Heart Rate Training – Week 4

Monday 9/12/16 – Planned medium run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 3 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 2.73 miles at 15:19 (Warm up 20:22, Work 13:59, Cool down 19:38). The run felt pretty good. My hip hurt and didn’t really loosen up much which was frustrating but I felt like I made progress with my HR.I was faster, for the most part, and I could tell I was pushing harder but my HR wasn’t going up. So I think this may be my first sign that things are getting better. Note: I’m not saying it’s all sunshine and roses now. I know I have a ways to go. But yay for a small victory and a happy “medium” run!

I have decided to walk the warm up and cool downs when I have the stroller. Basically, anytime I have the stroller and am not going over a HR level 2, I will walk. Hopefully, I will one day be able to run with the stroller with a lower heart rate, but for now this is efficient and helps me avoid some of the yo-yoing that bums me out.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my leg issue. I ran all summer, much harder than I am now, and never had a leg problem. The only time my leg did hurt was when I did hip pilates with my boot camp group. I stretched daily for a while and it got better, but it did hurt for a few weeks. I start running with the stroller again and suddenly I have pain again. So what changed? It’s possible I’m running more per week, but not so much that it would hurt so bad. I run more days but less miles because I’m not pushing my HR like I was before I got my monitor. The big difference is the stroller. Other differences that were pointed out were the temperature and time of day. During the summer I ran in 100+ degrees at 7pm and now I am running at 8am in 90 degrees (things are starting to cool off now). So there you go, it’s the temp, the time, or the stroller. The stroller seems the most likely culprit, unfortunately it is also the one I can’t do anything about.

After seeing Dr. Parker last week, I went out and bought a foam roller. I’ve been foam rolling once a day for 1 minute per leg section. I also stretch every morning first thing and I try to do it again during the day some time. I’d explain the stretches, but I have no idea what they’re called. Basically I do what Dr. Parker recommended for my IT band injury last year (glute stretches) and what my PT friend recommended for my hip pain this summer (hip stretches).

I followed up with Dr. Parker this morning and got great news! My glutes are not as tight as they were last week. In general I’m looser and have a greater range of motion. She said I look great! Unfortunately, I still hurt. BUT the good news is, I am not heading towards the injury I had last year. I have time to figure out the pain because my legs look fine. I did have more muscle tightness right around the upper part of my knee. I feel like that is mentioned in a video I watched about IT band and foam rolling, but I need to watch the video again to figure out exactly what they are saying. I’ve done so much reasearch lately it gets jumbled, but it was great to have some of my thoughts confirmed. The first being the muscle around the knee cap and the second being that the glute tightness/soreness is my gluteus medius. I thought it was, but since I know nothing about anatomy… but yay! I was right! Which also means that the articles I’ve been reading do apply to my issues because the muscles and areas I have issues with are the ones they are mentioning.  So I’m looking in the right directions and not getting any worse!

So going forward, I will be stretching and foam rolling daily. I will do my regular workouts this week, run twice (medium runs) next week and then have my half marathon on the 25th. I go back to see Dr. Parker on the 26th. After that I’ll probably take a few weeks off the hard workouts while I recover. So hopefully I will be feeling a little better when I get back to my regular running in October.

Tuesday 9/13 – Planned long run of 1 hr 5 min. 10 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 50 minutes work at 2 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate.  Completed 3.7 miles at 16:55 (wu 17:07, work 16:41, cd 22:21). This is my interval day but I was so sore from BBG that I needed to take it easy. I thought I had it all figured out. Last week a 1-2 HR was a fast walk. So I could move my long run to today and make it a long fast walk. boom. Except… I’m getting better ya’ll! Not anything crazy, but I DEFINITELY saw progress today. I tried to walk it but my heart rate just kept getting too low. Even when I walked as fast as I could it wasn’t high enough. At first I tried to just run for a second to get my heart rate up (not worrying about running super slow) but the yo yoing was driving me insane so I decided to try a slow jog. It was sllllloooowwwww (look like a 16 min pace from the graph but it’s hard to tell) but it didn’t feel like it. It felt good and it was exciting to not be walking, even though the plan was to walk. ha! The best-laid plans… right?

I’m not exactly sure what I’ll do the rest of the week. It seems silly to do an easy run tomorrow after a relatively easy run today (even though it was a “long” run). I need to decide if I want to do a tempo run or my speed work without the stroller. I haven’t had the opportunity to do either so I want to both. I’m anxious to see what my pace is at the different levels, but I have to choose one. heh. Then I’ll probably do the other tomorrow and the easy run Thursday.

Wednesday 9/14 –  Planned tempo run of 45 minutes. 15 minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 13 minutes work at 3 heart rate, 12 minutes work at 4 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate.Completed 3.24 miles at 16:01 (wu 18:51, lvl3 14:18, lvl 4 12:26, cd 19:08).Great run today! I went with the tempo run, savings my fastest run for Saturday. It was a really hard decision considering I taper next week. In the end I had a stressful morning and almost didn’t run. So I chose one and went with it. haha. I really felt great today. My warm up was a walk the whole way. I was on the phone with the hubs… multitasking for the win. My cool down was a slow walk because my heart rate wasn’t dropping very fast. Then again, it had a long way to go so that may not be a problem. I really don’t know how slow I should go. If the goal is to get my heart rate into the correct zone before the workout is over, then I failed. But I don’t know for sure that is the goal. It is so humbling to be slow but I think I am getting used to it. Today I felt like I was doing pretty well, but my times show I was still pretty slow. But it felt good and that’s what is important. I can’t wait until I get a chance to see what it looks like to run without the stroller but that will be a while.

I think I’m failing on nutrition still. According to Polar I burned 400 calories already today. I still have BBG to do later. I need to eat more.

I’m unsure how much it matters what day I do my strength work on. I need to find someone to ask. Right now I’m doing it on my easy run days or my rest days. Except that I switched things up this week so those are different days. If I do my strength on rest days, I never have a true rest day. If I do my strength on hard days, I’m doing 2 hard workouts on the same day. So… what’s better? I have no clue and I don’t know who to ask. Blargh.

Thursday 9/15 – Planned easy run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 1-2 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate.  Completed 2.32 miles at 17:28 (wu 16:47, work 17:18, cd 19:13). I think it is interesting that my warm up (walk) was faster than my work (run) but I understand it. I was able to run most of the time with my heart rate lower BUT a few times it did go up. I would have to walk slowly to lower my heart rate back down. Those slow walks probably affected my pace making it slower. My walk, on the other hand, was brisk with no need to slow down ever because my heart rate was in a good position. Those averages will get you. heh.

It’s interesting to me to look at my graph. I thought I ran it pretty steady. I was thrilled that I could actually run it and I felt like I finally had it down. Looking at the graph, my speed is so up and down it looks like I was running intervals. ha! I still consider the run a success and see progress. I ran more than I did last time I did an “easy” workout. I’m excited to see changes in such a short amount of time and I look forward to the time when there is NO yo-yoing because I can just run with a low heart rate.

More research done and I’ve made up my mind for my workouts. Of course I won’t be following my own plan this week but… whatever. So I will do my hard runs and BBG both on Tuesday and Thursdays (with an 11ish hour break in between). Monday and Wednesday will be my easy runs. Saturday will be my long run. Friday and Sunday are complete rest days. That gives me two strength workouts a week (I’ll choose whichever 2 of the 3 I want to) and I get to keep all of my runs. My rest days stay rest and I think that is the most important thing.

In other news, my husband is now coaching both my boys in baseball (2 different teams) so yea… looks like I’ll be spending most of my time at the fields.

Friday 9/16 – planned rest

I’m looking at recovery plans for after the half marathon. It looks like you should run the day after (easy run) and then after a week be back to normal. I’m not sure if I will have to recovery longer because I won’t really be prepared for the distance. We’ll have to play it by ear. I’m thinking maybe I can do 2 easy runs for my recovery week. So race Sunday, Monday do an easy recovery jog. Side note, I’ll have the stroller so easy is relative here. It will be “easy” for the HR zone, but not easy on my body necessarily. Perhaps I should plan on running in the afternoon but if we have baseball that may not be possible. I’ll do another easy run Wednesday. Then Saturday I’ll do my usual long run (1hr 5 min) and hop back on it. If I don’t feel right, I can always do a second recovery week. I need to do more research about doing my strength training. I will not do any on my taper week, but I’m not sure if it matters for recovery week. It wouldn’t hurt me to take 2 weeks off then get back in to it, but I just need to do some more research.

Saturday 9/17 – Planned interval run of 40 minutes. 15 minute warm up at 1-3 heart rate, 20 minutes of work (4x 3 minutes at 4-5 heart rate, 2 minutes at 3 heart rate), 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 3.93 miles at 12:33 (wu 12:38, fast 9:07, recover 15:04, fast 9:32, recover 18:10, fast 9:44, recover 18:35, fast 9:16, recover 16:31, cd 19:05). This didn’t go as well as I thought. Things lined up so that I was sprinting up hill nearly every time and I didn’t get the speed I had hoped for. I did it though. So all is good.

Sunday 9/18 – planned rest

 

Heart Rate Training – week 3

Monday 9/5 – Planned medium run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 3 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. I was excited about this run. Because of the holiday, I get to run sans stroller. My husband is home so I get to go out alone. Unfortunately I woke up with a sore knee. I’m hoping it loosens up. Yesterday was a rest day, so I imagine I just slept on it wrong. At this point, the pain is focused in my knee and hip but also radiates down to my shin/ankle. So weird. I still have about a half hour before the sun comes up, so I’m hoping it loosens up in the mean time. Completed 3.07 miles at 14:10 (13:00, 13:36, 15:46). My leg didn’t really loosen up during this run but it wasn’t horrible. I may ice it later today if it doesn’t get better. I’ll do some more stretching too. It felt good being out there. Of course, I wanted to push the pace, but I was pretty comfortable running within the zone 3 heart rate. I say that, but my chart is all over the place. I guess that is because I really wanted to fly. It felt so good to not have the stroller. But that’s the whole point of this exercise, right? Learn to not push all out all the time. “All day, e’ry day” is not a good motto. Neither is “every d* day”. Not for me anyway. I should stick with “mix it up” or even “slow and steady” for now. bahaha. The last mile is so slow because I hit the cool down right before the steepest hill of my route. I was practically crawling trying to get my heart rate down. Not even kidding, my pace was 24:46 for the hill. haha!

I noticed yesterday that my shorts fit looser on my legs than they did before. I’m excited about that progress. I do wish I saw the same results in my belly so quickly, but I know I sabotage myself with diet so I am not surprised. Still, an awesome non scale victory.

Tuesday 9/6 – Planned interval run of 40 minutes. 15 minute warm up at 1-3 heart rate, 20 minutes of work (4x 3 minutes at 4-5 heart rate, 2 minutes at 3 heart rate), 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Back to school for the kiddos and back to the stroller grind for me. Completed 3.31 miles at 14:22 (13:33, 11:41, 15:23). Great run. I ran out to the bathroom for a potty break and then towards the park before I headed home. I did get stuck with a couple sprints on hills that were difficult, but all in all it felt good. I’m not sure if I was pushing myself harder or what, but the sprints were harder. I warmed up (mostly running) at a 13:42 pace. I near about killed myself (slight exaggeration… maybe) on the first sprint (8:36). The second one felt a little better (9:22). The last two were just hard (10:46 and 10:45). I was just glad when they were over. ha. I do wonder what my times would look like without the stroller but again, that’s not my life right now. It’s funny on my graph because you can see that I just take off at the beginning of my intervals. My first one, I was running at a 7:00 (the data actually says 6:60 lol) pace and then tapered to a 9:30 at the end.  The others weren’t quite so fast, but still dropped off considerably from where they began.

I did improve from last week. While I had a faster individual sprint last week, my time across the board was faster this week.

My left leg felt fine when I woke up, however my right felt a little off. I may just schedule an appt with my chiro to get them both looked at. It feels similar to when I was injured before and she would be able to tell me if it’s the same or not.

I’m thinking about just walking the run on Wednesday. I can easily walk it within the required heart rate zone. I wonder if that wouldn’t be a good move in order to protect my left. There is no way for me to be seen before my workout so it might be wise. It’s so hard to run at that pace with a stroller anyway. I end up run/walk/run/walk/run/walk so it may just be simpler to make it a walk until I improve with my HR training.

Wednesday 9/7 – Planned easy run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 1-2 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate.  Completed 2.41 miles at 17:02 (16:18, 17:07). I walked. It was easy enough and my heart rate stayed where I needed it. My pace was actually pretty steady since I didn’t have to keep stopping to lower my HR. Maybe we’ll call this cross training and stick with the walking until I can run with my HR low.

I saw the chiropractor today. My legs look fine. I was so paranoid after my injury last fall. She recommended I get a foam roller, which I did. I’m going to be stretching daily and foam rolling daily. Hopefully this loosens things up for me.

Thursday 9/8 – Planned tempo run of 45 minutes. 15 minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 13 minutes work at 3 heart rate, 12 minutes work at 4 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 3.14 miles at 14:37 (15:35, 13:40, 13:40). This felt good. I decided to just walk the warm up. It made sense. The same logic as walking yesterday’s run really, minus the effect on my legs. What is funny is that, while I avoided yo-yoing in the 1-2 range, I had some during the 3 range (13:40). So perhaps it comes from the initial “relearn how to run with a stroller” stage of the run. No matter. I was pretty steady when I got up to a 4 so that’s good (12:38).

A quick thought I’m struggling with this morning is my weight. According to some random BMI calculator I encountered, I am .1 BMI point away from being over weight. I have put on 10lbs over the summer since stopping BBG and starting to run. I don’t feel like I look big, but the number scares me. I also don’t like the belly fat so it’s not like the # is the only issue. Anyway, I wonder if I’m under eating again. I struggle so much to know what to eat and how much. The government site says I should be eating 2400 calories a day (not for weight loss). Spark people and my fitness pal and the like say I should be eating 1200 (with weight loss). Both of these, supposedly, take into account how much I work out. Looking at the symptoms, I think under eating is a possibility. I’m exhausted so often. But I don’t know what the magic number to aim for is. This is a problem for a T4 (dressingyourtruth.com reference there). I want data and numbers and facts so that I can formulate a solution. Instead I have mabies and guesses. The past 3 weeks I have burned 15000 calories (each week) according to my polar flow diary. I don’t know if that is just from working out or from working out and being alive (ha). I guess I could do the math. A quick google search says exercise > eating 3500 = 1lb weight loss. So then I’d need to eat 11000 calories a week? so that’s only 1500 calories/day. bahaha. I don’t even know if any of this is legit. The problem with the internet is the wealth of information without much way of finding what is true. I guess it’s a trial and error thing. I need to commit to a number and try to eat that for a prolonged time period so that I can see what happens. It’s hard though because I don’t want to commit to the wrong thing. What if I say I’ll eat ###, but I should be eating less. Then I gain weight throughout the process and am farther from my goal than where I started. But I don’t even have a goal. I just don’t want my weight to keep increasing. I stopped lifting so it’s not muscle gain. It could be bloat. I don’t know. I’m rambling this morning but it’s something that I need to put some real thought in to and figure out. I want to fuel my body well but I’m just not sure what that means.

Friday 9/9 – planned rest. I did a BBG workout this afternoon for my strength training. I took it easy and worked through each circuit once with 30 seconds of rest between the two. I rested a full minute and then repeated. It really wore me out. I’m still trying to figure out how this is all supposed to work. Rest is important. It’s important to do strength training. So… What am I supposed to do? heh. Lifting heavy does not feel as taxing as BBG, but it is hard on my hip. The bar itself is “heavy” for me, so I’m trying not to do any of that lifting right now. BBG is more body weight. The full body workout I did today (Week 2 – Friday) was all body weight, and my leg felt fine. It was sore after (but it’s pretty constantly sore) but I foam rolled and stretched. I’m trying to stretch at least twice a day and foam roll once (1 min per thigh, along the side, and glute). I also want to add some leg work to increase my strength in my gluteus medius (don’t I sound smart?). I struggle with simple leg abduction exercises so I know it is a weakness for me, and could be contributing to my leg pain. I’m comforted to know that the chiro doesn’t see anything really wrong (she diagnosed and helped me with my injury last fall), I know that if things were “right” I wouldn’t be in pain. So it’s all about figuring things out and preventing injury. Stretch, roll and strengthen. I’m checking out this video and really liking what he says. I may do more research on his site and check with my chiro and PT friend.

Saturday 9/10 – Planned long run of 1 hr 5 min. 10 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 50 minutes work at 2 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate.  Completed 3.72 miles at 18:04 (16:09, 18:28, 18:17). This was hard. I was sick. I didn’t get up early (I slept 14 hours the night before) but I did want to get something done. I’m assuming the illness elevated my HR. I yo-yoed the whole time. Walking was too slow and my slowest run was too fast. So I couldn’t get in a groove at all. But I got it done and I’m proud I did it. I felt a little better afterwards although I was tired (of course).

Sunday 9/11 – planned rest.

Heart Rate Training – week 2

I was feeling mentally ready to train this week. I have that excitement and giddiness that comes from starting a new plan and feeling confident in it. My confidence comes, at this point, from the HR training. It is such an ego check to run so slow. That is hard. But to feel so good after it. It’s like “yea, I may be slow, but I could do this forever. literally! forever! no problem.” And that gives me confidence. I just have to get over myself and it will feel so good. ha.

I want to lose weight. Is that bad? It isn’t my ultimate goal. I love running too much for that. I want to get better at running for the sake of being better at running so that I can run faster/farther when I get to run. Because I love to run. But if I could get a stereotypical runner’s body as well… now we’re talking. ha! I lost so much body fat when I did the #bbg workouts but I haven’t been able to replicate that with running/weight lifting. That could be due to overtraining. But I don’t really know. So while my goal is to get better for the sake of getting better, in the back of my mind I would really like to lose some weight. ha.

Monday 8/29 – Planned medium run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 3 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. I woke up excited but a little disappointed that it was medium run day. I’m so ready to try my  hand (legs?) at doing the tempo run. If I can’t do that, then trying the interval run would suffice. But here I am just running medium, which feels like easy because it’s so much easier than my “easy” runs before. And an easy run feels like a walk. But all of it is exciting because all of it is progress and I know that and I’m still high on the idea of progress and getting better! I did also have a park workout planned with my friends this morning. It’s probably not the *best* idea as far as HR goes, BUT it’s only this week that I can go so whatever. I’m not stressing about it. I miss my friends and working out with them every day. I did wear my HR monitor so that I could see exactly what it does to me. We’ll call this data collection week. My plan, ideally, would be to stay with my current workout plan for lifting and running, but to add in a park workout with my friends on Friday. Schedules just don’t line up most weeks Monday-Thursday, but my Friday is free so… why not, right? Hopefully that works out data wise as well. Completed 2.56 miles at 17:21 (15:08, 17:08). I was, of course, pushing the stroller. I’m not sure how much that affected things. I can compare this medium run to last week, but last week I ran in the afternoon without a stroller. I really wish I knew how much the stroller pushing elevates my heart rate. I suppose I could do a walking test. Up and down the driveway or someplace similarly flat. I might look in to that. Anyway last week my pace was about 2 minutes less. ha. So there definitely is a difference. This is not something I considered in my plan to start running with the stroller (forgetting the HR monitor, before that). It explains my high heart rate on the Tuesday run and probably Monday as well. This run was rough. There were times where my HR spiked for no apparent reason. I even stopped once at the end and it was still going up. It never got dangerously  high, and it did go down eventually. I just wasn’t able to make it drop on the move, even at a slow walk.  I may have been on a hill at the time, but I’m not sure. I had to do a lot of walking, but I did get some running in. So perhaps my “easy” run will have to be walking for now, but my “medium” run can be sloooow jogging. It will be a happy day when I can confidently run both without walking breaks to slow my heart rate. After my run I rested for 10-15 minutes and then went in to my park workout. We did intervals and then pilates. I was pleasantly surprised by my heart rate. In the 41 minute workout, I spent 35% at a 3, 32% at a 2 and 28% at a 1. I only spent 5% at a 4 and no time at 5. So that’s good. I don’t know, scientifically, where I should be. But I knew I didn’t want it to look like my Tuesday run last week. hah. I didn’t really want to sabotage my heart rate training but at the same time I really wanted to do the workout. ha.

A few hours after my last workout I started feeling really weak and nauseous. On a “typical” day (so far) I run around 8 and am home by 9. This day I ran a little early, worked out again at 830, stayed and talked to a friend at the park, and then went to Albertsons. I made my recovery shake around 1045. I started lunch but by the time it was ready I felt horrible. After texting my husband and drinking a large glass of water, I was told I should eat something. Yea. That makes sense. So while I ate some cottage cheese I put my daily food into My Fitness Pal and realized that I had eaten less calories (by about 150) than I had expended in my 2 workouts. That’s of course leaving out the calories used to breathe and live and move. I’m not sure how it happened, but I am back to under-eating. By the end of the day I was about 200 calories below my goal. My goal is 2000. That is what I had calculated for me at the end of spring. My workouts have changed but not so drastically that I think the number is wrong. At the time I was doing BBG 3x a week, HIIT 2x a week and running some. Now I run and lift 2x a week. So it looks like I’m back to tracking calories. I don’t like doing it, but I don’t naturally eat enough. I could have a whole separate post about why I think that is, but suffice it to say that it’s a thing and I struggle with it.

Monday night I was pretty down about my running. At least, I should say, I wasn’t as giddy-excited as I have been. I think it’s just hard to run with the stroller. I don’t like that I can’t keep my heart rate where I want it and run. It’s frustrating. But at the end of the day, that’s the point, right? I’m not training my legs or mind to run, I am training my lungs/heart to function better. The bright spot was thinking about my long run. I really enjoyed the long run last weekend, and there is no stroller, and I felt like a million bucks, and maybe it’s ok and I’ll survive this training period. maybe. Another thing that cheered me up was seeing that the interval run warm up is in ranges 1-3. 1 is a walk, 2 is difficult, 3 I can pretty much do. It’s hard but I can do it. So I had the encouragement that maybe I could do some more running on Tuesday.

Which leads me to another thought. I don’t know the “proper” way to get my heart rate down. Do you stop moving and let it come down as quickly as possible? Do you continue moving at what you could usually do at that HR, and allow it to come down much more slowly, but not really to dip below. Do you slow down some, but not come to a complete stop, until it’s in a reasonable range again? How much does it matter? I think I need to look into a book about this kind of training. I’m such a T4 (dressing your truth) and I don’t like not knowing the answer to these questions. I *think* I have figured it out based on reading lots of articles but nothing says for sure. I *think* you should use the entire cool down time to get your heart rate down. The goal being to hit the correct zone before you take it up again. Ideally that will be quick (quick heart rate drop = better heart health), but you have a full 2 minute (in my workout) to make it happen. That makes sense to me. The only problem would be, being so new to this, I have no clue what speed I should be working at to get it down. I don’t want to push too hard and not make it there. ha. But that will come with time. So perhaps for now my recovery interval will be a fast walk until I get down to a 3 and then a slow jog to maintain my HR there. The only thing is my watch will be chirping at me for a while, but I guess that can’t be avoided. My body doesn’t quite work as quickly as that little computer on my arm.

Tuesday 8/30 – Planned interval run of 40 minutes. 15 minute warm up at 1-3 heart rate, 20 minutes of work (4x 3 minutes at 4-5 heart rate, 2 minutes at 3 heart rate), 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 3.40 miles at 15:22 (13:48, 11:51, 16:07). That run was pretty sweet. Looking at my graph you can totally see when I wasn’t paying attention though. When the cool down started, I thought it was another interval so I sped up. It took me a while to figure out why the watch wouldn’t stop beeping. ha! The warm up felt good. I ran most if not all of it and averaged a 13:57 pace. It felt good. My calves were sore from yesterday but it wasn’t a difficult run at all. I was happy with it and quite happy to see my pace for the first mile when it popped up. The intervals were a little surprising to me. I thought my HR would be higher to be honest. The first one I was dying and my heart rate was only in a 4. It was a weird adjustment to go from trying to be slow on every run to trying to be fast, but at the same time not to sprint because I have to sustain for 3 minutes. My pace was 11:48. The second one I did better. I think I was more prepared and was able to nail an 8:33 pace. That’s fast even without a stroller and I, of course, was running with. I really focused on form on this. I let myself fly. Twice I was running at a 7 something pace during this interval. What?! It just felt GOOD. To be fair, I did take a potty break between the first 2 intervals, so I was more rested. But still!  My last 2 intervals were 10:25 and 11:41. Pretty good, not amazing. I could feel myself getting tired. heh. My recoveries were interesting. I tried to do a speed walk on them. It took about a minute for my HR to drop. Any time I tried to jog, though, my HR would get out of a 3 so I’d have to stop. My cool down was pretty slow. I promised my 4 year old he could get out and run with me. He ran for about half a second and we walked the rest. At any rate, my HR was exactly where I wanted it (top of 2) so walking worked great for me. I’m really proud of this run. I worked hard but I didn’t kill myself. I think I can work harder now that I know what to expect. But I’m proud, so proud of myself.

At this point, I may need to make daily blogs instead of weekly. This is quite wordy. But really, is anyone reading this? Any subscribers I have like quilts and photos not runs and data (probably). So kuddos if you’re still here, but I’m assuming nobody is. And if that’s the case, why not make super long blog posts? Also, the purpose of recording this is for me to analyze (data data data!) and I’m doing it publicly in case there is another searcher, like myself, who wants to know exactly what it looked like for someone to HR train. In that case, they should be happy with wordy data filled posts. So win win.

After this run I was on top of the world – truly, I believe I was floating. Of course these things never last when you are an overly-analytical person. So here’s my concern now. I rocked my intervals, true, but the tempo run is going to have me running for 12 minutes at that effort. TWELVE?! How on earth am I going to be able to do that? Data wise, I can get condolence from the fact that I was never at the top of 5. Granted, I’m sure it’s hard to get there without dying, but none the less, I wasn’t there. Positive! My first interval was hard, but actually stayed within a 4. It’s going to be a mind set change. Just like I had to figure out how to run slow or walk (easy/long) and run slow and steady (medium) and have run steady then have burst speed (intervals), now I need to learn how to have sustained speed. I think the trick will be in not taking off. If I ride the top of a 3 during the first work phase, then when it comes to the second work phase I just need to push a little harder. The key there is little. I will be inclined to take off, like I did in the intervals, and that will gas me. Realistically we are not looking for another 8 min pace. I’m assuming it will be in the 13s for the first phase (based on my warm up on interval day), so maybe (optimistically) 11s? Or 12s? Or 13s because I’m starting to get tired? Although that shouldn’t be the case because of the heart rate training. Honestly I have no clue and I’m nervous. But come Thursday I shouldn’t be nervous anymore. I should be confident I either did well, or know what to do better next time. I would say those are equally productive results.

Wednesday 8/31 – Planned easy run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 1-2 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate.  Completed 2.56miles at 16:33 (15:25, 17:06). I did not feel well this morning. I would say this is the most difficult workout type so far. “Easy” is not easy to do. A fast walk is too slow on a flat or decline but too fast on an incline. A slow jog is pretty much too fast all around, unless it’s not. I did my best but I still ended up with 11 minutes in the 3 zone. Oops. My heart rate was not steady at all. It’s up and down, up and down, while I try to find my pace. Spoiler alert: I never found it. I’m assuming this gets better. I’m hoping anyway. I felt really sick at the end of this. Worse than I do after a hard run. Worse than I did pre-HR monitor when I was running at a 4/5 the whole way. I think it because I had french toast for breakfast. The only difference (ingredient wise) from a normal breakfast was syrup. I had heartburn and just a general stomach ache the whole time though so I’ll avoid that much sugar so early in the morning.

After my “run” I considered bailing and not doing the park workout. I even talked to a friend from our group about it. She said (in the kindest way possible) that I looked horrible. I ate some peanut butter crackers and started feeling better.  So I stuck around. The workout went well. We started with strength rotations and ended with cardio. It was harder than Monday and my HR reflected that. Still my highest was in zone 3 (25%) and I spent most of the time in 2 (31%) and 1 (43%). So all good. This should be the last time I do a park workout like this AFTER a run. Except for holidays. And next Monday is a holiday. So… yea.

Thursday 9/1 – Planned tempo run of 45 minutes. 15 minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 13 minutes work at 3 heart rate, 12 minutes work at 4 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 3.24 miles at 15:03 (15:55, 13:43, 14:11).

Exhaustion hit me hard after this run. I’m struggling to function throughout the day. I’m eating much more than I was. Am I not sleeping enough? Am I overtraining? I decided to go to bed early and get more sleep. Instead of reading until 1030 I will put my book away at 10. It’s a small difference but it’s something I can do. I’m also going to not lift on Friday. In fact, I may not lift for September. I know it is bad to run without strength training. I’m weighing this against the possibility of overtraining. If I run pushing the stroller, doesn’t that give me the benefit of a little upper body strength training? Am I rationalizing? Perhaps. Come October I will lift again. By then I should be adjusted to my running routine and I don’t imagine I will have any problems. Stopping now may not be necessary but I need to get this under control. My housework is suffering because I am so tired all the time. I feel my personality changing. I just have no energy. If this doesn’t resolve I may have to get bloodwork done to rule out anything from there. First I’ll deal with sleep though, since that is something I can control fairly easily.

Another thought. Am I recording the splits the best way? I record mile splits here, but my true splits are not mile related. I default to miles because it is simple but it doesn’t really show a full picture of my effort. That said, I don’t know if it matters. I have my Polar Flow feed that shows me all the details. This is just fluff for my own musings. Perhaps I should link my polar data to each post. Or else I need to figure out a way to better document my progress.

Friday 9/2 – planned rest from running and lifting day. Decided not to lift. I’m really hoping to have more energy come this afternoon.

Saturday 9/3 – Planned long run of 1 hr 5 min. 10 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 50 minutes work at 2 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate.  Completed 5.00 miles at 15:18 (17:17, 15:34, 15:23, 14:45, 16:27).

Sunday 9/4 – planned rest

Heart Rate Training – Week 1

Good morning. It’s rest day and I thought it would be a good idea to reflect on my training thus far. I did some googling and couldn’t find many blogs that explained how this process went so maybe (maybe!) I can be the first. That of course assumes I keep up with blogging and my track record says that isn’t likely. Still, I have thoughts and this is my own little place in which to share them.

The big started back to school this week. That means a new running schedule for me. Instead of running at night 3 days a week, I will run in town 4 days a week. I keep my long run on Saturday the same. The other change to my running is that I now push the stroller with over 100lbs of child and metal and plastic and supplies. ha.

Monday 8/22 – This was my first stroller run. Incidentally this was also my last run without a heart rate monitor. All of my runs are hard (or had been to this point… we’ll get there). I pushed. I walked some and ran some. I ended up with 2.61 miles at an average pace of 11:44 (10:21, 12:37, 12:51). My goal was to run at an 11 pace and with the weird way my brain works, this was a success. The plus side of training by myself is that my goals/paces don’t have to make sense to anyone else. When I say an 11 pace, that means anywhere from 11:00 to 11:59. lol.

This evening my heart rate monitor came in! I purchased the Polar M400 after tons of research and some wonderful birthday gifts of cash. This was the cheapest watch I could find that did what I want. Basically I wanted runkeeper without my phone. The interval timers are what made it really difficult to find a watch, but eventually I did. The Polar M400 also comes with a heart rate monitor. “What? Ok cool, I guess. I’ll give it a try. Whatever.”

Tuesday 8/23 – First run with my heart rate monitor. Luckily, I hadn’t had enough time to fool with the monitor yet so this run was pretty natural. I didn’t look at plans. I didn’t look at training. I didn’t see what other people were doing. I basically repeated Monday with a strap under my boobs. The run was harder but I wasn’t surprised. I was tired from Monday. I knew the stroller would make things harder for me, so I went with it. I wasn’t the only mom with a double jogger out that day. I made a game of (jokingly) competing with the other mom. I’m sure she has no idea. At the end of our run we kept switching who was in first as we were both taking walking breaks. It was hard but good. I felt like I was on top of the world for pushing myself hard. Hulk smash! Also, this is the run I would have considered an “easy” run. It isn’t intervals. It wasn’t as fast as I could go. Therefor it was easy.

Until I looked at my data… I ran 2.67 miles at 11:12 pace (10:23, 11:37, 11:47). So pretty much like Monday, just a little “better.” wahoo! Those numbers look great. But the HR data… oops. I spent 53% of my run at the 90-100% range (zone 5), 36% at the 80-90% range (zone 4), only 5% at the 70-80% range (zone 3), and 3% each in 60-70% (zone 2) and 50-60% (zone 1). After a little bit of reseach I realized that’s bad.

Let’s back up and talk about my symptoms lately. I’m exhausted. Always tired after a run. Unable to finish long runs. I blamed the heat. The hubs said I was doing “too much.” I took that to mean that I worked out too often and I disagreed. People work out even more often than I was, so that couldn’t be it. It never occurred to me that “over training” could be a quality issue, not just quantity. I also never understood the idea to “run at a pace you could run forever.” I guess my black and white mentality translated a little too well to my running. I run full out or I walk. That’s it. There is no grey.

Time for some more google research. I decided to follow the Polar training plan, sorta. I can’t figure out if there is a way to change days for workouts and I can’t run on Sundays so… I took the recommended workouts and made them work to my schedule. Of course I had already done 2 really hard workouts this week, which meant Wednesday and Thursday would have to be a lighter work load. I decided for a Polar “easy” run Weds and a Polar “medium” run Thurs.

Wednesday 8/24 – Planned easy run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 1-2 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. I was feeling confident. I got this! Completed 2.46 miles at 17:14 (15:38, 17:12). Is that even running? For me, the answer was no. I had to walk soooo much to keep my heart rate that low. It was hard. I didn’t want to walk! Good thing I didn’t run into other double jogger mom. Did I mention she also runs with a dog? And she’s faster than me! And she runs farther than me! what would she think?! (I’m kidding of course, sorta.) This run was eye opening. This is the “run forever” zone people talk about. I had never felt it before. It felt good but was that even a workout? This is mentally tough.

Thursday 8/25 – Planned medium run of 40 minutes. 5 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 30 minutes work at 3 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. My big kid was sick and home from school. The double jogger unfortunately only fits 2 (ha! get it?) so I had to postpone my run. I went that night after bedtime which means these times do not have a stroller. They do have increased heat. Maybe that evens things out? I don’t really care. Just trying to share all the facts. Completed 2.68 miles at 15:49 (14:14, 14:58). First thought of course was: soooo sloooowwwwww. It’s hard to go that slow. But I did get to run more than at the 1-2 level (which makes sense). It’s hard to reign myself in when I want to go faster. I want to move because that is what I am used to doing. But I’m committed to figuring this out.

Saturday 8/27 – I woke up ready to go! I had to wait impatiently for the sun to come up. ha. Planned long run of 1 hr 5 min. 10 Minute warm up at 1-2 heart rate, 50 minutes work at 2 heart rate, 5 minute cool down at 1-2 heart rate. Completed 4.67 miles at 15:32 (15:28, 15:33, 15:30, 15:13). It’s important to note that the route near my house is much more hilly than the route in town. So there is a lot more fluctuation in my pace when it’s an uphill mile vs a downhill mile. This is exasperated by trying to stay within the heart rate zones, as sometimes a hill is steep and I have to walk up it. Anyway this run was great. It’s totally humbling to do this. It goes against everything I want to do. Every car that passes I’m like “no! I can run for real! Don’t judge me!” How selfish a thought. Do I really think those cars care about me? I can guarantee one didn’t. I had to jump off the road because he didn’t even see me. So I think he somehow cared that I wasn’t running “fast enough.” ha! Anyway this run really helped me to see the big picture. I ran almost 5 miles. I ran over an hour. I could have kept going. In fact, I ended up running farther than necessary because I wanted to go down and see the deer that just moved in about a mile away. I mean that literally. New family, new fence, cow, horse, deer (and a few dogs and chickens). It’s great!

Prior to the new Polar M400 my long runs were done at a 5:1 (run:walk). I would come home (usually early) exhausted. I couldn’t immediately deal with my family. That sounds horrible but it is true. I would come in, drink a ton of water, use the bathroom (see 2nd break through below), and then lay on the floor for 10+ minutes. I couldn’t function. After this run, I came in and played with my kids. We joked around. I had energy. I felt great. Truly I could have “ran forever” at that pace. I did get tired later in the day but that’s not shocking to me. What struck me was that I could return from a long run, drink some water, and be a part of life. I love that. That alone is reason for me to do this.

I had a lot of time to think during this run. I came up with a goal. Currently my 5 effort is about 10 min pace and not sustainable at all. My 2 effort is 15 min pace. I want to get my 2 to be a 10 min pace. I think at that point I may be able to do a 7 min pace on my 5. We shall see. Of course I’d love my 2 to continue to grow but that is my starting goal. I wonder how long it takes. That is partially why I am putting this here. If I can keep up with the blogging at least once a week, then perhaps someone can stumble upon this and find a time frame to give them an idea. I really have no clue if this is a weeks/months/years goal, but that’s ok.

I had another break through on my long run. Before, I couldn’t go 3 miles without having to run home to use the restroom. Yea, we’re going gross here. It was devastating that I really couldn’t run anymore without seriously aggravating my GI. I wasn’t thinking about it until the end of my long run, but I haven’t gotten the runner runs once since I started doing this. That doesn’t sound like a big deal because it’s only been 4 days BUT this was an every. single. day. occurrence. So I guess more than diet, or hydration, or anything else I was trying, the issue was exertion. Apparently my body doesn’t like to function at a 5 for long periods of time. Who’d have thought.

Today is Sunday and a rest day. I’m happy for that. And I’m happy to start my new week tomorrow. I have a plan so I’ll leave this here for posterity.

Monday – Medium run and weights
Tuesday – Interval run
Wednesday – Easy run
Thursday – Tempo run
Friday – Weights only
Saturday – Long run
Sunday – Rest

I have the hard runs spaced out which I think is good. The week day runs will be done in town pushing 100+lbs. The long run will be done out here by myself.

Definitions for now:
Easy run – 5 min warm up (1-2), 30 min work (1-2), 5 min cool down (1-2)
Medium run – 5 min warm up (1-2), 30 min work (3), 5 min cool down (1-2)
Interval run – 15 min warm up (1-3), 4x 3 min work (4-5) + 2 min work (3), 5 min cool down (1-2)
Tempo run – 15 min warm up (1-2), 13 min work (3), 12 min work (4), 5 min cool down (1-2)
Long run – 10 min warm up (1-2), 50 min work (2), 5 min cool down (1-2)

I see no reason to change these right now. The distances will grow and the pace will increase as my respiratory system improves. So the workouts don’t really need to change. As an aside, this is the first time I have ran for time (not distance) since I did c25k last summer (and in the spring of 2010). It’s kinda cool how it works out. I don’t have to keep increasing my training because it will happen naturally. Then when it comes time to (aka my HR is where I want it), I can increase my long run time to add even more miles, or switch up my interval runs by adding more intervals. Really I can increase the time on any/all my workouts to add more work. But I think staying within the 5k range is good for now.

I’m really excited about this. My mechanics are good (or good enough) but apparently my respiratory system was lacking. I’m excited to train it and excited to see where I can go. I have a friend who told me it takes here 2 miles to get her heart rate up. It takes me 1 min 30 sec. lol! It also makes the instagram workouts I see make so much more sense. People will post that they warmed up for 2 miles, then ran hard for 3 miles, then cooled down for a mile. I always think how? How on earth do you do that? My warm up would knock me out and I couldn’t run any harder. It really just didn’t compute in my head. But now it makes sense. And now I’ll be doing that workout on Thursday for my tempo run. And really I’ll be doing the same concept on Tuesday with my interval run. Those are the 2 I am most looking forward to because those are the 2 I haven’t done yet. But really I am looking forward to all of my runs. I’m so excited again.

I read on Shut Up + Run an article about starting HR training. What she said made a lot of sense to me. Of course she complained about the speed which I agree with 100%. She also mentioned that it is hard to accurately gauge your perceived exertion if you aren’t accustomed to doing so. That is so true. I never imagined I was pushing this hard, and yet I was. It’s kinda cool to think that I was pushing that hard. Like woah! I’m a bad a! Look what I was doing! But at the same time, it’s not a good thing. Haha. So I need to learn how to dial back. I need to find that grey area and embrace it. And I’m excited to see what comes of all of this.

Random ending thought: Hubby and I had decided to step back from half marathons after the balloon festival in September. I wanted to focus on 5ks because I was feeling so worn down by the half marathon training. And it’s not like I’m ready at all, or will even be ready by the time the race gets here. I’ve trained all summer and will still end up winging the race like I did last time. But now, seeing how it feels to run long and not feel like I’m dying (hello 1hr 12 min run Saturday), maybe I do want to train for half marathons. Or maybe I just want to run half marathon training distances without committing to anything. That’s probably the best place to be for now.

 

Gut Check

Praying this morning, I got to thinking about complaining. I complain a lot. I wasn’t always like this, but recently I think I have gotten a lot worse. I made a point this morning to try not to complain. Then I forgot about that plan.

I went for a run on the treadmill while the baby took her morning nap. It wasn’t my best run and I didn’t particularly enjoy it. I sent my husband a text complaining about the run. Then I noticed an alert from my runkeeper app. I checked it, and right after my run had posted, my husband had commented “good job.”

Wow. What a gut check for me! i did a good job. He is proud of me. I should be proud of me. Because I did SOMETHING. Even though I’m still adjusting to the treadmill, and even if my treadmill runs are never as good as my outside runs, I still did something. And that is nothing to complain about.

So here’s to starting over with today’s pledge not to complain. It’s a beautiful day. It’s 10:30 and I’ve already worked out. We are having icecream at church tonight! It’s time to be positive.

A photo posted by Kristi G (@anestinthemaking) on Aug 26, 2015 at 8:20am PDT

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Getting Started Again?

I enjoy writing. I truly do. I also enjoy crafting – more specifically, sewing – even more specifically, quilting. I realized this morning that I have no idea how many quilts I have made. When I was first getting started, it was simple to count. But here I am 3 years in to my quilting journey and I have no idea. In an effort to keep these records, I will be reviving the dear old blog. I wouldn’t look for regular posts and I won’t be committing to anything crazy. Let’s keep it real, I am not the best blogger. But I am working on updating my finishes pages as well as adding a WIP page. I would love to be able to look back on what I have made and the internet seems like the most clutter-free place to store everything! I’m not saying no to blog posts, but I’m being realistic here! ha!

So if any of you are still following, hi! I’m here! I had another baby. Did I mention that? I moved to the country before the baby. I’m not sure if I mentioned that either. All is well in my world and I look forward to documenting my quilting journey a little better.

A Quilty Finish

The Fort Worth Modern Quilt Guild issued a challenge a few months ago. We were to take a traditional quilt block and “make it modern.”

Yesterday I finished the binding on mine.

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I admit this qas quite a challenge for me.

The block I chose was a Dresden Plate. This is a block that has always intimidated me. I have never challenged myself to make one because, to be honest, I am not a huge fan of them. I have seen some great modern versions on blogs, but nothing I was in love with.

Piecing the plate was SO much easier than I had imagined. It went together quickly and I like the look of doing all one color.

After getting the top  together, I admit I was not a huge fan. I didn’t hate it, but it certainly didn’t appeal to me. I suppose that is the nature of a challenge, and so I pressed on with basting and quilting.

I had a few ideas for quilting but finally settled on echoing the plate design. Because the quilt is new born size, I wanted the quilting to be loose and the final feel to be soft and poofy.

After finishing, I love this quilt. I love the look of it all. The quilting really brought it together for me. Sometimes I see a flower, other times I see the sun.

I also love that I did not mark my straight line echoing. I used a walking foot, but I did the lines and angles without a guide. I like the slightly organic look to it. Straight lines, but not perfect.

The quilt finishes close to 30×30 and is destined to sit on my shelf until I make a decision on where it goes. This is the first time I have made a quilt without an intended recipient. It was fun.

Finish Friday

I have 2 finishes today. Both were started this week, and one was started today!

This quilt is for a yet-to-be-born little one. The back is a stretchy fleece-like material that I will never use again. Ever. I like the way the finished product turned out but quilting it was a beast!

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The started-and-finished-today project was a set of quilted letters for a sweet girl’s first birthday.

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They will fray up nicely when they get washed.

WIPW – Granny and a baby shower

Last week my husband’s grandmother, Granny, passed away. She was, among other things, a quilter. In cleaning the house for guests, my MIL brought me a few bags of fabric. I found these blocks inside.

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They are foundation pieced on muslin. The bag also had extra strips and more muslin squares.

Thinking about her, I got to work. This is what I made.

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These will be pillows for Grandad (her husband) and my Mother in Law.

In all the craziness of the last few weeks I completely forgot that my friend’s baby shower is this weekend. Oops! They do not know if they are having a boy or a girl so I had to go neutral.

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This is what I came up with. I have never worked with HRTs before so it was a learning curve. I do like the way it came out.

The fabrics are a mix of my stash and some from Granny’s house.

I am hoping to finish the top today at nap time, and get started quilting tomorrow. I am considering not using batting and having a flannel back. I have never done this before and I’m not sure how it would affect FMQing.

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Working with Granny’s fabric has been therapeutic for me. Prayers for my family would be appreciated as we cope. I also would love some feedback on how to quilt the pillow cases. I would like to highlight the squares she made (one per pillow). I was considering quilting over my 3 squares and leaving hers without but I am unsure as to what would compliment.  Any ideas?

Friday Finish

Riley Blake Designs posted a simple sun dress pattern on their blog. I had some large scale yardage hanging around with no use. I give you…

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My first dress!

The pattern was so simple. It came together quickly. There are a few adjustments I need to make for the next time, but there WILL be a next time. I can see having a closet full of these for summer.