Wednesday Workout Recap

sleeping fox

Shingo_Nono / Pixabay

This was probably the last really easy week I’ll have for a while.  Hello, spandex season… I mean triathlon season.

Monday – Rest Day.  Due to some work commitments, I had to pull out of singing my next choir concert (though I will be at the concert as a volunteer) which means that I no longer have long, late rehearsals Monday nights.  It’s an actual rest day.  I almost don’t know what to do with myself.

Tuesday – My schedule said “Go to swim if you feel like it.”  Let’s be honest, I rarely feel like going to swim.  Also, I was still pretty sore from the race, so I just did an easy walk through the neighborhood and called it a day.

Wednesday – 60 minutes on the trainer

Thursday – 4 mile run

Friday – Strength work, plus a 30 minute walk.

Saturday – Had to flip up my schedule this weekend, so I did my first brick of the season.  20 minutes on the bike trainer, followed by a 10k run.  I pushed the 10k faster than I should have for a training run, and I paid for that on Sunday.

Sunday – 90 minute FTP based trainer ride.  Wasn’t sure I was going to survive this one, and yet I really love these sorts of workouts.

Virtual Races – Worth It?

Virtual races seem to be all the rage lately.  What is a virtual race?  Simply put, it is an event where you can participate from wherever you are.  On the day of the race (or weekend, or week, or however long the organizers give you), you go out, run the distance, and (usually) report back on your results.

Well, that sounds like the training I do all the time.  The difference with a virtual race is that there is often swag involved.  Medals are the most popular swag, but some races have t-shirts, race bibs, and other items for those who sign up.

So obviously, a virtual race with swag isn’t free.  Frequently, there is a charitable aspect to the races as well.  Sign up and a portion of your entry fee will go to charity.  I’m all about fun fundraising ideas, so this is a great one.

But virtual races get a lot of negative comments in the running community.  Some people claim it’s not a real race.  And it’s not a traditional road race, that’s true, but that doesn’t make it any less of a race.  Can people cheat?  Sure.  Can they sign up and get the medal and never run?  They can do that too.  But that’s not the point.

Virtual races are a great way for many people to motivate themselves to run.  Not everyone enjoys the traditional road race.  I know plenty of slower runners who find races intimidating, and prefer to participate in virtual races only.  (I wish they weren’t so intimidated, but I’m glad they have an outlet for their running.)  Some people like the flexibility of virtual races.  If you work weekends, you might not be able to run the local 5K, but you can do a virtual 5K on your Tuesday off.

One virtual race series with some pretty sweet medals is the Hogwarts Running Club.  Seriously, check out that bling!  I already spend enough money on races, so I’ve not done one of their virtual races, but if you’re a medal person, this looks like a great group to be in.  (I hear their community support is also pretty sweet.)

A screenshot from the Zombies Run race. Yes, I was listening to a cast recording while running.

Over the weekend, I did the Zombies Run Spring 2017 Virtual Race.  For me, the pull wasn’t the bling, but rather the story that comes with the race.  I really like the app, and having gotten to try out the previous virtual races for free as part of their 5 year anniversary celebration, I wanted to give this one a try.  I also have been using and enjoying the Zombies Run app since it was first released, and by paying for a race, I could make a small financial contribution as a thanks.  I really loved all the hype that comes with the race.  There are two training missions that are released prior to the race, so you get some lead-up to the story.  It definitely builds the excitement and the race made my weekend training run a lot more enjoyable.

Now, this doesn’t mean that I’m going to be doing a ton of virtual races.  I’m already spending enough money on racing as it is!  But if you’re looking for some added motivation, check out some virtual races and get running.

 

Weekend Plans

Is anyone else vaguely giraffe obsessed as of late? Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay

Happy Friday!  This has been one of those weeks where I can’t believe it’s already Friday and I am really really ready for the weekend.  I’m also struggling with the fact that it’s already April.  My triathlon season starts NEXT MONTH!

I have a lot going on next week, so a big part of my weekend plans include doing a bunch of meal prep for the week.  I’ve been using my Instant Pot a lot and at some point, I will put together a post about what I use it for.  Even if you’re not a cook, if you like to meal prep in a short amount of time, the Instant Pot is awesome.

Of course, I have a couple of workouts on my schedule, and I will be using my run to do the Zombies Run! virtual race.  I’m typically not big on virtual races, but I have been using the Zombies Run app since the beginning – it was the first Kickstarter project I ever backed.  Because I only use it when I run outside, I’m behind in the missions, so I haven’t paid for the app at all except for that first Kickstarter payment, so I decided it was time to throw them a bit of money.  A few weeks back, for their 5 year anniversary, they put the previous virtual races up for a short period of time so that people could run them for free and the stories were so much fun that I’m glad I’m doing this one.

For those of you unfamiliar with the app, the only way I can describe it is that it’s like a radio show.  You can set the app to play music or podcasts or nothing at all, and then every so often, they break in with more of the story.  The general plot is that there is a zombie infection and you are a runner for one of the camps – so the story you’re hearing is the radio operators in your ear and your fellow runners around you.  It’s very well done.  I don’t typically listen to music while I run, preferring spoken word because it makes it easier to hear what’s going on around me, so this is perfect.

Sunday is the wedding celebration for two very awesome friends, and I’m so glad to be able to celebrate their marriage with them.  Talk about two people who truly deserve each other.

I’m also still working on my spring cleaning projects.  They are… not moving very quickly.  But hey, spring just started, right?  Plenty of time!

And of course, I will be obsessively checking to see if there is a baby giraffe in New York yet.  Because why not?

 

March Mileage Update

ImageParty / Pixabay

I can’t believe we’re already a quarter of the way through the year.  I’m still struggling to remember to write 2017 on things.

So one of my goals for 2017 was to track all of my mileage, just to see what sorts of distances I’m covering over the year.  Part of me wishes I had done it last year with 70.3 training.  Part of me is glad I have no idea.  It’s easier to consider another one when I’ve forgotten how hard I had to work for the last one.

March was a pretty good month.  Set a half marathon PR and increased my biking FTP.  All this work is paying off.  Now to make sure that I don’t just rest on my laurels.

Also, it’s almost race season.  I really, REALLY should start eating fewer cookies.

March Totals:
Running – 50 miles
Biking – 175 miles
Swimming – 2.3 miles

Not bad at all!  Way more running than February, about 5 miles less on the bike (negligible, really), and the drop in the swim distance wasn’t as drastic as I thought (considering I did a half century swim in February).  And this is all going to pick up next month.

What’s scary is that I discovered that Strava is also tracking the time spent doing all of these workouts.  I refuse to look at that number.

Yearly Totals:
Running – 134 miles
Biking – 582 miles
Swimming – 10.3 miles

Race Report – 2017 Cherry Blossom Ten Miler

This weekend, I ran my seventh Cherry Blossom Ten Miler.  And I think the weather was among the best that it has ever been.  This year has been pretty iffy, weather-wise, and while it was a little cool before the race, the day turned out beautiful and the blossoms were still beautiful.  Best of all, I got to meet up with some of my Coeur teammates before and after the race.  I’m so glad to get to know some of these girls so much better, and I’m looking forward to racing with them again.

As I wrote earlier this week, my goal was something under 2:10.  In my head, I had 2:05 wandering around, but I knew that was a long shot, as running 12:30s was going to be a whole lot faster than anything I’ve been able to pull out lately.  (Spoiler alert – I didn’t run that fast.  This isn’t one of those sorts of posts!)

This is probably the most “local” of races that I run, and I love that the logistics are so easy for me.  I get to park at my office building for free and walk down to the race start.  I love not having to worry about parking or traffic.  I left my house around 6 for a 7:30 race start and had plenty of time.  That’s the last time that’s going to happen this year.

Before the race, I met up with a bunch of my Coeur teammates and it was so fun to finally get to talk to these ladies in person instead of just online.  Everyone was so wonderfully nice.  Seriously, if you ever see anyone in a Coeur team kit out on a race course, just say hi.  Such friendly people.

I was in the Purple People Party Wave again this year – it’s the wave of people planning to finish in 2 hours or more. I joke that it’s the wave of people who like to get their money’s worth out of the course, but honestly, it’s often full of people who are stressed about the race time limit.  Because of the need to open up roads, Cherry Blossom has a 14 minute per mile pace requirement, so there are a lot of racers in the purple wave hoping that everything goes their way and they make that pacing requirement.

Before and during the race, I ran into a lot of friends, including some I was meeting for the first time in person.  Man, the internet is awesome.

As the race started, I didn’t really have a set pace in mind.  I knew I wanted to race under 2:10, so I wanted to run sub 13 minute miles, but other than that, I didn’t really have a major goal.  I just wanted to try to enjoy the race.

For whatever reason, this race, I just never found that running high, which was kind of a disappointment.  I was pushing, but not too hard, meeting my pace goals, and enjoying myself, but I never got that rush that we all often get during races.  So when I finished, it was kind of a bummer, even though my final time was pretty darn good.

Of course, part of the problem could have been that I didn’t realize how good my time was.

I ran a 2:07:09.  Which is meaningless until I look at my previous ten mile races.  This was faster than I have run any ten miler since before my heart issues were diagnosed.  I posted that, and my friend Kate said I shouldn’t qualify the PR.  And she’s right.  I should just reset everything in the spring of 2010 and move on from there.  So with that in mind, this was a PR.  It’s still a bit shocking to be cutting time from my races when I feel like I haven’t been run training a lot, but it shows just how much all my work on the bike really does help – and I enjoy it so much more.

Now, to see how this all plays out during triathlon season!

Blog post written with cat assistance.