Greetings from the Arctic Tundra, aka Minneapolis, Minnesota! I’m on my way back from a conference.
I was truly intimidated by the thought of training on the road, in the cold. I know that for some of you that is par for the course but it’s a rarity for me.
We stayed in downtown Minneapolis so I started googling running routes in the area the first morning and found this:
I wanted something close by, pretty, and around 7 miles. I also decided to run during my lunch break so it would hopefully be light and there would be plenty of people around. Plus, if I ran during lunch, it should be the warmest part of the day, right?
I ran in pretty much the same thing I did during my long run last week, plus a vest and gloves. When I’m out of town, I usually bring cash, my driver’s license, my cell phone, and maybe credit card when I run, just in case of emergencies. After a quick detour to Target, I even had ear warmers. This course crossed the Mississippi River several times, so I had to do some bridge running, which I’ve sworn off since this summer. But it was cool to cross the Mississippi in a new state!
Once I crossed the bridge the run became much less urban and more residential. I’m guessing it was a college area. I actually saw a lot of snow/ice on the ground! I felt warm enough though.
Once I got back to the other side of the Mississippi River, I was feeling a little more comfortable and adventurous so I hopped off my planned course to an area called Heritage Trail, which ran parallel to the river. It was beautiful. I was running on a nice path with lots of different colored leaved trees. I kept thinking a) this is why people talk about liking running in the fall (although it felt more like the dead of winter to me) and b) this is what Robert Frost must have been looking at when he wrote about two paths diverging.
I went about a mile along the river to the north before turning around to head back. I was having such a blast, running easy and enjoying the sights. Around .5 mile from where I originally got on Heritage Trail I saw a pedestrian bridge that crossed the river and jumped on it. There were some beautiful views of the dam from there.
Next I found some ruins from a mill that the city had built a whole park around. I took some video and still pictures so I could show my kids when we learn about the Industrial Revolution.
After that I did one more loop over the bridge and back so that I could hit my goal mileage. It can be a little tricky to hit the right mileage in an unfamiliar area and I’d rather run a little far than short so I was happy to hit 7.65 miles when I got back to the hotel.
Next challenge: finding somewhere to swim on the road.
Thursdays are my tough days. I usually take Friday to rest and sometimes even get to have a handsome breakfast date.
That means by Wednesday night I have started counting down the number of workouts til I get a break.
Often we swim Thursday nights, so I’m pretty beat, but we swam last night instead and I was so happy to have a bit more energy. Especially because Coach C had us do a version of a ladder to work on endurance. It included a 400 followed by a 300. It looked like this:
Warm Up: 3×100
Main Set: 2×50, 1×100, 1×400, 1×300, 1×200, 1×100, 2×50
Cool Down: 2×50 pool walk
Getting warmed up and going straight into the longer stuff was great because then I could swim ‘faster’ on the other end without worrying about wearing myself out before the ‘long’ set.
As I swam, I counted down the workouts along with the laps, “Ok, finish this swim, then one more morning run and one bike trainer session. A brick sounds great, but I might be too wiped…”
Don’t get me wrong. I love to work out. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it, if it wasn’t enjoyable to me.
But I like to rest too…
I love breakfast dates. I’m a sucker for pancakes and shrimp and grits. Do you like to cook breakfast or eat breakfast out? Favorite breakfast foods?
Got a swim workout you are loving right now? I’d love to steal it for my weekly Coach C-less swim.
My Boston Strong Bic Band came today and made the ‘Thursday Push’ better. Bic Bands is donating the entire purchase price to One Fund, which is pretty cool. And a cat picture because I’m that cool.
Workout 4.35 miles
So while I was at Louisiana Running Company last week buying a water bottle, Patrick the owner told me that Monday night’s Run Group was going to be Halloween costumed theme so I should come. I have missed the last few because it’s been getting dark so much earlier but I made it to this one and just ran the short route.
And yup, I ran to Run Group wearing this. In New Orleans, it’s pretty normal to wear a tutu.
I went ahead and shook my tail feathers for Mo.
Mo is back to running! He ran 2 miles today and said his Achilles felt great. He got super bundled up for the run.
I got an awesome shoe bag for wearing a costume to the run. Totally worth it.
Ever done a costume run before?
Thursday: 2 mile run / 23:45 minutes
Friday: 7.5 mile run / 81 minutes
Saturday: Lower Body Bootcamp / 60 minutes
Obviously, it’s been a bit of a tough week around here. I think my exhaustion is well summed up in this picture.
This was spirit week at school. And quarter exams. Friday’s theme for us was 7th Grade Stompers, modeled after the 610 Stompers, a popular New Orleans dance group.
Wednesday night I ran into the cat scratch post and thought I had broken my pinky toe, hence the short Thursday morning run to test out the waters. It seems to be fine so I might have over-reacted by googling ‘how long til you can run on a broken pinky toe.’
I considered posting the picture, but couldn’t find one that would spare you your appetite. You’re welcome.
Friday morning Mo and I had a breakfast date.
As part of my 7th Grade Stompers costume, I wore compression socks all day. I secretly hoped this would leave my legs super fresh for my long run after school. I also went to Louisiana Running Company on my planning period and picked up a nifty Nathan’s water bottle on my friend LB’s recommendation.
And yes, I went wearing the mustache. This is New Orleans.
When I left school, I told Mo I would be running somewhere between 3 and 10 miles so I’d be home somewhere between 5:30 and midnight. Hope you didn’t have any plans!
My legs felt so tired the whole time, like the whole week was catching up to me… similar to how they have felt the last two Friday long runs. Time management wise, Friday afternoon long runs are equivalent to the bomb.com. Friday evenings are usually a void anyway, so it makes sense to squeeze a long run in. Realistically though, I’m just too tired. This Friday I made it to 7.5 miles before I gave up. It’s still a good use of time to run home from school, but I’m going to limit it to 5 or 6 miles max and just enjoy the fact that I can squeeze another medium length run in there during the week.
Jess is back at boot camp! After taking a well deserved maternity break, she is back to leading Camp Sweat. I went Saturday morning and it was a pretty intense workout, just like I knew it would be. I actually only packed my 5 pound weights because I knew it would be tough.
If you are looking for a great bootcamp, this upcoming week is Bring a Friend Week at Camp Sweat. If you have never tried Camp Sweat before, you can go to one of Jess’s amazing bootcamp classes for free this week. Classes are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 7 pm and Saturday at 8 am. All classes are at the West End Park by the West End Marina. You can just tell her you heard about it from me. Since I started in January, I’ve taken 2:30 minutes of my normal running pace and I really attribute it to this class.
Have you ever tried a bootcamp style class before? Would you?
Workout: Run 3.5 miles/ 35:09 minutes Run .8 miles / 7:55 minutes Swim 250 meters Run .8 miles / 8:02 minutes
I don’t have to pack a gym bag very often. I usually work out from home or I get home early enough to change before boot camp. But since our pool is close to school, I’ll be packing a gym bag for a few weeks, at least until after Yam City Tri.
Black Girls Run had a great post about women carrying too many bags, and I took it under advisement packing for today. This system worked well and I’d try it again.
It was good to get back into the pool. Well, not good as in I swam well, more like good as in “It’s a darn good thing I got back in this pool so I don’t drown in 2 weeks.” I’ve definitely prioritized running and biking- this was my first swim since RocketChix.
Do you work out from home or go some place to work out? If you pack workout clothes, do you have any tips?
Workout: Run 5 miles/ 48:32 minutes
Oh SkinnyTaste, how we love thee. Let me count the ways.
First there was the Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps.
And now Skinny Pesto Shrimp. (The shrimp are a little hidden among all the veggies. But they are in there and they are good.)
You know if I make it, it’s a) easy, 2) cheap, and c) hopefully healthy. I’ve been trying to cook something big-ish on Sunday night and have leftovers for Monday and these meals have fit the bill.
Tonight Patrick and I picked up our friend Jason during our run. Jason has been trying to make it to Louisiana Running Company Run Group, but has missed it for various reasons, so when we literally ran across him, he joined up with us. It was great to catch up with him and he’s a fantastic runner. We ran slower than last week, but I was feeling pretty tired from the work day.
I probably would have been more tired today because of yesterday’s exceptional workout, except that I snagged these bad boys over the weekend. I actually ordered them for Mo, but he waited a full 24 hours to open the package, which means they were fair game for me to claim. This rule also applies to any dessert, cash, or Cherry Coke Zeroes in the house too. You’ve been warned.
Although I don’t think I would wear compression socks out on a run in August in Louisiana, they were pretty great for around the house. I think my legs felt fresher when I took them off at least. I’ll give them a few more tries before I make a final call.
Got a website you rely on for recipes? How about a favorite cookbook?
Have you tried compression socks before? Worth it?
Workout: Bike 15 miles/ 70 minutes Run 3 miles / 27:04 minutes
These guys were less impressed by today’s workout that McKayla Maroney would be:
Regardless, it was great.
Yam City Tri is two weeks from today. Last week I ordered tri shorts and a tri top as well as a fuel belt/bib belt so that I could cut down on my T1 time (4:30) from Rocketchix. The top came and I wore it today.
The shorts came too but they were super unflattering and I sent them back and ordered something new. Hopefully they will get here soon so I can do a swim in the complete outfit.
The other part of the T1 plan was to save time by not wearing socks for the bike and run. Since I just have cages on the glorious Mustang Sally, I bike in my running shoes. I’ve been practicing running and biking sock-less in my Pure Flows. One of the tips I read (somewhere?) was to apply body glide to your feet so that they don’t get blisters as they get used to running sock-less.
I am no stranger to Body Glide. Anywhere my sports bra touches skin is susceptible to chafing, as are my legs occasionally and sometimes the insides of my arms if there is an errant seam on a shirt. So I’ve been dutifully Gliding before every brick and hopefully next week my feet will be used to the shoes enough to go without so that I don’t have to worry about it on race day.
And just to leave you with a slice of New Orleans, yesterday was the Red Dress Run. Since Friday night I’ve been seeing men and women clad in red dresses stumbling through the city.
Last night we caught up with a race participant. He pointed out to me how well he accessorized his outfit.
Are there any crazy runs in your area? We’ve got Red Dress Run, Running of the Bulls, Running of the Santas and probably a few others I don’t know about.
Workout: Run 3 mi/ 27:45; Swim 3×250/ 5:58, 5:52, 6:08; Run approx 3.5 mi/ 33:29
I’ve been doing some longer workouts lately training for GatorTrax and Rocketchix, so I’ve been thinking about fuel a lot. After last week’s disappointing experience with blueberry pomegranate Gu, I wanted to try some new flavors.
I lucked upon a fuel expert at Varsity Sports yesterday and we spent a good ten minutes discussing flavors, chews, gels, and waffles. I ended up getting 3 Gu’s and 1 waffle. The waffle is to try on the bike this weekend when Mo and I ride, and the Gu’s are to try on tomorrow’s run/swim/run and over the next week.
When my friend Amy texted yesterday and asked me to lunch, I said sure. Then I realized lunch was going to come right smack in the middle of when I normally swim.
No problem. This just gave me an opportunity to try out my race day outfit. This morning I drove to the gym and ran 3 miles around the area.
I hardly ever run uptown so I got a couple of nice shots along the way.
I ended up back at the car where I sucked down a peanut butter Gu and some water. I love peanut butter and this definitely was peanut butter flavored. I got to the gym, changed into my swimsuit but with a sports bra underneath and jumped in the pool. Quick swim, nothing special. Put on running shorts and a tank over my swimsuit and got into my running shoes.
Here is where I ran into problems. I was wearing my black Athleta Bermuda shorts, which are a little big. I guess between the swimsuit sucking everything in and being wet from the pool, my shorts couldn’t handle it. I had to keep pulling them up and holding onto them during the second run.
Also, genius that I am, I didn’t think about the fact that my shorts would be wet and that I would need my phone dry to run the Map My Run app. For some reason when I hit one mile, the lovely Map My Run Lady didn’t remind me and I got all flustered. I ended up turning off the app, hiking up my shorts and running off the watch. I am pretty sure I ended up running about 3.5 miles though.
Lessons Learned Today
- Gu is good. I don’t think I would have made it through all of this insanity without a little extra punch of energy
- I’m glad I gave my race day outfit a test run because I won’t be wearing those shorts.
- I muddled through, despite a few setbacks. *pat on the back*
- Running in a sports bra with a swimsuit over it was not that bad.
Also, if you have time, I asked Frayed Laces for some advice getting over my fear of swimming in open water. See my question and her response over here!