My Step-back Week


I decreased my running miles this last week in order to give my body a break from the increase of miles I've been doing. It was a good workout week. We were blessed with some sunny days even in the dead of winter here in southeast Texas. Here are some exercise highlights from the week.


The Long Run & the Deer

By coincidence, I ran 14 miles on the 14th. It was almost 40 degrees when I began and it felt great to run in the cold, crisp air. This was my longest run since I ran the St. George Marathon in October and when I was done, I felt like I could have run farther without a problem.

I live next to a park where I often see deer. During my run, I kept seeing a group of three deer. One time, I saw them running just ahead of me so I sped up and tried to keep up with them. Then they stopped and stared at me. I took 10 pictures before I finally left to finish my run.
  • Pre-run: toast with peanut butter and honey and a banana
  • During the run: 6 dried apricot halves. Six apricots have 100 calories and 25 grams of carbohydrates, similar to a gel.
  • Post-run: chocolate milk


Longest Ride: 9 miles!

I rode farther than I remember ever having gone in one ride when I rode 9 miles this week. That ride was after an easy 5 mile run. I read that it's a good idea to switch things up and to ride first sometimes and to run first sometimes, too.

Strength Training

Livestrong Videos for Abs: Reverse Crunch, Toe Touch, Abdominal Twist, Bicycle and Leg Raises. I like the way that Coach Amy explains in detail how to perform the exercises.

Livestrong video for the arms: used weights.


  • Monday: strength training, 5 mile run, 9 mile ride
  • Tuesday: strength training, 14 mile run
  • Wednesday: rest
  • Thursday: strength training, 6 mile ride
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: 7 mile run (4x1 mile with 1 min. recovery)
  • Sunday: 5 mile ride, short workout on park equipment
Total miles I ran in my cut-back week: 27
Bike goal for each week: 15 miles total. Did it! Plus, I rode 5 extra miles. It was such a pretty day on Sunday and I wanted to get out in it!
Strength training sessions: 3+

Now it's time to plan out my workouts for next week. I'll pull out my copy of Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon: How to Be Your Own Best Coach by Hudson and Fitzgerald to plan my training runs for my half marathon in The Woodlands, Texas, in March.

Hope you're able to get in some good running, riding or lifting this week!


  1. We don't have deer here, I would probably stop and photograph them if I saw them on a run somewhere too. It's cool that they basically posed for you.

    My training plan for this upcoming half has step-back weeks in it. I'm hoping it helps keep me from getting injured again!

    1. It was really as though they were waiting for me to get a good photo and posing, like you said. Here's to an injury-free year for both of us!

  2. Great week and so awesome to see the deer!

  3. I am stepping back a bit too. It is taper time here. I like getting to step it back a bit an recover.

  4. The deer are quite plentiful around here in our yard! I love how they sort of freeze and watch you. Nice training week!

  5. A lot of mornings on the way to school the boys and I see a deer or several - they are always beautiful!
    Glad you were able to cut back a bit!!

  6. Great week of training. I am always impressed how regularly you are able to incorporate strength training. It is something I need to get better at!

  7. Great workouts! I often see deer on my runs! The first time I ever ran into one, she was blocking the path I was on. I had never encountered a deer before so I didn't know if I should run around her or not. I stopped and she went up on her hind legs and snorted at me. I was by myself and had never been so scared. I thought she would be more afraid of me than I was of her, but that was not the case! Be safe out there!

    1. That would be a shocker! Good point about not letting my guard down and remembering that even though they're fun to see, they're wild animals!

  8. I think it's so funny/odd how deer are not afraid of people at all anymore. When I was a kid you barely saw them before they saw or smelled you you and took off running as a result. I didn't see any deer on my run this morning, but I did see 5 or 6 wild turkeys and sled dogs pulling a scooter!

  9. I see deer all the time too at the parks I run at here in Columbus, OH! I'm forever stopping to take pictures because they always stop and stare! lol

  10. Anonymous1/20/2014

    Haha I think I figured out why you always run into deer - they know you carry apricot with you while running!

  11. I'm the opposite at the moment and need to step up my mileage as I've had plenty cut back weeks.

  12. Your most recent tweet was about putting structure in one's training to reach your goal.

    In this post, I am inspired to how I will put structure to mine.

    Although I've ran countless races in different distance discipline, I have to be honest and admit, most of those races lacke a strong structured preparation. I hope to change this in 2014. :)

  13. Sounds like we are both ramping up at the same time! I'm doing 14 this week. Was going to tomorrow but reallllllly rather not run early in hight teens/20 degree weather - so I may bump it back another day or two and wait for it to get in the 30's!


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