Lauren’s Lessons Learned

lessons learned

Here are my lesson’s learned from training for this half marathon.  I’m not 100% sure how I’m going to fix all of them yet, but I wanted to record them for posterity’s sake.

1. I need to do more core work.  My back and core hurt a lot.

2.  My hamstrings are still really tight…they need even MORE work.

3.  My feet and ankles need a lot more strengthening.

4.  This one is a biggie: I need to get away from my heel strike.

5. I don’t do any speedwork.  Need to fix that!

6. I need to increase mileage SLOWLY.

7. I cannot cheat on my workouts.  I will definitely pay for it later.

8. I need to improve my nutrition.

A lot of these flexibility/strengthening problems will slowly start to be corrected by continuing yoga and continued work with my trainer.  I am working on a plan to slowly increase mileage.  The rest still need a plan, but I’ll get there.

Have you ever had to step back and re-evaluate your training plan? What big changes did you make?

ReACT Trainer

Do you ever walk into the gym, see a new machine and think; “that looks cool!”? That’s what I thought about the ReACT Trainer. I made the horrible mistake of mentioning that thought to my trainer.

Last night he put me on the ReACT machine.  For those of you who haven’t seen this instrument of torture piece of machinery, it is a Rapid Eccentric Anaerobic Core and Strength Trainer.  It basically looks like a small treadmill.

react trainer React trainer 2

The goal is to keep your head, shoulders and chest level as the platform moves.  It really works your core and your legs.  My legs were burning after a minute on this thing.

To best describe the motion, its kind of like mogul skiing.  Its a strange sensation.

mogul skiing

Proven benefits of reACT include:

– Rapid increases in muscle mass, strength, and power compared to other training methods.

– Improved balance, coordination, and kinesthetic awareness.

– Improved core strength and stability.

– Injury prevention by improving the muscles ability to absorb force.

This machine is hard. Every muscle in my legs were screaming for relief! I’m surprised to report that I’m not very sore today, but it was definitely hard while I was doing it.

Have you ever tried a ReACT trainer? What new machinery have you tried recently?

Recap of the Week

This week has been pretty uneventful.  After a week of being sick, I knew getting back to the grind would be tough – but I was so ready to get back to the gym.  With Shamrock looming over my head, I needed to feel as if I had been somewhat productive.


Did yoga with Jessie (friend from work and fellow runner).  We take a class at the gym that lasts about an hour.  I hate the rush of trying to get there, but I always love the intentional time to relax and stretch out!

We giggle a lot during this class.  We both do our long runs on Sunday (she’s training for the Shamrock marathon) and we have a lot of difficulty moving.  We also have terrible balance.  I’m sure it’s quite comical watching us.

For those of you who do yoga, I’m sorry, but “corpse pose” just makes me think of corporate nap time.  Anyone looking into that class would just think we are taking a nap and it just strikes me as funny.


My trainer, Danny, is creating a class called Fit 360, which heavily features kettlebells.  He asked some of his clients to come to the class and help him demonstrate his style of teaching.  After a week off, the hour long class was intense!

We started with some foam rolling and dynamic stretching. We then split up into groups and had 4 stations we worked through.

Station 1:  10 swing lunges each side with kettlebell (10lbs), 90 sec jump rope

Station 2: 20 squat and press (reverse grip) each side (12 lbs), 60 second wall balls (8 lbs)

Station 3: 30 kettlebell swings (15 lbs), 30 second wall sit

Station 4: 20 situps with kettlebell (5lbs), 12 russian twists with kettlebell, rest


Rest day! Aka spend time with boyfriend day.


Thursday is a Danny day.  Foam rolled and did some static stretching for about 20 minutes.  I don’t really know how to explain what we did for the first part, so lets just say I did some stretching that involved squats and hip thrusts 🙂

Second part was 3 sets:

Side plank with arm on bosu ball.  Upper arm did 15 rows each side with a resistant band.

:30 Plank with feet on bosu ball (I HATE planks.)


Rest Day – had family in town.


I contemplated going to the gym, but my body told me no.  I did get a decent workout cleaning the house though!


The dreaded long run.  I have literally been dreading this all week.

The plan said to run 12, but I knew my body wasn’t having that.  I compromised with Patty that I’d do 8 with her (with a small refueling break back at the house at 4 miles).

Mile 1 was ok.  Mile 2 was hell.  By 2.5 miles I was yelling for a walk break.  We had a small heat wave today (in the 60s) and my body wasn’t having any of it.  Too hot!  My favorite temperature to run is about 40-50 degrees.

We ended  up walking the rest of the 4 miles….our walking is about a 14 minute mile pace, so its not like we were resting…

Anyway, at our break, we picked my 12 y.o. stepsister.  We compromised a run/walk with her.  Didn’t tell her it would be 4ish miles 🙂

Ended up with a total of 9 miles in 2 hrs 20 minutes.  Ended up with an overall pace of…what…15 1/2 minute miles? Not too bad.

Wore compression sleeves for the first time today to help with my shin splints.  We will see how I feel in the AM, but so far so good.  My right hip is bothering me again. My feet also ache, but that’ll go away shortly.

EDIT (Monday AM): My hip is fine.  My feet still hurt. Knees hurt.  One day, this won’t hurt me so bad!

Overall, not a bad first week back from being sick.  On the other hand, Shamrock is in 2 weeks…eek!