The Attempt to Reclaim Motivation

I am so excited this week is drawing to a close. Just have to get through today at school, then I’m throwing Halloween parties for every period on Friday. Because sometimes teachers would rather watch Hocus Pocus and eat candy all day than do work too. Truth.

I’m working hard to get my groove back. Coming off an injury is hard enough, but take me, an avid morning workout person, and force me to workout in the evening instead and I’m cranky and resistant. I’m trying really, really hard and I think if I had any downtime at work I’d feel differently. But when I work straight through 7am to 4pm or later with a barely 30 minute lunch break as my only time to decompress all day, I’m pretty wiped by the time I leave school. Factor in my 9pm bedtime to be able to get up in time for work that early, and I really don’t like working out after work. I just want to go home, shovel pizza into my mouth hole, catch up on my recorded shows, and zone out on facebook. But alas, I have been working out, mostly.

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Come back to me motivation! I’m working on it, slowly but surely, I’m getting back into my groove.

Monday I didn’t workout. I had gotten a charlie horse in my injured calf in the middle of Sunday night and woke up limping. I didn’t want to push my luck since I was still in a bit of pain when I left school, so I opted not to run.

Tuesday was spinning for me. My lack of sleep from the weekend that carried into the week finally caught up to me and struggled in class. But I still muscled through and got it all in.

Wednesday I bucked up and ran. I needed to run. I have another half marathon in a little over two weeks so I need to run. I didn’t really feel like running outside in the cold gray weather, so I headed off to the gym. I haven’t been allowed to run on the treadmill the last couple of months as per my PT’s orders, but since I’m not really going right now, I feel like I can break the rules. I did a mile warm up, 4×400 meter sprints with a .1 mile recovery in between each one, then just over a half mile cool down to get me to 3 miles.

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I have no idea what that crazy spike in the middle of my last interval is. I must have taken a wild flying leap. Or my footpod glitched. Probably the latter.

It felt really good to get a solid run workout in. It was definitely a lot harder of a workout than I would have gotten had I begrudgingly gone out a muddled through a sloggish 2-3 miles around my neighborhood. I felt good afterwards and didn’t have any leg pain during or after really, so I’m going to count it as a win and start getting back into the gym.

I plan to run outside still, through the winter even if I can. I ran a bunch last year in the snow. But I do enjoy zoning out in the lovely climate control of the gym from time to time. Ask me again in February though, I’m sure  my feelings on that will change.

Today will be more spinning. Fridays are my rest days, and with it being Halloween I’m sure I’ll be busy handing candy since our house always gets slammed.

Also, in a stroke of good news, that bill that the Bone and Center sent me after swearing themselves blue in the face that my insurance would cover that horrid MRI in full? It’s going away. I finally got out of school early enough to call over there. I told the girl I had refused to sign anything until I was promised the procedure was covered in full, which I was, and how I’m not quite sure why they sent me a bill considering what I was told. If the girl pushed it I had a tangent about the awful, crappy, and boarding malpractice worthy service I was given locked and loaded. But the girl got all huffy, said they’d take care of it on their end and to disregard the bill, than practically hung up on me. Another shitty experience with their service, but at least I don’t have to pay the bill, supposedly

In not training news, for anyone who is curious, Tri Talk Tuesday is starting back up with the first link up scheduled for Tuesday, November 4th. Cynthia and I are super, duper beyond excited to announce our new co-host, Phaedra, the speed demon author over at Blisters and Black Toenails! So make sure you hit her up on twitter or facebook and send her some love. Then plan a post all about off season training plans so you can link up with us on November 4th!

Favorite treadmill workout – Share!

What are your Halloween plans?

Product Review & Give Away – WIN Detergent

***This post was sponsored in part by Fit Approach via my Sweat Pink ambassadorship and WIN Detergent. I did receive my two bottles of WIN detergent for the purpose of this review, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own***

I’m going to go out on a limb here and just assume that everyone reading this owns at least one piece of tech wick clothing. Personally, I own a metric buttload of tech wick. Yes, that is a unit of measurement. But really, almost all of my workout gear is tech wick and my usual day to day wardrobe is tech race shirts. I can’t even make that up, if given the opportunity I don’t know if I’d wear anything other than tech wick.

But tech gear gets stinky. And the weird thing about it is that stink goes away when it’s washed, then about five minutes after putting clean tech wick on, the smell comes back. It has like perma-stank infused into the fiber after a few wears and no amount of time in the washer seems to make that phenomenon stop. So when the opportunity to try out WIN Detergent came up, I jumped!

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They even sent me two bottles! The regular high performance sports detergent, and the green, earth friendly version. These showed up after Hubs and I ran over 8 miles together and we both were nice and ripe. So we both stripped and tossed everything right into the washer.

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I will say, everything smelled very nice once it came out of the dryer a couple of hours later. My race shirts that I wear as a day to day wear has seemingly shaken it’s perma-stink. My workout gear smelled a bit into my first workout after washing it with WIN. But the more and more I wash with WIN, the more that fades and I’m thinking I just have years of training and racing stank to work out of those fibers.

And the best part here? WIN is offering a coupon for purchasing your own  bottles as well as the chance to win two full sized bottles! You can use coupon code WINGIVE1 to get a $1 off your own purchase or you can enter the rafflercopter giveaway below for your chance to win a bottle of the regular sports wash AND the green sports wash.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The give away ends on November 11, so make sure you come back everyday to enter again to WIN!

Zombie Dreams

This post may be short and mostly incoherent. I feel like a zombie. At least that feeling is appropriate this week.

Went to bed late and was up before the sun Saturday. Got basically zero sleep Saturday night. Spent Sunday fighting my eyelids. We dog sat for my parents and I attempted to sleep with 200lbs of dog in the bed with me. Yeah, no. Nope. No sleep. So today should suck. And the rest of the week will most likely hurt too. Especially with Halloween on Friday, the kids should be going crazy by the end of the week. I’m trying to decide if it’s worth fighting or if I should throw a Halloween party on Friday and just watch Hocus Pocus six times.

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Count down to Disney- 16 days. Assuming I got the day we fly out correct. I could be totally wrong. I can’t be held responsible for my thinking when I’m this sleepy.

Is anyone else frustrated with the new Garmin Connect? Just me? Multisport workouts now upload as a single activity, which rocks. I hated having five activities for my triathlons. But you can’t edit multisport workouts anymore. Cue serious frustration. I lifted with my watch set to “other” mode the other night. I have “other” set to OWS and normally go in and change it afterwards. Nope. Can’t do that anymore. And I couldn’t add in my spinning distance. Cranky. *grumblegrumble* It sounds like they don’t plan to add back this functionality either, even though there’s a plethora of complaining on the Garmin forums. The new update was geared towards the 920XT. I use the 310XT which doesn’t have as much fanciness to it. Sorry some of us can’t afford a new $500 watch Garmin. How about you don’t penalize those of us not swayed by your fancy new toy by stripping away basic functionality on your site. Do I want a 920XT? OFCOURSEIDODUH. Am I going to let Garmin bully me into it for full price? Hell to the NO. UGH. DUMB. /rant.

Anyways, on the docket for this week is running Monday and Wednesday, spinning Tuesday and Thursday, and some strength thrown in there. Then a long-ish run this weekend if my leg is up for it. And I’ll make a point to NOT do any of my back to back work outs in multisport mode on my watch. Note to self, press and hold “reset” to save and restart my workout so I don’t screw myself over. Yeah, I’m looking at you Garmin, you jerk.

Cross your fingers for me that I can muscle through these next five days. I was struggling to drag myself out of bed the last few work days last week, and starting this week already behind on sleep does not bode well for me.

Best part of your weekend?

Workout  or race your looking forward to this week?

I Lived

Still working out my post race kinks from ESHM on Sunday. Still a bit fatigued, but getting along better.

I spent all day Sunday post race in my compression tights, slept in them Sunday night, then again Monday night. By Tuesday I was finally mostly soreness free. My legs are definitely still feeling it though. But my take away here is that they’re actually super duper comfy to sleep in and I kind of just want to sleep in them every night.

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I went out for an easy recovery run and had pain in my calf. Two very slow, very easy miles was all I did. Then I called my PT to schedule myself for the end of the week. But he’s out and my 30 day Rx is expiring Friday. Expiring already? Didn’t I just get another 30 days? Looks like a call to Dr. Mark is in store, again. Then getting in there regularly too. I somehow only went in once during this 30 day round, which the secretary tut-tut me over. Sorry.

Starting today I am making it a priority that I get back in the gym twice a week. Back to Tuesday/Thursday spin classes and getting a short lift in on those days. Then one day a week I’m going to make it a priority to swim. These things should help get me back in shape. I’ve been relying on my hopes of running strong again for months now and it’s just not enough to hope and wish and try to run anymore. Something else has got to give and I am finally conceding.

On Friday I played Friday Five with Cynthia and crew which was about favorite fitness music. One song that I threw into my playlist for Sunday that hesitated to list was I Lived by OneRepublic. I had only heard it briefly in passing and downloaded it on a whim. But it shuffled onto my playlist around mile 8.5 at ESHM, right about the point I started to feel tired and done. And you know what? That song is awesome.

It really gave me a mental boost and I officially love it and it will remain a constant fixture on my workout and running playlists indefinitely. Do yourself a favor and download it, then play you when you feel like you need a pick me up.

I also need to suck it up and order a new chest strap for my HRM. Mine has been glitching a bit lately and yesterday on my run it wigged the frick out. Trying to decide if I can just order a new strap and keep the actual monitor part, or if I need a whole new setup. Blahblahblah. Or someone can be super nice and just send me one. Ha. Yeah.

Okay, so spin and lift tonight. This weekend is dog sitting for my parents, so we’ll be out in the Cuse again. Because sleeping past 530am in my own bed is some sort of luxury I am no longer privvy to. Maybe someday again. Maybe someday.

Suggestions for strength exercises for my bum calves?

Last time you “slept in?”… and take that for whatever it’s worth to you

Race Report – Empire State Half Marathon

Empire State Half Marathon, oh yet again, you have foiled me. I knew I’d be slower this year thanks to my nagging calf tear injury that has caused me to go into this race entirely and painfully under trained. (You can find my race report from last year’s race here)

ESM

The hubs and I decided to stay at my parent’s house this year. Last year we drove in on race morning, so this at least allowed us to sleep in later, albeit the nights worth of sleep was not as good as what we’d get at home. But it was fine and we both survived all well and good.

The weather, oh the weather. It was reported that it would be barely 40, windy as all get out, and pouring freezing rain. Yeah. Yuck. Thankfully the rain held off. It was still freaking freezing cold and super overcast and windy. We sat in the car with the heat cranked and the heated seats on as long as we could, but I finally conceded and went to stand in the bathroom line. Nothing is crazier than taking a bunch of people with minimal body fat, putting them in minimal amounts of clothing, making them stand around the freezing weather, to wait to sufferingly run over 13 miles. Bunch of crazies, all of us.

Finally 8am crept up and they herded all of us towards the start line. And they even sent us off a couple of minutes early. The RD must have felt sorry for all of us who were violently shivering in the wind.

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Husband and I took off and of course clocked our fastest mile of the day at mile one. I knew when I saw the time for it we’d be in for a tough day. The wind on the parkway was the roughest. There seemed to be a cross wind that was constantly nagging at us. And by mile two I was aware of my injury. I could feel it. Normally in a short run I don’t notice it, but my leg knew it was in for a beating and it made sure I knew it’s intentions. Fabulous.

Last year the aid stations seemed to line up with my fueling plan better, but this race has an ample number of aid stations offering water, accelerade, and gels. I wore my fuel belt so I could carry shot blocks; I had one water bottle full of water and the other full of Nuun. I have a very cut and dry fueling plan that works for me during long runs- first shot block at mile four, then another one every two miles after that. I mostly stick to water since I’m not a big sweater and don’t always need the electrolyte boost.  I did make sure I stuck to my shot block mileage and took in water at every aid station. I only used my water bottles when I felt the need for additional liquid which was only a couple of times.

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Just eating and running, don’t mind me.

The wind was a lot less once we got into the park, which was really surprising. I expected the wind off the lake to be brutal once we were running along the shore line, but it was fine really.

ESHM

One thing that we noticed immediately was that the turn around point was different. Last year we turned around right behind the dog park. This year it was significantly further down the path. I mean, my GPS came up at exactly 13 miles last year, meaning the race was short, so maybe they knew that. But the turn around was a lot more than the extra tenth of a mile back. It was to the point where Rob nudged me as we passed the Mile 8 mile marker and asked when my watch passed 8 miles. I flashed me watch at him, which read 8.21 miles. A while back was my response. His GPS was ahead too. And it became clear what happened as we passed the mile 10 marker, sitting pretty in the exact same spot as it was last year, even though the course was longer. Woops. Good job whoever planned that change. Fail.

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Our longest training run for this race had been 8.26 miles, and it was like my body knew what was happening as I crossed that threshold. I got tired and sluggish once we hit about 8.5 miles. Tough. Very tough. Mentally and physically. My legs weren’t having it. I’m sure my form was falling apart, but I did everything I could to just keep running. I knew my second wind would come.

After the mile 10 marker, we leave the park and head back out onto the parkway. Other than being tired and my legs starting to feel heavy, I actually feel okay. There’s something mental for me when we get back on the parkway. The same thing happened last year; I disappear inside the recesses of my brain, I turn off and just run. My body and however it feels becomes null and I am in the mind frame to just finish.

However, similar to last year, Hubby cramped around mile 11, and since I’m never going to win and we do these things together, I hung back with him. Stop for a quick stretch, drink some water, walk a bit. This last two miles, same as last year, became our downfall. And this year Rob ate shot blocks, drank Nuun, drank water, drank accelerade. He stuck to a plan hoping not to cramp, but something about mile 11 gets him every time. He gives my hand a little squeeze with about a mile left and we start to run again. I’m running in front of him but keeping him in my peripheral until the last quarter mile when I pull ahead. But I remind myself that I screwed my knee up last year sprinting full force through the finish line and I keep my pace and form under control.

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ESHM-finishchute

I cross the finish line with an official finish time of 2:22:08. Rob crossed right behind me and for the second year in a row we’ve knocked off the Empire State Half Marathon. Grab a medal, a bottle of water, and a foil blanket. Once you stop moving you remember it’s 40 and windy and now you’re covered is sweat that is beginning to freeze.

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If you factor in the extra quarter mile that these stats don’t account for, my pace is more around the 10:40-something range. Still not great, but not bad given my circumstances.

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Autopause had my time on my watch slightly off from my official time. A hard earned finish for sure this year.

Overall, Empire State Marathon puts on a good race. It’d be nice if they could figure out their course and get the distance right. Last year my GPS clocked in at exactly 13 miles, this year a ridiculous 13.35 miles. All that aside though, it’s a great course for a first timer. As flat as flat gets and you can always bank on the temperature being great for running, although the weather in general this time of year in Syracuse is hit or miss. And the full marathon is also super flat, PR friendly, and a Boston Qualifier. And with only 2500 runners across both the full and the half, the odds are definitely in your favor if that’s your prerogative.

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Rob and I have already decided that even though this is a good race, we won’t be back next year. We’d like to branch out in terms of available races to pick from and honestly, if anything, we’ll be spending this weekend next year back in Bethlehem for the Runner’s World Festival.

All said and done, I’m really glad we raced ESHM again and I’m feeling a lot more confident about half marathon number two for this fall coming up in a mere four weeks. Time to get running. Run Disney, here we come!

Friday Five – Fitness Tunes

Yay, happy Friday!

I had kind of a tough day at school Thursday. But it had a nice ending. I was still hanging around, getting ready to leave, finally, a bit after 4pm when my principal flagged me down as I was dropping off some student work in the main office. I had a really nice conversation with my principal about dealing with a really tough class I have towards the end of the day. I think the decision we made together about how to handle this class is going to help, and it feels really good when the conversation ends with your administrators saying “Don’t worry, we’ve got your back here.” Such a complete 180 from the last district I worked for. And it feels refreshing and reassuring.

I got home late and just couldn’t muster a run. I did take Griswold for a mile long walk. But I still felt the need to do something.

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Yup. Got myself to the pool. My first swim since Irongirl Syracuse (oops) and it was tough but it sure did feel nice. Swimming can be so soothing sometimes. Took me thirty minutes to find my goggles and I ended up forgetting a towel, but the soggy ride home was worth those 1200 yards of bliss in the water.

But today is Friday and I’m here to play along with Cynthia, Mar, and Courtney for Friday Five. The theme for today is Favorite Fitness Tunes!I haven’t bought new music in a while, it’s on my to do list before Sunday, so bear with me here!

5. Roar – Katy Perry: Can’t lie. This song was stuck in my head my entire race at IM Syracuse and I sang it to myself, audibly, during the run. What else can you really do when five hours into a race the song is still on loop in your brain. Might as well sing along.

4. Paradise – Coldplay: This is one of those songs that I stick in the middle of my playlist. It has the right lyrics and tempo that when it comes on you just put your head down and dig deep.

3. Anything by Pitbull: Yup, I cannot deny my love for Pitbull. Not really, I wouldn’t normally listen to him, but his music always has the perfect beat and tempo to match my running pace to. I love running to Pitbull and I have more of his music on my playlist then I’d like to admit.

2. Stronger – Kanye West: This song has been in a top spot on my running playlist since my high school days. It has the highest play count over any single song in my itunes library by at least ten fold. This song will never not push me to work harder, better, faster, stronger. And for those of you who are asking, yes, I have the original version by Daft Punk in my mix too.

1. Wake Me Up – Avicii: This song was my anthem during Syracuse training. And whenever I hear it, it reminds me of how far I’ve come and how far I still want to go. This will be my Ironman anthem someday. Someday soon, hopefully.

I do have a short list of downloads I plan to buy up tomorrow. I’m totally open to more suggestions though. I could use some new jams badly!

Best song to get you pumped up?

Favorite finish line song?

 

Quiet Courage

Hi. Hey. Hello. Whew.

Why the heck am I always so tired and stressed? I blame my lack of workouts, namely morning workouts. Unless I want to get up at 4am I don’t morning workouts are no longer an option for me. My days are always significantly better when started with a workout. My energy, my mood, my stress levels, my food, it’s all better. Trying to workout after being on my feet for ten hours a day is like a freaking chore and I hate it. Evening runs are the pits.

School is going alright. My first observed lesson didn’t go entirely as I planned and I’m kicking myself over it. Like really, I’m super frustrated about a last minute lesson change that came back to bite me. I had finally started feeling good and comfortable and like I was fitting into my new job. And now I’m pulling back into my shell a little.

I was going to swim last night, but more ipod woes. My shuffle is being finicky and frankly if I’m going to put off my bedtime in order to swim, I want my waterproof music dammit. So that’s plugged in working itself out and I do not get to enjoy the sweet solace that comes with swimming.

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Today I do have to run after work though. And that means I need to figure out an outfit that allows me to wear sneakers some how, because my black work sneakers are limping along and my shins and achilles can tell when I try to run after being in them for ten or eleven hours. I ran one mile on Tuesday. One. Just one. It was uncomfortable and the common denominator between my runs where I have pain is my black work shoes. So after I get paid again next time I’ll need to buy some new ones.

And speaking of money, you know what else is bullshit? Money. Bills. Bills that show up in your mailbox that you had explicitly asked the girl with hooker makeup at the desk if your insurance would cover the entire cost, to which she replies yes. Then two months later you get a whomping bills in the bill. For an incorrectly done medical procedure to boot. To say I was livid when it showed up was an understatement. And I’ve had every intention of walking in there and duking it out with my Mr. TakeAnAspirinAndComeBackInAWeekIfYou’reNotDead Doctor. Except he has office hours 8am to 4pm. I’m long since at work by 8am and if I even leave school by 4pm it’s basically a miracle. So in the three weeks since the bill showed up it’s just sat on my side table and made me angry. I don’t care that I haven’t paid it yet. Bone and Joint Center in Geneva NY sucks and I’m in no rush to empty my bank account onto their desk top. They don’t deserve a dime more from me than what they already got. They can go shove it.

I just feel like I need a break. From everything.

Happy Thursday. The weekend is so close. So close.

Share some tips for learning to love evening runs, because I seriously hate them

 

Crash Course Coaching – How To Train With Heart Rate

Oh my, yesterday I was a busy bee. I went to school and wrote a couple of lessons, cleaned my whole house minus the bathroom, did three loads of laundry, grocery shopping, food prep, and attempted to workout. I wanted to ride my bike but the forecast called for rain and the skies were filled with dark clouds. So I headed off to the gym for a spin and lift. Cue five minutes into my spin, my ipod dies. Wahwah. I ended up only doing 20 minutes in zone 2 and no lifting because I wasn’t in the mood to deal with the silent gym. The students are gone for the holiday weekend so it was just me and old people on recumbent bikes bantering about old people stuff. And wouldn’t you believe it never rained. I should have just braved it and taken Finley out for a 20 mile cruise. The temperature was perfect for riding. Big swing and a miss.

And speaking of my ipod, I turned on itunes homesharing and it’ll allow me to plug in my ipod and pull it up and see the library. I can download to my new itunes library then bounce it right over to my ipod under the “on this ipod” tab. I’m still going to try and figure out how to move my library over so I don’t have to toggle between two different ones, but for now this allows me to at least see, add, and move music around without losing anything. In order not to lose everything though I have to keep my itunes settings on “manually manage music” otherwise it will wipe out my ipod and synch it with the six songs I already own instead. Temporary win. Still merits a call to apple this week though. Ugh.

Anyways, enough about me and my constant whining about my mundane life woes. With Tri Talk Tuesday on hiatus, I thought I’d still go ahead and bring you some triathlony goodness today. Well, not so tri specific, but really general training specific.

how-to-train-with-heart-rate

Yes, heart rate. Let’s chat a bit here.

Training with heart rate has it’s pros and cons, like any type of training regiment. Training by heart rate is a great way to train for endurance and even to some degree, speed. However, it’s important to know that HR training is not perfect because it has an effort versus reaction lag. What does that mean and how can you train with heart rate?

Imagine you are going to run sprints as part of a speed workout. Sprint intervals are typically written in time intervals. So you may run 10×30 second full effort sprints. In this case, 30 seconds is the amount of time you spend sprinting. If it was written as say, 10xHRZ5, you’re sprint lengths would vary greatly. You start sprinting and you body immediately shifts to full effort output, but your heart takes a bit of time to catch up. It’ll take a little time for it to beat fast enough to break you into zone 5 for your HR. But the more you run, the higher your rate is, it won’t drop quite as much during the rest intervals, and your sprints become shorter because your heart doesn’t have as high of a beat count to jump up. And inconsistent intervals aren’t going to translate to improvement as well as those 10×30 second intervals will.

Now the important thing with heart rate training is having accurate heart rate zones. You can find out your zones in a number of ways. One way is to go to a sports clinic and have a lactic threshold test done, which is done on a treadmill with an air mask over your mouth to track your lactic output and determine when your body reaches it’s threshold limit.

Another way to test this is to run the test yourself using a heart rate monitor. You can follow these instructions on the beginner triathlete website to correctly run the test both for running and cycling to find your heart rate zones. For this one you need to already have a heart rate monitor to use.

The easiest way to do this is to race a 5k wearing a heart rate monitor. Run the race as hard as you can, but without crashing at the end. You should race strong the entire time, but after the finish you should be gassed. Take your max heart rate for the race, your resting heart rate, and plug it into this calculator to get your training zones. There is a math formula you can use to do the math by hand, but this lovely calculator does it for you. If you want to formula though, shoot me an email, and I can help you find your custom training zones that way.

And you should retest your heart rate zones roughly every season. The last time I tested my heart rate zones was in the spring after I spent the winter base building and was in great shape heading into Ironman Syracuse training. So I used my most recent 5k time to redo my hear rate zones so they’ll be accurate for my race this weekend.

Once you have your zones you can start to train using them. Zone 1 is a recovery zone. Zone 2 is your endurance zone and all your long runs and rides should be done in Z2. This builds strength and endurance with minimal effort. This is what enables people to run long, at faster speeds, with the least amount of effort. It may seem slow and awful running in Z2 the first few times, but seriously stick it out. It does have results and you will see them. You just have to muscle through and first few slow, boring runs in zone 2.

Zone 3 is your threshold zone. This is where you’ll do pacing runs and tempo runs at. Zones 4 and 5 are zones that are used for speed training and sometimes where you may race for shorter races like 5k’s. For long races like half and full distance iron or marathon races you’ll generally spend most of your time in zone 2.

So there’s the basics of finding your heart rate zones and how to incorporate them into your training. There are loads of HR based training workouts and plans out there, but if you want more information on it you can contact me here and I’ll be happy to share some more insight.

Have you trained with heart rate before?

What other insight can you add to the discussion on training with heart rate? 

Mid Run Selfies

Rough week. I needed it to give way to a nice weekend, a lovely three day weekend. It got there, but not right away.

My laptop kicked it Thursday night. I’m still attempting to resurrect it at least long enough to pull some photos and files off of, but honestly it’s not looking good. And I had some weird thing with my itune account being listed under two different emails that took me a long night on the phone to get situated a few months ago, and now with itunes redownloaded on my new computer, I only have six song. Six. And some crappy U2 album that itunes gifted to everyone. No thanks. So I have to call apple again this week and get that mess sorted out. Or figure out how to pull my music off my ipod into itunes. Whatever will work. I was looking forward to downloading some new music and making a new half marathon playlist for Sunday. But right now that’s not going to happen.

Speaking of my impending half marathon, this happened-

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Mid run seflies; all the cool kids are doing it.

Hubs and I ran 8.26 miles Sunday. It’s our last long haul before we race this Sunday. I had a bit of leg pain here and there, but otherwise I felt okay. I’m sure a lot of my discomfort on the run came from drinking beer and eating dessert Saturday night. Note to self, no beer and dessert before a long workout.

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All said and done though, I know I will survive Empire State Half. It may not be pretty, and I won’t be breaking last years time and definitely not breaking two hours, but that’s okay. I’ve been nursing an injury for months and frankly I’ll be happy to finish.

Also, happy Columbus Day. I’m off work today and planning to hit the gym, clean my house, and write some lesson plans. Nothing exciting, but all stuff that needs to get done. So there ya have it. Finger crossed that this week is better than last and that I can get myself all situated for Sunday so I can have a good race.

Advice from the apple lovers on how to fix my itunes/transfer my music off my ipod?

Who else is off today? Any good plans?

Race Report – Yuengling Oktoberfest 5k

The official name is really the Yuengling Light Lager Jogger 5k. Longest name ever for a short race.

Like I said earlier, the trip to Bethlehem was awesome and worth it. I’m really glad we went. It almost felt like a chore at first, but it ended up being such a wonderful weekend.

steelstacks2

Race morning was a little weird. I’ve never done a race that started so late. The race didn’t kick off until 10:30, mostly because our bibs had free beer tickets attached to them and you can’t legally drink before 11am apparently? That’s what others said, but who knows. All I know is we spent a lot of time milling about before the race. We got there like two hours early to make sure we got decent parking since there was over 3000 people racing.

beerbib

The race was at the fantastic and famous Steelstacks, which were super awesome and such a cool way to preserve what would otherwise be a crumbling eyesore.

steelstacks

The view from the upper balcony of the Artsquest Center

The swag was excellent as well. Two free beers, a tech wick shirt, beer steins and gingerbread cookie medals.

swag

The race was meant to have four corrals, but they weren’t clearly defined. Pace bunnies with signs would have been helpful. Instead the DJ just shouted out rough directions on where to be based loosely on your pace. We seeded ourselves at the back of corral two which was the 7-9 minute per mile corral. I thought that seemed lofty, but what the hell.

The first corral took off about a minute or two late, but that’s not a huge deal. Our corral was shepherded over the start line a couple of minutes later. We took off weaving and dodging, fighting our way through the first quarter mile. I mean really, walkers, you’re supposed to be in corral four. Follow directions, gah!

Thankfully we hit the Fahy Bridge after about the first quarter mile and the slow grinding incline helped thin out the herd. After that we saw our first race course entertainment. They had people dressed in German Oktoberfest type garb dancing along the course. Very fun! That entertainment was short lived though, right at the base of a huge hill that wound around the edge of Moravian College. We hit our first mile marker about halfway up this second hill. I will say though, I’ve run my fair share of hilly races where you only ever seem to go uphill. This race had lovely downhill stretches for every uphill they threw at us. Super rolling course the whole time. The only real flat stretch was in and out of the Steelstacks park.

Mile two was more rolling hills and more on course entertainment. We didn’t hit the turn around until about mile 1.8-something and at that point I knew the course would run long.

map

Despite everything with the hills, the late start, the night of eating and drinking leading up to the race, my injury; we ended up running negative splits. I’m so happy about that! And I clocked a 9:16/mile pace. I was dying by the end, but I am really happy for the push on my pace. I really needed that. My splits were 9:27, 9:26, 9:11, and 8:14 respectively and I crossed the finish line hauling at a lung crushing 5:45.

racepic1

Look at that form! I must have been concentrating really hard on that. Stand up tall, elbows in, tuck the hips, happy form. Also, that guy is totally haucking a giant spitwad behind me. Nice.

That last mile was tough. Another hard run up the other side of the Fahy Bridge before heading back down to the Steelstacks. I thought that last half mile would never end, especially after seeing the 3.1 mile tick by on my watch and not seeing the finish line yet.

I was ecstatic crossing the finish line, albeit wasted. I shouldn’t have been, but considering my last race was IronGirl Syracuse the first weekend in August and I’ve been barely running thanks to my torn up legs, I’m happy with it.

racepic4

The race overall was really great. Awesome location, challenging course but with lots of changing scenery so it was never boring. The atmosphere was great and I’m sad we couldn’t stick around for our free beers. The only complaints I had were the bathroom lines and the line for water and food after the race. Only the two indoor bathrooms were open and for some reason only 1/3 of the stalls in the women’s side were open in the main bathroom. The line had to be at least 100+ people deep. It was insane, they needed extra porta potties. And they only had one, single line for water, food, and medals afterwards, which was a shitshow. They sent out an email addressing both of those things and offering to have people come redeem their free beer tickets this upcoming weekend at another festival should you have not gotten to last weekend because of the line situations. So at least they were aware of the issues so they can fix them for next year. Inaugural races, you can always expect a glitch or two, but it was not enough to distract from the race and the atmosphere itself, so really no complaints here.

cookiemedal

I totally ate my medal. I meant to a get a cutesy biting-my-medal picture, but the cookie was soft and broke in my hand. So it went right into my mouth hole.

I give this race two thumbs up. Rob and I really want to return to Bethlehem and stay for a full weekend, not just a whirlwind night. Next year we’re hoping to come back for the Runner’s World Festival, which happens to be the same weekend at Empire State Half Marathon.

Ever been to Bethlehem? If not, I better see you at Runner’s World next fall!

Best Medal you ever got?