Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Today was may day off from working out.  There are still some hints of soreness in my arms and in other areas, but overall not bad.  Still, I figured today was a good day to take a break.

Now, because I'm not working out I was thinking of what I was eating somewhat.  Which brings me to something I have been looking at...

A few weeks ago the USDA replaced the classic food pyramid with the new "MyPlate".  When I originally started looking at it I did agree with some of the initial thoughts that it was better than the food pyramid.  I liked how it showed you how a plate should look and thus could give a person a better idea about what their meals should look like.  Although, I do miss the little pictures, but I guess I'll have to admit I'm an adult and I don't need pictures depicting everything now.

Now there are two things that I don't like about MyPlate.

First, it's not very realistic.  Who is really going to make their plate look like that?  Also, I've never seen a pasta plate, pizza, or teriyaki bowl look like that.  Yes, I understand it's an idealistic concept that doesn't reflect exactly how your plate should be, but still.  I like my veggies, but typically my proteins and carbs tend to take up a majority of my plate.  There are also concerns about the idea being affordable.  There is a writer on CNN who wrote this article debating MyPlate and if it is affordable and possible to the everyday American.  He is also tweeting for everyone to see if its possible.  There is another CNN article where people have made their ideal MyPlate which is pretty entertaining, and in all honesty, probably more realistic.  You can find the article here.

Second, when you go to the USDA's site, there's an option to personalize your MyPlate where they show the amount of each food type you should be eating.  However, it also asks for height and weight to compute your BMI or Body Mass Index, which basically tries to tell you if you're overweight or not.  I have a huge issue with people using just height and weight to decide if you're obese or not.  According to the USDA, I am slightly overweight, like 1-2 points into that category.  I've said it before, yes I know I can loose some weight.  However, I don't think I'm "overweight".  I think I'm healthy and athletic.  I just had a physical and they had me in the medium build area and I came through with flying colors (pretty much in the "perfect" or "good" numbers for everything from pulse and blood pressure to all the blood sample tests).  So, I am very skeptical when someone or a website is telling me I'm not in a healthy range strictly because of my height and weight.  Remember... muscle weighs more than fat.

Overall, I think the MyPlate idea is better than the pyramid, but I never stopped before deciding on dinner to think about the pyramid and if what I was eating fell into those standards.  I'm not going to worry about my dinners now and if they match the MyPlate, but I am trying to eat more veggies and fruits, and just healthier overall.  I will not be following it to a T or worrying if the government thinks I'm overweight or not.  My dinner's my own, my body's my own.

Obviously, these opinions are my own and there are plenty of articles out on MyPlate that both praise and criticize the new dietary plan.  You can go out and look at the USDA's website and other sites that have reviewed the plan to go make your own decisions.  Another article I looked at was a review on Esquire you can find here.

So, what do you think of the MyPlate plan?  Do you follow it or at least try to?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Running In Place

After this morning I have been on a treadmill a grand total of 2 times.  Yup, once a few years ago when I went to the gym during my winter swim break with a friend and then today.

Like I said yesterday, I'm kind of nervous to run outside here in Orlando, mainly because there aren't great sidewalks near my apartment complex (ok, just grass on the side of the road) and I really don't know how drivers react and what not.  I have seen people running outside so I know it's nothing too terrible, but I'm still going to wait for a bit.  I've been told some of my future coworkers run during lunch so I figured I'd wait and run with them to learn some routes.  I'll just have to get used to the heat and humidity... joy.

Still, I need to run.  The half marathon will hurt if I just do abs, arms, and yoga workouts.  I might be stronger in general, but my cardio probably won't be where it needs to be and what not.  So I went back to the gym today and decided to try and run on the elliptical and then I saw the treadmills and decided I'd give that a go for a while.

My original plan was to run 4 miles total, 2 on the treadmill and then 2 on the elliptical.  I ended up just getting into a groove and the treadmill and went all 4 miles on it.  It just felt more natural to me than the elliptical and so I just fell into a rhythm and kept going.  It did help there were little mini-tv's set up on the treadmill so I was able to watch the news while I ran.

Overall, the run felt really good and the treadmill wasn't as bad as I originally thought.  Do I still like running outside better?  Of course.  Will I survive running on a treadmill?  In the humidity here, you betchya.

So the run report for the day:
Total Distance: 4.01 Miles
Time: 40:41
Pace: 10'08"/mi
Personal Record: 5K at 31:14

Since I've been using the Nike+ app on my phone, I've also been playing with the Nike website where it stores your run info.  A week and a half or so ago I had made a goal to run 10 times by July 14th and I can say I am perfectly on track for that right now, and who knows... I might just beat it.

Tomorrow I'll be resting, I think.  If I'm feeling good I might to a quick workout after work or something, but we'll see....

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Abs and Yoga

First thing I felt this morning... my shoulders were super sore.  I guess that weight workout was more than I thought, but I'm not one to get deterred by some soreness and pain.  Actually, I'm one of those people that while I complain about being sore, I love actually being sore.  I believe it shows that I've done something in my workout and I've worked hard.  It's a reward in a crazy way I guess.

Even though I could barely lift my shoulders I went ahead and popped Jillian Michael's 6 Weeks 6 Pack.  The workout is hard.  It's one circuit you do twice, although it feels like you're doing circuits within the big one, however you only repeat and exercise if you're changing sides.  Again, my first impressions are positive.  It was hard and I was sweating a lot, but it was a good hard workout.  My abs currently aren't sore, but we'll see if that changes.  If not... then I guess I'll just have to push myself harder.

When I was done with the abs, I started the yoga workout.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to actually finish it this time because I had to get ready for work.  I went through the first routine and used the yoga to stretch out a bit.

Tomorrow... I'm planning on using the elliptical.  I'll admit that I'm a bit scared to find a new route in Orlando... It's a new place and what not.   I'll figure out a way to get outside again soon though, I promise you and myself that.  For now, it'll be the elliptical.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Weight Room!

When I was swimming for my college I worked out in a weight room for a few hours each week.  It wasn't much compared to the other sports, or even the other swimmers since it wasn't as important for distance swimmers.  Ever since I quite swimming, I've been trying to do home weights or anything else I could find to emulate the experience I had in the weight room.

Of course, nothing is exactly the same.  However, my new complex has a small weight room in the "clubhouse".  I was able to get a glance at it for a brief second when I checked in, but nothing more.  Today I actually took some time and decided to look around...

It was a bit small, but is perfect for a good arm workout.  There are a few weight machines, 2 stationary bikes, 3 treadmills, and 2 ellipticals.  I guess when it gets too hot to run outside I can use the ellipticals.  I did get in about a 20 minute arm workout, just using the hand weights and one of the benches.  I also used one of the physio balls for some abs before I left.  I didn't try any of the machines, but I might try some at another point in time.

I have yet to run still since Wednesday.  Work doesn't start till later tomorrow so maybe I'll run around my housing complex and see where some of the sidewalks lead?  Otherwise I might use an elliptical or treadmill and get an yoga or abs video in as well.  We'll just have to see...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Moving- A Workout of its Own

Currently, I'm looking out the window as the clouds roll by and the occasional person walks out to their car.  I have officially moved in and started my internship with Disney.  Due to all of the excitement in the last few days, the last time I ran was Wednesday and was only about 2 miles.

Remember- I'm from the west coast and I am completely not used to humidity.  I was originally planning to do more, but the humidity had me stopping at 2.  The biggest thing I noticed was at the my breaths were so heavy... I don't know if I'm getting out of shape, it was me warming up, or if it was the humidity.  I guess I'll have to run again soon to either get back in shape or get used to running in humidity.

However, I have not been completely lazy these last few days.  The last few days offered their own workout.  It's called lugging my luggage, few things that were packed in the car, and groceries up to my 3rd floor apartment.  In the 2 days I've lived here, I have felt those stairs at least once each day.  I've made so many trips up and down those stairs that I'm resting for the rest of the day.

I do plan on getting a run in soon... however I do have early mornings until Tuesday it looks like.  I guess my running won't be so regular anymore, but that's part of having a professional life- working around work schedules.  My manager says a lot of people run during their lunch break so I might have to suck it up and run in the heat and humidity (and follow it up with guzzling down a ton of water).  Hopefully I'll figure out a routine so my training doesn't take such a hit.

So it's not really a secret that I'm a fan of Jillian Michael's training videos.  Well, guess what I found today?  They have packaged weights, yoga mats, and whatever else she uses together.  I picked up the one with a yoga mat and 3 pound weights which apparently goes with 30 Day Shred.  It's just so convenient and it was under $20 at Walmart!

Tomorrow will be a lot of walking, but I've started to feel that itch to get some sort of workout down.  I was thinking about going to the gym today, but unfortunately finishing the move in process (somewhat) has gotten in the way.  So tomorrow... I will do a workout... I promise!

Remember how I said I was watching the cloud outside?  Ya... it's raining now.  The 3:00 showers are here...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Two Days In A Row!

So I ran two days in a row, yes that's twice in two days and typically more frequent than I usually like.  I like having a day or so to let my legs rest and as I've said before that's usually when I'll do one of my DVD workouts.  However, since I fly out to Florida tomorrow, I've decided to run today as well.

Neither run was very long.  Yesterday's was just over 2.5 miles and today's run was only 2 miles.  However, today's hurt.

Some background: I have 2 pairs of running shoes I alternate for practices.  I originally did it to increase the lifespan of my good ones (so I'm not always wearing them), but I was also told it allows my feet to land in various places if I have 2 different shoes.  Both of my shoes are Nike's, but one is more padded than the other.  The padded one I love (I've had a few generations of it) and I also use a high arc support in it.  The other one is good, it wraps around my foot almost like a glove, but has less padding.

What I've discovered is that my second shoe just isn't great for me.  I'm sure it works wonderfully for others, but for me, not so much.  I usually start feeling shin splints after it or it makes some of my leg muscles more sore/painful than they normally would be.  Since being home and around hills, this problem has only increased.  I've finally come to the conclusion that I won't be wearing the second shoes for running.  I will be using them for other workouts and possibly some walking.  I do plan on looking for a second pair of running shoes again, but I plan to make sure they are more like my original shoes.

Looking into the future, at least for the next few days, I'm honestly not sure when I'll be able to run again.  I'm flying to Florida for my internship tomorrow and the training starts on Thursday.  So far the emails from my managers make the training sound pretty intense, but I should be able to find some time to run... I just might be running on a treadmill or (preferably) an elliptical for a while.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Working Out at The Park

I ventured down to Disneyland yesterday to have some fun with friends before I leave for Florida.  Luckily, yesterday was my rest day so while I did go on my usual walk, I did not worry about getting in any other workout.  Well... that is till I got to the park.

Obviously when you visit a Disney park, you'll be doing a lot of walking.  Luckily, I was as sore as I was expecting from my long run so I didn't mind all of the walking.  Plus you have to be quick on your feet to avoid all of the little kids, strollers, and people in general.  It's like walking an obstacle course all day.

Then there's one really good place for a workout... Tarzan's Tree House.  You have your stairs, shaky bridges, and you're still avoiding all the running kids.  I'm sure if you climb up and down that house, you could burn a good number of calories (I know I was feeling it in my legs by the end of one climb... I'm blaming muscle fatigue from the day before).

Other ideas of places to burn calories?  The Pirate's Lair (formerly Tom Sawyer's Island).  There's enough room to run and climb in there that it really is a gym in disguise.  You can also row a canoe around the Rivers of America and considering it looked like only a 1/4 of the boat was actually rowing, that should be a good arm workout.  Now, I have actually never been on Tom Sawyer's Island nor have I done the rowing, but from observations, they just look like good places to get a fun little workout in.

Obviously, I doubt you're going to burn a lot of calories at Disneyland.  There's too much good tasting food that's probably not the best for you (at least in the portion size they give you).  With the right restraint you won't gain a ton and can have a fun day.  Disney is also offering healthy snack alternatives like fresh fruit at stands right next to the Churro's and Pretzels.  It's just up to you to choose the right option (I admit, I don't usually, but I'm typically down there to splurge on my diet).

While I was at Disneyland, I received 2/3 of my Jillian Michael's DVD's!  Yoga Meltdown and 6 Week 6 Pack both arrived in the mail along with two books I bought.  The child within me opened up the DVD's this morning and eagerly got ready for a new and exciting workout.  I decided to try the yoga workout this morning and I only watched part of the 6 pack one (that's for tomorrow).

First impressions?  I really liked the yoga one.  Both DVD's offered level 1 or level 2 options and I started at level 1 since I haven't done any yoga in a while.  It was a good workout, not the hardest, but there was a lot of stretching involved since it was still focused around yoga.  Don't get me wrong though, doing some of the exercises that focused on my arms and shoulders definitely has me feeling them.  One thing that I realized during some of the poses that I'm stronger on one side than I am on the other, and the side depends on the workout.  So I guess there's something else for me to work on... I need to become more balanced.

I'll do a more in-depth review on the new DVD's after I have used them for a while.  Like I said though, first impressions are very good.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Long Runs Hurt... Period

I think I was sore before I was even done with my run this morning... which means the rest of the days is going to hurt (but most likely be spent resting in bed or on the couch since I'm on vacation still).

Now, a part of this really is my fault.  Since moving home I haven't been doing anything over 2.5 miles really, maybe a run or two close to 3, but still, not much considering the average of 4 miles I was doing at school.  There are two reasons I like to tell myself:

1. There are hills here and I really don't like hills (although I've been trying to conquer them all)

2. I like to run about 1/2 hour or so before my parents take the dog out so I can walk with them.  They walk early in the morning which I means I have to get up early to beat them.

So my endurance training is lacking to say the least; and I knew it going into my long run this morning.  But I just really really wanted to get one long run in before I left for Florida.  I knew I needed it physically and I really liked an old course I used to do when I ran to swim practice.  So I ran that course, plus a little extra and ended my run at about 7 miles.  An increase from my current farthest for this training session of about .5 of a mile and seriously longer than any of my recent runs.

Considering I knew I was going to be sore and I knew this was going to be a challenging run, I did stretch for a bit in the morning, occasionally on the run, and then when I got home.  I have a rolling stick and will probably roll out my legs later this afternoon and tomorrow (rolling sticks and foam rollers should be every athletes best stretching friend in my opinion).

Now, I don't sit at a light and jog in place.  I see that red hand as a signal saying "Stop, breathe, stretch". I have bad ankles that can also run into my calves and light poles are just perfect for stretching my ankle and calves.  So I spend those few seconds stretching.  I usually feel better after I stretch on the light (occasionally I get a nice pop that really makes a difference) and can once again attack the run.  On my longer runs I'm actually hoping I hit a red light so I get that break, and at times I give myself that break just so I can catch my breath and get those ankles stretched.

The other cause of pain from long runs?  Chaffing.  Ya, it sucks and I don't know any runners who haven't chaffed at some point.  On the half marathons I keep learning of new places I chaff on the super long runs, but typically I chaff in my inner thighs and under my arms.  Unfortunately, this has been happening more recently because I've ran out of my Bodyglide.  I've had so much I haven't had to buy any in years and I ran out about a month or so ago.  So guess what I'm getting this weekend?  Bodyglide!  Especially since with the help of Bodyglide or a product like it, I can prevent and eliminate chaffing and thus prevent one source of pain from running.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Product Review: Jillian Michael's Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism DVD

Coming from years of swimming competitively and then a few years competing in triathlons, I understand the importance of cross training.  It is something that really should be worked in to everyone's training routine in my opinion.  Every sport is great for something... running is great for cardio, weight lifting for muscle growth and toning, and swimming for maintaining your shape and increasing lung capacity.  If you want all of the results, then you have to work at all of the sports.  It's the simple

Since I'm now mostly running and walking, I've looked into doing some circuit training and light weight work outs in order to keep up with my cross training and to stay in shape in general.  I have race goals in running and toning goals in life as well.  So as part of my training I've been using Jillian Michael's DVD's. I've used two in the past; her "Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism" and "No More Trouble Zones".  Considering I haven't worked with the trouble zone DVD in a while, I'm going to review her "Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism DVD".
Jillian Michael's DVD, all rights are hers.
Jillian Michael's has kick boxing in her history and it shows in this DVD.  A lot of the routines are throwing punches or kicks.  It really makes it a lot of fun because you can visualize all your frustration and kick some invisible ass!  I've always been interested in kick boxing and so I think the video is a lot of fun.  While the work out is fun it's still hard.  You have to be prepared to sweat.  I'm usually sweating by the end of the 2nd circuit, if not before that.

What does the workout consist of?
A warm up, 7 circuits, and a cool down.  Each circuit consists of 5 activities and you go through the entire circuit twice.

What do you need?
You, the mindset that you will get it done, a towel because you will be sweating, and some water.

What's the intensity level?
I would estimate it to be around an intermediate/advanced level.  However, Jillian does talk about how to alter some of the exercises to make them easier or harder.  My shoulder is still hurting and so I put my knees down during a push-up-like exercise.  She also showed you how to make it harder by lifting one foot while doing the same exercise.

The good?
The workout definitely makes you work and you feel it.  You might be painfully sore after the first one, but usually you're just sweaty with the shadows of soreness in some muscles.  You can also do the workout anywhere because you don't need anything.  I've been keeping the DVD in my computer and just setting it up where I can do my workout.  It's great for rainy days when you can't run or get to the gym or run or if you don't have a gym membership or any weights with you.

The bad?
You have to have the right mindset to complete the DVD.  It does feel like it is super wrong and is taking forever, but that's part of doing a workout by yourself with no one else around.  Like I said earlier, you have to have the right mindset to get through it.  I personally don't like the music so I usually have my ipod on for music of the TV on next to it so I have something else to hold my attention and get me through the workout.  The best solution? Find a workout buddy to do it with you and then make some smoothies or have some other after workout snack together.

Overall, I really love my Jillian Michael DVD's.  I've had the Fat Burner and the Trouble Zones for about 2 years and have done them spontaneously these last couple of years.  I am working on doing them more.  I was thinking about focusing on one video a week that way I never get bored of one video and I change up the workout so I can shake up my muscle's memory.

I have also ordered 3 new DVD's from Jillian Michaels.  They should be getting here within the next week and I'll be getting into each one as soon as I can.  The "Ripped in 30" is on its way and I'm still waiting for "Yoga Meltdown" and "6 Week Six-Pack" to be shipped.  I'm getting excited though!

I'll review the new videos, as well as Trouble Zones as I work through them again.  I'll also be reviewing running apps and some workout items that are my personal favorites.

As a note: I am not a personal trainer, nor do I consider myself an expert on any level when it comes to sports equipment or workouts.  These are just my opinions of the items I use in my workout.  Try them out for yourself if you're interested, if not, ignore them.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Eating Through Celebrations

I was originally going to post a product review for either the Nike+ app or Jillian Michael's DVD's.  However, this past weekend had me looking at another issue that a lot of athletes, and people in general face.  How do you get through celebrations without gaining what feels like a 100 pounds?

Some background: I graduated from college this weekend which meant there were multiple dinners, parties, and of course the ceremony itself.

I was obviously around a lot of food this weekend, and a lot of good food to say the least.  I went to two restaurants with my parents, family, and family friends where we had 3 course meals.  Then there was my Dad's home cooked meals, especially at my graduation party, which is always amazing.  He even made my favorite desert: tiramisu!

I did survive the weekend with minimal if no weight gain.  No I didn't run (I know, shameful, but unfortunately true).  Now I wasn't counting the calories of every savory bite I ate.  However, I was walking around, running around for errands and getting the house ready, and just being active overall.

I was aware of my snacking (I was the official taste tester for my Dad) and just how much I was eating.  I also understand just how much I have to run, how many circuits I will have to do, etc.  I did get a few reverse pull ups in (I'm past half way up doing a regular pull up!) and a quick 20 min circuit for my arms.  Not my ideal situation for my workouts, but graduation is exhausting in general!

So my plan now that graduation is done? Consciously be aware of what I'm eating, get back into a running and workout schedule, and just continue living.  I'll be having fun training and enjoying all of my food as I run my way into better shape.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

This ties into my other blog, but...

Happy World Oceans Day!!!
Blue Whale Fluke in the Channel Islands

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Beating the Bug

Illnesses are a part of life and they love to bring us down.  Currently, my house has a bug going around and while I don't feel too bad my sinuses are draining to my throat.  Considering I'm graduating and moving soon as well as training for all these races, I'm not planning on getting sick.  I am going to beat this bug.


First, of course I'm keeping hydrated, eating right, etc... I'm also drinking juice and taking airborne in order to stop it.  I'm not completely certain airborne works, but I want to hit this bug with everything so it doesn't get the chance to grow into something bigger.

Second, I'm keeping with my workout plan.  I was told at some point one of the best things to do when you're sick is to get up, get moving, and get some fresh air.  Of course, you don't push it if you can't do it, but I'm still keeping with the walking and running now.  I'm getting the fresh air and getting my blood pumping.  In all honesty, after I went out on the walk my throat felt better.

So we'll see if my pro-active, blood pumping theory works in the next few days I guess.  I'm thinking today I might spend part of the day outside.  It's become absolutely beautiful since the rain moved off yesterday afternoon.

Monday, June 6, 2011

I'm Running in the Rain

Ok... well it's not real rain as compared to the rain I will be getting when I move to Orlando... It's Cali rain which usually ranks up there with sprinkles.  Today was no different.  It was just enough to make everything wet, but I wasn't being pounded by rain drops.  

Personally, I love running in the rain.  It keeps you cool and it just creates this misty world around you.  It's amazing how some water in the air can change an environment so much.  I'll run in mist and rain unless I'm sick, but coming from California, we don't really get rain.  We get fog, lots of it in the summer, but it's not the same.

The other great thing about running in the rain?  I get to wear my favorite running clothes, a long sleeve jersey and black running tights... It's usually too hot to wear them in the spring and summer and even fall, but come the winter or any of these nice rain storms, and they get to come out.

Now, while I personally enjoy running in the rain... I would rather NOT graduate in it.  So, if Mother Nature would be so kind as to get all this rain out of her system throughout the week and have an absolutely gorgeous weekend, that would be much appreciated!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Working Through Changing Plans

Isn't it amazing how quickly well laid out plans can change?  I thought I would be running along the beach yesterday, instead I ended up SCUBA diving because my class meant for today had to be moved to yesterday.  I then thought I would still be running along the beach today, but instead I ended up walking Captain Jack, the family dog, through our neighborhood.

So no running since my long run on Thursday.  My activities since then?

Walking, SCUBA diving, and some more walking.  I have also been doing reverse pull ups.  My arms are getting sore, but I'm still doing them!

Now, with SCUBA diving it doesn't seem like the hardest of workouts, and it really isn't.  Still, this morning my back is a bit sore from carrying the tank and BCD around on the boat.  We don't carry it around too much luckily, and the boat crew takes care of loading the tanks.  We did fight a bit of a current when we were diving near the edge of the island, but that was the biggest workout of the trip.  So, like I said, unless I'm doing beach diving not the greatest of workouts, but you usually come away feeling something.

Tomorrow I will definitely be running.  Probably only about 3 miles, but I definitely need to get out... I'm starting to feel that itch that comes with getting stir crazy...

Friday, June 3, 2011

A New Idea

So maybe I didn't think about what I wanted to write about all the way through... I had an idea and I went with it... and now it's changing.  I realized yesterday during my run that while I did think a lot and relived some of the memories I shared, I really don't have that many thought provoking ideas running through my head.  I'm more focused on how I'm feeling (usually debating how much pain I'm compared to the last time I ran), what I'm going to eat after I shower, what song is on or about to come on, and of course: how much farther do I have?

I have decided to change the focus... this is going to be my training/fitness blog now.  I'm not going to be advocating workout routines or anything like that, but just sharing what I'm doing.  I'm hoping that by sharing my training with everyone that I will be held slightly more responsibly to do the workout.

Since I quit swimming and don't have to be practicing close to 24 hours a week, my training has been slacking.  I kept going pretty well for a year with triathlon training, but after that I just kept coming up with excuses.  It's time to end the excuses.

My plan?
- Run 2-3 times a week (maybe a 4th if I'm feeling exceptionally good)
- Walk the mornings I'm not running
- If I don't get a walk or run in, at least a 20 minute workout whether it's calisthenics, hand weights, etc...
- I want to eventually do 1 damn pull up! And of course after I can do 1, I want to do 2, then 3... you get the point...

So, this morning?

I walked with my dog for about 30 minutes.  There was a house fire yesterday in my neighborhood and I decided to go see what the damage was without all the firetrucks and spectators in the way.  It didn't look too bad, just one side of the house was burned pretty bad.  Luckily, the residents were able to remain in the house since the fire was only in one side.

After our walk (and feeding the horses and dog), I did a few reverse pull ups (jump up, hold, then slowly let myself down- takes about 8 seconds) and then did a hand weight arm routine I've been doing for a little while.

I started doing the reverse pull ups when I started moving back home, which happened to be where my pull up bar was.  Today I actually saw a difference!  Before I was able to do 1, but the second one hurt... a lot.  Today, I was able to do 5!  And the first three I held for 8 seconds instead of 5!

Now, lets just wait and see if those reverse pull ups made me sore?  How many will I be able to do tomorrow?  Don't know, but I'm excited to find out now...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Running Through Memories

Today was my last day running the streets and trails around my college.  I've been running here for 4 years and for quite a bit of the run today I thought about some the times I had on the trails.

I ran on the beach with my old swim team... going from running in an organized group to madness as we all dashed the last mile to the finish (and to keep ahead of our coach).

I ran to the old pier just off campus with the tri team... those two running practices were the last two organized running practices I ever had.  Unfortunately, shin splints had me walking for a few weeks before slowly starting to increase my pace.

I saw a grey whale just off of campus one one overcast morning.  I actually stopped running and watched for a little bit.  I eventually continued to run next to the beach and ran with the whale for about a quarter of the mile, maybe a bit less.  The crazy thing?  I saw another in the same spot the next year.

I started running towards the other side of campus and would occasionally see dolphins playing in the waves off the point, or sea lions resting out on some of the buoys around the oil rig.  There were also some of the most beautiful sun rises over the oceans and through the clouds on the runs... sun rises I don't think I'll ever be able to replicate.

When I was training for the Disneyland Half Marathon last year I was running my first 7-8 miler.  I was on mile 6 when I passed one of the girls from my swim team (at this point I had already quit).  I didn't stop to see her, but I did raise up 6 fingers with a giant smile on my face.  She cheered me on as she biked past and we eventually talked later about it.  Still, that was the first time I showed off what I was doing to some of my old teammates.

There were some bad moments as well... crappy days where I just cut my run short or when I got run off the road...

There's one street down by the slough and I was running it as usual when a bright yellow porsche came speeding down, apparently not caring about anything.  The street is frequented by runners, walkers, bird watchers, and children at a special needs school and Boys and Girls club.  You would think this guy would be a bit more careful???  Anyway, I jumped off to the side, scraped up my knee and apparently twisted my ankle.  I kept running (my ankle didn't hurt) and eventually cleaned up my knee at a public bathroom farther on my route.  After a break from running my ankle injury would came back, but has since healed.  I never did see the car again (luckily) and I can just hope the driver is a bit more careful in that area...

One of my favorite running memories hasn't been when I'm running, but when I went to show off my medals.  I went back to my old swim coach to show off my Disneyland medal.  He didn't know I had been training for that race, or anything in general, and couldn't believe that I had done a half marathon.  We talked about the race, how I felt, how I did, etc... He was impressed with my time until I mentioned I had stopped on occasion to take pictures with characters.  He gave me "the look", but continued to congratulate me.  It meant a lot because I always looked up to my college swim coach and he's always been and is still a huge supporter of mine.

Speaking of medals... Disney posted a picture of the medal for this year's half marathon!  You can find the blog posting here.  Awesome isn't it?  Can't wait to show it off along with the Coast to Coast medal!