Taking a time out

This past weekend, I was supposed to run 6 miles easy, 8 tempo miles, and a 14 mile long run.

I did none of it.

Instead, I spent the weekend with some girlfriends in Utah and we snowboarded, ‘hiked’, explored, and ate and ate and ate. I woke up each morning with the short, nagging thought of “I should go for a run” but… that thought quickly went away. And no guilt remained. Sometimes, you just need a break.

We all got in Thursday night and after a quick dinner in downtown Salt Lake City, we headed to Park City to the AirBnB we were staying in for the weekend. After checking in, we headed to find a liquor store to grab some champagne, only to find out that after 10pm, all liquor stores (which are… rare) are closed. Utah law. We would come to find that Utah law would win over us multiple times during our trip…

On Friday, we went snowboarding at Park City, which was fun – extremely empty and the snow was like sugar butter (you know when you’re making cookie dough, and you have to cream the butter and sugar together? exactly like that). I actually love spring snow like this, mostly because I hate going fast and it really, really slows you down, so I was having a great time. The mountain was fun to explore as I had never been there before (actually, none of us had) and after a few hours of boarding we headed to the base to apres ski. We got a pitcher of beer from a local place and found out that beers on draught in Utah are less alcohol (I think max of 4.0% ABV). The only way to get a full strength beer at a bar or restaurant was to order it in a bottle.


So, after a refreshing pitcher of beer that went down a bit too quickly, we decided to make the trek back to the townhouse we were staying in. We got as far as the next restaurant over, because it was sunny and we were hungry and maybe a bottle of beer this time would be better. Apres Ski, man. It gets you!

Probably the biggest workout of the trip took place when we attempted to walk back the 0.8 miles from the resort to the townhouse. I will say it was all uphill, we were still in full snowboard gear, and we were carrying our boards – not a great combination. Luckily, about half way into our walk, the ski bus drove along side of us and we hopped on as quick as we could. Thank you, ski bus, for rescuing us.

Saturday was a super fun adventure day – I feel like I should write that as ~~*SuPER FuN adVEntuRE daY!*!~~* because it sounds so gawdy. But really, it was!

We first drove out to the great salt lake to check it off the See America (TM) bucket list – it was smelly and salty and exactly what you’d expect, however, the pictures! The pictures make it look like paradise (on the west coast! talking bout fruit and fields as far as the eye can see…)! Just take a look:

Then we headed to a hot spring we had googled, about an hour south of SLC. It was great! When we first got there, we head the whole watering hole to ourself. It was the perfect temperature for hot tubbing, and was secluded with these high grass reeds and then Utah Lake/the mountains as the backdrop. We spent about an hour in the water, and would have easily stayed longer had we thought ahead and brought food + beer.

Our next stop on the trip was unplanned but was a definite stop once we spotted it in the distance: In N Out.

After a burger + shake break, we finally made it back to Park City, where we explored the town and got dinner, then headed back to the hot tub. The next day, we went into SLC before our flights and got brunch as well as a tour of Temple Square.

Utah – pretty incredible! Definitely exceeded my expectations, that’s for sure!

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Cross Training: Lagree Method Fitness

Lagree Fitness. It sounds harmless…or it sounds confusing. What does it mean?

It means WORKOUT FROM HELL. It’s Pilates on crack. It’s intense-shaking intense. It’s a total body crusher. You leave class feeling like you are tight TIGHT TIGHT (please click that link and watch that video. You will not regret it).

I decided to go with a classpass membership to supplement my running. What sold me on it was during my trial weeks, I went to a bunch of “lagree fitness” style classes – which is a style of Pilates done a machine called a Megareformer. It’s actually a class style I’ve taken before, back in Chicago, when I was trying to get toned up for my wedding. I loved it because it was a low-intensity cardio style class, but still a hard, heavy workout. Sometimes you don’t feel like doing burpees or squat jumps but you still want something more intense than a barre class.

Lagree fitness is perfect for that. I’ve taken classes at two different studios: Fierce45, here in Denver, and BocoFit, up in Boulder. Both studios follow a similar method for classes: 45-50 minutes, total body, sl-o-o-o-w movements but short-lived. Meaning, you spend 2 minutes in one move, 1 minute in another, quickly moving from position to position, but going through the actual movement as slow as possible.

It kicks your butt. It always amazes me how much I sweat in the class – literally, dripping from me – even though you’re not doing the typical type of movement that you think would warrant that sweat (read: cardio). In fact, if you do research on the method, it actually is a type of cardio, or so they say. And apparently you leave class with a higher metabolism for 24-48 hours afterward (something you typically get with HIIT-style workouts).

For me, the workout works, and it works fast. I have done 5 of these classes in the past few weeks and I have visible ab and oblique lines on my stomach. 3 months of barre classes didn’t do that, and I worked out my core every day almost! It’s incredible and my only drawback is that it’s so expensive for actual individual classes or a monthly membership – I’m stuck to the limited classes I get on my classpass, but you can bet I’ll be using up all of them!

Totally recommend it for runners, too. I hate doing lunges, core work, butt work, etc but I know that strengthening these muscles is important in maintaining a healthy, injury-free body. So, if I can do a class that kicks my butt but leaves me feeling accomplished, like the past hour actually had an effect, than I’ll do it.

Just don’t do it on your rest day. It kind of cancels it out. I recommend doing it on your quality/hard run day, so that your body gets that rest the next day with an easy run or an actual rest: keep all the hard stuff together, so that your rest days or easy days are actually restful and/or easy.

Can’t wait for my next class!


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Rest Days are the Best Days

slightly diverted from my training schedule this week. Since I had pushed my long run from Sunday to Monday, I lost the rest day that I would have gotten after the long run…and I definitely felt it this week.

I did 12 miles on Monday since I didn’t feel up for the 14 mile with 3 tempo miles mixed in – 12 long, slow miles is much easier on both the body and the mind. I don’t know if I was actually physically more tired from the snowboarding or if it was all in my head, but I couldn’t stomach the idea of doing that run. Whatever, it’s done, moving ON!

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My mileage for the week then looked like this:

Monday: 12 miles easy

Tuesday: 2 mile w/u, 5 miles @ 730 pace with 1 min rest after each mile, 1 mile c/d (which was HARD)

Wednesday: 7 miles easy

Thursday: OFF

Friday: 2 mile w/u, 5 miles @ 805 pace, 1 mile c/d

Saturday: 6 miles easy + 4 strides

The image doesn’t match what I did – I attempted to edit it but I realize now I did it totally backwards. Anyways, I switched my off days again – instead of taking a rest day on Friday, I pushed it to Thursday, because after my runs on Tuesday and Wednesday kicked my booty, I knew I needed a break.

One way I can tell that I’m really tired is how much I sweat – is that weird? On a normal run, if it’s something I can handle, I’ll sweat according to the temperature outside and that’s pretty much it. On Tuesday I was sweating buckets – it felt like I was running in a sauna. I was disgusting! I chalked it up to the temperature in the room I was in + wearing too much clothing, but Wednesday during my “easy” run, I was sweating just as much – and this time I was outside in 50 degree weather. It was also super, super hard to maintain a 945 pace. I was done.

So, rest day! I took a much needed rest day on Thursday and didn’t do anything. I ate 2 sweet potatoes worth of sweet potato fries and a bunch of ice cream, and it was glorious.

When I got back at it on Friday, the 8 mile run was a piece of cake (piece of caking meaning = it was still hard, but it was comfortable-hard, not hard-hard like Tuesday & Wednesday were). Honestly, what a difference a rest day makes!

So today I did a 6 mile run with strides and now we’re headed off to Winter Park to do their Winter Park Wipe Out event. It looks like it will be more of a scavenger hunt than a running race, which I’m thankful for – hopefully there is tubing involved (and beer)!

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