The best intentions

When I began my week, I had the best intentions for completing my planned workouts. Then life happened – the busy week, commute, and other obligations stepped in the way.

After a few failed snoozed attempts at waking up early, I tried salvaging the workout week with heading to the gym after work. Nonetheless, my workouts were (semi) completed, but with little enthusiasm.

The training plan called for 5 miles @ a mid-tempo. When I arrived at the gym on Tuesday, I was so tired that I wanted to leave after arriving. Instead of walking out the door, I compromised and settled with a 4 mile relaxed effort. Was it a tempo? Hardly.

I had a difficult time not getting down on myself, but after I let it go I had a great interval routine on Thursday and a long run on Sunday where I got to have coffee and catch up with Aron afterwards!

But, am I alone in hitting a week where workouts are a drag? Probably not.

In a perfect world, we get to bed at a reasonable time, wake up ready to go, or get out of work with a spring in our step ready to run. Notice, in a perfect world. The difference is how one deals with the short amount of time for planned runs when some other priorities take away from the training.

And what I’ve realized is that it is “Ok” to admit that a run might not get into your schedule and that you might have to edit what you planned to do. Instead, work into your schedule what you are able to do.

And what I’ve realized is that the next day is a new one and you can try again. There is no purpose in believing that a busy day negates months of training.


I apologize for the abbreviated write-up for the week

Monday  – Strength Training

Tuesday – 4 miles easy

Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – 2 x 3200

Friday – Argh…rest

Saturday  – Strength Training

Sunday – 12 mile run

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Single Leg Balances

Here are some balances that I incorporate into my strength training routine. They do not take very long and can be done virtually anywhere. Bonus points for doing them in public places where said co-workers and roommates can make jokes.

Yet another awkward video, but it’s all for you and getting you to the finishing line.


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I’ve posted 3 times in 3 hours.

Because I cannot resist re-posting this.

I think we can all relate to that moment when a sport we try [possibly reluctantly] becomes  a hobby then translates into a passion.

Here is Susan’s story – smoker to ironman –  posted by Caitlin of Healthy Tipping Point.

I’d be interested to hear what others’ impetus to begin a sport was.

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Running makes me look crazy

…let me count the ways.

I’ve realized that in living with two people who aren’t fellow runners that the things I do look certifiably insane to them. I knew this existed when living alone, but it was easier to ignore. My students, along with others, point things out too.

Student: “What is that on your desk?”

Me: “A foam roller, of course.”

Roommate: “Kerry, are you hiding a small dog in your room?”

Me: “No, my petco balls are for massaging my muscles.”

Roommate: “Aren’t those socks for older people who have bad circulation?”

Me: “Yes, and for runners.”

Roommate: “Kerry, why are you taking a picture at the gym?”

Me: “For the blog.”

Me: “Let me show you how to use the dog toys.”

Roommate #1: “Why did you bring ice home?” [10 minutes later…]

Roommate #2: “Kerry, you are sitting in ice.”

Roommate: “Kerry, that looked like it hurts.”

Me: “A little, but it feels better after the sports med massage.”

Roommate: “Why are you running in the relay?”

Me: “For donuts”

[Disclaimer: will run for donuts. and ramen. and pretty much any type of sweet or salty food. ]

Roommate: “Where did you get the waterbottle?”

Me: “At lululemon. I got it for running 50 miles with them.”

Roommate: “I would have just bought it.”

Me: “I get a shirt at 100 miles.”

Roommate: “Who did you run with today? Lululemon? Running group? Maddy?”

Me: “Friends from the blog, internet, and twitter…” [ i ❤ them all]

My roommates are great for putting up with me. There are many more. I will post more in a series.

Tell me: What do you do that makes you look a little “off” to others, but is acceptable to the running community?

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Week 11: San Francisco Half Marathon

Monday – Strength Training

Last week I wrote a post about trying to incorporate more balance into my routine. I realized the current routine I found myself in was just building each week on either weights or repetitions – and for some that is where they are at – but for me, there are a couple key muscle imbalances in which trying to lift heavier weights might prove more harmful then good.

So I scaled back and am breaking up my strength training to be about half core/stability/flexibility and the other half resistance training. Monday was my first go at it! I am going to save the details of that workout for the future post I have in mind.

Tuesday – 7.0 tempo run, 9:17 min/mile

I had planned a 1 easy, 2 tempo, 1 easy, 2 tempo, 1 easy workout. I went to the gym after work and executed it on the treadmill! I dialed in and just punched in numbers, and for after a day of work this was the best way for me to get the workout in. I increased the pace for the tempo to a slightly faster pace than I would aim for on the road since we know the treadmill is easier. My easy was 10 min/mile and the tempo was at a 8:57 min/mile. I am pretty proud of the workout.

Wednesday – Off

Thursday – Strength Training

Friday – 1 mile warm up, 3 x 2000 m, 400 RI, 1 mile cool down, ~ 6 mile 9:50 min/mile pace

I also went to the treadmill for this interval workout. This one was tough! My intervals were at 8:30 min/mile and although I tried my best to space out my key workouts, I could feel a little bit of Tuesday in my legs. Either way, I got it done and revealed in the fact that 2 of the 3 key workouts for the week went pretty well.

Saturday – Strength Training

Sunday – 10 mile, Point Isabel, 10:12 min/mile

I met up with my running group and it was the first Sunday in a while where I was free to meet with them! I was accompanied by another woman  for the first 5 miles and we finished those at 10 min/mile, then heading back we hit the wind and my pace slowed a bit. The plan called for 20 sec slower than anticipated half marathon pace.

In an ideal world, I would have that calculated. But since I haven’t raced in over a year, I am using an older race time so I am unsure as to what my body will end up doing come San Francisco Half. So far, I feel healthy and ready for the race and there are still a few weeks left!!

Total miles: 23

Strength training : 3x

Week 12 Preview

  • Q1: 5 miles @ mid-tempo
  • Q2: 2 x 3200, 400 RI
  • Q3: 12 miles @ HMP + 20 seconds
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Moving in the right direction

“Apprenticeship Personal Trainer”.

It consists of 8 Saturdays of hands-on learning of personal training techniques, the ability to work under a master trainer and train clients, and at the end of the 8 weeks take your NASM – National Academy of Sports Medicine – certified personal training exam. The gym holding the training hires a small amount of their trainees, but will offer a letter of recommendation if you successfully complete the program.

That is how I have been spending a fraction of my Saturdays since the beginning of June.

My mind is overloaded with all things training in the past month. And it’s been awesome.

Simply, it reaffirms all that I was wondering when I was in the process of making decisions a few months ago up until I began taking the class [and working my job]. And that affirmation is that I am moving in the right direction.

Do I expect to become a personal trainer as a lifelong profession? Well, I hope to use it as a component of what I want to do. The reality is that there is a large fraction of people who need the advice that a physical therapist delivers, but for a ton of reasons do not have access to that advice or do not know how to (1) interpret or (2) apply that information.

It is a dream (but a slow shift to reality) to be a dispenser of that advice in whatever capacity I feel I can do so.

The dream: To keep others healthy, pain-free, and limit preventable disease. 

So, mid to late August I should be taking my NASM certification exam and with all the information I am gathering from my Physical Therapy Aide position,  *might* be able to start making that dream a reality sooner than I thought.

In other news, I officially activated my account to begin my physical therapy graduate school application! Yeah!!

In other other news, I nailed both key workouts this week and three strength training. I’ll recap on Sunday!

  • 7 mile tempo – 1 easy, 2 tempo, 1 easy, 2 tempo, 1 easy
  • 3 x 2000 intervals

I have two weeks to the GREs. Any advice would be appreciated for those who took it.

Have a fabulous weekend.

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Something has to change

Last summer I didn’t run at all. As a new runner, I thought that’s what I was supposed to do when I was hurt. When I resumed training, the pain was still there. Imagine my dismay when I realized I didn’t maximize all that time off just to have that nagging pain follow me from June to September.

The phrase “Oh, I’ll just stay off of it for a few days” is all too familiar having been said by me and by fellow runners.

We’ve seen this cycle before.

  • Step 1: Runner feels an oncoming injury.
  • Step 2: Runner doubts oncoming injury. Continues running.
  • Step 3: Runner is stopped in their tracks mid-run, in pain. Runner stops running.
  • Step 4: Runner takes a few days off. Runner begins running two days later. Injury is still there.
  • Step 5: Runner takes a week or two off. Runner begins running again thinking injury is gone.
  • Step 6: Runner resumes training.

I’d hate to break it, but the reality is that if a pain stopped you mid-run, the chances are after a week of no running, the injury is hiding.

In an ideal world, rest is what the injury needed. Time for inflammation to settle, perhaps?

However, I am completely guilty of the next statement I will make.

We continue to do the same thing expecting different results.

Deciding to stretch and foam roll after a workout is only part of the solution.

I am going to take a stab at it here and say that most running injuries stem from muscular imbalances or form. Our muscles work harder and gain strength faster than their relative tendons, causing that tightness we all know and experience. Or the way we hold our bodies while running distributes impact unevenly, leading to these muscular imbalances.

It takes a lot out of me to write this post – because I made the SAME mistakes training cycle after training cycle, thinking that I was clever and on to something about how to prevent injuries.

My mind is continually taking in information about this as I am half way through my personal training certification class and am bombarded on a daily basis with physical therapy exercises.

We (I) have a difficult time admitting that our bodies aren’t perfect. 

The secret – Core strength, stability/balance and resistance training

Although it is not the same as our heart pumping cardio workout, we need to start with the inside out. Greaaaat. That’s exactly what runners like to do, right?

But, no foam rolling or stretching is going to make your muscles more stable. Yes, it signals relaxation and breaks up some knots, but it does little to help balance nor keep you stable.

Ever have an injury that “shifts”? We all know of the compensations that exist when we get hurt and sooner or later we have it relocating. Our bodies are connected and aligned so that action of one muscle influences the other.

So where to start? Time permitting, I want to make another video of exercises I’ve learned in my classes and at work to do wherever you can. I’ve been incorporating more balance (verdict: balance stinks. who knew?) exercises into my training and working on my form of seemingly simple exercises (verdict: form stinks.).

Keeps eyes peeled for a future post about what I’ve added to my routine.

Until then, balance on one leg. If that’s too easy, swing the mobile leg in front and to to the side. If that’s too easy, close your eyes. If that’s too easy, stand on a BOSU.

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