Weekly Rundown

Last week was a good week, but  it just flew by. I never seemed to have quite enough time to exercise. Looking back, most of my sessions were fast and short, but I felt pretty good after doing them.

Monday: as usual, I took Monday off. I did get home and lunge Charby and do some groundwork for 15 minutes, much to her annoyance. But then I gave her dinner and she forgave me.

Tuesday: I did another morning run on the treadmill. I am still seeing just how much I can push it–although a little less cuz the previous week did tire out my legs. Need a little break before I go too hard again–but this morning I did my first mile in 9:03 (which is faster than my normal first, usually I push harder in the second), and my second was 7:44. I was pretty excited with my first sub-eight minute mile 🙂 When I got home that night, I stretched out with 13 minutes of yoga before heading out to feed the horses.

Wednesday: I hopped on the treadmill to walk before work for a simple 20 minute mile, and it felt pretty relaxing! A good way to start the day.

Thursday: I had planned on a morning run, but of course that didn’t work out. So when I got home I did a quick (9:30) mile, followed by 11 minutes of stretch-y yoga.

Friday: Usually, I have the day off but I worked half the day. And I had a vet appointment for Daisy in the afternoon (which is why I only worked half a day). I wanted to run in town on the rail trail before heading home, but I was worried about being late at the vet. I decided I better run in the morning, so I did 2 more miles on the treadmill in an easy 17:50–I wasn’t paying attention to my splits.  And good thing I did, after running around doing all my errands, I really didn’t have anything left in me to exercise.

Saturday: we had suddenly gotten 200 hundred Christmas trees to plant. I mean, we ordered them, but they called the previous Saturday and said they were ready, and we needed to come get them. I knew I was going to be worn out, so I got on the treadmill early. I decided to see just how fast I could do a 5K. I know I can’t do it out on the road, but one of my friends has a workout mate who did a 5K on the treadmill recently, and of course I wanted to beat her time. Not that I am competitive, or anything 😛 Anyhoo, I did a 25:40 5K, which put me in a great mood for the day. Which is good, because pulling a sled filled with soil amendments and trees around a field, and planting said trees, made my muscles revolt. We only got 138 planted, so there will be more to do later. But I slept exceedingly well that night.

Sunday: I had planned on doing a mid-length run, so I dragged my weary bones out the door, and was rewarded with a deer waiting a mile down the road. It was actually quite a beautiful morning, and I enjoyed the fresh air and blue sky as I ran. I decided to run my entire road, which is 2 miles to one end and back, and 1.4 miles to the other end and back, giving me a 3.4 mile run. I rode Charby later in the morning out in our ring (first time this year), she was very good and seemed to enjoy herself. Even Christopher Robin behaved himself, staying out of our way.  I did sneak in a two-hour nap with Daisy in  the afternoon, but I think I earned it!

 

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Weekly Rundown

I spent a lot of time pushing my speed on the treadmill last week. Now, I want to point out, these times are good for me. They are not necessarily good times 😛 And I can’t do them out on the road yet…yet.

But, in all honesty, they make me happy, and they are probably the fastest I have ever run. The good thing the accident did for me is, first, I wanted to get back to running as I had been, and then, second, I wanted to test my boundaries to see what my knee could do. So I actually push far more than I did previously.

And the better I do, the more I want to see what I can do.

Monday: no pushing, I took the day off!

Tuesday: so  a little bit of pushing. I decided to get on the treadmill before work (why, I still don’t know), and do a quick 2 miles. For me, it was quite quick, as the first mile was 9:46 and the second 8:43. I always feel good if it is the second (or third) mile that is faster, because anyone can speed through the first one, but how in shape they are determines how the second mile is run 🙂 Since I worked out in the morning, when I got home I had time to play with a horse. I lunged Charby and did some groundwork with her, before giving her some love and a treat.

Wednesday: weights and yoga. I did 2 x 15 reps, with 7 burpees in between the sets–I’ve been adding an extra burpee a week, so the number isn’t very high right now, but think what it will be in three months. I followed with 12 minutes of stretchy yoga, holding  each pose an extra breath.

Thursday: another morning on the treadmill with a bit more pushing–first mile was 9:10 and the second was 8 flat. Oddly enough, I was even able to walk away from the treadmill without tripping and work all day! That night I did 20 minutes of yoga, with both strength and stretch poses. Felt pretty dang good too.

Friday: I am running a 5K in a couple of weeks and I wanted to get a feel for the hill that it ends on, so I ran on the Rail Trail. I hit the hill on the way out as well as on the way back (it’s a turn off the trail that leads up to the YMCA, where the race will start and end.) Fortunately, it is not a huge hill compared to my locals.  And I was  really happy that I managed to do a hair over 4 miles in under 40 minutes, which was a first for me.

Saturday: I did another 2 miles on the treadmill, but I took it a bit easier, doing each mile at 6.5 MPH in 18:48. I took Daisy out for an easy mile after to cool down.

Sunday: I planned a long, easy run. I really did NOT want to do it, but I made myself and 3.32 miles later I was pretty proud of myself. Of course, it took almost as long as the 4 miles on Friday, but it really wasn’t about the time. In the afternoon I took Daisy for another walk. I figured she was getting shape and we could do a bit longer, so we did 2 miles. Afterwards I took Christopher Robin out for a little ride. I just hopped on bareback, and he has filled out a little bit, which made it easier to hang on with my legs. He was a really good boy, and we had a nice short ride without any resistance from him. We will see what happens when the rides get longer and more demanding!

Sunday

I did NOT want to run Sunday morning.

I finally got up out of my chair to feed the horses, and decided I might as well get moving. Honestly, I felt better as soon as laced up my sneakers–the decision was made. Not that I wanted to go out there. But I was going.

I decided to do just a couple of miles, and do them slowly, to “enjoy” them. Truth was, I had pushed with every run the past week and my legs were tired. By the second of the seven hills in my route, I decided that hills really suck!

But I made it through, and it even felt pretty good while I was doing it. And then I could go on with my day, feeling relaxed and happy that I had run.

Weekly Rundown

Well, it’s better late than never, too? Two weeks late, but I am trying to get back on track! It was my first race week of the year (my goal being 3 5ks).

I was uncertain on the best way to train, finally went for a lot of walking beforehand so my legs wouldn’t feel too tired. While that worked, I think maybe I could have run more? Missed the running. Which, of course, meant I was chafing at the bit on the starting line Sunday!

Monday: I am slowly trying to get myself motivated before work. Since I get up at 4:30 anyway, getting up a bit earlier to get on the treadmill is, um, difficult. But I am getting there. I did an easy mile on the treadmill, walking for 20 minutes. I wanted to lunge one of the horses when I got home, but there wasn’t time.  Which is why I started exercising in the mornings! And I am sure that they didn’t mind getting dinner instead of exercise.

Tuesday: took the day off.

Wednesday: had planned on doing yoga and weights, but as I forgot to look at the plan, I did another mile on the treadmill first thing in the morning instead. I try to plan my week out ahead of time to that it is fairly balanced. Also, on days I don’t have any motivation, it is already planned what I am going to do. This only works when I open my notebook and actually look at what I wrote. Ah well, at least I did something!

Thursday: a quick workout when I got home. I did 2×15 reps of weights, with 5 burpees in between, followed by 14 minutes of stretchy, relaxing yoga (yup, that was yesterday’s plan. I try to be flexible).

Friday: I did a fast 2 miles on the treadmill in 18 minutes before heading off for a long relaxing walk with a friend. We did 1 hour and 20 minutes on our local rail trail. Amazingly, there were still banks of snow down by the river, which was quite high and moving fast. But it was a bright, warm day and we had a great time. When I got home, Daisy gave me a pitiful look, so I took her for a quick mile walk too.

Saturday: another treadmill walk, this one 1.92 miles in 35 minutes. The rest of the day was spent running around with errands.

Sunday: my race! I had a great time with my friends, some of us ran and some walked. But we all had a good time 🙂 After I finished the run, I walked back to find them and walk with them. It was a great cool down. My run was pretty fantastic, and I thought I had a good time for the 3.1 miles. Definitely gives me something to do better than with my next race!

 

Race Day

I ran my first 5K race today (I don’t count my inflatable obstacle courses as we don’t run them) since my accident. I probably could have last summer, but I was timid and waiting for the “right” race.

One of my husband’s cousins put today’s race on Facebook a while back, and I clicked interested. Then my co-worker mentioned it, we realized that we were talking about the same race and our team was born. Fortunately, she was the captain 🙂 It is a great cause, the Sexual Assault and Crisis Center. We didn’t raise as much as we hoped, but a little more than we thought we would.

The biggest issue  was my week leading up to it: do I run? A lot? Fast and short or long lazy distances?  It had been so long since I had a pre-race week, and it’s not like I ran that many to begin with. Plus, my heavy run days tend to be Fri-Sat-Sun because of work, and I didn’t want to load up right before the race and have tired legs.

In then end I walked a lot. I did run a fast 2 miles on Friday–before I walked an hour and a quarter with a friend. Daisy got her time out with me too, and she walks quickly. Our walked mile would have been 15 minutes, except someone had to go to the bathroom, and it was really 15:30.

I am not sure if I will repeat that for my next 5K (and there will be another, soon) or not. I certainly didn’t have any problems running, and my legs felt good. But maybe some speed work outs and drills earlier in the week would have increased my time? Or maybe in the weeks leading up to it? I guess I will be playing around before each 5K to see what works. Good thing I had already planned to do three this summer!

I think I could have gone a bit faster, but I had no idea what the course was like and I didn’t want to get slammed with a hill at the end (which happened in my last race. See, I DO learn things!) They started us up a hill, and then we went down one we had to return, and this is where I love my hilly home area: I use the term “hill” loosely. Really, they were just gentle grades and I passed several people going up them (who frequently passed me going back down the hill).

Next year I will know where to kick it into gear (the team agreed that next year is a must). As it was, I didn’t start sprinting until I realized I could suddenly see the finish line. And who knew, I had enough left at the end to sprint for the finish.

I finished in 29:26, which is less than one minute slower than my last race. I was pretty pumped when I realized that my previous race was at the end of  the season, whereas this is just my beginning. I was even more excited about being 68th out of over 400 participants.

Now, not all of them ran. In fact, most of my team did not. So after finishing, I walked back to find them and walked the rest of their way with them. Nice cool down!

 

 

 

Weekly Rundown

I decided not to do a rundown two weeks ago because  I had a cold and, well, my exercise was not terribly exciting. I did exercise, but it was a lot of walking and yoga. Then last week, I’m not sure what happened except life was busy and I was onto this week before I even knew it. Now it’s Saturday and I better get posting or I will be in next week!

I am working with a mix of outdoor and treadmill runs now and I am loving it. I get out for my long runs and then do some quick speed sessions on the treadmill. Hoping that will translate to faster miles on my long runs too. Those hills are slowing me down  🙂

And, as usual, it is hard to get a balance in my workouts. I wanna run. Hard to make time to do yoga (which is important to stretch out my muscles so I can keep running), and the weights have pretty much gone by the wayside. Now that it is–finally–warmer, I have to fit in Daisy walks and horse activities. I know, it is a terrible life I lead.

Monday:  was once again my day off.

Tuesday: Following a ten-hour day, it is hard to get home and do anything besides feed the horses and eat dinner. Now that the days are longer I would like to do more but our dinner time is fairly strict, and, sadly, I have the mindset that once I eat, I am done for the day. I guess I need to get over that! Meanwhile, I did do a 1 mile walk in 20 minutes on the treadmill between horses and dinner.

Wednesday: I snuck in a quick easy mile (10 minutes) on the treadmill when I got home. I followed that with 15 minutes  of stretchy yoga. I have been doing a short routine  that fits in easily and on the weeks that I do it four or so times, I am actually quite flexible. I came up with it for a friend who had never ever done yoga before,  so I am rather proud of how well the flow works and accomplishes its goal, which is to calm and increase flexibility.

Thursday:  I did manage to do weights, but only 2 sets of 10 reps with 5 burpees in between sets. I only do weights to help with my running, so they are never a priority for me to do a lot or even more than I have to.  I followed the weights with my 15 minutes of stretchy yoga.

Friday: My long run. I picked my destination, which was a 5.22 mile route filled with lots of big hills. It was one of my favorite routes earlier in my running career, but I hadn’t actually run it since the accident. I did walk it last year with Daisy, and I have run parts but not the whole route. I was actually nervous as I laced up my sneakers.  Telling myself that it would be fine, and that I could turn around sooner if I felt the need (while knowing in the back of my head that I would never do that after I had set a goal), I headed out the driveway. It was a fabulous run. It wasn’t a fast run, my splits averaged around 11 minutes and it took 58:19, but it was still a fabulous run.  The hills really didn’t bother me and once again I realized just how much more in shape I am than I was last year. I think all the flights of stairs I made sure to get in during my walks at work really helped with the hills, although my lower back ached slightly after the run, telling me I need more core work so my back is supported better going up hills. More planks and burpees are in my future.

Saturday: I did a quick treadmill run. As I mentioned above, I am trying to increase my time, and I did 2 miles in 18 minutes. Which is pretty dang good for me! Maybe on a relatively flat trail, I could come close to that outside.

Sunday: A busy day–I managed 21,000 steps and, yes, I slept very well that night! I started off with a long “relaxing” run. It was meant to be relaxing, anyway. I did 4.31 miles, and I didn’t hurry much with the first three. But I have always considered myself a distance runner, as my miles naturally tend to get faster on long runs. So I spontaneously decided to see how fast I could do the fourth mile. It was certainly my fastest, and it felt pretty good. But the hill made my heart rate spike about 10 beats higher than my friend the cardio RN had freaked out about last time. Oops. Maybe I shouldn’t work quite so hard going up hills. Happy to say it does drop immediately when I reach the top. Stupid hills. Later in the day I  got on my horse for the first time this spring. About time! Of course, I spent half an hour cleaning the mud and spring shed and trimming her mane. My ride lasted about 10 minutes since the ground is still mucky and soft everywhere. But I had a great time playing with her, and she seemed to enjoy the attention. Last thing I did was finally get Daisy out for a walk. I had promised her, and she had a blast, sniffing up and down the road for our 1.44 mile walk. I’m starting her out with short distances since we are just beginning for the season and she needs to get in shape for longer walks.

Outside….FINALLY!

I bought another pair of sneakers to run outside in. I know there will be weather throughout the spring and summer that will force me inside on the treadmill.  As I live on a dirt road, getting all the dirt out of the treads so my carpet at the end of the treadmill belt doesn’t get a little (or big) pile of dirt is near impossible. I learned this last summer.

So I finally bit the bullet (sneakers aren’t cheap) and ordered them. I figure in the long run (hee hee), they will both last longer as I switch off and I won’t need another pair as soon. They arrived Monday April 2nd.

And the weather abruptly dropped cold. Not that I couldn’t have run outside, but it simply wasn’t inviting with the cold wind whipping us every time we ventured out. And then it rained every other day 😦

Today was sunny with no wind and only puffy white clouds floating around. Ah, it was beautiful! Teeshirt and hoodie kept me warm–almost too warm by the end.  New sneakers worked as expected, and it was just the most beautiful run.

Last year the first hill gave me issues, and it was my third run before I made it up at a run.

Floated right up it this morning 🙂

I feel like I am in such better shape than last spring and oh, it makes me happy. I did 3.34 miles in 35 minutes, which is not quite as fast a pace as I have been running on the treadmill. But throw in six hills (some bigger than others, but definitely some substantial ones) in those 3.34 miles and I feel it was  definitely a decent run.

Too bad we are expecting freezing rain tomorrow!

 

Weekly Rundown

Last week in March! There is definitely a spring vibe in the air, even if it is only wishful thinking. The days get bright earlier and stay light longer.

I find that I am not quite as ready for bed as I was two weeks ago–although I still sleep as well, and almost as quickly! I also find that I am more ambitious  with my workouts, willing to work harder and longer.

Monday: in the spirit of getting ready to run outside, I decided to go at a faster pace. I had been using the presets, which are great for conditioning as they vary the pace, but I wanted to see if I could run a solid 2 miles at a continuous pace. Turns out, I can! It was only 10 minute miles, but it is a good start at this time of year. Especially since I didn’t pass out when I was done, and I did it after a 10-hour work day 🙂

Tuesday: took the day off, except for my walk at break.

Wednesday: As I don’t have all that much time when I get home from work, especially since the horses seem to want to be fed and their stall cleaned like every night, I squeezed in a 20 minute walk on the treadmill. Twenty seems to be the magic number, since it was a 20 minute run on Monday after work too.

Thursday: I kinda took Thursday off too, although I did a brisk 15 minute walk at work during my break. Getting out of my office and striding about the hospital for 15 minutes (especially when it is nice enough to go outside) refreshes me and helps me get back to work in a relaxed mood. I also did 10 minutes of stretching yoga after work for further relaxation. It is a short routine, but I have been doing it more regularly and I can see that I am getting more flexible than just by doing long practices twice a week.

Friday: Still thinking I needed some solid runs behind me, I decided to run a 5K on the treadmill.  I did the first mile at 6.0, the second at 6.2 and the last at 6.4 MPH.  I felt incredibly good afterwards as I stretched it out. My first race I signed up for is at the end of the month, and I feel pretty positive about being able to finish it decently now.

Saturday: going back to the preset workouts, I did a 30 minute run (about 2.5 miles). I followed that with a 10 minute walk. I had discovered previously that I could do arm dips (reverse pushups?) on the treadmill (did I mention how short I am?) using the side handlebars. I hadn’t done any in quite a while, and for some reason I thought 4 sets of 4 dips spread throughout the 10 minute walk was a good idea. I mean, it was, but oooh, my muscles reacted the next day!

Sunday: another run on the treadmill. Funny how I no longer dislike the treadmill as much as I used to. I will be happy to get back outside, but I won’t really mind the days weather forces me inside. And I am very happy that I have the treadmill, so weather no longer controls my exercise routine. Now if Mother Nature would just let it be spring!

 

Weekly Rundown….

…..kinda

I haven’t been putting out my weekly posts, and not only because I have been busy with my husband’s health issues. I also changed my work schedule  and, of course, the first week of the new schedule was the week after my husband’s heart attack, so getting used to that during stress was, um, fun.

I am more used to it now, and have less stress. I was offered four ten-hour days with Fridays off, so of course I took it! The beauty is I get three days off in a row…..the downside is that I work 6:15 to 4:45, which means it is hard to get in a decent amount of time before or after work for exercise.

Also, I have been doing pretty much the same thing for the last few weeks, which makes it hard to think of new ways to write about it.  Basically treadmill running interspersed with yoga. I haven’t even been doing weights as I have been cleaning the horse barnyard every other night as each layer of ice lets go of muck. I  figure the heavy wet mess is a good substitute for weights, plus my shoulders and arms hurt enough. Good for my core too, as I have to stabilize before slinging the pitchfork load onto the manure pile.

I did start running the three days in a row, which was pretty exciting that I could do that weekly without my knee giving out. It has been six weeks so far, and I even added a short run before work once a week for the last two weeks. The first run on Friday always seems hard, but by Sunday I am loving it.

The weather has been slowly turning (after three snow laden Nor’Easters in three weeks), and it feels fresh and almost warm out there.  I am really excited to start running outside now. If only Mother Nature will cooperate! The good thing is that it is light until after 7pm now, so once I can get outside I can do a quick 2 mile run after work once or twice a week.

Happy Accidents

I was doing my yoga last week and I had a thrilling moment when I sat down, absently and automatically placing my legs in Lotus.

One of the things I miss most in the two years since the accident shattered my knee is sitting tailor  fashion with my legs crossed. I don’t think I have mentioned this before, but I am, as one friend likes to say, vertically challenged–5’0″ on a good day. So I frequently sat cross-legged when my feet didn’t reach the floor, or when I had to sit on the floor, or any opportunity that it would seem comfortable.

They did a fabulous job getting my knee back together, but the muscles are very tight and I still can’t bend my knee enough to sit on my heels. At least, not without some hysterical screaming from the pain. I try to avoid that.

To be perfectly honest, I haven’t really been trying to increase the bend. I can ride, and run, and work around most yoga moves, so I figured it is what it is. When I stretch out, I push the leg to bend as much as possible, but I wasn’t doing any special PT to make it bend more.

I still have to wear a light brace everyday to give it support.  I use a pull-on neoprene for most daily use, and a bit heavier one for actual exercise. I have tried twice to give it up, once last March (my leg didn’t like it at all), and once last August (my leg was fine the first week but quite unhappy the second). I will probably try again this summer, but if I have to wear a brace on my leg for the rest of my life in order to be active, I can live with that.

But I am gleeful beyond description that an ability I figured lost to me forever has returned. It’s not perfect, my right leg is three or four inches in front of the left one if the left one is tucked in properly. But it IS a cross-legged position 🙂 and-

-I can sit in Lotus at the end of my practice, breathing deeply and happily.