Weekly recap (6/7-6/19): Hawaiian style (sort of)

Last week felt so long, I can't even remember most of what happened. I had some good runs even though my overall mileage is way down (blah), got back on a paddleboard (yessss!), and got in 2 barre classes. 

Saltwater Therapy

Saltwater Therapy

The rest of the week was fairly questionable as the stress levels are currently skyrocketing in life outside of running. I'm nearly breaking under all of the pressure and I really hope this nightmare that kicked off this stressful chain of events ends soon. 


Workout recap

Last week's goals

Goal 1 Paddleboard Hit
Goal 2 3 runs Hit
Goal 3 1 barre class Hit

Last week's workouts

  • Monday: Barre class
  • Tuesday:  Moderately easy progressive run - 3.01 miles (8:38 pace / Splits: 9:11, 8:27, 7:58)
  • Wednesday: Easy run - 5.01 miles (9:19 pace) 
  • Thursday: Paddleboarding (paddle, prone paddle, corefit workout on the board)
  • Friday: Barre class 
  • Saturday: OFF (14 hours stuck in a car - ugh)
  • Sunday: Easy run - 3.24 miles (8:24 pace)

Last week's totals

Running miles: 11.26 miles
Runs: 3
Paddleboarding/cross training: 1
Barre/strength: 1
Total workouts: 6


As far as workouts go, I had a good week and hit 100% of my weekly goals! I also ended up with some unintended quasi-speedwork when I set out for an easy run at mid-day on Tuesday. It was 91 degrees (real feel: 103) and around 90% humidity, but I ended up with a sub-8 mile as my last mile and a nice little progressive run. 

I spent the week pretty exhausted and trying to get the family packed up for our vacation back home to PA, all while trying to get other things done that needed my attention. After all of that, I'm pretty pleased that I managed to get in 6 workouts! 

Sunday's run was on a hilly route back home in Lancaster, Pa. - man, I miss hills. It was also a gorgeous morning at just 62 degrees with relatively low humidity and a nice breeze. I ran easy, but looked at my pace several times and saw sub-8s. That's always a nice feeling, especially since I was feeling super stiff from being stuck in a car for 14 hours the day before and it took a bit to get warmed up. There is a faster runner in me somewhere. She just needs to start showing up more regularly (and on race days). 

PA trails

PA trails

In art and design news, I made some prototype bracelets of the sketches from last week. I just used some materials I already had, so the wood beads aren't exactly the right size (they should be smaller), the colors are off, and I need silk instead of cotton for the tassels. But overall, these turned out great! I'm hoping to order the supplies I need and make some soon (along with a few other pieces for a mini Into the Glimmer collection). 

Beachy bracelets

Beachy bracelets

And the big highlight of my week was my little guy turning 2. I can't believe it! The past two years have just flown right by, and he's turning into such a smart, independent, artistic boy. He also loves music and anything with water. We celebrated his big day with a Lilo & Stitch themed Hawaiian Luau with family and friends (thanks to my mom for being the host and to my in-laws for helping out with set up and food!). 

Even though we were exhausted from traveling, it was a fun way to kick off our vacation and B had an absolute blast. In true B style, his favorite part was the kiddie pool and sprinkler. 

Party time!

Party time!

And that's it for last week's recap! I'm looking forward to some hilly runs in lower humidity this week while we're still in PA (and of course, spending time with family and friends). Then it's back to the sweltering Charleston weather where hopefully things outside of running will start looking up again soon. 


PS - I've been linking up for the past several weeks with HoHoRuns and MissSippi Piddlin'  for their Weekly Wrap post and I really love it. You can check out all of this week's posts here.

 

Peaks, valleys and plateaus

If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you'll know I've been stuck in an awful running plateau. If you're new here, welcome to the flatlands!

from-where-i-stand-running-shoes

I've been stuck here for over a year now. I had a few brief glimpses of improvement - first in early 2015 when I PR'd in both the half and the 5K unexpectedly and it brought me to slightly faster than where I was pre-baby (at 6-7 months post-baby). Then humidity, asthma, and sleep deprivation happened. And happened and happened and happened. Even my sole PR of fall 2015 at the Myrtle Beach Mini wasn't a great race for me and I know I'm capable of much more than that.

Just when the sleep deprivation started to improve and my body began to recover from that, life took a dive into pretty deep valley. I don't get into it much on the blog but let's just leave it as some really awful people did some really awful things to me that led to some really unpleasant circumstances, some of which I'm still dealing with. And it took its toll on me. I started losing sleep again and I was constantly sick. 

And so, I continued on this running plateau. Life has started to improve, although I wouldn't say it's where I'd like it to be, it's not as dark as it was back in February. And my running hasn't budged much, either. 

running-shoes-track-workout

I had another brief glimmer of hope in late spring 2016 when a doctor finally listened to me about my asthma, switched my meds and got me off and running fast(ish) again. And that glimpse of improvement came back. This time with easy runs in the high 7s and low 8s despite the climbing temps and humidity, plus a 5K time of 24:10 where I spent most of the race chatting with the person I was running with. Although, far from my 5K PR and more along the lines of my normal 5K pace at this point, the fact that I was talking and not gasping for air at that pace was clearly progress.

But just as soon as it came, it was snatched away. My son was cutting teeth, then had an ear infection (poor little guy!), and we went through a few more weeks of sleep deprivation that kicked my butt and resulted in full body aches and my inability to even move off the couch last Friday.

Along with all of that, summer and all of its sticky, sloggy, humid glory arrived which means there's no such thing as "fast" right now. It's basically survival mode until the weather cools down. Since I'm running later in the day this year than I have in previous summers, it's even hotter and I'm having dehydration issues and I think that was one of the reasons for the headaches last week. This week has been a little better since I've been drinking more water than I ever thought was humanly possible in a 24 hour period. 

from-where-i-stand-runner-girl

Four years ago, I started off with my very first 5K at a time of 26:51 after just two months of running and my first 10K in 54:22 after just 4 months, and that was with just logging about 10 miles a week. Two months later, I ran a marathon in 4.5 hours with training an average of 15-18 miles per week. I realize 4.5 hours is not fast, but I think if I tried to attempt that now on such little training, I might die. In less than a year of running, I ran a sub-2 hour half and a sub-24 minute 5K and then a sub-50 minute 10K at just over a year of running (that 10K is still probably one of my best races ever).

All of that to say, there is no way that I should still be running even close to the times I ran when I was a new runner, and while my PRs (and most races that don't involve illness or asthma) are faster, it's been a while since I've seen a PR. Based on my starting point, I would certainly think my times would be much faster than they currently are in general and that my PRs would have improved. Yes, yes, I had a pregnancy in there (right after that sub-50 minute 10K), which I did run for most of, followed by nearly a year of newborn/infant-related sleep deprivation plus asthma problems, but seriously, can this stop soon please?

I'm tired of this story. Really, really, really tired of it. I'm tired of living it. I'm tired of running it. I'm tired of blogging it.

running-in-summer

I want to start seeing the work I'm putting in pay off. I know I keep harping on this, but it is so frustrating. I'm so tired of these tiny sightings of improvement, these brief glimpses of the runner I know I am, but then getting completely derailed after such short spurts. I also know I'm doing the right thing by continuing to train and run through this plateau, which lately has been bearing a much stronger resemblance to a valley.

I know that the the only way out is the way through. I know I have to keep running and push past this plateau if I want to see the other side and that the only way to see the view from the top is to start at the bottom. But I'd really, really like to see that view soon. I'm okay with slogging it through summer, but I'm holding out hope that fall 2016 will be kind to me and I'll see the PRs that I know I deserve and that I'm truly capable of. 

Anyone else ever experience such a long plateau or other type of ongoing running frustration? How did you deal with it? Are you currently in a plateau right now? If so, hey there friend!

Weekly recap (6/6-6/12): Finding my yes

The ability to say no is an art form. It requires not only knowing your own limits, but respecting them (and yourself) enough to walk away from things that stand in the way of your goals and desires. Things you may enjoy, but are detrimental to your progress, or worse, things you continue to do out of obligation. 

palm-trees-beach-life

Saying no isn't about being stubborn or disagreeable or shirking responsibility. I'm not talking about not taking care of your kids or not showing up for work (although, maybe it's time to think about getting a new job if yours just isn't working anymore - no shame in that). I'm talking about saying no to things that you don't have to say yes to, even if you feel like you should. I'm talking about getting out of situations that impede your growth or cause undue stress, and ultimately put you in your own way. 

But how do you get out of your own way?  

Stephen Covey said it better than I ever could:

“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside.”
— Stephen R. Covey
A whole bunch of Yes! (Center Photo by Leanne Trudeau Photography)

A whole bunch of Yes! (Center Photo by Leanne Trudeau Photography)

You have to know your yeses. And when those yeses are big enough, it gives you the strength and purpose to say no to the other things. By continuing with the noes, you stand firmly as a hindrance to completing and enjoying your yeses. 

Of course as runners, we do this all the time. We say no to beer with friends the night before a race. We sacrifice lazy Sunday mornings for long runs. We rearrange our schedules to fit in running and cross training. And this is something runners tend to be pretty good at when it comes to running, and I'm no exception.

Running is clearly one of my yeses and I have no issues saying no to things that get in the way of it. But sometimes, like last week, even running becomes a no because my body just decides it needs something else. Like rest. 

I woke up with headaches almost every day last week and ended up hardly able to get off the couch by Friday. While I wish I could have got more miles in last week, my body just wasn't having it. Sleep deprivation, especially longterm where you end up in sleep debt, is no joke and I'm definitely suffering. 


Workout recap

Last week's goals

Goal 1 Paddleboard Miss
Goal 2 4 runs Miss
Goal 3 2 barre classes Hit

Last week's workouts

  • Monday: Barre class
  • Tuesday:  OFF
  • Wednesday: Easy run - 5 miles (no watch)
  • Thursday: Barre class
  • Friday: REST (sick, exhausted) 
  • Saturday: Easy run - 5.01 miles (9:10 pace)
  • Sunday:
    • Family bike ride - 8 miles
    • Easy run  - 3.01 miles (8:58 pace)

Last week's totals

Running miles: 13.02 miles
Runs: 3
Biking miles: 8
Barre/strength: 2
Total workouts: 6


But at least I still got some workouts in, including running in this nasty 90+ degree heat and humidity. My only goal for summer workouts is just maintain decent(ish) mileage, run a few races, and continue with barre workouts.  

So, yeses and noes. In running, in life. It's a balance. And for me, when it comes to bigger life issues (yes, there are more important things than running!), I'm not always as good at saying no as I am about things that interfere with running and working out. 

But last week, I did. Last week, I walked away from a project that I really enjoyed and really believed in, but I knew it wasn't working for me. It was keeping me from other things, including sleeping well at night. It was blocking other bigger and better opportunities. I had been mulling over this for weeks and struggling because I felt obligated to continue, but I knew at it wasn't best for me. So I walked away. Pleasantly, smilingly, unapologetically, on good terms.

Jewelry brainstorm + abstract acrylic and Glitter painting on canvas

Jewelry brainstorm + abstract acrylic and Glitter painting on canvas

And I was free. I freed up my mind (and my time) for other things. The floodgates opened and I brainstormed jewelry designs and got together a materials sheet so I can order supplies and launch a small collection. I painted. And I picked up a non-profit volunteer project that I've been ignoring for too long. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a sleep-deprived mess who's stuck on a seemingly endless running plateau, but at least there's one less thing to keep me up at night. 

And maybe now I'll have a little more space in my schedule to get out and do one of my other major yeses - standup paddleboarding (aka, saltwater therapy)! So here are my plans for next week:

Next week's goals

Goal 1 Paddleboard!
Goal 2 3 runs
Goal 3 1 barre class

There's so much pressure out there to do it all, including all of the noes. But if you try to do that, you will end up pissed off and worn out and your yeses will be languishing. You do not have to do it all. You don't. I don't. Do what's important and graciously, smilingly say no to the rest.


PS - I've been linking up for the past several weeks with HoHoRuns and MissSippi Piddlin'  for their Weekly Wrap post and I really love it. You can check out all of this week's posts here.