March Mileage Recap (and more)

We’re 1/3 of the way through 2020, and let’s just say, I hope it’s all downhill from here. I don’t think anyone expected April to look like this, and it doesn’t seem like it’s changing anytime soon.

I hope everyone is continuing to socially distance. I’ve been doing a lot of indoor workouts, because my normal running routes are super crowded. On Friday-Sunday, one of the roads near my local trail is partially closed, which is great, but I have to go about a mile down the trail to get to the closed part. Still, it’s better than nothing, so I’m going to try to do my weekend running out there.

I’m definitely missing physical therapy. I can do all the stretching and self-work, but there is no replacement for manual therapy and dry needling. I’m definitely much more sore than normal, but I’m doing what I can. My PT office is offering virtual visits, but needles can’t be done virtually.

One advantage to being home is that I have more time to get in my workouts, which is pretty awesome. I’ve been doing a lot of dryland swim workouts (think a lot of strength work with cords) and I love it. It feels like such a great accomplishment. Sure, it’s not quite the same as swimming, but it’s definitely a good workout.

My mileage for March definitely picked up over February. That’s what happens when you’re finally not sick.

I’m doing my best to keep up with training. I know a lot of people are doing bigger step backs, but I personally need the push, or I’ll slack off. I don’t want my return to racing to be completely terrible (whenever that may happen).

March mileage
Swim: 1.8 miles (Yeah, that’s not going anywhere anytime soon.)
Bike: 73 miles
Run: 37 miles

2020 Totals
Swim: 4.6 miles
Bike: 163 miles
Run: 105 miles

Has anyone picked up any new hobbies during all of this? I tried baking bread and was moderately successful. Of course, now all I want to do is eat bread. This might not be the best hobby to pick up.

Staying Sane During Social Distancing

At least someone is enjoying that I’m stuck at home.

So.

This is weird, huh.

I realized that I went a full two weeks without having been inside a building other than my house. I’m pretty sure I’ve done that… never. Probably as an infant. Don’t get me wrong, I’d been outside, just not into another building. I did go to the grocery store though, so the streak has been broken. And restarted.

I keep looking at my calendar and all the things I had for planned for this month and the next few months, and it feels so strange to have everything crossed out. I’m not disappointed, really. Sort of numb, I guess, since it’s clearly what had to happen. So far, I’ve had two races cancelled, and I’m definitely expecting more. Not a big deal – they both were great about communication, and one gave every entrant an automatic deferral to 2021 if they wanted it, which is an awesome option (and that’s a race I deferred from last year, so… eventually I’ll get to do it).

I’ve seen a lot of people say “Hey, this is the perfect opportunity to start a new fitness routine!” And if that’s what you want to do, go for it. But only if it’s what makes you happy. Some people are going to emerge from the pandemic looking super ripped, others are going to have packed on some pandemic pounds, and both options are just fine. This isn’t the time to be worried about gaining weight. Sure, I do think you should try to eat a balanced diet, just because it’s good for your immune system. But I also think you can eat your fruits and veggies and still eat half a container of Utz Pub Mix.

Not that we have multiple containers of Utz Pub Mix here. Not at all.

As of right now, we’re on a Stay Home order in Maryland, and today, some recommendations came out to use trails other than the one right by my house, since apparently it’s been packed. I’ve been avoiding it because it’s been so crowded. They finally closed the playgrounds because they were a mob scene. I’m just waiting to see what’s next – and it’s not that I disagree with the concepts of keeping people separated. It’s the frustration that the few privileges we have left get taken away thanks to people who can’t follow the rules.

I really try to always look at the positive side to any situation. Obviously, this is all far from positive – but that doesn’t mean you can’t find and enjoy the bright spots. Personally, I’ve really enjoyed how this has made us reach out to each other. I have had so many Zoom chats with wonderful friends. It makes me wonder why we haven’t tried this before – and it’s something I hope we keep up after we go back to normal, whatever our new normal looks like.

I’m also really enjoying not having to wear real pants. It’s really saving wear on my good clothes. It’s a financial win, right?

I’m lucky enough to be able to work from home with very little change in my role. We’ve had to switch some things to electronic communication, but it’s been a pretty smooth transition all in all. I’m doing my best to keep a normal schedule for work, which means that while I have a bit of extra time during the week, it’s really only my commute time that I get back – and let’s be honest, I’m sleeping through that in the morning. So I’m far from bored so far. There is so much to do around the house and I’m looking forward to finally accomplishing some of the things on my to-do list.

How are you handling the current situation? Stuck at home or still going to work? I hope that everyone is doing their best to stay safe. Flatten the curve!

Product Review – Built Bar (spoiler – they’re delicious)

“Disclaimer: I received three boxes of Built Bar to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!”

built bar

Though I’m well aware that eating on the run isn’t good for me, I often find myself doing so, thanks to work, training, and various volunteer gigs. And, well, life. So I was excited to try out Built Bar protein bars. I liked the fact that they’re lower calorie (so good for breakfast or a snack, not really a meal replacement) and they allegedly weren’t chalky like a lot of protein bars.

Guys. These things taste like delicious candy bars. They are gooey and full of flavor, and thanks to the protein, they’re also filling without being total calorie bombs.

Thanks to Built Bar, I got to try a bunch of different flavors, then went back and bought myself some of the new limited edition flavors as well. I’m not sure what my favorite is, but I really like the coconut almond and the orange chocolate cream.

The texture isn’t for everyone. These bars have a chocolate coating around a sort of gooey, sticky filling. If you aren’t a fan of the texture (some people said it stuck to their teeth), if you refrigerate or freeze them (or leave them in the car when it’s 30 degrees out and you’re at the pool), they firm up a bit. Personally, I like them both room temperature and cold.

built bar

Built Bars have become my new breakfast on the run and occasional mid-day snack, especially when I’m craving something sweet. There is always a ton of candy in my office and that can be hard to avoid. Not that I avoid it all the time – but I try to have the candy in moderation. Now, I can sub in a Built Bar (or have a small piece of candy with my Built Bar, let’s be honest) and not be hungry an hour later.

If you want to try Built Bars, you can use code BUILTNOW for 20% off, but hurry, that code ends soon! I know I stocked up, so if you’re local, you can come raid my pantry too. I’m sure I’ll be buying more again soon.

Virtual Race Report – 465 Virtual Challenge

The little car moves along the course!

While I’m not usually a big fan of virtual races, when the opportunity to run the 465 Challenge came up with BibRave, I said yes. I needed something to help me kick off the new year right, and I liked the idea of taking on a new challenge.

The 465 Challenge is a brand new virtual race, running you in a loop around Highway 465, which circles Indianapolis for a total of 53 miles. The goal was to complete 53 miles between January 1 and February 29 in whatever way possible. I decided that I was only going to count run miles, but you could count run, bike, swim, walk, whatever you wanted. That’s the fun of a virtual race.

You also had the option to do the 465 miles in the first 24 hours, getting your name on the 24 hour club list, or you could aim for multiple loops, putting you in the Looper Club. While I used to be in shape to run 50+ mile months, I’m just not there right now. So I was just looking to run a total of 53 miles. (Should be easy, right? Not during cold and flu season!)

One thing I LOVED about this race was the race emails. Every week, they sent a motivational email that included where you would be on the loop if you were doing your 53 miles at an even clip (.88 miles a day). Of course, they were sure to remind you multiple times that you should not, no do not, never ever go run on 465. That always made me laugh, and yet you know there was probably that one person…

For example, here is a bit from week 3:

Piping along the west side of Indianapolis amps you up for the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing!”!  The West side of Indianapolis houses the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home to the Indianapolis 500, NASCAR Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard, INDYCAR: GMR Grand Prix, and the MOTOAMERICA: Superbikes at the Brickyard!  Just the thought of those high speed engines has us picking up our pace! 

I really enjoyed learning about the area as I “ran” around the loop. There was also a Facebook group for this challenge, which was equally fun. There were a lot of people taking on this challenge as a way to kick off the new year, and for some, kicking off a new healthy routine. It was great to get to cheer on new runners and walkers.

The race swag is pretty sweet. It arrived just as I was finishing my 53rd mile, and it’s super cute. The medal is adorable, and the car slides around the course, which I love. They billed the t-shirt as super soft, and it definitely is. It’s one of the nicer race shirts I’ve received in a while. It also came with a bumper sticker, and while my car remains sticker free right now, I do have a fun collection of stickers on my bulletin board at work, and this one will fit right in.

While I don’t do a lot of virtual races, this one made me see why some people love them, especially the ones with an attached community. It was a lot of fun to get to talk with other runners, especially newer runners. It was good to challenge myself and make myself get back on the treadmill, no matter how much I didn’t want to. And it was fun to start the year on a positive note. So I think this one might just stay on my list for next year. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

January & February Recap

This has been a crazy, crazy set of months. I’ve had my mileage for January sitting in a post draft all February and never got around to writing it. So let’s take a look at my year so far.

These past two months have been crazy. January had two trips, and in February, my boss was in training so I had to do my job and her job (note – that is an impossible task and I felt like I was clinging onto the edge of a cliff the entire month). I also managed to catch multiple colds. But I’m working to get back into training. I’m registered for a few olympic distance races this summer, and I want to be able to complete them!

My first race is at the beginning of May and I’m already a bit nervous. I’ve not actually completed a triathlon since 2018. My first race in 2019 ended in a crash, and my second and last race in 2019 ended up being turned into a bike-run. So getting back in the water, completing a swim, and then getting onto the bike is going to be scary. I’m also really far behind where I should be on my swim skills.

My personal photographer picks great locations and takes amazing pics. I guess I’ll keep him around.

January Mileage
Swim – 1.2 miles
Bike – 56 miles
Run – 36 miles

February Mileage
Swim – 1.6 miles
Bike – 34 miles
Run – 32 miles

As you can see, February wasn’t a great month for me, workout wise. I did show up to the pool twice, and that’s better than nothing. I’ve been struggling to get myself out of bed and to the pool, but I’m recommitting for March. I will show up.

I’ve also got to make sure to get in all my running – I’ve got a ten mile race coming up at the beginning of April. I definitely want to run strong there, so I’ve got to step up my game.

2020 Mileage
Swim – 2.8 miles
Bike – 90 miles
Run – 68 miles

I also need to be better about keeping up with this blog. It’s a great resource for me to look back on, and tracking my training publicly has really been good for me. So now I’m setting the goal. I know that I need to keep up with my training, but I need to get back to blogging. Ideally at least one post a week, but at this point, I’ll be happy with two posts a month!

Plus I’ve got a few things non-fitness related to post about!