24 February 2011

A Picture Story

 I really wanted to run in the snow today.  It was not a possibility in my world so the treadmill had to work.  Bummer.  And that last one is just because my doggy is super cute in the snow.  It is STILL snowing, so maybe I will get a chance to run outside in it tomorrow or Saturday. 

And here is a link to a post from one of my favorite blog writers.  He makes a great point.  Check it out!

23 February 2011

I never TRY anything, I just do it!

Wanna try me?

I love this song when I am running. It always gives me that extra bit of sassiness I need to keep going and prove to myself I can complete whatever run I am in the middle of. Here is the video so you know what song I am referring to. And yes...this song is on my ipod. I have a wide spectrum of music I enjoy!

It has been a busy week overall.  I sometimes feel like I just bounce from one activity to the next without any down time whatsoever.  Probably because it is true!  I have now completed 3 weeks of my marathon training program and have made it halfway through week 4.  Time is moving quickly, and sometimes it freaks me out to think about how quickly June 5th will actually arrive!

So I decided that I would do my run yesterday as close to a 8:30/mile pace as I could manage.  I set my treadmill to 8:34 and gave it my all.  I was amazed that my breathing was great and that my legs were actually getting tired before my cardio was expended!  Well, my legs had been sore for about a week so I just told them to suck it up and decided to speed up to 8:13 for my last mile!  Overall it felt amazing and my time was 25:28 for 3 miles! 

Today our weather forcast called for snow, however when I woke up it was beautiful outside so I dropped Devan at school and headed to the gym for boxing class and my 4 mile run.  However, around 9:45am the snow started piling up outside so I decided to head home after boxing and do my run there just in case.  I did a hill interval workout and it was pretty mentally tough.  But I finished strong, doing my last mile in 8:34.  I guess that is my new favorite pace! 

The snow outside is slowly piling up, we have maybe an inch or two accumulated right now.  It is supposed to snow until tomorrow sometime, so maybe I can do my 3 miler on my schedule tomorrow outside in the SNOW!  Yes, I am crazy but for some reason that sounds very peaceful and fun to me.  Although I am a little nervous about Saturday.  I made a deal with myself to do all of my long Saturday runs outside, regardless of the weather.  This weekend's 9 miler could be tricky! 

Happy belated birthday to my friend Alyssa (2/18)
**Some of my favorite things about her:

1.  She helps me maintain my sanity at work by making me laugh and always working hard
2.  She is an awesome soccer player on our team and has scored more goals than me
3.  She is a great photographer
4.  She claims to not like kids very much, but they like her.  Niko loves her.
5.  She is going to be my new running buddy!

17 February 2011

Motivation and a Smile on My Face

So this week I definitely pushed my body hard.  I added a lot of strength training including a leg workout prior to my Tuesday run and boxing before my run yesterday.  I was definitely sore this morning- yet I was determined to go try a new class called Maximum Sculpt at the gym.  It is an old school total body workout with free weights and sounded like something I would enjoy. 

While we were doing hair and brushing teeth this morning in the bathroom Devan suddenly says to me "I know what I am going to be for Halloween this year" and I asked her what.  She says "I am going to be you!"  And I am thinking...hmmm...where is this going?  "I am going to be a runner- whenever I see somebody running I think of you!"  Is that not the cutest thing ever?  It made me smile and gave me that extra push I needed this morning to get to the gym and give it my all.

The class was a good workout and my run was definitely a bit harder mentally than it usually is.  I am finding that getting about a 45-60 minute workout in before my run is a good endurance builder and is allowing me to get warmed up and stretched really well before my run.  Tomorrow is another rest day for me.  I think I need it after this week!!! 

14 February 2011

Wright Park Take 2!

Week two of my training is now complete.  Wow, time seems to be flying by!  I feel like my running is steadily improving even though my focus right now is on staying injury free rather than becoming a speed demon.  I just can't help but always try to push myself as hard as I can.  Plus, on the treadmill I get bored so if I can give myself little challenges while I run it makes it a little more tolerable.  On Wednesday I ran as long as I could at an 8:27 pace (1.5 miles) and that was after my boxing class!  It felt really good actually.  I think I will try to keep adding to that and maybe I can do a full 3 miles at that pace eventually.  That would make for a killer 5K time for me! 

Friday was an actual day of rest for me!  Our soccer team had a bye weekend so I had the opportunity to get one full day of not working out!  Niko and I decided to go check out one of the new parks in the area with a few friends instead.  We headed there right after dropping Devan off and stayed for several hours.  The weather was chilly but the kids didn't seem to notice and we had a great time. 
Feeding the ducks

I was happy to see that they went for a more traditional style of park instead of the more new age ones that have been popping up lately.  I honestly hadn't seen an actual SLIDE at a newly remodeled park for a long time!  The wood they used was really nice and there is also a spray park area that will be fun in the summertime.  I enjoyed watching the boys play- they sure are different than girls!  The three of them are all in the same preschool class and are "best friends" according to Niko. 

The spray park area
I got up Saturday morning and headed out the door for my 7 miler.  I was meeting up with Cynthia down the road about 1.5 miles and we were going to run down to Wright Park, around the loop and back.  I had estimated it to be around 7 miles and I was pretty close (7.18!).  I left the house around 8:45am and the weather was actually pretty perfect.  So I ended up at the park two days in a row!  The run was a bit hilly, but I think I am just going to have to get used to that- wherever I go in Tacoma, there are hills!  I can make this course into a longer run by simply running around the park trail a couple of times.  I am always trying to find new routes and I think this is a keeper!  It was fun to run with Cynthia one last time though since she is leaving on Tuesday morning to move to Boise.

Today I was supposed to do some cross training.  However...I worked 8 hours, went immediately to Devan's soccer game in Gig Harbor then went on a date night with my hubby for Valentine's day.  A big thank you to my mom for coming over to watch the kiddos (and Devan's game) so we could have some adult time!  So for my cross training we went to this cool little bar called the 1022 where I had some alcoholic beverages along with some fantastic cheese and bread.  Then ate some more cheese and bread.  Discussed how we could live on cheese, bread and fruit forever because we love it so much.  Then headed to The Melting Pot and had dark chocolate fondu and discovered my new favorite drink in the whole world- a strawberry drop.  Yum. 

Tomorrow I need to do the spin bike for about 3 hours to burn off all of those calories but it was SO worth every bite.  By the way...I don't have time to do spin bike for 3 hours tomorrow so I hope 15 minutes plus a 75 minute yoga session will do the trick.  Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Happy Birthday to my friend Betsy (2/14)
A few of my favorite things about her:

1.  She has a great smile and is one of the nicest people I know.
2.  Her daughter is Devan's best friend and they always invite Devan to go with them to do fun things
3.  She is not afraid to speak her mind and does so because she cares
4.  She is a great defender at soccer even though she gets hit by the ball more than I do (which is nearly  impossible btw!)
5.  She is always there to help out when needed and can always be counted on

10 February 2011

The Almighty Treadmill

My treadmill.  And my running buddy- the Aflac Duck.
I know some people absolutely dread running on a treadmill.  For one, it is boring.  For two, it doesn't simulate outdoor running at all.  For three, it is boring.  But I guess I am one of those weird people who actually enjoy running on a treadmill.  It isn't my favorite thing to do, but I don't mind it either.  The longest I have ever ran on one is 12 miles.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I ran 12 miles on my treadmill last summer.  I was too tired to figure out a route and gear up with proper amounts of fuel and water so I just hopped on my treadmill, watched a movie and made it happen. 

I have now had my treadmill for one whole year.  I asked for it for Valentine's Day last year.  My poor husband has the weirdest wife in the world.  Who requests a treadmill for a gift on Valentine's day?  Me.  This year I am asking for new running shoes.  Who needs a box of chocolates?  Give me something to help me on my running journey and you have captured my heart forever.  For Christmas I asked for a Garmin Forerunner watch.  Maybe I have a problem.  Oh well, moving on...
My workout cave
Today I ran on my famous treadmill.  I am trying to come up with a good name for it.  Any suggestions?  It is in our tiny little fourth bedroom that is also a pantry, coat closet and storage room.  But I am always grateful for it because it allows me to run anytime.  NO EXCUSES!  I do not always have the luxury of just heading out the door and going for a run outside because of the kids.  But I can always hop on my trusty treadmill.  We have a very special bond.  Today for my entertainment I did half mile hill repeats and took some pictures of myself.  It was a 3 mile run so I did 1/2 mile flat, then 1/2 mile at a 5% incline...then repeated that for 3 miles at a 10:00 minute pace.  Here is my before and after shots.
Ready to run

The treadmill makes me sweat like nothing else can!
Yay for sweaty treadmill runs!  Time for a shower.

08 February 2011

One Week Down...Seventeen to Go!

Well, I successfully completed my first full week of training on Sunday.  I would say my training plan I set up for myself is going to work out great!  With the variety of activities I am able to work all of my muscle groups at some point and also keep my cardio fitness up in ways besides just running.  I am hoping this will keep me from ending up with an injury (fingers crossed).  Only 17 more weeks until the big event!  It seems so far away but I am sure it will be here way too soon.

Saturday was my first "long" run of my program and I was scheduled to run 6 miles.  I love the fact that 6 miles does not scare me whatsoever.  Now mention the 15 miler down the road a ways...that scares the heck out of me!  But 6 miles is a cake walk.  I headed out the door and ran towards Point Defiance Zoo, ran around the rose garden area and headed back home.  At which point I always remember that the entire run home (2.25 miles) along the main street is just one big, long, steady climb.  But I ran the whole way without stopping once and could instantly feel the moment the pavement leveled off.  It was like the weight of the world was lifted from my shoulders!  Overall the run felt amazing, I did intentionally keep (or tried to keep anyways) a slowish pace.  Yes, I am a bit of a nut about trying to keep from injuring myself- but only because it has happened so many times and it SUCKS.  Really, really sucks.  I would rather run slowly and cautiously then not at all! 

Today I was scheduled for a 3 mile run and I was also feeling the urge to do some upper body work so I headed to the gym instead of just staying home and running on my treadmill.  I wore my Vibram's for my entire workout.  I love wearing these shoes, sometimes I forget I am wearing anything on my feet at all they are so comfortable!  And they are definitely changing my running form for the better- my knees have not bothered me one tiny bit since I started wearing them.  I have been wearing them only 1-2 times a week and just for shorter runs as my feet build up their strength, and on the other days I have been wearing a pair of Nike Free 7.0's.  I am hoping to transition to wearing the Vibram's full time in another month or so.

Sorry for the boring post, but that is about as exciting as my life is right now.  Focusing all my time and energy on getting my training program implemented and trying to make sure it doesn't interrupt what family time I do have on the weekends.  Tricky?  Yes.  Manageable?  Yes.  I hope.

04 February 2011

A Clean Fridge is a Happy Fridge

Today I made a trip to Costco.  It was a madhouse, much worse than even Christmas time.  I guess I should know better- clearly people need chips, dips and beer in mass quantities for the Superbowl!  Anyways, when I got home I emptied my fridge, cleaned it and then restocked it.  Something about that is always so...satisfying.  Even the kids think it is cool to look in the fridge and be able to find lots of tasty food.  I tell them they can help themselves to fruit and vegetables anytime without asking, and I think it helps to have those items easily accessible. 

This morning I had to fight the urge to go to the gym.  It felt so strange to not be heading to my circuit class!  But Fridays are now my designated "rest" day which is nice.  Even though I am still going to be playing indoor soccer at night.  For now I will play goalie for half and play the field the other half.  Once my Saturday runs get a bit longer I will scale back to playing goalie for the entire game I guess.  I will just have to see how it goes and make adjustments as needed. 

Tomorrow I am scheduled to do a 6 mile run which I am excited about.  My first long run of my training program!  This is what I will look like- the Nike poster girl!  This is a photo from last weekends run on the waterfront- after I got all ready I started counting my little swooshes...I guess I am a Nike girl at heart!
Even my shirt and bra were Nike!
Oh, and I will leave you with a funny Niko-ism from Costco today.  I grabbed a large bag of frozen chicken breasts and put them in the cart and he says "Oh, yay!  Chicken!  Did they get that from some turkeys?"  Oh man, I laughed so hard.  He says the silliest things. 

03 February 2011

Hey Doc, Am I Going To Live???

I FINALLY got the results of my blood work back from a month ago.  I went in for a routine physical and had my blood drawn in early January.  Mostly I wanted to make sure my iron levels were good- I have been borderline anemic ever since my daughter was born in 2002.  But I also was curious how the rest of me was doing!  My numbers are all perfect, except for my folic acid.  It is too HIGH of all things!  So the nurse told me that if I am taking an extra supplement for that I can stop.  Well, we all know THAT isn't a problem lol.  I rarely take a basic multivitamin every day.  Anyways...moving on.  Here are my numbers, and those of the American heart association for comparison.

Total cholesterol:  187   *should be less than 200
HDL:  65    *average woman 50-60.  higher than 60 gives level of protection against heart disease
LDL:  105   *less than 100 is optimal.  100-129 is near optimal/above optimal
Triglyceride:  83   *normal is less than 150
Fasting blood sugar:  84   *normal range 70-99

She also told me my iron is fine, I am not anemic which is great news!  And my vitamin B12 level is in the low range of normal.  But overall...I am a picture of health.  SWEET!  Like I have said before, knowledge is power.  Apparently a B12 deficiency can be the cause of bruising easily.  Since I still have the imprint of a soccer ball on my forearm from 2 weeks ago and I always have at least one bruise at any given time...I would say that is probably accurate. 

My training is going well, 4 days in and my plan seems to be working.  Today I just did my run and foam rollered myself to death because my. muscles. are. sore!!!!  Holy moly, I feel like a 90 year old woman today.  If you are a runner and have not experienced the joy of using a foam roller afterwards...you are missing out.  It is amazing, and a great way to stay injury free.  Google it or plug it into you tube for a demonstration of what I am talking about. 

Thats all for now, just wanted to share my awesome news.  I am going to live!