Frank Shorter, in his autobiography “Marathon Man.” You need to read this.

Another big mileage week with 10 weeks still to go until Monumental!

One highlight of this week is that I subscribed to Jasyoga, Erin Taylor’s on-demand yoga videos. She’s a former NCAA basketball player who has developed an approachable, athlete-friendly yoga practice that doesn’t require you to commit an hour every time. In fact, she has an entire series of 5-minute “resets” that you can string together or do as needed.

The videos are pretty low key and minimally produced — this isn’t a Gaiam video with three different fitness models on a glam set with amazing music. In fact, there’s no music, so I’ve been turning on Spotify in the background.  (usually the Namaste playlist, which I also use frequently in my Pilates classes).

The collection isn’t huge, but there are more videos being added regularly and there are plenty to keep you occupied. There are core workouts, hip and hamstring flexibility sequences, and 5-minute resets for back, neck, shoulder, calf, hip, etc. My go-to this week has been the Deep Relaxation 25-minute practice … this is primarily and relaxation and breathing and subtle stretching routine. Designed to help relax your body and allow it to recover, this is also a great pre-bedtime sequence. You’ll almost definitely want some music in the background for this one, as each pose is held for about 5 minutes at a time and there’s minimal cuing once you’re in the pose.

Before Erin’s Jasyoga, I’d played with yoga in the past 10 years intermittently, and there was never any doubt that there were benefits for me in there, but it felt a little bit like having to sit through a full feature film when really all you needed was one specific 15 minute scene. It’s different if yoga is your primary activity, but for me it wasn’t, and probably never will be. For many athletes, that time commitment is what makes the benefits of yoga inaccessible to them.”

— Lauren Fleshman, discussing Erin’s new book, “Hit Reset.”

I’d consider the lack of music and sometimes iffy audio quality as downsides (on my iPad, even turned all the way up, I have to move the iPad around the mat to be able to hear in some sequences). Also, without more videos added, these could get a little stale. I love going to a class, but my gym does 60-75 minute classes that are longer than I can commit to and that don’t necessarily address my problem areas. If you’re looking to expand your home practice in a limited time frame, Jasyoga is definitely worth a try. At $5 per month and the ability to cancel any time, I’d recommend it. Unfortunately, there are no free/preview videos but you can watch a 30-second sample of any of them.

Now back to the regularly scheduled weekly recap: Lots ‘o’ miles.

Cool enough for a tank on Monday!

Monday was an easy 10 (haha) in beautiful 63-degree weather. Everything about this run was good. That evening I combined some recovery yoga (Runner’s World sequence; I decided to try Jasyoga on Tuesday because I was burning out on the RW video) and foam rolling.

Tuesday morning I thought about sleeping in and saving speed for the afternoon but I couldn’t pass up another morning in the 60s, especially since the rest of the week would be lows around 75 and highs around 95, plus all the humidity and high dew points you can imagine.

Sometime this summer, as I’ve been struggling to run/swim through workouts in stupid weather conditions, coach mentioned steady-state should be close to marathon pace when the weather is cooperating. I just laughed, because 85% max HR had been hovering around 7:10-7:15 per mile — way off goal marathon pace.

And then Tuesday, I flew. I warmed up 2 miles and then got started. The first one was a little slow, 7:09, but also started uphill and I probably really needed another mile of warmup that early. After that it was 6:51, 6:54, 6:54, 6:53, 6:55, 7:06 (most uphill of any mile) and 6:53. An average of 6:57 pace and average HR of 160.5 or about 82% (so actually a little low). This workout doesn’t include any stoppage during the effort and I ran on the roads to simulate typical racing conditions. I also keep an eye on my HR but not on pace, so to be this consistent is definitely a good sign! Another 1.25 of cool down and the hardest part of my day was over.

Tuesday night I used the Restorative Yoga sequence I discussed above, too.

No longer tank-friendly on Wednesday.

Wednesday morning was an easy 8 mile recovery run, with another nerve-wracking run in with the creepy guy, who was yelling my name from down the street. I hightailed it out of there and sent an update to my friend at our local police department. They haven’t seen him out when they’ve patrolled through, but I was able to narrow down the time frame because I did run through that area on Tuesday twice without seeing him, then saw him walking the opposite direction of me a little later so I went a different way.

Other than that, a fine run although trending hotter which would be the theme of the rest of the week. That evening I taught a Pilates class featuring the Swiss ball, which was definitely challenging both in terms of a workout as well as coordination!

Thursday was my secondary workout of the week, 30 minutes of continuous hills. I had a dentist appointment in the morning so I was able to go a little later — although I’m not sure the extra sleep was worth the extra heat and humidity.

I like this workout because it feels like an accomplishment without being draining. The first few times I did this I tried just running a hilly course, but it was a bit of a hassle — it’s 30 minutes of ups and downs but you don’t count the flat sections. And then you’re trying to make sure there’s 30 minutes of ups and downs while also getting in the right amount of mileage.

So last time I did this workout, I just used the same hill I usually use for repeats, and just did it over and over again. The repetition doesn’t bother me (as evidenced by my treadmill runs and obsessive use of my neighborhood loop pre-creeper), and it’s a great set-up in terms of having water and no traffic. And, now that I’ve done this workout the same way twice, it was a lot of fun to compare the data.

You’re right. Pilates is just for girls.

Despite it being 80 degrees and basically a swamp, the weather was about the same when I did this session in June (a few degrees hotter but not quite as muggy).

This time I logged 2 more miles, averaged 10 seconds faster overall, average HR a little lower, max HR the same, and added one additional climb / 100′ of gain in the same 30 minute stretch. Last time the hill miles were around 7:50-8 pace; this time they were 7:45-7:30 with the same effort and HR.

Thursday night it was back to teaching Pilates, a quick and fun strength class.

Friday morning I met my friend Rebekah at the Parklands for an easy 7 miles, which I thought put me at 45 for the week (which is why we went 7 instead of 6) but actually put me at 46. Whoops.

I also squeezed in another Restorative Yoga session that evening to help prepare myself for Saturday’s long run.

Post-20 miler. Color coordinated. Melted.

I got very luck on Saturday and had lots of company! I only ran the first 4 and last 2 by myself. A rare occurrence! One of the girls is running Chicago and another is running Monumental and a third isn’t particularly training for anything at the moment. I ran over to meet them and then we ran a hilly 10 mile loop, dropped off one friend and picked up another. (We call these “school bus runs.”) They ran another 3 with me and then we split off in different directions.

This was another no-gel long run, so I had a Hammer Gel and two Endurolytes before and then six Endurolytes during the run. It was 75* and really muggy — my shoes were making a gross squishy noise by mile 10.

This is my third 20 miler of the training cycle, and definitely worse weather than my 20 miler two weeks ago that I was really pumped about. That said, my total time was 2 minutes faster (7 seconds per mile) than two weeks ago and 6 minutes faster than four weeks ago.

All in all, pretty good — the last 2 were less fun, it was getting hot.

Milestone Cafe for the win.

Immediately after finishing this run, I sat dripping on a towel for 5 minutes, then had some Hammer Recoverite icy icy cold. I rinsed off in my run gear in the gym shower then spent 5 minutes in the pool, mostly standing but also doing some stretches. Then I put my running clothes in the swimsuit spinner which makes them way gross to take home. A shower at the gym then I hit the cafe for iced tea and a breakfast sandwich (two egg whites, cheese and spinach on a whole wheat English muffin) and a veggie wrap for lunch (spinach wrap, hummus, feta, shredded carrots and spinach) because I had to go down to the office for an hour right during lunch and I didn’t want to be hangry.

I did squeeze in another Restorative Yoga session Saturday night and I spent plenty of time in my Zensah compression calf/ankle sleeves.

Sunday morning I met Rebekah early and I only needed 4 miles to hit 70 for the week. We kept it super easy — my HR average was under 130 — and it was still really swampy out. 73* at 6:30 a.m. with a dew point of 71. Yick.

Sleepy post-yoga face. Elite female marathoners shirt by Sarah Marie Design Studio.

With the higher mileage, I’m really trying to focus on doing everything I can to recover and stay healthy:

  • Yoga, foam rolling, stretching
  • Dynamic warm ups (tryyyyyying)
  • Massage every three weeks (scheduled them all in advance a couple of months ago)
  • Hammer Nutrition Recoverite after basically every run
  • Hammer Nutrition Tissue Rejuvenator — 2 capsules per day unless feeling extra sore
  • Sleeping at least 7 hours a night (got to start somewhere)
  • Eating good, healthy food with plenty of protein and good fats; balancing being hungry all the time with not eating junk (work in progress; I do not regret the chili cheese tater tots I got from Sonic on Friday).
  • Lots of water. And then more water.
  • Stringent shoe replacement.

Totals: 70.3 miles run, 105 minutes of yoga, 105 minutes of Pilates taught.

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