#gostl half marathon training: week 4

This was honestly my BEST week of training in probably the past year.  Running felt effortless.  Easy runs felt easy.  Hard runs felt hard but manageable.  My paces were spot on, and I felt like I’m finally back to where I was 2 years ago, before I got pregnant with Miles.

My goal for this past week was to just really focus on trying to finish my workouts and hit the times I needed too.  Running for me is probably 90% mental.  I second guess myself constantly and talk myself out of doing the workout I’m supposed to do all the time.  I know it doesn’t seem like that from the looks of my training, but I promise you, my head is constantly telling my body that it can’t do it.

Being competitive is part of what helps me get past wanting to quit.  I want to be the best at everything I do and I feel like with running, I am the ONLY person who is in control of that.  My job, parenting, etc. – I’m not 100% in control.  But, running, I am.  If I want to be the best, I have to really push myself in my training.  No quitting, no giving up, no mediocrity.  I’m not OK with being mediocre, so I have to give 100% with every run.  I’d say that happens 90% of the time, which pushes me through the mental toughness part of the training.  (How I can teach that to my athletes, I have no clue?  If anyone figures that out, let me know!)

This is the first week where I’ve felt like pushing past those mental challenges is actually starting to pay off.  I saw times I haven’t seen in almost 2 years and the only way I was able to do that was by getting out of my comfort zone.  And you know what?  It felt GREAT!

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Monday:  45 minute easy run (5.42 miles @ 8:18/mile)

WOD:  3 rounds:
DB Push-Press 21x, 15 lbs
SDHP 21x, 20 lbs
Box Jumps 21x, 18″
Situps 21x

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Tuesday:  5 minute warm-up, 15 x 20 seconds with 1 minute recoveries, 5 minute cool down (3.66 miles @ 8:12/mile – 20s intervals @ 10.0 mph)

I had to do this one on the treadmill because I typically can’t hit my paces on the pavement in these sorts of runs.  This is still probably one of my favorite runs – short + tough!

WOD:  AMRAP in 15 minutes:
Run 200m
Box Jumps 20x, 12″
DB Push-Press 15x, 15 lbs

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Wednesday:  30 minute easy run (3.74 miles @ 8:02/mile)

Yoga:  21 Day Fix Yoga Fix (thank goodness for Beachbody on Demand on my new Roku!)

Thursday:  40 minute tempo run – 10 minutes easy, 20 minutes at 7:00-7:18/mile, 10 minutes easy (5.17 miles @ 7:44/mile)

I was super nervous about this run.  20 minutes at that pace is something I haven’t done in months.  But, once I got going, it felt almost (almost!) effortless!

Mile 1 – 8:02
Mile 2 – 7:34
Mile 3 – 7:18
Mile 4 – 7:13
Mile 5 – 8:27
Mile .17 – 1:24

WOD:
SDHP 30x, 20 lbs
Inverted Row 30x
Pushups 30x
SDHP 30x

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Friday:  5 minutes barefoot on the treadmill (0.6 miles @ 8:23/mile)

WOD:  21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps:
Power Clean, 45 lbs
Pistol Squat – right
Pistol Squat – left

My traps were screaming after that one, thanks to the power cleans!

Saturday:  70 minute long run (8.5 miles @ 8:14/mile)

I tried to run this one as blind as possible – meaning without looking at my watch.  I could feel it vibrate every mile and had to look at it to make sure I knew when I hit my turn around time, but the rest was watch-less.  (It helps that I was on low battery the last 3 miles, so I couldn’t even check my watch if I wanted to.)  Without worrying about my pace, this run felt so easy and went by pretty quickly too.  Such a change from just 6 months ago!

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Sunday:  OFF

Total Weekly Mileage:  27.81 miles (big bump up in miles from last week!)

Total Mileage for January:  146 miles

Definitely one of the best months of training in a long time.  And it was my first one for GO! St. Louis.  Let’s see what February has to offer!  Have a great start to your week/month!

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littles // links // loves

We’re changing things up over here with a new format for “things I’m loving”.  Now, that Miles is a year old, I won’t be sharing nearly as many updates about my two favorite littles.  So, I figured I could sneak in a few pictures every month about things we’ve been up to lately, along with some links/videos/blogs I’ve been obsessed with, and other random things I’m loving right now.  Hopefully you’ll enjoy the new format and get your cute baby fix for awhile!

The Concrete Runner - Littles -- Links -- Loves

littles

Miles is now 13 months and on the verge of walking.  He is pretty much the biggest goofball in the world and is always doing something to make us laugh and smile.  Right now, he loves shaking his finger when we sing, “NO MORE MONKEYS JUMPING ON THE BED!” and pushing our chins up so that we can see every light that he wants to point out to us.  He’s definitely a sweet + silly little boy.

Miles - 13 months

Monday will mark 3 years since MacKenna’s eye surgery.  (For those of you who are new to the blog, MacKenna suffered from 6th nerve palsy causing a strabismus in her left eye.  After patching unsuccessfully for a few months, MacKenna ended up having surgery to correct it.)  Thankfully, we have not had too many repercussions since then.  Her eye slightly overcorrects to the outside, but she has near perfect vision.  We go back to the eye doctor every 6 months and while another surgery and/or corrective glasses has been brought up, there has been nothing done about it.  Yet.

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links

So, MacKenna gets a half hour on the iPad every night before bed, typically coinciding when I’m feeding Miles (more on that next week).  She usually sits and watches really stupid videos (in my opinion) on YouTube Kids.  One of them she discovered were these challenge videos by Rosanna Pansino of Nerdy Nummies.  I watched one with her and I have been hooked ever since.  Ro is absolutely adorable and her challenge videos with her sister are a must watch.  Matt + I will actually watch the videos without MacKenna around.  Ha!  Or if you don’t feel like watching the challenge videos, at least watch her house tour.  It’s well worth the 15 minutes out of your life!

Besides the iPad, which is used mostly as a reward for good behavior (meaning no time outs), we are always looking for ways to keep Kenna entertained.  Emily posted on Instagram a few days ago a picture of her adorable little guys drawing pictures from Art Hub for Kids.  I immediately looked up the videos, showed them to MacKenna, and our plan this afternoon is to come home and draw the My Little Pony Apple Jack.  I’m praying she (or Miles) ends up with Matt’s artistic ability (he has a degree in art education and is an AMAZING painter) and not my absolute lack of art skill.  Make sure to follow me on Instagram – I’ll be drawing with her so I’ll post both of our pictures.  Hopefully she can sit through the entire video!

loves

I mentioned it the other day, but we are absolutely loving Making a Murderer on Netflix.  We just finished Episode 7 last night, so we are nearing the end.  I won’t give anything away (I’m trying my best to avoid any outside details to not ruin the show for me), but I’m getting a little worried as the case comes to a close…

While we’ve had Netflix for a little over a year now, we recently signed up for SlingTV because they had an offer for a free Roku 2.  We cut cable when we moved to our new house because we just didn’t watch anything besides the local news, Food Network, and Disney Channel.  It just wasn’t worth the $70+ a month to pay for shows we could essentially watch on Netflix.  However, we’ve missed Food Network and Disney channel (and end up sitting and watching both of those channels while we’re on vacation), so Sling was the next best thing.  But, this love isn’t just for Sling, it’s for our Roku box.  We’ve had it for a week now, and we are LOVING it!  I have Beachbody on Demand now and did a 21 Day Fix workout with my BFF on Wednesday and it’s been so nice to have something to watch on TV when there’s nothing on the 5 other channels we have.

what are you loving lately?  anyone else watching making a murderer?  what’s your favorite netflix or other streaming show right now?

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winter running: surviving indoor workouts

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Like I said the other day, one of my unspoken goals this year has been to run the majority of my training runs outside.  But, also like I said, sometimes ice and snow make that impossible – or at least much harder.  My access to an indoor track is just not that easy either, since the gym is 10 minutes farther away from home to where I work and doesn’t open until 5 AM, which unfortunately is too late for me to get ready, get the kids ready, and get to work on time.

Blog - Winter Running Series

So, the treadmill is sometimes I must for me.  I’m lucky that I have a fitness center literally above my office that I can use, free of charge, on a daily basis.  (They also finally fixed my favorite treadmill too after several months of it being broken.)  While I don’t necessarily love the treadmill, I can at least deal with it.  After a few years of daily treadmill runs as my only way to fit in a run, thanks to coaching, I’ve come up with a few ways to survive treadmill runs a little bit easier.

First, and probably most obvious, you just gotta switch things up!  I get bored easily and boredom is something I just don’t handle well.  I’m not one to just sit and do nothing.  Just as we speak, I am trying to write this post while also watching “Making a Murderer” on Netflix at the same time.  If I would try to run at one constant speed on the treadmill, I would lose my mind!  Plus, you really are never running at one constant speed outside, so why should you do the same on the treadmill?!

Blog - Speedy Hill Repeats

Blog - Leg Speed Intervals

These are my 2 go-to 30-minute workouts.  I usually try to do anything longer than 30 minutes outside, but if I do have to run one of my 45-minute runs on the treadmill, I might do a combination of these 2 workouts, or just continue to change up my speed every few minutes or so.

The other thing that I have found really helps distract my mind while I run is to read on the treadmill.  I just recently started doing this as I NEVER thought it was even possible to do that on a treadmill while running.  I’ve certainly read on the treadmill while walking, but reading while running just seemed impossible.  But, then I read somewhere on the interwebs about someone doing this and decided to give it a try.

I think the key to doing this is that the book or magazine needs to be below eye level.  It the book is at my eye level, my head bounces around too much and it ends up making me completely dizzy.  If I am able to put it on the treadmill below eye level, it is much easier to read.

The thing that I think is a must is reading on a Kindle or iPad.  It makes it easier to turn pages compared to a paper book.  Of course, if I’m running leg speed intervals – like I was yesterday – I have to check the time and speed frequently, so it’s a lot of looking away from the book.  But, I’m getting much better at it.

And, if I’m just not in the mood to read, I turn on Netflix on my iPad and watch an old episode of “Friends”.  You’d be amazed at how quickly 24 minutes goes by when you’re occupied with one of your favorite TV shows.

While we have a January thaw upon us this coming weekend (60 on Friday!), I know there will still be more snow ahead.  These are the only ways I can even imagine training for a half marathon through the winter and early spring.  Stay tuned:  more winter running survival tips coming throughout February!

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