Thursday, December 20, 2012

21 days...

... makes a habit, right?  In my case I'm going with 21 workouts making a habit and I'm quickly approaching that mark!

Saturday will be my 15th 10K Runner workout and I am hooked.  Even on bad days I want to run.  I'm still following my training schedule for cross training, yoga, and strength training too. 

I haven't missed a run or a workout which makes me very proud of myself. :)  I'm up to running 18 minutes per workout with a 8 min max run so I'm gaining some confidence in myself as well.

So with my newfound confidence I've entered a few races:
  • Resolution 5K {1/12/13} - I'm running this one with my daughter.  She's 9 and has become interested in running!
  • Cowtown 10K {2/23/13} - this race will celebrate the completion of my 10K Runner program.
  • Portland RNR half {5/19/13} - this race will celebrate the completion of my 21K Runner program.
Ambitious?  Maybe a little.  But my goal with these races is to train well and within my ability and then finish each one strong.  I'm not ready to set any sort of time goals and I may not do that at all... we'll see.

Other than that, we just celebrated Chaney's 9th birthday, we are getting ready for Christmas, and I'm trying to close out my year at work which is always a super busy time.  So far, I'm proud that I haven't let the craziness of our schedules be an excuse for skipping workouts or eating poorly.

Anything running related that you want for Christmas??  I'm crossing my fingers for a Garmin or something similar to that. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

running + walking

Up until yesterday it would have made more sense to say "walking + running".  But yesterday morning I crossed over the threshold of running more than I'm walking. 

Now, I was really nervous about it  because yesterday was the start of week 4 and the total running jumped from 10 minutes, at the end of week 3, to 14 minutes.  But just like the other times when I've been nervous, I did just fine.  My legs even felt the best they have felt since beginning this program a.k.a my calves weren't on fire.

I'm progressing well and I'm even getting a little faster.  I'm attributing a lot of that to rest days {from running} and my mix of cross training, weight training, and yoga on those rest days.  I've even gotten brave and have signed up for a 10k that ends a week after my 10k Runner program ends.  Perfect timing!  I'm not expecting to be super fast but I am excited about running in an actual race to hopefully see my hard work pay off... even if it's only in the form of a t-shirt. ;)

And speaking of t-shirts, Steve will be thrilled to see some new shirts make their way into our closet.  I have a horrible habit of hanging on to them until they turn into nothing but threads but I will gladly replace some old race shirts with new ones.  It's a win-win for everyone.

Last but not least, I'm waiting to see if I got into the Nike Women's half in DC... it's a lottery and so far no word but I'm still keeping my fingers crossed.

Thinking happy thoughts...

Monday, December 10, 2012

The things no one tells you...

Being an old, new runner; basically starting from scratch, I'm reading a lot of running blogs.  When I was running 10 years ago I didn't read any blogs at all and I don't really know if they even existed.

These blogs are good and bad.  There is a ton of knowledge to be learned as it is so generously shared by great runners.  But the flip-side is that there isn't always an abundance of beginning running info unless you want to go digging into archives and even then it isn't always there.

So here's what I'm learning as a new runner:
  • Running is hard.  If it wasn't, I suppose everyone would be doing it.
  • Your legs are going to burn.  My calves catch on fire as my runs progress.
  • It's OK that your legs burn.  There's a difference between pain from an injury and your muscles getting a workout.
  • Rest days are really important; especially in the beginning.  That's the time when your muscle fibers knit themselves back together which makes them stronger and in turn makes your next run a tiny bit easier.
  • There's plenty of time for building up to running everyday.  This was my biggest mistake when I was running 10 years ago and probably why I dealt with injuries. 
  • Yoga and stretching are really important.  So are weights and cross training.  Skipping these were other mistakes I made 10 years ago.
  • There is nothing wrong with going slow.  There's always time for going faster.  But if you get hurt from too much/too fast, you definitely won't be going faster for awhile.
That's all I can think of for now...

I'm moving on to week 4 of my 10k Runner program.  It's going well!  I've gotten nervous about a few of the workouts but each time I've done just fine.  I'm quickly becoming a big believer in this program.  Tomorrow I begin the workouts where there is more running than walking.  In a way that's scary but most of the time I'm excited to see what I can do.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Keep it Simple

I've struggled with my weight off and on since college.  I was always super active in high school and my freshman and sophomore years in college but after that I guess life happened.

After my second shoulder surgery in 2001 I decided that I wanted to get healthy.  I got a personal trainer and that's what eventually got me started running and of course my eventual marathon.  I got into great shape and lost a lot of weight.  I lost even more after my then husband confessed to having an affair... that kind of news tends to make you lose your appetite.

How much weight did I lose?  I don't know.  My personal trainer told me to stay away from the scale because I was doing a lot of strength training.  And because he knew a little bit about my past disordered eating issues he also knew that not losing fast or even gaining weight due to added muscle would not be good for me.  That was one of the smartest things he told me to do.  So I never knew exactly how much I lost; I just knew that I felt better, I dropped several sizes in my clothes, and I looked better too. :)

Because I was so successful with that, I'm going with that plan again.  Can I tell you how freeing it is to not have to worry about a number on a scale??  I've been tempted a few times out of curiosity but overall, I really don't care.

As for the food I'm eating, I had an anaphylactic reaction this past spring and ended up in the ICU.  The only thing my allergist has been able to figure out is that I'm highly allergic to almost everything environmental and something cross-reacted with a food I ate; most likely mold + a vegetable.  So I cook 95% of our food from scratch... no nasty preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, and I know exactly what is going into the meals we eat.

Lots of vegetables, chicken, fish, lean beef, and whole grains.  Am I counting calories?  Nope.  I'm eating more vegetables than meat, I'm watching my portions, I stop eating when I'm full... not stuffed.  I'm drinking lots of water and green tea.  And lastly, I'm trying to cut out my kid's size Dr. Pepper that I drink every few days with lunch.  I love Dr. Pepper!

I used to log every single thing I ate in an app.  That was a double-edged sword.  The good was that I was able to see what I was eating; the bad was that I obsessed about what I was eating too.

So I'm trying to keep it as simple as possible.  No scale, working out/running consistently, and eating real food... all these things have made my life my easier even without solid numbers to keep track of.  I suppose some people might hate this method but it works for me. :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The workout that doesn't go as planned...

I'm three weeks into my 10k Runner plan and I had one of those workouts this morning. 

The foot I had surgery on has developed a little bit of a tender spot where the repaired bone is and that worries me a little bit.  I used an anti-inflammatory cream, iced it last night, and I woke up this morning with my foot feeling pretty good.

Before hopping on the treadmill straight out of bed I stretched a little and then I started my 5 minute warm up walk. 

The first time I started to run (1.5 minutes) my legs felt like lead.  That and my shorts were falling down.  I slowed down when it was time to walk and tied my drawstrings tighter. 

My second running segment was 2.5 minutes and good grief my calves were tight!  When it was time to slow down and walk I had to hit pause to stop and stretch.  By this point I was not feeling like an overwhelming success even if my shorts weren't falling down.

I started walking again and then it was time to run for another 2.5 minutes.  The same tightness returned to my calves and the rest of the workout continued with much of the same.  By the end, I was running with no shorts on... j/k ;)

I made it through the whole thing but I didn't walk out of the house this morning feeling like I had accomplished much.  If I didn't know better and I was still trying to be a dumb and stubborn athlete, I would repeat the workout again this evening. 

But I know better.

Monday, December 3, 2012


I'm a schedule girl.  To be consistent at almost anything I have to have a schedule.  But consistency isn't the only thing a schedule does for me, it also keeps me honest.

Because I'm only running 3 days a week right now and I'm itching to run more, I decided I needed to come up with a schedule to keep me active and busy even when it's not a running day.  I also have a confession to make: I ran an extra day last week and I knew better and knew that I was straying from the 10K Runner plan but I did it anyways. 

Did I hurt myself?  Nah.  But I'm pretty sure there's a method to any workout plan and that I should stick with it.

So what you see above is what I came up with.  I have been an exercise DVD junkie for over a year and I've alternated between P90X and TurboFire.  P90X is heavy strength training and TurboFire is heavy cardio.  I've enjoyed both programs but I got tired of all the "noise" of those workouts.  I love the quiet of running without an instructor bouncing around with goofy music in the background.  Anyways... I digress.

I also discovered yoga last year so I'm including that as well.  Everything I read talks about flexibility and a properly aligned body and how they do wonders for runners.  And of course there are big benefits for emotional well being too...

And that brings me to my next topic of how I'm feeling emotionally:  pretty good.  After buying my new shoes the other night I told Steve that I wished I had never stopped running.  He quickly reminded me that my running stopped because I got pregnant, had an extremely high risk pregnancy and of course all the mess with my ex-husband and his wandering ways that led to our divorce.  Even then, I still wished I had never stopped or had at least picked it up again sooner.  But either way, I'm realizing how much I missed running and I'm so glad to slowly be working back into it. 

For that I am very thankful. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012


I picked up a few of my old favorites this weekend.  I started running in Mizunos and I seem to alternate between those, ASICS, and an occasional pair of Adidas.

I went to my local running store with an open mind but I'm not gonna lie and say that I wasn't thrilled that the Wave Rider 15's turned out to be the shoes for me.  I put them on and I knew they were the ones.  I ran in them this morning and they felt great. :)

I also got a few new pairs of Wright socks.  These are the double layer blister-free socks.  They aren't cheap but I have a blister problem without them.  They are thin and I can't imagine running in any other kind of sock.

Why the new shoes?  It was time... my ASICS have seen better days and I was starting to have pain in both arches which is usually the signal that it's time to get new shoes.

I was also a little excited about this...  The half marathon is my favorite distance.

I don't even know if I'll get in but committing to wanting to run it deserves a little shoe celebration in my opinion. :)  It's a lottery system so I'm crossing my fingers, laces, toes, etc that I'm selected!