fitness lately

How was your Memorial Day weekend? I hope it was filled with great food and that now, you’re ready to kick off summer (un-officially, anyway) if you already haven’t. Most importantly, I would be remiss if I didn’t express my gratitude for the sacrifice that all our servicemen and women have made and are making, in order to keep us safe and protect our freedoms. Thank you for serving our country so selflessly. 

Let’s talk about fitness today! I know, fitness may be the last thing on your mind after a long weekend, but I figure it has been a while since I’ve written about my fitness and what that’s looking like these days.

Last time I checked in, I had just run my first half marathon and was pounding quite a bit of pavement. After the race, I took a few days off for rest and then was back at it again. It may be hard for a non-runner to understand this, but when I don’t run I feel all sorts of off. Some (i.e. my husband) might even say I’m a bit crankier and kindly suggest I go for a run. Since I was just coming off my race, I knew I didn’t want to keep packing in the miles so I just went on easy, shorter runs.

Then I got sick for two weeks in December (while on vacation, which is one of my favorite times to get some runs in) so I really didn’t get any good running done until the new year. January was a slow month, in terms of running and I mostly used the treadmill in the evenings. Monthly total miles = 17.20. Talk about a drastic difference from the months before! My monthly mileage for February through April averaged right at 36 miles and this month is looking to be around the same. Considering I ran 82 miles in the month before my half-marathon, that’s not quite half the distance!

Instead of being really hard on myself about the lower mileage, I try remembering that I’m not in training mode at this time and that’s okay. I do want to increase my mileage some though, so that’s something I’ll be working on a bit more as the year progresses.

Now I’m five months out from my half marathon and I am finally back to running more regularly and more miles again. Looking back, I think the most surprising thing to me is seeing how my monthly mileage differed in just a month’s time. What that has taught me is that it is really important to be consistent about exercise, whether that is running or something else.

I haven’t been completely slacking though. With less running miles, it actually has meant more time for other types of exercise. It’s a good thing to balance out all the pavement pounding on my joints.

Since January, I’ve been doing barre3 workouts and most recently, I’ve gotten back into Pilates and am currently participating in a 3 week series from this lovely lady. It’s amazing how much stronger I’m already feeling, just 2 weeks into a daily Pilates practice. I’m definitely looking forward to continuing to incorporate Pilates and barre3 into my exercise routine, to complement my running.

Also, many years ago I was a ballerina so you could probably imagine that I was quite flexible. Let’s just say that getting older means I’ve gotten to the point where now I actually have to work on maintaining my flexibility. It isn’t easy but gosh darn it if I don’t want to still do a split at my age and I’m going to make it happen.

So, doing Pilates and some yoga/stretching exercises are really important these days for me. Often times, it’s way easier to just get caught up in being a runner and completely ignore the importance of cross training but I need to make sure and do it for my own good.

My fitness plan these days is looking (mostly) like this:

Mondays: 3-3.5 mi run / Pilates*
Tuesdays: 3-3.5 mi run / Pilates
Wednesdays: 3-3.5 mi run / Pilates
Thursdays: 3-3.5 mi run / Pilates
Fridays: Rest / Pilates
Saturdays: Long run (4-4.5 mi but plan on increasing by half a mile each week)
Sundays: Rest (usually go on a family hike for a few miles)

All my weekday runs are pushing the jogging stroller, so while I’m continually looking to improve my speed and splits, I know that just doing it with a stroller makes things harder and slower so I try to not be too hard on myself about my pace. Instead, I really focus on using my weekly long run as the time to run harder and faster.

*Once the Pilates series is over at the end of this month, I’m going to resume the barre3 workouts and other yoga/stretching/Pilates workouts. Also, swimming & group fitness classes might be making a comeback to my routine in the near future which has me all sorts of excited. 

Summertime means running also has to happen early in the morning, so I’m looking forward to that again! Just remind me when I start complaining about the heat, halfway through the summer. Since there aren’t many (if any!) races locally here during the summer, it’s a good time to prep for the fall/winter season when all the races start happening, particularly half marathons and marathons. While I haven’t signed for any races yet, I’m planning on setting some race goals for early next year so that my running this summer has more of a purpose to it.

What about you all? Anyone want to share what their fitness is looking like these days? It doesn’t have to be running related at all. Talk to me in the comments…I’d love to hear all about it!

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