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Thursday, April 29, 2010

The hills are alive

Cross training has fallen to record level lows but I am getting my mileage in. It's not all bad.

Tuesday I did a treadmill run while watching Biggest Loser (more on BL later). I threw in a lot of looooonnnnnngggg hills on that run and ended up getting 5 miles in 60 minutes. I had about 10 of walking and more than half the running time I was only at a 12 mm pace but I was usually at a 4-8% incline. On flat portions I sped up to 6.0-7.0. The last hill I did 5% at 6.0 (10 mm).

Today, I'm mapping an outside route on hills. I'll have to loop a couple of times but it's more hilly than my typical Greenway or roads around work/home. I want to get about 4 miles in today and then 9 on Saturday. I've decided to keep my long runs to 9 miles for a couple of weeks and then bump up to 10 for the last 3 weeks before the race. Long runs won't be done for a specific time but I want to average 11 mm or less. And I won't focus on hills for long runs - those are for shorter and faster runs.

I'm trying to plan a 30 day diet (without actually buying any books or online plans). I'll allow myself some cheat days but this is an effort to keep me more on track and less on the frozen burrito diet. More on the diet as I figure it out. Also I'll be signing up for the 1/2 training plan this weekend though the actual training doesn't start until late June (right after the 10 mile race). So things keep plodding along even if the current results aren't in the "spectacular" range.

As for Biggest Loser - I L.O.V.E.D. it!! The 5k, the high school speech, the last chance workout, the elimination - everything. I wanted to hug all the 5k'ers, the girl from that high school, Darius (love him), O'Neal - it was just a love fest from me as I kept going up and down flat my treadmill hills. I remembered the thrill of my first 5k and the bigger thrill of the first time I made it 3 miles just on my own. It's really so exciting in the beginning when you realize that you're capable of so much more than you've given yourself credit for.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's a Southern Thing...

It's official - I've sent in the registration form and check. I'm all about the Moon Pie and RC Cola at the end of this thing...


It makes me proud to be a southern transplant.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Shameful truths

Last week my husband and I were invited over to a co-workers house for authentic Indian food. We were so giddy about it. The food was beyond delicious. I ate a lot.

So much, in fact, that I ate until I could literally eat no more and therefore made myself sick.

Repeat - I gorged myself until I made myself sick. Oink. Oink.

So ridiculous because I know better.

I'm not doing great diet wise right now. For the past couple of weeks I've felt apathetic towards the whole dieting deal. I've allowed myself to feel angry and discouraged about how much work it is to lose only a pound and how easy it is for 4 to come rushing back.

In about a week I'll have the choice to eat whatever I want for all the meals for a while and I teeter on the edge of being good or buying a ton of frozen burritos and chips and salsa. I'm just tired of the struggle.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Weekly Results - 4/19-4/25

Results -
Monday 19th - 35 on elliptical (400 calorie burn)
Tuesday 20th - 38 min on treadmill for 3 miles (approx 375 calorie burn)
Wednesday 21st - 4.5 mile outside run (with some walking) for 45 min (approx 575 calorie burn)
Thursday 22nd - Ended up doing nothing
Friday 23rd - Planned Rest Day
Saturday 24th - Ended up doing nothing
Sunday 25th - 9 mile run at 1:42 on Greenway

Miles - 16.5
Days - 4
Minutes - 220

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sneaky photographers...

I was waiting until my race pictures were up before I did a race report on the 15k. Well, they're finally up but the photography company is a little more high tech and I'm only able to save the thumbprints. So with all credit going to Cox Sports Photos here are the thumbprints and race report.

I won't do a mile by mile report because most of it was uneventful. There were around 1200 participants I think and as I have mentioned before it was split between a 5k and 15k. My husband and I ran together (he the 5k and me the 15k). We started off together in the 10 mm pace group. We stayed overnight in Chattanooga at a Super 8 that was less than 2 miles from the battlefield so we were able to have a leisurely morning, eat the unimpressive continental breakfast, and take a short drive to the battlefield. We only had about 10 minutes of standing around before the race started which was fine since we had all our race gear (including timing chips). This was the first time I used the disposable timing chip that only gives you a gun time and not a chip time. I'd rather know my chip time but realize that these things are far easier for the race directors to use. I did remember to borrow my husband's watch so I knew my overall time when all was said and done.

The start was slow but even before 1/2 a mile the crowd had thinned out and I had already left my husband. At mile one I had caught up to a 10:15 pace which was good considering the slowness of the start. But I forced myself to slow down so I wouldn't crash at mile 5 or 6. I was running next to a guy that had a watch that kept beeping every couple of minutes. He would run and then slow down to a walk so we kept passing each other (he being a faster runner but then me passing on the walks). I finally asked him if it was a heart rate monitor or something (it was actually getting a bit annoying to hear that beep going off all the time). He explained that he was running 2 minutes and walking 1 for the course so that he wouldn't get injured. He finally got far enough ahead of me around mile 3 so I didn't hear that darn thing anymore.
I had forgotten my iPod at home which turned out to be fine. The day was so nice that I enjoyed listening to the birds, breeze, and other runners. I can understand the arguments against running with music but I haven't been converted yet. Towards the end as I was passing 3 other runners one said, "oh it's so nice to hear the runner's footsteps." And since I could actually hear this comment I joked in return, "yeah, and our labored breathing." It was a moment to chuckle as we all struggled to get to the finish line. I only really chatted to one other lady as she passed me around mile 6.

Most of my early mile splits were 10:05, mile 8 was closer to 11, and I finished with an average of 10:14. I never took a walking break but did stop for about 10 seconds to drink water/disgusting Gatorade at the water stations. Honestly, what do they do to Gatorade to make it so gross?! But I figured the electrolytes were good for my system. I brought Sports Beans with me and opened up the package around mile 5 and had about half of it. They were good but made it difficult to breathe since my nose was so stuffed up (allergies in Southern springtime kill me). But they made a big difference towards the end of the race.

The first 6 miles were comfortable. I really watched my pace and it was easy to keep at 10:05. Starting around mile 5 or 6 though they had more rolling hills and I could tell where my lack of training at longer distances had affected me. I was able to keep going but it was a lot harder. Whenever I needed something to focus on I thought about my 4th-6th grade P.E. teacher Mr. B. (I'm not protecting his identity I just can't remember his real last name since we always called him Mr. B.). He was one of those old school P.E. teachers, meaning if you didn't excel at some type of sport you weren't worth his time. Thusly, I hated P.E. And I really hated the Presidential Fitness tests where we had to run a mile (I think at that time the cut off was a 12 minute mile). I could never do it. For one, we never ran unless it was punishment or sprints so I had never had a chance to build up endurance like that. And God knows it didn't come naturally to me. Actually, one year I think I did manage to do it but every other year this thing would cause the kind of trauma that kids today would go to therapy for. So here's to you Mr. B and your ability to make me hate fitness related things at such a young age. How do ya like me now?

At the end, right after mile 9 and closing in on the finish time, I came around the corner and found the people still cheering on the slower runners. I got one of those rushes you hear people talk about. Serious shivers down my spine. It was awesome. I came across the finish line smiling and forgetting how bad the last mile or so had sucked. Then I found that their post race food was a dinner roll and organic fruit. ??? Fruit, ok good but where's the bagels or power bars or anything else good carb/protein related? I was quite put out and my stomach was beginning to tell me that it didn't really like sports beans. We hung around for some of the door prizes (didn't win any of them) and then I insisted that we had to leave to find real food. I also stopped at the visitor's center on the way out so I wouldn't have to use the port-a-pots at the race line. I found it extremely amusing that they had a sign on the wall that said, "Please no bathing in this restroom. Sinks are for face and hands only. No nudity, this is a public restroom." You gotta wonder how many times they dealt with nudity before hanging the sign.

I wanted pancakes but my husband wanted a sandwich so we ended up at Wendy's. I crashed after the race. I was extremely tired and my stomach really didn't like those sports beans. Lunch was a blah affair except for the Frosty. Mmmm frosties. And my husband started to drive us back home. I leaned the seat back and slept. And sleep was good. Otherwise recovery was fine - not unlike any other long runs I do. I did notice some shin pain so I only walked on Sunday as a recovery and didn't run again until Tuesday. I haven't noticed any other pain since then.

So it was a great race. One I want to do again (despite the disappointment over the food at the finish line). I might even consider their half marathon at some point once, or if, I'm ready to do more than one half per year.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Celebrate Earth Day by looking at my backside.

The Alpine Tower My rear climbing the Alpine Tower

Oh look my rear again (and notice my head starring straight down at my hands and feet - I didn't look around at all).

Oh wow! My rear again! Getting closer.

Whew - the platform. It did take me a moment to figure out the transition.

Almost to the top - this was the easiest part.

I can see my house from here!
Actually this was the easiest part.
Because I'm the most awesome adjunct instructor ever; I took my class on a very non-academic alpine tower climbing experience. It was a lot of fun. I wasn't afraid of doing it until I was actually doing it and my foot slipped once. It wasn't hard but a little nerve racking. Next time I'll take the more challenging route.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Trudging through cardio

I did a new Smart Coach training plan from Runner's World. I used my January 5k time (28:40) to train for the 10 mile run. It has me doing tempos at 10'ish mm and speed work at 9:25'ish. The miles per week would bump up to 16 at the beginning to 25 at the end (9 week plan). The max long run would be 10 miles. The end results says 10 miles @ 9:53 which would be awesome but I don't expect that with the heat and hills. I might need to do my long runs on Mondays (post daycare drop off but pre work) during the month of May. I'll also incorporate more hill running into my training either on the treadmill or picky more "hilly" places to run outside. I like the plan but "can I maintain the plan?" is a better question.

I've done my cardio this week but it's been painful. Not energy or muscle wise - but brain wise. I hated every moment of the elliptical on Monday (didn't make it to spin class) and was about as thrilled with my 3 mile treadmill run last night. My brain needs help. I know one thing would be to mix things up a little. I've been on the same routine for a while now and something new would help the enthusiasm level. This is where I miss Schwinny. I haven't been able to set aside funds for a different bike - other needs have since popped up. And thus plans for a summer triathlon have also been set aside.

Keeping trudging!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Weekly Results 4/12-4/18

Results -
Monday 4/12: 30 min B&G and 45 min Yoga
Tuesday 4/13: nothing
Wednesday 4/14: 30 min B&G and 45 min Yoga
Thursday 4/15: 30 min boot camp (gym workout)
Friday 4/16: house cleaning and walking around downtown Chattanooga
Saturday 4/17: 15k at 1:35:25
Sunday 4/18: 3 mile recovery walk on Greenway (around 45 minutes)

Miles: 12.3
Days: 5 (won't count the house cleaning and walking)
Minutes: 320

Schedule -
Monday - 30 min spin and 30 min B&G DVD at home
Tuesday - 3 mile treadmill run, easy
Wednesday - 30 min B&G and 30 min yoga DVD at home
Thursday -5 mile run
Friday - rest day
Saturday -7 mile long run (depending on weather)
Sunday - gym workout (elliptical/bike and weights)

If I can't get my long run because of weather I might get to the gym twice on the weekend or do my 30 Day Shred or Ult Sculpt DVD at home. This week will be more of a challenge to make myself do the workouts at home.

Next Challenge -
My next planned race isn't until June 19th and it will be a 10 mile race (in the heat with hills). I would like to continue to work on my speed. Since I managed to finish the 15k at a 10:14 pace fairly comfortably (note the use of the word "fairly" - it wasn't easy but I wasn't dying either) I want to now improve on the time and hope for a 10:00 pace for the 10 mile race (with the hills and the heat). If I can do that then I feel confident about getting close to a 2:10 finish in the half marathon in October. I want to do a training plan for the 1/2 this year that starts in July June. Last year it was just about finishing the 1/2 - this year it's more about time.

But to improve on my speed it means more strength training for my legs and more speed work. This actually works out well for my May plans. I can do the shorter speed work at lunch or on the treadmill at home easier than I can fit in long runs. I'll still do weekly long runs but the focus during the week will be on shorter and faster runs. So I'm thinking about my schedule for May and will let you know more as I figure it out.

And after a week (or so) of ignoring my diet I'm back on track. I needed a break for my birthday and to get through the slump. But I still want to lose these last darn 10 lbs. I have some cake to finish at home but other than that I'm tracking my intake.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Good grief this is a big battlefield.

Greetings from Chattanooga, TN.

And the Chickamauga Battlefield: http://www.nps.gov/chch/index.htm
Home of the Chickamauga Chase: http://www.chickchase.org/ (is it just me or is the web address misleading, "chick chase?")
Where your's truly managed to keep a 10:14 mm pace for 15k resulting in a final time of 1:35:25 (or around that second - I forgot to hit my watch right away and I think the results will only show gun time.) Yay me!
Other pics and a full report after my brain is fully functioning again - this one wore me out!
(I was 18 of 26 in my age group and would have done better in the 5k - around 5th place in my age group but I'm happy I stuck with the long distance.)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Delusional? Who me?

Need more proof that I'm totally unprepared for this weekend's 15k?

I'm sitting here looking at dinner menus at various Chattanooga restaurants and am completely distracted by the drink selection - because you know, getting sloshed the night before a 15k is a good idea...

In other news since I won't be blogging tomorrow -
Boot camp = awesome! My left tricep muscle completely cramped up on me but my legs were like "Bring it on!!" Such a difference from when I first started boot camp and proof that despite feeling like a slug this week I've done well for the past couple of months.

Pieces of cake eaten in honor of my birthday: 1 so far!

Cha-cha-cha changing

I've been "off" this week - darn thyroid and various hormones that play havoc on my system.

It amazes me how I can so quickly go from feeling like a Super Hero one day to feeling like the laziest slob the next. But I'm coming out of my slump slowly - which is good because I was really worried about running the 15k this weekend while feeling this way. I almost considered switching down to the 5k again but I knew I couldn't let fear and pride make me run a shorter easier race. If I'm the slowest in my age group so be it - the accomplishment of finishing 15k of hills is more important than my pace.

This is Ms. J's last week of working at our rec center (apparently living closer to her boyfriend is more important than training us) so I've been grabbing as many classes from her that I can. So I've done B&G and yoga twice this week and I'm going to join her last Boot Camp class today. I haven't gotten any other runs or cardio in this week but that's okay - I'll consider it a taper. Yeah - I'm tapering that's it...

But with J leaving I'll have to get used to new classes and new trainers. I know it's good to switch things up but I also know that I like her consistency and will motivate myself to go to her classes. We'll see what the summer schedule brings. The month of May will mean less running because of different family stuff going on and I'll have to depend more on my lunch workouts, DVD's, and treadmill at home. It's not a bad thing - just a change.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Weekly Results (April 5-11)

Results -
Monday - 6 mile long run at 1:10
Tuesday - 2.5 miles on treadmill, included one mile at 8 min. Total time 33 min
Wednesday - 43 min run for 3.8 miles, 15 min arm exercises, 30 min B&G
Thursday - Ult Sculpt DVD (30 min)
Friday - 40 min run for 3.8 miles (10:30 pace)
Saturday - rest, play with kids, and some yard work
Sunday - lots of yard work (including digging and hoeing)

Total Miles: 16.1
Total Days: 5 or 6 depending on if you count yardwork
Total Minutes: 261 or 441 if you count yardwork

Saturday, April 10, 2010

What I'm not doing this weekend

Is a long run. And not because I'm being lazy but because I've already achieved my weekly mileage. The hubby is on a hiking trip and I'm not about to push about 90 lbs worth of kids and stroller while running so I arranged my weekly exercise to get 4 smaller runs (6 m, 2.5 m, 3.8 m, and 3.8 m) and still reach my goals. I even woke up early - twice - to run before work. Now there's dedication for ya!

Instead of running I've taken the kids to the sale at Fleet Feet and bought myself a singlet (my very first, do you remember your first singlet?) and some running capris:

I wore shorts on one of my runs this week and the thigh chaffing is better than last year but I'm still more comfortable in capris rather than shorts.

I also got some garden soil at Home Depot and worked on digging out our front beds to plant some flowers - so exercise was gotten.

Other new things that I got were Sport Beans. I have not tried any type of beans or Gu while running. I don't want to add calories while I'm trying to burn calories. However, I don't want to crash (energy wise) in the middle of my 15k next week so I got some for that race. These new capris have a handy little pocket in the back where I can hold them - or I'll wear my fuel belt so I can carry water. There will, however, be 5 water stops so I don't really have to carry any water with me.

As far as my race is concerned I know I'm seriously under prepared for the distance. I haven't been able to run more than 6 miles in a long time (mostly because of time constraints) so I'm not really even thinking of a time goal for this race. I would love it to be under 1:40 (1:38 is a 10:30 pace) but we'll see - there's hills on this course. I've just been thinking of this particular race as more of a "fun run" since it gives my hubby and I a chance to have a weekend to ourselves and enjoy the fine town of Chattanooga.

As for my final week of so called "training" before the race I doubt I'll get any long runs in. Here's what I'm thinking schedule wise:

Monday - B&G and yoga (this is the last week for the trainer to teach at our rec center before she moves so I want to enjoy her classes)
Tuesday - 4 mile treadmill run (easy) while watching BL.
Wednesday - B&G and yoga again - maybe some elliptical or track running before class begins
Thursday - if I didn't run on Wednesday a 2 mile run and maybe a DVD at home
Friday - rest and walking around Chattanooga
Saturday - 15k
Sunday - my 32nd bday so we'll see if I even want to exercise.

This will put me at a little over 15 miles for the week which is above my weekly mileage goal.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New speed record

I got a treadmill run in last night while watching Biggest Loser (and switching to LOST on commercial breaks). I ran the first mile easy at a 12 mm pace. Then I wanted to see how quickly I could now run one mile. I started off at a 7:30 pace (8 mph) but couldn't keep that up for long so I then slowed down to 8:35 (7 mph) for about 1/2 a mile. Then I picked up the speed slowly again so I could end within 8 minutes. Next time I won't kill myself with the beginning but rather try to keep a 7.5 speed the whole time. But only benefit of this way was that the 8:35 pace felt so much BETTER than a 7:30 pace that I was happy to stay there. I finished up with a 12 mm pace and then walking to round off at 2.5 total miles.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A horse of a different color

Got in my long run yesterday but ended up making it 6 miles instead of 9 since the temps were close to 90 degrees. In EARLY APRIL FOR CRIPES SAKE! I wanted to see how I did running in the heat and at close to 3 miles I knew I would have to cut it short or might have real problems getting back to my car. Even with going to just 6 miles and taking 3 water breaks I still had to take some walking breaks - I could feel my heart accelerate faster than normal and it was hard to breathe. So in all it took me about 70 minutes to finish 6 miles.

I won't give up on hot weather runs but it will take some time to get used to it. Thankfully the weather won't stay this warm for the rest of spring so I'll have a few more runs in the 60's and 70's. I got a lot of sun yesterday. While my arms will tan up nicely for the spring/summer I did end up buying a self-tanner lotion for my legs yesterday while I was waiting for my pictures at Walgreens. I've heard some co-workers talk about how much they like Loreal's products so I picked this one up "L'Oreal Sublime Bronze Tinted Self Tanning Lotion." I used it this morning and am quite pleased (yes this has nothing to do with running but we all like to look tan rather than pasty white). It doesn't have the nasty smell of other tanning lotions, there were no streaks, and my palms didn't turn orange. I don't necessarily like the glitter action they include but my legs do sparkle in the sun.

Tonight I'll either get a short run on the treadmill or do my Ult Sculpt DVD. The indecision is because I'll be watching Biggest Loser so I won't get to the DVD until 9 pm which is probably too late for me to actually follow through in doing the exercise. Here are the plans for the rest of the week:

Tuesday: 2-3 mile run or Ult Sculpt DVD
Wednesday: 20 min elliptical, B&G, and yoga
Thursday: 3 mile treadmill - speed work
Friday: 8-9 mile long run
Saturday: DVD's
Sunday: DVD's

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Choosing family over exercise (Weekly Results)

Or just being lazy - but I'll go with the more positive excuse. I didn't do any runs or gym workouts this weekend. I spent more time at home, got stuff done around the house, and hung out with the family. The weather was great but I chose not to run. I will however be leaving work early tomorrow for an eye doctor appt so I plan on getting a long run after that appointment is over. Here's what the week looked like:

Monday - 30 min elliptical (390 cal), & last Arms class (30 min)
Tuesday - Got too involved with my camera and didn't get a treadmill run in
Wednesday - 20 min on indoor track, 30 min B&G, 45 min yoga
Thursday - yard work for 30 min (won't actually count this in my exercise results but it does burn calories) and two margaritas
Friday - 30 min Ult Sculpt DVD and 30 min Yoga DVD
Saturday - nothing
Sunday - long family walk while pushing heavy stroller and B&G DVD (30 min)

Total Days (of real workouts): 4
Total Miles: 4.5 (including walk today)
Total Minutes: 245

March Totals (including a couple days in April since I count weeks rather than days) -
Total Miles/Goal - 51.7/50
Total Days/Goal - 26/25
Total Minutes/Goal - 1592/1500
Weight Loss - 4 lbs

Not only did I meet each goal I exceeded them! And it's been a good month for weight loss. I did recently get a nutrition assessment which I'll share in a later blog post about where my diet needs work.

The only increase in April's Goals is in miles. Otherwise I'm still aiming for 5 days a week and 300 minutes a week (there will only be 4 weeks in April).
Miles Goal - 55 (going from 10 to 14 per week)
Days Goal - 20
Minutes Goal - 1200

Friday, April 2, 2010

When work and exercise collide

My schedule is way off for this week. It's the time of year when my job becomes overwhelming and I can't get out for lunch or even squeeze in a workout between the end of the day and picking up kids. I declared last night a "margarita night" because I had gotten to the point of prefixing swear words to certain meeting obligations that I had, such as "that stupid *bleep* meeting was a waste of my time." (double adjectives = you know it's a bad night)

I wanted to get in a four mile run and knew it would make me feel better but the consumption of two margaritas does not meet the safety standards of operating a treadmill. Though it could be an amusing YouTube video.

See, I'm all about safety.

My hope is to make up for it today but it doesn't look good, doesn't look good at all.