half training week four: treat yourself

I get really excited about infused water - such a simple way to elevate
When they say that the first three weeks of training are the hardest, it's ringing true thus far. Week four seemed just a tad easier than the last - and that's what progress looks like! Is it a coincidence that three weeks is 21 days and there is a saying that goes something along the lines of it takes 21 days to form a habit? Well I decided to dig a little deeper into this saying to find out if there is any truth to it, because 21 days seems a bit on the short side to form a habit. I came across many articles that called it a myth. Here is one from Forbes that goes beyond saying that it's a myth, but also that habit formation happens in steps, and takes a different length of time for every individual because we are exactly that - individuals. These are the steps: honeymoon (when it all seems so easy and you're SO motivated because it's new and exciting), the fight through (reality sets in and you're thinking, "wow this is actually so hard"), and finally the habit is formed and it is like second nature to you. This is when you've won - but you have to fight through for it.

Monday - 6k, 39 min
Today was supposed to be 5.5k but again, I didn't map my run prior properly and ended up running 5.15k when I got back so I decided to do another loop around and it turned into 6.1k. I really need to improve my spacial reasoning skills. This week I have started to do core work before my full stretch cool down/foam rolling as suggested by my pal and running guru Nate (shout out 2 u) and it's SO DIFFICULT!!! Ok, 30 second plank is fine but leg lifts are brutal, you really feel it after a run. My sister does these workouts on Youtube and I found one (below) that I can follow along with (kind of) after a run. She has this hashtag that she brings up during her videos...it's hilarious but hashtag I sure can feel the burn, Rebecca.

Tuesday - rest

Wednesday - 3k fartlek, 16+2 min cool down
I have been doing some research into fartlek/tempo run workouts so that I can improve my pace and came across a simple formula: 1-2-3-2-1. I'm not yet at the point where I know what my average 5k/10k/half pace is yet so I just alternate between "run" and "jog" - vague, I know, but I'm just trying to "feel it". The premise of the pattern is to spend one minute jogging, then one minute running, then two minutes jogging, two minutes running, and so on. It is very easy to keep track of, and you challenge yourself without even knowing it! Here is a photo of my pace throughout the run, it's cool you can see the run bits and the jog bits (and my slow decline into exhaustion). Thanks, Strava.

Thursday - 6k, 37 min
Tonight's run was slightly faster than last week's 6k! Hooray for progress. However, it was super hot and humid outside, so didn't make for a particularly comfortable run. I have Yeezy to thank to keep me going this eve, but I don't want to become reliant on audio (whether it is music or a podcast) to keep me going - it was to come from within. Back to stepping up that mental game. It's a process.

Friday - rest
Desi-licious HYFR
To all my lactose intolerant or sensitive friends, I have an "ice cream" solution...I bought this pistachio kulfi (pictured right) from Nofrills and it's BOMB. I'm obsessed and it's lactose free!!! And since it's officially summer, Wendy's dollar frostie's are back. It's such a great deal!!! Comparable (if not just as good as) dollar iced coffees from McD's all summer long. I went on a leisurely bike ride to McD's to grab an iced coffee and got it with regular cream, no sugar - this was a mistake. Regular cream is way too much cream. As someone who usually drinks their coffee black, I don't know what I was thinking. It'll be black iced coffee from here on out.

 - cross, bouldering
Happy Canada Day! Bless the fact that the climbing gym was open. Bouldering has become something that I crave, much like the kulfi pictured above. The feeling I get when I am able to send a route after a couple of tries is just super rewarding. Again, the whole mental and physical aspects together make bouldering an awesome sport! Got home and rolled it all out.

Sunday - 8.3k, 52 min
Long run today early in the morning. No audio - it was good. I felt myself getting tired out at around 5k, then sped up a bit and tired out again at 7k. The last k was good. Weather was ideal, but I was a bit sore from climbing yesterday - rolled out more after my run. Foam rolling is key. I think the pain would be so much more real without (but remember pain is not real!). This run really kicked off my day, but I found myself getting tired around 2pm - not sure if it was because I was walking around so much or didn't have enough protein after my run or I just simply needed a siesta.

Final Thoughts
I love morning runs. The air is crisp, nobody is around and the morning sunshine is divine. Sandwiching ab work between run and stretch has worked out so far, and hopefully I'll be able to feel my core strengthening over the coming weeks. Climbing has definitely helped with core as well. I used to walk five minutes before starting to run, but recently a warm up hasn't been part of the routine - this is likely problematic as I move into longer distances, because I definitely don't want to injure myself. I started the Mattock dynamic warmup, takes about 7 minutes prior to my run and it really kicks off cardio. Much easier transition into running rather than just starting cold.

Of course in life, nothing comes easy, that's why it's imperative to celebrate even the smallest of wins - celebrate yourself, because it wasn't easy and you did it!!! (It can be anything that pushes you out of your comfort zone). I'm not sure if it is true for others, but I find that I don't celebrate myself often enough. It's so much easier to be hard on yourself rather than saying to yourself, you did super well! I'm realizing that it is so important to acknowledge your efforts, because what's the point of working so hard if you don't treat yourself (i.e. with "fancy" infused water)? But at the same time, you can't treat yourself too often or else it leads to becoming insatiable. Everything in moderation, as I like to say.