Exercising (or not) on vacation

We spent last week down in North Carolina on vacation and it was amazing (with a side order of absolute chaos).

We went with the same friends as last year and two other families came this time too (high school friends and my sister’s family)! 8 adults and 6 kiddos under the age of 3!

There was a lot of beach time, pool time, snacks and tantrums! It was such a blast to be with my close friends and our children. We knew that going out to dinner was absolutely out of the question (for those who have worked in a restaurant, imagine getting a call for a reservation for 14, with 6 high chairs, ummm thanks we’re closed)! Each night one family bought the groceries and cooked and it was a great idea. We had meatballs with homemade sauce and baked ziti, grilled chicken/shrimp/veggie skewers, skirt steak and veggie tacos (the Fizz night, clearly) and homemade mac n cheese!

I actually ate all day everyday and it resembled a wild animal. I also did not exercise at all. I had big plans to go to beach yoga and run on the beach path but when it came down to it, I just didn’t feel like it. It is what it is my friends :)

Here are some pics!

Outer Banks vacation

Outer Banks vacation

Yes, Jennie was crying. She cried the entire trip. #toddlers

Outer Banks vacation Outer Banks vacation
Do you make it a point to exercise on vacation? I usually do (i.e. Hawaii, OBX last year) but it just wasn’t a priority this time.

Taking a break from training

We all know that training and racing has peaks and valleys (unrelated, who else read that book?). Over the years I have had some amazing training runs and races where I actually felt the real runner’s high. I felt accomplished. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I have had terrible, disgusting training runs and races where I felt extremely disappointed and confused about why I “do this to myself”. Lately, it was the latter.

I mentioned a couple of months ago that I was going to really train for a 5k. I wanted to find that speed I had just *touched* upon back in the spring of 2013. I purchased a plan from Runner’s World (specifically, the “Break 20-minutes” plan) in order to attempt to shave some time off my 5k PR (21:57). I was going to modify the plan (obviously I am nowhere near the 20 min mark).

I started training a bit toward the beginning of July and that is when things got hectic at home (i.e. crazy toddler) and my commute has just been a total disaster lately, where my 90 min commute turned into 3-3.5 hours (each way) and it shook things up a bit. I was just TOO TIRED and it showed during my runs. Unfortunately (but necessary), I am a slave to the train schedule. Because the trains run about 45 minutes apart, I need to leave the house by a certain (early) time or I am late for work and I need to leave my office by a certain time or Jennie is ready for bed by the time I get home. I knew I couldn’t add another schedule to my life. Despite feeling like I was giving up (you know, #noexcuses #motherrunner), I made the decision to nix the training and just run.

I am happier now. I don’t have a plan. If I want to run 3, 5, 6 miles or do some speedwork, I do it. They are slow and with friends and they are enjoyable. If I don’t want to run at all, I don’t. I am still keeping up with the yoga and cross training and I am genuinely happy.

MRTT 5k 2015

8/9/15 informal 5k with my running group – 24 min finish

So that is what is going on in my running life.

Let’s discuss the blog now.

OBVIOUSLY there have been fewer posts. I was never one to force any writing just to hit the publish button. Every July, I get the notification for renewal of the URL and I seriously contemplated NOT renewing this year. But then I realized how much I love having this space to share my thoughts (even if they are erratic).

I want to blog more. Is there anything you want to read about? Now we all know that I am quite literally not an expert in anything but if there is anything you want me to write about, please share! Thanks for still reading this blog. I appreciate it (so does Jennie, it makes me look cool).

My favorite track workouts

After my first marathon (which was a disaster), I knew I needed to switch things up a bit (read: get faster) so I started hitting the local track (coincidentally at my husband’s high school) once a week. I searched the Internet and asked friends for workouts and completed them in the scorching heat after work (the track had lights, and high school football players I needed to show off in front of). Sprints tend to make me feel that I am accomplishing something great. I never ran in high school but I finally learned about the allure of the oval.


my favorite track workouts

I continued to visit the track for speedwork (during training cycles and down time). Something about completing a kick ass 400 or 800 or 1200 or mile makes me feel so accomplished (and badass). Luckily I have some friends that also like the track so getting there in the early morning is easier! My friend Stephanie and I have been going to the track almost every Wednesday all summer. She ran track in high school and taught me that it helps to switch off the lead for each interval (pace one, follow the next). Always learning!

My favorite track workouts are the following:
Repeats: ex. 8x400m, 100m walk in between
Ladder: ex. 400m, 800m, 1200m, 1600m, 1200m, 800m, 400m
Mix: ex. 4x400m, 2x800m, 4x400m
Mile repeats: ex. 4×1 mile, 2-3 min rest in between

Have the workouts helped me gain some speed? I think so, but the jury is still out :)

Do you like the track? What is your favorite track workout?