Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Week Just Happened

A week goes by really fast these days and when I try to think back about what I did each day everything kind of becomes a blur. Often my work out log on Garmin Connect is what prompts my memory of what was going on a specific day.
My memories seem to filter through my work out activities. 

Monday - I woke up early and it was cooler than usual so I was able to enjoy my first 10K outside in weeks. Went to work and pushed like a crazy person in overdrive all day, 7:00 a.m. till 5:30 p.m. By the time I got to the gym I felt drained, I ran a mile on the treadmill, stretched for a long time, and did leg lifts.
Tuesday - I worked about 4 hours in the afternoon, but couldn't remember how I really felt till I looked at my work out log. I did some planks (only on a good day), ran 2 miles, and logged 1:40 min. weight session, which reminded me I felt great because I got to sleep in! 

(、ン )☾★

Wednesday - Actually stuck out in my mind because I took off work, slept in really late, and I love days off!!!! Ran treadmill intervals in the afternoon and logged 2 more hours of weight training.
Thursday - Took a rest day, did usual life stuff...laundry, errands, Wal-Mart, etc...
Friday - Ran a fast incline mile to warm up, soared through a 1:19 min. weight session which felt like cardio, and ran a treadmill 5K after my work out. I was feeling so good I stretched and did the leg press before I left the gym.
Saturday - Took a rest day and a little road trip for a special service at Debbie's church. Debbie is usually my hiking buddy, but no activity this day expect eating :)
Karen, Ashante, and Debbie 

Sunday - Woke up and it was cool ☃ and I was able to run outside, I made it...double my title distance ") {four miler queen}

Sunday run
Avg Pace

Pavement twice in one week, very unexpected.

I start my new job Tuesday, I am thankful I was able to take a few days to rest this past week. It was pretty uneventful time off, but I needed the break.

Do your days kind of blur together? I realize I spend a lot of time doing what I have to do, not choosing what I want to do.  I tend to remember things a lot easier when I do have a choice in how I spend my hours.

How's your memory? What triggers memories for you: a song, a smell, dates, your work out log?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Treadmill Runs

Treadmill - just say the word and most runners will tell you how much they dread it, right? I need to love on it for summer so I am trying to replace the dread and create a new association of appreciation.

I awoke at 5:00 a.m. and checked out my front door, the weather was humid to the point of cruelty. I thought to myself thank goodness I have a gym 5 minutes from home. 

Determined to make the most of my treadmill runs I took my trusty little gym boss, clipped it to my shirt, and did intervals for the first time in a long time. It felt wonderful and I decided to stop cheating (myself) and I added 1% incline. Incline feels tough at first, but after a few minutes you forget it's there. During the winter I had worked my way up to a 3% incline for shorter 3 min. intervals, which started my wheels turning about what I could accomplish in the next few months. I know setting treadmill goals seems a little lame, but I need to do something to keep myself sane and enjoy my new status as the four miler queen. 

Realistic is: 
  • 45 minutes is about my max on a treadmill.
  • 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. work hours for July and August are happening so I need reasonable expectations for work outs. 
  • It doesn't have to be the same thing over and over.
  • Have you ever seen a sad hamster on a wheel? 

I still have a little nagging fear if I don't consistently long run I will lose my fitness level, but I am trying to squash it. Honestly it's my age that causes that fear. Each day I move closer to that dreaded 5-0 number, I worry I will become weaker, however I am doing everything I can to stand strong at that age...that's another strong association I need to redesign in my mind. 
Aging = wisdom 
Aging = weakeness  
Not getting to that number is a suckier option, so onward. Just because I am doing shorter runs doesn't mean I can't get stronger. 

I can do progression runs, incline runs, and I have all kind of options for intervals with my gym boss. I am thinking it will be fun to program some pyramid type plans in for intervals. The best thing about the timer, it beeps, vibrates and saves the plan. I don't even have to think, just adjust speed and incline as it beeps, sounds like a blast right? 

We'll see...
Any treadmill tips, thoughts, ideas?? As always I will enjoy hearing about all your running adventures and live vicariously  :) 
Happy Trails Everyone ")

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Happy Monday - What???

Not sleeping has been an ongoing treat in my life these past few months. I was having so much anxiety about work, interviewing for new positions, and where I was going to end up, I just expected for the insomnia to take leave now that it's all finally settled, but it didn't. I did get wonderful, restful, peaceful, sleep all weekend so I guess I was due...I woke up at 4:45 a.m. and started tossing and turning. My clock has the outside temp on it and I noticed how cool it was and I decided I could make better use of my time. 

I body glided up and headed out...
Thank goodness for a low humidity morning - just what the doctor ordered 

I started running, determined I would run for an hour no matter what. This wasn't my speediest or smoothest 10K, but I felt like a dang super hero getting a "long run" in. Truthfully, it felt really tough because I haven't been running outside much, but I tried to push for short bursts and slow as needed, I never looked at my pace the entire time, I just ran and this is how it turned out...

Avg Pace
Finishing up as the sun was starting to come up 
And it gets better...
Two good runs in a row...woohoo :) 
Sunday afternoon I went and ran a wonderful feeling 4.5 miles on the treadmill. I ran three miles at a 9:30 pace and the last mile and half I kept taking it up until I hit an 8:34 pace, the endorphins were flowing and the world start looking rosy colored again. Amazing how that happens, right?  It's like my own little aura of rainbow and bouncing happy faces are surrounding me. 
My habit on the treadmill has been to warm up for four or five minutes (depends on my legs) at a 10:20ish pace and then start bumping up the speed. The past few weeks I often just run about 9:40 pace until the last mile and then crank it up a bit. I haven't pushed myself much, but I really need to, which is why I decided to start making at least one treadmill run a week a true progression run. It's funny how a few seconds can make you feel like you are really accomplishing something. 

I still think I will be surviving July and August with shorter treadmill runs and more weight training, but I am going to try to make the most of it. 
Hope you all have a wonderful week with your own rainbows and bouncing happy faces. Tell me anything  

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Four Miler Queen

So I have this running blog and I don't feel like much of a runner anymore...I don't know how I ever even ran a 10K, let alone thirteen miles, that just seems like some kind of dream I had. Seriously, as of late I have become the four miler queen...

I haven't even been outdoors much lately, unless it's to hike or walk.  
June 11th was my last outdoor run with run buddy in the rain. That's a big reason for my new status as Four Miler Queen, I just can't stay on the darn treadmill. 

I use to invest 5 or 6 hours a week running and maybe 2 hrs. to weight training, the past few weeks it has flipped, 5 to 6 hours of weight training and just a few hours running.

I don't weigh in often, maybe like once or twice a week since it's really hard for me to move weight off, but I did finally lose two pounds, a whopping two, so maybe changing up my routine was a good thing. But seriously, the weight came off in places I didn't really need to be losing it from. I am pretty sure my next bra shopping trip (sorry Schlub- TMI) will be for a training one, and my dreams of a J- Lo booty are not going to happen and yet I still have a lovely little tire around my middle that is hanging on for dear life. It's like my own personal floating device. What kind of ridiculousness is that?! 
Next months focus will be more core work for sure. 
I have been hovering close to my goal weight since late October, being 47 with a slow thyroid will teach you patience whether you want to learn it or not. 

I was really hot even though it was just 72 at 6 a.m. - the humidity was 99% 

I got all excited when I woke up this morning because it so overcast I was sure I could run at least an hour even if it was really humid. My 'long run' was going to be a 6 miler, sigh...such lofty dreams. I ran a 5K and I was dripping, so I walked 20 minutes and finally knocked out one more mile. 
It was odd, my legs felt pretty tired (from what????) and I just couldn't find the kind of motivation I usually posses. I was up till almost 1 a.m.- I know, duh!! I had my timer with me, I could have turned it on and started the Galloway method but I just didn't want to.
A big part of running is mental and I admit my mental game is a bit off, but physically I feel challenged in the heat and honestly, I just don't care to push it. Last summer I suffered and pushed! I did long runs even if it meant leaving at 5:30 a.m. I am not sure what has happened to me. 
I couldn't even see the sunrise there was so much haze this a.m 

I feel like maybe I am experiencing (I hate to say this out loud) my first little running schhhhlump.

I am already signed up for the Richmond Half in November so I know hope know the time will come when I start working on long runs again, but I guess I need to get past August first. My four ten hour work days a week go on until September when school starts. You would think I would feel ready to roll when I leave because of all the sitting, but it seems to do the opposite to me. 

I am going to start making at least one four miler each week a challenging progression run. If four miles is going to be my norm for the next few months I need to make it count.

If I make 70 miles this month, it'll be a miracle, I'll  let you know if I get there. 

The countdown is on...just a few more working days till I switch jobs. I am going to miss this place.
We are looking like Larry, Mo, and Curly 

 I will miss our technology leader, affectionately known as the Ginger god - I was able to be 
there for his first ever race Sweetheart 8K

Am I going to be able to run 13.1 ever again??????? 
(please say yes lol)

Tell me all about your last long run and let me live vicariously!! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

It's All About Sitting

Saturday - five hours of driving total so I could go enjoy a good hike
Sunday - almost 6 and half hours in the car to Baltimore and back to see my father-in-law
Monday - summer work hours begin 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.  (that's a lot of SITTING Monday - Thursday)
Tuesday - ten more hours of sitting, but I've been telling myself I will work out after work. 

All this sitting equals a very sore tush.

My hubby was off last night so we went to dinner and to see 22 Jump Street, which provided some laughs, but MORE SITTING! I wasn't in the door five minutes before my face was in the pillow and I was sound asleep.

Last week I had one of my lowest mileage weeks in months...13 miles, that's it all week. 

When am I going to accomplish anything working ten hour days, I am not's 6 p.m. by the time I get home and I am tired. A few low mileage weeks may be the norm for a spell.
Sadly, this isn't me right now

A little life update...
Remember I told you I accepted a position back in elementary school and I was uber excited to be going because I know everyone is all kinds of wonderful...weeeeell, 
I had to resign yesterday before I even started, because I got a job offer I couldn't pass up. It was an extremely difficult decision and I am feeling a little nutty from all the anxiety, but I took a leap so summer plans have changed.
I am going to a new tech center for high school students the county is opening this September. My contract starts July 1st, so I won't have any time off, but at least I won't have a break in pay and health insurance...and I will be 5 minutes from home. I have never had that luxury in 20 years of working!
Maybeeeee that will mean more running time in my life. We won't move into the new location until Sept. so I will have a half hour drive to the temporary site, but it's all good :) 

I wish I could be telling you about an awesome run, but I can't, so I will leave you with this...

Anyone else a Jimmy Fallon fan? I usually DVR and try to watch in my boo-coo spare time (haha). Love these crazy mash ups he does ")

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Hiking Flat Top

Took another Saturday drive up to the Blue Ridge Parkway and hiked a new peak. Flat Top Mountain is mostly a single track trail with a lot of ground cover type overgrowth. I was keeping an eye for snakes. Flat Top doesn't have quite the panoramic view that Sharp Top has, but I still enjoyed the journey up. I always do :)

That's my friend Debbie in the blue :) 

See the pointy looking mountain to the right, that's what we climbed last time :) 

Debbie, Russ and the dog never made it to the top. Pastor Danny (w/o the hat) runs this mountain often. Rhonda and I tried running about a half mile of the trail on the way down- it's hard with a heavy pack lol  

Cassie the labradoodle was ready to roll 

Made it! 

On the way down there's a half mile section that is fairly wide so we ran it :-) Most of the trail was very single track. 

I love a day in the woods climbing up. Today's hike was about a 1900 ft. elevation gain. 

I had more water then usual left over today. 

If I lived closer I would be hiking all the time. I am hoping to find a trail suitable enough so I can really take a crack at running down a mountain one of these trips :) 
I am not ready to run up them...yet...

Anyone else have a passion to hike or is it all about the running? 

A confession...I did wake up and run two miles before I went to hike, my mileage was low this week and I just had to do it. 

Oh and here's my obnoxious toooo red hair 

It was okay in the shade...
but not in the sun lol, I guess I am going to have to fix it. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Why Do I Do These Things?

I confess I am a little loony at times...
Sometimes I just have knee jerk reactions.

Wednesday night when I was at the gym it was monsoon type raining, which broke the humidity just enough to get me thinking I should outside run before dark...what's a little thunder and rain, right. I texted run buddy and she's three miles in the rain, no problem. I ran over to run buddy's house, which is almost a mile from mine and off we went. You have to appreciate a friend who will lace up and get soaked with you. I wish I had thought to take a picture, we looked like drowned rats, but happy ones. I have to confess though, I took a quick walk break on the last mile on a very small hill lol. I had been at the gym, ran two miles warm up on the treadmill, and worked weights for almost two hours and done the leg press right before I left the gym. The last mile my tushie was so tight I couldn't handle even a small hill, but I still finished strong once it was flat again ")

My craziness continued into today...

We had a party day at work, I ate all kind of yummy food and dessert and I didn't even log it. 

This is Rufus who is finally going to get some sleep in his retirement and that's me loose in the world with no make up and twisted up hair 

That's Sylvia - the lady who hired me three years ago ;) 

Two of my fav peeps- our security guard and counselor- Trevor sure talked me off some ledges this year (and he thought he was there just for the kids lol)  

When I saw these pictures I started freaking a bit...some days I just can't believe how bad I leave the house looking...
Driving home I was in manic thinking mode, go to the salon, cut the hair, get it dyed, wax the eyebrows, buy some new clothes lol

Then I got home and started being lazy because I had exhausted myself thinking about all the things I should be doing to make myself look a little more presentable. 
An hour later I put on my running clothes and went to run on the treadmill.

Five miles later I didn't care about all that stuff, I was just happy I got a run in. 
That's one of the reasons I  running so much.

Then I got home and the euphoric feeling wore off a little after I showered, so I went to the store and got a box of hair dye, a new color, and now I am a little redder than I want to be. Dang, knee jerk reactions...

Moral of the story...I should have pushed out another mile and I would have been too tired to go get hair dye :) 
Oh well, the stuff fades, I just have to walk around blazing red for awhile. 
This may be an exaggeration 

At least I have 11 miles of running in this week so far...

Ever had a knee jerk reaction to something you'd like to confess to? Dye your own hair? How's your week going? 

I will be catching up with all my regular blog reading as soon as things calm down at work - last day for the kids is Friday the 13th. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Bad Blogger

What a week!  The last few weeks at school are always a little extra crazy. Closing out senior grades, making sure all the home bound, online, and random grade issues are correct, phone calls from parents, schedule questions about next year, grade changes from teachers...

This year we are losing our data base on June 26th for summer. We are converting to a new program that should go live in August for next year so it's crucial our data is in order and we run every report known to man as backup just in case something doesn't go correctly during the conversion process. We already know parent contact data and phone numbers are an issue and fully expect to have to re key some information when the system comes up, but that's no all bad - it will be like practice to navigate the new layout. 

Sadly I may repeat my bad blogging behavior again this's sad, but I barely found time to read blogs let alone write one, but I will catch up with you all soon. 

I've been focused more on weight training these past few weeks. I have a gym buddy that helps spot me so I can push more weight. Building muscle will help in the long run (right?!!)
This week I felt extremely challenged fatigue wise. My only lovely run where I felt pretty perky...four treadmill miles. Saturday when I ran outside I only made it to a 5K and felt the fatigue hit my hamstrings and glutes especially. 
I day dream when I run outside of how crisp it felt when icicles hung on the trees 

I switched to the 4 x 1 method and ran a little over three more miles. I plan to go run a few treadmill miles today after I write this so that means just one rest day this week for me. Last week I took just one rest day also. I usually do four work outs a week. Trust me I am feeling it! 

This week: 
Warm Up Mile - 1.25 mi 0:12:06
Weight Training - .00 mi 1:29:27
3- rest 
4 Mile Treadmill Run - 4.00 mi 0:38:13
Stretching - .00 mi 0:10:58
2 Mile Treadmill Run - 2.01 mi 0:19:58
Treadmill - .34 mi 0:06:08
Weight Training - 1.14 mi 1:08:26
Warm Up Lap - 1.00 mi 0:10:13
Weight Training - 2.25 mi 1:29:02
5K - 3.12 mi 0:30:41
Walking - .43 mi 0:08:19
5K - 3.23 mi 0:33:07
Walking/Stretching - .34 mi 0:14:47
8 - Planned gym treadmill miles after I post this ") 


Last week...
Treadmill 3 Miler - 3.39 mi 0:35:14
Treadmill - .30 mi 0:06:36
Stretching/Leg Lifts - .00 mi 0:17:25
Treadmill Warm Up - 1.09 mi 0:11:03
Weight Training - .00 mi 1:05:19
28 - rest 
5K - 3.14 mi 0:29:34
Walking/Stretching - .23 mi 0:11:04
Warm Up Lap - 1.25 mi 0:12:04
Weight Training - .00 mi 1:20:58
10 Miler - 10.02 mi 1:45:42
Walking/Stretching - .74 mi 0:20:21
2 Miler Trail Run - 2.01 mi 0:20:03
5 Mile Trail Run - 5.02 mi 0:54:02
Walking - .33 mi 0:05:28
25.92 runningmi

The past few years I have done very minimal leg weight training (most of what I did was like toning) because so many moves seem to really aggravate my knees, however this week I found a short routine that didn't cause any pain so I guess it's time to try to start upping the weight. Building up my quads is something I really need. I am toying with dedicating July to really trying to build muscle and try to relax about how that will impact my running....but it's hard, I get nervous thinking about it. Always that little voice nagging me that my body will forget how to push and run. Sometimes I think I must be certifiably crazy to seriously believe I can make changes to my almost 48 year old body, but I don't want to give up. 
“When I was suddenly thrust into what everyone calls menopause (Orchids) earlier than my body planned, I decided someone needed to take charge on so many levels. It was time to not only change the vernacular, but to speak up and say "Hey! This isn't an old lady's disease! We aren't old! We are strong, and dammit we are beautiful and sexy too!” 
― Lisa Jey DavisOrchids: The New Black. How to Get Over Your Ovaries & Make 'The Change of Life' Your Bitch ( Love this quote and I want to believe it!)
I've noticed getting older is just like being a kid...flipped. Do you remember how after summer in elementary school you could see big changes to your friends? Well that's what happened to me after 46...the wrinkles, age spots on my skin, and gray hair are showing up in force now. Make the most out of your 30's and 40's and enjoy your hotness...that's my best advice. 

I also feel my consistent lack of sleep this past month has really impacted my energy levels. I like 9 hours, that's the magic number for me and I've mostly been running off  5 and 6 hours a night. Today I woke up at 6:30 a.m. got the cats settled and went back to sleep until 11:00 a.m.and it felt wonderful. I woke up feeling refreshed for the first time in a few weeks. 
I guess we all have spells where life just kind of rules you, but I need to get off that train! 
What do you think, take a month or two and really focus on weight training? Stop stressing about becoming the short run queen for a few months? Any tips or thoughts?