Category Archives: 2014 Adventures

Day 14 of the Holiday Challenge: Aqua Fartleks

cardiozones
Outdoor running zones

For today’s thought challenge — Can an aqua running workout yield the same cardio intensity as running outdoors on pavement?  Today I would put this question to the test with some measure of objectivity.

To clarify – aqua running workouts are invigorating – but they still land short of the real deal.  When running outdoors, my RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) feels lower at the start, and much higher toward the end.   And when I load all that good data from my Garmin – my RPE is generally spot on.

Continue reading Day 14 of the Holiday Challenge: Aqua Fartleks

Day 13 of the Holiday Challenge: 13.1 mile mental test

My running volume has considerably diminished from marathon levels – less than 2 months ago.  Since the NYC Marathon on November 2, my longest run was one half marathon (13.1 miles) on November 23.     Since then….even less.   And while I’ve enjoyed changing up my routine – especially with my thought rut challenge – I signed up to run a virtual half marathon.   The Polar Bear Run —  a 13.1 mile charity fundraiser run that I could do anytime and anyplace  between Christmas and New Years.

The funny thing about running, is the less distance you run – the more your mind is convinced that anything longer is a really big deal.   In the last month – my long runs have peaked at 9 miles.  Despite the fact that I was running a 1/2 marathon+more each week for 5 months,  I’m not entirely convinced now that I can run 13.1 miles.  Continue reading Day 13 of the Holiday Challenge: 13.1 mile mental test

Day 12 of the Holiday Challenge: A new twist on an old route

16117978692_eb97116ab9_z(1)My day had the makings of ‘busy’.  The novelty of laying low for the holidays was quickly wearing off – and an impromptu family gathering at my home later in the afternoon had me scrambling.  The house would need some tidying, quick stops to the grocery store, cooking and entertaining.   And all of that simply means — the workout must begin somewhere around OH dark hundred.

The necessities of a busy day translated into the need for a good kick-start, efficient, cardio blaster workout.  I was ready to proceed with “same-o”.  That same-o route, that I knew would get the job done.  At 0700 – my creative mind has not kicked in.  Thought ruts are deeply entrenched.   Thankfully – my Workout-Partner-In-Crime (WPIC) Jill had this angle covered for me — and suggested that we mix some new route with the old route.  And maybe a twist on the format could evolve? Continue reading Day 12 of the Holiday Challenge: A new twist on an old route

Day 10-11 of the Holiday Challenge: Lopsided legs

Day 10 of my thought rut challenge fell on Christmas Day.  Initially I had planned to run a half marathon – a virtual run for charity.  This would be a new adventure – running 13.1 miles on Christmas Day.  Never have I done that.  However, the gift and food coma thing took over earlier that I anticipated – so I allowed myself to take off an entire day from exercise.  Mostly.  Squeaked in a little 2 mile walk.  And followed that by way too much food consumption.  It is what it is.

Day 11 of my thought challenge had me curious about a recent injury to my left hamstring.  It occurred at the end of a tempo run.  I was lucky.  It wasn’t a debilitating injury – but more of a wake up call.  A wake up that I needed to be spending more time strengthening and stretching before and after I run.  A wake up call that I took seriously.   I do not want to be sidelined from running.  Period. Continue reading Day 10-11 of the Holiday Challenge: Lopsided legs

Day 9 of the Holiday Challenge: Return to basics

gogglesI must admit, my lackluster swim performance upon returning to the pool from a 6 month sabbatical – had me thinking.  Am I really out of swim shape?   My immediate reaction is yes!   Swimming and Running really don’t have a lot in common.   These are distinct sports with specific demands.

Yet, it’s possible there is another answer.  Is it possible that my exhausting return to swimming was a result of a technique malfunction?   Have I forgotten the nuances of technique – paying attention to the little details?   Today, Christmas eve – just hours before the pool closes – I would return to the pool to find out.

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Day 8 of the Holiday Challenge: Balance

balanceIt’s day #8 of challenging my thought ruts – and I wasn’t quite sure what would appear.  With a day of slow steady rains – the notion of visiting the indoor public pool suddenly sounded appealing.  Somewhere in the midst of 5 months of marathon training – I lost all sense of exercise balance.  The kind of balance that changes up your routine.  The kind of balance that has you wearing out one part of your body – while the rest goes on vacation.  The kind of balance where you wonder if you have forgotten how to return – to homeostasis.  The kind of balance where the preferred exercise of choice is running above all else.

Today I opted to rediscover balance.  Just a little.  To see how it felt.  To try it on, wear it around and see if I liked the fit.  To see if balance is all that necessary.  And, to see if I even remembered how to swim. Continue reading Day 8 of the Holiday Challenge: Balance

Day 7 of the Holiday Challenge: Bagging the warmup

I enjoy running so much, that it is easy to skimp on the formalities.   You know, the stretching.  The strength exercises.  The core work.  Those annoying formalities that get in the way of just running out the door.

Despite my zest to just ‘up-n-run’, the hardest part of the daily workout is often motivating myself to do the warmup.   More than just 1 or 2 thirty second stretches.  Or, not getting all twisted up in my TRX ropes and calling that my warmup.  Continue reading Day 7 of the Holiday Challenge: Bagging the warmup

Day 6 of the Holiday Challenge: Veering off the beaten path

tundrabiking02It’s Day 6 of challenging my beliefs, my comfort zone, and the prevailing winds of my thoughts.  I’ve been a ‘regular’ at the BWI Trail in Hanover, MD for more years that I care to admit.  It’s just a great trail.  Not too crowded, and mostly filled with happy endorphin-crazed people.  It’s paved – making it perfect for running, skating, bicycling, walking, and riding an elliptigo…  Week after week, bouncing from one sport to the next –  rinse wash repeat on the BWI trail.  10.5 miles of trail encircles the Baltimore Washington International Airport.  And, if that’s not enough when you’ve got some miles to crunch – then continue on the connector trial that will take you to the B&A (Baltimore & Annapolis) trail – part 2.  2 miles of connector plus 13 miles on the B&A gives you a round trip of just over 40 miles of exercise bliss.  All without interference from vehicular traffic – except for a few pesky intersections.

Continue reading Day 6 of the Holiday Challenge: Veering off the beaten path

Day 5 of the Holiday Challenge: Breaking the route rut

Today’s adventure was breaking through a running route rut.  A rut of running the same 1-of-5 courses, the same route, the same general area, or the same roads or anything that has the bottom-line sensation of ‘same-o’.

2014_12annapolis01It’s the weekend – so my running adventure is joined by my partner in crime – Jill.   Apparently Jill forgot it is “winter” and we had to rendezvous for the Annapolis run (a  different city from our regular runs) by 6:30AM – meaning the alarm goes off at 4AM – and breakfast is inhaled by 5:30AM.  Sigh.  Sleeping fully will occur another day.

Continue reading Day 5 of the Holiday Challenge: Breaking the route rut

Day 4 of the Holiday Challenge: Hula hooping while bouncing a tennis ball

When I first started my Thought-Rut slash Holiday challenge as a way to close out 2014 – I wasn’t sure I would have enough thought ruts to last 16 days.   For the record,  I had at least a dozen ideas to test drive – just for today!   Amazing how thought ruts come out of the woodwork once you set them free!  But alas, one challenge to my thinking per day.   So today I opted to challenge my thoughts that it couldn’t be done.  There was no way I could hula hoop AND bounce a tennis ball on a tennis racket for 1 full minute.   No way.

Continue reading Day 4 of the Holiday Challenge: Hula hooping while bouncing a tennis ball