Finishing November on a good note

I met a friend bright and early this morning for 19K. She trains in heart rate zones and needed two ‘sets’ of 15 minutes in zone 3 (what that means to me is fast). We did a 15 minute warm-up, then a 15 minute burst at just over 5:00/KM (speedy for me). We cooled down with a 5 minute jog, then completed round 2 in zone 3. This time we were running up a steady incline and the pace was closer to 5:15/KM, which still kept our hearts going. The remainder of the run was supposed to be zone 2 (to me this means conversational pace) but we faced a ton of hills (“Not another one!) so we often found ourselves back in zone 3.

I don’t actually train with a heart rate monitor, but apparently I like to pretend that I share the heart rate of my running partner. I was constantly asking, ‘What zone are we in now?” as if my heart rate would be the same. Hubby has a fancy new Polar HRM so I think I’m going to try it out this week – it might be interesting to see just what my heart rate is on an easy run compared to a more difficult run.

Unfortunately my running buddy had a lot of knee problems during the second half of the run and we took several walk breaks. It was still a good run overall and we finished 19.15K in 1:54:35 for an average pace just under 6:00/KM. More than anything, I was glad to have the company.

Today’s run rounded out my week at just over 40K plus 3 hours of cross-training.

And tomorrow officially marks the beginning of training for my 2009 race schedule. I have a fancy-shmancy program thanks to my hubby and can’t wait to kick it off.

Happy Sunday!

T.G.I. Festive-Photo-Friday

(First, happy belated Thanksgiving to my American friends! I hope you all had a great day filled with family/friends and feasting!)

I’m feeling super festive this year, so you may have to tolerate Christmas-themed Photo Fridays until, well, Christmas!



(To participate in Photo Friday, just post a pic and let NikeMom know.)

That’s our tree, which has been a-glow for two whole weeks already. I turn it on every evening when I get home from work and it just puts me in a great mood.

In other festive news, I’ve finally put a (small) dent in my Christmas shopping. I’ve started using my lunch hours when it’s not quite as busy as evenings or weekends. Hubby and I plan to get another good chunk finished tomorrow.

26 days til Christmas!

On the running front:

A slushy 5K Wednesday after work – had planned 8 but just didn’t feel like it. How’s that for an excuse? My mileage has suffered a little this month, but I’m in maintenance so it’s all good. Here’s a glance at my runs for the month (so far) – first in kilometres, then miles.

Yesterday was four boring miles on the ‘mill before Spin class. I definitely felt more than usual exhaustion in the legs during spin, but it was bearable. (Although Iw as *this* close to keeling over by the time I got home.) I think I’ll stick to running before class on Thursdays for a while.

I have a short run planned for tonight, Boot Camp tomorrow morning and 19K for Sunday. Let’s hope it goes better than last Sunday’s “long” run – I’ll be sure to eat more than salad for dinner on Saturday.

That’s about it for me. Have a great weekend!

If cross-training doesn’t kill me…

… will it make me stronger?

I walked into my High Octane Training class yesterday evening – arms, abs, quads, inner thighs and tush still sore from Saturday’s Boot Camp. Every squat, lunge, crunch and lift stung as we worked our muscles to exhaustion. The bursts of cardio in between felt great and kept everything pretty loose. I absolutely love the class – for the instructor, the music, the variety and (most importantly!) the workout. But holy crap, it’s exhausting.

I followed it up with a quick run (5.39K = 3.35mi in 29:43) before collapsing on the couch to catch up on some TV. When it was time for bed, I could barely carry my legs up the stairs. I had planned 8K for last night, but knew I didn’t have it in me. I’ll make it up tonight or in the next couple days.

I’m having a very difficult time staying motivated to run by myself on these cold, dark and icy/snowy evenings (whereas I loved running solo in the summer). I can’t wait for my marathon clinic to start in January, when I’ll be meeting the group to run three times each week. ‘Til then, I’ll latch on to company when I can and suck it up when I can’t. Tonight will be solo… meh!

Tomorrow I’ll be trying something new and running before Spin class. It’s all about experimentation.

In other news:

• I lost 2.2 lbs at WW on Monday
• I have 17 working days til two weeks off for Christmas (!!!)
• I really need to start Christmas shopping…

Happy Hump Day!

Recap

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I stayed off the compy for the most part, but caught up on almost everyone’s blogs last night. Probably have a little more catching up to do this morning. Congratulations to everyone who kicked asphalt in Philly! Can’t wait for the reports.

Quick recap of last week:

Monday: rest
Tuesday: H.O.T. + 6K
Wednesday: 9K
Thursday: Spin + 5K
Friday: rest
Saturday: Boot Camp* + 4K
Sunday: 14K**

*Boot Camp totally kicked my butt again on Saturday. We had a different instructor who did a lot less yelling but still kept us pumped up. We had 6 strength stations from chest presses to squats with body bars to push-ups, with bursts of cardio in between. My butt, quads and arms are still killing me!

**Yesterday I had planned 17K and drove out to the country to meet a girlfriend. My legs felt like dead weight from the moment we left the driveway and it was a struggle to make it as far as I did.

I’m still adjusting to the new cross-training schedule and running three of my runs immediately after a fitness class this week really did a number on my legs. But I think the bigger problem was not eating enough this week. I’ve been trying to lose the marathon bulge (just 1 lb to go!) and definitely kept the calories low this week. I should have known that chicken salad for dinner on Saturday was not going to cut it for a long run. Live and learn.

I’m planning to stick to a similar schedule this week with improved nutrition and see how my legs are for a long run next Sunday. If I’m still dragging my feet, I’ll need to re-assess.

For now, this week looks like:

Monday: 60 min. yoga class
Tuesday: H.O.T. + 8K
Wednesday: 8K
Thursday: Spin + 5K
Friday: 5K or rest depending on the legs
Saturday: Boot Camp
Sunday: 19K

I’ll leave you with a sneak peak at what else I was up to this weekend:






My first "Brick" + Photo Friday

Last night was a first. I went to my scheduled spin class (which I am really getting the hang of! yay!), bolted home to change and headed out for a little run with the hubby. He promised “recovery” pace so I figured, what the heck? I had a serious case of the jelly legs at first, which quickly turned into lead legs. It was so freakin’ hard and I wanted to quit so many times, but just kept moving. In the end it felt like we had run much further than 5.6K, and much faster than 6:03/KM. I was convinced that my legs were actually going to fall off, but miraculously they are still attached and even carried me upstairs and into a hot bath when we were done.

So they call this a “brick” workout, right? Does it count when it’s a spin class as opposed to actually biking?

I felt so hardcore!

And on that note, here’s my Photo Friday contribution, which further proves my hardcore-ness.

(If you want to participate, just post a pic and be sure to let NikeMom know.)

This was taken at outdoor paintball with my company (sweet work function, huh?) last year. I’m holding my gun in the air because I’ve been hit… hmm, maybe I’m not so hardcore afterall.

Have a great weekend!