Better After a Run

Happy Tuesday everyone! I can’t believe this is my last week of work and that my final day is Thursday…this week is already flying past.

As you know, Saturday is traditionally my long run day but with the excitement and craziness of the weekend, I had to rearrange some things.  Last night I was scheduled to run 18 miles but it got cut to 17 (1 mile won’t kill me, right!?) because it was too dark out.  Even by the time I made a turn at 13 miles it was too dark to be out there but because I am stubborn, I wouldn’t let myself finish with anything less than 16 miles.

For me, the run was perfect.  It was a very nostalgic run for me last night – the sun was setting for parts of the run while other times I was alone in the dark.  I passed my elementary school, middle school and high school as well as ran by the ice cream store that was my first job and all the soccer fields that I’ve played on.  I have to say, it was the perfect last long run in my hometown.

My late night run inspired me for today’s blog post.  As I was going about my evening, I just kept thinking, “ahh ‘blank’ is so much better after a long run!” So today, I have compiled my own personal list of things that are better after a long run!

  1. Steaming Hot Showers! Nothing feels better than washing the sweat and salt away or standing in the hot water until there is none left (sorry Mom and Dad)
  2. Hot Tea or Coffee. After my Saturday long runs, I tend to stop and grab a coffee on my way home and it instantly makes my entire body feel better.
  3. Ice Cold Water. Of course ice cold water is great on a hot day but when you are hot, sweaty and just ran, I swear that ice cold water tastes like heaven.
  4. Last night we had tacos for dinner which I ate after my run but it just didn’t hit the spot like a big breakfast would. Bring on the eggs, pancakes, bacon, French toast and waffles!
  5. Watching a Movie. When you know your toughest part of the day is over, it is a million times easier to relax and enjoy!
  6. Climbing Into Bed or the Couch. I have never sunk into a couch or bed quite like I do after a long run. Your muscles are sore, tired and achy from the hard work and instantly feel rewarded when you plop yourself down.
  7. Rolling Out. Although this always feels good, there is something special about rolling out after a long run. Your muscles are so tight and sore that you can’t help but enjoy!

I want to hear from you: What activity do you find to be better after a run?

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I Apologize for the Delay

Goodmorning fellow fitness fanatics! I am so sorry for the lack of posts last week but there has been quite a bit of excitement going on for my family.  As you already know, my brother and his girlfriend got engaged! But what you don’t know is that I have officially accepted a new career opportunity out in Michigan!!

I went to school in Michigan for 5 years and made friends who became family. My undergrad degree is in Advertising and Marketing Management while I also have a graduate degree in Management.  Marketing is my true passion and I am just so excited that I finally get to work in the field I love with an amazing company!

I start my new job on September 15th so this week has been full of looking for an apartment online, taking inventory of the items I have and creating lists of the items I will need.  My mom and I also hit the mall to take advantage of the great Labor Day sales and get a few more business professional items for my wardrobe.

As for my running last week, I was successful and completed all of my designated runs! They were not necessarily on the designated day but miles are miles.  As for this week, I am already off to a great start! Yesterday, I met up with Michelle for 15 miles and man was it muggy!! By the time we were finished, we had rivers running down our legs and arms (gross, I know, but it happens).

In the middle of the run, we met up with one of Michelle’s friends who ran 4 miles with us.  Jen is so kind and nice so it was a great break from our bike path run.  Michelle and I both felt good until the last bit; by that point, we were willing ourselves not to stop.  I think it had more to do with the extreme humidity and less to do with our fitness.

As for this week, I have short runs planned for the next three days (3 and 4 mile days) with my long run planned for Sunday.  This week I am back up to 18 miles! I am approaching peak week rapidly but the best part of that is knowing that taper time is right around the corner!

I hope you all had a great Labor Day holiday! Did anyone do anything fun?

Weekend Mileage and Fun Adventures

Good afternoon – I hope you all had a great weekend!  Last week was a little hectic but things have calmed down since.  On Saturday, I had my first 20 mile run of this training program and boy did it kick my butt!

We ran at Chestnut Ridge Park once again which is about a 45 minute drive my house.  Our group run starts at 7:30 so I was up at 6:30 and out the door by 6:45.  When I arrived, I noticed that the maps were for 16 mile runs and 18 mile runs so I asked our group leader for some tips on extending the distance and got a little confused.  Luckily, these 2 very nice women in our group offered me a copy of a 20 mile route they had saved from previous training programs…so nice of them!

After a quick warm up, we were on our way.  Michelle wanted to tackle the 16 mile distance while Ashley and I were going to attempt the 20 but the routes split off at about mile 8.  Ashley went with Michelle and they completed 16 but I split off and ran with the ladies who gave me the 20 mile route.  They were so nice to let me jump in with them and I had a great time talking and getting to know them better.  There is nothing that brings people together quite like tackling ridiculous mileage in an incredibly hilly location.

I have never run more than 12 miles at this location so I was new to the monster hill that came around mile 12.  My new running buddies told me that they had never ran the whole thing and usually need to stop about halfway but this time we did the whole thing in one shot!  We were proud of ourselves for making it to the top.  We then tried to convince ourselves that the rest of the run was downhill or flat (yeah, totally lying to ourselves). photo (2)

By the time we reached mile 20, we were still about a mile from our ending location so we ran a bit extra before calling it quits and walking the rest of the way in.  It was a great cool down and kept my legs from tightening up.  I stretched, changed my clothes and headed for coffee (a must-have after long runs).

After I got home, I ate and took a hot shower before I relaxed for a bit.  That evening I was going out in downtown Buffalo to celebrate my brother’s engagement!!! I could not be happier for him and his wife-to-be and know they will have a life filled with love and happiness.

Sunday morning started with a great breakfast then it was home for some shopping with mom.  She is going to be working in the library this year at school so she found a few new items that will dress her wardrobe up a bit.  After that I took a little cat nap then went off to coach tryouts.  We had a total of 23 girls try out for the team this year which is nearly double the amount that came out last year!  Unfortunately, now we have to decide who is on the team and who will be practice players.

This week is will be a 38 mile week which is a little down from last week

Monday: 6 mile workout (800m repeats)

Tuesday: 4 miles

Wednesday: 8 miles

Thursday: 5 miles

Friday: Off Day

Saturday: 15 miles

I hope you all have a great week!

Summer of Strength

Goodmorning again, I hope you all had a good start to the week!  I always find that my week is much better when I start on the right foot by getting my workout done and making healthy choices for food.  Before I get into my strength training overview, I have to be a proud coach first.

I have been training my team since the end of September and last night was our final game of the season.  In previous years, the girls did not win many games and certainly did not enjoy coming to practice.  I am proud to say that they worked their butts off this year and finished the season 6-3-3 which was a 3rd place finish!  Even better than that, they only gave up 9 goals the whole season!  I am so proud of the girls for working hard and putting in the effort to get better 🙂  They were so fun to work with!

Now on to strength training: I did not do any strength training my last marathon training cycle which was fine because I was focusing on getting my miles in and building my endurance.  This time around though, I am starting with a much stronger base and feel that this is a natural progression for me.  In college, I would lift 2-3 times per week for track and my body loved it!

I had an idea of what I needed to be doing to properly strengthen my muscles but rather than risk injury, I reached out to my track coach for help.  He made me an amazing strength endurance schedule that I know will kick my butt (in a good way).  The schedule involves 3 days of lifting per week which I will organize around my hardest runs.

For marathon training, it is important to not tire your legs with strength work before your big runs which has led me to the decision of lifting on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  Tuesday is my workout day for running and will include hills, tempo runs, progression runs and 800m repeats; I will do my lift after this run is complete.  Thursdays are a moderate day usually resulting in 5 miles (on average).  Saturdays are the longest run of the week but a good lift afterwards will push me to where I need to be in order to gain strength.

Today will be Day 1 of lifting and the workout will consist of squats, deadlifts, planks, hip extensions and plenty of ab work.  The workout was designed to work multiple muscles in one movement so really, each exercise has full body engagement.

Day 1
Clock Squats EL
SL Deadlift w/Arm T’s EL
Plank w/Med Ball Knee Drive EL
Hip Extensions EL
MB Twisters
MB Accordions
MB Sit Ups

Tell me: what does your workout look like today?