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Run Disney: Dopey Challenge Journal- July 2020 Edition

July 4, 2020

The first week of training is over! I’m not going to lie, I am a little tired. If I am being honest, I am surprised that I am tired. I figured after a month of running almost everyday, and biking countless miles, I would not be tired after running only 12.5 miles in one week. 

I like to think it is the change in workouts that made this week seem more challenging. This was the first week I have lifted weights since before coronavirus. I made sure not to do too much in the way of legs, as per normal when I am training, but I still lifted upper body/arms twice this week. On top of three days of running and making sure I got 10,000 steps a day, I also went back to the yoga mat on Friday!

I certainly think the yoga workout made the biggest impact on my week. In the time I had taken off from yoga and my other workouts, I could tell that my posturing and back muscles were not as accustomed as they had been to my previous yoga workouts. I found it more difficult to hold poses, ultimately leading to more muscle soreness and more tiredness when running today. Whether all of this is true or not, I am changing up my workout plan at this point for training.

My plan is as follows until I have to add in more running days:
  • Monday: Upper body lift/Core and Steps
  • Tuesday: Jeff Galloway running program
  • Wednesday: Upper body lift/Core and Steps
  • Thursday: Jeff Galloway running program
  • Friday: Off
  • Saturday: Jeff Galloway running program
  • Sunday: Yoga and Steps

I think by moving yoga to Sunday and giving myself that extra day between running and yoga will help with some of the struggle I felt on Saturday morning. I think it will also be nice to have Friday off to relax and prepare for my longer and hopefully faster runs on Saturday! 

July 13, 2020

I have decided that I am going to write at the end of each training week unless something super exciting happens during the week. This way I can talk about the training week as a whole and any “theme” to the week if you will. I think it will also help me collect my thoughts to hopefully make them more useful to anyone who reads this. 

With that being said…

This weeks training felt even harder than last week. Again, I really did not do more than was advised or really run harder than normal. It just was HARD! It felt like every mile was sucking the life out of me. Because of this, I didn’t want to run either. Instead of running on Thursday, I ran on Friday and then again on Sunday instead of Saturday. I just couldn’t get the motivation to run. Especially, after a long day in the operating room on Thursday afternoon. I was so happy to be done with my four mile run on Sunday and was ready to have Monday off of running to regroup. With all the ill-will and lack of motivation this week, I started to think about what I could change to help myself. 

After thinking long and hard, I decided the biggest change I could make would be my workout time. Since I work 8:00AM to about 5:00PM currently, I have two options. Early morning workouts or evening workouts. With early morning workouts I can get my workout done and out of the way so I can focus on other things in the evening.

i.e. (dinner, chores around the house, the blog)


then I have to get up early. After finishing my swimming collegiate career, I never thought I would even consider getting up to workout at 5:30AM again. I hated it when I was swimming and I hate the idea of it now.

However, if I don’t get up early to workout then I have to workout in the evening right after work or almost right before bed, after eating dinner. Neither of these options sound appealing either because I am usually hungry after work ends and want to eat. Or I end up not feeling the greatest because I am trying to run and digest at the same time.

I also do not like the stress of having so much to do in the evening in addition to running, showering, etc. This would then be about a 90 minutes process. Unfortunately, I think the lesser of two evils will be getting up before the sun rises. I am still working on the mental game of this so I will check back in when I am successful. 

The other change I thought about was diet and hydration. I mentally keep a list running in my head of what I am eating and drinking but do not track calories or anything in an app. Since I am not actively trying for weight loss and feel that I eat well-balanced, I do not think it is necessary right now.

I do think I may have started slacking on the hydration side of nutrition. A big focus of my week three training will now be focusing on hydration. I may even start setting an alarm at work as we have increased our mask wearing to all times, making it harder for me to think about hydration. Like I said earlier, I will report back on these things next week. 

July 19, 2020:

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Week three has been way better than week two! I woke up Tuesday with tons of motivation to run, which certainly helped! I also ran my fastest 5K and mile this Saturday, since getting my Garmin watch in the middle of April. This made me feel so good and is proof that I am actually improving! I always worry that the heat will make me not only slower temporarily but permanently! This clearly was not the case! Yay! Focusing on my hydration has been a big help as well. I have been ensuring that I am drinking at least one Powerade a day in addition to water intake. I also have been more focused on making a schedule and sticking to it. 

My schedule was fairly decent before, but now I am almost putting things down to the hour in order to stay focused, organized, and prepared for training. By being more rigid, I am able to book for “me time”. With this new schedule, I still have not moved my runs to the morning. I am strongly considering it, more so than last week. Especially since I didn’t get home from the operating room until about 7:30PM on Thursday. This made for a late run and even later dinner. Hopefully by Monday I will have enough motivation to follow through on doing morning workouts. 

Since starting this journal, I have touched on running in the heat, nutrition, and my training plan. One of the other many topics I wanted to touch on is gear that we use. I will be writing up a whole “review” on our running gear but for now I wanted to touch on my Garmin watch. 

I have never been a big fan of any major monitoring system since high school. How many of you remember when they forced us to wear them in gym to track our heart rates for a grade? As a distance athlete I would almost have to complete a full workout during my 50 minute gym class to get 20 minutes in the heart rate zone so I wouldn’t fail. It left a bad taste in my mouth. I tried using a FitBit in college but that lost its appeal to me too. I wore one of the clip-on ones and that made it difficult to use.

When Kyle got his Garmin for Christmas in 2019, I was interested to see what had changed. I was also interested to see if it would really work how I wanted it to with my workouts. Once I knew that Kyle liked his and it had the features I was looking for there was only one hurdle left in my mind. That last thing holding me back was that I do love my “regular” watches and was not excited about the “smart watch” and need to wear it everyday. Apparently I have gotten over this because since getting my Garmin watch for my birthday, I love it!!! It also helps that my Garmin’s look is versatile to the point that it can dress up or down, no matter the occasion.

Pro-tip: You can also interchange bands if you want to change the “appearance” of your watch. I personally have not because the Dust Rose color can go with almost anything I wear.

Having a Garmin watch has really put my training and health/fitness over the edge. With Covid-19, I have increased my workouts to about 6-7 times a week and adding the watch really ensured all these workouts were benefiting me. I have also increased my total number of steps to over 10,000 a day. I usually finish each day with a speed walk (just under balloon lady pace) which I think is helping my fitness somewhat.

Outside of the workouts I was already doing and increasing my steps, my Garmin watch has also helped me increase the variability in my activities. I have gotten more into yoga and cycling. Embarrassingly, some of this has to do with the badges they give for certain accomplishments, but those badges clearly help improve my fitness so who is to judge.

(Also who doesn’t like the sense of accomplishment and having more points than your friends when it comes to badges on Garmin?!).  

I love the challenges set forth by Garmin as well. I never would have ran 100 miles in June if it wasn’t for the Garmin app. Clearly I could go on and on but I will save all of that for my big “Gear Review” coming up later on during our training. 

July 27, 2020:

Week Four has turned out to be just as successful as week three! I have officially decided to try working out in the morning. Monday morning was tough and I was really disappointed in myself when I did not get up to lift in the morning. I was actually fairly awake but ended up picking more sleep over my workout. I really should’ve worked out in the morning, though, because we had some unexpected things come up Monday evening which led to a late workout again. 

All of that led me to ensure I got up on Tuesday morning to run and I DID IT! I completed my whole 45 minute run by 6:15AM and had plenty of time to get ready for work. I felt so good for accomplishing so much before work; being done with a good run, and for just getting out of bed. The sense of accomplishment really didn’t wear off all day! 

I was able to keep my streak alive for Wednesday and Thursday as well! Now if only I can get Kyle up early to run too… Since I am in the operating room on Thursday, being done with my workout makes the day so much easier! I wasn’t nearly as stressed about finishing surgery early enough to get my workout in! Outside of my new morning routine, Kyle surprised us with a day trip to Magic Kingdom on Saturday! This meant that I pushed my Saturday run to Sunday but it was totally worth it!

(blog post coming very soon on the “new” Disney)

Even after walking close to 10 miles on Saturday, I had a great 5.5 mile run on Sunday! I was able to bring my pace back down to the 9:30s. I haven’t done that since summer really started in! With the heat and humidity in Florida, my pace always takes a hit so being back down to within 20 seconds of my “winter” pace was amazing! I really could not have asked for a better run and I felt strong and fast! We will see how the next month of training goes as we start adding more and more mileage, but I am excited for the challenge! I will also be able to report on my hydration plans for those high mileage days as well!

If you enjoyed my running journal for this month check out my two previous ones for May and June below!

Dopey Challenge Journal – May 2020 Edition

Dopey Challenge Journal – June 2020 Edition

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