I find recovery really boring, and the aimlessness I feel after deciding not to run another marathon this spring is maddening. I don’t have a plan. And all my favorite run bloggers are talking about how recovery is so important, blah blah blah. I know that on one level, and I definitely FEEL like–my legs are still heavy and I just feel slow. Still, I have been drinking coffee and eating sugar like I’m binge-eating before a ridiculous diet, which makes me wonder if I’m taking the recovery thing a bit far…I mean, I ran a TOTAL of 15.5 miles last week (3, 5, and 7.5). One of the blogs said, “even if you gain a little weight, it’s ok….” I’m not so sure on that one, but the coffee and sugar are keeping me going through this last bit of the semester. Also, thankfully, I don’t own a scale 🙂
One of the things I’ve been thinking about is how to incorporate more cross-training without actually going to the gym. My friends make fun of me about my inability to “crosstrain”–you know, that thing you do in between runs. No, not eating. Nope, not sleeping either. Yeah, that other thing you do, the one where you move around and sweat…oh wait…that didn’t come out right.
ANYHOW, I belong to my local Y, but I’ve never enjoyed doing strength training in a gym. I will gladly do a workout video at home or even lift weights, but I find it even more boring doing that stuff at the gym. I was thrilled to see that there was a free app put out by North Face, called Mountain Athletics. It’s being rolled out in conjunction with their new line of “technical training apparel.” The app is slick, with preloaded videos, instructions, and great graphics. It has 3 6-week programs purportedly geared for “mountain athletes,” which translates into runners, skiers, and climbers (i.e., the 3 tracks). It’s meant to be pre-season conditioning for those 3 sports. Since I don’t ski (awful, awful sport for one with zero coordination) or climb, I’ve only had a chance to experience the run program.
I’m only 3 days in, and one of them was a “recovery day,” so it’s early yet, but it seems quite promising. The first day ended up being about a 25 minute workout using weights (I just used the 2×5 lb weights I owned and not the kettle ball or barbell they suggested) and my own body weight, incorporating jumps, squats, and lunges. I found it a decent challenge. It’s based on a progression so things will get harder (meaning more weight/reps), and I might need to graduate myself to either the gym or better equipment at home to get the full benefit of the workout. Hey, they sell kettleballs even at Marshall’s nowadays. The second day was supposed to be a 2 mile run for time. I took it pretty easily as I am hardly speedy. And then today was recovery.
I haven’t figured out fully how I’m going to map this out in conjunction with my running. For example, today was supposed to be a recovery day, but I did a 7 miler. Even if I don’t follow the program perfectly, it’s great to have another tool in my fitness toolbox. If you want to check it yourself, you can look at their website here or search for “Mountain Athletics” in your app store. Just a heads up, I downloaded it to my iPad mini, but I’m assuming the Apple and Droid apps have similar functionality. Also, this is not sponsored or anything, just my desire to share (though The North Face, if you’re reading, I’m interested, haha).
Because I’m a runnerd, I was excited to get my newest Runner’s World magazine. I was particularly geeked when I saw this:
You may have noticed from pictures that I run with a hat. While that is for some functionality and vanity, like keeping the sun off my face and warding off sun damage, it’s also because I can not wear sunglasses while running because they won’t stay on. And as much as I love having UV damage to my eyes and early crow’s feet wrinkles, I wear a hat to diminish those effects as well. I gaze longingly at the coolness of runners in sunglasses, but alas, my face is flat and I don’t have much of a nose bridge. I am telling you, things in America are not made for my face shape/profile. Just another example of the ongoing oppression of my peoples. Ha.
Anyhow, when I saw that post in the table of contents of the new RW, I leapt for joy. SOMEONE was validating my pain! I was not crazy. Now I just need to find a way to either get them to sponsor me (hm, I see a pattern to this post) or wrangle some other way of getting a pair. I hear Mother’s Day is coming up 🙂 Maybe I should just create a “donate” button for every tidbit of Asian/Korean knowledge you glean from my posts. You didn’t know about the woes of sun/glasses issues we had. I’ve also had issues with snorkeling masks…
Anyhow, let me know if you try the Mountain Athletics app what you think! Or if you have other things I can try (I like my yoga app and Youtube videos). Happy running/recovery!
P.S. I forgot to mention that Jen qualified at Champaign with a 3:39. She’s been contacted by the race director that her time will be certified, so I’m continuing this BQ journey solo into the early fall. Wish her congrats, or a kick in the pants.