May 29, 2014

Getting (and staying) back on track

The last few weeks have been great for me in terms of getting back on track with consistent running and cross-training workouts.  I've been consistently running 3 days per week and slowly upping my mileage.  In fact, last Sunday I had my longest run since Shamrock.  It was 8.3 miles and came one day after I ran 5 miles.  My legs were certainly tired by the end but it was a good tired.  And to be totally honest, it was a tired that I haven't felt in a while.  That tired reminded me what marathon training will be like, how PRs are earned, and that I like the mental and physical challenge of pushing through those walls.  With my summer and fall race schedule looming on the horizon, I've been anxious to get back on track.  I need to maintain some consistency and focus until mid-November when I run the Richmond marathon.

So how have I been getting back in the groove, you ask?  Well ask and ye shall receive!

1. Don't stress.  There have been plenty of days when my workouts (primarily runs) haven't gone as well as I'd like.  Take last Saturday for example when I planned to run my long run (8-9 miles) for the week.  I left later than I should have and my stomach was feeling a little rumbly from too many cocktails the previous night.  5 miles in I cut myself a break and went home, vowing to try again the next day.  And on Tuesday night when I planned 5 miles on the treadmill, my legs felt heavy so I eased up on the pace and cut back to 4 miles.  No sense pushing hard and getting injured now.
My old stomping grounds from the days when I was in the Junior League
2. Back off the speed work.  As I've been getting back on track, I haven't been focused on speed work.  Every once in a while, I'll do some pick-ups, but I'm mainly focusing on mileage and consistency right now.  Once I write my training plan, I'll start working in more pace-based workouts.

3. Find new places.  I've been diligently trying new running routes both in anticipation of boredom with my normal route when I'm running big miles and because it's been fun!  I've run a few times in Norfolk recently and it's been a fantastic change of pace!  I even paid a visit to my rubber ducky friend a few times.  How can this guy not make you smile?!

4. Watch my weight.  I know this one sounds crazy.  But after coming off several intense training cycles, I've had to adjust my diet a bit.  I'm not burning as many calories and when I haven't been as focused on training, it's a lot easier to enjoy happy hour and/or dinner rather than a workout.  The last few weeks, I've been working really hard to keep junk out of the house and snack on lots of fresh fruit and veggies.  It doesn't hurt that I just brought home a huge bucket of freshly picked strawberries from a local farm. Yum!

What are your best tips for staying on track while you're in between training cycles?
{Christine}

21 comments:

  1. Great work! I think seeking out new places to run is definitely on my list for the summer. It switches things up!
    Karen @karenlovestorun

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    1. Have fun finding places at the beach Karen....know you will be spending time there this summer!

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  2. Funny that you should mention back off the speed work , because that's one thing I need to start doing. I'm so consistent with my six mile easy runs that I dont't normally do any speed work. How about that duck? When my friend mentioned that I had to look it up right always to see what he was talking about. Then we made the trip down to see the famous duck everyone was talking about! -L

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    1. Glad you got to see the duck before he left Norfolk. We need to catch up soon!

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  3. Ugh, I have been totally slacking! I'm committing to trying to get back on track starting June 1st! And I totally need to find new places to run!

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    1. New places always make runs more interesting!

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  4. Sounds like you're in a great place right now. I <3 that duck!

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    1. April, yes, that duck is super cute. Wish Mom could have seen it too!

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  5. I've gotten waaaaay off track and I agree about cutting yourself a break. I'm starting back slowly. And I find committing to running with a buddy helps A LOT!

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    1. Amy, yes, a buddy helps you get out the door when you don't want to!

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  6. I think the diet piece is spot on! It's amazing how many calories you burn when running 30+ miles a week! I had to adjust my diet tremendously after Dopey training.

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    1. Everyone did after Dopey Sarah. We could not consume enough calories and now it is the reverse!

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  7. Great job Christine! And that rubber duck is awesome!!!

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    1. Thanks Mindy. Yes, the duck was fantastic. He is now on his way to another city!

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  8. Great tips!! I have been searching for some new running trails here lately for when my knee heals. There are so many options around my new apartment!

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    1. Stay safe in new places Lauren, but have fun finding some interesting running routes!

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  9. I agree about trying new places! I also like trying out new gear to help me stay motivated. The rubber ducky is way cool too!!

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    1. Ahh, good idea to try out new gear, and of course new running clothing....I am all over that too!

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  10. It can definitely be hard to stay on track..I'm very visual and need to cross days off of a calendar to prove that I have done things...I don't like to see that I haven't crossed a day off...

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    1. Great idea to cross days off the calendar. However, you need onr or two rest day each week too, so you might use a colored pencil to cross those off!

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  11. Awesome job. I am trying to motivate myself to get back on track and am using your idea and heading to a new place to workout tomorrow.

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