Monday, December 30, 2013

Week 2 - Got It Done!

Despite holidays and traveling, I managed to complete all three of my key runs for marathon training. Having a treadmill in my parents' basement made this SO much easier to accomplish, but I'm still so glad I got my runs in!

Workout recap for the week:
Monday: Strength workout - ehhh, I walked 2.1 mi on the treadmill and did some squats.
Tuesday: Run (speed or tempo) - check! 7 mile Tempo Tuesday!
Wednesday: Strength workout - plus sitting by the fire, drinking hot cocoa, and opening presents - check! Walked/jogged 2.5 miles, and did 30 minutes of Sworkit strength. I did sit by the fire and open presents, but neglected to drink hot cocoa. 
Thursday: Run (speed or tempo) - check! 5 miles of speed work before boarding my plane to California! And immediately went to In-N-Out upon landing.
Friday: TBD - off? - ended up running 5 miles with Dan, who totally tricked me into running so far! It was beautiful out though, and would have been a crime to stay indoors all day...
Saturday: Long run - nope, ran on Sunday
Sunday: TBD - off? - 9 miles along the Pacific Ocean!

All in all it was a great week of workouts, but I'm missing my classes like Barry's, Uplift, and Revolve! Luckily apps like the Nike Training Club and Sworkit make at-home sweat sessions easier to manage.

Here's a little more about this week's runs:

Tempo: This was a "long tempo," with 1 mile warm up, 5 miles at tempo, and 1 mile cool down. The "prescribed" pace was 6.7 mph/8:54 min miles, but I decided to go a bit faster. I did a progressive run, starting at 6.7 and going up 0.1 every mile, so the last mile was at 7.1. I put on some holiday-themed Friends episodes and zoned out. Great run overall!

Speed: 4 x 800 plus warm up, cool down, and 2 mins rest between intervals. I ran the 800s at 8.3 mph/3:36 per 800. The first and second were OK, but the third and fourth were tough! In the fourth I actually felt as though time started to go backward...which is never fun. But hey, I got it done and made my flight! And...they're not supposed to be easy...they are supposed to be HARD. Important but hard thing to remember sometimes :)

Long: Ran 9 miles with Dan along the Pacific Ocean in Newport Beach! It was SO LOVELY OUTSIDE...I could've run 9 more miles. Man, how easy (I use that term lightly) would it be to train for a marathon in PERFECT WEATHER?! No long fleece-lined tights, no numb hands, no chance of snow...hmm, maybe I won't come back to NYC? No but really, the run was good - very sweaty and very sunny, with an 8:46 average pace...which is almost 50 seconds faster than the average pace I ran for the first 9 miler I did when I trained for Chicago. Things are looking good this training cycle my friends!
Happy and sweaty after 9 miles on the beach!
In addition to the workouts, I came across the goals I set last year. Let's see how I did on them...
  • PR in the half: Yes! Ran a 1:49:25 in the Long Branch Half in May. 
  • Be injury-free all year: So far, so good!
  • Try out a new exercise class: OMG SO MANY!!! Refine was my big favorite this year, but I also tried Revolve, and through Classtivity I went to Yoga Vida, PEDAL NYC, Uplift, Sacred Sounds Yoga, Aqua Studio, Fhitting Room, Jivamukti, Nalini Method, Exceed, and Barry's Bootcamp. 
    • My favorites? Yoga Vida, Jivamukti, Fhitting Room, Uplift, and Barry's!
  • Move up in bib numbers for NYRR races: Done! I ran a 1:50:02 in the NYC Half, which let me run in a faster bib group in the only other NYRR race I ran this year, the Pride Run. 
  • Go to the Astoria beer garden, the Tenement Museum and the Guggenheim: Out of all of these, I only went to the Tenement Museum. Better one than none, right?
  • Have an amazing vacation somewhere I've never been before: YES! Went on a cruise to Mexico in February, and went to Rancho La Puerta (also in Mexico) with my mom in October! In 2014 I'm going to PARIS!!!
  • Roast a chicken: Nope - never did get to do this one. But 2014...yes. It will happen.
  • Read more: I read a lot this year - not sure if it was more than 2012, but I did keep reading books!

I'm really not sure what my goals are for this 2014, other than a marathon PR (and roast a chicken). I'll have a think and get back to you all.

Thinking more short term, here's my workout plan for this week, which will be VERY subject to change depending on my traveling...
Monday: I'd like to get a little strength workout in sometime today...we'll see.
Tuesday: Run
Wednesday: Off - hello, New Year's Day!
Thursday: Run
Friday: Strength? I fly back on a redeye this day...
Saturday: Run
Sunday: Off? Yoga? TBD

Honestly, I will not be surprised if I don't in all my runs...but as always, I'm certainly going to try!

Here's to a fabulous 2014, all!

Follow me on Instagram if you don't already - mhhoff!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Week 1 - A Confidence Boosting Week

And with that, week 1 of marathon training is DONE!

Here was the plan for this past week:
Monday: Body Ride at Revolve - check! :) 45 minutes of Jason Tran being awesome and me sweating my butt off. 
Tuesday: Run - check! Short tempo on the treadmill. Walked home in snow!
Wednesday: OFF - check!
Thursday: Uplift Fusion - check! So fun to do this class with Theodora, Jen, Melissa, and Laura
Friday: Run - check! Another morning gym run - 3 x 1600, which I felt awesome during.
Saturday: OFF - check! I was exhausted from staying up too late packing
Sunday: Run - check! 8 mile long run on the treadmill.

Mileage: 19.5

I know, I's only one out of 16 weeks, but it was a really great week! I feel like it's important to have a confidence boosting week early on, too. It gives me hope that this will be doable in the end, though I have a lot of work left to do.

A little about my runs:

Tuesday tempo: 2 mi warm up, 2 mi at 7.5, 2 mi cool down. I took it easy on the warm up, starting at 6.5 and going up 0.1 every half a mile till I got to 7.0 for the last half-mile. For the first tempo run, I ran at 7.4 and felt good, so bumped it up to 7.6-7.7 for the second tempo mile. The cool down was similar to the warm up. It didn't feel easy, but it also didn't feel impossible. I'm so glad I'm getting over these fast-looking speeds and trusting myself to get them done!

Thursday intervals: 1 mi warm up, 3 x 1600m with 400m rest, 1 mi cool down. Not gonna lie - mile repeats terrified me during Chicago Marathon training, and I basically could not complete them. Looking back at my training logs back then, I see that I could not complete this workout without some serious walk breaks during the miles I was on! And I was running these repeats at a 7.6 - this workout had the mile repeats at 8.0! I felt awesome in the first one, and continued to feel good for the next two (though they were definitely more difficult as I went on!). Still, REALLY proud of this workout. I walked home from the gym with a giant smile on my face!

Sunday long run: Not much to report on this one - ran on the treadmill because it was pouring rain and I just didn't feel like dealing with it. I also felt like watching Homeland, so that is exactly what I did! I did a progressive run, starting at 6.5 for the first mile and ending at 7.0 for the last mile. It was unbearably hot in the basement so I was struggling with that aspect, but the speed didn't feel terribly difficult and my legs could keep up. Good run!

Run and Homeland followed by wine and Homeland
I'm really enjoying using the FIRST app for this training - the same training plan I used for Chicago, but with faster speeds! I'm mostly following this training plan, but I also purchased the NYRR marathon training program - it's like having a virtual partner there with you throughout training, and so far I like it! I'm planning to blend ideas from both plans, and hope that they will complement each other and my running.

The FIRST app is great - it fills in all of the speeds for me for every run, lets me switch back and forth between min/mile and mph for easy conversion, and I can check off all of the runs as I get them done (so necessary for this Type A girl). 
Check, check, check!
In addition to the app and the NYRR plan (which also has a log), I also have a Google doc that I use mostly to help me organize my Classtivity classes, but is also fun for me to tick off as I complete the workouts. 
Hot pink means I GOT IT DONE.
Speaking of Classtivity, I completed my December challenge! Granted, one of the 10 classes was a cancellation (hence the red above) due to a migraine, but I would have gone if I had felt like a human being. Ten classes in 20 days - not something I'd recommend, but I'm so glad I didn't let the pass go to waste! I'm going to miss those classes over the next two weeks, but I luckily have a couple of apps that will keep me on top of my strength workouts, and I'll be in California soon enough for lots of outdoor runs!

And here is this week's plan:
Monday: Strength workout
Tuesday: Run (speed or tempo)
Wednesday: Strength workout - plus sitting by the fire, drinking hot cocoa, and opening presents.
Thursday: Run (speed or tempo)
Friday: TBD - off?
Saturday: Long run
Sunday: TBD - off?

Have a very merry Christmas if you celebrate it! And if you don't, enjoy the day off :) 

Happy holidays all!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Short and sweet

I failed to post yesterday - last week was a super busy week and the weekend was no different! This week, marathon training technically starts, so I should technically have been in bed ohhh an hour or so ago...

Here's a short and sweet post about last week's workouts and this week's plan.

Last week my plan was to:
Monday: Run - check! I had 30 minutes to get a run in, and I did it! Just over 3.5 miles.
Tuesday: RIP Ride - negative. I played around with my Classtivity schedule a lot and took Tuesday off instead.
Wednesday: Run - nyet. Went to Uplift instead, so hey, that's a workout!
Thursday: Signature FHIX at Fhitting Room - check! Ben and Daury kicked my butt.
Friday: Uplift Strength - nein! Rest day.
Saturday: OFF - nope! Went to Revolve for some RIP Riding action with Christianne. It was amazing.
Sunday: Full Body at Barry's Bootcamp - check! Plus an evening flow class at Yoga Vida, which made my muscles (and my mind) very happy.

Six workouts, 3.55 miles. Plus about 2.5 miles at Barry's.

Though I didn't run much, I did get around to some excellent classes. RIP Ride was especially intense and very amazing. Christianne is an incredible instructor - a good combination of inspiring, intense, and a little bit crazy - as in, she got up and danced in the middle of the class, so not psycho insane, just fun! She is awesome. I think I'm digging her more than Kira these days on the RIP Ride...

Barry's Bootcamp was HARD (hello, sprinting on a 14% incline!), but I did not like the instructor! (Harley, in case anyone was wondering.) He just sorta seemed to be there to tell us what to do, but there was nothing motivating about him at all. It was also the first class that I'd done three rounds of exercise - don't we lose time going back and forth between the weights and the treadmill so much, and putting away the weights every time?! (Can you tell I've become a New Yorker who's all about the efficient use of my time in a workout? Ha!) 

Though Harley didn't do it for me, Chloe at Yoga Vida was really excellent. I went with Angela for the 6pm flow class, and even though the class was packed, I hardly noticed. She was really a great instructor and I loved the flow of things. I left the class at peace and feeling centered. I'll be back for that class for sure!

Now that brings us to this week...which is technically the first week of marathon training. Which means that in just about 16 weeks, I'll be crossing the starting line of the PARIS MARATHON. Which means it's time to get this training started!

I feel both completely/totally/utterly ready and not even a little bit ready for this training. I am SO much stronger this time than I was last time I trained for a marathon. I am also running faster times than I was back then. This gives me a lot of confidence about where I'm going to go, how I'm going to grow, and what I'm going to be able to do when 16 weeks are up. But I'm also being a big fat weenie about the cold - something I'm going to have to suck up and deal with because guess what? "It's cold out!" isn't an excuse. It's going to be cold out every day until this marathon happens, so I need to stop being a big baby about it. (This is something my dad tells me to do, in a loving way, of course.)

A friendly reminder from Thomas Jefferson to keep me motivated
It's time to push the limits, see what I'm made of, break myself down and build myself back up to run the fastest marathon I can run. Run on bad days, cold days, beautiful days, windy days, days when I'm exhausted, days when I don't feel like it, days when there are more fun things to do. There are 16 weeks between me and the marathon, and if I don't run because it's cold, or because I'm tired, or because I don't feel like it, it's my fault if I fall short of my goal. (I say all this, of course, with the thought that if my body is like, "HEY MARGARET! STOP RUNNING. THIS IS YOUR BODY SAYING NO!" then I'm going to listen to it. But assuming everything's in working order, I'm going for it!)

Here's the plan this week:
Monday: Body Ride at Revolve - check! :) 45 minutes of Jason Tran being awesome and me sweating my butt off. 
Tuesday: Run
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: Uplift Fusion
Friday: Run
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: Run

Heeeere we go...!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A runless week

You know how you make plans for things and hope that they'll happen and then...well, sometimes they just don't? That's sort of the summary of my week this week. I'd planned on going to RIP Ride on Tuesday, but a nasty migraine sidelined me and put me to bed nice and early. I'd planned on running a couple times this week, and, as you can probably guess, that didn't happen either. And I'd also made plans with my friend Katie to go see Frozen today (Idina Menzel two weekends in a row? Yes please!) - but it was completely sold out at BOTH theaters we tried. Alas, some things are just not meant to be.

This week's plan was...
Monday: OFF/light yoga - CHECK! Took the day off
Tuesday: RIP Ride at Revolve A mean migraine had other plans for me... 
Wednesday: Run Felt a bit better and did an at-home strength/cardio workout - did the 7-minute workout and Sworkit to get me through!
Thursday: Signature FHIX at Fhitting Room Had to cancel because we went to see Catching Fire after work! SO GOOD.
Friday: Run Did an Uplift Strength class in the morning - it was awesome! 
Saturday: Full body workout at Barry's Bootcamp - then multiple holiday parties! - CHECK and check! Hardcore workout and hardcore wine drinking BOTH occurred!
Sunday: Volunteering at the Girls On The Run 5k and hopefully getting a run in myself! - Volunteering gets a check but the run does not...unless drinking hot chocolate while walking around the Union Square holiday market counts? No?

Ah well. I'll run this week (no, really, because marathon training starts Dec. 16 and I don't want to start from scratch!). 

This week I returned to Uplift after a few months away. I didn't LOVE it the first time I went - it was a good workout, I got sweaty, and I really enjoyed their Malin & Goetz shower products and free Nespresso, but I just wasn't that into it. This week I decided to give it another shot, and I'm glad I did! I wore my heart rate monitor and found out that the 55 minute class torched 452 calories!!! WHOA. I mean, that's a lot of calories. AND! I was sore the next day! And the day after that! I also feel like I "get" it now. 

When I went in September, I was a hardcore Refiner - I had been going for a long time, and understood the rhythm of the class, knew what to expect from each class (except for how many times we'd have to do jumpbacks in one class), and was pretty comfortable with how it worked. Uplift does things differently, and that was hard for me to get at the time. Now that I've been using the Classtivity ClassPass, I've experienced lots of different classes, which I think has made me more open to how other classes are run, and how they work, not to mention WHY they work. I think it's important to understand what the class's goal is, how it's going to help you accomplish that goal, and what you need to do to get the most out of the class. I don't think that many fitness studios do a good job at explaining this to newcomers, though on the websites of most, they do explain.

I can't say I fully understand Uplift's ways, but having been to the class a couple of times now, I'm starting to get the hang of it. I hope I can keep improving in it and get the most out of every class!

The other superstar class I had this week was at Barry's Bootcamp (surprise, surprise). Though I've only been to a few classes, I can comfortably admit that I'm addicted to Barry's ways. I have now been to three classes, two with Noah Neiman, who is great. But this week I couldn't go to a Sunday class as I'd been doing, since I had the GOTR 5k, so I had to go to Saturday instead. I signed up with Courtney Paul, having heard the name before and thinking it's good to change it up, try other instructors. I also thought Courtney was a woman and figured it'd be interesting to see a woman's approach to instructing the class. Welp...I was wrong. HE is a seriously kickass instructor. He just seemed so on top of everything - he knew exactly when it was time to do the next interval, knew exactly what to say to push us, and brought an enthusiasm into the class that was totally infectious. I LOVED it, and I'll be back for Courtney again soon. (By the way...this class? I burned 555 calories in an hour. CRAZY.)

The treadmill intervals were really fun this week, too. I managed to get up to 9.7 mph for 20 seconds of the last 30-second sprint, bringing it up to 10.0 for the last 10 seconds! WOO! It was awesome. I felt AMAZING at the end of the class, and loved every second of it. I also started on the floor for the first time, and I have to say, I didn't hate it as much as I thought I would. I still prefer starting on the treadmill, but what can ya do when there are rabid Barry's fans gunning for the treadmills? (OK, I'm one of the rabid Barry's fans, too...)

I also had a great time volunteering at the Girls On The Run 5k this morning! Though it was freezing (no really, it was 31 degrees), I had such a good time with this amazing organization. It was SO FUN to see the girls' faces light up as we cheered for them, and I loved seeing them pick up the pace and give us all high fives as they went by. I hope I can get more involved in the organization!

The last thing I want to address is this runless week thing...I have to say, I am not happy about this being a run-free week. But some things that were out of my control happened, and some things (like bonding with coworkers over Catching Fire!) needed to happen. I just know that when it comes time for marathon training, and chasing my PR, and making Paris totally worth it (though really, Paris is always worth it) I'm going to have to make choices. Some of those choices might not involve me making the "fun" choice, and might (ha - WILL) instead involve getting up early for hill repeats in the frigid cold, and I'm going to have to do it because I want to PR, I want to run an amazing race, and I want to improve. Luckily the boyfriend is ready to help me go fast, and I might get a coach (biiig might, coaches ain't cheap!) to help, too. But I will have to rely mostly on MYSELF to make these things happen - no one is going to run that race for me, and I wouldn't want them to! I am going to take on the streets of Paris (and afterward, the wines, cheeses, breads, and pains au chocolat of Paris) having given my all in training.
See you again soon, favorite city in the world!
(Taken when I studied abroad in Paris seven years ago)
With that, here's the plan for the last week before marathon training begins!

Monday: Run
Tuesday: RIP Ride
Wednesday: Run
Thursday: Signature FHIX at Fhitting Room
Friday: Uplift Strength
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: Full Body at Barry's Bootcamp

Let's do this thing!

P.S. Sorry for the lack of photos...I didn't take any this week!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving and my December challenge

Happy Turkey Day everyone! Hope you all enjoyed your time with loved ones, friends, and family this past weekend. I braved the bus for Virginia this weekend, and the ride was actually not that bad! I had a great weekend at home, going shopping (Costco, Target, and the mall!), baking (see pie below), hanging out with family, seeing a show with my mom (OMG IDINA MENZEL), having breakfast with one of my oldest and best friends, and celebrating my brother's birthday with a GIANT (and delicious!) Costco cake. 
Mister, the cat; all-butter crust apple pie; musicals in DC!

It was just what I needed to recharge and prep for the holiday season - in just three weeks I'll be back there, hanging up ornaments on the Christmas tree, baking (probably another pie, definitely many cookies), and relaxing by the fire. I'll also be a week into marathon training - eek!

Onto this week's workouts!

This week I had planned to...:

Monday: Cardio Boxing at Exceed - CHECK!
Tuesday: RIP Ride at Revolve (this will cap off my 10 classes in November!) - CHECK!
Wednesday: Most likely OFF Walked for 2 miles on the treadmill!
Thursday: Pre-turkey run - CHECK! 6.5 miles in the books :)
Friday: Post-turkey run 15 mins stationary bike, 25 mins strength, 15 mins stationary bike!
Saturday: OFF 3.5 miles of running/jogging/walking (but mostly running!) - plus walking around Costco and the mall!
Sunday: Pre-bus run (?) Walked 2 miles on the treadmill!

Sooo even though I didn't do exactly what I had "planned" to do, I got a lot more working out in than I thought I would and I'm happy with what I did! Proud of myself for working out over the holidays :) Maybe this winter marathon training thing CAN happen?!

I also (foolishly) brought home some outdoor running gear, thinking MAYBE I'd like to go for a run along the Potomac while I was home. HA. Those clothes stayed nicely folded up all weekend long! It's just WAY too easy to run downstairs, put on a movie (or a Friends Thanksgiving marathon...) and zone out to the sound of the 'mill. 

I really liked having my Fitbit with me over Thanksgiving weekend. It was a really good reminder to get up and MOVE! And with the exception of a couple days, I did a great job at beating my 10,000 steps per day goal. Sometimes I'd just pop downstairs at 10:30 or 11pm to get moving and add on a few hundred more steps! It was a good motivator during a weekend when I could have been completely lazy and not moved from my parents' very comfortable recliner. 

One thing that I LOVED? Having the treadmill just downstairs for me to use any time I wanted! I'd totally get a treadmill in my future house, but that'll have to wait for now...I can barely fit my new Nespresso maker (early Christmas gift!) on my kitchen counter! 

Some people are doing plank challenges, run challenges, squat challenges this month...but my December challenge is going to be to use all 10 Classtivity classes in the first 20 days of the month! I think I can do it...but it will mean going to a class basically every other day! 

Here's my plan for the first week of December:

Monday: OFF/light yoga
Tuesday: RIP Ride at Revolve
Wednesday: Run
Thursday: Signature FHIX at Fhitting Room
Friday: Run
Saturday: Full body workout at Barry's Bootcamp - then multiple holiday parties!
Sunday: Volunteering at the Girls On The Run 5k and hopefully getting a run in myself!

That's THREE Classtivity classes in this first week! Fingers crossed I can keep this up for the following two weeks :)

Questions for the week...

Have you ever volunteered at a GOTR event? What can I expect?

Did you manage to squeeze in any exercise over Thanksgiving?

What's your December challenge?