Weekly Workout Recap, 8/5 to 8/11

I tuned this week down a bit, I think higher mileage plus new shoes have been making some of my joints twingey.

Monday: 35 min swim, 5 sets of 5 x 25 meters.

swim selfie

Pre-swim selfie! 1. I get my swim on in a Target one piece, 2. I have to wear my glasses until the last possible minute because I’m blind, 3. swim caps are for professionals

Tuesday: 4.25 miles, half trail half street, 11:47 average pace. I did some informal hill work. Dynamic warm-up, 10 min foam roll, hip strength 3 x 12 each move, clamshells 3 x 20 each side and bridges 3 x 20.

Tuesday elevation

Wednesday: off

Thursday: Yoga Zone Yoga for a Strong and Healthy Back Part 1: 18 minutes, Yoga Zone Evening Stress Relief Part 2: 21 mins. Hip strength 3 x 12 each move, 3 x 20 bridges.

Friday: Two miles on the treadmill

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Hopefully a 6-8 mile run to the California lighthouse in Aruba! OMG, that humdity got the best of me. I did get an hour of snorkeling and a half hour of rope swinging off a catamaran in! My body definitely felt like it got a good workout in on Monday.

Run: 6.25 miles

Swim: 35 mins, 1 day

Overall:  I focused less on mileage/intensity this week, and more on incorporating some healthy habits like yoga and hip/glute/hamstring strength work. I met my goal of getting a yoga day in and of increasing mileage of one of my runs even it was only a bit. This is the first week in a long time that I’ve ran on the treadmill, and it wasn’t horrible but I did miss my birdwatching.

How was your week?

Always, Sierra

It’s a bird eat bird world + Dynamic Warm-ups

I drove to one of my normal routes for yesterday’s run and had to fight the urge to throw the towel in. I had plenty of energy, but everything felt stale.

And then I saw this.

turkey vulture

That would be a turkey vulture taking a break from its afternoon meal. How crazy/awesome is it that I happened to be in the right place at the right time?!

I get that this might be disturbing to some, and sorry if I’ve offended you, but I am a biology geek to the extreme! Anytime I see nature in action I find it fascinating. Turkey vultures and I go way back. In college, I conducted a research project that involved positioning decaying meat in the wild to see how turkey vultures located their food and how accurate they were. Turns out turkey vultures are one of the few types of vultures that can use smell to find their next meal (Note: my research was in no way affiliated with National Geographic…only in my dreams!).

I digress. After seeing this turkey vulture so close and getting to watch it do its thing, I got all geeked out and excited. Suddenly I was all about exploring, wandering off the beaten path so to speak, and I ended up having a fantastic and scenic run.

off the beaten pathup hillview from the tophappy memarinaback to the bottom

I’ve never been big on warming up before runs, but I’ve been working on it the past couple weeks. This article about dynamic warm-ups showed up in my inbox one morning, followed not too much later by this blog post. If Hungry Runner Girl is doing it, it has to be legit right?! I’m a fan of trying out anything that makes me as fast as Meb:

  • Gets my heart going
  • Opens up my joints
  • Gets my key running muscles firing (glutes especially!)
  • Tells my mind that it’s time to get down to business
  • Helps me be a stronger runner

I did a little research and came up with a routine that takes me about ten to fifteen minutes to complete…not too long that it’s tedious, and not so short that it doesn’t accomplish anything.

dynamic warm-up

A typical run before dynamic warm ups:

pre dynamic warm up

A typical run after dynamic warm-ups:

after dynamic warms

The thing to focus on here is the first mile pace. Granted, my general sense of pace has improved as has my overall fitness. But, knowing that I was using my first mile as a warm-up in past runs gave me an excuse to run them anywhere in the 12-13 pace range, so that’s what I did.

Also, pre-dynamic warm-up, my legs usually felt like lead for the first half mile or more. Lead legs are much rarer these days. Going through the dynamic warm-up really makes my legs feel springier and more responsive. Maybe it’s mental, but whatever it is, I’ll take it.

Here are the resources I used to put together my routine. The first video is from Hungry Runner Girl’s post:

Let me know if you try the warm-up routine!

Always, Sierra

Do you warm-up before runs? What’s your routine?

Do you like seeing nature in action?

What gets your inner geek going?


Weekly Workout Recap, 7/29 to 8/4

It was a fantastic (and busy) week and I clearly didn’t get any posts up. Did ya miss me? A work project required evening prep time Monday and Tuesday (and all the prep paid off!).  Then, the Mr. came home on Wednesday after travelling for a week and a half, and we had a date night at one of our favorite spots. I was so excited to see him, it felt like we were back on our second date and newly giddy with liking each other. Even though I slacked on posting, I did keep my workouts a priority. Constantly reminding myself, consistency is key!

Monday: off

Tuesday: 30 min swim, 4 sets of 5 x 25 meters

Wednesday: 3.65 miles, street, side cramp most of the time, 11:24 average pace; dynamic warm-up (new shoes)

American White PelicanI love bird-watching while running, these American White pelicans stopped me in my tracks

Thursday: Off to attend After Dark at the Exploratorium with some good friends.

Friday: 4.01 miles, street, 11:37 average pace, dynamic warm-up, 10 min foam roll, hip flexor and hamstring stretches (new shoes)

Saturday: A day of high-rep, low-weight arm curls while moving food from my plate to my mouth. Girls picnic in the a.m. and a friend’s 30th birthday potluck in the evening.

Sunday: 3.01 miles, street, 11:06 average pace, dynamic warm-up, 10 min foam roll, hip flexor and hamstring stretches (old shoes)

Sunday Morning Run

Run:  10.67 miles, 3 days

Swim: 30 mins, 1 day

Overall:  All the cross-training I’ve been doing got sacrificed as soon as things got busy. Running is my priority, and it’s super easy to see that. I’m just glad I held onto the time I carved out for it. Since I’ve been focusing on consistency, my pace has definitely been slowly improving. I cut swimming short on Tuesday because my mind was not in the game. Instead of focusing on my form and breathing, all I could focus on was my work project, and I spent my time flailing around non-productively. I missed barrelates this Saturday. Some girlfriends and I had a beach day planned, but unfortunately one of them was in a car accident Friday night. She’s okay, but was obviously shaken up so we had an impromptu picnic instead with lots of tasty deliciousness, including this pasta salad that I whipped up. This next week I’m going to increase the distance of one of my weekly runs, and make yoga happen just once.

How was your week?

Always, Sierra

Weekly Workout Recap, 7/15 to 7/21

I started my weekly workout recap posts at the end of June, and then the next couple weeks passed without a peep, mostly because I haven’t been doing much to recap. I’m getting back into the swing of things, and struggling with feeling like I’ve taken a couple of steps back. Consistency is a lesson I learn over and over.

Monday: 2.57 easy miles trail/street combo, 11:56 average pace, nice and cool; foam roll 10 minutes, hamstring and hip flexor stretches

Tuesday: 30 min swim, 2 sets of 12 x 25 meters in 15 minutes; 3 x 30 seconds treading water.

Wednesday: 4.01 miles, street, slow and easy, 12:05 average pace; foam roll 10 minutes, hamstring and hip flexor stretches

Thursday: rest

Friday: 60 min yoga at home


Saturday: 60 min Barrelates class at bePhysique, 45 min walk. This was my first barrelates class and I loved it! The combination of strength, stretching and focus on form was satisfying and pretty intense.


I’m addicted to Peet’s Iced Coconut Latte – so refreshing!

Sunday: 2.01 miles, street, 11:13 average pace, trial run in new shoes and first time trying a dynamic warm-up

Run total: 8.58 miles, 3 days

Swim: 30 mins, 1 day

Overall: Sweet success! Three solid days of running at lower mileage to ease back into things. It was a great week of mixing more cross-training into my routine, including more stretching and yoga which my body has definitely enjoyed. I also tried out a dynamic warm-up for the first time and think it’s something that I’ll be incorporating as a regular part of my runs. More on that soon. 

Did you workout last week?

Always, Sierra