March Goals: Success? + Goals for April.

I realize I sound like a broken record, but how on earth is it the last day of March already? It may as well be April, which means I am basically going to be home THIS MONTH! Crazypants. Once I get home I am never leaving ever again. I will live in her basement until I am 70 with 70 cats (even though I hate those nasty creatures). Now that we’ve got my life plan sorted, let’s talk about some goals! I really like the idea of returning to goals a month later, since I have a tendancy to simply make them and then forget – which is pretty darn pointless if you ask me. Here is how I did on my March Goals:

Monthly Goals

1. Reduce caffeine dependancy. A+

Now, don’t go all crazy thinking I’ve cut out caffeine or something, because pigs will fly before that happens. What I DID do, however, was exactly what I wanted – quit that lunchtime / mid afternoon cup of coffee. I was feeling incapable of making it through the day without a second jolt, but not anymore! I still savour my morning cup(s) – I have two – but that’s it. I’m definitely wiped by the time I sit down for dinner, but my sleep has improved and I don’t feel like so much of a junky. WIN!

image-16

 

2. Run 100 miles. A

I was so freaking close you guys – I ran 95 miles this month! I definitely would have been at 100, but I skipped my long run the weekend my mom came to visit me. I am still super happy with this, though, given that I ran 60 miles in January and 78 in February. Progress is progress!

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 6.26.52 PMI just realized this is the most I have ran EVER.

3. Stay on top of readings. A

I think I deserve an A for this! I didn’t do perfectly (I actually missed one week of Psychology altogether, and am still procrastinating on an English article from 2 weeks ago) but I did much better than I have in the past. I’m just grateful I don’t have to watch videos of Computer Science anymore.

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4. Journal weekly. F

Is it possible to give an F-? I completely forgot that this was even a goal, which means a big, fat F for Emma. I logged my running religiously, but that is it. Luckily I haven’t had any earth-shattering experiences that would really necessitate journalling, but I still like the idea of it being a habit.

 

April Goals

AprilGoals

1. Run 100 miles. I came so close in March, I absolutely must do it this month!

2. Take two rest days. That may not seem like a lot, but when I’m at school I get into a really bad habit of working out every single day, just because I can. At home it’s not an issue since work / life allows days off to happen naturally, but living 10 minutes away from the gym and a minimal course load means I have endorphins at my fingertips.

3. Implement one technology-free hour before bed. I want to see if this helps me wake up less during the night, and feel more rested when the morning comes! Because in case you guys didn’t know, Instagram feeds are endless.

4. Feel confident in my decision. I have a rather large decision to make, and it’s not something I can explain in a quick snippet right now. I will definitely blog about it once I have my thoughts together, though! All I want come the end of April is to have made my choice and be happy with it, and not playing the “what if” game.

Tell me one of your goals for April! 

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Half Marathon Training Week 1.

AT. FREAKING. LAST! That is exactly what I have to say about recapping my first week of training. To be honest, I sort of feel like I’ve been “training” since December, since that’s when I really committed myself to running regularly and building up my milage. But until last week, all I did was run easy whenever I felt like it, plus a long run on the weekend. And while I’m keeping that philosophy for the most part, I am excited about dedicating twelve weeks to tougher workouts and getting faster!

This is what happened last week. It wasn’t super exciting, but it was more interesting than four easy paced runs a la December – February. 🙂

Monday: 5 recovery miles. Holy man alive was I sore for this run. A long run on Saturday plus heavy squats on Sunday made my legs absolutely hate me. Typically a slow run helps my soreness much more than taking a day off, so that’s what I did! Cracking up to Tina Fey’s audiobook most definitely helped.

bossypants.

Tuesday: total body strength training. As expected, my legs felt 100% better – if they hadn’t, I would have taken the day off.

Wednesday: 5 mile tempo workout. AKA my first run of substance in who knows how long. I found it in my Believe training journal, and did it on the treadmill thanks to Raincouver. I had exactly enough time for 5 miles, and no more, so that explains some of the wonky times / mileage. I’m so looking forward to having my own treadmill and schedule!

  • 8 minute warmup
  • 3 minutes slightly slower than tempo
  • 3 minutes at tempo (I’m using goal HMP)
  • 3 minutes slightly faster than tempo
  • 5 minute recovery
  • Repeat the above 3 x 3 minutes once, then, with no recovery
  • 1 mile @ tempo
  • 3 min cooldown

I would have loved to do a few sets of the 3 x 3 minutes since it didn’t really tire me out all that much, but maybe it was for the better. Easing into things and all that. 😉 Also, cool down for more than 3 minutes! That is not a good example.

Thursday: total body strength. Nothing that fancy/taxing, just about half an hour of some random strength moves.

Friday: 5 easy miles. Exactly the same as Monday!

Saturday: 8 mile long run. I sorta considered doing 10 again, but the massive knots in my quads told me to keep it a bit shorter this week. Plus, running 10 miles last weekend absolutely destroyed me. I was not functional at all for the entire day and I wasn’t in the mood to experience that again.

Beautiful morning  to start the weekend off right! Are those cherry blossoms  I see

The promise of a beautiful post-run smoothie at Whole Foods was incredibly encouraging as well. 🙂

Sunday: OFF. Slept over at a friend’s on Saturday night, and by the time I made it back to my dorm on Sunday it was time for all the essay writing. Have I told you I’m writing it on cats in horror movies? My two favourite things…

^ they are actually my two least favourite things if the irony wasn’t tangible enough for you.

Friday Favourites – Music To My Ears.

Full disclosure: I have dreamed of writing a post with the intro “IT’S FRIDAY” since last Saturday. I know it’s important to “live in the now”, but it just gets to be so incredibly hard during the last few weeks of term! Anywhoville, we made it, finally, so it’s time to chat about all the Friday Favourites!

Friday-Favorite-Link-Up-Botton-Life-In-Leggings

 

Skora Performance Running Shoes. 

I stumbled across this brand on Twitter, and I am very intrigued to say the least! They are a minimalist shoe with balanced cushioning, and focus on high-quality weather resistant material. <– of the utmost importance for me living in Raincouver! They are also reflective – how cool is that? It’s built-in running safety.

skora-running.

Believe Training Journal. 

I only received this last week, and am already in love! I tried one of the workouts for my first foray back into fastish running, and it made 5 miles on the treadmill incredibly fun. And that is not an exaggeration. I was actually very annoyed with the construction worker that made me get off so he could use the plugin.

As if I wasn't inspired enough by  - IT'S HERE!  Big things are happening in 2015!

Spicy Apple Ginger Chews.

After breakfast, dinner, or just because, I plowed through my first pack of these in less than five days. Oops? But not really – so darn delicious! I most definitely made it a priority to get off campus to Whole Foods yesterday so I could buy a couple more packs. Gotta stay prepared!

ginger-chews.

Maroon Five. 

After reading Heather’s post on going to their concert, I have been listening swooning to Adam Levine on repeat. I think my current favourite is “In Your Pocket” –> so sassy!

Maroon-5-Adam-Levine-Overexposed-Tour-2013-North-America-Dates-Details-Live-Nation-VIP-FIJust…yup. ❤ .

The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella. 

I have no shame. This was an adorable read, perfect to relax and get my mind off of stress / studying. There is time for “intelligent” reading when I’m not swamped with 200 pages of assigned work!

sophie-kinsella-undomestic-goddess.

Almond Butter & Jam. 

Sometimes in a sandwich, sometimes on a spoon, this combo has been getting a lot of extra love lately! Mostly because you just can’t beat that sweet / savoury combo, but also because it’s getting down to the end and you know what that means…overnight oats in a jar! So ready.

Sidenote: do any of you call it “jelly”? I’ve never used that term in my life, but apparently there are differences between the two? Please enlighten me!

Pizza, French Fries + Ice Cream / Thinking Out Loud

1. The productivity struggle is real. Why is it so much more pleasant to stare blankly at a screen than actually read / do work?

2. I’m doing it now. It’s been a long day, my mind is at a blank, and staring is just so darn peaceful. This is why we have link parties like Thinking Out Loud, because intense procrastination = word thought vomit.

Thinking-Out-Loud

3. THOUGHT! I continue to be amazed by what I see at the gym. And not always in a good way. Earlier this week, I saw a personal trainer taking a (incredibly) overweight man through a workout. First of: hooray him for getting active! But he had the guy doing machine assisted preacher curls for a solid 20 minutes. I know I’m not a personal trainer, but just…ugh. I don’t see the point in such artificial, isolated movements! Especially if you are trying to lose weight. Rant over.

rant

4. My smoothie craving is taking over my life. The only place I know of to get healthy smoothies is at Whole Foods, at $8-$10 a pop. I’m already planning my morning for next Wednesday so I can get another one. 10am cancelled class = goodbye, savings fund.

whole-foods-smoothies

5. Speaking of cravings… Mint chocolate chip ice cream. Ham & pineapple pizza. Peanut butter & banana panini. Fries dipped in vanilla ice cream. Yup…that about covers it. I guess I could throw this juice in there too…ya know, since this is supposed to be a healthyish blog and all that.

6. I have a new obsession. It is called a cat emoji. If you didn’t know this already, I despise cats. Like, cringe every time I see one / run in the opposite direction / spend way too long ranting about the nasty creatures. BUT yeah this has been in approximately 100% of my texts lately. It’s an issue.

crying-cat-emoji

7. Would it be bad to do two half marathons two weekends in a row? SeaWheeze is August 15 (which I am definitely doing), and the Edmonton Marathon is the week after.I’m planning on running SeaWheeze super super easy, and I am kinda in love with the idea of a race that starts 3 feet away from my front door. Plus it gives me a backup if I crash and burn on my 1:45 this June!

Logo_Home

8. Apparently Nisku is in Alberta. Geographically Challenged Emma was convinced it was in the Bahamas, which is not surprising considering my friend once made me believe she was in NY when she was really in Devon (also in Alberta). Also, my deepest apologies for that run-on sentence but it is Thinking Out Loud day which means I’m allowed to do exactly that.

9. UberFacts: 40% of twins invent their own languages which are called autonomous languages. 

10. “And I rap myself right into this bubble / oh I guess it’s bubble wrap.” Best. Lyric. Ever. It seriously makes me crack up no matter where I am (which is usually the very public university gym).

Favourite emoji as of late? 

Does anyone else have ridiculous procrastination habits? Like just staring…for hours…

Weekly Reads Wednesday

Confession #1: Sometimes the only thing that gets me through the day is the promise of stretchy pants at the end of it.

Confession #2: Sitting on the floor allows me to be infinitely more productive than sitting on my bed. (I can’t sit at my desk because it is currently serving as a storage facility for a 20 000 square foot house).

I’ve read a couple of times over at Fitting It All In that some people have been making her Weekly Reads Wednesday into a linkup, so I decided to join in! Half because I spend an embarrassing amount of time scrolling through Twitter and half because I’ve been running around campus all day like a chicken with my freaking head cut off and have no time for a properly coherent post.

weeklyreads1-500x500

 

LIFE. 

12 Women Who Had The Best Response to Society’s Biggest Expectation –> nice to see a different choice becoming more mainstream and respected.

26 Year Old in Charge (of the ND Democratic Party!) –> I’m fascinated by both Canadian & American politics, and it is incredibly cool to see this girl doing such powerful things!

Star Trek & The BFG in Vancouver –> so…I’m both horrified that there will be a Star Trek without Leonard Nimoy, and jumping up and down that my favourite childhood book will be made into a movie. IN MY CITY!! (sorry, you pretty much don’t need to click the link anymore)

 

HEALTH. 

Ultimate Guide to No-Bake Energy Bites –> aka my most favourite form of snack ever. No getting bored now!

Is Coffee Healthy? –> not that it would have stopped me from drinking it, (spoiler alert) but the huge list of health benefits is pretty cool!

americano-espresso

Health Lessons We Can Learn from France –> reason #9871 why France is my dream home

 

RUNNING.

Q & A With Elite Runner Alexi Pappas –> inspring!

FueledByLOLZ Shamrock Half Marathon –> even more inspiring. This girl just pulled off a 1:33 half marathon, three weeks post-marathon, AND battling an injury.

 Half Marathon Training Phases –> an awesome breakdown of what to focus on, when!

What I Do When I Can’t Walk (Run Recovery)

So, yesterday my Type A / hardcore chick came out with my post on half marathon training! I definitely turn into a beast when I have a goal, but I’m not always that way. Case in point: It is currently 9:41pm, my mind is whirring, and I’m basically a lunatic with a laptop and a foam roller.

I do have big running goals, but I also don’t take running all that seriously. This shows when I do things like:

  • Long run on Saturday: during which the last 2 miles of my 10 miler felt like marathon and I almost stopped to walk 30.3 times –> it was not an easy jaunt.
  • Squat PR on Sunday: I woke up with no soreness, so I decided to hit the gym! (weekends are the only day the squat rack is ever free).

WELL, it turns out that when you do things like that, your legs start to hurt. A LOT. In an effort to not hobble around like an eighty-seven year old man, I’ve been taking some measures to help loosen up the poor fellows.

1. Slow recovery run. Since I only run 4x per week, I usually go fast-ish (for me) every time. NOT yesterday. I’m not even going to tell you what my pace was because it doesn’t matter – I just focused on getting that lactic acid outta there, and pretended that the ground was massaging my legs.

2. Foam roll all day. I know everyone says to foam roll, but I don’t mean one 10-15 minute session and then you’re done for the day. Every time I made it back to my room, I hopped on that thing and worked out a few more kinks. I probably did it 5-6 times and it is a godsend.

3. Torture Device Extraordinaire. AKA this magic ball. It has been a godsend with shin splits, but also areas like the balls of my feet and hipbones that a foam roller can’t quite get to.

pro-tec-spiky-massage-ball-web-h1_1

4. REST! I’m doing what I should have done on Sunday –> allowing my muscles to recoup and rejuvenate. My schedule is absolutely packed today anyway so it’s not like I will be missing out.

5. Keep moving. The worst thing you can do is to sit on your butt all day. Similar to recovery runs, keeping moving / walking will encourage muscles to stay loose, springy and extended.

6. Chowing down on the good stuff. There are no magic pills that will immediately cure you of DOMS. But, making sure you are still consuming a diet of a variety of nutrients will only speed up the recovery process. Lots of dark fruits, leafy greens, and healthy fats are ideal. <– and all the water! Never forget the water.

oatsBlueberries + nut butter = power food. Now if only I could find a way to incorporate spinach into oats. 

7. ICY HOT. If all else fails, this stuff is an absolute miracle worker. I used it for years while ski racing 20-30 hours per week, and I honestly do not know what I would have done without it. It is the only way my legs did not collapse underneath me after an 8 hour training day + 2 hour dryland training session (think squats, sprints, wall-sits, etc.). I’ve never been affiliated with them – I’ve just used their product for over 10 years!

I sincerely hope you aren’t in the position to need some / all of these measures, but I’ve got you covered if you are! Have a super excellent Tuesday, and I will talk to you guys tomorrow!

What do you do the day after a hard run/workout? 

Intermediate Half Marathon Training Plan

I can hardly contain my excitement. There are exactly twelve weeks remaining until my second half marathon!!

And you know what that means – TRAINING PLAN TIME! My fellow type As can relate to the magnificence of having an exact schedule to follow. I based this off of several training plans that I’ve researched over the past ~4 months while obsessing over this race. I also knew that I wanted to run 4x per week, incorporate different activities and have a rest day. I’ve kept it both specific and flexible, though.

For example, “5 miles speed” – this allows me to do basically whatever I please, keeping running fun and preventing it from turning into an obligation. I may have big dreams with running, but at the end of the day it is still a fun hobby and I never ever want it to turn into more than that.

There are infinite possibilities – repeats, fartleks, or substituting an easy run if my legs just aren’t feeling it. That’s another reason why I didn’t want to pencil in specific workouts – I never want to push myself to hard and end up feeling burned out, or worse, injured! Been there, done that my friends.

Some more highlights of this training plan:

1. Long runs start at 10 miles. It just makes no sense to follow the buildup that is common in most plans when I can already run for 90 minutes! So this will help me get more comfortable with the distance.

2. Long runs include half marathon pace. I just wouldn’t feel comfortable attempting to run 13.1 miles @ 8:00 if I had only ever done that in speed / tempo runs. So there are a few long runs with miles at HMP sprinkled in there, and  a slightly slower test run one month out.

3. Increased midweek mileage. In my head, 6 miles is a longish but relatively easy run that I could do in the morning without much thought. Bump it up to 7 miles, though, and all of a sudden it is “OMG LONG RUN I’M GOING TO DIE”. So by doing this every week, that will hopefully disappear.

4. Running specific cross-training. Up until now, I’ve basically continued with my usual heavy weight lifting and running around that. I know it hampers my recovery, though, so these two cross-training days will be more bootcamp-style workouts and yoga. Each day specifically will depend on how I feel!

And without further ado, here it is!

Intermediate Half Marathon Training Plan

HalfMarathonTraining

Remember, I am not a certified running coach nor a super experienced runner! But I absolutely will run the Boston Marathon one day, and 1:45 half marathon is the first step in qualifying. So I’ve come up with a plan that I hope will get me there! I’m so excited to be training for a race again, not to mention ALL the half marathon / running posts over the next few weeks!

I do want to keep it interesting, though, so please comment / email me with anything you would like to read about! Like I said, I’m not a running coach or pro runner by any means. I hope that makes a difference in a good way, though! You can follow along with an ordinary university student and hopefully be able to relate more. 🙂

What running posts interest you the most? 

Are you currently training for anything?