Base Building 2021, Week 4

Monday 1/18: RowHouse 45 minute workout.

Tuesday 1/19: Easy 30 minute treadmill run for 2.5 miles.

Wednesday 1/20: Workout Wednesday, as per Stryd plan. 16 minutes of intervals (1 minute on, 1 minute off) nested in a 1 mile warm up and 1 mile cool down. I set up a Stack of Peloton running videos but didn’t preload them onto the iPad and they wouldn’t stream on the iffy connection I had so I just listened to random Spotify playlists.

Thursday 1/21: Easy 30 minute treadmill run for 2.4 miles. I had some Peloton outdoor runs preloaded on my phone and listened to those. Then 45 minute RowHouse in the PM. I hit my 2 minute meter PR, which was very cool.

Friday 1/22: 45 minute spin which was great to loosen up the legs. I didn’t push as hard as last time and decided not to also do a run because I’m not ready for multiple double workout days in a row (aside from post-run yoga).

Saturday 1/23: 2.2 treadmill miles to a Peloton 30 minute ‘outdoor’ run with Adrian. Stryd has been dictating my power output for these (more to come in a future post) and it’s frustrating to go so slow sometimes, but I think it will be worth it as my run frequency and duration build up. Trying to up my patience here.

Sunday 1/24: This was supposed to be a long run. I signed up for the PPTC Cherry Tree 10 Mile Virtual Race and am planning to run it with a friend mid-February. After 6.3 miles last week, I wanted to take on 7-8 this week. Then I felt kind of under the weather and figured better safe than sorry.

Total: Barely cracked 10 miles. Skipped long run. Fighting off cold (I have my flu shot and the first shot of the Covid vaccine at least). Better luck next week? It’s definitely time to extend my daily easy runs to 40+ minutes so that my long runs aren’t 50% of my weekly mileage.

A content nap

Base Building 2021, Week 3

Monday 1/11: 4 easy miles on the treadmill, mostly listening to The Weeknd but also a 10 minute Peloton long run warmup.

Tuesday 1/12: 1.6 miles/20 minutes easy on the treadmill (Peloton Hip Hop run with Robin). Current easy pace as per heart rate and Stryd is like 12 minute miles. As I’ve said before, no use getting my ego involved.

Then I got my first Covid vaccine shot (yay!) and my arm was sore that evening and the next morning.

Wednesday 1/13: Rest day. I timed a one-mile walk/run/stop/sprint we did with Herbie and we got it under 19 minutes for once. Girl loves to stop a lot and try to play with other dogs and sniff things.

Thursday 1/14: RowHouse 45 minutes with lots of body weight and 5 pound dumbbells for the arm parts

Friday 1/15: 1.6 miles treadmill to a Peloton run with Becs, plus a 10 minute warmup exercise and 5 minute cool down stretch.

Saturday 1/16: Rest day (unplanned; was going to do strength workout or easy short run but my right hammy was complaining).

Sunday 1/17: 6.3 mile long run, which is my longest since November 1st. I’m now planning to do the PPTC Cherry Tree 10 Mile (virtually) in Central Park mid-February so am trying to build my long runs to that on top of the Stryd 5K plan for early April. I realize that kind of long run could set me up nicely for a spring half marathon, but I’m not sure I’m ready to tackle that mentally or with my weekday runs. I’m also not signing up for any NYRR races for a while and will try to support smaller orgs putting on races, virtual or otherwise. I’m also going to choose not to get any medals or swag for races for a while because I simply have too many. I love that PPTC is letting us do the race only for $15 and then have the $30 option for medal and swag. Honestly, having in-unit separate washer and dryer means I can just always wash my favorite stuff again (Lululemon Fast and Frees, Tracksmith Harrier longsleeves) and am only using 20% or less of my running wardrobe.

I wish I looked this cute when I’ve just woke up from a nap

Base Building 2021, Week 2

Week 2 and trying to keep myself accountable. This past week was rough and I was popping CBD every night just to relax from the terrible events of Wednesday. The workouts helped for sure to release some of my anxiety and anger. And my ongoing immense jealousy over how other countries have handled the pandemic.

I found a 5K in April (in person) that I might want to train for. Not signing up yet, though. Cart, horse and all.

Monday 1/4: 2.5 treadmill miles (Peloton 30 min race prep with Becs).

Tuesday 1/5: 30 minute Peloton strength for runners with Rebecca. I used two 10 pound dumbbells but might try to up to the 12 or 15 ones next time. I’m also leveling up my kettlebells I use from 15 lbs to 20.

Wednesday 1/6: 2 mile treadmill run at easy pace (Peloton 20 min pop run with Robin). After taking most of December off due to my tight hamstring, my paces have slowed but I’m trying to keep them honest and not push too hard. Difficult for the ego but good for the body.

Thursday 1/7: 45 minute spin class and I got my caloric burn to come close to matching ones from 2019.

Friday 1/8: 45 minute RowHouse class and I hit a calorie burn PR here (but not a distance or pace PR). Lots of pushups during the time off the rower.

Saturday 1/9: 2 treadmill miles, easy pace as per Stryd 5K training plan.

Sunday 1/10: 3.4 miles outside, doing a Stryd ‘time trial’. It was 10 minute warm up, a few little pick-up intervals, then 10 minutes hard at critical power, then 10 minutes cool down. I took the easy parts too hard and struggled to keep up the full 10 minutes at a push pace. But it felt good to run outside since it was 40 degrees and sunny. I overdressed and was dripping sweat at the end, especially from my elbows. I did my weekly Yoga for Runners class at 11am so my run was much later. Ideally I would have done the run prior to yoga but puppy care duties took precedence.

Total: 9.5 miles running, 1 yoga class, 1 spin class, 1 RowHouse class, and 1 strength session.

I have no good food photos lately, just puppy photos so they will have to do.

Herbie LOVES puppy playtime

Base Building 2021, Week 1

New year, new me! No, I’m just kidding. But there is something about the calendar changing and getting a new planner that inspires me to revisit the past calendar year, reflect on my goals and accomplishments (such an Enneagram 3), and set new goals. I also like to kick off every New Year’s Day with a workout to help set the tone. Last year was hot yoga, this year (like most) was a run. I also like to spend at least an hour doing the whole intentional reflecting thing.

After taking off most of December with an abnormally tight and painful right hamstring, I’ve been working to do a lot more strength training and more routine yoga, plus regular stretching and using my Theragun daily. I’d love to actually post in here more, both for accountability and because it should scratch the itch for some kind of running/fitness log since my workout history is split among Strava, Stryd, Apple workouts, and Peloton. I give myself little stickers in my planner calendar as well, but enjoy the idea of streamlining and actually posting here weekly. So let’s give it a try. I have no race to train for but am still toying with the idea of a virtual 5K or 10K in the spring.

Week of December 28, 2020 – January 3, 2021:

12/28: Peloton Glutes and Legs Strength class.

12/29: Peloton bodyweight strength.

12/30: RowHouse Signature for 45 minutes. I ‘leveled up’ to using the 5 pound weights for arm exercises instead of the 3 pounds.

12/31: Peloton Bodyweight strength.

1/1: 2.8 mile treadmill run using a Peloton ‘marathon training’ class. Then 2 mile hike with the pup in the afternoon.

1/2: Peloton Strength for Runners workout. I added heavier weights since I’ve been doing dedicated strength work the last few weeks.

1/3: Zoom yoga for runners for 50 minutes. Herbie (our Corgi puppy) loves to chew on my yoga towel and peed on it the previous week, so we tried to keep her entertained.

Christmas cheese and charcuterie

November and December Workouts and 2020 Wrap-Up

I’m going to keep this short and sweet; I did my Turkey Trot the day after Thanksgiving and haven’t been running that much since. I picked out a 1.25 mile loop and was able to keep a pretty consistent 9:30ish minute mile pace, which is a far cry from my PR pace (closer to 8:2x now) but honestly faster than I thought I would do after my volume nosedived this year.

Unfortunately since then, I developed a bit of a strain in my right hamstring and have taken a couple weeks off of running and am trying to focus on strength and such. It’s fine though because I’m not planning to do any spring races (hopefully something in fall) and we just got a Corgi puppy. So my days are spent taking her on walks and behavioral training and playtime and watching her snooze (plus working remotely still). I’ve pushed all my fitness goals toward 2021, assuming I can kick said hamstring injury relatively quick.

My 2020 Year in Running:

  • ran 3 in-person races and 2 virtual ones
  • ran in Boston (parkrun), Atlanta (half marathon), Ithaca, and the Catskills (plus hiked in Maine, New Jersey, upstate NY, and Connecticut)
  • hit my all-time highest mileage in March
  • did a lot more trail running and got some Nike Wildhorses for that and hiking
  • did NYRR group training until mid-March
  • did not make any new PRs
  • fell and ate pavement in April 5 blocks from home
  • watched my mileage tank in June and July
  • bought and used a Stryd and saw my critical power grow, fall, and grow again
  • made my Strava private and honestly still feel pleased with that choice most days
  • highest mileage weeks: 35.5 in March, 27 in November
  • fastest time: lots of high 6 and low to mid 7:xx sprint repeats during group training

Running Goals for 2021:

  • consistency
  • avoid injury
  • PR….something
  • run with Herbie once she hits the 1-year mark. She’ll probably never be a distance pup because of her breed and size but she’s great at sprinting, stopping, and sprinting again
  • more trail running, maybe even a trail race
  • consistent strength trainning
  • continued rowing/spinning and a spring return to tennis

Hopefully I don’t jinx myself by typing all of that out!

Herbie loved the snow
Snow “hike”

Turkey Trot Training October Edition

In September, I started an 8-week training plan with Stryd that I’ve loosely followed for the Prospect Park Track Club Virtual Turkey Trot. Loosely being the key word. The Turkey Trot is virtual this year, so we have from Thursday-Sunday of Thanksgiving week to race it. I’m planning to pick my race day based on weather conditions and crank it out solo on a nearby flat loop.

After a couple months of slow base building starting from near-0 mileage in July, I finally started upping my consistency to 4 days a week of running and at least one other cardio/strength workout weekly. I wasn’t too worried about speed or distance, but have slowly built both up along with more activity. I hit 27 miles/5 hours of running the week ending November 1 (halfway through the training plan), which is my highest volume since April. (Then I haven’t run as consistently since in November, but that’s another story).

November 1 would have been the date of the 50th New York City Marathon, so I decided to run a bit of the course for fun in my 70 minute planned long run. Of course the rain began by mile 1, so I put on my Asics Stormchaser jacket and popped the hood (should have brought a hat to keep the rain off my glasses). I’m pretty happy with my splits, all things considered, though the faster times were due to going downhill. The last mile was an absolute slog. I overshot my turnaround point and went up to 90th St then back down to Columbus Circle. My form was falling apart (once I accidentally kick my own ankles, I know it’s getting bad). However there were supporters with cowbells cheering us on and some folks present for their virtual marathoners near the finish line. Even though the weather wasn’t ideal, it was nice to see so many supporters and see so many other runners.

In October, I had a few (mostly outdoor) adventures other than running. I made it to:

– New York Botanical Garden

– Bartlett Arboretum

– Pennings Orchard

– hiked some the Palisades and the George Washington Bridge

– shot engagement photos in Liberty State Park/Jersey City waterfront

– Norwalk Maritime Aquarium

That’s really it! A shocking lack of food photos this month but the lighting in our apartment is not great and I haven’t been dining out as much.

Virtual Relay Week Rundown

So back in August I signed up for the Womxn Run the Vote virtual relay from Oiselle to benefit Black Voters Matter. I joined a team with my PPTC teammates, many of whom are scattered around the US. We’re virtually covering the ground from the MLK Jr National Historic Site in Atlanta (which I ran by 3/1/20 during the Atlanta Half) to Washington DC, split up among a team of 20. This should be about 34 miles per person, which I haven’t hit since late March. I did a build up into the low-medium mileage territory in August and early September (with a few days focused on hiking in Acadia early September). We’re allowed to log other activities into the relay, including walks, bike rides, and time spent playing sports. Let’s see how it went down (I think I stole this line verbatim from Chelsea).

Monday: I wanted to kick things off right, so I got in 5.1 miles at a mostly easy pace. Plus walking to a coffee shop that was closed for the day (sigh).

Tuesday: Recovery run pace of 4.4 miles since my legs were already pretty zonked. Lots of TheraGun time and stretching.

Wednesday: 1 of the elevators in our building is down and the wait for the other ones is just too much during busy times so I took the stairs up twice. I also did a 45 minute RowHouse Signature class, which was about 35 minutes on the erg and 10 minutes doing circuits of bodyweight and small hand weight exercises. I’m hoping to upgrade from the 3 pound weights to the 5 pound weights for more of these soon.

Thursday: I had planned to run but my legs were still tired so took the day off. More Theragun and stretching.

Friday: 3 miles easy in the AM, then extra humid walking around later.

Saturday: Surprise lazy day (had planned for a quick morning run). Went to a winery for some live music and outdoor drinking.

White Silo Farm and Winery, aptly named
Wine flights and boxed lunches

Sunday: 4 mile Citibike ride, then 6 mile running loop of Central Park with Gabby. So humid! Lots of walking around prior and after. We got Zucker’s Bagels on the UWS and listened to live jazz outside.

For the relay, we did pretty darn well as a team! I made exactly the recommended contribution but some people went above and beyond.

What’s next? I finally signed up for a virtual race; my club’s usual 5 mile Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. I have my route planned out and am hoping to get it done nice and early. I would like to try to take down my 5K or 10K PRs this year since they are from August 2017 and April 2018, respectively. I might wear both watches and stop one at the 5 mile mark for the Turkey Trot then continue for another 1.2 miles to get a 10K attempt if things are going well. NYCRuns is having actual races on Randall’s Island and I’m kind of tempted by the Halloween Haunted Island 5K, but logistically it might make more sense to cobble together something virtual.

August 2020 Eats & Workouts

This has been a month of increased fitness activity overall and a slow return to running after a couple months mostly off. After a late July move, I’ve had access to a few forms of fitness I was lacking: tennis courts, an erg, and a spin bike. I joined Peloton (but do not have one of their bikes) and have loved having it for rides and am starting to explore their strength and HIIT content.

Up to now, I’ve only raced 1 virtual race this year, back in late May, and ran it with a mask on and 2 minutes slower than my 5K PR. I’m hoping to tackle some old PRs this fall  either on the track or on a flattish course. I’m thinking 5K and 10K as my softest and some of my oldest PRs (August 2017 for 5K on a hilly course and April 2018 for 10K on a good course but a warm day). I’m also tempted to finally try a trail race; it’s virtual but the course is technically available to run at your own time. I bought some Nike Wildhorse 6’s on a friend’s recommendation and am excited to try them out. Hopefully some virtual race reports to come!

I really miss ClassPass and all of the boutique fitness studios I used to frequent in NYC that have been closed since March. I sort of bopped around to a bunch of them and never took the same classes (or even instructors) enough to fully get into the community vibe that a lot of regulars seem to get, but I still liked the energy. For a couple of years now, I had drafted a post with a list of all my favorite spin, barre, strength, etc studios that I had visited. I really hope they’re all eventually open to reopen safely.

After taking off the hottest months from intense baking and cooking, I’m also back at that as well! A few recent experiments below.

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I made pork and kale dumplings and am trying to really nail down my folding technique

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I made a nectarine and blueberry galette (my rustic dough and folding technique sprung some leaks)

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New York Botanical Garden is open with timed tickets and so peaceful

May, June, and July Eats and Outdoors

My running volume fell off a cliff due to increases in both workload and heat/humidity and I subsequently decided not to do a June virtual race 5K since I would be off from PR pace. I mostly have been running and walking to Central Park and Morningside Park and have gotten into identifying flowers and other plants with the Seek by iNaturalist app (and also asking my horticulturist friend).

Baking hasn’t happened in the hotter weather but I am pleased with the bread and sweets I made prior to real summer.

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No Knead Loaf with Charred Scallion Butter

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Murray’s Cheese Birthday Gift from Friends – prosciutto, burrata, and olives

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Highbridge Park; the pedestrian/bike only bridge goes from Manhattan to the Bronx

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Rosé outside at Wolffer Estate Vineyard (Hamptons day trip to see Gabby outside)

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Hydrangeas are my fave after tulip/rose/peony season

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Not the Yayoi Kusama infinity room we were supposed to attend, but it’ll do

April Running – The Month That Wasn’t

So after running my highest mileage ever in March (such consistency), my running totally fell off the rails in April. (Remote) work ramped up, the weather sucked, and my desire to get out of the apartment with a facial covering on and avoid people was not there. It gave me some time to think about why I just like the act of running and not necessarily the ‘training’ for a race or trying to hit a PR. In all likelihood, I might try to train for a virtual race PR in June for the 5K (or the mile), but it also felt good to have less pressure on myself to follow a strict training plan when I was also working longer hours than usual (though without a commute) and dogsitting over the weekends. Things have let up a bit in May, that’s for sure, so I’m getting back outside and running a tick more mileage. Some weeks are only 2-3 runs and others are 5, but none are very long anymore.

I have spent so much of my mental energy and brief time outside on the acquisition of food, then cooking and baking said food at home. I’ve kept up with my Meal Planning spreadsheet and added a tab to better capture what we actually have in the pantry, freezer, and fridge (also using the Out of Milk app for grocery list and knowing how much we have of certain ingredients).

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I also did a thorough listing and categorization of all my cookbooks since most are hardcover but some are on my Kindle and were sort of out of sight, out of mind. This is absolutely my idea of fun.

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Like everyone else, I’ve been feeding my sourdough starter and re-growing my scallions. We’ve been taking on somewhat more complicated cooking projects because we now have time on weekdays and weeknights for things like double-frying Korean Fried Chicken, brining pork chops, marinating skirt steaks, and letting cookie dough chill in the fridge. Do I miss paying $14 for a grain bowl at Naya and eating at my desk in midtown? Sometimes. Mainly I miss the coworker camaraderie that came with it. We’ve been getting takeout of local places to help support them and avoid Seamless and their fees (and always tipping a lot).

Food photo overdrive below. Starting to wish I had a better camera, lighting, and dishes for this kind of thing.

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Fruity Pebbles pudding cookies

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9″x9″ tray of Banana pudding that I ate almost entirely myself over 3 days

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Korean fried chicken in soy ginger garlic sauce

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Bon Appetit’s shrimp scampi over linguine and broccolini

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Sourdough discard pizza crust with sausage and fresh mozzerella from Faicco’s Pork Store