Thursday, July 24, 2014

Workouts July 14-20

Hi there, I hope you enjoyed Part 1 of my vacation!  Parts 2 and 3 are coming, and I'm sure you can't wait. :)

Here the rest of the workouts I did while in Europe.  Let's keep in mind we were talking A TON!  Holy moly... by the end of the week my legs were absolute lead.  Turns out walking endless miles on concrete city streets in semi-supportive shoes at best isn't good for the old leggies.  I have been cross training/resting since last Friday.

Monday, July 14 - REST
By rest I mean walking evvveryywherrreeee in Paris all day.

Tuesday, July 15 - 3 mile run with Dad in Paris!
We woke up bright and early and ran in Luxembourg Gardens, which was about a half mile from where we were staying.  We ran from the hotel, did two park loops, and ran back.  It was exactly 3 miles.  My dad will not want me to post our mile times...and I don't want to either.  It was just a little jaunt - with this view!

Wednesday July 16 - REST
We came home from Paris that day, then I spent the afternoon leisurely strolling in London with mom.

Thursday, July 17 - 4 mile run
This was my first time setting out by myself in London (besides the 10k, which was hardly "by myself").  I ran an out and back on the Thames Path.  The Thames Path runs is a walkway that runs along the river, on both sides (?).  It's great, you can go for miles and miles.  I left from my parents' house, which is literally right on the path, and ran 2 miles toward the Waterloo Bridge, and turned around.  I ended up deleting this run from my GPS because it went all wacko again and said I ran 2 miles in 4 minutes each!  So weird.  This is what the view looks like stepping out of my parents' house.

The path, like I said, is a great place the run, but the surfaces aren't ideal.  It is slanted at parts, and made mostly of concrete and slate.  I wouldn't want to run on it exclusively.  By this point in the week I was really starting to feel the toll taken on my legs.

Friday, July 18 - 5 mile run
On Friday I had big plans to knock out my "long run" (6 miles) in Hyde Park.  My dad mapped a loop for me, so I took the tube to the park and got started.

About a mile in I was like " shins hurt..this isn't that fun."  By the end of mile 2 I was thinking "Wow, this might be the worst thing ever.  This is park is pretty, but hell, I'm done with this."  Yup - fun huh?? My shins really did hurt.  See above, explaining how my legs gave out by the end of the week.  I was still in the park at this point, and had to walk a while to the tube stop.  Yes, I was going to go home - I thought it just wasn't worth it to keep going at such a pitiful, painful clip.  As I continued walking out the park the path changed to a much softer surface, and it was slightly down hill, and in the shade.  I started to feel like running again, so I did.  By the time I was out of the park I was feeling better, so I continued, past Buckingham Palace, and down The Mall.  Instead of trying to figure out how to get back on my route (I had no idea where I was going), I decided to just start running back towards my parents' house.  I crossed the "Wobbly Bridge" at Waterloo and was back where I had turned around the day before.  My pace was horrid, but as the miles ticked by I was feeling okay!  I hit 5 miles at London Bridge, and was feeling more accomplished.  My shins were still sore so I called it a day there and hopped on the bus for the last mile home.  All in all I call it a success.  At that time I knew I was done with running in Europe though...sheesh.

Saturday, July 19 - REST

Sunday, July 20 - REST
Flying for 8 hours definitely constitutes rest.

1. What's been your best workout lately?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

LONDON Part 1: Cambridge and the British 10k

Surprise!!  I just got back from a wonderful vacation visiting my parents in London, with a quick jaunt to Paris.  Here is Part 1 of the trip, including a recap of the British 10k!

Ready to go...

I was flying all of Thursday night, and arrived in London at the crack o' dawn on Friday morning.  It was literally planes, trains, and automobiles to get to my parents' house.  Good thing my mom met me at the train station, then led my exhausted self to her house, where she had fresh berries, toast, coffee, and yogurt waiting!  Oh my was the best :)))  Oh and it didn't hurt that I was greeted by this - just down the street!

The rest of Friday I napped a little, and mom showed me around her neighborhood (or "neighbourhood" as the Brits would spell it).  My dad was working all afternoon then we all went to dinner.  I crashed EARLY though.  We had a long day ahead of us in Cambridge!


On Saturday my dad and I went on a run, see the little blurb here.  Then it was off to Cambridge for the day.  Sitting in the front seat of the car on the left side was mildly terrifying.  I don't know how my dad drives on the left side of the road...he doesn't know either...

Cambridge is beautiful.  I had no idea that Cambridge University is actually made up of a number of unique colleges...together called the University.  Did you know that?

Mommy and me:

The square.  It was crooooowdeddd that day.  I guess a beautiful Saturday in the summer is a good day to visit Cambridge.

You just don't get this in the US!

It was a great first day.

The British 10k London Run

The British 10k is a huge race that is run almost entirely for charity.  I was lucky enough to join my dad's corporate team, running for London's Air Ambulance.  I didn't know until the day before the race that it was so tough to get into the I'm so thankful to my dad for hooking me up with their charity team!

Before - walking to the start.


I had SUCH a good time!  My official time was  51:57 - about an 8:23 min/mile pace.  I am happy with that because 1) I really wasn't running for time - just to have fun and 2) there was LOTS of dodging people... That's one of the first things I noticed about the race experience - the whole corral system in this race was pretty much non-existent.  I was weaving between walkers from the first 100 yards.  It didn't matter too much though...see point 1 :)

Here's the course.  They call it Britain's Most Iconic Race Route.  We ran past a number of landmarks, as you can see.  My favorite part was  crossing Westminster Bridge towards the London Eye and turning around to see Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.  Right after that we ran by Westminster Abbey.  It was beautiful!

You'll notice I ran a 9:33 mile and then picked it up to bust out a 6:43 mile in the middle.  THAT IS NOT TRUE!  I wish the 6:43 was... But anyway, we ran through some tunnels around that part and my satellite went wacky.  The total time on my watch worked out to be pretty accurate, but those middle mile times are DEFINITELY wrong.  Who knows...

So you can imagine that the race was marked in kilometers, not miles.  That was interesting!  It was mentally pretty nice to see the kilometers keep ticking by more frequently than a mile would.  But that last 2k was brutal...I think by that time I was expecting a kilometer to be shorter than it really was.  That was also the most scenic part so I don't know why it felt so long.  Oh yeah, it was because I was tired.

Here is me being awkward on the walk back to the tube (that's the subway, for us yankees).  Behind me is the London Eye and Big Ben, with the bridge connecting the two that I mentioned above.  It was quite cloudy that morning, which was great for running.  It even rained a little in the beginning.  It was sunny for the last mile or 2, but clearly it went back to being cloudy.

 My loving spectators!  I saw them twice during the race, which was AMAZING considering there were 14,000 people!

The British 10k was definitely one of my favorite recent races.  I had a great time.  I'm still figuring out how much I really like the 10k distance...but I'm leaning toward liking it.  

1. Have you ever run a race in a new city?

2. Favorite place you've raced?

3. Have you ever been to Cambridge? 

4. What's you're favorite race distance?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Workouts July 7-13

WELL HI!  Turns out I was just in London and Paris for 10 days!  I can't wait to tell you all about it...for now though, let's just get some workouts out of the way.  I said I would recap my workouts each week, and I intend to stick with here goes.

Whoa baby this is hard for me to remember, ha.  This seems like ages ago.

Monday, July 7 - 1 mile treadmill run and strength
Earlier I talked about how confused I was by the "Stretch and Strengthen" day on my half marathon plan.  In an effort to not get too relaxed I went to the gym and did a strength workout (I can't remember for the life of me what I did).  I ran a fast mile on the treadmill first.  I recall sweating like CRAZY during was embarrassing.

Tuesday, July 8  - 3 mile run with Bishop
This one was nice and fast compared to recent morning runs!  Good doggy.

Wednesday, July 9 - 2 mile treadmill run and strength
See Monday :)

Thursday, July 10 - 3 mile run with Bishop
I don't remember what was happening on this run but it wasn't as good as Tuesday.  But hey - negative splits!

Friday, July 11 - REST
7 hours on a plane, a nap, and long walks around LONDON!

Saturday, July 12 - 3 mile run with Dad in London!
This run was GLORIOUS! It was a cool and cloudy morning, and we took it nice and slowly.  My dad showed me his route along the Thames and their neighborhood.  It was just wonderful.

Sunday, July 13 - BRITISH 10k!  I had so much fun.  Full recap HERE.

Stay tuned for: a few posts on my lovely Eurotrip, the British 10k recap, and last week's workouts.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fourth of July Weekend in DC

Before I start talking about this weekend, I want to make something clear.  While this weekend was really, really, fun, and full of excitement, it wasn't all rainbows and butterflies.  I'm not going to get into it, but if I didn't mention this, I'd feel like a fraud.  I think we all know that what we see on Facebook, Instagram, blogs, etc. are the most positive aspects of people's day.  Sometimes it can make us feel like everyone else is living a worry-free, fantastic life, and we're sitting here wishing our lives were perfect.  No one's life is perfect!  So that said, apart from a few things that were going on behind the scenes, I really did have a great weekend. Moving on...

Washington DC

I had big plans to get down to Drew's around noon, but I ended up leaving my house at noon.  Here's why: I went to take my dogs to the Petsmart Pet Hotel at 9 am (they've stayed there a number of times before).  When I made the reservation a month ago, they told me both dogs needed new vaccinations.  They went to the vet when my dad was home, so it was all good.  I go to check them in, and Winston is MISSING a vaccine!!!!  Huge misunderstanding between Petsmart and my family - we thought we double checked the had everything, blah blah, but basically, they couldn't take him!  No ifs, ands, or buts.  I was saddled with the dogs, and supposed to leave for DC in one hour.  Needless to say I was FREAKING.  I love my dogs, but wow.  I wanted them out of my hair.  Turns out my lovely brother didn't have plans this weekend and agreed to dog sit at the last minute!!!!  I have never been so grateful.  So that wasted some time, and I also ran Winston over to the vet to get that vaccination because he's going to need it anyway, and by noon I was ready to go.  I was so happy to get to DC around 3, where we enjoyed a night of grilling out and chilling at home.  It was relaxing.  Also, Drew's little brother was in town this weekend, too, visiting Drew and a friend from school.  It was so great it worked out that we could all go to DC the same weekend!

Friday - 4th of July!
I'll try to be less wordy now... I'll mostly use the pictures:

On Friday morning we had a tour of the Capitol bright and early.  Before heading down to DC we went to our favorite bagel place, ironically called, The Bagel Place. 

College Park
Egg, spinach, ham, wheat bagel, and French Vanilla iced coffee.
 I should mention the weather was PERFECT.  It was breezy and chilly in the morning, then turned into a beautiful 80 degree day with low humidity.  We were blessed all weekend!

Drew on the Capitol tour.  The tour is short and sweet.  You wear headphones, but are listening to an actual tour guide.  The headphones are so he doesn't have to yell.  I've never had a tour like that before, and it was great.  It helped that our tour guide was amazing!

This was cool: in the old House of Representatives room, plaques mark where famous people have sat.  This was Abraham Lincoln's spot!!

This is a statue of Ronald Reagan.  The broken pieces are actual pieces of the Berlin Wall.

Poor Drew forgot his sunglasses that day.  Bad choice.

The only picture I have of the parade.  These were clealy period-dressed Civil War soldiers.  I liked it.  There were also a lot of really talented marching bands.

Parade selfie!  That's Drew's little brother Richie on the left.  He's alright...just kidding he's way cooler than Drew or I will ever be.

The guy in front of us at the parade had this shirt on.  I approve.

After the parade and lunch, we went back to Drew's and took a siesta.  Meaning we slept till like 6, which was way later than we planned.  OOPS!

One of the best, if not the best, fireworks display I've ever seen.  Being on the National Mall on such a special night was so amazing.  During the fireworks a band played really touching music, like the National Anthem, of course, and The Battle Hymn of the Republic.  Goosebumps!

I woke up Saturday to this.  Drew's cat Stella was having a field day over this very daring squirrel.  I hate to break it to you Drew, but I don't think your bird feeder is squirrel proof.  Womp.

After my run and another breakfast at The Bagel Place, we headed down to DC.  We wanted to go to the Newseum but didn't have time :(  It costs $22 and you should really spend about 3 hours there.  We only had an hour so we didn't think it was worth the money right then.  Instead we took Richie to the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence.  Well turns out the line stretched for 2 blocks, so no dice.  Third time's a charm: we went to the American History museum to see the Star-Spangled Banner.  Drew and I had seen it before but it's really cool.  I definitely suggest it.  Really, I suggest any museum in DC.  I'm a museum nerd, and I could spend days going to each and every one.

The Newseum posts newspaper front pages from every state, every day.  This one was Boulder, Colorado's front page!  Those fireworks are at Folsom Field, were CU plays :)

Washington DC front page:

Next we went to a Nationals game!  I am not a baseball fan in the least, but I do enjoy going to MLB games when I get a chance.  It's just a fun, American experience.

A candid picture from our tailgate...

My Drew!

Baseball is boring but at least it was a beautiful day:

After the game Drew and I parted ways with the youngens (Richie and his friends) and headed to Adams Morgan - one of our favorite neighborhoods in DC.  We went to a rooftop bar called Roofers Union.  I loved it.  Fun fact: that little white speck right above the roofline in the dead center is the Capitol!

I give this weekend a 9 out of 10.  Activity-wise, Drew and I did more than we ever do on a normal weekend in DC!  It was so great.  I also discovered lots of things we haven't done yet that I want to - Newseum - I'm comin' for ya!

1. Where did you spend the Fourth?

2. Where's the coolest location you've seen fireworks from?

3. Do you agree that sometimes social media masks the harder parts of people's lives?  Is that okay?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Workouts June 30-July 6

Hello, I hope you had a lovely Fourth of July weekend!  I spent the weekend at Drew's house in DC - it was very patriotic!! My recap will be coming soon.

Workouts: June 30-July 6

Monday 6/30: GFit - LAST ONE!!
12 minutes
6 upright row
8 box step-ups
10 wall ball
*rest 2 minutes*
12 minutes
5 overhead squats
7 push-ups
9 V-ups

This was my last GFit workout before my membership ran out on July 1.  Too bad this wasn't my favorite :(  The first part was fine, but very tiring on the old arms, so by the time I got to push-ups, I was DONE.  The push-ups we do at GFit are tricep push-ups, which I feel are infinitely harder than regular push-ups.  They also are CRAZY effective, so I'll take it.  For the overhead squat, I didn't use any weight; I just help a PVC pipe overhead.  Even though this wasn't the best workout, I'm going to miss GFit!

Tuesday 7/1: AM run - 3 miles

I took Bishop along on this run, which was the first time I've done that in the morning.  It was nice!  I actually ran slower with Bishop than I would have by myself, which is the opposite of what I said last time.  I kept tripping on him.  Maybe we both are a little slower in the morning...  It was good getting him some exercise because he needs more than Winston.

Wednesday 7/2:  AM spin class
Another first: first time I've been to spin class before work!  This will only be doable for the next 6 weeks or so, during my summer hours at work.  I don't love switching spin instructors, so I hoped this one would be good, and she was!  It was great - Jay Z and Beyonce were performing in Philadelphia this past weekend, so she played ONLY their music!  It was amazing, if you're into that.  The rest of Wednesday did not go as planned, so I was so happy I had that workout in the morning.

Thursday 7/3: AM run - 3 miles + squats and crunches
I took of work on Thursday, so I had a little more time in the morning to work out.  I still woke up early and went to the gym.  I did 3 miles pretty fast - The first mile was a warmup, then I did next 1.5 miles at about an 8:15 pace, then slowed down a little for that last bit.  Before I ran I did 100 squats and 100 crunches.  Not the most intense strength workout, but what can you do?

Friday 7/4: Rest (convenient!)
We walked, A LOT, that day.

Saturday 7/5: AM run - 4 miles

I knew Saturday's run would not be ideal.  I got little sleep the night before, drank alcohol, and ate potato chips for dinner.  Good moves by me!!  That's okay though, I was ready to just knock it out.  I was running by about 9:05, which was later than I wanted, but luckily enough it was only 65 degrees and low humidity!!!  That is so rare for a July morning in DC.  For a little extra incentive, I told Drew to meet me at our favorite bagel spot 45 minutes later so I didn't have to do an out and back.  I ran around a nice lake and was feeling good for about half of it, then it went south.  I was definitely dehydrated and wishing I had eaten better the day before! I ran the 4 miles that my training plan called for, then walked the last little bit up to the Bagel Place (yes that's what it's called).  Done and done.

Sunday 7/6: Solo spinning
I got home from DC in the afternoon today and let me tell you: it felt GREAT to get my sweat on after the very indulgent weekend.  I did 30 minutes on the spin bike with lots of climbing and running.  Then I did some planks and stretching afterward.

Speaking of stretching, my half marathon training plan calls for "Stretch and Strengthen" on Mondays.  What does that even mean?  I feel like I'm just going to end up treating it as a rest day, which I don't want to do.  I suppose I could hit up yoga, but I don't like LA Fitness yoga...  I'm thinking tomorrow I'll walk the dogs, do some core work, and foam roll.

1. Help!  How would you treat a "Stretch and Strengthen" day??

2. Favorite workout this week?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Last week's workouts and back to "training"

Why hello!  I've had a lovely weekend.  One of my dearest friends, Emily, came to visit.  She and I were random roommates when we interned in NYC a few summers ago.  It was one of the most fun summers I've ever had!  She went to college in the Philadelphia area and ended up living there for a year after school, so it was easy for us to keep hanging out.  Last year she moved back to NYC :((( but it's okay we still see each other when we can!

girls night

I've decided that instead of documenting my workouts here and there, I'll just recap all of them for the week, once a week.   So here goes:

Monday 6/23: GFit
24 Minutes
30 Wallball
30 Situps
400 meter run
I liked this one!  I love the running part; most people at GFit hate it, which surprises me.  This was the first time I didn't modify a weighted squat, and my quad felt fine.  That was nice.

Tuesday 6/24: 3 mile run before work
It was okay, you know I'm starting to realize that although I like running in the morning, I don't think my legs like it very much, especially not in the humidity, ha.


Wednesday 6/25: 3 mile run before work (same route)
I don't know what happened on that last mile, but see above for explanation. :)  My overall attitude one these runs was good, even though they weren't too fast.


Thursday 6/26: GFit
SDHP stands for Sumo Deadlift High Pull, which is just about as informative as the acronym, ha.  Basically it's a sumo squat with a kettlebell, directly into an upright row.  I started to do these, but the wide-leg squat hit my quad in the worst way.  I ended up just doing upright rows, since I was already working my quads a lot with the box jumps (which felt fine).  In case you're wondering, a man maker is a pushup on dumbbells, then you lift the dumbbells into a row one at time.  Does that make sense?

Friday 6/27: Rest

Saturday 6/28: GFit
Another great one.  PP stands for push press (basically a shoulder press with dumbbells).  Farmers walk is walking with kettlebells in each hand.  Sounds simple, but it's ROUGH.  I did 35lbs in each hand.  

So there you have it!  I didn't do anything today, oops. 

Tomorrow I start "training" for my next half marathon (RnR Philly on September 21).  I'm going to be following this plan by Hal Higdon, loosely.  I'm in better shape than I need to be for the first couple weeks of the plan, so I will run more than the 2 miles it calls for some weeks, and I'll also probably do an hour of cross training every time.  I also may turn some of the midweek runs into tempo or speedwork.  I need to make sure I don't just slog through every run, that's not going to help me.   I looked at the Novice 2 program, which is one step above this one, but it didn't have any strength training, and only one day of cross training.  I think my body needs more cross training than that.  

Speaking of what my body needs, I am so bummed I'm done with GFit after tomorrow!  I am seriously considering just continuing to pay for it, but it's just out of my budget :(  I'll keep thinking about it.  I'm going away a few times in July so it wouldn't make sense to continue for now, but maybe when I'm back home I'll think about paying for another month or two.  I just need to make sure I keep up with the HIIT and strength training, which is why I'm glad my half marathon plan has some added in.  

One last random note, I have been OBSESSED with watermelon lately.  I've eaten almost an entire watermelon since fact: I used to hate it growing up.  Weird!

1. Are you training for anything right now?

2. Favorite fruit?

3. Do you have lots of friends spread around the country?  Or are most in your area?