Training Hard or Hardly Training?

With the United NYC Half a week in the rearview mirror, I’ve turned my attention (and my training) to the Asbury Park Runapalooza Half Marathon in less than 4 weeks. My original plan was NOT to run two half marathons within a month of each other, but here I am. So after attacking the hills of Central Park and still managing to get within 3:13 of my best half marathon time, I’m super psyched to return to the boardwalk of Asbury Park, the scene of my first post-ACL surgery half marathon last spring where I managed to beat my previous time by just a few minutes, and prove to myself that I truly am a runner!

After last Sunday’s race I knew I had to take it easy – those hills were no joke – but I also knew that there would be no lazing around and falling back into the “I raced last week, I deserve a third dessert!” trap I sometimes fall into after a race. So I gave myself a total of 3 days off, with nothing but stretching, foam rolling, and wine.

But by Thursday, the combination of not running and the increasingly nice weather (hello, 45 degrees and sunny at 6pm!) had me pacing the floors like a border collie. So after work I laced up and hit the pavement without looking at my watch the whole time – this was a purely “ease back into running” run, and man did it feel good!!

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It didn’t hurt that I wore one of my favorite cold weather tops – and found it a little loose, too! I felt sleek, strong, and capable the entire run. It was one of those runs where the only thing stopping you is the creeping darkness (and the fact that dinner was at home waiting!): the cool air energized me, the sunset was so pretty, and running for fun just felt so great.

After taking it easy once again on Friday & Saturday, I created a revised 4-week plan to get me safely to the Runapalooza finish line, and was relieved to find that I only had 6 miles on tap for the following day. So Sunday I woke bright and early for a cold, windy, brisk 6 miler around town while the rest of my neighbors prepared for the local St. Patrick’s Day parade!

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While it was cold and windy as hell, especially by the waterfront, it was still a beautiful morning – and another confidence-boosting run to boot! Perhaps it was my awesome first run back, or maybe it has something to do with all the delicious vitamin D I’m finally getting by moving my runs off the treadmill and onto the pavement once again… whatever it is, I’m loving it!

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I kept a nice pace for the first 4 miles until the wind picked up after I headed in the opposite direction, but I still managed to stay around 12 minutes per mile, with hills and wind battling me too!

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And to make matters even better, I capped off my Sunday morning with one of my absolute favorite things to do once the spring comes around:

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A post-run pedicure!

Granted, the poor nail salon guy had to skip the one funky toenail that’s hanging on for dear life and was confused when I stopped him from scraping off my callouses (I am NOT about to feel the pain of running on un-calloused feet as I build them up all over again!) – but he got a good laugh when I started practically purring as he massaged each little toe and squeezed the ever-loving crap out of my calves! It’s been almost a year since my last professional pedicure, and it showed. But I hereby promise my little piggies: I will not be waiting that long again for my next one!

After my pedi, I poured myself into a big comfy chair at home, watched about 5 episodes of House of Cards, and capped off my first week post-half-marathon and first long run into training cycle #2 with a few glasses of wine curled up on the couch with my husband and cat.

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And that’s all, folks!

All in all, I’m pleased with myself this spring. I’ve managed to find a healthy balance of training and relaxing, I’m feeling stronger than almost any previous training cycle, each run leaves me feeling more confident than the last, and I’ve still got another great race to look forward to in a few weeks! Some days I feel the strain of hard training, but for the most part, it’s the other way around: I feel like I’m hardly training!

How about you? Are you training hard or hardly training? Is your schedule wearing you down yet or have you found a proper balance? When was your last pedicure? Let me hear it in the comments!

11 thoughts on “Training Hard or Hardly Training?

    • that’s a great idea, Jess! Too often we get so caught up in staying “with the plan” that we forget we’re just human and need a break. I bet it’s just what you need to get back into training even stronger, huh? I may try that in my next cycle, thanks for sharing!

  1. Yikes, I have not had a pedicure in a long time. I usually try to keep my toes painted but mostly to just cover up the bruised nails haha. I have a fairly vigorous workout schedule from now until Sept, but I like to keep busy and I love to run. Nice job on your half!

  2. Perfect way to end the day! Sounds like my kind of way to end the day. 🙂 My last pedicure was last month.. I’m feeling the need to get one done soon too! 😀 I feel like right now, I’m hardly training to be honest, but I think it’s because I’m itching to try something new. I have a 5k coming up, so I know I need to train for that, but tomorrow will be my first day of trying out yoga!

  3. It’s been FOREVER since I’ve gotten a pedicure, probably because I’m super sensitive about my feet. Don’t mess with my calluses, don’t touch that toe, etc etc. So I usually wind up giving myself pedicures. It’s not as relaxing but at least I know I can’t tickle my own feet. 😉

    Anyway, I’ve been training hard although sometimes it doesn’t feel that way. But when I look at my miles and what I’ve been doing at the gym, I know that I am. Also when I fall asleep at 8:00pm, that’s another indication.

    • LOL I’m right there with you on the home pedicure thing! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost accidentally kicked a poor nail tech in the face because they tickled me so bad, hahaha… but it’s worth the professional help once in a while 😉
      And you’ve got the training thing down, alright: passing out by 8 is usually a sign you’re working hard! 🙂

  4. bahhaha I always ask to keep the calluses, too! It’s got to be an odd request to them..! My last pedicure was about two months ago. I needed to pretend it was spring in the midst of the cold Chicago weather. 😉

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