23 February 2012

Being Needy

Lately I have been working quite a few morning shifts at work each week.  And by "morning" I mean that I have to arrive at 4:30am.  Kind of early, right?  I have not been getting nearly enough sleep and to be quite honest I am not a fan of getting out of my warm, cozy bed at 3:45am but that is just the way it goes sometimes. 

So I opened on Monday, which happened to also be President's Day and the staffing was for a typical Monday- too bad it was a holiday and it was actually really slow in the morning and then got REALLY busy once everyone got going for the day, around 9:30am.  Yes, I know I work in customer service and I truly enjoy helping people but on this particular day my customers were NEEDY.  Just a suggestion but if you are in a coffee shop and the line is going out the door please don't ask me to cut your sandwich or pastry in half or add 3 honey's to your tea.  I don't mind, but the 15 people in line behind you would probably appreciate if you did those things yourself!!   

After I finally got home all the neediness had rubbed off on me and I was a whiny mess.  My original plan was to head down to the local track for my run but it was raining and I just really wanted to push a button and run instead of having to focus on my pace.  That sounds terrible, but it is the truth.  Plus I was craving the sweaty mess that I become from a hard treadmill run. 

Happy again after my run!
On my agenda was a 1 mile warm up, 4x1200 meter repeats with 400 meter rest intervals, then a 1 mile cool down.  The first half of the run I set the treadmill to a 1% incline, then for the last 2 repeats and the cool down mile I bumped it to 2%- how is that for being needy???  My pace for the 1200's was at 7:35 which was a pretty challenging pace for me to hold.  The first one wasn't too bad, but that last one was really difficult.  I actually thought I may lose my lunch but refused to stop until I reached my goal. 

And you know what?  I was in such a better mood after I ran, it was like all the craziness from the day just sweat right out of me into a puddle on the floor.  And THAT, my friends, is why I love running.   It really is cheaper than therapy.  And rather satisfying as well. 

Total distance:  5 miles    Total time:  41 minutes     Average pace 8:08

As soon as my run was finished I popped in P90X2- Chest+Back+Balance (my goal this week is to complete ALL of my workouts).  This is seriously the most difficult dvd I have seen yet.  A ton of push ups and a ton of pull ups/chin ups.  I need to get the Chin up Assist so I can get more out of this workout, but I did what I could and did the modifications when I needed to.  The girl in this video is kind of annoying to me- she is just too sugary sweet.  And she can do way too many pull ups haha. 

Gotta love a good Peanuts comic once in a while
On Tuesday I opened at work again, squeezed in a short nap and then did P90X2-Plyocide and Ab Ripper after picking the kids up from school.  I really like the plyocide dvd and I feel it is quite beneficial for my running because it is basically a bunch of dynamic jumping movements.  One of my favorite moves is the Toe Tap 360.  You place a medicine ball on the floor and then quickly tap your toes on top as you move around it, switching direction as he calls it out. 

Toe Tap 360
The Ab ripper workout is growing on me- I have actually only done it about 4 or 5 times because I tend to skip it.  Oops.  It is only 15 minutes so I don't know what my problem is, but I am trying to fit it in more often now.  Actually I do know what the problem is- it is 15 minutes of pure torture and pain.  Ab ripper really does feel like your abs are being ripped apart.  I hope that means it is working.

Yesterday I had an early shift that started at 6:30am- not quite as early but still early.  I had a 5 mile run on my schedule with 3 of them being at my short tempo pace of 8:20.  It was very windy outside- close to 20 mph gusts of ice cold air and the thought of trying to meet that pace was enough to send me back to my treadmill again.  I fiddled around longer than I should have and my lunch of pho noodles had worn off by the time I started my run.  The handful of pretzel m&m's I ate did not give me the energy I needed and my run was hard from the get go.  I was also rather tired and my muscles were sore.  But I got it done and that is what matters.  Even if I was needy and whiny while I did it! 

Happy to be done with THAT run!
Total distance:  5 miles  Total time:  44 minutes   Average pace:  8:46

Do you have to get up early every day?  Do you get enough sleep every night?  I really prefer to get 8 hours and for the last several years my sleep schedule was 11:30pm-7:30am but now it is all over the place and it is really starting to affect me.  I have had about 5 colds this winter -which is about 4 more than I typically get.  Coincidence?  I think so.

What do you do when you are feeling tired and needy but still have a workout to fit in?  Do you modify it, skip it or workout harder?

Do you have a good story about being in line behind a "needy" customer while waiting to order?

Have an amazing weekend!  I am planning a long run in the morning so I need to get some much needed sleep!!        

14 February 2012

Run For Sherry

On Saturday January 7, 2012, Sherry Arnold went for a run in Sidney, Montana, and never came home. Two men have been arrested in her disappearance.  Her cousin Beth from the blog Shut Up and Run wanted to honor her memory so she created a virtual run on Feb. 11th that soon spread world wide. 
I have been reading Beth's blog for quite some time now and she is absolutely hilarious- I even met her briefly at the Eye Candy Lounge in Las Vegas.  I love reading her blog and almost feel like I know her.  Which is why I was so stunned and saddened to hear this news about her cousin.  Beth was very open in her grief on her blog and used this horrible tragedy to bring the running community together to remember and honor a runner who was a wife, mother, daughter, cousin, teacher and friend.  Sherry's goodness, courage and strength prevail and she is not defined by the tragic way in which she died. 
Kerrie organized a run with our WeROKC running group (women runners of King County) for 8am on Feb. 11th at Seward Park and I knew I had to go run with them!  I shifted my 8 mile run from Friday to Saturday and it worked out perfectly.  We had about 9 ladies show up and lucky enough there was no rain!  Kerrie and I both had sub 9 minute miles on our training plans but decided to slow it down a bit so we could run with Alma and Zoe.  Sarah and Lindsay were going a bit longer and Sybil and the other 2 girls (sorry, forgot names boo) were doing some shorter distances. 
Sarah, runner, runner, Me, Alma, Lindsay and Zoe (Kerrie was taking the photo)
Photo credit goes to Kerrie.  So sorry about forgetting your names girls!
I thought I had never run up at Seward park and along Lake Washington, but as I drove up there the area was so familiar- it was part of the Rock and Roll Seattle course from last June!  Duh!  Kind of funny to have run on a road in an area I was completely unfamiliar with.  Anyways, I found Seward Park easily enough and was even a bit early.  I saw Kerrie and Zoe right away and we hung out waiting for the others to arrive.  We pinned on our race bibs and snapped some pictures and pretty soon is was 8:20 and we were missing Sybil!  We finally realized she was standing across the park (where we were supposed to meet, oops), called her over and then suddenly we were off running.  
Our lost runner friend Sybil!
The run itself was wonderful.  We stopped a few times and chatted with other runners and shared Sherry's story.  The conversation was easy and I truly enjoyed running with some amazing women since most of the time I run alone.  I thought of Sherry off and on during the run.  I thought of her family and friends and how I hope they are finding comfort and peace in this time of sorrow.  I hate that there are bad people in this world who make us fear and second guess doing something that we love to do.  Sherry felt safe in her small town.  I hope that she did not suffer.  And I hope those bad people are punished. 
The 4 mile mark!  Lindsay, me, Sarah, Kerrie, Alma and Zoe
When the run was over we did some stretching and Zoe dipped her feet in the water.  Alma shared some of her raspberry spinach bars which were quite tasty and we chatted for a bit longer.  It was soon time to say our good byes, and as I was getting into my car I realized I didn't have a photo of just myself with my race bib.  I was standing in the parking lot trying to get my arms out far enough to get my face and the bib in the photo (which was NOT working, I am too darn short) when this lady popped out of the car parked in front of me.  She asked if I wanted her to take my picture and I said that would be great!  I must have looked like a complete dork and tried to not let my embarrassment show in the picture.  She was very sweet and even suggested I step over into the grass and get a good shot.  Thank you lady!   
8 miles for Sherry- Done!
We ran for Sherry.  Courage, strength, grace.  Never forget. 
We stopped here briefly to watch the hawk in the tree and chat with
some other runners.  It was pretty amazing.
Total distance: 8 miles   Total time: 75 minutes   Average pace: 9:23

06 February 2012

Smelling the Roses

On top of the Narrow's Bridge
My "long" run last Friday according to my training plan was 6 miles at a pace of 8:56.  However, when I woke up to sunny blue skies I decided it was time to head out for a leisurely and enjoyable 10 miler over the Narrows Bridge.  The last time I ran over 8 miles during a run was on December 4th at the Las Vegas Rock n Roll Half Marathon!  Holy smokes.  It was time to make sure I still had double digits in my legs!

Warm enough for bare legs!!
I headed out right before noon, once the sun was up and it felt nice and warm outside.  I wore my new Brooks PureConnects shoes, a Skirt Sports running skirt, a Nike tech tshirt and my Asics arm sleeves and felt comfortable the entire run.  Arm sleeves are great because I was warm for a little bit but then over the bridge was chilly so I could pull them up or slide them down as needed.  Love them.  And I am still loving the new shoes too- they were awesome for all 10 miles. 

I headed down 6th avenue towards War Memorial Park, and as I passed one of the bus stops this guy starts saying "hey there beautiful.  come over here beautiful" then after I went past I heard him comment on my nice booty.  Awesome- I wonder if he would have paid for my bus fare if I had decided to join him?  Tempting!  Not.  I just pretended like I couldn't hear him and picked up my pace a bit.

The bridge view from War Memorial Park
I snapped a few photos from War Memorial Park and also while I was running over the bridge.  It was such a perfect day for a run, I couldn't believe I didn't see more runner's on the bridge.  I saw a few bicyclists and some walkers but that was all.  Mount Rainier was beautiful in the distance and the view from the bridge was well worth the hills involved while running the route I chose. 

Amazing view from the top of the bridge
My main goal was to hit 10 miles and remember why I love to run.  I didn't want to "hate" any portion of the run and just wanted it to feel easy and peaceful.  I didn't stare at my Garmin analyzing my pace or trying to figure out if I would be hitting any magic preset number with each mile.  It was wonderful.  I recommend just leaving your garmin home sometimes or just not caring what your pace and splits are and just run for fun.  Because you love it and it takes you somewhere beautiful and enjoyable.  'Stop and smell the roses' so to speak.  I did, and they smelled fantastic!!

View of Tacoma from the Gig Harbor side of the bridge.
Total Distance: 10 miles   Total Time:  1:37    Pace:  9:42

Enjoying my run and being a cheeseball
I was happy with my performance, the 10 miles felt great and I could have kept going easily.  I need to sneak in 2-3 more long runs between now and April 7th because I will be running a half marathon that day without actually doing a training plan for one.  Hmmm.  That is not like me one bit, but I think I can make it work!

This week I am going to step my training up a notch.  I will start phase 2 of P90X2 and also increase my paces for my 5K training plan from 25:20 to 25:00.  I think I am ready and it can't hurt to give it a try.  Tomorrow I will test it out, on the plan is 10x400 meters in 1:51 (a 7:24 pace) instead of 1:52 (7:28 pace).  And in place of X2 Core I will be doing  X2 Chest+Back+Balance after my run.  Still loving P90X2!!  And I am getting a bit antsy to run a race- not sure if I can wait until March 17th.  I may need to get my fix before then- anybody know a good local 5K this month?!?