Monday Miles : May 14 – 20, 2018

crossfit, monday miles, running, swimming, training, triathlon

I was really happy with this week. Aside from missing one swim (my shoulders and arms were unbelievably sore after Monday and Tuesday’s workouts), I hit them all and was happy with how I felt. Plus it was a productive work week on my dissertation too, so I felt like I was walking on air by the end of the week.

5 / 14 : Lunch time swim — 10 minutes, 10 x 25 freestyle, 2 x 25 breast stroke. 300 m. Pm — Crossfit. 45 minutes AMRAP 400m run, 3 x rope climbs (I laid on the floor and pulled myself up), 400m run,  15 x clap push-ups (on my knees, because I’m not quite there yet). I ended up doing 5.5 rounds, 2.75 miles. I loved this work out. Like a lot. Probably because I could run. Romwod for mobility.

5 / 15 : Morning — very, very easy aerobic run for half hour. Stayed under 152 beats per minutes, 2.6 miles. Afternoon — Crossfit. Squat jerks and muscle ups. Neither of which I can do (yet, people, yet). I used a pvc pipe for the squats and used a box for my attempted muscle ups (my success level on those pretty low). 21 squat jerks, 7 (attempted and heavily scaled) muscle ups, 15 squat jerks, 5 muscle ups, 9 squat jerks, 3 pull-ups. This was rough. It happened. Something to keep working on. Romwod.

5 / 16 : 35 minute bike ride, 6.6 miles. Nice, relaxing work day.

5 / 17 : Morning — 3.2 miles, 9:30/mile pace. Afternoon — Crossfit. Another humdinger. This one left me shaking. 5 rounds in twenty minutes, 1 minute push-press (I used the lady bar, 35 lbs. and I was on the struggle bus), 1 minute bear walks (or you mean the Satan walk, because I’m pretty sure this walk is from Hell), 1 minute row for calories, 1 minute rest. It doesn’t look like much, but I actually thought I was going to get sick at the end. My arms were so shot. Still, I enjoyed myself. I think?

5 / 18 : Romwod. Rest. Rest.  Rest. Rest.

5 / 19 : Run. 6 miles. I was not sure how this run was going to feel. After Thursday, I was sore. I felt shot. But I tell you what, this has been one of my better runs. I could have gone faster and held myself back. I felt strong and my legs felt good. I started to get a little tired from the hills at the end, but managed to average 10:05/mile pace (the goal was not to go faster than 10 minute pace or slower than 10:30).

5 / 20 : Bike. 35 minutes. 7.7 miles. I still feel like I could run faster up the hills than I can bike them, but it is coming. I mean, I have been sticking around 35 minute bike rides for a bit now and that is about a mile improvement (one massive downhill helped…but then again, I did have to go up that hill first). I still think riding my bike is terrifying. Every time a car passes, I pray a little “thank-you.” Facing fears, people. Facing fears.

Totals : 300m swim, 14.3 miles bike, 14.5 miles run, 3 hours Crossfit.

A damn good week.

xo, Ali

 

What Worked

running, training

January through April proved to be probably the most successful training period I’ve had in years, I mean it, years. I have had to reflect on what made it work out so well, rather than end up in the flames like previous attempts at training for races. This list is as much for me as for anyone who has struggled with training blow-ups.

I’m not the strongest runner. I’m usually nursing some injury or other. I’m not the fastest (although I suspect lack of speed has more to do with lack of consistency rather than lack of ability — see above about being injury-prone). I’m remarkably average. But I desperately wanted to train and finish something. Anything.

This is what I think worked.

Going shorter. I usually would try to train for full marathons. I mean I’ve ran one before, so there is no reason why I should not be able to do a full one now — or so my irrational reason would try to persuade me. Wrong. My body does not handle stress the best, as I learned in March and early April. Running causes stress. Dissertation causes stress. None of these are the bad kinds of stress, but making sure that they are not compartmentalized, but seen more as a pieces of a pie helps (pie!). Dissertation gets the most stress because it is the highest priority, running after. That is probably is a weird way to think of it, but so be it.

Kelly Starrett’s Ready to Run. I bought this book about a week into training. And I learned a ton. Previously I did plenty of strength. I would strength train twice a week. And still, blow-up. This book led me to quit sitting at my desk (she wrote as she sat at a table in the library) and add ten minutes of mobility almost every single day post-shower. Initially I did not think these things would be a big deal, but they were. I mean my left hip-flexor is much kinder to me now than it ever used to be…now to fix my right hamstring…

Massages. Between January to March I got a massage every single Friday afternoon. Then I started tapering off to every other week and now every three weeks. My massage therapist is a total miracle worker. I also think it helped with the stress problem because my Friday massages helped me transition into the weekend much better aka work time is over.

Not drinking. Post-half I’ve been drinking a bit more, but I really, really, really did not want to have any sort of inflammation that would trigger an injury (avoiding inflammation later included no sugar, no gluten, no coffee, etc. all of which I’ve enjoyed post-race), mess up my already precarious sleep (insomnia problems), being sick in March and early April, and just generally wanted to make sure I felt really amazing. I know that some people would probably think this is overkill. I mean it isn’t like I was trying to qualify for anything or get a PR, I just wanted to finish. But I really did not want anything to mess it up. I’m a two beer hangover kind of person (unfortunately) and if I was going to do this and continue being productive at my dissertation, I wanted to feel mentally and physically my best and be very present and deliberate every single day. And I tell you what, it worked.

Clamshells. This goes along with the mobility section, but I did clamshells every single damn day. Every. Single. Day. With a resistance band. Without a resistance band. When I woke up. When I went to bed. I know they work, because I haven’t been doing them as consistently the last couple of weeks, and well, I can feel certain twinges starting to come back.

I will continue to try new things. I do want to go longer. I should probably start to do more bridges, instead of just clamshells all the time. But for now, this is the list of what I know works, what I know will get me there.

xo, Ali

Monday Miles : May 7 – 13, 2018

crossfit, lifting, monday miles, running, swimming, training, triathlon

Aside from introducing Crossfit into the rotation, it was a pretty low-key week. The pool has been closed all week, so I was not able to swim (I’m very happy to say I finally got a swim during a lunch break today). Then we headed to Frankenmuth for the weekend, so I had already planned on taking it a bit more easy with my other work outs. It turned out to be the right thing. We had a great weekend break just away from dissertation work and regular life. It was much needed.

crossfit

Me, doing my “box” jumps on plates at my second Crossfit class (aside for the introductory). 

 

5 / 7 : Bruno and I went to our first ever Crossfit work out this evening. It was a preliminary work-out, to look at form, establish a base, etc. That said, I was nervous. Everyone was super nice and super positive. 500m row, 40 air squats, 30 sit-ups, 20 push-ups (of the girl-variety); 10 pull-ups on rings (I’m not sure what these are called, I just was at an incline under a set of rings and pulled myself up ten times). Time: 7 minutes, 3 seconds. Romwod for mobility.

5 / 8 : Morning — 4 miles at aerobic heart rate. I’m trying to make sure that my runs stay easy, especially if I know that I’m going to be doing more sprinters, faster anaerobic work outs later that night. Afternoon — Crossfit. 8 x 100m rows; mobility; wod for time — 40 calorie row, 40 kettle-bell thrusters (used a 10 lbs. dumb-bell), and 30 no push-up burpees. I did this in a little over eight minutes. Romwod.

5 / 9 : 35 minute bike-ride. 6.6 miles. I am still loving my bike rides, not so much my bike though. Romwod.

5 / 10 : Morning — 3.2 mile run at around 9:20ish pace. I still haven’t uploaded my garmin watch, so I’m not exactly sure of the exact pace. Afternoon — Crossfit. AMRAP 100 single-unders (I need to work on my jump rope skills); 6 calorie row/bike; 20 mountain climbers in eight minutes (I could only get through two rounds…that jump-rope).  21-15-9 deadlifts and box jumps. 55 lbs. for deadlift and my box was more like a few plates stacked on top of each other. Things to get over: Box jumps freak me out. I’m always worried I’m going to sprain my ankle. Romwod.

5 / 11 : Romwod.

5 / 12 : FRANKENMUTH! Rest. Well, we did walk around a lot, but we also ate a lot of fudge and schnitzel.

5 / 13 : Rest.

Total : Run 7 miles, bike 6.6 miles, 3 Crossfit sessions. Not much, but I knew it was going to be a busy week with travel and looked forward to some rest.

On to the next week!

xo, Ali

Tri Not to be a Chicken

dissertation, goals, running, swimming, training, triathlon

Confession I: I used to be a total daredevil when I was younger. I think growing up on a dairy farm skewed my idea of “dangerous.” My sister and I would pile up hay at the bottom of a haymow and jump off. We would climb up the sides of silos to see who would go up the highest. We dared each other to grab hold the electric fence (explains a lot, ha!). I grew riding around fast as I could on four-wheelers (sometimes falling off).

Confession III: I’m a total chicken now. There are so many things I’m afraid of now. I’m scared of flying (Bruno had to practically hold my hand through the whole flight from Madrid to JFK in New York), scared of driving (I almost never drive), scared of large groups of people (hello, feeling suffocated), and scared of riding my bike (I had a bad bike accident several years ago, breaking my left elbow).

The day after my half-marathon I signed up for the Williams Bay Triathlon. It takes place September 22 in Williams Bay, Wisconsin on Lake Geneva. It is a sprint distance: 500m swim, 13 mile bike, and a 5k run.

This place holds a special place in my heart. My grandma grew up in Williams Bay. My great-grandma cooked for the mansions that line the lake. It was (is?) a popular summer vacation spot for Chicagoans. Legend has it my great-grandfather was an excellent athlete and would regularly swim across the lake and was even such a good hockey player that the Chicago Black Hawks wanted him to play for them. His mother wouldn’t let him go. All family legend of course. Lake Geneva is a family vacation spot, a place I grew up swimming in during summers. I look forward to swimming in the lake again and doing something small to honor my family history.

I’ve made a mixture of the Hal Higdon half-marathon running three days a week plan plus the Joe Friel beginner triathlon plan. My goal from here until I finish the Serious Series in early August is to run three times a week, bike twice, and swim twice. After the Legend half, I’ll focus more intently on brick training, etc. I am excited to switch things up and I am excited to finish off the season with something different. I can maybe count on one hand the people I know of who have done triathlons (I think like three people, maybe?).

I only have a mountain bike, the same one from my accident. It is rickety and feels a bit like a death trap (oh hi, fear!). I have plans for replacing it before the triathlon, but it will have to wait until the end of the summer (lest I fail the Dave Ramsey commandments of fiscal responsibility). But for now, I put an odometer on my bike and a helmet on my head and as of last week have been riding around town.

And it is nice. I honestly never thought I would like cycling. Even when I would go to and from work on a bike (see above about being scared to drive), it was kind of a drag. But I think now, because I have an end goal, a plan. I find myself looking at bikes, researching bikes, and talking about bikes. I work in the archives of an academic who was known for his cycling and I became very excited finding a letter on how many miles he cycled a year, advice for the newbie cyclist, and buying your first bike. I never expected this interest to happen, but it did.

But it is also a little scary. I think I’m still afraid from my accident. I get nervous about going downhill, like to the point that I probably can’t really take advantage of it because I get that heart racing “it’s too fast” feeling and start tapping the breaks. It is both exhilarating and terrifying. Every time I go out I become a little braver.

And that is what I most appreciate about this new training plan, it really truly shakes things up. It is not just longer (which I’m not actually sure if my body would hold up to right now, to be honest), but it requires two different sports, one of which I can barely do (bike), and one I haven’t done in over a decade (swim). It forces me to be brave with my biking, brave with cutting down running from four to three days a week (yeah, I know that four is barely any and I barely ran over 20 miles a week anyways, but still, different for me).

Even more, it forces me to be brave in changing my goals. I always wanted to go longer with running. I still do, but I think sometimes I want to do too much too fast (I had a solid seven mile run! Let’s look at 50 mile training plans!). And I’ll say it again and again and again. That dissertation is number one priority. I have to do things that do not get in the way of my being able to think and work well most of the day. Sometimes being brave is just being honest with where you are.

Anyway, I’m feeling pretty excited about training right now and I am definitely not going to be a chicken.

xo, Ali

 

Race Report : Trail Half-Marathon in Pinckney, Michigan (April 28, 2018)

races, running

This is long.

Where to begin?

I’ll start with the night before. I’m a graduate student. I live in a college town, meaning I live right next door to college students. The majority of them are amazing, scarily bright, and are some of the best people to share a campus with. Then there are my neighbors who threw a party the Friday night of my race. I suspect this is karma from my own high school and college days. Weirdly, I felt really calm about it. Like, “its ok, I slept well last night” kind of calm. I set three alarms for 4:00, 4:10, and 4:15am for the next day.

I’m not sure what time I fell asleep. I tried not to look at my phone. I don’t think I slept well. But I woke up to footsteps. That wasn’t right. I was supposed to wake up to my alarm. But instead, there was Bruno. “Hon, you awake?” I could hear my alarm going off, over and over again. It was 4:30.

And you know what. I still stayed calm (very different from my marathon, where I was on the verge of a meltdown the whole morning). I felt grateful, grateful that Bruno woke up early enough that I could still get a shower in (yeah, I did that. Lack of coffee does not leave me with much options to wake up). I ate what has been my standard breakfast the last few weeks: ground beef, carrots, bone broth, lots of olive oil. Bruno packed some super plain gluten-free oatmeal for just in case. Like in water nothing fancy. I did not want to have any stomach issues. I had some rooibos tea. I packed a Results tea (tea so good that I am starting not to miss coffee that much) and a water bottle of grape Nuun (the best flavor) for the road.

I had everything packed the previous night, so around 5:45 am we hit the road. The race website said headphones were discouraged, so I played my pump-up jams for the road. Dixie Chicks, “Ready to Run.” LL Cool J, “Mama Said Knock You Out.” Pink Floyd, “Run Like Hell.” Republica, “Ready to Go.” Foster the People, “Pumped Up Kicks.” Toto, “Africa.” Phil Collins, “In the Air Tonight.” Matthew Wilder, “Break My Stride.” I ate half my oatmeal. Drank my tea and Nuun. I had golf balls underneath my hamstrings that I kept rolling around on to prevent them from getting too tight from the drive.

We arrived. And it was cold. I was starting to regret my choice of shorts, but at the same time grateful that I brought gloves. We had only forty-five minutes, so I quickly checked in and got to stretching. About quarter till eight, I took a salted caramel GU and decided to get in one last bathroom (ok, ok, port-a-potty) trip. By then the race was about ready to start.

I could not hear on the announcer the paces for the waves. It was super muffled. I just assumed (correctly) that the first wave was probably not for me. I hopped in the second one when I heard one woman ask, “Do you know what pace this is supposed to be?” And another woman respond, “I have no idea.” I figured, what the hell, let’s get going.

On the drive, I told Bruno I had no idea what to expect as it was my first trail half. If it were a road half, based on my long run paces, I would have probably tried to shoot for under two hours. But I had goals that “if doable” I would try to go for them. They were: a. Stay around 10:50 pace. b. Try not to walk. c. Run under 2 hours 30 minutes.

Goals a. and b. went out the window within the first mile. The first four-ish miles we were definitely packed in there. We would come to a hill or a turn and we’d all be waiting to get through. I would start to move and then halt again. I really did not mind. It kind of helped make it feel like a real community event. “Hey, we’re in it together through these hills.”

After around mile four it started to thin out. And I was planning on trying to really pay attention to each mile, just so that I could put it on here, but I didn’t. All I can say is that I was really enjoying myself. I also about ate it several times. Luckily, I stayed upright for most of the run.

On the hills. During training, there was a road I would go up and down just because it was just one mile long hill. I was not sure that it would be enough. I think it was. I mean I still had to hike some of the hills — particularly a gnarly, long one around 11 or 12 miles (so close to the finish too!), but when it was more rolling, as long as I was paying attention to my footing, I could run through it just fine. What I’m basically trying to say is that although the hills were tough (my butt still hurts), the hills were not torture or impossible. Thank God for Mauck Road.

On running no head-phones. I have never ran so long without music or a podcast before. I was surprised when I reached half-way. I was afraid that without headphones the whole thing would be a slog. I do not even remember what I thought about. I just was really in it. It was not until probably around nine miles that I thought, “I could use some music right now.” But by that point, 4 more miles did not seem too bad to be sans-music. Also, I had seen a few people try to pass those with head phones and have to repeat “Left. Left. LEFT!” that I was glad not to be “that” person.

On my body. I felt really good most of the time. As I said, it was not until the last couple of miles that I began to feel mentally and physically tired. I was nervous about my foot and hamstrings going hay-wire, but nothing went wrong. My left foot did hurt a bit for about a mile and then kept quiet the rest of the run.

On nutrition. I had a GU at mile 5 and mile 10. I felt fine. They worked. I’m just not so sure if GU is something I want to continue with out of concern for possible stomach distress. I want to figure out something else. But I felt strong and fueled most the run. Friday night I had salmon, a huge amount of sweet potatoes, green beans, and zucchini for dinner, so that seemed to work for me.

On nature. I know Michigan is beautiful. I mean I see it in the fall and the spring. But this trail is lush. There is plenty to catch the eye (just don’t trip!). My favorite moment was running over the bridge that separates the two lakes. I wanted to just stop and look, but wanted to keep going/not get in anybody’s way.

On the people. I only saw Bruno at the beginning and the end of the run, but there were plenty of people on the trails who cheered. I passed a few high school or junior high (I can’t tell how old the young’uns are anymore) who made high-five lines, an adorable family who were handing out high-fives, the guy who kept shouting, “You look fantastic! You are kicking so much ass right now!” and plenty of people who were just using the trails who had a kind word to say. Not to mention the runners themselves. There was a woman I kept playing leap-frog with and we would laugh and joke with each other each time one of us would pass the other. Plenty of “good job’s” and cheers from other runners if you ran hard up a hill (which I did do a few times). It was a privilege to share the trails with such people.

On finishing. I did not cry when I finished (more on that in just a bit). But I did start to tear up around mile eleven or so. I mean I was so close to being done. The whole race just flew by and I could not believe that I was actually doing it. I had waited so long for the day and it just was turning out perfectly. I was so grateful. The huge hill at the end of the run quickly ended my sappy feelings. But they happened. About .3 or so miles from the finish, there was a dude with a huge boom box blaring “Renegade” by Styx. Confession: I love Styx. I once saw them in concert with REO Speedwagon when I was 11 with my mom. I shouted, “YEAH! STYX!” And then promptly tripped, but did not fall. I knew the race was a little over half distance, so I did not know when to just gun it. But someone told me over the hill it was a straight shot to the finish line, so I just bolted. I bolted hard. I can’t remember if it felt hard or not. I knew I was within about a minute of goal c (which at that point I had kind of forgotten about) I have not seen my finish line pictures yet, but I bet I look something terrible. They will also show me chicking a guy within twenty feet of the finish line, so there’s that. Most importantly, though, I did make my c. goal: 13:4 miles in 2:29:45, average pace 11:15/mile (really, it was ALL over the place).

trailhalfmarathon

We went to the Hell Hole Bar afterwards. I celebrated with a bacon cheeseburger and a Bell’s Oberon. Both of us were exhausted on the drive home. When we got home, I took a lavender sea salt bath, put my legs up the wall, and tried to nap. The rest of the day was spent vegging. I ate some ice cream (I totally blew up my food allergy elimination diet — and have still been paying for it).

It was such a great day. I am still so grateful for every minute, every mile of it. Even during the hills, I could not help but smile. When I was wavering on signing up for another race (as my reward) later that day, Bruno said, “Just do it. You looked so joyous today.”

Next up: Flirt with Dirt Dirty Duo in June (5k & 10k) and The Legend Half-Marathon in August. That will complete the Serious Series of trail races. It has been easy to future-trip and look ahead, but this trail half-marathon was truly a beautiful beginning of races for me.

xo, Ali

 

Monday Miles (Race Week Edition) : April 23-29, 2018

monday miles, running

It is done. I had an amazing experience on Saturday running the Trail Weekend‘s half-marathon. It was truly the best and favorite race I have run thus far. I am so excited to write all about it. I have so much to say. I plan on writing my race recap tomorrow, so for now, here is the week leading up to the race.

4 / 23 : MTV Pilates, Romwod for mobility.

4 / 24 : Morning — I had pretty bad insomnia the previous night (is insomnia ever not bad?). I felt terrible, but my run ended up feeling pretty ok. I kept having to tell myself to “slow down there, buddy.” 3 miles. JasYoga Hip Strength Stability. Afternoon — Yoga for Stress Relief (lack of sleep-induced meltdown) and Romwod.

4 / 25 : Jasyoga hip mobility. 2 mile run (you mean I cannot do more?). Romwod.

4 / 26 : JasYoga Hip Strength Stability. 2 mile run. Romwod.

4 / 27 : Romwod. Plenty of legs up the wall. I ate salmon with sweet potatoes and zucchini for dinner. I drank some Tea Forte Retreat tea and sat in the bathtub with lavender salts while I re-read one of my favorite essays on writing by Ann Patchett. Bruno slept upstairs in hopes that I would sleep more soundly. I still managed to sleep terribly.

4 / 28 : 13.4 miles. I know that is a little over a half-marathon, but you’ll get to read the full story tomorrow!

4 / 29 : JasYoga High Mileage Reset, lots of legs up the wall, Romwod.

Total : 20.4 miles. Each one filled with endless gratitude.

And now, I’ve got a chicken, a whole freaking chicken, waiting for me in the oven.

xo, Ali

 

 

Ready to Run

running

Saturday is the day. I am going to run the trail half-marathon for the Trail Weekend in Pinckney. It will be my first trail race and my third half-marathon. It will be the first time I have ran a race in two years. I have always wondered if it seems like running matters less to me. I have struggled with calling myself a runner in the last year or so, because I’ve been running for almost six years and have only run a couple of races. I’m not a competitive runner, running more to complete rather than to compete.

Plus, I have been exhausted with telling people, “I’m training for x” only to have it fall through due to injury or even worse in the case of the Air Force Marathon when I had an ovarian cyst rupture only a week before the marathon. Heart-freaking-breaking. I have barely told anybody I have been training for a half. Granted, the life of a graduate student can be kind of solitary: “Hi, Rousseau. Guess what I’m doing when I’m not writing about you and reading you?” But still. I’m too afraid that I’ll jinx it.

Those are the thoughts I have been carrying with me through my training. Not the most positive, but they have crept in. I had a few panicky moments with being sick throughout March and even the other week when my left foot acted up. And guess what: I feel fine and my foot does too. The most bland diet in the world and picking up golf balls with your toes will do that you.

Mostly there have been amazing moments. The routine of running. I mean I love the rhythm of a running schedule. I love seeing the weeks drawn out. I love what it adds to my life. I love checking off the days and seeing the race draw near.

Then, there is the running itself. I do not understand it when people say running long can be boring. I think three mile runs can be boring, never a long run. Miles change you. I believe that. I do not come back the same person I left. I come back more resilient, more thoughtful, and most importantly, more joyful. I think the kind of tired I am when I come back from a long run is one of the best feelings in the world.

Saturday I went on a ten mile run. I was not planning on it. The plan called for a twelve mile run, but with my foot problems, I was not planning on running at all. It felt fine enough that I thought ten would be ok. Bruno and I ran together Saturday afternoon. And it was a hard run. My legs felt tired. But at around mile seven, coming down a hill (of course), I just threw my hands up in the air danced around, looked back at Bruno, and like a total goober yelled, “I am so happy! I just love running!” And then shuffled the last three miles back home.

30825471_10211473505299683_567536596_o.jpg

The last ten mile run.

 

At first I thought I did not know what to expect for Saturday. Hillsdale does not really have technical trails. I have maybe only ran on real trails a handful of times in my life. The Potowatami Trail is supposed to be hella hilly. I tried to train on as much hills as I could. I am not sure if that will be enough. Even though I went through the full half-training plan, the last couple of weeks has been wonky with being sick. Before that ten on Saturday, I was worried I lost fitness. I can be a real worrier.

Here is what I can expect: I can expect to get my ass kicked in the best way possible. And I know I am going to love every step of it. I know that I will rejoice at just being out there, even if I am going over a gnarly hill. I will think what I thought a couple weeks ago when an ice cold downpour began mid-run, “I love suffering!”* I know that I will see the beauty of the Pinckney parks, which are supposed to be some of the best in Michigan. I know that there is a good chance that when I cross that finish line on Saturday, I will cry. I am tearing up just thinking about it.

I have not taken a single mile I have ran for granted. Every step has been a silent prayer of “thank you.” Running is a joy.

I cannot wait for Saturday.

xo, Ali

*To be clear, I love voluntary suffering.

 

Monday Miles : April 16 – 22, 2018

monday miles, running

Here we are! The last Monday Miles before Saturday’s half-marathon. My first race in almost two years!

I woke up this morning super excited. Like irrationally excited. I have been sans-coffee for about a week and the amount of energy I had was a miracle kind of excited. I keep thinking of the plan for Saturday morning. I will wake up at this time. I will eat this. We will leave for Pinckney at this time. I will probably have an itinerary for Bruno by Wednesday. Would it surprise you that I’m type-A?

This week included three runs (finally). I have some new shoes. My feet feel mostly pretty good. I had a good massage on Friday, so I am ready to go.

4 / 16 : AM – Yoga with Adriene, True Day 11, Soften. PM – Romwod for mobility.

4 / 17 : AM – 3 x 45s plank. 50 clamshells. 2 x 15 fire-hydrants. 40 minutes cycle. Throughout day – 3 x 20 pick up golf ball with foot. 3 x 20 calf raises. PM – Yoga with Adriene, Day 12, Center. Romwod. Lots of icing of left foot. Better? But still cranky.

4 / 18 : 40 minutes cycle, 2 mile run. Hips, IT Band, Core. Romwod.

4 / 19 : 3 mile run. Hips, IT Band, Core.

4 / 20 : Romwod.

4 / 21 : 10 miles, baby. I was not planning on doing this, but figured why the hell not. I purposefully kept it slow, went the hilly route, and mostly felt good. I was tired, but I think that had to do more with running later in the evening after a day of running around.

4 / 22 : Jasyoga Sunday Reset.

Total: 80 minutes cycle, 15 miles run.

Alright! Only a few more days to go!!

xo, Ali

Monday Miles : April 9 – 15, 2018

monday miles, running

Before I begin, DESI!!!!!!!!!!! Enough said, right? Amazing. I keep watching the clip of her running in at Boston today (you knew that was today, right?) and well, as a fellow American and fellow Michigander I am very happy and proud. I’m not sure how anyone could watch that and not have happy tears.

Less than two weeks to go until my half-marathon. Training last week started fine and then well, I am starting to feel like Tom Brady’s in his bubble suit in this commercial. Every twist or nudge has led me to panic. And while this is no “Madden curse,” I do feel like I have in my own way a mental hurdle to beat — that fear that every time I sign up and train for a race, that race usually ends up not happening because injuries or health blow-ups. So, yes, the fear.

On a regular three mile run on Thursday, I felt my left foot suddenly get really cranky. Like not in an achy sort of way, but in a “please stop” way.  And it was totally my fault. I made a rookie mistake. You see, with all these doctors appointments, EGD’s, an ultrasound, etc. — none of it has been cheap, so I kept putting off getting new shoes even through it very clearly was time.

It almost threw me into panic mode on Thursday and for the rest of the weekend. But you know what? I stopped myself. I bought a new pair of shoes. They will get here on Wednesday. I started sleeping in my PF boot. I iced my foot. I rolled it out. Instead of doing my runs, I biked instead.

And you know what? My left foot is not great, but it is significantly better. And it will be fine. My loathing of being on a bike? It ended up not being that bad, even enjoyable. I’ll keep working on it and whatever happens on April 28 will happen. I already know that I am not doing it for time and it will kick my ass — and I have been looking forward to that. Nothing has changed.

4 / 9 : Nada, prepared to head back to Michigan from Connecticut.

4 / 10 : Core, hips, IT band. Ran 5 miles. These miles felt really good. Also, known as the post-ice cream run.

4 / 11 : Endoscopy. All clear! But sedatives made me too tired to do much movement the rest of the day.

4 / 12 : Core, hips, IT band. Easy three miles. About half-way through this run, left foot started hurting out of nowhere. Yoga with Adriene, True Day 9, Open. Romwod.

4 / 13 : Foot still hurt, decided to cycle instead. 40 minutes (I honestly have no idea how far this was — I just was trying to burn approximately the amount of calories I would in a three mile run). Core, hips, IT band. Romwod.

4 / 14 : Home in Ohio for the weekend! Yoga with Adriene, True Day 10, Detox. Jasyoga Lower Legs and Feet. Romwod. Core, hips, IT Band.

4 / 15 : Back to Michigan! 1.5 hours cycle, .5 hour walk on treadmill. Once again, no idea the distance (well, the walk was two miles), but tried to approximate how many calories I would burn. Romwod.

Not the mileage I would have liked. I wanted to have just two regular normal weeks of training before next week Saturday, but that’s life. I’m happy to improvise.

xo, Ali

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ice Cream Run

health, running

I have all sorts of arbitrary rules for myself. Examples: I can only run well in the morning. I can only have a productive day if I wake up at 4am. I can only call to cancel appointments after hours when I can reach voicemail because I’m afraid of disappointing the receptionist (what…only me?).

All this to say, if things do not happen specifically when and how I think they should happen, most likely I will not do them. It becomes a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. Wake up late? Well the day is shot (I am working on that). Morning run not done? Well, try again tomorrow. Tomorrow is a new day. A new day for a perfect day.

Well, we drove to Michigan from Connecticut today. I have an endoscopy and biopsy for my stomach tomorrow and I have no idea how I’ll feel the rest of the day. This could on mean one thing: I had to run today.

And boy did I fight it. I mean this is against everything I stand for. Running? After five? Are you kidding me? So. We went and got ice cream instead. Yes. Yes. I know. I’m supposed to be avoiding those eight allergens, but I took a break (I mean…I needed a break after like three days…) in Philadelphia and I declared to Bruno, “This. This will be my last treat.” At this point I declared the run was not happening and enjoyed a decadent ice cream treat made with real milk, not from the almond or coconut variety (ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby).

And then get this. I actually went for a run afterwards. I drove to the rec center after seven. And I ran, not after five pm, but in the actual evening — when usually I’m reading on the couch and getting ready for bed. I ran five miles, not just five miles. No. No. Five really good miles where I felt great. I mean if I can have a great run with a stomach full of ice cream, who knows what else I can do?

I’m glad I did it. I ran off some nerves about tomorrow (am I going to be awake and feel this thing in my throat and stomach?). And so, now I can hydrate like a camel for the next few hours, and be satisfied that even though most of this day was sat doing nothing in a truck, I still accomplished something.

But even more important than all that, I learned something about making stupid rules for myself. They are stupid. I can run later in the day. I can run after eating ice cream (or whatever noble lie ice cream is replaced with). I can quit being precious about my time being exactly how I want it to be.

Tune in next week when I have to learn this lesson all over again!

xo, Ali