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Musings on Strength Training...

Monday, June 13, 2011

So --

I have struggled at this time of my life in this area, and continue to struggle with it. I'm trying to think of the best plan that I know I can stick to.

M - Straight Forward Weights at home OR RockIt Ballet (yes I'm going to give that another try sometime soon) OR Straight Forward Weights at the Gym.

I CAN go straight home from work on Monday, so I might choose that option some days - like today I'm going to the movies w/ my DH.

T - Zumba after work or nothing? I'd rather not make an ST day contingent upon missiong Zumba because then if I Zumba, I won't ST. Could be a DanceTrance day if I feel like extra cardio. (Run in the AM)

W - Pilates at the gym before Big Band - I'm not really sure I'm a fan of this Pilates instructor, I miss my Pilates class from Tuscaloosa SO BAD. But - I know Pilates is really great for my running - it strengthens core and hips... AND it fits perfectly in my schedule for me to go to this and then Big Band so I think I'm going to keep it. (Run in AM)

Th - Zumba or Bellydance - (Run in AM)

F - Power Yoga or nada.

S - Run in AM - potential for Yoga/TRX/ST after my run if I didn't do anything Friday night.

So in this framework I'm getting one full body traditional ST workout in the beginning of the week (OR RockIt Ballet which from my experience thus far is a bit weak on upper body stuff, but realy worked the hips, abs, quads pretty well. glutes were hit a bit w/ donkey kicks and plies I guess but thats it).

So what do you think? Is that enough Strength Training? Power Yoga is not exactly strength training but we do a bunch of chatturanga's and lunging poses, last class we spent some time working on side planks (and I did my first EVER real side plank!!) and all that good stuff. I mean it works it all. I feel confident about being able to stick to the above schedule, but I'm just curious the thoughts on if I should trade out some of this for different more straightforward ST, or having a variety of things that are kind of ST seems good to you guys.

Anyway! Did a trail run on Saturday w/ some new people that I met through a local running group "We Run Huntsville" - and I had a great time. I brought them marathon bars - but holy crap the route they had us doing!!! I will post an elevation chart so you can see:

Yes, see that giant diagonal line in the middle? The darker green color is elevation and the lighter green is grade - it maxed at a 33% incline. WAaaaaat? I felt like it was like 45%+ - haha. But then you can see it kind of levels, just little ups and downs - it was like a giant climb and then turn into the woods, and that part was nice, and then it was the awful descent. The chart is just the "out" portion.

I was able to hand out some marathon bars and then we all hung out on their lovely porch for a while before returning home. :)

The man to the left stuck with me - he was the husband of the husband and wife host duo - seemed we were about pace twins, while the rest took off - he had to wait for me a couple times just because he was obviously much stronger on the hill that we were tramping up and more comfortable on the trails - I always fell behind if we had to go over rocks. :P haha. But I don't think I was too demanding of a person to look out for at least cause I was able to make up time and catch up on more runnable parts. Turns out he and his wife are race directors for the Huntsville Half so there may be some good Marathon Bar opportunities there, although there is the hiccup that I will be out of town that weekend!

So yeah - still sore from that run, but it's subsiding a bit today and I think I'll have a good run tomorrow morning - my homemade schedule has me doing 3. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEATONCEADAY 6/13/2011 2:50PM

    i believe in order to maintain you need to st only 2x per week. to get more muscle/strength it has to be 3-4x and with heavier weights. i find this sucks because then i don't enjoy running so much as my legs are so dead. however you often exercise 2x per day so maybe you could handle it . that is why i may hit the weights hard after my half because i know with summer heat i will be running less anyway. with you prepping for a full a 2x per week st plan maybe better for you (not including yoga/pilates type stuff. something like mtc where it is full body push/pull. nrol4w is also full body. if i wasn't running i would probably do the more traditional legs day, chest/back day, shoulders/arms day approach but that is so time consuming. i like having a couple of rest days.

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HOPERY 6/13/2011 12:27PM

    My thoughts on the ST would be to lift heavy when you can. I never liked many of the classes for this, just basic heavy lifting is what I like.

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SEPPIESUSAN 6/13/2011 12:08PM

    I'm going through a similar inner debate about strength training because 3x/wk Body Pump has been working so well for me, but it's at 5:30 at a place that's on my way home from school. Summer vacation is starting soon and I'm not sure I'll have the self-discipline to get to the gym for class without the structure of my day that school brings. I've thought about asking for advice on what to do from Spark, but really I think only we know deep down what schedule is best for us....too bad I'm so stinkin' indecisive though!

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NOELLIEMAE 6/13/2011 12:01PM

    awesome run! where did they take you?!

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NYC_NATIVE 6/13/2011 12:00PM

    2xs/week ST is sufficient. But since you're doing power yoga, I'd also do pulling/back-based movements during the other strength workout. Power yoga's great for chest, lower-body & shoulder development, not so much for back stuff. Including stuff such as dumbbell or barbell rows, inverted rows, lat pulldowns, and chinups/pullups will round out your strength/core development.

I *heart* trail running! It's such a refreshing change of pace from pounding the pavement. That's the kind of elevation I sometimes enjoy tackling, too, lol.

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MBSHAZZER 6/13/2011 11:37AM

    Dana, sounds like a great group run, but that is some serious elevation! What a workout!

As for the ST.... personally, I like nothing fancy, just hitting the weights hard. The key with ST is really quality, not quanitity, so don't get too tripped up on ST X times per week. Do it when you can, but make it count!

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BREWMASTERBILL 6/13/2011 10:41AM

    I don't know the particulars of the programs you're referring to, but my take is that it should include a lot more lifting. Heavier the better.

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ETTEZEUS 6/13/2011 10:36AM

    Wow! What a trail run! I'm so freaking jealous of all you people that are able to run hills, mountain, grades, whatever you call them! I'm so stinking sick of the bridge that I can't even bring myself to drive over there anymore.

Anyway, nice run!

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Yoga Day!

Friday, June 10, 2011

So, I may have only added one day this week to running, and I tried to keep the mileage low, but I inadvertently transitioned to something more taxing without thinking about it much - 3 days in a row of running.

Until now I don't think I've even run 2 days in a row... so... hahaha. Stupid. But I'm feeling ok, just my feet are glad for an off day of running right now.

Bellydance class was great last night - first full class with the jingles. YAY! And we worked on Chest Isolations, which is fun.

Anyone watching So You Think You Can Dance? The dancers for this season are so amazing, I'm so PUMPED for the season. I lovelovelove watching people dance. It's my favorite thing. :)

As I mentioned, it's Yoga day - time for me to go get the mental and physical recharge of my most favorite yoga instructor's Power Yoga class! :)

Next week on Saturday is an "Intermediate Yoga Workshop" - I'm very curious about going but also intimidated by the important sounding title as I consider myself a BEGINNER in yoga. .... . . . ... . . . I'm still trying to give myself courage to just go anyway.

This Saturday I get to play my first event with the gospel group I've been playing with - woohoo! :) I also got a gig with them in July for one of the group member's wedding, and then also on a Saturday at a local retirement home again. Woot. So trombone playing is happening!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARLIE13 6/16/2011 11:21PM

    I've added yoga in now after every run this week. Love it so far and I feel soooo much better afterwards. I'm watching SYTYCD!!!! Except I'm behind this week so far.

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HOPERY 6/13/2011 12:00AM

    So now I am posting again and laughing because of Breigh.

emoticon emoticon

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BCARSON11 6/10/2011 1:47PM

    Enjoy your yoga. Namaste' emoticon

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SWEATONCEADAY 6/10/2011 12:16PM

    have fun at yoga!

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SKYFYRE 6/10/2011 11:59AM

    Go to intermediate! I bet is it just more form and the same stuff as beginner ;) That is how it was at the studio I tried Bikram. Great job on all the running, Careful with your footsies!

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MBSHAZZER 6/10/2011 11:08AM

    I wish I could like yoga... somehow, it always makes me feel worse! Definitely doing something wrong!

Enjoy all of the music this weekend!

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HOPERY 6/10/2011 10:31AM

    We need a video of you jingleing!

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REGILIEH 6/10/2011 10:26AM


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NON-Fancy blog. :)

Thursday, June 09, 2011

So I've been posting a lot of photos lately - it's fun! But this one's gonna be just the brass tacks.

Went to another sports doc today to talk about my left side being my problem child and how I have issues basically - wanted to know if he thought I should see a chiro or what.

So there were X-Rays taken and apparently my Bones look good! My tailbone is in fact wonky off to one side like I've always felt and noticed it poking in Pilates so I can't do a rolling move without a ton of padding - I need to get a 2nd thicker pad, btw. One isn't enough - I tried it yesterday and had to sit out of the rolling moves after a couple attempts w/ owies. But my pelvis and hip joints and everything looks good. The doc tested me for pain w/ a few movements (like push up against my hand (on knee) don't let me push your leg down, hands on outer knees push out, if I rotate leg inward, if I push it this way balhlbahblah) no pain. I did explain to him that I wasn't really having any pain right now, but I'm building back up and I can feel the beginning signs of things I've had before and want to know what I can do to prevent.

So he referred me to physical therapy so they can do some deep tissue stuff and also help me learn some other things besides what I've been doing and whatnot. I'm not sure if I'll be able to afford to continue the full month of twice a week that he referred me to, since it's a $20 co-pay for me each time... but! I do want to at least try it once bare minimum.

Yesterday I mapped out a training course for myself for the year - in Excel I made a grid for each day of the year through my 12/11 race in Miami and put on there various races that I want to do and mapped out some mileage increases throughout the year to build up to distances in my LR that will train me for my races, and also ensure I get my base to my goal for this year which is about 30+ mpw. I checked to ensure I was not increasing by more than 10% (unless it was from a reduced mileage week due to a cutback week or something) at once, and I also included some cutback weeks throughout and mini tapers for my races - ultra minis for 10K, just making sure I put a shorter day closer to the race, and just a mild taper for my half's.

So I have a kind of a guideline for where I want to go. This week will be my first 4 day running week this year - running again on Saturday - and later on this year I plan to add in a recovery day on Sunday. It only gets up to 4m and that's toward the biggest weeks before the Soldier Half and one of the weeks between that and Miami - most are 2-3 miles. I really want to get used to that number of running days a week because I want to do a 5 day a week training plan when I go into marathon training next year - and marathoning won't happen till next Nov! So if I can use this gradual build this year to get to the point I'm looking at, I will be super happy because I will be well prepared to continue to work my base to be possibly more overall mileage, and probably not increase the LR too much until I get to Marathon Training, with a big capital MT!

I looked at the percentage of LR to weekly mileage and I'll be averaging about 40% - which is on the high end of what they recommend but I think that'll be ok, I had a much worse/higher percentage when I was Marathon Training last year, which led to a kind of not so great marathon, but training wise I was holding up ok for the most part. This will be better and stronger.

Anyway - I'm trying to be mega smart about all this and I'm feeling really confident that I have a good plan. I will have no formal speed work in all this and be just patient to be building miles. Looking at last year I averaged 57% for my weekly LR of total mileage for the week, and for the entire training program I averaged 27 MPW and maxed at 36MPW. Because I was focusing so much on the LR, I completely ignored how little I was running overall. Most weeks I ran 4 days, some weeks I only ran 2 or 3 according to my dailmile records. Let's hope I forgot to log some in there maybe? But I don't think so. Honestly, I know much better. Hahaha. UGH what was I thinking???

Anyway - my plan for this year has several 30+ weeks so I can get that average working, and I have a max week of 34, and NO MARATHONS planned. I hope to come out of this year a much stronger runner.

Last year I had some much spottier running coming back from last year's marathon what with all the rowing I was doing. After the regatta, my running picked up quite a bit.

Looking at my weekly mileage increases and decreases, I have very few within the "10%" range - although FWIW, my average trend from marathon training was 12% increase. It was just done very sporadically - Up 50% this week, up 6%, than 22% then down 28% and down again 31% then up 26% (cause I was down so far) then up again 52%, then down 8% then up 34% - and so on and so forth.

So - BIG GOALS THIS YEAR for running:

Consistency. Strength. Balance. No injuries!

It would be great if achieving these goals would lead to some PR's, but honestly, doing this safely is more important to me than running a fast race. I know the times will come if I put in the miles.

Tonight: Zumba or Bellydancing - got in a nice easy 2 in the neighborhood this morning according to plan. Then Gospel group. My Marathon Bars are keeping me going! So busy!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARLIE13 6/10/2011 10:11AM

    When did we switch to blue? Please tell me it hasn't been that long!!

PS No matter what your goals are, you are always a rockstar to me! Go gettem!

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HOPERY 6/9/2011 7:13PM

    I love that you are planning to build up for the marathon. Do you charge a fee to just e-mail me the plan and I will just follow along? THen, I don't have to come up with my own. LOL

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MBSHAZZER 6/9/2011 5:39PM

    Dana, great job pre-empting any problems. You are smart to see the doc NOW before you run into anything major while you're trying to train for a big event. My chiro visits cost me a $40 co-pay and I had to go 7 times.... OUCHIE! But worth it!

I think your training plan is good and I do agree with you focusing on total weekly mileage instead of just the LR. When I first started marathon training (around the same time as you, I think!), my LR was half of my weekly mileage! I gradually started increasing my weekly runs so that it wasn't so lopsided and I think that helped a lot. For me, adding in a day wasn't good, so I lengthened my weekly runs. But that's because once I'm running, I'm fine, but if I go from 4 to 5 days, the old bod doesn't really like it. For you, adding in another day might work, though.

OK, enough commentary! Good luck with the PT!

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    i need some razzle dazzle from your blog or it is just boring lol.

it isn't boring at all and i am loving your planning. wow girl. you are going to rock miami! enjoy belly dancing! emoticon
since you do so much stuff you need to find a polynesian dancing group to join too! aloha!

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KSGROTHE 6/9/2011 1:51PM

    Great plan! emoticon

- Karen

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ABSOLUTZER0 6/9/2011 1:24PM

    This is going to be a good year for you as will next year! I like "Consistency. Strength. Balance. No injuries!" That's the plan for me, too!

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My Favorite Run: Photo Blog

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Just a photoblog to bring you with me on my run this morning - a nice 4 miler in the new gear - visor and singlet check out as being A-OK! The singlet is short, but I never felt exposed tummy and the way the fabric is designed it doesn't cling or ride up around that area, so I think it'll work. :)

This is a Greenway that is (assuming traffic cooperates) less than 5 min drive from my house. SCORE! So I use it frequently for midweek running - ok, so for almost every single midweek run.

If you start from the parking lot near my house and run the left side of the route fully, it's 2.2 miles. Right side is 4 miles. If you combine it all, it's about .85 + 1.75 = 2.6 from one end to the other, and the little path from the parking lot to the main trail is about .25 (so .5 for out and back), running the whole thing out to one end then the other and back, you can get 5.2 miles. There is also the option of repeating short or long side, only going partially out - OR taking a turnoff you'll see later that leads to neighborhoods OR a business park that has a nice loop of 3.6 miles. I use to run a lot of long runs starting in the park and then looping around the business park, adding extra roads from the business park as well (the loop is just one road that literally is a big circle! haha)

Here is the start of the trail - clearly marked with those on foot on one side to allow for bikes and other wheeled folks on the other. Most people stick to these, although occasionally runners will hug the opposite side if there are people or walkers around walking there on the other direction:

A view to the side of this little bridge to see the creek:

Team Marathon Gear in Action!

You pass under this street, with a nice view of the creek - this is also where there is an option to turn off to the road sidewalks mentioned before:

I especially love that most of the trail is very well shaded - this is literally the type of tree cover along most of it - on the shorter side there are some more open parts on one side of the trail, but the other side still has these trees!

Coming up on.... COWS!

These cows are hilarious. Sometimes they are really close up on the fence just giving you the big crazy cow eye. Right next to the cows, there is also a pasture for some horses. This one was pacing the fence with me today - so pretty!

I dunno if you can even see this bunny - but you might see her flashing eye! She was munchin on some shrubbery:

My friend the horsey! :)

There is another little bridge that I didn't get a good picture of on the way out, so here it is on the way back. :)

The diverging path - to the right - MORE RUNNING! To the left - straight on back!

Water- Stretch-Stretch

Hope you enjoyed it! :) I did!

I also tried the Caramel Nut Protein bar flavor after my run cause I was short on time and that turned into my breakfast- SO GOOD.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRECKS96 6/9/2011 4:47PM


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NOELLIEMAE 6/9/2011 4:34PM

    AWESOME! and you must live pretty darn close to me... this is the Greenway I bike/run quite a bit :)

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BOILERINAZ 6/9/2011 12:16PM

    awesome route...love all the shade..I am super jealous of that! :) Keep running!

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MARLIE13 6/9/2011 9:51AM

    Looks like a great path! I'm jealous. Love the one where it splits off...so many possibilities!!

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ESBELL 6/9/2011 12:05AM

    Pretty - so much greener than the desert I am used to.

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MBSHAZZER 6/8/2011 6:50PM

    That looks great! The one thing I miss living in Florida is the lack of deciduous (sp??) trees. Palm trees are great for that tropical feel, but don't offer much shade!

Oh yeah, and the only animals I see are the PARTY ANIMALS!!

Comment edited on: 6/8/2011 6:51:05 PM

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    That's a nice path. I run by some goats. They're pretty hilarious too like your cows.

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MARLIMOO 6/8/2011 2:41PM

    Relaxing route!

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RUNTRILAUGH 6/8/2011 2:12PM

    Like the route! Bet you can get some "nice" smells some days, too! LOL

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ETTEZEUS 6/8/2011 1:18PM

    Nice trail! I'm pretty much jealous! Especially of the shade!!!!

(also, I talked to DH about Miami...possibility is very good :)

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 6/8/2011 12:52PM

    nice pictures!

Is that creek runnable in a boat in the spring?

(sorry, I seem to have a one-track mind. LOL)

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Team Marathon Ambassador!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

So I got my kit today! :) To steal one of my Team Members photos, it looked a little like this:

Those split shorts - HOLY WOW. No I will not be wearing those in public OR in my home. HAHAHA. Not without something underneath and I think that kinda defeats the purpose of their lightness. But I did still take a few pictures (including my new profile picture):

The singlet is way shorter than the Shirt, unfortunately - not sure I'll be able to rock that one as well:


Also I ate one of the Crunchy Dark Chocolate Energy Bars - soooooo good.

150 cal, 7g of fiber, 11g protein, supersuper delicious.

So excited! :D

P.S. -- TO CLARIFY - I AM NOT MODELING THE SPLIT SHORTS. Those are my own personal 8" inseam compression shorts. I told you those shorts I got are NOT getting seen!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    OK, dumb guy question. I tried to google and figure it out, but what is this? Is this organized or something? What is the purpose? They definitely have some cool looking stuff and if they need a model, I'd nominate you for the job. You look great.

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MBSHAZZER 6/8/2011 6:52PM

    I'm sure the split shorts look fine, but with your LOOOOONG legs, I can totally understand the hesitation! But just to be sure, I know you'd totally rock them!

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KSGROTHE 6/8/2011 5:58PM

    Wow! You look so trim! emoticon

- Karen

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CLOVERR1 6/8/2011 1:37PM

    GREAT pics...SWEET deal! :)

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ETTEZEUS 6/8/2011 1:20PM

    What do the shorts look like?? I love split shorts emoticon

ETA: You look great!

Comment edited on: 6/8/2011 1:22:07 PM

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NOELLIEMAE 6/8/2011 10:55AM


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HOPERY 6/8/2011 10:35AM

    So, where is the split in the shorts? haha I love the new pic you are using for your profile! A big bowl of awesomeness!

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SWEATONCEADAY 6/7/2011 10:04PM

    the shorts are cute! they are not too short! well you look hot in them.

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MARLIE13 6/7/2011 9:50PM

    The colors are so fun! Very cool!

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ABSOLUTZER0 6/7/2011 9:05PM

    Go Team MARATHON! I'm still waiting on my package. I hope it gets here soon because I wanted to wear it in a race this weekend, but I wanted to do a training run in the gear. I'm a singlet and split shorts kind of guy. I don't know how or when it happened, but it did!

I am sure whatever you wear, you will ROCK IT! Maybe they should think about a skort next year. Not that I would wear it, but it would be a nice option for women.

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