2018 Fairy Tale Challenge Training Week 9: Training includes Running AND Sewing

Weekly Mileage: 27.2

After a quick weekend trip to Atlanta, GA and a not-too-late night flight home, I was back in NY on Monday morning, and taking a recovery day. Emily and I headed to our usual Monday night Yoga class, bend into bliss, and it was like Vanessa (the instructor) knew that I had run up one too many hills the day before. We spent the class really opening up our hamstrings, with a little bit of hip work as well. We left the class blissed out, and headed to my house to enjoy some pizza after – there’s a reason I don't blog about healthy eating - I suck at it.


Looking at the mess that is my training plan, with so many of its track days neglected after getting sick, I decided Tuesday would be a good day to do a progression run, something that I used to do once a week, but hadn’t attempted in months. I probably should have warned Kasey of this plan, but she caught on quick enough. Kasey ran to me again to start the run, and my first mile came in at 10:01. After that I knocked about 15 seconds off each mile, with my splits coming in at [10:01, 9:42, 9:26, 9:13, 8:56]. Kasey ran about half of the run with me, but had to bail before I hit 5 miles so that she would get to school on time. I got home early enough that I was able to get a quick core workout in, and completed the Nike Training Club video called “Quick Hit Abs.”

Tuesday night I had swim, and it was an exhausting session! When we started warmups the lane coached warned us to take it truly easy warming up, because there would be a lot of laps ahead of us, and no drills. Honestly, I left this class so exhausted that I wondered if my arms would ever agree to move again, and the only interval I can remember is swimming three laps on 1:30, and I remember this because it was too fast for me – usually I swim in lane one or lane two, but tonight the coach moved me up to lane three tonight, and the struggle was real. I survived the primary laps in lane three, but when we got to the last 20 minutes of class I dropped back to lane two rather than putting on flippers to keep up, so that I could really focus on my form as I swam.

The early morning wake-up that occurred Wednesday was aboard the struggle bus, and Kasey and I were texting each other, evaluating our life choices before we even got out of bed. It was just one of those cold mornings that had us questioning why we get up so early, and considering just staying in bed… but complaining to each other got us moving, and despite sleepiness I got dressed and began my run towards Kasey’s house. We kept the pace easy, and as always were glad that we dragged ourselves out of bed to get our miles in. Plus, the weather was tolerable, despite an impending storm. 


That night I worked on my outfit for the Disney Princess 5k, where I am hoping to pull together an outfit inspired by the floating lanterns in Tangled, since that is the theme for this year’s race. I purchased capris that have the lanterns going down the side, and am working on sewing and decorating a skirt to look like one of the lanterns – with any luck I will even be able to get it light up.

Thursday morning wasn’t so bad, and at least I got to lay in bed for an extra second since Kasey was running to my house. It was another morning that called for two pairs of leggings, and I was flip flopping between my medium weight and light weight coat. Dad pointed out that the “real feel” temp. was less than 20°, so I went with the heavier of the two. Despite it being cold out, I probably would have been ok with the lighter one, as there was no wind when I stepped outside. I even eventually wound up pulling my gloves off to cool myself down a little. The first mile of this run as a little difficult, and my legs just felt stiff and heavy. But eventually I settled into it, and managed to drop the pace down to a sub 10 minute mile. I kept waiting to see the sunrise, but instead just got a bright patch of sky under dark clouds. Kasey veered off at the usual time, but I kept going for another three miles, working some fartleks into my run. Fartlek is a Swedish word meaing “Speed play,” so this basically means that instead of keeping a consistent pace in my miles, I would spot a landmark and then pick up the pace until I got there. After completing some neighborhood loops I hit 5 miles, and headed home to once again and managed to get a quick core workout in. The tri team coach, Jackie, is always telling us to do more core work and to do more yoga, so I have really been trying to sneak in sessions of the two whenever possible. Today’s workout was a pop-Pilates video instead of Nike Training Club, and 10 minutes later I was moving forward with my day.


Turns out the second night of swim class this week would be just as challenging as the first, which is unusual. Most weeks one night is laps and the other is drills, and since Tuesday had been all laps I expected Thursday to be an easy drill day, but boy was a wrong! Maybe it’s just that I was placed in lane three again, but I suppose only time will tell what I have gotten myself into. The class started with the usual warm-up laps, easy enough. But then we started doing 25m repeats, that were a little faster each set (they were all fast for me, if we are being honest here). After each set of 25m repeats, we would get 1-2 easy laps to recover, but they basically went like this – [3x25 on 60s; 4x25 on 50s; 5x25 on 45s; 3x25 on 40s]. It may not sound like much to some, but it was a challenge for me! After the speedwork was done, we did a little bit of drilling, and then moved on to 200m repeats. By the time class was over, I was starving and looking forward to meeting Kasey and Emily for dinner.

I brought my gym bag with me to work on Friday, and headed right to orange theory when I got out. It was an endurance day, and I managed to start the class on a treadmill. They called the class an “Olympic” workout challenge, and while we warmed up at our base pace the coach split us up into groups of 4, and three members of the group would run at a push pace while one person rowed, and when the rower hit a designated distance the next person would move to rowing. Every time we completed a round of the workout we would increase the incline on the treadmill, and the row distance would get a little longer. By the end of the block I had gotten through 2 miles and 900m of rowing. The weight room portion of the workout had a good amount of upper body work, and left my arms a little sore all weekend.

The weekend started on a confusing note, as plans to run had been discussed in the tri team group all week, but nothing really ever got finalized, so I wasn't too sure of who I would see when I got to the hilly loop that we frequent. Kasey and Rachel had both agreed to come running, and we were tenatively thinking that we would run like 8-10 miles..... That was up in the air too. 

The first change in plans came when Kasey texted me upon waking up - she wasn't feeling well and had to bail on the run. I was a little bummed but totally understood, in all the months of Kasey and I running together this was the first time she ever had to tap out, so I knew she must really be feeling rotten.


I picked up Rachel and we headed to Old Westbury, and decided that we would only do one loop, and save longer mileage for Sunday that way Kasey would be able to join us if she was feeling better. When we got to the parking lot a few other people from the tri team were milling about, and we all headed out into the hills together. The weather wasn't too bad, and Rach and I stuck together uphill and downhill. When we finished the 4.5 mile loop we headed home, and met up with Emily to get some Saturday morning bagels. After we were showered Rachel and I headed to target to pick up shirts to use with our princess half outfits, and then her, Emily, and I hung out and worked on our outfits until eventually Dennis picked me up for our valentines date - he surprised me with tickets to see the Lion King on Broadway, and we headed into Manhattan for a great night out.

Since they were predicting rain from Saturday night to Sunday night, my hopes were not high for getting out to run a good distance on Sunday. So, when I got up and saw it was pouring, I headed to Orange Theory. It was a switch routine, so while I was on the treadmill multiple times, I only got about a mile and a half of running in. My IT band was bothering me when I was running on the treadmill, so I knew that I would be better off not attempting to get more miles in on the gym treadmill after class. So, after the hour was up at OTF I headed home to work some more on my outfits and hope that the rain would let up a little.


The rain did not seem to relent, so around 2 pm I decided to go out and just get a few miles in. With race day quickly approaching I limited my time running in the cold rainy weather, since I had already tempted fate the week before when I ran the Hot Chocolate 15k in Atlanta in downpour conditions. I got in a little over 4 miles, then headed home and got ready for the rest of the nights plans. I beat myself up a little bit for not getting a long run in this weekend, but at the end of the day I know that I will still be able to get through the glass slipper challenge.

When I went into this training plan, I had hoped that I would be able to race the 10k part of race weekend, and possibly even set a new PR. But then I dealt with respiratory issues for most of January, and the more I think about it, the more I feel like this is not an event I want to “Race” – it is more an event I want to savor every minute of, regardless of my pace. Do I still want to run a sub 50 10k? Yes, that goal is still on the table for me. But I think for this particular race, I just want to have a good time and get the full runDisney experience… after all, there are plenty of 10k’s that I can race right here on Long Island.