Weekly Wrap: Goals, Decisions & StrideBox

I know it’s already been said by many, but I do have to ask – how is it possible that tomorrow is May 1st?!?

I had set 5 goals for April:

  • Hit every workout
  • Run 100 miles
  • Continue my plank challenge
  • Weekly yoga
  • Meal planning

Well, if you’ve been following along here, you know goals 1 and 2 quickly went out the window as I’ve been plagued with a hip/glute thing that just won’t quit! I am happy to say that I did a pretty good job with the other 3 goals so that makes me happy!

While it’s taken me a while to say it out loud, it’s been very clear that my body’s just not up for dealing with a lot of miles right now. 5 – 6 miles is my sweet spot at the moment – any more miles and the hip speaks up loud and clear. As much as I want to be running the Run to Remember half marathon at the end of May, it’s clear I need to stay in my zone, drop down to the 5-miler option and continue to get healthy. So my race dilemma has been resolved.

And speaking of RtR, week 8 played out like this:

Monday:  A trip to the chiro and yoga
Tuesday:  Cross-training on the arc trainer
Wednesday:  Rest
Thursday:  3-mile run and a 90-minute sports massage
Friday:  Strength day – hips & glutes (no surprise!)
Saturday:  5.6-mile run

In other news, the great folks at StrideBox sent me another box of goodness along with a special coupon code to share with all of you!

Use code 5RWA417 to receive $5 off of the first box when you sign-up for a monthly StrideBox subscription! This code is good through May 15th. I have really enjoyed receiving these complimentary boxes – you can check out my review here.

As always, I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for the #WeeklyWrap. Please be sure to head on over and check out all of the great ladies participating in this fun and motivating link-up! 

signature

Sleep like a Runner

As runners, we spend time on training plans – focusing on building mileage and improving paces. There’s an effort to cross training and do strength work. Some runners embrace their rest days while others begrudgingly recognize their legs need a break. We focus on our nutrition, fueling, and hydration. But there’s one critical aspect that many of us may not be giving enough attention to…sleep!

Lack of proper sleep can really impact your ability to focus, think clearly and your mood — and if you’re an athlete this lack of sleep can have a huge impact on performance and recovery.

During sleep, growth hormones stimulate muscle growth and repair, bone building, metabolism, and help athletes recover. Sleep deprivation slows the release of that hormone, and when growth hormone levels are down, cortisol (stress hormone) levels are on the rise. Too much cortisol in your system can also disrupt your body’s ability to recover properly. Lack of sleep can also impact glycogen storage – clearly a big deal for endurance running.

So I’m teaming up with Casper to provide some tips to help you Sleep like a Runner!

Sleep like a Runner

This last point is a big one for me! Using technology before bed has been linked to an increase in stress. I know personally, it can be hard to turn off my phone or step away from my laptop. If you find yourself tethered to your electronic device, try to power down a little bit earlier each night until you can get to at least 1 hour before bed technology-free.

Sleep is a critical factor to a runner's performance! #SleepLikeARunner Click To Tweet

Disclosure: Thanks to Casper for this graphic. I was not compensated in any way for this post. All opinions expressed here, as always, are my own.

Did you know that this is National Sleep Awareness Week?

signature

Weekly Wrap – Marathon Fun and RtR Week 7

Happy Sunday!

What a crazy week this was! Things were hectic at work and my youngest son had spring break – throw in week 2 with the new puppy and suffice it to say it was a constant juggle.

There was also volunteering at the Boston Marathon – definitely the week’s high point!

Monday was my 4th year volunteering at Boston and all I can say is it never gets old! There really are no words to do justice to the energy of the finish area of any marathon, much less Boston! My first two years I was working in Hopkinton at the Athlete’s Village and then I scored an assignment in finish area last year. I was happy to be invited back to join the water team again this year.

Our team set up thousands of cases of water, making sure to unscrew the top of every bottle so runners don’t have to struggle after finishing 26.2. With the water ready and covered we got the chance to cheer the wheelchair finishers and some of the elites before taking a spot at the table to start greeting runners. While a gorgeous day to spectate, it was a little too hot to be running. We could see the toll the weather was having — unfortunately there were many who needed medical help and the waves of runners coming in later in the day were notably more than the previous year.

But on the whole most runners were in good spirits. I cheered and congratulated runners until my voice was almost gone. Some stopped to share their stories – whether it was their first or, in one case, her 25th! There were some hugging, consoling those in tears, and more high-fives and primal screams than I can count! It was also awesome how many runners stopped to thank us for volunteering. I tried my best to keep an eye out for friends who I knew were running, and was psyched to see Dani, from Weight Off My Shoulders – one of the best hug of the day 🙂

I was sore and tired by the time I headed to my car and loved every minute of it! While I do miss seeing the runners out on the course, being in the finish area is a special experience!

This week marked week 7 of Run to Remember training so let me quickly recap this week’s workouts:

Monday: 6 hrs on my feet

Tuesday:  3-mile easy run

Wednesday: Yoga

Thursday: 800-meter repeats

Friday:  Lower body strength work

Saturday:  4-mile run

Sunday: Rest

As always, I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for the #WeeklyWrap. Please be sure to head on over and check out all of the great ladies participating in this fun link-up! 

signature

5 Benefits of Planking

If you’ve been around here for a bit then you know that I’m a fan of planks! In fact, one of my goals for the month of April is 5 minutes of daily planking (and no…not 5 minutes straight – I break the 5 minutes into intervals).

Everyone can benefit from strengthening their core – especially runners! So if you haven’t jumped on the plank bandwagon yet, I thought I’d share with you some of the benefits of planking!

5 benefits of planking

Target many muscles in one exercise: Planks engage every core muscle from transverse abdominus to the rectus abdominus; from the external obliques to the glutes.

Big payoff, small investment: Planks don’t require a lot of time, but can offer a big payoff by strengthening so many key muscles relatively quickly.

Improved posture: By engaging and strengthening all of those muscles, planks will help improve your posture. As your abdominal muscles activate they share the burden with your back muscles of holding you upright. When your abs are stronger, you sit and stand with your vertebrae stacked – so the added benefit is you’re less likely to develop pain in your neck and shoulders from slouching. Who doesn’t want to stand (or run) taller?

Increased flexibility: Planks help to increase or maintain flexibility by expanding and stretching the muscles around the shoulders, collarbone, shoulder blades, and hamstrings.

Better movement: By strengthening your core, planks help your stabilization and train your body to move better as a unit – your muscles work together, which means you move more efficiently overall.

Why runners should add planks to their routine #runchat #fridayfive Click To Tweet

I’m linking up with Rachel from Running on Happy and Lacey & Meranda from Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five link-up!

signature

RtR Week 6 Wrap-up

Happy Easter to all who celebrate!

I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who weighed in on my training dilemma. It was interesting to hear others’ perspectives.

This past week for me was filled with yoga, PT exercises, daily planking…and yes a little running. Wednesday’s run of 4.25 miles was hard fought and left me almost certain that switching to the half to the 5-miler was the only option. Then came Saturday…

Saturday’s 6.5 miles gave my confidence a nudge in the right direction…while far from pain-free, things got better as the run progressed. I went from almost throwing in the towel at the 2-mile mark after having to walk the end of a short hill to powering up a much bigger hill in mile 4. And though I certainly wasn’t trying to, my Garmin showed each mile was just slightly faster than the last.

It was nice to end the week on a higher note…though I’m still no closer to deciding what to do about the race distance. So was this run the sign of light at the end of the tunnel?

The RC coaches have weighed in and think it might be better to stay in my current comfort zone where I know I can complete the distance and spend the next 6 weeks getting the hip completely where it needs to be. They can tell I’m having a hard time letting go of the idea of the half and are supporting my hemming and hawing for another week 🙂

Linking up with Holly and Tricia for the #WeeklyWrap. Please be sure to head on over and check out all of the great ladies sharing weekly training and life happenings!

signature

Wrapping up Week 5 – BTDT

I’m feeling a bit like a broken record here! Training continues to be a mixed bag as my hip giveth and my hip taketh away. I have been babying this hip/glute thing for a few weeks now and on average I’m lucky if I hit 5 miles on any given run (though I managed 6 on Friday). And, these miles have been, for the most part, s-l-o-w!

I have been trying to be positive and keep telling myself I still have time…but now with Run to Remember just 7 weeks from today, I’m starting to wonder. I was so frustrated after this morning’s run that I wondered aloud to my husband whether I just need to stop running…or at least stop training. Yes..perhaps a bit dramatic… I know that I love running too much to just stop…but right now, it’s hard to love something that is not loving me back. I’ve already been down this road once before this year…where my head and heart are focused on training, but my body just won’t get with the program.

 

So with just 14 miles, plus yoga and some strength work week 5 is a wrap, and I’m honestly not sure where to go from here. Option 1 is to continue to push along and hope for a turnaround; option 2 is to let go of the half marathon and drop to the 5-miler; and, option 3 is… stop training for any race until my body cooperates.

I’m curious…what would you do?

As always, I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for the #WeeklyWrap. Please be sure to head on over and check out all of the great ladies sharing weekly training and life happenings!

 

signature

RtR Training – What happened to Week 4?!

Run to Remember Training Update

Good grief last week was a complete blur! Add to the chaos, two kids with the stomach bug and feeling under the weather myself and you have the perfect storm to throw my training into a tailspin! Here are the “highlights.”

Monday — Scheduled rest day – so needed!

Tuesday — 5 mile tempo run

Wednesday — Strength work

Thursday —  Both of my kiddos went down, and I was feeling less than stellar. My poor husband was last man standing and took care of all of us.

Friday — The kids, of course, bounced right back and returned to school, while I, on the other hand, felt like I’d been hit by a truck. So instead of making up the miles, it was 45 minutes of yoga.

Saturday — Sleet/snow/rain combo! Clearly, Mother N has issues! I opted to sleep in and push the run to Sunday. I did get a short strength workout in before heading off to see my son and his team win their hockey championship!

Sunday — The weather schizophrenia continued with bright blue skies and temps in the 50s. I was glad I delayed my run and giddy to be back in running skirt!  I had hoped to get 8 miles in, but my right hip continues to be a little wonky (yes a technical term) so I settled for a hard fought 5. 

So I’ll be nursing the wonky hip for a couple of days and plan to try another run on Wednesday. Luckily I’ve got a massage scheduled for Thursday!

As always, I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for the #WeeklyWrap. Please be sure to head on over and check out all of the great ladies sharing weekly training and life happenings!

signature

Coffee Date – No April Foolin’

Nothing better then a chance to slow down and catch up over a mug of coffee (or tea if you prefer). So I’m joining Coco and Deborah for the monthly Coffee Date. Settle in, grab a comfy chair, and let’s chat a little, shall we?

If we were having coffee together, I’d tell you that I’m just not enjoying Mother Nature’s little weather joke! After an unusually “warm” February, March proved to be colder than any month this winter – what’s up with that?!?


If we were having coffee together, I’d tell you that believe it or not hockey is still alive in my house! You may remember the last time we got together for coffee I was looking forward to wrapping up the hockey season. Well, who knew that our team would start playing inspired hockey in the playoffs! We finally head to the championship game late this afternoon.

If we were having coffee together, I’d tell you that I’m so excited to volunteering at the Boston Marathon again! I’ll be returning to the finish line area, which was a blast last year. Can. not. wait!


If we were having coffee together, I’d tell you that we’re getting a puppy! After losing our beloved German Shepherd last June, it didn’t take long for our family to decide we wanted to get another dog. We knew we wanted another Shepherd but decided to get a sable this time.

So what would you tell me over coffee?

signature

April 2017 Goals

April 2017 goals

I feel like I was a bit all over the map in March fitness wise, so I’m throwing down some goals for April.

Hit every workout — There’s not a lot of white space on my April calendar so I’m going to need to do whatever it takes to get my workouts in. Early morning, post-work, lunchtime runs, etc. – I’m committing to not missing a workout on my training plan.

Run 100 miles — If I follow through on goal #1, this should be doable.

Continue my plank challenge — While I did plank daily in March, I fell off my goal of 5 minutes/day, so I’m going to shoot for that in April.

Weekly yoga — I mentioned in last week’s wrap-up that I want to commit to a weekly session, so I’m doing it.

Meal plan — I’m great at regularly planning each week’s dinners, but I’ve been totally winging it on breakfast, lunch, and snacks. My choices over the past few weeks haven’t always been the best, as evidenced by the numbers creeping in the wrong direction on my scale, so time to fix that!

Do you set monthly goals? How was your March?

I’m linking up with Rachel from Running on Happy and Lacey & Meranda from Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five link-up!

signature

RtR Training Week 3

Run to Remember Training Update

Well as I predicted, this was a week of managing colliding schedules and I knew I was going to have to be flexible in figuring out how to fit my workouts in. It was a bit of a mixed bag, but my plan is to log a weekly training recap to help keep myself accountable. So mixed bag and all, here’s how thing shook out.

Monday — Strength day: hips & abs

Tuesday — Hill repeats. They felt awful while I was doing them, but I was happy to check the Garmin and see I’d hit the target pace range.

Yes, I literally took a seat on the side of the road when these were done!

Wednesday — I was on the road for work for part of the day and then the family to do list was long, so I shuffled my schedule and took a rest day.

Thursday —  Strength workout followed by a much-needed sports massage to keep my cranky hip in line!

Friday — My plan called for a 5 mile run with 3 miles at tempo pace. Honestly, this was more like a 5-mile fartlek as my pacing was wildly inconsistent. Not a pretty run…but they all can’t be, right?

Saturday —  At the urging of my massage therapist, I got in a short yoga session. Need to figure out how to add more yoga to my weekly plan.

Sunday — 6 mile “long” run.

a rainy, gray run

I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for the #WeeklyWrap. Please be sure to head on over and check out all of the great ladies sharing weekly training and life happenings!

signature