Tuesday Tracks, Week 7

musicrunner

Time for new tunes!  Each week I will post seven songs, one for each day, to amp your workout.  No particular theme; just the tracks I’m currently enjoying.  Song seven will be a track for cool down and stretch.

 

Let me know if you have a favorite tune you would like to share!

1.  Queen, “Don’t Stop Me Now”

Nothing like a little Queen to get you warmed up!

2.  Mandisa, “Overcomer”

Another anthem song in which we are reminded that we are not going under.  Note to self: listen to this track in mile 22 of your marathon!

3.  Kanye West, “Stronger”

I mean, really.  Just run and run fast.

4.  Emimen, “Till I Collapse”

My playlist could be made up exclusively of Eminem because his bad ass lyrics get me going.  Explicit lyrics, BTW, if you have sensitive ears.

5.  Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “Runnin’ Down a Dream”

This track gets my FB gal pal Wendy going, and it has been on my rotation since she recommended it!

6.  Chromeo, “Over Your Shoulder”

Catchy track for mid-run, when you’re groovin’ and have hit your stride.

7.  America, “A Horse With No Name”

I love this melodic track and it is fitting after a long run.

 

Tuesday Tracks, Week 6

musicrunner

 

Friends, I’m a day late, but here are your Tuesday (er…Wednesday) tracks!

Time for new tunes!  Each week I will post seven songs, one for each day, to amp your workout.  No particular theme; just the tracks I’m currently enjoying.  Song seven will be a track for cool down and stretch.

Let me know if you have a favorite tune you would like to share!

1.  “The Bad in Each Other,” Feist

It takes a full minute for the song to start in this video, so just fast forward a bit to get to the GOOD stuff.  I love the off tempo and Feist’s voice is just gorgeous.

2.  “Free Bird,” Lynyrd Skynard

Take this tune on a longer run when you’re on open road and watch your tempo pick up as the guitar solos rage!

3.  “Burn it Down,” Linkin Park

I have heard critics say this isn’t “real” Linkin Park, and as fan from their start, I agree.  But it is a great track anyway.  🙂

4.  “All That I Know,” OCD: Moosh & Twist

I like this track for hills because the tempo is just right for me.

5.  “Pumpin’ Blood,” NONONO

This is one of those inspirational anthem songs that motivate me toward the end of runs.  “This is your heart…it’s alive…it’s pumpin’ blood!”

6.  “Spanish Guitar (H2Q Club Mix),” Toni Braxton

Another long track for a long empty road.  I used this one a ton when training for my last marathon, especially if I had a downhill portion to fly down.

7.  “Patience,” Guns n’ Roses

Just a beautiful track to cool it down.

A Throwback

If you are on Facebook, you know about Throwback Thursday.  People post “old” pictures of themselves, their kids, their pets, etc.  I have never participated in this … until today.

With having a Facebook page dedicated to fitness, I have joined a community of people who are transforming their lives.  They run, they CrossFit, they eat clean and count points.  They post wonderful endless pictures of their transformations.

Today it is my turn.  Something motivated me to open the photo archives and find a picture of the “old Teresa.”  This picture is from my 26th birthday in 2006.  160+ pounds.  Pre-LASIK.  Pre-fitness.  Pre-running.

Throwback

I was happy!  I was confident!  I loved myself, truly.  But today I love myself more.  The new me is stronger and healthier.  I like my transformation.

🙂

Workout July 23: Treadmill Incline

Remember that treadmill incline run last week that I couldn’t finish?  No?  Oh RIGHT, because the blog was down and I didn’t post about it.  Last Saturday, I had this same workout on the schedule: nine miles, speed 7.4, incline 1.5%.  Last week I was total spent by mile 6.  At mile 7, I quit.  Yes.  I just stopped.  I felt guilty for not finishing.  I added the two miles to my run the following day, so not all was lost.  But quitting got in my head.

So when I saw that the same drill was on the schedule for today, I was worried.  I know my coach did it on purpose: he wanted me to conquer this one.

And, friends, I almost didn’t make it today.  The .5% difference in incline really got me and I couldn’t keep the speed up.  My warm up was hard.  The first two miles were hard, so I slowed the speed to 7.3, then 7.2.  I told myself to get to 5 miles and I could get a walk break.  I did and took a quick walk.  Amazing how those quick breaks make a huge difference!

I got back into it.  “Go, just go just go,” I repeated to myself.  But I was fully ready to stop at 8 miles; I started to slow down the treadmill.  Then I remembered last week.  How I had quit.  And I pushed that last mile.  I finished strong and it felt great.

worthit

Treadmill= 1.5%

  • 1 mile W/UP @ 7-7.2 (HR 143)
  • 4 miles 7.2 – 7.3 (HR 148, 150, 157, 159)
  • .15 mile walk break
  • 4 miles 7.2 – 7.4 (HR 151, 158, 158, 151)

 

Total miles = 9

Total run time = 1:14:24

Average HR = 153

RPE = 9

Date & Cashew Bars

Time for a treat, folks.  Running is hard and we deserve something tasty!

homeadelarabar
 

Earlier this week, my little ones and I made these delicious Date & Cashew bars from Super Healthy Kids, a terrific website with excellent recipes for kids and adults alike. The “recipe” could not be easier. You take 8-9 dates, pit them and roughly chop them. If they aren’t fresh and sticky, you will want to soak them in warm water for a few minutes to soften them. Put them in your food processor.

Add half a cup of cashews. Blend until everything is a nice chunky paste that sticks together.

We then added pumpkin and chia seeds and a nice sprinkle of cinnamon. Then the kids rolled them into balls and we rolled them in unsweetened shredded coconut.

These feel like a huge indulgence but are full of fiber and natural sweetness. Enjoy!

Workouts July 18: Track & Spin

Fridays and Saturdays for the next two weeks I will be doing two-a-days! Two workouts, two times to be awesome!

PART 1:
Early morning track workout! Getting on the high school track is like a big “f-you” to my high school self, who could never imagine running, let alone running 11.5 miles in 1:34. My legs were tired to start, but they warmed up nicely. Today’s workout added two endurance laps to the drill; they felt good in the first round and insanely hard on the last round. And the last tempo laps were super tough. But I pushed through it to finish really strong in the last lap! Got down to 6:15 on the last lap.

track clouds
My own personal slice of heaven!
 

On my recovery laps, going slow enough to get my heart rate under 140 felt awkwardly slow. My knees hurt and I found myself getting tight in the neck and shoulders. So I found a happy medium to let the HR come down while still keeping a good stride.

1. 4 lap warm up HR 135-140 (HR = 131, pace 9:27)

2. Main set, repeat 3 times:
o 6 laps endurance HR 150-160 (R1 HR = 152, pace 8:07; R2 HR = 152, pace 8:04; R3 HR = 152, pace 8:20)
o 4 laps tempo HR 160-165 (R1 HR = 161, pace 7:31; R2 HR = 163, pace 7:20; R3 HR = 162, pace 7:34)
o 4 laps recovery HR below 140 (R1 HR = 147, pace 9:11; R2 HR 147, pace 9:18; R3 HR = 142; pace 9:15)

3. Cool down = quarter mile walking (not counted in time or mileage)

Total miles: 11.5
Total running time: 1:34:01
RPE: 8

PART 2:
Evening spin class and isometrics! I coached four sets of rolling hills tonight and my legs were super kicked by the end. I skipped the lunges in my usual isometrics set and opted for some extra ab work instead.

Isometrics, 3 rounds:
• Big ball plank, 30 sec each direction
• Crab walk, 25 each direction
• 20 calf raises each leg
• 20 hamstring curls
• 20 reverse crunches

Cycle time: 1:05
Total workout time: 1:19
RPE: 6-7

Workout July 17: Treadmill Progressive Run

Today was a rough day.  My almost-four, Elsa-loving daughter came down with Hand, Foot and Mouth, a highly contagious virus, and we had to cancel her eagerly awaited “Frozen” birthday party.  She was CRUSHED.   I was heart broken.  And the last thing I felt like doing was going for a run.

But to the treadmill I went anyway, leaving the little ones with my mama, who they adore and who cheers them up beyond belief.

The run seemed doomed at the start.  I forgot to charge my Garmin, so I didn’t have heart rate data.  I felt naked.  Then, in the first three miles, my upper body was so tense and stressed that my neck got tight and my hand went numb (this happens when I get stressed).

But I focused on my breath.  I watched my feet land on the treadmill.  I bumped up my speed.  Slowly, I relaxed.  I found my stride.  I cleared my mind.  And it felt great.  I can’t change my daughter being sick or having to see her sad, but I can control my run.  So I ran it out.  Over 9 miles, I ran everything out.

Woman running by the ocean beach at sunset

And, side note: it is a bad idea to have black beans for lunch before a faster run.  The poor people around me…sorry, everyone.  Ha!

Treadmill= 1 %

  • 1 mile W/UP @ 7-7.2
  • 2 miles @ 7.7
  • 1 mile @ 8.1
  • 2 miles @ 7.7
  • 1/4 mile walk-hydration
  • 3 miles: first mile was 7.7, then I bumped up to 7.8 because I felt I had a bit more.  No HR data to confirm
  • ¼ mile walk cool down

Isometrics, 1 round:

  • Big ball plank, 30 sec each direction
  • Crab walk, 25 each direction
  • 20 walking lunges each leg
  • 20 calf raises each leg
  • 20 hamstring curls

Total miles: 9

Total run time: 1:10:23

Total workout time, including walk break and isometrics: 1:22

Workout July 16: Track (and data analysis!)

Track workout today.  It was the perfect morning for laps: overcast and cool, but warm enough to not be freezing.  Mixed endurance, tempo, and recovery for nice variety!  I finished 40 laps (10 miles) in 1:21.  Then I did my isometrics on the fun astroturf.  See my workout breakdown, below.

trackjuly16

Empty track and overcast sky!  Perfect conditions.

I am very fortunate to have a Garmin Forerunner 910X and I love it.  But today it seemed to be confused by my laps.  It seemed to have trouble tracking the mileage even though it had found satellites.  Has anyone else experienced this during track workouts or otherwise?

Given my watch issues, I’m not certain that the pace information is 100% accurate.  Regardless, it is super fun to look at my data (I am a HUGE data geek!!).  Looking at my HR and pace data, I can see that my endurance pace can be a bit faster because I never quite hit my endurance HR zone (150-160); I stayed right below or at 150 for the endurance laps.  My tempo pace is about right (target HR zone is 160-165), but I can also push a little faster because I have room on the HR.  And my recovery pace is on point, except for the last round where I just wanted to be done and took it faster.  Isn’t data neat?!

THE DATA

  • 4 lap warm up (HR = 131, pace 9:26)
  • Main set, repeat 3 times

o   4 laps endurance HR 150-160 (Round 1 HR = 141, pace 8:28; R2 HR = 147, pace 8:26; R3 HR = 150, pace 8:10)

o   4 laps tempo HR 160-165 (R1 HR = 160, pace unknown; R2 HR = 163, pace 7:20; R2 HR 163, pace 7:26)

o   4 laps recovery HR below 140 (R1HR = 140, pace 9:18; R2 HR = 145, pace 9:24; R3 HR = 152, pace 8:52)

Total miles = 10

Total run time = 1:21

Average pace overall = 8:06

RPE = 6-7

Isometrics, 3 rounds:

  • No medicine ball, so did regular plank for 1 min
  • 20 walking lunges each leg
  • 20 calf raises each leg
  • 20 single leg lift bridge each leg (no medicine ball for hamstring curls)

I forgot my resistance bands in the morning, so I will do  4 sets of crab walk (25 feet out and back) at night.

Workout July 15: Quarter Mile Speed Drills

This morning’s workout was one of my favorite treadmill drills: ¾ mile at endurance speed and a quarter mile as fast as I can go, or what my coach calls “threshold speed.”  Followed that with 15 minutes of stairs because…why not?!

We had a rough night last night because my daughter, nearly 4, had a raging high fever and needed lots of TLC and cold wash clothes and popsicles.  I came into the workout tired to start, having gotten maybe 3 hours of sleep.  I treated myself to a chocolate Gu with caffeine, which is a very rare thing for me (both the Gu and the caffeine!).

empty

Even still,  at 4 miles in, I was totally spent.  My legs were heavy and my brain was shouting at me to stop.  But I kept going anyway.  The threshold quarter mile felt easier than the ¾ mile at endurance speed.  All in my head, I think.  Good run overall, but now I’m more than ready for bed and it is only 2:30 in the afternoon.  *whew*

Treadmill= 1%

  • 1 mile warm up, 7.2  [HR = 140]
  • 7 miles: 3/4 mile at endurance speed (7.3-7.4), 1/4 mile at treadmill thresholds (8.5 to 9) [HR = 145, 157, 161, 163, 162, 165, 166]
  • 15 min. Stairs @ 80 rpm [HR= 151]

Total miles = 8

Total run time = 1:03

Total workout time = 1:18:29

RPE: 7-8 (8 on quarter mile fast)