The base building continued this week, and I am happy to report that I finally feel like my energy is on the upswing! I’m still loving an early bedtime and evenings on the couch, but I am definitely feeling less depleted. I haven’t really changed anything, so I have to attribute it to just the ebbs and flows that come with training. The weather was a little unideal this week, but for the most part I was still able to enjoy running outside and getting on the trails a bit, though fitting it in was a little more challenging this week.
I have been LOVING having the pull-up bar at home, and I know that it will continue to be loved for a good, long while. CrossFit boxes in Texas are reopening on Monday, and my box has implemented some pretty strict guidelines around class sizes and communal equipment. I decided that I feel comfortable returning under these guidelines, but I do think I’ll be shifting my typical routine slightly from how I had it structured previously. Pre-COVID, I ran before work and usually caught the 5pm WOD. I’ve found that I really love working out at noon, and having the rest of the evening at home with my family.
I don’t think it’s feasible for me to shift to all noon WODs, so my plan is to do one noon workout at home every week. And then pick a day where my work schedule allows me to attend a noon workout at my box. I still plan to join the 5pm crowd for my other two workouts. I think this plan is a nice balance, and will help me keep time set aside for the boys, which I’m happy about. I have hopes that this summer will be easy-going and relaxed, and staying flexible with my workout routine is going to be an important part of the overall picture.
On Friday evening, my 6 year old talked my husband and I into renting the new Scoob movie. It’s been interesting to pay so much money to watch a movie in our living room, but then I also remember the days that I willingly paid $19.99 to buy a DVD. These relaxed evenings at home have been really great for all of us, and I guess that’s worth a rental fee. I also bought a copy of Running Your First Ultra, and I’m very excited to start prepping for my 50 mile training. Next week, I’ll wrap up my base building with a 25k trail virtual race, and then the ultra fun begins!
Fitting It In
Quite a few things came up this week that threw a little wrench in the plans I had made for my training. And this is far from a rare occurrence, at this point. Most runners encounter some hurdles in their training, which is why it’s helpful to have a coach who can help you troubleshoot some of those situations. If you feel like coaching could benefit your training, please reach out via my Contact Me page.
As a mother runner, I’ve become fairly accustomed to having to edit my training plans for things like a sick kid, unexpected work travel, or a birthday party that I forgot to put on the calendar, again. It’s easy to get frustrated when training plans need to be adjusted, and it’s taken me a long time to reach some level of flexibility with my workouts. So, if you are also a type-A person like me, here are a few tips that have helped me not lose my shit when things don’t go as planned.
Splitting Up Runs
If you’ve started to embark on some higher mileage or longer distances, chances are you are spending more time on the roads or trails. Which can make “squeezing in” training more difficult. I don’t normally plan to split up my runs, mostly because I prefer to get things over and done with once I start (another symptom of type-A disorder). However, there have been plenty of times where I have found that a storm moved out faster than planned, or I woke up late because my kid decided 2am was time to “sneak” into our bed and I couldn’t fall back asleep.
In these instances where there is still time to get in some, but not all of the miles, splitting up miles can be really helpful. Running some miles in the morning and some later in the day can actually help your body figure out how to run on more fatigued legs. And professional runners regularly run two a day workouts, so it’s almost like you’re an elite athlete! Now, you don’t want to split the majority of your runs, and certainly not your long runs, because it can defeat the purpose of training your body to move consistently. But now and again, if you need to get a few miles in the morning and a few miles in the evening, it’s better than being cranky and getting no miles at all.
Moving Workouts to Different Times
For those of you who may be a little more comfortable with having a little less structure in your life (I am jealous), moving your workout to a different time may not be a huge deal. But for those of us who have the propensity to schedule (and over-schedule) our days down to 15 minute increments, moving a workout can be a little more challenging. This used to be a huge struggle for me. Until one day when I called myself out on my own BS. It is my preference to run in the morning, and lift in the afternoon/evening, but it is not what HAS to happen.
Sure, my performance may be a little better when I run first, but having to move things around once in a while isn’t the end of the world. Or at least it shouldn’t be. But it can require some problem-solving. So if you find that your plans to run at 5am have been squashed by a hail storm, or a flooded basement, or whatever else the universe throws at you, take a minute to breath. Look at your day, and try to separate yourself from your frustration for just a quick minute. See if there is anything you can move around, and if there is, then do it. Even if it means you’re running or working out at a slightly different time.
Changing Workout location
Once again, if you’re not someone who naturally plans everything out slightly obsessively, then the realization that you have the ability to change the location of your planned workout may not be all that life altering. For me, though, tunnel vision can be real strong, especially when I’m reminded that I do not in fact control everything in my life. If you realize suddenly that you won’t be able to make it to a workout class that you had planned to go to at 5, because you just got an Outlook invite for a meeting at 4:30 (so rude) it can be helpful to remember that you can change the venue of your workout if you need to.
This whole pandemic has really shown me that I can get in a pretty solid workout at home with just a kettlebell, a jump rope, and my own body weight. There’s so many resources for finding great workout recommendations at home with minimal or no equipment. In fact, I have quite a few of these resources listed out in my Staying Healthy & Sane During Social Distancing post. It can be a real bummer when you can’t workout where you want when you want, but using a little flexibility in your location can help you still get the workout in sometimes.
Something is Better than Nothing
Another hard lesson for those of us who are little more rigid in nature. For a lot of my coaching clients, when they see 7 miles programmed, that 7 miles is written in stone. And if they can’t get the full 7 done, then what’s the point in even starting? And I get the all or nothing thinking, really. But when you zoom out a little, is there really a huge difference in your resulting level of fitness if you get in 5 miles instead of 7? Or if you only have time to complete 3 rounds of a 4 round workout? Not really. It’s not something you want to do on a regular basis (because that can have some consequences), but if you’re in a pinch, something is almost always better than nothing.
Some Days, You Call It
But some days, nothing is what needs to happen. I have a distinct memory of training for my first post-baby marathon. My son came down with the flu, and I was up about once every 90 minutes running him to the bathroom when he started puking. I had a long run planned the next morning. It was great. I started to do the mental gymnastics of trying to figure out where I could squeeze in a quick 16 miles. Could I go to the gym and run in the afternoon since it would be 3 million degrees at that point in the day? Could I will myself to pretend like I had gotten some sleep? Could I sleep an hour later than I had planned and still get it done?
When I told my husband that I was trying to figure it out, he just laughed at me. He told me that he had no qualms taking care of the sick kid, but that I had lost my mind if I thought that I was going to have a productive run that day. I was exhausted. I was frustrated. I was cranky. And I was possibly going to come down with the flu. Some days, it’s just smarter to call it a loss. It’s important to take honest stock of the situation at hand, and to make an intelligent decision. Can training be adjusted in some way? Or does it need to just wait. Missing one workout here or there won’t make any real difference, but you can definitely cause yourself a lot of stress trying to force things when they clearly are not meant to be.
Related Post: The BS of Balance
We are all grown ups. We all have things to do outside of the sports that we love. And sometimes those things are going to cause interruptions and disruptions. And that’s just the way life works. Sometimes we can problem solve and figure it out. And sometimes we just need to have a beer on the couch and channel our inner Elsa to let it go.
But no matter what, it never hurts to incorporate a little more flexibility in our very busy lives.
This Weeks Workouts
Total Miles: 62
Total Workouts: 4
How the Runs Felt
My runs this week felt like they were a little all over the place, but they all still happened. My son and I stuck to our routine of running a few miles on the greenway together; he joins me for four miles on his bike, and then hangs out with my husband while I finish the other four. On Monday, I knew I wanted to run on the trail as much as possible, but because I have to work (such a pain) I wasn’t going to be able to run 10 miles before work. So I decided to get in as much as I could before work, and then finish up whatever was left over after work.
Splitting runs is something I’ve done from time to time, and I haven’t ever had any issues as a result. It’s not my preferred way of logging miles, but sometimes it gives me the opportunity to run more miles or for a longer period of time than I would otherwise. Getting in 10 total trail miles during the week just wouldn’t happen if I didn’t break it up. Wednesday was an easy-going 10 miler on the roads before work. I had plans for more of the same on Thursday, but a crazy thunderstorm woke me up at about 4am and didn’t blow past us until after 6:30.
I decided to shift my workout up to the morning and run in the afternoon. Working out on my balcony as the sun came up through the storm was a pretty great way to start the morning. Running in the afternoon, however, was no easy task. It was hot, muggy, and sunny. I’m happy that it hasn’t gotten up to the point where afternoon runs outside are impossible, and I’m hoping that I’ll have a little more access to a treadmill once we hit that lovely time of year. I’m a tough person, but running in 90+ degree weather with full Sun just isn’t a good time.
Saturday was a pretty tough long run for me. It rained overnight, and so it was really humid and muggy, and I decided that my legs needed a little breather from the vertical challenge of my closer trails. Some trail runners love sloshing in the mud, and honestly it’s not my jam. I don’t love sliding all over the place and picking up shoes that weight twice as much because of the mud. Maybe I’ll evolve, but for now I prefer dry trails. So I decided to run my 17 miles on the leon creek greenway. It’s been a while since I’ve done a long run out there, and I didn’t really mind being on the pavement, though I have to admit the trails are more fun.
The last 5k was tough. My long runs lately have been on trails, which means more time on my feet and using my muscles a whole lot more. But it also means walking breaks and incredible scenery. The greenway is mostly flat with a few rollers along the way. Not much elevation change, but without any walking to break things up, those rollers sure can get the heart rate up there. It was a little bit of a mental battle for the last 5k, but I bribed myself with the promise an egg sandwich and coffee from Einstein’s and I made it through.
Related Post: How to Keep Running When You Want to Quit
I’m happy to report that my body has survived another high mileage (for me) week!
What I’ve Been Listening To
I’ve listened to a few episodes of I’ll Have Another with Lindsey Heins, and I’ve enjoyed hearing her interview more ultra-runners. It’s a different perspective, and I think it adds some variety. It also doesn’t hurt that I’m planning my second ultra, and I am definitely looking for as much information as I can get at this point. Trail Runner Nation also had a really interesting interview with Michael McKnight, who recently ran 100 miles with no calories. That is not a challenge I will be signing myself up for! I started a new series called The Missionary about a woman who started an NGO to help malnourishment in Africa, and how the project went horribly wrong. In a time where race is definitely at the forefront of the running communities collective consciousness, it’s been engaging to hear a podcast that talks about white saviorism in a candid way.
How the WODs felt
This week felt really great. I incorporated a lot of double unders, and my calves didn’t complain once. The pull-up bar has been getting some love, and I feel like I’ve been able to add a little more variety. Even with the weather being a little gross, and limiting our outside time. I’m excited to have the CrossFit community back in my life in the near future, but also thankful for the recalibration that’s taken place over the past 8 weeks. I know the box will be different for a while, and I hope everyone is mindful and aware of that fact as we all go back.
What Went Well
I’m finally feeling like I can stay awake and functional past 7pm, which is a definite win. I got in some good core work on Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday. With the temperatures continuing to rise, I’ve been super mindful and intentional about getting in as much water as is reasonable and possible. And most importantly, I stayed flexible this week, despite a few unexpected bumps in the road.
What Went Shitty
I wasn’t super great this week about getting my stretching, and I definitely felt a little stiff by Friday. I also haven’t been getting outside for my morning walks, and even thought I get plenty of running, the little mental break in the morning is important for me.
Plans to Improve Next Week
Next week my plan is to be grateful for the fact that I will be able to get back in the box, and to make sure I keep the important things prioritized.