Week 2 went really well. I tried some new things in terms of cross training and worked some speed work into one of my runs. The weather was pretty wet and windy this week due to a large storm passing through the area. It was predicted to be a very rainy week because of this storm and Hurricane Joaquin so I knew gym workouts would probably take place a lot more often this week.
Monday – Strength & Stretch
For this week’s strength and stretch, I decided to complete P90X’s Stretch X and follow it up with Ab Ripper X. The stretching program was fairly long (1 hour) but it felt so good to get a good, deep, restorative stretching session complete. I’ll definitely be using that video every other week during this training plan. It really helped loosen up my legs. I didn’t realize how tight my obliques were either until I did one of the yoga stretches for it. My left side spazzed out pretty badly. It’s a bit better now but will still spazz out whenever I stretch it out.
Ab Ripper X was just as challenging as usual. I feel as though I’m pretty lucky when it comes to my core strength, though, since I was able to get through the entire session without having to take a break. I somehow managed to maintain a relatively strong core throughout my pregnancy (no doubt the reason why I carried so small). I still struggle with the sit-up/V-up exercise but that’s always been a challenge for me.
Tuesday – 2.51 Miles
Splits: 8:41, 8:34, 4:45 (0.51 mi – 8:27 pace); Avg Pace: 8:20
I completed this run on the dreaded treadmill due to the storm. I decided to seize the advantage of having a machine set my pace and work some fartleks into the run.
I warmed up for the first half mile at 6.8 MPH (8:49 pace). From there, I set my recovery pace to 7.0 MPH (8.34 pace) and sprinted every other quarter mile. I kept the treadmill incline steady at 0.5. The run went as follows:
Warm up: 0.5 mi at 8:49 (6.8 MPH)
Recovery: 0.25 mi at 8:34 (7.0 MPH)
Speed Interval: 0.25 mi at 8:13 (7.3 MPH)
Recovery: 0.25 mi
Speed Interval: 0.25 mi at 8:06 (7.4 MPH)
Recovery: 0.25 mi
Speed Interval: 0.25 mi at 8:00 (7.5 MPH)
Recovery: 0.25 mi
Speed Interval: 0.26 mi at 7:41 (7.8 MPH); sprinted last minute of the run at 7:30 (8.0 MPH)
Total time: 21:00 minutes
It felt really good to get a few speed intervals in. I don’t mind incorporating them into treadmill runs because I can drive my body to push for the pace I set. It also makes the time on the treadmill go by very quickly. These aren’t long intervals, however, and I hope to increase them to a half mile when I start feeling comfortable with this short interval distance.
Wednesday – Cross-Training
Cross-training took place on the elliptical. I completed the required 30 minutes using the Fat Burn option on the machine and set it to level 10. Nothing really special about this workout. Just your typical elliptical run.
Thursday – 2.21 Miles; Avg Pace: 8:09
Strength Training – Arms
Another treadmill run in the books. I played around with speed and inclines to keep me from getting bored.
Mile 1: 7.3 MPH at 1.0 incline for 0.50 mi
0.5 incline for 0.25 mi
0.0 incline for 0.25 mi
Mile 2: 7.4 MPH at 0.0 incline for 0.25 mi
0.5 incline for 0.50 mi
7.5 at 1.0 incline for 0.46
Felt pretty good throughout. I tried pushing the pace a bit by starting off faster this time around. It helped me gauge how I feel “running fitness”-wise. 7.3 MPH (8.13 pace) actually felt pretty good. That was a pretty big confidence booster for me.
I followed up with lifting some weights. I focused on my arms this day. However, my workout was cut short after 15 minutes due to my son needing to be fed. Still managed to get a few good sets in, though.
Friday – Rest
I took my scheduled rest it. It was glorious.
Saturday – Cross-Training
I was planning to cross-train on the elliptical again or lifting some weights. We had a long day (my husband had to go in to work in the AM which left me wrangling our two children until 12 PM) so I really wasn’t feeling a tough cross-training session. I almost called it off as a lost workout day but decided at the last minute to do some yoga. This session called for 40 minutes of cross-training so I did 40 minutes of P90X Yoga X. It was the perfect length considering my next cross-training session on Saturday is 50 minutes, the amount of time left on Yoga X. I’m planning to start off where I stopped then.
Yoga X was a kick in the pants. I’ve tried to do it once before many years ago. I didn’t make it through. I started remembering why 15 minutes into the video. It was challenging and painful. However, some of those yoga poses were so incredibly amazing on my muscles. They released a lot of the tension I had in my muscles.
Sunday – 3.59 Miles
Splits: 7:55, 8:03, 7:58, 4:43 (0.59 mi – 8:12 pace); Avg pace: 7:59
Sunday was a huge confidence booster run. It didn’t feel like it would end that way, though. We (Baby J and I) had a rough night the night before. He’s going through his 3 week growth spurt so he was up to nurse every 1.5 hours. I didn’t get more than 45 minutes of sleep at a time. Add on my daughter coming in at 6 AM to ask to go downstairs and eat and I was close to just giving up working out that day.
I decided to head out the door anyway around 6 PM. I had just taken a much needed nap so I felt sluggish and very much inclined to scrap the run for the day. I even debated just doing Monday’s strength and stretch instead. However, I knew how important is was to get that “long” run in so I decided to get it over with. Turns out it was a great idea.
I felt great off the bat. When I checked my watch midway through the first mile, I was shocked to see the slightly sub-8 pace I was running. It just felt amazing to be running and to open up my stride. The weather probably helped lift my mood as well. It was cloudy and in the high 50s/low 60s. There was even a slight breeze. This nice fall weather really pumped me up and I tried to push myself throughout the run. The training plan doesn’t call for taking this run fast but I decided to anyway. I like to seize the opportunity to push the pace when I’m feeling particularly on point during a run. I didn’t experience any pain during this run and felt a lot like my old self again. I was genuinely glad I went through with my run.
Week 2 was a great week. My average paces for my runs was a lot quicker than the week before. I think really taking cross-training seriously has been nothing but beneficial for me. I feel like my muscles are rejuvenated and they don’t get as fatigued as they would during my running streak. I hate cross-training because a lot of times it doesn’t feel as satisfying as running (I feel as though running is a harder workout). However, these past 2 weeks have done nothing but opened my eyes to how important rest and cross-training days are. I’m going to take advantage of this kind of schedule now while not chasing the streak. Hopefully I’ll see some sort of difference in results compared to the 5K plan I did back in the winter (that was completed during my streak). I think from there I’ll be able to determine whether I want to pursue a years-long streak or just a one year streak.
2 weeks down, 4 more to go until Wicked 10K!