Ashley's Blog


Running Rundown | wk 4-6

I just wrapped up week 6 of building up my weekly mileage to 15 miles while still having the energy to attend yoga + strength classes. These 6 weeks went fast and were full of challenges, and I learned a lot about how my body reacts to 7-8 hours of physical activity each week.
Today marks 8 weeks until I run my first 10k race. I'll be racing to find my race pace that way I'll have a clearer idea for further training and upcoming half/full marathon races.

January 23-29 - 13 miles
Friday the 27th:
It's the one day of the week I love starting my day with fitness. I wake early enough to enjoy a mug of matcha tea and usually an egg muffin + fruit. I arrive at the gym at 7 am for Yoga for Athletes. After I grab the gym's free Starbucks coffee and head back home. I'll have a proper breakfast and sip on the Starbs. Two hours later, I go back to the gym for two Les Mills strength classes- Grit + Core Fusion. Each of these classes does wonders for me.

Sunday the 29th:
I was surprised how well this 6-mile treadmill run turned out. The best part was mid-run getting a text from Mariah, that herself and my brother are joining me to race the Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon this July. I love seeing how signing up for races and running more is getting others to do the same.

January 30-February 5 - 11.8 miles
Wednesday the 1st:
I hope for more runs like this. After 8 days without seeing the sun in Chicagoland, I got off early on the sunniest afternoon. It was lovely. I came home early, took a power nap and was off for the best 3 miles I've had in a long time.

Thursday the 2nd - Sunday the 5th:
The rest of this week was a BLUR. For the next 84 hours, I watched two little ones and rarely had a minute to sit down, let alone get a workout in. Luckily on Sunday, the boys went out for lunch with their old nanny, and I had the chance to run outside. I have been so lucky with the warmer weather on the weekends. The run didn't go as hoped, but I am happy I got some mileage + fresh air.

February 6-12 - 14.5 miles

Friday the 10th:
first photo: outdoor run, yellow zone is 80-89% heart rate.
second photo: treadmill run, mostly red zone at 90-95% heart rate.
third photo: interval training with my trainer, Hayley. Heart rate is between 65-89%.

After another training session with Hayley, we had a long talk about exercising correctly. Thanks to the heart rate belt I wear I'm always aware when I'm working too hard. Until Friday I thought running hard for 3 miles was great for my endurance. WRONG. I have been doing running all wrong and actually hurting my heart by not giving it a rest for 30 straight minutes during treadmill runs.
So to build up my heart rate she suggested I replace an easy run day with interval runs. 1-minute on, 1-minute recovery for 30 minutes. Just to make things a little harder, she has me do this on a different machine where I feel like I'm running through mud. The 60 seconds are terrible, and I need every second of recovery.

Saturday the 11th:
Once again, the weekend had perfect running weather. Temps were in the 40s, and the winds were calm. I woke up very sore from yesterday's training and spent the morning foam rolling and stretching before heading out to run. The entire run felt great, and even when I reached my 6-mile goal I felt like I could keep going for another few miles... but I didn't. My goal was to hit an hour, and I did.

Sunday the 12th:
HOT yoga session with Jenice at a real studio! There was a promotion for a community class. I jumped right on it. It was 2 months since I stepped in a real yoga studio. This was heated and upbeat and so beneficial.

Running: 39.6 miles (64.9 miles in 2017)
Strength/HIIT: 5 hours
Cross-training: 0 hours Can't wait for the indoor pool to open in July.
Yoga: 6 hours I gave yoga my best shot at the gym. I don't think I am going to make it as much a priority anymore. sad
Rest: 4 days

What I have learned:
- Yoga at the gym isn't for me. I miss my old studio :(
- I prefer strength classes over high-intensity workouts (voltage).
- Almond butter toast topped with banana is the best breakfast before I workout. Always the perfect amount of fuel. Smoothies do not sit in my tummy as well.
Visions for the next few week:
- Do weekly interval runs like Hayley suggest. Start with few reps and work towards 10.
- Run my furthest yet - 7 miles + then 8 miles. I am excited for these and hope for 40-50 outdoor temps.
- More outdoor runs even if that means running in the early AM or dark evenings.
- Yoga at the studio with Jenice. I signed up for their promotion $21 for 21 days. So happy to be back to heated yoga.
Life outside of exercise:
- I was able to have a night out after a busy weekend of overnights. Wine + empanadas + laughter.
- The parents I was working for over the weekend were in Paris. They brought me back Kusmi Tea. It's AMAZINGLY delicious.
- I needed to find a treat to bake for ladies night on V-day. I came across this lemon thyme shortbread recipe. They made my place smell like spring + turned out so tasty.

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