Sunday, October 30, 2011

Weather or not

Come rain, shine, sleet, snow, wind. hot or cold, you better believe I will still train. This might be area that most people peg me in the "crazy" zone. Though I guess they might be right, whereas most of the population tends to seek weather as their number 2 reason (time being #1) for skipping out on workouts, I on the other hand embrace it with open arms. The wackier the weather the more I want to stick my head in it and push to be in the thick of it. There's something so satisfying when I finish a workout in adverse conditions. Sometimes it's knowing that  most everyone else is avoiding it, that I take pleasure in knowing that I conquered it. Sometimes it's the blissful state it puts me in, because it's serene and quite during those times. And sometimes it's just the fact that I can't afford to miss out on a training session just because the conditions aren't favorable.  Though I thrive on adversity, don't get me wrong I do love when the weather is optimum, because I get to see what my body can really do.
My training this week was a tough one. I'm continuing to push my boundaries (in a good way). Monday I got to catch up with a friend who I was oddly thinking about a few days before but had lost her contact info. A used to be track runner turned road warrior we would occasionally meet up for longish runs when I moved to NY. She's a perfect balance to my gruff intensity, she slows me down to good pace. I needed to get in a 30min run and she was looking for someone to trot through Central Park with, perfect.
Tuesday we churned out 3 600's, I surprised myself with the 1st one hitting my target time, fell off on the 2nd, but was able to somewhat recover myself on the 3rd. Thursday was just as hard but in a different ballgame. The temperature had dropped to the 40's and it was pouring rain. While the short sprinters hung under the dry safety of the eves for some suicides, my training partner, a distance teammate, and myself endured the freezing cold rain (that I'm pretty sure was hail at some point) for rounds of 150's.
You can't see it but the rain was steadily coming down

 Saturday I was supposed to meet up with an old GBTC teammate for a workout, was planning on plyos but what started as rain caused for a change of plan as well as my unmindfulness to actually set a time to meet. I woke up to the sloshing of rain streaming down, no jumps today, so longish it run it will be. After sending a few text messages and not hearing back (no big deal, since I hadn't specified when I wanted to run) I decided I had to just get out there and do it before it gets too late and I skipout. I gear up for a wet run, then about at my halfway turn around spot low and behold I start to see white. Thankfully not the white where I'm about to pass out, but large honking white mounds. It's October and yes it's snowing. I was the only mad woman out there splashing away and slowly becoming a snowman. Alas it needed to be done and I got it done. Somehow though my frosted brain I was able to think ahead for Sunday's workout and plan a time to meet up with the visiting partner in crime. Since the ground was still covered in snow my plyo workout was thwarted yet again, jumping on snow covered grass is a little risky and an injury waiting to happen (I'm insane but not reckless). I opted to take my friend through Central Park, we had a good catch up, which meant that we clearly were not running near as fast as we probably should have. Eh either way we still managed to run at a semi decent pace for 4.5 miles so I can't complain and I did 4.5 miles(though as a distance-esque runner it may not have been optimum for her).
Another week on the books and I'm feeling like a kid waiting for Christmas, except my Christmas is track season (which coincidentally starts about the same time).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Strength in numbers

This past week was a good training week for me. Numbers wise it's looking good to be a solid upcoming season. After a dismal week the week before, and deciding to take accountability for my own actions or lack thereof, I was able to pull off some semi-impressive (at least in my own training history) feats.
It started off on Monday. After weeks of lifting I am proud to say that I can now free squat over my own weight. Made my day being able to stack the bar with 45lb plates. I do have one gripe for the day, as I was getting my run in for the day on the dreaded treadmill (never my 1st choice but most sensible since I was already at the gym), someone comes and plops on the treadmill directly next to mine. I know it seems trivial, and maybe it is, but there are over 20 other EMPTY treadmills at that time, why do you have to situate right next to me. I understand when it's busy, there's no choice, but when I'm the only person on the treadmill I just don't find it necessary. It's one of my crazy pet peeves, unless I'm training with you, there's no need to get all that up close and personal with me. Rant over, just had to get that out.
On to Tuesday's practice, which proved to show that my training is on the right track. Most of our workouts these past couple of weeks have been speed endurance building workouts, this one was more of a 400m specific workout to see kind of where we are. I wasn't quite sure how it was going to roll out, especially after not running for almost a week, a not so solid warmup and following a pretty heavy lifting session the day before. Usually this time of year, if I'm healthy, for 400's I'm hitting in the mid 70's, for 300's I'm mid 50's, and 200's anywhere from 35-32. Well much to my surprise, only after looking at my coach like he had 3 heads when he wanted 65 for our 4, I managed to come in a low 67. The crazy part was I pushing to race not even train 65/64 at the end of last season, much to my dismay, so that was quite a shock. For the 300's I pulled in some low 50's and the 200's were 31-32. A very promising start. I won't say that it was an easy feat and by the end of the workout my entire body was on fire from my lungs down deep into the muscle fibers of every body part, especially the legs. Some serious lactic acid. I'm super happy to know that I'm well ahead of where I've been in years and it's just the beginning.
My week continued on not at quite as fast of a pace. On Thursday I learned that jump roping for 100 meters  times 16 with high knees is difficult and painful but with the right group of people can be quite humorous. I'm beginning to find little joy in the things I enjoyed as a kid like skipping and jump roping. Encompassing them into the track world brings a whole new meaning to the once cute actions. Saturday morning I wrapped my week up with a long early morning trek to Van Cortlandt Park for the breakfast of champions, 10x150m hill repeats.
I'm proud I made it through a week unscathed and managed to not miss any workouts. Well almost, I did push off my yoga class I planned on doing on Sunday night, but since it was my rest day I may be able to let that one go (6 days out of 7 ought to count for something right?).

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Excuses are just that...excuses

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit" -Aristotle

Highlights of my training week/week:
  1. A workout consisting of only skips, no running, just skips. A cumulative 1050 meters of high skips and fast skips. Skipping will never be the same. My calves will never be the same.
  2.  3 1/2 days of semi-forced rest, not because my body necessarily needed it but due to travel and emotional distress (The passing of a dear friend). 
  3. Learning curves & mental notes to self:  
    • Refer to entry quote. 
    • Stop making excuses like #2 no matter how legit it may seem to be.
    • I only hurt myself in the long run with missed workouts. Unless I'm laid up in bed or injured there's really no reason not to get out
    • I always tell my clients, something is better than nothing. Take my own advice.
    • Don't beat myself up over the past, what I didn't do, or what I should have done. Move on to the next day and try not to repeat the bad
Hello to a brand new week.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Singing a New Tune

I know, I know I've been slacking in my blog world. For starters not too much has actually been happening so it's kind of hard to pull together something enlightening, and though I do have a few post dated posts that still need to be finished well, they weren't all that inspiring to me so I've been pushing them to the side. It's funny it seems so easy to go on and on about the good and the great, but when I've been stuck in my off/comeback/base phase these past few years it's so much harder to report back about them. Don't get me wrong I do take something from both the good and the bad, it's far more easier to type up a happy-go-lucky post versus a woe-is-me post. Though it's not a new year it is the beginning of a new season for me so I'm going to make a new season resolution : No matter how boring it may be I'm going to post at least once a week, even if it means just fiddling an inspiring quote or photo.

First though I suppose I should catch you all up to speed.
May: I start a new "career" path. I passed the ACSM Certified Personal Trainer exam, I signed at New York Sports Club to be a personal trainer. Coincidentally my boss is also one of my coaches. Though it's the middle of the season he starts me lifting. We're outdoors training, my work load at the track is heavy hurdles.
June: Still lifting, still lots of hurdles, proper technique is still just ok. Seeing small improvements in hurdle races, but also reverts in the open events
July: Club Nationals roll around I PR=awesome, but know that I didn't race with all I had. Left me wanting more. Season ends I take a break to rewire and reload.

 August: Birthday rolls around I turn 30. Was gifted a photo shoot, took some amazing and great fitness shots. Start a horrendous lifting program and cross training (which by the way when you work side by side with your coach it's so much harder to slack). Spend the rest of the month in DOMS, but looking super muscular and feeling uber strong

September: Running phase begins, start a week later due to wedding obligations. Still in the horrendous lifting phase but finishing up near the end of it, DOMS has slowly dissipated. Running economy is surprisingly really good. Feeling strong in workouts, form is looking better than before, though still in need of tweaking.
Now: Switched over to a much nicer lifting program, 10lbs shy of free squatting my own body weight. Running workouts though are battling I still find a way to blaze through them. I have a new sense of renewal and longing to be fast. Looking forward to sharing my joyful and sometimes painful (literally and figuratively)  journey to bettering myself in my sport.