Wednesday, April 30, 2014

In Need of a Little Balance

Sometimes I feel like I balance on a pin head. It just doesn't take much to knock me off course. Last week I finished off with a trail run on Sunday. I felt great. 22 miles for the week, which put me at 83 for the month, and I felt content I had met my goals. 
6.3 miles - I was a sweaty mess

My Montrail trail shoes are super comfy and rugged

Monday I woke up and my scale reported that I gained 3 lbs. Hmmph...that, the crappy rainy stormy weather, and terrible traffic on my way to work, and I forgot all about feeling happy less than 12 hours before. My legs were feeling very tight feeling Monday so I probably really needed the rest day, but I have no excuse for the poor diet choices.
Monday and Tuesday was a debauchery of pizza, wine and cheesecake. 

Wednesday at work I was looking for inspiration anyway I could get it

I did make it to the gym Wednesday night...finally, but I lacked my usual running spunk.  Just a 20 minute run on the treadmill and I worked legs, back, and abs. I tried to go up on all my weights. Thursday I plan to get a good upper body work out in and hopefully by the weekend I will be ready to tackle a long run.
Good practice for a long run
Hopefully I can salvage what's left of the week.
What do you do when you are feeling off? How's your week going? 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

I Love That, I'm Off That

Ever get a song stuck in your head after a workout? All day I’m hearing Mr. Worldwide...

Song Lyrics 

I went to a beautiful wedding on Easter 
on a delightful April day
and Brian’s bride is a runner, I love that!

Russ, Debbie, (dear friends), me, and my son Andrew (I love that) 

My sweet boy

Driving 300 miles in one day though did wipe me out, I’m off that…

Mon. - rested

Tues. - hubby off so I rested again

Wednes. - took a quick 6 mile hilly run because another rest day just would have been ridiculous.

I picked a route in my neighborhood I rarely run that includes a whole mile that is all uphill, I figured it’s good for me, I love that.

I really needed a break from all the speed work and a new route was good for the soul, but the bugs are out in the evening and I did swallow a little bugger -iiccck, I’m off that!
Thurs. - 5K on the treadmill - varying speed and inclines - getting crazy up in here! Just hitting the buttons with no plan. I love that!
Bounced through an hour weight training session and did some ab work for about 10 minutes
After I drove home I ran a cool down lap around my block (it’s 1.2 miles) and went in and stretched for about 10 minutes

Fri. - date night, I love that...The Other Woman - Funny, I love that!!! and eating, oh my...blew the calorie budget -  way in the red, I’m off that (I can’t do that two days in a row)

Sat. - ran a virtual 10K with run buddy so we could earn our bling, I love that! and we ran it sub 59, I love that!

A few matters from the past week -

Perfectly good running shirts ditched because the arm pits turn that awful dark color - I’m off that,

which prompted a change from roll-on to stick deodorant. What do you think, will it help save the shirts?

Ever get to the point where you are tempted to just “nip” the ends of your hair? Yep, I’ve let it go a little too long, but I mustered some self control as soon as I started chopping, so luckily no noticeable damage.
I can’t even cut a piece of paper straight, this stage of hair frustration is always dangerous lol Cutting hair, I'm off that.

Sunday I have a 5 miler on my calendar, which will put me right at 20 miles for the week. I love that...

So far...75 miles for the month
333 miles for the year, I love that.

How about it?! Got anything you are off or love? roll on verses stick opinions? sucking in a bug, is it still okay to consider myself vegetarian?
Hummm's my own version:
Roll on, I’m off that
Cleaning litter, I’m off that
but clean house, I love that ♫♫
Eating bugs, I’m off that
Sleeping in, I love that ♫♫
Have a great weekend :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Boston Strong

I loved all the coverage of Boston and I am so thankful it was a peaceful event. I loved seeing those who weren't able to finish last year run across the line. A great deal of energy and excitement buzzed through the crowds who were out in force cheering, in great weather and...

tracking! Oh cool! I got to see Megan picking up speed at the end and I swear her avatar did what looked like a little happy spin and by 2:55 p.m. she was done :) Running strong! Awesome job :) I did a cheer for you Megan Megan's Blog and I can't wait for the recap. I love all these amazing peeps I get to meet through the blogging community. 

I poured through the many touching stories today. I am awed by the resilience and strength people have shown. I feel for them in a deep way because I lived with an amputee and I know it's beyond words to adjust to the loss of a limb. 

A few of my favorite links to today's life stories ...
Meg Menzie's Husband (Love)  
Jeff Bauman, Boston Marathon Survivor

My Dad was hit by a car and his leg was crushed...
He spent a lot of time at the hospital (late 60's) and in kindergarten I remember him coming home with a steel apparatus built out of his thigh. He continued to get sicker and went away for over a month and came home with below the knee gone. He continued to battle infection in the bone and went in a final time to lose another chunk so all he had was a piece above the knee. He never could get a decent fit for a prosthetic and stayed on crutches for the rest of his life. I remember feeling a lot of fear for him, I was in second grade by this time, and had no idea what to do with all that. 

Watching someone you love in pain is hard, especially when you can't comfort them or make it better. Progress seems more painful when reminders of the limitations you live with jump out and bite you. 
It's hard to break a fall when you don't have a leg. My Dad went down a few times hard on snow and ice, and the frustration and anger I would feel would overflow at times. Knowing he had to take a few more lumps when he had already endured so much would eat at me. My pop got pretty good with those crutches though, he would play with me and try to "run" - he was fast! He dreamed about running, something I have blocked out for years because it just overwhelms me. He often talked about his memories of running as fast as he could while growing up. I lost my Dad a long time ago, he passed away in 1986. I am a pro at stuffing feelings away.  
My Dad before he lost below the knee cap 
My Dad didn't take many pictures with his missing leg and I have very few (yes that's me)

That's me at 2 years old - my Dad battled infection for years after this

Running...your legs, my legs, all are a gift and we should remember to thank God for everyday we enjoy them. 

Boston 2014 was the kind of day many needed. A wonderful high to balance the darkness, a chance to honor loved ones, a step toward healing, a memory to cherish, and for some I am sure it felt like a chance for a fresh start. 
Boston Strong :) 

Friday, April 18, 2014

So Many Questions

Ever have a run where every step is a chore?  Yesterday I ran a virtual 10K I signed up for and from step one I felt like someone attached a plow to my waist. I decided to run and not look at my watch. I just couldn't get a decent rhythm going. I kept hoping it would feel smoother a few miles in...
It never did. I just never really zoned out, it took a lot of effort to keep pushing forward, my mind felt kind of cluttered, my breathing wasn't smooth, and  I could still feel the tug :/  This has been my past few runs now. 
I have a little tug in my left hamstring and my left calf I've been feeling since last week; I wanted to run it sub 60 if I felt okay, but I wasn't going to stress about it if I couldn't.
Run buddy and I will have this cute bling soon 

I tried to just ease the pace, but it didn't change how I was feeling, so I'd go back to pushing on. I figured if I pushed at least it would end sooner lol
See my crazy looking blue pace chart...

I was really happy with the 58:20 result considering how rough it felt

I am not sure what's really up with my legs, but picking up the speed work the past few months has taken me through a lot of (really happy) up and downs. I am still not sure about how much recovery time I reeallly need. I didn't run any lengthy events, but I did run hard for my shorter 10K, 5K, and 15K but I almost a week out from my last event.

I will say slowing down is hard after you get use to seeing speedier paces. I did a cool down mile right at a 10:07 pace and it felt like it was taking forever to get down the street. I will have no choice but to slow down very soon, because the heat is coming.

I still feel like such a newbie runner sometimes. I have so many unknowns and questions still. Recovery is a big mystery to me... I do know increasing protein helps me to feel better sooner, but I have been so lazy I have been skipping shakes because I don't want to clean the blender. How ridiculous is that? and I've never foam rolled. Should I be?

Are all these up and downs normal? How long does it really take to recover? Should I have skipped my progression run on Tuesday? What do you do when you feel the unwanted tugs in your muscles?

Edit- after I posted I realized it was time to suck it up and wash the blender...a raspberry protein shake :) 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

10 Questions

 I got a fun assignment from Kristina today :) 10 questions  
Check out Kristina's responses here I enjoy following her growth in her running journey. 
Since my working out has been slacking this week I will dive right in to this :) 
1. If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and who would you bring with you? I'd love to visit is Alaska and I would bring my hubby and son for sure. I really want to go to Hawaii one day too! 
2. What was the name of your first pet, and how did you come up with it?  My first pet I was really attached to was a Collie named Susie. My mom named her, but I can remember cuddling with her to this day. 
3. If you could run with any one person at your next race, who would it be and why? I've been watching a lot of You tube ultra marathon stuff lately. The thought of running like that amazes me, I'll take any ultra finisher with me  :)  Josh Arthur    Western States 100 I like watching everyone crossing the finish line :) Lake Sonoma 50  
4. If the fire alarm in your house goes off, which three things do you take with you as you run out of the house? This actually happened to me about two years ago, nothing to awful - the electrical box did catch fire in our garage (at 4 a.m.) but my hubby caught it quick. I was worried about getting my cats to my car. It wasn't a real blazing fire so I think I was more annoyed than anything, it didn't put me into panic mode. 
5. Where did you go on your honeymoon (or where did you go on your favorite vacation)? Sadly we've been married almost 25 years and never had a real honeymoon. We have gone to Vegas a few times (saw Jay Leno- LOVED) and I loved it! I love going to Montana to see my mom. Montana is one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited. 
6. What is your favorite beverage? Alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Ohhh I still look forward to a diet fountain Pepsi on the way to work (I know it's bad for me). I don't like diet soda out of the bottle. I make ice tea at home with Truvia and a small scoop of frozen lemonade- so refreshing :)  I sure do enjoy a glass of wine also...Sangria, Pinot Grigio, yummmm.
7. What is your absolute favorite TV show of all time? That's tough! As a kid I couldn't wait each week for a new episode of Gilligan's Island and Star Trek. I went through a Love Boat/Fantasy Island phase too lol. As an adult I go through phases...I've been watching Bravo OC Housewives for years, but it's really starting to get old and I loved American Idol when it first came out, but haven't watched in a few years, instead I watch The Voice. I like 19 Kids and Counting too. Ohhh and remember Trading Spaces, I'd watched to see what crazy room design was next. 
8. What is your favorite cross training activity? Bench pressing for sure with the weight training. I still enjoy throwing on my Camelbak and hiking for a few hours too!
9. Are you hoping to PR at any distances this year? Which ones? I met my PR goal for this year  58:31 at an official 10K  was good for me  :) 
10. If you had to give up one of your senses (hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, feeling) which would it be and why? I guess I'd give up feeling. I need seeing and hearing to run! and I love tasting yummy food lol 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday Already?

It's Wednesday and I am just recapping last week...

Last week recap -
  • Mon. rest 
  • Tues. ran 4 miles avg. 9:33, walked a mile, ran 2 more avg. 9:40 
  • Wednes. ran a 3.1 mile progression run avg. 9:25, lifted weights for 70 minutes 
  • Thurs. and Fri. rested because I had the Sat. race 
  • Sat. ran 9.3 miles avg. 9:44 and ran a little over a mile between warm up and cool down 
  • Sun. walked 2.5 miles, ran 3 miles 9:32 avg. overheated, walked another 1.5 miles
I took off work Monday and thought (woooo!) extra long run day...but my legs felt a little sore when I woke up and said no. I ran 22 miles last week, which is about my average mileage but my legs have felt a little extra tired lately.

This week so far- 
  • Mon. - shopped! walked 2 miles 
  • Tues. - 3.1 mile progression run and 45 minutes weight training 
  • Wednes. - working - reading blogs so far
My plan is to long run Friday. I am going to keep repeating this until it happens :)
Blog reading has me reminiscing this morning ...

Kristina took a trip down memory lane
Meg got me thinking about how I felt about myself

First, I am really old "/
Second, when I see pictures now I don't know why in the heck I thought I was so fat...argghhh.
My throwback pictures are scary lol
V05 in full use in 1989
Ohhh the time spent on my hair lol 
1993 - Andrew is the absolute delight of my life :) 
Who is all grown up now

That's me behind the sign in the pink cat eye glasses and plaid dress
My super handsome hubby before he retired - I saw this flipping through pics and I just like looking at him :) 
Junior was one of the cutest babies on earth
Okay sorry I got off track! 
My plan is to long run Friday...My plan is to long run Friday...My plan is to long run Friday...

Happy Easter everyone! I have a wedding to go this weekend :) Trying to rework my plan to make sure I get in four workouts this week. 
Do you have a number you always commit to or strive for? or do you vary each week? 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's a Short Story Today

Know how I got motivated to start weight training every week again? One picture.

I belonged to a gym for about 11 years and took lots of cardio classes, weight training classes, aerobics, and used machines like crazy. I have battled weight and some unhealthy habits early in my adult life but I'll save that post for another day. I moved in 2001, had to change gyms, and never enjoyed it as much so I eventually quit and started working out at home. All was fine for several years, then I had a few surgeries which required a few extended breaks from working out. Probably pushing too much after one of my surgery breaks, I ended up with frozen shoulder and I spent about a year in therapy. It took several cortisone injections in my left shoulder before I finally started gaining my mobility back. During this time period I was also experiencing a lot of knee pain which ended up requiring injections and therapy as well. This led to my commitment to workout four days a week. I wanted to build strength again but I realized I needed to let my body rest. 

I joined Gold's in 2012 because a lot of unwanted weight attached itself to me and I couldn't get it off. I wanted to be the toner smaller me again. I was pretty timid though...I was all nerves about getting hurt. November/December (2012) is also when I started working at trying to run 3 miles without stopping. That took lots of energy and my resistance training was taking a back seat. 

2013 Monument Ave 10K (April)  I was so happy I actually ran it...but look at those arms. 
Oh....the hang traumatized me!
This picture ignited Operation Replace the Hang and my love of the saying, "Strong is the new skinny." 
I worked at each weight level awhile before adding more weight and it has been slowwww, but I am making a little progress. I try to work my large muscle groups every week. Bench pressing has been one my favorite exercises for a few months now. 
You want to see strength - click and scroll to the last picture- Christy's side crow pose - totally awed me.

I have ganglion cysts in my wrists so I am not sure I will ever be able to nail that move, but I would love to get my arms that ripped! Thanks for the inspiration Christy :) In fact, all of you inspire me everyday in my running journey as well as my journey to be stronger. I see your strength, commitment, dedication, and accomplishments and it inspires me to push on and challenge myself to a little more everyday. 

I need to start working my legs more, but that's a little trickier.  I've ended up down and out several days icing every time I've tried a boot camp class, burpees, or any type of lunges. 

My core is still weaker than it should be too...but hey, this stuff takes time! 
So that's my story of how seeing a picture helped spark a change in my life. Has this happened to you?

Tell me what exercises really improved your running? How do you feel about weight training, core work in general? Are you a believer in planks? 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Three Races in a Row - Check!

Three race weekends in row all wrapped up!  This morning's 15K wasn't a PR for me but at least I shaved a few seconds off  last years time. The past few weeks my plan was to not set a time goal for this event, since heat is usually the kiss of death for me. Even though it was close to 70 degrees and super sunny, I knew some of the course was shady so I was feeling pretty optimistic after my warm up that I might be able to run my PR pace. 
I did my warm up on the path behind me

I started out feeling more relaxed than usual, but still forgot to start my Garmin until about 30 seconds after I crossed the line. I really wanted it to be cooler, but I tried to focus on my plan, which was run three 5K's sub 30.  Miles one and two I was not able to zone out and my breathing was all over the place, but I finally got it together and the next few miles were really enjoyable. This was the shady part of the course and I had someone a little ahead of me I was pacing off of.

Miles five and six felt great. My first two 5K loops put me right on track and I started getting excited that I would able to match my PR (1:29:54). When I got to mile marker seven the shade was gone, it was feeling very warm, and I was really thirsty, so I stopped at the water table so I could actually swallow a gulp of Gatorade and water. Up to this point I had just been wetting my mouth. I took off from the break sort of slow and relaxed because I didn't want to cramp. Close to mile eight I tried to pick it up and my body wouldn't cooperate...the sun was out full force and there wasn't a shady spot in sight and I started questioning my ability. I knew even if I went slow I would have an okay time so I just succumbed to my slower trot. When I saw mile marker nine I picked it up and ran about an 8:40 pace but it wasn't enough. 

Why didn't I pick it up sooner?! Why did I stop and drink? Why didn't I interval short spurts mile 8 so it would have been a few seconds faster? Why didn't one little cloud float by sometime during that mile? How did I go from feeling great to blah so fast? 
I hate when I blow something that close to the end...

I felt good about finishing strong but overall I am a bit disappointed with my dip after mile seven. My official time  1:30:35  
Avg Pace
I didn't hit start right away...genius lol 

I went to this event alone so I don't have many pictures to share
My sweaty selfie when I finished just so I would have a picture from today

10K pictures were in my mail today

Scraggly and the finish line

I have a month until my next event...a Glow Run 5K at Richmond International Race Track. I am really excited about this because it's all about fun!  
Have you ever done a glow run? How many race weekends in a row have you done? Ever get to the end of a run and just want to kick yourself? 
I am currently reading a book about Racing Dawn..the mom who ran 12 marathons in 12 months  Racing Dawn (blog spot)
12 Marathons in 12 Months it's making me want to run at least one marathon! 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Team Soup PR

Team Soup's 5K run couldn't have happened on a better day! I woke to a crisp 38 degrees, which made me really ♫ ♫ happy When I left for the race in was in the 40s ")  That means I had a shot to go fast...and I did!

27:28  official time 

 (lft to rt) Me, Chris, Chris, Kasey 

It wasn't a chip timed event so we started close to the front. Chris with the blue trim is run buddy's brother. It was his first race :) He did amazing! We all finished very close together today. 

At the end it seemed everyone with a Garmin or app was a little short, but I'll just go with it..sub 28 is a great time for me.

This was a fundraiser for a sweet little girl that has been battling cancer. The event had 262 participants! A very nice turn out and the course was only a 15 minute walk from home. Love it! 
Did you ever get one of these pictures - where both feet are off the ground! The timing folks had this pic on their website :) 

Run buddy coming in....

Guess what happened when we were done...
See me on the right end...I placed second in the female age group 40-49 and won a $20 gift certificateThe gal that placed first in my age group is 42 and ran a 22:01 - kick butt! 
This was a really super fantabulous day! 
I would have never believed a few short months ago I could run close to 9:00 mi. for any length of time. 

I arrived home: sweaty, happy, goosebump covered, ready for a hot shower...ooooh, let me count the ways I love you hot steamy shower after a chilly run. 
You know there's a reason I am bringing this up right...
...hubby had run every drop of hot water out of the shower getting ready for work. My cool shower wasn't nearly as satisfying. LOL 

I went out for some lunch and a ginormous protein shake for my own little quiet celebration. Who cooks on a PR day, right? 
I actually walked an hour while I drank this because I got to thinking about how many calories

 might be in this (it wasn't like I ran a half) 

- but it tasted so so good

Anyone as addicted to hot showers after running as I am? I wish I had a hot tub! Share your PR 5K if you'd like :) 

Hope your week is filled with ♫ ♫ happy ♫ ♫ moments and some running!  

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Bacon Day

Bacon Day is bigger than Christmas at my house. One of hubby's friends started an annual celebration of bacon six years ago. Bacon in/with everything from turkey to cheesecake.
I am always the only non - eater, this vegetarian goes as bacon day support.

I headed out of the house at 7:30 a.m. to meet up with a co-worker so I could get my run in before the afternoon event. We ran downtown - seven miles. Urban running is quite different from what I am use to around my neighborhood. We ran in the bike lane when we could, ran some old brick sidewalks, some cobblestone, and there's lots of traffic even that early. It was a fun change of pace and I needed the distraction today.
My legs have felt a little tight on each of my runs this week.  

Monday - 3.14 mi. average pace 9:50 (legs felt heavy) so I walked 1.35 miles and then ran a 9:15 mile

Wednesday - 3.12 mi. average pace 9:37 It was very warm out so I walked a mile. After the sun went down I felt a lot better and ran 2 mi. 8:48 and 9:08
(confession: my speed miles were on a nice down hill stretch)
I love my Altra's - nice and light for speed work

Friday - I ran a treadmill mile and then hit the weights and stretching for about 45 minutes

Saturday - 7 mi. average pace 9:57 I worked for my miles today, it was just one of those runs where I could have stopped at any moment and been perfectly happy

Sunday - Team Soup Run 5K (Campbell's run)
That will wrap up the week right at 20 miles.

March wrapped up at 92 miles. My goal each month is 70 miles. Sometimes I just make it and some months I accomplish a little more : )

Hopefully my legs will be more cooperative next week. I have a 15K to run April 12th and then I am taking a racing break!

Do you take a walk break and start again when your legs aren't 100%? Are you a bacon lover? 
It was a bit windy today 

Look how happy hubby is
A little creative engineering trying to block the wind

Even my son comes to chow at bacon day 
The county reservoir -Someone should have put a giant running path here  

My two favorite peeps 
Yep, a real bacon medal :)