Cross training

Learning to Roll with the Tide

Jenna and I showing off our guns after a CrossFit session in Miami!

I’m starting to find that some weeks are more eventful than others. This week was really smooth for the most part, but the main thing I took away from it was flexibility. Not the type of flexibility you’re thinking of, I’m talking about being flexible in life. As I’ve said many times before I’m super Type A and when I commit to something I do it 100 percent. But this weekend I decided to miss my long run to go to Miami with FITNESS’ Fitness Editor, Jenna Autuori-Dedic.

Before you tisk, tisk me hear me out. Although it was a great time in the sun, it wasn’t just laying around. We were attending Puma’s BodyTrain Miami event, a fitness program that lets you work out with your buddy doing things you have probably never tried before. Needless to say, it was awesome! We spent two days working out with some of the countries finest trainers and trying out Puma’s new gear. We practiced soccer drills with the US female soccer star Leslie Osborne, then shadowboxed with Cara Castronuova, a former Biggest Loser trainer and two-time Golden Glove champ, and then we hit the beach for a CrossFit competition with Mel Ockerby, an amazing CrossFit competitor (burpees in the water by the shore? Yes, we did those and we loved it!). I will tell you we sweated a TON and I was doing things, like knee-kicking a soccer ball back and forth to Jenna, that worked my body out in ways I don’t ever usually do. So even though I was going off of my plan slightly it was a great switch for both my body and mind. I found that when I woke up this morning I was refreshed and ready to run.

This is a good life lesson for me in general because we all know life just happens. We can plan until we are blue in the face but sometimes life has other ideas. So instead of stressing, just go with it! I’m so glad I did because I met so many amazing men and women in Miami, and many runners who shared some tips with me for the rest of my training. I would have definitely missed out had I not stretched myself a little. So, here we are at the halfway point! I’m starting to get really excited, how are you feeling?

 


Flying Through a Taper Week

My cross-training for the week was an intense spin class at FlyWheel Sports with some of the FITNESS editors. I almost sweated off the bike!

I’m feeling pretty great after last week because it was my taper week!  This is basically a week in your training plan where you decrease your mileage, giving your legs a chance to rest. I only had to run 6 miles on Saturday, and after clocking 9 the week before it was a nice change of pace.

Due to weather and perhaps some laziness, I choose to do my shorter runs on the treadmill. I’m sure I am not the first person to feel this way, but I have a love/hate relationship with the treadmill. I think they are great to fit in a run when you only have a certain amount of time, the weather outside is crappy or if the only way you will motivate yourself to run is if a machine is physically making you do it (been there!). But for training purposes it is better to run outside, even when the elements are not in your favor. What if it rains on race day, are you going to stay home? No, of course not. So I try to train outside as much as possible, with the exception of last week.

Since I use the gym in my apartment building and the people watching is at a minimum, I use treadmill time to do some speed work to make the time go by faster. Here’s how I broke my runs down for my 4-milers:

  • .50 mile warm up at 6.0, increasing to 6.5 slowly
  • .50 mile run at 6.7
  • .50 mile sprint at 7.5
  • .50 mile run at 6.7
  • .50 mile hill at a 6.0 incline
  • .50 mile sprint at 7.5
  • .50 mile run at 6.7
  • .50 mile cool down at 6.0

If I am lucky enough to snag a treadmill with a TV, I’ll alternate between this routine and watching a show, sprinting during the commercials. Coming up this week I’m heading back outside to do my first double digit run, 10 miles.  Wish me luck!

Tell me: How do you beat treadmill boredom?

 


My Legs Get an Unexpected Rest (and Some New Ink!)

My new tattoo sidelined my running for the week. This week I'm getting back on course!

Another week goes down in the books! I can’t believe I’ll be running this race so soon! I have to admit, I’m actually getting really excited,
the longer I train the more confident I feel about actually being able to run this thing. But this week was a little strange for me. You know the saying, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas?” Well, that was not so much the case for me.

My sister Hannah and I were there for an appearance and while I was there I decided to get a tattoo. Not that big of a deal, but in the whim of the moment I thought it would be awesome to put the tattoo on the top of my foot. When I made this decision I was thinking about how adorable it would look in heels and strappy sandals. I was not thinking about healing time or not being able to run. That’s right, not being able to run for four days. Moral of the story is: Don’t get a tattoo on your foot when training for a half-marathon.

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Stretching Out the Last Week of Training

Time to stretch and prepare for the race. (Photo by Karen Pearson)

Time to stretch and prepare for the race. (Photo by Karen Pearson)

We are down to the final week! I can’t believe that the big day is almost here. The past 10 weeks have flown by a lot quicker than I had expected them to, but I am happy to say that I am ready to do this! There’s no turning back now. How are my fellow half-marathon trainers feeling?

After running 10 miles last Saturday, I could sense that my body needed a little break. I was tired and needed a few days to rest. To stay active though, I took a dance class on Monday night at JoAnn’s Dance Studio in South Plainfield, NJ (I danced there for 18 years!), and I made sure to pop in an abs DVD every morning before work, to strengthen my core. Later in the week I picked my running back up, but kept it in the five mile range. I dedicated Sunday for my last long run before race day, and ran 8 1/2 miles. I was hoping to get in 10 miles again, but the wind was pretty harsh, so instead of pushing myself to the point of possibly getting sick or hurt, I called it quits and am crossing my fingers for nice weather on Sunday! As we move into this last week, I plan on keeping my  runs light and quick, sticking to no more than four or five miles.

On a side note, in one of my first posts, I mentioned that I had gotten stretched by Nick Nicholaides, who is a Fascial Stretch Therapist. I went for a stretch session again on Saturday morning and could totally feel the difference. Prior to being stretched, my muscles were tight, especially on my right leg (I am a righty). My muscles felt longer, lighter and not as tight after the hour session. Fascial Stretch Therapy is such a great stretching technique for athletes, especially runners, and I strongly recommend looking into it for after race day! I know I’m definitely going to need it.

Have a great last week of training everyone! We’ve all come this far and are almost there. I’ll see you all at the starting line!