Saturday, December 2, 2017

A week of activity

On Monday after work, I did the next run on my training schedule.  This was a 4-mile run at a pace of 11:18 min/mi, or 5.3 mph on the treadmill.  For some reason, this run seemed too hard.  Possibly it was because I had done a long run (of only 6 miles) the day before plus the two hours of tennis.  I also wondered if it was because when I run on the treadmill, I'm running in the relatively warm house.  I don't know.

Tuesday morning, I did "workout 1" from Nia Shanks's website.  I think I've described it here before.  I also did some foam rolling and stretching.

On Tuesday after work, I did the next run on my training schedule.  This one was my first speedwork on this training plan.  I did this on the treadmill.  I did a 1-mile warm-up at 4.7 mph, which felt very slow.  Then I alternated 1 mile at 6.4 mph with 1 min at 4.7 mph.  Finally, I had a 1-mile cool-down at 4.7 mph.  I got through the first fast mile with no breaks, but it was tough.  I was starting to feel like I had a band around my chest so I couldn't breathe well.  I'm not sure what my heart rate was doing, because I felt like it wasn't reading right on my Garmin.  I had to take some breaks during the next two fast miles.  In order to "cool" myself during this run, I turned on the small fan on my treadmill, and I wore my neck ice-pack.  I was definitely a little cooler, but I'm still not sure if this is a big issue.

Wednesday morning, I did my agility and plyo workout.

Wednesday evening, I had a 6.5 combo match.  My partner and I won, 6-3, 7-5.  This was a good win for us!  Our opponents switched sides in the second set, which definitely helped them, but we managed to adjust and get the win.

Thursday morning, I did "workout 2" from Nia Shanks's website.  I also did some foam rolling and stretching.

Thursday evening, I had a 7.5 combo match.  Unfortunately this ended up being a loss.  My 4.0 partner and I won the first set easily 6-0.  One of our opponents was a big hitter and had a hard serve, but she couldn't get it in in the first set and made a lot of errors.  In the second set, she stopped making errors, and they managed to win the set 6-4.  We couldn't figure out how to adjust and also lost the match tie-breaker.  Definitely a bummer.

Friday morning I decided to get an extra hour of sleep after my late matches the two nights before, and I skipped my morning workout.  In the evening, my husband and I had a 7.5 mixed combo match together.  This turned out to be quite a match.  The opposing man was a very big server and hitter, with a lot of topspin.  I really had trouble getting his balls back in the first set, and my husband was making some errors, too.  We lost the first set 6-3.  But we both managed to tighten up our play in the second set, and we won it 6-3.  We kept the momentum in the match tie-breaker and won the match.  That was very satisfying.

Saturday morning, I did the next run on my training schedule.  This was 5 miles at a 11:18 min/mi pace.  I did this outside on Sligo Creek.  It was about 30 F, which was great weather to run in.  I managed to get 4 of the 5 miles within my pace target, which was good.  I missed the other one fast.

Saturday afternoon, I played two hours of tennis with our Saturday contract time group at Wheaton.  This was fun!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Tennis & Mobility

Yesterday I subbed in to some tennis contract time, so I played doubles tennis for two hours.  It was good to play again after some time off around Thanksgiving.  I felt like I was playing pretty well in terms of net play.

This morning I did my routine for tennis and running strength and mobility.  These are intended to be low-weight, high-rep moves for more accessory-type muscles.  Here are the moves:
  • 2 x 15 per arm external shoulder rotations with 5-lb dumbbell
  • 2 x 15 per arm vertical shoulder rotations with 5-lb dumbbells
  • 2 x 16 steps per side "monster walks" - lateral steps while squatting with a resistance band around the calves
  • 15 per leg "sneaky lunges" - walking lunges where the entire sequence is done on tip-toes
  • 2 x 15 per leg calf raises with 30-lb dumbbell
  • 15 eccentric calf raises
  • 3 x 30 sec walking on tip-toes
  • 15 hamstring curls on Swiss ball
  • 15 per side hip strengtheners (from Runner's World)

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Weekend Runs

On Saturday morning, I did the next run on my training scheduled.  This was a 5-mile run at an easy pace of 11:18 min/mi.  It was warmer than the morning before and looked like it could rain, but luckily it did not.  This run went fine.  I hit the correct pace on 3 of my miles and missed the other 2 a little fast.

This morning, I did my first official "long run" of this training plan.  My long run pace is 10:56 min/mi.  I had a 6-mile run.  It was a nice, chilly morning around 40 F, with some Sun.  I hit my times for 3 of the miles, but missed the other 3 a little fast.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Thanksgiving Week Exercise

On Tuesday morning, I did my agility and plyo workout.  It had 8 agility moves and about 8 different plyo exercises.

Tuesday evening, I had gotten an invitation to play tennis, so I played two hours of tennis with some ladies that I know.  It wasn't very serious tennis, but it was fun.  I was happy to get in a little more tennis, because the next time I will play is the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Wednesday morning, I did the fourth workout from Nia Shanks's website.  I changed the sumo deadlift move, since I have a hard time keeping my back straight in deadlifts.  The moves were
  • 3 x 5 - 7 Romanian deadlifts with 25-lb dumbbells
    • 3 x 8 - 10 close-grip chin-ups
    • 3 x 8 - 10 one-arm dumbbell push presses with a 20-lb dumbbell
  • 3 x 10 - 15 per leg split-leg squats with 15-lb dumbbells
    • 3 x 15 wrist curls with 5-lb dumbbells
    • 3 x 15 reverse wrist curls with 5-lb dumbbells
  • 3 x 10 - 15 per side upright slow bicycles
Wednesday evening, I did the next run on my training schedule, which was a 3-mile run at a 12:00 min/mi pace.  I did this on the treadmill.

On Thanksgiving, my husband and I were traveling to my mother's for Thanksgiving, so I didn't have time to do any exercise.

On Friday morning, I did the next run on my training schedule, which was actually something differently!  I had to run 4 miles at a faster "easy' pace of 11:18 min/mi.  I also had 4 strides to do during the run.  I ran outside on the local walking/biking path along the Allegheny River.  It was quite cool - a little lower than freezing out, which felt great.  I missed the paces on the first two miles by being a little too fast.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Workout + Run

This morning I did the third workout based on Nia Shanks' website.  The exercises were:
  • 3 x 8 - 10 goblet squats with 30-lb dumbbell
    • 3 x 10 - 15 decline push-ups
    • 3 x 8 - 10 pull-ups (I did negatives for the ones I couldn't do)
  • 3 x 5 - 7 Romanian deadlifts with 25-lb dumbbells
    • 3 x 15 wrist curls with 5-lb dumbbells
    • 3 x 15 reverse wrist curls with 5-lb dumbbells
  • 3 x 30s per side side planks, with arm and leg extended

This evening after work, I did the next run on my training schedule, which was yet another run at 12:00 mi/mile pace for 3 miles.  I did this on the treadmill.  One more run like this before I get to start doing some variations!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

A lot of tennis + a run

Yesterday afternoon, I had my first session of contract time for tennis.  It's going to be nice to be doing this instead of trying to get courts each week for indoor practice.  During practice, I focused on hitting the slow balls with my own pace and in placing volleys and overheads as put-aways.  I feel like a really did pretty well with that and it was a useful practice.  It was also a good group.

Yesterday evening, my husband and I had a 7.5 mixed combo match.  We won 6-2, 6-2 in 58 minutes.  My husband was really "on", with amazing forehand groundstrokes and good hands at the net.  The opposing woman really couldn't handle his pace on the returns.  I was playing well, also, and got some volleys and overheads like I had been practicing. The four games that we lost were on the opposing man's serve.  I was having trouble with the spin on them, even though they weren't extremely high-pace.  I adjusted my distance from the baseline and started doing better, but that was definitely our weak spot.

This morning, I did the next run on my training schedule.  This was another 3-mi easy run at a 12:06 pace.  Since I could run this outside, I had to stick with the pace instead of letting the treadmill do it.  It really felt slow at first.  I ended up with an average pace of 11:55 min/mi, so I missed the run a bit.  It was a nice day for running, at about 50 F and windy.

Friday, November 17, 2017

A Match and a Run

Yesterday morning, I did another strength training based on Nia Shanks's website.  The exercises were:
  • 3 x 5 - 7 Romanian deadlifts, with 25-lb dumbbells
    • 3 x 8 - 10 chin-ups - I do 3 or 4 regular and the rest negative
    • 3 x 8 - 10 dumbbell presses with 20-lb dumbbells
  • 3 x 10 - 15 per leg walking lunges with 15-lb dumbbells
    • 3 x 15 wrist curls with 5-lb dumbbells
    • 3 x 15 reverse wrist curls with 5-lb dumbbells
  • 3 x 10 - 15 Swiss ball curls

Last night, my husband and I played a 7.5 mixed combo match.  We played against a 4.5 man, who had a really hard serve, and a 3.0 woman, who was very inexperienced.  We won 6-2, 6-1, but it wasn't a very fun match.  It was just too on and off with the hard and then softs shots.

This morning I skipped my workout in order to get a little more sleep, since I have had three 9pm tennis matches this week, and I have one more on Saturday.

This evening after work, I did the next run on my training schedule.  This one was the same as Wednesday night:  3 miles at a 12:00 min/mi pace.  I did this on the treadmill at 5.0 mph.  It went OK.  I am trying to keep my cadence up, close to 180 SPM and concentrating on not getting lazy and taking a break on the rails.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Three Days and Two Matches

Monday evening, I played a 6.5 combo match.  Unfortunately my partner and I lost.  We played against two pretty even-level and consistent players.  I could not protect my partner well enough against them.  We lost 6-1, 6-2, if I remember correctly.

Tuesday morning, I did the first workout I have put together from Nia Shanks' website.  The exercises were:
  • 3 x 8 - 10 squats (I used 30 lb dumbbells)
    • 3 x 8 - 10 bench press ( I used 30 lb dumbbells)
    • 3 x 8 - 10 one-arm rows with opposite leg extended (I used a 25 lb dumbbell)
  • 3 x 10 - 15 back extensions
    • 3 x 15 wrist curls (I used 5 lb dumbbells)
    • 3 x 15 reverse wrist curls (I used 5 lb dumbbells)
  • 3 x 60s plank

Tuesday night, I played a tri-level match.  My partner and I ended up playing really well together, and we won 6-4, 6-4 against a strong pair.  It was a lot of fun, and the win felt good!

This morning, I did an agility and plyo routine.  I have 8 agility sequences that I do for 30 sec each, with a 30-sec break in between.  Then I do some plyo.  I got some calf plyo moves from a recent Runner's World magazine.

This evening, I did the first run following Billy's training plan to get me a PR on my next half-marathon.  It called for 3 miles at "easy A" pace, which was 12:06 min/mi.  I did this on the treadmill at 5.0 mph.  Boring, but I did it with absolutely no breaks.  It started out feeling a little hard, but then it was OK.  It shouldn't be hard at that pace, but for some reason I think it's harder to run on the treadmill.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Strength & Mobility

This morning I did my tennis and running strength and mobility workout.  This mostly works accessory muscles and calves and hamstrings.  It's high-rep and low weight.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Aug. 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse from Grand Teton National Park!

My husband and I were fortunate enough to plan WAY ahead and get lodging for our summer vacation in Jackson, WY, so we could hike in Grand Teton National Park and view the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017.  We had a wonderful trip, and the eclipse was amazing!

We viewed the eclipse just a few miles from the Jackson Hole airport, which was near the centerline of totality.  The partial eclipse started at about 10:17am, totality started about 11:35am, totality ended just after 11:37am, and the eclipse ended at about 1:00pm.

While the partial eclipse was interesting to view through eclipse glasses, no other effects were apparent until the Sun started getting 80% and more eclipsed.

We noticed that it was getting generally darker, so much so that passing cars on the road had their automatic lights on.  The coloring of the light was odd, though.  Unlike a sunrise or sunset, where the dim sunlight is reddened, this dimmer light wasn't red.  The dusk that started was oddly bluish to me in contrast to a sunrise or sunset.  It had an eerie quality almost like a poor fluorescent light.

We were also in Wyoming, which is a very dry area that has big temperature swings between night and day.  As the Sun became more eclipsed, the ambient temperature dropped dramatically - I think it must have gone from 70s F down into the 50s F during totality.

Totality itself was amazing.  We saw a beautiful diamond ring effect when the Moon initially blocked the entire Sun.  And then it seemed like the Sun was so small - without the blindingly bright light from the photosphere to make the Sun seem large, its true angular size was so small!  The Moon's night side was so amazingly dark, like a hole in the sky.  The corona wasn't very active - I noticed about three streamers during totality.  The sky didn't get quite as dark as night, but Venus was very distinct.  I wasn't able to see Regulus (for sure) or Mars or Mercury.  There were a few other stars visible farther from the Sun that I wasn't certain what they were.

I hadn't really seen the Moon's shadow approaching us along the ground - I think that may be partly because it was coming over the Tetons, so we couldn't see it as far away.  But when totality ended, I definitely saw the Moon's shadow rushing away from us toward the east.  We saw another diamond ring just at the end of totality.

Overall, it was such an awesome event!  Well worth all the time and planning to see it.

I wanted to give a big "thank you" to all of the management of Grand Teton National Park and the city of Jackson.  The entire eclipse "event" was extremely well-thought-out and well-planned by the folks in charge.  We arrived in Jackson over a week before the eclipse, and there were already message signs out around town and in the park reminding people of the upcoming eclipse and changes in traffic, parking, and travel.  The National Park Service printed a huge number of approximately 8-page newspapers with extensive information about how, where, and when to view the eclipse and accurate information about what a total solar eclipse is.    Eclipse glasses were available everywhere.

The park had designated several viewing areas for the eclipse.  They had designated a long road through the park near the centerline of the eclipse as one of the main viewing areas, and also allowed viewing from all of the turn-outs along the park roads.  The most miraculous bit of planning to me was that two days before the eclipse, port-a-potties appeared in every single viewing area in the park.  Since people started parking before 6am and totality wasn't until about 11:30am, some type of facilities were needed, but I was amazed that these were all provided ahead of time.  Once eclipse parking started, every different turn-out and viewing area had a staffer to help manage traffic and hand out eclipse glasses if needed.

I was extremely impressed by the organization, and Jackson and Grand Teton NP help turn the eclipse into an unforgettable, positive event by smoothing out ahead of time the snags that could have developed.