Sunday, April 15, 2018

Week in Workouts [April 9-15]

Happy Monday everyone!  I typically share my week of training when I post on Monday, so I thought I would keep that going today.  Even though I'm not really "training" for anything right now (even though I'm signed up for a half marathon that's right around the corner) I'm still trying to keep up my fitness.  This was the first week since I got injured that I hit 20 miles, and I also got in some other exercises.  Here's how the week went-

Monday

2.5 miles / 9:12 pace
I made it outside before work for this run.  It was a bit chilly, but it actually felt great while I was running.  I kept the run a bit short, but was happy to see a bit of speed in my legs while feeling like I was running an easy pace.


Tuesday

1000 yards swimming / 20:00
This was the first time that I swam before work, and it was so great to get it done with so early in the day!  I have a pool in the YMCA by my work, so I just stopped there and got in a quick swim.

Barre/Yoga Mix
I made it to one of my favorite classes that I found through ClassPass.  This class consists of 45 minutes of barre followed by 30 minutes of yoga.  This is the hardest barre class that I go to, and I always leave with every muscle shaking.  The time flies by and it's so great!


Wednesday

Rest Day!


Thursday

4 miles / 9:43 pace
I was hoping to go swimming, but it was such a nice morning that I decided to get in a run instead.  This was my first run in shorts (outdoors) in a few weeks so I couldn't miss it!  I went on one of my favorite routes around the North Shore before work, and felt SO great.


Friday

Rest Day!


Saturday

11.67 miles / 9:52 pace
Every year, right before the Pittsburgh Marathon, a bunch of the local running groups host "course preview" runs to get everyone acquainted with the course.  Jessie, Steff and I met up to join Pro Bike and Run for their preview, and ended up with the half marathon group.  We were in a large group for the 10:00 pace, and went all over the city!  It was such a beautiful day, and I was so happy to be out there.  Loved this run!


Sunday

2 miles / 10:00 pace
Dan wanted to go for a run, so I decided to bring Selma and join him for a quick jog around the neighborhood.  We're supposed to get more snow next week, so I decided to soak in as much nice weather as possible.  Plus, this run helped me hit 20 miles for the week!

5 mile biking
After doing some work around the house and going shopping, I decided to get in a quick bike ride before the Pens game!  I worked on pushing myself more up hills and getting more comfortable in higher gears.  I'm still a little nervous on the bike, but every time I ride I feel more comfortable.




How was your week of workouts?
Did you get some nice weather this weekend?

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Guess Who's Back?

It's me!  Remember me?  Gretchen...I run (sometimes) and blog (even less frequently than I run)??  Ringing any bells?

It feels like it's been forever since I wrote my last post, when in reality it was just over a month ago.  Funny enough, my last post was called "Snowing Again", and as I write this..in the middle of April..it's snowing outside.  Crazy spring, eh?  It's almost like the universe was waiting for another post on the old GretchRuns blog to kick itself into spring weather.  So, if today is the final day it snows on the east coast and it's all warm weather from here on out, you know who to thank.
Beautiful day for a baseball game!  Do they use snowballs in this weather?

Today's post is just going to be a good old catch-up sesh (especially since I missed my own What's New With You) linkup.  Here's what happened in March!

- I got injured.  Boo!  Once again, marathon training was going great, then I got an injury out of nowhere.  It was pretty frustrating because I was building up my mileage slowly, taking my easy days easily, cross training, and stretching after every run.  I was convinced that I had a femoral stress fracture, so I even went to Urgent Care for an x-ray (my first trip there EVER!).

Not a picture of an x-ray, but Selma always makes me happy and this picture is silly, so I'll put it here

I basically never got an answer, but then my mom told me about a coworker's daughter who had similar issues, and her doctor suggested adding a Vitamin D supplement.  Coincidentally, at my last two physicals I got blood work done, and in both I showed up as having a Vitamin D deficiency.  I looked up the symptoms, and they were exactly what I experienced (and similar symptoms to a stress fracture)- bone pain, stooped posture, muscle cramps, weakness, and tingling.  It's common for vegans to have these symptoms, or people who live in places that don't get a lot of sunlight.  So, since I'm a Pittsburgher who eats a mostly vegan diet and it was a dark winter, I'm a prime candidate for these problems!  Luckily, since I added a supplement and completely stopped running for a few weeks, I've been feeling great.

- No marathon for me!  Remember how I was planning on running the Newport News Marathon, but then the date didn't end up working out?  Then, I decided to change my registration for Canton's Hall of Fame Marathon from the half to full?  Well, as it turns out my registration wasn't changed, so I'm planning on doing the half.  I'm not going to race it, and plan on running with a few friends.  If I start to feel pain, I'll just take it easy and just have a good time.

I'll be with these girls!  Plus Jessie :)

- Dan was away in March.  He had another work trip that ended up being three weeks long, which was exactly when I stopped running.  So, I was just left on my own, not able to do an activity that's been a big part of my life for the past 20 years, and stuck in a freezing cold, gray city.  For a while I would just come home from work and basically fall asleep right away.  I didn't have any motivation for anything (except if I made plans to hang out with friends..otherwise I would just be sleeping).  Yet another reason why I stopped blogging..I just didn't feel great about myself and didn't feel like sharing anything.

Then, one day I decided I was sick of feeling down, and shared 3 goals for the day.  They were simple things- put away my laundry that was washed last week, clean the kitchen that was disgusting and still a mess from a St Patrick's Day party, and go for a swim (which I hadn't done in a few weeks).  I shared my goals, and immediately tackled all 3 within the hour.  Since then, I've been sharing goals every week day, and it really helps me keep motivated and knock off those little annoying things that I keep putting off.

My original post!

- I've been cross-training like crazySince I couldn't run most of March, I've been doing all sorts of other activities! That is- after I gained 10 pounds (literally) in the matter of weeks.  Once again, wasn't feeling great, so I decided to do something to change my mindset.  I upgraded my ClassPass membership and made more plans with friends to go to new studios.  I also started swimming more, and have eased back into running, so I'm feeling more and more like myself again!

Brand new Club Pilates that opened up near my house! Beautiful studio and fun class!

- I also tried out some new breweries.  Duh!  My favorite is definitely Cinderlands.  I heard some mixed reviews when it first opened, but I'm absolutely in love with it.  Not only do they have amazing beers (I ended up getting a small pour of every single one they offer), but they're constantly rotating and trying new varieties.  The food is also INCREDIBLE.  It seems like it should be advertised as a restaurant that also makes its own beer, instead of a brewery that serves food.  It's that good.  



So- that's basically where I've been and why I haven't been blogging in a month.  I have some fun stuff coming up soon, and I'm excited to start talking more about triathlon training and other exercises I've been doing that AREN'T running related!  Maybe I'll even throw in some recipes and house updates (I have a few of those!).  

Now your turn!  What happened in your life in March?
Is it snowing where you are?  
How do you get out of a funk?

Friday, March 2, 2018

Top Five Friday : Snowing Again

Hi everyone!  Happy Friday!  Can you believe that it's March already?  Everyone says that February seemed to fly by since it's the shortest month, but it always seems long to me.  It wasn't the best month and just dragged along, so I'm happy to be on the other side and into March.  One step closer to warmer weather!

Here's what my favorites were this week!

linking up with ErikaHeather, and Friday Five 



Song

Twenty One Pilots
This week has been really hectic and busy at work, so I had to put on music that can really get me into the zone.  For me, that's always Twenty One Pilots.  They're one of my favorite bands, and their music is just the perfect background when I'm having a busy day.  I like to listen to their Pandora station for some variety, or just stream all of their albums on Spotify!


Podcast

The Death of Dr. John Parker
I'm not sure if I've mentioned this podcast before, but season one just ended so it feels appropriate to talk about again.  To get a major spoiler out of the way, this show is fictional, and follows Dr. John Parker's son in law who tries to figure out what really happened after John is found dead of an apparent suicide.  What follows is an interesting story full of twists and turns and dead ends.  You'll never know what happens until the very last episode, and we're left with a bit cliff hanger.  I'm excited for season two!


Show

Celebrity Big Brother
It took me a while, but I finally watched CBB!  To be honest, I wasn't that excited about the show and thought that it would be annoying celebrities that just wanted to cause drama.  While that might be true, the magic of Big Brother editing made everyone seem silly and made me laugh out loud multiple times.  It was a great season to watch since it was so short, and there was always so much action going on.  I ended up really enjoying it!  My favorite from day one ended up winning it (which, by the end, didn't think that person deserved it but oh well).  I also love the fact that Shannon stood up for animal cruelty in her speeches and had a great message to put out there.

Product

Koral Leggings
For a while now, I've been admiring Koral leggings and have been wanting to try them out.  They always look so sleek and well-made, with interesting designs and colors.  They also have amazing reviews and are known for their high quality and durability.  So, when the company contacted me to try out a pair of leggings I immediately accepted.  I tried out a pair on a run, and loved how flattering they looked (very compressive, yet comfortable to wear at the same time).  They were great for a run and I left them on to go to the store later.  I think these would be great for any kind of low, medium, or high impact activity (I'll keep testing them out and let you know if they fail anywhere) as well as a cute athleisure bottom. (I tried the Forge Midrise and can't wait to try out more in the future!)



Anyone else watch Celebrity Big Brother?
What's your favorite legging brand?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

What's New With You? FF Update

Hi everyone and Happy March!  It's already time for the monthly What's New With You linkup, and today I'm going to be talking how Frugal February went.

Overall, I did really well with my goals.  I managed to stick with all of them (with the exception of one small exception in my first category).  But- this was one of those months where a few things went wrong and we ended up having to spend way more money than we wanted to.  First, our car broke down and we had to spend money just to get it home, then had to buy a repair kit to fix the issue.  Then, we had a pipe in our basement crack and leak all over the place.  Luckily, our home warranty covered the issue, but we still had to pay the consultation fee and a bunch of our stuff was destroyed.  Finally, Selma had her annual vet appointment and was due on a bunch of shots, so that added on to our bills as well.

In happier news, we got our tax refund for the year, and were able to put that all towards our mortgage!  I also got a promotion at work, and Dan had some overtime hours from a work trip.  It all ended up balancing out in the end, but at the same time I want to try to carry over some of these goals to March and try again.

With all that said- here's a breakdown of how my month and goals went:


NO buying breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, or snacks out.  I did really well with this, but I did buy coffee and a cookie one day at work.  I found out that a project that I was working on for the last year and was about to launch had to be delayed, so I took a break at lunch to leave the office and needed a little pick me up.  Other than that, I packed every day and didn't go out for dinner or breakfast at all.

NO online shopping.  Nailed this one!  I didn't even do that thing where I put items in my shopping cart (online window shopping).  Just avoided it completely.  I also managed to not buy anything on Amazon, which I'm really proud of.

NO Target!!  I did not step foot in Target or buy anything online from Target.com.  Go me!  Now that February is over I'm interested in trying their new brand(which reminds me a lot of one of my favorite stores, Madewell).  Might reward myself with a new pair of jeans or a top.

NO Netflix and Hulu.  I'll give myself a pass for this.  I managed to cancel my Netflix for the month, but Hulu needs more lead time and is on hold for March instead. 

NO Trader Joe's or Whole Foods.  Also nailed this one.  I went to Aldi for all of my shopping and managed to save money.  In January we spent a total of $312 on groceries, and in February only $235.  Coupled with the fact that we saved over $100 in restaurants, I'm really happy with how we did.



Monday, February 26, 2018

Hall of Fame Marathon Training : 7

Here we go... less than 10 weeks until race day!  Starting to feel real :)




Monday

5 miles / 9:30 pace
Yay for bank holidays!  Since I had the day off, I decided to run on Monday, even though I usually take that as my rest day.  I went early in the morning since it was supposed to be raining later in the day, and got a few drizzles.  Took it nice and easy and enjoyed slightly warmer weather.

1500 yards swimming
I'm trying to make a schedule for swimming, so I tested out how crowded the pool is on Mondays.  It ended up being really empty, so I'm going to start going weekly!  Now I just need to find two more days to go :)


Tuesday

5 mile bike
It was a BEAUTIFUL day out, and luckily I got to work from home (plumbing issues, yay!).  I went out at lunch time and dusted off my bike.  Can I officially say I'm in triathlon training now?

Barre/Yoga
I tried out a new studio with Class Pass (for Frugal February I changed my membership to only one class for the month, so this was my only one!), and really liked it!  This class was half barre and half yoga.  The barre portion was SO hard (probably one of the hardest classes that I've ever taken).  I was shaking and in pain the entire time!  Yoga was nice and gentle, with a few challenges thrown in.  If you're in the Pittsburgh area and looking for a new studio to try I would highly recommend The Fitness Barre!


Wednesday

5 miles / 8:50 pace
I was supposed to do 4 x mile at tempo pace, but my legs were DEAD from barre class.  Instead, I did a three mile progression run with a mile warm up and cool down.  My mile paces were great- 8:33, 8:10, 7:54.  I definitely felt better as the run went on.


Thursday

Rest Day!


Friday

3 miles / 9:38 pace
I got Dan to join me for a short and easy run.  It was great and not much to say about it!


Saturday

17.3 miles / 9:34 pace
This run was all about running with friends, and it helped my long run feel a lot more manageable an fun.  First I met up with Jess for five miles around North Park, then ran 3 by myself.  There was a race going on at the park, so I ran the next 9 miles with Maddie.  I felt really great the entire time and was pleased with my overall pace.  Maddie also killed it in the race and ended up taking nearly a minute off her mile pace (and did an extra 5 miles this year!).


Sunday

Rest Day!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Top Five Friday : Short Week

Hi everyone!  How's your week been?  Even though it was a short work week (gotta love Monday holidays) it felt like it took forever.  I'm so excited for this weekend and some fun times planned with friends.  For now, here are my recent favorites!

linking up with ErikaHeather, and Friday Five 



Song

Taylor Swift - Reputation
I'm not sure what it is, but for some reason, it always takes me a while to like Taylor Swift's songs.  The first time I hate them, but I start to like them more the more that I hear them.  Usually it's the opposite for me and music, but for some odd reason Taylor is the exception.  While I didn't like Reputation at first, it's all that I've been listening to in the car lately.  I like pretty much every song, but my favorites would be Dress, This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things, and Delicate.


Podcast

Girls Gone WOD
It's officially Crossfit Games season (the Open started yesterday!), so I have to talk about one of my longtime favorite podcasts.  Even though I don't do Crossfit (but love to follow the Games), I enjoy this one so much!  Clare and Joy are two friends who talk about random topics (like their love of Mean Girls) as well as health-related topics (both emotional and physical health).  This week they interviewed one of the most well-known and successful Crossfit athletes, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, who is one of my favorite people to follow on Instagram.  Give it a listen!


Show

Bachelor Winter Games
This show is the absolute best, because it's a combination of two of my biggest guilty pleasures- The Bachelor franchise and the Olympics!  Contestants from the worldwide Bachelor franchise all came together to fall in love, while competing in winter sports (biathlon, speed skating, skiing, figure skating) to win dates.  I love the contrast from the real athletes to these people to feel less bad about my lack of skill/talent (there's usually more falling down than staying upright, no matter the contest).  It's really fun to watch and now I just want to be friends with Yuki from Japan!!



What shows are you liking lately?
Anyone doing the Crossfit Open?

Monday, February 19, 2018

Hall of Fame Marathon Training : 6

Yay for cut back weeks!  Some runners love em, some hate em.  I'm personally in the "love" camp.  It feels great to lessen up the miles a bit (and have more free time!)  Here's a look at how week lucky number 6 went:


Monday

Rest Day!

Tuesday

3.6 miles / 9:49 pace
Just a nice, easy run.  Went around my neighborhood after work, and it was a beautiful day.  Kept my pace easy and enjoyed the weather!


Wednesday

Rest Day!


Thursday

4.5 miles / 8:20 pace 
I got to go on this run during my lunch break at work.  It was 60 degrees out so I was really excited to run in shorts and a t shirt!  Since I didn't want to be gone for a long time, I shortened my speed work for the week.  I was originally supposed to do 5 miles at marathon pace with a mile warmup and cool down, but instead I did 3 miles at tempo pace with a half mile warmup and mile cool down.  I started out too fast (shorts weather got me excited) but felt great on this run!


Friday

Rest Day!


Saturday

12 miles / 10:19 pace
I was lucky enough to be joined by friends for my long run!  We met up at the park and set off for 12 miles.  The miles just flew by and felt great.  Crazy how easy running is with other people around you!


Sunday

1200 yard swimming
I didn't swim at all last week and barely got one in this week because I misplaced my swimsuit and goggles.  Whoops!  Finally found them so I was happy to be back in the pool.  I managed to do this workout faster than the last two times I did it which makes me happy.  I worked on swimming constantly at an even pace instead of going too fast and having to stop.  It was great!

6.2 miles / 9:47 pace
Easy run at the gym after my swim.  Can I call this a brick workout for triathlon training??