Monday, May 29, 2017

My May Assessment


I'm not a teacher, but (today) I'm playing one on the blog.

May was an interesting month, in many ways. Shall we assess some grades?


The weather : C-
We had erratic weather, pretty much the entire month. There were some days with temps in the 80's (Hello? Summer already?), and there were many days with temps back in the 40's (What? Is winter back?). There were a lot of 4-letter weather-related words in play: rain, wind, and cold, sometimes all at once (thankfully, snow wasn't one of them). But, on the days when the weather was pleasant, it felt absolutely heavenly! As much as I'd like to give the weather a failing grade, I have to weigh the good with the bad, and it really did (sort of) balance out in the end.
What's wrong with this picture? Fleece jacket, headband, and full tights in May!
Mileage : A+
Currently, I have 109.5 miles in the books for May (and there still are two days remaining). I'm not a high-mileage gal, but I realize marathon training does require a bit more mileage than just ordinary running for fitness' sake. I always get a little nervous when my mileage approaches the century mark, though, because it (almost always) results in injury.
The 16-miler was oh so tough....
Some highlights: An effortless half marathon (with a 2:03 finish time!), several early morning #5at5's, and a full day of relay-running (netting me a total of 15 miles).

Some low moments: An especially tough 16-miler on a cold & windy day and a recent 10-miler with non-stop achy hips and hammies.

Cross-training : B
I'm a huge advocate for cross-training. I think all "good" runners need to do more than just run to be "great" runners. Daily running is (usually) a one-way ticket  to over-training, and more often than not, leads to injury from over-used muscles. Cross-training gives the "running" muscles a break in the action, and allows for general all-over strength. As a result, your entire body can share in the work of running, usually resulting in fewer injuries (if any).


My cross-training involved lots of planking (approx. 125 minutes!), walking on my non-running days, biking, and strength-training (at least once a week).

Speed work : B+
I will be the first to admit I am NOT a fan of speed work. Ugh, it's hard! Unfortunately, it's also one of those necessary evils. Most training plans will have speed work, usually on a weekly basis. I decided to compromise and implement speed work on a bi-weekly basis. Ideal? Not for most people, but for me it was a perfect solution. I didn't have that weekly "dread-in-my-head," and actually looked forward to doing the various speed workouts because I knew I didn't have to do them so frequently.

The 5K was one of my fastest 5K's ever, and got me a 4th place finish out of the 72 gals in my age group
So, what all did I do? I ran a 5K evening race, did a hilly workout, and also did a crazy stair workout. All of these left me feeling totally depleted of everything, but also (strangely) satisfied with my efforts.

Monthly Challenges : A-
Every month, I come up with some new daily/weekly challenges to do. Usually, they involve non-running elements, and are geared to give myself different fitness components to focus on. Also, I end up doing some of these "monthly" challenges long after the month ends. These monthly challenges give me a chance to try something new (or tough) for a short period of time, knowing that I don't have to continue with them long-term.  
May Goals went well!
I confess, there were a couple times when I flat out forgot to do the challenges (in which case, I did most of them on the following days). Some of the ab work got a bit boring, so I ended a few of those sessions earlier than I should have. Oh well.

So, those are my assessments for May 2017, thus far. Over all, I'm quite happy with how everything played out. Stay tuned, there still will be more planking, strength-training, and possibly another speed session/or #5at5 before months end.

Do you ever grade your monthly progress? How would you fare for May? Pass or fail?

**I'm linking up with Marcia and Patty and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run... Join the party!


 **And, I'm linking up with Suzie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner

**And with Nicole and Annmarie and Jen for the Wild Wednesday Workout


57 comments:

  1. Nice job this month! I love that you graded the weather. I'd probably give our may weather a C or lower. So much rain, cool weather, not enough sun. You did great with getting in your miles along with your daily challenge and cross training!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha ha ...I had to grade the weather LOL...it's all part of the "mix"

      Delete
  2. The weather was by far the worst aspect of May for me as well. Kudos to you for knowing your body well enough to know what training works and gets you to the starting line healthy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The weather keeps popping up on everyone's blogs LOL SO far, so good...three weeks to go, and I'm still feeling good...

      Delete
  3. The weather has crushed my soul a bit this month. Fingers crossed we have decent weather in June... here and in MN!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know...I'm tempted to peek ahead at the weather,but it's too soon to get an accurate forecast

      Delete
  4. I love planking and I am very motivated to see you are doing it, too! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have been planking for a few years...it beats doing crunches ;-)

      Delete
  5. I love following your progress as you always accomplish so much!
    I'm not a morning runner but if I was I probably wouldn't have been to keen with our morning weather here the first part of the month. We had some mornings That were in the 40's (which I wouldn't mind in February but not Seasonal in May). Since I run in the afternoon, the weather warms up by then! Here's To a great June!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love early morning running, but I also enjoy an afternoon outing in the running shoes ;-) Evening runs are so tranquil...just you and the bugs buzzing...

      Delete
  6. I feel like your month was an A--seems like you never stop moving! I agree with you on the weather. It was a bad month. It's funny how a few good days make you forget about all that tho.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The weather really was weird in May...I'm ready for seasonal weather (even if that means heat).

      Delete
  7. You have really upped your mileage and stayed injury free so I give that an A. I agree with you on the importance of strength training as well. Ugh don't get me started on the weather.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's crazy how the weather has been so strange everywhere LOL

      Delete
  8. Sounds like a great month! That was a smart idea to put the speed work in your plan at a bi-weekly rate. I'm with you on the weather...it's been a lot of up and downs in May.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I though the bi-weekly speed work was a fair compromise. I have always done fairly well without it, but I realize a little speed session now and then is beneficial

      Delete
  9. This has been a tough month for running due to the weather and yet it is raining again today. Ugh!

    You have done great inspite of the challenge.

    I'd say that you are ready to meet Grandma.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I"m eager to meet Grandma (for the second time) ;-)

      Delete
  10. The weather has been horrible for most of May!

    I don't think you need to do speedwork to race. Only to get faster! I like intervals, but I don't like tempos -- Rachel has me doing tempos, of course. :) The month started a bit rocky for me but I finished strong.

    I also totally agree about doing more than just running. But hey, whatever floats your boat! I'd say you had a great month -- there are always going to be bad runs -- it's how we recognize the good ones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree...the bad runs reinforce how great the good runs are ;-)

      Delete
  11. Awesome month but that C- for weather I have to agree. Ugh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The weather has been crazy...I'm looking forward to SUMMER

      Delete
  12. It looks like you had a super productive month! Looks like the weather has been pretty wacky everywhere this month!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's crazy how the weather has been nutzo EVERYWHERE!

      Delete
  13. I would give you an A for all that #5at5 action you get in! I think you are to generous with the grade on the weather! One day you are long legs in shorts and then 2 days later I see you on Instagram in a puffer vest! Iowa gets a F! LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Woohoo! Way to go. You've inspired me to kick it into gear for June!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sadly we can't control the weather, but I would give you an A for dealing with yours! Spring in Hong Kong doesn't flip flop or drag on like it seems to in the US. It gets warm and stays there or gets warmer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I whine about the temperamental weather, but I really would miss the change of seasons . I just wish it would "change"seasons and stay that way for awhile LOL

      Delete
  16. Great job! I think you are being too hard on yourself!! Sounds like you did a great job training this month. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I was just being real...there were a few "challenge" things that got blown off as well as a few tough training runs, but everything played out well ;-)

      Delete
  17. Sounds like YOU did everything right but the world could have done a bit better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha! Well, the world is gonna do its own thing...on its own agenda ;-)

      Delete
  18. Great job on your training despite the crappy weather! Ours has been SUPER rainy here ...although the sun is out today, hope it's here to stay!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The weather has not been ideal...I'm hoping with summer officially about to start, we'll have some better temps

      Delete
  19. Hi Kim. I'm impressed by your accomplishments this month: fourth in your age group in your shorter race, an effortless half (I can hardly imagine that), and all that planking! I hope you 'get away' with your high mileage without injury. As for my May, I can't really point to any fitness accomplishments as I went out of town and had new blades mounted on my skates, resulting in three weeks off skating and with only minimal working out. On the big plus side, all that rest completely settled my patellofemoral pain!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes, taking a few weeks off (or taking things lightly) does a body good and not much (if any fitness) is lost...and any niggles can have a chance to calm down

      Delete
    2. Yes, rest can be a very good thing. We can take it voluntarily or take it involuntarily after getting injured.

      Delete
  20. I'm very worried about starting to see triple digit monthly mileage totals. I understand that there really isn't any way to avoid while training for a marathon, but I start to worry about all of the "what ifs" as my mileage total creeps higher and higher.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least with your training (depending on what kind of a plan you use), you probably won't see a drastic increase in your mileage right away. It's usually in the second half of the training cycle that the mileage really climbs

      Delete
  21. You had a great month. And I'd also like to give the weather a big fat F. I feel like we had far more unpleasant days than pleasant ones. Hopefully June will be better. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would have LOVED to give the weather a big fat F, too....but there were some nice days mixed in there, so I had to be diplomatic about it LOL

      Delete
  22. Very solid month Kim and you are ready for grandmas and a strong finish for sure! I give myself an A+ on cross training this month :) but I was forced to - i'm going to stop running so much for sure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was wondering how your mega miles were working LOL I know my body (nor my mind) can handle high mileage. I have learned that I can maintain my endurance with moderate mileage, so I try to not "up" the mileage too much, even in peak training weeks.

      Delete
  23. Other than the weather it looks like a great month. I don't do monthly assessments, but it's is interesting and would be good to look back on, so maybe I will try it next month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it's kind of fun "playing teacher" LOL

      Delete
  24. Sounds like a good month to me! I don't technically grade my monthly activity, but I do feel much happier when I've had more activity-filled months!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree....staying active has benefits ;-)

      Delete
  25. 110 Miles for this month is awesome and a great training base for your upcoming marathon! You guys have really been through everything weather-wise, extra points for sticking to your running schedule anyway, no matter what. Such great discipline!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks!!! The weather has been so weird in May...probably the most "unseasonal" May ever!

      Delete
  26. I love how you rated the weather, too. lol Great job on your May goals. You had a pretty great month, if you ask me. I gave myself an A- for May!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had to rate the weather because it was a major factor ;-)

      Delete
  27. Great job. I give you an overall A+.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awwwwm thank you! It was a busy and pretty productive month ;-)

      Delete
  28. You have had an awesome month! I don't know how you do it all, lol! I need to make more time for cross-training for sure, so I plan to step it up in June!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Great job! Love the "grades" you gave yourself - but I'd say overall, A++!

    ReplyDelete