Now It’s MY Season. Yoga, Pilates, and the SLO Marathon

Okay, that title sounds pretty selfish, doesn’t it? My Season. The season of ME. Well, sometimes it’s okay to be selfish.

Saturday was our final meet of the cross country season. It was a big one, the CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) preliminaries, the next step after league finals in the road toward state championships. We were eliminated in spite of an all-out effort by the girls. And that means that, yes, cross country season is over.

CIF 2014_2

For me that means no more excuses. Cross country is very time consuming. Practice is five days a week, usually at the time that I would normally be doing my own workout. We started back in July, so yes, I am ready for a break (as are the girls!).

CIF 2014

What is MY Season?

Actually, MY Season isn’t nearly as selfish as it sounds. It just means that now that cross country season is over, I will have time to focus on my own fitness goals. I’m working now, with a fairly flexible schedule as I build my personal training business, so I plan to take advantage of the extra time. So, to me, MY Season means that I will focus on several things.

SLO Marathon

1. Running. As I mentioned last week, I’ve been running, somewhat lackadaisically, around 12-15 miles per week. I decided that I needed a goal to get me out of my running rut. I first decided to run the Palm Springs Marathon in February, then I decided to join the SLO Marathon Ambassador program again and train for 26.2 on April 26, 2015. Now that it is MY Season, I will have four or five days a week to run, so the plan for now is to build my base and work my way toward 25-30 miles per week over the next month. Then I’ll really start a training program. For now, my base training schedule will be:

Monday: Medium length, moderate pace, gradually building to about eight miles.
Wednesday: Tempo run.
Friday: Shorter, easier run before work.
Saturday: Long run. I’d like to have a base of 10 miles when I start my marathon training. Right now I’m at about five miles.
Sunday: Easy run. This is the day I run with my dogs, which I’ll continue to do. It is shorter, slower, with lots of pee breaks (for them, not me :-) ).

As I add on new clients on Monday and Wednesday, my planning may have to change, but I will keep the basic outline of this schedule. I’m working on my training program now, which I will share with you. If you want to join me in San Luis Obispo for the SLO Marathon or Half Marathon, you can use the discount code WOODAMB to save $10 on either race.

2. Yoga. Yes, I know that I have said this before, but I plan to re-dedicate myself to my yoga practice. I have recently been inspired to get back on my yoga mat (I’ll talk a little more about that later in the week), and I went to class today. I realize that making it to one yoga class is just a tiny first step, but I really want this, and now that it is MY Season, I will make the time to continue.

I went to my favorite studio, Yoga Central in La Quinta, which is owned by my friend April. She is also my favorite teacher, but fortunately she wasn’t teaching today. Yes, fortunately, because she teaches a flowing, almost dance-like Vinyasa class, and I am just not in the shape to keep up. I would have spent much of the class recovering in child’s pose. Instead my class was taught by Stephen, and while it was certainly challenging (it’s an all-level class, so you can make it as hard as you like), he held the poses longer, there were a lot fewer chaturangas, and I left his class feeling accomplished and happy. And sweaty (with the curly hair to prove it).

Yoga Central

My plan is to make it to the studio at least three days a week, probably Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. That’s a little lopsided, but that fits into my work and running schedule. Once my Saturday long runs get over 10 miles, an active Vinyasa class may be too much, so I might try the Friday afternoon restorative class instead.

I will supplement the studio classes with an at-home practice. I love YogaDownload.com. That is an affiliate link, but I’ve been a member for years and pay my own membership fees. The instruction is clear, there are a variety of levels and class lengths, and you even have a choice between audio or video. I love the audio classes because I can download the classes and do them anywhere, and focus on what I’m doing, not the instructor on the screen.

3. Pilates. This is a new one for me. Now that I’m working as a personal trainer again, I have the opportunity to use some of the Pilates training that I had a few years ago. To do this, I need to get on the reformer and practice, not to mention decide whether I want to continue on toward a Pilates certification. It’s a long (and expensive) road, but for now I want to work on the reformer a couple days a week, and maybe go to a mat class once a week (there’s one at work I can go to).

20140203_121858What you don’t see here

While I have a lot of fitness plans, there are a couple things you won’t see here. Regular weight training for one. I’m just not that into lifting heavy weights right now. While that may change in the future, for now I’m happy to be using the alternatives of Yoga and Pilates, both of which provide an amazing workout. I’m not teaching any classes right now either, so traditional strength and core work are also out of the picture.

Totally off-topic, but isn’t this just the cutest picture of Olivia? She’s never done this before and I just happened to see her there this evening. Photographing a black dog can be difficult, but she is looking at Alan to my right, so the whites of her eyes make everything show up better. (Do you follow me on Instagram?)

If you could design YOUR Season, what would you include? What obstacles get in your way and how do you overcome them?

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What’s Got Next? New Running Goals, New Plans

In yesterday’s post I alluded to feeling dissatisfied with my training recently. Although it happens almost every year, a combination of a long, hot summer, cross country season, where I spend more time coaching than training my own self, and, did I mention hot weather, makes sliding into a running slump pretty easy. My runs have become shorter and slower, my motivation is lower, and I generally fell a kind of running malaise that does not lead to any running achievements.

Wave Rider 18_7

New Running Goals

I decided that, instead of feeling sorry for myself, I need to set some new running goals. The weather has to cool down eventually (please!), and cross country season will be over in a couple weeks, so it is time to devote training time to my own running.

To that end, I’m going to sign up for the Palm Springs Half Marathon, which will be my first race of 2015.

I have a long history with this race. It is the race at which I ran my PR (1:33:11, ages ago). I was also the volunteer coordinator for five years. Alan has been announcing the race for about 12 years. The race director and his family are good friends. And I have run the race many times. Plus, because it’s local, many of my friends will be out there with me, which is always fun. So, my goal is the Palm Springs Half Marathon on February 8, 2015.

PS Half 3

After the 2013 PS Half Marathon (with Marilyn and Elvis in case you didn’t notice).

And because I have a lot of time to train, I know the course, and it is flat and pretty fast, I will again strive for my goal of a sub-2:00 half marathon. Why not? I was only 11 seconds off in the Costume Party Run last year, so I know that with proper training I can do it.

So, I will be working on my training plan and sharing it with you in the next couple weeks. I plan to start training right after our final cross country meet, which will probably be at the CIF semi finals on November 15. In the meantime, I will begin to build my base, beyond the five mile runs and 15 mile weeks that I am currently running. In fact, this morning I was feeling so excited about my new goal that I pushed myself and went for a run after cross country practice (I usually come home, have breakfast, and sit down at my computer). It wasn’t far, but it felt so good!

I’m excited! What are you training for?


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Weekly Training Recap: La Jolla Half Marathon Week 3

I ran a 5k this week! Totally not on the training plan, in fact I wasn’t sure whether I was going to run until I signed up the morning of the race. I asked for advice last week, with the options of following my training plan and running my long run along the Palm Springs Half Marathon course while Alan was announcing, or doing my long run on Saturday and running the 5k on Sunday. Several of you chose the first option, and that was really what I thought I would do. That is, until circumstances put us in Encinitas on Saturday morning, a clear, beautiful (if cold) Saturday morning, and neither of us could resist taking a long run along the coast. More on the circumstances later, in the meantime, here is my weekly training recap.

Strength Training

I started out this week feeling pretty tired. I guess when you haven’t trained seriously for a while it takes your body a while to adapt. Therefore, my Fast and Furious class lucked out on Monday. Yes, we did a workout, and yes, it was tough, but I kept it a little lighter than normal. I found that I couldn’t even do my pushups and had to drop to my knees from the very first set. Pooped.

My Tuesday class is Superball, and I took it a little easy there, too. In fact, as far as strength training goes, I took it easy all the way through Thursday. I did teach a stretch class, which I loved because I really needed it. For my Thursday ball class, I went with a circuit format, where I instruct and the class moves from station to station. Check them out below. They are all over 50, most of them are over 60, and a few of them are in their 70s.

Finally, when Friday rolled around I was feeling much recovered and stronger. So my class was treated to a much tougher workout. That’s okay, I did it with them.

weekly training recap

Yoga

Total fail on the yoga this week. I don’t know if you’ll call them reasons or excuses, but between feeling exhausted on Wednesday (though I completed my scheduled run), out of town with a purpose on Saturday, and a race on Sunday, I just didn’t get to practice at all. I am not happy with myself, so I plan to do better this week. I really need the combination of regular strength training plus yoga not only to get stronger, but for the balance, flexibility, and psychological benefits.

Running

I had much more success in my running than my yoga. I got all my workouts in, though, as mentioned above, I switched the long run to Saturday. Maybe I should think about revamping my training plan? With intervals on the track scheduled to start in week five, my weekend running will consist of my long run and my tempo run. I have it scheduled tempo on Saturday, long on Sunday. Not sure if that’s best. What do you think?

My Tuesday run is currently scheduled to be short and moderately paced. Alan and I ran together, and we got a late start. I have to be at work by 8:00 and I was feeling the pressure, so the second half of our run (all downhill) kind of turned into a speed workout. The average pace was 10:00 per mile, but the first uphill 1.5 miles took 16.5 minutes, the downhill half took 13.5 minutes. So we were pushing it a little.

On Wednesday, currently my scheduled tempo run day, I woke in the middle of the night with a headache. I took my migraine medicine, but it made me feel sleepy and draggy in the morning, plus my head still hurt a little. Nevertheless, I dragged myself out for six miles on the road with two one-mile intervals at about a 9:20 pace, and two half-mile intervals, one we won’t speak about because it was uphill and oh so slow and painful, the other downhill about about an 8:40 pace. Not setting any records, but pleased that I got the workout in.

On Friday, Alan and I drove to Encinitas. So as not to clutter up this training recap, I will write about it in a separate post, but let me just say we drove there through rain, snow, and hail, and we ate some awesome vegan food.

weekly training recap

This is Beaumont. At about 2,500 feet elevation, it doesn’t usually get much snow.

weekly training recap

I finally tried the Native Reuben at the just opened Native Foods in Encinitas.

And I got to see this guy…

weekly training recap

10 weeks old!

More on all of that later. Back to the training. Saturday morning, Alan and I got out on the run a little after 8:00. Neither of us was feeling very perky for the first few miles, but we resisted the urge to turn around. It was so beautiful. It was hard to believe the crazy weather of the day before. It was very cold though.

weekly training recap

weekly training recap

weekly training recap

By the turn around point we felt much better, and managed to finish much stronger than we started out. I was happy to have my long run done for the week, but now I knew what I needed to do. Go racing!

weekly training recap

 Because Alan is the announcer for the Palm Springs Half Marathon and 5k, we had to be at the venue by about 5:30 (for a 7:00 race). It was pretty cold in the morning, but at least there was no wind or rain. I quickly got out and went to sign up for the 5k before I could change my mind and snuggle in the car for a long nap. As soon as I picked up my race packet, though, I headed back to the car to wait until it was time to warm up for the race.

weekly training recap

After my slow start the day before, I thought I’d better run at least a mile to warm up. So, I finally dragged myself out of the car and took a jog around the park where the race takes place. I stopped in time to watch the half marathoners take off (the 5k started at 7:15).

weekly training recap

Then it was time. I really had no idea what to expect. It had been ages since I had run a 5k. In fact, I realized that this was my first race in my 55-59 age division. Finally! A baby again. (Side note: Do you know what is really cool (or scary, depending on how you look at it)? I googled my name along with “5k race results,” and I found this page, with many of my race results dating back to 1999 (including my marathon PR that year in St. George), though the first entry, California International Marathon 1995, is not me (it’s before I ever ran my first marathon.))

After the gun went off, I started running at what felt like a moderate pace. Imagine my surprise when I looked at my Garmin and it said I was running a 7:43 mile. Whoa, girl. I pulled it back and finished the first mile in 8:52. Not bad. I kept it steady through mile two, and ran about the same time. I was still feeling good in mile three, so I let myself go a little. My heartrate was steady, so I picked up the pace a bit and held it all the way to the finish. I was pleased to see I’d finished in 26:55 (26:48 on my Garmin). I was really happy to come in under 27 minutes. As it turned out, I was second in my new age group. Since it’s been a while since I’ve taken home any bling, I was pretty proud of my award.

weekly training recap

I spent the rest of the morning (while Alan worked) socializing with all the running friends I don’t see very often. I was disappointed that I didn’t get to meet Kalli, who blogs over at Fit and Fortysomething. She was in town for the half marathon and we’d hoped to meet up. It just didn’t happen. Hopefully next time!  I even won a raffle prize (see the necklace in the photo above)!

The raffle was held as a fundraiser for my friend Jeff Rasmussen. If you remember, he was stricken with brain cancer, survived surgery they said he’d never survive, and is continuing his amazing fight.  I’m going to write a follow up post about Jeff and his fiancee, Amy, but if you want to see something amazing and uplifting, check out these two after the race. Did I mention that he ran the 5k? Oh yes, he did.

And yes, he ran the 5k in his turtle costume. Gangnam style. You can begin to understand the spirit that has helped him survive so far.

I decided to tweak my plan a little to add another 5k. This one is toward the end of March, on almost the same course. I’m hoping I will see a significant increase in my speed (presuming, of course, that I have completed all my training workouts as scheduled). In the meantime, the only change in the coming week is an increase in my long run. I do try for variety in my tempo runs, though, and I will get to yoga at least twice.  In any case, here is my workout log:

Weekly Recap 3

Now, I would love to hear about your training week. Did you do any races. Rides?