Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Race Recap - Wine & Dine Half!

Here I am, behind again, but stopping by to recap my very first half marathon!

Disney's Wine & Dine Half Marathon - November 9, 2013
I am so grateful that my wonderful friend, Barbara, agreed to run my first half marathon with me! Disney's Wine & Dine Half Marathon is a celebration of the end of Epcot's Food & Wine Festival. The race is run at night - it starts at 10pm. There is an after-party in Epcot that goes until 4:00am!

The race began at the Wide World of Sports, and we had to be there by 8pm. Around 7:00 we got on a bus from our hotel - no driving to the start line. There was a huge party going on! They had a DJ who was leading/teaching all sorts of dances from his spot on the stage. There was a huge screen and people with video cameras running around and filming people. There were tons of costumes - it was a sight to see! Barbara and I took our bags to the bag check area and then settled down on our garbage bags and old towels to have our pre-race snacks.
Bus selfie, complete with photobomb!
I thought all the people dancing and bouncing around were crazy, but eventually we decided to join them! We did the chicken dance, the Macarena, the YMCA, and several others. It was fun! I was a little worried about wearing myself out before my first big race, though.
One picture of the pre-party. It doesn't even begin to show how big the crowd was!
Finally, we lined up in our corrals. Barbara was in a faster corral than me, so she came back to my corral. Each corral has its own start! Ours started right at our scheduled time - 10:19pm. 
Fireworks at the start of the first corral
Almost time to start! I was so excited!
I was running pretty strong right from the beginning. I guess the dancing warmed me up some! We first ran out of the Wide World of Sports and onto Osceola Parkway. The route would take us through Animal Kingdom and back down Osceola Parkway. As we were between mile 1 & 2, we saw a guy running fast down the other side of Osceola! He was at mile 7 or 8! Everyone was cheering, and then we were watching for the first female. When she showed up, the whole place went nuts! Running is so cool - everyone supports each other, even in a race!

We eventually made it to Animal Kingdom and ran into some water on the road on our way back to Osceola. (broken sprinkler) We ran around in the grass to avoid wet feet. I was still feeling good and running about 5K pace, which is a no-no. I kept telling Barbara I was afraid I was going to poop out at the end, and she said I looked comfortable, I was upright with good posture, I was smiling and talking. I was fine. She was right. :)

We turned off of Osceola and onto an on-ramp. Lots of characters were along the way and they were fun to see! We went up a little hill and saw the green army man from Toy Story. He was telling us to conquer that hill! Around mile 8 there was a cliff shot stop. I have never tried any gels - I like chews. I had chews in my pocket so I passed on the gel. We spent a couple of miles running around, through, into, out of, back around, and back through Hollywood Studios. There was a cool tunnel that is normally for cast members only. They had hung disco balls and there were smoke machines - it was really fun to run through! After that, we were looking forward to the Osborne Spectacle of Lights. But first, I had to take a bathroom break.

Of course, I waited until we got into the park so I could use a "real" bathroom! No one likes port-o-potties! That was the first time I've ever had to pee during a run, and getting my pants back in place was like pulling up a too-tight, wet bathing suit! It took me a little while! And then we finally made it to the Christmas lights!
Huge perk of this race - running through the lights!
Now we were past mile 10, and I just never seemed to get my stride back. Barbara was super encouraging, reminding me that this was what I had trained for, to imagine Bruce's face cheering me on, to envision the finish line, and to use my upper body strength to propel forward when my legs felt weak. And BOY, did they feel week! 

Between miles 11-13, I needed to take a few extra walk breaks. The course got pretty crowded as we headed out of Hollywood and on to Epcot via the Boardwalk area. It was a beautiful area to run through, but the sidewalk was very narrow. I was DONE when we finally made it into Epcot. We actually ran in by France, then out again, and then finally back in by Figment. I knew the finish line was in the parking lot, so I was a bit dismayed when we entered the park next to Figment. I knew how far we were from the golf ball, and that it was even farther to the finish line!

I was hurting, I was tired, my stomach had started to feel upset around mile 12. Ugh! Why again had I decided to do this?! It seems I love running...except when I'm actually DOING it! The course through Epcot was roped off and there were what seemed like millions of people on both sides cheering us on. Amazingly, though, that did nothing for me. I just wanted to be DONE. It was after 1:00 in the morning, after all!

Finally, FINALLY, we rounded the corner and saw the finish line. I can't even describe the feeling I had as I crossed it. Months and months of training, sweat, clean eating, cross training, getting up in the middle of the had all come down to this! We crossed the line and got our medals and immediately saw some friends from our running group who were volunteering! Then we got ice packs on our hamstrings and grabbed some bananas and I just wanted a Coke. (Note: I stopped drinking soda in January, so it had been a REALLY long time since I'd had a Coke! But my stomach just felt like it wanted a Coke!) 
The medal  made it all worth it! My time was 2:52:41.
Long story short, we finally found Brian, got our Cokes, and headed into Epcot. After awhile of trying to find a place to change clothes, we sat down to wait. It felt SO GOOD to sit down! Barbara, knowing me like she does, helped me to avoid barfing people. Throwing up is not allowed around me. EVER. (This can be a challenge at races, I've found!)

Eventually we changed out of our wet clothes and got in the very short line to ride Soarin'. It was great. I still didn't feel like eating much, which was weird because I'm usually STARVING after a long run! Brian and Barbara were hungry, so we ventured into the countries and they enjoyed some food from the Food & Wine Festival. I trudged along behind them with my sore legs. :)

It was almost 4am when we headed back to the hotel. Brian had parked really close to the entrance at Epcot - he's such a wonderful husband! By the time we got into the room, I was famished and ate a bunch of homemade trail mix I had brought. Then I took a shower and before heading to bed (at 5am), I checked Facebook - my running friends were just getting up to run! LOL

All in all, it was a great race experience, even though it was a night race and I'm used to running first thing in the morning. I would do it again! At the after party, I asked Barbara if you always felt this bad after a half marathon. She said, "Yes, and you swear you'll never do it again, and then the next day you're looking up more races!" I laughed because I thought there was no way I would ever voluntarily do that again!

But the next morning, before I even got out of bed, I was looking up more races. And four weeks later, I ran my second half marathon! Recap to come. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Playing Catch-Up

Well, obviously, when I went back to work full time in early September, I had too much going on to keep up my workout routine AND my blog! :) However, I just want to have a quick recap of things that have happened since my last entry so that I can write about my big race that just happened last night/early this morning!

In early September, I did my first 12-mile run on the hills of Apopka. I am SO THANKFUL for my group who absolutely got me through that run! I did fine until that last hill, and I swear - Dennis and Amanda practically pulled me up it! They are awesome. :)

Rebecca & me, coming in for the finish!
I completed the Miracle Miles 15K in mid-September. It was my first 15K race and longest race to date. We had some seriously hot weather and intense sun that day, but despite that, I actually felt pretty good. I ran with my friend Rebecca the whole time and it was quite enjoyable!
Before the race

After, complete with medals! (I'm in the lower left corner.)
After that, I had two 14-mile runs in at the beginning and one at the end. For the second one, I'm so thankful for Rebecca who agreed to run with me on Friday instead of Saturday! (Brian & I were going away for the weekend for our anniversary, so I wanted to get the run in early!) It was actually a chilly run that morning, but we made it. At one point we could see our breath, which is quite unusual for Florida!
After my first 14
Rebecca and me after my second 14

In early October, I did the UCF 5+2 miler and got the "distance dare" medal. All of my running buddies who raced that day had just run 22-24 miles the day before - they are all training for full marathons. I was AMAZED at their abilities and heart! So...go Rebecca, Amanda, and Leah!

2 races - 7 miles - DONE!
We got our Distance Dare medals!
With all of these runs under my belt, I was feeling pretty confident about my half-marathon. However, after my second 14-miler, I did something to my back. I don't know what I did - I think it must have been a combination of shivering during that cold run and sleeping in a horribly uncomfortable bed at our hotel that weekend. Regardless, I woke up the next day with some pretty intense pain in my upper back.

Luckily, my massage therapist was able to come over soon thereafter and help me. I had some seriously tight muscles in my back, but she worked them as well as she could. Thank you, Cristy!! I didn't run for almost a week, but finally took a walk on Oct. 30 and then ran a little over 4 miles on the 31st...and that got me to 100.5 miles for the month. Did I mention that I challenged myself to walk and run 100 miles in the month of October? Well, I did...and I succeeded!

The Saturday following that, November 2, I ran 8 miles with some friends. I was planning to work out as usual and do an easy 3 miles on Tuesday or Wednesday of that week, but my back was hurting pretty badly and I didn't want to do anything to jeopardize my race. I worked out with Bruce on Monday and was ok, but I skipped my workout with him on Thursday in lieu of another massage with Cristy. It seemed to help, and I made the decision to just rest until my race on Saturday night.

I will stop there, but in a little while I will recap the race!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Blogging in my head

It seems that a huge amount of time has passed, once again, since I have blogged! I often have blog posts bumping around in my head, but somehow they rarely make it to the computer.

ANYWAY. I continue to suffer from blisters from my new shoes. I have finally decided to take them back and exchange them for a new pair of my old model. (Mizuno Wave Inspires) I never got any blisters from those!

Last Saturday, August 17, was the Celebration of Running 5K and I met with some friends to do around 5 miles before the race. As soon as I ran about 3 steps, I realized it wasn't my day. I was sore, my feet hurt, it was horribly humid, and on and on. Sometimes it's just not a good running day! But I did my mileage and then did the 5K. I didn't have a very fast time during the race, but I wasn't going for time - I was just getting the mileage in. However, I did have fun hanging out with my friends and we did get really cute medals!

My amazing husband and biggest supporter came with me that day. Yep, he got up at 4:45 (which was really sleeping in for me on a Saturday) and napped in the car, and then met me at the finish line. After I drank a ton of water and we checked out the booths, I stretched and we headed to Aquatica. Once there, I took a few shots of my blisters because I knew you would like to see them. :) 
This is the biggest one I had gotten the week before. 
And this smaller but annoying one on my 4th toe.
And an out-of-focus picture of the huge callus I've developed. It was pretty
angry that day. And it had blisters forming around it.
These have required tape, blister band-aids, and moleskin over the past couple of weeks. They are better, but this past Saturday I added two more new ones and re-angered these. LOL! I really need for them to heal up. This coming Saturday I have a day off from running, so hopefully that will help.

Speaking of this past Saturday, I ran 10 miles for the first time. I was STRESSED about it! I stressed myself out by thinking and worrying about it all week, and then I didn't do a great job of fueling myself or hydrating the day before. All in all, it went pretty well. It was a tough run, but I stuck it out thanks to my wonderful running group! I was sore, tired, and hot, and I would have quit after 5 miles if it wasn't for them!

Afterward, I had a yummy breakfast with friends at First Watch. I had PANCAKES! Yummy! And bacon - REAL bacon, too...not turkey bacon! It was heavenly.

When I got home, I took an ice bath and I didn't play around. I sat in cool water and we dumped two 10 pound bags of ice into the tub with me. It was...intense. But I have to say, it was the best thing I've ever done after running. I sat in that ice bath for 20 minutes and then my legs felt amazing for the rest of the day! They weren't even sore...I couldn't believe it! 

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I've started going early to the workout so I can run 2 miles for a warmup. It's a good way to add some mileage to my week, but it means I'm now getting up at 3:10 on those days. So needless to say, I'm tired! I had a good run this morning, though, with only 88% humidity! It seemed so much cooler! I hope that's a preview of weather to come. I cannot wait until it's a little cooler!

That's about all I have for now. I'm still working with Bruce 2 days a week, and I'm still building muscle. But I still have a huge belly. I ordered the 24-day Challenge from Advocare, so when that comes in I'll be blogging about my experiences with that! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Running with Meteors

Lots of workouts have happened since I last blogged! I felt pretty good after my 8 mile run, although I was a little sore. That's to be expected. I welcome the soreness - it means I did something good for my body!

This past Saturday, I had a 6 mile run and I wore my new shoes. Around mile 3, I realized that something was rubbing against the inside of my left heel. Another mile or so and I could feel that it was the insole and I was getting a blister. When I got home and got my socks off, I did indeed have a pretty big blister that was full of fluid and also another smaller blister on the bottom of one of my toes.

Running is weird. I was a little proud of the blister. :)

Sunday morning I got a fire ant bite on my toe at church. On the other foot. So then both of my feet had "injuries." I'm so high maintenance!

So for my cross training on Monday, Bruce helped me cover the blister and the ant bite with KT tape. This tape is not really for covering wounds, but it worked great and came off easily. I had gotten lots of advice from other runners and from the internet. I thought about moleskin, but it's SO sticky that I was afraid when I pulled it off it would take the skin with it. Also, moleskin is no good for toes - it just rubs against the next toe and causes yet another blister! The KT tape worked like a charm.

(Incidentally, I realized yesterday that I was getting better at push-ups. Bruce even said that my push-ups were looking good! It feels really good to see some improvement!)

This morning's run was super cool! (um...not the temperature.) Since we run in the dark, we got to see several meteors! They were like falling stars and so amazing to see while running in circles around the track! Today's workout was 1200, 1000, 800, 600, 400 - with a 200 in between each for recovery. I had a great run and each lap was faster than my goal time. And the tape stayed on my war wounds! It was a great morning!

I am so thankful for my running group! They motivate me, push me, encourage me, and hold me accountable. Just knowing that someone will always be there to run with makes it a little easier to get up at 3:30. So thank you Sandy, Sue, Amanda, Amy, Sarah, Diana, Maria, and all the rest of you! :) You're rock stars!

Tomorrow I'm heading to the Track Shack for their sale, to see what to do about the insole in my blister-causing shoe, and to pick up my packet for the Celebration of Running 5K this Saturday. I know, a 5K in Florida in August. I'm crazy, but we already knew that, now, didn't we?

Monday, August 5, 2013

8 miles

Saturday I ran 8 miles for the first time ever! 8 MILES! To some, I'm sure it seems like nothing, but to was an accomplishment! My legs were a little sore after, but nothing major! Also, I had the busiest week ever, so I was impressed that I made it, considering that I didn't sleep much or eat very well all week. Yay!

Smiling after 8 miles!
I also got new shoes on Saturday! Yay! I was dying for a new pair, so I headed down to the Track Shack and got some. I loved 2 pairs, but could only afford one...for now! ;)

My new shoes: Asics Gel-Kayano 19 

I also loved the New Balance 1260
I wore them to the gym today and they felt great! I did weights and cross training today, and after eating a bunch of crap this weekend (and for most of the week), it was difficult! I really need to focus on fueling better. Anyway, plenty of hard work today with Bruce! He commented that I'm tolerating the workouts a lot better than I did at first, so I'm glad to know it! 

Tomorrow morning I have a track workout at 5am, then a tempo run on Thursday followed by more weights/cross training, and then only a 6 mile run on Saturday. This should be a great workout week!

I'm starting to feel the pressure of the school year starting. My classes don't start until September 9, but there are so many things I've wanted to get done around the house.  I have about a month to do it. I made a job jar for myself earlier in the summer, but I haven't done one thing from it. I hope I can get it all finished over the next several weeks!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Back to life

Well, once again, I'm behind on my blogging. I'm not going to go back through and recap all of my workouts since I last posted. But I've been diligently running on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings, and lifting weights twice a week.

I did do my first 6 mile run on July 13! Well, it was actually my first 6 mile run since May. And we went more like 6.5 miles, so it really was my longest run! Training in the heat and humidity of Florida is difficult, but I'm committed.

Last Thursday I hopped on a plane to visit my brother Brad, sister-in-law Kari, and 2 nephews (Braden & Keaton) in Ohio. I got in late Thursday night and on Friday we headed to Columbus to pick up our packets for the Color Run on Saturday! Yay! We got there bright and early on Saturday morning and met Kari's friend and her little boy. So it was me, Kari, Braden (8 years), Keaton (4 years), Sheri, and Sam (5 years) racing together. Braden named our team "The Bullets." Shirts designed by Braden & Kari.

It was a blast! Of course, it was different and interesting with 3 kids, but we had so much fun getting all messy and colorful! I carried Keaton in my arms for part of the time, carried Braden on my back, shielded little eyes from color, protected little bodies from pouring rain, and stuff like that.
Braden & me around mile 2
It poured on us for about the last half mile and set our color in really nicely. :) It was crazy! And then we got in the crowd and got even MORE color after we were finished racing! It was an awesome day.

The whole team!
I ran a couple more times while I was in Ohio. It was so nice to run without all the humidity! I got home yesterday and got right back to it today, with a 3:30 wake-up time and on the track by 4:45. We did 3 miles, and then I did 1 more mile on the track. During that last mile I was able to sustain a 10:00 pace - what?! Who am I?! LOL! I was quite surprised.

On to weights this afternoon with Bruce, and that sums it all up, I think!

Monday, July 8, 2013

A new hobby!


Thursday - July 4 - rest day!
Friday - rest day!
(I may have eaten like crap those two days...)

Saturday my group was off, so I ran at Crane's Roost with my friend Barbara. We did 4 miles - it was our last 4. It only goes up from here, folks! All of the rest of the Saturdays in July, we'll do 6, and then it starts going to 8 and above! It makes my stomach hurt to think about it, so I will try not to won't worry about that yet!

Sunday, Brian and I were talking before church about exercise and fitness and health and such. He wants to get in shape, but right now, he's on deadline at work. Brian works for EA Sports. If you're familiar with the life of a game programmer, then you'll understand what it means that he's in Alpha right now. Crazy hours, high stress, and the company brings in food - BAD food. He's surrounded by temptation and stuck in an office chair all day.

He also has a bad back, so he can't really run. We thought biking might be a good form of exercise for him, so we headed to our local bike store after church. The owner recommended a bike for Brian to try out. He rode it around the parking lot and liked it. Then we realized that they rented bikes by the hour, so we decided to go home and eat lunch and change clothes, then head back for a bike ride.


Biking is comfortable even in the heat because you get a great breeze! There's a nice little trail that goes right by the store, so we hopped on and rode for almost 4 miles, then turned around and rode back. It took us about 50 minutes. I honestly have not ridden a bike for more than about 5 minutes since childhood. I wasn't even sure if I would be able to go for very long - the last time I tried to ride around our neighborhood, my legs just couldn't do it! But that was years ago...and I had no problem this time! I had an absolute blast!

Brian's back and shoulders started to hurt partway through. But he was a trooper - he hung in there! Here's a very appropriate picture of how we both felt afterward! Haha!
Yes, we had Rita's Italian Ice afterward - it's right next door to the bike shop!
We're pretty sure his pain was a combination of his being a little out of shape and also his handlebars being too low. We'll adjust them and whip him into shape in no time! Of course, we bought the bikes! They're being looked over by the bike mechanic and we can pick them up on Tuesday. I can't wait!!

So - local friends - let me know if you ever want to go bike riding, k?

Something else for me to be obsessed with! Yay! ;)

I went to the gym today for my cross-training workout with Bruce. We did plenty of weights, some old and some new moves, and he made me do those blasted single leg squats! They are HORRIBLE! We haven't worked hard on legs in awhile, since I'm running without him now and since I've upped my mileage. But I guess he thought I needed it today! 

Afterward I went to lunch with Brian - a HEALTHY lunch at Subway - (did I mention I gained 2.4 lbs? Another gain! That's almost 5 lbs in 2 weeks!! I don't know what's going on!!) - and I realized I'm going to be doing like 7 days of exercise, or maybe more, with no rest days! Crazy. I don't know how I can be working this hard and gaining weight. But starting today I'm only allowing myself 1200 calories a day (and I will eat the calories I burned while exercising too) - so hopefully we'll see a difference next week.

Here's the plan:
Yesterday - 7.5 mile bike ride
Today - Weight training with Bruce
Tomorrow - Running on the track - speed workout
Wednesday - bike ride with Brian
Thursday - 4 mile pace run - hills
Friday - Weight training with Bruce
Saturday - 6 mile run with Marathonfest group
Sunday - ?? maybe another bike ride!

And there's more after that...but we'll just see how I feel after that many days with no rest! :D

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Well, I've done it again...waited too long to blog. Now I have to recap all of my workouts!

Thursday 6/27 - 3.2 miles, heat and humidity!

Saturday 6/29 - couldn't sleep the night before. At 2am, I was still awake! Brian said, "It might be time to think about sleeping in a little and running on the treadmill." I decided to go ahead and TRY to run with my Marathonfest group, but when the alarm rang at 4:15, I knew I would NOT have a good run on 2-ish hours of sleep. So I ran 4 hot and boring miles on the treadmill.

Sunday 6/30 - I TURNED 40! Insane.
Notice the giant cup of water behind me. There's always one nearby!
Strawberry shortcake with a ridiculous perfect amount of whipped cream!

Oops. I may have eaten out for lunch and dinner on my birthday and had dessert both times. (I also may have eaten out the night before...)

Monday 7/1 - weights with Bruce. We did lots of upper body and core. I am really starting to see some definition in my arms! :)

Tuesday 7/2 - my first workout on the track. We were to do 6 to 8 sets of 400s, walking or jogging a 200 in between each; then a 4-minute water and rest break; then another set of 6 to 8 400s. I did two sets of 6. I actually enjoyed it! It was nice knowing I only had to run around the track once before I got to walk a half lap!

According to my half marathon goal (2:30), I was supposed to be running my 400s at an 11:20 pace. Amazingly, I averaged about 10:25-10:35! I think the walk breaks helped, though - I know I couldn't maintain that pace right now. But it was nice knowing I was almost a minute faster than I was supposed to be!

I did have a few giggles about my eclectic running playlist. I ran my second set with a friend, but during my first set I heard songs by Cake, Afro Blue, Harry Connick Jr., Jody Watley, Pentatonix, The Allies, Beyonce, Maroon 5, and more that I can't remember right now. :)

OK! Today I'm going to do weights with Bruce again. I usually do Mon-Thurs with him, but tomorrow is a holiday and I'm actually taking the day OFF! It will be weird not to run, but I know it's good to rest my legs. My group is also not running on Saturday, since it's a holiday weekend. But I'll definitely be meeting up with someone somewhere to get my 4 miles in. Next weekend it goes up to 6 - look out!

(I've done 6 a few times, but never more. What will I do when it gets to 8?!)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Exercise and weight GAIN

OK, first things first.

Saturday - good 4 mile run at 6am in the heat and humidity, followed by breakfast, a quick stop at the Track Shack expo, (where I bought a neon yellow Marathonfest shirt. I don't wear yellow. EVER. Running is changing me!), and then a trip to Aquatica where hubby and I spent most of the rest of the day. I've decided that swimming after running is a good thing. :)

Monday - weights with Bruce. He worked my legs some, but mostly upper body, core, and back. It feels really good to be getting stronger. He also has me doing some crazy 20 second sprints on the treadmill at a ridiculous incline (20-25%) - but since it's not prolonged running it's not hurting my legs. It's really nice to not have sore legs all the time! (Even though I am icing the hamstrings today!)

Tuesday - good 3 mile run at 5am. I did mile repeats. My first mile I ran without walking in 10:20! That's really a confidence builder, especially since I was having so many bad runs in a row. With the heat and humidity, I felt pretty good that I was able to do that. My other two miles I walked some, but that was ok - it was SUPER humid, especially for 5am! I was surprised because it was much better last week.

Today is a rest day, but I'm hoping to do a little swimming and some ab work.

I weighed in this morning and gained 2.2 lbs. Seriously. I am so frustrated! I'm burning more calories than ever before. I do realize that I'm also building muscle, and everyone will tell me that "muscle weighs more than fat." OK. Whatever. All I know is that I'm killing myself and GAINING weight. When I got back from Italy I had LOST weight. And I had pasta for every meal, sweet croissants and cappuccino for breakfast, and gelato every day, sometimes twice a day.

I've done an awful lot of reading and research on running, eating, weight loss, and etc. I've talked to a lot of people about it, too. I know that nutrition is very important. Apparently, some runners see that they are burning so many calories, and then they give themselves permission to eat whatever they want. I can say that I have NOT been doing that. I may not be eating perfectly (last night I went to a birthday party and had cake and ice cream and cupcakes!), but it is very rare that I let myself eat a bunch of crap.

Today I'll be taking stock of my pantry and fridge, looking up recipes, and making a grocery list. I need to head to the store and spend more time fixing nutritious meals and snacks that will fuel my body for these hard workouts. Lucky for me that my Saturday runs take place right by an awesome Farmers' Market!

If anyone has any advice, I'm SO open to it. Leave me a comment. Send me an email. Share articles, recipes, and anything else you can think of! This is my SUMMER OF EXERCISE, and that includes learning to eat like a runner! :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Off to a good start!

It would seem that my mental block is broken!! I don't want to speak too soon and jinx anything, but I've finally had a couple of really good runs!!

(I've got to do better about updating my blog more often. I keep having to go back and see what the last workout was that I blogged about!)

OK, so...workout with Bruce on Thursday, June 13. We spent a little bit of time talking because I had gotten an email from Marathonfest. I decided to sign up for Marathonfest, which is a training program through Track Shack that targets marathons and half marathons. They train on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. (They train on Sundays too, for people who can't do Saturday. But I can't do Sunday so I often forget about that.) Anyway, I was planning on sticking with Bruce for Tuesdays and Thursdays, and doing my long run with them on Saturdays. But then I got the plan - they run significant mileage on T-Th, where I run usually between 1.5 and 3 on those days. I started to worry that I wouldn't be running enough.

Bruce took a look at the plan and advised me to run with them for one whole week and see where I was in relation to the group. Neither of us was sure I would be able to get up at 3:30 and be in Winter Park for a 5am run. But I decided to give it a try. Plus, my friend Barbara is doing it, so it's easier when there's some accountability!

We proceeded to do some warmups, arm work, and a short 15-20 minute slow run. The warmups hurt, I'm not gonna lie. I hadn't run for 11 days and was still somewhat recovering from jet lag. The run was awful - I ran for 5 minutes, walked for 1, and then couldn't do more than 2-3 minutes at a time for the rest of the run. I was so discouraged - I was hoping that the rest over vacation would help.

Then I went for my Saturday long run with Marathonfest. We were doing 4 miles, running 5/1. (5 minutes running, 1 minute walking.) I was pretty nervous because I couldn't even remember my last good run. We ran with a different group that day - there are a BUNCH of different pace groups. This one was a 5/1 group with an 11-12 minute mile pace. I did fine for awhile, but it was SO humid. I mean you could CUT the air. By the end I was just running as much as I could and walking quite a bit. I did the 4 miles but with more walking than I wanted. Again, I was pretty disappointed in myself.

Fast forward to Tuesday. I got up at 3:30, left the house at 4:00, picked up Barbara at 4:15, and was warming up on the track at 4:40. I decided to run with yet ANOTHER group, one that does 3/1 with a 9:30-10:30 minute mile pace. They were running slower than that on Tuesday and after awhile I just left them and ran alone. (No worries, with Marathonfest you're never truly running alone because there are like 500 people on the course.) But I wasn't with a particular group - I would just find people here and there to run with.

About 30 minutes in, I realized I was having a great day, so I really pushed myself! For awhile there I was keeping a 9:20 pace without stopping. That's unreal for me and I was so happy! But I tried not to get overexcited! By the end I had done almost 4 miles and my calves and Achilles' tendons were hurting pretty bad. I knew I had pushed it so I texted Bruce and he didn't seem too worried. I came home and iced my legs and went about my day. I did fall asleep on the couch while eating lunch! LOL! 3:30 is EARLY! But I can totally see the benefit! It was still mostly dark when I finished my run, so the temperature was SO MUCH BETTER!

I did the whole thing again on Thursday, but this time we were doing a 3 mile run on hills. Luckily it wasn't hills the whole time, but I really need to do them because they scare me to death. I wasn't feeling it when I first started, but somehow I got in my groove and had another great day! I did 3/1 again and this time was at the front of the group with a super nice lady named Sandy. I ran the hills smoothly and without stopping and shocked myself!!

Later that morning, I went in for a session with Bruce. He promised to take it easy on my legs, but he did sneak in a few leg exercises. I felt that! We decided that I would come in twice a week to do core and weight training/cross training with him, and then continue running with Marathonfest. So it looks like I'll be getting up at 3:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays all summer and most of the fall!

I did lots of arm/shoulder/back stuff and today I'm SUPER sore! It feels great, though! I feel like I'm finally back and off to a great start for my Summer of Exercise!

In other news, did I mention that I signed up for the Disney Princess Half? My awesome college friend, Angie, is coming down from Ohio to do it with me. I can't wait!

Also, just today I signed up for Twitter. It's about time, right? Follow me @run_aunt_sis!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Professional Exerciser

Wow. It's been a really long time since I blogged! I'll quickly finish out my exercise log after my last post.

May 23 - workout with Bruce. Pretty normal day.

May 25 - 6 mile run. Lots of walking during. I was feeling pretty tired and because my running group had a week off, I was on my own. I left a lot later than I had planned, so I had to deal with the heat and the sun. But I did run into my friend Staci who did 4 miles with me, so that was an awesome surprise!

May 28 - workout with Bruce, during which he absolutely KILLED my quads. I mean KILLED them. I was sore for 6 days after. :(

May 30 we left for Italy to celebrate my"milestone" birthday. Yep, I'm in the last few weeks of my 30s, folks. It's weird. But the trip to Italy was awesome! I had planned to run 3 times while we were gone, but I only ended up running once. At the risk of sounding whiny, it's really hard to plan for a run when you're staying in a hotel. I couldn't stay hydrated like I do at home, and I couldn't eat normally. And we did a lot of walking every single day, with lots of hills and stairs! Anyway, I ran once in Lake Como and it was beautiful. I ran right on the lake, and even ran out a little pier and back - so fun! I love having that map on my Garmin. Here are a few pics from that run:

So now we're home and I took a short walk this morning. I have a workout scheduled with Bruce tomorrow. I'm feeling a little uneasy about my running - it seems for the last month I've been super tired and found it hard to keep up my pace. I'm hoping that over the summer I can increase my endurance (although that will probably be difficult in the Florida heat.) It seems like my legs are fine and can keep going, but I just can't catch my breath. I need to improve my cardiovascular system.

The plan is to keep up my workouts with Bruce on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and do my long run on Saturdays with my group. I'm also hoping to add another day with Bruce. My group also does Tuesday and Thursday early morning runs, so I'm going to talk to Bruce about that tomorrow. I feel like it's time to re-evaluate and get me back on track. And I also plan to walk on some of my off-days. Hopefully that will continue to improve my cardio, while also speeding recovery and burning calories.

This summer, my job title will be "professional exerciser"!!!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

No workout today.

At this very moment, I'm supposed to be at the gym working out. But instead, I'm sitting here at home with a purring cat on my lap. I have some sort of stomach thing going on. It's not contagious, but it is a situation where there could be an "accident" on the treadmill...(oops, TMI, sorry) I just didn't want to risk it. It's been going on since Sunday and I'm quite tired of it!

I'm pretty bummed. I'm eating better thanks to the nutritionist, and I was hoping to have a great workout today (especially after last week), and that I would be better fueled by my healthy food choices. (Before you ask, my food choices are not causing my stomach problems. I'm very used to a high fiber diet and I haven't changed much except I'm eating more carbs.)

The OCD thoughts are bad when something like this happens. I'm afraid I'll lose my progress. I'm afraid my trainer will think less of me or think I'm making excuses. I'm afraid I'll revert back to the old me and give up on exercise altogether. I know in my heart that none of this is true, but it's pretty hard to explain that to my brain. Add the stress of work, church, and an upcoming trip, and the OCD is getting out of control.

I need exercise to help me control it! Maybe I can do some sort of workout tonight when I'm finished teaching. It will be easier at home with the bathroom close by! We'll see how I feel. I could probably do some weights but I'm not sure I want to try running or anything that will bounce things around in my stomach. :P

Until I feel better, I'm just going to focus on some good quotes that will hopefully help me tamp down the OCD thoughts.
See, that one doesn't make me feel any better, because I'm not going to feel sore tomorrow. I'm going to feel sorry. I guess it was my choice, but I think it was a smart one. Even though I don't like it.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Lesson Learned

It was a bad workout week overall. Tuesday, I went in for my regular workout with Bruce and when we got to the treadmill, I just couldn't do what he wanted me to do. And he wasn't asking a lot - it was just half mile repeats at my normal pace! I couldn't even make it through the first run. And it wasn't my foot that was bothering me. It was my breath. I just couldn't catch my breath!

I was so disappointed in myself that I almost cried right on the treadmill. Bruce said it was just a bad day. I was pretty upset when I left. So later that day, I decided that I should run on Wednesday to make up for it. I texted Bruce, and he said for me to go ahead and run 3 miles on Wednesday. I felt better.

I got up Wednesday and did a 5K in the neighborhood. I pushed myself and I beat my best 5K time by 43 seconds! I was feeling pretty good about that, but when I got up on Thursday, my legs were pretty sore.

I went in for my Thursday workout with Bruce. We did plenty of weight training, and I even did 20 pushups! GUY pushups, from the toes! :) They're still really hard for me, but it's a great feeling just knowing I can do them!

And then we got to the treadmill. I was to run for 3 minutes at pace, and then 1 minute at pace on an incline. I didn't even get through the first 3 minute run before I had to stop and stretch my calf. I was having some pretty bad pain in my left shin. Bruce showed me how to stretch my calf because apparently tight calves cause shin splints.

After the first incline I thought I was going to die. I just couldn't get my breath. I huffed and puffed and asked Bruce if I could walk. He said yes, after my current run, but I had to walk on an incline. So I did that for 1 minute and then it was back to the circuit. As I was running, Bruce said, "So now are you going to listen to me? You needed to rest yesterday. Your body told you to rest. You need to listen to your body and to me." I said, "Yes <pant> sir <pant pant pant>!" He said, "Are you going to rest tomorrow?" I said, "Yes <pant> please <pant> let me <pant> rest <pant huff puff pant>!"

I didn't realize that by agreeing to let me run on Wednesday, he was proving a point. I'm still a new runner. I've only been working out this hard for 8 weeks! My body does need to rest, especially when I'm adding mileage! Bruce is a good trainer and a patient man. I am lucky to get to work with him. I just get so excited, and I want to exercise every minute of every day! But I DON'T want to get hurt. So I have to remember to listen to my body. And my trainer.

I rushed home after stretching and made my post-workout shake, took a shower, then hopped in an ice bath. I have to ease into it, but once I'm in, it makes my legs feel amazing!

I told Bruce on Thursday that I thought for sure that my belly fat was contributing to my breathing problems. Belly fat is the unhealthy type of fat - the type that surrounds the heart. I'm so sick and tired of dealing with it. It's been this way my whole life. Even a few years ago, when I was a size 4, I still had my belly. It causes muffin tops EVERY DAY. It doesn't match the rest of my body anymore. My arms and legs and shoulders are getting muscular. My belly is the same. I look like one of those flip books where you can experiment with un-matching parts:
My middle just doesn't match. I have to buy bigger pants and shorts because of how big my waist is, and then they look ridiculous on my legs and butt! Ugh. I'm beyond ready to do something about it. So that afternoon I made an appointment to see a nutritionist.

Friday I did some work and rested. Max even helped me ice my legs. And he took a drink from the frozen pea condensation.

Saturday I was up at 4:15 for my long run with the Marathon-fest group. I didn't sleep great on Friday night - it's just REALLY hard to fall asleep early! Plus I get super excited about running and then I just can't turn my brain off. Brian was at the movies, and of course I woke up when he got home. And then I woke up again. So I got about 4 hours of sleep, maybe less. The 4:15 alarm was not pleasant, but I was not going to stand Barbara up!

We got there at about 5:30 and I did my warmups and chatted with folks. We started running and my shins felt like they had rubber bands on them. My hamstrings felt like they had industrial-sized rubber bands, and about 10 on each leg! After about 2 miles I was hurting pretty bad and Barbara wasn't having a great time either. Just when I was about to say I needed to walk, she said, "OK. I have to walk." I was so thankful! LOL! 

We ended up running a little more, but we walked for about the last mile. Altogether we traveled 3.58 miles and walked for about a mile of it. I felt bad - I was supposed to do 5-6 miles. But I actually listened to my body, and that's a step in the right direction, I think.

Afterward, we went to the Winter Park Farmer's Market, which was REALLY cool! We had an amazing breakfast and shopped around a little before heading home. When I got home I decided to run a few more miles. I went outside, ran about 20 steps, and turned around. My hamstrings were in horrible pain. Listening to my body.

After showering, icing my legs, and having a short nap, I went to see the nutritionist at the gym. She had some very interesting things to say. I will be eating for peak performance. My nutrition could have been part of my problem this week with my horrible disappointing not-so-great workouts. I'll be eating more of a whole foods diet, with MORE carbs. That's right. The nutritionist told me to eat MORE carbs!! Good carbs, of course. I also need to up the veggie intake and not worry so much about protein. It's all very enlightening. I'm learning so much.

OK. Now that I've written a book, I'm going to get ready for bed. I've got one more day of rest before my Tuesday workout, and I need to go to the store tomorrow and get prepped for my food changes. To top it all off, I'm not feeling super great today. So, off to sleep and hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Bring on the peas!

Thursday I had a hard workout. I almost couldn't finish it. It left me in this shape:

Yep. Ice, ibuprofen, and compression socks. It's pretty normal for me to have shin splints, but something had happened to my foot. See that bag of frozen peas on my left foot? Yeah. It started hurting in the late afternoon and just never felt better until I got off of it and iced it. (I've discovered that frozen peas work best for me! They aren't rigid and they fit where you put them!)

Friday morning I woke up and my foot was still hurting, so I went into full and complete freak-out mode. I texted Bruce, who said I probably shouldn't run on Saturday. That really disappointed me, but it just felt like a pulled muscle or something, so after going on the internet and diagnosing myself with 47 different things, I texted Bruce again and he told me I could come in. 

He massaged my foot, poked around in different places on it, and almost immediately found the source of the pain. It was not an injury - huge relief! It was just a sore muscle. Well, I can deal with sore muscles! I deal with them every day! I was mainly just concerned that if I ran on Saturday, I would make it worse. Bruce said it would probably be more sore, but I wouldn't injure myself. Yay!

He gave me a bunch of stretches and exercises to do while I was there, and then he sent me on my way and told me to ice it and take ibuprofen. So I headed to UCF to pick up my packet for my first ever 10K race! I was so happy! And I was so thankful for an awesome trainer who understands my craziness and agrees to see me on the spur of the moment, just for my own peace of mind!

I was excited and nervous and had some trouble sleeping that night. But I finally fell asleep and then the alarm rang at about 5:00. (I think I got around 4 hours of sleep - not great.) My awesome husband - aka my #1 fan - got up and went with me. I was almost late to the starting line. Stressful! I got there with several minutes to spare, and then it didn't start on time, which frustrated me because, had I known, I could have used the bathroom before it began! 

I was maybe about 15 minutes into the race when my stomach growled and I realized I hadn't eaten breakfast. What??!! That is SO not normal! I think I was in such a hurry, I had a few bites of my overnight oats, but not nearly enough to sustain me for a 10K! I was supposed to grab a Belvita on the way out the door and eat it in the car, but I totally forgot! 

And then the foot pain started. It was not horrible, but I began to walk a little more. The plan was to run 5 minutes, then walk 1, for the entire race. By mile 3, I was running 3, walking 1. And soon after, it was 2/1. Around mile 5, the pain got pretty bad and I started doing 1/1. It upset me, too, because before that I was on track to seriously beat my goal time. But from mile 5 until the end, it was pretty slow going. I loved seeing my sweetie's face cheering for me at the finish line! 

I immediately said, "I forgot to eat breakfast." He ran and got me a banana and a smoothie, and then he took my picture! 

So. Let's recap.

Firsts at this race:
  1. First time to forget to eat breakfast before a race.
  2. First time running in compression socks.
  3. First 10K distance race.
  4. First time using my brand new Garmin!
  5. First time taking an ice bath (when I got home) - wooooooo it was cold!
No-No's at this race:
  1. Forgetting to eat breakfast. That was really dumb.
  2. Arriving late to the start line - no time for warmups or bathroom.
  3. Running in new clothes - I had never worn that skirt. Luckily, it was fine.
  4. Letting my realization about breakfast get to me.
  5. Negative thinking.
Once I realized I had forgotten breakfast, I wasn't sure I could do it. Seriously, that is such a mental game and I need to learn how to squelch those thoughts. Also, I was already doubting myself because of my foot pain, and that's another mental game.

So I didn't do my very best. Yes, there were extenuating circumstances, but all in all, I could have done better. I will do better next time. I will learn from this race. And it shouldn't be hard to beat my time, which was 1:19:06. I totally could've done it in under 1:10. 

Now it's Monday and I'm working out again tomorrow. That's 2 1/2 days of rest. My legs and foot are still sore! So what's new??!! Bring on the peas!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Marathonfest & Muscles

Last week I decided to shake things up and add an extra training day with Bruce. We scheduled a noon appointment on Saturday. He said we would be in the weight room with no running, so I was excited and nervous!

And then my friend Barbara called and said she was running with her Marathonfest group on Saturday morning, and that I should really try it out because I would love it. (Everyone knows that I run happier when I'm with a friend. I love the distraction. And I love to talk.) :D

Bruce gave the green light, and so I made plans to meet Barbara at her house at 5:15 on Saturday morning. I got up at 4:30, got dressed and grabbed coffee, breakfast, and water, and was out the door at 5:00. We met the group on Park Avenue in Winter Park at 5:45 for a 6:00 run. We were there in time for me to do my warmups, which I was very happy about! Everyone in the group was super nice, especially the group leaders. 

We ran 5/1, which means we ran for 5 minutes and then walked for 1. I've learned over the last few weeks that I run faster overall when I take walk breaks. Also, the course we ran on was supported, which means there were water stops! I thought that was awesome - I didn't have to carry my water bottle with me! It was great to run and chat and listen. We did just under 6 miles, and our pace was much quicker than my usual pace. I kept up with no problem!

Afterward, we had breakfast together at Panera. Then I had to get home and shower because I had a class to teach before my weight training. When I stepped into the shower, I immediately discovered that I had some chafing in a few unmentionable areas! I didn't even feel it until the water hit it! Some of it was pretty red and angry looking. I put my glide stick on it and headed out the door.

When I got to the gym, I did my warmups and then we went to the weight room. I'd never been in there before. Bruce had a nice little circuit set up for me and it was HARD. We did lots of work on my arms, shoulders, and back. Some things incorporated the legs and waist. I had to do pushups with rotations on a bar and they almost killed me! But when I was finished, I felt such a sense of accomplishment! Bruce said I got the best of both worlds with the long run AND the weight training. 

I had lunch with Brian (he was at work) and then I came home and got in a nice, hot bath. Then I took an amazing nap! I don't normally nap, but after getting up at 4:30 and doing all that work, I couldn't really help it! :) The evening was spent resting, relaxing, and icing my shins and calves. It was a great day! I'm still amazed that I can even work out that hard at all!

Tuesday's workout was a little different than normal. I did my warmups, some core exercises, and then we headed to the weight room. Bruce handed me two 10-pound barbels and I had to hold them while I stepped up on this stool that seemed super high! It was one of the hardest things I've ever done! The first 10 weren't bad, but by the time we got to the third set, I could hardly heave myself up there! In between we did some shoulder and arm exercises. 

And then we headed to the treadmill. I was supposed to run as fast as I could for 30 seconds, then run at 5.2 (a little lower than my normal pace) for 2 minutes.  The first sprint was at 7.0. It actually felt really great to open up my stride and run fast. The second sprint I did at 7.5. That's pretty fast for me. :) I'm not really sure how many times I did the circuit...I was really focused on my breathing. But at one point I said, "I don't think I can do 7.5 again." And Bruce said, "Yes, you can. This is your last one." 

I'm so glad he pushes me instead of giving in to my weaknesses. When I finished that, he set the timer for 10 minutes at my new "regular" pace - 5.8 - and as usual, it was the hardest 10 minutes of the whole hour. But I did it and I didn't stop to walk. I did 2 miles in about 22 minutes, including my 2 minute warmup walk. In Bruce's words...I kicked butt!

And that was it! My knees have been bothering me a little bit. I hope it's just from lots of use. :) Bruce said it's normal for them to feel achy after a long run. He said I'll get more used to it. 

I'm definitely noticing some muscle definition in my arms, and my shoulder muscles are starting to feel really solid! My thighs are solid too, but not the inner part - I need to work on that! It's really fun to see my body change. I wish my giant belly would decrease some, though!! I know I need to be patient, but now my belly doesn't fit with my more muscular arms and legs! Ha! I just want to keep building muscle and then maybe when I get rid of all this fat, there will be some ab muscles under there!

I read an article that said when you're building muscle, you need to eat lots of protein so your body won't lose muscle mass. So that's my eating goal now: ~30 grams of protein at each meal. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Virtual Race, a PR, and...underwear!

On Wednesday, I decided to join the first annual Running Bloggers' Virtual Race. I don't know if I can be considered a "real" running blogger or not...most of the running bloggers are much more accomplished than I am, but I figure somebody has to represent the beginners, right? Anyway, I joined the virtual race and signed up to do a 5K and a 10K.

Then yesterday, I went to my regular Thursday workout knowing there would be more running than there was on Tuesday. I did my warmups, some core work, and then we headed to the treadmill. I was going to do half mile repeats, which is running a half mile (at my "new" pace), and then walking 1/10 of a mile, and then repeating that for 30 minutes.

I've recently discovered that my biggest problem while running is the huffing and puffing, so the short walk between half miles helped me TREMENDOUSLY! I was able to talk during the whole thing (poor Bruce, I only had 4 million questions) and I was running comfortably. When it was almost 30 minutes, I looked at my mileage and said, "OK, I'm gonna have to do a 5K now." I was so close!

Even though my training time was almost up, Bruce hung around until I finished. Toward the very end, he said, "What's your best 5K time?" I told him (38:25) and then he said, "Well, you're about to demolish it." That's my favorite thing he said all day. :)

I knocked 3 minutes off of my best 5K time and PR'ed for the Virtual Race!! My time was 35:26!!
Sweaty and proud!

And now I really need to say a few words about underwear. Which leads me to say a few words about sweat. I am not one of these girls who "glistens." I sweat. I sweat a LOT! I work HARD in my workouts! And as a result, my underwear gets soaked. Sorry if that's TMI, but it's just true. I wear my regular cotton underwear under my running pants and it's just ridiculous. By the time I'm warmed up and ready to run, my underwear is soaked and bunched up.

The other day I was pulling on my pants/underwear while trying to run on the treadmill. They were all bunched up and bothering me. It was very attractive, I'm sure! It's just getting hotter, and I'm just going to sweat more and more, so I finally broke down and bought some exercise underwear. It's hard to find - I looked at several stores in the area, including the apparel store at the gym. No one carries them. I had to order online. After reading an article in Runner's World about this very subject, I decided to go with the Moving Comfort workout bikini.

When they arrived in the mail, I tried them on and they fit great - and they felt great! I wore them for the first time yesterday, and I love them!! They stayed in place, wicked away sweat from my body, and dried quickly. My pants were wet with sweat, but my underwear was mostly dry! Amazing! Now I'm going to get a bunch more pairs. :)

In other news, I signed up for my first half-marathon last night. Wait. Did I really say that? I SIGNED UP FOR A HALF-MARATHON!!!! I'm so excited and nervous and everything else! I also convinced Barbara to run with me, so I'm even more excited! Disney Wine & Dine Half - here we come!!!!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Everyone has bad days...right?

I'm behind! I need to try to blog more often so I don't forget my workouts! So last Thursday, after doing some weight training, Bruce timed my mile. It had been about 4 weeks since I started training with him. I really wanted to beat my time! The first time he timed it, I ran about a 13 minute mile. I also had to stop in the middle and walk a little. (Keep in mind it was my first day working with a trainer, and by the time we got to the treadmill I already had jelly legs! Plus I had done yoga for the first time the day before, and I was sore from that!)

Apparently, now I'm used to all the warmups and weight stuff we do before running. Thursday I ran a 10 1/2 minute mile! I was pretty happy with that. 2 1/2 minutes faster than 4 weeks ago, and I didn't have to stop and walk!

Saturday, my assignment was to run 6 miles. I'm so thankful for my super-reliable running buddy, Barbara! I was up at 5:30 and left the house around 6, headed to Crane's Roost. We started running around 6:30. I knew almost immediately that it was NOT going to be a good running day.

My body felt ok, not great, but I couldn't seem to get my breathing right. I was huffing and puffing, and then my legs were hurting, and we weren't even through the first mile. Again, I'm thankful for Barbara - she talked me through it. (If she hadn't been there, I probably would have quit.) We went off the regular course and up a few hills - one of them was fairly big, so when we went down it I was able to open up my stride (Barbara's words) and run faster. It felt really good, and that was probably the best few minutes of the entire run for me!

After 3 miles, I felt like I needed to sprawl on the ground and sob walk a little, so we did most of the rest of the run with 5's and 1's - that is, running 5 minutes, walking 1 minute. I felt like a total and complete failure. After all, it had only been a week since I did 5 miles without stopping, and I was fine! What was wrong with me??!!

When it was time to stop, I pushed myself for another .2 miles just so it would be a 10K distance. So now I know I can survive a 10K (barely) and it's a good thing since I'm running one on May 11!! I was so disappointed with my performance. This is where the OCD thoughts kick in. My brain goes straight there: I'm not good enough. Maybe I'm not cut out for running. I started too late in life. And blah blah blah. A big part of running for me is reframing those thoughts. I LOVE running. I'm not quitting now.

I may have cried a few tears when I got home. But I also may have dried them up pretty quickly and had a nice relaxing bath, followed by some relaxing time on the couch with some of my favorite things:
I'm so in love with Pro Compression marathon socks! (I love their low trainers too!) But that's another post. :) (PS - some of their socks are on sale right now! Check out their website!)

And so on we go. I had sore legs and shin splints after Saturday's run, so Bruce took it easy on me on Tuesday. HA! We did a bunch of weight training. I even did pushups with rotation on a low block - and I did planks with my arms on a ball. Crazy...and fun! I only ran for 15 minutes, but it was, as Bruce says, at my "new" pace, which is a 10:25 minute mile. As usual, the last few minutes were super hard! But it felt great just to know I can do it! Bruce thought it was pretty funny that I couldn't talk as much while running. But I'm sure I'll get used to that pace and start talking his ear off again. :D

I can't wait to see what he has for me tomorrow! I know it will be more running than Tuesday, but that's all I know. It could be hills, speed, intervals...we'll see! I'd better go ice my calves.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hill Day

It's late and I'm tired and I need to get some sleep, but I really want to record what I did for yesterday's workout. As I've said many times before, I really think this was my hardest workout yet. We did some work on my (extremely weak) biceps, and then we did some ab work. And THEN I got on the treadmill. I did this circuit 3 times:

3 minutes at 3% incline
2 minutes flat
1 minute walking

The first 2 times, my speed was 5.5, which is a bit above my "happy" pace of 5.0.  But partway through the second time, I honestly didn't think I was gonna make it. Bruce encouraged me to finish that set, and then I did the third set at 5.2. I'm trying not to be disappointed in myself. I'm learning that even though I had to slow my pace, I didn't quit, and I didn't fail!

After those 3 sets, I walked for I think 3 minutes, and then I had a final 5 minute run at 5.5. That last run almost kills me, but I was thankful it was 5 minutes instead of 10! When I was finished, I stretched a little and then went to the car. I thought I was going to barf and/or pass out - so I called Brian and he met me with a Coke and saved the day. I didn't barf and I didn't die and I was fine!

I'm anxious to see what tomorrow's workout will bring!

In other news, I'm starting to notice that some of my muscles are getting toned a little! Maybe someday I'll post some pictures. Good night!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Just keep running past the finish line...

Thursday was probably my hardest workout yet. I'm doing more and more strength work, and I'm also running for longer and at a faster pace. Thursday we did some leg things that were hard - it's pretty bad when you have to do 12 reps and your muscles are already shaking on rep #2!  LOL!

After all that, it was Fartlek again - this time running 3 minutes at a fast pace, then 1 minute at my "happy" pace, with no walking. I was ok until the final 10 minute run - that one always gets me! I was thinking it must be almost over, so I looked at the clock and it had only been 1 minute!! I actually thought, "Maybe I could ask Bruce for a break today. I don't think I can do this. Maybe he'll give me an easy day." But then I reminded myself that that's not who I am anymore, and I can do this! It was so hard and I did resort to doing math in my head for the last 3 minutes or so, but I did it!

It was a great feeling of accomplishment, so I snapped this sweaty, flushed post-workout picture! I did a 5K on the treadmill today!

I had a 5K to run on Saturday, but my assignment from my coach was to run 5 miles.  The conversation went like this:

Bruce: You're going to run 5 miles on Saturday.
Kerri: But I'm signed up for a 5K!
Bruce: So then just keep running past the finish line and do 2 more miles!
Kerri: But they're serving pancakes!
Bruce: Even better...just keep running right past the pancakes!

LOL! So, Saturday. My awesome cheerleader/husband came along. He's a trooper, leaving the house at 6:15 on a Saturday morning just to support his crazy running wife! I was running alone, and I was a nervous wreck. When I ran 4 miles, I had Barbara there to talk to me and distract me! Was I going to be able to do 5 miles alone?
Pre-race nerves
I was still fooling with my headphones and trying to get my app ready when they said, "GO!" But I took off and assumed my position toward the back of the pack, as usual. My app alerts me at every mile, and I thought I'd never finish the first mile. When I did, I thought...only 1/5 of the way through. Ugh! I tried not to think about it by watching other people, listening to my music, praying, and reminding myself that I can do it!

I called Brian at mile 2. We tried to talk, but I was huffing and puffing and he was at the finish line where there were tons of people and some guy with a megaphone! So we didn't talk long, but I got the encouragement that I needed. (He's the best husband!) And I found out that it had been about 26 minutes. 13-minute-mile pace - that's about normal for me.

Just before mile 3, two old ladies ran past me. One of them was wearing a vest and on the back it said "You've just been passed by an 83 year old!" !!!!!!!! They started walking but I was still running, so I passed them, but then they ran again and passed me again and even though I picked up my pace, they still finished before me! LOL! This should give you a good idea of how slow I am!

I finished the 5K right around 39 minutes and just kept running. It took some focus. Everyone else finished, stopped, and celebrated. Someone did hand me an ice cold water bottle, and since mine was almost empty, I stopped and refilled it with cold water. It took about 15-20 seconds. I may also have poured half of the cold water over my head. :)
Just after the finish line, before the water dousing
And then, I was alone and it was peaceful and I was on a familiar path. My nerves eased up and I enjoyed the run! Brian found a seat on a bench and fist bumped me as I went by. I saw two other girls wearing bibs from the race, so they had obviously kept running, too! I smiled and waved at them a few times - and I may have done some fist pumping and yelled "wooooo!" LOL!

At mile 4, I realized I was actually going to do it - 5 miles without stopping! Then I couldn't stop the ridiculous grin, and I smiled at everyone I saw. I'm sure people wondered what was up with the crazy, sweaty, smiling, running chick! But I didn't care! I was so excited! I ran past Brian a second time and then it was over! He met me and congratulated me and I have to say, I was slightly emotional. I couldn't believe I had done it!

Being proud of myself is kind of a foreign thing to me. I'm always worried thinking about what I could've done better, or what other people think, or something else negative. I'm really trying to change that. I never really thought I could run. I'm still not a pro or anything, but that's not my goal. I'm always trying to beat myself, beat my own time, but mainly, I just love running! And I'm exercising and taking control of my body and health! Nope, I'm not skinny. I'm carrying about 20-25 extra pounds. But I'm working on a healthier self and that is what I'm trying to stay focused on.

Bruce already told me that my treadmill pace will be faster this week, and I'm going to run 6 miles next Saturday. (Did I mention I signed up for a 10K on May 11?) BRING IT ON!