I started a new training cycle last week. I’m 20 weeks out from the Grand Rapids Marathon, with plenty of shorter distances to train for and get me to the start line of my 4th marathon (what the what?!). Last week was the first week I ran 5 times in 7 days since the beginning of April.
It turns out my legs still know what to do. My lungs, on the other hand, are still getting the hang of it. It doesn’t help that Chicago’s weather has been incredibly bipolar lately. One day it’s 50 degrees and rainy. The next it’s 77 degrees with 70% humidity. I keep telling myself that things will become easier once the weather decides to be somewhat consistent and we can all acclimate to the heat around here.
I can’t believe that Boston was 7 weeks ago.
Time to get back to it and get ready for a strong cycle:
Less beer, more Nuun.
I love a good brew. I normally drink a beer with dinner every night of the week and clearly, enjoy more than one brew on the weekends. With the heat of the summer coming, that’s probably going to change. The last thing I want to do is sabotage my workouts by consuming too much beer and forgetting about hydrating properly. (It definitely helps that I recently tried Watermelon Nuun and have a new favorite, tied with Citrus Fruit. Tasty hydrating concoction, I love you!)
Hellooooo, Jillian Michaels!
In preparing for Boston, I did something I never thought I would do. I purchased a Jillian Michaels DVD, complete with her airbrushed abs and flowing locks on the cover. 6 Week 6 Pack Attack! In all seriousness, it’s a crazy hard workout. (I’ve been humbled more than 10x with this 30-minute workout.) Even on days when I don’t have time to spend some quality time with JM, doing core work needs to become a routine again, not just an afterthought or something I “forget to do”.
Gone are the days when I can lazily wake up at 7:30 and hope to squeeze in a workout before starting work (that never really worked for my anyway!). The morning alarm is going to have to happen a lot earlier. Training for Boston was different than any of my previous cycles because I fought the winter elements on the lakefront, which usually meant that I waited until the late morning or early afternoon to run at the warmest point of the day. (That’s a luxury that I truly appreciate.) One good thing about the summer is that you *have* to wake up early in order to avoid melting into a puddle of sweat any later than 8 AM. I’m willing to set my alarm to 5 or 6 AM just so I don’t feel like I’m going to die on the run. As another “nudge”, I’ve written myself angry messages as the titles of my alarms on my iPhone. Whatever works, right?! (One of them is actually nice. It reads: “Coffee is waiting“. That’s a nice thought.)
Get in my belly!
I think I’m getting back on the smoothie train, guys. I’m not sure how I managed to enjoy frozen smoothies when it was 10 degrees and snowing outside, but I did. Now that it’s getting warmer, I think I’ll look forward to putting them in my belly again. I don’t have any super tasty recipes to share, but my favorite lately has been:
- frozen black cherries
- frozen mixed berries
- greek yogurt (with honey)
- almond milk
- Tera’s Whey organic dark chocolate protein powder
- chia seeds
- and a banana or avocado.
I don’t think it’s any accident that I started to feel stronger when I began adding more protein and fat to my diet. (I also add Udo’s omega oil and Floradix liquid iron to my shakes!) Last week, I also made a point to go to the grocery store with a list that made actual MEALS. Saved money for the entire week and made some delicious dinners including: salmon with yogurt-mustard-dill sauce with egg noodles and steamed broccoli, breaded pork chops with mashed potatoes and sweet corn on the cob, and chicken with sautéed onions, roma tomatoes, and jalapeño with brown rice and asparagus. I doubt that will happen every week but it felt so good to cook fresh food at home each night of the week.
I finally sat down to read two months’ worth of running magazines & came across this quote in the May issue of Running Times:
Getting back into a routine is tough at times but all of these things make me feel more productive and energetic. How do you trick yourself into following a routine again? Do you find it easy or difficult to start a new training cycle?