Saturday, December 31, 2011

Food Really Is Important...

... Ok, it's not like I didn't know that to begin with, but it's more of like I had a pretty nice reminder this morning.

Yesterday I was stupid enough not to take any food with me to work and I really didn't get anything to eat that night since it was a late shift.  I think I had like 1/2 a tv dinner and a 100 calorie bag of chocolate caramel snacks from Skinny Cow to be honest.

Well, this morning I got up and went for a run.  It wasn't long, just 3.5 miles, but I was not feeling good at all.  I took more breaks than usual and I was slower.  Yes, part of it was because I hadn't been running in a while since I had twisted my ankle, but I think another major cause was the fact I hadn't eaten and I was weak over all.

Luckily, nothing serious happened, but it was enough to remind me not to be that stupid again.  Even if I have to go through McDonalds or some other drive through, I need to eat something.  Even tonight, I'm working almost to midnight, I'm making sure to bring food with me.  Yes, it will probably be some sort of sandwich so not really dinner type food, but it will be something.

Happy New Years Eve everyone!  Have fun tonight, but be safe!

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Year In Review: 2011

It's amazing that after tomorrow we'll be running into 2012 and leaving 2011 behind us.  I want to give 2011 a few minutes though because there really were a lot of things that happened this year, especially in my running.

My first half marathon was in 2010, but that was more like an experiment to see if I could do it.  My first half marathon after deciding this was something I wanted to stick to was 2011's Princess Half Marathon.  It was also when I was able to inspire one of my closest friends to join me in 2012's Princess Half Marathon.

2011 was also the year I completed the Coast to Coast challenge by runDisney.  If anything, Disneyland Half Marathon was an extra special race to me.  It marked my 1 year anniversary from my first Half Marathon (and 1 year in sticking with the sport).  It also marked my first return to California after moving to Florida a few months prior.  Plus, I got to come home with an extra medal...

I can say 2011 was the year of the gym for me.  I started running on treadmills (still not my favorite, but very doable now), and really working on weight machines as well as free weights.  I also did a lot more circuits than before to keep my fitness level up.  Running is great for cardio, but you need strength to.  As my physical therapist always liked to remind me... "If you can't do a lunge, then you can't do a half marathon".

I didn't improve in everything though.  My eating habits weren't always spectacular (sometimes the exact opposite) and thus my while I didn't gain weight, I also didn't lose any.  I've found a weight my body has apparently decided it likes, even if I don't.  That's why I've already started my New Year's Resolution of losing some weight and keeping it off 2 days early... as in today.

My roommate, Kristin, and me at graduation
Other big things that happened this year.  I graduated college with a BS in Zoology and a minor in Professional Writing for Business Communications.  I moved from California to Florida (a big move considering I went to college only about an hour away from where I grew up).  I found an internship and will be staying on after the internship ends, even if it is just part time.

2011 was a great year, there's no doubt about it.  I'm looking forward to 2012 considering I already have a few races planned out (maybe a personal best time at one of them???) and life just looks good in general at this point.  Yes, I know there's going to be ups and downs, but I'm ready to take them on... let's just see if 2012 is going to be better than 2011.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Have A Merry Running Christmas

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and is spending today with loved ones, just enjoying each other's company.

While I didn't get to run today, I did get some running presents.  It started with the runDisney technical shirt, but my parents also told me that as long as I run at least 10 miles a week, they would sponsor me for 2 running races, whether they be runDisney or not.  It's partially to make sure that I stay in shape, but I'm excited either way.  I really have become addicted to running and this is a great present for me!  So thank you Mom and Dad!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Resting Through The Holidays

I was looking forward to running right through Christmas and New Years since I'd be staying at a Walt Disney World resort, but unfortunately life didn't agree with me.  

Earlier this week I twisted my ankle.  Appearance-wise, the only issue is that I have a pretty bad scrape on my knee (my dad likened it to road rash that bikers get when they fall).  Physically, my ankle has been sore for the past few days.  It's been getting better everyday though.  I found that walking on it actually made it feel better for a while.  I didn't let it stop me from living life (heck I still wore boots with a pretty good heel on them), but it did stop me from running for the week.

Luckily, I was walking... A LOT.  That got me a boost for the Holiday Booty Buster Challenge.  In fact, with all the walking I was doing I actually had one of my best weeks when it comes to the amount of points I earned.  Today, I got down to the gym at the hotel and got on the bike for a while.  Ended up making my knee a bit sore (probably cause by the scrape and hitting it on my fall), but overall it felt good to sweat again.  I also got some weights in there so I'm almost back to my normal routine.

My Christmas present to myself will be a day another day off of running followed by maybe a 1 or 2 miler.  Something short just to start working on strengthening my ankle again.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Off The Sidewalk

When I lived in California, I loved running on some well established trails.  Most of the ones I ran on went right by the ocean, offering a pretty awesome run.  Moving to Florida, that's been one of the biggest differences for me.  There are some sidewalks where there are enough houses, businesses, or apartments, but they can sometimes be spotty.

My first experience running off the sidewalk was a few months ago and there were so many holes hidden in the grass that I didn't want to try again.  Well, today I took a different route and decided why not?  I had seen people running on the grass next to the road in front of my apartment and I knew it would eventually hit sidewalk up by one of the hotels.  So, I cautiously took to the grass and ended up running about 1.5 miles on the grass.  The area I ran on didn't have as many holes as the first time I ran on the grass and it really wasn't too bad. There was a small bump for a hill at one point, but overall it was flat and barely sloping.

I was originally planning on going 8 miles today.  I had spent all week thinking about it.  However, I ended up only getting about 6 in... I believe I need to get some new socks as I keep getting blisters on the arch of my foot.  I even used some body glide, but it only postponed when the blisters would start forming.  I have some other shocks I'm going to try next week, so hopefully I know which ones to go get.  Plus, this means another trip to the reebok outlet, which has quickly become my favorite athletic store.  I got my Easytones for $30! and I would have gotten a second pair for $15 and there were other amazing deals I had to resist from partaking in.

Since I didn't get my 8 miles in today, I spent some time on the stationary bike and got a good few miles in on there.  It wasn't hard, just a nice spin time to cool down.  Looks like I'm back to doing brick workouts and I'm definitely not complaining about that cause I love my brick workouts!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Warm Weather Running

It's December and I have yet to get any really cold runs in.  The main reason is that I live in Florida and it really hasn't gotten that cold yet this year (which I'm sure the manatees and turtles are happy about).  We've had a few cold days here and there, and most mornings are foggy and a bit nippy, but nothing too bad.

I've only worn my leggings out twice, and both time I really didn't need to.  Actually, one time I shouldn't have and turned back early because I was too hot.  Heck, I'm still wearing shorts to work pretty much everyday, all I need is a light jacket really.

Still, I do miss the colder runs.  I've never had the pleasure (or nightmare depending on how you look at it) to run in the snow, but when a marine layer would come in during the winter, it could get cold back in California.  Those are the runs and workouts I miss, even if I wouldn't admit it at the time.  For some reason I just do better in the cold, it's been the case for swimming and now for running.

Hopefully soon I'll be wearing all of my cold weather gear... I mean, it's almost Christmas!  Even though I grew up in Southern California, I know it's wrong to be wearing shorts and t-shirts this far into December!  

We'll see how the weather is this weekend and whether or not I can keep my leggings out for a bit longer or if they go back in the draw...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Reindeer Run 2011

Today is my normal run day, but I definitely didn't do my normal run.  No, I got to run through Sea World Orlando for the Reindeer Run 2011.  I had a great time and got to see the park for the first time!  

As you guys know, I had started looking for smaller races to do between half marathons and last week a friend of mine at work told me he was doing the Reindeer 5k and that it was a run through Sea World.  I jumped on the chance to join and today we finally got to do it.

There was pre-registration, but I didn't really pay attention until it was too late so I arrived early and signed up at the event.  The website had said that you might get a shirt if you register the day of and so I was hoping to get there early for a regular shirt.  Well, they beat my expectations... I got a tech shirt!  There wasn't really a goody bag, but I was more than happy with a 1/2 ticket to Sea World, the tech shirt, and food at the end.  The race was only $35 so I wasn't expecting too much.

The run started just outside of the park and the first mile was around the parking lot.  As one would expect, there really wasn't much to see.  Then the second mile was inside the park and you ran past all the major areas.  You past Sea World on Ice!, Shamu Stadium, Dolphin Nursery, Blue Horizon, etc... I wish you could have seen more, but I totally understand how that could freak out the animals if a few thousand runners kept running by.

Santa was out to cheer runners on, as well as some Sea World trainers, and even a drug dog (although I have a feeling he was doing a pre-opening sweep of the park...).  Santa's cheering helped get me to the end.  I finished the race in 28 minutes and 14 seconds!

At the end of the race there was a post-race party that had water and some sports drink, hot chocolate and cookies, goldfish, and more cookies.  They had a nice center area you could relax, or two more pavilions.  One pavilion had registration for the "Rudolf Run", I'm assuming a mile dash for little kids.  The last pavilion had some booths, a stage where they handed out top 8 finisher awards and had a costume contest.  There was a picture spot out so I got a picture with my friends who I went with.

They even had animals out with trainers walking around.  We saw a opossum and heard there was a penguin somewhere.  Then, they brought Clyde the sea lion out!  I got really excited since I used to work at a marine mammal rehabilitation center and sea lions were our main patients.  They let us get pictures with him so of course I had to get one!  

The only things that I think they could have worked on is placing out their water spots a bit better.  One water spot was at mile 1 and the next was at mile 1.5-ish.  Then you didn't get water until you finished. Luckily it was only a 5k, but it would have been nice to have the second water stop between mile 2 and 3 somewhere.

I'll definitely be remembering this race for next year.  It was a great way to get my weekly run in and work on my speed. Plus I can't really complain since I did get to run through Sea World before the park opened...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Benefits of Cross-Training

So by now it's really no secret I'm a huge fan of cross-training.  I've been cross training since I was swimming.  We would run, complete circuits, and just try different things.  On my college swim team we would have yoga twice a week (which I absolutely loved!).

Runner's World had an article about the Eight Benefits of Cross-Training.  Reading through them I had to agree with all of them and have heard each reason (all except #8 because I'm not there in life yet) from either a coach or a trainer or a physical therapist.

One reason I really like cross-training because of it means I'm always doing something different.  I'll have my run days, and then maybe I'll get on a bike or walk up hill for a while.  Then there's weights which add a whole new category of variation.  It's hard to get bored with cross training, which is usually my biggest problem with training (ironic since I used to swim 1000s and 1000s of yards straight when I was a distance swimmer... and that's the definition of boring).  When it comes to weights I tend to focus on body areas; arms one day, then abs, maybe quads, and I mix it up.

Another great thing about cross-training is that one muscle group might be sore, but with cross-training you can focus on a region that's ready to go while the sore area gets some rest.  Yes, it'll probably still hurt more than when you're totally rested, but not as bad as torturing that sore area.

My final reason for loving cross-training is the strength training you get from it.  Running is great cardio work, but not so great for strengthening muscles.  Due to some knee issues I used to have a problem doing squats, but when I tried to use that excuse (yes, it was an excuse) my physical therapist pointed out "You can't run a half marathon if you can't do a squat".  So guess what... I started doing squats.  Now squats and lunges are in my circuits in one form or another.  The increase in strength has really started to make a difference in my running as well.  My quads don't get as nearly as tight nor as soon in my races so I'm extremely thankful for that.

Cross-training is like my not-so-secret training weapon.  I love it and it's an essential part of my training, no matter what I'm training for.  I'm always looking for ways to mix up my cross training some more and who knows what I might find in the future (zumba?  kick boxing? pilates?).

Friday, December 2, 2011

Busy Busy Bee

So I've been a busy bee over this last week. I finished up a 10 day work week and then to celebrate my first day off I got in a 5.5 mile run, walked the last .5 of a mile, completed a circuit, and did a lot of stretching.

While my week was busy and spent mostly at work, I was able to get at least 20 minutes of circuit work in.  A few days I got in a short run, maybe a few miles on the stationary bike, and stretching.  I've continued to stretch for at least 20 min every day and my calves are doing pretty well.

It also helps that I have a pretty active job.  I'm standing and walking most of the day.  A few days a week I help one of the other teams out where I'm lifting heavy objects for a while so I even get some unconventional weight lifting in.  The fact that I don't have an office job has helped me stay active on weeks where I work a lot.

I've also added another 5k run to my plan.  Next week I'll be doing a Reindeer Run with some of my friends.  Then the week after the Reindeer Run I have the Jingle Bell Run, so this should be a fun few weeks.  After those weeks it's time to start celebrating the holidays!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I hope you were able to get out there and get some sort of run or workout in before the cooking and family traditions commenced.  Normally, I'm able to get a run and walk in before breakfast, but this year is a bit different... I have to work today, but we're having our own potluck there.  Work for me also involves a lot of walking, stair climbing, and lifting various heavy objects so my workout today will be coming in spurts.

I hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving and has fun with their family and friends!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Finding The Will

Let's all admit one thing... there are definitely days that we just do not want to work out.  We want to stay hidden in our blankets or just keep moving on with our day.  Working out on a daily basis is really not that easy to do.

I'm having just one of those options, but that's where cross training comes in handy.  Not every day has to be blood, sweat, and tears hard.  So today instead of a run (like I was supposed to do), I've decided to get a nice peaceful morning of yoga in instead.  Yes, it's another Jillian Michael's video so it won't be completely easy going, but it will still be more relaxing than doing a circuit or running a few miles.

So today I only gain 2 HBBC points, 1 for the 20 min of yoga and 1 for 20 min of stretching... Still, 2 points is better than 0.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cross Training and Looking Ahead

I've gotten back into cross training recently, partially thanks to my roommates who have been hitting the gym at different times than me.  They've inspired me to go a second time during the day and I'll just use whatever machine is open so the cross training is coming pretty easy right now.  I've gotten on the stationary bikes, done some uphill walking (I even kept the pace pretty fast), and I've been working on my pull ups and dips.

All this working out has made me feel great about myself.  I love being sore and I've been really, really sore the last few days.  I just feel good.  I don't know if it's the endorphins that have been released with all the working out or if it's just me finally feeling good about myself again, but I'm really not going to question it, I'm just going to enjoy it.

Looking ahead, I've decided to look for some 5 and 10k's to do.  I think it would be a great way to get out and explore the city a bit more, support different charities, and a great workout push.  The first one I'm looking at is the Jingle Bell Run 5k in December.  I've worked 5k's before (I attended the Salmon Run in Ventura CA for the marine mammal rescue I worked for in college), but I've never been able to actually run at one.

It's funny, I jumped straight into half marathons, I never built up to it from the 5k to 10k to half marathon. So yes, I might be doing things backwards, but I've never been one to do things the normal way anyway...

I'm still looking for more races, I'm thinking I might want to try finding one race a month.  It would be a good escape from life and would keep my training focused.  Now I just have to find the races and possibly some people to join me...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Weekly Report 11/19

This week has been tough in every sense of the word... My runs were tough to get through and my knees were not happy at all, both on my runs and in day to day life.  Still, I got through them.  I almost turned around early on my run today, but I stopped myself and kept going.

Part of the problem is that I wasn't stretching as much as I was last week and my muscles were just getting tights and pulling on me knee (a long standing problem).  So my goal for this week is to make sure I keep stretching (plus 20 min of stretching = 1 HBBC point!).

I've also bought some chicken and hamburger meat to make tacos and chicken pasta and whatever else I decide to make... Should be interesting.

HBBC Point Count for today:
3.5 mile run= 3 points
6 miles on bike= 2 points
20 min of weights= 1 point
20 min of stretching= 1 point

total point count= 7 points

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Relaxing and Balancing Crazy Lives

As I mentioned in my weekly report, life will be getting busy very, very soon.  The holidays are always big in the Disney parks and in all honesty are one of our busiest seasons.  So, I'm already preparing myself for some longer hours, as well as later hours (I work almost to midnight on New Years Eve!).

Then there's just the craziness of life.  I've been able to buy a house with the help of my parents and they should be breaking ground within the next week and a half to two weeks. Then it should be built in 6!  I'm trying to find a permanent job.  And of course there are always little things like cooking dinner and running errands.

Life's crazy... which I'm guessing goes for a lot of people.

So how do we relax?  There definitely needs to be some balance in our lives and so we need to get a break from everything.  Here are the ways I have come to relax:

  1. Stretching- It's good for your muscles, it's good for you mind.  You can get a few minutes or longer just to yourself by going into your favorite spot and working out some of those knots.  With the cooler temperatures I've been thinking about moving my stretching outside so I can keep getting fresh air.
  2. Lazy Days- I've been having days were I just sit on the couch and really don't move.  This is my day and I plan on relaxing.  Usually I watch some of my favorite movies, get a nap in, and just completely not care about doing anything.  It really works well when I've already cooked for that day and can just throw in some left overs for dinner.
  3. Relaxing Activity- Even if I'm watching TV, I like to be doing something.  So I have different activities that are mind-numbing and relaxing.  I'm either writing something, anything, on my computer or I'm cross-stitching.  These activities even let me feel like I've accomplished something even though I've just been relaxing.  I shared the picture of the cross-stitch I finished before the Disneyland Half Marathon and here's the one I finished yesterday

So that's how I relax... Now balancing everything is easier to write, but a bit trickier to actually carry out.  I'm a HUGE fan of time keepers and I tend to write down things I need to do and by when.  I make sure I'm aware of all of my "to do" items before committing to something.

The biggest help to both relaxing and making sure my life is in balance is that I'm also always getting a decent amount of sleep.  I don't get less than 6 usually, and more around 8 hours.  I'll take naps on my days off and even sometimes when I come home from work.

So that's how I try and keep my busy life to a manageable level of craziness...  Amanda and RunToTheFinish as asked the same question in her blog post here (and it has a giveaway bonus!).

Weekly Report 11/12

This was another busy, but good week.  My work schedule is back to being somewhat normal, but this is really the calm before the storm.  With the holidays coming up, things are about to get crazy!  I am actually going to talk about keeping life in balance and control in a separate article so check that one out after this.

I was able to get a 6 miler in this week, as well as a 2 mile hard up-hill treadmill walk, 2 mile walk on the beach (part of a volunteering activity).  I also got back into my circuit training and it made me sore again.  Once more, Jillian Michaels is back to kicking my ass.  Luckily, I know she'll kick my ass back into shape.  It's a cruel cycle isn't?

I have also been stretching a lot which helps a lot.  I know I'm not nearly as sore as I could be and it's been nice to have a chance and just decompress after a workout.  I not only get to relax from the run or circuit, but I also get to decompress from day to day problems.  While I'm rolling out my quads or calves, I'm also rolling away stress.  It's nice when things work out that way.

My Weekly HBBC Count (officially starts NEXT week):
2 mile walk- 2 points
20 min stretching- 1 point
2 mile beach walk- 2 points
40 minute circuit- 2 points
20 min stretching- 1 point
6 mile run- 6 points
20 min stretching- 1 point

Total for this week: 15 points!

Now, let's see if I can't make that my average...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Weekly Report 11/5

The good news... I was able to run more than last week, even with a harder schedule!  The bad news... I wasn't feeling the best while I was running, but I didn't feel my worst either so I'm not quite sure if it really is bad news.

One thing that really struck me this week, well actually this morning was diet.  I know I've talked about it before and I've said I'm "calorie aware", but I've fallen off of that and while I haven't been letting myself completely go, I haven't been strict with what I should and shouldn't be eating.

One of the biggest things I realized is that I really do need to drink more water.  It would help 3 things.  First my diet since water has no calories.  Second my running because it should cut down some of the dehydration cramps I've been having lately.  Third my budgets because I don't really have that much money since I recently bought a house with the help of my parents.

It's amazing how small things can help so many things.  I know it's going to be hard because I really like having the fizzy carbonation, but I will start to resist!

On good news, I have started stretching more (thanks to the motivations from HBBC) and my calves are feeling a lot better during my runs.  My knee hurt a bit today but I'm blaming the heels I was walking around in most of the week.  Luckily I'm back to wearing tennis shoes again next week for work (I'm back in my normal office and area).

HBBC Weekly Report:
Monday- 2 mile run +1 mile walk + 20 minutes stretching = 4 points
Thursday- 1 mile run + 1 mile walk + 20 minutes stretching = 3 points
Saturday- 3.5 mile run + 20 minutes stretching = 4 points

Total points= 11 points

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Halloween brings up a thought for me.... costumes.  Specifically, running costumes.  Now I've never worn a costume during my run.  The closest thing I wore was the Princess Half Marathon ears they sold last year.

Now, things might be changing.  I might be wearing an Ariel themed costume for the 2012 Princess Half Marathon.  I'm thinking about finding a red top and a purple/green skirt. Disney has a cute Ariel skirt for kids, but there's no way I'll fit into the largest skirt.  So I'm still looking and debating on what I want to do.

I've seen some really great costumes in my runs before.  There was one group dressed as the characters from Snow White (Snow, Evil Queen, and the Mirror).  I've seen Frog Princes, lots of Princesses (including guys dressed as princesses), and other fun costumes.  One girl last year at the Princess Half had her hair braided and tied like Rapunzel and then had the chameleon wrapped up in her hair.  It was pretty great.

Maybe when costumes go on sale I can find a good mermaid one to run in... I'll guess we'll just have to see...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weekly Report 10/29

Running definitely helped me escape some of the stresses of life this morning.  Yesterday wasn't the best (nor the worst) day, but it definitely had me scrambling around.  This morning I was able to run and forget  about everything that was going on.

The run itself actually felt pretty good.  The worst part was that while it's overcast and rainy, it's still not that cold.  I made the mistake of wearing my running tights a bit early this year so it made me a little hot, but I was able to get through my run, especially when I was running in an open area and it cooled down a bit thanks to the wind.

So, let's round up how many points I would have gotten this week if the Holiday Booty Buster Challenge had started (it's starts November 19).
Tuesday- 2.17 Miles= 2 Points
Saturday- 3.38 Miles= 3 Points
Saturday- 25 minutes of Stretching= 1 point

Friday, October 28, 2011

New Inspiration

This week I have noticed I am missing a key component to my training... motivation.  I haven't had much to inspire me to run, and thus I have been sleep in a lot of mornings instead of running.  I did get in one run, but I also had a late start to work that day.

Part of the lack of motivation comes from not having a lot of races.  I still don't know Orlando too well and so I haven't really been looking for 5Ks and other races in the area.  When I used to swim it seemed like I had a race every few weeks (if not every week during the height of the season) and when I competed in triathlons I tried to get one race a month during the season.  I actually remember one year when I was competing in both triathlons and swimming when I went for 2-2.5 weeks without a break because I either had a meet that weekend or a triathlon on my normal day off.

I think another part of my lack of motivation is me... I'm just in one of those slumps where I don't want to worry about training right now.  It was a busy and somewhat crazy week at work and next week plans on being worse.  I'm still trying to figure out when I will be able to run next week because my schedule is so different.  

However, even with all of these road bumps there is some good news.  I found a new reason to be inspired.  

I was reading through Christy's blog at My Dirt Road Anthem and she mentioned that she had signed up for the Holiday Booty Buster Challenge hosted by Run To The Finish.  You can find out all of the details and even sign up at the event's main page here.  

I've signed up as a Doer, considering I'm just training for the half and no longer training for any triathlons or full marathons.  One of the things I really liked about the challenge was that you could earn points by cross training, which as you guys know I like to dabble in from time to time.

So I start the challenge either this afternoon or tomorrow... I'll be posting how many points I earn each week and the running totals on a post every Saturday.  I think this is just what I needed to get into the training mood I've been lacking all week...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Right On Track...

Surprisingly I'm still on track with my training for the Princess Half.  This morning I got out before the sun was starting to rise and got a pretty good 4.3 miles in.  I got one decent cramp in my side around 2.5 miles, but I walked for a bit and then got back into the run.

This week was supposed to be 2x30 min runs and then a 4 miler.  Well, I got 1x30 min run in and this 4+ mile run so I think I'm pretty good right now.  Tomorrow I'm planning on doing another circuit workout and then I'll run on Monday again (another 30 min run).

Right now my pace has also improved and I feel good running.  Overall it was a really good run and I was happy with what I did.  Now I'm waiting to see how my legs feel tonight and tomorrow...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Eventually I'll Get There...

In one of my past posts I mentioned how I missed my distance goal on Nike+.  Well I eventually hit it.

I'm guessing I hit it on my small run yesterday (I only did about 2 miles), but I did eventually get it.  That's what I've come to learn one of the most important things about training is... you have to stick with it.  If you keep pushing yourself, you'll be able to reach your goals.  It might take some time, sometimes longer than you expect, but eventually you'll hit your goals.

That's exactly what happened to me.  Life got in the way and I didn't hit my goal in the time expected, but I kept at it and I've now hit it.  I'll make another goal closer to the Princess Half Marathon, but for now I'll run with the Galloway system and I'll be happy with that.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Back To Strength Training

I was able to get out and run yesterday.  I was originally planning on running on the treadmill, but I could not get into the gym.  I went pretty early and for some reason the code I had would not work... It frustrated me to no end, but I eventually went back to my apartment, dumped my extra keys, and took off running on the streets.

It ended up being a really nice day to run.  Check out the awesome sunrise:

So I got a 30 min run in, which is the base for Jeff Galloway training plan.  It went relatively well.  My ankles are starting to act up, but hopefully that'll pass soon enough.  The good news is that the pain was isolated to the run and didn't stay with me the rest of the day.

So today was a running rest day, but I eventually got out of bed and popped in one of my Jillian Michael's DVDs.  May I say how sorry I am for not keeping up with those?  I even went back a week from where I had left off and it still hurt more than I thought!  It was definitely a good workout though and I'm sorry I've fallen off for more reasons than just the lack of fitness.  Luckily, today made me realize how much I needed to work on so that's helping my determination...

Tomorrow's another run day, but considering it's my day off I might try and hit the gym (when the normal doors are open) and get some weight/machine work done.  Plus, I really need to keep up with the calorie burning considering it is getting close to Halloween and candy is all around.  Plus, it is National Dessert Day so I just have to celebrate that...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Getting Back Into It

I just had a weekend with my parents, which I knew would be the final vacation from running before I got back into training.  I did run during their visit, but only once and only for just over 2 miles.

Those 2+ miles was a lot of fun though because I got to run through the Epcot Resort area (Boardwalk Hotel, Beach and Yacht Club, Swan and Dolphin Hotel).  It was nice running along the waterway and next to the pools.  Without all of the cars and busyness of real life, it just makes the run that much more peaceful.  It was also really nice to have a banana nut muffin waiting for me afterwards.

So the visit was great and we ate... a lot.  So yes, I gained some weight during the week, but really not that much.  Seriously, I thought I would gain more, but I didn't.  I still need to drop the weight and then some, but this is a constant battle.  It always has been a fight for me and I know it more than likely always will be.

On top of the visit, I've caught a cold and so now I have that to fight as well.  I'm already feeling better and I think yesterday was the worst of it.  Still, it sucks feeling sick and I definitely feel weaker when I'm working out.

So, hopefully by the end of the week I have my eating under control, this cold gone, and my training somewhat back on track.  I'm going to be keeping an eye on the Jeff Galloway training plan for the Princess Half Marathon as a guideline for where my training.  It started last week, but luckily it started at my base so I really didn't miss much.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Good Luck Food and Wine Runner!

Tonight I will be resting and getting some sleep before heading into work tomorrow morning.  However, that is not the case for a lot of people.  Yes, most people aren't heading to work tomorrow considering it's Sunday, but that's not the group I'm talking about.  I'm talking about all those runners running the Food and Wine Half Marathon here at Disney World!

I have a few friends running the race tonight and I wish them all the luck.  The course looks pretty interesting and I'm thinking about doing it next year.  So, good luck to those running the race tonight and have fun at the after party!

They did pick a great weekend for the race.  Not only are there all the fun activities associated with the race, but you also have the opening weekend of Food and Wine.  I walked around it today and there was a lot of interesting and good looking food.  I had a lobster roll from the America Pavilion that was really good.

It is also Walt Disney World's 40th birthday!  I trekked over to Magic Kingdom this morning for all the festivities.  There were special shirts and other merchandise pieces, but they all went pretty quick.  I think the shirts were sold out in like 5 minutes!  They also had special event cupcakes for purchase.  When you entered the park you could get a special button, they had special park maps, and they had a special show and parade.  I was able to get right in front of the castle so I had a great view of the whole thing and it was pretty cool.  A few stories, music from the Disney World Marching Band and Dapper Dans, as well as all of the characters.  It was a great morning!

Again, good luck to all of the runners!  I'm sure the race will be a great one!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Arm Workout

I've been on a break since the Disneyland Half Marathon and I'm gearing up to start increasing my mileage again.  I'm still hitting just about 2 miles at a time, but that's been good since my ankle and shins have decided they want to act up... again.  I have to admit, I don't ever think I'll never not be injured or fighting something.

Still, I am getting mentally prepared to get back in endurance training.  It is definitely going to be my focus now because it was seriously lacking for the Disneyland Half.  Plus the humidity is finally dropping off and the daily temperatures are calming down.  That means I'll be able to run outside again!  I was going to today, but it's an important day at work for me and yesterday my ankle had me limping around in the afternoon so I decided to take it easy.

If you remember when I started this journey I said I was going to do pull ups everyday because I recognized that as one of my weaknesses.  Then I stopped... Well, I just discovered the pull up and dips machine in the gym.  It uses weights to help you back up and so I've been playing with that to find the right amount of help.  I can tell you one thing... my shoulders are sore!  I spent about 10-15 minutes today in the gym just focusing on my arms and they are definitely tired and will be sore tomorrow.  Still, I had fun discovering the new machines to help out with my arm workouts.  That's still one of my biggest trouble zones and an area I'll probably always continue to work on.

So a run tomorrow followed by a night at Magic Kingdom park for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party... what a great start to the holidays and to the weekend!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Missing Goals

So I had that distance goal on Nike+ and unfortunately, I'm not going to make it.  I kind of saw it coming last week when I realized 9 miles behind and would have to run 3 miles for 5 days.  I was positive about it at first, but along with my circuit workouts and work schedule, it just didn't work.

Nike+ is great and doesn't want to discourage runners so even though I didn't make my goal, Nike+ offers extensions.  I appreciate that considering I didn't even care about that goal when I realized I wasn't going to make it.  So now that I've extended it, I'm ahead of where I need to be and we'll see how quickly I finish up the 13 miles I have left.  I think I might run 2-3 miles 2-3 times a week for another month or so before picking up the miles again to prepare for the Princess Half Marathon.  I don't think I'll make another goal after this for a while, probably not until closer to the Princess..

While my original Nike+ goal passed me by, I did get my diet back on track.  I don't want to say I'm a calorie counter, but instead I'm calorie aware.  I know what I'm eating, about how many calories it is, and how much I can be eating that day.  I'm not sure strict about staying under the allotted calories, but I don't let them get out of control (most of the time).  I'm still eating what I like and not worrying about only eating certain things.  It just makes diets that much better.  Like I've said before, it's all about portion control and I'm proud to say I've been getting a lot better at that!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Good News Follows Bad

I did as I said I would and got out and ran 3 miles this morning!  I then proceeded to walk for about 10 minutes.  I'm getting back on track...  I am now 8 miles behind on my Nike+ goal.  I have 5 days to complete 15 miles... Let's see if this can happen... I have also been smart about my food choices today to get my diet back on track as well.

In other good news.  Darden Restaurants, the company that owns Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Red Lobster, and other chain restaurants; has pledged to First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Campaign and will be reducing the calories and sodium by 20% in the next 10 years.  

Darden has also added more healthier options to the kid's menu.  Now, when I first heard about this change, I was listening to the radio and the hosts were talking about it.  They also mentioned that if children want fries with their dish, then they need to have an adult order it for them.  Now, I didn't see this mentioned in the article I read about the announcement, but I personally think it's a good idea.\

To read an article about the announcement you can visit NPR's report here.

Now, this is great news for me because while I'm not a big fan of Red Lobster and have never been to Bahama Breeze or Longhorn Steakhouse, I absolutely love Olive Garden.  Hopefully the change doesn't make a decline in the quality, but I doubt it will.  These big chains are good about keeping the quality up even facing these types of change.  Plus, they have 10 years to figure it out... I'm sure they'll get it right in that time.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I've Been Bad...

So, this week was just busy.  It's the easiest way to explain the week really.

I combined 2 weekends to take 4 days off for the Disneyland Half, so I ended up working for 2 weeks, or 10 days.  Today was day 10, which is great because that means I get tomorrow off.  However, the 10 days have worn me down and I've just had no energy to run.  Just this afternoon, I collapsed onto my bed after work and took a 2 hour nap.

Due to this extra time off, I'm way behind on my Nike+ goal.  I'm almost 10 miles back.  Tomorrow I'll be running about 3 miles, it depends on how I'm feeling.  Saturday could be the same.  It's one of the sad things about the Nike+ is that it doesn't log biking or weights.  I've done both of those in the last week, but they didn't count!

For most of the week, I've been good about what I've been eating, but I unwravelled a bit yesterday and today.  Especially today.  Luckily, tomorrow is my day to get back on track... I'll run, eat right, and just feel better with where I'm at.

I think that was the worst part of this whole week.  I knew I was falling behind on my goal and I knew my calories weren't as good as they should have been.  That ate at my conscience and I've had it bugging me over the last few days.  I guess that's still the competitive athlete in me.  When I swam competitively I never missed a practice unless something with school came up or I was really really sick.  Now, it seems like one little thing can throw me off.

So like I said... tomorrow will get me back on track.  I'll get up and run, take my roommate to the airport, and relax for the rest of the day.  I'll recenter myself and just regain some of that control I've lost.  Maybe I'll do a little meditation while I stretch?  Who knows...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Back Running

While running would have been nice yesterday, I'm in the middle of a marathon work week and so I went home and took a mini-nap. Thus my workout consisted of me walking around Disney's Hollywood Studios for a few hours and getting my heart rate up on Rock'n'Rollercoaster and Tower of Terror.

So this morning turned out to be perfect for my workout. I set my alarm a bit early and was able to get down to the gym for a nice little run.

I wasn't sore, but my IT band was tight and I definitely felt that for a bit. It looks like I might be doing some rolling once I get home from work. Other than that my run felt pretty good. I then did a few arm-focused weight exercises.

Yes, that does mean I faced the dreaded treadmill again, but I chose one I knew (or hoped) was working and things went well. I was still bored and I cannot wait for the humidity to disappear so I can run outside again. It's already starting to get better...

I was running in my new Asics Cummulus' and they felt pretty good. There weren't any shin splint worries or anything like that so maybe in the next few weeks I'll break them in and get out on a 5 miler... So, right now the reviews are positive on the new shoes!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Break Boredom

The taper before and break after the race are nice times to relax.  I already talked about how I relaxed during my taper and currently I'm getting ready to start running again... thus my break is coming to an end.

And thank heavens for that!  I've been wanting to run and workout again since only a day or so since I got back to Florida.  The weather is getting cooler, I have new shoes, and quite frankly I am bored.  

Just 2 days after getting back, I did get on the treadmill for a 1.5 mile run.  

Then yesterday, so nearly a week from the race, I was able to get back down to the gym.  Unfortunately, my foot was having some issues so I chose to just use the stationary bike and then I used some weights for abs and arms.  My arms are a bit sore, but part of that might have been from a shot I got for work that gave me dead arm.

I'm thinking I'll get back on the treadmill or out on the road in the next few days. Maybe Monday?  Maybe tomorrow even after work?  We'll see I guess.

O!  And check out my picture from the Disneyland Half Marathon.  All 3 medals (Princess 1/2, Coast to Coast, and Disneyland 1/2)...  

Thanks to my father for being a personal photographer for the day!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Race Recap

So it's been two days now since the Disneyland Half and it's about time I start looking ahead to the 2012 Princess Half Marathon.  So, to put the race behind me it's time to recap all that happened.

The first mile was spent trying to get around people.  The first few miles of the Disneyland Half is spent weaving through the parks so it bottlenecks a lot and you tend to get stuck behind walkers and slower people.  Which brings up my first issue... those people who somehow get into the higher corrals and are walking within the first .5 mile!  The starting line was still visible and I was passing walkers.

For those of you who believe that moving up corrals doesn't hurt anyone... it really is annoying and it can be dangerous if runners can't get by or aren't expecting you to stop.  So, if you are in a higher corral and are planning to walk early, go to the back of the corral so those who are serious about the running part can get by.

Once we were in the parks I took pictures with Phineas and Ferb, Dug and Russel from UP, Rapunzel and Snow White, and then Belle and Cinderella.  There were other characters out, like Darth Vader who had the longest line, Tigger, and Sleeping Beauty and the fairies.  Sleeping Beauty was actually on the Carousel which was pretty neat.  They also had some floats out from the parade, but without any character so that was kind of iffy.  If you're going to bring a float out, at least have the character with it...  They had the trains out again which was a cool and that was my last picture before hitting Anaheim.

The course looped through more of Disneyland than it did last year considering California Adventure (DCA) is still under construction.  I liked the fact you saw a lot more of the park, but again, there's a lot of bottlenecking through the parks.  Maybe next year when DCA is open again they can have more of the race inside the parks?  What do you think runDisney?

 Between miles 4 and 8, it was pretty boring.  Let's face it Anaheim isn't the prettiest of cities.  There was a bit of snaking up and down streets to get the miles up before heading to Angel's Stadium.  I hit my first and biggest wall just before mile 5.  I didn't feel good and fatigue was just tearing apart my legs.  I walked a bit to get over the nerves making me feel like I was going throw up, but then once I calmed down and got some water and powerade I was feeling better.  I was still feeling a bit sluggish though.

Around mile 7 the soundtrack from Illuminations, the nightly EPCOT show, came on.  That music helped push me through the next mile and and once I hit mile 8 I was feeling a lot better.  It also helped that mile 8 is like the turning back to home point for me.  I know it's over half way, but there's so much more after that marker and it just pushes you that much harder.

First was the Honda center, although they didn't any hockey players of the Duck from the Anaheim Ducks out.  After that we ran on the Santa Ana trail.  That's a pretty narrow area so again, it's important to make sure you're out of the way when walking and just make sure there's no one who can run into you or for you to run into.  There was a nasty little hill coming up from the trail, which I did walk, but after that it wasn't too bad.

Almost immediately after the trail we were at Angel's stadium.  The Boy Scouts were out again cheering everyone on and trying to get high fives from the runners.  I was more than happy to run on the side and slap there hands... Then we turned into the tunnel, and ran onto the field, just like the teams.  They were getting the field ready for a game, but we were still able to run around home base (see picture below).  They had the jumbo-tron on again and it's always fun to see yourself on a massive tv.

After Angel stadium it was almost a straight shot back to the parks.  You hit Mile 10 in the stadium's parking lot, and then Mile 11 out on the streets.  Mile 12 was right when you hit the parks.  Now, but this time my ankles were on fire, my calves were tired, but still my quads were good.  The last mile weaved through the service roads behind DCA and then through the hotels.  

Finally, between Downtown Disney and Disneyland Hotel, the finish loomed over everyone.  Mickey and the rest of the Fab 5 were at either side of the finish cheering everyone on.  It felt amazing to finish... I had finished another half.

Getting the Disneyland and Coast to Coast medals was the best feeling ever.  As soon as I have a picture with all of my medals on, I will be posting it!  I wore them around most of the day, even though they were smacking each other the whole time and being annoying.  They were heavy, but I was proud to bear that weight of those medals to show off what I had done.

If you've been reading this blog then you know how bad my training has been since my move.  The fact that I survived and my quads didn't hurt nearly as much as either of the last halves is a testament to how important strength training is to a training plan.  However, I was running about a 11 minute mile so the endurance training would have helped to get that time down.  

I know the things I need to work on before the next half and the things I need to just keep doing.  I need to get my endurance up again and my strength training needs to stay strong.  Other than that... less than 6 months to Princess!

Some tips for those who might be running the 2012 Disneyland Half or even the 2012 Tinkerbell (if it's the same or a similar course).
  • Get to your corral early because there are a lot of a people, not a lot of room, and you'll just get a better position.  Then again, please be mindful of your speed (walking vs running) when you decide where to go in the corral.
  • Enjoy running through the parks.  Take pictures with the characters you want.  They are only in the first part of the race since the rest is in Anaheim.
  • Spread out and focus on your own pace while running through the city.  You have pretty much the whole street, so use it!
  • Enjoy everyone cheering you on.  There are a lot of bands, cheerleaders, and dance groups out there for YOUR entertainment.
  • And most of all... HAVE FUN!
So there it is, my recap.  For those who haven't thought about doing a Disney race, I would HIGHLY suggest it.  Personally, I plan on looking forward to Princess next year, then maybe Disneyland again and Food and Wine?  I might possibly be looking to do all runDisney events in the next 5 years or so...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Run Hard Party Harder

I'm done.  It took me 2 hours and 36 minutes, but I'm done... Now, I'm sitting here in comfy jeans and my new "I Did It!" t-shirt.  My legs are sore, my back is sore, I'm just sore in general.  Overall... Disneyland was another fun and successful race.

Initial thoughts-

  • My ankles hurt the most, my calves and knee would switch, but were tolerable.  Both spots were expected to be painful so that's not surprising.
  • My quads weren't nearly as tight as I was expecting.  Actually, they aren't tight period (In my opinion at least).  I guess I should thank Jillian Michaels for those quad workouts... I'm stronger than expected.
  • Weren't as many cheerleaders and bands, but still the course was fun.  
  • My medals are heavy, but AWESOME!  Yes, I did bring my Princess 1/2 Marathon medal and so I will be wearing three around with me today.  It's my neck's workout for the day because anyone who's done a runDisney race will know how heavy and well done the medals are.
  • Volunteers were amazing.  They deserve a round of applause as well.
Alright, well now it's time to refuel, aka go get breakfast.  Eggs, breakfast potatoes, and fruit, or cinnamon bun french toast?  Decisions decisions...

Tonight I'm getting together with friends from high school and college and tomorrow I'm heading back to Florida.  A more detailed race report will come tomorrow or the next day (along with pictures), and product reviews will come after that...

2011 Disneyland Half Marathon Done.  Next stop... 2012 Princess Half Marathon!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Checked In and Ready To Go

Check in finally got here, which means the race is tomorrow!  There's no backing out now and it's just time to get ready to run.

Check in was busy, but went smoothly enough.  I printed my waiver at the event and signed in for the race.  Pretty much it was sign here, sign here, initial here, initial here, great!  Here's your bib, pin (I bought one when I registered), and some other papers.  After I was signed in I got a green wrist band which distinguished me as a coast-to-coast candidate.

I then went over to the expo and picked up my goodie bag.  It was decent, no disposable camera which I appreciated since I still haven't used the one from last year.  This year's tech shirt is black, which means I can wear it with my blue shorts.  There were a lot of ads for other races, a discount card for sports authority, Blocks, and some other little things.

I did do some shopping at the expo.  I got some asics to replace my old running shoes, a new headband (we'll see if it slips or not), and new earbuds.  I also got 2 shirts and a second pin at the expo.  I got the women's "I Did It!" shirt (yes, they had male and female versions this year), and a coast to coast shirt as well.  Pictures of those will come later as I'm not wearing them until I've completed the race.

And the surprise of the expo?  I got to meet Drew Carey and Megyn Price (the woman from Rules of Engagement).  They are both running the race, and were taking pictures and signing autographs for a bit.  I found out that Megyn was a swimmer until college, where she ended up lifeguarding since she didn't get onto the Stanford swim team.  It was awesome seeing that we had something in common.  Drew Carey's lost a ton of weight.  I mean, it's obvious when you see him on TV, but in person it just smacks you in the face just how much weight he's lost.  He looks good though.

In just a few hours, I'll be getting up for the run.  I'll admit I'm pretty nervous, but I'm also excited.  It'll be interesting to see how I do, but either way, I'm finishing, getting the Disneyland 1/2 medal and the Coast to Coast medal.

I'll have an initial summary/reaction tomorrow once I get back to my room so check back tomorrow morning for race updates!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Last Preparations

One more day till I fly to California!  Three more until the Disneyland half marathon!  I am so pumped right now that I'm not worried about what's going to happen after the race (shin splints, ankle injuries, knee injuries, etc...).  I just want to get there and have fun running!

That's one of the great things about the Disney races is that the Disney spirit is still throughout the race.  Yes, running 13.2 miles is not an easy feat by any means, but to have characters, bands, other groups, and crowds cheering you on makes it a lot more fun.  Plus there are the little things...

If you register early enough you get your name printed on your bib.  I was about halfway through and this school group was out cheering on someone used my name.  It confused me for a second until I realized my name was on my bib and they had just read it.  It was still awesome to have complete strangers cheering for you and using your name!

It's memories like that, that I'm excited to make more of this year!

In preparation for the race I haven't been too strict on my running, but I have been stretching a lot.  My current best friends in the running world.... my stick, mat, and rope.

My stick especially.  The rope is great to help on those hamstring stretches and what not, but the stick can just get so deep into the muscle that it can roll out all of the lactic acid.  One thing to be careful about is that you do have put effort into rolling, it can't just be like rolling it over your skin lightly.  But that little bit of effort goes a long way when it comes to rolling.  Then the mat just makes it nicer when I'm sitting on concrete or makes it so I don't let my soak into the carpet.

I'm relaxed, I'm stretched, I'm loose, and I'm checked into my fight.  Time to 13.2 miles!


In other news, I have decided to start a new blog.  I get to do a diversity calendar for work and I've been finding a lot of really fun holidays throughout the month.  So, in order recognize these days, I've created Everday Holiday, a blog celebrating all the daily holidays throughout the months.  Check it out, follow it, and enjoy all the cool holidays!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tapering (aka Relaxing)

One of the greatest things about coming up to this race is that I've been using it as an excuse to relax... even more so than normal.  Now, I see relaxing as an important part of a day, just like working out, going to work, eating, and sleeping are.  

Personally I like to spend my relax time in front of the tv watching my favorite shows or a movie and working on either some sort of writing project or on a cross stitch.  In fact, with all of my "quiet time", I've been able to finish a new cross stitch!

Other than that... lots of TV, lots of movies, lots of just relaxing.  It's been nice, but it does come with a bad side.  If I'm not working out as much (my runs have been shorter) that means I have to watch what I'm eating even more.  Can't eat as much if you're not burning as much...  Luckily I am keeping on top of that so I'm not gaining any weight.

I've been stretching a lot as well to keep my muscles all nice and loose.  I've also been using my rolling stich and rope to help stretch.  Unfortunately, neither will be coming with me to the race, but I'll definitely be using them to recover once I get back.  

Probably on Thursday I'll do my last pre-race run and I'll go on a walk once I'm back in Cali possibly.  There will be lots of walking through the parks pre-race as well... I guess that can be considered a warm-up?  

Only 3 more days till I fly out to Cali... and 5 till the race!  

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dangers of Treadmills

Usually this close to a race I would be playing it safe and just trying to be relaxed as possible.  Things were going well... until today.

One of my greatest motivators is being frustrated with people or life in general.  Running has just always let me clear my mind and release those frustrations.  Yes, they might come back later, but that time hitting the pavement (or in this case treadmill) just gives me a sliver of peace in an otherwise hectic world.  It was exactly what I needed and got... well somewhat.

So, today was one of those days where I was just boiling inside and knew I needed to run to release everything.  I got home, got changed, put some new music on my iphone, and headed to the gym.  There weren't too many people and a single treadmill open so I jumped on and started running.

My mind was clear... I felt really good on my run (like, way better than I expected), my music was pushing me on, and I was letting go of all of that frustration.  Unfortunately, at 2.3 miles tragedy struck.

It would appear as though life was out to get me because my treadmill stopped.  The computer threw up an Error sign and the treadmill simply stopped.  No warning, no slowing down, but a hard stop.  I nearly ran into it since I was running a 9 min 13 sec pace.  Luckily I caught myself before any injuries happened, but still, it scared me for a bit.

I'm 6 days out from my race and the treadmill just tried to kill me... just what I needed.  But did I quite?

Of course not!  A women 2 machines over finished her workout and I was able to hop onto hers and get to the 5k mark without any other incidents. At the end I told management in hopes of preventing any other possible injuries.

Will I still run on treadmills?  Probably... but I'm still preferring to run outside.  The humidity is starting to go down so I'm thinking that might become more and more of a possibility as the heat index continues to drop!  I'll be avoiding that specific treadmill (probably even when it's fixed), but there's not much else I can do.  I know the possibilities and I'll be ready to catch myself the next time a treadmill decides it doesn't want to work...

Luckily my run did feel good and I'm still looking forward to the Disneyland Half.  I can't wait to get home and run in non-humid weather.  Only 6 days left!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

1 week...

...7 days... 168 Hours

Ok, it is a little less than 168 hours, but still... it's coming up!

That's right, less than a week until I'm running the Disneyland Half Marathon.  It's about time!  I'll be running past the hotels, through the parks, through LA, and rounding home base at Angle Stadium all before running back to Disneyland and under that glorious Finish.

Less than week until these medals are mine!

Of course the Coast 2 Coast medal will say 2011, but still... they are almost in my grip!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Leaping Lizards!

Ok, here they're probably geckos.  But they are everywhere and they don't jump out of your way until you practically stepped on the little guys.  I swear, there have been runs where I've stepped on them, but I try not to!

There were quite a few little geckos out today, but I wasn't even planning on running outside.  I was hoping to do another brick workout with an abs focus in the middle instead of arms, but alas... the gate to get to the gym was jammed and I couldn't get to the gym.  So, I sucked up the fact it was later than I wanted to run outside, and hotter, and decided to take off down the sidewalk.

And was it hot... It was definitely a challenge just getting 2 miles in, but I did it.  I'm also running in my back-up shoes which are nice, but not the best.  I discovered they don't have the right support so I can't go long distances, but they're perfect for these small runs and gum workouts right now.

Yesterday was my 1 week till I fly back to California.  Today is the 1 week till I go to the registration/expo (aka shopping for tech shirts and whatever other goodies they have).  Tomorrow is the 1 week till the race!  I am getting excited, but again, my training does keep my nerves going.  We'll see how I end up doing, but I cannot wait to get out there!  Plus, I can't wait till the cooler weather.  I will actually get to wear my sweats and a new jacket from work because the heat index won't be in the triple digits!

What I also discovered by having a countdown on another page... I passed the 6 month mark for the Princess Half Marathon.  I believe today is 5 months, 4 weeks, and 2 days until that race.  I'll admit... I'm a bit more excited to run that race because 1) there's more characters and 2) I'm running it as a team with one of my friends!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mini-Brick Workout

By definition, a brick workout is when you have a workout in one event or sport and then you follow it with a base workout in another event.  Brick workouts are popular with triathletes because it lets you practice 2 legs of a triathlon in one workout.  When I was on the college tri team, we would normally have brick workouts 2-3 times a week depending on where we were in the season.

What does this have to do with my half marathon training?  Especially since I'm only a week and 2 days out from my race?

Well, I had a mini-brick workout this morning.  I started with a 2.2 mile run on the treadmill (in my back up running shoes since I'm trying to keep my good shoes as alive as possible for the half).  After my run I let my heart calm down by focusing on my arms with some weights.  After that routine I got on one of the stationary bikes and spent another 20 minute bike workout to complete my overall workout.

Sure, when I was doing brick workouts for triathlons they were longer and more intense, hence the reason I called it a mini-brick.  It was still a good workout though and a bit fun considering I wasn't just on the treadmill staring at the TV or out the window. 

I will admit I was hoping for an outside run in the rain.  It's one of the things I'm missing from California.  I miss waking up to a foggy/misty morning and running in the fog.  The closest I'll get is running in one of the afternoon storms, but those usually happen while I'm at work.  We were supposed to have some morning storms because of the hurricane, but it looked like they came last night and there might be another storm moving in now... too bad.  I'll get my run in the rain eventually...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Goal!

Since I met my frequency goal last week I decided to set up a new one.  I didn't want another frequency goal, so instead I decided to do a distance goal.  My new goal?

Run 45 miles in 4 weeks.  

The first run towards this goal... 4.08 miles. 

Alright, I'm already thinking that this might be too easy, especially since I have the Half Marathon next week.  The difficulty might come in the fact I'm going to probably take a break or at least not run as much after the half.  We'll see if I finish ahead, exactly on, or after the 4 week mark.  

Speaking of the half marathon, I'm kind of worried because I think my shoes might have died.  Or my insoles have died.  Still, I think I might be in trouble either way.  And of course there's no time to get new shoes because breaking them in would cause shin splints or other soreness... Well, this is wonderful, but life tends to like to throw these little complications at me and I just have to keep running through them.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Good Runner

Yesterday I was a bad runner, skipping my run to relax and go to a park.  I felt bad for it, but today... today I made up for my laziness.

I woke up and actually got out of bed in order to go on a run before work.  I got down a few minutes later than I wanted, but still... I went running this morning!

And the good runner status didn't even end there.  After I work I got back and did an abs and arm circuit.  My legs were still pretty sore from my last circuit and run this morning so I just focused on my arms and abs.  I did the Jillian Michaels "No More Trouble Zones" and skipped a lot of the squats and what not, but it did have a lot of weights for the arms and abs so it went well.  I could definitely feel my arms and abs working.  I'm going to be sore tomorrow... but I'll be happy and proud of myself with each step of soreness.

2 weeks from today... I would have finished the Disneyland Half Marathon and I will be hanging out with friends at home!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bad Runner...

So I woke up early enough to go for a run today but it seems my training slump is continuing. It picked a perfect time to appear too, didn't it?  Right before the race.  I will drag my ass out of bed tomorrow to get a run in before work and depending on how I'm feeling I might do something that evening or Monday evening... we'll see when the time comes.

My workout today will be taking place at Disney's Hollywood Studios.  I'm heading over there in a bit with my roommate and one of her friends.  Now, unfortunately DHS doesn't offer that great of a workout except for running the "Avoid The Children Obstacle Course" as I like to call it and just all the simple walking you do throughout the day.

You can get your heart rate up during the awesome Lights Motors Action show, or walk around props as you get ready for the Backlots Tour.  You could even get a bit competitive during Toy Story Mania (which I always do... that's where my competitiveness really shows).  You can get your blood pumping at Rock'N'Roller Coaster or Tower of Terror, but there isn't too much of a workout in DHS.  Then again, I'm pretty sure making sure people get a workout was not Disney's concern when they created any of the parks.

So I am just going to enjoy myself, hunt down some characters, and just have fun.  I'm going to make an effort to eat healthy while we're there, but that might depend on where we eat, if we even eat at the park. No snacking though... I'm bringing a Fiber One bar for that...

Friday, August 19, 2011

One Of Those Days

I woke up this morning and the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and... I did not want to run.  Ya, had absolutely 0 motivation to get out there and run.  And the birds really weren't chirping and if the sun is up that means there's going to be the humidity factor.  So I decided to do a circuit instead.

I did yet another week 3 of Jillian Michael's 30 day Shred.  It's still hard, but I can tell I'm getting better.  There are just a lot of exercises that were hard or that I couldn't really do the first time.  Now, I'm able to do almost all of those hard exercises!  The balance ones are still being a pain, but my balance is getting better.

In other news...

2 weeks from today I will be on a plane heading to CA.  Yup, 2 weeks and 2 days from now is the Disneyland Half.  I can't believe it's already here pretty much... I wish I had more time, but I can't really help that now.  Time to buckle down and get ready for the fun!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I've done it again!

That's right... I've reached another goal with Nike+.  This time it was to run 15 times in 5 weeks, so 3 times a week.  I was originally ahead of schedule by a few days, but then with dive training at work and other things going on I fell behind.  Still... my 5 weeks was actually up tomorrow so I am a day ahead.

I know I just posted a few days ago on while running in the morning is the best, but I actually ran this final run this AFTERNOON.  That's right, you read it correctly.  I ran in the afternoon.  I was so close to not running, but then I said I had to so I got up, and went down.  Luckily there weren't too many people in the gym and a treadmill was open.  With no excuse I was able to get a 2 miler in.  I'm still on the fence on if I'll run tomorrow morning or not... I have an extra 1/2 hour before I have to leave for work (I'm going in later to stay later...).  Hm... what to do?  What to do???

Whether or not I run tomorrow, I have another question to ponder.  What should my next goal be?  Another frequency goal?  Or maybe a distance goal?  Decisions Decisions...  Any ideas?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

3 Weeks Out...

... And I'm not still convinced this is going to be the greatest race.  I've started thinking of the things I'll need to pack, what I want to wear (more of which T-shirt I want to wear), and what I might need to get at the store before the race.

I confess I didn't run yesterday even though I was hoping for a 5 miler.  No worries though.  I ran 5.11 miles today.  It felt pretty good, although my pace is all over the pace, from 8:45 minutes to 11:45.  I'll need to get that handled, but I think my pacing consistency should hopefully get better when I get out of the humidity.  

Towards the end of the run I was feeling dehydrated, one of the main reasons I ended it when I did.  When I got back I had one of my coconut waters.  I learned that it definitely tastes better the colder it is.  After resting and finishing the coconut water I was able to get small cool down in at the pool.  Still the best way to cool down in my opinion... Now I'm still not completely sure if coconut water is totally worth it, we'll see how sore I am tomorrow and how I feel for the rest of the day.  

I'm thinking about getting up even earlier next week to get a 6-7 miler in and then about the same the week after that.  Then of course, it's 13.1 as I take on the Disneyland Half.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Pro's to Running In The Morning

Running in the morning does involve a few hurdles to get over.  To begin with... you have to wake up... probably pretty early.  If you're actually able to drag yourself out of bed, you then have to face whatever the weather is.  Sometimes it's a foggy or raining morning, other times it can be a hot morning as the heat index has decided to climb out of control.  The final hurdle, at least for me, is figuring out how far I can run.

I take full advantage of the days when I have no work and usually have my so called longer runs on those days.  Of course right now that isn't too long, but I am still planning on changing that.  On days I do have work I can only run maybe 4 miles without waking up any earlier than I really want to.  The dilemmas of morning running...

Still, I would rather face all these issues with waking up early than have to run in the afternoon.  Now I have friends who run in the evening and get to go farther than me because they have no time restraints due to work.  Still, they have to wait till the evening till the temperatures get cooler before they can go out.

My other issue is... I almost never want to workout after work.  I want to crash on the couch or take a nap.  Working out is the last thing on my mind.  If I do have that itch, I'll be more than happy to workout in the afternoon.

Now I would understand how running and working out would be a great idea to wind down from a hard day at work, but I'd just rather have a quiet decompression period.  Even today, which wasn't the easiest day, I decided to take a nap to help get rid of a headache than workout to unwind.

Tomorrow's my day off so we'll see how far I get.  While I don't have work, I do have an unofficial meeting so I still might not get too long.  I'm hoping for at least 5 miles, but we'll see when the time comes.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Week In Review

So this week I actually spent 3 days not running, but did do a circuit 1 of those days, and was SCUBA diving for work on another.  Still, I didn't like having so many days off in a row.  It would have been 2 days like all the other work weeks, but unfortunately they were painting the gym here and so the gym was closed and I didn't have time to run outside before work.

Still, I've gotten a few runs in this week and combined with that circuit workout I have been sore!  I jumped up to week 3 of Jillian Michael's after only doing week 2 two or three times.  I figured week 2 wasn't making me too sore and I could handle week 3.  Plus, there was the fact I was just curious as to what was coming next.  Well... I was dying by the end of the workout.  No joke was it a killer!  I'll definitely be sticking with week 3 for a bit before I move on to week 4!

Today I'm taking a day off to let my muscles and me just relax.  My resolve might falter soon and I might attack another session of week 3 Jillian Michael's or any of her other videos I have.  I haven't quite decided yet... it's still somewhat early here so my day off might get a quick workout at some point...

Tomorrow I'll have another run followed by 2 early days at work, and then some more running.  Just 4 weeks from tomorrow I'll be racing in the Disneyland Half... It's crazy how fast it's gotten here, but I'm excited to get back to Cali, run the race, and see everyone again!

On a side note, I've started to try coconut water on a recommendation from one of the guys at work whose whole family seems to be runners (his son-in-law has raced on every continent except Antartica... how cool is that???).  I'm trying it for a bit before I make any concrete opinions about it though.  Possibly another product review in the future?

Friday, August 5, 2011

5 Things I Like About Myself

This topic was started as a tag challenge, which I have accepted since I'm writing about it.  I got tagged by Patty at A Thousand Reasons to Run who was inspired to write her article by being tagged earlier.  So I figured I would step up to the challenge and go ahead and write the 5 things I like about myself...
  1. I'm A Hard Worker- No matter what I'm doing, I work hard at it.  Whether it's the newsletter I write at work, my running at home, or really anything else I decide I put my mind to... I make sure I work hard to do it correctly and as efficiently as I can.
  2. I'm Loyal- As most of my good friends know, I'll be fiercely loyal and will stand by my friends.  Now, I'm not worried to speak my mind if I don't agree with something they say, but if they need me, they know I'm there.
  3. I'm Creative- To me, life would be no fun without creativity.  Now I'm not an artist by means of drawing or building, but give me a pen and some paper and I can write almost anything.  I love thinking outside the box for everything.  Like I said... it makes life fun.
  4. I'm Adventurous- I'm willing to try everything at least once... and maybe more often.  I recently realized that bell peppers aren't as bad as I thought.  They still aren't my favorite and I won't go looking specifically for some peppers as a snack, but I'm not avoiding them anymore.  I'm also willing to try various activities, like sky diving (possibly in the near future), zip lining, or crossing rickety old bridges even though I have a fear of heights.
  5. I Know How To Have Fun- I always like to be smiling, or laughing.  Now, having fun doesn't mean going out a lot, going to theme parks everyday, or spending a lot of money.  Sometimes just hanging out with friends or having dinner together can be all that's needed.  So whether it's a quiet night in or park hopping at Disney on a day off... I'm always up to have a good time.  Luckily, I'm also able to have a good time at work, which makes life and work so much easier.
So there you go, my 5 things. Now I don't have too many followers, and I know some people follow through emails who don't have blogs.  So I hereby challenge everyone who reads this to think of the 5 things that they like about themselves...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Best Way To Cool Down...

I was able to get back out on the road today.  I wish I could say it felt amazing, but in all honesty it really didn't.  My stomach was heavy from dinner the night before still, although running made it feel a lot better. I could tell I needed to drink more water and it was just plain hot.

Now, I knew coming to Florida in the summer meant I would be living in hot, humid temperatures and learning to run in them.  Just because I accepted that fact doesn't mean I like it or that I'm adjusting all that quickly.  My outdoor runs are better than the first one I had way back in June when I was staying at Saratoga Springs... still not enjoying the humidity or heat.

Considering I was forcing this run and just not feeling great, I originally told myself I only had to go 2 miles... just a quick out and back pretty much.  Ya, well I lied to my body and actually went 4.17 miles.  So I was at least a mile off from where I wanted to go, but over 2 miles more than I originally thought I would go this morning.

As I was walking back, a great idea struck me.  The best way to cool off... jump in the pool!  I mean, I sweated enough I already felt like I had been in a pool, but a nice cool refreshing dip was calling my name and I was more than happy to respond.  So I got home, changed into a suit, and made my way over to the pool... I don't think I've been happier to step into a pool...

So I've decided that the runs I do on my day off are going to end in the pool as a way to relax.  Might get some stretching in while I'm there or possibly some water jogging, which I've done in the past, so who knows.  It definitely made the end of my run a lot nicer and cooler.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Checking In

So I did take a few days off... Partially because I had some early mornings at work where I was also SCUBA diving, but then also because they were repainting the gym I've been using.  So I took a grand total of 3 days off before running again.

I got in a small 2 mile run in yesterday, a Jillian Michael's DVD today, and hopefully a long run outside tomorrow morning.  I'm still 1 run ahead of my Nike+ goal so I'm excited about that.

I am still a bit worried about how far I'm running considering the race is in just over 6 weeks and I've still only run 6.75 miles as my longest.  Yet even with the hesitation, I'm still excited for the race.  I've started making plans for after the run to see friends and family.

I'm hoping for a 5+ mile run tomorrow morning so we'll see how that one goes...