My gym is unconventional — it’s only open when there are classes, and all the workouts are WODs (workout of the day) so you never know what you are going to get until you go. And you can only go when they are open for classes, so for me, I’m pretty much limited to 5:30 am Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and occasionally I can get there at 5:30 pm on Monday through Wednesday. Thursday and Friday have 5:00 pm classes, so unless I leave work early, I can’t go to those. And I can’t go to the classes that are offered during the workday.
We found out a few days ago that the gym would be closed for Memorial Day. My neighbor and I were bummed, but I mentioned that I have a barbell, weight plates, and a few other things, so why don’t we have a RAW Fitness class in my driveway? (Our gym is called Real Application Workout Fitness aka RAW Fitness). She thought that was a great idea and asked if she could bring her college-aged daughter. Cool!
The 3 of us got together at 7:45 this morning in my driveway and commenced with the workout. My neighbor and I did the first round with the 45 lb bar, the 2nd round with the bar loaded at 50 lbs, and the 3rd round with the bar loaded at 55 lbs.
I wouldn’t be surprised if some of our neighbors start thinking we’re weird, but that’s OK. We had fun! And after we did this workout we ran 3 miles through the neighborhood.
Later, we went to the Memorial Day parade in our town. My kids were marching with the Middle School Band. My husband got a kick out of the fact that I had written out our workout and told some of my other gym buddies about it. He said it was like we were 5 years old, having a playdate, and playing gym. Actually, a couple of my gym buddies thought it was a great idea and asked if they could come over on another day that the gym is closed. That’s how weird all of us RAW people are — we enjoy working out and will look for ways to get in a great workout! Playing gym…..ha ha…..
After the parade I took my pugs Dos and Tres for a walk. It was a long walk for them — about a mile — and after they came home they looked like this:
Dos is on the left and Tres is on the right.
Happy Memorial Day! Thanks to all of those who have protected us and served.
After the 2012 race season, I decided that I would not run 5Ks anymore. My race times were disappointing and frustrating at best. While 2011 was full of good race time finishes, many under 25 minutes, yet in 2012 I did not finish a single 5K race under 25 minutes. The best finish time was 25:00 in October, 2012. I’m not saying that my race times were bad, but it was frustrating not to be close to the finish times I had in 2011 despite the fact that I was doing track work and tempo runs. Thus, I decided that 5Ks were just not for me anymore. In fact, I wasn’t seeing a lot of progression at any race distance. Maybe road racing wasn’t for me anymore.
Then in the winter several people approached me to either help them start training or mentioned that I was an inspiration. Whenever someone asks me to help them with running, I want to be sure to teach them the right way. So that means I start training properly too!
In February, I started consistently doing track work. In March, I ran a 5K at the behest of some friends and finished in a surprisingly decent 25:25 on a hilly course. A week later I finished a half marathon in just over 2 hours with minimal training. I started thinking that there must be something to work with.
Thursday, one of my neighbors contacted me to do the Demarest 5K with him on May 19th. I had just done a half marathon on May 12th, so I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to run a 5K. But then I thought, who cares, let’s go for it. My neighbor offered to drive, so we headed down to Demarest to sign up on race day. Of course, it was about 57 degrees and raining. Steadily raining.
We showed up at registration and one of my friends from the gym was there. She had been training a group of little kids at the Demarest school to run a 5K and would be running with them, which is cool. Get kids started early, right?
My friend and I registered and then waited in the car for race start. Then at 9:10 I said I needed to warm up a bit, so we headed over.
57 degrees and raining is not one of those cut-and-dried weather situations where you automatically know what to wear. I opted for less fabric that would be hanging on me wet and went for a tank top and shorts. It was a bit chilly, but at least I wouldn’t be covered in a lot of drenched fabric.
I started my warmup and realized I was running at goal race pace too quickly, so after half a mile I decided to cut it short. My goal for the race was to run negative splits — preferably, 8 minutes the first mile, 7:55 the second mile, 7:50 for the last mile, and then run like crazy for the remainder. I didn’t know if I could do it on the hilly course in the rain, but I figured it’s better to start out slowly regardless.
We lined up at the start. Since I typically finish in the top 20-25% of most races, I generally line up the same way. Though this time there were a ton of kids in front of us. There were some announcements before the race, then we were off. It was crowded mayhem, as most race starts are. My friend and I did a lot of weaving through the slower runners, the people with dogs, and even people with strollers. Eventually, after about half a mile, I was able to break free of the crowd. It felt good to pass people, but I wasn’t feeling great.
The first mile marker showed up, and I looked down at the Garmin and saw 8:01. Then the Garmin beeped 1 mile at 8:06….guess I was a bit off. The course had already turned into the rolling hills that I remembered from when I ran the race in 2010. My friend passed me, and while I was tempted to catch up with him, I told myself, “Run your own race.” Besides, there weren’t any female runners around me, just guys.
I didn’t feel like I was in a good groove. I tried to maintain a pace that was faster than the first mile, but I didn’t know if I could maintain it. There were a couple of teenage boys that I passed, and there was an older guy in a red shirt and bad toupee who was trading paces with me. There was also a group of 3 boys around my son’s age of 11 who were running together, and they kept cutting me off as I tried to hug the curb. Annoying…..
The rolling hills kept coming and going. Pump your arms on the uphill, bust it on the downhill. Near the 2nd mile was a water stop with music playing. A group of 3 in white shirts — 2 guys and a girl (younger than me, who cares, not in my age group) passed me as if they didn’t have a care in the world. One guy was raising his arms and waving to spectators. I kept telling myself that the hurt would be over soon.
Garmin beeped the 2nd mile at 7:55. I told myself that this was the final mile, open up all throttles and go full out. I also knew that this was going to be the most hilly part of the course.
I passed a young girl who suddenly stopped and told her not to quit. Red-shirted toupee dude and I kept exchanging leads. I looked at my Garmin and realized I had about half a mile to go, so I told myself to treat this like an 800 m repeat and bust it out. Up and over the hill, bust it on the downside. I got to the turn in the road that led to the final stretch and passed a teenage boy and girl. The girl was struggling while the boy was trying to encourage her. He looked back and stepped in a massive puddle. I came up on his left and jumped over the puddle. We both laughed.
I looked at my Garmin and realized that I could finish in under 25 minutes. The remainder of the course was downhill into a straightaway to the finish line. I was running as hard as I could. There were some guys in front of me, and I made it a goal to pick them off one by one. I felt like I was going to barf, and as I neared the clock, I could see 24:XX………I sprinted, knowing that my race time would be 24-something, anything, please!!!!!
I crossed over the finish line and immediately pressed stop on the Garmin. 24:38. I did a major fist pump and stifled the urge to barf. Barfing is a sign that I put in my best effort, and 24:38 was a sign that training was working.
I looked over and saw my neighbor and asked how he did. He was ecstatic that he finished in about 24:20. We walked over to the table with water bottles and snacks. Red shirt bad toupee dude came over, shook my hand, and thanked me for helping to pace him to a good finish. He said his goal was to keep up with me because he thought I was running a good pace. I congratulated him on running negative splits too! I picked up some orange slices. We both were ecstatic over our sub-25 minute 5K times. I mentioned that this was the first time I’ve seen 24-something since October, 2011. As we drank our water and ate our orange slices, I basked in the feeling of joy at having accomplished that feat again, finally!
We noticed that people were crowding around the race results as the rain kept coming down. I found my name and saw a “2” next to age group place. What???? Did I really finish 2nd in my age group? Not believing my eyes, I checked the results 3 times. Yep, 11th female finisher, 2nd in the 40-49 age group. Unbelievable.
My friend had finished 11th in the 40-49 male age group, just one out of the top 10. He was a bit bummed about that, but I reminded him that he had shaved over a minute off our 25:25 finish from March 17th. Not too shabby!
My friend offered to hang around for awards, but I didn’t want to stand around in the rain and insisted that we go home. I was so happy to find that training is paying off.
It’s good to have my passion for running back again. It isn’t about winning trophies, that isn’t important. What is important to me is to see that my hard work is paying off. Additionally, I felt ecstatic to have successfully executed negative splits: Mile 1, 8:06; Mile 2, 7:55; Mile 3: 7:46; Last 0.13, 6:35! There’s something to running negative splits.
Tomorrow I head to the track with my friend to do 1600 m repeats. And I will crush them!
Sorry, I haven’t blogged in awhile. I’ve been obsessed with the Boston marathon bombing events. But I’ve still been working out!
Running has been going well. Last Sunday, I ran 13 miles and felt good. Tuesday, we did about 5.5 miles total, with 5 x 800 m repeats. I was surprised how well I did those too — 3:41, 3:40, 3:40, 3:41, 3:41. The consistency with these was scary! Wednesday evening I did an easy 3 miles, and Thursday was another easy 5. And this Sunday I did 12 miles and felt great. I was supposed to do 14, but our schedule was altered at the last minute and I didn’t have time for the extra 2 miles. It’s fine. I’m glad to be feeling like I’m getting my running mojo back!
Of course, the gym has been crazy. Today was a brutal workout. The trainers told us to go as heavy as we could on the weights, to the point of failure if possible. They said that if you were whipping through the workout, you should add weight. I guess my partner and I took the admonishment to go heavy a little more seriously than others did because we were the last ones to finish. We did a lot of stuff, but the toughest parts were as follows:
4 x 13 deadlifts at 135 lbs
4 x 13 push presses at 65 lbs (then dropped down to 55 lbs in the last 2 sets)
4 x 13 back squats at 65 lbs.
We also did 4 x 3 wall climbs and 4 x 13/13 walking pushups (or plankups as some call them). While the timer partner did these things, the worker partner was doing a hold. Ugh.
So, yeah, after doing 52 deadlifts, pushpresses, and back squats, my body is sore now. It will be worse tomorrow!
This is also my heavy week for the Wendler 5/3/1 workouts, and I have to figure out when to fit those in this week. My friend and I are doing a 5K on Sunday morning, and I don’t want my body to be trashed before the race. Of course, I’ll take a rest day on Saturday, but I don’t want to do deadlifts or squats after Thursday.
So what’s my goal for the 5K? I’m not setting a time-based goal. I’m setting a goal to run absolutely as hard as I can, well outside my comfort zone, and to finish without gas in the tank. The 800 m and 1600 m repeats we’ve been doing over the past few weeks are good training for getting used to the feeling of running hard. I don’t fear it as much now, and I am becoming more accustomed to that feeling of pushing as hard as possible.
Well, that’s it for now! I am looking forward to testing my training in the 5K on Sunday.
After Monday’s workout, my quads were SORE for several days. Tuesday though was the day to run at the track, and I didn’t want sore quads to keep that from happening! My neighbor and I ran the 1.5 miles to the track, and the plan was for 1600 m repeats at 5K pace. Since we don’t really know her goal 5K pace, I told her to keep it under 9 min/mile. For me, I was gunning for 7:30-something, which is ambitious because I’ve never gotten below 7:45 pace for 5K (averaged for the entire race — of course, at points I will be running faster and at some points slower). My quads were in serious pain, so I knew that 1600 m repeats would be painful. But somehow, knowing that it’s going to be painful going into it makes it more bearable. The goal was to do 3 x 1600 m with about 3 min rest between repeats, but we only did 2 x 1600 m.
My friend was a bit nervous about doing 1600 m meter repeats as she’s never done them before, but I told her to just run at a pace that isn’t a sprint but feels outside your comfort zone. Long story short, her stopwatch didn’t work on the first 1600 m, but on the 2nd she got 8:41! That was great! I got 7:36 and 7:39 which exceeded my expectations for my sore quads. Then we ran the 1.5 miles home again. My legs were TRASHED for the rest of the day and for the day after as well.
Wednesday at the gym we had deadlifts as the warmup! I LOVE deadlifts, and in my quest for super strength that is one exercise that has received a lot of focus. I got my bar and a whole stack of weights, and the trainer joked that he should just bring the weight tree over so I could have enough.
In our gym, we have the oldtimers and the newcomers. I’m considered more of a newcomer because I’ve only been coming for about 2 years. We newcomers stay on the left side of the gym while the oldtimers are on the right side. We’re all friendly, but the oldtimers rarely ever will partner with us and really don’t pay that much attention to what we’re doing on the left side of the gym.
Until Wednesday when I had my bar loaded up at about 160 lbs (at that point) and one of the women came over to me and said, “Whoa, you’re lifting that?” I said, “Yep.” Presumably she went back to report to the oldtimers what I was doing. I guess the ladies over there are thinking of stepping up their game?
Anyway, I had a new deadlift PR — 190 lbs for 1 lift. I’m that close to 200 lbs! I told the trainer, and we high-fived. The rest of the workout pales in comparison to my new deadlift PR.
That night we all went to the Yankee game. It was COLD. Windy and in the 30s. I did not enjoy that. But the kids got on the big screen.
We got home so late that I ended up taking Thursday as a rest day, so no running or working out. This morning I went to the gym, and we did a lot of body weight exercises. We were supposed to do toe-to-bars and for the first time I actually got my feet up there for quite a few consecutive T2Bs! Progress is exciting.
This has been my deload week for my Wendler 5/3/1 weightlifting program. Next week I start my 4th cycle, and this weekend I hope to put together the new squat rack that I ordered so now I can finally do back squats.
This is my new favorite treat:
The good thing about dark chocolate is that a little amount is satisfying — not like with conventional candy bars where I can eat enough to kill a small farm animal.
This weekend will be a lot of running. I need to catch up with my running. Not just need to, I want to! I’ve missed it since I haven’t been running as much as I used to. The weather is getting warmer, and it’s glorious to be out there running when the weather is nice. 5:30 am when it’s cold and dark is tough. Yay, spring!
I have the Allstate 13.1 NYC (half marathon) tomorrow morning, and I’m probably more ill-prepared for this half marathon than I have ever been for a half marathon. For several years, I’ve taken for granted that my training was such that I could run a half marathon on any given day. Well, apparently this winter I neglected to do as much long-running as usual. Oh well!
My plan for the week was to do the usual running on Tuesday and Thursday, go to the gym Monday and Wednesday, and do my Wendler 5/3/1 weight training on Monday and Wednesday so that all potential heavy lifting (i.e., killing of legs) would be done in time for recovery. I had planned Friday to be a rest day. Also, I was planning to start carb-loading a little on Wednesday and full-force on Thursday and Friday.
Wednesday morning, I woke up with a sore throat and a runny nose. Great. I went to the gym and did the Wendler for deadlifts and bench press on Wednesday night, and my symptoms weren’t so bad. But I slept horribly Wednesday night and ended up running 4 miles Thursday morning with my friend, but honestly, if I hadn’t had a date set up with my friend, I would have stayed in bed. Thursday my cold symptoms were bad, and I was miserable all day. It felt like a wet sponge had been stuffed into my head. Fortunately, there were no chest symptoms, so that means running is still a possibility. Friday morning, I woke up and things were a bit better, though I’m still pretty congested.
Carb-loading is more challenging when you don’t eat empty grain calories anymore. Back when I was a non-paleo runner, I could just eat a ton of pasta or whatever. Now, my high-carb choices are limited to sweet potatoes, bananas, fruits (fresh or dried) and squashes. I typically eat an average of 100 g of carb per day, and on long-run days I might eat 150 g. Now I’m trying to get up to about 250 g to 300 g before the race. Not easy! But I think my performance for longer distances suffers when I don’t take in enough carbs. And I also am planning to eat raisins during the race too since I don’t like fake stuff like gels and typical running-performance carbs.
We’ll see how it goes, but I don’t have high hopes for a rip-roaring performance tomorrow. Plus, it’s supposed to be cold — like 30 degrees at race start. Guess I’ll have to dress warmly, and more clothes = more weight. Here’s hoping that the cold symptoms are mostly done by tomorrow morning!
Now for fun — is this breakfast, lunch, or dinner? (2 beef with onion hamburger patties, a couple of tablespoons of organic salsa, 1/2 sliced avocado, steamed broccoli, and one kiwi, green tea)
The answer: It was lunch one day, breakfast another day, could be dinner any day. That’s the great thing about paleo — it’s all just food to be enjoyed at any meal!