IMT Des Moines Half Marathon: Training Week #5

Whoooo boy, do I feel tired this week. I knew that traveling would take some energy out of me, but I feel like I’m FOR REAL half marathon training (as opposed to faking half marathon training, I guess. HA!) That said, I feel like I’m oscillating between GOOD RUN DAY! YAY! and Whomp, Bad Day in my consecutive runs. I feel like I still have no grasp on what I’m doing for speed workouts despite doing the work (and usually feeling miserably slow and ineffective), and I’m struggling with any kind of awareness of what my race pace should be. I’ve said that I want to run a 2-hour half — I honestly don’t know if the Des Moines Half Marathon will be the goal race that I want it to be.

Alas, I have a couple races coming up in the next few weeks of my training schedule to practice, which I’m excited about (I’m also excited about having a nice little recovery and mileage cutback this week because TIRED): The Madrid Miler Labor Day Run (there’s a 2-mile, 5-mile and 15-mile series; next year, I definitely want to do the 15!) — I’m excited about running the High Trestle bridge and I guess there are some serious hills on this route; and the Capital Pursuit 10-miler here in Des Moines is on September 18.

WEEK AT A GLANCE:

  • One strength workout
  • Two core workouts
  • Two easy runs – one by time, one by mileage
  • One tempo interval run
  • One long progression run

summer running iowa aftershokz

Working on that summer running tan. HA!

MONDAY
The perfect rest day, after flying back in Sunday night and returning to Hell Week at work. Lordy, I was gloriously in bed by 8pm.

TUESDAY
Strength workout and WHEW, did this workout take more out of me than I expected! I’m trying to be more aware that I needed to allow myself a little recovery time from the harried travel over 4 days and the time zone change. I did some foam rolling before bed, and I intend to make it part of my future training weeks to do just 5 minutes with my regular nighttime routine. I mean, if I can wake up at 6am for weekend runs now, I can give myself 5 minutes of additional torture in the evenings, right?

WEDNESDAY
Tempo interval workout that felt really hard and really slow. UGH.

30 something runner treadmill intervals

Testing out my new Pink headphones — review coming soon!

1-mi warm-up: 11:08 pace
10:47 / 11:13
10:54 / 11:24
10:47 / 11:12
1-mi cool down: 11:23 pace

5.19 miles

THURSDAY
I want to bottle up the feeling of my legs from this day and pull from it any time the struggle bus hits me. This run felt great! And I almost considered waiting until Friday to do it since it was late. But I got done around 8pm and I’m happy with how the run felt – like it was super easy mentally and physically, and my legs were light. And, I dunno, like I was running fast for once.

Splits: 9:26 / 9:07 / 9:27 / 9:34

4.02 miles

FRIDAY
REST! (And trying not to drink ALL the wine while I moved around my living room furniture.)

SATURDAY
I was ticked at my Garmin, as I updated this workout before leaving for my run and synced my watch. The updated version didn’t sync. I guess I should’ve just created a new workout. Technology sometimes, man.

So, instead of doing the 35-minute run + strides that I was supposed to, I did a 30-minute run, strides, then another 5-minute run. It was supposed to be my second core workout of the week, too, and I had zero energy left. That’s what I get for waiting to do this run in the evening, after doing errands all afternoon. Still trying to shrug it off, but I felt like total crap afterward — and it’s lingered still, and I think affected me even on Sunday.

35 minutes + strides = 3.6 miles

Urbandale, IA vs. Pittsburgh, PA elevation – I CAN'T EVEN.

A photo posted by Mel! (@melliesmel) on

SUNDAY
I don’t think I’ve had any success with my progression runs yet — and this week’s was no different. I woke up early to do this run and was SO HAPPY about the 67 degree temps… until I realized the humidity was 95%. Again, I couldn’t finish the whole progression run.

Splits: 11:21 / 11:35 / 11:18 / 11:27 / 11:21 / 10:55 / 11:00

If I felt like I had no energy left on Saturday, my tank ran empty on Sunday. Empty, nearly broken down on the side of the road, flagging down a truck driver. EMPTY. (I didn’t do that, of course, but something instinctively in me told me to change course and run towards home). It also took a long time for me to feel like I was cooled down (even after jolting myself with a cold shower). It seems like all the runners the world over on Instagram had similar weather suffering this weekend, so I guess I’m in good company.

7.4 miles (supposed to do 8 miles; supposed to be progression… EHHHHH I TRIED).

And then I spent the rest of my afternoon embarrassing myself on the golf course! lol

WEEKLY RUNS: 4
WEEKLY MILES: 20.21 miles
TOTAL TRAINING MILES: 78.56 miles

Weekly Therapy: A post-Olympics haze.

the week:
I skipped last week’s update, as I was traveling to Ohio for my grandmother’s memorial service — and basically the biggest family reunion of my life. We also drove to Pittsburgh to spend a little time there (and have margaritas and my favorite burgers!). While in Pittsburgh, my former roller derby league was hosting a 10-year anniversary celebration of its league with an alumni celebration, and I was happy that I went out to be a part of that history.

Oh. This place looks familiar! 👋🏼 #lovepgh #roadtrip #timeformargaritas

A photo posted by Mel! (@melliesmel) on

Naturally, I cried a LOT last weekend — returning to Pittsburgh made me miss it a whole lot, while also realizing it would never be the same even if I eventually returned. And then I had a lot of stress at my job (including interviews!), and then my period started five days early (because haaaaaaa OF COURSE!). So I’m trying to find some balance with my emotions again.

weekend:
So much to catch up on at home (I seriously have dead plants all over the place)! But we also plan to take the bikes out on the trails, and then I have another 8-miler. I do plan to have some fun on the golf course on Sunday (after brunch, natch).

seven things, seven days:
1. Catching up with one of my uncles, I found out that he runs 4 miles every morning and is on a 400+ day run streak. It was kind of fun to have someone in my family to geek out over running with (though he is definitely more intrinsically motivated than me).
2. Flew first class for the first time, and now I can’t ever travel another way.
3. I always wondered why cars had heated seats but not cooling seats, and randomly, our rental car in Ohio had COOLING SEATS! They are weird and not at all what I expected.
4. I’m putting races on my 2017 calendar, which means WOOOOO training through winter! (It gets me sincerely so excited.)
5. The Olympics are over, and since I was traveling Sunday night, I missed the closing ceremonies. I also didn’t hear much about them. How were they?
6. So you just won a gold medal… welcome to the rest of your life! {via Washington Post}
7. The myths and realities of doing what you love. {via Lifehacker}

IMT Des Moines Half Marathon: Training Week #4

Any of the cumulative fatigue that I felt lingering last week (if that is even possible after three weeks of half marathon training) felt like it lifted this week. I was hitting some faster paces, managing to get outside for a couple runs AND waking my tired ass up for TWO early runs over the weekend. I was traveling Thursday through Sunday, and I didn’t miss a single workout!

Look at me, eating hills (thanks, Pittsburgh!) AND goals for breakfast.

Week at a glance:

  • Five states, four flights, a two-hour road trip and an 8-mile run! LOL
  • Four total runs – two easy, one long, one speed workout
  • One core workout
  • One strength training day

I didn’t foam roll as much as I do when I’m at home (since I was traveling), but I did pack my RAD roller in my suitcase to get in a little bit of trigger point therapy and continue some work on my calves.

MONDAY
Rest Day is the Best Day!

TUESDAY
Strength workout

WEDNESDAY
I talked to my coach about flipping my Wednesday and Thursday workouts, only because after traveling, I KNEW I would be setting myself up for failure if I had to do speed work. So, Wednesday was another fun pick-ups workout (I seriously love doing these!). I did 4 sets of 2-minute alternating fast pace and my moderate pace, then another 3 sets of 1-minute alternating sprinting pace and a slower pace.

I guess that I was supposed to do my core workout too, but I totally missed it on my spreadsheet. WHOOPS! (I ended up doing it after my Thursday easy run at the hotel).

4.4 miles

THURSDAY
It’s weird that my mid-week easy runs are up to 4 miles now. I never really paid attention to the importance of doing these extra easy runs in my previous training plans (or, I paid attention and thought that I didn’t need them). But I honestly kind of find them mentally refreshing.

We stayed at the new Hilton downtown, which has a really impressive workout space — with a great view of Lake Erie and downtown!

downtown cleveland hilton treadmill view blogger

Treadmill with a view!

4.0 miles

FRIDAY
REST! We were in Cleveland, so we ate gloriously and had a little fun date night out.

SATURDAY
If 9am is wrong… well, yeah, it’s wrong. It was humid AF. Cleveland promised me a cool 70-degree morning, and I got another 85 degree humid run. I had a few total newbie runner fails on this run (despite “being” a runner for almost two years): I didn’t have auto-pause turned on on my new Garmin watch (what?!) and I wanted to take a few touristy pictures, since I WAS in my hometown, I intentionally paused my runs at several points. Welp, sure enough, I forgot to UNpause my watch and this was a timed run. Darn it. It also happened on that big climb from the lakefront into downtown. So, I didn’t get to capture that spectacular awfulness.

Cleveland running blogger free runs

But I captured this awesome selfie!

Because I had my watch set to my workout to do Strides at the end, I ended up running closer to 40 minutes instead of 30. Yeah, and then I had to do those strides. It’s amazing how 20 seconds can seem like an eternity when your legs feel like lead. Definitely didn’t feel the greatness as I did during my mid-week runs, but I was having fun (believe it or not). I didn’t use my headphones on this run either!

Cleveland running blogger free runs

Sightseeing while running – one of my favorite things to do when traveling!

2.9 miles (that felt like 5, holy crap). DONE.

SUNDAY
Oh, hey — I woke up in a different city! 😉

Oh. This place looks familiar! 👋🏼 #lovepgh #roadtrip #timeformargaritas

A photo posted by Mel! (@melliesmel) on

Sundays are my long run days, so I pre-planned to have a couple friends meet me in downtown Pittsburgh to do my EARLY 8 miles at a slower pace. We started in kinda humid temperatures, anticipating a storm — which sprinkled on us a few times during the run. But it felt amazing! By the end of the run, the temperature cooled and it was breezy, and I almost felt like myself again (though, really really tired and hungry… oh wait, yeah. That’s me!) I had to be REALLY intentional about slowing down because I kept falling behind and have the tendency to “catch up” to the group. I loved being back in the city where I spent the last six years of my life and running through my old stomping grounds. I cried more during this visit than I expected to.

Pittsburgh blogger runner chocolate milk

No crying over Chocolate Milk though! Fueled by Turner’s, when in Pittsburgh.

8.01 miles / 11:20 avg pace

WEEKLY RUNS: 4
WEEKLY MILES: 19.3 miles
TOTAL TRAINING MILES: 58.35 miles

IMT Des Moines Half Marathon: Training Week #3

I don’t know if it’s a personal problem or a runners problem, but there have already been two Saturdays in my training plan where I felt like complete SHIT because I decided to drink the night before. This past Saturday was a complete failure, in that I couldn’t function for an entire day. An ENTIRE day. From just a few glasses of wine at a dinner party. I’m seriously considering not drinking at all for the duration of my training.

That said, this week I was feeling pretty sore and REALLY tired. I’m feeling really slow, which… I don’t know, it’s kind of mentally deflating. Even though I’ve had to take a few of my runs indoors, I still feel really uncomfortably warm when I’m running. I haven’t been able to muster the energy to run in the mornings (yet? probably never lol), so all of my workouts are after work during the week and late afternoon on the weekends. I’m starting to play around with gels during my long runs on the weekends, and I’m researching more about being a salty sweater (and at what point I’ll likely need to start working in salt tabs to my runs, too). And I probably, definitely need to start bringing along a bottle of Cytomax with me instead of just water. I just feel really BLAH.

The plan this week:

  • Two rest days
  • Two easy runs
  • Two core workouts
  • One strength workout
  • One tempo workout
  • One long progression run

MONDAY
My 5th golf lesson focused on chipping and pitching. Working on the short game was actually super fun, despite it feeling really weird on the set-up.

Before bed, I foam rolled for 10 minutes (lots of focus on calves again).

TUESDAY
A flip-flop in the training plan from the last couple weeks, moving the strength workout to Tuesday and easy run to Wednesday. Honestly, I really wanted to run, but I stayed focused on the scheduled workout.

Finished up the evening with another 5 minutes of foam rolling.

WEDNESDAY
Treadmill – run for 35 minutes, around 3.1 miles. I totally forgot to turn off my watch after I got off the treadmill, and my Garmin captured me foam rolling and walking all around the house with my chocolate milk LOL. By the way, does anyone know how to edit a workout on Garmin Connect, so I can remove those random post-workout paces and distance that don’t belong?

THURSDAY
Tempo intervals workout – with 100+ heat index again and storms, it was another speed workout on the treadmill (which is so frustrating and annoying because paces don’t match up and GAH, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING).

Mile 1 warm-up at 10:40 pace.
.5 = 5:06.3 / .25 = 2:41.5
.5 = 5:17.3 / .25 = 2:43.3
.5 = 4:55.3 / .25 = 2:41.3

About 3.25 miles.

FRIDAY
Rest Day

SATURDAY
AKA: UGH DAY. I’m definitely re-evaluating how I spend my Rest Days because I can’t keep wasting my weekends this way! In any event, I had to skip today’s easy run (3 miles) + core workout.

SUNDAY
Long Progression Run Day, and OMG it felt good to eat again. I seriously had dreams of eating GU because I was likely so dehydrated. I was feeling a little weak in the morning, so I waited to complete this run in the afternoon. It was still 80 degrees outside, but felt tolerable given the low humidity and a nice breeze. I went back to the Greenbelt Trail since I knew where the 6-mile course took me from last week’s run. But then I was on the trail, it felt 20 degrees warmer than what it was at my house, and… I couldn’t finish my progression run. I was completely tapped out after mile 4, and tried my best to eek out 5. My body was completely cramping up and I felt overheated and like I couldn’t get enough water — I’m being totally serious that I think I was starting to hallucinate (but that deer was definitely real and definitely blocking the trail around mile 3). All around AWFUL.

5.4 miles, average 11:22 pace (5-min warm-up walk / 10:50 / 10:51 / 10:45 / 10:50 / 12:09)

Definitely not a successful-feeling week.

TOTAL RUN DAYS: 3
WEEKLY MILES: 11.75 miles (2.45 fewer miles than last week)
TOTAL TRAINING MILES: 39.05 miles

Flashback Fact: Week #3 when I was training for the Pittsburgh Half in 2015, I only had 18.83 total training miles in at this point (and basically running 1-2 times per week) — I’ve already doubled that mileage. BUT my splits were in the 9:00-9:20 range and it was winter and WAHHHHHH, I HATE THIS WEATHER!

[back to my coconut water]

Weekly Therapy: Olympics Edition!

Spurred by a (kinda depressing) article about the Olympics last week, I wanted to keep in the Olympics spirit for this week’s post.

the week:
The live Olympics stream has basically been a constant throughout the house this week. Even in the background, I find myself looking up and being completely mesmerized by all.things.sports. Especially the women.

weekend:
We’re having a movie night with friends tonight, as I do enjoy my Rest Days to the max! But I’m also excited for all of the Olympic Track & Field races to begin.

Saturday, Life Time is holding a Foam Rolling Workshop, so I naturally signed up. Hopefully, I’ll get my butt up early enough to join social run club in the morning and foam roll immediately after. I’ll be ruining all that good work by filling my maw at the Iowa State Fair with all the foods on a stick.

seven things, seven days:
1. In the spirit of the Games (and our own Iowa State Fair), we had a corn shucking contest at work. This city girl won the first round, and got 2nd in the second round. WOOT!
2. Meet Simone Biles’ sports psychology coach. {via ESPNW}
3. Why is NBC’s coverage of the Olympics SO BAD?
4. This is kinda weird.
5. Mental tricks that Olympic athletes use to perform under pressure {via Business Insider}
6. Olympics athletes stay poor {via Washington Post}
7. How about that Michael Phelps expression? Definitely best meme on the Internet right now.

IMT Des Moines Half Marathon: Training Week #2

Week #2 of half marathon training felt great — it was nice to finally get outdoors for a couple runs (even though we had several days over 100 degrees for heat index this week). My schedule happened to coordinate with some great outdoor temps, particularly over the weekend. Again, I didn’t need to switch around any of my run or workout days this week (and I seriously considered it with Thursday’s weather), and did all my workouts as prescribed.

My week at a glance:

  • Two easy run days
  • Long run (6 miles)
  • Pick-ups speed workout
  • One strength workout
  • Two core workouts
  • MUCH foam rolling and trigger point on my calves

MONDAY
Rest Day — and my bi-weekly phone call with my Coach. Everything feels pretty good right now regarding my training program. My legs definitely feel tired though from running 4 times per week, and I’m trying to focus on doing a lot more foam rolling (a massage soon is definitely in order, too). I also need some practice with pacing my speed workouts, which feels very much a practice in Runner 101: Don’t start too fast!

TUESDAY
Easy three-mile run on the treadmill and first of two core workouts for the week.

WEDNESDAY
Strength workout felt tough, despite it being the same workout that I did last week.

THURSDAY
Pick-ups! Something new for my weekly speed workout… which I had to do indoor on the treadmill because it was 105 outdoors.

It was also very sweaty indoors.

iowa running blogger 30something hot in here

I *LOVED* this workout, and I actually wanted to do more! But, I’m sticking to my training plan and trying not to overtrain. Overall, the workout was about 3.10 miles — warming up with 10 minutes at an easy pace with 6 repeats of 1:00 fast and 1:00 not-that-fast (my splits were all over the place — I’m still learning!); finished up with a cool-down, easy pace for another 10 minutes.

I also spent a good 10 minutes of foam rolling my calves after this workout, since they felt so knotted and sore for most of the week. It definitely helped!

FRIDAY
Much-enjoyed rest day — we made a ridiculous amount of food and a giant cheese plate and watched the Olympics opening ceremony until we both passed out on the couch.

SATURDAY
Easy 2 miles — OUTSIDE! It was awesome! Followed up with my 2nd Core workout of the week.

iowa running blog half marathon training

SUNDAY
We drove to the Greenbelt Trailhead in Clive, and I did my 6 miles out on the trails while the boyfriend rode his bike. It was too beautiful of a day to waste inside on the treadmill, and I saw so many fun things on my run. It’s also nice to see how the different trails connect for when I need to venture further. I’m still getting my bearings out here, but absolutely love running out in the woods.

iowa run blogger greenbelt trail
(I’m really interested to know what that little gingerbread house was all about… and look at that tiny library on the TRAILS!!! Made me *squee* when I ran past it.)

This run was a battle of efforts between my legs and the rest of my body. The legs wanted to go fast, and the rest of me felt the makings of maybe working a bit too hard. But any time that I tried to slow up, my legs felt heavy and almost like I was tripping over my own feet getting them to move at all. So, I opted for a kinda-higher effort level because my legs said so, and I did OK on keeping mostly even splits.

6 miles, 1:01:22 / 10:13 overall pace
9:56 (1) / 10:02 (2) / 10:01 (3) / 10:13 (4) / 11:01 (5) / 10:07 (6)

(I have no idea what happened in Mile 5 because at four miles in was when I was eating a GU and slowing up to intentionally digest it). ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

TOTAL RUN DAYS: 4
WEEKLY MILES: 14.2
TOTAL TRAINING MILES: 27.3 miles

Sunday Lately for this 30-Something:: Week 84

Blogger Tribe_Sunday Lately

Hey, guys! I took a couple weeks off my Sunday posts, but I’m back with Week 84.

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup hosted by the Blogger Tribe (lead by Angelica, Meghan, Nicole, and Katy) where everyone is welcome to pop a tent and share some S’mores. Catch up and read all of my Sunday Lately posts and camp out with the Tribe on Facebook

Today’s prompt:: Updating, Remembering, Needing, Wearing, Being

Updating:: Since I’ll be traveling back to Ohio for my grandmother’s memorial service, we’ve updated our travel plans to fly home from Pittsburgh — so we can spend a night there and visit some friends. I’ll be looking for my old running buddies!

Remembering:: my Vitamin D3 supplements. Since establishing new care here in Iowa, I had new bloodwork done, and I’m back to where I’ve started being SUPER low and requiring high daily IUs. Changing my diet hasn’t helped, supplements didn’t work last year either until I increased to 5000 IUs per day (which has its own risks and wasn’t sustainable) — and spending additional time in the sun isn’t recommended given my skin’s preference for burning and my history of skin cancer. But I’m giving the daily a go again, particularly because I’m nervous about being active and the supposed increased risk of stress fractures.

Needing:: to get my butt moving here, and get my long run done. I’ve got six miles staring back at me today. Time to load up on breakfast foods!

Wearing:: With the hype and fanfare of the Olympics right now, I feel like wearing one of my running medals all of the time. Just me?

Being:: super annoyed at the instability of my internet connection this weekend. While it only goes down for a handful of seconds (once, for about five minutes), it’s frustrating when you want to get stuff done. We’ve reset and recycled it this morning, so hopefully the intermittent outages be gone. At least I finally got this post done!

Weekly Therapy: Don’t do it to be remembered; do it to be yourself.

the week:
My Grandma from my mom’s side passed away this week, so that was really hard — especially because I wasn’t able to be with my family in Ohio. I’m also having a difficult time processing that I have no grandmothers left. I mean, compared to others my age, I feel so lucky that I had my grandparents in my life for as long as I did. But it’s still some heavy stuff. And well, I’m sad.

weekend:
Laying low, running in high temperatures (UGH, yesterday’s heat index was 105. ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE. I don’t live in Arizona anymore, what the heck). Tonight, we’re making a bunch of appetizers like it’s the Super Bowl and WATCHING THE OLYMPICS!!!!!!! (!!!!)

12 books in 12 months:
Quite different than my 52 books goal from last year, my 10th completed book of the year was He Wanted the Moon (courtesy of Blogging for Books). This book was unique, in that it told the story of a doctor who lost everything to his mental illness — mostly told through his own letters, discovered by his daughter years after his death. An impressive yet difficult look inside the brain of someone with what is now commonly known as manic depressive disorder. At times, it was painful to keep pace with the race of Dr. Baird’s thoughts — an uncomfortableness paired with a bit of knowing what likely comes next. It was by no means a “happy” book, so I found the content hard to read every night before bed; but over my lazy weekends, it was an enjoyable read.

seven things, seven days:
1. I got selected to be a BibRave Pro – I’m so excited about this ambassadorship and to expand my running community! More on this in a different post.
2. Oh HEY, are you a Des Moines-area blogger? Buy tickets for the Go Blog Social event at the Hotel Renovo on September 10!
3. One of my cats was hiding from the thunderstorms this week, and we couldn’t find him. He’s 17 pounds and all white. He was in the back of the kitchen pantry. Oh, Rudy.
4. Had my first round of interviews for the job I posted for (phone interview). I think I meet the minimum requirements, so here’s to the next round!
5. OOOOF. This story looks at another viewpoint of Big Goals: Can you survive the crushing feeling of seeing your Olympic dream die?
6. Can personality be changed? {via The Atlantic}
7. RATS! Running doesn’t make rats forgetful {via Science News}

IMT Des Moines Half Marathon:: Training Week #1

Doing something a little different this training cycle — besides upgrading my running watch and running in Iowa — I hired a coach! My big, hopeful goal for the IMT Des Moines Half Marathon in October is based on time, but I’m focused on seeing through this 12-week training plan and its required weekly workouts to see what happens when I really put my feet where my mouth is. Or something.

And I feel more motivated than ever.

My week at a glance:

  • Two easy run days
  • Tempo Interval run
  • Long run
  • One strength workout
  • Two core workouts

The training plan for Week #1 worked well with my schedule, and I didn’t need to flip around any workouts. On the weekend, I *still* could not wake up early enough for the local run groups (though I was out of bed by 7am both days), even with one of my running friends texting me.

MONDAY
Scheduled rest day, and I had my 4th golf lesson. I’m getting so much better that I’m almost in shock over it. I’m making more consistent contact with the ball — and some of them even go 80 yards and straight! 😉

TUESDAY
30-minute easy run. Tuesday’s workout was also a good test recording my treadmill run on my new Garmin. I still have to read up about the accuracy of the distance and pace — but it’s a pretty sweet feature (among others) of the Forerunner 230.

WEDNESDAY
Strength workout — with the realization that I need to get some heavier weights at home for squats and deadlifts because I don’t intend to go to the gym only for those two things. But I am sincerely considering putting my gym membership on hold for a few months.

THURSDAY
I took Thursday’s run outside, for a tempo intervals workout, which… SUCKED. I know much of the suckiness was due to the heat, but I sincerely wanted to quit everything after my second repeat. But it’s new, so I’ll suck it up and continue to do the work (and hope that it gets easier, which… HAAAAAA!). I followed up with a core-focused workout and foam rolling.

FRIDAY
Rest day!

SATURDAY
Afternoon on the treadmill again (outside is back up to, like, 80% humidity again) – an easy 2 miles. Afterward, I repeated my core workout and did some upper body reps on my TRX.

SUNDAY
Prescribed was an hour-long hilly workout that I did on my treadmill again. I didn’t feel well for most of the morning (and early afternoon), and I wasn’t sure it was best to run outside — in case I REALLY didn’t feel well, and I was a couple miles away from home feeling dreadful. But I maintained a pretty easy pace and managed the inclines OK (I inadvertently picked a map that went to 12% incline OMG).

iowa running blogger treadmill training

Tales from the Treadmill

All said, I’m happy with my first week of training AND my commitment to following my training program. Despite my speed work needing some work, I feel good and I like the variety in my weekly workouts.

TOTAL RUN DAYS: 4
WEEKLY/TOTAL TRAINING MILEAGE: 13.1 — hey, that’s kind of an awesomely-ironic number!

Race Recap: Boot Camp & BBQ at Life Time

No packets to pick up. No swag. No Expo. No time clock. But there was some mud.

Get ready to sweat and experience the most rewarding workout you’ll do all summer. Our Boot Camp class combines cardio, body weight and resistance training to deliver an unrivaled workout. We won’t go easy on you, but we promise you won’t regret it.

Yeah. It’s a Boot Camp & BBQ.

Titan mob course iowa lifetime bootcamp

Of course I wore my MEAT socks to a BBQ!

Registration and Cost: FREE! Hosted by Life Time (I’m a member), this nationwide club event was promoting their Boot Camp class — locally, at the Des Moines gym, they worked alongside Iowa obstacle race creator Titan Mob. This event was open to non-members as well (so long as they were attending with a LT member). Registration was online, and there was a check-in tent in front of the gym about an hour before start time.

Start line: There were several heats, which were staggered by the numbers on our wristbands. Since I was doing this alone (encouraged by my coworker who takes the Boot Camp classes and helped out with the course obstacles), I found a few women at the start line to chat and commiserate with.

Weather: Similar to my emotions when running Dam to Dam, the heat was awful (especially as this event started at 10am OMFG) and everything was horrible (drama queen).

Course: The course was on the grounds of Life Time (all outdoors) and was approximately 2 miles in length (I didn’t wear my watch). There were… I-don’t-know-how-many obstacles, which included: a sandbag carry, cement block pull WITH A CHAIN (the hardest), an uphill tube climb (I have no idea what to call this obstacle lol), tire run, about 20 hill repeats (some with weights), mud pit jump (UGH!), weight pull (from the top of the hill; you then had to walk your plate back down to the bottom, and repeat), walls, monkey bars, army crawls, another wall (a very tall one that I needed some assistance on), hay bale hurdles, wall balls, water bucket carries (while being sprayed with water, which was actually pretty nice), tire flips (I couldn’t do this one on my own, BOO!) and some overhead press/weighted squats before taking off on a sprint to the finish.

For any obstacles that you skipped (or, if you fell off the monkey bars, in my case), you did 15 burpees.

I was impressed that there were several water stations with ice and cold towels at various points on the course.

Experience: It’s been YEARS since I did a Tough Mudder, and this course thankfully didn’t have a lot of mud. The obstacles were placed well, varied in difficulty, and overall felt like it kicked my ass.

Finish Line: There was a hose to rinse off the dirt, which was nice!

After Party: BBQ! Beer from Firetrucker Brewery! Obviously, I’m not a beer drinker, but they had some alcoholic ginger beer that is gluten-free (and they gave me a free drink coupon to use when I visit their brewery in Ankeny). I was super interested in having some watermelon after finishing (as promised on the event info menu), but there wasn’t any. To be honest, I wasn’t really hungry, but I made sure to buy a protein milk in the LifeCafe so that I didn’t feel miserable later (haaaaaa!).

Famous last words, they say: I ended up breaking out in a rash all over the front, exposed part of my skin a few hours after the race because I am nothing if not totally allergic to the outdoors. I also had a bunch of these tiny scratches all over my knees and elbows, likely from the army crawls through the dry grass. FUN!

Obstacle course run lifetime bootcamp

YAY! I finished! (And I’m kinda muddy!)

No Official Results, but it was officially a great time. My experience overall at Life Time has been mostly lukewarm, but they do a great job of hosting fun social events (I’ve already got my eye on a Bikes & Brunch next month), and I love that a lot of the coaching staff and instructors were out on the obstacle course chatting with members about classes and such.

Watch the local news clip about the event!