Last week I felt like I was working to undo a series of knots, that I had tied myself, from my head down to my feet. Everything felt tight, physically and mentally, and every ounce of energy and patience I had was squeezed out of me until I had a revelation – – I don’t have to do a damn thing. I can make better decisions, say no and leave things undone. If this does not seem like a “revelation” to you, congratulations and where were you last week when my head was exploding?
WEEK OF MARCH 27, 2017
I’m just going to get right to the point – my workouts were suffering this week and my coach is attributing it to stress. She literally spelled it out for me:
I am not fighting an illness, I’m fighting a puppy and two crazy kids, work and a very tough training schedule. I tried very hard the rest of the week to de-stress and make better decisions. I enjoyed the three runs I had and was even able to do one of them outside. Imagine?
Wednesday – aerobic progression run | 4×12 minutes getting faster | 6.54 miles | 7:40 pace
Friday – uphill strides 8×20 seconds before swim | 4.87 miles | 8:00 pace
Sunday – run off the bike | 2.83 miles | 7:40 pace
Total = 14.24
I was really hoping to get outside but instead we got a “wintry mix” for my long ride day. Wintry mix is Northeast speak for a complete mess that may freeze into a bigger mess.
Instead of spinning my wheels in the basement, I took a friend’s spin class for the first hour and then listened to a podcast for the second, before doing my run. I also had two other pretty good rides…
Tuesday – FTP Intervals before swim | 1:20:02 | 28 miles
Thursday – In the interest of reducing my stress, I skipped this ride and only did strength by way of my first Orangetheory class! More on that below…
Sunday – 2 hour endurance ride before run | 48 miles
Total = 76 miles
The pool was my own private hell this week and my coach came to watch. We schedule a swim every three months or so just to keep me honest. I know my form is improving and my times (other than this week) have been improving so I think she was a little harder on me because it’s time to work toward the next level. It didn’t work.
The pool was freezing because the YMCA doesn’t like to fix things correctly the first time and so I was in a salty mood to begin with. I did a few drills and felt like I was drowning. She kept making me do them. By the end I felt like I wanted to cry, was freezing cold and then the sauna was closed. #theworst
My final swim of the week was much better but the damage was done…to my ego.
Monday – endurance swim | 2,500 yards
Tuesday – Meet with Becky (after bike) to crush ego, realize your swim sucks in so many ways and freeze to death | 550 yards
Wednesday – Form + 40×25 after run | 2,200 yards < — please note the 40×25! It was after this session I decided to reward myself with the fuel below…
Friday – muscular endurance after run | 3,000 yards
Total = 8,250 yards! < – – can we please have a moment to take this in? That is 4.68 wet miles!
After reading about the awesomeness that is Orangetheory, I was finally able to experience it myself. Now, the nearest class is 40 minutes from my house so, unfortunately, this will not be a regular thing, however I so wish I could get there at least once a week because the workout was as fantastic as everyone says it is.
Apparently they change it up all the time but my workout consisted of floor work with weights, a step and the TRX and then a treadmill, medicine ball and rowing circuit. I was dripping with sweat, felt like I got a really great workout (so much so, I skipped my bike for the day) and had a great overall experience.
The only tiny issue was my heart rate monitor. At one point I was on the treadmill running, while I was having a conversation with the instructor, and it said my heart rate was 101%. They suggested next time I should try the chest strap because I’m so lean and have tiny wrists. I mean, how much more can I love them?
One of the most ingenious things about this place? The video screen on the floor that shows the exact exercise and how many you need to do. I hope whoever thought of this is a gazillionaire because it makes teaching 100,000 times easier…not that I was teaching but you know…
In the interest of de-stressing, I promised myself the treat of a whole wheat bagel with full fat cream cheese and a Dunkin Donuts coffee after that horrendous 40×25 swim nightmare! #treatyoself
And yes, this is a treat for me. Do you know how much saturated fat is in this? Trust me, you do not want to.
THINGS I LOVE
Alcohol. Oh wait, that doesn’t sound good. How about when my husband brings home an entire box of goodies from a meeting with the Mars Company?
They gave him this huge box for one meeting and I even found a Dove dark chocolate bar buried at the bottom…
Who knew there were so many different kinds of M&Ms?
THINGS I DON’T LOVE AS MUCH
Being 40 minutes away from a lot of amazing places like Orangetheory, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Athleta, Starbucks and Target. Ok so I’m only 20 minutes from those last two but living in the country definitely has it’s drawbacks.
I’m still thinking about the positives….
Oh right, the boys’ school.
In case you haven’t heard #restdaybrag is a thing on social media because of Amelia Boone (professional ultra runner), Jonathan Levitt (InsideTracker guy and November Project enthusiast) and Caroline Burckle (Olympic medalist in swimming) and I had the pleasure of interviewing them and writing about it for Women’s Running:
This is something we can all agree is awesome and definitely need more of on social media, right? Let’s see some laziness out there!
RANDOM PUPPY UPDATE OF THE WEEK
As with children (and especially twins!) people feel compelled to tell me every horrible thing about my dog breed as soon as they meet her. Examples:
Oh Weimaraner! They are VERY active. < — this is why I got her. Can you not tell how “active” I am?
They can be very destructive! < – – you mean like all puppies?
Oh her eyes are beautiful! Too bad they will change color. < – – because then she will look like a hideous monster? Get away from my dog!
[Tweet “The Rundown is working out the kinks @orangetheory and lots of #treats!”]
How was your week?
How do you treat yourself after a tough workout?
Have you been to Orangetheory and did you like it?
I can not believe you swam that much in the pool…I can appreciate that so much more now that I’ve been treading water more often. Do you feel like you can smell the pool even when you are not in it? I swear the chlorine burned my nostrils!! Once I’m back up and running, I have a date with a friend at OrangeTheory. The closest to me is about 25-30 minutes and it’s crazy expensive but I think it could easily suck me in at least once a week. And can I tell you how much I love that you are so ga-ga over your puppy? I had no idea you were such a dog person. I love it!!!
The pool smell permeates everything I own and I constantly get whiffs of chlorine. My husband loves it.
You are going to love OT!!
I’m just full of surprises Angela
I can relate. I’ve been trying to destress and get out a serious of knots both physically and mentally. I cannot place my finger on it but just trying to mentally feel better.
I honestly had no idea you owned a dog but that is awesome!
I just took a work break and walked Star for about 45 min. It was amazing. Might I suggest you get a dog? LOL! We just got her and, although it’s tons of work, she is awesome!!
Giving myself grace is (as you know) the name of my game right now. Also, spending money that we don’t have. I would love to do an OTF class, but I think it would just prove to me how stupidly out of shape I am, and you know I would pull a hammy. Because my body hates me. SO MUCH.
Get you a Snickers, girl. GET IT
LOL!!! I love how you broke down your OTF class so quickly! And yes, GRACE is everything right now.
I’d love to hear more about your Orangetheory experience! One just opened relatively close to where I live and I’ve been wanting to try it, but I’m a little worried about how my back would handle it. How is it in terms of impact – like how long is the treadmill session, etC? Any plyometrics? Maybe I should wait until after marathon training, haha!
It’s funny that you mention people saying negative things to you about your puppy because my FIRST thought when I saw you got a Weimaraner was that you picked the absolute PERFECT breed for your lifestyle!!
You should definitely try it as there are modifications for everything – like you can walk with an incline (or not) – instead of running. And, the classes are different every time but my longest run segment was .6 miles, then .5 and then .3 so completely and totally doable. But yes, you may want to wait until after the marathon just in case.
Thank you so much for saying that about Star! Everyone who KNOWS me, knows she is perfect and I have wanted a Weimaraner forever!! It’s the random strangers who say the dumbest things…
I go to Orange Theory about once a week… it is my favorite of all treadmill / strength combo classes I’ve done and I wrote this piece for WR for it…. I never get bored in there… My wrist monitor works, so my wrists are not so tiny? Loved the run brag/rest day brag piece!!! Loved loved!! I’ve never been a dog person, but after a weekend of dog-sitting, I totally get it… not sure that I’m ready to bite the bullet and get a dog and change my life though….
Of course you do!! I’ll have to look up your WR piece.
I love that you were dog-sitting for a weekend even though you’re not really a “dog person!” That is awesome and really so are dogs, they are just a shit ton of work.
Yes! Winter needs to get its shit together and be done with it. We got 8 freaking inches of snow. Thankfully it’s melting fast. Scared though for what shitty weather might come for Boston. So sucky when the pool is cold, makes it extra hard to get the work done in a positive manor. As usual though you continue to kick ass! Love the pupster and totally feel you on the living in the country thing . . . my closest Target is 1:15 and closest Athleta is an hour and 45 minutes away. Not cool! Have a great week!
I felt so bad for you guys and all the horrible weather you have been pummeled with this late in the season. It’s awful.
And now I feel A LOT better about where I live so thank you for that
No matter the weather in Boston, you are going to have the best day. I know it!!!
Omg so many thoughts!! It’s so nice that you have an amazing g coach, it makes me wish I had a coach. Or 24 hour life coach because honestly I would love to call someone anytime of the day for some uplift. A personal cheerleader. Can I get one??? With Pom poms.
I have wanted to try orange theory but sadly have not. I’m still trying to get to know if the many classes they offer at my gyms and so far I’ve made it to one. Sad! Wow I would love LOVE having the workouts and all the data in a big screen. I want that so much I’ve thought about bringing cables and trying to get it up myself but then remember the effort is not worth the cost. Sorry but the times I’ve gone to great lengths to get techy it’s been glazed over. Plus I’d rather leave that to the pros. With real programs and data. I went to this one boutique cycle studio where they had big screens and each bike was hooked up on computers and you saw your avatar on the screen with all your data. That’s what I want! Anyhow I am clearly into this lol.
People say the silliest things about dogs… babies.. marriage.. basicAlly everything. Mute button please!
I like a single vanilla bean scone from Starbucks after a hard session with a latte. It rarely happens so when and if it does it’s a great treat!
I so wish my coach had pom poms!
And the technical part is always good and bad but I do like having data for an interval workout like that because it’s so hard to capture.
LOVE your treat and, if the Starbucks was closer…
Oh I totally bribe myself with treats during a hellish run. It’s the only way I finish most of the tough runs. I can’t believe you swam for 5 miles in a week. My brain can’t even process that. The pool workout in the cold water sounds hellish to me. I hate being cold. And what’s up with your weather?!? LAME. Have you seen the movie Juno? It’s one of my favourites. Her step-mom collects photos of W dogs (too lazy to type out and look up the spelling) and makes dog collages. It’s hilarious. Yes, W dogs have SO much energy which is perfect for you!
OMG I love Juno but I had completely forgotten about the Weimaraner piece!! Thank you for reminding me and, oddly enough, the word Weimaraner is in the spell selection on my phone and computer so whew because it’s an odd one
I get that with Ollie also – “do you know cattle dogs are very active?” Yes. He runs 7 miles at a time with me and I love it. Active dogs are perfect breeds for active people! Even if Star’s eye color changes, she is still going to be so stinking cute!!
Fries and donuts are my reward food… I bribe myself with food at the end of a hard week of training too often. Tomorrow there’s free donuts (and good ones) at my apartment and that will totally be my bribe for today’s run plus tonight’s strength training.
Mmmm donuts. If we had really good, warm, delicious donuts and not the gross ones from the local coffee shop, I would totally eat those too! Bribe foods are awesome. Enjoy your donuts my friend, they are well earned!!
The grass is always greener isn’t it? I love living in the city, but it definitely has it’s draw backs. The boys are definitely city kids and don’t get their hands dirty enough. Traffic SUCKS. Having to play inside your garage with the door up as a backyard…womp womp…
After a tough workout I go for the donuts 🙂 On occasion. Most of the time it’s healthy like an egg scramble with sweet potatoes and protien pancakes on the side, lol! That is a lot of food! Hope you can de-stress soon!
Traffic is awful in the city for sure! Even the OTF parking lot was making me insane!! And, yes my kids have a ton of neighbors to play with and run around with but I’m thinking of MY needs Sue!! LOL Thanks for the perspective…
Girl, I know!! I want my needs to come first too!! LOL.
I’d say that’s some stress! Anger makes me run faster. Stress makes me angry… so I don’t know if that would effect me the same. Weather totally does though. a wintry mix would keep me in a warm bed. I’m impressed. I won’t even comment on the swimming, which I cannot do. You blow me away!
Orange Theory is on my list to try. My knee is jacked up again, so no running. One day…
I think you would love Orangetheory because it’s a great workout and it keeps you moving the entire time. Sorry to hear the knee is jacked up again. It must have been from Paris
I totally love your tights!! Isn’t OTF insane? Funny I had the same issue except the chest strap kept says I was at 0%. When you are busting your tail it’s totally demoralizing to see 0 up on the screen next to your friends!
Thanks Nellie! And yes – OMG with the HR thing. I was dying and it was like 64% – what???? Let’s hope this week is better!
You are making me want to get a dog!! My kids would absolutely die, but I can’t, can’t handle a 4th kid right now. Your dog is really cute though…
That pool workout sounds hellish, and you rock for doing it!! The hard work WILL pay off this summer!!
I have been saying that I am going to try OTF for like 2 years and I can’t seem to get there! I will try it after this very long marathon cycle 🙂
I just had a piece of chocolate cake – so yeah, I treat myself. Ha! Enjoy that bagel!!! xoxox
Oh Nat it is SOOOOO much work and totally turns life upside-down so you need to be really ready!! But, despite all the work and crazy, she is awesome and we definitely made the right decision.
And yes, best to save the OTF until WAY after you recover from your epic Boston marathon!
Oh, man reading about your pool experience made me cold, I just can’t imagine how awful that must have been. Your dog is beautiful and I can’t wait to get ours. When I saw, you got a Weim I thought great choice if you are looking for a running partner and a nice family dog. I know what you mean about the “advice” you get. I’m hearing the same stuff. I want to say “Yes I know, I’ve done my research, I am not an idiot” People who have had destructive dogs are ones that have left them alone long hours during the day and expect to come home and just chill with them in the evening, with no real intention of giving them the exercise they need or train them properly. They go stir crazy and become obnoxious because of their buit up energy. I always feel sad for these dogs. Puppies are a lot of work but, they not puppies for very long, and you will end up with a great friend
You SO get it Sharon and I cannot wait for you guys to get your Weim baby so they can meet and play! And yes, one of the reasons we decided we could get a dog is because we both work from home. I take her outside as much as possible so she’s exhausted by 9pm…just like me!!
Even your bad weeks totally amaze me!!! When I was training for Boston, we started our long runs each week in the parking lot of a place named Bagel World. After each run I would dream of a wheat bagel toasted with chive cream cheese and cucumber slices! Ahhhhhhh! I haven’t had one since!! I think however if my husband showed up with a box that impressive of candy I may have had to incorporate that into my treat!!
LOL – thanks so much Nancy!!
And OMG that bagel combo sounds absolutely delicious…with some M&Ms on the side