Monday, January 30, 2012

Fail? Or Just Hit A Limit?

Today was an off run day and so I popped a couple Jillian Michael DVDs into my computer and decided to get a strength workout in.

I started really well.  I jumped back into week 3 of 30 Day Shred and it was pretty intense.  By the 3rd and final circuit my arms and quads were screaming at me. I could barely hold myself up.  I'll admit, there were a few exercises that I did skip.  I figured I was going to do another circuit workout that I could give myself that.

So I decided to move ahead and work on Jillian's Yoga Meltdown DVD.  I figured I would get some good stretches in, loosen up some of the soreness that had set into my legs last night.  But, have I mentioned that pretty much nothing that Jillian Michael's does is easy?  Ya, because it's not.

I barely got through the first part of the Yoga meltdown before collapsing.  My arms were just too tired and my legs were on fire.  There were a lot of static poses added for strength that just made me feel like I was going to collapse into a pile of mush. So yes, I quit.

I still go a pretty decent 30 minute workout in and my arms are still humming from the workout.  These DVDs are meant to be intense and done individually, not together.

I can't decide if I should have kept going and modified my moves or if I really did just hit a limit.  I'm probably going to be sore and my muscles will be singing for a while, but I'll question if I could have gone farther.  Of course, it is probably better that I didn't push myself too far since I have the Princess Half in just a few weeks.  I ran it last year with my ankle injured (or well on the way to recovery) and I don't want to do that again this year.

Here's how I am justifying this... Tomorrow I plan to run 3-5 miles (probably closer to 5) with at least one circuit afterwards.  Now, depending on how board and restless I get since it is my day off I might do an afternoon workout again. Get back into those doubles that I used to do when I was a competitive swimmer and triathlete.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A 9 Mile Day...

This morning I was able to get out and run 9 miles!  It really did feel good.  Getting that one calf to finally loosen up helped a lot.

But as I'm sure you all know, you never really feel the soreness and pain from a run directly after the run. Unless there's an injury or a tight muscle, I normally feel pretty good after my runs.  On runs like today, I actually have to stop myself from running more, which is a pretty amazing feeling to have.

And then usually the soreness hits.  Yet today, it wasn't nearly as bad.  I give credit to the fact I had to work and thus I was standing up and constantly moving.  I was able to work all that lactic acid out of my legs and while they did get tight for a bit, they also loosened up.

I honestly don't think I've felt this great after a long run in a long time... if ever.  So now I guess it's a good thing to work after I have long runs?

11 Random Things

So I just got back from a long run, sat down to relax and enjoy a nice bowl of yummy fruit when I noticed this chain-blog topic on My Dirt Road Anthem.  So here goes my turn at it:

The Rules:
1. Post these rules
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people!

So the random things about me

1) While in college, my academic counselors told me I should be majoring in a liberal art or anthropology... I ended up with a Zoology degree.  In their defense, my best grades were in classes with a writing element and I also finished with a Professional Writing minor.

2) Some of my running gear has come from my dad.  He used to be a cyclist and while he can't wear some of his stuff anymore, I can and I love to run in it.  Actually, my favorite running shirt is his old long sleeved red jersey.

3) I was told when I was 13 I had a knee condition and I would never be able to run or swim breaststroke without getting knee surgery.  Within the next year, I was competing in triathlons, but I never did end up swimming the breaststroke.

4) My first trip to Disney World was when I was 5 and I was terrified by the SciFi dine in theatre... I now work at Disney World and I have yet to go back to the SciFi diner... I have tried, there was just too long of a wait when I went.

5) I've always loved working with animals in on way or another.  I started with horses and dogs, then moved to marine mammals (mainly sea lions) in college, and now I get to help with dolphins and manatees at work.  As my dad says, there's not too many people who actually get to do what they said they would when they were 5, but I am.

6) My new favorite show on TV is Once Upon A Time... I absolutely love it!

7) My favorite work and walking shoes are Reebok's Easy Tones.  I don't really know why, but they've always helped my knees.

8) I was able to see Mary Poppins with the original London Cast when it was in Los Angeles last year. It was also the last outing I had with my grandmother so that night and the play are even more special to me now.

9) One of my life goals is to write and publish a book.  I have so many ideas, but it seems like I can't actually get them on a page.

10) I do miss my California life.  I miss being able to throw my board in my truck and go to the beach or have plenty of sidewalks to run on.  Most of all, I miss my friends and family that are all in California.  Without the current technology of cell phones, video calls, and the internet, I don't think I would have been able to make this move from California to Florida.

11) If I wasn't where I was now, working in conservation education, running, and living in Florida, I honestly don't know where I would be or what I would be doing.  I feel like I'm in the right place and to me, that makes any other option... well, not an option.

So there are my 11 random things about myself.  To answer the 11 question Christy had in her post:
1. Would you rather run in rain or heavy winds? Rain, definitely rain.
2. Coffee or tea? Depends on the time of day... coffee in the morning and tea the rest of the day.
3. Are you obsessed with Lululemon too even though they are overpriced? I'm a reebok fan :) There's a reebok outlet near me so I can get some of their gear pretty cheap too!4. Ever been outside the US? Yes!  Ireland!
5. What is your dream location? I really want to go back to Ireland.
6. Favorite song right now? "I Don't Want This Night To End" -Luke Bryan
7. One thing you hate about running? How much it costs to sign up for races.
8. Favorite book of all time? Anything Jane Austen, but probably Pride and Prejudice
9. Can you swim or are you a doggie paddler like me? I was a competitive swimmer and I hope I haven't lost my basic technique...
10. Do you burn candles with wicks or prefer the wickless ones like Scentsy? Don't usually, but I like candles every once and a while.
11.  Favorite candy? Anything with Chocolate... goes between Twix and M&Ms usually

My Questions for you guys:
1)What time of day is your favorite to run?
2) What's your favorite race?
3) Where would you like to travel to?
4) When it's time to relax, what do you do?
5) What's your favorite fruit?
6) What's your food weakness?
7) What's your favorite tv show?
8) What's your favorite book currently?
9) What was the last movie you saw in theaters?

Alright, so I'm not going to tag anyone, but I'd love for some of you to at least think about what you would write.  If you do, do this let me know!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Running In The Rain

I was planning on running somewhere around 8-9 miles this morning since I didn't have work, but when I stepped outside to get my headphones from my car, I found myself hesitating to leave the overhang.  It was raining... ok, well misting in Florida standards, but raining in California standards.

I will admite that I have used the rain as an excuse not to run, but today, I didn't give myself that option.  It goes back to that whole overcoming self-sabotage thing I talked about earlier this week.  I needed to get out and run.  While it wouldn't be the long run I had originally planned, I had to get out there for at least 3 miles.

So, I switched from my tech shirt to my dad's old long sleeve cycling jersey that I've come to rely on during colder times.  However, it wasn't really that cold.  I discovered that after I had started running and the rain decided to stop.

I did get my 3 miles in (and a little more), but they weren't my best 3 miles.  But you know what, today it doesn't matter.  I got out there and ran in conditions where I would normally hide inside.  I got out there and burned some calories, woke up, and got ready to take on the day.

So yes, I didn't get the 8 miles I had planned, but I'm not heart broken.  I'll get that run in, I'm already planning it for Sunday or Monday... The other good news, the knot in my calf is FINALLY loosening up.  It's taken its time, but it's finally loosening up.  So just remember...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

1 Month Out...

That's right, today is the 1 month marker till the Princess Half.  It's kind of hard to believe it's almost time to run again.  I've been thinking about last year's race and it definitely is making me excited!  Plus I have also found the pins for the race and I can't wait to get my hands on those...

So what am I doing to get ready?  In all honesty, I'm really not changing that much of my routine.  I'm still getting long runs in (doing this week's tomorrow so I'll report on that tomorrow).  I'm still stretching after my runs (and in the mornings or evenings when I remember).  Finally, I'm eating right still.  I'm making sure I eat just enough that I'm not gaining weight (actually losing!), but I have plenty of energy to get through my day and workout!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Feeling Sore, But No Regret

I know I've posted about being sore before, but it is just a constant when you're getting in shape, staying in shape, and working hard.  I've always believed that being sore is actually a good pain and that it means you've done something!  You might be having issues moving around because you're sore, but you don't have that feeling of regret gnawing away at you...

Yesterday hurt walking around work because my calves were screaming at me every time I went up or down the stairs and arms were sore whenever I tried to use them.  Today isn't as bad, but one calf is still tight and is still being a bit of a pain, but that will get rolled out in the next day or two.

And my plan... do some exercises after work for the next few days, but then hit it hard the days after that when the timing is better!  I'm planning on being sore for these next few weeks up to the princess... and then of course after the princess probably!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Overcoming Self Sabotage

So I've been open about the fact that a part of my inspiration to complete these running events comes from me wanting to lose weight and get healthy.  However, the biggest obstacle to reach these goals is myself.

While working out I realized how often I am arguing with myself over what I should be doing or what I should be eating.  This morning I decided to do Jillian Michael's Boost Metabolism, Banish Fat video.  It is one of my favorites because of all of the kickboxing moves.  However, it's not like this workout is easy...

During the workout I was constantly telling myself I would finish the workout and I would not give up.  It was hard because I haven't done a workout that hard in a while and I will admit that I did want to stop halfway through and about 2/3 of the way through, but I continued to push.  It was hard, but it did feel good at the end.

But if I think about it, I even try and tell myself to end runs early.  It really does take a certain mental toughness to get through a long run.

My self-sabotaging does not end when it comes to working out.  No, it comes to eating.  I don't know about you guys, but I do spend a good part of the day constantly going back and forth and debating what I want to eat and what I should eat.  Sometimes I stay strong and eat what I should, and other days I just let myself get what's easy (which usually isn't great for me).

Another issue with my diet is snacking.  I'll have a handful here and a handful there, but those handfuls eventually do add up.

Today has so far been a good day for me fighting back and not letting myself fall to the temptation of different foods and ending my workout early.  My goal: continue this determination and willpower for who knows how long.  For now, I leave you with this picture and idea:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Recovery Run

As I mentioned yesterday, my calves were really tight on my run.  They did get tighter during the day and then started to loosen up finally.  I decided to wear some of my heeled boots out to the movies yesterday so that I could lift my ankle up and give it some rest (a trick I learned last year after the Princess Half).

So this morning I decided to go out for just about 3 miles.  I ran most of it, but I also walked a lot of it.  Today wasn't meant for speed, nor distance.  It was just meant to get the blood flowing and try to relax some of my muscles, mainly my calf muscles.  Another part of my recovery was stretching.  I did some abs and arm routines after my short run, but I also spent some time stretching to make sure I really was loosening up those muscles.  As I'm sure everyone knows, stretching really is one of the most important injury preventions.

Luckily, I won't have to wait a week for my next run, just a few days instead.  In the mean time, there will be a lot of stretching and relaxing.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Good Run Leads To A Good Day

Ok, so this rule doesn't always work, but it does quite often.  Whenever I have a good run, I tend to have a good day.  I get things done, I feel good about myself, and I just have general good outlook on the day.

Today was no different.  I had a pretty good run this morning and so far I've had a great day.   I ran just over 7 miles, and even though my calves were tight most of the time, it still felt pretty good.  Then I got some good stretching in and the shower felt wonderful (which they almost always do after running).  Then I got out and attacked the day. I got my car washed (well, enough that it's not embarrassing anymore), checked up on my house, and had a pretty good brunch.  The great thing is, I got everything done before noon!

Luckily, I'm getting my mornings back to work out starting this week so not only will I be able to work out on a more regular basis, but I see good days ahead.

Now that I've gotten everything I needed to get done, done... I guess I have time to relax and read.  It's pretty warm here in Florida so I'm thinking I might go read by the pool.  Yes I know it's January, but I'm not going to pass up good weather!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

What I Feel Like When I Run...

So one of my friends posted this on her facebook page and I think I would have to agree:

Then again, running, like most sports, is mostly mental.  As long as you think you look like a pro, that's all that matters.  Who cares what you look like as long as you're getting out there and running.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A New Look!

I've spent my day off getting a great workout in, grocery shopping (which I was actually excited about because I wanted to find what I could make without a real kitchen and would still be healthy...), and working on the blog!

So take a look around, I've posted pages about my goals, all of my races, and Why I Run, which is a poem all about my oath to myself and my running.  So take a look around and explore!  Hope you guys like it!

Let's Get Lost

I've been moving around a lot recently.  My internship ended just over a week ago and I'm in temporary housing as my house gets built.  Due to the transient lifestyle, I've been finding new routes.

Yesterday, I checked out the map for the area where I'm staying and found what I thought would be a nice route to run.  I had no clue how far it would be or how long it would take me to get everywhere.  There were a lot of walking paths that intersected and deviated from each other so I knew it was going to be interesting.

This morning I got ready for my run and rechecked my map.  Again, I knew it was going to somewhat of a challenge to stay on a route.  After all, this is a new area for me.  So I figured out a few landmarks from the map and decided that it was time to get lost.

Ok, I didn't get lost in the conventional sense of the word.  I knew where I was, sorta, and I was able to find my way back to my room.  All in all, it was a great run.  It ended up being just over 5 miles and I got to explore the area where I'm staying which was fun.

In my opinion, one of the great things about running is that you can just go off and get lost on a run.  You can stop thinking about life and where you are and just let loose.  You never know what you might stumble upon or what great routes you might find.  On today's run I found a route I'm going to try tomorrow morning and I'll admit I'm anxious to get out there and explore again.  As for the things I stumbled upon... check out this cute gazebo they had, but it was designed like a carousel:

In other news, I've decided to set up a few new goals.  

First, I WILL be doing the full marathon in 2013.  It'll be good for my health and I think it's just a great goal overall.  

Second, I MIGHT be doing the Goofy in 2014... I have 2 years to train for that, I think I can do it... 

Third, I want to run 400-500 miles in 2012.  I haven't decided on an exact number, but I want over 1 mile a day so anything better than 365 miles is good for me.  Right now, I'm behind with that goal since I've only run just over 8 miles, but I'm ready to tackle that goal and beat it!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Balancing Work and Working Out

I don't know about you guys, but work is tiring.  I have a job that's very active and by the time I get off, I'm usually ready to collapse, eat, and then go to bed.  Yet I still have to figure out a time to workout.

I have been doing 15-30 minute workouts consisting of different hand weight exercises and calisthenics.  I usually give myself about 30 minutes to get home and decompress before convincing myself to get off the couch or bed and start working out (usually the hardest part).  I've been pretty good about doing something each night, although it's been really, really hard.

The one thing I figured out in the last few months is that I have to take advantage of my weekends.  That's when I'm able to get my long runs in because I don't have to worry about being late to work or being sore then.  I also usually able to get my brick workouts in then as well.  Plus, when I do all of my hard workouts on the weekend, then I have plenty of time to recover and rest in the afternoon.  For me, that usually means a good breakfast or brunch after I clean up and a nap at some point in the afternoon.

So pretty much, I've learned that to balance my professional and athletic aspects of life, I work on strength and maintenance during the week and then get the hard and long workouts in on the weekends...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Detours for the Drivers

When we're running a race we often see the cones, policeman, and detour signs that have been set up so we can take the road and not have to worry about cars. Well this morning I got to be the car and it was a bit of a nightmare.

As many of you know the Walt Disney World Marathon is currently running (as in I saw the pack on my drive into work). Well that means a lot of roads on property are shut down.

This morning I learned which ones were shut down and which roads were still opens. Property was crawling with policeman, yellow cones, and volunteers. I missed a few exits because of flashing lights, although they exits were still open, and ended up driving off property and coming on again. I did make it all the way to animal kingdom park and lodge, however I needed to be on the opposite side of property.

My second attempt yielded exits that were actually closed this time, but I made the right turn eventually, got onto one of the main streets that only had 1 lane closures on pieces of it. There was more traffic right were I needed to park but that was because that was where the race was at the same time!

I've always known triathlons and running events caused a lot of traffic closures and delays, but I have a new found appreciation for the drivers who do actually have to get somewhere... It's still not worth drivers yelling profanities or throwing objects at the runners (has happened to me during triathlons) but instead if a driver gives themselves extra time, it shouldn't be a problem.

Good luck to all of those running right now (2 of my good friends are and who knows how many of you!) looks like it should be a great day for a race! Have fun!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Marathon Dreams

I was driving around the Walt Disney World property today and checking out all of the stuff they've already got up for the Half Marathon and Marathon this weekend.  It made me start thinking about a few things...

First, it started bringing back memories of the Princess Half from last year which made me excited for the half this year.  I was wondering if they would have the same characters out or if some of the same signs will be out again?  My favorite sign they had on the course was about taking naps:

Still, now I'm excited for the Princess and getting anxious for that weekend to finally get here.

Second, I'm thinking about doing the full marathon in 2013.  This Sunday would mark 1 year until the race then so I have a lot of time to train and actually decide if I'm going to do it or not.  I have a friend running the WDW Marathon as his first marathon, and well his first race in general so I might follow in his footsteps (kinda) next year.

Never in my wildest dreams growing up did I think I was going to even consider running a marathon.  When I was competing in triathlons, I refused to even consider the farther distances because of the run... and yet here I am looking at doing 26.2 miles!  As soon as I decide if I'm going to do it or not, this blog will be one of the first to know...

Monday, January 2, 2012

Looking Ahead at 2012

I know I'm a day late and 2012 has already begun.  I have a few running races and goals I know I'm planning and who knows what races I might add to that list.  I also have one resolution I'm focusing on this year.

My first running goal is to run 10 miles every week.  I know that some weeks I'll blow past this goal (like the weeks I run Half Marathons... aka 13.1 miles) and others it might be a struggle (weeks I'm recovering after races or if I get injured... which hopefully I won't).  Still, it is my 2012 running goal, as well as a condition to my parents sponsoring two of my races each year.

My race schedule for this year (that I know of thus far):

  • Princess Half Marathon- February 26th
  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Mile- September 29th
  • Wine and Dine Half Marathon- November 10th
  • Reindeer Run 5k- December
If I can swing it (in my schedule and financially), I might try and throw in a 5k from time to time.

Now let's get serious of a bit.  New Years Resolutions.  While I feel as though keeping a New Years Resolution should be a resolution in itself, but that isn't what I'm focusing on right now.  Before the new year I had read that one way to keep a resolution is to only have 1.  I have 1 resolution that has two parts... one you focus on after the other is done.

My resolution is a common one, but one I have not yet been able to really control.  I want to (1) lose weight and (2) keep it off.  Eating right and working out... let's see if I can't get a handle on this whole weight thing in 2012, shall we?