As we stress over being stuck inside and away from each other (not to mention the cause of said isolation), I thought this post might be worth a rerun 🙂
I am always happy out in nature. I can see the sunrise turning an opalescent pink, spread across the horizon and kissing clouds on the way to work and inhale that beauty, bringing calm to start my day. But I have a particular affection for trees.
I love being in a forest, and lag behind everyone else snowmobiling as I take in the trees. I love texture, and trees have tons of that. Craggy bark, smooth bark, light bark, dark bark, curling bark. And leaves! Smooth, fringey, delicately shaped or large and bold, with varying shades of green. In the fall I truly am a distracted driver when all the gorgeous burgundys, oranges and golds appear.
The variety of trees living and growing side by side is a lesson in itself for us.
Hope everyone is doing ok out there. Up here in our corner in Maine, we are just starting to see the COVID-19 cases the rest of the county (and world) has been seeing.
We are fortunate that we are rural, so we can get out and enjoy some nature without running into too many others. If we do see others, we can smile, take a wide pass and keep going. I am so very grateful we can still get out and get some fresh air. I hope if you live near any outdoor venues, you are getting out and relaxing in nature too. Just stay safe and healthy. Reach out to family and friends, stay involved–just don’t get together or go shopping unless necessary!
Because of the havoc going on, I haven’t been motivated to put out my Weekly rundowns. But life goes on, right? And technology is our line to each other right now. Imagine if this had happened in the 80s: no tel-education, no FB or Instagram to connect to others, no online shopping to be done. Small blessings, right?
Week One: After my high mileage week, I decided to work on hills. The treadmill wasn’t getting me in shape for those outdoors runs. Since I am surrounded by hills, I was concerned that the 5k down in South Portland would also be hilly and I wanted to be prepared. The real hills were hard, so yeah, treadmill inclines were not as good.
Tuesday: AM mile accomplished in a brisk 8.28 with incline 3. Still using those treadmill inclines to try to get a little extra umph. Have to admit, after my hills, 3 was no big deal. Guess I need to go steeper.
Wednesday: off — not planned, but apparently needed.
Thursday: another am run, 2 miles this time. It was my first ever sub 16 minute 2 mile, so I was pretty pumped for the day. It was 15.58, but that is sub enough for me! And it was in my new New Balance Fresh Foam Vongas. Guess they are the winners!
Friday: Hill run. I decided not to go to far from home–literally. I did a 5K running back and forth between my 2 closest hills — x 2. I was probably never more than a half mile from home as I live on one hill and the other is a quarter mile away. I had never figured out how long they were before, but since I had the time….. The hill I am always complaining about in spring as I first have to run up is 450 yards. Now, that is one lap of a track stretched out –uphill. Plus. The hill that I live on is 600 yards. I am going to say I did some good hill work.
Saturday: 2.1 miles in morning on treadmill.. Knee kicked out in beginning, so I had to start at 4mph and work up to 7.2. Really wanted a 5K but ran out of time. I was going to see a Call of Wild with friends. By the way, it was awesome!
Sunday: Ran my 5K route from house. Had some wind on the way back but managed to run it in 34:48, faster than last time. In the afternoon my friend brought her greyhound over and we walked a hair over 2 miles to the end of road and back. It was fun to see her first introduction to the 2nd hill — she was not appreciative of it!
Week Two: well, after blowing the 25% rule and running hills, I was tired. I managed to not strain anything with my leap in activity, but dang I was tired all week. Legs didn’t feel too heavy, it was more that I wanted to nap…and nap….then nap some more. I did make it through tho 🙂 My Thirsty Leprechaun 5K that was scheduled for Saturday had been changed to a virtual run–we were invited to run a 5K wherever and whenever, then upload our time and print off a completion certificate. Our shirts were mailed out to us. I got it in record time! It is one of my better ones too.
Tuesday: after work run!! I was too lazy to get up in the morning, so I forced myself out the door (thank you daylight savings) after work and up the hill. I managed 1.79 miles in a fairly slow time (it was mostly uphill on the way out) and did a short yoga session to stretch after.
Wednesday: off. Apparently it is habit forming.
Thursday: a short yoga session after work is about all I wanted to manage.
Friday: disastrous workout. Tried new Brooks Launch 7s, ran .3 miles and decided they were NOT going to work. Traded shoes, finished mile but had no omph, so called it. There was that tired thing again. Took the Launch 7s back the next day.
Saturday: It was supposed to be the day of the Thirsty Leprechaun 5K, but since it had been cancelled my friend and I took a windy walk on Rail Trail with the dogs. We walked 3.4 miles, and it took about an hour with our pooches sniffing endlessly.
Sunday: 5k run for my virtual Leprechaun race. Decided to use my 5K course right out the door and managed to cut 2:10 minutes off my time from last week, finishing with 30:34. Not a great 5k time, but considering the 7 hills in the course, I was more than pleased with it. When normally I would be slacking off up a hill, I kept telling myself that if this was a race with people in front of me, I wouldn’t be slacking, so I didn’t let myself. I admit, I have tendency to “save” for later in the run, but then the run isn’t that hard and I never use it. I need to learn to run harder earlier on.
Like so many other runners, my race for Saturday (the Thirsty Leprechaun 5K) has been cancelled. It was the first race of my season, and I trust there will be others in the season!
Meanwhile, I hope everyone out there is safe and staying that way. I happen to work for a hospital (I am NOT medically trained), and I thought I would put out some of the stuff they shared yesterday.
What Should I Do if I have Flu-like Symptoms?
For your health and the health of others, do not arrive unannounced at any Express Care, your primary care office or the Emergency Department. Please call ahead so our medical staff can prepare for your arrival. · You or someone you know experience fever or symptoms like the flu or cold, stay home. · Call your primary care provider if you feel you need to be seen for your symptoms. · For an emergency, call 911.
What Can I do to Protect Myself and My Family?
Here are some things we all can do to lower the risk of spreading any virus: · Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; · Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands; and · Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue away.
Additionally, try to stay out of crowds (which is why they are cancelling everything). For accurate info, go to the CDC.gov website. They have current data, updates and ideas to keep you and the family safe as possible. And don’t panic!! Toilet paper will be available–if not, there are always tissues 😛
Well, I completely ignored that pesky 25% rule. You know, the one that says you shouldn’t increase your mileage by more than 25 % per week to prevent injury or muscle stress.
I wanted to run 2 miles on Tuesday, but I had some time issues–as usual–and only managed one. Then I thought, I could do a reverse pyramid: one more mile every day. And I did 🙂
I would like to say, for me, blowing the 25% rule worked. Not suggesting it for everyone. But I felt fine during my first run the following week, which makes me think I really have been slacking and I am in shape to do more than I had been. I pretty much leapt from 7-9 mile weeks to a 15 mile week and my body didn’t argue with me. Guess I better keep it up!
Tuesday: AM run, but somehow getting out of bed did not seem that attractive. By the time I got down to the treadmill, I only had time to do 1 mile. And quickly at that: 7-7.7 MPH for a brisk pace. I used #1 incline to make it a just a little harder for me. I hit the dang safety after .2 mile and had to start over, I did run a full mile after replacing.
Wednesday: AM run again, 2 miles this time to keep with the plan of adding on a mile each day. Love it when a plan comes together. I did some PM yoga when I got home from work. Only 14 minutes, but it was mostly strength poses that made me feel good 🙂
Thursday: I took the day off from running, and did my resistance training on the Alpha Ball in the evening. I did 1×15 of the B set, plus 4 exercises from A. B is very core intensive, I can always feel my tummy the next day. I pushed my knee too much during my yoga stretches, and it was quite stiff as I went up to make dinner. Fortunately it bounces back pretty well these days, and felt fine the next morning.
Friday: I decided to take my running outside–my first 5K is next week! So I did my personal 5K, that I haven’t done since last fall. Um, it SUCKED. First were the hills. Either the treadmill inclines are not enough, or I am not doing enough of them. Personally, I am going with no treadmill can prepare you for real hills, especially when there are seven of varying steepness and length in the course. Then there was the wind. On the way back I was coming up a hill with the wind being channeled down by trees and for a moment I wondered if I was actually making progress! I knew I was picking my feet up and down, didn’t feel like I was going anywhere. And as I passed the blueberry fields the wind blew each exhalation back down my throat. I still hadn’t quite figured out my sneakers and my feet got uncomfortable after 2.5 miles. Not hurting, just uncomfortable. But, on the bright side, I did it! 3.36 miles outside. And it was sunny–frigid, but sunny. I regained my breath with a 6 minute yoga stretch after, then called it a day.
Saturday: I had exchanged my sneakers–again– the previous day when we went to town, getting Brooks Glycerin 19s. I had tried on the Glycerin 20s and didn’t like them but the 19s seemed better so I brought them home. I did a test run on the treadmill–I can exchange them as long as I don’t get them dirty, so no outdoor runs til I want to keep them! I did 4 miles (there was my extra mile). The run itself felt ok, considering I hadn’t run that far in forever, but 4 miles on a treadmill is, well, 4 miles on a treadmill! I chose to do it a a solid 6 mph to work the sneakers in. This pair lasted longer, but my feet were feeling uncomfortable by the end. I took Daisy out to walk beforehand to warm up, we did 2.04 mile in 34 min. We jogged a bit up the hill on the way back, which is what made me decide to get on treadmill as soon as we got back instead of later.
Sunday: did my first 5 miles of year. The run felt good, a bit euphoric emotionally since it went so well. But the Glycerins gave me a blister. No running shoe has ever made me blister–in fact, none of my previous shoes ever really had a “break in” period, they were pretty much plug and play. So those sneakers are going back! Walked Daisy again, but I held her back to 1.36 miles so she won’t overdo. She would walk for miles, but I am concerned about her muscles not feeling so good the next day until we get her in shape.
Well, I made the mistake of checking my weekly milage since the new year. I am a little depressed, I was below 10 miles for most weeks. And the Ghost 11 sneakers I had bought (because it was hard to find Ghost 10s) just weren’t working out.
I have to say, I love Brooks. I started with the Glycerin and have been through 3 pairs of Ghost 10s. They did not make the 11s the same. I hate it when they change things. I run with a mid/fore strike, and the 11s did fine for about 2 miles, then my feet started feeling numb. The drop didn’t change, and the BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning were the same, but somehow my foot was not liking it.
I took into account that maybe my feet needed some TLC after too much footwork, and I spent some time attacking them with lotion and using a foot massager in between my runs. Didn’t seem to make a difference. So I spent Friday morning researching good sneakers for a mid strike. And then I went shopping.
Tuesday: It was a long day at work, so I just did 21 minutes of “free” yoga when I got home. Free basically means I just flow into whatever pose feels good until my day is gone and I can go make dinner.
Wednesday: My husband went snowmobiling up north, leaving me with more free time than normal on a weekday. I did an AM run (1 mile at 7-7.4 MPH) before saying good bye to him and heading off to work. I decided to do a PM run as well since I was home alone. However, my attempt to pair my headphones with the TV ran into a snag and the app I wanted to watch was very low volume, so I substituted a walk instead. I did a brisk walk at 3 MPH, carrying 1lb weights and inclines 3 and 7 for 17 min.
Thursday: another free evening, so I slept in a few minutes in the morning and had another PM run. This time I ran 2 miles in 16 :50, it felt like it took forever but I made it! I finished up with 9 min of yoga to stretch. Great thing about being home alone–I had salad both nights so I didn’t have to cook!
Friday: My weekly 35 minute run on the treadmill. Since I am trying to go slower occasionally, I set it at 6.0 MPH and did exactly 3.5 miles.
Saturday: a busy day! My husband wanted to go to Portland to a boat salvage, so I figured out everything I’d like to do in the city. We hit Trader Joes, the salvage and a music store–for him. I have no ability beyond enjoying music. Which I do, greatly. Because I knew we wouldn’t be home early (and I had company coming that night) I did my treadmill program workout first thing in the morning. I spontaneously picked #10, which had max speed of 6.8 @ #4 incline alternated with 4.9 and 5.3 speeds with max of #8 incline. Needless to say, I felt well exercised when I was done! The last stop we made before coming home was to shop for sneakers. I tried on several, finally settling on Ghost 12s as they felt more like my 10s. I got them at Dicks, which is great because if I run in them (and keep them clean), I can still return them.
Sunday: my testing sneakers run! I simply planned on 20 minutes, but then they felt ok, so I added another 5 minutes. At that point I was at 2.8 miles, so I figured, hey, lets just do a 5k. Later in the day Daisy and I went for a walk with Jerb and Lelah. Lelah is a friend of mine, and Jerb is a retired greyhound that is a friend of Daisy. Amazingly, her little legs go so fast and his long steps are pretty languid, they really walk very well together and we did a slow 2.26 miles in 49 minutes. The sun was out and there was some melting puddles, but overall, a good time was had by all.
A man by the name of Eliud Kipchoge set a miraculous time last October for the distance of 26.2 miles: 1:59:40.2. It was his second attempt for a sub 2 hour marathon. To bring it in, he had to shave 1 second off each of the 26 miles. Seems easy enough, but to lose focus for that one second could add seconds to each mile instead of shaving them off.
Kipchoge did it by picking a location he felt comfortable with, in temperatures that were peak for his running and with rotating pacers to keep him focused. Since it wasn’t official race, he didn’t qualify as an official world record. But he ran 23miles in a row at a 5:19 pace.
Seeing as how I can’t run 1 mile in 5:19, I am suitably impressed. I am not chagrined, however. When I see a runner like that, I am inspired by what we can do. I don’t feel lessened because I can’t do it.
Kipchoge was already the dominant marathoner in the world. But he thought he could do better. And he did. I can certainly improve myself in my little corner of running.
I don’t compare my times to anyone but my own. So many things play into what kind of runner we are–genetics, determination, amount of time training, where and how we train. Frankly, I don’t want to run a sub-20 5K.
I like to enjoy my races. I go for the comradery, for the different courses, and to do better than I have previously. I really don’t want to spend the money and drive time just to run for 18 (or less) minutes.
I am always trying to increase my times and have better runs. But I don’t worry that my times are as good as someone else. My nephew is a foot taller than me, has 25 years on me and loves to train. I would be nuts to try to compare my time to his.
I freely admit I like to see where I place–and I am hoping to keep it in the top quarter of the racers. I look to see how far off I was from the person above me in time. But I don’t feel competitive with their time, only with my own. Keeps me much happier 🙂
I gave myself some goals for the new year, which I (surprisingly) have been keeping up on. One thing I wanted to do was do a longer run at least once a week. So I planned a 30 minute run weekly on the treadmill, which usually equals out to 3.5ish miles.
I also knew I needed more interval training, I have a problem slowing down, as I mentioned last week. I also hate having to time my run in minutes–so many on, so many off–since that makes me concentrate on just how long I have been running, and how much further I have to go. I am much happier not looking at the clock! Especially on a treadmill. So I made a goal to do a program on my treadmill once a week, which makes me do interval training, but I can still throw a towel over the clock and not have to pay attention.
In January I managed to do it every week 🙂
In February I am going to increase to a 35 minute run. For the interval training, I have about 30 on my treadmill, so I am just picking one at random. I haven’t repeated any yet, I am guessing it will be a while before I do. My treadmill can vary both speed and incline, so each program is a mixture of each. My legs don’t always enjoy it, but it is definitely helping!
Tuesday: I did a mile on the treadmill as a warmup. I used #5 incline at 6.5-7.2, which made my mile 8:37, and the hill not too bad. I cheated and only did half of my resistance training, but that is still better than none. I was squeezing it in before work, and didn’t give myself quite enough time.
Wednesday: an evening workout with my resistance training. I did set B at 1×14, and finished with yoga stretches. I had planned on a run, but I was talking to my husband as I put my shoes on. Then realized I hadn’t put my braces on. Argh. Now, I could have run upstairs, grabbed them, taken the shoes off and then back on. But I thought it would be much easier just to do the resistance training. Certainly quicker.
Thursday: off again. This is becoming a habit! I guess I need to rework my plan for the week.
Friday: the day arrived with an ice storm. I was thankful I didn’t have to go to work in it, as I have Fridays off. I got on the treadmill, doing my 35 minutes, instead of 30, at a steady 6.6 MPH for 30, then I sped up a bit for the last 5 minutes at 7-7.5. I finished with a five minute cool down walk, making the total work out 4 miles. My feet hurt–I think my sneakers are not going to be good for long distance- and I felt tired. But I was so glad I did it.
Saturday: a chilly but bright day, and I took Daisy for a walk, 1.86 in 34 minutes. It might have been a mite quicker if I hadn’t had to take pictures of all the ice. Daisy was getting frustrated that I kept stopping–now she knows how I feel about her sniffs! After we finally got back, I stretched out with Candlelite yoga for 35 minutes.
Sunday: I finished the week with the program run on my treadmill. The program ran about 1.9 miles, with speed intervals of 4.9 to 6.8 mixed with 3.0 MPH. The inclines varied from 4, 6, and 10. I will say, 10 is tough. The others I don’t notice much–most likely thanks to the hills I am surrounded by!
As January ends and February begins, I am feeling pretty good. I also have an early case of spring fever as January was rather mild for this corner of the northeast. The horses spent most of the month sans blankets, unless we were expecting precipitation, which was just as likely to be rain as snow. I got to go out for some runs and walk Daisy, and now I just want it to be over. Too bad we have two months left. I doubt they will be as kind.
Tuesday: AM run on the treadmill. I only did a mile, but it was a good brisk run at 7.0 to 7.6 MPH, in 8:12, that started my day off right. I had to water the horses in the morning too, so that was a little weight lifting, right? At this time of year I have to carry two five gallon containers out–not that they always have to be full. My next barn will be closer to the house!
Wednesday: I was lazy and didn’t get up early enough to exercise. When I got home I did 2 miles on the treadmill (16:17), then my Burpees for the day. I started splitting up the types of Burpees I was doing–and in sets of 5. I did them without a break, it just seemed like less if I was only counting to five before starting over (every little bit helps). I did a push up set, then 5 jacks, 5 regular, 5 more where I was on the balls of my feet during the upright portion (up and down), and then the last 4 with push ups again.
Thursday: off again. It is rare that I take two days off in a week. But if I do, it is usually Thursday that I run out of steam.
Friday: Last day of burpees! Considering how few I actually did for the month (280), I was very happy to see them go. I took Daisy for a walk, and I tried to slow her down so we could go further. She was pretty happy to get out, so that was difficult but we did do 1.7 miles. Hopefully she will be in shape when spring hits and we can go further and further! I had decided to slow myself down as well, realizing that I was always trying to improve my time and not doing any relaxing, slower runs. I went out to the Rail Trail early–man, was it chilly–and started without a real plan. My plan for my relaxing run ended when the little Endomondo voice said my first mile was 9:26. Then the little voice in the back of my head started wondering if I could do a sub 30 minute 5K. Turns out I can-barely. 28:55. Not bad for an mid winter run.
Saturday: had a busy day planned (shopping and Star Wars with the girls), so I started it out right by taking Daisy out for a brisk walk. I knew I didn’t have a lot of time so I let her go as fast as she wanted. We did a quick mile in 17:31. Might have been a little faster if I hadn’t stopped to take pictures!
Sunday: warm weather again 🙂 Decided to go out for 2 miles, at an easy pace–really! Now the hills on the way out helped, but it is so hard not to speed up. I always want to push. I had to keep consciously slowing down on my return. I was fairly proud of my 2 mile run that took 22:39. I followed that with 35 minutes of relaxing, stretchy yoga. My favorite is Candlelite Yoga with Sarah Ivanhoe. Definitely makes my run sore muscles relax.
I have to admit, I haven’t felt much like a runner recently. That is probably why I haven’t been posting much. I didn’t realize this until my run today. I mean, I ran a 30 day streak. How could I not feel like a runner?
Due to weather and lack of enthusiasm, I have been running all my miles on my treadmill (I got a new one, more on that later). It has rather reached the point that I don’t even want to go outside for my run, the treadmill is just so much easier. I have always been an outdoor runner, the treadmill was only supposed to be backup. How did this happen?
Fortunately, today was in the mid-30s. I had to go to town for all my normal weekend errands, and I decided to run on the Rail Trail while I was there. I figured it was mostly flat (easy) and they plow it (they don’t scrape down to the pavement, I discovered), so how hard could it be?
It was probably my first outdoor run since October. Early October. And the miles outdoors are never as quick as the miles on the treadmill, which pretty much makes you run at the set speed regardless of how your legs feel, or what you are looking at, or if your lungs are blowing up. If you don’t keep the pace, you get your face rubbed by the belt. But outdoors, I have a hard time keeping a consistent pace. I tend to lollygag while sightseeing.
I really wasn’t sure how I was going to feel, so I didn’t have a real plan on speed or distance. Imagine my surprise when my app informed me my first mile was 9:43. Not bad considering I ran a loop around the lot, then dithered before stopping at my car to grab my gloves before heading down the trail.
I felt pretty good at that point, so I decided I would go out far enough to do a three mile run. But, of course, then I had to go out further. OCD is a bitch. I turned around at the two mile mark and made my goal to get back with a time under 40 minutes. I just made it (39:21).
But I feel like a runner again. Why?
I felt great the whole run. It was something I was enjoying, not something I had to do. I love nature, so being out in it relaxed me in a way the treadmill just can’t. The last mile had the most uphill grades, and the wind was pushing against me, and I had already put 3 miles behind me, but it was my fastest mile. I realized I could still do that, go out for longer runs (3.5 is the longest I have run since summer), on uncertain ground, push hard and truly enjoy every moment. That is why I run. And that is what I needed to remember.
Well, here we are mostly through the first month of the new year already. My streak has ended and I am on to a Burpee challenge for this month.
And it looks like winter has finally arrived in our neck of the woods.
After having more snow in the month of November than December or January (so far), we finally got dumped on. A wet layer on Monday and a fluffy layer Wednesday night. Might be good for some winter sports. What a pity I prefer summer sports!!
I finished my Streak on Christmas feeling stronger than I had in a while. I had clearly been slacking and the first couple of weeks were, um, not fun. I didn’t succeed in 2 miles everyday, but I did do 2 miles or more 80% of the streak. Now I am just trying to keep it going.
Even before the snow there was enough ice that running outside wasn’t going to be safe. It would be warm, everything would melt and then it got cold and everything froze again. Repeat ad nauseum. But my treadmill and I have become best friends. And my husband got me an Alpha Ball for Christmas, so I have been doing resistance training as well.
My Burpee challenge is not as, well, challenging as previous ones, but it is keeping me going. I started with 10, and every other day I Burpee (can I use that as a verb??) and add one to the count. Currently up to 21 — 22 tomorrow.
Now I have to figure out what I am going to do next month! Definitely need to keep my momentum going so I am shape for spring. I didn’t do many 5Ks last year, but I think this year I am going to aim for one a month. I don’t tend to make New Years resolutions, but I find that having a plan absolutely is key for me. Guess I am going to add some 5K tees to my collection!