Posts Tagged Stretching

Beginning Running with your Dog

There’s no running partner quite like a dog. The uncontrollable joy when you grab your dog’s leash is infectious and is almost guaranteed to get you out of the house to hit the roads or the trails. And who else can we convince to run in rain, snow, sleet, and even a stiff Kansas wind with us? Whether a seasoned runner or a newbie, your dog can help keep you motivated in your toughest moments and be there to share your greatest runs. My dog, Tara, has helped me train for five half marathons. She keeps me going on those tough long runs when I just want to take a break and she races me, pushing me faster, when I’m working on speed. In honor of our upcoming Dog-N-Jog race this weekend, I’ve put together 10 tips for beginning a running program with your pup.

Home stretch of our 10 miler and the snow is just starting to stick to Tara's fur.

1. Warning: Always Consult a Physician Before Beginning an Exercise Routine

We see these signs and warnings every time we go to the gym or read about starting a new exercise routine, and the same goes for our dogs. It’s a good idea to take a trip to the veterinarian before beginning an exercise program with your dog, particularly if she hasn’t had a complete physical in awhile. Just like in people, we want to make sure there are no heart, lung, or musculoskeletal abnormalities before beginning a running program. Also, ask your veterinarian to teach you how to evaluate your dog’s Body Condition Score to determine if she’s at a good weight, which will be helpful for you to evaluate her condition as you increase your mileage. And if your dog is under two years old, make sure to ask what age it is okay to start running so that the repetitive physical stress does not affect joint and bone development in young dogs.

2. Know Your Dog

It’s obvious from the vastly different physical characteristics that different breeds of dog were bred for different purposes and have different strengths and weaknesses. While our herding dogs and sledding dogs may be able to accompany you on even your longest distance runs, smaller breeds and dogs with flattened faces (e.g. pugs, bulldogs, etc.) may only be able to run shorter distances due to their conformation. It’s important to recognize your dog’s abilities and keep your expectations in line so that you are not pushing your dog beyond his physical capabilities.

3. Start Slowly

If your dog has been a couch potato her entire life, or even if she’s active but has never done any endurance running, it’s important to build up slowly to avoid injuries. I follow the same general rules for building doggy training plans as for people – build weeks increasing no more than 10% total mileage and no more than 10% long run distance interspersed every 2-3 weeks with a step back or recovery week. If you are already running consistently, you may want to plan some runs in which you can run a short loop with your dog, drop him off at the house and then continue on the rest of your run until you’ve built up your dog’s endurance.

4. Be Aware of the Weather

Unlike people who can sweat, dogs use panting as their primary mechanism for cooling themselves. Because dogs are also extremely willing to please, they may push themselves past the point of safety on hot days. If you notice your dog is excessively panting, trying to seek shade, or lay down during a run, it’s time to stop and let them cool down. Tara is fairly heat tolerant for a German Shepherd Dog, so my general rule of thumb is no more than 3-5 easy miles when it’s over 80 degrees F. You will need to find the comfortable point for your own dog, and avoid pushing him beyond his tolerance.

5. Hydration

And on that note, if you need water on a run, there’s a good chance your dog does too! For short runs (under 6 miles or so), I don’t carry water and have found that Tara will not drink even if I offer it. On longer runs, especially on warm days, I offer water every time I take a sip. You can teach your dog to drink from a bottle or there are small collapsible bowls you can use that will fit in a hydration belt. Since Tara has never learned to drink from a bottle, in a pinch I will pour water into a cupped hand and let her take a few sips. There’s no need to gorge themselves on water, just enough to quench their thirst.

6. Nutrition

This is a tough aspect to cover, and could fill an entire blog since such a large percentage of dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Running is a great way to help your pup get more exercise and lose some of that weight, if needed. You may also be helping your dog live longer, as some studies have demonstrated that thinner dogs may have greater longevity. If your dog is already a good weight – something your veterinarian can help you assess (see #1) – you may have to increase your dog’s rations to fuel the extra exercise. Dogs may also benefit from extra nutrition on long runs (10+ miles), but their smaller size means they probably do not need nearly the number of calories that we do, so it’s important to be careful to find an appropriate balance.

7. Strength and Stretch

I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but just like you, your dog will benefit from strength training and stretching. Cross-training such as swimming, hiking, and tugging can help build muscle strength. You can also use simple tricks such as doggy push-ups, perch training, and backing up to improve body awareness and agility. Learning to do simple stretches and massage on your dog can be a great benefit for them to work out sore muscles.

8. Leash and Potty Training

There are two major training items that can make runs with your dog much more enjoyable. First, is teaching your dog to run properly on a loose leash. I’m not too picky, Tara can run at my side, behind me or in front of me as long as she’s not dragging me around the entire run or constantly crossing my path. I prefer her to run out in front so we’re not stepping on each other on narrow trails, but if she wants to be at my side, who can argue with that? In my opinion it’s easiest to train loose-leash walking then translating that to running. The second major item is teaching your dog to eliminate on command. It’s not a hard thing to teach (simply give the cue you choose every time your dog eliminates) and it saves a lot of frustration on the run. Obviously, when they gotta go, they gotta go, but the less stops the better! Some dogs will catch on to these faster than others, but if you put in the time having both of these “skills” will make runs much more enjoyable. ūüôā

9. Observing Your Dog

I’ll never forget the day I was out with Tara and she went completely lame on one leg. She was non weight-bearing, but otherwise happy as a clam. I had no idea what she’d done to herself – there were no yelps of pain, no sudden twists, turns or stops that could have caused it. When I stopped to check her, I found a 3 inch long thorn sticking out of her pad. After removing it, she was back to normal, so we ran home where I was able to clean and more thoroughly evaluate it. It’s incredibly important that you learn to observe your dog for injuries especially through any subtle gait changes. Dogs are so incredibly stoic that they often don’t show us overt signs of pain unless it’s really really bad, so we need to be able to pick up on the little things. Sore muscles or injuries may lead to lameness that requires rest (and possibly vet intervention) for healing. Paw pads are a frequent place of minor and major running injuries, so I try to inspect them daily for any cuts or abrasions. In the summer be aware of the hot asphalt and in the winter, the chemicals and salt used on roads and sidewalks can burn the pads.

10. Have a Blast!

(The obligatory “have fun” tip). Running with your dog is not just a great way to stay motivated and to get fit, it’s fun! Explore new routes, try trail running with your dog, or find a dog-friendly race to do together. Just take the time to appreciate the pure and simple joy that dogs have when they get to go on a run with you. ūüôā

What additional tips do you have for running with your dog(s)?

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Disclaimer: The contents of this post and blog are my own opinions and should be used for informational purposes only. The information presented here is not a replacement for your veterinarian’s medical advice or care.

 

 

Yesterday’s Training:

30 minutes yoga

New Rules of Lifting for Women Stage 1, Workout A (1/8)

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A Marathon and Goals for April

Yesterday, I had one of the best double-digit runs, ever. ¬†The weather started a little humid and mid-50s, but cleared up and the sun came out. I ran with the dog, Tara, as well as three other friends and two more dogs. We started on our usually long run route, but instead of doing an out-and-back as we usually do, we mixed it up and turned off at 5 miles to create a loop through town. It’s amazing how a few miles of new scenery can invigorate a long run. On my shorter runs I routinely switch directions and mix things up with new side streets, but on the longer runs I’ve been doing the same route for quite awhile so it made a huge difference to change the route so much.

I think I’ll try to come up with another couple of courses for double-digit runs over the next few months to keep things interesting. It is going to be even more important as I ramp up the mileage for…wait for it…marathon training! ¬†I finally committed and registered for the Richmond Marathon on November 16 in Richmond, Virginia. I am so excited at the prospect of finally tackling 26.2 miles! ¬†My friend, Caitlin, and my hubby are going to run it too, so I’ll have plenty of support in my training here in Kansas and my family in Virginia is already on board with being our support crew while we’re on the East coast.

With such a big race on the horizon, I would like to get back into the habit of setting regular goals throughout the year.  I only set one goal for running for the year and that was to run 1000 miles, which I am a little behind on reaching with my current monthly totals (197.95/1000).  Tomorrow is April 1st, so today seems apropos to start setting some  monthly goals.

Goals for April

1. Run 100 miles in the month. I’ve run just under 200 miles for the year so far, so 100 this month will put me back on track for an even effort in the rest of the year for reaching my 1000 miles goal.

2. Do at least 1 day of weight lifting per week. I would like to start one of the New Rules of Lifting programs again. I’m leaning toward New Rules of Lifting for Women because I’m already familiar with all the moves, don’t need any new equipment, and they’re fairly short routines for the first few months while I’m still in school. My plan is to start by going to the gym this Tuesday during my long lunch break.

3. Prepare 1 new recipe per week. I really enjoyed finding new foods to try and meal-planning during my paleo experiment, and would like to continue adding some fresh new ideas to the repertoire.

4. Do at least 30 minutes of yoga per week. My flexibility is abysmal and running keeps me too tight, so I need to invest more time into stretching and flexibility. I think incorporating yoga into my routine will be a great way to accomplish this.

5. Research the possibility of an early summer triathlon. I’d like to find something to fill the gap between my half marathon training and the beginning of my marathon training. If I find a race that is within an easy morning drive, register and organize my training plan.

Do you have any tips for a first time marathoner? Do you set goals for yourself throughout the year?

Yesterday’s Training:

10.01 mile run

Today’s Training:

Rest day

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Uh oh – an injury?

Today started off with a wonderfully relaxed morning of getting ready for work including time to make blueberry waffles with my new Christmas waffle iron!  I even packed my bag to go straight to the gym after work (goal Рcheck!).

Things took a turn when at work today, I realized that I had to send transcripts from the fall semester in to one of the schools by tomorrow! Eeek!  Cue crazy stressed out moment.  Fortunately, I was able to run straight to school to get sealed copies of my transcripts and express mail them for delivery by tomorrow at 3:00PM.  Phew.

I’m finally on my way to the gym an hour an a half later than intended due to my little detour and I realize that my shoulder has started hurting. ¬†I have no clue what I did to it. ¬†It’s not your typical soreness from lifting, and it’s kind of on the back of my shoulder. ¬†Despite my years and years of swimming, I have never had a shoulder injury and I’m a little nervous about it. ¬†I stretched it out really well and decided to lift anyways, it didn’t hurt during any of my moves (NROLW Stage 1 workout A), so that’s promising. ¬†It mostly hurts when I lift my arm straight over my head. ¬†Fingers crossed that’s just some intense DOMS from lifting on Sunday and it’s better soon.

I did manage to increase my weights today, so I think I’m getting some of my strength back! ¬†I hope this trend continues.

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Off to a (semi) Good Start

In the past, if I haven’t had time to do an entire planned workout, I’ve just let it go.¬† In my brain I know that every little bit counts and getting out and moving is the more important than exactly following my schedule.¬† But when it came down to it, I chose to stay in bed or watch another 15 minutes of TV or or read blogs for another 30 minutes than getting out and running for that 15 or 30 minutes.¬† No more.¬† Despite waking up much later than planned yesterday morning, I dragged myself out of bed and determined that I still had time for about 10 minutes of yoga.¬† I’m not sure how good it did physically, but I think it went a long way to getting me into a better place mentally.

This morning, I managed to jump out of bed a bit earlier and go out for a run with Tara.¬† We were out for 33 minutes – 2 minutes walking warm-up and then jog for 28 minutes and walk for another 3 to cool down.¬† It should have been a 3 mile run, but it came in at just about 2.8 miles including the walking portions.¬† I’m really happy I got out there and ran even though it was still pitch black outside when we left.¬† Tara lit my path with her little headlamp that she wears.¬† I’m a little disappointed in the “reflective” leash and collar I bought for her.¬† They don’t seem to be very reflective at all.¬† They’re nice for a regular leash and collar, but I’m going to have to try something else.¬† I’m thinking of getting her a running vest for more visibility.¬† I wore a white shirt this morning with good reflective strips on the back, but I still need to make it to the running store or sporting goods store to get something more for me to wear.

I did not get to the gym yesterday to lift and I’ve realized that it is completely unrealistic to try on Mondays.¬† I think I mentioned that I have dog agility classes on Mondays and while yesterday I probably could have made it to the gym, I decided that it would make more sense to move my lifting day to Tuesdays since it is a light running day.¬† That way I can easily do my run in the morning and lift in the evening, or vice versa.¬† Also, starting next week my classes start at 6:35 PM (instead of 8:50 PM as they do now), so my Mondays are going to be quite busy.¬† I think I’ll be doing a lot of crock pot dinners over the next 6 week session!

I’m not sure what to do about lifting on Thursdays yet.¬† Class on Thursdays doesn’t start until 7:45 PM and I get home from work at about 4:30 PM.¬† Inspiration just struck-¬† I can do a morning lifting session on Thursdays and run in the afternoon with Tara before class.¬† That will work perfectly! I’ll update my training plan matrix later today with my updates.

Things are falling into place!

 

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No Rest for the Weary

I want to be a faster runner. ¬†I’ve never really thought that I could run fast, it just never crossed my mind. ¬†My 8K results lit a fire in me, so to speak, and now I want to be faster, and more importantly, I am convinced that I can be. ¬†I have no idea what my goal pace should be for any given distance. ¬†I don’t know how much it is reasonable to expect to improve over X number of days, weeks, months or years. ¬†And I don’t care. ¬†I’m arbitrarily choosing the Charlottesville half-marathon as my first checkpoint. ¬†I want to finish it in under two hours. Is that realistic considering my time last year was 2:25:28? ¬†Maybe not. ¬†I’m going to try anyways. ¬†According to the Race Time Predictor, I should be able to run a 5K in 26:07, which is an 8:24 pace, and run a 10K in 54:21, which is an 8:45 pace. ¬†My only 5K race (not attached to a triathlon) was 29:54, so I just need to shave 4 minutes….I know I can do it. ¬†Not entirely sure when I’ll do it, but I know I can.

Training starts tomorrow. ¬†I’ve posted my training plan on the “Training Plan -2011” page. ¬†I’m going to focus on running again through this winter, just like last year. ¬†This time, though, I am going to place my focus on running fast, rather than running far. ¬†I’m starting with one day of speed work each week and add a second day of speed work in the last 12 weeks or so of training. ¬†I’m going to try to do some interim races to track my progress, or at least do “home” races every few weeks. ¬†I’m also adding two days of weight training back to my training. ¬†Adding muscle can’t hurt and I know that I’ve lost a lot of strength since I stopped lifting in favor of HIM training. ¬†Something new I’m going to try is doing yoga once a week too. ¬†I’m hoping that placing an emphasis on stretching at least once a week will prevent any encounters with IT band issues or any other injuries that can crop up. ¬†As you’ll see in my schedule, I’ll be running significantly more (miles and days) every week than I have in the past, so I want to make sure to stay healthy! ¬†I’m hoping yoga helps in that. ¬†I’m not planning on taking any yoga classes right now, just doing videos or on-demand at home. ¬†I think it would be a bit ambitious for me to actually go somewhere to do yoga right now. ¬†It will be much easier to fit into my schedule if I can do it right here. ¬†My alarm is set to start tomorrow at 6AM, and I’ve already chosen a program from the on-demand menu. ¬†I need to pick up some yoga DVDs to try. ¬†I have one, but it has gone missing, and I’m afraid I may have let someone borrow it and will never see it again.

My planned training for this week is:

Monday – Yoga AM, NROLW Stage 1 A1 PM

Tuesday  РRun 3 miles

Wednesday – Run 5 x 400 m @ 5K pace

Thursday – Run 3 miles AM, NROLW Stage 1 A2 PM

Friday – Rest

Saturday – Run 3 miles

Sunday – Run 5 miles

Monday and Thursday may be tough to get everything done because I have dog agility training classes both evenings, but I’m going to do my best to do the lifting. ¬†If I have to miss one of the days, I will do the second day on Saturday.

By the way, if you reading from an RSS reader, I did some work updating the look of my blog today. ¬†I’m not 100% it is going to stay like this. ¬†I’m not in love with the new layout/theme yet. ¬†I did change the main title of my blog- “Triathlon Training Blog” was just too boring. ¬†This is my journey of becoming stronger and faster and going longer. ¬†It’s only taken me a year and a half to be a little more interesting, but better late than never! ¬†Let me know what you think of the new look!

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Back in the Saddle

I did it!¬† I actually got on my bike trainer today!¬† But let’s back up a little…we woke up to steadily falling snow today with quite a bit of wind.¬† Needless to say, I was not venturing out of the house since school was canceled, and I could work from home (as I have every other day this week).¬† I had a productive morning working till noon, then after a bit of lunch and digestion, I decided to hop on my bike.¬† Wowza, I am out of shape on that thing.¬† I did 30 minutes, which is what I planned, but it was much more mentally difficult than I thought it would be.¬† Physically, I felt ok, except my saddle hurt a bit.¬† I think I really need to start making trainer time a regular part of my training routine so I remember how to ride a bike when the snow finally melts.

Here are my heart rate stats for the bike ride…

Duration – 30:38

Maximum Heart Rate – 163

Average Heart Rate – 153

Calories – 281

After my trainer ride, I took some time to do some BW core work (leg lifts, sit-ups, reverse crunches), some push-ups, and some stretching to round out my work out.

Heart rate stats:

Duration – 16:55

Maximum heart rate – 141

Average Heart Rate – 106

Calories – 71

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The Great Larabar Experiment

I’ve been feeling a little bleh yesterday and today, so I decided to make today a rest day.¬† I picked out an On Demand yoga program to do as my active rest.¬† It was ok, but not really what I was looking for, there was a lot of pilates-type moves for core strength.¬† I wanted some more stretching type moves to do, but oh well.¬† It only took 20 minutes, which was nice.¬† I don’t think I’d do it again, though.

After I was done, I decided to attempt to make some homemade Larabars.  I even took pictures to post!

First, I took an entire (well actually a little less because I’d already eaten several) 10 oz container of Sunsweet pitted dates and checked them to make sure they were actually pitted.¬† Once I had removed the one stray pit I found, I microwaved the dates for about 30 seconds since I thought it would be easier to work with them if they were slightly heated.

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I dumped the whole container of dates into the food processor and turned it on.

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It didn’t take long for it to become a paste-like consistency.

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I added 1/2 cup of almonds (1/4 cup at a time).

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And 1/8 cup of cocoa powder.  The food processor turned it into a very sticky ball of dough.

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I spread it into a small baking dish and put it into the refrigerator to harden.  After an hour or so I moved it to the freezer to be faster.

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After they were sufficiently hard, I cut them up into 16 squares to store.

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This one only made it as far as my mouth! ūüôā It was tasty!

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Here’s the nutritional info:

Serving size -2 squares (1/8 of whole)

Calories – 148

Fat – 4 grams (rounded up)

Carbohydrates – 30 grams

Protein – 2.5 grams

I think that next time I’ll add a bit of chocolate protein powder, but I’m pretty pleased for my first attempt.¬† I’m excited about getting some more dates and trying some different combinations of flavors.¬† The pecan pie Larabars are especially interesting to me.¬† Yum, I’m salivating just thinking about it!

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BRICK & LTHR Test

This afternoon, I did NOT want to go for my bike ride.¬† For some reason, I really just felt like running, but I decided to suck it up and go anyways, especially since it was only supposed to be an hour and a half ride.¬† While I was getting my bike ready (more on this in a later post), I had the brilliant idea to follow Joe Friel’s exercise for determining lactate threshold heart rate (LTHR), and subsequently training zones for my riding.¬† As soon as I got on my bike I was so glad I had taken the time to do a little maintenance and give it a little TLC.¬† Wow, it is riding so much better now! With the exception of my front derailleur, which was acting up late in the ride, but I think I can fix it.

I went on my usual route, which I was hoping would not be too problematic with waiting at various lights and road crossings.  I managed to get through the worst of them during my 10 minute warm-up period, thankfully.  After 10 minutes, I pushed it and built up to riding as fast as I could and sustain for 30 minutes.  After 10 minutes of the test, I reset my HRM for the remaining 20 minutes.  What a great ride out it was!  After I finished the test, I stopped to drink some water and turn around and head back toward home.  I also checked my computer and saw that my average speed was 16.1 mph!  I was really pleased, it showed that I definitely was riding faster than my normal plodding along pace.  I did not worry about speed at all on the way back, I wanted to save some strength in my legs for a run, but I still finished with an overall average speed of 14.5 mph.  Not too shabby!  Stats for the ride:

Duration of ride time: 1:24:29

Distance: 20.45 miles

Average speed: 14.5 mph

Max speed: 30.6 mph

When I got back to the house, I took a quick bathroom break, changed shorts and had a quick snack of 3 small dates.¬† It was much longer than a normal transition, but my legs still felt like jelly when I started running.¬† After about 8 minutes I got my rhythm back.¬† Although it was about 90 F, the run wasn’t too bad because there was a nice cool breeze flowing.¬† A few minutes after I got my legs back I got a side stitch.¬† It wasn’t too bad, but it was bad enough to make me want to stop and make it go away.¬† I’d like to say that I continued to run through the pain, but I can’t.¬† At 16 minutes I stopped and walked for about 20 seconds before I motivated myself to start running again.¬† I ran the rest of the workout (42 minutes) and then walked to cool down for about 16 minutes or so.

I spent some time really stretching out well when I got home.¬† My muscles have felt really tight lately, especially in my lower back and shoulders, so I wanted to loosen up a bit while they were still warm.¬† I really would like to figure out a time to work some yoga into my training plan, I think that’s the one thing I’m missing!

My heart rate stats are broken up into 4 segments of today’s workout.¬† The first three are on the bike and the fourth is the run and cool-down.

Stats #1: Bike warm-up and first 10 minutes of LTHR test

Duration: 20:03

Average heart rate: 155

Max heart rate: 176

Calories: 188

Stats #2: Second 20 minutes of LTHR test (the part that counts!)

Duration: 20:01

Average heart rate: 177

Max heart rate: 187

Calories: 239

Stats #4: Remaining bike ride

Duration: 49:35

Average heart rate: 162

Max heart rate: 182

Calories: 505

Stats #5: Run and cool-down walk

Duration: 58:00

Average heart rate: 160

Max heart rate: 184

Calories: 587

Which means…drum roll, please!¬† That my LTHR for cycling is estimated to be 177 beats per minute.¬† This means that my workout zones (following from the Triathlete’s Training Bible) are as follows:

Zone 1 (Recovery): 116-145

Zone 2 (Extensive Endurance): 146-158

Zone 3 (Intensive Endurance): 159-165

Zone 4 (Subthreshold): 166-176

Zone 5A (Superthreshold): 177-180

Zone 5B (Anaerobic capacity): 181-186

Zone 5C (Power): 187-193

What does this all mean to me?¬† I’m not really sure yet.¬† I’ve tried to use some vague notion of zones in my training in the past, but never had a concrete number to follow.¬† I think this could really make me more disciplined over the long run, but for this next race I’m afraid it may be too late to start trying to incorporate this knowledge into my plan.¬† I’m not sure I have time right now to do more research and planning.¬† Unless I do it tonight, right now and figure everything out for the next few weeks.¬† I’ve been known to do things of that nature.¬† Guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

Good night!

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I’m on a Roll

I’ve been doing really well with this whole training thing.¬† Sunday was my first brick leading up to Nation’s, and I think it went pretty well.¬† I did a 21 mile ride followed by about 2 miles running.¬† The bike ride was quite a nice contrast to the incredibly hot run on Saturday.¬† I got up fairly early, around 7:00AM, and ate a small breakfast of dates and almond butter.¬† I really should have brought a snack with me for the ride, but I thought I’d be able to push it out.¬† I didn’t really think about the fact that I wouldn’t want to eat when I got back from the ride and was leaving for my run.¬† I should stop making excuses though, I know better than to go for over an hour without sustenance!¬† My ride was pretty slow, only about 14.2 mph on average, but I’m chalking it up (at least partially) to my legs being tired from the run.¬† Thankfully, it was fairly cool that early in the morning, and a lot of the trail was shaded.¬† It definitely had the feeling like it was going to be getting hotter, but it wasn’t yet!¬† Overall, it was a decent ride but not fantastic.¬† I did manage to get my running legs pretty quickly after getting off the bike, so that was good.¬† I just ran a couple loops around my neighborhood and added a bit extra to do as close to 2 miles as possible.¬† Then I took a nice 10 minute walk to cool down.

Today was a lifting day, so I headed over to Mom’s after work for some NROL4W action.¬† Here’s the workout:

A. Squats – 2 sets of 12 @ 70 lbs

B1. Push-ups – 2 sets of 12 real push-ups

B2. Seated Row – 2 sets of 12 @ 80 lbs

C1. Step-ups – 2 sets of 12 @ 17.5 lbs Dumbbells

C2. Prone jackknife – 2 sets of 12 @ BW

I increased all my weights today since there were 3 fewer reps per set, and I felt great on everything.¬† I was feeling really strong today, which was a nice change!¬† I haven’t been feeling great about my weight lifting skills lately, but I think I’m back in the groove now.¬† I’m really on a roll with my training!

I got in some more gym time after weight lifting too.¬† Curtis and I had planned a run with his dad because he was in town for work for the night.¬† As it turned out, he wanted to go to our gym and lift instead, so we headed over there to meet him.¬† While he hit the weights, Curtis and I did some running on the track to warm-up.¬† We also did a couple of sprint intervals before heading down to the free weights.¬† Since I had already lifted for the day, I decided to do some extra core work as I feel as though I’ve been lacking in that department with the NROL4W program.¬† I just did three different exercises at 2 sets each:

Plank – 1 set @ 2 minutes, 1 set @ 90 seconds

Leg lifts – 2 sets @ 1 minute

Russian twists – 2 sets @ 1 minute with 10 lbs medicine ball

After my core work, I spent some time stretching out really well.¬† I’ve been feeling pretty tight lately, and considering trying to work in some yoga I just haven’t yet figured out when I’ve got the extra time.¬† Might try it on Thursday.

Dinner tonight was a delicious meal of tequila lime chicken, which we marinated since last night, roasted baby red potatoes, and salad with romaine, grape tomatoes, cucumber, green onions and feta.¬† Deliciousness.¬† The chicken was so perfectly tender and juicy and so flavorful!¬† The recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa, and it’s the perfect summer meal.

Now, it’s off to read some blogs and get to bed!¬† Good night and have a great week!

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Windy Tuesday

Today brought yet another windy April day.¬† Unlike Saturday, it was about 20 degrees colder today!¬† I almost caved and went to the gym, but ended up braving the 41 degree weather and 17 mph gusts of wind to take an “easy” bike ride.¬† Yeah right!¬† Riding out was ok, if a bit cold.¬† Coming back into the wind was brutal.¬† There are a couple serious little hills on the way back from this particular ride, and they were seriously tough today.¬† I ended up coming back a bit early, I was supposed to do a one hour ride at a cadence of 90+, but I only did 50 minutes and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t at 90+ the whole time.

When I got back, I did a 25 minute DVD yoga session to stretch out.¬† The DVD I have is Rodney Yee’s Power Yoga and it has two different routines: strength and flexibility.¬† I usually do the strength one, but I tried the flexibility today, and I didn’t like it nearly as much as strength.¬† No doubt, it was relaxing, but it just didn’t feel as good as the strength session.¬† I’ve decided to try and work some yoga into my routine when I have time.¬† I’m not very good about stretching all the time, so I’m hoping the yoga will help with my flexibility and injury prevention.

It looks like we’re definitely going to the lake this weekend, so I’m really excited about taking my bike for a spin around the race course.¬† All I remember is that the hills were incredibly hard and there were a lot of them.¬† I’m hoping that my memory has exaggerated the course a bit.¬† I guess I’ll find out this weekend!

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