Category Archives: 2013 Weekly Workout Round-Up

The Guilt Cycle and Weekly Workout Round-Up (Nov. 25 – Dec. 1)

It’s a vicious, self-imposed cycle.  I know you’re familiar with it.   There’s something in your life – some task, chore, or even fun activity – that’s best when done regularly.  As long as you stay on top of it, things roll along smoothly.  You don’t mind doing it – and perhaps even find it enjoyable – and attending to it regularly keeps it from becoming too overwhelming:

Managing your RSS reader.
Calling your good friend.
Writing in your journal.

But sometimes life happens, and you start to fall behind.  Then, you fall more behind.  And the task keeps piling up, getting bigger and bigger:

200+ blog posts in your RSS reader…
SOOO much to tell your friend that you’ll have to set aside 2 hours for the conversation…
Three weeks of journaling to “catch up” on…

So you start avoiding it – finding excuses, filling your time with other tasks or projects.  The thought of “catching up” feels so overwhelming.  And just like that, something you love doing has become something you dread.

So what do you do?

You break the Cycle of Guilt.
You let go.
You start fresh.

You “Mark All As Read”.  No one will begrudge you a few missed comments.
You call your friend.  Tell her you only have 20 minutes, but wanted to check in and say hi.
You write down today’s date and let the words flow.

Basically, you be kind to yourself.  You treat yourself the way you would treat a friend.  You STOP letting your regret and your list of “should-haves” drag you down, and you START looking toward the future.  You make a plan.  You forgive yourself.  And then, you move forward.

And no matter how tightly you were holding on to that thing you HAD TO do, I promise you’ll feel better, lighter, and freer once you let it go.

I let myself become a victim of the Cycle of Guilt far too often.  But today, I’m standing up to myself.  I’m making a choice – I’m choosing to excuse myself.  November’s Workout Round-Ups just won’t get written this year. I’m so far behind, the notes in my workout log aren’t even familiar any more.  And although I have the actual workout data recorded, I’ve lost a lot of the funny anecdotes, back-stories, and extra info I like to include to make these posts less boring.  I know that none of you are losing sleep over this, so although the “completeness” freak in me is rebelling, I’m choosing to move on too.

I’m starting fresh in December – so I’ll start with last week, which was mostly November, but also included a tiny bit of December!  [Spoiler: There wasn’t much in the way of working out going on last week…]

Monday: Gift & Food Shopping Marathon with Dad

We have a few family members with “Thanksgiving Birthdays”, so we did some shopping for gifts, then hit up the supermarket for Thanksgiving groceries.  Thankfully, living in Singapore has dramatically raised my tolerance for crowded, busy stores.  Navigating the grocery store on the Monday-before-Thanksgiving felt like a breeze, compared to my weekly shopping routine in Singapore.  [I had no idea that the aisles in US supermarkets were so.freaking.huge!]

Tuesday: Run (5.5 mi)

This day was pretty ugly, and what started as a gentle snow turned into pelting sleet by the halfway mark.  I remembered why a cap with a brim is a good idea, even in the winter – It keeps all that stuff out of your eyes.  The run was *ahem* refreshing, and I felt like I got a bonus microderm abrasion.

Safely sheltered under the porch roof.  In the overexposed background, note the snow/ice on the ground.

Safely sheltered under the porch roof. In the overexposed background, note the snow/ice on the ground.

Wednesday: Cooking

My sister and brother-in-law arrived late on Tuesday night, so I spent Wednesday morning hanging with them and doing some work.  In the afternoon, some dear friends came over and we had a big cooking party.  It’s amazing how quickly the work gets done when 4-6 adults are working in the kitchen!!

Thursday: Eating, Hosting, Partying

Yep.  Besides passing the appetizer plates, pouring wine for guests, and lifting trays of food in and out of the oven, I didn’t do much physical activity.

Ta Da!  Thanksgiving Plate!  Not pictured: Applesauce & Cranberry Sauce, which get eaten AFTER all of the non-fruit food.

Ta Da! Thanksgiving Plate! Not pictured: Applesauce & Cranberry Sauce, which get eaten AFTER all of the non-fruit food.

Friday: Run (7.5 mi)

This is the one that I detailed in yesterday’s Join Me On This Run: Sussex County post.  It’s also when my IT band starting tweaking a little bit, reminding me that stretching is important, even in the USA!

Saturday: Goodbyes and Hellos

My sister and BIL left on Saturday morning, but in the afternoon, we went to pick KMN up from the airport.  He missed Thanksgiving, but coincidentally has business in NYC this week – so he stopped in New Jersey for the last of the leftovers.  Good thing, too – he entered just as everyone’s enthusiasm for turkey and gravy, stuffing, and green beans was waning.  What a champ! 🙂

Sunday: Travel & Cheese

Some food should be eaten, not photographed.  [The flash didn't help.]

Some food should be eaten, not photographed. [The flash didn’t help.]

KMN headed into NYC in the afternoon, and I decided to join him in the city for a day or two.  Although he’ll be busy during the week, he had some free time on Sunday night, and we snuck out for dinner at Amali.  The lighting was insufficient for good pictures, but the meal was amazing.  From the huge chunks of feta mixed with pistachios and grapes, served over chicory all the way to the ricotta donuts served with honey whipped ricotta, the meal was amazing.  And although I am happily married, I was contemplating a proposal to whoever made the divine ball of burrata cheese we enjoyed spread on crispy toast triangles.  I’m tempted to go back to enjoy a whole ball for myself, for lunch…

You don’t need an advanced math degree to calculate this one: 13 miles, just over 2 hours of working out this week (includes three days of stretching, which I don’t usually note in my day-to-day break down).  Obviously, this was a week for friends, family, and eating – not a week for working out.  But that happens once in awhile, and I’m not stressing over it.  This upcoming week will be back to normal (at least, non-gym normal).

In December, I’m looking forward to running, getting back to spin, and setting up my race calendar for the first half of next year.  I dragged my feet on this for awhile, but am now feeling excited about it – a sure sign that it’s time to pull up the race calendar and get out my credit card!!

What task/job/pastime quickly becomes overwhelming for you when you fall a bit behind?  How can/do you break the cycle?

Are there any Cycles of Guilt in your life right now that can/should be broken?  DO IT!  [Yes, like, RIGHT NOW.]  Then tell me about it, if you feel comfortable sharing.

Weekly Workout Round-Up (Oct. 14-20)

I had to look at the calendar – twice – to remind myself that last week was really just the second week after my 50K.  My legs felt…awesome.  I was doing much more cross-training than running, but BodyPump and RPM (indoor cycling) aren’t exactly gentle on the legs.  Here’s what happened:

Monday: RPM

Also, I had too many heavy things to buy at the grocery store (yogurt, milk, juice, hard cider), so I broke out the “Auntie Cart” for a walk:

Holly, listening to ChinesePod, and rockin' the Auntie Cart.  Awesomeness.

Holly, listening to ChinesePod, and rockin’ the Auntie Cart. Awesomeness.

Tuesday: Yin & Roll, BodyAttack/GRIT combo, Yoga on the Bridge,

This was a holiday (Hari Raya Haji) in Singapore, so there were special gym classes.  I started off the morning with “Yin & Roll”, a yoga class with one of my favorite yoga instructors.  We spent 75 minutes rolling sore muscles (mostly in our butts & hips) on tennis balls, then holding extended stretches for those same areas.  This was painful, but good.  I was also reminded of how spoiled I am by my foam roller – wiggling your IT band on a tennis ball requires much more core and arm strength/control than it does on a foam roller!

I took a break to do some computer work for an hour, then headed into an intense cardio/strength/HIIT workout.  This was a special combo class, and super intense – but fun.  In the evening, I joined the Lululemon crew for another night of free Tuesdays by the River Community Yoga.  [There are 2 more weeks left, by the way!  I should be there next week – come join me!]  Yes, there was more staring and maybe a few photos (as I described in last week’s Workout Round-Up), but I was prepared and determined not to be fussed by any of it.  Success.  By the time I rolled home around 9:30, I was ex-haust-ed.

But really, how better to spend a public holiday than tiring out your muscles with excellent workouts all day long?  🙂

Also?  This.  Steamed rice, salmon sashimi, seaweed, sprouts, and black inspired by a FB chat with GCA.

Also? This. Steamed rice, salmon sashimi, seaweed, sprouts, and black fungus…as inspired by a FB chat with GCA.

Wednesday: RPM & lots of stretching!

Just like running, spinning can do a number on your quads, hip flexors, and litttttle tiny hip muscles – and the five minutes allotted for leg stretching in class just isn’t quite enough.  I always try to hit the mat for another 10-15 minutes of stretching on my own, whenever possible.  And of course, I’ve tried to keep up with my bedtime rolling routine.

Thursday: RPM & BodyPump

This was my first morning (7:20 AM) RPM class in awhile – and from the stage, I could see that most of the class was definitely still waking up.  In fact, my team-teaching instructor told me that he tries to keep the music a bit more mild for this class, since everyone is still in their morning lull.  I chuckled, thinking of friends in the US who are pumping out intense workouts on their spin bikes at 6 AM…  The gyms here definitely don’t believe in (aka, there’s no demand for) super early morning classes.  So interesting…

The (blurry) detritus of good hydration habits....

The (blurry) detritus of good hydration habits….

I was able to sneak out to the gym again in the evening for some Pump.  I was…pumped! (har, har)

And there was veggie stir fry for dinner!

And there was homemade stir fry for dinner!

Friday: Run (4.1 mi)

My first run of the week – and the one I wrote about in yesterday’s post (I don’t care if my legs tremble during Warrior poses. I need to run.)  Friday was kind-of my rest day for the week.

Saturday: RPM & Run (7 mi)

As a participant in a spin class, I don’t much care what my fellow class members are doing/feeling/giving – I’m there to do my own workout, with the instructor.  However, as an instructor, I’ve quickly realized how different classes have a different “feel” or character.  As I mentioned above, early morning classes are a bit more mellow – but the Saturday afternoon class is considerably more energetic and intense.  This is not a better/worse characterization – just an observation.  And I’m rather amused that I didn’t really notice/care much about this as a participant – but it’s so obvious now that I’m on stage.

KMN procrastinated his long run until Saturday evening – which was, surprisingly, OK for me.  I don’t usually enjoy evening runs, but since this one was purely “for fun” for me – I had no pace goal – I headed out with him around 6:30 PM.  We did one loop of McRitchie Reservoir together, before I headed home and he continued on for another 6 miles in the park (it was too dark for another trail loop without headlamps).  I was excited that my knee felt great, despite the uneven, technical terrain.  He came back, we were both ravenous, and we went out for Indian food for dinner.  Palak paneer, I love you.

Sunday: BodyPump

KMN, GCA, and I all headed in to an afternoon Pump class.  Although the class time is a bit disruptive (3 PM), some afternoon lifting was a great way to end the weekend, and complement the previous day’s cardio.

All in all, I’m happy with the week.  I will be doing quite a lot of RPM in the coming weeks, so I was glad to get in four classes this week.  And although I didn’t do much running, Friday’s jaunt was a good reminder that I need to keep lacing up my sneakers – especially now that 50K recovery is complete.  My goal for the last 8 months has been base building – now that I have the base, I definitely don’t want to lose it!  So definitely look for some more running, starting next week.

The week’s run mileage was just 11.1 miles (although it would be considerably higher if the indoor spin bikes had odometers!), but my Total Workout Time was 12 hours, 2 minutes.

Early morning gym classes: Yay or Nay?

Is “early morning” 6 AM, 7 AM, or 8 AM?

When you have lots of miscellaneous stuff in the fridge, what do you turn it into, and what is your carb of choice?
[Interesting cultural difference: My inclination is to mix it up with some canned diced tomatoes and go “Italian style”, serving over pasta.  But my husband’s first thought is to make a fried rice type dish.]

Weekly Workout Round-Up (Oct. 7-13)

Last week was characterized by two things:

1. Not much running.
2. A return to yang yoga.

Both of these were good things.  As I’ve said before, I tend to use the post-long-race week as both a physical and mental break from training.  I take a step back from my intense Sunday afternoon workout scheduling session, and just do whatever workouts I feel like – or don’t feel like – doing.  I put zero pressure on myself to do anything, and if I want to lounge around and read a book instead, or sleep in for an extra hour, I let myself.  So after last weekend’s 50K, my workout week looked like this:

Monday: Yin yoga.

Basically, I fell asleep in a candle lit room while ostensibly stretching my hips.  Glorious.

Tuesday: Yoga by the River

I also used a hair dryer on Tuesday.  I did not, however, carry a flower pot on my head...

I also used a hair dryer on Tuesday. I did not, however, carry a flower pot on my head…

A new East Coast Lululemon showroom opened last week in Singapore.  In preparation/celebration, the owners organized a series of free Tuesdays by the River Community Yoga classes during September and October.  This was my first time in attendance.  There were over 100 of us – probably closer to 200 (?) with our yoga mats spread out on a pedestrian bridge at Clarke Quay.  The guest instructor demonstrated and led from the broad concrete railing.

This was an interesting experience, and I’ll admit that I left with conflicting emotions.  First of all, doing open air yoga with like-minded folks after sunset was REALLY COOL.  But Clarke Quay is a pretty popular evening hang-out for expats, professional locals, and tourists.  Our group occupied most of the bridge (leaving just a narrow space for people to pass by), so we were impossible to miss.  As my mat was located next to this walkway, I heard lots of comments as people went by – and a fair share of them were from groups of men, to the effect of, “Whoa, it’s our lucky day!”  Then, they pulled out their phones and started snapping pictures.

A week later, and I’m still not sure what I think about this.  On one hand, we are opting to practice yoga in tight clothing in a very public setting.  And there were plenty of groups, women, and couples staring (and photographing) too.  I mean, we were quite a sight:

Yoga on the BridgeOn the other hand, such blatant discussion and admission of oogling makes me feel a little bit uncomfortable.  But, I think I’m filing this one under “Live and Let Live,” though – and I’ll probably go back this week.  [Tonight, actually – locals, come join us – BYOM (bring your own mat)!]

Plus, this yoga session reminded me of how much I’ve abandoned my “other” yogas (Hatha, Flow, Vinyasa) in lieu of Yin.  Although Yin is great for stretching and relaxing, I do enjoy the challenge and strength required by yang yogas, and want to ensure I fit in a class or two each week in the coming months.

Wednesday's dinner: Dahl and homemade Naan.  Maybe not much to look at, but soooo good!

Wednesday’s dinner: Dahl and homemade Naan. Maybe not much to look at, but soooo good!

Wednesday: RPM

I have lots of team-teaching to do in the next two months, so you’ll be seeing a lot of spinning going on.  This was just a little test/warm-up.  While I didn’t kill myself with resistance, I was quite pleased with how good my legs felt – generally quite strong, just a touch of residual fatigue when I pushed the hills or sprints hard.  Three cheers for speedy recoveries!

Thursday: Short run/walk & Yoga

This was the Grand Opening of the Lululemon store I mentioned above.  The owners and managers of this store are an energetic, passionate bunch, eager to share their love of fitness.  In fact, I’m working with them to dream up some joint Lulu-RWH programming, so locals, stay tuned!

Anyway, they invited me out for the opening, so I joined an excited, chatty group of 30-40 athletes for a 2-3K run/walk to and through some of East Coast Park.  There, we enjoyed half an hour of waterfront yoga.  Delicious!

Our instructor kept saying, "Reach to the ceiling/mirror/back wall," then catching herself when we all laughed.  I think she needs to lead MORE waterfront yoga!

Our instructor kept saying, “Reach to the ceiling/mirror/back wall,” then catching herself when we all laughed. I think she needs to lead MORE waterfront yoga!

Next, we headed out for a ride around the East Coast area and tour of some local yoga and pilates studios…on a Hippo tour bus (don’t ask me why it’s called a Hippo bus; it doesn’t look like a Hippo):

Hippo BusMy job rocks.  I spent the morning working out, then sitting on the sunshiny, breezy upper deck while riding around Singapore (and ducking the occasional low-hanging branch), talking to yogis and runners, people for whom fitness is a passion – and in many cases, a profession.  The morning ended with mini cupcakes and Chinese treats back at the showroom.  Overall, a very fun morning.  Good luck with this new adventure, ladies!

I also left with my very first Lulu apparel to "test drive" - the blue & white striped tank.  We'll see how it fares after a few weeks with me!

I also left with my very first Lulu apparel to “test drive” – the blue & white striped tank. We’ll see how it fares after a few weeks with me!

Friday: Good intentions, zero execution

Saturday: Communication Fail

I was supposed to shadow an RPM class on this afternoon; but some miscommunication meant that I got to the gym…but didn’t end up shadowing.  Unfortunately, I was wearing my flip flops, and carrying my cycling shoes, but was absolutely without sneakers – so an alternative workout would’ve been hard.  I did some stretching, then came home and finished up my book (Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell – total brain candy).

Sunday: Long Run (9 mi)

GCA has been hankering to try out a new park connector, so I met her, and another of her friends (A), for an early morning run from Buona Vista MRT out to Pandan Reservoir.  This was super fun for me – Pandan Reservoir is near to my in-law’s place, so this is where KMN and I used to run when we would come to Singapore to visit.  This run was made possible by the construction of a new, shiny, loopy bridge over the AYE (freeway) that just opened.  The bridge is really quite impressive; I should have taken a picture – but I’m a bad blogger, and failed to take ANY photos of this group adventure.

We took the pace nice and easy, and the miles passed quickly with company.  My knee did just fine until about Mile 8, when it started to twinge a bit.  After a few twinges, I dialed back to a walk to the finish.  Walking, bending, squatting, and all other activities were fine for the rest of the day.  For now, I’ll continue to treat with rest (or at least, stick to short runs), and add in a bit of quad/hamstring strengthening.  The beauty of being post-key-race is that I have the time and freedom to let this run its course, without being anxious about training that I’m missing.

Anyway – I thoroughly enjoyed getting out for miles with friends – and meeting a potential new running partner *A*ahem*A*!  AND, the run ended with a trip to Ghim Moh market, where I was reunited with my first (and still favorite) tau huay (soybean pudding):

There's nothing like your first time.  Especially when it's as good as this one: smooth, creamy, just the right amount sweet...

There’s nothing like your first time. Especially when it’s as good as this one: smooth, creamy, just the right amount sweet…

I only wish I had thought to bring another five containers home, to eat this week.  Instead, I’m just going to need another excuse to go join GCA for a run in her neighborhood. 🙂

And that, my friends, brings us to the end of post-ultra-week.  Total Workout Time (including stretching & rolling): 6 hr, 19 min.

Coming up this week?  Lots of spinning, and some more non-yin yoga (and, who am I kidding, some yin yoga, too!), and probably some short runs.

Public group yoga: Awesome, or uncomfortable?

Beach yoga: Yay or Nay?
[I hate getting sand everywhere, but have to admit that the views were spectacular!]

Weekly Workout Round-Up (Sept. 30 – Oct. 6)

So much for posting this stinker on…uhhh…Sunday?  Ah, well, there was too much 50King to discuss this week to be overly concerned about Workout Round-Ups.  Most of you know what a taper looks like, anyway.  But I’m a sucker for completeness, so here’s a quick rundown of my workout week leading up to the North Face 50K.  Mostly, it’s a super-taper (aka, more taper than I usually do), with a lot of yoga.  My hip was feeling extra tight the week before the race, so I wanted to do whatever I could to stretch that out before race day.

The menagerie was anxious for KMN's return.  They even sent a delegate to wait at the door for him.

The menagerie was so anxious for KMN’s return that they waited at the door for him.

Monday: Run (4 mi) & Yin Yoga

KMN worked a last-minute deal from Saturday through Tuesday, so he spent maaaaaaaany hours at the office early in the week.  “Maaaaaaaaany hours” as in, “It’s a good thing he has a toothbrush and changes of clothes there”.  So I worked, cooked (although failed to take many photos), ran/yoga-ed, and hung out with the Stuffed Menagerie.

Tuesday: Run (4.7 mi)

I took my trail shoes out for a little pre-race tooling around at McRitchie.  Nothing too intense, just a short jaunt on some of the trails we’d be covering before dawn on race morning.  Besides a little hip tightness, things felt pretty good.  I foam roller-ed afterward like it was my JOB.

I also put the breadmaker to good use.  Carb-loading, and all that.  [This loaf wasn't finished cooking yet, thus the slightly pale appearance.]

I also put the breadmaker to good use. Carb-loading, and all that. [This loaf wasn’t finished cooking yet, thus the slightly pale appearance.]

Wednesday: Rest

KMN and I planned to meet for RPM spin class, but we were both running late.  Ultimately, he could have sneaked into class, but I was about 5 minutes too late.  He was a gentleman (or was looking to avoid his workout!), and skipped class too.  Instead, we went out for chicken rice dinner, and came home to do work.

Oh, I did sneak in a sprint around the apartment in the morning, slamming windows shut, when I glanced out the back and realized that this was happening:

"Fogging" This is how Singapore manages its mosquito problem.  I don't like it, but it's better than Dengue...

“Fogging” = Spraying some kind of pesticide. This is how Singapore manages its mosquito problem. I don’t like it, but it’s better than Dengue…

Thursday: Yoga

Since my return from Perth, I’d been skipping many of my “usual” classes at the gym, sneaking in spin when I could, and grabbing whatever yoga classes were convenient.  Thankfully, on Thursday, I got myself over to the gym for one of my favorite yoga classes for the first time in many weeks: Sherlin’s Thursday night yoga.  It didn’t disappoint, my hip flexors were leeeeeeeeeeeengthened, and some very good business connections coincidentally came out of the evening.

Early AM shake-out run.

Early AM shake-out run.

Friday: Run (3.6 mi) & Yin Yoga

An early morning shake-out run, then some final tune-up stretching with Joyce before race day!  I also did lots of extra stretching on my own, throughout the afternoon and evening.  The extra hours of desk-sitting brought on by taper were productive – but probably contributed to the tightness in my legs.  Thankfully, some extra stretching helped work the kinks out.

I also treated myself to this:

The heel of the loaf, but it looks amazingly like a toasted buttered roll, right NJ folks? [Apparently, toasted buttered rolls are "a New Jersey thing", although I have no idea why they haven't caught on elsewhere, seeing as how they are delicious.]

The heel of the loaf, but it looks amazingly like a toasted buttered roll, right NJ folks? [Apparently, toasted buttered rolls are “a New Jersey thing”, although I have no idea why they haven’t caught on elsewhere, seeing as how they are delicious.]

Saturday: TNF 50K!!!! [Race Report Part 1 and Race Report Part 2]

Sunday: Walking & (very gentle) Stretching

Yes, walking was a workout.  And stretching sore, achy muscles took a lot of mental fortitude – but I felt better and better each time I did it.

Total Workout Time for the week: 13 hours exactly – although more than 5 of those came from the 50K.  Now, looking forward to a week of rest, recovery, and “doing whatever I feel like doing” workouts!

“Toasted, buttered roll”: New Jersey thing, or not?

And since we’re well beyond last week already, how about you tell me the most FUN workout you’ve done so far this week?

Weekly Workout Round-Up (Sept. 23-29)

In the spirit of staying up-to-date and organized (See: Order On The Blog!), here’s the scoop on last week’s workouts.  Do note that this was my first taper week for The North Face 50K on Oct. 5th.

Monday: BodyPump

Tuesday: Run (6 mi)

I joined KMN for his tempo run in the morning.  Since I was planning for fewer overall miles this week, I figured I could handle his long tempo pace (slightly faster than my Easy pace).  We did a 1 mile warm-up, followed by 5 miles at tempo pace (Goal: 8:30-8:45 min/mi), although we ran a bit faster.  This was a solid, but not exhausting, effort for me.  As this was KMN’s workout, I let him take the lead, and we actually ended up with a progression run.  Splits for the 5 tempo miles were:

8:33 min/mi

Not exactly a steady-effort tempo workout, but it’s very important for our marriage that I not coach my husband.  He was happy with the workout, so I was happy.

There was also much stretching, and a 1 min, 50 second plank.  I don’t have any designs on being able to hold a  5 minute plank or anything (not that cool/don’t have that much spare time), but I’d like to work my way up to about 2.5-3 minutes – and add some plank variations to work other core muscles (side planks, mountain climbers, etc.).

Wednesday: RPM & Yin Yoga

I arrived early for spin class so I could practice for my test on Saturday.  Then, during class, I focused on my technique (proper cadence, stabilized core, correct arm position), knowing that all of those things would be important for my test – and subsequent teaching.  They are also much easier to think about when taking a class, as opposed to coaching a class.  Once I start opening my mouth to coach, I start paying less focused attention on myself (obviously).  Thus, my technique needs to be second nature.  This was a solid session, and got me *very* excited for teaching my own class.  I love spreading the workout love.

Thursday: Run (5 mi), TRX, & RPM

Singapore is always humid.  This particular morning happened to be especially humid.  Check this out:

Can you see the sweat?  That is genuine knee/calf sweat.

See all those glistening drops? That’s genuine calf sweat, people. Totally the norm out here. There’s a reason we keep a pile of junky towels at the door….

Indeed – about an hour after I returned from my run, the skies opened.  The rain let up in time for me to head out for a lunchtime TRX class.  I’ll blog a bit more about TRX another time, but in short, it is a workout done using only your body weight and two straps suspended from the ceiling.  This was my very first TRX class, so I took things slow and easy, but did inadvertently decimate my triceps.  Those weakling triceps were sore for the next four days – no lie.

I finished up my trip to the gym on…yep, you guessed it:

My precious....

My precious….

After hitting the shower and changing into clean clothes, I realized…my clean clothes were basically an exact duplicate of the sweaty ones I’d just taken off.  I wanted to wear a sign or something that explained the situation, so no one assumed I was just a gross, lazy, non-showerer.

Friday: Run (5 mi) & BodyPump

After my run, I succumbed to peer pressure – Elizabeth (My Neon Running Shoes) posted about the delicious egg/spinach/cheese wrap she had for dinner (Picture day. Wraps. Nestle Tollhouse!), so I raided the fridge to recreate hers as best I could for myself:

I only had enough eggs for one, though.  The other contains a bananas, a smear of peanut butter, and a bit of Nutella.  Both tasted terrible.  That's why I didn't share with you. :)

I only had enough eggs for one wrap, though. The other contains a banana, a smear of peanut butter, and a bit of Nutella. Both tasted terrible. That’s why I didn’t share with you. 🙂

Friday is usually date night around here…and we started our date off with a BodyPump session, and ended it with ramen.  Date-night-perfection, if you ask me!

Saturday: Run (10 mi) & RPM Instructor Test

I already blogged about both of these things in my post Recipe for a Most Excellent Saturday.  And let me tell you…”just” 10 miles?  Felt amazing after a few weeks of super long runs!

Sunday: Big, fat, GOOF OFF.

And I didn’t feel the least bit guilty.  And, OK – I didn’t really goof off.  I went to church, did some work, took a nap, picked up my 50K race packet, had dinner with family, etc. etc.

This was the first week of my 2 week taper, and I logged just over 26 running miles.  I was aiming for about 30, so I’m content.  Still, with some cross training and a fair bit of RPM prep and training, I still hit a Total Workout Time for the week of 11 hrs, 45 min.  Now, it’s time to bring on the serious, week-before-the-race taper.

Fill in the blank: Disaster is…trying to coach/teach my significant other______________________________.

Gosh, it’s late and I’m tired.  I just dozed off, and awoke to a very unusual sentence written here.  Ever sleep-type?
[And with that, I’m outta here. It’s bedtime in Singapore!]

Weekly Workout Round-Up (Sept. 9-15)

I have a race report from last weekend that I *really* want to share – but as a stickler for chronological order, I have to do a wrap-up from the week before, first.  So my next four posts look like this:

1. Weekly Workout Round-Up (Sept. 9-15) – aka, THIS VERY POST
2. Yellow Ribbon Run Race Report (Sept. 15)
3. Weekly Workout Round-Up (Sept. 16-22)
4. My Obsessive List-Making Hits the Blog (You’ll just have to wait and see.)

Whew.  Now that the agenda is set, let’s get started.

Monday (Sept. 9): Run (3.5 mi)

Enthused?  Maybe? Possibly?

Enthused? Maybe? Possibly?

Nothing special, just a shake-out after Sunday’s Vertical City Trail Race.  I must not have run hard enough (or I didn’t run too hard?), because my legs were a bit tired, but not sore at all.  I delayed my run until I needed an afternoon break, so I headed to McRitchie Reservoir, where I knew there would be plenty of tree-cover to shade me from the sun.  This turned out to be unnecessary, though, because there was no sun – Just oppressive, pre-rain humidity.  The air on the trail was so stagnant, I felt like I was swimming.  I escaped as soon as I could, and ran back home on the sidewalks, where I could catch a light breeze here and there.  I finished with lots of post-run stretching and rolling and digging a tiny bug out of my eye.

I swear he felt 10x bigger when he was swimming on top of my eyeball.

I swear he felt 10x bigger when he was swimming on top of my eyeball.

Tuesday: Run (2.9 mi)

This was just a short jaunt going to and from an appointment with a client.  Bonus of being a running coach: It’s perfectly acceptable for me to show up for a client (workout) meeting hot and sweaty.

Wednesday: Run (6.4 mi) & BodyPump

I was at the gym for BodyPump anyway, so I hit up the treadmill for a hill workout.  I chose the “random” hills setting, selected some levels that seemed about appropriate (I still don’t really have the hang of what I should pick when the treadmill asks “Choose a Level, 1-12.”  Is this a question of grade? Speed? Both?  I randomly choose, then modify as necessary.)  Basically, I ran for about an hour at 2%-6% incline.  This is considerably more incline than is typically found in Singapore, and I was definitely glad to get in the extra hills.  I don’t love the treadmill, but think I’ll continue to do one heavily graded run per week, to keep my climbing sharp.

BodyPump?  All I’ll say is that I need more BodyPump in my life.  Between marathon training, recovery, guests, etc – I haven’t been doing as much weight work as I would like.  But I love having stronger (and less scrawny) arms, shoulders, and back – so some work in this area is in order.

Birthday dinner for KMN at Dozo.  Perhaps I'll do a more in depth post sometime.  Short version: Air con too cold, food interesting and tasty.

Birthday dinner for KMN at Dozo. Perhaps I’ll do a more in-depth post sometime. Short version: Air con too cold, food interesting and tasty. Don’t judge KMN’s hair. He snuck in a workout and shower before racing over to meet me for dinner.

Thursday: Rest

I did some foam rolling, and prepared a hearty pesto pasta dinner in preparation for a long run (for both KMN and I) on Friday:

Another infamous 2-bowl dinner!

Another infamous 2-bowl dinner!

Friday: Loooooong run (22 mi)

Gear prep!

Gear prep!

After 2 weekends of lower mileage, it was time for me to get in a few more long training runs before the 50K in October.  KMN opted to join me for part of the run, to get his long run out of the way, as well.  He left his work and work clothes in the office the previous evening, and we planned to run from our apartment into the downtown area.  We mapped a route that would give him his desired 12 miles.  We laid out gear and went to bed early on Thursday.

A smile, before I realized how badly my (hydration) bladder was faring.

A smile, before I realized how badly my (hydration) bladder was faring.

But none of that mattered.  Early on Friday morning, the run started with me being supremely cranky, and the velcro closure on the bladder for my hydration pack breaking.  [Those two things may or may not be related.]  I thought I fixed the bladder with some super glue, but the repair lasted about 5 seconds, and the broken velcro resulted in my getting about 500 ml of water down my back in the first half mile of the run.

We propped the bladder up in my pack as best we could, drained some water, and I crossed my fingers that it would hold enough for me to finish the run.  We set off toward downtown and enjoyed about 8 perfect miles (perfect except that my back was extremely wet and I was cranky), before construction resulted in blockage of the river path we were running.  We spent about 10 minutes trying to find a way around, but were blocked by expressways and construction fences in all directions.  We finally crossed the Kallang River and headed toward the Singapore Flyer…only to be re-routed for another bridge closing, and eventually forced onto the sidewalk because preparations for the F1 race that was held this past weekend blocked the riverside running path.

With KMN racing the clock (he had a morning meeting), there were a few tense moments, but we finally made it to his office.  We separated, and I (now also running late) bought some water to (partially) refill my pack, and hopped on the subway to make up for some lost time.  I was scheduled to meet a client for a run out on the east side of the island.  Originally, I’d intended to run the whole way out, but instead rode halfway and ran the other half.

By the time I met him, I had 15 miles on my Garmin.  We did one lap of Bedok Reservoir together, giving me another 2.5, then I paused so we could do some stretching.  Afterward, I did another lap of the Reservoir on my own, then set out to do some Park Connector investigation.

Mid-run self-shot.  Meagan inspired me to give it a try!

Mid-run self-shot. Meagan inspired me to give it a try!

Singapore is making an effort to connect as many of its small parks and paths as possible; I read that there was a way to get from Bedok down to East Coast Park, through the Siglap Park Connector.  I could figure out most of the route with GMaps, but one section baffled me and was going to require my feet on the ground to sort it out.  I decided that, since my long run was already terribly disjointed and had lots of pauses, a few more for route investigation wouldn’t hurt.  And after a few wrong turns, not quite enough signs, and a bit of dancing around construction, I emerged victorious.

Finding this map hidden behind some construction helped considerably!

Finding this map hidden behind some construction helped considerably!

Ultimately, I figured out how to connect Bedok Reservoir to the canal that leads to East Coast Park (of course, this is only interesting for locals, and most of you probably know how to do it already).  Suffice to say, I can now confidently run this route without an extra “getting lost” allowance of time.  I will be back, and one day, I intend to take it all the way to ECP.   On this day, though, I decided that 22 miles was enough, and hopped onto the EW Line at Kembangan MRT station.

This certainly wasn’t my “best” long run ever – I covered 22 miles, with a running time of 3 hrs, 40 minutes – but the whole adventure took about 5 hours.  I don’t like all that stopping time during my run, but life is life, and sometimes conditions aren’t perfect.  On the plus side, I told myself that it was “heat training”, in preparation for the lengthy amount of time I’d be out in the sun/heat during the ultra.  Done, and done.

Also done?  Four big slices of watermelon.  This one's for you, Brennan!

Also done? Four big slices of watermelon. This one’s for you, Brennan!

Saturday: Rest

KMN and I took an impromptu mini-staycation in honor of our upcoming anniversary (click for slightly mushy anniversary post), and I sat in the air conditioning, read, napped, ate, and did zero stretching.  Lovely, really – for a day.

Sunday: Yellow Ribbon Run (10K)

Yellow Ribbon

This will get its own post tomorrow.  But basically, this was a fundraising run on a new-to-me route (we actually ran into the prison complex in Singapore).  A bit crowded, but a fun morning.

Total workout time for the week: 9 hrs, 3 min – and a total of 41 miles.  Not quite as much cross-training as I was hoping to sneak in, but running was solid – and my legs felt pretty good.  I think (hope!) I’m marathon recovered.  One more training week before I taper for the 50K on Oct. 5!

What’s your grossest on-the-run (or ride) bug encounter?  

Staycation: Yay or Nay?
[I used to be Nay, thinking it was silly to pay money to stay close to where I lived; but I’m converting to a Yay, thinking about the money saved on transportation and the time saved in busy schedules.]

Anyone have any fun workouts on the schedule for today?  Do share!

Weekly Workout Round-Up (Aug. 26 – Sept. 8): Marathon Recovery

Yesterday, I posted my Workout Round-Up for pre-marathon week.  Now it’s time to take a look at the post-Perth workouts!  In case you have forgotten (or are new – HI!), I actually spent my summer dual-training: for a marathon in Perth at the end of August, and for a 50K trail run in Singapore in early October.  With the 50K in mind, I ran a solid race in Perth, but didn’t kill myself.  I only had about 2 weeks of recovery before hitting a few more long workouts, in Singaporean heat, on Singaporean trails, in preparation for the 50K.

[Perth race reports are here: Perth Part 1 and Perth Part 2.]

So here are my two recovery weeks.  The goal of Week #1 was: Do whatever the heck you want, and nothing more.  This is a physical break – but more importantly (for me) a psychological break.  After adhering to a training plan for so many weeks, this break week was important for me, for my mental recovery/rest – especially since I planned to jump right back into a few intense weeks of training.

Monday (Aug. 26): Walk all over Perth with Grace, groaning slightly, avoiding stairs, and enjoying a long afternoon rest over gloriously rich hot chocolate at Chocolateria San Churro.  Red eye back to Singapore.

Tuesday: Not one blessed thing.  Not even a stretch.  (Don’t tell my coach.)

Actually, my legs were already significantly less sore.  What was nagging me the most?  My back, of all things.  I must have been a bit more tense than usual during the marathon, because the muscles of my upper/middle back felt tied in knots.

Wednesday: Yin Yoga

Basically, Joyce turned out the lights and I dozed off.  Well, I guess I approximated enough of the postures that she didn’t come over to check if I was still alive.  So, that’s a start.  My back felt better afterward, as well.  Two points for yin.

Thursday: Yoga

Post-Spin Stretch.

Post-Spin Stretch.

Sherlin works us a bit harder than Yin, but the hamstring/quad/hip flexor stretching was just what I needed, if not exactly what I wanted.

Friday: Spin

I wasn’t sure how my legs would feel about spinning, but they were actually really, really OK with it.  And my still-tight back was quite happy to stretch and fold forward to the handlebars.  Excellent!  I made a mental note that, if running turned out to be draggy  next week, spin would remain a good option.

Saturday & Sunday: Stretching and rolling and resting.

After switching places in and out of town during most of August, KMN and I were finally both home – and expecting guests on Tuesday.  We took the opportunity to catch up on chores, finish up a DIY project around the apartment, and prepare for visitors!

I also spent the week eating pretty much what I felt like eating.  For example, on Saturday night, I really wanted popcorn.  We were out of kernels for our popcorn maker. KMN went to the store to buy some, couldn't find any, and came home with this instead.  A reasonable substitute.  And a POP UP BOWL?  I'm not sure if this is pathetic, or cute.  ?

I also spent the week eating pretty much what I felt like eating. For example, on Saturday night, I really wanted popcorn. We were out of kernels for our popcorn maker. KMN went to the store to buy some, couldn’t find any, and came home with this instead. A reasonable substitute. And a POP UP BOWL? I’m not sure if this is pathetic, or cute. ?

KMN went for a long run on Sunday.  For the first hour he was gone, I was thrilled that I could catch up on work and tidy up around the house, rather than haul myself out for a weekend long run.  For the second hour he was gone, I was jealous that he was getting all the endorphins and I was getting none.  The timing was perfect: Clearly, I was ready to get back in my running sneakers!

Now twinning with my husband. But he was going running; I was merely going floor mopping.  [In Singapore, mopping is a tech-shirt-worthy job.]

Now twinning with my husband. But he was going running; I was merely going floor mopping. [In Singapore, mopping is a tech-shirt-worthy job.]

Total workout time (including rolling and stretching): 3 hrs, 45 min.  I should have been able to knit a sweater, or make a chiffon cake, or at least wash all the windows in the apartment with so much less time spent working out.  But alas…I don’t have much to show for it.

My goal for post-marathon Week #2 was to return to regular (albeit mostly easy) running, for about 25-30 miles, if possible.  To keep my overall workout load reduced, I planned to cut back on my cross-training workouts for the week.  This corresponded nicely with having guests, too.

Monday (Sept. 2): BodyPump

A two week break from BodyPump doesn’t do your (or at least, my) muscles any favors, that’s for sure.  I kept my weights fairly light – downloaded a bit from what I was using in July and early August.  And despite doing the squats and lunges without any added weight at all – I was feeling the burn, both in class and most definitely the next day.

We also went to another supermarket, and were able to find popcorn kernels.  After checking the snack aisle, the cereal aisle, and the grains aisle, we accidentally stumbled up them HERE.  Kind of makes sense, I guess...?

We also went to another supermarket, and were able to find popcorn kernels. After checking the snack aisle, the cereal aisle, and the grains aisle, we accidentally stumbled up them HERE. Kind of makes sense, I guess…?

Tuesday: Run (6.1 mi)

My dear friend Deb arrived for a visit verrrrrry early on Tuesday morning.  She’s a running machine, and promptly informed me that she wanted to run.  So, we ran.  The pace was a bit faster than my usual, but the miles flew by as we chatted and caught up.  As I did most of my marathon training alone, having someone to chat with really helped pass the time.

Wednesday: Run (8.1 mi)

Deb needed to do her long run, and wanted to check out the trails near our apartment.  I obliged, and we ran one loop of McRitchie Reservoir together.

Deb on the run.  [*cue music*]

Deb on the run.

After one round, we parted ways and I headed home, while she completed a second loop.  And in those 8 solo miles, she had more adventures than I’ve had since moving here: Mischievous monkeys ransacking boxes of water bottles, a sighting of a small snake, and a close encounter with a monitor lizard!

Playful monkeys on the first loop; she didn't have a camera to catch their shenanigans on her second round!  How many monkeys do you see...?

Playful monkeys on the first loop; she didn’t have a camera to catch their shenanigans on her second round! How many monkeys do you see…?

Thursday: Rest

Actually, it poured all day.  We went to a museum and took things slow and easy.

Friday: Run (3.6 mi)

KMN and Deb both did longer, faster workouts.  I pulled the “I just ran a marathon 1.5 weeks ago” card, and took a shortened option.

Saturday: Hiking in Palau Ubin

Our Garmin died partway through the trip, but we probably walked/hiked about 6-7 miles for the day.  Since we were all running a race the following day, I opted out of any other workouts.

Sunday: 5.6 miles + 20 Story Stair Climb

All three of us (KMN, Deb, and I) ran the Salomon Vertical City Trail Race.  I’ll post a separate race report soon, but suffice to say that I am much better trained for longer distances at the moment.  It was also a great example of That Time Coach Holly Ran The Race She Always Lectures You NOT To Run.  Stay tuned. [Edit: Salomon Vertical City Trail Race Report]

All smiles before the race!

All smiles before the race!

Total Workout Time for the week: 5 hrs, 38 min – almost all running, with some stretching/rolling.  Having Deb around this week was a great motivator for me to get back out on the pavement and trails.  Zipping off to the gym while guests are visiting seemed a bit of a waste – so that helped keep most of my training time run-specific.  Next week (uh…that would be this week that has just passed), it’s back to running + cross training, though.  Bring on 2 weeks of post-recovery, pre-taper 50K training!

What is the coolest/scariest animal you’ve ever seen while out running?

Anyone have a good recipe for pesto?  I made pesto last night, and it was a flop.  But I have an over-achieving basil plant, so…help a girl out?

Did you notice the new Run With Holly Gravatar photo (in the Comments section – I’m not just a green design anymore – I have an actual picture!!)?  Not to brag (much), but I have to admit that I’m feeling extra snazzy now!

Weekly Workout Round-Up (Aug. 19-25): Pre-Marathon Week

There are some blog-related changes coming up here (namely, more frequent, more varied, and less Holly-centric posts), but first, let’s do some Weekly Workout Rounding-Up.  These are mostly for me, anyway – and apparently you guys like them, too, because they tend to get lots of Comments.  Anyway, how did my workouts look pre-Marathon week?  Let’s hop back to the end of August:

Monday (Aug. 19): Run (1.5 mi)

I met a client for a side-by-side treadmill run.  But she had arrived at the gym early, and was halfway done by the time I joined.  I ran with her until the end of her workout, then we did some stretching together.  By the time that was done, I was hungry and didn’t feel like hopping back on the treadmill.  I called 1.5 miles good for the evening, and rewarded myself by using the escalator instead of the stairs.

What? I'm preparing for a marathon, OK? Every bit of rest counts!! [Kidding.  There's no 'stairs' option in this particular spot.]

What? I’m preparing for a marathon, OK? Every bit of rest counts!! [Kidding. There’s no ‘stairs’ option in this particular spot.]

Tuesday: Run (4.1 mi)

I met another client for an early morning run.  Many of my training plans include once-per-month telephone consults, and I offer my local clients the chance to substitute a run together for a phone call.  This is useful in many ways – and just a little bonus for my locals!  Depending on the pace and distance, I don’t always include these in my training tally, but this was a taper week, so every mile was going in – including these four!

I came home and had these for lunch.  In fact, I had this for lunch almost every day this week:

Homemade nachos, topped with refried beans&corn, cheese, salsa, and a salad.

Homemade nachos: Lay the chips on a plate and top with a refried beans/corn mixture and cheese, then broil for 2 minutes. Garnish with salsa and a salad on top.

Wednesday: Yin Yoga


And since we’re talking food, my breakfasts this week pretty much all looked like this.

I was hoping for some hip stretching; instead, Joyce had a class full of back stretches planned.  I still left feeling relaxed and calm.

Dear Alan: Sorry I skipped your spin class.  But leg resting, and all that jazz.

Thursday: Run (3.9 mi)

I wanted to get my legs moving before boarding my flight to Perth – so I ran 10 min easy/10 min tempo/10 min easy.  This was enough to get everything flowing, but not so much that I exhausted myself.  In the afternoon, I was PERTH-BOUND!!!!

Friday: Walking around Freemantle

Sightseeing report pending.  But we saw dolphins, got shipwrecked, and went to jail.  It was an exciting day.

Saturday: Shake-out run (2.5 mi)

Grace & I couldn’t stop exclaiming, “It’s so COOL!  It’s so NICE!  This weather is AWESOME!!!!!!!”  We ran along the Swan River, which would be part of the course the following day.  Only difference was that we were on the pedestrian path, and on Sunday, the road would be closed for us.  Yippee!!

Sunday: Perth Marathon (26.2 mi)

Here’s the link to my Perth Race Report, Part 1 and Part 2.

Along with the stretching and rolling I did, my weekly workout time was 7 hrs, 15 min (although 3 hrs, 30 min without the marathon!).  This was a smidge light for a pre-race week: I’d planned to drop my mileage to about 50% (20-25 miles) the week before the race, but instead only ran about 12 miles.  [However, if I counted the previous Sunday’s run, which was technically part of the “week before”, then I was at 17 miles.]  Honestly, though, I wasn’t too fussed.  I’d already put in my training, so my goals for the week were to keep moving, but not get too tired or injured.  And I succeeded.

A quick word about pre-marathon food – I trained just fine on my normal diet, so I didn’t plan to change much in the week before.  I think the biggest changes were that I didn’t buy any Pringles the week before the marathon, and did made sure to eat 3 full meals each day (sometimes I just snack through lunch).  Toast was a popular breakfast that week, and nachos were common for lunch.  Dinners were starch + protein + veggies; and since KMN was out of town, they were often thrown together at the last minute.  Like I said – I eat pretty well on a regular basis, and didn’t see any need to change a solid system that worked well during training.

Finally, in the days leading up to a big-effort workout or race, hydration is very important:


Look, Mom! I emptied them ALL.

And with that, I’m outta here. Final post-marathon thoughts, post-marathon Workout Round-Up, and a report from last Sunday’s 10K + Stair Climb race all coming soon!

Finish this sentence: “My dream nachos would be topped with ___________________________?”
[See above photo for my answer.]
[Huh? You don’t dream about nachos?  What’s wrong with you?!?]

What are your tips/tricks for staying hydrated?
[This isn’t a problem for me, but I have clients who struggle to drink enough during the day.  I’m always looking for more helpful suggestions to provide to them!]

Weekly Workout Round-Up: London Edition (Aug. 5-18)

I promise to post about my 27 mile run (in fact, I have much of the post written) – but Marathon day is just a few days away, and I’d like to be caught up with my training reports before I run.  Otherwise, posting them would be a bit anti-climactic, right?  And since the 27er was really more training for the 50K anyway, I’m going to hold off until after the marathon before sharing that post.  Hope that’s OK with you.  If not…well, I suppose you could hack my computer and try to steal the post, but really…that would probably be a waste of your time, and my annoyance.  So, let’s just call it a truce, OK? 

*ahem*  Anyway.  On to what happened two weeks ago (including running-in-London photos):

Monday (Aug. 5): Rest

Well, not complete rest.  I energetically consumed sour gummy bears and and an ice cream sundae while and after solving some computer/website problems.

Tuesday: Run (4.1 mi) and BodyPump

Another goofy Tuesday face!

Another goofy Tuesday pre-run face! A quick comparison shows it is eerily similar to the previous Tuesday’s…

My flight to London didn’t leave until Tuesday evening, so I had plenty of time for a morning run and lunchtime BodyPump.  Bonus: I found a new favorite BodyPump instructor.  She gave great, clear instructions – and deviated from the BodyPump “script” when necessary.

For example: During squats (with weights – bar on shoulders), instructors always tell us to “keep your back straight, and don’t lean forward” – I’m sure this is part of the Les Mills BP script.  But the truth is, with a weighted bar on my shoulders, if I kept my back “straight up like it’s against a wall” while squatting, I would certainly fall over backward.  Some forward lean is appropriate, and necessary.  This particular instructor is the first I’ve heard to finally (FINALLY!) acknowledge this: “Keep your chest up and off your legs.  A bit of forward lean is fine – you need it to manage the weight on the bar.  Just remember that the work comes from the squat, not from leaning forward and back.”  Hallelujah!

Wednesday: Run (5.3 mi)

This was my first run in London, designed primarily to explore the area and to fight late afternoon jet lag.  Our hotel was just one mile from Regent’s Park, so I ran one congested, 6 PM mile to the park, three glorious miles around it, and one slightly less congested mile back.  Then, I took the best shower ever.  [Post-flight showers are awesome.  Post-run showers are pretty good, too.  Combine a long flight, a day of sightseeing, and a run – MAN that shower was terrific!]

Thursday: Sort-of Tempo Run (5.7 mi)

KMN, ready to rock and roll a tempo run.

KMN, ready to rock and roll a tempo run.

KMN is back on a training plan, and Thursday was his tempo-run day: 2 mi Easy/2 mi Tempo/2 mi Easy.  His tempo pace is a bit slower than mine, but I like hanging out with the guy, so I stuck with him.  We were blessed with cool London temps (55-65°F / 13-18°C) for virtually all of our runs; this was no exception.  I’ll admit that dropping about 30 sec/mile in the easy pace department without even trying was pretty awesome.

Friday: Rest!

We hiked around the Tower of London complex all morning, though – but that’s a topic for a different post!


Saturday: Long run (15.2 mi)

Guys, in case you skipped the paragraph above about the cooler temps – COOLER TEMPS ROCK!  Basically, I cranked out 15 miles at pretty much marathon pace. This might be a smidge fast for 2 weeks out from the marathon, but my effort level really wasn’t that high – the speed was accidental.  I blame it on the gorgeous weather.  I’ll admit that this run made me incredibly excited for Perth.

Also? Ducklettes.  There were quite a lot of them on the canal.  So cute!

Also? Ducklettes. There were quite a lot of them on the canal. So cute!

We started out on the Regent’s Canal, but were quickly directed off when we came to the Islington Tunnel, the longest tunnel on the Regent’s Canal.  There’s no footpath through the tunnel – tunnels were dug no wider than absolutely necessary.  Without a path, the horse pulling the boat was unhitched and led over the tunnel, while the boat was guided through the tunnel like this:

When you don't have HORSEpower, you've gotta use MANpower!  [hehehe...]

When you don’t have HORSEpower, you’ve gotta use MANpower! [hehehe…]

Thanks to reasonably good signage, we navigated the 1 mile detour and got back on the canal.  We ran about 4.5 miles out, found a water stop in Victoria Park, then turned around and came back.  

Somewhere along the canal.  I love running with this guy! :)

Somewhere along the canal. I love running with this guy! 🙂

KMN stopped at 10 miles, but I continued along the canal for another mile or two.  I got off again, this time at Regent’s Park.  I did one loop around the park, then cut back through the center, took a few “garden” photos (it is England, after all!), and headed back to the hotel.  All in all, not a bad run.  And hey, after weeks of 20, 22, and 27 milers, a 15-miler felt…short!

An English mini-garden, in Regent's Park!

An English mini-garden, in Regent’s Park!

Sunday: Run (5 mi)

Vacation can help put a smile on that Sunday-run-face... :)

Vacation can help put a smile on that Sunday-run-face… 🙂

Back out to the canal for some easy end-of-week miles.  I intended to go back out for another 3 in the evening, but my arches were feeling a smidgen sore.  I think the combination of running exclusively in my Pures (which I don’t usually wear for 4-5 runs in a row, but they were the only running sneakers I brought) and lots of walking/sightseeing time on my feet just tired them out.  This isn’t uncommon for me, so I opted out of the run, used my elbow to give my arches a mini-massage (try it – it works!), and skipped my last few miles.

Total for the week: 35.2 miles (was aiming for 40); 6 hrs, 45 minutes workout time.  Overall, not too bad a week.  I would’ve liked to get in a Tempo run at my tempo pace, and maybe a few more miles – but for a vacation week, I’ll take it!

Don’t worry – the next week is short and sweet.  Or at least, full of lots of rest days…

Monday (Aug. 12): Run (5.4 mi)

Last run in London! 🙁

Tuesday & Wednesday: Rest

Blergh.  I hate two mid-week rest days!  But I left the hotel in London around 10 AM on Tuesday, and by the time I got into my apartment in Singapore, it was already 1 PM on Wednesday – and I hadn’t really slept for more than an hour or two.  I should have forced myself out in the evening, but I opted for a (very) early bedtime instead.

Thursday: Run (6.5 mi)

I slept through the morning cool, and after the gorgeous London weather, I had trouble convincing myself to head out into the heat.  So I did some slightly-hilly treadmill miles instead.

And was planning to stay at the gym for BodyAttack – until I realized that jumping around, sashaying side-to-side, and kicking in the air might not be the smartest idea, 10 days out from a marathon.  The last thing I wanted to do was bust an ankle (been there, done that, a month before a marathon).  So, I went home instead.

Friday: Rest

I acquired a scratchy throat sometime before dawn on Friday.  “Stay calm, you have more than a WEEK to recover!”  Still, I panicked a bit and opted for extra fruits, lots of water, and lying low.  I also took a shower, put on real clothing (OK, yes, that’s a Moving Comfort tech shirt, but I am wearing it with a skirt!), and did my hair.  See, new haircut:

When I FaceTimed with my parents, my Mom said, "Whoa!  You even have your hair done!"  Crazy.

When I FaceTimed with my parents, my Mom said, “Whoa! You even have your hair done!” My reply? “As long as I stay in the air conditioned study, it’ll even stay this way!” 🙂

Saturday: Run (10 mi)

Having decided that the scratchy throat was merely a pesky mini-cold, and not anything more sinister, I got up early to cheer for the Love Your Heart Run.  I took up my usual place on the upslope of Marina Barrage.

Early morning Singapore skyline.  Snapped while waiting for the runners to come through!

Early morning Singapore skyline. Snapped while waiting for the runners to come through!

I would definitely consider running this race next year, if it fit into my schedule – if only because it was extremely small, for Singapore.  The runners actually had space to maneuver and move, which is a welcome change from some of the bigger, more packed, Singapore races.  As always, cheering for folks was a blast, and I even managed to get a smile out of some. 🙂  And there was only one woman who looked at me, plugged her ears, and started shaking her head.  Sorry, Ma’am – I’ve got it, though. No cheers for you next time!!

Thoroughly inspired, I went right home, changed, and got my miles in for the day.  They weren’t exactly pretty, or as easy as I would have liked, but they were logged.  Last double-digit run before the marathon: DONE.

Sunday: Yin Yoga & Run (5.1 mi)

My standard, procrastinated Sunday run.  Yep, did the same 1 mile loop I did two weeks ago, except this time…I got caught in a massive cloud-burst.  Just as I was starting my third loop, the sky totally opened up!  After my initial annoyance, and a brief wish for my cap, I just laughed.  The rain was cool, and it was falling so fast that there were enormous puddles everywhere.  I splashed about like a little kid, having a blast – until I inhaled some of the water pouring down my face and started choking.  Not just anyone would be able to do that.  I am immensely talented, folks.

When I got back to our apartment, the security guard took one look at me, realized what happened, and tried to hide his amusement at my drenched condition.  I laughed right along with him.  I promised him that I wouldn’t track too much water indoors, and eventually just shed my socks and sneakers, which were holding about a gallon of water.   I love how the rain can turn a regular run into a mini-adventure!

Weekly total: 27 miles, with 6 hr, 13 min of total training time (plenty of stretching and rolling).  I’ll confess – this wasn’t exactly the training week I wanted to have two weeks before the marathon.  I intended to cut back on the more dangerous activities (BodyAttack!), and probably lay off most of the spinning – but I’d wanted to do some upper-body Pump, and yoga, and a bit more running.  But life is life – and this is what I did.  One more week (really only 3 days, by the time I post this) until the big day!!

Tell me about a time you were caught in an unexpected downpour – while running, or just while living life.

I’m putting the finishing touches on my Perth packing: What items must I NOT forget?
[I already have my toothbrush, Body Glide, race day apparel, and passport.]

Weekly Workout Round-Up (July 29-Aug. 4)

This was a pretty full workout week, including with a super long run on Friday.  I was coming off a weekend with a 22 mile run, as well.  Hello, intense marathon/ultra training!

Monday (July 29): Rest.

I am always tempted to get the week off to a strong start, but between heavier weekend training and a pretty busy schedule on Mondays, I’m often taking a rest day instead.  But I did manage to do some stretching and rolling, which was much appreciated by my tired legs!

Tuesday: Run (4 mi) & Spin

Oh, Tuesday.  So full of happy running enthusiasm!

Oh, Tuesday. So full of happy running enthusiasm!

Obviously there wasn’t much notable about Tuesday’s workouts.  BUT Tuesday’s dinner was pretty tasty.  I tried my hand at making baked calzones:

2 Tuesday Calzones



Fresh breadmaker bread + This stuff —>



Best of all? We managed to devour them before the ambient humidity took all the crunch out of the crusty top of the bread!

Wednesday: Tempo Run (5.4 mi) & Spin

I had this Tempo workout on my schedule:

10-15 min EZ
20 min @ Tempo
10-15 min E

On this particular morning, KMN and I did what we call “running together-apart”: We ran our warm-up to the park together, then ran separately around/through the park for our tempo work (since we run different paces/workouts), then ran home together as a cool-down.

After the trouble I had with 2 x 10 min @ Tempo the previous week, I was a bit worried about getting this workout done.  But starting early, choosing a known course, and having KMN out with me helped tremendously – and I finished right on target!  Definitely a mental boost, for me!

Thursday: Body Pump

Post BodyPump stretch session: Knees are getting so low!  Three cheers for hip flexibility!!

Post BodyPump stretch session: Knees are getting so low! Three cheers for hip flexibility!!

I’ve been trying to normalize my work schedule a bit, and sometimes this means skipping morning or early evening gym classes.  On this day, I substituted a lunchtime BodyPump class at the gym closest to our apartment.  I usually avoid this spot because it is SUPER crowded, but at lunchtime on a weekday, I was actually able to get a spot in class – and still have space to move.  Although, I did almost get knocked out at the end of class by aunties rushing in to claim “their” spots for the next class!

KMN was out for a work event, so I made myself roasted veggie salad with balsamic vinaigrette, with a side (topper?) of freshly breaded/lightly fried chicken breast.

KMN was out all evening for a work event, so I made myself roasted veggie salad with balsamic vinaigrette, and a side (topper?) of freshly breaded/lightly fried chicken breast.

Friday: Long Run (27 mi) & Swim

This run will definitely get its own post, but in short – I am training for a marathon at the end of August and a 50K at the beginning of October.  I wanted to do at least two 26-28 mile runs as part of my 50K prep.  However, fitting both of those runs between marathon recovery (1-2 weeks, even if I take the marathon easy) and ultra marathon taper (2 weeks) didn’t leave that much time for TWO long training runs.  So I decided to do one in August, before the marathon.   [Remember this is a post from a few weeks ago – this run took place back on Aug. 2, making it 3+ weeks before my marathon.]

In short, this run was easier than expected, and in a flash, I saw all my other (shorter) runs with a different perspective.  Also, swimming after a long run is a BRILLIANT idea.  No, seriously: Brilliant.  You’ll have to stop back later for all the gory details, though. 🙂

Saturday: Run (3.4 mi) & Yin Yoga

I knew it was important to keep my legs moving, to flush any waste leftover from Friday’s long run – so when KMN went out for a run on Saturday, I joined him.  Of course, he made an entire loop around the reservoir (and then some) – I hopped off the trail and came home, for just a short, easy effort.  My legs felt shockingly good.

In the afternoon, I attended a Yin Yoga class, knowing that the extended stretching would be great for my legs.  Unfortunately, I made one crucial mistake: I forgot that the Saturday class isn’t taught by my “normal” instructor, who has apparently spoiled me.  I appreciate the way she presents yin, and talks us slowly and carefully through each pose, providing lots of options and suggestions.  For some reason, the Saturday instructor and I just don’t mesh as well.  So the stretching was good, but I didn’t exactly leave with a “zen” feeling…

BUT this Brownie a la Mode and I meshed VERY well for a Saturday evening treat at Neli's!

BUT this Brownie a la Mode and I meshed VERY well for a Saturday evening treat at NeLi’s!

Sunday: Run (5.2 mi)

Sunday night, "less-than-enthused" face.  There's a reason I usually run in the morning, folks!

Sunday night, “less-than-enthused” face. There’s a reason I usually run in the morning, folks!

As my marathon training has progressed, I’ve grown bored with all my normal routes.  Furthermore, I procrastinated this run until Sunday evening.  Dark + Bored = I chose a one mile loop near our apartment….and ran around it 5 times.  While this might earn me some odd looks from the folks at the bus stops, at least it doesn’t require much mental energy!  Chunking is easy: 1 loop at a time.  Plus, I can perform “track workout” style bribe myself: “Just one more” (and then another, and another, and another).  And somehow, it’s psychologically easier for me to be closer to home, even if I have to pass and re-pass my starting point repeatedly.

I finished with a little loop in the residential area behind our apartment.  While back there, a taxi driver slowed down and asked me for directions – a first for me, in Singapore!  [He was either really desperate, or knew that runners are good people to ask for directions.]  This amused me for the last half mile of my run.  It’s the little things!

And that was my week, in workouts and notable food.  Thanks to my super long run on Friday, my total workout time for the week came to 14 hours (exactly). Somehow, that number isn’t so hard to hit with a long run over 4 hours long!

What’s your favorite calzone filling?

Have you ever heard of “Emmental” cheese?
[This is called “Swiss cheese” in the US.  I went shopping for Swiss, couldn’t find any, thought Emmental looked about the same (color, holey-ness), and gambled that it was the right stuff for my roasted potato salad.  Subsequent research indicates that I was correct.]

And now, I’m headed out for yet ANOTHER Sunday evening run.  What is it with procrastinated Sunday runs???  Anyone else?