Friday, March 30, 2012

Surprising Myself

I have always been an advocate of running in the mornings.  I've never really liked running or even working out in the evenings just because I'm so tired from the rest of my day that I usually just pass out.

Today, I don't know... it was just different.  I got home and got my running clothes together before taking off on a run.  I set my Nike+ App to 2.5 miles because I knew that was the least that I needed to do for this run.  Well, I ended up getting 3.1 in.

I surprised myself on two fronts today.  The first being that I actually ran this afternoon and that I ran farther than expected.  I am definitely proud of myself.  Personally, this has been a great week.  My weight has been dropping pretty steadily and I've just felt good.

Considering today was the day 2 out of 13 days straight of work... I might not be singing the same tune next week.  We'll see though.  Maybe I'll continue to surprise myself.

The only surprise I wasn't happy with was the battalion of fire ants that showed up in my house this evening.  I have won the war... or at least the battle thus far.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Stuck To A Plan

A few days ago I posted about planning runs vs not planning runs (or just ignoring the plans you've made).  I wasn't sure if I was going to keep to my plan today, but I ended up sticking to it pretty well.

I didn't do the course I had been thinking about, instead I looped through a few neighborhoods close to me and a few nice paths around some ponds (no alligators today).

My other goal for today- run 5 miles.

At first I wasn't sure if I was going to run those 5 miles because I really wasn't feeling that great.  However, I gave myself a few walking breaks and I ended up getting in 5.1 miles.  Pretty decent considering how I felt.

While I was running, I thought back to the last week and tried to think about why I wasn't feeling so great.  It's a sad truth, but I had started drinking more soda again instead of water and sports drinks.  So my weekly goal for next week is to get back on track with drinking more water and less soda.  Pretty easy goal and the great thing about easy goals, is that they're easy to make and keep.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Do You Plan? Or Just Go?

Today nor tomorrow are my run days, but Tuesday I have my "long" run planned.  I'm not sure how long it is actually going to be and that is what I'm debating currently.

I tend to go into runs with a plan.  I'll run this far for or try and get to this landmark.  I won't walk until whatever mile... etc...  You get my point, I have a plan.

It's actually kind of sad how often that plan dissolves within the first mile or two of my run.  Heck, there are even mornings that I don't even get out because I am just so tired.  There are days I'm still sore or my muscles are just tired and I end my runs earlier than I plan.  Then there are the really good days where I get out there and I just feel so good I run right past what I was planning to run.

That has been the case the last few weeks.  I got 5 miles in when I planned for 3.  And then I ran 7 miles last week when I only planned for 5.  However, I'm also well aware these feelings are fleeting at best.  I might get them a handful of times.  My last two runs haven't felt that great so I'm really not expecting too much from my run on Tuesday.

So I'm planning for a 5 mile run again, and we'll see how that actually goes.  Will I surpass that?  Give up early?  Or hit it exactly?

So what do you do?  Do you plan your runs before hand or do you just decide to get out there and see how far you can go?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Running From Tracker Jackers

I loved this card when I saw it.  I did go to the midnight showing of the hunger games and it was an awesome movie.  I don't know what kind of training those actors did, but the movie definitely did seem to put them through quite a workout.  Then again, if the hunger games were real, there wouldn't be a better workout than trying to stay alive.

Could you imagine running from tracker jackers?

Considering I did go to the midnight showing and worked both days around the movie, it did take me a bit of time to recuperate.  Luckily, I switched a shift and was able to get a run and some arm exercises in today.  The run didn't feel too good, my body was still so tired.  But the arm workout felt pretty good.  I'm debating doing another workout this afternoon, but we'll see if that actually happens.  I might just fall asleep early as been the norm lately.

PS- If you haven't seen the Hunger Games, or read the books... I would suggest doing both.  I'm on book 3 right now and I'm dying to see how it ends.  The movie was awesome and the casting was spot on.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Running Faster, Running Farther

I took most of the last week off from exercising because my mom had come to visit me and help set up my new house.  I was pretty much working 8 hours, and then spending the rest of the day with her.  To say I was exhausted would be an understatement.  However, it was a great weekend with my mom so even though I was really tired I was having fun.

Still, the busy weekend forced me to take a few days off from running and working out.  Today is my day off of work and while I plan on being lazy as much as possible, I still wanted to get some workouts in.  This morning I stepped outside as the sun was just starting to break the horizon and planned on a nice relaxing 5 mile run.  It didn't end that way...

It was just one of those days I felt better than planned and decided to take full advantage of that wonderful feeling.  I started with my normal route, took my normal breaks, but when I would have started to head home, I kept going.  I ended up running 7.03 miles.  I did have 3 breaks, but even those walking breaks were faster than in the past (sub 16 min pace).

Overall, I'm ecstatic about today's run and I'm happy I took full advantage of my time off.  Depending on how I feel this afternoon, I might do a quick Jillian Michael's workout and then relax this evening with a nice bubble bath.  I love my days off from work...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Back To Hitting The Brick Workouts

It seems that I haven't been able to get too many workouts in recently because work has been so busy and so tiring.  Luckily, today was my day off and I was able to get a decent workout in.  I took complete advantage of my free time and got a run and circuit workout in!

The run was pretty basic, 2.5 miles without any stops and around a 9:15 pace.  So far my mileage for this year is 102.2 miles.

Last week I got 3 new Jillian Michael's DVDs and I've slowly been exploring them.  Today I worked on her Extreme Shed and Shred.  It wasn't too hard, but I could definitely feel myself working.  There are two workouts in this video and I just did the first.  You can either do a 30 min workout at level 1 or 2, or combine them for a 60 min workout.  I just did the level 1 30 min workout.

My workout was decent and I'll probably do something similar tomorrow because I have a late start at work.  After that... who knows.  I know this is going to be a busy week, but with new DVDs comes a new drive to workout.

In other news, today was the day the Wine and Dine Half Marathon opened, but I'm opting to wait for a bit.  I'm hoping to get some news about my work location in a few weeks so I'm going to wait for that before I sign up for the race.  I still completely plan on running the Wine and Dine... I'm thinking a new PR?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Back Into Training

My recovery week is over and it's time to get back out there and continue training.  This time it's for the Tower of Terror 10 Miler and the Food and Wine Half Marathon.  Both are at the end of summer, but knowing how busy work is going to get, how hot and humid Florida will be, and just my trends of laziness... it doesn't hurt to start training now.

I did run 2 miles 2 days after the race, but that was more to get everything moving and loose.  Today was a bit different.  I got a wonderful 5 mile run in before it started warming up.  Last week was hot in Florida, we've already reached 90 degrees on some days!  Today only has a high in the mid to high 70s but like I've said before... I'm a morning runner.

The run felt good and I was pleased with my speed.  The first half of my run was below the 9:30 pace mark and the second half of my run was right around 10 min, but that also included some walking.  Overall, I was happy with myself and the run.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

2012 Princess Half Marathon Review

I know it's been a week since the race, but I haven't had internet in that week so blogging was put on hold.  Luckily, internet is back and thus, I can finally write my review of the race!

Let's take a look at the expo first, shall we?

I personally liked the expo a lot more this year.  Registration and packet pick up were set up in a tent on one of the fields.  This provided everyone (runners, volunteers, and vendors) with a lot more space.  Official merchandise was in the packet pick up area, but I just browsed through it in favor of getting something at the vendors tent.

At packet pick up I got my bib, my commemorative bib (yes 2 bibs), my race pin (was extra on registration), and the race necklace (also extra at registration).  My running buddy, Carrie, and I checked our bibs to make sure they were working and then headed over to the expo tent where we picked up our packets, I picked up some new headphones, and we looked around.  At that time we didn't have enough time to buy anything so we looked and left, but came back a few hours later to get what we wanted.  I ended up with a new race belt (I left mine back in Cali), a race shirt (Royalty Rules the Road), a coffee cup, and the second pin.  I liked that our actual goody bag only had a handful of things in it (like our race shirt) and the flyers you normally get were left online... it was just so green!

Overall, I did like the expo. The flow was a lot better since they spaced it out and I hope they do the same thing next year.  They were also doing a better job at crowd control when it came to packet pick up so that really helped.  As you can see above, they still had the footmen and this year they added the carriage.  Only, the carriage never made it to the race course, unlike last year.

The only thing I didn't like was more on merchandise's side.  I wish they would have a small tiara that you could pin around a pony tail, not the big light up one they were selling.  I also think that the necklace and original pin should have been kept for those who ordered them online.  The online sales did say they were sold out, but they magically happened to be at the expo...

On to the race...

Originally, Carrie and I were going to walk to the corrals, but decided against it once we saw how laid out Port Orleans really was.  We would have been waking up at the same time either way... so we took the bus to Epcot and walked with everyone else to the front (notice the grammar mistake in the sign above?).  It was early... like really early, but we eventually made it to the start.

Fairy Godmother set off the runners this year, just as she did last year.  There were fireworks for each corral and while I appreciated that I got some for my corral, I realized the fireworks had another benefit.  I could hear when the next set of runners had started thanks to the fireworks!  Don't know if that was part of the plan, but strategically it was smart.

There didn't seem to be as many characters stops out this year, but they did have my favorites...

All of the villains... even though Cruella is hiding...


Pirates (My favorite)

And of course... Fairy Godmother
King Mickey!
Physically, the race went well for me.  I was running Carrie's speed as it was her first (and she did awesome).  I ran the hills I walked last year, which was my personal accomplishment of the race.  We finished just around 3 hours, which was Carrie's goal, so overall a great race.  I think I actually ran more than I did last year and I know I definitely didn't stop so much.

After the race my quads tightened up a bit, but weren't too bad.  They were sore for a few days, but never so much that I couldn't work or anything.  My ankles got super tight and they tried to get me to stop walking after the race, which of course we spent at Epcot.  My ankles have me worried for future races when I might be going faster and harder, but I guess that's something I'm going to have to tackle when I get there.

On a personal level, I was so excited when some of my former coworkers came out and cheered for me!  It gave me the push I needed for the end of the race!

RunDisney really does provide runners with some magical experiences.  Carrie didn't believe me when I told her how awesome it is to run down Main Street to the castle with crowds cheering you on... I can assure you now that she does though!