Whew, October was PACKED. With lots of great things, brimming with joy, a nice mix of work and play, but WOW. We have stayed busy every day of every week.
Oh of course, Happy Halloween! We have already been seizing every chance to celebrate, so around here today feels more like a calm, creepy finale than the sugar-coated crescendo. We have been dressing up repeatedly all month, crawling through haunted forests, attending fabulous parties, watching scary movies alone and with friends (particularly once outside here at the farm), you name it. Around here, Halloween is a month long event, just how we like it!
Okay, fitness and wellness. What’s up!
- I got new shoes! Two pairs of Brooks arrived in the mail as gifts from my husband, one gently used pair intended for trails (Pure Flow 2) and one brand spanking new pair designated for road running (Pure Flow 3). I am in shoe heaven.
- I have gradually picked up both my “easy” pace and my “hard effort” pace, which means that my heart and lungs are getting stronger. I have been reading tons about running efficiency so this makes me happy. My capillaries are brilliant little rocks stars, ok?
- ALSO! I have enjoyed several fast runs that totally surprised me. Several sprints (400 meters) faster than 7 minutes, plus one day a five mile run at just slightly slower than that. This kind of progress is even more exciting than weight loss!
- Strength training is stuff I do alone here at the farm using 15-20 pound hexagon weights, and I am convinced it all is helping me run better. My stomach and arms feel really tight but also bendy and comfortable, which helps a lot. Oh, have you heard that a strong posterior can make you better at sprinting? Haha, yes. It’s true.
- Continuing to take multivitamins and high-potency, slow-release iron makes a big difference in how I feel day to day.
- Very little dieting anymore! I love knowing how I am going to feel after eating certain meals, and I love knowing calmly how to put carbs, proteins, and all kinds of other foods to good use. Not at all in a punishment kind of way, just as a way of looking within myself (mind and body) and understanding what’s going on.
Oct 3-9: 39 miles total. That week’s highlight was no longer being quite sick like the week before, haha, and also focusing on lots of farm work. I felt revitalized!
Oct 10-16: 26 miles total, including more aggressive speed workouts, also twice as many strength sessions and lots of evening foam rolling. That week Miss Velvet (Klaus’ mom) was visiting the farm, so I avoided leaving the dogs alone too long.
Oct 17-23: 36.5 miles total. My big happy event that week was running 12 miles at an 8:08 pace. That would lead to a pretty decent half marathon for me, close to an hour and 45 minutes! I continued running that day to finish with 18.5 miles total (latter miles slower = positive splits), but those first 12 were at a pace that was quick for me, without really trying.! I was on a high for several hours. It felt like my body was wrapped in twinkle lights.
Oct 24-30: 44 miles total. I switched up the training plan weeks a couple of times and somehow landed with the perfect amount of miles at the perfect time for my body. It was magical. After spending last Monday through Wednesday on longer speed workouts (9, 5 plus strength, 10) and one decent rest day, I went out for my Friday morning long run feeling strong. I was also down about 8 pounds, which was unexpected but helped me feel light and comfortable. The plan that morning was 20. I started slowly on purpose, thinking of how cool it would be to get negative splits finally. My body needed a break (hello Shark Week) at 15 miles (which were finished at a 9:40 pace) so I drove home and ate a snack then finished some housework and animals chores. I laced up again and wrapped up the day with 5 more miles, this time at a 7:12 pace which is REALLY good for me! It felt like flight! I could not wipe the smile off of my sweaty, sand-crusted face. I was so so so happy. Running double workouts is not my ideal plan, but life and female health can be complicated, and sometimes this just works out beautifully.
October Total: 145.5 miles
I am so happy with how October went! After a successful but challenging September I briefly considered halting marathon training in favor of some more aggressive weight loss efforts but decided that running makes me way too happy, and it had already brought me so far in that goal, anyway. I will stick this out a few more weeks (on the downhill slope!) despite not being registered for any races in November. Speaking of November, here are some thoughts and plans:
Looking Ahead to November:
I have a step back week started already (six today plus strength), during which I will also try to kick a couple of naughty eating habits. It’s good timing, because lots of miles often means a crazy appetite. Running less this week should immediately cool my cravings a bit. Gina at Fitnessista is hosting a quick and easy 7-day focus group, and I like it. Nothing drastic, just healthful encouragement and a big focus on what she calls “eating like a PRO,” which is including both PRO-duce and PRO-tein in each meal. I am also excited to try a few new workout ideas with her.
Next, November is the traditional month for Monica at Run Eat Repeat to host Pile on the Miles, so if you are jonesing for a fun and measurable way to aim for higher mileage before the holiday gluttony, check it out.
After this step back week and a taper week during which we will be traveling, I plan to see how I feel then arrange a 26.2 run around a local lake. Friends! Run with me! If you do I will invite to the farm for a recovery meal and party.
Okay! Happy Halloween friends, take care of yourself and carpe all those beautiful diems!
Run fast for your mother run fast for your father
Run for your children for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind you
Can’t carry it with you if you want to survive
~Florence and the Machine