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...