Road to 100: Weeks 8 & 9 Recap

Monday:  Rest day

Tuesday:   Day 1 of our ultimate frisbee league, so there was much sprinting and speed intervals that way, plus I did a bit of speedwork on the bike once I got home.  Today was also my appointment with my RD, who was shocked at how little I was eating, given how active I am.  I’ve been struggling to lose the weight I’ve put on since starting this Ph.D. program, so she gave me a calorie target to follow for the next few weeks until we meet again.  I feel like I never stop eating to meet this goal!  Sure, I could easily meet it if I were eating junk food, but I generally avoid that stuff (thanks to my uncontrollable, raging sweet tooth once I get a taste of the stuff), so that’s not so easy!

Wednesday:  Another speedwork on the bike day.  Although it’s light out much later now (thank goodness!), it’s been cold and super windy in Boulder this week, making running outside far less enjoyable.  So a trainer workout is better than nothing!  Although the intervals were short this time, there were a lot of them, and I was feeling it pretty hard by the end.  But overall, I felt strong, and powered my way through.  I was also happy to see that even though I felt like I was nonstop stuffing my face the day before, things seemed to already be going in a much better direction, weight-wise.

Thursday:  A snowy day here in Boulder!  The trails were already covered in some snow by the time I got out of work, so I planned for another trainer session at home.  (I don’t like to run on slightly snowy trails because it’s enough to hide the rocks, but not enough to make you not trip/roll your ankles on them, and I am terrible with that.)  Later in the evening, I got on the bike and started pedaling, only to realize how much my sit bones hurt from the previous two days on the bike.  So yeah… that didn’t happen.  I have to build my saddle butt back up!  I lost it this past year since I didn’t do an Ironman – not nearly as much time on the bike.

Friday:  Friday I awoke to a beautiful, snowy Boulder!  We got 14″ of snow – way more than expected, and we had gone from 70 degrees and sunny the previous week to a winter wonderland all over again.  Colorado never ceases to keep you on your toes.  No running today since the trails weren’t packed down yet, and I had a bunch of work and prep stuff to do for my upcoming trip to Houston.

Weekend, and all of week 9:  Away in Houston for a conference all week, so things were plenty busy.  And the lingering on-again-off-again “allergies” I had been dealing with for the last week or two turned into actually being sick, so I was miserable (still am).  I completely lost my voice on Tuesday, and spent the rest of the conference whispering and squeaking at everyone.  Needless to say, I didn’t get any runs in.  I felt like crap, everything was achy, my throat was killing me, and I couldn’t breathe without coughing.  Fun times.  Once I got home from the conference, I spent most of my time passed out on my couch.  Not very glamorous.

What worked well:  Doing speed sessions on the bike when the weather isn’t cooperating.

What I struggled with:  Illness

What I will do to improve next week:  Get healthy!

Total weekly mileage:   22 bike miles before getting sick and being out of commission.

Road to 100: Week 7 Recap

Monday – Thursday:  For the most part, not a very exciting week.  I wasn’t able to train for the bulk of the week due to some lingering effects from that medical thing from the previous week.  So instead, I mostly just worked.  Boo.

Friday:  First day back!  Since I was coming back from a little medical setback, this week wasn’t about speedwork or anything really crazy.  Instead, I went out in the afternoon and busted out a strong 4.5 trail miles.  I continued to see improvement with my pace and climbing.  I still have a long way to go, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction!  Even with stopping to take the occasional picture (it was a crazy hot, and beautiful day), my average pace was still just under 12:00/mile, which used to be my awesome-busting-ass-pace.  So hooray!

Friday runNo complaints

Saturday:  Saturday was time for a nice long run.  It was a gorgeous day, and I planned to get out for a long run with Molly and another awesome runner girlfriend of ours, Cheryl.  Cheryl is totally badass, and was tapering for her first 50 mile run the following weekend, so she is far beyond my abilities – especially considering how far behind the last year of school has put me.  Needless to say, I was a little worried about running with the two of them, but also looking forward to it.  We always have a good time together on the trails.

We headed out from Cheryl’s house and started the long 2.5 mile nonstop, gradual climb up on to the mesa trail.  It only took about a quarter mile for Molly and Cheryl to pull ahead of me, and I was slogging along, bringing up the rear, and getting really upset with myself.  Here I thought I had been improving, and yet, I still suck.  WTF.

Molly and Cheryl ran along ahead and left me in the dust.  After about a mile and a half, I caught up with them (they had stopped to wait for me), and Cheryl immediately took off again.  I was pissed.  The slowest person in the group is the one who needs the rest break the most!  So I angrily said “fuck this, I’m out” and turned around to head back down the trail on my own.  They could go off and kill it together.  I was pissed and pouting.

I ran about 1/10 of a mile back down the trail, and decided to sit on a rock for a minute and just cool down.  After calming myself down, I decided to push on on my own because I knew I would be upset with myself for giving up on the run.

I started back up the trail, grumbling to myself about what turds they were being (they were fine – I was just being really grumpy).  The climb up the mesa was long and tiring, but eventually I got to the top and picked the pace back up.  From the top of one of the hills, I saw Molly and Cheryl off in the distance, and decided to try and catch them.  There were several downhills coming up, which is my strength, so it was worth a shot.

After another mile or so, I managed to catch up with them.  I was cranky and a little grumpy, but happy to see them again.  Cheryl decided to take off on her own, since she had something very specific she was trying to do that day, and Molly and I continued on together.

After Molly gave me some tough love – basically telling me to shut up and stop being a brat, which I was (thank goodness for training partners who know you well) – we ended up having a great day!  The trail was perfect and runnable, and we wandered our way south out of Boulder for several miles until it was time to turn around and head back.  We ended up doing 14.25 miles and had a lovely afternoon after all.

Saturday runEnjoying the Mesa Trail at the base of the Flatirons

Sunday:  Molly and I were both rather sore and tired from our long run the day before, so today we celebrated the fourth anniversary of her spinal fusion by enjoying a delicious brunch at our favorite indulgent breakfast place, Snooze.

What worked well this week:  Talking myself into continuing on for the long run on Saturday.  I could have easily given up and headed home, but I’m glad I stuck with it.

What I struggled with:  Medical things outside of my control.

What I will do to improve next week:  Get back on my training plan.  I’ve been doing pretty well with it, and I want to continue with that momentum.

Total weekly mileage:   18.75 miles.  Not terrible considering I was out of commission for most of the week.

Road to 100: Week 6 Recap

Monday:  Monday was scheduled for a tempo workout, which I combined with the missed speed workout from the previous week.  I did these on the trainer since it was already dark by the time I had a chance to train that day.  I made sure to push hard on the tempo and speed intervals and felt really good!  They were tough to complete, but I forced myself to maintain the intensity and not drop off at the end.  By the time I was done, I had completed 16 miles in 53 minutes, which ends up being an 18.1 mph average pace!  A marked improvement from previous trainer workouts!

Tuesday:  Rest day!  Not only did I have a minor medical thing done in the morning that requires 24 hours of no exercise, Tuesday was also caucus day here in Colorado.

Oh. My. God.  It was INSANE.

I waited in line for an hour and a half.  The line wrapped around the school and athletic fields and onto the track.  By the time everyone made it inside, precincts had already voted and we missed the whole thing.  We were PISSED.  Fortunately, my precinct captains tallied the latecomers votes as well, and added them in.  But MAN, that was some horribly run caucusing.  Even if I had been able to train, I wouldn’t have made it home or to the gym in time.  By the time I got home it was late and I was totally wiped out.

Wednesday:  Speed day!  My boyfriend and I went over to the indoor track later in the evening so I could get my speed workout in while he played some basketball. (I do not partake, as I hardcore suck at basketball.)  I busted my butt for the speed intervals, which got shorter with each round.  Somewhere around the middle of the workout, I felt my right hamstring start to get a little tight and uncomfortable.  I must have tweaked it at some point earlier in the workout.  I managed to finish the intervals, but cut the cool down a little short because by that time, my leg was rather bothersome.  Instead, I worked on stretching it out before we headed home.  Overall, it was a good workout, and I got the key stuff done, so I was happy with that.

Thursday – Saturday:  I had intended to get some runs in these days, but my hamstring continued to plague me whenever I would walk, climb stairs, or really, exist.  So I gave myself a couple days to let whatever I did to it go away, and tried to stretch and roll it out as best I could.  This proved to be tricky, since it was more my upper hamstring/groin area.  I had a hard time getting the foam roller to be effective, but I did the best I could.

Sunday:  My guy, my pup, Molly, and I all headed out for a fun afternoon trail run down on the Flatirons Vista trail in South Boulder – one of our favorites.  The boys sprinted on ahead – positively bounding down the trail – while Molly and I made our way along behind them.  This was not my day.  No matter what I did, everything felt like it took 1000 times more effort than it should.  I felt like I was positively busting my ass the entire time, and moving so slowly.  I was getting super pissed at myself, and fortunately, Molly knows how this goes, so she let me just bitch to myself for a while and vent it out.


Once we were on the long final downhill on our way back to the car, I started to get a bit more rational.  Looking at things objectively:

  1. My hamstring felt okay.
  2. I ran all the uphills, which I never do.  Ever.  Even the really long ones!
  3. My overall pace was 11:35/mi.  This is a huge trail pace PB for me.  I am usually thrilled if I am in the 12s.  And today I was sub-12.  By a decent margin.  And that included stopping for puppy poop breaks.  And the occasional brief walk break.


By the time we reached the car, I had cheered up quite a bit.  Yes, I felt like pure crap the entire run, but maybe that’s because I was pushing myself harder than I have in the past?

What worked well this week:  I don’t think anything worked particularly well… but I’m really proud of my crappy/not crappy run on Sunday.

What I struggled with: Minor hamstring injury.  But hopefully I’ve got that under control now.

What I will do to improve next week:  Lots of stretching!  Also, more time on trails.  I’ve been doing my speedwork indoors since that’s much easier for intervals.  But I think all my other runs really need to be on the trails.  I feel like that might have also played into my crappy feeling on Sunday.

Total weekly mileage:   Not as much as I hoped.

Road to 100: Week 5 Recap

Monday:  Rather than stressing about trying to make up for my missed runs last week – as I often do – I kept on going with the plan as written.  Today was a tempo day.  I busted by butt all day and cranked out stuff at work (hooray!), and was planning on heading over to the gym once it got dark and doing my run and a nice long swim.  Once I headed out of work, it had gotten rather cold in Boulder, and I wasn’t dressed for wandering quite a ways over to the gym and back.  So I headed home with the plan to get warmer clothes and head back over later.  Once I headed back out to the gym, the snow had started to fall and the roads were getting a bit dicey.  Instead, I turned back and did my workout on the bike trainer while I made some headway on GoT season 2.  (I have a lot of catching up to do before April.)  I was proud of myself for still getting things done (I am able to do these workouts on the trainer as well, so it was still as written) – even when things didn’t go as planned.  Plus I managed to sustain 21 mph for my tempo section of the workout, so that was pretty sweet!

Tuesday:  I wanted to go home after work sooooo badly today.  It was cold out and I was tired from powering through sample analysis all day, but instead of turning to go home, I forced myself to head to the gym and kept reminding myself that I would be glad I did once I got there.

I was right!

Tonight was a speedwork night, and since the intervals changed length every time, I couldn’t program that into my watch, so I decided to run on the treadmill to make things easier.  I figured I could do the math once I started each interval with the clock right in my face.  It worked well.

I wanted to push myself on this speed day, since things are very low volume right now – quality, not quantity.  I ended up doing my speed intervals in the low 8s, which felt fast but sustainable.  I was really happy with that!  I was hoping to swim afterwards, but by the time I was done I was tired and hungry, so food won that battle.

Wednesday:  Today should have been a tempo and hill day, but I was working all day, and had plans for dinner and a show (The Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) with one of my girlfriends that night.  To make things a little more manageable, I decided to forgo the workout for today and make it a rest day instead.  Also, the show was hilarious.

Thursday:  I went to sleep Wednesday night feeling horribly guilty for missing my hill workout, and extra motivated by the beautiful weather.  So I decided to make Thursday a tempo and hill day.  I enlisted one of my work friends to go do the Wednesday tempo and hill workout in the afternoon, and we had a great time.  5 minute hill repeats up Mt. Sanitas is no joke!  I really wanted to get these in, since climbing is my biggest weakness.  So I made sure to run – albeit a slow shuffle – the entire interval, and not wuss out.  No matter how much I didn’t want to do them.  I was proud of us to sticking it out.  I had hoped to also do the speedwork session that was originally scheduled for that day later that evening, but I was wiped after hill repeats, and wanted to be fresh for speedwork.

Friday:  I originally intended to do that speed workout today, but ended up working alllllllll day and all night instead.  Way less fun.

Saturday:  Saturday ended up being my long day of the week.  I went for a hike on the Mesa trail with one of my girlfriends and our dogs in the morning, and then met my boyfriend for a run up at Walker Ranch afterwards.  I was hoping to do the whole 7.5 mile Walker loop, but it was a total slop-fest, which I wasn’t expecting.  Neither of us brought traction, and parts of the downhills were rather dicey with slick snow and slush, so we did an out and back and enjoyed the beautiful day anyway.  It was so nice to run with him!  Looking forward to lots more.

Sunday:  Sunday was mostly spent as a work day, while wistfully looking out the window at the beautiful weather.  But fortunately, I was able to squeeze in a short run around the neighborhood with Molly and the dogs in the evening.  Even though it was short, it felt great just to get out.

What worked well this week:  Doing the hill workout with my friend made a big difference in me completing it.  I think I would have been far more likely to wuss out on that second interval if I had been alone.

What didn’t work well this week:  Mud season really drives me nuts.

What I struggled with:  Food!  I keep going back and forth between not eating enough, and eating too much.  Trying to find that optimal balance that will allow me to complete my workouts to the best of my ability, while at the same time trying to lose the excess weight I put on from school stress.  My body clearly responds best when I keep my carb intake low, but when I eat high fat, protein, and fiber, that keeps me quite full on not too much.  But numerically (calories, volume), I should be eating more.  I made an appointment with a dietitian to get this fine tuned this month.  So hopefully I will have that sorted out soon.

What I will do to improve next week:  Run with friends more.  If I do workouts on the trainer (totally acceptable), make sure to push myself so I’m not just spinning away on the important tempo or speed intervals.  Make sure to get a really good long run in.

Total weekly mileage:  16.4 mi running, plus 7 mi on the trainer for a tempo workout (would have worked out to another 3 miles or so running).