March 20, 2017

Coffee Date: March Edition

Good Morning! Happy Monday! Let's have some coffee and dish about our weekends, shall we?

If we were having coffee, I would be drinking a home brewed cup of Philz Tesora which I splurged on over the weekend following a desperate necessity for coffee. I normally buy my coffee at World Market (their French Roast is delicious) but this was a coffee emergency and I went for the closest thing I could!

I would be much more interested in hearing about your weekend because mine wasn't at all that interesting. I spent the weekend on the couch, only leaving the couch to run but I did run a lot! 22 miles between Friday and Sunday actually and today, I rest!

If we were having coffee, I wold tell you that I'm super excited to be on the Junior League committee organizing a 5k this spring! Since September, I've been volunteering with an awesome organization called Bright Beginnings, a child development center for homeless children in DC. Bright Beginnings supports infants through Kindergarten and is a really incredible place that not only supports kids educationally but also helps their families in order to transition them out of homelessness.

If you're in the DC area, I would love if you signed up! Registration is only $25 and the proceeds go to an amazing cause! And, if you aren't in DC, you should sign up anyway and support Bright Beginnings. If you do sign up, you can indicate that you learned about it from me (Christy or type in Planes, Trains, and Running Shoes).

Speaking of races, I'm really torn between wanting to run a 10-miler or a half in April, at the halfway mark of my training. There don't seem to be many local races that would give me that option and I don't really want to have to travel for a race given all of the expenses that that would entail. I always like to run a half during a marathon training cycle and haven't done that for my last two marathons which has led me to be a little bit edgier and nervous on race morning than I would like. I am running a 10k in May, a distance I've always struggled with (and have avoided for the last five years) which might help with my nerves!

This week will be pretty busy. I have a work event, a Junior League meeting, and book club so I'm going to have some early mornings to get all of my training in but if I could do it balancing two long haul flights the last two weeks, I think I'll manage!

In the words of an old proverb (or Instagram post I saw somewhere), may your Monday be short and your coffee be strong!

What are you drinking this morning?
Do you have fun plans this week?

March 19, 2017

Sunday Sweats 12

When I travel, one of my favorite things to do is head out for a 3-5 mile run to explore the area I'm staying in and get a feel for what the city is like. I find that running through a city is one of the absolute best ways to see a city in action. 

So, why did I do all of my runs in Dubai on the treadmill? Well, there are a few reasons, none of which have to do with the weather.
  1. Dubai doesn't have a lot of sidewalks and most of the roads are highway roads. Dubai has some pretty insane drivers and I think that running on the streets of Dubai would be wildly unsafe.
  2. Dubai is a very conservative country in terms of dress. Most of the women where abayas and hijabs or, long pants or dresses. Even the men wear pants and collared shirts. It's pretty rare to see people in shorts, except in the resort areas. While I've never covered my head in Dubai (except when visiting a mosque), I find that dressing in anything but long dresses or pants and cardigans just draws extra attention. With temperatures in the high 80s, I didn't want to head out in search of places to run in shorts and a tank top. While Dubai is considered very safe, I didn't want to put myself in a situation that would draw extra attention to myself.
  3. I did some research and found a handful of parks that I could have gone to but I would have either had to get on the metro/in a taxi in shorts and a tank or bring clothes to the park to change into with no place to store my stuff. There is a running trail on the generally touristy marina that I've seen a people running on but again, transportation to that area would have been a challenge. 
So, I stuck to the treadmill. Overall, I'm pretty happy with how my training went this week, particularly since I was recovering from a serious case of jet lag once I got home. This week was hard. There's no sugar coating it. This was one of my toughest training weeks I've had in seven years of marathon training. Why? I didn't skip a run. I set out for every run I had on my calendar, with the idea that I would stop or cut it short if I needed to, but aside from being tired, my legs felt fine, and I pushed on. Here's a look at how the week went.

Currently Training For:
Ottawa Marathon, May 28

Monday: Rest
I had an easy 3 miles on my schedule for Monday but that factored in a planned day rest day the day before. I was pretty sore when I woke up Monday morning after late night runs both Saturday and Sunday, and spending all day Sunday roaming around Dubai so I opted to allow for myself to rest. I had either run or practiced yoga every day the week before so I was ok with allowing myself a true rest day if you can call spending the entire day roaming around Dubai a "true" rest day.

Tuesday: 3 miles (9:35 pace)
The Pilot and I were up somewhat early Tuesday morning to head to the Burj Khalifah and then spent the day wandering around Dubai. Determined to get this run in, I squeezed it at the hotel gym before a late dinner. Whether it's because I was hungry or tired from walking all day, I was ready for this run to be over the minute it started.

Wednesday: Skipped
I was up at 2 am to catch my flight to Doha, and then on to DC. While I expected the flight home to be longer than the flight to Dubai (it always is going west), this flight felt endless and some pretty serious turbulence on the landing (that caused almost every single person around me to get sick) left me feeling really nauseous by the time I got home. I knew it was a long shot to think I would get in a workout on Wednesday and I was right. 

Thursday: 5 miles (9:52 pace)
My pace on this run was a lot slower than I've been running but that was to be expected. On top of being tired, there was a lot of snow on the ground in DC and I was concerned that some of the wet patches of pavement might be black ice. My schedule called for 5 miles of hill work but I headed out with 4 easy miles in mind. I struggled through the first two miles because I was exhausted but started feeling better after 2 and ended up running the full 5 I had planned.

Friday: 5 miles (9:29 pace)
This was almost a progression run. My splits were: 9:58, 9:28, 9:24, 9:26 (damn!), and 9:13. After not falling asleep until 5:30 am and then working all day, I was exhausted by the time I headed out for this run and was falling asleep the whole time. I may or may not have dozed off at a traffic light. This was a tough one.

Saturday: 5 miles (9:48 pace)

This run was tough. Mentally and physically, it was a hard run. I was (and still am) absolutely exhausted from my long flight and desperately wanted a day off. I slept in and lounged on the couch reading and binge watching TV until well after noon when I set out. My knee had been bothering me all morning and I made it to the end of the block before I realized the run was a bad idea. After icing my knee for awhile, I set back out for 5 miles. It wasn't easy and I just felt exhausted but if there's a silver lining, it's that I kept my pace below 10 minutes, something I've struggled since being injured a few years ago.

Sunday: 12 miles (9:32 pace)
This run was one of those that I wasn't sure I would actually finish when I set out. This week has been exhausting and I desperately wanted to take the day off but skipping my long run just really wasn't an option. I had this weird anxiety for the first 6 miles about leaving my neighborhood (which really isn't that big) and, after realizing that I didn't want to run the same 3-mile loop four times in a row, after already having run it twice, I got over it and headed for the National Mall. Overall, my pacing was pretty inconsistent and I felt fine for the first 9 miles. I was tired through the last 3 and my knee was achy for the last 2 but I got it done with a great pace and finished the week strong.

Total Miles Run: 30
Total Minutes of Yoga/Cross-Training: 0
Total Miles Traveled: 7,063

Week 2 of Ottawa Marathon Training is done! I'm really proud of how committed I was to my training even while training and recovering from jet lag. As I mentioned last week, I've always struggled with balancing training and travel and I hope I'm on a path forward of being able to strike that balance. My goals for this week are to get back into the gym, hit up a spin or a barre class, and definitely practice more yoga. After squeezing 27 miles into 4 days, I need to be careful and give my body the rest it needs, taking my runs nice and easy. The good thing is, after this week I'll step back and might treat myself to a massage if I manage to get everything done this week!

How do you balance working out and traveling?
Are you training for anything right now?

March 17, 2017

Currently...{Jet lag Edition}

Good Morning! Happy St. Patrick's Day! It's currently 2:43 am and I am wide awake with jet lag! I got back from Dubai yesterday and, while I did just fine with jet lag while I was there (thanks to a very thorough schedule of jetlag training, which is actually a thing), I'm not doing so great now that I'm home, as evidenced by the fact that I'm awake right now.

I can't believe this is the first 'Currently...' post I'm sharing this year but I'm excited as I've always loved writing these posts! So, here goes:

Currently... wide awake and dreaming of my morning coffee which I'm holding off on consuming until it's an appropriate morning time for coffee.

Feeling... my incurable case of wanderlust setting in. Less than 24 hours after landing in the U.S., I'm already daydreaming about where I'll head next!

Reading... "Circling the Sun" by Paula McLain. My book club in DC is reading this book by the same author who wrote "The Paris Wife," which I didn't love. I'm finding "Circling the Sun" to be much more enjoyable.

Thinking about... how much I really loved Dubai this time around.

Watching... "Jane the Virgin." I started watching this show about a year ago and then never finished the first season. Last week, I got hooked on it again and haven't been able to stop watching since! I'm only on Season 2 but I forgot how much I enjoy this show. Growing up in a family that watched telenovelas, I appreciate the over-the-top, sensational drama, mixed with a very real, slightly stereotypical, yet inoffensive portrayal of a family of Latin American women.

Working on... Planes, Trains, and Running Shoes. One of my goals for this year was to get back to blogging regularly. I really love writing about my travels and chronicling the trials and tribulations of training and I haven't been able to make much time for that but, thanks to an insanely long flight this week, I've planned out most of my posts for the next two months and I'm pretty excited to carve out time for reading and writing posts again.

Planning... a lot of blog posts and my summer vacations!

Annoyed... that it's winter in DC. I'm not surprised by this, nor should I be, but considering I left DC with temperatures in the 70s, I wasn't thrilled to come home to snow on the ground and a 10-day forecast of winter temperatures.

Needing... to figure out what's wrong with my computer. I've been dealing with Tech Support for almost 3 weeks because I keep getting the blue screen of death. Luckily, I'm not losing anything but since I use my personal computer for life and for work, I really need it to be reliable and, considering it's only one year old, I'm a little worried.

Wanting... to get my home office in shape. It's functional as an office right now but I haven't hung anything on the walls and still have a lot of clutter in the room. I'm hoping to take some time for that this weekend.

Loving... being back home with my sweet pup.

Now, it's your turn:

What are your essentials for a home office?
How do you recover from jet lag?
Where's the next place you're traveling to?
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