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.