Sunday, September 26, 2010

Beating the Weather

When I first started running earlier this summer there were several weeks where I missed my running day because it was raining.  Now, I know people run in the rain all the time.  I've done it once and decided it was not for me.  Thankfully I haven't had any trouble with the rain recently.  It's the end of the afternoon thunderstorm season in Florida and it's been kind of dry anyways which has been great for my running since I refuse to run in the rain.  I'm not saying I won't change my mind though because I might... I've found that as I run more and more I sort of get more hardened to the weather conditions and more determined to run and be awesome regardless of the weather. 

I woke up super early this morning to try to fit in a 10 mile run before church.  I had been up for about an hour when I heard rain :(. 

Side note: I know it sounds crazy to wake up at 4:30AM to go on a 6:30AM run but I think it's important to have fuel in your body but I wanted to give the food a chance to digest a little so I wouldn't get cramps.  I know it's all sound reasoning but it just feels a little on the crazy side when I'm waking up at 4:30 :).  Anyways, I very dejectedly decided that I didn't want to do 10 miles in the rain and went back to sleep.  When I woke up 30 minutes later it had stopped raining but I had missed my window of opportunity to run.  Dumb rain fake out. 

At some point during my day I decided that I was going to get my 10 mile run done NO MATTER WHAT.  I decided I was going to set out as soon as I got home from church which is usually around 12:30 or 1.  Insane, I know.  When I decided to do this it was pretty cloudy and I thought maybe it would be overcast but that it wouldn't rain so it would be almost exactly like my morning runs.  Uhhh, WRONG. 

Before I left I was talking to my mom and sister about how I should hydrate during my run.  My hydration belt hasn't arrived yet but I knew that if it was super hot outside that I really ought to bring something with me to drink.  I just couldn't figure out how to carry it.  Then my sister offered to ride her bike behind me the whole way and carry water and Gatorade with her.  I'm not sure what she was thinking or what she got out of the whole thing.  I mean, she did ride 10 miles but she rode the bike at my pace which is pretty slow... but she did it. 

There is NO way I would have finished that run if she hadn't tagged along.  I definitely couldn't have done it without the water but even more than that I couldn't have done it without her support and encouragement.  I got to the first place that I could turn around and make my run a 6 mile instead of a 10 but she kept telling me "I know you can do it".

Of course I had just run this course last Saturday and ROCKED IT but wow, it is sooooo much harder in the heat and humidity.  Last weeks weather was gorgeous running weather.  I was probably insane for running in the weather today.  It was about 87 degrees and 60% humidity.

Well, I took way more breaks than I'd like to admit but most of them were to rehydrate so I guess it's okay ;).  Part of me felt like I was being a wimp but I really think that it was harder, not just mentally but physically.  I fought through it though.  It was tough but I did it.  I have a nice sunburn to show for it too :).  This is exactly how I felt during my run

I can't wait to see what water does for my morning runs.  I'm aiming for a long run on Thursday.  We shall see.


Best news...

I signed up for my first half marathon.  It's in 6 weeks which seems really far away to me.  I'm super pumped and I feel like at the rate I'm going that I'll be over prepared.  I don't see any harm in this at all.  Better than under prepared I think.  I'm considering signing up for a full marathon in February.  I feel SOOO far away from a marathon.  The 10th mile is really hard, my legs are just dying and my knee is starting to ache so I can't even imagine almost tripling that.  I think I'm going to wait and see what my next long run is with the water and see what I think at that point.  I'm not giving up, eventually I will run a marathon, I'm just not sure if it'll be in February.  I'll keep you posted though.

Hey, I know I have a few lurkers out there.  Please say hi!  I would LOVE to hear from you.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fitness Blues and The Blue Man Group

I'm so excited because my weeks are finally going to start getting back to normal which means... more time to fit in some amazing workouts.

I get so down when I can't finish what I planned at the beginning of the week to get accomplished.  I write down all my workouts at the start of the week and as I know happens with everyone: things come up.  A lot of days I manage to do most or all of what I planned to get done but some days I just don't at all.  When I wake up at 4:30 or 5 am everyday and I can't go on my run or go do stadiums in the morning but then I don't get home until 9:00 or later (last night it was 1 AM) then there is just no way I'm going to be able to do my run or stadiums for that day. 

The important thing is to not give up and continue forward.

This week I bought several new fitness gadgets/gear.  I bought a nice pair of gloves for lifting weights and for doing pull ups.  My hands have been developing these lovely calluses on them which are not exactly feminine.  Hah, I guess neither are weight lifting and pull ups but that's not the point ;).  I feel really hardcore when I wear them :).  They're pretty fun. 

I also bought some body glide.  I actually don't think I'm going to be using the body glide for awhile.  I haven't had any chaffing problems.  I've been wondering to myself why I haven't had any issues since I've been reading about other runners' problems.  I finally figured out that it's probably because I really have no chest to speak of whatsoever.  I think I'll probably need it some once I get over 13 miles so I thought it was a good investment. 

I went all over town searching for a good hydration belt.  My uncle has run several marathons and always knows what he's talking about so when he told me to invest in one I immediately got on it.  He said that it really helps you to increase your mileage.  I'm so excited to run with my belt and can't wait until it gets here.  I'm hoping that it'll take care of the soreness I'm feeling in my legs the last several miles. 

I also bought a very gently used pair of asics on ebay.  Crossing my fingers that they fit well.  I know it's probably not the best idea to buy shoes on ebay but they're actually not for distance running so I feel like maybe it's not so important that they fit perfectly?  I'm planning to use them for walks and for running stadiums.  The shoes that I currently use for these activities have definitely seen better days so I feel like anything will be an improvement. 

So back to my failed workout attempts =/...
I've been missing my P90X workouts.  I think I'm behind 2 right now.  Well two hour ones.  I also have to do 2 Ab Ripper X.  Does anyone else "catch up" when they miss a workout?  IE:  Do multiple workouts in one day if you have the time?  I do.  I have no idea if this is unhealthy or not a good idea or what but it takes away my guilt.  They're starting to pile up though.  Sunday catch up day all day!  Hah. 

On top of that I missed stadiums on Monday and on Friday.  I can't even remember the reason why I missed Monday but on Friday I STRUGGLED to get myself out of bed and ready to run stadiums and then we got to the stadium and it was closed.  Ughhh such a bummer.  Well, actually, at the time I was relieved.  I was so not in the mood for stadiums.  Now I'm wishing that I had.   Why?  Well...

Saturday is my long run day.  It's pretty much the only day I can get a long run in.  It takes a good 2-2:30 hours including stretching before and after and bathing and icing and all that good stuff.  But... I was out til 1 AM last night and was NOT feeling it when my alarm went off at 4:45 this morning.  So I went back to bed and slept in til 10:30.  Wow I hate sleeping in.  Where is my day?  I think it was good though.  My body needed it. 

I've decided to take a huge risk and go before church tomorrow.  I'm working in the nursery tomorrow which means I have to be there earlier and I will be holding babies/potentially standing the whole 2-3 hours.  I will probably be regretting my run tomorrow.  But I don't even care, I'm doing it.  I'm aiming for 11 miles minimum.  It would be awesome if I was still going strong and could fit in more but probably time wise I would need to cut it off by that time. 

The reason I was out til 1 AM last night... actually would make it okay to have to wait a whole week to fit in a good long run.  I went to see The Blue Man group last night!  It was so incredible!  I don't even think I would have chosen to go of my own accord, I had no idea what to expect, but it was so legit and definitely worth it!  Tickets are usually around $70 but I got to go for $45.  Absolutely hands down one of the best experiences of my life.  I laughed for the majority of the show.  My favorite part (if you've been and know what I'm talking about) was the toilet paper insanity at the end.  CA-RA-ZYYYYY!  But so awesome!

Here's a clip of the toilet paper insanity

Not sure how to insert video.  I'll figure it out for future posts.

Kind of hard to see but this will give you an idea of what happened.  I love the boy "wait, there's more?!?" my thoughts exactly...

Anyways, I'm off to try to catch up on some of those P90X workouts before I go off to babysit for 8 straight hours.  Ughhh sometimes I hate my job.  I get no weekend.  Where's my day off?

Hope you all are having a great weekend :)

Please ignore my crazy hair.  My hair + humidity = crazy hair!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hodge podge

There are so many things I want to talk about that I don't even know what to name this post.  I'm going to save it for last ;)

I've been SO crazy busy the past few weeks.  I keep telling people that I'm taking some time off and relaxing and working a little.  The life of a recent college graduate with no plans =/...
That statement is not entirely true though.  I'm taking some time off from school, and while I have a little more flexible schedule it is definitely not relaxing and I am definitely working A LOT.  The past two weeks I have been helping out a friend of mine who fell and broke her right arm.  She has an 18 month old daughter and she has been unable to change diapers, lift the girl in and out of her high chair, or get her in and out of the car.  This last one is especially problematic since the only time this little girl naps is in the car.  I've been spending the majority of my day helping out and driving all over creation at naptime.  By the end of the day I have been so exhausted that I've been going to sleep at 9:30 and have had absolutely no desire to blog.  Another reason for my lack of enthusiasm is that I have been SUCKING at working out.  This week I've been stepping it up again and so I am much more excited to share what I've been up to.

Let me start by recapping some of last week:
It was my P90X recovery week which meant a lot of yoga, a lot of stretching, and some of my least favorite workouts... that stupid Kenpo crap.  Anyone else have any like/dislike for Kenpo?  I just feel super awkward.  I feel like I should be good at it cause I'm a dancer and I kick all the time... but I'm just NOT. 

I haven't been great at sticking it out, I've either just skipped that day entirely or switched it out for a different workout.  I read a message board and a lot of the commenters suggested sticking with it, saying that they didn't like it at first either but after several weeks it is now their favorite.  I'll have to give it another chance I guess.

Anyways, I really didn't do much of anything that week.  I just didn't have time.  I mean, I could have made time if I slept 4 hours a night but I decided it was better to get my rest.  I mean, a recovery week isn't going to be very restorative if you're not getting sleep. 

I did however go on an awesome run on Thursday night.  If you've read my blog at all you know I detest evening workouts.  Well, I planned it out so at least one of my main issues wouldn't be a problem.  One of my issues with evening workouts is that I'm usually hungry but if I eat anything then I'll feel sick once I start the workout.  I solved this problem by eating at around 4:30. 

I got home from work and hopped online to map out a route.  I found a 10 mile route and set out pretty quickly.  By about mile 2 I knew that this was going to be a rough run.  In the past my routes have been loops so that if I'm feeling not so hot I can just quit early.  I think this is the cowards way to run so I'm really working on cutting that out of my running. 

Firstly it was hot and humid.  I'm not sure other than that what was so different about this run but it was just HARD.  I struggled the whole way.  I kept telling myself "You are strong, you are strong, you are strong, you are strong". 

Another thing I hadn't planned on was the sun going down... oops!  A lot of the run was fine, it was on the sidewalk.  The last 3 miles or so winds through my neighborhood though and by the time I got in the neighborhood it was pitch black out.  I turned my headphones off and listened for cars and paid a lot of attention to lights coming up behind me.  Every time I heard a car coming I jumped up on the curb and ran through the grass... oh my gosh, HELL ON EARTH!  I do NOT like running through grass when I'm going on my 8th or so mile.  My legs were screaming at me every time I jumped up on the curb and every time I saw car lights approaching I was mentally cursing them :). 

I also got to experience BUGS!  Not so exciting.  I never have problems with bugs in the morning but they are out in droves in the evening.  They stuck to my face and I kept thinking I was going to swallow one by accident.  Thankfully that didn't happen.  So gross. 

Some of my route included loops and by the time I looped back to my house I decided 9 miles was fine with me and I just did not want to run the last mile.  My 9th mile was pretty killer.  My IT band was really starting to hurt and I was pushing it the last mile so I decided that 9 miles would make me happy, a lot happier than I'd be if I really injured myself by pushing past my limit.

Today I ran 10 miles!  I know that's only a mile more than my last long run but I just feel AWESOME about it.  It was just glorious out this morning.  Gorgeous weather.  Oh, and it was morning.  That just makes everything better in my opinion.  Also, my route was one big loop.  I just felt like I was running so far.  I just kept thinking to myself  "wow, I'm so far from home.  I ran all the way here.  I can't believe I ran all the way here and still feel so good".

Cardio-wise, I am awesome.  On my thursday evening run last week my heart rate was high-ish.  It was mid to upper 170s the whole time.  Today was like low 160s to mid 160s the whole time.  It shot up to 170 on a few of the hills but came back down quickly.  I feel like I could run forever cardio-wise.  But by the end of my runs my legs are just DYING.  I wonder if some kind of replenishing drink or food would be helpful?  If you have any tips please share!  I feel like my legs are pretty strong so I tend to think that it's not that they're not strong enough... but I'm obviously no expert. 

Anyways, I can't wait til my next big run next week!  I'm looking for a good half marathon to sign up for too.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Too Tired To Blog

Man oh man...

I am just exhausted.  This is what happens when you wake up at the crack of... dark (not even dawn) so that you can fit in some exercise before your insane day. 

I don't understand how you real bloggers do it.

How do you blog everyday AND make delicious healthy meals AND find time to work out.  I just don't get it.  You are my heroes.

This is probably going to my tune for the rest of this insane week of working ALL THE TIME. 

I'm ready for my break.  If I can just make it through this week then I'll be housesitting and then I'm going to be complaining about having nothing to do.  I hate house sitting.  It makes exercising so difficult.  I can't even explain why but I just struggle to stay up with all my exercise while I'm house sitting.  Oh well, I'll deal with that problem when I get there.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better than today.  Plyometrics is on the schedule for tomorrow.  I love Plyo but nottttt feeling it right now.

Hope you all have a wonderful night :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I'm Still Alive... I Promise

Hey everyone!

So I've been completely MIA lately.  I have good reasons, I promise.

The #1 reason is that my computer was infested with viruses and was completely unusable.  It was extremely difficult to fix but has finally been restored to it's former pre-virus self.  I ran virus scanners in safe mode for a few days but unfortunately when I went to start it again in normal mode it wouldn't load windows.  So then I had to back up all my files and do a system restore.  Unfortunately my disc seems to have disappeared so after trying multiple disks we were finally able to fix my computer.  Soooo glad to have it back.

#2 reason that I've been MIA is that I have had an INTENSE crazy week.  Busy busy busy.  I've been working all day every day and then going to activities in the evening.  I've been so busy that I haven't even had a chance to exercise much.  Don't even get me started on that one.  It's soo frustrating.  Thank God it's my P90X recovery week or I would really be upset.  I did get in a nice long 10 mile run on Thursday though.  It was the hardest run I've ever done in my entire life.  It was one of those runs where at mile 2 you're not feeling good at all and it's just not a good running day.  I kept going though.  It was awful but I'm glad I did it.  I just really know never to go for long runs in the evening.  Soo much hotter and muggier than in the morning, bugs flying in my face, then it got dark on my way home and every time a car came I jumped up on the sidewalk and ran in the grass.  My legs were dying every time I had to do that.

Anyways, all that to say that I have another crazy week coming up but hopefully now that my computer is back I will be able to stay caught up a little better.  Here's also hoping that I'll be able to stay caught up on all my exercise.  I just feel awful without having done much this past week.  Both guilty and HUGE.  People say I'm just being silly but for real, I've gained like 8 lbs this summer.  I'm sure some of it is muscle weight but definitely not all of it.  And I'm sorry, tight clothes just feel horrible no matter what you weigh. 

I should probably end on a lighter note but I'm just going to leave it at that :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Running is MY drug

I am just LOVING running.  I get this sense of accomplishment that I don't get when performing any other exercise.  I feel so strong. 

My sister is probably going to kill me but I am seriously wanting to drop a lot of the other things I'm doing (specifically running stadiums) so that I can really focus on improving running.  I am just itching to start training for a marathon but every time I look at a training schedule I end up deciding not to train because I would need to run several days in a row and since my current schedule is running every other day and stadiums on my off-running days I would end up running stadiums and running on certain days.  I think that's just way to much and would probably cause some injuries down the road. 

Last Thursday I decided to do the "dreaded Publix run" as I call it.  I've only run this route once before and it was awful.  My knee decided half way through the run that it didn't want to work anymore and I had an awful time getting home.  My brother used to run a lot and this was one of his routes.  I've finally worked up to it.  I always thought it was really far but now that I've been working on increasing my millage I've realized that it's really a fairly easy run.

I've been keeping my running fairly close to home.  I've justified this to myself thinking that I'll get out and start running and if I don't feel up to the run then I'll be close to home and can cut it short or if I'm feeling really good then I can just keep adding more 1.5 mile loops.  I've decided that this is a wimpy way to plan things and that I'm never going to improve if I'm always leaving myself an easy way out. 

My new plan is to just go out for long runs.  I'm going to decide on my millage before I go out and start running and once I'm out on the run I'll essentially have no choice but to do the whole run.  This may come back and bite me in the butt, however, I think it's really best for me at this point.  I'm really stronger than I know and I can do this.  I need to stop doubting my abilities and just get out there and do it.

Anyways, Thursday's "dreaded Publix run" was my longest run yet.  I ran 8 miles in 70 minutes.  I felt AWESOME!  It's so excited and I really feel like a real runner now.  I can't wait to see what this week will bring. 

I really wanted to continue my awesome running on the weekend but I had some issues that interfered.  On Sunday I had a dance performance.  I had a rehearsal on Thursday night and on Saturday.  On Thursday night I was feeling my run.  I felt great most of the day but by the evening I was feeling something.  I'm still not sure what it was but I got sick.  I felt achy all over and had the chills.  That rehearsal was AWFUL but when I got home I hopped right into bed and slept for about 8 hours.  In the morning I was feeling back to normal.  However, I didn't want to push it and push myself so hard that I performed poorly on Sunday.  So I took it easy and just ran 3 miles on Saturday evening.  That was really the perfect amount because I felt great on Sunday and performed really well. 

Mondays aren't usually the days that I run on but I'm craving a run.  It's WAY later then I usually run but it's looking kind of overcast and cool out so I may cave and go for a run. 

Hope everyone has a great day off today!