On Saturday I flew to Detroit for a race on the legendary 8 Mile Road.
On Saturday, I ran 8 miles in Louisville. That run represented my last really long run before the Derby Festival MiniMarathon on April 30th. The day started out productive - I had had a party the night before so I woke up and cleaned up big time - dusting, scrubbing, vacuuming, and mopping. Then I got really tired again and went back to bed until about 2 pm. It was a bit after 3 pm when I finally got out the door to run. It's hard to get motivated to run on the weekends the later you put it off, not to mention that we had a cold front blowing through and it was drizzling.
Thanks to Sal @ Shoes Full of Feet, I had some new tunes to run to! A while ago she mentioned liking DJ Earworm who mixes Top 40s. He's not as good as Girl Talk, but I still enjoyed running to his mixes and it was nice to have something different.
I planned a route that avoided some major hills because I wanted to focus more on distance than hill work. The first half of my run was a little depressing - I was just thinking about how many miles I had left than trying to enjoy what I was doing. A little after mile 5 I stopped for a few minutes and ate an Espresso Love Gu and walked. Once I started running again I felt strong and energized and the rest of my run was great. I ended up running 8.25 miles total and felt like I could run more. During my cooldown, I was thinking about what kind of shape I'm in and is it where I thought I'd be? I believe that I'm either where I thought I'd be or even a bit better. Back in February when I was in New York, I was running around Central Park, wondering if I could get my groove back. And here I am, over two months later, and my fitness is getting better and better every week.
A recent article in Women's Health caught my attention and I wanted to share an excerpt:
The cheat (shortcut): Blowing off lower-body strength training
The verdict: Bad idea
You legs muscles do get a workout during cardio, but you need to hit the weights (or do squats and lunges) to make sure you're hitting all of your muscle groups. "Muscles work in pairs, and whe you stick to one type of cardio, you train only half of the pair," says Holland. "Strength training corrects these imbalances, so you stay injury free and get great-looking legs to boot." Supplement your cardio regimen with at least two lower-body or total-body strength workouts a week, or combine strength and cardio by doing plyometric supersets (explosive moves like squat jumps and split lunge jumps done back-to-back without rest) says Holland.
Yay! It is always refreshing to read what you've been preaching. I'll say it again - my runs are better and I don't get injured when I do strength training. What they said about sticking to one type of cardio not targeting all your muscles makes a lot of sense. It would be interesting to know exactly which muscles are NOT targeted by running and what happens to them. Do the running muscles have to work even harder to compensate?
I'm running outside again today - and tackling some hills too. Have a great day!