Tag Archives: cross training

Taking a Break…

29 Jan

Recently, I have had quite a few people ask me “what’s next?”

The past 3 and a half years, I have had an answer to this question. But today, I do not.

Since fall of 2011, I have had a marathon planned. I knew what race was coming up for the fall and spring, and had it marked on my calendar when the 12, 16 or 20 week training would begin. While some days I hated the training, most days I loved it.

I loved the accomplishment of getting up in the 4am hour to complete an insane workout, checking it off my training schedule and documenting it on my daily mile. I loved talking to my running friends about our upcoming races and the goals we had. And I also loved the miles and miles of thoughts I had to myself, or those that I shared with friends. While there were days I despised my alarm clock, cursed the Garmin and was over the training schedule, I really did love it. As we discussed in my run group today, we hate the training schedule, but we love it more.

Today, I am not experiencing any of that. And I know I won’t experience it again for a while.

Over Thanksgiving, I decided that after I ran Phoenix, I would force myself to take a break from marathons. My body hurt, and I didn’t love running like I thought I should. With this decision, I removed the Boston Marathon from my list of upcoming races. It was a hard thing to do, but I knew it was the right thing to do.

I have done Boston the last two years, and had quite the experience at each one. I am not sure that any race will every top that of Boston 2014, and for that fact I accepted that I was OK with not going back. Now instead of running a marathon on April 20, I will be coming home from a wine trip with friends. I decided that a new experience with people I love took precedence over running the same marathon for the third year in a row. I also knew that the break was muchΒ  needed and would be good for me.

Taking a break while I am still on top and healthy is much better than being forced to take a break because I am seriously injured or hate the sport.

I also do not have any marathon planned for the fall, which is very strange. My husband and I are planning a big trip to Europe late summer, and I know it is not feasible to train for a marathon while on a two week trip. I want to enjoy every minute of this adventure, not be worried about hitting 50 miles a week while I am there.

One of the reasons why I decided to run Phoenix was because I had a feeling it could be my only marathon of 2015…and it looks like that will be right!

Even though my marathon schedule is obsolete, I do have some halfs on the schedule. I am beyond excited to run the United NYC Half Marathon in March! After that, I will be running as the 1:45 pace group leader for Running with the Cows, and the 1:50 pace group leader for Hospital Hill (my favorite KC race!)

Since I am focusing half marathons now, my flexibility will be much better with my training. If I skip a day, it isn’t the end of the world. And goodbye to 60 mile weeks. Which means more sleep and more of a social life (my friends haven’t seen my out on a Friday night in 3 years πŸ˜‰ )!

My goal is to maintain 25-30 miles a week this spring, and focus much more on my cross training. I went to a class on Tuesday and I am still sore…which proves that I have got to get my strength training back! I will do a couple speed sessions here and there, but nothing intense like I had been doing. Hopefully with this rest, my body will heal and I come back to my next marathon mentally and physically stronger than ever!

IMG_6747

xo,

Ali

Have you ever taken a break? How was the transition?

Hospital Hill – When Should Training Begin?

10 Feb

Hello to my Hospital Hill runners! This is my 2nd post in my Hospital Hill blog series, and I am already excited with some of the people I have connected to in this process.

Tonight I’d like to talk about your training plan, specifically when you should start.

For many people, half marathon training can be intimidating and stressful (for good reason though, it is a major commitment!). But I want to help you feel like you can manage the training and succeed at following your plan.

The Hospital Hill race is a little under 4 months (17 weeks) away – 111 days to be exact!

Most training plans follow a 12 week program, however sometimes you will see 16 or 18 week plans. I always prefer a 12 week program to avoid burnout and to keep things fun. To me, 12 weeks is doable, where as 16 or 18 weeks sounds crazy.

In the weeks prior to my 12 week training kick off, I like to get in a couple runs a week and some cross training. This will give you a nice base to start your training and will keep you from feeling like you are completely out of shape when you begin training.

I would suggest having a base of 10 – 15 miles per week before you begin official training. I also like to use the month before training to focus on strength and cross training. Prior to kicking off my last training session, I spent a lot of time at the gym doing Body Pump and Spin. I loved mixing it up with these two classes and have really loved the results from them. Another great workout option are at home DVD’s. Jillian Michaels can be your BFF as well as biggest enemy πŸ™‚

If you choose to go with the 12 week plan I prefer, your official training should ideally kick off the week of March 4th.

My next post will be focused on the types of runs you should incorporate into your training, and an example of my ideal training schedule.

Please feel free to email me, or comment with any questions you have! I love to hear from you all πŸ™‚

xo,

Ali

photo

 

Boston Marathon Training – Week 3

4 Feb

Holy cow, we are already done with 3 weeks of training! WOOHOO and a big *happy dance*!

This week it doesn’t look like my mileage was that awesome, but I did get in some good cross training.

  • 27 miles
  • 06:40 time
  • 2999 calories
  • 8 workouts

During this week. I completed 2 spin workouts, 1 body pump class, and 1 CX works (core) class. I also busted out a mile on the stairmaster.

I ate SUPER healthy too!!

I ate SUPER healthy too!!

Hard runs included hills on Tuesday, where my legs were so sore from the Monday spin/run workouts that I basically had to waddle my way up. At the end, I was nearly crawling. But since this training is low key and no stress, I didn’t even freak out like I normally would over a bad workout in training! I am really loving this approach.

Thursday morning we decided that a treadmill run was necessary since it was negative 20 (exxageration) outside and I am not tough. Stacy, Diana and I got on mills next to one another and did 6 sets of tempo with a 1 minute off. Mine looked like this:

  • 2 mins hard, one min easy
  • 2.5 mins hard, one min easy
  • 2 mins hard, one min easy
  • 2.5 mins hard, one min easy
  • 2 mins hard, one min easy
  • 3 mins hard, and cooldown

Total milege was a tad over 5, at an 8:35 pace (my tempo pace was low 7’s). Then I jumped on the stairmaster for further torture.

Following the treadmill torture.

Following the treadmill torture.

Saturday morning we did a 10 mile long run (9:11 pace), which was pretty hard. I have got to stop partying like a rock star the night before long runs. Especially this week, seeing that we have 16 miles on the schedule.

Enjoy some more pics from the week below. All can be found on Instagram, where you can follow me for all sorts of fun updates! http://instagram.com/alihat

A super delicious drink I had called "Shoot the Runner"

A super delicious drink I had called “Shoot the Runner”

Wedding fun (after a gazillion drinks).

Wedding fun (after a gazillion drinks).

We had our own SuperBowl party, where commercial breaks were used for 8 minute abs.

We had our own SuperBowl party, where commercial breaks were used for 8 minute abs.

xoxo,

Ali

Boston Marathon Training – Week Two (& Party Pics!)

27 Jan

Week two of Boston Marathon training went well!

I have been trying not to follow any kind of schedule in an effort to avoid burnt out. I have been running when I feel like running, and getting in my long runs as I should.

I have also been cross training a TON. Spin, body pump and the stairmaster are my new best friends. I love changing it up and trying new things. And I hope that this cross training will help with my speed and body tone.

Total miles for the week clocked in at 36, which is not too shabby when I think about the fact that I didn’t focus on running too much. Cross training workouts for the week stood at 6 total. 3 body pump classes, 1 spin class and 2 turns on the stairmaster.

  • 36 miles
  • 06:04 hours
  • 3687 calories
  • 12 workouts

This week’s long run was at the trail, and way too early following my company’s annual party. I refused to not have fun at the party and enjoy myself. So I prepared myself in advance for a tough Saturday morning run.

The theme was speakeasy, aka flapper era.

The theme was speakeasy, aka flapper era.

I dressed up, Ramsey did not.

I dressed up, Ramsey did not.

Sparkles were very popular!

Rockin my fake hair. I love that stuff.

The party was a BLAST!! And I should really consider all the dancing as another workout. The people I work with are amazing!!!

6:30 am came WAY too early on Saturday morning, but I wanted to get the run done so I could go back to sleep.

I met the girls at 7:15 and we started our run. I forgot my Garmin, so I actually have no idea what our pace was or how fast we ran. And I love that. NYC training had me obsessed with pace and checking my watch, but on Saturday I got to enjoy the run and chat with my friends.

Feetsies.

Feetsies.

I hope for another successful week of marathon training the next 7 days.

And I am really excited to try some new recipes and incorporate healthier foods into my diet as well! If I come across anything good – I will share it with you!

xoxo,

Ali

NYC Marathon Training – Week Twelve

29 Oct

Week twelve of training was my first official week of marathon tapering! I love to taper, but I hate to taper. It is a total catch 22.

Why? Because it kind of plays with your mind. When you taper, you aren’t running nearly as much as you were throughout your training. It makes you feel like, “OMG I am not doing as much as I should”. It also makes you say, “Am I going to lose all this speed that I have been working towards the last 12 weeks?”.

Although we have these fears, the best thing to do is relax, and trust that you have done everything you can do. “The hay is in the barn” as my running coach would say.

I will say that I had some issues this week with my asthma. My body is fighting off a cold, but I have been drinking Emergen-C like water!

Monday – Off day

Tuesday – 6 miles at 8:30 pace. 3 miles at “goal pace” (2 of which were a little slower than goal pace…oh well!).

Wednesday – TRX Class

Thursday – 5 miles at 8:20 pace. 2 miles at a faster pace (7:30 and 7:09). Was hoping to pick it up a bit more but my asthma was getting in the way.

Friday – 4 miles at 8:24 pace. One of those runs where I could’ve run forever!

Saturday – 12 miles, 9 at 8:29 pace. I ran 3 of these miles while spectating the KC Marathon (don’t know the pace). Two of my amazing friends were running and we followed them through the entire course. Such a fun day!

After my 9 mile run, I did 35 minutes of yoga. I freaking love yoga!!!

Sunday – Off day

Total Miles: 27

After my Thursday morning run. I totally colorblocked my outfit!

NYC Marathon Training – Week Ten

15 Oct

This was a week of redemption for me following the awful experience of week 9 training.

Week 10 began strong, and also gave my legs some time to recover. I knew that it was important for me to give myself some rest, and listen to my body.

I went on a little weekend trip to Louisville, KY this week to visit my family that lives there. That definitely offered some relaxation and fun to get my mind off training. I threw in some photos below for your viewing pleasure πŸ™‚

Monday – Off

Tuesday – 8 miles at 8:00 pace. Ran 3 minutes hard for 6 of the miles. Overall, this was a really good run and offered a break from the track and mile repeats (which can be mentally exhausting).

Wednesday – 4 miles at 9:15 pace. Great run with Diana following her big marathon!

Thursday – 10 miles at 8:40 pace. Great run with Stacy and Emily! Picked it up for 2 mins 5 times. Probably should’ve done my pick up 10 times, but was giving myself a “break”…

Friday – 2.3 miles on the elliptical. I haven’t been on an elliptical and years, but I really enjoyed this 30 minute workout!! It offered me something different and gave me the chance to catch up on Grey’s Anatomy!!

Saturday – 16 miles at 8:37 pace. Good run in Louisville with Ramsey by my side on his bike! Hilly run but overall pretty good. Hit my 1,000 mile mark for the year on the run!

Sunday – Off

Total Miles: 40.3 miles

Betting on some horses at Keeneland!

Mom and I at Keeneland.

Aunt Holly and I at Woodford Reserve tasting some Bourbon!

One of my biggest running cheerleaders! What a trooper to ride his bike next to me for 2.5 hours while I ran!!!

Ridin’ a Wild Turkey!!

 

A Santa Fe Getaway

22 Feb

Good evening! I had to take a little hiatus from the blog, but it was for a really good reason. I was on vacation!

I had been looking forward to this little Santa Fe getaway for the past month. I was going with my boyfriend Zack, and we had not seen each other since Christmas (long distance relationships…wahh wahh).

So are you ready to hear about the trip? Good. Here we go!!

Thursday

On Thursday, I arrived in Texas to Zack’s lovely city he currently calls home.

We ran some errands, and packed up for our trip!

Friday

Around 10am, we hit the road and headed West.

It was about a 5 hour drive to Santa Fe, and a boring one at that. We decided to get an audio book to listen to, hoping it would help pass the time. Well, we got “Assholes Finish First”, by Tucker Max. I was actually the person to vote for this book, thinking it would be funny. It was funny…but also the most vulgar and inappropriate thing I have ever listened to!

At 3pm, we arrived in Santa Fe!

Cute little hotel.

After getting checked in the hotel, we headed out to walk around and get a little bite to eat.

Following our late lunch, we walked around the plaza so I could find some turquoise earrings (I wanted authemtic ones that Indians were selling off rugs in the plaza).

Success!

After our shopping trip, we headed back to the hotel and relaxed a bit.

Then it was time to hit the hotel bar. They had the most amazing cocktails at the bar, and I enjoyed this apple, lime, fruity vodka thing. Whoa.

Now this is vacation.

Dinner followed dinner at a New Meixcan style restaurant, then it was time to rest up for our big day on the slopes!

Saturday

The alarm went off early Saturday, and we started prepping for the day ahead. After getting bundled up, it was time to brave the snow.

A lot of people are surprised by the fact that you can ski in Santa Fe. For some reason they think it would be really warm there. Well, it is not. It is actually pretty chilly!

A lovely drive up the mountain.

We have arrived!

I had not skied in 12 years. I was terrified that I would forget how to do it.

The moment of truth happened coming off our first lift. Would I remember? Would I fall? Would I cry?

well…..

Terrified but ready!

….I picked it right back up! I was actually shocked at how easily it all came back to me!

Zack boards, so we would go our separate ways at the top of the mountain and meet back up when he reached the bottom.

Beautiful!

ahhhhhhh!

We had the best day skiing, and the mountain was so pretty and relaxing. We were exhausted after skiing all day, and it was time to head back to the hotel.

Back at the hotel, we rested and then prepared for dinner. Twitter friend Emily (@EmilyRatcliff) suggested an Italian restaurant, Il Piatto. Dinner was delicious, and such a cute and quaint little setting.

πŸ™‚

Sunday

Sunday morning, we ate at a cute little cafe and decided it was time to go to Church.

We headed up to St. Francis Cathedral. It was really lovely!

Very historic

I made an Indian friend.

This photo does not do justice!

After we wrapped up at St. Francis, we went to the Loretto Chapel to look at the famous staircase.

This staircase is a “Miracle” because it was made by an unknown little carpenter man, and doesn’t have a nail anywhere in it. It is such a cool story…google it!

So much character.

Incredible!

One last stop was required before we headed home. I wanted an authentic turquoise ring to go with my new earrings. Zack was quite the sport as I drug him up and down the street looking for the perfect ring.

This time was well spent, because I found a ring that was right at home on my finger.

I HATE the way my hand looks in this photo. Have I heard of lotion?

After I found my new ring, we headed back to Texas.

The trip home was more of Tucker Max, and that obscene book. But it actually got pretty funny during the second half.

Now I am back home in Missouri. The weekend was great, and I plan to visit Santa Fe again.

Chat soon!

xoxo,

Ali

 

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