Monday (Ok, Ok, Tuesday) Miles : November 19 – 25, 2018

crossfit, monday miles, pregnancy, races, running, training

There’s a new game I like to play: What is Causing Ali’s Aches and Pains? Working out, sitting too much at a desk, or pregnancy. This has been the story the last two days as my tailbone aches and I wonder if this is from dead lifts last week or just general pregnancy or the fact that I did a lot of driving over the weekend. Or perhaps all of the above? After this post I’m making a call to the chiropractor.

This was my second week of consistent running. I’m not training for anything, but following Hal Higdon’s Winter training plan. A lot of the “running while pregnant” advice I read suggested going by minutes instead of miles. Supposedly, as you grow slower, it is less disheartening. I’m so grateful to be back at it again, I’m not sure how disheartened I would even be.

I will admit that first week out there was hard. I huffed and puffed. This week, the second week, was significantly better. I know I will continue to get slower, but I felt good. I did not feel like I was huffing or puffing. Instead, it felt leisurely, enjoyable, even if slow.

11 – 19 : 15ish minute run, 1.45 miles. 10:46/mile. CrossFit: Strength – build to three rep max for push-press in seven minutes. I managed eighty pounds, a PR. WOD – AMRAP 7 minutes, 10 push-presses @ 35 pounds, 30 single-unders, 3 double-under attempts. I managed six rounds plus five push-presses. I even managed successfully some of those double-unders.

11 – 20 : 45 minute run, 4.36 miles. 10:19/mile.

11 – 21 : 30 minute run, 2.8 miles. 10:34/mile. CrossFit: WOD – 40 calorie bike followed by 4 rounds – 8 split jerks (45 lbs.) and 8 dead lifts (85 lbs). This was hard. Dead lifts are hard for me. I have improved so much in my back squat, in really almost everything I have done in CrossFit except for the deadlift. I was supposed to do five rounds and could only manage four in 19 minutes 8 seconds.

11 – 22 : Thanksgiving! You know what this means…Turkey Trot! I was not planning on running one and then decided at the last minute to run the hometown trot. I’m glad I did, because I did much better than I thought I would be able to and felt damn good too. 3.15 miles in exactly 28 minutes, around 9ish per mile. Race report here.

11 – 23 : REST.

11 – 24 : REST.

11 – 25 : 60 minute run, 5.5 miles. 10:57/mile.

Totals: Miles run – 17.2 miles, 3 hours. CrossFit, 2 hours. 5 hours.

Onward to next week!

xo, Ali

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The One with the Baby News

blogging, books, daily life, Harry Potter, health, pregnancy, running

Ok, ok so it has been almost three months since I have posted and with good reason too!

Things have been going on. And I am very happy to say that all of them are good.

I left you September 5 with some thoughts on working from home. Soon after, I ran Run Woodstock 5k and half-marathon. I ran just ok, actually terribly. I ran that race a half hour slower than I did at Run Legend. I knew it would be harder, but that I was that much slower bummed me out. I felt tired and exhausted. I had no idea why. I thought, perhaps, I was over-trained. This is probably true. I took some time off running.

runwoodstock

Me after the Hippie Half-Marathon at Run Woodstock. Probably pregnant here!

I focused on teaching and my dissertation. I only have two more classes to teach right now and all my dissertation chapters are approved — I need do some edits and revisions, but I should be able to defend in February!

A little over two weeks after Run Woodstock, I still felt tired and exhausted. I was starting to get a little suspicious. On a Wednesday morning, I asked Bruno if we could pop by a Walgreens to grab a pregnancy test before we went to campus. Later that morning, I informed Bruno that yes, I was indeed pregnant. Very pregnant. Those lines were dark!

I’ll admit that I was surprised, but very pleased. We had wanted to start having kids as soon as we knew that I would have my dissertation done before baby no. 1 arrived, so the timing is very good (especially now that chapter five is approved). Baby C is due next year in early June. I will be waddling across that stage mid-May to get my Ph.D. diploma. Proudly waddling.

I want to be careful about how I write what I say next, especially because I know that I am very blessed and happy to be pregnant. I do not want to seem like I am complaining thoughtlessly or without compassion for women who have been struggling to get pregnant or who have lost babies.

That said, from about three days after I found out I was pregnant until probably about a week or two ago, I was having a very hard time. Normally, I’m an anxious person, but the increase of hormones made me well, frankly, depressed. I felt like a complete mess of vomit for the last several weeks and felt sick all the time. I could barely eat anything, barely cook anything because the smell of anything sent me running (the only running I did) to the toilet or trashcan. I regularly had severe headaches and was exhausted. I know. I know. All of this is normal. Many have gone through this before me and will do so afterwards. I feel silly for even complaining. And I’m lucky, happy, etc., but I would be lying if I said it was not hard.

The little energy I had was directed to prepping for class and crawling to the finish of writing this fifth chapter. I barely did anything else. I have no idea how women who go to regular jobs do it. There was a week that aside for teaching Tuesday night class, I barely left the house because I was afraid I would spend most of that time in a public restroom getting sick. This did little for the depression problem.

Quick shout out to Bruno for taking care of the majority of cooking and cleaning and having incredible patience during this time. Marry a man who, when you are having a meltdown because of how terrible you feel and how you feel bad for having a meltdown for how terrible you feel, surprises you by taking you to get a professional massage that very afternoon. Then, for his birthday, when you regain your ability to function like an actual human being bake him a layered coconut buttercream cake.

I feel better. I only get really sick every three days now, instead of what felt like every hour. Full disclosure: I worked with an orange Home Depot bucket that said “Let’s Do This!” next to my computer for just in case. I still went to CrossFit about 2-3 times a week, but the week before last I started running again. Last week I ran a Turkey Trot 5k. I am cooking again. I went on a full-blown baking spree last week in the kitchen. I’m doing my holiday re-read of Harry Potter. Rejoice! I am starting to feel, at least for now, like myself again. It feels good.

With that said, I’m hoping to finish the 2018 year of blogging and running strong. I am interested to see how running as a pregnant lady goes. It will be a new chapter in my life, one that I’m very happy to begin.

pregnant

xo, Ali

Monday Miles : August 27 – September 2, 2018

crossfit, monday miles, running

Kind of a dud week. As I mentioned last week, I sprained my back. Even though it was recommended to me to not rest, I just felt so wiped out that I ended up resting anyway. It was not that my back was unbearable, but it was just that I had no “oomph.” My legs felt exhausted in not the good way. So, I decided to step it off. I’m a little bummed, because I’m not sure what this will mean for my 10k goals, but I already achieved what I wanted to achieve this year. Time off is fine.

I feel much better this week, although my back still pinches a bit. I’m still doing the Run Woodstock Funky Bus 5k on Friday and Hippie Half on Saturday, but only for fun. Even if it ends up being just a hike in the woods, I’ll be totally satisfied. I don’t expect a PR. And I’m not planning on running until this weekend, giving my legs lots of time off.

8-27 : Rest.

8-28 : Run. 4 miles. 9:53/mile. This run felt fine, but this is when I started noticing problems. I could hardly walk without pain the rest of the day. My left lower back felt like it seized up every few steps.

8-29 : CrossFit. WOD (heavily adapted for my back/lazy glutes) – 30 calories on rower. 25 burpees to bar. 40 single-arm presses. 10 lbs. 45 single-leg “squats.” On a single-leg sit down and get back up again. Turn those glutes on, baby! 25 box step-overs. I seriously have no idea how high my box was…just assume the shortest one. 110 foot tumbler pull. 135 lbs. Around 15:50 minutes. The calorie row and the burpees were the worst part for me. When I am on that assault bike, I swear that calorie counter refused to budge. We were give two minutes to do the 30 calories and I just barely made it. And burpees. Winded, every time. It was a fun work out though. I was glad to be able to do something with my back problems.

8-30 : Run. 4.85 miles. 9:15/mile. For the most part, I felt significantly better on this run. My back did not hurt at all, but I just felt tired. Very, very tired.

8-31 : Run. 2.65 miles. First two miles around 10:00/mile. I walked the rest. It felt so hard and I was running so easy. So, I just decided I was done. No running until Run Woodstock. It is time for a break.

9-1 : Yoga with Adriene for Lower Back.

9-2 : Yoga with Adriene for Lower Back and Hips.

Totals: Run – Around 11 miles. CrossFit – 1 hour.

Plans for this week: lots of yoga. No running until Run Woodstock. Take it easy.

xo, Ali

Bound for the Floor (Strengthening Those Glutes)

crossfit, running

On Tuesday morning I went for a four mile run. I felt fine. It was nothing difficult, just a quick jog before we went to work on campus. I felt stiff for the first mile, a common occurrence lately. I loosened up, finished the run, no problems. I did some legs up the wall after the shower. All was fine.

As I was walking to campus I felt it: a back spasm in my left side. My lower back began to dully ache. I kept walking, but every few steps my back would spasm again. It was like a jolt through my lower back and butt. Walking began to hurt. I thought it would go away. It proceeded to get more and more painful, because you know, I just sit around all day working on my dissertation. You know your back and hips love sitting.

So, yesterday I went to see a chiropractor. I haven’t seen one in years. I also have not seen my massage therapist since June. I’m also guilty of starting to neglect the little mobility things I’ve been doing to keep things moving nice and easy. He told me what I already knew. My left hip is tight. My left glute is not firing. My right leg is behaving nicely, but it is always that left leg that I have problems with.

After some stretching and some bone cracking, I was out the door. I was still sore, but my back was no longer spasming. I could not walk to the chiropractor from my house, but I could walk back.

I’ll be bound for the floor with hip bridges, single-leg bridges, side-bridges, and clamshells trying to get my glutes to fire. Thankfully, thankfully, my doctor told me that time off was not going to help fix my back pain. Instead I really needed to make sure my glutes are turned on before I did anything like running and lifting especially because I do a lot of lifting. I was so scared I was going to told to take time off. I like this plan better.

I went to CrossFit yesterday and I adapted some things. I did not squats, but mainly practiced sitting on a box and getting back up again to fire things up. That said, I did plenty of burpees to bar. I think that’s enough, right?

Today my back is still sore, but I can tell things are improving. I plan on hitting the floor before I hit the pavement this afternoon for a run. Here’s to hoping for the best!

xo, Ali

Monday Miles : August 20-26, 2018

lifting, monday miles, running, swimming, training, triathlon

The triathlon did happen! There was about an hour delay because of the lightning, but as we started getting closer to ten in the morning, the storms cleared up. I’ll write more on that in my race report for tomorrow as it was quite a day.

The next races I have are the Funky Bus 5k and Hippie Half-marathon at Run Woodstock. I have been planning on running those for fun though and will mainly transition for training for a later fall 10k. The plan is to still maintain swimming and biking once a week. It was nice not just running, even though running will always be my favorite. Hopefully in the spring or next summer, I will do a sprint triathlon. I’m not sure if I would be ready for an Olympic distance. Someday, but I would like to do a few sprints first.

This week brought me back to the track for the first time in a few months. I took it easy on CrossFit getting ready for Saturday’s race. I feel good!

8 – 20 : Morning. Swim. 100m drills, 100m breast stroke. 3 rounds of 1x 100 meter free-style, 2x 50m free-style. 200m free-style and breast stroke. 1000m.

8 – 21 : Afternoon. Run. Easy 3.5 miles. 10:22/mile pace. CrossFit. WOD: for time, 20 ring-rows, 30 over-head squats, 20 ring-rows, 20 over-head squats, 20 ring-rows, 10 over-head squats, 20 ring-rows. Over-head squats are no joke! I started out using a bar bell during my warm-up and the coach told me it might be best for me to switch to a PVC pipe. I trusted his wisdom. It was the right move, because there is no way I would have been able to get through that even with a bar. 11 minutes 36 seconds. Romwod.

8 – 22 : Morning. 1 mile warm-up. 6x 400 meters with a 200m “float.” 1 mile cool-down. I tried to maintain between 7:30-7:40 pace for all my 400m. I think I was mostly successful. The work-out called for 8 repeats, but at around 8 in the morning, the football team started showing up and frankly, I kind of felt silly being out there. So I left and continued my run before heading back home. Next time I’ll show up to the track a little earlier. 4 miles.

8 – 23 : Rest ‘n Romwod.

8 – 24 : Rest ‘n Romwod.

8 – 25 : Coldwater Mini-Triathlon! 300 yard swim, 6 mile bike, and 3 mile run. As of right now, I still do not have my time (although I can say I ran a 9/mile average pace for run…my first mile was so slow!). Romwod.

8 – 26 : 5 miles. 9:46/mile. It was so humid my glasses kept fogging up throughout my run. I swear in places I did not even know I could sweat.

Totals : 1 hour CrossFit, 1275m swam, 6 miles biked, 15.5 miles run.

xo, Ali

‘Twas the Eve Before my First Triathlon Eve

cycling, goals, races, running, swimming, training, triathlon

The weather forecast warns of storms on Saturday. I keep checking and the storms remain. I’m hoping for a brighter day for my first triathlon, the 34th Annual Robert Huntley Memorial Mini-Triathlon in Coldwater, Michigan, this Saturday. Even rain is fine. I do not want another cancellation. I could not find a replacement sprint triathlon for my original plan. I do not think I can find a replacement any-distance triathlon that would not involve extra travel.

I’m happy I found this race. What I read about it makes it sound like the perfect triathlon for someone like me, a beginner who has no idea what she is doing. It is a local race. The profits go to the cross country team. I’m excited to be a part of it. I’m excited to swim the 300 yards, bike the six miles, and run the three miles that will take me to my first triathlon finish.

That said, I have no idea what to expect. I have no goals other than to just go by feel and see what happens. Mainly, I am trying to see this as a learning experience. I want to learn how to do transitions. I want to learn what it is like to race my bike, and I want to get comfortable swimming in the open water again. I want to do well, but I’m trying to keep my expectations minimal and one step at a time.

It is hard not to think of the future as I plan for this race. It was not necessarily what I had planned. I wanted to do a sprint triathlon. But I think the big thing I am going to have to focus on is just staying present. Yes, doing this triathlon will help when I finally do a sprint next year. But I also am racing this race. I want to be in this race too both mentally and physically. I do not want to future-trip through it the whole time.

That said, I have a vague idea of what I’m hoping: under one hour. I have no idea if that is feasible. I could be severely over-estimating what I think could happen. I do not think I am under-estimating. We’ll see.

Tomorrow I’ll get Cat (the bike) ready and get everything set up. I’ll have my fingers crossed for good weather the whole time. Rain is fine, but storms can stay away. This runner wants to become a triathlete.

xo, Ali

 

 

Monday Miles : August 13-19, 2018

crossfit, lifting, monday miles, running, training, triathlon

This is the week of the Coldwater Mini-Triathlon. I’ll be taking it a little bit easy this week, so I can make sure everything feels good for that day. I do not really have any goals other than to see what I can do. I’m more nervous about the transitions and making sure I have the gear right than anything at the moment. I placed an order from Decathlon last week which arrived today. I now own a tri suit, a pair of bike shorts, and two cycling jerseys. Am I a real cyclist yet? I have yet to try them on or try them out, but I’m really looking forward to it.

Here are this week’s workouts!

8 – 13 – 18 : Morning – Bike. I did an out and back. I went out for a half an hour, but returning back was a little bit quicker. I was also chased by a dog. Luckily, I’m faster on my bike than when I run. Still, it was a little startling. I’m always afraid I’m going to do something that will cause me to fall off my bike. That day will likely come, but it won’t come because of a dog, but because of myself. I am a klutz. 14 miles. 14.7 mph. Afternoon – CrossFit. “Fibonacci.” For time: 5, 8, 13 reps of pike push-ups, dead lifts at 100 lbs. Then to finish, lunge 89 feet with two ten pound dumb-bells in the air. My notes say : “Holy hell — not sure if I did the pike push-ups correctly, will have to keep working on them. Dead lifts were fine, but those lunges were TERRIBLE.” Truly. Those lunges and pike push-ups were hard, but I did not know what hard was until those lunges. 9 minutes 44 seconds. Romwod.

8 – 14 – 18 : Afternoon – Run. Three miles. 9:48/mile. CrossFit. The work-out was supposed to be a “Complex Fran,” but because I cannot do anything for it was more of a “modified Fran.” For time: 15 band-assisted pull-ups, 21 thrusters at 55 lbs.; 12 band-assisted pull-ups; 15 thrusters; 9 band-assisted pull-ups; 9 thrusters. 11 minutes 44 seconds. I was very happy to be done with this one.

8 – 15 – 18 : Morning – Run. Tempo. 35 minutes. 3.7 miles. 9:15/mile average. I wanted to keep all miles under 9 minutes and mainly succeeded except for the third mile which was super hilly.

8 – 16 – 18 : Afternoon – Run. 3 miles. 10:11/mile. CrossFit. Strength — Back squats: 5 @ 85 lbs.; 4 @ 105 lbs.; 3 @ 105 lbs.; four minutes to attempt one rep max. I’m still at 125 lbs. I tried 135 lbs., but failed. WOD – 15 back squats @ 85 lbs.; 30 box jump overs @ 20″. 3 minutes 16 seconds. I liked this work out. It was fast and fun.

8 – 17 – 18 : Rest.

8 – 18 – 18 : Romwod.

8 – 19 -18 : Morning – Run. 4 miles. 10:08 mile.

xo, Ali

All [I] Need is Just a Little Patience

goals, races, running, training, triathlon

I mentioned last week that I was seriously considering running the Freak 50k at Run Woodstock instead of the Hippie Half. I ran sixteen miles and planned out two more long runs and figured it would not be pretty, but I could get it done. I still stand by that. I know I could get it done. But I do not want to just get it done. I want to get it done well.

I had a plan. I wanted to do a mini-triathlon in Coldwater, Michigan as a replacement for the sprint triathlon I had planned for late September. I thought very seriously about training for something more, a marathon or a 50k. But then decided against it. Running has been going so well. I did not want to jump the gun. I wanted to have patience.

Patience involved going shorter instead of going longer. Rather than find some later fall marathon or 50k, I found Michigan’s Holiday series trio of races (schedule permitting — but you know I want that magic mug!) – a Halloween 10k, a Turkey Trot 5k, and a Christmas 5k. Rather than focus on endurance, which I know I have, I wanted to focus on speed. It would be a literal change of pace.

Then the possibility of this 50k came up. It isn’t like visions of grandeur popped in my mind, but as I said, I have been wanting to be an ultramarathoner since I graduated college. This is a life goal, like finishing my Ph.D. or writing a book. The temptation to put a “checkmark” next to it is strong.

But honestly, as I told Bruno, it would not be the same. I do not just want to run an ultra. I want the process of training specifically for an ultra too. I want to think about the training and hard work I put in while running. I do not want to break the ultimate running commandment: respect the distance. I don’t want to blow up at mile twenty and have to walk the last eleven miles. I do not want to injure myself. I want to do this right.

So, I picked out a 10k plan. I have a time goal (more on that later). I’ll do my first triathlon in a little less then two weeks. Then, I’ll run the Woodstock half and have a good time listening to classic rock. I will celebrate that I have been able to run this year. I will have gratitude instead of trying to push it.

I will eventually run an ultramarathon. Maybe the next year. Maybe the year after. They are not going anywhere. I’ll take it slow. It will work itself out fine. All I need is just a little patience.

xo, Ali

 

Monday Miles (100th post!) : August 6 – 12, 2018

blogging, crossfit, cycling, monday miles, races, running, training

Today is my 100th post! When I started this blog back in February, I wanted something to add to my day that was not just graduate school related. Don’t get me wrong. I love graduate school. I love Rousseau and political theory, but I wanted something else to add to the day that would help bring the stress down and to help me remember I’m not only a student. In return, it has added some more fun to my day that is not just mindlessly scrolling the internet (so guilty).

It is strange how much has changed in one hundred posts. Back then I was working on my third chapter of my dissertation. Now I am working on my final chapter, chapter five. Then, I had not ran a race in two years. In the time I have been writing this blog, I have raced four. Then, no CrossFit, just on and off lifting. Now, I have been doing CrossFit for three and a half months. When my brother saw me yesterday (for the first time since January), his first words were, “Jeez! Triceps!” (Excuse me, while my ego explodes.) In the day to day, when I do not think progress anywhere is being made, it is nice to look back and see that actually a lot has happened. I’ve accomplished a lot in these one hundred posts. Who knows where I’ll be in the next one hundred?

So, yes, to the main purpose of this post: this week of training.

8/6/18 : Yoga with Adriene: Yoga for Tired Legs. Romwod. I was still exhausted from Saturday. I just wanted to focus on stretching and getting my hamstrings feeling better.

8/7/18 : Morning – Leg shake out. Bike 30 minutes. This was so slow. 4.8 miles. Yoga with Adriene for Cyclists. Afternoon – CrossFit. Back squats. Find eight rep max, every three minutes for five rounds. Round 1 – 65 lbs.; 2 – 85 lbs.; 3 – 95 lbs.; 4 – 105 lbs.; 5 – 110 lbs. I fought hard those last eight reps. Keep in my mind my last 1-rep-max was I think 123 pounds, so it is probably higher now? I love back squats. Front squats – every two minutes for five sets, three front squats with one thruster. Round 1 – 43 lbs.; 2 – 53 lbs.; 3 – 63 lbs.; 4 – 73 lbs.; 5 – 78 lbs. I like these too. My wrists hurt a little bit after, but I was told that would go away as I gained more forearm strength. Romwod.

8/8/18 : The impromptu sixteen-miler. Good lord. This may have not been the best decision, but I’m glad I did it. My legs were already tired and I did more than I thought possible in three hours. I’m most likely not going to run that 50k, but I’m looking at a possible race later in the fall. More on that later though.

8/9/18 : I could do no more than Romwod.

8/10/18 : Romwod again.

8/11/18 : CrossFit. Also, known as the work out where I’m pretty sure Bruno and I got lapped. This was a partner wod and Bruno is a little further ahead in his ability to do pull-ups than I am, so this was kind of a mess in trying to do everything synchronized. Still, it ended up being a good work-out. Here is what I managed in a little under 20 minutes: 4x 10 ring-rows, 200 meter run. 3x 17 jumping pull-ups, 200m run. It was ugly, but it still happened. Romwod.

8/12/18 : Rest. Sweet rest. Bruno rolled my legs out and that is about all we did. Glorious.

Totals : 16 miles ran, 4.8 miles cycled, 2 hours CrossFit. Pretty good for a recovery-ish week.

xo, Ali

 

 

 

 

 

 

Impromptu Sixteen Mile Run

goals, running, training

One of the friends who ran the half-marathon with us wants to run the 50k at Run Woodstock. In fact, from what his wife told Bruno yesterday at CrossFit, it sounds like he will probably do it. Which, of course, made me want to do it. Not to race it, of course. I have not trained for that, but only to complete. I’m on the fence about it all.

Yesterday we went out for a three hour run. I told him that if we were going to do this, time on our feet would be most important. The race is five weeks away. Both of us are reasonably fit people although probably have not put in the mileage to finish a 50k well. I’m placing my faith right now in Jason Koop who says only six hours of training for three weeks is required to finish a 50k. Finish. The plan for the three hour run was to run four miles, then walk five minutes. This was based on the actual race where aid stations are approximately four miles apart. We went on the hilliest country road I knew and took off.

I felt fine, although my legs were tired, until the last twenty minutes. Everything hit me: the half-marathon I raced on Saturday, the 110 pounds I back-squatted the previous day, and general graduate school stress. I gutted it out, running/walking 16.1 miles in three hours. 1 loop for the race.

I feel ok today although the most I will be doing is a short bike ride later this afternoon and a lot of stretching, if anything. I still have not decided if I will switch from the half-marathon to the 50k. It feels bold, like who am I to do that? I have not really trained for that. But then again, as my mom put it, if I keep my expectations in check, go very slow (even slower than yesterday’s 16 mile run), I might be ok. I’m not sure. I have no doubt in my mind that I could finish. My fear is more about who am I to just do this, to just try it, to just see. I respect the miles. I respect the distance. I expect to be humbled. I expect to hurt.

The ultimate decision will rest on how well I recover from yesterday. My right hamstring bothered me, but my right hamstring is always bothering me. I feel stiff, but mostly fine. I did not feel like my energy was gutted like I hit a brick wall. I took a nap later in the day, but that was several hours after the run. Last night I fell asleep sure that I would email and ask if I could change races. This morning I wonder if I’m out of my mind.

I will say this. Even if I do not end up running the 50k, I discovered myself much stronger than I thought. I have not run sixteen miles in three years. If you would have asked me last week if I could run sixteen miles, I would have said no, even though I have been half-marathon capable since March. I don’t even think I would have thought myself capable of that at the beginning of this year. Even if I end up (probably responsibly) deciding not to run the 50k, I surprised and impressed myself yesterday. I can do more.

xo, Ali