Let the 5K Training Fun Begin!

Yesterday I headed out for my run a little later than usual.

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The moon was high and beautiful, but it was soooooooooooo HUMID out. I think I had steam rising from the top of my head by the end!

As many of you know, I am now officially in training to get a new 5K PR! With the weather already being so hot I’m kind of nervous, but I’m ready to give it all I’ve got!

Last night was just three easy miles, but at the end of the run my coach had me go through this set of post-run power exercises (includes videos of Lauren doing the exercises).

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These five exercises are meant to improve leg/stride power and increase speed!

My first of five upcoming races will be on March 22nd, so just a few weeks away! I’ll be running the Kendra’s Kisses Memorial 5K.

I ran this race back in March of 2013, and I also ran a then-PR on this course last September. I don’t love the course but I do like that I am really familiar with it. I like knowing what I’m facing when I’m attempting a PR!

In other news, I finally did one small thing in the way of decorating.

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I hung up this beautiful peace of art.

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Adam and Cecil. That’s my little family! :)

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^ Love that kid.

I’m going to sign off for now. I hope that your week is off to a great start!

What is one thing you really want to accomplish this week?

So Many Good Memories

Monday. 

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Last week ended up being a bit of a crazy one over here, so I really enjoyed this weekend.

I relaxed, ran in the rain, drank about 20 cups of hot tea, caught up on blog reading and enjoyed life with my two favorite people (yes, Cecil counts as a person).

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The only stressful thing Adam and I did this weekend was say goodbye to our old apartment. We moved out on January 1st, but we’ve still been under a lease there all this time.

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Seeing the apartment all cleared out brought back so many memories from when we first moved in back in March of 2012. It was our first “adult apartment.” We felt so cool and mature when we moved in, haha!

We had lived in a really spacious 2 bed/2 bath in Davie, FL during college thanks to Adam’s dad who let us rent it from him at a really low rate. After we graduated college we stayed there for a couple of years out of convenience AND not knowing where we wanted to live.

We strongly considered moving to Boston in 2011, but we visited in winter and left knowing we weren’t tough enough for that kind of cold! The snow scared us away!

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After grad school we briefly considered moving to LA or San Fran since I received job offers out there, but in the end we didn’t want to move across the country when both of our families are here on the east coast.

Eventually we settled on Fort Lauderdale and we couldn’t be more happy here.

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Walking up to the front door of our old apartment still gives me that “ah, I’m home” sort of feeling. I have a lot of fond memories there and I’ll miss it.

I became a runner while living at that apartment! I ran my first 5K, half marathon and marathon while living there. I started my daily habit of running to the beach while living there. I began my current job while living there. Ah, so many good memories!

I’m excited that we’ve moved on though. That apartment was great, but our new apartment is larger, brand new and more modern. I’ve been in love with it since the moment we saw it and I know moving was the right decision.

When we got home from the old place I was hungry and needed a snack so I whipped up my 100th batch of roasted chickpeas.

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I spritz them with a little olive oil, toss them in garlic and onion powder and then bake for 45 mins.

I’ve been removing all of the outer shells on the chickpeas. It’s a time consuming process (REALLY time consuming) but the chickpeas have this great crunch if you remove the shell that I am addicted to!

Other than that my weekend was pretty uneventful and I like it that way!

I hope you had a really nice weekend and are ready to tackle Monday head on!

What snack food are you loving right now?

Weekly Rundown: 002 – Spring Has Arrived!

This week has been a warm one here in South Florida. It reached the 80s every single day, and this coming week is looking to be the same. I think winter has officially left and spring has arrived!

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2/23/15
Monday  - Beach Run (4 miles, 53:14, 13:33/mi, 73*)
My favorite temp for an easy run is anything in the low 70s, so this was perfect. The 83% humidity wasn’t so great, but it wasn’t terrible either. Right hip is feeling a little tight so I’ll need to spend extra time stretching it this week. I really think sitting for 8 hours a day is worse for my hip than running is!

2/24/15
Tuesday  - Rest
This was a planned rest day from running. I had intended to do an upper body workout before New Girl and The Mindy Project came on, but instead we got tacos. It was a good decision!

2/25/15
Wednesday  - Stretching (tight hip flexor and IT band)
Unplanned rest day but my right hip was feeling SOOOOO tight and my IT band was also a bit tight. I went to Dicks and bought a resistance band and then did this slightly awkward stretch about five times holding for approx. a minute each time.

^ Fast forward to 27 seconds in for the stretch.

This stretch is LIFE CHANGING. The first time I did it I felt really awkward but you can really feel the stretch in your hip flexor, IT band and butt.

I also did some of the “normal” hip flexor stretches.

2/26/15
Thursday  - Stretching again
I was definitely supposed to run this day, but I woke up with my right hip and IT band still a bit tight. Much less than the previous day, but definitely still annoying. I really need to stop sitting so much! I always feel the tightness the most after hours of sitting at work. I should have done a strength training workout but I didn’t because this was turning out to be a very lazy week.

2/27/15
Friday  - Stretching again
I had plans to meet up with a couple of friends after work, so I knew if I was going to run it needed to happen in the morning. I’m not a morning person at all, so of course that didn’t happen. I definitely took this “reset” thing a little too seriously this week.

I saw the dress as black and blue AND white and gold. It depended on what angle I was looking at the picture.

2/28/15
Saturday  – 4 Miles (no data), Stretching
I finally got in a run! I snuck in a short one between the rainstorms. Unfortunately I didn’t upload the data right away (I don’t leave bluetooth turned on my phone all the time), and by the time I went to sync my phone and Garmin at night my Garmin appeared to be broken :(.

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I don’t know what happened! It was working fine at the end of my run and when I got home I plugged it into the charger like normal. Between that time and when I looked at it again something went wrong!

I also did a lot of hip stretching again. Adam commented, “you’ve been stretching a lot this week” YUP. Way more than normal, but I think this needs to become the new normal!

3/1/15
Sunday – Approx 6 miles (no data), Stretching
I downloaded Strava last night to use for this run, but then I decided to just wing it. I haven’t run Garmin-less in forever and since this is my last day of a two-week reset period I figured I would just go out and enjoy it. The good news is that my hip and IT band are feeling soooooooooooooooo much better today! I feel almost 100%!

I do hope that Garmin support will get back to me tomorrow with some help about my poor screen.

If you have ever experienced anything like this with your Garmin please let me know what you did! I tried Google’ing it but I couldn’t find anyone who had the exact same problem!

My running dreams, goals and deadlines

Many of you know that I’ve wanted to run an ultra marathon since the day I found out they existed. Back in 2013 I set a big goal for myself: run a 50-miler before I turn 30.

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When I set that goal the longest race I had ever run was the 5K, but I was envisioning a long-term plan like this:

  • 2013finish first half marathon
  • 2014finish first marathon
  • 2015 – finish first 50K
  • 2016 – finish first 50-miler

could sign up for and complete a 50K this year. I’m sure I could drag myself to the finish line the same way I did last year in Portland for the marathon.

I may not have the leg speed of a champion, but I’ve got a decent amount of mental toughness. Plus I’m stubborn as hell, and if I start a race then I’m going to finish it. Those are actually the traits that make me think I’ll be a better ultra marathoner than a half marathoner or 5K’er.

The thing is I don’t want to drag myself to the finish line. My first ultra is going to be a really big deal. I’m looking forward to running a 50K, and I practically salivate when I think about running a 50-miler.

The way many of you feel about Shalane or Meb is how I feel about Jen Shelton or Anton.

For me, finishing a 50-miler is the holy grail. I want it the way other people want a BQ or an olympic trials qualifier. I want it bad and I’m not afraid to work for it. 

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In order to make my 50-mile dream really come true, I have to take care of unfinished business with the marathon first.

I’m proud to have finished the Portland Marathon last year, but I’m not satisfied with it. I need to run a strong race in Chicago this year to propel myself on to the next distance (and I’m going to do that). 

Right now my plan is to run the Chicago Lakefront 50K in April of 2016. Part of the reason I want to run the Chicago Marathon this year is so I can scope out the 50K course.

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I’ll turn 30 in August of 2016 which means if I want to run a 50-miler before I turn 30 I will need to get it in during the summer. I have no idea if that’s realistic or not. I think it will be impossible to know until after the 50K has happened.

I do know that after Portland I starting training again in earnest just one week later, which means if I use the 50K as a stepping stone to the 50-miler it could happen during the summer. It’s not out of the realm of possibility. I just have no idea how I’m going to feel mentally or physically at that point.

When I set the goal to run a 50-miler before I turn 30 I was naive. I had NO IDEA what running a marathon would be like. Heck, I didn’t know what running a half marathon would be like. I think I have a much more mature way of thinking about racing now.

Not only do I now understand what a beast the marathon is, but I have different goals and expectations for myself as a runner. 

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I would LOVE to finish a 50-miler before I turn 30. That’s still my goal. However, if it doesn’t happen in that time frame I won’t be upset.

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Running a 50-miler is going to happen and when it does I want it to feel right even if it doesn’t exactly feel good.

What is your BIG pie in the sky running dream? 

Meet Lauren & Emma!

After yesterday’s heavy post, I’m excited to bring you a guest post today that is very uplifting! Lauren from the blog Lauren Runs is going to share the story of how she adopted her cat, Emma, from PAWS Chicago! After reading her post I am even more excited to be running Chicago this year as part of Team Paws!

Hi everyone!   I’m honored that Kristina asked me to share my PAWS adoption story on her blog today.  If you know me from my blog Lauren Runs, I’ve had my fur baby Emma for just over two years now.  What you may not know is how we got to know Emma, which was through the PAWS Foster program.

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I’d had a friend who fostered kittens (whole litters) and I thought it was such as cool concept! I kind of made up reasons to go over to her place to play with the kitties, who were usually too young to adopt.  I had cats when I was a kid, but nothing at this point in my adult life.  She encouraged me to get into fostering.

At the time, my fiancé (now husband) was starting to travel quite a bit for work, and I was feeling a little lonely at home.  Since the hubs was allergic to cats, I wanted to be thoughtful to him.  We’d done some research and learned that cat allergies are to the dander plus fur, and unique to each cat, like a fingerprint.  So we tried fostering.

We fostered one cat who was a bit rambunctious (let’s just say that he definitely had not been neutered yet… he kept humping my arm!).  Another kitten who was super cute, but Mike was incredibly allergic to.  He came home from a work trip and actually asked to go out to dinner within half an hour of getting home because he was so sneezy already!

There were a few others, but then in November 2012, when Mike was going to be gone over my birthday, I decided to foster another kitten to keep me and my delivery pizza company :).  And that cat was Emma.  She was incredibly friendly and Mike didn’t seem to react to her.  She was it! We decided to adopt her.

When we told the foster program, they told us that they needed her back to finish her vaccinations and spaying.  We “returned her” and then were instructed to pick her up 3 days later at the PAWS Adoption Shelter.  I went right at the time they said that they would put her out, as I was concerned maybe she’d get scooped up too quickly!

We brought her home, and then she was ours! We’ve had a great couple years so far cuddling and playing together, uncovering more of her quirks and behaviors, and how she’s grown from a kitten into cat.

I’m grateful that PAWS is such an awesome organization and is based here in Chicago. I didn’t really have to make any specific decisions on where to look for a cat, as PAWS is the most visible adoption agency here in the city. But the more I learned as time went on about the organization, the more I learned how special they are, that they take in animals from “kill” shelters and guarantee that they are a no-kill facility.

Kristina, I hope this gives you a little more purpose for your next tempo or long run – just think about Emma!  And of course, thanks for letting me take over your space today!

If you have a minute, head over to Lauren Runs and check out my adventures in triathlon and running. You can also find me on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram! Looking forward to “meeting” you soon! And, if you have any questions about running or triathlon training feel free to email me at laurenrunschicago@gmail.com

If you have a pet, where did you adopt from? Was it love at first sight? 

Eating Away at Me: A Very Personal Post

Warning: if you have had or currently struggle with an eating disorder this post could be triggering. Please skip it! 

Did you know this week is National Eating Disorders Awareness week?

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This is a cause close to my own heart. Today I want to write about what my life was like when I had an eating disorder and how it has changed for the better since I started taking recovery seriously.

I’m not writing this because I think someone with an eating disorder will read it and then reach out for help. In fact I think that is a very unlikely scenario. From my own experience when you’re deep in “the game” you know you’re slowly killing yourself but you just don’t care.

I’m writing this for the healthy people reading who might not yet realize someone they know is struggling with an eating disorder.

It’s a common misconception that a person with an eating disorder must be super thin and frail, or that unless you’re underweight your disorder isn’t serious, but that is not the case. Drastic weightloss can be an indicator that someone has an eating disorder, but it is only one of many. I hope this post will help you pick up on some of the signs that have nothing to do with weight/size. 

For instance, did you know:

  • People suffering from bulimia usually appear to be of average weight
  • People suffering from binge eating disorder are usually average weight to overweight
  • The idea that you have to be super thin to be suffering from an eating disorder stops some women from seeking help

I’ve bounced from one side of the weight spectrum to the other in my journey towards health.

I was, at points in my life, extremely restrictive.

This picture here is of me when I was about twenty-five pounds heavier than the lowest weight I ever reached. I’m half smiling, but I remember being really upset this day. I HATED being in a bathing suit.

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This was the last picture I allowed anyone to take of me for a very long time.

Back then I liked keeping my daily caloric intake around the 500 calories per day range, and this is how I felt:

  • Tired all the time / no energy
  • Constantly irritated by everything
  • Always hungry, always angry about being hungry
  • Worried about blacking out/fainting in front of others
  • Lots of guilt from lashing out at others for no reason
  • Non-stop negative self talk
  • Self worth tied to the scale
  • Rarely spoke with my parents
  • Depressed and suicidal at times
  • Cut almost all friends out of my life (at the end of my lease I not only didn’t tell my roommate – who was previously my best friend – what my plans were, but I completely left the city without even saying goodbye)

I lived that way for about a year and a half before I started binging/purging and then finally found myself meeting the clinical criteria for bulimia nervosa. While I had more energy, wasn’t hungry all the time and no longer had suicidal thoughts, everything else on that list remained part of my life.

Purging took it’s toll on me fast; I was never really cut out for it. I always hated it and eventually I just stuck to a cycle of binging-restricting-binging without purging. As you can imagine, I quickly ballooned up to my highest weight ever, feeling just as unhappy as ever.

With Adam’s help I eventually crawled out of the awful dark pit I was living in and today this is how I feel:

  • Can run pretty long distances without getting tired
  • Can pick up heavy weights
  • Can enjoy a nice meal out without freaking out
  • Never worried about blacking out/fainting
  • Never binge/purge
  • Rarely fly off the handle for no reason (there’s still PMS, guys)
  • Happy to get together with friends and enjoy myself
  • Very close with my parents

In short, I still have things to work on, but I am happier than I have been in a very long time. Possibly ever.

If you suspect someone you know has an eating disorder I would not recommend confronting them without preparation. (The National Eating Disorders Association has resources for friends and family.)

In my opinion, having an eating disorder is not like alcoholism where it’s hard to admit you have a problem. The person usually knows he or she has a problem, but perhaps doesn’t want to change.

When you’re deciding whether you should eat 200, 400 or 600 calories in a day you know you’re not behaving the way other people do. You actually get a sick pride out of not behaving the way other people do. When you’re eating to the point that you literally throw up without even meaning to, well you know that’s not normal. When you’re purging, yeah, you know that’s not normal.

I can’t tell you what to say to someone you suspect has an eating disorder because I don’t know what you should say. For me, the time to change came when I recognized how my behaviors were affecting the person closest to me. I realized it was unfair and I decided in that moment that I wanted to try and be better.

Truthfully, I had wanted to get better for quite a while. I had gotten sick of being sad and angry all the time, but I didn’t know how to get myself out of the situation.

My first visit with a psychologist was terrifying, and I ended up finding that she wasn’t a good fit. I later found a psychologist who I got along with well. She had an eating disorder when she was younger and had found the path to health. I knew she “got it” and I trusted her advice.

She was the one who told me to find an exercise I could do without getting obsessive, which seemed like a really difficult task at the time. I had been weightlifting for a little while but I was terrified of adding muscle weight. I associated the stationary bike and elliptical with dark days when I would spend two or three hours on them with no food in my system.

I used to drag myself home from the gym and I would literally pass out. Hours would go by and I would wake up not knowing what had happened. My body would just shut down from not having any fuel. One time I was standing in the bathroom brushing my hair, and then the world got woozy and the next thing I knew I was waking up on the floor. This workout routine was not working for me, and I was worried for myself, but I was also a really f’d up kind of happy with myself.

When I started recovery and my doctor told me to find an exercise I could do that would make me feel better, healthier and stronger, I wondered if such a thing even existed.

On a whim, I tried running.

Running was completely new to me. It was hard, but it made me feel strong instead of weak. I hated it, but I also really liked it at the same time. Running really helped me. It wasn’t my therapy, but it helped supplement my therapy until I no longer needed professional help.

When I ran my first couple of 5Ks I was still at my highest weight ever.

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Feb 2013, RunWild 5K, 46:50 finishing time

Today I’m down about 30lbs, but I still have a ways to go until I’m at a healthy, comfortable weight.

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Dec 2014, Jingle Bell Jog 5K, 37:57 finishing time.

I know there is a fast track that can get me down to a specific number on the scale pretty quickly, but there is also a longer route that will allow me to be myself.

I’m in it for the long haul.

Working out for me, now, is not about burning calories to get skinnier or being able to eat whatever I want because I exercised for three hours. It’s about pushing myself to be better than yesterday and treating my body the right way to get there. I trust that by doing this my body will reach a healthy and happy weight.

Over the weekend someone I know ran a half marathon and finished in 3:02. She was bummed because her PR is 3:01 and she was trying hard to break it. My initial reaction was, “she’s so skinny, how can I have a faster half marathon PR than her?”

But I, of all people, should know that skinny doesn’t mean anything when it comes to fitness or health. When I was at my skinniest I could never have even finished a half marathon.

That also means that I can’t rely on losing weight to make me a better runner. I think there is such a thing as an ideal racing weight, but I also think elite runners are the ones who benefit most from that. Instead, I need to take my speedwork seriously, try to eat right most of the time and enjoy the process.

I’m never going to run a 60 minute half marathon, but I think someday I’ll run a sub-2 hour half marathon.

Call me crazy, but I really believe it will happen. I’ve got about 30 prime running years left to get there!

I like that my goals are now related to doing things that make me feel good about myself. It’s a nice mental space to be in.

I hope that this post wasn’t a gigantic over share that made you uncomfortable, but I do think it’s important for the world to understand that eating disorders are serious mental disorders.

Anorexia has one of the highest death rates of any mental health condition. Eating disorders are serious. You can’t treat them with a sandwich.

If you suspect someone you know has an eating disorder please visit the NEDA website.

(In the past I have received emails from others who struggle with an eating disorder. Please note that if you email me about your disorder I can only recommend that you seek professional help. It’s not in your best interest or mine for me to correspond with you beyond that about any disorder. I wish you all the best. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Happiness does exist and you deserve it.)

Blazing Hot

It’s Monday again already?

This was the first weekend in a while where I felt like I didn’t have a set schedule. No races, no long runs, no football … it was just me and 48 hours of unscheduled bliss!

That meant I got in a great upper body strength workout on Saturday and then a nice run down by the beach. (MEG, I did assisted pull-ups! I’m going to do a real one someday!)

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Afterwards I had worked up quite an appetite so Adam and I drove over to our old-old stomping grounds in Davie, FL to eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant.

I didn’t take any pics because there was no time. I literally had to dig in as soon as my plate hit the table!

On Sunday I was up at the crack of down for a six-miler and then I headed up to Boca to meet a friend for some business related fun. It’s always fun when business is related to running around a pretty lake! (I’ll be telling you more about this SOON)

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We met up around 11am and hit the trail around noon when it was a blazing hot 82 degrees.

Okay, so 82 degrees isn’t really blazing, but just a few days ago it was in the 30s here! I think we’re in for a fully warm week which means winter may be officially over in Florida.

After all of that I was content to spend the rest of the afternoon editing photos, tweeting and chillin’ with my main man.

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Cecil wants to give a big shoutout and thank you to Amanda and Courtney for joining the PAWS virtual race!

  • Amanda from Slimplify Life is gearing up to run her first marathon! I can’t wait for her to run this race because she’s SO READY after putting in work on two 20-milers! Also, I can’t wait to see her race pics because she always look ecstatic to be running and enjoying life! Just looking at her race pics makes me want to run! Amanda also shares nutrition tips and healthy recipes on the daily!
  • Courtney from Run for Cupcakes just rescued an ADORABLE doggie named Arrow who has become her best running buddy! Seriously, please click over to her blog and look at this dog right now! Aside from having a really cute dog, Courtney always comes up with clever running costumes and is about to graduate with a double degree in Psychology and Education.

I hope you had a nice relaxing weekend too!

Important question (I promise have a reason for asking): about what time of day do you go running during the summer? 

Weekly Rundown: 001 – Recovering from my 13.1 season

Happy Sunday! This year I was supposed to be doing a Sunday “new apartment” blog series but as life has gotten progressively more hectic as we transition out of the holidays I admittedly haven’t done much in the way of decorating!

I’m temporarily replacing that series with a “Weekly Rundown” series where I’ll share my workouts and runs from the previous week! I’ll include more specific running details here than I do during my weekday posts so this will read like a workout log with a few personal details thrown in.

Let’s roll!

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2/16/15
Mon - Upper Body Strength + Core
My head was spinning thanks to a sinus headache that just would not go away. Our weather has been bouncing around like crazy and it’s wrecking havok on my allergies and sinuses. Did a quick upper body strength workout and then Lauren’s 10-minute plank sequence with a couple of modifications.

2/17/15
Tues – Beach Run (4 miles, 55:45, 13:56/mi, 77*F)
My legs were feeling a big tight and sore from the race on Sunday and my core was feeling worked over from Monday’s planks, so I took a short run down to the beach. It was warm but breezy which felt really great. I incorporated nice and easy walking breaks using 2 min run, 1 min walk intervals.

2/18/15
Wed – Beach Run (3 miles, 41:23, 13:47/mi, 64*F)
Weather really cooled down by the evening when I went out for my run. At first my calves felt tight, but they warmed up by mile two. I was tempted to go for another couple of miles since I had a little extra time and lots of energy, but I decided to stick to my coach’s schedule since it never fails me. Went with yesterday’s easy 2/1 intervals again. Caught up on Better Call Saul episodes with Adam on the couch and was in bed by 11:15pm.

2/19/15
Thurs – Lower Body Strength
Not much to say about this workout, it was pretty standard. Wall-sits were a killer just like always! Caught up on some missed TV episodes with Adam after  - Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Workaholics.

2/19/15
Friday - Rest
I was planning to run 3-4 miles this day, but ended up taking a total rest day. What’s the point of being in a reset period if you don’t take full advantage of it, right? Instead I watched reruns of Seinfeld and painted my nails. I’m really loving the Fashion Playground color by Essie! It was a very exciting Friday night.

2/20/15
Saturday - Upper Body/Core + Beach Run (4 miles, 53:40, 13:25/mi, 72*)
Started in the gym with an upper body strength and core routine. Added in assisted pull-ups for the first time in a while, then went on a really nice mid-afternoon run. It’s not often that I get to run in the middle of the day, usually it’s way too hot out! Four miles down to the beach and back using 2/1 intervals. Started out at 13:44 pace and ended at 12:55 pace. Didn’t mean for it to be a progression run, it just naturally happened and I went with it since it felt good. Great workout before eating some delicious Mexican food!

2/21/15
Sunday- Beach Run (6 miles, 1:22:53, 13:48/mi, 73*)
Just a nice easy breezy run down to the beach. It took me a while to wake-up which is typical for me during morning runs. Used the 2/1 intervals again and just enjoyed myself. There’s nothing like sunrise at the beach!

Total Mileage: 21 miles  17 miles
Total Time Running: 3:53:40
Avg. pace: 13:44/mi

My Cross Training Routine

I finally have my cross training post ready!

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I don’t write about my cross training very often because it mostly consists of doing the same strength training routines over and over.

Here’s what I aim to do each week:

  • 2 days of upper body weights
  • 1 leg day
  • A mix of “other stuff” sprinkled throughout the week

Truthfully, leg day is the first thing I skip when I’m low on time. I really need to be better about this! 

When it comes to upper body strength training I like to do:

When it come to leg day I usually do:

I do a lot of variations of the squat to keep things interesting. I like the zercher squat, barbell squat, goblet squat, dumbbell squat and dumbbell squat with kick.

I used to lift heavy and maxed out on a zercher squat at 135lbs and barbell squat at 155lbs. When I’m not in a training cycle for running (which I pretty much always am these days), those are the types of squats I prefer to do. (editor’s note: I’ve been lifting longer than I’ve been running)

When I’m in a training cycle my focus shifts away from maxing out on leg lifts since it really affects my ability to get in high quality runs.

Right now on leg day I’m either doing:

  • goblet squats using a 60lb dumbbell @ 5 sets x 10 reps
  • goblet squats using a 100lb dumbbell @ 3 sets x 5 reps
  • dumbbell squats w/kick using two 15-25lb dumbbells @ 5 x 10-15 reps

I’m spending a lot of time here talking about the squat because I think it’s really important for runners!

I should mention that I’m obviously not a personal trainer of any sort. I’ve just been weight lifting for quite some time so I know what sets x reps and weights work for me.

Megan (from Meg Go Run) is a personal trainer with affordable rates ($40 for a 4 week plan) if you’re looking for some guidance.

When it comes to “other stuff” I like to do:

  • Planks
  • Russian twists
  • Hip lifts on stability ball
  • Reverse leg lifts on stability ball
  • Leg squeeze with butt lifts on stability ball
  • Anything else I can do on the stability ball

I love the stability ball. I never knew how to approach it before I read THIS post on Kim’s blog and now I’m a big fan and always looking for new things to try.

So, does all of this work?

I think so! I’m not the world’s best runner, but I do have strong legs and I can pick up heavy things.

I’ve also never had a real injury that has kept me from running for longer than a week at a time.

You could attribute that to the fact that I run slowly, but I think having strong muscles to support my running helps. I may be slow but I run a decent amount of miles and spend a lot of time on my feet running those miles.

This formula seems to work for me.

Last night I had a decent leg workout!

  • Squat with kicks - 5 x 10 @ 30lbs (15lb dumbbells)
  • Wall sit – 5 x 1 minute
  • Reverse leg lifts on stability ball – 25 total
  • Leg squeeze butt lifts on stability ball – 3 x 1 minute
  • Back kick on stability ball – 30 each side
  • Plank @ 1:15

And that’s a wrap!

Do you try to mix it up with different squat variations or stick to one type?
Any XT exercises you really like that I should try? :)

I don’t own a sweater. Send help!

I had hoped to have my cross training ideas post ready for you today, but I’m still working on it. Today is a non-running day for me which means I’ll be thinking about XT all day and will definitely wrap that up! :)

Last night a cold front rolled into town and we dipped back down into the 60s which meant I had a pretty spectacular run!

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Just three easy miles down to the beach and back at sunset.

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Because the weather was so nice (and I left work a little early), I had energy and time to go for another couple of miles, but I’m taking this “reset” thing seriously. I know I will have some hard workouts coming up once 5K training begins so I need to really let my body rest and get ready for that.

Right now I’m trying to figure out when I am going to do my PAWS virtual 5K race. Lizzy kicked things off last week knocking out a personal best and finishing in 23:49!!


So, clearly I have no hope for beating her ;).

Congrats Lizzy and a big thank you to the following runners who have joined the race:

  • Hanna from The Millennial Next Door, an AmeriCorps alum who also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and traveled to El Salvador to build a home for a deserving family. Last year Hanna made her marathon debut with a killer 4:01 finishing time and she’s just started training for her second marathon! She also has a couple of fluffy kitties!
  • Ali from Hit the Ground Running was one of the very first run bloggers I started following back in early 2013! She is an exceptional writer (even her text messages are grammatically correct), a total inspiration and she has the cutest bird I’ve ever seen named Archie!

As for me, I think I’m going to run my virtual 5K on or around March 11th.

The deadline for registering for the PAWS virtual race is March 10th and all races must be completed by March 20th, so I’ll just be slipping in before the deadline!

If you want to register, you can do so HERE :).

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Yeah, you go ahead and run. I’ll just stay here. Meow.

Have a great day!

PS: The high today is only 61 degrees (with lows in the 30s!!!!) and I’ve just realized I don’t even own a sweater, a long sleeved shirt or a heavy jacket! WHAT SHOULD I DO besides drink a lot of hot tea? Send help! #SOS

- My Portland Marathon finisher shirt is long-sleeved but I don’t think I can wear it to work….