Sunday, September 18, 2016

I can do hard things






Another crazy week is in the books (with some Aha Moments ). Whew! Stick a fork in me, because my rest/recovery days were  greeted with open arms! This week's theme? I can do hard things.

My first outing in the running shoes, on Monday, was greeted with nice, crisp temps and and clear skies. I hammered out four easy miles and was back home before the sunrise. As I have said before, I welcome the cooler temps, but it's with a sad heart that I bid farewell to summer.

Yikes...we're in capri's and arm warmers....
Tuesday, I woke up early,but just was not feeling the run. My body was feeling fatigued (too many late nights prior to my early mornings...#myverybad), and I rationalized I could just do my run after work. The temps were also pleasant, and there was ample cloud cover, so the heat would not be much of an issue.

All worked out well, and I was able to get my run done in the mid-afternoon hours. I was supposed to do a negative-split run...but my mojo kicked in, and the run turned into more of a progression run instead (which still netted me some awesome negative splits). My splits (after the 1-mile warm up) were 10:29, 10:11, 10:06, 9:48, and 9:33), and that's just what my shattered ego needed as a comeback performance following my frustrating half marathon (recap HERE ) three days prior.

Yes, I like running (again)
Wednesday is typically an active recovery day. We also had an unplanned jaunt to Iowa City (an hour away) to tend to some landlord duties (dead oven in our rental). So, there were some (oven) dead lifts and squats added to my roster. When we returned back to town around 9:30 PM, I was exhausted, but had not had time to do any light cross-training....so I went with my fallback go-to: stair-climbing. I added in some planks and push-ups, and nearly collapsed in the stairway before falling into bed. It was hard, but I got it done (and slept pretty soundly).

Late night, get it done....
For Thursday, I had  some hill repeats on the schedule, but wanted to test out the hills on the treadmill. I know, I know...the dreaded 'mill, that has been in a dormant state for the better part of 2016.  Our treadmill currently resides in our mudroom, which is directly below our daughter's bedroom...and I knew she would not welcome the sound of that at 5:15AM, so I elected to post-pone that experience until later in the day. I was anticipating a relatively slow day at the office, which usually guarantees an extended lunch hour...so I could do it then. But I did some planking to start my day...

A morning plank...still in last night's workout clothes...
Have you ever done hill repeats on a treadmill? Holy crap. There are no words to accurately describe the torture of that workout. After an easy warm-up mile (outside, in the beautiful mid-day sunshine), I headed back inside and fired up the 'mill. I set the incline on 4, and upped the speed to 7.0 (ha ha ha, a bit grandiose, don't you think?). After 600 meters, it was all I could do to not fall off as I hit STOP. I lowered the incline, and reset the speed for 4.5 for an "easy" recovery jog. I then, again, adjusted the incline to 4 and upped the speed to 6.8 (because 7 was just too crazy for me). After 600 meters, I (again) had to hit STOP for fear of face -planting as I lowered the incline back down and reduced the speed.

This pattern continued for four more sets. Although I was tempted to call it quits after four, I persisted and finished all six. My legs felt like over-cooked spaghetti, and there were drops of "water" everywhere on the control panel (remember, this had not been in use for several months, so it was pretty dusty when I started). My braids were dripping and my clothes were totally saturated...but I had (somewhat) conquered the beast. Even though I eventually lowered the incline to 3 and reduced the "fast" speed with each set, I felt like a war hero returning from combat when I climbed (carefully) off the 'mill and headed to the shower. Wow, that workout was hard.

Too bad none of the sweat is really showing....except on the control panel
Friday was pretty uneventful after Thursday's hill repeat episode. Some simple cross-training, foam-rolling, and fueling for Saturday's long run.

With a busy morning on the agenda (volunteering for a local race), I headed out early to get my 10 miles done. I left the house around 5:20AM and got almost three miles done (under the beautiful full moon) before meeting up with my friend, Barb. The two of us ran almost six miles together. We parted ways (she also was helping with the race and needed to report for duty earlier than me), and I finished up the final miles on my own.

Moonlight at the start and sunshine at the finish
I really like these early morning miles. The tranquility and peacefulness is beautiful, and it feels great to get the miles done before all the other craziness of the day begins.

Sunday was another low-key, active rest/recovery day. There was some planking, biking, and LOTS of stretching and foam-rolling.

more planking in the sun
In other news, the planking challenge is going strong! It's hard to believe we're already past the halfway mark. I don't always post my planks daily, but I have been doing them. I'm currently around 80 total planking minutes for September. There may be a few more minutes that I have forgotten to write down...my goal is not a specific number, but to keep on with the daily planking and inspire others to do the same. Are you planking with us? Want to join us? Use the hashtags on Facebook and Instagram #GoAhead #MakeMyPlank!

Chataranga plank...that's hard to do...
...and if you all can bear one more (filtered) pic of Max.....

Max...he loves his car rides...


How was your week? Great workouts? Plenty of action? Can you do hard things?

As usual, I'm linking up with the lovely Holly and Tricia  for the Weekly Wrap. Do headover and see what's been happening!



58 comments:

  1. I did hill repeats once on the 'mill last winter when I was training for Big Sur. The only thing I can say about it is that it was like doing intervals--the time passed very quickly. But I never did it again. #ick

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    1. Oh, my time doing these did not go fast! Well, the hill parts did, but the recovery sets were painfully slow and I was constantly wiping my face, so that threw off my balance (like my balance isn't already compromised after speed work). Max was on the floor nearby, probably wondering why I was cussing (out loud) so much...This was a good test of my mental toughness LOL

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  2. Wow! What a busy week. I don't know how you do it all.

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    1. I have a 26.2 happening in two months...and I have some work to do ;-) SO, I just do my best to get it done. I do need to work much more on my sleep, though. I'm usually going on 5 hours of sleep, and I know that's gonna catch up with me...

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  3. My treadmill hasn't seen much action this year either and I doubt it will..lol. Good for you for getting on it and getting those intervals done!

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    1. The 'mill is my absolute last resort. That said, I was curious how a hill workout would feel on the apparatus...and, mystery solved. It was tough! I'd much rather be outside because the roads mimic real hills much more effectively ;-)

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  4. Great job on that hard hill workout on the TM!!! I injured my Achilles years ago and realized even years later the TM still aggravated it. I gave mine away. I don't think I've ever set one to UP hill. I used to love the ones at the Y that you could set to DOWN hill though. Look at your weather app! Your high temps are cooler than my lows. Super jealous. Wasn't that moon amazing this week? Thanks for linking, Kim!

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    1. The TM is not necessarily a dear, loving friend. I much prefer being outside, on a real road (or hill). I have heard TM's are a big cause of over-use injuries, because it's so repetitive....and I believe it.

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  5. You are rocking the planks!! It has been almost two years since I used a TM. I used to do hill work and intervals all the time. After my stress fracture I just didn't get back on, it never felt comfortable. I am glad it is not summer somewhere in the world! Come here you can have all the summer you want :) I will be glad to swap.

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    1. I have done speed drills (intervals),but never hill repeats. UGH. The entire time, I couldn't help wondering if I was doing more damage to my (already) aggravated hammies because of the constant motion (always in the same repetitive pattern. I would love to have more summer...you can have my winter ;-)

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  6. Never did hills on a treadmill. My biggest in line was 3 but I was waking. I know a face plant would be in my future. Amazing planking!!!!

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    1. Thanks! Yes, the hills were tough. I'm not a big fan of the 'mill anyways, and this workout did NOT make me love it any more LOL

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  7. Sweet Jesus those are some intense hill repeats. I do them on the mill more often than not because I'm pretty hill-starved here, and in winter when I trained for Boston, my hills were way too icy. Typically I'd do them slower but with more incline. The rule of thumb is speed OR incline, not both. I swear I'm planking, just forgetting to take pics!

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    1. These hills were killer...I was trying to do them "comfortably fast" since it was only for a short distance. I did eventually have to slow the pace a bit and decrease the incline as my fatigue increased. I almost think the recovery segments were more difficult because the 'mill was pretty difficult to control. When I'm outside, I can slow down as needed, but on the mill, I was constantly pushing the (damn) buttons to decrease speed and it wasn't decreasing fast enough. Give me the great outdoors!!

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  8. We do hill intervals on the TM at OTF and I definitely had to work up to them. I do think you have to be careful about pushing too hard in case you really can't keep up! Thanks for keeping us planking!

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    1. I agree...it's tough to stay in control when the 'mill is dictating the speed. I can certainly see how people get injured from pushing too much and destroying their form as they attempt to go faster than what they are capable of doing.

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  9. I'm so impressed with your dedication to early morning runs...I always have the best intentions but the bed has a strong hold on me! Haha! I usually manage one morning a week that I can manager to get a morning run in...the rest are evening. And dang...those dreadmill hill repeats!! You're a beast! I have a hill in front of my house that I like to run...it's on tap for tomorrow morning's workout. :)

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    1. I love getting outside early...it's so tranquil and feels great to be finished before the day even "officially" begins. I probably will not be doing these early runs after my marathon, though, because it's not as fun in the cold weather (do you know what happens in cold weather? We Iowans get this lovely white stuff called snow...and it's sometimes a game-changer) ;-)

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  10. Hill repeats on the treadmill ? Ugh. I am always so afraid of face planting too. I like the treadmill once in a while because it helps me maintain steady speed.. but only if it is pouring outside.
    I am still planking with you ! Not every day, but almost !

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    1. This was my first time hill-repeating on the 'mill...not sure I'll ever do it again LOL Nothing ventured, nothing gained, and I learned that I really do NOT like the 'mill (again)

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  11. Great job on the planking challenge and fitting in workouts. Those treadmill hill repeats do sound tough. I don't have a dread mill so having the option always sounds nice. especially as winter is on the way!

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    1. It's a nice option, though I seldom ever use it. I'd much rather be outside ;-)

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  12. Wow you are up to 80 plank minutes?! That's super impressive! Hills on the mill sounds ridiculously hard

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    1. Hills on the 'mill were mucho tough. It was a total mind game...me vs. 'mill LOL

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  13. I feel the same! Loving the cooler temps but sad about summer ending!

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    1. I wish we could have another month of summer.....or at least more daylight

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  14. I workout in the early morning and there is nothing more I love than doing under a sunrise. There's nothing else like it! What a great way to start the day :)

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  15. I feel like I need to start back up with strength training...my upper body is so wimpy after I stopped swimming and no lifting during road racing season. My coach says strength work starts in November so I'll continue being wimpy :) You've been crushing it! Nice work doing the hard things...

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    1. I enjoy doing upper body work...I've been doing a lot more push-ups lately (various monthly/daily challenges) and I can see a difference just from that. I also like arm work ;-)

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  16. My first thought when I read your title was "are you just figuring this out now?" LOL You always are doing hard things! Nice training week.

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    1. Ha Ha HA! I like doing hard things LOL There's nothing to gain from doing easy stuff ;-)

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  17. Well you certainly kept yourself busy! Great job! Last week was my first training with 4 days of running...I'm glad to be back to 4 days and so far so good, though I wish the humidity didn't spoil yesterday's half marathon!

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    1. No doubt, the humidity can be a game changer. It certainly levels the playing field ;-)

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  18. Treadmill hill work is tough! For me, it's more mental issues than physical. I like scenery and you don't get much of that on a treadmill. I'm sorry you had a bad half marathon (bad races suck!), but I'm glad you had a good run after that.

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    1. The treadmill is SUCH a mental thing...I also get bored looking out the window with no change of scenery.

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  19. Amazing week! You made me tired just reading about it... cannot imagine doing hill work on a treadmill... yikes!

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    1. The hill work was intense...physically and mentally!

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  20. I've done my tempo runs on my treadmill and loved it!!! Hill repeats, not are if I could attempt that. Great week!

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    1. I do not do much on the 'mill, but don't mind doing speed drills on it (occasionally) because those are short and effective. I just cannot think of that device as a "running" thing...it's too mechanical LOL

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  21. I can do hard things, but not today. Normally Monday is a run day for me, but I just didn't have it in me today. That usually never happens to me, but for a change, I listened to my body.

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    1. You're smart to listen to your body! Don't ever discount any of your strength by listening to your body; as you know, there is nothing to be gained by working the body too hard when it's not up to the challenge.

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  22. I've tried a few earlier morning runs (0530) this summer and as much I love the stillness of the morning, I couldn't make a habit out of it. I have to go to bed early to wake up early so I've settled on mid-day runs while my girls are in school. Way to go with the workouts!

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    1. Honestly, I can run all times of the day (or night), but I've been doing early morning runs for the past couple months. I wish I would have been out there all summer instead of just in the final months of the warm season....now the daylight is very minimal...tranquil, but dark!

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  23. I like your motto of "I can do hard things." I need to remember that. I am glad to hear your planking challenge is still going strong. Keep it up!

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    1. It has been great seeing so many others planking with me! I love me some planks, adn I"m glad to see others do,too ;-)

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  24. Get it! stair climbing? That's something I'd never even thought of doing... nice at-home trick there :D

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    1. Oh yes, stair training is legit! I've been doing it for a couple years...speed work in disguise because it mimics hill training ;-)

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  25. You are definitely doing hard things! Can you send me some of that cooler weather because my butt is just tired of this heat- I can't even describe it anymore :( I am still working on my plank :)

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    1. Well, the cooler weather is MIA this week. We're back in the upper 80's and 90's...no complaints, though. I hate seeing summer end ;-(

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  26. That treadmill hill workout looks like no joke! I love my early morning runs too!

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    1. the 'mill workout just confirmed how much I LOVE being outside and not blindly going through the motions of repetition.... (nice attitude, huh) ;-)

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  27. Hill repeats on a treadmill can be just dreadfull (dreadmill). Although you do feel quite accomplished when you are done! So great work!

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    1. no doubt, the hill repeats were tough, and I think I started out too fast for the incline setting. It's pretty obvious I do not make the treadmill a priority, we've had it 15 (?) years and I still do not know how to work all the settings LOL

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  28. I've not always been a morning runner but I don't think I'll go back because of what you said the tranquility and peacefulness is just awesome. I feel like its extra hours all to my own, ya know before the other crazies get up. Coach Ho has me doing hard things too and I'm finding out I can do them. Funny what you can do when your pushed just a bit and to have the support of someone believing in you! Have a great week Kim!

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    1. I pride myself on being self-motivated...but I do get a lot more done (and have fewer excuses) when I have someone else telling me to do it. Crazy!

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