Sunday, April 29, 2007

Weekend Concerns and Other Stuff

Concern 1 is that my eating has been less than stellar. I'm not sure what is going on. I am so close to my goal of 135# and I was doing really well with my eating and then all of a sudden I find myself eating all this crap. The one thing that has been pretty consistent has been my exercising - the 10K race was such a thrill and then I took it a bit easy for a couple of days but then got right back into it. That leads me to Concern 2 - Saturday I had planned to do a 6 mile run but at about 4.5 miles I started to get this "twinge" in my lower leg. It wasn't a sharp pain and it wasn't really crampy but I decided to do the smart thing and stop running. I walked back to my car and then did some stretching before going home. My exercising is the thing that has been keeping me sane - I couldn't afford to lose it. Luckily, this morning it felt good so I went out for that 6 miler I wanted to run yesterday. It was a good run - not real fast (about 9 m/m) - and I used the run/walk technique. I was glad to get it in.

Now onto better news - I just signed up for The Bell Supply Ten Miler. It is being run in conjunction with the Delaware Marathon. I'm really excited about it for a number of reasons. One, we will begin the race with the marathoners so I will get a feel for what the whole marathon experience will be like. Two, it will be a pretty big race so I will find out what it is like to run in a Big crowd. Finally, the race will be using transponder timing and I've never used that before. I will be a great experience and probably the best part to the whole day will be the fact that it is close to home - I won't have to find a place to stay or anything like that. I will sleep in my bed and eat my own food etc.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tuesday 4/24/07

I'm feeling pretty good today. Yesterday, my butt was pretty sore as were my groin muscles - not to the point of incapacitation though. I was able to do some body weight lifting yesterday (only doing body weight because my elbow is flared up again and holding the weights increases the soreness) as well as "Action Day" in gym class. Overall I felt yesterday was a good "day after" type of a day.

This morning I woke up and did a 3 miler. I was a little tight at the beginning but really started to loosen up as I went. I'm now moving into my next training program but I'm not sure I want to go with it. I had planned to combine a number of Hal Higdon programs as a build up to my marathon training. However, now that I've built up a good distance base, I don't know if I want to drop it back in miles. My long run would drop all the way back to 5 miles and then take me another month to get back up to the 8 miler that I did a couple of weeks ago. If there is anyone out there that has a suggestion as to how I should/could proceed, I would love to hear from you. I've been running for quite a while but I still haven't mastered the ability of creating my own training programs!

I'm also feeling pretty good about my weight right now. I'm at 137 which is behind schedule on my LL plan but I think I will still be able to make my 135 goal by May 9th! I have a little over 2 weeks and I feel like I can really knock this thing out!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

My First 10K is finished!

OK, I didn't win the London Marathon (which is what I believe she is winning in the above picture) but I did win my age group! I couldn't believe it!! And to top it all off I was actually the 2nd woman to finish the entire race (31st overall finisher). The woman who won the race is also a sponsored runner which makes it that much more satisfying!!
It was a beautiful day and like always I was there really early (about 45 minutes before the race). Getting there that early is a good thing and a bad thing - it gives me plenty of time to take care of things like registration, the bathroom, getting all my race gear on, the bathroom and yet again, the bathroom. The bad part is that I don't really like to wait around. Once I'm ready, I want the thing to start - how rude of them to not adhere to MY schedule (LOL)! I think the official temperature at race time was about 66 degrees and boy was the sun shining. You couldn't have asked for a nicer day!
The course was a rolling hill course with a majority of the beginning going downhill and then, of course, the majority of the end was uphill. I started out right behind a group of women that seemed to be holding a pretty nice pace although it was significantly faster than my originally intended pace of between 8:15 and 8:30. But being the competitor that I am I decided to stick with them at least for the first half of the race (remember, it was mostly downhill). I felt good and just went with it. I tried hard not to look at my Forerunner too much because I didn't want to start to panic - I knew it was fast but I figured, as long as I felt reasonably fresh I was going to go for it!
Around mile 2 the group of woman started to break up and that was when I decided to just push ahead. Not too long after that, I found myself running alone. I had left most of them behind and started using a technique I use in every race I run. I pick a person in front of me (preferably a woman) and try to reel her/him in. Once I catch and pass that person I pick another person to chase down and continue that until the end of the race. For me at least, it helps the miles and the pain go faster. You have that immediate goal right in front of you and you can tell if you are getting closer to it or falling behind - it is a great motivator for me during a race!
Then at about the 5K mark I could really feel the fatigue start to set in. At that point, the course had started to move mostly uphill and was getting pretty difficult. I ran with a man for a little bit and confessed to him (after he had commented that I had a nice pace going) that it was significantly faster than I was used to and I wasn't sure if I would be able to maintain it. As I started to pull away, I wished him a good race and he told me to keep the pace going. It wasn't much but it was really nice to hear that positive support from a fellow runner. One of my pet peeves is when runners don't support each other on the road. I'm all for doing your best and striving to win but not at the expense of those around me - but I digress.
Once I got to the 5 mile mark, I knew I was going to make it. My pace might slow in that last mile but there was no doubt that I was going to have a great time at the end of the day. Luckily for me there were still a few women right in my sites and I set off to catch them! One by one I picked them off. I passed the last one at the 6 mile mark. We turned the corner and I knew that the finish line was only 2/10ths of a mile up the hill (yes the finish was totally uphill!!). From somewhere deep inside, I pushed the pace up just a notch all the way to the finish line. My husband and 2 kids where there to meet me! That was the BEST part!!! As my husband walked toward me he held up 2 fingers and told me I was second. I was like cool, 2nd in my age group is awesome and was told me no - you are the 2nd woman to cross the finish! I could believe it! At that point, I looked at my Forerunner and it gave me a finish time of 47:29 and a pace of 7:32 I almost fell over right there but my kids just had to show me what they could do on the playground - it was a perfect ending!
I had intended to use this race as a challenging training run so that I could gauge where my fitness level is. Today has passed my wildest dreams! I've always known that I was a good runner and the more I compete in races the more I wonder just how far I can push myself. This year, I want to run more consistently and compete in more races than in previous years. I am also hoping to run in my first marathon. Hopefully this is the first step toward a really great year of running!
Congrats to Julie Berg who just completed the McNaughton 100 in under 28 hours 30 minutes and took first place. I don't think I'll ever run that far at one time. Every one who runs in those races (whether they are able to finish or not) are amazing! Way to go Julie!!!
Off to play with the kids! Have a blessed evening - I know I will!

Pre-race jitters are starting!

I woke up this morning just like I usually do and was feeling pretty good. Now that I've gotten on the computer though, I can feel that nervousness starting to kick in. It isn't a bad feeling - I actually kind of like it. My biggest concern on these days is the bathroom. I really have a tendency to need the bathroom when I run. I don't know what it is about my body but I always seem to have to take a dump during my long runs. I've had to move my weekend long runs to a local park area that has port-a-pots. I mapped myself out a figure-8 type course that passes the bathroom over and over again just in case I have to stop. I would much rather be out on the roads and see the different scenery when I run but every time I do that (for long runs) I get out there in no mans land and have to go.

Other than that I'm confident about the day. I know I can run the distance (10K). The course is a loop course and it is in a hilly area. From the race description, it sounds as if the beginning is downhill and the end is uphill. But it is in a really pretty area so I'm going to do my best to ignore the hills, enjoy the scenery and run by butt off. I don't really have a goal time in my head but a lot of my training runs (with walking) have been between 8:30 and 8:50 pace - I'm planning on running the whole distance so if I can be between 8:15 and 8:30 I'll be pleased.

Well, off to eat a good breakfast!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Reality is back with a vengeance!

Last week was such a tease - because I was on spring break, I was able to get on the computer and get my blog updated as well as many other computer "things" that I love to do. This week has been a totally different story. I feel like I haven't been able to keep up with 1/2 of the things I wanted to do.

But, at least I will get an entry in today - I'll worry about tomorrow.......later!

This week has been a step-back week for me in terms of my running. Tomorrow, I have signed up for a 10K run. I realised recently that I have never run in a 10K race. I've done 5Ks, 15Ks and a 1/2 marathon but no 10Ks. I decided it was time! My goal for the race is pretty much just to run it. My training has consisted of using a run:walk technique for any distance over 5 miles. So tomorrow, my main goal is going to be just running the entire distance and if I can keep my pace between 8:30 and 8:45 I will be happy!

Today is also going to be a busy day. My kids have their first T-ball game along with pictures and the league's opening ceremony. I was also asked to be an assistant coach so I have to be there for everything. The bad part is that we have to be at the field at 8:30 for the pictures and ceremony (also not sure when the ceremony is supposed to take place) and then our game isn't until noon. The head coach hasn't really given us any information about what the day is going to be like. I'm hoping that the pictures and the ceremony will be over early and that we will be able to leave and get some lunch before the game starts. They are also at different fields so regardless of what the timing is like, we will have to leave for another field after the ceremony. Nothing can ever be easy can it?!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Yesterday took its toll........

.....on my eating and on my energy level. I am exhausted this morning! I got up to exercise, like I normally do, and was scheduled for 60 minutes of cross-training. I did not get it done - I'm hoping to do something a bit later. The weather isn't cooperating either. We are in the midst of a really big rain storm. There are flood warnings in effect and it looks like it is going to rain for the next 3 days. So, I'm not sure just how much running I'll be getting done in the next few days. I will just have to get on the bike and do my Cardio Coach workouts.

My eating was pretty crappy yesterday as well. I burned lots of calories yesterday but also ate lots of processed foods - I was out most of the day but that is no excuse. I should have planned a bit better and had better options at my disposal. But, yesterday is over and all I can do is make today the best it can be. I will be drinking lots of water to help get all that junk out of my system and I will be making sure that I do MUCH better with my food choices. The day has started off better in that respect. I have had a nice balanced breakfast and will continue that in the meals to come.

I also need to keep my leverage in mind. If I don't make my goal my money will be helping an absolutely awful group of people! I need to focus on that and get everything back on track!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

What a great day!

The day started out with a great run - it was my long run for the week (8 miles). I decided to try taking in some fuel during this run. I tried some Sports Beans at about 30 minutes into the run. They tasted good but I wonder if they would be too hard to eat multiple times while running. The good news is that I didn't notice any stomach problems after I ate them. If anybody out there is actually reading this and has any input on fueling during long runs I would love any feedback you could offer.

I'm not sure if it was the fuel but I had a great run. My pace was 8:34/mile - significantly faster than last week. It felt harder than last week but not to the point where I felt like I was really struggling. I just felt like my legs were a touch tired. Then after I got home, we decided to take the kids to the Philadelphia Zoo. We figured that we did a good 2 hours of actual walking - I just thought my legs were tired during the run (LOL).

My eating hasn't been great today - doing lots of eating out and on the run. I will definitely try to clean it up the rest of today and definitely tomorrow.

Friday, April 13, 2007

I can't believe it!

After the crappy nutrition day I had yesterday, my weight didn't increase. I thought for sure that it would be up quite a bit. Today needs to be MUCH better. The good thing is, that the weather is better today to I'll be able to get out and do things. I'll be doing my second (official) session of my Muscle Audio together with the LL Muscle Professor.

I'm not sure if I will be getting a cardio session in today because I have A LOT of paper mache to do today. That needs to be my focus for the day because I have to get them finished for Monday and it is supposed to rain on Sunday so I don't want to be fighting the weather. If I get most of them (if not all of them) finished today it will have all day tomorrow to dry before the damp weather moves in. Hanging them outside has been great! I actually finished my "egg" and put a coat of paint on it. I wanted to see how much the paint would get soaked into the paper. There was no soaking in at all - one coat of paint on the outside will be perfect! I really hope the kids like doing this project. Next year, if I do it again, I'll start earlier and have the other teacher help by doing some too.

I had a great lifting workout this morning! My ipod ran out of steam 1/2 way through but my husband had already left for work so I turned up the computer and listened to the rest of the workout from there. It really does make a difference in my lifting. I did 2 sets without the audio (before I thought about listening to it on the computer) and I just didn't feel like I got the same intensity out of it. It is almost like you have a training partner right there spurring you on to better things. That is probably the thing I miss most about training at home - no one to push you or spot you. But, it is what it is and I need to work with what I have.

Well, I've taken enough rest time. I have finished 2 more "dino eggs" (my paper mache) so I only have 17 more to go!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Not a good day......

My eating has been pretty poor today! I have eaten so much crap - I'm not really sure what was going on but I just couldn't seem to stop eating it all. Then on top of that my son has been acting like a real pain in the...... I finally had enough and snapped. He ended up with no bedtime story and no night time TV. Some good did come out of it though - I had an awesome run. I went about 3 miles in a pace of about 7:15/mile. Those exercise sessions that you use to burn off that frustration and anger can be some of the best ones.

I'm still really struggling with the food today but I will make it through. I now officially have $50 riding on it. The check was sent to my friend and will be sent if I don't make my 135 weight. That is not an option so I will get back on my horse and have a good day tomorrow!

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Good and the Bad

The bad first: I ate way too much yesterday. It was a really funny thing though because I knew I was eating things that I hadn't eaten in a long time but there really wasn't a time when I stuffed myself. It was more of an absent-minded eating situation. When the day was all said and done, I knew my weight would be going up and it did (from 137.5 to 139). I'm not freaking out about it though. I had a great time yesterday but now that the day is done, it is time to get back to work. I have a leverage that I cannot and will not break. I am writing the check and sending it to Katrina today!

Now the good: my muscles are sore today! Why is that good? It means that I had an effective lifting session yesterday. My legs are sore and I can definitely feel my back muscles but my forearm/elbow isn't really all that sore. I still have discomfort when I pick things up in a certain position, but it is definitely getting better.

Today's run was pretty good. It was a bit tough to get started because my legs are sore but overall it felt good. My pace was around 8:30/mile for 3 miles. I then added about 15 minutes of fast walking. I still want to get some more time in (maybe later on the bike) but I had to get back to the house because my husband had to leave for work.

Today's food: I have my plan all set. I will be throwing away all the "extra" stuff in the house and I will be writing and mailing my leverage check today. I feel very confident that I will be back on track TODAY!!!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Back into Lifting! 4/8/07

Happy Easter!

I just finished up a great lifting session. I used the LL Muscle Audio and it was really cool! Coach David offered a free trial download to all Club Lifestyle members so I gave it a try. He was right, if you enjoy using Cardio Coach for your aerobic sessions you'll love the Muscle Audio for your lifting sessions. Having him right there in your ears the whole time keeps you right on track - it keeps your pace nice and steady and helps you get through each and every rep. The other cool feature is that you can use it in conjunction with the Muscle Professor on site. That way your workouts progress at a great rate too. Very cool!

However, I still need to keep the weights moderate because of the tendinitis in my elbow. It has definitely gotten better but it is still hanging around. I'm debating whether I should contact the MD about it or just wait and see how it goes. I'm leaning toward waiting a bit, getting back into my routines, and then see where it goes from there.

The other great news is that my weight dropped to 137.5 today. I'm sure it will go up a touch after today, because I plan on allowing myself some treats today. I don't want to go overboard but I also want to enjoy the day. The really tough part will come later this week when there is all the kid's candy laying around the house. I tried to keep our candy to a minimum but I know the kids are going to get a boat-load from my husband's sister and by my parents. Last year is was an obscene amount of candy!

Anyway, I need to go make and eat my HEALTHY breakfast. Enjoy your day and have a Blessed Easter! Remember the Reason for the Season!!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

I had one of THOSE workouts.........

I felt like I was floating on air. I ran 7 miles using a run:walk (9:1minutes) technique and still had an average pace of 8:50 per mile. I couldn't believe it!! I knew I was having a good run because every time I looked down at my Forerunner my pace read in the 8:30 range. I did not feel like I was going that fast.
When I do my long runs, I just let my body choose the pace. I don't really shoot for anything in particular I just let my legs and my breathing let me know how fast to go. I just can't describe how awesome today was.
I also realised something while I was running. The miles just fly by when I use the run:walk technique. I pretty much focus on smaller 10 minute segments and before I know it, I'm more than 1/2 way done the workout. I think it is also helping my legs by adding in the walks. I could feel some fatigue toward the end of the workout but when you only have a mile or so left you can mentally just push yourself through the rest of the workout. Besides, if I didn't feel some tiredness it wouldn't be a sufficient workout - you need to constantly push yourself just a touch if you want to progress.
Well, I guess that's it for now. I'm off to enjoy this feeling I have. Reality will hit again tomorrow - trying to avoid all the sugar that will be flying around. At least 2 Easter egg hunts and 3 baskets each for the kids. I really need my leverage to keep me on the straight path right now!!

Pre-exercise Check-In 4/7/07

Today is my long run and I will be leaving for the course in a few minutes. I took my NO-Explode and am just giving it a few minutes to settle into my system. I am very pleased to say that I'm actually starting to see the scale move. I'm down to 138.5 this morning! It is amazing what a good leverage can do!! Do YOU want to know more about leveraging? If the answer is yes then please check out the LL site and the LL book. It will be so worth your time effort and money!! I started with Body for Life and still think it is a good starter program but LL is just plain better. Coach David isn't afraid to tell you the truth - the entire truth - about weight loss and getting fit. It is a lot of work and it is just plain hard at times! The the feeling you get when you are doing the program correctly is AMAZING! I'm not at my current goal but the feeling I have right now is awesome - I can't really describe it but I just feel great and so can you!

There is my shameless plug for what I consider the best program around!!! I'm off to get dressed and go for my 7 mile run. Writing all this has gotten me so psyched - I can't wait to start my run!! LATER!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Week in Review 4/6/07

This week has been pretty good on the exercise front. I've gotten in 9.5 miles of running (with another 7 on tap for tomorrow) plus 2 more days of cross-training. Today is supposed to be a rest day but I think I'll try to get out for a walk or something a little later - nothing super strenuous but I still want to do something.

My eating has been better the past 2 days. I decided or a leverage for my current goal (I think I wrote about it on a previous post) and it has already started to pay dividends. There were a number of times yesterday when I wanted to go trolling but stopped and thought about my check being sent to an organization that I despised and having to tell my husband that the group would now have our name and address. It stopped me right in my tracks - I will make my goal!!

The added benefit is that I've actually started to see some drops on the scale. I know that I've definitely started to feel better and carry myself in a more positive way since I've gotten back into the groove this past couple of weeks. As a nice little reward for myself, I'm actually taking the time this morning for a nice little hair color touch-up. I'm not really one to do things for myself so it always feels kind of weird when I do take the time for me. I know that is not a good way to be but it is what it is. I've tried to make those goals of doing something for me but then I look at the money it would cost and I wimp out and don't do it. I know there are "free" things I could do but such is life I guess. The weird/sad part is that my husband wouldn't care if I went out and spent some money on myself - it is all on my shoulders. I'm doing it to myself.

I took a break while writing this to finish my hair. It looks good but it is probably a shade too dark. I don't like hair that look like there is an abrupt change. Also when you go too dark it looks "fake" - yes I know it is fake but you don't want it to look that way! Next time I touch up my hair I will definitely go a shade lighter.

I'm really looking forward to the next week. We are on Spring Break! We don't have a lot planned but we are going to take the kids to the Baltimore Aquarium. I haven't been there since I was a little kid and am really looking forward to it as well. Speaking of kids - I hear mine starting to stir so I will end this entry.