Base Building 2021, Weeks 8 and 9 and 10

A few down weeks due to bad weather, building gym being closed, and my right hamstring still acting up. I suspected weak hips again (same thing 2 years ago) and saw my physiatrist March 2nd who mostly agreed. So I’m back to my PT exercises and virtual PT and monitoring the situation. Banded side-walks, single leg step-ups/glute bridges/deadlifts, and more. What I could really use is a Multi-Hip machine which my PT gym had but no regular gyms seem to have one. And a wobble board.

During this time, I took a RowHouse class each week, a short run 2/24, several Peloton spin classes, yoga, and one Peloton Strength for Runners class. Plus lots of sprint-stop-walks and hikes with the pup.

I recently read both Win at All Costs by Matt Hart, all about the Nike Oregon Project and doping accusations, as well as Alexi Pappas’ memoir Bravey. I found the latter really inspiring and it was a much more emotional book than I would have thought. I heard her speak back in October 2015 at the Nike Womens Half and since that time, she’s released two movies, ran in the 2016 Olympics 10K, and been through a whole lot.

We have pretty bad lighting in my apartment for food photography, so I sadly have no pictures of our home cooking to share. Just got some sisig from a food truck (it has been a year since I had Filipino food so this was a delight), lots of cold brews, and a brief foray back into junk food and candy to mark the anniversary of my friend Joyce’s passing.

Sisig and garlic fried rice from a Filipino food truck
Snack medley of Flamin’ Hots and gummis for a friend’s online memorial

Hopefully more running or other fitness updates to come as I do my PT exercises and the weather warms up again. I’ve been dreaming of temps in the 50’s and 60’s for months now! Trying to pencil in a late May 5K but we’ll see how the recovery and training goes. The apartment building gym has new treadmills and spin bikes and I’m very excited to get down there and try them out along with my weighted single leg step-ups.

Base Building 2021, Week 7

How are we 7 weeks into the year? And yet also, how is winter so never-ending? I think it’s because we got a ton of snow back in December, then kept getting more in January and February. So I keep telling myself the weather (and the sidewalks/roads/trails) will get better in March, but we all know it might take a few weeks into March to get and keep the weather in the 40’s and above again.

Monday 2/8: 40 minutes of spin with Peloton Britney Spears and Lady Gaga classes.

Tuesday 2/9: RowHouse Power class for 45 minutes. I hadn’t taken one of these in a while and you get off the rower 5 times instead of the usual 3 for a Signature class. The plank rows with weights crushed me and my splits were pretty slow, but I put in effort.

Wednesday 2/10: Workout Wednesday! I did 20 1-minute intervals with a 1 mile warmup and 1 mile cool down on the treadmill. My intervals were at an 8:30 pace which used to be my 10K pace (ha!) and they felt difficult but satisfying to hit. 4 miles total.

Thursday 2/11: 3 easy treadmill recovery miles. I finally did the Hamilton run from Peloton, which took me back to the period 2017-2019 when I listened to the soundtrack all the time and memorized all the lyrics.

Friday 2/12: 2 easy treadmill miles. More would have been nice but I’m happy just to be consistent. 3 miles used to be my minimum for a run but 2 is fine for getting back into it.

Saturday 2/13: 3 miles outside with some strides thrown in the middle. It was right around 30 degrees and I dressed exactly right if not a little too warm: Tracksmith long-sleeve Harrier, Athleta Rainier tights, buff, wool beanie, Nathan mitten/gloves, and Lululemon Down For It All Jacket. Makes me feel better knowing I could wear this for colder temperatures.

Sunday 2/14: 1 hour of Zoom yoga. I felt pretty good during the vinyasa portion (chaturunga still a struggle) and was much improved at the balancing/tree pose.

Total: 12 miles running, 1 rowing class, and 1 yoga class. My apartment building’s gym is closed Monday – Friday this week, so there will be no treadmill miles, plus we’re getting hit with another round of ice and one of snow. So running may be a bit limited as well. Signups opened for the early April 5K but I’m still undecided. I kind of want more than 6 weeks to train for it since my volume still isn’t consistent. I’ve added two upcoming 5K time trials to my plan so might see how those go first.

Nordstrom bathroom selfie

Base Building 2021, Week 6

I love it when a new month starts on a Monday and thanks to February being 28 days, we get it twice! The base building continues (IRL 5K race early April still TBD), but back on track this week after feeling off the prior week. I would like to get comfortably back into the 20something miles per week until I’m really training for something, preferably by extending my ‘daily’ runs to 5 miles and not really worrying about carving out time for a long long run (anything 8 miles or higher is pretty long to me since at my pace I have to spend over 1.5 hours for that). Seems doable, right? My other fitness goals include at least 1 dedicated strength workout per week, 1 45-minute spin or rowing class per week, more stretching and drills pre and post run, and improving my tennis level March-November (our outdoor courts are technically open but so cold).

All of the World Major Marathons got pushed to this fall, so it’ll be interesting to see which go on (if any) and what kind of precautions will happen. I’ll probably volunteer for NYCM in some capacity if it happens, but would run Richmond or Philadelphia given the option. Or maybe nothing will go on as scheduled, in which case I’ll stick to the virtual 5K/10K/maaaybe 10 mile options.

Monday 2/1: 5 treadmill miles at an easy pace. I listened to 3 different Peloton outdoor runs during this. (20, 20, and 10) The snow was really coming down all day, so I am thankful for the access to tread. I haven’t busted my Yaktraks out in a while because it gets so slushy here/in the city within a few hours.

Tuesday 2/2: 3 easy treadmill miles. I watched another runner outside do big loops of the better-cleared blocks plus run in the bike lane and was pretty happy to be outside. Then I headed to midtown and braved all the slush puddles to get my second vaccine shot. Afterward, I got some empanadas, then Magnolia Bakery banana pudding and a cold brew from Cafe Grumpy. The snow continued but at least the trains were running. My only side effects were a sore arm, but I think the ‘fighting off a cold’ thing I had the previous week was enough.

Wednesday 2/3: 5 minute pre-run warmup, 18 minutes spin (Peloton – Robin’s 30 minute 90’s playlist) then 3 miles on the treadmill once one opened up (half the treads are closed because of Covid). I felt warmed up already, so the Stryd workout was 15 minutes at a push pace (currently 11 minute mile for me though that’s my outside long run pace), 3 minutes recovery, then 5 minutes at more of a tempo (10 minute mile; how was it only a year ago I could run these in the 8’s), then cool down.

Thursday 2/4: 30 minute Nicki Minaj spin bike ride. This ride was so fun!

Friday 2/5: Easy 37 minute (was supposed to be 40 but that’s ok) outdoor run with strides. I did a terrible job keeping it easy but at least the strides were fun. I was trying to pick the puppy up from doggy daycare in time and ran way too fast for the last half mile, too.

Saturday 2/6: Easy 30 minutes on the treadmill; finally doing the Peloton Wicked run then a 10 minute cooldown run.

Sunday 2/7: Snowy run, about 3.4 total so that I could hit 20 miles for the week. Listened to some Peloton outdoor stuff so I finished a 7-day streak of activity on the app. Then I did an hour of Runners Yoga and my hip flexors screamed a little before making Buffalo dip and wings for the Super Bowl (then being bored by it).

This was my highest mileage week since Octobee 26- November 1, which was my highest mileage since March/April of last year.

Base Building 2021, Week 5

Another meh week in terms of training because I still felt like I was fighting off a cold since Sunday the 24th (when I skipped my long run).

Monday 1/25: Rest day

Tuesday 1/26: Short run (17 minutes moving time plus a couple minutes waiting at lights) in the snow. I wore my new Lululemon Down for it All Jacket with tights, gloves, Tracksmith Harrier long sleeve, and a Lulu Baller cap to keep the precipitation off my glasses. I should have gone longer but left my Stryd in my apartment and had to go back up then was picking up Herbie from doggy daycare.

Wednesday 1/27: Spin for 45 minutes, focusing on rhythm.

Thursday 1/28: Unplanned rest day but I still wasn’t feeling much better and took two naps.

Friday 1/29: RowHouse and feeling mostly better.

Saturday 1/30: Easy 30 minute treadmill run (so cold outside); 2.3 miles to Becs’ British Pop ‘outdoor’ run.

Sunday 1/31: Skipped run and took a 9am nap instead. Now that I’m getting up early so regularly, my coffee/sleep/workout/work schedule is a little off. Logged 5 miles walking to the train station and around the city though. Better workouts next week!

Herbie and her other Corgi friends from daycare

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

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