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!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston, Fartlek, and flabby arms.

This is the first year that I was even aware of the Boston Marathon. I knew when it was happening, right when I was working, so I couldn't watch, but I came home for lunch and watched the recap of the Elite Women. It was amazing! I loved watching the different strategies and seeing what individuals did and what groups did. Right while I was watching it online, my husband texted me to tell me about the bombs.

I don't know what's wrong with people. I don't know what else to say. Don't we have enough bad stuff in this world without people purposely adding to the evil? I've read so many inspirational stories and seen so many quotes in the last couple of days. My favorite was was, "If you're trying to defeat the human spirit, marathoners are the wrong group to target!"

So I dedicated my run to Boston yesterday (approx. 2.5 miles) and I wore a race shirt to show support. I'm going to wear one every day this week and I'm going to dedicate my Thursday and Saturday runs to Boston as well. If you want to join the "Runners Unite to Remember" virtual run, click this picture:

In other news: I worked out with my trainer yesterday. I've been complaining about the cellulite around my know, when you try on a dress and that stupid piece of armpit hangs over? Well, maybe you don't know. But I tried on a few dresses the other day that looked cute except for that! And now that armpit hangover looks all wrinkly like an 80-year-old woman! That's new - it hasn't looked like that before!  YUCK! I have to do something about it - I live in Florida where it's hot and we need to wear sleeveless stuff! So I complained and Bruce challenged me with several exercises to help. And today I can barely move my arms! :)

But you know what? It's awesome to have sore muscles! It means I did something! I did something good for my body! It's a great feeling. I love it. I never thought I would love pain, but I really do love it! My workouts are the highlight of my week now. (I know, I don't even recognize myself! People always say that exercise brings out the endorphins, and I never believed it until now! I think you have to get in the habit of it before it actually works!)

So...Fartlek. A very strange word. I've seen it as I obsessively comb over each and every inch of my Runner's World magazines (even the old issues my wonderful sister-in-law gave me) but I never knew what it meant. So yesterday, after doing my warmups, core exercises, and armpit exercises, Bruce got me on the treadmill. My "happy" pace is 4.8 MPH. That's the pace where I can run for a long time and still carry on a conversation. Experienced runners will laugh at this, it's so slow, but I'm doing my best! :D

He had me run for 2 minutes at 5.0, then 1 minute at 5.5. No walking. We did this circuit 5 times. Usually when we do intervals like this I have a little walking, but not yesterday. And I did it! It wasn't so bad! Poor Bruce, I pretty much talk to him nonstop while I'm running, huffing, and puffing! :) He's a good sport about it! LOL!! When he told me I only had one circuit left, I was feeling pretty good and pushed the last run up to 5.8. It was a challenge! 

Then I walked for 3 minutes, then ran for 10 minutes at between 5.2 - 5.5.  I started at 5.5 and did about 6 or 7 minutes, and then it really started to get hard. I took it down to 5.2 and it was still really hard, so I resorted to doing math in my head (counting in binary) and that took my mind off the pain. And I did it! It is such a great feeling to finish something like that when it's a challenge for you. After we were done, Bruce said that that was called Fartlek. Look at me, learning running terms! 

I'm going to be late for work if I don't get in the shower, so I'll have to write about OCD later. Pray for Boston!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Color Me Rad

Well, we did the Color Me Rad 5K yesterday in Orlando. (Except it wasn't really a 5K - more about that later.) Brian and I both participated in the race, but for the first time we did not stay together. (Because of his back, the trainer told him to walk. My assignment was to run the whole thing.) Our day started at about 6:15am, we got up and got dressed, coffee, water, race bibs, breakfast, all the normal stuff. We left the house around 7:00.

The race was at the Central Florida Fairgrounds.  We parked and there were public restrooms that weren't porta-potties!  Yay!  We hung out in the car for a little while and made our way to the starting area around 8:30. There, we took a bunch of pictures, did a little warming up and dancing to the music, ran into my friend Cassie (cool!), and got excited about running.  The race was supposed to start at 9:00.  Our corral was 9:15.

Before I get into details, I will say that the packet pickup on Friday was by far the smoothest and most organized packet pickup I've ever seen.  (Not that I've seen very many, but still.)

So...the race did not start on time.  Now, if you know me at all you know that I am NEVER EVER on time struggle with being on time.  It's a horrible flaw, and I worry myself sick about it work on it every single day.  But, there were tons of people and it was hot and we had been there for a long time - we were ready to start!  Long story short, it was after 9:30 by the time we started.  Ugh.  And there was this super skinny 20-year-old right next to us who talked LOUDLY for the whole time about her boyfriend, and some girl he wasn't allowed to talk to, or something.  Driving us crazy!

I was not prepared for the fact that this race was not on pavement. Nowhere did it say this race was not paved. I've never run on anything but pavement or treadmill!  I could see that the first section was on grass. Off we went - and it was a hard run! Eventually, my running app told me it had been a mile and we were still on grass! I've never wished so hard for pavement! And then we rounded a corner and there it was - road! Yay!

For about 20 feet.  Literally.  And then it was sand!  And gravel!  And more grass!  I was so surprised! Around halfway I walked for about 15 steps while I chugged water.  Then I ran the rest of the way.  I was happy to hear the app tell me 2 miles.  And I saw the skinny 20-year-old.  She ran past me and then started walking.  (I did finish ahead of her, yay! LOL) After that, I went through the yellow color section alone - and it was colored water.  It was cold and it felt so great!  However, they doused me head to toe since there was no one else next to me!  :) Right after that, I saw the finish line.  I was shocked!  I went through, stopped, and looked at my app - it had been about 2.4 miles!  So it wasn't even a true 5K!  I was very disappointed!

I called Brian, and then walked back and finished the race again with him.  We had a fun time, but overall, I was not impressed with this race.  The Color Run was much more organized.  We did get pretty colorful though!

I took time during this race to pray for my family, specifically Braden and Kari. I think it was the first time I've prayed during a race, except for the obvious "help me get through this!" prayers. I liked it - I'll be doing that more often. I'm happy to say that Kari's pain is finally improving and Braden went home from the hospital today!  God is good - and we are so thankful for His healing hands!

(Note to self: it's hard to pray while listening to Rock Lobster! Let's add a few more inspirational songs to the playlist!)

Next race: the Spring Sprint next Saturday!  Some of you have asked me, "Why OCD?"  I'll try to remember to tell you that sometime this week.  :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Braden, 4 miles, and other stuff.

Well, it's been a long time since I wrote!  Lots of things have happened since then!  First of all, I ran 4 miles without stopping or walking last Saturday.  Yay!  I was completely shocked at myself - I didn't think I could do it!  I'm so thankful for my friend Barbara who ran with me and distracted me from my thoughts of "how much longer" and "my legs hurt."  LOL!

Monday night, my sister-in-law and nephews were in a bad car wreck.  I was on the phone with them when it happened and heard the whole thing.  We are so thankful and grateful that Jesus was in that car, and everyone is ok.  Braden, my almost-8-year-old nephew, was hurt the worst and he's still in the hospital after having surgery on his face late Monday night.  He's slowly starting to eat, walk, talk, and open his eyes.  We would appreciate your continued prayers!

Kari, my sister-in-law, was driving the car and she has some pretty bad bruising and a broken foot.  Kari is an avid runner and a huge inspiration to me.  I feel SO bad for her and I know this is a huge disappointment.  She was going to run her first half-marathon next month and she's been training for it for...well, it seems like forever!  Also keep her in your prayers for a quick and full recovery for her foot so she can get back to running.

Keaton, my 4-year-old nephew, wasn't really hurt besides a bad bruise from his seatbelt. However, all three of them will definitely have some emotional healing to do. Keaton is very sad that Braden is hurt.  Please pray that all of their memories will be healed (and mine!), and pray for my brother Brad as he navigates through this situation on behalf of his family. We are all so thankful that they are alive and ok!

And now, on to other things.  My trainer had me running intervals this past Tuesday at a faster pace than I've ever run.  It was so hard, but I did it.  And then yesterday was the hardest workout yet.  We did a lot of lifting, and then I ran on an incline for the first time!  I did 2 minutes at faster than my "happy pace" on an incline, then 2 minutes at that same pace without incline, then walked for 1 minute.  I did that circuit 3 times.  It was hard and I'm feeling it today!

Tomorrow I have a 5K - it's the Color Me Rad run here in Orlando.  My assignment is to run the whole thing. Brian's doing it too, but he has back problems so he's going to walk it.  He could probably walk while I run and keep up with me, I'm so slow!!  LOL!!  After that, we're going to Universal Studios for the rest of the day.  It's EA day, (Brian's place of employment), so we get to go for free!  That's a lot of running and walking for one day!

OK, gotta go to water aerobics now.  I'm hoping to work out some of this lactic acid buildup in my muscles so I can run comfortably tomorrow.  See you then!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

I have hamstrings!

Yes, I do, and they have made themselves known!  :D  I'm actually feeling really great.  I had an awesome workout today with my trainer, Bruce.  I worked really hard.

We did a lot of running today.  I was about to give out at the end, so I was fighting myself and asking Bruce questions just so he would talk and take my mind off of it!  LOL!  He knew what I was doing and gave me a little lecture on proteins, fats, carbs, and etc.  I really can't say enough good things about Bruce.  I've worked with maybe 2-3 trainers over the years and none of them stuck.  But Bruce is really awesome - his style is right up my alley.  He pushes me, but doesn't yell at me, and it makes me want to do my best for him!  Love it!

I'm also adding another race to my roster: the Tijuana Flats Super You 5K!  Staci & Sarah are running it too, and we're probably going to create a team, if anyone wants to join us!  More info on that later.  I have to jump in the shower!  My assignment this weekend is to run a 5K on my own with no walking!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Getting Stronger!

Good morning!  I did not forget about my blog!  I had several days of inactivity rest because of that one crazy workout with my new trainer!  My thighs were so sore, I could barely walk.  I had to lower myself onto a chair with my arms!  It lasted for 3 days.  Seriously.  I felt like I was SOOOO out of shape!  But I know that being sore means that my muscles really worked hard, so even though it became super annoying to hobble around for 3 days, I'm glad I did it.

And then I ran for 20 minutes on Saturday.  Yesterday I did another workout with my awesome trainer!  He's really great!  We worked on arms and upper body some yesterday, along with legs & core, and then I ran on the treadmill for 15 minutes at 4.8 mph.  Pretty slow, but I could carry on somewhat of a conversation, so it was fun.  And I know I'm getting my body used to running when I'm tired.

Today I'm pretty sore, but nothing like last week!  I'm going back for another workout on Thursday, and I can't wait!  (Even though I know it will hurt!!)  :D

So, on to other stuff.  I have 2 races coming up, both 5K distance, of course.  I'm doing the Color Me Rad run with Brian on April 13, and then the Spring Sprint in Altamonte on April 20.  I'm also doing The Color Run again in July in Columbus, OH!!  I'm running with my brother and sister-in-law and the NEPHEWS!!  Also, my awesome Kindermusik-teacher friend Christa will be there, and I haven't seen her in over a year!  So I'm super excited about that one!  I hope I can keep up with the nephews!  :D

Here are some other races I'm thinking about doing.  (I haven't signed up for any of these yet.) I'm posting them here so I can refer back, but if anyone wants to join me, just let me know!  I'm a pretty easy person to beat, so if you want to feel really fast, run with me!  Ha!  ;)

May 11 - $23 - I-Drive 5K

May 18 - $20 - Lake Mary Community 5K

July 4 - $24 - Watermelon Run 5K

October 5 - $50 - Disney's Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run


October 5 - $20 - Sanford Riverwalk 5K

November 2 - $25 - Gingerbread Run 5K

November 9 - $50 - Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5K
OR November 9 at 10pm - $175 - Wine and Dine Half Marathon (if I'm feeling brave!)

---->I need a Turkey Trot in here!  Can't find one listed yet!

December 7 - (no price listed yet) - OUC Orlando 5K

January 10, 2014 (Friday) - $95 - Walt Disney World 10K - brand new race!

And, of course, the goal:

February 24, 2014 - $140 early reg. - Disney Princes Half Marathon with my sis-in-law!

I need a couple more races in there, but I'm sure more will be listed soon.  I'll keep watching.  :)