00 minute at FAST.

    What the heck does that mean?

    Essentially, we were to run fast, but not all out, for 1:00 and then jog back to our starting point and do it again. Do that as many times as you feel comfortable, but not more than 12. At least for the first time doing them.

    And what is fast exactly? Well, there was some discussion about that. It kind of depends. Apparently fast can be anything from your dream 5K pace to your 10K pace depending on your race goals.

    I decided to run mine at my goal 5K pace. I figured I want to break 25 minutes so why not aim for a 7:50 pace?

    Except, you know, it's dark and you can't really see your Garmin and they're not always that accurate for such a short distance anyway.

    So, I just ran hard. Some of the intervals felt easy and some felt more difficult. Could I have sustained some of those paces for an entire 5K race? I have no idea. I think so much of my running road blocks are mental and I'm notoriously bad at being able to "feel" what pace I'm running.

    Which may be why my paces were a teensy bit faster than I had planned.

    1st 1:00 - 7:03 pace
    2nd 1:00 - 7:06 pace
    3rd 1:00 - 7:01 pace
    4th 1:00 - 7:15 pace
    5th 1:00 - 7:30 pace
    6th 1:00 - 7:13 pace
    7th 1:00 - 6:50 pace
    8th 1:00 - 6:15 pace
    9th 1:00 - 6:34 pace
    10th 1:00 - 6:38 pace

    Plus warm-up and cooldown

    Total mileage: 5.8

    Uh, yeah.

    But, like I said, some of those felt pretty easy. Which amazes me. Only a few of the last ones felt rough at the end of the minute and I could definitely feel the burn in my quads toward the end of those.

    My shin felt fine afterward and when I woke up this morning but then I had to run to catch the train and now it's bothering me again. I also seem to be developing a touch of plantar fasciitis on that same leg. Sigh. Can I just get a new left leg, please?

    Regardless, it was a good, fun workout and I'm glad I was able to go. Not sure I did exactly what we were supposed to do pace-wise but I bet I'll get that figured out soon.

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    Treadmill Trotting

    After over a week off from running while resting my shin I decided to give running a try last night.

    My shin and, actually, my left leg in general still felt "off" but there were no sharp pains and mostly it just felt like things needed to get stretched out.

    So I went to the gym and, thankfully, managed to snag a treadmill. Man, it was busy in there last night! I think at one point every single treadmill had someone on it and my gym has A LOT of treadmills.

    I walked for about 5 minutes just to get warmed up and then decided to go for the 3-4 miles I had on my schedule.

    I also decided that if everything felt okay I'd try for a short tempo run.

    For the most part my leg felt okay. A few twinges now and then and most of them were in my calf. In fact, I think the problem might be a tight calf and a tight Achilles. No sharp pains, no buckling feeling. Good signs, right?

    I ended up doing 1 mile where I increased the speed every quarter mile from 10 minute/mile to just under 9:00 minute miles. Then I ran 2 miles with speed at 8:57 and short stint at 8:34. My plan had been to finish up with a full mile where I decreased the speed back to 10:00 but my stomach had other ideas.

    At about the 5K mark I had to pause and try to get my intestines to stop doing some kind of crazy dance. I made it until the 3.5 mile mark before I couldn't stand it anymore and had to rush off to the facilities. Let's just say I felt pretty drained afterward.

    Guess that will teach me to scarf a new-to-me protein bar shortly before running.

    I thought about going back to the treadmill and finishing up that last half mile but, in the end, decided I'd done enough and went home. Where I stretched and foam rolled and iced.

    After the run my shin felt okay but for some reason the outside of my left foot ached like crazy. Was I favoring my left leg and landing funny while running? I don't know. All I know is that I iced it before bed and it feels okay today.

    I also took advantage of being on the treadmill and figured out my cadence. Apparently I run between 170 and 176 steps per minute (a cadence of between 85 and 88), assuming my oxygen starved brain was counting correctly. A quick google search shows me I'm at the lower end of ideal. At least when running on the treadmill. Maybe something I'm learning while doing those intervals on Thursday is actually working?

    As for the leg, I'm going to step up my stretching, foam rolling, and icing so that I stay on top of whatever is going on. I think if I can do that I'll be okay.

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    Weekly Workout Wround Up

    February 7th - February 13th

    I tried to baby my shin as much as possible this week which meant no running. It's sad to see a "0" for my total mileage but you gotta do what you gotta do.

    Feb 7

    Back to bootcamp!

    We warmed up with some stretches, squats, push ups, and sit-ups. Our trainer promised me that I'll get to 10 "real" push-ups faster than I got to 26.2 miles. I'm going to hold you to that, Major!

    Then it was onto the workout. We rowed 200 meters and then did 10 thrusters. Times three. Don't get too excited, though. We did all our barbell moves with a piece of PVC pipe.

    Feb 8

    Tuesday was our rescheduled running club meeting. I co-hosted a presentation on our local race circuit and helped emcee the discussion of our individual goals for the year. I also did a presentation during the day for my professional organization so there was no chance to get in a lunch time workout. So, rest day for me.

    Feb 9

    Another bootcamp that started with a warm up of jumping jacks, arm circles, squats, push ups and sit ups. I managed one non-modified push up. But one is better than none.

    Our workout consisted of a round of 5 deadlifts, 10 ring rows and 15 lunges. Repeat as many times as you can in 10 minutes. I made it through 6 and 2/3 rounds (only made it to lunges in the 7th round) and did my deadlifts with the 45 pound barbell. Great workout that left me feeling totally energized.

    Also, I should note that my shin felt fine during the entire workout but started aching when I got home. I foam rolled and iced it before bed.

    Feb 10

    Jason's new bike trainer arrived on our doorstep on Thursday evening and I had it all set up and ready to go for him when he got home from class. So, with one bike trainer on either end of the couch, we rode "together" for the entire length of an episode of Dollhouse (about 45 minutes). It was definitely a little easier this second time but I still had to take a few short (less than 1 minute) breaks.

    Post-ride shin update? Still achy but it didn't bother me while riding so that's something at least.

    Feb 11

    I actually remembered my bootcamp class was at 6PM so I showed up on time and we warmed up (no real push ups for me today. Sad face.) and then practiced cleans before doing our workout.

    Friday's workout?

    300 meter row
    5 knee to elbows
    10 push presses with the 35 pound barbell

    Do that 3 times and you're good to go.

    The knee to elbow move reminded some of us of when we were kids and used to play on the jungle gym on the playground. Remember hanging from your arms and then swinging your legs up and through your arms so you could flip off the bar backward? Remember swinging your legs up and hooking them over the bar and then letting go with your hands so you were hanging by your knees? Why don't we do that as adults? If we didn't forget how to play like that we'd probably be better at some of this stuff.

    Shin Update Day 5: Feeling pretty good. No aches unless I press on certain areas. Still icing before bed.

    Feb 12

    Since I'm still resting my leg there was no early morning group run for me :-( Instead, I slept in and then went to the gym for a Vinyasa yoga class. I'm still not totally clear on what all the different styles of yoga are and I'd never taken this particular class so I had no idea what to expect. And if you've been reading this blog for awhile you'll know I'm not a HUGE fan of touchy-feely hippie yoga.

    This class though? It was great! Lots of stretching which felt good and it left me feeling a little bit tired so I know I was working hard. I think I might start going more often, especially if I can get there after running long in the morning.

    Shin Update Day 6: No longer hurts to the touch (yay!!) but still twinges every now and then.

    Feb 13

    Ended up not having a chance to work out today. I had been planning on getting on my bike trainer in the early evening but errands and prepping food and making dinner sucked up the rest of the night. Earlier in the day I spent a good three hours on my feet, though, walking around the Chicago Auto Show.

    Shin Update Day 7: Not as good as I had hoped. Still achy in certain spots. A week off doesn't seem to have made a huge difference. A little bit of one, but not the full-blown 100% better that I wanted. So, I'm going to wait until Tuesday and try an easy run on the treadmill at the gym.

    Total mileage: 0
    Total strength workouts: 3

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Technical Difficulties

    I just wanted to let everyone know that I have not fallen off the face of the planet if I don't post until next week. Instead, I think I'm taking a break from running for the next few days. My left shin is acting funny and I'd rather rest now than push through and risk being injured when my race schedule starts up in earnest in a few months.

    That being said, I'll still be doing my bootcamp and using my indoor bike trainer as well as stretching and foam rolling. Which means my Weekly Workout Wround Up posts won't just read "Rest Day. Rest Day. Rest Day."

    My shin has felt this way before but normally a good dose of stretching and a good night's sleep fix it right up. The ache is lingering a little longer this time, though, so I'm not sure what's up. I'm sure it will be fine, though. Apparently it could just use a few more rest days.

    I'm bummed that I'm missing my interval workouts on Thursday and my long run on Saturday but I'm forcing myself to stay in. The downside of running with a group? Being bummed that you missed hanging out with them when you have to miss a run!

    So stay tuned for my next weekly summary post so you can see what I've been up to in lieu of running.

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    Weekly Workout Wround Up

    January 31st - February 6th

    Jan 31

    Monday night was my first at at Bulldog CrossFit bootcamp. I didn't break a sweat but, let me tell you, my arms felt like Jello for the rest of the night.

    Here's the deal. We started around 7PM. The first 45 minutes were spent going over the workout, having all 12 of us try each move, and getting our "stations" set up. Then we started the workout in waves since we had to use the rowing machines and we only had 4. So, in order, we did:

    Row for 500 meters
    40 squats
    30 sit ups
    20 push ups
    10 "jumping" pull-ups

    The key was to finish as fast as you could. My final time? 7:22

    I think we'll be doing this same workout at the end of the 4 week session to see how far we've come. Hopefully by that time I can do the push ups without modifications.

    So, in short, 45 minutes of instructions and less than 10 minutes of working out as hard as I could.

    Feb 1

    The weather people predicted it. I didn't really believe them. But I was wrong and they were right and record making blizzard hit us starting around 1:45 PM.

    Needless to say, my running group meeting was canceled and I got out of work early. But, the FedEx man was out braving the weather and bringing me my (early) Valentine's Day present from my husband!

    An indoor bike trainer! The timing couldn't have been more perfect. So while the wind blew so hard it shook the house and the almost 20 inches of snow piled up outside I rode for approximately 40 minutes. I also realized just how much I slack off when I ride outside. I had to take a few breaks during that 40 minutes. Strangely, I hardly broke a sweat but it still felt really difficult.

    And, come to find out, my parents bought Jason his own indoor bike trainer for his birthday so when it gets here in a few days we can ride together! Inside! I'm looking forward to it.

    Feb 2

    Snow Day! Work was closed and we weren't going anywhere. Almost everything in the area was closed but we decided to dig ourselves out of the house anyway.


    Well, and play a little bit, too.

    My bootcamp class was canceled for the night (gee, can you guess why?) so instead I counted the shoveling as cardio and did a NROLW workout.

    2 sets of 12 Squats
    2 sets of 12 45o Push ups
    2 sets of 12 Bent Over Row
    2 sets of 12 Step Ups
    2 sets of 10 Prone Jackknifes

    Afterward I perfected my homemade version of the peanut butter-chocolate protein shake I get at the gym. Yum! This thing is dangerous.

    Feb 3

    Intervals! Outside! For a total of 6.14 miles. Thank goodness for lights and layers.

    Feb 4

    Guess who was a total idiot and forgot her Friday night bootcamp class started at 6PM instead of 7PM and walked in as the group was finishing up? Yeah, that's me. Oops. Unintentional rest day!

    Feb 5

    Thankfully the bootcamp trainer was nice enough to let me make up Friday night's session on Saturday morning. Hence, return of the Jello arms! We did a lot of push-ups. I'm bad at push-ups. Fingers crossed I get better.

    30 jumping jacks
    15 medicine ball deadlifts
    15 push presses
    15 push ups
    12 reps of deadlifts, push presses and push ups
    9 reps of deadlifts, push presses, and push ups
    30 more jumping jacks

    After that I ate a small second breakfast and then went out for my 10 mile run. I'm much better at running 10 miles than I am at push-ups. For now, anyway.

    Feb 6

    Originally I didn't have any workout plans for Sunday (maybe ride my bike trainer?) but when I found out I had the opportunity to run with Kim I jumped at the chance. Literally :-) 5 miles and a yoga workout? Don't mind if I do.

    Total mileage: 21.2
    Total strength workouts: 3

    I tried some new things this week, figured out some of my strengths and weaknesses, and, thanks to Kim, broke 20 miles for the week. I survived the blizzard of 2011 and had fun doing it. For now, at least, I'm not minding this whole winter thing.

    Sunday, February 6, 2011

    A Little Help From My Friend

    Don't you love it when you can run with friends? I do! And today I got to run with my best friend Kim!

    Our husbands spent the day together working on cars so of course I tagged along so I could hang out with Kim. We started our day with a 5 mile run through her neighborhood. Little did we know it was supposed to snow (again!). Thank goodness for YakTrax. Together we tackled the loose, fluffy snow and the hills. Yes, her neighborhood has hills. I admit, I am not used to hills combined with snow and some of the humbled me.

    My legs were pretty sore after my Saturday of strength training, running 10 miles, and getting the crap massaged out of me, but running with Kim made those 5 miles fly by. I think we kept up a pretty good pace as well considering the terrain. We averaged 10:22.

    Kim and I haven't had a chance to run together for awhile so I admit I was really looking forward to our run. Plus it helped me get in three runs this week when I originally thought I'd stop at two. See, friends really do help!

    Afterward we did a yoga DVD to help us stretch out. And then we negated all caloric effects of our workout by eating Chipotle burritos. Mmmmm, burritos.

    It was a great way to spend a Sunday. Working out, eating, and chatting? Perfection if you ask me.

    Running with Kim by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details

    Saturday, February 5, 2011

    On My Own....

    This is not me. My jacket is teal. And we have a lot more snow.

    Due to a mix-up on my part, I had to do Saturday morning's run by myself. AFTER doing my CrossFit bootcamp workout. I took a break at home between the two and a part of me really didn't want to go running.

    But, I sucked it up and went out there to tackle the snow mounds, slushy streets, and lane-and-a-half roads. I had 10-11 miles @ 9:30-10:00 minute pace on my training schedule and by golly I wanted them done.

    Interestingly, I felt pretty good considering I'd just done a strength training workout. In fact, I think my muscles were nice and warmed up. I thought about what our speedwork leader told me on Thursday and tried to keep my cadence up, especially when I got tired. The first few miles went by quickly but having to stop for traffic, dodge cars, climb snow piles, or run in the slushy snow in the street started to take their toll. It's hard to zone out when you're constantly on alert for cars.

    I was also quite overdressed. Almost everything I had on was SOAKED when I got home. I guess a short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt, and a jacket is too much when it's above 20oF and sunny. Yuck.

    Still, I made my goal! 10 miles at a 9:41 pace. Just about perfect.

    And all that running earned me 60 points at Earndit. What's Earndit? It's a website that interfaces with several online workout tracking tools to give you points for your workouts. You can then trade in the points for various things. When you upload your workouts to Garmin Connect, Nike+ or several other websites Earndit automatically gets notified and assigns you points.

    Granted, the rewards you can trade the points in for aren't all that great but, hey, why not?

    Also, after my run I treated myself to a deep tissue massage at my gym. They sent me a $25 off coupon for my birthday that I needed to use by February 12th so off I went. The massage therapist marveled at how tight my legs are and did quite a number on my sore left leg. It still hurts but I'm hoping that he broke up some tissue and it will get better faster. And let me tell you, if you've only ever had a relaxation massage, a deep tissue massage is NOTHING like that. But I like it that way :-)

    Neighborhood 10 by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details

    Thursday, February 3, 2011

    Thursday Night Light

    Have I ever talked about my hat light? I can't remember. Either way, that's it up there. Isn't it cute? I get a lot of compliments on it. It's been coming in pretty handy on Thursday nights when we do our intervals. The streets we run on don't really have street lights and last night there were still some snowy areas.

    Yes, I ran outside Thursday night. After the blizzard. In the single digit temperatures. Believe it or not, it wasn't half bad.

    Only three of us were able to brave the elements for various reasons so I ran by myself for much of the time. We warmed up together and then I was on my own for the first 3 intervals. The plans? 4x5:00 minutes at 5K pace w/3:00 minute rest intervals.

    My goal according to our leader? Work on my cadence. Move my feet faster without necessarily working harder. By the way, this is just as difficult as it sounds. Still I ended up with the following times:
    Warm Up - 2 miles @ 10:03 pace
    1st 5 minutes - 8:00 pace
    3:00 recovery jog
    2nd 5 minutes - 8:09 pace
    3:00 recovery jog
    3rd 5 minutes - 8:26 pace
    3:00 recovery jog
    4th 5 minutes - 8:04 pace
    3:00 recovery jog
    Cool Down - .5 miles @ 10:09 pace

    Total mileage: 6.14

    A HUGE thanks to our leader who hung back with me during that 4th interval. She pushed me hard, gave me encouragement, and basically made it so that I almost matched my last interval to my first one. Otherwise, as you can see, the trend was to slow down.

    Also, in case you're curious, this is what you wear when it's single digits outside with a possible windchill of below zero -
    2 pairs of socks
    1 pair of capris
    1 pair of tights
    1 pair of windpants
    1 tank top
    2 long sleeved tops
    1 jacket
    1 neck gaiter
    1 pair of mittens
    1 fleece ear band

    Winter running sure does equal a lot of laundry. Thankfully the adrenaline rush is worth it.

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    The White Stuff

    In case you didn't hear, Chicago got hammered with snow on Tuesday night. But don't worry, I'm home safe and sound and was not crazy enough to attempt running during a blizzard.

    However, I do have some fun things to talk about in my Weekly Workout Wround Up post next week. But, until then, here's a glimpse into how I spent my Wednesday:

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    January Wrap Up

    I feel like I just did my wrap up for December and here I am doing one for January. That's okay by me, though, because that just means it's one more month of winter gone.

    And I'm really getting tired of winter.

    Still, I managed an impressive 82.7 miles of running for the month of January! I had to add it up several times just to make sure I wasn't crazy. That's 30 more miles than I ran in December.

    Those miles include a 5 mile race, speedwork done in the dark, and running on ice.

    I also managed 7 strength training sessions. Not as many as I would have liked but not too far off my goal. I figure that in order to hit my 100 strength training sessions by the end of the year I need to do either 8 or 9 a month. I'm sure I'll make up for it, though.

    I suspect February's mileage will be a little less as I struggle to fit in running around my bootcamp class, the snowmaggedon that is predicted to hit us this first week, and a nagging ache in my upper left leg. Dear leg, get your act together. I have a LONG list of races I'm signed up for.

    And with that, I'm off to tackle February.