Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 1 of 125

Today marks day 1 of marathon training, and no, I'm not freaking out at all, thanks for asking.

Oh wait, yes I am.

As I've mentioned before, I'm following Hal Higdon's Intermediate 1 Marathon Training program in preparation for the 36th Marine Corps Marathon being held on October 30. I'm raising money for Back on my Feet, a really cool organization that started in 2007 to help homeless folks be more successful through running. They also have job training opportunities. Here's my fundraising page (umm I could use a little help, I suck at fundraising. Will run 4 money?).

Here's what this week looks like:

Jun 27-Jul 3cross3 m run5 m run3 m runrest5 m pace8

So... I can do that. I can do cross training today. 18 daunting weeks will start with a little bike riding action (or not, depending on the weather).

Yesterday, I ran on a sweet trail around a lake fairly near my house.. as in, only 30 minutes away. I was chugging along, running buddy in tow, feeling good and leaping small tree roots in one or more bounds. Then.... tragedy! I totally wiped out over a root and slid/landed on my left hip, bit of my shin, and left palm. As I sit here uncomfortably, my left hip would like to interject and say that IT took ALL of the fall. In other words.. my butt hurts. The drive back home added some extra tweaking just because my legs didn't like sitting that long. I don't have a real live bruise yet, hardly, but it HURTS to sit on. This will make my desk job super fun today. I will post a picture if anything exciting/bruise-y starts happening.

I leave tomorrow for Chicago, hooray! I'm there for just 2 days for a conference. Quick little trip. I'm considering changing my flight and staying until Friday just for a little extra sightseeing, but I'm undecided.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Denial is: holding a baby parakeet and eating Cheerios instead of running, even when it's a balmy 74 degrees out.

Denial is also holding a baby parakeet and watching DVR'ed shows instead of packing for a business trip (that's right, I travel for work, I'm basically A-list) that I'm unsure I have appropriate clothing for. It is only a 2 day trip but I'm still a little stressed that I won't the right combo of cute/professional. Let's hope that's not the case, or else I'll have to go shopping. Horror of horrors (note: I totally love buying things and am always looking for an excuse to go).

Inspired by this post from Skinny Runner, here are a few blast from the past pics I found hiding out on the interwebz:

 Me looking very young indeed with one of my college roommates, Carrie. I think we were dressed up for Halloween? This is 2004ish.
Cleaning up after a significant other's washer overflowed in 2006. How is my hair so shiny and nice and curly?
Me looking more tan than I have ever been since, summer 2004.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Random cravings Friday

Things I want right this minute:
-egg salad sandwich

Things I cannot possibly have right this minute:
-egg salad sandwich

Hope your Friday is happy!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Apologies Thursday

A couple of apologies are in order.

I'm sorry, tummy, for feeding you the following (and only the following) between the hours of 7pm and 6am: one 20 oz. Diet Coke, 2 mini cupcakes, 2 x 10 oz coffee, 1 apple, one teeny piece of ice cream cake. I am also sorry for force feeding you the following between the hours of 6:01 and 6:04am: 2 cups of raw veggies, leftover Indian food (mattar paneer omg yummm), 3 x 16 oz water.

I'm sorry, everyone around me for the rest of the night (day, whatever, don't tell me it's not bedtime) for the ensuing tummy noises that I am aware are super freaking loud.

I'm sorry, tummy, for stressing you out at work and making you extra super grumbly.

I'm sorry, esophagus, for eating like I did and then laying down. Heartburn is a cruel mistress.

I'm sorry, muscles, for feeding you crap and expecting you to perform. I will do better, promise.

I'm sorry, coworkers, for being the weird night shift girl who heats up Indian food at 6am because she's neglected to eat all night, thus subjecting your fresh, morning, noses to strong (delicious!) scents.

I'm sorry, sleep schedule for being so mean to you. I know that I could have handled this day to night transition a little better, and made an effort to sleep longer instead of jamming in lots of activities because my off time happens to be business hours.

That's all I've got right now. I think I need a sound proof room for my stomach.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sweet dreams.

Ready to have your heart warmed? Brace yourself, it's a good one.

So, my lost wallet? FOUND. The end. Happy story.

Details? Ok, if I must. So Monday late at night I was trying to keep myself awake and I went for a drive and to get gas. When I stopped for gas, the swipe dealie at the pump was not functional, so I had to go inside to pay. Mistake #1. He had me leave my card with him. I went out to pump my gas, came back for my card and in between, somehow left my wallet somewhere. Where it was left is still unknown. I realized just before work Tuesday night that it was missing, and ran around quickly to check the places it might be. No luck.

Brings us to this afternoon. I had thoroughly scoured my car, the gas station parking lot, called the county and state sheriff's offices, bugged the gas station manager, driven up and down the road, driven some more, played I Spy with my brother, and had zero success. So, I was headed to the motor vehicles association (Maryland likes to call the DMV the MVA because they're weird) with my brother and feeling pretty crappy about life, when I get an email on my phone. It was a Facebook message. From someone I didn't know, telling me she worked at the gas station down the street from the one I had been at on that fateful night, and someone had turned in a wallet to her... so she facebooked me! I completely freaked out. I mean, there is no way all the stuff would still be in it, right?

False. It was complete, down to the small amount of cash that had been in it. Holy moly. I am so so fortunate that amazing people like the person who turned in my wallet exist... I find it hard to believe, still, even hours later. I am so lucky, and so happy. I just about hugged the gas station employee. Today went from a very frustrating day (DMV, ick) to a really, really inspiring day (people, yay!).

I trekked home and was high on life (and coffee). I figured man, running right now would be beyond awesome, I bet I'll just sail along. Famous last words. It was a muggy, painful run that was just generally not too successful. I did about 3.5 miles before calling it quits. This has not been the best running week, I am hoping next week (marathon training week 1, woohoo!) is a big improvement. I might just be in a slump... I am definitely unusually tired and my eating and sleeping have been thrown off because of night shift. Boo night shift. That seems to be the moral of every post this week...  but also, hooray Good Samaritans!

Nightshift woes

I'm a big old wuss about my sleep schedule, if you haven't figured that out yet. Deviations from normal make me crotchety, sad, and generally unpleasant. So here's a little scenario... read it, and guess how I'm feeling today:

lay down in bed to 'read,' probably fell asleep within 20 minutes (side note- I WAS totally in love with the book The Maytrees by Annie Dillard... until I got about halfway through. Love gone awry. Her writing is amazing though)

Alarm goes off to wake up and feed the birds.. ignore alarm for an hour while it snoozes and generally keeps me from sleeping soundly.

Get out of bed, feed animals, including a very reluctant fish. Make bargains with fish. Offer fish money. Fish declines and refuses to eat. I cry.

Lay in bed. Will myself to sleep. Sleep declines. I cry.

Toss, turn, dream about meeting No Doubt (wish I was kidding, alas I am not).

Arise, realize I have wayyyy too much to do if I need to get to work at 9pm. Walk around COMPLETELY disoriented, put on running clothes. I went for my run except my watch was absolutely possessed. I started hauling it out the door, and the watch claimed I was doing 10:20 miles. I begged to differ, so it immediately responded by upping my pace to 6:20 miles. W.T.F. I got unnecessarily angry and decided to run based on time. I gave up after 10 minutes because I stressed myself out about the time constraints I had for the day and turned around and went home. I'm a big old quitter lately.

Errands. Getting ready for work. Come to terms with being at work at 9:30 instead of 9.

Realize I've lost my wallet between getting gas at midnight and that moment. Wig out. Wig some more. Realize I can't do anything about it until later, and who knows, it might turn up in that time. I get over any wiggy feelings fairly quickly. I know that might be a dumb response, but none of my credit cards have any activity on them, so I'm crossing my fingers my wallet is just under my seat. I cry anyways.

Get to work. Realize I have to stay at work for at least 8 hours. I cry.

That brings us to now, 2:38am. I'm actually surprisingly perky physically (Red Bull, you make me so happy even though you are overprocessed and bad for me), I am just an absolute mess mentally, draggy and slow. This was not an easy nightshift transition for me, hopefully this won't last too long. Happy... Wednesday? Ish?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

After midnight...

We gonna... blog? Ahh middle of the night posts. Where my wee little blog all began 4 months ago. I'm in the same boat, work-wise: totally weird night schedule. This time, the added bonus is that it was a SURPRISE night schedule. YES. Surprises keep my sleep schedule from getting all lazy and complacent.

Today/night (Monday) is transition time. I'm staying up uber late (totally should have napped earlier) in order to be able to sleep until the early afternoon. I ellipticaled (spell check hates it both ways). That was actually really enjoyable. Spent a pleasant 37 minutes watching Third Rock From the Sun.

Holy 90's Batman! Those outfits were heinous. However, it reaffirmed my love for Joseph Gordon Levitt. Totally jumped on his bandwagon early (zing!). The elliptical is the most mindless cardio for me. I have to remind myself to up the intensity and keep my rpm's high or else I end up just suspended, mid stride.

Annnd I just burnt my lip on my (literal) midnight snack: whole wheat pasta with sauce. It is also what I had for dinner 5 hours ago. Mmm then, ouch now.

Baby parakeet update, day 11:
Baby dino continues to thrive. He is getting feathers and I'm starting to think he is actually a direct descendant of birds. Or so he says (he actually just says 'peeeeeep! peeeeep! peeep!' in the CUTEST way). Come on, this teeny face (and still bald head) absolutely slay me. Side note: No, Dad, I definitely did not pick him up. He jumped on up into my hand and I was forced to hold him.Squirrelly little bugger.

I am so confused about what to eat! I mean, obviously, eat when I'm hungry, but between snacks (2) and meals (4) I'm going to go after the bird food next. I get ravenous when I stay up for hours and hours. We shall see how long the night shift lasts and how long my hunger/confusion/boredom keep this up.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Yesterday was hot and sticky. And my run was unenjoyable. That's really all I have to say about that. Did 4 miles s-l-o-w-l-y. Those were 4 of the more painful miles in recent memory.

My goals for this week include: healing my itchy sunburn on my back, stretching my achy butt, and sleeping 7 or more hours every night. Aim low, I always say.

My weekend was lame-o but in a way that I am totally ok with. I reconnected with the couch. I also reconnected with Season 5 of Project Runway. SO GOOD. I have a major girl crush on Kenley, even though she's a complete priss. I mean, how adorable is she:

And she designed these dresses:
Really, how could you not be in love.

Ugh. Today. It is rainy. It is going to be rainy all day. This is my last fun week before hardcore training begins for realsies. So I'm thinking either rest day (I haattttteeee rest days) or a little elliptical and House watching. That sounds pretty delightful, I haven't ellipticalled (one l or two?) in a while.

And because I was lazy and typed my Sunday entry on Saturday, I neglected Father's day. Here is me and my daddy:

That is my favorite picture in the history of pictures. It pretty much captures our lives... I make 'gang signs' and he makes funny faces (a little back story... we had spent the whole day at the amusement park trying to get a good picture on the coaster cams, but had failed. I TRIED convincing everyone to make gang signs with me [not real gang signs. juuuuust kidding] but I am the only one who likes public embarrassment. Finally we got this one, me in my shining glory [literally. sweat + sunscreen] and my dad equally hilarious). Best Dad ever.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Deep thoughts.

Randomness. Paragraphs are just not happening today.
-I'm getting lots of compliments on my teeth lately. I have no idea why.
-Two nights in a row, I've dreamt about buying new sheets. I think this has to do with me finding a new place to live (YAY!) so maybe I'm just thinking extra about housewares. Ah, sheets. They make me happy...

-Saturday's run... ugh. hot. Lazy. I had to confront my own mortality after about 1.5 miles and just bail. I give myself an A for effort.
-I made banana bread.. it is amazing even though we didn't have quite enough sugar. Mmm, banana bread:

-I was browsing through my old posts and noticed I was taking some pretty delightful pics of my spider bite there for a while. That's clearly the element that has been missing from this blog. So here you go:

Yup, it's still there.
-I saw X-Men... it was entertaining, but overall I was unenthused.

Aaaand... that's all I got. Today's long run WILL happen... later.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Le sigh

After a week of delightfully cool days and impressive thunderstorms, I am welcomed into the weekend with this:
Umm... weather? Why you gotta be acting like summer (again) all of a sudden? You would think that a dedicated runner like myself (ha!) would see that increasing temp and hustle herself out the door before it got too hot/muggy/stormy. You would be wrong. Instead, I shall blog about how I'm not running. Blogging about blogging. So meta.

Here's a pic of our baby parakeet:

I call him Baby Dinosaur because he is very reptilian. He's getting very slightly feathered now (he's 9 days old) but he still looks like a little lizard with wings. He is the cutest thing I've everrrr seen. We really did not want to have our parakeets reproducing (we have 5!) but they had other ideas. I've gotta say, I'm pretty happy that Mama parakeet somehow hid this egg from my mother, because I am in love with this incredibly ugly/cute baby. He doesn't have any feathers on the top part of his head. I worry he'll never get any and he'll look like a monk.

I really do plan on running today... I might have to treadmill it though. Get my trashy tv fix for the day, a workout, AND air conditioning? I think I might.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Why running is, and is not, a good date.

3.6 miles, on trail with HILLS yesterday. I have not looked at the Garmin yet but I'm pretty sure there were at least 1000 feet worth of climbs. Or 100 feet. Same thing.

While running (with a companion) I reflected on why running is, and definitely is not, a good way to spend time with someone you're getting to know.

Why it is a good activity:
1. It's running.. it's fun, it stimulates (breathless) conversation about your pasts with running, your feelings about running. This is a good time to see if you are on the same page.
2. It's challenging! You get to see how the other person responds to challenges like hills. And insects landing on your faces.
3. It's a bonding experience. Even if you're not on the same page, pace-wise, you're doing something active, together.

Why is it a not-so-good activity:
1. Sweat. Sweat. More sweat. Maybe for some people this is attractive, but if you're a copious sweater (like me) it is just one more thing to be nervous about.
2. Mismatched pace can be nerve-wracking as well. Even if you're ok at going faster/slower than you normally do, it is still a little stressful to worry about "am I going too fast? Is he tired? or is he bored?"
3. Running-related quirkiness. The noises my stomach makes following a run are epically loud. Likewise, explaining that for you, it's normal to eat nothing/everything in sight/drink a bucket of water in one gulp might promote active conversation, but it does bring to light all sorts of weirdnesses to someone you've just met.

All in all, if you can get past the general discomfort of being sweaty and out of breath in front of someone you're trying to impress, I think it balances out. There's definitely a feeling of mutual accomplishment after a nice run. And it breaks up the monotony of running to have a buddy from time to time :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I am so in love with my Garmin. It is just the best. I know I'm pretty late to the GPS-enabled watch game. I enjoy that it seems to be accurate, it is comfortable, and it is becoming increasingly easy for me to use. Here is a picture from the Garmin website:

The part with the writing on it is touch sensitive, but it is actually the inner bezel that you use to touch and scroll. The first week or so of owning the watch was incredibly frustrating because that stupid bezel did not work the way I wanted it to. It is still either too sensitive (to taps) or not sensitive enough (to scrolling), but at least now I can eventually get it to do what I need it to do. I've also figured out where the important menus are located, like switching between bike and run, and turning on and off data transfer.

For my run yesterday, I had 3 miles on the schedule but since I had done 7.5 the day before, I thought I'd give myself a break... oh, how the best laid plans go awry. I did give myself a break from running, did 2.3 miles in 21:44, intentionally slow. My shin was a little achy when I started out but didn't bother me the rest of the time. I got back and my dad was ready to go for a bike ride. He is training for a century ride in September!!! Craziness! Luckily, he only wanted to go about 6 miles down the road and come back.. unluckily, it was a very hilly road. We did 11.73 miles in about 51 minutes, averaging around 14 mph. My legs were sluggish.

My bike is the limiting factor as far as speed. It is a totally functional, gets me around just fine, but it is s-l-o-w. I'm looking for a road bike but I'm not sure how much I'd like to spend. It would definitely be an investment. Since I'm also looking at kayaks, I would have to prioritize those needs too... pretty sure the bike would come first.

I came back, showered, and sat myself on the floor for at least 30 minutes, cross-legged... that was a mistake. When I got up my joints felt like they needed greasing, so I took a hot bath. That greatly improved things.

A random highlight from yesterday:

This orange was SO GOOD. There are no words. It was such a joy to eat it, I might have teared up just a little while I was eating it, it was that good. It may look like a normal orange (photographed terribly with a backdrop of my pink notepad), but it was out of this world.... I get really excited about food.

Today- 5 miles, still enjoying this unseasonably cool weather.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mental block.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who has the 'long runs are on weekends, and weekends only' belief. I'd get all grouchy if I had to do more than 3 miles on a weekday because I felt like I didn't have enough hours to get it done... and long runs just feel like an undertaking because there's fuel and water and bodyglide etc etc. Well hopefully yesterday's run can put that to rest. The weather was absolutely glorious, mid-70's, and I was home a little earlier than I usually am. I got myself in gear and was out the door, sans plan.

I was also sans fuel. Here's what I ended up doing:


Hey, look at that! guess I probably should have taken some sort of fuel before mile 5 (48 minutes into running.. that middle column is 'moving time'... what constitutes not moving time?). I didn't take any fuel with me because I didn't really know how long I'd go out.. lesson learned. I probably could have gone another half mile if I had had something to eat.

Anyways, I'm really pleased that I did this long run, since I didn't do it this weekend, and I'm also pleased that I did it on a weekday... and nothing terrible happened! The only big downside is that my stomach was terribly upset and I ate an ok amount of dinner, but certainly not as much as I probably needed (Garmin says I burned 906 calories... thanks, Garmin!). I'll focus on eating extra today so I'm not sore later. I just feel oh-so-happy because not only was it a nice long distance, but I was pretty quick (for me) and I feel like I'm capable of more distance all of a sudden. I hope that wasn't a fluke just because I hadn't run since last Wednesday.

Today I'm gonna crank out a couple miles then maybe go for a bike ride. I don't want to overstress my legs, or give them too much of a break since I did take 3 days completely off. We shall see. The weather is GLORIOUS this week, have to take advantage of it.

Monday, June 13, 2011


If I tell you about kayaking in great detail will everyone please just ignore if I don't write about a long run... or any run? Ok thanks.

Kayaking.. it was interesting. Thursday was HOT. There are not enough words for the unpleasant combo of heat and humidity that was going strong even at 4pm. I met up with folks including my really nice coworker who was lending me a kayak for the day. I used to lifeguard on a river and we rented out kayaks, canoes and paddle boats. A few times when people got too far out/capsized/got scared the lifeguards would need to go assist them in kayaks. We'd also go out and mess around in the kayaks when we were bored, so I've spent a fair amount of time in a kayak, just not in the last 5 years. I was worrried I'd be a failure.

Turns out kayaking (for me) is fairly easy, at least just the getting around and moving forward part. I was not speedy, but I felt comfortable enough. I couldn't do anything too fancy but I could get myself going the direction I needed to go. I did not figure out stopping. I will get there.

We did some leisurely paddling in a creek, looking at houses and birds nests and fancy boats. We got up to a turnaround point and people seemed to be heading back, so I thought I'd charge ahead and do my own thing on the way home. Turns out people were NOT really heading back, and I blazed my own trail. It was so, so peaceful. It's rhythmic in a way that running just isn't for me, and the scenery was gorgeous. My arms were aching like crazy by the time I got back, and I neglected to check behind me to see where everyone else was. When I got back I waited... and waited... over 20 minutes. Turns out they did a little more exploring and then took their sweet time coming home. It was alright, gave me time to shake out my legs.

I really want to buy a kayak now, but I need to wait until I am living in my own house so I have somewhere to store it. I've been looking at them online and there's a huge range of prices! I will have to do some research and figure out what I need. I know there's lots of other gear I will need too, like a roof rack, life jacket, paddle, etc. Could get expensive.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I realize no one actually wants to read about the 5 miles I ran on the treadmill yesterday. It was on a treadmill, absolutely nothing happened. Except I got to watch House! Which is fluff- my favorite kind of entertainment. How about something other than me telling you I put one foot in front of the other for 5 miles?

I read other blogs and they have lists... I love lists. Crossing something off a list is usually better than actually accomplishing the thing. So here's a list of:

5 things I am looking forward to this weekend:

1. 7 mile long run. I did 6.25 last week, I know I have 7 in me, so it'll be cake. I just need to find time. Which brings me to my second item!

2. Work activities! My workplace is pretty big (>800 employees) and there are a fair number of events. This year, they're all happening on the same weekend. Friday is a site picnic, Saturday is a department party, and Sunday is a softball tournament. All of these things combined make for a busy, fun weekend. I'm excited.

3. Related to the Saturday party- JET SKIS! YES. My coworker has jet skis. And I will ride them. I love going quickly on vehicles, and going fast in the water is even better because it is (relatively) safe.

4. Eating a bunch. I've been a wee bit neurotic about my eats this week because of the work party/bikini occurence that is looming (yes, I know I don't lose a substantial amount of weight by eating carefully for a week.. but I feel better!). This weekend is going to be fun and hopefully have lots of food options for me so I can relax. I know I shouldn't go all out detoxing then go crazy on the weekend, but this is a special weekend.

5. (not technically the weekend, this is happening today) Kayaking! I like going slowly in vehicles as well, I love being on the water. It is also an excellent way to cross train and get some Michelle Obama shoulders.
If I weren't kayaking, I would be forced to run the 3 miles I have on my schedule, and it'll be over 100 degrees today. I think kayaking with a gentle breeze on the water sounds like a way better plan.

So hooray. I'm pretty excited for all these things. It promises to be epic... if I can just make it through work today and tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Trail fail, taco salad win

Yesterday I was looking forward to running all day because I had decided I was going to go to a local state park and run on the trails. I had joyful visions of traipsing along dirt paths amongst the wildlife, kept cool by the overhanging trees. The first mile or so was indeed joyful. I felt good, there was a lot of downhill, I managed to keep my eyes on path and still keep a good pace. I had a moment where I thought "hey, I should totally run trails every day forever and ever." Then...

I ate a bug.


I ate another bug.

Just straight up inhaled/swallowed. Before I knew what was happening, they were in my tummy. I was considering what this meant for my vegetarianism when...

I saw a snake.

A SNAKE! SERIOUSLY. I am not a wuss about reptiles or amphibians, although big creatures do freak me out, but the monkey part of my brain kicked in and said "you're running, and you saw a snake... maybe you should run from the snake?" I also started digging around in my memory about red and black and venom and death. Wikipedia tells me it is some variation on: ""Red on yellow will kill a fellow, but red on black is a friend of Jack." I was never in danger of getting bitten, and I didn't even have time to really look at the snake. I'm sure he was just as scared as I was. My second mile... not so stellar. Third mile was a complete bust. I ate another bug. I brushed my hair from my face and kept touching bugs. I began to hate everything.

My mile splits were: 8:59, 9:35, and 11:19 (!!!!!!). I also did an extra 0.11 to make it a full 5k. My overall pace was 10 minute miles but still... come on Laurel, consistency. If I can change anything about my running, it is pacing. I think my watch has made it worse because I can glance down as much as I want and see how fast I'm going. If I look down and see 9 min/mile, I think I should be going that fast, so I try and maintain. No. I will work on that.

To follow up my less than stellar run, I had the requisite tummy ache. I ate a little and drank and finally got some appetite. Then I had the best taco salad the world has ever known. This baby was a pile of lettuce, diced tomatoes, a few olives, cheddar cheese, salsa, sour cream, Morningstar crumbles with taco seasoning, and black beans. It was glorious. I don't usually like taco salad because the ratios are never right, and warm lettuce creeps me out, but this... perfection. It was eaten in 3.5 seconds and I was happy.

Today in my neck of the woods it is super duper hot and sticky. In other words, summer. I'm going to run on the treadmill I think, so as to survive. It'll be delightful and bug-free.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Day two of being unable to grab Garmin data. So I put it in Excel.

MileTimeElevation gainElevation lossAvg. speed
Last 0.750:03:17243913.7

I biked for 33 minutes and did 8.75 miles! I know I'm not a speed demon but it still felt pretty good, especially considering I don't have a road bike. That'll be my next big purchase I think. I caught my shoelaces in my chain yesterday and cursed my lack of appropriate gear. I then walked a couple miles with my mom. In bike shorts. Along a major road. I don't know where those cojones came from, but they did. Note to drivers: honking/yelling at a girl doesn't convey appreciation or flatter her in any way. It usually startles the girl and irritates. Probably not your intention.

Day 2 of cutting back on caffeine is good. I made it all the way until 10something before I had coffee, although I'll admit I was pretty draggy by then. I realize I used to have 2++ cups a day, so even cutting back to one is still significant.. at least that's what I tell myself. Added sugar.. less successful. I've read that sugar is one of those things that if you have ANY at all, your cravings remain 'active' I guess. You have to actually avoid sugar entirely in order to really go through withdrawal and then get over cravings. Thing is, I don't really have a problem with cravings, I just want to avoid sugar. So I'm avoiding it, but the Fiber One bar I had yesterday, my coffee creamer, and I'm sure other things I eat, have sugar so I keep having it.. but I think I am lessening how much I eat. That's something. It might not be the week I eliminate anything, but I'll surely cut back.. sorta.

The limitations of my technological prowess

You are about to see them. I cannot seem to figure out how to share my Garmin Connect stuff. Is this why everyone just posts pics of their watches on blogs? Because the Garmin website doesn't play nicely with other websites. Super lame. Anyways. Friday I walked. If I could post the Garmin stuff it would tell you that my mom and I went 4.32 miles in 1:21. Burned 292 calories? That seems a bit low. Saturday I took off because I abused my internal organs on Friday night and I wasn't up for any kind of physical activity. I did see Pirates of the Caribbean with my family though. I don't really like those movies, but it was pretty entertaining.

Sunday I got up and slowllllyyyyy got around to running. If I could post stuff from Garmin, you would see I did 6.25 miles in 1:03... yeah my average pace was 10:04, but here's the mile breakdown:

Mile 1: 9:24
Mile 2: 9:49
Mile 3: 9:49
Mile 4: 9:59
Mile 5: 10:01
Mile 6: 11:10
Last 0.25: 11:24 pace

So really, I was doing pretty well through the first 5 miles, and if I had the self-control to run the first mile around 9:45 instead of 9:24 I think I probably could have maintained 9:45 for the first 5 miles and just slowed down a bit in mile 6+. I'm still pretty proud of myself.

One data point of concern (?) that the Garmin has given me is that my heart rate is INSANE. I alternated between displaying my HR and my pace during the run, and was alarmed that I hover around 175-180 bpm when I'm just running normally (average HR during mile 1 was 164, peaked at an average of 187 during mile 5). That's at the very top end of my max HR for my age (see below).

AgeTarget HR Zone
50–85 %
Average Maximum
Heart Rate
100 %
20 years100–170 beats per minute200 beats per minute
25 years98–166 beats per minute195 beats per minute
30 years95–162 beats per minute190 beats per minute


So, what does it all mean? I have no idea. My resting heart rate is fairly normal (62 or so) so I figure my heart is not about to explode anytime soon. I wonder if this is a problem though? I don't feel uncomfortable when I'm running, so maybe it's just the zone that I've gotten used to. We'll see if it changes, and I'd like to wear the HRM during a race too.

Also big news: I'm cutting wayyyy back on caffeine. I didn't have any on Saturday or Sunday, and I'm going to try and limit it to one cup at work. I'm also going to avoid added sugar as much as possible this week. I have a pool party to go to on Saturday night so this is my version of a detox.

Friday, June 3, 2011

New watch!

Yesterday I ran with my awesome new Garmin. I say awesome because it tracked how far I ran. I think I would use a word other than awesome to really describe the full watch experience. A brief timeline:
Tuesday: got watch. plugged it in to charge before bed. left plugged in for a few hours.
Wednesday: ran inside, didn't use watch.
Thursday: went to use watch. dead. plugged in for 40 minutes or so until I had a 25% charge, then tried to do some setup. Could not figure out the freaking bezel. Got frustrated. Used salty language. Drained the battery trying to setup the damn watch. Plugged back in for several more minutes so at the very least I could use it to run.

Running with the watch was neat, but since I haven't actually figured out how it works yet, I am sure I didn't really use all the features.. I was supposed to do 3 miles, so I started the watch then walked a bit to warm up. I hit the lap button when I began running and looked down as I neared 1 mile of running to hit the lap button again... and wonders of technology, it knew I wanted to know my mile time and called it a lap without even making me press anything. The watch also made a very pleasant ding. My first mile was 9:00! Speedy me. I was absolutely fascinated by watching the miles tick by during mile 2, and slowed down a bit. I think it was 9:44 (yes, I know I can download all my info from the watch to my computer. I will figure out how to do that... sometime). Mile 3 was mid-9 minutes. The weather was really lovely and slightly chilly even by the time I got home. Nice change of pace. I'm walking with my mom today, most likely, so I might try and wear the heart rate monitor and see how it feels and works. Hooray technology!

My run was enjoyable, but the aftermath was terrible. I know I have tummy issues that I need to work out, and I'm wondering if I have a weird food allergy. I'm leaning towards no, because my tummy issues are pretty directly related to working out. It is just MISERABLE though to spend a few hours after a run being oh-so-uncomfortable and I think that's part of why I have not been eating quite as well as I should be, and why I'm dropping poundage like a fiend. I should not complain about losing weight, but I know I'm doing it the wrong way so I need to actually focus on nutrition. And figure out my tummy issues :(

I'm considering doing a 5K tomorrow morning... my Saturday runs are supposed to be 5 miles, but I find a 5K is an easier way for me to actually get out of bed and run, so is 3.1 miles legit since it means I'm running instead of laying in bed? I think so.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Oh summer...

You are so steamy.

I was thinking about what I had to say about my run from yesterday when I read this article. My favorite part is:
Today's run might just be a run. I take it in as a point of data on an elaborate matrix. I don't try to assign a meaning to it. I have faith that somewhere, sometime, it will matter. 
I mean, really, I don't need to overanalyze the fun out of things. I ran on the treadmill and watched House. It was enjoyable. That's that. I didn't run extra fast or extra long or anything, and I felt fine about it. I have a feeling today's run (3 miles, this time I'll really be using my new Garmin Forerunner 405CX!!) will be along the same lines. They're not all deal breakers, and they don't have to be. It's all part of a bigger training plan.

Of course, my legs do hurt today, but I am sure it is not from an unusual effort in running but instead from leg lifts, squats and wall sits. My hips are especially achy. It's not debilitating but I've managed to spend my. entire. day. in meetings and every time I stand up from an office chair, I swear I can hear creaking. Need to make a conscious effort to walk around more during the day!

That is all... I've got a new struggle to figure out- how to run late enough in the day that it is not deadly hot out (after 6pm... preferably later) without ruining my appetite for dinner until too close to bedtime. Tuesday night I didn't finish eating until 8:30 pm and then just laid in bed trying to will myself to digest breadsticks faster. Blech.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Heat waveeeeee

Sometimes I catch myself just being whiny about the weather, just because I'm feeling grouchy and the weather is something easy to bitch about. In this case, however, I am pretty sure I am justified in my complaining because it was 90ish yesterday and almost 90 today and the humidity has been through the roof. My dad was staining the deck yesterday and the stain was beading up because the air was already so moist. That was delightful. My run yesterday was sweltering so I cut it short. I did around 25 minutes when I should have done 30. This week's goal: do a workout every day I am supposed to, even if I don't complete the workout exactly as planned. This means that my 5 miler today may be more like a 4 miler due to heat, but I'll still definitely get out there and do SOMETHING just to get my legs used to activity 6 days a week.

Heading back to work has been a shock to the system and the last couple nights I've slept really poorly, so hopefully that will change. I honestly would take 7 nights of really good sleep over a 3 day weekend if that is really the tradeoff that needs to occur. I know that's totally sacriligious but it is true.

I have a new GPS watch... cheap me finally coughed up some cash and bought a Garmin 405CX in blue (it was NOT that expensive... Amazon FTW). I haven't used it yet but it should be charged up and ready for my run today.. maybe I'll go extra far because it'll be such a joy to use :)