Monday, April 1, 2013

Month in Review: March 2013

Here are my stats for March! Having a monthly recap of my workouts is a great way to keep track of my overall progress and for me to stay accountable!
I am a creature of habit so all of my activities are either running or walking. Generally, I walk my dog anywhere from 1-1.4 miles a day and I like to run 3-4 times a week.  The last week of March was particularly rough for me with all of my muscle spasms (and back spasms that decided to enter my life again last night) but I did get a last run last night on the 31st!
Here you go:
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I'm really proud of myself for sticking with running and training for all of my April races, especially after the Princess HM in February. See, I have a habit of taking a week or two off after a half marathon but not this time! My last big race was May 2012 so I wanted to do things differently this time.

The last week of February was solely dedicated to 3 recovery runs from my Galloway Plan from the Princess.  I did the experienced runner to finish plan and luckily it included the recovery runs so I felt like I had to complete them in order to fully finish the training plan. I'm big on finishing thing that you start so there was no way I wouldn't not finish the plan.

The first full week of March was great- I felt strong and was riding on a high from the Princess.  I actually started my training plan for the Divas HM this week  for the next 8 weeks (4 more left!!).  My plan goes 5 miles on T/Th and then on the weekends I alternate a long run and a 5 mi run.  For the long runs, I started off with a strong 8 miles (11:33mm pace).

In the second week, I had 2 great 5+ mile runs and a 5K race. This was the week I had the horrendous incident with my iPod nano.  You see, my older brother is pretty great and supportive of my running endeavors (as is the rest of my family since I'm the only one who runs/is active) and he got me this great watch holder when I got the iPod nano 6th Gen back in 2010:
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WELL--I began having iPod problems (the volume randomly going down and wouldn't stay up, randomly turning off- all during runs) and after much research, I found out that it was sweat/moisture getting inside the iPod.  I couldn't get the iPod out of the watch until a nice lady working at Target helped me out (after I promised she wouldn't be liable if anything happened to the iPod).  Well, on my second run that week (and first run in a YEAR without the watch holder), I had the iPod clipped on my shirt and it got caught and fell off, onto the ground.  Not only was it really scratched but the screen was completely cracked.  I was so upset since I had the Shamrock 5K that weekend so I was extra careful when I ran the 5K.  The highlight of March occured this week because I PR-ed my 5K time!

The third week was OK- with all the frustration about my iPod, I only had 2 runs.  I told my brother about what happened to my iPod and I was trying to figure out what to do at this point since Apple re-designed the nano again last fall and wouldn't fit in my watch.  My brother VERY GENEROUSLY found a brand new version of my exact orange, 8GB, 6th Gen iPod Nano.  He bought it for me!!! It finally came within the week and it took me a while to set it up and get my playlists back on there as well.  I couldn't quite figure out how to get it back in the watch but when I ran this week I had it in the pocket in my compression capri pants so there would be no chance of it getting caught AND i slipped the headphone wire inside my dri-fit shirt so that helped as well!!  I had a big deal long run this week-- TEN MILES! My first double digit run since my half marathon and I felt great (11:24mm pace).

Finally, the fourth week was pretty much a bust after being sidelined with muscle strain/spasms.  Everyone told me to rest my body and that I was pushing myself too hard (how else will I improve unless I push myself out of my comfort though??) so I rested.  6 whole days. Honestly, it was the worst because I felt heavy and bloated (did I mention I drink 100+oz of water/day?) and had no activity other than very short walks with Rusty in the mornings and evenings. In the meantime, I finally got the new iPod updated and into the watch and it looks great!
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I took a chance and wanted to finish March strong so I did a 6 mile run on the 31st (last night) and I felt so great afterwards (especially about that 11:05 mm pace)! Well, that was short-lived because while I was washing my hair later that night, my back started spasming and the pain was unbearable.  All night I couldn't sleep or get comfortable but the 3 ibuprofen helped some.  I'm feeling better but still pretty stiff.  I'm looking into getting a foam roller and using that for stretching (I don't stretch before/after my runs- a big no-no!).  Hopefully this will help all the pain!

Ultimately, it was a great month for me running and really just maintaining my activity level.  It's so easy to get lethargic after a big race but I'm glad I didn't fall into that trap this time around! It's always helpful to have upcoming races to stay in shape for and I think that also motivated me to maintain my running.  Here are my upcoming races for April:
  • April 6- Gate City 8K in Greensboro, NC (my first 8K ever, a guaranteed PR!)
  • April 13- Bridge to Bridge 10K in Danville, VA (hoping to PR here so I can use it for placement in future half marathons in the fall/winter)
  • April 28- Divas Half Marathon in N. Myrtle Beach, SC (this will be my 5th {&hopefully a PR}, but the first for my BFF- can't wait to run at the beach with my BFF!)
     
 How do you keep yourself motivated after a big race? If you're not into running, how do you stay motivated to stay on track of your health and fitness goals? What do you have in store for April??
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