Thursday, March 31, 2011

Too much taper?

Yesterday I was a big old slug. I got home from work, feeling good and optimistic. I made chili! Right after I got home! And then apparently decided that would be my one accomplishment for the day. I got dressed for the gym- trying to ignore the fact that it wasn't actually raining out so I had no excuse to work out inside- then found out that there were 3 other girls in the gym, using all the machines. So my lazy ass took that as a sign that I didn't need to work out. I would go home and play on the Wii and call it a day. Disregard that I was planning on actually RUNNING, and the Wii is to running as non-fat salad dressing is to regular salad dressing: not as satisfying and nowhere near as good for you. I did the boxing thing on the Wii and step. Both of which result in just a little heart rate blip and a splash of sweat. I also vaccumed the tile floors and swiffered them. That's sort of active.

I know in the long run (haha, run.. so punny), this is not a big deal, but man, I am feeling guilty about being lazy yesterday. I took every excuse ever to avoid real exertion, which is not really the behavior I need the week of a race. So... TODAY. There will be running! Fast! But not long! And outside, even though it is raining. Getting soggy will be my form of penance.

At least weather this weekend is looking livable:




















Wow look at that picture quality. If you can't read it, it says it'll be 58 and sunny on Sunday. 0% Chance of precipitation. 0%! That is so asking for a freak snowstorm.

Yesterday's food- also not my best work. I ate all my food by 2, even though I was staying at work until 4. Fail. I had a tootsie roll and butterfinger from the office candy jar. Processed food? What processed food? I know there's some added-sugar detox period that you have to make it through before you no longer crave sweet stuff. I'm not sure I can ever make it through that phase. Snacks were bites of chili while I was making it, an egg, and then dinner was chili with cheddar cheese and a big salad. Yummy.

Today's food... is exactly like yesterday's, but with no tortilla in the afternoon. Sadface. A wild card is that I'm eating dinner out! Ahh! I'm going to Red Robin for a work function. Big shout out to them- they have a great 'build your meal' thingy on their website that lets you add and subtract toppings, sauces, sides, buns, etc. It is super cool, and it's fascinating to add and subtract stuff and see nutrition content change. I'm going to have a veggie burger and a salad. I'm legitimately psyched.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Unaccounted for

Random thing I didn't think about when I embarked on this whole "get better at running" thing: the laundry. 5-6 days a week, I am dirtying extra shorts, socks, shirt, bra, and jacket/extra shirt sometimes. That adds up. And all my tech shirts, shorts and bras can't be put in the dryer, so I'm hanging random pieces of clothing up to dry all over the extra bedroom. It's clearly not a big deal (might even be the opposite of a big deal :) ), it is just something I really hadn't thought about or set aside time for. I have a laundry schedule (me? a schedule? never!) and it needs some tweaking or else Andrew and/or I will end up running out of clothes semi-regularly.

Other scenario lacking a contingency plan- shower frequency and how it will affect my skin/hair/life. Since I can't bring myself to work out in the mornings, I shower before work, work all day, run/bike/whatever, then need to shower again. I'm a big sweater (one who sweats, not a knit shirt made of wool), so my hair is usually pretty icky by the time I'm done with whatever workout, and it needs a good rinse. If I'm done working out at 6, showered by 7, and want to go to bed at 9:30... my hair is not dry before bed! Egads!  I have the worst time getting to sleep with wet hair, its just uncomfortable to me. I've tried towel drying it to death, and also just not rinsing it. Both seem to make it better, but I'm still either damp/stinky.

But wait, I have more First World problems! All these many showers have also killed my skin. After swimming yesterday I was like a crazy lizard. I was flaky as can be, which I know was mostly from the chlorine but definitely not helped out by all the showers. Need better moisturizer.

Soooo swimming. Oh how I love swimming! I didn't really have a workout in mind before I started but ended up doing
3x100 swim (free, breast, back)
3x50 kick (flutter, breast, back)
3x50 pull (same)

times 2. I did the swimming on 2:00 intervals, although I should have done 1:45 or 1:30 but the math is way easier if I just do 2 mins. The kicking and pulling 1:30 intervals. Plus 150 free cooldown. Total: like 33 minutes of 'swimming' plus resting, but only 1350 meters. I felt very happy to be swimming, but my arms were very sad to be working so hard. Overall, felt like a pretty good workout. Nice to be doing something different.

Today, who knows. I'm trying to listen to my body as far as achiness/muscle freshness, and my legs are giving me the go ahead. They feel really good. Depending on weather, I will do 2 slow, steady miles then some sprints either on the treadmill or outside. They're calling for snow, so we'll see :(

Last night's food: I forgot to eat before I left work, so I was starving by the time swimming was over. I had a Kashi granola bar on the way home from the pool, then a big salad with black beans and some pasta with sauce. Yummy. I then folded clothes for like 45 minutes. So. Many. Clean. Clothes.

Today's food. No surprises here:
Breakfast: cottage cheese, egg, banana
Snack: cheese, kashi bar (only 3 left! I will be rid of you soon!), apple
Lunch: bean/rice thing, veggies
snack: peanuts, orange, maybe tortilla if I'm hungry
Dinner: MAYBE making vegetarian chili, plus the usual salad. Depends on what I end up doing workout-wise.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Taper week!

Taper week is the best week of all. I get to do less and still know I'm doing what I need to do for my body. Its like getting rewarded for being a little lazy.

Yesterday I did 10 chilly, fast minutes outside, then cooled down walking for a few and came inside. I played on the Wii and did yoga ('stretch') and planks and lunges ('strength'). I also did hula hoop. Confession: I think Wii hula hoop gives me better ab definition than any ab workout, especially the ab/hip region. But that could just be me. When I was done, I was starving so I had a tortilla, egg, V8, then rice cakes. I was feeling snacky, and while I can patiently wait for Andrew, my tummy cannot.

He got home and we had veggie burgers, salad, and steamed pea pods. Yummy. Then Andrew was still hungry so he made popcorn.. which I ate a majority of. It is SO bad for my teeth but unpopped popcorn kernels are basically my favorite thing. They're so satisfying to crunch on.

Today, I will swim. My mom is doing a water aerobics class at the only pool in our area, and she also has a pass for a bunch of visits, so my dad and I are going to use some. Her class is 45 minutes so we'll probably swim for at least 30. I love swimming, and swam competitively for years. It is a great workout and targets muscle groups that are not easily gotten in my regular workouts. I just generally feel sleeker when I swim regularly. BONUS: there is also a hot tub to relax in after swimming. Win-win. I'd like to go at least weekly during my marathon preparations.

Today's food is unexciting.
Breakfast: banana, egg, cottage cheese
morning snack: kashi bar, cheese, apple
lunch: soup, triscuits, veggies
afternoon snack: orange, peanuts
preworkout snack: tortilla
dinner: pasta and marinara, salad (with beans?)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pretend this weekend didn't happen...

I have a habit of getting super duper over-invested in planning things out. I'm a control freak like that. I always have a mental timeline of how things should progress, down to the quarter hour, i.e. leave work at 4:00, home at 4:15, relax, change clothes, start run at 5, home by 6, stretch and hydrate 6:15... etc. It's insane, I know this. Well, my Saturday morning plan was:

up by 8
Running by 8:30
Home by 10
Showered by 11
Packed and departing for Pennsylvania by 1

Instead, it went like this:

up by 10
biking (not running. sadface) by 11
Home by 12
showered and out the door by 1-1:30.

My friday night was a little later than I had hoped, so Saturday morning I could not bring myself to get up early. I get irritable when my schedule is changed, but still I delayed my last long run before the 10-miler until Sunday. Mistake. I ate weird (for me) food on Friday night, weird food on Saturday and Sunday, then expected my body to cooperate with 8 miles? Not so much. Instead, I was home late on Sunday, and it was already getting dark, so I had to run on the treadmill. In order to not make them junk miles, I decided to up the incline. My legs and lungs were screaming at the end, but I finished. And I got to watch super old episodes of How I Met Your Mother. So I accomplished something :)

The second issue with running late (I wasn't back from the gym until 8:30), was fueling and refueling late. I was hungry for dinner when I got home, but had a banana and an egg a little while before running. I have major tummy troubles following long runs, and last night was no exception. I feel nauseous, not at all hungry, and my body for some reason wants to just empty itself. I fought through that because I knew I needed something, and choked down a salad, tortilla, and little bit of cottage cheese. Sorry, muscles.

This week is a wild card week for me. On the schedule tonight is 'stretch and strengthen' but instead I'm going to do a couple easy miles outside, as my legs are pretty tight and angry today. Nothing 'hurts' but everything is a little bit achy. My Achilles' feel like they are about an inch too short. The forecast for this week involves rain Wednesday through Friday, so I had better get outside while I have the chance. I'm thinking easy run tonight, swimming tomorrow, maybe bike ride Wednesday?

Food today is pretty much the usual, plus extra crackers because I want to make up for not being able to eat much last night.
Breakfast:egg, banana, icky Yoplait greek yogurt (it tastes super sweet and super vanilla-y. I do not like overly sweet breakfast food)
morning snack: string cheese, apple, icky Kashi cereal bar
lunch: lentil soup, triscuits and veggies
afternoon snack: orange and peanuts
dinner: TBD

Friday, March 25, 2011

Home stretch

The countdown continues: 8 days until the Cherry Blossom 10 miler! I'm mostly getting excited about the Race expo. I love freehies, and I love the excitement.. and getting a new shirt! For folks not from the DC area, the Cherry Blossom festival happens every year, around this time, and the 10 miler is a HUGE race that happens a part of it. Locals hate the Festival because confused tourists cause ridiculous traffic situations, clog the Metro by using it wrong, and just generally make a mess of things. I don't care, the race will be fun and I'm ok with delays as long as I get where I need to be.

Yesterday's 3 miler was CHILLY. Southern Maryland just cannot decide what temperature it wants to be. When I left work at 4, I was contemplating pants and short sleeves, but by the time I actually got out the door to run at 5:15, I definitely needed long sleeves, and even then my face was chilly for the first part of the run. I was supposed to do 3 miles, but because of my intense distrust of the iMapMyRun app, I did 3.2. Better safe than sorry. I was inspired to make it a fartlek workout (quit giggling and click the link) after the first mile, and because of a post on another running blog about speedwork. I HATE the idea of speedwork, but I saw excellent results when I incorporated it before the Pike's Peek 10K last year. That was my very best race performance to date, in one of my favorite races. I did lots of fartleks and other speed stuff before that race, so I figured it can't hurt.

I did the first mile quick-ish and steady. Then a steep downhill turned into 0.1 mile fast/0.1 mi slow for the remaining 2.2 miles. I felt quick! It was nice. I also felt completely spent afterwards. But I still had 'strength' to do. I tend to default to the Wii. Despite the whole "the Wii Fit is not really an effective weight loss tool," some of the strength training things are really good. I did lunges first. I should have done lunges second... or third.. or never. For those not familiar, the Wii balance board measures how you're distributing your weight during the different exercises, and to get full points for the exercise you need to distribute your weight how it wants you to. So for the lunges, this means most of your weight on your front leg, but not too much. The fact that you're held accountable for your form is a good thing, but man, those were some of the more painful lunges I've done recently. Right after a speedy-ish workout was not the time to do that.

Yesterday I ate some triscuits after work, then more triscuits after running. Dinner was a salad and way too much pizza. Yes, there is such a thing.

Today's eating will be a wild card! I'm working a half day at work, so I brought veggies, cheese, Kashi cereal bar (bought because I had a coupon... dislike!), peanuts, apple and orange with me (in case I end up staying a full day... just kidding, I'll eat all this before I leave at 11:30). Breakfast was just an egg and a banana, because I was oddly distracted.I realized while I was brushing my teeth I hadn't eaten cottage cheese or yogurt or anything. Probably for the best that I brought all this food... I will be HUNGRY here soon (disclosure, I ate that cereal bar before I finished this post, haha).

Tonight/this afternoon is all kinds of up in the air. I may walk with my mom if she's around, I may go home and scrub the floors. I definitely need to go to the grocery store, we have zero fresh food in the house. Tonight Andrew and I are having dinner at a friend's house, so I'll eat a big salad and triscuits before I go over there, because the odds that I don't like the food or don't want to eat much of it are very high. Snacking before mystery dinners is the way to go. I hope I'm not the only one who does that...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lack of motivation

Last night was rough. I hopped on the elliptical and immediately began couting the seconds until I was done. Fun fact: I become a math whiz when I'm doing any activity I don't like, and constantly recalculate my percent completion/percent remaining/hundreds of seconds/etc. So I started off with "alright, 2700 seconds to go!" Ugh. It got better once I got going, but the combination of soreness and being kind of burnt out was enough to make it realllly hard to start. And the elliptical at the "gym" makes noises like a dying cat when the exerciser's form gets bad (i.e. when I start trying to look out the window instead of keeping decent posture), so that made even more fun. Dying animal screams when I slack off.

Only 9 days until Cherry Blossom! My most recent races have been low-key 5 K's, so I'm trying to psych myself up for the distance. I am excited/little scared. I know I will make it to the end, but I want to still be alive/lively when I get there. I want it to be fun to set me up for success with marathon training. Fun= a good experience and also a decent finishing time.

Dinner last night was a post-workout tortilla, lentil soup, egg and a salad. Today's food is much like Tuesday's, with some minor differences.
Breakfast: cottage cheese (!), banana, egg
morning snack: apple, cheese, granola bar
lunch: bean/rice thing and veggies
afternoon snack: peanuts and orange
late snack: TBD
dinner: pizza most likely (2 days in a row.. oops...) and salad.

My food goal has morphed into not eating processed foods, especially white flour... this is totally achievable, especially since I don't really eat many already. I won't go crazy about holding myself to it, but I know less processed foods are good for me and my well-being. We'll see how that goes.

Tonight: 3 miles and strength training. Easy peasy. I might run on the treadmill just to get some speed on, because I don't do a great job making myself speedy outside... on second thought, maybe that should be my goal today, keeping a consistent elevated speed for all 3 miles. Always good to have a goal :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New shoes!

I wore my new Mizunos yesterday on my 5 mile run. It was... different. I've had a weird ache in my foot off and on for months, and it flares up when I'm more active. The ball of my foot gets all grouchy and I get stabbing pain. The new shoes did not help this, but they also didn't hurt. So that's a plus (neutral?). The run itself was alright, the weather was nice. I have been shooting myself in the foot by taking 2 rest days in a row on Friday and Saturday, meaning I do not have a rest day between my long run and the rest of the week. As a result, my legs have felt heavy and achy... not injured, just achy.

I used the iMapMyRun app on my phone for the first time. It was... also different. For the most part, it tracked where I was going, but when I went off road or near the water, it wigged out. On the plus side, it showed me as running extra fast, while in the water, so that's neat. My average pace was greatly helped by those little jumps that credited me for running 0.3 miles directly into the water and back in just a few seconds. I've had this problem with other GPS apps on my phone, and I'm not sure if I just got a dud of a nav system, or if my phone software is too old, or what. I know some people, including Andrew, have great success with these, but I am just not seeing it. I'll continue to measure out my run the old fashioned way, by car, and use iMapMyRun or another app as a backup. I sort of want a Garmin watch, but they are expensive and I feel like it's not a necessity, so I'll make do with what I've got.

Yesterday I was STARVING after my run so I annihilated some Triscuits. I am not to be trusted with the sun dried tomato flavor, they are just too good. Then dinner was a big green salad, a whole wheat tortilla with fake meat crumbles and cheddar cheese, and more fake meat and cheese.. it was a fake meat and cheese kind of night. I was pretty stuffed from the triscuits plus dinner and getting to sleep was not a lot of fun. I was heartburn-y. I need a couple hours to digest, but that's hard with the combo of Andrew's class/cooking/trying to go to bed at 9:30... I would need to be eating at like 7 at the latest and that just does not happen.

And now, today's food. There are changes! Ahh!
Breakfast: Banana, egg, toasted sandwich thin and butter
morning snack: apple, granola bar, cheese
lunch: 3 pieces of domino's veggie pizza and way too much Diet Coke (maybe not my best food choice ever. tummy ache now).
afternoon snack 1: lots of raw veggies, peanuts
Later afternoon and dinner: TBD.

Tonight is 45 mins of cross training. I would really like to be able to do the elliptical, just because it is easy and because it's supposed to be really rainy today, and I'm not sure I'm dedicated enough to bike outside if the weather sucks. We shall see if the girls who were there dominating all the machines are there again tonight.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuesday feels so much like Monday.

Yesterday was 60 mins cross training. I planned on zoning out on the elliptical for an hour because my body is sore/achy all over, but my 'gym' is the little workout room in the clubhouse of my apartment complex, so that meant that when there are ANY other people there, I am most likely not going to get the machine I want. There are 2 treadmills, 2 bikes, and one very very squeaky elliptical. There was a mother there with her 2 daughters, and they were doing some weird sharing of equipment thing, and taking up 3/5 of the equipment. So I sucked it up, walked home, and went on a bike ride. Dare I say, best decision ever? It was lovely and cloudy with just a little breeze. I bike to the island and back and was surprised that was only around 20 minutes.. what to do...? repeat! Unfortunately, that route takes me around a bunch of traffic, pedestrian and vehicular. Even though we have lots and lots of bikes and walkers around me, people still seem confused. Note to drivers: I would rather you pass me a little fast than lurk behind me for a half mile (this is true whether I am biking or running). It makes me feel rushed and like I'm about to get run over. no good.

Dinner last night was surprising. I set out to make brown rice for the week and ended up adding leftover veggie stock and 3 cans of beans (beans were on sale/I had a coupon). For flavoring I doused it in chili powder and Old Bay. Mmm Old Bay. It ended up being yummy, and a really good consistency but super duper salty. Meh. Not my proudest moment. It made a TON. 3 lunch-sized containers plus one enormo container that probably has 4 more servings in it. I froze all but one and brought it for lunch today. I had the bean/rice thing for dinner with a veggie burger and big green salad... and another glass of wine ;) Andrew had Mac and Cheese from a box which smelled surprisingly yummy, but was oranger than I am comfortable eating. I also did not end up eating anything when i got home from work because I was absorbed in starting the rice. But I did eat a fun size Butterfinger before I left work. I am happy to report it was Fun. Truth in advertising.

Today's workout is 5 miles, which I will do outside (if the weather cooperates) in my new shoes. I will be careful not to get them too dirty right off the bat. I am vain, and I spent good money on them.

Today's food schedule... looks almost exactly like yesterday's. Don't judge.
Breakfast: Banana, siggi's, egg
morning snack: apple, granola bar, cheese
lunch: bean/rice thing, huge thing of veggies
afternoon snack 1: orange and peanuts
Late afternoon and dinner: TBD.

Bad habit confession: I will graze on the most random foods if I don't have something substantial to eat. I end up eating made up meals like applesauce/tortilla/beans, and calling that dinner. I know nutritionally it works, but I feel like a 6 year old. When I lived by myself I often made 2 enormous things of food, like chili and a pasta/veggie dish, then just rotated them for 2 weeks. This makes it so I don't have to cook/chop/clean dishes as often. However, there's a couple problems with that plan:
1) I do not have an unlimited supply of tupperware
2) Andrew and I have way different eating habits and food preferences, so if I make a bunch of food for myself, I will end up not eating with him. Which sucks.

I will figure this out. Somehow.

Monday, March 21, 2011

get ready to be reallllly bored

So I'm a big eater. I like to eat all the time. I wake up ravenous and snack or eat every 2-3 hours throughout the day. This is not normally a problem, my weight is mostly healthy and I'm not really looking to lose any, but man, these 5 or 6 day a week workouts are making me crazy hungry. I know I need to eat healthier and time my eating better or else I'll just end up eating a ton of crap. Watch out, pita chips! My other problem is that since I eat so often, I sometimes confuse 'eating frequently' with 'eating enough.' I'll think to myself that I should not eat anything because I've already eaten 6 times that day, but I haven't really had that much, nutrition-wise. My body needs fuel to run well. Can't deny that.

You guessed it.. this has become a food blog in addition to running. Not interesting, but it will help me actually pay attention to if I am eating enough. I'm not counting calories, for the most part, but I am counting servings of grains and proteins, since I suck at getting those unless I remind myself. I'm a vegetarian, not a vegan, and most of my protein comes from cheese, eggs, whole grains (they have protein, I promise!), yogurt, beans and tofu. I also know I need to drink tons more water. I love water, and I need more.

So here goes:
I don't remember what I ate yesterday. I had part of an italian ice, a big salad with cottage cheese, and a smallish serving of (not whole grain) pasta with sauce for dinner. Then a glass of red wine. Mmm.

Today:
Breakfast: Siggi's yogurt, egg, banana (do i need some healthy fat with breakfast? I'm thinking yes...peanut butter on my banana?)
Morning snack: Special K granola bar (the box is almost done, then I won't buy anymore of these.. too sweet! and basically no nutrition), apple, string cheese
Lunch: leftover pad thai, broccoli, peanuts
Afternoon snack (pre-leaving work!): tortilla, orange
Afternoon snack (after leaving work!): triscuits and cheddar cheese, most likely. double mmm. then 60 minutes cross training.
After workout snack: V8
Dinner: TBD. salad with beans and veggie burgers and/or soup? We went grocery shopping on Friday but I have forgotten how to shop for day shift eating and I don't think we bought enough.

Long run!



Yesterday felt like my first legitimate long run since I started training for the 10-miler. My first week was only 6 miles, on a treadmill, and last week was a stepback week so it was only 4. This week was 7. That's the longest I've run in a while. A while being a year. It was... an experience. My first mistake was lazing about in the morning and early afternoon and putting the run off instead of getting up and going. So much nicer to watch tv and spend quality time with the boyfriend.

The weather was amazing, low 50's and sunshiney. I measured out the route beforehand.. I forgot to account for roadkill though... it is dumb deer season around here and there was a particular dead one that I had to pass on the way out and back. The first 2.7 miles are low, rolling hills, then some steeper but pretty short hills. Then reverse that for the next 2.7 miles. I did okay with the steep hills but got stopped for directions TWICE. Note to drivers, if I look just about dead, I will not be very good at getting you to your destination. Second note to drivers, if you're honking to say 'hey!' and you wave, I will wave back, but I have no idea who you are. Running + breathing + deciphering who is driving a car when it is sunny out = failure.

The last leg of my trip was down a gravel road to the river. This is where my legs started fighting back. I had to go on and off the sidewalk a couple times (I run on asphalt because it's nicer on your joints, but I go on the sidewalk, if available, when cars are coming) and every time I thought I was going to fall on my face. Apparently picking up my feet fully was beyond me. Luckily I did not faceplant. The gravel also kicked my butt. I saw another runner though. Hi runner! My favorite part of the run was wearing my droid in my old U2 iPod armband. I am such a loser, I hate buying new things if I think something I already have will work. And the U2 ipod is approximately the same size as my phone... remember this?

It worked out just fine, but mostly because I don't change my music during a run. The ipod armband was NOT designed for my phone because the cutouts in the screen protector are shaped like the trackwheel, not like a phone screen. Oh well. It made me laugh anyways.

I got home and cooled down a while and stretched. I could not get enough stretching, or laying on the floor feeling lazy. The rest of the day consisted of free Rita's (first day of spring!), pasta, and relaxing. All in all, not a bad day.

Going into the long run, mentally I was fairly resistant. I had psyched myself out since I hadn't run this far in soooo long. I kept going over the route the night before and thinking, "man, that seems long in the car, will I make it?" I need to have more faith in my mental and physical abilities. It's not like I'm starting running from scratch and expecting to go 7 miles. And I'm kind of stubborn, so I know I will complete something even if it kills me. I know I will never be fast, so I just need to run and be happy and keep chugging along.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I make my own schedule.

Thursday afternoon, as planned, I did 3 miles outside. Unfortunately, the whole time I was fighting with my GPS which just did not want to ''find itself" (my GPS is a 19 year old philosophy major). The weather was gorgeous, my legs felt good, but I was just so so irritated at my GPS and caught up pressing the little 'sync' buttons over and over I didn't really focus on enjoying the run. Oh well, there will be others!

Friday was a planned rest day. Got to enjoy a day of relaxation with my wonderful boyfriend who took off work for the day. Slept in, relaxed, enjoyed puttering around the house then going out to dinner and a movie. Saturday I was supposed to get up and do 7 miles... however, my nights-to-days sleeping schedule had other thoughts on that. So... I took the day off. Again. Like last week. I think this constitutes a trend. I was pretty sore anyways, and instead spent the day walking around the mall with my family and making myself more sore.. silly me wearing the wrong shoes. BUT I did get new running shoes! Weee!


They're the Mizuno Wave Nirvana. They felt amazing, and the running store (Potomac River Running, proud sponsors of the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler!) I went to did a great job talking me through the shoe buying process. I've been to stores that claimed to analyze your gait and match you to the proper shoe and all that good stuff, but this was the first time I actually felt like the saleperson knew exactly what she was talking about. She was a wealth of information and not pushy and didn't (visibly) judge me for sweating after my 30 second bouts on the treadmill (it was hot and I was wearing jeans...).

I will not be wearing my new shoes on my 7-miler, because although they are awesome, I do not like blisters. I will be wearing new socks and a new sports bra, which is excitement enough for me. It's kind of chilly today in southern Maryland, but the sun is shining and hopefully it goes well. I measured out my running route with Andrew and we threw in some hills for good measure (and because its unavoidable down here) so hopefully it's not too killer. Also, hopefully I buy myself a new, functional GPS at some point. The one I've been using is super old Timex and portable navigation stuff has gotten so much more advanced, it is about time I upgrade.

Have a happy Sunday!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Transitioning

I get to go back to working dayshift! So excited! I'm sort of transitioning by working a half day today, then leisurely sleeping/chilling and taking off work the next two days. I will miss the 8 hours I've been getting every night, but being able to be a normal person again will be great :)

Last night (this morning, whatever..) I did a leisurely 5 miles. I started off watching Family Guy, because time passes quickly with mindless TV, and the next show on was Robot Chicken... I think I need someone to explain that show. I laughed, but I was mostly confused. That is a strange, strange program. I'm not sure how I have never seen it, but now I can say I have. 2 episodes... and they're only 15 minutes? I have so many questions.

Tonight is 45 mins of cross training. I biked the other night and it made my right hip and my calves hurt like crazy. I've had weird hip pain before, so I'm gonna power through that, and I think the calves are just sore/tight from doing a different activity. As much as I hate the elliptical, it seems to be better for my joints than the stationary bike. I hope the same is not true Also with the end of my crazy work schedule, it means I won't have candy/cookies/ice cream/nonsense at my fingertips constantly and I can eat like I normally do. I rarely buy that sort of stuff for myself, but apparently having it around for 12 hours a day meant it was all I ate. Poor nutrition. However, one thing I rediscovered my love for was rice cakes. mmm rice cakes! They are my version of tortilla chips. I could eat 10 of them.

I cannot wait to wake up tomorrow and go outside in the sunshine! I'm scheduled for 3 miles and you better believe they will be outside. I don't care if it's 10 degrees, this is happening.

Monday, March 14, 2011

back in black

So I took a hiatus. But not from running! or.. just a little from running. Friday night was my rest day, and Saturday night I was supposed to do my 'long run' (stepback week FTW), but then I got stuck at work until 5am. So unfortunately exhaustion won out over sticking to the schedule. Last night, however, I triumphantly returned for my 4 mile run... which was one of the most horrendous runs in the my life, no lie. I had heartburn like nobody's business, and the entire run I could just feel stomach acid wreaking havoc on my poor esophagus. Misery. I was literally counting down the tenths of miles. I took it pretty easy, even though I wanted to get it done NOW, but I didn't want to die, because I decided to cut out my monday night 'rest/Stretch and Strength' day to do 50 mins of cross training. I feel like that's a good tradeoff, I will skip my least strenuous day in order to not miss a more strenuous day. just can't be skipping workouts willy nilly, it is a bad habit. That will definitely be my biggest challenge, just letting excuses get in the way. I was non-functional after a 12 hour shift, so I feel like that's a legit reason to not run, but that is a slippery slope.. "sigh, I worked 10 hours! I shall fade away"

I'm SO CLOSE to being back on day shift. Sleeping at normal hours, socializing at normal hours. So good.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Happy Thursday!

I get tomorrow night off of work and also off running. Yay on both accounts. I don't know yet what I will do, having a 'night off' is not the same when you only have one night free. The biggest challenge is staying up late, not going to bed when everyone else is sleepy. What a silly problem to have.

Tonight on the running schedule: 3 miles and 'strength' which basically means wall sits and planks and all that fun. We'll see how I feel about the 3 miles, I'm pretty sluggish today. I've been sleeping a ton lately yet I'm still kind of tired. No bueno. It's probably just the silly work schedule + eating horribly. Luckily, daylight savings time coming up actually means one less hour of work for me! Instead of everyone complaining about having one less hour of sleep, I'll be rejoicing in daylight savings time... which is weird, but I take what I can get.

Last night after the gym i walked outside in the rain and realized how much i miss running in the rain... so relaxing. I'll take rain running over any other weather as long as it is warm enough. Countdown to dayshift: approximately 6 days. Yay!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Goals

I have the least exciting blog in the world. Sorry. I haven't had the enthusiasm to add any bells and whistles yet.

Last night's run was kind of awful. I put it on 5% elevation and it was a little much. But I powered through and hills build character and all that good stuff. Tonight is 45 minuts of cross training, so I'll set the elliptical and go. I cannot wait until I can bike for my cross training, I hate just veggin out on the elliptical, and I never feel like it's a good workout. I know some folk swear by it, but I'm not a fan. At least I can get some quality low quality tv time in. I should really

So. My goals? For the 10-miler, I want to finish in like 90 minutes. I don't have super high hopes. We'll see. I would really just like to feel good about the race and have fun. I've heard that the Cherry Blossom 10-miler is a SUPER crowded race (there's a lottery to get an entry), so I'll just enjoy myself, run briskly, and enjoy the view. It's downtown DC, which I don't get to see nearly enough, so it'll be good to just enjoy the race and the monuments.

For the marathon, I'd really like to finish under 4 hours. There. I said it. The likelihood of that is pretty slim, but that's why I'm training. I know I'll never be fast, but I'd like to have a respectable time. Of course, my sub goal is to FINISH, period, but I'm trying to aim a little higher.

I can't wait to have normal hours, I feel like I'm running low on vitamin D considering I only see the sun, literally, when I'm walking to and from my car. I'm also eating a ton of crap. That'll end when the outage ends. We have an endless supply of candy here, and it's killer. "I only eat a piece every hour.. and I'm only here 9 hours... oh wait." Bad habit. Happy Wednesday. Enjoy the sunshine for me :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Training

I have the Cherry Blosson 10-miler coming up on April 3, so I've been following the Hal Higdon 15k training plan for that. I'm about 3.5 weeks away from that. Last night was 'stretch and strengthen' so I played on the Wii, and today I have some pretty sore muscles, so I'm pleased with that. Tonight is a 3 mile run, I'll probably crank up the speed since it's shorter (note: 'speed' is relative... I max out at 8:00 miles). Since I'm working nights, I'm stuck with running on the treadmill at 2 in the morning (the other option is waking up early, and I'm not very good at that). I'll transition to outside running soon... the nice thing about middle of the night, indoor running is that I get to watch some REALLY bad tv. The downside to that is I am horribly susceptible to infomercials, which comprise like 60% of TV programs in the wee hours of the morning. Everything looks so effective. AND I get 2 for only x low payments of $xx.95? I'll take a dozen!

Once I'm off the night shift I'll go back to running in the afternoons like a normal person, and actually running outdoors. i have a Garmin that I just don't like to wear because it's not super comfortable, but I'll have to get used to it because if I stick to only those paths I have measured by driving them, I will quickly run out of routes. Especially when I get up into the 20 milers.

For marathon training, I will be using Hal Higdon yet again, his Intermediate I marathon plan. Mostly because it does not have any speedwork, and I can't stand speedwork, even though I am well aware it is good for me. Maybe I'll do some tempo runs. Don't hold your breath.

First post!

So. Here goes.

Background: I've been a 'runner' of sorts since high school. I did cross country, indoor and outdoor track, along with swimming. Throughout college, it was just a pasttime of mine, my preferred form of cardio in my quest to avoid the side effects of readily available all-you-can eat dining hall food. After college, running became more of a focus for me. I entered races and was more mindful about setting aside time to run because I paid attention to all of its benefits. I had a clearer mind and healthier outlook on life, as well as being a generally more fit and pleasant person.

2010: I got all prepared to run the Marine Corps Marathon.. I registered on the first day, I had a training plan... I was psyched. And then summer happened. And I moved. And I started a new job. And it was always too hot or early or [lame excuse]. I was injured because of my sporadic training (can't expect to run well if you're not doing it consistently!). The marathon came and went and I didn't run or defer registration.

2011: the Marine Corps Marathon registration date came... and went.... and I missed it. I was (am) working a really tough work schedule, and that made marathon registration the last thing on my list. And I was (am) working nights, so I was in some sort of parallel universe. When registration filled up, I decided to see what other paths I could take to still run this race, and I came upon charity running. Raising money for a good cause AND getting an entry into an awesome race? Sign me up!

So I did. Here's my donation page. I'm raising money for Back on My Feet, which you can read about here. I say this on my donation page too, but seriously, how cool is an organization that encourages a structured, healthy, uplifting activity like running? It creates a community for homeless folks to pursue fitness as well as job skills and life improvements. It's great. It was started in Philadelphia, then spread to DC and Baltimore, and now it is active in other cities. If you have any questions about the charity, I probably have them too, so we can learn together.

I'm really excited to run and to support this charity. I'm hoping everyone will follow my progress... blogging will help keep my accountable... I can't let it get to race day and be behind in training if I'm running for the greater good. Check back tomorrow for my training thus far and my training plan going forward. Happy Tuesday!