Saturday, May 30, 2015

My Running Goals: What is next?

I love and loathe short weeks. They're so great, but they throw me off—which is completely ridiculous since I had both class and client on Monday. So I should have been right on track come Tuesday, but Tuesday felt like Monday (an effect that trickled through each subsequent day of the week). Sigh. And it probably didn't help that it was my week to pull some evening management shifts. So I was at the gym a lot this week.

Good thing I like the gym, eh?

Anyway. It's Saturday and I'm using this weekend to catch up (if that's even possible). 
I kicked it off with a nice long run, after which I bought this awesome cup:

I might have also eaten this:

I am NOT a frequent donut eater, but Sour Cream donuts remind me of donut dates with dad before school. We used to go for breakfast all the time when I was little. So every once in a while, I just gotta have one to walk down memory lane. And because Sour Cream donuts are so good.) I digress...

My running group meets at a Biggby Coffee, which is super convenient for this iced coffee addict. I ran six miles with the group, a very wet and rainy six miles at a 9:14/mile pace.  I wore my Tiux compression socks again. 

(Full disclosure: They sent me the socks in exchange for my honest opinion. Also, just realized that I took this same picture last weekend, too. #bloggerproblems)

So here's what I love about this company: Tiux is a small startup dedicated to providing high-quality products. (Love supporting the little guy!) They use premium fabrics and innovative design methods, the results of which are offered at a price you can afford because they've eliminated the middle man. Meaning, they only sell their products online (for $35/pair) and use word-of-mouth to promote.

According to my contact, these socks are actually meant to be worn during activity. Why? Compression stimulates blood flow, helps stabilize muscles and promotes faster recovery times. If you're a compression aficionado, these guys clock in at 20-25 mmHg (which is, I think, indicative of the amount of compression they create). And apparently, a higher level of compression works better for AFTER activity. I guess that's something Tiux is exploring. Cool!

In the meantime, I'll continue to explore training with compression gear. I mean, at the very least, they look sweet. Obviously because they're pink. They have a neon yellow pair that's pretty awesome, too.

Also awesome: Speed work.

Up until now, I've been taking the just-add-mileage approach to my training. I'm not, by any means, a professional runner and I don't have a history with running track and/or cross country, so it's worked for me really nicely. But I think I need a challenge because my runs have been feeling a bit stale. I'm not bored with running, just bored with the way I've been going about it.

Enter Train Like a Mother.

I've had this book for awhile now, and so many people have found success with their training plans, so I've started following one of their half marathon training plans. And by "following," I mean "adapting."

Because of my group fit teaching schedule, I don't have as much flexibility as I'd like when it comes to running. There are three days of the week that absolutely must be cross training days. Add in a rest day or two and I'm really left with about three days to focus exclusively on running. Otherwise, I'd basically die of exhaustion (and/or totally alienate myself from my family, which is not an option).

So, I adapt.

Within Train Like a Mother, there are two plans: Finish It, and Own It. I looked over both and decided that, because of my group fit schedule, the Own It plan was a little too aggressive. But I liked some of the speed work that I was seeing on short-run days. So for all intents and purposes, I am following the Finish It plan...but switching out some of the weekly speed workouts for those from the Own It plan.

Maybe that sounds silly, but where I'm at right now with my running...if I didn't have anything else to worry about, the Own It plan would be absolutely doable. But again, I'm not interested in wearing myself down to a useless pulp. So, I'm making an attempt at finding a happy medium.

For what purpose?

The Michigan 13.Wine Half Marathon in August and the Magnificent Mile Half Marathon in September. (And maybe some smaller, shorter races in between for the heck of it.)

So, there you have it. My new races goals.

Additionally, I'd like to work on my nutrition a bit. I am almost done breastfeeding which means my calorie intake will be I'll need to refigure my needs, given all the running that I'm doing. I've been reading Eat to Peak for help, and will share more about that later.

Question: Do you follow a specific training plan, or do you mix and match based on your individual needs?

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