Relay Complete!

I ran a 75-mile relay last weekend with the same team I did last year, but with a few subs because one of the gals up and moved, another’s son was running for a college recruiter, and another one went off and got pregnant right after we signed up last summer. All good reasons to not run with the team, but I did miss each and every one of them.

We welcomed 4 new gals to the team and they were fun, but it wasn’t the same. I knew going into this relay that this would very likely be my last year running it (third year in a row), but by the end of the race, I knew I was done. We had an amazing lake house to stay at the night before the race, we had a full 8-woman team, we had a killer 15-passenger van with room to stand up and change inside (we removed 4 seats so there was room to walk back and grab snacks even while on the road), we had an awesome app that helped us arrive at each checkpoint in time for the specified runner, and we had perfect running weather (but not perfect spectator weather – a bit chilly). To have the same great setup again seems pretty impossible! The van was the best part, and it was supposed to be smaller but the company upgraded us for free – unlikely to happen again) and I don’t know if I could happily do this again in a smaller vehicle. It’s best to go out on a high note. AND… I was the final runner this time and got to lead us across the finish line. It was a great way to end this phase of running. If I do it again, I want to do it with a coed team with my husband.

I wasn’t as fast as I was last year, and that was OK with me. The first leg was pretty darned fast at an 8:19 pace. The second leg was an 8:42 pace, way off from last year but I didn’t care. The final leg was an 8:57 pace in the rain, and I was perfectly happy with that! To do all 3 legs under a 9:00 pace was my goal, and I met that goal. My average pace for the full 12.5 miles was 8:43. That works because I told my team to plan on me running an average of 8:45!

We were supposed to have thunderstorms along the entire route all day long, but somehow, we stayed ahead of it until the very end (my final leg). We got lucky, and honestly, the weather was perfect for running. Last year, it was really, really hot by 2:00 in the afternoon, but this year, it never got hot. It was nice. I didn’t mind the rain at the end either, because I knew I was done and it was a bit refreshing.

We finished the 75 miles in 12:40:35. That’s a 9:59 average pace which is what we told the race coordinators it would be (for staging purposes). Not too shabby!

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Double Run Wednesday

I did another double run day, and I LOVED it!  This is in preparation for the 75 mile relay race I have in a week and a half since I have two legs of that race within 6 hours of one another.  I was actually looking forward to this one since I’d done it before.

I started out with an interval training run which totaled 4.6 miles.  It included a nice warm up run, 3 circuits of 600m sprints followed by 3:00 of walking after each, and then an easy run to cool down.  I felt great after it and was ready to tackle the second run of the day.  For the second run, I did a 5K but stretched it to 3.5 miles at an easy pace.  I think this is a great combo for double run days and I’ll probably stick to this model in the future.

double run

I liked it so much this week that I’m thinking of keeping this in my weekly plan even after the relay is done.  It’s just really great conditioning!

The 6 Week Half Marathon Training Plan

I’ve been following a rather rigorous 6-week half marathon training plan.  It’s labeled as “intermediate” and I believe it – most half training plans are at least 10 weeks long and they’re recommended to be 12 weeks long.  However, this is not my first rodeo and I needed a plan that would push me harder than I’ve been pushed in the past, and have me prepared  to choose a definite plan starting on May 1 (to prep for the July 23 race).  I wasn’t sold on the Hal Hi.gdon plans because they have you running 5 days a week which is great, but sets me up for failure some weeks.  I’d rather run more than prescribed than less.  The Hal Higdon plans also have 2 long runs a week later on in the plan and with kids, that just isn’t going to happen.

I got my nifty Microsoft Band for my birthday and they have all sorts of pre-programmed training plans to choose from, and there was a 6-week half training plan that looked good.  It had 4 days a week of running, hill training, tempo runs, interval runs, and serious distance gains each week for the long run.  I thought it was worth a shot.

I love this plan!  It is so easy to modify and switch up, if needed, since there are 4 running days instead of 5.  It leaves room for me to do weight training and PiYo each week as well, something that has always gone by the wayside when I’ve trained for distance runs with more traditional plans.  Even in my day (everyone thinks I have tons of time to work out, but the truth is, working out leaves me no free time to just sit), there is only so much time in a day that can be used for fitness.

I would not recommend this plan for a novice runner, or for someone who hasn’t built up their endurance or distance yet.  It truly is intermediate to advanced level.

Week 1 half

Week 2 half

Week 3 half

Week 4 half

Week 5 half

Week 6 half

 

 

A Year and A Half of Fitness Logs

When I started this blog, I decided to move my old fitness logs from my personal blog to this one.  I like to keep things in the same place and easy to find!  If you’re at all inclined, you can find my old logs at the links here.  They are in chronological order (of course they are!).

Paleo Adventure – All about the first 5 weeks of my family going on a strict Paleo diet (it was fantastic!)

Fitness Stat-urdays – Second 10 Weeks – This is a log of my first self-guided challenge after losing the initial 25 pounds with Farrel.ls Extre.me Bodys.haping from June-August of 2014

Happy Healthy Holidays – My fitness plan and log for getting through the holiday season of 2014

Fitness Stat-urdays – First 10 Weeks of 2015 – A log that is exactly as it sounds – kicking off 2015 the right way!

Marathons for Sammy – My fitness log from my self-imposed running challenge while my cousin was in a coma in 2015

8 Weeks Left of Summer Fitness – The plan and logs for finishing out the summer on task and in shape!

12 Weeks of Maintenance – The log of fitness to maintain a 40-pound weight loss

 

A Second 10 Weeks in Review

Here I am, another 10 weeks later (actually 12 weeks later because of vacations), and I’m happy with my final statistics.  I didn’t hit my weight goal, but I did exceed my body fat goal, which is awesome!

Here are my 10-week stats (I didn’t test with push-ups, sit-ups, or the mile run… sorry!):

second 10 a

 

  • I lost a total of 4.25 inches over my entire body
  • I lost 10.4 pounds (goal was 12 pounds)
  • I lost 2.3% body fat (goal was 2.1%)
  • I lost 1.7 points in BMI

I had a goal of working out 6 days a week, and when this was all said and done, I ended up at 104% of that goal, which is something I’m super proud of.  Many days included double workouts, and I spent at least 5 hours a week, every week, exercising.  I also added a lot of strength training to this 10 weeks, which was really needed.

 

Here is my weight tracking over the 10 week period:

weight 10

 

And here are my before and after photos.  Please remember that the before photos from June are just hideous because I NEVER stand like that in real life.  The side view of the before photo still nauseates me, but it does show how far I’ve come in 23 weeks now!  There was no sucking it in in the after photos – just flexing those abs and arms!

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Top left 6/14/14; Top right 8/23/14; Bottom left 10/18/14; Bottom right  11/22/14
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Top left 6/14/14; Top right 8/23/14; Bottom left 10/18/14; Bottom right 11/22/14

 

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June 14th to November 22nd… oh the difference 5 months can make!
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5 Months of hard work!

 

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Today!

 

 

So there it is – not a lot to say because it’s late and I’m super tired, and I just did strength training for over an hour while we watched TV.  I start a new session TOMORROW and will post my starting stats (they may be different from these ending stats from Saturday).

10 Weeks in Review

I don’t know what to say right now.  I’ve spent the last 10 weeks working my ass off and eating as intelligently as possible.  I’ve enjoyed it immensely and was completely wrapped up in the challenge.  These last 10 weeks gave me my “normal” self back – the Courtney I was before we found out that we couldn’t have babies the normal way.  The healthy and active Courtney I was before infertility became the focus of our lives (for 2+ years before conceiving my first son, and then again as we ramped up for the second).

I feel like myself again in my own skin.  I feel good.  I feel strong.  I feel proud!

I didn’t win the $1,000 challenge.  My stats blew the winner away and the photos – well – they speak for themselves.  BUT – even though I was in it to win it (and I am so competitive with myself and others, it’s ridiculous), I’m so proud of what I accomplished in 10 weeks.

I’ve broken down the data in many ways because I know I’ll want to look back on this someday and not have to run all of the numbers.

Here are my 10-week stats:

2014 Stats

  • I lost a total of 21.5 inches over my entire body!
  • I lost 25 pounds exactly (but 26.2 on the gym’s scale)
  • I lost 8.1% body fat (23.9% of the fat I was carrying 10 weeks ago)
  • I lost 3.93 points in BMI and am now in the healthy range
  • I more than doubled my push-ups (ended at 78)
  • I did not double my sit-ups 😦
  • I gained 2.5 inches in flexibility
  • I took 2:21 off my mile time!

Here is a comparison of my first 10 weeks (over 8 years ago!) to this most recent 10 weeks:

2006VS2014

  • I lost 2 inches more in my chest, 4 in my waist, 1 in each arm, and 0.5 in each thigh this time around.
  • My hips aren’t as small as they were 8 years ago (surprise!)
  • I started 6.8 pounds heavier this time around and ended up 5.6 pounds lighter!
  • I ended up 2.1% lower in body fat this time around
  • I lost 0.7% more body fat this time around
  • I finished way stronger in push-ups this time around
  • I beat my 2006 final mile time by 1:31 this time around
  • This 10 weeks was way more productive than my first 10 weeks!

Here is my exercise log from the last 10 weeks.  Expect to see something almost equally aggressive in the next 10 weeks:

Workout Tracking

  • My goal was to workout 6 days a week – I exceeded that goal by 3% overall and 13% in the second half of the session
  • Many days had multiple workouts
  • Doing this helped me plan my work for the next 10 weeks

Here is my weight tracking over the 10 week period:

Weight Tracking per Week

And here are my before and after photos.  Please note that the before photos were really hard to prepare for because I NEVER stand like that in real life.  It’s amazing how much our daily posture holds us together in our mid-sections.  I had to think really hard about letting it just hang out like that.  The side view of the before photo nauseates me, but that after photo makes me SO PROUD!  There was no sucking it in in the after photos – just flexing those abs and arms!

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I worked really, really hard at this, and near the end, it really felt like my job (a job I loved).  My husband viewed it the same way – we talked about it on Saturday.  I said that I felt like the last 10 weeks was all about me getting back to how I like to feel, how I view myself, etc. and that it felt like a true job, and he agreed.  He was SO supportive, it was amazing.  I don’t know how many mornings he sat up with our little guy in the rocker while I kicked bags at class.  On many occasions, he rushed home from work so I could get to a late afternoon class because I’d been up all night with the little the night before and just could not get motivated to go to class at 6:15 AM.  He admitted on Saturday that he got nervous about “the gear” purchases but didn’t say anything because, “I knew it would help you stay motivated, and I wasn’t going to mess with that” (he also said he was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t buy a ton of stuff!).  This really was a team effort, as fitness always is in this house.  It was awesome to both be so focused on my success at this!