More Wintery Workouts + CrossFit Day 52 & 53

This was a good week, workout wise.  I’ve been in a bit of a wintery rut and decided to kick that to the curb by starting to focus on one of my favorite races, the Shamrock Shuffle 8K!  This brought the realization that I was NOT ready to run fast and I needed to start reintroducing some speedier run sessions so that I don’t hurt myself in the Shuffle!   

why should i practice running slow

Source – Emily Zatopek

As a result I started a fresh training cycle via the Run Less Run Faster app on my iPhone.  This forced both a speed workout AND a tempo session this week that I was dreading but then actually enjoyed.  While the initial speed session didn’t go perfectly, I feel as if the tempo session was decent.  No perfect, but good.  Which means that my pace isn’t that far off, I just need to get used to spinning these long legs a “little” faster! 

I also managed two StairMaster sessions, which I am dubbing as “hill work”.  Since I’m running on the treadmill, and since its super hard for me, I just zone out with a 1% incline.  All the time.  No hills.  No fun iFit live workouts thru some mysterious mountainous areas.  Nope, just flat running with a teeny-tiny incline of 1%.  I’m hoping the StairMaster workouts will give me a tiny bit of strength for whatever hills I might encounter in Little Rock.

I also was able to brave the snow and our drifted roads to hit both 5am CrossFit sessions this week. #WINNING

CrossFit Day 52

Push Press – 5×3 – 73#s

Tabatas – Perform 8 sets of the particular exercise before moving to the next station.  Each set is timed and you do as many reps as possible in the allotted time.  The time frame for Tabatas is 20 seconds “on” for the movement, 10 seconds rest = 1 set.  Repeat x8, then rotate to the next station.

  • Kettlebell Swings – 26#
  • Hand Release Push-Ups – Super hard.  My arms are weak even though I want them to be strong!
  • Sit-Ups
  • Rowing
  • Ball Slams – 20# – Whoa, my pencil arms were tried by this time.  Tough but I got it done!!

CrossFit Day 53

Front Squats – 5×3 – 73#

WOD – 5 Rounds

  • 10 Kettlebell Squats – 35# – HEAVY!!
  • 10 Ab-Mat Sit-Ups
  • 10 Burpees – Whew, I think we all know how I feel about Burpees.  I hope they eventually get easier, just a tad easier!  This all goes back to my pencil arms being weak too.  Sad smile

Then we finished off the day with 2 minutes worth of planks.  I had to do 5 different sets to get the full 2 minutes:  40 seconds, then 20 seconds x 4.

DONE!

I’ll be pounding miles on the treadmill this weekend!  I hope you have a plan to get in your workouts too!  It’s so much easier when I have a plan and stick to it. 

**  Making It Happen, Even During the Snowiest Winter EVER ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

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Trying to Find My Speed ….

It may be a little early for some people to think about St Paddy’s Day but as a dedicated Shamrock Shuffler, that’s about all I’ve been thinking about for the last month.  Smile  Which means that I also need to start preparing to run a little bit faster.

Shamrock Shuffle banner

This is my favorite race of the year.  It’s a wicked fast race.  It’s a short race.  Participants bust 5 miles thru the city of Chicago on many of the same streets which we run during the Chicago Marathon.  It is the largest 8K road race in the world, hosting a massive 40,000 runners and bringing a million plus spectators into the city to watch US run.  Yep, it is for sure THE.BEST RACE.EVER.

In addition to the Shamrock Shuffle being THE.BEST.RACE.EVER. it is also the one race each year where I want to run fast.  Like as fast as I possibly can run at the given time.  Last year I was coming back off a very severe injury and was still not a 100% so I for sure would like to better my effort of 39:22.  I would also like to throw down my fastest Shuffle to date, meaning I need to run sub 38:56 (7:49 pace), which doesn’t seem that fast sitting here in my computer chair but I’m pretty sure it will be hard when I am out on the course huffing and puffing and trying to according to Aby STAY CALM and RUN FASTER

So, for the first time ever, I am pulling a training plan for the Shamrock Shuffle.  I’ve kinda been in long/slow run mode for a long time so need to remind these legs what it feels like to get up and GO!  Enter the Run Less Run Faster app on my iPhone and I’m instantly hooked up with a training plan that gives me speed and tempo runs to make this shit happen.  This week’s training:

Shamrock Shuffle Training_week 8

 

Key Run #1 – SPEED – 4x1000m @ 8.9mph (6:44   min/mi), with a 400 meter rest interval.  I normally walk a half a lap to guzzle water then run a lap at 6.0 mph (10:00 min/mi pace).  So my RI is actually as much as 600 meters.  Sorry but it’s all about survival here.  Smile 

Notes:  This week didn’t go well.  The speed caused me to pee my pants almost instantaneously on the first 1000m interval.  Then I just had trouble hanging on at that pace for 1000 meters.  It was hard.  Like super hard.  I’ll give it a couple weeks for my body to get on board and if I’m not coming around then I’ll slow things down.  Although I want to get used to running faster, I DO NOT want to get hurt and well, my right hamstring is always troublesome anyhow so I’ll give it an honest effort but will err on the side of caution and slow things down if necessary.

Key Run #2 – Tempo Run – 4 miles @ 8.1 mph (7:24 min/mi), 1 mile warm up, 1 mile cool down.  Yeah, I have this up on deck tonight.  I should have done it yesterday but I chickened out decided to clean my house from top to bottom instead.  It’s not like I wasn’t snowed in all day and didn’t have time to do both but I still skipped it.  No more time to put it off so if you hear whimpering and crying tonight, no worries, it’s just me.  To be  honest, I’m not sure I can do this but I need to give it a shot.  I can always back the pace down but I need to make an honest effort.  I also frequently find that although a pace is daunting to begin with, if I hang on then I my body gets into the grove and can manage more than brain wants to admit.  I’m very aware of the fact that if I always run within my comfort zone, I will never know what I can really do and well, this is the year that I want to see what I can do with the Shuffle.  I am not going to run comfortably hard this year.  I’m going to run hard.  And the tempo run is the key.  I think the tempo run is the most important element of any training plan IF I want to hit my pace.  And I am going to hit my pace this year and do it with a smile on my face.  Well, at least I’ll be smiling at the finish line.  Smile

Key Run #3 – 10 miles at 7.6 mph.  This is the long run for this training plan.  Since I’m still in marathon mode with Little Rock coming up on March 2nd, I’ll be doing a few more miles and I’ll be slowing the pace down.  If I weren’t also marathoning then I would for sure give the 10 miles as shot at 7:53 pace but I know it would be a big push.

Have you ever used a training plan for a short race?  If so, which one did you use?   I personally default to the Run Less Run Faster plan because the app is so easy to use and it just spits  out detailed workouts for me.  I like that.  The easier the better in my life.   Plus the plan only calls for 3 runs a week which makes it easy to squeeze in CrossFit  without fear of overdoing it.  I’m always open to new ideas so tell me your training secrets!!

** Everybody SHOULD BE Shuffling ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Half-Assed….

This week has been a bit crazy.  I’ve been all over the board as to where I’m going, what I’m doing, and which problem has my main focus.  Quite frankly, I feel like I’ve done a half-assed  poor job with everything.  And yes, half-assed is a real word, at least according to the Urban Dictionary

1. half-assed  
 
Doing an activity only partly, or without one’s whole self involved; doing something without caring, or without putting anything into it.

On Monday, I went to Running For Kicks and did “half” of their fun run.  Yes, I stole Gail’s photo again off the Running For Kicks facebook page. 

I did 3.05 miles in the “hills”.  Since none of my girls were around, it was a bit difficult to find a partner at my pace.  Fortunately, Chuck took mercy on me and ran some 8:45s with me before I spun out and raced home.

On Tuesday, I did a speed workout with half of my attention capacity, the other half was back at my desk with my deadline work. I also had half the amount of energy I needed to MAKE IT HAPPEN.  And of course, I had half the time I would have liked, so it was super important that the dreadmill work WITH me and not against me.  And while I wasn’t as happy and cheerful as this chick below, I did okay. 

It was  a very systematic workout that allowed me to zone out and not have to focus on too much of anything other than NOT getting thrown off the back of the treadmill.  And while I DO NOT recommend you do as I do, I will put my workout below just incase you need a starting point for increasing your speed a bit.  I’m supposed to be running much faster with longer intervals, I just can’t seem to muster it at the this point in time.  Therefore, I do what I can do on the given day and refuse to beat myself up over not being better.  All of the following was done at a 1.0 incline.

  • 1 min walk @ 4.0 mph
  • 3 min jog @ 5.5 mph
  • 2 min SPRINT at 8.5 mph which was within seconds quickly downgraded to 8.0 mph
  • 1 min walk @ 4.0 mph
  • 1 min jog @ 5.5 mph
  • 2 min sprint @ 8.1 mph
  • 1 min walk @ 4.0 mph
  • 1 min jog @ 5.5 mph
  • 2 min sprint @ 8.2 mph
  • 1 min walk @4.0 mph
  • 1 min jog @ 5.5 mph
  • 2 min sprint @ 8.3 mph
  • 1 min walk  @ 4.0 mph
  • 1 min jog @ 5.5 mph
  • 2 min sprint @ 8.4 mph
  • 1 min walk @ 4.0 mph
  • 1 min jog @ 5.5 mph
  • 2  min sprint @ 8.5 mph (much better this time but still HARD for me!)
  • 1 min walk @ 4.0 mph
  • 3 min jog @ 5.5
  • TOTAL = 30 MINUTES!

 Then yesterday was my normal Wednesday night run with the F’N Running Club.  I was very excited going in, even showed early to log some miles. 

The sun was shining and I even had to scramble for a pair of sunglasses….thanks, Michael for letting me borrow your toddler “Mater” glasses!  However, I soon realized that I was only half focused.  I had  scheduled our local Virtual Run/Walk for Sherry Arnold  shortly before I  started running and the entire situation was just weighing on me.  Not just the horror of what happened to Sherry but of the fact that bad things happen to good people ALL THE TIME.  And it sucks.  Then the memories of past runners who didn’t make it home flooded my memory:  Chelsea King (age 17) from CA in 2010.  Patrick Mizwicki (age 14) from Lincoln Way East in 2011, a nameless woman, who has probably been forgotten by many, who was killed on our local suburban trails circa 2007/2008.  All traces of that news article has been swept away  because I REALLY looked for her name.  A lot weighing on me lately so I wasn’t my normal cheerful self by the time the FNRC showed up.  But we had a great turnout so that was awesome!  Left Back:  Kathy (who always looks glamorous and “made-up” to me), Lori (newbie!), Diane, Dawn, Aurelia, Rick, Maggie – MagMileRunner, Me & Brian.  Front:   Jeni – Sparkalish Roar & Meg.

It was good run but it’s hard to get those girls to slow down under that 8:45 mark.  I was dragging but made it thru.  My total for the day was 10.26 miles.  But I’m feeling it.  I have some soreness and not in a “good sore” type of way.  I need to rest today, and possibly tomorrow, so I can be ready for the weekend.

If you can make it out to our Virtual Run/Walk for Sherry Arnold (and every other missing/murdered/dead runner) then please come and join us.  We will be running in Frankfort, IL at 7:30am on Saturday.  Everyone is welcome; I’m even bringing my daughter.  I will do a brief Runner Safety talk before the run.  I’ll be brief, I promise!  Feel free to run as little or as far as you like….just come.  If you are not local, then print the bib HERE and do it on your own or get a group together in your area.  If you send me photos, I will post them all!

Happy Running,                                                                                                                Amanda – TooTallFritz

Reset on Speed…….

This week should be my 3rd week of speed sessions.  The goal is to get back to running 22 minute, or faster, 5Ks.  After the long miserable stint with Plantar Fasciitis, I lost a lot of speed.  The initial plan was to do 2 speed sessions per week in an attempt to boost performance for the Warm Your Heart Indoor 5K at McCormick Place at the end of the month.  However, it hasn’t worked out that way.

  • Week 1, 10x200m – CHECK
  • Week 2 – Session 1 – Sick baby – Didn’t happen
  • Week 2 – Session 2 – Should have been 6x800m but I couldn’t hang so I limped thru greatly modified the session to a sub par workout.
  • Week 3 – Session 1 – Didn’t happen – Late/Hard run night before and I wasn’t recovered.

So today was Week 3 – Session 2 and as I looked back over the folly I called “speed” work, I decided that I need to push the reset button and start over. 

At the beginning.  Fresh.  At a point where I had the confidence I could nail the workout and move forward. 

So back to the 10×200 I went.  I’m a sprinter at heart and that works well for me and fits well into the middle of my workday.  I can hang, no matter what.  And I did.  Great workout.  Not easy but I made it.  Success!  Now let’s see what next week will bring.

I also managed to grab a half hour on the bike today.  Not exactly what most people would call a “brick” but it’s about a close as my schedule will allow.  I also need time in the saddle to get used to riding again since I don’t ride with a chamois before spring comes and I roll her out for some real miles.  I know it’s as exciting to see me on my bike, on the trainer, in the same spot in my dining room gym as it is for me to ride there but alas, here I am:  I was very excited that my new Athleta Relay Capris came today!

I had ordered these in the fall and they were back ordered til December 15th so I canceled the order but I recently caved ordered them again, in the only color that was available for immediate shipment…..blue.  They are awesome!  They fit perfectly, are long enough (I did order the long), have a small zip pocket in the back, don’t move and feel like butter.  Nice!  I find myself with very few capri tights and will definitely order these in the other colors and wait for the backorder to ship.  Aby wants a pair too.  I can’t even tell which are my running clothes/shoes/socks/sunglasses, etc. now because she is creeping up on me in size and then she wants the same things I have so we have doubles of everything.  And it all looks the same.  And it’s not cheap buying my 10 year old clothes from Athleta & RunningSkirts.com, they should have a half price racks for kids.

“Run”Way Fashion:  The Athleta Relay Capris (above), and both workouts were in Tek Gear performance tops.  I purchased the Tek Gear at Kohl’s on a super sale, last season.  The shirts are cute, have nice material, have a small pocket in the back and I think worth the money, especially on sale.  I bought the white (above) and this green one: 

Do you buy any technical gear at bargain prices?  Any good bargain brands you can share with us?

Happy Running!                                                                                                                   Amanda – TooTallFritz

Speedplay – Session II – FAIL

Today was my second speed session.  It was supposed to be on Tuesday; however, on TUE I didn’t leave the house other than taking the lil man to the doctor (for the second day in a row) and I don’t have a treadmill.  So today was the day, or so I thought.  I felt calm, cool and collected walking in, just like these chicks painted on the wall: 

But I was soon falling off the back of the treadmill.  JUST.COULD.NOT.HANG.ON. 

I was supposed to do 6x 800m at a certain pace.  I made one.  Yep, you read that correctly, one.  And it was a struggle to make that.  I just couldn’t get thru the second one before bumping down the speed.  I was afraid of actually falling off the treadmill in front of my building mates.  Then number three slid a little further down hill…… and so on and so forth.  I think you get the picture.  I didn’t make it happen, not even close.  I wanted to but I couldn’t.  Now the list of excuses:

  • Didn’t have my iPod
  • The TV on the treadmill makes me feel claustrophobic even though it wasn’t on.  By the way, BeARunner said that first, it’s not an original thought but that’s exactly how I feel.  See their post HERE.
  • Too much cuddle time with the lil man this week, not enough workouts
  • 8 mile run yesterday
  • Not enough sleep
  • Worried about the lil man – who is back to school today.  I know I’m reaching.
  • Maybe I just am not fast enough to hit those times

As a punishment, I ate this for lunch:  lettuce wraps, greek yogurt & water. 

Actually that’s a normal lunch for me, so not really a punishment.  Maybe I should say that I ate it before I ran and was cramping?  Nobody would believe that.

Help me think of other excuses to give Coach Frogger before he reads this post since I “forgot” to send him the update email.  Best excuses for failure not hitting your times?  Fast!  Help Tell me now!

Amanda – TooTallFritz

SuperWoman

Today was INSANE.  Thank goodness I wore my SuperWoman costume under my work clothes! 

In my I’m never going to be an Olympian real life., I work for a law firm in an intense deadline oriented field.  To top that off, we are a very small firm.  Like it doesn’t get any smaller than us, short of the lawyer not having a staff and doing everything him/herself.  Meet our staff…..  Me, Myself & I.  And yes, I wear that goofy hat IN the office all the time.  Okay, not really.We do have an attorney who occasionally helps us out and we made full use of his law degree today by sticking him on the photocopy machine to free me up so I could still pound out docs, then the guy whose name is on the door could proof/sign….then off they went to our “helper” to copy so I could file everything prior to the deadline.  Yep, it’s a glamorous life.  And although the helper attorney was very kind about helping out, I’m pretty sure he wanted to shoot me.

In the midst of the chaos filings, I disappeared slipped out for some interval work at the gym lunch.  I am very lucky in that I have a small but full gym in my building which is free to its tenants.  I don’t use it much unless it is CRAZY cold out or sleeting or….well those are about the only reasons.  I’m not much of a gym rat and tend to only use a gym for its pool (and this gym doesn’t have a pool).  However, since today was my first of many “speed play” days, I took it to the gym and the DREADmillThanks goes to Frogger for giving me some direction!I am not a DREADmill runner.  I can never get the speed right.  I’m either going too slow and bumping up on the front of the machine and/or annoyingly stepping on the front guard.  I know you have somebody at your gym who is CONSTANTLY stepping on the guard and I’m sure it drives you as crazy as it does me to hear that non-stop slapping.  Well, it drives me just as crazy to be the one doing the slapping.  If the machine isn’t too slow, then it is too fast and trying to flip me off the back.  I must look ridiculous.  And when I’m on the DREADmill, I sweat like I have never ran before in my life.

I try to look like this: 

But yeah, we know that I don’t.  In fact the DREADmill is so much of an effort for me both mentally and physically that I always need a shower before going back to the office.  Good thing the shower at the gym is nicer than mine at home most locker rooms.

Then back to work I went for more chaos fun.  Very short workout.  I did some speed play with slow jogging in between.  I was on the DREADmill for less than 25 minutes.  Shortest.Workout.Ever.  But it’s in the done column and I didn’t want to do too much too fast.  This was a test.

How do you feel about the DREADmill?  Are you the graceful swan or the slapping idiot?  Or do you just skip it all together?  Tell me!  Or feel free to give me pointers!

Amanda – TooTallFritz