Sunday, August 30, 2015

Swimming and biking and things that happened last week...

After the half marathon last week, this week was mostly recovery of sorts. I have to say the recovery weeks go by way too quickly....  I hit the pool on Monday. I was trying to remember the last time I swam. I think this was only the second time I have put on my goggles since Beach2Battleship last year. I swam in masters groups for years before I ever even considered running or biking (and can distinctly remember being in awe of those ladies who ran and/or biked after our early morning swims).  Given that, it was a little humbling how much my shoulders were burning during my swim Monday. I mean, obviously you are going to lose fitness but there is that part of you that wants to believe you can just jump right back in where you ended. So to speak.

So.  Monday was a shoulder burning session.

The rest of the week was normal recovery type runs, my Alpha group (think crossfit but not "official" crossfit) and drumroll... a return to the bike after 10 months off. Yes, I retired. I suppose I am back which would then make the retirement more of a sabbatical. Right.  Anyhow, it was indoors but a bike is a bike...

 I discovered that because I work in retail I am able to get Hokas at a reduced rate. Ummm, yes please. These Odysseys arrived mid-week. Surprisingly lighter than the model I am currently running in (I don't even know what model that is... probably whatever was on clearance at Running Warehouse). Anyhow. Love the Odysseys. #swoon

Nutrition-wise this week I am at the tail end of the 21 day fix. As crazy as it seems to think you need color coded boxes to show you how to eat right, it has helped me. Could I have looked up the measurements of those boxes online and did it myself? Absolutely. For me, it was exactly what I needed to track what I was taking in and help me get back on track. I have a very odd schedule and those days where I don't plan ahead, any clean eating goes out the window because I will find myself starving and in a drive through window somewhere...  Interesting enough, there have been a few days in my food tracking where I actually did not eat enough food. That honestly shocked me as I would have told you I always ate plenty and then some. So, long story short, the colored boxes, the tracking and the shakeology have all been a big help to me.

Y'all.  I made this last week. So good. I had to thumb past all the delicious looking pumpkin and apple breads in Southern Living magazine and this little jewel jumped out of the pages at me.  Try it!

Hope you all have a good week!  BTW, if you need another instagram account to follow, check me out @karenwhitlo.  :)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Back in the distance game...

I ran the Hotlanta Half Marathon today.  The first long distance race I have done in 9 months! I did a couple of 5ks and a 10k earlier this year but all that was before March which made this race feel even more like I was starting all over.

Massive medal!

I ran HOTlanta last year. It was hilly as is typical of Atlanta races and was HOT as advertised. I mean, it is August after all...  This year they changed the start location which seemed to be a much better set up for all concerned (last year was a steep uphill finish, this year it was downhill and the vendors had a much better set up).

New start location this year! Much improved.

The plan for the race was to start in zone one, then spend some time in zone two and finish up in zone three. Normally, once a race starts I kind of take off. Not like a sprint but a fast start just to kind of find some free space and get out from the crowd. Since I am going faster than I probably should, I end up passing a lot of people in the beginning. Today was kind of the opposite. I felt like everyone was blasting by me and my zone 1 running right out of the gate. Interestingly enough, if you go slow enough from the start and everyone passes you, you also find some free space from the crowd it is just at the back of the pack. It worked. :)

The run felt really good, once I got into zone 2 I was starting to feel like I was running closer to my normal speed. Dark clouds had been brewing in the area since the start of the race and the bottom finally dropped out somewhere around mile 9 and continued through the finish.  Buckets of rain were coming down and there was lightening in the area. I kept thinking they were going to stop the race. It felt like we were running through a creek in places; the water was deep enough to completely submerge our feet so they were completely soaked.  I don't think I would run in that much of a downpour on purpose but once I got used to it, I kind of enjoyed it. To me, the rain was 1000x better than running in 90+ degree temps that I had been expecting.

My race time was somewhere in the 2:14 range. Not a PR but I am happy with the result. I felt strong at the end so I think focusing on the zones versus pace will work well for me

A little avocado heavy but sometimes you just go with it :)

In nutrition news, I am on day 14 of the 21 day fix. I haven't been doing the Beachbody work outs but have been following the nutrition part of it and I feel like it has really helped me eat healthier.  The funny thing is, I have tried shakeology in the past and really didn't have an opinion on it one way or the other but now it feels like it is something that works for me. I think I mostly like the fact that it gives me a serving of protein and contains all the vitamins I need for the day without having to take a separate multivitamin. (because while I have vitamins at home I might remember to take them once every two weeks which really doesn't do much good...) Anyhow. So I am on board with the shakes. Don't worry, I won't try to sell them to you.  :)

shake, shake, shake...


Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Kdub weekly update... :)

This week was pretty exciting! My tennis team went to city finals and WON which is exciting in and of itself but also means we get to compete at the state championships next May which will be all kinds of fun.

Funny side story, I ordered cupcakes from Publix to take to the match. Nothing special just cupcakes with sprinkles and there was no mention of why I needed them, for all they knew it was a baby shower. When I went to pick them up, they all had these #1 fingers in them. Strange because had it been for a baby shower, that would have been weird. I think it was a good sign. Like Publix knew...

On the running side of things, I feel like it is all coming back together. Going from being at a point where you could run 26.2 miles to where you felt like anything more than 3-4 miles might be a challenge is a weird thing.  In a lot of ways you feel like you are starting over (because you basically are..) but in other ways you know have done it before so you have that little bit of confidence tucked away knowing you can do it. I think crossing the 10 mile marker last week was a big boost.

My coach has me running by time versus running X miles each week which is a change for me. I think I mentioned my training plan was mostly HR based so for today it was a 2 hour run with 30 minutes in Z1, 60 minutes in Z2 and 30 in Z3.  As someone who previously was focused on miles it is unusual not to think about the distance of each run (and haven't really even given it a second thought). I will say, I did have a very brief moment of panic last week when I came to the realization that I was 2 weeks out from a scheduled half marathon (the Hotlanta Half Marathon and it will be... Hot.). I looked up my mileage in training peaks just to be sure because it didn't seem like I had been running all that far and needed to convince myself that I would be fine.  Of course, mister man had it all under control and I have now convinced myself that I will be good to go.  I am not feeling like it will be a PR but finishing the distance after taking my little sabbatical will be PR enough.  :)

21 day fix update...  that is actually going good! In the past I have rolled my eyes at food journals but this time around I am making myself write it all down and it is helping so much in unexpected ways. I did it to keep me on track and try to make sure I was getting in enough protein, veggies and whatnot. I have an unusual working schedule and end up eating at odd times which makes it hard to kind of track because I tend to grab quick small snack type meals throughout the day.

The unexpected bonus of the logs was seeing how my intake (or lack thereof) can impact my workouts.  I felt kind of sluggish at my tennis match this week as in dead legs, not going to finish this match on a positive note kind of feeling which is weird because while I am not always the best player on the court, I do have the advantage of endurance on my side which can work in my favor. This particular day, endurance was not feeling like it was on my side. I initially blamed the heat but looking back yesterday at the logs, I really think my issue was I had not eaten enough going into the match. The match was Thursday morning and both Tuesday and Wednesday I had not eaten my recommended amounts of food.  (and believe me I was SHOCKED...  I am definitely not one who needs to be reminded to eat. I guess when you stop eating all the chips and cookies it makes a difference). Headed into week two, I obviously need to do better about getting all the food in and water. Oh water...  chug a lug.

Ended up the week with a little Friday night dinner out. Haven't seen these ladies in a while. XOXO

And that's what has been happening in a nutshell.  Oh yeah. I did sign up for Chattanooga 70.3 next May but we can talk about that next time.   :)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The fix is in...

When I last left you I was in a recovery week which was quite fabulous. It really felt like a mini vacation doing light runs here and there as opposed to runs with some sort of purpose every day. This past week it was back to business with my regular rotation of hill repeats and interval based runs.  In my previous marathon training, I had always just done mileage based runs, you know - run 6 miles however you can manage to do it (fast, slow, run/walk, whatever) just check that mileage marker off the list. This time around the running has been time based with a lot of focus on heart rate zones. Prior to this week, it was heavy zones 1/2 and now we are creeping into z3 and z4.  I have really been enjoying this change for the most part. It is a good distraction to try and keep your HR in check and I have found a strange love for the speedwork and hill repeats. It is kind of fun to run fast, I suppose :)

I got a new garmin earlier this year and today it informed me I had a new distance record of 10.10 miles! Sort of funny because it was a reminder of how long it had been since I had run much longer than an hour. I am back on the training wagon folks.

Lifetime Fitness kicked off their 90 day challenge program this weekend. Last time around I wasn't really into it and fell off the wagon kind of early on. I signed back on to it this time and promised my trainer I was going to take it seriously this time around so am hoping I set myself up for a little accountability there. My sister is into the Beachbody program so I am doing the 21 day fix with her for the next few weeks. I think the structure of portion sizes will be a good help for me. Here we go! I am two meals in and doing great -  no slip ups yet!  LOL

In other news, my tennis team won their semi final match this week and we are moving on the finals. So exciting! I have been to city finals a time or two in some other smaller leagues but this will be my first time at a large city finals event so am really looking forward to it.