I am very pleased to report that I’ve been running pain-free for about four weeks. I give enormous credit to Doyle & Taylor Physical Therapy in Annapolis and also have to admit that a reduced weekly running schedule (3 days) combined with diligent strength exercises and stretching have allowed me to resolve the sources of my hip pain. I’m not entirely convinced the pain is gone for good but I am most definitely back to my normal running pace, comfort level and optimism. Continue reading
This year, Mother’s Day fell on the 5 week birthday of my new son and I treated myself to my first post-partum run. Having run all through pregnancy I cheated a bit on the post-partum rest period and gave myself four weeks of rest instead of the typical six weeks after giving birth. My rest period did involve lots of walking but I was anxious to hit the five week mark and try a run. Continue reading
With all the snow on the ground and the need to log time on the bike, spin class is an ideal solution for getting in a good ride. In fact, I probably push harder in spin class than I do when I’m out riding on my own. There is a trained instructor who guides an intense work-out and the combination of hills, surges, speedwork, lifts, and steady climbs makes for an incredible 60 minutes on the stationary bike; plus there is the added bonus of what are usually great playlists made by the instructors!
Though I’ve been attending spin classes for a few years now, I do not consider myself an ‘advanced level’ spinner. I only go 1-2 times each week and I have very specific goals each time I go. 1.) Build better endurance to use the higher gears longer and 2.) Improve my form. I am sure there are plenty of articles and blogs out there with great advice on how to achieve these things and I will definitely be seeking them out. In the meantime, I thought I’d share the few things I’ve figured out that seem to be effective spin class tactics. Continue reading
I’m not a huge fan of running on treadmills. It’s also not something I’m good at which makes me like it even less. But when it’s 45 degrees outside and there is a steady, heavy, cold rain, I have to admit I’d rather run on the treadmill than in that weather. The trouble is that I’m on week 12 of training for the Richmond Marathon and I already lost one 7 mile day to the weather and my own schedule. The weekend called for 8 miles and 15 miles and I started agonizing over how I was going to make this happen as soon as I saw the forecast earlier in the week.
I had already planned to flop the 8 and 15 so that the 15 was on Saturday and the easy 8 would be on Sunday. I believe I’ve run 7 miles on a treadmill before but I literally couldn’t wrap my brain around doing 15. For the first Saturday in a very long time I did not have to set my alarm clock and I was able to just let my body sleep as long as it needed. And apparently I needed sleep; by the time I got to the gym it was 10:45 a.m.! I was headed to the gym thinking I’d shoot for 8 miles and if I could get to 15 that would be awesome; I decided to deal with the remaining miles as best I can on Sunday and if I don’t get to this week’s full 47 then I’ll just have to deal with that. Continue reading
Buying new running shoes, especially for experienced athletes, is not just a fleeting shopping moment or a purchase made on a whim. It is a thought-out, planned experience. For some, like myself, the process of buying new shoes begins months before it’s actually time to buy. For many athletes, the buying process includes researching shoes, studying their own foot type, or becoming familiar with local running stores–the act of buying new shoes is a very deliberate process.
Over a week ago my friend invited me to join her in her new shoe purchase. Like the athletes I just described she was well armed with information long before it was time to buy shoes. She knew what stores she did and didn’t like in the Baltimore and Annapolis areas, she knew why she was ready to move on from her trusty Asics, she could describe her fitness level and walk/jog work-outs, and she was well versed in the different arches of her feet and the orthotics she uses to get a comfortable fit with shoes. So when we met up at the new Charm City Run store at the Annapolis Towne Centre I knew it would not be your average shoe purchase experience.
I’ve found a sweet spot lately with a five mile loop. It seems to take just the right amount of time, it has the right amount of hills, and each time I finish the five miles I feel a little better about it than the last time. As nice as it’s been, you might say I’ve been in a five-mile rut. If I weren’t planning to run a half marathon the first weekend of August it might not matter that I’ve been stuck at five miles, but I am. So I finally upped my mileage and it’s been several months, since the Cooper River Bridge Run to be exact, since I’ve ran more than five miles.
One of the reasons I love MapMyRun is for my archived running routes. I think I could do my five mile loop with my eyes closed but I needed a quick refresher on my six mile route. I “dusted off” the routes and looked it up. For some reason, those six miles looked a lot longer online than I remember them being. Knowing I wasn’t going to give myself a chance to get out of the run, I switched mental gears and focused on how nice it would be to run a little longer than normal and planned to let my mind wander. Continue reading
After taking off from exercise for one full week to let my body really rest, it felt like months since I’d done anything cardiovascular. I picked a Sunday to start back into an organized training and fitness plan and I don’t think I could have picked a better day. From my bed I could see that it was gorgeous out, a perfectly clear and sunny spring day. I knew it would be chilly though so I prepared with layers and was shocked once I got started to find out how windy it was. So why was it perfect? Because it was pretty enough to remind me why I love running outside but it was also chilly and windy enough to humble me and reassured me that I can’t just jump back into running where I left off.
I am starting fresh. I find this to be a huge opportunity to do it all “right” this time. I wore my Polar heart rate watch this morning which I haven’t touched in over a month. I’d like to get a better grip on heart rate work-outs and use them to really understand my performance. First though, I think I need to learn how to use my watch because for some reason it didn’t measure my HRs this morning.
My plan was to do around 3 miles in my neighborhood but because I didn’t map the route ahead of time I was bummed to find that it only ended up to be 2.54 miles at the end. Continue reading
Sing it with me! I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more! And tonight I could have. A girlfriend invited me to join her for an after work power walk leaving from the greenest building in Annapolis (Chesapeake Bay Foundation) and doing a 3-mile loop along the waterfront flanked by gorgeous houses.
My friend has got some muscles on the mend from past triathlons and has mastered the art of power walking during her recovery. She set us out at a good clip and even the dog could barely keep up, but soon we all fell into stride and were cruising along the curving road. Given her experience with power walking I noticed her form was a bit more practiced than mine. I could feel my legs wanting to go into run mode so I concentrated on planting my feet and lengthening my stride. With a dog leash in one hand my arms weren’t pumping at the most efficient angles and I could tell that I wasn’t focusing much on my core either. Continue reading