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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Last run of the year

And the only exercise I got over Christmas. Oh well.

After two weeks of doing nothing I finally felt guilty enough to do something. I stopped tracking my calories completely during Christmas - there's just no use. By some Christmas miracle I've maintained my weight when really and truly I should have gained. I mean my mom brought me my favorite Red Chili Burro from my hometown Mexican food place plus homemade tamales. Ooooh just thinking about them makes me salivate.

The weather has been cold - now I'm in Tennessee so cold is relative. I realize this but for me 30-40 degrees is too cold to be outside. I'm from the desert - remember. But I sucked it up since it was in the mid 40's today. Yes, there was wind but most of the greenway was sheltered. Yes, it tried to rain and snow on me after 5 miles but by then I was too far in to the run to give up.

My original plan was to run 6 miles but I ended up going 10. Still have pain in my right leg but not enough to stop me this time. I took it slow - 12 minute miles which included walking breaks. I had a nice time and thought about how far I've come in the past year. Last December 30th I had not yet run 4 miles. I never had run any type of race. I still thought it was rather ridiculous to run even 5k and I was wearing very old shoes with no type of running support and cotton shirts. I had not heard about Running Penguins, PR's, or tempo runs. And I still preferred to run on a treadmill (thank goodness I grew past that).

And now, well I still have a lot to learn and I certainly haven't broken any records (except my own PR's). I'll never be the fastest or the best at running but that's not my goal. My goal is to just keep running. To get a little bit faster and better but slowly and over time.

This year my goals are to run a 28 minute 5k and to run another 1/2 with the hopes of getting under 2:30. I also would like to lose this last 20 lbs. I'll participate in boot camp again and continue to watch my diet (after the holiday treats stop tempting me). Earlier this year I talked about eventually doing a full marathon and I still think about it but I'll have to see how this coming year goes. If I were to do one it would probably be the St Jude Marathon in Memphis in December. So it may not be 2010 but I'll keep thinking about it. It's not that I don't think that I can do it - I'm sure I could do it but the time it will take to train is intensive and it's hard to do that right now with my jobs and family.

I've enjoyed writing the blog and thank you all for reading - even the people I don't actually know in real life. Keep reading and encouraging me - I definitely need it.

Happy New Years!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Imbalanced

This week has been okay - I've exercised every day but my intake of calories hasn't been as good. I haven't eaten so much that I'll gain weight but I probably won't see a 2 lb loss again this week. Part of it can be blamed on Wednesday's department Christmas party/lunch - so much good stuff cooked in butter. The other part can be blamed on PMS. In fact, even if I could overcome my need to consume everything in sight I would probably still maintain my weight as I start to retain water. The real trial will start tomorrow since my rec center is now closed until January 4th. Now I have to force myself outside in the cold/wet weather or run mindlessly on my treadmill at home.

After reviewing my latest thyroid numbers I've still decided to hold off on medication. My levels while under the normal limit (and thus indicating hypothyroid) aren't too far under the normal limit and I don't have bad symptoms. After having such a bad reaction to synthyroid I'm not eager to try any other drugs yet if I have no symptoms.

My fitness assessment revealed that I have 39% body fat which is bad. I didn't expect it to be that high after all this running but it does match the fact that I still need to lose 20 lbs. My Christmas wish is to get a heart rate monitor/watch thing so I can try to do more cardio within that "fat burning" zone rather than getting too high where I'm just burning off carbs. It's a bit depressing but it's also motivation to keep working out.

I probably won't have much to report on over the next week unless I do manage to get out in the winter weather and run. I made up a training schedule to work on getting those 9 minute miles for my 5k so I do have a plan to stick to.

Stick, stick, stick.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Weekly Results - 12/7-12/13

Sunday 12/6 - Day off from exercise and a "cheat" day for eating. Started to count calories but stopped after it became depressing...

12/7 Exercise - 1000 calories, Eat: 2285 calories, Net: 1285 calories
12/8 Exercise - 550 calories, Eat:1666 calories, Net: 1116 calories
12/9 Exercise - 600, Eat: 1641 calories, Net: 1041 calories
12/10 Exercise - 175, Eat: 2034 calories, Net: 1859 calories (bad)
12/11 Exercise - 730, Eat: 1374 calories, Net: 644 calories (bad)
12/12 Exercise - 400, Eat: 1240 calories, Net: 840 calories (bad)
12/13 Exercise - 810, Eat: 2071 calories, Net: 1261 calories
Total:
Exercise - 4265 calories
Eat: 12,311 calories
Net: 8046 calories
Avg Daily Net: 1149 calories

I was able to lose 2 lbs last week bringing my total weight loss to 9 lbs for my 6 weeks of boot camp. And while my avg daily net calories are fine I did a lot of swinging back and forth this week which can play havoc on my overall metabolism. So this week I'll try to be better. ;)

I've said it before but I love http://www.myfooddiary.com/. It's an awesome way to track your calories and exercise.

Today I talk with the Dr. about thyroid meds and I meet with my trainer for a fitness assessment. Since boot camp is now over I'll get through this week with some regular aerobic classes and cardio at the rec center which will be closed starting next week. So for the two weeks it's closed in December I will try and be good about running (either outside or on our treadmill at home) and doing Jillian's Shred for cross-training. The next boot camp doesn't start until the end of January so my plan (right now - we know how it changes) is to focus on some short runs with speed training for the next 6 weeks. I've signed up for the Zoo Run Run 5k on January 24th and my goal is to run it in 28 minutes. That will be a difference of 3 minutes from my first race last January. It's attainable if I keep focused on speed training. There will be cross-training as well and I hope to stay focused on the diet. If I keep doing what I'm doing I can reach my goal weight by March and that just sounds amazing to me so it's keeping me on track for now.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Paula Deen you evil witch.

It's very hard to focus on watching your caloric intake and getting umpteen million calories burned per day (I never exaggerate) when you're looking up at the gym t.v.'s and see this lady making cookies. We're talking full sticks of butter, cups upon cups of sugar, chocolate and caramel delights...

I love her and I hate her.

Down one more pound - that's 8 pounds total since boot camp started. Only one more day of boot camp left so I won't get to my 10 pound goal but I'm very happy with that number and it will give me more motivation to stay away from the cookies this Christmas. Well, I'll still eat cookies - just not so many cookies.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A glimpse inside my mind

Ok so yesterday I was getting in some cardio on the elliptical before heading to boot camp. I had my iPod with me and this song was on (one of my favorites):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJQFf0qj9Nk
The Offspring - Come out and Play

But on the TV was this video:
http://pbskids.org/bigbigworld/video02.html?playertype=realmedia;speed=hi;mediatype=video;media=/kids/bigbigworld/curve_of_the_world_lo.rm,/kids/bigbigworld/curve_of_the_world_hi.rm,/kids/bigbigworld/curve_of_the_world_lo.wmv,/kids/bigbigworld/curve_of_the_world_hi.wmv,/kids/bigbigworld/curve_of_the_world_lo.mov,/kids/bigbigworld/curve_of_the_world_hi.mov;widescreen=true;basepath=/bigbigworld/video02.html
(wow that's a long url)

Edit on 7/16/10 this URL no longer works and I don't have another clip of It's a Big Big World that matches up as nicely but you can see try this experiment on this YouTube clip if you get to about the 50 second marker on it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piJosKXvpyA

Go ahead and open up both windows. Get "Come out and Play" started until he starts to sing and then start the other Big Big World video but put that one on mute. Maybe you'll be as amused as I was - or maybe not

Monday, December 7, 2009

"I want you to feel like you're going to die!"

I "heart" Jillian. And I'm not techo savy enough to know how to put the "heart" emoticon on the computer but I do have an advanced degree (for what it's worth).

Back in August I bought Jillian's 30 Day Shred which has 3 levels of torture. If you're not familiar with it each workout is 20 minutes long and is divided into three parts which are further divided into three parts:
Part 1: 3 min strength, 2 min cardio, and 1 min abs
Part 2: 3 min strength, 2 min cardio, and 1 min abs
Part 3: 3 min strength, 2 min cardio, and 1 min abs
All three levels are the same length, she just increases the intensity of the exercises. Like in level 1 you can get away with doing jumping jacks and pretend jump rope for your cardio. Where as in level 2 you have to do mountain climbers. And I've blocked out what level 3 is because I don't think my brain could handle it.

All you need is 20 minutes and some hand weights. So last week I finally bought some 5 lb weights (because I learned the hard way that I cannot do this video with 10 lb weights). And while I didn't feel like I was going to die this time around it was a good workout. We'll see how I feel when I increase the levels. But it's an improvement to my try in August when I only made it through 10 minutes of this video (with 10 lb weights albeit). I plan to use the DVD over break since I won't have gym access for a couple of weeks.

Yesterday I stuffed myself full of finger foods, cookies, and adult beverages and stopped counting calories after I hit about 2500 - it was bad, very very bad. Today it was back to boot camp and the elliptical to try and undo some of the damage.

But before my day of carnage (aka Annual Cookie Exchange) I did weigh myself and I got my 2 lb loss last week. That had disappeared by this morning but I knew it was more due to bloating from all the salt and alcohol I consumed the day before. It should float back down again now that I'm behaving.

This is the last week of boot camp. I signed up for a personal fitness assessment to be done sometime this week or next - I'm curious to know my body fat and metabolic rate and all that jazz. I also get my new thyroid test results sometime this week. So this next month should be filled with all kind of fun medical drug experiments. Wish me luck.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Weekly Results 11/29-12/5

Sunday - 6 mile run and 2 mile cursing limp back to my car.
Calories burned approx 1200

Monday-Thursday - 1/2 hour boot camp and additional 30 min of cardio on bike and elliptical.
Calories burned approx 500-550 per day

Friday - no boot camp, lunch at La Siesta, guilt all afternoon, 20 minutes of Jillian's 30 day shred level 1 that night.
Calories burned approx 150-200

Saturday - 15 minutes vigorous walking (4-5% incline) and flat running (5.5 speed); 23 minutes on bike, 29 minutes on elliptical
Calories burned approx 500

Total Calories burned: approx 3900-4000
Calories consumed: approx 10,400

Calories per week needed to maintain weight: approx 14,000
Net calories: 6400

We'll weigh tomorrow to see official weight results. But next week I have been commanded to eat more calories from my trainer. She said it was fine to do this for one week but that daily my net caloric intake should be 1200 per day. This week the average was less than 1000. I definitely don't want to put my body into starvation mode where it will eat muscle rather than fat. I have a Christmas party tomorrow so I'll be adding in some empty calories but over all I've felt really good this week. Hungry at times but not tired. I noticed I felt horrible after my Mexican food indulgence on Friday. Part of what I've loved about this week is the balance of food that I've eaten - the right amounts of fat/carbs/protein, just not enough calories overall to balance out the exercise. However, next week I probably won't add in AS much extra cardio so my net caloric intake will be a bit different. The trick is to not bounce up and down and make my metabolism go crazy.

I'll post more about Jillian's workout video tomorrow when I weigh in.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

So far so good but so hungry (like the wolf)

Day 3 of 1000 calorie loss days. I've gotten in my exercise and eliminated my calories accordingly. Another pound down on the scale already but I won't do an official loss until next Monday because things fluctuate so much. I'm actually enjoying the ellipitical - this used to be my cardio machine of choice before I got into running. If you pump up the level high enough it can burn as many calories as running (well if the machine is calibrated right).

I feel good and am having fun. I actually have more energy throughout the day and am not wiped out in the evenings. My diet, while lower on calories, is higher in the good stuff that I need - I'm making sure that I'm not cutting out on nutrients and am keeping a balanced mix.

But today, today I'm hungry. I already ate lunch and it's only 11:30. I still have boot camp to go through and will most likely be starving after that. Temptation time! So to keep me motivated I found myself a little Duran Duran: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJRCE6e2xIg.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Post Turkey Challenge

Here is my challenge for the week - to eat 1500 calories and burn 500 calories a day for 7 days to give me a calorie loss of 7000 which in theory should be a 2 lb weight loss in a week. This means I have to increase my cardio since my bootcamp only burns between 200-250 per class (so depressing).
I can survive the 1500 calories with careful planning but the exercise will be a challenge to fit in those extra sessions. I also am looking for low impact cardio to give my hip a rest so I'll be on the bike and elliptical a lot this week. Maybe I can get some laps in the pool in if I can plan it accordingly (such as I can't swim at lunch and go back to work because of the whole "wet hair" issue).


I'm not going to do this every week because it's a lot but I think I can handle one week of a challenge. Anyone want to join me? It doesn't have to be a daily 1000 calorie loss but with 500 per day you can lose up to 1 lb in a week. You can divide up the calories between eating less and exercising more. Join me so we can be bitter and complaining together - that is until we look at the scale at the end of the week.

Monday, November 30, 2009

A good run gone bad

Just like Ralphie, my mama would have washed my mouth out with soap after Sunday's run. I got 6 miles in and my right thigh and hip locked up. The bad part was that I still had 2 miles back to my car. So it was a long, slow, and painful walk back to my car with many words muttered quietly as I limped along. I put back on my jacket and hat and cursed the wind that was making me cold when just a few moments ago I was sweating buckets. I covered my half marathon shirt because it was no longer cool to be seen wearing it - it's one thing to be jogging along but to walk VERY slowly while wearing a race shirt is another.

But before that moment it was a nice run. Six miles through the greenway and battlefield. Crunchy leaves and a pleasant breeze. Lovely thoughts of all the calories I was burning since it was the only exercise that I got over the holiday weekend. For a few moments all was right with the world. I could feel the stiffness in that leg and hip and it did get progressively worse throughout the run but right at 6 miles when I slowed down for a walk I just couldn't go on any further.

It's either my abductor or iliotibial band - I'm sure I'm not stretching enough. I'll talk to our trainer at boot camp today. I'll probably have to adjust some of my classes this week to give it some rest. And good news despite the lack of exercise and extra calories this weekend I'm down another pound (well I was down before my Thanksgiving gorge-fest and I managed to maintain that).

For other great quotes from The Christmas Story check out this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GA3HPlMhOE.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What men will never have to deal with

Weighed myself again today - lost three pounds in two days.

Hooray for periods?

Our trainer for boot camp recommended this website to track our food and exercise:
http://www.myfooddiary.com/ It costs $9 a month but I'm really pleased with the abundance of information that it provides. I've found over the past few days that I am okay with my caloric intake (once you count my exercise) but I still have too much fat and way too much sodium in my diet. The fat was a surprise since I didn't think I ate fatty foods but I guess it sneaks up on you. The sodium is not a surprise and I'm at a loss of how to cut it down without making everything from scratch - hard to find time to do that. It takes time and effort to track all of this but it is helping me make better decisions throughout the day knowing that I have to account for it later.

My plans for the holiday weekend are to get some runs in and to try Jillian's Shred video again. That will be the closest thing I can get to boot camp while the rec center is closed.

I just watched this clip on Hulu and am amazed at Rebecca's arms (and her tan): http://www.hulu.com/watch/110009/the-jay-leno-show-biggest-loser-rebecca. Can't wait for the Biggest Loser Finale next week and the "Where are They Now" episode tonight.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Highs and lows

Today started week 4 of boot camp (it's 6 weeks total). Monday's are Bosu and high step. Rah freakin' rah... It was very tough because my legs were worn out and I'm feeling low and sorry for myself.

Besides a great weekend of working out (more on the highs later) and 3 weeks of boot camp workouts my weight remains exactly the same. It's very, very frustrating to put in the pain and energy of boot camp to see no results on the scale. I know the lack of weight loss is mostly due to my diet and thyroid issues but really in my diet I've stayed the same (not perfect but not indulgent either). I will (eventually) focus on the fact that I'm getting stronger and more toned but for now I'm frustrated.

But I don't want this post to be as whiny as I feel so I'll end with my high. On Saturday we went out to eat at Moe's for lunch. I knew this wasn't great diet wise so I planned on a good workout. My first thought was to try a mini-tri workout (bike 10 mi, run 5k, swim 10 laps - can't remember the meters on that anymore but I think it's close to a 1/4 mile). I made it through the bike in 35 minutes - not fast but a good workout for me - it did include two big hills. On my run I noticed that I was averaging 9.5 minute miles and I was able to maintain that pace for the whole 5k. I was super excited to have a 28.5 minute 5k. But I was also super exhausted and out of time so I postponed the swim for another day.

I was going to swim on Sunday but it was easier to get away in the morning and the rec center doesn't open until 2 pm on Sundays. So instead I hit the Greenway for a recovery run. I didn't keep time and I had plenty of walking breaks but I went a full 6 miles. My right hip flexor is really tight and was sore through that run/walk.

So to review:
Highs - sub 29 minute 5k, logging in 20 miles this weekend (between bike and run), and working out 7 days in a row.
Lows - what's to show for it?!

Next thyroid check is December 8th. I know it's wacky because I've been exhausted lately. I am tracking my calories so I can see what changes I need to make in my diet as well. The problem is when I start counting calories I start thinking about calories and how much I NEED more calories. It's a vicious circle.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Surviving Boot Camp

Still here - just nothing really entertaining to blog about. Second week of boot camp was much better than the first. Although on Wednesday our trainer thought it would be fun to run a relay race and while we were waiting our turns we had to first sit in a squat and then in the second round hold our positions in a plank - it was multiple minutes of holding squats or planks. Really, really good times...

Ugh.

But I can feel/see a difference in my hams and quads so I know it's doing the job I signed up for and I love the social aspect of the classes as well. It's nice to be in misery with somebody. Especially when all the other people in the class are employees and not students so we don't feel like we're competing with perky and skinny 18 year olds.

No weight loss yet but as long as I see some inches lost I'll be satisfied. I'm going to try a double class on Wednesday (both the lunch and afternoon class).

Monday, November 9, 2009

Take that Bosu ball

You'll be happy to know that I'm feeling better and over my pity party of last week. An hour long massage on Thursday afternoon started to put me back in the right state of mind. Friday's boot camp class was spin and I was happy to do - high cardio but low impact sounded just about perfect at that moment. We also got our weekend challenge which was to climb the equivalent of the Sears Tower (110 floors). The email was a bit confusing in that the trainer first said we could split it up but then clarified that we really should try to do it all at once. So I ended up climbing 160 floors over the course of the weekend - 50 on Friday and 110 on Saturday once I reread the confusing email. I also got a little over 6 miles worth of running in. The running was hard and awkward but my thighs were trashed from a week of intense boot camp so I didn't feel too bad about it.

Today was back to classes and the trainer made us get TWO steps and the Bosu ball. Eviiiillllll. But I survived - probably because I put one step at it's lowest setting possible and my legs are longer but I'll build up to it. I'll be sore but hopefully I won't be an invalid like last week.

But I'll say it again - exercise begets more exercise. Once you start getting into a routine (and past the soreness) you love it and go back for more. I was happy to exercise this weekend and slightly considered doing the afternoon boot camp as well but I know better than to push myself that hard quite yet - I do want to keep this good attitude and still move tomorrow.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Floating on Darvocet

Day three of boot camp was yesterday. I couldn't do the actual boot camp which focused on step and the Bosu ball (evil contraption) - my legs couldn't handle it. So instead I went to Ultra Sculpt which the trainer promised me would be just arms and abs. Sounded good at the time until that night when the soreness started and suddenly I no longer had full use of ANY of my muscles. My abs and arms had been my back up for what my legs couldn't do and now they were weak and useless to me as well. In the middle of the night my neck and shoulder seized up and I had to slowly and painfully get up from bed in search for the ibuprofen. Even getting up and down from the toilet requires feats of strength and groans of agony.

So this morning as I hobbled around my house, needing help from my husband to even get up from a chair, I decided that to survive the day at work I would have to endure medicine head. Out came the Darvocet and now I float at my desk. In less pain which is good but completely useless mentally as well.

I really am trying to keep a good attitude. I'm trying to tell myself that the first week back is the hardest and I'll feel better soon. But I think all the lactic acid has gone to my brain and today I don't feel peppy or upbeat. I feel tired and discouraged. I want to go back to easy running where I can stop when I feel tired and where only one or two muscles hurt rather than every muscle in my entire body. All I can do is just keep my eye on the end goal and not on where I'm at right now.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The conversation we should all be having.

Chapter 7 of week seven (go to 46:20) on Biggest Loser. Love it. (Sorry you have to deal with the commercials)


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Epic Wake Up Call

Heloise asked for a meeting today.

Me: Heloise, how are you doing today?
Heloise: I'm here on behalf of my neighbors, Ms. Ham and Ms. Quad.
Me: Oh really? What's going on with them.
Heloise: They would like to say, "WHAT THE HELL?"
Me: Goodness.
Heloise: Do you like walking like your upper legs are made of jello and groaning out loud every time you sit down or get up?
Me: Not really but I need to strengthen my leg muscles again so they don't look like puffy marshmallows. Do they want to look like marshmallows?
Heloise: That's not the point.
Me: That is exactly the point, plus they kept hurting every time I ran.
Heloise: You could always stop running.
Me: Then YOU would like a marshmallow too.
Heloise: I'll tell them to stop their whining.

Day two of boot camp is over. I forgot how sore I could really get. I didn't think I got that far out of shape by ignoring cross-training but I did, oh boy I did. Last night was a 45 minute class that consisted of about 30 minutes of a combination of step, squats, and lunges. My heart rate was through the roof and I barely made it down the stairs of the rec center to go home. Today when I walk my knees tremble. Today's boot camp was similar to last night except we added weights for arms and it was 30 minutes total. What on earth did I sign up for?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I didn't even know I had a rectus femoris

But man, I sure did know when I strained it.


I did a treadmill run on Tuesday night while watching Biggest Loser. I had too many carbs that day and felt full of energy. I started off with just a 5 minute walk/warm up and stretched before getting into my runs. My only goal for this workout was to burn 500 calories (at least according to the treadmill). I tried to spend as much time running at level 7 (8:34/mile) as I could. It was a good 45 minute workout. I felt good about it and didn't feel any pain at all while running. But as soon as I stopped that darn rectoral femoris flared up like someone had a clamp on it. It was stiff yesterday and feels a bit bruised today but not stiff anymore.

I'll work out at the rec center today and my 6 week boot camp starts on Monday. More than ever I'm looking forward to strengthening muscles so I can stop having these aches and strains whenever I run. As far as diet and weight is concerned, I'm still at the same three numbers that I've been for 10+ months now. It's gone up a little and comes down again. My goal is to lose 10 lbs in 6 weeks which I think is a very manageable goal but we'll see what my body does. I get my thyroid tested again in December. I'm not on meds for it right now since the meds whacked me out so bad back in May but we may revisit medication again if my numbers are bad in December. That's not a thing I'm looking forward to.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Plan - Version 3.4

I haven't been getting my runs in so the idea of another half in November has quickly become something that's not as attractive. My new alternative which I will be signing up for this Friday is to do 6 weeks of Boot Camp at our rec center on campus. I think it's time I did some workouts for strength, toning, and weight loss. This can only improve my running. I hope to still get some runs in but they'll be shorter (more cardio than endurance).

Nothing else to add for now except that Halloween and candy season approaches. :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

It's too windy

I thought about running today before we go on our short family vacation. But it's cold and windy out there. I hate running in the wind. Frankly, I had forgotten about running in the wind since it isn't very windy around here in the summer. But I need to get out there again. I didn't do anything this week since I was gone for half of it. Sure I could have fit in an early morning workout but if you know me or have followed this blog at all you should know by now that I'm not a morning workout kind of person. Maybe I'll get a run in while we're at the lake. It does have a lot of nice trails that would be good for a jog. We'll have to see who wins - the desire to run or the lazy person within.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Somewhere between winter running outfits and summer outfits

Fall is here and mornings are much cooler now. It really is lovely to run in 50 degree weather but it makes for outfit dilemmas. It's so cold at the beginning but you warm up pretty darn quick. Today I wore my full length running pants, my tank top, and a jacket and it proved to be just about right. The jacket came off after 3 miles but it never got too hot for the long pants. There were still plenty of other runners in shorts and t-shirts but I was way too cold in the beginning for that.

It's been a week now since running 13.1 - my monster. But I'm still thinking about slaying that dragon again with the hopes of slicing at least 5 minutes off my overall time - I'd be thrilled with a 2:30 finish. I didn't get any other training runs in this week but I had some ankle issues so I was being easy on it - plus it was dreary and rainy and well I made excuses.

So today's run was plotted out with the hopes of getting double digits but settling for at least 4 miles if needed. I'll tell you at first it seemed more likely that I'd only go about 3. My ankle stiffened up after about 1/2 a mile. It made me paranoid about the antibiotics I took last week. Apparently some antibiotics can make you more prone to getting tendinitis! Good grief. But as I progressed down the Greenway my ankle did get looser and felt better.

I got to the 3 mile marker and had to make my decision about how much further I wanted to go. I took a quick bathroom and pep talk break (you're stronger than this - you can do anything - rah rah rah) and headed down the path that would add at least 3 more miles and possibly 5 if I kept going. And I did keep going. Of course I had walking breaks and I felt leg stiffness as well - I really need to do more squats and tighten up my hams again.

The last 3 miles were hard but I was happy to get in my 11 miles. The time sucked but I wasn't doing it for time. At the end I was more bothered with a blister on the bottom of my foot so that was annoying. And I've lost another toenail that is still a bit tender. My shoes really are big enough so my only thought is that I lost it due to increased mileage.

But here are the results for this week:
10/4 - much deserved rest after 1/2
10/5 - still resting
10/6 - 3.5 miles with plenty of breaks
10/7 - 10 min bike warm-up, 30 minutes of weights, 10 min walk
10/8-10 - excuses and rest
10/11 - 11 miles (2 hr 20 min'ish)

This next week won't look like the training plan I made up for myself since I'll be sitting on a bus for a good portion of Tuesday and Wednesday but I hope to get at least 2 small runs in and another long run when we go on a family vacation next Sunday-Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fickle, thy name is Judy

Fickle: adjective; marked by lack of steadfastness, constancy, or stability : given to erratic changeableness.

I was sincere in my attempts to find something new to train for when I saw this little diddy coming up in November...

Nashville 1/2 Marathon - I Run for the Party

Yes, yes I know I said that I wasn't looking to run another half "anytime soon" but I thought about it some more and came up with these reasons of why I should consider it.

1) I've already done the training. It would be just another month of maintaining my current effort and putting in some cross training to strengthen my muscles.

2) Since I've done the training why lose it all so quickly?

3) It's only 1/2 an hour away and it starts at 8 am (yes I've tripled checked the start time - lesson learned) so I don't have to leave so God awful early in the morning.

4) There's beer at the end.

Okay, number 4 really doesn't matter to me. I've never been in the mood for a beer at the end of a long run but it makes it sound more fun.

I talked to the hubby about the reality of me still putting in long runs on the weekend and he agreed (with a sigh - taking care of two young kids is a lot of work). I don't have to sign up for a while. I've already missed all the early registration discounts so I'll give it a week or so to stew in my brain.

I didn't make it to spin last night but I did have a short'ish (3.5 miles) run on my treadmill at home last night while I watched The Biggest Loser. How psychotic is Tracey? The run wasn't bad but I started getting a pain in my left calf which I've never had. Nothing bothered me during the 1/2 last weekend so I don't know where this came from.

Plans for tonight are to hit the weights though with this soreness in my calf I may focus on abs and arms. We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Now what...

Given the fact that I'm not eager to start training for a marathon or another 1/2 what should I do next?

Today I'm doing spin and I want to keep running but I do better with schedules if I'm going to keep on track. So I'll have to think about some things or goals I want to accomplish.

I did find two pictures so far of me in the race (courtesy of the Daily News Journal):

That's me in the pink shirt and blue pants - #1793 (if you don't already know what I look like).

I'm like a giant next to that woman in purple. I'm not freakishly tall - I am tall (5' 8.5") but not freakishly tall.

Oh well I can't complain about the pics - at least they're better than this guy who quotes: "My favorite one is shown here. It's less "choking victim," I think, and more "angry baby who smells rotten eggs while imitating a velociraptor."

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I didn't die and I didn't hurl

**Posted first on my family blog which is why it references to this site.**

Two things to be very thankful for after your first half-marathon experience.

October 3rd has been a big scary date on my calendar for a few months and I'm thankful for it to be over. I haven't written much on this blog about my running but if you haven't kept up you can read over the boring entries on this site. I haven't been running for most of the summer. Heat is a big reason but there have been other health related issues as well. But in late August I picked up the pace again and prepared to run 13.1 miles without dying or hurling.

Before I even get to the race you have to realize that the past two weeks have been a flurry of activity. Not the time of reflection and pleasant long runs that I originally envisioned as I prepared for this race. I was gone for 3 days this past week in San Antonio to present a research project at a national conference. So that was added stress. I got in late last night and felt very overwhelmed at the thought of my next "adventure." It did sound like an adventure when I signed up for it. The giddy thoughts of being able to tackle this huge beast. But on the eve of facing the beast I started to have second thoughts.

The alarm went off at 6 a.m. this morning. I hate waking up early and am not in the habit of running first thing in the mornings. But I got up, got ready, made some breakfast and coffee and then just happened to look at one of the handouts for the race and realized that the race did NOT start at 7:30 but at 7:00. It was 6:35.

C.R.A.P.

Thankfully, my nice husband had already picked up all of my race materials (including my timing chip) so realistically all I had to do was make it to the line in 25 minutes. This was possible since I live less than 10 minutes away from the start line (with no traffic). So I shot out the door only later realizing that I should have grabbed the cell phone to tell my husband. He went back to bed and so I couldn't tell him before I left. Earlier we had made plans for him to bring the kids and meet me around the 1/2 way point. The rendezvous time would be changed drastically with a 30 minute difference. This worried me but was put in the back of my mind as I approached campus and realized they were already blocking off roads and the detours were pushing me further and further away. I did finally weave my way through back roads and sped through campus (praying for no bored campus cops) and made it to the parking lot with 10 minutes to spare. There was no stretching or warm up time but my adrenaline was already pumping so there was a bright spot to the whole ordeal.

The race had 2000 participants and the line up was arranged by anticipated finish times. I lined up between the 2 1/2 and 3 hour marks and waited to go while looking around me to find anyone with a cell phone I could beg to borrow.

I didn't have a watch to time myself. Previously I had bummed M's watch but his sport's watch had broken and I never bought one for myself. So I didn't know the exact start time and just had to judge my pace by the actual time.

For non-runners I'll explain that there are two times in a race: the gun time (the time from when the gun goes off to when you finish) and your chip time (the time from when you actually cross the start line to the finish line). This can make a big difference in big races since you can typically wait 2-15 minutes before the crowd gets to the start line. Actually in HUGE races it's sometimes much longer than that.

We started off and I immediately got stuck behind some SLOW people. Maybe they knew how to pace themselves well but it was driving me crazy. I finally managed to get around them and then was able to enjoy the experience rather than look for a path around them. What I liked most was the sound of hundreds of feet hitting the pavement, that low rumble of excitement. Everyone was still in a great mood at this point of the race and it was fun to see the spectators and listen to people's comments. I brought my iPod with me but didn't turn it on until around mile 2. I wanted to be able to hear everything while the crowd was still thick.

Miles 1-3 wound their way through residential neighborhoods that I've run in before but I really didn't pay as much attention to the neighborhood as I did to the runners around me. I saw the first porta-potty around 1.5 miles and wondered if I'd have to use it (felt the slight need even then). There was already a line for that porta-potty. I also probably soaked a volunteer with a cup full of water at the first water stop. I was trying to throw my cup in the trash and he was bending down right next to it to pick up all the cups where people had missed putting it in the trash. My cup happened to miss too. Oops.

Around mile 3 the course came to a point where you could see the front runners already coming back the other way (they were about to mile 6). And good grief they were booking it. Like between 5-6 minute miles. I can't imagine ever being able to go that fast for one mile let alone 5, 10, 15, 26+ miles. Those people are built much differently than me. :)

I finally realized that I would be passing a co-worker's house while on the course. She had mentioned earlier that she always watched the race so I kept my eye out for her and used the opportunity to ask to borrow her phone to call M and explain about the differences in the time. That worked out well and amused her greatly.

At the second water stop (just after mile 4) I decided to try some of the Snapple Water (agave flavored) and about hurled. It was not what my stomach wanted. But the feeling passed quickly. At that point the only breaks I had taken were to drink the water and to stop and use the cell phone for 30 seconds. I felt really good and not too tired. I had been asking random people what the time was so I knew I was doing about 11 minute miles at that point which was good though was risky if I wore myself out too much in the beginning.

We got to mile 5 and circled the courthouse. I stopped briefly again to call out to a friend's husband that happened to be there. I kept going and don't think I took another walking break until right before the 6 mile mark. I got to the 1/2 way mark and heard my little chip beep as we passed over the sensors. Here's my official results from that point:
Time/Minutes per mile - 1:09:36/11:03

As I approached the 7 mile marker I slowed down to a walk to make sure I was giving my husband enough time to meet me at the designated spot. I also knew that I was doing well on time and used the chance for a break. M and the kids were there and it was good to see them really quick. I took half of the power bar that I asked him to bring for me and continued to run and eat it. That about made me hurl too but eventually tasted good after my stomach woke up.

The next 5 miles aren't too exciting to write about. I was getting tired though I didn't feel too bad until mile 11. I saw a couple more people I knew and just kept focusing on points in front of me to get to until I was allowed another walking break. This stretch was mostly in full sun and I felt warmer though thankfully the weather was awesome and it was never hot. The best part of the this stretch was passing mile 9 and hearing a guy next to me call out, "hey mile 9! We kicked your ass!"

The group I was with were not in it for the glory or probably even for PR's (personal records). I think we were mostly there to prove that we could do it, to mark an item off a bucket list, or just because it sounded like an adventure at the time we signed up for it. The crowd REALLY thinned out after mile 9 and often there would be a several second gap between the person in front and behind me. Some people were able to pick up the pace for the last couple of miles but I was completely worn out. I kept going and didn't have another significant walking break. Mostly I knew that even walking was going to take too much effort so it was better just to finish. When I did think of slowing down or walking I just told myself that I couldn't give up. To let this be a good thing in life where I didn't give up, when in so many other areas I'm quick to give up when it becomes too much work.

And I finished. I crossed the line and saw that the gun time was just under 2:42. I fulfilled my goal which was to finish between 2:30 and 2:45. I knew I'd have some time taken off for my chip time but wasn't sure how long. It turned out to be not too long, my final results were:
Total time: 2:40:10, Total Minutes per Mile average: 12:14

So you can see that I slowed down quite a bit at the end to change my overall average. Part of it was the long walking break before meeting my husband and some was just going a lot slower. I knew I was jogging a 12 minute pace through the last 3 miles and was happy to just keep going. I also knew that I would not be signing up for another 1/2 in the immediate future. I think 10k's are better lengths but that being said - knowing that I can do it and with better prep it might be easier to do again. But don't ask me about running a full marathon (26.2 miles). That has been pushed WAY out of my mind. Not to say I'll never do it but I need to become a much better runner first.

I didn't take any pictures of the race but will post any decent ones of me that are available on the running blog. To finish all I'll say is that a year ago I would have never thought that I could or would run 13.1 miles (all at once). So don't be afraid to take on your own adventures. It probably won't kill you and hopefully you won't hurl.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I think it was 10 miles, it better have been 10 miles

I ran a slightly different route that can't be completely mapped on Gmap so I can't be 100% sure I ran a full 10 miles but I think it was pretty darn close. I am glad that I threw in an extra 1/2 mile in the middle as my poor muddled brain was trying to do math while running - not a good combination for me. In all it took 2 hours and 13 minutes but I'm shaving a couple of minutes off for stretching after the first 1/4 mile and breaking while I trying to figure out the distance by adding numbers in my head. So per mile it broke down to 13:05 which is slower than I hope to go on Saturday but I won't be stopping as much on Saturday. I think right now I'm looking at more of finish time between 2:40 and 2:45 - unless I have an extra energy boost from race day excitement.

I felt good throughout most of it. The last 1.5 mile was hard but it was more mental than anything else - yes my legs were tired but my brain was more tired (darn mental math - that must have really worn me out). I got to the end, happy that it was done. Happier that I had a Chocolate Toffee Power Bar in my car. God it was so good - especially combined with stretching.

The first two miles were in a park that didn't have many people going through it. I was able to see 3 wild turkeys and a deer while I was out which is always pretty cool. I then saw a stray dog which was not so cool. I decided to make my turn around a bit sooner so as to not come in contact with said dog. A little more than half way through was when I had my mental math breakdown and had to call home so my husband could read my notes back to me. This is why I need clearly marked trails or roads that can be mapped easily. Or perhaps it's time to suck it up and pay for a GPS device so I can stop trying to make my brain work so hard when really its only thoughts should be "breathe, left foot, right foot, breathe."

Boy am I sore though. Next week will be very tough. Those last 3 miles are going to be hard for me. I know enough to trust the people that say the race adrenaline will kick in and you'll be fine - but I also know myself and the shadeless portion of that race and know that it will be a tough go.

So my results from last week didn't meet the plan:
Wednesday - 3 miles & Sunday 10(ish) miles
Total: 13 miles

This week will be iffy too. I leave on Wednesday for a conference and won't be back until Friday night. I plan on taking tapering to its full advantage and not doing much this week training wise. I want to get out for a walk today to work out the lactic acid in my sore muscles but beyond walking I might not get much else done this week.

Right now though, those thoughts about someday doing a marathon are feeling quite beyond my reach. I just can't psych myself up to run for 5 hours. How do people get mentally ready for that?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

8 days to go

This isn't exact since I didn't account for the .1 mile at the end but it does give you an idea of what my per minute splits need to look like.

I did run last night but forgot if I was supposed to go 3 miles or 5 miles. Since I tuckered out at 2 miles I decided that the plan surely was to only go 3 miles. I had to run inside due to the (never ceasing) rain. It turned out to be a good thing that I did stop at 3 miles since I already missed two phone calls from my husband trying to tell me that our son had a 104 temp. The craziness of the week just doesn't end.
Plans are still to run 10 miles this weekend. It will be the first time I've ever gone that far. I hope to keep 12 minute averages for this run and need to remember to bring some type of watch with me. And perhaps a strong man or woman at the end to carry me to my car.

Still coughing but that didn't bother me too much during my run last night. Small favors I guess.

Monday, September 21, 2009

This is why I wasn't going to get the flu shot yet

I get the flu shot every year and every year I get sick right after getting the flu shot. Not with the flu - but with something. So this year my plan was to delay getting the flu shot until after October 3rd so it wouldn't interfere with my training plans.

Germs don't listen to my schedule.

I'm not sure I have the flu, it might just be a cold but along with the congestion it's just worn me out. I hate to think of walking from my bedroom to the kitchen so getting out and jogging a couple of miles (10 was the plan for Sunday) just isn't going to happen.

So fine. You win germs (yet again). I'll only have one more long run before my 1/2. I won't get in the planned mileage over the last two weeks. My time will suck on the 3rd but I'm still going for it. After all $70 is a lot of money to me. I just hope I feel better by Wednesday so I can still get in some mileage this week - that gives me 2 more days to recover. That's enough right?

Stop laughing you evil germs.

Weekly Results 9/13-9/19
Sunday: 8 miles, 1 hour 40'ish minutes
Monday-Tuesday: didn't get my 2 mile run in
Wednesday: 5 miles, 55'ish minutes
Thursday-Saturday: Sick
Total - 13 miles, lost 2 miles from plan due to sickness

Revised plan for 9/20-10/3
Sunday-Tuesday: Recover from sickness
Wednesday: 5 mile, easy run
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 2 mile, easy run
Saturday: 10 mile easy run
Sunday-Monday: Recover
Tuesday: 3 mile, easy run
Wednesday-Friday: Rest, walk
Saturday - half marathon

Thursday, September 17, 2009

They're not lying about cross-training

My schedule got a bit off this week though I'm still on track for the overall # of miles to do. I did one extra mile on Sunday and one extra mile last night so that makes us for not doing 2 miles on Monday - though it probably would have been better to do the short distances than combining them together.

I did a 5 mile jog last night and since we had about an hour of no rain (constant rain here for 3 days now) I went outside to the greenway. I had about an hour of daylight left as well though the last part of my run was done a bit faster since it was getting darker and I don't want to be alone on the greenway at dusk. So if you need a good motivation factor at the end of the run - use fear. It will keep you going. My time was somewhere between 11 to 11.5 minute miles so it was a good run for me. I had a blister on the bottom of my foot though - probably caused by the other shoes I was wearing yesterday and then aggravated by the run. And I was SOOOO sore at the end of that run.

I came to the realization that cross-training is missing but I just don't have the time to get it in over the next couple of weeks before the 1/2. I need more squats and lunges in my life (good grief - who says these things?). My hamstrings are much weaker than they were before. Who knew all that grunting, sweating, and cussing really was helping me?

Anyway, just a couple of thoughts from my corner - nothing new or exciting. I'm coughing again. Yay! Congested lungs and half-marathon training. Perfect combo...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Gramp'd

I recently learned that there's a phrase used in sports (maybe other places too) that if a guy is beat by a girl he's been "chicked". I find this amusing and not insulting. Especially since I was completely beat by two 70 year olds on my long run yesterday and think that there should also be a phrase called "gramp'd". Not that it takes a lot of effort or skill to beat me and there are a ton of older people that can blow past me but I found it particularly defeating on Sunday when not one but two 70 year olds ran past me with very little effort. But more on that later.

The scheduled plan for Sunday was 7 miles but I kept the option of going 8 in my mind as I ran along the greenway. After all once you get that far along adding another mile really doesn't make a difference. I started the run with a mindset of not wanting to be there at all. My muscles were tight and I was feeling lazy. Plus I already had to pee and there wasn't a bathroom where I started. I knew I'd have to go 1.75 miles in before being able to stop. But I also knew that once I got started that I would feel better about things (except for the need to pee).

I definitely felt more energy on this run. Thank God for carbs even though I can also say good-bye to any weight loss. I even thought about not stopping at 1.75 miles and continuing on to 2.8 miles for the next bathroom but common sense made me stop. I didn't want to stop because I knew I would lose my momentum and that proved to be true. It took a few minutes before I was able to start jogging again. I spent an unusual amount of time looking at the fish hanging out in the shallows of the river.

I got to the 3 mile marker and was passed by a woman in pretty good shape which at least inspired me to keep going before taking another walking break. However, after climbing a short hill I did have to stop and breathe. I kept going past the 3.5 mile marker knowing that another 1/2 mile wouldn't be a problem. But then I couldn't find the 4 mile marker. I knew about where it should be and it wasn't there. I ran a little further thinking that maybe I was mistaken and it was the next marker down but even in that state of mind I was able to realize that the four mile marker had disappeared and the next marker was 4.25. So I turned around and took my walking break. I could feel real soreness in my right hamstring this time so I did a little stretch.

I think I allowed myself a full 1/4 mile walk before jogging again and it was shortly after that where I was passed by the old lady jogging along in her cute tank-top and shorts. I knew that she had just started so I took some small comfort in the fact that of course she had more energy, she hadn't run 4 miles yet. Then I was charitable and hoped that I would still be running when I was her age. Then I was petty when her husband passed me by too. So I picked up the pace and let them be my pacers for the next mile and a half. They started slowing down and I was able to pass them but that was a mistake in that I was going too fast and needed a walking break. So they passed me by again and stayed in front of me for the rest of the time. But I was thankful for them because they did set a good pace for me to follow and made me think more about keeping up with them rather than on how tired I was and how slow each marker was going by.

I finally finished and had a total running time of 1 hour and 40 minutes. This is a slow time but is actually on pace to what I expect my half-marathon to be (12 minute mile averages) so I was happy with it. I did shave off a couple of minutes for the bathroom break and I had to stop for a train (there's one portion where you have to run over the tracks).

At the end when I was stretching I decided that you all needed to have my point of view at the end of the run....


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Weekly Results 9/6-9/12

I completed my goals for my second week in spite of getting sick and feeling some sore muscles in my left lateral hamstring and right shin. The pain didn't linger and went away with ice and ibuprofen so it's nothing to worry about. It did keep me from cross-training since I thought it was better to rest the muscles than wear them out. Some of this I've already blogged about but here's the recap:

Sunday - 6 miles, some walking included and almost had a head stroke (will summer ever end?)
Monday - Labor Day, couldn't get away from the kids and hubby plus it was still hot
Tuesday - stayed home sick but did get my easy two mile run in (19.30 minutes)
Wednesday - did three miles after work/teaching classes. First 2 miles in 19.10 minutes, had one lap walking break, last mile somewhere around 9 minutes - it's actually a little off since I count 6 laps as a mile in my time and it's actually supposed to be 6.5 laps. So you can probably add on another 45 seconds to any estimation for a half lap.
Thursday - Iced sore hamstrings.
Friday - woke up early enough to run outside before it got too blasted hot though it was still too humid for my liking. Got 2 miles in, didn't time it but tried to stay slow and take it easy on my hamstring.
Total Miles - 13

If I only had 1 week to complete my 1/2 marathon we'd be doing pretty darn good right about now... BTW the carbs came back on Wednesday and there's no more talk in my house about going carbless. I'm particularly enjoying Einstein Brother's Power Bagels with peanut butter. Yum yum.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Why I've stopped using the treadmill

Besides the fact it's just plain boring...


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Time, is on my side.... Yes it is.

You knew it would happen. I get back into the grove and despite all my claims of "I'm not doing it for time!!" I start thinking about my times again. Even though I haven't been able to run straight through a long run I start thinking about times.

What's wrong with my head?

I then try to justify it by saying, well you're being realistic. You're using the pace calculator to see what averages you need to stay within 2 hrs 45 min or 2 hrs 30 min or 2 hrs 15 min.... So on and so forth. (FYI the difference between 2:15 and 2:45 is more than 2 minutes per mile - sheesh.)

Realistically I don't think I can plan on anything faster than 12 minute averages. Even if my first few miles are closer to 10:30 or 11:00 the last few miles will definitely be much slower. So right now if I were to guess my finish time will be somewhere between 2:30 and 2:45.

I also had a moment last night after my 3 mile run where I thought, "am I really running a freakin' 1/2 in 4 weeks? What on earth am I thinking?"

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Germs, not the swine kind

Of course I get into my second week of training again and I get sick. Of course! But it hasn't stopped me yet. I may have missed work yesterday but I did get my 2 mile run in (even though it was supposed to be Monday). Actually I wasn't so sick that I couldn't have gone to work but since I'm in a univeristy I 1) didn't want to spread my germs around, and 2) be in an environment with even more germs with an already low immune system. I did however run at the gym but since I didn't change there or use the equipment plus I washed and santized my hands a couple of times I think I'll be okay. I just ran on the inside track.

When I started there were a couple of girls on the track that weren't exactly athletic. That always makes me happy. I fell in place behind one girl and thought she was running an easy pace and decided just to pace her and let her lead since I didn't have tunes to keep me entertained (still need to charge the iPod). Unfortunately she wasn't going too easy and soon I found myself having to pick up the pace to keep about 5-10 feet behind her. I chuckled to myself on the third lap that this is what I get for being cocky. She did eventually start going slower as she finished up her run so I felt some small accomplishment in passing her. I did my two miles in good time. The first was right around 10 minutes and the second was just over 9 minutes. I felt really good running though the end of each mile was still tough. I guess it's beginning to fall back in place some.

Small favors are that my germs seem to be more throat related than lung and I'm not too wiped out so I can keep running. Next is three miles. Hopefully it won't be too hot after I teach so I can get outside, if not it's back to laps on the inside track. Boring... Must charge iPod tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The long, long run

I stuck to the plan and went 6 miles on Sunday. I didn't necessarily run 6 miles but I went 6 miles. At the beginning of the trailhead you have the sign with the rules. The speed limit one always cracks me up since I know I'm running so slow.

So it wasn't the best conditions for a long run. As mentioned earlier we're cutting carbs and even though I did eat a power bar shortly before my run it only lasted about 3 miles. The temps weren't horrendous but it was very warm and humid. My iPod lost its charge and I left my charger in the office so I had no tunes. Plus I'm fighting some kind of illness. But I know I don't have time for excuses - there's only 4 weeks before the 1/2.

I did the same thing I did last week. I'd run a mile and then have a short walking break (about 1-2 minutes). I brought water with me this time so I didn't have to extend my breaks at the water fountain. I did pretty well until 3.5 miles and then I could feel my energy just plummet. I could feel the heat more too. I had drained my two small bottles of water so at 4.25 miles I stopped at the water fountain to refill and felt light headed as I stood still. So I sat in the shade for about 5 minutes (maybe more) to cool down. After that I would walk a 1/4 mile and then run a 1/4 - 1/2 mile.

This is what keeps me going on the greenway - counting 1/4 mile by 1/4 mile

Soreness wise I was fine so I knew it wasn't my muscles as much as just not having enough energy to do it. So now I'll be eating more carbs the night before and day of my long runs. Anyway I'm not sure we're going to make it through this South Beach phase since the hubby is protesting a lot. I just heard of carb cycling which might make more sense for me while I'm running.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Weekly Results 8/30-9/5

Well I stuck to the plan for my first week (even though I technically didn't have a plan until Thursday or Friday). I won't do a play by play recall since I've already blogged about it but I got in 10 miles last week and am feeling pretty good.

Sunday - 5 miles
Monday/Tuesday - nothing
Wednesday - 3 miles
Thursday - spin (1/2 hour)
Friday - 2 miles, 19 minutes 35 seconds
Saturday - nothing

The only run I timed was Friday since I was inside and could see the clock on the track. It was easier to stay on time since I was only going 2 miles.

This week's plans are listed below but the total mileage should be 13 miles. I'll try to x-train on Tuesday and Thursday with spin.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Plan (and a sore thumb)

Can a sore thumb be a good enough excuse that one should never do spin again?

Went to a 1/2 hour spin class yesterday afternoon for cross-training. I used to dominate spin - always wiped me out but I was strong. Yesterday I was sweaty one swearing under her breath at the perky instructor. I know it's good for me - it will help to build endurance but good Lord it was hard. I could feel a pulled muscle behind my left knee and my thumb (from where I "rested" it against the handlebars) is very sore today. The only bright spot was that I had an extra pair of pants in my workout bag so I didn't have to wear the pair that has a low waist line and therefore exposes my underwear when I'm on a spin bike. Nothing like being sweaty and having half your arse hanging out for the world to see.

So here's the plan for mileage (because one must always have a plan even if one blatantly ignores it):
Week 1 - 10 miles total, Sun LR 5 m, Wed 3 m, Fri, 2 m
Week 2 - 13 miles total, Sun LR 6 m, Mon 2 m, Wed 3 m, Fri 2 m
Week 3 - 15 miles total, Sun LR 7 m, Mon 2 m, Wed 4 m, Fri 2 m
Week 4 - 17 miles total, Sun LR 9 m, Mon 2 m, Wed 4 m, Fri 2 m
Week 5 - 27.1 miles, Sun LR 11 m, Tues 3m, Sat 1/2 marathon (13.1 m)

None of this will be done for speed though I imagine (and hope) that my speed will increase as the weeks go on and my body gets used to it again.

And to end another favorite song to run to (especially at the end of the run when you wonder why you even picked this hobby to beging with):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXlF6waTUKE

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Second Run this Week



My original training plans fell through so I didn't get my next run until Wednesday. I brought my clothes to work and changed after teaching my last class. I just ran around the neighborhoods that are close to campus. Some of these will be the same roads that I'll run for my half. I got pretty thirsty about 1/2 way through but didn't bring any water with me. I swear the total run felt like it was close to 4 miles but when I Gmap'd it later it was only 3 miles. But that's okay because 3 miles was my plan. I can't complain about the weather especially since it's still normally pretty hot in September. I don't feel as sore today as I did on Monday but my right shin did flare up a bit. I blame not stretching properly. I'll do another run tomorrow (hopefully) and my long run again on Sunday. Long run should be 6 miles - I'll remember to bring water with me so I don't stop as often.


The real problem is that hubby and I are trying to do the South Beach diet plan. I may make some exceptions to eat a controlled amount of carbs an hour before running that way it's burnt right off but otherwise we're following the no carbs for the first two weeks plan. But I know I'll need the carbs to make it through my runs. I have to make some diet changes though to see weight results. While running before I was just maintaining my current weight and doing some toning which is good but not enough for what I want to see. First I want to get comfortable in my current size (rather than the tightness that I feel) and hopefully go one more size down. I'm not talking drastic weight loss - probably just another 10-15 lbs. I know cutting carbs will help though it's harder to maintain over the long run. But if I can get down to the size I want and then can just maintain I'll be happy. I've talked before about how this is a life long process so I'll probably keep coming back again and again to this issue but that's okay. I just don't want to give up.

Monday, August 31, 2009

I may have over-estimated myself

So I'm still here but haven't been running enough on a regular basis for it to be worth blogging about - in fact it still probably isn't worth blogging about but I'm going to anyway. Blame the narcissism.

I did sign up for the M'boro Middle Half which is just 5 weeks away. My progress in training for this has gone rapidly downhill since April. So now my only goal is to finish it and hope that I'm within 3 hours. I know I'll have to walk parts of it and that's okay. I needed to sign up for it and have something to train for. But I also have to be careful in my training so that I don't injure myself again.

I haven't been able to train very much over the past 3 weeks because my husband has been out of town and I'm not paying a babysitter to watch my kids while I run. Work has also been too busy to get any lunchtime workouts. But all that changes now. Work will get into a slower routine again and I'll have extra adult help on weekends so I can take off and do my long runs.

I started yesterday with the expectations of doing a 4 mile easy run. It was tough and I had a few walking breaks. I certaintly wasn't breaking any time records. But I pushed it from a 4 mile run to a 5 mile run. This decision was made at the 2 mile mark (where I would have had to turn around) and didn't feel so bad then. But by the time I had gone 4 miles I was WIPED and I still had another mile to get back to my car. But I finished and am very sore today. Thankfully it's just muscle soreness and not knee or shin soreness. I'll run again tomorrow and Thursday. I probably won't be into doing speed workouts just building back up the mileage again. My plan for my next long run is 6 miles. Not for any kind of time - just to make it that far. I have 5 weeks to build up to 13.1 miles. While I probably won't get that far in training at least I want to get up to 10 miles. Even if it's a slow 10 miles. :)

I'll blog about it again so I can look back at my progress. I will say that as tough as it was to make it all 5 miles I felt really good about myself afterwards. I missed that endorphine high or maybe it was just the feeling of accomplishment. I definitely miss the way my pants were fitting rather than the tightness they have again. :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Ooooooh shiny!

Well maybe not shiny but it is kind of cool. Runner's World recently came out with a new training program/journal that's pretty nifty. I'm sure I'll be obsessed with it for a few days and then forget all about it. :) I'm just impressed that the free version has as much capability as this one does.

Personal Trainer

Plans for today include a lunch run and yoga. The weather should be beautiful for a long weekend run. I'm actually feeling a bit excited about getting into running again. I guess it just reminds me that running begets more running.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Upon reflection...

I enjoyed my morning run more than I thought I did while running it. Strangely (for me) I woke up at 6 a.m. this morning wide awake and ready to be up for the day. I was planning on running in the morning but my original plans were to come to work and run inside. I finally won the mental battle of getting out of bed and running outside instead - this gave me the added bonus of being able to shower at home. The weather was very nice for 6:30 in the morning (took me that long to actually get out the door) but I was hot at the end.

Once again I was fine during the first mile and started getting tired during the second mile but I did go 3.1 miles this morning with several walking breaks. I actually thought I had run closer to 4 miles but when I mapped my route I discovered I was very off. Oh well, it's farther than I ran on Monday and it didn't kill me. Two big pluses in my book.

And the big bonus for today was that I found a dollar bill while I was running! Sweet!

This is one of my new favorite songs to run to. I never had seen the video and it's hillarious. This is what I miss by never watching MTV anymore. Of course MTV never plays videos anymore either but that's a whole other subject.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ready to look absurd

I was reading through Runner's World today and saw a link to this article: Head for the Pool. I might try this for long runs on the weekends as I get back into training this summer. I particularly like the bit of advice to run half on land and half in the pool. Too bad my iPod isn't waterproof.

I woke up today feeling the pleasant soreness from my run yesterday. Nothing too bad just enough to know that I finally worked my muscles. The shin pain seems to be gone (although I haven't done anything long distance to really try it out yet). That may be one benefit from my down time.

Monday, July 13, 2009

One way or another

I will run a 5k the weekend of August 14th. It will either be a night run on the 14th or an early morning run on the 15th. I'd rather do the early morning run since it's in my town but my husband will be out of town and I don't know if a babysitter would be willing to come to my house at 6 a.m. :) So it will probably be the night run.

I had to find something to get me back into training. And as my past couple of runs have shown, I need to build my endurance back up. I ran two miles today at a decent pace. It was really hard but I didn't let it get me down. I know I have to start again somewhere. I have five weeks to get back up to my old pace. I really hope to do a sub 30 minute 5k this time around. Two months ago this would have been easily possible but now I have to work harder.

Then in early September there's a local 10k which is a good prep before the 1/2 Marathon at the beginning of October. That's still my goal. I'm not concerned (right now) with how long it takes me to do the half I just want to get back into it.

I have seen that although I wasn't a fan of cold weather running it's a heck of a lot better than hot weather. I have not run outside for a long time and probably won't train much outside either until September. Humidity and heat are not my friends. Give me a 40 degree day to run in anyday!

I've stopped my medication. We'll revisit it at the end of this year. It's just not worth it for the side effects. It makes me really mad that I've lost so much (endurance and strength) over the past couple of months while we mucked around with it.

So hopefully you'll see more updates from me as I prepare for my 5k. Right now here's my training plan - get back up to the mileage and then work on speed. So over the next 2 weeks (perhaps 3):
Monday - easy 2 mile
Tuesday - crosstrain or rest
Wednesday - 2.5-3 miles
Thursday/Friday - crosstrain or rest
Saturday - 3 miles

My hope is that over two weeks I can get back to doing this comfortably rather than struggling through every lap after 1 mile. After that I'll throw in some speedwork and up my long runs to 4 or even 5 miles. But I have to remember to take things a bit slowly to remind my muscles how this whole running thing works. And also to remind my heart and lungs that they CAN do this. :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Some of my favorite people

Not too long ago I would have died before putting up a bathing suit picture of myself. But since my thighs are covered in board-shorts I feel okay with showing you all this picture of my family:

Left to right: "A" 18 months old, "M" the hubby, "Me" (not taller than my husband but that river sloped really sharply, and "S" 3.75 years old.

This was part of our vacation with my parents last week - and yet another reason why I haven't posted or exercised recently. The one thing I thought about while swimming around in this river was that I wondered how triatheletes get over having their mouths in river/lake water. Seems pretty gross to me. ;)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth...

But I literally felt like I was having a heart attack after running a measly 1 mile at 5.0 mph today at lunch. My goal was to run an easy 3 miles but as I went through a 1/4 mile 5 minute warm-up I knew it wasn't going to be easy. I ran inside on the treadmill because it's too darn hot and humid outside to run at noon (or anytime after 5 am and I don't wake up that early) and I didn't have my iPod charged to keep me entertained through the indoor track. I did have working headphones though so I tuned into the wall of T.V.'s at our rec center and watched "Sister, Sister" while breathing heavily and clutching my heart. Good times, good times.

There are several factors that go into this failure but mostly I blame not running for two months and not enough water and nutrition before attempting a run today. I also still blame my meds which are doing the opposite of making me peppy and Energizer Bunny like.

So back to square one. Building up endurance and stamina. Building up speed and distance. The only comfort I take with me is that it shouldn't take as long this time around. But I could be wrong - I often am.

For more inspiring tales read on about my bestestest (yes, that's a real word be quiet spellcheck) friend's first 5k this weekend! I wish I could be there with her - and not just because it's on the Irish coast:
http://iblamebashasmama.blogspot.com/. Good luck Jen! I'll be thinking about you on Saturday.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

No regrets

I'm not sad at all that I didn't participate in this morning's RC Cola and Moon Pie 10 mile run. Running loads of hills in humid 90+ degree weather is nothing to mourn. I guess it either proves that I'm not so dedicated to running or that I still have a brain.

Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 15, 2009

And now the real post for today

My goal this week is to exercise every morning with my husband before work (except for Friday, my work schedule doesn't allow it). Thankfully he's on board with this idea (for today at least) because given my own mood and motivation I wouldn't have been able to make it to day one. We did a normal workout: walked/ran for 20 minutes and then toning exercises for another 20-30 minutes. I made him go through a normal routine that my trainers used to torture me with. It was fun to torture him. The run started off a bit rough for me because I was so tired going into it but after about 1/2 a mile I got into it and enjoyed it. We didn't even go a full two miles but I'm easing back into things after being WAY off schedule.

The good news is that I will be able to do our local half marathon in October. It was up in the air since I'm also going to a conference that week but I learned last week that I can come back from the conference on Friday night and run on Saturday morning. We'll see how ready I am but schedule wise it will work. Now I just have to train for it...

Funny how quickly running multiple miles feels hard again.

Weekly Results from last week - I think nothing. If I can't even remember then it's not worth typing out.

Commercialism at its best

If I post it here than I get an extra vote!

Go to Steve in a Speedo's blog to enter for a free pair of shoes: http://iwannagetphysical.blogspot.com/2009/06/who-wants-free-pair-of-shoes.html.

Besides the occasional swag that he gives away it's a funny and informative blog. It's on my reading list.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I really do hate gatorade

Even when I put it in my "Guinness for Strength" glass that I got 6 years ago in Ireland.

But I have to rehydrate so I'm taking sips of the nasty stuff until it's all gone. It's all more lovely side effects of my new meds. I'm going to talk to my doctor tomorrow about this whole "the cure is worse than the disease" thing I've got going on right now. So don't expect a whole lot from me exercise wise until I keep my butt off the toilet.

Sorry, too much information I'm sure.

But it did make me think that I never explained the title of my blog. I've always hated Gatorade. Maybe it's because as kids we used more than a full cup of sugar every time we made Kool-Aid but Gatorade has never tasted quite right to me. Before my family moved to the middle of the Arizonan desert where it was too hot to do anything I had a more active life. Every spring I played softball which I really enjoyed (as long as the after game snacks didn't include Gatorade). I also have tried soccer and basketball and I didn't like either of those sports. Too many sprints involved. Eventually they let me be the goalie in soccer but I wasn't particularly good in that position either.

I'm rambling again - I blame my lack of electrolytes. Back to the nasty stuff...

Chug, chug, chug!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Ab & Image Work

Way back a few months ago - probably around October or so - I was laying (lying?) flat on my back in bed and for whatever reason poked my tummy and found something hard underneath the layer of jiggly goodness that was on top. In shock and awe I realized that I had ab muscles. I even made my husband feel them. That was a nice by-product of my personal trainer's weekly torture combined with my other aerobic classes that normally had "abs" somewhere in the title or description.

I don't have much lower ab muscles. A fact that becomes painfully clear to me whenever the above mentioned classes want me to smoothly lift and lower my legs (sometimes holding a ball or other torture device between them). I can't do it to save my life and I'm sure the faces I make are lovely.

But I have a question of what does it mean to keep your shoulder blades off the floor. Does it mean the top of your shoulder blades or the bottom (shown as red lines on this picture)? I always thought it was more of the bottom line on this picture which I can't do. But I saw myself in the mirror (also something I avoid looking at while working out) and saw that I do keep the top line off of the floor. So if anyone of you read this and have more insight please let me know. Or perhaps I can just ask my instructor who will be more than happy to show me a good form.

I also thought of another image related issue last night as my husband and I were talking about him taking a hiking trip and whether or not it would be too strenuous for his current level of fitness. I thought about myself in that situation and my distorted feelings on how others view me and thought well they would think I'm too heavy to hike that far. I think this is also the reason I try so hard in my classes to keep going and not give up because if people saw me give up it would not be because the class was hard (even though if I looked around everyone of EVERY shape was giving up) it would be because I was the fat girl trying to keep up.

I guess it also hit home last night because yesterday I took a daring step and tried to get a running partner. She's my age, in better shape (I truly envy her perfect legs) but not too far out of my league. And I felt that when I approached her about running together sometimes she looked at me and thought, "can she really do it?" I don't think badly of her because of that because for one I might have been imagining it and two I'd probably think the same thing initially if someone wanted to run with me. We left it as a "well let's keep in touch" kind of thing so I don't know if I'll have a partner or not.

I don't know if I really have a point to all of this rambling besides the fact that our images of ourselves sometimes help and sometimes hurt. If it gives me the motivation to keep pushing through a class then it can't be all wrong. But I still think it would be better overall if I thought of myself as having enough strength to get through a class - the "you're stronger than you think you are" factor rather than the shame factor.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Yes, this is what I think about while running



As I ran one pitiful little mile today, gasping and struggling through each lap this quote came to my mind and I knew I had to share it with you.

I've done almost nothing since last posting. This is somewhat my fault but mostly not my fault as my body has done whacky things with my new medication. I really did intend to get a long run on Saturday but since I felt that getting my heart rate up might cause a heart attack I instead stayed in my house. We're working things out medicine wise and hopefully this won't keep happening.

But not running or exercising (plus ups and down of meds) have made me feel tired, bloated, and unhappy. I was excited to run just a mile today - I had already done a 1/2 hour aerobics class before hand. I think I'll have to build up some endurance again which is a bit disappointing that only a few weeks off of running regularly and you lose so much but this was supposed to be a lifetime goal so I have to remind myself that just because I have a few bad weeks doesn't give me the excuse to give up all together.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Finally an update!

Good news/bad news - no fractures according to the x-ray but then what the heck is going on with my right calf?

Denial news - I'll just keep working out and see if it gets worse.

Lazy news - Last week I only did Spin and Abs and my three mile speed work. It's so not worth a whole week in review.

Back on the horse news - Went back to Spin and Abs yesterday. Husband is back home so I can run this weekend, and work is less busy this week so I should be able to make it to my Thursday and Friday group classes.

Salivating and waiting on the edge of my seat news - only 5 days left until I got to an overnight get away with an old friend at a spa/resort. Hour long massages have been booked, drinks will be drunk (well by me at least), and many yummy things will be eaten.

Life with a disease news - ok of all of the diseases you could have hypothyroidism is probably the one you want to have but I'm still trying to absorb the thoughts of having to take synthetic thyroid hormones every day for the rest of my life. I just started my first dosage today and am curious as to how it will affect me - so far it feels like I took a couple of Benadryl (not quite the reaction I expected). I'm waiting for weight to FLY off of me - unrealistic you say? Pshaw - you don't know me very well then. ;)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Waiting on an x-ray

(not my leg)

I finally went to get an x-ray of my leg today. I did it late in the afternoon so I won't get the result back until at least tomorrow. The hard part is that a lot of stress fractures don't show up on normal x-rays so if there's nothing there I'm still not in the clear. We could do an MRI and all that fun stuff but I don't think the pain I have warrants that kind of imaging yet.



This all stems from the fact that I finally had a yearly physical (beyond the annual womenly "stuff" check). I also got my blood work back and I'm great for cholesterol which is good because before (40+ lbs ago) I was not so good and bad levels do run in my family regardless.

What has come back is that apparently I have hypothyroidism. This isn't a complete surprise as my thyroid levels have always been on the low side of normal. I don't have all the details yet since I still have to talk to my Dr about the results but I hope this partially explains why it's so hard for me to lose weight and thus I can eat more ice cream without guilt. Kidding kidding... (not really)

And lastly I did get a short run in yesterday. It was only 3 miles total but I did speed work for 2 of those 2 miles so I think it counts as a good workout. I have lacked on EWT today but my extreme workout is dealing with two young children during the witching hour.

And that being said I'm off to go battle the nightly dinner argument that I have with my 3 year old.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Are you crying? NOVA is making you cry?!


Thanks to Netflix I just got done watching NOVA's Marathon Challenge. Basically NOVA takes 13 sedentary people and trains them over a 9 month period to run the Boston Marathon. For other non-runners/newbies I'll add in that they are able to run Boston as a "special case". You normally have to qualify to run in Boston by running a previous marathon in a certain amount of time (varies by age and sex). That being said it's a fantastic video for newbies to watch. It explains a lot of the science behind running and the factors that go into endurance training and improving your overall health - even covers that the women don't lose weight just by running (something that I've found to be true for me).

And at the end of any good marathon video is when the team finishes their race. So there I am on the recliner bawling and cheering them on as if I knew these people. I certainly identify with them but I started to laugh when I realized that I'm now giving running movies the same emotional connection as I do while watching shows like Baby Story. I always cry when those women finally push out their babies and hold them for the first time. And now I get choked up when someone crosses the finish line. Lord help me, I'm not crazy I swear it.

As mentioned on my weekly results it is hard to get my exercise in this week. I did go to Spin & Abs today but it may be the only thing I can fit in this week. I hope to be done with work early enough tomorrow to run before picking up the kids from daycare but we'll just have to see how the day plays out.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Weekly Results - 5/11-5/17

Remember that I have a new schedule! It started off good but then went downhill fast.

Monday - The schedule said to run an "easy" 2 miles but I was feeling cheeky so I made it a fast two miles. The first was in 8:30 and the second was 9:30 (had two walking breaks and a side cramp that slowed me down). I was super impressed that I made that time since this run was outside and included some "gentle" hills. A sub 27 min 5k is in my future! I can see it!!
Tuesday - Spin & Abs. Oh.... my..... god.... Spin always wipes me out but I usually feel good about myself afterwards. This time (after 35+ minutes of mostly sprints and steep climbs) I just wanted to huddle on the floor in a fetal position. And to end it with a series of one minute planks? Are you kidding me?
Wednesday - the plan was for speed work but many things conspired against me. Nada for the day.
Thursday - Nothing, and thus starts the trend...
Friday - Nada
Saturday - Nope
Sunday - Mowed the lawn - can feel sore muscles in my arms so it counts.

I couldn't fit it my running this week despite my grandiose thoughts from earlier this week. I could have squeezed a run in this weekend but instead I caught up on other important housekeeping items. This next week will be tricky to fit stuff in since work will be busier and I'll be a single parent for a few days. But we'll see what I can do!