Thursday, July 31, 2014

J'veux ton amour, Et je veux ton revanche!

Workouts, food, Gaga, oh my!

Skipping back to yesterday morning. I had a quick 5K run on the treadmill (3.1 in 30:40, 1 minute and 40 seconds faster than my outdoors run the morning before), sprinting at every 5th minute. Ex: mins 0-4 5.9 pace, min 5 6.5 pace. It got the job done. I didn't get to the gym in time for a full go-round at the weights that morning, so I focused on some upper-body strength.

After work I hurried home because I had VERY important things to get to last night.

And yes. It was as amazing as you think it was.

I had made reservations at one of our new favorite places, Arrogant Butcher, before the show. It's a Fox Restaurant Concept, so those in the Phx area know how glorious those generally are. (And those in KC know how glorious North is!) If you're a local and haven't eaten there and thus, haven't experienced their house soft pretzels with Provolone fondue then, well. I weep for you.

I also devoured their take on a quinoa/tabbouleh salad, complete with Marcona almonds (an obsession of mine), feta, a light and refreshing Oregano vinaigrette and lots of other chopped veggie goodies. 
(See our cute little cast-iron fondue pot? Ma'am, I'd like to order a hot tub-sized vat of melted cheese, please.)

(Bathroom selfie of my new fun party dress! Blurry, because I didn't want someone to walk in on me being a douchebag.)


(The suite view...was sweet.)
Her opening acts were terri-bad, but all was right in the world once Gaga came in. She played for over two hours and was amazing and it was definitely worth the LATE (for me. I'm old.) bedtime.

I miraculously woke up one minute before my alarm was set to go off at 5:49 and begrudgingly got ready to head to yoga. I've been attending this Thursday 6:30 a.m. since the beginning of 2014 and it's a highlight of my workout week. I'm generally the youngest yogi by about 25 years but some of the others out-practice me by leaps and bounds and headstands (literally). The instructor is amazing and the class always starts out slowly, making me feel like I'm in for a relaxing hour of stretching. Then around the 15 minute mark I realize I'm sweating buckets and my heart is pounding. Today she talked about the balance of softness and structure in our practice. I like her philosophy on focusing on setting up poses from the ground on a solid foundation and working your way up. Have you ever attempted Tree Pose (Vrksasana) with your grounded foot on a foam block with your eyes closed? Woof. Practice ended with Pigeon Pose, which was perfect for my first official week of training. 

According to MapMyRun, I rounded out July 2014 with 60.65 miles. 7.11 miles of that were taken on Sunday morning walks. A solid foundation to keep building upon!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

New Kicks

Happy Tuesday!

(Hello, comfs)

I found an amazing deal (to the tune of $70 off) on these Brooks PureCadance 2's this past weekend. I'd been coming to terms with the fact that my trusty Mizuno Wave Creation 13's weren't going to last me through another season of training and upcoming race. The moment I put these bad boys on I knew I was bringing them home. They're incredibly comfortable, and fit snugly but not tightly around my entire foot, along with good arch support. I was a little nervous leaving for this morning's 5K run. The toe box of the Wave Creation's is super roomy and made of a breathable/meshy material, while these new sneaks seemed a bit more "constructed" and like they wouldn't move around as much.

The second I took off, I knew I didn't have to worry about a thing. These are so comfortable. I never thought I lacked support in the Wave Creations, but it made such a difference in actually running. I'm going to wear the Brooks for my shorter week-day runs for a while and slowly transition away from the Mizunos on my long runs, just to make sure the Brooks are broken in. Three cheers for running shoe deals.

The run itself felt good. In case you were wondering, 5:45 a.m. in late July in Arizona is a leetle too late to take off for a run, even a shortie like this morning's. I want to start getting in at least one outside run a week, since a treadmill with a personal fan blowing cool air directly on my face isn't exactly like out running in nature. My first two miles felt great, clocking in at 10:12 and 10:11, respectively. (I can hear people laughing at this being a "faster" time, but lay off. Fast FOR ME!) I had to stop and re-tie a shoe at the turnaround, and then when I was running back the rising sun was directly in my face. Being blinded + higher temps = 10:48 3rd mile. I clocked the whole 3.1 miles at 32:10. As soon as I clicked the "Pause" button on my Garmin, I saw the black triangle of death, signaling that all the run's data was lost. NOOOOOOOOOO! I'm not sure why my Garmin has been acting up lately, but it makes me a little Hulk-Smash-Angry. I've researched how to do a hard reset on it and just need to bite the bullet and try that out. I could also use MapMyRun to live track my runs, but their mileage always seemed a little wonky. (Adding about .15 more miles than the actual distance.)

At any rate, a successful Tuesday morning! Does anyone have recommendations on women's running sunglasses that 1) don't look like they're circa Top Gun with sweet mirrored lenses and 2) don't cost as much as a baby on the black market?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Putting this out there

Welcome to my little corner of "if I put it out to the universe, I'll be forced to actually train for this half marathon and reach my goal. That, or everyone will laugh at me." 

At the end of 2013, I jokingly FB'd a status that said I wanted to do 3 things in 2014: Read more books (my Insta is a testament to this going great; I'm down 14 so far!), be nicer (jury's still out on this one, but I have given it the old college try) and to PR a half mary. I clocked in my first half last November at 2:28:00 on the dot, and instead of just willy-nilly aiming for a "better time," I've resolved to cut it down to 2:20 or less. I'm not one to put specific parameters on goals, and maybe that's because I don't like to set myself up for failure, but this time around I'm forcing myself to actually stick with a game plan. I feel like putting my training plan and adventures on this here blog for all the world (or, ya know. General friends and family) will force me to do my best.

It blows my mind that two years ago, I'm pretty sure I hadn't run more than a mile at a time in my entire life. My first MapMyRun entry shows a 2.84 jog on October 14, 2012. The first official 5K I ran was part of Arizona Wine Grower's Great AZ Grape Stomp Series, a fun little rinky-dink jaunt around Fountain Hills's fountain, followed by a breakfast burrito. (Still not sure why I don't end every run with a breakfast burrito.)

Last year's half was something I never envisioned doing, and I immediately wanted to die afterwards. 

(you can't tell, but I want to throw up)

It took about 6 months for me to want to run 3-4 times a week again, and I happily chose yoga over any other form of exercise in the interim. But, I have to make good on my 2014 goals. So here we are. It's going to happen.

I've mapped out a training calendar based on Hal Higdon's Novice 2 Program. The plan officially starts today, with a rest day. (So, I've already conquered my first day of training. Woohoo!) 

My weeks will go a little something like this:

Monday: REST

Tuesday: A "faster" run that starts with 3 miles and will end up going to 5 miles

Wednesday: A "faster" 3 mile run followed by weight training (I love this superset workout.)

Thursday: YOGA

Friday: Easy 3 mile run and maybe some core work

Saturday: Long runs. They'll start with 5 miles and HOPEFULLY build up to 12 the week before the race. From my experience last year, I know I need to get a few more 10+ long runs in.

Sunday: YOGA (I attend a Sunday "power" class where I try to find a space in the back and not make a fool out of myself while people are expertly propelling themselves into side crow and handstands.)

Seeing as how temps are averaging around 110° lately, I've been spending tons of time with the treadmill. It's not ideal, but it gets the job done. I see several 4:45 a.m. wake up calls in my future, just to make sure I get my runs in before the heat attacks.

So. This is my plan, laid out for the world to see. If I don't stick to it and reach my goals, you all have permission to publicly shame me. Here we go.